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Thread: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post
    I said we are close to a unified theory of physics. Once we have that we would have one set of rules governing everything from subatomic particles to supermassive black holes, every manifestation of matter and energy in the entire universe. One need not study the entire universe to completely understand how it works, any more than we would have to study each individual human body to understand human physiology. I'm not saying there aren't discoveries to be made, but they are finite, at the rate of progression, barring an existential catastrophe, it is conceivable that we will discover all that which can be discovered.
    Even though much of the universe is composed of "dark matter" and "dark energy", which we don't understand at all?
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    As anyone can verify, you don't actually show where I have made invalid assumptions in my response. Instead you have snipped my responses from their context and presented ad-hominem after ad-hominem expressing nothing but personal outrage and contempt. You have halted this discussion by failing to directly and honestly respond to my questions and statements.
    I'm not outraged and I don't feel contempt, I think you project your invalid assumptions about theists onto every post because half the stuff you said comes out of nowhere and has absolutely nothing to do with what I've posted.

    =scourge99;1059591081I don't claim to teach you anything. That is an idea you have invented and have projected onto me. If you disagree with something then you should say so and why. If you agree with something then just quote it and say "I agree".
    Yeah, the problem with this is that I've told you "I agree" several times and you continue to teach me about why atheists exist and what "maybe" means.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    MY response flows from your statements:
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99
    You are particularly enthralled with a supernatural explanation because you can use it to explain anything and everything (as opposed to unicorns, or leprechauns, or greek gods which can only be used to explain a limited amount of things by appealing to the supernatural)! God is the ultimate leprechaun/unicorn/greek_god. Its the 4000 year old "god-did-it" routine...You present the latest iteration of flawed thinking that has existed for thousands of years: "I don't know how or why X occurs but I can imagine a god-did-it therefore I believe 'God-did-it'."
    This does not represent my position. I don't just run to God to explain anything and everything. It's pretty clear to me that the only "rational" conclusion for you is that there is no God, but that way of thinking is not at all conducive to fruitful discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    This is a fair and honest question. There are quite a few people who have said that they ARE NOT all that interested in truth if it affects their happiness. Some ascribe to the saying "ignorance is bliss". I'm wondering if you are one such person.
    You asked a presumptuous question that had absolutely nothing to do with what I posted. The answer is self-evident.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    And if you didn't snip out the context of that statement which supports my claim then it would be obvious:

    When we look at the many differing supernatural claims by people we see some commonality but also a lot of differences, many of the differences are incompatible with the claims of others. What is noticeable is that there is some type of "mental phenomenon" occurring. Perhaps some people really do converse or see actual gods, demons, spirits, auras, different dimensions, etc. But if they do, they do so in situations and manners indistinguishable from imagination/fraud/mistake/delusion. The "spiritual" or "supernatural" events are entirely confined to the minds of the claimants.
    This "context" of your statement shows the exact same thing. I agree with the part you highlighted. This is not the statement I'm talking about. I addressed your conclusion that these experiences are "entirely confined to the minds of the claimants". You don't know if it's all in their minds, therefore it's illogical to present it as an absolute.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    and I explained why that was poor reasoning:

    "Many supernatural beliefs stem from the exact line of reasoning you present: I don't understand why/how X happens but I can imagine that [insert supernatural explanation] causes it. Therefore I believe [insert supernatural explanation] causes it."
    "You are demonstrating that you have a particular BIAS towards one supernatural explanation over others. Which is fine, but at least CONCEDE that other supernatural beings could exist and CONCEDE you have a bias."

    "Furthermore, there are things in this world that we may never understand or know before we die. Imagining particular solutions for these questions doesn't make them true (or reasonable to believe in)!"
    It's not about just imagining some God creating it - it's about the fact that there are patterns of cause and creation in nature that I also attribute to the beginning of the universe. You've chosen pretend that paying attention to them is "poor reasoning".

