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For Rize - the evidence

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by Jerry Smith, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. kaotic

    kaotic Learn physics

    +3
    Agnostic
    US-Democrat
    No. They accept that evolution has to be true based on the scientific data/evidence.
     
  2. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Yes, but true science doesn't use scripture as evidence. It uses data. Now if creationism is true then AiG, ICR, and their ilk should be able to provide evidence that allows an objective, scientific observer ignorant of Genesis to conclude that the world is 6,000-10,000 years old and that universal common descent is false. But where is is? In fact creationism is based on rejecting data based on certain interpretations of Jewish origin myths, which is the anathema to science.
     
  3. LiveFreeOrDie

    LiveFreeOrDie Science Officer

    983
    +1
    Frankly, I think your portrayal of scientists is downright insulting.

    IOW, they are too stupid to recognize or too dishonest to admit that their bias is leading them to a false conclusion.

    Is that what you are trying to say?
     
  4. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Welcome to peer review. No one is calling you stupid, just wrong. It doesn't matter how many popular books you have read. Quality is important here, not quantity. How many published, scientific review papers have you read on the subject of evolution?

    You mean this thread. I don't remember you faring to well defending Gitt. Here is a recent T.O. thread on it.

    RUFUS ON INFORMATION
    Individuals don't evolve. Populations do. So in linking information theory to evolution, one must consider the information in the population, which creationists do not do. Biologically, information can refer to different things. Pseudogenes, contain information about evolutionary history but not information that can be selected upon. In the context of this discussion, it would be best right now to consider the genetic information underlying traits, with an interest in adaptable traits. It is difficult to determine a way to measure the amount of this information, but one possibility is the size of the proteome. This is the number of unique proteins produced in the population and includes all loci and alleles. Whenever a mutation produces a novel allele, it adds information to the population. In other words, there is a new trait for selection to act upon. Here are two examples of the effects of information in a population.

    Jeff knows something about Gina: "Gina is neat." Thus he has information about Gina. Before he leaves town, Jeff replicates this information by telling it to two people, Nick and Randy. Because neither of them pays attention, they don’t replicate the information exactly. Nick thinks "Gina is sweat," and Randy thinks "Gina is near." We can measure the about of information about Gina by the number of non-redundant attributes people ascribe to her. Here, the amount of information about Gina has doubled: from "neat" to "sweat and near." Clearly when we remember that it is the population that’s important to evolution, it is obvious how mutations can add information for selection to act upon.

    Take this example retrieved from LocusLink [1], the only difference occurs in the 7th codon (6th amino acid because the first one, 'm,' gets cut off). The letters refer to amino acids [2].
    Code:
    Human Beta-hemoglobin (HBB)
      1 mvhltpeeks avtalwgkvn vdevggealg rllvvypwtq rffesfgdls tpdavmgnpk
     61 vkahgkkvlg afsdglahld nlkgtfatls elhcdklhvd penfrllgnv lvcvlahhfg
    121 keftppvqaa yqkvvagvan alahkyh
    
    
    HBB-S
      1 mvhltpveks avtalwgkvn vdevggealg rllvvypwtq rffesfgdls tpdavmgnpk
     61 vkahgkkvlg afsdglahld nlkgtfatls elhcdklhvd penfrllgnv lvcvlahhfg
    121 keftppvqaa yqkvvagvan alahkyh
    
    
    HBB-C
      1 mvhltpkeks avtalwgkvn vdevggealg rllvvypwtq rffesfgdls tpdavmgnpk
     61 vkahgkkvlg afsdglahld nlkgtfatls elhcdklhvd penfrllgnv lvcvlahhfg
    121 keftppvqaa yqkvvagvan alahkyh
    
    Each allele does not encode the exact same information since each one produces a distinctly different product. A single point mutation has enough effect on the information contained in the genome that it can determine whether an individual dies from malaria or not. In the presence of malaria, HBB-S is maintained because of heterozygote advantage. However, HBB-C also offers resistance to malaria, but the most fit genotype is the homozygote.[3] It is expected to become the most common allele in parts of Africa if the environment stays the same. These mutations have clearly added new information to the population. Selection then acts on this new information, changing the make up of the population. Thus, evolution happens.

    It is important to realize that evolution occurs even if information is lost. It also occurs when information is gained or without any change in the amount of information at all. Thus no-new-information arguments do not actually address evolutionary theory. By focusing on individuals and not populations, no-new-information claims never even get close to disproving evolution. In fact, the actual claim, when applied to biology, is that the information capacity of an individual's genome cannot increase. However, this claim is false because there are known types of mutations that can increase the length of the genome and thus its capacity to hold information. Ernst Mayr discusses this origin of new genes in his latest book:

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/
    2. http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iupac/AminoAcid/AA1n2.html
    3. Modiano D. et al. (2001) Haemoglobin C protects against clinical plasmodium falciparum malaria. Nature: 414 pp 305-308
    4. Mayr E. (2001) What Evolution Is. Basic Books.


