Posting in Science
One of Ruben's key findings involves a bird's thigh, which is fixed in place and allows it the lung capacity to fly. Like people, dinosaurs had a thigh bone that moved as it crossed the ground. In other words birds run from their knees, dinosaurs ran from their hips.
Gravity is just a theory. Evolution is just a theory. Yet K-12 students are given both as "facts," which leads some parents to scratch their protruding foreheads and conclude science doesn't know anything and thus religion should replace it.
One of the most popular examples of science "changing its mind" came over the last generation, with a growing realization that dinosaurs and birds have a lot in common.
Thus the chicken on your plate must be related to Tyrannosaurus Rex, just as you are related to the monkey.
Now that theory is being replaced. A growing body of evidence indicates birds and dinosaurs had a common ancestor, but that their evolution diverged. Raptors may be a bird-like descendant of a different genealogical family from dinosaurs.
A lot of this work is coming from John Ruben, a zoologist at Oregon State University. (Go Beavers.)
One of Ruben's key findings involves a bird's thigh (above, from ScienceDaily), which is fixed in place and allows it the lung capacity to fly. Like people, dinosaurs had a thigh bone that moved as it crossed the ground. In other words birds run from their knees, dinosaurs ran from their hips.
You can taste this evolution in action. Try cooking a duck, a bird that flies. Notice how the breast is dark meat, and the thigh is tucked right into it? Now cook a chicken, a bird that mainly glides and runs. The breast is light, the thigh easier to separate at the hip and darker, because it gets more use.
This does not mean that bird-like dinosaurs such as the feathered Anchiornis huxleyi found last year in China, are unrelated to modern birds. But it could have been a transitional creature on a separate, but related evolutionary path. Feathers may have evolved twice.
Yes, it's complicated.
Ruben's theories raise many more questions than they answer. That's the point.
Science is not, and never really has been, about answers. If you want answers talk to an engineer. Science is about questions. The best theories ask the best questions, leading us to new avenues of discovery.
What Ruben has shown us, once again, is not just that science can change its mind, but that science and religion are fundamentally different and should never be confused even though, as is the case of birds and dinosaurs, confusion may seem the easier way to go.
Feb 10, 2010
A wild post indeed. A bit scarey too. Pretty much guaranteed though by mixing science and religion in the same article. Man made religion and deity worship are in themselves tenets which it seems a great deal of humanity are happy to go along with probably because they fear the alternative of not actually knowing or having a guide. That's the point we don't know and don't believe anyone who tells you they do unless they can prove it - and then we'd all know as this'd be the biggest news story ever! God by religious definition is a concept that requires blind faith and through the millennia is and has been manifest in many different guises. Spirituality is quite another thing. So yes it's great that science in itself is evolutionary and we're able to to learn more of the universe and regarding this article of dinosaurs too. I'm not sure however that relgions and superstitions in themselves have anything to offer us now, and, as another poster has pointed out, are actually a great cause of friction within humanity.
This is a wild post, so I will add my 2 cents here. Scientists, engineers, religion, all one in the same. As a gap filler there are these people called mathamaticians and physicists. Close to a scientist, close to priest. Proving the ideas or disproving the thoughts. Newton was a Mathamatics guy who firmly believed in God- Get that in your pipe and smoke it. Nothing in excess people, everything in moderation. thats where this conflict will end. No right, no left but smack in the middle lays the greatest truth and facts. An equal amount of truth of science is reflected in the opposite equal amount of Facts in religion- remember that and you will find your way to some truth- right in the middle. Evolution and the biblical "God created man" are right in line with each other and actually support each other very nicely. They are complimentary not opposing as I see most here believe. PS - I am a math and physics guy- We believe the middle.....
