Evolution Weekend – 2010

| 233 Comments

Sorry to be so late, but February 12 is Charles Darwin’s birthday, and February 12-14 is Evolution Weekend. From the Evolution Weekend home page:

Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. One important goal is to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic - to move beyond sound bites. A second critical goal is to demonstrate that religious people from many faiths and locations understand that evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith. Finally, as with The Clergy Letters themselves, which have now been signed by more than 12,000 members of the clergy in the United States, Evolution Weekend makes it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.

If you live in a largish metropolitan area and know of any events that PT readers might want to attend, please announce them in the Comments.

233 Comments

The International Darwin Day Foundation, with which I am not familiar, lists a zillion events in 10 countries and a great many US states.

Elevate the discussion?! By accusing my side as saying we say choose between faith and science?! We don’t say that. We either say origin subjects are not open to much or any science OR we say we do the same science as anyone on these topics.

As for these evolution thumper clergy WELL if we tripe that number does that make our side right? It is difficult to see how a Christian can ignore scripture on this but accept it on that. Yet i accept one can because they say do. Yet its fair to say evolution is a opponent of the bible and what is the truth. The clergy thing seems to show a problem in the evolution cause. being seen as anti Christian is not good for gaining acceptance.

Evolution is not sound science or science is not that sound on aggresive conclusions ism. God and genesis is sound on origin subjects.

So the entire genus of creationism is confident and firing away at the crumbling fortress of evolution and company.

Robert Byers, learn how to spell.

Also, if the “genus (sic) of creationism is confident and firing away at the crumbling fortress of evolution,” then please to explain why creationists, such as yourself, have not bothered to make any contributions to science in the last century and a half?

Nipissing University is holding its annual Darwin’s Birthday Party Thursday Feb. 11 at 100 Georges in the ‘major’ metropolitan city of North Bay, Ontario (pop. 54,000).

It usually is a pretty good time with profs, students, former students and other folks. I’m not sure but I think this is the 12th year they have had this, and many times the students of the Biology Society organize and run it (including obtaining funding for it).

Those students are the type of people who fill this old pessimist with some hope for the future–we’re all doomed in the long run anyway, but at least students like this will ensure there will be some bright spots along the way. :)

Mr. Byers,

Your post does not seem to make any sense at all. I gather you do not accept evolutionary theory for some reason, but could you please elaborate on what the problematic areas are and explain how what you propose is better?

Thanks for any clarification you can provide.

Yeah, Byers, we know what creationists say. It’s not hard to pick it, since it always lies somewhere between invincible ignorance and downright lying.

“Crumbling fortress of evolution”? What a laugh! Self-delusion, thy name is Byers.

Fifty years ago, creationism was still required in some state schools. That’s gone. Thirty years ago, science and creationism still had to be taught together in some states. That’s gone. Twenty years ago, creationism could still sometimes get away with representing itself as science. That’s gone. Five years ago, creationism tried calling itself something else and getting that represented as science, and that’s gone, too.

It’s all gone, Byers. Creationism can’t be taught in science classes anywhere in the USA, because it’s a religious belief, not science. As a result, creationists have been in retreat for over forty years as actual knowledge succeeds enforced superstition. They will continue to retreat until their dogma is something that only bedrock loons buy into. People like you, Byers.

So fire away as much as you like. Your pitiful ammunition - ignorance, prejudice, folly, unreason and delusion - only serves to strengthen the walls.

Hey Byers, You’ve run away from this on about 3 threads now, so let’s try again, shall we?

Why did God need a flood to get rid of people, including lots of babies, and why did He have to open windows to do it? Were there windows in the “firmament”? Are they still there? If not, why not?

And why couldn’t the Creator of the Universe beat Jacob at wrestling, even after cheating?

If you want anyone to buy into your story, then you need some good answers for silly questions like these (and about 827 more) with some evidence–not just another Just-So story that you made up to patch the holes in your “inerrant” Bible.

