The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Nathanael on May 20, 2006, 08:25:11 am



Title: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 20, 2006, 08:25:11 am
These guy make the comics and sell them. But they also let u read the entire things on the website.

Heres a link to a good one.
http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp

Heres a link to thier entire archive of the booklets.
http://www.chick.com/catalog/tractlist.asp

They also make books some comic. Heres my favorite.
http://www.chick.com/reading/books/150/150cont.asp

Heres thier archive of non booklet yet still readable books.
http://www.chick.com/reading/?wpc=reading/default.asp

Unfortunately not all thier books can be read. Im not sure but i dont think their the publishers of all the books they sell but hey dont know.

Just thought i should share this cool website with you guys.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on May 20, 2006, 09:13:31 am
See Wikipedia's article on Chick Publications (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_Publications) for a less biased description of this fundamentalist propaganda site.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 20, 2006, 06:21:24 pm
Ahh biased... Hmm I guess I did come out with that as a bit biased. Not telling you guys that it was a christian site. But now consider this if I did tell you, would you clicked the link and atleast checked it out? Now with me not saying that it was christian. Thier would be a much higher chance, that you would click atleast one of the links. So all you could lose is 5 minutes of your time. But if what you could gain was freedom.

P.S. If anyone has arguements towards the companies claims please say so. (Yes i know im opening myself to being critized and insulted. But im willing to pay that to atleast get a chance to prove what chick puplications say.)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on May 21, 2006, 02:11:14 am
Referring to Chick as "Christian" is like referring to the Taleban as "Muslim"; both are fundamentalists with such an extreme interpretation of their religion that they even turn against their fellow believers (in Chick's case, e.g. Catholics). One thing that counts in Chick's favour, though, is that his chosen weapon is the pen, not the sword, and his comics actually redeem themselves by having some entertainment value for the critical reader; I initially thought they were parodies of American fundamentalist thinking. However, I'm concerned about the effect of these Chick tracts on the young and impressionable.

If you feel you've found your path to salvation, good for you. I'm just telling you to keep your mind open, because I can't believe that the road to salvation has to go through hate, ignorance and paranoid fantasy; it seems contrary to my Christian upbringing.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 21, 2006, 04:24:15 am
Well i wanted to say so much to that comment but ill limit myself to 1 question.

"How do you get to heaven?"


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 21, 2006, 06:20:59 am
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Well i wanted to say so much to that comment but ill limit myself to 1 question. "How do you get to heaven?"

Easy, take the stairs. Now I have some questions for you, Nathanael. . .


Question 1) Apparently the Devil uses D&D to keep teens from having sex, resulting in homicidal/suicidal madness. And according to this quote:

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No Brad!. . . The Lord took her home with a fever!

God kills innocents outright. So who do you think is worse?


Question 2) Why are moon worshipping muslims much worse than sun worshipping christians (especially since the moon got bitch slapped by gaia)?


Question 3) In reference to this quote:

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And remember, Frank, Jesus is God almighty.

Isn't Jesus the son of God? So God is his own father and son, and Mary is the Mother and wife of them both? Is this in any way creepy?


Question 4) In reference to this quote:

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Bye Helen. . .When you're at the hair dresser don't forget to lift up the lord.

How is it that D&D can drive people over the edge, but not this missionary's bullshit? Is it all the dice rolling, or the lack of sex?


Question 5) In reference to this quote:

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Helen said she was too busy to clean up the house. . .Lord, I'm going to clean this place up for YOU!

Is this man getting enough medication? Or is he with the Scientologists when it comes to psychiatry?


Question 6) Is the American real estate bubble's collapse effecting waterfront prices in heaven? What are my chances of retiring there, and if they are good, is there a dress code? In the heaven pics and ads, they always show everyone wearing their birthday suits, and yet earthly christians so hate nudity, I'm not really sure what to wear.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on May 21, 2006, 01:43:13 pm
Easy, take the stairs.

Now, lets be realistic, stairs might only get you up some 8000meters or so. What you need is something like a Saturn 5 rocket. Hmm OR, you can try hiking with some Syreen... might not be 72 virgins, but ideally you can still get as many as 40! Let's just hope they don't turn out to all be assimilated Druuge and Ilwrath... I mean eew.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Vux_Brush on May 21, 2006, 02:34:17 pm

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"How do you get to heaven?"

If there's a heaven, I doubt an inmensely wise being would really require so much rules(very in the human style and way  often childish thinking) the human has invented...During many eras, to keep good control of society...specially the poor masses.

No, frankly, am not against religion(i never laugh or insult it, even when I see fundamentalism). I wouldn't even have a bet on what exists or not... But thinking there would be a need to accomplish certain "rules" which are far (ie: sex, accomplishing certain church guidelines(and not every church have same ones... not even in same country,leave alone among different confessions...)) from being related to what is evil/cruelty.

It allways kept me thoughtful how many censorship powers do think is ok to put the good guy killing the bad buddy when he's defenseless in the floor with a lot of bullets,(just because the other guy is convinced he's the bad one) but is banned and persecuted a poor great singer because she shows a bit of her nice body...grrrr...

If u have read at some moment of your life with attention the bible, specially Jesus life, you'd recognize the real only message is about plain heart "quality" .Rules, and stuff were invented much later on , specially at middle ages, but it went worse in a bit late on times...Specially in places like Spain(inquisition.That was the church, too)... Saint Paul said "love and do whatever..." .

Heck , the man didn't know how much "updates" certain buddies where going to add to what was an stable kernel...

Much of what  is thought as to be written in stone, was imposed by some random decission by church, which after all is made by humans, and rules are human rules.  IMO a christian would only need the main guidline stated very clear along Jesus life.

I am not speaking from a religious of faith point of view. But an non partial point of view.This could be said by someone believing, or a person who likes history, or just anyone which can read using the brain. (i wont clarify my position, of course...But to leave clear I respect fully  any religion.  Be it muslim, budism, christian...etc. )

Other than that, the drawing level is good. yet some errors in proportions I notice, specially in the mother.

Oh, btw, there are many points u really don't know which guy is wanted to be presented as the good guy...the blond guy looks a lot like a psyco in moments ;)






Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on May 21, 2006, 02:48:21 pm
"How do you get to heaven?"
Leaving aside the discussion of whether heaven exists, I think we can both agree that "Don't be evil." is a good answer to that question. The problem seems to be that we have different definitions of evil, and your's (or at least, Chick's) seems to include a lot of seemingly healthy and positive behaviour including role-playing games, music and many forms of sexual intercourse. Why would God hate these things?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 21, 2006, 08:22:24 pm
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Now, lets be realistic, stairs might only get you up some 8000meters or so. What you need is something like a Saturn 5 rocket

Nah, you just need to build a carbon nanostructured tower, and build a spiral staircase around that. Only those who stay in peak physical condition will make it to the top, so everyone who wants to be saved must get their asses out of church and onto a stairmaster. Unless you've built a church into a Saturn 5.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Neonlare on May 21, 2006, 09:54:11 pm
"How do you get to heaven?"
Leaving aside the discussion of whether heaven exists, I think we can both agree that "Don't be evil." is a good answer to that question. The problem seems to be that we have different definitions of evil, and your's (or at least, Chick's) seems to include a lot of seemingly healthy and positive behaviour including role-playing games, music and many forms of sexual intercourse. Why would God hate these things?

He doesn't. The Bible tries to incourage creativity, this Chick person is just acting like an extroverted fanatic, because if music is evil, why are there church hymns?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: NECRO-99 on May 22, 2006, 03:20:24 am
Isn't Jesus the son of God? So God is his own father and son, and Mary is the Mother and wife of them both? Is this in any way creepy?

This (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=hypostasis) is the term used to describe such a state. This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypostasis_%28religion%29) is a deeper look at said definition, should the curiousity prove too much to resist. Mary is purported to be a virgin mother, and I don't think God technically 'married' her. The wife of God is the Church, but I digress.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on May 22, 2006, 09:20:11 am
"Don't be evil."

Evil is subjective though, to you, a group, a majority or to a god. From what I've gathered, God allmighty will forgive sins, it's all about embracing Jesus. Hitler could have gone to heaven if he had embraced Jesus during his last hours. For some reason God, despite loving hunams, is unable to save people from hell unless they 'link up' with Jesus. Reason? No clue, but some guesses:

a. God is unable to. (He's not omnipotent.)
b. God doesn't want to. (He's an ass.)
c. God wants us to decide. (He's an ass, see below)
switch (choice) {
case Jesus: Goto Heaven;
case Satan: Goto Hell;
default: Goto Hell; // the ass part!
}

d. Christianity needs the meme to reproduce.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on May 22, 2006, 09:47:29 am
Of course in the case of Pastafarism, which, mind you, should be taken just as seriously as any other religion, you'd have to follow the eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts", wear pirate outfits and/or say "Arrr" every once in a while. ... so... ... Arrr! Arrr!!!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 26, 2006, 05:22:27 am
Hmm it wont let me qoute so gonna have to tell it manually.

1. Where do you get it that the Devil uses D&D to keep people from doin those sins? Plus thiers the problem that all he is doin is preparing the people to worship him. Which makes it harder for christians to preach to them.

1.5- God gave us that innocent life to begin with, and secondly he just takes us home. Well not the sinners.

2. I musta been home sick the day that memo got passed around. I dont worship the Sun.

3. First like to say,as far as i know only Catholics believe in Mary being the mother of God.
God is a trinity. God the Father, God the Son, And God the Holy Ghost, and they are one. Thier is no Mother Mary.

4. You would kill ureself if someone tried to preach to you?

5. He's just doing what the Lord would want him too.

6. Seems to be more then one question. So here in parts.
 6.1- Well dont know if thiers waterfront property up thier but if thier is, i dont think its gonna effect the price.
 6.2- Real good if you love God.
 6.3- I dont have the Faintest idea. ;D

Now for Vux_Brush
Yes i know of these killings. And i agree they are not right.The Bible sais, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies,  bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

You say that it only teaches love and it didnt say rules, well I say ure bending the words. Yes alot is about love but how he teaches it, shows that you must follow how he sais to love. But he also sais plain out rules. The most important one being, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me."

Qoute by Vux_Brush "Heck , the man didn't know how much "updates" certain buddies where going to add to what was an stable kernel..."

Huh?

Any rules found in the Bible are made by GOD.

Now for Novus.

1. The main point is we must repent to Jesus and believe in him,AND follow his rules. But the main point is to repent to Jesus. Now im gonna go 1 by of the items you asked why God hated.

2. Role Playing Games. Its the Magic. For all you know u might be putting a spell on ureself when you perform a Revive spell or something. You werent thier at creation, neither was I but thats why I try to stay away from that stuff now. Its just really risky to mess with fire.

3. Music. Alot of forms of music is usually cursed by Druids while its still in warehouse. (NOT ALL FORMS OUR EVIL. You guys are saying that Chick claims God hates all music, please show me where he sais that.

4. Sexual Intercourse. He doesnt hate that, if ure married its alright. Now commiting Adultry and Fornication he hates. I dont know why, but because he sais dont do it, I dont.

You guys want to live in sin all ure lives on Earth, and not follow God like he commanded. And then u want him to let u in heaven when u die?!! Why do you think he sent his only begotten son Jesus? It was to pay for our sins so Satan no longer owns us. But we can only be freed from Satan if we accept Christ.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on May 26, 2006, 01:27:42 pm
1. The main point is we must repent to Jesus and believe in him,AND follow his rules. But the main point is to repent to Jesus. Now im gonna go 1 by of the items you asked why God hated.
Right. Meaning acting immorally or morally is irrelevent, as noted in tracts Flight 144 (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0041/0041_01.asp) and The Execution (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0027/0027_01.asp). On the other hand this Chick (and, apparently, you) is saying that immoral behaviour of the forms we've discussed lead to burning in Hell.

The only consistent way to read this I can think of is that anything goes as long as you believe in Jesus at least at the last minute. This interpretation I reject as immoral and harmful to yourself and others.

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2. Role Playing Games. Its the Magic. For all you know u might be putting a spell on ureself when you perform a Revive spell or something. You werent thier at creation, neither was I but thats why I try to stay away from that stuff now. Its just really risky to mess with fire.
So you're actually suggesting that magic exists and playing RPGs can cause you to inadvertently cast harmful spells? In my experience, playing RPGs correlates with high intelligence and success in life; most active role-players in Finland seem to be college students (as evidenced by the large amount of student-run role-playing groups). If anything, the RPGs seem to be having a positive effect. I see no evidence of harmful magic.

Just for the sake of argument, how do we know that Christian worship does not have similar side effects? The divorce statistics (http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm) certainly don't rule that out.

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3. Music. Alot of forms of music is usually cursed by Druids while its still in warehouse. (NOT ALL FORMS OUR EVIL. You guys are saying that Chick claims God hates all music, please show me where he sais that.
Cursed by druids? I'm not sure how to respond to that one; again, I'm not convinced effective curses exist. As for hating all music, I don't believe I said that; the point is that several popular classes of music are classified as "sinful" for no apparent reason. I can (in a way) understand why groups like Lordi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lordi) are accused of devil worship, but tract Angels (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0034/0034_01.asp) pretty much attacks all of popular music with no facts to back it up.

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4. Sexual Intercourse. He doesnt hate that, if ure married its alright. Now commiting Adultry and Fornication he hates. I dont know why, but because he sais dont do it, I dont.
You're missing my point completely. My Church doesn't have a problem with pre- and extramarital sex nor homosexuality; i.e. they're saying God doesn't say it's evil. You're saying He does. How am I supposed to know which one of you is giving us God's will straight (pun not intended)?

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You guys want to live in sin all ure lives on Earth, and not follow God like he commanded. And then u want him to let u in heaven when u die?!! Why do you think he sent his only begotten son Jesus? It was to pay for our sins so Satan no longer owns us. But we can only be freed from Satan if we accept Christ.
Actually, for the purpose of this discussion, I'm not questioning that; as far as I can tell, you're the one arguing that sin doesn't matter as long as you repent. I'm questioning the definition of "sin"; what I'm trying to argue is that many of the things you are arguing against aren't sinful and trying to take them away violates the basic Christian idea of "love your neighbour".


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 26, 2006, 10:14:46 pm
Ok 1 point i didnt think of making clear last time is this. Role Playing Games with magic and Evil Magic, im not sure if thats a sin. But it is designed to either cause misery or to keep u from christ. The main point of staying away from those two is so u dont have to mess with demons AS MUCH. When either being preached too or already saved but just beggining, Demons try thier very hardest to keep u or to pry u away from Christ. Life is full of Temptations.

Now about the conflicts of what me and ure church say. Heres my proof ill take it out of the Bible, with the verses so u can check it ureself if u like.

1. Fornication
 1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

2. Adultery
 Exodus 2:14 "Thou shalt not commit adultery"
 Matthew 5:27-28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart."

3. Homesexuality
 Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination"


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 26, 2006, 10:21:25 pm
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1.5- God gave us that innocent life to begin with, and secondly he just takes us home. Well not the sinners.

Well since you know that he gave us life, you must know who gave him life? Obviously something as complex as a god must have been the product of intelligent design, right?


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3. Music. Alot of forms of music is usually cursed by Druids while its still in warehouse.

So the descendents of the old Celtic religion's priest caste now just go around writing/cursing music, to aid Satan or Satyros or whoever (characters of Hebrew/Christian and Greek religions?)


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4. You would kill ureself if someone tried to preach to you?

Well, if D&D could send me into a suicidal spiral, I'm sure having to listen too that crazy old coot would have a similar effect.


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5. He's just doing what the Lord would want him too.

Yea, sort of like the Son of Sam spree killer was doing what is dog told him to do.


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1. The main point is we must repent to Jesus and believe in him,AND follow his rules. But the main point is to repent to Jesus. Now im gonna go 1 by of the items you asked why God hated.

So you can kill a bunch of innocents, repent, and everything is all nicy nice again? What if one of the victim's famliy members kills this now good christian? Will they go to hell if they don't repent for killing him?


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Role Playing Games. Its the Magic. For all you know u might be putting a spell on ureself when you perform a Revive spell or something. You werent thier at creation, neither was I but thats why I try to stay away from that stuff now. Its just really risky to mess with fire.

Okay so:

1) Magic is real and very powerful?

2) Magic can be used by accident, by rolling dice?

4) A revive spell can hurt you (isn't it supposed to do the opposite?)

5) The creation of everything was done by god using magic? God uses magic?


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You guys want to live in sin all ure lives on Earth, and not follow God like he commanded. And then u want him to let u in heaven when u die?!!

Try to understand, that why you were taught that the bible is the source of universal knowledge, it has many competitors. There's plenty who say christianity leads you down a false path. So why should we believe you over every other religious person, scientists, philosophers, etc.?


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Just for the sake of argument, how do we know that Christian worship does not have similar side effects? The divorce statistics certainly don't rule that out.

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Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significently higher than for other faith groups, and for Atheists and Agnostics.

Haha, after all that talk about family values and relationships reinforced by god worship. If you ask me, it is because we don't put our love into what we feel is/could/probably be an imaginary friend, but instead care about those around us that really matter.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 12:15:29 am
Response to Deus_Siddis

1. Thier was no Evolution and no one created God. He was simply thier. How do u think we came to be? Or how matter was just thier for the supposed Big Bang?

2. Druids and Satan worshipers yes i dont know if they are direct descendants of the old Celtic Religions though.

3. Hmm i cant answer that.

4. Excuse me that has nothing to do with a man wanting to help out. And according to the Bible whatever we do, do it in the Glory of God.

5. yes he will be saved if he TRULY IS SORRY FOR IT and repents. And yes if a family member of one of the victims kills the murderer and doesnt repent, he will be in sin. Vengeance is the lords not Mans.

6.1 Yes
6.2 I dont think so not by just dice but i wouldnt know.
6.3 In the game if its a Revive it might heal u in the game. But it "COULD" be an evil spell in real life.
6.4 Yes, but dont confuse that with Satans magic. Any magic that doesnt come from God is evil.

7. God has proven himself. Too many Prophesies have come true. Now i feel that i should say this. If ever it becomes law to have a mark or somethin stuck in ure Forehead or Arm. Then u know its the times of the Tribulations. Now plz dont dismiss it if u dont see people being Raptured. I personally dont believe all Christians will be raptured before the Tribulations. I do remember the Bible saying that a certain church will be taken away from the great time of tempation though. I believe the church was called Phillidelphia, ill have to look into that again. But it might be some people will leave others wont.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on May 27, 2006, 02:17:27 am
Funny. I park at a church, and today I found a leaflet on my car that was a mini comic book about why not to put off bringing jesus into your life.

I find these sort of things to be a curiousity, and of course I always grab a pocket bible when the gideons pass them out.

Thing is, I'm jewish, so it's not like these are going to have much of an effect on me.  :P


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 02:22:22 am
Ooh ooh a Jewish Guy. Ive always wondered one thing do u guys still sacrifice animals? If not why? How do u get ure sins forgiven?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on May 27, 2006, 02:36:41 am
 :-\ Of course not. The ritual of the sacrifice was long ago replaced with breaking bread.

Sins are forgiven on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. It comes a few weeks after the jewish new year, Rosh Hashannah. In the days between, you are supposed to think of what you have done wrong and try to set things right, especially by apologizing/reconciling with those you've wronged. Then on Yom Kippur, the congregation convenes for services and asks for forgiveness from god.

There is also a ritual known as Tashlich, which is done right after the new year services. Jews congregate by running water and cast bread crumbs into the stream, reciting sins they have committed and asking for forgiveness. The breadcrumbs then wash away, with the symbolic hope that the sins will be washed away as well- atoned for and forgiven.

From talking with my christian friends, I noticed a difference between our concepts of sin. Christianity seems to cast sin as something you are born with, as a taint of the soul which will be forgiven by god if you accept christ as your savior.

In Judaism... well, the Hebrew word that is usually translated to the english "sin" is actually the same as a term from archery. Missing the mark. So, when you make a mistake, that's what it is: a mistake, an error in judgement. Not a taint of your soul. You still ask for forgiveness and try to set things right, but I think there's a different mentality about it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 02:40:31 am
Now im curious why u guys started doing that?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 27, 2006, 03:37:57 am
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2. Druids and Satan worshipers yes i dont know if they are direct descendants of the old Celtic Religions though.

Satan is some sort of middle-eastern daemon, but the druids were the priest caste of the ancient celts.


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1. Thier was no Evolution and no one created God. He was simply thier. How do u think we came to be?

Maybe I was simply there. Why is it you think humans needed to be created, but not a god? What makes us the obvious work of an "intelligent designer" but not a god?


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Yes, but dont confuse that with Satans magic. Any magic that doesnt come from God is evil.

I think you might be the only christian I've ever known who refers to his god's powers as "magic."


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Now im curious why u guys started doing that?

Hey, isn't that a christian ceremony as well? No one listens to evil unbelievers like me, but I say eat the bread, and sacrifice small arthropods to the mighty cat spirit, Beezer. Why? Because flys and such aren't good eating anyway, and Beezer owns God. And if my words be false, then let God strike down the holy cat spirit with his "mighty" powers (he'll have to work fast though, since beeze is quickly eating himself to death.) :'(

I'll get my dice ready with a revive spell just in case I'm wrong. :)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: TiLT on May 27, 2006, 05:36:02 am
This (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp) is the only proof I need to see that Jack Chick is full of shit.

I'm not even going to try and be diplomatic here. Jack Chick is the very definition of a fundamentalist religious nut. He's the kind of person that starts with the conclusions, then creates or manipulates facts until they match. The only thing he's good for is for laughing about the comic I just linked to. It's so insulting and unfounded that it becomes hilarious.

Frankly, I'm surprised and worried that anyone still takes him seriously.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 27, 2006, 05:56:54 am
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This is the only proof I need to see that Jack Chick is full of shit.

Hehehe, that IS some crazy shit. I wonder though if you can attain magical powers through D&D styled games with RPG elements like Final Fantasy MCCXLIX or Battle for Wesnoth, etc.?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on May 27, 2006, 06:56:09 am
Now im curious why u guys started doing that?
Doing what?

This (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp) is the only proof I need to see that Jack Chick is full of shit.
Ahh... nothing like some good, old-fashioned book burning with an exorcism thrown in for good measure!
Burn that foul 'rock and roll' music!

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The only thing he's good for is for laughing about the comic I just linked to. It's so insulting and unfounded that it becomes hilarious.
Hilarious indeed... the only real way to deal with these kind of people is to laugh at them. Probably the same crowd that wanted to get Harry Potter banned... as if the bible isn't ten times as gruesome and disturbing. Lot's daughters getting him drunk and then having sex with him. (Genesis 19:30-38 (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/19.html)) The man and woman who are skewered outside the Tabernacle with a javelin, because they believed in another god. (Numbers 25:1-9) Slaughtering neighbors because they are unbelievers, etc...

There are some (rather biased) sites that have a sampling of the less lovely parts of the bible (ex. shameless murder (http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm))

My favorite bible site of all, however, is the wonderful Brick Testament (http://www.thebricktestament.com/). Nothing puts things in perspective like lego storyboards!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 06:37:47 pm
Well i cant speak for other churches but my church does not practice that ritual deus. Why other christian churches would practice somethin unscriptual i dont know.

Tilt plz tell how thats proof that Chick is full of shit.

Halleck u gotta remember it isnt Gods fault that Lot's daughters fornicated with Lot. Remember King David as well commited murder and Adultery. And the Bible records it, that doesnt mean it condones it though.

Now what really confuses me is that Jews might not believe the New Testament they do believe the Old testament. And u tried attacking the Bible with something from the Old Testament.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: TiLT on May 27, 2006, 07:52:08 pm
Tilt plz tell how thats proof that Chick is full of shit.

If you have to ask, you'll never understand.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 08:02:08 pm
Try Me.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: TiLT on May 27, 2006, 08:22:28 pm
No seriously. Everything that is wrong about the comic I linked to should be so blatantly obvious that there's no need to tell anyone about it unless they are hardwired to not understand. So there's no point in me trying to explain it to you, as you won't understand it anyway.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 08:27:24 pm
But the things in that tract are very possible.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on May 27, 2006, 08:50:51 pm
Nathanael, you are completely and hoplessly brainwashed, I'm sorry to report. I didn't even read the comic, and I think it's wrong already; just the phrase "book burning" brings up memories of seeing video of Nazi bonfires from the time of the war. How any rational, thinking person can condone something like that is beyond my grasp of understanding, unless they are making a totalitarian grab at power. So yeah, either evil, or just stupid.

I think that's all I'm willing to contribute to this discussion. I've already discussed religion with you in several other topics; go reread those for my take on the subject. And just as a refresher, I'm a scientist and a Jew, and proud to say that I don't find the two in conflict with each other (much). Could you say the same thing? I highly doubt it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: TiLT on May 27, 2006, 09:31:30 pm
But the things in that tract are very possible.

You are either brainwashed, a troll, or both. Either way, I'm done with this thread.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 09:33:07 pm
I dont find any science conflict with the Bible.
When its real science thats proven.

Take the Theory of Evolution for example they try to teach it in schools. Now Whats the most important word in that title? "Theory"

U call ureself a scientist yet u didnt even read the tract and ure against it? I thought Science was about facts? But u dont even give it a chance.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on May 27, 2006, 09:43:28 pm
Halleck u gotta remember it isnt Gods fault that Lot's daughters fornicated with Lot. Remember King David as well commited murder and Adultery. And the Bible records it, that doesnt mean it condones it though.

Now what really confuses me is that Jews might not believe the New Testament they do believe the Old testament. And u tried attacking the Bible with something from the Old Testament.
You're getting me wrong.  I wasn't trying to attack the bible, only to demonstrate that it can be ten times as gruesome and disturbing as stuff like D&D or Harry Potter.  :)

Also... I don't "believe" the old testament in the sense of blindly accepting every word written in it. I see it (the torah or tanach as we call it) as a collection of many centuries worth of collected wisdom and advice codified into law, along with semihistorical accounts, moral tales, and legends. You have to remember it was kept as oral history long before it was ever written down, and stories that are re-told over generations tend to change and get larger than life.

The thing is, some of that stuff just doesn't apply anymore. The torah portion I studied for my Bar Mitzvah, for instance. It said you should not touch chameleons because they are unclean. If a chameleon falls on your earthenware, you must shatter it. If it touches you, you must wash and will not be clean until evening. You are not allowed to eat shellfish, or anything that either doesn't chew its cud or doesn't have cleft hooves. However, certain kinds of grasshopers are clean, and you are permitted to eat them.

It says that men who have injured genitals will not be allowed "into the house of the lord".
It says that if you own a hebrew slave, you must let him go after a certain period of time. If he does not want to go, you must drive an awl through his ear into the door and proclaim him yours forever.
It says that if your brother is married and dies without bearing children, you must offer to marry his wife (your stepsister.) If you don't want to marry her, she must publically spit on you and beat you with a shoe.

It gives advice for when to stone your entire family. It condones the mass slaughtering of enemies and unbelievers. It says that you can't shave off the sides of your head or the sides of your beard. It says you can't yoke an ox and a donkey together.

At best, some of this stuff just doesn't apply anymore. At worst, some of it is clearly immoral by modern standards (genocide.) What I try to take away from the bible is the wisdom and morality contained within its stories. I do not blindly accept it as infallible.

Take the Theory of Evolution for example they try to teach it in schools. Now Whats the most important word in that title? "Theory"
Oh please... don't even start on that intelligent design bullshit.
In science, "theory" mean's we're pretty damn sure. Not like in other things, like me saying "my theory is that if I wake up on the left side of the bed I'm going to have a better day."


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Nathanael on May 27, 2006, 10:24:14 pm
Well right now im not too studied into Jewish law. So im not gonna fight that "FOR NOW"

Excuse me Science is based on Exacts and theories. And what are u saying "intelligent design Bullshit?" Do u not believe in God? Why do u do all those rituals then?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on May 27, 2006, 11:23:59 pm
WHAT???...you mean I stoned my entire family to death all for nothing??? Doh!

I'm just really slow at getting some stuff. Yesterday I finally realized that Pin-Up means to put up on the wall with a pin. I always thought it was something with the pose of the girl looking 'pinned'-up somehow. Also, for the longest time I thought Troll meant.. well, you know the big creature thing, but then I realized it's actually a fishing term... I used to fish by trolling so it's strange how I never got it until just recently. Of course, being Swedish means that I'm indoctrinated with English from the media, sometimes without knowing what stuff mean or come from, then I never get around to questioning it.

...well look at me, I'm just babbling my time away... now if you excuse me, I'm burning an ox in my garden, I think I'm going to put it out. God really needs to be better at writing clear and concise memos for his updates. What's next, my slaves are not my property?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on May 28, 2006, 12:48:50 am
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now if you excuse me, I'm burning an ox in my garden, I think I'm going to put it out.

You could always eat him, he's got hooves with no split or whatnot.


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What's next, my slaves are not my property?

Depends, are they D&D players?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on May 28, 2006, 02:19:26 am
Well right now im not too studied into Jewish law. So im not gonna fight that "FOR NOW"
Need a reference? Try The Bible. Old Testament, Books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

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Excuse me Science is based on Exacts and theories. And what are u saying "intelligent design Bullshit?" Do u not believe in God? Why do u do all those rituals then?
If you'd like to know what I think about intelligent design, read this paper:
http://eliot.bambi.net/eliot/Personal/intel_design_web.pdf

I tried to research and present both sides of the issue as fully as possible, but I could not come to any conclusion other than the fact that intelligent design is a load of crap.

I'm fine with people believing whatever they want. I'm fine with creationists, even. If they decide to ignore the findings of modern science, that's their choice. But when they try to inflict those beliefs upon others... or, in the case of intelligent design, market it as science and try to get it taught in public school as if it were science, I get pissed off. Doesn't anybody remember about seperation of church and state?

And please do not respond until you've at least skimmed my paper. I do present the case for intelligent design, I just don't agree with it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 09, 2006, 11:44:39 pm
1. Fornication
 1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

2. Adultery
 Exodus 2:14 "Thou shalt not commit adultery"
 Matthew 5:27-28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart."

3. Homesexuality
 Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination"
Out of Nathanael's arguments, this one seemed the most well founded, so I did some more digging around on the subject.

It took a while to sort out my church's position on these matters, but 1 Corinthians is pretty clear on the subject (essentially "Don't have sex. If you must have sex, marry someone of the opposite sex and have sex with him/her only until death do you part."), and is used to justify promoting heterosexual marriage over other sexual relationships; however, it is usually read more as a suggestion to favour traditional marriage than as an outright prohibition against e.g. same-sex relationships.

Lutheran churches in e.g. Sweden go further by actually blessing same-sex "marriages" (although they tend to avoid the term); in Finland this is still being debated. This weaker interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6-7 seems to be justified mostly by the tenet of "reinterpreting the Bible to fit modern society" (essentially, mixing modern liberalism with Christianity). Arguably, Nathanael's position in this matter is the Christian position, especially if you take the Bible to define Christianity. Besides, changing your values to fit society's norms sounds more like pragmatic populism to me than pure faith.

In conclusion, I'd say that faith, although not very useful in deciding what is factually right or wrong, is, in some form at least, necessary to tell what is morally right or wrong. In other words, morals must have an axiomatic foundation; they can not be based on observation alone.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on June 19, 2006, 07:58:31 pm
It took a while to sort out my church's position on these matters, but 1 Corinthians is pretty clear on the subject (essentially "Don't have sex. If you must have sex, marry someone of the opposite sex and have sex with him/her only until death do you part."), and is used to justify promoting heterosexual marriage over other sexual relationships; however, it is usually read more as a suggestion to favour traditional marriage than as an outright prohibition against e.g. same-sex relationships.
1 Corinthians doesn't tell people, from what I understand, not to have sex, just not to fornicate or commit adultery (which are used almost interchangably in the Bible).  The fact that this is used as an argument in favor of homosexual marriage disturbs me, and says nothing more, as far as I am concerned, says nothing more than that point of view lacks a better biblical argument.  I'm not saying you or they can't believe this, but that it is extrabiblical, and you'd do better admitting it. 

That brings me to a point I'd like to bring up.  It seems to me that, these days, any church you name is allergic to non-biblical references.  Just like some so-called "scientists" reject anything with the word "Bible" in it, there are many religionists who reject anything that doesn't contain that same word.

Why is this?  I think it's because people have stopped speaking to the Lord.  Not that He doesn't want to talk to them any more (and if you believe in just about any scripture, you believe that He talked once to men), but that many religionists and sectarian priests aren't listening any more.  It's like they believe He spoke, but does not speak.

As for the scientists, I think they are just scared of religion because they don't understand it and they don't want to look like preachers.


Lutheran churches in e.g. Sweden go further by actually blessing same-sex "marriages" (although they tend to avoid the term); in Finland this is still being debated. This weaker interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6-7 seems to be justified mostly by the tenet of "reinterpreting the Bible to fit modern society" (essentially, mixing modern liberalism with Christianity). Arguably, Nathanael's position in this matter is the Christian position, especially if you take the Bible to define Christianity. Besides, changing your values to fit society's norms sounds more like pragmatic populism to me than pure faith.
There are some rules that don't apply to a modern society, but a lot of those rules apply to all society, and it takes wisdom and revelation to understand which is which.  I think that this particular rule was intended for all time.

You see, there are some transgressions that are wrong because of the law, not by any moral imperative.  It is not morally evil to drive on the left side of the road... but you'd better not do it in my country!  The law forbids it, and it is quite dangerous.  Is it wrong to drive on the left side of the road?  Only where the law tells you to drive on the right side of the road.

There are other laws that are backed by a more eternal principle.  Is it ever right to murder, to shed innocent blood?  I could argue a time when it is appropriate to kill (someone is tring to kill innocent people, for example, and I can't stop him otherwise), but I can't see that the shedding of innocent blood is ever right.  Is it ever right to steal?  To be unfaithful to one's spouse?  I don't believe it ever is.  Ever.  These are rules that should not sway with the society in which one lives, and changing them is populism, as mentioned above.  I consider this to be wretchedly evil because it can lead so easily to other things.

In conclusion, I'd say that faith, although not very useful in deciding what is factually right or wrong, is, in some form at least, necessary to tell what is morally right or wrong. In other words, morals must have an axiomatic foundation; they can not be based on observation alone.
Amen on that last part.  Though I think most people on earth don't have a clue what faith is.

Faith, to me, denotes both motive and action, not mere belief.  I believe that God will reward me when I obey His laws, and I do so.  Now I can say that I have faith, because I trust this principle enough to act on it.  Violation of either belief or action destroys faith.

This means that everyone has faith in something.  Not necessarily in Jesus Christ, but maybe in the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow.  I can't KNOW (and I'm using a more philosophical definition of KNOW) by human reason that the sun will rise tomorrow, no matter what anyone says.  The fact that it has risen in the past is no indication of future performance.  However, it is not practical to believe that some unknown and hideously powerful force will disrupt the order of this occurence tonight, so we prepare for tomorrow as though it were a reality already.  We make the bed in the morning, expecting to come back that night and sleep in it.  We post notes on the internet, trusting that others will read them.  We read the other notes, trusting that they come from other people.

Without faith, we wouldn't do anything, not for a lack of capability, but a lack of motive.  We certainly wouldn't plant seeds with the faith that they would grow into plants that we could one day eat.  Faith is the belief in things which are not seen, combined with the ensuing action.

If you're still reading this, bravo.  I know it's a long polemic, but it annoys me to see people abusing words so fundamentally important to intelligent discourse on this subject.

Yes, I am Christian (in case the rest of the post didn't give it away).  No, I don't like Jay Chick because he attacks my specific group of Christians (I think we're not "Christian" enough for him.  I guess "Christian" is redefined in his mind as those who share his liberally narrow, literal, and uninspiring interpretation of the Bible and other scriptures), and because he attacks others without provocation.  He even goes so far as to lie and decieve people about all these groups.  Criticism can be good, but not when combined with slanderous remarks (I know, it's libel, really) and with fantastic deceptions.  Unacceptable behavior from anyone, much less someone who professes fellowship with Christ.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 20, 2006, 01:35:41 am
1 Corinthians doesn't tell people, from what I understand, not to have sex, just not to fornicate or commit adultery (which are used almost interchangably in the Bible).  The fact that this is used as an argument in favor of homosexual marriage disturbs me, and says nothing more, as far as I am concerned, says nothing more than that point of view lacks a better biblical argument.  I'm not saying you or they can't believe this, but that it is extrabiblical, and you'd do better admitting it. 
Huh? Please reread what I wrote and 1 Cor 7:8-9. I don't see anyone suggesting that 1 Cor 7-8 is pro-homosexuality; I said that it promotes heterosexuality over other forms.

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Why is this?  I think it's because people have stopped speaking to the Lord.  Not that He doesn't want to talk to them any more (and if you believe in just about any scripture, you believe that He talked once to men), but that many religionists and sectarian priests aren't listening any more.  It's like they believe He spoke, but does not speak.
An interesting interpretation.

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As for the scientists, I think they are just scared of religion because they don't understand it and they don't want to look like preachers.
Religion and science are essentially two opposite ways of looking at the universe. Science, in a nutshell, deals with forming theories about how things are and work and testing these theories through practical observation and experiment. For a theory to be useful, it has to predict something that can be tested and verified; specifically, the theory must be falsifiable. A theory that cannot be disproved by observation is also a useless theory (no matter what happens, the theory still holds).

If you have an omnipotent entity (e.g. the Christian God), anything is possible if he wants it. There's no way to disprove God through observation, because He could have created anything we observe. Also, anything we think we know can be overridden by His whim.

Scientists react to this in many ways, such as:
  • Rejecting religion.
  • Rejecting science.
  • Accepting science as a set of rules of thumb for practical life and religion as a description of the underlying system.

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You see, there are some transgressions that are wrong because of the law, not by any moral imperative.  It is not morally evil to drive on the left side of the road... but you'd better not do it in my country!  The law forbids it, and it is quite dangerous.  Is it wrong to drive on the left side of the road?  Only where the law tells you to drive on the right side of the road.
The way I see it, endangering people is morally wrong ("evil", if you prefer), which means that driving on the wrong side of the road is (more or less, depending on traffic) wrong. Law is merely a formalisation of this; a set of practical guidelines defined by a society to indicate what a society considers moral and how it enforces this behaviour.

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There are other laws that are backed by a more eternal principle.  Is it ever right to murder, to shed innocent blood?  I could argue a time when it is appropriate to kill (someone is tring to kill innocent people, for example, and I can't stop him otherwise), but I can't see that the shedding of innocent blood is ever right. 
I certainly can't think of any convincing scenario to justify that sort of thing.

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Is it ever right to steal?
I think you could make quite a good case for stealing bread to feed your starving children, especially from people directly involved in maintaining an oppressive regime that is directly responsible for the starvation in question. This is not, to my knowledge, an uncommon scenario. In a civilised society, though, such situations should not IMO occur.

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To be unfaithful to one's spouse?  I don't believe it ever is.  Ever.
This one is harder to justify, although a strict preference utilitarian would probably argue that you should go right ahead if it makes you and your partner in crime feel good and your spouse never catches on. Personally, I think this is a good reason not to marry a strict preference utilitarian.

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These are rules that should not sway with the society in which one lives, and changing them is populism, as mentioned above.  I consider this to be wretchedly evil because it can lead so easily to other things.
And that's basically what this discussion is all about. Is 1 Cor 7 a set of suggestions for better living, or a set of strict rules that must be followed to the letter to avoid damnation? Many differences between different forms of Christianity can be reduced to this sort of question. Your stance is, at least, quite clear.

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Amen on that last part.  Though I think most people on earth don't have a clue what faith is.

Faith, to me, denotes both motive and action, not mere belief.  I believe that God will reward me when I obey His laws, and I do so.  Now I can say that I have faith, because I trust this principle enough to act on it.  Violation of either belief or action destroys faith.
Exactly. Once you believe in something and have a set of values; a concept of right and wrong, actions flow from it. If you believe in God and accept His will as your moral compass, you will have a clear path set out for you to follow in many situations.

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This means that everyone has faith in something.  Not necessarily in Jesus Christ, but maybe in the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow.
Actually, that describes quite well the fundamental belief of science: the Universe follows a set of rules. Science is all about figuring out what those rules are. I'm pretty sure the Sun will rise tomorrow, but, once you get down to the basics, it's only really an educated guess that I'm taking on faith. A guess with lots of empirical data behind it, and a necessary one for any sane life, but a guess nonetheless, just like you say.

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Without faith, we wouldn't do anything, not for a lack of capability, but a lack of motive.  We certainly wouldn't plant seeds with the faith that they would grow into plants that we could one day eat.  Faith is the belief in things which are not seen, combined with the ensuing action.

If you're still reading this, bravo.  I know it's a long polemic, but it annoys me to see people abusing words so fundamentally important to intelligent discourse on this subject.
The word "faith" is used in different ways by different people; I use it in the neutral sense of "a belief that requires no evidence". For clarity, I'll capitalise your version of the word. Having Faith requires faith, but the opposite is not (necessarily) true.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on June 20, 2006, 11:22:09 pm
Huh? Please reread what I wrote and 1 Cor 7:8-9. I don't see anyone suggesting that 1 Cor 7-8 is pro-homosexuality; I said that it promotes heterosexuality over other forms.
Ah.  I see.  My bad.
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Religion and science are essentially two opposite ways of looking at the universe. Science, in a nutshell, deals with forming theories about how things are and work and testing these theories through practical observation and experiment. For a theory to be useful, it has to predict something that can be tested and verified; specifically, the theory must be falsifiable. A theory that cannot be disproved by observation is also a useless theory (no matter what happens, the theory still holds).

If you have an omnipotent entity (e.g. the Christian God), anything is possible if he wants it. There's no way to disprove God through observation, because He could have created anything we observe. Also, anything we think we know can be overridden by His whim.

Scientists react to this in many ways, such as:
  • Rejecting religion.
  • Rejecting science.
  • Accepting science as a set of rules of thumb for practical life and religion as a description of the underlying system.
Good observations.  I think that those who want to understand this better would do well to look at what certain Jewish, Muslim and Christian scholars did a thousand years ago to help incorporate Greek ideas into their science without destroying their relgion.  Some of them accepted both without trying to reconcile them, others did something similar to what you listed. 

As for myself, I think that religion and science are not simply two ways of looking at the same things, but I would go so far as to say that they are two points of view (not necessarily dissimilar) looking at entirely different things.  Science looks at the natural, and Religion at the supernatural.  Different religions are different points of view.  By this definition, of course, atheism (the dogmatic belief in no god or in nothing as a god) and agnosicism (the pragmatic, if perhaps lazy, view of ignorance as being acceptable) are religions, because they are ways of looking at the supernatural (denying its existence or its importance).  The creation of the earth is a great example.  Religion endeavors to know the creator, while science attempts to know the creator's methods.  Religion would know the purpose of its creation, while science is more concerned with the mechanics of its function.
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The way I see it, endangering people is morally wrong ("evil", if you prefer), which means that driving on the wrong side of the road is (more or less, depending on traffic) wrong. Law is merely a formalisation of this; a set of practical guidelines defined by a society to indicate what a society considers moral and how it enforces this behaviour.
Right.  The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't matter which side of the road we drive on, as long as we all agree to drive on the same side.  It's a law created not because one side is morally superior to another, but because a civilized group of people require such an agreement.  Why the right side?  Why the left?  There is no moral imperative for a government to choose one over the other, but they had better choose one.
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I think you could make quite a good case for stealing bread to feed your starving children, especially from people directly involved in maintaining an oppressive regime that is directly responsible for the starvation in question. This is not, to my knowledge, an uncommon scenario. In a civilised society, though, such situations should not IMO occur.
This is where we start getting into the debate of socially acceptable vs.  morally right.  IMO, it's vitally important to distinguish between the two, but that's because I don't trust society's moral judgment.  Societies have agreed to many heinous things in our history, even in our recent history, and I'm afraid that if people confuse the two, they will not speak out against society when it goes wrong.  I don't think it's morally right to steal, though I do acknowledge that, in our society, one could make a good case for it in situations like the one mentioned above.

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Personally, I think this is a good reason not to marry a strict preference utilitarian.
Lol.
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And that's basically what this discussion is all about. Is 1 Cor 7 a set of suggestions for better living, or a set of strict rules that must be followed to the letter to avoid damnation? Many differences between different forms of Christianity can be reduced to this sort of question. Your stance is, at least, quite clear.
Thank you.  If anyone needs clarification on what I think, I'll be in my office.

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Actually, that describes quite well the fundamental belief of science: the Universe follows a set of rules. Science is all about figuring out what those rules are. I'm pretty sure the Sun will rise tomorrow, but, once you get down to the basics, it's only really an educated guess that I'm taking on faith. A guess with lots of empirical data behind it, and a necessary one for any sane life, but a guess nonetheless, just like you say.
Science is about figuring out the physical rules that govern us.

Religion is about the moral ones.

Both types are laws that you cannot actually defy.  Gravity, for example, must be taken into account when building a bridge.  An engineer who thinks to ignore it isn't doing anyone a favor.  Granted, the moral laws are less visible, but no less valid.

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The word "faith" is used in different ways by different people; I use it in the neutral sense of "a belief that requires no evidence". For clarity, I'll capitalise your version of the word. Having Faith requires faith, but the opposite is not (necessarily) true.
Thank you for understanding what I'm saying.  Very few people on internet forums do that.

I would say that faith (as opposed to Faith) is a belief that requires no PROOF.  Belief does require some evidence, even if that evidence consists of someone else telling you that it's true, or a written scripture.  Since I consider those to be evidence, I would say that even faith requires evidence, and that Faith requires faith.  Perhaps this is what you meant already, but I'd like it to be clear.

Sometimes, I think that religion is hard to talk about because we lack the words to express all our ideas accurately and satisfactorily.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 21, 2006, 05:58:35 am
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agnosicism (the pragmatic, if perhaps lazy, view of ignorance as being acceptable)

Is it really lazy to not be sure about something? If you are not sure whether you will live to 80 or not, does that make you lazy?

It really doesn't matter if one considers ignorance on a subject acceptable, if no body can prove which belief is the ignorant one. Besides, you can be plenty active in your explorations of other aspects of life (other than "supernatural" beings,) like deciding what one considers to be right or wrong in new, semi complex situations.


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By this definition, of course, atheism (the dogmatic belief in no god or in nothing as a god) and agnosicism (the pragmatic, if perhaps lazy, view of ignorance as being acceptable) are religions, because they are ways of looking at the supernatural (denying its existence or its importance).

I think a religion is something that centers around the belief in supernatural being(s), so neither of those would rank as religions. Also, there are some Agnostics who are such because they simply don't know for certain, not because they don't think it is an important topic. Still others could be confused on what a god actually is supposed to be. The ancient Greek gods did not create the earth (the earth created them, in fact), they could be killed, and their eternal survival depended on Ambosia. The existence of this sort of being does not seem nearly as far fetched as an invisible, all powerful, all knowing, creator of everything that works somewhat cryptically through the natural world and a few prophets amoungst many false ones. There is a tremendous difference between these two definitions, requiring vastly different levels of faith.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 21, 2006, 11:44:42 pm
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I tried to research and present both sides of the issue as fully as possible, but I could not come to any conclusion other than the fact that intelligent design is a load of crap.

Want to know what is a load of crap? A 600 year old man and his three sons building a ship in the middle of the desert, as big as the titanic, out of wood four thousand years ago. Then loading a pair of every animal on earth, (plus sevens of "clean" animals to sacrifice on an alter) surviving a world wide flood for a year then repopulating the entire earth without problems of inbreeding, feeding, disease and predatory animal issues. Then from the mountians of aararat we get polar bears in the arctic, lemurs only found in madagascar and kangaroos only found in austrilia. And all this because of the wrath of god and man's "sin". Why would god do somthing absolutely pointless in the first place? Did the flood really achieve anything if to be believed? Christians MUST believe in ths story because Jesus makes reference to Noah and the deluge during his surmons...


Guess what else is a load of crap... That random chemicals organized themselves into the first dividing cell. That the correct chemicals came together by chance and wrote the DNA codes for all living organisims. DNA code is not called a code for convienience, it literally is a code, a binary represention of 3 dimensional forms (protiens). Each code has to be specifically written with very few variations allowable else it is completely worthless. The cell has "spell checking" machines to make sure each protien chain is built to exacting precision. Protien chains are then used with other protiens wich work togther, so on an so forth until you come to a very high level of structured order and DESIGN.

Contractors follow a blueprint for a reason.. Everything has to be organized to come togther just so, with the correct materials and in the correct sequence.. So it is with even the simplest cell. The simplest cell has more machines and operational complexity than the operational systems of the space shuttle.

IMO the truth  is somwhere in between Organized religion and Darwin. Ironically, the leading thoughts on string theory is called "M Theory". M for master or matrix.. The universe has some very compelling properties that can be interpretd as design.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 22, 2006, 01:30:30 am
Guess what else is a load of crap... That random chemicals organized themselves into the first dividing cell. That the correct chemicals came together by chance and wrote the DNA codes for all living organisims.
Earth is a big place and there's been a lot of time for things to happen. However, the theories regarding the origin of life seem to be somewhat shoddy right now (see, for example, the Wikipedia article on the origin of life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life)), so I'd reserve judgement for now.

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DNA code is not called a code for convienience, it literally is a code, a binary represention of 3 dimensional forms (protiens).
Quaternary, not binary, but close enough.

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Each code has to be specifically written with very few variations allowable else it is completely worthless. The cell has "spell checking" machines to make sure each protien chain is built to exacting precision. Protien chains are then used with other protiens wich work togther, so on an so forth until you come to a very high level of structured order and DESIGN.
Actually, most DNA doesn't seem to have any effect at all and thus a large number of mutations have no discernable effects. Most that have effects are harmful, but some may even be beneficial (e.g. lactose tolerance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_tolerance)). Mutation seems to be the most plausible mechanism for the genetic change required for evolution.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on June 22, 2006, 03:16:57 am
Is it really lazy to not be sure about something? If you are not sure whether you will live to 80 or not, does that make you lazy?

It really doesn't matter if one considers ignorance on a subject acceptable, if no body can prove which belief is the ignorant one. Besides, you can be plenty active in your explorations of other aspects of life (other than "supernatural" beings,) like deciding what one considers to be right or wrong in new, semi complex situations.
A person who wants to know the truth about this or that religion and is actively seeking it would better be termed "undecided" than "agnostic," because agnostics will tell you that such seeking is fruitless and that supernatural things are unknown and unknowable to man.  Agnosticism is not the simple observation that man can't prove one way or another, because that's obvious.  I believe that man can't prove one way or another.  Am I an agnostic?  Nope.  I firmly believe that the character of God is very much knowable to every human being on earth.

I am not certain whether I will live to 80, and, quite frankly, that ignorance IS acceptable.  God hasn't told me, man doesn't know, and I don't trust the Devil.  It's not as important for me to know when I will die, as to know what will be there to recieve me when I do.  I find the comparison invalid, because one of these things we can discover for ourselves, and is important, the other we cannot, and it isn't.

To me, the important part is not so much the conclusion (we'll all find out in the end which one was right), but that you search, and you search sincerely, and you come to a conclusion, because this is really what's important in life.  Yes, you can be active all your life in exploring other aspects of life, and never "have time" to sit down and try to figure out all this supernatural good/evil stuff, but that's just like putting off work to play.  It's fun, and can be just as fulfilling, or even more so, but the important stuff in life doesn't get done when you play.  I consider that exploring right and wrong is merely a subset of discovering the character and nature of God or the gods.  I also believe that God is the only one who can tell you about both things, since man really doesn't know and you oughtn't trust the devil.  Especially not on these subjects.

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I think a religion is something that centers around the belief in supernatural being(s), so neither of those would rank as religions. Also, there are some Agnostics who are such because they simply don't know for certain, not because they don't think it is an important topic. Still others could be confused on what a god actually is supposed to be. The ancient Greek gods did not create the earth (the earth created them, in fact), they could be killed, and their eternal survival depended on Ambosia. The existence of this sort of being does not seem nearly as far fetched as an invisible, all powerful, all knowing, creator of everything that works somewhat cryptically through the natural world and a few prophets amoungst many false ones. There is a tremendous difference between these two definitions, requiring vastly different levels of faith.
So... Buddhists aren't religious?  Shintoists?  Taoists?  What about New Age religions, that deny the existence of supernatural "beings," deciding instead that there are supernatural presences or other non-living enities?  I'm not trying to be contentious, here, or start an argument, but I want to see where you draw the line.  Why would your definition count atheism as not a religion, since it centers in the belief in the non-existence of supernatural beings?  I disagree with your definition of religion, and it raises more questions to me than it answers.  I'm not saying you have to abandon it, but that it is far too narrow for my purposes.  Religion is the worship of something, whether formalized or not, supernatural or not.  And everyone has a "god" of some sort.  Everyone deifies something.

As to the question of faith, I don't think you are correct in stating that the two require vastly different levels of faith.  In both circumstances, one who doesn't believe must pass through certain stages before believing.

1) "I don't know."  Subject is ignorant about the religion or god(s) in question.  He must be introduced to it before making any decision.
2) "That's interesting."  Somebody tells the subject about the existence of said god(s).  This can be through written text or orally.  Often times, the subject is curious to know more.
3) "Why should I believe you?" Subject begins to question the testimony that he has recieved.  The preacher who shared her testimony in 2) should disclose how she knows about the god(s).  In the case of the Bible or the Qur-'An, the answer is from prophets who say "We talked to God, and this is what He had to say."  Parents might answer "because I'm your parent and I say so, that's why."
4) "How can I know?" This  is an important stage if the subject really wants to know.  However, not every subject will reach this.  Many times they will be satisfied with the explanation in 3), resulting in a condition that is derided and is called "blind faith."  At this point, the subject will seek a spiritual experience of his own, and come to his own conclusions.

I think that Agnosticism is apathetic or lazy because it goes up from 1) to 3) and says "That's nice, but you can't prove it."  To which I would respond "Well, of course not, but do you want to know wheher I'm right or not?  Find out for yourself!"  Agnosicism seems to encourage a view that laymen cannot have religious or spiritual experiences, because it holds the condition and even the existence of God as unknowable.  But perhaps we disagree on the definition of agnostic.  There are so many varieties, it's hard to communicate properly on the subject, especially over the internet.



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Want to know what is a load of crap? A 600 year old man and his three sons building a ship in the middle of the desert, as big as the titanic, out of wood four thousand years ago. Then loading a pair of every animal on earth, (plus sevens of "clean" animals to sacrifice on an alter) surviving a world wide flood for a year then repopulating the entire earth without problems of inbreeding, feeding, disease and predatory animal issues. Then from the mountians of aararat we get polar bears in the arctic, lemurs only found in madagascar and kangaroos only found in austrilia. And all this because of the wrath of god and man's "sin". Why would god do somthing absolutely pointless in the first place? Did the flood really achieve anything if to be believed? Christians MUST believe in ths story because Jesus makes reference to Noah and the deluge during his sermons...
You do realize that, for the biblical account to be correct, the whole globe did not have to be flooded.  Just the whole "world."  It probably sounds like I'm splitting hairs, but at that point in time, the known world was a lot smaller than the earth.  Thus, not every animal in existence had to be on the ark, and it's doubted by some that he had to bring on seven of each clean animal... that might have been an addition by the elitist priests of the Jews after the death of Malachi.  And there's also no claim that they lived in a desert.  We think we know where they LANDED, but if the account was correct, they could have crossed an ocean in there and we wouldn't know the difference.

Is it more far-fetched to believe that two people could repopulate the earth, than to think that people started out as a group, and not as individuals?  I don't know.  Can't tell you.  I honestly don't think it's that important.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 22, 2006, 04:55:57 am

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Actually, most DNA doesn't seem to have any effect at all and thus a large number of mutations have no discernable effects. Most that have effects are harmful, but some may even be beneficial (e.g. lactose tolerance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_tolerance)). Mutation seems to be the most plausible mechanism for the genetic change required for evolution.

Irregardless of how much DNA has an effect or not, it doesn't change the fact that DNA is a language. Quite literally in fact. It compares quite nicely to human language:

DNA Language
Human Language
Nucleotide -Character
Codon-Letter
Gene-Word
Operon-Sentence
Regulon-Paragraph
 
There are three properties we know of, Energy, Matter and Information. In every case of information, wether it's music, digital code, language, writing, mathematical formulas, computer programs etc. the cause is intelligence. There is no known naturalistic mechanisim for creating complex, specified information and that IS what we find encoded on the DNA molecule.

If indeed evolution does occur, due to the vast amount of new DNA programming needed from body plan to body plan, I can only conclude DNA is designed purposefully to evolve. Random genetic changes go nowhere and are almost always detrimental to the organism.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 22, 2006, 05:25:25 am
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Agnosticism is not the simple observation that man can't prove one way or another, because that's obvious.

It depends on your definition of "proof." One could argue that we are all living in "the Matrix" and nothing we see or feel around us is real, and everything we feel has been "proven" is just an illusion. It is probably more like "Agnostics are those who do not have faith in the existence of supernatural god(s) or spirit(s) or lack thereof, feel that there is good evidence for both arguements, don't really give a damn, or are not clear what it is that is supposed to exist or not.

In regard to that last one, I might think that using the definition of a god being an immortal, if I found a way to extend my human life indefinitely, I would be a living god.

So basically, Agnostism is just the default. It isn't even a philosophy, because it has no real system of beliefs, it is just a grab bag. It is sort of like if you had a name for everything that was not alive, or that didn't sneeze, and refered to everything within that set as though they were intricately related. Unlife and Asneezers. :)


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God hasn't told me, man doesn't know, and I don't trust the Devil.

So then the devil talks to you?


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I find the comparison invalid, because one of these things we can discover for ourselves, and is important, the other we cannot, and it isn't.

Different individuals might have different opinions as to which can be discovered and is important and which is not. Others might argue that neither or both can be discovered. As a Christian, you should feel that you'll find out the truth about both, in the end.

My personal conviction is that you will simply die and reincarnate, and then believe you will die and go to heaven for that next lifetime as well. (You heard right, I have a belief in something that is not proven.) ;)


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So... Buddhists aren't religious?  Shintoists?  Taoists?

I don't know much about Shintoists, but the other two might be called philosophies. It really depends on you definition of supernatural beings, or what exactly is natural.


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What about New Age religions, that deny the existence of supernatural "beings," deciding instead that there are supernatural presences or other non-living enities?

Are all gods living gods? What is the difference between a supernatual presence and a supernatural being?


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As to the question of faith, I don't think you are correct in stating that the two require vastly different levels of faith.  In both circumstances, one who doesn't believe must pass through certain stages before believing.

What I mean is, the definitions of gods or supernatural whatevers is vastly different over different religions. And our understanding of what is "natural" has expanded greatly since ancient times. It is possible, that through the usage of certain technologies, man can extend his life indefinitely unless violently killed (which can happen to many gods of different religions,) terraform or create new worlds, life, etc. Some is more far fetched than the rest, but it still might be possible using the laws of nature.


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But perhaps we disagree on the definition of agnostic.  There are so many varieties, it's hard to communicate properly on the subject, especially over the internet.

Yes, see what I wrote above. Can you think of any Agnostics, besides myself, that have pretty much total faith in the existence of reincarnation?


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Is it more far-fetched to believe that two people could repopulate the earth, than to think that people started out as a group, and not as individuals?

There exists the belief, that people didn't really just "start out," but are simply a loose and artifically defined group of primate animals, with a relatively smooth evolutionary heritage leading back to the first protocells of this planet.

Simply having a couple advanced organisms  appear out of nowhere and produce a stable population without horrible inbreeding issues is a highly flawed belief, at best.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 22, 2006, 03:31:30 pm
In every case of information, wether it's music, digital code, language, writing, mathematical formulas, computer programs etc. the cause is intelligence. There is no known naturalistic mechanisim for creating complex, specified information and that IS what we find encoded on the DNA molecule.
I'd argue that such a mechanism exists: the DNA molecule (and RNA too, for that matter). Besides, humans are not the only beings on this planet that communicate; most animals do so too, meaning that they have something that could be considered a language (albeit one limited by the scope of their understanding).

The basic issue here seems to be that you maintain that complexity can not increase as the result of natural processes, which is what I disagree with. Even simple computer simulations can produce very complex results, mimicing evolution. Whether evolution has happened is, of course, far from conclusively demonstrated, but the idea is consistent and plausible.

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If indeed evolution does occur, due to the vast amount of new DNA programming needed from body plan to body plan, I can only conclude DNA is designed purposefully to evolve. Random genetic changes go nowhere and are almost always detrimental to the organism.
Yes, random genetic changes are almost always detrimental. However, advantageous genetic changes, by increasing the probability of offspring (through e.g. improved survival) are very likely to become more common in later generations. Horribly detrimental mutations (e.g. anything that invariably kills the organism) don't propagate to later generations at all; milder ones may decrease the chances. Given a million or so generations (depends a lot on what sort of organism we're talking about), the accumulated mutations may be enough to produce e.g. human beings.

Besides, you don't have to get human beings at all. The sheer amount of different species on Earth shows that life can exist in a large variety of forms. The diversity of human beings shows that many small variations are possible. This further undermines arguments that mutations are necessarily bad.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 23, 2006, 01:30:08 am
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I'd argue that such a mechanism exists: the DNA molecule (and RNA too, for that matter). Besides, humans are not the only beings on this planet that communicate; most animals do so too, meaning that they have something that could be considered a language (albeit one limited by the scope of their understanding).

Yes you are correct, animals are comunicating via. "language". And that language once again comes from intelligence. When a honey bee colony finds a source of nectar it goes back to the hive and does a complex figure 8 dance that tells the rest of the colony how far and in what direction the food source is. Albeit simple, this IS intelligence. The bees also build a hive via. intelligence. Can you show me one single case other than DNA where useful information is NOT caused by an intelligent source?

Now DNA may have been built by an intelligent source long ago. Perhaps the designer designed DNA to evolve and self replicate. Just like when archiologists find an ancient hyroglyph they immediately know it was made by an intelligent source although it doesn't tell us WHO made the ancient symbol(s). Why do we throw that logic out the window when it comes to biologicals? DNA has all the hallmarks of design as we know it.
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The basic issue here seems to be that you maintain that complexity can not increase as the result of natural processes, which is what I disagree with. Even simple computer simulations can produce very complex results, mimicing evolution. Whether evolution has happened is, of course, far from conclusively demonstrated, but the idea is consistent and plausible.

Actually complexity itself CAN increase via. natural processes just not specified complexity (purposeful). And in actuality, i'm not saying anything about natural processes pers sey but rather BLIND, RANDOM natural processes.

If you see Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota it contains specified complexity.. Complexity that cannot be dismissed as simply wind, water or geologic processes. Processes which are always random and can never duplicate. Instead we recognize imediately the faces of the presidents in the rock and know it was designed by an intelligent agent. Likewise, the DNA molecule , in fact all biological lifeforms, demonstrate unfathomable amounts of specified complexity. In my mind, at least somthing has to be guiding these complexities and natural selection just isn't enough to do it.

We know that a great dane and a poodle are from the same species. If our only knowledge of a great dane and a poodle were from bones found in the geologic strata, scientists would be "Ah ha" see these two animals evolved one from the other. They do this with very similar dinosaurs such as T rex and Allisaurus, Brachiasaurus and Brontasaurus etc. etc.  This is the problem I have with evolutionary grandiose claims because they make HUGE extrapolation from controversial evidence.

The beak of a finch..so what where's the new species here? The color of a moth.. so what, where's the new species? Four winged fruit flies, which grow a new set of wings without muscles and they are useless and cannot survive outside the lab. Bacterial evoultion of resistance to penicilin, still an EColi with a damaged penicili receptor.. So what. Show me the evolution!!!!

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Yes, random genetic changes are almost always detrimental. However, advantageous genetic changes, by increasing the probability of offspring (through e.g. improved survival) are very likely to become more common in later generations. Horribly detrimental mutations (e.g. anything that invariably kills the organism) don't propagate to later generations at all; milder ones may decrease the chances. Given a million or so generations (depends a lot on what sort of organism we're talking about), the accumulated mutations may be enough to produce e.g. human beings.

Besides, you don't have to get human beings at all. The sheer amount of different species on Earth shows that life can exist in a large variety of forms. The diversity of human beings shows that many small variations are possible. This further undermines arguments that mutations are necessarily bad.

Animals, even humans have a great capacity for variation by simply breeding. Although this is true, it's not nessicarily a case for evolution. Tigers, lions, leapords and cheethas can breed and have offspring. Buffalos, Oxes, Domestic cattle can breed and have offspring. Dolphins and some whales can interbreed. All dog species. Horses, ponies, zebra  etc .etc. And it is very possible that someday some of these variences of the same animal may become genetically isolated. The problem is that these variances seem to be limited and PROGRAMMED into the species' GNome. You dont see truely novel body parts. So there really is no evidence that an antalope evloved into a giraffe or a hippo into a whale. The differences are simply too overwhelming. 

In my mind, only some sort of guidance is going to turn a flipper into a paw or hand. A gill into a diagphram lung, a jawbone into an ear canal.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on June 23, 2006, 05:30:42 pm
DNA, RNA, and proteins all form randomly when you apply energy to the relevant elements. They do not need to have been designed, they naturally occur.

As for getting feet from flippers, why do you think it would take guidance?

If every large animal in the world is presently in the ocean (though there are insects on the land), then there is a tremendous push to be able to get on land:
1) no predators!
2) you can better survive being stranded in a tide pool.
3) lots of food on land, in the form of plants and insects, and no competition for it.

Due to the existence of tide pools, fish have an excellent training ground for getting stronger and stronger flippers and better abilities to breathe air: if they can succeed just a little, they can get their way out of a tide pool as it is losing its connection to the ocean. if they can succeed a little more, they can do it even after the last connection has been lost but it's still close. And so on.

Each of these capabilities provides a large competitive advantage, and so any mutations that improve land survivability will be kept and spread quickly.


As for the dogs argument, dogs have been under some of the most intense selective breeding ever, by humans. They are very much the exception.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on June 23, 2006, 06:27:16 pm
Yes you are correct, animals are comunicating via. "language". And that language once again comes from intelligence. When a honey bee colony finds a source of nectar it goes back to the hive and does a complex figure 8 dance that tells the rest of the colony how far and in what direction the food source is. Albeit simple, this IS intelligence. The bees also build a hive via. intelligence. Can you show me one single case other than DNA where useful information is NOT caused by an intelligent source?

And how far does this very liberal definition of  "intelligence" go? There are certain varieties of bacteria that will congregate and generate organized structures known as biofilms, which involve complex inner structures such as a transport network to move nutrients to the inner members of the colony, and a protective film (hence the name) to help defend the colony from hostile agents. Based on this organized behavior, are you going to suggest that these bacteria are also intelligent? If that's the case, you may as well suggest that trees are intelligent as well, since they grow towards the sunlight and nutrients in the soil.

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If you see Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota it contains specified complexity.. Complexity that cannot be dismissed as simply wind, water or geologic processes. Processes which are always random and can never duplicate. Instead we recognize imediately the faces of the presidents in the rock and know it was designed by an intelligent agent.

So then, do you believe that someone finding the face of the virgin Mary in their toast is also done by an intelligent designer? Granted, we know who carved Mt. Rushmore, so it's not really a mystery, but I hope you're not going to tell me that my toaster has intelligence as well now.

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Likewise, the DNA molecule , in fact all biological lifeforms, demonstrate unfathomable amounts of specified complexity. In my mind, at least somthing has to be guiding these complexities and natural selection just isn't enough to do it.

Evolution via natural selection is a very powerful factor for changes in a species, sometimes very quickly. You may want to read D999's example above with the tidal pool fish, since it is a perfect example.

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We know that a great dane and a poodle are from the same species. If our only knowledge of a great dane and a poodle were from bones found in the geologic strata, scientists would be "Ah ha" see these two animals evolved one from the other. They do this with very similar dinosaurs such as T rex and Allisaurus, Brachiasaurus and Brontasaurus etc. etc.  This is the problem I have with evolutionary grandiose claims because they make HUGE extrapolation from controversial evidence.