    Please list what scientific papers led to your conclusion.
     
  5. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    Everything I saw at AiG was about how Lucy is just an ape and that she did not walk upright at all.
     
  6. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Yeah, so what. You and I are apes too.
     
  7. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    Concerning the evidence, I have a problem that you guys do not have.

    1) All of my experiences since I've been a Christian (and the catalytic experience that convinced me to become one) are in direct opposition to atheism.  So that isn't an option anymore. 

    2) All of my experiences since I've been a Christian presume (and go very well with) a very literal, conservative approach to the Bible.  The same people that hold to this approach (including myself) agree that the Bible teaches things which are unavoidably in contradiction with the evolutionary paradigm.  There is a literal line of descent from Christ to Adam (and from Adam forward).  The Bible mentions in Genesis that animals eat plants (not necessarily excluding meat), but also in the Psalms that Lions will eventually (in the New Earth presumably) eat straw.  It seems implicit that pre-fall no animals ate or killed each other.  Then there is the flood which brings it's own set of complications.  Again, it occurs in a historical setting and is referred to as a historical event in the New Testament.  Peter refers to it in a global context for example.

    3) Mainstream historical science says that Biblical history is fanciful.

    Now, something has to give.  What is it going to be?  Personal experiences and things that I've seen with my own eyes or things I've learned from text books and cannot meaningfully judge?
     
  8. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    Not in my estimation :)

    Even if we did "evolve" (theistically) from apes, we're still not apes.
     
  9. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Good I hate it when people lose their faith because they realize that the world isn't made up like they were led to believe in Sunday School. That is not the fault of science, but of bible idolatry.

    Is the importance of Genesis that God took six days to create or that he did it at all?

    Is the importance of the Flood Story that God destroyed the world because of sin, or that He will provide?

    Do the lessons in the Bible cease to exist if it isn't a historical document?

    Not quite. The O.T. like most ancient literature is a mixture of history, legend, and folklore. There are aspects of the Bible that do have historical bases. It's just that for some reasons those aren't the ones that appeal to biblical "literalists."

    Well if your interpretation of scripture disagrees with the data. Maybe you should consider reinterpretating it using the data as your guide.

    For example, here is the United Methodist statment about Science and Technology in the Natural World.

    We recognize science as a legitimate interpretation of God’s natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world, although we preclude science from making authoritative claims about theological issues. We recognize technology as a legitimate use of God’s natural world when such use enhances human life and enables all of God’s children to develop their God-given creative potential without violating our ethical convictions about the relationship of humanity to the natural world.

    In acknowledging the important roles of science and technology, however, we also believe that theological understandings of human experience are crucial to a full understanding of the place of humanity in the universe. Science and theology are complementary rather than mutually incompatible. We therefore encourage dialogue between the scientific and theological communities and seek the kind of participation that will enable humanity to sustain life on earth and, by God’s grace, increase the quality of our common lives together.
     
  10. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    That is the impression they wanted to give. What they did was focus on those aspects of A afarensis' morphology that normally indicate a quadruped. The very same source that they quoted to show that the fossils showed quadruped morphology went on (they didn't quote that part) to show that the fossils had uniquely bipedal morpoholgy as well..(as lucaspa noted earlier in his post).
     
  11. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Humans are (great) apes, family Hominidae.

    A great example of a feature of a feature that links us with the other great apes is our wrists. Unlike monkeys, which run on top of branches, great apes have wrists that are suited for swinging under branches. That is why when you see gorillas and chimps walking on the ground, they have to put weight on the knuckles, not on their wrists. Try it yourself and see what is more comfortable on your wrist.

    From here:

    "Hominids range in weight from 48 kg to 270 kg. Males are larger than females. Hominids are the largest primates, with robust bodies and well-developed forearms. Their pollex and hallux are opposable except in humans, who have lost opposability of the big toe. All digits have flattened nails. No hominid has a tail, and none has ischial callosities. Numerous skeletal differences between hominids and other primates are related to their upright or semi-upright stance.

    All members of this family have large braincase. Most have a prominent face and prognathous jaw; again, humans are exceptional. All are catarrhine, with nostrils close together and facing forward and downward. The dental formula is the same for all members of the group: 2/2, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 = 32. Hominids have broad incisors and their canines are never developed into tusks. The upper molars are quadrate and bunodont; the lowers are bunodont and possess a hypoconulid. The uppers lack lophs connecting l4bial and lingual cusps and thus, in contrast to cercopithecids, are not bilophodont."
     