@dadown You have a funny way of assuming what I might assume. I don't assume that because an animal can adapt to different environments that the original one was a mistake. I see evolution. Evolution equals adaptation. Only if something was intentionally made or created, as You assume, can there be a mistake. I don't claim that dog breeding is natural selection, I claim that it mimics natural selection in a speeded up version. And again, variation equals evolution, not creation. Not all bred varieties survive, only those that have what it takes to survive. Evolution! Why would someone "create" things that don't survive. "Make mistakes" in other words. "Our tailbone is an important attachment for various muscles, tendons and ligaments and also part of the weight-bearing structure that provide stability while sitting. Among the muscles that are attacked to it are those that control defication." Yes, I can almost see You wiggling Your tailbone when You sit on the toilet. Seriously, if humans were created, there are lots of more "intelligent" ways to accomplish these things than by tailbones, especially considering a "creator" could create things anyway it liked. Why not set a big bag of air on our bottoms, that way it wouldn't hurt so much if we fall on our tailbones. Or did the creator create the tailbone with the intentional purpose of hurting people when they fall? Yes, I know there are still some ligaments and tendons attatched to the tailbones. They are after all remnants from our primate ancestors from whom we have evolved. When I sit down, no part of my tailbones touch the surface I sit on. No matter how much I try I can't wiggle my tail because it is a receeding remnant of evolution. So much for that theory of Yours. "You also ask about disease (why is there evil in the world). It is part of what happened when man rebelled against God. God given us freedom of choice and allows us to do evil and find out what the consequences of making poor choices are." Who made man rebell against god? God himself of course in his infinite arrogance and malice. What kind of sick entity places "the tree of knowledge" smack in the middle of garden of Eden when there were billions of other planets it could have been placed on. And before You even try to say it, no, since man was ignorant of knowledge he was also ignorant of right and wrong, so he could not understand that he should not eat from the tree. Or are You the kind of person who would punish a retarded person (one who cannot tell right from wrong) from eating chocolate even though You have forbidden him? Of course not, but a "god" would. "Freedom of choice" is just as meaningless saying as "freedomfighters", it doesn't mean anything. I have freedom of choice to fly to the moon by flapping my arms. Does it work? Of course not. The freedom of choice we have is VERY limited. And one man's freedomfighter is another man's terrorist. I agree with You that there are lots of people who have misrepresented scripture to further their own agenda. That goes for every religion, sect and preacher, since the whole book is a collection of embellished stories with no distinguishing between fantasy and facts. It was just written to entertain and frighten superstitious people. "We continue to loose many species over the years, but where are all the new species that evolution should be providing to replace them?" That's just the point of evolution, it takes more time than a few years. Only someone who believes in creation could expect there to suddenly appear new species before his eyes. It doesn't happen. It takes a long time. So creation is obviously a myth, made up for gullible people. Nothing in the evolution theory says that something MUST replace somethig else. Some evolutionary branches simply just stop if they are not given enough time to adapt. "If evolution were correct, we would expect to see a continual increase in diversity" And that's what we see. The further back in time that we examine fossils, the simpler they are, all the way to one cell organisms. Everyting wasn't "created" at once, it evolved, just as science says. Evolution means that those who get better adapted to their environment survive, others perish, except in special isolated cases (Australia and Madagascar are excellent examples). So science wins again. There are no predictions of intelligent design, so Your question is meaningless. The whole concept of evolution is exactly that: things evolve by trial and error, they don't decide to evolve in any particular direction. I'm sure You have read Your bible well, how about reading some other litterature as well. Start with the Quraan, Bhagadvadgita and Mormonism. Explain to Yourself how they can differ som much and why You believe that Your belief is the only correct one. And then read the Torah, Bible and Quraan in succession and see how religion evolves, not in sudden leaps, but slowly. My point is: You can't have two sets of reality at the same time, a real one and an imaginary (religious) one. Because when they don't agree You go psychotic. It happens everyday to people all over the world. The smart ones renounce religion, the others continue to believe in something that just isn't there. And their explanation? God is just testing me! Like he "tested" the jews during second world war. No sane person would want a god like that even if one existed. This is the end of this discussion
I'm sensing a lot of latent hostility in your reply. Why do you assume that because an animal can adapt to different environments that the original one was a mistake? The original design was flexible with lots of DNA variations so that adaptive changes could be expressed at the appropriate time! It sounds very intelligent and creative to me. Also, dog breeding can hardly be claimed to be natural selection as it is intellegent breeders who are doing the selection and creating the variations of modern 'designer dogs'. I'm surprised that you are ignorant about the function of tailbones when it is easily found online. Our tailbone is an important attachment for various muscles, tendons and ligaments and also part of the weight-bearing structure that provide stability while sitting. Among the muscles that are attacked to it are those that control defication. You also ask about disease (why is there evil in the world). It is part of what happened when man rebelled against God. God given us freedom of choice and allows us to do evil and find out what the consequences of making poor choices are. I also don't understand your reasoning that ends with "Why did god lie?". What scripture are you refering to? Please don't confuse fanatics in the Catholic Church with content of the Bible. There are lots of people who have misrepresented scripture to further their own agenda just like you have people misrepresenting science. Its interesting that you ask why species go extinct. A surprising number have gone extinct because man has killed them off or ruined their habitat. Of course this can happen from natural disasters too. But it does raise an interesting point. We continue to loose many species over the years, but where are all the new species that evolution should be providing to replace them? The only 'new' species discovered are just ones that had already existed but had only recently been documented (such as deep sea locations that we hadn't visited before). If evolution were correct, we would expect to see a continual increase in diversity, instead we see a progressive loss of diversity (which is also what intelligent design predicts). Can you name one prediction based on evolution and contrary to intelligent design that has turned out to be true? I can list lots of claims by evolutionists in the past that have turned out to be false!
