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Old 04-12-2006, 02:15 PM   #96
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Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by ET Warrior
Karl Popper frowns on your
But Dawkins would rub my head and say, "good show."

I'm not referring to the "proof" that you can get in mathematics: 12 into 24 = 2, which you can prove by multplying 12 by 2 which equals 24.

I'm talking about the proof that comes from confirmations of predictions that science gets when it examines evolutionary details like the fossil record for a given species. In hominid evolution, for instance, we expected to see certain transitional features in new hominid finds which were located by the Leakey's in Africa. Features that were morphologically between modern humans and earlier primates like Aegyptopithicus. These features were found in Australopithicus.

I'm also talking about the proofs that come in the form of confirmations between disciplines. Geologists verify the predictions of biologists; astronomers verify the predictions of geologists; chemists verfiy the predictions of astronomers; etc. The explanation of evolution is replete with examples of complimentary deductions, conclusions and discoveries which cooberate the data obtained by each of the disciplines of science involved.

We can prove gravity exists, though Popper would argue the degree to which that proof could go. We can prove the Sun is vital to photosynthesis, yet I'm sure Popper would argue that it isn't actually a proof since we cannot test the negative hypothesis of removing the Sun.

Evolution is as provable as gravity and photosynthesis. It really happened.

Originally Posted by IG-64
You've probably heard all my arguments before from other Christians.
Would you likewise concede that these arguments have been debunked? If not, perhaps it would be useful to specify the ones that haven't. If so, why then would you want to continue with a debunked belief? See my last paragraph for clarification of this, as it isn't just a simple derision of Christianity.

Originally Posted by IG-64
I don't, however, get how multiple species help each other out in a chain somehow. What is this natural law that tells a species to help another species in a certain way?
I'm not sure I understand the question. If, by chain of species, you mean the phylogeny, there isn't a "natural law" other than fitness. Speciation typically occurs when populations of a given species become separated and gene flow is limited. This allows the two (or more) populations to begin taking advantage of different environments. The orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra are good examples of speciation in the make. The species were once able to interact but became separated with the rise of sea levels with the end of the last glacial age. The two populations already exhibit very different physical characters and are distinct even to lay-persons. If the two populations survive for the next million years or so, the differences that genetic drift and natural selection pressure their DNA with could create populations that are unable to mate and create viable offspring.

In the Galapagos Islands, there exist turtles that have been separated long enough that their populations have diverged to the point of speciation (they cannot produce viable offspring). Their DNA is very, very similar but each population adapted for the different environs of the different islands.

In primates, there is a clear morphological progression in features that range from fused mandibular syntheses to cranial structure to hip structures. When these specimens are laid out in order of what strata they were found for a given locality (i.e. Africa, S. America), the morphological progression is gradual and obvious in all features from phalanges to limbs to hips to vertebrae to cranial features that include manibular and maxillary characteristics as well as overall cranial form. And that just with a given line of primates. This can be done with all mammals, angiosperms, amphibians, conifers, etc. The results are always the same and not one species has exhibited features that were out of place. If that isn't evolution, then there is a god that wanted us to think there is. Ironically, the religious ignore this god's work.

Originally Posted by IG-64
Also, I don't believe the earth can be that old. I just don't.
I must say, "I just don't" is not exactly a logical reason.

Originally Posted by IG-64
I don't believe you can accurately date anything that old. I don't like the reasoning behind the dating system.
It can be difficult to accept or understand if you haven't spent the time or effort to learn how it is that science manages to use the very wide variety of dating methods that, by the way, each cooberate each other very efficiently. I would hesitate to go into the details of dating since there are so many methods that range from K-Ar isotope analysis to dendrochronolgy to paleomagnetics to C14 analysis among many others. Suffice it to say, the same science that has given us the very computers we are communicating on is used to analyse isotopes and determine their ages. Electrons and atomic theory are essential to development of modern electronics, particularly computers.

