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Posted in Should Evolution Be Printed As Fact? on 2007-07-08 22:37:01

You’re an amusing old man, but wise? I think not. :P

Yes, you probably do have an answer for everything, except that your answers are nonsensical.

Actually, I have very few questions … they were rhetorical. I already know the creationist answers (they’ve been used many times before, to no avail). I have looked, and there is no evidence for a global flood (of course, MY search extends beyond creationist websites). In fact, all evidence indicates that there was no global flood. Aside from that, the problems that arise from the story of Noah’s flood are so numerous that I won’t even bother to list any more. The one’s I’ve already posed are more than sufficient, and I guarantee that you haven’t refuted any of them. But anyone reading who is actually interested in pursuing this ludicrous line of “debate” can find all they should need here (and they by no means list ALL the problems):

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8619_issue_11_volume_4_number_1__3_12_2003.asp

  1. You said, “the Global Flood eliminated most of the life on earth”. I refuted this statement with one simple, glaringly obvious fact. Most life on earth is marine based. A better argument you could use in the future is that so much rain would desalinate the oceans, and would in fact kill many marine life-forms. Hey, I have to help you out a little here … even though there’s no evidence of that happening.

  2. Maybe not on your favourite creationist website, but I assure you there is. Google “extinction events”.

  3. I did bother to look … and what a waste of my time. There is no evidence there at all, only misinformation.

  4. Creationism states a lot of things, but there is no reason to believe any of them. There is no evidence that the earth was much flatter 10000 years ago. Plate tectonics and mountain building are not catastrophic events, they are slow processes, taking millions of years. The Bible describes mountains numerous times, even in the context of Noah’s flood.

  5. As I said, very few, and only ancient species. Curious how you didn’t list humans, why not? :P

  6. What was Noah’s methodology for classifying kinds? What were the criteria? What were the technical specifications? How many kinds were there? Can you please provide a list of exactly which animals/plants he collected … all them please.

  7. It doesn’t matter whether they were adults or juveniles, either would have had him for a snack. And if he took babies or eggs, he would have had to raise them to sexual maturity. Any scenario you put forth is equally absurd … and that’s only one animal. Why didn’t you use the “KIND” argument for this point? It would have worked a little better. :P

  8. God created us perfect? Well, how can anyone possibly argue with that? That’s proof undeniable! Good explanation! But then, why did he have to drown us all and start over?

  9. First, there is MORE biodiversity now than in the past, but you missed the point entirely. Two individuals can not repopulate a complex species. Why is it that you can’t covet your neighbour’s wife but you can fornicate with your mother and sister all you want? No, there is not enough genetic variation in two individuals to sustain a complex species. You want to talk about deterioration of the genome … the incestuous inbreeding would result in innumerable genetic problems.

The main point, as I said … NONSENSICAL.

You keep saying that the creation theory predicts things. It does not … because there is no methodology for making predictions. It only makes wild unsupported statements, which never hold up against empirical evidence.

It is quite boring to “debate” with someone who dismisses all scientific evidence out of hand in favour of creationist misinformation and pseudo-science. You should expand your research beyond the narrow, biased, agenda driven views of these websites … so you don’t appear as the ignoramus you do now.

If you do you will learn a lot more about the real world, like radiometric dating. It shows the earth to be around 4.5 billion years old. The oldest zircon crystal recently found in Australia is 4.4 billion years old. The Canadian Shield is 4 billion years old. I could post links to thousands of websites which show the earth to be far more than 50,000 years old, but why would I waste my time like that? You can easily do it yourself. For goodness sake, we have ice core samples that contain the climate record for half a million years.

So far, the baseless statements from your favourite creationist website belie ALL of science, not just evolution. Can you explain this? I asked you previously if there was any branch of science that creationists consider valid. You didn’t answer … and I understand why.

You must realize that speciation is NEVER defined by superficial characteristics like colour. The specification is usually breeding incompatibility. If you think otherwise, then show me the references (hopefully not creationist websites).