    It's pretty clear to me that there is only one conclusion that you think is based in good reasoning and that's the atheist conclusion - I'm not interested in debating someone whose already made up his mind that his idea is inherently superior to mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    1) This has EVERYTHING to do with your bias for a god. You are starting with the PREMISE that your God exists and then proclaiming that because your God created everything then nothing can exist that can break its laws therefore if leprechauns, unicorns, etc, exist then they cannot break the laws. Your whole line of thought is poisoned by that premise because you are unwilling or able to consider possibilities without that premise.
    No, I'm starting with the premise "if you create the laws, you can break them". I got this premise from observing our world. I then thought to myself, "IF a creator exists, then he can break the rules he created." I didn't start with the premise that God exists - that's literally the LAST step in my thought process.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    2) Your logic is invalid: Even if a god created everything it doesn't mean his creations are incapable of breaking the laws he created. For example a man could create a computer that can reprogram itself or a god could create or allow for the creation of a being that could break the laws.
    I haven't observed anything in nature that suggests anything can break the laws of nature and I come to my conclusions based on observations, so...

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Analogies do not an argument make. You can create analogy after analogy if you'd like but they are all trumped by a single DIRECT EXPLANATION. It is a FACT that when debaters struggle to defend their arguments then they often resort to analogies/metaphors to hide the flaws. Analogies/metaphors are excellent in that they help get a confusing or difficult point across but they are NOT a substitute for a direct explanation, which you have failed to provide. A "naked" analogy, like you have presented is a telltale sign that your argument is flawed.
    Analogies are ways of explaining arguments in more familiar terms. I already explained it directly and you continually misinterpreted, so an analogy was the last resort. Please do not project your poor interpretation skills onto my last resort use of this method.

    For more information visit:Analogy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Which god do you believe in? There are thousands of gods proposed by man. What are his/her/its characteristics, traits, properties? Why do you believe so?
    I believe in God, that one. I'm not about to explain the details to a guy who thinks believing in God is all about "poor reasoning" and who doesn't understand what an analogy is used for in a debate.
    Last edited by ThePlayDrive; 06-23-11 at 10:27 PM.

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    NGNM85;1059588324]Not really. Again, scientists tend to be very conservative in their asessments. Certainly, fundamental truths, like evolution, that consciousness exists in the brain, that gravity is a force exhibited by objects proportional to mass, these will never be disproven. Also, science, as I said before, becomes more accurate with time. Bogus theories like Phlogiston, or Phrenology could only exist because people had such a rudimentary understanding of biology and physics, at the time. This is no longer the case.
    Evolution has been proven ??? Maybe to your satisfaction, but certainly not to mine .. where is the missing link ? Did evolution stop after man started walking upright ?

    The standard response to that is evolution took a million years ..or whatever time frame you choose to use..... but why don't find or a stage of evolution that took place 50 years later, 100 years later, 150 years later .. so either man evolved .. started breeding .. and evolution stopped … or you can go to the apes … but the same process holds true there .. where are the half man half apes .. ?? Did we have evolution before the ice age ? Or did it begin only after it ? If so why ?



    We are running out of frontiers. Like I said, we're closing in on a unified theory of physics, after that point, physics will, essentially, cease to exist as a discipline. There will be nothing more to know. The human body, likewise, has very few secrets left. etc., etc. The expanse of virgin territory is rapidly dwindling.
    Out of frontiers that we now know of perhaps....



    By measuring increased bloodflow and activity in the brain, as well as measuring hormones and neurotransmitters in the blood, we can fairly accurately identify the phenomena we know as 'love.' This has been borne out by medical studies. So, yes, with a team of qualified doctors, an fMRI machine, and some blood tests, I could definitively prove to you that I was in love.

    I see no legal, or rational basis for comelling people to submit to said tests as a prerequisite for a marriage license.
    I'm sorry … you might be able to prove something … perhaps lust … but until I see a scientist write a paper .. and him backing with his job that he can “prove” love .. I personally think you are blowing smoke up someones back side.



    In no other sphere of conversation are we under any obligation to respect eachothers' views. People engage in raucous debate over everything from politics to sports. The idea that I should sit idly mute while some true believer makes extreme claims about the nature of the universe without any evidence, whatsoever, is ridiculous. To paraphrase Carl Sagan; extreme claims require extreme evidence. If you're going to assert that the scripture is, at least to a great extent literally true, you are going to have to be ready to meet the burden of proof for that assertion.
    Gee I'm sorry... I thought we lived in a free country, with the freedom of religion, so in your self esteemed mind, those that believe should be ridiculed and silenced ? Simply because you believe them to be wrong?

