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Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

After evolution discussion came into play in a different topic, I thought perhaps it deserved its own thread so here it is. Discuss your thoughts on our existence, evolution, creation, or a different theory you hold faith in. Give your opinions on the topic and try and explain why you believe yours to be true. Provide good points for your idea, and feel free to disprove another's point. Please try to be intelligent in your posts and to the point, though so far we have not had that kind of trouble on this board.

Discuss! view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Randal, Auditor

True, we'd missed this one so far.

I take issue with the options, though. Evolution is not random. It's commonly held to work through natural selection. So whilst life may not be intelligently designed, it's not randomly put together either. It's the product of lots of trial and error. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Randal, I sort of agree with you, but saying it's 'Trial and Error' is kind of supporting Interlligent Design - "Whoops, that didn't work, let's try something else this time."

Natural Selection is a mechanism of Evolution, but species often select for or against random mutations or in response to climate and geographical changes over which they have no control (so sort of random in that case, though climatologists and geologists might argue that climatic and geographic changes occur in a pattern rather than just randomly).

Ants being trapped on a log which is randomly taken out to sea where it eventually comes to rest on an isolated island is a random event, and this isolation will most likely cause the rise of a sub species or new species altogether from those original ants.

The Hardy-Wienberg Theorem gives 5 conditions which must be met for evolutionary stasis (or Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium). Evolution usually occurs when one or more of those condiitons is not met (usually because of random, outside occurrences).

Evolution is only ever guided by an Intelligent Design (in my humble opinion) when it is guided by humans. And usually then we're more ignorant and arrogant in our actions than intelligent. I do however believe in a spiritual force driving all living things to be alive, but not in what shape they are or how they do it.

Good topic, Warrior-Poet, I could go on forever. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Harrol, Moderator

This may sound funny or like a compromise but here is what I believe. I believe the Bible therefore biblical creation. Yet creation in the Bible is very vague. Another point to note is that many times a day is a measure of time not an actual 24 hour day. The physical proof for evolution seems overwhelming, not perfect but overwhelming. I can not prove I.D. in fact it in my opinion will never be proven. In my belief God set up a eco system that could run itself. Now I can not prove that yet i believe it. God's main concern is not the physical but rather Man's heart, soul and spirit. The body merely houses my soul view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Randal, Auditor

Jamara: I disagree. Trial and error does not presuppose intelligent design. Quite simply, to me it means some species become extinct and others do not. Some mutations become dominant, others quickly disappear. Some species succeed, others fail.

You're right of course that the adaptation of species is a response to changes in environment and various other outside factors which they have no control over.

But even if it's random factors determining which environmental factors species have to handle, and which actual mutations and changes occur, it is not (usually) random which species survive and which do not. That depends on how successful their adaptations are.

So to me, trial and error presupposes a direction in evolution, which there is. Species progress towards more advanced forms, more specialised ones. But trial and error does not require agency. Merely something that decides what succeeds and what fails. And that something is the world. Some species survive in it, others do not. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: "Randal":29zh8j0l
So to me, trial and error presupposes a direction in evolution, which there is. Species progress towards more advanced forms, more specialised ones.[/quote:29zh8j0l]

Okay, in response I must first state that I am assuming that you are following Darwinian Evolution and not Lamarckian. If I am wrong in my assumption, then I don't think my argument is valid.

I'll give you 'more specialised forms', because that's what a divergent species is. A sub-species which has become specialized enough (and genetically removed enough) as to distinguished it from its parent species. But not 'more advanced forms'. Darwin was all about best suited for survival. That does not mean more advanced, just better suited for surviving in the current ecosystem. An african elephant isn't more advanced than a woolly mammoth, just better suited to survive in a non-Ice Age era (I'm just comparing two similar species, the Mammoth was actually hunted to extinction by early man).

