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Aron-Ra v. BoranJarami

Discussion in 'Creation/Evolution Formal Debates' started by Aron-Ra, Dec 22, 2006.

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  1. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    Wonderful! Thank you. I would welcome such an opportunty before I stop participating in this panel altogether in the next few weeks. You post your initial questions and your contentions or criteria you expect me to meet. Yours will be the first post. My response will be the close of the first mutual exchange.
     
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  2. BoranJarami

    BoranJarami Regular Member

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    First off, let me start of by saying that I in no way shape or form think there is anything wrong with believing in theistic evolution. It is just that I was raised with the belief of YEC and from what I have looked into I have not seen enough evidence for me to change positions. If evolution can be proven to me, I would not hesitate to accept it.

    Also, I have no qualms with evolution in general. What I do not accept is common ancestery and the ability of natural selection to account for all the diversity in species.

    That being said, let me describe for you what it would take for me to believe in the theory of evolution.

    First, it would need to be proven that viable genetic material can be added to a species genetics and that they can be taken away and make a more fit animal (or plant). This would account for the great variety in ammounts of genetic data found in the diversity of species that exist today.

    Second, a reasonable explaination would have to be give for the development of biological structures that have been termed "irreducibly complex" which are complex structers in organisms that would not work if they were reduced in complexity.

    Third, it would have to be shown that there is evidence in the fossil record that shows the development of one type of animal from a significantly different type of animal (such as from a reptile to a bird or lower primate to a human).

    Fourth, it must be shown that the Earth is in fact old enough for natural selection to accomplish the development of the species that exist today.

    Sound simple enough?

    How about you? What would it take for you reject the theory of evolution?
     
  3. Valkhorn

    Valkhorn the Antifloccinaucinihilipili ficationist

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    Can we respond? I'm itching to post answers to his questions.
     
  4. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    This forum is not closed. So as far as I'm concerned, you're welcome to post what you want. If the thread gets derailed by other parties, we'll just need to ignore that, and concentrate on each other.
     
  5. I_Love_Cheese

    I_Love_Cheese Veteran

    +52
    Agnostic
    How about we let Aron Ra take the first few rounds, this guy has so far posted the most reasonable YEC post that I have seen yet, and I would like to see this play out without turning into a flame war.

    I will also be curious to see BJ's reasoning, as his writiing is already a cut above the average.
     
  6. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    Thank you, but you'll have to wait a few hours for my reply. I can't post more than a sentence or two at a time until late tonight.
     
  7. I_Love_Cheese

    I_Love_Cheese Veteran

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    Agnostic
    Take your time, but I will reiterate, I am intersted in BJ's response as well. Discovering Lily and OnceDeceived have managed a serious debate, I have hopes that this could be another.
     
  8. Tomk80

    Tomk80 Titleless

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    I agree. Many of the creationists here do get an avalanche of reactions. Most deserve it too. But I would definitely like to not see BJ getting completely overwhelmed with so many posts that he cannot answer them well.
     
  9. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

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    Discovering Lily?
    Considering or Discovering which is more descriptive?
    Anyhoo, I have hopes for this debate being serious as well.

    I noted from my interactions with Boran in another thread, that he seems polite and reasonable.

     
  10. I_Love_Cheese

    I_Love_Cheese Veteran

    +52
    Agnostic
    Apologies to the degree they are warranted, at least I got part of your name right since you also remind me of a Lili who is, like you, one of the most inquisitive people I know.

    Anyhoo, here's to another thread to drag this forum out of it's idiocy.
     
  11. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

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    Your gracious apology is accepted. I have already forgotten what you apologized for.

    Now back to the OP.

    I also forgot. My family is going out of town. I'll miss a week if it lasts that long.:(
     
  12. I_Love_Cheese

    I_Love_Cheese Veteran

    +52
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    You mean you will miss a week of their idiocy if they can stay out of town that long?

