Responding to anti-evolution arguments

It seems that creationism/evolution is the debate that just won’t end. More than almost any other scientific theory, evolution seems to be the hardest for people to accept. But why? Evolution is a theory that answers, at least in part, one of the most important philosophical questions of all time – Where did we come from? Why, then, isn’t evolution widely accepted? It seems to me that many people don’t believe in evolution because they don’t understand evolution. Perhaps they feel that sharing ancestors with chimpanzees somehow lowers their own importance in the world. They may think that accepting evolution means rejecting God. Their understanding of evolution may be that man evolved from some modern ape, which also isn’t true (Saying that man descended from some modern ape is like saying you descended from your cousin).

Whatever the misunderstanding is, I feel that it keeps people from accepting evolution. It may be naïve, but I think that evolution would be widely accepted if it were widely understood. This is one reason why teaching evolution is so important. So, in an attempt to clarify a few points I have put together a few of the most common arguments against evolution as well as my answers to those questions. In a later post I will present what I see as the most striking evidences of evolution.

1. Defining evolution

One of the core problems in the evolution debate may just be a poor understanding of the definition of evolution. A common definition from a dictionary says that:

A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.”

There are a number of errors in that definition. First, an evolutionary change need not be gradual (and what does gradual even mean, scientifically?). Second, evolutionary changes are not required to be more complex. Third, the term “better form” is misleading. Evolution does not happen in a linear fashion with a desired, better end in mind. A more scientific definition would be:

“Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.”

2. Microevolution vs. Macroevolution

This is probably the number one complaint against evolution that I hear. It isn’t scandalous to say that bacteria will adapt to their surroundings, but the idea that man has evolved from some “lesser” species sends us to the courtrooms. Often I hear someone say:

“I believe in microevolution, I just don’t believe in macroevolution.”

Meaning that minor adaptive changes within a species can happen, but not major changes from one species to another. To me that sounds like:

“I believe in inches, I just don’t believe in miles”

The important difference between microevolution and macroevolution is time. Lots and lots of time. The same basic principles govern both processes – mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection. These events over many, many generations result in genetic changes.

Mutation - Mutation is one of the processes responsible for evolution.  Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, mutagens (chemicals that cause mutations), as well as errors from cell replication. Mutations have been characterized and are known to happen. Imperfections in DNA encoding cannot be denied. 

Migration - Migration is the movement of genes from one population to another. This is an important concept in evolution because gene frequency determines which genes will be passes on.

Genetic Drift - Genetic drift is the change in gene frequency based on random sampling. Genetic drift is more important in smaller populations.

Natural Selection - For some reason, this is the part of evolution that catches some people. If I told you there were two animals – One with a neck 4 feet long and one with a neck 4 feet 6 inches long – that both  eat from a tree that is 5 feet tall. Which animal will have a better chance of surviving? Of course it is the one with a longer neck. It is just as obvious, then, that if the surviving animal has children it will pass on the genes for height. It’s offspring may even have a longer neck making it even easier to survive and pass on even taller genes.

3. Evolution is “Just at theory

If you want to enrage a biologist, saying “Evolution is just a theory” is the perfect place to start. Here’s why – the scientific definition of theory and the colloquial definition are very different. The colloquial definition is an idea that someone has. Sometimes they have put some real thought into it and other times it’s nothing more than a fleeting thought – “I have a theory that…” is a common phrase. The scientific definition is much more rigorous. A theory is not just some idea, it’s defined as “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.” A theory, then, is an explanation of some observation. This explanation must be tested to be correct, provide testable predictions, and is well understood. A theory does not become a fact, no matter how much evidence is given. So when scientists define something as a theory it is not to be taken lightly. It means that the concept is well understood, has been tested, and provides testable predictions. Evolution is not “just” a theory.

4. Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics

Some of the more “educated” opponents of evolution will say that evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. How? Well, the second law, as stated by Lord Kelvin, is:

No process is possible in which the sole result is the absorption of heat from a reservoir and its complete conversion into work.”

Now, you may wonder what in the world that statement has to do with evolution. Another, less rigorous definition of the second law is:

“The entropy of a closed system can never decrease”

I suppose that statement may be as foreign as the first, so let me explain. Entropy is, in short, a measurement that describes how energy in a system is arranged. A system where energy is evenly dispersed has higher entropy than a system where energy is unevenly dispersed. Imagine a box with 10 particles. These 10 particles can be arranged in a number of ways.

The box on the left places all the particles at the bottom right, while the box on the right places the particles more evenly throughout. In terms of entropy, the box on the right has a much higher entropy than the box on the left. Another, even less rigorous definition of entropy is the amount of disorder of a system. In the boxes example above, the particles on the left are very ordered, while the particles on the right are disordered. The second law of theromdynamics, then, roughly states that a system will always move from the left box to the right – from order to disorder.

And this is what evolution deniers grasp hold on. They claim that since evolution can lead to a more ordered, complex system, that it breaks the second law of thermodynamics. This, of course, is not true. I’ll give two reasons. The first is a common rebuttal to the argument, the second is the actual truth:

1. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system cannot decrease. Even if we define the system we are looking at as the entire earth, the earth is not a closed system (after all, the sun shines on the earth).

2. Order and disorder is, in the end,  a very poor definition of entropy. It works in many cases to help describe entropy, and it is often correct. However, if you look at the actual definition of the second law it has nothing to do with order or disorder.

Conclusion

There are, of course, other arguments against evolution. I couldn’t describe them all in one post. In the next blog post I plan on presenting some of the most striking evidence I know for evolution. I’d love to hear your comments about this post until then.

About Chad Jones

Hi! I'm Chad Jones, a PhD student studying physical chemistry. I also write/manage a science blog. Please check it out! http://www.thecollapsedwavefunction.com Also, feel free to e-mail me: chad@thecollapsedwavefunction.com
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143 Responses to Responding to anti-evolution arguments

  1. Solomon says:

    One major problem with the theory of Evolution, imo, is it’s proposal that evolutionary changes occur due to random mutation combined with natural selection. This is like saying if I continue to randomly hammer a Walkman, it would turn into an iPad at some point.

    Most mutations are harmful. Even if evolutionists are given the benefit of the doubt of assuming a mutation has as much chance of being beneficial as it is to be harmful, the chances of success are one in 10^60 (http://www.icr.org/article/493/). Considering the earth’s age of 10 billion years, the probability comes to no more than 10^21. In other words, utterly miniscule.

    For this and other reasons, I chose to believe in intelligent design, even though I share many beliefs with the skeptics.

    • Chad Jones says:

      Random mutation and natural selection is only one part of the contributions. I don’t think it’s correct to say that the majority of mutations are harmful. In fact I don’t think you could say either way. The majority of mutations are random. There are some non-random effects that are beneficial (migration and genetic drift are two that I mentioned).

      Next week I’ll be posting an article on what I see as the greatest evidences for evolution. I’d like to hear your thoughts when I post it.

      • Solomon says:

        Most mutations are random, but the existing structure of an organism is hardly random . That is why most mutations would be harmful to an existing organism.

        Quote from wikipedia article on mutation (the study is referenced):

        “One study on genetic variations between different species of Drosophila suggests that if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, the result is likely to be harmful, with an estimated 70 percent of amino acid polymorphisms having damaging effects, and the remainder being either neutral or weakly beneficial……………Although mutations that change in protein sequences can be harmful to an organism; on occasions, the effect may be positive in a given environment.”

        Any beneficial effect from mutation is hardly positive and only very occasional. Is there any record of a person who developed beneficial features as a result of getting mutated by the radiation after Hiroshima/nagasaki or chernobyl? If mutation is not generally harmful, why are we afraid of ionising radiation?

        • GD says:

          Ex-creationist here, and I feel you make a good yet flawed argument. I have no doubt that some of the other respondents understand evolution better than I do, but I hope I can be more effective in addressing this issue for you. I was raised being taught the “evidence” against evolution, so I’ll do my best to point out where I believe you to be mistaken. I am, however, a lay person, and am more prone to misreading or misunderstanding things than someone with a degree in the field would be.

          Your biggest mistake is quoting a wikipedia summary from a study which it seems that you were unlikely to have read, or even skimmed through. I even doubt you read the entire wikipedia entry on mutation. Here’s an excerpt from the actual study:

          “What fraction of amino acid replacements should be considered as nearly neutral is a matter of definition. Ohta (36) has stressed that the key feature of nearly neutral mutations is that their fate in the population depends on both selection and random genetic drift and has suggested that an absolute value of Nes < 2 would be suitable as a definition. For our data, this threshold implies that ≈46% of fixed amino acid replacements are selectively nearly neutral. One might also regard a mutation as selectively nearly neutral if its probability of fixation were <10 times that of a truly neutral allele; with this definition Nes = 2.5 and the proportion of fixed amino acid replacements that are selectively nearly neutral is 58%."

          This paragraph seems to contradict the point you are trying to make. I confess, the study is too dense for me to claim that I completely understood it, I make no claims to say that I have and am willing to except criticism if I am mistaken. I also could not pick up from the study what types of mutations they considered "beneficial", though the authors do claim "What is slightly deleterious in one genetic background may be mildly beneficial in another." And it was my impression that evolution is very much neutral. 'Adaptive' behavior or traits does not equal 'better', nor is an adaptive trait always apparent.

          A few examples of evolution which we can observe in our own species are frequently written off by supporters of intelligent design supporters who seem to not consider these things important. Take wisdom teeth for example, or more specifically the lack thereof in certain people. We evolved from long snouted animals with parabolic jaws. If you look at the top jaw of an ape, then at the fossils of what are believed to be the ancestors of humans, you will see the jaw slowly moving from a U shape to that of a semi-circle. Also, if you trace our lineage back to our earliest known ancestors you will find that leading up into modern day, our amount of teeth have not only been decreasing, but have been doing so from the rear of the mouth.

          Being born with less teeth may initially seem like a bad mutation when briefly glancing at it, but it has allowed for man increased room in his/her mouth which allows for more flexibility of the tongue. which in turn, allows for more intricate communication skills, which helps survival. We still have people being born missing their wisdom teeth. Why would an intelligent designer put in such a pointless, pain-causing feature, then give our genetics the ability to repair it?

          The ability to digest lactose in adulthood is another feature that is a fairly modern evolutionary adaption. Lactose intolerance is much more common in Asia and Africa (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/187249-overview).

          Your last point on radiation is a complete straw-man argument. Radiation can damage DNA's ability to regulate replication. This combined with damaged strands of DNA can lead to disastrous resulted. However even in heavily radiated areas of the world life can prosper 9http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/nuclear_power/2013/01/chernobyl_wildlife_the_radioactive_fallout_zone_is_a_wildlife_refuge_photos.html)

          i wish I can say more, but I've rambled long enough, plus it's Valentines Day and I got to get prepared for plans. Happy V-Day everyone!

          P.S. I have not proofread this, I've been slacking and need to hurry and finish up and get off the internet. My apologies for poorly worded sentences and typos.

        • merleblue says:

          “One study on genetic variations between different species of Drosophila suggests that if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene”

          The important bit there is the “if”. Most mutations don’t change a protein’s production – the great majority of mutations don’t have any visible effect on the creature’s development. Every new human being born has a number of mutations and copying errors distinct from their parents – but for the most part, those changes are harmless because they take place in non-coding regions of DNA.

          One way that mutations can be allowed to occur without damaging the organism is if a gene duplication occurs first – if a creature has one gene A that produces essential protein B, then any change to gene A would harm that organism. However, if that gene gets duplicated, so the organism has two copies, then even if one copy of the gene gets mutated, it still has one intact copy producing the protein it needs to be healthy.

          You may see some parallels between this and the operation of sickle-cell anemia in humans – where being a carrier (One changed copy of the gene) for the condition protects against malaria, while having full-blown anemia (two copies of the gene) is a seriously negative condition.

    • Martin says:

      There’s is nothing in your walkman -> ipad analogy that resembles natural selection. You must realize that. No?

      • Solomon says:

        The primary driver of evolution is not natural selection, but mutation. The theory is that beneficial features are developed as a result of mutation and the ones with the greatest adaptability are “naturally selected”.

    • Chuck Collis says:

      “This is like saying if I continue to randomly hammer a Walkman, it would turn into an iPad at some point.”

      No, it’s not, and this is a straw man logical fallacy. You are specifying an end point, which natural selection doesn’t do. You are also neglecting the non-randomness of natural selection while emphasizing a damaging type of randomness.

      The Earth’s age is closer to 4.54 billion years and your backwards math is junk. Would you care to calculate the probability of your specific genetic code coming into existence from 10 generations ago? Did I just prove your non-existence because of the improbability of there being a you?

      Either you don’t know how evolution works or you have deliberately mischaracterized the process. Please do take the time to educate yourself.

      • Solomon says:

        You are misrepresenting my stance. That analogy wasn’t meant to illustrate natural selection, but mutation. A better one would be expecting the foundation of a building to improve as a result of an earthquake.

