Story on Highlands County meeting

Print this article out. Save it. It’s a good one. Supporters of good science education made an outstanding showing!

James Broen said he has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is a parent of three students in the school district.

Concerning the proposed resolution and the teaching of alternative theories, he asked the board, “what theories are you advocating being presented in the scientific curriculum?”

After a pause, Hancock replied, “I don’t think you are going to get that answer.”

Broen said, “since the resolution states there are other theories to be presented to the student, yet the board members have failed to produce them, then it seems this resolution must be discarded.”

Hill-Gustat Middle School student Kelly Broen said when she attended summer science camp for gifted students at Purdue University it was expected that the students already learned the basic concepts of evolution.

“I hope to enter a field of science when I’m older and so I need the best science education possible,” she said, “so I only hope you will allow the theory of evolution to become prominent in our classes.”

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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91 Responses to Story on Highlands County meeting

  1. Karen R says:

    I am unbelievably proud of Highlands county – that was a completely unexpected (and delightful!) result.

    Special kudos to the middle schooler who got up there and reminded the board just what interests they’re supposed to be serving!

    …and, I’m sorry for the mess I inadvertently caused in the previous thread =(

  2. Charlotte Pressler says:

    Heartfelt thanks to all the speakers at the meeting. This was a very good day for Highlands County.

  3. Previous news articles —
    http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2008/jan/25/board-opposes-evolution-being-taught-fact/

    — and —

    http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2008/feb/03/school-board-consider-evolution-resolution/

    — reported that all five school board members were leaning towards passing a resolution against the proposed state standards. The school board has no credibility. I could understand one or two members being persuaded to change their minds — but more? There were two different proposed resolutions and the board did not vote on either of them, and the board did not even discuss the resolutions after the public testimony. Well, as Sir Thomas More said in the play “A Man for All Seasons,” silence betokens consent, not denial.

    According to the Feb. 7 news article, there were 10 public speakers opposed to the resolutions. A previous Florida Citizens for Science article —
    http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=430#comments

    — said that there was one public speaker in favor of the resolutions, but this public speaker is not mentioned in the news article. The underrepresentation of pro-resolution speakers was probably a factor in the defeat of the resolutions. Another factor was that email addresses of the board members were not posted, making it difficult for supporters of the resolutions to send in opinions.

    The Feb. 7 news article said,

    –The original resolution the school board considered states, “the State Board of Education is urged strongly to direct the Florida Department of Education to revise the new Sunshine State Standards for Science such that the “Big Bang” theory and evolution shall be presented only as two of several theories in the study of science.”

    School Board Chairman J. Ned Hancock suggested an alternative resolution, which was prepared shortly before Tuesday’s meeting, that stated, “the board urges the State Board of Education to direct the Florida Department of Education to revise the new Sunshine State Standards for Science to allow for balanced, objective and intellectually open instruction in regard to evolution, teaching the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory rather than teaching evolution as dogmatic fact.” —

    The alternative resolution says nothing about other theories. It does not even ask for a requirement that the scientific weaknesses of evolution be taught — it only asks that the new standards “allow” such weaknesses to be taught. So now the Darwinists are not only saying that no scientific weaknesses of evolution are known now, but are also saying that such weaknesses are not going to be found in the future. It’s like Judge Jones’ following ruling in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, inter alia: “we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants . . . . from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution . . ” He was not only ruling against Intelligent Design but was also ruling against criticisms of Darwinism that he had not even considered. The Darwinists have inaugurated a reign of terror where some Darwinists themselves — like some of the leaders in the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution — will become victims. Darwinian dogma will become so rigid that even unorthodox versions of the dogma — e.g., punctuated equilibrium — will not be tolerated.

    Anyway, apparently no Florida county school board has yet passed a resolution supporting the proposed state science standards, and about a dozen have passed resolutions in opposition.

    Chalk up another Pyrrhic victory for the Darwinists.

  4. PC-Bash says:

    Anyway, apparently no Florida county school board has yet passed a resolution supporting the proposed state science standards, and about a dozen have passed resolutions in opposition.

    Idiocy. Why would a county school board need to pass a resolution supporting the state science standards? If it is a state standard, and they agree with it, there is no need in passing a resolution supporting it.

    I shouldn’t feed this troll, as he is perhaps the most ignorant of the hecklers that post here, but I hate the idea of his garbage being the bottom comment in one of these posts.

  5. –“Idiocy. Why would a county school board need to pass a resolution supporting the state science standards? If it is a state standard, and they agree with it, there is no need in passing a resolution supporting it.”–

    They are not state standards yet and they are very controversial, so conceivably a school board might want to go on record as supporting them.

  6. PC-Bash says:

    They are not state standards yet and they are very controversial, so conceivably a school board might want to go on record as supporting them.

    A very vocal minority, who believe that the earth was created by a mythical being, does not a controversy make.

  7. ellie says:

    Evolution is scientific study when it allows consideration of opposing views.
    When the so-called-scientists that espouse it refuse to consider any other interpretation of the data other than the interpretation that supports their ideological viewpoint then it is no longer science — it is using scientific data to support a viewpoint of faith. One can have faith in God. One can also have faith in science.

  8. PC-Bash says:

    ellie –

    Evolution is scientific study when it allows consideration of opposing views.

    Science does allow consideration of opposing views, when these views have merit. However, there is currently no alternate theory to evolution that holds any merit.

    When the so-called-scientists that espouse it refuse to consider any other interpretation of the data other than the interpretation that supports their ideological viewpoint then it is no longer science

    Please name one alternate hypothesis.

  9. ellie says:

    how do you decide if a theory holds merit?
    I didn’t mention another hypothesis. I said we should be able to look at the data and understand different interpretations of it and then make intelligient decisions about whether these data support or disprove a theory. Instead of just calling each other stupid, we should be open to seeing the other side of the story. Scientists want to say that they are smarter than everyone else, but this isn’t evident from the caliber of debate that I have seen. Actually instead of debating, we should discuss the evidence.

  10. PC-Bash says:

    how do you decide if a theory holds merit?

    People far smarter than either of us have examined the evidence in support of evolution, and have elevated it from hypothesis to theory, and have been able to scrutinize this theory for 150 years. I’m fairly confident that with 150 years of scrutiny, any untenable part of this theory would have been excised long ago.

    I didn’t mention another hypothesis.

    You said “When the so-called-scientists that espouse it refuse to consider any other interpretation of the data”, which by the definition of hypothesis implies that you have another hypothesis, or that there are alternate hypotheses.

    Science works by hypothesis. We make educated guesses about the world, word these guesses in a way that can be verified or disproved via experimentation. This last part is key, as any statement that cannot be verified or disproved cannot be considered a hypothesis, and therefore cannot graduate to a scientific theory. ID and creationism both fail this test.

    Evolution is the best we have right now. Is it 100% accurate? I don’t know, but there has yet to be any evidence of merit that puts any of evolution in doubt, despite the creationists’ claims to the contrary. Evolution is useful, modern medicine among other things relies on it implicitly. An alternate hypothesis would need to be just as useful, or more useful.

  11. ellie says:

    thank you for getting down to my level. but I don’t think that someone just because they have specialized in a certain area or even won a prize, can claim superiority over my intelligience or yours.
    You and I both know that when scientists decide something is true and they build their knowledge base around it, then it takes an earthquake or maybe a whisper at just the right time to even allow them to consider another way. Look at the theory that the world was flat. They wanted to kill people who disagreed. By the way the church may have said that, but they were influenced by human wisdom. The bible said the earth was round at least 2000 years before Magellan. It never said the earth was flat.

    I’m surprised you would rely on the knowledge of these other scientists and not explore the evidence yourself.

    please excuse me, you are corrrect. I implied an alternative hypothesis. My null hypothesis would be that evolution is true. My alternative hypothesis would be that the hypothesis of evolution is not true. As I remember, in science you don’t compare two different hypotheses in an experiment. You determine whether your null hypothesis is true.

    And I am sure I have committed a grave sin by calling it a hypothesis. I would argue though, that evolution cannot be verified and there are arguments against it, that would in the very least discredit it, if not disprove it.

    The evidence that I used to use when I debated the other side, because I did at one time believe as you do, was the argument for anatomic similarities.
    By the way, I used to always win with that one argument, because no one had any amunition on the other side. Which was pretty sad, because we were all ignorant. I would have continued in my ignorant bliss, if I didn’t hear little whispers along the way, which I finally started to investigate.
    Back to anatomic similarities — Neil Shubin, notes that a fossil of a fish with a wrist, was found that it could have used to pull itself out of the water. A seal goes from the water to the land, but that doesn’t make it a transitional animal. Also, just because an animal has similar structure to another animal, doesn’t mean that the one is the precursor of the other. They could have the same design, because they perform a similar function.
    As to being useful, I don’t remember anything from my science studies about the hypothesis usefulness as a measure of their validity.
    As for modern medicine, please give me an example of the use of evolution in modern medicine.
    Thank you, Ellie

  12. PC-Bash says:

    ellie –

    You and I both know that when scientists decide something is true and they build their knowledge base around it, then it takes an earthquake or maybe a whisper at just the right time to even allow them to consider another way.

    I don’t believe that to be true. Scientists are certainly skeptical, but this skepticism works both ways. Evolution had to deal with the same amount of skepticism before it was generally accepted. Skepticism is a good thing. Scientists don’t close their ears to alternate ideas, but they do require that these alternate ideas have merit. Currently, there is no alternate explanation of the empirical evidence gathered than evolution. The evidence supports evolution.

    Look at the theory that the world was flat.

    This is a strawman for many reasons. For the most important reason, modern scientific process was not developed until long after people knew the world to be round.

    I’m surprised you would rely on the knowledge of these other scientists and not explore the evidence yourself.

    I have explored the evidence myself, as have people far more qualified than me. My opinion and the opinions of these people is that the evidence supports evolution. The burden of proof is for those against the status quo. Those who wish to discredit evolution must pony up evidence, and must defend this evidence against skepticism. That is how science works.

    My alternative hypothesis would be that the hypothesis of evolution is not true.

