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Evolution

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Guest Paul

Here, in brief form, is a summary of the overwhelming case for evolution.

1. The fossil record proves evolution. If you visit the fourth floor of the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, you will see one of the best teaching exhibits in the world. Paleontologists have identified how seemingly minor changes, in a bone in the inner ear or the mobility of the ankle joint - to cite only two examples - conveyed survival advantages, which led to the evolution of new species. As we trace the evolutionary record through fossils, not one piece is out of place.

2. Dating of fossils proves evolution. We do not just have fossils. We have dating methods that tell us how old they are. Every time scientists discover another fossil and date it, they give anyone who doubts the reality of evolution another opportunity to find an example that would prove the theory wrong. If, for example, scientists found human remains that pre-dated any other vertebrate, according to the dating methods, such a discovery would throw evolutionary theory or the science of dating physical objects into complete chaos. In science, this is called falsifiability. The theory makes predictions, and has been tested millions of times. Not once, in all those millions of times, has a fossil been dated in a way that contradicts evolutionary theory. On the contrary, all the dating verifies the functional story we see by looking at the fossil record in gross observation.

3. The genetic record proves evolution. Evolutionary theory leapt ahead by light years with the development of microbiology. We can trace the development of species through DNA, RNA, genes and chromosomes. As with the dating of fossils, a break in the pattern would disprove the theory, but yet again, after millions of genetic samples have been taken, evolutionary theory has a perfect record of verification. Anyone who doubts evolutionary theory should understand the enormous amount of information we now have, and the number of tests, any one of which could have proved the theory false. Just the opposite, all the testing has proved the theory true.

4. Evolution has been replicated. A common canard among those who would dispute evolutionary theory is that no one ever saw a monkey turn into a human. Of course not. Even if humans had descended from monkeys (we have a common ancestor), it doesn’t happen that way. Evolution occurs over many generations. We cannot see evolution happening among complex species like our own because a single generation takes at least fifteen years or so to occur. However, the same evolutionary principle applies to simpler species, and among those, scientists have replicated evolution in the laboratory. The most famous example is the drosophila fruit fly, which is commonly used for research. There are others, and as the science continues to advance, there will be more.

5. Evolutionary theory is so reliable that we use it in practical applications in two of our most important fields of science: biology and its cousin discipline medicine. As a result, life expectancies in the developed world have increased by more than a decade in recent years. Much of this is due to advances in medicine and biology as a direct result of evolutionary theory.

6. Evolutionary theory is the organizing principle for modern biology. That is how important it is. It is the principle that brings together all of biology, to such an extent that biologists are virtually unanimous in saying that modern biology cannot be understood without evolution; or to put it another way, biologists could still do some biology without evolution, but they could not understand it. Because evolutionary theory advances understanding, exponentially, beyond what would be possible without it, most biologists and most scholars of intellectual history say that it is among the greatest discoveries in history. Many say it is the greatest and most important of all, because it profoundly alters what we know about ourselves. Perhaps that is why some people oppose it so vehemently.

7. Evolutionary theory applies to all organic and quasi-organic systems. Every dynamic system that survives by reproduction in any form operates on the evolutionary principle. For example, social interactions are governed by evolutionary principles. All other things being equal, if an aspect of human behavior conveys a disadvantage, it will tend to disappear from the population; if it conveys an advantage, it will tend to spread. That is why political candidates pander and lie, why news media spoon-feed us entertainment instead of presenting real news and why religions tend to offer comforting stories: We reward them for it, and as a result those behaviors thrive and “reproduce.” An entire discipline, called game theory, has been developed from this understanding, has attracted some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and has been applied to everything from simple children’s games to business transactions to arms negotiations.

8. As our fund of knowledge increases, verification of evolutionary theory becomes progressively stronger. Because it makes accurate predictions, evolutionary theory has opened entire disciplines, and brought others from a barely coherent infancy into the realm of genuine science.

9. If we discarded what we have learned from evolutionary theory, our modern standard of living would not be possible. People who argue against evolution simply do not understand it. They assume that we would enjoy the advantages of modern life without it, but the truth is, we would not. No doubt, some of evolution’s critics have benefited from medical advances that evolutionary theory made possible. Fortunately for them, we do not withhold medical care from those who say they reject the very things that made it possible, but if we did, opposition to evolutionary theory would collapse very quickly.

I have used the word theory several times. Most people do not understand what the word means, so they say things like “that’s just a theory, it can’t be proved.” A theory can be proved. A theory may also be a fact. Evolutionary theory is both. It is a proven fact. A “theory” is an organized explanation for a set of phenomena, based on evidence and reason. Newton’s theory of gravity is a theory. If you have read the above with a misunderstanding of what a theory is, I can only invite you to read again with the proper definition in mind.

No doubt we will see the usual litany of smart-aleck remarks and non-responses from those who do not wish to know the truth if it conflicts with what they wish to believe. I can only invite them to have some courage, take a deep breath, read, think and evaluate. It's not going to go away just because you refuse to believe it.

And whether you accept it or not, it is very important to the kind of life we have chosen to live together. Think about how we are bound together socially whether we like it or not. This isn’t possible without evolution.