    You have the right to believe whatever kind of nonsense you want to believe. However, I'm under no obligation, whatsoever, to respect that any more than I'm obligated to respect Young Earth Creationism, Holocaust Denialism, or Neo-Nazism. My biggest complaint is not simply the irrationality of religion, that's just irritating, but, rather, the horrible social problems that go along with it.
    Lets see .. most religions teach to be a good person, to not steal, not kill, love your neighbor and many other socially redeeming qualities .. I can see where you might find that offensive .. I just don't happen too . Does that mean all that believe are good people .. . of course not .. just as those that don't believe are "not" all good or bad people.

    Now you can have the last word because I'm, quite frankly not going to waste anymore time with you .. We will never agree .. Mine is a belief in something, it's not based on anything scientific .. and to put this as bluntly as you prefer .. I really don't give a flying f**k what you think or think you know .. .
    Last edited by The Barbarian; 06-23-11 at 10:58 PM.

  4. #114
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Even though much of the universe is composed of "dark matter" and "dark energy", which we don't understand at all?
    There are some compelling theories. Dark matter is likely just a kind of exotic matter that only interacts with other matter via gravity and the strong nuclear force, there are likely candidates such as WIMPS. It is totally conceivable that the LHC will allow us to analyze and understand these exotic particles, in which case we will know everything about them that there is to know.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Evolution has been proven ??? Maybe to your satisfaction, but certainly not to mine .. where is the missing link ? Did evolution stop after man started walking upright ?

    The standard response to that is evolution took a million years ..or whatever time frame you choose to use..... but why don't find or a stage of evolution that took place 50 years later, 100 years later, 150 years later .. so either man evolved .. started breeding .. and evolution stopped … or you can go to the apes … but the same process holds true there .. where are the half man half apes .. ?? Did we have evolution before the ice age ? Or did it begin only after it ? If so why ?
    I started trying to respond to this point-by-point, however, again, the problem, here is that you really don't have a firm grasp on evolution, as a concept. I would recommend you read the Wikipedia article for a basic introduction, if you want something more comprehensive, I highly recommend Richard Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth. However, I assure you, the theory of evolution is as sound as the theory of gravity.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Out of frontiers that we now know of perhaps....
    Well, what other frontiers are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    I'm sorry … you might be able to prove something … perhaps lust … but until I see a scientist write a paper .. and him backing with his job that he can “prove” love .. I personally think you are blowing smoke up someones back side.
    Within a reasonable margin of error. One would check the blood for elevated levels of hormones like oxytocin, the so-called 'cuddle hormone', and vasopressin. One would also expect to find elevated levels of key neurotransmitters, such as seratonin, dopamine, and adrenaline. One the brain scans one would be looking for increased bloodflow and electrical activity. The presence of all of this would be fairly definitive. A Google search will reveal a number of studies along these lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Gee I'm sorry... I thought we lived in a free country, with the freedom of religion, so in your self esteemed mind, those that believe should be ridiculed and silenced ? Simply because you believe them to be wrong?
    Rideculed, but not silenced. Free speech applies to everyone, therefore, if you spout your ideas in a public forum, you can expect to get a response. Specifically; if you're going to make extreme claims about the origins of the universe, or magic essences, etc., you are going to be expected to meet a burden of proof, which is where religion fails miserably, because these assertions cannot withstand even a cursory analysis. I am a militant, unapologetic cheerleader for free speech, which means I support it for views I find, personally, repellent. Neo-Nazis, Young-Earth Creationists, and Evangelical Christians should all have the right to spew their respective brands of nonsense, just as I have the right to point out how backwards and crazy their ideas are.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Lets see .. most religions teach to be a good person, to not steal, not kill, love your neighbor and many other socially redeeming qualities .. I can see where you might find that offensive .. I just don't happen too . Does that mean all that believe are good people .. . of course not .. just as those that don't believe are "not" all good or bad people.
    They also teach a lot of socially destructive things, like killing homosexuals, apostates, heretics, disobediant children, etc. There are bad religious people, there are bad people who are atheists, etc., etc. However, history is essentially entirely devoid of atheist violence. There have been violent atheists, but atheism is in no way responsible, it doesn't have any tenets, it is not an ethos. Alternately, if we flip open a Bible, or the Koran, we can find hundreds of very explicit exhortations to commit acts of violence. As a result of these beliefs, we are presently faced with a multitude of social problems. It's the reason why homosexuals are denied equal rights, and are, occasionally, dragged to death behind pickup trucks. It's the reason why women's reproductive rights are constantly under siege, and abortion clinics have to have bulletproof windows. It's the reason why Catholic missionaries are going into the most AIDS-ravaged sections of Africa and pursuading villagers who don't even have the benefit of a Junior-High-School education on what virus are, etc. that they must not use condoms, which, according to the church, are worse than AIDS. It's the reason why Uganda is very close to making homosexuality a capital crime. In the Middle East, it's even worse. These are specifically religious manifestations of violence and cruelty, whereas none of the so-called 'positive' aspects of religion are explicitly religious, in nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Now you can have the last word because I'm, quite frankly not going to waste anymore time with you .. We will never agree .. Mine is a belief in something, it's not based on anything scientific .. and to put this as bluntly as you prefer .. I really don't give a flying f**k what you think or think you know .. .
    Again to say that anything is true, that it, in any way, accurately reflects the world, is a scientific claim. Your profession that the universe was created by an omnipotent diety is a scientific claim, it's just a bogus one.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post
    There are some compelling theories. Dark matter is likely just a kind of exotic matter that only interacts with other matter via gravity and the strong nuclear force, there are likely candidates such as WIMPS. It is totally conceivable that the LHC will allow us to analyze and understand these exotic particles, in which case we will know everything about them that there is to know.
    Yes, until the next unknown is noticed.