"presupposes a direction in evolution" - that's pretty slippery language. Presupposes means to assume knowledge beforehand, i.e. designing for what will be needed. Natural Selection is just the opposite. Natural Selection is a reactionary process of a species to deal with a change. An elephant doesn't become hairy because an ice age is coming, it just happens that the more hairy elephants don't have to expend as much energy to maintain body heat as the less hairy ones, and thus they can spend more time and energy towards mating and passing on their genes and their genes eventually dominating the species. When the climate gets warmer again, those less hairy elephants will not be expending as much energy maintaining unnecessary coats of hair and thus will have more energy to devote towards mating.

Specialization of forms usually occurs when there are niches to be filled within an ecosystem. Species begin diverging usually into sub-species and then some further into new species when there are resources not being taken advantage of by another species, usually because of extinctions or migrations due to changes in the environment. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 28 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by anor277, Didact

I didn't vote because my option "6#. That the devil created us all at 2:37 am this morning with our memories intact" was not present. Of all your options, which is the only one that is testable, is falsifiable; it's also the one with all the evidence supporting it. At any rate "random evolution" is quite properly a misnomer; evolution, the change in the frequency of alleles within populations over time, is demonstrably not random, it is governed by natural selection. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I didn't vote because my option "6#. That the devil created us all at 2:37 am this morning with our memories intact" was not present. Of all your options, which is the only one that is testable, is falsifiable; it's also the one with all the evidence supporting it. At any rate "random evolution" is quite properly a misnomer; evolution, the change in the frequency of alleles within populations over time, is demonstrably not random, it is governed by natural selection.


When I said random I did not mean it in the sense that the changes are random, but more in the sense that life was not intelligently designed that it was not a planned event, that organisms by chance randomly came to exist. So forgive me if that sounded like a misnomer because it was not in any sense meant to be that. I'll change it just the same, so as not to confuse anyone.

And for kicks I'll put in your option 6. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by anor277, Didact

@WP, you're ever the diplomat. Looking back, option 6# probably falls under "other", your original 5th choice. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Randal, Auditor

Your points are quite right of course, Jamara, and do not contradict what I meant. I suppose I am merely not expressing myself clearly... I certainly did not mean to suggest anything guides evolution besides natural selection.

I do think it's quite obvious life has become much more advanced over the ages, though. A trilobyte isn't as advanced as a fish. An early mammal, like the Sabre Tooth tigre, isn't as advanced as our current tiger.

Not every new lifeform is automatically more advanced than the last, though, and primitive lifeforms do continue to enjoy success. Hmm. I suppose I should reformulate my statement. "Over time, more advanced species evolve."

Anyway, I think I can state my view simpler; In the past few billion years, an incredibly large amount of lifeforms have existed. Currently, only a percentage of those remain. The others are extinct, either because of changing circumstances or because of better adapted species that displaced them. Those species can be said to have failed at surviving, at procreating. The currently surviving species are the ones that succeeded. In general, they can be said to be better adapted to the environment and to competetion with eachother than the ones they displaced or replaced. (though probably some just got lucky, but that's not to the point)

I probably should use a different term, seeing as this one causes lots of confusion.

Edit: Warrior poet
Thanks for changing. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by anor277, Didact

Quote: "Randal":2gzlnds3
................................

Anyway, I think I can state my view simpler; In the past few billion years, an incredibly large amount of lifeforms have existed. Currently, only a percentage of those remain. The others are extinct, either because of changing circumstances or because of better adapted species that displaced them. Those species can be said to have failed at surviving, at procreating.[/quote:2gzlnds3]

I don't have any idea of how much biomass all current bacteria represents. Arguably a bacterium, reproducing by division, has never died, though it has undoubtedly changed form under evolutionary pressure. I am not so sure that we can speak of a trend towards more advanced, or even more complicated, species when the majority of life is necessarily present as unicellular organisms.
(Just on this point I remember an old joke from 1st year biology, when we were asked "what are the benefits to having a complete digestive tract, i.e. mouth and anus?" The answer, so that you can two fixations.) view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: "anor277":157khcyv