@dadown "Actually, modern Taxonomy consider dogs to merely be a wolf sub- species..." Ok, let's say dogs are a sub-species. How did that happen? Was god unhappy with the wolf? Couldn't he create the dog right the first time but had to make alterations? Why did he make so many kinds of dogs? There were not that many kinds 500 years ago. Where do you draw the line between species and subspecies? When does a subspecies become a different species, or is it a "forbidden thought"? The dog IS actually a new kind of animal evolving, no matter what you call it. Today it may be a subspecies, in 10 to 100 thousand years it will be a different species. Why is it so difficult to understand? Just because some book tells you so? A book written when few could read and even fewer could write, and people believed in all kinds of superstitious things that we today can explain in simple scientific terms. Even the ancient greeks knew the earth revolved around the sun, but christians didn't. Why did god lie? Why did god "create" diarrhea? According to the book "we cannot know the ways of god", according to science: too many bacteries that can live on the food in our digestive system get past our immune system. Religion thought illnesses were caused by evil spirits, science knows much better. I would also like to hear your view on why we have tailbones. What possible reason could a god have to put them into humans? I'll answer it: it's because we are descended, a"sub-species" if you like, from monkeys. Just because I have an answer and you don't, it doesn't automatically mean that my answer must be wrong just because it doesn't agree with your "book". If everything we need to know was allready written in the book, why do we come up with new inventions everyday? Why do species go extinct. Why do we have crocodiles AND alligators? "Only god knows" is a very poor answer, when science gives us much better ones. Everytime science "changes it's mind" i.e. evolves, it gives us more and more precise answers, instead of sticking to an answer that was wrong already before it was written in the book. Even if you see evolution as a belief, it still answers many more questions than creationism. If the book would say 1+1=5, which would you believe, the book or your own eyes. (And I'm not talking about naming conventions here). I wouldn't so much mind religious beliefs if they were kept personal, but forcing others, by threat and even by killing them, to believe something others clearly can see is wrong, is wrong. (You can believe 1+1 is 5, but when you actually have to use the numbers You must use 2 as an answer to get it right). Some people think that science and religion can live in harmony. I don't. But I won't kill you for that, like religious people have done through all ages. When science and religion tells you to do a different thing, or even completely opposite things, I'll go with science every time. You can't say the earth is both 6000 AND 5 billion years old. Science - to prove. Religion - to believe. You can believe anything you like, but you can only use what you can prove to exist.
I just hope that someday, we'll get past the mentality that science and religion are mutually exclusive. One describes what was done, the other takes its best guesses at the manner in which is was done. Two completely different fields, complementing each other rather than denying or disproving each other. Another popular myth propagated by some non-religious members of the science community is that in which they attempt to insist that all believers MUST be uneducated troglodytes who insist that if their holy text of choice implies a certain degree of miraculous, unscientific detail, then it MUST be a pivotal feature of their religion, and their entire religion MUST be wrong because that fact can't be made to work in modern science. Not true. Admittedly there are *some* of what I think of as "rabid believers" on both sides, some individuals who insist that evolution forbids the very existence of a God, others who insist that either man was created in the blink of an eye or else there is no religious belief at all. Most mainstream, moderate religions -- I speak specifically of mainstream Christianity since that's what I believe and understand the best -- are willing to compromise. Because the truth is -- it *doesn't matter* in the long run. Our religion is about a living experience, and most specifically, it's about following the instructions we believe we have received through the Scriptures in order to remain with God after our physical body dies. *that's*, in some form or another, what many religions, both Christian and otherwise, are focused on. The texts change and the interpretations change -- but in most cases, it's more about a personal experience than about a literal truth of every single concept within a modern scientific interpretation. To most of the Christians I know and associate with -- it truly *doesn't matter* one way or another if creation happened in "seven literal days" or if took longer. It's just not even something we focus on. Same with PI in the Bible. So what if it's wrong? That doesn't mean the entire religion is wrong. It just says that the early authors had little concept of mathematics. I've chosen to believe that when I'm being quizzed at the Pearly Gates, I won't be asked to recite PI to fifteen thousand digits. It's just not important. Point is -- science and religion don't have to be rabidly mutually exclusive. My thanks and commendations go to those on BOTH sides of these debates who realize that there is room for both to be believed, both to be taught, both to be encouraged.
Actually, modern Taxonomy consider dogs to merely be a wolf sub-species as they can be interbred and still be fertile. It is not a case of a new kind of animal evolving, but a species adapting to life in a different evironment. Just because an organ's purpose isn't understood doesn't mean that it is an 'evolutionary left-over'. It turns out that an appendix has a role in the immune system, especially in recovering from diarrhea, which kills millions of people in developing countries. What I smell is people trying to justify their evolutionary belief system in the face of alternate explanations.
You are confused by the evolution dogma. Genetics is NOT derived from evolutionary theory, quite the contrary, genetic theory came first and evolutionary theory tries to piggy-back on genetics. Are you aware that Darwin actually rejected Mendel's genetics theory? Proponents of darwinian evolution try to claim that all sorts of things in science are evidence for evolution when its just a case of them choosing to interpret it that way. If fact, I can't think of a single significant scientific advance that has depended on evolutionary theory for its development (ignoring corrections to evolutinary theory itself).
@dadown "A cat with extra toes is still a cat." Perhaps. How much different does a cat have to be before it is a cat nomore? A dog is not a wolf, but they were once. Where/when did the separation happen? Is a zebra actually a horse? Or not? And why do we have an appendix? Tailbones? Toes? We don't need any of those, but still we have them. Something smells like evolution. ;-)
@activesage "If it were up to you we would be dead smack in the center of a black hole. Nice." Really? I thought god was omnipotent and could do anything he/she/it liked, like removing the black holes he supposedly have 'created'. Apparently not. All of a sudden you say that the science of black holes is stronger than god. "It does not mean if you cannot see it its not there." Very true! I can not see You but I see there is much confusion in Your mind.