This is a lengthy exposition for a forum like this, but it barely scratches the surface of this vast and exciting subject. I invite anyone who doubts the truth of evolutionary theory to get out of their comfort zones long enough to study it – not what its most ignorant detractors write about it, but what its practitioners have written about it. Let them read books by Mayr, Gould, Eldridge, and dozens of others. Then let them re-evaluate their views. If they study with an open mind and a modicum of intelligence, they will embrace one of the most well-established and useful principles in all of science.

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Guest Kearny Christian
Here, in brief form, is a summary of the overwhelming case for evolution.

1. The fossil record proves evolution. If you visit the fourth floor of the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, you will see one of the best teaching exhibits in the world. Paleontologists have identified how seemingly minor changes, in a bone in the inner ear or the mobility of ankle joint to cite only two examples, conveyed survival advantages, which led to the evolution of new species. As we trace the evolutionary record through fossils, not one piece is out of place.

2. Dating of fossils proves evolution. We do not just have fossils. We have dating methods that tell us how old they are. Every time scientists discover another fossil and date it, they give anyone who doubts the reality of evolution another opportunity to find an example that would prove the theory wrong. If, for example, scientists found human remains that pre-dated any other vertebrate, according to the dating methods, such a discovery would throw evolutionary theory or the science of dating physical objects into complete chaos. In science, this is called falsifiability. The theory makes predictions, and has been tested millions of times. Not once, in all those millions of times, has a fossil been dated in a way that contradicts evolutionary theory. On the contrary, all the dating verifies the functional story we see by looking at the fossil record in gross observation.

3. The genetic record proves evolution. Evolutionary theory leapt ahead by light years with the development of microbiology. We can trace the development of species through DNA, RNA, genes and chromosomes. As with the dating of fossils, a break in the pattern would disprove the theory, but yet again, after millions of genetic samples have been taken, evolutionary theory has a perfect record of verification. Anyone who doubts evolutionary theory should understand the enormous amount of information we now have, and the number of tests, any one of which could have proved the theory false. Just the opposite, all the testing has proved the theory true.

4. Evolution has been replicated. A common canard among those who would dispute evolutionary theory is that no one ever saw a monkey turn into a human. Of course not. Even if humans had descended from monkeys (we have a common ancestor), it doesn’t happen that way. Evolution occurs over many generations. We cannot see evolution happening among complex species like our own because a single generation takes at least fifteen years or so to occur. However, the same evolutionary principle applies to simpler species, and among those scientists have replicated evolution in the laboratory. The most famous example is the drosophila fruit fly, which is commonly used for research. There are others, and as the science continues to advance, there will be more.

5. Evolutionary theory is so reliable that we use it in practical applications in two of our most important fields of science: biology and its cousin discipline medicine. As a result, life expectancies in the developed world have increased by more than a decade in recent years. Much of this is due to advances in medicine and biology as a direct result of evolutionary theory.

6. Evolutionary theory is the organizing principle for modern biology. That is how important it is. It is the principle that brings together all of biology, to such an extent that biologists are virtually unanimous in saying that modern biology cannot be understood without evolution; or to put it another way, biologists could still do some biology without evolution, but they could not understand it. Because evolutionary theory advances understanding, exponentially, beyond what would be possible without it, most biologists and most scholars of intellectual history say that it is among the greatest discoveries in history. Many say it is the greatest and most important of all, because it profoundly alters what we know about ourselves. Perhaps that is why some people oppose it so vehemently.

7. Evolutionary theory applies to all organic and quasi-organic systems. Every dynamic system that survives by reproduction in any form operates on the evolutionary principle. For example, social interactions are governed by evolutionary principles. All other things being equal, if an aspect of human behavior conveys a disadvantage, it will tend to disappear from the population; if it conveys an advantage, it will tend to spread. That is why political candidates pander and lie, why news media spoon-feed us entertainment instead of presenting real news and why religions tend to offer comforting stories: We reward them for it, and as a result those behaviors thrive and “reproduce.” An entire discipline, called game theory, has been developed from this understanding, has attracted some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and has been applied to everything from simple children’s games to business transactions to arms negotiations.

8. As our fund of knowledge increases, verification of evolutionary theory becomes progressively stronger. Because it makes accurate predictions, evolutionary theory has opened entire disciplines, and brought others from a barely coherent infancy into the realm of genuine science.

9. If we discarded what we have learned from evolutionary theory, our modern standard of living would not be possible. People who argue against evolution simply do not understand it. They assume that we would enjoy the advantages of modern life without it, but the truth is, we would not. No doubt, some of evolution’s critics have benefited from medical advances that evolutionary theory made possible. Fortunately for them, we do not withhold medical care from those who say they reject the very things that made it possible, but if we did, opposition to evolutionary theory would collapse very quickly.

I have used the word theory several times. Most people do not understand what the word means, so they say things like “that’s just a theory, it can’t be proved.” A theory can be proved. A theory may also be a fact. Evolutionary theory is both. It is a proven fact. A “theory” is an organized explanation for a set of phenomena, based on evidence and reason. Newton’s theory of gravity is a theory. If you have read the above with a misunderstanding of what a theory is, I can only invite you to read again with the proper definition in mind.

