Against Ben Stein's wishes, lizards rapidly evolve after introduction to island

Marilyn Terrell says: "Lizards evolve 'overnight' on Croatian island.
evolve-lizard.jpg Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows.

In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say.

Link

708

  1. What do you mean by evolution?

    Micro evolution, which is change within the species or aka adaptability. Like already having guts, a head and the knowledge of how to bite. No new information just variations with the information already there. This is viewed all the time and is a sign of good design. Like heat and air conditioning in my car I am prepared to adjust to where I am.

    While macro-evolution is the addition of new traits or a transition to a new species. This has never been seen and belongs in the faith not science category.

  2. I agree with Acejohnny. If you eat enough Taco Bell I guarantee you will develop the features listed above.

  3. #3: I challenge you to tell me what keeps microevolution from piling up and becoming macroevolution. Where would you draw the line between these two categories of evolutionary change? Evolutionary biologists realize there is no dividing line. As the saying goes, believing in microevolution but not macroevolution is like believing in inches but not miles.

  4. “It’s Just a Completely Pre-Existing Alimentary Canal with Minor Changes,” ISBN 83673463-1034.

  5. According to the article the lizards’ digestive system formed new structures to allow it to better digest plants. That seems more substantial than just saying they changed their diet as alluded to above. They are able to have a different diet because of the change.

  6. Unsurprisingly, #3’s definitions are sufficiently full of vague terms that they can be used to deny evolution no matter what evidence is presented.

  7. No silly rabbit they can’t make air conditioners because they are and have always been lizards.

    See Ben Stein’s movie and hear Richard Dawkins say aliens put us here. Someone should tell him that that is a form of intelligent design.

  8. This is not evolution. This is adaptation.

    When you show me an animal that has transitioned from one species to another, then we can talk about evolution. Until then, evolution is just as much a religion as any other.

  9. #2:

    Researchers found that the lizards developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers, which allowed their bodies to process the vegetation’s cellulose into volatile fatty acids.

    “They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves,” Irschick said, adding it was something that had not been documented before. “This was a brand-new structure.”

    This doesn’t sound like changes attributed to just eating different food over the course of a single lifespan…

    That said, the researcher noted that they still hadn’t done the genetic testing to confirm that the changes were genetic.

  10. @3-

    “This has never been seen” Except in the fossil record. But then again, JHVH could have just put those there to trick us, because He has been known to be a big fan of the psych out. You can interpret the fossil record any way you want, but I’m going to side with the scientists who’ve devoted their lives to studying it, rather than the theologians who’ve devoted their lives to ignoring it.

    In regard to “new information,” see one of those scientists‘ analysis of the “information” problem. Also, see Dawkins’ explanation of how evolution can increase complexity (going from skin to a functioning eye).

  11. James: Big frown on the unnecessary Ben Stein slam. :(

    After being involved with the travesty that is Expelled, I don’t think there is such a thing as an unnecessary slam on Ben Stein.

  12. I would say true evolution would be the change of one species into another species. Dog to a cat.

  13. “While the experiment was more than 30 years in the making, it was not by design”

    Ha ha! I get it.

  14. Personally, I see the whole basis of the evolution ‘problem’ to have nothing to do with the science at all. There’s simply too much to lose, biblically if the Garden of Eden is a Creation Myth and not hard fact. If that tale is in fact an allegory, then Original Sin is out the window!

    Original Sin is the ultimate marketing tool; you can walk up to a pillar of virtue and tell him he’s a sinner because of Eve. Original Sin means EVERYONE needs your product! Original Sin is why Jesus’ ‘sacrifice’ means anything at all! It’s the core of Catholic guilt and evangelical recruiting, and it’s the single reason why so many people aren’t cool with “Well, what if God just created evolution?” If that were true, it’d still be doubtful there was ever an Eden, an apple, or a serpent.

    And of course, without the Eden myth, you lose the primary Christian justification for oppressing women! If Eve wasn’t made from Man, then she’s not ‘woman,’ literally ‘of man.’ Man may have come from a woman, just like the 3.3 billion other men on this earth. And since there may not have been an Eve to eat the apple, it wasn’t a woman that made the virtuous man ‘fall.’ No more biblical justification to treat women badly, keep them from the priesthood, etc. etc.

    Darwin doesn’t matter for beans compared to the Christian marketing and control schemes that stand to be lost.

  15. Poster Evidence is 100% wrong. If a change in the population is due to a changing gene pool, that’s evolution. And unless he wants to present a definition of “information” and then calculate the amount of information present in the ten ancestors and then compare it to the present population’s genes, his “no new information” line of argument is at best an unsupported assertion and at worst a credulous repetition of a long-debunked creationist claim.

    As for macro-evolution, we have several examples of directly-observed speciation. More to the point, we have a great deal of evidence for prior speciation from sources such as the fossil record or our own chromosomes. The notion that macro-evolution is taken on faith not only isn’t true, but it’s blatant projection.

  16. “The new species wiped out the indigenous lizard populations, although how it happened is unknown”

    and

    “The lizard also dropped some of its territorial defenses”

    They were probably able to interbreed with one or more of the native species, and wound up getting some new traits that had already evolved on the island long ago. The territorial tendencies in the wall lizards probably evolved due to competition for food in Italy, and the native lizards couldn’t cope. Only their gut features live on…. I mean 30 generations to get wholly new features de novo? Those lizards smell fishy to me.

    The lizards are originally from Italy, right across the Adriatic. It’s what, 100 miles? Maybe 200? The native island lizards and the wall lizards are very likely to have been siblings, phylogenetically speaking.

  17. Evolution *is* adaptation. Evolution is *not* a Flying Spaghetti Monster pushing his hand down from inside a cloud, pointing, and saying, “ZOT!!!”

  18. Big smile on the completely necessary Ben Stein bitchslap! :)

    Tom Cruise’s opinion of this thread:

    “Before I was a Scientologist, I never agreed with BoingBoing. And when I started studying the history of BoingBoing, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in BoingBoing.”

    \Hail Xenu!

  19. The fossil record shows no transitional forms Darwin himself said this would disprove his theory.

    Developing a muscle is called exercise #16.

  20. Well to be fair to Ben Stein, it is not the bit about things changing over time that really gets him all boiled up inside. It is more the bit that things probably started on this world from things randomly coming together, rather than that God thing (or aliens for that matter) seeding life.

  21. #15, Ericthegeek,

    “This is not evolution. This is adaptation.”

    Let me just probe to find out exactly which part you have trouble with:

    1) Do you think that the changes to the lizards’ digestive system could be passed on to the lizards’ offspring? (In this case, they haven’t conformed that, but I’m just asking if you think it’s possible)

    2) Do you think that other adaptations could be passed to the lizards’ offspring?

    3) Do you think that, on the assumption (see 1) that the changes to the lizard’s digestive system were genetic, there could also eventually be changes to the lizards’ reproductive organs?

    4) Do you think that the changes in 3) could ever be enough to prevent the lizards from mating with another breed of lizard?

    5) Do you agree that one basic definition of “different species” is the inability to breed with members of the other group?

  22. Contrary to what some posters here believe, speciation has been observed both in the laboratory and in the wild. More details at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html .

    All known mechanisms of evolution work on time frames longer than the human lifespan, so personally witnessing a major change in your lifetime is extremely unlikely. However, by examining the fossil record we can observe that such changes have occurred in the past, as predicted by evolution.

  23. Well to be fair to Ben Stein, it is not the bit about things changing over time that really gets him all boiled up inside. It is more the bit that things probably started on this world from things randomly coming together, rather than that God thing (or aliens for that matter) seeding life.

    The theory of evolution makes absolutely no claim to how life started. Zero. Nada. None. It’s the theory of evolution not the theory of biogenesis.

    So, no, I’d rather not “be fair” to BS.

  24. “While macro-evolution is the addition of new traits or a transition to a new species. This has never been seen and belongs in the faith not science category.”

    “The fossil record shows no transitional forms Darwin himself said this would disprove his theory.”

    another nickel… one more…

    THERE!

    I now have a million dollars in nickels. Thanks!

  25. @#17: Touche.

    @#19: I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I really want to. The ads make it seem like it’s just a documentary about teachers getting fired for religious beliefs.. but the internet reaction is that it’s some insane rant preaching creationism. I wanna see who’s right.

    ..but yeah, this could have been a really nifty post about some super sweet science find. but that headline just reads “Ben Stein is a crazy old man and you are a fool for believing in a higher power; Also: Lizards.”

    So: frown. :(

  26. Meh. That’s nothing. You should see the mutations of the Italian wall lizards living in the NYC sewers!

  27. It doesn’t say “You are a fool for believing in a higher power.” You came up with that one on your own.

    However, I’m not one to question your beliefs!

  28. @Evidence and others,

    I would say true evolution would be the change of one species into another species. Dog to a cat.

    Your saying that only demonstrates a misunderstanding of evolution. It’s just as silly as saying that people came from monkeys… Rather, evolution shows us that dogs and cats (or people and monkeys for that matter) had a common ancestor. A dog will never become a cat. However, given enough time, a change of environment and maybe some gamma radiation – it’s ancestors will become something other then a dog.

    Yes everyone, it takes a very long time for a complex organism to evolve. If you don’t trust the fossil record, why not instead look at simpler organisms. Viruses and bacteria are readily evolving.

  29. @27-

    “The fossil record shows no transitional forms”

    Well, actually it does, but that’s beside the point.

    If I showed you a picture of myself at 6, and then a picture of myself at 9, would you assume that they were pictures of two distinct individuals, because you never saw the pictures of me at 7 and 8? If I showed you the pictures of me at 7 and 8, would you assume you were looking at 4 different individuals, because you don’t see pictures from 6.5, 7.5, and 8.5?

  30. @Comstock: sexual reproduction, obviously :-)

    By mixing up the genes, it keeps microevolution elastic, able to respond to short-term changes then spring back to the long-term-viable norm. With such a small population, it doesn’t really work, so macroevolution gets a chance. Usually, of course, it heads straight down the drain; but it doesn’t have to work often.

  31. Here is my question, and it mostly shows a position of ignorance, I am not a biologist.
    How does a major enugh mutation to be considered evolution not leave the animal sterile like a mule? I seem to remember this mule-ness was part of genetic error control. I also seem to remember all mutations being recessive, where do dominant traits come from then?

  32. Creation-evolution arguments aside, it’s pretty amazing stuff and i’m hoping they “devolve” to dino size.

    All hail wall crawling lizard lords!

  33. The fossil record shows us that a lot of animals died in a flood and are buried around the world.

    Examine the evidence prepare yourself for your judgement coming.

    He promised before and left evidence everywhere(Noah’s flood-fossils-oil…), it is coming again and you know it.

    Thats why you love science that changes what it knows from year to year.

    Repent and cry out for Jesus to save you because the flying spaghetti monsters noodly appendage is to short to save you.

    Examine yourself with the ten commandments.

    Ever lied? Stolen? Coveted? Blasphemed God?

    If so you need to repent and trust Jesus today.

  34. I, for one, welcome our rapidly evolving lizard masters.

    James: A belief in a higher power is much different from a belief in creationism. There are millions of thoughtful, intelligent, and reasonable people who are religious and still readily accept that all the evidence points to evolution.

    Being a creationist is not an act of faith. It is an active denial of the evidence all around you, and an active refusal to engage yourself with knowledge and exploration of the world God made (for the sake of argument).

    Suggesting that God placed evidence of an ongoing and ancient process all around us while reassuring us it’s all meaningless next to some folktales is nothing short of madness. It’s akin to jumping off a bridge because the Bible doesn’t say anything about gravity.

  35. Actually, Evidence, God created the rainbow as a promise that a Great Flood would never come again. Genesis 9:13, pally.

  36. @44-

    Another creationist shows his/her true colors. You guys can have Heaven all to yourself if you just leave Earth to the rest of us heathens.

  37. #40 G.park It was still you, you didn’t evolve you aged.

    We had a common ancestor? Man and apes?

    I believe we had a common ancestor = Adam not an ape.

    Believing we had an common ancestor means you belive well all came from a rock that was rained on for millions of years.

    More faith than I have.

  38. A:
    Yes, it’s evolution.
    B:
    Yes, the slam on Ben Stein was entirely necessary. People learn to censure themselves through shame or guilt. Ben Stein’s sense of guilt was replaced before he entered the service of Nixon. he also has no shame. The final function is to warn others – which BoingBoing is very good at doing.
    C:
    There is no difference between macro-evolution, micro-evolution, and just plain old evolution. Anyone who makes noise about “no new information”, “no new traits”, “there has to be a transition to a new species – cat to dog” “evolution is a religion”, are lying, outright.
    D:
    #27! Yes, Darwin did say that a lack of transitional fossils would disprove his theory! Right after that he says, in essence: “So thank goodness we have this mountain of transitional fossils in the record!”
    Either you’re a liar, intentionally trying to mislead readers as to what evolution is and the evidence for it – or you are completely ignorant of the subject and lack qualification to discuss it.

  39. “Repent and cry out for Jesus to save you because the flying spaghetti monsters noodly appendage is to short to save you.”

    Okay, now I’m wodering if this Evidence person simply has an ironic sense of humour which is not easily detected in text form.

  40. This is a testament to the failure of high school science teachers throughout the English speaking world. Reproducible advantageous mutation is happening every minute of every day. If you don’t think that evolution transpires in a brief time frame, let me introduce you to my friends, the micro-organisms. Any life form that reproduces rapidly has the potential to evolve rapidly. A major change in living conditions could give an advantage to a recessive trait and wipe out a dominant one in a couple of generations.

  41. What’s with all the creationist ma-roons here today?

    You’re woefully misinformed if you think:

    – “Darwinism” is the same as evolution.
    – that evolution takes any position on abiogenesis.
    – that “species” is anything but a mental box we put things in that say little about the nature of critters. (Look up “ring species” for a pathological case.)
    – that there are any compelling alternatives to what evolution explains.
    – that there are any scientific alternatives to what evolution explains.
    – that your anti-evolution propaganda machine is telling you the truth, re: transitional fossils, macroevolution, the nature of science, or what repsected scientists say about any of those.
    – that creationism has done anything but Flunked its scientific tests. (It’s not expulsion if you fail out.)

  42. @rebdav,

    A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse Although donkey’s and horses have a common ancestor, they have each evolved along different paths to the point that they now have a different number of chromosomes. Donkeys have 62 chromosomes, whereas horses have 64.

    This means that they are still genetically similar enough to reproduce, but different enough that (for the most part) the offspring are sterile. Mules are a type of F-1 hybrid.

    Eventually, the lizards on this island may evolve to the point where they can no longer breed with the lizards from the other island. However, they can still mate with each other. If a genetic mutation occurred that did not allow a lizard to mate there would be no way to pass on that genetic information…

  43. “Evidence” – the poster – is using what is known as a “strawman” of evolution – a strawman built by Ken Ham, propagated through his organisations: ICR, and Answers in Genesis.

    His statements demonstrate that he does not know what he is talking about. Nothing he has said about evolution up to this point has been true or accurate.

    Post #44 demonstrates that he is intentionally lying to further his religion.

    This is known as Lying for Jesus â„¢.

    To those of you in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere:

    This is what we, in America, have to put up with. It is what our politicians believe and practice. It is what blocks our funding for actual science. It is what cripples children’s education.

    And it is spreading, to Turkey, to Europe, to Australia, and beyond.

  44. #44, how does intelligent design in any way involve Jesus? Isn’t he just a son of your God? He wasn’t there when this all took place, leave him out of this.

  45. let’s exile all the bible scientists and bible doctors to an island somewhere. In a few generations, the problem will be gone.

  46. Re: “New information”. I imagine this means the formation of additional chromosomes. This happens all the time. It is called “aneuploidy”.

  47. @48-

    “Believing we had an common ancestor means you belive[sic] well[sic] all came from a rock that was rained on for millions of years.”

    Wrong again.

    1.) Evolution does not attempt to explain where life came from, only how it came to be how it is. I haven’t heard the “rock rained” on theory, but I think it’s a lot less plausible than others.

    2.) How is that any more of a stretch than believing in a creator-less creator who existed before things existed?

    3.) WTF do you care? If you’re convinced that your Abrahamic Hygiene Deity will come back to eternally damn us sinners any day now why bother convincing us? More Heaven for you and your 72 virgins. Wait… am I getting mixed up again? Of course. 72 virgins is crazzzzzyyyyy not sane and rational like your afterlife.

  48. @GHurley, #61

    The “new information” thing is a canard of the Intelligent Design movement. It is meaningless because they refuse to define “information”. It’s a semantic device used to confuse and intimidate people into questioning evolution.

  49. Human intelligence hasn’t evolved in 25,000 years either. That’s why we’re all squatting in our furs scratching these messages in the sand.

    Nothing ever changes unless some powerful wizard waves a big stick.

  50. @g.park

    Actually, there is some evidence that DNA came into being supported by crystal formation.

  51. @ #42:
    In the common vernacular, a “mutation” is some freaky thing that happens because of radiation or something.

    Mutations happen all the time – that’s one of the things that contributes to variation in populations. For example, the adult human’s ability to digest lactose is the result of a mutation: specifically, a mutation that allows for the continued production of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. People in dairy-farming cultures who had this mutation were able to digest a high-calorie, readily available food source. This gave them a better chance at surviving and reproducing. When they did reproduce, they passed that lactose mutation along to their kids. Over time, that mutation became common because it helped people survive. Lactose intolerance is common among people whose ancestors never raised dairy animals, because if that mutation happened at all, there was no selective pressure keeping it around.

    Evolution doesn’t happen to individuals, it happens to populations over long periods of time. As mutations occur and natural selection acts on them (i.e. individuals who are best suited to their environments will reproduce better), populations will change. That’s evolution. Eventually, the population might change so much that we call it a different species compared to its ancestors. That’s speciation.

    As for the dominant/recessive thing – no, mutations are not all recessive. Otherwise we would have no dominant traits, since all of our physical features are essentially the product of mutation and natural selection.

  52. Takuan:

    Nnno.

    First: We aren’t inhumane fascists. We don’t censor because we let idiots demonstrate their idiocy in public and then we turn to our children and say “And that’s why we aren’t X”. Everyone needs examples of what not to do, and people have – hard as it may be to believe – engaged their brains and realised they were caught in a cult / scam / bullshit and have walked away from it.