    You will need something better than that to qualify as a hypothesis.

    I would argue though, that evolution cannot be verified…

    So, influenza doesn’t evolve? Bacteria doesn’t evolve? I’m sure that medical doctors would love to hear more about your hypothesis here, because it goes against everything they have seen. For instance, modern influenza is much different than the 1918 strain. The differences cannot be explained, except for that of evolution.

    As to being useful, I don’t remember anything from my science studies about the hypothesis usefulness as a measure of their validity.

    A useless hypothesis may not be invalid, but it certainly won’t help people. For instance, how does claiming that “God created life” help medicine?

    As for modern medicine, please give me an example of the use of evolution in modern medicine.

    I can give you dozens of examples: our understanding of how viruses evolve are directly related to the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, our understanding of how animals are related to us is the cornerstone to how animal testing of pharmaceuticals works, our understanding of genetics is very important in diagnosing inherited diseases, knowing the evolutionary similarities of various species have allowed us to classify and detect cross-animal viruses (e.g. zoonosis), xenotransplantation while falling out of favor would not be possible without an understanding of evolution; the diagnoses of diseases such as down’s syndrome in vivio would not be possible without embryology, which is based on evolutionary theory.

  13. ellie says:

    I agree that a fair amount of skepticism is good and I accept the burden of proof. With God on my side, I will take on that challenge as David took on Goliath.

    There is no doubt that there are different strains of viruses, some more virulent than others, and different strains of bacteria some more resistant than others. But this is an example of microevolution, not macroevolution. The argument is really about macroevolution.
    There is no disagreement that there is evolution within species, it is the evolution from one species to the other which is in question.

    Similarities between species does not necessarily imply that one species evolved from the other. There maybe similarities between animals and humans that allow for pharmaceutical, zoonosis and xenotransplantation research.
    The origin of these similarities is really irrelevant to those studies. Also, genetic and biochemical similarities may be in place so that animals can preform similar functions.

    Our study of genetics does help us diagnose and understand inherited diseases which are caused by genetic and chromasomal mutations. However, the only genetic mutations that we know about are ones that cause detriment to the individual and do not increase the odds of survival. We have no evidence of genetic mutations that lead to increased survival or evolution of a new species.

    How is embryology based on evolutionary theory?

    My alternative hypothesis is trying to disprove your null hypothesis. Proving that God created the world is something that I believe, but it is not something that I have to prove to you. If I discredit the merits of your hypothesis, then there is the possibility of a third theory (hopefully more ingenious than the aliens populating the planet theory). When scientists study they take one hypothesis at a time, they don’t muddy the water with other theories.
    Do we want to base our knowledge on an untrue theory that we consider to be helpful, or on a true theory that we consider to be useless? Silly me, but I thought we were seeking the truth.

  14. ellie says:

    how does claiming that “God created life” help medicine?

    I have a feeling from some of your statements that you might cringe at hearing scripture. The bible says that when your heart is hardened you cannot see or hear the message that scripture has for you.

    Matthew 13:15
    For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

    I believe that our hearts are hardened when we try to find evidence for our own superiority instead of seeking the truth.

    Claiming that God created life is useless, if you aren’t ready to hear what he has to say. Would you like me to proceed or have you heard enough?

  15. PC-Bash says:

    But this is an example of microevolution, not macroevolution. The argument is really about macroevolution. There is no disagreement that there is evolution within species, it is the evolution from one species to the other which is in question.

    So, are you claiming that your position is that there is no such thing as speciation?

    Before you make this claim, I recommend that you start reading here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

    The origin of these similarities is really irrelevant to those studies.

    Actually, the origin of these similarities is extremely important. We know, for instance, that rats and humans have certain similarities because they shared a common ancestor millions of years ago. We know based on these similarities, which pharmaceutical tests are valid and which ones aren’t. We know based on the evolution of both species of the different enzymatic and protein properties of both species, and which can be relevant for the other. Summing these up as “God made animals similar so we could do such things” doesn’t provide enough evidence for a medical trial. Would you trust a drug based on someone’s religious convictions, or based on the fact that it was tested on an animal that was genetically similar to humans?

    However, the only genetic mutations that we know about are ones that cause detriment to the individual and do not increase the odds of survival. We have no evidence of genetic mutations that lead to increased survival or evolution of a new species.

    I recommend that you read that talk origins link I provided you above.

    How is embryology based on evolutionary theory?

    From the Wikipedia article on Embryology:

    In animals, the blastula develops in one of two ways that divides the whole animal kingdom into two halves. If in the blastula the first pore (blastopore) becomes the mouth of the animal, it is a protostome; if the first pore becomes the anus then it is a deuterostome. The protostomes include most invertebrate animals, such as insects, worms and molluscs, while the deuterostomes includes more advanced animals including the vertebrates. In due course, the blastula changes into a more differentiated structure called the gastrula.

    The fertilized egg follows a very similar path in animals, and then how the embryo develops shows the different evolutionary path that it takes in vivio. The reason why this is important to evolution and vice versa is that most of the genetic traits inherited from the embryo’s parents are enacted at this stage of life. Understanding how a species has evolved over time is critical in understanding how an embryo develops, likewise, studying how different embryos develop is important to understanding the similarities and differences between species. Based on how the embryo develops, we can even classify where on the evolutionary tree a particular species lies.

    My alternative hypothesis is trying to disprove your null hypothesis.

    Your alternative hypothesis should at least give some indication as to why all current observable empirical evidence is in support of evolution, without a single piece of evidence against evolution. Otherwise, it will simply look like you are arguing from personal incredulity.

    When scientists study they take one hypothesis at a time, they don’t muddy the water with other theories.

    This simply isn’t true. Consider all of the current theories being considered for theoretical physics. “String theory” is actually about a dozen different theories grouped together. So, discrediting evolution won’t magically make scientists consider alternate theories. If there actually were alternate theories, scientists would already be considering them. The problem is that there isn’t. In biology, evolution is simply the only game in town. There is no other theory, and attempting to discredit evolution won’t make another theory magically appear.

    Do we want to base our knowledge on an untrue theory that we consider to be helpful, or on a true theory that we consider to be useless? Silly me, but I thought we were seeking the truth.

    We are seeking the truth, but the problem is that ID / creationism is nowhere near the truth. The only “evidence” that it has to back it up is scripture. The only arguments in support of creationism are rhetorical.

    Evolution has a mountain of evidence supporting it, and is a theory that makes up the bedrock of modern biology and modern science. It certainly isn’t “untrue” by any definition of the word. Also, all of the biological and medical theories that are based on observed evidence that backs up evolution would need to be explained through an alternate theory. Claiming that this is the work of an “intelligent” designer does not come close to explaining why evolution works.

    I have a feeling from some of your statements that you might cringe at hearing scripture.

    No, but I would wonder what the relevance of the bible is, especially in the world of medicine?

    I believe that our hearts are hardened when we try to find evidence for our own superiority instead of seeking the truth.

    I don’t see how this is relevant to our discussion. Are you claiming that evolution makes us feel superior? I would argue the opposite myself…

    Claiming that God created life is useless, if you aren’t ready to hear what he has to say.

    Specifically, within the realm of science, which does not care at all for philosophy or theology, what does the word of your god have to offer? According to the old testament, worms were spontaneously created by manna, the circumference of a bowl is three times the diameter of the bowl, the origin of life is explained through a creation myth that is extremely lacking in details, etc. If we look to the bible for science, we will have a very intellectually poor world indeed.

    Here’s an idea. Maybe we should consider the creation myth to be allegory? What does a literal interpretation of this myth buy you? You don’t take other parts of the bible literally, well unless you take up snakes and speak in tongues. What makes this particular part of Genesis that important to take literally?

    Would you like me to proceed or have you heard enough?

    Continue, but keep the discussion relevant to evolution and science please.

  16. ellie says:

    Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

    Touche. You got me on that one (speciation), but the fight is not over.

    There is a great deal of evidence for speciation, and one could extrapolate from this that there could be mutations that could form more complex creatures. However, there is no evidence for any mutations or hybridizations which create an increase in genetic material. An increase in genetic material would be necessary for the formation of more complex organisms. This is what we are really arguing about could more complex organisms have developed from simpler organisms.

    More later.

  17. PC-Bash says:

    However, there is no evidence for any mutations or hybridizations which create an increase in genetic material.

    Some of the new species of plants created in the lab had double the number of chromosomes, which would count as an increase in genetic material. Over time, mutations in this copied material would result in an increase of genetic material. This is one of many ways that new genetic material is added, but not the only way.

    This is what we are really arguing about could more complex organisms have developed from simpler organisms.

    Certainly it could. My favorite example of this is the mushroom. Mushrooms evolved from single-celled fungus. This fungus found a unique way of sharing genetic material: two cells could combine to form a single cell with a double nucleolus. The single cells, monokaryotes, and the double cells, dikaryotes, make up the two forms of modern mushrooms. The monokaryotic growth fans out until it touches another monokaryotic growth. When these two growths touch, they form dikaryotes.

    Dikaryotes by themselves are not so interesting. They have two different forms of division. The first form creates a clone. The second form performs meiosis, but in a different way than most eukaryotes do.

    What is interesting about this process is that there are many different ways that these dikaryotes form in the fungal kingdom. Fungi perfecti, or the “perfect” mushrooms, have “perfected” this behavior through specialization of the fruiting body. The whole fruiting body works together to maximize the spread of spores, which are packaged monokaryotic cells that have gone through this unique meiosis process.

    The great thing about fungi is that we can see from the various modern examples of each phylum how the fungus evolved from a simple organism to a complex mushroom. We can also see false starts, and examples in this kingdom that show that design is unlikely. Mushrooms evolved, they were not created.

  18. ellie says:

    That is a very interesting example and it is an example of an increase in information, but it is not new information. It is just doubling the same information that you started with. It is also a very good example of how the bible says that plants would form after their own kind.

    Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

  19. PC-Bash says:

    If you choose to take the creation story in Genesis literally, then why don’t you take the whole bible literally? Why don’t you take up snakes and speak in tongues? What is it that lets you decide what is literal and what is not?