No doubt we will see the usual litany of smart-aleck remarks and non-responses from those who do not wish to know the truth if it conflicts with what they wish to believe. I can only invite them to have some courage, take a deep breath, read, think and evaluate. It's not going to go away just because you refuse to believe it.

And whether you accept it or not, it is very important to the kind of life we have chosen to live together. Think about how we are bound together socially whether we like it or not. This isn’t possible without evolution.

This is a lengthy exposition for a forum like this, but it barely scratches the surface of this vast and exciting subject. I invite anyone who doubts the truth of evolutionary theory to get out of their comfort zones long enough to study it – not what its most ignorant detractors write about it, but what its practitioners have written about it. Let them read books by Mayr, Gould, Eldridge, and dozens of others. Then let them re-evaluate their views. If they study with an open mind and a modicum of intelligence, they will embrace one of the most well-established and useful principles in all of science.

As I answered you in your other post., I.D. proponents don't deny that creatures have adapted

and evolved over the millennium. I.D proponents believe evolution and I.D. are not mutually exclusive.

We believe God is the guiding force behind the creation of the universe. To simply chalk up all the

forces of the universe such as gravity to a mysterious serendipity is just foolish.

I can understand why atheists cling so fervently to a blind evolutionary theory, otherwise they'd

have to admit to the existence of God. You continue to wear your t-shirt proclaming " I'm The Product

Of Happenstance" and I'll wear mine proclaming "I.D.".

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Guest *Autonomous*
As I answered you in your other post., I.D. proponents don't deny that creatures have adapted

and evolved over the millennium. I.D proponents believe evolution and I.D. are not mutually exclusive.

We believe God is the guiding force behind the creation of the universe. To simply chalk up all the

forces of the universe such as gravity to a mysterious serendipity is just foolish.

I can understand why atheists cling so fervently to a blind evolutionary theory, otherwise they'd

have to admit to the existence of God. You continue to wear your t-shirt proclaming " I'm The Product

Of Happenstance" and I'll wear mine proclaming "I.D.".

I already responded to you in the other thread-just going to say that the whole happenstance thing merely shows your ignorance. Read a book other than the Bible!

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Guest Paul
As I answered you in your other post., I.D. proponents don't deny that creatures have adapted

and evolved over the millennium. I.D proponents believe evolution and I.D. are not mutually exclusive.

We believe God is the guiding force behind the creation of the universe. To simply chalk up all the

forces of the universe such as gravity to a mysterious serendipity is just foolish.

I can understand why atheists cling so fervently to a blind evolutionary theory, otherwise they'd

have to admit to the existence of God. You continue to wear your t-shirt proclaming " I'm The Product

Of Happenstance" and I'll wear mine proclaming "I.D.".

I appreciate your post here, and will look at your other one, but with all respect, you do not understand me or what drives me, or the millions of others who share my view. I let go of my Catholicism in tears. I wanted to believe in it, but after looking at the evidence, I couldn't. I don't cling to evolutionary theory, it's proved. And I don't reject a creator-god out of a fear or unwillingness to acknowledge one.

In fact, my view on the existence of a creator-god is not easy to fit into one category, unless we clearly define what that category is. ID proponents argue that nature speaks of a conscious creator. I disagree. There is no evidence for that, and no reason to think it. You can no more explain the genesis of a god than I or anyone else can explain the ultimate origins of matter, the universe or reality itself. In fact, none of us really knows what "the ultimate reality" is, or even whether there is such a thing. So if our position is foolish, yours is even more so.

The other way to look at the question is practically. Each of us must decide how to conduct ourselves and where to focus our energies. I see people putting inordinate amounts of energy and attention into their beliefs about things they know nothing about, especially their conception of God as a creator-being. That's one of the ways in which I believe ID is damaging and one of the many reasons I do not subscribe to it.

So my T-shirt would be more likely to read "Here and making the most of it!" Now you may not agree with me, but can you at least appreciate that my position is not foolish?

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Guest Kearnian Skeptic
As I answered you in your other post., I.D. proponents don't deny that creatures have adapted

and evolved over the millennium. I.D proponents believe evolution and I.D. are not mutually exclusive.

lol, why do movies like Expelled, that spend all their time bashing evolution non-stop, get made, then?

Give me a break--creationists are all about slamming evolution because they don't like that the facts of evolution directly contradict literal interpretations of creation myths.

We believe God is the guiding force behind the creation of the universe.

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe, stupid.

To simply chalk up all the

forces of the universe such as gravity to a mysterious serendipity is just foolish.

To simply chalk up all the forces of the universe such as gravity to a deity whose existence there is zero evidence for is infinitely more foolish.

I can understand why atheists cling so fervently to a blind evolutionary theory, otherwise they'd

have to admit to the existence of God.

Science makes no comment on the supernatural; this includes evolution. There are plenty of theists who accept evolution on its merits, many famously so, like Ken Miller, a devout Christian.

