Evolution or Creation

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by George15, Mar 12, 2002.

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  1. Republic_Clone_69 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 1
    I don't know how much more random you can get than Quantum physics. And yet, I have never heard a creationist question this area of science... despite the fact that it deals with the very foundation and fabric of the universe.
  2. Primetime_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2000
    star 4
    Nice post, Snowdog!

    How can we assume that God, if there is one, didn't mastermind the uniqueness of this self-perpetuating schema himself?

    Also, how can we assume that God isn't behind all the seeming "randomness"... and, ironically, there is a certain predictability that scientists are now pondering about evolution and heredity... a notion that some genes "know" what combinations work and don't work.


    You're right, we need to make sure that we don't make unnecessary assumptions. Science is about an objective study of the evidence at hand.

    The very fact that scientists are exploring this possibility is proof enough that they are not closed off to the idea of God... or intending to disprove God. It also demonstrates that scientists are willing to challenge the conventions of their own discipline. Whereas creationists most often are not.

    If it were not for questioning, scrutiny and tireless testing of hypotheses... evolution theory wouldn't even have come into being... and we'd probably still be trying to cure schizophrenia with bloodletting.


    Excellent. I agree that it is crucial for us to question and examine things in order to come to an understanding of just about anything. Especially evolution. That's going to be my approach on this thread, besides just asking questions to gain understanding.

    I hope it is true that questioning the validity of evolution is acceptable. If I can't personally study and research the entire theory, then I'd have to just trust the judgement of those experts in the field. (who are human, make mistakes, and have their own biases) It would, in a sense, be a matter of faith. I'm hoping to look into it for myself to test the real accuracy of the theory.

    Ok, I have a specific question: What about the idea of recapitulation. Do you guys believe it? Is it still promoted by scientists or is it considered out-dated? I honestly don't know. I know that Carl Sagan believed in it.

    thanks
  3. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    I'm sorry theist forum members, but I'll never be able to accept an explanation for the origin of the universe that is based in the occult.
  4. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Neon_Ninja: Yes, it's true, Dr. Gish is a scientist... a biochemist, yes. Being biochemist alone doesn't make him the foremost expert on evolutionary science... and it might be useful to point out that his individual assertions about what science is aren't obviously agreed upon when the majority of the scientific community agrees that archaeological, morphological, geological, genetic, microbiological and other records left for us to analyze, scrutinize and compare are, in fact, valid observable evidence from the standpoint that we can see it before our very eyes and, through other sciences, including radiocarbon dating, microbiology and genetics, can reconstruct the sequence in which these records occurred. Scientists in those fields, of which Dr. Gish is not an expert, agree that these forms of evidence can be studied and, once objectively scrutinized and proven as acceptable, can be used to build upon the foundations of forensic evidence in favor of evolution theory.

    Gish is, however, not only an individual scientist... but the foremost proponent of Creation Science. To use the perspective of the foremost proponent Creation Science in your arguments against evolution is a bit like me using the testimony of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to disprove the existence of Christ. While the good Dr. Gish may be a scientist, his personal bias against evolution is no secret.

    I wouldn't take seriously his arguments, in light of this specific bias. In addition, Gish's assertions often recycle the same arguments... he routinely refers to Lord Zuckerman ( for many years the head of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Birmingham and Chief Scientific adviser to the British government) who asserted in 1970 that australopithecines were not hominids. He uses this as a presupposition in many of his arguments against evolution, and it can even be found that he mentions Zuckerman's assertion in practically every rebuttal to the criticisms of the scientific community.

    It might be relevant to note that Zuckerman's view at the time, 1970, of australopithecines was even then a minority view and has since been entirely rejected by the scientific community.