    Science doesn’t take the bible as fact because it says so. It requires evidence.

  20. PC-Bash says:

    As for the creation of new genetic material, consider the mutation in humans that led to blue eyes. This is not a lack of information, it is a entirely new gene.

  21. ellie says:

    The mutation adjacent to the OCA2 gene, however, flipped a genetic “switch” that disabled the ability to create brown eyes. That’s according to the University of Copenhagen’s Hans Eiberg. The mutation limits the action of the OCA2 gene, limiting melanin production in the iris and “dilut[ing] brown eyes to blue.” A completely disabled OCA2 gene would result in albinism.

  22. PC-Bash says:

    Yes, but this is new genetic material. The creationist myth that genetic material cannot be created is just that: a myth.

    For instance, back to the plant example. A new species with double the number of chromosomes would most likely only use the original set of chromosomes over time. However, as mutations occur, and these new chromosomes are copied all over, variations will become useful. Eventually, these new chromosomes may do new things.

    Hemoglobin in humans is an excellent example of this. The gene that produces hemoglobin is a copy of an older gene. In fact, this gene is copied all over. For instance, the gene responsible for myoglobin is a near duplicate of this gene, as is the gene responsible for sickle cell anemia. The former is used in muscle tissue, the latter is linked with malaria immunity.

    Here is an interesting test for the creationist theory that mutations cannot create new material. First, we see that this gene has been duplicated all over, and second that a mutation on this gene has an interesting side-effect. In Africa, this gene became prevalent in certain tribes. A quarter of children born would have sickle cell anemia, yet half of children born would be immune to malaria. If the child received two copies of this gene from his parents, he would have sickle-cell anemia. If he received only one copy of this gene, he would be immune to malaria. If he received no copies of this gene (e.g. 25% of the time), he would be susceptible to malaria. This new gene, while dangerous when not muted by the original gene, effectively gives people immunity to malaria. That is evolution at work.

  23. ellie says:

    OK help me out here, but I still don’t see how this is new material. It seems to be mutations on the old. We have already torn down my argument that mutations can’t be beneficial, but these are mutations on the gene that cause variations in the protein structure. Thus similar proteins are created, but not more complex proteins.

    Also, you keep saying you don’t want hear about the bible, yet you keep asking questions. I cannot find any reference to a bowl’s circumference or diameter. I searched all three of these words on biblegateway.com. Please enlighten me as to where this scripture is found.

    As far as taking the bible literally. There are parables and allegories in the bible and it is usually obvious from the context and the way that it is written whether it is a parable or it should be taken literally. What is so awesome about the bible is that it had about 40 different authors and two different religions that don’t agree, yet their words don’t contradict each other. You ask a Jewish person how do you get to heaven and a Catholic and a Christian and they will all disagree, but if you read their bibles together they all tell the same story. How do you explain that?

    I believe that if the bible can be proven false in any way or if any scripture contradicts another then it can be proven false. Then the whole thing falls. We don’t hold science to that high a standard, but we know that it was written by men that are learning and discovering. If God wrote the bible and he knows everything, as His word says that He does, then there shouldn’t be any errors. There are many things in the bible that may be hard to understand or believe, but I don’t think that you can prove them wrong.

    It sounds like it should be easy, but try it.

    Back to the parables, allegories and symbols. Most of the time the context explains who they represent, sometimes the whole parable is explained.

    Why do I believe that the story of Genesis is not a parable?

    God says throughout the bible that he created the world. I searched create and found 40 times throughout the old and new testament that he created the earth and everything in it. He also says it in many different ways. He hung the earth and the stars. He made us. He is the potter and we are the clay.

    16 You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
    Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,
    “He did not make me”?
    Can the pot say of the potter,
    “He knows nothing”?

    He formed us. I would imagine that he says it hundreds of times in so many different ways.

    He also says

    16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Now if this scripture is correct, then he must be telling us something that will teach, rebuke, correct or train us in righteousness.

    It seems, if we merely evolved, that all these references to creation would only confuse us.

    Also back to the discussion about superiority. Evolution could make us feel worthless, if we think that we evolved from bacteria. You would either have to value bacteria more or value yourself less. But you could also look at yourself as the pinnacle. This is the best that evolution could come up with.

    Now if we consider creation we would have to admit that there exists a power more intelligient than ourselves, not only that we owe Him our very lives and we really have no right to tell Him what to do with us. He could just squash us like a bug, if He wanted. Or He could love us enough to send His only son to die for us and to save us even when don’t love Him back. That would be kind of humbling don’t you think?

  24. PC-Bash says:

    Thus similar proteins are created, but not more complex proteins.

    This is the nature of evolution. Genes are “borrowed”, improved upon for a specific purpose, and re-used. The interaction of sickle cells and regular blood cells in malaria-immune carriers of sickle-cell anemia is far more complicated than having just red blood cells. Here, a copy and a change results in more complex behavior, based on a stimulus (e.g. malaria).

    I cannot find any reference to a bowl’s circumference or diameter.

    2 Chronicles 4:2 and Kings 7:23 have been used by literalists in the past to change the official approximation of pi to 3, based on the bible.

    What is so awesome about the bible is that it had about 40 different authors and two different religions that don’t agree, yet their words don’t contradict each other. You ask a Jewish person how do you get to heaven and a Catholic and a Christian and they will all disagree, but if you read their bibles together they all tell the same story. How do you explain that?

    Actually, there are lots of contradictions in the bible, even in the new testament. For instance, Matthew and Luke disagree about Jesus’s genealogy. Only Matthew and Luke talk about the virgin birth. If this was such a miracle, I’d expect more than two of the disciples to talk about it. Paul even said that Jesus was “born of the seed of David”, which doesn’t sound very virgin-birth at all. Matthew said that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Luke said that Jesus was born during the first census in Israel — which happened after Herod died. Should I continue?

    There are parables and allegories in the bible and it is usually obvious from the context and the way that it is written whether it is a parable or it should be taken literally.

    Do you take the account of Mark literally, or is it parable?

    That would be kind of humbling don’t you think?

    I find it more humbling to consider that we evolved from very simple life, and that we continue to evolve today. Millions of years from now, life on Earth will look different than it does now, humans will have changed to the point of being different. I don’t view myself as a pinnacle, nor as a bacteria. I view myself as one in a multitude of evolutionary changes that began long before I lived and will continue long after I die. This idea is inspirational to me, as it is inspirational to me to look upon nature or the stars.

    Of course, this is getting off of topic, as we have strayed into philosophy and religion. Still, I am enjoying the conversation. 🙂

  25. ellie says:

    It is hard to keep up with all the branches this conversation is taking. Let me answer the biblical references first and then get back to evolution.

    1 Kings 7
    23 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits [o] from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits [p] to measure around it. 24 Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.

    25 The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. 26 It was a handbreadth [q] in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths. [r]

    2 Chronicles 4
    2 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits [b] high. It took a line of thirty cubits [c] to measure around it. 3 Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit. [d] The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
    4 The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. 5 It was a handbreadth [e] in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths. [f]

    First of all, rim to rim is the diameter, so take 1/2 to get the radius, then square and multiply by pi.

    5x5xpi = about 75 more than twice the given circumference 30. So it looks like we are off by more than .14.

    However, I think the secret lies in the shape of the sea. It says it is shaped like a cup and like a lily. There are different kinds of cups and different kinds of lilies. Earlier, it says that the capitals on the top of the pillars are shaped like lilies. Do you know what lilies would have been indigenous to that area?

    I think that there must have been a wide rim ( about 2 cubits wide ) That would leave the main bowl to be about 6.19 cubits in diameter. Apply pi r squared and you get about 30 cubits circumference.

    The genealogies of Jesus –

    Matthew and Luke were looking from different perspectives.
    Matthew was trying to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy which said that Jesus should come from the Branch of David. His genealogy was that of Joseph, since the Jewish people are a patriarchal society. Luke was the physician and since Jesus’ seed came from Mary, Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary.

    I will have to give a little study to the Herod problem.

  26. PC-Bash says:

    ellie –

    Regarding pi and Chronicles / Kings… you are interpreting the scripture, not taking it literally. It is this interpretation that allows you to see through the fallacy that pi is 3 that a true literalist would be caught in. Certainly, the creation story in Genesis leaves room for interpretation. The Catholic church interprets it in a way that supports evolution (although, this interpretation obviously differs on abiogenesis). It is taking this creation story literally that gets people in trouble, much as taking the measurements of the bowl literally yields that pi is 3. In order to do this, of course, the “literalists” must inject assumptions into the passage. You can use different assumptions to see that the passage can be interpreted multiple ways.

    Another literal trap is the belief that the earth is somewhere between 6000 and 10000 years old, as the young earth creationists do. This is based on taking biblical genealogy literally, and trying to use this to extrapolate the number of years that passed from Adam and Eve to Jesus, based on the average or biblical age of people in that period. It is a literal reading of one thing, and an interpretation of another, reading more into the story than there actually is.

  27. ellie says:

    Ah, but you didn’t assume that I wasn’t a young earth creationist did you. If you did, your assumption would be wrong.

    If you read the references to creation in Genesis 1, Exodus 20. There is no other logical interpretation except for the 24 day 6 day creation. The time from Adam to Abraham is delineated for us in actual years from the age of the father at the birth of the son. After that we are in historical times and there is no room for the addition of millions of years.
    Now, there is the possiblity that there has been a gradual or sudden change in the length of a year. Even assuming a year that is twice the length of ours, we could only come up with an earth age maximum of about 14,000 years.

    Now there are several conclusions that we can make from this –

    1. A young earth. Scientists have made an incorrect assumption or failed to consider something in their assumptions

    2. That this is God’s poetic way of explaining the evolution of the earth. We should not take it literally. I am not a poet, but if this is poetry, then it is lost on me. It seems more descriptive to me.

