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How many of you believe in Evolution?

achit bhatnager
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I used to have a strong belief in Evolution?
After reading misc. stuff I'm not so sure.
Your thoughts?
Achit
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: achit bhatnager ]

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Nick George
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Take a look at the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. It's by far the most convincing argument i've heard for evolution. Simply put, populations will only NOT experience shifts towards certain traits when ALL FIVE of the following conditions are met:
1. Large Population
2. Random Mating
3. No one allele has a greater likelyhood of survival then any other (<- the kicker)
4. No mutation
5. No migration.
Since obviously, all of these conditions can never be met, evelution is inevitable. Take the simple example of tons of green/red bugs on a green plant. Birds will eat the red bugs easier. Thus, more green bugs live to reproduce. Thus, the population shifts towards green bugs. Evolution has occured, as one allele had a greater likelyhood of surviving. This example failled to meet the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, so a shift in the population occured.


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Stan James
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For evolution to be wrong a great many other things have to be wrong. I had a friend who went from being a physics major to a creationist and wound up convinced that carbon dating gives invalid results because the timelines in science books didn't match his beliefs. One of my favorite things about science as a lay person is that the physics of the largest and smallest things (cosmos and subatomic stuff) are consistent and interdependent. I'm inclined to trust carbon dating right along with the physics that makes integrated circuits work.
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Stan James
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BTW: Read anything by Stephen Gould. I was delighted to accidentally be in the right place to see him speak. Here's something that seemed pretty cool at a glance: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/2948/gould.html
Marc Peabody
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Will random mating ever cease? What is the opposite of this? Incest?


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Don Stadler
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As opposed to Creationism? Count me an evolutionist, because it explains a great deal of what we see. Not all, unfortunately. There are large blocks still to be filled-in.
Nicholas George
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random mating means that two members of a species mate regargardless of any characteristics of the organisms. This is false, for instance,in peacocks. The peacock with the genes for nicer plumes will spread his sperm around more. The population will evlove towards nicer plumes.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Do I believe in Evolution? Hmm, let me break this down...
Do I believe we came from monkeys: No
Do I believe in primative man: Yes
Do I believe things can evolve: Yes
There are several different "versions" of evolution that one can choose to believe or not believe in. So the question is more board in nature than it appears.


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R K Singh
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Evolution ..
Whatever we are ... because of Ameba ....
hmmm better we discuss .. When in the process of evolution, gender evolved and WHY ??
You still believe in Evolution ??


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Jim Yingst
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[GB]: Do I believe we came from monkeys: No
Which works out well, since evolutionists don't believe this either.
Apes, on the other hand...


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Jason Menard
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Evolution and Creation are not mutually exclusive.
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Reminds me a story one of our professors at the University told us. It happened when he taught a class to prepare for the entrance exam. When he mentioned something about humans descending from monkeys, one of the students stood up and said: "Maybe you were descended from a monkey, but I was created by Allah!"
I think, it's a good solution. Let's agree that some of us were descended from a monkey, and some are created by a Supreme Being...


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fred rosenberger
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  16

Evolution is a THEORY. It is not an established FACT.
Now, i consider it to be the best available theory based on the evidence we have, but i'm also willing to admit it might be wrong. maybe even completly wrong. but until some evidence is produced that contradicts it, i'm sticking with it.
just like we believed that heavier things fall faster than light things, until someone produced evidence to the contrary. That lead to the Newtonian physics. Which worked fine until Einstien came along, which worked fine until Hawking came around, which will work fine until someone else comes around...


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Warren Dew
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    2
Originally posted by Joseph George:
Simply put, populations will only NOT experience shifts towards certain traits when ALL FIVE of the following conditions are met:

Or when the following one condition is met:
1. No heritable variation ("Watson was a hoax")
I don't believe that myself, but it seems the most reasonable basis on which to deny evolution.
achit bhatnager
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Thanks for the comments.
I'm reading 'Darwin's Black Box' By Michael behe (a biochemist at Lehigh University) right now.His main argument is irreducible complexity (IC) in nature. He claims evolutionary theory can not adequately explain the 'enormous complexity' found within the living cell. Then tries to prove 'intelligent design' theory.
What is the diference berween 'intelligent design' theory and 'Creationism' ?
Nick George
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This can be discounted. Ol' Mandel proved that beyond question with his pea plants. Furthermore, we KNOW how meiosis occurs, we have SEEN random alignment of the tetrads. Evolution is a theory. Heritable variation is a fact.