    Second: Even if we /were/ inhumane fascists, this “problem” has been bred in to the European population and European society for 1500 years at least – since the Roman and thus Catholic conquest of Europe – if not longer. Who knows how long it will take to breed out gullibility and pigheaded willingness to Lie For Jesusâ„¢?

  53. That looks like the end of round one. By the end of the working day, I would expect many more Evidencers to pop up. It ain’t over yet.

  54. #14 Evidence:

    See Ben Stein’s movie and hear Richard Dawkins say..

    AHHH HA HA Ha hah aha ahaha ha..

    @ everything else Evidence has posted:

    AHHHHHH HA HA AH AH HA Ha HA HA Ha ha h ah ahaha ah haaaa

    Seriously, Takuan, is that really you? Hilarious!
    You do know Teresa said not to sign up more than one account don’t you..? Even for shits and grins..

    Classic Takuan. Brilliant.

  55. #44 “Evidence”….thanks for giving me the biggest laugh of the day. Hope you are joking. You are …….aren’t you? Please say you are….

  56. (By the way, Dawkins did NOT say in Expelled that we came from aliens. When pressed by a very annoying Stein for a hypothesis as to where life came from (which evolution does not even try to address) Dawkin’s mentioned panspermia under duress as one of the hypothesis that exists. He himself does not believe that’s the case.)

  57. Evidence, although I don’t agree with you, I find your argument that Jesus was actually a woman who posed as a man an an attempt to expose the hypocrisy of Judeo-Roman society quite fascinating. Do please keep up with the interesting and informative posts.

  58. Mechphisto:

    In fact, Stein was not the one doing the interviewing. Have you seen the movie – ? Did they dub in Stein’s voice asking questions over the actual interviewers?

    If that is the case, I’d like to know if Mr. Stein … “editorialised” the questions. /Smoooothed/ them, y’know. Fudged. Mislead. Little white lies. Invalidated his journalistic credibility (as if he ever had any).

  59. It was probably unessecarially provocative of Mark to bring Ben Stein into this one.

    I saw a lizard once. It was sleeping.

  60. #57 Homo erectus to homo sapiens; micro or macro? Answer Fiction, a drawing is not evidence.

    #59 He is God. Col 1:16 For by Him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:

    #63 You are confusing Christianity with Islam. I only say something because I don’t want any of you to go to hell.

    #72 and others. I am not joking. I knew one of you would run to the spaghetti monster and start slacking while riding your pink unicorn so I tried to cut you off at the pass, so to speak.

  61. Enough about ben fucking stein. I havent seen the crapsterpiece yet, but all I can think of, every time BB drops his name, is that I have a FOAF who is blacklisted by the arrogant asses in the scientific community, a blacklist that is not based on fact but on the beliefs of those in that community.

    Now I don’t think any of you posters are understanding the term ‘species’ correctly; ‘species’ is an artificial labeling of critters by mankind, and the labeling itself is mutable. One species can change into another as some scientist sees what he believes is proof that this organism isn’t really all that different from this other organism as a previous scientist believed.

    Signed,
    a creative evolutionist

  62. Some times you just have to put on the armor of Christ and go to battle against science.

    God made drug resistant virii. Duh.

  63. Would it be possible to introduce Ben Stein to a small island far away from the rest of us? We could go check on him in 30 years to see if HE’S changed.

  64. #73 Words have meaning. I use words with definitions you would find in Webster’s dictionary. I don’t pour new meaning into them as you apparently are.

    #74 Does the pope believe the Bible? I have never heard him preach it and rarely quotes it.

    You guys are fleshing out the movie “Expelled” no debate just shut up, be quite, you unlearned flunky. What name have I called you? What are you all so afraid of? Truth?

  65. “a drawing is not evidence.”

    By that same argument, I must conclude that the person known as “Evidence” does not exist, since words on a screen are not evidence.

    My psycholoist has instructed me not to argue with noexistent people, and so my comments on this thread will only pertain to lizards from now on.

  66. So this “evidence” person just automatically shows up to post on BB solely in an evolution story?

  67. When one lacks confidence just curse and call names.

    That is so compelling to your arguments.

  68. The changes the biologists report are similar in kind to the changes Dawkins had software for in The Blind Watchmaker. It is evolution.

  69. #89 – No, not LITERALLY. He understands that much of it is allegories and morality tales. And, it also has inherent faults from being written and re-translated so long ago before we knew that the Earth was round and not the center of the solar system, and how the Sun works etc.

  70. Another cool aspect to the study was that it was interrupted by the Croatian civil war in the mid-1990s, so when the researchers were finally able to return in 2004, they didn’t know if they’d find any of their lizards at all. It made the results even more surprising.

  71. Uh, huh. And santy claus is a jolly ol’ elf.

    When these reptilians sprout feathered wings and start to fly, or grow fur and milk teets, wake me up.

    In the meantime, sparky, all that’s being observed are characteristics in an already existing gene pool.

    But, some people need that ‘crutch of faith’ that darwinism demands, so – look! santy claus too!

    Un-freekin’ believable.

  72. Evidence, thanks for the clarification. But when you write @20, “I would say true abomination would be the change of one sex into another sex” as your justification for evading Deuteronomy’s prohibition on your cross-dressing lifestyle (Deut 22:5), don’t you think that you should take into account the meaning of the words as used by the people you are arguing against?

  73. #94 It is God’s word. Read it and see.

    I read it plainly. The fact of the Earth being round was in the Bible before science discovered it.

    Isa 40:22 [It is] He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

    Science and the Bible are not opposed to each other.

    Truth is truth. Theory is theory and will change.

    God does not change He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

  74. I have yet to encounter a single person who claims not to “believe in evolution” who can actually explain it accurately. I take it on faith that they must be out there, but I’ve never found one.

  75. FALLOUT 3 better have lizards on a stick! I’m tellin’ ya!

    Evidence: As you can see, scads of people are offering up tons of evidence as to why evolution is viable and working theory.
    You seem to think that == “shut up.”
    Well, yeah, in a way I guess it is.
    i.e.: Your non-scientific scientific arguments are without merit and don’t belong in a conversation about science; go take them to Sunday School.

    Lizards on a stick, is all I’m sayin’!

  76. Got to go for now.

    I am going to church I hope you are interested enough to examine the evidence to where it leads.

    You claim mountains of evidence and point me to microscopic levels.

    Search for the truth.

    God bless you all.

  77. To make a Screaming Green Lizard:
    Mix 1 part 151 rum and 1 part Green Chartreuse brandy snifter.

    By the way, can you imagine the funding application for this one? “We want to take some lizards, drop them on an island, and uh, see what happens.”

  78. And, I et to expend some useless knowledge: nobody ever thouht the Earth was flat, they thought it was shaped like a contact lens. cf. Dantes Divine Comedy.

  79. “Evidence” is so far out there that I am really hoping it’s someone’s elaborate joke. But, having known people who argue that exact thing (and having been one of them) I’m afraid the conversation is all too serious.

    Please be aware that characters like this do not represent the sentiments of all Christians, or, IMO, Christ’s teachings. The whole evolution thing, in my mind, is absolutely not worth bringing into the picture.

    The New Testament has much more to do with humility, selflessness, and personal responsibility than with winning arguments and making people bow to our beliefs.

  80. “I am going to church I hope you are interested enough to examine the evidence to where it leads.”

    As I understand it, it’ll lead to something that looks similar to me with less hair and a bigger brain

  81. “Evidence” is so far out there that I am really hoping it’s someone’s elaborate joke. But, having known people who argue that exact thing (and having been one of them) I’m afraid the conversation is all too serious.

    Please be aware that characters like this do not represent the sentiments of all Christians, or, IMO, Christ’s teachings. The whole evolution thing, in my mind, is absolutely not worth bringing into the picture.

    The New Testament has much more to do with humility, selflessness, and personal responsibility than with winning arguments and making people bow to our beliefs.

  82. #100 “But, some people need that ‘crutch of faith’ that darwinism demands, so – look! santy claus too!”

    *tsk* Talk about twisted things round. Darwinism Is Not Faith! It’s a beautiful hypothesis, supported by overwhelming evidence, everywhere you look for it. It’s by far the best theory we have. It makes predictions that turn out to be right. Over and over again.

    As a working theory, to be frank, it craps all over anything anyone else has offered. Even those jewish scribe guys back in the Iron Age.

    Or was God just trying to trick us when he planted all those fossils in the ground? Oh wait – he was testing our faith, right? My god (no caps). The lengths evolutionists go to to wriggle away from the obvious.

    The earth is flat. Black is white. Evolution doesn’t happen.

  83. Evidence’s postings follow a kind of script that I’ve seen many, many other anti-evolutionist propagandists follow:

    1: Make a lot of posts containing a lot of strawmen of Evolution / Biology;
    2: Only respond to certain people who don’t completely shut down his blather on Evolution or who try and engage him on religious topics;
    3: Talk up his deity, ask for people to read the Bible;
    4: Make some statements that are designed to get people to read the Bible / reference the Bible to refute them (example, The Bible saying the earth is round – it actually says it is flat and has four corners and sits on columns (Genesis!))
    5: Claim to have to go, offer to pray for all the people in the room / forum / post.

    I’ve seen this over, and over, and over again that I’ve often wondered: Is there a script? Is there someplace training people to do this? Or is it the same troll over and over and over again?

  84. The changes the biologists report are similar in kind to the changes Dawkins had software for in The Blind Watchmaker. It is evolution.

  85. @#45: Thanks for writing-up a thought out response. I was afraid I was just going to be mobbed with insults and FSM references. (that’s why I usually keep my mouth shut about these things, and that’s why I’ll bow out of this discussion for now.)

    (that: and it’s lunchtime)

  86. #109 Scottfree, you clearly haven’t read the Divine Comedy. In it, Dante goes down through Hell to the center of the Earth, where Satan is, and when he goes past the center gravity reverses, as on a globe. Then he come out on the Mount of Purgatory, on the antipodes of Jerusalem. Dante, like most people in the High Middle Ages and before, knew the Earth was round. (An decent illustration of Dante’s “cosmology” which he probably didn’t want to be taken literally anyway: http://www.darkstar1.co.uk/Taschenp41.jpg)

    This appalling ignorance of history, literature and religion seems pretty common among crowds like this, much like the ignorance of science among the opposite side. Enjoy talking around each other, folks.

  87. Crispy Lizard Tail
    Requires Level 12
    Use: Restores 552 health over 24 sec. Must remain seated while eating. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and gain 6 Stamina and Spirit for 15 min.
    Cooldown: 1 sec
    Charges: 1 (Expendable)
    Item Level 22
    Cost to make: 10 Gold 75 Silver
    Auction: 8 Silver 65 Copper (1 Gold 73 Silver for 20)
    Vendor value: 1 Silver 25 Copper

  88. @ #115, bardfinn

    Ya, there are trainers – the protestant evangelicals. Honestly, don’t hate too much, because Evidence isn’t too nasty, and he/she probably really is trying to do the right thing.

    The problem is that entire segment of the population is so stuck in a self-reinforcing bubble that they don’t realize how ridiculous some of it is to the rest of the world.

  89. @#84: “I have a FOAF who is blacklisted by the arrogant asses in the scientific community, a blacklist that is not based on fact but on the beliefs of those in that community.”

    Do you now? Was this friend blacklisted because of his/her beliefs, or because (s)he wasn’t doing his/her job? (E.g., teaching creationism in a science classroom.) There are plenty of religious scientists; perhaps the best example is Ken Miller, coauthor of the canonical high school biology textbook and a devout Catholic. You can believe whatever you want, but if those beliefs prevent you from doing your job, then yes, you should be fired. If you refuse to handle meat, I’m not sure you should work at McDonald’s.

    Also, I’m reminded of another name for FOAF stories: urban legends. Do you know that this even actually happened?

  90. I don’t understand the Ben Stein slam. I haven’t seen his film so I’m not qualified to criticize it or endorse it, but my understanding was that he attempts to address the possibility of intelligent design as an origin of life. Creatures evolve, there’s no doubt about that, but I thought Stein was asking if it was possible that some supreme being brought life to these evolving creatures in the first place. Does he come out and say that species don’t evolve? Again, I’m just wondering, as I haven’t seen the film.

  91. #109 ScottFree & #118 Roach

    In fact Pythagoras posited that the Earth was a sphere, somewhere in the 500BCs, eliciting estimates of size from both Plato and Archimedes.

    A few hundred years after Pythagoras, Eratosthenes, and later again Posidonius, correctly measured the circumference of the Earth (still in BC), 1500 years before Dante described his version.

    History of Geodesy

    The reason we think the people in the Middle Ages thought the Earth was flat, seems to come from both this book, “The Warfare of Science with Theology” and this book “The Fourth Book of the Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes”.

  92. @#123:

    I too have not seen the movie, but from what I’ve read in reviews, it consists of two things: old rehashed arguments about how if we don’t at this moment know exactly how everything evolved, God Did Itâ„¢; and claims that evolution led directly to the Holocaust. Yes, that’s right, apparently no one thought to kill the Jews until Darwin suggested it. At least, that’s what Stein (himself a Jew) would have you believe. This is why everyone is so upset with the movie.

  93. I am not sure if this has already been said (I didn’t have time to read all the comments) but it seems odd to say this ‘would normally take millions of years to play out’. What this shows is that such adaptive changes do not in fact need millions of years to play out. This is just normal, run-of-the-mill, natural selection in action, with a small initial gene pool and probably very strong selection pressure. It doesn’t always take millions of years for changes of this magnitude to happen. Indeed, there are already many other known examples of rapid adaptation of a similar kind; no doubt someone has already linked to some of these above.

  94. “I don’t understand the Ben Stein slam. I haven’t seen his film so I’m not qualified to criticize it or endorse it, but my understanding was that he attempts to address the possibility of intelligent design as an origin of life. Creatures evolve, there’s no doubt about that, but I thought Stein was asking if it was possible that some supreme being brought life to these evolving creatures in the first place. Does he come out and say that species don’t evolve? Again, I’m just wondering, as I haven’t seen the film.”

    Yeah, maybe you should see the film before commenting on it. Just like Ben Stein should’ve learned about evolution before making a movie about it.

  95. “This is not evolution. This is adaptation.”

    Right– like when I was trapped on a desert island and couldn’t digest the plants there, I adapted a second stomach and a larger jaw so I could chew my cud all day and ferment the plants in order to digest them. Adaptation. . . sure, makes perfect sense to me.

    I wish my parents had placed all my baby food on 7-foot high shelves, so I could’ve adapted the height needed to compete in the NBA.

  96. @Ill Lich: I love your comment! The authors of the study found that “the lizards developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers, which allowed their bodies to process the vegetation’s cellulose into volatile fatty acids.

    ‘They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves,” Irschick said, adding it was something that had not been documented before. “This was a brand-new structure.’

    …Such physical transformation in just 30 lizard generations takes evolution to a whole new level, Irschick said.

    It would be akin to humans evolving and growing a new appendix in several hundred years, he said.”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080421-lizard-evolution_2.html

  97. About slamming Ben Stein: he deserves to be slammed for trying to ridicule one of the greatest minds on earth, Richard Dawkins.

    Dawkins’ books are supreme examples of intelligence, clarity and honesty of thought, expressed with crystal clear prose.

    I hate to see such a guy attacked by people who don’t even understand the concepts of evolution, but despise anyone who dares not respect their little mythological and superstitious view of the world.

  98. Thanks to Evidence @#44 for ‘fessing up. You said “The fossil record shows us that a lot of animals died in a flood and are buried around the world.”

    I’m not a biologist and am not prepared to discuss the details of evolution. I’m personally prepared to consider that at certain key points perhaps a Great Being waved a magic wand and made key things happen – origin of life, certain key mutations perhaps. However, I’ve come to realize that people who argue against evolution in the name of Intelligent Design aren’t actually interested in science. You say you just want to open up this particular bit of difficult science to alternative theories, but that’s a lie.

    The lie is, to get to what you truly believe you have to throw out great swaths of accepted, provable science, you have to believe that the earth is a few thousand years old, you have to believe that Noah made an ark and supported a sample of every species for 40 days, you have to believe a lot of really silly stuff.

    So when you argue that your “scientific” viewpoint belongs in schools, please include the whole structure that you want included. Young earth, spontaneous simultaneous generation of all species, Noah’s ark, the lot of it. Please don’t lie and say “Intelligent design is just people honestly questioning a few difficult scientific principles”. You. Don’t. Accept. Science. ‘Fess up. Then we can just laugh at you as you deserve instead of bogging down our schools with your fairy tales.

  99. Dear Travelina

    Did I not see something about how the human appendix may be a recent thing and/or retained thing dating to when we started living in groups and would benefit from stored comensual gut flora?

  100. the appendix does something like make white blood cells. in addition, it contains information pertinent but not directly relating to the main body.

  101. #124

    May I add

  102. ummm,don;t recollect much, have to root and burrow, but the neat thing to me was the idea that moving into relatively “dirty” settlements away from just leaving our crap on the ground as we moved camp meant needing a culture of bacteria for our immune system to be up to date on…. hence the port-a-potty appendix…. I’m not saying this well

  103. mmmOK:
    “understanding of immune-mediated biofilm formation by commensal bacteria in the mammalian gut, (b) on biofilm distribution in the large bowel, (c) the association of lymphoid tissue with the appendix, (d) the potential for biofilms to protect and support colonization by commensal bacteria, and (e) on the architecture of the human bowel, we propose that the human appendix is well suited as a “safe house” for commensal bacteria, providing support for bacterial growth and potentially facilitating re-inoculation of the colon in the event that the contents of the intestinal tract are purged following exposure to a pathogen”

    the idea being you near crap yourself to death on some bug and if you survive you need a safe cache of good flora to reinoculate the bowel….

    now, did that mean we could be more free to move around because we carried our “sourdough starter” around with us like insane prospectors…

    is there an evolutionary biologist in the house!?
    (changing my meds, stupid GABA inhibitors anyway….what was wrong with ethanol, I UNDERSTOOD ethanol….

  104. Thank you, Ill Lich (#128) for your comment. I was lucky enough to have an irritable biology professor who beat it into my head that evolution does *not* happen to a purpose. Can I say that again?

    Evolution does *NOT* happen to a purpose!