This nonsense about denying Darwinian evolution because animals can breed true after extensive manipulation is silly. We know we can produce new types of plants and animals. We know, now, the mechanism by which evolution works, which is DNA. Darwin's paper began a long scientific journey of discovery, which continues to this day. But like any such paper it is filled with what later were called mistakes. But to condemn "darwinian evolution" due to those mistakes is like denying the Earth is round because Columbus never reached India, only the West Indies. It is entirely beside the point. Evolution is science. Genetics, as a science, are derived from evolution. Darwin made an enormous, undeniable contribution. His paper was not the whole story. But no paper is. That's the difference between science and, say, religion. Science is about the journey, not the destination.
A cat with extra toes is still a cat. That is just variation WITHIN a species, which doesn't count as darwinian evolution. I fully believe in variation within a species, but not darwinian evolution.
I just LOVE the interminable argument between evolution and religion. It's a tedious argument over how long the changes took. Religion is at best an artifact; a superstitious reconstruct quite separated from the original SOURCE; that is, genuine spiritual experience. Imagine all those folks being misled by a hierarchical priesthood into believing that the Great Spirit lives in the sky. Hey, folks, Jesus walks among us. Ask. Look. It's right there. However, Jesus, so far as I know, hasn't published much on evolution. You, too, can observe evolution at work. Cats are very busy with it right under our collective nose. Have you ever seen a cat with 6, 7, 8 toes? Have you noticed how the toes are WORKING UP THE CATS FOREARM? There are cases where the wandering toe reachs the correct HARMONIC and becomes a thumb. That's right; cats with thumbs! Lock up the can opener! Oddly enough, and contrary to Darwin, these cats do not yet know how to work a thumb. Isn't that strange? Function following form? Hmmm... Science is merely a mental schematic for seeking to find answers. Granted there is a lot of presupposition among the scientists, I believe, in the end, they will detect the presence of the soul, the weight of guilt, and that life itself is written into the laws of the universe. Darwin did a lot of thinking and trying out models to explain everything he observed. He is not completely correct since he did not incorporate "intention" into his model. But his answer works well enough to satisfy most engineers.
Hey jrj001 You are making an assumption here; you equate Neanderthals with something lowly, debased, ignorant, perhaps even stupid. Science would not do that. Fact is, perhaps Neanderthals were quite sprightly, interested, creative, curious, intelligent (yes), and humane. According to my parents -- who can make a dog yelp by merely smiling at it -- the reasons the Neanderthals had to go underground is that they would not kill except when driven to that extreme by hunger.
Note: I have not been attacking you as a person, just your statements. If you choose to view that as a personal attack, that's your choice, not mine. I'm wondering why you choose to equate God with Santa or is it just a convenient put-down? Obviously, your concept of God is quite different than mine. I wouldn't believe in a God like you describe either. Its interesting how on the one hand people will ask why God doesn't stop evil things from happening, yet when God punishes evil people they complain about Him being vindictive, etc.
But Dana, bridges do sometimes fall because of the science-- just as they sometimes fall because of God's wrath-- but mostly they fall because of gravity. No gravity, no falling bridges. Of course no standing bridges either, but that is a question for another topic line. Religion is every bit as much a process as science. Follow the millions of people who will walk the stations of the cross tomorrow. And science is every bit as prone to scream blasphemy as religion. Science is every bit as judgmental as religion-- try publishing something in JAMA that runs really contrary to "accepted" scientific wisdom. I know because I have tried. Science and religion are both equally arrogant, just read down this line of responses. It had taken almost a hundred years for science to get past the "Counting Horse" to the point that there is finally some generalized realization that animals do think after all. Dana. dogma is dogma cover it with whatever label you may. Whether the dogma is a tiny one like a fox terrier, or a great big one like a Great Dane. The very article that began this thread shows clearly how judgmental and short sighted Science is-- were that not so than this article would not have been written. Science does not change its mind due to evidence, it changes it mind because of a shift in belief-- same as religion. Don't overly sophisticate science, it does a disservice to it and to you.
Darwinian evolution -- the entirety of the thesis published in "Origin of the Species" in 1859 -- is filled with inaccuracies. So are most scientific papers from that period. But that's what makes them science. Louis Pasteur was very forthright in thanking his critics, even those who were wildly wrong. Because that's science. Science is a search for truth. It's not truth itself. What we teach children in science class is what we assume to be true at the time we write the textbook. I was taught dinosaurs were reptiles. My children were taught dinosaurs were birds. Their children may be taught something entirely different, based on what science may come up with in the meantime. It's a process.
Calling science a religion is a basic misunderstanding. Science is a process. It does not preclude any religion's truth. It's not about who made the universe, or the idea someone might have. It's how the maker made it. In this case, we know that DNA amino acids are basic building blocks. We know how evolution proceeds, thanks to paleontology, over long stretches of time. That's its value. And we have ways of manipulating evolution for our own purposes -- that's selective breeding. The only thing remotely religious about science is that we accept the method, and we use the results. Bridges don't stand on faith. They stand on engineering, which stands on science. But the fact bridges sometimes fall doesn't mean the science was bad.
Oh and a PS to "dadown". I enjoyed raising my children, but I did not first of all set them up with some sort of apple that would give them wisdom, and told them not to touch it. Nor did I, when they were naughty, either drown them, burn the up in a fire, or just stomp them into the ground to create oil so you could run about in your car. Dadown, your response to me was extremely lame and much more of a personal attach than a discussion of the issue at hand. If that is the best you have to offer, then go teach Sunday school.
