the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

Evolution vs Creation posted 28 Mar 2007, 19:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 20:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 20:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 20:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 22:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 23:03 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


posted 28 Mar 2007, 23:03 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 00:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

[quote:2xjqjhre]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.[/quote:2xjqjhre] 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 00:03 by anor277, Didact

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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 00:03 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 00:03 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 [i:2gzlnds3]never[/i:2gzlnds3] 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 01:03 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 :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 "advanced" in nature. I would argue that no mammal is more "advanced" 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 "advancements" 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 "smell" infrared. view post


posted 29 Mar 2007, 09:03 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 13:03 by Harrol, Moderator

[quote:25q748m8]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.[/quote:25q748m8] :twisted: I think you are right with this one. view post


posted 29 Mar 2007, 14:03 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 [i:1xod9vkz] choosing [/i:1xod9vkz] 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 [i:1xod9vkz] choosing [/i:1xod9vkz] 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


posted 29 Mar 2007, 21:03 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="Randal":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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 00:03 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Sokar":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 [i:2bi29j7f]carte blanche[/i:2bi29j7f] 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. [quote:2bi29j7f] 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 [i:2bi29j7f] choosing [/i:2bi29j7f] 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!). [/quote:2bi29j7f] 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). [quote:2bi29j7f] 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 [i:2bi29j7f] choosing [/i:2bi29j7f] is wrong and narrow-minded though..........................[/quote:2bi29j7f] 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 [i:2bi29j7f]Origin of Species[/i:2bi29j7f] he rendered whole generation of philosophers obsolete. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 00:03 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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 03:03 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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 06:03 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Trutu Angotma":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 [i:1kv4ugr4]1000-1000 near impossible changes.........[/i:1kv4ugr4]; that is the province of [i:1kv4ugr4]abiogenesis[/i:1kv4ugr4], 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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 12:03 by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 20:03 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


posted 30 Mar 2007, 22:03 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="TheDarkness":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


posted 31 Mar 2007, 03:03 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. "God is most certainly not challenged by science; He made it all possible." 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


posted 02 Apr 2007, 13:04 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


posted 02 Apr 2007, 13:04 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


posted 08 Apr 2007, 01:04 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="Sokar":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, "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." 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; "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." - 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 "advancement from lower to greater, lesser to superior", 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 "sunny" 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


posted 08 Apr 2007, 02:04 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 "spirituality" is based on ideas not beliefs, but beliefs are simply ideas that you believe in. i "believe in evolution. evolution is a "belief" 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


posted 08 Apr 2007, 03:04 by Buckethead, Peralogue

sorry jamara, upon rereading your post i found one very important line... [quote:2d9zalyn]I find it very hard for religions, or at least current religions, to coincide with science or embrace it.[/quote:2d9zalyn] very hard... not impossible... view post


posted 08 Apr 2007, 04:04 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="Buckethead":34upw6th]sorry jamara, upon rereading your post i found one very important line... [quote:34upw6th]I find it very hard for religions, or at least current religions, to coincide with science or embrace it.[/quote:34upw6th] very hard... not impossible...[/quote:34upw6th] Did I say impossible? No, and for a reason. Absolutes are so horrid to commit to! :wink: view post


posted 21 Apr 2007, 05:04 by Jamara, Auditor

Buckethead, good post. It took me several read throughs. And yes, I must admit that I was basing Christian followers off of people who take the bible literally. Perhaps I have just been exposed to too many devouts, born-agains, and those who just never question. I am glad to here that the majority realize it is a book written by men. [quote="Buckethead":cbd7e3px]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?[/quote:cbd7e3px] Yes. First off, they gathered in a building. Secondly, if one or two came to me for a discourse, sure. If a group came to me for a discourse, sure. But to build a community based on my spirituality, hell no. They are my opinions and my opinions alone (though if others already share those opinions, so be it). I don't expect anyone else to share them or even understand them. They are good enough for me and that's all I need. I'd tell them to find and formulate their own spirituality. That's much better than sharing a single set of ideas. Making people think for themselves is much better than allowing everyone to believe the same thing. view post


posted 26 Apr 2007, 16:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Unfortunately I haven't been around much the last few weeks and so missed this thread. Too bad because I am a graduate student doing work in Molecular Evolution so it is sort of my field. I tend to keep up with these matters quite dedicatedly. view post


