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Author Topic: what is evolution anyway?  (Read 8240 times)
SEEYA
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« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2012, 07:24:51 PM »

>>you do know that there was a St Nickolas?
 Do I? I haven't seen him! I don't know anybody that has seen him! I don't know anybody that knows anybody that has seen him!

And according to lots of people on this forum, that ranks him right up there with EVOLUTION!  grin

>> do let us know what you find.
Check some Museums, they usually have fossils, or in a different context try the Catholic Church, they liked to burn heretics. grin

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« Reply #81 on: April 10, 2012, 07:29:55 PM »

Quote:
Sorry. I don't think that a single thing you said is correct. But apparently you're in good company here. grin  Best of luck.

When speaking of other forum members,lines like this do not sit well with me. I know there are others that feel this way,but choose not to say anything.
However I do not speak for everyone else. But it sure seems like a belittling statement to the group as a whole.

Ken, I apologize if my sentiment was not perfectly clear. No belittling was intended, to individuals or group. I think it is obvious from posts in this thread that there are a couple people here with whom I respectfully yet completely disagree. I was just letting Johnny know that I was not singling him out personally: he is in good company with a couple other seasoned forum members (not the group as a whole) with whom I just don't agree on these issues. I hope that makes my position more clear and palatable. I guess I can try to address Johnny's comments too if my not doing so bothers you.

I'm not sure what about me rubs you the wrong way Ken. Why are you pointing the finger at me?  Rules Have you any doubt that those particular members, in kind, do not agree with the things I said? Should I assume that you are fine with everything they have said about me and my colleagues? Let's see... we're dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, rabid, persecuting, essentially anti-American zealots. You didn't find any of that belittling? I sure did. I am not asking anyone to come to my defense or censor other members, but please remember, I am not the bad guy. List moderation, like the pursuit of truth, should be objective. I just came here to learn about bees, but in light of that unfounded attack against science and scientists, I decided to bring knowledge with civility in defense of myself, colleagues, and the objective pursuit of truth. I appreciate the space to make my case. thanks.

and now back to our regularly scheduled program...
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zippelk
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« Reply #82 on: April 10, 2012, 07:41:57 PM »

I get lost in the fight of theology and science when I see people arguing apples and apples

Hi beemaster, thanks for weighing in! I think--personal opinion alert--that it is best to leave things as apples and oranges. Science is an apple specifically created to explain the origin and workings of the universe. It uses objective critical thinking and rigorous testing to explain natural phenomena using tangible information. Everyone (at least everyone who looks) can see it, and to disparage or deny established science is like denying reality. Religion is an orange best used to give people who feel they need it spiritual strength and moral guidance. Religion usually involves belief in one or more supernatural beings. These things cannot be directly measured or seen by anyone; it is by very definition a function of faith. Because it cannot be proven or disproven, I do not judge those who choose to believe it, and I hope they do not judge me for choosing not to. And that's all good, 2 valuable tools to accomplish 2 valuable but very different jobs. As Grieth said at the beginning of this thread, the problem arises and people get sore when someone tries to use one tool for the other application, which is completely inappropriate. I think those literalists who try to use the orange as an apple have developed an anti-science position as a result. They want very badly to believe in the bible, which is fine, but when a literal interpretation disagrees with what we can actually see/measure around us, they have no choice but to cast aspersions at science and reality. This is really too bad, as there is no risk: god, by very definition, can never be proven or disproven by us. Moreover, there is no reason that one cannot consider science as the ultimate means of clearly understanding and celebrating god's divine work, if one so wishes. You call it a miracle, I call it nature...who cares, let's just see how it works!  cheer No matter your motivation, religious or secular, who wouldn't want a clearer understanding of reality? Who would reject those things we can sense and measure? Inconvenient, unprofitable, or unlikely, it's logic afterall! As I quoted cardinal Poupard earlier "the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer...religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason". Amen.

