Here, in near entirety, is a debate I’ve had with a creationist friend from back home for the last 2 months. I’ve edited out bits of the conversation that don’t relate to the debate and I’ve condensed multiple sequential responses by one person into a single segment. I’ve edited a small bit at the end regarding pi. I had barely skimmed a link before giving it to him and it turned out to be the opposite of what I was trying to get across. I removed the link and the subsequent bits that related to it to avoid the confusion to the reader that it caused to us. His name has been changed to Mark Pigeon in fairness to him because we didn’t start the debate for the purpose of later publication. There’s a lot of great information in it however and I think other people will be interested in reading it.
It all began when I posted this link on facebook:
His resulting comments on the article spawned the debate that was quickly shifted to private messaging to accommodate the lengthy replies and to keep it one-on-one.
It’s just too bad the writer doesn’t really know his/her science, nor their bible. Just because God can make the world in seven days doesn’t mean that his creation can on it’s own. And the truth is that scientific study shows that the earth isn’t “four and a half billion years old, but only six thousand”. The only so-called science that claims the earth is billions of years old is the theory of evolution, which currently has no proof for it and a good amount of proof against it. As to whether or not what they’re seeing is a planet forming they don’t actually know; we’ve never seen it happen before so we’re not entirely sure what that looks like.
“And if there’s one thing the existence of our world and everything we see in the sky ever proves, it’s that once a clump of matter starts to collapse it tends to keep going.”
What’s this based off of? Our atmosphere and dust is continuously leaving the planet, our galaxy is expanding farther and farther apart, and besides the possibility of black holes we’ve never seen large amounts of dust in space actually come together (by the way you can’t see black holes). And finally, we have no proof that it has been going on for any length of time since we haven’t been watching it with our fancy telescopes the past 1000 years, as well as the fact that everything we see in space has technically already happened since the light takes a while to get here.
And before simply believing either what this article says or what I say you should really do some research for yourself. The great thing about science is that it’s something you can test.
Ok Mark, I guess I’ll take this piece by piece.
“And the truth is that scientific study shows that the earth isn’t “four and a half billion years old, but only six thousand””
That’s pretty absurd. Please talk to a geologist. To put this error in perspective, you’re saying that the Earth was created 4,000 years after the domestication of the dog.
“The only so-called science that claims the earth is billions of years old is the theory of evolution”
Evolution makes no claims whatsoever about the age of the Earth. It is a biological theory dealing with the gradual development of complex lifeforms.
“which currently has no proof for it and a good amount of proof against it”
Man, I thought you were a smart kid. Evolutionary Theory has mountains of evidence supporting it. http://www.TalkOrigins.org is an excellent resource of them. As for evidence against, I’d love to hear it.
“What’s this based off of?”
Well if you read the sentence, it’s based off of “everything we see in the sky”. If you go just a few posts back, you can see a simulation of how stars are formed from giant gas clouds compressing and spinning. It’s a very well observed phenomenon and is basically the same process that forms planets and galaxies.
“our galaxy is expanding farther and farther apart, and besides the possibility of black holes we’ve never seen large amounts of dust in space actually come together (by the way you can’t see black holes)”
The galaxy is not expanding. Current observations show that the universe (and thus the distance BETWEEN galaxies) is expanding, while the galaxy itself is held together by gravity. That’s newton 101. We have seen dust come together. Look at pictures of nebulae where stars are forming.
“And finally, we have no proof that it has been going on for any length of time since we haven’t been watching it with our fancy telescopes the past 1000 years, as well as the fact that everything we see in space has technically already happened since the light takes a while to get here.”
I love how you state exactly what disproves your statement without even realizing it. Yes, it does take time for light to reach us. The farther away we look into space, the further into the past we are seeing. The farthest observable galaxy is 13 billion light years away (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/06/galaxies_at_the.html) and therefore it has takes 13 billion years for the light from it to reach us. Which means the universe has to be at least that old.
“And before simply believing either what this article says or what I say you should really do some research for yourself.”
You’re absolutely right. I do do lots of research for myself. Astronomy is pretty cool. You’d be surprised the things we know about the universe. I recommend A Brief History of Time.
“The great thing about science is that it’s something you can test.”
The great thing about this sentence is the intense irony. You say how great science is (and I agree) after trying desperately to discount it because it conflicts with your entirely UNtestable ideological beliefs.
“You say how great science is (and I agree) after trying desperately to discount it because it conflicts with your entirely UNtestable ideological beliefs.”
I’m sad that I came across as trying to discount science. Science, as I understand it, is the study of nature and the physical world through observation. What I was trying to say is that Evolution isn’t science; that it isn’t observed in the physical world. I haven’t taken the time to read a whole lot from the website you mentioned but I have read many books, seen many videos, and read many other websites about evolution. I’ve also done the same for creation. In truth, almost everything that I’ve seen, whether for or against evolution/creation, has had some flaws. Most creationist things I’ve read have come from people who don’t fully understand the science they’re talking about. Also, most of the anti-creationist views I’ve read, since most of the evolution content tries to discount creation at some point, either don’t know there bible or have some science wrong themselves. I’ve tried my best to look at everything without bias (which gets harder and harder the more I read) and will try my best to show you what I’m talking about.
“Evolution makes no claims whatsoever about the age of the Earth.”
Actually, it does, just not directly. If it takes millions of years (or longer) for something to “evolve” then that something would’ve had to be around for those millions of years. I’ve only heard of dust and possibly bacteria traveling through space naturally, which means that evolution would’ve had to take place on this planet, making the Earth millions of years old also. I’m also not satisfied with how evolution keeps taking more and more time when they can’t explain something that doesn’t quite match their theory.
“Please talk to a geologist.”