@dadown and @ danablankinhorn with special thanks to dukhalion! Those "QED" moments are so strange and interesting. Two people who read my thoughts-- one figuring I was anti-religious and pro evolution, the other exactly the opposite. And yes, I actually do have a creative spirit, I use it actively every day. But the difference is that I don't just smash it to hell, and then start off again out of some kind of cosmic angst. I actually thing that real creative effort deserves more respect than that. If God, dadon, does business by blaming failure on the creation itself, than that is a very childish god indeed. Frankly it doesn't mean a rat's ass whether evolution is the best explanation or religion is. Because both have holes in them large enough to toss in 90% of the cosmic bodies available. Any theory be it a Godish one or a Darwinish one that scan only get from one point to another by inserting "belief" (know as conjecture in more intellectual circles") and lame from the start of the race. Whether I am self deluded as one comment implied or not, does not change the obvious and simple reality that belief is nothing but adult "make believe". That is the common tie between both (or among all the) camps on this question. In the end they are both the same and equally right or wrong. The only real question that matters is whether a theory of the "coming to be-ness" of the universe actually explains it without having to resort to a paradigm that began with "tell Santa what you want for Christmas". The sheer level of oversimplification of all views here shows the unwillingness of all to stray beyond the contrived security of Santa.God, or Darwin. And yes Dana, if the fox terrier is the male, and the great Dane is a female and you use a ladder (or a turkey baster for that matter) it is altogether possible to bread the two. If you have no more imagination that that analogy, Dana, than you should get out of the speculation business!
It's not that you scientists "change your mind," but rather that you pretentiously present your theories as absolute truth, until you prove otherwise. Regardless of calling them theories. If you would show a bit of humble self-doubt, we would be more likely to listen as it would show you have some reasonable amount of intelligence. And no, I do not think religion should replace science. I think GOD MADE SCIENCE. The more we know, the more we understand God; the more we understand God, the more we know. Jayelefbee
I'm wondering if you might be among the blissfully ignorant, not understanding the points being made. Assuming that you aren't just trolling to stir things up, I'll explain a bit for you. First of all, I'm well read on Darwinian evolution and used to believe it all. However, the further I dug into the details, the more leaps of logic I found. Eventually, I concluded that it was mainly a way for athiests to explain away how we could be here without any religious intervention. One of the problems with the term "evolution" is that it can have many meanings. In the broadest sense, evolution is just change over time. Its obvious to anyone that many things change over time, especially living things. Micro-evolution usually refers to how sucessive generations of a given species will demonstrate a variety of characteristics which can help them adapt to a changing environment. This version of evolution is easily demonstrated with selective breeding and I agree with it too. Finally, we had macro-evolution or Darwinian evolution wich claims that one species is capable of changing into a completely different species, given sufficient time. This is the type of evolution that has not been demonstrated, that lacks definitive fossil evidence and require blind faith to believe in. No amount of selective breeding will ever create a cat from a dog, or visa versa. Each kind of creature is limited by its DNA in what kind of changes are allowed and mutations are mathematically unable to generate a significant new viable design, even over millions of years. I follow the latest developments in genetics and molecular biology with great interest. As our limited understanding of DNA and how it affects all aspects of life increases, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the development of life requires intellegent design and not blind darwinian evolution. Unfortunately, entrenched opinions change very slowly, if at all, so it will probably take another generation of two of scientists to unseat Darwanism as the dominant theory.
Shame! Shame! Especially the authors. Ye 'scientists' need to drink deeper from the well of knowledge. Ye devout need to understand your own scriptures. And everyone needs to be more honest. Look! So-called science is a religion. Be honest. To many things have to be taken on faith. And it's all built on puny mankind trying to understand what's going on around him, while imagining that he himself is the highest life form in the universe, or, at least, if there is a higher intelligence, it's either as oblivious to man as man is to the microbes, or as uncaring. And those who profess to believe in God... If you really do, then learn those scriptures. All of them! Recognize that science, especially astrophysics, is at the heart of them all. That's right! Religion is science. Whether Venus being born fully formed from Zeus' brow, Vaenemoenen grinding the Sampo, Magi following a star, or Buddha being born from the side of an elephant. It may be couched in allegory, but it's really all about science. And that, by the way, is how you can tell that 'Scientology' is a false religion: No science. No God making light. No earth bringing forth fish. Just Xenu blowing up space-ships. It's all garbage because it lacks science. Go figure.
@Dukhalion Your little mind cannot even grasp the inner workings of the universe. What we know as Scientists is an atom compared to what really goes on. You said "If there really is a god, why did he/she/it create the whole vast universe and put humans, the 'crown of creation on a tiny small insignificant planet far far away from anywhere? Shouldn't we be in the middle of the universe?" umm Far away from were? were do you want to be? You are confusing yourself Sir. If it were up to you we would be dead smack in the center of a black hole. Nice. Stop talking trash, Humans will never understand the inner and outer workings of the universe to the fullest. There is not enough time. It does not mean if you cannot see it its not there.
