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1/05/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Don't believe in evolution?

Posted by Brett Keane


This video is addressed to creationists, in reference to some of the (you'd think) easily corrected misconceptions about evolution. Video by my Atheist buddy RabidApe.

49 comments:

Nathan said...

He makes a good point about the difference between fact and theory. The problem is that the Evolutionist would completely ignore the scientific method to form his theory, primarily "observation" and "experiment". Although evolutionists make a big deal about "transitional" fossil records, there is no observable evidence that any family of organism has every jumped an evolutionary gap. Neither have there been any experiments that support the theory of macro-evolution. Let both sides finally be honest, neither macro-evolution nor creation is a theory. They are both faith-based beliefs. The one assumes, by faith in mankind's own reasoning and being, that God does not exist and therefore interprets data accordingly. The other assumes, by faith in God, that God does exist and therefore interprets data accordingly.

But, to play along, let's through in some imperical science:

Fact: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: All systems add to the entropy of the universe. In other words, all systems decrease in order, adding to the chaos of the universe, not increase in order. And, the universe is verifiably becoming more chaotic, not more complex.

Fact: Through observation and thousands of years of experience in breeding science, no one has ever observed a productive bridge between two families of organisms, and even within a family, this is often not productive. Take for example, the mule, which is a breed between a horse and a donkey. Mules are born unable to reproduce. A liger, which is a breed between a tiger and lion is another example. Over thousands of years, breeders have bred horses down to as small as a shetlan poney and as large as a Belgian, but never have they jumped the gap and bred a horse into a dog or anything else.

Fact: No one has ever observed a helpful mutation. There has never been a beneficial form of cancer (I say this with all respect for those who might have faced it), or an extra leg that was anything more than just an obstacle.

I know, I'm the annoying Christian that isn't supposed to be posting stuff on an atheistic website, but apparently you already understand why...that whole Great Commission and everything.

Anonymous said...

One of each species was created by The Yehweh Elohim the rest were generated through sex. with many mutations not evolution. the theory of evolution is just that a thought (Theory) no proof just a link no chainm, the chain is missing. "The thought of Egotistical disengaged brains"

Nothing more....

Anonymous said...

Nathan. Wow, where does one start? First of all, you make this wild claim that scientists ignore the scientific method to form evolutionary theory. How is it scientists "ignore" observations regarding evolution? What exactly have they ignored? Why are you lying about no transitional fossils? There are plenty of them. The evolution of the horse from a small mammal to what we see today is well documented, among many examples. No experiments? Scientists can see bacteria and viruses evolve from one species to another very easily. Need a different flu shot each year? Evolution at work. New strains of corn or breed of cow? Evolution at work. "Macro" evolution is a bullshit term the creationists have come up with; it means nothing. No faith required to accept evolutionary theory. What a straw man to say that one has to assume that god does not exist in order to interpret data to support evolutionary theory. Lots of people believe in both god and evolution.

Fact: You totally misunderstand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The earth is not a closed system, the sun and earth can be considered one though, and that's where the entropy is. The more energy the sun puts out, the more hydrogen is lost and ultimately puts it on the path to its eventual destruction in about 5 billion years. Order can be maintained by an influx of energy. The increase in order on earth has been at the expense of entropy within the sun.

Fact: Your rant about breeding between species has nada to do with evolution. WTF did you get that?

Fact: Plenty of "helpful" mutations observed. The bacteria mutating to be resistant to antibiotics may not be helpful to us, but it sure is to them. The peppered moth's evolution to the darker color helped it a great deal.

SpaceMonk said...

Nathan, how about junk DNA?
Scientists have even resurrected ancient virus' from their fossils in human junk DNA.
...and sure the junk is chaotic, but order has still been maintained in human DNA.

MrsCogan said...

Nathan thinks he's telling the truth. Most creationists have been lied to by people who they had every reason to trust.

My big problem with the video was the sneering, condescending tone. "Listen up, you moron" is not the way to convey something that is exciting and wonderful as evolution. Evolution should not be wielded like a weapon.

Also "You are an idiot and here's why you are an idiot" isn't the compelling argument you think it is. Do you think people are going to say "I'm sorry I'm an idiot. Thank you for setting me straight."? Ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

Sorry it takes me more faith to believe in evolution then it does to believe in Jesus.
I'm a Athest..but I dont buy into evolution..sorry my faith aint that strong..I'm also tired of Athest using evolution for a crutch. Give me a break!!! Sorry but aint no fucking way I evoled from a sperm..then to a toad..then to a monkey..then to a man....if that is so they why are men getting worse and not better on the evolution ladder....Sorry takes me A hell of allot more faith to believe that hogwash!

Callyn said...

To Anonymous:

Who said you evolved from a sperm? Your understanding of evolution is incorrect, if that's what you think. You have never evolved, period. The smallest unit that can evolve is a population. Also, evolution is not guided. It doesn't have to be towards smarter, more complex organisms. It is adaptations towards the environment of the population. Read up on evolution through a Biology textbook, it'll help you understand it better.