Quote
I think OIL is Abiotic

Oh my goodness. jaw drop Well I have learned something new, because I never even knew such a belief formally existed. A little online research showed that the notion is in fact exceedingly rare among scientists, including oil industry types (except for a group of isolated Russians who really wanted it to be true). Wouldn't it be something if it were real/widespread, or something we could utilize? As to previously 'dry' wells producing again, I think (another opinion alert) seepage from neighboring cavities seems significantly more likely than spontaneous generation of millions of barrels of oil. It is certainly something that could be tested and validated, if one really wanted to know beyond our armchair conjecture. Has no one really studied it? I have to think there is a reason that we are drilling for oil a mile beneath the Caribbean Sea, trying to squeeze it from shale, and scrambling to scout beneath melting polar ice--not because it is easy or most profitable, but because everything that was easy to get has already been identified and tapped. Minor discoveries aside, the end of oil is in sight. Even the biggest oil proponents say that. Anyway, I guess one could say that IF anthropogenic climate change were an illusion and IF abiotic oil were real, then we would be OK to continue with the status quo and no worries. But the vast majority of the tangible evidence suggests, and the vast majority of scientists agree, that neither of those things is true. Smart money bets on logic, not intuition. Is science always right? Nope. But is it the most logical and objective tool we have for finding facts? I think so.  my $0.02

Thanks for your post, and for founding the site!
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« Reply #83 on: April 10, 2012, 07:42:59 PM »

Zippelk, it’s fine to disagree with people.  We just need to try to refrain from making a personal attack when the other guy doesn’t see eye to eye.  I’m probably as guilty of that myself at times as anybody else.  (See my apology in post #61).  I usually do a descent job of just sticking to the facts, but it can be difficult to restrain one fingers on the keyboard at times  grin  

I'm glad to see you’re back, even thought we tend to disagree.
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kathyp
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« Reply #84 on: April 10, 2012, 07:44:40 PM »

Quote
Should I assume that you are fine with everything they have said about me and my colleagues? Let's see... we're dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, rabid, persecuting, essentially anti-American zealots.


why would you choose to take that personally if it is not true of you?  some scientists are all that.  you need only read the emails between them to know that this is true.

never put in writing.....
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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.....

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« Reply #85 on: April 10, 2012, 07:48:08 PM »

Quote
Well I have learned something new, because I never even knew such a belief formally existed

because this is another one of those ideas suppressed by "consensus".  the idea has been around for a long time and it's worth taking a look.  there is some evidence that it might be true.  wouldn't that mess up the whole "we are running out of oil and need to drive little green death traps! "   grin
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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 #86 on: April 10, 2012, 07:51:56 PM »

>>you do know that there was a St Nickolas?
 Do I? I haven't seen him! I don't know anybody that has seen him! I don't know anybody that knows anybody that has seen him!

And according to lots of people on this forum, that ranks him right up there with EVOLUTION!  grin

There’s often an email that re-circulates each Christmas that runs through the mathematical calculations that would be required for St Nick to transverse the Earth year Christmas eve and visit each and every house.  I think his flying reindeer had to approach the speed of light to accomplish such a feat.  While this may seem improabable, Santa is still WAY more probable than the formation of working DNA from primordial pools of A,G,C, and T nucleotides grin
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zippelk
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« Reply #87 on: April 10, 2012, 08:03:08 PM »

I tend to believe (based on math) that the existence of DNA is about as solid of proof as any scientist needs since it is virtually a mathematical impossibility for such a long string of WORKING information to form by random interactions of A,G,C,and Ts nucleotides in a primordial pool.  ... If one can show using basic math that DNA can’t form by random from the evolutionists pools of A,G,C,and T, then I have just punched a hole in the legitimacy of your whole hypothesis.

I like you BlueBee. You are clearly intelligent and thoughtful, but moreover, you are inquisitive and, I suspect, open-minded, less attached to a particular outcome than you are to a meaningful process. You are just the sort of person I hoped to engage by posting here. Thanks! But enough of the love-in, let's talk shop.

You have arrived at your Mount Improbable (ala Dawkins). For Darwin, it was the eye. For you, DNA. You are standing at the base of the precipice looking straight up and trying to imagine a way to ascend in a single bound. But you cannot, because of course you are right: it is essentially impossible. You win!   rolleyes

But wait!  grin

You have made one absolute error and one 'error of perspective' that are preventing you from finding the truth that I think you seek.