Of Heaven and Hell posted 12 May 2007, 19:05 by Aerek urs Sjaarda, Commoner

I'm not replying to anyone in this, but I do wish to discuss my views on the subject. I believe in the creation described in the Bible. We are not here as the result of a cosmic mistake or series of chances. Do you not find it interesting that in the whole known universe life has not been found elsewhere? Do you not find it interesting that humans are born with emotion, morality and the capacity for guilt? Other intelligent beings, like animals can only mimic behaviours to get what they want, but it certainly is not emotion. I believe in the Bible, and the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and rose to life in the power of God. If you don't believe that, you are most certainly going to a very real place called Hell. There's more to life than action and re-action, cause and effect, and chemical motions. There is purpose. There is hope. There is life beyond death. If you have questions, feel free to email me at the_whitetornado@hotmail.com, along with your own views on life and death. view post


posted 13 May 2007, 05:05 by Jamara, Auditor

The only response I will make to the former post is that I dispute his/her view on the emotions of animals. When I am sad or depressed, my dog understands and tries to cheer me up. There is no immediate gain for him other than making me happy. There is a recognition of emotion. He can interpret my emotions and try to alter them. If that isn't empathy, its at least sympathy. And most dog owners can testify that their dogs feel emotional stress. Be it when someone new moves into their environment, such as a baby or a new family member, but they also suffer abandonment issues. I just can not agree with the statement that dogs do not have real emotions. view post


posted 13 May 2007, 11:05 by Randal, Auditor

Yes. I find it completely and utterly unbelievable how people can hold the view that animals have no feelings or emotions. Have these people ever had a pet? My grandmother is one such. She just can't get out of the mindset "animals are dirty and icky and inferior." Just how is it that my cat can show jealousy, bear grudges, behave guiltily, or peevishly? Mimicking? Pah. I've known the beast for eight years now. view post


Off Topic?? posted 13 May 2007, 16:05 by Aerek urs Sjaarda, Commoner

My sincerest apologies to you animal enthusiasts out there. I have had pets all my life and I love them myself. From what I see, animals do things out of instinct, not out of any logical thinking process. Perhaps they do have emotions, but they definitely do not have a soul. However, they point I was trying to express was not about animals, but about human beings and what happens after death. view post


posted 13 May 2007, 19:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

must all of the options be mutually exclusive? granted that by definition, some of the choices given must exclude the possibility of the others. but not all, right? view post


posted 13 May 2007, 22:05 by Randal, Auditor

It's not about loving animals here. It's about depicting them as something they evidently are not. As for logic... that wasn't being argued about. Nobody said animals apply logic. (though it has been shown in more advanced animals. If they use a stick to hit a tree so a piece of fruit drops... that shows they have some knowledge of causality) We were talking about emotions. Emotions do not require a human thinking process. As for your main point... it's not one that lends itself to a response. I can but shrug. Snapdragon: what options do you mean? Evolution and creation are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can very well believe there's a god or flying spaghetti monster or alien prankster who created the universe in which life then evolved. (according to a divine plan, if you want.) There's plenty people who believe this, including many christians including the last pope. (not too sure about the current one) That's why there's the "evolution + creation" option in the poll. Or do you refer to other mutually exclusive options? Which? view post


posted 13 May 2007, 23:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

i meant all of the options, Randal: Creation as described in Bible Evolution Alternate Intelligent-Design Intelligent Design together with Evolution Other (State and Explain) the devil created us all at 2:37 this morning with our memories intact any combination of these things together is plausible, correct? must there be only one way? when your pants rip, you can sew the edges back together, use some sort of bonding agent, staple them (for those of you here in the south), adhere the errant rift via an artificial patch, or any combination of any number of other options. further, you can create a sheep by putting two mutually consenting sheep of legal age in a pen, putting on some lou rawls or marvin gaye, turning down the lights for a soft glow, a little wine, and...well, i don't have to tell you of all people what comes next. oooooorrrrrrrrrr, you can go into the lab with the genius team to do some cloning! not nearly as much fun for the sheep, but not quite as sticky, either. next, shall we talk about viruses? so, to rip off film's favorite chaotician, "life finds a way." you may have been created this morning, springing forth fully formed and programmed, but will you be the same tonight as you were at 2:37 am? view post