What exactly is the geologist supposed to tell me? Will he tell me that rock stratus form horizontally over time, not vertically? Will he tell me that you can’t tell the difference in age of one chunk of limestone from another just by where it’s positioned? It’s been proven that the placement of fossils don’t have much if any relation to time at which they died. A lot of evolution is derived from the supposed “fossil record”, in which the fossils are dated by their layer and the layer is dated by the fossils (which by the way is circular reasoning). Also, carbon dating, the second way most fossils are dated, doesn’t work in most cases. Besides the numerous ways that carbon levels would naturally increase or decrease after an organism has died, carbon only has a half-life of 6000 years. This small half-life means that carbon dating isn’t reliable after about 60,000 years because by then there is simply not enough carbon for accurate dating. Uranium has a half-life of 245,000 years and is much more accurate for dating things. It isn’t used much for living organisms because very few creatures have uranium in them. However, in all the sources I’ve found on the topic uranium dating to find the age of rocks their tests have shown the rocks to be between 6000 and 10000 years old, which is too short of a time for evolution to happen, according to evolutionists.
“To put this error in perspective, you’re saying that the Earth was created 4,000 years after the domestication of the dog.”
I don’t really have anything to say about this but I’m curious what this is based on. When were dogs first domesticated and how do we know this? If it’s based purely on the placement of fossils and the “fossil record” then once again I’m skeptical because that’s not how fossils and rock formations work.
Oh wait; now that I’ve gotten this far I’m realizing that we both started at the wrong place. Where we should have started is what do you mean by evolution? In my studies I’ve found about six different definitions, three of which I find completely true, one of which is partially true, and two of which most people think of which aren’t true at all (my opinions of course). And I’ll quote a summary of them from http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_meaningsofevolution.pdf:
“1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature
2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population
3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from
a common ancestor.
4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with
modification; chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations
5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single
6. Blind watchmaker thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common
ancestors through unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural
selection acting on random variations or mutations; the idea that the Darwinian mechanism
of natural selection acting on random variation, and other similarly naturalistic mechanisms,
completely suffice to explain the origin of novel biological forms and the appearance of
design in complex organisms.”
(I haven’t read this whole pdf, I’m not sure on their views, I just googled for definitions of evolution and found this one which had them all listed handy.)
Science, history, and basic observations in life all prove number 1, that there is change over time. Traits are definitely passed genetically and can be different from descendant to descendant which inherently leads to number 3 of a limited common ancestor (like all people descending from Adam and Eve, or all dogs coming from some type of wolf, etc.). Number 4 is also true with a correct understanding of mutations, that in a mutation genetic material is lost, never gained (as learned in biology (I did some cool labs at UML where we replicated part of our own dna in such a large quantity that we could see it, which was really cool and helped me to understand how cell replication and mutation works)). Five and six get to what I’m talking about when I’m saying that evolution isn’t science. I’m also realizing now that “definition of evolution”, as I put it earlier, might not be the right way to say it but I hope you understand what I’m trying to get across. Basically, from science and my own personal observations of the world around me I don’t think the last two definitions are rational. I think another confusion of evolution is the thought of helpful vs. harmful mutations. The majority of mutations are bad for you but some can be good in certain situations. For example the white butterflies in England that turned gray once pollution and factories where everywhere. The fact of the matter though, is that those butterflies lost part of their genetic makeup in the process. They may do better in the now because of it but they’ll never naturally get the gene back that makes them white, and with the loss of genetic code are technically inferior genetically. Evolution requires the addition of genetic material, which doesn’t happen in real life/science.
The final thing I want to address tonight is the idea of galaxies being millions of light-years away and what that means. First of all, I’m no expert in astronomy and that is one of my weaker science areas knowledge-wise so if anything I say here is blatantly obviously wrong please tell me. From what I understand, first of all, a light-year depends on a constant speed of light throughout that year. The speed of light, unlike what many teachers and textbooks teach, is not a constant. If you want more information on that I’ll refer you to the following link and I’m sure you’ll look up more on this:
Also, how long a year is/the actual distance of a light-year varies from source to source. Now I understand that that in and of itself doesn’t prove or disprove anything but it is something to think about. Even if Einstein’s theory that light cannot exceed 186,282 mph is correct the fact that light doesn’t move at a constant speed could have an effect to how accurately we’ve determined that the light from stars have traveled. Now, I’m not going to say anything else on the subject because I still need to research how they do things, but do you know how they determine how many light-years away something is? In my understanding the amount of light reaching earth is greatly effected by the size of the light source (aka star), the speed at which it travels, and how far away it is. So, I’m unsure how conclusive stars actually are to age of earth or anything else.
Those are some of my thoughts. I’d also like to know if your belief in evolution stems from believing that the bible doesn’t agree with science or simply because you think evolution is more scientifically sound. I accidentally closed the tab but your last comment talked about how the bible couldn’t be absolutely proven. I actually find that pretty ironic though because neither can evolution. Both beliefs in how the natural world came to be require faith, and the bible’s explanation doesn’t have science against it.
I have a few other questions for you if you don’t mind to help me understand your point of view a little better:
Do you believe in God? (At the moment I’m assuming no.)
How do you view the bible?
What changed your mind about creation? (I’m assuming you believed it once.)
“Evolution isn’t science; that it isn’t observed in the physical world.”
That’s absolutely 100% false in both respects. Again, TalkOrigins is a great resource of the mountains of evidence that all converge to support evolution. I suppose you can debate exactly to what extent it’s observed, but it’s most evident in rapidly reproducing bacteria. Antibiotic resistant bacteria is an excellent example of how environmental pressures result in adaptation. It’s the reason people have to get new Flu vaccines so often. New strains keep popping up. Domestication of both agriculture and animals is also a fantastic example. Selective breeding of plants (bananas for instance used to be very different from what they are today and are a direct result of agriculture) results in more desirable crops. The most obvious example in animals is probably the dog. Wolves were captured and bred for hunting capability and docility, and eventually even for aesthetic purposes, resulting in the obvious phenotypic changes we see in modern dogs. The relatively short amount of time since dog breeding began hasn’t allowed for speciation (they can still breed successfully with wolves) but it’s the same mechanism over much longer time that results in divergence.
“the fossils are dated by their layer and the layer is dated by the fossils”
This is a wonderful myth perpetuated by creationists. Fossils and rock layers are dated (at least by one means) through radiometric dating. You’re right that carbon dating is only reliable to 60,000 years, which is why it’s not used for fossils. Uranium-lead dating is highly accurate and useful to over 4.5 billion years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-lead_dating) and Potassium-argon has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.