To Nathan:

Evolution is a branching thing, and the branched never converge again. You can't breed one species into another species that already exists. That's not how it works.

AtheistMommy said...

I don't believe for one second that an Atheist would come on here and say "it takes faith to believe in evolution." That's not the way evolution or faith works. You sound more like a disgruntled believer.

And all, except for the one above mine, of these replies are exactly the same shit I hear from Christians. I talked about the evolution of the skull once in class, I actually got boo'd. Not only do believers not know about evolution, they also don't want to know. As if knowing about evolution is going to do something to them, lol, like make them an Atheist.

I thought this guy's video was pretty good. He should have used smaller words but it was good none-the-less. I like his comparison between evolution and gravity.

If I applied the same logic to gravity as most of you have toward evolution, it would sound something like this.....

You have to have faith in gravity to believe in it. Who's to say if I wanted to, I couldn't just float up in the air and fly. It's just a theory after-all. Not everything falls to the ground. There isn't any proof that the earth isn't the center of the universe.

I doubt anything except you will change your mind about being so closed minded. And I know you're going to turn this back on me, its just the believer way. I've been though this a million times already.

Nathan, I have a nice little essay you should read on the second law and creationists. I'm sure you'd get a kick out of it. I'll post it in the forums.

So, well, that's my two cents.

Leonard said...

That was a concise explanation.

I do think "The Origin of species" was published in 1859, not 1865, though.
---

Nathan, why are you such a moron?

Get a fucking education, then come back. Please.

Anonymous said...

Nice video. I didn't think it was arrogant or condescending at all. A couple instances where simpler terms culd have been used - not everyone may understand what he means by "lensing" - the bending of light (actually the distortion of space-time) in a gravitational field.

Other comments by rationalists welcome. Esp the exposure of "macro-evolution" as a straw-man. No scientists believe that evolution means that modern-day organisms of one phylum can turn into organisms of another phylum. But we can certainly see in the fossil record and esp in the molecular record that divergent species and even phyla once had common ancestors!

SpaceMonk said...

Gravity is just a theory.
Have none of you heard of Intelligent Falling?

Anonymous said...

I have comments on three postings.

First, I'm surprised nobody noticed Nathan's use of the word "imperical" science. Is that some sort of Imperial empiricism?? The word is empirical. Right away, bad spelling makes me leery of anything someone has to say. Not to be a snob, but wrong information seems to follow wrong spelling quite often.

Speaking of spelling, anyone claiming they are "a athest" is almost never one. In any case, please show me an atheist who does not accept the basic outline of evolutionary theory. Also, stating that evolutionary theory involves our "evolving" from sperm demonstrates a lack of basic knowledge.

Finally, regarding: "My big problem with the video was the sneering, condescending tone. "Listen up, you moron" is not the way to convey something that is exciting and wonderful as evolution. Evolution should not be wielded like a weapon." Were we watching the same video? I didn't pick up on any condescension at all. How has evolution every been used "as a weapon?"

Anonymous said...

more faith to believe in Jesus than evolution??have you seen any dinosaurs lately?? i cant deny that a man named jesus may have existed,but i dont believe he was the son of a god, of the bible, written by man, for man, in the image of man.

Jim Arvo said...

FACT: Those who come to this site to protest the theory of evolution never exhibit one iota of understanding about the theory (or science in general).

FACT: Those who end up defending the theory, and explaining why it is almost universally accepted among the scientific community, are the ones who have studied the evidence and understand it.

THEORY: The fervor and volume of one's protest against the theory of evolution is inversely proportional to one's understanding of the theory.




Anyone care to challenge my theory?

.:webmaster:. said...

Ovations to JA!

One might hypothetically posit that JA has unearthed a smelly pile of anti-scientific Christian singularities.

Warnepiece said...

Standing Ovation for Jim!!!

I could sit at his feet and listen for hours!

Absolutely brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Nice. Concise. I did not hear any condescension or sneering. I just heard clear explanation, a kind of "straightening out" of thought. I mean, if a 3 year old tries to cross the street without holding her father's hand, does he condescend or sneer to say, "No, we do not cross streets without holding daddy's hand"? No, and this is exactly the same tone of voice this very smart guy uses. Maybe the slowness and clearness of his tone is what bothered Mrs. Cogan. Good teachers do exactly the same thing.

Naomi

Anonymous said...

OK, So if I agree with evolution..I must therfore agree that their was nothing..then a big bang....and millions of starts forms from nothing....then I have to believe that somehow the earth could support life and advanced life...being everything is in cosmic order with the sun etc...Then somewhere a sperm came about or a small gene..all about 5 billion years ago..then thats sperm became a fish , then became a monkey..then became Lucy and then here we are today....
And you all think it takes more faith to believe in god...LOL!! :-) I'm an athist...-Xtian myself..but the evolution "theory" HELLO 'repeate"theory" takes me about as much faith to believe that I can drop a car from 10,000 ft..let it land bounce a few times..but It will still be in working order etc...Anyway the 2 law of thermo...will clearly state how evolution is full of crap.
Sorry not buying into the evolution faith.

