TimC

NOVA: Intelligent Design on Trial

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Who's experts? The defense? You'd have to link to that.

 

No, we do observe it in life with shorter life cycles. You just don't think that counts. It does. 2+2=4, therefore 2000+2000=4000. I find it bizarre that you seem to draw the line for proving evolution juuust beyond the human lifespan. Ooooooohh... so close, but it's not proof to me. :D

 

This is going to be a difficult concept for you to understand, but I do not fear hell or desire heaven... because according to my deeply held beliefs, they do not exist. So... thanks anyway. :D

 

I brought up hell because JJ implied that believing in evolution would send you to hell and then said he wasn't threatened by evolution. If you believe in hell, and you believe that thinking a certain way will send you there... then I'd say you're threatened by it.

 

on the first point, a question was raised in the trial about attempting an experiment that lasted 10,000 years so that we could actually prove evolution. this was intertwined with the whole flagellum discussion. with evolution, we've created such an expansive theory that spans lengths of times that we cannot observe (or, i believe, comprehend), so, really, we can make all kinds of claims. this really isn't 2+2=4 translating into 2000+2000=4000. it's more like since 2+2=4 then i can say with assurance that we are 200 million years old.

 

believe me, it is not a difficult concept to understand not believing in heaven or hell. for the majority of my life, i didn't either.

 

i believe evolution happens on a small level. we adapt to our surroundings and through breeding we can pass down certain traits and characteristics to our offspring. to jump from those observations to the belief that all vasty different forms of life on this planet originated from a single cell that somehow first appeared through a lightning bolt or something is pretty much as big of a leap to take as believing in God. and, as others have stated, maybe God made that cell and his process to bring us into being was to guide our evolution ... who knows.

 

i don't find anything threatening about the discussion. i maintain that an all-knowing God should very well understand how we could doubt him, given all the chaos and insanity in our world. we are all just trying to understand how we came to be and can only draw from our experiences to try and get us to a place where we can make enough sense out of this journey to stay sane. my decision to become a christian was a hugh leap of faith, mainly because i did not want to go through life without opening my heart to this thing from which so many have found peace. once i did, i've found out so much more about myself and how i want to life my life that there has been no turning back.

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this is really not true. the scientific process can only be executed against evolution in very micro-sized bites (a point reinforced by the experts in the trial).

 

 

Who's experts? The defense? You'd have to link to that.

 

 

I assume he means this

 

NARRATOR: They called it Tiktaalik—which means "large fresh water fish" in the language of the local Inuit people.

 

And it's one of the most vivid transitional fossils ever discovered—showing how land animals evolved from primitive fish.

 

NEIL SHUBIN: Over here you have a fish of about 380 million years old. And we see just like any good fish it has scales on its back, and fins. You compare that to an amphibian, and you find a creature that doesn't have scales, and it's modified the fins to become limbs, arms and legs. And the head's very different, it has a flat head with eyes on top and a neck.

 

What we see when we look at the fossil record at rocks of just the right age, is a creature like Tiktaalik. Just like a fish it has scales on its back, and fins, you can see the fin webbing here. Yet when we look at the head, you see something very different, you see a very amphibian like thing, with a flat head, with eyes on top. It gets even better when we take the fin apart, when we look inside the fin, as in this cast here. What you'll see is bones that compare to our shoulder, elbow, even parts of wrist. Bone for bone. So you have a fish, at just the right time, in the history of life, that has characteristics of amphibians. And primitive fish. It's a mix.

 

This and Archaeopteryx (the half-bird half-reptile) are common examples of transitional creatures.

 

One reason they are good evidence for evolution, as opposed to the tree-man, Ton, is that they are found in strata of rock that is dated to a specific period of time. In the case of Tiktaalik, it is found in between older fossils that are all fish and newer fossils that are amphibian. Archaeopterix is found between reptiles and birds. Also, I doubt your tree man would fossilize into anything resembling a tree.

 

So using Geology and comparative anatomy they can pretty accurately say that this animal lived between the time when two different animals lived and it displays similarities to both. Now, what you have to do is attribute this observation to a testable natural phenomenon, or an untestable supernatural power.

 

Also, Archaeologists take care in determining new species. There's a great deal of debate sometimes whether a new fossil is a new species or just a slightly different example of a known species. Its well known that there can be large differences in size between males and females, and even variance in the same sex. You may recall the recent headlines about a "Hobbit" found in Indonesia. link They isn't a consensus on what it is just yet.

