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  #21 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 03:43 PM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

So EVERY SINGLE transition species in existence between any animal existing today was hunted off or killed?

With evolutionary theory, you get to a point at which you're denying reason as much as you say creationists are.

I'm not staunch creationist, but I don't think Darwinian Evolution is the correct explanation for origin at all.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:58 PM
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

They must be. Simply because if they stay around you wouldn't call them a transition species.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:08 PM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by GDwarf View Post
They must be. Simply because if they stay around you wouldn't call them a transition species.
Alright, I'll say it this way. Approximately 90% of all species that once existed died out completely, leaving only a select few? And there are only about 10 different fossils that look anything like these species that should've existed? If they all died, there should be fossilized remains everywhere. There should be a WHOLE BUNCH of "peking man" skeletons and "whateverthehellelse man" fossils. Truth is, we've found about 5 of them, and their validity is very questionable.

Semantics about wording aside, there should still be tons more species and substantial evidence for these species in existence.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:52 PM
Mad Hatter Canada Mad Hatter is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post

Oh, and Lex, there are some scientists who actually do think that carbon-dating is inaccurate. Here's some reasons why-
Sorry, but it really doesn't sound like that was written by a scientist. If it was, it was written by someone who certainly doesn't understand radioactive decay. The decay rate is determined by quantum physics, and any change in that would cause a much bigger change in our world. These are fundamental constants you're talking about.

Of course, if the observed amount of decay had taken place over 6000 years, so much energy would have been released that the Earth would have (literally) melted.

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Originally Posted by dann View Post
First off, I doubt that the those behind the Creation Museum really had the intentions of decieving people. I'm sure their intentions were good.
Unfortunately, Ken Ham is a notoriously dishonest figure. I really hate to make accusations like this, but it's a very disproportionately common trait in that set of people. Kent Hovind, Michael Behe, and many others who set out to prove God with science are blatant liars. Ironically, the act of trying to prove God's existence with science is inherently unscientific.

So my concern isn't the message; it's the delivery of it. If this museum presents honest facts, and not disingenuous tricks, then I fully support it. I don't know much about the museum, so I can't make this judgment now, but I really wouldn't be surprised if Ken Ham were pulling his usual antics.

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Besides, if there is a God, I'm going to heaven. If there isn't, then so be it. But the rest of you atheists are in trouble if you turn out to be wrong. :p
Or at least the Christian god. You don't want to know what's going to happen to you if Thor turns out to be the real god

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Originally Posted by Leinator View Post
This is the truly intricate flaw in evolutionary theory. If this is true, shouldn't their be hundreds of species of in-between human/chimp running around everywhere? It's not like one of the species suddenly died and the next one came about. There should be hundreds of half-way species still in existence today.

To put it in your terms. A chimp gives birth too a slightly more human chimp, but the chimps are still an existing species, while the new human-chimp is it's own species. That human-chimp gives birth too a more human chimp at the mutation point, but it's parents should still be alive and their own species. This progressively happens over thousands of years to get us. So, where are all the left-overs?
There are two basic types of evolutionary change: The first is divergent, where a population will split into two, either by geographic or reproductive isolation. The other, constantly occurring, change, happens within a population. Australopithecus Afarensis didn't go extinct; they evolved into Homo Habilis. Homo Habilis didn't go extinct; they evolved into Homo Erectus. Evolution is only a change in gene frequency over time. This means that, in the transition between apes and humans, the apes that were more "human-like" survived to reproduce, and these genes became more common in the population. Since they had an advantage over the less human-like apes, they out-competed them, and the ape-like traits became less and less abundant in the population. So natural selection is what filters out the would-be left-overs, and that's what drives evolution.

The only way a transition would be preserved is if a population split in two. That's why we have monkeys today. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it sounds to me like you don't quite understand what evolution actually is. Please try to read about it a bit more before criticizing it.

Quote:
This is where the punctuated equilibrium comes in, which is a very stupid and improbable idea.
How is it stupid and improbable?