Anonymous said...

First let me state..I'm an agnostic...Let me expend on the idea of evolution. As with all things you must follow the spirit. Upon further examination the spirit of evolution shows itself to be demonic; that is, democratic; that is, demos, from Greek, "of the people". The entire idea is a shame. That from inferior you can get superior. Insanity! One may improve upon his condition only to a certain degree but one can never ultimately change his condition. Let me explain, the greatest example of evolutionists (at least when I was at University) was the white moth who during the coal intense days of the British industial rev. became black as the white moths were easy prey for birds. When the environment was cleaned up, the white moth, now camoflaged again on white birch bark, came back and the black moth, now visible on the newly white bark, became rare. Great example of how an insect may, within its genetic capablity, change but in no way an example of how an organism can jump species!


Evolution as regards to mankind is highly questionable.

Shannon said...

To: Anonymous 1/07/2007 5:51 AM

Earth does support life not could. Life arose to fit the variables of what this planet had to offer. Someday, the variables will change, we will lose our squatter-rights, and then the squirrels will have their chance at world dominance.

We are not the best of what the universe has to show for itself.

Anonymous said...

Shanon said:"We are not the best of what the universe has to show for itself. "
**Please support this with evidence!
"Life arose to fit the variables of what this planet had to offer."
So life came from nothing...and yet evolved into man..who can reason, has logic, and has control over all animal on teh earth...this all happened by varibles??OK sure..........
I dont believe in Crationism nor do i believe in evolution..I would say creations make a hell of a lot more sence though.

AtheistMommy said...

It's always about the "nothing". God is nothing, if something can come out of god then it can come out of "nothing." However, there was something there before we evolved. You're missing the point.

Reason and logic have a lot to do with brain size. Reason and logic are nothing more than products of evolution as a way to servive. What is the purpose of life? To live. This is why we evolve the way we have and the way we will. Because those who were unable to evolve, died and no longer exist. If you can't take the heat get the fucking hell out the kitchen!

Look at the bigger picture.


"Shanon said:"We are not the best of what the universe has to show for itself. "
**Please support this with evidence!
"Life arose to fit the variables of what this planet had to offer.""

Ok, this is totally subjective but IMO, the sun is just about one of the most spectacular items of the universe. To top that, the black hole, the one thing at the center of every galaxy and the one thing that could fuck our shit up, that has got to be one of the best things the universe has to show for itself. As far as Earth, well how bateria. It's both good and bad, in fact I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to servive without bacteria. Odd, I know, but think about it.

SpaceMonk said...

Stop saying Sperm!

Aaaaagh!

Anonymous said...

Sperm LOL :-)

Jim Arvo said...

To either of the anonymi...

1) Please provide a brief (one or two sentence) summary of the theory of evolution.

2) Please name one major line of evidence that supports the theory of ("macro") evolution.

3) Please define the second law of thermodynamics (henceforth SLT).

My theory (stated in a previous post) predicts that you will be able to do none of the above. Thus far, your comments betray a level of understanding that a good many first-graders exceed. For example, you seem to think that your visceral reaction somehow renders all evidence moot. Moreover, your outrage is directed toward a straw man, which is typical. In my opinion, that doesn't even warrant a "Nice try".

Okay, now I've issued two challenges. I'm waiting for takers.

LĂ©onard said...

Anonymous... according to Quantum Mechanics, it is in fact entirely possible that this universe not only "came from nothing" but, mathematically speaking, still IS nothing.

That energy and matter are interchangeable has been known for quite a while now.

That life can have started as a chemical reaction seems to follow
from the fact that life consists of chemical reactions.

That life evolves has been eminently proven by genetics, anatomy and palaeontology.

You are approaching these highly complex matters with the mindset of a 14-th century peasant who can neither read nor write and has spent his entire life ploughing fields, thinking about nothing. C´est dĂ©plorable.

Oh yeah. You might want to check your spelling and grammar, mon ami, because they are, how you say, le rubbish.

Shannon said...

Homo sapiens are not the pinnacle of evolution! Compare to other creatures, humans are quite puny. Our eyesight is poor, hearing is sad, we’re not much of a runner or a swimmer, we can’t fly at t’all, and we are very sensitive to extreme temperatures.

95% of all life that has ever lived on this planet is extinct. Variables changed. Life changed too or it died out. As evolution has shown in the past, we’re either a dead-end or we serve as a link to what we were and what we are going to be.

Anonymous said...

You all tring to preach to me that evolution is true and a fact is like a Christian pastor tring to tell me Jesus is the son of god....I will say the Jesus stuff is MUCH more believable!
I have studied Evolution very much while in college and on my own after I left the church.
It takes a hell of allot of faith to believe evolution..and I feel evolution is a religion just the same.
What funny is you all try to disprove Jesus walked..But yet believe evolution happen 6 billion years ago..What a joke!

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous, if you studied evolution "very much", then my challenges should be very easy for you. Still waiting...

Jim Arvo said...

