View Poll Results: Does evolution happen

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  • Evolution happens, and it is random

    65 71.43%
  • Evolution happens and is guided by a higher power

    10 10.99%
  • There is not enough information to know for sure

    7 7.69%
  • No, evolutuon does not happen

    5 5.49%
  • I don't know

    4 4.40%
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Thread: Evolution

  1. #161
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    [I]If it is pointlessly impossible, then why have I experienced the athiest's persistent ridicule of the religious?
    If you experience ridicule after comments like that one, it is because you don't have a basic understanding of the theory you seek to question the legitimacy of. Evolution is not likely to be something you will ever see "at work" yourself because it takes far more than a single human life-span for it to work. It's like saying "I'd like to see planetary formation at work, myself." It is a pointlessly impossible and uninformed request.

    If the religious are so irrational, then what explanation do athiests and evolutionists have for the beginning of life?
    Why do you seem to think that an explanation for the beginning of life would be needed in order to maintain rationality. Just because an explanation exists does not mean it is a rational one. In fact, irrational explanations are quite common.

    When the actual answer to the question is unknown, the most rational response is "I don't know".

    If I must explain it simpler: if God did not create life, what did?
    I have two issues with this question.

    One: You are asking a loaded question. The word "create" requires a will in order to occur. To rephrase the question so that it is not loaded, you can ask something like "if God did not create life, how did life come to exist?"

    Two: The second issue I have with the question is it's lack of relevance. A lack of alternative theories to explain a phenomenon doesn't lend credibility to a false explanation, nor does an abundance of alternative explanations remove credibility from a true explanation. The question you ask is a pointless one because even if the answer is "I don't know" It won't make the God explanation any more true or false, nor will it make it any more or less rational.

    This kind of question is also commonly used to set up an argument from incredulity fallacy as well

    If evolutionists do not demand that abiogenesis is the beginning of life, then what is? God?
    The best thing about having a belief system where one does not have a creation necessity (i.e. one does not have to believe that there must be a creator for all things) is that one does not have to fall prey to the circular logic inherent in the question of "what created the creator". The answer given to that question is invariably "The creator has always existed", which is circular when one has the starting premise of "everything that exists must be created".

    When someone doesn't have that premise, though, it is possible to say "it has always existed" without falling prey to circular logic. I believe that ecofarm gave a perfect example of this kind of theory earlier in this thread (although it may have been a different one). Life on earth may have come from somewhere else, but life in the universe might have been here for as long as the universe has been here. Just because a lot of one group may believe a certain thing doesn't mean that the group demands it.

    Perhaps instead of snideness, you could offer something more... substantial, perhaps, in relation to the start of life?
    The most rational answer to the origin of life question is "I don't know. I don't even know if it actually has an origin, in truth. Who knows how life on Earth got here. We do know that it's diversity on Earth can be explained by evolution, though."

    Otherwise, I'd be left to think that both the religious and the athiests are, well, bound to nothing but beliefs.

    What's wrong with that?

  2. #162
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    If it is pointlessly impossible, then why have I experienced the athiest's persistent ridicule of the religious? If the religious are so irrational, then what explanation do athiests and evolutionists have for the beginning of life? If I must explain it simpler: if God did not create life, what did?

    If evolutionists do not demand that abiogenesis is the beginning of life, then what is? God?

    Perhaps instead of snideness, you could offer something more... substantial, perhaps, in relation to the start of life? Otherwise, I'd be left to think that both the religious and the athiests are, well, bound to nothing but beliefs.
    There is nothing wrong with saying "We do not know" - in fact just the opposite, there is everything right in saying this.

    There are hypothesis, but to be able to test them is nearly impossible - especially when trying to say a particular hypothesis IS how life came about on earth. Even if we did somehow make life in a test tube at best all that would show is that it is possible to create life (or even more simplified and baby steps substitute self replicating molecules for life), this still would not be a definitive answer to whether or not it was how life came about here to begin with.