I don't have the facts for when, but the why is easy. When two separate organisms combine their DNA to form a new organism, genetic variablility is increased tenfold. A new combination could result from the joining of two DNA heli which allows greater survivablility, and thus be passed on. As for ameobas, yes, i beleive we came from amoebas, but SMALL STEPS. It's not ameoba monday, ape wednesday, man friday. We're talking a LONG TIME.
[I'd do alot less editing if i read my posts over...]
[ May 06, 2004: Message edited by: Joseph George ]
Marilyn de Queiroz
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  10
It's a very broad question which I think cannot be answered by a simple yes or no.


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Tonny Tssagovic
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Do I hear evolution of "darwin"? I don't beleive in things proven wrong dude.
Stan James
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What is the diference berween 'intelligent design' theory and 'Creationism' ?

Some hope to slip "intelligent design" past those who would try to keep "creationism" out of classrooms and textbooks. It's frightening that this might work.
I don't know why we can't see that the things we hope to explain with evolution theories are so marvelous that they might have been set in motion by divine power.
Marc Peabody
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random mating means that two members of a species mate regargardless of any characteristics of the organisms. This is false, for instance,in peacocks. The peacock with the genes for nicer plumes will spread his sperm around more. The population will evlove towards nicer plumes.

Then for humans, random mating exists. Orville Redenbacher has a grandson. What more proof do I need???
Joe King
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Originally posted by Stan James:

Some hope to slip "intelligent design" past those who would try to keep "creationism" out of classrooms and textbooks. It's frightening that this might work.

Its incredible how many schools are actually teaching creationism as being a true scientific fact, rather than a religious view point. I've got no objection to it being taught in a Religious Education lesson (introduced as "Some people believe that..."), but to teach something as being true which, to the best of our (scientific) knowledge, is not true or provable is bordering on neglect. OK, so evolution is only a theory, but its the best theory we've got. We have to go with what science tells us, or otherwise we'd still be living in caves waiting for the next boar to come wandering by.
Don Stadler
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Originally posted by achit bhatnager:

I'm reading 'Darwin's Black Box' By Michael behe (a biochemist at Lehigh University) right now. His main argument is irreducible complexity (IC) in nature. He claims evolutionary theory can not adequately explain the 'enormous complexity' found within the living cell. Then tries to prove 'intelligent design' theory.

I don't think that most responsible authorities claim that evolution is a complete explanation of the diversity of life. I've heard that evolution by itself is only enough to explain between 35% and 65% of what we observe. "Intelligent design" and "punctuated equilibrium" are two of the theories which have been proposed to cover the unexplained facts.
We don't know yet. We don't even have a theory which can be agreed upon by most authorities.
Originally posted by achit bhatnager:

What is the diference berween 'intelligent design' theory and 'Creationism' ?

Creationism is not a scientific theory. Creationism states that God made the world in 7 days and that the entire life of the planet is a little more than 4000 years.
Partly this could be made to work if the people proposing it are very tolerant about the span of time a 'day' consists of. The 4000 years is complete nonsense. I think you have to stretch creationism way to far to make it the equivalent of 'intelligent design'. The latter is my pet theory, BTW.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
Orville Redenbacher has a grandson. What more proof do I need???

Now that's funny!


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Thomas Paul
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Creationism is not a scientific theory. Creationism states that God made the world in 7 days and that the entire life of the planet is a little more than 4000 years.
The problem I have with creationism is that it is pretty clear that the Universe looks really old. If God created the Universe "recently" He went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make it look billions of years old. So if that is the case we are left with two possibilities:
1) God wants us to think the Universe is really old for some reason
2) God is a practical joker
Now assuming that creationism is correct and God has arranged for fossils and carbon dating to make the Universe appear really old, we are left with the possibility that God didn't create the Universe 4,000 years ago but rather 5 minutes ago and all our memories are simply planted in our brains the exact same way that fossils are implanted into the Earth. At least if that is the case I wouldn't be responsible for all the stupid things I have done!


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
we are left with the possibility that God didn't create the Universe 4,000 years ago but rather 5 minutes ago and all our memories are simply planted in our brains the exact same way that fossils are implanted into the Earth.

I've heard this concept called "Last-Wednesdayism." It bears obvious comparisons to the movie "The Matrix". The beauty of last-Wednesdayism is that it's impossible to disprove.
Warren Dew
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    2
Originally posted by Don Stadler:
I don't think that most responsible authorities claim that evolution is a complete explanation of the diversity of life. I've heard that evolution by itself is only enough to explain between 35% and 65% of what we observe. "Intelligent design" and "punctuated equilibrium" are two of the theories which have been proposed to cover the unexplained facts.