There's a big fallacy with your dinosaur argument. Carbon dating has shown that these species emerged thousands, or even millions, of years apart. It's not much of a logical leap to say that two different dinosaurs with similar bone structure that are separated by 2 million years in the strata may be related through the process of evolution. Try that same experiment on dog skeletons of various breeds, and you'll get a date of 1000 years, tops, since humans didn't really start breeding dogs for appearances until sometime around then. For geological distances that recently removed from the present, carbon dating is considered uselessly innaccurate anyway, so anyone making a dog evolutionary claim like you used in the example is a hack using bad scientific method to make their data and results fit a predetermined conclusion.

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The beak of a finch..so what where's the new species here?

According to the way living things are classified, that's really all it takes. Besides, it's hard to argue that, as a finch in a small ecosystem like the Galapagos, changing your diet to a food source that you don't have to compete as much for is certainly more conducive to breeding more successful offspring. If said offspring have, by chance and a fortunate combination of genetics, a beak that is more specialized for exploiting said food source, then that will in turn make them more likely to breed successful offspring. And so on and so forth, and these new traits are passed down the line. Natural selection in action, no designer required.

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The color of a moth.. so what, where's the new species?

Actually, that's often not enough to differentiate a new species of moth. However, in an ecosystem where most of the trees have light colored bark (birch, for example), white moths will have better camoflauge than black ones, increasing their odds of living to reproduce. Likewise, those black moths will do better than the white ones in forests with dark bark on the trees. Over time, and if the two groups are separated, other genetic variations (possibly due to other selective presures) may cause these moths to become so far removed from each other that they may no longer even be able to breed with one another, at least not with any measure of success. Thus, the separation of species (and possibly even genus, though certainly the ability to interbreed is not going to preclude the separation of species in classification). Natural selection in action, no designer required.

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Four winged fruit flies, which grow a new set of wings without muscles and they are useless and cannot survive outside the lab.

Bad, bad, bad example. Anything like this, that happens in the lab (but certainly not in nature) is so far removed from reality that it really has no bearing in this discussion. Human selection pressure is far different from natural selection pressure.

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Bacterial evoultion of resistance to penicilin, still an EColi with a damaged penicili receptor.. So what. Show me the evolution!!!!

That is the evolution! That broken receptor has given that bacterium free reign to multiply out of control while its fellows die off from the penicillin. Naturally, this mutation will be passed along to offspring (and in fact must be in order to insure their survival, so long as the selection pressure of penicillin in the environment remains). Before long, you have colonies of bacteria that are immune to the drug, which is an incredibly useful survival trait, as evidenced by the fact that we are struggling to find new drug to kill these resistant strains as we speak! Natural selection in action, no designer required!

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Animals, even humans have a great capacity for variation by simply breeding. Although this is true, it's not nessicarily a case for evolution. Tigers, lions, leapords and cheethas can breed and have offspring. Buffalos, Oxes, Domestic cattle can breed and have offspring. Dolphins and some whales can interbreed. All dog species. Horses, ponies, zebra  etc .etc.

Lots of bad examples here. Yes, many of these animals can interbreed. However, they will, in many cases, not do so in a natural environment. It seems that you are once again confusing natural selection with human selection. In addition, even when those animals that can interbreed do so, their offspring are often sterile. Suffice to say, that is hardly an effective way to ensure that your genetic lineage continues.

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The problem is that these variances seem to be limited and PROGRAMMED into the species' GNome. You dont see truely novel body parts. So there really is no evidence that an antalope evloved into a giraffe or a hippo into a whale. The differences are simply too overwhelming.

In my mind, only some sort of guidance is going to turn a flipper into a paw or hand. A gill into a diagphram lung, a jawbone into an ear canal.[/quote]

First of all, it's not GNome, it's genome. That first word is a product of videogames alone.

Second, there really is no guidance necessary. Check D999's explanation of the tidal pool example above. Now consider that the earliest mammalian ancestors in the fossil record had a "hand" (or perhaps flipper) structure remarkably similar to not only our own, but to that of all mammals. Variations in the length of bones, differences in whether skin cells between bones undergo apoptosis, etc., have generated a diverse number of hand strutures in modern mammals. But underlying it all, you can see where the common ancestor's traits have simply been altered over time for each one.

Now consider a bird's or lizard's "hand" structure. They are markedly different. That doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility of a common ancestor, but it would have to be much farther back in the fossil record, and those members of the animal kingdom evolved along a divergent path from mammals. Inevitably, you can see the similarities between the bones in a bird's wing and a human's hand, but it's not quite so glaringly obvious as the comparison between, say, a mouse paw and a human hand.

However, what you see as a design philosophy can really be chalked up to common ancestry, albeit an incredibly long time ago. These structures don't look novel to you, because they aren't; all came from a common source somewhere, and simply changed in different ways depending on the various selective pressures (or random chance) exerted over time.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Razorback on June 23, 2006, 08:46:34 pm
I've been trying to avoid feeding the Nathaniel troll here, but I found a slightly different set of comics and figured this would be an appropriate post to link them to.

The Brick Testement (http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_law/index.html)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 24, 2006, 12:48:52 am
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DNA, RNA, and proteins all form randomly when you apply energy to the relevant elements.

No offense but you couldn't be more wrong with that statement. If that were true then there would be no debate. If you mean Amino acids, the building blocks of life can be made by applying energy then you have a point. Amino acids are complex molecules made from simpler ones. But still, it has NEVER been demonstrated that raw chemicals or existing amino acids plus energy produce a protien, let alone a dividing cell.. Not once, not ever. Once again, DNA coding IS a language and language as we know it ONLY comes from an intelligent source.

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And how far does this very liberal definition of  "intelligence" go? There are certain varieties of bacteria that will congregate and generate organized structures known as biofilms, which involve complex inner structures such as a transport network to move nutrients to the inner members of the colony, and a protective film (hence the name) to help defend the colony from hostile agents.

Read what you yourself wrote^. Does one organism feeding another of the same organism or defending another same organism sound like anything BUT intelligence? Do rocks protect themselves or others? This is behavior we find in the higher level animals and yes, by all means this is intelligence.

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Based on this organized behavior, are you going to suggest that these bacteria are also intelligent? If that's the case, you may as well suggest that trees are intelligent as well, since they grow towards the sunlight and nutrients in the soil.

Why do you suppose sunflower plants pan with the sun? Why do leaves grow toward the sun? Rocks don't follow the sun, so EXACTLY why do plants? Perhaps they were designed to do this?

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So then, do you believe that someone finding the face of the virgin Mary in their toast is also done by an intelligent designer? Granted, we know who carved Mt. Rushmore, so it's not really a mystery, but I hope you're not going to tell me that my toaster has intelligence as well now.

The problem with that argument is that we know and can reproduce the natural mechanisims that create these designs. Heat and matter.  One may look at any natural formations such as mountians and clouds and imagine recognizeable shapes such as  the face of jesus or the virgin mary. What I'm talking about is specified complexity. Say you see a field of red and yellow flowers on a hillside. No problem, nature can handle that easily. But what if the flowers spelled out "Welcome to Springfield". Instantly you'd know it was design. Likewise we see this sort of organized complexity when it comes to DNA and the cell.

A DNA molecule is a double helix molecule with matching base pairs. The DNA is unzipped into two halves by a molecular machine. One half is called RNA and is transported through gates in the cell wall by other molecular machines where it is transcripted by still another machine. Each position on the RNA strand is then read (all the while being checked for errors), and the correct chemicals are brought into place to form a long protien chain. The protien chain then litterally folds into a 3 demensional shape and then transported to where it's needed..

Srry but I don't see this as anything but intelligent design. You can't tell me that no thought went into this process whatsoever. Rocks don't do stuff like this. The only place we see anything similar to complex processes such as this is in a human factory...

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Evolution via natural selection is a very powerful factor for changes in a species, sometimes very quickly. You may want to read D999's example above with the tidal pool fish, since it is a perfect example.

I have no problems with natural selection. Natural selection is fact. But natural selection happens only AFTER the genetic mutation has taken place, and only to the genetic information that will be passes on to offspring. That means most of the genetic changes that happen after fertility are useless as an evolutionary factor. In fact it can ONLY happen to sperm or egg cells since that is the only place in higher biological systems that is passed on to offspring.

In bacteria, genetic mutations being passed on may be very high, and in fact we have been able to manipulate the genetic codes of of bacteria. Problem is that we have never been able to evolve anything, not once, not ever. If we change the genetic code of an EColi bacteria, guess what, it's still an EColi bacteria. If it's a single celled protoza, it's still a single celled protozoa when the scientists are done.

Life is designed with many variational possibilities built into it. If a super flu hit the world and killed 90% of all humans and 10% survived. ANd those 10% rebounded the human population would this be evolution? No because, A they are still humans and B we are programmed with transpon genese that give every one of us a unique immune system. Same with bacteria. EColi has been around for millions of years. Penecilin has been around millions of years. It's only man's DISCOVERY of penicilin and it's anti bacterial properties we began to notice this "mutational resistance" to it. They probably have had this ability for millions of years already. Furthermore, anti drug resistant bacteria is actually LESS fit to survive when reintroduced to the original non resistant bacteria and quickly dies out. And how can they actually be sure some of the Non resistant bacteria wasn't already resistant since they have to destroy the organism to sequence the DNA?


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There's a big fallacy with your dinosaur argument. Carbon dating has shown that these species emerged thousands, or even millions, of years apart. It's not much of a logical leap to say that two different dinosaurs with similar bone structure that are separated by 2 million years in the strata may be related through the process of evolution. Try that same experiment on dog skeletons of various breeds, and you'll get a date of 1000 years, tops, since humans didn't really start breeding dogs for appearances until sometime around then. For geological distances that recently removed from the present, carbon dating is considered uselessly innaccurate anyway, so anyone making a dog evolutionary claim like you used in the example is a hack using bad scientific method to make their data and results fit a predetermined conclusion.

LoL, a hack? The point I was trying to make is that there is great diversity in breeding alone. Dog's are not the exception but more the rule. A buffalo, oxen,water buffalo and a cow ARE the same species. A tiger, leapord, cheetah and lion ARE the same species. Just becuase they don't tend to mate in the wild doesn't mean they can't. And look how radically different they are. Ornothologists are having to re-write books on bird species becuase we are finding many once thought seperate species can interbreed.

Now humans using artifical selection can breed for many different traits in many different animal species but it has limits. You can only go so far, so big, so small.. And no matter how many times you breed a certain animal it will never suddenly have a 5 chamber heart,  six legs, two tails, opposable thumbs etc. etc. This is a big blow to darwin's evolution imo.




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If said offspring have, by chance and a fortunate combination of genetics, a beak that is more specialized for exploiting said food source, then that will in turn make them more likely to breed successful offspring. And so on and so forth, and these new traits are passed down the line. Natural selection in action, no designer required.

The problem with this is that a different shaped beak doesn't NOT make a different animal. Period. And when the selection pressure stops, the animals go right back to the same diversity of beaks they had before.

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Actually, that's often not enough to differentiate a new species of moth. However, in an ecosystem where most of the trees have light colored bark (birch, for example), white moths will have better camoflauge than black ones, increasing their odds of living to reproduce. Likewise, those black moths will do better than the white ones in forests with dark bark on the trees. Over time, and if the two groups are separated, other genetic variations (possibly due to other selective presures) may cause these moths to become so far removed from each other that they may no longer even be able to breed with one another, at least not with any measure of success. Thus, the separation of species (and possibly even genus, though certainly the ability to interbreed is not going to preclude the separation of species in classification). Natural selection in action, no designer required.

I have absolutely no problem with natural selection as you describe here. The problem is that a dark and light moth are the same species and that even if one color of moth is favored over another, they will never be anything more than a moth. What selection pressure will make the moth star spinning web like a spider? Breeding has limitations and moths breeding will never produce anything but moths unless some new genetic programming of the DNA language happens. Only intelligence can be involved in that process somwhere along the line imo.

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Now consider a bird's or lizard's "hand" structure. They are markedly different. That doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility of a common ancestor, but it would have to be much farther back in the fossil record, and those members of the animal kingdom evolved along a divergent path from mammals. Inevitably, you can see the similarities between the bones in a bird's wing and a human's hand, but it's not quite so glaringly obvious as the comparison between, say, a mouse paw and a human hand.

A bat's wing, a porpise's flipper, a mouse's foot, a lizard's foot.. Yes they all have similarities. But guess which existing biological set of bones looks the most like a human hand? The human foot.. Am I to conclude that the human hand evolved from the human foot? Once again, there is absolutely NO PROOF that one organism evloved from another. I can't say it didn't happen either but can only conclude that an intelligent agent had to have modified the existing forms to the complex strucures every body part is. Random mutation will not produce the complexity and high specificity we see in the bone structures.
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However, what you see as a design philosophy can really be chalked up to common ancestry, albeit an incredibly long time ago. These structures don't look novel to you, because they aren't; all came from a common source somewhere, and simply changed in different ways depending on the various selective pressures (or random chance) exerted over time.

I'm not opposed to evolution, just random mutation and natural selection as the driving force. Bones are no good without muscles and ligaments  to move them. Muscles are no good without blood supplying nutrients and oxygen to them. Blood is no good without lungs to swap carbon dioxide with oxygen and a system of tunnels to transport them. A digestive system has no purpose if it didn't have anything to feed nutrients to. And none of these would be good for anything without a brain and electrical system to control them. How does a body part evolve without changing many different complicated things at one time without some sort of intelligent guidance? I think you underestimate just how complex living things are., especially living things like us...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 24, 2006, 03:10:24 am
Evolution and design are not really that opposed. Many technologies have evolved over the years, take computers for example. The designer of the first computer, created something so primitive, there isn't even any point in trying to compare its power to the thing that sits on your desk before you. But many designers, experiments, and products later, you get to where we are now.

The only real difference is that evolution through random events takes longer than evolution augmented by intelligent designs.  So when you have biological evolution taking place over millions, upon millions, upon millions of years, you don't really have to have Bezabu the Arilou or Ala the Invisible playing cut and paste with your acid. On the flip side, you could say evolution is the effect of an unseen intelligence, but given its level of failures and average development period for successful designs, it is probably somewhere in the range between Forrest Gump and a Sea Limpet.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 24, 2006, 03:33:57 pm
No offense but you couldn't be more wrong with that statement. If that were true then there would be no debate. If you mean Amino acids, the building blocks of life can be made by applying energy then you have a point. Amino acids are complex molecules made from simpler ones. But still, it has NEVER been demonstrated that raw chemicals or existing amino acids plus energy produce a protien, let alone a dividing cell.. Not once, not ever.
As far as I can tell from the Wikipedia article on the origin of life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life), the current model is that protein synthesis is based on RNA, meaning that the first organisms were RNA-based and they (possibly much later) evolved proteins. In this case, spontaneous (and quick) generation of amino acids from inorganic sludge is not necessary. This RNA world hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis) is under dispute, though, although recent research seems to support it.

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Once again, DNA coding IS a language and language as we know it ONLY comes from an intelligent source.
Why do you keep repeating this groundless claim?

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Why do you suppose sunflower plants pan with the sun? Why do leaves grow toward the sun? Rocks don't follow the sun, so EXACTLY why do plants? Perhaps they were designed to do this?
Or perhaps getting the additional sunlight helped them reproduce, causing sun-following sunflowers to dominate over non-sun-following?

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But what if the flowers spelled out "Welcome to Springfield". Instantly you'd know it was design. Likewise we see this sort of organized complexity when it comes to DNA and the cell.
Major difference: flowers spelling out "Welcome to Springfield" does not give them any sort of edge (except possibly if some crazed florist is doing a lot of weird selective breeding). Cells are a good way to create other cells, which is why there are so many of them.

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Srry but I don't see this as anything but intelligent design. You can't tell me that no thought went into this process whatsoever. Rocks don't do stuff like this. The only place we see anything similar to complex processes such as this is in a human factory...
Again, your argument boils down to "something this complex can not occur without design". You're just reiterating the same point (with slightly different examples) without providing anything to back up your reasoning.

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In bacteria, genetic mutations being passed on may be very high, and in fact we have been able to manipulate the genetic codes of of bacteria. Problem is that we have never been able to evolve anything, not once, not ever. If we change the genetic code of an EColi bacteria, guess what, it's still an EColi bacteria. If it's a single celled protoza, it's still a single celled protozoa when the scientists are done.
Not entirely true. Take the dog, for example. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors started taming wolves. Over just a few thousand generations of selection, we have a bunch of really freakish creatures ranging from chihuahuas to bulldogs, many of which would have a seriously bad time without Man. This is, essentially, controlled evolution in action; we've created a whole bunch of creatures that (externally, at least) look nothing like the original through our interactions with the creatures. The only real difference (and part of the explanation for the speed of change) is that humans much more directly control which dogs reproduce than any other creature or other environmental factor would. The basic mechanism is still the same, though: mutation, recombination, selection.

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Life is designed with many variational possibilities built into it. If a super flu hit the world and killed 90% of all humans and 10% survived. ANd those 10% rebounded the human population would this be evolution? No because, A they are still humans and B we are programmed with transpon genese that give every one of us a unique immune system.
Right. You've just killed off most of the humans suspectible to this flu; the remaining ones are much more likely to produce offspring that is also resistant (assuming the resistance has a hereditary component, which is likely). That's the selection part of evolution. Before that, of course, some of these people had to develop the resistance in the first place.

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Same with bacteria. EColi has been around for millions of years. Penecilin has been around millions of years. It's only man's DISCOVERY of penicilin and it's anti bacterial properties we began to notice this "mutational resistance" to it. They probably have had this ability for millions of years already. Furthermore, anti drug resistant bacteria is actually LESS fit to survive when reintroduced to the original non resistant bacteria and quickly dies out. And how can they actually be sure some of the Non resistant bacteria wasn't already resistant since they have to destroy the organism to sequence the DNA?
Some of it probably was resistant in the first place, but now you've isolated that particular strain, which, as you note, probably would never have made it without human intervention.

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Now humans using artifical selection can breed for many different traits in many different animal species but it has limits. You can only go so far, so big, so small.. And no matter how many times you breed a certain animal it will never suddenly have a 5 chamber heart,  six legs, two tails, opposable thumbs etc. etc. This is a big blow to darwin's evolution imo.
Wrong again. For example, two-headed snakes have been observed. Animals with extra legs (e.g. in the place of antennae) are not even uncommon. Even two-headed humans exist. Most of these mutations aren't any help to the organism (mostly they're just trouble), so they never become common. See e.g. Wikipedia on mutants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutant) as a starting point.

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The problem with this is that a different shaped beak doesn't NOT make a different animal. Period.
A matter of definition. How many changes do you want before it's a different animal? The definition of a species is not too clear, anyway, but basically, the more changes you make, the less it resembles the original. Changing the shape of the beak may not seem like much, but make thousands of changes of that magnitude and you have something completely different.

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And when the selection pressure stops, the animals go right back to the same diversity of beaks they had before.
Well, if the shape of the beak is genetically determined and only one shape remains, you'd have to have mutations occur to get the original beaks back. If the new common type isn't worse than the others, it'll probably stay common. If the other beaks survive but are less common, they'll still be less common in the following generations.

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I have absolutely no problem with natural selection as you describe here. The problem is that a dark and light moth are the same species and that even if one color of moth is favored over another, they will never be anything more than a moth. What selection pressure will make the moth star spinning web like a spider? Breeding has limitations and moths breeding will never produce anything but moths unless some new genetic programming of the DNA language happens. Only intelligence can be involved in that process somwhere along the line imo.
Complex changes are unlikely to occur as single mutations (although small changes may occasionally have surprising results). They may, however, occur gradually as long as the intermediate steps aren't harmful (in some cases, they may be quite useful). Although the chances of a specific species developing a certain trait may be very low, the chances of some species developing some useful new trait is much higher.

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A bat's wing, a porpise's flipper, a mouse's foot, a lizard's foot.. Yes they all have similarities. But guess which existing biological set of bones looks the most like a human hand? The human foot.. Am I to conclude that the human hand evolved from the human foot?
Since both appear in the same organism, this doesn't really make sense. However, it is quite reasonable to assume they both have a common origin, which is what this is really about.

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Once again, there is absolutely NO PROOF that one organism evloved from another. I can't say it didn't happen either but can only conclude that an intelligent agent had to have modified the existing forms to the complex strucures every body part is. Random mutation will not produce the complexity and high specificity we see in the bone structures.
What do you base this complexity argument on? All your arguments essentially boil down to the last sentence in this paragraph, which you haven't justfied in any way, nor have you commented the counter-arguments.

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I'm not opposed to evolution, just random mutation and natural selection as the driving force. Bones are no good without muscles and ligaments  to move them. Muscles are no good without blood supplying nutrients and oxygen to them. Blood is no good without lungs to swap carbon dioxide with oxygen and a system of tunnels to transport them. A digestive system has no purpose if it didn't have anything to feed nutrients to. And none of these would be good for anything without a brain and electrical system to control them. How does a body part evolve without changing many different complicated things at one time without some sort of intelligent guidance? I think you underestimate just how complex living things are., especially living things like us...
More nonsense. For example, many organisms get by just fine without a brain; none of the plants I've seen have one. As you'd expect from evolution, a wide range of different brains ranging from barely complex enough to call a brain to ours exists, and the maximum complexity of them generally seems to increase with time (although the smaller brains seem to serve many species well enough).

In this case, you're postulating that small incremental changes don't work, while the evidence seems to suggest that is exactly what happened.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 24, 2006, 06:39:56 pm

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As far as I can tell from the Wikipedia article on the origin of life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life), the current model is that protein synthesis is based on RNA, meaning that the first organisms were RNA-based and they (possibly much later) evolved proteins. In this case, spontaneous (and quick) generation of amino acids from inorganic sludge is not necessary. This RNA world hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis) is under dispute, though, although recent research seems to support it.

RNA is the copying mechanism that transcripts DNA code into a protein. If protiens evolved much later, RNA would just sit around being useless. Where's the natural selection advantage in that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA



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Once again, DNA coding IS a language and language as we know it ONLY comes from an intelligent source.
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Why do you keep repeating this groundless claim?

Which part is "groundless"? That the DNA code is a language or that language only comes from an intelligent source?



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Major difference: flowers spelling out "Welcome to Springfield" does not give them any sort of edge (except possibly if some crazed florist is doing a lot of weird selective breeding). Cells are a good way to create other cells, which is why there are so many of them.

I was simply drawing a distinction between complexity and specified complexity.

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Again, your argument boils down to "something this complex can not occur without design". You're just reiterating the same point (with slightly different examples) without providing anything to back up your reasoning.

Im making a distinction between, specified, purposeful complexity and complexity alone.

 A mountian range is complex, but it is random,serves no purpose and is the result of natural forces.

A snowflake is complex, no two are alike, servers no purpose and is the reult of natural forces.

A tornado is complex, it is random, serves no purpose and is the result of natural processes.

A toaster is complex, it is not random, serves a specific purpose and is the result of intelligent design.

A coffee maker is complex, it is not random, serves a specif purpose and is the result of intelligent design.

A blood cell is complex, it is not random, serves a specific purpose and is the result of natural blind processes?

That is my whole point.. When we see specified complexity we immediately infer design in everything EXCEPT biologicals. This is flawed logic to me.

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Not entirely true. Take the dog, for example. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors started taming wolves. Over just a few thousand generations of selection, we have a bunch of really freakish creatures ranging from chihuahuas to bulldogs, many of which would have a seriously bad time without Man. This is, essentially, controlled evolution in action; we've created a whole bunch of creatures that (externally, at least) look nothing like the original through our interactions with the creatures. The only real difference (and part of the explanation for the speed of change) is that humans much more directly control which dogs reproduce than any other creature or other environmental factor would. The basic mechanism is still the same, though: mutation, recombination, selection.

The point I was trying to make here is that ALL species have a great amount of possible diveristy encoded into their genes that can be brought about by simply breeding. It doesn't matter if it's artificial selection or natural selection, the genetic potential for change covers a wide range. The problem is that b reeding can only bring about a limited amount of change.

An analogy: Just like changing the variables in Windows XP I can set backgroung colors, wallpaper,screen savers, screen resolution , change file suffixes, move folders around etc. This is like the genetic variences we find in animals and can achieve by breeding. This is also called MICRO evolution.

Now my Windows XP operating system will never be more than an operating system unless I actually get into the code, intelligently make changes to the code then recompile it. Likewise, in the biological kingdom, only vast amounts of genetic programming is going to turn an antalope into a giraffe or a hippo into a whale. This is known as MACRO evolution, and to my knowledge, never been demonstrated in ANY capacity.

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Wrong again. For example, two-headed snakes have been observed. Animals with extra legs (e.g. in the place of antennae) are not even uncommon. Even two-headed humans exist. Most of these mutations aren't any help to the organism (mostly they're just trouble), so they never become common. See e.g. Wikipedia on mutants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutant) as a starting point.

These are genetic mistakes. Isn't the whole point of natural selection to select out the fit changes? As you pointed out, these two headed variants are detrimental to the species. I have yet to see a benifical Macro mutation (large scale change) in any living organism.

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A matter of definition. How many changes do you want before it's a different animal? The definition of a species is not too clear, anyway, but basically, the more changes you make, the less it resembles the original. Changing the shape of the beak may not seem like much, but make thousands of changes of that magnitude and you have something completely different.

There is no magic numer of changes that facilitate a new species. See, thousands of changes are not even possible with breeding alone. A different sized beak is simply a micro variable designed into the finch. Just like some humans have dark skin, or red hair. Theses are pre-programmed variables. I suppose I define a new species when they cannot interbreed and produce offspring.

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More nonsense. For example, many organisms get by just fine without a brain; none of the plants I've seen have one. As you'd expect from evolution, a wide range of different brains ranging from barely complex enough to call a brain to ours exists, and the maximum complexity of them generally seems to increase with time (although the smaller brains seem to serve many species well enough).

The whole point of that paragraph is that in order to facilitate a large structural change of a biological organism, many many levels of complexity have to be traversed. Not all biological structures have a step by step evolutionary path to achieve the complex structure. There are biological structures with many complex parts, where if you are to remove one single part ,the whole structure becomes useless.

A caveman may have a stick, a rock and a string of leather. Only intelligence on the part of the caveman is going to tie the rock to the stick with the string and make a hammer or axe. Each part may even have been a useful tool in it's own right, but ONLY intelligence is going to put em all togther. This is the same we find in biological structures such as the bacterial flagellum, the human eye, the blood clotting cascade. Even the DNA, RNA, Protien relationship is irreduceably complex. Take out any one part and the cell doesn't divide.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 24, 2006, 11:23:51 pm
RNA is the copying mechanism that transcripts DNA code into a protein. If protiens evolved much later, RNA would just sit around being useless. Where's the natural selection advantage in that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA
Did you read the article I referred to (which the one you linked to also refers to)? Just because RNA occurs in one context in most current life-forms, it isn't prevented from occurring in another context. Specifically, RNA can handle the tasks of DNA and proteins itself, albeit less efficiently. Thus, RNA in itself could account for early life.

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Which part is "groundless"? That the DNA code is a language or that language only comes from an intelligent source?
The combination of both, really; depending on how you define "language" (coding scheme or communication mechanism for intelligent beings) either one is true. However, I don't see any reason why both, and thus the combination, should be true regardless of what you mean by "language". As far as I can tell, you're using an ambiguous definition as the basis for your argument.

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Im making a distinction between, specified, purposeful complexity and complexity alone.

 A mountian range is complex, but it is random,serves no purpose and is the result of natural forces.

A snowflake is complex, no two are alike, servers no purpose and is the reult of natural forces.

A toaster is complex, it is not random, serves a specific purpose and is the result of intelligent design.

A blood cell is complex, it is not random, serves a specific purpose and is the result of natural blind processes?

That is my whole point.. When we see specified complexity we immediately infer design in everything EXCEPT biologicals. This is flawed logic to me.
The way I see it, the flaw is that you're assuming the cell has a purpose. The cell just happens to be good at replicating itself (and, as an occasional side effect, create beings that ramble about the origin of life for no apparent reason). It exists because it's good at making sure it exists in many copies. "Purpose" is a subjective construct of the human mind; it doesn't actually mean anything.

Besides, I fail to understand why you can accept the complexity of a snowflake or weather system as the result of a natural process, but reject it in the case of a cell, especially since the cell has a better chance of incrementally developing complexity (through evolution) than the snowflake.

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The point I was trying to make here is that ALL species have a great amount of possible diveristy encoded into their genes that can be brought about by simply breeding. It doesn't matter if it's artificial selection or natural selection, the genetic potential for change covers a wide range. The problem is that b reeding can only bring about a limited amount of change.
Sources, especially for the "limited amount of change" part?

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An analogy: Just like changing the variables in Windows XP I can set backgroung colors, wallpaper,screen savers, screen resolution , change file suffixes, move folders around etc. This is like the genetic variences we find in animals and can achieve by breeding. This is also called MICRO evolution.

Now my Windows XP operating system will never be more than an operating system unless I actually get into the code, intelligently make changes to the code then recompile it. Likewise, in the biological kingdom, only vast amounts of genetic programming is going to turn an antalope into a giraffe or a hippo into a whale. This is known as MACRO evolution, and to my knowledge, never been demonstrated in ANY capacity.
The distinction between macroevolution and microevolution is essentially meaningless, as both are essentially the same process in different degrees. I fail to see why a species would have some sort of inherent limitation in how much it can change; you seem to be suggesting that there's some sort of untraversable chasm between species preventing one from evolving into another. The only convincing reason for this I can think of is that such a creature would be very bad at surviving and/or reproducing (and most, quite probably, are).

Also, speaking as a programmer, your metaphor sucks. In the first case you're manipulating the inputs to the code, in the second you're rewriting it. Micro- and macroevolution both involve the genetic code changing.

A better metaphor would probably be randomly changing bits of XP and "breeding" the least buggy versions with each other (which might even be an improvement given enough CPU time and good tests!).

This is actually not as stupid as it may sound to you: genetic programming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_Programming) exists. The page references dozens of evolved programs that can hold their own against their human-written competitors, and this is quite a new avenue of research.

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These are genetic mistakes. Isn't the whole point of natural selection to select out the fit changes? As you pointed out, these two headed variants are detrimental to the species. I have yet to see a benifical Macro mutation (large scale change) in any living organism.
You wanted extra legs; I gave you extra legs. Most of the extant species are pretty well adapted to their surroundings, making sudden changes unlikely to occur.

Besides, I thought we'd already gone over several convincing examples of macroevolution. I guess lactose tolerance, beak reshaping or wolves turning into poodles wasn't macro enough for you, and you reject longer-term changes such as chimps turning into humans or flying lizards turning into birds as "not possible without intelligent intervention" or "not well documented enough". What kind of example would you accept, anyway?

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The whole point of that paragraph is that in order to facilitate a large structural change of a biological organism, many many levels of complexity have to be traversed. Not all biological structures have a step by step evolutionary path to achieve the complex structure. There are biological structures with many complex parts, where if you are to remove one single part ,the whole structure becomes useless.
OK, there are a lot of non-beneficial mutations. Some gene goes haywire and baby gets born blind, or minus a foot, or dead. Either way, bad things happen to the kid, mutant gene probably doesn't get passed on.

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A caveman may have a stick, a rock and a string of leather. Only intelligence on the part of the caveman is going to tie the rock to the stick with the string and make a hammer or axe. Each part may even have been a useful tool in it's own right, but ONLY intelligence is going to put em all togther. This is the same we find in biological structures such as the bacterial flagellum, the human eye, the blood clotting cascade. Even the DNA, RNA, Protien relationship is irreduceably complex. Take out any one part and the cell doesn't divide.
Taking the eye (an ID favourite) as an example: if you look at different animals, you can see a wide range of different eyes of different complexity (again, as evolution would predict). See, e.g. Wikipedia on the evolution of eyes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye#Evolution_of_eyes). The point here is that eyes that are, from our point of view (pun not intended), half-formed are useful in the right context. Same thing, as mentioned above, with DNA, RNA and proteins. Flagella seem reasonably simple to me. Blood clotting is getting a bit complicated, but this (http://home.tiac.net/~cri/1998/hemostasis.html) seems like a plausible explanation.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on June 25, 2006, 02:41:38 pm
Before too much blood sweat and tears are wasted by pro-evolutionsists, on this topic, I recommend reading this (http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.com/forum/index.php?topic=852.30). Form the bottom of the page forward, in no small way thanks to my razor sharp wit (or something), it becomes a argument very much like this one. Might be interesting to read before you continue your interesting, but probably ultimately fruitless debate here


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 25, 2006, 05:23:47 pm
Oh my god (if this phase offends anybody, forget that you saw it) Luki, you're turning into me!!! :o Now you're dropping accidental flame bombs on forums (even though you were never trying to be insulting, but egos are fragile creatures.)

But none of this (on either forum) is really new. Creationists and Evolutionists have fought the same heated battles, using the same arguements, time and time again.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 25, 2006, 08:32:37 pm
But none of this (on either forum) is really new. Creationists and Evolutionists have fought the same heated battles, using the same arguements, time and time again.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

  -- George Santayana, "Reason in Common Sense", 1905


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 25, 2006, 09:21:44 pm
Ok Luki, Deus.. ;)  Point taken so I'm bowing out of this conversation with this:

"Most arguments about evolution and intelligent design offer only anecdotal evidence and are inherently incapable of actually proving anything.  We must get better evidence in order to get to the bottom of this!  Fortunately, the science of modern communications easily provides us with the tools we need to get answers.  Although the details are complex, the concepts are easily grasped by anyone with a high school education."

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/ifyoucanreadthis.htm

Enjoy..

p.s. Although I don't agree that this evidence nessicarily points to a "supernatural intelligence" or god, the logic and points being made are infallible .


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 26, 2006, 01:23:00 am
Although the details are complex, the concepts are easily grasped by anyone with a high school education."

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/ifyoucanreadthis.htm
And the faults in the reasoning are easily detected by anyone with the same education. While the article starts, in classic propaganda style, with statements that are well accepted, it quickly degenerates into nonsense. See below.

Quote
p.s. Although I don't agree that this evidence nessicarily points to a "supernatural intelligence" or god, the logic and points being made are infallible .
"Infallible"? ;D Let's see how much incorrectness I can find in this article:

  • The existence of "intent" in DNA, on which the entire reasoning rests, is never defined clearly, let alone justified. It makes sense to say that DNA has a sender, receiver and a clear effect ("semantics"). However, none of this requires it to have a intent. Consider the case of a lump of plutonium-239 and a chunk of carbon-12 (or any old radioactive and something non-radioactive that can absorb the radiation or whatever; the exact reaction is not relevant). The plutonium emits alpha particles (transmitter), the carbon absorbs them (receiver) and the absorbing atoms become radioactive (effect, "semantics"). The amount of alpha particles emitted in a time unit is the alphabet of the language. Do these minerals have any intent in this? I strongly doubt it. In other words, the other three properties of language in no way imply the fourth. DNA is assumed to have intent just because it is "obviously" a language, and languages "obviously" have intent (circular reasoning).
  • The emphasis on the different elements of the sentence example ("Did he steal that CAR?") is flawed in that the transmitted message is changed; in human speech, inflection is also a part of the language, just like the phonemes, and in written form, the emphasis in shown using capitalisation. Similarly, the "green light" example merely illustrates that the effect of the phrase depends on other phrases surrounding it, which can be modelling using context-sensitive grammars. In both cases, part of the language is being ignored. Thus, there is no "intent" that "changes the message" by itself; the message itself has changed and the changed message can then have a different effect on the receiver.
  • The Wiener quote is so out of context that it's hard to tell what it is supposed to mean, but I don't see it in any way justifying the statement that information can not be created. It is also somewhat unclear how to measure the information content of e.g. a world or a part of it.
  • Due to the above, the "improvements" to Paley break down on the "All language comes from a mind" part (see above counterexample). The whole design-pattern distinction hinges on this and breaks down. The variant, "There are no languages that do not come from a mind." is essentially the same statement, but justified by the nonexistence of languages without intent (see above for counter-example; of course, if evolution without ID can be demonstrated, DNA is a good example of a language without intent; if intent is not considered required to in a language, the alpha flux example is a possible answer to the riddle; if it is required, it is unclear whether DNA is a language, making the whole reasoning moot).
  • The discussion on different uses of the word "evolution" is merely confusing the issue with unclear semantics.
  • The ad mutation example conveniently ignores any form of selection, making it a horrible analogy for evolution. It also artificially places limitations (such as correct spelling and restrictions on amount of mutation) that do not correspond to the case of life. A more realistic analogy would include some sort of culling of non-successful variants (e.g. by putting them up on Google and seeing how many clicks they get). 50 generations is also very little on an evolutionary scale. For more efficient development, you'd also want to breed different solutions together, rather than just clone and mutate. Besides, starting the experiment from a "good" solution makes it harder to improve on the existing state.
  • Theodosius Dobzhanski was 6 years old in 1906, making it unlikely that he was conducting radition experiments. Even if we accept the (citationless) description of his findings, the conclusion is unwarranted because harmful mutations are much more common and the scale of the experiment is nowhere near large enough and, as described, seems to lack the selection component. If you want to refer to Dobzhanski, try "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" (http://www.2think.org/dobzhansky.shtml).
  • The communications analogy again conveniently ignores the culling part (error correction, quantisation/retransmission, et.c.), although communication usually very strictly tries to eliminate any form of evolution. But have you never misinterpreted what someone said and got a good idea that neither of you had thought of? This seems to me like the comms equivalent of a beneficial mutation, and increasing noise increases the chances of this happening.
  • The cited Dawkins program does have a rather silly fitness criterion, but that doesn't mean that more sensible (and life-like) criteria don't work; it is merely a simple example program from the early parts of Dawkins's book to show that environmental criteria can quickly shape organisms. Dawkins's more realistic programs (the rest of the book!) are conveniently ignored.
  • The criticism of Avida is ridiculous; in biological terms, he seems to want the DNA to control the ambient temperature. Besides, we are still talking about simplified models with some corners cut to keep runtime and problem size reasonable.
In conclusion, the whole argumentation is based on making unfounded claims from which the desired conclusion can be reached ("proof by handwaving") and misrepresenting the other side and even then failing to discredit evolution effectively. These faults, with minor variations, plague all the pro-ID arguments I've seen so far.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 26, 2006, 02:02:57 am
Well novus, thats all good but the fact is that DNA is an encoding/decoding molecule and codes don't just happen by chance  no matter how much time and wishful thinking you want to apply. Until you can truely rebuff that with somthing plausible, my part of the discussion is done.

Much respect and thank you for your time...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 26, 2006, 08:29:14 am
Well novus, thats all good but the fact is that DNA is an encoding/decoding molecule and codes don't just happen by chance  no matter how much time and wishful thinking you want to apply. Until you can truely rebuff that with somthing plausible, my part of the discussion is done.
I thought I did, and you haven't explained why codes shouldn't occur by chance. I keep raising these fundamental flaws in your arguments, you ignore my comments.

I rest my case.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on June 26, 2006, 10:19:04 am
Ok Luki, Deus.. ;)  Point taken so I'm bowing out of this conversation with this:

You misunderstand. My goal was simply to provide source material for those wishing to discuss with you, and references to your way of debating. In no way did I mean to imply that you should stop posting, or that I disapprove of your opinion. Discussion and debate are important parts of why I still visit these places, and should always be encouraged. Only when people stop talking and close their minds, do the real troubles begin.

I would once again point out that your style of debating, to me, seems a bit lacking. Yuo are not actually adressing very many of Novus points, but rather repeating your statement (DNA is a complex language with an intelligence behind it) over and over. For an opinion, that is fine. If you want it accepted as a fact however, you need to do more than that.

Of course, the problem with ID is that it is essentially unprovable, which is why people tends to view it as less scientific than evolution.

Deus: The SC boards work very differently to these ones, with different rules and a different crowd. Things can be done there that really can't be done here without too much backlash. Of course, this in part means that debates there seldom tend to stay on topic, or as civil, as they do here. Each place has it's good points. If you wish, I'm sure I can dig up a couple of good examples of me posting in a slightly more uncivil manner than you are used to.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 26, 2006, 08:31:10 pm
Quote
Only when people stop talking and close their minds, do the real troubles begin.

Well, not only in that situation. If a freight train is heading your way, opening your mind to whether you should jump left or right (both ways probably offering sufficient opportunity) and debating what is the best course of action can lead you to troubles too. Also, opening you mouth and mind in front of many groups of religious, progressive, or otherwise somewhat passionately close minded people can lead to bad feelings or bad bruises. If there was only one thing that'd lead to trouble, nobody would do it, and everything would be A-Okay.


Quote
The SC boards work very differently to these ones, with different rules and a different crowd. Things can be done there that really can't be done here without too much backlash. Of course, this in part means that debates there seldom tend to stay on topic, or as civil, as they do here. Each place has it's good points. If you wish, I'm sure I can dig up a couple of good examples of me posting in a slightly more uncivil manner than you are used to.

I am only joke. *Dancing* in *Heavy Space* is not *Squeezing* the *Juice*.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 27, 2006, 04:55:43 am

Quote
  • The existence of "intent" in DNA, on which the entire reasoning rests, is never defined clearly, let alone justified. It makes sense to say that DNA has a sender, receiver and a clear effect ("semantics"). However, none of this requires it to have a intent. Consider the case of a lump of plutonium-239 and a chunk of carbon-12 (or any old radioactive and something non-radioactive that can absorb the radiation or whatever; the exact reaction is not relevant). The plutonium emits alpha particles (transmitter), the carbon absorbs them (receiver) and the absorbing atoms become radioactive (effect, "semantics"). The amount of alpha particles emitted in a time unit is the alphabet of the language. Do these minerals have any intent in this? I strongly doubt it. In other words, the other three properties of language in no way imply the fourth. DNA is assumed to have intent just because it is "obviously" a language, and languages "obviously" have intent (circular reasoning).
DNA itself doesn't have intent any more than the Data on a floppy disk has intent. The physical form, matter or energy will never have intent by it's own accord. When an intelligence builds a machine using matter and energy that is where the intent comes in. You are simply missuing the word intent and making a straw man.

And your plutonium /carbon example is ridiculous because it is simply random natural forces acting on a medium. Plutonium never acts with specified complexity, isn't exactingly repeatble, isn't logical and never results in building somthing other than itself . What does DNA resemble, a chunk of radiating plutonium and an asorbing piece of carbon (a sponge in a tub with one way flow) or a floppy disk and it's component parts ie. a disk drive?

DNA replicates itself. As soon as it is split, RNA is copied and sent to build a protien and the DNA is filled back in with the missing base pairs. this can be thought of as reading and writing to the encoding/decoding molecule. Does carbon ever input anything back into the plutonium? No. So unless you can come up with somthing better, it's useless to reply to you and we go back to exchanging ancedotal evidence. The reason I keep harping on the DNA languge angle is because I do not want to lose focus. The whole question of design hinges upon it.

Secondly, your alluding to the RNA precursor theory in a previous post. The logic is fundamentally flawed becuse there are no known cells that do not have DNA. Rna is only part of the transcripting process. These RNA precursor scientists are looking intently at viruses. Viruses contain digital instructions only which can only be acted upon when they invade a cell nucleus and force the cell to reproduce those genetic codes. If viruses are the precursor to the dividing cell, then how did they reproduce before the cell existed? Many scientists have a "find a natural cause no matter what the cost" additude that automaticly precludes design. This is a bad policy because every possible avenue should be looked at imo.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on June 27, 2006, 04:15:30 pm
DNA itself doesn't have intent any more than the Data on a floppy disk has intent. The physical form, matter or energy will never have intent by it's own accord. When an intelligence builds a machine using matter and energy that is where the intent comes in. You are simply missuing the word intent and making a straw man.

Well, in that case, then you'll be perfectly happy to admit that the physical form of DNA actually does accomplish something, and that if something were to randomly take that physical form, that thing would be accomplished... randomly. Right?


As for the complex transcription and copying mechanisms, keep in mind that simpler systems are possible, but much less speedy and efficient. Once more efficient systems developed, they would have such a tremendous advantage in every way that the older systems would have no defense and be eaten as if they weren't alive. This could have happened several times as efficiency increased by orders of magnitude.

The ability to make cells and vaculoles? Great optimization. Keeps things together. With a cell-wall, your reactions could be small and still effective, because they would be constrained to remain close.
Actin strands? Great optimization. Allows directed motion instead of diffusion within the cell.


But neither of the above are strictly necessary. Other elements of the transcription process can, similarly, be cut; but doing so could raise the generation time from 20 minutes to, say, a day, or a week.

Back when every living thing on earth had such slow generations, such slowness was acceptable.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 27, 2006, 05:27:52 pm
DNA itself doesn't have intent any more than the Data on a floppy disk has intent. The physical form, matter or energy will never have intent by it's own accord. When an intelligence builds a machine using matter and energy that is where the intent comes in. You are simply missuing the word intent and making a straw man.
First of all, I was criticising the use of the word "intent" in the article; specifically the section:

Quote
To have a language, to have information, you have to have a transmitter and a receiver.  Somebody has to talk and somebody has to listen.  And then it has these four characteristics; it has an alphabet, it has grammar, it has meaning, and it has intent.

Every language has those four things.  DNA has them; all the stuff going on inside your computer has them.
The problem with this is that Marshall is basing his reasoning on the assumption that DNA (or, if you want to quibble about syntax, the information stored in it) has "intent" and thus has to come from a mind. On the other hand, he is not providing any reasoning or facts to support this. This is not a straw man argument, it's pointing out a flaw in Marshall's reasoning, meaning that what he has presented is not a proof by any reasonable definition (this, of course, doesn't disprove ID; it merely shows that Marshall hasn't proved it).

Quote
And your plutonium /carbon example is ridiculous because it is simply random natural forces acting on a medium. Plutonium never acts with specified complexity, isn't exactingly repeatble, isn't logical and never results in building somthing other than itself . What does DNA resemble, a chunk of radiating plutonium and an asorbing piece of carbon (a sponge in a tub with one way flow) or a floppy disk and it's component parts ie. a disk drive?
The point of the example was to illustrate a hole in the linguistic argument ("DNA is a language, therefore it must be the product of an intelligence") using as simple and obviously non-intelligent an example as possible; complexity was never mentioned in the reasoning, so I didn't mention it in my counter-example. The example isn't ridiculous as a criticism to the presented reasoning, but improving the reasoning may render it irrelevant, which is what you seem to be getting at, seeing as what you mention has nothing to do with whether my counter-example is valid in the context I used it. I'll interpret the differences you point out as starting points for this.

Let's see if we can salvage the proof using the concept of "specified complexity", which you and Dembski seem to use to patch up this hole. I'll use Dembski: Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence (http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.06.Specification.pdf) as a source. The reasoning is, basically, that life as we observe it has more specified complexity than chance would permit (in other words, the observed property and this specified complexity must have been imparted from an outside source, as a system cannot spontaneously create it (let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Dembski's unproven "law of conservation of information" holds; this is, of course, still a hole in the reasoning).

The radioactive radiation has complexity in an information theoretic sense precisely due to its complete unpredictability. If radioactive decay is random in the way currently theorised (a consequence of quantum physics), you can derive any finite amount of random independent evenly distributed bits from the time of decay of a single radioactive atom (first bit: is decay time is upper 50% of distribution of times, second bit: is it in the upper half of the previous half, and so on; note that we are throwing away information from the radiation and it is still as big as we want). Alternatively, we can use multiple atoms and take one bit from each. The longer the string of bits we take, the lower the probability of it being expressible in less than n bits becomes, in any specified coding system. In other words, the Kolmogorov complexity of the description of the string is proportional to n. Similarly, the probability of this string being observed is 1/2^n. As n increases, this means the specified complexity (rapidly) approaches infinity. Even Dembski's upper bound on observations gives a specified complexity of 92 for n=500.

In other words, quantum physics predicts that any system with radioactivity has unlimited specified complexity, making it useless as an indication of design. Any other randomness source can be used in a similar fashion.

Quote
DNA replicates itself. As soon as it is split, RNA is copied and sent to build a protien and the DNA is filled back in with the missing base pairs. this can be thought of as reading and writing to the encoding/decoding molecule. Does carbon ever input anything back into the plutonium? No. So unless you can come up with somthing better, it's useless to reply to you and we go back to exchanging ancedotal evidence. The reason I keep harping on the DNA languge angle is because I do not want to lose focus. The whole question of design hinges upon it.
Again, the feedback loop you mention is irrelevant to the reasoning presented by Marshall and my counter-argument.

Quote
Secondly, your alluding to the RNA precursor theory in a previous post. The logic is fundamentally flawed becuse there are no known cells that do not have DNA. Rna is only part of the transcripting process. These RNA precursor scientists are looking intently at viruses. Viruses contain digital instructions only which can only be acted upon when they invade a cell nucleus and force the cell to reproduce those genetic codes. If viruses are the precursor to the dividing cell, then how did they reproduce before the cell existed? Many scientists have a "find a natural cause no matter what the cost" additude that automaticly precludes design. This is a bad policy because every possible avenue should be looked at imo.
One consequence of the theory is that purely RNA-based life would be eliminated through evolution as less efficient than DNA-including life (and thus unable to compete, especially in the long run). RNA has been shown to be able to reproduce without DNA (see the referenced article). The role in current life is really irrelevant.

Also, ID is lacking in observable consequences making it useless as a scientific theory.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on June 27, 2006, 06:02:39 pm
Here's a nice plain-speech article I ran across about the RNA World and cellular evolution:

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/jeffares_poole.html

I bring it up because this quote from the text is particularly telling:

Quote
Evolutionary biologists have traditionally studied the simplest organisms they can find in order to learn more about the origins of life. But simple doesn't necessarily mean ancient, so we should not restrict our search purely to simple organisms. All organisms have been evolving for 3.5 billion years or so, and the idea that there is some obscure bug that time forgot which resembles ancient life on Earth is outdated.

We're not going to simply happen across the proverbial coelecanth from the RNA world, which seems to be the proof that the ID people demand, simply because it would have been so effectively outcompeted and killed off by its DNA-based competitors. And how would DNA-based organisms have evolved from RNA-based ancestors? It's a simple matter of dropping an -OH group in favor of -H in one spot on the sugar backbone, and all of a sudden the entire master control for the cell is many times more stable. What kind of organism WOULDN'T take advantage of that kind of edge?

Also disconcerting about the pro-ID arguments, RTyp, is that you seem to be discarding accepted scientific practices whenever doing so would seem to strengthen your argument. You can't expect to have a reasonable discourse about classification of species if you intend to discard the well established system that is in place, in favor of one that you came up with to suit your own needs. You can't differentiate between "mutations" and "genetic mistakes," they're one and the same. You really need to read up on exactly how cellular machinery (particularly RNA production, RNA transcription, and DNA replication) works before trying to use them in this sort of argument. These things really just sort of scream "BAD SCIENCE," though from what I've seen and read, so does ID in general. The whole "negative hypothesis" at its core already eliminates it as scientific thinking; you can't prove or disprove it at all, which makes it useless for anything but purely rhetorical debate like this (or, of course, duping the gullible, foolish, ignorant, and blinded).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on June 27, 2006, 09:09:15 pm


Well, not only in that situation. If a freight train is heading your way, opening your mind to whether you should jump left or right (both ways probably offering sufficient opportunity) and debating what is the best course of action can lead you to troubles too.

Depends on how ar away the freight train are, how the left and right side look, and your religoius beliefs. Getting hit might turn out to be for the best ;)

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Also, opening you mouth and mind in front of many groups of religious, progressive, or otherwise somewhat passionately close minded people can lead to bad feelings or bad bruises.

No, that's what happens when you do it. Many people do just fine in those situations.

Quote
If there was only one thing that'd lead to trouble, nobody would do it, and everything would be A-Okay.

Something leading to trouble and trouble following something are two different things.

Hopefully this was a way too literal enough answer for your way too literal comment :)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 28, 2006, 12:49:48 am
Quote
The problem with this is that Marshall is basing his reasoning on the assumption that DNA (or, if you want to quibble about syntax, the information stored in it) has "intent" and thus has to come from a mind. On the other hand, he is not providing any reasoning or facts to support this. This is not a straw man argument, it's pointing out a flaw in Marshall's reasoning, meaning that what he has presented is not a proof by any reasonable definition (this, of course, doesn't disprove ID; it merely shows that Marshall hasn't proved it).

Ok fair enough. In forensic sciences detectives use what is called deductive reasoning. It IS a scientific process. They are not there to witness a crime but by deduction of what we DO know, can draw fairly accurate conclusions. Somthing real simple:

Detective Riggs finds a body with a gunshot wound to the head. He imediately can draw some conclusions. A)the person did not die of natural causes and B) there is intent to kill from an intelligent mind,Wether it be by suicide or homicide, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Now there is a chance of accident. Further investigations such as blood splatter, powder burns, body position etc. are all weiged in accordance to deduce the most logical explanation. If another person is concluded as the trigger finger, things like,motive, oportunity, etc. are investigated.

Likewise, in principle, we can apply the same deductive reasoning to detect design. We work off what we know about design and apply it to the artifact being examined. Lets say I find Alaxander graham bell's original telephone. By the unlikely arangement of parts, it's specified complexity, by figuring out it's use, how it translates vocal sounds to electrical impulses and decodes them; knowing the unlikelyhood of any naturalistic phenomina producing such a device, the irreducable complexity of the device (remove the reciever on either end and it doesn't work, remove the electricty and it doesn't work) we can pretty much infer design. Now the fact that we know alexander built and marketed his device is the icing on the cake.

Now all the same reasoning can be put to DNA the only part we don't have is the who and how. This reasoning is based on what we DO know so it's not an argument from ignorance. Since every devised machine on this planet comes from an intelligent source, DNA meets every aspect of a designed machine, no naturalistic force can account for such a devise, I think it safe to say we are looking at an alien technology. Not alien as in little green men and saucers but a technology level currently much higer than our current technolgy levels.


Quote
The radioactive radiation has complexity in an information theoretic sense precisely due to its complete unpredictability. If radioactive decay is random in the way currently theorised (a consequence of quantum physics), you can derive any finite amount of random independent evenly distributed bits from the time of decay of a single radioactive atom (first bit: is decay time is upper 50% of distribution of times, second bit: is it in the upper half of the previous half, and so on; note that we are throwing away information from the radiation and it is still as big as we want). Alternatively, we can use multiple atoms and take one bit from each. The longer the string of bits we take, the lower the probability of it being expressible in less than n bits becomes, in any specified coding system. In other words, the Kolmogorov complexity of the description of the string is proportional to n. Similarly, the probability of this string being observed is 1/2^n. As n increases, this means the specified complexity (rapidly) approaches infinity. Even Dembski's upper bound on observations gives a specified complexity of 92 for n=500.

Plutonium is subject to well known, provable naturalistic forces. It is subject to the same thermodynamic laws that decay everything to a state of entropy. That is the radiation will eventually run out and reach a point of equlibrium. DNA bucks the thermodynamic laws and scientists still can't really explain why.

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In other words, quantum physics predicts that any system with radioactivity has unlimited specified complexity, making it useless as an indication of design. Any other randomness source can be used in a similar fashion.

Lol, no it doesnt.... Hahaha! Where did you come up with that? Specified complexity is complexity with a purpose. The purpose of DNA is to hold all the biological information from completele body plan down to building copies of itself and the microcellular machines it HAS to have to build.

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One consequence of the theory is that purely RNA-based life would be eliminated through evolution as less efficient than DNA-including life (and thus unable to compete, especially in the long run). RNA has been shown to be able to reproduce without DNA (see the referenced article). The role in current life is really irrelevant.

The problem with RNA based life thus becomes how did the first RNA molecules come to be? RNA molecules are still complex data storage molecules and there is still no known naturalistic mechanisims for creating it. Then you have the problem of how did it evolve into the DNA, RNA, Protien, irreducable complex machine it is today?

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Also, ID is lacking in observable consequences making it useless as a scientific theory.

What observable consequences does Darwin's theory provide? Every so called example of evolution is a one point mutation, only damages or changes EXISTING protiens and never produces an increase in information to a genome.

Actually we can make predictions using ID. The so called "Junk" DNA shouldn't be predicted in an ID model. ANd as it turns out scientists are finding purposes for this so called "Junk". ANother example is the so called residual organs such the appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth and so on. What once was a list of many is now down to one maybe?

Dawkins loves to jump on this, what a poor designer. If we were designed then why the "bad"design such as backward facing cones in the eye, wisdom teeth etc. The fundamental problem with this argument is that so called bad design doesn't mean it wasn't designed. I may have a Yugo and a Ferarri. The Ferarri may out class the yugo in every aspect.. but like it or not, the Yugo is still designed in a factory by intelligent workers following a blueprint.

DNA is the blueprint, micro cellular machines are the factory workers, protiens are the product and RNA is the boss who oversees the production, the go between. I honestly can't see this arrangement as anything BUT design. I am open minded and I do appreciate the links from everyone. I am considering the possibilty of an RNA precursor to DNA. I'll be reading much more on this...



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 28, 2006, 12:55:14 am
Hey Luki, my life is a series of train wrecks.. No worries here.. ;)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on June 28, 2006, 02:03:35 am
Some general remarks, as I don't want to get dragged into this ultimately pointless discussion:

  • Don't confuse induction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning) with deduction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning). Induction uses incomplete information to come to new statements, and is inherently fallible. It has often been useful in practice, but it can never prove anything. A traditional example of induction is "All observed crows are black, therefore all crows are black.".
  • "purpose" is not the same as "function". "function" is what something does or is used for; "purpose" is what something is designed to do. Function does not imply purpose.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 28, 2006, 02:43:17 am
Meep thanx for your input.. I'd like to add to your important observation. Show me ANY natuaristic force that has function other than somthing biological. All intelligently made machines have function, all naturalistic forces have cause and effect..

Thanx.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 28, 2006, 05:02:24 am
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No, that's what happens when you do it. Many people do just fine in those situations.

With the exception of those who get burned at the stake, stoned, shuned and run over by tanks, yes you are correct. ;)

But now, that is what happens when you do it, brother. The torch has been passed to you. Neal, Luki. . .and rise Sir Luki.


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Hopefully this was a way too literal enough answer for your way too literal comment

Joke all you want, but more people are killed every year by trains, than by flying pigs.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on June 28, 2006, 08:19:52 am
With the exception of those who get burned at the stake, stoned, shuned and run over by tanks, yes you are correct. ;)

In general, I think those things happen after one of the parties has already stopped talking. Unless you want to make a case for protesters and tank drivers debating their differences as one party is being slowly run over, I'd say this is one of the things that happens when you stop talking. Remember, it takes two two tal kas well (the kind of talking I was implying). Well, unless you're Wade Wilson.

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But now, that is what happens when you do it, brother. The torch has been passed to you. Neal, Luki. . .and rise Sir Luki.

My name isn't Neal, I'm not on fire, and I've yet to make a single topic AFAIK go boom. On what do you base those assumptions?

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Joke all you want, but more people are killed every year by trains, than by flying pigs.

Please provide viable sources for this fanciful claim. Statistics from an acclaimed source would go a long way towards proving your case.

Quote from: RT

Ok fair enough. In forensic sciences detectives use what is called deductive reasoning. It IS a scientific process. They are not there to witness a crime but by deduction of what we DO know, can draw fairly accurate conclusions. Somthing real simple:

Detective Riggs finds a body with a gunshot wound to the head. He imediately can draw some conclusions. A)the person did not die of natural causes and B) there is intent to kill from an intelligent mind,Wether it be by suicide or homicide, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Now there is a chance of accident. Further investigations such as blood splatter, powder burns, body position etc. are all weiged in accordance to deduce the most logical explanation. If another person is concluded as the trigger finger, things like,motive, oportunity, etc. are investigated.

This seems a tad flawed to me. Deductive reasoning can point to a plausible cause, but it wont necessarily prove it. In the case you describe, there is a whole heap of actual factual evidence that you base your conclusions on, which will later be used as evidence. These are solid known things, the significance of which we all can agree on. To illustrate my point, I'll rewrite your story (starring you me and Nanuk, the whale fat merchant!)

Detective RTyp06 finds a body with a gunshot wound to the head. He imediately can draw some conclusions. A)the person did not die of natural causes and B) there is intent to kill from an intelligent mind,Wether it be by suicide or homicide, guns don't kill people, people kill people.

However, detective Lukipela disagrees. That is not a gunshot wound he claims! It is a hole caused by blunt trauma form some sort of swinging object, like a crowbar! Obivously, someone beat this poor man so hard, that his brain was thrown out throught the back of his head! Therefore, it must be a homicide.

Tagging along, Nanuk the whale fat merchant disagrees. He has seen this many times. It is what happens when one angers Argarak, lord of wlaruses. His divine might has come down, and seared a hole through the poor mans skull. A failure to atone in time, not a homicide, but divine will!

Of course, not all these conclusions can be true. So without further ado, and without collecting any evidence that all can agree on, they turn to the esteemed judge Wattson to solve the case. Unfortunately, Wattson has been in an institution all his life. He knows little of how the world works. RTyp06 describes this "gun" to him. Lukipela speaks of the "crowbar", whilst Nanuk points out the furious might of Argarak.

Still, without further evidence, no verdict can be given, and any version can be the truth.


The point being that you are looking at DNA and saying, "Obivously the evidence points to design." However, if your evidence is not something that is agreed upon as evidence, it is worth very little. Nanuk would never hold up in court, no matter how much he considers a vision form Argarak saying "I did it and I'm glad I did it" evidence.

So what you need to do is to find some sort of hard evidence, rather than just speculation and "deduction".

As an aside, even though all parties in that story believe they are right, none of them might be.

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Likewise, in principle, we can apply the same deductive reasoning to detect design. We work off what we know about design and apply it to the artifact being examined. Lets say I find Alaxander graham bell's original telephone. By the unlikely arangement of parts, it's specified complexity, by figuring out it's use, how it translates vocal sounds to electrical impulses and decodes them; knowing the unlikelyhood of any naturalistic phenomina producing such a device, the irreducable complexity of the device (remove the reciever on either end and it doesn't work, remove the electricty and it doesn't work) we can pretty much infer design. Now the fact that we know alexander built and marketed his device is the icing on the cake.

Now all the same reasoning can be put to DNA the only part we don't have is the who and how. This reasoning is based on what we DO know so it's not an argument from ignorance. Since every devised machine on this planet comes from an intelligent source, DNA meets every aspect of a designed machine, no naturalistic force can account for such a devise, I think it safe to say we are looking at an alien technology. Not alien as in little green men and saucers but a technology level currently much higer than our current technolgy levels.

This just seems skewed somehow to me. You can deduce that the telephone is a designed machine. You believe that DNA meets every aspect of a designed machine. Others have been arguing that it doesn't. Without proof, both sides are just guessing here, making your deduction kind of null and void.

Or something.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 28, 2006, 11:04:11 am
Now all the same reasoning can be put to DNA the only part we don't have is the who and how. This reasoning is based on what we DO know so it's not an argument from ignorance. Since every devised machine on this planet comes from an intelligent source, DNA meets every aspect of a designed machine, no naturalistic force can account for such a devise, I think it safe to say we are looking at an alien technology. Not alien as in little green men and saucers but a technology level currently much higer than our current technolgy levels.
You're using the falsity of evolution ("no naturalistic force can account for such a devise [sic]") to disprove evolution. Circular reasoning. Besides, I just demonstrated that the criterion you used to determine what is "designed" is so weak that almost anything is covered by it.

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Plutonium is subject to well known, provable naturalistic forces. It is subject to the same thermodynamic laws that decay everything to a state of entropy. That is the radiation will eventually run out and reach a point of equlibrium. DNA bucks the thermodynamic laws and scientists still can't really explain why.
In what way does DNA buck thermodynamics? If you want to argue based on the idea that it creates additional complexity and thus violates the second law, note that life is not a closed system; it relies on solar radiation (and, to a limited extent, heat emitted from the cooling insides of Earth), which is obviously increasing entropy. Although life could be considered a local entropy decrease, it clearly increases entropy outside itself even more. This isn't even in dispute to my knowledge.

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Lol, no it doesnt.... Hahaha! Where did you come up with that? Specified complexity is complexity with a purpose. The purpose of DNA is to hold all the biological information from completele body plan down to building copies of itself and the microcellular machines it HAS to have to build.
By applying the definition of specified complexity to an observed case. If the result seems ridiculous, it is because specified complexity is ridiculous (or the notion that anything is random at all is ridiculous, in which case the radioactive atoms must have information content to account for the observed distribution of radiation, which would limit their specified complexity but still leave it higher than the genetic code in any organism given even a small lump of radioactive stuff).

Seriously, I gave you the entire deduction chain and all you do is say that the end result is ridiculous? Can you find any fault in my reasoning; it's a straightforward calculation based on Dembski's own definition (the only definition of specified complexity I can find that is clear enough (barely) to make any sensible deductions)?

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The problem with RNA based life thus becomes how did the first RNA molecules come to be? RNA molecules are still complex data storage molecules and there is still no known naturalistic mechanisims for creating it. Then you have the problem of how did it evolve into the DNA, RNA, Protien, irreducable complex machine it is today?
The sources referenced in the Wikipedia article address these questions somewhat. To summarise: nucleotides that compose RNA have been shown in experiments to occur spontaneously in primaeval Earth-like conditions (as far as we known what they are, of course), although it seems that these were never observed to combine into RNA capable of self-reproduction. RNA and DNA are similar enough (remove OH, add H) for e.g. radiation to break down RNA nucleotides allowing DNA to form. Alternatively, note that DNA replicates through RNA, meaning that the right RNA could create (in the right conditions) DNA (I admit to being unable to explain this in detail).

You are correct, however, in pointing out that the origin of the cell is still somewhat mysterious. That doesn't invalidate anything (especially not theories about what happened after cells had formed), but it does leave some room for doubt. The current theories are incomplete and probably not very accurate.

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What observable consequences does Darwin's theory provide? Every so called example of evolution is a one point mutation, only damages or changes EXISTING protiens and never produces an increase in information to a genome.
This argument blatantly ignores arguments noted earlier in this thread. For one thing, it predicts that organisms will, through mutation and/or recombination and natural selection adapt to changing conditions, drastics changes in environment leading to drastic changes in organisms (see e.g. an major extinction event). This has been demonstrated over and over again. It also predicts that the maximum complexity of these organisms will increase over time; this seems to be supported by paleontology.

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Actually we can make predictions using ID. The so called "Junk" DNA shouldn't be predicted in an ID model. ANd as it turns out scientists are finding purposes for this so called "Junk". ANother example is the so called residual organs such the appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth and so on. What once was a list of many is now down to one maybe?

Dawkins loves to jump on this, what a poor designer. If we were designed then why the "bad"design such as backward facing cones in the eye, wisdom teeth etc. The fundamental problem with this argument is that so called bad design doesn't mean it wasn't designed. I may have a Yugo and a Ferarri. The Ferarri may out class the yugo in every aspect.. but like it or not, the Yugo is still designed in a factory by intelligent workers following a blueprint.
You quite neatly painted yourself into a corner with that one. On one hand, ID predicts a good design, on the other, the design doesn't have to be good. In other words, you've said nothing.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 28, 2006, 03:10:58 pm
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My name isn't Neal, I'm not on fire, and I've yet to make a single topic AFAIK go boom.

I made one typo, but come on, you've never watched the olympics on your tv (maybe there's no torch in the winter games though?)


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On what do you base those assumptions?