“When were dogs first domesticated and how do we know this?”
“Archeology has placed the earliest known domestication at potentially 12,000 BC-10,000 BC and with certainty at 7,000 BC.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_domestic_dog) (By the way, I don’t want to give the impression that I believe everything on wikipedia is accurate, it’s just the easiest resource and all the information I’ve taken from it has citations and references to actual sources.) This is also about the time agriculture was discovered.
As for defining evolution, I don’t really want to attempt right now. I’m a little tired and it’s a very difficult thing to define. “Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population” isn’t a bad one though. The rest of what you say reveals a gross misunderstanding of evolution. That’s ok, nobody really gets a good education in it. I HIGHLY recommend you listen to the Evolution 101 podcast (http://www.drzach.net/podcast.htm). You can listen with the player on the site or look it up on iTunes if you want to download it. He explains things a lot better than I could and it would benefit this discussion if we were both operating with a more similar knowledge base. Just start at the beginning and go through them. He covers a lot of material from TalkOrigins and makes it very accessible.
Interesting article. Everything I’ve ever read on physics says that the speed of light is a constant (again, I highly recommend A Brief History of Time. Stephen Hawking knows his stuff). However even if light can be slowed, as shown by that Harvard experiment, relativity shows that nothing can exceed it. So the only way for something billions of light years away to be visible in an only millenia-old universe the light would need to travel MUCH faster. It doesn’t relate to the age of the Earth but the universe. As I said before, in order for light from any distant object to reach us, the universe must be at least old enough to allow for the time it takes to get here. As for how they calculate what those distances are, I don’t really know. I imagine at least one method would be to measure the relative red-shifts in the light from their stars (as galaxies move further and faster away, the wavelengths of light from them becomes elongated, shifting their visible light along the spectrum towards red).
“Do you believe in God?”
Nope. However I think it’s important to note the order of events. I stopped believing in christianity purely from my own examination of the bible and logical thinking and continued to believe in the idea of religion and spirituality for some time after. It was only later that I became an atheist and rejected the idea of religion altogether.
“How do you view the bible?”
Much the same way I view the Odyssey, the legend of King Arthur, Norse Mythology, or Beowulf.
“What changed your mind about creation? (I’m assuming you believed it once.)”
I suppose it depends on what you mean by creation, but no, I never held anything resembling Young Earth Creationist beliefs. (Despite the fact that apparently that’s what my parents believe. Something I only recently found out.) When I was a kid I loved the pbs NOVA programs and was a big fan of dinosaurs. I loved that Earth had this enormous history that got wiped out long before humans popped up. At the same time though I sort of compartmentalized my religious beliefs in that along with basic scientific understanding I also believed in Adam + Eve, Noah’s Ark, Moses, etc. I’d love to have a discussion on religion sometime if you’re interested, though I think that would probably best be saved for in person.
Well, I guess I need to clarify what I meant. When I said, “Evolution isn’t science; that it isn’t observed in the physical world,” I was talking about the definition where all organisms have descended from common ancestors. And the examples you gave aren’t really evolution per say. To evolve doesn’t just mean to simply change or adapt but also for new genes or DNA to be added into the organism. However, this doesn’t happen. When dogs are bred for certain traits they lose other traits from their DNA and their genes become limited. In the same way the reason people shouldn’t procreate with their cousins, siblings, or offspring (besides the moral reasons) is that the gene pool becomes so limited that problems occur and the children often end up deformed or dead. Also, the reason bacteria have “new” strains that medicine can no longer effect is because of how they’re losing genetic information. How medicine that targets bacteria works is that it binds to certain genes in the bad bacteria and kills the bacteria. When a bacteria mutates into a new deadly strain it loses that gene that the medicine used to bind to therefore rendering the medicine useless. Now, the bacteria has changed, it has in a way adapted, but it hasn’t evolved. It has only lost information and will eventually die off once it no longer has any extra genes that it can live without. The reason mutations in bacteria happens more often than say mutations in mammals is simply because bacteria reproduce a lot faster (often about a thousand to a million times faster depending on the bacteria).
So, I’m not at all trying to say that creatures don’t mutate, adapt, and change, but I am saying that no evolution actually occurs (evolution can happen outside of nature; like how our ideas can change or how computer software like Firefox comes into being because of code being added in). What I’ve never understood is how evolutionists can take something like adaptation of a species and make the huge leap of faith to all species magically mutating a long long time ago from one specie (or from inanimate objects like rocks). To me it’s a lot easier to believe that all life was created for a purpose than it is to believe that all life happened on accident randomly, especially when I look at the science behind it.
About the ages of things, I think you missed a part of what I said and also have a few holes in your logic.
“You’re right that carbon dating is only reliable to 60,000 years, which is why it’s not used for fossils. Uranium-lead dating is highly accurate and useful to over 4.5 billion years.”
I think what you should have said, relating to carbon dating, is that that is why it shouldn’t be used for fossils. The fact of the matter though, is that they do use it for fossils most of the time. Yes, as we both said, Uranium-lead dating is much more accurate, but uranium and lead are not found in fossils of living things (or at least not in many), therefore they use the very inaccurate method of carbon dating (because of how the carbon-14 is formed from radiation, and assuming the current changes in the magnetic field have been relatively consistent for the past few thousand years, carbon dating really only works for up to 4500 years in the past). I’ve only ever seen a few places where the results of uranium-lead dating were shared with the public and those results never aged over 10,000.
The “hole in your logic” I’m referring to is about the half-life of Uranium lead being 4.5 billion years and what seems like the implied assumption that therefore the earth is also 4.5 billion years old. Half-lives of elements make mathematical sense based on the science of how their atoms work (I have seen and done the math behind half-lives). However, it doesn’t prove in any way how long they have been around in the past. The math of half-lives gives us an approximate age as to how long something will last in the future, ideally, but it can’t prove the past. When we do use it as a rough estimate of the past, as mentioned before, uranium-lead and other stable radioactive elements age the earth, or the parts of the earth or other objects in which they’re found at somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years (if you know of other sources where this dating was used to prove a longer age I’d love to look at it because I haven’t found one yet).