    Never mind, enjoy whatever the week brings.

    Cheese.
     
  13. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

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    No me and my family will be leaving for Disneyland on Tuesday.

    It will be more like Goofyness than idiocy.:wave:
     
  14. I_Love_Cheese

    I_Love_Cheese Veteran

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    Well then, here's to Goofyness!

    Enjoy!

    See ya later alligator.
     
  15. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    That is excellent, and its very surprising to hear you say that too, because that is nothing like the usual YEC position:

    "By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimedevidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."
    --Answersingenesis.org

    "verbal inspiration guarantees that these writings, as originally and miraculously given, are infallible and completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free from error of any sort, scientific [sic] and historical as well as moral and theological."
    --Institute for Creation Research

    "[this school]....stresses the Word of God as the only source of truth in our world."
    --Canyon Creek Christian Academy

    "...the autographs of the 66 canonical books of the Bible are objectively inspired, infallible and the inerrant Word of God in all of their parts and in all matters of which they speak (history, theology, science, etc.)."
    --Mark Cadwallader's 'Creation Moments'

    "The Bible is the divinely inspired written Word of God. Because it is inspired throughout, it is completely free from error--scientifically, historically, theologically, and morally. Thus it is the absolute authority in all matters of truth, faith, and conduct. The final guide to the interpretation of the Bible is the Bible itself. God's world must always agree with God's Word, because the Creator of the one is the Author of the other. Thus, where physical evidences from the creation may be used to confirm the Bible, these evidences must never be used to correct or interpret the Bible. The written Word must take priority in the event of any apparent conflict."
    --Mark Ramsey's 'Greater Houston Creation Association'

    Revealed truth: That which is revealed in Scripture, whether or not man has scientifically proved it. If it is in the Bible, it is already true without requiring additional proof.
    ...Fallacy: that which contradicts God's revealed truth, no matter how scientific, how commonly believed, or how apparently workable or logical it may seem
    --Bob Jones University, Biology Student Text (3rd ed.- 2 vol.)

    There is no need for you to reply to this as you have already clarified that these people do not represent you or your views.
     
  16. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    Yes. First, of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are insertions [additions] and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away, and in either case, these may be "viable".

    Bare in mind, that according to the National Center for Biotechnological Information, we have an overall average rate of 128 mutations per human zygote. These usually account for no more than the apparent differences between siblings who would otherwise be identical were it not for these mutations. As we grow, and our cells continue to replicate, we accumate more mutations, which is why even identical twins tend to become increasingly distinct the older they get. There's another important facet of evolution related to this which we will get into later. These new mutations gained as we grow increase the chances of being inherited by the next generation.

    Some of these mutations can be harmful, but the vast majority are completely neutral, and a few are definitely beneficial.

    [​IMG]

    For example, a group of kinfolk in in the village of Limone Sul Garda in northern Italy have a mutation which gives them better tolerance of HDL serum cholesterol. Consequently this family has no history of heart attacks dispite their high-risk dietary habits. This mutation was traced to a single common ancestor living in the 1700's, but has now spread to dozens of descendants. Genetic samples from this family are now being tested for potential treatment of patients of heart disease.

    The Vadoma tribe, AKA the "Ostrich People", a family in Zimbabwe share a disctintive inherited mutation in their feet, (and sometimes in their hands also) which deprives them of all the bones for their three middle toes. These people claim the advantages of this include their ability to run faster and climb trees much better than normal-footed people.

    [​IMG]

    Another example of new variance is the Glycophorin A somatic cell mutation (Jensen, R. H., S. Zhang, et al. (1997) which has been identified in some Tibetans, which allows them to endure prolongued periods at altitudes of 7,000 feet without succumbing to apoplexia, or “altitude sickness”. A different, but similar mutation was identified in high altitude natives in the Andes.

