Evolution or Creation

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by The Gatherer, Oct 28, 2001.

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  1. jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    Geological deposits, carbon dating, fossils...the list goes on and on, and on, and on. You'd be foolish to think that the earth is less than a billion years old.

    What about the gas pockets in Antarctican ice? Lake Vostok? Don't tell me you think those are placed to 'test our faith'.
  2. IronParrot Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 5
    People, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    Evolution (Darwinian theory as defined by The Origin of Species, anyway, not the modern contortion of the theory) is not a threat to Creation, unless you take the Bible strictly literally (which you can't, as flaws become evident).

    Quantum mechanics is the greatest challenge to God's role in Creation.
  3. Demodex Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2001
    star 4
    I just don't understand how someone can actually believe the earth is less than several billion years old.

    Facts. Facts prove it.
  4. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    I think that is the biggest problem. Misunderstanding. From both sides.
  5. keiran_helcyan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 1999
    star 4
    As a good Christian and a follower of science this issue obviously leaves me a little torn. My faith says Creation, my intellect says Evoution. Both theories work for me. Either way though, I feel it has been diety-directed. I guess that's about the only definative thing I can say on the subject.

    I'm kind of funny in this area. Ultimately I'll choose to defend the process least represented. Such as in Biology class where my peers are cutting down Creationists I'll suprise them and defend the argument. The opposite is true, as in Sunday School I become the great preacher of God-driven Evolution. I guess this just proves how contradictory I am ;)
  6. Demodex Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2001
    star 4
    No, I understand perfectly that people who don't trust science are naive.

    ;)
  7. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    keiran, I totally understand that... I think we'd get along fine.

    (Again, I'd like to ask people to be careful with the tone -- when an explanation of beliefs is demanded, please accept the answer given, and argue with it respectfully.)
  8. Gonzonaut Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2000
    star 3
    To paraphrase Einstien, "God does not play dice with the universe." But Einstien was wrong; He does. I think that the threat that quantum mechanics poses to the theory of divine creation is debatable. Besides, few people, if any understand quantum mechanics anyways; people can simply prove that the principles and constants of quantum mehcanics are true.
  9. Jeff 42 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 1998
    star 5
    If creationism is true, why do we have appendices? (Not to mention a bunch of other things that make no sense.)
  10. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    About 10 years ago I was where you are keiran. Since then, I have continued to have an internal debate on the existance of a 'god'. This is where my conflict still remains. I fully believe that spirituality is a strong and present force in my internal will. However, I cannot bring myself to believe in an afterlife or some "being" running the show. It just doesn't make any sense at all to me.
  11. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    Here's a question: Does accepting that evolution is true, also mean that the book of Genesis is lies? Does it mean believing that the Bible is not divinely inspired?

    I say no.
  12. B.J. Zanzibar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 1999
    star 5
    Punctuated equilibrium is a scientific theory. I know some young earth creationists have tried to use it as support for their arguments, but if you look at what Gould and others are saying, it's clear it offers no support at all. Gould is, after all, a biologist who doesn't believe in creationism, scientific or otherwise. He proposed his theory in reaction to mainstream evolutionary theory that states changes take place only gradually. He suggested that sometimes, maybe even often, it was possible for large changes to happen very quickly. Furthermore, he claimed that chance occurrences, rather than fitness, over the long term was more influential in determining the make-up of species. For example, it wouldn't matter how well adapted and successful a species is if a volcano erupted and completely destroyed its habitat. Thousands, even millions of years of gradual change would be erased in the time it took the pyroclastic flow to hit. Then, other species, who very well may have been driven out of the now destroyed habitat and who were less successful, would have a second chance. Even though they were less fit, they happened to be in the right place at the right time. We may have benefited from the same kind of luck when the dinosaurs were wiped out.
  13. Demodex Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2001
    star 4
    It's unfortunate the people don't realize that evolution does not contradict the Bible and other religious texts.
  14. Ender Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 1998
    star 6
    Einstien thought the universe was god as he was a Spinozan Pantheist.

    Besides, Einstien argued against QM because it destroyed his god of order.


    "I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.... This is a somewhat new kind
    of religion." - Letter to Hans Muehsam March 30, 1954; Einstein
    Archive 38-434


    The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
    -Albert Einstein


    "I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that
    could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a
    magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly,
    and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This
    is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with
    mysticism." - 1954 or 1955; quoted in Dukas and Hoffman Albert
    Einstein the Human Side, p. 39


    "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious
    convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not
    believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have
    expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called
    religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the
    world so far as our science can reveal it." - Albert Einstein: The
    Human Side


    "My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced
    that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral
    principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need
    the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis
    of reward and punishment. " - Letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25,
    1950; Einstein Archive 59-215


    Then you read quotes like these by him and you wonder what he really believed?
  15. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    Chance events do have some effect, but I don't believe they are more important than fitness.

    For example, I'm from New Zealand - a country which was geographically isolated for millions of years. As a result, we have no native land mammals (well, a few bats, but they flew from ozzie) , and our fauna is dominated completely by birds.

    The chance event (NZ breaking off from Gondawna so early) may have had a large effect, but fitness is the dominant force for the majority of the time, in my opinion.

    edit: my fav Einstein quote - 'Science without religion is lame, religion with science is blind'
  16. Demodex Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2001
    star 4
    Fitness maybe the dominating force, but random events is what led to some individuals being more fit than others!
  17. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Well, since I see Genesis as a parable to begin with, no it doesn't discount it.