From the link you gave a while ago. The people of that forum should be commended for their tolerance of your saying things people don't want to hear. :)


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Please provide viable sources for this fanciful claim. Statistics from an acclaimed source would go a long way towards proving your case.

http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=3029.75

I'd provide more, but I can't for religious reasons (one shall not reveal renderings or scrolls of the pigasus, or thou shalt be made to scrub the floors of the lord's super king sized bathroom, for all of eternity.) Just you wait though, winged pigs will be bigger than UFOs. When the American movie industry gets  around to remaking the Wizard of Oz because they can't come up with anything new anymore,  it won't be evil monkeys that you see flying around.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on June 28, 2006, 06:49:17 pm
Alternatively, note that DNA replicates through RNA, meaning that the right RNA could create (in the right conditions) DNA (I admit to being unable to explain this in detail).
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Several different types of RNA viruses, with HIV being the most infamous example, replicate themselves via these means. After invading a cell, the virus's RNA hijacks the ribosomes for a brief while in order to generate an enzyme called "Reverse Transcriptase." This enzyme in turn will shuffle along the viral RNA and appropriate local nucleotides in order to generate a DNA complement to the existing viral RNA strand. Once that DNA exists, it proceeds to hijack the cell's existing DNA transcriptase (normally used for replication) in order to generate a complementary strand of viral DNA. Once the double stranded viral DNA is complete, it will proceed to integrate itself into the host genome and lie dormant, at least until conditions are correct for a mass viral replication and excretion.

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The problem with RNA based life thus becomes how did the first RNA molecules come to be? RNA molecules are still complex data storage molecules and there is still no known naturalistic mechanisims for creating it. Then you have the problem of how did it evolve into the DNA, RNA, Protien, irreducable complex machine it is today?

It's not irreducibly complex. The RNA virus above clearly demonstrates that the DNA and protein components are not necessary, so long as they can be appropriated from a suitable host. And if bacteria are intelligent, then viruses must be too, yes? Never mind that they're not even really considered alive.

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Meep thanx for your input.. I'd like to add to your important observation. Show me ANY natuaristic force that has function other than somthing biological. All intelligently made machines have function, all naturalistic forces have cause and effect..

Volcanoes. Their purpose is to vent the pressure generated by the molten core of the Earth, and the rocks clearly show intent to generate this structure. The rock and ash thrown up into the classic cone shape do so in order to create a stable structure that provides a channel for venting gases and magma, as well as intice foolish humans to create settlements nearby so that they may be consumed later, during eruption. Clearly, this shows intelligence on the part of the rocks, and speaks of the great plan designed for them to carry out this purpose. After all, this is an irreducibly complex system; remove the rocks or the magma, and it will fail to function.

The above is the most ludicrous thing I have ever written.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 29, 2006, 12:06:11 am
Ok two things to reply to here, first volcanos.. Volcanos spew heated gasses trapped beneath the earth. Cause, pressure of heated gases, effect volcano.. Thus this is a naturalistic "cause and effect" function.  ::) I had to look up function because I didn't think it applied to cause and effect. I've never asked what is the function of a volcano or what is the function of the sun, so it just doesn't sound right. Ive always used the word function as it relates to programming or designed machines. A toilet has a function, a lamp has a function, DNA has a function, a volcano has a function? Ok so live and learn.. What is the cause of DNA and what is the effect of DNA?
Cause: Random Chemicals coming togther in the primordial soup
Effect: Most densely packed, universal information system in the universe!

Nice!


Second, "painted into corner". "Bad Design" is subjective and interpretive. "Junk" DNA is an actual, tangible artifact. Two different things. The so called "Junk" actually poses more of a problem for natural selection as why would a cell carry around this extra baggage? Especially, what 90% ?being "Junk" in the human genome alone. It takes energy to replicate thus affecting survival fitness. Secondly, the Junk DNA doesn't code for protiens, is either garbled or has many repeating patterns. If this were truely an artifact of evolution wouldn't at least SOME of it be recognizeable?

What we know about "Junk "DNA is that every DNA strand has it in every organism we've studied. Some have more, some have less. We know that the DNA molecule is always filled with peptide bonds from end to end. You never see a DNA molecule with lose, free floating ends. So one possible prediction from a design philosophy is that the DNA molecule could simply be putting in filler data for a stable molecule. There are start and stop codons that surround the useable DNA then the rest is so called junk. Just like I may use X amount of my harddrive, but the unused sectors may simply be random 1s or 0's.. Or a combination there of.

That's only one possibility. Another is that Junk DNA has purpose of which we will discover as we learn more about it. That is another possible prediction.


Now the ferrari and yugo. A yugo's affordability and gas millage might be more practical for granny and her liquor store runs. Thus "bad" desgin is subjective. So I wasn't saying dawkins is right, that  some things are badly designed, but rather even if some things can be seen as bad design, it's still design nonetheless.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 29, 2006, 12:13:54 am
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You're using the falsity of evolution ("no naturalistic force can account for such a devise [sic]") to disprove evolution. Circular reasoning.

Sorry, what I meant to say is that no KNOWN naturalistic force can account... Thus I am appealing to what we currently know. And I do know how to spell "device"..

BTW, I'm preparing for vactaion out of state next week so my posts are a little rushed.

Luki,  still pondering your revised detective story..


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 29, 2006, 02:56:15 am
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By applying the definition of specified complexity to an observed case. If the result seems ridiculous, it is because specified complexity is ridiculous (or the notion that anything is random at all is ridiculous, in which case the radioactive atoms must have information content to account for the observed distribution of radiation, which would limit their specified complexity but still leave it higher than the genetic code in any organism given even a small lump of radioactive stuff).

Salt Crystals: Follows well defined laws, produces an independently given repetetitive pattern, and is therefore specified. But it will be simple, not complex.

Uranium: The exact time sequence of radioactive emissions will be contingent, complex but not specified.

The genetic code is both complex AND specified. The key word here is specified, ie specific. A specific function. Uranium does not have a specific function. What is uranium's specific function? To radiate radioactivity? What is the function of the genetic code? Assembly instructions for building protiens, microcellular machines and replication. Do you really think uranium falls into the category of specified complexity?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on June 29, 2006, 08:35:45 am
I made one typo, but come on, you've never watched the olympics on your tv (maybe there's no torch in the winter games though?)

I must have missed the part where the torch bearer kneels and is awarded knighthood at the start of the games. I have no idea about the torch in winter games, I rarely watch sport on television. Well, except when we're playing those dastardly swedes in icehockey.

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From the link you gave a while ago. The people of that forum should be commended for their tolerance of your saying things people don't want to hear. :)

Even from that link, I see n othread going up in flames (such as your speciality is), just people going from boring pondering of the universe, to a heated evolutionary debate. Sometimes a catalyst is needed.

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http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=3029.75

I'm am awestruck. Very good, based ón this excellent source, I accept your claim.

Quote from: RTyp06
Luki,  still pondering your revised detective story..

Don't ponder too hard or long, it was not that seriously meant. Essentially, I was trying to point out that while logical deduction is a wholly accepted tool, you cannot actually use it to prove something, especially if there is a lack of universally accepted facts in the matter.

If it helps the comparison, I'm fairly sure that scientists began accepting the notion of atoms long before atoms where proven. Just because you find that something is the only logical explanation, doesn't make it true until you can prove it. And since your theory is essentially unprovable, it makes it undebatable and unchangable.

Sure, it is a possibility, and it might even be true, but it is not a scientific theory, for the reasons outlined earlier in this thread (and the essay that was linked).

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What we know about "Junk "DNA is that every DNA strand has it in every organism we've studied. Some have more, some have less. We know that the DNA molecule is always filled with peptide bonds from end to end. You never see a DNA molecule with lose, free floating ends. So one possible prediction from a design philosophy is that the DNA molecule could simply be putting in filler data for a stable molecule. There are start and stop codons that surround the useable DNA then the rest is so called junk. Just like I may use X amount of my harddrive, but the unused sectors may simply be random 1s or 0's.. Or a combination there of.

I was under the impression that prokaryotes contain minimal amounts of junk DNA. They certainly contain no introns and suchlike, which is why you cannot simply move eukaryotic DNA to a prokaryote with out working on it for a bit.
Linky (http://www.indiana.edu/~ocmhp/121203/text/research.shtml). Also, why is this a problem for natural selection? It would seem to me that lots of leftover bits and pieces that may once have done something would be more indicative of random mutations than of a clear design.

To expand your other example, your designed organism is the Yugo. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, and what the designer had in mind. Had it been designed better, it could have been a Ferrari. However, it can never become one, only change smal lthings like colour and such.

The evolutionary car however, also have 4 wheels and an engine, but it contains various bits and pieces sticking out of it's hood, sides, benches and mirrors. The steering wheel contains small beatiful oval shaped forms. The left back wheel has spikes. Something looking suspiciously like shotgun seems to be groing out of its fuselage. In short, it carries a lot of completely unnecessary stuff left over fomr when it wa sued for something else. It looks vaguely like a cross between a Yougo, a Jeep and a inverted motorcycle, and is far less efficient thatn it's designed counterpart. But one day, it may grow into something with the effect of an ferrari (though it will of course look like crap). These changes happen very slowly.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 29, 2006, 11:19:25 am
The genetic code is both complex AND specified. The key word here is specified, ie specific. A specific function. Uranium does not have a specific function. What is uranium's specific function? To radiate radioactivity? What is the function of the genetic code? Assembly instructions for building protiens, microcellular machines and replication. Do you really think uranium falls into the category of specified complexity?
You keep using "specified" without explaining what it means to you. I already demonstrated that the formal definition does not mean what you seem to think it means, and you're still making the assumption that DNA is, in some way, "specified" without giving an explanation why apart from an appeal to organisation that essentially relies on evolution being false, the very matter you seek to prove. If you are using the term "specified" in some other fashion than the sources you refer to, please define it.

As for junk DNA, there are two major points. Some of this DNA may, in current or future organisms, have a positive effect on their survival and/or reproduction ("serve a purpose"); especially the effect in future organisms is hard to determine. Furthermore, unless the extra DNA has a noticeable harmful effect, there is little or no selection pressure to remove it. Of course, from an ID PoV, you could argue that the junk DNA is for "future expansion".


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Toroid on June 29, 2006, 02:38:57 pm
I think RTyp06 has a very good point. If you look at all the complex objects in the world that have a purpose, apart from life, what do they all have in common? Exactly, they're created by an intelligent designer. So it stands to reason that life is also created by an intelligent designer.

You know... they have more in common... these objects have all been created by humans! So life must also be created by humans! Zounds! Humans have been time travelling and seeding life!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on June 29, 2006, 11:13:03 pm
Second, "painted into corner". "Bad Design" is subjective and interpretive. "Junk" DNA is an actual, tangible artifact. Two different things. The so called "Junk" actually poses more of a problem for natural selection as why would a cell carry around this extra baggage? Especially, what 90% ?being "Junk" in the human genome alone. It takes energy to replicate thus affecting survival fitness. Secondly, the Junk DNA doesn't code for protiens, is either garbled or has many repeating patterns. If this were truely an artifact of evolution wouldn't at least SOME of it be recognizeable?

Not in the least. I think Luki covered this pretty well in his post above. In addition, junk DNA serves as a buffer against constant mutation of the genome (which happens far more often than we're aware, but is usually isolated to Junk DNA, so we don't notice the effects), since every mutation that occurs doesn't necessarily affect an essential physiological process. As Luki mentioned, prokaryotes do not have this trait of Junk DNA, and this is in no small part responsible for why prokaryote genomes are constantly mutating and generating new strains of organisms, for better or for worse for subsequent generations (usually better, though, since selection pressures on most prokaryotes involve imminently lethal consequences, unlike more complex organisms). The energy required to replicate this Junk DNA is more than made up for when a 100-base deletion occurs within its confines; if something like that occurred within, say, the gene for insulin or hemoglobin, the effects would be extremely detrimental to the organisms survival (mind you, these aren't the exact differences that cause diabetes or sickle celled anemia, but the point stands).

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What we know about "Junk "DNA is that every DNA strand has it in every organism we've studied. Some have more, some have less. We know that the DNA molecule is always filled with peptide bonds from end to end. You never see a DNA molecule with lose, free floating ends. So one possible prediction from a design philosophy is that the DNA molecule could simply be putting in filler data for a stable molecule. There are start and stop codons that surround the useable DNA then the rest is so called junk. Just like I may use X amount of my harddrive, but the unused sectors may simply be random 1s or 0's.. Or a combination there of.

As mentioned, most prokaryotes do not have Junk DNA in any significant quantity. In fact, some prokaryotic genomes (ie. Mycoplama) are so densely packed that the genes actually overlap each other, with start and stop codons integrated into the sequences of other genes, and the actual transcription only occuring on a very small section of the DNA so the right codons are accessed by the RNA Transcriptase. This occurs all around the entire circumferance of the genome of this organism. Suffice to say, even single base mutations in Mycoplama can have potentially disasterous effects, but the DNA is perfectly stable nonetheless.

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I think RTyp06 has a very good point. If you look at all the complex objects in the world that have a purpose, apart from life, what do they all have in common? Exactly, they're created by an intelligent designer. So it stands to reason that life is also created by an intelligent designer.

You know... they have more in common... these objects have all been created by humans! So life must also be created by humans! Zounds! Humans have been time travelling and seeding life!

Well, I'm officially confused as to which side of this debate you're on. But, just in case...

*Founds Homo Deus, persecutes clones*


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 29, 2006, 11:54:22 pm
You know... they have more in common... these objects have all been created by humans! So life must also be created by humans! Zounds! Humans have been time travelling and seeding life!
If you accept causal loops, that's actually a rather good hypothesis. Unfortunately, temporal mechanics is a field that's even worse off than biology, making it hard to say anything about the matter, really.

In fact, this hypothesis resolves one of the problems of the typical ID approach: "Who designed the designer?". In the time-travel case, the designer designed himself. I have no idea whether this has anything to do with reality. A more traditional ID approach would be to say that the designer has always existed (having him spontaneously appear would undermine the whole idea and making him designed just adds another step to the reasoning).

To further muddy the waters, I'd like to point out Shermer's Last Law (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000A2062-66B1-1C6D-84A9809EC588EF21): "Any sufficiently advanced ETI [extra-terrestrial intelligence] is indistinguishable from God.". Basically, given our limited observational capabilities, we are unable to distinguish an omnipotent being from one capable of e.g. manipulating all our sensory input or our thoughts but lacking full omnipotence. I find this reasoning supports a strong agnostic position (in fact, you could even justify various forms of solipsism, such as that of Descartes, using similar arguments, but I'm a bit too emotionally attached to all you hallucinations out there to go that way).

Another similar argument going in the other direction would be: "Any sufficiently sneaky omnipotent being is indistinguishable from a force of nature.".


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 30, 2006, 03:25:01 am

From Draxas' link to "Were bacteria the first forms of life on earth?" we get a telling passage in the last paragraph:

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/jeffares_poole.html

"Once upon a time, we'd probably have been in danger of being burnt at the stake for such heretical stuff, but nowadays biologists no longer view the evolution of life as a progression from simple to complex with humans as the pinnacle of evolutionary achievement. Here's to your molecular fossils!

If you even reflect upon this for a moment, it may invoke images of Copernicus or Galilao who suggested *gasp* The earth revolves around the sun. They were branded heretics by the roman catholic church. Skip ahead a few centuries and you have Alaxander Graham Bell's telephone that the Britsih brighest scientific minds  called a toy, and that Britian had "enough young messenger boys". Or you have scientists at such notable "prestigious" (and I use that term loosely) institutions as "Scientific American" who ridiculed Wilbur and Orvile wright because it was "proven" that heavier than air vehicles couldn't fly. How dare they think outside the box! Just look at the Big Bang theory's history...etc.

Luki hinted at the majority which I disagree with. Just because the majority thinks somthing is fact, doesn't make it fact. The majority of americans think Jesus Christ is coming to save them. For centuries the majority thought the world was flat simply because it was the leading paradigm of the day. Today the leading paradigm is evolution. I would never want them to take the theory of evolution out of schools, just show kids that it isn't as cut and dry fact as they make it out to be. In fact I personally think it's highly extrapolated from very flimsy evidence. I wouldn't even call it a theory, a hypothisis or philosophy might be a better term. But that is my opinion.

I'm not trying to prove ID, I could never do that. Nor can anyone prove evolution. This all started  with Novus calling ID a bunch of crap. The ID people have some good, sound, scientific arguments for ID and sound scientific objections to darwinism that need to be explained. Also not all ID people are a bunch of religious rubes. I honestly don't see why people are so scared of the possibility of design. Is it an ego thing, the chance that we may not be the master of our domain? Do we need to legitimize our own lack of ethics by equating man to nothing more than evolved animals? Is it fear that the iron rule of the church will come back or the toppling of the darwinian empire ? Scientific truth is truth and I don't care where it leads us, that is where I'm going.

Cherry picking and forcing data to fit your predefined paradigm wether you are a religious scientist trying to back your sacred texts or a darwinian scientist throwing away test results because it doesn't fit your tree of life or the age of earth or whatever.. It's BAD science, period.

ID to me has the best fit. It fits with the cambrian explosion, it explains the tough darwinian riddles such as why we don't see transitional fossils, why genomes don't increase in size with complexity (amobea has a trillion base pairs), how whole complex organ systems came to be (what good is a blood cell without veins, arteries, a heart, and lungs or gills), the genetic homology differences (why are two species of frogs seperated by more genetic differences than a bat and a blue whale),  why does DNA buck the second law of thermaldynamics (if it evolved, it didn't always have a cell wall thus it was in an OPEN system at some point in time), why does DNA carry around useless baggage (junk DNA) when natural selection supposidly fine tunes things like the bacterial flagellum to perfection. etc.

Anybody that believes DNA and the dividing cell came about by pure chance should also recognize the high improbabilty of it happening anywhere else in the universe. (based on our current scientific understanding of course). Perhaps life evolved on a handfull of planets? What a dull bleak place we live in, no purpose, no design. But if life is a constructed, alien technology the possibilites are endless. Perhaps even the universe itself was constructed for complex life! Thus we should expect to find design and purpose everywhere.

People will interpret scientific data differently and come to different conclusions. And that's OK. But never be afraid to think outside the box..

Happy 4th everyone..







Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 30, 2006, 04:54:31 am
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"Who designed the designer?".

Hehe, I've always wanted creationists to answer that little question. Is not a god irreducibly complex or whatever?


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Happy 4th everyone..

For those who don't know and are wondering, he's refering to an American holiday:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_of_july


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on June 30, 2006, 11:15:32 am
Luki hinted at the majority which I disagree with. Just because the majority thinks somthing is fact, doesn't make it fact. The majority of americans think Jesus Christ is coming to save them. For centuries the majority thought the world was flat simply because it was the leading paradigm of the day. Today the leading paradigm is evolution. I would never want them to take the theory of evolution out of schools, just show kids that it isn't as cut and dry fact as they make it out to be. In fact I personally think it's highly extrapolated from very flimsy evidence. I wouldn't even call it a theory, a hypothisis or philosophy might be a better term. But that is my opinion.
And, as I've been trying to point out, ID is based on even flimsier evidence (or, specifically, a very specific interpretation of the evidence and flimsy reasoning).

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I'm not trying to prove ID, I could never do that. Nor can anyone prove evolution.
Strictly speaking, you can't prove anything that isn't a tautology. Science is, as meep-eep pointed out, firmly based on inductive reasoning based on observation and therefore implicitly assumes an objective universe behaving according to a set of rules. We can guess what those rules are based on observation, but we can't ever be sure about most of them.

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This all started  with Novus calling ID a bunch of crap.
Actually, that was Halleck. Could you at least check obvious facts before posting?

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The ID people have some good, sound, scientific arguments for ID
Not the sources I've critiqued so far.

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and sound scientific objections to darwinism that need to be explained.
Sure, the entire bunch-of-inorganic-chemicals-to-us chain hasn't been explained, but that's no reason to reject the parts that have firm evidence to back them up.

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Also not all ID people are a bunch of religious rubes. I honestly don't see why people are so scared of the possibility of design. Is it an ego thing, the chance that we may not be the master of our domain?
For crying out loud, I'd like nothing more than to have a convincing explanation for all this, whether it's ID or evolution or noodly appendages. The problem is that, as we've seen in this discussion, the popular ID theories are either too generic to have any observable consequences, internally inconsistent or inconsistent with observations. The later phases of evolution have quite overwhelming evidence and a sound theoretical underpinning, although the exact details of how cells came to appear as still unclear.

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Do we need to legitimize our own lack of ethics by equating man to nothing more than evolved animals?
Science doesn't make moral or ethical judgements, and sensible ethics and morals surely don't depend on whether man is designed or evolved, do they?

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Is it fear that the iron rule of the church will come back or the toppling of the darwinian empire ?
Considering what the Catholic Church has done to scientists and science in the past, this is hardly an unjustified fear.

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Scientific truth is truth and I don't care where it leads us, that is where I'm going.
There is no such thing as "truth" when you start doing observations and making theories based on them, only better approximations (and what is "better" depends on circumstances).

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Cherry picking and forcing data to fit your predefined paradigm wether you are a religious scientist trying to back your sacred texts or a darwinian scientist throwing away test results because it doesn't fit your tree of life or the age of earth or whatever.. It's BAD science, period.
Entirely true. However, I still maintain that ID "scientists" have demonstrated that they aren't even bound by logic, let alone unbiased interpretation of data. I'll stick to the guys who actually understand the concept of constructive criticism.

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ID to me has the best fit. It fits with the cambrian explosion, it explains the tough darwinian riddles such as why we don't see transitional fossils, why genomes don't increase in size with complexity (amobea has a trillion base pairs), how whole complex organ systems came to be (what good is a blood cell without veins, arteries, a heart, and lungs or gills), the genetic homology differences (why are two species of frogs seperated by more genetic differences than a bat and a blue whale),  why does DNA buck the second law of thermaldynamics (if it evolved, it didn't always have a cell wall thus it was in an OPEN system at some point in time), why does DNA carry around useless baggage (junk DNA) when natural selection supposidly fine tunes things like the bacterial flagellum to perfection. etc.
And that's the problem with ID. It explains everything and, in doing so, nothing (including stuff that is inconsistent with our view of the world). The whole point of this discussion has been that evolution explains all this instead of merely allowing it.

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Anybody that believes DNA and the dividing cell came about by pure chance should also recognize the high improbabilty of it happening anywhere else in the universe. (based on our current scientific understanding of course). Perhaps life evolved on a handfull of planets?
Hard to extrapolate from current data, but life-bearing planets seem to be the exception, not the rule.

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What a dull bleak place we live in, no purpose, no design. But if life is a constructed, alien technology the possibilites are endless. Perhaps even the universe itself was constructed for complex life! Thus we should expect to find design and purpose everywhere.
Or, using the anthropic principle, the only reason we find life is that it had to exist for us to wonder about it. Life is, either way, what we make of it. To me, requiring an intelligent designer in order to have a purpose sounds a bit like dependency on parents on a cosmic scale.

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People will interpret scientific data differently and come to different conclusions. And that's OK. But never be afraid to think outside the box..
Actually, I'm inclined to agree with your sentiment. If evidence comes to light that seriously casts doubt on evolution, ID could be a serious alternative; just not the ID you've presented. Similarly, no complete non-ID theory for the origin of life exists either, but we seem to be getting closer all the time.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on June 30, 2006, 11:50:14 pm
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And, as I've been trying to point out, ID is based on even flimsier evidence (or, specifically, a very specific interpretation of the evidence and flimsy reasoning).

When we look into a cell and see activities and convieniencies only associated with engineering principles and information theory what are we supposed to think? A genetic code that highly resembles human made code or language. Little micro machines that haul pieces around the cell like miniture trucks on a construction site. Machines that transcript instruction into physical products. Even in the higher levels like growing embryos. Temporary scaffolding structures erected during building then torn down after the job is done or skin cells etched out into the shape of a hand via programmed cell death. Everything being built in the correct sequence, with the correct materials where they are needed, with the correct timing. We find chemical feedback to start and stop proceedures...etc etc.

The only place we see anything of this complexity with a nearly exact part by part real word comparison is on a construction site or factory floor.

Evolution simply extrapolates large scale changes from well known breeding limitations. One would think in 150+ years somthing concrete would have come from it by now. All we get is just so stories and flights of fancy. The best presented "evidence" here so far has been two headed snakes and superficial bone differences in the fossil record. Genetic errors and breeding seem a much more logical explanation to me. Selection pressures can cause change but so far have only demonstrated slight changes to existing code and one point mutaional damage.

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Actually, that was Halleck. Could you at least check obvious facts before posting?
Apologies.

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Sure, the entire bunch-of-inorganic-chemicals-to-us chain hasn't been explained, but that's no reason to reject the parts that have firm evidence to back them up.

That's just it, there isn't a single piece of firm evidence whatsoever to back up macro evolution. That's why evolution theory itself has evolved so many times. That's also why the latest flavor of evolution is Evo Devo because the other versions faced unsurmountable problems.

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The later phases of evolution have quite overwhelming evidence and a sound theoretical underpinning, although the exact details of how cells came to appear as still unclear.

Please, share this overwhelming evidence and we can discuss it in detail if you'd like when I get back next week.. I love discussing these things because this is the most fascinating topic to me.

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Science doesn't make moral or ethical judgements, and sensible ethics and morals surely don't depend on whether man is designed or evolved, do they?

No, not nessicarily, but they can have a profound impact on society. I remember a while back I was listening to Howard Stern (I think it was) any way a man got his jollies by deficating in grocery stores. The man had a wife and children! After a while of interview he said somthing to the effect "..what does it matter, we are just animals." I'm paraphrasing and don't recall his exact words.

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Considering what the Catholic Church has done to scientists and science in the past, this is hardly an unjustified fear.

It is justified, to a degree, but this is the 21st century, I'm sure we are well beyond that. I don't think theistic doctrine belongs in science anymore than you do. What I fear is darwinian doctrine becoming so dogmatic it shuts out any interpretation outside of it's self built walls. And we are seeing this to a degree.

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There is no such thing as "truth" when you start doing observations and making theories based on them, only better approximations (and what is "better" depends on circumstances).
Hey wasn't some of that approximated from "Star Wars, A new Hope" ?.. Ok, fair enough.

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Entirely true. However, I still maintain that ID "scientists" have demonstrated that they aren't even bound by logic, let alone unbiased interpretation of data. I'll stick to the guys who actually understand the concept of constructive criticism.

Heh, would Dawkins fit into that category? Look, it is true that ID has a theistic appeal to many. And some are a little overzealous. But there are those that are looking at this from a purely scientific viewpoint. Take a look at the discovery institute of science and culture. http://www.discovery.org/

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And that's the problem with ID. It explains everything and, in doing so, nothing (including stuff that is inconsistent with our view of the world). The whole point of this discussion has been that evolution explains all this instead of merely allowing it.

Evolution does indeed "explain" it, but is almost entirely  comprised of  Just-So stories fit into the darwininian "canon" if you will. without any substantial ,real world evidence to support it.

Here's an example I found over at Scientific American..

SHOCKING CONVERGENCE: Two groups of South American and African electric fish, whose lineages diverged 200 million years ago, independently evolved similar ways to generate electricity, according to a new study. In a paper published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report that both groups converted existing sodium channel proteins used for muscle contraction into sodium channels that can generate electricity. Pictured above are Eigenmannia virescens from the Amazon (top) and Brienomyrus vadamans from Africa.

Found here (scroll down to Shocking Convergance):

http://www.sciam.com/gallery_directory.cfm

The problem I have is that these things are stated as FACT without any hint that there could even remotely be any objections to these claims. Of course I haven't looked at the scientific paper it was derived from yet, but the point still stands.

ID as a theory is still in it's infancy. The scientists involved are trying to make scientific predictions with it and coming up with detection methods that appeal to what we do know about designed machines.




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Or, using the anthropic principle, the only reason we find life is that it had to exist for us to wonder about it. Life is, either way, what we make of it. To me, requiring an intelligent designer in order to have a purpose sounds a bit like dependency on parents on a cosmic scale.

One thing that puzzles me is that unlike all other life on earth we humans have this ability to exchange ideas, make scientific discovery, build complex machines, grasp highly intellectual principles, yet none of this is esential for our basic survival. And the one place in our solar system without an opaque but life sustaining atmosphere there are observers to study the universe. We also have a rather large moon just the right size and just the right distance to provide scientific study of the sun's cornosphere and aspects of the theory of realitivitiy during a solar eclipse. Perhaps we are just very lucky.

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Actually, I'm inclined to agree with your sentiment. If evidence comes to light that seriously casts doubt on evolution, ID could be a serious alternative; just not the ID you've presented. Similarly, no complete non-ID theory for the origin of life exists either, but we seem to be getting closer all the time.

Seem to be is the key.. Are we? Has evolution really solved anything other than providing convienient, largely unsubstanciated explanations for things we see in nature? We may be able to trace evolution back beyond RNA with just so stories but I'm certain the question of design will always be present.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 01, 2006, 02:40:17 am
The only place we see anything of this complexity with a nearly exact part by part real word comparison is on a construction site or factory floor.
You really like that "appeal to obvious organisation" argument, don't you?

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Evolution simply extrapolates large scale changes from well known breeding limitations. One would think in 150+ years somthing concrete would have come from it by now. All we get is just so stories and flights of fancy. The best presented "evidence" here so far has been two headed snakes and superficial bone differences in the fossil record. Genetic errors and breeding seem a much more logical explanation to me. Selection pressures can cause change but so far have only demonstrated slight changes to existing code and one point mutaional damage.
I disagree about the alleged lack of evidence. See below.

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The later phases of evolution have quite overwhelming evidence and a sound theoretical underpinning, although the exact details of how cells came to appear as still unclear.

Please, share this overwhelming evidence and we can discuss it in detail if you'd like when I get back next week.. I love discussing these things because this is the most fascinating topic to me.
A reasonable starting point seems to be Wikipedia's list of transitional fossils (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils); basically the "half-reptile/half-mammal" sort of creatures you seem to have a hard time accepting.

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No, not nessicarily, but they can have a profound impact on society. I remember a while back I was listening to Howard Stern (I think it was) any way a man got his jollies by deficating in grocery stores. The man had a wife and children! After a while of interview he said somthing to the effect "..what does it matter, we are just animals." I'm paraphrasing and don't recall his exact words.
The occasional nutcase always seems to crop up, and they always have an excuse to fit their day and age.

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What I fear is darwinian doctrine becoming so dogmatic it shuts out any interpretation outside of it's self built walls. And we are seeing this to a degree.
There is some truth to this; in the current climate, it would be hard to get even novel and solid work on the origin of life published if it is based on an ID viewpoint. Some other subjects, e.g. global warming, have become politicised to the point where everybody just looks for results that support what their funding agency wants to hear. The origin of life issue has (at least in the US) been turned into a political circus by people who want to drive a wedge between scientists and believers. The resulting hostility is likely to cause people to, unfortunately, become more entrenched in their beliefs rather than take the opportunity to examine them critically.

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Heh, would Dawkins fit into that category? Look, it is true that ID has a theistic appeal to many. And some are a little overzealous. But there are those that are looking at this from a purely scientific viewpoint. Take a look at the discovery institute of science and culture. http://www.discovery.org/
The Discovery Institute's widely-circulated Wedge document (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikisource/en/7/71/Wedge_Document.pdf) suggests that their long-term plans are not entirely scientific. Dawkins certainly seems like a compentent scientist, but he does have a rather nasty anti-religious streak. Both are fond of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about the other side for their own ideological reasons.

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Evolution does indeed "explain" it, but is almost entirely  comprised of  Just-So stories fit into the darwininian "canon" if you will. without any substantial ,real world evidence to support it.

Here's an example I found over at Scientific American..
Considering that you're referring to a caption in an image gallery, I'm not surprised that it contains little in the way of reasoning. The full article (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/103/10/3675) is quite technical, but you may be able to glean something from it.

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One thing that puzzles me is that unlike all other life on earth we humans have this ability to exchange ideas, make scientific discovery, build complex machines, grasp highly intellectual principles, yet none of this is esential for our basic survival. And the one place in our solar system without an opaque but life sustaining atmosphere there are observers to study the universe. We also have a rather large moon just the right size and just the right distance to provide scientific study of the sun's cornosphere and aspects of the theory of realitivitiy during a solar eclipse. Perhaps we are just very lucky.
Necessary for basic survival? Probably not. Useful in some way? Probably; we seem to be doing quite well.

The apparent size of the Moon compared to the Sun is an interesting coincidence (or is it?).

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Seem to be is the key.. Are we? Has evolution really solved anything other than providing convienient, largely unsubstanciated explanations for things we see in nature? We may be able to trace evolution back beyond RNA with just so stories but I'm certain the question of design will always be present.
One thing I'm certain of is that we will won't run out of hard-core evolutionists (or ID supporters, for that matter) for several decades at least (barring severe unrest throughout civilisation). Both sides will be working on their pet theories. While, in my judgement, evolution seems more sensible right now, this may change in the future.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on July 01, 2006, 05:05:01 am
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Hehe, I've always wanted creationists to answer that little question. Is not a god irreducibly complex or whatever?
"Mainstream" creationists will tell you that God was not created, and that's what sets him apart from everything.  I will tell you that God was designed much the same way we were designed.  Once that is clear, the next question will, of course, be "Well who is the ultimate designer?"  And, to me, the obvious answer would be either:

A) We don't have a frikkin' clue, nor is it likely mortal mind can ever know
OR
B) There is no beginning, just like there is no end.

A) is sort of a cop-out, and B) is unacceptable to lots of people.  Fortunately, I'm not lots of people.

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but I'm a bit too emotionally attached to all you hallucinations out there to go that way.
The voices thank you.

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Another similar argument going in the other direction would be: "Any sufficiently sneaky omnipotent being is indistinguishable from a force of nature.".
I would argue that this is how such a being could achieve omnipotence.  By manipulating existing law, not by decreeing new ones.  I think there are laws that even omnipotent beings have to obey.  It's just that obedience to these laws grants them such great power, that they become omnipotent not by defiance, but by compliance.  Thus, the being becomes an executor of natural law, and why it's so difficult to distinguish between the two.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on July 01, 2006, 05:50:27 am
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I will tell you that God was designed much the same way we were designed.  Once that is clear, the next question will, of course, be "Well who is the ultimate designer?"  And, to me, the obvious answer would be either:A) We don't have a frikkin' clue, nor is it likely mortal mind can ever know
B) There is no beginning, just like there is no end.
A) is sort of a cop-out, and B) is unacceptable to lots of people.  Fortunately, I'm not lots of people.

So who designed god's creator? Who designed the designer of god, and who designed it, and who designed it. . .etc. All of these beings should be about the same complexity, so I don't see how simply having more generations of gods answers any questions.

Also, if B is true, you could simply say the same thing about the god who created us, us ourselves, and/or the other known forms of life-- that we have always existed, whether or not we (lifeforms) evolve over time.


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I would argue that this is how such a being could achieve omnipotence.  By manipulating existing law, not by decreeing new ones.  I think there are laws that even omnipotent beings have to obey.  It's just that obedience to these laws grants them such great power, that they become omnipotent not by defiance, but by compliance.  Thus, the being becomes an executor of natural law, and why it's so difficult to distinguish between the two.

If such were the case, the question would be if people could achieve this non-supernatural omnipotience, as well.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Cronos on July 02, 2006, 10:04:54 pm
Has anyone considered for a moment that the genetic code is not in fact a blueprint for anything at all?

You cant, so far as I know, take the genes for an elephants trunk and implant them in a giraffe and get a giraffe with an elephants trunk.

Nor does every gene code for some arbritrary capillary in the brain.

What genes do is Chemistry. And it is that chemistry that underlies the overall fractal pattern that creates the organism, be it human, cell, or plant.

Now, consider that genes code for the underlying fractal pattern that manufactures an organism. Fractal patterns are literally everwhere. Clouds, weather patterns, solar activity, the stock market, you get the general picture.

We are chemical reactions and nothing more. Vastly complex, lovable, hateful, spiteful stubborn stupid and utterly befuddling chemical reactions to say the least, but chemical reactions nonetheless.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Culture20 on July 03, 2006, 03:54:26 am
Has anyone considered for a moment that the genetic code is not in fact a blueprint for anything at all?
You cant, so far as I know, take the genes for an elephants trunk and implant them in a giraffe and get a giraffe with an elephants trunk.
Although I personally believe it is a designed set of building blocks, DNA does seem to be a blueprint of sorts.  Google glow in the dark mice and plants (good ol' jellyfish genes).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Cronos on July 03, 2006, 08:02:56 am
Has anyone considered for a moment that the genetic code is not in fact a blueprint for anything at all?
You cant, so far as I know, take the genes for an elephants trunk and implant them in a giraffe and get a giraffe with an elephants trunk.
Although I personally believe it is a designed set of building blocks, DNA does seem to be a blueprint of sorts.  Google glow in the dark mice and plants (good ol' jellyfish genes).

Which is of course a false perception.

The gene that codes for the specific chemical or sets of chemicals that allow Bioluminescence to assert itself is simply spliced from one species to another.

That specific gene only came about because the individuals that inherited that gene had an edge over their non-glowy cousins, allowing the gene to spread and proliferate in turn.

The same thing happens with rice and Vitamin A.

Rice is naturally deficient in Vitamin A. Splice the DNA from a plant that produces Vitamin A naturally into the rice and you get a rice variety that produces Vitamin A.

Vitamin A is a chemical and genes do chemistry. Bioluminescence is the product of a biochemical reaction. Skin pigmentation in humans is the result of an excess or lack of a chemical called Melanin in the skin, which once again encoded for in the genetic code which does... Chemistry.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 03, 2006, 09:43:17 am
Has anyone considered for a moment that the genetic code is not in fact a blueprint for anything at all?
You cant, so far as I know, take the genes for an elephants trunk and implant them in a giraffe and get a giraffe with an elephants trunk.
Although I personally believe it is a designed set of building blocks, DNA does seem to be a blueprint of sorts.  Google glow in the dark mice and plants (good ol' jellyfish genes).
Which is of course a false perception.

The gene that codes for the specific chemical or sets of chemicals that allow Bioluminescence to assert itself is simply spliced from one species to another.
I'd say calling the genetic code of an organism a "blueprint" is neither entirely wrong nor entirely right. On the one hand, much of the structure of an organism is determined by this code (the exact extent to which genes affect an organism is unclear, especially wrt behaviour, but most of the construction work is heavily genetically controlled) which sort of justifies the "blueprint" term. Send a blueprint to a factory, you get machines out (or whatever). Give a cell some DNA and you get proteins that start forming stuff into organisms. On the other hand, the term "blueprint" implies some sort of underlying engineering process, which is essentially what we've debating for half this thread.

The fact that the mechanism by why DNA "does its stuff" is chemical is not in dispute here. The question of whether e.g. humans can be more accurately described as an emergent structure resulting from a long-running planet-wide natural process or as a designed organism is, however, heavily disputed here.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on July 03, 2006, 06:48:53 pm
So who designed god's creator? Who designed the designer of god, and who designed it, and who designed it. . .etc. All of these beings should be about the same complexity, so I don't see how simply having more generations of gods answers any questions.
And I don't think there's many other possible answers.  Who designed the designer?  Being the design, I don't think we can understand a whole lot about our designer's designer, unless we compare him to our designer.  How can we know our designer?  Perhaps that is a better question for us right now.  It might be better to learn more about what we know than dive right in to what we don't know.

Also, if B is true, you could simply say the same thing about the god who created us, us ourselves, and/or the other known forms of life-- that we have always existed, whether or not we (lifeforms) evolve over time.

Yes.  That is true.


If such were the case, the question would be if people could achieve this non-supernatural omnipotience, as well.
I think it would take much longer than a lifetime to do so, but yes, shouldn't this be possible?  This would change our state from mere beasts or creations to that of gods in embryo, which is a relative newcomer to our theology.

Do I have any real evidence I can show you?  Nope.  Nor, do I think, does anyone else.



As for DNA, it sounds like it might be better called a "recipe" than a "blueprint."  Just a thought.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Culture20 on July 03, 2006, 11:30:32 pm
Has anyone considered for a moment that the genetic code is not in fact a blueprint for anything at all?
You cant, so far as I know, take the genes for an elephants trunk and implant them in a giraffe and get a giraffe with an elephants trunk.
Although I personally believe it is a designed set of building blocks, DNA does seem to be a blueprint of sorts.  Google glow in the dark mice and plants (good ol' jellyfish genes).
Which is of course a false perception.
The gene that codes for the specific chemical or sets of chemicals that allow Bioluminescence to assert itself is simply spliced from one species to another.
  Eh, What?  You can't take genes for a Y's X and implant them in a Z and get a Z with a Y's X.  Where set #[X,Y,Z]: 1[trunk, elephant, giraffe], 2[bioluminescence, jellyfish, mouse].  Set1 in the sentence does not equal the same (apparent) truth value as set 2.  You seem to agree with me on logical grounds, then pull a 180o.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 04, 2006, 08:24:19 am

If you even reflect upon this for a moment, it may invoke images of Copernicus or Galilao who suggested *gasp* The earth revolves around the sun. They were branded heretics by the roman catholic church. Skip ahead a few centuries and you have Alaxander Graham Bell's telephone that the Britsih brighest scientific minds  called a toy, and that Britian had "enough young messenger boys". Or you have scientists at such notable "prestigious" (and I use that term loosely) institutions as "Scientific American" who ridiculed Wilbur and Orvile wright because it was "proven" that heavier than air vehicles couldn't fly. How dare they think outside the box! Just look at the Big Bang theory's history...etc.

I notice how you fail to include anyone who thought outside the box and was terribly wrong. People trying to turn urine into gold and whatnot were certainly trying to think outside the box. However, they turned out to be wrong. Keep that in mind. It might apply to anyone currently atttempting the same. Er, thinking outside the box that is. Not producing gold.

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Luki hinted at the majority which I disagree with. Just because the majority thinks somthing is fact, doesn't make it fact.

You miss my point fairly completely. I was not saying that something is a fact unless the majority agrees with it. I was saying that you cannot present something as a fact if it is not already accepted, and assume that everyone will agree. Nanuk may consider it rock solid fact that Argarak punishes the unrepentant. He may even be right. But in a civil court, this will not hold up well because the rest of the world doesn't believe in Argarak. Similarily, if you made the case for a "gonne" being used in Nanuks home city, the'd laugh at you. You'd be right, but you'd be unable to prove it.

For example, your fact of "irreducible complexity" has been countered numerous times, with numerous theories. They might be just as right as you are, but in the absence of any actual evidence that both parties can agree upon, neither of you will change your minds.

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I would never want them to take the theory of evolution out of schools, just show kids that it isn't as cut and dry fact as they make it out to be.

Funny, I'd think the "Theory" part in "Theory of Evolution" here would point ot that. And I don't know what school you went to, but we were taught that "this is the way it is believed to have happened", not "this is how it happened". That was saved for Religion class.

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In fact I personally think it's highly extrapolated from very flimsy evidence. I wouldn't even call it a theory, a hypothisis or philosophy might be a better term. But that is my opinion.

Indeed. And others feel the same way about your theory of Intelligent Design.  Yet you are obviously right and they are wrong? For that to be true, you need more evidence than they have.

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I'm not trying to prove ID, I could never do that. Nor can anyone prove evolution.

The difference is that evolution may one day be provable. And evolution as a theory can change depending on new discoveries. ID however, cannot. It cannot be proven, and it cannot be changed. It is a static belief, rather than an adaptable theory. Which makes them different.

This is what Halleck was pointing out earlier. I fail to see how:

Quote from: Hallecks Essay
"For a hypothesis to be considered theory in the scientific community it must be "consistent, parsimonious, useful, empirically testable and falsifiable, based upon multiple observations, correctable and dynamic, progressive, and provisional"

is calling ID a bunch of crap. He follows up with showing that these paramters do not hold true in ID, defining it as a nonscientific theory. Instead of simplifying his words and attacking the simplification, perhaps you should answer the question his essay raises?

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The ID people have some good, sound, scientific arguments for ID and sound scientific objections to darwinism that need to be explained.

I've yet to see any very scientific argument for ID. What you've posted still seems to boil down to. "It's complex, it must be designed". Or "It looks like a machine, it must be designed". Those are certainly possbilities, but they're not exactly scientific arguments. As for the scientific objections to darwinism, that's why it's a theory. You can object and voice dissent, and come up with improvments. Those objections aren't only placed by ID defenders, but by others in the scientific community as well.

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Also not all ID people are a bunch of religious rubes. I honestly don't see why people are so scared of the possibility of design. Is it an ego thing, the chance that we may not be the master of our domain? Do we need to legitimize our own lack of ethics by equating man to nothing more than evolved animals? Is it fear that the iron rule of the church will come back or the toppling of the darwinian empire ? Scientific truth is truth and I don't care where it leads us, that is where I'm going.

I find it offensive to my religous beliefs. Nonetheless, I do consider it a possibility. I just don't consider it a scientifically backed one. Try to understand that us arguing against you doesn't necessarily mean we don't think ID is possible. It just means we don't think it can be called a scientific theory.

Besides, you could argue the Earth was designed the same way. Biggest moon in the solar system that stabilises our orbit, just the right orbit from the sun, just the right type of sun, a molten core that creates a magnetic field that protects us from radiation and gives us tectonics. And so on and so forth. Remove any one parameter, and life probably isn't possible. That's irreducibly complex, and thus it must be designed?

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Anybody that believes DNA and the dividing cell came about by pure chance should also recognize the high improbabilty of it happening anywhere else in the universe.

And anyone who believes that it was designed should expect to see a lot more life on our neighbouring planets?  After all, we're designed for this world, just as the martians ought to be to theirs.

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People will interpret scientific data differently and come to different conclusions. And that's OK. But never be afraid to think outside the box..

That applies to both sides ;)

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Happy 4th everyone..

Happy Will Smith day!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 09, 2006, 12:32:37 am
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I notice how you fail to include anyone who thought outside the box and was terribly wrong. People trying to turn urine into gold and whatnot were certainly trying to think outside the box. However, they turned out to be wrong. Keep that in mind. It might apply to anyone currently atttempting the same. Er, thinking outside the box that is. Not producing gold.

There are many darwinian scientists that are wrong. In the 70's there was an origin theory that the first protiens self assembled without help from RNA or DNA (somthing predestination). This was embraced throughout the scientific community and thus it was thought life was inevitible in the right conditions.  That is in the trash bin now. The evolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibrium is almost unanimously rejected now.

There are scientists studying cold fusion which may ultimately be a complete waste of time. The whole point I was trying to make is that it's OK to try and fail even if somthing is deemed ridiculous by the majority.

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You miss my point fairly completely. I was not saying that something is a fact unless the majority agrees with it. I was saying that you cannot present something as a fact if it is not already accepted, and assume that everyone will agree. Nanuk may consider it rock solid fact that Argarak punishes the unrepentant. He may even be right. But in a civil court, this will not hold up well because the rest of the world doesn't believe in Argarak. Similarily, if you made the case for a "gonne" being used in Nanuks home city, the'd laugh at you. You'd be right, but you'd be unable to prove it.

Meep said I was using the argument that since we only see Black crows, I am assuming all crows are black. But at what point do we draw the line? Isn't it fair to say that since in the 2000 years of human history there has never been anything but black crows, we know from breeding expiriments that crows are always born black. So I'm basing my argument on what we know rather than a hopeful new scientific discovery.

Back to your detective story. I say the wound was caused by a bullet, you say it was caused by a knife. Ok who is right? Well based on what we DO know about bullet wounds and what we DO know about knife wounds, we can make some predictions. Is there an exit wound? Is it consistant with bullet wound trauma? Knife wounds leave tell tale slice marks etc.All I'm saying here is that there is criteria we can apply to biological systems to see if it's more consistant with design or random natural forces.

The seti program is based solely on this principle. If Seti does recieve a possible alien signal from outerspace they have a battery of scientific tests to determine if the signal is indeed from an artifical or natural source. This is based on what we DO know about natural and artificial signals. Likewise the same principle can be applied to biologicals.

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For example, your fact of "irreducible complexity" has been countered numerous times, with numerous theories. They might be just as right as you are, but in the absence of any actual evidence that both parties can agree upon, neither of you will change your minds.

Biochemist Michale Behe coined the phrase "irreducible complexity" and it has never been successfully countered . His book "Darwin's Black Box" has caused quite a stir in the scientific community. Darwin himself said that if it could be shown that any biological structure couldn't be produced by small evolutionary steps, his theory would absolutely break down. Well it has been shown.

Evolutiuonary scientiists have countered with "co-option". The general synopsis is that biological systems borrow parts of other existing useful biological systems and construct somthing novel or unique. Like I said before, this is fundamentally flawed because even though a rock, stick and leather string may be useful tools to a caveman, only intelligence is going to tie the rock to the stick with the string and make a hammer or axe. This is based on what we know about designed machines, and thus far, natural unguided processes cannot produce this unlikely combination.

Is it possible that we will find a naturalistic cause in the furture? Is it possible breeding crows will produce a blue crow? It is possible, just as it's possible that monkeys may fly out of my ass somday too..

Co-Option represents a "just-so" story made to fit the evolutionary religion that is so dogmaticly and jealously guarded.


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Funny, I'd think the "Theory" part in "Theory of Evolution" here would point ot that. And I don't know what school you went to, but we were taught that "this is the way it is believed to have happened", not "this is how it happened". That was saved for Religion class.

Ever hear of Caral Sagen? Ever watch PBS and Discovery channel specials which proclaim the "fact" of evolution.. Evolution is presented as fact everywhere you look..In school it was presented as fact as well.


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Indeed. And others feel the same way about your theory of Intelligent Design.  Yet you are obviously right and they are wrong? For that to be true, you need more evidence than they have.

I'm not saying I'm absolutely right. Design is falsifiable. And I do feel I have more evidence than they have. Cladistics is based on bone similarities between fossils and is extremely flimsy. I could use the same logic and conclude a platypus and duck or great dane and poodle are evolutionary linked.

Micro evolution and Macro evolution are seperated by vast chasams of reality. I'm not saying Darwin got it all wrong, he made some important scientific observations such as natural selection and variety via. breeding. Then extrapolating that into huge evolutionary changes such as a cow into a whale or gazelle into a giraffe, although it is a powerful idea, it's not substantiated by the fossil record and genetics. This is where the scientific data abandons Darwin.


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The difference is that evolution may one day be provable. And evolution as a theory can change depending on new discoveries. ID however, cannot. It cannot be proven, and it cannot be changed. It is a static belief, rather than an adaptable theory. Which makes them different.

Evolution is no more proveable than design and evolution has had a 200+ year head start. If you are waiting on a hopeful discovery to substantiate evolution I could use the same argument that scientists could discover ways in which cells design and make decisions.

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This is what Halleck was pointing out earlier. I fail to see how:

Quote from: Hallecks Essay
"For a hypothesis to be considered theory in the scientific community it must be "consistent, parsimonious, useful, empirically testable and falsifiable, based upon multiple observations, correctable and dynamic, progressive, and provisional"

The problem is the evolutionary theory doesn't meet that criteria!!! It is NOT empirically testible and falsifiable. Naturalistic causes for life and life's systems has become a religion in it's own right. Dawkins in the selfish gene said somthing to the effect ; If aliens landed on earth the first thing they'd ask is "when did we discover evolution". And he's said that evolution allows atheists to be intellectually fullfilled. Evolution has done nothing for us and is based solely on a single idea, that single celled life evolved to complex life such as humans.. Furthermore, the scientific facts don't jive with evolution. What we see in the field doesn't fit with the predictions of evolutionary theory.

If everything came from single celled life then the fossil record should be FILLED with millions of transitional fossils, not just a couple of questionable similar boned animals. The fossil record echos what we see today. There are maybe 1000 different spiecies of frog, 1000 different species of spider etc.

If every animal is connected via. evolution why isn't there one living example that scientists can point to and conclusively identify as a common ancestor? Not ONE.. We also don't find common ancestry in the fossil record. Instead we see an animal living for say 6 million years, goes extinct ,then another different animal arises and lives for millions of years, then goes extinct etc. etc.. Trilobytes for example are among the oldest fossils and are found on every contintent world wide. There are many different species. They all have slight differences such as eye placement, number of segments of their exoskeleton etc. These are fully formed animals, just as complex as any animal living today, and absolutely no evolutionary transisitional fossils before or after. Just like the 1000+ spicies of frogs...There is evidence of micro evolution in abundance that can simply be explained as breeding but nothing when it comes to macro evolution.

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is calling ID a bunch of crap. He follows up with showing that these paramters do not hold true in ID, defining it as a nonscientific theory. Instead of simplifying his words and attacking the simplification, perhaps you should answer the question his essay raises?

Design is scientificly detectable. That is where our opinions differ. Evolution doesn't stand up to his criteria. I've already covered this







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Besides, you could argue the Earth was designed the same way. Biggest moon in the solar system that stabilises our orbit, just the right orbit from the sun, just the right type of sun, a molten core that creates a magnetic field that protects us from radiation and gives us tectonics. And so on and so forth. Remove any one parameter, and life probably isn't possible. That's irreducibly complex, and thus it must be designed?

There are scientists that say life as we know does have to have all these things to be possible. Thus in one way it may be an irreducibly complex system in the context that it is needed for somthing else, complex life. The problem is that the planets and stars are governed by well known, simple, cause and effect, naturalistic forces that CAN be tested in the lab. Planets, and moons thus are not an irreducibly complex system by themselves and can only be deemed as such in a certain context. Life on the otherhand doesn't seem to be governed my simple naturalistic forces and doesnt behave in a simple, predictable repeating pattern.




Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 09, 2006, 01:45:19 am
There are many darwinian scientists that are wrong. In the 70's there was an origin theory that the first protiens self assembled without help from RNA or DNA (somthing predestination). This was embraced throughout the scientific community and thus it was thought life was inevitible in the right conditions.  That is in the trash bin now. The evolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibrium is almost unanimously rejected now.
You're exaggerating the problems with these theories. For example, punctuated equilibrium was never entirely rejected; it's now seen as complementary to gradualism (see e.g. Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium) for sources).

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There are scientists studying cold fusion which may ultimately be a complete waste of time. The whole point I was trying to make is that it's OK to try and fail even if somthing is deemed ridiculous by the majority.
Cold fusion, if it works, has the potential to be very useful. That goes a long way toward justifying work on somewhat shaky ground.

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Biochemist Michale Behe coined the phrase "irreducible complexity" and it has never been successfully countered . His book "Darwin's Black Box" has caused quite a stir in the scientific community. Darwin himself said that if it could be shown that any biological structure couldn't be produced by small evolutionary steps, his theory would absolutely break down. Well it has been shown.
"has never been successfully countered"? Unlike Dembski's pseudo-mathematical definition (which is hogwash as I've outlined previously), Behe uses a definition based on whether a part can be removed from a system without preventing it from functiong. Basically, if you can't remove anything from a system without breaking it, it's irreducably complex (IC). The problems with Behe's argumentation are, in brief:

  • Behe assumes without evidence (or with broken evidence) that IC lifeforms exist.
  • Behe assumes without supporting argumentation that indirect evolution resulting in IC lifeforms is improbable (evidence suggests otherwise).

In other words, Behe's reasoning is both irrelevant and wrong.

For more in-depth critiques, see e.g. the Talk.Origins archive of Behe criticism (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html).

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Like I said before, this is fundamentally flawed because even though a rock, stick and leather string may be useful tools to a caveman, only intelligence is going to tie the rock to the stick with the string and make a hammer or axe.
Again, your whole generalisation is based on the implicit assumption that evolution is false, which is what you're trying to prove.

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Is it possible breeding crows will produce a blue crow? It is possible, just as it's possible that monkeys may fly out of my ass somday too..
The former sounds plausible, given a large enough amount of crows and a few centuries. The latter could probably be arranged much more quickly, although PETA approval would probably be impossible to get and the whole experiment would probably be somewhat uncomfortable for you.

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Co-Option represents a "just-so" story made to fit the evolutionary religion that is so dogmaticly and jealously guarded.
Again, you're rather conveniently ignoring experimental data. See e.g. True, Carroll: Gene co-option in physiological and morphological evolution (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12142278&dopt=Abstract).

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Ever hear of Caral Sagen? Ever watch PBS and Discovery channel specials which proclaim the "fact" of evolution.. Evolution is presented as fact everywhere you look..In school it was presented as fact as well.
It is unfortunate that science teaching has a tendency toward dogma, as this is essentially opposite to the whole idea of science. However, evolution is still the current best guess by far, no matter how fervently you choose to believe otherwise.

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I could use the same logic and conclude a platypus and duck or great dane and poodle are evolutionary linked.
... Which they probably are, through (somewhat distant) common ancestors.

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Micro evolution and Macro evolution are seperated by vast chasams of reality. I'm not saying Darwin got it all wrong, he made some important scientific observations such as natural selection and variety via. breeding. Then extrapolating that into huge evolutionary changes such as a cow into a whale or gazelle into a giraffe, although it is a powerful idea, it's not substantiated by the fossil record and genetics. This is where the scientific data abandons Darwin.
As far as I can tell, tons of evidence countering this claim has already been presented in this thread.

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Evolution is no more proveable than design and evolution has had a 200+ year head start. If you are waiting on a hopeful discovery to substantiate evolution I could use the same argument that scientists could discover ways in which cells design and make decisions.
Considering that ID is essentially creationism using pseudo-scientific parlance to dazzle the public, I'd say ID is the one with the head start; only large numbers of people rejecting creationism led to a serious reaction.

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The problem is the evolutionary theory doesn't meet that criteria!!! It is NOT empirically testible and falsifiable.
How so not? It makes predictions that can be compared to observations. It describes mechanisms for change that can be studied and compared to theory. Please try to find supporting arguments for this sort of assertion before posting and save yourself the embarassment. This, of course, makes the rest of your rant all the more ridiculous.

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Evolution has done nothing for us and is based solely on a single idea, that single celled life evolved to complex life such as humans.. Furthermore, the scientific facts don't jive with evolution. What we see in the field doesn't fit with the predictions of evolutionary theory.

If everything came from single celled life then the fossil record should be FILLED with millions of transitional fossils, not just a couple of questionable similar boned animals. The fossil record echos what we see today. There are maybe 1000 different spiecies of frog, 1000 different species of spider etc.
Please explain why you feel every single organism that every existed should be preserved as a fossil, given the rather limited set of conditions in which fossils are created in such a way that they can endure to the present day and the rather small amount of excavation done to unearth them.

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If every animal is connected via. evolution why isn't there one living example that scientists can point to and conclusively identify as a common ancestor? Not ONE..
Because the fossil record isn't a complete set of everything that ever lived?

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There is evidence of micro evolution in abundance that can simply be explained as breeding but nothing when it comes to macro evolution.
You ignored the observations I linked to a few posts back, didn't you?

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Design is scientificly detectable. That is where our opinions differ. Evolution doesn't stand up to his criteria. I've already covered this
You just muddled back and forth and got yourself confused but are too stubborn to admit it. It's not a matter of opinion; the ID theories you've presented are vague enough to fit any observed data (basically, any theory that allows an omnipotent designer obviously does this) and provide precious little data on probabilities.

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There are scientists that say life as we know does have to have all these things to be possible. Thus in one way it may be an irreducibly complex system in the context that it is needed for somthing else, complex life. The problem is that the planets and stars are governed by well known, simple, cause and effect, naturalistic forces that CAN be tested in the lab. Planets, and moons thus are not an irreducibly complex system by themselves and can only be deemed as such in a certain context. Life on the otherhand doesn't seem to be governed my simple naturalistic forces and doesnt behave in a simple, predictable repeating pattern.
Which definition of irreducable complexity are you using, and how does it justify this deduction?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 09, 2006, 06:19:46 am
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"has never been successfully countered"? Unlike Dembski's pseudo-mathematical definition (which is hogwash as I've outlined previously), Behe uses a definition based on whether a part can be removed from a system without preventing it from functiong. Basically, if you can't remove anything from a system without breaking it, it's irreducably complex (IC). The problems with Behe's argumentation are, in brief:

  • Behe assumes without evidence (or with broken evidence) that IC lifeforms exist.
  • Behe assumes without supporting argumentation that indirect evolution resulting in IC lifeforms is improbable (evidence suggests otherwise).

In other words, Behe's reasoning is both irrelevant and wrong.

For more in-depth critiques, see e.g. the Talk.Origins archive of Behe criticism (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html).

LoL.. "in-depth critiques". About as "deep" as a mud puddle. Do you even read the sites you are linking? Show me one example from that link that sites tangible evidence countering Behe. It's all just-so stories formed within the darwinian theology.

Furthermore, scientists have demonstrated irreducible complexity by removing parts of irreducibly complex biological systems. Two examples are the bacterial flagellum and the blod clotting cascade. Remove one part and they don't work, not even a little bit. I'll see if I can find a link on this..

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Again, your whole generalisation is based on the implicit assumption that evolution is false, which is what you're trying to prove.

I'm not trying to prove anything. And of course my assumption is that evolution is false becuse there is virtually no real world, tangible evidence to support it. Evolution is all based on an idea. Once again my only real objection to evolution is the lack of real world evidence and the random mutation/natural selection mechanisim assumed by darwinian scientists. Assumptions amount to nothing without real scientific evidence.



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]Again, you're rather conveniently ignoring experimental data. See e.g. True, Carroll: Gene co-option in physiological and morphological evolution (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12142278&dopt=Abstract).

Here's a telling passage from that "expirimental" data:

A major role for gene co-option in the evolution of development has long been assumed, and many recent comparative developmental and genomic studies have lent support to this idea. Although there is relatively less known about the molecular basis of co-option events involving developmental pathways, much can be drawn from well-studied examples of the co-option of structural proteins.

Once again, absolutely nothing concrete. It's all based on assumption. just-so guesswork just doesn't cut it...


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evolution is still the current best guess by far

That's a matter of opinion. Guesswork is NOT good science!

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... Which they probably are, through (somewhat distant) common ancestors.

Sigh... "probably"...Does that seem like good science to you?

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As far as I can tell, tons of evidence countering this claim has already been presented in this thread.

I can't... If the "Tons" of evidence refer to your Wikipedia link to transitional fossils, you must have a different measuring system in your country than I have in mine.

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Considering that ID is essentially creationism using pseudo-scientific parlance to dazzle the public, I'd say ID is the one with the head start; only large numbers of people rejecting creationism led to a serious reaction.
Laugh, if you want to stereotype ID that's your perogative. I'm interested in real world, tangible, scientific evidence. I have no agenda or predefined model I try and stuff or fit the evidence into. I'm open to it. If the evidence tends to swing into the direction of creationists, so be it. If it swings in other directions, that's ok too.

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How so not? It makes predictions that can be compared to observations. It describes mechanisms for change that can be studied and compared to theory. Please try to find supporting arguments for this sort of assertion before posting and save yourself the embarassment. This, of course, makes the rest of your rant all the more ridiculous.
You can compare nearly anything to observations, so what? Furthermore, the predicitons made by evolution are not proving to jive with what we see in the real world. At what point do you say hey guys, this isn't working and there might be somthing awry? What testable, repeatable scientific expiriment has been set up to demonstrate the formation of new, useful, novel information in a genome through random mutation? None? If you can't do that then how is it science and how is it any different than theology? It isn't any different than a belief.

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Please explain why you feel every single organism that every existed should be preserved as a fossil, given the rather limited set of conditions in which fossils are created in such a way that they can endure to the present day and the rather small amount of excavation done to unearth them.
I don't feel that they should. I'm just pointing out that there should be many transitional animals if evolution occured through slight evolutionary changes as Darwin predicted.  Why do we have hundreds of fossils from any given species that existed for several million years with no evolutionary change, yet the vast majority of animals do not have a clear evolutionary ancestor?

If evolution really did happen according to darwin, there should be no question whatsoever from the fossil record and from LIVING examples. Am I to believe that natural selection selected out the transitional species for every single animal on the planet and not one survives to this day? Does this really make sense to you?

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If every animal is connected via. evolution why isn't there one living example that scientists can point to and conclusively identify as a common ancestor? Not ONE..
Because the fossil record isn't a complete set of everything that ever lived?

LIVING example.. not just the fossil record. And why are they so rare in the fossil record anyway? One would think we should find many, many more than a couple of questional examples.

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You ignored the observations I linked to a few posts back, didn't you?

Nope.

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You just muddled back and forth and got yourself confused but are too stubborn to admit it. It's not a matter of opinion; the ID theories you've presented are vague enough to fit any observed data (basically, any theory that allows an omnipotent designer obviously does this) and provide precious little data on probabilities.

Not sure what you mean without clarification on what I "muddled" but I'll admit it if I have done so... Also, who said anything about an omnipotent designer? I'm not a creationist. I'm more concerened with the "is" it design and leave the "who" and "why " to philosophers.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on July 09, 2006, 12:27:22 pm
RTyp06, you seem to be under the misconception that evolution can only add stuff. The theory of evolution says nothing of the sort.
Some part of an organism, which may have increased survival chances in the past, may eventually become unnecessary as new parts are evolved. Evolution may then remove that part again, and if the evolution of the new part had only been made possible by the presence of the removed part, the result is an irriducible complex organism.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 09, 2006, 12:35:23 pm
LoL.. "in-depth critiques". About as "deep" as a mud puddle.
As opposed to your technique of conveniently ignoring observational data that runs against your pet "theory", which is entirely based on flawed logic and selective observation, as noted several times here?

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Do you even read the sites you are linking?
Yes. Do you?

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Show me one example from that link that sites tangible evidence countering Behe. It's all just-so stories formed within the darwinian theology.
Let's take the first article from the list (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/review.html), just for starters. Behe is blatantly ignoring freshman-level genetics when discussing pseudogenes; both tandem duplication and reverse transcription are well-known and extensively studied mechanisms to do what Behe says doesn't happen.

Similarly, much of the November 1996 issue of Scientific American is a list of observations contradicting Behe's statements on antibodies.

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Furthermore, scientists have demonstrated irreducible complexity by removing parts of irreducibly complex biological systems. Two examples are the bacterial flagellum and the blod clotting cascade. Remove one part and they don't work, not even a little bit. I'll see if I can find a link on this..
In fact, the opposite has been demonstrated; see, for example, Semba et al.: Whale Hageman factor (factor XII): prevented production due to pseudogene conversion. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9678675) (shows that factor XII is not needed for coagulation) and simpler versions of flagella serve a useful purpose (see e.g. Miller: The Flagellum Unspun (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.html)).

There's an extensive list of articles on the Talk.Origins site (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.html) that address different issues of this type.

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I'm not trying to prove anything.
You're surprisingly argumentative for someone who isn't.

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And of course my assumption is that evolution is false becuse there is virtually no real world, tangible evidence to support it.
What's wrong with all the evidence?

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Evolution is all based on an idea.
And ID isn't?

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Once again my only real objection to evolution is the lack of real world evidence and the random mutation/natural selection mechanisim assumed by darwinian scientists. Assumptions amount to nothing without real scientific evidence.
More repetition of the same ideas.

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Here's a telling passage from that "expirimental" data:

A major role for gene co-option in the evolution of development has long been assumed, and many recent comparative developmental and genomic studies have lent support to this idea. Although there is relatively less known about the molecular basis of co-option events involving developmental pathways, much can be drawn from well-studied examples of the co-option of structural proteins.

Once again, absolutely nothing concrete. It's all based on assumption. just-so guesswork just doesn't cut it...
You fail reading comprehension; the rest of the sentence explains that these assumptions have supporting evidence.

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evolution is still the current best guess by far

That's a matter of opinion. Guesswork is NOT good science!
Science is guesswork: observe, formulate a theory, test it.

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... Which they probably are, through (somewhat distant) common ancestors.
Sigh... "probably"...Does that seem like good science to you?
Yes, unlike blatantly asserting things you aren't sure of; after all, the validity of that statement depends of the result of this debate, doesn't it?

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As far as I can tell, tons of evidence countering this claim has already been presented in this thread.

I can't... If the "Tons" of evidence refer to your Wikipedia link to transitional fossils, you must have a different measuring system in your country than I have in mine.
Well, Finland does use the metric system. Have you actually read the referenced articles and determined how much evidence is behind them, or are you just rejecting stuff out of hand again?

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Laugh, if you want to stereotype ID that's your perogative. I'm interested in real world, tangible, scientific evidence. I have no agenda or predefined model I try and stuff or fit the evidence into. I'm open to it. If the evidence tends to swing into the direction of creationists, so be it. If it swings in other directions, that's ok too.
Then why do you insist on accepting ID without evidence, despite evidence to the contrary and despite glaring flaws in the reasoning? Where's the evidence for ID?