You continue to wear your t-shirt proclaming " I'm The Product

Of Happenstance" and I'll wear mine proclaming "I.D.".

Why would anyone wear your straw man argument on a shirt?

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Guest 2smart4u
lol, why do movies like Expelled, that spend all their time bashing evolution non-stop, get made, then?

Give me a break--creationists are all about slamming evolution because they don't like that the facts of evolution directly contradict literal interpretations of creation myths.

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe, stupid.

To simply chalk up all the forces of the universe such as gravity to a deity whose existence there is zero evidence for is infinitely more foolish.

Science makes no comment on the supernatural; this includes evolution. There are plenty of theists who accept evolution on its merits, many famously so, like Ken Miller, a devout Christian.

Why would anyone wear your straw man argument on a shirt?

"Kearnian" ??? NO ONE from Kearny refers to themself as a Kearnian. Dummy.

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Guest Paul
As I answered you in your other post., I.D. proponents don't deny that creatures have adapted

and evolved over the millennium. I.D proponents believe evolution and I.D. are not mutually exclusive.

We believe God is the guiding force behind the creation of the universe. To simply chalk up all the

forces of the universe such as gravity to a mysterious serendipity is just foolish.

I was too quick to pass by some obvious errors in the above post.

1. A millennium is 1,000 years. Maybe Kearny Christian didn't mean that literally, but evolution has occurred over billions of years, not merely a thousand.

2. A central argument in ID is irreducible complexity. If you argue that God must have created eyes, and human beings, as they are because they are too complex to have evolved, that is incompatible with the facts and with evolutionary theory. I'm surprised ID proponents are still making this argument. They just don't have anything else left to argue, obviously. We have learned in the past few decades how what we would recognize as an eye evolved from simpler light-sensitive structures.

3. Your argument about what is foolish ignores the fact that you have no theory for how God came to be. You can't appropriately make that argument against our ideas without applying them to your own. Most theists argue that God just is. OK, then maybe the universe just is. Maybe reality just is what it is. Maybe our assumptions about cause do not apply at the most basic level of origins. None of those is an answer, and none of them in itself is foolish. What is foolish is taking one of them and settling on it as true when you don't know.

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Guest Guest
"Kearnian" ??? NO ONE from Kearny refers to themself as a Kearnian. Dummy.

I do, dummy. I've seen the term several times in local publications, including the KHS newspaper. Dummy.

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Guest Kearny Christian
Here, in brief form, is a summary of the overwhelming case for evolution.

1. The fossil record proves evolution. If you visit the fourth floor of the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, you will see one of the best teaching exhibits in the world. Paleontologists have identified how seemingly minor changes, in a bone in the inner ear or the mobility of ankle joint to cite only two examples, conveyed survival advantages, which led to the evolution of new species. As we trace the evolutionary record through fossils, not one piece is out of place.

2. Dating of fossils proves evolution. We do not just have fossils. We have dating methods that tell us how old they are. Every time scientists discover another fossil and date it, they give anyone who doubts the reality of evolution another opportunity to find an example that would prove the theory wrong. If, for example, scientists found human remains that pre-dated any other vertebrate, according to the dating methods, such a discovery would throw evolutionary theory or the science of dating physical objects into complete chaos. In science, this is called falsifiability. The theory makes predictions, and has been tested millions of times. Not once, in all those millions of times, has a fossil been dated in a way that contradicts evolutionary theory. On the contrary, all the dating verifies the functional story we see by looking at the fossil record in gross observation.

3. The genetic record proves evolution. Evolutionary theory leapt ahead by light years with the development of microbiology. We can trace the development of species through DNA, RNA, genes and chromosomes. As with the dating of fossils, a break in the pattern would disprove the theory, but yet again, after millions of genetic samples have been taken, evolutionary theory has a perfect record of verification. Anyone who doubts evolutionary theory should understand the enormous amount of information we now have, and the number of tests, any one of which could have proved the theory false. Just the opposite, all the testing has proved the theory true.

4. Evolution has been replicated. A common canard among those who would dispute evolutionary theory is that no one ever saw a monkey turn into a human. Of course not. Even if humans had descended from monkeys (we have a common ancestor), it doesn’t happen that way. Evolution occurs over many generations. We cannot see evolution happening among complex species like our own because a single generation takes at least fifteen years or so to occur. However, the same evolutionary principle applies to simpler species, and among those scientists have replicated evolution in the laboratory. The most famous example is the drosophila fruit fly, which is commonly used for research. There are others, and as the science continues to advance, there will be more.

5. Evolutionary theory is so reliable that we use it in practical applications in two of our most important fields of science: biology and its cousin discipline medicine. As a result, life expectancies in the developed world have increased by more than a decade in recent years. Much of this is due to advances in medicine and biology as a direct result of evolutionary theory.

