Why is the concept of theistic evolution unacceptable to you?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Rav, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

    Which "scriptoral" sources are you talking about? And what do you mean there was no way of knowing the shape of the earth? Eratosthenes measured the circumference of Earth and the axial tilt in 250 BC without leaving Egypt.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    James R,

    You still haven't answered my question James.
    What you've presented are assumptions, with a fixed premise, namely "gigantic changes DO occurr".
    Please read my question and respond in context to it.

    That's not what I asked for. There's no way you could have observed the said transformation, so it remains theoretical at best.
    What I want from you is something that compliments the assertion "we have observed....".
    No talk, just show. Or explain why you can't show.

    Nonsense. You've shown me cartoons with texts that support the idea, not actual observation.
    Plus as I said, there's no way you can observe the tranformation from something else into a whale.

    I asked for observations James, not ideas.
    The whale is not a suitable candidate for my request as no one has observed it's so-called transition.

    You base your analasys of your interpretation, because it seems, you cannot respond to my posts, without revealing
    your conviction is based on belief.

    James! James! James!.

    Cartoons don't for observation make, unless you want me to accept the cartoon as real observation, which I doubt you would be silly enough to expect that.

    What I want from you, is real observation. If there isn't any, please say so.
    If what you call observation is watching cartoons with texts, then say so.
    At least I will know what is meant by "we have observed evolution, so it's fact". Nay! It's the truth.

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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    I didn't understand that entire last line:
    It went completely over my head. What does it mean?

    Yes, there was no reason whatsoever to assume the earth was flat or round, (except for maybe Ptolemy's discovery) and each idea merely fell into the culture that adopted it. My point was that, in Europe, where the roots of Christian fundamentalism were so deeply growing, so were its universities. At some point there had to be an accommodation for the proof Newton gave to support Copernicus & Galileo. This was, if you recall, a case of heresy in the time of Galileo. But the Enlightenment was a time for letting their powdered wigs down. You wouldn't be burned at the stake for reading Newton's Principia. Yet among these well informed people were many who did not jump to atheism. They went the route of the Deists. God exists, and is somehow the mystical cause of everything, but doesn't intervene. Creation is wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

    And we have proof that organisms evolve. Culture a bacteria in a dish. Add a mild antibiotic. You will keep killing the weaker members and a resistance will evolve in the strain. What is your opinion of this? That it's an atheistic investigation? And what is actually going on in the dish - is God intervening? the Deist, and presumably the Theistic Evolutionist (kind of a mouthful) says no, it's just a process that follows the laws of nature.
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  7. Rav Valued Senior Member

    You're essentially asking for an instance that was documented first-hand, aren't you? You know, by some guy who spent a millions years or so camped out on a beach and actually watched the amphibious Ambulocetus species slowly evolve into whales, for example.

    Richard Dawkins is occasionally fond of pointing out that with respect to evolution, we're kind of like detectives investigating a crime scene. We didn't witness the main event, but we're very lucky in the sense that an astonishing amount of incredibly compelling evidence has been scattered absolutely everywhere for us to find and examine. While no one piece of it is necessarily compelling all by itself, the sheer collective weight of it conspires to point directly to a single conclusion.

    So what is that evidence? Well, to say that there is a lot of it would be an incredible understatement. First, of course, we have the fossil evidence. I guarantee you that you have no idea just how much there is, and how significant it is. You'd need to read a book like "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" by Donald R. Prothero to properly appreciate it. No transitional fossils, dated to just the right age to be in perfect agreement with evolutionary theory? Think again. These days we have a vast selection. Playing a very significant role in underpinning the fossil evidence is of course the geological evidence, but you'd likely learn more than enough about that just by reading about fossils. Another related area is biogeography. One particularly compelling line of inquiry is molecular phylogenetics. Properly understood, I think it's enough to demonstrate common ancestry all by itself. Then we have things like artificial selection:

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    The picture above is of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua, which are both descended from Gray Wolves. There's an obvious difference between natural and artificial selection of course, but it demonstrates just how significantly a species can change in only 15-20 thousand years. But, you know, dismiss this example if you like. I agree that it doesn't really do much to help demonstrate the fact of evolution, mostly I just though it would be nice to split this post up with a cool picture that was at least somewhat related to the proceedings

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    I love dogs.