Wow. I had no idea that so many ignorant people read this column (or can :-) . Before You start critisizing the evolution theory, at least READ about it. All of the arguments against evolution in this topic seems to come from people who have never actually read anything about it. Selective breeding IS Darvinian evolution, but in a speeded up version. Nowhere does it say that evolution JUMPS from one species to another, it's a gradual change, that's why it's called evolution and not 'jumpolution'. Evolution is not about there suddenly appearing new genes. Read about genes and what they are before you start talking about them. Genes are mutated from time to time for different reasons (radiation, poisons, Talidomid etc), and some alterations produce a slightly better variety, some a slightly worse variety, and most don't produce a functioning organism at all which dies long before birth. But in a timespan of about 3 000 000 000 years it all adds up. I very much doubt that any of you have the capacity to even imagine how long three billion years really is, and what can happen in such a long time. Science is the only rational way to examine things, because science allows you to change your mind if and when new facts and better theories arise. Only a complete ****** would believe in 'divine' fairytales written by ignorant savages, who didn't even know what lightning or dinosaurs were. And if you really want to believe what some religion tells you, how do you explain that some other religion tells the opposite, and it's believers are just as sure of themselves as you are. I feel sorry for you and the irrational beliefs you force yourselves to believe in without questioning. But the wichhunt is apparently still going strong in todays world. Believe and don't question, or else... If there really is a god, why did he/she/it create the whole vast universe and put humans, the 'crown of creation' on a tiny small insignificant planet far far away from anywhere? Shouldn't we be in the middle of the universe? (samcraw, you have great arguments)
I read both articles about domestication and they only confirm what I already believe about the lack of evolution in domestication. Selective breeding just selects which existing genes you want to pass on to decendants, it is not creating new genes. If it really was evolution, you would expect to see completely new characteristics, not the same ones already found in other domesticated animals. Did you also notice in the case of the stray dogs that they were reverting back to the norm, loosing some of the characteristics that had been bred for? I've also read another article saying that strays around the world are surprisingly similar. So when you have a broad gene pool, a populating is able to develop a wide range of active features to adapt to a changing environment. Epi-genetics research is just beginning to understand how all this activation and deactivation of different genes works. However, you are still limited to the pre-existing genes, so if you don't already have a genes for wings, you can never breed wings into a species. Thus selective breeding is NOT Darwinian evolution.
The transitional form game is one of the favorites among those who reject the premise of science. If you get B between A and C, then you see, well what about B Prime? Or b-2? No matter how many transitional forms are found you can claim there are others. It's a silly game. How evolution proceeds is still something we're working out. That evolution works over time is easily demonstrated. Through selective breeding. There are now both plant and animal species -- corn and turkeys among them -- that can't breed without human intervention. Yet corn continues to evolve ever-sweeter, and turkeys continue to evolve ever-juicier. Yes, that's human intervention. So what? And do you really think a Great Dane can be mated with a toy fox terrier? Evolution will be abandoned when it ceases to work.
Evolution is demonstrated in the earlier story about dogs in Moscow: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/628a8500-ff1c-11de-a677-00144feab49a.html Also the selective breeding of foxes in Siberia is instructive: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/807641/posts There is a lot of information on this experiment. Anyone who declines to accept the results has a lot of explaining to do. The concept of god has evolved as well, from gods manifested in weather (lightning, thunder) to the pseudo-fundamentalists today. People might benefit by changing their minds about religion. v.
Science is a process. It's not the result. It doesn't matter to science whether there is a creator. Even the creator used a method to produce the present world. Science is involved in asking what method was used. How did God do it? Now, maybe you don't want to know. Then turn in every product of science you have. You can't pick and choose. Once you use the method, you engage via the method, rather than polemics. Polemics are left at the door of the science lab. There is no real conflict between religion and science. Period. Except in the minds of those who wish to bar the door of discovery.
When the evidence doesn't support a theory, at some point it needs to labeled a failed theory, or do you believe that the theory of spontanious generation of worms in dead meat is still "in progress"? From my point of view the spontanious generation of life from a primordial ocean is a similar leap of logic. It appears from your comments that you think that religion is contrary to science, but did you know that in a survey in Seed magazine (a pro-evolution science magazine) they found that over 75% of scientists in the USA said they believed in some religion? A given religion is only dead when nobody believes in it any more. I'm surprised that you have such a problem with understanding why God would want to create a world like ours and populate it. Do you not enjoy creating things or do you lack creative abilities? Also look at how many people enjoy raising children, even though they may make poor choices and do hurtful things. PS. Is your belief in evolution also self-delusion?