    Joyce Arthur, a skeptic to whom Gish has responded personally, and apparently has done her homework on Gish's assertions, responded to Gish in the following excerpt from her article published in the Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997, pages 41-42 (Skeptics Forum). Bear in mind, the only reason I'm including an excerpt from a journalist is because she puts it more succinctly than I can, has really done her homework on both sides of this fence, and has firsthand experience debating these issues directly with Gish... which neither myself nor Neon_Ninja have. While I don't necessarily hold all the same views as Ms. Arthur, namely that evolution, in and of itself, completely precludes a god, I do find it interesting to see what she has to say about Gish's expertise on the subject of evolutionary science:

    The Wadjak date of 10,000 years is based on associated faunal remains, not morphology, and the information that Gish cites from Michael Day on the age of Homo erectus in Java is badly out of date. Although the Ngandong specimens do have a recent date as per Swisher, et al., they are, according to Brace, not erectus but an archaic form of Homo sapiens, similar to Neanderthals. Finally, overlapping dates for various known transitional hominids are exactly what we would expect if evolution is true. According to Gish's theory of evolution, a parent species must die as soon as it spawns a daughter species, but this is, of course, sheer nonsense.

    Gish claims that even though he misquoted anthropologist Marcellin Boule by inserting the words "monkey-like skulls" into one of his sentences, it didn't change the meaning of Boule's article. But in his book Evolution: the Fossils Say No!, Gish used this falsely-inserted phrase as a key point in his argument that Boule believed the Zhoukoudian Homo erectus remains were that of a mon
  5. Olivier Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2
    Primetime_Jedi:

    You found this comment from the NABT:


    The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.


    This quote looks more like a comment than a definition of evolution to me, but I perfectly understand that this can make some people uncomfortable.

    Science has, IMO, no way to investigate if the mechanisms of evolution are guided by a supernatural being or not, since such a being is by definition out of reach. This means that the mechanisms described by science cannot described as supervised by a personal God. But they cannot be described as not being supervised either. The terms "unsupervised" and "impersonal" are therefore ambiguous at least.

    As for The two other quotes (from George Gaylord Simpson and Carl Sagan), I'd say that these opinions, even if they are beyond the scope of science, are not contradictory with it.
  6. Primetime_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2000
    star 4
    This quote looks more like a comment than a definition of evolution to me, but I perfectly understand that this can make some people uncomfortable.

    That's a direct quote from the NABT. Darth Snowdog even used their definition in his post.

    I probably won't be able to post this weekend, and I just found out that I can get off work early today! :D So catch you all later.

  7. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Primetime_Jedi:: Recapitulation in the physiognomic sense, that is, from the appearance of pre-hominid features in different fetal stages, is rather hypothetical... at least until now. However, to prove our descendancy from simpler forms of life, it is not even necessary to look at the physical recaptiulation of the fetus... but one can now look at the human genome itself as conclusive evidence of the segments of code that are remnants from predecessor species.

    EDIT: I would like to clarify that my point about recapitulation is that it has never been used by reputable scientists as a basis for evolution theory... but exists out there as an observable sidenote that, at the very least, is too hugely improbable to be a coincidence... but not certain enough to exist as evidence of evolution in and of itself. Prior to having the understanding of how Hox genes work, scientists had no specific biological mechanism with which they could correlate this phenomena. However, correlation does not imply causation.

    So, once the evidence of Hox genes became apparent through multiple experiments with living organisms... one could perhaps at least state that there is a biological mechanism that could explain the phenomena of capitulation in that as each Hox gene triggers a massive subset of genes, successive steps in fetus development are triggered. I'm sure scientists are already conducting studies to prove this beyond reasonable doubt... but I wouldn't make any conclusive remarks about the relation between Hox genes and capitulation at this time.

    If, however, a direct cause-effect relation were discovered, through experimentation, it could perhaps be the most significant achievement yet in evolutionary science. The scientific studies on Hox genes can actually physically show Creationists how macroevolution occurs... using living organisms. Darwin couldn't have possibly imagined this breakthrough in his wildest dreams, since it took one hundred years to find the biological mechanisms for evolution. He had neither the technology to isolate and identify, nor the scientific knowledge base with which to even postulate the existence of DNA.

