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Featured Is evolution a fact or theory?

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by mathinspiration, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    There is a general misunderstanding of words like fact and theory. A layman doesn't mean the same thing as a scientist.

    Lay usages of the term typically mean:
    * fact = absolute truth
    * theory = an idea yet to be proven, i.e. what a scientist would call a hypothesis

    Scientific usages are:
    * fact = data accepted without warrant
    * theory = a proposition exercised per the scientific method that has not been falsified

    Per the scientific usage, the vast majority of biologists consider evolution both fact and theory. That doesn't mean evolution is without issues, but that is typical of all the sciences. The theories of mechanics I use as an engineer to develop machinery are riddled with issues, yet they produce working machines.

    I happen to believe there are workable alternatives to some of the theories in mechanics, but parsimony makes it debatable whether they are worth pursuing. Likewise, I happen to believe there are workable alternatives to evolution that address certain theological roadblocks, but for the working biologist, again, there is little motivation to pursue such things.
     
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  2. JackRT

    JackRT Flat earther waking up ... Supporter

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    You will note in my post that "proof" has no real place in science although "disproof" does.
     
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  3. GBTG

    GBTG Member

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    @The Barbarian

    Please demonstrate how proof is different than truth?

    Thank you for showing all the pictures that show the problems with phenotype!

    Thank you for demonstrating that venom shares some of the same DNA for most species as its still biologically produced venom.

    Thank you for demonstrating that there are duckbill platypus in the fossil record, so a platypus breeds true to its genetics... huh! (What I mean is its not part anything else...)

    Theistically, if God is perfect, he is perfectly logical, therefore perfectly efficient.

    Yes, but now you are using to broad a definition for "evolution". What kind of "evolution" are you describing? One type of "evolution" does not equal the other type of "evolution" as you just agreed. Hence my issue with the term "evolution" as it oversimplifies many biological processes for which most people are not educated.

    Out of curiosity did you read any of the links I posted?

    Warm regards, GBTG
     
  4. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    Stronger than proof. There are many, many things that you know to be true, that are not provable.

    You're welcome. The creationist notion of "looks similar, must have similar DNA", is obviously incorrect.

    (Barbarian cites evidence showing that platypus venom evolved separately from reptile venom)

    Happy to show that. The wings of bats and birds are another example. They superficially look alike, but when you look at the details, you see right away that they are analogous, and evolved separately. Another good example are wolves and the now-extinct thylacines. They look very similar, but when you closely look at the details they are very different, and evolved convergently.

    But significantly different than modern platypuses.

    If it did, we wouldn't see all those changes in the jaw of modern platypuses. Mutation and natural selection produced a new species that was better fitted to its environment.

    Turns out you're right. Engineers are starting to copy evolution to solve problems that are too complex for design. Evolution is more efficient at solving such problems. And once again, God knew best.

    The scientific definition is "change in allele frequency in a population over time."

    Change in allele frequency in a population over time.

    No. I showed you that they are both evolution, since they both involve a change in allele frequency in a population over time.

    The important thing about a theory is that it unifies a number of phenomena with one explanation. Hence Newton showed how gravity made the Moon orbit the Earth, and also made apples fall from trees. One phenomenon that acts on a variety of things. So it is with evolution.

    Which links?
     
  5. KomatiiteBIF

    KomatiiteBIF Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the platypus cant justifiably be used to discredit morphological phylogeny. Morphologically, it is still clearly mammal, as opposed to bird or reptile. Its feet were mentioned, but really they are clearly mammalian feet, just with webs. Just as a prehistoric whales feet are clearly mammalian, even though they too had fins.

    But further, the existence of the platypus is irrelevant to the predictability of the fossil record. And @GBTG, we talked about this before but, for what reason would the fossil record be predictable through genetics, if not due to common descent of life that resulted in the collection of bones that makeup the fossil succession? Why would the location of something like tiktaalik be predictable? If it were not descended from fish?