  12. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    Rize, mainstream historical science has nothing to say about the Bible. It has something to say about Nature. Now, the Bible may (or may not) have something to say about nature that appears to be at odds with what science says about it. Depending on your interpretation of the Bible, it can seem "fanciful" in light of scientific knowledge. That doesn't mean that science says that the Bible is fanciful, it only says that particular readings of the Bible seem fanciful in the light of scientific knowledge.

    This should only be considered a problem for those readings of those parts of the Bible, and nothing else.
     
  13. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Why is fins becoming legs another matter? It is simply an accumulation of new traits.

    What Dembski wrote in No Free Lunch is
    ""Suppose that an organism in reproducing generates N offspring, and that of these N offspring M succeed in reproducing.  The amount of information introduced through selection is then -log2(M/N).  Let me stress that this formula is not an case of misplaced mathematical exactness.  This formula holds universally and is non-mysterious.  Take a simple non-biological example.  If I am sitting at a radio transmitter, and can transmit only zeros and ones, then every time I transmit a zero or one, I choose between two possibilities, selecting precisely one of them.  Here N equals 2 and M equals 1.  The information -log2(M/N) thus equals -log2(1/2) = 1, i.e., 1 bit of information n is introduced every time I transmit a zero or one.  This is of course as things should be. "

    Now, look at natural selection.  Always more individuals are born than survive or reproduce.  Therefore N is always greater than M.  By the equation, information can only increase.  Let's do a few calculations:
    1.  In a population, there are 4 offspring born but selection eliminates 3 and only one reproduces.  So we have N = 4 and M = 1.  -log(2) (M/N) = -log(2) (1/4) = -(-2) = 2.  We have gained 2 "bits" of information in this generation.   Selection does increase information.

    2.  Let's take a more radical example.  An antibiotic kills 95% of the population.  So we have 5 bacteria that can reproduce out of 100.  N = 100, M =5.  -log(2) (5/100) = -log(2) (.05) = -(-4.3) = 4.3.  Now information has increased 4.3 "bits". The more severe the selection, the greater the increase in information. 

    3.  Let's take a less severe example.  A selection pressure such that of 100 individuals, 99 survive to reproduce.  -log(2) (99/100) = -log(2) (.99) = - (-0.01) = 0.01.
    So now we have only an increase of 0.01 "bits" in this one generation due to selection.  But remember, selection is cumulative.  Take this over 1,000 generations and we have an increase of 10 "bits".  Now, Nilsson and Pelger have estimated, using conservative parameters, that it would take 364,000 generations to evolve an eye. D-E Nilsson and S Pelger, A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B.  256: 53-58, 1994.  Taking that over our calculations shows that the eye represents an increase of 3,640 "bits" of information.

    The eye calculations apply to your fin to leg transition, also.

    One of the things molecular biologists and cell biologists are recognizing is just how complex the signalling and control mechanisms of the cell are.  Evolution explains this.  There is no way to remove information under natural selection.  You can only add.  So each time the cell needs to change any metabolism, it must add a new control level. 

    If there really were an ID, then the cell would be much simpler because the ID could go back to an earlier setting.  But evolution can't do this.

    As a macro example, embryonic birds develop teeth, only to have them resorbed before birth.  Why? Because the ancestors had teeth and natural selection can't make things simpler, so it had to add another process -resorption of the teeth.
     
  14. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    I know. How do I put this politely?  :sigh:  There is no way. They lied.  I pointed out some of the details of just how they, ah, lied, like the supposed curved toes. And the misrepresentation of Oxnard's paper.

    I'm sorry, Rize. I really am. I do find it tragic that professional creationists prey on good, honest people like you.  They take your lack of knowledge about science and tell you outright falsehoods about evolution and how it works, misrepresent the data, throw in a few out-of-context quotes, and voila!  They make it appear that Lucy was not bipedal when all the data says she was.
     
  15. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Originally posted by Rize Concerning the evidence, I have a problem that you guys do not have.

    3) Mainstream historical science says that Biblical history is fanciful.

    Let's start here. Mainstream science says only that the creation stories are not literal and that Noah's Flood was not a world-wide Flood. The other history in the Bible -- Exodus, David, life, death, resurrection of Jesus -- science has no comment about.

    The reason is that the other history has left no evidence we can study today.  Did Moses part the Red Sea?  Don't know.  Whatever evidence there was has been obliterated by time.

    1) All of my experiences since I've been a Christian (and the catalytic experience that convinced me to become one) are in direct opposition to atheism.  So that isn't an option anymore.

    Are you listening to us, particularly to me?  NO ONE is saying you have to become an atheist.  Put that out of your mind and please stop obsessing about it. 