    I'd like to point out excerpts from an interesting article which deals a bit with the subject of what I like to call "genetic recapitulation", "WAS DARWIN VINDICATED?", written by Frank Sherwin, M.A. Zoology (Parasitology). Mr. Sherwin's article was presented by the Institute for Creation Research ("A Christ-Focused Creation Ministry"):

    Ever since Darwin, secular scientists have been at a loss to find compelling empirical evidence for macroevolution.

    Not any more. Keep reading... I have the answer to his assertion below.

    The latest cause for celebration (premature as it turns out) has been the results of the Human Genome Project. By some twisted logic, evolutionist Arthur Caplan and others, sees this research as a major point in favor of evolutionism, saying that Darwin has been vindicated and that "we are descended from bacteria."

    One scientific reason why we didn't evolve from lower life forms over the alleged "millions of years" is the genetic repair system found in the nucleus all living cells (and in prokaryotes that don't have a nucleus). This complex system continuously monitors the DNA molecule for mispaired bases and damage and is a major roadblock in allowing genetic mistakes (mutations) to establish themselves in DNA.


    Wow, so in other words... all that research done by microbiologists and geneticists on mutations that cause everything from male-pattern baldness to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) was all a bad dream. This particular assertion is interesting because it's an application of a little, but not enough, knowledge on how mutations occur. In other words, males and females shouldn't exist because, by Mr. Sherwin's insightful supposition, the DNA code would have repaired itself when the re
  8. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    RC_69: I would surmise the reason that creationists don't question quantum physics is because they don't know a thing about it... and it in and of itself doesn't challenge the very essence of the backwards Adam & Eve rationalization of the world.
  9. Primetime_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2000
    star 4
    Happy Monday.

    Thanks for the explanation about recapitulation.

    Now, I'd like to go back to something Olivier wrote:

    _ evolution concerns the change of populations and not individuals.

    What exactly do you mean by this? Isn't a population a collection of individuals?

    _ the theory of evolution does not adress the very beginning of life: so if you want to adress critics about abiogenesis (which is IMO an even more interesting subject), you should keep in mind that this is not part of the theory of evolution.

    I had always thought that this was one of the crucial issues of evolution. I was taught in school that life emerged non-life. Neither in school nor in the popular media have I ever heard of a distinction between the origin of life and evolution (besides microevolution). This could be simply because I don't read a ton about the subject.

    It would seem to me that the origin of life and the development of life are extremely interconnected ideas. How then do scientists account for where life came from?
  10. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Primetime: I had always thought that this was one of the crucial issues of evolution. I was taught in school that life emerged non-life. Neither in school nor in the popular media have I ever heard of a distinction between the origin of life and evolution (besides microevolution). This could be simply because I don't read a ton about the subject.

    Of course... how about this... Let me start with a definition of "life". The following are some of the major criteria, all of which must be met for something to be considered life:

    Motion -- does it seem to move under its own power? Does it move
    with some discernible purpose? (Toward food, away from heat, etc)

    Reproduction -- does it have some way of making more of itself,
    either through sexual reproduction or by budding or fissioning in
    some way?

    Consumption -- does it eat or drink? Does it take in nutrients
    in one way or another in order to survive, grow, and eventually
    multiply?

    Growth -- does the organism develop over time, increase in
    complexity, until it reaches a mature stage?

    Stimulus Response -- does the organism respond to external
    stimuli, i.e. has a nervous system of some sort to detect
    external conditions? (i.e. Homeostasis: The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.)

    As one can see, if you really think about it for a while, life and non-life are somewhat transient terms. There is a distinctiveness borne by all organisms on earth, but even that distinctiveness comes from elements that, in and of themselves, are not living things.. and can combine with a variety of other elements to form inorganic compounds, as well as organic ones. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen are the four elements all organisms on earth have in common.

    This does not preclude the possibility that life formed on other planets in a completely different manner. The fact that we call it life is incidental to our observations. I mean to say this so that you understand that while it seems incidental to say that life can only be comprised of these elements, it's not really arbitrary to say that's how life formed on this planet...because that's precisely what we've discovered. but it's foolish to assume that's how it forms in every living system in the universe.