    Another example of that is the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of whites of European origin now carry it. But the incidence is only 2% in central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and American Indians. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about 700 years ago, evidently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless (or neutral) in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature; if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant (if not immune) to AIDS.
    (source: Science-Frontiers.com / PBS.org)

    Similarly, population genetics is being credited as one reason incidence of sickle-cell gene in African-Americans is apparently decreasing over time.

    There’s also a family in Germany who are already unusually strong. But in one case, one of their children was born with a double copy of an anti-myostatin mutation carried by both parents. The result is a herculian kiddo who was examined at only a few days old for his unusually well-developed muscles. By four years old, he had twice the mucle mass of normal children, and half the fat. Pharmaceutical synthesis of this mutation is being examined for potential use against muscular dystrophy or sarcopenia.

    There is also a family in Connecticut that has been identified as having hyperdense, virtually unbreakable bones:
    “Members of this family carry a genetic mutation that causes high bone density. They have a deep and wide jaw and bony growth on the palate. Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Genetics, along with Karl L. Insogna, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Yale Bone Center, and colleagues, traced the mutation to a gene that was the subject of an earlier study. In that study researchers showed that low bone density could be caused by a mutation that disrupts the function of a gene called LRP5. In the recent study, the Yale team mapped the family’s genetic mutation to the same chromosome segment in LRP5. “It made us wonder if a different mutation increased LRP5 function, leading to an opposite phenotype, that is, high bone density,” Lifton said.
    Family members, according to the investigators, have bones so strong they rival those of a character in the 2000 movie Unbreakable. “If there are living counterparts to the [hero] in Unbreakable, who is in a terrible train wreck and walks away without a single broken bone, they’re members of this family,” said Lifton. “They have extraordinarily dense bones and there is no history of fractures. These people have about the strongest bones on the entire planet.”
    --Med.Yale.EDU

    For another example apart from those I’ve already listed today, we’ve also identified an emerging population of tetrachromatic women who can see a bit of the normally invisible ultraviolet spectrum.

    I think if you study the nature of each of these, you'll see your first contention satisfactorily answered.

    Second, I am unaware of any allegedly "irreduceably complex" structures still unexplained as of the close of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. Could you please list which specific ones you would like me to address?

    Third, I can't show you any evidence in the fossil record, or anywhere ever proposed in evolutionary theory where one type of animal proceeds from any "significantly-different" type of animal. I can't show you that because it is a common creationist strawman which evolution doesn't actually claim. Every new species or genus, (etc.) that ever evolved was just a modified version of whatever its ancestors were. All evolution is just a matter of incremental, superficial changes slowly compiled atop various tiers of fundamental similarities. Its a flowering variation of lineages each changing only in proportion, be it morphological or physiological, or a genetic enhancement such as some of those listed above.

    A bride may become the basis for a new family with a new name. But she is still part of her mother’s family too, and her grandmother’s, and so on, and so will her children and grandchildren always be. That is their heritage, and it can’t ever change no matter how much the bride’s new family does. In biology it is the same way. You can never grow out of your ancestry. So you still always belong to whatever group you came from, and so will your descendants, even if they begin a new sub-group you don’t belong to. This is one of many reasons why birds are still [Diapsid] "reptiles" and humans are still primates.

    Fourth, I'm studying paleontology, and that requires a lot of geology, and my first week of that was proof enough that the Earth has to be profoundly older than anything Biblical geneologies or Archbishop Ussher could have ever imagined. I'm just talking about the various types of formations that can't have been made in less than 30,000 years or so. But of course there's an awful lot more to it than that.

    YECs often like to cite the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as if that were some indication that the earth could only be a few thousand years old. But that Law was conceived by Lord Kelvin, who was definitely no fan of evolution, yet his initial calculation of thermodynamics indicated that our planet had to be on the order of twenty million years old! I say his "initial" estimate, because he didn't know about radiactive elements generating their own heat from huge natural reactors. The new estimate was closer to all the current estimates which tend to sit right around 4.6 billion years old.