6. Evolutionary theory is the organizing principle for modern biology. That is how important it is. It is the principle that brings together all of biology, to such an extent that biologists are virtually unanimous in saying that modern biology cannot be understood without evolution; or to put it another way, biologists could still do some biology without evolution, but they could not understand it. Because evolutionary theory advances understanding, exponentially, beyond what would be possible without it, most biologists and most scholars of intellectual history say that it is among the greatest discoveries in history. Many say it is the greatest and most important of all, because it profoundly alters what we know about ourselves. Perhaps that is why some people oppose it so vehemently.

7. Evolutionary theory applies to all organic and quasi-organic systems. Every dynamic system that survives by reproduction in any form operates on the evolutionary principle. For example, social interactions are governed by evolutionary principles. All other things being equal, if an aspect of human behavior conveys a disadvantage, it will tend to disappear from the population; if it conveys an advantage, it will tend to spread. That is why political candidates pander and lie, why news media spoon-feed us entertainment instead of presenting real news and why religions tend to offer comforting stories: We reward them for it, and as a result those behaviors thrive and “reproduce.” An entire discipline, called game theory, has been developed from this understanding, has attracted some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and has been applied to everything from simple children’s games to business transactions to arms negotiations.

8. As our fund of knowledge increases, verification of evolutionary theory becomes progressively stronger. Because it makes accurate predictions, evolutionary theory has opened entire disciplines, and brought others from a barely coherent infancy into the realm of genuine science.

9. If we discarded what we have learned from evolutionary theory, our modern standard of living would not be possible. People who argue against evolution simply do not understand it. They assume that we would enjoy the advantages of modern life without it, but the truth is, we would not. No doubt, some of evolution’s critics have benefited from medical advances that evolutionary theory made possible. Fortunately for them, we do not withhold medical care from those who say they reject the very things that made it possible, but if we did, opposition to evolutionary theory would collapse very quickly.

I have used the word theory several times. Most people do not understand what the word means, so they say things like “that’s just a theory, it can’t be proved.” A theory can be proved. A theory may also be a fact. Evolutionary theory is both. It is a proven fact. A “theory” is an organized explanation for a set of phenomena, based on evidence and reason. Newton’s theory of gravity is a theory. If you have read the above with a misunderstanding of what a theory is, I can only invite you to read again with the proper definition in mind.

No doubt we will see the usual litany of smart-aleck remarks and non-responses from those who do not wish to know the truth if it conflicts with what they wish to believe. I can only invite them to have some courage, take a deep breath, read, think and evaluate. It's not going to go away just because you refuse to believe it.

And whether you accept it or not, it is very important to the kind of life we have chosen to live together. Think about how we are bound together socially whether we like it or not. This isn’t possible without evolution.

This is a lengthy exposition for a forum like this, but it barely scratches the surface of this vast and exciting subject. I invite anyone who doubts the truth of evolutionary theory to get out of their comfort zones long enough to study it – not what its most ignorant detractors write about it, but what its practitioners have written about it. Let them read books by Mayr, Gould, Eldridge, and dozens of others. Then let them re-evaluate their views. If they study with an open mind and a modicum of intelligence, they will embrace one of the most well-established and useful principles in all of science.

As I stated previously, I.D. proponents AGREE the theory of evolution is undeniable. Where we

split company is your notion that evolution is blind. We believe evolution has been designed and

guided by God, we believe things like the basic cell, the eye and DNA are far to complicated to have

simply evolved without guidance. I can't prove that God's hand is on evolution and you can't prove his

hand isn't. So we'll agree to disagree.

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I was too quick to pass by some obvious errors in the above post.

1. A millennium is 1,000 years. Maybe Kearny Christian didn't mean that literally, but evolution has occurred over billions of years, not merely a thousand.

A charitable reader probably concludes that "millenia" was intended.

2. A central argument in ID is irreducible complexity. If you argue that God must have created eyes, and human beings, as they are because they are too complex to have evolved, that is incompatible with the facts and with evolutionary theory. I'm surprised ID proponents are still making this argument. They just don't have anything else left to argue, obviously. We have learned in the past few decades how what we would recognize as an eye evolved from simpler light-sensitive structures.

Behe's description of irreducible complexity is distinct from the design inference suggested by (among others) Bill Dembski. LaClair appears to conflate the two. Further, LaClair appears to equivocate in the above, for irreducible complexity is not incompatible with evolution unless evolution is insisted upon as a comprehensive explanation for all phenomena observed and unobserved relating to biological diversity and development--which isn't science (and as such is not the "evolution" that LaClair elsewhere says is established by science).

3. Your argument about what is foolish ignores the fact that you have no theory for how God came to be. You can't appropriately make that argument against our ideas without applying them to your own. Most theists argue that God just is. OK, then maybe the universe just is. Maybe reality just is what it is. Maybe our assumptions about cause do not apply at the most basic level of origins. None of those is an answer, and none of them in itself is foolish. What is foolish is taking one of them and settling on it as true when you don't know.

Only Paul is allowed to do that. Shame on the other guy.

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Guest *Autonomous*
As I stated previously, I.D. proponents AGREE the theory of evolution is undeniable. Where we

split company is your notion that evolution is blind. We believe evolution has been designed and

guided by God, we believe things like the basic cell, the eye and DNA are far to complicated to have

simply evolved without guidance. I can't prove that God's hand is on evolution and you can't prove his

hand isn't. So we'll agree to disagree.