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You can compare nearly anything to observations, so what? Furthermore, the predicitons made by evolution are not proving to jive with what we see in the real world.
Could you cite a specific case for this that hasn't been resolved by minor modifications to the theory?

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At what point do you say hey guys, this isn't working and there might be somthing awry?
When the theory predicts one thing, observation shows another, and you can't fix your theory.

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What testable, repeatable scientific expiriment has been set up to demonstrate the formation of new, useful, novel information in a genome through random mutation? None? If you can't do that then how is it science and how is it any different than theology? It isn't any different than a belief.
That depends on how you define "useful" and "experiment". If you want evolution to consistently occur in a lab setting and produce noticeable changes, you haven't been paying attention to scale; you need planetary scale and time for the changes you want. Conversely, how would you test ID in a lab?

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I don't feel that they should. I'm just pointing out that there should be many transitional animals if evolution occured through slight evolutionary changes as Darwin predicted.  Why do we have hundreds of fossils from any given species that existed for several million years with no evolutionary change, yet the vast majority of animals do not have a clear evolutionary ancestor?
Punctuated equilibrium suggests that drastic changes in environment lead to rapid changes in genes over only a few generations. Thus, under stable conditions, you'd get much of the same stuff.

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If evolution really did happen according to darwin, there should be no question whatsoever from the fossil record and from LIVING examples. Am I to believe that natural selection selected out the transitional species for every single animal on the planet and not one survives to this day? Does this really make sense to you?
For starters, some of the species living today may be transitional species from a later point of view; the whole definition is self-selecting. I also don't see why the fossil record must be clear for evolution to hold.

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LIVING example.. not just the fossil record. And why are they so rare in the fossil record anyway? One would think we should find many, many more than a couple of questional examples.
Sorry, misread that one. See above.

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You ignored the observations I linked to a few posts back, didn't you?
Nope.
So you just didn't like them? Care to explain why?

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Not sure what you mean without clarification on what I "muddled" but I'll admit it if I have done so... Also, who said anything about an omnipotent designer? I'm not a creationist. I'm more concerened with the "is" it design and leave the "who" and "why " to philosophers.
I already mentioned that you first stated that ID would lead to well-adapted organisms with no superfluous or harmful parts. Then, when I pointed out that this is not the case, you said it isn't necessary. Seeing as that was essentially the extent of the predictions of ID, you are left with nothing.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 09, 2006, 10:45:37 pm
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Let's take the first article from the list (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/review.html), just for starters. Behe is blatantly ignoring freshman-level genetics when discussing pseudogenes; both tandem duplication and reverse transcription are well-known and extensively studied mechanisms to do what Behe says doesn't happen.

Tandem duplication and reverse transcription? LoL .. Other than fancy technical words, they provide nothing in the way of new novel information in a genome. This is what is nessicary to explain the evolution of the Bacterial Flagellum. Tandem duplication simply means multiple copies are made simultaneously from the same RNA strand...Reverse transcription is simply the reverse of DNA transcribing to RNA.. What do these prove? Absolutely nothing...

Furthermore, Behe himself has effectivly countered the first link:
http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_toresp.htm

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In fact, the opposite has been demonstrated; see, for example, Semba et al.: Whale Hageman factor (factor XII): prevented production due to pseudogene conversion. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9678675) (shows that factor XII is not needed for coagulation) and simpler versions of flagella serve a useful purpose (see e.g. Miller: The Flagellum Unspun (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.html)).

Miller's argument is hugely exrapolated. The Type -III Secretory Apparatus may have some of the same protiens as the flagellum but it's a completely different machine. His argument is like saying because my bed has metal feet where it meets the floor and because my big screen TV has metal feet, thus the bed evolved into the TV. Furthermore, real world evidence seems to show that if anything did indeed evolve here, the Secretory Apparatus evolved from the fagellum:

It is strange that the TTSS system is so commonly promoted as the most likely starting point by many evolutionists since the TTSS system is supposed to have evolved hundreds of millions of years after flagellar evolution. That's right! There is good evidence to believe that the TTSS starting point arose from the fully formed flagellum and not the other way round.

Consider that the bacterial flagellum is found in both mesophilic, thermophilic, gram-positive, gram-negative, and spirochete bacteria while TTSS systems are restricted to a few gram-negative bacteria. Not only are TTSS systems restricted to gram-negative bacteria, but also to pathogenic gram-negative bacteria that specifically attack animals and plants . . . which supposedly evolved billions of years after flagellar motility had already evolved!


http://naturalselection.0catch.com/Files/Flagellum.html (scroll down to "Starting Point")

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Here's a telling passage from that "expirimental" data:

A major role for gene co-option in the evolution of development has long been assumed, and many recent comparative developmental and genomic studies have lent support to this idea. Although there is relatively less known about the molecular basis of co-option events involving developmental pathways, much can be drawn from well-studied examples of the co-option of structural proteins.

Once again, absolutely nothing concrete. It's all based on assumption. just-so guesswork just doesn't cut it...
You fail reading comprehension; the rest of the sentence explains that these assumptions have supporting evidence.

Co-Option of structural protiens is simply derived from the fact that say Teeth and ToeNails have similar or the same protien in one of the positions in a long string of linked protiens. Thus the darwinian scientist says one cell co-opted a protien from another.. This is crap and like saying because my TV circuit board has a resistor and my PC circuit board has a resistor, one is derived from the other. Once again we have huge extrapolation based upon an irrelevant fact.

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That depends on how you define "useful" and "experiment". If you want evolution to consistently occur in a lab setting and produce noticeable changes, you haven't been paying attention to scale; you need planetary scale and time for the changes you want. Conversely, how would you test ID in a lab?

Well the first step is trying to establish what is design and what is not. I'd start by taking irreducibly complex biological systems, start removing specific parts and see if it still works in any capacity. We can also laern alot by reverse engenieering biological systems. Scientists are doing this to some degree and are backed by companies with commercial interests. Spider silk is reported to be stronger than steel of similar diameter. The gekko's ability to walk on  any surface is also of interest.




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You ignored the observations I linked to a few posts back, didn't you?
Nope.
So you just didn't like them? Care to explain why?

Because they are irrelevant to building new novel information in a genome. A nessicary and key step to any evolutionary proposal.

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I already mentioned that you first stated that ID would lead to well-adapted organisms with no superfluous or harmful parts. Then, when I pointed out that this is not the case, you said it isn't necessary. Seeing as that was essentially the extent of the predictions of ID, you are left with nothing.

I said that might be one prediction and I don't recall you pointing out that is not the case. As far as I can tell every biological lifeform is well adapted to it's environment and doesn't contain superfluous or harmful parts.

Hey man, I respect your opinins and beliefs, I just don't agree with them. We can go back and forth like this till we have 600 megs worth of responses and counter responses, ultimately spinning our wheels and getting nowhere.

So the general synopsis of this thread is that you believe all life happened by chance and the intrinsic, purposeless, unguided properties of nature. I on the otherhand think there is more to it all than mere accidental natural processes. Is that a fair assesment?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 09, 2006, 11:34:58 pm
Ok Novus, let's try somthing else. What to you personally is the most compelling evidence that evolution has occured?

Please, no links to other links which link still other links.. I'm asking on a personal level.

When I used to believe evolution was fact it was the notion that embryos went through evolutionary stages and that the human embryo at an early stage has gills and a tale. I now know this to be completely false.

The reason I lean toward design now is mainly due to the genetic code.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Baltar on July 10, 2006, 04:47:47 am
Evolution is no more proveable than design and evolution has had a 200+ year head start. If you are waiting on a hopeful discovery to substantiate evolution I could use the same argument that scientists could discover ways in which cells design and make decisions.

...

The problem is the evolutionary theory doesn't meet that criteria!!! It is NOT empirically testible and falsifiable. Naturalistic causes for life and life's systems has become a religion in it's own right. Dawkins in the selfish gene said somthing to the effect ; If aliens landed on earth the first thing they'd ask is "when did we discover evolution". And he's said that evolution allows atheists to be intellectually fullfilled. Evolution has done nothing for us and is based solely on a single idea, that single celled life evolved to complex life such as humans.. Furthermore, the scientific facts don't jive with evolution. What we see in the field doesn't fit with the predictions of evolutionary theory.

Sorry, I have to jump in here for a sec...are you implying that there is a grand conspiracy in the scientific community to hide/distort information about the origins of life?  That sounds absolutely ridiculous just on the face of it.

...and that thing about atheists being 'intellectually fulfilled' is also off the mark and a bit insulting.  Whether life evolves or not doesn't make any difference on how one might view how the universe came about in the first place, it only throws a curve ball at those whole hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible or whatever your favorite creation myth might be.

One last thing, suggesting that Evolution does nothing for us is ludicrious--any scientist working with bacterial diseases can tell you that.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Baltar on July 10, 2006, 04:50:17 am
Ok Novus, let's try somthing else. What to you personally is the most compelling evidence that evolution has occured?

Please, no links to other links which link still other links.. I'm asking on a personal level.

Um....execuse me....what does Novus' personal preferences have to do with the scientific method?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 10, 2006, 11:19:33 pm
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Um....execuse me....what does Novus' personal preferences have to do with the scientific method?

Last time I checked this was a friendly chat board not a science lab. I also enjoy chatting with intelligent, thoughtful people. I'm simply interested in his opinion. There is no right or wrong here, and his opinions are just as valid as mine.

p.s. Tale = Tail in previous post.. DOH!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on July 10, 2006, 11:32:39 pm
Actually, there is a right and wrong here. I don't think you'll be agreeing on which is which any time soon though. :)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 11, 2006, 12:00:20 am
Actually, there is a right and wrong here. I don't think you'll be agreeing on which is which any time soon though. :)


Meep, I very well could be wrong, but at least I have the comfort of knowing I'm with fairly good company...  ;)

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:IBGBrYrRX34J:www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/100ScientistsAd.pdf+%22dissent+from+Darwinism%22&hl=en&start=2


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 11, 2006, 03:04:27 am
Well, RTyp06, I agree with you completely that throwing articles back and forth on increasingly esoteric biological topics isn't going to get us anywhere; that last batch of articles you linked to is basically way over my head; I'm a coder, not a molecular biologist, and my interest in this subject is not enough to convince me to get another Master's degree. Perhaps we've both been going at this the wrong way.

Let's try to summarise this thread instead: by your criteria, evolutionary models are inadequate because:

  • The mechanism by which the first cells (DNA et.c.) were created is unknown.
  • The mechanisms by which major changes in genetic makeup (e.g. from dinosaurs to birds) happen in such a way as to create radically different species are unknown. In other words, microevolution has been demonstrated and studied step-by-step but macroevolution hasn't.

I agree that these are to a great extent unknown areas to current biology and that examining these in more detail may falsify evolution or provide more supporting evidence for it. We seem only to differ in our reaction to this: from my point of view, there are no convincing reasons to believe evolution is false, but a lot of evidence that is consistent with it; the fossils that have been found can be interpreted in such a way that they fit into the evolutionary framework; the current selection of organisms suggests common ancestry that is consistent with evolution. From your point of view, the evolutionary explanation and the limited data allows practically any explanation to fit and the explanations are thus "just so" stories with no scientifc value. I see absence of evidence, you see evidence of absence. I accept evolution as a sound (albeit incomplete) explanation, you reject it as assuming matters that haven't been tested.

The ID reasoning I've seen always relies on trying to show that evolution is highly improbable or impossible; that organisms have changed in a way that is not explained by evolution. I rejected Dembski's reasoning about specified complexity on the grounds that it is full of holes and essentially circular. Behe's ideas make more sense, but he uses, as far as I can tell, absence of evidence as evidence of absence in his reasoning about irreducible complexity.

Thus, Behe's reasoning leads us to the point where our dialogue mirrors that of Behe and his supporters versus his critics; for Behe's idea to be credible he must show that it is impossible (or, at least, extremely unlikely) for some observed part of an organism to occur as a product of evolution; basically, that the intermediate steps are so bad that an organism exhibiting those has almost no chance of survival and reproduction. Again, our interpretations differ: you see potential proofs of Behe's ideas in the form of apparently irreducibly complex organs where I see a lack of imagination in finding explanations and a general lack of hard data either way.

Now, given two theories that may or may not be true, there are several ways to choose one over the other:
  • Which theory makes the more specific predictions? I don't see any predictions at all coming from ID that can be tested, while evolution, at least in the microevolution case, gets quite specific and matches observations.
  • Which theory makes less additional assumptions (Occam's razor)? Introducing a unknown designer seems like a bit of a stretch, while evolution is based on mechanisms that we know to exist: natural selection, mutation, et.c.

So, basically, my view is that evolution is the better theory because it explains more (even if it is shown to be wrong, it may be useful; consider how Newtonian mechanics are still applicable to many real-world cases), has survived more experimental challenges and doesn't require as dramatic world-view changes (I can see, though, that Occam's razor could slice the other way if you accept the existence of God, for example). Your view is that evolution is a bunch of guesswork that is desperately being patched up to fit observations and it'll fall apart sooner or later, and irreducible complexity exposes a weakness that will tear it apart.

None of this rules out evolution being false and ID being true, but I feel I've justified why evolution is the better working hypothesis.

Now, I was intending to write a quick retort before going to bed, and the Sun just started rising behind my back. Good night or whatever it is in your timezone.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on July 11, 2006, 12:18:57 pm
May I point out that every now and then fossils of missing links in the evolution of some species are being found. This is an example of how evolution makes predictions on a macro scale -- predictions which have been found correct.
I've yet to see ID make a prediction.
While it does not make a theory necessarilly untrue, without predictions a theory is absolutely useless.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Data on July 11, 2006, 08:53:03 pm
Don't you think that the name of this topic is a wee bit missleading about what you are suppposed to find on this page. I thought this is going to be a discussion about comic books and I don't know how did you get to Theory of Evolution from it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on July 11, 2006, 10:03:06 pm
May I point out that every now and then fossils of missing links in the evolution of some species are being found. This is an example of how evolution makes predictions on a macro scale -- predictions which have been found correct.
I've yet to see ID make a prediction.
While it does not make a theory necessarilly untrue, without predictions a theory is absolutely useless.
I would think that this is because ID is inherently based more on philosophy and less on biology.  At least, I should think this would make a difference in what they do for our society.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Toroid on July 11, 2006, 10:12:14 pm
Religion, not philosophy. But yes.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 11, 2006, 10:27:57 pm
Don't you think that the name of this topic is a wee bit missleading about what you are suppposed to find on this page. I thought this is going to be a discussion about comic books and I don't know how did you get to Theory of Evolution from it.

Sadly, that was prcisely the original poster's intent, to mislead those reading the topic title. Incase you hadn't noticed, all of those links in the first post were to Jack Chick's steaming pile of... nonsense. Suffice to say, nowadays anytime anyone gets into a religious debate (especially over the internet), evolution vs. ID always pops up since that's the evangelical cause-du-jour. And so, here we are.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 12, 2006, 01:59:57 am
Thanx for your thoughtful response Novus. I think you summed it all up nicely. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote and the only real difference is a point of view.

I'll admit that design holds a bit of bias for me that is completely unscientific. Design is a much more intellectually satisfying concept than life arising and then evolving via. the blind, purposeless, intrinsic properties of nature, at least to me.

 Also the ID people hold a certain "underdog" appeal to me. The rampant stero-typing, name calling, marginalizing and outright dismisal without even taking the time to review their arguments we've seen from the scientific community represents the little guys trying to be heard amongst the giants.

Recently, this has begun to change. Peer-reviewed papers form ID advocates are starting to find their way into scientific journals.

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2640&program=CSC%20-%20Scientific%20Research%20and%20Scholarship%20-%20Science

This is still rare but at least it is happening to some degree. And why not? If chemical evolutionary origins and evolutionary theory is on such concrete, scientific, factual underpinnings, why should any darwinist be concerned? In my opinion, legitimate scientific criticism and dissent by other scientists should be encouraged as it will only challenge and ultimately result in a better understanding of the universe around us.

Finally, as was pointed out before, evolution and ID aren't really that much at odds, other than the random mutation/natural selection mechanisim that supposidly drives it. So I don't reject evolution outright, I'm just concerned with the lack of evidence for it. If conclusive evidence does surface someday, I'm right there with ya.

Meep: What is it about these so-called transitional fossils that makes you certain that they are transitional? If palentologist's only knowledge of say a caterpillar and a butterfly were found in the fossil record, what do you suspect their conclusion would be? If the only knowledge of a duckbilled platypus and a duck were found in the fossil record what do you suspect their conclusion would be? Or how about a bulldog and a doxen?

Also, why should we only expect to find transitional animals in the fossil record? Did natural selection select every single one of them out and none are living today? If scientists do say they live today then I'm not aware of any such claims.

Darwin himself was embarassed by the lack of transitional fossils during his time. He was certain that they would eventually be found in abundance because his theory predicted it. To date we have maybe a handful of questionable examples.

Fossils from the Burgess Shale in Canada has shown quite a few new phyla that were never known to exist . Invertibrate worms with spines is one of my favorites. I read an estimate of around 20+ complete new phyla of animals has been discovered from the Cambrian era to date.

http://www.burgess-shale.bc.ca/

The point is that we know from fossils that life has taken some very interesting forms. So finding a dinosaur with feathers, although this might be considered a missing link between dinosaurs and birds is not nessicarily the case. It may have been a unique spieces of animal in it's own right. Just like a duck-billed platypus with a duck bill, webbed feet, a lizard's poisionus spines, a mammal's fur and is an egg layer..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on July 12, 2006, 03:55:38 am
Meep: What is it about these so-called transitional fossils that makes you certain that they are transitional?
How did you get to this remark from what I was saying? I never claimed to be certain about anything, and it isn't even relevant to my point. If we're going to have this discussion, at least read my words with a bit more care.
Also, the term "transitional" is misleading, as evolution is supposed to be ever ongoing.
With "missing link" I mean no more than "a gap in our fossil record of the family tree of species". In evolution, a species doesn't come out of nowhere, and if you have a fossil from an earlier time which shares many similarities with it, you may theorise that this is an ancestor, and you can predict by interpolating what an intermediate species would be like.

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Also, why should we only expect to find transitional animals in the fossil record? Did natural selection select every single one of them out and none are living today? If scientists do say they live today then I'm not aware of any such claims.
Natural selection will cause those creatures to survive which are most fit to survive in their specific environment. Environments change and species that don't adapt, die out. That said, some species are suited to a wide range of environments, and some environments change more than others. Crocodiles (or alligators, or perhaps both, I don't recall) are said to have been around as they are now for a very long time. And then there's the Coelacanth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth).

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The point is that we know from fossils that life has taken some very interesting forms. So finding a dinosaur with feathers, although this might be considered a missing link between dinosaurs and birds is not nessicarily the case.
Right. But if you have predicted that some species existed before fossils of it were found, then that does give some credibility to the theory you used to make that prediction.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 12, 2006, 07:34:01 am
Meep: What is it about these so-called transitional fossils that makes you certain that they are transitional?
How did you get to this remark from what I was saying? I never claimed to be certain about anything, and it isn't even relevant to my point. If we're going to have this discussion, at least read my words with a bit more care.

Never claimed certain?

"May I point out that every now and then fossils of missing links in the evolution of some species are being found."

That seems like a pretty certain, statement of fact to me..Also, the terms "Transitional Species" and "Missing Links" are the same thing. "Missing Link "is rarely used anymore due to it's synonomus use with human ancestors..I apologize for not quoting your use of the words "Missing Links".

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Also, the term "transitional" is misleading, as evolution is supposed to be ever ongoing.
With "missing link" I mean no more than "a gap in our fossil record of the family tree of species". In evolution, a species doesn't come out of nowhere, and if you have a fossil from an earlier time which shares many similarities with it, you may theorise that this is an ancestor, and you can predict by interpolating what an intermediate species would be like.

Thank you but I'm well aware of how transitional species are supposed to fill in the missing link gaps in the tree of life.


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Natural selection will cause those creatures to survive which are most fit to survive in their specific environment. Environments change and species that don't adapt, die out.

Right..

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That said, some species are suited to a wide range of environments, and some environments change more than others. Crocodiles (or alligators, or perhaps both, I don't recall) are said to have been around as they are now for a very long time. And then there's the Coelacanth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth).

Right . The Coelacanth supposidly went extinct roughly 80 millon years ago. Then it reappeared in modern times virtually unchanged ie. no evolution in 80 million years.

I understand what you are saying and understand the principles behind it, however, what we see in the fossil record is this:

a)almost every animal alive today we have found MANY examples of, or MANY very close realitives to them (non macro).

b)we have found MANY fossils of animals not alive today and they are all either very close realitives to one another (non macro) or they are very different from one another.

c)we have found VERY FEW conclusive "missing links" or transitional spieces between them.

This mimics what we see alive today. Huge numbers of frog species, Huge numbers of Bird spiecies, huge numbers of cat species etc. and no conclusive "missing links". Shouldn't that be predictided in an ongoing evolution? And why is it we are finding fossils by the hundreds pretty much daily all over the globe and the vast, overwhelming majority of them fit into category a or b yet c comes along once in a decade maybe?

If all life came from single celled animals one would think we should be finding "missing links" by the ton...

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Right. But if you have predicted that some species existed before fossils of it were found, then that does give some credibility to the theory you used to make that prediction.

True, but it is my understanding that the scientific community didn't embrace the concept of dinos evolving into birds until after they found the fossils. And it's still a fairly divisive issue to this day.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 12, 2006, 09:25:28 am
You  know RT, I'm not sure if you keep purposfully misunderstanding me, or if my explanations are woefully inadequate. Some of your replies here just do not make sense, and others miss my point. Still, I'll make another attempt at it.


There are many darwinian scientists that are wrong. In the 70's there was an origin theory that the first protiens self assembled without help from RNA or DNA (somthing predestination). This was embraced throughout the scientific community and thus it was thought life was inevitible in the right conditions.  That is in the trash bin now. The evolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibrium is almost unanimously rejected now.

There are scientists studying cold fusion which may ultimately be a complete waste of time. The whole point I was trying to make is that it's OK to try and fail even if somthing is deemed ridiculous by the majority.

If this is the case, I am certainly not the only one failing in making my points clear. Let me give you an insight of how what you posted looked like to other people (or me, at any rate).

Quote from: RTyp06
If you even reflect upon this for a moment, it may invoke images of Copernicus or Galilao who suggested *gasp* The earth revolves around the sun. They were branded heretics by the roman catholic church. Skip ahead a few centuries and you have Alaxander Graham Bell's telephone that the Britsih brighest scientific minds  called a toy, and that Britian had "enough young messenger boys". Or you have scientists at such notable "prestigious" (and I use that term loosely) institutions as "Scientific American" who ridiculed Wilbur and Orvile wright because it was "proven" that heavier than air vehicles couldn't fly. How dare they think outside the box! Just look at the Big Bang theory's history...etc.

This is you telling us about all the great things that have come from thinking outside the box. All those wonderful scientific discoveries. At no point do you even mention anyone failing, you just mention the amazing results gained from thinking in a way opposed to the traditional view of that time.

After I point out that not every attempt to think outside the box works as wel las these, your comeback is, "Well, evolution doesn't always work either". This has nothing to do with my point. You then follow up with, "What I meant was that it is alright to try and fail", even though you've made no mention of anyone failing, only people succeeding.

Regrettable, there are really only two conclusions to be drawn here. Either you meant well, but formulated yourself fairly sloppily by omitting the whole "sometimes people fail but that is ok" part. Or you are simply trying to write in a fairly propagandic fashion, using misrepresentation to strengthen your own cause. That of course, is not very conductive to the debate overall.

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Back to your detective story. I say the wound was caused by a bullet, you say it was caused by a knife. Ok who is right? Well based on what we DO know about bullet wounds and what we DO know about knife wounds, we can make some predictions.

And immediately you are off again. The point I was originally trying to make was that your detective story was a bad comparison. You claimed, that since detectives can use logical deduction, so should  we. The reason it was bad comparison was that detectives also have actual solid evidence, that cannot be disputed.

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Is there an exit wound? Is it consistant with bullet wound trauma? Knife wounds leave tell tale slice marks etc.

This is all solid, mutually accepted evidence that we don't have. The point I was trying to make was, that none of your evidence is solid. As you have said yourself, neither ID nor evolution can be proved. Just like a criminal case cannot be proved on theories alone. If you go to court with no physical evidence and try to convict someone of murder, you cannot prove your case. In the same way, you cannot claim that using solely deductive reasoning will make ID a scientific theory, unless you have some even circumstanial proof.

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All I'm saying here is that there is criteria we can apply to biological systems to see if it's more consistant with design or random natural forces.

But in the criteria you mentioned are actual physical facts. That's very different from criteria. Equally well, I could say "All biological sytems are imperfect. Therefore a criteria of a biological system is that it is imperfect. My car is imperfect, therefore it is biological". This kind of logical reasoning means you can prove pretty much anything. This is why you need more than just deductive reasoning to prove anything, and especially to make it a scientific theory.

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Biochemist Michale Behe coined the phrase "irreducible complexity" and it has never been successfully countered . His book "Darwin's Black Box" has caused quite a stir in the scientific community. Darwin himself said that if it could be shown that any biological structure couldn't be produced by small evolutionary steps, his theory would absolutely break down. Well it has been shown.

Quote from:  Novus
"has never been successfully countered"? Unlike Dembski's pseudo-mathematical definition (which is hogwash as I've outlined previously), Behe uses a definition based on whether a part can be removed from a system without preventing it from functiong. Basically, if you can't remove anything from a system without breaking it, it's irreducably complex (IC). The problems with Behe's argumentation are, in brief:

    * Behe assumes without evidence (or with broken evidence) that IC lifeforms exist.
    * Behe assumes without supporting argumentation that indirect evolution resulting in IC lifeforms is improbable (evidence suggests otherwise).


In other words, Behe's reasoning is both irrelevant and wrong.

For more in-depth critiques, see e.g. the Talk.Origins archive of Behe criticism.

As you can see, it is your opinion that it has not been countered. And our opinion that it has. You may flaunt irreducible complexity around as much as you want, but if you are allowed to question evolutionary theroies, surely other people are allowed to question ID theories? This seems to be a linchpin for you. Everytime you present anything that is refuted, your reply is "LoL that's not right". Not exactly a strong comeback, and in no way a proper rebuttal. If you had entered this discussion, and everyone had just said "LoL ID isn't true", would you have thought us very mature? But seemingly, when you do it it is acceptable?

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Ever hear of Caral Sagen? Ever watch PBS and Discovery channel specials which proclaim the "fact" of evolution.. Evolution is presented as fact everywhere you look..In school it was presented as fact as well.

If your broadcasting companies or schools are lacking, surely this is something you should take up with them? Try to remember, on an international board the US =! The world. Where I went to school, it was not presented as fact. I'm curious to other finns and europeans on this board. How were you taught this? is my school an exception, or the rule?

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I'm not saying I'm absolutely right. Design is falsifiable. And I do feel I have more evidence than they have. Cladistics is based on bone similarities between fossils and is extremely flimsy. I could use the same logic and conclude a platypus and duck or great dane and poodle are evolutionary linked.

Perhaps not. But you are making a very strong case for ID, whilst claiming that ther is "no factual evidence for evolution"

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Evolution is no more proveable than design and evolution has had a 200+ year head start. If you are waiting on a hopeful discovery to substantiate evolution I could use the same argument that scientists could discover ways in which cells design and make decisions.

Except creationism has been around for 2000+ years, actually giving you a head start.

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The problem is the evolutionary theory doesn't meet that criteria!!! It is NOT empirically testible and falsifiable.

I apologise for misquoting,  even though you could have avoided this misunderstanding by reading the essay. The following sentence reads:

Quote from: Hallecks essay
The more of these criteria that a theory meets, the more likely it is to be accepted by the scientific community.

Meaning that you don't necessarily need to fulfill every criteria, but the more the better. ID fullfills none, and Evolution lacks two. Even though one could argue that evolution thefore might be called a "almost Theory", or protoTheory, that isn't really what this whole debate was about. If you recall, this pretty much started, because it was calmed that ID is not a scientific theory. All your slinging of articles back and forth have done very little to change that.

Basically, it comes down to that your approach is flawed. You present a few snippets (deductive reasoning and thinking outside the box  come to mind) of motivation for your theory. When they are challenged, you reply with "LoL". You then progress to point out flaws in evolution, which has absolutely nothing to do with wether ID is a scientific theory or not. Even if evolution was completly disproven, this would not automatically make ID true.

This is pretty much the trap that all IDers seem to fall into. Instead of producing any sort of evidence, they try to prove their theory by disproving evolution. As I said on the SC boards, you need to make your own case, that's the only thing that will make a difference.

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If everything came from single celled life then the fossil record should be FILLED with millions of transitional fossils, not just a couple of questionable similar boned animals. The fossil record echos what we see today. There are maybe 1000 different spiecies of frog, 1000 different species of spider etc.

Please read up on fossil records. There are a lot of things needed to make a fossil. Not every creature that dies automatically becomes one. In fact, if any one of the factors needed is missing, the fossile doesn't exist. Irreducibly complex eh :) More seriously though, fossils aren't actually that common, or that representative. They are rarities, and as such, cannot provide a good extrapolation of what animals have existed. For all we know, 2.3 billion years ago a small race of intelligent  3 legged crabs may have ruled the seas and land. But no fossil records remain, so we've never seen them.

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Design is scientificly detectable. That is where our opinions differ. Evolution doesn't stand up to his criteria. I've already covered this

And we've rebuked your claims. and you've replied to them with "LoL". It has been covered, but not very well.

Quote
There are scientists that say life as we know does have to have all these things to be possible. Thus in one way it may be an irreducibly complex system in the context that it is needed for somthing else, complex life. The problem is that the planets and stars are governed by well known, simple, cause and effect, naturalistic forces that CAN be tested in the lab. Planets, and moons thus are not an irreducibly complex system by themselves and can only be deemed as such in a certain context. Life on the otherhand doesn't seem to be governed my simple naturalistic forces and doesnt behave in a simple, predictable repeating pattern.

Life does adhere to the same simple naturalistic patterns that planets do. It does not break the lawws of the universe in any way. On a molecular level, life, just as the planets, behaves accordingly to the rules of cause and effect. Unless you want t claim that life is somehow magical and extempt from thermodynamics and suchlike?

To recap. Proving one theory by assaulting another does not work. proving one theory by presenting evidence works, unless the evidence is rebuked. I nthat case, rebuking the rebuttal might work, unless this is done by saying "LoL".

Anyhow, i doubt this will lead to much further. You believe your proof is solid, we believe it is not. You cannot prove yourself right, nor can anyone prove evoltion right (at the moment).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on July 12, 2006, 12:28:48 pm
Ok, I shouldn't have gotten into this discussion. And I'm out of it again now. You're just ignoring remarks you don't want to hear.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 12, 2006, 05:51:30 pm
Quote
If your broadcasting companies or schools are lacking, surely this is something you should take up with them? Try to remember, on an international board the US =! The world. Where I went to school, it was not presented as fact. I'm curious to other finns and europeans on this board. How were you taught this? is my school an exception, or the rule?

I went to a fine quality American public school in central New Jersey, and I can say that our science program fell into the same sort of mold as yours. Evolution and Darwinian theories were taught as just that: scientific theories, which explained the way things worked far better than the theories that preceeded them. However, nowhere were they presented as indesputable facts, and in fact, one of the first things we were taught (and a concept that was continually reinforced) was how little we actually understood about biological science, and how incredible breakthroughs were being made every day that helped make the picture a bit clearer. This is one of the reasons I decided to pursue biology after high school; unlike chemistry (where there is not really much left to be discovered) or physics (where the things being discovered are so esoteric, that explaining them to the average person requires at least several hundred pages of reading, and many of them have little to no practical applications), the biological sciences are still largely mysterious, and discoveries are being made constantly that could have potentially dramatic impact on our quality of life.

Let me tell you, some of my teachers from back then are probably horrified that certain school districts now mandate the teaching of pseudoscience like ID in the science programs. Personally, it frightens me; the underlying agenda of 99% of those who advocate ID is well known, and they only try to hide it under the thinnest veil of scientific legitimacy. Isn't it bad enough that we're lagging behind so much in education when compared to the rest of the developed world (and even some of the third world), why do we have to compound this problem by conciously teaching our children misinformation?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on July 12, 2006, 06:53:33 pm
Let me tell you, some of my teachers from back then are probably horrified that certain school districts now mandate the teaching of pseudoscience like ID in the science programs. Personally, it frightens me; the underlying agenda of 99% of those who advocate ID is well known, and they only try to hide it under the thinnest veil of scientific legitimacy. Isn't it bad enough that we're lagging behind so much in education when compared to the rest of the developed world (and even some of the third world), why do we have to compound this problem by conciously teaching our children misinformation?

This is not where I, personally, worry about our nation's education.

I worry when CALIFORNIANS who graduate from public California schools can't find MEXICO on a world map.
I worry when High School Graduates can't read their own diplomas.
I worry when they can't do basic arithmetic.
I worry when they don't know the difference between an adjective and a noun.
I worry when they can't speak English properly.
I worry when music gets cut from schools, like it isn't important.
I worry when the good students get good grades by being robots, and not by actually thinking.

Intelligent Design being taught in schools as something other than what it is is the least of my worries when it comes to our education.  Should it be taught in schools?  Perhaps as a philosophy, which is what it is.  It is not a religion, though the two are inextricably linked.  It is not really biology, either.  I DO think we should teach such philosophies in school.  ID, Darwinism, and other popular philosphies of today should all be covered.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 12, 2006, 07:35:42 pm
...In a philosophy course, maybe, but not in Bio. That's sort of the point I'm getting at here.

Mind you, those problems are a lot more severe than the issue of ID in science class, but not something I can really relate to. I went to a school where those sort of things were not the way things were done. The teachers actually DID care if you learned things (well, most of them anyway), and the administration was not inclined to let you slip by without passing marks (though I know it did occasionally happen). Then again, that was also a different time (I'm not sure if "only" is an appropriate term for describing 10 years ago, but it seems to fit in this case), and a lot can happen. It's not as if I've ever been back to check up on what the school is like now.

But beyond the low end of the bell curve, the idea of teaching ID in science class is much more insidious than a simple case of inadequate education. This is a case where misinformation and pseudoscience is being presented as a viable alternative to real scientific work, and that is arguably a graver matter than not presenting anything at all. Because, much as I hate to admit it, the experiences with education that I had in my youth had a profound impact on who I am and what I do today, much more so even than all the work I did in college (even though that has had much more practical application). I suspect that many (perhaps most) other kids are the same way.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 12, 2006, 09:49:45 pm
As for the so-called 'just-so stories': they are not extensions or additions to the theory! They are merely observations of effects no one had figured out before (in some cases, they had), which are predicted by the theory. It's just that the theory makes so many predictions, it's worthwhile to point them out. This is similar to, say, number theory. All of the theorems of number theory were implied once the axioms were selected, but there are many interesting consequences which are not at all obvious.

Telling a story in a theory is a perfectly valid answer to complaints of the form 'X cannot happen in this theory!' which is all ID says. If we show how X can happen, that's the end of it. Complaining we didn't prove X actually did happen is irrelevant - the argument given is refuted.


And as for the generation of information:

So you have this gene.
Suppose it is copied. Now you have two of them.

Only one of them is needed, so the other one becomes deprotected, mutates like it was on crack. SNP's everywhere
Now you don't have 2 of gene A, you've got two genes.

In what sense is this not the generation of new information?



As for the coelecanth: an unstressed population evolves very very slowly. This is part of punctuated equilibrium.

As for these peer-reviewed articles, I checked over the list. Several of them are not ID, and are not even particularly critical of evolution. One is just pointing out that certain genetic patterns are not formed randomly. That's okay; evolution includes the well-documented self-editing processes we have observed creatures to use!


Quote
Besides, you could argue the Earth was designed the same way. Biggest moon in the solar system that stabilises our orbit, just the right orbit from the sun, just the right type of sun, a molten core that creates a magnetic field that protects us from radiation and gives us tectonics. And so on and so forth. Remove any one parameter, and life probably isn't possible. That's irreducibly complex, and thus it must be designed?

I know this was a silly toss-off, but I'd like to point out that we don't need the moon or a magnetic field. The magnetic field isn't protective at all at the poles, and the radiation levels there are quite tolerable. Incidentally, the magnetic field is very likely connected to the moon, since the moon keeps the core churned up.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 12, 2006, 10:02:54 pm
I know this was a silly toss-off, but I'd like to point out that we don't need the moon or a magnetic field. The magnetic field isn't protective at all at the poles, and the radiation levels there are quite tolerable. Incidentally, the magnetic field is very likely connected to the moon, since the moon keeps the core churned up.

Quote from: NASA
The presence of the Moon stabilizes Earth's wobble. This has led to a much more stable climate over billions of years, which may have affected the course of the development and growth of life on Earth.

From here (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Moon). While it is by no means certain that life would not have evolved without this stabilizing presence, it probably didn't hurt. I wont pretend to be an expert on the magnetic field, but any article I dredge up seem to indicate the same thing. for example, here (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/glossary/plasmaspheric_gain.html) and here (http://arstechnica.com/journals/science.ars/2006/3/21/3286), stating things like:

Quote
The Earth’s magnetic field may be a crucial reason for life existing on this planet.  The field protects the planet from cosmic rays, which would otherwise cause many of the delicate molecules that life depends upon to be damaged.

If this is not the case, could you link me to a source establishing otherwise?

As a sidenote, some people (http://www.creationofuniverse.com/html/blue_planet_03.html) seem to think this indicates an irreducibly complex system, and proof of divine intervention.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 12, 2006, 10:14:36 pm
Okay, WOBBLE, I'll buy; but that's not the orbit. Climate stabilization? I don't know if that would be helpful or counterproductive, actually. Always shaking everybody up sure would prevent stagnation.

As for the radiation --
later on that page, a debate cropped up in which folks pointed out that the atmosphere does almost all of our radiation shielding. Several points they raised:
1) the space station is well within the Earth's magnetic field (effectively at the surface as far as it's concerned) but gets large doses of radiation compared to the surface.
2) cosmic rays are the bulk of this radiation, and that is so thoroughly blocked by the atmosphere that cosmic ray observatories have to be put on very tall mountains to see anything at all; and using high-flying balloons is even more common.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Vic on July 13, 2006, 12:47:50 am
After reading all this I think it is fair to say that this is a shitstorm of ego...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 13, 2006, 07:33:10 am
Okay, WOBBLE, I'll buy; but that's not the orbit. Climate stabilization? I don't know if that would be helpful or counterproductive, actually. Always shaking everybody up sure would prevent stagnation.

My mistake, I got my terms mixed up.

Quote
As for the radiation --
later on that page, a debate cropped up in which folks pointed out that the atmosphere does almost all of our radiation shielding. Several points they raised:
1) the space station is well within the Earth's magnetic field (effectively at the surface as far as it's concerned) but gets large doses of radiation compared to the surface.
2) cosmic rays are the bulk of this radiation, and that is so thoroughly blocked by the atmosphere that cosmic ray observatories have to be put on very tall mountains to see anything at all; and using high-flying balloons is even more common.

Fair enough. From my limited understanding, I was under the impression that the magnetic field also diverts a lot of radiation around the planet, rather than absorbing it, and that all this radiation might be too much for the atmosphere to stop. But I've beeen known to be wrong before ;) Perhaps it will satisfy you if I simply add "a oxygen based protective atmosphere" to the list of parameters instead?

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After reading all this I think it is fair to say that this is a shitstorm of ego...

Thank you for your valuable contribution, I'm sure we will all take your opinion into serious consideration.

EDIT: Oh, and I suppose this quote would fit quite well here

That's where many discussions go wrong, and can turn out very long and pointless:
people using different definitions. It doesn't matter what definition you use ("a fruit is whatever you find in the fruit department"), as long as both parties are using the same definition.
That's why in discussions I often ask for an explicit definition of terms, something which not everyone always appreciates.

The definitions of rebuttal, science, theory and evidence seem to be very different from person to person in this thread.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 13, 2006, 10:17:38 pm
Oxygen is unnecessary. Any gas will do, if it is dense enough.

The magnetic field most definitely does have an effect on the cosmic radiation, but it only cuts it in half or so, which is not terribly significant. It also creates the stable van allen belts, which are... less friendly an effect, though irrelevant to evolution.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 14, 2006, 08:51:03 am
Oxygen is unnecessary. Any gas will do, if it is dense enough.

The list, if you recall, was parameters required for life (as we know it), not simply parameters required to stop radiation.  Both being protective and being oxygen based are necessary requirements, removing ne or the other would make all aerobic life impossible.

Come to think of it, that is actually quite a good illustration for RT to ponder over. If I recall correctly, when life evolved oxygen was not an requirement, but rather a poison for most lifeforms. Many lifeforms adapted to this, and could not survive without oxygen today. From an ID point of view, you could then argue that the part of the genetic code that handles oxygen breathing is a clear indication that either a) The Designer came back after his initial startup and tweaked the code. or b) The ability to use oxygen actually evolved among the microbes of the time, indicating that some rather radical evolution is possible.

Quote
The magnetic field most definitely does have an effect on the cosmic radiation, but it only cuts it in half or so, which is not terribly significant. It also creates the stable van allen belts, which are... less friendly an effect, though irrelevant to evolution.

So is it a common misconception that the magnetic field is more important than it is? I seem to recall reading this in several different books. Or is this something that has been established (fairly) recently?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on July 14, 2006, 06:25:10 pm
Quote
So is it a common misconception that the magnetic field is more important than it is? I seem to recall reading this in several different books. Or is this something that has been established (fairly) recently?

Keep in mind that there is a big difference between what we can survive, and what various microbes can. Just think of microbes living around volcanic vents, would they suffer much radiation, that far down under a gas and a deep liquid barrier?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 14, 2006, 10:14:20 pm
The magnetic field only protects against cosmic rays. The solar wind isn't dangerous in the first place, and all other radiation is uncharged and so is unaffected.

We have been aware that cosmic rays barely penetrate to sea level since we knew that they existed.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 16, 2006, 03:59:40 am
Well I was going to bow out of this conversation (since Novus wrapped it up quite fairly and nicely), until I saw this:

Quote
Come to think of it, that is actually quite a good illustration for RT to ponder over. If I recall correctly, when life evolved oxygen was not an requirement, but rather a poison for most lifeforms. Many lifeforms adapted to this, and could not survive without oxygen today.

Now Luki, I've always shown you respect and always will but this made me chuckle. I'm not sure where you gained this recollection, but I'm unaware of it. Oxygen can be considered a corrosive and reacts to many chemicals, but since nobody knows for sure that plants came first and honestly, nobody knows the innerworkings of the earliest cells, there's not much there to ponder.

Some of the earliest known animal fossils are trilobites  from the Cambrian era and they had gills like modern fish.(btw Fish gills don't split oxgyen from H20 like photosynthisis does, but rather filters dissolved oxygen from water.)

Plants and some bacteria use photosynthisis wich produces oxygen and are found alongside the earliest known animals. Furthermore, even if plants did come first, it's a strech of the imagination ( at least to me) to think plants randomly and spontaneously evolved the ability to start breathing oxygen.

 This is especially a problem if oxygen is considered a poison as you suggest. This would represent a  complete revamp of the photsynthisis system that served plants so well. Does it really seem plauasable that plants would suddenly and completely change their successful ways without any sort of guidance?








Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Anthony on July 16, 2006, 02:49:58 pm
This is especially a problem if oxygen is considered a poison as you suggest.

I heard that pure oxygen is harmful to humans, because there would be nothing to breathe out.  I'm not exactly sure if that applies to plants also...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Halleck on July 16, 2006, 03:42:07 pm
Too much oxygen can be poisonous, true. IIRC, the atmosphere is over 70% nitrogen and something like 20% oxygen.

This is an impressive tangent BTW.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 16, 2006, 07:18:11 pm
One other thing I wanted to point out to who ever said any gas will shield the earth from radiation.

o3 (ozone) in particular shields the earth from harmful radiation. Radiation cleaves o3 into o2(oxygen).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_layer

"Although the concentration of ozone in the ozone layer is very small, it is vitally important to life because it absorbs biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the Sun."

It might also be interesting to note that oxidization of minerals has been found abundantly throughout ALL the geologic strata. This would seem to counter evolutionary scientists who predict an oxygen free, reducing atmosphere for the first chemestry of life.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 17, 2006, 08:00:53 am
Now Luki, I've always shown you respect and always will but this made me chuckle. I'm not sure where you gained this recollection, but I'm unaware of it. Oxygen can be considered a corrosive and reacts to many chemicals, but since nobody knows for sure that plants came first and honestly, nobody knows the innerworkings of the earliest cells, there's not much there to ponder.

Well, I was actually thinking of this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_organism). The point I was trying to make was there are in fact several systems on Earth, where oxygen is sometimes required, sometimes only helpful, and sometimes anathema to life. It doesn't really matter which way you want to view it. Either oxygen was always present, and some creatures just never started utilizing it, or oxygen came later, and some creatures did not find it necessary to adapt at all.

My point was simply that for someone who believes that all life was designed from the beginning, and that one species cannot change in any way that is not purely cosmetic, one would then have to wonder whay several systems were implemented in the first place. Unless your designer was a wee bit incompetent, and decided upon this while he was busy filling those pesky eukaryotic cells with junk DNA in the evenings.

On the other hand, if creatures evolve to fit their enviroments, it makes much more sense that they use oxygen only to the extent they need, and that some cannot abide it since it isn't present in their natural enviroment.

Of course, if you want to make the argument that we cannot possibly fathom the way our designer worked, feel free. They do seem to be mysterious.

Quote
Plants and some bacteria use photosynthisis wich produces oxygen and are found alongside the earliest known animals. Furthermore, even if plants did come first, it's a strech of the imagination ( at least to me) to think plants randomly and spontaneously evolved the ability to start breathing oxygen.

And again, this hinges on you assuming that all plants and creatures where designed and sprinkled over the earth, along with prokaryotic microbes. I may have been incorrect to utter my assumptions, I simply assumed that even though you believe life was designed, you didn't believe that all current animals coexisted with the earliest fossiles we've found. If we assume that microvbes came first, wether or not plants came first doesn't really matter.

Quote
This is especially a problem if oxygen is considered a poison as you suggest. This would represent a  complete revamp of the photsynthisis system that served plants so well. Does it really seem plauasable that plants would suddenly and completely change their successful ways without any sort of guidance?

Unless we take into account that most of our oxygen actually comes from small microbes in the sea, who were probably there before plants made it onto dry land.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 19, 2006, 04:40:44 pm
This is especially a problem if oxygen is considered a poison as you suggest.

I heard that pure oxygen is harmful to humans, because there would be nothing to breathe out.  I'm not exactly sure if that applies to plants also...

we take in O2, turn it into CO2, breathe that out.

No, O2 is an okay atmosphere for us to breathe, but it's very dangerous because things catch fire very easily at high partial pressures of O2.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 19, 2006, 05:28:50 pm
No, O2 is an okay atmosphere for us to breathe, but it's very dangerous because things catch fire very easily at high partial pressures of O2.

And because at high partial pressures, it is poisonous. Not the kind we have in the atmosphere obviously, but it can still happen (http://www.rescuediver.org/med/o2-pos.htm).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on July 19, 2006, 09:42:30 pm
Okay, that too; either way, it's not that we can't come up with anything to breathe out.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 19, 2006, 10:24:33 pm
Okay, that too; either way, it's not that we can't come up with anything to breathe out.

That could be dangerous though. Think about it. You breath in O2 and use it. With nothing to exhale, a vacuum is created in your lung as your blood greedily sucks the oxygen out of them. Your lungs painfully implode.

It's a joke. I don't really think this can happen.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 20, 2006, 02:35:27 am
Quote
Well, I was actually thinking of this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_organism). The point I was trying to make was there are in fact several systems on Earth, where oxygen is sometimes required, sometimes only helpful, and sometimes anathema to life. It doesn't really matter which way you want to view it. Either oxygen was always present, and some creatures just never started utilizing it, or oxygen came later, and some creatures did not find it necessary to adapt at all.

This is what is puzzling about life to me. It fills every niche possible. If there is a way for it to "make a living", it does. Without exception. Wether it's volcanic vents deep in the ocean, deep underground,high in the tallest mountains, or high in the atmosphere near the stratosphere.. It's there, everywhere.

Quote
My point was simply that for someone who believes that all life was designed from the beginning, and that one species cannot change in any way that is not purely cosmetic, one would then have to wonder whay several systems were implemented in the first place. Unless your designer was a wee bit incompetent, and decided upon this while he was busy filling those pesky eukaryotic cells with junk DNA in the evenings.

I think life is endowed with the ability to change to meet enviornmental challenges not just cosmetic changes. These changes are limited and, imo, transponson  genes / introns are 99.9% responsible.

http://healthfully.org/medicalscience/id10.html

http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050615_jumping_genes.html

Transposable genes are why we each have unique features, even unique brains. These genes gently scramble the genetic information in a true darwinian sense but never in a harmful way. Scientists are baffled by this. Chance and nessescity can't account for these convieniences any more than it can account for chemical coded life in the first place.

I don't think a creator is constantly making new animals and new paths. I think life was thouroughly thought out ahead of time. Perhaps the earth was terraformed by life. Every animal we see may have been previously figured out at the beginning and allowed enough limited diversity to fullfill every niche imaginable. How new body plans come about is a mystery, perhaps it is indeed evolution, just that the scientific evidence doesn't seem to point there. At least not in the darwinian, blind, trial and error sense.

Quote
And again, this hinges on you assuming that all plants and creatures where designed and sprinkled over the earth, along with prokaryotic microbes. I may have been incorrect to utter my assumptions, I simply assumed that even though you believe life was designed, you didn't believe that all current animals coexisted with the earliest fossiles we've found. If we assume that microvbes came first, wether or not plants came first doesn't really matter.

Well plants and animals have a certain symbiont relationship. Oxygen breathing animals exhale CO2 which plants asorb and utilize. If CO2 ever gets out of control you have a greenhouse effect like that found on venus. Likewise, plants and plankton are responsible for keeping oxygen plentiful. Without oxygen, no air breathing life and no ozone to protect us from harmful radiation. Kinda funny how it works this way, coincidence? Perhaps the symbiont relationship is why plants and animals are so successful in the first place. In every geologic strata where there is fossilized flora, there is fossilized fauna and vice versa.. Without exception.

Quote
Unless we take into account that most of our oxygen actually comes from small microbes in the sea, who were probably there before plants made it onto dry land.

Very true but those microbes are plankton that live within the top meter of the ocean's surface and use photosynthsis to break oxygen from water. If earth was like say mars, with no or a very tenius amount of oxygen in the atmosphere and plankton started the production of oxygen (producing the majority of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere), that means no ozone to protect them from the sun's radiation in the early years. Plankton fossils are found unchanged (no evolution) throughout the fossil record in every strata. The top 1 meter of ocean water would thus be saturated with harmful radiation and the planet would remain sterile of life.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 21, 2006, 09:31:59 am
This is what is puzzling about life to me. It fills every niche possible. If there is a way for it to "make a living", it does. Without exception. Wether it's volcanic vents deep in the ocean, deep underground,high in the tallest mountains, or high in the atmosphere near the stratosphere.. It's there, everywhere.

Yes. The difference, it would appear, is that I believe it fills every niche because it can adapt, while you seem to feel that every one of these niches were designed and planned.

Quote
I think life is endowed with the ability to change to meet enviornmental challenges not just cosmetic changes. These changes are limited and, imo, transponson  genes / introns are 99.9% responsible.

http://healthfully.org/medicalscience/id10.html

http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050615_jumping_genes.html

Transposable genes are why we each have unique features, even unique brains. These genes gently scramble the genetic information in a true darwinian sense but never in a harmful way. Scientists are baffled by this. Chance and nessescity can't account for these convieniences any more than it can account for chemical coded life in the first place.

So bacteria, who lack introns (except in their plasmids) should have no unique features?

Quote
I don't think a creator is constantly making new animals and new paths. I think life was thouroughly thought out ahead of time. Perhaps the earth was terraformed by life. Every animal we see may have been previously figured out at the beginning and allowed enough limited diversity to fullfill every niche imaginable. How new body plans come about is a mystery, perhaps it is indeed evolution, just that the scientific evidence doesn't seem to point there. At least not in the darwinian, blind, trial and error sense.

I must be misunderstanding you somewhere along the way, because at the moment your position does not make a lot of sense to me. Basically, you believe that life was designed by someone/something. You don't believe that the designer remains and creates new creatures. You don't believe that one species can change into another through evolution. Does this not imply that all species alive today must have been present throughout history all the way back towards creation? However, as an point against eviolution, you clai mthat an absence of fossils prove that there are no transitional species. Where are then all the fossils of modern day humans and animals that should be found right alongside the dinosaurs? If we were all designed with an ability to adapt to the enviroment, but without the ability to become somethign completely new, shouldn't we then have existed in a fairly similar form back then?

Or are you implying that someone designed a few microorganisms, that somehow contained the information necessary for these to become new creatures? That if we look at any bacteria, somewhere in their genome would be the code for "evolve into a multicellular being"?

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Well plants and animals have a certain symbiont relationship. Oxygen breathing animals exhale CO2 which plants asorb and utilize. If CO2 ever gets out of control you have a greenhouse effect like that found on venus. Likewise, plants and plankton are responsible for keeping oxygen plentiful. Without oxygen, no air breathing life and no ozone to protect us from harmful radiation. Kinda funny how it works this way, coincidence? Perhaps the symbiont relationship is why plants and animals are so successful in the first place. In every geologic strata where there is fossilized flora, there is fossilized fauna and vice versa.. Without exception.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Plants and animals have a symbiotic relationship? Welcome to the ecological system, an irreducibly complex system? I honestly don't know what your itnent is here. Yes, plants consume CO2 (although all CO2 isn't produced by animals), and animals consume O2. That means animals are dependent on plants, but not necessarily vice versa.

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Very true but those microbes are plankton that live within the top meter of the ocean's surface and use photosynthsis to break oxygen from water. If earth was like say mars, with no or a very tenius amount of oxygen in the atmosphere and plankton started the production of oxygen (producing the majority of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere), that means no ozone to protect them from the sun's radiation in the early years. Plankton fossils are found unchanged (no evolution) throughout the fossil record in every strata. The top 1 meter of ocean water would thus be saturated with harmful radiation and the planet would remain sterile of life.

Yes, if you assume that the atmosphere back then was exactly as now, minust the oxygen. I notice that this is a recurring trend i nyour thinking. Any protein functions must have always been as complex as now. Any system must have been as complicated as it is now, because without one part, it would not work.  In fact, the appearance of al lthese complex systems from nothing indicates design. The point being made at several places i nthis thread is that evolution means tha things change. Not everythign must have been exatly as now 3 million years ago. Not RNA, not organs, and definetly not the atmosphere. For example, here (http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~sabedon/biol1010.htm) you can find this:

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6.      Early (reducing) atmosphere

         1. The early atmosphere was likely dominated by carbon dioxide.
         2. Other gasses:

i.         Nitrogen was present in more than just trace amounts as was water vapor.

ii.       Trace gasses included methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and hydrochloric acid.

         3. Little molecular oxygen was present (i.e., approaching 0%).
         4. It is within this early reducing atmosphere that life first evolved.

An atomspehre without oxygen could be much thicker, thus protecting us in other ways.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 21, 2006, 05:30:46 pm
I don't really want to get involved again... But I have a couple of things to mention:

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Transposable genes are why we each have unique features, even unique brains. These genes gently scramble the genetic information in a true darwinian sense but never in a harmful way. Scientists are baffled by this.

False and false. Scientists are not baffled by transposons in the least; it is a well known fact that one of the requirements of a transposon is that part of its sequence codes for the enzyme "transposase," which is responsible for clipping the transposon out of its current location and transplanting it to a new one. When this segment of the DNA is missing or mutated, the transposon is no longer mobile.

In addition, transposons can be extremely harmful to their host organism. If a transposon is integrated in the middle of an essential gene, or worse yet, inserts itself into a location that prevents an essential gene from being transcribed (eg. disruptins a start codon), the results are often lethal for the host. This happens frequently enough, but it's not easily detectable in nature since the organism dies (and a unicellular corpse is pretty hard to find).

In relatively recent years (read: the last 10 years or so, because I learned about this in college), transposons have become an essential tool for scientists in the modification of plasmid DNA in bacteria. The desired insertion sequence is attached to the transposon after the transposase gene (but before the cleavage point that marks the end of the transposon), and the transposon is allowed to integrate itself into a bacterial plasmid. This plasmid is inserted into a host, and the activity of transposase is repressed, creating a stable host that carries the desired sequence on a plasmid.

If you would like to read more, I suggest this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transposon

On a somewhat related note, I've been reading a fascinating book of late. It has lent some insight into this debate (specifically, debunking the argument that the only natural carriers of useful information are nucleic acids and their byproducts). It makes it very difficult (even moreso than before) to believe that life is anything other than a product of the natural order. It's entitled Decoding the Universe, written by Charles Seife. Check it out, if you're so inclined:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067003441X/sr=8-1/qid=1153495192/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9116444-7597621?ie=UTF8


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 21, 2006, 06:13:25 pm
Re: transitional fossils, here's my personal hypothesis. Transitions can be a one time shot that is possible because there's no competition. With no competition you can be poor at something but still the best in your class. Once competition eventually tightens due to specialization, you're mediocre and go extinct. Now it's also much more difficult for beginners to break into that class. For example, rats living near an unpopulated lake might be in great competition for food on land, but none in water. Anyone taking advantage of the water food source will get quite an advantage over the land rats and produce lots of offspring (ideally 15k rats in 3 years, or so I've heard). Eventually there'll be much better (stable/optimized) water-rats and it's no longer feasable for the land rats to begin the transition into water rats (and keep doing it long enough to leave transitional fossils).

Everything is transitional to something though, the whole term is kind of silly. Maybe 'unstable', 'unoptimized' or 'currently lacking competition' is a better word than transitional?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 22, 2006, 04:57:26 pm
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Yes. The difference, it would appear, is that I believe it fills every niche because it can adapt, while you seem to feel that every one of these niches were designed and planned.

No, we are in agreement here. I think life is designed to adapt.

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So bacteria, who lack introns (except in their plasmids) should have no unique features?

Hunh? Introns are regulatory genes. They regulate the expression of other genes which produce protiens. It's easy to change the complexity of a protien but difficult to change the complexity of protiens and the introns that control them in a complementry, useful fashion.


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I must be misunderstanding you somewhere along the way, because at the moment your position does not make a lot of sense to me. Basically, you believe that life was designed by someone/something. You don't believe that the designer remains and creates new creatures. You don't believe that one species can change into another through evolution.

I'm just saying the geologic and genetic evidence doesn't support neo darwinist macro evolution, not that it's impossible.

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Does this not imply that all species alive today must have been present throughout history all the way back towards creation?

No it does not imply this. For example, If horses or a close realitive of horses was present from the beginning we should expect to find them in the cambrian strata. We do not. I believe different animals lived at different times just as darwinists do. The problem is we do not see a steady progression of complexity predicted by neo darwinism. The trilobites of cambrian times are just as complex as anything living today, just different. How these macro changes come about remains a mystery and cannot be accounted for by random mutation.

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However, as an point against eviolution, you clai mthat an absence of fossils prove that there are no transitional species. Where are then all the fossils of modern day humans and animals that should be found right alongside the dinosaurs?

If darwin was right and macro evolution happend through small baby steps (one or very few mutations at a time) we should expect to see a staggering number of transitional species. In fact the evidence should be so overwhelming as to be unrefutable. From the fossil record we do not have a single conclusive progression of fossils showing these transitions from one species to the next. Not one.

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If we were all designed with an ability to adapt to the enviroment, but without the ability to become somethign completely new, shouldn't we then have existed in a fairly similar form back then?

That's why it's still a mystery. We may be designed to become somthing completely new just not through a series of random genetic accidents as suggested by darwin.

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Or are you implying that someone designed a few microorganisms, that somehow contained the information necessary for these to become new creatures? That if we look at any bacteria, somewhere in their genome would be the code for "evolve into a multicellular being"?

That is a possibility. I use Visual Basic. VB has a toolbox of objects in generic form. Text boxes,buttons, picture boxes, timer controls etc. I drag the tools I want to use to the forms I'm programming. I then progam specific codes to make these generic tools unique and behave in certain ways with specific uses within the overall program.

Life seems very similar to this in some regards. All life is comprised of the same basic building blocks (micro cellular machines, protiens, genetic codes, introns and jumping genes). Further, the earliest cambrian animals have eyes, gills, bone,blood vessels, hearts etc. that is in use by animals today. They are  just different. Amazingly these basics have remained the same throughout the history of life. They are just expressed differently.

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I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Plants and animals have a symbiotic relationship? Welcome to the ecological system, an irreducibly complex system? I honestly don't know what your itnent is here. Yes, plants consume CO2 (although all CO2 isn't produced by animals), and animals consume O2. That means animals are dependent on plants, but not necessarily vice versa.

Well no matter how Co2 is produced, too much CO2 in the atmosphere is presumed to be a bad thing. It would cause a runaway greenhouse effect. Likewise too little Co2 would cause freezing tempertures. My thought is that if only plants existed, eventually the Co2 levels would drop to the point where the world's tempeture would be too cold to support most plants. Thus plants and animals are complimentry to eachother in this regard. I'll admit I need to study this further.

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Yes, if you assume that the atmosphere back then was exactly as now, minust the oxygen. I notice that this is a recurring trend i nyour thinking. Any protein functions must have always been as complex as now. Any system must have been as complicated as it is now, because without one part, it would not work.  In fact, the appearance of al lthese complex systems from nothing indicates design. The point being made at several places i nthis thread is that evolution means tha things change. Not everythign must have been exatly as now 3 million years ago. Not RNA, not organs, and definetly not the atmosphere. For example, here (http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~sabedon/biol1010.htm) you can find this:

If evolution simply means change over time, that is fine. The problem is macro evolution and what supposidly drives it. There is no evidence that complexity has increased. The RNA, DNA, protien relationship is presumed to be exactly the same as millions of years ago. The complex organs may have changed but the basic, generic function remains the same.

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6.      Early (reducing) atmosphere

         1. The early atmosphere was likely dominated by carbon dioxide.
         2. Other gasses:

i.         Nitrogen was present in more than just trace amounts as was water vapor.

ii.       Trace gasses included methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and hydrochloric acid.

         3. Little molecular oxygen was present (i.e., approaching 0%).
         4. It is within this early reducing atmosphere that life first evolved.

This is all theory and it's theory based on evolutionary premesis. Scientists really do not know what the early atmousphere was like.

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An atomspehre without oxygen could be much thicker, thus protecting us in other ways.

Could be, unfortunately we do not have a time machine...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 22, 2006, 05:17:57 pm

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False and false. Scientists are not baffled by transposons in the least; it is a well known fact that one of the requirements of a transposon is that part of its sequence codes for the enzyme "transposase," which is responsible for clipping the transposon out of its current location and transplanting it to a new one. When this segment of the DNA is missing or mutated, the transposon is no longer mobile.

It is one thing to say they know how somthing works and completely different to say why somthing works. What selection pressures put these intricate processes into play in the first place?

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In addition, transposons can be extremely harmful to their host organism. If a transposon is integrated in the middle of an essential gene, or worse yet, inserts itself into a location that prevents an essential gene from being transcribed (eg. disruptins a start codon), the results are often lethal for the host. This happens frequently enough, but it's not easily detectable in nature since the organism dies (and a unicellular corpse is pretty hard to find).

Accidents happen, this is known. These occurances are bad and thankfully, realitively rare. I disagree with you assertion that it happens "frequently enough". This is supposidly how Evo Devo works. The jumping genes in the sex cells make a mistake and slighlty miss their target. *Poof* a new species. ::)

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In relatively recent years (read: the last 10 years or so, because I learned about this in college), transposons have become an essential tool for scientists in the modification of plasmid DNA in bacteria. The desired insertion sequence is attached to the transposon after the transposase gene (but before the cleavage point that marks the end of the transposon), and the transposon is allowed to integrate itself into a bacterial plasmid. This plasmid is inserted into a host, and the activity of transposase is repressed, creating a stable host that carries the desired sequence on a plasmid.

Fascinating..Now how did natural selection evolve this ability?


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It's entitled Decoding the Universe, written by Charles Seife. Check it out, if you're so inclined:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067003441X/sr=8-1/qid=1153495192/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9116444-7597621?ie=UTF8

OK. I will... Unlike others (creationists and darwinists in particular), I read pretty much everything, not just material that supports "their side".


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 24, 2006, 07:49:45 am
No, we are in agreement here. I think life is designed to adapt.

Ok, so if I understand you correctly, the only real difference between you and a darwinist is that you believe there is a purpose behind mutations, rather than them being random? While this is a perfectly fine belief to hold, I still don't see how you can claim that it is a scientific theory. You might just as well claim that you believe everything astronomy teach, except that you think there is a purpose behind the forming of solar systems. Or that you agree completely with scientists on how electrons work, but think that they are being held together by a purpose (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0055/0055_01.asp). Tying back to the original topic FTW.


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Hunh? Introns are regulatory genes. They regulate the expression of other genes which produce protiens. It's easy to change the complexity of a protien but difficult to change the complexity of protiens and the introns that control them in a complementry, useful fashion.

Er, what now? To repeat, you said:

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I think life is endowed with the ability to change to meet enviornmental challenges not just cosmetic changes. These changes are limited and, imo, transponson  genes / introns are 99.9% responsible.

To which I replied that bacteria don't have introns, and asking you if that means they are much less likely to change. As a rebuttal, you tell me how introns work. I do know how introns work. Please refrain from replying to questions that have not been asked, and limit yourself to answering the comments that are being made.

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No it does not imply this. For example, If horses or a close realitive of horses was present from the beginning we should expect to find them in the cambrian strata. We do not. I believe different animals lived at different times just as darwinists do. The problem is we do not see a steady progression of complexity predicted by neo darwinism. The trilobites of cambrian times are just as complex as anything living today, just different. How these macro changes come about remains a mystery and cannot be accounted for by random mutation.

Alright, so you believe new species are created, but you believe that all these species are hidden away somewhere in the genetic code of every creature from the cambrian era? Also, fossils were covered previously. I'll adress them again further down.

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If darwin was right and macro evolution happend through small baby steps (one or very few mutations at a time) we should expect to see a staggering number of transitional species. In fact the evidence should be so overwhelming as to be unrefutable. From the fossil record we do not have a single conclusive progression of fossils showing these transitions from one species to the next. Not one.

It is amazing to me how you at some points apparently receive dispensation from somewhere to not read the thread you are participating in. Please go back and reread what has been said about fossils earlier, as it will greatly save time if you do not bring up the same argument several times. If you disagree with the rebuttals that were placed after you originally made this claim, the prudent thing would be to respond to them first, not restate your belief and act as if it is a universal indisputable truth.

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That's why it's still a mystery. We may be designed to become somthing completely new just not through a series of random genetic accidents as suggested by darwin.

Interesting. So your actual alternative to evolution is "Evolution is wrong, because: It's a mystery". Might I suggest that before claiming the status of scientific theory, you come up with slightly more than that? On a more religious note, the idea that we are predestined to evolve into somethign completely different, regardless of our wishes sits ratehr badly with the idea of free will. Not syaing this is what you believe, but it certainly clashes with my beliefs.

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That is a possibility. I use Visual Basic. VB has a toolbox of objects in generic form. Text boxes,buttons, picture boxes, timer controls etc. I drag the tools I want to use to the forms I'm programming. I then progam specific codes to make these generic tools unique and behave in certain ways with specific uses within the overall program.

Fascinating. I use Genetic Algorithms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithm) in some of my work. By mating different parts of code, I get new mutants, some better and some worse. Chosing a few random mutants and the best from the previous generation, I eventually receive a much better result than by doing it by hand.  Using simple analogies, you can draw parallels between pretty much anything.

Life seems very similar to this in some regards. All life is comprised of the same basic building blocks genes. Further, the earliest cambrian animals have genes that is in use by animals today. They are  just different. Amazingly these basics have remained the same throughout the history of life. They are just expressed differently.