    Genesis 5
    6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father [b] of Enosh. 7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

    3. They didn’t learn to count for the first 10 billion years. (my stepmother’s theory)

    Now scientists are always making incorrect assumptions. When they get more data they correct their assumptions. That is the nature of science and discovery. Darwin assumed a cell was just a glob. Now we know that is not true. So, why should we assume that in something that we cannot verify, such as the age of the earth, the distance of the furthest stars or the origins of life, that scientists have made all the right assumptions.

    And if we assume that the bible is incorrect or should not be taken literally, then how can we believe any part of it should be taken literally. The parting of the red sea, the fall of Jericho, the virgin birth and the resurrection – they all fall. None of it can be trusted.

    So you see it comes down to where we put our faith. Is it in the word of God or in the assumptions of scientists.

  28. PC-Bash says:

    Ah, but you didn’t assume that I wasn’t a young earth creationist did you. If you did, your assumption would be wrong.

    No, I’m just demonstrating that even literal extrapolation is another interpretation. YEC use genealogical data in the bible to attempt to date the creation of the earth. Obviously, this fails. You choose to ignore this implication, perhaps believing as your stepmom does. Both the YEC and non-YEC creationists are still interpreting the bible to see what they want to see.

    And if we assume that the bible is incorrect or should not be taken literally, then how can we believe any part of it should be taken literally.

    Well, careful with that line of reasoning… it might turn you into an atheist. 🙂

    I have already demonstrated that there are parts of the bible that require interpretation other than literal meaning. Your stepmother’s interpretation is one of many.

    If some of the bible is allegory, then why must the creation story be literal? For instance, unless you are a snake handler, chances are that you take Mark 16:17-18 as allegory. Taking this passage as allegory doesn’t make the bible any less useful, nor does taking the creation story as allegory.

  29. ellie says:

    I am enjoying your challenges, but you are keeping me so busy trying to answer them that I am not challenging you. While I am considering Mark 16, why don’t you tell me about how an evolutionist explains symbiotic relationships.

  30. PC-Bash says:

    Symbiotic relationships. I really enjoyed Richard Dawkins description of these in The Blind Watchmaker, which is a very entertaining read.

    His argument is simple. Because evolution is pressured by natural selection, living things evolve to match their environment. In a classic model, such as a cheetah and gazelle, you have two classes of animals. Gazelles are herbivores, which are in turn eaten by cheetahs. The gazelle that can outrun the cheetah or otherwise outsmart the cheetah gets to live to produce more gazelles. The cheetah that can catch gazelles gets to live to produce more cheetahs. As Dawkins conjectures, this becomes an “arms race” between “enemies”. Gazelles must adapt to survive, which then drives cheetahs to further adapt.

    As for more direct forms of symbiosis, let’s consider parasites. This is an easy one to tackle. A parasite is a life form that steals food or resources from its host, causing a negative gain to the host. This negative gain could mean less food for the host, negative health effects, etc. An organism that steals from its host is relatively simple to conjecture. The selection pressure for such an organism will be that of efficiency and defense from the host. For instance, if the organism can be easily removed by the host, then it won’t be as successful as an organism that is harder to remove by the host. Hence, there is a tendency for parasites to evolve in such a way that they become more difficult to remove. Another problem is that if the parasite kills the host, it must either find a new host or die. So, some of the most effective parasites have evolved to reduce the suffering in the host, or in the case of Leucochloridium paradoxum which infect amber snails, use the impending death of their host to trigger the next phase of their life cycle (this parasite crawls into the stalk of the snail, and entices a bird to eat both it and the snail).

    Evolution cleanly explains parasitism. The difference between parasitism and other forms of symbiosis is that in other forms, the host also derives benefits. It has been shown that some symbiotes started as parasites, which makes plenty of sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Parasites that evolve to give benefit to the host tend to cause selection pressure on the host to better accept the parasite. A case in point is intestinal bacteria in humans.

  31. ellie says:

    I’m not finished with that, but I have a stack of bills that need to be paid, so what about intelligience?

  32. PC-Bash says:

    so what about intelligience?

    I don’t understand the question. Do you mean, how can evolution explain intelligence? I assume that’s what you mean, so I’ll answer that (feel free to clarify the question).

    Intelligence gives living things a distinct advantage to evolve. Not all living things are intelligent in the way that we are, but that certainly doesn’t make them intelligent. First, let’s agree on a definition of intelligence. I consider intelligence to be the ability for a living thing to adapt to an environment. This takes two forms, intelligence that is built into the behavior patterns of animals over time, or active intelligence (i.e. what we normally consider intelligence, smarts). The former can be found all the way up from the most simple of microbes to even humans. For instance, yeast has the ability to adapt its metabolic processes to match the environment it is in. This adaptation happens quickly, within hundreds or thousands of generations. Yeast can actually adapt to eat starch, or survive in high alcohol environments. This is no simple feat. We are talking about an organism that can actually change its chemistry to match its environment. That’s amazing, and it does it through evolution.

    As for active intelligence, we have fossil evidence that the brains of animals change over time. Usually, we see a tendency for brains to get larger, sometimes brains get smaller. We have shown that there is a tendency for animals with larger brains (in proportion to their other measurements) to be more intelligent. A common argument here is that elephants should be more intelligent than humans since they have a larger brain. However, what many people forget is that elephants also have a proportionately larger number of nerve endings throughout their body, which corresponds to the additional size of the brain. What is important, in mammals anyway, is not the volume of the brain per se, but rather the size of the neocortex. This is the thin layer that surrounds the older part of the brain, that gives brains their characteristic “wrinkly” appearance.

    Now, we know that in similar species, such as apes and humans, the neocortex takes on a similar proportion, relative to the size of the brain. So, primates with larger brain cases tend to be more intelligent than primates with smaller brain cases, as the structure of these brains are similar. We can show through fossil evidence of some of our ancient relatives (e.g. A. afarenis, homo erectus, Neanderthal, etc.) that the volume of this brain case has increased over time, yielding a more intelligent descendant. Also, the ridging of the brain case has shifted over time, these ridges being shown to be related to the complexity (e.g. the wrinkliness) of the neocortex. Does this make sense?

    Anthropology is not my area of expertise. However, this concept certainly makes sense to me. An interesting thought experiment, if you have access to fossil models, is to fill the brain casings of A. afarenis, Neanderthal, etc., with rice grains, and then measure the volume of rice it took to fill these casings. I found this thought experiment to be very enlightening.

    For what it’s worth, most of my studies have been in mycology and zymurgy. I find both fields to be fascinating. Several times during my life, I have performed experiments in both of these fields, using household items in place of far more expensive laboratory equipment. I spend most of my time these days dealing with zymurgy, specifically in experimenting with beer brewing. Certainly, this is more of an applied science, but it is fascinating none-the-less.

  33. PC-Bash says:

    Whoops!

    “but that certainly doesn’t make them intelligent”

    should have read

    “but that certainly doesn’t make them any less intelligent”

  34. ellie says:

    17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    I believe that God has the power to do all of these things for believers. I think that some people speak in tongues and as far as I can tell they are just babbling. According to the story of the Tower of Babel, God didn’t like them trying to get to heaven on their own and confounded their efforts by confusing their language. Also, when they were given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the disciples started speaking in different languages to all the people from foreign lands, so they could convey the good news to all the people that had travelled there. I haven’t been given this gift. The bible says that we are all given different gifts and we work together as the parts of a body work together. It also says that when someone speaks in tongues in church, then there should be someone that can interpret what is being said. But, it also says

    26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
    I believe that God is in control of our language and allows us to communicate and knows our hearts and knows what we want to say even better than we do ourselves.

    I believe that God can save us from things that should be deadly. I don’t believe that he wants us to go around testing Him though, because of what Jesus said when the devil temptd Him.

    5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6″If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
    ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'[b]”

    7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'[c]”

    Paul lived when He was bitten by a deadly snake, but he wasn’t trying to carry it around.

    There are also stories of Christians being forced to drink poison, yet they didn’t die.

    I do believe that God will sometimes heal people in answer to prayer.

    I’m sure you will think I am totally nuts with this. One time I witnessed a woman having a seizure that must have gone on for several minutes. We called the ambulance, but there was nothing else we could do. She just kept on seizing. Well, I got down on my knees and prayed “Lord, please remove this demon, take it out of her.” Then she stopped. Now, you may say that she was going to eventually stop and that I coincidentally said the prayer at the right time. You may also say that seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, but what causes the abnormal electrical activity.

  35. ellie says:

    YEC use genealogical data in the bible to attempt to date the creation of the earth. Obviously, this fails.

    This fails if you choose to believe the current scientific interpretation of the data.
    From my evaluation, the radioactive data makes too many assumptions that can’t be verified and has proven inaccurate and unreliable and is not reproducible.
    The geologic strata and the fossil evidence seem to indicate a sudden catastrophic event rather than eons of accumulation. Look at the recent eruption of Mount Saint Helens there are formations there that resemble the Grand Canyon.

    events associated with the volcano’s explosion accomplished in seconds, hours, or just a few days, geologic work that normally would be interpreted as having taken hundreds or even millions of years. One particular canyon was formed, which has since been named the ‘Little Grand Canyon.’ About 100 feet deep and somewhat wider, it is about 1/40th the scale of the mighty Grand Canyon. This canyon was formed in one day from a mudflow. A newly formed river then flowed through the Canyon formed by the mudflow.

    You choose to ignore this implication, perhaps believing as your stepmom does.

    I don’t believe as my stepmother does. That would mean that God inspired people to write in His word things that didn’t make sense. She intended this as an insult. She is an atheist and she would cringe at this conversation.

    16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    And if you are going to interpret it as an allegory or a parable, then it would have to mean something. There would have to be some way to interpret it to mean something.

    Genesis 5
    6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father [b] of Enosh. 7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died

    Unless you consider the genealogy literally, how can you get any kind of moral or instruction out of it?

    Both the YEC and non-YEC creationists are still interpreting the bible to see what they want to see.

    Hey, it would be alot less headache to just go along with you.