As I said to you a couple pages back, you have to get over your notion that the process is random because nothing could be further from the truth. The formation of any individual mutation is largely random (what did we say, 100+ for each human kid?). In nature, however, mutations are immediately acted upon by selection, which is not random at all. If a mutation lowers fitness, it will be punished! Imagine that a litter of jackrabbits is born, and one has a mutation for albinism...is there anything random about which one of the rabbits the coyotes will chase for lunch? Survival of the fittest quickly and effectively weeds out unfit genetic combinations, leaving and cumulatively building upon the fit ones. It is brutal, 'red in tooth and claw.' Likewise, any genetic combination that improves survival and reproduction will be favored by selection and better represented in subsequent generations. Again, nothing random about it. Until you accept the non-random nature of selection, you will be frustrated at the base of your Mt Improbable and resorting to the supernatural to explain a perfectly natural process.

Which, by the way, I have to ask: if you are struggling to accept the probability that something as relatively simple as proto-bacterial DNA evolved from chemical reactions among inorganic components because it is too complex for you to wrap your head around, then what is the mathematical probability that an all-knowing, all-powerful god either appeared from nowhere or has existed for all time? Isn't that immeasurably and inconceivably more complex and unlikely? So why do you go there? And to make matters more difficult to discuss, your explanation is automatically by definition (faith) impossible for anyone to observe, validate, or meaningfully discuss. It's just faith, end of discussion. I don't see how that contributes to our understanding of the world at all. To me, it seems like a copout, giving up on thinking because it got too challenging. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but that is exactly how you presented your case: I cannot conceive the probability of DNA, therefore god must exist. Please, try harder! I don't know how my car keys got under the couch. It is possible but hard to imagine a sequence of unlikely events (hole in my pocket, keys falling as I am walking to the couch to sit down, keys bouncing under couch without my hearing, seeing, or feeling). Or I could claim that an invisible gnome took them from my pocket during the night and put them under the couch, and even though no one can possibly validate my explanation because it is faith-based, I choose this less likely unprovable option because it is easy. No thanks, I'll not give up so easily and stick instead to what I can see and measure, even when it is difficult. Especially when it is difficult! A healthy brain does enjoy a challenge...crossword puzzles, mystery movies, or science, whatever floats your boat.

Oops, sorry for the tangent. Point 1 was that selection is brutally non-random. Point 2 is regarding perspective, and also reinforces point 1. You are trying to conceive 3.5 billion years in a single bound. That's just not easy to do, for anyone. Let's go back to the dog example, because it is something that you know is real (it absolutely happened) and it occurred over a time scale that is more easily conceivable. When you ask about the probability of human DNA randomly forming in a primordial pool, it is akin to asking what is the probability of a wolf birthing a chihuahua (but times a million). We both know that, randomly, it is near impossible. But, we also know that selection is not random at all. Any pup that had the slightest attitude of a wolf--dead. Any pup that was slightly submissive--kept, coddled, and bred. Any pup that kept any aspect of its cute pup features--kept, coddled, and bred. Any pup that displayed behaviors amusing or useful to its keepers--kept, coddled, and bred. While each individual mutation might have been random, there was absolutely nothing random about the selection that followed: the undesirables were dead or at least unbred. What are the chances of a wolf birthing a chihuahua? Practically impossible, essentially silly to even consider, as you have rightly already concluded! But what are the chances of a wolf giving rise to chihuahua by mutation and intensive selection over a few hundred generations? More than possible...more than probable...so easy in fact that a naked ape was able to do it in a matter of mere centuries. Are you with me? There is no denying that, right? We turned a wolf into a chihuahua with a non-random process called selection! So instead of going A directly to Z, try to envision the countless intermediates that took place in between, each with some small but measurable variation that affects survival and reproduction, and then put that in the context of 3.5 billion years. Rather than ascending the mountain in a single bound, nature is going up the gradual slope on the backside of the mountain, where each step is a functional intermediate favored by selection (gotta read your Dawkins!). New mutations occur, nature selects for those most fit, and another step is taken towards the top, although of course nature is not working 'towards' any specific target, and there really is no top, just another point in time. Humans today are a snapshot on an evolving line of Homo sapiens, different than we were a few generations ago, and surely different than we will be in generations to come. Our line will continue, or it won't, but what we are at any given moment is not so much the top of a mountain as it is the end of a branch that will grow or die, just like every other species. The mountain is just a metaphor to conceptualize the process, whether it is regarding the eye, DNA, or whatever evolutionary feat tickles your brain. DNA is complex in some ways, but it is not that complex. Look at the mountain from the other side and consider the gradual slope and inconceivable time...