I am not dodging anything … it is not a fact at all … and I’m not trying to disprove it. It’s a typical creationist ploy, to make wild unsubstantiated claims like, “the fact that every piece of evidence that exists in the scientific literature conclusively proves that every mutation is a degenerating one”, then putting the onus on me to disprove it. And while I already have disproved it (research bacterial plasmid transfer) – the onus is not on me. You made the claim, you prove it. And for the fourth time (I think), evolution is about survival of the fittest. Any mutation, (whether an addition, subtraction, or change of a gene), if it is beneficial to the survival of the individual, will be propagated. THAT IS EVOLUTION. Why can’t you understand this?

Let me guess … you’re middle-eastern? Anyway, as you may have read in the scientific literature, homo-sapiens originate from Africa, not the middle-east … as if geography has anything to do with it.

I am not claiming that the dwarfism IS NOT a degeneration. You are claiming that it IS a degeneration”. Big difference! All I know is that the scientific literature says they HAVE a dwarfism allele, it does not say they are MISSING a giant allele. Not that it matters … it’s still evolution!

Bacteria – yes I did read those few paragraphs on the creationist website you provided, and I disagree about who looks the fool. Google “gene acquisition”, that will provide you with links.

Artificial selection – does not select genes. It selects traits … and has nothing to do with mutations. Genetic engineering selects genes. And you’ve already admitted that cows are separate species, claiming only that they are representative of one KIND. Btw, what was the original Bovid that Noah collected? Just so we know, and can compare it’s genome with all the other 150 or so species of Bovid.

Fruit flies – or course devising an environment isn’t selective breeding. You’re a little slow aren’t you? I’ll tell you again what selective breeding is. It is choosing which individuals breed in order to propagate desired traits. In the fruit fly experiments, researchers do not select which individuals breed, nor do they have a desired result. They simply provide different environments and watch what happens. It’s not a difficult thing to understand, so why can’t you?

I don’t think you’re ignorant of the facts, I know you are!

I can’t be bothered to argue any further with someone who thinks “Carbon dating actually proves that the earth defiantly under 50,000 years old”. It does defy something, that’s for sure! 50-60,000 years is ONLY the limit of radiocarbon dating. It proves nothing about the age of the earth. Another example of creationist stupidity. There are other techniques of radiometric dating, which use much longer half-lives.

“So for this reason, it is VITAL for proponents of the evolution theory to demonstrate that new and beneficial information is arising naturally in life. This is why all current observations prove the creation theory; all evidence demonstrates the continual decline/deterioration of all life.”

If the changes were not beneficial, they would not survive. You are unwittingly contradicting yourself. We started with a “perfect genome”, whatever that is, and all mutations are deteriorations (not beneficial). Yet the “originals” are extinct, and here we are, us degenerates … thriving. How strange!


Posted in Should Evolution Be Printed As Fact? on 2007-07-01 20:20:32

Creationism does not deny speciation??? Did you really just say that? :)

Okay then, that’s a big step forward for creationists. You accept evolution in principle – it’s just the details we need to iron out …

The number of extinct species is not predicted by evolutionary theory. Do you regard all of biology, paleontology, geology, taxonomy, mathematics, etc. with the same incredulity that you regard evolution? Is there any branch of science that creationists consider valid?

The number of extinct species is based on normal extinction rates between extinction events. These are obviously not hard numbers; they are educated, more or less unanimous estimates among scientists in this field of study, which is completely independent of evolutionary research. They have no agenda to bolster evolution. They find what they find. It just so happens to support evolutionary theory.