    And now I am forced to suffer through supposed scientific documentaries that try to tell me that “giraffes developed long necks to eat the leaves on the tops of trees” or “man began walking upright to see far distances over the long grasses.” Ugh! Even supposed scientists get it wrong – such as this study on ducks. (Can’t make a link for some reason)
    http://www.livescience.com/animals/070430_duckgenital_evolution.html
    Really, does it not make more sense to see the twisting as an unfortunate mutation that some of the males were able to capitalize on and eventually to adapt to?

    Most unlucky mutations die off. They can’t survive. But you only have to survive long enough to reproduce. If it kills you after that – too late, it’s in the gene pool.

  105. I could become an ID’er and say that God had a hand in the evolution of this species of lizard.

    What probably happen was a larger look-a-like lizard ate the newly introduced lizard, or something new that they ate caused the evolution. Of course it could also be that these lizards had the genetic markers for the changes that occurred and that the new environment was optimal for these changes, or maybe the Croats had a chemical dump on the island, thus creating a race of super hungry, super smart lizards that will take over the world.

    Who knows.

  106. Like Racer X said: evolution is NOT intentional. (I had a great big paragraph about this, but then I looked at the rest of this post and decided s/he had already said it more succintly than me…)

    What a lot of people forget, though, is that unless a mutation directly helps or hinders the animal, it will neither go away in time nor grow more prominent. Not all traits and abilities are there because they are useful– perhaps they were useful once, but the animals have adapted in different ways and no longer need them.

    Case in point: everyone has certain muscles on their face, that, when contracted and released rapidly, will make their ears wiggle. I am one of those unusual people who can voluntarily control those muscles, and wiggle my ears whenever I want. (Actually, I once met a man who could not only wiggle his ears but also rotate them, in different directions, independently of each other! That was really creepy…)

    Anyway, being able to wiggle your ears does not impede your survival (I hope), and unless there is some culture I’ve never heard of where this is considered very attractive*, by no means will a greater percentage of people in the 48th century be able to wiggle their ears, but neither will the ability be entirely lost.
    *Uh-oh… I just HAD to invoke Rule 34, didn’t I? Sorry.

    Also: does anyone know what why wall lizards are called that?

  107. If the new lizards can still make babies with the old lizards, then it’s not quite evolution and is more like plasticity.

    Still, totally awesome. Go UMass!

  108. Because they climb on walls right near the desk where you sit and freak you into thinking it’s a flashback from 1967.

    #142, Gould used the word ‘spandrels’ (sounds like a warm puppy) to describe stuff that isn’t selected for but isn’t hurting anything, so what the hey, some of it’s kinda cute, let it stay…right Mr. Cockatoo?

  109. whne you roast lizards, do you just use a stick down the gullet and keep turning it over the coals? Or do you like to clean em, spread em toothpicks and get a more even toasting?

  110. @141 JSG “I could become an ID’er and say that God had a hand in the evolution of this species of lizard.”

    The notion of God (or as I usually prefer ‘god’– more on that later) is not necessarily divorced from evolution. I think people have too simple or too literal a notion of god, perhaps from the belief that god created us in his image, therefore he must be a huge man with a white beard and flowing robes, as Michelangelo and Matt Groening have drawn him, or maybe like Zeus he can appear as a swan in order to have sex with a lithe young woman (why didn’t I think of that come-on?). Let’s say instead that god created everything in his image: rocks, trees, fish, pencils, rutebegas, 1964 Ford Falcons, language, scientific concepts, and so on. It is said god is everywhere in all things, how does one jibe that with god being human shaped?

    One of the infamous anti-evolution “facts” I hear repeated is that the odds for life evolving are “one in in ten to the 32 power” or a one with 32 zeros after it. Sure seems like a big number, right? I guarantee you infinity is unimaginably larger. If you want to understand god, first understand infinity. Of course, like Zaphod Beeblebrox, it is impossible for a human to truly know infinity except maybe at death. Thus we arrive at god not as a sentient being, but as a philosophical concept (which is why I prefer not to capitalize ‘god’, it’s not a proper name like Ted or Juanita or Dmitri, even if I sometimes refer to god as ‘he’ as is common.) In ‘god’ all things are possible, even evolution.

    “Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. . . I contain multitudes.” -Walt Whitman

    “Now there’s more things in Tennessee. Than’s a dreamed of in your philosophy.” –The Cramps

  111. well since you asked, Takuan, here’s an instructional video from Noodlepie on making Giong Phan Thiet nuong moi, aka grilled lizards, filmed in Mui Ne, near Phan Thiet, the home of lizard eating.

  112. SPANDRELS! That was the word! But don’t mention spandrels (or Stephen Jay Gould) to people studying how language evolved, it tends to make them froth at the mouth. Though I can’t say I much like the idea that the capacity for language was a spandrel, either…

    Takuan– Dunno if you were thinking of this, but I am forcibly reminded of that scene in the beginning of A Canticle For Leibowitz: “Bless me, Father; I ate a lizard.”

  113. a grand old tale, been so long i can remember it …must dredge it up (literally)

    skinning the lizards, mmm though that might make them burn too easy

  114. Thr s rl slgfst lrdy dp ndrwy t th fllwng ddrss.

    http://scnc-cmmnty.scm.cm/tpc/15-nswrs-Crtnst-Nnsns/15-nswrs-Crtnst-Nnsns/300004623

    nvt y t fll pn th rcks thr s yr vltnst frnds hv. Sk my nm thrght th thrd. strtd lt n th gm, rnd pst 100 blv. S why wst tm n ths wh r nly xprssng pnn.

    s sl, th vltnsts hd n scnc t bck thr clms nd fll nt nsltng m nd my llgd lck f knwldg/scnc vn thgh thy cldn’t nswr vn n f my qstns.

    Hw typcl.

    Ths s wht Bn Stn mnt.

    Bn Stn s Jw. Th Jws prdc 1/3 f th wrld’s gnss bt r nly 1/10,000th f th wrld ppltn. h, n Gd ndd fr tht n. Rght?

    Whr r ll th gnss f vltn?

    Rd hw vltn s rlgn, nt scnc, nd hs slghtrd (nd cntns t slghtr) mr nncnt vctms thn ll thr rlgns cmbnd.

    wll rg wth y thr, nt hr.

    D y hv th bckbn, r r y jst nthr whny lttl nvrtbrt wh lks t snp hlplss Jws?

    Brng smthng tht drs t cll tslf scntst nd hv t try t nswr my qstns.

    S y thr, tgh gys… f y’r nt t bsy sdng wth dlph gnst th Jws.

  115. VORPALSWORD, Since brains wired for language were obviously selectable, I can’t imagine linguists frothing over a word merely used to describe, um, a kind of hitchhiker. A spandrel (Gould again) has no systemic function; it’s just along for the ride. I’m just not up on cross-discipline academic fueds.

  116. Fct: f y dn’t hv smpl f th DN frm ths lzrds BFR nd FTR ths s-clld vltn vnt, y’r jst wshflly drmng.

    Scnc rqrs prf.

    Y DMND t f crtnsts. B wllng t prvd t.
    Pt yr mny (ctlly, MY stln tx mny) whr yr bg mth s.

    ny scntst wh ws stdyng ths nmls nd yt ddn’t gt smpl f rgnl DN fr ltr cmprsn ws grssly drlct n hs dty t Drwn nd shld b frd nd frcd t gv bck hs grnt mny.

    wll nswr ny nd ll qstns. Bt frst, lv y wth th fct tht vltn s RLGN, nt fld f scnc. GRVTY s scnc. Nthngnss gvng brth t smthng s n dlt frytl, cmpndd by th fls ntn f mpty spc cmprssng smthng nt str. Hw ds th nthngnss f spc cmprss nythng? n nd n t gs.

    W crtnsts tr f prptlly nswrng th sm ld qstns. Y wrn’t lstnng thn nd y rn’t nw.

    Th Chrch f Drwn (vltn) hs ths fr, wrrng dnmntns:
    1) Clsscl – wht Drwn tght
    2) Pncttd qlbrm – lzrd brthd brd – bng tght t kds nw
    3) Pn Sprm – Str Trk’s ln prgntrs plntd s hr s dn’t bthr lkng fr tht lsv prf ths dmn crtnsts dmnd
    4) Thstc vltn – Gd crtd mb n hs mg – s h’s lr snc h clld t mn.

    f y cll m fl fr blvng n Gd, cn gt th thr thr dnmntns f vltn t kck yr ss fr m sng th dt y lv s mch. t’s blf systm nd tht’s th Wbstr’s dctnry dfntn f RLGN. Dl wth t.

    Ths f y wh thnk vltn nd th Bbl r nt mtlly xclsv r kddng yrslvs. Gd crtd wtr wrld wth N dth. Drwn drmd fr wrld wth nthng bt dth.

    s fr ths stpd lzrds, t’s clld rcssv gn. Prv thrws.

    S my nndng trd n smlr vn hr…

    http://scnc-cmmnty.scm.cm/tpc/15-nswrs-Crtnst-Nnsns/15-nswrs-Crtnst-Nnsns/300004623&strt=151

    lft my ml ddr thr. f y rd ll my psts nd cn nswr vn N f my mlln qstns thn wll hpply rply t yr cmmnts.

    f nt, ddn’t rlly wnn dl wth y nywy.

    (Ths s my ffth ttmpt t pst t ths blg. Myb thy wll fnlly sprt wrkng st f jwls nd pst ths n. Hy… nw THT wld b prf f vltn snc thy bvsly ddn’t hv ny bfr ths!)

  117. @ 158 “Fact: if you don’t have a sample of the DNA from those lizards BEFORE and AFTER…”

    Fact: They do. Did you not bother reading the article?

  118. Snippet from “Iva Biggrudge” over at the sciam forums:

    Are any of you neo-pagan [Jehova’s] Witnesses out there? Would you like to fight me as well? Unlike this coward, will you answer my questions, or will you just lurk and insult like this little boy is doing me?

    You got a big mouth on you, huh? Seems pretty hateful if you ask me. Kinda like a Nazi.

  119. Fundies? In MY boingboing?

    #158 “Darwin dreamed a fire world with nothing but death.”

    Wow! Where did Darwin write about this fire world? Sources, please.

    “I left my email addr there. If you read all my posts and can answer even ONE of my million questions then I will happily reply to your comments.”

    We’d answer your `millions’ of questions, but you’d never believe them, because they go against your firmly held faith.

  120. Oh yeah, also:

    You DEMAND it of creationists. Be willing to provide it.
    Put your money (actually, MY stolen tax money) where your big mouth is.

    Scientists all over the world work hard all day long to prove things. Thats ALL they do. They don’t say “well, I don’t know what happened, guess Darwin did it!”

    Thats because Darwin isn’t a god, there’s is no “Church of Darwin’. He was a scientist and scientists are just out there looking for answers. You see, the main difference between you ID folks and scientists is that scientists don’t make assumptions. At all. There is not faith involved. If there’s no proof that god made this or that, and there is contradictory evidence, then no scientist will believe that god did make this or that.

    Thats where the burden of proof comes in. Scientists don’t “have faith” in the scientific theory of evolution, and so if you can come up with some kind of proof that god made man, scientists will believe you. The scientists don’t have to prove their point, they already have. You have to disprove them.

    So, what have you got? And have a blessed day!

  121. Those who worship a deity and those who do not worship a deity cannot reconcile their views without a lot of trouble, guys.

    Consider this; if you believe in some sort of God and follow religious rules to appease that God (or attain whatever goal you see fit), you stand on a great riverbank.

    If you don’t, you stand on the opposite side.

    There is no common ground. You cannot draw a line and compromise, you cannot meet. You cannot speak the other’s language. If you attempt to reach the other’s viewpoint, you must go all the way and convert.

    Else, you will drown.

  122. Heh, once again in the linked sciam forums I see the following technique.

    “Evolution says a rock gave birth to a dog that gave birth to a cat!”
    “No it doesn’t”
    “Yes it does, therefore evolution is rubbish! Show me a cow that gave birth to a bird”
    “We can’t.”
    “Well evolution says you should!”
    “What? No it doesn’t”.

    Repeat ad nauseum, as per Kent Hovind.

  123. T Tmbl,

    nvr sd ny sch thng y stnkng lr.

    nd Drwn’s prcs thry s wrld brn f fr whch blh blh blh frm th Bg Bng ftr t mrclsly wshd tslf nt bng.

    rlly dtst y slf-rghts, rgn-f-Spcs thmpng, fndmntlst vltnsts.
    r shll cll y Fnds?

    Y sckn m s y stnd n pl f dd Jws prchng bt hw grt YR rlgn s ftr t klld thm.

    n ll my prvs psts t th thr st, lrdy dsprvd ll ths pgn crp.

    Ds nyn t thr hv ny qstns y’d lk nswrd?

    D nn f y hv th crg t dmt whch f th fr DNMNTNS f th Chrch f Drwn y blng t?

    Nbdy t th thr sd hd th blls thr.

    Hv n vlvd vnng, thn!

  124. @Tomble

    “Evolution says a rock gave birth to a dog that gave birth to a cat!”
    “No it doesn’t”
    “Yes it does, therefore evolution is rubbish! Show me a cow that gave birth to a bird”
    “We can’t.”
    “Well evolution says you should!”
    “What? No it doesn’t”.

    Repeat ad nauseum, as per Kent Hovind.

    ahhhh that reminds me of that old saw. “If you can’t beat them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

    @Takuan

    When cooking a lizard the stick is optional. I prefer butterflying the carcass, and tossing the critter on a George Foreman grill for 15 minutes. Deelish!

  125. Well, since Iva Biggrudge has already lost his arguments through Godwin’s Law, responding does seem a little pointless. It is, however, hard to let slide his fascinatingly loopy assertion that believers in evolution were somehow responsible for the Holocaust. Hitler was an avowed Christian who frequently referred to his faith and used it as justification for his crusade against the Jews. Eugenics, a pseudo-science (much like “Intelligent Design”) based on a misunderstanding of Darwin’s theories, was used as an excuse for the Holocaust, but blaming Darwin for the actions of the Nazi’s is rather like blaming Einstein for a lot of bad science fiction – neither is responsible for people being too dumb to understand what they were actually saying. Unless, of course, he’s willing to take responsibly for all the stupid shit people have pulled over the centuries in the name of God?

    The really interesting thing that “debates” like this bring out is the hollowness of some people’s faith. Iva Biggrudge, for example, is enraged at the thought that other people don’t believe in his god. Why? Does their disbelief hurt Him? Does he think that God needs his help?

    Based on their actions and the way they cannot tolerate dissent, either the faith of Biggrudge and his ilk is incredibly fragile and easily damaged, or they don’t really believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient. If they really believed in God in the way they claim, they’d pity those who don’t have faith and know that, God will carry on just fine wether we believe in Him or not. I certainly don’t think that Biggrudge is trying to “save” us by telling people how much he detests people who believe in evolution. Do you?

  126. Though I usually steer clear of debating creationists I felt I should clear up a couple of misconceptions expressed in IVABIGGRUDGE’s post. First, a quotation:

    “The Church of Darwin (evolution) has these four, warring denominations:
    1) Classical – what Darwin taught
    2) Punctuated Equilibrium – lizard birthed a bird – being taught to kids now
    3) Pan Spermia – Star Trek’s alien progenitors planted us here so don’t bother looking for that elusive proof those damn creationists demand
    4) Theistic evolution – God created amoeba in his image – so he’s a liar since he called it a man.”

    These are not “warring denominations”. “Classical” Darwinism and punctuated equilibrium do not disagree with each other. Stephen Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium merely disagree over the mechanism of evolutionary change, not whether it happens or not.

    Panspermia has nothing to do with aliens, from Star Trek or otherwise. Just that life at it’s most basic form (amino acids etc.) exists elsewhere in the universe and somewhere along the line ended up here. Maybe a comet or asteroid impact, something like that. Not that Earth was deliberately “seeded”.

    As for his definition of “Theistic evolution”, I’m not sure what he’s talking about. God’s an amoeba or somesuch nonsense. On the other hand, why not. Makes about as much sense as anything else I guess.

    BTW, love the Ben Stein gag.

  127. Man, the evolution of hardcore Creationists into sane, thinking humans is gonna take forever.

    “Consider the lilies of the field. They do not toil, neither do they spin.”

  128. *gags*
    Not my favorite thread to read.

    …I’m going to have to intelligently design myself a stiff drink, in an attempt to erase the pure amount of stupidity from my mind, as soon as I can muster the will power to make it spontaneously appear in front of me.

    Someone wake me when the riff-raff leave, and do make sure they don’t steal our sense of wonderful on their way out.

  129. #106 Regarding getting pointed to microscopic levels: even when you are looking at big changes, they ultimately come from the microscopic level. Each outward change is reflected genetically, so when looking for evidence, persons of science look to the genetic code.

    The trouble the religious folk have with evolution is that it is BIG. It is not readily seen in one lifespan, and I guess some people can’t get their brains wrapped around something that large.

    #89 Does the Pope believe in the Bible? You’re kidding, right? Catholics are the original believers in the Bible. Just because he doesn’t thump it frequently and loudly doesn’t mean that he doesn’t believe in it! He reads from it every mass, unlike most Xtians, who only know a handful of verses to use as weapons. Look at it this way: Evangelicals and other sects of Christianity EVOLVED from Catholicism over many generations.

  130. I’m surprised no one has brought up the sex vs. Intelligent Delivery (stork theory) debate. It seems to run along the same vein.

  131. I’m surprised no one mentioned the sex vs. Intelligent Delivery (stork theory) debate. It seems to run along the same vein.

  132. If anyone reading this wants to see some very good, scientifically accurate, well explained proof of evolution in four and a half minutes have a look at;

    Ken Miller on Evolution

    A very well respected biologist, also a theist.

    This is very compelling evidence, in fact I would say irrefutable proof, that humans and the other great apes evolved from a common ancestor.

    /thread

  133. Y ppl r rlly t f tch wth yr wn thry f y dn’t rcgnz th trth bt t whn y rd t.

    vltn DS clm th rth ws brn s fry bll. Thy shvld tht l dwn my thrt my whl lf. Whr wr y t hv mssd t?