        “Would you care to calculate the probability of your specific genetic code coming into existence from 10 generations ago? Did I just prove your non-existence because of the improbability of there being a you?”

        Interesting, but invalid analogy. I am here, commenting and this is the living proof of me. What we are discussing here is what probably happened billions of years ago and neither you nor me lived at that time to see what happened for sure. Therefore, it is not the same as calculating the probability of me being here.

        • Chuck Collis says:

          Wrong on all accounts.

          1. I am not misrepresenting your stance. You view mutation as a purely destructive force and this is clearly incorrect. You also remove or misrepresent the non-random aspect of natural selection. Moreover, you are picking a known object with a known function and are making it a de facto perfect form. This just isn’t the case. There are other ‘jobs’ the materials of a walkman or a foundation can fill without being a walkman or a foundation.

          2. Your existence in spite of a very low probability of coming into existence 10 generations ago pretty much proves my point. You can’t say that something couldn’t happen just because it’s improbable.

          3. I’m sure this will be lost on you. I’m finished with your pseudo-intellectualism. Enjoy your bliss.

          • Solomon says:

            1. “You view mutation as a purely destructive force……”

            Another misrepresentation (“Straw-man”). Have a look at my above comment in reply to Chad to see what I think about the issue. Mutations are harmful in an average of 70% of time, with the rest being neutral or weakly beneficial

            2. It is not the same as debating what happened billions of years ago. Neither you nor anyone can say with conviction what happened back then. The minuscule probability of evolution having been occurred proves it for the dogma that it is.

        • Dave says:

          The earthquake analogy is weak, but consider that most buildings survive small earthquakes undamaged. Some may have minor damage; a few may be made safer, as loose parts are lost or as the foundations settle more securely. Of course a major earthquake will be devastating, but the vast majority are not. Also, the structural features that survive even large earthquakes are more likely to be used in future – a crude echo of natural selection.

          • Curt says:

            For the earthquake analogy to be valid, buildings would be given the ability to Self Replicate. And now I’m sure you acknowledge that some foundations are stronger than others (variability within a population). Why don’t you take it from here…., or I do I have to spell it out. ,

    • Where did you get the 10 billion year figure?

      • Solomon says:

        Quote from the ICR article (http://www.icr.org/article/493/):

        But let us give the evolutionist the benefit of every consideration. Assume that, at each mutational step, there is equally as much chance for it to be good as bad. Thus, the probability for the success of each mutation is assumed to be one out of two, or one-half. Elementary statistical theory shows that the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is then (½)200, or one chance out of 1060. The number 1060, if written out, would be “one” followed by sixty “zeros.” In other words, the chance that a 200-component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Lest anyone think that a 200-part system is unreasonably complex, it should be noted that even a one-celled plant or animal may have millions of molecular “parts.”

        The evolutionist might react by saying that even though any one such mutating organism might not be successful, surely some around the world would be, especially in the 10 billion years (or 1018 seconds) of assumed earth history. Therefore, let us imagine that every one of the earth’s 1014 square feet of surface harbors a billion (i.e., 109) mutating systems and that each mutation requires one-half second (actually it would take far more time than this). Each system can thus go through its 200 mutations in 100 seconds and then, if it is unsuccessful, start over for a new try. In 1018 seconds, there can, therefore, be 1018/102, or 1016, trials by each mutating system. Multiplying all these numbers together, there would be a total possible number of attempts to develop a 200-component system equal to 1014 (109) (1016), or 1039 attempts. Since the probability against the success of any one of them is 1060, it is obvious that the probability that just one of these 1039 attempts might be successful is only one out of 1060/1039, or 1021.

        • Anonymous says:

          Soloman, your math might make sense if you were looking at a system where one organism mutated multiple times; getting 200 mutations without a single fatally harmful one would be unlikely. However, that’s not the system that we have. After a single mutation, there may be (looking at simple life forms) several million or billion offspring to carry on that mutation. Now if all of those billion develop a mutation, some are bound to be good. The bad ones may die off or fail to reproduce, but that doesn’t matter. It is almost a certainty that one or more of the offspring will develop a beneficial mutation, even if the chances for a mutation being good are very low.

          When you look at the number of organisms reproducing, and the amount of time that they’ve been doing it, 10^60 is not such a big number.

          • Chad Jones says:

            This is a good point. You also have to look at the statistical difference between “What is the probability that a mutation will happen” and “What are the odds that a specific mutation will happen”. Evolution is not a linear, directed process so you can’t look at the statistics as if it were.

          • Solomon says:

            I apologise for partially quoting the study as it seems to have created some confusion. The hypothetical thesis deals with a 200 integrated and functioning part organism (in reality, a one-celled organism may consist of millions of molecular parts). The possibility of such beneficial mutation occurring in one organism is roughly 10^60. If you consider a 1 billion species living on earth at any point of time it is 10^21.

            Here is the paragraph which deals with this issue (http://www.icr.org/article/493/) :

            The evolutionist might react by saying that even though any one such mutating organism might not be successful, surely some around the world would be, especially in the 10 billion years (or 1018 seconds) of assumed earth history. Therefore, let us imagine that every one of the earth’s 1014 square feet of surface harbors a billion (i.e., 109) mutating systems and that each mutation requires one-half second (actually it would take far more time than this). Each system can thus go through its 200 mutations in 100 seconds and then, if it is unsuccessful, start over for a new try. In 1018 seconds, there can, therefore, be 1018/102, or 1016, trials by each mutating system. Multiplying all these numbers together, there would be a total possible number of attempts to develop a 200-component system equal to 1014 (109) (1016), or 1039 attempts. Since the probability against the success of any one of them is 1060, it is obvious that the probability that just one of these 1039 attempts might be successful is only one out of 1060/1039, or 1021.

        • ICR is probably not a great source for information about earth science.

          • Tom says:

            It probably is.

            As much as evolutionists STILL try to ignore (and discredit) creation organizations, you’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that their credibility is growing. Yes, creationism had very little credibility 20 years ago. But this field of research has come a long way, and now they can no longer be ignored.

          • Does it have a “research” component?

      • spectator says:

        Is the earth 4.5 billion or 6 billion years old? I guess Google is my friend!

      • Solomon says:

        It was just a rough assumed figure. The actual figure of 4.5 billion years would lessen the probability further.

        • Stephen Propatier says:

          There are two problematic scenarios for your stats. That each mutation is a binary event mutates or doesn’t. That is mutation result in replication/life or death failure. Mutation and success or failure is a independent variable from the mutation itself. A mutation can exist for generations carried across multiple generations until a change in the environment provides a advantage.
          You fail to mathematically account for genetic drift or gene sharing in your mutation computations.
          Assume a mutation rate of u = 1 out of a million spores per generation or 1 x 10-6. This means that, on average, in a population of one million individuals (spores, bacterial cells, or virus particles), you can expect to find one mutant for any given locus per generation. In a population of 10 million individuals, you would expect to find 10 mutants for any locus. And in a population of 1 billion individuals, you expect to find 1000 mutants for any locus.
          There are 32 million bacteria on one square inch of your body.
          Bacteria can produce 1 million cells in in 7 hours.
          everyone of those cells may have a legacy mutation for beta lacatmase. Not generally a beneficial or problematic mutation. Until you change the environment. If only one has a beta lactamase mutation. Take penicillin wait 7 hours and you have 1 million penicillin resistant organisms. 10 of those have new mutations. The environmental change provided the mutation, that happened a long time ago, to achieve an advantage.
          This took 7 hours.
          If you move on to larger organisms you run into sexual reproduction and hybrid vigor.
          A mutation is not a start stop event. It something that is kept. It is not on/off- good bad.

    • Eric Hall says:

      You have the metaphor wrong. Imagine if you were manufacturing ipads. You have a certain amount of random chance that there will be a defect in one. They expect this and offer a warranty in which they replace that few percent that are randomly bad. Less often one gets a defect that is beneficial – maybe increases the speed by 5% or something similar. Now if ipads were to reproduce, that advantage would quickly overtake the ones that were slower.

      In human history, we can find many bottlenecks. Imagine a gene mutates that makes one better survive with less water. When water is plentiful, the mutation offers no benefit, but isn’t really harmful either. Now there is a drought…who survives? The less water gene is now an advantage and is much more likely to be passed on due to survival. Most of the people without it die, but the few with it do survive and pass it on. That is often how natural selection happens – not that a mutation offers an immediate advantage, but rather a mutation offers an advantage when something else changes.

    • Scott says:

      This analogy makes no sense in the way you have used it. Hitting it with a hammer would be equivalent to some major effect like massive radiation doses. The end result would be destruction of the Walkman.
      Where the analogy does work however, the fact that we had Walkman, and now we have ipads, actually demonstrates that evolution through natural selection and “mutation” does work. Over time adaptations were made to the Walkman. It got smaller and lighter. The old Walkman didn’t die, but coexisted with the smaller ones until the old ones “died out” as the smaller ones dominated.
      Then as more time passed, they adapted further to play CDs instead of tapes, and then further started using hard disk and then again to solid state storage. As these developments happened, they became smaller, lighter, developed touch screens, learned new “skills” like apps. An iPad is an evolutionary mutation of an iPod.
      Walkmans didn’t turn into ipads (apes didn’t turn into humans), but there is a clear evolutionary path from Walkman to iPad. The same evolutionary tree shows branches to iPhones and other smartphones, tablets, music devices etc.
      So you can hit it with a hammer if you want, but don’t expect that to be a good or useful mutation.
      (I suppose though you would now use the “guiding hand” of product development from Walkman to ipads as a parallel to intelligent design… let’s not go there, all analogies break if stretched too far)

      • Solomon says:

        “I suppose though you would now use the “guiding hand” of product development from Walkman to ipads as a parallel to intelligent design… let’s not go there, all analogies break if stretched too far”

        You described the “evolution” of Walkman very well which I completely agree with. As you rightly pointed out in the quoted paragraph, you missed the crucial “guidance” part: The analogy does not break, but actually makes more sense if you include the guidance part. An iPad wouldn’t have been possible without the intelligent guidance of the human mind. Similarly, a system as complex as the human body isn’t possible without design by an intelligent architect.

        • Scott says:

          And despite my saying so, you went and did exactly that… took the analogy too far.
          Of course there is a “guiding hand” in the development of the iPad. It’s a manufactured product in all sense, it has no self-replicating or reproductive capabilities of its own, so it is *not* valid to stretch the analogy to make the comparison to organic life.
          On your last point though, “a system as complex as the human body isn’t possible without design by an intelligent architect”. Are you saying that a more simple life form would be possible without a designer, but just not one as complex as a human body? Or is it more correct to say your position is that *no* life is possible without an architect?
          If the former, then at what point in the “complexity” of a lifeform is an architect required to have been involved? Bacterial life no, human life yes, and what point in between them is an architect required?
          If the later, then an intelligent designer then how does that fit in with the so many examples of *non-intelligent* design elements incorporated into life? I won’t take that point further though as there are many other people who have already explained it further and better than I can.

        • Wordwizard says:

          If you believe that complex things such as intelligent life need an Intelligent Architect, then by your own reasoning, your Intelligent Architect needs an Intelligent Architect of its own, and that one needs one too, and so on back through infinity….Sorry, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

          • Scott says:

            I don’t really expect this discussion to go anywhere that hasn’t been covered before in many other places. We are already just re-iterating the same arguments, and counter-arguments that have been made for years now.
            I am quite sure Solomon has read all those same arguments and is well aware of them. At this point I think we would find it easier to just direct each other to the respective to “How to annoy a creationist” and “How to annoy an evolutionist” websites and youtube clips.

    • A reply I entered several hours ago seems to have disappeared into the ether. I’ll save my text on this one.

      Henry Morris didn’t understand evolution, obviously. Mutations happen; most novel changes are eliminated from the population in short order, whether good, bad, or neutral. However, a novel mutation that confers a fitness advantage is far more likely than a neutral mutation to become fixed in the population. Any number of mutations in the population might come and go before another beneficial mutation manages to avoid being lost in those early stages where it is rare, and become fixed itself. That it didn’t follow exactly on the heels of another beneficial mutation makes no difference whatsoever. Moreover, in populations whose reproduction includes recombination, the appearance and spread of beneficial mutations can happen in parallel. Morris’s objection simply reveals his ignorance of basic biology and population genetics. As Mayr would put it, Morris simply did not grasp population thinking.

      More creationist claims are described and rebutted at the Index to Creationist Claims, http://talkorigins.org/indexcc

    • Ben says:

      One of the things you and other intelligent design proponents fail to grasp is the sheer size and scale of evolution. Whether a mutation is beneficial or harmful is irrelevant. A mutation just happens, whether the environment there provides the conditions under which a mutation becomes useful is the next step. A giraffe ancestor evolving a long neck in an environment with many trees is beneficial but the same animal in an environment with many low shrubs is not useful. The problem with intelligent design is its stubborn adherence to linearity. It always assumes that one step lead to another then another whereas in evolution everything happens in parallel and this is where intelligent design falls apart.

