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Opinions on Evolution??

DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
edited August 2012 in General Banter
I believe in micro-evolution, still trying to grasp the macro-evolution. I am also struggling to grasp Big Bang Theory. Here is a few interesting links on Evolution. Would love to hear everyone's opinions on this.

http://evolutionisdead.com/
http://www.themythofevolution.com/Site/Myth of Evolution.html

Comments

  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    Here are my two cents.

    I do believe in Evolution. There is more than enough sufficient evidence to support that it is true. I also do think the Big Bang occurred and that it is the closest that humans know about the beginning of the Universe.

    However...

    Where did that energy come from? Yes, it was condensed energy that expanded, but where did said condensed energy come from? You can't say that "it was just there and occurred, just because". Same for evolution; while I believe it is true, is it just random? There are some who say that evolution is "programmed" to happen (and thus is meant to happen), but couldn't that mean a "designer" of sorts would have caused it?
    DaltheJigsaw
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    The scientific process includes a review process where scientists check each others work. So in general its safer to stick with reviewed scientific material and Theories to gain an understanding of a topic than an internet person's random musings (no matter how well thought out.)

    Its true science doesn't know everything and if some observations show a contradiction to current understanding ideas will change. In fact many scientists' main wish is to upend current thinking.

    Can I ask, what do you believe as an alternate explanation to evolution?
    DaltheJigsaw
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    person said:

    The scientific process includes a review process where scientists check each others work. So in general its safer to stick with reviewed scientific material and Theories to gain an understanding of a topic than an internet person's random musings (no matter how well thought out.)

    Its true science doesn't know everything and if some observations show a contradiction to current understanding ideas will change. In fact many scientists' main wish is to upend current thinking.

    Can I ask, what do you believe as an alternate explanation to evolution?

    Oh...Lol. I have no clue anymore, I been around the universe and now I'm back. Too much confusion, but this type of stuff...still peeks my interest. But I know that I have to stick with myself and focus on myself, but once in a while I need to peek out and see what else is out there, as it might be beneficial to my practice? So, basically...I do not know, but the possibilities are endless for Creator, we are Dust and etc...
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    Natural selection seems easy enough to understand. That's the real process.
  • Not looking to debate here; "debates" about evolution usually go down the rabbit hole of absurdity and side debates over minor, often irrelevant, specifics. In the end, little progress is usually made. I'll comment on themythofevolution site, give my own two cents, and leave it at that.

    I glanced at themythofevolution website and think this is a poor resource for anyone trying to get a level counterargument to evolution--many misunderstandings and poorly constructed arguments by the author. The author basically states that Carbon-14 and radiometric dating are fatally flawed, which they're not. He/she shows a misunderstanding of the process of evolution when discussing bacterial resistance to antibiotics and his/her conclusion is something like, "well God must've done it then." The author talks about the "primordial soup" that supposedly started evolution, but doesn't seem to realize that evolutionary theory can stand on its own without knowing exactly how life started in the first place. The study of how life began is abiogenesis, something not necessary for demonstrating evolution. The last straw for me was the final paragraph that talked about swimmers evolving gills; again, showing a misunderstanding of evolution. There may be good counterevolution websites out there, this one isn't one of them.

    I've studied evolution as a college student and through my own research. I've read and listened to counterarguments of the theory. I've yet to see one out there that has made many scientists pause and reconsider the theory. The best chance for that was Michael Behe's bacterial flagellum argument about 10 or so years ago, which has been strongly refuted. The theory is accepted by nearly 100% of biological scientists. There is more evidence in support of macro evolution than any other scientific theory, including gravity. Scientists might argue about the different mechanisms of the theory, but still agree on the basic "truth" of the theory.

    Since you're trying to wrap your mind around macroevolution, I'd say keep reading (info on both sides of the debate), keep thinking. Get a good understanding of the theory. Learn about how evidence for the theory has only increased over time.

    Cheers!
    CloudDaltheJigsawpersonDaftChrisMaryAnneVastmindzenff
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran

    Not looking to debate here; "debates" about evolution usually go down the rabbit hole of absurdity and side debates over minor, often irrelevant, specifics. In the end, little progress is usually made. I'll comment on themythofevolution site, give my own two cents, and leave it at that.

