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US school's new challenge to Darwin

Discussion in 'Serious' started by acrimonious, 9 Feb 2005.

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  1. SitraAchra

    SitraAchra Minimodder

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    It's funny, but your'e just proving my point. The mountains of archeological evidence in support of evolution is often passed off as a hoax by Creationists. All transitional species that link apes to humans are viewed as hoaxes by this group, as absurd as that seems.

    So yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
     
  2. Bandit_zoraK

    Bandit_zoraK What's a Dremel?

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    Well this is kind of off topic but it is pretty funny nonetheless. At my university (a small state university in the middle of the us) there is a geology professor, yes geology, the study of rocks and such dating back hundreds of millions of years (and more), who is a staunch creationist. Now I am perfectly fine with this for him on a personal level (hell, one of my roommates is one, we seem to get along ok), but he pushes his beliefs on the students and his studies of geology. He teaches the class according to his beliefs that the world is only 40,000 years old (or some such number) and I find this completely ridiculous. Oh well, anyways....
     
  3. I'm_Not_A_Monster

    I'm_Not_A_Monster Hey, eat this...

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    religion is a blanket statement of what we don't understand, we'll just say "god/demons did/does it". we thought that about the sunrise and sunset, mental illness, and (for some) why we are here.

    one day, who knows, we might find out how we came to be (other than the obvious, mom and dad got drunk in the back of an '83 El Camino (I'm not the only one, right?)). but it won't be by telling people to close their minds to obvious truths (or at least pretty damn near) by saying everything was done by god. thats like saying god gave you cancer when you work around asbestos without a mask
     
  4. Ligoman17

    Ligoman17 What's a Dremel?

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    Wow that's a pretty inflamatory statement about religion. I think you are wrong in your definition. Religion is not just an attempt to explain what we don't yet understand. What about codes of morals? Many (most?) religions put limits on human behavior, which has nothing to do with explaining what we don't understand, right? You are focusing on mythology, which is only one aspect of any major religion. Anyway, I want to move on...

    Regarding intelligent design. This is nothng more than the latest attempt by the Christian right to force their beliefs into the public school system. "Intelligent Design" is just a new label for the same old creationism argument. Specific references to the Bible and Christianity are removed in order to make it suitable for potential science classes, but it is in fact not science at all.

    It is really tiresome to keep seeing Evolution and Creationism put in the same category as though they are both viable theories. Creationism/Intelligent Design is not a theory and is not science for many reasons which have already been stated. Most importantly:
    1) It cannot be tested.
    2) It cannot be disproven.

    Intelligent Design is a religious belief and belongs in a religous studies class.

    EDIT: And just for the record, I am a Christian and I believe in evolution as the most likely scenario for explaining human existence and the diversity of life on this planet.
     
  5. I'm_Not_A_Monster

    I'm_Not_A_Monster Hey, eat this...

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    that is kinda inflammatory looking back, but people who sue when the gov't infringes their religious beleif but bitch when the gov't doesn't teach dogma in class make me angry.

    sorry to all
     
  6. Ligoman17

    Ligoman17 What's a Dremel?

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    Agreed. And no need for apology, just clarification. :D
     
  7. Idioteque

    Idioteque Telephasic Mongoose

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    Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.

    I still think the human race is sorta like an experiment, maybe to find the question/answer to the universe... or maybe i've been reading too much HHGTTG. but seriously its feasible that our planet may be an experiment started by aliens or a higher being (notice the lack of the word 'god' being agnostic i still wanna see some proof, and so far the human race isn't quite something i see to be created by a divine being.) that might've gone a little out of hand. just my tuppence.





    >>42<<
     
  8. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    This seems to be the current , shortest thread on this matter, and I have yet to sound off. Maybe I can inspire some intellegent though.

    synopsis: This post grew rather long. Sorry, I just have trouble being brief. This should give you the jist of my thoughts, but no background. Evolution never attacks religon, in fact, I belive it represents an intelegent disigh. It uses a small set of simple rules to achive great complexity, and it is self regulating. Mutation is NOT an prereq for evolution. Say the human genome is a program consisting of data and code arranged a bit like the concept of semented programs in PC assembly. Now open that program in a hex editor and start randomly changing data. hat program does have some error detection and correcting code, so minor changes aren't harmful. This data corruption goes on all the time, but played out on a huge scale! The chances of a useful change are pretty slim, but because of the large numbers, it does happen. More useful are swapping program elements between versions to make a better one. But all this does not mean that God does not exsist, only that he does not work in the way mankind has envisoned him working. Why violate the intricate rules carefully put in place? There are elements of creation that would seem to confirm science, and that is a very interesting though. Finally, theory is not the same as untrue. It means we have an idea that fits the information on hand, but it should be considered revisable.