(Just on this point I remember an old joke from 1st year biology, when we were asked "what are the benefits to having a complete digestive tract, i.e. mouth and anus?" The answer, so that you can two fixations.)[/quote:157khcyv]

I thought it was so you could keep drinking your beer while breaking the seal <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

So, anyway, Randal. Now we're back on same footing. I'll agree that some organisms are more advanced now than previous, but I would argue that the only reason for this is because of great catastrophes or extreme changes. The first being when fish came onto land. This led to the rise of lifeforms which required the benefit of skin which could retain moisture, rather than just absorbing it from the water. Then there was the comet which caused the pandemic extinction of the dinosaurs. From that two other forms of life arose, both warm-blooded. Birds from dinosaurs with specialized scales to provide warmth and later flight, and the rise of mammals. Those are the only two instances of animals becoming more &quot;advanced&quot; in nature. I would argue that no mammal is more &quot;advanced&quot; than any other, merely more specialized. If you could elaborate on how a sabre-tooth tiger is more advanced than a current day tiger I would be intrigued. Sincerely. (for argument sake I am removing humans from this argument due to our rise of sentience which I would place as our third great advancement in animal life).

I will also give you that there are other &quot;advancements&quot; which have come along, but those were mostly due to fortuitous mutations, such as colour vision, though I don't see that as more advanced than a snakes ability to &quot;smell&quot; infrared. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Randal, Auditor

I wasn't claiming the sabre tooth tigre is more advanced than the modern one. I was claiming the opposite.

But you quite probably know a lot more about this subject than I, my knowledge comes from a general interest book or two I've read on the subject a years ago. I am not altogether knowledgable, not even for an amateur. So if I say something you think is wrong, it's quite likely I misunderstood something.

For example, I was under the impression that the earlier mammal species that evolved soon after the death of the dinosaurs were fairly primitive and crude, being replaced in later generations with more advanced and modern species. (but looking on the internet, it seems the sabre-tooth tigre was a bad example as it isn't anywhere near as early as I thought, some indeed living tens of millions of years ago, but others surviving until quite recently.)

Similarly, I was under the impression that the dinosaurs were more advanced than earlier species of lizard, for example having more efficient legs directly under the body and possibly being warm-blooded. Does having more efficient legs count as being more advanced? view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Harrol, Moderator

I didn't vote because my option &quot;6#. That the devil created us all at 2:37 am this morning with our memories intact&quot; was not present. Of all your options, which is the only one that is testable, is falsifiable; it's also the one with all the evidence supporting it. At any rate &quot;random evolution&quot; is quite properly a misnomer; evolution, the change in the frequency of alleles within populations over time, is demonstrably not random, it is governed by natural selection.



<!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> I think you are right with this one. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Sokar, Auditor

I'll be rather frank on this one..as my knowledge on the subject is rather limited... But none of the options seems to have an answer and they are all as narrow-minded as the other. To claim that one is defenately the reason for our being simply doesn't hold. Let me elaborate:

Most of the choices given are mere choices that come from a certain understanding. The religious upbringing will probably give you a more credible stance towards a religious choice, while little religious upbringing will make you more fond of the something scientific (or lunatic). I truly think we are merely choosing which one suits us most and does not contradict our life so far. So although my choice would lie in the last (the devil...), it is merely so because I have no religious reference in my life (neither a lunatic stance towards a second similar option of intelligent design - they are the same!).

I want to elaborate a little more on choices - as they are made out of pure necessity for explanation. Why this necessity exists is another topic, but this is the reason why we wonder which one would be correct, a certain search for truth. But I think we all agree that truth is disguised in its forms and blurred even more by our human look on things. The discourse of truth is human, it is confined to certain merits and is always present within this same network. For this reason we usually escape the understanding of things and their truths. We make choices of what to believe in other words. I am not saying that choosing is wrong and narrow-minded though. A lack of realisation that this is the case is so however.