    I glanced at themythofevolution website and think this is a poor resource for anyone trying to get a level counterargument to evolution--many misunderstandings and poorly constructed arguments by the author. The author basically states that Carbon-14 and radiometric dating are fatally flawed, which they're not. He/she shows a misunderstanding of the process of evolution when discussing bacterial resistance to antibiotics and his/her conclusion is something like, "well God must've done it then." The author talks about the "primordial soup" that supposedly started evolution, but doesn't seem to realize that evolutionary theory can stand on its own without knowing exactly how life started in the first place. The study of how life began is abiogenesis, something not necessary for demonstrating evolution. The last straw for me was the final paragraph that talked about swimmers evolving gills; again, showing a misunderstanding of evolution. There may be good counterevolution websites out there, this one isn't one of them.

    I've studied evolution as a college student and through my own research. I've read and listened to counterarguments of the theory. I've yet to see one out there that has made many scientists pause and reconsider the theory. The best chance for that was Michael Behe's bacterial flagellum argument about 10 or so years ago, which has been strongly refuted. The theory is accepted by nearly 100% of biological scientists. There is more evidence in support of macro evolution than any other scientific theory, including gravity. Scientists might argue about the different mechanisms of the theory, but still agree on the basic "truth" of the theory.

    Since you're trying to wrap your mind around macroevolution, I'd say keep reading (info on both sides of the debate), keep thinking. Get a good understanding of the theory. Learn about how evidence for the theory has only increased over time.

    Cheers!

    Thanks mate! I appreciate it!
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Evolution...well, there's so much crap about it on the internet that has a predetermined POV. I'd actually suggest looking for a standard historical geology textbook if you want to find a relatively non-baised scientific POV on the topic. Such textbooks have to pass muster by college professors, or they won't sell.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    Here is a great episode of NOVA where they address intelligent design, which is where most if not all of the anti-evolution sites are coming from.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

    Here's another about the origins of the Theory of evolution

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/darwins-darkest-hour.html
    DaltheJigsaw
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    person said:

    Here is a great episode of NOVA where they address intelligent design, which is where most if not all of the anti-evolution sites are coming from.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

    Here's another about the origins of the Theory of evolution

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/darwins-darkest-hour.html

    Thank you!
  • ArthurbodhiArthurbodhi Veteran
    edited August 2012
    OK, this is my opinion. I believe that evolution is a fact , evolution is what living being do in long period of of time to get better chances to survive. But this don't said anything about how life started and that is different issue.

    Also I think that is very posible that Big Bang was what cause our known universe. But this don't said anything about was cause Big Bang or if exist or not something before that.

    I found the multiverse theory really interesting, for know is a little science fiction but this is starting to gain strength actually. What do you think about this scenario?
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran

    OK, this is my opinion. I believe that evolution is a fact , evolution is what living being do in long period of of time to get better chances to survive. But this don't said anything about how life started and that is different issue.

    Also I think that is very posible that Big Bang was what cause our known universe. But this don't said anything about was cause Big Bang or if exist or not something before that.

    I found the multiverse theory really interesting, for know is a little science fiction but this is starting to gain strength actually. What do you think about this scenario?

    Perhaps? Is it also called Hollow Earth? I don't know, but most of the information that comes for Hollow Earth being a fact/theory is from New Age arena. So it's hard to really take it seriously? But I would not be surprised if it's a fact. I used to be part of the New Age movement.
  • ArthurbodhiArthurbodhi Veteran
    edited August 2012
    LeonBasin said:

    OK, this is my opinion. I believe that evolution is a fact , evolution is what living being do in long period of of time to get better chances to survive. But this don't said anything about how life started and that is different issue.

    Also I think that is very posible that Big Bang was what cause our known universe. But this don't said anything about was cause Big Bang or if exist or not something before that.

    I found the multiverse theory really interesting, for know is a little science fiction but this is starting to gain strength actually. What do you think about this scenario?