That's fine as a belief. Without a theoretical mechanism that is all it is, though. I still wonder how you get around the theological implications since you haven't answered my question in your own thread.

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Guest *Autonomous*
Behe's description of irreducible complexity is distinct from the design inference suggested by (among others) Bill Dembski. LaClair appears to conflate the two. Further, LaClair appears to equivocate in the above, for irreducible complexity is not incompatible with evolution unless evolution is insisted upon as a comprehensive explanation for all phenomena observed and unobserved relating to biological diversity and development--which isn't science (and as such is not the "evolution" that LaClair elsewhere says is established by science).

Then again, you can't prove that something is irreducibly complex unless you can rule out every possible answer. The best you can really do is say "science has no idea how this came to be."

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Guest Paul
As I stated previously, I.D. proponents AGREE the theory of evolution is undeniable. Where we

split company is your notion that evolution is blind. We believe evolution has been designed and

guided by God, we believe things like the basic cell, the eye and DNA are far to complicated to have

simply evolved without guidance. I can't prove that God's hand is on evolution and you can't prove his hand isn't. So we'll agree to disagree.

You can believe whatever you like, but you have no reasoned or empirical basis for it. I can't stop you from ignoring the evidence and the analysis, but I can point them out to you.

You're just wrong in arguing that the eye and DNA are too complicated to have evolved without guidance. Two reasons, at least.

1. If you're going to argue irreducible complexity, you must apply the same argument to God, or whatever ID entity you posit to exist, which you can't do.

2. We know that the eye as we know it evolved from much a simpler body. Ken Miller explained this at Kearny High, and you can probably find explanations and illustrations of it on the internet.

The relevant and useful question isn't whether we can disprove things we know nothing about. The pertinent question is whether it makes any sense to worry about them. As Reinhold Niebuhr put it in his famous serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

You're spending a lot of time focusing on something you can't know or do anything about. I don't think that's a wise strategy. I don't disagree with some of your observations. My point is that they don't lead to anything productive or useful.

On the other hand, depending on what narrative you present in your theology, there are things I can rule out. The idea of a loving god with a hell waiting for us - that's absurd, and harmful. The idea that the one and only God would send his only begotten son to save us on condition of belief, but then neglect to tell most of the world about it so they could believe, is equally absurd. I'm amazed that people still believe this story, seeing how obvious it is that it's a cultural artifact, just like all the other religious narratives most Christians laugh at.

Add to that the fact that we know human beings have been making up stories about the nature and origins of things throughout all history, and the reasonable position seems obvious - if you're open to it. I know that won't sit well, but it's the truth.

I invited a dialogue on this subject on another topic. No one seems to want to have it. It's a pity. There's so much we could learn and accomplish, and so much we could do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We're not going to do it by retreating into our comfort zones, closing our eyes, plugging our ears, and pretending we don't know the obvious.

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As I stated previously, I.D. proponents AGREE the theory of evolution is undeniable.

That's not what was heard from the ID side of the Dover trial.

Where we

split company is your notion that evolution is blind. We believe evolution has been designed and

guided by God, we believe things like the basic cell, the eye and DNA are far to complicated to have

simply evolved without guidance.

And yet we know how all of those things evolved, without ever once having to invoke sentient 'guidance' to explain them. If a deity's involved, it is, at best, involved in the creation of the natural laws that 'run themselves', and that obviously lies outside of the scope of evolution itself.

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You can believe whatever you like, but you have no reasoned or empirical basis for it. I can't stop you from ignoring the evidence and the analysis, but I can point them out to you.

You're just wrong in arguing that the eye and DNA are too complicated to have evolved without guidance. Two reasons, at least.

1. If you're going to argue irreducible complexity, you must apply the same argument to God, or whatever ID entity you posit to exist, which you can't do.

Fallacy of begging the question. Paul doesn't know it. Biological structures are thought to have a beginning in time whether from an evolutionary standpoint or otherwise. Drawing the analogy to an eternal and infinite being (infinities tend to be mathematically simple, not complex) doesn't follow, for it is a leap into conjecture, not a fair appropriation of the original premise.

2. We know that the eye as we know it evolved from much a simpler body. Ken Miller explained this at Kearny High, and you can probably find explanations and illustrations of it on the internet.

... for some reason intelligent guidance of the evolution of the eye was apparently ruled out at some point. What was the rationale?

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Guest Kearny Christian
You can believe whatever you like, but you have no reasoned or empirical basis for it. I can't stop you from ignoring the evidence and the analysis, but I can point them out to you.

You're just wrong in arguing that the eye and DNA are too complicated to have evolved without guidance. Two reasons, at least.

1. If you're going to argue irreducible complexity, you must apply the same argument to God, or whatever ID entity you posit to exist, which you can't do.

2. We know that the eye as we know it evolved from much a simpler body. Ken Miller explained this at Kearny High, and you can probably find explanations and illustrations of it on the Internet.

