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Mikel

Another Evolution Question

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I'm still debating with the same guy and tearing apart his arguments, but I have a second question. He posted this Sure, scientists created a few proteins from amino acids in a lab under extremely impossible conditions for what the first cell would have undergone. However, take into account that life must have water to survive, yet amino acids are destroyed instantly in water. So the cell would have to overcome extreme odds of left hand amino acids matching up perfectly with right hand amino acids (also virtually impossible) in completely waterless conditions and then IMEDIATELY be taken to water to survive, despite the fact that the cell would have to create, from nothing, a protective covering and energy processing abilities to survive for more than a couple of milliseconds. Are you seeing any sort of gap here now? Yet evolutionists who believe there is not intelligent force that helped out argue that the answers are out there to be found eventually...sounds a lot like a religion to me. Again, can you guys help me out?

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This quote is pure doo doo.

 

If the conditions were "extremely impossible" how did they create them in the lab.

 

Also, if something is impossible, how can it be "extremely" so?

 

Amino acids are NOT destroyed instantly in water! what the hey? We wouldn't be here if they did. Every free amino acid in every living thing is in intimate contact with water ( the ones on the interior sections of a protein aren't.)

 

I don't know what he is trying to say about left-handed aa's "matching up" with right handed aa's. If he means that there were both enantiomers hanging around and that they had to form a peptide with only aa's of the same handedness, then that is just cookoo. I don't have time or energy to explain it here, but tell him to look up how the handedness in life came about. All amino acids that we use are L (except glycine) and all the sugars we use are D. But these are a direct consequence of each other. (google time).

 

This guy is arguing from the ID perspective. It's tough to get these folks to see straight but maybe go here:

 

http://www.4forums.com

 

there is a whole panel devoted to this very topic

you will find many helpful "evolutionists"

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oh, by the way, you must inform your friend that the theory of evolution, at least from a biological perspective does not address the ORIGIN of life, merely the way it changes over time

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Thanks. I can't wait to see what other wild arguments he comes up with next.

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Tell him to figure it out from first principles and scientific research instead of mindlessly parroting the largely incorrect bullshit that people think the web needs to be filled with.

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Tell him to figure it out from first principles and scientific research instead of mindlessly parroting the largely incorrect bullshit that people think the web needs to be filled with.

 

Ditto!

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If I told him that I would get warning type thing for flaming. Our forums have mods. After my last reply and sucessfully refuteing all his arguments he just kinda disapeared. ;)

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He'll probably wait a couple of weeks, then bump the thread with more of the same.

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http://www.giveupalready.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=59895&pagenumber=2 That's the page where we kinda get off topic of "under god" in the pledge to biology. Keep in mind while reading my posts i'm only 14 and i'm not even in high school yet (point being I haven't been in biology and i'm not exactly the master debater ;) as my title says) and I was argueing with an adult redneck.

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Well, once again I'm debating with a creationist. He said there was a gap between reptiles and birds so I gave him this this link to show the origin of birds for him. Anyway, about 2 weeks later he replies saying this

I will tell you the truth about Archaeopteryx. Let's start out with a quote from Michael Denton, "[T]he universal experience of paleontology... [is that] while the rocks have continually yielded new and exciting and even bizarre forms of life... what they have never yielded is any of Darwin's myriads of transitional forms. Despite the tremendous increase in geological activity in every corner of the globe and despite the discovery of many strange and hitherto unknown forms, the infinitude of connecting links has still not been discovered and the fossil record is about as discontinuous as it was when Darwin was writing the Origin. The intermediates have remained as elusive as ever and their absence remains a century later, one of the most striking characteristics of the fossil record."

So how could Denton get away with saying that in his famous book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis? He got away with saying that because it was the truth. Here are the problems with Archaeopteryx:

1) Assuming archaeopteryx was an intermediate, it doesn't show evolution just as in my prior Corvette analogy. To show evolution we would need to know how you got from reptile to archaeopteryx to bird. The archaeopteryx doesn't show us whether it evolved or was simply created.

2) Look at the duck-billed platypus. It is a strange looking animal (just like archaeopteryx) that possesses characteristics of different classes, but practically nobody considers it transitional.

3) A common misconception is that the archaeopteryx is half-bird and half-reptile, but it isn't even close. Scientists can see now days that archaeopteryx was completely a bird. That means that it wasn't even an intermediate.

 

So, in essence, the link you provided me based its evidence off of archaeopteryx which was thought of as transitional a century ago, but now is clearly nothing more than a bird. Did you notice their other argument? "In fact, recent expeditions in China, Mongolia, Madagascar, Argentina, and elsewhere may uncover dinosaurs that usurp the "urvogel" status of Archaeopteryx." (emphasis mine) In other words, "We haven't found anything yet after thousands of expeditionary digs for over a century, but we are still optimistic that we might just find something".