      • merleblue says:

        I was mistaken about this for many years – as are most people – but I’m afraid I have to tell you the terrible truth.

        Giraffes don’t use their necks to eat from the tops of trees. They mostly eat from lower areas of foliage that they could easily reach with shorter necks.

        They use their necks to allow their herds to spread out over wide areas while still keeping in visual contact, and more directly in male dominance fights, which are terrifying things to see.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many people don’t accept the Theory of Evolution? I’m Catholic and the Catholic Church accepts the theory. You’d think the numbers of creationists would be shrinking. And is this an American phenomena?

    • My understanding is that the US has the most creationists of any Western country, but Russia, Islamic countries, etc., are worse.

      • spectator says:

        My guess is that the issue receives more attention in the US. We have the resources and thriving media that loves to report on controversy. Also it has been politicized. The Liberals paint the Conservatives as “anti-science” by implying that they reject evolution and climate change. Al Gore made a politically-charged movie on Global Warming. Ben Stein made an even better movie on the anti-theist agenda of prominent evolutionary biologists. I say even better, because if you actually watch Expelled, it is very well made. It ends on an optimistic note, unlike the despair that AIT leaves the audience with.
        Both movies were grossly inaccurate in communicating the science. But the efforts to correct either by the scientific community never materialized. Expelled was summarily dismissed, which was a bad PR move. Climate scientists seemed to give tacit approval of the gross exaggerations and alarmist claims in AIT. The public figures that a Hollywood documentary is as good as a science resource as any. Millions went to the box office. Nobody reads the IPPC reports.

      • Chad Jones says:

        This was my understanding as well.

      • Brandulph says:

        Creationism is an inevitable conclusion for fundamentalistic believers within the three main monotheistic religions. However, of all the places I have lived in my long life, the US of A was the worst in this respect. Openly proclaiming in the “land of the free” , that one is an atheist, is virtually synonymous with social and professional suicide. “Land of the free”(:-D)

  3. spectator says:

    If we could clone Eugenie Scott, or have her mentor dozens of public speakers to give her non-partisan lectures to the masses, I think it could change hearts and minds.
    There is a problem when Richard Dawkins switch-hits his promotion of evolution and atheism, it creates needless suspicion that teaching this field of science comes with an agenda.
    If the public understood that theistic evolution is a valid position that the Vatican and even Conservative politicians hold, it might make accepting the science more palatable.
    All my life I’ve believed in God, despite the harsh scrutiny from self-identified skeptics. Yet, I could easily dismiss the Bible if my church taught that it must be interpreted literally. Well, no one was around to record the events in Genesis. Language could not have even existed if there was nobody else to talk to. There are much more profound truths about human nature illustrated in the story of Creation, that are lost on those who treat it as a science textbook. Science, as we know it, was centuries away in its inception. But our faulty tendencies as human beings haven’t changed over the millennial.

  4. Appreciate your summary. Related, but important to point out: Just so ya know, there are many Christians, from Augustine to Pope Benedict to most of us in the pews that are quite comfortable with evolution. And there are many scientists who are believers. The idea that there is a “fight” between Christianity and science is a bar fight, and one does not have to choose sides.

    • Chad Jones says:

      I agree. I don’t think you have to reject God to accept evolution. Unfortunately, some people DO think that.

      • Freke1 says:

        Do You have any scientific proof for this God?

        • eberwein says:

          The question does appeal. But if there is a Creator who is outside of creation, then He would not be a “fact” or “object” within it. One would require some other means of appreciation, similar to how one recognizes beauty, or goodness. But we risk a new “bar fight!” ;> We do not have to agree on the provability or reality of God, only that the faithful can be good scientists, and many scientists are believers. Good resource, by the way: http://amzn.to/12eIp5R Why Christians SHOULD be Darwin fans…

        • Chad Jones says:

          That’s irrelevant in this discussion, but that’s my point. The theory of evolution is silent on the issue of God.

          • Scott says:

            The theory of evolution is also silent on the issue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

          • Chad Jones says:

            That it is, but what’s your point? I’m not seeking to prove God by evolution. In fact, I’m not even trying to make a statement about God at all. I’m just saying that acceptance of evolution does not require rejection of a God. We do scientific advocacy a big disservice by not making that clear – there is no need to make it a discussion about two things that are unrelated. It’s tough to have a real discussion about two things at the same time.

          • Scott says:

            My point is that while it is correct to say the discussion regarding evolution can be had independent of the acceptance of a god, there is a point at which the thread of logic leads ultimately to that discussion.
            It’s not a discussion that is appropriate to have here as we do not want to hijack this topic.
            Other than a single passing reference, there was no mention of a god in the article as relevant to the discussion at hand, the question of god and evolution being at odds with each was not raised by the author by but comments above. If they are not at odds with each other, then why even bring it up?

          • Scott says:

            My apologies, I’m not paying proper attention. As the author it was redundant of me to point out that god was not a part of your article.

        • spectator says:

          Science proves God from my perspective. The laws of physics and natural processes that so powerfully created our universe are God’s handy work. We can’t defy them. But we can study and analyze them because they are reliable and sensible. Nature is God’s handy work. He continuously creates and recreates. If we want to understand God, we must observe and experiment on his creation.
          Science can’t prove God. But it’s the best tool for understanding the physical properties of his creation and the processes He uses to keep it going.
          I have no problem with people who don’t believe in God. I won’t push my belief on you. But since you asked me a question, here is my brief answer.

  5. The 10^60 figure from the ICR is in this paragraph:

    “But let us give the evolutionist the benefit of every consideration. Assume that, at each mutational step, there is equally as much chance for it to be good as bad. Thus, the probability for the success of each mutation is assumed to be one out of two, or one-half. Elementary statistical theory shows that the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is then (½)200, or one chance out of 10^60. The number 10^60, if written out, would be “one” followed by sixty “zeros.” In other words, the chance that a 200-component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Lest anyone think that a 200-part system is unreasonably complex, it should be noted that even a one-celled plant or animal may have millions of molecular “parts.””

    Fortunately, evolutionary change doesn’t depend upon anything so brittle as what the late Henry Morris presents there. If a beneficial mutation occurs and is fixed by selection, it doesn’t matter how many deleterious mutations might occur in the population before another beneficial mutation occurs, so long as there is sufficient culling to keep accumulation of deleterious mutations in check. The whole “successive mutations” thing is a complete strawman. Remove that, and the objection Morris makes collapses into a little wisp of fetid gas.

    For folks wanting a more comprehensive list of creationist claims and answers to them right now, they should visit http://talkorigins.org/indexcc

  6. William B. says:

    “I’ll see your 200 years of rigorous studies and raise you a falacious analogy” -every antievolutionist ever.

  7. Chad Rogers says:

    I picture the evolution question this way: Fluorescence has two regions (one linear, the other not). MIcroevolution fits the linear region but when this linear region is extended out to too high of a concentration (time), the signal deviates from what you would actually detect. Beyond a certain point (differs for everybody, but I’m analytical chemist so I am more of a 0.995 R^2 correlation kind of guy) the uncertainty is larger. The larger the uncertainty, the less willing I am to commit to a principle. It doesn’t mean that evolution isn’t a useful model, just that no model is 100% perfect.

    And yes Chad, I can picture your face right now. Just explaining my view.

  8. Scott says:

    If there are going to be than one of these articles to explain the evolution position then I’m afraid it will be a “fail”. For the vast majority of people, even the length of this article (with or without pictures) falls into the tl;dr category. It’s important to do what you are doing, but you are writing it for the wrong audience.
    Unless you can land a “killer blow” and summarise the whole argument into two paragraphs with a catchy single punch line then the most reasoned argument you make will be lost on the people who *don’t want* to believe you. People don’t like being told everything they have believed they is wrong, even if they didn’t form those opinions themselves.
    The challenge you face with this argument is not education and information on its own, it the physiology of the human mind. Its the same debate as religion vs atheism. Throwing “so called” facts at people in the hope they will relent to your point of view won’t work. We need to find a way to sneak small ideas into their heads that will simmer away in the background and let them come to the conclusion themselves. They need to think it was their idea to accept it and not someone else telling them.
    The drawback with this approach is it takes a long time, and you need to be gentle, consistent, and not pushy. There will be no killer argument that settles the debate in one blow.

    Keep doing it up though, like evolution, it will happen, but it will take TIME.

    • Chad Jones says:

      I disagree. This article (and the one I’ll be posting next week) are actually just re-written from an article I posted on my blog (http://www.thecollapsedwavefunction.com). I have had a number of conversations with people “on the fence” because of these articles. Most of them come away with a much greater acceptance of the science. I’m improving, re-writing, and re-posting them because it’s an important topic and something I think people want to understand and talk about.

      If anything, I think it would be a fail if I tried to get it all done in two paragraphs (not the other way around).

      • Scott says:

        I guess it depends who you are trying to talk to. People on the fence are inclined to be persuaded either way, so in that case you are correct. If they are open to ideas then giving them the information is absolutely the way to go. Don’t stop doing that.
        My point is more aimed at the “extreme creationist/ID” type people that dominate the headlines. Fence sitters don’t make noise, but the active opponents to evolution are the ones that really need to be understood.
        I’m not saying you shouldn’t write articles like this, the information is important and valuable, but your opening paragraphs implies you aren’t just targeting fence sitters. The noisy opponents are the ones that the education strategy needs to be able to challenge, and they are very good at targeting *their* chosen audience with catchy jingles and one-liners.
        I don’t want the evolution argument dumbed down to *only* be one-liners, but rather to use them as the hook to encourage people to want to question it further.
        Perhaps the intention of these articles is not to achieve that, but as part of the bigger approach to education on matters like this I think we need to be careful not to assume that hard solid and “obvious” facts on their own will always win-out. As much as I hate to say it, I think a little bit of “marketing” is needed so people want to pay attention in the first place.
        Think politics, environment, religion… It’s exactly the same situation of “science vs belief”

        • Is anyone really on the fence?

          • Stephen Propatier says:

            As accurate as that statement probably is I would like to point out that there are most likely quite a few adolescent and post adolescent young adults that are indoctrinated in dogma. They may be exposed to evolution for the first time in any serious way. It is natural for adolescents to gravitate to parental counter culture. This number, I admit probably not large, could be called on the fence. In addition I think it is very plausible that intellectually lazy people from the bible belt could be classified as “on the fence”.

          • Scott says:

            I’ve always thought of “the fence” as the fear people have of committing to a point of view that is not shared by the majority of those around them. Fear of being excluded from the group because you think differently to them. So rather than disagreeing with people outright, you can get away with the lesser evil of just advocating views you don’t agree with.
            When there is sufficient critical-mass supporting an idea, then all those fence sitter will pop on down saying that they secretly supported it all along.

          • Scott says:

            minor correction… “lesser evil of just *NOT* advocating views”

    • Stephen Propatier says:

      In my opinion it is singling out a person’s commonalities that provides the greatest wedge in nonsense. People are almost always skeptical about something. You can get someone to the finish line by allowing them to come to the facts on there own. I do this by finding something we both agree on and move from there.

    • merleblue says:

      1) Do you inherit traits from your parents?
      2) Do your siblings inherit somewhat-different traits from your parents?
      3) Could those traits help you do better than them at life – like, a perfect singing voice or a great throwing arm?

      Bam, evolution. That’s the basis for it. Everything else is added detail.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, but the come back from anti-evolutionists is that you human parent have human babies and dogs have dogs, etc. How do you get people to understand the huge scale involved in all those micro evolutions over millions of years?
        Even if people don’t “understand” evolution, I don’t understand why they would instead choose to believe something that really makes even less sense.

  9. two comments:

    one about the calculations presented above for the 200 part system: the main error is that there is no need for the beneficial mutations to happen sequentially.
    example: if the first microbe develops a good mutation, through natural selection it will probably breed many new microbes. Then many of them will have bad mutations and only one will need to have a good one to proceed in the “advance” in evolution. so really the calculation of (1/2)^200 is basically wrong. The actual calculation needs to take into account the number of offspring and the boost their reproduction gets from natural selection.

    second comment: if you are talking about small simple organisms like bacteria then mutation is important, and indeed in larger more complex creatures mutation is much slower in progressing evolution. There is that part about sexual reproduction… once you mix a whole set of genes from two organisms the rate of change in the genetics is much much faster. Then even for long reproductive cycles you still get massive changes. when only the best-fitted offspring survive this drives evolution much faster than mutation does.

  10. Wordwizard says:

    When I went to high school, our science classes never mentioned evolution, or Ockham’s Razor, or how to form and test a hypothesis….Why even bother to call it science? If the basics of science are considered “too controversial” to be taught as basic education, before the kids are let loose on the world as “educated adults”, where do we go from there? If Texas gets to control what is and isn’t put in textbooks and hence, taught, we’re stuck with the controls put in by the folks who actually, NO MYTH, passed a law defining pi as equal to 3, because it’s such a nuisance mathematically otherwise. (It got rescinded, but Texas will NEVER live it down.)