    Also, something that is often missed or forgotten by English readers of the Bible, the original Aramaic word used in Genesis does not just mean "day" but also means "period of time". Thus, the Earth was created in 6 periods of time. And, this is what most Jewish scholars hold to, since they have studed it in Hebrew, not in English.
  18. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    It could be said that chance events and fitness are so dependent on eachother, they are inseparable as the driving forces of evolution.
  19. B.J. Zanzibar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 1999
    star 5
    I'm more of a gradualist, but I'm not as hard core about it as I used to be. I mean, Gould has got a point. I just don't think he's describing anything new. Whether you're talking punctualism or gradualism, the processes are the same.

    By the way, who else is a fan of Richard Dawkins? Egomaniacal ******* though he may be, I love that guy. The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker are great!
  20. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Well, I don't know much about religion, but I was watching a plant documentary the other day -David Attenborough's Secret Life of Plants. It got me pondering this very question.

    Now, at one point he demonstrated how plants use insects to procreate. There was a certain type of orchid that had a flower that looked almost identical to a type of female wasp. In fact the flower emitted pheromones that are very similar to the ones the female wasps make when they wish to mate. The male wasps come down, attempt to carry off the fake female and so pollenate the orchid flower.

    How on Earth does a plant know to produce a flower that looks and smells just like a single particular wasp? Without that one wasp the orchids could not procreate. Evolution? Seems hard to believe to me. I don't get it but it seems to me there are too many very, very complex interdependancies that have arisen for it all to be by chance.
  21. jiabaoyu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2000
    star 3
    Hmm..well, my parents are biologists, I go to a school that sends a quarter of their students to medical school...LOL, I guess I've always been taught that evolution, although not perfect, was a far better scientific argument than what creationists have come up with. Furthermore, I have yet to meet a biologist or scientist that would place creationism over evolution---and I've met some kooky biologists (ok, they're my parents' friends ;) ).

    Furthermore, to refute the evolutionary argument would refut many other fields of science as well such as geology and biology. I can still remember on my very first day of class, my biol professor wrote on the board, "Evolution is the central tenet of modern biology". The more I learned in that class, the more I realized that there probably is a God somewhere that at least sparked the beginnings of life. I mean, all those amino acids just meeting by chance? I think I was having a religious conversion in that biology class! How funny is that?

    Anyway, I am obviously over my head in this thread as there are people who are far more eloquent than I in debating this topic. I just had to add my personal take/experience on this subject, 'tis all. :)
  22. jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    The fact that we are awed by complexity of the world, and the fact that we are unable to understand most of it fuels some of the need to look to a supernatural being for support. However, young earth creationism takes a step over the line, no, a leap, by saying that the earth was created 6000 years ago, discounting an infinite (around) number of proofs.

    There is no, NO, NO factual evidence to suggest that creationism is true, while there is plenty of evidence to suggest that evolutionary theory is correct.

    Many creationists also say that evolutionary theory is just that, a theory. What about gravity? That is a theory. Quantum mechanics is a theory. Some things are impossible to prove entirely, but just like with gravity and quantum mechanics, we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that it happened.

    Whatever the case, creationists have yet to come up with scientic proof. It is not even a theory. That is why creationism, among other things, has no place in the science classroom. Perhaps no place in this world, but maybe that isn't for me to decide.
  23. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    Uruk-hai, I'll try and explain it, but this may make no sense :D

    Let's say you've got a hive of wasps, and a field full of orchids. The Orchids come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are stripy, some are spotty, some are just plain crazy.

    Anyway, the wasps come along looking for a nice orchid to pollinate. But the wasps are fussy, they aren't just gonna pollinate any old orchid, they go for the stripy ones, because they remind them of female wasps.

    So the stripy orchids are the only ones who get pollinated. So the next spring, the next generation of orchids are all stripy.
    But some of the orchids are short and round, and others are long and thin. Again, the wasps prefer the ones which look like female wasps, and go for the short round ones.

    Skip forward a few million years, and the only orchids around are ones which have flowers exactly like females wasps.

    It looks like the orchids just knew to produce the right kind of flower, but really they were 'naturally selected' to produce it, over a large amount of time.
  24. BaneofyourExistence Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    "Some things are impossible to prove entirely, but just like with gravity and quantum mechanics, we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that it happened."

    If it is impossible to prove, how can you prove it beyond a reasonable doubt? ;)
  25. jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    OK, imagine if I get a packet of M&Ms, and I spread every M&M out on the table to find if there are any red M&Ms. I then observe every M&M individually, and find that there are no red M&Ms. This is proving conclusively that there are no brown M&Ms in a packet.

    This is only possible to do for directly observable things. Now, imagine if we had a huge bucket of M&Ms and we wanted to prove if it had red M&Ms in it. We dipped our hand inside, and our fingers came out with, (amongst other colours), red. We can't say for sure that there were red M&Ms in the bucket, as other coloured M&Ms could have mixed together to produce red. However, because there are so many M&Ms, there has to be a red one in there somewhere....and anyway, I like M&Ms.....and....I'm an idiot.

    Well, you get my point. Proving things by their effects isn't conclusive evidence that the impetus (ie. evolution, gravity) exists. It's just that it's the most probable scenario that would have provided those changes.



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