posted 14 May 2007, 00:05 by Randal, Auditor

A bit difficult to combine them all. If the bible is true, then "alternate intelligent design" isn't. If you interpret it literally, evolution and ID plus evolution are out. Whether one of the other combinations is plausible... well, it depends what you consider plausible. I certainly see no reason to assume that some life evolved naturally, some of it was made by an alien with a hangover, and some of it was created by god as the bible states. (though the alien with the hangover would explain the platypus) view post


posted 14 May 2007, 01:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

[quote="Randal":3izl0hcn] Whether one of the other combinations is plausible... well, it depends what you consider plausible. I certainly see no reason to assume that some life evolved naturally, some of it was made by an alien with a hangover, and some of it was created by god as the bible states. (though the alien with the hangover would explain the platypus)[/quote:3izl0hcn] yes, sir, you got my point. different things, different organisms, different processes, different species can be affected by combinations, yeah? not combine them all at once, but allow for the possibility of several types of combinations, especially given the complexity and diversity of "stuff." take a look at mixed media works: a little decoupage, a little oil pastel, some assemblage elements, and a charcoal drawing or two. each item was "created" differently but still work together as a unit. better yet, think of free radicals and apoptosis. while i have heard it said that it would be folly to think that everything must follow the same rule, i reckon it would be even more ridiculous to assume that we have had adequate time to figure out what are all of those rules. most important to ask the questions, though, right? view post


posted 14 May 2007, 01:05 by Quinthane, Candidate

"Rules? Hell, there are no rules here. We're trying to accomplish something."--Thomas Edison (Made playing scrabble with him a pain in the butt) but it does deliver the question: Why the question? Or, more to the point: How useful the question? view post


posted 14 May 2007, 01:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

Q, it is just important to keep asking the question, yeah? answers will always change because we can't have all the data at one particular time. "life" isn't static, right? the usefulness is in the asking, not the answering. the answering depends on too many things. the asking forces us to begin the quest. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 02:05 by Aerek urs Sjaarda, Commoner

The Bible has the answers. They've remained unchanged over the last 2000 years, and were established even before that. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 02:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

eesh, that may be a new thread, sir. i would, however, encourage you to check your premise. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 02:05 by Quinthane, Candidate

It’s easy for this topic to get bogged down by semantics so I’ll try to keep us on conditioned ground? To ask is important if its purpose is to find an answer. Speculation is most important and useful certainly, but I find that we’ve grown comfortable in the notion that asking the question is more important than learning the answer. To ask questions to which there can be no answer strikes me as, not only of little use, but an easy way of paying lip service to the quest. ‘The wise man thinks of God not at all, for he knows that thought, which is finite, can only do violence to God, which is infinite.’ Diogenes’ quest was a curse. To be clear, I’m differentiating between the search for answers and speculation. I find that the latter masquerades as the former more and more and helped kill the craft of debate. A most important tool that civilization needed to keep on hand. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 02:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

careful, careful or i'll have to break badass Wittgenstein on you, but girlie style! i didnt say "there can be no answer." i said that the question is important. the answer changes. it depends on too many things. your assessment of the world around you today, given the facts you have, may not be the same assessment you have ten days from now when you have more information on which to base your "answer." you could, i think, even say your answer...(wait for it, wait for it...)...[i:2p5dlr54]evolves[/i:2p5dlr54]. the question matters because without it we don't look for the answer, we don't begin the quest, we remain complacent and veiled. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 02:05 by Quinthane, Candidate

No, YOU"RE stupid! . view post


posted 14 May 2007, 08:05 by Jamara, Auditor

And snapdragon, it is the same process for every living organism. It's called genetics. We can SEE genes, we can OBSERVE change in the frequency of alleles. Is there an intellient design behind that? No. It is merely a matter of what responds best to mainly Climactic changes view post


posted 14 May 2007, 09:05 by Randal, Auditor

Jamara: maybe try to argue it in the new bible thread... let's keep this one about evolution. Snapdragon: whilst it would be possible, I guess, that primitive lifeforms came into existence naturally at one point of the earth, and that a meteor with different bacteria crashed at another point of the earth, giving rise to types of life with different originins, it's not likely or logical to assume that. When you see thousands of forms of life, and then examine their internal structure, their genes, and discover that they are all very, very similar to one another, to the point where we share a majority of our genes with many species, if we see that all life uses the same processes to replicate at a basic level, is made out of the same substances, etc, etc... Then the logical conclusion is that life had one origin. One origin only. Assuming there are more than one is based on nothing and extremely unlikely. Of course, I don't get why people would believe the earth is only 6000 years old either and there's no evolution. It's just as obviously wrong. But that one is better saved for the bible thread I believe. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 10:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

