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WishboneDawn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just an echo here but again, it's the secular stuff that's hard to find. Some curriculum tries to walk the fence by excluding mention of evolution but I almost find that more objectionable then the creationist stuff.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why? A knowledge of evolution is not necessary for understanding basic science. Given, I think evolution is something you need to learn about, since creation vs evolution is a major issue, but it's a whole separate topic and shouldn't (in my opinion) just be mixed in helter-skelter. It just confuses things if you have to go off on a tangent every time you're trying to study chemistry, biology, anatomy, etc.
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore, you and I have already had this argument. As a biologist, I have told you that the theory of evolution is the main theme in biological science. It is right up there with theories about genetics and cells. YOU may not accept that, but to tell others it isn't important to learning biological science is like telling people that they can cover physics without addressing the theory of gravity. It is your religious bias showing up again. Just like when you prevented me from posting information about a Sean B. Carroll book that integrated various topics in biology into an evolutionary framework, because you personally don't believe in evolution, except for a few instances of microevolution.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prevented you from posting what amounted to an ad for a commercial product. It had nothing to do with the fact that I also disagreed with the book's content. You are perfectly free to post a short description and link for the book in reply to an existing thread asking for info on secular science materials.

Gravity can be easily observed and is an integral tool for describing how things work in the universe. Macroevolution, on the other hand, can not be observed, reproduced, or have a science experiment designed to test it. I'm perfectly happy to see microevolution (more properly named variation / natural selection) included in science books, but microevolution does not equate to macroevolution, and macroevolution is what people mean when they say evolution.

All in all, I still think that it would make things much simpler if science textbooks stuck to what can be observed, reproduced, or tested. You don't need to know where the first bacteria came from to understand what bacteria look and act like now. Origins should be a whole separate topic.
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Microevolution", changes in gene (allele) frequencies in a population over time, cannot be called "variation" or "natural selection". In other words, microevolution is a change in the relative proportions of DNA "variations".

Variation in DNA occurs via mutation. Natural selection is one mechanism, but not the only one, that can lead to changes in frequencies of the forms of genes (alleles) that appear because of mutation. Therefore, "microevolution" is not equivalent to either "variation" or "natural selection".

"Macroevolution" can be broadly defined as the evolution of new body parts or as the "common descent" of organisms from an ancestoral organism.

I gave you plenty of resources explaining these terms before, but you still don't understand or appreciate the precision of scientific terminology or the concepts of evolution. (ie. talkorigins.org)
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, macroevolution can also be used to describe speciation (the development of new species). Basically, macroevolution is "big evolution" and covers evolution at or above the species level.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "development of new species" is not observable, reproduceable, or able to be tested - unless of course you change your definition of "species" to mean any difference all the way down to the DNA level. But that, like renaming variation and natural selection to microevolution, is misleading. You might get many different species of lizard from a lizard, but will you ever get a bird? No. For that matter, will the lizards farther from the norm have greater survivability? Maybe under certain local conditions, but not for the species as a whole.

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"Macroevolution" can be broadly defined as the evolution of new body parts or as the "common descent" of organisms from an ancestoral organism.


I agree. I don't see how any of that is more than theoretical, however. Mutations can add copies of what's already there, or damage it, but mutations never strengthen the species as a whole, or at least have never been observed to do so. Resistant bacteria are weaker, and outperformed by non-resistant bacteria if allowed to reproduce free of outside factors. Millions of generations of fruit flies have shown not a single benefitial mutation. You can theorize all you want about small increments over millions of years, but unless you can observe, reproduce, or test them, you can't call macroevolution science.

Again, the whole question of where life came from and why it's here is religious in nature, and your religious assumptions will manipulate your science, not the other way around. The history of evolution is full of minterpretation and outright fraud. At least creationists are honest enough to admit they can't prove creation.
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WishboneDawn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
Why? A knowledge of evolution is not necessary for understanding basic science. Given, I think evolution is something you need to learn about, since creation vs evolution is a major issue, but it's a whole separate topic and shouldn't (in my opinion) just be mixed in helter-skelter. It just confuses things if you have to go off on a tangent every time you're trying to study chemistry, biology, anatomy, etc.


