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Religion or not? (split from science thread)
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Science has yet to prove that we are descended from apes, they can't seem to agree on that subject, I've heard many options, sea otters, chimps, and something else, I can't remember.


The scientific evidence suggests that humans and modern apes have a common ancestor. Chimps and bonobos are our closest living relatives. If you think of a family tree, I would say that my cousin and I are have grandparents in common. Or in other words, we are descended from common ancestors. I would not, however, say that I am descended from my cousin anymore than I would say that humans are descended from chimps.

DNA fingerprinting in humans to determine paternity (and to match a victim's and suspect's' blood to a crime scene) works because relatives have fewer DNA differences between them than un-related people do. Likewise, humans have DNA that is 99% identical to chimps. There are a few more differences between humans and gorillas, orangatuns and other great apes.

Remember when I told you that some genes are found in all living things. These core genes pick up changes very slowly because they are so critical for life's functions. If you compare the DNA sequences for one of these genes, say cytochrome c, you will see that there are fewer differences between humans humans, apes, monkeys, and other primates than there are between humans and other mammals. The number of differences increases as you go from mammals to reptiles to amphibians to fish to protozoa to archeabacteria to bacteria. This gene has the same function in all of these organisms, so you can't say that you expect the gene to be more similar in organisms that look alike than in those that don't. The only logical explanation is that the orginal cytochrome c gene has changed slowly over time and that those organisms that have more similar sequences shared a common ancestor more recently than those organisms with more differences.


Some additional information:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIBPhylogenies.shtml


http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/search/search_lessons.php?sort_by=audience_rank&topic_id=&keywords=teach+about+common+ancestry&Submit=Search
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The arrangement of genes and chromosomes differs among species. Like gene sequences, more closely related species would be expected to have more similar gene and chromosome arrangements than more distantly related species do. This would be unlikely to occur unless species descended from common ancestors.

There are also genetic elements called transposons that can jump around in the gene. One would expect them to be located in similar parts of the genome in more closely related species than in more distantly related ones if common descent is true.

Some retroviruses become integrated in chromosomes and get passed down from generation to generation. If common descent is true, then one would expect more closely related species to have the same retroviruses in the same place, while more distantly related species wouldn't have them or they would be in different places in the chromosome.

http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html#retroviruses
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knobren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several reasons that scientists don't like to particpate in debates with creationists.

1) Creationists tend to only be aware of a tiny fraction of the evidence involved.

2) Creationists are usually resistant to learning anything about the rest of the evidence.

3) Creationists' arguments demonstrate that they don't understand the science they are arguing about.

4) Creationists tend to keep misusing terminology or restating errant conclusions about scientific methods or deductions even after scientists try to correct these misunderstandings.

(This feels like listening to a child who covers her ears and runs around saying, "I can't hear you!".)

5) Creationists get their information from non-scientists or quacks instead of listening to the professionals.

(Do you get financial information from an accountant or from Bob down the street? Do you try to debate quantum physics or any other scientific concept with a physicist? Why then do you feel qualified to debate biologists about evolutionary science?)

(Even if some scientists discount evolution, they are people who are either in non-related fields or are quacks. Although I am a biologist, I certainly don't pretend to know much about quantum physics. Do you know what they call the person who graduates at the bottom of his/her graduating class in medical school?...Doctor. We all know that all doctors are not equal, just as all plumbers, accountants, etc. are not equally good at their professions. Just because a person is a scientist, it doesn't mean that he/she is a good one or that they know everything about every field.)


The only time that people like me are willing to enter into these debates is when we think that there might be some open minded people participating in the discussion or listening to it.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ideology of science is pure, however the practice of science is tainted with what is politically correct so that one's career may advance and one's work will be recognized. One may step to the edge, but those who dare to step too far from the group's agreed conformance will quickly be given the label of "quack" to be sure their careers die the lonely death of ridicule.

The only real truths that are accepted in the scientific community have been stamped with group mentality approval and the group with the most clout currently is pro evolution. There is no evidence against evolution because they don't accept it--basically the same thing they accuse of creationists.