The relevant and useful question isn't whether we can disprove things we know nothing about. The pertinent question is whether it makes any sense to worry about them. As Reinhold Niebuhr put it in his famous serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

You're spending a lot of time focusing on something you can't know or do anything about. I don't think that's a wise strategy. I don't disagree with some of your observations. My point is that they don't lead to anything productive or useful.

On the other hand, depending on what narrative you present in your theology, there are things I can rule out. The idea of a loving god with a hell waiting for us - that's absurd, and harmful. The idea that the one and only God would send his only begotten son to save us on condition of belief, but then neglect to tell most of the world about it so they could believe, is equally absurd. I'm amazed that people still believe this story, seeing how obvious it is that it's a cultural artifact, just like all the other religious narratives most Christians laugh at.

Add to that the fact that we know human beings have been making up stories about the nature and origins of things throughout all history, and the reasonable position seems obvious - if you're open to it. I know that won't sit well, but it's the truth.

I invited a dialogue on this subject on another topic. No one seems to want to have it. It's a pity. There's so much we could learn and accomplish, and so much we could do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We're not going to do it by retreating into our comfort zones, closing our eyes, plugging our ears, and pretending we don't know the obvious.

Interesting how your argument leads into a bible discussion. Atheists always like to bring up the

bible when they argue against I.D. Clearly, the bible contains many fables and parables that aren't

accurate that I think reflect the attitudes and fears of the ancient people that penned it's passages.

It's also interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the vast universe and all

it's wonders, earth and it's amazing forces; weather, gravity, radiation, etc. and of course evolution

were planned by I.D. All the Darwinians can show is that evolution is a fact. We all know that species

evolve, what Darwinians have been unable to show is where one specie became another (the missing

link). While Darwiniacs can't explain gravity (for example) they're quick to say God didn't do it.

You cannot disprove God's hand in all this any more than I can prove it. So we're left with faith, you

believe the incredible complexities of the gene pool, DNA, cell structure, etc. are all just natural selection,

serendipity and happenstance. I'm on God's side.

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1. Fallacy of begging the question. Paul doesn't know it. Biological structures are thought to have a beginning in time whether from an evolutionary standpoint or otherwise. Drawing the analogy to an eternal and infinite being (infinities tend to be mathematically simple, not complex) doesn't follow, for it is a leap into conjecture, not a fair appropriation of the original premise.

2. ... for some reason intelligent guidance of the evolution of the eye was apparently ruled out at some point. What was the rationale?

1. Fallacy of making it up as you go along. There is no known infinite being. Talk about a leap into conjecture.

2. There was never any reason to consider it in the first place. Bryan's argument is like complaining that you've never disproved the tooth fairy.

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You can believe whatever you like, but you have no reasoned or empirical basis for it. I can't stop you from ignoring the evidence and the analysis, but I can point them out to you.

You're just wrong in arguing that the eye and DNA are too complicated to have evolved without guidance. Two reasons, at least.

1. If you're going to argue irreducible complexity, you must apply the same argument to God, or whatever ID entity you posit to exist, which you can't do.

2. We know that the eye as we know it evolved from much a simpler body. Ken Miller explained this at Kearny High, and you can probably find explanations and illustrations of it on the internet.

The relevant and useful question isn't whether we can disprove things we know nothing about. The pertinent question is whether it makes any sense to worry about them. As Reinhold Niebuhr put it in his famous serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

You're spending a lot of time focusing on something you can't know or do anything about. I don't think that's a wise strategy. I don't disagree with some of your observations. My point is that they don't lead to anything productive or useful.

On the other hand, depending on what narrative you present in your theology, there are things I can rule out. The idea of a loving god with a hell waiting for us - that's absurd, and harmful. The idea that the one and only God would send his only begotten son to save us on condition of belief, but then neglect to tell most of the world about it so they could believe, is equally absurd. I'm amazed that people still believe this story, seeing how obvious it is that it's a cultural artifact, just like all the other religious narratives most Christians laugh at.

Add to that the fact that we know human beings have been making up stories about the nature and origins of things throughout all history, and the reasonable position seems obvious - if you're open to it. I know that won't sit well, but it's the truth.

I invited a dialogue on this subject on another topic. No one seems to want to have it. It's a pity. There's so much we could learn and accomplish, and so much we could do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We're not going to do it by retreating into our comfort zones, closing our eyes, plugging our ears, and pretending we don't know the obvious.

How do you explain the evolution of arrogance?

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1. Interesting how your argument leads into a bible discussion. Atheists always like to bring up the

bible when they argue against I.D. 2. Clearly, the bible contains many fables and parables that aren't accurate that I think reflect the attitudes and fears of the ancient people that penned it's passages.

3. It's also interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the vast universe and all it's wonders, earth and it's amazing forces; weather, gravity, radiation, etc. and of course evolution

were planned by I.D. 4. All the Darwinians can show is that evolution is a fact. We all know that species evolve, what Darwinians have been unable to show is where one specie became another (the missing

link). 5. While Darwiniacs can't explain gravity (for example) they're quick to say God didn't do it.

