Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.
The first thing to understand is that only a tiny tiny percentage of animals that die are fossilised. There are a lot of fossils, but as a percentage of all the life that ever lived, we have only a tiny sampling.
Then to build such a solid case of evolution (to hear it taught in the schools, one would assume it was the law of evolution) from such a small sampling, is not good science. The gaps are filled with deductive reasoning and innuendoes. That is fine for a working theory, but keep it away from the established fact bookshelf, until enough physical evidence turns up to support it.
We build a theory (not a law, you budding creationist fudster), based on the best information we have at the time. Gradually, as we get more information we fill in. The theory of evolution is constantly revised in the fine details, but evolution itself is an established fact. We have a ton of evidence showing it happens. We can even see it happening right under our noses today as insects and microbes evolve defenses to our pesticides and antibiotics.
Darwin originally thought that evolution was a continuous process. He devised his theory before even Mendel’s genetic theories were widely known. We have learned a lot since then, especially about DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) and mitochondrial DNA to study our past. If Darwin’s original view were true, you indeed would expect to see a smooth continuous variation and all the different intermediate variants in roughly equal proportion. However, we have since learned it goes in bursts. The environment changes. There is a burst of evolutionary change. Then things tend to sit still, until some other change in the environment. So for most of time nothing much happens interesting. You tend thus to get an overrepresentation of fossils from stable periods where the animals were all alike.
Still, seeing as how much time has supposed to have elapsed from the beginning until now (millions of years), there should still be an abundant supply of transitional forms showing the supposed changes. (unless we are to assume that only the transitional fossils are the main group of fossils that did not survive).
Apparently you did not understand my first explanation. Only one in billion animals manages to survive as a fossil. It requires quite a fluke set of conditions to preserve a specimen for millions of years. You would expect transitional fossils to be thousands of times more rare than regular fossils. No wonder they are so hard to find. We are finding them, but they are rare just as predicted.
There are other factors that are more mathematical --about the speed a mutation spreads through a population. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) I mentioned in my last post. The fossil record does not show evidences of all the transitional life forms needed to explain the wide diversity of life existing today. It just is not there in the fossil record. But for those who look to the Bible as God’s inspired written word, then they don’t have to come up with any theories to explain it. The Bible simply says that all life forms have been created independently of each other. Your argument is analogous to the Nazi argument that the holocaust never happened because the paper records of the death camps are incomplete. You want to ignore all indirect evidence.
But then you have a competing theory. There is no evidence to back it up. and plenty to contradict it. Why would you possibly prefer it, even if evolutionary theory is slightly imperfect?
Yes you may get variety within a life form, but that life form never turns into a completely different life form. Cats always remain cats and cows always remain cows, etc.
Your Bible fails to mention the fact of evolution we observe happening around us. Animals are changing right now!
That depends how you define changing. Is one life form changing by turning into a completely different life form? (like a rat into a cat, etc) Or are you seeing changes within a life form. (An animal growing a thicker coat of fur when exposed to cold temperatures, etc. The animal may end up with a different coat than normal, but it is still the same animal. These are the capacity of changes already present in the genetic programming of the animal) You would have to give me an example (with appropriate references) so I know what you are meaning.
Why don’t you at least take a high school biology class before pontificating on what scientists believe. You have taken all your information from an extremely biased source who has lied to you over and over about science’s position. If you want to understand what scientists have to say, ask them directly. Don’t ask your creationist friends to interpret for you. I will tackle this specific issue a little later on in this post.
British astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell wrote: "The probability of… a chance occurrence leading to the formation of one of the smallest protein molecules is unimaginably small… It is effectively zero."
That may well be, but since the dear boy died, we discovered such molecules floating out in space.
What is your scientific source of the above statement? I would like to examine it.
Don’t bullshit me. If you gave you the references you would not read them. They might hurt your preconceived notions. If you were truly curious, you would get busy with the Google search engine and research it for yourself. You have not read any of the other materials I gave you.
(Evolutionists can be very quick to seize anything that might support their theory. For example the famous Piltdown man, Nasa’s claimed discovery of life on Mars, etc.)
I suggest you get yourself a subscription to Scientific American or Nature to keep abreast of what scientists are saying to each other. Piltdown man was a fraud perpetrated in 1912 by a priest and professional archeologist, Teilhard de Chardin and Charles Dawson, an amateur archeologist. It is completely irrelevant to evolutionary theory. Have you not studied anything more recent than that? The jury is still out on what those little worm-like things are in the Martian rocks. Unlike Creationists, scientists don’t make up their minds immediately. They ask for more evidence.
Thus I don’t immediately toss my Bible in the garbage when I hear of some claimed support for evolution. I first want to see the scientific evidence. (and give it enough time to make sure that it really is evidence.)
