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Author Topic: what is evolution anyway?  (Read 8435 times)
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 03:41:35 PM »

" but the result was 'slime to man' without facts to back it.  slime to man became a new truth, and to this day many cling to it, even though we know now that this is very unlikely. "

OK, so what is likely then?  What makes better sense? 

To me this is just one of those issues I simply dont concern myself with because there is no answer unless you want to believe that an all knowing God created everything.  If you believe in evolution then you have to either believe life began with bacteria or something of this nature or that a God created us and we have only evolved since then. What is the third option, Aliens?  Where did they come from?
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2012, 04:19:25 PM »

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To me this is just one of those issues I simply dont concern myself with because

and that's a perfectly acceptable position for an adult.  were you not taught the theory of evolution as fact?  i know i was. 

kids were forced to watch the al gore movie in school and have been taught global warming..or now climate change...as man caused.  no questions allowed.  no historical context of climate change. 

it's not new.  i remember sitting in school being taught that we were entering an ice age (man caused), about to run out of oil, food, etc....all because of evil man.....

what happens to the mind of a child if you convince them that something is evil?  what happens to them when you convince them that their existence is part of that evil?

we substitute dogma/agenda for thinking, and wonder why kids turn out the way they do.....
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2012, 05:05:24 PM »

"we substitute dogma/agenda for thinking, and wonder why kids turn out the way they do....."

That's profound.  We tried swimming against the current.  Our two adult children left home, have completely unlearned everything we taught them and assimilated into the conventional thinking of today.  The pull of culture and the pressure to fit in are hard to overcome.
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2012, 11:20:46 PM »

i remember sitting in school being taught that we were entering an ice age (man caused), about to run out of oil, food, etc..
And which one of those things is NOT true? 

Glad to see you were paying attention  grin
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2012, 02:20:39 AM »

According to Wikipedia human DNA consists of about 3.2 billion base pairs.  Each base pair can take on 1 of 4 values (A,G,C,T).  What are the statistical odds of randomly picking 3.2 billion base 4 numbers in just the right order to arrive at working human DNA?  Hint:  This makes the mega millions lottery look like a sure win!  Any bee keepers pass Statistics?

I, personally, have no problem with evolution.  I see it in the suits of armour in old European castles that I love to visit.  Those dudes were the large folks of their time and tiny to us.  I only have a problem with the theory that we evolved from a primordial soup, through evolution, to our current state being accepted, taught and whose proponents religiously persecute all detractors as if it were a fact.  

I agree with BeyondTSW here.  The odds of randomly creating DNA from individual nucleotides doesn’t hold up to the math and hence there is a fundamental problem with the evolution hypothesis.  That knocks the idea off the “theory” pedestal and back onto the conjecture pile.  

Anyone who’s spent much time writing assembler or microcode, knows long sequential strings of (working) information simply don’t assemble themselves at random, no matter how much time elapses.  It just doesn’t happen and the 2nd law of thermodynamics virtually forbids it.

I believe Zippelk was marveling at the simplicity of DNA, "just 4 bases" make up the polymer.  Well a computer has just 2 bases (0 and 1).  Computers can seem simple if all do is use bug free programs (word processors, beemaster Smiley, etc).  However when you start to get down to the nitty gritty inside a computer (driver code, operating system code, hardware registers, etc) they become very complex with reams and reams and reams of documentation to make them work.  If something seems simple, you haven’t dug deep enough!
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2012, 07:19:36 AM »

i remember sitting in school being taught that we were entering an ice age...

The the cover story for Newsweek (Apr 28, 1975) warned that "scientists ...are almost unanimous in the view… that perhaps only 10 years from now" the coming Ice Age would result in a "drastic decline in food production." It said that "the evidence to support these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively" that scientists couldn't keep up with it. Scientists were very dismayed that political leaders were not working to compensate for the climatic change or beginning to stockpile food. Scientists were urging governments to “take action” and recommending a variety of solutions, such as forcibly melting the polar ice caps in order to stop the impending Ice Age.

In 1975, "Science" was almost godlike. We had put man on the moon. How could we possible doubt a nearly unanimous view of the impending Ice Age?

Looking back, you have to wonder what havoc we would have created if we had “taken action.”