Feel free to criticise my view, but none of the options can explain our lives, they are mere choices of life and thus 'predict' the direction our life will take. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: &quot;Randal&quot;:kfober6e
Similarly, I was under the impression that the dinosaurs were more advanced than earlier species of lizard, for example having more efficient legs directly under the body and possibly being warm-blooded. Does having more efficient legs count as being more advanced?[/quote:kfober6e]

I wouldn't say more advanced, merely better suited for competition. Having legs directly beneath them would allow them to capture prey or flee predators more readily than prior species. Thus they would survive where others were eaten or starved. Earlier species were out-competed for resources. But I wouldn't say more advanced, because two dinosaurs have survived, and nearly unchanged (relative to the millions of years that have passed), and they would be the alligator/crocodile family and the tortoise family. Both families still maintain legs to the sides rather than legs directly beneath them. But they were specialized and held advantageous characterisitcs which allowed them to survive until present day.

As far as those first mammals which thrived following the dinosaur extinction, I wouldn't say they were less advanced than current day mammals, I'd rather say they were less specialized. But evolution through specialization took a dramatic leap for them following the comet. Those rodent like early mammals were in a bottleneck effect. Basically they were few, because they could not compete as well as their dinosaur rivals, but suddenly there were very, very few dinosaurs. All those niches for resource competition opened up, and from this filling of most of the niches, specialization began to occur. Mammals no longer had to compete with dinosaurs, but rather with one another. That is when negligable differences in their genomes began to take much larger roles, and natural selection amongst mammals became more prevalent.

Now, there are certain species which have evolved into a species which we might consider more advanced (i.e. primates with colour vision), but that just makes them better competitors for resources in certain circumstances. A gorilla thrown onto the african plains would not be able to compete as well as a lion, even though the lion has no colour vision. In that case, colour vision may even be a hindrance, not an advantage. So saying a species is more advanced than its ancestors is very relative. How well would an elephant have survived during the time of the dinosaurs? They would have been a feast for the likes of raptors and T-Rex, whereas the tiny rodents of the time were easily hidden and could flee predators much more easily. In this case I'd say the rodent is best suited to survive, or advanced above the elephant. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by anor277, Didact

Quote: &quot;Sokar&quot;:2bi29j7f
I'll be rather frank on this one..as my knowledge on the subject is rather limited... But none of the options seems to have an answer and they are all as narrow-minded as the other. To claim that one is defenately the reason for our being simply doesn't hold. Let me elaborate:
[/quote:2bi29j7f]

I'll take advantage of your carte blanche to criticize, all in the nature of free, amiable discussion (and I'm probably preaching to the converted). All of the choices, as you say, are equally valid but they are not equally probable. God could have created the world; the Devil could have created us with our memories intact early yesterday morning; likewise the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and at least His epistemology copes with the tremendous scientific evidence of an old universe (i.e. FSM faked it all). But this is purely a whimsical choice. A broader scientific investigation would look to evidence that supports each choice, and of the choices enumerated there is only the one that is tenable. Evolution (i) is falsifiable (one can easily think of observations and experiments that would falsify evolution), (ii) it is a logically sound theory, effect follows cause, and (iii) all of the evidence, in its totality, points to descent with modification. And, on this basis, if it is narrow-minded to accept evolution as a fact (given no evidence whatsoever of the contrary) then I must be narrow-minded.

Most of the choices given are mere choices that come from a certain understanding. The religious upbringing will probably give you a more credible stance towards a religious choice, while little religious upbringing will make you more fond of the something scientific (or lunatic). I truly think we are merely choosing which one suits us most and does not contradict our life so far. So although my choice would lie in the last (the devil...), it is merely so because I have no religious reference in my life (neither a lunatic stance towards a second similar option of intelligent design - they are the same!).