Well, as a geological or natural history the Bible is clearly fallacious. You should toss it for those purposes. I am willing to debate whether it is suitable as a text on ethics. You will have a hard time convincing me that Leviticus is cutting edge thinking.
And let’s not get lost in the fog here. Mindless forces supposedly ended up creating a human being, the highest biological life form on this planet. If we were made of nuts and bolts, you would not question that we were created by some intelligence.
But because we made from the natural elements (better stuff than nuts and bolts), somehow that disqualifies an intelligent mind from designing us. Does that sound reasonable to you? (You seem like a reasonable person.)
That is a completely different issue. If we were designed, it was not by the bungling lunatic the way God is depicted in the Bible.
Astronomer Fred Hoyle said: "The entire structure of orthodox biology still holds that life arose at random."
That is not true. Natural selection is not random. Genetic mutation is random.
My dictionary defines random as, by chance; with no plan, method, or purpose; casual. (The 1999 World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary)
There was no mind controlling anything, in the evolutionary theory.
Evolution itself has an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of about 1. The amazing thing is this is sufficient to explain the variety of natural species. We did not get here overnight. It took millions of years of bungling and false starts. If God had directed it, surely it would have progressed faster than IQ 1 could achieve on its own.
If natural selection is not random, then that would mean that it does not occur by chance, but has a plan, method, or purpose. Those are attributes of an intelligent being, or something created and designed by an intelligent being. Those are not actions of mindless forces.
You misunderstand. Natural selection is not random. It does not randomly select for both slower and faster animals. In any one situation there is a pressure to evolve is a particular direction. There is nothing intelligent about this pressure. It is simply that faster animals survive; slower ones perish. The genetic mutuations are random. Nearly all are detrimental. A very precious few are beneficial. However, those individuals with the beneficial mutations prevail.
The bottom line is, according to the evolutionary theory, mindless forces eventually produced the first life form. Thus with no mind to plan, follow a method, or define a purpose, then it had to occur at random. (at least by definition).
They have watched these very same mindless forces shaping life in the test tube. It does not require a God. If God had anything to do with it, it was in designing the overall process. He did such a good job it does not require his constant attention to keep it running.
Molecular biologist Michael Denton said: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event."
Quite right. Keep in mind the theory of evolution does not specify how life originated. It is still quite mysterious. The working assumption is that something quite a bit simpler than a cell was the first form of life. I presume Mr. Denton died before the discovery of viruses which are considerably simpler than cells and can in some sense be considered non-living protein crystals. The very first form of life would be better described as some form of self-replicating molecule.
But even the most smallest form of life, is quite complex for mindless forces to create. That to me takes more of a leap of faith to believe in, than the Bible.
I take it you have been living in a cave this last decade and have not heard of the human genome project. We have mapped the human genome. Were it not for ethical considerations, we could create a complete human set of chromosomes from scratch, from chemicals. Only a decade ago fundamentalists would have sworn only God could do that. On 2001-03-30 I received two injections, to immunise me against Hepatitis A and B. What was in those injections? artificial viruses. It turned out the creation of life was not the big deal we thought it was going to be.
Many times evolutionists are a bit haughty towards those who differ with them.
Quite rightly. The creationists lie, cheat and misrepresent. They have no evidence. The refuse to look at the evidence that does exist. They are the most infuriating dunderheads on the planet. They have made up their minds. They don’t care that the evidence is 99.9% against them.
I guess to them it is like someone insisting the earth is flat. And no matter how much evidence they show to the contrary, the person is stubborn and just will not capitulate.
We very annoyed having the same lies thrown at us time and time again. We get very annoyed having our own words twisted by lying fundamentalists. We get very annoyed when people who pretend to be interested in these issues refuse to do any research on them. All they do is throw the same tired old BS left over from creationist arguments of the nineteenth century.
But today we have good evidence that the earth is round. (Did you know that the Bible revealed that the earth was round and floated in space? Sorry to get off subject here) But is the evidence to support evolution, really as sound as they claim? To me it is not.
Hmm. Why did the Church feel so threatened by Galileo Galilei then? The Bible talks of a flat earth having corners. That’s where the phrase four corners of the earth came from.
I have always been a lover of science,
But especially the fact that if the Bible’s claims are true, then the Bible cannot be at odds with true science. They would have to be quite compatible since our Creator is the genesis of the natural sciences. So far to me, they appear to be. So since evolution and creation are contradictory, they both couldn’t be correct.
Yes, but genetic mutations usually have a negative influence on life forms and never produce anything new. The documented fruit fly experiments have proven that. Andre the Giant wasn’t born an octopus. He was still a human being, just deformed from the standpoint of the general population. Correct. However, nobody claimed octopi evolved from humans much less in a single generation.