Just Bob said:

Were there windows in the “firmament”? Are they still there? If not, why not?

Um, maybe painted shut after all these years?

Just Bob said:

Hey Byers, You’ve run away from this on about 3 threads now, so let’s try again, shall we?

Why did God need a flood to get rid of people, including lots of babies, and why did He have to open windows to do it? Were there windows in the “firmament”? Are they still there? If not, why not?

And why couldn’t the Creator of the Universe beat Jacob at wrestling, even after cheating?

If you want anyone to buy into your story, then you need some good answers for silly questions like these (and about 827 more) with some evidence–not just another Just-So story that you made up to patch the holes in your “inerrant” Bible.

The “windows of heaven” is a figure of speech. It’s obvious that you understand that because you attempt to make it into physical windows.

Ah, it’s a figure of speech, is it? How illuminating. I would never have thought of that. So there are figures of speech in the Bible, are there, henry? What a surprise.

So, if that’s a figure of speech, what’s to stop the Garden of Eden being a figure of speech, meaning primordial innocence before humans developed a moral sense, or, so to speak, souls?

And the six days of creation? Pretty prime figure of speech, I would have thought, meaning that immense spans of time are inconsiderable to God. And then there’s the bit about Eve (a figure of speech meaning all women) being made from Adam’s rib, (Adam being a figure of speech for all men). That would imply that woman is part of man, bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, different but the same, his equal, and to be treated alike - indeed, as part of himself. Pretty powerful metaphor, that.

In fact, the more you look at the creation stories as figures of speech, the more beauty and the more power they gain. It gets you thinking.

I mean, henry, could it conceivably be that Genesis and many other Bible stories are figures of speech, and should not be interpreted literally? Gasp! Whatever next?

My pastor has added his name to “The Clergy Letter Project”, but has chosen not to do any special “Evolution Weekend” activity or service. His reasoning is that our Episcopal diocese supports Appalachian ministries this weekend, we are located on the industrial fringe of Appalachia, and ministry to this group of people is a major concern. At the same time, we can’t find anyone in our church that disgrees with evolution, so that support of evolution in church would be preaching to the choir.

Of course, we are Episcopalian, which probably accounts for this common-sense approach.

Dave Luckett said:

Ah, it’s a figure of speech, is it? How illuminating. I would never have thought of that. So there are figures of speech in the Bible, are there, henry? What a surprise.

So, if that’s a figure of speech, what’s to stop the Garden of Eden being a figure of speech, meaning primordial innocence before humans developed a moral sense, or, so to speak, souls?…

And the six days of creation? Pretty prime figure of speech, I would have thought, … Pretty powerful metaphor, that.

In fact, the more you look at the creation stories as figures of speech, the more beauty and the more power they gain. It gets you thinking. literally? Gasp! Whatever next?

Selectively editing Dave, just to save space. I cut the parts out not because I disagree with them, or don’t want to discuss them, but because I largely agree with the main thrust of your argument.

You are exactly right, Dave, that many Bible stories are powerful figures of speech. The technical name is myth - truth told in story form. Some myths are ahistorical, but still tell other people what a nation or tribe believe about themselves - like the legends of King Arthur or Robin Hood. Other myths really happened, but get invested with meaning beyond the historical facts, like the American Revolution to Americans, or the French Revolution to the French. Most Bible stories function as myths, whether they are historical events, legends or just good stories. The Creation stories of Genesis are examples of ahistorical myths.

One interpretation missing from rebuttals of Christian fundamentalist tripe on Panda’s Thumb is a topical interpretation of the passage. Think of Genesis 1 as a song with seven verses and a refrain “and God saw that it was good, and it was very good”. The first three verses show God creating light, water and air and finally land. The next three verses show God creating creatures of light, creatures of air and water, and creatures of land. Finally, God rested.

The Biblical message is “God created everything, and everything was good”. It contradicts the other Creation song that existed at the time, that of the Babylonians, which claimed we were an accidental result of their gods’ warfare. If you want meaning in Creation, there it is.