genetics, your internal programming, can only carry you so far. the rest is impacted by, as Jamara said, climactic changes as well as other external factors, including, [i:72wwecwo]but not limited to[/i:72wwecwo], a small bit of choice and chance. not claiming to have any answers here, since all the data isn't in yet... view post


posted 14 May 2007, 11:05 by Randal, Auditor

We're talking about the origin and development of species here, not about what happens in a person's life. When talking about how life forms developed, we're talking about genetics and genetics only. The development of the genes (which survice and reproduce, which don't) is indeed impacted by climactic changes and external factors including luck, but that is not the point. The point is that there is no reason to assume different forms of life on earth had different origins, seeing as how their basic structure is nigh identical. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 21:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

on the development of species...hmmm...how about deforestation? or an aerobic environment becoming anaerobic? this is more than genetics. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 21:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Since this is my area of expertise I'd like to point out that there is frequently a misconception that Evolutionary Theory implies the existence of life as a "random accident". The term random, at least the definition commonly used by the general public, is usually synonymous with the term "equi-probable', and usually it means that there are also no constraints. Everything covering one big uniform distribution from positive to negative infinity. When you hear the term random as it applies to evolutionary biology you need to remember you are talking random as it means in statistics, which does not mean equi-probable (although it can if the underlying distribution is a uniform one). Random here typically means that there is no intent or selection for a particular result at play but that randomness comes from an underlying stochastic (i.e. random) process that gives rise to a dsitribution. Distributions mean that certain outcomes are more probable to occur and that there are constraints on the types of outcomes one can expect to see. So as well as random having a slightly different, yet very important distinction, there are also selective forces and other evolutionary pressures that shape that random variation in terms of the outcome. It is undirected in terms of intent, but the rules of the physical universe do constrain the outcomes. The assertion that "Life has only been found on Earth, ergo Life on Earth is species" is of course a logical fallacy. We haven't even truly begun to really look for life elsewhere, even within our own solar system. Sure we are trying to detect signs of intelligent life, but even if advanced civilizations exist within a range that we can detect we may not detect them because we are only really looking for the types of signals that we have made that carry in to space. Our own transmissions are still currently only detectable by interested intelligent parties that exist within a certain radius of Earth. And of course that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface because life does not necessarily have to result in intelligence to exist elsewhere. We aren't sure one way or the other right now whether there is or ever was life on Mars. There are plans to do some looking on Europa at some point. And that is just within our own Solar system. No we cannot make any claims about life existing in the rest of the universe because we haven't even searched yet, at least not in an y truly meaningful way. The likelihood of life being out there is strong though, very strong. People are of course free to believe whatever they chose, and they can take any philosophical stance they want. But Evolution is one of the strongest and most robust theories in all of science and has weathered the test of time quite well so far. There will always be revisions, as there are to any scientific theory, that is the nature of science. Arguing against it from a philosophical standpoint , thats fine. We end up just having to agree to disagree at some point. Arguments made from probability are generally quite incorrect (and keep in mind that modern Evolutionary Biology is built on a very strong statistical framework). Today there is no scientific theory that can be offered up as an alternative. Only philosophical or religious ones. And thats fine, except when they try and pass themselves off as science. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 21:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

very beautifully said. /tips her hat with deferential nod view post


posted 14 May 2007, 22:05 by Harrol, Moderator

EE as educated as you are you were still able to put it in lay-man's terms. Good job. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 23:05 by Aerek urs Sjaarda, Commoner