    I'll start by saying that I belive in an intellegent desing, evolution is a very intellegent design. Most people trying to attack evolution often pont to a lack of mutation, but that is not critical to evolution. Mutations do happen all the time, any are usally filtered out promptly.

    This bit of discussion will be a lot more relavent if you know PC assembly. DNA is a quadnary instruction system. What we know for certain about it is that there are sequences that denote seperations of 'data' and there are sequences that are the 'data'. The data is there to encode for amino acids. It takes three base pairs to code fro one amino acid. There are 20 amino acids. When you work the math, that leaves a lot of 3 base 'op codes' that don't do a whole lot. Now, thinking of this as code, seperated into code and data segments, with built in redunancy and error checking, consider it on a hard drive you start randomly flipping bits on. Not a pretty picture. Most errors can be detected and corrected, but if you define a 'bit error rate' for DNA (which I have no idea what it actually is, untill we discover what all the 'op codes' do, we really can't know easily) then consider the massive number of times that the DNA is replicated through out one's lifetime, then yu can se where errors easily occur, and there is no master copy to 'ghost' and restore the corrupted data.

    Now, if DNA is code, the traits that it codes for are like different operating systems or flavors of that OS. It's all about marketability. There was a tim in Europe that marketability ment survivability. During the plauge, some individuals seemed to have a natural resistance to some of the alements affecting Europe. By studing the genetics of the European versus the rest of the world, we find there is a gene distorbution in the population that falls outside of the standard deviation of the rest of the world. Turns out this particular gene is good at endowing the barer with resistcances to various nasy viral infections.

    This gene did not arise through mutation, it exsistance because of statistics and the law of large numbers. Enviornmental condidions filtered the population that had the gene, and they passed the trait on.
    A question I saw is why 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes, ect. Well, there are indeed many variations in the microscopic world. he simple reason boils down to mathematics, The nerve density of the opric nerve is very great, and the amount of raw information is actually more than the conscious mind can process. More whould just saturate the system. Why not 1 eye? Because those organisims with one one photosensing system could not determine depth. More eyes would definatly improve depth perception, but it is a balance between too much and not enough. The same is true of arms and legs. Their positions are also based on mathematics, just like the nautuilus is mathematically based, blood vessle brancing angles are mathematically based, and other things in biology are similarly mathematically based. IT is all about breaking even between energy expendeture, resources, and insufficent capabilities.

    Now that I have the ID and creationists shaking their heads, let me go off on the God tangent. I'm an engineer, in a vary general way, I too create things. Let me tell you a secret, the best systems are the ones based on a handful of simple rules that has everything you need to keep it running built right in. God created the universe, so why not build the complete toolset for managing and governing the universe right in? God needs to do somthing, well, it;s just as simple as using X,Y,and Z law of physics to accomplish the task. Chances are that we only know rule X. When thinking about this, I really like Athur C Clake's third law of technology, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." My favorate Biblical example is Jesus's first miracle, water to wine. Every day, people perform a similar 'miracle' of transmuting water. Now we call it Kool-Aid :) I'm not saying it's the same, but I suspect if you could travel back 2000 years, you could pass it off as such.

    Now, consider the story of creation. If you try and consider time, the entire thing falls appart. First, consider the first 'day' of seperating ligh from dark. Try and define a day, you can't unless you use the rate of somthing happening. The length of a day is actually rather abritrary. On top of that, consider a relativly modern idea that is gathering evidence, the theory of relativity. Time is not a fixed, constant thing! Now, what is interesting is that there are a number of things in Genesis that happen in the corret order that does agree with scientific theory, mainy the general order of the development of life. Plants, to large animal see life, to land based life, to humans. It's not 100% for those out there keeping score, but it's not bad. Some of the other 'weirdness' in the passages actually has to do with ancient hebrew. (Remember, Jesus was a Jew, and thus the roots of the Bible are the same as those of the Torah) it turns out that they did not differentiate between planets, continents, and such. All was refered by the word we now translate as Earth. God may be perfect, but man is not.

    Now, as for Evolution being a theory, I'd like to remind you that the computer you are reading all this on works entirly off of theory, all electronics do. Chemisty is basically all based on theory as well. Because it's all theory (particularly Quantum theory), does that make it any less real? Theory != falsehood, it simply means that it is the best explination we have that fits the evidence. Somthing better could come along, as is the case with current atomic theory. We went from Bohr's theory, to orbital theory, which is quantum theory. Get a bunch of atoms together moving with sufficent speed, and that is a rather dangerous theory to ignore :) One more thing to keep in mind about theroies is that they are supposed to be attacked. What is the better strategy, erect a wall of straw and claim it as impetetrable, or to erect one of steel and try to break it? Which would you trust to protect you. It is unfortunate the way religion is tied to ideas like ID so that to attack the theory, the attacker is forced to attack religon.