If you want details of how, when and what, ask a scientist, not a theologian. We’ll answer with geology and biology. That’s how I, as a scientist can participate fully in the world of science and still go to church on Sunday, with no contradiction.

Since the Creation is topical, there’s no need to believe that Creation has ended. Therefore, couldn’t plate tectonics (from my area of expertise) and evolution be part of that ongoing Creation?

Finally, there are two Creation stories in Genesis - the seven days version and the Garden of Eden version. Apparently, the ancient israelites had two different creation myths. When they collected them into written form, they couldn’t decide which one they liked better, so they kept them both.

henry said:

The “windows of heaven” is a figure of speech. It’s obvious that you understand that because you attempt to make it into physical windows.

Why would we need to assume that “windows of heaven” was a figure of speech when creationists, like yourself, constantly scream about how the English translation of the Holy Bible, and the Book of Genesis in particular, must be read word-for-word literally, under pain of death, damnation and eternal torture?

henry said:

The “windows of heaven” is a figure of speech. It’s obvious that you understand that because you attempt to make it into physical windows.

You mean like a physical source that untold millions of cubic meters of water could physically flow through or come from?

That kind of physical thing?

Well, we finally agree on one thing henry. It’s a metaphor.

Robert Byers said:

Elevate the discussion?! By accusing my side as saying we say choose between faith and science?!

Notice that even in these two sentences Robert attempts to change a discussion into a “my side vs. your side food fight”. Robert is explicitly trying to depress, not elevate, the discussion.

I can only guess as to his motivation, but perhaps it’s because he knows that he’ll lose in an elevated discussion, and therefore he wants a depressed food fight.

The “windows of heaven” is a figure of speech.

genesis 7:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

That is false, incorrect. According to Genesis, the earth was flooded miles deep in water. All that water had to come from somewhere. And it had to disappear because we now have lots of dry land.

Genesis claims that the sky has “floodgates” so god can pour water on us whenever he gets annoyed. God thinks ahead about these things.

We now use those gates. NASA uses them to sneak space probes past the sun on their way to Mars, Saturn, and other planets. Some people claim that NASA has a deal with god and pays hefty tolls for using the gates of the heavens.

The bible taken literally is a treasure trove of scientific information.

henry said:

Just Bob said:

Hey Byers, You’ve run away from this on about 3 threads now, so let’s try again, shall we?

Why did God need a flood to get rid of people, including lots of babies, and why did He have to open windows to do it? Were there windows in the “firmament”? Are they still there? If not, why not?

And why couldn’t the Creator of the Universe beat Jacob at wrestling, even after cheating?

If you want anyone to buy into your story, then you need some good answers for silly questions like these (and about 827 more) with some evidence–not just another Just-So story that you made up to patch the holes in your “inerrant” Bible.

The “windows of heaven” is a figure of speech. It’s obvious that you understand that because you attempt to make it into physical windows.

Oh, I see. Some parts of Genesis aren’t literal. Thanks, Henry.

Now can you tell me how to tell the difference?

And that still doesn’t clear up the problem of WHY God had to go through all those complicated steps, to say nothing of what Noah had to do. And the result was an all-or-none that meant drowning babies. Lovely.

And how about that wrestling match?

Not much going on this weekend in Columbus, OH – so far this is all I’m aware of.

Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Saskatchewan’s major metropolitan area. The Darwin Day Party has all the key ingredients-Lecture, cake, video, and drinking at the bar afterward.

Hi all,

Just to get this thread back on topic, I should note that several organizations, including New York City Skeptics, will have this Saturday, a lecture by AMNH physical anthropologist Ian Tattersall on Darwin and human evolution, with a closing discussion with CUNY philosopher (and evolutionary biologist) Massimo Pigliucci. Unfortunately the event is sold out.

Regards,

John

Here I present evidence against abiogenesis!!!