I would appreciate it if you guys can help me out again. Thanks.

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Anyone who puts an "s" on the end of the word myriad is not to be trusted academically under any circumstance.

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That's not an explanation.

What, destroying the credibiity of that guy's source isn't going to help?

 

Think before you post.

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No, but it does mean he hasn't bothered to proof-read, get anything typeset, or pass it through peer-review.

 

The bottom line is that someone who tries to use words like myriad (which has more complex rules than the average collective noun) without bothering to find out how probably ain't that smart.

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If he's not an english expert, he's not going to find it in the proof read, and microsoft Word thinks myriads is a word, and his peers aren't all going to be english majors, are they?

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How should I reply to him (not to the myriads guy but the guy with the 3 "problems")?

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Jesus.

 

Considering I was only being glib to begin with anyway, you've certainly chosen an interestng route to go down. An ability to use Microsoft word is usually acquired after one learns English, and if it does affect knowledge of that language in any way I'd expect it's only in that it makes people lazier.

Patterns of peer review are not governed by geography, by the way.

 

ANYWAY, he is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

 

The book the quote is taken from is nearly twenty years old and based on, and he's no paleantologist - he's a biochemist. Information on "X has never been found" may well be out of date by now, if it wasn't then.

 

It's a bad source that was googled by someone specifically trying to prove a pre-determined conclusion. There are probably good sources out there for evidencing either side, but that post Mikel quoted hasn't been near any.

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How should I reply to him (not to the myriads guy but the guy with the 3 "problems")?

1) Find out as much as you can about paleantology, the fossil record, and why the gaps exist. There are (believe it or not, constructive) discussions all over the place about this.

It's most likely he's using a flawed idea of how the fossil record is composed. He's definitely using a flawed idea of what transitionals are.

 

Challenge him to define for you exactly what he will accept as being a transitional.

In his view, what would be different enough to be a different species but similar enough to be related?

How does he know from looking at one fossil and then at another identical fossil from 500,000 years later that one does not have a crucially advantageous difference in its internal biology that we would consider to have caused speciation? We know that happens, why would anyone randomly decide it could not happen in Archaeopteryx, or any other extinct species?

 

That should screw him up a bit. He'll try and tell you that it's your job as the proponent of evolution to provide that information - don't let him, because he has to demonstrate he understands what he is arguing.

 

 

2) ALL INDIVIDUALS OF ALL SPECIES EVER are or were transitional. His misunderstanding of simple evolutionary principles don't make evolution "wrong". If he disagrees, again ask him what makes a transitional species (other than relatively applied hindsight), and what makes a non-transitional species.

 

 

3) Firstly, he needs to cite sources for that. Don't accept anything that hasn't been peer-reviewed or accepted by the paleantological community.

Secondly, "That means that it wasn't even an intermediate" is wrong, because of (2) above.

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To the creationist, every new fossil just means there are two new gaps to fill. "Reptile -> bird" filled by archie just demands that you come up with a new transitional. But you're letting them set the rules if the argument becomes "you can't show it wasn't created" and you haven't defined what a transitional fossil is - chances are they will say it's a "half-formed" specimen - something that couldn't possibly have existed. Something with half a lung, or half a wing. A self-fulfilling prediction: if the creatre couldn't possibly exist, transitions are impossible. (BTW- The whale lineage is a much better example to use as an example. More steps present.)

 

Science is inductive. Let the creationist make some predictions, and see how well that turns out. Why is there a pattern to the strata in which we find the fossils? Chances are you'll get "geological sorting" (which would be an even worse violation of the second law of thermodynamics than evolution could possibly be, which it isn't)

 

It's a strawman argument to say that the platypus isn't transitional, because it's an extant species - there's no "after" to which it could transition.

 

The bottom line is that creationists aren't playing by the rules of science and logical debate. The arguments are based on a misunderstanding of how science works (proof vs. evidence) and are chock full of logical fallacies. Point those fallacies out, and make them do some science.

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Look up Michael Denton and all you get are creationist websites

 

he's not a real paleontologist

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Look up Michael Denton and all you get are creationist websites

 

he's not a real paleontologist

Does this mean that there is a creationist with the same name as the Senior Research Fellow in biochemistry who comes up first on google? Because that's the guy who wrote the book that was being referenced.

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A couple of things,

 

As far as I'm aware Archaeopteryx is not considered an ancestor to modern birds, but one of several radiations of lines from bird-like dinosaurs that went extinct.

 

The distinction we draw between reptiles and birds doesn't follow their evolutionary histories. As an example, crocodiles share a more recent ancestor with birds than with the other reptiles. The line between birds and reptiles is going to be debatable, because the line is an artificial human construction, not based on evolutionary histories, which is the normal principle most of life is classified by.

 

Stating there is an 'infinitude' of transitionals indicates some knowledge of the fact that everything is an intermediate. Asking for an infinitude though, is idiocy.

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