  11. Susan Savarise says:

    Please don’t assume Catholics do not accept evolution. The Popes have accepted evolutionary theory for many years! I had 12+ years of Catholic schools. Graduated high school 46 years ago! And much more time was spent on science, including evolution, than was spent on creation! We were taught that the bible was religious mythology, not to be taken literally. Stephen Hawking, along with many other renowned scientists is on the long list of Ordinary Academicians in the Pontifical Academy of Scientists. Check it out for yourselves (and please explore the entire website, it’s very interesting and informative): http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/academicians/ordinary.html

    Intelligent Design was contrived by creationists to sneak creationism into the public schools. Creationism is one big reason why intelligent life in America is devolving!

  12. davepyl says:

    I find evolution a lot harder to believe than that a powerful force called a God caused creation to come into existence, through whatever means the being used.

  13. Susan Savarise says:

    Chad, my comment was not meant for you. I meant it for the other commenters.

  14. George says:

    I find extremelly difficult to understand some religious people saying that they do not have any problem with Theory of Evolution. If I were a religious people , I would not believe in the Theory of Evolution because the Bible at the beginning (Genesis) it clearly said God created man then watching him realized that he was lonely, so put him to sleep took one of his ribs and created a woman. So the man and the woman who God created are similar to the human beings we see today. (less ipad or mobile phones,etc) . If I look to an animal that look like a dog, bark like a dog,behaves like a dog, eat like a dog, have sex with female dogs and the offsprings are dogs etc etc I have to conclude that I am looking to a dog and not a Cat. If the Bible is telling me that God created man. God created man. otherwise the Bible would have said God created man by Evolution.

    • Susan Savarise says:

      How many breeds of Dog did Noah put on the ark? Watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is enough to convince me evolutionary theory is correct.

      • George says:

        It appears I was not clear enough. I wrote I am not a religious person. I find it extremelly difficult to reconcile Genesis (Bible) with Theory of Evolution…. It is either you believe in the Bible because religious people claim is the word of God , who happened to create a man at the beginning, or you do not believe in the Bible…. it appears that some religious people do not read the Bible properly or distort it. I too find evolutionary theory to be correct. but that was not my point.

      • Dave says:

        The YEC rebuttal to this is generally that the bible says ‘kinds’ of animal were put on the ark. These were like basic ancestral forms (e.g. the common canine ancestor) that subsequently (very) rapidly diverged to give the variety of today. I’m not sure how this ‘explanation’ deals with speciation (or, indeed any of the other major problems of the Noah story)…

      • Pando says:

        Different breeds of dog do not constitute evolution. That is adaptation of a single species.

        • Susan Savarise says:

          Even dogs have a sense of irony and humour. BTW, there is a PBS-NOVA series regarding the evolution of dogs, available on Netflix.

  15. How could the first mammal evolve a sweat gland to provide the perfect food for an as yet unborn offspring?
    How could the Bombardier Beetle evolve? It’s a tiny, six-legged tank that defends itself by mixing chemicals that explode, firing through twin tail tubes (that swivel like gun turrets) at 212 degrees Fahrenheit to deter most predators. The force would blast the beetle into pieces if discharged at once. But slow motion photography revealed a stream of up to a thousand little explosions, enough to stop attackers, but leave the small defender with its feet still on the ground.
    Read “Evolution’s Purpose” by Steve McIntosh how emergence ties together all forms of evolution.

    • merleblue says:

      Here’s an interesting explanation of the development of the precursors of milk, going all the way back to synapsids: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22436214

      TL;DR version, synapsid eggs were prone to drying out; the parents used skin secretions to keep them moisturized. That was later repurposed for other uses such as sweat and milk. The feature wasn’t planned out in advance, it was recycled when its original function was no longer important.

      For the bombardier beetle, you’re falling into a seductive trap – you’re forgetting to look for scaffolding.

      If you see an archway, it’s easy to say “There’s no way that arch could stand if even one piece were removed – so it must have been built all at once!” What you don’t see is the scaffolding that was once there to hold pieces in place while it was being assembled. Once the archway was completed it didn’t need the scaffolding anymore. That’s the fatal flaw of ideas like “irreducible complexity”.

      Talk.Origins has a great possible sequence of developments leading from an “ordinary” beetle to a bombardier with no impossible steps, and with every new development aiding the critter: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/bombardier.html

      Here’s the relevant section:

      1. Quinones are produced by epidermal cells for tanning the cuticle. This exists commonly in arthropods. [Dettner, 1987]

      2. Some of the quinones don’t get used up, but sit on the epidermis, making the arthropod distasteful. (Quinones are used as defensive secretions in a variety of modern arthropods, from beetles to millipedes. [Eisner, 1970])

      3. Small invaginations develop in the epidermis between sclerites (plates of cuticle). By wiggling, the insect can squeeze more quinones onto its surface when they’re needed.

      4. The invaginations deepen. Muscles are moved around slightly, allowing them to help expel the quinones from some of them. (Many ants have glands similar to this near the end of their abdomen. [Holldobler & Wilson, 1990, pp. 233-237])

      5. A couple invaginations (now reservoirs) become so deep that the others are inconsequential by comparison. Those gradually revert to the original epidermis.

      6. In various insects, different defensive chemicals besides quinones appear. (See Eisner, 1970, for a review.) This helps those insects defend against predators which have evolved resistance to quinones. One of the new defensive chemicals is hydroquinone.

      7. Cells that secrete the hydroquinones develop in multiple layers over part of the reservoir, allowing more hydroquinones to be produced. Channels between cells allow hydroquinones from all layers to reach the reservior.

      8. The channels become a duct, specialized for transporting the chemicals. The secretory cells withdraw from the reservoir surface, ultimately becoming a separate organ.

      9. This stage — secretory glands connected by ducts to reservoirs — exists in many beetles. The particular configuration of glands and reservoirs that bombardier beetles have is common to the other beetles in their suborder. [Forsyth, 1970]

      10. Muscles adapt which close off the reservior, thus preventing the chemicals from leaking out when they’re not needed.

      11. Hydrogen peroxide, which is a common by-product of cellular metabolism, becomes mixed with the hydroquinones. The two react slowly, so a mixture of quinones and hydroquinones get used for defense.

      12. Cells secreting a small amount of catalases and peroxidases appear along the output passage of the reservoir, outside the valve which closes it off from the outside. These ensure that more quinones appear in the defensive secretions. Catalases exist in almost all cells, and peroxidases are also common in plants, animals, and bacteria, so those chemicals needn’t be developed from scratch but merely concentrated in one location.

      13. More catalases and peroxidases are produced, so the discharge is warmer and is expelled faster by the oxygen generated by the reaction. The beetle Metrius contractus provides an example of a bombardier beetle which produces a foamy discharge, not jets, from its reaction chambers. The bubbling of the foam produces a fine mist. [Eisner et al., 2000]

      14. The walls of that part of the output passage become firmer, allowing them to better withstand the heat and pressure generated by the reaction.

      15. Still more catalases and peroxidases are produced, and the walls toughen and shape into a reaction chamber. Gradually they become the mechanism of today’s bombardier beetles.

      16. The tip of the beetle’s abdomen becomes somewhat elongated and more flexible, allowing the beetle to aim its discharge in various directions.

      Note that all of the steps above are small or can easily be broken down into smaller steps. The bombardier beetles’ mechanism can come about solely by accumulated microevolution. Furthermore, all of the steps are probably advantageous, so they would be selected. No improbable events are needed. As noted, several of the intermediate stages are known to be viable by the fact that they exist in living populations.”

  16. Dave says:

    Not sure if using long-necked animals feeding as the ‘Natural Selection’ example is ideal – it’s simple, but perhaps a bit too easily confused with popular misconceptions about giraffes, which, discounting the Lamarckian myth of stretching to reach high branches, seem to have evolved long necks as much through sexual selection as through feeding advantage…

  17. Argent47 says:

    Note to Solomon and any like-minded folks…
    Anyone who thinks along the lines of Fred Hoyle’s (in)famous “tornado in a junkyard” analogy–that claims that primordial organized DNA is ludicrously improbable–has not thought sufficiently about it.
    The “tornado” idea is based on random chance, which would indeed have a tough time knocking together DNA. But these molecular associations are NOT RANDOM! Certain molecules, especially organic [carbon-containing] ones, have a *tendency* to associate and combine. This means that the chemical system analogous not to chaotic winds but to loaded dice, which makes the system “unfair” (biased). When a system is biased, ordinary probability calculations are worthless.
    Hoyle was a brilliant scientist, but he let his faith override his reason here; a great shame.

  18. merleblue says:

    I’m not seeing any of my comments showing up…is there comment moderation on this blog, or is it a problem with my browser?

  19. Jan says:

    I am English. Walking with an American woman who I had known for almost twenty years – we had babysat for each other -, I said something which caused her to stop, look at me and say, “Are you an atheist?”.
    I just said “Yes” and started to say that I did not know other friends beliefs, when she walked away and I have never seen her since. This took place in Texas.

  20. Catholic Dad says:

    Evolution is a religion, a stupid one at that. Here is what the true religion teaches: http://www.kolbecenter.org/the-traditional-catholic-doctrine-of-creation/

    • merleblue says:

      I’ll bite. Why is evolution a religion? How do you define it as such?
      More specifically: how is it more of a religion than any of the following:
      Germ theory, universal gravitation, relativity (special or general), the existence of the Roman empire, the Apollo moon landings, or belief that the Holocaust occurred?

  21. Susan Savarise says:

    The Kolbe Center and creationism are not mainstream Catholicism. IMO, this is an evangelical sect, like Protestant evangelicals, pushing creationism into schools. There are testimonials from converts to “creationism”. Not that I care about the Catholic Church anymore; they lost me many years ago due to their obsessions with contraception and reproduction. The Kolbe Center appears to be hanging on to those traditions. Seems you wish to have the Dark Ages again, when humankind shared the earth with dinosaurs, then known as the Catholic clergy. You are free to practice religion as you choose and hold on to your antediluvian beliefs. But don’t mislead and pass it off as the Catholic Church’s official position on evolution.

  22. Hana Kouta says:

    I don’t really have any problems with people who are with evolution unless they don’t have good evidence. I read some of Charles Darwin’s books and I believe that he has a good reason to his belief in Evolution. I read a little bit more and i found out that not only the embryonic development is evidence but also the fact that the structure of the man’s bones can be compared with bones of a monkey, rat, or seal. As for the brain it isn’t exactly the same but there are still things that have the same law. A man can communicate with the lower animals but with certain diseases such as hydrophobia and the monkey has the same disease. Due to the common ancestor that we all have, pig embryos share many similarities with human embryos. And it is for that reason that they are commonly dissected in biology classes in place of human embryos.

    • As Einstein said either nothing or everything is a miracle. It is ridiculous to believe evolution has no meaning, purpose nor plan. No one has been able to create a new species from an old one. Cats have cats never dogs. Dogs have dogs, never cats. Essential nutrients like vitamins are exceedingly complex with hundreds or thousands of molecules. Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. American prisoners of war in North Korea were dying of scurvy. Red Cross sent them ascorbic acid which the prisoners received. They still died of scurvy. When Red Cross sent them limes, they did not get and die from scurvy. All the vitamin complexes need to be present at the same time for them to work properly. There is no way the complexity of life could be accidental.

      • Stuart Herring says:

        Please say why you believe that it is ridiculous for evolution to have no plan (which, indeed, it does not seem to have). That is, support your statement.

        If you agree that the new, multiple-drug-resistant bacteria are new species, then new species have indeed been created from old ones. Since bacteria can freely exchange DNA packets, though, it might be difficult to say just where one species stops and another begins. However, certain metazoons have been evolved by human activity also: consider mosquitoes that are resistant to various pesticides.

        Yes, dogs have dogs and cats have cats—on a timescale perceptible to humans. But when you consider evolutionary timescales of *millions* of years instead of dozens or hundreds, much more can happen—slowly, yes, but not ignorably. You are not (and I am not) able to adequately conceive of a million years, and the multitudinous things that can happen in such a time. One’s inability to fully apprehend something, though, does not cause its impossibility.
        As Robert Heinlein put it, “The universe has a way of not *caring* what you believe.”

        You say, “There is no way the complexity of life could be accidental.” Demonstrate how you *know* this to be the case. Clearly, you *want* it to be so—but, again, can you support your notion?
        Re-read what I said, earlier, about “loaded molecular dice” affecting the probabilities of chemical associations….

      • merleblue says:

        “No one has been able to create a new species from an old one.”

        Wrong! We know one new species of plant arose in the UK between 1910 and 1958; look up “welsh groundsel”.

        “Cats have cats never dogs. Dogs have dogs, never cats.”

        Define “Dog”. Define “Cat”. How different from a dog can the offspring be before you don’t call it a dog anymore? Do you understand that if a cat had a puppy or a dog had a kitten, it would DISPROVE (or at least throw much doubt on) evolution?

        As for the North Korea thing: 1) [citation needed], 2) Why is this relevant?