Do you believe your computer works?

Originally Posted by IG-64
I also have yet to see the stockpiles of transitional fossils. It seems like over millions of years of generations of all the species, there would be massive piles of these fossils everywhere.
I was just visiting a museum storeroom last year. I saw the stockpiles of transistional fossils. There are thousands upon thousands and this was in one single museum. Again, when laid out in chronological order derived from the stratigraphy, they are gradually changing and representative of a transistion from one form to another to another.

Originally Posted by IG-64
And I have seen some of the diffrent transitional fossils. You can't really be sure in any way those diffrent species actually evolved into each other.
Which ones, specifically? Perhaps we could discuss the transitional nature of these?

Originally Posted by IG-64
The transitional species of humans are pretty unimpressive as well. It seems like the entire logic of it is based simply on the fact that humans and apes look alike.
If that's what you think, then its very clear that you haven't studied the subject at all. The transistional nature of Homo sapiens back through early primate species like Aegyptopithicus is astounding! The gradual change in form is tremendously obvious when the time is actually taken to examine the various species in the manner I describe above.

Originally Posted by IG-64
And then theres the geologic column. Theres no where on earth you can actually see a whole geologic column. So isn't that just hypothetical as well?
Nope. Its factual. The amazing thing is that the geologic column is one of the most predictable features of the planet. That there are those that continue to dispute it is the real story. The stratigraphy of South Texas can be matched up in Great Britain. They have different names for the stratigraphic members than we do here, but the chemistry and composition as well as the order are identical.

Originally Posted by IG-64
And all the stuff that goes on with the rock layers. You can't really prove it happend over billions of years. For all you know, it could've happend all at once. Or in short bursts. Who knows.
Paleomagnetic dating is but one demonstrative method. The sea-floor spreads at a measurable rate. The alignment of magnetic molecules in rock can thus be matched to the pattern on the sea-floor spreading out from a mid-oceanic ridge. This is the process in a nutshell and is but one process. The radioactive decay of certain isotopes is also a mathematically derived figure and atomic theory is well established and demonstrated. Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) analysis can reveal the age of a rock by noting the amount of decay the isotopes have experienced. Again, the process in a nutshell.

Originally Posted by IG-64
A very large reason I don't believe in evolution is that I beleive everything has a purpose. We have to be here for a reason. It can't just all be pointless.
I can't speak to that. I don't see purpose in life, only the opportunity to live it as best you can. I don't see evidence of any other life after this one and therefore do not intend to live this one as if I have another chance somewhere else. That would waste the one opportunity that I have, and I'll go on appreciating your life and the lives of all I meet as well as the planet I live on. I'm in continuous amazement at the little bubble of existence we have in a universe that is otherwise inhospitiable.


One of the things that upsets most believers in creation the most is that the person that invariably argues the validity of evolution is an atheist or at least agnostic about the existence of a god. It is a common misconception that to be a Christian, one must reject evolution -a misconception that certain religious leaders are all too eager to promote. I assert that this is because its easier to maintain a membership in a given culture if you can rally the members to a common cause, which is most easily done with an other (a.k.a. a bogeyman).

Another misconception is that all proponents of evolution as an explanation for life on the planet is automatically an atheist. While this is true in my case, I know many who are religious (most of these are christian) who fully accept evolution. One of them recently remarked to me that it is blasphemous, in his opinion, for creationists to continually assert that the Earth cannot be as old as science has discovered or that God cannot set into motion, over 13 billion years ago, the process that produced the evolutionary mechanism that science has discovered. "How dare they," my friend exclaims quite loudly, "pretend to know what God's limitations are and attempt to limit His ability to create!"

My friend knows I don't believe this, but nor do I discount it out of hand. We simply don't have sufficient evidence to know what happened 13 billion years ago and how. We do, however, have sufficient evidence of what occurred on this planet in the last 4.6 Gy.

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