    It would seem to me that the origin of life and the development of life are extremely interconnected ideas. How then do scientists account for where life came from?

    Knowing that nothing is for certain until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, biochemists, geologists, astronomers, microbiologists and molecular biologists have conducted studies for decades that have accumulated an enormous knowledge base that leads them to their conclusion about life's origins. The summation of this is not evolution theory as formulated by Darwin... but extends beyond how we evolve as organisms, to how life came into being.

    Check this page out for an interesting explanation of some recent experiments being conducted to find these answers. It will give you at least a beginner's understanding of how scientists traced life back 4.6 billion years. Basically, it's a process of finding the "dots" of life, and using their similarities, both phenotype (physical characteristics) and now genotype (genetic characteristics), to connect the dots to one another.

    The sum total of sciences and their respective knowledge bases combined has helped scientists estimate that life began on earth somewhere between 600-800 million years after the formation of the earth's crust... and it emerged because the right combination of nutrients, minerals, elements, etc. were present to form basic life in the conditions of our atmosphere (gases, electrochemical compounds, solar distance factor...etc.). Basically, it's the right element
  11. Peez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    R2D2-PENA:
    Im sorry but the theory of evolution and origin of the species are one, since the reason for both is the existence of man, and without one the other cannot exist, for they try to figure out how it all started, otherwise what would be the point.
    All that I can understand from this is that you are confused.
    Secondly many things are absolutes, so don't come to me with that crap about science not being exact, because gravity exists, and there is no doubt about it, the sun uses fusion to create flames, and if you poke me i bleed.
    You are still missing the point. How do you know that what you see is real? How do you know that, even if it is real, there is not some other explanation for what you see than the "facts" that you accept? In any event, your certitude is irrelevant, because you are not a scientist. You clearly have no clue about how science works. If you find science silly that is your prerogative, but it does not change what science is. In the end, science still treats all ideas as potentially wrong.
    So if you want to dispell [sic] the theory of how humans started on earth from creation, prove it.
    How? In science there is no such thing.
    But at the same time prove how evolution played a part in it all, if humans originated from somewhere and evolved, prove it or show proof, and don't come to me with the dinosaur and bones crap, because they are as much valid as is the Bible.
    The Bible is a collection of stories written by a number of people many years ago. Why do you find the mere existence of these stories to be proof of their validity? As for the fossil record, it is compelling evidence for the evolution of living things, but it is certainly not the only evidence. Even ignoring the evidence from geology, physics, astronomy, etc. that the earth is billions of years old (and not about 6,000 years old as the Bible indicates), and even ignoring the plentiful evidence that the Bible contains many factual errors (the sun orbits the earth, rabbits chew the cud, the whole flood travesty, etc.), the evidence for common descent is overwhelming. Just one fossil, just one of the millions found, in a place inconsistent with evolution would call into question the whole thing. Such a fossil has yet to be found. The oldest fossils are of simple, prokaryotic organisms (from about 3.8 billion years ago). Next, simple eukaryotes are found (from about 2.5 billion years ago). Simple multicellular life forms show up later (about 640 million years ago), and the simplest fish-like creatures later still (about 540 million years ago). There is no sign of anything like an amphibian or a reptile for a while (until about 350 million years ago), the first mammal-like reptiles then show up (about 290 million years ago), and then mammals (about 250 million years ago). No dogs and horses yet, though, as mammals did not diversify until quite a bit later (about 65 million years ago). This is the barest glimpse at the fossil record, but right away we have to wonder why no human fossils are found from 65 million years ago, why no primate fossils are found from 250 million years ago, why no mammal fossils are found from 350 million years ago, why no vertebrate fossils are found from 640 million years ago, why no fossils of multicellular organisms are found from 2.5 billion years ago, and why no eukaryotic fossils are found from 3.8 billion years ago. Evolution answers all these questions. Of course, if we look at individual species we see the same pattern over and over again thousands of times. Then there are the many examples of detailed fossil records of evolutionary change in a lineage, and the so-called "transitional" forms (archaeopteryx being the best known, but certainly not the only, example).