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Well no matter how Co2 is produced, too much CO2 in the atmosphere is presumed to be a bad thing. It would cause a runaway greenhouse effect. Likewise too little Co2 would cause freezing tempertures. My thought is that if only plants existed, eventually the Co2 levels would drop to the point where the world's tempeture would be too cold to support most plants. Thus plants and animals are complimentry to eachother in this regard. I'll admit I need to study this further.

Unless some alternative way of binding it exists. Ancient history is hard to study, even though it is easy to make theories. Perhaps one day we will know.

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If evolution simply means change over time, that is fine. The problem is macro evolution and what supposidly drives it. There is no evidence that complexity has increased. The RNA, DNA, protien relationship is presumed to be exactly the same as millions of years ago. The complex organs may have changed but the basic, generic function remains the same.

Please provide evidence that it doesn't then. Or evidence for how things really happened. One of the fundamentals of a theory, is that it isn't completely proven. For all we know, macro evolution could be completely right, or completly faulty. However, until another theory, that explains this in a better and more provable way emerges (preferably more than "Because it was designed to, even though we don't have any evidence for it") it remains the current leading theory. And as I have previously stated in this thread, lack of evidence for evolution i nno wau makes ID more correct, or more of a scinetific theory.

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This is all theory and it's theory based on evolutionary premesis. Scientists really do not know what the early atmousphere was like.

I note with some dismay that when you make large scale assumptions about the state of the original atmosphere you do not find it necessary to explicitly state that it is a theory. However, if someone else do the same, you feel that it is necessary to point out that it is not an absolute truth. I assumed that we did not need to state as fact that we don't know what the original atomsphere looked like, seeing as you hadn't. But apparently, what is acceptable for you is not acceptable for others?

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Could be, unfortunately we do not have a time machine...

Which would have been excellent  point to include when you were making assumptions on earths atomsphere earlier on, and then using them to argue points presented.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 24, 2006, 09:22:02 am
It is one thing to say they know how somthing works and completely different to say why somthing works. What selection pressures put these intricate processes into play in the first place?

We also know how gravity works, but do we know why? That doesn't necessarily mean it was designed by another intellect. (We might know why gravity works, but I sure don't. Mayhap someone could fill me in?)

More seriously, not everything has to be based on selection pressures. Any random mutation that is not directly harmful can remain, even though it gives no advantages whatsoever. As long as it doesn't give you disadvantages in comparison to the competition, you will still breed and these genes will be carried on.

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In addition, transposons can be extremely harmful to their host organism. If a transposon is integrated in the middle of an essential gene, or worse yet, inserts itself into a location that prevents an essential gene from being transcribed (eg. disruptins a start codon), the results are often lethal for the host. This happens frequently enough, but it's not easily detectable in nature since the organism dies (and a unicellular corpse is pretty hard to find).

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Accidents happen, this is known. These occurances are bad and thankfully, realitively rare. I disagree with you assertion that it happens "frequently enough". This is supposidly how Evo Devo works. The jumping genes in the sex cells make a mistake and slighlty miss their target. *Poof* a new species. ::)

Has there been any research as to how often this happens that either one of you could link to?

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Fascinating..Now how did natural selection evolve this ability?

How did natural selcection evolve the ability to be taken a part and reassmebled for new purposes in a lab by scientists? Probably the same way that solar energy evolved the ability to be absorbed by plants.

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OK. I will... Unlike others (creationists and darwinists in particular), I read pretty much everything, not just material that supports "their side".

Unfortunately, while you read such things that might not support your side, your reaction seems to be mostly "LoL, that's not true".  Also, I'm not sure for what reason you keep bringing up that you are a fair and just person who listens to both sides and then decides what to believe. I would think that that would be the default for everyone participating here, or in the debate in general, if they aren't zealots of one kind or another. Are you trying to boost your ego? Are you implying that those debating with you aren't? Or for what purpose do you keep bringing up how totally unbiased you are?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 24, 2006, 04:43:07 pm
Pratt: Point refuted a thousand times

List of Pratts (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html) > Transitional Fossils (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200.html)

Moving the goal posts: Never admit defeat! Simply ignore a refutation and hope for better luck on another subject.


"Debating with [anti-evolutionists] is like playing chess with a pigeon: they knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and then fly back to their flock to declare victory."




Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 24, 2006, 09:03:54 pm
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False and false. Scientists are not baffled by transposons in the least; it is a well known fact that one of the requirements of a transposon is that part of its sequence codes for the enzyme "transposase," which is responsible for clipping the transposon out of its current location and transplanting it to a new one. When this segment of the DNA is missing or mutated, the transposon is no longer mobile.

It is one thing to say they know how somthing works and completely different to say why somthing works. What selection pressures put these intricate processes into play in the first place?

You want to know why? Prevailing theory is that transposons are the ancient remnants of virii that have been pared down over the ages to the point where they are simply a motile strip of DNA. Much of their activity resembles that of modern virii with regards to how their DNA moves about.

Now, I suppose I'm going to get a "LOL, silly theory no proof" response to this one. ::)

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My thought is that if only plants existed, eventually the Co2 levels would drop to the point where the world's tempeture would be too cold to support most plants. Thus plants and animals are complimentry to eachother in this regard. I'll admit I need to study this further.

Ludicrous. While plants and animals are indeed complementary as you say, you seem to forget that plants have the ability to regulate their photosynthetic activity, as well as require oxygen for respiration in the same way as animals. In the absence of light, plants stop all photosynthetic activity (which is why a plant grown from a seed in a darkroom will remain a ghostly shade of white until it is exposed to light) and only perform respiration. As such, they have the ability to regulate their atmosphere without the influence of animals at all; no such runaway greenhouse effect would actually occur. Besides, excess CO2 makes things WARMER, not cooler; that's why the effect is called Global Warming.

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Has there been any research as to how often this happens that either one of you could link to?

Sadly, I don't have any journal links, nor the means to search for them. However, what I have read in "non-scientific" publications (mostly on the 'net, so take it with as much salt as you like), this sort of thing happens all the time, especially in bacteria and plants. Bacteria are frequently found with transposable elements that integrate genes for antibiotic resistance, which is why it spreads like wildfire through populations; these transposons jump into a plasmid, which is then shared via binary conjugation (or at least, I think that's the term for it) among individuals. Plant transposon activity is mostly exploited as a means of conducting spot mutations by experimenters, and they can use these to disrupt function in a gene to see which plant systems are affected.

I'm pretty sure both of these items were mentioned in that wiki article, so I'm probably just repeating known information at this point.

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How did natural selcection evolve the ability to be taken a part and reassmebled for new purposes in a lab by scientists? Probably the same way that solar energy evolved the ability to be absorbed by plants.

Funny you should mention that... It also ties into my plant photosynthesis / respiration point from before. It deals with those suspicious little organelles inside every eukaryotic cell, doubly so with plants since they have two different types.

How does the "grand design" manage to explain the presence of mitochondria and chloroplasts in a cell? Both of these structures are very different from the other cellular organelles, and are essential to life as we know it since they carry out cellular respiration (or photosynthesis). Both of these organelles resemble prokaryotes, especially when you consider their unique membrane structures that are very similar to cellular membranes, as well as the fact that they both carry prokaryote-style DNA (a loop, rather than the open-ended strands seen in eukaryotic cells). They seem very much like prokaryotic invaders that developed a symbiotic relationship with their host, and have since become so essential to life that they are now inseparable. It seems like a pretty piss-poor design to have to rely on a chance occurance like that one in order to get to where we are (or even where we were billions of years ago)...

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"Debating with [anti-evolutionists] is like playing chess with a pigeon: they knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and then fly back to their flock to declare victory."

Greatest quote ever. Who's the source?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 24, 2006, 09:16:29 pm
Greatest quote ever. Who's the source?

I'm not sure, I've seen a couple of variants of it. My (wild) guess would be that it's from the talk.origins newsgroup.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Novus on July 24, 2006, 11:42:48 pm
Pratt: Point refuted a thousand times

List of Pratts (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html) > Transitional Fossils (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200.html)
Don't show him the list! Now he'll have to think of some new arguments. ;)

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Moving the goal posts: Never admit defeat! Simply ignore a refutation and hope for better luck on another subject.

"Debating with [anti-evolutionists] is like playing chess with a pigeon: they knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and then fly back to their flock to declare victory."
Harsh, but not entirely irrelevant to this thread.

Quote from: Draxas
[...] transposons are the ancient remnants of virii [...]
You aren't sounding as scholarly as you think. (http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 25, 2006, 12:47:10 am
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Ok, so if I understand you correctly, the only real difference between you and a darwinist is that you believe there is a purpose behind mutations, rather than them being random?

Correct.
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While this is a perfectly fine belief to hold, I still don't see how you can claim that it is a scientific theory. You might just as well claim that you believe everything astronomy teach, except that you think there is a purpose behind the forming of solar systems.

There may be.

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Or that you agree completely with scientists on how electrons work, but think that they are being held together by a purpose (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0055/0055_01.asp). Tying back to the original topic FTW.

Cute link. Design is a theory because it makes predictions. Predictions that can be scientificly tested. Irreducible complexity and  Purpose in biological structures are two examples. Design also fits scientific observations such as the Cambrian explosion and the seemingly emergance of fully functioning unique animals throught the strata. It also fits the observation of irreduciably complex biological structures where every part is nessicary for the overall function.

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To which I replied that bacteria don't have introns, and asking you if that means they are much less likely to change. As a rebuttal, you tell me how introns work. I do know how introns work. Please refrain from replying to questions that have not been asked, and limit yourself to answering the comments that are being made.

Are you sure bacteria don't have introns (regulatory genes)? I beg to differ...

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/19/10806
http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/1/424

"During the past several years, they have been uncovered in surprising numbers in bacteria due to the genome sequencing projects; however, most of the newly sequenced introns are not correctly identified."

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Alright, so you believe new species are created, but you believe that all these species are hidden away somewhere in the genetic code of every creature from the cambrian era?

No. I do not know where the new genetic codes come from only the high improbability of random genetic changes building novel new codes.

 
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It is amazing to me how you at some points apparently receive dispensation from somewhere to not read the thread you are participating in. Please go back and reread what has been said about fossils earlier, as it will greatly save time if you do not bring up the same argument several times.

If anybody needs to re-read anything it might be you. I responded to the fossil claims in length. Platypus ring a bell? Unfortunately basing hereditary on superficial bone similarities, cladistics, proves nothing. I'm not going to go through the talk origins link and discuss every single ancesteral claim.

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If you disagree with the rebuttals that were placed after you originally made this claim, the prudent thing would be to respond to them first, not restate your belief and act as if it is a universal indisputable truth.

I have adressed the rebuttals. Several times now..Do I really need to do it yet again? Post what you want me to address if I missed somthing you feel is an important point.


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Interesting. So your actual alternative to evolution is "Evolution is wrong, because: It's a mystery".

If you had read what I said previously instead of trying to put words into my posts, my only gripe with evolution is the lack of concrete evidence. I'm not posing an alternative. Im my opinin, evolution, if true shouldn't be so elusive.

We understand passing of genetic traits through breeding in exsquisit detail. We understand jumping genes role in building a unique individual. We understand dominant and recessive genes. But why has macro evolution remained so elusive to scientists? Not only does evolution have to change specific useful DNA sequences but it has to regulate them and express them in a meaningful way. A elephant trunk has to actually exist before natural selection can act. It's difficult for me to accept the concept of truely amazing organs and body parts built through a series of accidental mutations. And IMO the fossil record should be filled with an astounding number of "didn't quite make the grade" animals, should it not?. Even Darwin himself addressed this problem in the origin of species.

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Might I suggest that before claiming the status of scientific theory, you come up with slightly more than that? On a more religious note, the idea that we are predestined to evolve into somethign completely different, regardless of our wishes sits ratehr badly with the idea of free will. Not syaing this is what you believe, but it certainly clashes with my beliefs.

Wether somthing clashes with your or my beliefs is irrelevant. The big bang theory clashed with many scientists beliefs but is now accepted theory based on evidence. Many rejected it out of hand because it played into the creationists theology. So what? So what if somthing doesn't "sit well" with any one of us? We go where the evidence leads.

When Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution he had no idea what was deep inside the nucleous of a cell. He thought it was a simple glob of protoplasam with simple chemical properties. Like a caveman seeing an automobile who has no idea what makes it run. Once the hood is popped the caveman clearly sees it's not a naturalistic force that makes it move such as wind or a hidden antelope. Likewise scientists have popped the hood of the cell and it is not simple chemical reactions as once thought. We opened up a universe of micro cellular machines associated with chemical coded assembly instructions. We found deliberate purpose and function that until these findings was only associated with  human intelligently made machines.

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Fascinating. I use Genetic Algorithms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithm) in some of my work. By mating different parts of code, I get new mutants, some better and some worse. Chosing a few random mutants and the best from the previous generation, I eventually receive a much better result than by doing it by hand.  Using simple analogies, you can draw parallels between pretty much anything.

True. I was just throwing in a bit of my own philosophy. I'm willing to bet those "different parts of code" where built by an intelligent source before you mutated them?.. ;)

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Please provide evidence that it doesn't then. Or evidence for how things really happened. One of the fundamentals of a theory, is that it isn't completely proven. For all we know, macro evolution could be completely right, or completly faulty. However, until another theory, that explains this in a better and more provable way emerges (preferably more than "Because it was designed to, even though we don't have any evidence for it") it remains the current leading theory. And as I have previously stated in this thread, lack of evidence for evolution i nno wau makes ID more correct, or more of a scinetific theory.

The only way design seems more likely is because of our understanding of what must occur to build novel, useful new code in a genome. We are realizing the many levels of complexity that must be traversed and the unlikelyhood of random genetic mutations producing anything useful by themselves. Probability boundries are being theorized and much of information theory is being applied to the problem. Also we are basing this on science's inability to macro evolve anything in the lab. You may see this as a crap argument or illogical but I do not. So to me, intelligence is a theory just as random mutaion is a theory, both cannot be shown in the lab so we must rely on logic.

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I note with some dismay that when you make large scale assumptions about the state of the original atmosphere you do not find it necessary to explicitly state that it is a theory. However, if someone else do the same, you feel that it is necessary to point out that it is not an absolute truth.

Other than pointing out that cambrain animals had gills and thus they most likely breathed oxygen from what we know about gills today, and how ozone and CO2 seems to be important to life in general by what we know today, I don't believe I've done what you accuse. At least my logic follows what we know instead of making up a cocktail list based on the evolution of the first dividng cell that "must have happened".




Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 25, 2006, 02:22:33 am
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You want to know why? Prevailing theory is that transposons are the ancient remnants of virii that have been pared down over the ages to the point where they are simply a motile strip of DNA. Much of their activity resembles that of modern virii with regards to how their DNA moves about.

Now, I suppose I'm going to get a "LOL, silly theory no proof" response to this one. ::)

No but that is a just-so story based on zero evidence is it not? If you disagree, please explain why.. bet you wont..


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Ludicrous. While plants and animals are indeed complementary as you say, you seem to forget that plants have the ability to regulate their photosynthetic activity, as well as require oxygen for respiration in the same way as animals. In the absence of light, plants stop all photosynthetic activity (which is why a plant grown from a seed in a darkroom will remain a ghostly shade of white until it is exposed to light) and only perform respiration.

This is just a hunch, but I'm willing to bet you know alot about growing plants in your "darkroom".. ;) Seriously, this should be a simple expiriment to find out which plants can grow and thrive in proposed early reducing atmospheres..

 
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As such, they have the ability to regulate their atmosphere without the influence of animals at all; no such runaway greenhouse effect would actually occur. Besides, excess CO2 makes things WARMER, not cooler; that's why the effect is called Global Warming.

..and that is why I said: "eventually the Co2 levels would drop to the point where the world's tempeture would be too cold to support most plants". (since plants asorb and use CO2)

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How did natural selcection evolve the ability to be taken a part and reassmebled for new purposes in a lab by scientists? Probably the same way that solar energy evolved the ability to be absorbed by plants.

Funny you should mention that... It also ties into my plant photosynthesis / respiration point from before. It deals with those suspicious little organelles inside every eukaryotic cell, doubly so with plants since they have two different types.

How does the "grand design" manage to explain the presence of mitochondria and chloroplasts in a cell? Both of these structures are very different from the other cellular organelles, and are essential to life as we know it since they carry out cellular respiration (or photosynthesis). Both of these organelles resemble prokaryotes, especially when you consider their unique membrane structures that are very similar to cellular membranes, as well as the fact that they both carry prokaryote-style DNA (a loop, rather than the open-ended strands seen in eukaryotic cells). They seem very much like prokaryotic invaders that developed a symbiotic relationship with their host, and have since become so essential to life that they are now inseparable. It seems like a pretty piss-poor design to have to rely on a chance occurance like that one in order to get to where we are (or even where we were billions of years ago)...
[/quote]

How can you be sure it was a "chance" occurance? How can you be sure they are "prokaryotic invaders "? Oh becuse the DNA is in loops.. got it..  ::) How about explaining the chance occurance of chemical coded life in the first place?

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"Debating with [anti-evolutionists] is like playing chess with a pigeon: they knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and then fly back to their flock to declare victory."

Greatest quote ever. Who's the source?
[/quote]

Ahh, here comes the name calling and ridiculous analogies..Arne, why not try refuting my arguments on scientific grounds rather than dropping a talkorigins link as "irrefutable proof "and a one liner insult? Funny, you guys respond as religious defenders do when I question their bible stories..You are truly decans of the evolutionary church. Prophet Darwin would be pleased!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 25, 2006, 07:21:11 am
Sorry about that, I wasn't refering specifially to you, I've had some other debates which involved the 'shrinking sun' argument (yes, it's still circulating).

This was what I responded to, nothing else:
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From the fossil record we do not have a single conclusive progression of fossils showing these transitions from one species to the next. Not one.
...
Unfortunately basing hereditary on superficial bone similarities, cladistics, proves nothing.

So, the reason why they're not transitional is because you're completely dismissing physical and chronological similarity as any sort of indicator of evolutionary relation? They could just look similar, but really be unrelated? Do you mean the fossil record doesn't store what cause the changes?

Also, define macroevolution a bit further. It seems, judging from your earlier posts, that by micro evolution you mean for example different kind of frogs or cats. By macro evolution, you seem to be refering to the branching (crutch) area. Is this correct? You're not refering to say the difference between an european wild cat and a tiger, or the bizarre concept of a Jellyfish turning into a... newt?

Now, this is why I reacted:
Quote from: wikipedia
According to modern evolutionary theory, all populations of organisms are in transition. Therefore, a "transitional form" is a human construct that vividly represents a particular evolutionary stage, as recognized in hindsight.
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transitional_fossil)

Are you saying that evolution can only happen naturally within certain tolerances, and there's a threshold of some sort preventing the 'transition' from a cat intto a ... 'fnork'? Such a transition would require a designed plan or poke? Is it the elusive cat-fnork that you want proof of? Would you take fossil proof of this, if it was really analog (gradual)?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on July 25, 2006, 08:45:16 am
Correct.

So basically, what you are saying is you believe in fate? That every organism has a predetermined future, that every species has a certain pathway that they will evolve through? And that all of these have been predetermined at some point in the past.

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There may be.

Yes, but most people who believe the solar system was created by an intellifent designer do not claim this to be a scientific theory, which is really where the problem lies here. I'm fine with intelligent design. It may well be the way things happened. But it's not a scientific theory, it is a best a philospopical or theological idea.

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Cute link. Design is a theory because it makes predictions. Predictions that can be scientificly tested.

I predict that all atoms will continue to be held together by Gods will. I also predict that because of his infinite mercy, gravity will continue it's good work. Both predictions will come true, but that doesn't necesssarily make my theory true (or false). Making predictions based on what you already know is quite worhtless. Has ID ever made an prediction of things that will be found, that has later been proven? If so, any link would be appreciated.

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Irreducible complexity

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Thus, Behe's reasoning leads us to the point where our dialogue mirrors that of Behe and his supporters versus his critics; for Behe's idea to be credible he must show that it is impossible (or, at least, extremely unlikely) for some observed part of an organism to occur as a product of evolution; basically, that the intermediate steps are so bad that an organism exhibiting those has almost no chance of survival and reproduction. Again, our interpretations differ: you see potential proofs of Behe's ideas in the form of apparently irreducibly complex organs where I see a lack of imagination in finding explanations and a general lack of hard data either way.

When using questionable evidence, that depends on your point of view, you really cannot blame people for not taking you seriously. Of course, the same is true in the opposite direction. Please understand, that unless Behe actually manages to prove his theory by showing us indisputable proof of this (say, a mother without an organ and a child with it), you cannot claim that this is evidence for ID. You can claim that this idea supports it though.

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and  Purpose in biological structures

Which has been established to be exactly the same. You interpret their function as purpose, that doesn't make it a fact.

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are two examples. Design also fits scientific observations such as the Cambrian explosion and the seemingly emergance of fully functioning unique animals throught the strata. It also fits the observation of irreduciably complex biological structures where every part is nessicary for the overall function.

Well, scientific observations of the cambrian strata also supports the idea that all those creatures were brought down from space the day before. In fact, I could theorize that every time a new animal appears on earth, it is because a giagantic vessel equipped with teleporters beamed them down at that stage, genetically modifying them aboard the ship to fit the conditions, but neutering their genes to prevent new species. The masters of this ship however, were a product of pure evolution. Of course none of this can be proven, but the theory fits scientific observations, and you can't disprove it. It might have happened. The point being that you can engineer pretty much anything to fit what observations we have, but that too complicated solutions are less likely.

Now this is a much better rebuttal, as you are actually answering the question.

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http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/19/10806

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Both bacteria are intracellular parasites and might have acquired introns from eukaryotic hosts.

Two parasites copying something from another branch of the tree of life seem to prove evolution rather than ID. After all they were'nt designed with it, they aquired it through other means.

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http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/1/424

That is interesting, and I'll freely admit, new to me. However, taken from the site your article links to,

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Group II introns are a novel class of RNAs best known for their self-splicing reaction. Under certain  in vitro conditions, the introns can excise themselves from precursor mRNAs and ligate together their flanking exons, without the aid of protein. The splicing mechanism is essentially identical to splicing of nuclear pre-mRNA introns, and this similarity has led to the widespread belief that group II introns were the ancestors of spliceosomal introns, which make up 25% of the human genome.

Which would seem to be making a case for evolution once more. These primitive introns could be the ancestors of the ones we use. Still, I appreciate the new information.

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No. I do not know where the new genetic codes come from only the high improbability of random genetic changes building novel new codes.

So once again, your idea of a scientific theory is "I don't know, but i don't think it was evolution". While this is again fine and dandy for a personal opinion, the practice (I beleive) is to use one theory, until another theory comes along that explains things better, is more provable, and fits prediction better. The "I dunno" argument would not seem to qualify.

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If anybody needs to re-read anything it might be you. I responded to the fossil claims in length. Platypus ring a bell? Unfortunately basing hereditary on superficial bone similarities, cladistics, proves nothing. I'm not going to go through the talk origins link and discuss every single ancesteral claim.

I have adressed the rebuttals. Several times now..Do I really need to do it yet again? Post what you want me to address if I missed somthing you feel is an important point.

The very last thing said on fossils was

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Please read up on fossil records. There are a lot of things needed to make a fossil. Not every creature that dies automatically becomes one. In fact, if any one of the factors needed is missing, the fossile doesn't exist. Irreducibly complex eh :) More seriously though, fossils aren't actually that common, or that representative. They are rarities, and as such, cannot provide a good extrapolation of what animals have existed. For all we know, 2.3 billion years ago a small race of intelligent  3 legged crabs may have ruled the seas and land. But no fossil records remain, so we've never seen them.

Pointing out that entire species (in fact, most species) will not show up in the fossil records.  As such, any fossils found can be studied, anlayzed and used in theories. But you cannot use the absence of a certain fossil to prove anything.

Also, if we are going to pick on points neglected, how about

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Meaning that you don't necessarily need to fulfill every criteria, but the more the better. ID fullfills none, and Evolution lacks two. Even though one could argue that evolution thefore might be called a "almost Theory", or protoTheory, that isn't really what this whole debate was about. If you recall, this pretty much started, because it was calmed that ID is not a scientific theory.

Basically, it comes down to that your approach is flawed. You present a few snippets (deductive reasoning and thinking outside the box  come to mind) of motivation for your theory. When they are challenged, you reply with "LoL". You then progress to point out flaws in evolution, which has absolutely nothing to do with wether ID is a scientific theory or not. Even if evolution was completly disproven, this would not automatically make ID true.

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If you had read what I said previously instead of trying to put words into my posts, my only gripe with evolution is the lack of concrete evidence. I'm not posing an alternative. Im my opinin, evolution, if true shouldn't be so elusive.

It's called paraphrasing. And actually, I have read all your posts and this is the image you are currently presenting. You do not know how things happen, you have no idea what sort of mechanics were involved. You don't know where new species come from, nor can you even give us an inkling of what would trigger the appearance of these species. Basically, you're saying that you don't believe in macro evolution, but that you have no better idea to put in its place. Again, until you have something more credible to use, you can't really replace macro evolution. Also, see the posts above mine for more information on macro evolution.

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Wether somthing clashes with your or my beliefs is irrelevant.

In deed, which is why I phrased it "On a religious note". It was not an argument, but rather a opinion.

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So what if somthing doesn't "sit well" with any one of us? We go where the evidence leads.

And yet you claim that you are biased against evolution, for reasons ranging from personal beliefas to a love of underdogs.

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We found deliberate purpose

No, you did.

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True. I was just throwing in a bit of my own philosophy. I'm willing to bet those "different parts of code" where built by an intelligent source before you mutated them?.. ;)

Touche.

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The only way design seems more likely is because of our understanding of what must occur to build novel, useful new code in a genome. We are realizing the many levels of complexity that must be traversed and the unlikelyhood of random genetic mutations producing anything useful by themselves.

Again, you are speaking for yourself. some viruses have very high mutational capabilities. Once in a body, they not only multiply like crazy, but mutate like crazy. this gives them an edge, as their antigens then change, hindering the antibody immune defense. Of course, this is a very simple example of a uncomplicated thing, much liek that of a factory and a cell being alike.

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Also we are basing this on science's inability to macro evolve anything in the lab. You may see this as a crap argument or illogical but I do not. So to me, intelligence is a theory just as random mutaion is a theory, both cannot be shown in the lab so we must rely on logic.

I'll leave the macro to people who have already posted about it above me.

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Other than pointing out that cambrain animals had gills and thus they most likely breathed oxygen from what we know about gills today, and how ozone and CO2 seems to be important to life in general by what we know today, I don't believe I've done what you accuse. At least my logic follows what we know instead of making up a cocktail list based on the evolution of the first dividng cell that "must have happened".

Actually, the only thing you pointed out was that

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Very true but those microbes are plankton that live within the top meter of the ocean's surface and use photosynthsis to break oxygen from water. If earth was like say mars, with no or a very tenius amount of oxygen in the atmosphere and plankton started the production of oxygen (producing the majority of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere), that means no ozone to protect them from the sun's radiation in the early years. Plankton fossils are found unchanged (no evolution) throughout the fossil record in every strata. The top 1 meter of ocean water would thus be saturated with harmful radiation and the planet would remain sterile of life.

Here you assume that Earth's atomsphere without oxygen would be incapable of sustaining life.

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Yes, if you assume that the atmosphere back then was exactly as now, minust the oxygen.

Here I point out that you are assuming things. I then follow up with

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Not everythign must have been exatly as now 3 million years ago. Not RNA, not organs, and definetly not the atmosphere. For example, here you can find this:


An atomspehre without oxygen could be much thicker, thus protecting us in other ways.

So when I point out your assumption, and reply with "It must not have been exactly the same, it could be like this as well". Basically, you're making assumptions on the atmosphere, and arguing based on those assumptions, but when I do the same and clearly state it, it is not the same.

Also, using gills and breathing oxygen in water does not necessarily mean that there is large amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Other than that, I was talking precambrian, when life came into being (in whichever way), not after they had evolved(or morphed) into the beings of the cambrian era. I apologize if you misunderstood me. If you do not believe in life before the cambrian era, I apologize and my point is moot.

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How can you be sure it was a "chance" occurance? How can you be sure they are "prokaryotic invaders "? Oh becuse the DNA is in loops.. got it..  Roll Eyes How about explaining the chance occurance of chemical coded life in the first place?

How can you be sure they were not? How can you be sure that they were preprogammed to enter another cell and bond with it? How can you be sure they were built in "tools" And if looped DNA otherwise never appears in eukaryotic cells, except in organelles, while it does appear in prokaryotic cells, does that not mean that by using your logical deduction, we could deduce that organelles were once bacteria? It seems no more of a logic leap than "cells look like factories so they are designed".

I find it highly ironic, that the person who has been responding to points with with "LoL, about as deep as a mud puddle" now complains that people are calling him names, and immediately follows up by calling people deacons of the evolutionary church. Especially since it is the same person who earlier was implying that he is fair and balanced, unlike all those other people. And calling other on ridiculous analogies when you yourself have been making points like "factory=cell" seems just a tad over the top.

EDIT: Also, an interested question. Seeing as you believe life was indeed designed by someone/something, would you care to elaborate on that? Was it a deity? A cosmic force? Extraterrestrials? I'm genuinely interested in what/who you feel did the groundbreaking work here before they left. Also, what are your thoughts on this creator? Is there any scientific way (in your opinion) of deducing his/it's/her identity, and should that be taught in science class as well?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 25, 2006, 06:04:01 pm
Sorry if this bumps it to a new page. Anyways, I asked my questions because I wanted to nail down the goal posts and make sure we're using the same ball.

As for churches and faith/belief, would you guys agree with the following analogy? Someone who believe what people (priests or scientists) say is inside a back box has faith. Someone who opens the black box and takes a look can say he knows. The Black box with Gods is locked and we don't have the key. It can contain an infinite amount of arbitrarily defined things. Atleast the science box we can glimpse into, and the general idea is to come up with a model that is useful for predicting future observations. I suppose faith is an analog thing, depending on how much you have peeked into the box yourself.

Did I get it right that Rtyp06 is saying that the stuff inside the locked box has something to do with the things going on inside the science box, or is that just the traditional creationist view? Or, is he saying that the designer/poker is actually in the science box, hiding? Wouldn't linking the locked box the the science box hamper the ability to make useful predictions? Does the locked box have to be involved, because what's in the science box "doesn't seem to make any sense"?

Anyways, as for Lukipelas little program, doesn't it just mean he was responsible (as a designer) for abiogenesis and not mutation, selection and speciation which is done automatically by the program?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 25, 2006, 08:22:47 pm
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You aren't sounding as scholarly as you think.

And for that, I apologize. The "virii" thing was drilled into me in college. Guess the professor didn't know any better either. You learn something new every day, I guess.

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You want to know why? Prevailing theory is that transposons are the ancient remnants of virii that have been pared down over the ages to the point where they are simply a motile strip of DNA. Much of their activity resembles that of modern virii with regards to how their DNA moves about.

Now, I suppose I'm going to get a "LOL, silly theory no proof" response to this one. ::)

No but that is a just-so story based on zero evidence is it not? If you disagree, please explain why.. bet you wont..

How much evidence is "good enough" for you? It's an extrapolation based on the information we have; this is our best guess. That's why it's a scientific theory!

What, do I need to get the DNA to jump out of a cell and give a dissertation on its family tree for you to be satisfied? Because I suspect that all the evidence in the world short of that isn't going to cut it.

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Ludicrous. While plants and animals are indeed complementary as you say, you seem to forget that plants have the ability to regulate their photosynthetic activity, as well as require oxygen for respiration in the same way as animals. In the absence of light, plants stop all photosynthetic activity (which is why a plant grown from a seed in a darkroom will remain a ghostly shade of white until it is exposed to light) and only perform respiration.

This is just a hunch, but I'm willing to bet you know alot about growing plants in your "darkroom".. ;) Seriously, this should be a simple expiriment to find out which plants can grow and thrive in proposed early reducing atmospheres..

Crap's sake, it was simple experiment in a class. Culture two plants, put one petri dish on the benchtop by the window (control) and one inside a desk drawer in the room used to develop the lab photos (experimental). Let them grow for a month on the cultrue media, and see how they develop. Surprise: the one grown in darkness was white.

On the other hand, growing modern plants in ancient atmospheres is far from simple, nor will it be conclusive in the least. I suspect that very few modern lifeforms would do well in a reducing atmosphere.

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As such, they have the ability to regulate their atmosphere without the influence of animals at all; no such runaway greenhouse effect would actually occur. Besides, excess CO2 makes things WARMER, not cooler; that's why the effect is called Global Warming.

..and that is why I said: "eventually the Co2 levels would drop to the point where the world's tempeture would be too cold to support most plants". (since plants asorb and use CO2)

But they also take in oxygen and give off CO2 when undergoing respiration. As I said, plants can regulate their own atmosphere without the help of animals. I guess you missed that (whole point) part of my statement.

It's also important to note that we're not really sure if there's an opposite "Global Cooling" effect like you're talking about, since it's not exactly something we need to deal with every day like its opposite. Besides, plants in nature don't get all the nutrients they need from the soil alone like they do in our lab's culture media; that's why they undergo photosynthesis in the first place. It would be more likely that the lack of CO2 needed for phototsynthesis would kill those plants off far before any kind of global cooling had a significant impact.

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How can you be sure it was a "chance" occurance? How can you be sure they are "prokaryotic invaders "? Oh becuse the DNA is in loops.. got it..  ::) How about explaining the chance occurance of chemical coded life in the first place?

Once again, how much evidence is enough to satisfy you? It seems pretty cut-and-dry to me, and I'd hazard a guess, the rest of the folks reading this thread. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., isn't it fair to say it's a duck?

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Ahh, here comes the name calling and ridiculous analogies..Arne, why not try refuting my arguments on scientific grounds rather than dropping a talkorigins link as "irrefutable proof "and a one liner insult? Funny, you guys respond as religious defenders do when I question their bible stories..You are truly decans of the evolutionary church. Prophet Darwin would be pleased!

Wah wah wah. Cry me a freaking river. I thought the quote was pretty funny, so sue me.

You can't tell me you've been debating this topic on purely scientific grounds, nor can you claim that you haven't gone around name-calling (in fact, you just did it again right there). All in all, I think we've shown you a remarkable amount of civility; I can think of many other folks that would have just shown you the door with your rear end on fire. Lighten up.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 26, 2006, 12:24:12 am
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How much evidence is "good enough" for you? It's an extrapolation based on the information we have; this is our best guess. That's why it's a scientific theory!

What, do I need to get the DNA to jump out of a cell and give a dissertation on its family tree for you to be satisfied? Because I suspect that all the evidence in the world short of that isn't going to cut it.

Well that would probably do it...

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Crap's sake, it was simple experiment in a class. Culture two plants, put one petri dish on the benchtop by the window (control) and one inside a desk drawer in the room used to develop the lab photos (experimental). Let them grow for a month on the cultrue media, and see how they develop. Surprise: the one grown in darkness was white.

It was just a joke man..Apologies if I offended you.

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But they also take in oxygen and give off CO2 when undergoing respiration. As I said, plants can regulate their own atmosphere without the help of animals. I guess you missed that (whole point) part of my statement.

Ok so plants could have thrived without animals... That was a nice tangent. Now back to random mutation evolving new body parts and organs...

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Once again, how much evidence is enough to satisfy you? It seems pretty cut-and-dry to me, and I'd hazard a guess, the rest of the folks reading this thread. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., isn't it fair to say it's a duck?

Well even if it is cut and dry as you say, different organisims working together is nothing new in the animal kingdom.  Please explain to me how two symbiontly linked animals or cells represent evolution? In nature, animals of different species work togther all the time. Ant's that milk aphids comes to mind. Bacteria in the intestines that break down cellulose is another.. It is possible two life forms can become interdependent over time. So where is the new novel information to the genetic code that provides evidence of complex organs and body parts evolving?

I'm interested in how lungs evolved, how the heart evolved, how eyes evolved, how sex organs evolved, how the stomach evolved, hands and feet. One would think the organ or part had to exist in the first place before genetic mutations could alter it and natural selection could select it.

"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., isn't it fair to say it's a duck?"

If it looks like intelligent design, acts like an intelligently designed machine etc. isn't it fair to say it is design?

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Wah wah wah. Cry me a freaking river. I thought the quote was pretty funny, so sue me.

I wasn't referring to you but Arne in particular. Also I wouldn't categorize myself as an "antievolutionist" more of an "anti random mutation and naturalselecionist". Random mutations are fact. Natural selection is fact. The driving force behind amazing new organs and body plans, I do not see it.

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You can't tell me you've been debating this topic on purely scientific grounds, nor can you claim that you haven't gone around name-calling (in fact, you just did it again right there). All in all, I think we've shown you a remarkable amount of civility; I can think of many other folks that would have just shown you the door with your rear end on fire. Lighten up.

I think a distinction needs to be made here. This discussion started (for me) with Halleck dismissing ID as "Crap". My intention was to show that ID has some good arguments for DNA and the micro cellular machines deep within every living cell being of a designed nature.

My intention wasn't to discuss evolution at all. Well it came about and I simply remarked on my own doubts about macro evolution occuring and explained why I felt that way. My opinins do not refelect every ID person's view.

 I also added a bit of my own philosophy and tried to point out that this is a friendly discussion not a science lab. I'm not trying to disprove evolution or offer a "better" competing theory. I'm just expressing my doubts and why I doubt them in the first place. I see the fossil record differently than you guys do. I see the "evidence" for evolution as severly lacking and flimsy. And of course I'm talking strictly about macro evolution which is new body plans, new novel organs and new body parts. (or any combination of the former).

Common ancestery is very plausible and even demonstratable. Extrapolating these known breeding properties into every animal following a linage from a single celled organism to modern animals is a hard pill to swallow.

And if anybody is interested, here is a link to a debate by real scientists who actually have PHDs and know far more about these subjects than I do (or probably ever will).

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3456

...more later


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 26, 2006, 01:27:17 am
I won't shoot the messenger, merely point out that Discovery Institute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute) is the ID lobby organization behind the "Teach the Controversy" campaign. Stephen C. Meyer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_C._Meyer) is a Creationist and Co founder of the institute. Peter Ward (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ward_%28paleontologist%29) wrote "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe", and argued against Meyer (apparently badly since the debate is on an ID site).

You can go to Google Groups and search for ward meyer debate (there'll be some talk.origins results). A regular Google yields quite a bit of ID sites commenting on the debate (confirming that Ward was indeed terrible).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 26, 2006, 01:48:31 am
Sorry about that, I wasn't refering specifially to you, I've had some other debates which involved the 'shrinking sun' argument (yes, it's still circulating).

This was what I responded to, nothing else:
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From the fossil record we do not have a single conclusive progression of fossils showing these transitions from one species to the next. Not one.
...
Unfortunately basing hereditary on superficial bone similarities, cladistics, proves nothing.

So, the reason why they're not transitional is because you're completely dismissing physical and chronological similarity as any sort of indicator of evolutionary relation? They could just look similar, but really be unrelated? Do you mean the fossil record doesn't store what cause the changes?


I'm not completely dismissing physical or chronological similarity I just believe most of these similarities are due to breeding alone. But you have the general synopsis of  what I think fairly close. So If you will be so kind, please choose from your talk origins list what you feel is the best, most compelling example of evolution. I'd like to study it further and perhaps we can discuss it in more detail...

BTW I'm also assuming that, to you, the fossil record is the single most compelling evidence that evolution has occured? Is that a fair assesment?

*Addition: Arne..nobody "won" that debate. Just because it is linked to discovery institute is irrelevant. And so what if Meyer is a christian, christians are uncapable of scientific debate? Ward is an agnostic, so what? it's funny how any ID person is charged with motive and it never goes the other way. Meyers arguments are strictly on a scientific basis and since he is a Discovery institue member, why wouldn't he link it to his website?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 26, 2006, 03:06:00 am
I was merely trying to give some information of who arranged the debate and who the participants were. The site gives the appearance of "we're just after the truth, whatever it might be". Yes, "other sites" might be doing that aswell, but it's a bit of bad tact to unfairly in favor of an idea under that banner regardless. 

In the eyes of audience a debate can certainly be won. Rethoric skills matters greatly in a debate, if you can't formulate a retort elegantly and quickly, you will come off as losing the debate or having weaker arguments (as you simply fail to express them).

Postulate that Meyer had been just awful in the debate, really awful (although possibly correct), and Ward had just wiped the floor with him with clever, witty and charmy rethorics. Then do you think DI would have presented it as "The Great [fair] Debate on Intelligent Design!", or would it get a less prominent placement on DI and ID sites in general?

(I think it would be all over Talk.Origins instead, under the topic "Creationists owned in their own turf! Rating: *****" ;) )


I really just popped in the thread to make a remark on transitional fossils, but as it turned out, your position on fossils would require me to wander into other topics aswell, and I might not have time for that. I appoint Lukipela as my representative, he seems eager to type. My last questions were just an inquiry out of honest curiosity (goalposts, balls etc. It appears that you have been playing Frungy all along *drops his SpeedBall and whistles*).

(Aside from drawing panties, I'm currently busy debating art topics (it's more my area of expertice (God I love nesting parentheses!)), such as why Digital art is or will be Traditional, and why Egon Schiele=Suck (he does, he really does).)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on July 26, 2006, 03:50:03 am
Ttyp06> Oh, yes, I nearly forgot to answer your question about what makes me subscribe to the evolution theory. It's the general mass of many small things I've picked up, fossil record included, aswell as the personal experience of living on a geologically interesting island. However, the single most appealing aspect of evolution is the whole emerging complexity deal. The idea that a simple ruleset and a playground can give rise to many surprisingly complex things intrigues me, and it is an area where I have gotten a chance to personally peek into the 'black box' (by being a (very) amateur coder with an intrest in such programs).

My experiences from that has convinced me that emerging complexity is more powerful than I initially had thought, so I don't feel there is a need for a designer because things are complex. Also, since I'm pretty lousy at coding, and it just baffles me when I have thosands of lines of working [I wish it was faultless] code making ships fly around and cause all sorts of unexpected and complex stuff to happen. I'm like "I wrote this???" and it reminds me of those monkeys and Shakespeare. It makes me think; if there was a designer, maybe he doesn't need to be intelligent...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on July 26, 2006, 10:35:03 pm
Well even if it is cut and dry as you say, different organisims working together is nothing new in the animal kingdom.  Please explain to me how two symbiontly linked animals or cells represent evolution? In nature, animals of different species work togther all the time. Ant's that milk aphids comes to mind. Bacteria in the intestines that break down cellulose is another.. It is possible two life forms can become interdependent over time. So where is the new novel information to the genetic code that provides evidence of complex organs and body parts evolving?

Mitochondria and chloroplasts are quite different than a simple case of symbiosis. Both of these organelles were presumably once independent lifeforms from their hosts. Currently, they are so inextricably integrated into the cellular machinery that it is impossible for them to exist independantly; their genes contain only the sequences essential to their function, and anything extraneous to this was apparently excised for the sake of efficiency. They replicate as a part of the cell, and have no independent control over that process as well, which is a striking differentiation to all other cases of symbiosis as well. Interdependent simply doesn't express how deep the relationship between these organelles and the cell hosting them runs, since they are entirely incapable of existing without one another.

At the same time, this IS the evidence of the cell evolving new, novel functions. Mitochondria are responsible for conducting the vast majority of the chemical processes involved in respiration; cells that lack them simply carry out fermentation, which is a great deal less efficient. Without the cell having developed this ability, it is likely that life as we know it would never have progressed past the unicellular stage. If that's not a huge leap forward in the evolution of life, I don't know what is.

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I'm interested in how lungs evolved, how the heart evolved, how eyes evolved, how sex organs evolved, how the stomach evolved, hands and feet. One would think the organ or part had to exist in the first place before genetic mutations could alter it and natural selection could select it.

It is interesting to note the progression of these major organs through the branches of the animal kingdom. For example: Fish have hearts with only 2 chambers, and deoxygenated blood is pumped from the heart to the gills, and then to the rest of the body before returning to the heart. Reptiles and amphibians have 3 chambered hearts, composed of 2 atria and a shared ventricle; there is a special valve to keep oxygenated and deoxygenated blood separate. Bird and mammals (as well, according to the wiki entry, as the crocodile, which I was unaware of) have the 4 chambered heart that we're all familiar with, composed of two atria and two ventricles, and having a physical barrier inside to prevent the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood from mixing. Or course, if you go farther back down the evolutionary ladder to invertebrates, many of them don't even have hearts at all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart#The_hearts_of_other_animals

Now, this begs the question: If the Great Designer had such a Great Design, why did he/she/it decide to go with so many different blueprints for this organ? Why not just give all of these creatures a 4 chambered heart (the most efficient design) and be done with it? If you ask me (and most others, I imagine), it certainly looks like the heart evolved into its current state from progressively simpler constructs. I daresay that if we had never progressed past a 2 chambered heart, mammalian and avian life probably never would have existed.

Similar progressions can be noted when taking a detailed look at the eyes and brain, at the very least. Then again, someone mentioned this evolution of the eyes several pages ago; you seem to have disregarded them without comment.

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"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., isn't it fair to say it's a duck?"

If it looks like intelligent design, acts like an intelligently designed machine etc. isn't it fair to say it is design?

No, no it's not. There is far too much evidence to the contrary, and really very little concrete to support it. If you ask me, ID is the theory built on "just-so" scenarios, much moreso than evolution.

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I think a distinction needs to be made here. This discussion started (for me) with Halleck dismissing ID as "Crap". My intention was to show that ID has some good arguments for DNA and the micro cellular machines deep within every living cell being of a designed nature.

My intention wasn't to discuss evolution at all. Well it came about and I simply remarked on my own doubts about macro evolution occuring and explained why I felt that way. My opinins do not refelect every ID person's view.

You expected to discuss ID and somehow avoid the topic of evolution? That seems like a very silly thing to say, unless you simply expected everyone to ignore you.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Baltar on July 27, 2006, 01:46:14 am
it's funny how any ID person is charged with motive and it never goes the other way.

Well the best humor does have an element of truth to it ;D

ID is blatantly agenda driven.  How can you not look at the movement and see it for what it is: a political and social phenomenon masquerading as a scientific one.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 27, 2006, 03:59:00 am
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So basically, what you are saying is you believe in fate? That every organism has a predetermined future, that every species has a certain pathway that they will evolve through? And that all of these have been predetermined at some point in the past.

No, not exactly. I think life is endowed with the ability to micro evolve to combat environmental pressures and protect itself from harmful pathogens. I think these individualistic abilities differ by varying degree from animal to animal and the complexity of the animal plays a role as well. With higher complexity comes more specific living conditions and habitats.

Bacteria may be able to survie a much wider range of selection pressures than a higher order animal such as say, a polar bear. I don't believe this happens by chance or chance alone. Transposable genes seem to play a high role in individualistic mutation of immune systems of all animals. The reason I may have certain allergic reactions to certian things where you may not. Or a virus that may kill me might not kill you. This isn't evolution to me because (like it or not ;) )we are the same species with the same 23 chromosomes.

I also think that animals under different selection pressures will change differently. Look how different a buffalo and a domestic cow are.. A buffalo is adapted to the cold winds of the central american plains. A buffalo is much more likely to survive the cold winters in this area than domestic cows (without shelter of course).  I do believe they both had a common ancestor and split from one another many thousands of years ago.

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Yes, but most people who believe the solar system was created by an intellifent designer do not claim this to be a scientific theory, which is really where the problem lies here. I'm fine with intelligent design. It may well be the way things happened. But it's not a scientific theory, it is a best a philospopical or theological idea.

To me you are describing Evolutionary Therory to a tee. At least the macro evolutionary, one celled organisim to modern animals aspect. Since there isn't a repeatable, testable lab expiriment that can demonstate macro evolution (the creation of unique, novel new code) through any of the mechanisims described within the theory, it thus is no better than a philosophy imo. We can still use macro evolutionary principles to try and link certain animals and  groups of animals.

Design on the other hand, although there is currently no way to set up a repeatable, testable lab expiriment to demonstrate an intelligent cause in action, is approached in much the same manner as archeologists detecting design patterns in ancient archelogical digs or the same principles SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence uses to detect design in signals. Further we can test Behe's hypothisis of irreducible complexity by removing certain parts of biological structures thought to be irreducable and see if they have any possible uses.

Do you feel that archeology or SETI is not science?

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I predict that all atoms will continue to be held together by Gods will. I also predict that because of his infinite mercy, gravity will continue it's good work. Both predictions will come true, but that doesn't necesssarily make my theory true (or false). Making predictions based on what you already know is quite worhtless. Has ID ever made an prediction of things that will be found, that has later been proven? If so, any link would be appreciated.

I don't appeal to supernatural causes. You are simply stereotyping me in this regard. Since I've tried to point this out to you many times now and the fact that you keep indicating that I am implying a supernatural being means you keep trying to erect a straw man. Appeal to the supernatural does not belong in science imo.

One prediction that ID has made is that Junk DNA, so called because evolutionists predict left over, unused DNA code during the random evolutionary
processes, has purpose. Much of this so called "Junk DNA" is being shown to have latent effects and regulatory function. So Darwinists have long ignored this "junk" as useless where purpose and function is being found almost daily despite evolutionary predictions.

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Thus, Behe's reasoning leads us to the point where our dialogue mirrors that of Behe and his supporters versus his critics; for Behe's idea to be credible he must show that it is impossible (or, at least, extremely unlikely) for some observed part of an organism to occur as a product of evolution; basically, that the intermediate steps are so bad that an organism exhibiting those has almost no chance of survival and reproduction. Again, our interpretations differ: you see potential proofs of Behe's ideas in the form of apparently irreducibly complex organs where I see a lack of imagination in finding explanations and a general lack of hard data either way.

Imaginations are fantastic. Unfortunately, Imaginations are not always good science. Irreducibly complex systems are in existance and are fact. The internal combustion engine may be considered an example. The engine block, the pistons, the timing chain, the spark plugs, the distributor cap (or electronic ignition), the carbureator (or fuel injection) etc. Take out any one part and the engine doesn't run, not even a little bit.

many (perhaps most) human made machines can be considered irreducibly complex and is in fact the only known source of irreducibly complex systems. Assuming humans are intelligent engineers, thus they are considered intelligently designed machines.

Behe has a hypothisis that these sort of systems exist in nature and Behe et al is currently testing this hypothsis. There are evolutionary scientists that have responded (and rather harshly in some instances) but I still maintain that they have never successfully refuted Behe's claims. Yes, they've applied imagination in abundace and have come up with the co-option argument. Unfortunately co-option of any biological system has never been demonstrated in a lab. Even co-option of protiens is purely theroretical.

The talkorigins site provided a list of  "co-option evidence" but never once provided a link or explanation of the so called evidence. What good does it do to state that there is evidence yet not provide any. The links Novus provided all dead ended in nowhere. Sure they implied evidence, but didn't deliver when it counted.

Further, the miller argument against Behe's mousetrap example contained an imaginitive step by step individual, useful account of every part of a mouse trap in an evolutionary outline, but an active imagination could do that with anything if so desired. The engine block, the carbureator, sparkplug etc. in my example could all be used as a paper weight! There I've demonstrated co-option.... Puhlease...

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When using questionable evidence, that depends on your point of view, you really cannot blame people for not taking you seriously. Of course, the same is true in the opposite direction. Please understand, that unless Behe actually manages to prove his theory by showing us indisputable proof of this (say, a mother without an organ and a child with it), you cannot claim that this is evidence for ID. You can claim that this idea supports it though.

Any evidence is questionable. In especially controversial evidence we must turn to the most logical choice. Is evolution with a natural unguided cause for the first dividing cell filled with microcellular machines and chemical codes the most logical choice? Perhaps.. It's not for me, but it may be for you.
Anyway, I expect great things from the Behe camp in the future. Only time will tell.

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and  Purpose in biological structures

Which has been established to be exactly the same. You interpret their function as purpose, that doesn't make it a fact.

Very true, it does not. But that sword cuts both ways...


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Well, scientific observations of the cambrian strata also supports the idea that all those creatures were brought down from space the day before. In fact, I could theorize that every time a new animal appears on earth, it is because a giagantic vessel equipped with teleporters beamed them down at that stage, genetically modifying them aboard the ship to fit the conditions, but neutering their genes to prevent new species. The masters of this ship however, were a product of pure evolution. Of course none of this can be proven, but the theory fits scientific observations, and you can't disprove it. It might have happened. The point being that you can engineer pretty much anything to fit what observations we have, but that too complicated solutions are less likely.

Evolution is unfalsifyable in the same way. It might have happend that way, then again it might not have.

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]Two parasites copying something from another branch of the tree of life seem to prove evolution rather than ID. After all they were'nt designed with it, they aquired it through other means.

Shrug.. I dunno, but "prove" evolution?, doubtful...


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Group II introns are a novel class of RNAs best known for their self-splicing reaction. Under certain  in vitro conditions, the introns can excise themselves from precursor mRNAs and ligate together their flanking exons, without the aid of protein. The splicing mechanism is essentially identical to splicing of nuclear pre-mRNA introns, and this similarity has led to the widespread belief that group II introns were the ancestors of spliceosomal introns, which make up 25% of the human genome.

Ancesteral orign is not a problem for me. Change over time is not a problem for me. Change into somthing completely different.. There's my problem.

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Please read up on fossil records. There are a lot of things needed to make a fossil. Not every creature that dies automatically becomes one. In fact, if any one of the factors needed is missing, the fossile doesn't exist. Irreducibly complex eh :) More seriously though, fossils aren't actually that common, or that representative. They are rarities, and as such, cannot provide a good extrapolation of what animals have existed. For all we know, 2.3 billion years ago a small race of intelligent  3 legged crabs may have ruled the seas and land. But no fossil records remain, so we've never seen them.

..cont.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on July 27, 2006, 03:59:16 am
 have no problem with the fossil record being incomplete. In fact it is irrelevant my anti fossil-record-supporting-darwin arguments. Fact, cambrian record shows sudden explosion of fully formed animals. Fact, cambrian shows 20 more new phyla of animals that are now extinct. This indicates a broad base of original animals and narrows to the realitivly few we have today. The exact opposite of the darwinian prediction and tree of life. Fact, cambrian animals exhibit many or most of the complex organs we assumed to have evolved over long periods of time, thus a progression of uncomplex to complex is called into question. Fact, precambrian era shows maybe a few microbes and some "worm trails", virtually nothing of a conclusive, evolutionary nature. Fact, fossil record shows that most animals lived for millions of years without change. "Living fossils" have been found alive and well with nill change in millions upon millions of years.

Darwin predicted a vast amount of transitional species in an ongoing evolutionary tree that has never truly panned out. The connecting animals between phyla is sparse and severly lacking in particular.



Also, if we are going to pick on points neglected, how about

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Meaning that you don't necessarily need to fulfill every criteria, but the more the better. ID fullfills none, and Evolution lacks two. Even though one could argue that evolution thefore might be called a "almost Theory", or protoTheory, that isn't really what this whole debate was about. If you recall, this pretty much started, because it was calmed that ID is not a scientific theory.

You and I simply disagree here. I covered this previously in this very post and other various places within this thread. Although I'm sure I haven't covered it to your satisfaction,and never will, so I don't intend to try anymore..

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Basically, it comes down to that your approach is flawed. You present a few snippets (deductive reasoning and thinking outside the box  come to mind) of motivation for your theory. When they are challenged, you reply with "LoL". You then progress to point out flaws in evolution, which has absolutely nothing to do with wether ID is a scientific theory or not. Even if evolution was completly disproven, this would not automatically make ID true.
I posted LoL to one specific statement because it was ridiculous. I did it one time and now "every time I'm challenged" I post LoL? C'mon man, give me a break. That's crap and you know it...

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It's called paraphrasing. And actually, I have read all your posts and this is the image you are currently presenting. You do not know how things happen, you have no idea what sort of mechanics were involved. You don't know where new species come from, nor can you even give us an inkling of what would trigger the appearance of these species. Basically, you're saying that you don't believe in macro evolution, but that you have no better idea to put in its place. Again, until you have something more credible to use, you can't really replace macro evolution. Also, see the posts above mine for more information on macro evolution.

As I stated before, I'm simply stating MY doubts about macro evolution and why
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I
doubt them. According to your logic I HAVE to find somthing to replace evolutionary macro evolution and if I cannot that I am required to accept the current evolutionary theory becuse somthing is better than nothing? And why pray tell do I? That approach may work for you but it does not for me. Thats like saying since I don't have a theory on say how black holes are formed I need to come up with one (make one up) or accept the current theory no matter how flawed it is..

I have an idea that some sort of previous intelligence has endowed life to produce these macro changes. How it manifests is unclear. I have a reasoning for this line of thought and that is because coded chemical life needs to be re-coded (re programmed) for these changes. This coupled with the fact that thus far undirected mutation has failed to achieve anything close to macro evolution in the labratory and the many levels of complexity that needs to be traversed, thus I feel current, unguided mutaion theory is flawed.

If that line of reasoning isn't to your liking that's fine, nobody's asking you to change your views. That IS my line of reasoning and even though you may find flaw with it, I do not..

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And yet you claim that you are biased against evolution, for reasons ranging from personal beliefas to a love of underdogs.

First and foremost I have scientific reservations about a steady evolutionary tree from single celled animals to present day animals. I never said I love underdogs. People trying to turn urine into gold may be considered "underdogs" yet I'm not on their band wagon. If evolutionary theory could actually fit the scientifc observations better and be demonstrated in the lab fairly conclusively, I'd accept it, hook, line and sinker.

like it or not there is an ID movement that is gaining momentum. It is backed by prominent, well educated scientists throughout the world. It's not a bunch of hokey, back-wood fundamentalists or overzealous religious zealots. These people have serious doubts about the creative power of random mutation and natural selection that darwinists bestow upon these mechanisims.


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Again, you are speaking for yourself. some viruses have very high mutational capabilities. Once in a body, they not only multiply like crazy, but mutate like crazy. this gives them an edge, as their antigens then change, hindering the antibody immune defense. Of course, this is a very simple example of a uncomplicated thing, much liek that of a factory and a cell being alike.

Viruses act by hijacking the micro cellular machines within an existing cell and force it to reproduce it's own genetic instructions. So what if they mutate? So what if they reproduce? This is NOT an uncomplicated process..

Further, I am not just speaking for myself, alot of my material comes from reading bokks and websites of people with PHDs and years of scientifc background..

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I'll leave the macro to people who have already posted about it above me.

Yeah you do that because the "macro people" who "posted about it" above you are a figment of your imagination.. Macro evolution HAS never been demonstrated in a lab or anywhere else. I stand by my assertion.

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Here you assume that Earth's atomsphere without oxygen would be incapable of sustaining life.

Of course I'm assuming, based on what we know of plankton living today. Are there other possibilities? Sure. Are we aware of any other possible gasses providing a similar ozone protection? I'm not aware of any but perhaps there is.. I haven't studied this much.


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Also, using gills and breathing oxygen in water does not necessarily mean that there is large amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

True, but assuming gills work today the way they worked hundreds of millions of years ago, there must have been SOME oxygen in the atmosphere.. YES ASSUMPTIONS.. I freely admit it. So sue me! ;)


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Other than that, I was talking precambrian, when life came into being (in whichever way), not after they had evolved(or morphed) into the beings of the cambrian era. I apologize if you misunderstood me. If you do not believe in life before the cambrian era, I apologize and my point is moot.

I do believe there may have been life in the precambrian and I go by what palentologists say they have found there.. Microbe fossils and worm trails petrified in sediment layers.


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How can you be sure they were not? How can you be sure that they were preprogammed to enter another cell and bond with it? How can you be sure they were built in "tools" And if looped DNA otherwise never appears in eukaryotic cells, except in organelles, while it does appear in prokaryotic cells, does that not mean that by using your logical deduction, we could deduce that organelles were once bacteria?

Yes that can be interpreted in several ways. And you do have a point, but to say it once was bacteria may be overstepping scientific observation imo. The same protiens exists amongst different species such as humans and bananas. That doesn't nessicarily conclude that we were once bananas. I use protiens because they have specific amino acid sequences and fold into similar shapes. DNA is a folded protien. Similar shaped DNA could be considered flimsy evidence and perhaps superficial.

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It seems no more of a logic leap than "cells look like factories so they are designed".

Because two DNA protiens have the same shape thus one MUST have been a bacteria?

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I find it highly ironic, that the person who has been responding to points with with "LoL, about as deep as a mud puddle" now complains that people are calling him names, and immediately follows up by calling people deacons of the evolutionary church. Especially since it is the same person who earlier was implying that he is fair and balanced, unlike all those other people. And calling other on ridiculous analogies when you yourself have been making points like "factory=cell" seems just a tad over the top.

Look up the definition of the word factory.. Cross examine it with the processes inside a cell.. I rest my case..

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EDIT: Also, an interested question. Seeing as you believe life was indeed designed by someone/something, would you care to elaborate on that? Was it a deity? A cosmic force? Extraterrestrials? I'm genuinely interested in what/who you feel did the groundbreaking work here before they left. Also, what are your thoughts on this creator? Is there any scientific way (in your opinion) of deducing his/it's/her identity, and should that be taught in science class as well?

Those are philisophical questions. I dunno who or why. I think life did not originate here on earth. This is called Panspermia. This is also what Francis Crick, co discoverer of the DNA double helix concluded. He spent the better part of his career unlocking the mysteries of the DNA chemical coding system and realized the unlikelyhood of earth evolving these processes.

Right now I'm interested in "is it design". I think religious people might have the right general idea but their doctrines are simply made up. Right now I'm fairly agnostic but am open to new possibilities.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on August 02, 2006, 07:51:47 pm
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Fact, cambrian record shows sudden explosion of fully formed animals.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'fully formed'. Do you mean they were alive? In that case, DUH.

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Fact, cambrian shows 20 more new phyla of animals that are now extinct. This indicates a broad base of original animals and narrows to the realitivly few we have today.

If the fact you list is literally correct (and I am willing to suppose that it is for the purpose of this discussion), that only indicates something about how animals take on form.
Once you've begun shaping yourself one way, it's not hard to add new things on the end, but it's hard to change the beginning. Thus, you would expect that in the very beginning of the formation of complex shapes, the variety would be enormous, as they tried every shape. Many of these shapes would not work out, for whatever reason. Those that worked were locked into their early choice, but were free to modify later choices. The early choices determine the phylum.

Also, the Cambrian explosion may have had many many creatures, but it is still a tiny number compared to the number we have today. Check out how few creatures were IN those lost phyla.


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Fact, cambrian animals exhibit many or most of the complex organs we assumed to have evolved over long periods of time, thus a progression of uncomplex to complex is called into question.

Hold on for a moment. These animals have skeletal remains which indicate the existence of complex organs. What was added, in the cambrian explosion? Not the organs, but the skeletons! Skeleton-bearing animals had enormous numbers of niches they could get into that other creatures could not, so it was an evolutionary field day. Rapid growth, rapid change. That they had complex organs already is not a problem (non-skeleton-bearing creatures have these same organs!)

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Fact, precambrian era shows maybe a few microbes and some "worm trails", virtually nothing of a conclusive, evolutionary nature.

because only skeletons fossilize well, and they hadn't evolved yet.

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Fact, fossil record shows that most animals lived for millions of years without change. "Living fossils" have been found alive and well with nill change in millions upon millions of years.

Many situations favor remaining the same. In these cases, evolution forces the species to... remain... the... same.


Given how the first paragraph went, I'm not inclined to go further.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 04, 2006, 09:13:33 am
I apologize for the tardiness of my reply, I recently came down with a rather uncomfortable sickness, and have thus bben unable to reply. Now, hoever, I'm back to semi-good health.

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No, not exactly. I think life is endowed with the ability to micro evolve to combat environmental pressures and protect itself from harmful pathogens. I think these individualistic abilities differ by varying degree from animal to animal and the complexity of the animal plays a role as well. With higher complexity comes more specific living conditions and habitats.

Bacteria may be able to survie a much wider range of selection pressures than a higher order animal such as say, a polar bear. I don't believe this happens by chance or chance alone. Transposable genes seem to play a high role in individualistic mutation of immune systems of all animals. The reason I may have certain allergic reactions to certian things where you may not. Or a virus that may kill me might not kill you. This isn't evolution to me because (like it or not ;) )we are the same species with the same 23 chromosomes.

I also think that animals under different selection pressures will change differently. Look how different a buffalo and a domestic cow are.. A buffalo is adapted to the cold winds of the central american plains. A buffalo is much more likely to survive the cold winters in this area than domestic cows (without shelter of course).  I do believe they both had a common ancestor and split from one another many thousands of years ago.

You're not actually answering the question here though. I think we've alreadfy established (and correct me if I've misunderstood) that you believe micro evolution is possible, but that macro evolution isn't. So for macro evolution, rather than just random mutations woirking with selcetion pressure, you believe there is a purpose, a design behind the whole thing. Thefore, what I wanted to know was, does this mean that all living creatures have a predetermined path to macro evolve? That somehwere in the genetic code lies some sort of activation code that after a certain amount of time will split away and create a new species no matter what? Or do you believe that the genetic code is designed so that at optimal intervals and during optimal circumstances, the code is capable of creating a new species independently? This is obviously not part of the ID/evolution debate. I'm just curious to know how you explain the arrival of new species to yourself, if they are not the product of macro evolution.

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To me you are describing Evolutionary Therory to a tee. At least the macro evolutionary, one celled organisim to modern animals aspect. Since there isn't a repeatable, testable lab expiriment that can demonstate macro evolution (the creation of unique, novel new code) through any of the mechanisims described within the theory, it thus is no better than a philosophy imo. We can still use macro evolutionary principles to try and link certain animals and  groups of animals.

Design on the other hand, although there is currently no way to set up a repeatable, testable lab expiriment to demonstrate an intelligent cause in action, is approached in much the same manner as archeologists detecting design patterns in ancient archelogical digs or the same principles SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence uses to detect design in signals. Further we can test Behe's hypothisis of irreducible complexity by removing certain parts of biological structures thought to be irreducable and see if they have any possible uses.

As was mentioned in several posts in this thread, evolution actually fulfills most of the criteria for a scientific theory. As I said earlier, feel free to call it a prototheory if you like. Noone here has so far been arguing (to my knowledge) that evolution is an absolute truth. Only that it fulfills more scientific criteria than ID. I'm curious though. Seeing as you've repeatedly stated throughout the thread that ID is a respectable scientific theory, unlike evolution, how do you then explain the fact that ID cannot be tested in a lab? It seems slightly off kilter to me that evolution can be disqulified fro mbieng a thoeyr for soemthign that is equally true for ID, yet ID remains a scientific theory. Your quote seems to indicate, that despite not being able to fulfill this absolute criteria for a scientifc theory (for evolution anyway), ID is alright because it works like archaeology and SETI? This makes little to no sense to me.  I mean, both archaeoloy and the SETI project are specifically sciences that deal in proven intelligent life. Your statement pretty much means that any theory I come up with that predicts intelligence in something, no matter how warped, can be justified with "Well archeology andSETI do it so it must be proper science".

For a simple example, look a bit further down in the post.

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Do you feel that archeology or SETI is not science?

Well, I do. But since it isn't science if it isn't testable in a repetable experiment, I suppose they really aren't if we follow your guideline. If anything, the fact that some branches of science are acceptable without this criteria should alert you that it is not an absolute criteria in all cases.

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I don't appeal to supernatural causes. You are simply stereotyping me in this regard. Since I've tried to point this out to you many times now and the fact that you keep indicating that I am implying a supernatural being means you keep trying to erect a straw man. Appeal to the supernatural does not belong in science imo.

In fact I do not. You yourself have repeatedly stated that the scientific credibility of the theory of ID has nothing to do with the designer, just with the fact that there is design. Therefore, if the designer is irrelevant, it is by no means discrediting you to pick an arbitary designer. I might just as well have written "extradimensional beings" or "Plan 9 from outer Space". However, the scientific theory of ID is limited to only the mechanisms of design, not the mecahnisms of the designer. The argument you seem to be making now is "Your saying the designer is supernatural which makes the theory less credible!". It does not, under the stipulations and rules you've pointed out. But, if it makes you happier, I will rephrase my theory.