    Stphn J Gld s psd scntst wh cldn’t gt RL jb s plmbr, s h hd t trn t Drwnn Rsrch nd spng ff mny stln frm th S tx pyrs t rsrch crp hs lyng frnds sy s lrdy prvn (t lst mr r lss). Pncttd qlbrm s nt HS nvntn. t ws nvntd by Gldschmdt n th 1920s t xpln wy th gps n th fssl rcrd th Clsscl Drwnst lrs stll sy rn’t tht bg prblm. N? Thn why th nd fr fllw vs t xpln t wy?

    TH mssng lnk? Thr shld b TRLLNS lyng rnd ll vr th plc.

    D pty y s y thght shld. Bt ‘m nt gnn l dwn nd tk t s y l bt m nd MY blfs nd try t mk D lk stpd whn t s LD (nntllgnt LCK f dsgn) tht hs rcks n ts hd.

    Dd nyn rg wth th SCNC mntnd r nly th dscrptn f th fr dnmntns f Drwnsm?

    nd th Pp s hll-bnd hrtc fr nt crrctng th trlln ls nd rrrs f th Cthlc s-clld chrch whch SLGHTRD th frst RL Chrstns (stp cllng s xtns, Jss s nt n X), thn brd thm ndr th Vtcn t cncl ts shm. (s ctcmbs) thrws, thy’d hv lft thm n th fld lk thy dd th Mslms nd Jws thy btchrd.

    Th Cthlcs rmvd th Scnd Cmmndmnt frm THR Bbls whch sys NT t bw t dls r vn mk “grvn mgs” thn splt th Tnth Cmmndmnt n TW nd sctd th rst pwrds. Cthlcs DN’T VN KNW thr s cmmndmnt gnst mkng grvn mgs nd bwng t dls r thy wld gt thm th HLL t f thr s-clld Chrchs. Thy ls dn’t wrn thr brndd fllwrs bt th mrk f th bst, s thr s clt n Flrd NW f Cthlcs wh brndd 666 n thr frhds t hnr thr nw fls Chrst thr. Jss wrnd ths bzs wld shw p.

    nd dn’t vn gt m strtd n Mss(chrch srvc) n Ltn whn nbdy bt lwyrs/dctrs spk t. S t whm s th Pp spkng? H’s tryng t mprss ppl wth hw smrt H s nstd f hw smrt GD s. t s NT vrythng Chrst tght.

    Tk tn Hl Mrs nd cll m n th mrnng? “s nt vn rpttns s th HTHN d.”

    Wlld p nns – n ctl prctc, s mzn fr mr.
    Sltry mnstrs nd bbs – “Sht nt yrslvs wy… lt yr lght s shn nt th wrld”. Hw cn t f y’r lckd wy n hdng nggng n gy sx wth thr mnks nd nns?

    nd sn’t hmsxlty n bmntn n th ys f Gd (1Tm9)? Ys.

    t srvs n prps bt slfsh stsfctn. Gys rn’t gy. Thy r msrbl nd thy l bt thr mtvs JST LK VLTNSTS.

    Whn s th lst tm GYS dnncd th hmsxl pdphls f th Cthlc Chrch? Hw bt dmndng NMBL b dsbndd r bttr yt xctd?

    NMBL mns Nrth mrcn Mn-By LV SSctn – ts mtt s “ght s t lt.”

    D thy rlly wnt m t fnnc th cr fr DS whn spnd ll my tm hdng my kds frm ppl lk thm nd Y?

    cn’t spr th DS rsrch ny mr csh… t’s ll bn stln by th RS t py fr brtns nd vltn rsrch.

    grp bt SCL sss, bt dn’t lt th nxt grprs fl y.
    knw th scnc prts vn bttr thn thr s-clld scntsts.
    ‘v bn fghtng ths fght LT lngr thn Bn Stn.

  134. Htlr ws CHRSTN?!?!?!?!?

    r y t f yr F’ng mnd?

    Htlr ws crzy ccltst wh hd sncs (spllng?) nd tlkd t hmslf nd hs nnr dmn s rglrly tht th prmry ttmpts gnst hs lf wr frm th GRMN HGH CMMND.

    Th fllwng LL prctcd wht DRWN prchd:
    Htlr, Pl Pt (Khmr Rg Cmbdn msscr), M (Chns msscrs), Lnn/Stln (Rssn Msscrs), brtn (nbrn msscrs)

    ‘m sr thr r lts mr bt ‘m trd, hvng fght y ppl ll nght. Tht’s plnty f glt fr nw.

    f y blng t grp, y r bth blssd by ts gd nd crsd by ts vls.

    Dn’t hd frm thm lk th Pp hs hs. mbrc th trth nd crrct yr ppl’s mstks.

    nd s fr th “vdnc” f vltn n ths rtcl. Th xmpls y gv r clld “bcmng bggr lzrd”. . thy’v bn tng bttr n thr nw hm.

    Rptls cntn t grw thr ntr lf. Tht s whr th dnsrs wnt… rght nt Nh’s rk… bt s lttl btty lzrds jst lk w hv tdy.

    f vrybdy dd bfr pbrty, y’d lgh t sm dt wh prpsd th chngs w’v bsrvd. n Nh’s dy, bfr wtr nd dth cvrd th whl rth, shrtnng lfspns by fctr f tn, ppl rtnly lvd lmst thsnd yrs. Fnny hw n vs vr jmp n tht, hh?

    Thr’s rsn, bt ‘m nt gnn tll y.

    Myb yr bddy Stphn J Gld wll.

  135. I forgot this one:

    I too have developed an appendage to my gut. Yep, happened around the age of 21 when I began consuming fermented grains.

    Take that evos!

  136. The Troll is back.

    I really do go to church on Wednesday and twice on Sunday so I did not just bail.

    @#125
    Ben’s movie never presented a view really he just asked for open debate.

    You need to see it before you repeat what others have said.

    On evolution and the holocaust.

    Stein, a jew, could have played the Hitler killed the Jews card but did not.

    He showed that Hitler, and his belief in evolution, killed Germans who did not measure up to his standards so he could speed up evolution. He only visited a Jewish monument before he left.

    Like it or not this is what Darwin was abdicating in his book.
    Most of you say Darwin is not about origins yet that is the title of his book!

    Read the title, On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.

    It is supposed to be about origins and favored races.

    Who ever can show they are the oldest race wins.

    Who is the favored race? Africans, French, British or Japanese?

    Who can “prove” that is the superior race and can lord it over the rest of the world.

    Dangerous stuff.

  137. I think, Iva, that you still don’t get it. You think that you’re having a scientific discussion and you point vaguely to some imagined proof, but you are really having a philosophical discussion.

    Science can’t argue with religion. It just can’t. The person arguing for religion can always just say “I don’t believe that” and the argument is over. Thats why ID has to stay out of the science classroom.

    It’s religion, not science, faith not fact.

  138. #178 According to “Iva Biggrudge” the Jews have over one third of the worlds “geniuses” and are god’s chosen people.

    Myself, I don’t remember taking the survey to find out if I’m a genius or not. Nope. Never heard about how the whole world was given an IQ test to see which race was the most superior. Maybe I was sick that day.

  139. Iva Buggridge @175 et al: I guess you’re going to get big bonus points for preaching to the heathens, but what does all that anti-catholic, anti-gay nonsense have to do with the topic?

    Talking of which, Goldschmidt’s saltation theory has nothing to do with punctuated equilibrium. In fact, saltation’s “hopeful monsters” is quite an anti-evolutionary theory, describing as it does a kind of instantaneous (single-generation) speciation. An event for which there is not a single shred of a suggestion of evidence anywhere on Earth, and which no evolutionary scientist takes seriously.

  140. Evidence @178: I think you’ll find that you’ll discover more about a book by reading the book rather than just the title.

    And if you can get into the habit of reading, you might also find Darwin’s The Descent of Man and The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals quite enlightening as to Darwin’s attitude to race.

  141. @Evidence:

    “Like it or not this is what Darwin was abdicating in his book.”

    Huh? What newfangled use of “abdicate” are you using?

    ~~~

  142. Evidence just mixed up “advocate” and “abdicate”.

    Advocate: to publicly recommend or support.
    Abdicate: to renounce one’s position, or to fail to fulfill one’s duty.

  143. I’m all for arguing it out with creationists and intelligent design people, but we have to recognize that what gets lost every time we do this is an intelligent discussion about evolution between people who believe in it, and want to know more about it. Essentially every time there’s a discussion like the one above, it’s at the expense of an intelligent discussion about evolution where people could learn more about it.

    I’d like to see some discussions restricted to those who take it as a given that evolution is the process by which life evolved on Earth. In other words, at least a few discussions where the creationist trolls are shitcanned from the get-go.

    One of the reasons why evolution is poorly understood is because each discussion gets stuck at the door between its attackers and defenders.

  144. #186 I agree – it’s generally not that interesting to talk about evolution with evolution deniers/ID/creationists (unless you approach it from a folklorist standpoint). It’s MUCH more productive and interesting to talk about the Problem of Evil with them. It would be nice if we could have a Problem of Evil discussion as a sort of unicorn chaser.

    It’s not very Boing Boing-y though, I suppose. And it would definitely get messy.

  145. I note how “Iva Biggrudge” says evolution supporters “have no science . . . and fell to insulting me”, when he does exactly that (calls Stephen Gould “pseudo scientist” and a “failed plumber”, essentially calls all Darwin supporters anti-Semites, plus a lot of his “science” is little more than creationist talking-points, all of which ARE disproven at the very same Scientific American website he provides a link to). I also note the slow descent into hysteria: he’s a long way from thoughtfully debating evolution when he’s laying Hitler’s crimes at the feet of Darwin, or suddenly complaining about AIDS research, NAMBLA, and abortion.

    The bottom line with “Iva Bigggrudge” and “Evidence” is that if an honest person with no religious agenda looks at both sides of the argument and makes a decision in favor of evolution they will not accept that, and will browbeat that person into submission. If this were an actual public town-hall-meeting debate they would probably hog the mic and drown out all dissent (perhaps I’m wrong about them, BUT I’ve seen this before; when you’ve got GOD on your side you are beyond reproach, you are doing the most important work known, nothing else matters), they are not interested in debate, they are interested in forcing their ideas down your throat. Scientists change their theories all the time when solid evidence shows them they were wrong, but a creationist will never change his tune, instead they bend-over-backwards to deny the evidence. I listened to their ideas and decided they weren’t convincing, so apparently I’ve been brainwashed by Darwin and need to hear their same ideas again and again– do they really think that repeating the same lines over and over is going to suddenly change my mind? I’ve heard their arguments, I’m not convinced. Period.

    So ultimately trying to debate them is pointless. Eventually you will realize that both sides are just repeating the same arguments over and over, and you will give up in disgust, at which point the creationist claims victory (at least for his ego).

    Here’s one last grenade for Iva Biggruge and Evidence: GOD is all powerful, I don’t think he really needs you to defend his creation (if he did then he wouldn’t be so all-powerful, would he?) Don’t worry about us evil non-believers, we’ll be going to hell and suffering in burning lakes of fire for all eternity– isn’t that enough for you? Or do you really need to to torture us in this life too? Think of how much fun you will have in heaven knowing you were right all along, and those of us who wouldn’t listen are suffering unimaginable tortures. Good times.

  146. I think it’s important to recognize that intelligent design is the lie that these people tell to try to get their foot in the door to teach their hateful religion in our schools.

    Both BigGrudge and Evidence have said that they not only reject evolution but that they reject any science that suggests that the earth is older than a few thousand years, that the UNIVERSE is older than a few thousand years, that Noah’s ark isn’t literally true, etc. They have decided that “The Origin of the Species” includes any cosmology, physics, or any science that doesn’t agree with the idea that one or another of the creation stories in the bible is literal truth.

    They want science out of schools.

    It’s convenient that they occasionally become so unhinged as they are here to spew their hate so openly as to open themselves up to the mockery they deserve. Let’s try to keep them out in the open when they try to invade our schools with their lies that intelligent design is all they want. Make sure that people know that they really want to destroy all science. Let them argue amongst themselves about which preposterous version of “literal truth” they adhere to. Young earth? Old earth? Noah’s ark, true or false? If the bible is unambiguous literal truth, how come you have disagreements among yourselves?

  147. #189-

    Well said! And with that well-reasoned statement, we who are destined to burn in hell (hee hee! Makes me chuckle every time) can walk away from this discussion, comforted in the knowledge that nothing we can say will convince those like BigGrudge to think differently, so there’s no point in trying.

    Ideas can never alter beliefs with the BigGrudge’s of the world. I’m just happy to know that I have ideas, not beliefs, and that my ideas about where we all came from may change as new evidence is literally and figuratively unearthed. Scientific curiosity and inquiry is wonderful!

  148. @ all the scientists in the thread, I agree with Hendry’s comment at the end of the article, that the change in the lizards needs to be confirmed as genetic. I see no reason that it would not be: the initial population of 5 pairs would no doubt experience strong selection pressures, and the changes observed would offer a competitive advantage.

    It could still be argued that the changes observed in the lizards are the result of a changing diet, although personally I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that. A controlled experiment in which typical Italian wall lizards were raised under the same conditions as individuals of the new island population ought to establish that the differences are heritable, and therefore the direct result of either the founder effect or of selection. In either case, it’s evolution in action, pure and simple.

    Yay science and scientific rigor!

  149. +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    /*
    I propose that we have a separate thread discussing
    the content of the article marked as above. This isn’t the place to engage in the big argument about evolution, there are other places on the internet where people have done so more capably than we will – this applies for both sides – and we all know how to find it. Essentially, we’ve had 180 comments of noise, there hasn’t been anything new here.
    */

    So has anyone in the room read the article?

    Not to start another meta-discussion, but can anyone tell me why the popular press rarely cites the paper they’re talking about properly? They only mention “The findings were published in March in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” It’s a friggin weekly journal, don’t make me do the work of finding the exact issue!

    Okay, that’s enough bitching from me, I’m going to go dig up the article and see what it says, it sounds rather interesting.

    ~~~

  150. @185 Vorpalsword

    I realized the mistake, I was trying to point out something to the person claiming such intellectual might.

    For as Jesus said, “Let he who lives in a glass house throw the first stone.”

    ~~~

  151. #194 For as Jesus said, “Let he who lives in a glass house throw the first stone.”

    Jesus did not say that.

    I am a creationist.

    ID is a step in the right direction for scientists who actually do science. ID is a trail that will lead you to creationism. That is what most of you just do not want to allow.

    How does evolution explain things that are irreducibly complex?

    Creationism fears no science but encourages it.

    Science be definition is having knowledge not theory. Work with theories, say they are theories

    *****
    The Earth is about 6,000 years old, is that young? Young or old is comparative. Compared to millions of years it is young, compared to us it is ancient.

    ******

    I believe Noah’s Ark is true. Why do you deny a global flood on a world that is covered with water yet insist on a flood on Mars that has no water?

  152. +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    It was in the March 25th, issue, for anyone who cares.

    ~~~

  153. But in the Book of Evolution, is it not written:

    “Let no man be still, for his genetics are not.”
    Ev 29:12

    And does Jesus not ruminate:

    “Blessed are the monkeys, for amongst them we have a common cousin.”
    Ev 40:15

    I can’t remember any more, I’m sure the you other readers can look up your bibles and include some more.

  154. An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has MOAR living stuff, mooes, An creepie tings, An otehr aminals. It happen so tehre.25 An Ceiling Cat doed moar living stuff, mooes, An creepies, An otehr animuls, An did not eated tehm.

    26 An Ceiling Cat sayed, letz us do peeps like uz, becuz we ish teh qte, An let min p0wnz0r becuz tehy has can openers.

    27 So Ceiling Cat createded teh peeps taht waz like him, can has can openers he maed tehm, min An womin wuz maeded, but he did not eated tehm.

    28 An Ceiling Cat sed them O hai maek bebehs kthx, An p0wn teh waterz, no waterz An teh firmmint, An evry stufs.

    29 An Ceiling Cat sayed, Beholdt, the Urfs, I has it, An I has not eated it.30 For evry createded stufs tehre are the fuudz, to the burdies, teh creepiez, An teh mooes, so tehre. It happen. Iz good.

    31 An Ceiling Cat sayed, Beholdt, teh good enouf for releaze as version 0.8a. kthxbai.

  155. Let us examine EVIDENCE’s last post (not that I really want to engage in this pointless game anymore, but . . . )

    #194 For as Jesus said, “Let he who lives in a glass house throw the first stone.”

    Jesus did not say that.

    **[OK– fair enough. I suspect that was a joke on the part of JAKETHESNAKE, but of course, right over the head of goode pastor Evidence.]

    I am a creationist.

    **[no kidding]

    ID is a step in the right direction for scientists who actually do science. ID is a trail that will lead you to creationism. That is what most of you just do not want to allow.

    **[OK– here we go. “Scientists who actually do science”, so he gets to deny professional scientists are real scientists, men who have spent years earning their doctorates, men who make their living looking for clues and trying to figure out how things work, men who when they make a mistake admit error and modify their thesis (something an IDer will never do– you can’t redact the Bible). Then the phrase “… you just do not want to allow”– EVIDENCE needs to take a long hard look hard in the mirror. Science for centuries allowed for the creation myth to be viewed as truth, and only questioned it when Darwin saw the pattern that pointed to evolution. As it stands now, it is the IDers do NOT allow ANY evidence of evolution to be considered valid, whereas real scientists will allow anything if it has evidence to back it up. Too often creationist “evidence” consists of Bible quotes and “magic”– for example see the Noah’s Ark section below.]

    How does evolution explain things that are irreducibly complex?

    **[If you perhaps read the Scientific American article cited by Iva Biggruge above you would know how evolution does this. Basically “irreducibly complex” is a lazy man saying “I can’t figure this out, so therefore it can’t be figured out by anybody, ever.” In the 1930’s most people insisted man would never walk on the moon, obviously it was tough to figure out HOW it could ever be done, but it WAS done (or does EVIDENCE deny that too, after all it wasn’t in the Bible?) The flagellum that IDers point to as “irreducibly complex” HAS been shown to have a predecessor in another organism. It is almost exactly the same, minus one molecule. This follows evolutionary theory perfectly.]

    Creationism fears no science but encourages it.

    **[Sure, but only when it proves the Bible correct. Evolution IS science and you do not encourage that, just like Copernican theory was denied by the church for years.]

