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Do you believe in God?
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Rat Man
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I meant the same goes for as as goes for Tahnan. I don't want to answer for the same reason. Sorry I was unclear.

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04-04-2011 at 09:13 PM
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Banjooie
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OK

Can we agree that the religious 14 year old kid has /faith/ that you cannot prove or disprove God?

And, perhaps, can we then suggest that often when religious people say they 'know something for sure', they mean they have a deep unshakable /faith/ in that concept, seeing as though that's a whole tenet of the basis of believing in god?

Anyway, back to the important issue.

Rat Man, I'm not saying you'll get all angry and shaken up if some guy's a jerk to you.

What I'm saying is the way you're handling it isn't actually the optimal method. Simply not breaking down into tears when a guy makes fun of you isn't going to do it.

The trick is your responses at current are /still/ socially awkwar--
quote:
They know what's coming. They just don't know what to do when it happens to them.
Oh you just said this exact thing. Yeah.

You still don't quite know. You've gotten partway there, you're not getting mad at internets. The trick is that you won't actually get anywhere simply acknowledging that someone is attempting to make you angry and openly stating your decision not to. This is because many people misunderstand what trolling is about.

Trolling is about getting a reaction that is amusing. It is. Believe me. What I do around here is try to elicit the greatest reactions humanly possible so that the maximum amount of comedy is achieved. Now, the easiest route to do this is, in fact, to make someone angry.

We could do that, but Schik's watching this thread and honestly I always feel a little dirty and creepy when a monkey's watching me that closely.

Instead, I'm really kind of vindicated in that all we have to do to elicit maximum comedy out of this thread is ask one question. I guarantee you this question cannot go anywhere but absolute comedy gold.

What was the intended purpose of this thread?
04-04-2011 at 10:10 PM
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Rat Man
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I don't know what gave you the idea that I was saying I had /faith/ that you cannot prove or disprove God but let's move on from that.

I guess we were saying the exact same thing about homeschooling and we're in agreement about that.

But about trolling -- there are some times when you shouldn't make jokes. Like if someone told you their wife died the other day, you shouldn't troll them about it. It just wouldn't be right. I know that's an extreme example, but I think you were on the line between harmless trolling and things that would just make people too mad.

The point of this thread was to figure out if the population of the Caravel Forum really was mostly atheists. And it is. Not as much as I thought, but it still is.

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04-04-2011 at 10:33 PM
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Penwielder
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First, I respect homeschooling very much; second, I was not and am not homeschooled, despite my said respect for such; third, I agree that the pole wasn't set up ideally.

...And fourth, I'm just going to answer the original question.

I'm a Christian. I don't associate myself with any given faction ('denomination', as we call it) because the Bible clearly opposes such division in the church.

Yes, in case anyone was wondering, this does mean that I believe that some of you* many people, sadly, will go to hell, and I know this may anger some of you. Let me state clearly, though, that one's eternal destiny has nothing to do with whether or not (s)he is a good person. When you look at the Bible's definition of holiness, you can't help but realize that we've all fallen far, far short. According to the Bible, the only way to heaven is to believe that God exists, accept that we are sinners, and accept God's sacrifice for us (Jesus) through which we can be forgiven. Therefore, since it is not by anything I have achieved or earned, I have no basis for boasting or for judging any of you. Therefore I do not do so.

Why do I believe in God and in the Bible? Now mostly because of scientific evidence, although it was a part of my upbringing, too. If there were no God, then where did the universe come from? If it were always there, then when did it start expanding, and why? Why does our galaxy (or any galaxy) still resemble a spiral, if it's been around for so long?

On a smaller scale, look at evolution for a moment. If the earth has been around for millions of years for that to happen, why is its magnetic field still as strong as it is? How did spontaneous generation come about? Where are all the fossils of intermediate forms and/or failed attempts at evolving? Have they managed to find even one real occurrence of the geologic column yet? And even if you don't believe in a creator, can you honestly deny that life has the appearance of design?