@dadown To be unfinished or in progress IS NOT the same thing as failed. Constant course changing is at the bottommost rung of science. The very immutable problem with religion is that it is changeless by claim and nature-- it has no room to grow and thus without evidence of growth and adaptation (no evolution?) resembles an organism that is dead. But your idea that finding no transition versions of critters or plants demonstrates failure of logic only leads to a "thus..." point. Did the "god force" just out of the blue-- or perhaps out of boredom on a rainy Saturday decide to throw together some massive creatures and drop them totally formed on the earth, then, in immortal time, simply grab them off the board and stick on new ones? The whole concept of "intelligent design" rides on a platform of purpose driven action. And at the root of most monotheistic religion is that the entire point of the creation exercise was to get to "humans are here stage" so the goats and sheep could get separated and put in the appropriate pens. Although the ascribing of omniscience to the god force makes it a rather silly waste of effort because G* already knew before he did anything what the answer was going to be. Not unlike playing checkers with yourself. Rather like cosmic masturbation. And the defense that we simply are not wise enough to understand the purpose of a superior creative force explains why humans cannot arrive at a clear reason for God tossing in and out fully formed beast and such, is lame-maximus. That is unless you think god is just doing his/her/its best to make humans look stupid (as if we need divine assistance in that!). Perhaps evolution is a total misstep in the process of humans working to use their unique ability to think in a linear and heuristic way simultaneously. But saying that really says nothing of use. Religion has had a very long time to show that it does have the ability to enlighten us in the deep questions of the cosmos, but instead resorts to tales, superstitions, and preying on the complete panic ( or more likely vanity) that a person believes themselves to be much too important not to have immortality waiting in the wings. WE should not be trying to judge the "right answer". We should be instead be looking for the most flexible and inclusive attempt to decipher an pathway towards new and more probing questions. The quandary of understanding life and its ability to appear different at different places and times is the core question at hand. Both science or religion are able to shed no more than watery and flickering light on this for now. The only thing that makes either of them feel satisfactory to a person is by adding a chunk of "belief"- which is no more or no less that chosen self delusion.
Of course the damage is already done, but perhaps if we had named this search for knowledge from a different root than "scientia" (knowledge) this whole mix-up might have been lessened, or even avoided. Maybe a new word from "probatur" or "inquiro" (search or examine.)
Its been 200 years since Darwin claimed gradual change over time. He didn't find gradual change in the fossil record then and we still don't see it now. It wouldn't be surprising if a few trasitional fossils were missing after 200 years, but when you find no evidence of gradually changing fossils and instead you new species with no direct ancestors, its time to reject a failed theory.
The first evidence for life on the planet appears in strata dated about 3.45 billion years ago, about a billion years after the planet was formed. We've been experimenting in the area for far less than 100 years. The Cambrian explosion didn't happen until around 600 million years ago, nearly 3 billion years after the first appearance of life on the planet and lasted about 150 million years. Whether fossils are formed or not is highly dependent on conditions on the ground and whether we find them or not is often hit or miss. I don't think there is enough evidence to support your claim that the animals appears suddenly and fully formed. It was rather sudden in the geologic sense but not in our human senses. BTW, ICR is not a credible reference on this subject.
"So, religious belief equals Neanderthal?" Short answer: no. Longer answer: The conclusion relie on a logical fallacy, specifically a weak (false) analogy. It argues: - Neanderthals didn't understand science. - Those with religious belief don't understand science. - So, religious belief equals Neanderthal. You can read about it here: http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/weak-analogy. The above analogy incorrectly assumes that those with religious beliefs don't understand science. Since many do, the assumption is incorrect and the analogy is false. It is just as incorrect to assume that Neanderthals didn't understand science.There is inadequate evidence to support either conclusion.
You wonder where to start? As you seem to be a Dawkins fan, i would recommend starting with "The Dawkins delusion" by Alister E. McGrath, where Dawkins anti-religious stand and faith in evolution is examined and found to lack solid science. Evolution has no solution for how life started, just speculation. The artificial "primordial ocean" experiment just produced a few simple organic compounds, not even close to something as complex as a single protein(see http://www.icr.org/article/5267/). Even in todays fanciest research facilities, you only get living cells from other living cells. As far as gradual evolution over time, where is the evidence? Look at all the new species that appear suddenly, fully formed in the Cambrian explosion with no direct ancestors or signs of gradual change. In 200 years, still no evidence for evolution here. And what's this nonsense about the "perfect bible" saying that the earth is flat? What scripture do you claim for this? Don't confuse old Catholic dogma with the Bible(see http://www.icr.org/article/1848/). There is no conflict between real science and the Bible, its just the people like Dawkins who try to twist science to justify their rejection of the Bible. See the harmony with science at http://www.icr.org/science/
You make a good defense for science. You are also one of the few that know that the Bible has PI wrong. Most religious texts seem to have a problem with math and it is probably due to the understanding of math of those people at that time. Science and religion are not antithetical; religion has answers that were acceptable when knowledge and understanding was poor. Science is a constantly refining process that seeks to improve knowledge and understanding. The problem arises when new information conflicts with old understanding. Science also has problems with new information. Einstein's theories were not immediately accepted but have gone from being seen as radical to being accepted after years of thinking and experimentation. Religion goes through changes but it is more rigid. Religion does not try to test suppositions because that could be seen as heresy.
wessonjoe Anti-religious prejudice? Really? Really. Yes, I'd have to agree with wessonjoe, your article definitely took an anti-religious bent. Case in point: Yet K-12 students are given both as ?facts,? which leads some parents to scratch their protruding foreheads and conclude science doesn?t know anything and thus religion should replace it. Just that one part alone shows how you feel about religion. I know that religion doesn't have all the answers to the scientific questions that we see in our world today. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have answers for those of us that choose to believe that it has a lot more than evolutionists have. I am a firm believer in both God and evolution, both are taken wholly on faith, I have no evidence to prove either stance and neither does science for their stance on evolution. It's a theory, nothing more. It can't be proven or disproven because there isn't enough evidence either way to do that. Maybe you should hide your anti-religious beliefs a little better next time that you attempt to report something. That way people might be able to take your words more seriously. Thank you and go with God.