    2) The same people that hold to this approach (including myself) agree that the Bible teaches things which are unavoidably in contradiction with the evolutionary paradigm.  There is a literal line of descent from Christ to Adam (and from Adam forward).  The Bible mentions in Genesis that animals eat plants (not necessarily excluding meat), but also in the Psalms that Lions will eventually (in the New Earth presumably) eat straw.  It seems implicit that pre-fall no animals ate or killed each other. 

    Well, so far none of these contradict evolution.  The Psalms are referring to a future idyllic state, not the present or past state.  There is a line of descent from Adam listed, but tell me: what essential theology changes if this is not true?  Does Jesus become any less real?

    Then there is the flood which brings it's own set of complications.  Again, it occurs in a historical setting and is referred to as a historical event in the New Testament.  Peter refers to it in a global context for example. 

    There is evidence for a local flood in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.  Peter is reflecting the general state of knowledge at the time. Since Peter is not divine, does he have to be completely accurate about that event? 

    "6. Because of new extrabiblical evidence, new interpretations of Scrip-ture have challenged older views that had been established for a very long period of church history.

    The church almost unanimously held to a universal flood until the mid-seventeenth century. By the mid-nineteenth century, however a very large segment of the church no longer viewed a universal deluge as credible. Scientific evidence provided by the rapidly developing disciplines of professional geology and biogeography had provided the impetus for this shift in interpretation. ...
    This case study of the flood suggests the need for more humility and less dogmatism in interpretation. ... In response to the growing body of evidence regarding the flood, many Christian scholars seem to have waited until the last possible moment to accept the idea of a local flood. Indeed, a large segment of the church still seeks to support a belief in a global flood by resisting, distorting, or misinterpreting relevant extrabiblical evidence. ... A large segment of the church has unfortunately locked itself into a biblical hermeneutic that requires a global flood and a recent six-day creation and that prevents it from dealing responsibly with God's creative work. I submit that there is something inherently flawed in any hermeneutic that prevents us from reading God's handiwork properly and that repeatedly puts us at odds with the established conclusions of a scientific community that is composed not just of opponents of Christianity but also of confessing Christians. ... When so many scientists of such a diverse array of worldviews are able to achieve a virtual consensus regarding a given body of evidence, we had better pay attention. When for the past two centuries thousands of geologists from around the world, including numerous Bible-believing Christians, insist from a lifetime of experience in looking at fossiliferous rocks that those rocks are extremely old and had nothing to do with a global deluge, then the church must listen. Commentators who dismiss or disparage that body of geological knowledge solely on the grounds of their commitment to a principle of interpretation might do well to question their commitment to truth in a larger sense. Is it likely that they will arrive at a sound understanding of what God is saying in the biblical text if they reject a sound understanding of what God is saying in the created order? The extrabiblical data pertaining to the flood have been pushing the church to develop a better approach to the flood story and indeed to all the early chapters of Genesis."  Davis A. Young, The Biblical Flood, A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence, pp 304-312.

    I though you might listen better to an evangelical Christian and a geologist.

     

    Now, something has to give.  What is it going to be?  Personal experiences and things that I've seen with my own eyes or things I've learned from text books and cannot meaningfully judge? [/B][/QUOTE]
     
  16. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    Rize, I don't know the passage we are discussing where Peter referred to the flood as global, but consider this:

    Yesterday, I said "The Greeks used the trojan horse to enter Troy. We should learn the lesson from Troy and beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

    Now, does that mean that I believe that the story of the trojan horse was literally true?
     
  17. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    You've just completely massacred the Bible as far as I'm concerned. Why exactly would anyone want to use the Bible for anything if your hypotheses are true? If Peter can be so wrong about the flood, why listen to him when he talks about the final judgment (which is why he brought up the flood judgment in the first place). Why should I trust Jesus if he was mistaken when he talked about Adam and when he said that Scripture cannot be broken (referring to the first 5 books of the OT at the very least). When exactly do the stories in the Bible switch from false/mythic/poetic to real? Immediately after Noah? At Abraham? Moses and the Exodus? Joshua maybe?

    And calm down about the atheism thing. I was merely laying things out on the table, it wasn't in direct relevance to this thread.
     
  18. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    If I'm not mistaken, Glenn Morton (another conservative -read not liberal- Christian, and a former YEC) places the Noachian flood elsewhere. He holds to Biblical infallability, and sees global flood translations as inaccurate.
     
  19. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    Not necessarily, but if you said "In the days of Troy a trojan horse was used..."

    THen I would.
     
  20. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    Consider that both Lucaspa and Peter are right. Contradiction? Settle it by considering that you are understanding Peter wrong. Which is the most likely, in your opinion:

    1) The data are wrong and/or most all scientists are wrong about it.
    2) The Bible is wrong
    3) You understand the Bible incorrectly on this or that point
    ?
     
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