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The Forum > Philosophy & Religion > Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
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Yep, that about sums up what we said on it.
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In an effort to return to the topic at hand...
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/02/07/exp.am.intv.holmes.perrybio.cnn?iref=allsearch
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That's how I envisioned things...
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There is an appalling double standard when it comes to Evolution in the Classroom. It's completely because of the influence that religious institutions have on the political climate. It's intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.

There isn't a Teach the Controversy for Germ Theory, where teachers have to tell their students that some people suggest that disease is caused by chakra or humours. This is because religion doesn't feel threatened by Germ Theory.

There isn't a Teach the Controversy for Chemistry, where teachers have to tell their students about the principals of alchemy and about the search for transmuting lead into gold. This is because religion doesn't feel threatened by Basic Chemistry.

There isn't a Teach the Controversy for Astronomy, where teachers have to tell their students that some people believe that the Earth is the center of the universe. This is because religion doesn't feel threatened by Heliocentricism (anymore.)

There isn't a Teach the Controversy for Geology, where teachers have to tell their students that some people believe that the Earth is flat. This is because religion doesn't feel threatened by a round Earth.

There isn't a Teach the Controversy for Physics, where teachers have to tell their students that some people believe that the random chance in Quantum Mechanics is how God controls the universe. This is because religion doesn't feel threatened by Quantum Mechanics.

Evolution is the foundation of pretty much all biological science. It is as strong as any of the other examples I have given. It's why we experiment on lab rats instead of humans. If Evolution had no basis in fact then the results from studying lab rats would be useless, because there would be no scientific basis for the similarity between rats and humans.

There is no Controversy over Evolution in the scientific community. And even if there were, it wouldn't matter. Science isn't about how many scientists you have on your side (and evolution has far more). Science is about discovering the truth. If experimental results falsify Evolution, then Evolution is wrong. The end. However, over 150 years of scientific advancement and discovery has done nothing but uphold Darwin's Theory.
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It's why we experiment on lab rats instead of humans. If Evolution had no basis in fact then the results from studying lab rats would be useless, because there would be no scientific basis for the similarity between rats and humans.

I agreed with everything in your post except this. There would still be reason to experiment on rats rather than humans on the grounds of genetic similarity alone, even if evolution were falsified.
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There is an appalling double standard when it comes to Evolution in the Classroom. It's completely because of the influence that religious institutions have on the political climate. It's intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.

Beautiful post.
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Well written post, but I seem to miss what relevance it has to the thread
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The only real controversy is what should be taught in schools. That's why it's relevant.
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If so, it shouldn't matter which they teach. If they teach evolution, it doesn't mean that a higher power caused things to go that way. If they teach intelligent design or such, it doesn't mean that evolution wasn't involved in the design process.
Part of the issue with evoluation is differentiating it from adaption. Although adaptation leads to evolution, it remains to be seen ( and will take many years) whether positive changes really will stay with the heriditary line and be passed on, of if it was only a temporary change that fades after a generation or two.
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It's why we experiment on lab rats instead of humans. If Evolution had no basis in fact then the results from studying lab rats would be useless, because there would be no scientific basis for the similarity between rats and humans.

I agreed with everything in your post except this. There would still be reason to experiment on rats rather than humans on the grounds of genetic similarity alone, even if evolution were falsified.

Evolution explains why we are genetically similar. I used it as an example.

In a bizarro world where evolution didn't happen there would be no reason why human and mice or any other species would have be similar in any way. Therefore, it is overwhelmingly likely that they wouldn't be based on probability. So it is likely that we wouldn't be able to perform experiments on mice that would have any relevance to humans.

Part of the issue with evoluation is differentiating it from adaption. Although adaptation leads to evolution, it remains to be seen ( and will take many years) whether positive changes really will stay with the heriditary line and be passed on, of if it was only a temporary change that fades after a generation or two.


It doesn't remain to be seen. It has already been observed as happening on numerous, numerous occasions. And I can provide citations if you wish.

But before I try to argue this point with you. What will it take for you to be convinced that evolution is a valid scientific theory that explains how the world really works? What reservations do you have currently that prevent you from accepting evolution as a scientific fact?


[Please don't double-post.]
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I going to basically summarize w can do this without reading any of your posts...
big bang, evolution, etc. people (let's just call them group 1) will present to the creationists, intelligent design, etc. people (group 2)all of the evidence, data, proof of them being right. group 2 will then spit on all of this, and ask "well then where did the first organism come from?".
there are many theories, and we'll probably never see one widely accepted answer, which is the main reason debates such as these still continue.
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Evolution explains why we are genetically similar. I used it as an example.

In a bizarro world where evolution didn't happen there would be no reason why human and mice or any other species would have be similar in any way. Therefore, it is overwhelmingly likely that they wouldn't be based on probability. So it is likely that we wouldn't be able to perform experiments on mice that would have any relevance to humans.