If you're a scientist, your best best for obtaining research grants is an impending crisis. The bigger the better.
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2012, 10:13:09 AM »

blue, as it turned out, none of those things were true.  all were supposed to have happened by now.  here's another accepted truth from the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Population_Bomb

we were supposed to be out of oil by now.  not only are we not out, but some of the biggest oil finds ever, have happed recently, AND we have the tech to retrieve it.  there's also plenty of coal.

one might be tempted to say:  God provides  Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2012, 10:34:17 AM »

Zippelk, you have confused evolution with natural selection.
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2012, 06:07:33 PM »

Sorry, but I have to disagree.  Theory definitely does NOT mean fact.

In common conversational usage, theory is often used to mean conjecture, unproven assumption, or even a mere guess. Oh it's just a theory! Be that as it may, that is absolutely not how the word is used in science. It’s like the word caste--in conversational usage, it refers only to social status, while to a beekeeper it also involves difference in diet and pheromones leading to different morphologies and behaviors...it is really a completely different concept to us! Same with theory. So if we are going to talk about science, we should use the proper vocabulary. When you say evolution is a theory to a scientist that means you hold the concept in very high regard, which is, apparently, the exact opposite of what some are trying to say. To better understand what theories are, it helps to know how science works. It typically begins with the observation of a specific phenomenon. “My bees are dying.” The experimenter then forms a hypothesis, which is a possible explanation typically based on past observations or research. “Maybe it’s these little varroa mites sucking on them. It was mites last time, those tracheal mites.” The experiment generally involves tweaking one variable at a time so any results can be correlated with that changed variable. “I am going to treat these bees for mites and see if they get better, and/or give mites to this healthy colony over here and see if they get worse. But I am not going to make any other changes now, like diet or housing because then I won't know what really caused any changes I see.” So the mite-free bees stop dying, and the newly mite-infested bees start dying. Your conclusion is that your hypothesis was supported, the mites were the problem. Did you prove your hypothesis? No, nothing is proven, only supported or refuted. Maybe the problem was just a a virus carried by the mites, and if somebody later demonstrates that experimentally, then the community modifies conclusions based on new evidence! Now, when numerous repeated related scientific experiments all come to the same conclusion, those conclusions are assimilated into a theory. Unlike its use in common conversational usage, theory in science is essentially a natural law. Is it immutable fact? No, like all science, it is subject to change with further experiments that lead to refined conclusions. But it is fact as well as we can know it today. Would you call these guesses or facts?

- atomic theory: all matter is made up of atoms
- cell theory: all living things are made up of cells
- germ theory: microorganisms cause many of our diseases
- gravitational theory: matter is attracted to other matter

Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact. If you believe in dogs, the flu, and hygienic bees, then you believe in evolution. What is a theory, tested and supported by countless observations and experiments, is Darwin and Wallace‘s concept of natural selection, one of the ways that evolution has changed species over time. And like evolution, you can document this for yourself, in the lab or in the field, anyone can observe it for themselves if they so wish. That is the beauty of science!

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I, personally, have no problem with evolution...I only have a problem with the theory that we evolved from a primordial soup, through evolution, to our current state being accepted, taught and whose proponents religiously persecute all detractors as if it were a fact.  True science should always be open to new ideas, never prosecuting ruin to those with whom one doesn't agree.

I'm sorry, is your issue with the extent to which evolution has been at play, with your perception of scientists' attitude, or maybe both?

If you are talking about the extent to which evolution has been at play--"that we evolved from a primordial soup, through evolution, to our current state"--then I am confused. You acknowledge that evolution is fact, that gene pools do change over time, and that this is something we can observe. You say you have no problem with that. So where is the problem? If small changes can occur and be observed over small periods of time, why can't large changes happen over large periods of time? I don't see any major philosophical obstacles here, I think we are just talking about extent. If 2 populations can start to become different in a time frame that we can see, why couldn't they become very different over a longer time frame that we cannot see? Speciation usually occurs over such a time scale that it is difficult to conceive. But, sometimes it happens while we are watching (e.g., the apple maggot)! Amazing that we were able to see that over a short course of years. When you think now that evolution has been at this for BILIONS of years, it isn’t so hard to see how this sort of thing plays out again and again.

If you are talking about the attitude, I don't think it is fair to say that scientists are persecuting, prosecuting, or trying to ruin the non-believers. Historically, the opposite was true! We just don't think that scientific results should be downplayed or dismissed because they are inconvenient, unpopular, or unprofitable. I don't want creation in my biology class any more than I want astrology in my astronomy class...there's no place for faith-based alternatives in science. How would the religious feel if a bill was passed mandating discussion of evolution at church every Sunday? "...Amen. Oh, and I should mention, theology is just a theory, some people think natural laws guided the origin of the universe and life here on earth, so we need to discuss that for 5 minutes..."