Every opinion regarding the origins of the world and man are theories based on circular reasoning. Not one theory can be proven because nothing can be recreated to observe the process objectively. Regardless of what evidence is produce to argue against opposing theory, it is deflected because it does not fit into one's circle of reasoning. This is how it works in science on this particular subject and it is also how it works with faith/religion, therefore the debates about both are endless and all they really prove is how well one can defend his own little circle of reasoning. In the end, I have found this is the only truth that I learned in debating issues of this kind:

You only find what you seek and you only believe what you choose to believe.

Have fun everyone! Cool I have been there, done that, and have much better things to do with my time.

By the way, I am a believer in a 6-day creation and a young earth. It does not matter to me how illogical that is. What matters to me is the doubt. Whenever there is any doubt, I choose to take the Bible quite literally, as a child would, for I am a child in God's eyes and I believe He had the Bible written for that purpose.

As for what I teach my child, I have to teach evolution to some extent because it is so ingrained in our society and in so many books on science that I really have no choice in the matter--if I did have a choice, I probably still would as one of a number of theories regarding origin. However, I also tell my daughter that mankind all over has made up all kinds of stories to explain how we and the earth came to be, because they did not know God and there are always disputes in the interpretation of evidence, even with all our technology.

Maybe she will choose to believe in evolution...? That is fine with me. I will not kick her out and call her a "quack," nor debate her for years to harden her heart against me or, worse, against God. It is not as important to me that she believe as I do about how and when the universe was created as it that she develops the desire to seek God's heart.

So, I will leave with this last question for you all: What is your purpose in debating this issue?
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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So, I will leave with this last question for you all: What is your purpose in debating this issue?


1) Scientific literacy - it is important that our citizens understand the difference between science and religion, the scientific method, and key biological concepts.

2) Understanding evolution is important in understanding modern issues involving medicine, agriculture, and conservation. If one is to understand these issues, make personal decisions about their own behavior, and vote for people who will be determining matters related to our health, food supply, and environment, then one needs to understand evolution.

Examples:

Evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria, drug resistant malaria parasites, pesticide resistant insects (malaria-carrying mosquitoes and crop eating pests).

Why it is difficult to make a vaccine for HIV? - It evolves too quickly.
Why do I need a flu vaccine every year? - Influenza virus evolves quickly.
What is the big deal about bird flu? - Understanding how viruses jump from one species to another (pandemics happen this way)
Why shouldn't ranchers feed lifestock antibiotics in their diet? - antibiotic resistant bacteria evolve that can either infect people directly or pass their genes to other bacteria that infect us.
Why is it more effective to treat an HIV or malaria patient with more than one drug? Individual viruses or parasites are less likely to possess mutations that protect them from two types of drugs than from one, so resistant viruses/parasites are less likely to evolve.
Why is it important to maintain genetic diversity in crops? - Diversity is required for adaptation to changing conditions, ie. new pests, new diseases, climate change (global warming)
What are the dangers in using genetically engineered crops? - Less genetic diversity in food supply, possibility of selecting resistant pests, possibility of cross pollination with related weeds, etc.
Why are farmers required to plant non-BT corn near BT corn? to try to stall the development of resistant pests by dilution of selective pressure.
Why are endangered species so vulnerable? They tend to be in small numbers and isolated from others of their kind, so they are often inbred and don't have much genetic diversity left. That means they are particularly vulnerable to new diseases and environmental changes, because they don't have the means to adapt very well.
Why is it better to have larger tracts of conserved land than lots of little patches? It is hard for species to find and breed with those in other patches. There are different selective pressures at the edges of a tract than in the middle - different predators, different plants, etc.


How are those for a few examples? And some creationists claim there is no such thing as a good mutation, while kind of acknowledging that microevolution actually occurs. You can't have it both ways!
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as a good mutation. All the microevolution in the world will only produce an advantage under certain specific conditions, and outside of those conditions, the species is weaker. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are stronger than non-resistant bacteria in the presence of antiobiotics, but as soon as the antibiotics are removed, they quickly lose their resistance because the new form is weaker overall. That's not improving the bacteria, that's damaging them.