Then there's the Bible itself. Look at the case of the Hittites. Scientists didn't believe they existed, but archaeology has since proved otherwise. Then there are instances like the city of Jericho, the nation of Isreal crossing the Red Sea (plus their stay in Egypt), the records of the census from the time of Jesus' birth, and so on. Then there's the whole thing about fulfilled prophecy--the destruction of Tyre, the life of Jesus himself, the time of Alexander the Great, the reestablishment of Israel, and so on. Plus, its consistency is remarkable when you consider that it was written by many different authors under many different circumstances.

These are just a few of the reasons why I came to the conclusion that I did. So, Rat Man, to the extent that you've clarified your position, I'm with you.

*EDIT: Clarified in response to Rat Man's comments below, although further clarification will be necessary.

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04-04-2011 at 10:37 PM
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Rat Man
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Penwielder, I agree with you completely, except for the part about going to Hell.
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04-04-2011 at 10:52 PM
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Banjooie
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Look, if we're going to do this, we're going to do this.

So here we go.

quote:
On a smaller scale, look at evolution for a moment. If the earth has been around for millions of years for that to happen, why is its magnetic field still as strong as it is?
I dunno. I don't have many examples of spinning giant sources of molten iron that /have/ lost their magnetic fields. I don't actually know how long on average it takes 'gigantic molten iron blobs' to lose magnetism, and that's difficult to test at current.
quote:
How did spontaneous generation come about?
What? Are you talking about the theory of spontaneously generated life, or how cells came about? Because evolution isn't actually about genesis, these are different sciences.
quote:
Where are all the fossils of intermediate forms and/or failed attempts at evolving?
Well, I would personally consider 'every fossil of everything that doesn't currently exist' a failed attempt at evolving, because everything that currently exists by definition would be a /successful/ attempt at evolving.
quote:
Have they managed to find even one real occurrence of the geologic column yet?
Considering that the geologic column is just 'a simpler way of combining a lot of complex information around the world', I'm really not surprised they haven't. I think the religious equivalent would be 'have they found a set of dead sea scrolls that is literally the entire bible, in order'?
quote:
And even if you don't believe in a creator, can you honestly deny that life has the appearance of design?
You're gonna do an experiment for me. I need you to get a coin sorter. Ideally not the electric kind, the kind you shake up a lot randomly, so it's tapered, increasingly smaller holes.

Now you take all that change out of your couch, and I want you to throw a big handful on the top.

|$$$$$$$|
|_______|
|until n|
|_______|

Now, all the coins here on top look exceedingly random. The intelligent design method of sorting these coins would be just to remove each layer, place the proper coins in their position, and reseat each layer.

We're going to use the 'random chance evolution' method. Let's constantly, endlessly shake the coin box.

Our coin holes for this experiment represent 'survival'. Each layer down is going to represent 'time'.

As you shake the box, coins are going to gradually filter down through. They cannot help it. Time does not stop.

You will eventually end up with

|Loonies| (you're canadian, deal with it)
|Quarter|
|Nickels|
|Pennies|
|Dimes!!|


Lo and behold, we've come to the exact same configuration as 'individually selecting each coin and putting them in their place' as we got via random chance, by virtue of rolling the dice.

What many people forget when it comes to evolution or even the genesis of life is that yes, it is a one in a quadrillion chance for this to work. It's an absurdly small chance that any given planet can have life on it; but oh man are there a /lot/ of planets. The chances of someone winning the lottery are small, but people buy an awful lot of tickets.

It's an obscenely small chance that life could start, but it is a chance rolled upon every second of every day for millions of years.

Evolution has the advantage that by its nature, it is inevitable. The only real way to disprove evolution would be to find a living creature that should not be able to survive and should not /have/ survived until now.

Unfortunately, most of those are living.


[Last edited by Banjooie at 04-04-2011 11:01 PM]
04-04-2011 at 11:00 PM
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Jason
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[ontopic?]
Then I saw her face!

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04-04-2011 at 11:04 PM
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Banjooie
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Oh my god

Rat Man's a catholic, he's espousing 'presumption of salvation'
Penwielder's a traditional 'salvation through Jesus'-style Christian

Can we make this a homeschooling thread again
04-04-2011 at 11:04 PM
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Dischorran
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quote:
Rat Man wrote:
And what do you mean, "What TYPE of homeschool"?