Why? Because I agree with knobren. To study chemistry, biology and anatomy without understanding evolution is like contructing a house with no foundation.
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WishboneDawn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
The history of evolution is full of minterpretation and outright fraud.


'Full of' is a huge stretch. Regardless, it isn't to science's shame that some of that has occured. That such stuff has been weeded out and exposed shows the effectiveness of the scientific method that evolution is subject to.

Contrast that to things like the Paluxy footprints which have been throughly discredited and yet still make the rounds on creationist sites.

When science makes a mistake, like Piltdown man, it corrects itself. When creationists make a similar mistake, like the Paluxy prints, there's no method of correction (because there is no science) and it lives on.

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At least creationists are honest enough to admit they can't prove creation.


That really hasn't been my experience. I've met people who claim there is absolute proof and many who claim there's more proof for creationism then for evolution. In general I've found creationists to be great people but poorly informed about science, deliberately ignorant about scientific method and the scientific theory and completely uncritical of anything advanced in the name of creationism. Maybe not dishonest, but certainly naive.

I've also found that many seem to be unaware of christian history and tradition beyond their own denomination, but I think that tends to be something common to a lot of denominations.
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4given
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WishboneDawn wrote:
I've met people who claim there is absolute proof and many who claim there's more proof for creationism then for evolution. In general I've found creationists to be great people but poorly informed about science, deliberately ignorant about scientific method and the scientific theory and completely uncritical of anything advanced in the name of creationism. Maybe not dishonest, but certainly naive.


I'm probably just opening myself up for personal attack, here but since I am a part of the "naive"...

You surely realize that, in general, we on the otherside believe the same about you. It's a debate that will continue as long as people are living. It all comes down to this..."where did that come from?"..."but, where did that come from" and on and on. I remember being a 10 yo child in PS and already knowing that evolution made no sense. And I was from a PAGAN family. I am not a biologist nor am I a theologian...IMO, it takes much greater faith to believe macroevolution than it does to believe creationism. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Whether or not you want to acknowledge it, anyone who believes evol. is operating in faith. So, we are not so different in that respect. Resorting to personal attacks never accomplishes anything.
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Creationists always claim that there isn't any evidence for evolution. There is LOADS of evidence from many different disciplines. Y'all just chose to believe the bogus attacks on the evidence instead of believing in or understanding the real science behind it. Strangely, this doesn't happen in other areas of science! How can someone choose to believe unqualified people's criticisms of scientific evidence in one area, just because those people are saying something that makes them feel better, so they don't have to feel uncomfortable questioning their beliefs?

Those with more open minds might try reading some of the FAQs about evolution at: http://talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

Those who claim that Christians can't believe in evolution should consult The Clergy Letter project - it contains 10, 725 signatures of clergy members who see no conflict between evolution and Christianity. Also, Pope John Paul II acknowledged the amount of evidence supporting the theories of evolution and said that they did not conflict with the Bible, reinforcing previous statements made by Pope Pius XI.

Creationists are rather like the folks who thought that Gallileo's evidence supporting the sun as the center of the solar system was contrary to the Bible, because surely God would have put his creations at the center of the solar system and that solar system at the center of the galaxy (which it isn't). I think that everyone now accepts these facts, even if they don't know anything about the science behind it.
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bobbinsx5
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
IMO, it takes much greater faith to believe macroevolution than it does to believe creationism. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Whether or not you want to acknowledge it, anyone who believes evol. is operating in faith. So, we are not so different in that respect. Resorting to personal attacks never accomplishes anything.


This is so true!

I'm curious, though. I don't get on here a lot, but it seems like everytime I do there is a lot of argueing back and forth. It's not even educated banter, just argueing. Why is that?
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book that I was talking about was called "The Making of the Fittest - DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" (2006) by Sean B. Carroll. It is an excellent book written for the layperson. It could be good for an adult who wants to understand evolution better. It might also be useful for older teens. I think that it might work for homeschool purposes for those who like the idea of integrating information instead of breaking topics down like a textbook does. In addition to addressing evolution and natural selection, the book also discusses DNA structure and function, DNA replication for cell division, the causes and effects of mutations, DNA fingerprint analysis, control genes, some physiology, and some ecology.
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobbinsx5 wrote:
IMO, it takes much greater faith to believe macroevolution than it does to believe creationism. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Whether or not you want to acknowledge it, anyone who believes evol. is operating in faith.