Quote:
Alright, I'll say it this way. Approximately 90% of all species that once existed died out completely, leaving only a select few?
Actually, 99% of all species on this planet have gone extinct, but not for this reason. Transitional fossils are just the footprint left by evolutionary change.

Quote:
And there are only about 10 different fossils that look anything like these species that should've existed? If they all died, there should be fossilized remains everywhere. There should be a WHOLE BUNCH of "peking man" skeletons and "whateverthehellelse man" fossils. Truth is, we've found about 5 of them, and their validity is very questionable.

Semantics about wording aside, there should still be tons more species and substantial evidence for these species in existence.
You don't seem to realize just how hard it is for bones to fossilize. Frankly, I'm surprised we have as many human fossils as we do. But even then, you are seriously underestimating the amount of human remains that we have. For a good summary, check out this list of specimens.
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  #25 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 04:58 PM
LegendofLex LegendofLex is a male LegendofLex is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by GDwarf View Post
They must be. Simply because if they stay around you wouldn't call them a transition species.
I guess the real question is why they didn't stay around, when they ought to have been, at least, in theory, more "evolved" than their predecessors, some of whom are still around. A better question would be, in my opinion, why all animals have not evolved most of the same physical abilities and characteristics. After all, we've determined that many of the metabolizing processes and organs at work in the living animal body work in much the same way between organisms (with differences ranging from slight to significant in terms of structure, but that's another story). Why do some species evolve faster and in different directions than others, despite being in the same environment or fighting over the same survival resources, etc. etc?
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:13 PM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Of course gene changes occur within the species, but a transition species should survive thousands of years before the next gene change occurs, and there should still be quite a few species in between monkey and man. Species as in "animals that only reproduce with themselves." Although there have been microevolutionary changes in between, macroevolution must have taken place as well, and this isn't denied by anyone.

If you knew a little bit more about the world of evolution, you'd know that species elimination, or what's called "species selection," is still a very clouded study to this day. Over 96% of species that should exist according to evolution don't.

And I call the punctuated equilibrium stupid because there's very little evidence for the possibility of evolutionary bursts, especially the neo-darwinist idea of radiation bursts. It deserves some scientific credibility, but the cause of the bursts remains very questionable.

Also, fossils commonly form as fast as 100 years. I live in washington, one of the natural fossil centers of the country, and I've talked to scientific authorities on the subject.
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  #27 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 05:31 PM
Mad Hatter Canada Mad Hatter is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLionHart View Post
A better question would be, in my opinion, why all animals have not evolved most of the same physical abilities and characteristics. After all, we've determined that many of the metabolizing processes and organs at work in the living animal body work in much the same way between organisms (with differences ranging from slight to significant in terms of structure, but that's another story). Why do some species evolve faster and in different directions than others, despite being in the same environment or fighting over the same survival resources, etc. etc?
That's actually a very good question. The "official" explanation actually involves weird formulas and diagrams, but I'll give you what I remember.

The direction in which your population evolves is dependent many many factors, but I'll talk about two: the existing physiology of the organisms, and the specific selection pressure. An example for the former would be bird and insect wings. Insect wings are made of chitin, because that's also what their exoskeletons are made of. They can't grow feathery, bony wings, because they don't have the genes that code for feathers or wings, and it's a lot easier to work with what you already have. In order for any structure to form, it needs a stable intermediate form. Eyes evolved because half an eye is better than no eye. Birds might not have evolved wings if they didn't have feathers (or feather precursors) to begin with, and birds may not have evolved feathers if they didn't have keratinized scales to begin with. That seems elementary, but it plays a huge role in determining what line of evolution a population will follow.