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I assume he means this

This and Archaeopteryx (the half-bird half-reptile) are common examples of transitional creatures.

 

One reason they are good evidence for evolution, as opposed to the tree-man, Ton, is that they are found in strata of rock that is dated to a specific period of time. In the case of Tiktaalik, it is found in between older fossils that are all fish and newer fossils that are amphibian. Archaeopterix is found between reptiles and birds. Also, I doubt your tree man would fossilize into anything resembling a tree.

 

So using Geology and comparative anatomy they can pretty accurately say that this animal lived between the time when two different animals lived and it displays similarities to both. Now, what you have to do is attribute this observation to a testable natural phenomenon, or an untestable supernatural power.

 

Also, Archaeologists take care in determining new species. There's a great deal of debate sometimes whether a new fossil is a new species or just a slightly different example of a known species. Its well known that there can be large differences in size between males and females, and even variance in the same sex. You may recall the recent headlines about a "Hobbit" found in Indonesia. link They isn't a consensus on what it is just yet.

 

good points. my use of the tree man as an example was to show that there are so many deformations of existing species, such as the little girl with multiple limbs, adjoined twins, little people, etc., etc., that when we find a single fossil that looks out of the norm, i don't see how we can definitely state that it fills some sort of transitional gap.

 

as far as the species appearing at different stages in time, well, this could very well fit biblical theory. it talks about how God brought into existence different forms of life in a sequence. with such scant transitional evidence, i believe just a strong of a case could be made that species came into existence as they are, at different times over our history, culminating with humans.

 

a final word is that i've read quite a bit on our carbon dating mechanisms and even those have quite a bit of scrutiny surrounding them. you run into quite a bit of discussion like this ...

 

Many people are under the false impression that carbon dating proves that dinosaurs and other extinct animals lived millions of years ago. What many do not realize is that carbon dating is not used to date dinosaurs.

 

The reason? Carbon dating is only accurate back a few thousand years. So if scientists believe that a creature lived millions of years ago, then they would need to date it another way.

 

But there is the problem. They assume dinosaurs lived millions of years ago (instead of thousands of years ago like the bible says). They ignore evidence that does not fit their preconceived notion.

 

What would happen if a dinosaur bone were carbon dated? - At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Scientists dated dinosaur bones using the Carbon dating method. The age they came back with was only a few thousand years old.

 

This date did not fit the preconceived notion that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. So what did they do? They threw the results out. And kept their theory that dinosaurs lived "millions of years ago" instead.

 

This is common practice.

 

They then use potassium argon, or other methods, and date the fossils again.

 

They do this many times, using a different dating method each time. The results can be as much as 150 million years different from each other! - how’s that for an "exact" science?

 

They then pick the date they like best, based upon their preconceived notion of how old their theory says the fossil should be (based upon the Geologic column).

 

So they start with the assumption that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, then manipulate the results until they agree with their conclusion.

 

Their assumptions dictate their conclusions.

 

So why is it that if the date doesn't fit the theory, they change the facts?

 

Unbiased science changes the theory to support the facts. They should not change the facts to fit the theory.

 

i'm not saying that it's all bunk, but i am saying that our evolutionists believe their theory is correct and they are just filling in the gaps. coming from that viewpoint, it's easy to make everything fit your theory. that, by the way, is exactly what christians do as well. i would like to see more of this admittance from the evolution crowd vs. continuing to fall back on the illusion that all of the scientific world is on their side, which validates their position.

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i'm not saying that it's all bunk, but i am saying that our evolutionists believe their theory is correct and they are just filling in the gaps. coming from that viewpoint, it's easy to make everything fit your theory. that, by the way, is exactly what christians do as well.

 

:D

 

Except scientists use a multitude of observations to come up with a scientific theory. Sorry, but the comparison to whatever JJ is doing is a gigantic reach.

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Except scientists use a multitude of observations to come up with a scientific theory.

 

there have been no observations of macro evolution. imo, this is a leap of faith, based upon a multitude of observations of micro evolution. i have not seen nearly enough in the way of fossil evidence or carbon dating techniques to definitively make any claims. i don't rule out the possibility of coming from a pile of goo, but i sure as hell don't think that our scientific practices in this space assure us that this is true. along the same lines, i think it is fascinating to explore our scientific history in the context of bible teachings and, whether you believe the bible or not, feel that this has great academic value. it's funny that our scientific community is so embroiled in this debate yet we don't want to introduce it to our kids for some reason.