        • Accidental doubling of chromosomes created Welsh groundsel. If virtually all species originated that way and explained virtually all evolution, it might be more reasonable. In science there is never proof (like mathematics) only evidence. If new species always develop from other species, there should be many less missing links. The highly complex essential nutrients for one species obtained from other species are highly unlikely to occur randomly. Fresh produce available today has much less nutrional value than wild plants and animals had long ago. I was dying in 1999 from 3 leaking heart valves, right heart failure, near fatal heartbeat rhythms, high blood pressure, not responsive to prescription drugs, barely surviving by careful diet and vitamin and mineral supplements. Discovered raw, organic, whole food concentrates made from plants and animals grown as if wild and in 3 years my heart was back to normal again. We are genetically adapted to a hunter-gatherer diet of wild food mostly eaten raw somewhere around 150,000 years ago when Homo sapiens sapiens emerged. I tried to get by without the raw food conentrates and was fine for 3 months, then everything that was wrong with my heart began to return. It took 3 months on the raw food concentrates to normalize again and am still taking them. Very likely many chronic diseases as we age are from lack of wild raw foods untampered by human growers. Science still has a lot to learn from solid evidence. Random evolution has not reached convincing evidence yet.

          • Argent47 says:

            “Accidental doubling…” —Evolutionary changes proceed by accident quite often. Gene changes such as deletion, insertion, substitution, doubling, and inversion all happen in transcription accidents. And then there are exogenous and endogenous changes due to radiation, chemicals, viruses, etc.
            All of these kinds of changes, upon successful accumulation, can result in new species.

            Missing links, you say? Note the word “missing” there. Most of the much-sought-after “transitional forms” do not happen to get preserved by the fairly rare conditions that can make a fossil, so naturally there are many links that we shall never see. However, the scientific process of reasoning by induction and deduction, from evidence, allows us to infer many things with a good degree of confidence.

            One more time: don’t cling so hard to that “highly unlikely to happen randomly” idea. As I keep noting, certain biochemical processes are *probable*, not random. Biased systems lead to expectable, not unexpectable, results!

          • rwbiek says:

            I cling to what makes sense based on evidence available. Random changes occur all the time but do not come anywhere close to explaining the available history of species. Those who cling to random evolution seem to enjoy criticizing and often ridiculing others but cannot come up with convincing evidence for their position. If Darwim were alive today, I don’t think he’d be a Darwinist.

      • Hana Kouta says:

        As a representative of The American International School of Egypt, I just wanted to clarify that the things you have stated are true but i don’t understand where is your facts. I understand the argument you are trying to imply but with no facts and evidence there is no proof. Also, about the “cats have cats, never dogs” i think you have misunderstood what i was trying to say but my point was that evolution does exist because during the stage of development for all living organisms and in this case they are embryos, when you look at a picture, it specifically labels all the parts of the embryos for both animals and human and that is why i do believe in evolution because due to our common ancestor we are all born the same but as we evolve we begin to adapt to our environment due to natural selection and then we change.

  23. Argent47 says:

    rwbiek, since you are the one making the claim (that random molecular events can’t explain enough about evolution), you have the burden of proof. SHOW that such randomness can’t do what the biologists observe in action. (You’ll have a hard time, but: go ahead. Demonstrate that your ideas explain what we see, in a better way than the current theory, and you’ll get at least a Nobel prize and lasting fame for it.)

    • I have no obligation to prove anything to anybody. You claim random evolution can explain life and all the species. If your evidence is not convincing, get more evidence and convince more of us. I am virtually certain evolution is modified by thoughts, words, and deeds of humans and spiritual beings. Quantum physics has demonstrated the observer influences what occurs. Attempts to force anyone to change who is not harming anyone is arrogant or worse. Encouraging everyone to discover and make the best use of inborn potential may do the greatest good — even among those who do not agree with us.

      • Scott says:

        And here I was thinking this conversation wouldn’t get anymore interesting…
        o.0
        Just out of curiosity, what are you a Dr of?

        • Board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine afer spending 1l years doing emergency medicine and surgery often as the only doctor for 220,000 in the Buem-Krachi District, Ghana. Became an anti-doctor making only home visits without diagnosis, treatment, nor advice, encouraging patients to discover and take one most promising next step after another in over 650 consecutive visits, over 99% reported happier, healthier, and more satisfied. I had learned with non-emergency illness, 90% get better without intervention, 85% with health care, 95% who take good care of themselves. Non-emergency health care with over a billion visits a year is the #1 hidden cause of over 50 million significant complications of care and over a million American deaths at all ages from all reported causes — now over 40% of the 2,468,435 total. Deaths always drop when doctrors strike. Israel with the most doctor strikes taught morticians to speed doctors back work or go out of business. Nursing is the only health profession associated with a better community health status. The more doctors, the worse community health.

          • Scott says:

            Your statistics are very impressive, but based on what? Anything that claims 99% “happier and healthier” like that sounds incredibly suspect.
            Regarding the rest of your claims, it took me about 15 seconds to find your “evidence” (which is easy when you don’t require proof) to be incredibly misleading, misunderstood, or outright wrong. Right out of tea-party conspiracy theory land.
            However this is getting rather off the original topic, but tends to lead me more to confirming my thought that as Argent47 stated, you aren’t actually interested in evidence based science, and prefer to go with what “feels” right as the basis of your arguments.
            P.S. You seem to have made a typo somewhere…should that be 220,000 or 22,000?

          • Mud says:

            Now as an anti doctor you can claim any title you damn well please. Considering you have rejected association with Medicos, I think your self promotion should be clarified with a bar over your title or replaced with an aDr or a far more appropriate Rev..

            Now as to your prattle about most people getting better without intervention, guess what, Medicos will tell you the same thing. In fact, most people dont bother seeing medico or seeking medical intervention when they have a trivial condition. This is the very basis on which woo medicine works. People are attracted to the woo because they know that a nice chat will be enough to make them feel better about something for which you wouldnt waste precious medico time.

            Its becoming very clear why you have such a bizarre mix of theologies (after all, they are all based on the same thing). Rather than you copying or quoting others and attributing it to a god (or greater plane/good) you should praise the lord for the people you proudly haven’t treated.

            Next time I talk to myself (i think you would call it praying) I will consider not seeing you for advice at my own personal prana plane as well as cajolling the cosmic circle for a niners superbowl.

            Clearly, this is very unfair to the niners as my time spent praying (ie talking to myself) should be devoted to them.

            Jeezers… I thought Doc Martin was a bit cowardly for not practicing surgery because he got sick at the sight of blood only to remind myself…”its only a tv show” .

          • Scott says:

            Mud: While doing my quick 15 second search to look into those claims of “99% happier” (I’m not as informed on the topic as you appear to be), I very quickly came across Dr Bieks profiles and various other posts around the webs. While it does appear he is a “registered doctor”, there is plenty of other evidence (stated by the doctor himself even) that leads me to believe this is not something he is likely to be changing his mind about.
            Nothing to see here, move along, move along…

          • The very Rev, Fr Mud (Skept. Phil. Sci., App Sci.) Cook and Brewer extraordinaire and...casual God says:

            Scott, I’ve adressed that and his ridiculous assertions in his new found role of “Fear of Practice” medicine.

            He does misuse his occupational title.

            Mind you’ Ill misuse my own justifiable title…That and seeing Hair Doctor Mud sounds just a little “pragmatic” in a conversation initiated by personal comparisons to blithering theologies in an argument about science.

            Sure, you can argue against a science you don’t agree with on a natural basis.

            Bringing in your own personal deities and pursuing them against new age literature is a novel approach practiced by millions of new agists and theosophists world wide.

        • There are many more positions than random evolution and creation in 6 days.

          I suspect none of you have read “Evolution’s Purpose” by Steve McIntosh about emergence.

          Facts have overwhelming evidence, but many things once considered factual have been in error.

          Quantum physics may be the Heilstrom discovered by Bruno Gröning in the 1940s with examples confirmed by medical exams before and after access to the stream or waves. All we need to do is sit relaxed with arms and legs uncrossed and our palms tured upward while we think pleasant thoughts to feel the energy enter our palms. Parts of the body needing healing feel uncomfortable as they heal.

          “The Healing Code” by Alex Loyd is about his discovery in 2001 how to balance the autonomic nervous system with quantum energy.

          “Quantum-Touch” by Richard Gordon et alia says quantum energy can visibly move spinal vertebrae in a deformed woman.

          At any moment, we have only 3 choices, do good, do harm, or waste time. Deciding to do good, especially the greatest possible good for the greatest number for the longest time, becomes a religious experience.

          Instead of using our brain’s intellect, we can relax, close our eyes, and go deep inward and receive spontaneous suggestions of next steps to take regarding whatever is our primary concern at any time. Ii is best if a trusted person is present to hope for our experience to be the best possible, and make a list of suggestions received, as we say a key word or two for each one. The deeper inward we go and the more suggestions we receive, the better they tend to be, especially if we use this process frequently. Opening our eyes to write or just trying to remember them all interferes with this simple process and don’t seem to work as well.

          When the spontaeous suggestions stop coming, we can look at the list and select the most promising next step to take regarding our concern. About 90% of the steps are select and take are beneficial. About 10% of the steps are not, but almost always we sense when this happens before we get very far, and almost always the step we should have taken comes to mind, like a gift. And when we take the step we should have taken, the benefit is usually so great, so good, that we have trouble believing it is true, which may take some time before we can, depending upon how unusual and how profound it is. Sometimes we begin to look at ourselves and life 180 degrees from our former view. This has worked for over 99% of over 650 consecutive patients.

          Spiritual assistance helps us to appropriate spiritual truth to enhance progressive reality of our personal religious experiences —- God-consciousness. The personality of God can be grasped only in actual personal religious experience. God is discovered to be a loving person. Facing spirits, God is a personal love. In human religious experince, God is both personal love and a loving person. The goodness of God rests in divine free will tending to love, show mercy, manifest patience, and minister forgiveness.

          We can find eternal value in loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, merciful ministry, confiding trust, forgiving tolerance, unfailing goodness, and enduring peace. Deciding to do the greatest possible good for the greatest number for the longest time, step by step we uncover tiny bits of our hidden, unique, infinite, eternal potential.

          If we knew all of our potential, we could not handle it, so life is designed for us to discover only as much as we can take without permanent harm to our equilibrium.

          If you want the best scoop on religious experience, read the only book that has no human origin, The Urantia Book available free online. http://www.urantiabook.org/ Also read A History of the Urantia Papers. I knew the late Meredith Sprunger, professor of philosophy, Indiana Tech, no kinder man could we meet.

          • Mud says:

            What a great vehicle to air your views copied from other people rather than examining and analysing the work they present.

            Richard, clearly you haven’t recieved much training let alone education or expertise when it comes to science or presenting a scientific article. The above prasae of what could be confused as “knowledge” by the arbitrary observer is in fact a concatenation of non observations, borrowed from failed philosophies and many that are only consistent with duckspeak about theologies (but certainly very poor theology).

            The fact that these are failed philosophies and comparisons (unto themselves) has no bearing on your arguments as you muddle through them.

            At least Rudolph Steiner is remembered for establishing some sort of schooling system. His ridiculous version of nature and cosmology is best forgotten.

            Now, should you reinsert your prana and get off the astral plane could we have a naturalistic argument that does not encompass an episode of Carlos Castaneda does Jackass?

            Look, if you are going to try and make it up as you go along, please dont copy. Had you have gone to Uni you realise thats verboten. And that my friend is a Steiner paraphrase!

            Now should you really try to present your argument, do it on the basis where any of the above could be falsified.

          • Scott says:

            I was concerned that I was getting borderline ad-hominem in my last reply.

            If only you’d made the above post as your first one it would have clarified the discussion so much more.

            Mud: I believe his response will be that it is up to you to disprove his claims, not for him to disprove yours :)

          • Mud says:

            Sorry Scott, when you air views you arent making claims.

            Should Richard actually make a claim that goes partway to making debate between the real world and the one described by a confusion of theologies, I’ll be happy to debate it.

          • What evidence have you personally discovered, not copied, with your assumed superior training, education, expertise (which merely seems condescending and judgmental) shows how random change could possibly have gradually created a bombadier beetle? Even if milk appeared in hair follicles before mammals appeared, it could not have been random, did not improve survival, and no newborn would have been able to live on milk from hair follicles. If so, clearly mammals were anticipated.

            The fact that you call something a fact or a failure does not make it so. Your ridicule and epithets undermine your credibility. Limiting discussion to naturalistic argument kills any facing of other far more likely and far more profound possibilities. To be aware of them, you’d need a personal experience of God, which it seems you lack, even so, it is no justification for you to scoff as you do. If you sincerely focus on good, get spontaeous suggestions, and do your best, you will have such experiences.

            I have seen by actual experience what my patients have done. No health nor other human service has over 99% improvement (confirmed by recipients) in well-being for at least 6 months. By asking my patients to focus only on what they consider the greatest good, their outcomes were excellent. They said their former pain, fear, and other difficulties were nothing compared with having to face and deal with results that seemed far too good to be true. Who else has such a high percentage of good and excellent outcomes?

