greenspun.com : LUSENET : Evolution and Creation : One Thread

Welcome to a new discussion group! This forum is the outgrowth of a conversation "The Man" [of HTML playground fame] and i have been having off and on for about a month now. The question to be discussed here is the theory of evolution. One, is it consistent with the scientific evidence available to us, or do its adherents pick and choose, perhaps unconsciously, perhaps with some "sinister agenda". Two, is it inconsistent to accept the theory of evolution as the best scientific explanation for the origins of humankind, yet also be a believing Christian? A side question is the alternate theory proposed by others, known to me as creationism, or creation science. One, is it consistent with the scientific evidence available to us, or do its adherents pick and choose, perhaps unconsciously, perhaps with some "fundamentalist agenda". Two, is it inconsistent to accept the theory of creationism as the best scientific explanation for the origins of humankind, yet also be true to the principles of the scientific method? I am a converted Catholic. I accept the Pope John Paul II's statement on evolution, where he stated that no part of science, including the theory of evolution, is inconsistent with Catholicism. I am a dabbler in sciences, including those which examine origins of our planet and our species. Everything I know is learned from other people - nothing i say on this forum arises from my own research or experience. From what I gather, the majority of scientists today accept evolution as the best explanation for the issues of why life is present today in the manner and form it presents itself. I accept this as sincere and supported by evidence.

Enough about me. Here is a link to a webpage to get you started:

My favorite evolution website: evolution vs. creationism

Many links there to both sides of the issue. Here is a book which challenged much of my thinking, and which i enjoyed reading: Dr. Hugh Ross, Creation and Time [Navpress 1994].

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 03, 2000


let's take the issue of carbon dating/age of the earth. i am going to post some material and links on the reliability of that process, which i believe to be high, later on today.

is there a scientific reason why you doubt the theory of radioactive dating? can you provide me a link to the scientist who has made that determination? i would be interested in reading that.

my "burden of proof" question to lejes on the other thread also applies here. if the burden on the proponent of radioactive dating is "beyond all possible doubt", while the burden on a proponent of the existence of a great flood is "not open to question; it says so in the bible" then there isn't much room for debate, is there?

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@hotmail.com), May 04, 2000.

Not saying that evolution does not happen, but to accept that evolution is the sole reason for the present condition that we find life is to discount that God is the planner, devised the plan, implemented it, knows its path and its outcome. Somehow, it all began. That beginning could not be evolution.

Main Entry: evo7lu7tion Pronunciation: "e-v&-'l|-sh&n, "E-v&- Function: noun Etymology: Latin evolution-, evolutio unrolling, from evolvere Date: 1622 1 : one of a set of prescribed movements 2 a : a process of change in a certain direction : UNFOLDING b : the action or an instance of forming and giving something off : EMISSION c (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : GROWTH (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance d : something evolved 3 : the process of working out or developing 4 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations 5 : the extraction of a mathematical root 6 : a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena

According to some of the definitions on the word "evolution", it may be that it can be used contextually to support that God is working something out, unfolding something. But, to be a Christian is to be "like Christ" and really has nothing to do with evolution unless it tends to discount God. That is unchristian in that Christ always points to the Father, God.

To be a Christian is to accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He suffered, died and was buried to pay for the sins of all mankind (including all of yours and mine) and that He rose from the dead and returned to the Father (God) in heaven. This work that He did for all mankind (including you and I) is the gift the God has given to each one who will take it. Upon reciept of this gift, evolution truly begins in that the old nature of sin and death is destroyed and the new nature of Christ grows out in the newness of life.

-- Jim Kitchell (wewillservethelord@yahoo.com), May 03, 2000.

glad you jumped in, jim!

i do not believe that evolution was the beginning. i do find significant evidence that it is a viable and operative process affecting how we got to where we are today, from the beginning.

if you leave out the beginning aspect of it, what say you about the process of evolution?

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 03, 2000.

My take on evolution. Evolution is the theory that species evolve or change. That is fine. That is proven fact. There is all the evidence in the world to back that up. Creatures evolve. But what cannot be proven and has not been backed up by hard fact is that species evolve into other species. So far the only thing that has backed this up is a few skeletons of half man half ape. All of which have been proven to be fakes. If evolution takes so dang long then why does it not happen around us. We should be able to find a half man half ape. Am I to believe that every creature decided to evolve at the same time? Evolution makes change in a species. A species can adapt, but a species does not become a new species.