    The more we learn, the more we realize we don't know.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Evolution has been proven ???
    Why, yes, many times over. Why do you ask?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Maybe to your satisfaction,
    and to that of anyone who understands the process and knows what constitutes a scientific theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    but certainly not to mine ..
    That's because you don't fit into the groups I described above.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    where is the missing link ?
    genus Astralopithecus > genus homo, which evolved into homo erectus, homo neanderthalensis, and homo sapiens, among others. The fossil record is pretty complete.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Did evolution stop after man started walking upright ?
    Oh, no. Evolution is still gong on as a matter of fact. What makes you think it has stopped? And, BTW, manlike creatures started walking upright before humans evolved big brains. Walking upright, interestingly enough, was important to the development of brains capable of rational thought, of toolmaking, of advanced language, and other hallmarks of modern humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    The standard response to that is evolution took a million years
    No, actually, it took many millions of years just for the genus homo do evolve into modern humans. It took about sixty million years for the age of mammals to develop to the point it has today.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    or whatever time frame you choose to use..... but why don't find or a stage of evolution that took place 50 years later, 100 years later, 150 years later .. so either man evolved .. started breeding .. and evolution stopped … or you can go to the apes … but the same process holds true there .. where are the half man half apes .. ?? Did we have evolution before the ice age ? Or did it begin only after it ? If so why ?
    Half man, half apes? Evolution over 50 years? Evolution stopped? Which ice age?

    No, really. The reason you are trying to dispute evolution is that you simply don't understand it. Now, I'm not trying to put you down, you understand. I'm the first one to admit, for example, that I simply do not understand the big bang theory. That doesn't make it wrong, however. In a similar way, you not understanding evolution does not make that wrong either.

    Oh, yes, and evolution and atheism? Two very different things. Science can not prove or disprove the existence of god. There really is no conflict, and no requirement that understanding evolution has to lead to atheism.

    And, I'm not an evolutionary scientist, simply an interested layman who reads what science is telling us.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Yes, until the next unknown is noticed.

    The more we learn, the more we realize we don't know.
    The amount of unknowns is finite, and shrinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I'm the first one to admit, for example, that I simply do not understand the big bang theory.
    What exactly is it that you are having trouble understanding? Perhaps I may be of assistance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Oh, yes, and evolution and atheism? Two very different things. Science can not prove or disprove the existence of god. There really is no conflict, and no requirement that understanding evolution has to lead to atheism.
    The existence of god could, theoretically, be scientifically determined, just not today. However, even if we did disprove the existence of good, I suspect it would make no difference to the devout.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Why, yes, many times over. Why do you ask?


    and to that of anyone who understands the process and knows what constitutes a scientific theory.