    The platypus could have been genetically closer to a reptile or a bird, than other mammals. But it is not. And its morphology reflects that. Why is this so? Well the answer is because it is a monotreme that shares a common ancestor with other mammals. And so, it follows that monotreme fossils ought to be more recently present in the fossil succession, if they truly did descent from pre existing mammals. And they predictably do. They aren't in the Silurian or the Ordovician, or the carboniferous, or the cretaceous, or Permian etc. Their fossils are post mammal fossils, just as one would expect, if all they knew were that its genetics were more mammal like than reptile like or bird like.

    So, just by having the genetic makeup of a platypus, one can predict where monotremes ought to be in the fossil succession. And they are where one would expect them to be, if common descent were true.

    And we cant say that phenotype is irrelevant, because what we are seeing is predictable, and the platypus, as strange as it is, is still clearly mammalian, even despite its odd features.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  6. KomatiiteBIF

    KomatiiteBIF Well-Known Member

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    Heres a bit

    Monotreme - Wikipedia

    A platypus tooth has been found in the Palaeocene of Argentina, so Michael Benton suggests in Vertebrate Palaeontology monotremes arose in Australia in the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, and some subsequently migrated across Antarctica to reach South America, both of which were still united with Australia at that time.[51]
    However, a number of genetic studies suggest a much earlier origin in the Triassic.[52]

    So, we have people looking at fossils, and people looking at genetics, and both deriving an answer that monotremes ought to be in the Triassic, and they are. The fossil people could have found monotremes in the Ordovician, or Devonian, or Permian, or carboniferous, or a whole host of geologic periods. And the genetic studies too could have derived answers in numerous periods. But here we have, independent studies resulting with what are geologically speaking, essentially the same answer.

    Why is that? Did the geneticists look at where monotreme fossils are, and then fix their results to reflect paleontological finds? Are they copying us?

    Well hold on, the same thing happens, vise versa, where geneticists say hey, here is where the fossils should be, and later that's where they are discovered to be, as my prior example went with hominid fossils.

    Tiktaalik is the same thing, and there are a whole host of these comparable studies that are independently derived.

    What would it be but not common descent? Are scientists fixing their results to match other scientists? Well, I have published research in paleontology and I haven't fixed my results to match geneticists, they are just independent finds that just happen to match.

    TimeTree :: The Timescale of Life
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  7. dcalling

    dcalling Senior Member

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    Evolution theory has strong evidences in certain parts (i.e. small mutations have been observed, and natural selection did occur).

    However people have been blindly applied it to a much boarder level and add on a lot weak part to it that are totally hypothesis (i.e. humans are evolved from primates).

    For strong scientific evidences, they must be repeatable, verifiable and testable. Do you agree to this standard?
     
  8. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    And speciation, and common descent, and so on. All of that. Would you like to see the evidence for it?

    The evidence for human evolution is particularly strong. It includes:
    • Genetic data, showing humans to fit nicely into a group with chimps and bonobos, with other apes being the out group.
    • What YE creationist Dr. Kurt Wise calls "very good evidence" for human evolution, in the hominid series of transitional fossils.
    • Chromosome data, showing that humans have a fused chromosome which precisely fits two chromosomes found in other apes
    • Anatomical data, showing that human evolution was largely a result of paedomorphisis, retention of juvenile traits.
    Even more convincing, these facts were predicted before the were discovered. The chromosome fusion, was predicted before remains of telomeres were found in the human chromosome, and Darwin's prediction of human/ape transitional forms being found in Africa was validated long after he died.

    As all those predictions were.
     
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  9. GBTG

    GBTG Member

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    Let me understand this then, Truth is stronger than proof because of things we know to be true but cannot prove?

    Definitions to assist my understanding:

    Proof: the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact or something that induces certainty or establishes validity

    Truth: the body of real things, events, and facts or the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality

    They seem pretty equatable to me...

    My point is that it's still a platypus and not something else? Or is that incorrect? Just like a Chihuahua and Great Danes are dogs!

    As an answer to your definition of "evolution", my point being that "evolution" may not be perceived by everyone the same given the complexities or definitions.