The other factor I listed was the specific selection pressure, which could also be seen as your "fitness" (in the Darwinian sense, meaning your probability of reproducing). Peacocks evolved outrageous feathers, just because it attracted females. Lucky for them, sex was the dominant selection pressure. If they had a lot of predators, they would have evolved in an entirely different (and much uglier) direction.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:35 PM
LegendofLex LegendofLex is a male LegendofLex is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

I understand the difference between bird wings and insect wings well enough; I'm getting more into the roots, and asking why there is a difference between birds and insects to begin with, or why all animals aren't omnivores, don't have eyes, etc. etc. I do have a pretty good idea as to what the answer is, but the only answers we even can have are entirely theoretical, and we can't exactly test them.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:43 PM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Although my last post hasn't gotten a response yet, I just want to make clear that I really don't have a problem with the theory as whole, I think there are several unexplainable holes, such as abiogenesis or lack of evidence of speciation, that make the theory unbelievable. If we do have ample explanation for these, I'll accept it wholeheartedly, I'm not a stubborn creationist or anything, I just don't see enough actual evidence for current Darwinian theory.
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  #30 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 06:03 PM
Mad Hatter Canada Mad Hatter is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leinator
Of course gene changes occur within the species, but a transition species should survive thousands of years before the next gene change occurs, and there should still be quite a few species in between monkey and man. Species as in "animals that only reproduce with themselves." Although there have been microevolutionary changes in between, macroevolution must have taken place as well, and this isn't denied by anyone.
There has been one main species (Neanderthals may have branched off somewhere in there, but we'll talk about the line of descent from our ancestor to us), but this species has kept evolving. It's confusing to classify it, partly because the definition of species is different for fossils than it is with living organisms, but in a single line of descent, the organisms most suited to their environment will out-compete the organisms less suited to this environment. Each fossil we dig up is just a snapshot of one generation in a long trend. Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus are not necessarily different species; they are different forms a single population has taken. I'm not a fan of analogies, but I guess it's appropriate here. When a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it is still the same organism. The caterpillar and the butterfly are just different forms this organism has taken over its lifetime.

Quote:
If you knew a little bit more about the world of evolution, you'd know that species elimination, or what's called "species selection," is still a very clouded study to this day. Over 96% of species that should exist according to evolution don't.
Trust me, I'm a biology student, I know what species selection is. As for your 96%, which page is that mentioned on?

Quote:
And I call the punctuated equilibrium stupid because there's very little evidence for the possibility of evolutionary bursts, especially the neo-darwinist idea of radiation bursts. It deserves some scientific credibility, but the cause of the bursts remains very questionable.
There is a lot of evidence (mostly genetic) that outbursts can occur, such as this mutation.

Quote:
Also, fossils commonly form as fast as 100 years. I live in washington, one of the natural fossil centers of the country, and I've talked to scientific authorities on the subject.
Fossils can form quickly - I don't deny that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leinator View Post
Although my last post hasn't gotten a response yet, I just want to make clear that I really don't have a problem with the theory as whole, I think there are several unexplainable holes, such as abiogenesis or lack of evidence of speciation, that make the theory unbelievable.
Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. They're entirely separate theories, and their scope doesn't overlap.

Speciation has been observed, but even if it hadn't, there is fossil, genetic, and biogeographical proof that it has. If you'd like to see some examples of observed speciation, check out these links:
Observed Instances of Speciation
Some More Observed Speciation Events

Quote:
If we do have ample explanation for these, I'll accept it wholeheartedly, I'm not a stubborn creationist or anything, I just don't see enough actual evidence for current Darwinian theory.
Fair enough.

If you want to see evidence for evolution, please read this article. Obviously I don't have time to present all of that myself, but if you're interested, it's a good summary of the evidence out there.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:53 PM
MMKB Australia MMKB is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post
As for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, everyone knows that's just a parody religion. Hardly deserving of its own science, let alone its own museum to display said science.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Panda
You have one. Thousands, even. Every ****ing scientific museum on Earth, for that matter. I fully support this museum of creation. It exercises our Constitutional rights with are slowly being stripped away from us.
Calm down, it was just a joke. I was refering to the fact that you can't prove that God created the world any more than you can prove that the FSM created it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leinator
Of course gene changes occur within the species, but a transition species should survive thousands of years before the next gene change occurs, and there should still be quite a few species in between monkey and man. Species as in "animals that only reproduce with themselves." Although there have been microevolutionary changes in between, macroevolution must have taken place as well, and this isn't denied by anyone.
Humans used to fill a particular niche in an ecosystem, they were gatherers and scavengers as well as hunters to a small degree (they couldn't hope to match the specialised features of a hypercarnivore in this respect).
Generally, there can only be one species that fills an ecological niche, if one species performs the role of that niche better than another species, then that species will take over that role.