Origins of life on Earth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolut[…]tory_of_life

Biochemists reason that all living organisms on Earth must share a single last universal ancestor, because it would be virtually impossible that two or more separate lineages could have independently developed the many complex biochemical mechanisms shared by all living organisms.[31][32] However the earliest organisms for which fossil evidence is available are bacteria, which are far too complex to have arisen directly from non-living materials.[33] The lack of fossil or geochemical evidence for earlier types of organism has left plenty of scope for hypotheses, which fall into two main groups: that life arose spontaneously on Earth, and that it was “seeded” from elsewhere in the universe.[34]

Did you read this: “many complex biochemical mechanisms shared by all living organisms”

So, all life would have come from one common ancestor, there could only have been one first living organism that all life evolved from right? If life came from two or more different first living organisms then how would they share the same biochemical mechanisms? So abiogenesis would have only happened once in billions of years, don’t you even see a big problem with this? This is evidence that it is highly improbable that abiogenesis ever occurred in the first place. If many complex biochemical mechanisms are shared by all living organisms, then there are only two explanations, 1. all living things came from one and only one living organism, or 2. they would have been created by a creator, who happen included many of the same shared mechanisms with all living organisms that were created.

This evidence reveals how improbable abiogenesis really is, we are asked to accept that abiogeneis happened once in 4 billion years, and was so successful in that one event, that all life that we see today came from that one single abiogenesis event. What are the odds of that first life living for very long, much less being so successful at reproducing?

CHECK MATE!!!

IBelieve, you are an idiot.

Do you honestly think quotemining from Wikipedia will provide you the deathblow to abiogenesis? Why don’t you discuss this with the Nobel Prize Committee and see what they have to say about your screechy inanity?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_history_of_life

here is the link to the wiki, I noticed it didn’t work in the previous post, hopefully it will work this time.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

If we are to believe that evolution is true, then how would all living organisms have many shared complex biochemical mechanisms, if they didn’t evolve from one last common ancestor?

IBelieveInGod said:

Stanton said:

IBelieve, you are an idiot.

Do you honestly think quotemining from Wikipedia will provide you the deathblow to abiogenesis? Why don’t you discuss this with the Nobel Prize Committee and see what they have to say about your screechy inanity?

Logical fallacy - appeal to authority

just because someone in authority says something is true does not make it true.

I’m not using “appeal to authority,” you babbling twit. I’m being facetious: I was implying that, if you really have found evidence that disproves abiogenesis, you should win a Nobel Prize for having negating an entire branch of science. But, given as how you’ve achieved this so-called “checkmate” solely through deliberately misreading and twisting the words and meanings you found in Wikipedia articles, the only things you deserve are derision and scorn.

IBelieveInGod said: do you dispute that all life came from one common ancestor?

No, I said you were an idiot. The evidence for all life coming from a common ancestor is overwhelming, especially if you’ve actually taken the time to study biology. And you’re also a hypocrite, IBelieve, especially since you’ve lambasted other people for allegedly putting words in my mouth, but here you are, trying to put words into my mouth.

Stanton said:

And you’re also a hypocrite, IBelieve, especially since you’ve lambasted other people for allegedly putting words in your mouth, but here you are, trying to put words into my mouth.

Please do not feed the IBelieveInGod troll. I doubt it has the capacity to learn, and surely you have better things to do. I know I do.

IBelieveInGod said:

If we are to believe that evolution is true, then how would all living organisms have many shared complex biochemical mechanisms, if they didn’t evolve from one last common ancestor?

You have it backwards, idiot. Similar features shared between disparate groups show that they had a common ancestor that also had those features, and one can gauge how long ago this common ancestor was by examining how many features the members of the two groups have in common.

If mutations were cumulative over millions of years, shouldn’t there be creatures showing the actual transition from feet to fins? 75% feet and 25% fins. Then 50% feet and 50% fins. Eventually, 0% feet and 100% fins. But we don’t see anything at all. Just complete feet and then complete fins.

