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Canadians divided over creation and evolution


jdobbin

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Is evolution not tentative only?

As is any theory, to the extent that new evidence will cause the theory to change. But I think some folks tend to overstate the tentative nature of any theory, and in particular evolution. There's sufficient evidence that I don't think it's reasonable to say that evolution is tentative. Areas of debate nowadays (within the scientific community that is) don't focus on whether evolution happened or whether or not Common Descent is factual, but rather upon the precise nature of the major evolutionary forces (ie. natural selection vs. neutral drift, horizontal gene transfer and so forth). I can't think of any modern biologist that in fact disputes either biological evolution or common descent, and even probably it's best known detractor in scientific circles, Michael Behe (one of the formulators of Intelligent Design) still thinks that evolution happened.

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As is any theory, to the extent that new evidence will cause the theory to change. But I think some folks tend to overstate the tentative nature of any theory, and in particular evolution. There's sufficient evidence that I don't think it's reasonable to say that evolution is tentative. Areas of debate nowadays (within the scientific community that is) don't focus on whether evolution happened or whether or not Common Descent is factual, but rather upon the precise nature of the major evolutionary forces (ie. natural selection vs. neutral drift, horizontal gene transfer and so forth). I can't think of any modern biologist that in fact disputes either biological evolution or common descent, and even probably it's best known detractor in scientific circles, Michael Behe (one of the formulators of Intelligent Design) still thinks that evolution happened.

"Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again." (Karl Popper)

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/karl_popper.html

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"Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again." (Karl Popper)

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/karl_popper.html

And here we go with Popper. Even Popper renounced some of the more ludicrous notions he had about how science worked.

Simply put, science does not, nor has it ever, worked with way Popper said it did.

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And here we go with Popper. Even Popper renounced some of the more ludicrous notions he had about how science worked.

Simply put, science does not, nor has it ever, worked with way Popper said it did.

Why science seems, more than anything else, to jeopardize Life on Earth? Because it’s intimately connected to (global) capitalism. Evolution theorists suffer inadvertently of this fatal defect just like other scientists.

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Why science seems, more than anything else, to jeopardize Life on Earth? Because it’s intimately connected to (global) capitalism. Evolution theorists suffer inadvertently of this fatal defect just like other scientists.

Are you in some sort of competition to make increasingly bizarre and idiotic statements? Science is a generalized methodology, applied methodological naturalism. The whole point of independent verification is to overcome the biases that individual scientists may have, and judging by the number of times "cold fusion" claims have been turfed, I'd say science has done a good job.

To put it simply, there is simply no better epistemological system for producing explanations than science.

Evolution has passed muster since Darwin's time. It has a high degree of explanatory power, has vast bodies of evidence, much of it confirmational (the aforementioned high degree of confirmation between the fossil record and molecular data).

This idea of "fatal defects" isn't even something Popper advocated. He overasserted the necessity of falsification over other principles of science, which is the major criticism of his work.

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Are you in some sort of competition to make increasingly bizarre and idiotic statements? Science is a generalized methodology, applied methodological naturalism. The whole point of independent verification is to overcome the biases that individual scientists may have, and judging by the number of times "cold fusion" claims have been turfed, I'd say science has done a good job.

To put it simply, there is simply no better epistemological system for producing explanations than science.

Evolution has passed muster since Darwin's time. It has a high degree of explanatory power, has vast bodies of evidence, much of it confirmational (the aforementioned high degree of confirmation between the fossil record and molecular data).

This idea of "fatal defects" isn't even something Popper advocated. He overasserted the necessity of falsification over other principles of science, which is the major criticism of his work.

Without an ontology where Truth is subjectivity (Kierkegaard), science is only a language game for rules followers (Wittgenstein).

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Without an ontology where Truth is subjectivity (Kierkegaard), science is only a language game for rules followers (Wittgenstein).

Right! And if you take a flight on an airplane, do you want to fly in one designed by engineers applying scientific methodology, or post-modern relativists using your notion that truth and reality are subjective?

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Don't look now! But there's another missing link fossil for creationists to explain away. Five bucks says they will claim that it doesn't explain all of the changes between seals and their ancestors, and two missing links are now needed:

A newly discovered prehistoric seal with "arms" is the no-longer missing link between seals' land-based ancestors and the ocean-dwelling, flippered creatures we know, a new study says.