Quote from: Theory Of designed universe
I predict that all atoms will continue to be held together by the designers will. I also predict that because of his continuing interest, gravity will continue it's  work. Both predictions will come true, but that doesn't necesssarily make my theory true (or false).

Now, as I said earlier, I'll get back to archeology and SETI. As you can see, now that my theory have the offending parts removed, it predicts actual events that can be credibly proven to happen. Also, I would like to postulate that since the removal of a single part of the atom renders it useless as an atom, it is a irreducibly complex design, and must thus have been designed by someone as proven by Behe. Furthermore, looking at it with the help of sciences such as archeology and SETI, it is quite evident that it is of intelligent design, even though I can perform no test on it. Looking on it with the science of psychology, it also makes perfect sense to me, making it a true scientific theory based on my definition of a scientific theory (must be like archeology, SETI and psychology). However! Seeing as ID does not fulfill the last requirment (it does not make sense), I can therfore refute it as a scientific theory.

I'm sure this all seems rather silly to you. it seems silly to me as well. But this is exactly the thing you were doing further up. First, you discredit evolution on something your own theory does not fulfill. Then you go, well that's alright because my theory is like X and Y, which means it doesn't need to fulfill that requirment. Bit of  adouble standard there.

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One prediction that ID has made is that Junk DNA, so called because evolutionists predict left over, unused DNA code during the random evolutionary
processes, has purpose. Much of this so called "Junk DNA" is being shown to have latent effects and regulatory function. So Darwinists have long ignored this "junk" as useless where purpose and function is being found almost daily despite evolutionary predictions.

This is interesting, and I would love to see some links to these predictions. I know that most of the articles I've gone through considering junk DNA refer to the term as antiquated (despite not being ID articles), but if this happened some time ago that would be understandable.

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Imaginations are fantastic. Unfortunately, Imaginations are not always good science. Irreducibly complex systems are in existance and are fact. The internal combustion engine may be considered an example. The engine block, the pistons, the timing chain, the spark plugs, the distributor cap (or electronic ignition), the carbureator (or fuel injection) etc. Take out any one part and the engine doesn't run, not even a little bit.

many (perhaps most) human made machines can be considered irreducibly complex and is in fact the only known source of irreducibly complex systems. Assuming humans are intelligent engineers, thus they are considered intelligently designed machines.

This is not questioned by anyone. Well except for the last sentence which unfortunately makes no sense to me. If we are intelligent engineers, we must be designed machines?

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Behe has a hypothisis that these sort of systems exist in nature and Behe et al is currently testing this hypothsis. There are evolutionary scientists that have responded (and rather harshly in some instances) but I still maintain that they have never successfully refuted Behe's claims. Yes, they've applied imagination in abundace and have come up with the co-option argument. Unfortunately co-option of any biological system has never been demonstrated in a lab. Even co-option of protiens is purely theroretical.

Wait, so Behe's hypothesis has never actually been proven (but neither refuted in your opinion) so it is alright to use? However, any argument that the evolutionary side provides must be proven in a lab to have credibility? This again seems like a double standard.

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Further, the miller argument against Behe's mousetrap example contained an imaginitive step by step individual, useful account of every part of a mouse trap in an evolutionary outline, but an active imagination could do that with anything if so desired. The engine block, the carbureator, sparkplug etc. in my example could all be used as a paper weight! There I've demonstrated co-option.... Puhlease...

So, to recap. Using your imagination as a evolutionary scientist is bad, because then you can prove anything. But if you are rooting for ID, constructing an hypothesis that can in no way be proven is not using your imagination, but rather thinking logically?

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Any evidence is questionable.

Well, this at least is new. Earlier on, your detective had absloute evidence.

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In especially controversial evidence we must turn to the most logical choice. Is evolution with a natural unguided cause for the first dividing cell filled with microcellular machines and chemical codes the most logical choice? Perhaps.. It's not for me, but it may be for you.
Anyway, I expect great things from the Behe camp in the future. Only time will tell.

And for you, it would seem that a designer that is somehow untouched by the rules fo your theory makes more sense. The problem for me there is that the theory does not explain, or even attempt to explain anything. Was the designer designed? Did he evolve? It just seems like a way of pushing back any question we may have about the beginning of life. Still, as you said. Only time wil ltell.

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Evolution is unfalsifyable in the same way. It might have happend that way, then again it might not have.

Again, which is why it is the theory of evolution.

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Shrug.. I dunno, but "prove" evolution?, doubtful...

My apologies, I should have used a weaker word, such as indicate., or point towards.

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Ancesteral orign is not a problem for me. Change over time is not a problem for me. Change into somthing completely different.. There's my problem.

This confuses me abit. We're in agreement that you have primitive introns in bacteria, right? And more advanced ones in eukaryotes. Are we also in agreement that prokaryotes and eukaryotes are very different, and cannot change into eachother? If so, how then do you imply that the primitive introns in prokaryotes transferred themselves to eukaryotes? If one didn't evolve into the other and organelles aren't bacteria why do eukaryotes have a more adnvanced version of the prokaryotes introns?

Death_999 replied quite well to your points on the cambrian explosion. What interest me though is how you

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have no problem with the fossil record being incomplete. In fact it is irrelevant my anti fossil-record-supporting-darwin arguments.

, when one of the major arguments you've made over and over again is that "there is no proof of macro evolution in the fossil record thus it is untrue".

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You and I simply disagree here. I covered this previously in this very post and other various places within this thread. Although I'm sure I haven't covered it to your satisfaction,and never will, so I don't intend to try anymore..

Feel free to disagree. You have covered it in this post, although I must say I've not seen it come up as clearly in any of your other posts.

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I posted LoL to one specific statement because it was ridiculous. I did it one time and now "every time I'm challenged" I post LoL? C'mon man, give me a break. That's crap and you know it...

Also, when someone makes a post, you tend to reply only to a small part of it, and leave the rest uncommented.  I count you using LoL at least twice i nthis thread. I'll grant you that this isn't a huge number of times, but it is the attitude that counts here. To me at least, this gives you an air of indifference to the other sides arguments, a a sheen of arrogance. I may of course be completely wrong, but that is how I perceive it.

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According to your logic I HAVE to find somthing to replace evolutionary macro evolution and if I cannot that I am required to accept the current evolutionary theory becuse somthing is better than nothing? And why pray tell do I? That approach may work for you but it does not for me. Thats like saying since I don't have a theory on say how black holes are formed I need to come up with one (make one up) or accept the current theory no matter how flawed it is..

Indeed. If you would have walked up to Nils Bohr the day after he released his model of the atom and told him "Hey Nils, your model is incorrect. I don't know how or why, but it is. Atoms don't look like miniature solarsystems, that's ridiculous", what do you think his reply would have been? Still, it turns out he was wrong. But before that was known, his model was used because it was the best available one. Even though it is incorrect on a fundamental level, we still use it today because it predicts the behaviour of atoms so well. Same with any theory you'd care to name. You use the best fit until something betetr comes along. perhaps one day ID will have so much more evidence and be able to predict so much more than evolution that the scientific community will adapt it. Perhaps something else will supercede both theories. All I know is, by simply tearing down you aren't furthering our knowledge.

Your theory is fine, as a theory. It might be comepletly correct. If you manage to straighten out the wrinkles, and prove it in a lab, then you could well supercede evolution.

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People trying to turn urine into gold may be considered "underdogs" yet I'm not on their band wagon.

You might want to reconsider that. If I recall correctly, they incidentally discovered phosphor, which for a time was more expensive than gold.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 04, 2006, 09:13:56 am
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If evolutionary theory could actually fit the scientifc observations better and be demonstrated in the lab fairly conclusively, I'd accept it, hook, line and sinker.

Yet this isn't necessary for ID?

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like it or not there is an ID movement that is gaining momentum. It is backed by prominent, well educated scientists throughout the world. It's not a bunch of hokey, back-wood fundamentalists or overzealous religious zealots. These people have serious doubts about the creative power of random mutation and natural selection that darwinists bestow upon these mechanisims.

I don't really care that much. Evolution is a best fit theory, just as any other. It's not a glorious eternal truth. It will change, or be superceded as outr understanding of the universe grows.

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Viruses act by hijacking the micro cellular machines within an existing cell and force it to reproduce it's own genetic instructions. So what if they mutate? So what if they reproduce? This is NOT an uncomplicated process..

Well, if all random mutations are bad, shouldn't they just be killing themselves?

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Further, I am not just speaking for myself, alot of my material comes from reading bokks and websites of people with PHDs and years of scientifc background..

That's good to know. I write all my material myself you know. Every single notion I've posted, is entirley thought out by me and noone else. I rarely read books, and I make it  a point ot avoid anything written by a PhD. In fact, when my boss comes in, I hide so that he wont tell me something that is not based on my own firmly entrenched beliefs.

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Yeah you do that because the "macro people" who "posted about it" above you are a figment of your imagination.. Macro evolution HAS never been demonstrated in a lab or anywhere else. I stand by my assertion.

It's nice to know we share hallucinations, as you've actually replied to the posts I've mentioned.

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Of course I'm assuming, based on what we know of plankton living today. Are there other possibilities? Sure. Are we aware of any other possible gasses providing a similar ozone protection? I'm not aware of any but perhaps there is.. I haven't studied this much.

It's nice to see that you are still holding up your side of the argument by ignoring parts of my post. For someone who likes to talk about strawmen, you sure seem fond of using them. The point I was making, and illustrating with quotes was your double standard of making assumptions but complaining when others do the same. And you counter with defending your  right to assumptions, which I have not even questioned.

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The same protiens exists amongst different species such as humans and bananas. That doesn't nessicarily conclude that we were once bananas. I use protiens because they have specific amino acid sequences and fold into similar shapes. DNA is a folded protien. Similar shaped DNA could be considered flimsy evidence and perhaps superficial.

But it does imply that we stem from a very similar background. That's the idea of evolution. On what grounds are you now considering it? I mean, it seems to me that deduction is only acceptable evidence if you use it in the "Hey this looks designed" way rather than the "Hey these two organize their most basic structure the same way maybe they are related!" way.

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Look up the definition of the word factory.. Cross examine it with the processes inside a cell.. I rest my case..

Quote from: wiki
A factory (previously manufactory) is a large industrial building where workers manufacture goods or products. Most modern factories have large warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production. Archetypally, factories gather and concentrate resources -- workers, capital and plant.

Quote from: wiki
he cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, sometimes called the "building blocks of life." Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell. Other organisms, such as humans, are multicellular

Yes, I see the likeness immediately.

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Right now I'm interested in "is it design". I think religious people might have the right general idea but their doctrines are simply made up. Right now I'm fairly agnostic but am open to new possibilities.

Seems a bit shortsighted to me. Surely you should be lookign for the designer. If nothing else, that would prove your theory striaght away.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Cronos on August 06, 2006, 07:47:09 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

^^ Watch it. Watch it all. Now. End of Argument :D


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 08, 2006, 12:29:33 am
Luki you win by sheer volume..:) I'll respond to some of the points later..

Cronos: Hey, nice link..I espically enjoyed this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFtp8zw8QSI&mode=related&search=

This is a 3 minute clip from a DVD video entitled "Unlocking the Mysteries of Life" offered over at the Discovery Institute (Of which I own a copy). The video has many more scientific arguments for design which this small clip doesn't ..

The clip shows some of the  Processes inside the cell that I spoke of. A simple wiki article description of what a cell is might not cover these processes.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Baltar on August 08, 2006, 03:45:05 am
RType...Cronos posts a two hour vid (did you even watch it?)...and your come back is a five minute ad featuring a guy that just flatly dismisses 'chemical evolution' with an argument from astonishment, and otherwise just gives an overview of the process by which proteins are created.  The constant reuse of the word 'machine' was particularly amusing (See!  See!  *Design*!! ZOMG!!1)  ;D


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Cronos on August 08, 2006, 07:30:00 am
It is a nice link isnt it RTyp? Perhaps you should click it and watch the entire thing.

In video, Ken Miller casually thrashes

Irreducable complexity
Intelligent Design as a valid scientific theory
The Motivations of the proponents of ID
The Origins of ID as a theory
The Future of Id as a theory

Now forgive me if I miss a few things here and there, I dont exactly have the bandwidth to watch the video a second time but he provides evidence that IC and ID is so much junk used to push a political agenda.

The bacterial flagellum, for instance, can have 40 of it's protiens removed outright and still have functional parts.

Blood clotting in humans is a 4 step process. Certain species, such as reptiles (I think) have a 3 step process, the blowfish has a 2 step process and their blood clots perfectly.

For Irreducable complexity to have any grounding whatsoever, not one part of any "Designed" system can be removed and still remain functional. The Bacterial flagellum is still functional with 40 of it's proteins removed. The Blood clotting process STILL works with 2 "Critical" steps removed outright.

In actual fact, you find that when you break apart this "Machinery" into their individualistic parts and portions, they carry out their own little functions on their own! It is in fact when they all group up do they perform a new or novel function.

This is all in the video I linked to. Kindly watch it this time instead of providing a 5 minute video that simply denies all chemical evolution with no real evidence to back it up whatsoever and simply passes off the internal chemical soup of the internal cell as mere machinery.

Finally, before I head off to partake of a lunch-based nourishing snack, consider that proponents of ID want to extend the definition of science to include Astrology.

I'll leave you with that little thought.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 08, 2006, 01:13:56 pm
Luki you win by sheer volume..Smiley I'll respond to some of the points later..

If you wish. We could also just agree to diasagree before the entire internet floods over with out mecha-posts.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 09, 2006, 12:55:26 am
RType...Cronos posts a two hour vid (did you even watch it?)...and your come back is a five minute ad featuring a guy that just flatly dismisses 'chemical evolution' with an argument from astonishment, and otherwise just gives an overview of the process by which proteins are created.  The constant reuse of the word 'machine' was particularly amusing (See!  See!  *Design*!! ZOMG!!1)  ;D

A) I am VERY familiar with Ken Miller and his evolutionary arguments. And yes I have wathced this video before and watched about 15 minutes of it this time again. I've read more from Ken Miller than probably anyone here!

B) My "comeback" wasn't a response to cronos but posted for Luki's benefit relating cellular processes to manufacturing processes.

C) That "astonished guy" is Dean H. Kenyon a very prominent origins scientist who dedicated his career to origins of life. He is very well known and respected in the scientific community!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_H._Kenyon

"In 1969, Kenyon and coauthor Gary Steinman published Biochemical Predestination, a book on the origins of life advocating a theory of natural chemical evolution."

Biochemical Predestination was a widely accepted and dominate, molecular evolutionary theory in the 70's. For this "guy" to be astonished is not somthing to lightly dismiss. Furthermore you really need to watch the whole video not just the clip!

Luki, very well. .I was going to say somthing about you taking my words out of context and using them as ammo against me. I never posted "LoL that isn't true" and left it at that.. I always followed up and explained myself.

Thanx for the discussion and what I really want from this thread is for people to think. Don't just accept things. Look into what is being said and draw your own conclusions. I don't expect anyone to be swayed but instead to show that evolution isn't cut-n-dry fact as it's made out to be.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on August 09, 2006, 05:24:44 am
The reason you're not coming to a conclusion is because your arguments are in completely different areas.

RType is talking about ID, which is a PHILOSOPHY.  We should expect most, if not all his arguments to be philosophical.  There is nothing bad about philosophy.  In fact, I think we neglect it too much in Western Civilization.

Luki and Cronos are talking about Evolutionary Theory, in the realm of BIOLOGY, which is a SCIENCE.  We should expect most of their arguments to be SCIENTIFIC.

The problem is that philosophical and scientific arguments can't prove each other wrong, much like two cars on different, non-intersecting roads will never crash.  The question isn't "Is ID good science?"  ID isn't science at all, what a silly question that is!  ID is philosophy, so the correct question is "Is ID good philosophy?"  I think it is.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on August 09, 2006, 07:11:02 pm
If ID were a philosophical position, it would be okay as you say. The problem is, it maintains a position which is not philosophical in nature.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 10, 2006, 09:44:26 am


A) I am VERY familiar with Ken Miller and his evolutionary arguments. And yes I have wathced this video before and watched about 15 minutes of it this time again. I've read more from Ken Miller than probably anyone here!

On what do you base this deduction? This is a rather nasty trend that follows you through all of your posts as it is. You constantly point out how much you've read, how many Ph.D books you've studied, and how unbiased you are in the discussion of Evolution vs. Id argument.  Now in itself, this does little more than to give off an image of someone who enjoyes blowing their own trumpet, and announcing to the world who smart and good and bright they are. That doesn't necessarily inflict any harm, but it does come off as a bit pompous.

However, the problem arises when you then proceed to tell everyone how fundamentalist everyone opposing ID is. Time after time, you tell anyone who opposes your view to "think outside the box", "open their mind" and ask them"what are you afraid of?". This, perhaps unintentional, bashing of anyone who takes an opposing standpoint to yours (which incidentally doesn't come off as very neutral, despite your claims to be so) does not further the debate in any way. Rather, it simply gives off an aura of hypocrisy, where only you are allowed to be neutral and openminded, whilst your opponents are obviously less knowledgable, fundamentalist kooks.

This isn't written with the intent of criticising you (though looking back I suppose it does that as well), but rather to point out the flaws in debating technique you might want to work on for the next round of this, at some other forum, some other time. I find debates are more fruitful if you don't (un?)intentionally go out of your way to annoy people with implicit ad hoc attacks.

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B) My "comeback" wasn't a response to cronos but posted for Luki's benefit relating cellular processes to manufacturing processes.

And as such, it was weak. You claimed that just looking up the definition of factory and cell would prove your point. It did not. So then, you simply claim that the sources used weren't good enough. If you want to argue this simile, it really is your job to provide evidence, rather than telling people to "go look it up". I know how protein synthesis works. I know about protein folding, and the dazzingly beautiful mechanics behind them. It is a incredibly complex system. Many proteins around today could not be efficently constructed without certain mechanics. This in no way implies that these mechanics must necessarily be designed.

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Furthermore you really need to watch the whole video not just the clip!

And how do you propse we do this?

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Luki, very well. .I was going to say somthing about you taking my words out of context and using them as ammo against me. I never posted "LoL that isn't true" and left it at that.. I always followed up and explained myself.

The use of a term such as "Lo"l has no place in a debate such as this under any circumstance. Especially not while you're using it to imply that your opponents are incorrect. Tthat you followed up with other material is irrelevant to that. Also, if you really want to discuss things taken out of context, go back through the thread and try to count how many times people have complained about you either 1. Not replying to/ignoring a part of their argument. or 2. Replying to something completely different.

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Thanx for the discussion and what I really want from this thread is for people to think. Don't just accept things. Look into what is being said and draw your own conclusions.

Indeed. We should think, and not just accept things. But apparently, only if we propagated the wrong things. Those of us who have read a lot and know this stuff obviously already know that ID is much more probable, and don't need to think at all.

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I don't expect anyone to be swayed but instead to show that evolution isn't cut-n-dry fact as it's made out to be.

Which is presumably, why it is still called the THEORY of evolution.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 11, 2006, 01:58:11 am
Quote
However, the problem arises when you then proceed to tell everyone how fundamentalist everyone opposing ID is. Time after time, you tell anyone who opposes your view to "think outside the box", "open their mind" and ask them"what are you afraid of?".

Everyone? I enjoyed Novus, Drax, Meep and even Arne (and some of your comments) because you people seem to think about what you are saying and add personal insight rather than just regurgitating something they read on a Talk origins page or watched in a kenneth miller video.. That I do appreciate, very much.


This, perhaps unintentional, bashing of anyone who takes an opposing standpoint to yours (which incidentally doesn't come off as very neutral, despite your claims to be so) does not further the debate in any way. Rather, it simply gives off an aura of hypocrisy, where only you are allowed to be neutral and openminded, whilst your opponents are obviously less knowledgable, fundamentalist kooks.


? Where did I "bash" anyone? Once again you are attempting to put me into a defensive posture for somthing irrealevant to the issues rather than addressing them directly. This seems to me more indicative of a weak scientific position and a lame attempt to draw attention away from that fact.

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This isn't written with the intent of criticising you (though looking back I suppose it does that as well), but rather to point out the flaws in debating technique you might want to work on for the next round of this, at some other forum, some other time. I find debates are more fruitful if you don't (un?)intentionally go out of your way to annoy people with implicit ad hoc attacks.

That's almost ALL you have been doing for several pages of this thread. You attack how I present my posts and exaggerate everything I've said. Also, thank you ,oh great one for pointing out my flaws, And in the future, I'll be sure to go out of my way to debate in a manner you find more fruitful...(And you talk about me coming across as arrogant?)

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And as such, it was weak. You claimed that just looking up the definition of factory and cell would prove your point. It did not. So then, you simply claim that the sources used weren't good enough. If you want to argue this simile, it really is your job to provide evidence, rather than telling people to "go look it up". I know how protein synthesis works. I know about protein folding, and the dazzingly beautiful mechanics behind them. It is a incredibly complex system. Many proteins around today could not be efficently constructed without certain mechanics. This in no way implies that these mechanics must necessarily be designed.

You are perhaps correct when I used the word factory. However:

"fac·to·ry    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (fkt-r)
n. pl. fac·to·ries

A) building or group of buildings in which goods are manufactured; a plant. "



Perhaps manufacture may have been more appropriate:

man·u·fac·ture    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (mny-fkchr)
v. man·u·fac·tured, man·u·fac·tur·ing, man·u·fac·tures
v. tr.

To make or process (a raw material) into a finished product, especially by means of a large-scale industrial operation.
To make or process (a product), especially with the use of industrial machines.


I see the relevance even if you do not. And apparently I'm not alone in this line of thinking.


 Also:
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Many proteins around today could not be efficently constructed without certain mechanics.

Please show me ANY protien that can be constructed without "certain mechanics". Thank you in advance.

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And how do you propse we do this?

Give me a P.O. Box and I'll buy you a copy...

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Luki, very well. .I was going to say somthing about you taking my words out of context and using them as ammo against me. I never posted "LoL that isn't true" and left it at that.. I always followed up and explained myself.

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The use of a term such as "Lo"l has no place in a debate such as this under any circumstance. Especially not while you're using it to imply that your opponents are incorrect. Tthat you followed up with other material is irrelevant to that.

Apologies.. I didn't realize this was a professional debate forum. Perhaps I'm out of my league discussing anything with sombody as perfected and evolved as you?

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Also, if you really want to discuss things taken out of context, go back through the thread and try to count how many times people have complained about you either 1. Not replying to/ignoring a part of their argument. or 2. Replying to something completely different.

I did just that and the only person complaining seems to be you. I've invited you to point out any important points you feel I've negelected. Once again this seems more of a under-handed tactic to put me into a defensive posture rather than face any issues I may have raised. I would never criticize you in such a manner, especially on an informal discussion board such as this. To me this diversionary tactic is completely disrespectful and lame.

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Indeed. We should think, and not just accept things. But apparently, only if we propagated the wrong things. Those of us who have read a lot and know this stuff obviously already know that ID is much more probable, and don't need to think at all.

This was geared toward people such as cronos who posted a Keneth Miller video link, ordered us to watch it all and claimed the debate was over. He is obviously just regurgitating Ken Miller's arguments without a single shred of insight or research on his behalf. Besides, I had already discussed Ken Miller's arguments against Behe in detail previously in this thread. I would also suggest he read up on the blood clotting cascade (Coagulation)of mammals before claiming it's a simple 4 part process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coagulation


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on August 11, 2006, 09:47:28 pm
I did just that and the only person complaining seems to be you.

I think that's because the rest of us have given up on this thread. I know a lost cause when I see it.

For the record, you have ignored a great many arguments from all of us. But it's OK, please don't respond; this is going to be my last comment in this thread (unless it dramatically shifts topics again).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 11, 2006, 11:54:50 pm
Quote
I know a lost cause when I see it.

..and yet you believe the genetic code essential to building protiens happened by chance, random chemicals accidentally coming togther in a primordial soup?

Good luck with that... :)



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 12, 2006, 02:43:31 am
I've already explained my position about 'argument from astonishment', so I won't go into that.

There is some hypothesis about basic life stuff coming from space, which would increase the amount of time and locations available for life to form (Panspermia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia) | abiogenesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis)). Some billion years on a planet as large as the Earth is not too shabby though. Basically what it boils down to is how often mother nature was allowed to save the progress... if there were any plateaus for our Sisyphus to rest on.

Edit, It occured to me, that if you're saying that Abiogenesis is impossible, you're saying that it's impossible that it'll ever happen, not just on Earth, but in the entire universe, in every nebula, on every planet, in every sea and lake, under every pebble, for 13 billion years. Also, every kind of life has to be impossible, not just 'our' protein/rna/dna stuff. I'm sure, on planet Xvillivid 4b, the Kvaar are pondering the likelyhood of silicate life arising, after all, Xvillivid 4b is ideal for just that kind of life, tumbling around the gas giant with perfect timing for the reproductory orbital festivals. On planet Morgonflaesk, the Svoels are pondering how amazing it is that their hands are perfectly adapted for holding a long yellow bent fruit.

Edit, I suppose this is my little astonishent to counter the astonishment of life appearing. It's like... Astonishment of life appearing / Astonishment of universe size and age ...or something... now I'm confusing myself. Better go to bed.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Baltar on August 12, 2006, 07:50:28 pm
A) I am VERY familiar with Ken Miller and his evolutionary arguments. And yes I have wathced this video before and watched about 15 minutes of it this time again. I've read more from Ken Miller than probably anyone here!

Uh huh.  And yet you aren't really responding to any of his points.  You do definitely not make a very convincing case for ID.

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B) My "comeback" wasn't a response to cronos but posted for Luki's benefit relating cellular processes to manufacturing processes.

Well it isn't a counterargument.  It is a sermon.  All it does is repeat the same mantra ad-nauseum.  Did you think Luki had no idea who the cell replicates proteins?  How is this in any way different from your earlier arguments about the 'design' in nature?

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C) That "astonished guy" is Dean H. Kenyon a very prominent origins scientist who dedicated his career to origins of life. He is very well known and respected in the scientific community!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_H._Kenyon

How...does *anything* in the wiki article you linked indicate that he is respected in the scientific community?  His only 'accomplishment' is his association with Creationism/ID.  Incidentally, in Ken Miller's presentation he mentions that that organization produces no research.

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Biochemical Predestination was a widely accepted and dominate, molecular evolutionary theory in the 70's. For this "guy" to be astonished is not somthing to lightly dismiss. Furthermore you really need to watch the whole video not just the clip!

Which isn't going to happen.  To take you up on your offer I'd have to get a PO Box, and even then I'd be encouraging you to give that organization money, which is something I definitely don't feel like doing.


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Thanx for the discussion and what I really want from this thread is for people to think. Don't just accept things. Look into what is being said and draw your own conclusions. I don't expect anyone to be swayed but instead to show that evolution isn't cut-n-dry fact as it's made out to be.

This is immensely arrogant.  You go so far as to imply that anyone in the evolution camp is 'just accepting things'.  As with alot of other ID rhetoric, you present a false dichotomy.  I don't 'accept' evolution as a 'cut-n-dry fact', and that you would claim that it is 'made out to be' as such is entirely the fabrication of the ID camp.  Because the scientific community at large rejects ID doesn't mean that evolution is accepted as a matter of faith.  It just means it is the best thing available at this point.  With the number of arguments I've seen you flatly ignore in this thread it is pretty clear to me you are the one blindly accepting things.

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Everyone? I enjoyed Novus, Drax, Meep and even Arne (and some of your comments) because you people seem to think about what you are saying and add personal insight rather than just regurgitating something they read on a Talk origins page or watched in a kenneth miller video.. That I do appreciate, very much.

And you aren't 'regurgitating' anything?  You are doing your own research and presenting your findings right here for us on this board?  It doesn't matter where the argument comes from, all that matters is the argument.

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? Where did I "bash" anyone? Once again you are attempting to put me into a defensive posture for somthing irrealevant to the issues rather than addressing them directly. This seems to me more indicative of a weak scientific position and a lame attempt to draw attention away from that fact.

Repeated 'LOL's.  Repeated ignored arguments (very rude).  Typifying evolutionists as being dogmatic fundamentalists over and over again.  Telling people to 'open their minds', implying that before they weren't.  I could go on.

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That's almost ALL you have been doing for several pages of this thread. You attack how I present my posts and exaggerate everything I've said. Also, thank you ,oh great one for pointing out my flaws, And in the future, I'll be sure to go out of my way to debate in a manner you find more fruitful...(And you talk about me coming across as arrogant?)

So he's arrogant for calling you on *being* arrogant?  How could he not call you on your behavior repeatedly?  You are just shy of extremely obnoxious.  That's also incredibly unfair to Luki as that is far from 'all' he's done;  he's actually addressed your arguments which is alot more than can be said for what you've done for your opponents here.  And when he's addressed your behavior he's done so in a fairly respectful fashion.

Tell me:  is there any criticism of your conduct that you actually will accept without resorting to dropping all sorts of bitter statements and excuses?

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You are perhaps correct when I used the word factory. However:

....

I see the relevance even if you do not. And apparently I'm not alone in this line of thinking.

And here you are restating yourself.  And then you cap it off with an argument from authority.  Brilliant!

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Please show me ANY protien that can be constructed without "certain mechanics". Thank you in advance.

Please show me how your point here helps your cause in any way, without simply restating the whole 'design' thing.  Thanks in advance.

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Apologies.. I didn't realize this was a professional debate forum. Perhaps I'm out of my league discussing anything with sombody as perfected and evolved as you?

I didn't realize there were different levels of accepted rigors of logic in different venues.  Again, trying to figure out how it is that Luki is arrogant when he is just pointing out problems in your methods of argumentation.  Does it just not bother you that you use red herrings and ad hominem attacks all over the place?

But ultimately you are right.  You aren't in Luki's league.

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I did just that and the only person complaining seems to be you. I've invited you to point out any important points you feel I've negelected. Once again this seems more of a under-handed tactic to put me into a defensive posture rather than face any issues I may have raised. I would never criticize you in such a manner, especially on an informal discussion board such as this. To me this diversionary tactic is completely disrespectful and lame.

No, what is 'under handed' is the fact that you have ignored arguments and repeated yourself constantly, and when someone calls you on this you put the burden of evidence on them to dig through page after page of this thread to look for evidence.  I'd think that with several people pointing this out and the simple fact that you have been repeating yourself over and over, page after page, you would have figured this out by now, but then as Draxas said--'lost cause'.

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This was geared toward people such as cronos who posted a Keneth Miller video link, ordered us to watch it all and claimed the debate was over. He is obviously just regurgitating Ken Miller's arguments without a single shred of insight or research on his behalf. Besides, I had already discussed Ken Miller's arguments against Behe in detail previously in this thread. I would also suggest he read up on the blood clotting cascade (Coagulation)of mammals before claiming it's a simple 4 part process.

Again, everyone is 'regurgitating' here, you included.  That you would paint the posting of the video in such a light is blatant hypocrisy.  You even posted your own vid hours later.

And a nice straw man as well.  Ken never said blood clotting was a 4 part process.  How about actually refuting Ken's argument rather than linking to a general article on clotting, mistating his point, and labelling all those who bring it up as regurgitating?

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..and yet you believe the genetic code essential to building protiens happened by chance, random chemicals accidentally coming togther in a primordial soup?

Good luck with that... Smiley

*Whew*!  Good thing he put in the lost cause statement so that you could focus on that and ignore the main point:  you have routinely ignored what your opponenets have said here.

Oh, and as Arne said...argument from astonishment.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 12, 2006, 08:00:10 pm
Everyone? I enjoyed Novus, Drax, Meep and even Arne (and some of your comments) because you people seem to think about what you are saying and add personal insight rather than just regurgitating something they read on a Talk origins page or watched in a kenneth miller video.. That I do appreciate, very much.

I may have formulated me less than clearly. With everyone, I mean everyone in general, not everyone in this thread. You speak about scientific dogma and how people should dare think outside the box, impliying that those who do not agree with you are doing so because they are not as scientific as you. To those present in the thread, you pose the direct question of why we are so "afraid" of ID, again implying that our opinions have an emotional gorund, rather than a scientifc one. I am in no way claiming that you are the only one who does this, nor that it is more acceptable in anyone else. But most others who resort to name calling only participate in the thread with a post or two. This means that I take their opinions into less consideration than yours.

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? Where did I "bash" anyone?

As I explained above, your posts do come across that way sometime. As I also posted, it might be unintentional, in which case I'd think you'd be happy to know about it, to prevent further misunderstandings in future debates. Of course, the possibility exists that I am the only one who reacts to these things, in which case you need only be aware that more sensitive pople can misinterpret your posts .:)

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Once again you are attempting to put me into a defensive posture for somthing irrealevant to the issues rather than addressing them directly. This seems to me more indicative of a weak scientific position and a lame attempt to draw attention away from that fact.

This is highly ilogical. Why would my critique of your debating skills have anything to do with the subject at hand? You've either misunderstood the purpose of bringing this up completely, or you are once again making up your own arguments. Nowhere have I stated that ID becomes any less (or more) believable because of the way you formulate yourself. I'm merely pointing out that the way you formulate your posts may sometimes hinder the message in them.

If it helps, I'll gladly give an example of a more extreme parallell to yuor case, a_stupid_box. Before he mellowed out as Sedodes, he had a very sharp tongue. I've seldom seen posts as vitriolic as his. This however, didn't mean that his ideas were stupid, or that he never had any point. However, often he would fail to bring his point across, because those he debated considered his posts so offensive that they discarded the content because of the delivery. Obviously, you aren't even near the level he used to produce, but the principle I'm trying to bring forth here is the same.  The form of the message can strongly affect it's reception, regardless of content.

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That's almost ALL you have been doing for several pages of this thread. You attack how I present my posts and exaggerate everything I've said.

And this isn't an exaggeration?

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Also, thank you ,oh great one for pointing out my flaws, And in the future, I'll be sure to go out of my way to debate in a manner you find more fruitful...(And you talk about me coming across as arrogant?)

As I've explained above, there is a reason for pointing out flaws. So that you can bring your point further in a better way. Of course, if you are not interested, noone is forcing you to take the advice. However, as you started your post off with critizing my debating technique, I thought you would be interested in hearing a response to your technique. Obviously I was wrong. It is alright for you to use these methods to point out my flaws (be it minor ones such as arguing about LoL), but not for me to share my opinions?

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"fac·to·ry    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (fkt-r)
n. pl. fac·to·ries

A) building or group of buildings in which goods are manufactured; a plant. "


Please tell me you don't think that means plant as in a living organism. 

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Perhaps manufacture may have been more appropriate:

man·u·fac·ture    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (mny-fkchr)
v. man·u·fac·tured, man·u·fac·tur·ing, man·u·fac·tures
v. tr.

To make or process (a raw material) into a finished product, especially by means of a large-scale industrial operation.
To make or process (a product), especially with the use of industrial machines.


I see the relevance even if you do not. And apparently I'm not alone in this line of thinking.

Are you talking about prokaryote or eukaryote cells here? Prokaryotes most definetly do not manufacture any goods, a better analogy would be a spaceship. And even for eukaryotes, production of extracellular substances is a very small part of their life. Also, I fail to see the relevance in that you are not alone in believing it. How does that make it more true? Or is it an argument i nthe vein of "I've read lots by PhD's", atempting only to prove your superior knowledge?

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Please show me ANY protien that can be constructed without "certain mechanics". Thank you in advance.

I was thinking of the post translational phase. Most proteins cannot be folded correctly inside a cell, if they do not have access to a endoplasmic reticulum and a golgi apparatus. However, that does not mean all of them cannot fold in vitro without any trouble, or in a less complex cell. I'll assume you were instead thinking of tRNA and mRNA and such. My apologies for the confusion. I was merely trying to show that many of the things that are now indispensable in the cell, may once have been merely advantageous.

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Give me a P.O. Box and I'll buy you a copy...

Keep in mind that I live in europe, which means you'll have to pay quite a bit of money to get it here. If you're serious, then send me a PM

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Apologies.. I didn't realize this was a professional debate forum. Perhaps I'm out of my league discussing anything with sombody as perfected and evolved as you?

If you wish for a debate to remain serious, it would do well to keep a serious tone. Or do I need to remind you of what happened during your attempt at the SCDB when some folks didn't take it seriously? While a moderated forum wouldn't have any trouble with that, I've far too often seen these debates fall into pieces because people are more concerned with being witty and putting eachother down than debating the actual subject. I think one of the reasons (beside the obvious) that this place can get away with most any debate is that people thke them seriosuly. Still, I'll (grudingly and gnashing my teeth) admit that I may take these things a bit too seriosuly at times.

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I did just that and the only person complaining seems to be you. I've invited you to point out any important points you feel I've negelected.

Really? Most of Novus posts seem to contain one complaint or another to you ignoring his points or sources and meep dropped out with "You're just ignoring remarks you don't want to hear".

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Once again this seems more of a under-handed tactic to put me into a defensive posture rather than face any issues I may have raised.

I am once again confused by why any criticism of your style of debating would have anything to with the subject at hand. I'd also like to know how I do this to defend myself from issues we have raised, when we had booth agreed that the debate between us was over, and a draw. This is especially relevant seeing as I wrote the last bauta post, meaning that there were very few issues left unanswered (from my point of view). If we had been fencing, and I after a draw criticized your posture, would your reply then be "You are only trying to distract me by words because you cannot face my sword!"?

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I would never criticize you in such a manner, especially on an informal discussion board such as this. To me this diversionary tactic is completely disrespectful and lame.

Then you are doing me a great disservice. How am I to better myself if my peers do not criticize me when I slip up, or do something stupid. That is why Deus is so good to have around. He has an uncanny knack for pointing out my flaws to me. I would expect the same from you, and this post has delivered such. It certainly gives me things to ponder and evaluate.

Quote
This was geared toward people such as cronos who posted a Keneth Miller video link, ordered us to watch it all and claimed the debate was over.

My apologies. Without an adress, I simply assumed it was a general statement.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on August 13, 2006, 12:28:08 am
Wow this is a long thread, I'm glad I got out really early (much faster to read than to type.)

BTW, RType06, you said something along the lines of how you didn't believe in a "god" (in quotes because the definition of this word can be vague) having created Terran life, but something else did like another (biologicaly simpler?) lifeform, or did I misunderstand? Can you explain why you think this Intelligient Designer is not too complex to have existed without being created itself, and yet could have created lifeforms like us that are irreducibly complex?


Quote
That is why Deus is so good to have around. He has an uncanny knack for pointing out my flaws to me.

Yes, I knew I was good at something! ;D

I was only joking earlier by the way, people taking what you've said too seriously does not necessarily equal you having some flaw that provoked it. But that's why we have alcohol, to subdue our egos long enough that we can't understand what we're hearing anyway, and thus opinions can be freely expressed within the confines of a bar or meade hall. And because of alcohol, we have a thread devoted to it, to absorb our opinions of it, as well as toilets, to absorb it directly, when you've had more than enough of it.


And so that brings us back to the truth of how life started:

There was a god (who evolved from a race of plasmoid aliens, on the sun of Tyuki) who was alone in the universe, and very bored. . .How was he alone if he evolved from a race of ion balls you ask? Well how did adam and eve find themselves surrounded by cities and peoples right after genesis, if they were the first people themselves, and their kids hadn't even had kids of their own yet? Through a chronological temporal unexplained anomally, of course (I don't see why more religions don't use this loop hole, everything on the scifi channel does.)

So anyway, god was really bored and so he created alcohol, and was entertained for 6 days. But on the seventh day, he realized that drinking is not as fun when you're sitting around in a vacuum, alone. So he created plants, but they coundn't drink, so then he created scandinavians, and they more than made up for the plants. But then came a game that ripped-off starflight, and so all of them flocked to that and its internet fan forums, along with israelis, who had been god's previous chosen people until they complained about his honey-waffer recipe (this was before god created the french, who in turn created irreducibly tasty yet biologically destructive dessert pastries.) To punish the penisulas of scandinavia for forsaking god and his liquid ambosia, he had loki send down his agents to create unnecessarily long philosophical threads, which no one could resist getting sucked into (apparently not even quick witted creations of the great cat god beezer, like the teller of this recounting, yours truly.) But so sober had the people of the heathen forum become, so far from the light of drunkiness and the things you do while bathed in its power (with the exception of those guys on spike tv,) that they almost enjoyed wading knee-deep in posts whose factlessness came hand-in-hand with its endlessness.

So god sent a comet to blow away humanity, and it'll be here in a few days. Cheers!


That's not just me talking though, that is all backed up by lots of PHDs, SBDs, ICBMs, and the bible (which I haven't read in a while, but I think it went something like that.)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on August 13, 2006, 12:28:56 am
Wow this is a long thread, I'm glad I got out really early (much faster to read than to type.)

BTW, RType06, you said something along the lines of how you didn't believe in a "god" (in quotes because the definition of this word can be vague) having created Terran life, but something else did like another (biologicaly simpler?) lifeform, or did I misunderstand? Can you explain why you think this Intelligient Designer is not too complex to have existed without being created itself, and yet could have created lifeforms like us that are irreducibly complex?


Quote
That is why Deus is so good to have around. He has an uncanny knack for pointing out my flaws to me.

Yes, I knew I was good at something! ;D

I was only joking earlier by the way, people taking what you've said too seriously does not necessarily equal you having some flaw that provoked it. But that's why we have alcohol, to subdue our egos long enough that we can't understand what we're hearing anyway, and thus opinions can be freely expressed within the confines of a bar or meade hall. And because of alcohol, we have a thread devoted to it, to absorb our opinions of it, as well as toilets, to absorb it directly, when you've had more than enough of it.


And so that brings us back to the truth of how life started:

There was a god (who evolved from a race of plasmoid aliens, on the sun of Tyuki) who was alone in the universe, and very bored. . .How was he alone if he evolved from a race of ion balls you ask? Well how did adam and eve find themselves surrounded by cities and peoples right after genesis, if they were the first people themselves, and their kids hadn't even had kids of their own yet? Through a chronological temporal unexplained anomally, of course (I don't see why more religions don't use this loop hole, everything on the scifi channel does.)

So anyway, god was really bored and so he created alcohol, and was entertained for 6 days. But on the seventh day, he realized that drinking is not as fun when you're sitting around in a vacuum, alone. So he created plants, but they coundn't drink, so then he created scandinavians, and they more than made up for the plants. But then came a game that ripped-off starflight, and so all of them flocked to that and its internet fan forums, along with israelis, who had been god's previous chosen people until they complained about his honey-waffer recipe (this was before god created the french, who in turn created irreducibly tasty yet biologically destructive dessert pastries.) To punish the penisulas of scandinavia for forsaking god and his liquid ambosia, he had loki send down his agents to create star control 3, and unnecessarily long philosophical threads, which no one could resist getting sucked into (apparently not even quick witted creations of the great cat god beezer, like the teller of this recounting, yours truly.) But so sober had the people of the heathen forum become, so far from the light of drunkiness and the things you do while bathed in its power (with the exception of those guys on spike tv,) that they almost enjoyed wading knee-deep in posts whose factlessness came hand-in-hand with its endlessness.

So god sent a comet to blow away humanity, and it'll be here in a few days. Cheers!


That's not just me talking though, that is all backed up by lots of PHDs, SBDs, ICBMs, and the bible (which I haven't read in a while, but I think it went something like that.)

And remember folks, god loves those who play hard to get, so become an agnostic, Today!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 13, 2006, 03:44:39 pm
Can you explain why you think this Intelligient Designer is not too complex to have existed without being created itself, and yet could have created lifeforms like us that are irreducibly complex?
Very clever young man, but it's turtles all the way down.

Well how did adam and eve find themselves surrounded by cities and peoples right after genesis, if they were the first people themselves, and their kids hadn't even had kids of their own yet?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Adamite


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 13, 2006, 07:07:29 pm
Luki:

http://www.allaboutscience.org/darwins-theory-of-evolution-video.htm

http://www.allaboutscience.org/dna-double-helix-video.htm

http://www.illustramedia.com/scripts/UnlockingtheMysteryofLifeScript.pdf


Here are two videos from 2 seperate chapters in  the Unlocking the Mystery of Life video and the third link is a complete transcript. After reviewing these if you are still interested I will PM you and get a PO box number..

Deus: No I cannot answer that. I will say that the designer doesn't have to be a diety and yes ID could indicate that naturalistic science will never be  able to discover the true origins of life. Science has found natural causes for many things but I don't believe they ever will where life's origin is concerned. Just as we may be able to measure and discover how an internal combustion engine works through naturalistic scientific means, we might not ever be able to tell who designed it if we didn't know it was the product of a human mind already.

Further, all machines come from a biological source. The human or animal  brain. Animals use intelligence to build tools, a beaver lodge, a birds nest, a bee hive a spider web etc. To me, it's not that much of a strech to think that some sort of intelligence is behind the DNA molecule, bacterial flagellum, the complex shutter eye, lungs or a heart etc.

(bbl.. busy day)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 13, 2006, 07:43:22 pm
RTyp06:
a simple question: as far as i understood, an irreducably complex machine is one where it cannot function without one of its parts at all, right? but, isn't evolution about replacing a version of something with a better and more efficient version? say, like the eye was THEORIZED (notice the caps... :) ) to evolve, i.e. gradually improving over time? or, about how cells were suppose to produce energy by fermentation only before the advent of the mitochondria?


Title: Argument from mammal astonishment
Post by: Arne on August 14, 2006, 02:46:23 am
I watched both videos. They basically make two arguments from astonishment re: bacterial flagellum and how a cell works. It concludes with how cells and stuff must be designed because it's so complex that an animal is easily astonished by it and can't quite grasp it. Okay little CG sequences of cells though. Reminded me of those children stories (edutainment) where people venture into the body and there's all sorts of creatures or machines representing what's going on.

The protein video mentions how natural selection needs 'life' to work on in order to improve/change stuff, and natural selection can't create life because there's nothing there. Not sure what they're getting at here. They make a short statement/claim about how organic molecules won't ever form life. I didn't hear anything about Irreducable complexity or probability estimates though. They also show the modern cell next to the dead primordial soup to enhance the awesomeness of the rift between them. No mention of primordial cells or whatever.

I think abiogenesis was a chemistry thing, it only needs to create something that's self replicating (with a chance of increasing its complexity), then natural selection can join in as there will be competition. The early stuff could've been different from stuff now, only serving as a scaffold or mold that has since been completely discarded (replaced). The crux is of course to figure out the frequency of the plateaus that our Sisyphus of life could rest on, and what routes there where.

Examples (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html) of early cells and probability theorizing, along with references to published papers. And some more (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.html).


distant watcher> Talk.Origins link again! (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200.html) (re: IC)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Culture20 on August 15, 2006, 04:55:57 am
Well how did adam and eve find themselves surrounded by cities and peoples right after genesis, if they were the first people themselves, and their kids hadn't even had kids of their own yet?
Oh I love the "Where's Cain get his wife?" questions.  They're answered right in Genesis though, as long as you don't do what most scholars do today (and apparently throughout history) and assume that the first two chapters of Genesis are two different creation stories...

Sixth day:
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

2:5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up [on the third day after the land was seperated from the ocean, -Culture20] --for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
2:6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground--
2:7 then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

So, Adam is from the third day, we don't know when eve was made, and lots of other people (also in his image) were made everywhere else on the sixth day.  ta da!  At least in this respect, there is internal consistency.
And remember folks, god loves those who play hard to get, so become an agnostic, Today!
Ahem..  ::)  God also loves those who viscerally hate him.  Doesn't mean it's the best choice though.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 15, 2006, 06:32:18 am
Always good fun when people try to reconcile conflicting stories in the Bible.
One story says Judas died by hanging himself, the other that he keeled over in a field and his bowels gushed out, so ofcourse Judas must have hung himself in a field, the branch giving away, his corpse keeling over, and then his bowels gushing out. Imagine the sight. And that without any hint of sarcasm.
You'd think the writer of the first story would have found it worthwhile to mention  "Oh, and then his bowels fell out". Maybe he ran out of ink. Yeah, that must be it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 15, 2006, 07:45:52 am
So, Adam is from the third day, we don't know when eve was made, and lots of other people (also in his image) were made everywhere else on the sixth day.  ta da!  At least in this respect, there is internal consistency.

So... howcome the entire mankind was banished from Eden if it was only Adam and Eve that ate the fruit?

edit:
Ack! Wait, I think I misread your post the first time.
Let's try again.

So... howcome the entire mankind is guilty of the original sin if it was only Adam and Eve that ate the fruit?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 15, 2006, 10:38:18 am
Always good fun when people try to reconcile conflicting stories in the Bible.
One story says Judas died by hanging himself, the other that he keeled over in a field and his bowels gushed out, so ofcourse Judas must have hung himself in a field, the branch giving away, his corpse keeling over, and then his bowels gushing out. Imagine the sight. And that without any hint of sarcasm.
You'd think the writer of the first story would have found it worthwhile to mention  "Oh, and then his bowels fell out". Maybe he ran out of ink. Yeah, that must be it.

You're missing a long sequence of much more plausible, and quite simple explanations.

1. Judas was his last name. The betrayer cut his stomach open in his field, and his borther, shamed to know him, hung himself. Thsi was common knolwdge backthen, so they didn't feel the need to specify which Judas did what.

2. Judas hung himself. However, God was not happy with this relatively simple way of dying, so he resurrected him so that he could do it properly. Next time around, he cut his gut open and God was pleased.

3. Judas hung himself in a tree, and then cut open his gut. However, CSI Jerusalem expressed sever doubts as to wether the splatter pattern produced was really indicative of the guts falling out of him fro mthat heigth. to cover their asses, they stated two possible scenarios, that were interpreted literally by some clerk (who knew nothing about crime scene investigation).

3. Judas was (unknowingly) an alien. When he found that he was not dependent upon oxygen for survival, he had to resort to other metods.

Don't criticise the Good book, it's perfectly plausible as long as you interpret it correctly.

Quote
So... howcome the entire mankind is guilty of the original sin if it was only Adam and Eve that ate the fruit?

They were sinners by proxy. The Old Testament God was a rather harsh fellow anyway.

I would also like to express admiration for this thread, and it's multiple shifts in topic. It just goes to show.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on August 15, 2006, 04:08:39 pm
You left out the other one, in which Judas falls over in a field, his guts spilling out. This is extremely painful, and to end it all, he hangs himself.

What do you think?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 15, 2006, 11:18:17 pm
  Genisis 2

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

Hmm how about Mosquitos, tapeworms and liver flukes? No mention of those in the good book...


  But for Adam  no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Just imagine what Adam could have recieved as a partner from an arm or a leg!

Then we have Poor Job....

One day the angels  came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan  also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
      Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
 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."

  "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.  "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.  But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

  The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."
      Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

::: Tons of bad things happen to Job including his children dying at the hands of satan:::

 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
       "Naked I came from my mother's womb,
       and naked I will depart. 
       The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
       may the name of the LORD be praised."

 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.


It appears that the Lord has an ego and needs to prove points to Satan. Is that what we are supposed to take from this story?




Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Mr._Jiggles on August 16, 2006, 12:02:23 am
http://crusadesogiaag.ytmnd.com/

Also found some on jack chick

http://chicksgod.ytmnd.com/

http://jackchicksgod.ytmnd.com/

http://tracts.ytmnd.com/

Also realitive to this evangilical bullshit, heres Pat Robertson

http://patrobertson.ytmnd.com/

http://patrobertsondanceofpassion.ytmnd.com/

Then I think I will end this with Jesus & Raptor vs Xenu

http://jesusvsxenu.ytmnd.com/

And a lego Jesus

http://legojesus.ytmnd.com/

Hope I didn't waste to much of your time....


PS: Please kill Richard Mullins for me


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 16, 2006, 01:41:14 am
In some Hannibal movie Dr. Lector hangs a guy, but slits his belly first so the guts fall out as the rope yanks him in the fall. Quite a drop though, and hard to do on your own.

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/
Funny site, but not always accurare. There's always the "Yeah but in ancient hebrew X can also mean ..." defence, or "...in a later passage Jesus clarifies what he REALLY meant". Regardless, the Bible is a mess, much like modern instruction manuals and DVD menus.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on August 16, 2006, 05:16:08 am
 Conflicting stories in the Bible.  I suppose this topic was inevitable.

Cain's wife.  This is really not a problem in the Bible.  It's not a conflicting idea.  Who said it was?  I mean, with the most literal interpretation possible, there was Adam, and there was Eve, and they had children, 'cause we know God told them to do that.  Nowhere in Genesis is it hinted that Cain and Abel were their only two children, or even their only sons.  More likely, they had lots of daughters, too, and the people who wrote the Bible (Ancient pre-Hebrew prophets) belonged to some strange culture that hardly recognized women at all in their histories (like Ancient pre-Hebrew culture).  So Cain's wife is most likely either:
Adam's daughter.
OR
Abel's daughter.

You might say "but that goes against everything in the Bible!"  No, it doesn't.  The commandment not to marry or sleep with one's sister or niece doesn't come until the law of MOSES, who lived somewhat after Adam.

As for Judas' conflicting story deaths, and Paul's conflicting conversion accounts, let me say that if both accounts read the exact same, I would be very suspicious of their origins.  If two witnesses have the exact same testimony of the exact same event, then either they are colluding, or someone changed one testimony to look better.  The fact that they maintain the same main point and contradict each other in the details really confirms to me that these are historical accounts, and not fiction.  Fiction writers would betray themselves in far, far different ways.

This being said, I agree that the Bible is quite messy.  I think it's a miracle we have anything at all that survives from those periods of time, and I'm quite grateful that it did.  It has made a great impact on us for the better.

Rtyp06:
Man has named Mosquitoes, tapeworms and liver flukes, has he not?  I don't see that this makes the scripture any less valid, but rather reaffirms it.

As for Job, I think it's a little easier to say that Satan doesn't understand loyalty, and needed God and Job to show him how powerful this is.  Job may have needed to go through trials in order to find out something about himself that he couldn't have known otherwise.  Remember also, the story of Job is a poetic work, and the dialogue between Satan and God is invented, as the writer wasn't there to talk about it intelligently.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 16, 2006, 05:36:07 am
You left out the other one, in which Judas falls over in a field, his guts spilling out. This is extremely painful, and to end it all, he hangs himself.

What do you think?
I think it's quite efficient as he wouldn't need to bring a rope; he could use his intestines.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 16, 2006, 05:43:35 am
The fact that they maintain the same main point and contradict each other in the details really confirms to me that these are historical accounts, and not fiction.
The main point being "Judas dies" and the details being either "Judas is killed by an act of God" or "Judas kills himself"? Funny idea of "details" you have. Some "witness' testimony", where one fails to notice spontaneous gutting and the other fails to notice him hanging on a tree. Not the kind of "details" you'd expect to be left out in anything based on reality.

As I said, always good fun when people try to reconcile conflicting stories in the Bible.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 16, 2006, 08:12:15 am
Cain's wife.  This is really not a problem in the Bible.  It's not a conflicting idea.  Who said it was?  I mean, with the most literal interpretation possible, there was Adam, and there was Eve, and they had children, 'cause we know God told them to do that.  Nowhere in Genesis is it hinted that Cain and Abel were their only two children, or even their only sons.  More likely, they had lots of daughters, too,

So please answer my question, if Adam and Eve were the only ones that ate the fruit, then howcome everyone is guilty of original sin?
If they had lots of children while living in the garden, howcome everyone was banished?

Quote
This being said, I agree that the Bible is quite messy.  I think it's a miracle we have anything at all that survives from those periods of time,

Miracle?
As a religous text that people found important, the Bible was constantly re-written, thanks to this there were hundreds of copies of it. It would be surprising if something didn't survive.
If you take into accout the amount of other fictional writings, letters and government documents that survived, which were written thousands of years ago, there is nothing surprising that something that wasn't even fully assembled until the 4'th century also survived.

Quote
and I'm quite grateful that it did.  It has made a great impact on us for the better.

Now that is a bold statement which I'd like to see backed up.
How exactly did it impact us for the better?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 16, 2006, 08:17:26 am
Quote
Now that is a bold statement which I'd like to see backed up.
How exactly did it impact us for the better?

well, for one thing it gave us a moral code, in a time where there was relative immorality ( i'm talking about pre-greece).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 16, 2006, 08:51:15 am
well, for one thing it gave us a moral code, in a time where there was relative immorality ( i'm talking about pre-greece).

O'Reily?
And who said there was a relative immorality at the time?
There were other civilizations then Greece and Rome.
Egypt would be the better known one, tough there were other empires before the Jewish people assembled into anything that resembled a nation.
They all needed a moral code to exist, because without it we're just a scattered pack of animals*.

By the way I really don't like it when people claim that any religion is a source of morality.
Most of the time your religion is a reflection of you own individual moral rules, not the other way around. Just look at the Christians that argue with one another, wheter it is ok to use a condom, to have an abortion, euthanasia.... for someone that claims they have a source of morality (often "absolute" morality, they claim) they are pretty confused.

edit:

*) Scattered pack - duh, that's a new invention.
A slight clarification: without a set of rules of some sort, we're not even a pack of animals. If you look at the animals that live in some sort of communities they all have some sort of rules, I don't think it's far-fetched to call it morality.
I think even the more lonely animals have some sort of code when interacting with other members of their species.
The exception would be swarm animals, but I don't think it's right to think of them as a group.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 16, 2006, 09:52:00 am
Quote
Now that is a bold statement which I'd like to see backed up.
How exactly did it impact us for the better?

well, for one thing it gave us a moral code, in a time where there was relative immorality ( i'm talking about pre-greece).

I think at the very least, both Chinese and Native Americans would liek to have a few words with you about that ;)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 16, 2006, 11:41:32 am
first off, i'd like to start by saying that i don't know my ancient history all that well, so any corrections will br happily accepted...

lukipela:
Quote
I think at the very least, both Chinese and Native Americans would liek to have a few words with you about that

i'm sorry to say i don't have any knowledge about their early societies, what were they like?

Vanoha:
Quote
O'Reily?
And who said there was a relative immorality at the time?
There were other civilizations then Greece and Rome.
Egypt would be the better known one, tough there were other empires before the Jewish people assembled into anything that resembled a nation.
They all needed a moral code to exist, because without it we're just a scattered pack of animals*.

By the way I really don't like it when people claim that any religion is a source of morality.
Most of the time your religion is a reflection of you own individual moral rules, not the other way around. Just look at the Christians that argue with one another, wheter it is ok to use a condom, to have an abortion, euthanasia.... for someone that claims they have a source of morality (often "absolute" morality, they claim) they are pretty confused.

i'm not sure what you meant by O'reiley?

i'll clarify: when i'm saying relative immorality, i'm talking in comparison to today's standards. you could say: any group of people who get together and agree to a comman law such as jumping up and down for an hour every morning is moral, but most people today woudn't agree to define it as moral, but as a law. and therefore i do not neccasarily equate civilization with morality.

now, as far as i understood, most of the ancient civilizations had law, but not an independant moral code, that is to say, the king could say "i hereby decree, he is a sinner!" and the sinner would die. while in judeo-christianity-islam the moral code was SUPPOSED (not often) to be separate and above the ruler. when i say relative immorality i mean that nobody is supposed to be exempt from the moral code and the moral code can't be changed simply by whim.
in addition a religion is not neccasary a source of morality,  i just think in this case it was. i would think that a constitution, a set of laws that apply to everyone and aren't changed easily would meet the same requirements and therefore would be a source of morality as well.













Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 16, 2006, 12:31:59 pm
i'm not sure what you meant by O'reiley?

It's a childish word-game.
O'Reily sounds kind of like "oh really", doesn't it?
Sorry for the cofusion.

Quote
i'll clarify: when i'm saying relative immorality, i'm talking in comparison to today's standards.

Well, in comparison to todays moral standards the Bible is one of the most horrible things written by man. Especially the old testament, (which was the only part of the Bible that was around the times when Greeks and Romans showed up, and they are much younger then Eqyptians, Babylonians, Hyppites (wrong spelling, but I'll be damned if I find how they were called properply in English)).

Quote
you could say: any group of people who get together and agree to a comman law such as jumping up and down for an hour every morning is moral, but most people today woudn't agree to define it as moral, but as a law. and therefore i do not neccasarily equate civilization with morality.

Yes but laws come from our ideas of morality, or they would never be obeyed.
Would you follow a law that is immoral in your opinion?
Laws are simply an attempt to find common ground between different moralities of people in the given society.

Quote
while in judeo-christianity-islam the moral code was SUPPOSED (not often) to be separate and above the ruler.

Here lies the problem.
Everyone says morality is supposed to be above everyone and everything.
It never was, and it never will be.
Our moral codes are determined by our experiences and interactions with other life-forms. They are different with every individual. They aren't something that is beamed to you from outer space, they aren't something you read in a book.
If there is an external source of morals then why we all don't have the same moral codes. Why is it impossible to find a group of people that agreed on everything regarding morality (unless they have been heavily brainwashed to do so, I guess)?

Quote
when i say relative immorality i mean that nobody is supposed to be exempt from the moral code and the moral code can't be changed simply by whim.

So where did you get the idea morality was ever changed by someones whim?
Absolute rulers weren't as absolute as people imagine. They could decree a lot of silly things, but their subjects could only take so much before they revolted.
The rulers, no matter how powerful they were, always had to keep in mind the reaction of their people.

Quote
in addition a religion is not neccasary a source of morality,  i just think in this case it was.

No it wasn't.
If there was no morality before this particular religion (at least in the region where it was born), the who do you think wrote the great book of rules in the first place, and how was it possible if that individual or group thereof lacked any kind of morality?

Not only that if you look at the history of Christian morality, you will see how much it changed over the years.

Back in the day slavery was OK, women were treated as inferior (by some Christians, they still are), these are the things that you can find directly in the Bible, there is no room for misinterpretation.

How in the world can this kind of moral code have the same source as the morality you follow now?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 16, 2006, 05:50:08 pm
Quote from: www.seek-info.com/adam.htm
After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he begot sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died (Gen. 5:4,5).

Adam was 130 years old at the time of Seth's birth. It was during the remaining 800 years of Adam's life that he had other children. Mr. Jones is claiming this reproduction of sons and daughters happened "after Cain and before Seth." This is a blatant distortion of what Scripture says on the matter. Mr. Jones is apparently trying to take the events of "F" and "G" on the Adamic time line, and move them over to just after "C" on the time line. 

__ A________B________C_______D_________E_________F___________G_

Adam       Expulsion      Cain           Cain               Seth        Adam's other      Grand
 created      from Eden     born        kills Abel           born           Children         Children
  Gen. 2:7    Gen. 3:23     Gen. 4:1    Gen. 4:8       Gen. 4:25       Gen. 5:4      Gen. 5:6-9
 
Scripture tells us that Adam and Eve had no other children when Cain killed Abel. So who were the people Cain was afraid would kill him? Where did all the people come from that made up the city Cain established? The Christian humanists cannot explain these Biblical facts.

The defence here is that A&E had sons and daughters before Seth (E), but only Seth is mentioned by the Bible as he was a replacement for Abel, who Cain had killed, and thus of some kind of special importance.


Edit: Seems the same sentence structures is used many times:

Quote
Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh.

7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters.

8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.

9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan.

10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters.

11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.

It seems like there's a lot of male firstborns, or daughters are ignored, or anyone of no importance are ignored. Having a firstborn after like a hundred years? Seems odd. The correct sentence structure for the bible to make any sense would be:

Bob lived to be 948 years. During that time he had many children. At the age of 92 he had a son of special importance which he named Stevie.

and not as it seems:

At the age of 92 Bob had a son which he named Stevie, then he lived for another 856 years and had tons of more kids.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on August 16, 2006, 07:07:48 pm
Heh.  That got everybody all riled up.  You should see yourselves.

Quote
The main point being "Judas dies" and the details being either "Judas is killed by an act of God" or "Judas kills himself"? Funny idea of "details" you have. Some "witness' testimony", where one fails to notice spontaneous gutting and the other fails to notice him hanging on a tree. Not the kind of "details" you'd expect to be left out in anything based on reality.

As I said, always good fun when people try to reconcile conflicting stories in the Bible.
No, the main point is "Judas kills himself."  The details are how he died.  This is also exactly what I would expect from two people who are compiling the testimonies of multiple people years after the fact.  Now, if they had both been present, I would expect the contradicting details to be smaller, but they weren't present.  Neither of those authors, unless I am mistaken, saw what happened with their own eyes.

Now, this is the sort of contradiction that I would not expect of a fiction writer.  I know, I write fiction.  Fiction writers would loudly point out the differences between their world and ours, and explain lots of things that their audience wouldn't understand.  There's a lot of explanations missing from the Bible.

Quote
I think at the very least, both Chinese and Native Americans would like to have a few words with you about that
The Chinese were responsible for history's worst book-burning and have slaughtered their own intellectual class at least twice in the past two thousand years.  And the Native Americans (those few groups who were not barbarians) had their own chats with God.  Granted, they since misinterpreted the whole "broken heart and contrite spirit" thing to mean human sacrifice, and that's when their civilization went into decline.

Quote
By the way I really don't like it when people claim that any religion is a source of morality.
Most of the time your religion is a reflection of you own individual moral rules, not the other way around. Just look at the Christians that argue with one another, wheter it is ok to use a condom, to have an abortion, euthanasia.... for someone that claims they have a source of morality (often "absolute" morality, they claim) they are pretty confused.
Religion may not be a source of morality for some people, but a strong religion like Christianity or Judaisim is essential to preventing moral decay.  You talked about the Romans, the Greeks, etc.  All right, what happened to those groups?  They became decadent, they decided that chastity wasn't important anymore, and they fell.  Coincidence?  I can't make you think like I do, but I don't believe in coincidences anymore.

Arne: Thank you, that was rather what I was getting at.

Quote
So please answer my question, if Adam and Eve were the only ones that ate the fruit, then howcome everyone is guilty of original sin?
If they had lots of children while living in the garden, howcome everyone was banished?
They didn't have any children in the garden.  They couldn't, until they partook of the fruit.  Before that they were innocent, knowing no good, no evil, and, like children, not knowing how to reproduce.  Pretty boring life.  When they did partake of the fruit (after some undetermined period of time in the garden), they started having kids.  These kids were subject to the same laws that Adam and Eve were after the fall, not the laws that governed them in the garden.  They were born mortal, but knew good from evil and could decide between the two.

God can't make anything imperfect.  But in order to progress, we needed to know what evil was, what pain was, what sorrow and remorse were.  That way we could also find goodness, pleasure, happiness and joy.  Think of a rich man who doesn't want to have his kids grow up all spoiled, so he kicks them out of his house at a young age, and arranges for them to live much more poorly.  When they grow up, if they're worthy, he'll gladly let them back in, and, having known what it's like to be poor, they'll appreciate it.  Of course, a just God can't kick his kids out for no reason, so they had to disobey him.  What's even worse, is that a good and just God can't entice anyone to do wrong, because then he'd be inconsistent, and that would REALLY confuse us.  So, the sequence in Genesis happened.

Quote
Miracle?
As a religous text that people found important, the Bible was constantly re-written, thanks to this there were hundreds of copies of it. It would be surprising if something didn't survive.
If you take into accout the amount of other fictional writings, letters and government documents that survived, which were written thousands of years ago, there is nothing surprising that something that wasn't even fully assembled until the 4'th century also survived.
I mean it's amazing that so many of the books that now form the Bible survived until the 4th century.  They were only important to a very small group of people that nobody really liked (the Jews) until the Christians came around.  Then there were two of these groups that nobody really liked.  I'm also surprised at how accurately those 4th century bishops discerned between false books and real ones, but that's another topic that I don't feel like getting into right now.