One analogy I can think of is the thylacine on mainland Australia. The thylacine filled a particular niche in Australia's ecosystem as the top predator and as Australia's largest carnivore (at that time). It remained that way until about 3500-8000 (the date is disputed) years ago, when the dingo was introduced to Australia by people from South-East Asia.
The dingo filled exactly the same niche as the thylacine once did, it eventually claimed the niche for itself as it did a better job of it. Dingoes hunt in packs whereas thylacines usually hunted alone, a team effort paying dividends in securing more food for themselves. This competition drove the thylacine into extinction on mainland Australia.

Same goes for different human species, whoever filled the role of that particular niche the best became the dominant species and would have lived to see another day. In this case I think it would have been something like; smarter/bigger brains = better toolkit = more food obtained = that particular species of hominid surviving.
I don't think it would have been as rapid as the way the thylacine became extinct in Australia, there were probably different species coexisting for a time, one slowly becoming the more prominent and dominant.
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  #32 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 10:46 PM
Lysis Antarctica Lysis is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDwarf View Post
Most of them? Yes. The leaders? Certainly not. They know perfectly well that they're spreading lies so that they can continue to make vast amounts in 'donations'.
Source? Evidence? Proof? Anything? Nope, didn't think so.

Although I don't deny that there are people out there for the money alone, you can't obviously claim that they all are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Would you - if it's not too much trouble - let us know where you got that peice of information from? You say, "there are some scientists..." but fail to mention exactly who those scientists are.
Well, actually, I just found it on Google, but here are a few sites that say some of the same things about the possible inaccuracies of carbon-14 dating:

THE PROBLEMS WITH CARBON-14 DATING
Carbon Dating

In my first post I quoted the first one.
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  #33 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 11:16 PM
Mad Hatter Canada Mad Hatter is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLionHart View Post
I understand the difference between bird wings and insect wings well enough; I'm getting more into the roots, and asking why there is a difference between birds and insects to begin with, or why all animals aren't omnivores, don't have eyes, etc. etc. I do have a pretty good idea as to what the answer is, but the only answers we even can have are entirely theoretical, and we can't exactly test them.
I don't think that can really be answered generally - I think you'd need to look at each case individually. The only really general answer I can give is that each species survives by filling a niche - either filling one that was empty before, or by replacing an existing species. We need to take into account the individuals, their environment, and the other organisms in the environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post
Well, actually, I just found it on Google, but here are a few sites that say some of the same things about the possible inaccuracies of carbon-14 dating:

THE PROBLEMS WITH CARBON-14 DATING
Carbon Dating

In my first post I quoted the first one.
It seems you've found the traditional garbage that these creationist sites are full of. We had a thread on this a while ago, which you may want to read.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:17 PM
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

^(SV) Any evidences from pages without a giant Roman's Road banner on the side or at the bottom? Without links to a pages like "Contradictions in the Quran" and statements to the tune of "Without evolution, there can be no Marxism, no Leninism, no Secular Humanism"? From a page that sites sources everytime it makes a dramatic generalization?

Really, I'm no great believer in radioactive dating (Simply because I'm suspicious of any theory which attempt to draw connection between Quantum mechanics and the Macroscopic universe) but the lack of objective, unbiased thought that these pages suggest is disgusting.
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  #35 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-30-2007, 11:53 PM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMKB View Post
Humans used to fill a particular niche in an ecosystem, they were gatherers and scavengers as well as hunters to a small degree (they couldn't hope to match the specialised features of a hypercarnivore in this respect).
Generally, there can only be one species that fills an ecological niche, if one species performs the role of that niche better than another species, then that species will take over that role.