Perhaps spurred by amplified global warming and cooling in the ancient Arctic, the freshwater, amphibious seal is an example of the region as a hotbed of evolution, researchers say

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...ssing-link.html

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Here is an excerpt:

The Dawkins Confusion

Naturalism 'ad absurdum'.

Alvin Plantinga | posted 3/01/2007

“this claim of improbability can help us understand something otherwise very perplexing about Dawkins' argument in his earlier and influential book, The Blind Watchmaker. There he argues that the scientific theory of evolution shows that our world has not been designed—by God or anyone else. This thought is trumpeted by the subtitle of the book: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design.

How so? Suppose the evidence of evolution suggests that all living creatures have evolved from some elementary form of life: how does that show that the universe is without design? Well, if the universe has not been designed, then the process of evolution is unguided, unorchestrated, by any intelligent being; it is, as Dawkins suggests, blind. So his claim is that the evidence of evolution reveals that evolution is unplanned, unguided, unorchestrated by any intelligent being.

But how could the evidence of evolution reveal a thing like that? After all, couldn't it be that God has directed and overseen the process of evolution? What makes Dawkins think evolution is unguided? What he does in The Blind Watchmaker, fundamentally, is three things. First, he recounts in vivid and arresting detail some of the fascinating anatomical details of certain living creatures and their incredibly complex and ingenious ways of making a living; this is the sort of thing Dawkins does best. Second, he tries to refute arguments for the conclusion that blind, unguided evolution could not have produced certain of these wonders of the living world—the mammalian eye, for example, or the wing. Third, he makes suggestions as to how these and other organic systems could have developed by unguided evolution.

Suppose he's successful with these three things: how would that show that the universe is without design? How does the main argument go from there? His detailed arguments are all for the conclusion that it is biologically possible that these various organs and systems should have come to be by unguided Darwinian mechanisms (and some of what he says here is of considerable interest).

What is truly remarkable, however, is the form of what seems to be the main argument. The premise he argues for is something like this:

1. We know of no irrefutable objections to its being biologically possible that all of life has come to be by way of unguided Darwinian processes;

and Dawkins supports that premise by trying to refute objections to its being biologically possible that life has come to be that way. His conclusion, however, is

2. All of life has come to be by way of unguided Darwinian processes.

It's worth meditating, if only for a moment, on the striking distance, here, between premise and conclusion. The premise tells us, substantially, that there are no irrefutable objections to its being possible that unguided evolution has produced all of the wonders of the living world; the conclusion is that it is true that unguided evolution has indeed produced all of those wonders.

The argument form seems to be something like

We know of no irrefutable objections to its being possible that p;

Therefore

p is true.

Philosophers sometimes propound invalid arguments (I've propounded a few myself); few of those arguments display the truly colossal distance between premise and conclusion sported by this one. I come into the departmental office and announce to the chairman that the dean has just authorized a $50,000 raise for me; naturally he wants to know why I think so. I tell him that we know of no irrefutable objections to its being possible that the dean has done that. My guess is he'd gently suggest that it is high time for me to retire.

Here is where that alleged massive improbability of theism is relevant. If theism is false, then (apart from certain weird suggestions we can safely ignore) evolution is unguided. But it is extremely likely, Dawkins thinks, that theism is false. Hence it is extremely likely that evolution is unguided—in which case to establish it as true, he seems to think, all that is needed is to refute those claims that it is impossible.

So perhaps we can think about his Blind Watchmaker argument as follows: he is really employing as an additional if unexpressed premise his idea that the existence of God is enormously unlikely. If so, then the argument doesn't seem quite so magnificently invalid. (It is still invalid, however, even if not quite so magnificently—you can't establish something as a fact by showing that objections to its possibility fail, and adding that it is very probable.)”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2007/m...21.html?start=3

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A newly discovered prehistoric seal with "arms" is the no-longer missing link between seals' land-based ancestors and the ocean-dwelling, flippered creatures we know, a new study says.
:rolleyes:

Hold your horses....

Archaeopteryx, a star attraction "link" between reptile and bird has been refuted .

