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Mikel

Another Evolution Question

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Call him a hoax.

 

Claim he doesn't exist and demand evidence that changes every time you ask.

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I've stated (after study) that there is a gap in the fossil record between birds and reptiles (much more than this, but we will stay on this specific point for now). Do you want me to give you a bunch of quotes about this?

where is the gap in the theropod bird lineage?

Specimen #1

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"When Darwin's The Origin of Species was published in 1859, he conceded that 'the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory' was that the fossil record failed to back up his evolutionary hypothesis."

(1) immediately after that, he said this is because of the extremely fractional nature of the fossil record because fossilisation is rare

(2) we have discovered many many more fossils since Darwin. you might as well quote newton's comments on light.

 

 

nevertheless darwin is more often than not misquoted:

 

"The case at present (problems presented by the fossil record) must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained." - The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Penguins Books, New York, Edition 6, p. 310.

should really be:

 

To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer. Several eminent geologists, with Sir R. Murchison at their head, were until recently convinced that we beheld in the organic remains of the lowest Silurian stratum the first dawn of life. Other highly competent judges, as Lyell and E. Forbes, have disputed this conclusion. We should not forget that only a small portion of the world is known with accuracy. Not very long ago M. Barrande added another and lower stage, abounding with new and peculiar species, beneath the then known Silurian system; and now, still lower down in the Lower Cambrian formation, Mr. Hicks has found in South Wales beds rich in trilobites, and containing various molluscs and annelids. The presence of phosphatic nodules and bituminous matter, even in some of the lowest azoic rocks, probably indicates life at these periods; and the existence of the Eozoon in the Laurentian formation of Canada is generally admitted. There are three great series of strata beneath the Silurian system in Canada, in the lowest of which the Eozoon is found. Sir W. Logan states that their "united thickness may possibly far surpass that of all the succeeding rocks, from the base of the palæozoic series to the present time. We are thus carried back to a period so remote that the appearance of the so-called primordial fauna (of Barrande) may by some be considered as a comparatively modern event." The Eozoon belongs to the most lowly organised of all classes of animals, but is highly organised for its class; it existed in count less numbers, and, as Dr. Dawson has remarked, certainly preyed on other minute organic beings, which must have lived in great numbers. Thus the words, which I wrote in 1859, about the existence of living beings long before the Cambrian period, and which are almost the same with those since used by Sir W. Logan, have proved true. Nevertheless, the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great. It does not seem probable that the most ancient beds have been quite worn away by denudation, or that their fossils have been wholly obliterated by metamorphic action, for if this had been the case we should have found only small remnants of the formations next succeeding them in age, and these would always have existed in a partially metamorphosed condition. But the descriptions which we possess of the Silurian deposits over immense territories in Russia and in North America, do not support the view, that the older a formation is, the more invariably it has suffered extreme denudation and metamorphism.

 

The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.To show that it may hereafter receive some explanation, I will give the following hypothesis. From the nature of the organic remains which do not appear to have inhabited profound depths, in the several formations of Europe and of the United States; and from the amount of sediment, miles in thickness, of which the formations are composed, we may infer that from first to last large islands or tracts of land, whence the sediment was derived, occurred in the neighbourhood of the now existing continents of Europe and North America. The same view has since been maintained by Agassiz and others. But we do not know what was the state of things in the intervals between the several successive formations; whether Europe and the United States during these intervals existed as dry land, or as a submarine surface near land, on which sediment was not deposited, or as the bed on an open and unfathomable sea. - Origin of Species, 6th Ed. John Murray, 1872, Chapter 10, pp. 286-288.

 

it looks totally different in context doesn't it?

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Just to jump in with a brief comment on the subject matter being taught in schools. In the strict sense, "YES" it probably is outdated. Thats because the time it takes to publish a textbook is on the order of years if I'm not mistaken. That is, a lot can happen in research in the 4 eyars or so it takes to publish and put together a school textbook. This is why we have journals which allow results to be published relatively quickly. Academic journals are generally considered to be most current....