My second point is that we came supposedly from a one celled organism. This organism supposedly changed.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 04, 2000.

Supposedly a perfect creature, which is a one celled organism, decided to change or changed based on radiation. Even if an organism did change it would just be mutated, it would not become a complex organism. It would be a mutated one celled organism. Well what if it devided and the nuclei didn't quite go right? Well then you would have two cells right? No. All you get is a mutant. Radiation and weather doesn't make a one celled organism change into a multy celled organism. Think of all the one celled organisms we see today. They are perfect and adapt to changes. If they don't adapt they die. Do they evolve into multy celled organisms? No.

Now there is the fact that according to evolution the world is billions of years old. According to scientists the sun is decreasing in size at a constant rate. If you take the size of the sun into account for 4 billion years ago the earth would be inside it or the gravitational pull would be so great that the earth would be sucked in and toasted. But through carbon dating and radioactive dating and all the other dating methods they can date old stuff acurately. Right? Well no. Those methods are very accurate except that humidity and water pressure and changes in atmosphere can throw the date off. But scientists take those into account. Right? Well yes, but they don't take into account the flood. According to the Bible at one point in time the almost the entire world with water. Such a great change in pressure and humidity would throw all dates off. If that isn't taken into account then the dates can't be assumed to be correct.

Well those are my points of view.

Sorry about the break in my points. I accidently submitted it too early.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 04, 2000.

s'ok, the man...i gotta try to remember to do the @@ thing so i dont put all my messages at the top...

if i forget, is there an easy admin thing i can do to fix it, or do i have to delete and retype?

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 04, 2000.

I would just remove my cookie from the server. That is an option that is always available. Then retype your name and e-mail, but this time in your e-mail put the @@, and put a cookie on again.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 04, 2000.

I wish I had the links. I don't though. I just look around and run into stuff. I suppose I shouldn't always believe what I read.

But even with the dating thing taken out, I still gave some more reasons. I would like to hear some feedback on the other stuff then.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 04, 2000.

thanx, the man. its going to take me awhile without links, but im going to go through it and see what the "netizens" say about your post. in the meantime, anyone else can be free to jump in...

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 04, 2000.

I'd like to address The Man's claims about the half-man half-ape skeletons being fake. Humans and apes (Gorillas, chimps, etc.) have 97% of their DNA identical to one another. It's just 3% that separates us. We have never been as distant as half, like humans are to dogs. Only one skeleton was ever outed as fake and that was Piltdown man.

-- Lisa Shock (LisaShock@quepasa.com), May 04, 2000.

Actually according to what I've been reading, out of the 3 or 4 skeletons that have been found. All have been proven fake or for some reason or another not been counted as true skeletons. Once again, same thing as above. I'm really sorry, when I read about this stuff I never thought about remembering exactly where. I most of this was from the Discovery Channel or The Learning Channel.

The thing about DNA really isn't that big of a deal though. DNA is fairly close in all animals, but extrememly close in apes and humans. DNA doesn't actaully prove that we are cousins or anything. Their DNA isn't human, and they aren't human or a relative of the human. So just because they are similar it doesn't prove anything.

But with all things in this kind of discussion that always happens. I can't remember where I heard what I said from, but as soon as I get this article from the Duluth Tribune, I'll post it here. That will provide insite on the thing with eggs and Y cromozones which I didn't talk about yet.

I must say, the next time I say something though, I'll treat it like an AP assignment. I will say the strait facts with the place where I got them. I can't do what I did above. It's too ambiguous and doesn't have everything backed up. I apologize. I will try my best to get my sourses next time.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 04, 2000.

well, you dont have to do that when you first post something, the man, but in this discussion, i think you can eventually expect to be asked about sources, because who says what is important, and what they say is only as good as their evidence for saying it.

lisa, the man raises an interesting point. what does it mean that humans and apes share 97% of the dame dna? i need a frame of reference - what is the percentage between humans and dogs? humans and frogs? dogs and frogs? i dont know much biology, so any help you can give would be appreciated. with links or sources, so much the better...

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.

let's put it ths way, humans and trees match up by about 93% or higher. sharing DNA is not all that extra ordinary because from person to person there is only a 0.001% difference even if there is no relation.