    Science by definition is having knowledge not theory. Work with theories, say they are theories

    **[The word “science” comes from the Latin for “knowledge”, but science is defined more correctly as ” a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method.” “Science” is not strictly “knowledge” any more than any other modern word based on an ancient root is strictly defined as that root, like “idiot” is derived from the Greek “individual” or “citizen”– if I referred to EVIDENCE as an idiot he wouldn’t say “Thank you very much, I AM indeed an citizen.” (Or maybe I assume too much there.) As for “theories”, well. . . the theory of relativity is “just a theory” too, perhaps EVIDENCE will allow us to store a nuclear device in his basement; sure, in theory he might get vaporized, but hey, it’s just a theory.]

    The Earth is about 6,000 years old, is that young? Young or old is comparative. Compared to millions of years it is young, compared to us it is ancient.

    **[There doesn’t seem to be any point to this except to play with words. Whatever turns you on EVIDENCE.]

    I believe Noah’s Ark is true. Why do you deny a global flood on a world that is covered with water yet insist on a flood on Mars that has no water?

    **[OK, the Noah’s Ark myth: the number and size of the animals involved vs. the size of the ark, the food needed to sustain them for 40 days, the fact that there is not enough water on Earth to completely submerge all the continents, let alone the various mountain ranges, etc.– creationists use GOD (a.k.a. “magic”) not science to explain that away. How convenient. As for Mars, strictly speaking he is correct, Mars has no water, it does have quite a lot of ice though, which if I am not mistaken, can easily be turned into water (without the use of magic, I might add.) ]

    **I am done arguing with the likes of EVIDENCE. I’m sure he will reply with more arguments, but like I mentioned before, what point is there in arguing– I know all his arguments already, I dissected every one in this last post. I’m not ignorant of his ideas, I honestly considered them years ago, they didn’t stand up to scrutiny. I don’t see any reason to believe his theories any more than I see any reason to believe the ancient “phlogiston theory” of matter.

  156. @#195 – thanks for your honesty. Please have the integrity to be consistent should your community push for ID to be taught in your local schools. Stand up, be proud, say “I believe that the following topics in science should only be taught from a biblical perspective”. I think you’ll find that people who don’t understand evolution and feel a little uneasy about it might support you on ID but would laugh you out of the room if you tried to convince them that 2 of every species were literally carried on a boat for 40 days/nights.

  157. @ Evidence:

    “The Earth is about 6,000 years old”

    And you’re about 6,000 IQ points shy of an eggplant, evidently. Hey, listen, I’ve been to the Creation Museum. I’ve seen the fatuous swill you natives claim as “the truth,” and it’s faulty science, plain and simple.

    Some of the “evidence” highlighted, for those of you unwilling to spend the $20 in Christian-bilking admission fees:

    1. Pangaea is a myth. Diversity among species is the direct result of monkeys traveling back and forth between continents on rafts made of sticks and moss. I shit you not.

    2. Men hunted dinosaurs into extinction. Oh, and classical depictions of dragons are man’s visual interpretation of this dramatic occurrence. BWAHAHAHA!

    3. Roman centurions were actually frat boys from the south. (In one of the films, a soldier is heard to say, “I tell you what,” more than once.)

    Jesus, save us.

  158. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “The transplanted lizards adapted to their new environment”
    Adaptation is not evolution it’s just good design by the Creator.

    “were not built to digest a vegetarian diet”
    Who built them? God? I think so.

    “developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers” I suspect that they had these valves and now these same valves are bigger by use.

    “They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves,” “bite harder, powered by a head that had grown longer and wider”
    A bigger belly is evolution? If it had never had a belly and grew one now that is new information being added. Same thing if it grew a head and jaws. Weak, so very, very weak.

    Did you all not notice this paragraph.

    “What could be debated, however, is how those changes are interpreted—whether or not they had a genetic basis and not a “plastic response to the environment,” said Hendry, who was not associated with the study.”

    This closing sentence too.

    “All of this might be evolution,” Hendry said. “The logical next step would be to confirm the genetic basis for these changes.”

    Might be! Might be evolution! I thought you all “knew” something!

    There will never be a follow up study cited.

  159. “Might be! Might be!”

    Evidence stamps foot in righteous indignation. What a crybaby. You’re not offering a more compelling explanation for the phenomena, I hate to tell you.

  160. “How does evolution explain things that are irreducibly complex?”

    This argument only works if you’re stupid enough to believe that anything is “irreducibly complex.”

    Any scientist will tell you that, while evolution is staggeringly complex, it is defined by a finite set of particulars. But we’re not going to get anywhere by thumbing our noses at empirical research.

  161. “You’re not offering a more compelling explanation for the phenomena, I hate to tell you.”

    Yes I am. We, and all creatures, are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    The lizards were made with the ability to eat insects or vegetation just like you and I are.

    Common design from a common designer.

    You wanted to talk about the article. So I point out points to ponder and you bury your heads and say I am stamping my feet. I am just passionate.

    If you all decide you want to be left alone I will leave you alone until the next article on evolution.

    Let me know.

  162. “We, and all creatures, are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

    That’s not a more compelling argument than the one given in the article. It’s not an argument at all. It’s a myth. Hell, it’s barely a sentence.

    I don’t speak for everyone, but I never said that I wanted to discuss the article. I just joined the discussion to call you an imbecile.

  163. @ swampdog

    The bible says they were on the ark for around a year not just 40 days.

    It is feasible and does not take great faith to believe it.

    I am not trashing anyone but most Bible knowledge on here is misrepresented. Are most you biblically illiterate or have never really consider it?

    Not throwing a rock just asking a question.

  164. Evidence:

    can you please explain to me how all these animals fit on the ark (according to the dimensions of the ark in Genesis) for a year, including enough food for all them for a year?

    And I would appreciate if you use science, don’t wimp out and say “God did it.”

  165. Like I said, it is to laugh.

    Hippos and elephants and giraffes and zebras and antelope and hedgehogs and horses and cows and water buffalo and moose and elk and wolves and rhinos and lions and tigers and bears all peacefully coexisted and ate and drank (not each other!) and pooped for a YEAR!??!

    Ha, I say, and Ha ha ha.

    I guess that may be where Noah and his family developed the skill for shoveling shit that so well serves the x-ian community today.

    As I said, please present your complete view of “science” when you ask for ID to be taught in school. I await the sound of laughter.

    (I am not in the least offended to be called biblically illiterate. I’m probably better informed about the bible than the average, but whether Noah spent 40 days, a year, or 40 years on a boat in your fairy tale makes no difference whatsoever to me other than to increase the absurdity of taking the bible literally. Also please note that many of the “biblically illiterate” comments in this thread are satire. You may not have noticed.)

    (my use of x-ian as an abbreviation for christian is something I copied from a pastor who sat next to me on a plane composing a sermon on his lap top. It is meant as shorthand not as insult.)

  166. It is feasible and does not take great faith to believe it.

    Sources?

    Are most you biblically illiterate or have never really consider it?

    I’d say plenty on here have perused more of the bible, than plenty of people who portend to go by it’s word.

  167. “We, and all creatures, are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

    Why was God so fearful when he created us? Or is that not what you meant to say? Your inability to use the English language, combined with your attempts to portray yourself as a serious thinker, leave me with the feeling that you’re most likely a very slow reader.

    Ten bucks says I’ve read the Bible more times than you have. And an extra fifty bucks says that I understand it better than you do. In fact, I’ll bet that I read more books in 2007 than you’ve read in a lifetime. But this isn’t about who’s read more books, really… I am every bit as convinced that your retention stinks, too. You may not be “trashing anyone,” but you are indeed making an effort to trivialize the observations and diminish the reputations of scientists who are infinitely more reasonable than you. Hundreds of years of earnest investigation down the toilet, if you had your way.

    Let me ask you a question. What kind of just and caring God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, would allow infants to be raped to death on a near-daily basis? I’m sure you’ll endeavor to explain it away with “free will,” so the question then becomes: what kind of just and caring God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, would allow man to plot his own destiny, knowing that some would choose evil over good? No just and caring God would allow evil to proliferate, assuming He or She could do anything about it.

    Either God is uncaring, or He / She has no authority. There is also a third possibility: there is no God.

    But then you’d have nothing to whine about.

  168. This Just In!

    “”In the first analysis of proteins extracted from dinosaur bones, scientists say they have established more firmly than ever that the closest living relatives of the mighty predator Tyrannosaurus rex are modern birds.””

    “”“Our results at the genetic level basically agree with what has been seen in skeletal data,” John M. Asara of Harvard said in a telephone interview. “There is more than a 90 percent probability that the grouping of T. rex with living birds is real.”””

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/science/25dino.html?hp

  169. +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    So this is actually a rather interesting article for the questions it raises rather than what it answers.

    I’m hoping there are some biologists lurking in the crowd who can correct me if I go astray here, this isn’t my field, but my understanding of this goes as follows –

    The significance of this result is that it completely unexpected. Prior to observing this result one would expect the results of the experiment (10 lizards introduced to an island) to be one of the following:

    – lizards that look like the original population
    – lizards that look the introduced population
    – lizards that look like a cross

    Finding a forth option is just weird. I don’t know if the results of the study are strong enough to preclude the interbreeding option, but I think they might, mitochondrial DNA is from only one gender of parent (female, right?).

    From a numbers point, this seems unexpected, but not beyond explanation – if the population doubling time is a year, then there were over a billion lizards descended from the original 10. Does anyone know what the clutch size is for these sorts of lizards?

    ~~~

  170. I think xians, in their narrow view fail to see the vast number of creation stories in the world. All are mythological. All are metaphorical. The myth the xians grew up hearing about involves a garden named Eden. Just because its the creation story that happened to be adopted by the Europeans and then follow them to America doesn’t make it credible or true. Wikipedia has a nice page on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_Stories. Actually, I find the judo/xian story one of the more laughable.

  171. Wow, there’s so much wonderful fodder here, it’s difficult to hold back!

    Evidence and BigGrudge, you are allowed to believe in whichever religion you choose, nobody is arguing that right. (They may be questioning the wisdom of that choice, but that’s their right as well.) What those not of your beliefs would like you to understand is that, when your data comes from a religious text, it does NOT belong being taught in a science class. Please do not try to indoctrinate myself or anyone not of your beliefs using the public school system we all pay taxes to support.

    Darwin’s scientific observations revolved around living beings and the tendency to adapt to their environments. When those changes began to be passed down from parent to offspring, they became permanent. The members of the species with the new traits had evolved.

    Nothing in Darwinian texts deals with the origins of the universe or of the Earth. Other scientists are responsible for those areas of study. Sorry to say, but you’re blaming the wrong guy for the Big Bang theory. Note to xians: you have many, many people who have independently discovered evidence refuting your religious viewpoint. One guy, such as Darwin, could be covered up or ignored. How about archaeology? Or doesn’t that count either. Genetics? No? Astronomy. Nope, can’t have that one. Geology, then? Nuh uh, no way! How bout chemistry or physics? Darn! How is it that all of this scientific evidence could possibly be wrong?

    The thing about science that makes it notably different from creation or ID is that it is rigorously tested. No scientist can say, “I have a theory, now teach it.” ALL scientific theories are tested by many other researchers and if they don’t hold up to independent testing, they are thrown out. Xians don’t care about testing or proof of any kind. They don’t care that what they are espousing is better presented in their churches. They scream, “WE’RE RIGHT AND YOU’RE WRONG AND WE AREN’T LISTENING TO YOU! LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA, LA, LA!”

  172. Telljunt Dezynr

    Can says “Oh Hai”? Liek who maik teh littrboxz? Liek who putin niec smelly new littr? Sum catz, riet? Nawt jus anny catz, riet? Reeeeeel smarty catz, meeee-oooowww! Can has rubs bellie? Nawt jus anny catz, riet? Niec rubs can has Ceiling Cat. Ceiling Cat has niec littrboxz first anna clumpy littr. Tehn youse catz can has one. Youse skratch, youse sqwat, den youse pee, den youse cover. Niec skratch.

    Oh Hai, lookey here! Nawt jus anny littr clump. Who can has maded this niec clumpy pee? Nawt jus anny catz, riet? Must be reeeeel smarty catz, riet? See? Lookey? Sniffz. Clumpz. Taht splanes it. Ceiling Cat teh Telljunt Dezynr uv reel niec clumpy pee. Ceiling Cat sez so. Srsly. K’Thnxbai.
    [edit] Pascal’s Wagar

    Pascal wus clever kitteh hu wus laik: “I am not knoin if teh Ceiling Cat is reel.” Oh noes! But Pascal was thinkin an thinkin, an he wus laik “If I is beleefin in teh Ceiling Cat, and he is reel, I will be gettin cheezburger. But if I has no beleefin in teh Ceiling Cat, and he is reel, I will be getting pwned. If there no Ceiling Cat, no matter anywai. I think I is beleefin in teh Ceiling Cat.”
    [edit] Morals

    All teh kittehs are knowing wut is gud and wut is no gud. Cheezburgers be good, and pwnin ur eminies is no gud. How ar we knowing these tings if Ceiling Cat has not tuwd us?! Ceiling Cat tells all teh kittehs wut is gud and wut is no good, so we knows wut to do. In a pewfec wold doowin gud wud be ruwaded bai hapines butt dis aint alwaiys rite cos dis wun tiem ia wus leik “hai hows yu” an he wus leik “GTFO”. Dis means dat der mus be moar leif to reewad us wit teh cheezburgerz we deeservs, an dat mus be Ceiling Cat.

    and jebus no maks deh urfs. ceiling cat makm urfs. yu cun tel cuz jebus no kars bowt cheezburgrs. so ceiling cat is reel cuz he give all gud kittehs cheezburgr.

    kaythnxbai.
    [edit] Eeridoosibul Complexitee

    Der iz sum fings dat iz so complicatd dat dey had tu be creeatd, cuz if yu taeks wun pees off, dey not wurks anymoar. Liek, der iz teh sofa, an it iz gud fr sleeping. But if yu taeks teh pillow off, it not gud anymoar! Cleerly, teh sofa cood not evolv. LOLZ. If yu finks teh sofa evolvd, yu iz stoopid. we wearz nawchoes kaythnxbai

  173. On Making Light, the term for Mr. Evidence there would be “pinata”: an amusing centerpiece you take turns beating on with a stick to make interesting objects fall out.

    Evidence, some questions: How much attention do you pay to the fiber content of your clothing? Do you trim your beard? Ever eat pizza with sausage and pepperoni on it?

    If these aren’t issues in your life, why have you picked out one small section of the Pentateuch to read hyper-literally, and given short shrift to the rest?

  174. This is kind of embarrassing.

    I’ve been going through my mail, and it appears that not everyone has been reading Iva Biggrudge’s comments as intentional comedy.

    Have I miscalled that? Is it possible that he really is that stupid, and what we’re hearing is his natural discourse?

    I’m taking opinions.

  175. #227 I don’t know, maybe, but he did get upset by the xian thing…

    If he’s being comic, he sure does the angry xian thing well, because he sounds just like them!

  176. It’s kind of difficult sometimes to tell someones tone on a post, whether they are being tongue-in-cheek or snarky, or truly just idiotic; I can’t tell if they are mentally speaking in a silly clown voice as they type.

    I never underestimate the stupidity of anyone (after all, I see the same stupid face in the mirror every morning: “Oh, it’s YOU again.”))

    Reading Iva Biggruge’s comments again I STILL can’t tell if he/she is joking or not. As someone else pointed out here, some of the stuff on display at the “Creation Museum” doesn’t need a punchline attached to get laughs. I’ll admit some of his anti-catholic stuff is pretty over-the-top, and sure seems like a joke, but then I always got laughs out of Jack Chick comics and I’m sure those are dead-serious.

    If you are trying to consider whether Iva broke a rule of posting here (hateful speech, i.e. “troll”), it’s not my call, but I’d err on the side of caution and let his post stand as is without the disemvowelling (although that might set a bad precedent).

    At the very least I appreciate the “Church of Darwin” concept . . . and to think all this time I’ve been praying to Jimi Hendrix.

  177. Interesting: Iva Biggruge provides a link to the “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” article at Scientific American (which pretty thoroughly trounces all creationist arguments). This leads me to believe his posts are humor.

    But then I read his diatribes at that link, and it’s more of the same Christian-anti-Darwin-paranoia-conspiracy-theory-weirdness.
    Pages and pages of posts, all of which stink of willful ignorance and creationist talking-points.
    Now I suspect he believes all the stuff he posts.

    “I ain’t no joke.” –Rakim Allah

  178. ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    First of all, thank you all for answering the questions I raised about the lizards in the article talked about. [See I appreciate sarcasm and use it too. ;0)]

    I noticed when I talk about lizards you guys want to talk about God. I thought the general cry was lets talk about the subject at hand and now you guys avoid it?

    I have read quotes attesting to the “mountains of evidence” and “all the science” and such but I am simple minded, as many of you have noted, so could one of you give me the one thing that absolutely proved to you that evolution was rock solid? One thing that I could search with you to see how convincing the solid evidence is? I can’t swallow the whole elephant please give me a small bite to chew on.

    Sarcasm alert!

    “What kind of just and caring God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, would allow infants to be raped to death on a near-daily basis?”

    Natural selection? Survival of the fittest? Preservation of the race? Removing the competition for food? Blind chance? Animal instinct form our animal ancestors? Chaos? No reason, we just die and go into a hole in the ground? Life is over and thats it?

    Did I miss any of the answers you cling too?

    The Bible says its because men are sinful, evil, and depraved. We have violated Gods laws and it shows itself in ugly ways. I wish God would stop those law breakers but wait. That would mean He would have to stop us all,including me, right here, right now. Because we all violate Gods law daily. I am thankful for the long suffering of God and I trust in His justice. None of it (law breaking) goes unseen and will be justly rewarded. Do as I have done. Repent and ask Jesus to save you today friends.

  179. Jake0748, feel free to use that joke just as much as you want, but I warn you that it’s very old, especially among musicians, and it’s usually, “Do you know how to get a bass player off your doorstep?”

    Musicians will see the similarity between bass players and creationists right away. (Bass players wont’.)

  180. Evidence, I see you’ve ignored my question. Until now, you’ve been the one who’s wanted to force discussions of religion on this thread. Now that you have someone else talking about it, you draw back.

    Could it be that you don’t actually care about Creationism, ID, or Biblical literalism? Are you just another troll who’s discovered a subject he can use to commandeer an amount of attention he could never attract on his own?