    To summarize some major points here (may be easier to quote)

    Evolution is a 'good' design, it is based on simple rules, but like a game oc chess, those simple rules allow for immense complexity.

    Mutation is not a major factor in evolution, inheretance is.

    DNA concepts are basically the same as computer code concepts, we just don't know the instruction set.

    A good system from a purely engineering point of view is simple, and uses concepts like feed back to self correct. The less outside intervention the system needs, the more likely the system is to stay where you designed it to be.

    Creation as presented in the Bible vs scientific theory shows some surprising parallels.

    Theory is a misunderstood concept. It seems it is a term loosing it's strict definition a bit like the word organic.

    I have plenty more I can say, but this is getting long (a previous brain dump to a word file was 4 pages long). Most of it is my theological questions, but my goal is to try and present some points of view I have not seen on either side. I'll end by saying that I do indeed belive in God, but this is not an entity willing to just throw away 60-90% of all the things he created and seems to have worked so hard to nurture.

    I'll end by asking for forgivness for my grammar and spelling errors. This t-shirt is a pretty apt description of what I do: http://www.computergear.com/1020.html
     
  9. allforcarrie

    allforcarrie Banned

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    everyone wonders why people hate Americans and think we are stupid, all you have to do is look at CNN.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    That is true. And this is where people find it hard to understand evolution. Emergence phenomena are a bit hard to get your head around. Also the fact that simple rules can produce complex (and unpredictable) behaviour...

    Depends on what you call mutation. If genes were transmitted flawlessly every time, there would be no evolution --just endless unchanging perfect clones (remember that recombination though sexual procreation didn't come about until relatively late in the day). There has to be variation for natural selection processes to act on.

    It would be wrong to think of genes as a biological machine code (or as a quarternary system). The reality is a lot more complex --but I'm not going to go into that now...

    Very true.

    People perceive the same thing, but interpret it within their framework of knowledge and belief systems. :)

    Tell me about it...
     
  11. .308AR

    .308AR What's a Dremel?

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    I reject the idea of species evolving into something completely different. Adaptation within a species is well documented, however. The teaching of creationism or evolution in public schools is irrelevant in my opinion. Government run schools should be abolished imo.
     
  12. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    What's most interesting is darwinian theory is hypocritical of itself... if I'm not mistaken...
     
  13. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

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    intelligent design has no place in schools. you cannot test it. evolution is a plausible theory with tons of information to back it up. yes i know i used to argue against evolution but after viewing information ive changed my mind. i see evolution as God's way of creating. im what you call a theistic evolutionist. God and Evolution can go together. however, intellgent design is nothing but pseudoscience.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2005
  14. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    At risk of becoming a target, I will say that the exsistance of God is justifiable. The train of thought is buried in my prevous post.
    What I can't seem to understand is this, assuming a belif in God, and that he created a universe, why does he need to violate teh rules he so carefully crafted to achieve his ends? Why does he need to magical? To repeat one of my favorite quotes yet again, Arthur C Clarke's third law of technology, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


    To come back to some of the DNA stuff, life seems to be an excersise in the law of large numbers. Life seems to cover all the bases and can shift to a new one as needed by using natural selection as a filter. Because of the vast number of possibilites played out through genetic variation, at least one should be suitable for the situation at hand. Because of the 'feedback' in the system, the mean can be shifted, and the statistical distrobution restores itself, centered aroung the favorable trait. Now, the system has a lot of variables, all interdependant so this is highly simplified model, but this is one of the basic concepts involved in natural selection. Without this diversity, the system would not work.
    Now, there are creatures that reproduce asexually and each successive generation *should* have identical DNA. Not being a geneticist, I have no idea if studies were done on these.
    As for my computer code anology, refer to disclaimer above :) The code idea is an oversimplification, but not totally out of whack. The system is more layered, DNA codes amino acid sequences to generate protiens. RNA does a number of protien jobs outside the nucleous, as well as checking DNA. The protiens themselves are the orkhoses, making all the phusical structures of the cells, handling cell-cell interaction, ect. Still, thinking on a very general, abstract, conceptual level, the process of life resembles a computer. t seems that media has been trying to convice us that making the parallel is a bad thing, but look at the functions of the systems and the end results. information is transformed to information for another system which then results in either more data, or a useful 'output'. If you consider a CNC machine tool, then even the physical aspect of the process is paralleled. But this is a discussion for another thread :)

    As for the rise of species, it is a common fallicy that all life came from one 'trunk' of the evolutionary tree. Actually, if I had to stick with the agricultural metaphor, well, I'm not much of a gardener :) The 'common origin' of life are microoganisms. 10 limbs (squid) did not become 5. Related to humans, we did not come from apes, but we share a major branck of the evolutionary 'tree'.
    It makes a lot of sence, single cell organisms seem to be very 'plastic' and can change quickly, relative to the human lifetime. (just look at anti-biotic resistant bactria). So a huge range of genectic diversity could be set up, and the various possibilities played themselves out.