    That's because you don't fit into the groups I described above.



    genus Astralopithecus > genus homo, which evolved into homo erectus, homo neanderthalensis, and homo sapiens, among others. The fossil record is pretty complete.




    Oh, no. Evolution is still gong on as a matter of fact. What makes you think it has stopped? And, BTW, manlike creatures started walking upright before humans evolved big brains. Walking upright, interestingly enough, was important to the development of brains capable of rational thought, of toolmaking, of advanced language, and other hallmarks of modern humans.



    No, actually, it took many millions of years just for the genus homo do evolve into modern humans. It took about sixty million years for the age of mammals to develop to the point it has today.



    Half man, half apes? Evolution over 50 years? Evolution stopped? Which ice age?

    No, really. The reason you are trying to dispute evolution is that you simply don't understand it. Now, I'm not trying to put you down, you understand. I'm the first one to admit, for example, that I simply do not understand the big bang theory. That doesn't make it wrong, however. In a similar way, you not understanding evolution does not make that wrong either.

    Oh, yes, and evolution and atheism? Two very different things. Science can not prove or disprove the existence of god. There really is no conflict, and no requirement that understanding evolution has to lead to atheism.

    And, I'm not an evolutionary scientist, simply an interested layman who reads what science is telling us.

    Okay .. you seem like someone I can at least ask questions of ..

    So you believe in evolution … . the point I was trying to make .. and apparently failed … is why don't we continue to see forms of evolution from where ever it is that it's claimed we evolved from. What I'm asking .. is once the big brained human formed .. was it just a one shot deal … or did more form 100 … 500 .. 1000 years later .. and why isn't it a continuous cycle.

    I'm not taking your post as putting me down .. and your right .. I don't understand evolution because to my simple mind .. it doesn't make sense I look at evolution as a process so why isn't that process repeating it's self ???

    I'm not sure you understand what I'm saying . And perhaps I'm using the wrong time frame .. so lets take your genus Astralopithecus example a quick look up . puts that back 4 million years ago .. .so why haven't we found and example of it that is 3 million years old .. then another that is 2 million years old .. yet another that is 1 million years old . Or did the evolution just stop with the appearance of genus Astralopithecus ? If not why didn't something continue to evolve into genus Astralopithecus ??

    I'm not a religious nut case .. and I question a lot of things .. usually when someone who believes starts pressing me on my believes or the bible .. I have question for them as well . Not because I think they are wrong . . just because I like to question things I don't understand, and when pressed I will freely admit that I don't understand all that is in .. or isn't in the bible, as well.

    and to that of anyone who understands the process and knows what constitutes a scientific theory.
    just a note on this .. why is it called a theory .. rather then a scientific fact ??

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Hey Barbarian.

    Evolution is constantly continuing. This is why it's hard to answer the question "why are there not transitional fossils?" Because everything is transitional. There's never a "finished product," so to speak. There's just many stages between here, and the beginning of life.

    Evolution (at least, significant evolution) takes place over a much larger timespan than a human life span, or even a thousand years. Every time an organism reproduces, the DNA of the off-spring has a couple of mutations. These are random "shake-ups" of the genetic code. I can give you a very obvious one in myself - I have no wisdom teeth. I've had my whole head X-rayed, and they just aren't there. I also have a "flaw" in this mutation, because I'm missing one of my 12-year molars as well.

    The DNA mutations are completely random. But whether or not the organism survives indicates whether the mutation will be passed on. Mutations that help survival get passed on more, because the organism lives longer and is more likely to reproduce. So, evolution is "random," but the success of certain traits is not.

    The DNA sequence as a whole is enormous - there are tens of thousands of genes. With only a few mutations in each organism, you can see why evolution is so slow.

    Evolution can also takes forms that are hard to see. This is especially common in humans. After all, our best adaptive trait is out brains. For example, the fastest and most obvious example we experience is our increase in intelligence. This is physically completely invisible, but IQ tests have to be re-calibrated every 10 or 20 years to account for a 3-point increase in average IQ.

    Hope this makes at least a little sense.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 06-24-11 at 04:30 AM.

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