    You might also want to check out Dr. Glenn Morton's perspective on this. He was a YEC who went into the business of petroleum geology, finding fossil fuels in strata he could no longer deny had to be hundreds of millions of years old. Coincidentally, another YEC scientist, Andrew Snelling, wrote for young-earth creationist publications while simultaneously working as a mainstream geologist where he himself dated rock formations in the billions of years old.

    Of course everything we know about archaeology, or cosmology only ever indicate the same thing again and again. Is there anything else you really need to see to convince you that the earth just can't be as young as YECs want you to believe it is?

    The earliest fossils known so far are stromolites of cyanobacteria dated at 3.6 billion years-old. Is that long enough to develop to the level of modern species today?

    I should add that natural selection is not the only evolutionary mechanism. There is also genetic drift, and artificial selection which relies on the same principles -except of course that someone has planned in advance what features are desired.

    "According to the theory of evolution, the basic mechanisms that produce evolutionary change are natural selection (which includes ecological, sexual, and kin selection) and genetic drift; these two mechanisms act on the genetic variation created by mutation, genetic recombination, and gene flow."
    --Wikipedia

    Also, (so that I don't waste posts playing twenty questions) I would like you to express each of your contentions or concerns as precisely as possible, beginning with your objection to common ancestry, which is of particular interest to me since my chosen field is cladistic taxonomy.
    All I would need is another theory which explains all the available data better than any theory of evolution has thus far, and therefore offers at least as much as evolution has.

    What practical application can be derived from YEC?
     
  17. jwu

    jwu Senior Member

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    Just a sidenote:
    In case of these organizations the given statements also appear to translate to them considering their personal interpretation of scripture to be infallible. E.g. on another forum where i am discussing with a YEC he appears to keep insisting that the 15 cubits by which the mountains were covered according to Genesis represents the total depth of the flood. Previously he thought that a cubit was 515 feet, but he had to concede that to be incorrect (515 millimeters being more likely) but he still insists on the interpretation that this figure represents the total depth of the flood instead of the coverage of the highest peak. Despite of this being a ridiculous 22.5 feet or less than ten meters then, which wouldn't even have covered some of the taller buildings.

    It can be possible to consider scripture infallible but one's interpretation to be fallible as well though, as a middle ground.
     
  18. Lilandra

    Lilandra Princess-Majestrix

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    Boran used some of their arguments in another thread. If you are inexperienced and only look at Creationist sources they have these plausible sounding arguments like this one he quoted...​


    (this is from Talk Origins)​

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/zircons.html







    The strange thing is for organizations swearing by the inerrancy of the Bible. They neglect the commandment not to bear false witness. They hardly ever retract their arguments when corrected.


    They are still there to mislead other unsuspecting creationists.​
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Soldier of Knowledge

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    I'd give you some reputation for this post, but apparently I have to spread it around some more first.

    Anyway, there are a couple threads I'd like to point out that address two of the things Boran was asking to see. The first, http://www.christianforums.com/t110746, is an essay by Caravelair refuting AiG's claim that mutations aren't able to add new genetic information. The second is in response to Boran's request for a well-documented example of something such as a bird evolving from a reptile: I posted an explanation in this thread of several of the fossils that document various steps in this transition.

    Boran, feel free to reply in my bird origins thread if you have any questions about this particular aspect of evolution. However, you should also keep in mind something I've said in an earlier thread about the same topic: none of these animals is necessarily a direct ancestor of any of the others. It's possible in some cases, such as modern birds being descended from Archaeopteryx, but it's also just as possible that Archaeopteryx is part of a small side-branch of bird evolution that split off from this lineage. It's anatomy would be basically the same either way, so whether it was or not doesn't really make a difference in terms of how much can be learned from it.
     
  20. Aron-Ra

    Aron-Ra Senior Veteran

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    You and I should get together and compare notes.
     
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