By the way, Anonymous, nobody is "preaching" to you, nobody has disproved Jesus, biological evolution did not happen six billion years ago, and most importantly, nobody here could care less what YOU think is most believable. Just thought I would clear that up for you.

Still waiting for a one of you to accept my trivial challenge...

Catalyst said...

This is to Nathan specifically. I have an observation challenge for you as to the validity of evolution.

If you can, get hold of pictures of your children (if you have any), yourself and the childs other parent, your parents and their siblings, your grandparents and their siblings. Try to go back to your great grandparents if possible. Do the same for the family of your child's other parent. Look the change in appearance through the generations. This is evolution albiet on a minute scale, however still evolution. (Because humans are so highly adaptable this will not be representative of natural selection but you will see certain traits carried through).

Nathan wrote:
"The problem is that the Evolutionist would completely ignore the scientific method to form his theory, primarily "observation" and "experiment". Although evolutionists make a big deal about "transitional" fossil records, there is no observable evidence that any family of organism has every jumped an evolutionary gap."

REPLY: Quite clearly you have no concept of taxonomy. A family of animals is a quite large group which may consist of many geni, let alone species. The fossil record shows speciation, or the formation of a new species, as does current field data. Evolution is taking place all of the time. A new species that has evolved from an old one will not 'jump' the evolutionary gap to another family as it shares common ancestors within a family. You are showing a lot of ignorance in your post.

Next, you quote the second law of thermodynamics as most christians like to do. Ho Hum, this bores me. If we accept that the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies all of the time then we would not be able to harness nuclear energy. Developments in atomic physics last century had to ignore the law. BTW just because we have evolution, it does not mean that the world is becoming more ordered.

Your second "fact", centuries of breeding blah blah blah
Horses and Donkeys are different species. They have diverged enough so that they do not produced viable offspring. Same with the tiger and lion. Domestic dogs are all the same species, as are domestic cats, which is why you can mate different breeds of dogs or different breeds of cats to get viable offspring. Evolution works on a species level, not on a family level. As to breed horses to dogs??? They are not even in the same order.

Lastly, no helpful mutations? I will give you one, but there are many out there. Mutations that cause sickle cell anemia are a helpful mutation, but only where malaria is rife. If is a mutation that causes the red blood cells to be a different shape to regular RBCs. The malaria plasmodium cannot invade the cell and can therefore go through it's life cycle.

You should research your information before writing such tripe Nathan.


http://teamacforum.bestbulletinboard.com

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm simply amazed by the discussion here, folks! I've gotten so used to youtube's 500 character limit, it was really refreshing to see the long tirades! I appreciate the praise and the effort to enlighten those who are less fortunate than us, I know it's frustrating...

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't stop it from drowning itself...

Royal Snow said...

I dont know maybe Im crazy but I think that humans werent ment to survive. Like shannon said :

Compare to other creatures, humans are quite puny. Our eyesight is poor, hearing is sad, we’re not much of a runner or a swimmer, we can’t fly at t’all, and we are very sensitive to extreme temperatures.

Thats all true. Do you really think without technology we would survive. If all of a sudden all technology stopped working and we had to live in the wild millions of people would die. Survival of the fittest. Maybe we would but eventually we would adapt and become very different. Everyone who has actually listened to a evolution lecture knows that evolution make 100% more sense than religion.
Im 15 and I know that evolution is the answer to all life on earth. One day hopefully everyone will really know where we came from.

Animals have no god, because they know better.

White_Raven said...

Anonymous wrote:
"I have studied Evolution very much while in college and on my own after I left the church.
-snip-
What funny is you all try to disprove Jesus walked..But yet believe evolution happen 6 billion years ago..What a joke!"

Actually Anon, the REAL joke is trying to pass yourself off as a college graduate using grammer like this.

And are you the same anonymous who is trying to make evolution about EVERYTHING? Not just the origin of life itself (which is not evolution, that's abiogenesis...which you would know if you really *had* studied any of this like you claim)...but you mash in the origin of the universe itself too!

Lot of worthwhile theories you are abusing and trying to force into the Theory of Evolution.

The Theory of Evolution only covers the development of life over time. Not the origin of life itself, and not the origin of the whole universe YOU MORON!

Leonard said...

Shannon: I kind of agree with you, but puny as we are, our eyesight is actually a lot better than that of most animals... and we are very good at walking. Aboriginals hunt kangaroos by simply walking them down. The roos are faster than they are, but the humans just keep chasing it at a calm but relentless pace until the unfortunate marsupial is too tired to go on.

Anonymous: this is for you, ignorant man... I wrote and posted it quite a while ago, but apparently it bears repeating.

You say the notion that we "came from monkeys" is far less believable than the notion that an invisible, all-powerful being made us from dirt/earth/dust/clay approximately 6000 years ago?
Well, I am sorry, but this only shows you don´t actually know anything about the subject. But, nil desperandum! I will attempt to explain to you the scientific view of the matter.