Now I’m not sure I follow your reasoning as to “why we don’t have extinct animals like the dinosaurs”, but let me make a few quick points …

First, as you may (or may not) know, most life on earth is marine based, and always has been. No global flood could ever eliminate most of the life on earth. Second, there have been many extinction events, not just one, and not just global. Third, there is no geological evidence for a global flood, or even in the region of the world known in “biblical” times. Fourth, there is insufficient water on the planet to submerge the continents. Fifth, there are no (or very few) current species represented in the fossil record alongside the dinosaurs, or the trilobites – that includes humans (which is the alleged reason for “the flood”). But I suppose you think carbon dating is nonsense too, or that rock strata has nothing to do with geological time. Sixth – was not Noah charged with collecting two of every creature to repopulate the earth? Did he not do as he was instructed, or did he fail in his mission? If he succeeded, then there was no mass extinction, all species would have survived. Seventh, how did good old Noah manage to get a pair of T-Rex’s aboard his ark? Not to mention all the other animals (and plants). And how did they survive? What did he feed them? I guess the paleontologists have it wrong too. They weren’t really ravenous carnivores, right? Eighth, how did Noah manage to live nearly 1000 years? Ninth, two members of a [complex] species are not enough to repopulate. There is not enough genetic diversity and the inbreeding would lead to all sorts of problems (which is another point supporting our evolution from simpler life-forms).

Okay, more than a few. The main point being: the whole story of Noah is absurd, and the fact of vast species extinction (with increasing biodiversity) is contrary to creation stories. Evolution provides the only intelligible explanation.

That you believe the story of Noah’s flood implies, among other things, that you are more than a creationist, you’re a fundamentalist. On the other hand, you admit that speciation occurs, which is neither a fundamentalist nor a creationist view. So I’m really not sure what you are … maybe you’re just playing devil’s advocate.

Whether genetic information generally increases or decreases, or specifically increases or decreases, or simply changes, it is still evolution. Increasing genetic information is by no means a requisite of evolution, although that is the general trend, since the more information you have in your DNA, the more you can do. And if it leads to high intelligence, that also helps. But it is certainly no guarantee of survival, which is the one driving force behind evolution. Humanity (the most complex) could well be destroyed by bacteria (the simplest). There are many species which have remained virtually unchanged for tens of millions of years (i.e. Great White Shark). Everything depends on the selecting mechanisms. There are environments on the planet where only the simplest of life-forms can survive. Simply put, increased genetic information is not necessarily an improvement, unless it is favourable to the selecting mechanisms.

So, you have an incorrect understanding of evolution if you think it requires an infusion of new genetic information. And frankly, I would suggest you have an incorrect interpretation of creationism as well. This “deterioration of the genome” notion is a very recent modification to the ever-“evolving” creationist stance in an attempt to rebut mounting scientific evidence. They can no longer seriously deny evolution, so in a last stitch effort to stave off the inevitable they rename it “degeneration”. Smooth move, but it carries no punch.

You are making a huge leap to immediately say that the Pennsylvania Amish’s dwarfism gene represents a deterioration of the human genome. What is the ideal that these supposed degenerations are measured against? Is blonde a degeneration of brunette? No, it is simply different, and it is absolutely not proof against evolution. The allele has become more frequent because of the small initial population which has remained [reproductively] isolated, and because it is in no way detrimental to their survival. This is very predictable by evolutionary theory.

Bacteria – You are wrong. Bacteria do not become resistant by “a loss of the control gene that regulates the production of the chemical that combats penicillin”. This is an example of the creationists’ ignorance, or their imagination. Certain bacteria eh? Which ones exactly? And do they also have innate resistance to methacillin, oxacillin, etc, just waiting for that “control” gene to fail?

Yes, there are pre-existing “variants” within a bacterial population that are resistant to antibiotics, and this resistance arises from the ACQUISITION of gene(s), in any of three ways: spontaneous mutation, transformation, and transferal of plasmids. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a classic case of survival of the fittest. The variants that survive, because of their unique gene(s), then flourish. The same idea applies to pesticide resistance in insects.

Artificial Selection – You are wrong. It does not “enhance” genes, whatever that means. It is the practice of selecting preferred traits by encouraging their propagation. That’s all. Cows are a result of artificial selection, they are made by us. They are a member of the bovine family, but they can’t breed with buffalo. They are a separate species.