Fossilization is a rare event, so if a population was small, or if it evolved rapidly, or if it lived in an area that’s not conducive to producing fossils, then we won’t have the convenience of a frame by frame replay of the changes.

Henry J

henry said: The Old Testament was written in mostly Hebrew.I’m sure you knew that.

A while ago, you had a discussion with Dave and you mentioned that you were puzzled about Americans being so religious. That’s understandable if you think that America is a secular nation. But it’s not so puzzling if you think that America is Christian nation. We’re unlike Europe which mostly turned secular, leaving churches virtually empty. Our churches are everywhere, some holding multiples services just to accommodate all the people.

I looked this up on Wikipedia, and it does appear that there was a ‘mostly Hebrew’ translation of the Bible available a few years ago. However, it is also possible (although I admit highly unlikely) that you could imagine a German translation. None of this changes the fact that God speaks in Jacobean English.

The superiority of America over the devil-infested Europe I take for granted. Except for Sweden, you have to admit. Trouble is, they’re both beaten by God’s own country. (And before you mention it, I know Brisbane is Godforsaken, but it’s only one city.)

And finally, why is anyone surprised that a mortal can beat an incarnate God in a wrestling match? Some years after this event, mere mortals executed an incarnate God! The act of incarnation appears to allow for such things.

henry said:

If mutations were cumulative over millions of years, shouldn’t there be creatures showing the actual transition from feet to fins? 75% feet and 25% fins. Then 50% feet and 50% fins. Eventually, 0% feet and 100% fins. But we don’t see anything at all. Just complete feet and then complete fins.

What proportion of foot to fin does a platypus have on its front limbs? How about a sealion? Or a seal? I am trying to get some idea of what you mean by ‘50% feet and 50% fins’.

or an otter…or a dugong… Galapagos lizards… gators, crocs, ‘n’ caimen … gulls… penguins… walri…

or Tiktaalik …

None of this changes the fact that God speaks in Jacobean English.

In fact God speaks only Hebrew, with a smattering of Aramaic. When I curse, I always use Christian epithets, precisely so God will not understand me.

Hebrew is the original language, the ancestor of all known languages. All other languages are corruptions of Hebrew. God, being a purist, would not speak in any corrupted form, least of all English.

henry said:

Sylvilagus said:

Henry - Since you logged on and answered some questions but avoided ones that challenged your knowledge of evolutionary science, I’ll try again…

henry said:

DS said:

Here you go Henry:

1. Pakicetus 50 M

2. Ambulocetus 48 M

3. Procetus 45 M

4. Rodhocetus 46 M

5. Kutchicetus 43 M

6. Basilosaurus 36 M

7. Dorudon 37 M

8. Aetiocetus 26 M

National Geographic 200(5):64-76

Now after you explain this evidence, we can move on to the genetic and developmental evidence. Until then you can try to deny climate change all you want.

If anything, these animals appear to be fully functional the way they are, not some pre-whale forms.

Sylvilagus said:

Did you expect a transitional species to NOT be fully “functional”?? This sounds like you have a mistaken idea of what transitional forms should look like. What exactly would you expect a transitional whale-land mammal to be like, if not like these fossils? I’m serious about this question… it would help us to better understand your perspective.

If mutations were cumulative over millions of years, shouldn’t there be creatures showing the actual transition from feet to fins? 75% feet and 25% fins. Then 50% feet and 50% fins. Eventually, 0% feet and 100% fins. But we don’t see anything at all. Just complete feet and then complete fins.

Henry - There are so many problems of basic biology here I hardly know how to begin. First, you need to clarify what your percentages mean. Are you referring to individuals possing limb structures that are part fin/part foot? Or are you referring to populations of a species with some members having fins and some having feet and some having intermediate structures? Or populations of different species some having fins and some having feet and some having intermediate structures?

Second, mutations are not simply “cumulative.” Individuals and species die out and take their genetics with them. The situation is much more complicated than you suggest.