Food for thought amigo!
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zippelk
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« Reply #88 on: April 10, 2012, 08:13:24 PM »

Why should I ask for a refund? What are you implying? Why don't you think anything I said is correct? You have confused natural selection with evolution and then argued that evidence for natural selection is evidence for evolution. This is a false argument. I think "Best of luck" is a copout. Where are the examples and proof for evolution?

I really don't know what to say to you Johnny because I am not sure of your angle, but I think I have it. Clearly you have looked into the subject to some extent; you know some of the technical vocabulary, enough to be dangerous  Wink, but your scientific syntax is egregious. As I said, anyone with a biology textbook, dictionary, or internet access can easily confirm that for themselves. Even if you don't have those books, or a nearby library, you obviously have access to the internet. Facts are available to you, but you don't have them. I suspect that this is deliberate. Since you have dismissed my examples of "so called" evolution and asked for "proof" I have to assume that your real agenda is anti-science, and as I have never met anyone who is anti-science for no reason, I assume again that you are religious and attacking science because you think it conflicts with the bible. You have delved into the science just enough to gather bits that you think support your agenda, but not enough to really understand anything sufficiently. If this is correct, then please read my previous comments to "beemaster" (the site founder guy) on apples and oranges. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive--they can actually be quite complementary--unless you try to misapply one where you should be using the other. Then, as the cardinal says, you are on a track to fundamentalism. If I have misread you, then I humbly apologize (you (and Ken, and even Bluebee) did push me here after i dodged you several times already) and I also ask you to please clarify your position so that we may know exactly what we are dealing with. I think all my cards are clearly on the table.

As to your challenge, rather than telling me that I am wrong and asking me to disprove your false information, I say the burden is on you. Anyone here can do a basic google search and corroborate my statements. Why don't you show us one credible source that contradicts me, defining evolution in any terms other than a change in the genetics (i.e., allele type and frequency) of a population over time, and corollaries thereof (e.g., speciation by descent with modification)? Show us one credible source that does not list natural selection as one of the drivers of evolution, along with mutation, drift/founder effect, migration, acquired genomes (sensu Margulis), etc.? Then we will have something real to talk about and I won't try to dodge your odd and unfounded posts. cheers amigo
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« Reply #89 on: April 10, 2012, 10:38:30 PM »

wolf to Chihuahua.....frog to eagle....it's all the same....so random  Cry  think what we might have been!
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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 #90 on: April 11, 2012, 12:20:56 AM »

I like you BlueBee. You are clearly intelligent and thoughtful, but moreover, you are inquisitive and, I suspect, open-minded

This is true, I’m not a republican   grin

BTW… thanks for the compliment.  Back at you as well.
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« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2012, 12:25:02 AM »

Which, by the way, I have to ask: if you are struggling to accept the probability that something as relatively simple as proto-bacterial DNA evolved from chemical reactions among inorganic components because it is too complex for you to wrap your head around, then what is the mathematical probability that an all-knowing, all-powerful god either appeared from nowhere or has existed for all time? Isn't that immeasurably and inconceivably more complex and unlikely?

“Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”  Mr Spock
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« Reply #92 on: April 11, 2012, 12:40:53 AM »

OK zippelk, I will admit you never explicitly claimed the creation of DNA was by a random process.  I inferred that based on your reference to the work of Stanly Miller and his primordial pool of A,G,C,T.  I stand corrected.  I don’t really disagree with your arguments for selective evolution of genetic code over time either.  Where I have a problem with the whole evolution hypothesis is at the beginning of life 3 billion years ago when there was nothing but inorganic chemicals.  

If I’m understanding you and the evolutionists correctly, somehow (?) a gigantic leap was made 3 billion years ago from a pool of random A,G,C,and T nucleotides into a functioning bacteria.  Is that how you see it?  If so, how many base pairs did such a basic life form require?  10, 100, 1000, 1million, 10 million?  You give me the number of base pairs in that first creation and then we’ll run thru the math!
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« Reply #93 on: April 11, 2012, 03:20:55 PM »

"do let us know what you find."