  36. PC-Bash says:

    ellie –

    To my point, these beliefs are all a matter of interpretation. Talk to a snake handler, and he will tell you that Mark tells him to handle snakes, so that his faith in his god may be tested. You interpret the passage as meaning that God has the power to cure those who believe in him, but may or may not actually cure someone. Furthermore, you combine this passage with a passage about the temptation of Jesus, and use this to imply a counter-argument to the willful handling of snakes, then this is yet another interpretation. Likewise, you could interpret the creation story as allegory.

    This fails if you choose to believe the current scientific interpretation of the data. From my evaluation, the radioactive data makes too many assumptions that can’t be verified and has proven inaccurate and unreliable and is not reproducible.

    Well, we don’t rely on carbon dating for geological time. Geologists have much more reliable tools for this. Unfortunately, this area is outside of my expertise.

    events associated with the volcano’s explosion accomplished in seconds, hours, or just a few days, geologic work that normally would be interpreted as having taken hundreds or even millions of years.

    Yes and no. Volcanoes can make very large changes in the environment, and no, these would never be interpreted by a geologist as something that normally would have taken hundreds or millions of years. The way a volcano changes things is far different than the way that a river or natural erosion changes things. Careful examination of the geological data can show the difference.

    One particular canyon was formed, which has since been named the ‘Little Grand Canyon.’ About 100 feet deep and somewhat wider, it is about 1/40th the scale of the mighty Grand Canyon. This canyon was formed in one day from a mudflow. A newly formed river then flowed through the Canyon formed by the mudflow.

    If only the Grand Canyon was made of a mudflow instead of the hard rock that it is made of, this might be relevant. 🙂

    And if you are going to interpret it as an allegory or a parable, then it would have to mean something. There would have to be some way to interpret it to mean something.

    Certainly, an interesting or entertaining story has meaning of itself? Even in the creation myth, you have the story of Adam and Eve, Eve’s temptation, Adam’s temptation, and the fall of both. Even in allegory, such a story still has meaning.

    Unless you consider the genealogy literally, how can you get any kind of moral or instruction out of it?

    There are different meanings that can be interpreted by the genealogical data. Personally, I think it was a way to provide a connection between the various characters in this story. If you just say, “…and then there was Job”, someone in the congregation is going to ask “Who’s Job?” Certainly, this has meaning other than explaining the age of the world. Not everything in this book was meant to give an instant moral lesson. (I won’t digress on my particular opinions about morals expressed in this book versus what is actually preached).

    Hey, it would be alot less headache to just go along with you.

    That’s the idea. 😉

  37. ellie says:

    I think that you think that because I haven’t responded to several of your arguments, that you have produced convincing evidence that I don’t plan to rebut. Well, I want you to know that I can’t keep up with all the places that I would challenge your statements. I concede 2 points to you — speciation and beneficial mutations. I don’t think I have convinced you of anything, so I guess the score is 2/0. I just don’t want you to think I agree just because I haven’t had the chance to challenge your logic.

    The genealogy connection theory is a good one, except why is there is so much care in pointing out the age of the father at the son’s birth. It begs you to calculate the time from Adam to the flood and so on. If it only said so and so begat and so on then I would agree with you. But the ages have to be literal or else they are misleading. I agree not all scripture has a moral lesson. Some of it is descriptive, informative, instructive. An example would be Noah’s ark. God detailed the construction and expected Noah to build it accordingly. I believe these details indicate that the ark was literally built and so was the temple. There would be no reason to give these details if they weren’t to be carried out. God would have said, “Noah build a big boat.” In the parable of the lost son, Jesus didn’t tell us how old the father was when the son was born or how old the so was whe he decided to go out and party away his inheritance, because it wasn’t relevant to the story. By adding in these dates in the genealogy, it is either instructive or misleading. Misleading is a form of lying and my GOD does not lie, so I can’t accept this interpretation.

  38. ellie says:

    How do you know the grand canyon wasn’t a mudflow when it was formed?

    check out this site

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i1/grandcanyon.asp

  39. PC-Bash says:

    I just don’t want you to think I agree just because I haven’t had the chance to challenge your logic.

    Fair enough. 🙂

    check out this site

    Wikipedia has this to say about one of the books listed in the resources section of that page, “Grand Canyon: A Different View”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon:_A_Different_View

    According to the geological research for the Grand Canyon, it is over six million years old, and exposes rock deposited up to 2 billion years ago by the ocean. Here’s a relevant link on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon

    There are a few sites debunking the first link you sent me. When I get more time I’ll track them down again.

  40. ellie says:

    how do you put the smiley faces in your coments?

  41. PC-Bash says:

    To make a smiley face, put the following three characters together (e.g. no spaces)
    : – )

  42. PC-Bash says:

    🙂

  43. PC-Bash says:

    Weird. Will it work now? 🙂

  44. PC-Bash says:

    Ah. Apparently, in wordpress you have to have some text for the emoticon to be interpreted as a smiley face. Try typing a sentence and adding the smiley after that.

  45. ellie says:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re2/chapter5.asp

    Tell me what you think of this website.

    How come my smiley didn’t work?

  46. ellie says:

    i’ve been checking into the Herod problem and I have some info for you.

    Caesar Augustus wrote a summary of his accomplishments and called it the Acts of Augustus. In this he states that he held 3 censuses or lustrums. The second was conducted when C. Censorinus and C. Asinius were consuls.

    http://homepage.usask.ca/~jrp638/DeptTransls/ResGest.html

    Roman consuls were elected for yearly terms. Roman dating was by these consuls.

    http://www.friesian.com/rome.htm
    http://www.roman-britain.org/people/_consuls.htm

    Thus when C. Censorinus and C. Asinius were consuls it was 8 BC. This would have to be the census, because Herod died about 3-4 BC

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/p_greetham/wisemen/chron2.html

    Now the only problem is when Quirinius was governing Syria.

    http://www.biblehistory.net/newsletter/quirinius.htm

    Good night:-)

  47. ellie says:

    sleep tight 🙂

  48. PC-Bash says:

    The link you sent me does touch on some of what we have discussed. Unfortunately, answersingenesis is known for being very obtuse with its interpretation of evolutionary data.

    The talking point that they try to bring up here is that mutations only lead to a reduction of information. As per the talkorigins site, we can see that this is simply not the case. It is very possible for genetic information to be duplicated, to be modified, and to be integrated during mutations.

    The actual mechanism involved in these mutations is always going to be some form of copying: mis-copying (in which one or more codons in the sequence are mistranscribed… sometimes with no immediate ill effect), cross-linking (very common in sexual reproduction), mis-cross-linking (when the wrong part of the sequence is crossed during meiosis), duplication (in which one or more parts of a sequence, or an entire gene is duplicated somewhere else), etc. This article attempts to single out individual types of mutation and rule out their function, but it fails to see how these different types of mutations can lead to new information. What this article fails to see is how highly redundant DNA can be. It assumes that a mutation is always sink-or-swim. Sometimes, mutations can culminate over a few generations. A mutation here and a mutation there may not necessarily cause a net gain. However, when these mutations are coupled with sexual reproduction, with thousands and thousands of generations, it is very possible for such things to lead to new information.

    Regarding their misinterpretation of the globins, they fail to see that the genetic information in these genes is nearly identical between myoglobin and hemoglobin. The other pieces of the puzzle, the “chaperones”, could just as easily have been adapted over time with the evolution of hemoglobin.

    They act as if having multiple genes evolving together suddenly makes this process less feasible — when in fact it makes the process even more feasible. Genes are copied through generations, in time that is difficult for humans to fathom. As these genes are copied and jumbled through sexual reproduction, they have the opportunity to work with various other genes. In offspring in which genes cannot work together, the offspring is often miscarried early in the process, or carries a non-beneficial mutation. However, the genes are still carried by the parents, who pass these on to other offspring who may not have the same combination. As you can see, through sexual reproduction, different permutations of genes can be attempted which eventually lead to new stable combinations.

    The amazing thing is that this process happens for hundreds of thousands of genes each time a child is conceived and begins growing into an embryo. Often times, new mutations are carried through several generations before they cause a net benefit or loss that actually cause a child to exhibit the mutation. Here, a mutation can make its way through a larger portion of the gene pool before it is instantly snuffed out. Obviously, a riskier mutation tends to be snuffed out sooner, so the process acts as a sieve for new genetic information.

  49. ellie says:

    How can you say that multiple genes evolving together make it more feasible? It seems like the chances of multiple mutations working together to produce a working protein would be decreased the more mutations that are required.

    Also, help me out here. I pulled up this web site on hgb and myogbn and it seems the sequence for myoglobin and hemoglobin only matches in 26/153 places.

    http://www.aw-bc.com/mathews/ch07/fi7p11.htm

    In fact the statement at the bottom of the article, which I pasted here, seems backwards. These proteins retained their structure despite major changes in amino aci sequence.

    http://www.aw-bc.com/mathews/ch07/c07emhp.htm

    Backbone Structures – Figure 7.24 shows the backbone structure of members of the myoglobin/hemoglobin family, ranging from insect to horse. It reveals that the secondary and tertiary structures of these proteins have remained surprisingly constant, despite the major changes in primary structure (amino acid sequence) changes that have occurred over hundreds of millions of years. Survival of mutant proteins in the globin family has been restricted to those that maintain the basic “globin fold.”

  50. ellie says:

    Back to the contradictions in the bible –

    Possibly only Matthew and Luke had knowledge of the virgin birth. Possibly, there were so many miracles going on lepers bring cured, lame walking, blind seeing, dead people coming back to life, that they couldn’t mention them all.
    John is the only one who mentioned Lazarus coming back to life after he had been dead for four days.

    As for the “seed of David” this refers to the offspring of Mary. It is the same way that it is used in Genesis 3:15 with Eve’s offspring. As for the virgin birth you can’t prove that unless you are Joseph, Mary or God. 🙂

  51. PC-Bash says:

    How can you say that multiple genes evolving together make it more feasible? It seems like the chances of multiple mutations working together to produce a working protein would be decreased the more mutations that are required.

    Well, science doesn’t work on the basis of personal incredulity. Mathematically speaking, a model that uses multiple genes is more stable than one that requires a single gene.