Well, to oversimplify, parents seem to opt for the much more time-consuming homeschooling instead of taking the default course of public or private schools when they think they can do a significantly better job than whatever else is out there. Which usually means either:

A. Heavily religious types worried about their kids getting corrupted by learning about Rap Music and Evolution.

B. Academic/hippie types who want to see their kid get a Real and Individualized Education instead of learning unimportant trivia by rote.

So yeah. I was waiting to see whether you'd post about religion or some heavy-duty math/sociology/other theory thread - more fun than just asking. And you went with A.

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04-04-2011 at 11:29 PM
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RoboBob3000
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quote:
Banjooie wrote:
Oh my god
Hypocrite.

The benefit to having been around the forum for as long as I have is that every opinion of mine has already been documented somewhere. All I ever need to do anymore is copy and paste links.

Evolution debate, same difference.

One of my favorite songs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li30NxCsJ7w

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04-04-2011 at 11:30 PM
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Banjooie
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I like the idea that you no longer have to actually post anything on this forum, but rather reference your earlier posts on the same topic, over time.

Eventually you will be able to reference a post to explain your posting style.

This is basically the evolution of internet at work.
04-04-2011 at 11:31 PM
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By the way, for people interested in cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution I recommend this series, which is like a crash course in these topics, summarizing what science knows, and more importantly, how it knows it.

Just offering because of remarks like "if the earth is billions of years old". There is no "if", at least among scientists specializing in these things. Many of them Christians, by the way.

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04-04-2011 at 11:37 PM
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quote:
Banjooie wrote:
I like the idea that you no longer have to actually post anything on this forum, but rather reference your earlier posts on the same topic, over time.

Eventually you will be able to reference a post to explain your posting style.

This is basically the evolution of internet at work.
I'm working to get to the point where I can just fully automate my presence on this forum. I plan on using all the time I save as a result for bigger and better things. Or I might just use it to browse the internet.

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04-04-2011 at 11:51 PM
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Banjooie
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I am actually trying to see if I can make a macro in Firefox to post

...


Okay!

because Rat Man has inspired me
04-04-2011 at 11:55 PM
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Penwielder
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To Rat Man (secreted because he did likewise, and to save space):
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To Banjooie:
We do know how fast our own not-so-molten blob is losing its magnetic field, though. To be as strong as it is now, our planet's magnetic field would have been strong enough to melt the planet far less than even just twenty thousand thousand years ago.

Concerning spontaneous generation: I was talking about the spontaneous generation of the first life. I admit, I don't understand all the terminology, and yeah, I kinda recall that they're different sciences, now that you mention it. I associate them together because they both relate to the most common explanation for the origin of life as we know it (and perhaps because I disbelieve both of them, which honestly isn't a wise way to think of it on my part).

As for intermediate forms... well, that half of that particular point still stands, anyway. On a semi-related note, it's odd to me that evolution isn't continuing, when you consider how many species are being driven to extinction by human activity. Is it possible that humans really are superior to at least some animals, even ones alive today--an idea which evolution is used as grounds to deny?

Regarding the geologic column: Good point there (except for the comparison, which I'm not sure I fully understand). But consider the way in which the column is formed--specifically, the time involved. If it takes so long, then how do you explain the cases where things are outright out of order?

The experiment which you have suggested has (at least) one critical flaw in it. A coin sorter is not chance; it is a thing designed (ahem) to produce the result you predict, based on sound and simple principles of physics. Although there is randomness involved, what you have predicted is very likely to happen (at least more or less--and let's face it, life is imperfect too). Evolution does not have such an advantage for reasons that follow.

I've hardly forgotten about the whole 'chance' thing. Your figure (a quadrillion) is terribly small for what we're talking about. We're talking about something here which is well beyond the point of being considered mathematically impossible. And when it comes to planets, may I ask: do you know how unique the earth is just in its potential ability to support life? We are very much a rarity. Given an infinite amount of time, it's true that the chances of it all aren't relevant, but we haven't got an infinite amount of time. (When is the heat death of the universe again? I forget.)

Furthermore, you've still got the whole problem of the origin of the universe. The second law of thermodynamics very much opposes the idea that it has always been here.