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Thanks guys. What do you think of this argument from another guy. I can't find anything on it. "The chances of a universe like ours forming have been calculated to be 1 in 10 raised to the 400 millionth power. When something has less that a chance of 1 in 10 raised to the 110 millionth power, it is classified as having 0 probability." Big bang probability is something that hasn't crossed my path in debating.

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What is the probability of today happening just as it did? What is the most probable universe? Statements like this mean nothing to me.

 

Ask the creationists to provide alternatives. If birds, mammals and reptiles did not evolve from a common ancestor, when were each created? Was everything created at the same time? If not, has anything been created recently? Why are species wiped out and then replaced? Is the creator experimenting?

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First of all that calculation is a total joke. The way he got it was taking the places of all of the stars and all of the planets and all of the other material of the universe and calling each location an event. And then he took the location of each star and considered the distance to every other star and called that an event as well. And then he multiplies each of these events and gets a fantastically large number because there is an almost infinite number of possible places of placing each star. You can even make it more complex by including the locations of the atoms but the number is already impossibly large so there is no point.

 

But the size of the number is irrelevant because the placing of each star or atom doesn’t require a design by a divine hand and its not random. The universe is self-organizing with every star, every planet, every asteroid, and every spec of space dust governed by the four forces of nature. Every planet is held to a star in a particular orbit because of the force of gravity exerted by its star. Every bit of matter is expanding outward from a central point and it has reached its particular location because of the forces that expelled it from the big bang.

 

Every wave in the ocean contains billions of water molecules all located on a specific spot on the earth. If you took all of these atoms compared each ones location in respect to all of the others you would get a number just as large as the other one. The number would be so large that the possibility of that wave occurring based on probability would preclude it from happening. It would make its existence impossible. Yet it occurs time after time without any intelligent creator. The waves are created by the force of the moon’s gravity and the water molecules are held together by the polar forces of the water molecules and the subatomic particles are governed by the nuclear forces. It’s a self-organizing system with an infinite amount of probable waves created by the forces of nature. If you give an answer like that I’m sure he will ask you who created those forces, but that’s ill leave that to you.

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Just thought I'd like to point out that archaeopteryx is a fraud (or at least the original fossil that was named archaeopteryx). It was faked from impressions of lizard skeletons and bird feathers made in a slip mixture and sandwiched between two plates of rock. When the slip dried it formed an invisible seal (this explains why the fossil was so flat, a fact which has puzzled many paleantologists for a long time). However this is mute because fossil records have a complete reptile-bird lineage now anyway.

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Have the Miller-Urey experiments ever been duplicated? I'm debating with a creationist who says they have never been able to.

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Yes. http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/miller_urey_experiment.html

http://spot.colorado.edu/~lestera/2_24notes.html

 

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=Miller-Urey+repeated&num=10&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=.edu&safe=images

 

I had trouble finding information about this at first, but then I went to google advanced search and limited my query to sites that ended in .edu. Otherwise you get a lot of creationist sites. You may notice that there are certain creationist "hot spots", certain scientific experiments or theories that creationist tend to revolve around when making their arguments. These are usually experiments or theories that stirred up the Christian communities when they were announced and creationist felt like they needed to respond to them. Not all of these subjects they talk about are particularly important to the theory of evolution.

 

Creationist tend to concentrate on these particular experiments because there is lots of creationist information on it and it gives them a pre-made argument. Most of creationism revolves around pointing out the flaws in the theory of evolution and there are plenty to pick on. The thing is science is messy; its filled with hoaxes, mistakes, miscalculations, contaminates, and errors because scientist are human. However, it’s still a good theory because even taking into account the mistakes the evidence is overwhelming. If you ask a creationist to come up with theories to explain the way the world is you will get one of two things, very bad science or because that’s the way God made it. It's easy to pick apart the bad science but it’s hard to argue with God's prerogative.