First of all, you need to understand something. All life on Earth (that we know of :) ) is based on the chemical element carbon (C). In fact all life on Earth we know of is based on DNA, the crystalline macro-molecule described by Watson and Crick.
Now... all life forms use the same four bases as information-carriers in the DNA structure... Adenosine, Guanine, Thymine and Cytosine. Every single life form - animals, plants, fungi, slime moulds, complex single-celled organisms, archaea and bacteria - you name it. All of them. Now, to me, this at least suggests that all life forms are related... because there is no good reason why independently emerging life would all use the exact same system and the exact same base pairs.

(A Christian jokingly told me that humans and bananas have 60% of their DNA in common, and then asked whether it meant we are related. Well, yes, that is exactly what it means.)

Of course you could say that God, having invented ACTG-based DNA (pun), decided to use it for ALL the millions of different life forms, without creating even one with a genetic matrix based on a different molecule. Not very imaginative, especially for a God, but hey, it´s conceivable.

Now, DNA´s base pairs are arranged in genes - base sequences that code for something in the cell (as you know, every living cell has its operations managed by the chemical program contained in the DNA). Now, as it turns out, different life forms nevertheless use the same gene sequences for the same or similar purposes. A nice and famous case in point is that the same gene that codes for segments in flies codes for rib growth in mice.

Seems to indicate they both inherited that same gene from a common ancestor.
What was the last common ancestor of vertebrates and arthropods? Probably a worm-like creature in an early Cambrian sea.

In any case... the genetic similarities seem to oddly increase with perceived relationships. For instance, as it turns out, humans and chimpanzees have more than 95% (maybe as much as 98.5%) of our DNA in common.

But it´s more than that. There are retroviral DNA remnant sequences.
You see, you got these tiny parasitical molecular machines named viruses. You can´t really call them alive - they´re more like rogue bodyparts of cells, if you will. A virus consists of some DNA (or RNA) and a protein shell. The shell only serves to hook on to a living cell and inject the virus itself. The parasitical DNA then breaks down the cell´s own genetic material and uses the A, C, T and G to copy itself a couple of thousand times, after which the assembler code of the viral DNA builds new protein shells. The cell then breaks down and the new viruses are released.

But some viruses don´t do that. Retro-viruses enter the cell like a normal virus, but then the parasitical genes interweave themselves with the host´s DNA... sneaking in, as it were, like a spy in a row of soldiers. Then, it does nothing. But every time the cell divides, a copy is made of the new DNA... until a certain moment or event triggers the virus, and the cell dies in the birth of an army of viruses.

But sometimes something goes wrong. Sometimes the virus never activates, instead becoming a permanent part of the host DNA. If you know where to look, you can use such foreign DNA sequences as markers. If your father possessed such retroviral DNA sequence remnants, you would of course have them too. And your children would too, plus any new retroviral remnants your reproductive cells might have picked up. Doesn´t happen often... and that´s exactly what makes retroviruses so important to tracing human ancestry.

You see, humans and chimpanzees have retriviral DNA sequence remnants in common. Several of them, in fact. And that by inclusion means that humans and chimps must have had the same ancestors.

Chimps and humans also each have retroviral sequences the other species does not have. This means they were sustained since humans and chimps split off. Now, the rate at which new retroviruses are sustained is more or less ( :) ) a given. It´s sometimes known as the molecular clock. Using this, it has been estimated with reasonable accuracy that humans and chimpanzees were one species, a little over five million years ago.

The fact that this notion is supported by a large car trunk full of ancestral primate fossils is just the icing on the cake. That humans are descended from ape-like primates is not seriously in question and has not been for - well, a while now.

Now, you ask, how is this possible? How does evolution work?

Well, first of all... variation is very important. All life forms are based on DNA. DNA contains such an enormous number of chemical connections, that it is inevitable that alterations are caused by reactive chemicals or radiation. If such a chemical change occurs, it is usually corrected by the self-adjusting nature of DNA. However, every now and then a change is permanent. Maybe it won´t affect the cell; but if it does, the cell usually either self-destructs or is destroyed by other cells.
But sometimes neither happens. Sometimes a cell will have a permanently altered function (and that is putting it simply. A single atom shifting can alter a base pair, which alters an entire codon, which changes the entire gene, which affects other genes, which affect other genes in turn...). A mutation.

And sometimes, the cell that is altered is a reproductive cell. A sperm cell or ovum. Then, every cell in the entire new organism will be a mutant cell. (He was in Dragonball Z).
Now, even so, the individual might not be what you would call a mutant, or a "hopeful monster". In fact, on average, every person has four mutations in his body that his or her parents did not have, and obviously we are mostly similar to them.

But sometimes, the change will be profound, even if its on a small scale. Your stomach acid may be different. You might have stronger bones, or more brittle ones. You might have more muscle tissue. You might have a fourth kind of sensory cell in your eye, allowing you to perceive color in a way us normals cannot understand (there actually are such people).
Now, in nature, if such a change would benefit your ability to have offspring, of course you would have more children. And odds are, at least half (and more if the gene was recessive to begin with) will have the mutated gene in them as well. Now, if the gene is recessive, they might not have the mutated TRAIT, but they will have the mutated GENE in them... and it will slowly spread throughout the population. If the mutation indeed benefits people who have it, eventually every individual of your species will indeed possess the new trait.