Nature Magazine, Vol. 322, p677, "Fossil Bird Shakes evolutionary Hypotheses", reported this in 1986, "Fossil remains claimed to be of two crow-sized birds 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx have been found...a paleontologist at Texas Tech University, who found the fossils, says they have advanced avian features. ...tend to confirm what many paleontologists have long suspected, that Archaeopteryx is not on the direct line to modern birds."

Australopithecus or "Lucy", another big star to the evolutionists' stage show, has also been discarded by many evolutionists. Even the Leakey's never believed it had anything to do with the evolution of man. With good reason, they considered it simply and extinct ape. It stood three feet tall, had arms that hung down to the ankles and had a brain one third the size of humans. Adrienne Zihlman, U.C. Santa Cruze, said, "Zihlman compares the pigmy chimpanzee to 'Lucy', one of the oldest hominid fossils known, and finds the similarities striking. They are almost identical in body size, in stature and in brain size...indicates that pygmy chimps use their limbs much the same way Lucy did..." Science News, Vol. 123, Feb. 5, 1983, p89

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/b-darwin-was-wrong.htm

Edited by betsy
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"The plant kingdom like the animal kingdom, offers little or no support for Darwin's theory.

Charles Darwin was aware of the problem. In the Origin of the Species, he wrote: ". . . intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of natural selection]."

David M Raup, former curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, wrote in the January 1979 edition of Field Museum Natural History Bulletin:

"Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian [sic] change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information - what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic."

http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articl...ion-169225.html

Note: David M. Raup is a University of Chicago paleontologist. Raup studied the fossil record and the diversity of life on Earth. Raup contributed to the knowledge of extinction events along with his colleague Jack Sepkoski. They suggested that the extinction of dinosaurs 65 mya was part of a cycle of mass extinctions that may have occurred every 26 million years.

In addition to his time at the University of Chicago, Raup has taught at Caltech, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Rochester. He was also a curator and Dean of Science at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago as well as a visiting professor in Germany at Tübingen and on the faculty of the College of the Virgin Islands. Raup was heavily involved through his career in joint programs with biology and in promoting training of paleontologists in modern marine environments

Edited by betsy
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"According to Darwin, new species arise by gradual accumulation of incremental changes over long periods of time. That's evolution in a nutshell. Can Darwin's hypothesis be tested? To find out, we turn to the only real evidence we have of prehistoric life, our bone and shell guide to the past - the fossil record.

The critical question is: Does the fossil record support Darwin's gradual change theory? What do you think would happen if we put evolution to a vote, allowing the fossils themselves to decide the outcome? Sounds fair, sounds reasonable; even sounds democratic, doesn't it? Let's give it a try. We can start with the oldest life form of all . . .

Bacteria: Taken from rocks dated 3,600 million years old, the oldest single-celled prokaryote is essentially the same as today's variety. That is a remarkably long period of stability. They have not evolved. Bacteria vote no to evolution.

Peripatopsis: The South African "walking worm" genus of the Onychophora family. This creature has remained unchanged since the beginning of the Cambrian period. That is over 500 million years of stability. Consequently the peripatopsis votes no to evolution.

Lingula: Commonly called the lampshell due to it's unusual shape, the Lingula is a genus of brachiopod. No fossils lead up to or away from the Lingula. This creature has remained unchanged since the Silurian period, 435 million years ago. The Lingula votes no to evolution.

Neopilina and Nucula: Two genera of marine animals both have retained the same forms their ancestors had over 400 million years ago. They too vote no to evolution.

Pyenogonum: A marine genus of fifty species which resemble spiders. They have not changed for 350 million years. These holdouts from the Devonian period vote no to evolution.

Hutchinsoniella: A marine bottom dwelling genus of the cephocardia family has remained constant for 340 million years. Another no vote for evolution.

Liphistius: Trap door spiders. Their ancestors are unknown. The first fossil remains were found in the Permian period 275 million years ago. Trapdoor spiders then were very similar to trapdoor spiders now. A wolf spider preserved in amber from the Eocene period, 55 million years ago, is identical to the modern day species. Again, we find creatures who appear suddenly in full form and stay the same to the present. Along with the bacteria, lampshells, and marine animals, spiders vote no to evolution.

Nautilus: A genus of mollusks which has defied evolution for 270 million years. One more no vote for evolution.