Fruit Flies – You are wrong. The fruit fly experiments do not use selective breeding … they rely on natural selection (though the selecting environments are devised). As I said initially, evolution HAS been observed in these experiments (flies with very different characteristics), and as I said subsequently, new species have been created as well. Do you think there is only one species of fruit fly? And what is your basis for saying that all the results represent a deterioration of the genome? Why do you imagine that two groups of flies, both descended from the same original group, do not interbreed when reintroduced after many generations? That is the most basic definition of new species (speciation), which you’ve already admitted takes place.

Your “scrutiny” leaves much to be desired, leaving out the fact that you contradict yourself. First claiming that all mutations are some sort of deterioration of some supposed ideal genome (with no basis for doing so), then claiming that this deterioration is somehow inconsistent with evolution (which it’s not anyway). And you seem to think that all of science is some vast conspiracy to replace God with evolution, which is obviously ridiculous (they are not mutually exclusive). There is no greater scrutinizing process than science, and evolution continues to hold up against such scrutiny. It is creationism (at least the fundamentalist version) that crumbles with just a mere application of logic.

Already I’m going to have to drastically shorten my replies. This is consuming far too much time. The AssLicking Ghandi had one redeeming quality – brevity! :)


P.S. If you ever have appendicitis, I wouldn’t go to Robert Mitchell … he’ll likely put you on a transplant waiting list, lest he remove a vital organ. ;)

Posted in Should Evolution Be Printed As Fact? on 2007-06-27 14:52:57

Quoting the old wise man:

Dallan/Doug As much as I hate to interrupt this highly entertaining ‘discussion’, I have a few questions. You state that evolution has been observed, demonstrated and verified over and over. I was wondering if you could provide any specific evidence of this. I don’t intend starting another highly amusing slanging match, but I am interested in a genuine discuss of the facts. I have been studying and debating the creation/evolution issue for a while now, and I can honestly say that I have found no evidence that even comes close to demonstrating or verifying the theory of evolution. But I am always open to new evidence!

I'm not surprised by my own meager knowledge of evolution, but with just a quick search it is evident that speciation has indeed been observed, and there are many methods by which it can occur.


Posted in Should Evolution Be Printed As Fact? on 2007-06-25 23:10:24

Quoting The AssLicking Ghandi:

You really are a useless f@cking moron. You want to claim that a century observing a process that takes billions of years produces indisputable facts?

Are you really that f@cking stupid or is it a put on?

I don't have to insult you. You insult yourself every time you open your stupid f@cking mouth and the only reason you believe in that wacky evolution garbage is you think claiming to be descended from monkeys is an excuse for your useless waste of skin.

Uh-huh. Maybe we should take a poll. Personally I think it's obvious who the really stupid one is.


Posted in Should Evolution Be Printed As Fact? on 2007-06-25 22:52:07

Quoting the old wise man:

Dallan/Doug As much as I hate to interrupt this highly entertaining ‘discussion’, I have a few questions. You state that evolution has been observed, demonstrated and verified over and over. I was wondering if you could provide any specific evidence of this. I don’t intend starting another highly amusing slanging match, but I am interested in a genuine discuss of the facts. I have been studying and debating the creation/evolution issue for a while now, and I can honestly say that I have found no evidence that even comes close to demonstrating or verifying the theory of evolution. But I am always open to new evidence!

First, can I assume then that you are a creationist, or at least that you’re leaning in that direction? If that is the case, perhaps I’ll start with what I think is the most salient point – that there are far more species that have existed on the planet than exist today. Think about that. 99% of all the species that have lived on earth are extinct (the most famous being the dinosaurs). You don’t need to be a logician to see that creationism is incompatible with this fact. Unless one is so silly as to propose that God planted all the fossils to mislead us, evolution offers the only coherent explanation.