One analogy I can think of is the thylacine on mainland Australia. The thylacine filled a particular niche in Australia's ecosystem as the top predator and as Australia's largest carnivore (at that time). It remained that way until about 3500-8000 (the date is disputed) years ago, when the dingo was introduced to Australia by people from South-East Asia.
The dingo filled exactly the same niche as the thylacine once did, it eventually claimed the niche for itself as it did a better job of it. Dingoes hunt in packs whereas thylacines usually hunted alone, a team effort paying dividends in securing more food for themselves. This competition drove the thylacine into extinction on mainland Australia.

Same goes for different human species, whoever filled the role of that particular niche the best became the dominant species and would have lived to see another day. In this case I think it would have been something like; smarter/bigger brains = better toolkit = more food obtained = that particular species of hominid surviving.
I don't think it would have been as rapid as the way the thylacine became extinct in Australia, there were probably different species coexisting for a time, one slowly becoming the more prominent and dominant.
Actually, natural selection often doesn't work that way. The new species don't suddenly "start competing" as soon as a gene change occurs, it's simply that they tend to reproduce with others with the dominant genome and weed out those that have the undesirable older genome. True, competetive selection does take place, but it often isn't that the less effecient species "dies of hunger because they couldn't collect food fast enough," it's that the less efficient group just stops being born among the race, because the gene becomes universal. More than one species can eat the same food and still coexist. I'm arguing, however, that according to current evolutionary theory their should be other separately reproducing species in existence, or at least fossils evidencing their past existence.
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You think "I'll carve a path through New York and be an artist", but are you anything?
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And just a few things are related to the old times
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  #36 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-31-2007, 12:28 AM
Lysis Antarctica Lysis is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
It seems you've found the traditional garbage that these creationist sites are full of. We had a thread on this a while ago, which you may want to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmm_PIE View Post
^(SV) Any evidences from pages without a giant Roman's Road banner on the side or at the bottom? Without links to a pages like "Contradictions in the Quran" and statements to the tune of "Without evolution, there can be no Marxism, no Leninism, no Secular Humanism"? From a page that sites sources everytime it makes a dramatic generalization?

Really, I'm no great believer in radioactive dating (Simply because I'm suspicious of any theory which attempt to draw connection between Quantum mechanics and the Macroscopic universe) but the lack of objective, unbiased thought that these pages suggest is disgusting.
I'm afraid you may have misunderstood me. I was just saying that there were people out there that don't agree with carbon-14 dating. I'm not making any claims for myself here, and I really don't care how disputable the arguments on those pages are. My point is still made.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:48 AM
MMKB Australia MMKB is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by Leinator View Post
Actually, natural selection often doesn't work that way. The new species don't suddenly "start competing" as soon as a gene change occurs, it's simply that they tend to reproduce with others with the dominant genome and weed out those that have the undesirable older genome. True, competetive selection does take place, but it often isn't that the less effecient species "dies of hunger because they couldn't collect food fast enough," it's that the less efficient group just stops being born among the race, because the gene becomes universal. More than one species can eat the same food and still coexist. I'm arguing, however, that according to current evolutionary theory their should be other separately reproducing species in existence, or at least fossils evidencing their past existence.
ScienceDaily: Natural Selection Has Strongly Influenced Recent Human Evolution, Study Finds

Quote:
Originally Posted by From article
The study suggests that positive Darwinian natural selection -- in which some forms of a gene are favored because they increase the probability of survival or reproduction -- is responsible for the increased rate of evolution.
A human who carries a beneficial mutation that gives greater intelligence will devise greater tools. Greater tools would allow food to be collected more efficiently, a man who can collect a lot of food (as well as use tools to defend himself) is going to have a much greater chance of attracting a mate (as a constant food supply will make raising children a lot easier). His offspring, as long as they carry the same mutation, are going to be in similar circumstances.
Put the selective pressure on in the form of a drought or harsh winter and those with the mutation (as long as the mutation is expressed) are going to be the ones who survive through superior (and more inventive) food gathering techniques. That would be natural selection. Whoever has the genes that best suit survival in the environment they are in are going to win out.

Yes, it's a horribly simplified example of natural selection. I just wanted to point out that a beneficial mutation needn't be dominant and that those with a beneficial mutation don't necessarily go out looking to reproduce with those of the same mutation. Natural selection will kill off those without the beneficial mutation, not because a beneficial mutation is always dominant.

