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Thread: Evolution vs Creationism

  1. #1
    EvilGenius's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Evolution vs Creationism

    IT'S DEBATE TIME!!

    I haven't seen a heated religious/ethics thread in a while, so here goes...

    So, I go to a very conservative Bible believing Baptist school. One of the classes I'm taking is called "Essential Science." The class basically deals with controversial issues. So far, we've covered a lot of anti-evolution stuff. (only ~10% of the world is ENTIRELY atheist, if the statistics they gave are to be believed). It's mostly a lot of talk about mutation being a detraction from DNA (not being positive), and the differences between Adaptation, and Macro-Evolution.

    Well, interestingly enough - one emphasis of the class is to find things out for yourself. The school requires you to maintain their beliefs while you're there, but it's not like anyone is forcing me to go there.

    I'm just curious about what everyone else believes. If we have any atheists, what arguments do you have FOR evolution?

    And before we begin, let's establish that evolution isn't a fact any more than creation is. The origin of the world isn't observable or repeatable. Therefore whatever position you take, it isn't REALLY scientific.

    **ALSO - (i COMPLETELY forgot why i gave the thread this name) There's been a lot of debate about dolphins, and their level of intelligence - Do you believe it's possible for species far-removed from humans to attain the same level of intelligence/awareness that we have? - Some enthusiasts believe that dolphins are "persons" just as much as humans are, and should have rights preventing mis-treatment.
    Last edited by EvilGenius; 02-26-2011 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Non-people Persons

    Therefore whatever position you take, it isn't REALLY scientific.
    Because to be scientific it must be a fact? Interesting...

    Anyways, I find it completely ridiculous that most people see evolution and creationism mutually exclusive. Maybe religious leaders would find it easier to attract followers by mixing their ideas with what scientists discover.

    With that said, I tend to believe in both evolution and creationism at the same time. I will start by explaining why I believe in creationism. My reasoning behind this idea is that every reactions that occurs happen because of an action. In other words, every actions that happened in the past led us to where we are today. The first action that was ever made(the big bang?) dictated what we became. This is more or less an example of what we call the chaos theory.

    But, actions are not made out of the void; something needs to do the first move. Whatever that thing is, it might be considered as God. In this sense, I believe that God indirectly created us and the universe by making the first action. Whether the results were intended or not can be argued.

    Anyways, as far as I know, this is entirely logical following classical mechanic. But, I discussed it with one of my friend who major in physic and he told me that modern physic prove my reasoning wrong. I don't know modern physic enough to clearly understand why it would be wrong and so I still believe this idea to be true until I know more.

    This is my idea of what creationism is. It can easily add evolution into the mix.

    The reasons why I believe in evolution are the common evidence that supports evolution(here are some of them that you all probably know). Recent DNA sequencing projects of various animals also seems to bring more evidence of evolution.

    On another note, I find that most people that do not believe in evolution, do not clearly understand what evolution is. For example, one muslim girl I know gave me the following argument against evolution:

    -If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys out there? Why don't they also evolve?

    This is pretty a weak arguments. We see that she fails to understand evolution because:
    1. The monkeys that you see today are not the monkey that we evolved from. They are our "cousins", not our "parents".
    2. They do evolve(their specie I mean, not the individual monkeys (we're not pokemons)). Fact of the matter is, it doesn't happen in a day... Genotype changes are constantly happening from generation to generation even if those changes are extremely small.

    mutation being a detraction from DNA (not being positive)
    Germ line mutations are usually not positive nor negative.

    (changed the name of the thread btw)
    Last edited by sandwich_bird; 02-27-2011 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    And before we begin, let's establish that evolution isn't a fact any more than creation is.
    No. We cannot establish something that is wrong.
    Gravity is what we observe, things fall down to the bigger mass. The theory of gravity is what we have to explain what we observer, just as:
    Evolution is what we observe, organisms evolve. The theory of evolution is what we have to explain what we observe.

    So what you mean to say is that the theory of evolution isn't a fact more than the hypothesis of creation is. Which it is... Creation isn't a theory, its almsot not even a hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    (only ~10% of the world is ENTIRELY atheist, if the statistics they gave are to be believed).
    I do not understand the significanse of this statement. There are religious people who believe in the theory of evolution. You do not have to be an atheist to believe in evolution.
    But if you are aiming for the "quantity thrumps quality" then I just mention that Candle in the wind, by Sir Elton John is the worlds most sold single.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    t's mostly a lot of talk about mutation being a detraction from DNA (not being positive), and the differences between Adaptation, and Macro-Evolution.
    Mutation is a wide spectrum of things. Gene duplication is also an aspect of mutation, in which case the DNA gets an addition. So it is not only subtraction. And also remember, that subtraction is usually good if it brings the organism to use less energy to live. Less energy used: easyer to survive. And Adaption IS evolution (Micro evolution if you have to use that word).
    A lot of adaption = Macro evolution. There is no difference. Not even scientists in general differentiates between Micro and macro evolution. This differentiations usually happens when creationists brings it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    what arguments do you have FOR evolution?
    It explains what we observe a whole lot better than creation.

    One final thing:
    The debate is NOT Evolution vs Creation, after debating this for a long time I have come to find out that it all boils down to this:
    The debate is abiogenesis vs creation.

    And this seems to be the case here too because of this:

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    The origin of the world isn't observable or repeatable. Therefore whatever position you take, it isn't REALLY scientific.
    Evolution tells nothing about the origin of life, or the universe. That is, as said; Abiogenesis, and genesis theory. Not Evolution and big bang, which tells of the EVOLUTION of already exsisting things.
    Last edited by Equiliari; 02-27-2011 at 09:20 AM.