    Perhaps? Is it also called Hollow Earth? I don't know, but most of the information that comes for Hollow Earth being a fact/theory is from New Age arena. So it's hard to really take it seriously? But I would not be surprised if it's a fact. I used to be part of the New Age movement.
    Eh, no. Hollow Earth hypothesis is just pseudoscience IMHO, and not a good one. With multiverse I mean Multiple Universes or Parallel Universes that actually is supported for string and M theories. Some scientists said that some proofs for this could be found in the Cosmic microwave background radiation.

    This article explain all this better than I :

    http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/8/3/a-lead-in-the-search-for-a-multiverse

    DaltheJigsaw
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    Great theory, in my opinion.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran

    LeonBasin said:

    OK, this is my opinion. I believe that evolution is a fact , evolution is what living being do in long period of of time to get better chances to survive. But this don't said anything about how life started and that is different issue.

    Also I think that is very posible that Big Bang was what cause our known universe. But this don't said anything about was cause Big Bang or if exist or not something before that.

    I found the multiverse theory really interesting, for know is a little science fiction but this is starting to gain strength actually. What do you think about this scenario?

    Perhaps? Is it also called Hollow Earth? I don't know, but most of the information that comes for Hollow Earth being a fact/theory is from New Age arena. So it's hard to really take it seriously? But I would not be surprised if it's a fact. I used to be part of the New Age movement.
    Eh, no. Hollow Earth hypothesis is just pseudoscience IMHO, and not a good one. With multiverse I mean Multiple Universes or Parallel Universes that actually is supported for string and M theories. Some scientists said that some proofs for this could be found in the Cosmic microwave background radiation.

    This article explain all this better than I :

    http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/8/3/a-lead-in-the-search-for-a-multiverse

    Ahh! I see what you mean! Thank you!!
  • B5CB5C Veteran
    edited August 2012




    Sorry, to burst your bubble. Evolution IS AN FACT. Heck Evolution through natural selection is the bed rock of biology.





    "Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place." ~ Bill Nye

    If you have time to read these would be my recommendations:

    image
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Greatest-Show-Earth-Evolution/dp/1416594787

    image
    http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Ghost-Origin-Species-Updated/dp/0345422775/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345966560&sr=1-2&keywords=Darwin's+Ghost

    The author basically updates Darwin's "Origin's of Species" with the latest evidence.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    B5C said:





    Sorry, to burst your bubble. Evolution IS AN FACT. Heck Evolution through natural selection is the bed rock of biology.





    "Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place." ~ Bill Nye

    If you have time to read these would be my recommendations:

    image
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Greatest-Show-Earth-Evolution/dp/1416594787

    image
    http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Ghost-Origin-Species-Updated/dp/0345422775/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345966560&sr=1-2&keywords=Darwin's+Ghost

    The author basically updates Darwin's "Origin's of Species" with the latest evidence.

    Thank you!
    Interesting stuff! If you find more, please let me know.
  • Natural selection seems easy enough to understand. That's the real process.
    I agree. Though I think a lot of people struggle with the immense time scales involved.
  • andyrobynandyrobyn Veteran
    edited August 2012
    If it helps dispel the damage which results from an approach which upholds a belief in creation which I see many describe as having experienced, then such works are useful indeed :bowdown:
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    Natural selection seems easy enough to understand. That's the real process.
    I agree. Though I think a lot of people struggle with the immense time scales involved.
    Exactly!!
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    B5C said:







    Bowties are cool. ;)
    VastmindB5C
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    Leon, the only real difference between micro evolution and macro evolution is the vast amount of time involved in macro evolution. Like understanding that a river carries sediment along with it then understanding when that happens over hundreds of thousands or millions of years you can get the Grand Canyon.

    image
    VastmindDaltheJigsaw
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited August 2012
    B5C said:

    Sorry, to burst your bubble. Evolution IS AN FACT. Heck Evolution through natural selection is the bed rock of biology.

    Personally, I agree with Stephen Jay Gould that evolution is both a fact and a theory. That change in molecules, organisms, and species over time happens is fairly evident. But the full workings of the evolutionary process, and hence the theory first propose by Darwin, isn't fully mapped out, and certain mechanisms of evolution are still in question. It's a work in progress. As Gould puts it in his article, "Evolution as Fact and Theory":
    In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is "only" a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science—that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

    Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, "fact" does not mean "absolute certainty." The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory—natural selection—to explain the mechanism of evolution. He wrote in The Descent of Man: "I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change. . . . Hence if I have erred in . . . having exaggerated its [natural selection's] power . . . I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations."