Anaspides: a Segmented genus of water bugs ...etc..,"

Plus more.

http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articl...ion-169225.html

Edited by betsy
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"Professor Niles Eldridge of the Museum of Natural History also questions Darwinian evolution. In theory, natural selection produces a series of incremental changes slowly transforming one type of life into another.

The problem has always been the fossil record. Intermediate fossils are missing.

In the past, evolutionists simply dismissed the record saying it's incomplete. That, points out Eldridge, is no longer the case. "

http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articl...ion-169225.html

Edited by betsy
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"Geologists have now studied rock layers representing the last five hundred million years, and the fossils remain the same. Those long sought transitional creatures are as illusive as ever. If the fossil record is not at fault, then it must be the theory.

Anyone can draw up an evolutionary chart; anyone can claim one life form evolved from another. But such stories are not science. There is no way to test or prove it. If fossils were allowed to vote, evolution would lose. Darwin could not count on a single vote.

Question to Consider: Scientists have now examined 100,000 specimen from around the world covering fauna from the past 3,500,000,000 years. Does this fossil record demonstrate evolution, or the stability of species?"

http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articl...ion-169225.html

Edited by betsy
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So, it seems that evolution is at best punctual.

Stuart A. Kauffman’s Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion recapitulates many of the ideas about the role of emergence in biology. Kauffman is thus one of the few scientists who challenge the Neo-Darwinist consensus. Alongside Kauffman, one could also list Lynn Margulis (theories about the role of symbiosis in evolution), Stephen Jay Gould (both for punctual evolution, and for his insistence, together with Richard Lewontin, on the importance of exaptation), Susan Oyama and her colleagues (Developmental Systems Theory), Humberto Maturana and Francesco Varela (autopoiesis).

http://www.dhalgren.com/Blog/?cat=5

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Betsy

One question. When creationists talk about Darwin and evolution, why do they show things to be millions of years old? I thought the creationists think the world was made about 6000 years ago .... So even trying to disprove Darwin by showing a species has not changed in over two hundred million years, kind of goes against the believe that God made the earth about 6000 years ago.

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Betsy

One question. When creationists talk about Darwin and evolution, why do they show things to be millions of years old? I thought the creationists think the world was made about 6000 years ago .... So even trying to disprove Darwin by showing a species has not changed in over two hundred million years, kind of goes against the believe that God made the earth about 6000 years ago.

The Bible says in Genesis 1 that, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It doesn't specify how long ago that beginning was.

In Geneses 1:2 the Bible states, "the earth became without form and void." There's no indication of the time period between the creation described in verse 1 and the earth becoming chaotic in verse 2.

There's no specific time given in Genesis or anywhere in the Bible about the age of the earth or the universe.

The time of the creation of man is derived from accounting back through the genealogies described in the Bible.

Of course science has determined roughly the age of the universe, and earth.

Edited by betsy
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I'm amused that it doesn't mention (in absence of transitional creatures) that creation happenned not once, but many, many times, over billions of years and in trial-and-error sequence, each new 'creation' a bit more sophisticated than the rest... as per fossil record.

Do we rest in a mighty pile of God's mulligans?

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I'm amused that it doesn't mention (in absence of transitional creatures) that creation happenned not once, but many, many times, over billions of years and in trial-and-error sequence, each new 'creation' a bit more sophisticated than the rest... as per fossil record.

Do we rest in a mighty pile of God's mulligans?

That's an interesting theory Molly. Only trouble is you seem to forget that these incremental species, required by Darwinian evolutionists theory don't actually exists. So why would a creationist explain the non-existent?

The many creations - as you put it - are not incremental changes of the same species, but unique and independent creations. We don't know the time between creations...we don't even know whether there was any time between creations.....we're relying on science to determine the timing.

But we do know some of these creations are extinct, and some live on. Apparently, this pseudo-seal is a goner....extinct...non-existent...without fleshy form...bones...bye-bye....never to be seen again....in extinct species heaven.

Edited by betsy
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The time of the creation of man is derived from accounting back through the genealogies described in the Bible.

Yes.

If scientists would care more about their relatives than about capitalists, inhabiting the Earth today would not require literal reading of religious texts. Never forget that the word "religion" comes from religare which means "read again" and/or "what is linking people together".

Edited by benny
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