And again, a certain understanding might be more sophisticated than another understanding. A clergyman who is also an accomplished scientist (and I saw a lecture by one last week) certainly has a more sophisticated understanding than a biblical literalist. Perhaps here I am trying to paint you into a corner by asking the reasons that inform your choice; they might be valid (i.e. you might have been raised by fundamentalist Xtians but they might also be wrong).

I want to elaborate a little more on choices - as they are made out of pure necessity for explanation. Why this necessity exists is another topic, but this is the reason why we wonder which one would be correct, a certain search for truth. But I think we all agree that truth is disguised in its forms and blurred even more by our human look on things. The discourse of truth is human, it is confined to certain merits and is always present within this same network. For this reason we usually escape the understanding of things and their truths. We make choices of what to believe in other words. I am not saying that choosing is wrong and narrow-minded though..........................

We seem to agree on the necessity for explanation. If so, then surely it must be a good explanation; again only one of the choices can fulfill that criterion. - it might be wrong but it's the best one we've got if the universe is rational. Of course there gaps in the theory, multiple controversies about mechanism, and it does not account for abiogenesis, but in the main the eivdence compels one to accept evolution. This is why so many beleive that when Darwin published his Origin of Species he rendered whole generation of philosophers obsolete. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Buckethead, Peralogue

evolution exists, but we can only follow it back so far... it doesn't necisarily explain how or why we got here. unless you consider the big bang to be part and parcell with evolution. i've always been curious, if the big bang happened... what evolved into an explosion?

but me down for none of the above, other won't work 'cause i've yet to fully believe in any of the examples.

if it doesn't involve how we got here? put me down for evolution. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

i beleive in both creationism and evolution. i beleive that god created the universe not as it is, but more like a blank canvas and let it follow the course it took. evolution is unaceeptable to me to beleive that a thousand thousand near-impossible chances in chemicals and substances created life without some help. and creationism is unacceptable to me simply because there is too much that points away from everything it is. so i choose a happy medium view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by anor277, Didact

Quote: &quot;Trutu Angotma&quot;:1kv4ugr4
................ evolution is unaceeptable to me to beleive that a thousand thousand near-impossible chances in chemicals and substances created life without some help...............[/quote:1kv4ugr4]

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. May I address one error in your contribution. Evolution has nothing to say on the 1000-1000 near impossible changes.........; that is the province of abiogenesis, a field that is understandably not very well developed. Arguments on the implausibility of life from lifeless molecules (and it is hard to quantify how likely or unlikely this process actually is) do not detract from the plausibility of evolution. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

i didnt mean evolution directly but mearly the emergment of life view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Wow! What a survey, Nine votes!! but if we extrapolated and made that say nine million votes, i think the results would be pretty valid. As for the arguements thus far presented, they are obviously all intellegent and well thought out, but all are regrettably indterminent.

Which is how it should be i suppose. I like Sokas earlier contribution attributing our arguements to life circumstances. the religious upbringing some of us have had obviously has influenced the way we think. Its a shame we dont seem to have any Bhuddist or Hindu contributors.

But what i would suggest, and i from what i can tell no one would disagree: evolution is a fact of nature. Living organisms react and adjust to thier environment.

now an environtment can be something as small as a glass of water to as massive as our universe. The Big Bang was mentioned earlier, and that obviouly had a large impact on the universal environment. What existed before the big bang? well obviously something. but im sure we will never know what.