But of course, if circumstances change, the mutation might then become negative. If a mutant had thicker fur than his normal brethren, he would have an advantage when it was cold, but at a disadvantage if the climate changed.

That is why variation is so important. The more variation exists in a species, the more likely it is to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. Bear in mind it is the SPECIES that changes, not the individuals.

Now, along with variation, large numbers of offspring are also important. Almost every species in nature (mammals less so) produce far more offspring than can possibly survive. The random shuffling of genetic traits that occurs every time an animal procreates results in genetic variation in every batch of newborns, ensuring that no matter what the circumstances, at least some will survive to breed in turn. And the ones that survive will logically be the ones with the most effective collection of genes.

So, under stable circumstances, what is usually described as "evolution" (the radical changing of species into new species) would not occur. A species would remain the same as long as the circumstances did, perhaps becoming better and better adapted to that specific set of circumstances, resulting in extreme specialization. But such a species would be vulnerable to rapidly changing circumstances.

Now... on human evolution. Just WHY primates (and although it is technically speaking wrong to call them apes, it is not entirely unjustifiable) split off a branch (SPLIT OFF. "If humans came from apes, why are these still apes?" Because not all apes evolved the way we did. Some evolved differently.) which evolved bipedalism about five million years ago is not clear. Climate change is usually considered the most likely cause, with the desiccation of forests and the emergence of large plains benefiting walking upright over a semi-quadrupedal stance which combined well with tree-climbing (although Elaine Morgan offers some compelling arguments that suggest our ancestors were at some time actually semi-aquatic).

In any case, the first step from (a fairly chimpanzee-like) ancestor to modern humans was walking upright. Or at least walking exclusively on the hind limbs, freeing the hands for manipulating the environment.
The next step appears to have been the change of the diet - from herbivorous to omnivorous. Eating meat, a rich source of protein, allows a double, parallel development... the reduction of the intestinal tract and the increase of brain size.
When we had gotten this far, the first species in the genus Homo emerged - Homo Habilis, about two million years ago.
Homo Erectus, its much larger descendant (slightly smaller than us) fanned out over Asia and Europe from Africa, apparently parenting Neanderthals (in Europe) and Homo Floresiensis (in Asia).
Finally, about 200,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens arose from Homo Erectus in Africa, and about 140,000 years later followed the footsteps of Erectus, eventually populating the world, taming livestock, cultivating crops, building cities and inventing gods.

The genetic evidence is clear in suggesting all of this. So is the fossil evidence. What do YOU have to support YOUR views?

Personally, I find it infinitely grander to realize that I am part of a gigantic tapestry of life, rolling from its beginnings, billions of years ago, in the blazing furnace of a dying star, than to believe a petty, incompetent and vicious god made my ancestor from dirt, 6000 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I guess we all need a religion..The Xtians like to fall back on Evolution...

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is RabidApe (for real!), I'm having trouble logging in...


Holy marinara sauce, Leonard! That was incredible! Are you a vlogger? If so, you should make that into a video. If not, I would like to ask your permission to turn it into one. Seriously, I can almost just read it verbatim, its very thorough - yet still fairly accessible. I will give credit where credit is due, obviously (and can link back to this site or wherever you want), but I think these memes you've assembled are worth distributing. Whaddayathink?

Leonard said...

I don´t need a religion, friend.

Leonard said...

Rabid Ape, I would be very honored if you could use it. You have my full endorsement.

.:webmaster:. said...

Hey Rabid,

If you do use it, please let me know so I can post your vid.

Thanks!

Spirula said...

No one has ever observed a helpful mutation.

Tell that to the all the individuals that have a mutation in one of the HIV-1 receptors that makes them resistant to infection. I know one of these people. (Interesting point, no HIV infection in the homozygous, reduced in the heterozygous)

(probably need pub-med access to read).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8751444&dopt=Books

In other words, all systems decrease in order, adding to the chaos of the universe, not increase in order.

Wrong. The second law says no such thing. Go and actually read it. The clue is in the word "theromodynamics".


Although evolutionists make a big deal about "transitional" fossil records, there is no observable evidence that any family of organism has every jumped an evolutionary gap.

Actually, it is creationist who make a big deal about "transitional" fossils and move the goal-posts every time a new discovery is made. But really, are you aware of the whale fossil record?

Idiot.


Oh, and great post Leonard.

Jim Arvo said...

Okay, here it is a week later, and I've yet to see a response to the trivial challenge that I issued on 1/07/2007 to those who so strenuously object to the theory of evolution at this site. For your convenience, I will repeat the three trivial requests I asked earlier:

1) Please provide a brief (one or two sentence) summary of the theory of evolution.

2) Please name one major line of evidence that supports the theory of ("macro") evolution.

3) Please define the second law of thermodynamics (henceforth SLT).

If you harbor any hope of escaping the conclusion that you object to the theory out of pure ignorance, then I daresay you had better shut me up by speaking up.