Third, you need to study comparative anatomy. The whale transitions do not just show “complete feet” and “complete fins.” when you look at the details of the structures it is clear that they are transitional combinations of “feet” and “fins,” but you have to know anatomy and study the details to see this.

Fourth, how do you define a “fin” and a “foot” ? Where do you draw the line between them? Unless you can answer these questions, your whole point is nonsensical. You are starting with the presumption of two distinct categories and then force the whale limbs into one or the other. This is the same tactic creationists use with human ancestors… its an “ape” or its a “human.” Anatomy is much more complex than this.

Fifth, you need to consider the rate at which transitional forms would be fossilized. Take a look at taphonomy. By coincidence there is a recent post here on just that subject. To make your claim above you would need to provide data on: a) the relative percentage of transitional forms in a given speciating population and b) the fossilization rates of these forms. Only then can you r4asonably make claims as to what the fossil record should show re: transitional forms. Do you have this data to support your claims?

Well, that’s enough for now. Looking forward to your replies.

Hey Henry, is what a mudskipper walks on a fin or a foot?

What about what a performing seal stands on?

How about penguins? Feet modified to be pretty poor for walking, but pretty good for swimming, like, well, fins. And ex-wings that are hopeless for flying, but superb for “flying” through the water, like, umm, really good fins.

Ready to admit, along with the passage in Genesis that I quoted for you, that God could not beat Jacob at wrestling? Or is Genesis WRONG in it’s plain language? Face it, man, either God couldn’t win or Genesis is wrong.

“…the man saw that he could not overpower him…you have struggled with God…I saw God face to face”

Richard Simons said:

henry said:

If mutations were cumulative over millions of years, shouldn’t there be creatures showing the actual transition from feet to fins? 75% feet and 25% fins. Then 50% feet and 50% fins. Eventually, 0% feet and 100% fins. But we don’t see anything at all. Just complete feet and then complete fins.

What proportion of foot to fin does a platypus have on its front limbs? How about a sealion? Or a seal? I am trying to get some idea of what you mean by ‘50% feet and 50% fins’.

The platypus has webbed feet, no fins at all.

When I listed the three examples, including the 50% feet and 50% fins, I could have started at 1% feet and 99% fins. The point was looking at the animals listed showing the evolution of whales, you don’t see any change demonstrating the transition from feet to fins, not to mention the change from small tail to the huge tail of a whale.

So if YOU (a noted authority on vertebrate morphology) consider it a fish, then its limbs are “fins” (even it it walks on dry land with them, like mudskippers). But if it’s a mammal or bird, then its limbs are “feet” or “wings,” even if it can swim with them fast enough to catch fish, as penguins and otters do.

Got it.

Oh, except for whales, which are mammals. You do believe they’re mammals, right? Since you don’t want to admit that they evolved from critters with feet, then you’ve decided to call their extremities “fins” and “tails” (actually, they’re flippers and flukes). Even though their flippers contain the bones of 5 jointed fingers, and buried in their hindquarters are vestigial hip and leg bones.

Got it.

Now have you decided, oh master of morphological nomenclature, whether seals and walruses, which can walk on land with their limbs, and some of which have claws, have “feet” or “fins”? Because Jesus would hate it if they were something in between.

Oh, and just out of curiosity, are humans mammals? Are we animals?

Just Bob said:

So if YOU (a noted authority on vertebrate morphology) consider it a fish, then its limbs are “fins” (even it it walks on dry land with them, like mudskippers). But if it’s a mammal or bird, then its limbs are “feet” or “wings,” even if it can swim with them fast enough to catch fish, as penguins and otters do.

Got it.

Oh, except for whales, which are mammals. You do believe they’re mammals, right? Since you don’t want to admit that they evolved from critters with feet, then you’ve decided to call their extremities “fins” and “tails” (actually, they’re flippers and flukes). Even though their flippers contain the bones of 5 jointed fingers, and buried in their hindquarters are vestigial hip and leg bones.