EDIT: Your last two sentences (taken together) in the post of yours most referenced in this one stand rather in contrast to your stance so far. I suspect you were making a joke. If so, you could clarify.

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04-05-2011 at 01:02 AM
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Rat Man
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I don't want to take the time to quote everyone this time so I'll just post about everything that jumped out at me. Live with it.

First of all, I don't believe in evolution. Neither do my parents. But they're constantly quoting the problems with evolution. I don't agree with them there. From a purely scientific standpoint, I disbelieve, not because of contrary evidence, but because of lack of evidence. Same reason why Darwin himself denounced it. I also disbelieve because of some things from the Bible.

Second of all, I am not catholic, nor am I anywhere near catholic. I don't know what presumption of salvation is, but I don't think that's what I was actually saying because I've been misunderstood so many times, and I don't think I made my point effectively here.

My parents are not worried about me being corrupted by learning about the outside world. Not even close. I know a lot about evolution and I read about it just for fun! I simply don't believe in it. I also enjoy learning about mythology and conspiracy theories. I don't mean to say that evolution is like a conspiracy theory; I just mean that I learn about it even though I don't believe. There are parents who think their kids will be corrupted if they learn about rap music and evolution, but not many at all. Trust me. I know a lot of homeschoolers.

Maurog, just because a ton of scientists, many of them Christian, believe it doesn't make it true. Just look up the science of the 1800's.

So, Banjooie, you're actually going to get an "I have nothing interesting to say" button!

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04-05-2011 at 01:47 AM
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Jatopian
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quote:
Rat Man wrote:
Live with it.
I think you are coming into this thread spoiling for a fight, at least unconsciously. I have wanted to respond to several things said in this thread, but I am avoiding it because the bad feeling in here makes me think it just can't go anywhere good.

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04-05-2011 at 02:33 AM
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Banjooie
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To Banjooie:
Is it possible that humans really are superior to at least some animals, even ones alive today--an idea which evolution is used as grounds to deny?
I don't think you really understand evolution.

Evolution is not the process of making things /better/, it is the process of making things /good enough/.

Humans are /good enough/ for the most part. Being able to 'slightly jump higher' hasn't actually been a prime decision as to whether or not we breed, so we don't tend to make like Mario.

quote:
Regarding the geologic column: Good point there (except for the comparison, which I'm not sure I fully understand). But consider the way in which the column is formed--specifically, the time involved. If it takes so long, then how do you explain the cases where things are outright out of order?
If only the earth, over the course of time, moved. Like, plates or something. Or that there were earthquakes. Or that there were floods, or all the other gajillion things.

quote:
The experiment which you have suggested has (at least) one critical flaw in it. A coin sorter is not chance; it is a thing designed (ahem) to produce the result you predict, based on sound and simple principles of physics.

The condition to get through the coin holes is 'Be small enough to fit through the hole'.

The condition to get through the evolution holes is 'breed more than the other things'.

In my personal opinion, an intelligent designer wouldn't waste time with so much redundancy and vestigial limbs, etc.
04-05-2011 at 02:34 AM
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The spitemaster
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I am finding this tread very interesting. Mostly because of all the 'debates' that I have heard involve one of these things:

An idiot (On either side)
Yelling and screaming
Name calling
Fingers in ears
Or someone that doesn't care (on either side) and gets preached at.

And my two cents.

How can dinosaurs be found with red blood cells in their marrow if they have been dead for millions of years?

Why is the same science valid when looking at Mount St. Hellens as compared to any other mountain? Here I refer to geological strata. If you didn't know what the land looked like before the eruption, the strata in the surrounding lakes and rivers would look old.

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04-05-2011 at 03:11 AM
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Dischorran
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Citations needed:
Linearity of magnetic field loss, given that there's a geologic record showing that the magnetic field switches back and forth in polarity with intermediate lack of field.

Planets capable of supporting life are rare.

Darwin didn't like evolution.

All galaxies must have reached entropic equilibrium on an astronomic time scale.

Science shouldn't revise itself, and therefore the science of the 1800s is as valid as science today; similarly, what we know now is all we will ever know.

Evolution isn't continuing.