I do believe the majority of members of this forum know I could search and find hundreds if not thousands of examples.  Yet I as many of these members also know it would be a complete waste of my time doing so as it would be for your enjoyment only.  You know they exist, or you just refuse to admit it.  Which ever it is, I have much more productive things to do with my time than try to influence those who only will see in every object presented only the traits (or simply ignore them) which favor that theory which they already support even if it is completely wrong.
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« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2012, 04:12:48 AM »

There actually was a St. Nikolas who was a spanish cleric and had a moorish sidekick named Zwarte Piet(Black Peter).  He was/is the patron saint of a large part of the Netherlands.  He had a reputaiton of caring for and giving candy and gifts to children with the aid of Zwarte Piet.  His saint day is Dec. 5th set wholly apart from Dec 25th.  He was a real person upon whom the character "Santa Claus" was based.  Much like anything else handed down by generations, he has morphed into Santa Claus.  Oddly enough he has stayed the same in the Netherlands.  I'm 100% Dutch, 1st generation American, and, through my grandparents, grew up practicing the St. Nikolas tradition.

Be careful what you read/research on the web.  There is much out there that is opinion presented as fact.  The earth is definitely producing more oil and natural gas everyday.  Is it enough to cover our consumption?  I don't know.  I don't think so.  Never claimed that it did, just confirmed the FACT that the earth is constantly producing more.  Denying this fact and belittling those who acknowledge it makes one look foolish to me.  It is also true that we have found more oil and natural gas than we ever dreamed possible in places where we thought none existed.
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« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2012, 07:45:19 AM »


"do let us know what you find."

I do believe the majority of members of this forum know I could search and find hundreds if not thousands of examples.  Yet I as many of these members also know it would be a complete waste of my time doing so as it would be for your enjoyment only.  You know they exist, or you just refuse to admit it.  Which ever it is, I have much more productive things to do with my time than try to influence those who only will see in every object presented only the traits (or simply ignore them) which favor that theory which they already support even if it is completely wrong.

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« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2012, 08:15:15 AM »

Ok.... a few comments and an example of "Natural Selection"

First, seemingly unknow (because our "Scientific minded people here" tend to stay seated with blinders on to the fact that there are Theologic Scientists out there in search of a scientific answer to how God created the Universe. As in NOT just explain the laws of gravity, but explain why God added this very handy at times tool in our box.

We all know that by itself gravity is a very weak thing, nearly no existant. Without mass it is not even in the top handful of forces, Vacuum is and always will be the big boy on that block!

But everything that exists man loves to explain and then stick his name on it - as if he not only figured it our, but created too. As if such natural events never existed before they put pen to paper.

So the latest data is in from the repaired Hubble and now "MAGICALLY" the farthest point from us to the see-able stretches of the known Universe is now 40 BILLION YEARS, no longer 15 billion or the pitiful 4 billion of a few decades ago - science just makes this stuff up as the go along, and they always will.

I will never believe in carbon dating being an exact science, especially at the two ends of the spectrum, old dating and recent dating - there is NO PROOF that carbon atoms are so stable over million and billions of years. I've used this before as an example, but it is well worth repeating: if you take clay or stone and measure its carbon's date, you may get 2 million years. Smash and grind in up and make into pottery and magically it carbon dates as circ. 1790 as an example. Where does the truth come in when the Earth is always going under volatile changes?

CERN the particle accelerator sent a series of signals exactly 812 miles and it arrived (measured by atomic clocks) FASTER than the speed of light - they now are scrabbling to explain whether particles can exceed the unthinkably unbreakable speed of light or was there errors in the distance measuring? If it is the prior, than all Einsteinium theory and physics as we know it is out the window and needs to start over.

As Kathy pointed out, all civilizations on Earth are known to be god worshiping people - the god may be a rock, a cow an anthill or a tree. It really doesn't matter, the point is that man as a species recognizes that something greater than him is out there.

I appreciate that we have scientist and inventors, they sure have made life easier for us all to the most part. The evil ones of the world work for greed and power, the rest user a moral code that fits their beliefs and trudge forward. The are no more or less corrupt than many organized religions, both have their dark-sides and neither seem to follow to closely to the paths they set out on. I would just love to live long enough to see the day when either or both are shown the real truth (whatever that may be) because I'm claiming to know nothing of the big picture, only that one will play out on our planet someday, by God or Tera-formers coming home to check the crop.