And finally about light-years and stars again; Yes, if a star is really a million or a billion light-years away, and we’re seeing it now, then it would have to have taken a million or a billion years to get here. However, that’s a pretty big IF. I’ve asked many people and have read many other sources but have yet to get a clear answer on how we claim to determine the actual age of light from stars. I mean, obviously energy cannot be created nor destroyed so we’re simply talking about the age of the light since it was emitted as light. I’m still yet to hear or experience an answer as to how that actually works. If you know I’d love to be enlightened, and if we really can tell the age of a light then it would prove that the universe and all matter in it is billions of years old. It would also show the bible as not being completely true, therefore eliminating God. However, it still wouldn’t prove or change the validity of evolution.
Everything you’ve said thus far reveals such a profound misunderstanding and ignorance of evolution that I can only assume that your “research” consists entirely of creationist material. I’d just like to quickly point out that there’s something to be said of the fact that the ONLY objections to evolution come from theological motivations. If there was ANY actual scientific merit to disbeieve evolution you would have scientists with no theological biases in support of it.
Decent from common ancestors is very well established and if you looked at the resources I’ve already provided you you could see for yourself. In fact, here’s another one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_evolution
Regarding mutations, you are once again grossly misinformed. Just a couple of the ways DNA can grow in length is by a mutation of Duplication and by mass duplications of whole chromosomes called Amplification. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation
“It has only lost information and will eventually die off once it no longer has any extra genes that it can live without”
Given the reproduction rate of bacteria and the standard mutation rate of DNA during replication, if what you said were true there would very likely be no bacteria left at all.
“What I’ve never understood is how evolutionists can take something like adaptation of a species and make the huge leap of faith to all species magically mutating a long long time ago from one specie[s]”
It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith, just millions and millions of years. Evolution works on an extremely small slope of gradual change that only becomes obvious when seen on a very large timeline, or when you have the mountains of evidence we have in the present. Also, I find it highly ironic that you criticize leaps of faith, when that’s exactly what it takes for you to hold your beliefs.
“To me it’s a lot easier to believe that all life was created for a purpose than it is to believe that all life happened on accident randomly,…”
However improbable the natural explanations of the abiogenesis of life and the subsequent evolution into self-aware beings might be, the existence of an all-powerful super-being capable of shaping the laws of the universe to its will, creating life, and overseeing it’s development is almost infinitely more improbable. Not to mention, how do you explain the creation of the creator?
“…especially when I look at the science behind it.”
What science? All you’ve done thus far is attempt to discredit evolutionary science. “Debunking” one theory is not enough for yours to be true. Where’s the scientific basis for supposing a creator? You can’t just try to refute the evidence against it, you must provide evidence for it.
“The fact of the matter though, is that they do use it for fossils most of the time.”
Again, not true. Why on Earth would archaeologists use a dating method that they know to not be effective for stuff as old as they suspect it to be?
(from the article:)
‘The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon-14 dating. This is what archaeologists use to determine the age of human-made artifacts. But carbon-14 dating won’t work on dinosaur bones. The half-life of carbon-14 is only 5,370 years, so carbon-14 dating is only effective on samples that are less than 50,000 years old. Dinosaur bones, on the other hand, are millions of years old — some fossils are billions of years old. To determine the ages of these specimens, scientists need an isotope with a very long half-life. Some of the isotopes used for this purpose are uranium-238, uranium-235 and potassium-40, each of which has a half-life of more than a million years.’
“The “hole in your logic” I’m referring to is about the half-life of Uranium lead being 4.5 billion years and what seems like the implied assumption that therefore the earth is also 4.5 billion years old.”
That would absolutely be a hole in my logic… if that was even close to what I was asserting. First of all, I didn’t say the half-life was 4.5 billion years, I said it was accurate for dating things up to 4.5 billion years old. Meaning that unless you date something older than that with it, it will give you an accurate age.
“When we do use it as a rough estimate of the past, as mentioned before, uranium-lead and other stable radioactive elements age the earth, or the parts of the earth or other objects in which they’re found at somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years (if you know of other sources where this dating was used to prove a longer age I’d love to look at it because I haven’t found one yet).”
Again, 100% wrong. Also from the last article:
‘Using the basic ideas of bracketing and radiometric dating, researchers have determined the age of rock layers all over the world. This information has also helped determine the age of the Earth itself. While the oldest known rocks on Earth are about 3.5 billion years old, researchers have found zircon crystals that are 4.3 billion years old [source: USGS]. Based on the analysis of these samples, scientists estimate that the Earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old. In addition, the oldest known moon rocks are 4.5 billion years old. Since the moon and the Earth probably formed at the same time, this supports the current idea of the Earth’s age.’
“Yes, if a star is really a million or a billion light-years away, and we’re seeing it now, then it would have to have taken a million or a billion years to get here. However, that’s a pretty big IF.”
HAHAHAH! You can’t REALLY be suggesting that the entire universe is less than 6,000 light years across! It would certainly be a great deal more crowded. hahahahah. I’m sorry, that’s just so crazy. Anyway, I looked into it, it took about 10 seconds, and I was right to suggest that they observe the redshifts in stars to determine distances of over 400 light years. There is also a parallax method you can read about here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/question224.htm
“It would also show the bible as not being completely true, therefore eliminating God.”
That’s quite an absolute you’ve got there. People who believe in the literal truth of every word of the Bible are far from the religious majority. Most christians, myself included when I identified myself as one, have no problem accepting the basic facts of the natural world as observed by science. It may require you to alter the way you interpret the bible, but it certainly doesn’t force you to eliminate god. I recommend the book Finding Darwin’s God. It’s an excellent introductory resource into evolutionary theory and on the coexistence of god and evolution.