            If you think health care is scientifically better than no intervention in non-emergencies, how do you explain that in 1900 we lived 47.3 years and in 1921 we lived 60.8 years, on average, living 235 days longer each year than the year before? But when scientific medicine was introduced in 1921 (in reaction to Flexner’s 1910 report followed by closure of several medical schools in Canada and USA), the public flocked to doctors’ offices for scientific diagnosis and treatment and lost 4.1 years of life in 5 years — average age at death dropped from 60.8 in 1921 to 56.7 in 1926. As health care visits leveled off, we began to live longer again, on average 140 days longer each year than the year before until 1961 we lived 70.2 years. Then for 7 years we did not live one day longer, still at 70.2 years in 1968. In 1961, we wanted socialized medicine. AMA and doctors did not, and doctors saw the poor and elderly at no charge if they could not pay. Millions more entered health care than the year before, Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, keeping health care visits rising until leveling off after 1968, and then we began to live a little bit longer each year until 2005 (no increase) and 2006 (lost 37 days of life), and still have not lived 9 years longer than in 1968.

          • The very Rev, Fr Mud (Skept. Phil. Sci., App Sci.) Cook and Brewer extraordinaire and...casual God says:

            Who are you talking to Richard? I see a few logical fallacies that may be aimed at me.

            Could we stick to the topic of discussing evolution with an antievolutionist.

            Could we have a naturalistic argument for or against.

            Eg The milk/hair follicle statement you made could have been worthy had you not mentioned it in passing. Where is the argument in non evolution for that?

            I cant debate something you havent argued.

            Sure, milk is still produced via a mechanism as you mentioned in local animals here. Could you build?

            I’ll ignore your platforming views on your failure to do some science in the face of failing procedures.

          • Mud says:

            Please note, when arguing with the woo, do not feed the woo artist.

            If you have an argument that is sound, use the argument.

            Always steer them back to the argument or let them run just before you hang them with their arguments.

            Its the same as fishing, you let the fish dictate to you, the family buys burgers…

            I argue at least once weekly with a guy who is fantastic at twisting and turning.

            Writes a mean prose as well! He is great at presenting the woo position and giving me far greater insight on how things woo are proposed (not much I assure you!).

            I’ve realised that this guy is so good at arguing that feeding him “factoids” actually gets in the way. He is good enough to look things up for himself.

            So far Richard has not presented an argument for a sound nature based antievolutionary stance. Insist on it.

            Back to the circuses!

          • Because of your certainty that you are right to consider only what you believe is “natural”, you are cutting yourself off from a great way to become happier, healthier, and more satisfied that works over 99% of the time. What we know (or think we know) is infinitesimal. What we don’t know is infinite. Great goodness, truth, beauty, and love are available to those who want to do the greatest possible unselfish good.

          • I use a 5-point scale for each of the 3 main parts of well-being — happy, healthy, satisfied. Total ranges from 3 to 15. My patients themselves — the world’s greatest experts on their own wellness from moment to moment — report higher scores as they take better care of themselves. I give no advice. They find what they need in their hidden inborn potential. Only 3 of over 650 home visits for self care consultation reported no increased score. It is hard to believe, but that is what happened. Your scoffing and smugness may not be your most promising stance to take for the best possible future. You were right about what used to be the Buem-Krachi District 22,000 population.

          • Fr. Mud At Greenacres by the Sea, Oz says:

            So, all logical fallacies aside, we have animals here in Oz that produce milk like secretions from hair follicles.

            But that is a very casual observation Richard. Cows appear to produce milk from the ends of the teats of their udders. Its hardly a scientific explanation for any preordination, in fact its a common trait amongst mammals and the observation is even far worse than what a “milk maid” would make.

            They know it comes from inside the udder.

            Could you please pursue your argument?

          • It would be exceedingly difficult to deliberately step by step increase secretions in hair follicles and form them into a mammary gland, at the same time coordinating making the newborns less and less able to care for themselves and become increasingly dependent on whatever oozes from the skin. To claim this could occur at random with or without “scaffolding” is not only illogical but preposterous. And you consider it “proof”.

          • Argent47 says:

            “Quantum physics may be the Heilstrom discovered by Bruno Gröning in the 1940s…”
            —No, quantum physics deals with the interactions of physical objects and energy quanta, chiefly at the subatomic scale.

            “All we need to do is sit relaxed with arms and legs uncrossed and our palms tured upward while we think pleasant thoughts to feel the energy enter our palms.”
            —Psychosomatic effects can indeed be powerful. Researchers are trying to find out more about the intricacies of the brain-body interface—but without resorting to imagined flows and waves of vaguely-described energies.

            “…how to balance the autonomic nervous system with quantum energy.” … “…quantum energy can visibly move spinal vertebrae in a deformed woman.”
            —You’ll need to provide a definition for “quantum energy” in this case, to distinguish it from the energies that are already well known to quantum physicists. Mysticism can make you feel good, whether imaginarily or physically, but don’t confuse it with testable and falsifiable ideas.

            “the only book that has no human origin, The Urantia Book”
            —There is at least one other book with a claim to direct transhuman origin, as you should know: the Qur’an (Koran). You should say instead, “a book with no attested human origin”, which is quite another matter.

          • “Quantum physics may be the Heilstrom discovered by Bruno Gröning in the 1940s…”
            —No, quantum physics deals with the interactions of physical objects and energy quanta, chiefly at the subatomic scale.
            What kind of energy would it be? You can feel it in your palms if you think pleasant thoughts.

            “…how to balance the autonomic nervous system with quantum energy.” … “…quantum energy can visibly move spinal vertebrae in a deformed woman.”
            —You’ll need to provide a definition for “quantum energy” in this case, to distinguish it from the energies that are already well known to quantum physicists. Mysticism can make you feel good, whether imaginarily or physically, but don’t confuse it with testable and falsifiable ideas.
            The Healing Code uses energy from the 10 fingertips to activate 4 different sites in the head and neck. The effect is confirmed by heartbeats in precise, perisitent, identical intervals.
            If it was not quantum energy that visibly moved out of line vertebrae into perfect position, what was it?

            “the only book that has no human origin, The Urantia Book”
            —There is at least one other book with a claim to direct transhuman origin, as you should know: the Qur’an (Koran). You should say instead, “a book with no attested human origin”, which is quite another matter.
            Muhammad wrote it. In 610, Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in the cave Hira near Mecca, reciting to him the first verses of the Sura Iqra, thus beginning the revelation of the Qur’an.
            The 196 papers in the Urantia Book UB) were not written by a human, but apppeared one at a time in a drawer, 3 humans copied them, replaced them in the drawer, and when the drawer was reopend, they were gone. See “A History of the Urantia Papers,” by Larry Mullins, Dr. Meredith Justin Sprunger. Non-human writers of UB were strictly directed to use only previous thoughts and words of humans on earth unless there was never any human thought nor words to transmit a celestial meaning or concept they had permission to describe in the book.

      • Argent47 says:

        “I have no obligation to prove anything to anybody.”

        You do, if you wish your claim to be taken seriously. Evolutionists claim that cumulative small changes result in speciation—and observe it in action. The claim is therefore evidence-based.
        Creationists claim that things came about by magic, the evidence for which is in short supply, but still think that their claims should be taken as convincing. Not here, sir.
        - – - – - – - – -

        “If your evidence is not convincing, get more evidence and convince more of us.”

        Pot, meet kettle. (Are you actually willing to be convinced by proper evidence, or are you of the “God said it; I believe it; that settles it.” mindset? If the latter, then there is no point in trying to help you understand, because you have decided that facts shall not be allowed to have influence on your thinking. Of this, you wish to be proud?!
        - – - – - – - – -

        “I am virtually certain evolution is modified by thoughts, words, and deeds of humans and spiritual beings.”

        By psychic means, in other words—telekinesis and the like. Now provide evidence of the existence of such powers (and spiritual beings too, while you’re at it). Hand-waving doesn’t count, remember.
        - – - – - – - – -

        “Quantum physics has demonstrated the observer influences what occurs.”

        Not by psychic means, however. Observation requires physical interaction, which gives physical results (influences).
        - – - – - – - – -

        “Encouraging everyone to discover and make the best use of inborn potential may do the greatest good — even among those who do not agree with us.”

        Exactly! I’m glad that you wish to be encouraged to discover real things about this amazing and wonderful universe we inhabit. Keep at it!

      • Mud says:

        He used his given name and his surname after the Doctor bit…That would indicate he has a bachelors degree with society accreditation or… he is profoundly ignorant of titling and made it up..

  24. Argent47 says:

    “What kind of energy would [quantum energy] be? You can feel it in your palms if you think pleasant thoughts.”
    —I can feel various things in my palms if I choose to do so. You have not answered the question: What is this thing you are calling “quantum energy”? Don’t tell me how it *feels* — tell me what it *is*. (If you can. If you can’t, admit it.)

    “If it was not quantum energy that visibly moved out of line vertebrae into perfect position, what was it?”
    —I do not know. What I do know is that you still have not answered the question posed. (I also do not know that any such spinal “miracle” occurred, by whatever agency. What proof have you?)

    “Muhammad wrote [the Qur'an]. In 610, Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in the cave Hira near Mecca, reciting to him the first verses…”
    —I am aware of this myth, thank you. You agree, then, that the Qur’an is said to have had no human as the source of its sayings, since Gabriel and Allah are nonhuman.

    “The 196 papers in the Urantia Book UB) were not written by a human, but appeared one at a time in a drawer, 3 humans copied them, replaced them in the drawer, and when the drawer was reopened, they were gone.”
    —A neat trick, that. But do you have any proof of these miraculously appearing/disappearing papers? Some evidence that does not proceed from the UB itself, which would of course be useless as evidence? (I’m reminded of Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon—interestingly, and conveniently (for him), the golden tables that he said he transcribed were no longer available when outsiders challenged him about them.)

    Finally, what the tanj does any of this have to do with evolutionary theory?!

    • No scientist talks of proof, so I wonder how much science you have studied. You have not presented any “proof” nor any convincing hard scientific evidence to support random change for a bombadier beetle to emerge. Another evolution that could not be random is the human brain that goes far beyond a survival of the fittest process — same goes for our hidden potential that no human has ever fully developed in this life. I can show you a way to discover an infinitesimal part of yours, and it will blow your mind.

      I call it quantum energy because that is what physicians and other scientists call it. I have used it and others have according to the published descriptions of its use and have had good results. It makes as much sense as your assuming it is merely a placebo effect.

      I know Norman Shealy and do not think he would lie about the movement of vertebrae. If it did happen, and I believe it did, would that mean your assumptions might possibly be wrong? If you saw it with your own eyes, you would probably assume it is some kind of trick.

      I know some of those who were associated with receiving and copying the 196 papers. They were very suspicious about it, but could not explain how pages appeared in and disappeared from that drawer. One who had exposed may frauds and hoaxes secretly put a $50 bill between the pages before returning it to the drawer. The papers disappeared but the $50 was left in the drawer. I trust the accounts of these honest and sincere scientists and other professionals and lay persons completely. Details are available in A History of the Urantia Papers.

      The information in Evolution’s Purpose and The Urantia Book describes evolution like no one else ever has. It is very persuasive to any open mind. Your fear that you may have to consider other possiblilities than those you grasp will no doubt keep you from ever reading these books.

  25. Argent47 says:

    “No scientist talks of proof, so I wonder how much science you have studied.”
    —Enough to hold my own here, thank you, in a number of different fields (including physics). The proof I requested was not proof of a theory, which as we know cannot be done. It was proof that the Urantia papers had appeared and disappeared without human intervention. Don’t dodge the question…at which you are, unfortunately, skilled.

    “You have not presented any “proof” nor any convincing hard scientific evidence to support random change for a bombardier beetle to emerge.”
    —You have not observed any complex lifeform for the thousands to millions of generations that are thought to be necessary for significant developments such as the complexity of a bombardier beetle. You can’t live that long. You can, however, observe (along with the biologists who wrote some of the textbooks you used in medical school) notable changes accumulating in fast-reproducing organisms such as some mosquitoes and many bacteria.
    Just because you can’t directly comprehend what “one million years” really means, doesn’t mean that Nature can’t pull off some amazing things in such an interval.

    “Another evolution that could not be random is the human brain that goes far beyond a survival of the fittest process…”
    —Could not be? How are you so sure of that? What statistical studies have you conducted, or seen, that could support such an absolutist claim?

    “I call it quantum energy because that is what physicians and other scientists call it.”
    —Not “other scientists” as in “physicists”, who coined the terms that are still used in that branch of science. Again (and again..), support your claim. WHICH physicians? WHICH scientists? In WHICH fields?

    “It makes as much sense as your assuming it is merely a placebo effect.”
    —I doubt that. The placebo effect is documented and observable; your “quantum energy” merely sounds like a synonym, but couched in hand-waving-type language. As long as you remain vague about what you claim, other people will have a hard time understanding—or believing—you.