Here is what I suspect is going on. Even though anybody can look up answers to my question using Google in just a few minutes, the anti-evolutionists who have posted here simply cannot bring themselves to read it, and even if they do, the cacophony of cognitive dissonance will be so disconcerting that they will be incapable of paraphrasing what they have read in a reasonable manner. (That and, of course, the fact that this thread is no longer getting much attention.)

So, is there anybody who is willing to prove me wrong? I'll happily admit that my hypothesis is incorrect if someone from the other camp can do the above.

Anonymous said...

Leonard! Our video is up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKb1LXxKNHY

Leonard said...

Liked the video. :)

Jim Arvo:

1 - Evolution is the change of species over time by altering allele frequencies, an effect of environmental pressure on reproductive success.

2 - A very nice "Line" that supports what you choose to call "macro-evolution" is the descendency of whales.

3 - The second law of thermodynamics states that "In a closed system, overall entropy tends to increase".

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Leonard,

Are you the same Leonared who posted above? If so, you just gave away nice concise answers to my three "challenge" questions. If you are a different Leonard who thinks evolution is bunk, then congratulations. Before I respond any further, please let me know which Leonard I am addressing. Thanks.

Jim Arvo said...

Alright, looking back through the posts, I think I see what happened now. Leonard, you are indeed the one who posted that well-written scientific synopsis of evolution, which was later turned into a great little YouTube video by RabidApe. (Kudos to RabidApe on the video--I just watched it, and I think Leonard's piece worked extremely well in that format.) So, Leonard, I think you misconstrued the point of my "challenge". I wanted to see if a fundy could overcome their co1/26/2007gnitive dissonance long enough to give a reasonable reply, even by just lifting appropriate verbiage from scientific literature on the web. I was not challenging those who obviously have some scientific background, such as yourself. But you did demonstrate that my questions could be given succinct and accurate answers, and you saved me the trouble of posting an answer key myself. (My question #2 could have a huge number of different answers, but you happened to pick one of my favorites. Other good responses would have included the existence of the phylogenetic tree, ring species, pseudo-genes, vestigial structures, etc.)

About the monikers "micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution", I too think it is a distinction without a difference (which is why I put the word "macro" in quotes in my question). But I had to grudgingly admit that there are a few legitimate scientists who use the terms from time to time, often as a shorthand for variation within a species vs. splitting into new species (albeit the term "species" is itself a bit problematic by virtue of the continuum of life over time).

Well, I think now is as good a time as any to declare that this little experiment of mine has concluded. At least in this one instance my hypothesis has not been falsified, which therefore lends it a bit more credibility. To paraphrase it: those who are most hostile to the theory of evolution are also the ones most ignorant of it. I will continue to challenge visitors to this site to prove me wrong. So far, nobody has even tried.

Anonymous said...

Y'know I'm glad there are those willing & able to engage in such debates. Personally, the die-hards grasping at straws become a tedious waste of time but for the truly sincere person challenging their faith, they need to be engaged & encouraged even - remember the (psychological, etc.) turmoil finding reality had for some of us?
Ok, god of first cause if you want then ignore/misinterpret the rest of scienctific fact, but... where does that leave the 'biblegod' anyway?
First we become agnostic - but the first step on the road to real bliss, our true purpose & thoughtful dignity as a human being. Having now realized the value in understanding life & death in all its bittersweet reality, then rightly one can victoriously claim...
"Religion is dead" & I am free.

Crimson said...

Nathan said:

""He makes a good point about the difference between fact and theory. The problem is that the Evolutionist would completely ignore the scientific method to form his theory, primarily "observation" and "experiment".""

Scientists do not have to make a dog give birth to cat to prove evolution. Sometimes scientists have to look at evidence indirectly. If you needed to directly observe everything, you could then say that the sun is not made of an enormous amount of hydrogen constantly reacting with itself to form Helium and energy that heats our globe. You must accept that there are other ways to deduce things than by seeing with your own eyes. Its called logical deduction from evidence. Sometimes you can screw up the logic and come to a conclusion that is wrong, of course, but when you eliminate all other possibilies beyond a reasonable doubt, you are left with your answer.

""Although evolutionists make a big deal about "transitional" fossil records, there is no observable evidence that any family of organism has every jumped an evolutionary gap. Neither have there been any experiments that support the theory of macro-evolution.""

Thats because Macro-evolution as you understand it, does not occur. Apes don't all of a sudden give birth to humans, no evolutionist (that really understands what theyare talking about) has made that claim. Rather small successive changes in genes over thousands to hundreds of millions of generations can cause enough mutation to see a distict difference between the original species and the new species that you would say "those two species aren't related".

"Let both sides finally be honest, neither macro-evolution nor creation is a theory."

Neither are 'scientific' theories. They are both ideas, but not supported by evidence. There is no theory of Macro-evolution, only the theory of evolution through natural selection.

""They are both faith-based beliefs.""