Regardless of whether evolution is valid, the fact remains that there is genetic similarity between humans and other animals. It's irrelevant to medicine whether we have an explanation for why this is so. Your hypothetical situation posits not only that evolution be falsified but also that actual observations about genetic similarity among species somehow disappear, which is obviously pure fantasy.

In other words, even if evolution were falsified (which is always a possibility in good science), there would still be genetic similarity between humans and mice, and we could still do medical testing on them to understand ourselves.
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Regardless of whether evolution is valid, the fact remains that there is genetic similarity between humans and other animals. It's irrelevant to medicine whether we have an explanation for why this is so. Your hypothetical situation posits not only that evolution be falsified but also that actual observations about genetic similarity among species somehow disappear, which is obviously pure fantasy.

In other words, even if evolution were falsified (which is always a possibility in good science), there would still be genetic similarity between humans and mice, and we could still do medical testing on them to understand ourselves.


Yes, I'm quite aware of this. I'm speaking in hypotheticals and you're speaking in literals.

Evolution is good science and it can be falsified. The reason why it hasn't is because it has overwhelming support in evidence. Evolution though, will never be overturned for a completely different theory. Little changes might be made, but as a theory it describes the nature of how things work too well. The ideas of Common Decent and Natural Selection are far too well supported to ultimately be completely false.

If, for example, we find panda bones from the Paleoarchean, then that throws a big monkey wrench in the idea of Evolution and it might wind up mostly falsified, but it wouldn't be completely falsified, and that's a such remote possibility it's really not worth bothering with.

So I was hypothesizing, "what would a world without Evolution, Common Decent, and Natural Selection look like?"

Your point remains that mice and humans are genetically similar. However, my point is they are genetically similar because they have a Common Decent. And the ways they are dissimilar are because of Natural Selection and Genetic Drift.

However, if evolution were found to be completely false somehow, you are correct that the observations wouldn't change, and that reality would be that mice and humans are still somehow genetically similar.

So to sum up, you're right, and I'm right, but we were talking about different things.

"well then where did the first organism come from?".


That's Abiogenesis, not Evolution. It's offtopic.
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I think we're on the same page now, then.
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It doesn't remain to be seen. It has already been observed as happening on numerous, numerous occasions. And I can provide citations if you wish.

But before I try to argue this point with you. What will it take for you to be convinced that evolution is a valid scientific theory that explains how the world really works? What reservations do you have currently that prevent you from accepting evolution as a scientific fact?


Nothing, in an earlier post I said how I see that evolution seems very likely and a very solid explanation, but that it could be a tool of creationism or intelligent desgin, they aren't mutually exclusive. I believe it, but was merely stating some of the opposition of it. Also I was referring to the advancement of an entire species over an extended period of time, so technically with something of a short lifespan it is measureable, but it might make you wonder, why aren't there, say, apes identical to humans but without development of a larynx? Of course survival of the fittest, etc. could be used to explain this.
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The larynx is present in apes and, we developed it as our brains became more advanced. Communication became vital to the lifestyle that came out of our beginnings. However, notice that apes and other primates also communicate with calls and similar things.
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i don't think religious people fully understand evolution. it's not that we are monkeys or whatever it's just that we all have the same common ancestor.
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Oh we're monkeys. A subset of monkeys called apes, and a subset of apes known as great apes. It's like we're squares, great apes are rectangles, apes are parallelograms, and monkeys are quadrilaterals, if that makes sense.
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I'm pretty sure you've got that wrong. Monkeys and apes are both primates. We are apes. We are not monkeys.
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It's a taxonomical issue. I believe Macman is right that we are now generally classified as monkeys.
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ThenAgain said:
I'm pretty sure you've got that wrong. Monkeys and apes are both primates. We are apes. We are not monkeys.

Colloquially, though "primates" are referred to as "monkeys"
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Although we are very close to monkeys, I would contend that we can be more accurately labeled as apes.
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I think it's stupid when someone says "Oh, I don't believe in evolution at all, not a little bit." People tend to forget that evolution is merely change over time for an entire group. That's all it is. Yes, many people believe that is where human life came from. Many people don't. It just irks me when we can see proof of evolution--when we can manipulate evolution--and people refuse to believe in it because it might possibly go against their religious teachings.
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It's a taxonomical issue. I believe Macman is right that we are now generally classified as monkeys.
Have you got a citation for that? Changing around terminology like that seems pointless and confusing.
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ThenAgain said:
It's a taxonomical issue. I believe Macman is right that we are now generally classified as monkeys.
Have you got a citation for that? Changing around terminology like that seems pointless and confusing.

Traditionally, primates have been grouped into monkeys and apes, but this division has been recently shown not to properly reflect phylogenetic trees. Therefore, some have reclassified us as monkeys.

But it's really not that important.
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The Forum > Philosophy & Religion > Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
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