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It definitely has no place in politics IMO. 

Science has no place in politics?  I don't understand. You don't think that policies governing how we live on the planet should be guided by our best understanding of the impacts of our choices? When science tells us things like that asbestos causes lung cancer, you don't think government should ban asbestos, which otherwise would stay in use because it is cheap and construction is a profit-driven industry?  Confused.  huh
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2012, 06:09:30 PM »

the problem is that to many of your so called scientists, take those observable facts and develop theories that they cling to, and rabidly promote, as if the theory were fact.

See previous post. Theories are facts as well as we can understand them today. There's no clinging or rabidity; if new lines of research lead us to alter our previous conclusions, all the better!  Reluctance to adapt is characteristic of some other groups...
And now you and I are just repeating ourselves, so I'll not say this again.

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i think the reason this happens is that to many of them start with what they wish to be true, and work facts backward to prove what they already want to believe.  

Well, as I keep saying, that is the exact opposite of science, which goes from hypothesis to experiment to results and conclusions. Do you have any evidence for what you say, or are you guilty of doing exactly what you are accusing scientists of?

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the result was 'slime to man' without facts to back it.  slime to man became a new truth, and to this day many cling to it, even though we know now that this is very unlikely.

We know that it is very unlikely?  How so?

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global whatever is the same.  start with the premise that man is evil and destructive.  whatever is happening to the planet is because man is evil and destructive.  the premise is more important that the facts because it fits the agenda.

You think scientists want to believe that man is evil? How does that help anyone?  Confused.  huh
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zippelk
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2012, 06:11:29 PM »

kids were forced to watch the al gore movie in school and have been taught global warming..or now climate change...as man caused.  no questions allowed.  no historical context of climate change. 

Have you actually watched An Inconvenient Truth? If you had, you would know that historical context of climate change is the foundation on which the case for recent change being anthropogenic is made. No questions allowed? Really? Or more hyperbole Kathy? Science DEMANDS asking questions. I just don't know how else to say it.

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we substitute dogma/agenda for thinking, and wonder why kids turn out the way they do.....

Couldn't have said it better myself.  grin
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zippelk
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2012, 06:12:36 PM »

What are the statistical odds of randomly picking 3.2 billion base 4 numbers in just the right order to arrive at working human DNA?  

I have absolutely no idea why you are asking that question. Who said the process was random? Non-random selection is at the very core of natural selection. DNA started out very simply with just a few genes and natural selection favored mutations for additional genes that aided survival and reproduction. Genes that were not favored were not passed on. Most organisms stayed very simple (there are more bacteria in your gut than there have ever been humans on the planet), a few became more complex. Nobody is saying that human DNA randomly appeared in the primordial pool. Complex DNA (salamanders are more impressive here than humans, by the way) has nothing to do with randomness and everything to do with refinement for particular function through billions of years of natural selection. Confused again.  huh
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2012, 06:14:00 PM »

The the cover story for Newsweek (Apr 28, 1975) warned that "scientists ...are almost unanimous in the view… that perhaps only 10 years from now" the coming Ice Age would result in a "drastic decline in food production." ...

As I understand it (and contrary to that Newsweek quote), global cooling was truly a minority opinion (unlike today, where anthropogenic warming is the VAST majority opinion) among a few scientists who took a very myopic look at just a couple decades cooling trend. Had they looked at a bigger range of data, as other scientists were doing at the time, they would have seen that it was a downward blip on an otherwise upward trend. It was not a majority opinion by any means; it was simply blown out of proportion by the media, if you can imagine that. I guess a similar thing is happening today; scientists who say there is no anthropogenic climate change are the vast minority, but the media always seems to give them equal billing, which I think is part of the reason so many people aren’t sure what to believe. Anyway, if a teacher in the 70s taught climate cooling (or any other vast minority position) to you as fact, they made a mistake.

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If you're a scientist, your best best for obtaining research grants is an impending crisis. The bigger the better.