I believe in a omnipotent creator, but im sure we will never know who. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: &quot;TheDarkness&quot;:1uj9ulzf
the religious upbringing some of us have had obviously has influenced the way we think. Its a shame we dont seem to have any Bhuddist or Hindu contributors. [/quote:1uj9ulzf]

I agree it would be nice to have a broader spectrum of religious outlooks. But just as a point of reference, I am a Pagan who was raised Methodist and later married an Irish Catholic. I definitely think that the upbringing has something to do with our outlook, but maybe not in the way that was intended. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 31 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Francis S. Collins (The Language of God), is an extremely poignant author/scientist to this thread. He was head of the Human Genome Project for a time and is also a devout Chirstian. His book basically is a commentary on how science and spirituality do not have to be duality. &quot;God is most certainly not challenged by science; He made it all possible.&quot;

My personal beliefs have led me down a path where neither my scientific mind nor my spiritual belief ever contradict each other, and often support. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 02 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Harrol, Moderator

Francis S. Collins

I do not know who this man is but my beliefs are similar to the one Jamara expressed that science and spirituality do not have to be duality. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 02 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Sokar, Auditor

I wonder if you would have said that let's say 500 years ago... Must I remind you of Galileo..?
Let's face it..when religion loses its grip it adapts itself to the new views..that must be the reason for all this plurality within Christianity..never mind other religions...
In any case..religion and science can indeed go together..there are a bunch of Vatican scholars... Yet, I doubt their function is anything else than to keep their power over the masses and in an age where we value 'technological progress', they have no other choice than to find some way for credibility in the public.
I'll give you an example..the Orthodox Greeks were protesting when the barcodes(?) came up on the packages of food and the priests were the reason.. Or the stance of the Catholics towards condoms... Yes they did their own research and found that the AIDS virus can go through the condom..but why preach the use of it being absolutely unnecessary..?

You are right of course..they don't have to be a duality..but they are! view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 08 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: &quot;Sokar&quot;:3cmvae5u
I wonder if you would have said that let's say 500 years ago... Must I remind you of Galileo..?
Let's face it..when religion loses its grip it adapts itself to the new views..that must be the reason for all this plurality within Christianity..never mind other religions...
In any case..religion and science can indeed go together..there are a bunch of Vatican scholars... Yet, I doubt their function is anything else than to keep their power over the masses and in an age where we value 'technological progress', they have no other choice than to find some way for credibility in the public.
I'll give you an example..the Orthodox Greeks were protesting when the barcodes(?) came up on the packages of food and the priests were the reason.. Or the stance of the Catholics towards condoms... Yes they did their own research and found that the AIDS virus can go through the condom..but why preach the use of it being absolutely unnecessary..?

You are right of course..they don't have to be a duality..but they are![/quote:3cmvae5u]

First let me respond to this. I never said religion. I said spirituality. I find it very hard for religions, or at least current religions, to coincide with science or embrace it. That is because religions are based on doctrines, dogma, and set beliefs which can not easily be changed (changing religious beliefs usually require many deaths). Spirituality is much different from religion. There is a classic (and if it isn't it should be) Kevin Smith qoute via Chris Rock, &quot;mankind got it all wrong by taking a good idea and building a belief structure . . . you can change and idea, it's trickier changing a belief. People die for beliefs.&quot; To me, the underlining difference between religion and spirituality is that the first relies on structured beliefs, whereas the other relies on good ideas.

Okay, back to evolution. I was just reading a site which pretty much explained why intelligent people arguing against evolution (or at least evolution as a fact) have a problem understanding just what evolution is. The site gave examples of entries in various dictionaries, including the Oxford Concise Scientific Dictionary, which would be available to the layman or non-biological scientists. The entry in the Oxford dictionary was heinous. But it got me to thinking that if opponents of evolution were using these definitions as their understanding of evolution, then that was why there was so much misunderstanding out there.

It is very hard to concisely define evolution. But here is one of the best definitions; &quot;In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.&quot;
- Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

This in essence, though there are some points which can be quibbled over, is what evolution is. It is not the &quot;advancement from lower to greater, lesser to superior&quot;, it is the heritable change in allele (one of two or more alternative forms of a gene occupying the same position on a chromosome) frequencies over several generations.