    Example:
    Evolution according to Webster dictionary : descent with modification from preexisting species : cumulative inherited change in a population of organisms through time leading to the appearance of new forms : the process by which new species or populations of living things develop from preexisting forms through successive generations
    • Evolution is a process of continuous branching and diversification from common trunks. This pattern of irreversible separation gives life's history its basic directionality.
    • —Stephen Jay Gould
    ; also : the scientific theory explaining the appearance of new species and varieties through the action of various biological mechanisms (such as natural selection, genetic mutation or drift, and hybridization)
    • Since 1950, developments in molecular biology have had a growing influence on the theory of evolution.
    • Nature
    • In Darwinian evolution, the basic mechanism is genetic mutation, followed by selection of the organisms most likely to survive.
    • —Pamela Weintraub
    b : the historical development of a biological group (such as a race or species) : phylogeny

    or

    Divergent Evolution: When people hear the word "evolution," they most commonly think of divergent evolution, the evolutionary pattern in which two species gradually become increasingly different. This type of evolution often occurs when closely related species diversify to new habitats. On a large scale, divergent evolution is responsible for the creation of the current diversity of life on earth from the first living cells. On a smaller scale, it is responsible for the evolution of humans and apes from a common primate ancestor.

    Convergent Evolution: Convergent evolution causes difficulties in fields of study such as comparative anatomy. Convergent evolution takes place when species of different ancestry begin to share analogous traits because of a shared environment or other selection pressure. For example, whales and fish have some similar characteristics since both had to evolve methods of moving through the same medium: water.

    Parallel Evolution: Parallel evolution occurs when two species evolve independently of each other, maintaining the same level of similarity. Parallel evolution usually occurs between unrelated species that do not occupy the same or similar niches in a given habitat.

    Macro-evolution: major evolutionary transition from one type of organism to another occurring at the level of the species and higher taxa.

    Micro-evolution: evolutionary change involving the gradual accumulation of mutations leading to new varieties within a species or a minor evolutionary change observed over a short period of time. (I belive this definition best matches what you were describing, if that is true we do indeed agree)

    The links in my post are the blue text words.

    Warm regards, GBTG
     
  10. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    Yep. You know that all the oxygen atoms won't move to one corner of the room and suffocate you. But you can't prove it. You can only cite evidence that makes it so unlikely as to be dismissed as a reasonable possibility.

    Definitions to assist my understanding:

    Which species? Each one of them is something else, they are quite different, even by the limited data we have on the fossil species.

    No. Those two dogs, for example, have the same jaw structure.

    It has the traditional meaning of "change", for example. But the scientific meaning of biological evolution is quite clear.

    All of the things you mention are evolution, in the same way that planetary orbits and apples falling from trees are examples of gravity acting. However, the definition of gravity is not "apples falling from trees" or "planetary orbits."

    All of these observed cases are evolution, because they are changes in allele frequency in populations over time:
    Divergent Evolution:

    Convergent Evolution:

    Parallel Evolution:

    Macro-evolution:

    Micro-evolution:
    They all match the scientific definition equally.
     
  11. GBTG

    GBTG Member

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    Your limited understanding of science is starting to show! What you are referring to is not only provable, but it is called the first gas law or Boyle's law, it has been proven since 1662...

    "Boyle's law or the pressure-volume law states that the volume of a given amount of gas held at constant temperature varies inversely with the applied pressure when the temperature and mass are constant."

    Same gas in same space will be at a constant volume, in our case atmospheric pressure! If you altitude changes so dose the density and therefore the volume. Hence why its hard to breath at the top of Mt. Everest. We know why the oxygen won't move, and we can prove it, we can even calculate how much oxygen it there... it can all be proven hence why it is true and a LAW.

    Any other examples, of truth trumping proof?

    Phenotype not genotype... as argued already!

    Please give me any scientific paper within the last 10 years from an actual peer reviewed secular science journal that states that macro-evolution is the same as micro-evolution.