    Scientists measure a second as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods
    of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine
    levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.
    Or the duration of 9,192,631,770 matches where David Kim crushes you head to head in StarCraft 2

  4. #4
    Rezildur's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Why do I believe in evolution? Because I see it working on a micro-level each day at my job in a cancer biology lab.

    We study a gene that, when removed, causes healthy and normally functioning cells to die. Except...it also causes cancer.

    Ok, so how do you reconcile this paradox?

    Well, cells go through check points as they grow and divide. If the cell senses that all is not well at a check point, it halts its growth and does one of two things. It tries to fix itself, and if it cannot, it goes through what is called apoptosis (aka self-destruction).

    When we remove this gene, 99.9% of cells die because they get to those checkpoints and do not pass the test to keep dividing. The cell "knows" that this gene is important for it to function properly, and so it "knows" that it for the greater benefit of the body it is a part of it should no longer exist. There are just a few cells though that for whatever reason, some different mutations, are able to bypass that checkpoint and keep dividing.

    A random mutation that allows one cell to survive when millions of others were unable to do so. I think that sounds like evolution to me.

  5. #5
    EvilGenius's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Quote Originally Posted by Equiliari View Post
    And Adaption IS evolution (Micro evolution if you have to use that word).
    A lot of adaption = Macro evolution. There is no difference. Not even scientists in general differentiates between Micro and macro evolution. This differentiations usually happens when creationists brings it up.
    Peppered Moths are one example - the changes seen in them weren't from mutations, but a change in Allele frequency. It should be noted that there were issues with Bernard Kettlewell's experiments as well. (bias, and making his own evidence)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    The really interesting question is why (from a faithful believer's point of view) God cannot create life through the natural processes of abiogenesis and subsequently shape it through the equally natural processes of evolution (of which by the way we have only a rather hazy understanding)? He IS omnipotent after all and it's not up to us to put a limit to his ways (that would be highly impious).

    Why must the reading of the story of the Creation be literal? What do we gain by it?

    Why do we always expect Divine Intervention to be intrusive and unnatural? If there's one thing we DO have proof of is that God is not inclined to prove and manifest his existence through "vulgar displays of power" (except in the text of the Old and New Testaments).

    So in the end it all comes down to whether we accept the miracles in the Bible as literal or metaphorical and why. This is what this debate is really about, since otherwise there's absolutely no contradiction between whatever theory of the origin of life Science may offer and the idea of the existence of an omnipotent Creator Deity.

    And by the way, doesn't the Catholic Church at the very least recognize the Big Bang as perfectly congruent with the story of Creation? Since last I heard it does.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Quote Originally Posted by Equiliari View Post


    Mutation is a wide spectrum of things. Gene duplication is also an aspect of mutation, in which case the DNA gets an addition. So it is not only subtraction. And also remember, that subtraction is usually good if it brings the organism to use less energy to live. Less energy used: easyer to survive.

    I don't think he meant "not positive" in terms of subtraction or addition but in terms of if a mutation is helpful or not. Well EvilGenius could clarify that I guess.

    Also, a base subtraction doesn't necessarily imply a reduction in energy. Like I said earlier, it usually imply nothing since most eukaryote are full of non coding DNA.

    Finally, less energy doesn't necessarily mean that it's good. To make things simpler: lets say there's a mountain and you need to climb it or else you DIE! You need a certain amount of energy to climb that mountain. If you have less than enough, you die! (You can replace the mountain by whatever characteristic an organism of your choice need to survive).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    Finally, less energy doesn't necessarily mean that it's good.
    Nor did I imply it, I was just giving an example on HOW less genetic material could be considerd good, or rather "Helpful", which in my book is the same :P. Other possible outcomes are: Less genetic material requires less nutrients required and gives quicker reproduction.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich_bird View Post
    To make things simpler: lets say there's a mountain and you need to climb it or else you DIE! You need a certain amount of energy to climb that mountain. If you have less than enough, you die! (You can replace the mountain by whatever characteristic an organism of your choice need to survive).
    Acutally, with this, you are supporting what I said. Let me try to explain what I said because it seems you have misunderstood it if you think your statement does not support my statement:
    You have 2 organisms:
    One eats a unit of food. And gets a set ammount of energy out of it that it can use.
    Anothther organism eat the same unit of food, and get the same ammount of energy out of it. But this organism does not need as much energy to sustain itself as the other, thus it has MORE energy it can use to climb that mountain. Now ofcorse genetics are more complex than this... this is just very simplified explanations of what I am trying to convey.

    Scientists measure a second as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods
    of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine
    levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.
    Or the duration of 9,192,631,770 matches where David Kim crushes you head to head in StarCraft 2

  9. #9

    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGenius View Post
    Peppered Moths are one example - the changes seen in them weren't from mutations, but a change in Allele frequency. It should be noted that there were issues with Bernard Kettlewell's experiments as well. (bias, and making his own evidence)
    Yes, I am not a big fan of that experiment myself due to its nature, however it is still a faily good example of natural selection.

    Scientists measure a second as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods
    of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine
    levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.
    Or the duration of 9,192,631,770 matches where David Kim crushes you head to head in StarCraft 2

  10. #10
    EvilGenius's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Evolution vs Creationism

    Thanks for changing the thread's name sandwich bird.

    Yeah, I meant that mutation generally detracts from how well an organism functions - but Rezildur's cancer illustration is interesting. My teacher is a micro-biologist. I'll have to bring that point up in class. (It still seems to me that the mutated cell is detracting from the organism as a whole - or are you implying that the cell has become it's own organism? Cancer causes the death of the host organism - and by extension the death of cancerous cells, right?)

    Eligor - I simply believe what the Bible says. If I can't interpret the Bible literally, I can't believe any of it.

    Catholicism places more emphasis on tradition rather than what the Bible actually teaches. They have deemed evolution/abiogenesis worthy of investigation.

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