    “I know Norman Shealy and do not think he would lie about the movement of vertebrae.”
    —I’m not saying he lied; I’m not saying it didn’t happen. I dispute that some vaguely described “quantum energy” caused it.

    “If you saw it with your own eyes, you would probably assume it is some kind of trick.”
    —No, if I saw it and could be well enough assured that it was no deception, I would be fascinated. I would wish to eagerly learn about this mysterious phenomenon.

    “I know some of those who were associated with receiving and copying the 196 papers. They were very suspicious about it, but could not explain how pages appeared in and disappeared from that drawer. One who had exposed may frauds and hoaxes secretly put a $50 bill between the pages before returning it to the drawer. The papers disappeared but the $50 was left in the drawer.”
    —This does nothing to dispel the notion that deception could have been involved. If some (merely mortal) human was moving the papers, s/he could easily notice the $50 and simply put it back without the surrounding papers.
    Your claims continue to lack verifiability. Can you do better, or are you just going to continue to waste our time?

    • Read the book History of the Urantia Papers. The drawer was never opened by anyone neither seeking nor returning the papers. No evidence indicates otherwise. Many were trying to find how the papers came and went. Even if a 24/7 guard were posted you would insist that they themselves wrote and handled the papers. No evidence however provided would convince you that it was not a hoax. What human would have access to ALL the human ideas in the papers? No other book can match the range and explicit contents presented, if so give me one example.

      • Argent47 says:

        “The drawer was never opened by anyone neither seeking nor returning the papers. No evidence indicates otherwise.”
        —Not good enough. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” quoth Martin Rees.

        “No evidence however provided would convince you that it was not a hoax.”
        —Methinks the laddie doth presume too much.

        “What human would have access to ALL the human ideas in the papers?”
        —There are certainly some astonishingly well-educated polymaths, but need it have been a single human?

        Perhaps the Book would have been better kept in an orgone box….

  26. Charles Darwin Wrong Re Tree of Life — see http://www.i4u.com/2013/05/54160/charles-darwin-proven-wrong-regarding-tree-life#full_story I wish they had not been unscientific and used the word “proven”.
    =====================================
    Not hearing ANY example of a book that compares with The Urantia Book, here is what creators and others report re their roles in billions of years of evolution…
    Urantia is the celestial name of Earth

    http://www.urantiabook.org/newbook/ub-part1-index.html
    The Central and Superuniverses
    Paper 11 – The Eternal Isle of Paradise, by Perfector of Wisdom
    Paper 12 – The Universe of Universes, by Perfector of Wisdom

    http://www.urantiabook.org/newbook/ub-part2-index.html
    The Local Universe
    32. The Evolution of Local Universes, by Mighty Messenger
    57. The Origin of Urantia, by Life Carrier
    58. Life Establishment on Urantia, by Life Carrier
    59. The Marine-Life Era on Urantia, by Life Carrier
    60. Urantia During the Early Land-Life Era, by Life Carrier
    61. The Mammalian Era on Urantia, by Life Carrier
    62. The Dawn Races of Early Man, by Life Carrier
    65. The Overcontrol of Evolution, by Life Carrier

    The Urantia Papers were always intended to stand upon their own merits.
    Their origin in the 1930s was to remain a spiritual mystery,
    and belief in their authenticity a matter of faith. Somehow, due to indiscretions by a few members of the human contact commission, it didn’t work out that way… See http://www.urantiapapershistory.com/

    For those not handicapped by self-limiting prejudice, here is an unmatched, very high quality source of information not previously available on Earth.

    The nonhuman authors selected as the basis of these papers “more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe.”

    I do not expect anyone associated with skeptoid.com to be impressed, but seekers of truth from any source may find this book refreshing.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Did Pope Benedict XVI provide any view of his support of evolutionary theory?

    The following is the extract of the speech from Pope Benedict XVI when he had his dialogue with Fr Alberto at the church of St Justin Martyr on 24th July 2007:

    I think you have just given us a precise description of a life in which God does not figure. At first sight, it seems as if we do not need God or indeed, that without God we would be freer and the world would be grander. But after a certain time, we see in our young people what happens when God disappears. As Nietzsche said: “The great light has been extinguished, the sun has been put out”. Life is then a chance event. It becomes a thing that I must seek to do the best I can with and use life as though it were a thing that serves my own immediate, tangible and achievable happiness. But the big problem is that were God not to exist and were he not also the Creator of my life, life would actually be a mere cog in evolution, nothing more; it would have no meaning in itself. Instead, I must seek to give meaning to this component of being. Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE OF EVOLUTION, and THOSE WHO INSTEAD SUPPORT EVOLUTION WOULD HAVE TO EXCLUDE GOD. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION DOES NOT ANSWER EVERY QUERY, especially the great philosophical question: WHERE DOES EVERYTHING COME FROM? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man? I believe this is of the utmost importance. This is what I wanted to say in my lecture at Regensburg: that reason should be more open, that it should indeed perceive these facts but also realize that THEY ARE NOT ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN ALL OF REALITY. THEY ARE INSUFFICIENT. Our reason is broader and can also see that our reason is not basically something irrational, a product of irrationality, but that reason, creative reason, precedes everything and we are truly the reflection of creative reason. We were thought of and desired; thus, there is an idea that preceded me, a feeling that preceded me, that I must discover, that I must follow, because it will at last give meaning to my life. This seems to me to be the first point: to discover that my being is truly reasonable, it was thought of, it has meaning. And my important mission is to discover this meaning, to live it and thereby contribute a new element to the great cosmic harmony conceived of by the Creator. If this is true, then difficulties also become moments of growth, of the process and progress of my very being, which has meaning from conception until the very last moment of life. We can get to know this reality of meaning that precedes all of us, we can also rediscover the meaning of pain and suffering; there is of course one form of suffering that we must avoid and must distance from the world: all the pointless suffering caused by dictatorships and erroneous systems, by hatred and by violence. However, in suffering there is also a profound meaning, and only if we can give meaning to pain and suffering can our life mature. I would say, above all, that there can be no love without suffering, because love always implies renouncement of myself, letting myself go and accepting the other in his otherness; it implies a gift of myself and therefore, emerging from myself. All this is pain and suffering, but precisely in this suffering caused by the losing of myself for the sake of the other, for the loved one and hence, for God, I become great and my life finds love, and in love finds its meaning. The inseparability of love and suffering, of love and God, are elements that must enter into the modern conscience to help us live. In this regard, I would say that it is important to help the young discover God, to help them discover the true love that precisely in renunciation becomes great and so also enables them to discover the inner benefit of suffering, which makes me freer and greater. Of course, to help young people find these elements, companionship and guidance are always essential, whether through the parish, Catholic Action or a Movement. It is only in the company of others that we can also reveal this great dimension of our being to the new generations.

    Comments upon the speech of Pope Benedict XVI as listed above and observe carefully those words that are placed in capital letters:

    Despite Pope Benedict XVI did mention above that there are too many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality, he did not state clearly of his stand towards evolutionary theory since nothing is mentioned whether he had found favourably towards this theory.

    As the phrase, those who believe in the creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that those people that uphold the truth that God should be the Creator of this world could not be able to identify whether there could be any link between the doctrine of evolution and Creator. This is by virtue of those people that support creationism would perceive that God was the One that directly created everything instead of being treated as everything would be the work of evolution and that He just stood aside just to assist without directly creating it.

    As the phrase, those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God, is mentioned above, it implies that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to exclude God in their process of formation of everything. This is certainly true in the sense that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to support that God has to be excluded to be direct creation of this world since their belief is based on the assumption that He only stood aside and to assist in the formation of the world without directly creating it. If God would turn up not to be directly creating everything, how could he then call Him to be the Creator as mentioned in his speech above? As Benedict XVI called God to be the Creator, He should have supported that God was the One that had created everything directly.

    Despite Pope Benedict XIV mentioned that there are many scientific proofs for evolution, he did not mention that all these evidences could be useful to prove the creation of this world. As the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that he did not support evolutionary theory could be a useful source to answer every query that would bring towards it. As the phrase, where does everything come from?, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, it implies that the doctrine of evolution could not provide a suitable reason how everything would come about, such as, Was God the One that directly created this world? How would God create this world? As the phrase, they are not enough to explain all of reality they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above, it gives an absolute conclusion that the doctrine of evolution should not be treated as reliable and sufficient source to prove how everything would come about. As the phrase, they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above pertaining to the doctrine of evolution, it implies that Paul Benedict XIV did not intend Christians to treat evolutionary theory to be useful source to tackle answer as where everything comes about or how everything could be formed in the beginning.

    Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XIV did not mention that evolutionary theory could be useful to support how everything could be formed in the beginning, such as, How could human beings be formed? Was God directly created them? This is by virtue of evolutionary theory could not provide sufficient source to prove it.

  28. zuma says:

    Did Pope Benedict XVI provide any view of his support of evolutionary theory?

    The following is the extract of the speech from Pope Benedict XVI when he had his dialogue with Fr Alberto at the church of St Justin Martyr on 24th July 2007:

    I think you have just given us a precise description of a life in which God does not figure. At first sight, it seems as if we do not need God or indeed, that without God we would be freer and the world would be grander. But after a certain time, we see in our young people what happens when God disappears. As Nietzsche said: “The great light has been extinguished, the sun has been put out”. Life is then a chance event. It becomes a thing that I must seek to do the best I can with and use life as though it were a thing that serves my own immediate, tangible and achievable happiness. But the big problem is that were God not to exist and were he not also the Creator of my life, life would actually be a mere cog in evolution, nothing more; it would have no meaning in itself. Instead, I must seek to give meaning to this component of being. Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE OF EVOLUTION, and THOSE WHO INSTEAD SUPPORT EVOLUTION WOULD HAVE TO EXCLUDE GOD. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION DOES NOT ANSWER EVERY QUERY, especially the great philosophical question: WHERE DOES EVERYTHING COME FROM? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man? I believe this is of the utmost importance. This is what I wanted to say in my lecture at Regensburg: that reason should be more open, that it should indeed perceive these facts but also realize that THEY ARE NOT ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN ALL OF REALITY. THEY ARE INSUFFICIENT. Our reason is broader and can also see that our reason is not basically something irrational, a product of irrationality, but that reason, creative reason, precedes everything and we are truly the reflection of creative reason. We were thought of and desired; thus, there is an idea that preceded me, a feeling that preceded me, that I must discover, that I must follow, because it will at last give meaning to my life. This seems to me to be the first point: to discover that my being is truly reasonable, it was thought of, it has meaning. And my important mission is to discover this meaning, to live it and thereby contribute a new element to the great cosmic harmony conceived of by the Creator. If this is true, then difficulties also become moments of growth, of the process and progress of my very being, which has meaning from conception until the very last moment of life. We can get to know this reality of meaning that precedes all of us, we can also rediscover the meaning of pain and suffering; there is of course one form of suffering that we must avoid and must distance from the world: all the pointless suffering caused by dictatorships and erroneous systems, by hatred and by violence. However, in suffering there is also a profound meaning, and only if we can give meaning to pain and suffering can our life mature. I would say, above all, that there can be no love without suffering, because love always implies renouncement of myself, letting myself go and accepting the other in his otherness; it implies a gift of myself and therefore, emerging from myself. All this is pain and suffering, but precisely in this suffering caused by the losing of myself for the sake of the other, for the loved one and hence, for God, I become great and my life finds love, and in love finds its meaning. The inseparability of love and suffering, of love and God, are elements that must enter into the modern conscience to help us live. In this regard, I would say that it is important to help the young discover God, to help them discover the true love that precisely in renunciation becomes great and so also enables them to discover the inner benefit of suffering, which makes me freer and greater. Of course, to help young people find these elements, companionship and guidance are always essential, whether through the parish, Catholic Action or a Movement. It is only in the company of others that we can also reveal this great dimension of our being to the new generations.

    Comments upon the speech of Pope Benedict XVI as listed above and observe carefully those words that are placed in capital letters:

    Despite Pope Benedict XVI did mention above that there are too many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality, he did not state clearly of his stand towards evolutionary theory since nothing is mentioned whether he had found favourably towards this theory.

    As the phrase, those who believe in the creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that those people that uphold the truth that God should be the Creator of this world could not be able to identify whether there could be any link between the doctrine of evolution and Creator. This is by virtue of those people that support creationism would perceive that God was the One that directly created everything instead of being treated as everything would be the work of evolution and that He just stood aside just to assist without directly creating it.

    As the phrase, those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God, is mentioned above, it implies that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to exclude God in their process of formation of everything. This is certainly true in the sense that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to support that God has to be excluded to be direct creation of this world since their belief is based on the assumption that He only stood aside and to assist in the formation of the world without directly creating it. If God would turn up not to be directly creating everything, how could he then call Him to be the Creator as mentioned in his speech above? As Benedict XVI called God to be the Creator, He should have supported that God was the One that had created everything directly.