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which states that disorder in a closed system increases with time (And the earth is essentially a closed system), forces us to conclude that the earth was once more organized and integrated than it is now. What modern science is saying about evolution increasing the organizational cell and DNA structures is contrary to this Law. Also, EE, you said, "But Evolution is one of the strongest and most robust theories in all of science and has weathered the test of time quite well so far" Keep in mind that evolution is just that, a theory. There is no possible way to test it or observe it in action in any proper sense, neither has it been proved. Belief in evolution then is a form of faith, so what you believe isn't really different from most religions. view post


posted 14 May 2007, 23:05 by Randal, Auditor

This is a well-known and common misconception. Evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics, because the earth is not a closed system. [u:2aa7jjwm][url=http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html:2aa7jjwm]Read here.[/url:2aa7jjwm][/u:2aa7jjwm] [u:2aa7jjwm][url=http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html:2aa7jjwm]Or here, for the short version.[/url:2aa7jjwm][/u:2aa7jjwm] Edit: The "just a theory" argument is another old and tired misconception. Evolution is a theory like gravity is a theory. In science, a theory is as good as it gets. Evolution as a phenomenon has been observed repeatedly. The theory seeks to explain how it actually works. My second link explains that particular misconception also. Enthropic existence: Cheers for that post! [quote:2aa7jjwm]on the development of species...hmmm...how about deforestation? or an aerobic environment becoming anaerobic? this is more than genetics.[/quote:2aa7jjwm] Snapdragon: I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you're getting at. Sorry. I just don't get the meaning. What are you arguing? What does deforestation have to do with genetics or evolution or intelligent design? Do you mean that species can become extinct because of outside factors? That's obvious, but doesn't mean much in this discussion. Luck does play a role, a disaster can destroy an otherwise viable species. I just don't see the relevancy. view post


posted 15 May 2007, 07:05 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Aerek urs Sjaarda":pl3zibmn]The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which states that disorder in a closed system increases with time (And the earth is essentially a closed system), forces us to conclude that the earth was once more organized and integrated than it is now. What modern science is saying about evolution increasing the organizational cell and DNA structures is contrary to this Law. Also, EE, you said, "But Evolution is one of the strongest and most robust theories in all of science and has weathered the test of time quite well so far" Keep in mind that evolution is just that, a theory. There is no possible way to test it or observe it in action in any proper sense, neither has it been proved. Belief in evolution then is a form of faith, so what you believe isn't really different from most religions.[/quote:pl3zibmn] I don't want to become involved with a debate with a devout believer, but you are plain wrong on your thermodynamics and your conception of theory. The Earth is not a closed system; the sun is a large source of negative entropy, and all of us see it for 10-12 hours each day. Of course evolution is a theory, a large scale generalization that [i:pl3zibmn]accounts[/i:pl3zibmn] for all the evidence in its totality and [i:pl3zibmn]predicts[/i:pl3zibmn] what we are likely to see in the fossil record and experiments. What evolution is has twice been articulated in this thread; it is eminently testable; in no wise can it considered to be a belief or object of faith. You are entitled to your belief but those old canards are not worth repeating. [i:pl3zibmn]ETA: Sorry Randal, I did not even see your post, when I read that last post I was literally foaming at the mouth. And to think that the theory of evolution does not even really compromise belief in a creator.[/i:pl3zibmn] view post


posted 17 May 2007, 12:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Aerek: Others have got here before me but I'm adding in my weight behind it as well. Even the major Creationist groups are now telling their followers not to use the argument from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics anymore because it is simply not true, and a horrendous argument. Anyone who has studied much physical chemistry understands the principles of thermodynamics quite well, and most evolutionary biologists have taken at least a few courses over their training in areas that cover thermodynamics quite explicitly. As others have said the earth does receive a constant source of energy plus the equations, and the statement that everything tends towards disorder, is that everything tends towards disorder ultimately. Proteins in the body balance on a knife's edge in terms of stability as they fold into their three-dimensional shapes. They have to become ordered yet they do not actually violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics because the energy equations, when everything is factored in, are marginally in their favour. They also expel coordinated water atoms in to bulk water which increases the global entropy anyway. Keep in mind that eventually our planet will be no more, eventually our galaxy will be swallowed up in a collision lasting billions of years with our nearest neighbour, eventually the universe itself will collapse (probably).... As for the "just a theory" argument, generally it demonstrates a lack of understanding of how science operates. Which is understandable and I don't blame you for it. It gets repeated a lot, and the way science is often taught at the secondary level is often atrocious. Theories are as good as things get in science. The theories of Gravity, electromagnetism, etc are all scientific theories. Scientific Laws are not higher than theories in science, because they are two completely different things. Laws are like axioms, (like the Law of Conservation of Energy) and they are usually incorporated into larger theories. a Scientific Theory is as good as it gets in science and represents a model of our current understanding of how something works that fits the data. It is flexible enough that the theory can adapt and change overtime as new data becomes available and the theory becomes refined.. view post