    Anyway, let's get on with it. Rather than spend more time reeling off summaries, I'll just give you another link: Evidences for Macroevolution

    My overarching point here is that you need to do some reading. And if you don't understand something you read, you need to read it again. The scope and volume of the evidence that demonstrates that evolution is indeed a fact simply can not be comprehensively presented in a forum discussion. It's something you need to tackle yourself, in your own time, if you want to do it properly. There are several good introductory books available, and my favourite one to recommend is "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne. It covers all the major categories of evidence extremely well. If you embark of this journey with an open mind, I guarantee that you'll have you hair blown back by the shattering of your misconceptions, and the sheer weight of the evidence. You'll be thinking to yourself "I just had no idea how much we really knew. Why the hell isn't this information out there? Why is this the first time I'm learning this?". It's truly exhilarating to come to understand the truth of such profound things.
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Eratosthenes was one of the cheif librariens of The Great Library of Alexandria, a library that was noted for knowledge that came beyond the boders
    of Eygpt. The librariens made a point of collecting all the books and scrolls they could, from ships that came from all over the world.
    The chances are, he got information from other sources.
    Julius Ceaser, somehow or other "accidently'' burned it down. Funny that, isn't it.

  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Aqueos id,

    ..read my request to James. That should shed some light.

  10. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I'm guessing you mean this:

    Yes, I can. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I have read Eusebius's account of the content of the library (in his era at least) and I don't recall any text that relates to India, if that was your meaning. Not that it would have mattered:

    Other speculations on the shape of Earth include a seven-layered ziggurat or cosmic mountain, alluded to in the Avesta and ancient Persian writings (see seven climes), or a wheel, bowl, or four-cornered plane alluded to in the Rigveda.

    Eratosthenes discovered the shape and size of the earth using science. He noticed that shadows to a plumbed well-bottom did not fall directly vertical, depending on his geographic location. He applied geometry and correctly deduced the truth. He was early in the history of the Library. Ptolemy, however did rely on such material, and particularly on Eratosthenes, and improved on the way of mapping a round earth onto a flat sheet using an early projection. His work influenced the Almagest and this was widely distributed and well known in early Europe.

    Do you mean to say a conspiracy was afoot?
  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    And what I'm saying is that there are other detectives who don't see it that way.

    There are others who most probably have read that book, and/or other books, who don't see it the way you do.
    That's my point. You don't have a monopoly on scientific evidence.

    I'm glad you stated the obvious.

    You mean read it till I agree with it?
    What about others who read it and don't agree with it?


    The evidence is the same for both camps. Right?

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    You're not really listening. There are scientists who don't agree with the darwinistic mechanism. Their reason are pretty clear and comprehensive, unlike the pro-camp require you to read pro-literature ''untill you agree with it''. You're basically telling me that this mechanim is ''truth'', beyond fact. But at the same time you appear to be using science, and it's tenets, to support this ''truth''. If something is ''the truth'', then it is beyond science. It is an experience which cannot be refuted. You guys are all over the place.

    That's your experience. People accept wholeheartedly the darwinistic mechanism, who don't read so extensively, and there are prople who read everything, comepletely accept it in the way you speak of, then come to the conclusion it doesn't explain the reality of rthe evidence.

  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    If they aren't detecting evolution, they can only be looking the other way. You can do it at home.

    To understand the truth, we need to expose specifically what that truth is. Would you entertain such a discussion?

    We use science to differentiate between fact and fiction. Otherwise science would be of no value. Darwin did discover certain facts. I think this only boils down to whether you will entertain what those facts were.

    In order to understand Darwin, one need only read Darwin. It may help to have some other reading as a prerequisite, but it's not laborious. Perhaps the fact that it is so accessible is one of the reasons it spread like wildfire. It has been my observation that Creationists, particularly fundamentalists, have a proclivity to disparage Darwin, without ever being able to explain what he did, what he discovered, and what he said. Without these facts on the table, it's easy to oversimplify and get it wrong. I would propose bringing those facts out. The problem is, if we kick Darwin aside, we need to invent some very elaborate explanations to account for his discoveries. I can't speak for the scientists you mention who are anti-Darwin, but I doubt they can answer the mail on the question I am raising.
  14. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    No one with any credibility, no one who has a theory that can match the explanatory and predictive power of evolution by natural selection.
  15. Rav Valued Senior Member

    Ever heard of Project Steve? Creationists are fond of publishing lists of scientists who doubt evolution. Project Steve was born as a response to this. It is basically a list of scientists, all of whom have names like Steve (Steve, Stephen, Steven, Esteban, Etienne, or Stephanie) who accept evolution as the mechanism behind the origin of the species. "Steve's" only make up a very small portion of the scientific community, yet this list is still longer than any list published by creationists.