    Ill Lich @231, I suppose I ought to disemvowel Iva Biggrudge’s comments, but they’re such perfect examples of that style of bad rhetoric and bad thinking that I’m tempted to keep them.

    Maybe we could donate them to the Stupidity Project?

  181. IJWTS that I, too, literally can’t tell if “Iva Biggrudge” is a parody or not. And when I say “literally,” I mean it.

  182. Jake the Snake (and other scientists): I don’t think the Creationism argument can go much further. If you’d like, I can give this thread another hour or two then start deleting everything that isn’t sober science.

  183. @ Evidence:

    “Did I miss any of the answers you cling too?”

    No, but you missed the spelling of the word “to.” Jesus, I swear. If you can’t discern between the two, I’m threw with yew.

  184. Takeshi thank you for your kind correction.

    Teresa/Moderator
    I will reread yours post and do my best to answer.

    I was not forcing religion, I am pointing towards Creationism.

  185. Evidence: Of course you were forcing religion. You’ve been utterly obnoxious and self-centered about it, too. I doubt you’ve convinced a single skeptic, but I’m certain that thousands of readers now have a poorer opinion of Christianity as a result of witnessing your performance here.

  186. #232 Evidence:

    “…I am simple minded, as many of you have noted, so could one of you give me the one thing that absolutely proved to you that evolution was rock solid?”

    Hey, I’m not 100% sure of anything: my shoe size, my height, what time it is, whether or not I enjoy the taste of V-8 juice, etc.

    Seems to me, if Vegas were offering odds on evolution being closer to the truth than the Bible story of creation, the sure money would be on evolution (of course, the odds on the creation myth would pay out far higher if you won.)

    I’m sure you have reasons you believe the Bible is the absolute truth, we probably don’t need to hear them though. I imagine parts of the Bible are true, and a good amount of it is either completely made up, totally misinterpreted, the writer’s opinion presented as fact, or very obscured through years of oral tradition and bad translations. I can’t put much faith in a book that contradicts itself so blatantly (do I “turn the other cheek” or take “an eye for an eye”?) The creation myth to me seems every bit as fanciful as telling children “the stork brought them.”

    Ultimately if I look at everything science has produced, versus everything religion has produced, science wins by a landslide. Religion promises eternal life, great! — but you won’t know if it’s true until you die (it’s like being on a game show, and the host offers for you to trade all the prizes you’ve already won for “whatever is in this box”– no thanks.)

    “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
    Corinthians 1, 13:11

  187. Teresa/Moderator

    You asked questions about the fiber content of my clothes, If I trim my beard, and my Pizza preferences.

    First I am a Christian and not Jewish. The laws you are questioning me about were addressed to the nation Israel for a particular time and place but in essence I do hold to them, here is how.

    I don’t wear a Slipknot or Marilyn Manson T-shirts. The mixing of fabrics was something people in their day did as acts of worship to pagan gods.

    Same with the beard deal and mixing their foods. God wanted them to be set apart a peculiar people, same for me today. (Let the Peculiar jokes begin!) I am to be different so were they.

    I purposely said I read the Bible plainly not literally. If the Bible plainly is poetry, descriptive or uses modes of speech (Sun setting-raining cats and dog etc.) I take it for what the author intended.

    I believe Jesus is God and He specifically mentioned- Adam and Eve, Noah, Sodom and Gomorra, Jonah and 6 day Creation.

    He would know so I believe Him.

    Now He encourages us to study His creation. See how it runs like a finely tuned clock. Admire the eco system He put in place the beauty in that is here for our pleasure and His goodness. That we have a Moon at just the right distance to be the same size as the Sun so that eclipses are possible and we are able to study the corona. Also that our shadow is the same size as the Moon so we have the phases to mark time with. What are the chances of that just happening?

    We should marvel at the fact that our solar system is where it is in the Universe so that we can study the Universe. What if we had stars so close we couldn’t see out to observe? I am glad He put Saturn and Jupiter where He did. They act as shields for our Earth and draw in asteroids that would harm us and the Moon is a good last defense. I thank Him and marvel at His works.

    What advances could be made if we looked for design in the universe?

  188. Evidence @251: That isn’t how the phases of the moon work.

    Thats not the Earths shadow on the Moon?

  189. Yes I remember reading in the bible where Moses said that Jupiter and Saturn are there to protect us from asteroids, and he was right too, judging by the size of that crater hole down in the Yucatan, which is obviously a snare of Satan.

    You know, Snare of Satan would be a pretty cool band name. But it would put attention on the drummer, when in fact it belongs on the guitar player.

    (As we read in the Book of Clapton.)

  190. Name-calling is fun. Group dynamics rule number 7: Norming behaviors revert to intimidation tactics when logic and reason seem to be of little use.

  191. Evidence 243: No, it isn’t. When the Earth’s shadow is cast on the Moon, that’s a Lunar eclipse, not the Moon changing phases.

    A Lunar eclipse can happen only at the full Moon, because that’s the only time the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth. For a related reason, a Solar eclipse can only happen at the dark (“new”) Moon, because that’s the only time the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun.

    All other phases have the Moon’s bright and dark parts showing partially. Note that the side toward the Sun is always lit.

    The Moon doesn’t orbit the Earth in the plane of the ecliptic (which is called that for a reason) or every full Moon would have a Lunar eclipse, and every dark Moon would have a Solar eclipse.

    Hope this helps.

  192. To: Evidence
    Re: Lizards (uncooked)

    I know you keep saying that the lizards didn’t evolve, they just grew, or adapted to the environment. Perhaps in this case you are right– we won’t know until they do the DNA tests.

    But, from what information we’ve currently got, it is extremely likely that they did evolve.

    Before Darwin, Lamarck came up with a similar theory of evolution, except he believed that acquired traits were heritable. His theory was that if a short-necked giraffe wants to eat leaves from a tall tree, it will keep trying to get them and perhaps stretch its neck from this constant exercise*, and then, when it breeds, its offspring will have longer necks than usual because of this.
    *Never mind that it couldn’t significantly lengthen its neck in this manner anyway.

    Lamarck was proven false by experiments like the one where they cut the tails off mice and bred them, to see if their offspring would be tailless. They had tails, of course, because it is in their genes to have tails, and if someone cuts off the tail the genes will not change to reflect that. The genes will, however, differ from parent to offspring if there is a mistake in the DNA transcription, and that is how mutations and variations happen.

    If the first Italian wall lizards on the island had simply grown, or changed their eating patterns, and nothing else, then their offspring would be no different biologically from regular Italian wall lizards elsewhere.

    I doubt that this will change your mind all of a sudden, but now do you at least understand what evolution is and is not?

    Also– you said:
    “developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers” I suspect that they had these valves and now these same valves are bigger by use.

    Well, I suspect that would have been the first thing the scientists would have suspected too, and checked to see if they had had them in the first place. “Developed” != “enlarged”. “Developed” means they grew new ones over subsequent generations. You can’t dismiss an argument by saying “I suspect that’s not true” but not offering any real proof.

  193. Wow, the numbering is really out of order. There’s been knife work here.

    Maybe we could donate them to the Stupidity Project?

    BB could have a Wall of Shame. Of course it would be kind of like the suicide by hydrogen sulfide dilemma. Would it help commenters to avoid bad behavior or just be a recipe book for trolls?

    Iva,

    Would this be a good time to mention that some of my roommates from the drag queen collective in the 70s were founders of NAMBLA?

  194. I think Iva really believes what s/he is posting. Parody would be funny, and one thing Iva utterly lacks is humor, even of the laugh-at kind. Also, a parodist wouldn’t (probably) mix homophobia and anti-Catholic bigotry into the posts.

    I suppose Iva could be a hoax, but that’s not the same thing as parody. But it doesn’t really matter; on the internet, someone who does a perfect imitation of a troll IS a troll, and what the person hirself actually believes on the topic under discussion is irrelevant to that analysis.

    But I don’t think Iva’s a hoax either. I think s/he’s a deadly serious wacko, homeschooled by wackos in wackoness.

  195. RossInDetroit 248: Thanks! (I don’t think I’m patient and restrained overall, actually, though I strive to be.)

  196. meanwhile…far off in deep space.. a trillion tons of ice spins and drifts towards its inexorable rendezvous with a band of quarrelsome apes…..

  197. xopher
    Thanks for the real dialogue. I appreciate your patience. You could call me a name. laugh (HA ha ha HA) and then avoid any topic mentioned, so I thank you.

    The Lunar eclipse also goes with my point. Our shadow is the perfect size. The trifecta Earth, Moon and Sun all appear to be same size for these events to occur. What are the chances of this happening? Any other planet in our solar system able to do this?

    “All other phases have the Moon’s bright and dark parts showing partially. Note that the side toward the Sun is always lit.”

    Honest question

    What is keeping the other part of the moon from being lit?

  198. Evidence @254: The fact that there’s nothing but the Sun to light it.

    Also, our shadow on the moon is not a perfect fit.

  199. Evidence, Nelson has it right. Half the Moon is always lit by the sun (except during a Lunar eclipse). As the Moon orbits the Earth, the side that’s always turned toward us goes from lit, to partially lit, to all dark, to partially lit, etc. The part that isn’t lit isn’t because it’s in Lunar night (which is also a Lunar month). So, just as night on Earth is caused by the Earth’s own shadow, the darkness on the unlit side of the Moon is caused by the Moon’s own shadow.

    The Moon is, in fact, the perfect size to fit in front of the Sun given their respective distances from the Earth. However, the Earth’s shadow is much, much bigger than the Moon; that’s why totality of a Solar eclipse is always brief, whereas totality of a Lunar eclipse can last quite a while.

  200. Evidence – Re: the moon; try shining a flashlight on a basketball in a dark room if you want a visual. Make the flashlight and ball stationary and walk around them – you will see an equivalent of the phases of the moon.

    Re: the “developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers” I suspect that they had these valves and now these same valves are bigger by use.”

    what I garner from the article (without having access to the researchers’ information, I can’t be sure*) is that the muscles at the joint between the two intestines altered over time to become valves; they didn’t just spontaneously appear. The small intestine is muscular whereas the large intestine is not. The join between them is usually a circular muscle that aids fecal matter in passing from one intestine to the next – so you’re part right in saying that they were there, but not in the form that they are now; which is the point.

    Evolution is not a spontaneous creation of something that wasn’t there previously, it’s a selection over time for traits that are advantageous.

    The first generation of lizards from Pod Kopiste didn’t have the cecal valve. However, the individuals who had stronger cecal muscles were able to retain food longer and thus get more nutrients out of it which gave them a higher survival and reproduction rate – encouraging the continuance of the trend for stronger cecal muscles.

    If you were to take these lizards back to Pod Kopiste, the valves may or may not remain in their systems. Depending on the availability of their current diet, the valves could remain indefinitely and these lizards would stay distinct from the lizards that are on Pod Kopiste and would probably develop new adaptations over time as they change to fit a new niche. If they were to revert back to the Pod Kopiste diet, they’d likely interbreed with those lizards and the cecal valves could disappear over time, because they’re an unnecessary adaptation.

    *I studied mammals, not herps, so I could be completely wrong about their digestive system.

    JaketheSnake – a fourth option would be two distinct lizard populations that utilize difference niches.

  201. Takuan – everyone knows that A’Tuin is swimming through space, not standing on the back of other turtles.

  202. Evidence,

    The Moon might look like a perfect fit in a solar eclipse now. But that won’t always be the case since the Moon moves further from the Earth at a rate of about 4cm per year.

    ‘m not an astronomer but you can look this up readily. Nasa even put a mirror there to measure the rate at which it’s moving away. They point a laser at it.
    http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/ApolloLaser.html

  203. @ Evidence:

    “See how it runs like a finely tuned clock.”

    Yes, all those rapes and murders every day are proof of God’s greatness and limitless power. All those planets that collide, all the animals extincted by giant asteroids, all those countless imperfections in nature’s “design,” beginning with the fact that I have organs that I don’t even need!

    Go God!

  204. Speaking of which, young lady, you’re underage. Why are you following links that are labeled NSFW? You’re supposed to remain completely innocent of all knowledge of the existence of sex, sexuality, sexual orientation and sexual organs until your next birthday. Oh, never mind. I just looked it up. The age of consent in Texas is 17. It’s all good.

  205. If Mark hadn’t invoked Ben Stein in the title, do you think that this post would have gotten more than ten comments?

  206. @Evidence

    RE: The earth, moon, sun are all the perfect size.

    Some other commenters have taken a stab, but I thought I’d go into some more depth, in the hopes that you are sincerely interested in learning more.

    1. They aren’t exactly the right size. Both the earth and the moon have slightly elliptical orbits. Depending on the time of year and the position of the moon in its orbit, the relative sizes of the disks of the sun and the moon can vary quite a bit. See: ‘annular eclipse’.

    2. All we’re talking about here is that the tip of the umbra of one body briefly intersects the surface of another body once in a while. That’s probably rare, but not astonishing. There’re many, many combinations of star size, distance, and planet sizes that can make it work. Just in our solar system, Phobos would cover more than half the sun’s disk. That’s pretty close.

    3. The idea that this convergence is uniquely useful to astronomers. Well, even on Earth, total eclipses happen only once or twice a decade, for a few short minutes or hours, in one or two remote regions of the world. That’s not very convenient. That aside, what makes you think eclipses are the only phenomenon that would provide useful and interesting observations? Having a bevy of smaller moons would probably be just as interesting. Or even a ring. And what kind of weird sights could we see if we weren’t just a planet, but also the satellite of something like a ringed gas giant?

    (Anyway, a truly benevolent astronomer’s god would’ve provided more than a conveniently sized moon. Why not a huge equatorial mountain range that pokes a little way above the atmosphere? Or a ‘natural’ space elevator?)

  207. Xopher @251
    “on the internet, someone who does a perfect imitation of a troll IS a troll, and what the person hirself actually believes on the topic under discussion is irrelevant to that analysis.”

    Vonnegut’s book Mother Night is (among other things) an extended exploration of this (although in that case its Nazis not trolls).

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” – Vonnegut’s Mother Night

  208. RE: The earth, moon, sun are all the perfect size and/or distance from each other.

    This is basically circular reasoning. If we had two moons they would be saying how perfect it was that we had two moons. Similarly, the human body, or the bodies of other animals are not necessarily “perfect”– there are plenty of physiological quirks that point straight to accidental evolution rather than wise design: giraffes have nerves that travel the entire length of their neck, from the brain down to the torso, loop around a bone, and then back up the neck to the head; how is this an intelligent design? But of course, you can’t question the designer– if God made it, it must be perfect– circular reasoning again.

    (I apologize for continuing to post on this. I promised I would stop arguing with EVIDENCE, but I have become fixated. I have better things to do tonight, and instead I am arguing with someone who clearly does not understand evolution, either by choice or ignorance.)

  209. Ben 273: Remember the story of the guy whose penis saved his soul? He was masquerading as a Nazi, and the only thing that saved him was the fact that he was circumcised, so that if any of the real Nazis saw his dick he would be revealed as a Jew and killed. That kept him from entirely becoming what he was pretending to be.

    Ill Lich: the reasoning isn’t as circular as you think. The marvel is that the size and distance from Earth of the Moon is such that it matches the apparent size of the Sun so closely. From time to time this allows us to see the corona of the Sun clearly. It really is a fantastic coincidence, especially since our Moon isn’t really a moon (it’s the junior member of a dual-planet system; true if it were a true moon it would be much closer to Earth, and life as we know it would be impossible).

  210. “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” –

    this is true. This is why I pretend to be human.

  211. @ Evidence

    You asked what, above all else, convinced me that evolution would be the right answer, and silly as this may be, I’d probably say insects. From a human perspective on the world, bugs look to be inconsequential and are frequently quite annoying, but they serve a variety of genuine purposes. If this world was put here specifically for man, why would a creator fill the world with these annoying pests? Wouldn’t he have found a way to make it all work without putting these annoying creatures on it?

    You are appreciative of the beauty of this world. I suspect, however, that if this world had say, a lavender sky and two moons you would find that beautiful, too. We all would.

    One of the problems I have with people who believe that this was all put her by a god for our use is that many of them fail to distinguish between use and abuse. It’s wonderful that we’ve learned many ways of using oil, but it’s abuse when we rape the planet to get it, then allow plastic bags to litter nature, fill up trash dumps, and float around in the oceans (see Great Pacific Garbage Patch here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch)

  212. I have what I’ll call Xopher’s Fork. Here it is.

    Do you believe that shared genes are evidence of shared ancestry?

    IF NOT: You don’t believe that DNA testing can determine the paternity of a child, for example. Do you really deny that?

    IF SO: Then you believe that chimpanzees and humans have common ancestry, because their genomes are largely identical. In fact, on average a human male shares more genes with a chimpanzee male than with a human female.

    I suppose it’s possible to believe that God just used similar genes to build humans and chimpanzees, but then you still have the problem…God could have used similar genes to make the baby your wife just had as to make the postman, who is not the same race as you or your wife. So she hasn’t been unfaithful! God is just testing you.

    The basic problem creos* have is logic. They don’t understand either deduction (as above) or induction (anything that happens a little bit over a short period of time probably happens a lot over a very long period of time). Believing in “microevolution” but not “macroevolution” is not only silly, it’s prideful (that’s Christian talk for ‘hubristic’, for those of you following along at home). They think God can only do things on a scale that’s easy for THEM to grasp, or within the narrow framework of their lives.

    Of course, lots and lots of “microevolution” adds up to “macroevolution,” and whether you believe God is doing that or, as I do, that natura sola sufficit, there’s no logical leap involved.

    *I got this nickname from a commenter on Making Light. I like it.

  213. So the animals have changed over time… not sure that was ever a question.

    The findings relayed in this article, if anything, undermine Darwinism. If these creatures are evolving that quickly, then there must be some other mechanism operating then natural selection, because there haven’t been enough generations for this level of mutation to arise.

    So the task is not merely to recognize change, but to explain the mechanism behind it.

  214. @xopher & Ill lich

    Thank you very much for clearing up my misuse and humbly thank you for your kindness and patience in regards to the Moons phases.

    I wish I could comment on all posts and I apologize for not being able too but life keeps interfering with commenting. I am not avoiding I would truly love to round table with all of you on every point. A lot of insightful stuff and good questions and some weirdness that I guess I miss the humor on.

    @sophieschoice
    “I suspect, however, that if this world had say, a lavender sky and two moons you would find that beautiful, too. We all would.”