  52. ellie says:

    I tend to speak in layman’s terms, let me rephrase. If my memory of statistics serves me correctly- If the probability of one workable mutation is say 1/10, then the probability of 10 mutations ocurring together that all maintain the necessary structure of the functioning globin molecule should be 1/10 to the 10th power. Now say we are creating a new hemoglobin molecule that has a difference of about 80% of the amino acids representing who knows how many genetic mutations while still maintaining the necessary structure. What are the chances that those molecules are related in any way? Now maybe if you could trace the change in amino acids from snails to puppy dog tails and see how it was one amino acid or genetic mutation at a time. Then you might have something. Do you have any papers on that? Honestly, I just googled and that was the first one that I came up with and it just seemed so unlikely I didn’t pursue it any further.

  53. ellie says:

    1 John 3:16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

  54. PC-Bash says:

    ellie –

    I have run plenty of my own analysis on this subject. My field of study is computer science, something that I have devoted many years to. One of my specialties is genetic algorithms, in which a few mutations, sexual selection, a fitness function, and millions of generations can solve many complicated problems. Not only is evolution and genetics feasible, the same system works for machine learning.

    Here is what I found: The lower the mutation rate, the larger the population, and the more “genes” available, the better the results over time. Not only are random mutations plausible in evolution (which uses a mind-bogglingly long time to work), but random mutations, sexual recombination of multiple genes, and a fitness function (natural selection) works beautifully for solving very difficult computational problems. Much like evolution, we cannot anticipate the solution to these problems ahead of time. Yet, watching one of these algorithms evolve looks surprisingly like there is “intelligence” behind it, even though no intelligence was built into the system.

    In other words, I can show statistically and mathematically that an evolutionary model that is very similar to the model used in actual genetics not only works, but works well.

  55. PC-Bash says:

    Oh… did I mention that I have discovered several so-called “irreducibly complex” algorithms that were evolved using genetic algorithms? Interesting, as I did not code the actual implementation of these structures into the fitness function. Yet, strangely, these sorts of complex algorithms evolve.

  56. PC-Bash says:

    By a “the lower the mutation rate”, I mean that the number of mutations required for such a system to work are surprisingly similar to the amount of mutations that we see in nature.

  57. ellie says:

    I would be interested to see your work, but as you know I believe in a young earth, so I don’t think there was time for all these mutations to take place. I also wonder whether you are taking into account that many organisms could have not have survived without the complete mechanism in place. For example the blood clotting cascade which involves 12 enzymes functioning together with platelet aggregation to form a blood clot. Small clots are formed allthe time to keep us from bleeding to death. How can you explain survival to reproductive age in an organism that doesn’t have this complete pathway? Or in enough organisms to reproduce long enough to evolve this pathway?
    I won’t give you any bible scriptures today. I got that covered on the other page. Jesus loves you though. Ellie

  58. PC-Bash says:

    but as you know I believe in a young earth

    You’re contradicting yourself. You said previously:

    Ah, but you didn’t assume that I wasn’t a young earth creationist did you. If you did, your assumption would be wrong.

    It’s easy to be “right” when you move the goalposts, isn’t it?

    I also wonder whether you are taking into account that many organisms could have not have survived without the complete mechanism in place.

    The “complete mechanism” is a part of nature itself, this “mechanism” is an emergent property.

    For example the blood clotting cascade which involves 12 enzymes functioning together with platelet aggregation to form a blood clot. Small clots are formed allthe time to keep us from bleeding to death. How can you explain survival to reproductive age in an organism that doesn’t have this complete pathway? Or in enough organisms to reproduce long enough to evolve this pathway?

    You are assuming that no other mechanism existed previous to this to prevent bleeding, and that clotting was necessary to prevent bleeding before it evolved. Perhaps this mechanism was so good that it eliminated the need for the previous mechanism? Perhaps this mechanism evolved for a different purpose (such as preventing infection by closing breeches in tissue)? There are certainly more explanations available for this than to blindly assume that only an intelligent designer could design such a thing. If I was an engineer, I would have made blood clotting much more efficient than it is, and much less susceptible to mutation (such as hemophilia). In fact, I think your argument goes against the existence of an intelligent designer. No one would be that callous as to “intelligently” design something that could lead to so much suffering.

  59. Michael says:

    ellie –

    Of course, you will say, your god is a kind and loving god. All-knowing, of the past, present, and future. This loving god, who knew that Eve would be tempted by the serpent, placed both the tree and the serpent in his paradise. Did he do this so he could purposefully punish these two beings… who he made in his own (flawed) image?

    He knew his angels would mate with humans giving rise to giants. Yet, he permitted his angels to do so, even though they are bound by his command (or, are supposed to be… maybe another flaw?). He then uses this as an excuse to flood the world, thereby drowning out all wickedness (or, so he claims). Yet, he is all-knowing, so he would know that this would fail. He is perfect, so he should have been able to create a world without sin… but he chose to do so? Why? How is this god an all-loving god if he chooses to create a world of pain and suffering? His actions contradict his message, if we are to take your bible literally. At worse, he is an evil and manipulative being. At best, he is a liar (about being all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving) and a hypocrite (for, he certainly would not allow man to build a world of torture as he has).

    Your bible makes for an entertaining story. Christian mythology is not as entertaining as Norse or Greek mythology, but entertaining none-the-less. The New Testament is rather boring (“preachy?”), although the story of Jesus beating the crap out of money changers and merchants (…I thought he was supposed to be passive?) was rather entertaining if not a little asinine.

    Yes, I have read your bible. How people believe that this is literal truth I would never know. It is contradictory and downright hateful in sections. Still, if it makes you happy believing a lie, then go for it!

    This fable does not belong in the science classroom, nor should science be dumbed down just for the sake of not contradicting this self-contradictory anthology of fiction written by different men.

    I’m curious. I re-read a bunch of these posts, and I saw what PC-Bash meant about your own contradiction between being a YEC and not being a YEC. Which is it, or are there more than one person using your nick?

  60. ellie says:

    Both of you missed my double negative.

    Ah, but you didn’t assume that I wasn’t a young earth creationist did you. If you did, your assumption would be wrong.

    What I was saying was – if you assumed I wasn’t a young earth creationist, your assumption would be wrong.

    As far as the prior mechanism for blood clotting you are making another assumption. That is fine in science, but it seems to me when you have to make so many assumptions to make the M-M theory fit, then there has to be some point in which you are taking this on faith and it is no longer science. Now I am not going to be the one to say when you cross the line or where the line is. It just seems that creationists make one big assumption and then all the data falls into place and you don’t have to make extreme conjectures to make your theory work.
    The problem is you are trying so hard not to believe that one assumption that you will work night and day to make your theory fit.

  61. ellie says:

    I can also see your motivation for not believing this one assumption. If you did you, would have to believe the rest of the bible. There are parts of it which are hard to accept until you start looking at it from God’s point of view.

    See, as much as we grow up and like to think that we are no longer teenagers, we still tend to see things from our own selfish perspective. Looking back on my teenage years I can see that I was very selfish. Now that I’m a Christian I can see that I didn’t even grow out of that selfishness as an adult. I had to see things from God’s perspective before I could see my own selfishness. I would like to say that I’ve become a completely selfless person, but that would not be true. I believe that God’s Holy Spirit is helping me in my transformation.

    Now back to your concerns –

    First of all, God created angels and humans to have a choice.
    If he didn’t give them a choice then it would all be just like Satan said about Job.

    8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

    9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

    Satan is saying you have given Job everything. Of course he will follow you anyone would. You didn’t give him a choice.

    What Satan seems to be forgetting is that he was with God as the chief angel and yet he wanted more. He refused to be second in line and he parted from God and took other angels with him. He made a choice.

    Then God created the world and all it’s creatures. Adam and Eve didn’t have to work they could just lay around in hammocks and drink pineapple juice. In that garden there were no mutations – no sickle cell anemia and no cancer. However, He gave them one choice.

    What would you pick?

    Deal or No Deal.

    You already have the suitcase with the Garden of Eden, but that one other suitcase could have something better than paradise in it. God has already warned you not to take that suitcase, but you are tempted. You want to be as great as God, so you take that suitcase. Big mistake. Not only did Adam and Eve get kicked out of paradise, they condemned us all into living in a fallen world.

    So you see, all this suffering is not because of the way that God created this world. It is because of the choice that was made. We are still trying to make this choice. We want to be the top dog. We don’t want anyone telling us how to live our lives. We don’t want an authority over us that tells us to stop doing the things we like to do. Even though most of the things that we do that are against God’s rules lead us not into happiness, but heartache. Just like the choice that Eve made.

    Then God, in His mercy, offers us another choice. He offers the death of His son to pay for our sins. He offers this to you and me and everyone. He says that all who make this choice will one day see paradise. We have to make the choice.

    Deal or No Deal.

    Will we submit to His authority or will we continue on in our struggle to be first.

  62. PC-Bash says:

    The problem is you are trying so hard not to believe that one assumption that you will work night and day to make your theory fit.

    Evolution is a simple statement. At this point, it is the creationists who are working night and day to try to find a valid example of “irreducible complexity” that cannot be explained by any means other than divine intervention. Unfortunately, they have yet to find any.

    So you see, all this suffering is not because of the way that God created this world. It is because of the choice that was made.

    But, as Michael pointed out, your god is supposedly all-knowing. He knew that Eve would eat from the tree of knowledge, and convince Adam to do the same. So, he tempted them, knowing they would suffer. Or, do you concede that your god is not all-knowing?

  63. PC-Bash says:

    Essentially, he is either all-knowing and cruel, all-knowing and fallible, or not all-knowing at all.

  64. ellie says:

    Don’t you see, it’s the same choice? They all had the choice to submit or to try and be like God. Everyone is offered the same choice. Yes, He knows who is going to make the right decision and who isn’t, but He has to offer them the choice. Otherwise their obedience doesn’t mean anything. If I lock you in a room and tell you not to go outside does that make you obedient. No it makes you trapped. If you want someone to love you, do you hold them at gunpoint? No you have to offer them the choice. God created us to love Him and He loves us even when we don’t love Him, but He never forces us to love Him. He just offers His love to us and allows us to make a choice.
    It’s hard for us to see that, because we don’t realize what Adam and Eve had with Him.
    Really hell is just life without God. If you hate Him so much, then that should be fine. But you may not realize all the times He touches your life that make this life bearable. Without any hope for anything good that would really be hell.