    My intent here is not to make an argumentum ad populum, but merely to ensure that it's clear what we're really talking about here. Your statement omits far too much information.

    Further, that small list of "detectives" that "don't see it that way" is largely comprised of religious fundamentalists, and as such they necessarily approach the crime scene with the intention of defending their preexisting beliefs about what happened, and attacking any theory that is in conflict with them. Like I said earlier, this is a defining characteristic of a religious fundamentalist.

    Because this thread is not about atheism vs theism, and is instead about theistic evolution vs creationism, I'll pose the same question I posed earlier: between a scientist who is a theist but not a fundamentalist, and a scientist who is a theist and a fundamentalist, who do you think is more likely to be objective?

    The monopoly on the scientific evidence that pertains to the origin of the species is indeed found within the realm of evolutionary theory.

    I merely meant what I said. It's no good skimming over something if you don't understand it, if your goal is to understand it (which it should be if you've decided to try to learn about something). I said what I said because I know from experience that a lot of the evidence is indeed difficult to understand for what it is at first.

    Kinda confused by that one.


    1. The quality or state of being true: "the truth of her accusation".
    2. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality: "tell me the truth".​

    That's what I meant. It's pretty simple really.

    You challenged people to provide the evidence for macroevolution earlier. I've pointed you to it. But instead of actually beginning to examine it, you're still crapping on about what other people think.

    You've always been incredibly lazy in your debates, and at the same time very demanding of effort from others. This has always been your worst attribute, and the primary reason that you face so much hostility. It's insulting, and it pretty much guarantees that you'll get very little respect from those who have far more integrity than you in this regard.

    Honestly Jan, explain to me why I should treat you with respect when you continually show a disdain for the very reasonable requirement of knowing what the fuck you're actually talking about before you talk about it?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  16. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    Here is a specific sample from Darwin's Origin of Species. This would be typical of any scientific explanation today concerning the prevailing creationism of his time, which today is sequestered mostly to people like the ICR. Note, he uses the term "independent creation". Think about it. If creatures did not evolve from common ancestors, then they had to have been each "independently created":

    The Galapagos Archipelago, situated under the equator, lies at the distance of between 500 and 600 miles from the shores of South America. Here almost every product of the land and of the water bears the unmistakeable stamp of the American continent. There are twenty-six land-birds; of these, twenty-one, or perhaps twenty-three, are ranked as distinct species, and would commonly be assumed to have been here created : yet the close affinity of most of these birds to American species is manifest in every character, in their habits, gestures, and tones of voice. So it is with the other animals, and with a large proportion of the plants, as shown by Dr. Hooker in his admirable Flora of this archipelago. The naturalist, looking at the inhabitants of these volcanic islands in the Pacific, distant several hundred miles from the continent, feels that he is standing on American land. Why should this be so? why should the species which are supposed to have been created in the Galapagos Archipelago, and nowhere else, bear so plainly the stamp of affinity to those created in America? There is nothing in the conditions of life, in the geological nature of the islands, in their height or climate, or in the proportions in which the several classes are associated together, which closely resembles the conditions of the South American coast: in fact, there is a considerable dissimilarity in all these respects. On the other hand, there is a considerable degree of resemblance in the volcanic nature of the soil, in the climate, height and size of the islands, between the Galapagos and Cape Verde Archipelagoes: but what an entire and absolute difference in their inhabitants! The inhabitants of the Cape Verde Islands are related to those of Africa, like those of the Galapagos to America. Facts such as these, admit of no sort of explanation on the ordinary view of independent creation : whereas on the view here maintained, it is obvious that the Galapagos Islands would be likely to receive colonists from America, whether by occasional means of transport or (though I do not believe in this doctrine) by formerly continuous land, and the Cape Verde Islands from Africa; such colonists would be liable to modification, — the principle of inheritance still betraying their original birthplace.

    Do you think the Galapagos animals he discovered were independently created? Is there anything short of the truth in his explanation? Do you think any credible scientist would dispute his explanation? And is there anything in this that smacks of atheism?

    To me, it's perfectly sound. I can't help but admire the brave adventurer who went around the dangerous waters of Tierra del Fuego, and lived without comforts for years - all the time delaying the return of the Beagle, so he could go elsewhere, collect more samples, to be more complete in what he was finding (which was a lot more than the relatively simple notion of late speciation on Galapagos). All I get out of this is every kind of admirable trait a person could aspire to, who hopes to remain true to the most basic principles of objectivity, accuracy, responsibility and, of course, plain old curiosity and his voracious love of nature. What's not to like about him and his work? Why would anyone want to disparage such a model of human creative intellect? Other than for the reasons they convicted Galileo of heresy, that is.
  17. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Good stuff on the whale, James. Rav and Aqueous ID, too, on evolution, and others on it.