You cannot disprove God's hand in all this (6.) any more than I can prove it. So we're left with faith, you believe the incredible complexities of the gene pool, DNA, cell structure, etc. are all just natural selection,

serendipity and happenstance. 7. I'm on God's side.

You're missing the point at every turn.

1. The Niebuhr quote isn't from the Bible, but it is from a Christian theologian. No matter, it has nothing to do with the origins of the universe or the evolution of species. It's just wisdom, brilliantly stated. The source is irrelevant.

2. So how do you tell the difference? If you want to get into accusations, when are you going to start answering questions and addressing the other person's points?

3. Almost anything is hypothetically possible. There's a huge difference, though, between what is hypothetically possible and what we have reason to believe. What does it tell you that you have to mischaracterize the other person's argument in order to address it? Why isn't it equally marvelous that this universe and our lives are the marvelous results of the one central truth, which is nature? Why aren't you open to that?

4. So in fact you don't accept evolution, or understand it either. If you accepted it, you wouldn't deny what's called macro-evolution. And if you understood it, you wouldn't say that you accept evolution when you don't.

5. You're making a false assumption, namely, that the natural state of affairs is that we have the answers to all the questions. Darwinism has nothing to do with gravity, but if you mean scientists and rationists, most of them agree that there is no evidence of a god. You say there is, but you have no evidence for it. What is so hard about saying "I don't know."?

6. You're implicitly making the assumption that it's good to believe in things you know nothing about. The secularist/rationalist position is that it is not. Why is it a blessed thing to take ignorance and call it knowledge or worse still, wisdom?

7. What if there is a god, and he doesn't think so? You're on the side of what you believe. Whether there's a god, let alone one who agrees with you, is not addressed by your begging the question.

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Interesting how your argument leads into a bible discussion. Atheists always like to bring up the

bible when they argue against I.D. Clearly, the bible contains many fables and parables that aren't

accurate that I think reflect the attitudes and fears of the ancient people that penned it's passages.

It's also interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the vast universe and all

it's wonders, earth and it's amazing forces; weather, gravity, radiation, etc. and of course evolution

were planned by I.D. All the Darwinians can show is that evolution is a fact. We all know that species

evolve, what Darwinians have been unable to show is where one specie became another (the missing

link). While Darwiniacs can't explain gravity (for example) they're quick to say God didn't do it.

You cannot disprove God's hand in all this any more than I can prove it. So we're left with faith, you

believe the incredible complexities of the gene pool, DNA, cell structure, etc. are all just natural selection,

serendipity and happenstance. I'm on God's side.

For the last time, natural selection is not serendipity or happenstance. Gravity is not treated by evolutionists. It's an entirely different science.

The idea of a god is supernatural. Science deals only with the natural universe. It has nothing to say about god or gods.

You say that you believe in ID and evolution. Just where in the process does evolution come in?

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It's also interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the vast universe and all

it's wonders, earth and it's amazing forces; weather, gravity, radiation, etc. and of course evolution

were planned by I.D.

It's also interesting how you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the vast universe and all

it's wonders, earth and it's amazing forces; weather, gravity, radiation, etc. and of course evolution

were planned by invisible sentient teapots.

You have no evidence, therefore there is no reason to consider ID as anything more than blind speculation, which of course is absolutely worthless in science.

All the Darwinians can show is that evolution is a fact. We all know that species

evolve, what Darwinians have been unable to show is where one specie became another (the missing

link).

Wrong. Speciation has been observed. In fact, in human evolution, we now have SO many transitional forms that it's becoming difficult to tell where one species ends and the other begins.

While Darwiniacs can't explain gravity (for example)

1. Why would you expect a biologist to explain physics? Would you expect your history teacher to be able to derive the quadratic formula?

2. We understand gravity pretty well. How else could you explain our ability to apply that knowledge so successfully? For example, hitting a moving target a few miles wide, millions of miles away, like we do on a regular basis with probes etc.?

they're quick to say God didn't do it.

Actually, God never enters the question. Why would it? Science makes no comment on the supernatural. Therefore, one should expect nothing different than what we see, which is a lack of assertion in either direction about the role of this god or that (or those). Deities can't be scientifically verified, so there's no point in even opening that subject anywhere in science, since it won't advance anything scientifically to do so.

You cannot disprove God's hand in all this any more than I can prove it.

Just quit it with the persecution complex already. These scientists do nothing more than share their discoveries with the rest of us. Science makes no comment on the supernatural at ALL. Just because scientists don't invoke a god (for reasons already stated), doesn't mean that they are being atheistic--all good scientists know that the topic of deities is a whole other ball game. A god(s) might be a part of it, or it/they might not. But since that's outside the scope of science, it's only natural that scientists don't 'go there' to begin with. Why bother?

So we're left with faith, you

believe the incredible complexities of the gene pool, DNA, cell structure, etc. are all just natural selection,

We don't "believe" it. No faith is involved. The evidence clearly shows the cause, just as clearly as we understand what makes a dropped marble fall to the ground.

serendipity and happenstance. I'm on God's side.

Fine, but until you can prove both the existence and the role of your god with science, it's a moot point, and always will be.

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