    So no there is nothing to offer regarding how life started, and your request for something more is impossible to fulfill (without inserting a "belief"). At best all that can be done is to postulate "this is how life MAY have started". It is folly, and thoroughly anathema to the scientific method to insert an answer that is not tested or testable and say "this is how it came about" The answer is "WE DO NOT KNOW" and this is the ONLY acceptable and proper scientific answer.

    In response to your last statement..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Otherwise, I'd be left to think that both the religious and the athiests are, well, bound to nothing but beliefs.
    It is not a religious versus atheist thing, it is religion versus science here, and science is NOT synonymous with "atheist". So lets change this to "Otherwise, I'd be left to think that both the religious and [science is], well, bound to nothing but beliefs.

    So let me see if I get this right.. you ask a question where ANY answer trying to say this is how life came about would be inserting <unsubstantiated> beliefs, yet the answers that would not be "bound to nothing but beliefs" ("I do not know" or "I cannot answer") - are what would leave you to think that it is "bound to nothing but beliefs"? You have this entire thing set up bassackwards.

    Not having an answer when there is none, and admitting so instead of trying to force an answer does not put one on the same "belief" field as inserting an answer. Your statement and your "warning" is ridiculous, no matter what is or is not provided you would think the same (erroneous or not) - you have your conclusion already made.. regardless of any answer or a non answer given I am fairly confident that you would view it as support of your preconceived notion anyhow.
    Last edited by marduc; 08-22-11 at 10:22 PM.
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  3. #163
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    I would like to see examples of evolution at work.

    Apropos, I would like to see abiogenesis in this discussion, seeing as evolutionists seem to demand it is the beginning of life.
    You've had examples of evolution explained to you a dozen times in other threads. Don't pull the same time wasting crap here again.

    Also... Volcanic lightning may have sparked life on Earth - environment - 16 October 2008 - New Scientist << A few year old article in which scientists actually abiogenesis'ed. It's not theoretical. We can actually do it.
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  4. #164
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    You've had examples of evolution explained to you a dozen times in other threads. Don't pull the same time wasting crap here again.

    Also... Volcanic lightning may have sparked life on Earth - environment - 16 October 2008 - New Scientist << A few year old article in which scientists actually abiogenesis'ed. It's not theoretical. We can actually do it.
    I am not sure how abiogenesis is being defined here, but my understanding was that life would be derived from inorganic materials. Under this definition, the experimental results described in your article do not suffice. They are a step in showing the possibility of abiogenesis, but they do not by themselves demonstrate it.
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  5. #165
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    You've had examples of evolution explained to you a dozen times in other threads. Don't pull the same time wasting crap here again.

    Also... Volcanic lightning may have sparked life on Earth - environment - 16 October 2008 - New Scientist << A few year old article in which scientists actually abiogenesis'ed. It's not theoretical. We can actually do it.
    The thing that I am most impressed with is the phenomenal photo of the lightning around the volcano!! I try to imagine myself as an ignorant tribesman, and the explanations I might come up with for such a sight!
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  6. #166
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    I am not sure how abiogenesis is being defined here, but my understanding was that life would be derived from inorganic materials. Under this definition, the experimental results described in your article do not suffice. They are a step in showing the possibility of abiogenesis, but they do not by themselves demonstrate it.
    They produced amino acids from inorganic material. Amino acids then combine to form RNA. That doesn't just happen in this experiment. It happens all the time, without any additional input from an outside source. They left out explaining the second part because it's supposed to be obvious.