And just in case I still haven’t provided enough resources for you:
The main wikipedia article on Evolution:
A wikipedia article on the objections to Evolution:
And the GREAT HowStuffWorks article on evolution:
I’m sorry for not responding sooner, I haven’t logged into facebook since last friday. Also, the response I want to give you is in the form of a movie, which I just converted to avi from a VHS tape and need to compress to flv for you to see. This movie has nothing to do with creation and everything to do with how rock layers are formed, how radiometric dating works, and how mutations and genetics don’t change a species to another species. I know you’ll want to write the whole thing off as “don’t believe everything you see on tv”, at least before you see it, but this video did Not help me come to my current beliefs, it simply reinforced them. I did listen to the first 7 podcasts of Evolution 101, so hopefully you’ll take the time to watch the video.
While I won’t have the movie fully converted nor uploaded until tomorrow here are a few basic thoughts on your last post;
“Everything you’ve said thus far reveals such a profound misunderstanding and ignorance of evolution that I can only assume that your ‘research’ consists entirely of creationist material.”
We’ll, you assume wrong. My research simply goes beyond the internet and I don’t believe anything I read or hear simply because a scientist or journalist, evolutionist, creationist or otherwise, says so. I have either done experiments for myself, watched people do experiments, or have asked questions to college professors without connecting it with evolution so that I can get an unbiased answer. I’ll talk more about experiments I’ve done or seen later. Maybe when we get to talk face to face I’ll show you some of them.
“Decent from common ancestors is very well established and if you looked at the resources I’ve already provided you you could see for yourself.”
If you actually knew how rock layers were formed you’d see that there is no fossil record, making any apparent “common ancestor” not so apparent.
“Just a couple of the ways DNA can grow in length is by a mutation of Duplication and by mass duplications of whole chromosomes called Amplification.”
I didn’t say they couldn’t get bigger amounts of DNA, I said they couldn’t get any New DNA. So what, some mutations get two of the same thing. How does that translate into a change of species?
“It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith, just millions and millions of years.”
So, you replace supernatural with large quantities of time…
“Given the reproduction rate of bacteria and the standard mutation rate of DNA during replication, if what you said were true there would very likely be no bacteria left at all.”
Not at all. When a bacteria replicates a million times at least thousands of the new bacterias are perfect clones and live on. It’s the badly mutated ones that die off or don’t function correctly. If the mutated bacteria never died off at a certain extent the amount of bacteria in the world kill all of us bigger life-forms.
About everything you said on the radiometric dating, the video will show you why that’s wrong. Also, the fossils you claim were dated using Uranium dating never contained any Uranium… Something HowStuffWorks.com also overlooked. In the video you’ll see why radiometric dating in general doesn’t work for that kind of stuff due to how radioactive materials react with water and how rock layers are formed (also with water).
“HAHAHAH! You can’t REALLY be suggesting that the entire universe is less than 6,000 light years across!”
I wasn’t saying that at all. Even the bible says that the universe is bigger than that. But we can talk about that later since as I think you pointed out earlier, and I was too tired to recognize, the age of stars and/or the universe doesn’t matter in the topic of evolution since the age of the Earth is the only important factor here.
That last post of mine was a very poor reply, and I hope I was tired because as I re-read it I see many problems with what I wrote that you didn’t point out. I’m sorry for the confusion, which is why I’m going to stop talking now and let the video I copied for you explain what I’m trying to say. It’s 9:12 pm. now, and Adobe claims it will take another 5 hours to convert the video so I’ll upload it tomorrow. It won’t be uploaded on facebook because it’s about an hour long. I’ll just host it on my site. I give you a link tomorrow, probably around 3:30pm since school will be in the way of getting it done sooner.
Ok, you can watch the video here:
It’s about an hour long. I’m sorry that the host guy is very boring to listen to but it should still be informative. A couple of the scientists do say they believe in God but there is no mention of creationism and they aren’t trying to convert anyone like Hovind. This video simply shows why evolution doesn’t work. Feel free to criticize after watching.
For now, I’ll leave the claims alone and focus on the video because everything I’ve linked to can thoroughly explain everything you’ve brought up and I can’t imagine how it’s going to be beneficial to continue to explain where you’re wrong when all the information I’ve given you you’ve either ignored or misinterpreted. I would like to recommend specifically the Evolution 101 episodes on the molecular evidence for evolution. I found them, in conjunction with his website comparing specific protein expressions (http://www.drzach.net/evidence.htm) particularly compelling.
“This movie has nothing to do with creation”
What? I can only hope that you sincerely believe this and aren’t deliberately trying to deceive me and pass this off as a scientific video when it so obviously isn’t. I’d like to believe the former, but your editing out of the title sequence I can only interpret as intentionally attempting to infringe my ability to research the making of it. [[Special note: Mark originally linked me to this video uploaded to his personal website in which the title had been cut out. I’ve provided a google video link I found while background-checking the video so readers can watch it if they want and still protect his identity.]]
Fittingly, all I had to do to find it was search “creationist videos” on google and it came up after only a few minutes of examining the results.
“Evolution: Fact of Belief?” was produced by a studio called American Portrait Films (http://www.amport.com/) (according to amazon.com), an overtly fundamentalist christian and creationist organization, and can be found carried on countless online creationist stores.
Why can’t you point to anything in support of your views from actual scientific organizations or even reputable universities? Real scientists have no theological motivations and are interested only in truth as shown by evidence in the natural world. If there was any factual basis for your beliefs and any serious doubt in the fact of evolution, real scientists would be divided. They’re not:
National Center for Science Education
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The National Academy of Science
National Science Teachers Association
Why aren’t grants given to research in the field of “Intelligent Design”? Because there is no research to be done. It’s not science. It doesn’t make testable predictions and is almost entirely unfalsifiable, except in that all the evidence points straight to common descent.
The entire purpose of “Evolution: Fact of Belief?” is to perpetuate misinformation and to reinforce the unfounded beliefs of creationists who watch it. It contains entirely incorrect information about fossils, radiometric dating techniques, and biology in general. They tout polystrate fossils as being a grand wrench in the cogs of evolution when in fact it is no such thing and is easily explained by real geologists and is a result of only one of many ways sedimentary rocks are formed:
I’m not saying that everything said in a creationist video is by default false, but that they simply cannot be trusted to be faithful to the facts. Creationists have a predetermined conclusion based on a theological belief and as such are forced to ignore, rationalize, or attempt to discredit anything that contradicts that belief. Science operates in stark contrast to this.
“Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to predict dependably any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.”
Science undergoes constant revision and modification to adjust a body of knowledge and theories to better fit observations of the natural world. Creationism does no such thing. If sufficient evidence could be presented that evolution was definitively false (an ever increasingly implausible event because of the enormous evidence in support of it. it would be comparable to overturning the theory of gravity or the germ theory of disease), science would abandon it instantly and begin searching for a new theory to incorporate it. This is decidedly not the case with creationists.
All I’m saying is that for you to continue in your belief in the bible, the basic facts of biology, archeology, geology, and paleontology demand that you interpret it some other way. It’s not the first time it’s happened. Galileo was viciously opposed by the church for promoting Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the galaxy which was believed to go against a literal interpretation of scripture. Opposing a heliocentric model today is equally as ridiculous as opposing evolution, something which surprisingly enough can actually still be found: http://www.geocentricbible.com/
This article in the latest New Scientist issue (a special on evolution) is very well written and covers almost everything we’ve addressed so far. Particularly I think you might be interested in reading the section on mutations.
Well, I’m sorry it made you so mad. I honestly didn’t know that it was a creationist video exactly since I had gotten it from some relative a year or two ago and it hadn’t said much on it besides the title. Honestly, I only took out the title sequence because the vcr was in the other room and I didn’t get back to the computer to hit record fast enough (I don’t really have the right equipment for recording stuff). But, despite the fact that it was made by creationists, where was it wrong exactly? What I’m hearing from you is that evolution has to be right simply because the majority claim so.
“Real scientists have no theological motivations and are interested only in truth as shown by evidence in the natural world.”
Just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean their not scientists. What they were saying in the video, or at least what I heard them say, is that they felt that what they observed in nature through science pointed to there being a God. It’s obvious that many others, yourself included, come up with a different conclusion.
Now, that video wasn’t the best in the world, I agree, but I don’t see anything wrong with the science they present. I look at your response as being; “I don’t agree with what they said so I’m just going to write them off as being wrong simply due to their beliefs and point to what the majority say because they must be right.” Now, I don’t say that to be mean, or because you said that word for word, but that is the message to portray to me.
“Why aren’t grants given to research in the field of ‘Intelligent Design’?”
Isn’t it obvious that this wouldn’t be good politically? “Intelligent Design”, while always possible, steps upon many peoples religious views and therefore can’t be upheld in America. I don’t see that as really having anything to do with science. Sure, evolution is quite the belief itself, but it’s been presented as pure fact for so long that the government will definitely never classify it as a belief/religion.
“They tout polystrate fossils as being a grand wrench in the cogs of evolution when in fact it is no such thing and is easily explained by real geologists and is a result of only one of many ways sedimentary rocks are formed.”
Besides the fact that that wikipedia page doesn’t meet wikipedia standards, it appears that these “real geologists” are making conclusions that match their hypothesis, not their results. And just hear me out for a second. That wikipedia article mainly says that those places where trees are found going through multiple strata were formed quickly. But that’s not what the argument is about. The creationists fully agree, and are saying, that strata and rock formations are formed relatively quickly. What I don’t understand is how geologists can go from here and say that certain other areas of strata were made over long periods of time when there isn’t any actual evidence that proclaims this. Please tell me where I’m wrong on this.
“Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to predict dependably any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.”
That’s definitely how science is supposed to work, though honestly I don’t think evolution has followed this path. With Creation, yes, the hypothesis is a big one, but as far as I can tell it should only need to be changed if there is something observable that disproves/goes against it. As there isn’t, it doesn’t need to be changed (feel free to show me what’s inherently wrong with it).
“This is decidedly not the case with creationists.”
How is this decidedly not the case? Where is the sufficient evidence against creation? Also, the “evidence” for evolution so far seems very debatable and to be ignoring other important aspects (some brought up in that film, some not) like the actual age of the earth and the unreliability of radiometric dating (you still haven’t told me why their “wrong”).
“Science undergoes constant revision and modification to adjust a body of knowledge and theories to better fit observations of the natural world. Creationism does no such thing.”
First of all, every time evolution doesn’t agree with something found in nature they add a few more million or billion years and say that fixes things. The “problem” with creation is that since it’s centered around a God that is outside of space and time, the only way to disprove creation is for science to prove that it happened in a different order from what the bible says. I have yet to see this proof.
“All I’m saying is that for you to continue in your belief in the bible, the basic facts of biology, archeology, geology, and paleontology demand that you interpret it some other way.”
What then are the basic facts of biology, archeology, geology, and paleontology?
* Cell theory. All living organisms are made of at least one cell, the basic unit of function in all organisms. In addition, the core mechanisms and chemistry of all cells in all organisms are similar, and cells emerge only from preexisting cells that multiply through cell division.
* Gene theory. A living organism’s traits are encoded in DNA, the fundamental component of genes. In addition, traits are passed on from one generation to the next by way of these genes. All information flows from the genotype to the phenotype, the observable physical or biochemical characteristics of the organism. Although the phenotype expressed by the gene may adapt to the environment of the organism, that information is not transferred back to the genes. Only through the process of evolution do genes change in response to the environment.
* Homeostasis. The physiological processes that allow an organism to maintain its internal environment notwithstanding its external environment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology (yes, I’m skipping their second one of evolution because because natural selection and genetic drift do not create new species.) (Also, I wish to highlight that “…cells emerge ONLY from preexisting cells…”.)
I can’t find the “basics of”. Simply the study of human past through artifacts?
Not certain about the “basics of”. Study of how rocks are formed.
Once again I’m not sure what you mean by “basics of” paleontology. The study of dead creatures based off their bones and remains.
“Galileo was viciously opposed by the church for promoting Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the galaxy which was believed to go against a literal interpretation of scripture.”