Quote
Well, in comparison to todays moral standards the Bible is one of the most horrible things written by man. Especially the old testament, (which was the only part of the Bible that was around the times when Greeks and Romans showed up, and they are much younger then Eqyptians, Babylonians, Hyppites (wrong spelling, but I'll be damned if I find how they were called properply in English)).
Yeah, 'cause the Greeks and Romans wrote about flowers and butterflies and rainbows and sunshine.  And it's Hittites and properly.  ;)
You're just talking about the narrative anyway.  Did you even read any of the prophecy bits?  Or any of the law of Moses?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 16, 2006, 07:48:48 pm
I'd argue that the Bible is well written, but only in terms of being a successfull meme (cultural gene). It's very aggressive against competing memes and spreads efficiently. Because it's also vague it can be made to appeal to anyone. There's plenty of 'cherries' to pick for: good people, soccermums, vapid celebrities, torturers, anti-semitites, anti-gays, warmongers, you name it. There's an action-justifying passage of 'wisdom' for everyone. That's why it's so powerful.

Very old cultures didn't have book printing to their favour. If a maya parchment was burned by say... catholics, it was lost forever. Christianity (and most religions) spreads the most effiently through morally despicable means, make no mistake.




Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 16, 2006, 08:19:56 pm
Heh.  That got everybody all riled up.  You should see yourselves.

And you should listen to yourself... you frighten me, mate.

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The Chinese were responsible for history's worst book-burning and have slaughtered their own intellectual class at least twice in the past two thousand years.

It's a very interesting accusation, from a one that is trying to defend Christianty.

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And the Native Americans (those few groups who were not barbarians) had their own chats with God.  Granted, they since misinterpreted the whole "broken heart and contrite spirit" thing to mean human sacrifice, and that's when their civilization went into decline.

And you are as arrogant to belive that they worshipped the same god you do, and it is only thanks to this that they build a succesful civilization.
You think that your religion is a pre-requisite for a suucesful society, while it could easily be argued that their succeses weren't of their own making, but stolen from others... scary.

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Religion may not be a source of morality for some people, but a strong religion like Christianity or Judaisim is essential to preventing moral decay.

Moral decay?
As in burning heretics and witches? Prohibitng people from finding out how the world works by death threats? Holy wars? Violating the most private aspects of people's lifes?
That kind of moral decay?

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You talked about the Romans, the Greeks, etc.  All right, what happened to those groups?  They became decadent, they decided that chastity wasn't important anymore, and they fell.  Coincidence?  I can't make you think like I do, but I don't believe in coincidences anymore.

Which history books are you reading?
The Greeks were conquered by the Romans and the Romans fell after they were divided by Christianity.
Coincidence? Surely by your line of thinking Christianity is to blame, not  stagnation, both technological and economic, that  made the empire unable to sustain itself, and territories too big the maintain by their scattered legions.



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They didn't have any children in the garden.  They couldn't, until they partook of the fruit. Before that they were innocent, knowing no good, no evil, and, like children, not knowing how to reproduce.

Didn't god command them (and every single living thing) to reproduce?
Not that god never gave orders that were impossible to accomplish... like for example - how in the world were Adam and Eve supposed to know that it's wrong to eat the fruit, before they had knowledge of good and evil.

And what exactly is it with Christian's obsession with sex?
What is so 'innocent' about virginity? I never could understand this.

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God can't make anything imperfect.

Then he's not really omnipotent, is he?
Besides, thw hole Eden setup was far from perfect:

Let's see I'll put these 2 humans here and this tree over there.
I'll tell the humans it's wrong to eat from the tree, even tough they don't know what right or wrong is.
Oh and just for fun I'll put this serpant with a silver tongue, and a somewhat original sense of humour right next to the tree.
Gee... I wonder what will happen.

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But in order to progress, we needed to know what evil was, what pain was, what sorrow and remorse were.  That way we could also find goodness, pleasure, happiness and joy.

So why bother with the garden and everthing, and create everything as it is?
Keep in mind your "god can't create anything imperfect" argument just fell.

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I mean it's amazing that so many of the books that now form the Bible survived until the 4th century.  They were only important to a very small group of people that nobody really liked (the Jews) until the Christians came around.  Then there were two of these groups that nobody really liked.

So I guess it's an equal miracle that we know of the religions of Egyptians and Babylonians as well. Bah! We know of the beliefs of ancient barbaric tribes, and they had no paper or the ability to write everything down, that must be a miracle!

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I'm also surprised at how accurately those 4th century bishops discerned between false books and real ones, but that's another topic that I don't feel like getting into right now.

 :o
Oh please by all means do, I wonder what you can come up with about this.
Had it ever occured to you that you think they are the "real" ones only because these people decided that they are, and this belief was forced on countless people (including you)  from the cradle?

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Yeah, 'cause the Greeks and Romans wrote about flowers and butterflies and rainbows and sunshine.

Never said that.
But I also never claimed that the Greek and Roman writings are the source of Absolute Morality™.
[edit]That is why I find the Bible so horrible. To put such atrocieties in a book is one thing, I really have nothing against that, but to have the guts to claim these atrocieties are a source of morality... there are no words for such hypocrisy.[/edit]


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And it's Hittites and properly.  ;)

Ah.. thanks ;)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 16, 2006, 11:11:52 pm
Vanoha:

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Well, in comparison to today's moral standards the Bible is one of the most horrible things written by man.

you won't find any disagreements here. however, that was not my point, my point was that it was a step up from we had before, i.e. those two ideas i mentioned (a moral code that applies to everyone, a code that is not easily changed)

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Yes but laws come from our ideas of morality, or they would never be obeyed.
Would you follow a law that is immoral in your opinion?
Laws are simply an attempt to find common ground between different moralities of people in the given society.

agreed. however, i did define relative immorality in comparison to our standards.

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Here lies the problem.
Everyone says morality is supposed to be above everyone and everything.
It never was, and it never will be.
agreed once again, but it still shouldn't be something that can be changed on a drop of a dime. if you believe that your king is the son of god or has a mandate from heaven, you will agree to many things that we would find today immoral. And then you get a totally fluid moral code (the king is right...)

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If there is an external source of morals then why we all don't have the same moral codes. Why is it impossible to find a group of people that agreed on everything regarding morality (unless they have been heavily brainwashed to do so, I guess)?

don't you think they agree on the most important things at least? :everyone should be subject to the law, thou shalt not kill, and so on? in my opinion the things that are in dispute are USUALLY minor things.

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So where did you get the idea morality was ever changed by someone's whim?
Absolute rulers weren't as absolute as people imagine. They could decree a lot of silly things, but their subjects could only take so much before they revolted.
The rulers, no matter how powerful they were, always had to keep in mind the reaction of their people.

well it depends on the culture, if the king simply was from the strongest clan, then you are right. even then however as long as he was careful where he trod he could get away with most things....
on the other hand if he was the son of god / god he much more close to being unstoppable.

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No it wasn't.
If there was no morality before this particular religion (at least in the region where it was born), the who do you think wrote the great book of rules in the first place, and how was it possible if that individual or group thereof lacked any kind of morality?

i think that's a strange way of looking at it. how come people came to believe the earth revolves around the sun before galileo? ( i may be wrong, but, but it's the principle) he started something and it changed the world. in this case as well there was some unknown catalyst which started it. (i think - be it man god or something else (the airilou perhaps  ;)))

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Not only that if you look at the history of Christian morality, you will see how much it changed over the years.

Back in the day slavery was OK, women were treated as inferior (by some Christians, they still are), these are the things that you can find directly in the Bible, there is no room for misinterpretation.

How in the world can this kind of moral code have the same source as the morality you follow now?

the appearance of those three religions was a step upwards. by no means was it the last step.







Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on August 16, 2006, 11:27:45 pm
And you should listen to yourself... you frighten me, mate.
People are always afraid of what they don't understand... ;)

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It's a very interesting accusation, from a one that is trying to defend Christianty.
It's not an accusation, it is an observation.  Have you ever heard of Mao Tse-tung?  Guy wrote the book on "How to SCREW Your Country's Economy and Set Their Technology Back by About a Thousand Years."  Are you familiar with the Qin Dynasty?  They got into power around the turn of the second century A.D.  About 190 I think.  They burned not only Confucian and Daoist books but also the Confucians and Daoists.  Mao got some of his worst ideas from these guys, calling themselves the "legalists."  It took China about a thousand years to partially recover from this attack.  They achieved quite a bit of dominance around 16c, but lost it due to their own reclusiveness, which the evangelical attitude of Christianity would have diffused, had they been Christian.

Am I trying to prove that Christianity is true?  Heck no.  I'm proving that it is very successful and that it makes cultures and nations who adhere to it successful.  Give me some counter-examples if you don't like my proof.  What are some nations that got successful without Christianity or at least Judaism at their heart?  Japan?  Japan was bunch of fragmented, feudal, warring clans until they were contacted by the Christian world.  Then, they copied Germany and the UK, and later got boosted by the U.S. after WWII.  Much of their success they owe to Christian nations.  Korea?  Korea was pretty successful at staying right where it was, but again, it became a major player more by contact with Christian nations than anything else.  The Aztecs?  They couldn't stand up to Spain.  Sub-Saharan Africa?  You mean the guys who sold their brethren as slaves to the Westerners?  Yeah, they did well up through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  How about some nations that stuck with Christianity, and now are doing poorly?  Russia?  Russia was doing fine until guys like Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin tanked the economy and chased off the Christians.  Ummm... Latin America?  Latin America didn't really convert because they believed in any sort of Christianity, they converted because they didn't want the Spanish to kill them.  And they're really starting to pick up, too.

Remember, in order for my point to be valid, it doesn't have to hold true with every single culture on earth.  It has to hold true with a lot of them.  There has to be a significant relationship, that's all.  Look at the list of first-world countries.  Which ones are Christian?  Which ones aren't?

I'm also trying to say that the Bible is way more consistent than what people think.  But no one's listening or talking intelligently to me about that because they haven't actually looked at it objectively.  That's okay.

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And you are as arrogant to belive that they worshipped the same god you do, and it is only thanks to this that they build a succesful civilization.
You think that your religion is a pre-requisite for a suucesful society, while it could easily be argued that their succeses weren't of their own making, but stolen from others... scary.
I never said that.  I know for a fact that it helps (U.S. history alone proves it), but I never claimed that it is necessary to be Christian in order to have a successful society.  I believe the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Mayans worshipped the same God I do not because of their success, but for dozens of other reasons that I really can't share without a long, boring lecture on Mesoamerican history.  Suffice it to say that I believe they did worship the same God, and when they apostacized from the commandments, they fell into a Dark Age.  Hmm... where have we seen this before?  Europe, maybe?

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Moral decay?
As in burning heretics and witches? Prohibitng people from finding out how the world works by death threats? Holy wars? Violating the most private aspects of people's lifes?
That kind of moral decay?
Yup.  That kind.  It would have gotten a lot worse, too, had Christianity not had a "back to it's roots" revival.  Have you ever heard of names like Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Calvin or Erasmus?  You owe them for the society you live in.  Big time.  Show a little gratitude.

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Which history books are you reading?
The Greeks were conquered by the Romans and the Romans fell after they were divided by Christianity.
Coincidence? Surely by your line of thinking Christianity is to blame, not  stagnation, both technological and economic, that  made the empire unable to sustain itself, and territories too big the maintain by their scattered legions.
The Romans were not divided by Christianity.  They would have had to really believe in Christianity for this to be the case.  They were divided by Constantine.  The point I was making is the one you have completely passed over.  The moral decay of these people was precisely WHY they stagnanted economically and technologically.  When people are placated by fornication and decadence, they tend to place less emphasis on important things like working and defending their realms against gobs of invading Goths and Vandals.  Yes, the stagnation killed the Empire.  But what caused the stagnation?  I firmly believe that it was heavy moral decay, combined with apathy and complacency.

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Didn't god command them (and every single living thing) to reproduce?
Not that god never gave orders that were impossible to accomplish... like for example - how in the world were Adam and Eve supposed to know that it's wrong to eat the fruit, before they had knowledge of good and evil.  And what exactly is it with Christian's obsession with sex?
What is so 'innocent' about virginity? I never could understand this.
God gave Adam and Eve a CHOICE.  He's all about choices.  The choice was to either reproduce, or not partake of the fruit.  A very simple, yet elegant choice.  It's amazing, when you think about it.  Even if you think it came from the mind of some ancient hebrew storyteller.  A&E, BTW, were not supposed to know it was wrong to eat the fruit, but that God had told them not to.  There's a difference, in this case.


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Then he's not really omnipotent, is he?
I believe that omnipotence is defined as "being able to do anything that you want to do."  In this sense, God is omnipotent.  He can do anything He wills to do.  He can't lie or cheat or steal or make imperfect things, not in the same way I am incapable of flight (that is, lacking the ability), but rather in the same way that I am incapable of participating in a State Lottery (that is, it goes against my nature so much that I will never do it).  I also believe that it is God's obedience to higher laws that GRANTS Him such power.  If you want an example of that, please try to imagine an engineer who ignores or defies the theory of gravity.  He isn't nearly as powerful as the engineer who accepts gravity.

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Besides, thw hole Eden setup was far from perfect:

Let's see I'll put these 2 humans here and this tree over there.
I'll tell the humans it's wrong to eat from the tree, even tough they don't know what right or wrong is.
Oh and just for fun I'll put this serpent with a silver tongue, and a somewhat original sense of humour right next to the tree.
Gee... I wonder what will happen.
What, you don't think God knew what would happen?  He's smarter than you give credit.  And the situation perfectly accomplished what it was supposed to.  I don't see why you're whining.

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So why bother with the garden and everthing, and create everything as it is?
Keep in mind your "god can't create anything imperfect" argument just fell.
How did it fall?  God can't create things that are imperfect, but He DID create things that could EVOLVE into an imperfect state.  Where's the hole?

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So I guess it's an equal miracle that we know of the religions of Egyptians and Babylonians as well. Bah! We know of the beliefs of ancient barbaric tribes, and they had no paper or the ability to write everything down, that must be a miracle!
Actually, we know very little of the beliefs of those groups at that time.  Very precious little.  The Hebrew record is by far the most complete.  Also, the Hebrews were not comparable to the Egyptians.  They were much more comparable to, say, the Hittites, or the Moabites, or the Canaanites.


quote] :o
Oh please by all means do, I wonder what you can come up with about this.
Had it ever occured to you that you think they are the "real" ones only because these people decided that they are, and this belief was forced on countless people (including you)  from the cradle?[/quote]
Has the thought crossed your mind that I might be capable of independant research?  Just asking.

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Never said that.
But I also never claimed that the Greek and Roman writings are the source of Absolute Morality™.
[edit]That is why I find the Bible so horrible. To put such atrocieties in a book is one thing, I really have nothing against that, but to have the guts to claim these atrocieties are a source of morality... there are no words for such hypocrisy.[/edit]
The Book of Genesis is narrative.  Narrative means that it's just trying to tell us what happened.  As far as they know, that's what happened.  It's not saying "Do this!" or "This is a good idea!"  In fact, books like Judges were written to show Israel how far they had fallen, and to call them back to repentance.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 16, 2006, 11:57:55 pm
Vanoha:

Hm... now I'm confused :)
Do you mind explaining how did you arrive at this modification of my nickname?

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you won't find any disagreements here. however, that was not my point, my point was that it was a step up from we had before, i.e. those two ideas i mentioned (a moral code that applies to everyone, a code that is not easily changed)

Ok, but then you have to prove that before Judaism/Christianity moral codes actally were so prone to change and selectiviely applied.
It happened in one place but it didn't in another.

I think part of the diagreement may lie in the way you worded your original answer.
"It gave us a moral code"

Who do you mean by "us". Europeans? Well, we arrived at a quite nice moral code before Judaism even had the chance of reaching us and Christianity didn't even exist.
Do you mean mankind? If so, I suupose I could agree, but it could only be true in a small irrelevant part of the world.
The rest of the world discovered their moral codes independently, so saying things like "it gave us a moral code" is not really accurate, is it?

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agreed once again, but it still shouldn't be something that can be changed on a drop of a dime. if you believe that your king is the son of god or has a mandate from heaven, you will agree to many things that we would find today immoral. And then you get a totally fluid moral code (the king is right...)

OK again, but now you have to prove that things actually were different under Christianity.
Emperors of Rome claimed they have regular chats with god himself, so what they said was automatically holy. Pretty much the same as your scenario with the god-king.

In such a case saying "it gave us a moral code" is wrong because it didn't. Nothing has really changed.

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don't you think they agree on the most important things at least? :everyone should be subject to the law, thou shalt not kill, and so on? in my opinion the things that are in dispute are USUALLY minor things.

Well... yes and no.
You covered yourself with "usually" so there's no point in giving specific examples.
But the point is those moral codes bare some similarity because the things you (and most people) consider important are the ones that are critical for a stable functioning of a society.
For example, without at least a basic inhibition of killing people would scatter and the socety would die.

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i think that's a strange way of looking at it. how come people came to believe the earth revolves around the sun before galileo? ( i may be wrong, but, but it's the principle)

Copernicus, actually.
Sorry but that's my pseudo-patriotism talking through me. ;)
Tough truth be told some Greek philosophers got it more or less right in their time.

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he started something and it changed the world. in this case as well there was some unknown catalyst which started it. (i think - be it man god or something else (the airilou perhaps  ;)))

Ok, you're right, I did turn things upside-down a little, but I wasn't sure where you're comming from.
Anyway, my main point is that if you want to say that the Bible gave us moral rules you have to show that:
a) To moral code "we" had was inferior before the Bible.
b) The Bible was the thing that changed the moral code.
c) It couldn't change if it wasn't for the Bible.

a) is quite problematic.
b) is damn impossible to prove because it's pretty hard to tell if the Bible changed the morality, or was the writing of the Bible a symptom of an already changed moral code
c) pretty much speaks against your theory as there was a great number of civilizations that reached the moral level of the Bible (and sometimes above) without it's help.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 17, 2006, 04:05:47 am
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Rtyp06:
Man has named Mosquitoes, tapeworms and liver flukes, has he not?  I don't see that this makes the scripture any less valid, but rather reaffirms it.

But why would god make those animals? What is the purpose? Why would he make skin bacteria (Leprosy )as a scourge on mankind before they had antibiotics? Then instruct moses in the book of Leviticus to sacrifice animals in order to cure men from leprosy? Why didn't god tell him how to culture penicilin instead?

And if all animals ate plants and were instructed by god not to kill (until man's sin) why is the complete animal kingdom made up of prey / preadtor relationships? Did sharks really feed off seaweed? Did lions eat flowers as a dietary staple?

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As for Job, I think it's a little easier to say that Satan doesn't understand loyalty, and needed God and Job to show him how powerful this is.  Job may have needed to go through trials in order to find out something about himself that he couldn't have known otherwise.  Remember also, the story of Job is a poetic work, and the dialogue between Satan and God is invented, as the writer wasn't there to talk about it intelligently.

Again, why? Why would god need to show satan... anything? If god loved Job why would he allow such horrible things? Would you allow sombody to abuse your Dog to prove a point of loyalty? Or does god not love Job, his faithful servant, as much as I care for my pets?

There are so many WHY questions in the bible it becomes almost absurd..

Why did it take an omnipotent being six days, (or any amount of time at all) to create the heavens and earth?

Why did god need to destroy life with a world wide flood which achieved absolutely nothing? Are there not just as many wicked people today as in Noah's day? And wouldn't god know ahead of time that he would have to eventually kill everyone and then allow the earth to repopulate? Why not just do it right the first time?

When Noah landed on mt. aararat did god really put his "hunting bow" into the clouds (rainbow) as a covenant to man, assuring that he will never destroy the earth again? Why would he put his hunting bow into the clouds? Is god not going to hunt ever again?

Why would god, capable of designing DNA and every creature on earth, ever need to have animals sacrificed to him? The book of leviticus is completetly about the lord's instructions on how to prepare animal sacrifices from many different species of animals for various sins and ailments.. I know that Leviticus is old testament and that Jesus is supposed to eliminate all need for animal sacrifice, but why would god ever need it for atonement of sin in the first place?

Perhaps we are looking at ancient mythic text, written by many fallible human authors who all contributed thier own spin on god rather than god's absolute word to us?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 17, 2006, 04:41:22 am
I'll add a few:

Why does God care whether people believe in him or not?

Why didn't God make it so that the bible was unambiguous?

Why does God punish the descendants of people he disagrees with?

Why did God make people so terribly flawed?

Why don't demons possess people anymore like they did in the Bible?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 06:55:42 am
Ivan Ivanov:

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Vanoha:

Hm... now I'm confused
Do you mind explaining how did you arrive at this modification of my nickname?


well my russian friends explained that ivan is usually shortened (although it isn't really shorter... ) to Vanoha, Vladimir to Vova, Alexander to Sasha and so on and so forth. i can stop however, if you don't like it  :(

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Ok, but then you have to prove that before Judaism/Christianity moral codes actally were so prone to change and selectiviely applied.

if you equate a civilization with morality and claim that the laws it states originate in their idea of morality and the king makes the rules and is exempt from them then you lack the concept that judeo-christianity-islam (you know what, from now on , i'll simply refer to them as JCI, it'll shorten things a bit...  ;)) introduced - a widely accpeted code which isn't easily accesible to kings and therefore not easily changed that applies to everyone including the kings themselves.

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It happened in one place but it didn't in another.

what happened where, i lost you a bit...

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I think part of the diagreement may lie in the way you worded your original answer.
"It gave us a moral code"

you are right, i did word myself a tad unclear, ill reprhase: it gave us an important modification to existing moral codes on the way to ours which wasn't to be found up until then.

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Who do you mean by "us". Europeans? Well, we arrived at a quite nice moral code before Judaism even had the chance of reaching us and Christianity didn't even exist.
Do you mean mankind? If so, I suupose I could agree, but it could only be true in a small irrelevant part of the world.
The rest of the world discovered their moral codes independently, so saying things like "it gave us a moral code" is not really accurate, is it?

like i said in the beggining, ancient history is not my forte... however, were those two ideas independantly evolved elsewhere in the world? to the best of my knowledge they were not.
in addition notice that i'm not neccasarily saying that those ideas were implemented then and there but rather that JCI conceived of those ideas and with time they were gradually implemented



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 17, 2006, 08:38:15 am
People are always afraid of what they don't understand... ;)

What scares me at this stage is actually your nonexistant understanding, rather than mine.

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It's not an accusation, it is an observation.  Have you ever heard of Mao Tse-tung?  Guy wrote the book on "How to SCREW Your Country's Economy and Set Their Technology Back by About a Thousand Years."  Are you familiar with the Qin Dynasty?  They got into power around the turn of the second century A.D.  About 190 I think.  They burned not only Confucian and Daoist books but also the Confucians and Daoists.  Mao got some of his worst ideas from these guys, calling themselves the "legalists."  It took China about a thousand years to partially recover from this attack. 

And as an observation, it is totally correct. I'm not sure how "the chinese did some bad things" is supposed to prove the inherit superiority of christianity though. I mean, sure, if you could follow up with ".. while christians did not.", you'd be on firmer ground. But you're not.

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They achieved quite a bit of dominance around 16c, but lost it due to their own reclusiveness, which the evangelical attitude of Christianity would have diffused, had they been Christian.

Out of curiosity, how can you be sure of this?

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I'm proving that it is very successful and that it makes cultures and nations who adhere to it successful.  Give me some counter-examples if you don't like my proof.  What are some nations that got successful without Christianity or at least Judaism at their heart?  Japan?  Japan was bunch of fragmented, feudal, warring clans until they were contacted by the Christian world.  Then, they copied Germany and the UK, and later got boosted by the U.S. after WWII.  Much of their success they owe to Christian nations.  Korea?  Korea was pretty successful at staying right where it was, but again, it became a major player more by contact with Christian nations than anything else.  The Aztecs?  They couldn't stand up to Spain.  Sub-Saharan Africa?  You mean the guys who sold their brethren as slaves to the Westerners?  Yeah, they did well up through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

What you're doing here is looking at a lot of successful countries, and deciding that one factor they have in common is what made them superior to everyone else. If you're interested in the subject of why the christian countries of europe were so successful in defeating their neighbours and exporting their influence and beliefs, I'd recommend taking a look at this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393317552/sr=1-1/qid=1155795215/ref=sr_1_1/102-1280935-6228117?ie=UTF8&s=books). The factors that enabled europeans to conquer and convert the rest of the world were present long before christianity made it's appearance, and very probably any aggressive religion would have served them equally well.

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How about some nations that stuck with Christianity, and now are doing poorly?  Russia?  Russia was doing fine until guys like Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin tanked the economy and chased off the Christians.

Er.. what? The Russian tsardom was working horrifyingly badly at any rate. They had a weak tsar, and internal strife. It's not like if a modern day US suddenly and without warning dismantled religion and democracy.

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Ummm... Latin America?  Latin America didn't really convert because they believed in any sort of Christianity, they converted because they didn't want the Spanish to kill them.  And they're really starting to pick up, too.

Latin America was largely wiped out by the spanish. After that kind of population and cultural loss, it'd take any country a long time to get back ont heir feet.

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Remember, in order for my point to be valid, it doesn't have to hold true with every single culture on earth.  It has to hold true with a lot of them.  There has to be a significant relationship, that's all.  Look at the list of first-world countries.  Which ones are Christian?  Which ones aren't?

No, in order for your point to hold true, there has to be some sort of evidence that it was the christianity that gave them these advantages. Otherwise you're just playing with statistics. For example, if I have 10 cubes that are made out of different  hard materials (steel, iron, diamond and so forth) and paint them all grey, I could similarly claim that all grey cubes are hard, and that the grey colour must thus make them hard.

In an analog fashion, I could even claim that almost every successful culture on earth has had a lot of contact with white europeans, and that this thus proves that no country can be succesful without the help of white europeans. Thus white europeans must be superior to any other race. Go white power!

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I'm also trying to say that the Bible is way more consistent than what people think.  But no one's listening or talking intelligently to me about that because they haven't actually looked at it objectively.  That's okay.

I'm glad that you are objective enough to decide that noone else is. Especially since you are fairly clearly taking sides on the issue.

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I never said that.  I know for a fact that it helps (U.S. history alone proves it), but I never claimed that it is necessary to be Christian in order to have a successful society.  I believe the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Mayans worshipped the same God I do not because of their success, but for dozens of other reasons that I really can't share without a long, boring lecture on Mesoamerican history.  Suffice it to say that I believe they did worship the same God, and when they apostacized from the commandments, they fell into a Dark Age.  Hmm... where have we seen this before?  Europe, maybe?

Can you provide any sort of references to this mesoamerican dark age? It soudns quite interesting, though I've never heard of it. I'm also confused about the "successful culture" part. Originally, you seemed to be making the point that chrisianity has made our culture as successful as it is. Now you're making the point that other religion may serve equally well.  This seems illogical.

Quote
Yup.  That kind.  It would have gotten a lot worse, too, had Christianity not had a "back to it's roots" revival.  Have you ever heard of names like Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Calvin or Erasmus?  You owe them for the society you live in.  Big time.  Show a little gratitude.

So it's alright for christianity to be barbaric,and then bounce bask, but not for other religions/cultures such as the Chinese?

Quote
The Romans were not divided by Christianity.  They would have had to really believe in Christianity for this to be the case.  They were divided by Constantine.  The point I was making is the one you have completely passed over.  The moral decay of these people was precisely WHY they stagnanted economically and technologically.  When people are placated by fornication and decadence, they tend to place less emphasis on important things like working and defending their realms against gobs of invading Goths and Vandals.  Yes, the stagnation killed the Empire.

I'm glad too see you skipped his point about greece altogether. Also, don't you think it might have anything to do with the decay of the roman empire that they were.

1. Basing their model of economics on expansion of their empire, something that became impossible as the empire grew.
2. In their later years under severe pressure from large groups of nomads that had left asia.
3. Using lead pipes for their water system. :)

Quote
But what caused the stagnation?  I firmly believe that it was heavy moral decay, combined with apathy and complacency.

I think "I firmly believe" are the key words here. Unless that you can present some sort of reference that states that the ONLY reason the roman empire fell was their moral decay, that really only is your opinion. A tale about how the soldiers were having homosexual intercourse instead of fighting the enemy at the gates would be acceptable.

Quote
God gave Adam and Eve a CHOICE.  He's all about choices.  The choice was to either reproduce, or not partake of the fruit.  A very simple, yet elegant choice.  It's amazing, when you think about it.

So explain to me what choice his followers, supposedly following his commandment gave the rest of the world when they conquered them and forced them to convert.

Quote
Has the thought crossed your mind that I might be capable of independant research?  Just asking.

I notice you'tre not actually answering the question. But tell me, how did you determine, through your own research, which books that were real and which were false? Have you actually read all the books from that time period, and used some method to find out which are really the word of god, and which are just the opinions of some writer. And if you've really done this, and drawn the conclusion that exactly the right books were chosen, why haven't you published  a paper on this? It is an enormous amount of research to undertake after all, surely the rest of the world could benefit from it.

To finish this off, I'd like to state that I'm only critical to Lance's opinions here, and not to the christian faith as a whole. I believe that christianity, as any religion can be a unifying force, and bring forth much good. Of course, in the wrong hands it can equally well bring forth darkness. I simply don't agree with the premise that christianity in specific is responsible for our culture being as stable as it is. If nothing else, the dark ages, with their strong religious presence and total lack of any progress are a clear indication of this.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 10:29:24 am
Bah, Lukipela spoiled my fun.
If I replied to you, Lance, I'd be only repeating what he said, but I guess there's something left for me.

Yup.  That kind.  It would have gotten a lot worse, too, had Christianity not had a "back to it's roots" revival.  Have you ever heard of names like Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Calvin or Erasmus?  You owe them for the society you live in.  Big time.  Show a little gratitude.

The same Luther that spent a good deal of his time writing anti-semitic rants?
The same Calvin responsible for the murder of Servetus?

Quote
God gave Adam and Eve a CHOICE.  He's all about choices.  The choice was to either reproduce, or not partake of the fruit.

You are directly contradicting your own holy book here.
They were commanded to reproduce regardless of partaking the fruit:

Quote
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Quote
A very simple, yet elegant choice.  It's amazing, when you think about it.  Even if you think it came from the mind of some ancient hebrew storyteller.

Not really  :-\
I see nothing elegant nor amazing about it, care to explain?

Quote
A&E, BTW, were not supposed to know it was wrong to eat the fruit, but that God had told them not to.  There's a difference, in this case.

So their disobedience could not be a sin, since they didn't know it was wrong.
They were warned of the concequences of their actions, but the warning was formed in a way they couldn't understand (not to mention it wasn't entirely true either).


Quote
If you want an example of that, please try to imagine an engineer who ignores or defies the theory of gravity.  He isn't nearly as powerful as the engineer who accepts gravity.

That is a really poor example, as I can't imagine what you can mean by "powerful" when referring to an engineer.
Is the power of the engineer meassured by the things he is able to construct, then the gravity defying one is clearly the more 'powerful'

Quote
What, you don't think God knew what would happen?  He's smarter than you give credit.  And the situation perfectly accomplished what it was supposed to.  I don't see why you're whining.

So why bother with the garden and everthing, and create everything as it is?
Keep in mind your "god can't create anything imperfect" argument just fell.
How did it fall?  God can't create things that are imperfect, but He DID create things that could EVOLVE into an imperfect state.  Where's the hole?

Exactly this.
That in time it can become imperfect.
There really is no difference between creating something imperfect and creating something that you KNOW will become imperfect.
The latter, actually, would be a cowardly attempt to avert responsibility.

Quote
Has the thought crossed your mind that I might be capable of independant research?  Just asking.

Indeed I see you are capable of research, but at the same time you aren't.
You have already shown that you have knowledge in ancient history (and possibly other areas as well), that's why you must be capable of researching things on your own.
But at the same time, it is painfully visible that you have already arrived at your conclusion, and you do your 'research' only to find things to back it up, and ignore those that go against it.

But this is irrelevant. As Luki mentioned you didn't really answer my question, and I would also like to see your answer to his comment.

Quote
The Book of Genesis is narrative.  Narrative means that it's just trying to tell us what happened.  As far as they know, that's what happened.  It's not saying "Do this!" or "This is a good idea!"  In fact, books like Judges were written to show Israel how far they had fallen, and to call them back to repentance.

Forget the Judges, I am talking about Leviticus, where god directly tells the Jews that a man loving another man is an abomination, and should be stoned, that disobedient children should be stoned, that it's a sin to have sex with a woman during her period, that raping someone's daughter is OK as long as you provide monetary compensation  or marry her later.

Tons of commendments that today would be consider stupid or downright evil, and the book of Leviticus is meant to say "Do this!" and "This is a good idea!", too bad hardly anything in it is.

Quote from: distant watcher
well my russian friends explained that ivan is usually shortened (although it isn't really shorter... ) to Vanoha, Vladimir to Vova, Alexander to Sasha and so on and so forth. i can stop however, if you don't like it  :(

Oh, now I get it... tough I would never imagine that is the way you would spell it.
Shouldn't it be something like "Vania"?

Quote
if you equate a civilization with morality and claim that the laws it states originate in their idea of morality and the king makes the rules and is exempt from them then you lack the concept that judeo-christianity-islam (you know what, from now on , i'll simply refer to them as JCI, it'll shorten things a bit...  Wink) introduced - a widely accpeted code which isn't easily accesible to kings and therefore not easily changed that applies to everyone including the kings themselves.

Well... not really, even during Christianity (or maybe especially then) there were different rules for kings, different rules for nobles, and different for other puny mortals. But I guess you might argue that even tough different rules applied to different people, SOME rules applied to all.

I agree that decisions about morality were taken out of the reach of kings, but that didn't do much, because it was now the pope's whim that chaned everything (and if not the pope then some other big cahoona of another Christian sect).

Quote
what happened where, i lost you a bit...

Oh sorry, sometimes I'm a bit too chaotic.
The god-king changing morality scenrio happened in a few places (like Egypt) and in other places it didn't (Greece, Rome, and I'm pretty sure that most of barbarian Europe, if not the world)

Quote
like i said in the beggining, ancient history is not my forte... however, were those two ideas independantly evolved elsewhere in the world? to the best of my knowledge they were not.

I'm not sure I always thought these two ideas were here for quite a long time, and the god-kings where exceptions rather then the rule.
But even if they weren't you have the example of Greeks and Romans, that didn't have anything to do with the Jews for most of their time. You have India, you have China and Japan which, as you pointed out erlier, int the most important aspects weren't different from Europe (pre and post Christian).

Quote from: Lukipela
I believe that christianity, as any religion can be a unifying force, and bring forth much good.

I am wary of any 'unifying' movement or force. It is something strange in our human nature, but it seems that what unifies us in one place divides us in another.
That's why I don't really like Freethinker, Secular Humanist, Bright, or whatever they wish to call themselves movements. They can say all they wish about the brotherhood of mankind, I *know* that if by some way the whole world was persuaded to their way of thinking, then they'd just start fighting among themselves.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 11:45:15 am
Lukipela:

Quote
3. Using lead pipes for their water system.

i saw this program on the history channel sometime ago. apparently they had this wildly popular dressing which they used with just about anything edible (frutrum, or something...) and they cooked it in lead pots which leached lead into the food...

Vania:
(as per request...)
Quote
Well... not really, even during Christianity (or maybe especially then) there were different rules for kings, different rules for nobles, and different for other puny mortals. But I guess you might argue that even tough different rules applied to different people, SOME rules applied to all.

I agree that decisions about morality were taken out of the reach of kings, but that didn't do much, because it was now the pope's whim that chaned everything (and if not the pope then some other big cahoona of another Christian sect).

i'm not saying the idea was implemented straight away, but it was there and developed with time

Quote
The god-king changing morality scenrio happened in a few places (like Egypt) and in other places it didn't (Greece, Rome, and I'm pretty sure that most of barbarian Europe, if not the world)

the scenario is a possible one, not mandatory. but you are ignoring the fact that it doens't have to be a god-king one for it to happen.

Quote
But even if they weren't you have the example of Greeks and Romans, that didn't have anything to do with the Jews for most of their time. You have India, you have China and Japan which, as you pointed out erlier, int the most important aspects weren't different from Europe (pre and post Christian).

first of all, about greece and rome, i don't know wether the idea of one law for all / a set of base laws which cannot be changed by whim of one man was developed with no outside interference. i would think the idea migrated over the years, but i may be wrong. however, it should be noted that the greek and roman ideas did not carry on while the religion carried the ideas through the dark ages. 
i don't know about india in ancient times, but weren't china and japan god-king goverments?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 17, 2006, 12:24:46 pm
Bah, Lukipela spoiled my fun.
If I replied to you, Lance, I'd be only repeating what he said, but I guess there's something left for me.

Sorry about that. I really try to stay out of theological debates, but I responded to the parts that weren't grounded in theology, but rather based on assumptions. I left all the tiresome "is truth beauty and is beatuy truth" stuff to you, as I can't really see the point in debating the actual contents of the bible.

Quote
I am wary of any 'unifying' movement or force. It is something strange in our human nature, but it seems that what unifies us in one place divides us in another.
That's why I don't really like Freethinker, Secular Humanist, Bright, or whatever they wish to call themselves movements. They can say all they wish about the brotherhood of mankind, I *know* that if by some way the whole world was persuaded to their way of thinking, then they'd just start fighting among themselves.

There is a difference between a unifying movement and a unifying force. The former is something actively campaigning to bring people together under one banner/belief. I agree that this kind of venture is mostly doomed to fail, as any movement that grows big enough will develop all sorts of splinter fractions. Christianity is a good example of this, it was (once upon a time) a movement to bring all the people of the world into the same fold, under God. At this stage though, even though they've absorbed a lot of people, the different fractions have become separated enough to basically be smaller religions in their own.

A unifying force however, is not intent upon persuading people to join it. It is something you feel, and believe in. If enough people feel the same, you will have a bond with these people and be part of a group. A good example of this might be a small parish, or similar. While they are definetly not trying to actively recruit other parishes, they are united in their belief and as such, their quality of life is improved and the burden of loneliness made a little lighter. A marriage might be another example, where  love is the uniting factor. Of course, a unifying force may become a unifying movement, but at that stage it's really lost what made it special to begin with.

So religion can be both a unifying force, and a unifying movement. Oneside has the capacity to enrich your life, whilst the other side has the capability to make a lot of people suffer.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 01:36:03 pm
first of all, about greece and rome, i don't know wether the idea of one law for all / a set of base laws which cannot be changed by whim of one man was developed with no outside interference. i would think the idea migrated over the years, but i may be wrong. however, it should be noted that the greek and roman ideas did not carry on while the religion carried the ideas through the dark ages.

There is a little flaw in this reasoning... if it wasn't for this religion there would be no darkages in the first place.
Secondly, the memory of Greek and Roman empires, were was carried through darkages. The renaissance started because people re-descivored ancient culture.
 
Quote
i don't know about india in ancient times, but weren't china and japan god-king goverments?

I don't know about China, but Japan surely was, i think it wasn't until the 50's 60's of the 20'th century that the emporor surrender his godhood

Anyways I think your argument is pretty weak, because of one little thing.
I admit, the whole evolution of morality could have happened the way your describe, but the problem is you didn't present any evidence that it did, which means a number of different equally plausible explanations could be true.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 02:20:35 pm

Vania:
Quote
There is a little flaw in this reasoning... if it wasn't for this religion there would be no darkages in the first place.
Secondly, the memory of Greek and Roman empires, were was carried through darkages. The renaissance started because people re-descivored ancient culture

that's possible. but that doesn't change the fact that it did carry those ideas.
as for the greeks and the romans, their ideas of art, philosophy and science were carried on, not their ideas about democracy. else, why was florence ruled by a duke and wasn't a democracy?

Quote
Anyways I think your argument is pretty weak, because of one little thing.
I admit, the whole evolution of morality could have happened the way your describe, but the problem is you didn't present any evidence that it did, which means a number of different equally plausible explanations could be true.

to tell you the truth this argument was so abstract i didn't think there was any kind of proof. what would you accept as such?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 17, 2006, 02:55:56 pm
that's possible. but that doesn't change the fact that it did carry those ideas.
Quote


I don't understand this. If I understood correctly, Ivan argues that the memory of Rome and Greece were carried through the dark ages and blossomed once religion freed it's oppressive hold. Your counter argument, if I understand correctly is exactly the same thing.

as for the greeks and the romans, their ideas of art, philosophy and science were carried on, not their ideas about democracy. else, why was florence ruled by a duke and wasn't a democracy?

In that case, would you care to enlighten us as to where the concept of democracy came from, if it is not based on the hellenistic principle. did someone reinvent it along the way? Your argument might as well be that greek science was not caried on, since europeans believed in a geocentric universe. Some things took much longer than others to reclaim the acceptance they had had in ancient times.

Quote
to tell you the truth this argument was so abstract i didn't think there was any kind of proof. what would you accept as such?

Well, if you could show that previous to christian times all cultures were devoid of laws and  ethical values, that would be pretty effective. Of course, most of the ancient civilisations we are aware of did have laws, and from what little trace we've found of them, a moral code as well. It has not always been the same moral code as we use now, but that isn't really the issue.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 03:13:23 pm
Lukipela:

Quote
I don't understand this. If I understood correctly, Ivan argues that the memory of Rome and Greece were carried through the dark ages and blossomed once religion freed it's oppressive hold. Your counter argument, if I understand correctly is exactly the same thing.

In that case, would you care to enlighten us as to where the concept of democracy came from, if it is not based on the hellenistic principle. did someone reinvent it along the way? Your argument might as well be that greek science was not caried on, since europeans believed in a geocentric universe. Some things took much longer than others to reclaim the acceptance they had had in ancient times.


what i meant was that while JCI had sideffects in certain areas (the dark ages were specific to europe, were they not?) it did provide a long lasting preservance of the ideas. however, i will concede that you have a point in the second part i quoted. let's try something else, would you agree that JCI spread those ideas much better than the memory of greece and rome did?

Quote
Well, if you could show that previous to christian times all cultures were devoid of laws and  ethical values, that would be pretty effective.

but that wasn't my argument. i claimed that the idea: "one law for all / a set of base laws which cannot be changed by whim of one man" didn't exist beforehand. now, how could i prove that? it woud seem that i would have to prove it by way of negation - showing that no culture before hand possesed such ideas. it would be like i claimed that there is a finite number of primal numbers and in order to prove it i would have to count the numbers to infinty and prove it... (just to clarify, i won't! :P)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 03:34:06 pm
Sorry about that. I really try to stay out of theological debates, but I responded to the parts that weren't grounded in theology, but rather based on assumptions. I left all the tiresome "is truth beauty and is beatuy truth" stuff to you, as I can't really see the point in debating the actual contents of the bible.

It didn't really bother me. You saved me the effort of writing half my post ;)
Plus, you seem to be good at keeping your temper, while I was a bit... excited about the whole thing even after I had a good night's sleep after reading Lance's post.

Quote
A unifying force however, is not intent upon persuading people to join it. It is something you feel, and believe in. If enough people feel the same, you will have a bond with these people and be part of a group. A good example of this might be a small parish, or similar. While they are definetly not trying to actively recruit other parishes, they are united in their belief and as such, their quality of life is improved and the burden of loneliness made a little lighter. A marriage might be another example, where  love is the uniting factor.

You might have a point but the way I see it is when people are beeing unified then at the same time they are beeing devided, but on a different scale.
On the other hand, the example with marriage is a good one, tough I'm having trouble imagining how you could relate it to religion.

Quote from: distant watcher
that's possible. but that doesn't change the fact that it did carry those ideas.
as for the greeks and the romans, their ideas of art, philosophy and science were carried on, not their ideas about democracy. else, why was florence ruled by a duke and wasn't a democracy?

Because feudalism was the system that got implemented during the darkages, and the people in power weren't so keen on giving away their power?
It took quite some time before democracy was re-introduced in Europe, and it was fought fiercely by absolut rulers.

Quote
to tell you the truth this argument was so abstract i didn't think there was any kind of proof. what would you accept as such?

The thing that would persuade me instantly would be something that Luki described.
Other then that coming up with evidence will be hard. If you can't show that there was a significant change in moral codes around the time of birth of Christianity/Judaism, there is no reason to think they were the deciding factors.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 04:22:25 pm
it woud seem that i would have to prove it by way of negation - showing that no culture before hand possesed such ideas.

Yes, that is indeed the main weakness of your argument.
It's next to impossible to prove.

The other problem is, even after Christianity, those 2 main characteristics of morality didn't show up for a long time. Sure, it wasn't just any king that could change the morals, it had to be the pope, but in my opinion that doesn't change much, and since slavery was ok, to moral laws didn't apply to everyone.
So there is no reason to think Christianity had anything to do with those changes.
Bah, there is no reason to think there were any changes in the first place.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 04:30:53 pm
Vania:

Quote
Bah, there is no reason to think there were any changes in the first place.

ok, so now that's we've proved that i can't prove anything ;D, why don't you have a go at it.  what do you think religion gave us, if anything at all?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 04:36:36 pm
ok, so now that's we've proved that i can't prove anything ;D, why don't you have a go at it.  what do you think religion gave us, if anything at all?

Not much really... I know that religion was and is a source of charity, but it caused and causes a lot of evil also... so all in all I'm affraid the naswer would be nothing.
Sorry, but what kind of answer do you expect to get from an atheist ;)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 04:49:51 pm
Quote
Sorry, but what kind of answer do you expect to get from an atheist 

well, i'm one for starters, and here i was, taking religion's side.
well, i do believe in some kind of god but not in any of the religions.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 17, 2006, 04:58:07 pm
Quote
Sorry, but what kind of answer do you expect to get from an atheist 

well, i'm one for starters, and here i was, taking religion's side.
well, i do believe in some kind of god but not in any of the religions.

Well, occasionally I also defend religion from attacks I think are unfair.
Like when some say "without religion, there'd be much less wars". I don't think it's true, we'd find other reasons/excuses to kill eachother.
But in a similiar fashion, I don't see anything that we accomplished thanks to religion, and couldn't have done so without it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 05:06:37 pm
Vania:

Quote
But in a similiar fashion, I don't see anything that we accomplished thanks to religion, and couldn't have done so without it.

oh well, so now wer'e without a debate topic  :(

well, there's always the death penalty!  ;D


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 17, 2006, 07:37:34 pm
Maybe we came out of the dark ages despite religion, not thanks to it.

Here's some topics of debate, starting on topic, then quickly derailing.

Pascal's Wager (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/)

Jesus never existed? (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/)

0.999... = 1? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_that_0.999..._equals_1)

Who can name the largest number? Mine is BusyBeavers(Ackermann(Googolplex)) + 1

Is Augustina Keira's butt sexy or does it just look swollen?

What is the secret of the Grail? Who does it serve?

The Precursors are Wooly Mammoths from Earth. The woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius) appeared about 300,000 years ago. Coincidence? Primigenius sounds a bit like precursor.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 17, 2006, 07:59:19 pm
Arne:

Quote
0.999... = 1?

WOW! that is way cool!

i'll have to look up whathername's butt to check...



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 17, 2006, 08:12:44 pm
In all fairness, the church has not always been an enemy of science. Before scientific theories became an alternative to the Bible's stories there was a time when the church would sponsor scientific research, in an attempt to learn more about God through his work.
The irony being that the more is learned about nature, the less use there is for mythology.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 18, 2006, 12:41:01 am
There are two things I find particularly interesting about religion.

A) Every human society on earth has a religion of some kind. Without exception.

B) http://www.atheistempire.com/reference/brain/main.html

A group of neuroscientists at the University of California at San Diego has identified a region of the human brain that appears to be linked to thoughts of spiritual matters and prayer. Their findings tentatively suggest that we as a species are genetically programmed to believe in God.

Now, if our noggins are indeed wired to precieve a god, it's difficult for me to accept the evolutionary concept that we evolved this as a moral code in order to keep us from destroying ourselves or the planet. how can such an arbitrary concept happen by mere accident?

To me this may be a mystery in the same vein as say, how do spiders instinctivly know how build a web, how do bees or ants instinctively know their role in their colony or why do animals instinctively know inbreeding (incest avoidance) is counter productive... etc

 Random mutation may be seen by many as a plausible mechanisim for physical body changes but how do instinctive brain processes and arbitrary shared  ideas evolve?

I cannot help but to think there is somthing a little more going on here than random accidental mutations and natural selection.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 18, 2006, 04:18:17 am
I see, so only theists are created by a God, and atheists are not.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on August 18, 2006, 05:01:45 am
Wow, I didn't know one loose comment on genesis would create this whole new direction. I suppose everyone was just tired of the creationism vs evolutionism debate.


Quote
A group of neuroscientists at the University of California at San Diego has identified a region of the human brain that appears to be linked to thoughts of spiritual matters and prayer. Their findings tentatively suggest that we as a species are genetically programmed to believe in God. Now, if our noggins are indeed wired to precieve a god, it's difficult for me to accept the evolutionary concept that we evolved this as a moral code in order to keep us from destroying ourselves or the planet. how can such an arbitrary concept happen by mere accident?

That's an interesting quote, but I think you took it in a direction that is only one of many (and not very probable.)

I think religion instinct is how we beat neanderthals. Such a belief allowed us to sort of override certain instincts, like fear of death making us braver and more focused warriors. Those stumpy dudes could have fallen victim to a prehistoric jihad, or series of such.

In essence, spirituallity could be a new drive, a new emotion, even if it is not always channeled through belief in deities. It also evolved in tandem with art, methinks, and probably not by coincidence.

Then again, maybe it is not quite so new. I have always wondered if the reason why orcas don't eat humans (though they eat other cetaceans) is because we have someplace in their religion of sorts. We could be like gods, or a sacred animal. The other possibility is that they sonagram us and hear that we don't have any real blubber on our bones thus aren't worth eating (whereas sharks don't realize this until they've had a sample.) But this theory doesn't explain why obese people are left alone (every beach in america would be listed "orca infested waters!" as they'd all come here for us plump lard buoys.) :(


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 18, 2006, 06:44:42 am
I see, so only theists are created by a God, and atheists are not.

Anti-theists would be created by god though?

(I mean since they actively pick one of an infinite amount of arbitrarily defined gods, then choose to believe it can't exist, and thus arguably could be said to have faith or a religion (if we equate those). An atheist merely ignores having beliefs about any of the infinite amount of possible gods.)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 18, 2006, 11:38:56 pm




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That's an interesting quote, but I think you took it in a direction that is only one of many (and not very probable.)

But what do you make of the fact that every society on earth has religious beliefs and rituals passed down from generation to generation? From ancient times to the 21st century, religion is a large part of the human experience for many.

 Perhaps it is due to our misunderstandings of the world around us. Fearing natural phenomena and needing to explain it I can understand, but why does religion go so much further than that and how did we evolve this need to explain the universe around us in the first place?

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In essence, spirituallity could be a new drive, a new emotion, even if it is not always channeled through belief in deities. It also evolved in tandem with art, methinks, and probably not by coincidence.

It's difficult for me to think of emotion evolving via. random mutation, natural selection. How does natural selection select for happiness , sadness, jealousy, hatred (or a combination there of)? Are there selection pressures to push a species in this evolutionary direction? If spirituallity is a new emotion would it really work in favor of homosapiens  to out compete neanderthals?

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Then again, maybe it is not quite so new. I have always wondered if the reason why orcas don't eat humans (though they eat other cetaceans) is because we have someplace in their religion of sorts.

Orcas are related to porposies and dolphins. Dolphins, for some reason, seem to love humans. They are very curious about us. They've been known to defend humans from sharks and have even developed fishing relationships with humans. They work to drive fish into fisherman's nets. In turn, the nets present an obsticle for fish to escape so they get easy meal. What's weird about it is that they work in teams and know exactly what they are doing, behaving in a well orcastrated manner where each dolphin has a role.

The very fact that biological beings can learn, modify their behavior accordingly and work in fairly complex teams is difficult for me envision through a random mutaion / natural selection mechanisim..


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 19, 2006, 12:54:03 am
It's difficult for me to think of emotion evolving via. random mutation, natural selection. How does natural selection select for happiness , sadness, jealousy, hatred (or a combination there of)? Are there selection pressures to push a species in this evolutionary direction?
The feeling of happiness when things are ok stimulates the individual to keep things as they are. As individuals which are ok are more likely to survive, happiness mechanisms are more likely to survive.
Conversely, sadness will stimulate the individual to change things.
Hatred/anger serves as a deterrent, making other individuals think twice before doing something to anger an individual, from which the latter benefits.
Jealousy does the same thing, as well as giving an incentive to take action.

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...a well orcastrated manner...
Pun intended?

Now the ones I wonder about are appreciation of music, and humour.

Edit: perhaps these serve as a reward to stimulate the recognition of patterns, thereby helping the evolution of intelligence.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 19, 2006, 07:05:08 am
meep-eep:
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Now the ones I wonder about are appreciation of music, and humour.

Edit: perhaps these serve as a reward to stimulate the recognition of patterns, thereby helping the evolution of intelligence.

i would definately agree with you about the music but i don't see how you think humour is about pattern recognition?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 19, 2006, 07:37:16 am
Humor can be about breaking patterns. Maybe the wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor) can shed some light.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on August 19, 2006, 08:50:10 am
Arne:

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Humor can be about breaking patterns. Maybe the wikipedia article can shed some light.

from what i read, it would seem that humour is tied very intracately with language and language developed fairly late, in fact i would think language developed during or after the period of time where evolution began to affect us less as a species so it would seem it helped a lot in devolpment of lingual skills but is not a direct survival trait in own right.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Arne on August 19, 2006, 08:11:46 pm
Telling a joke is a great way to make people think more of you and win their trust or whatever. It doesn't explain why we think for example "the ministry of silly walks" is funny. It's about doing something unexpected (breaking the walk pattern we know), and that should just be merely surprising. The only reason I can think of is cultural. If someone laughs or we hear laughter, we tend to atleast smile aswell. I have a 1 yo niece, when she gets grumpy it helps a lot to do unusual things and laugh, so in a way I'm training her in humor.

I bet there's some webpage about the origins of humor, tried searching?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 20, 2006, 08:58:04 pm
what i meant was that while JCI had sideffects in certain areas (the dark ages were specific to europe, were they not?) it did provide a long lasting preservance of the ideas. however, i will concede that you have a point in the second part i quoted. let's try something else, would you agree that JCI spread those ideas much better than the memory of greece and rome did?

Assuming JCI means something along the line of judaechristendomislamism (or whatever), I fail to see the relevancy of your question. You're essentially arguing that JCI both preserved ideas of ancient times, and spread those ideas more efficiently then they would otherwise have been spread. The problem here is that we have no idea how they would've otherwise been spread. We know a lot of Greek history was preserved only in Muslim culture, and that other parts were preserved mostly in monasteries in Europe. How/If it would have been preserved had JCI not risen to supremacy, we'll never know. Also, I think that you may well be (partially) committing the same error of thought as Lance did earlier. That these texts were preserved through the dark ages does not necessarily mean that JCI was the cause of their perseverance.

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but that wasn't my argument.

My mistake, I misread your text.

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i claimed that the idea: "one law for all / a set of base laws which cannot be changed by whim of one man" didn't exist beforehand. now, how could i prove that? it woud seem that i would have to prove it by way of negation - showing that no culture before hand possesed such ideas.

And you are essentially correct. It is impossible to prove your point, but it might not be impossible to disprove it. Providing that any previous culture can be shown to have had such a concept of course.

Quote from: Ivan/Vania/Babushka
It didn't really bother me. You saved me the effort of writing half my post ;)
Plus, you seem to be good at keeping your temper, while I was a bit... excited about the whole thing even after I had a good night's sleep after reading Lance's post.

Tempers tend to flare in debates like these. After all, the basis of all argumentation on religion tends to be fairly emotional and opinion based, so it's no wonder that people reach boiling points.

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You might have a point but the way I see it is when people are beeing unified then at the same time they are being divided, but on a different scale.
On the other hand, the example with marriage is a good one, tough I'm having trouble imagining how you could relate it to religion.

I think you may be over-reading what I mean by unifying here. All men are individuals, and therefore divided. When I talk about unity, I don't mean a happy utopia where everyone agrees on everything. That'd be horrible. With unity, I mean that people have something in common that is important enough to them to allow them to tolerate other differences in opinion. This something might be love, faith, culture, or anything else. As a personal opinion, I hold love and faith as the two most unifying concepts on the planet, closely followed by culture.

To illustrate the concept, let’s go back to the two lovers. They have their love for each other in common, but that doesn't mean that they are always of the same opinion. One might recycle the other not. One is a vegetarian, the other isn't. The point is, that as long as these dividing issues are overshadowed by the unifying force of love, the couple stays together. So the unifying force allows for considerable dissent in the relationship.

Another example is again the small congregation. Their unifying beliefs will allow people from different social standings and from different backgrounds to come together around something that they all believe in. In this case, it is a religion of some sort. Not all of these people need agree with, or even like each other. Maybe someone drinks a bit too much. Maybe someone screws around a bit too much. However, as long as their common faith unities them, they will try to help each other the best they can (assuming their not Satanists or something, in which case they'll obviously feast on each others entrails).


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on August 21, 2006, 04:05:28 pm
From RTyp06"

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But what do you make of the fact that every society on earth has religious beliefs and rituals passed down from generation to generation? From ancient times to the 21st century, religion is a large part of the human experience for many.

I just told you, It probably serves as an evolutionary advantage. In fact, one might consider it the third layer of evolution for us- biological, technological, and now religious. Now this crazy world has religions fighting, competing and evolving across the world. :)

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Perhaps it is due to our misunderstandings of the world around us. Fearing natural phenomena and needing to explain it I can understand,

More like using metaphors to explain how to get out of a dicy situation for the smarter religions. Explanations do provide comfort and control in the dummer ones, imho. I remember I documentary on the tsunami incident in the indian ocean. There was this one group of aborigines living on the coast of sourthern, eastern india or something like that. When they saw the waters recede the first time, they believed that there was an imbalance in the universal tree (amazing how many religions have this great tree concept) and that the water spirits were about to make war on the land. So the headed for the hills (and survived.) The more populace muslims and hindus never saw it coming, and afterwards, I think they just did a lot of praying because they believed god(s) were pissed with them and had brought punishment. They would seem to have dummer, less adaptive religions. However, the two big religions have advantages in that they are more unified, work better on a large scale, and more expansionistic (mostly islam on this count.) So they can afford to lose some members, and keep on surviving, while offering they're believers some evolutionary advantages in other areas. These are two religions with vastly different adaptions, almost like seperate species-kingdoms of organisms.


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why does religion go so much further than that and how did we evolve this need to explain the universe around us in the first place?

To either:

1) Help you survive events you don't fully understand.

2) Keep peoples fear from making the problem worse, if there is no known method of avoidance.

And sometimes maybe a combination of the two.


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How does natural selection select for happiness , sadness, jealousy, hatred (or a combination there of)?

By killing off (on average) those whose emotional frameworks on not advantageous in the current environment.


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Are there selection pressures to push a species in this evolutionary direction?

Yes, a million and one. Perhaps mostly for human-to-human situations but also some religious adaptions for great disasters and such.


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If spirituallity is a new emotion would it really work in favor of homosapiens  to out compete neanderthals?

It could have. Along with other factors, like us having longer legs (another theory of mine, and an obvious one too.)


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What's weird about it is that they work in teams and know exactly what they are doing, behaving in a well orcastrated manner where each dolphin has a role.

I guess that's just one of the advantages to having a language (and a spoken one at that.) ;)


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The very fact that biological beings can learn, modify their behavior accordingly and work in fairly complex teams is difficult for me envision through a random mutaion / natural selection mechanisim..

Well get used to it, because if they were created, then you will find it difficult to envision how their creator came to be (or be so complex and powerful,) or how its creator came to be, or its. . .etc.,etc.,etc.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lance_Vader on August 27, 2006, 02:59:24 am
I'm back for a bit.  Didya miss me?  No?  Oh.  I see.

But why would god make those animals? What is the purpose? Why would he make skin bacteria (Leprosy )as a scourge on mankind before they had antibiotics? Then instruct moses in the book of Leviticus to sacrifice animals in order to cure men from leprosy? Why didn't god tell him how to culture penicilin instead?

And if all animals ate plants and were instructed by god not to kill (until man's sin) why is the complete animal kingdom made up of prey / preadtor relationships? Did sharks really feed off seaweed? Did lions eat flowers as a dietary staple?
This world wasn't intended to be easy.  If it were, then we wouldn't learn jack squat from living here.  It would be a joke.  Like if I went to grade school and attended the 2nd grade, I wouldn't learn anything.  Why not?  They don't teach stuff that I don't know yet.  Just stuff I've already learned.  In order for me to learn, school has to challenge me.  So does the world.

As for the animals, I'm not sure what they were like at that time, only that they're different now.  Maybe sharks DID eat seaweed, and they've been retooled to keep fish populations in check.  Your guess is as good as mine.  It's not important, anyway.


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Again, why? Why would god need to show satan... anything? If god loved Job why would he allow such horrible things? Would you allow sombody to abuse your Dog to prove a point of loyalty? Or does god not love Job, his faithful servant, as much as I care for my pets?

There are so many WHY questions in the bible it becomes almost absurd..

Why did it take an omnipotent being six days, (or any amount of time at all) to create the heavens and earth?
Hey, he made the earth, didn't he?  That's more power than I've got.  I don't think God is omnipotent as in "*snap,* it's done."  I think he's omnipotent in that God can do anything he sets his mind to do.  THAT is real power.

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Why did god need to destroy life with a world wide flood which achieved absolutely nothing? Are there not just as many wicked people today as in Noah's day? And wouldn't god know ahead of time that he would have to eventually kill everyone and then allow the earth to repopulate? Why not just do it right the first time?
I wouldn't say it achieved nothing.  A lot of people who would have raised their children in stupidity and wickedness were wiped out, and there was once more a decent amount of good people.  I don't think good people have ever really been the majority, but if the people as a whole are too evil, God will destroy them.  I think that's what the Bible is trying to say, anyways.

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Why would god, capable of designing DNA and every creature on earth, ever need to have animals sacrificed to him? The book of leviticus is completetly about the lord's instructions on how to prepare animal sacrifices from many different species of animals for various sins and ailments.. I know that Leviticus is old testament and that Jesus is supposed to eliminate all need for animal sacrifice, but why would god ever need it for atonement of sin in the first place?
God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.

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Perhaps we are looking at ancient mythic text, written by many fallible human authors who all contributed thier own spin on god rather than god's absolute word to us?
Yup.  I think that's a pretty good assessment.  I also think that they really did talk to God, and that there's a lot we can learn from
A) The mistakes of our anscestors and
B) The advice of God.

Even if you don't believe this particular God is true, it's good advice.

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1)Why does God care whether people believe in him or not?

2)Why didn't God make it so that the bible was unambiguous?

3)Why does God punish the descendants of people he disagrees with?

4)Why did God make people so terribly flawed?

5)Why don't demons possess people anymore like they did in the Bible?
Here's my answers.  Let's see if you like them.

1) He's offering us advice that will make us happier.  He also wants us to accept it of our own, free will, but you have to admit, it's sad to see anger, treachery, hatred, and other such things.  Disobedience to God's commandments creates unahppiness.  Obedience generates happiness.

2) I think it's because that's impossible.  Humans will misconstrue things according to what they want to believe.  What the world needs and has always needed is CONTINUING revelation from God.  Wouldn't that clear things up a bit?

3) I think more often it's natural laws that punish those descendance, though God takes the credit because he warned us about it in the first place.  Also, they're people who disagree with God, not the other way around.  If we are to believe anything in the Bible, or the Qur'an or whatever you fancy, God was here first.

4) People are so terribly flawed, in my personal belief, because they're inexperienced.  I don't believe God can give anyone experience.  That's why God has to tell us what to do.  He's got much more wisdom and experience than us, and God also understands the natural laws upon which things like happiness are based.  We don't.

5) It isn't as effective, in most situations, as it used to be.  People used to be much more superstitious.  I think such possession does happen occasionally, mind you, but it's terribly uncommon.  Always has been, though a look at four thousand years or so of purely spiritual history (like in the Bible) will make you think it's more common than it is.

I have a counter-question for you:  Why can't you answer these questions?  Have you looked for answers on your own?

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And as an observation, it is totally correct. I'm not sure how "the chinese did some bad things" is supposed to prove the inherit superiority of christianity though. I mean, sure, if you could follow up with ".. while christians did not.", you'd be on firmer ground. But you're not.
The Christians did not and do not.  Catholics did, at one point,  but that was the time that Christianity was really losing its roots.  Then the Reformation happened, and was fairly successful, in my estimation.  Not totally, but it was better than nothing.  Besides, look at where the original argument was placed, and what it was meant to answer.  It was not intended or crafted to say "Christians are better than everyone else."  It was intended to refute the argument that the Chinese are somehow more civilized than Christians.  Sheesh.


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Out of curiosity, how can you be sure of this?
Because it's exactly what happened to the Christian nations.  And because the Chinese lost their dominance due to ISOLATIONISM.  If they had been evangelical, then they wouldn't have been isolationists.  At all.

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What you're doing here is looking at a lot of successful countries, and deciding that one factor they have in common is what made them superior to everyone else. If you're interested in the subject of why the christian countries of europe were so successful in defeating their neighbours and exporting their influence and beliefs, I'd recommend taking a look at this. The factors that enabled europeans to conquer and convert the rest of the world were present long before christianity made it's appearance, and very probably any aggressive religion would have served them equally well.
Maybe any other aggressive religion would have served them equally well.  You act as though this refutes me somehow.  My point is that Christianity seems to have served very well.  If you're going to refute me, tell me that Christianity did not serve them well, and back it up with examples.  Then you can disagree with me intelligently.

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Er.. what? The Russian tsardom was working horrifyingly badly at any rate. They had a weak tsar, and internal strife. It's not like if a modern day US suddenly and without warning dismantled religion and democracy.
Yes, you're right.  It was a gradual descent from Christian Russia to Communist Russia, and not a quick drop down an elevator shaft.  But Russia did fairly well for itself for a couple hundred years at least as a Christian nation, did it not?

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No, in order for your point to hold true, there has to be some sort of evidence that it was the christianity that gave them these advantages. Otherwise you're just playing with statistics. For example, if I have 10 cubes that are made out of different  hard materials (steel, iron, diamond and so forth) and paint them all grey, I could similarly claim that all grey cubes are hard, and that the grey colour must thus make them hard.
  Yeah, but if the diamond one beat all the other ones up, I'd have to rethink THAT hypothesis.  :-)

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In an analog fashion, I could even claim that almost every successful culture on earth has had a lot of contact with white europeans, and that this thus proves that no country can be succesful without the help of white europeans. Thus white europeans must be superior to any other race. Go white power!
And why are the white people so successful?  I think their religion plays a large part in it.  I don't really care if you disagree.  If you want evidence that religion can do that sort of thing, look at Islam.  Before Muhammed, no one really cared about the Arabs.  After Muhammed, they had estabished an empire and conquered Spain.  Coincidence?  You can think so.  I don't care.

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I'm glad that you are objective enough to decide that noone else is. Especially since you are fairly clearly taking sides on the issue.
Fairly clearly.   That's a good one, I'll have to remember that.

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Can you provide any sort of references to this mesoamerican dark age? It soudns quite interesting, though I've never heard of it. I'm also confused about the "successful culture" part. Originally, you seemed to be making the point that chrisianity has made our culture as successful as it is. Now you're making the point that other religion may serve equally well.  This seems illogical.
I don't think it is.  Just because A is good, does that mean B-Z are bad?  I don't think it does.  It's true that I don't think any religion is AS good as Christianity, though I can't prove that to any degree of satisfaction, but I also think that many other religions are good. 

As for the mesoamerican dark age, it seems to be fairly well-accepted.  It was not at all hard to find the following:
Wikipedia: Toltecs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toltec)
You can see that some civilizations, like the Toltecs and Mayans, died out before the Spanish ever arrived (http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/arch/mexchron.html)
"Dark Ages" pdf (http://www.istendency.net/pdf/1_05_first_dark_ages.pdf#search=%22mesoamerica%20dark%20age%22)
Aztec myth/record of history (http://www.rjames.com/Toltec/timeline.htm)
Dark Ages Cold Period (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-06-23/dark.htm)


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I think "I firmly believe" are the key words here. Unless that you can present some sort of reference that states that the ONLY reason the roman empire fell was their moral decay, that really only is your opinion. A tale about how the soldiers were having homosexual intercourse instead of fighting the enemy at the gates would be acceptable.
Are opinions not allowed?  I was under the delusion that they were.  That was one of them.