posted 17 May 2007, 16:05 by Harrol, Moderator

EE you need to write a book for us laymen so we can sort of understand what is going on. The scientific world lacks for those that can break down theory in to common language. view post


posted 18 May 2007, 00:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Heh I've actually been considering doing a sort of "Evolution for Dummies" style book but I think waiting for awhile until I have established myself in the field may be a good idea. Be like a Layman's Introduction to Molecular Evolutionary Biology (I couldn't hope to touch paleontology and topics like that). Starting with alot of Physical Chemistry concepts and working my way up to show why larger systems exhibit the traits that they do. view post


posted 18 May 2007, 00:05 by snapdragon, Candidate

when you secure distribution, it'll be on my wishlist view post


posted 18 May 2007, 04:05 by Harrol, Moderator

Great EE I look forward to you publishing the book. view post


posted 18 May 2007, 16:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Something tells me it will be a few years away. :) I'm not even through my first year of my Masters yet of course. view post


posted 21 May 2007, 19:05 by Harrol, Moderator

No hurry. I would like to read it when you are done so just let us know. view post


posted 28 May 2007, 02:05 by anor277, Didact

Just to add a another tired, commonly quoted mistruth about evolution: [i:3ocj76m6]"Evolution teaches that man came from the apes"[/i:3ocj76m6], a canard that's been with us since at least the time of the Scopes Monkey trial. Of course, evolution teaches no such thing, it suggests that humanity and the great apes had a common, recent ancestor. There was this joke going round that if mankind shares 98% of its DNA with chimpanzees (and I don't know if that figure is right), then why aren't the police checking ape alibis for all of the crimes they committed? view post


posted 28 May 2007, 18:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

While its true that we are not descended from the extant Great Apes (instead they are our evolutionary cousins) the rebuttal that "we aren't descended from apes" is itself slightly disingenuous. We would most likely classify the common ancestor we share with existing apes as a great ape itself. But then again I do get a little picky about these things :). view post


posted 28 May 2007, 20:05 by Randal, Auditor

Well, aren't we still apes? As far as I know, humans are classified in the same family as Gorillas and Orang Utangs and Chimpanzees. We're all great apes. view post


posted 29 May 2007, 07:05 by Jamara, Auditor

Correction, all the great ape species as well as us are simians. We are not apes just closely related genetically. Apes possess no tails and oppossable "large toes". Humans possess no tails and no oppossable toes. view post


posted 30 May 2007, 11:05 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Jamara":xu0clz6a]Correction, all the great ape species as well as us are simians. We are not apes just closely related genetically. Apes possess no tails and oppossable "large toes". Humans possess no tails and no oppossable toes.[/quote:xu0clz6a] Nope, we are part of the Great Apes which is the family Hominidae. At one time they only had humans and our extinct ancestors in this family with the rest of the Great Apes in Pongidae. but that made the Great Apes a paraphyletic group (which we avoid in taxonomy). Some Anthropologists and most lay people still use this old definition but according to Biology Humans are Great Apes. view post


posted 30 May 2007, 19:05 by Jamara, Auditor

So what exactly defines a hominid? view post


posted 04 Jun 2007, 15:06 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

As it stands right now a hominid refers to any member of the Family Hominidae which includes Humans and all of the Great Apes (Gorillas, Chimps, and Orangutauns) Obviously this classification has been in flux over the last several decades because well, some people still insist on humans being more special than we truly are biologically speaking. Which is all taxonomic classification is concerned with. There isn't a hard and fast classification rule right now (because it is in flux) but the most standard is based on genetic identity and how similar we are. This is also the method that is frequently used in microbial taxonomies. Morphological features aren't really the defining thing in taxonomy anymore, because they can be very misleading. view post


posted 06 Jun 2007, 05:06 by Jamara, Auditor

Here's a question that has never been answered for me, and seeing as how you are taxonomically savy, we are Homo sapiens. That's taught is every middle school. But in the last few years I have read of us as Homo sapien sapien. Is this a true classification? And if so, why the the third disctinction? view post