Non-biblical arguement below:
Homo sapiens were originally black. They evolved in an area of high sunlight frequency. High melatonin levels in the skin granted a natural sun-screen as well as relfected the heat of the sun rather than absorb it. As man spread throughout the world, they entered into regions of differing climates. In the northern areas, now known as Europe, the sun was less predominant. This led to two things, the first being that those individuals who spent less energy on producing melatonin could spend more energy on feeding and procreating. The other factor is that skin produces vitamin D by absorption of sunrays. Now if your skin is high in melatonin, then you are reflecting what little sunrays are reaching you and thus producing less vitamin D. With these two aspects, we see how Homo sapien caucasian evolved in Europe. The lighter skinned offspring weren't wasting energy on producing abundant amounts of melatonin (energy not wasted means less comsumption of energy [less time hunting and eating] and more time for mating; more time for mating means more expression of personal genes within a gene pool. The more offspring produced in g1 means even more secondary-offspring in g2, which means even more tertiary-offspring in g3, etc...). And, those same lighter pigmented Homo sapiens are generating more vitamin D than their darker pigmented kin (vitamin D is important in bone formation and the immunosupression system, among other things).

There existed alleles which allowed for lighter skin pigmentation, but when in african regions, these were recessive and selected against (or if they weren't, then the recessive offspring simply didn't do as well as their darker pigmented kin). But when Homo sapiens spread into less &quot;sunny&quot; regions, these recessive traits actually arose as traits which would be selected for (or at least would allow their possessors to mate with a higher frequency). And that is exactly what evolution is. It is the heritable change in allele frequency within a population over several generations.

Evolution is not becomig something better or more specialized or more advanced, it is simply the heritable change in allele (gene) frequencies within a population. view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 08 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Buckethead, Peralogue

i'm sorry jamara but as much as i agree with 90% of what you said, the other 10% of it is clearly out of line. you claim that &quot;spirituality&quot; is based on ideas not beliefs, but beliefs are simply ideas that you believe in. i &quot;believe in evolution. evolution is a &quot;belief&quot; of mine. maybe you meant to say faith? to say that science and religion can not function together, while science and spirituality can is simply ignorant. completely ignorant. as in many things, different religions, different people and different ideas all interact with the change of what is considered scienfic fact or general truth differently. many religions and millions of religious people fully embrace the idea of science. The old dogmas of organised religion do not exist in every comgregation, church, temple or religious person. more than ever new forms of organised religion that have adapted to the average persons belief of how the world works are popping up everywhere, in the name of christianity, buddhism, judaism as well as alternative or new religions. The Dalai Lama himself (as well as hundreds of other buddhist monks that i have read of) have gotten together with scientists to research the connection they share between the spiritual world and the scientific world.

i've been told of one book (i cannot remember the name of the author or title) that someone was trying to get me to read (to no success), which was written by a scientist from nasa who became christian after deciding that other than god, there could be no explanation for the complexity of existence.

one thing you HAVE to understand is that millions of christians around the world know the bible was written by humans, not god and that it is read as an ethical and religious guideline, not fact. they understand that people wrote the bible thousands of years ago and that people are fallible.

much like the radically left wing hippies you see criticized on the news, the stupid crazy stubborn right wing christians you see do not represent all christians.

if a group of people gathered to create discourse and a community based on the ideas and spiritual beliefs that you follow would you criticize them simply because they gather in a building? view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 08 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Buckethead, Peralogue

sorry jamara, upon rereading your post i found one very important line...

I find it very hard for religions, or at least current religions, to coincide with science or embrace it.


very hard... not impossible... view post


Evolution vs Creation posted 08 April 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionEvolution vs Creation by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: &quot;Buckethead&quot;:34upw6th
sorry jamara, upon rereading your post i found one very important line...
I find it very hard for religions, or at least current religions, to coincide with science or embrace it.


very hard... not impossible...[/quote:34upw6th]

Did I say impossible? No, and for a reason. Absolutes are so horrid to commit to! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


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