Actually, it's probably in pharmaceuticals. That's just about a trillion dollar per year industry. I am pretty sure you are not going to make that much money looking for climate change. Although you might do well for yourself if you are willing to cover up climate change evidence on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, which itself makes at least 5x more money every year than pharmaceuticals.  grin
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zippelk
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2012, 06:15:08 PM »

we were supposed to be out of oil by now.  not only are we not out, but some of the biggest oil finds ever, have happed recently, AND we have the tech to retrieve it.  there's also plenty of coal.

one might be tempted to say:  God provides  Wink

I'd like to think that you are being cheeky, but I suspect that you are not. You know why they call them 'fossil' fuels right? It's not because they were inserted in the ground by the hand of god. And last time I checked, he wasn't making any more dead dinosaurs. Natural selection stopped favoring most of them, except the birds. But if he does feel like creating some more fuel, can you ask him to just do it in our gas tanks? It's such a pain to have to drill it, refine it, ship it, etc. Really. Unless making me stop at a gas station once a week is somehow part of a divine plan, do me a favor.  grin
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zippelk
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2012, 06:15:42 PM »

Zippelk, you have confused evolution with natural selection.

Nope. Evolution is the fact that gene pools change over time. Natural Selection is a theory (tested, corroborated, readily observable by anyone) for one of the ways evolution happens in nature. That doesn't confuse me at all.  grin
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2012, 07:40:52 PM »

Thanks for taking the time Zippelk.   applause applause applause   Very interesting.

I read an interesting theory on humans having an impact on global warming. Can't remember where I saw it, it was so long ago, so therefore no link.

When the earth was forming the atmosphere was full of carbon and earth was too hot to support life. Over time (millions of years, not thousands) the carbon was absorbed by the earth and with the atmosphere clear the earth was able to cool down and therefore life began. Low and behold for the last century and a half we've been spewing carbon back into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Fact or fiction, it made sense to me, but then I'm a liberal.    grin  I even believe in evolution.
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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2012, 09:02:22 PM »

It doesn’t happen very often, but even a liberal can be wrong at times  Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2012, 09:12:38 PM »

What are the statistical odds of randomly picking 3.2 billion base 4 numbers in just the right order to arrive at working human DNA? 
I have absolutely no idea why you are asking that question.

That is why you believe in a flawed idea (evolution) instead of cold hard math.

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Who said the process was random?

Basically YOU did when you suggested Stanley Miller’s experiments weren’t a crook.  I make more organic chemicals in my frying pan every morning than your man Stan.  Anybody can make bits of information, it’s stringing them together and forming intelligence which is virtually impossible and the fatal flaw in your thinking.  If you can prove otherwise, I’m all ears. 
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kathyp
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2012, 09:21:38 PM »

i don't think the argument in either post is really about evolution or climate change.  people will argue evolution forever and climate change is a given.  the argument is over ideology being substituted for fact.  i don't think it's about money either.   al gore and green companies sucking up tax dollars aside, scientists don't form theories because they want to make a buck.

i do think that they often form theories based on the idea that "man is evil".    it plays well with the granola crunchers...those same people who go up my mountain to commune with nature....and then fall off....or get eaten.

one of my sons is back in oregon doing some post grad work.  he's taking a business class.  today they discussed the Prius and the cost of it.  why is it so expensive to make?  why does the company make it when it's not a real money maker for them.

by the time they'd gone through the steps to mine the rare earth minerals (can't mine them here), ship them to china (can't refine them here...) ship product to japan.  ship product to US, assemble car....turns out the Prius might be one of the least earth friendly cars on the road.... and that's before you consider disposal of batteries, etc.  BUT  the tree huggers love them so it's good for the company image.
why aren't the greenies screaming about it?  as long as it promotes the idea that we MUST get off fossil fuels, nothing else matters.

all the while evil man has figured out how to feed the planet, conquer disease, protect against the elements, extend life....not to mention leaving the planet, instant communication all over the world, etc.  would any of these folks really like to live in the world as it was a couple hundred years ago?  would they even survive?

and what has been one of the prime elements in our achievements?  cheap power, much of it from fossil fuels. oh...i'm all for hydro power too, but that kills fish.  and nuke is great also, but.....

and let me know when that theory of evolution is smoothed out.  so far, they have only managed to prove that different evolutions of man actually co-existed.  so far, the mathematics of genetic mutation are making it harder and harder to believe in evolution in the way many insist on embracing as fact.  

i am always open to new info, but i was taught to question what is put before me.  

 


 

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2012, 02:07:57 AM »

"Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact."

If Darwins origin of a species was fact we would call it a law, not a theory.  Evolution occurs.  There is no doubt about that.  You seem to be confusing evolution of species that already exist and the notion that evolution created all species.  That's what's at play and in doubt here.  Facts are laws.  Unproven ideas are theories.  Sorry but that's the way it is.

I guess I should have said politics has no place in science.  Science, more specifically, theories have no place in determining policy until they are laws IMO.  It's just an opinion.  Sometimes science is wrong and, therefore, policy derived from it would be wrong.
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