    Besides, even if the results of their experiment did not produce complete organic life forms, it shows that it is clearly possible to do so. The only difficulty is in finding the correct conditions. But over a billions years of history on this planet, clearly those conditions occurred. This is more evidence than any proponent of intelligent design has ever had to offer.
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  7. #167
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    They produced amino acids from inorganic material. Amino acids then combine to form RNA. That doesn't just happen in this experiment. It happens all the time, without any additional input from an outside source. They left out explaining the second part because it's supposed to be obvious.
    Amino acids do not generally simply combine to form RNA. Also, if RNA did form, there would still be the problem of self replication and metabolism. This experiment only showed the first step, and next steps are not a given. They must be shown before we can declare abiogenesis is supportable, and then we must show that the conditions for it did in fact exist on Earth. At that point, I will consider terrestrial abiogenesis adequately supported to be accepted. I will be fascinated, but not surprised, if and when this happens.
    Besides, even if the results of their experiment did not produce complete organic life forms, it shows that it is clearly possible to do so. The only difficulty is in finding the correct conditions. But over a billions years of history on this planet, clearly those conditions occurred. This is more evidence than any proponent of intelligent design has ever had to offer.
    It is definitely support for abiogenesis, and it is definitely more support than ID has, which is not hard. Because ID has nil.
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  8. #168
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Amino acids do not generally simply combine to form RNA. Also, if RNA did form, there would still be the problem of self replication and metabolism. This experiment only showed the first step, and next steps are not a given. They must be shown before we can declare abiogenesis is supportable, and then we must show that the conditions for it did in fact exist on Earth. At that point, I will consider terrestrial abiogenesis adequately supported to be accepted. I will be fascinated, but not surprised, if and when this happens.
    It is possible that I got a little over-excited about the results of this experiment. But I think it holds great promise. It may not demand that life emerged this way, but it certainly leads us in that direction. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what happens next!
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  9. #169
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    It is possible that I got a little over-excited about the results of this experiment. But I think it holds great promise. It may not demand that life emerged this way, but it certainly leads us in that direction. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what happens next!
    In related news today, they discovered what they think (some are convinced) are 3.4 billion year old fossilized bacteria. It would have eaten sulfur, if it is really bacteria, due to the composition of their environment as extrapolated from the medium in which they were found. I do think this kind of finding helps to point the way to thinking about conditions when life would have emerged. Most broadly, if this can be confirmed, we would know that life didn't emerge in any of the conditions present later than 3.4 billion years ago. I believe it does also perhaps dovetail nicely with the notion that life might have begun near volcanoes.

    Another musing I have about the fitness of bacteria for survival. We humans would not likely survive, let alone evolve out of such conditions. The capacity bacteria have for adaptation through mutation is astounding, and this has been demonstrated conclusively. I think we can infer, therefore, that once bacteria is present on a planet, it would have the capacity to hang in there, even under hostilely changing conditions. Just give it a moment of geological time, and it will find a way.

    Complex species, by contrast, are rather delicate. Change conditions too quickly and they seem to collapse under the stress. We also don't seem to find complex organisms in the most hostile environments here on earth. But, bacteria? They reproduce merrily along.

    Just my impressions.
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  10. #170
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Evolution is NOT directed.
    Your definition of directed is suspect.

    There is no one directing it and the processes do not arise in response to direction. A mutation arises randomly. Whether the mutation is beneficial, neutral or harmful is often times dependent on the environment.
    You just contradicted yourself. You first say it's not directed, and then you said that the method for evolution is dependent on the environment. The environment is directing the selection for and against genes. Therefore, evolution is directed. Your problem is that your definition requires some form of intelligence you recognize. There is absolutely no logical reason why that must be the only form of direction.

    For instance, if an individual develops a specific mutation near the EPAS1 gene then they'll be better able to regulate the hemoglobin in their blood while in low oxygen environments. If the mutation arises in a person living in a low altitude area, then the environment will not select for the mutation, however if the person lives in a high altitude area then the mutation will be selected. The environment in which the mutation arises is a random process. It is not directed.
    Do you even read what you posted? You again claim it's all random....and then say that the environment is directing the selection for and against genes.

    You really should refrain from allowing intuition to guide your thinking on technical issues.

    You should really refrain from insulting people when you just proved their arguments.

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