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DrKrettin

Help needed arguing with a creationist

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I'm not a biologist, so this is unfamiliar territory. He has challenged me thus, and I'm unsure how to respond 

cite me one study that shows a mutation that produces an increase in the genetic information of the organism.

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2 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

I'm not a biologist, so this is unfamiliar territory. He has challenged me thus, and I'm unsure how to respond 

cite me one study that shows a mutation that produces an increase in the genetic information of the organism.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

And most of thos studies are almost two decades old. Lots more has happened since. 

See also: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB101_2.html

More updated here: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evolution_of_new_information#List_of_studies_showing_increased_genetic_information

Scroll up to read more about the paucity of this line of argument. 

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22 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

I'm not a biologist, so this is unfamiliar territory. He has challenged me thus, and I'm unsure how to respond 

cite me one study that shows a mutation that produces an increase in the genetic information of the organism.

Nor am I a biologist, but why does the genetic information have to increase?

Why can't it simply change but stay the same quantity?

Or heresy even, diminish if a trait is lost or dying out?

 

BTW how does one measure the quantity of genetic information?

Edited by studiot

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iNow - Wow - thanks that! Just the response I needed

I find it almost impossible to discuss things with creationists because they just deny evidence. It is no good responding to a challenge like his with a question like why does it have to, because he will then use it as an admission that it doesn't. I know this is all like nailing jelly to the ceiling, but one must try now and again. 

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I try to remember that, while I may not convince the individual with whom I'm interacting, I may be convincing someone on the fence who's just watching from the sidelines. The spectators generally outnumber the participants anyway. 

 

ac2b1edee929a4dc3b84b0b69949b14d--evolut

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9 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

iNow - Wow - thanks that! Just the response I needed

I find it almost impossible to discuss things with creationists because they just deny evidence. It is no good responding to a challenge like his with a question like why does it have to, because he will then use it as an admission that it doesn't. I know this is all like nailing jelly to the ceiling, but one must try now and again. 

Surely if he admits it doesn't have to then you can challenge him as deceitful.

Ask why did he use something he knew to be false as a challenge, instead of offering proper evidence or reasoning.

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1 minute ago, studiot said:

Surely if he admits it doesn't have to then you can challenge him as deceitful.

Ask why did he use something he knew to be false as a challenge, instead of offering proper evidence or reasoning.

His argument seems to be that evolution cannot possibly happen, therefore creationism is the only alternative. What can you do when he can't see the absurd non sequitur?

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I agree with iNow - to quote the old phrase

"There's none so blind as those that won't see and none so deaf as those that won't listen."

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Not even the inquisition resulted in 100% conversion of people from non-Catholic to Catholic. There are reports of people burning at the stake rather than converting; though, I find it hard to believe.

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On 9/16/2017 at 7:23 AM, studiot said:

Nor am I a biologist, but why does the genetic information have to increase?

Why can't it simply change but stay the same quantity?

Or heresy even, diminish if a trait is lost or dying out?

 

BTW how does one measure the quantity of genetic information?

I assume it's with regard to getting from lesser to more complex organisms, however that might be measured.

As in how did man evolve to the point he can say "adios amoebas!"

(not a biologist either)

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Well, I sent him the links to articles showing that mutations can lead to an increase in genetic information, and to his credit he tried to read some. Unfortunately he admitted they were way over his head, so I have no idea whether they had any impact - probably not. What baffles me is that he is in some ways intelligent (maths teacher) but curiously incapable of arguing one point. Instead of that, he launches broadsides. I thought the best tactic was to discuss the age of the Earth (6000 years apparently) for which there is a great deal of consensus in a large section of the scientific community. Instead of sticking to that one point, he replies with conspiracy theories about how scientists are concealing evidence (why?), being paid by industry to fudge results (yes maybe in medicine, but why here?) and how the results of any measurement procedure, especially dating methods, are merely a matter of opinion and you are free to interpret them in any way your religious convictions direct you.

Why look for aliens elsewhere, when there are so many among us?

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10 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I assume it's with regard to getting from lesser to more complex organisms, however that might be measured.

As in how did man evolve to the point he can say "adios amoebas!"

(not a biologist either)

There is more to it that that.

Is an aerobic microorganism more complex than an anaerobic one, or just different?

The original lifeforms were all anaerobic since there was no oxygen to start with.
In fact oxygen was a poison to them, to be excreted by them.

 

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30 minutes ago, studiot said:

There is more to it that that.

Is an aerobic microorganism more complex than an anaerobic one, or just different?

The original lifeforms were all anaerobic since there was no oxygen to start with.
In fact oxygen was a poison to them, to be excreted by them.

 

I absolutely agree. I'm just surmising what the line of thought was.

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6 hours ago, DrKrettin said:

...curiously incapable of arguing one point. Instead of that, he launches broadsides. I thought the best tactic was to discuss the age of the Earth (6000 years apparently) for which there is a great deal of consensus in a large section of the scientific community. Instead of sticking to that one point, he replies with conspiracy theories about how scientists are concealing evidence (why?), being paid by industry to fudge results (yes maybe in medicine, but why here?) and how the results of any measurement procedure, especially dating methods, are merely a matter of opinion and you are free to interpret them in any way your religious convictions direct you.

This blog post just hit my feed this morning. Seemed relevant here:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/09/selling-confusion.html

Quote

Over the last few decades, there's been a consistent campaign to sow confusion around evolution, vaccines and climate change.

In all three areas, we all have access to far more data, far more certainty and endless amounts of proof that the original theories have held up. The data is more accurate than it's ever been. Evolution is the best way to explain and predict the origin and change of species. Vaccines are not the cause of autism and save millions of kids' (and parents') lives. And the world is, in fact, getting dangerously warmer.

And yet...

Poll after poll in many parts of the world show that people are equivocating or outright denying all three. Unlike the increasingly asymptotic consistency in scientific explanations, the deniers have an endless list of reasons for their confusion, many of which contradict each other. Confusion doesn't need to be right to be confusing.

Worth noting that this response doesn't happen around things that are far more complicated or scientifically controversial (like gravity and dark matter). It's the combination of visceral impact and tribal cohesion that drives the desire to deny.

Cigarette companies were among the original denialists (they claimed that cigarettes were unrelated to lung cancer, but that didn't work out very well for them), and much of their confusion playbook is being used on these new topics..

To what end? Confusion might help some industries or causes in the short run, but where does it lead? Working to turn facts into political issues doesn't make them any less true.

If this growing cohort 'wins', what do they get? In a post-science world, where physics and testable facts are always open to the layman's opinion in the moment, how are things better? How does one develop a new antibiotic without an understanding of speciation and disease resistance? 

I know what the science p.o.v. gets us if it prevails, if evolution is taught in schools, if vaccines become ever safer and widespread, if governments and corporations begin to ameliorate and prepare for worldwide weather change.

What's a mystery is what the anti-science confusors get if they prevail. What happens when we don't raise the next generation of scientists, when vaccines become politically and economically untenable, when we close our eyes and simply rebuild houses on the floodplain again? Gravity doesn't care if you believe in it, neither does lung cancer.

Ask a confusor that the next time he offers a short term smoke screen. If this is a race to be the most uninformed, and the most passive, what if we win?

 

I really liked that last part about "what do we get" if they "win?" This race to the bottom where we're continually eroding the floor beneath us does nobody any favors...

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