posted 06 Jun 2007, 21:06 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Jamara":19k566qh]Here's a question that has never been answered for me, and seeing as how you are taxonomically savy, we are Homo sapiens. That's taught is every middle school. But in the last few years I have read of us as Homo sapien sapien. Is this a true classification? And if so, why the the third disctinction?[/quote:19k566qh] IIRC it is just to denote modern Homo sapiens from archaic Homo sapiens. It isn't as big of a distinction as say between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis (and as always there is debate there as to whether we are two separate species or merely sub-species) and is tied in to mostly just a change in robustness. Archaic Homo sapiens were more robust and were replaced by a more gracile form that become anatomically modern humans. Essentially you can refer to modern humans by either and both are correct. view post


posted 07 Jun 2007, 07:06 by Jamara, Auditor

Weren't Homo habilis rising as Neanderthals were falling (due to the receding ice age)? I thought Homo sapien arose after Homo neanderthalensis was gone. view post


posted 08 Jun 2007, 07:06 by Randal, Auditor

No. The Neanderthals came long after the Homo Habilis. They're much more closely related to us and much more advanced. My knowledge of this is pretty fuzzy. I seem to recall some theories saying modern homo sapiens replaced them after the ice ages, and other theories saying they interbred until the Neanderthal disappeared. But that may very well be outdated. view post


posted 08 Jun 2007, 20:06 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Randal":ifj25hb1]No. The Neanderthals came long after the Homo Habilis. They're much more closely related to us and much more advanced. My knowledge of this is pretty fuzzy. I seem to recall some theories saying modern homo sapiens replaced them after the ice ages, and other theories saying they interbred until the Neanderthal disappeared. But that may very well be outdated.[/quote:ifj25hb1] Whether Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred is still a matter of debate. There isn't too much compelling evidence one way or the other yet. I think that it probably happened though, people tend not to be too picky about what they sleep with after all. Anyway both species (or sub-species depending on which side of that debate you fall on) co-existed in limited portions of the world for a brief (evolutionary speaking) amount of time. The Neanderthals where in Europe before modern Homo sapiens came out of Africa. But yea, I do molecular evolution so anthropology and human evolution isn't my strongest point. :) view post


posted 03 Jul 2007, 13:07 by Tar.Aldarion, Candidate

Um, I believe in Evolution and it's a pity to see so may people in the thrall of Creationism and religion. view post


I'm a deist and a taoist, and I still believe in evolution. posted 10 Jul 2007, 01:07 by thegreenman, Candidate

I'm a deist and a taoist, and I also believe in evolution (and aliens too!). view post


Re: I'm a deist and a taoist, and I still believe in evoluti posted 10 Jul 2007, 03:07 by anor277, Didact

[quote="thegreenman":1mle9g8c]I'm a deist and a taoist, and I also believe in evolution (and aliens too!).[/quote:1mle9g8c] To me it has always been puzzling that so many people who do not accept evolution believe that evolution denies a divine being. Darwin called his work (in which he presented abundant, almost overwhelming evidence for evolution), [i:1mle9g8c]The Origin of Species[/i:1mle9g8c], not the [i:1mle9g8c]Origin of Life[/i:1mle9g8c]. And anyway, a science cannot properly suppose a divine being, because in doing so it would no longer be a science. view post


posted 10 Jul 2007, 17:07 by Harrol, Moderator

Anor I agree with that. view post


posted 29 Jan 2008, 21:01 by dirk69er, Candidate

Ok, I will just say one thing about this subject. Whether you agree or not evolution is a religion. It is governed by a set of beliefs. It is taught dogmatically as a doctrine. It has elements within it that cannot be explained completely yet. It is based on faith, many of the things that I have learned in college never seemed to have a concrete basis which led to much confusion on my part. Many evolutionist (myself included) do not want to admit this about evolution. To admit this fact would be to place our beliefs to close to that of religion. But that is just what it really is, a religion There are things that I have learned in my education about evolution and biology that just do not make sense. There are so many viewpoints that sometimes I really wonder if this is a valid belief system. Of couse religion is just as convoluted and conflicting. There are just as many religions believing different things but professing faith in some form of entity whose doings they abscribe to mystery. So right now I don't know what to really believe anymore as both paths are very unfulfilling. This is a fitting cartoon: http://www.tccsa.tc/archives/cartoons/believe.html view post