 

there are fascinating studies on the science of the bible and how many of the claims there came long before conventional wisdom, i.e. the earth is round, space is expansive, germs can spread, etc.

 

some very interesting stuff here.

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Ton... come on man. Saying there is an range of error for a testing method is not supporting evidence that the Earth's species are a mere few thousand years old and continually tinkered with by a cosmic designer.

 

What if I grant you a full 150 million years of dating error on all fossils. Tiktaalik is estimated at 375 million years old. How do you go from that to a 6000 year old earth?

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I enjoy the evolution debate as much as anyone and have read a few books on this subject. But, to me evolution is not the real issue. Even if one were to prove that evolution is true, It doesn't answer the bigger question which is how did the first life form originate. It had nothing to evolve from. Did it just spring up from nothing? How about the universe, how did it begin? Again, out of nothing? For non believers to argue evolution is fine, but there are much more tougher questions that need to be answered. Scientific evidence seems to point to the big bang theory being correct. This is bad for non believers because it indicates a beginning, thus a beginner or creator. To say that the universe just came into existence out of nothing, and then was so finely tuned to allow for life on this planet, and then life just happened to form - again - from nothing is to me much much harder to believe than the alternative which is that we were created. If you are comfortable believing that then fine, but these are all issues that I have had to study and decide for myself and there is no doubt in my mind that there is a God and he created everything and his son is Jesus Christ who rose from the dead 3 days after he was crucified.

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I enjoy the evolution debate as much as anyone and have read a few books on this subject. But, to me evolution is not the real issue. Even if one were to prove that evolution is true, It doesn't answer the bigger question which is how did the first life form originate. It had nothing to evolve from. Did it just spring up from nothing? How about the universe, how did it begin? Again, out of nothing? For non believers to argue evolution is fine, but there are much more tougher questions that need to be answered. Scientific evidence seems to point to the big bang theory being correct. This is bad for non believers because it indicates a beginning, thus a beginner or creator. To say that the universe just came into existence out of nothing, and then was so finely tuned to allow for life on this planet, and then life just happened to form - again - from nothing is to me much much harder to believe than the alternative which is that we were created. If you are comfortable believing that then fine, but these are all issues that I have had to study and decide for myself and there is no doubt in my mind that there is a God and he created everything and his son is Jesus Christ who rose from the dead 3 days after he was crucified.

 

Even if we knew what created or started the Big Bang I highly doubt we would be able to comprehend it. Thus we assign it names like God or Jesus to humanize it. Since, of course, the whole thing HAS to be about us and for our benefit.

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Why no one considers the entirety of the argument is beyond me. God gave his word to those ancient people in ways it could be understood by their primitive context. Why could God have not taken 7 eons (days) to create (evolve) the animals on the planet? Then used general terms to describe it in a way that could be understood? I would think a higher deity would expect his creations to move beyond that simplistic text, and grow into a greater awareness of the world and it's inner workings. There is a simple wonder to this complex machine of a planet, and if you TRULY believe, then evolution fits within the appreciation for the miracle that is earth, as it would be as much God's work as anything else.

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Ton... come on man. Saying there is an range of error for a testing method is not supporting evidence that the Earth's species are a mere few thousand years old and continually tinkered with by a cosmic designer.

 

What if I grant you a full 150 million years of dating error on all fossils. Tiktaalik is estimated at 375 million years old. How do you go from that to a 6000 year old earth?

 

i don't know if the earth is 6,000 years or hunreds of millions year old. i do find it interesting that as far as humans go, we can't seem to really go back more than a few thousand years. as far as our testing methods go, we can't really go back more than a few thousand years. it is hard to believe that hundreds of millions of years of evolution to create us has only resulted in a few thousand years of recordable, intelligent human behavior. we jump from a few thousand years B.C. back to prehistoric times of millions of years ago. that's a pretty big jump. and as far back as we can go, people still seemed smart, like so-crates, plato, etc. they were laying down some pretty deep stuff. history seems to point toward a moment in time when we awakened as a people to try and understand the world around us ... a time that started a few thousand years ago.

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as far as our testing methods go, we can't really go back more than a few thousand years.

 

?

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see my earlier post on the accuracy of carbon dating ...

 

You mean the copy and paste post that you didn't reference? I googled it and it brought me to this website.

 

That are numerous kinds of radiometric and relative dating techniques that accurately indicate the age of rocks and fossils and are accepted iin the scientific community.