    You are right but think about this and one of you math whizzes figure the odds of this occurring.

    We evolve on a planet with food we can eat and tastes good, we make an eye that can see in an atmosphere where it is possible to see. We can breath the air, drink the water, it is the right temperature on and on.

    If we landed on Mars and found a tent with these same conditions we would look for the Being that had set up the tent so perfectly for us. But when it is placed on a global, no universal scale, and we say it just happened?

    The Universe is not perfect because of mans sin and longs to be restored. Sin brought in death and disease.

    Rom 8:22 “ the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together.”

    Does science contradict itself?

    Entropy is a known science. In simple terms the way I understand it it says . The universe is dying of heat loss and things left to themselves run down. (Correct me if this is wrong.)

    This rule/Law of entropy is in place.

    Yet evolutions runs counter to this. Does not evolution say “Things left to themselves gain information and grow in complexity”?

    How do you justify the two?

    The Bible agrees with this known Law of entropy.

    Isa 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

    The Moon slips away, the Earths rotation slows down, stars burn out.

    Explane.

  215. @SophiesChoice

    Thank you for being the only one to answer my question. Mountains of evidence must be smaller than a mole hill.

    Insects. You are right they are useful but annoying.

    I believe God made the world perfect. Man sinned and the good systems have all broken down.
    Before sin there was no death and I would says no annoying insects. Not that they weren’t there, He created them on day 6 (the Bible calls them creeping things) but that they wouldn’t have been annoying.

    God uses them for examples for us in the Bible.

    Pro 6:6-8 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.

    I know of people who have become Christians because of the complexity found in the insect world.

    So your dislike of bugs is the most compelling argument that drove you into the arms of evolution?

    Thanks again for opening up.

  216. @Evidence 261,
    We evolve on a planet with food we can eat and tastes good, we make an eye that can see in an atmosphere where it is possible to see. We can breath the air, drink the water, it is the right temperature on and on.

    Precisely the point. We evolve to fit the circumstances. If this atmosphere wasn’t conducive to sight, we would have evolved like grubs. Blind, but with systems in place to feel vibrations.

  217. @Tenn

    “We evolve to fit the circumstances”

    When is the next meeting on what we should evolve next?

    I put in for flight.

    Quotes from vorpalsword 249
    “I know you keep saying that the lizards didn’t evolve, they just grew, or adapted to the environment. Perhaps in this case you are right– we won’t know until they do the DNA tests.”

    Lamarck experiments“stretch its neck from this constant exercise”

    “they cut the tails off mice and bred them, to see if their offspring would be tailless”

    “The genes will, however, differ from parent to offspring if there is a mistake in the DNA transcription, and that is how mutations and variations happen.”

    “I doubt that this will change your mind all of a sudden, but now do you at least understand what evolution is and is not?”

    Yes this is what I want and all of you should want too. DNA that shows new information not bigger headed lizards with stronger jaws. This sounds like the Lamarck bait and switch. Say one thing while meaning another. Like showing all the proof for micro evolution and then saying it must (without evidence) add up to macro evolution that is a leap of faith. Bait and switch. One is not the other, that why they have different names.

    My favorite book outside the Bible is Carl Sagan’s “Contact”. Because at the end he, through the main character, says that it is his faith he can’t prove it. Thats honesty.

    “You can’t dismiss an argument by saying “I suspect that’s not true” but not offering any real proof.”
    As you said “We won’t know until they do the DNA tests”.

    You all have faith the DNA will have new information I believe it will not (odds are in my favor) and chances are we will never hear any of the follow up testing at least not on BoingBoing it will be buried at the end of some journal no one will read.

    Same thing over and over.
    Big head lines at what we found or know and pepper the article with evolutions words of faith, maybe, we suppose, we think, could be, possibly, could have been, our theory is and might be. (To name a few). Then when science is done and things are known it falls in to obscurity. (Think Mars rock).

  218. @Tenn

    “We evolve to fit the circumstances”

    When is the next meeting on what we should evolve next?

    I put in for flight.

    I’m sorry, I don’t see how flight is necessary for our circumstances. Care to explain? Flight would consume more resources in trade for few advantages- it would overall consume more energy than we could gain. The ground has all we need, so there is no impetus for change.

  219. Sorry about my italics codes on the other. HTML-fu is fail. I’m sure everyone can discern who said what.

  220. @TENN #285

    I forgot to put up my sarcasm alert.

    My point is who is in charge of what we need and when we get it?

    Do we stretch our necks until we grow? Thats not evolution (see earlier posts). \

    Small incremental changes in our DNA until we have what we need?
    Who decides what we need?
    Who decides what changes need to be made to get to that point?
    Where are all the transitional fossils showing these changes proving that this is good science and how things are done?

  221. @TENN #285

    I forgot to put up my sarcasm alert.

    My point is who is in charge of what we need and when we get it?

    Do we stretch our necks until we grow? Thats not evolution (see earlier posts). \

    Small incremental changes in our DNA until we have what we need?
    Who decides what we need?
    Who decides what changes need to be made to get to that point?
    Where are all the transitional fossils showing these changes proving that this is good science and how things are done?

    Nobody. That’s the point.

    Whatever animals have features conducive to survival in their environment survive. The ‘who’ is circumstance.

    Here they are!
    Human transitional fossils

    Why isn’t there a flowchart?

    More not so human to human skulls

  222. EVIDENCE:

    You know, all of the things you bring up are answered on the Scientific American website under the title “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense”, it’s been mentioned in the comments here already a few times (see #153 IVA BIGGRUDGE’s comment for the link).

    Regarding entropy– like a lot of other things you bring up about evolution, it seems you don’t understand entropy either, this is answered in the Scientific American article also. You really should read it and UNDERSTAND it before you argue your points, because you are making yourself look ignorant (I’m just saying. . . .)

    Entropy takes over in a closed system, and the Earth is NOT a closed system as long as the sun is adding energy to our planet. If the sun suddenly stops, entropy will take over, and life will run down like a clock that needs to be wound, or a battery with no charge. If an exact replica of the early Earth (and I don’t mean the Genesis version of early Earth, but rather as scientists see it), complete with moon and oceans, and pools of chemicals waiting to be turned into amino acids, were floating in space nowhere near the heat of a star, with no energy being added, and no thermal energy in the planet’s core, there would be no chance of life appearing. At some point our sun WILL run out of fuel and burn out (it is like a battery with vast amounts of energy stored in it), and then entropy will take over; we are actually living on borrowed time, although science extrapolates many millions of years before we get to the end.

    Think of it like this– you are pedaling your bike, and I say to you “God must be making the bike move, because otherwise entropy would make you fall over” but of course you are adding energy to the bike by pedaling, as soon as you STOP pedaling, and are not adding energy, entropy (friction) makes the bike slow down and stop. You are like the sun, you can pedal and pedal, but at some point you will get too tired to keep it up and you will eventually stop; your store of energy is depleted. IF you were moving along on a level surface without pedaling, without a motor or wind at your back, without any energy being added to the bike at all, and without slowing down, then we can discuss god coming into play in the equation.

    Or better yet, consider those mini-biospheres that you can buy or make (I believe there was a recent post here on boingboing about how to make one), usually water, a little air, sand, some plants, and prawns. It appears as a closed system (and indeed it is sealed– you never have to physically add anything to it, not food nor water), but is is NOT a closed system– it needs energy from the sun to feed the plants, which in turn feed the prawns. If you place it in a dark closet for a few weeks entropy takes over and everything dies (and I think even with the sun those biospheres eventually run down anyway after several years).

    Do you get it now?

  223. I swear I did that one right. I just checked the history and yep, my italic end is at the end of the post I quoted- NOT at the end of my name.

    Anyone else having this problem with tags?

  224. The italic tag only works for a block of text. If you hit enter to create an empty line, you have to do a new set of tags. I don’t know why and, no, it’s not normal.

  225. Evidence, I’d really like to know what you have to say about my fork. (No, it’s not a spork.)

  226. @Xopher 293,
    I propose ‘Xophork’. I, at any rate, liked your fork and post. In fact, this entire conversation has cemented my atheism. Every time Evidence requests evidence, and the Boingers provide it, there is that much more reason not to be a creo. I used to be a microevolutionist, mercy me, but that was before I was well aware of the implications that belief stated (as you have clarified in your post.) The idea that bricks can be stacked to make a chimney, but not a house, is ridiculous.

  227. Maybe you should have gone more generic and called it Xopher’s Tool. I think that many of us would have looked it over very, very carefully.

  228. EVIDENCE:

    Unfortunately your constant references to “sin” don’t help your arguments, as science has no way to test for sin.

    In other words, matters of faith and matters of science do not mix. Your constant attempt at forcing them to fit is like mixing oil and water: shake that Italian dressing bottle all you want but in the end they separate out.

    As I see it, the basic equation here is like this: IF the Bible is completely true, THEN evolution is a lie.

    Seems fair enough, but even if you scientifically or archeologically prove one portion of the Bible, that does not prove the entire book, because the Bible did not magically appear in its current form all at once, but was compiled from various scriptures and accounts over centuries (Moses did not have a book of Revelation, let alone a book of Exodus to cite), so one part could be accurate, the others inaccurate.

    You are apparently satisfied that the Bible is 100% accurate, and have removed the IF/THEN from the equation. Fine, but we cannot make that leap of faith, no matter how much you preach at us. I was raised Christian, but even as a small child I saw through the facade, everything was built on too many shaky assumptions and unquestioned traditions; that does not make me an evil person.

    If I get on an airplane and the pilot tells me “God is my co-pilot” (and he’s completely serious, there is no human co-pilot), I would request another flight with a human co-pilot, because if the main pilot falls ill, hoping God will land the plane is a real crap-shoot. If you want to take that flight, go ahead.

  229. Antinous, now that I’ve been cut loose by my boyfriend, it’s possible that a look at my tool may be available to you under the right circumstances. Just sayin’.

  230. But not a wall lizard, unless it was a real hole-in-the-wall kind of lounge!

    *crickets chirp*

    Thanks everyone, I’m here all week, tip your waitress.

  231. Just to clarify a quick point which seems to have been misunderstood at a few points in the discussion: the introduced lizards did not interbreed with the original lizard population of the island.

    Any changes between when the wall lizards were first introduced and when the scientists returned was due to either selection pressures or to the effects of a new diet.

    I refuse to take it for granted that this is due to a change the genome. I do not see why it could not be due to it, but as of yet the possibility of the observed changes being due to change in diet has not been ruled out, at least not by the scientists writing the paper. I like a healthy amount of doubt served with my science, or with anything for that matter.

    Although, I admit it is difficult to explain the new gut structure in terms of a simple change in diet (that hasn’t stopped everyone from trying). I guess that’s why I’d be more inclined towards the idea that there is a genotypical change accompanying the change observed in the wall lizards. But like I said, I’d like to have the proof of it before I start making any claims.

    I’d like to think that boingboing will post a link to whichever obscure science journal carries the less sensational follow up article two years from now, although I must admit that would be asking a lot.

  232. @TENN #289

    Thanks for the links to the picture and the article.
    More not so human to human skulls = I could take the population at the local Wal-mart at any given time, line them up from small to large and have more variation than these.
    Why isn’t there a flowchart?= From the article- The second reason for gaps is that most fossils undoubtedly have not been found. After millions of years of death shouldn’t we all hit one when we dig in the yard?
    Human transitional fossils = Lining things up does not make it true. Lining up a spoon then a spork and then a fork is that science? Would we not need DNA to show their relation to each other and that new information has been added?

  233. #290 ill lich

    Thanks for the descriptive post and illustrations.
    You said
    “it seems you don’t understand entropy either”
    “Entropy takes over in a closed system, and the Earth is NOT a closed system as long as the sun is adding energy to our planet”.

    The Moon slips away and the Earth rotation still slows. The Sun that is adding energy and it destroys my shingles, bleaches and cracks cement, bakes our skin to cause cancer, it drys out and rots all fabrics just to name a few things.

    Is there some other Law that covers this?

    Also
    “IF the Bible is completely true, THEN evolution is a lie.” The is what I believe. This still allows for micro evolution (science’s terms not mine) which is variation within a species or kind.

    “You are apparently satisfied that the Bible is 100% accurate “
    I am. I would gladly discuss this with you and others. You can examine it and see how valid it is. I am no Mormon so I am not talking about reading it and getting a burning assurance in your bosom. I am talking about the same tests applied to any book of antiquity. Christianity is a faith but not blind faith, it is reasonable or I would not believe it.

    “everything was built on too many shaky assumptions and unquestioned traditions”
    I apologize for any weak or false Christian who said not to question things. Truth fears no question. Truth endures.

    Caution is wisdom. Examine, test and decide.

    To throw out God is very bad science.
    It is like the police saying find the killer but he can’t be a white man.

    What if it is a white man?

    All your searching will leave you empty handed with out answers because you limited the possibilities at the start.

    What are all of you afraid of?

  234. Is is us that are afraid, EVIDENCE, or you?

    If evolution is true, then the Bible creation myth is untrue, and if one book of the Bible is untrue, how many others? And suddenly your reassuring cosmological security blanket is gone.

    Yes, the unknown is very scary, especially the “great unknown” of death. We don’t really know what happens when the lights go out; religion is a convenient way of making it more comfortable. We convince ourselves that if we follow some basic rules and say some incantations then everything will be alright and we will be rewarded at death; it’s something to look forward to rather than be afraid.

    I’m afraid of death too, EVIDENCE, but I won’t stoop to believing in superstitions in order to make it more palatable.

  235. After millions of years of death shouldn’t we all hit one when we dig in the yard?

    I’ve known about how things are fossilized since I was a girl with books on dinosaurs bigger than her. The books, that is, not only the dinosaurs.

    Fossilization only occurs under certain circumstances.
    Which is why we don’t find them everywhere.

  236. Evidence, et al, I have been following this thread for (it seems like) weeks. But I’ve been reluctant to post anything because there are many others arguing on my side who are smarter and have better writing skillz than I do.

    There seems to be one item that might bring the whole argument to a halt, and forgive me if its been mentioned already. — If the fact that someone believes that the Bible is 100% literally true, word for word does not allow one to “believe” in evolution or give it any credibility at all, then why argue about evolution at all? I mean I personally would grant that the creation story in Genesis (if taken as literal truth) contradicts the theory of evolution, or anything like it.

    So it seems to me that the argument should be about whether the Bible is literal truth or not. If it is, case closed, for you anyway, you won’t convince others who don’t believe that. If the Bible is more an allegory, metaphor, some kind of instruction book for life – well then all the more opportunity for us mortals to try and figure out how God really made the universe.

    This is just my 2 cents worth and I put it to you in all humility and without malice toward anyone (in my better moments I AM capable of being without malice, really!). Again I apologize if it is poorly written. Cheers.

  237. I’ve come to the conclusion it takes more faith to be an atheist than a theist. Not having anything to reach out to means you have to focus on the self.

    All in all, if God exists, and has an issue with me because I did not worship him- but made every effort to be a kind and moral person through Buddhist principles, then I’m just screwed and I totally accept that.

    I have a moral obligation not to believe in God, because if I did move to Christianity or something else, it would be me trying to save my own ass in the afterlife. Which is dishonest.

  238. Jake,

    Modesty from people who are perfectly capable of expressing themselves is unnecessary. Don’t sell yourself short, man! I can’t express myself very well either but I pretend.

    Anyway, Evidence argues this because the Christian faith demands searching out converts. Never mind that they won’t convert anyone here with their diatribes; the point of Creationism is to make everyone believe the Bible’s account, and for creationism to be taught in schools as opposed to evolution.

  239. the point of Creationism is to make everyone believe the Bible’s account, and for creationism to be taught in schools as opposed to evolution.

    Isn’t the point to reassert social control by sowing disinformation and re-establishing a system of social inequality which leaves straight, white, rich men at the top of the resource pyramid?

  240. Tenn,

    Thanks for the kind words, but I’ve been doing a lot of “posting something stupid before I got the joke”, lately.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the thing about only believing in God to cover your own ass in the afterlife. To me it’s a fundamental question in life, whether there is or isn’t. I put myself in the firmly agnostic category. But whatever… if the argument is whether or not the Bible is literally true then why do we (I mean both sides), even argue about evolution? Neither fundies nor scientists ever have a chance of winning.

  241. Evidence, you ask us to test the Bible as though it was completely foreign to us. The fact is, most if not all of us know something of the Bible; we’ve been exposed to it since childhood, and we have tested it for fact and accuracy, and found it wanting. We’ve tested it for internal consistency, and found it wanting. We’ve tested it as moral guidance, and some of us have found it wanting. Not all; some people are happy with the message in the Bible, and do not find it incompatible with their knowledge of the world, this science that you know so little of, and denigrate so in your obvious ignorance.

    As you to us, we say to you, What are you afraid of? The answers are out here in the world for you to see, as countless others have seen before you. Take your nose out of that fusty old book, and look at the world. Look at the strata, look at the fossils, look at the shadows on the Moon. God gave you the capacity for reason, and he gave you a universe to work it on. Are you so contemptuous of God’s gifts?

  242. Entropy is a known science. In simple terms the way I understand it it says . The universe is dying of heat loss and things left to themselves run down. (Correct me if this is wrong.)

    This is correct, the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy, the amount of energy unavailable for work, tends to increase. Eventually all matter will decay, even protons.

    Living things however actually increase entropy more than natural systems do.

    Yet evolutions runs counter to this. Does not evolution say “Things left to themselves gain information and grow in complexity”?

    Evolution doesn’t say anything of the sort. Please don’t confuse the second law with evolution. Evolution’s only claim is that “species arise through descent with modification by means of natural selection” nothing more. Evolution doesn’t even make any claims regarding the origin of life, only the origin of species.

    Life is able to take advantage of available energy and to make use of it to increase complexity. Plants take the energy of the sun in the form of photons and are able to capture that energy and convert it into sugar through photosynthesis.

    Why? No one knows. Science doesn’t answer ultimate why questions. It only answers how questions. How do species arise? Through natural selection. How did life appear on Earth? We don’t know for sure but we do know the oldest living things found so far are cyanobacteria fossils 3.4 billion years old. People have developed theories to explain this and they fit in with what we already know but we aren’t totally sure yet.

    I could take the population at the local Wal-mart at any given time, line them up from small to large and have more variation than these.