  65. PC-Bash says:

    Yes, He knows who is going to make the right decision and who isn’t, but He has to offer them the choice.

    So, he purposefully builds a world, and creates people that he knows will fail, just so they can be cast into the fiery pits of hell. This is not a loving god. This is a cruel and sadistic god. According to your interpretation, he is no different than a child frying ants with a magnifying glass. Brilliant.

    What we have here is a contradiction, proving that if your god exists, then your bible is wrong, or if your bible is right, then your god does not exist. In the world of mathematics, we call this reductio ad absurdum.

    If you choose to believe in your god, then you must admit that your bible is inaccurate. If your bible is inaccurate, then parts of it are allegory. If parts of it are allegory, then you have no leg to stand on in claiming that your creation myth is the literal truth.

    Therefore, you cannot rise a contradiction between evolution and your creation myth, nor can you claim that your god created the earth or life on earth. Ergo, there is no contradiction between creationism and evolution, because creationism is by this logic nothing more than allegory or fairy tale. quod erat demonstrandum.

  66. ellie says:

    He created people to make a choice – to love Him or to hate Him. If they hate Him they deserve to go to hell.

  67. PC-Bash says:

    That’s the best you can do to refute this logical contradiction between a strictly literalist interpretation of your bible and an all-knowing, all-loving, infallible god? That people who are rational must hate your god?

    ellie, I know you can do better than that.

    If your god was all-knowing, then he would know that the people who went to hell did so by his design. If he was all-loving, he wouldn’t commit people to everlasting damnation. If he didn’t, then he isn’t all-knowing. If he is all-knowing, and all-loving, then the only other alternative is that he is fallible: he meant with the best intentions, but his design was flawed.

    If you take the creation story literally, then your god must not be as you claim him to be. If you truly believe in your god, then you cannot take your bible literally. Pick one. Do you pick your god, or do you pick your literalist interpretation of your bible? You cannot have both.

  68. ellie says:

    You certainly provide good evidence that the only way you can not love Him is to hate Him. It seems you hate Him so much you can’t understand a thing that I say.

  69. PC-Bash says:

    I have no hate for your god. I simply do not believe that your god exists. Hate requires effort. Likewise, I do not hate Zeus, Loki, Thor, Mithras, Aphrodite, Xenu, or Ra. Do you hate these gods?

    If you choose to believe in your god, then you cannot take your bible literally. If you take your bible literally, then you cannot believe in your god. Your god becomes petty, jealous, cruel, fallible, and unknowing with a literal interpretation. This extends to your new testament as well.

    So, take your pick. Your god, or your young-earth creationist views. You cannot have both.

  70. ellie says:

    OK. Let’s talk about your god. When you make God fit your idea of who He should be, then you create a false idol. That is how all other religions came to be. So your false idol would do things the way you think he should. He wouldn’t offer any choices. He would have created robots that always loved him and obeyed him. They were never selfish and never sinned. If we don’t have to choose between right and wrong, then did we accomplish anything. Did we really do something good or are we merely puppets?

    If we don’t choose to love Him, then what does our love really mean?
    God created us to love and honor Him, but if He didn’t give us the chance to fail it would be meaningless.
    Knowing that we would fail, He gave His son so that we could be forgiven.

  71. ellie says:

    Even when we fail He still loves us.

  72. PC-Bash says:

    Let’s talk about your god.

    As I said before, I have no god.

    So your false idol would do things the way you think he should. He wouldn’t offer any choices. He would have created robots that always loved him and obeyed him. They were never selfish and never sinned. If we don’t have to choose between right and wrong, then did we accomplish anything. Did we really do something good or are we merely puppets?

    If this is what you gleaned from my contradiction above, then you have missed the point entirely. My point was that your god does not fit your literalist interpretation of the creation myth. Your god cannot be all-knowing, all-loving, and infallible if he followed events precisely as they are outlined in your bible. Either your bible is wrong (as it was written by man), or your god is wrong. You are clinging so desperately to your literal interpretation, that you cannot see the truth for all the words in your scripture.

    Even when we fail He still loves us.

    So, when he creates us, knowing that we will fail, but still makes us the way we are, and then has the audacity to cast us into hell… he is showing love? Can you not see the contradiction here?

    If you would open your eyes to contradiction, to understanding, then you would not cling to creationism so blindly. If you choose to believe in your god, then you must still use reason. Your bible does not speak of many things, and many other things are just not accurate. However, these flaws were written by man. Whether you believe that your god exists or not, you must admit that the words in your scripture were taken down by men. Men are fallible, your god is not. So, if there must be error, blame it on the men who took down your scripture.

  73. ellie says:

    I feel we are looking at the same building from opposite sides.

    Let me just try and review. I feel you are saying that if God knowingly sends anyone to hell then He is unloving. If He knows ahead of time who will fail and who won’t then He shouldn’t let anyone fail. He shouldn’t have allowed Adam and Eve to fail. Am I missing anything?

  74. ellie says:

    Now when you discuss God as a loving God you cannot forget that He is also a just and a Holy God.

    He gives us rules to follow and He advises us of the punishment that will follow breaking those rules.

    If a teacher were to give an assignment and advise the students that anyone who failed to turn in the assignment would receive a failing grade. When the teacher failed some of the students would you consider that teacher manipulative or just.

    The main rule that God seems to be giving is that I am God and no one else (humans or angels) is God. Would you agree that if God created us then it is fair that He should have some authority over us?

  75. PC-Bash says:

    He gives us rules to follow and He advises us of the punishment that will follow breaking those rules.

    Yes, but if he creates someone who sins and never repents, and is truly all-knowing, then he knows that this person will sin and will go to hell. Yet, he creates this person anyway. Either this implies that he is not all-loving (as he creates some to go to hell as an example to others, to paraphrase the Calvinists), it implies that he is not all-knowing (he did not know that his creation would go to hell when he created it), or it implies that he is fallible (he tried and failed to create someone who would repent, hence he was forced to send this person to hell). If your god truly creates all life, then he can only possess two of these three qualities.

  76. ellie says:

    I am thinking of a third option. I don’t know if this is right and I don’t know if there is scripture to back this.

    What if He can either create all or none? I mean what if He can either create people knowing that some will and some won’t go to heaven or He can choose not to create any people at all.

  77. PC-Bash says:

    It’s a possibility, sure. However, one would think that if it was in his power to do so (he is supposed to be all-powerful of course), then perhaps he should have a way to create all people in such that all will eventually repent and none must be cast into hell.

    The line of thinking as far as that he must either create all people or none becomes an argument for Deism. He set the parameters at the beginning (e.g. tuned all of the variables that led to the Big Bang / whatever), and then no longer interferes in the matters of man. Of course, this would also require a non-literal interpretation of scripture. It certainly violates the concept of a personal god. For, if he set the parameters at the beginning, yet still influenced day-to-day life, then he would be able to use the combination of all-loving / all-knowing / infallible to lead everyone to salvation, even if they kept the concept of free will. If he let people fall into hell, then he wouldn’t be all-loving.

    I’m not really sure where this thread direction is going here. I think my main purpose was to show that it is impossible to take the bible 100% literally, and that perhaps out of all of the bible to take as allegory, the creation story is by far the best example. The concept of the earth being created in six twenty-four hour periods 10000 years ago does not mesh with geology, paleontology, astronomy, or any other discipline of science. The facts just don’t line up to support the creation story.

    The Catholic church has invested a lot of time and money in investigating this. Their interpretation has been changed to be more in lines with that of science. They don’t take the days as literal in creation, and they accept evolution. However, they still insist on a Deist view that their god set the parameters at the beginning, and they still believe that humans have souls which are inserted by their god. Well, none of these metaphysical concepts may ever be answered by science. For instance, I find it highly unlikely that we discover a scientific explanation for how the universe began for many lifetimes. All we know so far is that the all of the observable universe used to be very very small.

    Science cannot answer every question, nor can it ever disprove the existence of your god. However, I think it has done a very good job so far at explaining the diversity of life that we see today. Certainly, there is no valid scientific theory for how life began, and it is possible that we will never know for certain. Evolution, however, presupposes the existence of life. So, how life began is outside of its scope.

    Evolution has gone though a rigorous process to ensure its validity. It has passed all of these tests. It is a valid scientific theory. As such, it should be taught in schools as-is.

    You are free to believe what you like, and free to teach your children as you seek best. In a Florida school, they will learn science as it currently exists, including evolution. If your opinion differs, you certainly have the right to tell your kids about it. Likewise, they have the right to form their own opinions on the matter, which may or may not be yours. In the science classroom, they will be taught science only, and they will be taught modern science using modern terminology. Essentially, they will be taught the same things as before, only terminology will no longer be the politically correct “changes over time”, but the scientific term of evolution.

  78. ellie says:

    Ok maybe we should just agree to disagree here. I haven’t conceded but I could write a book and we wouldn’t go anywhere.

    As far as evolution in science class –

    All scientists have presuppositions when they begin an experiment. These presuppositions can cause them to look at the data in such a way that it supports their point of view, just as we both look at the bible from opposite angles. I am only saying is it fair that only science from your perspective is allowed in the classroom.

    And is it fair to say that evolution is a fact when you say yourself that there is no way to verify it. When you discuss it you say that it is feasible and it is possible. I agree that it is feasible and it is possible, but it is also possibly wrong. There is some good science out there that would indicate that neandrathal DNA is closely related to the human genome and that they may be our human ancestors.

    There are so many examples of irreducible complexity that can’t be explained by the theory of evolution. Creationists don’t have to stay up at night thinking of examples, they would have to cram quite a few nights to just learn about a few of them.

    Why is it fair to teach our children only about the strengths of this theory and not about its weaknesses? Is that really science?