Actually, Galileo was simply opposed by the Catholics, who I don’t support, and his model of the galaxy does not go against the bible, rather supports it. The Catholics have made up their own religious texts, I don’t claim to understand their lack of thinking, but the bible says very clearly that the earth is a sphere, that the stars are many and away from the earth, and that the earth, sun, and moon circle about each other in some way (it doesn’t go into specifics, but it’s not a science textbook either). Feel free to show me where the bible doesn’t agree with science, but I have yet to find such a place. Yes, I am offended to be grouped with the Catholic church; they follow neither the bible nor science.
“Opposing a heliocentric model today is equally as ridiculous as opposing evolution, something which surprisingly enough can actually still be found: http://www.geocentricbible.com/”
I am not in any way shape or form opposing a heliocentric model of the universe. Those Geocentric folk are worse than Catholics when it comes to science. Also, the bible does NOT say that everything revolves around the earth. If you were talking to someone would you say that the planet spun in such a way that the sun became visible over the horizon, or would you say that the sun rose that morning? Geocentricbible.com has nothing to do with science nor the bible and shouldn’t have been brought up. If you really think that the bible is trying to profess this then you obviously didn’t read it for yourself. Insulting me with the stupidity of others claiming to know/believe the bible doesn’t help your case for evolution. I’m not angry but I am a little offended.
In short, what I read in that article, “Evolution: 24 myths and misconceptions”, was that they can prove natural selection and mutations, which I was never arguing against. What it doesn’t show, though it claims to, is that evolution actually happens and that mutations create new information. I’ll now go through and show what I mean.
“Countless fossil discoveries allow us to trace the evolution of today’s organisms from earlier forms.”
-As far as I know evolutionists are still looking for their “missing links”. Also, dead creatures don’t prove much more than they died…
“DNA sequencing has confirmed beyond any doubt that all living creatures share a common origin.”
-Since when? I thought that DNA sequencing confirmed that all living things are made up of the same building blocks. If a common origin was “confirmed beyond any doubt” then we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we?
“Innumerable examples of evolution in action can be seen all around us, from the pollution-matching pepper moth to fast-changing viruses such as HIV and H5N1 bird flu.”
-If they replaced evolution with “natural selection/mutations” then I’d fully agree. However, butterflies to butterflies and viruses to viruses don’t show changes in species, just variety in one specie (of course I guess this goes back to what we’re defining as a specie, but it still doesn’t show evolution).
And now for the article about mutations. I want to make it clear that there is a huge difference between useful/good mutations and NEW genetic information/genes. To show what I mean I’ll go through the article example by example.
Ex. 1: Milk Digestion.
“…several groups of people in Europe and Africa independently acquired mutations that allow them to continue digesting milk into adulthood.”
-Now, I think it is important to point out that we don’t really know whether they mutated and “acquired mutations that allow them to continue digesting milk into adulthood” or if we mutated and lost that gene, but luckily for us it’s irrelevant. The article also says that as children we are able to process milk, which is true, so obviously we have that information, that gene, in our DNA. So, if the Africans and Europeans mutated then they are simply retaining that gene/information into adulthood. If we mutated then we lost that gene/information during our adulthood. Either way it’s not actually New information, since we had it as children, and as we’re still people, not monkeys or otherwise, evolution hasn’t actually occurred.
Ex. 2: TRIM5-CypA
“Some monkeys have a mutation in a protein called TRIM5 that results in a piece of another, defunct protein being tacked onto TRIM5. The result is a hybrid protein called TRIM5-CypA, which can protect cells from infection with retroviruses such as HIV.”
-First, I’m not sure why they assume that these monkeys didn’t always have TRIM5-CypA. Just because both TRIM5 and CypA can be found in monkeys doesn’t mean that TRIM5-CypA didn’t come first.
“Although such an event might seem highly unlikely, it turns out that the TRIM5-CypA protein has evolved independently in two separate groups of monkeys.”
-I thinks this points more towards TRIM5-CypA being in the first monkeys and lost by some, not the other way around.
Ex. 3: Changing of species/mutation reversal.
“Several species of abalone shellfish have evolved due to mutations in the protein ‘key’ on the surface of sperm that binds to a ‘lock’ on the surface of eggs.”
-I guess this all depends on your definition of a specie, but if you claim that this small mutation makes these shellfishes different species then I guess we’re all our own unique specie because we all have our own set of small mutations and differences.
“Most mutations can be reversed by subsequent mutations – a DNA base can be turned from an A to a G and then back to an A again, for instance.”
-I assume their talking here about creatures that reproduce sexually. In this case you don’t need mutations to change or change back, you just need parents with certain traits and to have a certain combination of traits passed to you. Also, if their talking about mutations of a single cell in an organism like you or me then of course it can “mutate” back because you and I, along with any other multicellular organism, would have other cells with all the “original” information that would influence the other mutated cells due to the natural processes in our body. In those cases information was only lost in the single cell, not the whole organism. Such deceptive “proof” just shows the lack of actual proof.
“Well, I’m sorry it … for recording stuff)”
Haha ok I am the king of misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions. It didn’t make me angry, it’s just difficult to get through something so full of falsehood. I equally have a hard time getting through “9/11 truth” videos.
“What I’m hearing from you is that evolution has to be right simply because the majority claim so.”
I can see how it might seem like I’m making that fallacy. Evolution has to be right because of the overwhelming evidence for it, of which I have supplied plenty for you to look at. What I’m saying about the majority is that there are no scientists who hold your view that aren’t theologically predisposed to. The evidence has to speak for itself, and it screams rather loudly for evolution.
“I look at your response as being; “I don’t agree with what they said so I’m just going to write them off as being wrong simply due to their beliefs and point to what the majority say because they must be right.””
Again, I see how you could see this, but that’s not my position at all. All I’m saying is that you can’t weigh their opinions even close to equally with those of secular scientists. They are advancing a theological position and a predetermined conclusion and so can’t be trusted to be objective. Scientists with no ideological predisposition however, are only bound by observation and evidence.
“”Intelligent Design”, while always possible, steps upon many peoples religious views and therefore can’t be upheld in America.”