    But as I said, the fossil record, convincing as it is, is not alone. Why do humans and cats and bats and horses and whales have the same bones in their fore-limbs? Why do humans have gills and a tail
  12. Peez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    R2D2-PENA:
    Also Peez you proven the point that i was making to snowdog, in that he bagers [sic] creationist [sic] for their beliefs and ideas but he cannot be touched because supposedly he and evolutionist are immune to attack and they are coorect [sic] since it is "science".
    The idea that the earth orbits the sun is not "immune to attack," it is simply silly to waste time attacking it. Same with common descent. Many of the details are still being worked out, and these are attacked constantly by scientists (that is how science works). Creationists do not wish to accept science (where they see it as contradicting their beliefs), and that is their prerogative, but creationism is still not science.

    Peez
  13. Peez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    Primetime_Jedi:
    My first question is: Can you provide a complete definition of "evolution" so we can know exactly what we are talking about here.
    I favour Futuyma's definition (given earlier). Very simply: a genetic change in a population from one generation to the next. Note that this is not the same as common descent (or the history of evolution, if you will). Common descent is the pattern of evolution indicated by the fossil record.
    Those two words near the beginning, "unsupervised" and "impersonal" tend to add some more meaning to the definition. I mean, you can at least see why Christians and other believers in God would get uncomfortable being taught something like this, right?
    Note that scientists (many of whom are religious) are concerned with the nature of the universe. If that nature proves to contradict certain notions of god(s), that is not a scientific reason to pretend that the contradiction does not exist. What I am trying to say is that science is a search for how things are, not how we want them to be. That being said, there are many religious people (including Christians) who accept that humans have evolved. A priest that I knew taught evolution in biology class, there was no contradiction for him.
    By definition, evolution subracts [sic] God from the process--at least according to how scientists have defined it.
    Evolution does not disprove any god, it merely shows how god(s) is(are) not required to explain certain things.
    You can at least understand why some people react so vitriolically against the idea.
    I understand why people reacted vitriolically against the idea that the earth orbits the sun. That didn't make them right, and it doesn't make creationists right either.
    I'm not now arguing for or against either position. I am merely showing how evolution has been presented by the scientific establishment.
    Fair enough, but the scientific establishment has no choice if they are to remain honest. We are here to understand the universe, not to find support for one particular interpretation of one particular religious text. Of course, if the interpretation and text are correct, then they should have nothing to worry about from science.

    Peez
  14. Peez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    Neon_Ninja:
    I'm going to try to keep this post as short as possible. For those interested, the arguments contained herein do not originate with me, although I find them to be very enlightening. These arguments are taken from an article called Evolution-A Philosophy, Not a Science by Duane T. Gish, associate director of the Institute for Creation Research.
    I should note that the Institute for Creation Research does not do research, it only exists to further Gish's social and political agenda with regards to science education.
    Basically, Gish argues that the theory of evolution fails to fulfill the three basic tenets scientific theory. And these are:
    Why, exactly, should we take Mr. Gish's word for what constitutes science?
    1. It "must be supported by events, processes, or properties which can be observed."
    You mean, like, geology (we cannot see the centre of the earth), physics (when was the last time you observed an electron?), etc.?
    2. It "must be useful in predicting the outcome of future natural phenomena or laboratory experiments."
    Why? If science concludes that a phenomenon is unpredictable, does it then stop being science?
    3. It "must be capable of falsification."
    If he means that it can be falsified, I agree! Haleluliah!
    The theory of evolution fails to fulfill any of the three.
    Not true, though for the first two this is irrelevant. Evolution is supported by many observable events (speciations), processes (natural selection), and properties (genetic similarities). Evolutionary outcomes have been successfully predicted in the laboratory. Most importantly, evolution would be easily falsifiable if it were false: mammal fossils in Precambrian rock, evidence of a griffon, greater genetic similarity between a chimp and a rat than between a chimp and a human, to name just a few of literally millions.
    Firstly, evolution has never been observed.
    Wrong. You may be making an honest mistake here, but you would do well to check up on such things before making such statements. I have personally observed evolution, and I am not alone.
    Gish points out that leading evolution scientist agree with this point by quoting both Goldschmidt and Dobzhansky. (I myself am not much of a scientist so these names are perhaps not as meaningful to me as they would be to someone who recognizes them.)
    They are long-dead scientists. Gish has a habit of quoting from older sources to avoid the knowledge that has accumulated since. Also, it is useless to attribute an idea to someone without an original source (just because Gish says that they said it does not mean that they said it).
    Secondly, due to the impossibility of human observation mentioned above and because of the enormous quantities of time "required" for the process, evolution renders itself impervious to any meaningful, scientific testability.
    Funny that so many creationists claim that they have disproved it, then. As I already pointed out, evolution has been observed. I mean by that that we have observed it as it happened, but we have also observed it in the past. Look at the sun. Are you observing it? It takes the photons about eight minutes to travel from the sun to your eyes: you are observing something that was there in the (recent) past and you have to assume that the photons acted in the usual way and didn't rearrange themselves so as to merely look like the sun. Similarly, fossils (like photons) bring us information about the past, and we assume that usual processes were at work preserving them. As I have explained before, evolution is easily testable. Creationism is not.
    And finally, the theory is not specific. That is, it is "capable of explaining anything." From cosmology to ethics, evolution has become the religion of non-believers.
    LOL! :D Pardon me, but cosmology
  15. Republic_Clone_69 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 1
    I can't fathom the amount of ignorance and misinformation considering evolutionary theory on this thread! Do your own SCIENTIFIC research on the subject people... anything but the church propaganda... <smacks forehead>