posted 30 Jan 2008, 03:01 by Harrol, Moderator

I believe that there are some aethiest that follow evolution or any idea that they say disproves God as a religion. Yet many believe that evolution is a working model but I do not think they are devoted to it as a religion. It is a working model that still needs many pieces filled in but I must say the evidence is compelling. This comes from a former Y.E.C. view post


posted 30 Jan 2008, 03:01 by Israfel, Peralogue

[quote="dirk69er":350p1rt3]Ok, I will just say one thing about this subject. Whether you agree or not evolution is a religion. It is governed by a set of beliefs. It is taught dogmatically as a doctrine. It has elements within it that cannot be explained completely yet. It is based on faith, many of the things that I have learned in college never seemed to have a concrete basis which led to much confusion on my part.[/quote:350p1rt3] I think you'll find that how it's taught depends on the teacher. And there are elements in all parts of science (of course!) that can't be completely explained - anywhere there isn't a theory that seems to adequately explain the facts. But it's based on accumulated evidence and our best guess at theories based on that, rather than straight 'faith'. Science is a collection of theories that haven't been disproved, that most seem to fit the facts at the time. Of course, we can perform certain tests that may indicate a state of affairs one way or another, but if concrete evidence came along that disproved a favoured theory then it would have to be abandoned. And I think any scientist who was asked wouldn't say that science as it is currently has all the answers (though some might say it will get there eventually), especially on evolution where you require lots of evidence that's difficult to get hold of. I certainly haven't met any scientists who claim that evolution is necessarily true in all respects as it is presented today. However, the current balance of evidence supports evolution as a general theory, despite many wranglings over specifics, and so that's the generally accepted theory. There may well be people who cling to science as they were taught it as dogma, insisting there was no evidence that could sway them otherwise, but I don't think you'd find many who could be correctly described as scientists. view post


posted 30 Jan 2008, 07:01 by Curethan, Didact

Thanks Israfel. Science is an acretion of observation, experimentation, proof and critical thought. Where there are things you can't explain, you admit it and continue to search. I can only suggest that if you need to learn by rote and believe the 'facts' in your chosen field as though they were dogma, you should change profession. view post


posted 30 Jan 2008, 16:01 by dirk69er, Candidate

Good explanation Israfel. view post


posted 04 Feb 2008, 06:02 by anor277, Didact

Just to add that the signal difference between a scientific theory and a religious belief is the former's falsifiability. Falsifiability being a set of facts or an experiment that would persuade you that the theory was invalid and should be abandoned. A religious belief is not falsifiable; it is a matter of faith. All current major (and minor) scientific theories are falsifiable. The theory of evolution certainly is falsifiable (the famous test of evolution's falsifiability is rabbits in the Cambrian - i.e. the appearance of one mammals millions of years before the others). view post


posted 04 Feb 2008, 19:02 by Harrol, Moderator

Anor Please help me understand the rabbit example :? . Thanks view post


posted 04 Feb 2008, 20:02 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Harrol":masqlzum]Anor Please help me understand the rabbit example :? . Thanks[/quote:masqlzum] I actually got it wrong. J B S Haldane, a very famous and erudite biologist, once opined that if he found a fossil rabbit in the [i:masqlzum]Precambrian[/i:masqlzum] he would be persuaded that evolution was wrong. The reason he would do so is that the rabbit, a [i:masqlzum]de jure[/i:masqlzum] mammal, should not have appeared in the fossil record 100 million years before its actual (or at least arguable) fossil ancestors (shades of "what comes before determines what comes after"). This illustrates the idea that one can [i:masqlzum]conceive[/i:masqlzum] of (but not necessarily find) evidence that would tend to falsify evolution. There is other (unfound) evidence and (unperformed) experimental outcomes that would work to the same end, and cast doubt on (or seriously modify) evolutionary theory. All modern scientific theories are falsifiable and evolution is no exception. "Falsifiability" is according to some the most important quality of a theory. Without that quality, the theory may be true or untrue, but it's not testable by any means, and while it may be interesting as a whimsical, philosophical notion, it cannot be clasified as scientific as there is no way to test its accuracy. view post


posted 05 Feb 2008, 01:02 by Israfel, Peralogue

And that's why socio-biology/evolutionary psychology is a load of tosh. While individual parts of it are occasionally falsifiable, as a whole it's unprovable. Bah to bad science. view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.