    Despite Pope Benedict XIV mentioned that there are many scientific proofs for evolution, he did not mention that all these evidences could be useful to prove the creation of this world. As the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that he did not support evolutionary theory could be a useful source to answer every query that would bring towards it. As the phrase, where does everything come from?, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, it implies that the doctrine of evolution could not provide a suitable reason how everything would come about, such as, Was God the One that directly created this world? How would God create this world? As the phrase, they are not enough to explain all of reality they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above, it gives an absolute conclusion that the doctrine of evolution should not be treated as reliable and sufficient source to prove how everything would come about. As the phrase, they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above pertaining to the doctrine of evolution, it implies that Paul Benedict XIV did not intend Christians to treat evolutionary theory to be useful source to tackle answer as where everything comes about or how everything could be formed in the beginning.

    Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XIV did not mention that evolutionary theory could be useful to support how everything could be formed in the beginning, such as, How could human beings be formed? Was God directly created them? This is by virtue of evolutionary theory could not provide sufficient source to prove it.

  29. zuma says:

    The discrepancies between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth:

    The scriptural verses about the beginning of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    As the phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially covered with water.

    As the phrase, let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies that land should appear lately. If the land should appear first, there should not be any reason for the scripture to mention with the phrase, let the dry land appear. Besides, it would not be possible for the scripture to mention with the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered unto one place, if the land should have appeared before the existence of sea. Even if one might assume that land and sea water would coexist in the beginning in the creation of the earth, why should the scripture mention with the phrase, Let the dry land appear, as if that there was no land initially on earth?

    The following is the extract from the website address, http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/timeline/timeline.html , pertaining to the evolution of the earth:

    4650 mya: Formation of chondrules in the Solar Nebula
    - 4567 mya: Formation of the Solar System
    Sun was only 70% as bright as today.
    - 4500 mya: Formation of the Earth.
    - 4450 mya: The Moon accretes from fragments
    of a collision between the Earth and a planetoid;
    Moon’s orbit is beyond 64,000 km from the Earth.[33]
    EARTH DAY IS 7 HOUR’S LONG[34]
    - Earth’s original hydrogen and helium atmosphere
    escapes Earth’s gravity.
    - 4455 mya: Tidal locking causes one side
    of the Moon to face the Earth permanently.[30]
    - 3900 mya: Cataclysmic meteorite bombardment.
    The Moon is 282,000 km from Earth.[34]
    EARTH DAY IS 14.4 HOURS LONG[34]
    - Earth’s atmosphere becomes mostly
    carbon dioxide, water vapor,
    methane, and ammonia.
    - Formation of carbonate minerals starts
    reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    - There is no geologic record for the Hadean Eon.

    My comment: As listed above, the earth day was 7 hour’s long in 4450 mya and yet in 3000 mya, its speed reduced to 14.4 hour’s long per earth day. Thus, the spinning speed of the earth was super fast prior to 4450 mya since it took 7 hour’s long to finish its full day. In such a high speed, all the substances, such as, sea water, would fly out of the sky. Or in other words, sea water should not be in existence in beginning of the evolution of the earth.

    As listed above also, earth’s orginal hydrogen and helium atmosphere would escape from the earth’s gravity in 4450 mya. Considering the environmental condition if the whole earth was filled with water, it is impossible for the earth to emit hydrogen and helium when the land was covered fully with water.

    Besides, the rapid spinning of the earth in 7 hour’s long prior to 4450 mya would cause sea water to fly out of the earth.

    The above show the contradiction between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth.

    • Wordwizard says:

      Bravo! Clear and magnificently set forth. I’ve never seen this info presented this way before.

    • Argent47 says:

      The info is good, except for the part about the water being flung off Earth by the seven-hour rotation. Sorry, but even that speed would not give escape energy to that much mass, with Earth-level gravity at work to hold it down.

  30. zuma says:

    Was the earth formed through several destructions that were brought forth by volcanoes, meteorites and etc.? Does it differ from scriptural point of view?

    Scriptural verses about the creation of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    The phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, in Genesis 1:2, implies that the scripture supports that the earth was initially covered with water. As the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together…and let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies the appearance of land lately. Thus, the scripture supports that the land was not visible on the surface of the earth since it was covered with water.

    As the scripture mentions that the earth was covered with water, it is unlikely that volcanoes could be visible at that time since they should be under the sea water. As all the mountains were in the sea as mentioned in Genesis 1:2, how could the earth be under-attacked by volcanoes? As all the lands were in the sea water as mentioned in the scripture, how could the earth be under-attacked by meteorites? This is by virtue of meteorites would simply drop into the sea without any strong impact upon the land of the earth.

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.universetoday.com/76509/how-was-the-earth-formed/ , in which contradiction has been found against the scripture:

    ‘This first eon in which the Earth existed is what is known as the Hadean period, named after the Greek word “Hades” (underworld) which refers to the condition of the planet at the time. During this time, the Earth’s surface was under a continuous bombardment by meteorites, and volcanism is believed to be severe due to the large heat flow and geothermal gradient. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, accumulated in the atmosphere and cooled the molten exterior of the planet to form a solid crust and produced the oceans. This period ended roughly 3.8 years ago with the onset of the Archean age, by which time, the Earth had cooled significantly and primordial life began to evolve.’

  31. Anonymous says:

    The doctrine of evolution contradicts the books of New Testament:

    Provided with environmental factors that would be suitable for apes to be transformed into human beings in the past, many of them would evolve into human beings at that time. There is no reason to assume that there would only be one man to be evolved from evolution if the environmental condition would turn up to be suitable for apes to evolve. If human beings flourished in the past were the result of the evolution of many apes, the origin of human beings could not be traced back to one man, i.e. Adam. The sin of Adam would not affect all human races if their forefathers could not trace back to him but to another human being that would have been evolved from other apes. Why is it that Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22 mention that all fall into sin by one man? Thus, the doctrine of evolution does contradict Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22.

    The following are the extracts:

    Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
    Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    If human beings were evolved from apes, did Jesus die for apes also as they were the forefathers of human beings? Why should Jesus Christ not die for apes when human beings were evolved from them?

    Was Eve formed from Adam?

    Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    If 1 Timothy 2:13 should be interpreted literally, why shouldn’t Genesis 2:21-23 be interpreted the same literally since both of them agree that Adam was formed prior to the existence of Eve?

    Besides, there should not be any reason for 1 Timothy 2:14 to mention the word, Adam, if this word in the book of Genesis should not be interpreted literally. As the word, Adam, is mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:14, the book of Genesis should be interpreted literally instead of treating it to be a non-existing event. The following is the extract:

    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    If the first human beings were not made by God but evolved through nature, why should the word, made, be mentioned in Matthew 19:4?

    Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

  32. zuma says:

    The doctrine of evolution contradicts the books of New Testament:

    Provided with environmental factors that would be suitable for apes to be transformed into human beings in the past, many of them would evolve into human beings at that time. There is no reason to assume that there would only be one man to be evolved from evolution if the environmental condition would turn up to be suitable for apes to evolve. If human beings flourished in the past were the result of the evolution of many apes, the origin of human beings could not be traced back to one man, i.e. Adam. The sin of Adam would not affect all human races if their forefathers could not trace back to him but to another human being that would have been evolved from other apes. Why is it that Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22 mention that all fall into sin by one man? Thus, the doctrine of evolution does contradict Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22.

    The following are the extracts:

    Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
    Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    If human beings were evolved from apes, did Jesus die for apes also as they were the forefathers of human beings? Why should Jesus Christ not die for apes when human beings were evolved from them?

    Was Eve formed from Adam?

    Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    If 1 Timothy 2:13 should be interpreted literally, why shouldn’t Genesis 2:21-23 be interpreted the same literally since both of them agree that Adam was formed prior to the existence of Eve?

    Besides, there should not be any reason for 1 Timothy 2:14 to mention the word, Adam, if this word in the book of Genesis should not be interpreted literally. As the word, Adam, is mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:14, the book of Genesis should be interpreted literally instead of treating it to be a non-existing event. The following is the extract:

    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    If the first human beings were not made by God but evolved through nature, why should the word, made, be mentioned in Matthew 19:4?

    Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

    • Argent47 says:

      “The doctrine of evolution contradicts the books of New Testament:”
      —So? Is there some evidence — not faith, not wishful thinking, but *evidence* — that the New (or Old) Testament is a factual description?
      Anyone can cite Holy Writ to (try to) support a position — but since there are differing Holy Writs, which contradict each other in places, which one (if any) should be used? And why?
      Support your argument with observable, testable data — the way scientists do — and you’ll get a better hearing. Ready? Go for it.

      “Why is it that Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22 mention that all fall into sin by one man?”
      —Because, IMHO, the ancient holy men were trying to impute the necessity for *everyone* to come under their control. (“You are ALL guilty, so unless you come to us — and no one else! — for help, you are SO screwed!”)

      “Thus, the doctrine of evolution does contradict Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22.”
      —Facts beat fantasy, yes.

      “If human beings were evolved from apes, did Jesus die for apes also as they were the forefathers of human beings? Why should Jesus Christ not die for apes when human beings were evolved from them?”
      —You already know that humans are said (by some) to be unique in the possession of a soul, and that only souled beings need worry about salvation.

      “If the first human beings were not made by God but evolved through nature, why should the word, made, be mentioned in Matthew 19:4?”
      —Because, as I said above, the writer(s) had a political agenda, so the text was written to suit that need.
      Or, more charitably, the ancient writers *supposed* that humans had a single point of origin, and they developed their story from that. Supposition, however, is not sufficient to support a claim.

    • Rob says:

      Odd that you and “Anonymous” would post the exact same C&P a minute apart.

  33. josiegold says:

    Regarding evolution, I have several questions, because I believe that evolution is the human attempt to say that there is no God, no Creator.
    * Please tell me where the the material for the Big Bang originally came from
    * Please explain how it is even possible that random mutations could produce something as amazingly complex as the human brain, which even with today’s science we cannot completely understand.
    * Say that a bird didn’t have all the components necessary to make a wing, but it had one part of what it needed. That one part would be useless and quite possibly harmful until the rest of the complex wing randomly came along. Another organism would eat the bird before those billions of years occurred.
    * Where are the transition fossils that show this macroevolution?
    * If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?
    * Again, if organisms keep evolving, why haven’t humans evolved further?
    * Today with all of our scientific advancements, we cannot create even the smallest something out of nothing. How could randomness have created everything we know today out of nothing?
    * If you clear a forest, grown some grass, and build a house on that property, then leave that house for several years with no one to tend it or fix the problems, the forest will eventually reclaim the land, thus going from order to disorder. How can something have exploded (disorder) and created complexity (order)?
    * How did the Earth get to be exactly, precisely the correct distance from the sun to be able to sustain life on earth?
    * Where did we get the ideas for what is right and wrong, aka the standard for morality that is in every human being? Who decided that it was wrong to kill other people? If God did not give us this standard of morality, where did it come from?
    If you have any questions, please read up on Frank Turek, one of my all-time favorite speakers on this subject and others regarding faith.

    • These are all really, really, basic questions, the answers to which are widely available on many science sites. I expect Talk Origins has them all on a FAQ page. If you’re actually interested in learning the answers to these, you’ll learn them better by taking a bit of effort to inform yourself rather than expecting someone to go to the trouble copy-and-pasting them all here for you.

    • Argent47 says:

      I’ll offer some of the answers, just to get you started. As Mr. Dunning suggests, Talk Origins ( http://www.talkorigins.org ) is an excellent place to explore these ideas. Note: you’ll need to bring some things with you, such as an open mind and critical-thinking skills.

      “I believe that evolution is the human attempt to say that there is no God, no Creator.”
      —With more accuracy (which you should strive for), you should say that evolutionary theory is, in part, the human attempt to show that a miraculous origin is not necessarily the best explanation of things.

      * Please explain how it is even possible that random mutations could produce something as amazingly complex as the human brain, which even with today’s science we cannot completely understand.
      —Beware of the “Argument from Ignorance” and “Argument from Incredulity” fallacies. (Look up these too.)

      * If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?
      —Simple: only some–not all–proto-apes received that “blessing”.

      * Again, if organisms keep evolving, why haven’t humans evolved further?
      —Evolution is ordinarily a response to changes in the environment. Humans make their own environments, thereby reducing or eliminating such selection pressures.

      *How can something have exploded (disorder) and created complexity (order)?
      —There can be local pockets of spontaneous order–consider the highly ordered nature of crystals, for instance–even within a larger disorder. The thermodynamics laws do not prohibit this.

      * How did the Earth get to be exactly, precisely the correct distance from the sun to be able to sustain life on earth?
      —Earth wound up, by chance, in conditions that are right for life AS WE KNOW IT. For a couple of other possibilities, other worlds might use liquid methane or liquid ammonia as solvents.

      * If God did not give us this standard of morality, where did it come from?
      —Individuals do what is needful for their own survival and prosperity. Whatever diminishes, or avoids, pain and damage is considered good, useful behavior. Some animals find it advantageous to combine efforts toward survival (and away from negative things). Such are called social animals; humans are among these. We observe what behaviors are supportive and call them “good”; we call the deleterious ones “bad” or “evil”.

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