Wouldn't it be incredible though if during a true alien contact, they stepped off their ships and handed us the guide book and it was a perfect replica of the Bible! And they tell us "It is the same book used through the Galaxies". I'd give it 24 hours before some scientific think tank came up with an equation to explain that one too.

ABOUT NATURAL SELECTION:

I have to use a medication for seizures that I despise taking and it is quite addictive in nature and I wanted to reduce the amount I was taking on my own, literally ween myself down. Now, this was with the knowledge of my doctor, who advised me to look out for a bunch of side effects, both withdraw and symptoms from not using enough of the medicine.

So over 2 months I reduced myself from 3 whole pills a day to 3 half pills a day, I reduced my intake by half and it wasn't easy, but I got there and have been there for 4 months.

Now.... these pills are scored and "more or less" break in half quite easily. So I would take the 90 pills a month, break them all in half and take half a pill three times a day. But what I subconsciously was doing was always grabbing the SLIGHTLY LARGER half a pill each time, surely satisfying the addictiveness of the med but still working hard at my goal.

After a few months of doing this, getting the full 90 pills each month and literally having 2 months EXTRA meds on hand at the new dosage level, I looked at the pills and compared the pills direct from the pharmacy and the ones I had broken in half in my containers at home. TRY AS I MIGHT when I realigned all the random halves to compare the whole pills, the combined haves were about 15% smaller than an uncut pill. Literally, the uncut pills looked as if they we being produced larger than before, and I know this was not the case.

Literally through selection, I created mini versions of the meds, not much different than tossing all the crabs that looked like the emperor back in the water until all crabs looked like him.

To rectify this issue, I now grab the first one I can reach in the bottle and stick with it, paying no attention to its size. In time, all the pills will again equal out to the size of the origin ones. Sometimes you CAN return things to their natural state, as I am doing by choice, most of natural section is also done by choice, but generally it is done incorrectly and with terrible results.

Changing a species is not tough, it can be done in very few generations. That is why man is so dangerous on this planet, he can do in years what evolution to millions of years to do.

I said this before, If we could all just agree to these two things, this post would not have gone 6 pages:

1) God created all living things (and the planets they are on) to evolve so they can survive all changes - we are meant to exist and thrive and without changing we could die, because ADAPTING is not always enough. Adapting is tossing on a respirator and oxygen tank to walk into a burning building to save lives, it is a short fix, it is duct tape.

2) All elements that there is on Earth has been here since the beginning of Earth. We just jockey the atoms around and make new stuff from original stuff. We were given the building blocks, we just weren't given the instructions. I believe that part of man falls under free will. We can make an air plane that carries 500 people across the world in hours or nuclear bombs that can reach half way around the world in mere minutes. The choice is always up to us.

That of course is where morals come in and in the case of the United States, who is at the helm when and if such destructive weapons are ever used again.

CLOSING

I'm glad we have scientists, I'm glad we have scientist who want to see if the big bang is a phrased coined by a non believer in the theory (as is the case) it just happened to be a catchy phrase and those trying to sell the theory "borrowed it" for propaganda reasons OR scientist sincerely trying to explain if the Big Bank is best explained in Genesis using 5000 year old terminology. Cause I have no doubt, if the Bible were written today, someone would mention computers or the Internet - but in keeping with the way scripture is written, those words may not appear, but the ideas of how we communicate instantly between practically all of humanity. Of course THAT interpretation in a thousand years would be interpreted as meaning we were clairvoyant.

The founding fathers had the same issues, they wanted to write the words and ideas that govern our country to have as much meaning today as it did then and just as meaningful a thousand years from now. Of course you can make constitutional amendments but not Biblical ones (unless your Mitt Romney) but that is a whole nutter topic!!!

 



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« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2012, 12:45:38 PM »

Where I have a problem with the whole evolution hypothesis is at the beginning of life 3 billion years ago when there was nothing but inorganic chemicals.  If I’m understanding you and the evolutionists correctly, somehow (?) a gigantic leap was made 3 billion years ago from a pool of random A,G,C,and T nucleotides into a functioning bacteria.  Is that how you see it?  If so, how many base pairs did such a basic life form require?  10, 100, 1000, 1million, 10 million?  You give me the number of base pairs in that first creation and then we’ll run thru the math!