    Here is what an evolutionist has to say on the topic: "I often observe that in discussions of evolution, both evolution skeptics and those who embrace neo-Darwinian evolution are prone to make one of two significant mistakes. Both stem from a failure to distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution." -2015

    Link: https://evolutionnews.org/2015/07/microevolution/

    The article goes on to state: The definition of macroevolution is surprisingly non-precise for a scientific discipline. Macroevolution can be defined as evolution above the species level, or evolution on a “grand scale,” or microevolution + 3.8 billion years. It has never been observed, but a theoretical example is the evolution from a chordate eel-like creature to a human being.

    So an evolutionist will readily admit that there is ZERO scientific observance (see red text above, unless "never" is a hard concept) of the theoretical phenomenon, but you state it is "fact" and "proven".

    Regards, GBTG
     
  12. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    Barbarian observes:
    Yep. You know that all the oxygen atoms won't move to one corner of the room and suffocate you. But you can't prove it. You can only cite evidence that makes it so unlikely as to be dismissed as a reasonable possibility.

    "Boyle's law or the pressure-volume law states that the volume of a given amount of gas held at constant temperature varies inversely with the applied pressure when the temperature and mass are constant.

    No. In fact, Boyle's law has nothing to do with the distribution of particular atoms in a mix of gases. You've confused Boyle's Law with kinetic theory (part of which explains Boyle's Law) And it's statistical, depending on the random collisions of gas molecules with each other. So there is a small, but calculable probability of all the oxygen molecules ending up on one corner of the room.

    Actually, science, being inductive, never proves anything. Proof is not part of science. We only gain more and more confidence that our theories are correct.

    Unfortunately, there are many other misconceptions about science. One of the most common misconceptions concerns the so-called “scientific proofs.” Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a scientific proof.

    Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence. Proofs are not the currency of science.


    Proofs have two features that do not exist in science: They are final, and they are binary. Once a theorem is proven, it will forever be true and there will be nothing in the future that will threaten its status as a proven theorem (unless a flaw is discovered in the proof). Apart from a discovery of an error, a proven theorem will forever and always be a proven theorem.
    Common misconceptions about science I: “Scientific proof”


    Barbarian observes:
    No. Those two dogs, for example, have the same jaw structure.

    And of course, dogs are all genetically so closely alike, that they are demonstrably one species.

    This means that dog breeds differ drastically in their appearance and other characteristics, while most of their genomes are still very much alike. Comparing different breeds, most of their genomes indeed show only little differentiation. In other words, Chihuahuas and Great Danes are overall very similar to one another. The vast physical differences are largely driven by relatively few loci (regions) in the genome. These loci have a large phenotypic effect, leading to strong differentiation among breeds.
    Why dog breeds aren't considered separate species

    Microevolution is genetic change within a species. Macroevolution is change that results in speciation. But they are both the result of evolution, since they both involve a change in allele frequency in a population over time. Just as the orbit of a planet and the fall of an apple are different things, but they are caused by the same thing. Does that make it clearer?

    This is true. Most creationists and some scientists think that there is something intrinsically different between microevolution and macroevolution. But here's why they are mistaken:

    Leopard frogs exist in the US everywhere from the Gulf Coast to the Canadian border. As you go north, the alleles in those frogs governing maturation change to effect faster maturity (because of longer and colder winters in the north). Frogs from adjacent populations can interbreed, though. And this allows gene flow in the population. These changes are microevolution, and there is one species.

    However, if the leopard frogs in the center of the United States were to go extinct, leopard frogs in the far north could not interbreed with those from the Gulf coast. And suddenly, what was microevolution becomes (retroactively) macroevolution. This is why that error to which you referred is so wrong.

    That's what Darwin said. It's a consequence of evolution. If each species was created separately, there would be nice, well-defined differences. But because evolution is normally a gradual process, we have quarter-species, half-species, full species, and everything in between. It's messy , but that's another reason we know evolution is a fact.