No offense, but the idea that 'punctuated equilibrium' is different from evolution is largely the result of less than rigorous treatments of the subject popularized by Stephen Jay Gould and the like. If you look at more rigorous and mathematically intensive treatments, and particularly at the math of evolutionarily stable states and how they can be destabilized, you'll see that relatively long periods of near equilibrium interspersed with periods of rapid morphological change are exactly what one should expect from evolutionary theory.
Stan James
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OK, so evolution is only a theory, but its the best theory we've got.
I like this point, glad you said it that way. Saying something is "only a theory" is a foolish argument. Our understanding of gravity is "only a theory." Newton's theory worked well enough to figure out a lot of good stuff, but it was later shown to be imperfect. Quantum theory is a close enough approxmation of reality to let us design semi-insulators. Er semi-conductors. Current evolution theory is doubtless imperfect, too. But all these theories work well enough to explain a lot of observations, predict some things that haven't been discovered yet, predict some things that will happen.
Michael Ernest
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Maybe we can all agree, for purposes of discussion, that a belief system ultimately lies on something we think can't be proven. A theory ultimately lies on something we think can be proven, or at least demonstrated.
Creationism is not a theory, it a belief. There is no physical evidence to support it. It is not by any stretch, as it is currently argued in some creationism curricula, the simplest possible explanation for human life, and so fails the test of Occam's Razor even if you make it triple-bladed with a safety guard.
Evolution is a theory based on physical records and a whole lot of intelligent guessing. It certainly is not the Truth, but it is our collective scientific community's assessment that it best describes the evidence available to us.


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Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Creationism is not a theory, it a belief.
Creationism is a theory, it's just not a theory that can stand up to any scientific examination. There are scientific tests that we could do to prove it is true. But it fails all these tests so it must be rejected from a scientific point of view.
Stan James
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Anyone familiar with the creationist science side of things? I saw a guy explaining how the earth was so much younger than scientists claim and the Grand Canyon was carved in just a year or maybe three by a giant lake draining. He seemed able to function in the world aside from that kind of thing.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Creationism is a theory, it's just not a theory that can stand up to any scientific examination.

Technically, this is a hypothesis, a testable conjecture about the world. A hypothesis can be based on a hunch or just be a WAG. Anybody can make a hypothesis.
A theory is a proposal for a complete explanation, something you develop based on the verification of one or more correct hypotheses. I have no problem with calling it "The Creation Hypothesis;" a scientist would have problems calling it "Creation Theory," because a theory is something you can only arrive at by application of the scientific method.
Bert Bates
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    5
Ernest, that just might be, IMHO, your best post ever! With your permission I might just spread that baby around.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
With your permission I might just spread that baby around.

Like butter, baby!
But I think my best post ever was one where I told a woman who said she was on the verge of tears over some Java problem not to cry, as it would make the Moose nervous. It made her laugh and before you knew it, we had solved her problem.
Jim Yingst
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Actually I thought this last post was fairly straightworward, no big deal. But I thought the recent Hang Zhong post was quite ingenious, and summed up my own feelings on the matter better than I could. So thanks, EFH.
To the original thread topic, for what it's worth: yes, I believe in evolution. Back when I still believed in God I figured that evolution was the mechanism of creation, as far as God was concerned, and the whole "7 days" thing was just an artifact of human minds attempting to describe something they didn't really understand. For those who follow a strict literal interpretation of the Bible this may not work so well. But I never saw much of a problem. And now that I'm pretty much an atheist, I guess I see even less of a problem.
Tonny: what, you expect something to be exactly right the first time it's formulated? You haven't worked much in the software industry, have you? Seriously though, is there a specific objection you have to the theory of evolution which can't be plausibly explained by current thinking among the scientific community?
Thomas Paul
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Just to follow up on Jim's post, the Catholic Church teaches that evolution is not contrary to Church teaching. The Church is quite willing to accept that evolution is the tool God used to create human life.
Warren Dew
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    2
Yes ... creationism seems to be a Protestant thing, and probably not most of them.
Thomas, question for you: are the seven days of Genesis considered to be metaphorical by the Catholic Church, then? I seem to recall an explanation more complex than that, but I never quite understood the details.
[ May 07, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Thomas, question for you: are the seven days of Genesis considered to be metaphorical by the Catholic Church, then? I seem to recall an explanation more complex than that, but I never quite understood the details.
They are considered metaphorical. As one Bishop explained it to me, the Bible is not a science textbook. It is a book from God to help us live our lives.
 
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subject: How many of you believe in Evolution?