-- Lejes the Saint of Justice (Lejes_Saint@webtv.net), May 05, 2000.

makes sense, lejes - thanx for dropping by.

here is my latest link: introduction to evolutionary biology

here are a few quotes: "all species have descended from a common ancestor" "over one hundred and fifty years later, how species originate is still largely a mystery"

so, the fact that dna is shared, and that the first human fossils came from a single mother[eve or lucy?] supports both sides. both sides posit that all life came from a common source. either way, it stands to reason that the common building block would be shared by all life.

now a more provocative quote: "Most importantly, scientific creationists do not have a testable, scientific theory to replace evolution with. Even if evolution turned out to be wrong, it would simply be replaced by another scientific theory. Creationsists do not conduct scientific experiments, nor do they seek publication in peer-reviewed journals. Much of their output is preaching to the choir."

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.

that link was supposed to take you right to intorduction to biology. instead it takes you to a large index. click on biology, introduction to.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.

Hmmm....sounds like a quote from someone anti-religion. It sounds very one sided and backed up with little fact. Just total opinion. I've read essays and parts of books by creationist scientists. They do experiments and do test hypothesise, but their tests are different than regular tests that are to try and prove evolution.

The theory of creationists is that God, an all powerful being, created animals and humans. Both as separate creatures. Man was more superior to animals. It says that they are separate species that did not evolve from one species. That is the theory of creationism. For a very interesting book, not by a scientist or anything, just a very highly educated indivisual, try Paradise Lost. That poem, by John Milton give a very very interesting view into creation and God and Satan. The poem has amazing incite into what might have been.

Oh and as a total plain opinion, I think the pope is stupid. How can he claim to be the head of a church and work for God and still claim evolution as what to believe in. I think it is out of pure ignorance and a lack of actual religious faith that he could make that kind of statement. If he isn't willing to back up what the Bible says, then how can he be the head of the Catholic church? I'm not Catholic, but that is heresy in itself. Like I said though, thats just my opinion. The pope is not even fit to be called a church leader after his statement.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 05, 2000.

your style of argument is more reminiscent of other people i know. i tend to think it beneath you, but maybe i just don't know you well enough.

what do you know of the pope's intelligence? what is your source for the proposition that the sole test for correctness of biblical interpretation is whether or not you agree with it? what does that have to do with the current subject of the thread?

i would rather get back to facts. there are two creation stories in genesis - 1:1-2:4 and 2:5-25. which do you take as being literally true? if god only speaks thru literal truth, then why did jesus, the son of god, and god on earth himself, speak in parables whose message stands apart from whether the events in the parable literally occurred or not? why is this not possible in the genesis passages quoted above?

here's my opinion - you are participating in this forum, now as part of a search for information and debate, but to browbeat those who disagree with you. you might want to reconsider your words the next time you want to rebut a passage quoted from a science text by taking a swipe at the pope.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.

here is a link to the thoughts of a mr patterson, who feels that science has lost its way in dogmatic materialism, and who feels that the concept of "irreducable complexity" completely refutes the darwinian theory of evolution and its modern practitioners:

darwin critique

in case the link doesnt work, the url is www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/darwin_critique1.htm.

now can the pope be smart again?

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.

There are more than 3-4 types of fossil evidence, and I only recall Piltdown man being exposed as an actual fraud - the guy admitted to taking a mix of human and ape bones and aging them. Here's a great site with a photo chart of SOME of the skulls and links to other charts. LOOK

-- Lisa Shock (LisaShock@quepasa.com), May 06, 2000.

here's another link that the man wont like, but which i found amusing and interesting. sorry:

thermodynamics for two

this leads to other interesting essays germane to this topic. one theological point i agree with. those who hold certain biblical passages to be literally true, in the context of creation, are arbitrarily limiting the power of almighty god, in an exercise of human pride.

again, sorry, the man, but when you come at the pope, you're coming at ME

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000.

Yeah, my bad, but it was just an opinion. And what did it have to do with the discussion? Not much, sorry. I remembered talking to you in the chat about it and I didn't get to say what I thought, so I mentioned it here. If you don't like that passage you can just delete that single passage. I would understand completely.

Also I was kind of wondering what "refutes" means. I know I should know it, but for some reason I just don't remember what it means.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 06, 2000.

thanx, the man.

my frustration shows, because when we talked about this, i thought it was intended to be more than a "he said, she said" on a theological/scientific level. i am using this forum as an excuse to read up on the whole controversy, and am posting as i find things which confirm, refute["prove to be untrue"] or challenge my way of thinking. when you told me you were interested in the subject, i guess i assumed you'd be doing the same.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000.

here is a creation science site that i hadn't seen before...a little old[1986] but apparently, still relevant:

creation and its critics

by henry m. morris.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000.

here is an attempt to reconcile creation and evolution and say "they're both right!"

christianity and science are compatible

complex, and not entirely persuasive, but very in-depth and passionate.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000.