Let's say there are a bunch of people trapped inside a cave. The only opening left is a very small one. Most of the people can't get out because their shoulders are too wide, but one was born without arms due to a genetic error and is able to slide his way to safety. Would you say that being born without arms is an improvement? No. So how can you extrapolate from microevolution - which only improves things under specific local conditions - to macroevolution - which advances life overall? It makes zero sense.
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nutritional Adaptation
http://anthro.palomar.edu/adapt/adapt_5.htm

Lactase gene turned on in adults in areas that used dairy products = good mutation, allows use of a food source

Nylon-eating bacteria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylonase

Bacteria have evolved new enzymes to digest Nylon, a man-made substance that has only been around since 1935 = good mutation, allows use of a new food source
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knobren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try answering these questions, Theodore.


Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions
http://talkorigins.org/faqs/fabnaq.html
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Mark
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

knobren wrote:
There are several reasons that scientists don't like to particpate in debates with creationists.

*snipped even though they were amusing.. Smile *

5) Creationists get their information from non-scientists or quacks instead of listening to the professionals.

ROFL thanks, I needed the chuckle Smile

Quote:

(Do you get financial information from an accountant or from Bob down the street?

Bob does better in his investments. Smile
Quote:
Do you try to debate quantum physics or any other scientific concept with a physicist?

certainly. Smile

Quote:
Why then do you feel qualified to debate biologists about evolutionary science?)

because it's an interesting way to pass the time? Cool
Quote:


(Even if some scientists discount evolution, they are people who are either in non-related fields or are quacks.

according to many evolution proponents I have spoken with, there are
no non-related fields.
And you really don't want me to get started on the designation of Quack.. Laughing
Quote:
Although I am a biologist, I certainly don't pretend to know much about quantum physics.

it's a fascinating field to look into. Smile
of course, so is biology, Smile
Quote:
Do you know what they call the person who graduates at the bottom of his/her graduating class in medical school?...Doctor.


Do you know what I call the person who graduates in the top tier of
his/her class in medical school? misinformed.
There are many brilliant doctors out there that do not have the correct
data and as such are a menace to myself and my children, all because
what they were taught was somewhat biased.

Quote:
We all know that all doctors are not equal,

correct, some of them are open minded enough to realize that they
didn't learn everything and thusly can be of great value to society.
Quote:
just as all plumbers, accountants, etc. are not equally good at their professions.

correct.
Quote:
Just because a person is a scientist, it doesn't mean that he/she is a good one or that they know everything about every field.)


and just because a scientist disagrees with the predominant viewpoint
doesn't mean that they are incorrect, just that they are outnumbered. Cool

mark
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Mark
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seekingmyLord wrote:
So, I will leave with this last question for you all: What is your purpose in debating this issue?
I usually don't anymore, for similar reasons. Smile
Way to busy dealing with other issues. Smile

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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
and just because a scientist disagrees with the predominant viewpoint
doesn't mean that they are incorrect, just that they are outnumbered. Cool

mark

Well said! Smile
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knobren
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
There is no such thing as a good mutation. All the microevolution in the world will only produce an advantage under certain specific conditions, and outside of those conditions, the species is weaker. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are stronger than non-resistant bacteria in the presence of antiobiotics, but as soon as the antibiotics are removed, they quickly lose their resistance because the new form is weaker overall. That's not improving the bacteria, that's damaging them.

Let's say there are a bunch of people trapped inside a cave. The only opening left is a very small one. Most of the people can't get out because their shoulders are too wide, but one was born without arms due to a genetic error and is able to slide his way to safety. Would you say that being born without arms is an improvement? No. So how can you extrapolate from microevolution - which only improves things under specific local conditions - to macroevolution - which advances life overall? It makes zero sense.


Your analogy is flawed. Try this one. There are sprinters and there are long-distance runners. Neither is intinsictly "better". Who "wins" depends on the type of race (current conditions) - 100m dash or 10k run.

Organisms adapt to their current environments. If I take a fresh-water fish and throw it in the ocean, it will die. The "good" mutations that allow it to survive in freshwater are "bad" for it in the new environment.