EDIT: By the way, what other separately reproducing species should still exist?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leinator
More than one species can eat the same food and still coexist.
That is true in some cases, the thylacine would beg to differ though.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:00 AM
John John is a male Canada John is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post


Source? Evidence? Proof? Anything? Nope, didn't think so.

Although I don't deny that there are people out there for the money alone, you can't obviously claim that they all are.
Can I prove that they're telling lies? No.

However, the fact that they have, multiple times, been shown how their arguments don't work, and yet ignore this, and have created perfectly ridiculous lies out of thin air ("The Earth can't be 4 billion years old becuase the moon doesn't have enough dust." They eventually told people to stop using that argument because there was too good a chance of someone in the audience explaining what was actually going on. Read that again, they didn't stop using it because it was wrong, they stopped using it because they realized that people would know that it didn't work.) seems to make it very clear that they don't care one bit about the truth, they just want money.

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Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post
I'm afraid you may have misunderstood me. I was just saying that there were people out there that don't agree with carbon-14 dating. I'm not making any claims for myself here, and I really don't care how disputable the arguments on those pages are. My point is still made.
No scientist does. The people from AiG or the Discovery Institute do, but they have a very vested interest in trying to convince people that they must be right, their jobs depend on it, after all.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:20 AM
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by ShadowVaati View Post
I'm afraid you may have misunderstood me. I was just saying that there were people out there that don't agree with carbon-14 dating.
Reality isn't democratic. There are millions of people who beleive in Santa Clause, but that has no bearing at all on the truth of the manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDwarf
The fact that they have, multiple times, been shown how their arguments don't work, and yet ignore this, and have created perfectly ridiculous lies out of thin air seems to make it very clear that they don't care one bit about the truth, they just want money.
Though a number of YEC leaders may have ulterior motives (I really wouldn't know), the fact is 98% of the theories supporters beleive these tennants righteously; to many of my friends it is the evolutionists who have created lies for there own personal gain.
Many people have no oppertunity to truly annalyze the argument (as they beleive that the entire affair should be approached from a "Godly perspective"... ie. one that slanders evolutionary theory on every line) and so feel as vindicated in their beleifs as you yourself do.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:24 AM
Leinator Leinator is a male Leinator is offline
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Re: Creation Museum Opens

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Originally Posted by MMKB View Post
ScienceDaily: Natural Selection Has Strongly Influenced Recent Human Evolution, Study Finds


A human who carries a beneficial mutation that gives greater intelligence will devise greater tools. Greater tools would allow food to be collected more efficiently, a man who can collect a lot of food (as well as use tools to defend himself) is going to have a much greater chance of attracting a mate (as a constant food supply will make raising children a lot easier). His offspring, as long as they carry the same mutation, are going to be in similar circumstances.
Put the selective pressure on in the form of a drought or harsh winter and those with the mutation (as long as the mutation is expressed) are going to be the ones who survive through superior (and more inventive) food gathering techniques. That would be natural selection. Whoever has the genes that best suit survival in the environment they are in are going to win out.

Yes, it's a horribly simplified example of natural selection. I just wanted to point out that a beneficial mutation needn't be dominant and that those with a beneficial mutation don't necessarily go out looking to reproduce with those of the same mutation. Natural selection will kill off those without the beneficial mutation, not because a beneficial mutation is always dominant.

EDIT: By the way, what other separately reproducing species should still exist?
That is true in some cases, the thylacine would beg to differ though.
Half the time someone with completely undesirable genes rises to the top of our society and extremely intelligent and physically adept end up homeless. The further we advance towards a society that operates on morality and respect for others, the less natural selection in the competitive form takes place. Every time we "help the less fortunate," we're pretty much mucking up competitive selection. Fat women often find a fat man and raise fat children in the middle class. Our entire society in America is fat. America pretty much furthers the reproduction of ugly people. This isn't a bad thing in my mind, but it does support the argument that evolution can turn in a direction other than "betterment."
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