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and as far back as we can go, people still seemed smart, like so-crates, plato, etc. they were laying down some pretty deep stuff. history seems to point toward a moment in time when we awakened as a people to try and understand the world around us ... a time that started a few thousand years ago.

There is no "moment in time", just a gradual evolution of man from solitary grunting hunter gatherer with only one preoccupation (staying alive) through groups of people (clans), through larger groups ( tribes) enabling some time to be spent on other activities, through cities, through small states, through nations.

 

Plato and Co didn't suddenly show up, they were a product of the Athenian and Grecian civilization developed over a much longer period than one human lifetime. Plato was not possible until the arrival of the city-state.

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Plato and Co didn't suddenly show up, they were a product of the Athenian and Grecian civilization developed over a much longer period than one human lifetime. Plato was not possible until the arrival of the city-state.

 

but all that development that we are aware of, including the formation of city-state, occurs in the last few thousand years. given the span of millions/billions of years it took for prehistoric man to evolve into intelligent man, it's strange that all the major advancements have only happened in a very minute portion of the timeline. most traces back for art, literature, etc. go about 3000 years or so B.C.

 

this guy mapped it out and shows how 15 billions years of evolution has given way to about 5,000 years of real human activity.

 

and on the accuracy of our dating techniques, read this. can you dispute this? there are tons of sources who will agree that these methods have big inconsistencies because they all rely on some hugh assumptions that in no way can be proven.

Edited by tonorator

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there are tons of sources who will agree that these methods have big inconsistencies because they all rely on some hugh assumptions that in no way can be proven.

 

Is it safe to assume this is an opinion piece by Mission to America.org? How many sources that aren't extremely influenced by a Creationist bias will agree with this? You insinuate dating is little more than guess work, based on just making stuff up along the way.

 

Can you point the flaws used in radiometric dating, as discussed in a peer reviewed scientific journal and accepted by the scientific community; that comes to the conclusion that Scientists are using "Hugh Assumptions," in radiometric dating?

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Again, how did our universe come into existence and how did the first life form suddenly come into existence?

 

These are the questions that no one wants to answer. Everyone wants to point out how humans evolved from monkeys, but can't explain where the monkey came from. It's two simple questions...how about two simple answers.

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Again, how did our universe come into existence and how did the first life form suddenly come into existence?

 

This is brought up in almost every evolution discussion on this board and Cr8tiff was already making a counterpoint to this.

 

Your question has nothing to do with validating or discrediting theory of evolution. Might be more relevant to a discussion of the Big Bang Theory, but it might be a philosophical question more than a scientific one.

 

Regardless, the inability to answer the question to one's satisfaction does little or nothing to support the argument our world was created by God, the Giant Spaghetti monster, or Alannis Morissete 6,000 years ago. There is a preponderance of scientific evidence and observations that almost certainly indicates our world is millions upon millions of years in the making.

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Again, how did our universe come into existence and how did the first life form suddenly come into existence?

 

These are the questions that no one wants to answer. Everyone wants to point out how humans evolved from monkeys, but can't explain where the monkey came from. It's two simple questions...how about two simple answers.

 

 

thats the problem, there isnt a simple answer. the simple answer is god did it. but as we know, god was the simple answer for many things in history that early humans did not have an answer for. but science has since proven a cause. lightening wasnt a pissed off god, it is charged particles etc.

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Is it safe to assume this is an opinion piece by Mission to America.org? How many sources that aren't extremely influenced by a Creationist bias will agree with this? You insinuate dating is little more than guess work, based on just making stuff up along the way.

 

Can you point the flaws used in radiometric dating, as discussed in a peer reviewed scientific journal and accepted by the scientific community; that comes to the conclusion that Scientists are using "Hugh Assumptions," in radiometric dating?

 

most, if not all, are driven by creationists. when you start from a different paradigm and then start to build knowledge on top of that paradigm, you can lead yourself to different answers. the breakthroughs on radiometric dating have all occurred in the last 100 years, with major work in the last 40-50 years. so, in a blip of time during the history of the cosmos, we have come to be able to predict the age of the thing to a 1% degree of accuracy spanning millions/billions of years? scientists are great at creating theories to support their theories and these latest theories have been around for about a generation. yup, we must have it all figured out. hey, it could all be true and we could have nailed it. or maybe from all that we know today, this is the best we can do with the info we have (that's all science can tell us). i don't know if the earth is young or old, but i do allow for different possibilities and in an area as expansive as this (millions/billions of years?!?!), i submit that there's a chance that we don't know all we think we do.