Got it.

Now have you decided, oh master of morphological nomenclature, whether seals and walruses, which can walk on land with their limbs, and some of which have claws, have “feet” or “fins”? Because Jesus would hate it if they were something in between.

Oh, and just out of curiosity, are humans mammals? Are we animals?

No, we are not animals.

henry said:

No, we are not animals.

Then why do we, humans, share so many commonalities with other animals, in both genetics, anatomy and behavior?

Should we classify humans in a separate biological kingdom?

What proof do you have that humans are not animals?

Hell, what proof do you have that a platypus’ webbed foot can not function as a fin?

Right, YOU don’t see the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environments in whale fossils that is for sure. Funny but the rest of the world does. Imagine that.

There is a graded series of intermediates in the fossil record documenting the transition from the terrestrial to the aquatic environment for not only of the flippers and flukes but also for the pelvis, the blow hole, echo location structures, baleen filtering structures, etc. And of course all of this fossil evidence is completely consistent with the genetic and developmental evidence as well.

You can deny it all you want to, but no no one is going to be fooled by your ignorance.

Oh and humans are primates which are mammals which are vertebrates which are chordates which are animals so once again you are completely wrong. If you have a problem with your animal heritage, why not complain to the one you assume made you look like an animal? It was all her idea, right? But she wasn’t smart enough to fool you now was she?

DS said:

Oh and humans are primates which are mammals which are vertebrates which are chordates which are animals so once again you are completely wrong. If you have a problem with your animal heritage, why not complain to the one you assume made you look like an animal? It was all her idea, right? But she wasn’t smart enough to fool you now was she?

There is an ancient saying from the Mediterranean, in that Even God struggles in vain against human stupidity

No, we are not animals.

We are beginning to get silly. Please stop feeding the trolls.

Stanton said:

henry said:

No, we are not animals.

Then why do we, humans, share so many commonalities with other animals, in both genetics, anatomy and behavior?

Should we classify humans in a separate biological kingdom?

What proof do you have that humans are not animals?

Hell, what proof do you have that a platypus’ webbed foot can not function as a fin?

We have common features because we have a common Creator, not a common ancestor.

Matt Young said:

No, we are not animals.

We are beginning to get silly. Please stop feeding the trolls.

Perhaps it would help in discouraging posters from feeding the trolls if the trolls were discouraged from posting.

henry said: We have common features because we have a common Creator, not a common ancestor.

Why would a creator reuse parts?

I thought the creator was omnipotent. Why did he not optimize his designs?

Particularly, why did he not optimize his penultimate design, Adam, instead choosing to recycle unstable knee joints more appropriate for burial inside the muscles of a quadruped thigh, a low back unsuited for standing upright, a prostate whose mechanical design almost guarantees trouble with a little swelling and a birth canal often too narrow for.. well… birth ?

I know why evolution wouldn’t be able to get it right, but why, in short, did the designer choose to do such a half-assed job.

And even if a creator reused parts, why group the parts usage in a single nested hierarchy?

Also why add random minor variations within members of a group of related species? More so, why arrange for the amount of minor variation to correlate fairly well with the time since divergence of their predecessors in the fossil record?

Rolf Aalberg said:

As for content – it was the same old same old. ID is science, ID is testable, ID has lots of peer reviewed publications, ID has absolutely nothing whatsoever no-sirree to do with God, no no no, and the Dover trial was awful horrible and nasty. Everybody hates ID just because Judge Jones said so, and Judge Jones copied everything verbatim from the ACLU and ignored all that fine testimony.

On the spot. That’s all we ever hear from them. More that ten years since Darwin’s Black Box, I still have no idea what ID might be except something/somebody did something sometime and that explains everything you need know about evolution. Because “we don’t deny evolution, it’s just that ID is a better explanation.”