    Why is it so important? What if I am right and there is a God? I understand that you are willing to bet your eternity on your logic. I can even remember a time when I refused to believe in a God that would send people to hell. (Can you believe I’m such a bible thumper now?)

    If I am right and if the devil is the great deceiver and if we should be able to see the glory of God through His creation; then by teaching children that it all happened by evolution, that there is no creator and that the bible is at best fairy tale we aid the devil in his deceipt.

    Not only that if we don’t teach that there are weaknesses in this theory then we are not being truthful about science. If we want our children to be good scientists, then I think evolution could be an excellent teaching tool to show our children how scientists view data from different perspectives. We could show them how science really works.

    Or we could teach them to worship scientists and think scientists are always right.

    Now if you are right then we all die anyway and it doesn’t matter how smart we are while we are alive. When we die it is over.

    My argument that it should be broken down into parts whatever you may call them. If you don’t want to call abiogenesis part of evolution

  79. ellie says:

    that last bit was an unfinshed tought I thought I had erased it.

  80. PC-Bash says:

    All scientists have presuppositions when they begin an experiment. These presuppositions can cause them to look at the data in such a way that it supports their point of view, just as we both look at the bible from opposite angles. I am only saying is it fair that only science from your perspective is allowed in the classroom.

    Creationism is outside of the scope of science.

    And is it fair to say that evolution is a fact when you say yourself that there is no way to verify it. When you discuss it you say that it is feasible and it is possible. I agree that it is feasible and it is possible, but it is also possibly wrong. There is some good science out there that would indicate that neandrathal DNA is closely related to the human genome and that they may be our human ancestors.

    I said no such thing. Evolution has been verified, even in the lab. We can reproduce experiments that provide evidence for each of the claims of evolution.

    There are so many examples of irreducible complexity that can’t be explained by the theory of evolution. Creationists don’t have to stay up at night thinking of examples, they would have to cram quite a few nights to just learn about a few of them.

    I have yet to see one example that could not be explained through evolution. I’ve seen lots of arguments from personal incredulity, but not one actual provable case of irreducible complexity.

    Why is it fair to teach our children only about the strengths of this theory and not about its weaknesses? Is that really science?

    The problem is that the “strengths and weaknesses” that groups such as the Discovery Institute want to teach are pure quackery or semantic garbage.

    Why is it so important? What if I am right and there is a God? I understand that you are willing to bet your eternity on your logic. I can even remember a time when I refused to believe in a God that would send people to hell. (Can you believe I’m such a bible thumper now?)

    If, by some incredibly remote chance, your god exists and sends me to hell for thinking rationally and using the mind that he gave me, then so be it. As far as I’m concerned, only an evil god would do so.

    If I am right and if the devil is the great deceiver and if we should be able to see the glory of God through His creation; then by teaching children that it all happened by evolution, that there is no creator and that the bible is at best fairy tale we aid the devil in his deceipt.

    If you want to believe this, that’s fine. HOWEVER, science does not show any evidence for your beliefs, nor are your beliefs within the scope of science. Your beliefs should not be taught to children in science class, which is precisely what the Discovery Institute wants.

    Not only that if we don’t teach that there are weaknesses in this theory then we are not being truthful about science.

    You have been sorely deceived by DI and other institutions that wish to use you. The weaknesses you believe are in evolution simply aren’t there. Should we lie to children and tell them that there are weaknesses in evolution when good science shows that there isn’t, just to make you feel better? If you have faith that you are correct, then it shouldn’t matter to you what is taught in the science classroom.

    If we want our children to be good scientists, then I think evolution could be an excellent teaching tool to show our children how scientists view data from different perspectives.

    Likewise, ID, creationism, and irreducible complexity would be excellent tools to show what happens when people who don’t understand science attempt to push their own religious agendas on others.

    Or we could teach them to worship scientists and think scientists are always right.

    Behe is a scientist. I think he’s a moron. I certainly don’t worship scientists, and I wouldn’t expect children to do so either.

    Now if you are right then we all die anyway and it doesn’t matter how smart we are while we are alive. When we die it is over.

    I’d rather deal with this reality and live life to its fullest than live through life waiting for eternity. There is no reason to fear death, nor to yearn for an afterlife. I also don’t see what death has to do with teaching evolution in science class. I understand that you are afraid of what happens when you die. Most people are. However, we shouldn’t let our lives be dictated by fear.

    If you don’t want to call abiogenesis part of evolution

    Abiogenesis is not part of evolution, by any stretch of the imagination. Evolution presupposes the existence of life, just as General Relativity presupposes the existence of matter and energy in the universe, or Ohm’s Law presupposes the existence of electrons. Each of these theories or laws are scoped. If we did not have the concept of scope in science, then science would be impossible.

    It is for statements like these that I am happy that Florida has a new set of science standards. I know now that future generations will better understand science, and will not be trapped into pseudoscience like ID.

  81. ellie says:

    I don’t believe that my God would want send you to hell for thinking rationally. He might send you to hell for being stubborn.

    I don’t think He wants you to go to hell at all. I think that is why He got me to start pestering you. I really do believe that He loves you.

  82. ellie says:

    Oh I meant to put a smiley in that last one 🙂

  83. ellie says:

    You are right creationism is outside of the scope of science. It takes faith to believe that man was created from dirt. I agree you cannot teach something that is beyond the scope of our understanding in science class.

    I think that there is some good science out there that calls evolution into question and I think that it would be good for our children to learn both sides of the story.

    When a pharm company does research on a drug and says their antibiotic works better in vitro than another drug. Then the other company does research and says your drug may work better in vitro, but your research is not taking into consideration that our drug works better in vivo in respiratory infections. Both researchers are looking from different perspectives at the same subject. Both are doing valid research, but they are coming up with different conclusions.

    That is what science is all about. No one gets upset when the research in volves abx. It is only when the research involves something we have faith in that people get so upset. People don’t want to consider another side, because if they do then they have to reevaluate everything they believe.

    I would like to continue to talk about the evidence If I haven’t offended you too much. I do enjoy talking to you even when you are tough on me. I enjoy the challenge.

  84. PC-Bash says:

    I think that there is some good science out there that calls evolution into question and I think that it would be good for our children to learn both sides of the story.

    I have yet to see any of this science that you speak of. I have seen a lot of bad science and bad math that calls evolution into question (e.g. Behe and Dembski).

    It is only when the research involves something we have faith in that people get so upset. People don’t want to consider another side, because if they do then they have to reevaluate everything they believe.

    If people did not have faith in the creation myth, they would not need to use bad science to try to explain away evolution. The only people with faith here are the creationists.

  85. ellie says:

    How was the movie?

    It looks to me like you call it bad science, because Behe brings up another problem that has to be explained. Can you call it good science, if you just explain what you want to explain and ignore the tough stuff?

    Even if his point were invalid, you don’t make your point well by just saying he is a moron. Tell me what is wrong with his research.

    Isn’t it part of science to question? Shouldn’t good science be able to stand up to questioning? Truth should be able to take on all the questions. Science that only wants to be limited to tunnel vision is not science anymore.

    It seems like that is the part about God that people can’t tolerate, that you are supposed to turn your brain off and not question. I don’t find that about God. When you refuse to consider that He might be right, then you can’t see that He is. When you open the door to the possibility that He might be telling the truth, then it is like your brain opens up to a whole new perspective.

  86. ellie says:

    check out this video presentation on the DNA of neanderthals. I thought this was interesting.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/video/ondemand/

    You have to scroll to 2008 to Dr. David Dewitt. I would go to part 2 because he doesn’t really start talking about his research until about 10 minutes into that video.

    Now I know what you think of answers in genesis, but get past that. Look at the research and tell me what you think. Don’t just tell me he’s a moron. If you think he is, tell me why.

  87. PC-Bash says:

    How was the movie?

    The movie was terrible as expected. The whole movie was spent building strawmen against evolution, and no time was spent actually explaining ID, other than some vague analogies. Essentially, the movie, like ID itself, is much ado about nothing.

    It looks to me like you call it bad science, because Behe brings up another problem that has to be explained. Can you call it good science, if you just explain what you want to explain and ignore the tough stuff?

    Actually, I call it bad science because Behe has yet to provide an example of “irreducible complexity” that cannot be explained through evolutionary process. He is on a hunt for a holy grail, yet he claims that his “theories” (which can’t be theories without testing!) are valid. He has no evidence yet for any of his claims, although he likes to dismiss that with a wave of his hand.

    Isn’t it part of science to question?

    Yes, but the questions need to be good.

    Shouldn’t good science be able to stand up to questioning? Truth should be able to take on all the questions.

    Evolution has stood up to the questions, even the inane ID questions. However, ID people like to repeat the same questions over and over again, and use these questions to make claims of which they have no evidence. They want to treat ID as if it is a valid scientific theory, when it has no evidence to back it up. They spend their whole time taking pot shots at evolution, when perhaps they should spend a little more time explaining the incredible claims of their own “alternative”.

    It seems like that is the part about God that people can’t tolerate, that you are supposed to turn your brain off and not question.

    Well, blindly accepting that your god did it, without any evidence, makes biology very boring. Essentially, IDists only want to look for evidence for creation, which is rather useless. To make matters worse, they treat their “theories” as truth, even though they have no evidence nor do they feel that they have to provide evidence. Since the existence of their god can neither be proved or disproved, they feel that they should be exempted from following the epistemological rigor that is science. Hence, bad science.

  88. PC-Bash says:

    I also enjoy that IDists, even in the movie, make it sound like if by somehow evolution is discredited, then their own crack-pot theories will suddenly get attention. You can’t turn bad science into good science by attacking good science.

  89. ellie says:

    Well, blindly accepting that your god did it, without any evidence, makes biology very boring.

    I find it just as exciting to find evidence that God created something as you do when you find evidence for evolution. 🙂

  90. PC-Bash says:

    I find it just as exciting to find evidence that God created something as you do when you find evidence for evolution.

    Well, let me know when you find evidence for your god. I’d be happy to split the Nobel Prize with you.

    Until then, ID can’t even be considered a valid scientific theory, despite the dubious claims of the movie.

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