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the breakthroughs on radiometric dating have all occurred in the last 100 years, with major work in the last 40-50 years. so, in a blip of time during the history of the cosmos, we have come to be able to predict the age of the thing to a 1% degree of accuracy spanning millions/billions of years?

 

:D There have been all kinds of breakthroughs with science and technology over the last 40-50 years. Surely, you must be absolutely amazed by what one does on a computer today that they couldn't do 100 years ago? Do you doubt it is actually happening or attrbute it to a sheer miracle? Do you rationalize it by claiming man is only a few thousand years old, so it is logical we have done this in the last 40-50 years?

 

scientists are great at creating theories to support their theories and these latest theories have been around for about a generation.

 

I'll admit, along with the scientific community, that it's impossible to be be completely objective while researching and explaining ideas developed from observing a plethora of data and making all the puzzle pieces fit.

 

But, you keep saying that, and to me it almost certainly indicates (:D) you have a high degree of bias towards evolutionary science because you have issues with scientifically substantiated theories convincingly contradicting literal verses from the Bible. A lot of Christians can differentiate that without feeling as though their faith is violated. You can't.

 

It would also say that if you truly believe the sentence you wrote above, you have very little understanding of the Scientific Method.

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I still don't understand why evolution and creationism are believe to be mutually-exclusive.

 

I hear ya.

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This is brought up in almost every evolution discussion on this board and Cr8tiff was already making a counterpoint to this.

 

Your question has nothing to do with validating or discrediting theory of evolution. Might be more relevant to a discussion of the Big Bang Theory, but it might be a philosophical question more than a scientific one.

 

Regardless, the inability to answer the question to one's satisfaction does little or nothing to support the argument our world was created by God, the Giant Spaghetti monster, or Alannis Morissete 6,000 years ago. There is a preponderance of scientific evidence and observations that almost certainly indicates our world is millions upon millions of years in the making.

 

 

I'm sorry...I thought that this discussion was about creation and intelligent design. By the way, I never said anything about the age of the earth, I don't really have an opinion on that.

 

But, I'm still waiting for an answer. If you don't believe in God or creation, then you have to believe in something else. As I said, no one can give an answer as to how the universe and mankind came into being just by sheer chance. The inability to answer the question is entirely on you, because I can answer the question and am comfortable with my answer.

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But, you keep saying that, and to me it almost certainly indicates (:D) you have a high degree of bias towards evolutionary science because you have issues with scientifically substantiated theories convincingly contradicting literal verses from the Bible. A lot of Christians can differentiate that without feeling as though their faith is violated. You can't.

 

that's not true at all. i have big time issues with many, many literal interpretations from the bible. a good bulk of the old testament simply makes no sense to me. i've also made no statements that i believe in a young earth. i've never claimed that a literal interpretation or belief of the bible is behind my questioning of fossil evidence or dating procedures. just as many question christianity because they believe it to be absurd, despite any argument made that supports it, i believe macro evolutionary theories to be just as absurd. regardless of my faith, i cannot be convinced that human beings are the result of random mutations stemming from simple cells. i cannot convince myself that this incredibly ordered universe came about by chance. i cannot be convinced that a few decades of observations can accurately place the age of our planet to be in the billions of years with a 1% degree of inaccuracy. the fact that we can make an electronice board manage electrical impulses in an on or off setting is not relevant to the kind of extrapolations that have us dating things in the billions of years with a margin for error of several million years.

 

It would also say that if you truly believe the sentence you wrote above, you have very little understanding of the Scientific Method.

 

we've been through this before. i actually have an incredibly acute understanding of the scientific method. it observes, explains, and then draws new learnings from the explanations. these new explanations are then tested, observed, and the process keeps going. the scientific method is the process we use to understand the world around us. it is very possible, however, to make assumptions about an observation and then start to base new observations based on those assumptions, and then pass this off as the scientific method, which, technically, it is. over time, certain assumptions can be proved untrue, at which point you start the method again with a series of new observations and tests based on the new assumptions. once we can explain something, we label it. we never really understand WHY things happen, we just observe that it does and then start to draw inferences. keep someone in a room with no windows or doors from the moment they are born and they could use the scientific method to determine that the room they are in constitutes the entire universe. open a hidden door from that room and now you have an entirely different base from which to reset all of your "science."

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