I seriously don't care what your beliefs are, but please keep the data straight if you really need them to justify your faith (see previous thread for details - it was fun then, now it's boring being the data police). And no, life on the molecular level, to me at least, shows vanishingly little HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE evidence of design, but that's not really a [citation needed].

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04-05-2011 at 03:34 AM
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Maurog
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Good thing we have ways of measuring the age of a geologic layers by other means than pure location, eh. Like, oh I dunno, the level of decay of radioactive elements in the rocks...

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04-05-2011 at 03:37 AM
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quote:
Rat Man wrote:
First of all, I don't believe in evolution. Neither do my parents. But they're constantly quoting the problems with evolution. I don't agree with them there. From a purely scientific standpoint, I disbelieve, not because of contrary evidence, but because of lack of evidence. Same reason why Darwin himself denounced it. I also disbelieve because of some things from the Bible.



um, yeah, I'd like to see a reference for that. I mean, it's irrelevant even if it is true, but still sounds fishy to me.
Not to say that great thinkers & scientist can't go a bit nutty as they get older (eg Linus Pauling)

quote:
The spitemaster wrote:How can dinosaurs be found with red blood cells in their marrow if they have been dead for millions of years?


I looked this up because it sounded interesting. From what I read, it's not red blood cells themselves, but rather the remnants of red blood cells. Parts of the haemoglobin, and stuff. It's something to do with how the iron in the haemoglobin breaks down? - I am not a molecular palaentologist, so it's a bit technical for me. The impact of the work is that soft tissues can be preserved longer than was thought, although we're not sure exactly how this occurs)
heh, but to get these, you apparently have to destory the bone using a special acid that leaves the proteins intact. So you get the tissue but lose the bone. (d'oh)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/schweitzer-qa.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Higby_Schweitzer
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna

--

my one cent:

What do you think about ring species? Ring species are pretty good analogy as to how speciation can occur, only you replace the time dimension with a spatial one. Pretty nifty!
04-05-2011 at 04:05 AM
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Banjooie
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people in this thread are implying that Darwin denounced evolution ON HIS DEATHBED for reasons beyond 'making sure he got a decent burial', given the time he lived in

I'm pretty much done here if we're all going to not understand how society works.

And to my credit I tried to make this thread about homeschooling and you wouldn't let me.
04-05-2011 at 04:24 AM
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The spitemaster
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Just because I like messing with things, here is argument from the other side that I do not believe can be answered very well.

Since your belief says that there has only been 6,000 years (10,000 tops) how does starlight reach us? Additionally, thesis statements require that God tell no lies, so if the stars are so far away, how is the light from the stars giving us information that may have never happened?

I actually know what the most popular creationist answer is to this question, but I just want it well known that both sides have pitfalls.

Rabscuttle:

I have never actually read in depth about the blood cells. I just read it in an email that gmail keeps flagging as spam. (Kidding) And that is very interesting. However, my largest problem with speciation is not that it occurs (Which I do believe that it does) but that evolutionists accredit as proof of their theories. If you examine the DNA structure of two groups of animals that separated species you will find the loss of information. This I know from experience; when I worked on a farm, I worked with pigs. Their life cycle is very short for animals that are used for food. (Just over one year birth-breeding age) But the most important thing about breeding them is their patronage. They had records going back twelve generations to make sure that they were not inbreeding the animals. The loss in genetic information was so great that you could loose half a litter from inbreeding. Much worse than what would happen if you married your cousin.

This is because of the number of generations of pigs that there have been in comparison to people. Or the pool of pigs in ages past was very small. Either case does not suit you well. Generations of animals is self-explanatory. If the pool was small, imagine this: monkeys are going along and have a mutation. This mutation needs to be carried along in order for apes to eventually turn into humans. (Feel free to point out if I am simplifying or trivializing the process in which you think that it occurs) Now a very large number of apes need to get the same mutation, as to increase the size of the gene pool of the next step up. Because after a while either: the pool will become so inbred that their offspring will not be able to do basic motor functions, or the group will speciate and not longer be able to breed with the earlier population.

And after re-reading your post I realize that I don't actually have any problem with what you said, so this rant can just go to whomever feels the most put out that I was bashing what they think.