But you were asking for evidence of evolution observed …

Okay. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong), speciation has not been observed. The nature of evolution is that it is a very slow process. It is the gradual accumulation of small changes in the genetic makeup of a population which are beneficial to an individual’s survival and which are therefore passed on to successive generations with greater frequency. Speciation occurs when, for whatever reason, a population divides, separates, and the two (or more) groups become isolated from each other so to prevent interbreeding. The accumulation of changes (or mutations) will be different within each isolated group because mutations are random, the mutagens may be different, and the selecting environment will be different. It may take hundreds or thousands of generations but eventually the separate groups will evolve along different paths and become unique species. This is sometimes referred to as macro-evolution, and it simply takes too long to be observed in real-time.

It is the small changes, the changes in the ratios of alleles within a population (which is what evolution ultimately boils down to) that can be observed – and have been observed in nearly every species studied, including humans. For example, the Amish of Pennsylvania, who are all descended from an original 200 settlers, one of which had an unusual allele that leads to a rare kind of dwarfism. 300 years later, the frequency of this allele is 1 in 14 in that population, whereas it is 1 in 1000 in the general population. This is due to an evolutionary mechanism called genetic drift. Three examples which are pertinent to the average citizen are the battles against the bacteria which develop resistance to our antibiotics, the viruses which constantly spawn new strains that are immune to our vaccines, and the insects that develop genetic resistance to pesticides. Even more pertinent is the huge variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and livestock which we consume on a daily basis. These are almost all the result of artificial selection (selective breeding) and genetic engineering – two more mechanisms of the evolutionary process.

Not surprisingly, the phenomenon is most easily observed in small, simple life-forms with very short reproductive cycles. Researchers often use fruit flies to study the process. Their reproductive cycle is only a couple of weeks, and individuals within a population are virtually identical. The population can be split and the groups isolated from each other, then subjected to different mutagens (x-rays, gamma rays, chemicals) and different selecting environments. Flies with a variety of different characteristics can be produced – size, shape, colour, behaviour – though not enough to declare them a unique species. It is really no different from the variety of size, shape, colour, behaviour in people, it just happens much faster, and in a controlled setting.

Perhaps you don’t find these examples very compelling, and perhaps you shouldn’t. Skepticism is a good thing. But there are countless examples like this in the biological world, not to mention all the evidence from the other disciplines of molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, statistics, paleontology, geology, climatology, behavioural science, comparative anatomy, etc. When all this evidence is brought together, viewed as a whole, and it all points to the same conclusion, then it becomes overwhelming.

Of course, I don’t have the time (or inclination) to gather all such evidence and present it for you. I’m not here to be a professor of evolution, nor am I an expert. You’ll have to do your own research, or take a few courses. But I suggest that it should not be as difficult as you make it seem. The information is readily available at your library or even on-line. A quick glance at an encyclopedia should net you several examples of evolution observed. I can understand your reluctance to accept such evidence, since it conflicts with your beliefs.

There are all sorts of processes which operate on a time scale far longer than a human lifetime. You can’t observe the formation of the Grand Canyon by the erosive force of the Colorado River. You can’t observe the formation of the Himalayas by plate tectonics or continental drift. You can’t observe the rotation of the Milky Way galaxy by watching the constellations change. And you can’t observe speciation. All these things proceed at a rate which is not, or barely, perceptible to us. But how can the intelligent person deny these things happen against the avalanche of supporting evidence, and lacking any reasonable alternative? He can’t.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There could certainly be (and probably are) some conclusions from evolution which are incorrect. Like, saying one particular species evolved from another particular species, or saying that two species are related by a particular common ancestor from a particular time in the past. Such conclusions can not be stated as absolute fact. The evolution of humans from apes, however, is extremely well supported by evidence and we can be very confident about that conclusion. It is the process of evolution, to which I am referring, which can be stated as absolute fact.

I am always open to new evidence as well. So, do you have any credible evidence contrary to evolution? Or any evidence in support of creationism?