Nearly all mutations are detrimental. If only one in a billion are beneficial that still helps the species. Such a battle is fought inside my own body as the various strains of HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) battle to develop mutations to the various drugs I take to fight them. They have managed to evolve immunity to two of the drugs already. Evolution in going on literally under my nose!
But you just told me that genetic mutations can take a huge leap. (in a previous email) If they supposedly are the stuff new life forms are made from, why not in one generation?
You do some huge changes, e.g. a three-headed calf, in a single generation. But what I was referring to were periods in geologic history when there were massive climate changes. These force all species to evolve quickly or perish. Quickly is quickly in geologic time. It could still be tens of thousands of years.
Consider freaks like two headed frogs. Their parents had only one head. Small mutations in DNA can create very large macroscopic effects without requiring intermediate forms.
Weren’t they still frogs? They didn’t have one head of a frog and another of a shark or something. They still always remained frogs (gruesome maybe, but still frogs).
If that much can happen in one generation, what can happen in a million? Do you have any idea how many times bigger 1,000,000 is than one? How much change happens in a year of human history? How much change happens in a million?
Consider the chihuahuas and St. Bernards they have been created in less than 5000 years (a microsecond of evolutionary time) from a common ancestor. Are they different enough for you?
Not at all. They are still dogs. They are still within their Biblical kind.
Then I suggest you study the process of speciation. We are seeing it happen right now today with various bird subspecies. You start with sub populations that differ and rarely interbreed and then diverge and diverge until they no longer interbreed. There is nothing particularly mysterious about it. Even lions and tigers, horses and donkeys can still interbreed. It is a gradual process.
In order to explain the very diverse life forms existing today, such as a lion and a roach, somewhere along the line there had to be some really wild genetic mutations going on.
Or the process took a very long time. Scientists think this took considerably longer than 4000 years. If you watched it as a movie speeded up millions of times, it would still be painfully boring and slow.
(now don’t assume I am saying that the lion came from the roach family in some evolutionary scale, etc. I am saying that since a lion and a roach exist today, somewhere in the deep past if all life forms came from a first one, then one of them had to be an ancestor of the other one. Thus we should see some evidence of that in the fossil record, should we not?
Your question may have to do with speciation. How can animals split into new species that can no longer breed with each other? See The Introduction to Biology FAQ . We have observed speciation happening. It is not just a theory.
There have only been variations of a kind, not a new life form produced from another life form.
You betray your ignorance of even the biology taught in high schools two generations ago. Please do a little study before lecturing to everyone on biology.
Of course, most text books attribute evolution to beneficial mutations. But if you carefully read between the lines, you will see that the statement concerning evolution is a deduction, not established scientific fact.If you read carefully between the lines you can make up any bullshit you want the author never intended. I don’t see your view in the quotes you provided.
If the theory of evolution were bunk, how do you explain the way the HIV bugs in my body developed immunity to 3TC and D4T? How do you explain the way mosquitoes now eat DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) for breakfast? What do you think this panic about Vancomycin resistant bacteria is about?
"Thus, ask yourself: Does it seem reasonable that all the amazingly complex cells, organs, limbs and processes that exist in living things were built up by a procedure that tears down?" (Life- How did it get here? By evolution or by creation?, 1985, p. 102)
Think of a computer program that plays chess. It considers billions of possible moves and mercilessly discards all but one. That is a procedure that tears down, yet it leads to chess moves better than can be designed by people.
James, if you wanted to learn about Christian doctrine, who would you ask, a Christian or a satanist? You have not been giving the evolutionists a fair shake. You have been learning deliberate misrepresentations. The only fair way to learn what the theory really says is to read the actual account of it, not an account distorted by creationists. Once you have done that, by all means study all the creationist objections. With a little background in what evolutionary theory actually says, you will discover for yourself most of the objections are bogus, not just refutable, bogus. They rely on misrepresenting the theory. They are straw man arguments.
It looks like perhaps it would be better to end these conversations. My purpose is not to get anyone riled up, but to hopefully open their mind to God’s written word, the Bible and how the Bible is superior to man’s wisdom. Perhaps some day hopefully you will recognize that.
If that were your intent, I would have expected you to provide some evidence the Bible is indeed God’s word. I have provided plenty of reasons to believe it is not. You have not provided anything to refute me. Your own attestations of faith without evidence demonstrate that you are a gullible boob, not that what you believe is true. You proved beyond a shadow of a doubt you don’t the foggiest clue what the theory of evolution is about and further that you don’t want to know. I am highly annoyed with you. I have invested many hours in your education and your are just aggressively stupid as when we started, parroting what your creationist mentors taught you, refusing to examine the science for yourself.
I will read any comments you make, but will not probably respond anymore.
Thank you for you thoughts and your time. (I know that time is precious in today’s busy world)
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