    To reiterate somthing I said befoer, yes, I belive in 'intelegent design', evolution is a very intelegent design :)
     
  15. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

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    i so agree with you!
     
  16. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    Just to toss my two bits out...

    The issue at hand isn't the teaching of Intelligent Design as Fact, and Evolution as being Totally Wrong. It isn't even the teaching of the two as equally plausible options. It's simply the mentioning of the possibility that Evolution isn't Totally Proven Fact. It's not some big, grand assault on the Fortress of Evolutionary Teaching, as some people are making it out to be. It's simply the mentioning of the fact that there are other possibilities.

    Honestly, Evolution is built on so many assumptions and leaps of logic, it's practically a religion in its own right. It's time the government stopped teaching it as the only possible explanation of the origins of all things.
     
  17. thecrownles

    thecrownles What's a Relix?

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    Evolution is a testable theory, while Intelligent Design is not a testable theory. I am not saying that Intelligent Design is wrong, I am saying that it is not a scientific theory so should not be taught in science class. The way that Intelligent Design theory was created was that the ID people started with a belief, and built a theory around it that used all the evidence that they found supported their theory. That is NOT the scientific method. It is not science, and should not be in any science class.

    Intelligent Design theory is unconstitutional as ruled by the supreme court in the case Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education in 1997. This ruling said that proposals for intelligent design are equivalent to that of creationism. Creationism was already ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court in 1990 in Webster v. New Lennox School District.

    Intelligent Design should not have "equal representation" or be presented just because it is an "alternate theory". It has to prove itself by peer review and research first. Science is Not Democracy. Each party does not get equal representation; the party with the best support and data gets the representation. If you want Intelligent Design to be taught, get it published in major peer-review journals, show us large bodies of research supporting your cause, then we will consider your arguments.

    Intelligent Design theory is actually not even a theory as far as I have heard. I have a quote from this website, partially quoted here:

    That is from August 2004, I haven't been able to find a more recent report on this. If anyone has heard otherwise, please feel free to correct me.

    Edit: I have written a full paper and have many sources relating to ID, if you would like me to email you the paper feel free to PM me.
     
  18. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Because we all know that if I left my coffee in my coffee mug for long enough it will grow into a beautiful babe!

    The problem that I have with many of those that believe in Evolution (as we came from monkey's) is that it seems as though they feel any who do not believe in evolution, but a intelligent designer (not from monkeys), must be uneducated or illogical. Which is not the case.

    It's funny that evolutionist's say credited sources, credited scientists. How irrelevent!
    It's like the award show's for actors/actresses of actors who give awards out to themselves. Feeding their own bloated ego's.

    Scientists should know this fully, just because many people believe in something doesn't mean it's true (ergo "creationism is wrong, just because religion says so as a whole doesn't mean its right"). Neither evolutionsm nor creationism can be proven by science. Factors can be justified but ultimately it's still theory and speculation.

    I do give evolutionary scientists this though. They've put alot of effort to quantify their idea's in scientific terms. While creationism scientists (there are those, ousted from the general scientific world, many biologists) have not. While neither is illogical to a whole, neither, as stated, is proven.

    Oh and don't confuse adaptation with evolution. There's a big difference.

    Undoubtly there are more important things to worry about then were we came from or how we came about. Most importantly were we are going.
     
  19. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

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    i agree with you on the where we are going part. but the coffee mug analogy was wrong. that is not how evolution works. evolution requires sexual reproduction and the passing of dna and genes. a mug filled with coffee will not and cannot do anything. bad analogy my friend.
     
  20. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    I was thinking big bang ideaology... my confusion...

    Here's a better one... I'll buy a good looking girl chimp in hopes that it turns into a beautiful blonde bombshell!

    The problem with the "findings" of old human remains is obviously up in the air. Today we have many people with deformaties and related issues. Who's to say that these weren't? It's quite plausible that many of these which their dna passed down bad traits throughout a whole generation or generations of families.

    Reasoning as well... the diversity this planet has to offer and the complexity of the food chain, at least in my mind, rules of natural selection of darwins theory. According this his theory we'd most likely either not be here or nothing else besides us would be here.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2005
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