I think you got the nail on the head this time Blue. The big hurdle for most people is not recent human DNA, which is like all else easily attributed to mutation, selection, and time; it's original "abiogenesis"--the only real 'missing link' in the history of evolution as far as I am concerned.

What is the missing link? Actually, it is surely many links spanning a long transitional period (remember, no "giant leaps", right? just drawn-out easy baby steps up the back of the mountain!). But 'the link' is how we get from organic goo (ala Stanley Miller) to the origin of the very first living thing. It's the answer to the question: what could be simpler than a single cell and still functional?

Before we talk about what it might be, you might rightly ask why is the link missing? Here is where some math would be enlightening: what are the chances (1) that cells--no, make that subcellular components--would be fossilized, even though they are microscopic and (obviously) lack bones, and (2) that those fossils would persist for 3.5 billion years of geologic rearrangement? Essentially impossible. That doesn't mean that the missing links did not happen, it's that there's just no way for it to leave a trace. It's like we are asking a forensic team to solve a 3.5byo microscopic crime that we cannot even pinpoint to any particular location on the earth. Ha! That's why it is missing. We should not be surprised that the link is missing, we should be surprised that we have any evidence at all from around that time. And we do. Google stromatolites. They aren't fossilized cells per se, more like the structures those cells left behind (think early cells:strobamolites::coral:reefs for a very rough analogy), but sometimes the cell outline as well. That is what we are trying to link to.

What was the link? We don't know, and we will probably never know. As I said, no evidence has been found and to expect it to be found is completely unrealistic. But we have some good ideas of what it might have been, and if we can recreate at least one possible scenario (ala Miller, but carry the process through to cellularity), then we will at least be able to show you math-heads that it is possible without playing the god card! That's good enough for me. Note: here with abiogenesis, and only here, one can rightly refer to our understanding of evolution as still in the active hypothetical stage. Anyway, you already know that we can make simple organics (ala Miller). Beyond that, we have been able to build some other interesting intermediates in the lab, some complex polymers, even some with membranes (Google liposomes, microspheres, proteinoids, protobionts, and links you'll find therein). These are not yet fully functional living things, but great steps in that direction. Will we ever get there? I think so, assuming society holds together long enough. But even if we can't ever recreate life from inorganics, that does not mean that it could not have happened naturally so therefore god must have done it. That seems a little arrogant to me; if I can't do it then only a god can! It just means we aren't smart enough to figure it out, probably in large part because it happened so long ago and the conditions of the time are largely unknown to us now. Oh, and for the record, the first self-replicating genetic material was surely not DNA but rather RNA, which can store info like DNA but also act as a catalyst for metabolism. So you might want to change your AGCT shtick to AGCU!  Wink

Speaking of math-heads, you asked about smallest KNOWN genomes (numbers of base pairs). Of organisms living today, it's ~3500 base pairs for a virus, ~160,000 for a bacterium. You can calculate the probability of those occurring 'spontaneously' if you wish, although we are presuming (above) that these somethings didn't come from nothing and there were simpler versions of life prior to these examples, they just did not persist until today.

For me, these biological principles are straightforward. Pretty much everything in biology can be understood in terms of natural selection. As Russian (Orthodox Christian) Theodosius Dobzhansky said, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution." And ultimately all biology can be reduced to chemistry and physics, which are in turn largely expressed in terms of math. Call it nature, call it a miracle, whatever, you gotta love the logic that figures it all out!

cheers
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« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2012, 01:02:11 PM »

zippelk:

If you are so freakin' smart (opppps my bad "Learned"), why haven't you figured out how to add your location to your profile yet, 52 posts... Seriously. Please do so.
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« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2012, 01:34:05 PM »

Zip, your arguments are a good example of starting with an unproved premise.  i honestly don't care what you believe, but we all should recognize that what we believe is based on a starting foundation.  self checking is important in science, belief systems, and life in general.

the questions of how? and why (not)? are the basis for all advancement in thought and society.  only man has the ability to engage in this kind of thinking and sadly, we waste the skill more often than not.
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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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