    Thus Darwin acknowledged the provisional nature of natural selection while affirming the fact of evolution. The fruitful theoretical debate that Darwin initiated has never ceased. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Darwin's own theory of natural selection did achieve a temporary hegemony that it never enjoyed in his lifetime. But renewed debate characterizes our decade, and, while no biologist questions the importance of natural selection, many doubt its ubiquity. In particular, many evolutionists argue that substantial amounts of genetic change may not be subject to natural selection and may spread through the populations at random. Others are challenging Darwin's linking of natural selection with gradual, imperceptible change through all intermediary degrees; they are arguing that most evolutionary events may occur far more rapidly than Darwin envisioned.
    DaltheJigsaw
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Jason, I think you've hit it right on the head. Evolution is. Period. That doesn't mean we understand every aspect of it fully. And, of course, those who want to argue against it will point out the "missing links" of evolution...and there are many (not just in the lineage of man). But, as time goes by, the missing links slowly disappear as we find more and more fossil species that fill in the gap. Back when I was at university (in the early 1970s), the first resource we would consult when working in invertebrate paleontology was "Index Fossils Of North America" -- one of those really big old books you think of when you conceptualize a dusty old-fashioned library. It was published back in 1944, and is still probably the most respected work on invertebrate fossils in the world. And yet, even in the early 1970s --30 years after the initial publication -- we would sometimes have to go to a newer resource when we were stumped after a week's field experience. And it would be even more so today.



    JasonMaryAnne
  • I have a doubt. Buddhists have concepts like karma, dharma etc. did these concepts 'evolve' as humans or other life forms evolved, or were they always present?
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited August 2012
    music said:

    I have a doubt. Buddhists have concepts like karma, dharma etc. did these concepts 'evolve' as humans or other life forms evolved, or were they always present?

    That's a good question. As concepts, I'd say that they've surely evolved, just like the theory of evolution has. Looking back at the teachings on karma (literally 'action'), for example, we can see how they've evolved, becoming more sophisticated and refined with each new revision over time, e.g., the Buddha's ideas about karma added onto those of the Jains and Brahmins.

    The Jains held that actions from the past determine present feelings of pleasure and pain, while present actions determine future pleasure and pain (i.e., the straight line theory of causality). The Buddha, on the other hand, took the position that our experience of the present is conditioned by both past and present actions (i.e., the non-linear theory of causality) (e.g., see MN 101). In addition, he connected actions with intentions (cetana) (AN 6.63), and argued that intentional actions carry more weight in terms of morality and the degree in which they influence our lives than unintentional actions (MN 56).

    Whether karma as a universal principle exists independently of our conception of it is another question; although I think it can be argued that the teachings on karma seek to describes a process that exists as a natural law or principle of causality that takes place in the mental realm influencing the growth and development of consciousness and our experience of the present, just as the theory of evolution seeks to explain a process that exists as a natural law or principle of causality in the physical realm influencing the change in molecules, organisms, and species over time.
    music
  • Thanks, Jason. Another question related to this. Consider the age of reptiles. Surely liberation or nirvana wouldn't have applied in that age, to those creatures. So for millions of years ... no such thing as liberation, and then boom! Humans arrive and then liberation suddenly becomes an objective. Isn't this odd?
    vinlyn
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    Not really. For one, nibbana is said to be timeless, unconditioned, etc. Liberation is inclining the mind towards nibbana, the deathless element (amata-dhatu), and the destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion (SN 38.1), so while it may have been difficult for reptiles millions of years ago (or even today) to experience awakening, liberation, or whatever you want to call it, nibbana has always been there to be realized. Now, whether this or true or not, I can't say; but I think this idea is kind of like our understanding of gravity. Gravity itself has been a part of our universe since the very beginning, and it's a safe assumption that neither early reptiles or even humans realize this force of nature for what it was until probably around the late16th century. Gravity was always there, it's just that nobody realized it for what it was or had developed the mental capabilities to look for it and apprehend it. Same with nibbana.
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