What the explanation is? It is better - that’s all you need know. Googling for a particular parody reference, I struck the real thing instead: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/0[…]ntellig.html

I read that dialogue, and it seems like the Darwinist made some pretty good points.

henry said:

Stanton said:

So, tell us again why we should trust hired hackers who conveniently (illegally) obtained allegedly damning emails?

You don’t have to trust those hackers.

Wikipedia has an entry on Climatic Research Unit hacking incident[i.e. Climate gate].

Also, here’s a link to an honest IPCC scientist.

http://biggovernment.com/jlakely/20[…]climategate/

What is really interesting is how many people continue to take man made climate change or global warming as scientific fact–as scientific as evolution. Yet both have serious flaws.

Dawkins, in answering the claims that there are no transitional forms, presented the evolutionary tale of the whale. You could see the fins of the whale and the legs of the mammal, but you don’t see anything in between, showing the actual change taking place. There will never be any evidence showing the whale’s evolution because it never happened.

So I’m to rely on Wiki now for all my scientific questions? It seems the hackers didn’t do a very good job. They hacked into ten years worth of emails and files, yet they only came up with a small handful of out of context quotes which may or may not suggest wrongdoing. Even IF the data at that center is suspect,we still have data from all over the world (NASA, NOAA, etc.) which forms a consensus on the GW issue. Even the British government didn’t find any wrongdoing. The whole thing was just overly hyped by Fox. As to your comment about whales: we have found transitional fossils. http://talkorigins.org/features/whales/

henry said:

Stanton said:

henry said:

Richard Simons said:

henry said: What is really interesting is how many people continue to take man made climate change or global warming as scientific fact–as scientific as evolution. Yet both have serious flaws.

We’re getting somewhat off-topic here, but briefly:
1. Most of the energy arriving at Earth from the sun has a relatively short wavelength, whereas most of the radiation leaving Earth has a longer wavelength.
2. CO2 in the atmosphere is transparent to short-waved radiation but absorbs some of the longer-waved radiation.
3. In the absence of a negative feed-back mechanism, this will increase the average temperature of earth compared to a body without CO2 in the atmosphere. (So far, all of this has been known for at least 100 years.)
4. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been increasing since the start of industrialization.
5. Several lines of evidence show that the great majority of the increase in CO2 has come from human activity. (These two points have been known for less time, about 50 years.)
6. There is no known negative feed-back mechanism that is remotely close to the magnitude needed to counter the warming effect of the extra CO2.

Where exactly do you disagree with this, and what evidence supports your view?

Henrik Svensmark’s theory is global warming is caused by solar activity, not man’s activities.

Please explain where Henrik Svensmark said we should trust the fraudulent emails conveniently provided by the hired hackers, please.

I am not aware of any Svensmark comments on Climate Gate. He does object to the way the temperatures are used to determine global warming. Instead using the data on a yearly basis, the mean of 10 year periods are used, which hides fluctuations and gives the appearance of gradual warming.

This is discussed in Wikipedia’s entry on Svensmark.

Climatologist don’t use ten year means. They use 20-30 year means. A ten year mean is not a long enough time scale to provide meaningful insights on any type of climate change. It’s like seeing it snow one day and saying that the earth is turning into snowball earth. Please look at who is funding the research by these scientific deniers. Most of the institutions that produce deniers are funded by exonmobil and other oil/gas companies. Hmmm…let’s see, get paid a lot of money and skew my findings to fit what the company wants…or be honest and lose all of my funding. By the way, Exon learned this from philipmorris–that’s right, the company that lied about how harmful tobacco/cigarettes really are. They also had scientists on their side.

Just Bob said:

DS said:

…there are living intermediates!

Hey, I’d really like a brief list of living critters that could reasonably be considered “intermediates.” (I realize that’s probably not a legitimate biological term, since it implies that the critter is “on the way to becoming something else.”)

A couple that occur to me are lungfish and mudskippers. Maybe monotremes. How about some others from the bio folks?

hippopotamuses…hippopotami? either way, many biologists think they are well on their way to being completely marine mammals.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on February 9, 2010 4:28 PM.

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