    Every time Jan poses a 'tough' question an answer comes forth.

    Every time Jan makes something up he supplies nothing toward it.

    It's not just a shut-out, but a perfect game.
  18. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Over 40% of Americans believe in independent creation (species were all created as they are today). In effect they are disavowing what Darwin discovered at Galapagos: that over 20 species of birds are unique to the archipelago. Yet the islands are only several millions of years old. These 40% of Americans are requiring that when the volcanoes rose from the sea floor they came replete with their menagerie--which is of course impossible since they had to cool off and acquire vegetation first.

    Of course none of that 40% even goes through this thinking process. They don't, and they won't, because they are exercising that other kind of blind faith--the one that blinks shut to the factual content of science, while disavowing what it pretends to have read. It begins with this kind of dishonesty.

    The place to learn about Darwin's discovery of new species at Galapagos is in a class on evolution. But creationists want the teaching of evolution banned, or at least slanted. This is what makes creationism a propaganda campaign, and this is why they feel the need for smear tactics against Darwin and other great contributors like Dawkins. (Whose work they also can't explain).

    These propaganda warriors have whittled Darwin down by simplification. The most common argument is that "no one has ever seen a species evolve in real time." It's not true, it's done all the time in a Petri dish, but that's another fact they simply ignore. The question Jan raised is of this kind: there is no documented proof, via the scientific method, of an evolved species, therefore it's unfounded.

    The proof was on Galapagos island. The species could not have been created there "in the beginning" since the island did not even exist when most species existing today were already flourishing. So they migrated there. But wait, they speciated after they got there. And the Galapagos finches, especially with their wide variation in beaks, are the textbook material creationists want thrown out. Those beaks told Darwin the birds had recently adapted to survive on a variety of food sources, which he recognized as open niches. Without competition, except among themselves, the pressure was for them to adapt and fill the niches. And that's precisely what they did, and precisely the proof creationists say no one has.

    Again, creationists won't listen to this. It's technical. It involves science. But before they can deny evolution using valid logic, they would need to do the following. They would need to show that after the Galapagos cooled down and became vegetated, some 26 specific species of birds came there already adapted to the specific food sources that had only recently been planted on the islands - and then the 21-23 or so that do not exist on the mainland all went extinct on the mainland by the time Darwin came along! When they get through with this they can deal with the turtles and iguanas.

    Thus there is nothing to deny evolution. And for all the smears against Darwin, all they are doing is exhibiting willful ignorance of the man and his work, by refusing to address what the man actually discovered and what he actually wrote. ( I have yet to encounter creationist who actually read Darwin. No wonder.)

    Over 40% of Americans are willfully ignorant of evolution. That's a phenomenally huge number. And this, in the country that gave the world "American know-how". It's a failing grade, and it's all on account of the religious propaganda that lays seige to Galapagos, bans the books, burns Darwin's notes, and sends him to prison bound and gagged for heresy. Over 40%!

    Furthermore, the American missionary movements, with their substantial coffers, has spread this propaganda globally. You can now find people in Nigeria or Brazil espousing the same dishonesty. It's like an infection, and it continues to linger despite the ready access the world has to Darwin's works online. Thus I say willful ignorance.
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    The correct response when presented with the theistic - with any theistic - explanation for evolution, the only correct answer is a blank stare into the near distance. There is no evidence for such a claim, and no way to test it. There is little science has to say about theology, and nothing theology has to say about science.
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    They are very few, and for a reason.

    The facts are the same for both camps. Whether that translates into evidence is a function of agreement with the initial premise.

    The support for evolution is incredibly strong. Those who fail to grasp it have probably not really reviewed it clearly. The proposition is there: refute it, if you can.

    That's great, but science is not an experiential process, unless you're one of my reviewers.
  21. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    ..the aspect of darwinian evolution anybody is concerned with is the idea
    that one kind of creature transforms into a completely different kind of creature.

    Now if you can show that without fancy talk, then you have a point.

    Can you show me anything that shows this fantastic notion, that doesn't rely
    on having to believe it is so because scientists say so?

  22. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    There used to be no humans, only ape like creatures that walked upright. Now there are humans. Fantastic, right?
  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Not according to the evidence uncovered in ''Forbidden Archeology''.


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