Well Torey, I'm really interested in the subject and I would like to have more facts that are totally backed up. Like I said before it's my bad that I don't. If I get some extra time on my hands I'm going to look for some stuff, but as of right now till next Friday, I'm swamped.

Sorry if I dissapoint you. I didn't mean to.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 06, 2000.

Wow, I really like this part here:

Question: "Since creation is not testable, and therefore cannot really be scientific, why should it be included in science curricula?" Answer: Neither creation nor evolution is testable, in the sense of being observable experimentally. Both can be stated and discussed as scientific models however, and it is poor science and poor education to restrict instruction to only one of them. The fact that creation is not repeatable in the laboratory is irrelevant, since evolution (in the sense of "vertical" transformation from any given kind of organism to a more complex kind of organism) is not only never observed in the laboratory (or in all recorded history for that matter) but also seems impossible in light of the entropy principle (see below). Since creation was completed in the past, we would not expect to see it take place now, whereas evolution is supposed to be still going on. Yet it has never been observed and the entropy principle seems to guarantee that it will never occur at all. In this sense, creation is thus more "scientific" than evolution and should certainly be recognized as at least a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution.

From: Creation and its Critics.

He has some very good points right here.

-- The Man (djedmond@@pinenet.com), May 06, 2000.

Hmmm, so all my high school fruitfly experiments were in vain? I raised 'em (3 day lifespan) under different conitions and got different strains. There's also the cases of moths which were dappled until smog infested cities making the tree bark they usually sat on very dark. The light and dappled ones were all eaten by swallows and now there's a seperate dark species which is post 1840. Then, of course, you have the little problems that pop up all over the place of recessive traits being prominent either generally or in certain populations. Type A Positive blood is rare and recessive, except in Andian Indians. A Positive blood carries more oxygen, a selected and desirable trait if you live above 12,000 feet as these indians do. Or, try this first-year medical school trick. Hold out your hand, palm up. Make a fist. Curl it up toward the inside of your elbow. Rock it a little from side to side. Where the palm meets the wrist you'll see a group of tendons pop up. About 65% of the world's human population have 3 of them in at least one wrist. It's a recessive trait, by Mendel's law it should only present in 25% of the population at most. But.... it's advantageous; it makes a stronger wrist so it gets selected. New species are still being discovered as older ones are dying out. True, there are certain animals that have remained unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years, certain mollusks and the crocodile come to mind, but they have very comfortable niches they can still exist in. The recent discovery of bones from the woolley mammoth on a remote pacific island are a great example of uncomfortable environments. They apparently lived there until about 500AD. But, as their population on the island grew, the surviving animals went from being huge (larger than elephants) at around 40,000BC, to very small (size of a large dog) in 500AD. They managed to survive while other species of mammoth went extint about 20,000 to 30,000 years earlier. Apparently, a community of progressively smaller individuals was selected out over the large ones, and thrived for thousands of years until several drought years on the island wiped them out. Evolution is around us all the time.... Why do we have long hair on our heads and relatively little hair on the rest of our bodies? We decided it was pretty and those girls with it, centuries ago, got husbands..... (Just like blonde is selected for in Hollywood wives!)

-- Lisa Shock (LisaShock@quepasa.com), May 07, 2000.

Good points Lisa, but you are confusing adaptation with evolution. "Survival of the fittest" is not evolution. However, there is evidence of evolution when you consider that the average height for a man in the 1800's was under 5 feet and today even most teenagers are over 6 feet tall. What was the height of the preistoric caveman skeleton? 4 foot something?

-- Lejes the Saint of Justice (Lejes_Saint@webtv.net), May 07, 2000.

How about, in light of all this common ancestor stuff in the news (or just some people's belief in Adam & Eve, or that Noah and his family were the only flood survivors), the rise of the variety of human races?

-- Lisa Shock (LisaShock@quepasa.com), May 07, 2000.

i'll check it out, lisa - i dont remember once about "lucy", the evolutionary version of "eve"; maybe i'll try a few searches and try to post a link.

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 07, 2000.

still looking into lucy - maybe i should ask linus...

here are a few more links, which are themselves jampacked with links:

pro-creation science: answers in genesis

pro-evolution: no answers in genesis

here are two specific pages that resonated with me: this one and this one

-- torey luvullo (toreyluvullo@@hotmail.com), May 09, 2000.

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