Hmmm, where to start. For the post that said "Evolution can never answer the questions of how life springs from non-life" actually, it can. If you can imagine an auto-catalytic reaction occurring in the primordial ocean, that would be a good shot at how it started. (Try reading Dawkins "Ancestor's Tale" for more details) For those that think that evolution is mostly random - need to study a little more. Evolution depends on very tiny changes occurring over millions of years. You are very similar to your parents, who were very similar to their parents and so on. For the people who think that because science keeps "changing its mind" it must be wrong: science is constantly improving it's answers. Science moved us from a flat earth, to a spherical earth, to an oblate spheroid earth. The 'perfect' bible still holds that the earth is flat. Which answer do you think is better? Newton gave us many great formulas, which were certainly better than the superstitions that came before him. And, he was mostly right. Einstein was able to refine Newtons' formulas to even more accuracy, which has led to Lasers, nuclear energy and LEDs. The bible has things like the value of Pi wrong, and it's STILL wrong. A more basic point is: just because one viewpoint may be WRONG, doesn't make some other viewpoint RIGHT. If that were the case (and you think science answers are 'wrong') that would also 'prove' that Zeus rules the planet. And the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real.
DanaBlankenhorn: "In the case of evolution, check out your dog. Dogs kept as pets have undergone more genetic change in 150 years than in all the years previously." You are demonstrating your ignorance here. Selective breeding in dogs for the last 150 years, does not demonstrate evolution. On the contrary, it demonstrates that there can be a lot of variation WITHIN a species, but no amount of selective breeding has produced anything but another dog. This ectually shows how evolution does not work. What it does demonstrate is that your belief in evolution is more like a religion than science. You believe that everything demonstrates evolution, even when the facts don't support it.
SO....why do we keep on defending something as science when in fact the very definition forbids it. If some one chooses to "believe in" evolution, then they have chosen to believe in the metaphysical. To say we can prove evolution because the intelligence of man can gene-splice corn makes no sense. Evolution is purported to have occurred over millions (billions) of years with no intelligent intervention. Evolution can never answer the questions of how life springs from non-life, or how consciousness springs from non-consciousness. No matter how hard "scientists" try to prove they can create life, they will never succeed. Besides, it escapes their notice that it already exists, and the complexity implies the impossibility of random chance being involved. Its like saying an explosion in a print shop resulted in formation of a dictionary. The second law of thermodynamics (law, not theory or hypothesis) has been proven and tested so extensively that no one would say it is not true. All it states is that everything runs down. That's why kitchens and teenagers' rooms don't automatically clean themselves. That's also why life is not self-forming. I think the part that scares most people in the evolution camp is that the evidence of design around them is so prevalent that there just might be a designer. Maybe they're scared because they don't know Him.
Wessonjoe, "it seems to any objective observer that neither truly exist except to fuel a belief." Two observable points of comment in your response. First your statement that the "religion of evolution" is antediluvian can be said of any cosmic belief structure. ALL RELIGIONS ARE SUPPOSITIONS. Argue though you may, the same motive-- to promote a sense of superior knowledge over others-- be it by one human or a congration of humans--by rigid and rigorous thought and action promoting one belief based on any particular supposition is bogus! Second given your completely gratatious tossing in of homosexuality shows that you are clearly NOT an objective observer, but one with a preset agenda. The idea that new ideas can replace old ones in science, as is not the case in all religious theories, does at least demonstrate some fundamental brain activity Not sure how to make a childish face appear here.
Anti-religious prejudice? Really? Really. Good theories fit facts and create questions. The best theories can be engineered into useful stuff. In the case of evolution, check out your dog. Dogs kept as pets have undergone more genetic change in 150 years than in all the years previously. People are able to engineer changes in crops thanks to the observations of evolution. It's a very useful theory. Religion, on the other hand, offers only absolute answers that can't be tested, nor proven, nor disproven. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- it's just not science. No one has to "believe" in science the way they have to "believe" in a particular religion for that religion to have meaning. Belief doesn't enter into it.
Science is neither education nor entertainment. When scientists go on TV and discuss the latest accepted theories, they are engaging in both education and entertainment. Equating education and entertainment with science is just a way to stick it in a box and equate it to religion, which I repeat is ignorance.
, just the facts please. the "fact" is that your beloved "theory" attempts to equate and connect so many divergent observations that it makes no sense, as you correctly point out. if a supposition can't be proven or disproven, like evolution, it is not a theory anyhow. the religion of Evolution needs to be relegated to the hinterlands along with the so-called homosexual gene. it seems to any objective observer that neither truly exist except to fuel a belief. :) .
For David.m.acre@, your note was an interesting trek into this topic. I definitely would like to here the part that comes after the very implied "SO..." at the end.
No one knows exactly how much PI really is, so how can you say the Bible has it wrong? Even the best scientists can only approximate it.