    Oh, and for those who are confused about the origins of life, this link about amino acids in deep space might be an educational read.
  16. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Very interesting read, RC!

    Astrobiology would be the answer to the question of what evolution does not cover. Astrobiologists deal with linking different scientific disciplines to understand the origin, process, evolution and function of life past and present.

    There are too many similar or related findings which complement one another, across the spectrum of sciences for evolution theory to be a hoax, and for the seamless way in which these evidences fit together to all be a huge, multifaceted coincidence. And, over time, the more it has been scrutinized with more advanced resources, more evidence has been exposed in favor of evolution theory.

    In contrast, the more the Christian dogma has been scrutinized, throughout history, the less acceptable it has become... so much so that even the stubborn Vatican revises its position (every few centuries, anyway).

    People like Dr. Gish do try to repress the accumulation of new knowledge by throwing out old, and unaccepted, sound bites. The important thing to ask is... If creationists are right in their assumption that evolution is wrong, how is it that creationists go further and further back into history to pull out examples (at one point the article I posted from the ICR was citing long-since modified theories like Darwin's Natural Selection...) as if the knowledge base of science hasn't grown exponentially with each new finding.

  17. Neon_Ninja Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2002
    star 1
    Darth Snowdog,

    You really know your stuff. Or at the very least you can conjure up some very convincing BS. :) I don't think the latter is very likely though.

    Really though, between the two of us you are obviously more in the know concerning all things scientific and if you say Gish is not as objective as he'd have us believe then I'm not going to argue.

    However (there's always a however), I might add that just because someone has a bias does not make the given point irrelevant. It does certainly make it suspect, but to disregard it altogether is in itself a bias.

    Finally, my point in bringing up Gish was not to counter evolution. It was simply to point out that evolution may not be, in and of itself, an exact science. For example, it takes much more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in gravity. Gravity follows measurable, consistent rules. Evolution is a bit more malleable because it cannot be studied directly. It is a sort of world view that we infer given the results of scientific discoveries (i.e. the fossil record, gene research, etc etc).

    I personally am a Christian who thinks there is a lot more validity to evolution than a literal 6-day creation. I still believe without a doubt that God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it, but the universe is a very complex thing, so I'm sure the author of Genesis had to simplify a bit. I'm also sure Big Bang theory and evolution are off the mark too. They're just closer to truth than a literal reading of Genesis is.
  18. Republic_Clone_69 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 1
    Interesting that you should say that, Darth_SnowDog. If evolution is "wrong" we would essentially have to throw out 170 years of advancement in the area of earth sciences. All that we have learned in that time has been based on the foundation of Darwin's theory, and the acceptence that at its core, it is ultimately correct.
    I shudder at the prospect of thought being held back almost two centuries.
  19. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    They're just closer to truth than a literal reading of Genesis is.