But there is the rub - evolution is no more faith based than any other aspect of science! To say that it is faith based is an admission that one doesn't understand how science works. There is absolutely no evidence that is contrary to the theory of evolution. If there were, the theory would have to be modified or rejected - that is how science works! A scientific theory is a well-supported expanation for how something works, where "well-supported" means by the evidence not by a show of hands. To a scientist, "theory" is as close to proven as science can get.


Last edited by knobren on Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For educated banter, you sort of need two people who are both willing to decide the issue based on available fact and observation.

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Creationists always claim that there isn't any evidence for evolution. There is LOADS of evidence from many different disciplines. Y'all just chose to believe the bogus attacks on the evidence instead of believing in or understanding the real science behind it.


Hmm. Mount Saint Helens carved canyons hundreds of feet deep, laid down hundreds of feet of rock, fossilized tree trunks standing upright. Experiments in 2001 also showed how rock layers, complete with strata and substrata, can be laid down sideways by sediment-carrying water. This is a clear case of observation and experiment both disagreeing with theory (Geologic Column), yet evolutionists ignore that and continue to believe that rock layers must be laid down over millions of years.

Millions of generations of fruit flies showed not a single benefitial mutation. This doesn't prove anything, but it doesn't supply the expected evidence for evolution either.

Moon dust, which evolutionists calculated would be 50+ feet deep if the moon were millions of years old, turned out to be "Just enough to kick." Again, no evidence for a large time scale.

The sun burns off mass and gradually shrinks, and if you extrapolate back a billion years, the earth is sitting inside the sun, or at the very least cooked to a crisp.

The same bone structures supposedly representative of "ancient man" can be also found in modern-day humans, and explained by a coarse diet, disease (arthritis), etc. It's interesting how you get a rational explanation if you tell someone that a skeleton is from a thousand years ago, but not if the same skeleton is from a rock layer hundreds of thousands of years old (see above).

The only subject left that isn't 100% clear-cut (at least in my opinion) is biology, and that only because biology is so advanced that it's easy to muddy the issue. I simply don't know enough to investigate whether or not the evidence is being misinterpreted. I will say this, though - mutation and variation have never been demonstrated as advancing the species, and while you can say that it's theoretically possible (punctuated equilibrium, etc.) you have to believe that it happened that way, you can't prove it.

Quote:
Those who claim that Christians can't believe in evolution should consult The Clergy Letter project - it contains 10, 725 signatures of clergy members who see no conflict between evolution and Christianity


There are also "Christians" who believe that divorce and homosexuality are ok, and even a handful who believe that they're doing the right thing if they shoot abortionists. They're Christian by name only if they don't agree with the totality of the Bible, sorry.

Quote:
Creationists are rather like the folks who thought that Gallileo's evidence supporting the sun as the center of the solar system was contrary to the Bible, because surely God would have put his creations at the center of the solar system and that solar system at the center of the galaxy (which it isn't).


I would say that the followers of Aristotle are more like evolutionists, unwilling to cast off the parts of their theory that disagree with simple observation. As science advances, evolution has to be constantly patched to explain new things, while creationism becomes easier and easier to explain. The water experiment I mention above (which I have personally seen a video of in action) is a case in point. Now we know how tree trunks can stand upright through millions of years' worth of rock layers - the rock layers are actually laid down over a matter of days or hours.

Also, in point of fact, while we are not at the center of the solar system, we may be at the center of the universe, seeing as how almost everything seems to be traveling away from us (with the exception of some stars on the outer edges of galaxies, which may be moving towards us while the galaxy moves away). You can't conclusively prove the issue one way or the other. If we were placed at random in the universe, you'd expect to see half the stars moving towards us and half moving away, which isn't in fact the case. Regarding the whole issue of distances and light reaching us from millions of years away, light speed varies according to gravitational field, so if we are in fact in the center of the galaxy, and things were closer together in the past, light would travel significantly faster and over shorter distances, perhaps allowing light to reach us in thousands of years. Or you could just believe that light was created stretching all the way from the most distant star to us - it doesn't really matter from a religious standpoint.
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