I could argue that everything must be taken on faith, for example, only you truly know if you exist, you don't know if I exist, you don't even know if what you see is real, Do you take reality on faith? I hope not. Creation is a faith based beleif, Macro evolution is a straw man version of the scientific theory of evolution. Could evolution be wrong? certainly, but so could our theory of gravity. Maybe we havn't figured out everything about gravity. Maybe our theory is wrong, but it deosn't mean things don't fall because we have the theory wrong. We KNOW that mutations occur. We KNOW that some are beneficial. Mutations that are not beneficial have a smaller likelyhood of being propigated. Some mutations actually prevent the fetus from forming, some mutations make people infertile. Some mutations make people have poor health, and as a result, they die.

"The one assumes, by faith in mankind's own reasoning and being, that God does not exist and therefore interprets data accordingly. The other assumes, by faith in God, that God does exist and therefore interprets data accordingly."

But you should never assume anything. Only data doesn't lie. Unless you screw up your measurements. We can't know if god exists, so we can't assume he does. Certainly we can't assume he doesn't, but if you cannot measure him how can you factor him into the equation? Until we can show some way of incorporating any kind of creator or divine intelligence we need to see evidence for the existence of said diety. Science neither assumes god does exist, nor do they assume that god doesn't exist. He is a moot point. We see mutation, variation and reproduction. We see evoltuion. We have evidence to support a 4.7 Billion year old earth, and that certainly gives us enough time to have life form, evolve and puke us out of the proverbial primordial ooze.

"But, to play along, let's through in some imperical science:

Fact: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: All systems add to the entropy of the universe. In other words, all systems decrease in order, adding to the chaos of the universe, not increase in order. And, the universe is verifiably becoming more chaotic, not more complex.""


Didn't understand that. A little too vague for me.

""Fact: Through observation and thousands of years of experience in breeding science, no one has ever observed a productive bridge between two families of organisms, and even within a family, this is often not productive. Take for example, the mule, which is a breed between a horse and a donkey. Mules are born unable to reproduce. A liger, which is a breed between a tiger and lion is another example. Over thousands of years, breeders have bred horses down to as small as a shetlan poney and as large as a Belgian, but never have they jumped the gap and bred a horse into a dog or anything else."

Because the theory of evolution expalains why if you have a mutation (like a horse being smaller than the rest) and you make sure that horse survives to breed, its mutation that makes it smaller is likely to pass on to its children, who in turn pass on the next gene. Eventually out of that generation, it is possible that another mutation will make it even smaller, and if we make sure that horse survives, that gene will be propigated again and so on until it magnifies. That is evolution through UNnatural selection, or controlled selection. Evoltuion through natural selection, the gene that makes horses small could be a disadvantage, legs are shorter, more likely to get caught by predators, that mutation is not passed on.

"Fact: No one has ever observed a helpful mutation. There has never been a beneficial form of cancer (I say this with all respect for those who might have faced it), or an extra leg that was anything more than just an obstacle."

Actually, there has. So either you have not heard of this mutation, or you are blatently lying. In which case you lose all credibility in this debate. Keep in mind that certain relgious groups will lie to you (or tell you they know things when they don't, which again is lying) and if they told you there was beneficial mutation that would weaken their arguement, so they avoid the point, or lie to you. What is wrong with lying if you are defending your faith?

Anyways, There is a mutation in humans that resists certain strains of the bubonic plague, Since people who were not resistent to those strains were more likely to die as a result of the virus during the middle ages, those that survived propigated that gene and the population in europe is more likely to resist those strains now. It is a documented mutation.

"I know, I'm the annoying Christian that isn't supposed to be posting stuff on an atheistic website, but apparently you already understand why...that whole Great Commission and everything."

What is wrong with a christian posting something on an athiest website? The internet connects us all globally. Its a place to share ideas and information, so that even a christian can learn about evolution.

Please don't assume that religion has anything to do with science. Science independantly observes the world and its facts, its data. Religion gives you the answers and denies any facts or data that refute it. If evoltuion did happen, then the creation story is false. If it is false, then the bible is wrong. if the bible is wrong, it is not the infallable word of god, and your faith breaks down due to cold hard human reason. That is why religions deny evoltuion because it ultimatly puts a lie to their teachings. Not because Evolution is shaky science, religions do not deny evolution for the sake of human knowledge they are protecting their pipe dream. Some do it for money, others do it because they want power, other do it because they honestly beleive. I don't know what you are, and I'm not going to assume anything until I have more information, but ultimatly you do not understand evolution. I hope you've understood what I've said.

Dave8 said...

Nathan, just a few observations.

Christians predominately accept their God as supernatural and "beyond" this Universe.

In order to propose that their God is part of any answer; they must inherently suggest that at some point this Universe ceased to Exist in its Natural form.

While it may be difficult to come up with evidence for every change that has ever occurred in this Universe; I think those who are using "physical evidence" and "facts" are one step ahead of the Christian.

A Christian, who uses their God as a plausible answer, must provide evidence for "Non-Existence", before they can honestly "start" or "establish" an initial argument/premise with a supernatural God.

Nathan, when you find "Non-Existence" or "Nothing", let me know. I think once you establish "Nothing", we are likely to find your God, conveniently located right around "Nowhere".