    I should think so... the sum total of knowledge accumulated in the past two thousand years is so many volumes more descriptive than the Bible, such that if we gathered it all in one space, all that research, experimentation, observation... who knows how many office buildings it could fill, from floor to ceiling!

    We're talking about TWO THOUSAND years of advancement in science... even in the past ten years, the leaps made in astrobiology have been exponential.

    Ultimately, science aims not to disprove god, but to understand god better than our forebears who relied more on hearsay and parables than empirical research.

    Just because there's a scientifically-plausible breakdown of how something works doesn't mean god doesn't exist. Just because a burning bush turns out to be a plant that was known to exist in the middle east 2000 years ago which secretes natural oils that, under intense desert heat, can spontaneously ignite... or, hell, even if Moses hadn't had a glass of water in ten days and started hallucinating... doesn't mean that his vision was any less spectacular.

    Do we look at stories of fiction and dismiss the lessons of those stories simply because they are exaggerations of the truth? No. But that points to the underlying issues being more important. Science wants to poke through the form and appearance, and look at the underlying substance.
  20. starwarsgirl4324 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 3
    Like many people, I believe in both creation and evolution, and I think there is a simple explanation for my beliefs. The Bible states that God created the world in seven days, and on one of these days, created man. This seems like it would rule out the theory of evolution, but by no means does it. Personally, I take many parts of the Bible symbolically. There was no measure of time for how long a day was. The first humans didn't observe it as 24 hours. Therefore, a "week" could have been thousands of years. 'Scuse me if this has been said before. I didn't feel like reading through the whole thread.
  21. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    ...Personally, I take many parts of the Bible symbolically...

    Interesting...then why is it so hard to think of God as a symbol of the timeless, eternal, evolving universe...rather than "humanizing" it and believing that an intelligent entity created everything?

    Taking parts "symbolically" goes along with people who say they "believe in both creation and evolution" -- it's trying to trick reasonable people into believing the occult is reasonable, or simply parroting people who are trying to trick reasonable people into believing the occult is reasonable.
  22. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    I believe in both evolution and creation, and yet I'm not trying to trick anyone.
  23. starwarsgirl4324 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 3
    I'm not trying to trick anyone either. And I do think of God as a symbol of the universe, becauase I believe God to be eternal, just as the universe is. I'm not trying to humanize God, but I do think He is behind everything created. I'm not saying that every scientific theory ever proven is incorrect; that's far from what I'm saying, but I believe that God willed everything into being, and that science made it possible to be put into effect. If that makes any sense at all. ;)
  24. jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    I am usually tolerant of other people's beliefs. I have no problem with people believing in an 'Old Earth Creation' as such, even though I don't agree with them. I even have no problem with people believing that God does his 'thing' through evolution. But anyone who thinks that evolution is fatally flawed...and...even worse...belives in Young Earth Creationism, needs, quite frankly, to have their head checked.

    Evolution doesn't explain everything. It can't. Nothing can. And It doesn't have to. So YEC's/Anti-Evolutionists: do yourselves a favour and read "The Blind Watchmaker", by Richard Dawkins, then come back here and re-present your argument as to why Evolution is a total load of crap because of (a) Gaps in the Fossil Record, (which prove nothing) (b)Violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (even though you don't understand it), (c)Carbon Dating is wrong, (based on disproven 1960's research) and so on...

    Have a nice day.



  25. Goldberry Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2001
    star 4
    <<For example, it takes much more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in gravity.>>

    Gravity is about the future, and about all kinds of things that we've never observed. It has implications for all of those things, and if we believe it, we believe things that go far beyond everything we can and do observe. Yet we do believe it - science is not about observing everything, because we never can. :)
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