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So explain to me what choice his followers, supposedly following his commandment gave the rest of the world when they conquered them and forced them to convert?
I don't think God ever commanded anyone to forcibly convert anyone else.  That was a gross misconstruction based on a real commandment, but, you know what?  "Based on a real story" is not a real story.

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I notice you'tre not actually answering the question. But tell me, how did you determine, through your own research, which books that were real and which were false? Have you actually read all the books from that time period, and used some method to find out which are really the word of god, and which are just the opinions of some writer. And if you've really done this, and drawn the conclusion that exactly the right books were chosen, why haven't you published  a paper on this? It is an enormous amount of research to undertake after all, surely the rest of the world could benefit from it.
Oh, be nice.  I just happen to be of the opinion that many of the books that DID make it are real.  If you must know, I prayed about it.  Go ahead.  Try it.  It's good stuff.

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To finish this off, I'd like to state that I'm only critical to Lance's opinions here, and not to the christian faith as a whole. I believe that christianity, as any religion can be a unifying force, and bring forth much good. Of course, in the wrong hands it can equally well bring forth darkness.
Good.  I can skip that lesson.   ;)

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I simply don't agree with the premise that christianity in specific is responsible for our culture being as stable as it is. If nothing else, the dark ages, with their strong religious presence and total lack of any progress are a clear indication of this.
I move that there was a LOT of progress in the dark ages.  But you're not going to listen to that.  I also move that our civilization REALLY took off right about the time of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther.  This was some time after the so-called "Dark Ages."



There's also a lot of talk about atheists in this thread recently.  I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said that there is no believer so firm as the atheist, for he believes in gods so strongly that he feels the need to deny them.  He's always good for a laugh, but I don't think he's stupid.

I, on the other hand, don't believe in atheists.  I think that everybody deifies something, it's just not always something supernatural.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 27, 2006, 05:01:45 am
Deus_Siddis:
Religious evolution is just one example of evolution of a concept (see meme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme)). Also, what counts here is not whether the believer survives, but whether the idea survives. More believers gives the idea a better chance to survive, but they're not the central issue.
Other things that give a relion a bigger chance of survival are for instance the meme that sinners go to hell, or that even considering that the religion is false is a sin, or that you should go out and spread the faith, or that you should worship no other gods, or that your "tribe" is more important than the others.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 27, 2006, 06:00:26 am
I'm repeating this question from RTyp06, because you conveniently didn't answer it:
Again, why? Why would god need to show satan... anything? If god loved Job why would he allow such horrible things? Would you allow sombody to abuse your Dog to prove a point of loyalty? Or does god not love Job, his faithful servant, as much as I care for my pets?

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Why would god, capable of designing DNA and every creature on earth, ever need to have animals sacrificed to him? The book of leviticus is completetly about the lord's instructions on how to prepare animal sacrifices from many different species of animals for various sins and ailments.. I know that Leviticus is old testament and that Jesus is supposed to eliminate all need for animal sacrifice, but why would god ever need it for atonement of sin in the first place?
God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.
And now to answer question that he asked, why?

And now my questions; I've placed your answers directly below each question, to make this more readable.
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1)Why does God care whether people believe in him or not?
He's offering us advice that will make us happier.  He also wants us to accept it of our own, free will, but you have to admit, it's sad to see anger, treachery, hatred, and other such things.  Disobedience to God's commandments creates unahppiness.  Obedience generates happiness.
1.1) That would mean that people shouldn't believe in God if it makes them unhappy.
1.2) If believing in God is for our own good, then why does God cast unbelievers into hell? (sinning by violating the 1st commandment + not accepting Jesus to bail you out)
1.3) If God wants us to be happy, then why didn't he wire our brains so that people would always be happy?

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2)Why didn't God make it so that the bible was unambiguous?
I think it's because that's impossible.  Humans will misconstrue things according to what they want to believe.  What the world needs and has always needed is CONTINUING revelation from God.  Wouldn't that clear things up a bit?
2.1) Wouldn't you agree that the bible could be less vague?
2.2) and that that would be better?
2.3) If so, then why didn't he?

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3)Why does God punish the descendants of people he disagrees with?
I think more often it's natural laws that punish those descendance, though God takes the credit because he warned us about it in the first place.  Also, they're people who disagree with God, not the other way around.  If we are to believe anything in the Bible, or the Qur'an or whatever you fancy, God was here first.
3.1) In the bible, god curses (or blesses) people to the n-th generation, and places certain tribes above others (not just individuals). These are not natural laws that do the punishing.
3.2) With "disagree" I meant "find disagreeable". No need to further comment on this (3.2).

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4)Why did God make people so terribly flawed?
People are so terribly flawed, in my personal belief, because they're inexperienced.  I don't believe God can give anyone experience.  That's why God has to tell us what to do.  He's got much more wisdom and experience than us, and God also understands the natural laws upon which things like happiness are based.  We don't.
4.1) Why couldn't give God people the wisdom from experience? Babies have pre-born abilities to breath, and drink. Many animals are born with much more complex behavior.

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5)Why don't demons possess people anymore like they did in the Bible?
It isn't as effective, in most situations, as it used to be.  People used to be much more superstitious.  I think such possession does happen occasionally, mind you, but it's terribly uncommon.  Always has been, though a look at four thousand years or so of purely spiritual history (like in the Bible) will make you think it's more common than it is.
5.1) Effective to what purpose?
5.2) Well, Jesus supposedly cast out quite a number of demons. And he didn't last 4000 years.

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I have a counter-question for you:  Why can't you answer these questions?  Have you looked for answers on your own?
In here I think lies the most important cause of misery in this world. People answering questions for themselves, and then holding them as true (= believing). I've often heard intelligent people say thinks like "If only people would think for themselves", but it seems to me that they do. They just don't look at their own answers with the same criticism as they look at those of others. If only they did that...
So to get back to your questions, yes, I can answer those questions, and I can answer them in a variety of ways (pretty easilly with "the Bible is a work of fiction"), but it wouldn't mean anything. I'm not asking these questions because I want to know the answers, but because I want to demonstrate that the Bible, and God as described by that Bible in many ways simply do not make sense. And I'm giving you the advantage of getting to choose the interpretation.
Btw, I do not expect to change anyones mind with this demonstration, so it's pretty much for my own (and perhaps for other readers') amusement.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on August 27, 2006, 06:09:27 am
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Religious evolution is just one example of evolution of a concept (see meme).

Yes, but I never said neanderthals did not have evolutionary ideas and concepts, or even culture, outside of religion/art. That would be another debate.


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Also, what counts here is not whether the believer survives, but whether the idea survives.

No, because if the believer doesn't survive, then his genes that are receptive to religious/spiritual instincts go with him and the religion doesn't do as well. The idea MUST give the believer some sort of survival advantage or else it is parasitic and will eventually be weeded out by others with better adapted ideas.l


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Other things that give a relion a bigger chance of survival are for instance the meme that sinners go to hell. . .

Yes, those are important because they help use fear drive to overpower other instincts which, while useful, are better off (evolutionarily) being managed in a more precise and adaptable manner (religious ideas are more precise and can be changed faster than genetically based instincts.)


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or that even considering that the religion is false is a sin

Because having individuals stray from a well adapted religion makes the group a little weaker.


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or that you should go out and spread the faith

This is a good adaption for large scale civs. Less enemies, more allies. Not as good in a tribalistic society, where unity with people you'll never be able to get to see in your lifetime, isn't going to increase the deer supply or make you a faster runner.


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or that your "tribe" is more important than the others.

So that you will help those who can/will help you, and not waste your time helping the competition. It also helps reduce fear drive in case you need to go to war with an aggressor or perhaps a truly weaker tribe whose territory be partially absorbed through conflict or to create small scale conflicts that might make the local population smaller (less demand for food) and to weed out those who are not as quick/strong as some others.


Basically, religion/spirituallity gives one more quickly (and mayhap intelligently if you have priests who are good strategists) adaptable drive systems than genetic instincts.

You also have sort of a DNA for multi-individual pseudo-organisms in the form of a tribe or nation or just followers of a certain religion (different sizes, for different niches and environments.)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 28, 2006, 10:21:45 am
The Christians did not and do not.  Catholics did, at one point,  but that was the time that Christianity was really losing its roots.  Then the Reformation happened, and was fairly successful, in my estimation.  Not totally, but it was better than nothing.

I'm confused.  On what basis do you decide who is christian, and who isn't? If you really wish to make the argument that catholics pre-reformation were not christian, then what were they? Also, if your argument now runs "Christians are not responsible for anything caused during the darkages because those were not christians", then why were you using ancient chinese dynasties as examples of how uncivilised the chinese were? Surely according to the same line of reasoning they weren't really chinese either?

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Besides, look at where the original argument was placed, and what it was meant to answer.  It was not intended or crafted to say "Christians are better than everyone else."  It was intended to refute the argument that the Chinese are somehow more civilized than Christians.  Sheesh.

The original argument that I responded to was:

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well, for one thing it gave us a moral code, in a time where there was relative immorality ( i'm talking about pre-greece).

To this, I responded that the chinese, mesoamerican and egytpitan civilisations might disagree with this assesment. Noone was arguing that the Chinese where somehow more civilised, only that they had a moral code and a civilisation in what distant watcher defined as a time of immorality. At this stage, you enter the argument, apparently completely misunderstand it, and decide to prove that the chinese are not more civilized, by listing atrocities commited by them through the ages. As we were arguing different things, I assumed this was somehow ment to refute that the chinese were civilized/had a moral code. I responded by pointing out that if one used such things as guidelines, christians would not fare well either. You then argue that any ancient christian (or any christian between some arbitary point and the reformation?) isn't really christian, which absolves the religion of blame. I realize that you are arguing something completely different, and write this paragraph. The end.

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Because it's exactly what happened to the Christian nations.  And because the Chinese lost their dominance due to ISOLATIONISM.  If they had been evangelical, then they wouldn't have been isolationists.  At all.

Good point. But a lot of the christian nations that spread and conquered other parts of the world were catholic. Just so I am clear,  is modern day catholicism christianity, or did it change during the reformation somehow? Also, I think you're missing a lot of factors here. European countries had very different frontiers than the chinese, who were surrounded by mountains, deserts and barbarian-filled plains. European conquerors had africa close by, and discovered america. Both these continents held technologically inferior civilizations which were easily dominated. You'll note that all that expansivity you attribute to christianity didn't really help it spread eastwards.

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Maybe any other aggressive religion would have served them equally well.  You act as though this refutes me somehow.  My point is that Christianity seems to have served very well.  If you're going to refute me, tell me that Christianity did not serve them well, and back it up with examples.  Then you can disagree with me intelligently.

I was not making the argument that christianity could not serve as well as any other religion. Rather, I was refuting your point that only christianity would serve, and that it is the single defining factor. I was making the argument that  religion is one of a multitude of factors that influence a civilisations development and culture, whereas you seemed to be stating that it is the defining factor for creating a successful state of any kind. Also, if you really feel the need to quabble about evidence, how about presenting some proper evidence instead of making large leaps of fate? Present to me, any nation in the world, which can be proven to be succesful only due to it's religion, and nothing else.

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Yes, you're right.  It was a gradual descent from Christian Russia to Communist Russia, and not a quick drop down an elevator shaft.  But Russia did fairly well for itself for a couple hundred years at least as a Christian nation, did it not?

Actually, it was a descent from Imperial Russia to Communist russia, unless you believe that it was a theocracy prior to communism. Again, I would ask you to present any shred of proof that Russia did well because it was a semi-chrisitan nation, and because of no other factors. Equally well, show that communism failed only because there was no religion, rather than because of any other factor.

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Yeah, but if the diamond one beat all the other ones up, I'd have to rethink THAT hypothesis.  :-)

This has nothing to do with my example, or with the erroneous nature of your original argument.

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And why are the white people so successful?  I think their religion plays a large part in it.

Or you could look at the link I provided in my previous post. There is a multitude of reasons for europe being as successful as it is, ranging from dumb luck to geographical placement. The seeds of success were sown long before christianity reared it's head.

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I don't really care if you disagree.  If you want evidence that religion can do that sort of thing, look at Islam.  Before Muhammed, no one really cared about the Arabs.  After Muhammed, they had estabished an empire and conquered Spain.  Coincidence?  You can think so.  I don't care.

Please tell me who you're referring to. There were large civilisations in the arabic part of the world before Muhammed as wel las after. Also, if you really don't care, why participate in a discussion at all?

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Fairly clearly.   That's a good one, I'll have to remember that.

Glad I could be of assistance. I only wish you'd remember my points as well as my phrasing.

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As for the mesoamerican dark age, it seems to be fairly well-accepted.  It was not at all hard to find the following:
Wikipedia: Toltecs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toltec)
You can see that some civilizations, like the Toltecs and Mayans, died out before the Spanish ever arrived (http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/arch/mexchron.html)
"Dark Ages" pdf (http://www.istendency.net/pdf/1_05_first_dark_ages.pdf#search=%22mesoamerica%20dark%20age%22)
Aztec myth/record of history (http://www.rjames.com/Toltec/timeline.htm)
Dark Ages Cold Period (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-06-23/dark.htm)

Thank you, I shall have a look-see.

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Are opinions not allowed?  I was under the delusion that they were.  That was one of them.

If you wish to make an argument on the demise of an ancient civilisation, it would carry a lot more weight if you used facts rather than opinions. Of course it is your right to believe whatever you choose. However, if you wish to debate wether something is true or not, just an opinion will not go far. I also congratualte you on completely side stepping every point I made about ancient Rome, choosing instead to create a faboulous strawman.

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Oh, be nice.  I just happen to be of the opinion that many of the books that DID make it are real.  If you must know, I prayed about it.  Go ahead.  Try it.  It's good stuff.

I tend to be equally as nice as those I debate with. So, first you snip off IVan and tell him that "you've done your research". This implies that you've got an actual factual basis for your opinion. And when asked about it, your sole reasoning is "I prayed"? I pray quite often. That doesn't mean I go around calling my prayers "research", or claiming them as facts. My professors would very probably fail me if I did.

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Good.  I can skip that lesson.   ;)

Yes. Try focusing on the others, and learn something.

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I move that there was a LOT of progress in the dark ages. 

So, what kind of progress do you feel was made during the dark ages?

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But you're not going to listen to that.

A wee bit judgemental are we? Trying to paint your opponent as a narrow-minded person who wont listen to reason really isn't very conductive to a good argument.

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I also move that our civilization REALLY took off right about the time of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther.  This was some time after the so-called "Dark Ages."

Indeed. Again, feel free to prove that this was ONLY because of religion, rather than a multitude of factors.

In summation, before continuing this, you might want to reflect slightly. It's completely fine to have opinions of your own. You're free to believe whatever you want. Maybe the Romans were wiped out because they were immoral. Maybe the books in the bible are exactly the right ones. Maybe christianity is the defining factor of western civilisation. But unless you present some sort of fact, any sort of fact, that is still just opinion. You're welcome to voice it, but you don't really accomplish anything in doing so. And seeing as this is a discussion forum, you might want to consider that people just sprouting opinions and falling back on "God told me" aren't really very useful in a discussion. Livejournal might be a better alternative for that.

Also, just to ensure you don't manage to construct another strawman out of all this. I'm not arguing that religion had no part in our culture. I'm arguing that religion isn't the defining factor of a successful civilisation, in the way you are implying. A important factor, sure, but not the only one.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on August 29, 2006, 01:38:04 am
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This world wasn't intended to be easy.  If it were, then we wouldn't learn jack squat from living here. 

So what do children born with lukemia and die as a gradeschooler or toddler gain in this great "learning" experience? What is the lesson to be taught to crack addicted babys? Or the hopelessly poor people who have to dig through garbage dumps to make a living. Or children born with two sets of genitals? etc. etc. Is that the human experience?


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As for the animals, I'm not sure what they were like at that time, only that they're different now.  Maybe sharks DID eat seaweed, and they've been retooled to keep fish populations in check.  Your guess is as good as mine.  It's not important, anyway.

Watch Shark Week on discovey channel sometime, you'll see they were designed to eat meat. Their sharp teeth are so intrigual to thier survival, they have rows of backup teeth to spring into replace a lost tooth.


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Hey, he made the earth, didn't he?  That's more power than I've got. 

SO you will worship anyone with more power than you? If an alien civilization pulls into orbit someday you'd fall to your knees and worship?

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I don't think God is omnipotent as in "*snap,* it's done."  I think he's omnipotent in that God can do anything he sets his mind to do.  THAT is real power.

SO you're saying god is not omnipotent and has limitations? Can god build a rock so heavy he cannot lift it? ;)

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I wouldn't say it achieved nothing.  A lot of people who would have raised their children in stupidity and wickedness were wiped out, and there was once more a decent amount of good people.  I don't think good people have ever really been the majority, but if the people as a whole are too evil, God will destroy them.  I think that's what the Bible is trying to say, anyways.

Are you sure Noah's Ark isn't just a popular story designed to keep children inline? If you are wicked, god might come and kill you! Srry, I don't see god commiting homicide let alone genocide.

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God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.

Why do we need to sacrifice?

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Perhaps we are looking at ancient mythic text, written by many fallible human authors who all contributed thier own spin on god rather than god's absolute word to us?
Yup.  I think that's a pretty good assessment.  I also think that they really did talk to God, and that there's a lot we can learn from
A) The mistakes of our anscestors and
B) The advice of God.

Even if you don't believe this particular God is true, it's good advice.

Well, the only real problem I have with christianity is the arrogance to suggest that Jesus is the one true way and all other religions are condemned to hell. But I do respect your conviction and faith. You take things on faith much more than I ever could..

[


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 29, 2006, 07:44:12 am
So what do children born with lukemia and die as a gradeschooler or toddler gain in this great "learning" experience? What is the lesson to be taught to crack addicted babys? Or the hopelessly poor people who have to dig through garbage dumps to make a living. Or children born with two sets of genitals? etc. etc. Is that the human experience?

God moves in mysterious ways. Perhaps what is bad on the physical plain prepares our souls in some way?

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Watch Shark Week on discovey channel sometime, you'll see they were designed to eat meat. Their sharp teeth are so intrigual to thier survival, they have rows of backup teeth to spring into replace a lost tooth.

But a purposeful mutation may well have changed them into a new species. They might have been timid seaweed munching dugongs once.

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SO you will worship anyone with more power than you? If an alien civilization pulls into orbit someday you'd fall to your knees and worship?

I seem to recall Arthur C. Clarke saying "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Maybe the same is true for religion?

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Are you sure Noah's Ark isn't just a popular story designed to keep children inline? If you are wicked, god might come and kill you! Srry, I don't see god commiting homicide let alone genocide.

However, it might be based on a true story (http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_noah.htm).

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Why do we need to sacrifice?

What confuses me most is, why don't we need  to anymore. I mean, fair enough, God moves in mysterious ways, the smell of burnt animal offerings is somethign he deems necessary. Btu noone sacrifices animals at their local church anymore, do they. I sure as hell don't. So why doesn't he want us to do that anymore? Admittedly, I'm a bit vague on church history, possibly there was a saint or something that put  a stop to it, but was there a reason given?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Zieman on August 29, 2006, 09:30:38 am
What confuses me most is, why don't we need  to anymore. I mean, fair enough, God moves in mysterious ways, the smell of burnt animal offerings is somethign he deems necessary. Btu noone sacrifices animals at their local church anymore, do they. I sure as hell don't. So why doesn't he want us to do that anymore? Admittedly, I'm a bit vague on church history, possibly there was a saint or something that put  a stop to it, but was there a reason given?
Jesus sacrificed himself, so nobody needs to sacrifice anything anymore.
That's what I recall being taught at school in my youth...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 29, 2006, 10:16:07 am
Fair enough reason I suppose. Althogh I always thougth that Jesus died for our sins. To find out that he also died so we wouldn't have to sacrifice animals is... interesting.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 29, 2006, 10:18:23 am
There's also a lot of talk about atheists in this thread recently.  I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said that there is no believer so firm as the atheist, for he believes in gods so strongly that he feels the need to deny them.  He's always good for a laugh, but I don't think he's stupid.

Would you mind telling where did you spot that quote?
I'm a big fan of Pratchett, but I have never seen it.
I also did a few simple google searches and came up with nothing.

Not to mention it doesn't sound like something he would say, seeing as:
a) It's a great misrepresentation of atheist's position. He's too intelligent make such a misrepresentation unpurposefully. If he did purposefully decide to make a joke about atheists it would be much more accurate and funny.
b) As far as I know Pratchett is a non-believer himself, so it seems rather strange he would write something like that.

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I, on the other hand, don't believe in atheists.  I think that everybody deifies something, it's just not always something supernatural.

So it seems you know more about me, then I know about myself even tough we have never met.

By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 29, 2006, 01:03:33 pm
Would you mind telling where did you spot that quote?
I'm a big fan of Pratchett, but I have never seen it.
I also did a few simple google searches and came up with nothing.

'To be fair, I dimly recall some similar quote on how atheists believe in the non-exsistence of gods by Mr. Pratchett. Or possibly something about how atheists actively deny the presence of a diety, which is similar to the way  deists believe in that presence. I can find any source for that though, and it's a long tiem since I read it.

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By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?

Has the thought crossed your mind that he might be capable of independent research?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 29, 2006, 01:37:44 pm
'To be fair, I dimly recall some similar quote on how atheists believe in the non-exsistence of gods by Mr. Pratchett. Or possibly something about how atheists actively deny the presence of a diety, which is similar to the way  deists believe in that presence. I can find any source for that though, and it's a long tiem since I read it.

Well, I wouldn't put it past Pratchett to make fun of atheists.
I remember, for example, when one of the characters from his book said "planes stay up in the air because of science".
But this and the quotes you recall are much different then the way Lance has worded it, and not quite what I would expect from Pratchett.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on August 29, 2006, 04:34:02 pm
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By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?

Has the thought crossed your mind that he might be capable of independent research?

Considering that he was asking if he had performed independent research, I'd say, 'yes'.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 29, 2006, 04:47:20 pm
Considering that he was asking if he had performed independent research, I'd say, 'yes'.

Chill out D. It was a joke played on Lance.
This (http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=3029.msg40006#msg40006) is where it started (at the end of Lance's post). Check out Luki's replies and all will be clear :)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Draxas on August 29, 2006, 05:22:35 pm
There's also a lot of talk about atheists in this thread recently.  I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said that there is no believer so firm as the atheist, for he believes in gods so strongly that he feels the need to deny them.  He's always good for a laugh, but I don't think he's stupid.

Would you mind telling where did you spot that quote?
I'm a big fan of Pratchett, but I have never seen it.
I also did a few simple google searches and came up with nothing.

Not to mention it doesn't sound like something he would say, seeing as:
a) It's a great misrepresentation of atheist's position. He's too intelligent make such a misrepresentation unpurposefully. If he did purposefully decide to make a joke about atheists it would be much more accurate and funny.
b) As far as I know Pratchett is a non-believer himself, so it seems rather strange he would write something like that.

I think he writes something to this effect in Small Gods, though I believe the actual wording has been twisted around in order to support a point. I seem to recall him going into why being an atheist on Discworld was so difficult (being that anyone who declares that gods don't exist tends to be struck by lightning immediately, with a note attached reading "Yes, we do"). Then again, it's been a long time since I read that one, and I've read a lot of his books, so I could be mixing it up.

Of course, one must also consider that Small Gods spent much more of its time making fun of monotheism (which is another foreign concept for the Discworld), how man twists the word of god around so much that it barely resembles its original form, and how the larger an organized religion gets, the more it's defined by the first word of the term rather than the second. Might be a bad example for backing up an argument in favor of Christianity, no?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 29, 2006, 06:29:53 pm
I think he writes something to this effect in Small Gods, though I believe the actual wording has been twisted around in order to support a point. I seem to recall him going into why being an atheist on Discworld was so difficult (being that anyone who declares that gods don't exist tends to be struck by lightning immediately, with a note attached reading "Yes, we do"). Then again, it's been a long time since I read that one, and I've read a lot of his books, so I could be mixing it up.

Ah, yes Small Gods.
There was this atheist character there, that would fit the description. Now I seem to recall something about him hating gods so much that  he needs them just as the believers do, or he would have no one to rebel against, or something like that... it was also a long time for me since I last read that book.

Either way , if that's where he got that quote from, he did twist it quite a lot indeed.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 29, 2006, 08:20:11 pm
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By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?

Has the thought crossed your mind that he might be capable of independent research?

Considering that he was asking if he had performed independent research, I'd say, 'yes'.

Considering that you apparently missed what I was referring to, you might want to go back a bit through the thread. I'm assuming Ivan got it.

EDIT: I'm a retard who somehow managed to miss every reply after D_999's reply. DURRR


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on August 29, 2006, 08:51:33 pm
I didn't mean it so seriously anyway...


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on August 29, 2006, 08:57:07 pm
I didn't mean it so seriously anyway...

Ah, but your avatar gives an aura of seriousness to everything you say.
It also makes me subconsciously add "or die" at the end of your every sentence.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 29, 2006, 09:08:07 pm
Ah, but your avatar gives an aura of seriousness to everything you say.
It also makes me subconsciously add "or die" at the end of your every sentence.

Your avatar makes me add an "ARRRRR" to everything you say. This is mostly amusing, but can be disconcerting at times.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: meep-eep on August 29, 2006, 11:55:27 pm
Ah, yes Small Gods.
There was this atheist character there, that would fit the description. Now I seem to recall something about him hating gods so much that  he needs them just as the believers do, or he would have no one to rebel against, or something like that... it was also a long time for me since I last read that book.

There's also Feet of Clay, with the atheist golem Dorfl.
Quote
''But the gods plainly do exist,' said a priest.
'It Is Not Evident.'
A bolt of lightning lanced through the clouds and hit Dorfl's helmet. There was a sheet of flame and then a trickling noise. Dorfl's molten armour formed puddles around his white-hot feet.
"I Don't Call That Much Of An Argument,' said Dorfl calmly, from somewhere in the clouds of smoke.
[...]
'What you're saying is, you'll accept the existence of any god only if it can be proven by discussion?'
'Yes,' said Dorfl.
[...]
We took him and baked him in the fire and he's turned out to  be free, he thought. No words in the head except the ones he's chosen to put there himself. And he's not just an atheist,  he's a ceramic atheist. Fireproof!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on August 30, 2006, 07:08:06 am
I think he writes something to this effect in Small Gods, ....
Quote

I remember that Small Gods made an excellent argument for what happens when religions grow too big. Something along the lines that people start believing in the infrastructure around the god, rather than the god themselves.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on September 01, 2006, 10:19:29 pm

What do all you make of these claims.


http://www.illustramedia.com/tpppreview.htm

Select bandwidth and movie player, about 4 minutes long..


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Ivan Ivanov on September 01, 2006, 11:25:20 pm

What do all you make of these claims.

http://www.illustramedia.com/tpppreview.htm

Select bandwidth and movie player, about 4 minutes long..

Well, the first problem I have with this, is that they try to talk about the probability of a given planet having some specific things that make life on it possible, without actually having a clue what those chances are. 1 in 10? Where in the world did they get that number?

Another thing is they give a number of factors that they claim are necessary for life, without showing why are they needed. Oh, sure if any of these things were different life as we know it[ would be impossible, but it doesn't mean all kinds of life would be impossible.

Thirdly, they claim all these conditions have to be met at once, which is just not true.
When it all began Earth wasn't as "hospitable" as it is now. It changed slowly to the Earth we know now, in no small part thanks to the basic life-forms that lived in very extremye conditions of the past.
So all you really need is only the most basic conditions for life to be met, it will carry on from there.

I might be willing to agree that another Earth is unlikely to be found, but it doesn't mean that life is equally uncommon. Life has shown to be extremely adaptive. Once it shows up, it really doesn't want to go away. So I see no reason why it couldn't adapt to much diffferent conditions then what we have on Earth.

Also, if you want to play with probabilities, have you ever wondered what are the odds of *you* beeing born? Of all the people on the planet, your parents had to get togather, and they would have to do it at the right time, or *you* wouldn't have been born. Miraculous isn't it?
But then, if all the conditions, needed for you to be born, weren't met, what would happen? Well, someone else would be born.
A much different outcome, yet, in most aspects, just as good.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: AnotherW on September 02, 2006, 09:34:38 am
Hey all, back after a long lurk....

Meep-eep:
following your quote about dorfl i had a re-read of "feets of clay", god i love terry pratchet!


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on September 04, 2006, 02:23:47 pm
What do all you make of these claims.

http://www.illustramedia.com/tpppreview.htm

Select bandwidth and movie player, about 4 minutes long..

I'd rather not play that right now, for various reasons. Is this by the guy who claims that finding a planet favorable to life has a 1 in 10^100 chance? Because once I went down his list, and it was full of duplicate entries and total irrelevancies. I trashed it at

http://www.dare2share.org/boards/viewtopic.php?t=513&start=158
(the list was put forward some posts earlier)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on September 06, 2006, 12:50:38 am
Quote
Well, the first problem I have with this, is that they try to talk about the probability of a given planet having some specific things that make life on it possible, without actually having a clue what those chances are. 1 in 10? Where in the world did they get that number?

I agree actually.. However, don't 1 in 10 odds seem rather generous when you consider the likelyhood that our solar system is at the right spot in our galaxy? Not too close to center of galaxy, not too far out ,and in between galactic arms which keeps us out of nebuleas cloudsand high radiation.,(not to mention, provides a good viewpoint for human exploration of the universe). Isn't it also odd that 95%+ of galactic matter is clumpped into the center and arms of the galaxy and earth is one of the rare final few precentile? Not only that but our sun doesnt have a companion star which most systems have. Most bi or tri star systems would be far too radio active for life as we know it..

All the other factors were given equally as much generosity imo. Solar habital zone, right mass, stabilizing moon, not too close to sun to mass lock like venus etc. etc. How do you quantify the likelyhood? 1 in 10 seems very generous!

Now realize of course I'm relying on scientific theory for most of those conclusions, after all, we've never been beyond our own solar system (voyeger's close).


Quote
Another thing is they give a number of factors that they claim are necessary for life, without showing why are they needed.

Well that's where the other 55 minutes of the video come in. ;) Their argumentation is convincing.

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Oh, sure if any of these things were different life as we know it[ would be impossible, but it doesn't mean all kinds of life would be impossible.

That's the whole point, complex life like we find on earth. We can only speculate based on known life. Sure, their may be energy crystal based easter bunnies from the planet Zar, but the point is moot .They are describing the likelyhood of all these conspiring statistics to be in the same place and at same time to make earth what it is, and eventually produce us humans.

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Thirdly, they claim all these conditions have to be met at once, which is just not true.
When it all began Earth wasn't as "hospitable" as it is now. It changed slowly to the Earth we know now, in no small part thanks to the basic life-forms that lived in very extremye conditions of the past.
So all you really need is only the most basic conditions for life to be met, it will carry on from there.

I actually agree with this.. partly. They do have to be met at once because that IS what is happening here on earth. All those criteria are being met right here and right now. if you change any variable, we don't have earth as we know it. For example do you realize the global effects of just several degrees in average global temperature would do to us? We see records of cyclic ice ages and warming trends in earth's history and most are caused by a small deviance in average global temperature.

I agree not all these conditions have to be met to sustain simple life such as bacteria and microbes. But what about complex life forms like humans? Now the conditions are much more picky.

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I might be willing to agree that another Earth is unlikely to be found, but it doesn't mean that life is equally uncommon. Life has shown to be extremely adaptive. Once it shows up, it really doesn't want to go away. So I see no reason why it couldn't adapt to much diffferent conditions then what we have on Earth.

I agree here, good point. However,the DVD deals with human life in particular.
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Also, if you want to play with probabilities, have you ever wondered what are the odds of *you* beeing born? Of all the people on the planet, your parents had to get togather, and they would have to do it at the right time, or *you* wouldn't have been born. Miraculous isn't it?

Ahh, nice try, but if the other planets in the solar system had complex life, you might have a point.. ;)
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But then, if all the conditions, needed for you to be born, weren't met, what would happen? Well, someone else would be born.
A much different outcome, yet, in most aspects, just as good.

The problem with your argument is that all people are pretty much the same. Two eyes, two ears etc. etc. Not a good analogy because Earth is the oddball in our solar system. Why haven't the other planets developed ecosystems and trive with life? Especially different life forms?



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Deus Siddis on September 06, 2006, 03:45:16 am
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Why haven't the other planets developed ecosystems and trive with life? Especially different life forms?

Who's to say they haven't (I assume you would include life on moons.) There could be ice worms on mars plasmoids on mercury or slylendro on neptune and we wouldn't know it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on September 06, 2006, 07:14:22 am
Now realize of course I'm relying on scientific theory for most of those conclusions, after all, we've never been beyond our own solar system (voyeger's close).

This is partly what bothers me with this. While we can observe the presence of planets in other solar systems, we can only observe differenent types of planetary "ecosystems"1 within our own solar system. And even within our own solar system, we really don't know that much about the planets. Drawing too many conclusions based on such a small sample is a tad risky.

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That's the whole point, complex life like we find on earth. We can only speculate based on known life.

If we only speculate on known life, why are we not limiting our speculations to known planets and solar systems? If you can define how probable it is for another world to support human life, surely it could be coupled with a list that defines how probable it is that another world could support non-human life. After all, it's all speculation.

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I actually agree with this.. partly. They do have to be met at once because that IS what is happening here on earth. All those criteria are being met right here and right now. if you change any variable, we don't have earth as we know it. For example do you realize the global effects of just several degrees in average global temperature would do to us? We see records of cyclic ice ages and warming trends in earth's history and most are caused by a small deviance in average global temperature.

I think what Ivan meant is that all those criteria must not be fullfileld at once. If A and B are required for life as we know it, that doesn't mean that A and B must have all come into existence at once. A could have happened first, giving rise to primitive life forms that then partially caused the occurence of B. They then further evolved/were changed in a system where both A and B were present, until they were unable to survive without both A and B.

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Ahh, nice try, but if the other planets in the solar system had complex life, you might have a point.. ;)

The problem with your argument is that all people are pretty much the same. Two eyes, two ears etc. etc. Not a good analogy because Earth is the oddball in our solar system. Why haven't the other planets developed ecosystems and trive with life? Especially different life forms?

While it is highly unlikely that we ever found a buried martian civilisation, we might one day find primitive lifeforms on mars, or some moon (Clarke comes to mind). Also, keep in mind that time is of the essence. For all we know, there might once have been a great civilisation on Mars. Unlikely as it is, it isn't as if we've had a chance to do any archeological research there. If the Earth had been made barren by a civilisation a million years ago, would any visitor be able to determine that there had once been life there?

1 Well not real ecosystems since they are (AFAWK) devoid of life, but I couldn't find a better word.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on September 06, 2006, 04:02:20 pm
Not too close to center of galaxy, not too far out ,and in between galactic arms which keeps us out of nebuleas cloudsand high radiation.

Even if we were in a region with a lot of nebulas, the chances of passing too close to one would be insignificant.

(not to mention, provides a good viewpoint for human exploration of the universe).

The only places that aren't good for exploring the universe wouldn't have rocky planets anyway. I'm thinking here of the globular clusters, which exist in the halo. They are all first-generation stars.

Isn't it also odd that 95%+ of galactic matter is clumpped into the center and arms of the galaxy and earth is one of the rare final few precentile?

WTF are you talking about? Earth is in an arm. We're in the 95%, not the 5%. But that's just transient. You clearly don't even know what the arms ARE.

The arms are the high-pressure portion of a pressure wave that is proceeding around the galaxy at an astronomically slow rate. In the high pressure regions, nebulas are compressed to the point they collapse into stars. The stars are of all types, including the very bright blue stars. These burn out quickly, so you only find them near the peaks of the pressure waves.

As implied by calling them waves, they move in respect to the rest of the galaxy. On an evolutionary time scale, the arms have swept over us several times. Our present position in respect to them is insignificant.

And anyone who has a basic grip on galactic astronomy knows this. If your sources claimed this was signficant, they are so ignorant as to be useless as sources.

Not only that but our sun doesnt have a companion star which most systems have. Most bi or tri star systems would be far too radio active for life as we know it..

Bull. Most binaries are distant binaries, in which the second star would be too far away to be significant. It wouldn't even disrupt the inner part of our Kuiper belt.
Alpha Centauri is a binary star system. If you were to give us a binary star that was similar to Alpha Centauri's binary partner, it would be a bit brighter than Sirius.

All the other factors were given equally as much generosity imo. Solar habital zone, right mass, stabilizing moon, not too close to sun to mass lock like venus etc. etc.

Solar habitable zone? We have no data on how wide that is. And given the several chances our solar system got (about 3 planets in roughly the right area), it seems unlikely that a system would miss altogether.

As for the right mass, again, we have two planets that are heavy enough to form a thick atmosphere without being too heavy to 'run away' like the gas giants. TWO out of a figure the order of ten.

I don't see the significance of the moon. We don't even need it for tides (The sun's tides are 1/3 as strong as the moon's, or something like that).

And Venus is not tidally locked, though its day is really long, that I'll grant.


Now realize of course I'm relying on scientific theory for most of those conclusions, after all, we've never been beyond our own solar system (voyeger's close).

If you were relying on scientific theory, you'd be a lot more accurate.


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Oh, sure if any of these things were different life as we know it[ would be impossible, but it doesn't mean all kinds of life would be impossible.

That's the whole point, complex life like we find on earth.

Oh, like the extremophiles that live in oceanic vents? Hmm, couldn't possibly have life that was a little toastier than it is here, then, eh?

Even if we only include life that actually is known to occur, we find that it is quite capable of tolerating situations that you do not admit it can.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on September 06, 2006, 06:14:46 pm
I otherwise agree, bu I think that when RT is referring to complex life, he doesn't mean bacteria that can survive extreme conditions, but rather complex multicellular organisms capable of being sentient. And since the study apaprently only concerns itself with known lifeforms, and all large sentient multicellular known beings are humans, that means every planet capable of sustaining sentient life must be able to support humans. Unless I got it wrong somewhere along the way.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on September 07, 2006, 12:30:57 am


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If we only speculate on known life, why are we not limiting our speculations to known planets and solar systems? If you can define how probable it is for another world to support human life, surely it could be coupled with a list that defines how probable it is that another world could support non-human life. After all, it's all speculation.

As far as we can tell all the criteria must be met for anything more complex than perhaps a neamatode. Can you think of any animal surviving on mars (or any other planet) more complex than a bacteria?

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I think what Ivan meant is that all those criteria must not be fullfileld at once. If A and B are required for life as we know it, that doesn't mean that A and B must have all come into existence at once.

Of course not and I'd never argue that.

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A could have happened first, giving rise to primitive life forms that then partially caused the occurence of B. They then further evolved/were changed in a system where both A and B were present, until they were unable to survive without both A and B.

We have no reason to suspect that the cellular process in complex life today is any different than the beginning of life.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on September 07, 2006, 01:15:59 am
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The only places that aren't good for exploring the universe wouldn't have rocky planets anyway. I'm thinking here of the globular clusters, which exist in the halo. They are all first-generation stars.

Why wouldn't there be any rocky planets there? because the dust disk hasn't built planets yet?

What I'm describing is the fact that the earth is placed in a position in the galaxy where we can view the galactic center, view  the outer edge, see distant spiral galaxies and draw conclusions about our solar system position and shape of the milky way. From almost any other point other than the mid galactic plane, it's difficult to draw conclusions. Galactic arms and center are too crowded with dust and super huge stars.

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WTF are you talking about? Earth is in an arm. We're in the 95%, not the 5%. But that's just transient. You clearly don't even know what the arms ARE.

Each spiral arm describes a logarithmic spiral (as do the arms of all spiral galaxies) with a pitch of approximately 12 degrees. There are believed to be four major spiral arms which all start at the Galaxy's center. These are named as follows, according to the image at right:

2 and 8 - 3kpc and Perseus Arm
3 and 7 - Norma and Cygnus Arm (Along with a newly discovered extension - 6)
4 and 10 - Crux and Scutum Arm
5 and 9 - Carina and Sagittarius Arm
There are at least two smaller arms or spurs, including:

11 - Orion Arm (which contains the solar system and the Sun - 12)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

I'm talking about the Major Arms.. Chocked with dust and super heavy, hot suns..Not:

The Orion Arm is a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The solar system and Earth are within the Orion Arm. It is also referred to as the Local Arm or the Orion Spur.

..wich is sparsely populated in comparison to the major arms.

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Bull. Most binaries are distant binaries, in which the second star would be too
I disagree.

Source?

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Solar habitable zone? We have no data on how wide that is. And given the several chances our solar system got (about 3 planets in roughly the right area), it seems unlikely that a system would miss altogether.

I believe running water is the criteria.

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As for the right mass, again, we have two planets that are heavy enough to form a thick atmosphere without being too heavy to 'run away' like the gas giants. TWO out of a figure the order of ten.

Which planets are you referring to? Besides I was talking about tidal lock where one orbiting body presents the same side to the parent object. Venus and Mercury are very, vey close to this. The drag from the sun slows their rotation. Many moons including our own exhibit this pattern.

As for size of the earth, large enough to exert enough gravity and enough mass to maintain a molten core which churns up and releases fresh chemicals onto the surface. In turn the molten iron core also provides protection from cosmic rays.

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I don't see the significance of the moon. We don't even need it for tides (The sun's tides are 1/3 as strong as the moon's, or something like that).

Interesting but tides are nessicary for the moderate climate we enjoy. Somthing I don't think the sun would provide nearly as well.But even if it did, it is believed by many scientists that the moon stabilizes our rotation and axis tilt. Without the stabilizing moon our seasonal changes would be drastic.

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And Venus is not tidally locked, though its day is really long, that I'll grant.

Not yet,but full tidal lock is therorized and predicted.

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Oh, like the extremophiles that live in oceanic vents? Hmm, couldn't possibly have life that was a little toastier than it is here, then, eh?

Even if we only include life that actually is known to occur, we find that it is quite capable of tolerating situations that you do not admit it can.

Nobody says those animals can't live in extreme situations. But that's a far cry from the diversity and absolute density of life we find here in every possible enviornment. We have yet to find such a remarkable eco-system such as found
here anywhere else.

Thats an interesting fact in it's own right. If life is so versatile and so tenatious at surviving and evolving, why isn't mars teaming with polar bears and pine trees (or the mars equivilant) ?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on September 07, 2006, 08:10:03 am
As far as we can tell all the criteria must be met for anything more complex than perhaps a neamatode. Can you think of any animal surviving on mars (or any other planet) more complex than a bacteria?

Assuming Mars at it's present state, and life as we know it, no. But as I said, you're only working with known life, and a small sample of known planets. Granted, as Ivan said another Earth is probabyl very unlikely to coem along, but that doesn't mean other forms of life are equally unlikely.

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We have no reason to suspect that the cellular process in complex life today is any different than the beginning of life.

Nor does it need to be. There are plenty of bacteria around to day that can do just fine without many things we need. Oxygen, sunlight, and so forth. Some of them produce oxygen, among other things. So they might only need A, but produce B. Later lifeforms then evolve/specificallymutate to take advantage of this new circumstance B, and cannot survive without it.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on September 07, 2006, 06:27:42 pm
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The only places that aren't good for exploring the universe wouldn't have rocky planets anyway. I'm thinking here of the globular clusters, which exist in the halo. They are all first-generation stars.

Why wouldn't there be any rocky planets there? because the dust disk hasn't built planets yet?

This is really sad, but okay, I'll teach you astrophysics.

The globular clusters, as I said, are all first-generation stars which formed roughly simultaneously. This means that when they formed, the only thing around was Hydrogen. Okay, a tiny amount of helium and an even tinier amount of lithium. That was it. You can't make rocky planets out of that.

Supernovae in the cluster would create heavier elements, but since the other stars had already formed by that point, there is no drag to help them form up into planets. They would just scatter off of the other stars' gravity wells.


What I'm describing is the fact that the earth is placed in a position in the galaxy where we can view the galactic center, view  the outer edge, see distant spiral galaxies and draw conclusions about our solar system position and shape of the milky way.

You can see the galactic center and distant spiral galaxies from anywhere in the galaxy. We couldn't see the outer edge ourselves until like 50 years ago or so.

Anyway, the ease with which one can do extragalactic astronomy has nothing to do with the development of intelligent life.

From almost any other point other than the mid galactic plane, it's difficult to draw conclusions. Galactic arms and center are too crowded with dust and super huge stars.

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WTF are you talking about? Earth is in an arm. We're in the 95%, not the 5%. But that's just transient. You clearly don't even know what the arms ARE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way
does not conflict with my explanation. The arms move independently of us. They sweep over us. The arms have raised density/pressure, which triggers the formation of stars.

I'm talking about the Major Arms.. Chocked with dust and super heavy, hot suns.

It's not choked with dust. If it were, it would be DIM. It's dense with hydrogen and number-dense with bright stars. The bright stars are deadly to be around, yes; but they only form where there are nebulas. The nebulas are orbiting with us, and their collapse is triggered by the pressure wave. The nebula in our area already got triggered a long time ago, making our system; so there isn't another one around to wreck us later.


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Bull. Most binaries are distant binaries, in which the second star would be too
I disagree.

Source?

Wait a cotton-picking moment. You disagree before you've even looked at the evidence. Great.

http://www.stellar-database.com/fields.html

says that
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Bear in mind that any planets in a multiple star system must be closer to the star they are orbiting than 25% of the Periastron distance between that star and its nearest neighbor; otherwise, their orbits wouldn't be stable and they'd fly off into deep space.
Note, this is a pessimistic rule of thumb since one star may be substantially larger than the other, which would help bind other objects into the system.

I'll go down the database, from closest to furthest... (note, this does bias the data, in the direction of HIGHER density and more close binaries, because we are in a dense neighborhood)

periastron separations (i.e. the closest they get)
Alpha - proxima centauri periastron separation: 11.4 AU
UV Ceti: 4.12 AU
Sirius: 8 AU
Epsilon Eridani: 1.36 AU
EZ Aquarii: < 1.22 AU
Procyon and its companion: 9.544 AU
61 Cygni: 51 AU
Struve 2398: 26.26 AU
Groombridge 34: 146 AU
DO Cephei: 5.7 AU.
V577 Monoceri: 3.857 AU

etc. As you can see, the median separation from these 11 samples is Sirius, with 8 AU separation.  Over 50% of the stars involved would have enough room to fit Earth in; the role of Jupiter in our system would obviously be taken by the other star.

And then of course there's the possibility of using a trojan orbit. You can fit two planets in very easily in that case.


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Solar habitable zone? We have no data on how wide that is. And given the several chances our solar system got (about 3 planets in roughly the right area), it seems unlikely that a system would miss altogether.

I believe running water is the criteria.

I know. I didn't say we have three planets in the habitable zone, I said in the right area. Planetary orbits are forced to be spaced out somewhat, and that increases the chances that one will happen to be in the Goldilocks zone.

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As for the right mass, again, we have two planets that are heavy enough to form a thick atmosphere without being too heavy to 'run away' like the gas giants. TWO out of a figure the order of ten.

Which planets are you referring to?

Venus. Earth. We have of order ten planets. Four are gas giants. Four are rocky inner planets. The rest are ice dwarfs.
Of the rocky inners, two have a substantial atmosphere.

Besides I was talking about tidal lock where one orbiting body presents the same side to the parent object. Venus and Mercury are very, vey close to this. The drag from the sun slows their rotation. Many moons including our own exhibit this pattern.

The drag from the sun? Drag. From. The. Sun.
LOL
The slowing is due to an interplay between tides and frictional losses in the mantle and core. Tidal lock sets in when the planet has been distorted to an egg shape so that one side is significantly more attracted than the rest of the planet.

As for size of the earth, large enough to exert enough gravity

Umm... you mean heavy enough to maintain an atmosphere? As I already pointed out, two out of four rocky planets in this system qualify.

and enough mass to maintain a molten core which churns up and releases fresh chemicals onto the surface.

That would be where tides become important, actually. Tides are what keep volcanism active, not our mass. See below. And above. Jupiter's moon Io has a lot more volcanism than Earth, and it has a tiny mass, comparatively speaking.

In turn the molten iron core also provides protection from cosmic rays.

The atmosphere does that. The high energy cosmic rays pierce the magnetic field like it wasn't even there, and wham! Atmosphere? Nearly nothing gets to the ground. Sure, UV gets through, but that passes straight through the magnetic field with no interaction.

Interesting but tides are nessicary for the moderate climate we enjoy. Somthing I don't think the sun would provide nearly as well.

One third as much, as I said. If you have a real argument for why we tides one third as large would be a problem, I'd really like to hear it.

But even if it did, it is believed by many scientists that the moon stabilizes our rotation and axis tilt. Without the stabilizing moon our seasonal changes would be drastic.

Hmm.. axial tilt of other planets...  among the rocky inner planets, we have the LARGEST axial tilt, slightly larger than that of Mars and 6 times larger than that of Venus. In fact, the only planet in the entire solar system with an axial tilt substantially larger than ours is Uranus, and that's so far out its tidal interactions with the Sun are insignificant.

This is inconsistent with the 'we'd begin wobbling way too much' theory.

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And Venus is not tidally locked, though its day is really long, that I'll grant.

Not yet,but full tidal lock is therorized and predicted.

Well, it's jolly well taking its time! If it takes more than 6 billion years, is that enough to prevent the formation of complex life? NO.

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Oh, like the extremophiles that live in oceanic vents? Hmm, couldn't possibly have life that was a little toastier than it is here, then, eh?

Even if we only include life that actually is known to occur, we find that it is quite capable of tolerating situations that you do not admit it can.

Nobody says those animals can't live in extreme situations. But that's a far cry from the diversity and absolute density of life we find here in every possible enviornment.

If your ecosystem was most easily measured in cubic meters I don't think you'd have a lot of large complex life with tons of biodiversity either.
I was just making a point, which you missed: life can tolerate temperatures of near the boiling point of water.

We have yet to find such a remarkable eco-system such as found here anywhere else.

... not that we have a lot of places besides Earth to look, do we?

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Thats an interesting fact in it's own right. If life is so versatile and so tenatious at surviving and evolving, why isn't mars teaming with polar bears and pine trees (or the mars equivilant) ?

Because the chances of life successfully forming are not particularly close to 100% even in eligible cases?
Because Mars is too hot for ammonia-based life?


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on September 07, 2006, 08:02:34 pm
Ouch. This is possibly the most hostile I've ever sen Death in a debate. Remind me not to ever mention stellar bodies in your presence ;)


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: RTyp06 on September 08, 2006, 01:52:33 am
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The globular clusters, as I said, are all first-generation stars which formed roughly simultaneously. This means that when they formed, the only thing around was Hydrogen. Okay, a tiny amount of helium and an even tinier amount of lithium. That was it. You can't make rocky planets out of that.

Supernovae in the cluster would create heavier elements, but since the other stars had already formed by that point, there is no drag to help them form up into planets. They would just scatter off of the other stars' gravity wells.

Fascinating, but rather pointless..really. I disagree that the only bad place to view the universe around us is are places without rocky planets. And as you pointed out, this isn't a criteria for complex life just an interesting side note.

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You can see the galactic center and distant spiral galaxies from anywhere in the galaxy. We couldn't see the outer edge ourselves until like 50 years ago or so.

I disagree.. How would we be able to differentiate between distanant objects and close objects in densely packed places in our galaxy such as the core? We have difficulty with this as is.
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Anyway, the ease with which one can do extragalactic astronomy has nothing to do with the development of intelligent life.

Agreed, was just an interesting side note, such as the moon perfectly covering the solar disk during a total eclipse that has allowed us humans to confirm some aspects of the theory of realitivity.

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does not conflict with my explanation. The arms move independently of us. They sweep over us. The arms have raised density/pressure, which triggers the formation of stars.

We don't know this and is purely theroretical. In fact some scientists have tried to use this as an explanation for the cyclic global weather changes (ice ages). Earth is  not inside a major galactic arm and never have been throughout human recorded history. And we ARE in a realitivly clear area of space, a minority place outside the vast mass of the galaxy.

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It's not choked with dust. If it were, it would be DIM. It's dense with hydrogen and number-dense with bright stars. The bright stars are deadly to be around, yes; but they only form where there are nebulas. The nebulas are orbiting with us, and their collapse is triggered by the pressure wave. The nebula in our area already got triggered a long time ago, making our system; so there isn't another one around to wreck us later.

It is choked with dust. There is a reason we called it the "Milky Way' when viewing our galaxy edge on.

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Wait a cotton-picking moment. You disagree before you've even looked at the evidence. Great.

You didn't present any evidence and it is my understanding that most binary star systems are theorized to be tidally locked., not just in resonance with each other which can be achieved at much greater distances.

Also to illustrate my point:

Visual binary stars have a large true separation, and consequently usually have orbital speeds too small to be measured spectroscopically from far away. Conversely, spectroscopic binary stars move fast in their orbits because they are close together; usually too close to be detected as visual binaries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_star

Hubble and Spitzer are finding these close binaries at an alarming rate. I understand that it wasn't until modern times where we had powerful and orbital telescopes that we drew the conclusion that most stars we see are part of a binary or more system.


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I'll go down the database, from closest to furthest... (note, this does bias the data, in the direction of HIGHER density and more close binaries, because we are in a dense neighborhood)

I agree we are in a fairly dense area (number of nearby stars) of our galaxy but still maintain it's nothing compared to the core and the desnse major galactic arms.

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etc. As you can see, the median separation from these 11 samples is Sirius, with 8 AU separation.  Over 50% of the stars involved would have enough room to fit Earth in; the role of Jupiter in our system would obviously be taken by the other star.

Brown dwarfs occupy the mass range between that of the lowest mass stars (anywhere between 75[1] and 80 Jupiter masses) and large gas-giant planets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_dwarf

Now imagine that  mass sitting in an orbit somewhere between Jupiter (5.2 AU) and Saturn (9.5 AU). I think it might have a significant effect on the inner solar system.. Don't you? And that's just a brown dwarf which is on the low end of the scale for star masses. So most of those binary stars you listed are much, much more massive.

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I know. I didn't say we have three planets in the habitable zone, I said in the right area. Planetary orbits are forced to be spaced out somewhat, and that increases the chances that one will happen to be in the Goldilocks zone.


Just because the odds of a planet residing in the goldilocks zone may not be extreme, what about size? Size matters, despite what women tell us.. ;)

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Venus. Earth. We have of order ten planets. Four are gas giants. Four are rocky inner planets. The rest are ice dwarfs.
Of the rocky inners, two have a substantial atmosphere.

Wether a planet has an atmosphere or not is of course not solely decided by mass. I believe the chemicals that constitute the atmosphere are very important as well as the gravitational pull.


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The drag from the sun? Drag. From. The. Sun.
LOL

Yeah? Not seeing the humor...
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The slowing is due to an interplay between tides and frictional losses in the mantle and core. Tidal lock sets in when the planet has been distorted to an egg shape so that one side is significantly more attracted than the rest of the planet.

Thank you for describing the mechanics of tidal locking but what causes it? Yeah, that's right, the gravity of the parent object... Perhaps "drag" isn't the best choice of words but the principle stands. The moon is in tidal lock because of the earth's gravity irregardless of the specific details...

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Umm... you mean heavy enough to maintain an atmosphere? As I already pointed out, two out of four rocky planets in this system qualify.

Mass and atmospheric chemical composition are both important factors. If mass didn't matter, many of the small moons would have thick atmospheres.

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That would be where tides become important, actually. Tides are what keep volcanism active, not our mass. See below. And above. Jupiter's moon Io has a lot more volcanism than Earth, and it has a tiny mass, comparatively speaking.

So what happened to mars? Why does it boast the largest volcanos in the solar system yet has two small insignificant moons with little to no tidal effect? IO is an extreme case and you are clearly correct, but do you really think the moon or sun tides are solely responsible for earth's molten core? And what about mercury? Surely the sun's tidal effect would make that little rock a molten mess? How about venus without a moon and has much evidence of a volcanic past (if not current)..

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The atmosphere does that. The high energy cosmic rays pierce the magnetic field like it wasn't even there, and wham! Atmosphere? Nearly nothing gets to the ground. Sure, UV gets through, but that passes straight through the magnetic field with no interaction.

Im not talking about UV that the OZone takes care of...

Then, during the decade from 1927 to 1937 a wide variety of experimental investigations demonstrated that the primary cosmic rays are mostly positive charged particles,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_rays

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Hmm.. axial tilt of other planets...  among the rocky inner planets, we have the LARGEST axial tilt, slightly larger than that of Mars and 6 times larger than that of Venus. In fact, the only planet in the entire solar system with an axial tilt substantially larger than ours is Uranus, and that's so far out its tidal interactions with the Sun are insignificant.

Yes and our tilt still wanders. Some scientists theorize it would be much worse than is without the moon.

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This is inconsistent with the 'we'd begin wobbling way too much' theory.

I'm not aware of this theory and is not my argument. It is believed the earth had a much more erreatic wobble before the moon was formed and the moon's tidal interaction has stablized the earth to a certain degree. I'm not saying the earth was completely chaotic and out of control.

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If your ecosystem was most easily measured in cubic meters I don't think you'd have a lot of large complex life with tons of biodiversity either.
I was just making a point, which you missed: life can tolerate temperatures of near the boiling point of water.

Yes I'm aware of extremophile life. One would think from a darwinian standpoint though that if microbes had reached the other planets they'd have had enough time to build ecosystems and alter their respective atmospheres in a similar fashion as found here on earth, would they not?

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Because the chances of life successfully forming are not particularly close to 100% even in eligible cases?
Because Mars is too hot for ammonia-based life?

Um .. OK..


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Lukipela on September 08, 2006, 08:15:42 am
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One would think from a darwinian standpoint though that if microbes had reached the other planets they'd have had enough time to build ecosystems and alter their respective atmospheres in a similar fashion as found here on earth, would they not?

While I fully intend to stay out of the astrophysical part of the argument (definetly not my field), this seems slightly slanted. Unless I misread you, you're questioning the validity of darwinism (and possibly evolution) based on the assumption that pansermia is a correct theory. If it is not, and life possesses the ability to somehow appear on suitable planets, your argument is invalid. And even if it does hold true, I see no reason to assume that any type of microbes brought here through space would be able to adapt themselves to both Martian and Terran circumstances. After all, if they come from a Earth type world, they probably wouldn't find Mars very hospitable.



Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on September 08, 2006, 05:45:45 pm
Luki, you can talk about astrophysics. It's not the topic, it's the approach.


Title: Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
Post by: Death 999 on September 08, 2006, 08:47:02 pm
I disagree that the only bad place to view the universe around us is are places without rocky planets.

We can see straight through the other arms quite a distance from here (otherwise how did we know about the other arms of this galaxy?) so clearly we could see out of them from inside.

Consider the consequences of your conclusion before you disagree.

I disagree.. How would we be able to differentiate between distanant objects and close objects in densely packed places in our galaxy such as the core? We have difficulty with this as is.

What... the... frell...

Do you have any clue how we actually tell how far away the stars are? The only problem the core would pose to observations is that we'd be dead and no planetary system could form due to the absurd density. Aside from that, there are no obstacles to getting the trigonometry done to calculate the distances. Which is what you were talking about. Oddly enough.

[it] was just an interesting side note, such as the moon perfectly covering the solar disk during a total eclipse that has allowed us humans to confirm some aspects of the theory of realitivity.

Which we would have been able to confirm by other methods about... twenty years later even with no moon whatsoever. Gravitational lensing, anyone?

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does not conflict with my explanation. The arms move independently of us. They sweep over us. The arms have raised density/pressure, which triggers the formation of stars.

We don't know this and is purely theroretical.

What is purely theoretical?

The arms are where the brightest stars are. This is what makes them bright. The density of other stars is roughly even as you proceed around the disk. Neutron stars, i.e. the remnants of bright stars, are distributed around the disk approximately evenly. Therefore, bright stars have formed around the disk fairly evenly. Thus, the formation of bright stars has moved around the disk. The only reasonable mechanism which could cause this is a gas density wave.

In fact some scientists have tried to use this as an explanation for the cyclic global weather changes (ice ages).

Use what as the explanation? The movement of the arms? Interstellar dust clouds and such, sure; but at any rate the movement of the arms through the galaxy is not so fast as our ice age transitions.

Earth is  not inside a major galactic arm and never have been throughout human recorded history.
yeah, that's, what, 10,000 years tops? That's how long it takes light to get from the core to here. On the time scale of the movement of the arms that's NOTHING. A hundred million years, now you're talking.

And we ARE in a realitivly clear area of space, a minority place outside the vast mass of the galaxy.

So you keep saying.
Local density of stars:  roughly 0.1 per cubic parsec.
There are a number of dense star clusters, 'open clusters', which have substantially higher star density, from 0.3 to 10 stars per cubic parsec. However, there are only a few thousand such open clusters in the galaxy and each one contains only a few hundred stars, a few thousand on the upper end. Total? A million stars, roughly. Compared to the 100 billion stars in the galaxy, that's nothing.
Note, by the time you get up to 0.3 stars per cubic parsec, you're already in 'cluster' territory, which implies that this is unusually high density.

Also, there are globular clusters. However, these are not in the disk at all, forming a halo around the galaxy. Their number should not be dismissed completely, but it should be fairly clear that there are quite a few stars not in the halo.
Then there's the core. Core stars are indeed much more dense, so if the average you are speaking of includes core stars, that would explain everything. But the core is inappropriate for a wide variety of reasons all at once.
Disk stars are the name of the game, not core, not halo. The open clusters account for a tiny fraction of the disk. The rest is around our density or less.


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It's not choked with dust. If it were, it would be DIM. It's dense with hydrogen and number-dense with bright stars.

It is choked with dust. There is a reason we called it the "Milky Way' when viewing our galaxy edge on.

Umm, that's STARS. You know, the bright things that emit lots of light. Not the dark stuff that absorbs light and reemits in the infrared, that we call 'dust'.
As I tried to say to you earlier.

and it is my understanding that most binary star systems are theorized to be tidally locked., not just in resonance with each other which can be achieved at much greater distances.

Those would be the really tight binaries. See below.

Visual binary stars have a large true separation, and consequently usually have orbital speeds too small to be measured spectroscopically from far away. Conversely, spectroscopic binary stars move fast in their orbits because they are close together; usually too close to be detected as visual binaries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_star

Hubble and Spitzer are finding these close binaries at an alarming rate. I understand that it wasn't until modern times where we had powerful and orbital telescopes that we drew the conclusion that most stars we see are part of a binary or more system.

Looking at a list of spectroscopic binaries...
http://lheawww.gsfc.nasa.gov/~corcoran/sb8.html

Most of these periods are really short, like 0.8 days, 4 days, etc. These stars are close enough to act like one central mass from the point of view of a planet as far out as we are.

So, I still don't see a problem.
And on top of that, a lot of these stars are stars which otherwise would be too dim to support life; but with the extra boost of a similar neighbor, could do the trick. Great!


I agree we are in a fairly dense area (number of nearby stars) of our galaxy but still maintain it's nothing compared to the core and the desnse major galactic arms.

I agree that the core is way too dense, but the density of arms or not is irrelevant, since we have been in arms and not in arms several times each on evolutionary time scales! So our not being in a dense region now is not a selection factor.

Now imagine that  mass sitting in an orbit somewhere between Jupiter (5.2 AU) and Saturn (9.5 AU). I think it might have a significant effect on the inner solar system.. Don't you?

Hard to say, actually. It's in the regime where i'd really want a calculation instead of handwaving or even back-of-the-enveloping.

Just because the odds of a planet residing in the goldilocks zone may not be extreme, what about size? Size matters, despite what women tell us.. ;)

I answered this already. Sheesh. 2/4 rocky planets are of an appropriate size to hold an atmosphere. If you count the giants, it's still 2/8, hardly a showstopper. This automatically includes all factors, including size.

Wether a planet has an atmosphere or not is of course not solely decided by mass. I believe the chemicals that constitute the atmosphere are very important as well as the gravitational pull.

Well, yeah. That's a great selection criterion. Mars has an appropriate-looking chemistry. Its problems are that it is too cold and too little. So, 2/3. And there are the moons of Jupiter, which again have all the right stuff.

The individual ingredients are not looking terribly uncommon.

Yeah? Not seeing the humor...

drag from the sun? That connotes atmospheric drag, which in the vacuum of space, even with a solar wind, is completely negligible. I gave you the mechanism, and 'drag from the sun' isn't a part of that.

Perhaps "drag" isn't the best choice of words but the principle stands. The moon is in tidal lock because of the earth's gravity irregardless of the specific details...

And you ignored my main point, which was that Venus is in fact not tidally locked. Back in the beginning of life, it would have been spinning much more; and as it slowed down, life would have adapted.

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Umm... you mean heavy enough to maintain an atmosphere? As I already pointed out, two out of four rocky planets in this system qualify.

Mass and atmospheric chemical composition are both important factors. If mass didn't matter, many of the small moons would have thick atmospheres.

I spoke of actual planetary atmospheres. This automatically takes all factors into account, including mass.
By the way, there is a moon with a fairly thick atmosphere, Titan. And life could form underwater, too, in Europa or a similar body.

So what happened to mars? Why does it boast the largest volcanos in the solar system yet has two small insignificant moons with little to no tidal effect?

1) I meant tectonic activity, not volcanism. My bad. Volcanism is due to excess heating in the core, which can be due to radioactivity or an increase in compression. Increases in compression can in turn be due to tides or just due to the planet's not having settled down yet.
2) Mars has enormous volcanoes because it had too LITTLE tectonic activity, not too much. If you have an upwelling and let it sit in the same place for a few billion years, you get a massive volcano. Whereas our ring of fire is a ring because the plates keep moving away.

And what about mercury? Surely the sun's tidal effect would make that little rock a molten mess? How about venus without a moon and has much evidence of a volcanic past (if not current)..

Mercury is in a stable resonant orbit, which would minimize the impact of the tidal forces on tectonics. It has already been pulled as much as it's going to be.
Venus has slightly stronger tides from the sun than the Earth does from the moon (2/3 the orbital radius, 3/2 to the third power is 27/8 ~ 3 )

Re: Cosmic rays

yes, cosmic rays are largely charged particles. This does not conflict with what I said. These particles are so hyperrelativistic that they pass through our magnetic field with little effect. Then they hit the atmosphere and BAM, particle shower. You can't find these things on the ground. Go on a tall mountain, and you can. Go in space, even in our magnetosphere, and you need radiation shielding.


Yes and our tilt still wanders. Some scientists theorize it would be much worse than is without the moon.

Perhaps they are pointing out that our axis would precess much more quickly. Sure, that would be so; but the solar-system 'longitude' part of the orientation of north is completely unimportant.
Otherwise, they're ignoring the point I made, which seems an awfully odd coincidence if there is no motivating mechanism.

In other words, if it did it more, would it really be worse?

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This is inconsistent with the 'we'd begin wobbling way too much' theory.

I'm not aware of this theory and is not my argument.

Oh, really?

It is believed the earth had a much more erreatic wobble before the moon was formed and the moon's tidal interaction has stablized the earth to a certain degree. I'm not saying the earth was completely chaotic and out of control.

Gee, it sounds exactly the same as your argument! I didn't say 'completely chaotic'. I said 'way too much'. As in, it would be a severe enough problem to prevent the formation of life. If it isn't a problem, why are you even bringing it up?

You are trying to argue that Earth was extremely uncommonly well-suited to the formation of life, aren't you?

Yes I'm aware of extremophile life. One would think from a darwinian standpoint though that if microbes had reached the other planets they'd have had enough time to build ecosystems and alter their respective atmospheres in a similar fashion as found here on earth, would they not?

Darwinianly, they would alter themselves.  You're thinking of Gaia, not Darwin. There is no reason to suspect that these creatures would not form a Gaia which reinforced the satus quo rather than bringing them for some reason to an Earthlike system.