EDIT: Also after reading the article on ring species, I think that my point still stands. Abet not as well as before.

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[Last edited by The spitemaster at 04-05-2011 04:51 AM]
04-05-2011 at 04:46 AM
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Rabscuttle
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Decent burial? He's buried in Westminster Abbey! And that's not due to any deathbed confession.

check out the company he's keeping:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey_Burials_and_Memorials
04-05-2011 at 04:53 AM
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Schik
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Even this Creationist site busts the "Darwin denounced evolution" myth. And there's plenty of other articles there that will either be very informative or very funny/scary depending on your point of view.

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04-05-2011 at 04:59 AM
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On a septate note, the biggest problem I have with evolution is not the science. Instead it is the theology (That isn't the right word but I hope it is close enough so that people know what I'm talking about) that stems from it.

And as to not actually break [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law]Godwin's Law I would just have you think of what follows from the thought of one thing being more evolved than another.

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04-05-2011 at 05:00 AM
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Dischorran
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Actually, the idea of people being "more evolved" than other animals is a holdover from the Great Chain of Being. Pretty much any modern scientific representation of evolution is as a tree, with us on one arbitrary (but particularly well-studied) branch.

As for genetic load issues, you pretty much need a population small enough for the founder effect to apply to have serious problems; see how I left a couple nice phrases to look up on Wikipedia there? Thing is, it works just as well for concentrating desirable traits as lethal traits, which is why domesticated animals tend to have issues here, because they *have* been crossbred in small pools to generate particular breeds of dogs, which I'm familiar with, or presumably nice meaty pigs, which I'm not so much. You end up needing to keep careful track of lineages to make sure that you're not getting homozygous lethal genes, since you're not letting them just dilute out into the population any more.

Yay science!

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04-05-2011 at 05:54 AM
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Tahnan
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quote:
Rat Man wrote:
Maurog, just because a ton of scientists, many of them Christian, believe it doesn't make it true. Just look up the science of the 1800's.
I understand why someone would feel this way. Religion offers a very comforting view of the world in that it remains fairly constant: you don't get new data that forces you to revise your worldview. Science does that constantly; every time a new fact is discovered, it changes what a scientist believes to be true. And it's hard to have to change your worldview frequently.

Unfortunately, that's also a problem with religion. (I'm reminded of Woody Allen's comparison in Annie Hall of relationships to a shark: sharks always have to move forward, he explains, or else they die, and his relationship with Annie had become "a dead shark". I don't even know if the thing about sharks is true, nor do I really care; the point is, you have to keep moving forward.) Yes, fine, absolutely true, many things that were thought to be true by scientists in the past turned out not to be true. But that's not a reason to reject science as a whole, or particular things believed by scientists. Medicine is an easy place to point to examples of this: it's certainly not the case that we have a complete understanding of the way the body works. Nevertheless, with the understanding that we do have, we're able to accomplish a lot of things--artificial organs, transplants, cures, what have you.

Yes, many things scientists believed in the 1800s are false. Indeed, many things scientists believe now are false, and as a scientist I'll happily be one of the first to admit that everything I wrote in my dissertation will have been superseded by better theories fifty years from now.

But one of the absolute, positive, bottom-line key facts is that when a scientist's explanation turns out to be wrong, that's because it gets replaced with a new scientific explanation. And religion will not, indeed cannot, ever offer explanations; creationism and "intelligent design" necessarily fall back on "because The Lord said so", and that's not an explanation. You don't have to accept any particular conclusion of science; but if you reject science, especially if you do so because of things in the Bible, well, pardon the expression, but G-d bless you.
04-05-2011 at 07:54 AM
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Since we are getting into the theistic discussion, there is a question I've been wanting to ask.

Rat man, if you claim that you cannot prove the existence or non-existence of god, why are you a believer instead of an agnostic, especially as I've gotten the impression you don't believe in a god on faith.

@banjooie, I was considering going to homeschooling angle, in hindsight I should have. Especially since I was homeschooled for a year. Personally I think that small schools inspired by a new age conman are far far worse.

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04-05-2011 at 10:36 AM
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