    This is also why we so rarely observe a speciation. They proceed gradually in most cases. One gradual speciation that was documented was D. miranda from D. psuedoobscura. Most of the observed speciations are like the species O. gigas from O. lamarkana, by a polypoloidy event that resulted in a new species in a single generation.

    You've been misled about that. Most of the professional creationists now readily admit the fact of speciation. They just claim it isn't "real evolution." The Institute for Creation Research, for example, endorses the idea that new species, genera, and families evolve. They do so, because it's the only way to make the Ark feasible in their view.

    Directly observed. Can't get much better than that.

    Nope. As I showed you, science isn't a matter of proof.
     
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  13. sfs

    sfs Senior Member

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    I am. Are you? You've conflated two very different things in this thread: the fact of common ancestry, and the process by which species have diverged. The former has been established by genetics beyond all reasonable (or unreasonable) doubt, while the latter is tough to determine precisely.
    What kind of science do you do?
     
  14. Complete in Thee

    Complete in Thee Member

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    I evolved from an ant yay
     
  15. KomatiiteBIF

    KomatiiteBIF Well-Known Member

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    Just have to point this out again.

    http://timetree.org/

    If we compare genetic similarity and genetic phylogeny with the fossil succession. The two mirror one another.

    For example, you can search ursidae and felidae and you will find common ancestry predicted in the early Cenozoic.

    or varanidae and iguanadae and you will pickup ancestry in the late Jurassic

    Geneticists make these predictions, independent of the fossil succession, and paleontologists will make these predictions, independent of the genetics of modern day animals.

    Yet again, the two mirror one another, independently.

    It only makes sense, when you view the fossil succession and the genetics of modern day living animals, as a mutual product of biological common descent.

    What else would it be?

    And again, monotreme fossils could have been anywhere, the Devonian, the Ordovician, the Silurian, the Permian, the Cambrian, pre-Cambrian, or they could even have been found, limited to anywhere in the Triassic, cretaceous, or Cenozoic (Holocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Miocene etc.).

    But what happened? Geneticists have independently predicted their presence in the Jurassic, and that's where their fossils just so happen to also originate.

    Its the same thing with tiktaalik, its the same thing with archaeopteryx, its the same thing with hominid fossils, its the same thing with, what appears to be 99% of fossils, if not 100%.

    They're all matching up.

    What would this be a product of, if not common descent of life?
     
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  16. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Crabby Old White Guy

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    And when Linnaeus (who didn't even think about evolution) made his classification system, it produced a family tree that very closely matches the genetic and fossil evidence he didn't know about. That's rather compelling evidence for evolution.

    Great point, though.
     
  17. GBTG

    GBTG Member

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    Nice of you to link the two, they are still two different things. Hence two different definitions. Additionally, one is indeed proven the other is inferred! The rest of this argument has become semantics, I open the challenge up to the entire floor. I will concede the argument and state rather plainly and publicly, your correctness, on one condition. You must provide a high ranking scientific journal (Nature, Cell, Science, National Academy of Sciences, etc.) publication that demonstrates how macroevolution is supported genetically (phenotype is irrelevant) through the process of microevolution (change in allele frequency). This publication must be from the last 10 years as we understand genetics better and have much more computing power to test hypothesis (Botany papers do not count as we are not plants). This is not about what you think, this is about what science can demonstrate. Let's let the science do the talking! If this is as well understood as you all claim then this should be relatively easy. Any opinion piece on the topic I will consider a concession on your part. If you cannot find anything and do not post I will also consider that a concession. Only posts with links or copied and pasted articles will be discussed.

    Regards, GBTG
     
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  18. Bob Carabbio

    Bob Carabbio Old guy -

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    There's proof of Micro evolution, but no proof of MACRO-evolution
     
  19. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Devoted to Truth Supporter

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    Evolution has never seemed to be more than adaptability.
     
  20. jhwatts

    jhwatts Junior Member Supporter

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    See post #7. Again, certain aspect theory are proven while others are not. If any part of the theory is unproven then the theory as whole remains unproven.
     
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