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  #81 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 04-08-2012, 04:42 PM
Alex Alex is a male Alex is offline
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Re: Evolution?

As long as you recognize natural selection then you should be okay.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:45 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Evolution?

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
It isn't true. Had you read his works and seriously looked into this subject you would have known that. Therein lies the problem with this discussion.
Are you referring to whether he recanted evolution on his death bed? Well, I suppose that's good to know, but it's a distraction, completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Whether he did or not does not change anything.

It would matter if I was a historian interested with Darwin's life, but I'm not. I don't feel the need to waste my time reading an outdated book. It was revolutionary at the time, nothing more. Darwin had the insight to construct the basic theory of evolution by natural selection, but his viewpoints on minute details truly don't matter.
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  #83 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 04-08-2012, 04:49 PM
Alex Alex is a male Alex is offline
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  #84 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 04-08-2012, 04:52 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Evolution?

Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I need to crack open a new book. I've been going so hardcore on pokemon/zelda/mario and now Kid Icarus that I need a new book to read. Can anyone suggest a good pro-evolution book that they have read and a brief explanation of why its worth reading?
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:55 PM
Alex Alex is a male Alex is offline
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Re: Evolution?

The Dawkins book that I just plugged is one of the more tutorial like books in the sense that it's really, really broken down and easy to follow.

The only downside is if you have an already established issue with Richard Dawkins, and he is brutally anti-religion, so I can see you not wanting to deal with his writing.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:55 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Evolution?

^There you. Now there's a book I've read.

Finding errors or mistakes in Darwin's book doesn't prove a whole lot. It's over 150 years old and Darwin didn't even know the mechanism of heredity! If you're referencing the Origin of Species for anything more then very general ideas or historical context, you've set the bar astonishingly low. I have to admit that I still do not understand the creationist fixation with Darwin himself. I'm guessing it has to do with the relative ease of caricaturing and demonizing an individual.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:01 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Evolution?

I personally wouldn't want to demonize him. o__o

He was a generally good guy who did what he believed was right I'm sure.

And concerning Dawkins, yes he has been a jerk irl on several occasions, but I'm willing to overlook that in order to best understand the conversation. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:01 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Evolution?

Also, a further blurb on The Greatest Show On Earth.

It's a decent explanation/defense of evolution, but my least favorite Dawkins book. It's intended for a general audience and somewhat dumbed down. Dawkins wanted it to have wide appeal. I found it much less thought provoking than some of his earlier works, in which he had assumed evolution to be true and delved into finer details and ideas. In other words, it's standard fare and probably nothing you haven't heard before. That said, it is fairly updated and Dawkins is a lucid writer.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:15 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is a male Vulpes is offline
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Re: Evolution?

I only have a few things to say right now, but I'll have more later.

1. Darwin never recanted. The myth that he did, known as the "Lady Hope story", is a complete fabrication and was denied by members of Darwin's family that were actually at his deathbed.

2. Any role that evolutionary theory played in the Holocaust—not that I'm necessarily saying it had any—is completely insignificant compared to the culture of antisemitism among nations of the time, a remnant of earlier Christian bigotry. For example, Martin Luther, the German instigator of the Protestant Reformation that profoundly impacted Christian thought, was virulently antisemitic, and as a matter of fact devoted most of the end of his life to lambasting Jews. Christianity—or, more accurately, people's abuse and misinterpretation of Christianity—is more to blame for the Holocaust by far.
Last Edited by Vulpes; 04-08-2012 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:38 PM
Left4Cuccos Left4Cuccos is a male United States Left4Cuccos is offline
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Re: Evolution?

mattj, I would recommend The Ancestor's Tale, by Dawkins. I have it, but haven't read very much due to its size and my apathetic attitude toward biological science. It's several years old, and so is probably missing the most recent big discoveries (unless Dawkins has made newer versions), but what it does is it goes backward on humanity's evolutionary lineage, describing what many species between us and our earliest ancestors would have been like -- these are often, I believe, species that were the first to evolve some novel feature in our ancestral lineage. It should be an extremely good book if you're more into biology than I am.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:39 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is a male Vulpes is offline
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Re: Evolution?

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Just something I'd like to ask those who believe completely in evolution, as I'm curious: what field research have you done yourself? What experiments have you conducted and who did you share your results with to come to your conclusion that evolution is undeniably true?

Or if you didn't study fossils and conduct your own research, did you just read a few textbooks in high school? Maybe read a couple of articles on the web, or perhaps a few wikipedia entries?
Actually, it is fairly easy for anyone that can see clearly to find evidence for evolution all around them. Anyone that has both a cat and a dog, for example, can readily confirm for themselves that they share a large number of anatomical and behavioral features, which one would expect from creatures with common ancestors. Specialisms produced by evolution for a particular niche are also apparent throughout the natural world. In fact, it's practically impossible to observe any living thing and not see evidence for evolution, as long as one can recognize it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:42 PM
Left4Cuccos Left4Cuccos is a male United States Left4Cuccos is offline
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Re: Evolution?

That comparison might very well be evidence, but I don't see it as being much better than creationists' "everything is evidence of God" claim. To truly see it as evidence of historical evolution, a great many examples, for purposes of comparison, would probably need to be catalogued (mentally or otherwise).
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  #93 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 04-08-2012, 05:48 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is a male Vulpes is offline
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Re: Evolution?