 

When it comes down to it there are only two theories, creationism or Evolution-there are of course lots of modifications on both like aliens and different kinds of evolution. But, if your in a room and look around to take stock of what’s in the room either it was there when you got there or someone brought it in. Something was either created outright all at once or it evolved. When we take account all of the evidence it clearly indicates that it evolved.

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I just heard something from a creationist I have never heard before. He said:

Special Evolution: The process by which new species generate from other species due to genetically beneficial mutations.

Darwinian Evolution: or Natural Selection the process whereby animals with genetically beneficial characteristics survive and breed more often than those without the given characteristic thereby reinforcing the characteristic in future generations.

I would think by special evolution, he means macroevolution but he says "Due to mutations." On Darwinian evolution, it includes both micro and macro and isn't just natural selection. I'm not exactly sure if he's right and I'm just an idiot or i'm right and he's really messed up on both terms but I've never heard special evolution and I doubt he just made it up because I could really debunk his post and he'd know that. I doubt he'd be stupid enough to just make crap up. What's going on here?

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By "special evolution" I am guessing he means "evolution of a species", which would be a fairly pointless term as it is suggestive of a need to distinguish from a scenario where evolution is occuring without a species being present.

 

We qualified biologists call the splitting-off of a new species "speciation". He can call it what he likes; chances are he is copying what some other creationist told him.

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Speciation was the word I was thinking of (although it still isn't consistant with his special evolution definition). Thanks. I'll ask him where he got those definitions, too.

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Thanks guys. What do you think of this argument from another guy. I can't find anything on it. "The chances of a universe like ours forming have been calculated to be 1 in 10 raised to the 400 millionth power. When something has less that a chance of 1 in 10 raised to the 110 millionth power, it is classified as having 0 probability." Big bang probability is something that hasn't crossed my path in debating.

First of all, any calculation of the odds of our universe forming the way it did is entirely speculative because we have no other different universes with which to compare. It could be entirely possible that our universe is completely deterministic (bound by fixed equations that govern it), with fixed parameters that cannot be modified, and thus the odds of it turning out the way it did were 100%. But without other universes to contrast ours with, this is all speculative.

 

Second of all, there is no rule in probability theory that states that 1/10^110 million is equal to zero. Even if it did, one should be aware that zero probability does not imply no chance of occuring, specifically in the case where the probability distribution is continuous (such as the Normal distribution, where any singular event has 0 probability of occuring), or if the distribution is discrete but infinite.

 

These Creationists are merely grasping at straws to find holes in evolution. Notice how they spend more time doing that than actually finding support for their beliefs with evidence. They're assuming the false dichotomy that if evolution is falsified, biologists will default to Creationism.

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I already have another question. I started a thread for creationists to try to disprove evolution and abiogenesis. Here was the post that I do not know how to answer.

I have a few questions to ask those who support abiogenesis.

 

During abiogenesis there is an absence of enzymes which means there is no chemical reaction to make ribose, which is vital to RNA and DNA, how does this work?

 

Homochirality somehow arose in the sugars and amino acids of prebiotic soups, although there is no mechanism by which this can occur and is, in fact, prohibited by the second law of thermodynamics (law of entropy). Explain this.

He got this info from here. I tried to find something about it on the talk origins site because I didn't know the answers but I couldn't find anything.

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Omg. I just realized the problem with the first argument. At the end of the first week of the Miller-Urey experiments, two percent of the carbon had formed some of the amino acids which are used to make protein enzymes. My problem wasn't the argument but a damn definition. I'm a total idiot. I couldn't find anything about the second argument in that site.

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His second argument was Homochirality somehow arose in the sugars and amino acids of prebiotic soups, although there is no mechanism by which this can occur and is, in fact, prohibited by the second law of thermodynamics (law of entropy). Explain this.

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Ask him to explain the second law of thermodynamics. After all, it's part of his argument so he ought to know it inside out.

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