Like I said before, evolution is not progress toward a perfect state.

By the way, doctors have returned to cutting out parts of TB patients' lungs because they can't treat the antibiotic resistant bacteria. People are dying from TB in increasing numbers. Are these bacteria "weak"? People pass antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria to one another. Are these bacteria reverting to non-resistant strains "quickly"? Drug-resistant bacteria are difficult to treat. They require long term (years) treatment with more expensive drugs with more dangerous side-effects or more drastic treatments like surgery. Patients with drug-resistant strains are also infectious for a longer period of time, so they are more likely to infect others. Two million people die each year from TB. The WHO estimates that 1/3 of the human population is infected with TB. Some of them have curable strains and some have multi-drug resistant strains. You seem to believe that resistant strains are weak. Think again!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/series/video/index.html

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35815

"The World Health Organization estimates that up to 50 million persons worldwide may be infected with drug resistant strains of TB. Also, 300,000 new cases of MDR-TB are diagnosed around the world each year and 79 percent of the MDR-TB cases now show resistance to three or more drugs.6"

"Treatment for MDR-TB involves drug therapy over many months or years. Despite the longer course of treatment, the cure rate decreases from over 90 percent for nonresistant strains of TB to 50 percent or less for MDR-TB.12"
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of this proves how lizards could have evolved into birds, or monkeys into humans. I don't know how many ways I can say that. You've given about a million examples of microevolution, and not one for macroevolution - because macroevolution is by nature not observable or reproduceable. The only similarity between the two is the name. If antiobiotic-resistant bacteria are a step forward for bacteria as a whole, then why do they lose their resistance when taken to an area with no antibiotics? If this were going to be proof for evolution (and by that I mean macro), resistance would have to be a permanent advantage, not something that weakens the bacteria overall.

I'm sure you will disagree on this one point until the end of time, and so will I, so further posting is pointless.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

knobren wrote:
Organisms adapt to their current environments. If I take a fresh-water fish and throw it in the ocean, it will die. The "good" mutations that allow it to survive in freshwater are "bad" for it in the new environment.

Actually, it is more accurate to say that all life is opportunistic, always taking the path of least resistance.

For instance, the feral cats of Australia, which were not indigenous. With so few natural predators and plenty of prey, they thrived, but researchers found that the white cats were more numerous around farms while the darker cats thrived the wild. Was this because the cats were segregating themselves or that the white cats like human company more or genetic evolution at work? No. The conclusion was that white cats had the opportunity to thrive on the farms with food and better shelter, while those in the wild were more easily seen by their prey and they were also killed because of their predators taking the opportunity presented there in easily finding the white cats.

Life finds a way, but that does not prove there must be an evolutionary process at work.


Last edited by seekingmyLord on Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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knobren
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
None of this proves how lizards could have evolved into birds, or monkeys into humans. I don't know how many ways I can say that. You've given about a million examples of microevolution, and not one for macroevolution - because macroevolution is by nature not observable or reproduceable. The only similarity between the two is the name. If antiobiotic-resistant bacteria are a step forward for bacteria as a whole, then why do they lose their resistance when taken to an area with no antibiotics? If this were going to be proof for evolution (and by that I mean macro), resistance would have to be a permanent advantage, not something that weakens the bacteria overall.

I'm sure you will disagree on this one point until the end of time, and so will I, so further posting is pointless.



Those TB bacteria aren't losing their resistance. They aren't weakened.

There would be no ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, etc) if the gene for lysozyme hadn't been duplicated, picked up mutations that allowed it to function in acidic conditions, and selected for because it allowed these animals to utilize a food source. Animals can't break down cellulose, the carbohydrate that makes up plant cell walls. Only bacteria and protozoa can digest it. The bacteria in the rumen use the cellulose as a food source to survive and reproduce. The cow then digests the bacteria using lysozyme to break open bacterial cell walls. We have lysozyme in our tears and saliva that helps protect us from bacterial infection, cows do too, but that lysozyme wouldn't work in the stomach.

I have given you a link to evidence of macroevolution, more than once, but you keep ignoring it.
http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/camp.html
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