If the reason it isn’t recognized as science is because it “steps upon many people’s religious views” than how on Earth would evolution have ever been accepted? Evolution has arguably been the most politically controversial theory in the history of science for precisely that reason but has stood up over the past 200 years because of the increasingly incontrovertible evidence.
“Sure, evolution is quite the belief itself, but it’s been presented as pure fact for so long that the government will definitely never classify it as a belief/religion.”
Evolution in no way whatsoever resembles a religion. It is based on observation and is entirely falsifiable. It posits no supernatural being or force of any kind. Calling evolution a religious belief is like saying belief in the existence of France is a religious belief because I’ve never been there.
“What I don’t understand is how geologists can go from here and say that certain other areas of strata were made over long periods of time when there isn’t any actual evidence that proclaims this. Please tell me where I’m wrong on this.”
This is a pretty good, succinct article on the formation of sediments. I’m not saying they can never be formed quickly, the only way we have fossils at all is because the dead organism gets covered quickly and is preserved from decay.
Also, if you refer back to the fossil article, the layers are dated by the organic “brackets” of igneous rock layers that contain the necessary isotopes. This (I hope) is a pretty obvious method for determining the age of successive sediment layers.
“As there isn’t, it doesn’t need to be changed (feel free to show me what’s inherently wrong with it).”
I have. Over, and over again. www.TalkOrigins.org
“Where is the sufficient evidence against creation?”
The point is “Where is the evidence FOR it?” I don’t believe in Fairies just because there’s no evidence against them. And there’s plenty of evidence against creationism. See everything I’ve ever linked you.
“First of all, every time evolution doesn’t agree with something found in nature they add a few more million or billion years and say that fixes things.”
When has that ever happened? Show me. Granted, they have extended the known age of the Earth, but only when the evidence has been more accurate.
“I have yet to see this proof.”
Again, I’ve shown it to you over and over again. If you’re not going to look at it I don’t really see how we can continue this conversation.
“What then are the basic facts of biology, archeology, geology, and paleontology?”
Evolution is the central theory of all biology. It’s what the Quantum Theory of Gravity would be for physics. Archaeological study of human history and culture has shown a timeline vastly different from 6,000 years and spawned from only 2 people. Geological study of the Earth has shown it to be approximately 4-4.5 billion years old. Paleontological evidence continues to support evolution with more and more finds all the time.
“the bible says very clearly that the earth is a sphere, that the stars are many and away from the earth, and that the earth, sun, and moon circle about each other in some way”
The point is that you interpret it that way, while others who also call themselves christians interpret it to mean something else when it conflicts with obvious science. Still others go further and accept evolution as not contradicting the bible. Again, see “Finding Darwin’s God”.
“Feel free to show me where the bible doesn’t agree with science, but I have yet to find such a place.”
Well for starters, according to the bible the value of pi is exactly 3, even though the Egyptians and [Babylonians] had much more accurate values before the bible was written. That hardly sounds like divinely inspired math.
[“He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.” – 1 Kings 7:23]
“If you really think that the bible is trying to profess this then you obviously didn’t read it for yourself. Insulting me with the stupidity of others claiming to know/believe the bible doesn’t help your case for evolution. I’m not angry but I am a little offended.”
I’m not trying to say that the correct way to interpret the bible is geocentric or that that’s what you believe. I’m trying to show you that over time interpretations of the bible have changed due to increase in scientific knowledge and you look ridiculous when you don’t accept it. There are millions of christians who accept evolution. The obvious ridiculousness that you see in people who interpret the bible as geocentric and reject the obvious truth of the cosmos is exactly the same way I and christians who accept evolution see you.
“”DNA sequencing has confirmed beyond any doubt that all living creatures share a common origin.”
-Since when? ”
Listen to the 6 part series in Evolution 101 on the molecular evidence for evolution. Alternatively, read about it on TalkOrigins.
“If they replaced evolution with “natural selection/mutations” then I’d fully agree. However, butterflies to butterflies and viruses to viruses don’t show changes in species, just variety in one specie (of course I guess this goes back to what we’re defining as a specie, but it still doesn’t show evolution).”
Mutation + Natural Selection is, in very simplified terms, evolution. It’s such an enormous time scale however that in the fleeting moment humans have been here it’s almost impossible to literally observe speciation. Novel structures however have been observed:
“I want to make it clear that there is a huge difference between useful/good mutations and NEW genetic information/genes”
The article very clearly addresses this and I don’t know how you could have missed it. As soon as a mutation results in multiples of a gene they are then free to be separately selected for and mutated. In any case, here’s another article about changes in chromosome numbers:
[[Special Note: I haven’t condensed these posts into one because the correction I make in this post is rather obviously time-specific.]]
“It’s such an enormous time scale however that in the fleeting moment humans have been here it’s almost impossible to literally observe speciation.”
I wish I had done a little more research into this before I said it. It turns out I was very misinformed.
I think we’ve reached a point where words on a screen isn’t a good enough tool to finish this discussion. We both feel (or at least I do) that the other person is missing the points we’re trying to get across and I’m not sure either of us can explain either side better unless we had the chance to actually talk face to face. I’m still trying to process all the links you give me, but with school wrapping up I’ve been lacking time between AP tests and making a keyboard for autistic kids. I do want to continue, I’m just not sure this is the right medium.
The one thing I want to clear up from your last big post is, what do you mean by;
“Well for starters, according to the bible the value of pi is exactly 3, even though the Egyptians and [Babylonians] had much more accurate values before the bible was written.”?
I just don’t see the whole pi = 3 thing as being relevant.
The bible’s value of pi as 3 isn’t relevant if you see the bible as a work of man, reflecting the culture, beliefs, and superstitions of the time. It becomes relevant when you say the bible is the inerrant, literal word of the creator of the universe… who apparently has a worse understanding than the Egyptians and Babylonians of a basic principle of the mathematics that he is supposed to have created.
I understand it can take a lot of time with school and everything to get through all the links and stuff. I agree, we should postpone the discussion for the time being until we have more time to devote to it or can talk in person. I’d like to say thanks for doing this; it’s been fun and again I hope there’s no hard feelings from any of it.