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Originally Posted by Left4Cuccos View Post
That comparison might very well be evidence, but I don't see it as being much better than creationists' "everything is evidence of God" claim. To truly see it as evidence of historical evolution, a great many examples, for purposes of comparison, would probably need to be catalogued (mentally or otherwise).
Well, not quite. The "everything is evidence for God" explanation could be invoked, practically speaking, no matter what evidence is presented. However, to be considered evidence for evolution, things observed in the natural world must be consistent with the tenets of the theory, such as how animals sharing features is consistent with them sharing a common ancestor. In other words, claiming it's God isn't falsifiable.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:50 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Evolution?

Cats and dogs sharing features in and of itself is most definitely not proof validating the Ancient Ancestor theory. Even most evolutionists accept the idea of parallel evolution. Two species shpwing similar traits does not prove they share an ancestor.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:56 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is a male Vulpes is offline
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Re: Evolution?

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
Cats and dogs sharing features in and of itself is most definitely not proof validating the Ancient Ancestor theory. Even most evolutionists accept the idea of parallel evolution. Two species shpwing similar traits does not prove they share an ancestor.
Yes, cats and dogs evolved in parallel since their divergence. The degree of similarity is generally related to how long ago that divergence was. And no, by itself the fact that cats and dogs share many traits isn't "proof" of common descent. However, when you take into account the sum total of the evidenceógenetic tests, morphology comparisons, the fossil record, etc.óthe end result is most certainly proof of the basic fact of evolution. It's true that many of those things, like the genetic tests, can't be easily carried out by laymen, but my point wasn't to say that "evolutionist" laymen can completely prove the theory all by themselves, but that they can generally find enough evidence themselves to confirm it to a reasonable level of confidence, and when taken in conjunction with evidence presented by scientists, the fact can be safely considered certain.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:15 PM
Fraud of the Stal Fraud of the Stal is a male United Kingdom Fraud of the Stal is offline
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Re: Evolution?

I would expect similarities between species is decent intuitive evidence for common ancestory (as in something that when acknowledged increases the likelihood of that phenomenon). Bird have digits on their wings, flightless birds still have feathers and wings, large amounts of DNA (some of it non-coding) can be compared between species.

What it's not evidence for without further explanation is evolution via natural selection.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:20 PM
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Re: Evolution?

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Originally Posted by Reassured of the Stal View Post
I would expect similarities between species is decent intuitive evidence for common ancestory (as in something that when acknowledged increases the likelihood of that phenomenon). Bird have digits on their wings, flightless birds still have feathers and wings, large amounts of DNA (some of it non-coding) can be compared between species.

What it's not evidence for without further explanation is evolution via natural selection.
Right. That takes separate experiments, which have in fact been carried out. One way to test natural selection is to passively observe how traits affect an organism's reproductive success, foraging success, health, mortality, etc. A more active approach can be taken by manipulating an organism's traits and seeing how those things change. Unsurprisingly, experiments of this type support evolution practically universally.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:09 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Evolution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reassured of the Stal View Post
I would expect similarities between species is decent intuitive evidence for common ancestory (as in something that when acknowledged increases the likelihood of that phenomenon). Bird have digits on their wings, flightless birds still have feathers and wings, large amounts of DNA (some of it non-coding) can be compared between species.
It does suggest it, but there isn't any particular reason why God couldn't have created those organisms separately. It is a bit strange that they have the same bone pattern in their limbs (humerus->radius/ulna->five digits). It does strain the imagination to explain why this arrangement is ideal for species as distinct as bats, whales, and bears, but I suppose it could be said that God works in mysterious ways and we cannot understand his reasoning.

Homology is pretty damn convincing to me, but it's not sufficient for people who are going to exercise excessive skepticism. I think it's revealing that humans share the exact same number and relative position of bones and teeth with our great ape relatives, but for the creationist, this is just how God created them and doesn't imply common ancestry. Same thing for sharing a genetic code.
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Last Edited by Bill; 04-08-2012 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:13 PM
Hombre de Mundo Sweden Hombre de Mundo is offline
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Re: Evolution?

^ But that's where fossils come into play. We look at the animals of today and predict a common ancestor and sure enough, there it is along with various stages leading from one to the other.

The only way to get around it is for God to make very similar life forms and leave fake traces of beings that never really existed but just seem like it. To... I guess make it seem like life has evolved when it really hasn't, and it's all just a test of faith or whatever. But you can say that for anything. ZU doesn't really exist, it's just a trickery spawned from hell to lure us away from God. Run away, everyone!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:29 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Evolution?

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Originally Posted by Hombre de Mundo View Post
^ But that's where fossils come into play. We look at the animals of today and predict a common ancestor and sure enough, there it is along with various stages leading from one to the other.
I'm not disputing it. Even in the case of the great apes, there's no particularly strong reason for why chimps, humans, and gorillas should all share the same numbers and kinds of bones and teeth other than common ancestry. But it's still possible for the creationist to argue that God simply created them that way. I don't see why he would do it, but they probably don't see why he wouldn't.

When you think about it, chimps and humans should be adapted to completely different lifestyles. Chimps for life in the trees, humans for life on the grasslands. Chimps are knuckle walkers and eat mostly fruit. Humans are obligate bipeds and adapted to eat virtually anything. It really does strain the imagination as to why they have the exact same number of bones unless they inherited them from a common ancestor.

Is there something magical about 206 bones? About 32 teeth? An engineering trick that God knows that we don't? Unless God is trying to fool us, that's more or less what you're arguing if you believe in separate creation.
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