    No, one could not. Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean no one else does. Anatomy is well known and taught in every college. The differences between the skulls on the left and those on the right in that illustration are quite profound.

    After millions of years of death shouldn’t we all hit one when we dig in the yard?

    No, fossils only form under special circumstances.

    Lining things up does not make it true. Lining up a spoon then a spork and then a fork is that science?

    Yes, that is science. Much of what scientists do is systematically categorizing and organizing things. Conducting experiments and building models to explain what we find are very important too. But you can’t have a theory if you don’t know what exists in the world. That means someone has to go out, collect specimens and study them.

    Would we not need DNA to show their relation to each other and that new information has been added?

    No, we do not. One would have to be profoundly ignorant to believe that eating utensils were living things that reproduced or evolved. We know that a T. Rex fossil is related to other dinosaur fossils because we know that lizards reproduce sexually. They do not just magically appear out of nothing. If you wish to believe in magic that’s fine, just don’t call it science and don’t force it on me.

  243. I’ve been doing a lot of “posting something stupid before I got the joke”, lately.

    I fail to see why you should be better behaved than anyone else. The rest of us are drunk, drugged, tired or stupid. Don’t be so fancy.

  244. Great posts.

    I am not forcing anything on anyone I thought we were debating, asking question and searching for answers.

    It is hard for both sides not to paint with broad brushes.

    I am off for worship on Sunday I look forward to continuing with you all on Monday.

  245. Antinous: Would this be a good time to mention that some of my roommates from the drag queen collective in the 70s were founders of NAMBLA?

    I really hope that you’re kidding – it’s like someone casually mentioning they were in little league with Hitler. (and no, Iva’s already thoroughly Godwinized this thread, so I’m cool)

  246. Why am I debating EVIDENCE again? I spent time trying to explain entropy to him (admittedly long-winded and maybe not perfect), and he replies with a bunch of disjointed sentences about how the sun “destroys my shingles” and “bakes our skin to cause cancer”–???!! Is he saying the sun is the cause of entropy?!!

    wow.

    It’s like trying to explain baseball to a European: “No, that wasn’t a strike. Well, yes, he struck the ball, but that’s called a hit in this case. Yes, he hit the ball that time, but because he fouled it off. . . errr. . . hit it out of bounds off to the side, that makes it a strike. No that time it wasn’t a strike. . . yes, I know he fouled it off, but that only counts as a strike the first two times he does it. . . oh, and THAT was a dropped 3rd strike, ya see, well . . . .” etc.

    But how can I expect a creationist to understand science when they get all their info from other creationists hell-bent on debunking science and then calling that “the real science?”

    You know, EVIDENCE, you might want to look into inventing a perpetual-motion device; something like that could solve all our energy needs and make you very very rich.

  247. I really hope that you’re kidding

    Nope, dead serious. From the political side, it started with an article in Fag Rag called Buggering Babies as an Act of Revolution. Some of the Fag Raggers, of whom several lived in my collective (Fort Hill Faggots for Freedom) were in on it from the beginning. My associates were, as far as I know, not pedophiles. It was originally meant to be a political statement on how our society both disempowers children and desexualizes/infantilizes everybody. Plus it was a response to politically motivated police repression of gays in general. I think that the pedophiles overwhelmed the politicos pretty early on.

  248. ill lich – I think he is angling for a blind watch maker argument, it seems to be hovering in the back there. Though I can’t think of any reason to continue, except out of shear boredom.

    I don’t paint with broad brushes, I do silver point. (Ok, not that much any more but I did try it for a while.)

  249. at times, it is useful to pose rhetorical questions and arguments with an imaginary opponent to order one’s own thoughts and test one’s own knowledge. The best self-test of assumed understanding is to be able to successfully teach it to a child – figurative and literal.

  250. @Antinous 321,
    … Duuuuuuuuuuude.

    @Jake0478 311,
    What Ant said. I totally missed sarcasm and a Wolverine reference the other day and blew my top at somebody who I thought was criticizing Mister Frauenfelder for being a comics geek. When you’re a fool, you just gotta brush your shoulders off and try again!

    And Ant, I’m not drunk or drugged or tired… uh oh.

  251. Jake- I see your point about stupid comments. Feel free to disemvowel yourself. Or unplug your keyboard. Either will spare us! :D

  252. Evidence @241:

    Teresa/Moderator

    You asked questions about the fiber content of my clothes, If I trim my beard, and my Pizza preferences.

    First I am a Christian and not Jewish. The laws you are questioning me about were addressed to the nation Israel for a particular time and place

    Where in the Bible does it specify that? I’ll take an answer from the Old Testament or the New Testament. Either’s fine. All I ask is that the passage you cite say that as flatly and literally as you read Genesis.

    I know you’ve claimed you read the Bible “plainly” rather than “literally”. You’re not fooling anyone. The term for that style of reading is “literal”.

    So, I don’t want any of that “what this passage means metaphorically” business, or “what this meant in the context of the times,” or any of those other non-simple reading protocols you reject in your interpretation of Genesis.

    And if you insist that you must be allowed to read some parts of the Bible literally (or “plainly”; I can nail you either way), and give other parts a more complex and interpretive reading, I’m going to have to ask you where the Bible says you’re allowed to do that, and where it spells out which books do and do not have to be given a literal reading.

    If the Bible doesn’t specify that, then the decision to read some books via one set of reading protocols, and other books via another, was made by humans.

    but in essence I do hold to them,

    Hold it right there. “But in essence” isn’t good enough. You don’t allow anyone else to say what Genesis means “in essence”; you insist on a literal (or “plain”: same thing) interpretation of it. That hardly leaves you on solid ground when you invoke an “in essence” interpretation of any other portion of the Bible.

    I don’t wear a Slipknot or Marilyn Manson T-shirts. The mixing of fabrics was something people in their day did as acts of worship to pagan gods.

    Tch! Where in the Bible does it say any of that? By my recollection it’s a fairly clear and direct command: thou shalt not mix fibers, period, not “thou shalt not mix fibers until the Amorites and Elamites and Canaanites and Hurrians and Assyrians and Phoenicians and what-not cease to be an issue.”

    For that matter, where does it say that you’re allowed to set aside any prohibitory commandments on the grounds that the thing prohibited was a common practice among the neighbors of the ancient Israelites?

    I’ll save you a hunt through your concordance: the Bible doesn’t say that. The doctrine you’re citing is the product of a complex and not entirely literal tradition of Biblical interpretation. Worse, some of the scholarship you’re invoking is scientific, not exegetic. You haven’t allowed science to have a legitimate place in the interpretation of Genesis. Why is it then legitimate to use it as an excuse to get out of obeying one of God’s clearer commands?

    Same with the beard deal and mixing their foods. God wanted them to be set apart a peculiar people, same for me today.

    Nope. All it says is that Jews are to be a peculiar people. If we read the Bible using the same protocols you insist on using in your reading of Genesis, there is exactly zero scriptural basis for your belief that you’re supposed to be different in a different way.

    I purposely said I read the Bible plainly not literally.

    I purposely reply that I was not born yesterday, and am not in the habit of taking wooden nickels.

    If the Bible plainly is poetry, descriptive or uses modes of speech (Sun setting-raining cats and dog etc.) I take it for what the author intended.

    Hogwash. That is precisely what you aren’t doing. If you want to argue that some books in the Old Testament are meant to be read literally and others are not, you might be able to argue for reading (say) Chronicles literally; but Genesis emphatically does not belong in that bin. I’m not talking about its content. I’m talking about its style — the same thing you claim you’re taking your cues from.

    Every culture has much-retold traditional tales. They’re sonorous and simplified and can pack a real wallop. The form is so recognizable that the moment we first hear a Joss Whedon character intone, “Into each generation a slayer is born — one girl in the world with the power to stop the forces of evil,” we know that we’re listening to something old and important and much-retold.

    It’s every bit as obvious that Genesis is one of those traditional tales as it is that the Song of Solomon is poetry. It should thus be read like a traditional tale: slowly, respectfully, with our feelers set to pick up its implications; but not literally.

    Like ballads, much-retold traditional stories achieve their compression by leaving stuff out. We give them our trust that what was left out wasn’t essential to the story, and by implication acknowledge that stuff has been left out: it’s a tale, not a roadmap or a blueprint.

    In the case of Genesis, it’s two traditional tales, not one. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that the first two chapters or Genesis don’t match up. I spotted that myself when I was a little kid stuck in long church services, with nothing to read but scripture and hymnal: Genesis 1, animals are created before man. Genesis 2, man is created before the animals.

    So how did the author intend for that to be taken? Not literally; that much is clear. Rather, we’re to understand, as we do with all traditional tales, that it’s the story that’s important. The same is evident in Genesis 4:16-17, where we go straight from Cain, Abel, and the first murder, to Cain’s wife in his exile in the land of Nod giving birth to his son Enoch, and Cain building a city.

    Does this apparent impossibility “disprove” Genesis? It does not. What it says is that if you’re reading Genesis so literally that the sudden appearance of Cain’s wife seems impossible, then you’re reading the story wrong.

    Which you are, O Evidence. Your own points of doctrine come from readings of the Bible that are far less simple than the reading protocols you insist on applying to Genesis. You and yours are putting all your effort into exactly those parts of the tale that the original teller deprecated. What do you want — a No-Prize from the Almighty?

    Never claim that that misreading has anything to do with God’s will. The decision to hold to a dead-literal interpretation of Genesis was an arbitrary one, made by human beings. I don’t mean to impute motives, but arguing about Creation has always been a good way for an ambitious preacher to get attention from the press. It’s also a fine intake device for gathering in people who care more about knowing the Right Answer to any question than they care about whether yon Right Answer is actually true.

    I’m sorry your faith doesn’t extend far enough to encompass the full magnitude of a God that could create a universe that contains the Burgess Shale, the nine orders of trilobytes, the spectacular Pleistocene megafauna (whose remains are even now popping out of the melting permafrost), or just a nice hunk of agatized stromatolite to use as a paperweight.

    I don’t understand it myself. If you’re going to put this much effort into believing strange things, why not concentrate instead on believing that God is omnipotent, does not lie, and is far larger and stranger than could ever fit into a brief tribal legend misread as an instruction manual?

  253. What we are to understand from Genesis is this: a) God made everything, and b) everything is (of its nature) good.

  254. Antinous: The panel went very well, the conference was interesting (what I saw of it), and I had a good long talk with Boing Boing’s new business manager.

    The Instructables people did something very cool to my phone, but I’m going to see whether I can get a decent photo of it before I tell the story.

  255. Narrativium
    From Discworld & Pratchett Wiki
    Jump to: navigation, search

    The most common element on the disc, although not included in the list of the standard five: earth, fire, air, water and surprise. It ensures that everything runs properly as a story. For example, if a boy has two older brothers, chances are they will go on a quest. The first will be strong, and fail because of his stupidity, the second will be smart, and fail because of his frailty and the youngest brother will then have no choice but to go out, succeed and bring fame and fortune to his poor family. This phenomenon is also known as narrative causality. The application of this phenomenon appears to be governed by some loosely formulated laws.

    The Wizards have found that the Roundworld has no Narrativium at all, and are amazed that it can still function.
    Retrieved from “http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Narrativium”

    Category: Discworld concepts

  256. The Roundworld is full of Narrativium, but most of it is privately held.

  257. Speaking of God, causality, entropy, lizards and Ben Stein, has anyone else ever tried to change their profile pic? I’ve tried about ten times and I get, Oops, something went wrong: Invalid value “tie.jpg” for profile field: photo.

  258. TNH, the doctrine that the 613 mitzvot are meant just for the Jews is a traditional Jewish one. It’s elaborated in the Talmud, of course, but plain reading of certain Biblical passages also supports it. For example:

    “Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you [a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.'” (Exodus 19:3-6 NIV)

    “Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction, the law that Moses gave us, the possession of the assembly of Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 33:3-4 NIV)

    So Evidence is under no obligation to explain why he doesn’t follow kashrut or shatnetz, so long as he doesn’t go around complaining about men lying with other men or suffering a witch to live.

  259. complaining about men lying with other men or suffering a witch to live.

    Feh. Busted on two counts.

    I have been completely unable to upload any profile pic.

    That pains me, considering comment #297.

  260. Avi, trying to get a literal view of creation introduced into the public school system doesn’t count?

    I don’t know why your picture doesn’t upload. Mine won’t either. (Actually, I was trying to upload a photo of Hiro Frumentius; but the principle is the same.)

    Yog! I’m sorry, I didn’t spot your comment when I was here earlier, O elder ghod of chaos and evil. Thank you for the clarification, and please don’t eat us today,

  261. Doesn’t count as what? Oh, my last paragraph? Hm. Nah, I’d have to say it doesn’t. It’s not like the mitzvot include arguing for creationism. By so arguing, he’s not taking upon himself a duty specifically assigned to the Children of Israel.

    I’m not engaging with Evidence myself because I spent a whole lotta time doing that kinda thing ten to fifteen years ago, and burned out on it.

  262. I can’t help but wonder if we would even be having this discussion if, in place of xianity, some non-abramic, non-theistic religion had raped, pillaged, plundered, buggered, tortured, coerced, killed and converted it’s way across the middle east, through Europe, and into America.

  263. @ Evidence

    Actually, the insect thing was just the first thing off the top of my head. But you’re saying that the insects behavior changed when man sinned so that they would now annoy him? That makes no sense to me.

    You said, “We evolve on a planet with food we can eat and tastes good, we make an eye that can see in an atmosphere where it is possible to see. We can breath the air, drink the water, it is the right temperature on and on.”

    How about the oceans? They cover 2/3 of the surface of the earth with water we CANNOT drink. Was it all fresh water before sin? Not likely, due to all of the species who depend on the salinity of the ocean for their survival. The oceans were CLEARLY not designed for HUMAN use. If they were designed for our use we would be able to drink from them or breathe in them. Yes, we derive certain foods from the oceans, but not enough to offset the surface area they take up.

    As far as food tasting good, does it not taste good because it is good for us? I don’t think food with all those additives and preservatives tastes nearly as good as fresher, healthier food. And while sugar is tasty, even that can be overdone. Food that makes us sick will cease to taste good to us. If you eat something new and it tastes pretty good, then vomit after a short while, when you go to eat the same thing the next time it will turn your stomach. It is a survival instinct.

    Don’t you see? We are so perfectly adapted to this planet because it is the planet on which we developed. If gravity would have been twice as intense, we wouldn’t have developed such a solid form. Instead we would likely have developed a form that made it possible to get around in gravity of that force.

    I think hadofedshu had it right. The only reason that Christianity and the Bible are en vogue right now is that it is simply tradition. If you hadn’t been brought up in a society that supported those beliefs, would you have bought it when I told you about some guy who walked on water? Doubt it. You had to be sold these ideas as a child, then told to just take it on faith.

    As far as the Bible is concerned, I haven’t been able to find any corroborating evidence to give the stories an historical base. If I had a book that told you that in the 1820s Martians came down to earth, destroyed the entire cow population of Iowa, used the bones to build temples to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then left after a year, you would say that it was fiction because there was no historical record to support it. But if you found that in 1820 the meat supply from Iowa suddenly dropped off…. Even one shred of evidence would be helpful.

    Similarly, many of the stories from the Bible are echoes of stories from earlier, now defunct religions. They are not original to Christianity at all.

    I like how Richard Dawkins put it. We are all atheists with regards to most of the deities. Some of us just go one deity further.

  264. you know, it’s not like I’m unavailable. For those who need something or someone to worship. It makes as much sense, more actually since you could have a conversation with me and get actual excuses for things not going your way. Praying to me would give equal or better results. I’d probably to more good in the world with your money since my overhead is minimal. For those who feel there is a hole in their existence, consider Me. Takuan, the Reasonable Alternative.

  265. I’m tempted. This thing about getting actual excuses for things not going my way, this is attractive. But, sorry, I already sent all my money to Pat Robertson or Tammie Fay or one of those… I forget.

  266. see? ringing silence…… crickets chirping…….faint sound of doors closing at far end of auditorium.

    You’re all the same. You’ll talk a mean schtick about the “need for faith” and the “divine principle” – but when it’s time to open the wallets and pony up: “ah, gotta go, left my soul at the cleaners anyways, maybe next time”. yadayada….
    Meanwhile I’m left with recruiting passing jellyfish. What am I, chopped kalamari?

  267. (reading in awe Teresa@326)

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Smells like… victory.

  268. You’re starting a new religion? Seems like it would be hard to really innovate in this field. Haven’t all possible permutations been exhausted by now? Drugs, sex, power, money… they’ve all been throughly covered ad nauseam.

    Tammy Fay? I saw her once when she was visiting her hubby in Minn. Tiny, tiny woman well over four feet tall I’d guess. Very nice too. I believe at the time her husband was seeing insect heads on the people around him. Must have been surrounded by Republicans. He’s lucky they didn’t eat him.

  269. I have an innovation: Gimme yer money. Do what ya want. I think it will be a hit. Especially when they find out it’s only a coupla bucks a head AND eternal salvation is abso-freaking-lutley guaranteed, or – after you’re dead if not fully satisfied – ALL YOUR MONEY BACK! Just come see Me and be cheerfully refunded, WITH your choice of donut!!!! (I recommend the jelly)

  270. Lord Takuan,
    In this commune of ours you will be the subject of Antinous’ monastery. Aright? Aright.

  271. Evidence: You want one thing? Well, the best I can offer is “The Origin of Species”. It was written to propose a theory not in the world at the time (or at least not as a coherent whole). It suffers from the misunderstandings of the day on how traits were passed along; i.e. how the mechanism of Darwin’s idea of descent with modification would happen. But it sums up the question quite tidily.

    But the thing is, it’s not like a creation story. There isn’t one single thing which, “proves” it, it is rather the weight of the totality of the evidence (the sequential nature of the fossil record [without which finding things like oil would be much more hit or miss], the trace evidence of genetics, the adaptation of bacteria to artifically introduced problems, e.g. antibiotics, the reactions of finches on Daphne Major, in the Galapagos, to environmental conditions; and the predicatble outcomes of those stresses, &c., &c.).

    I have a question in return: How do you answer the irreducible complexity of the origin of God? Whence came He? How can you prove the validity of the Bible you keep saying “proves” that evolution is false?

    As to your question on the odds of things… it doesn’t matter. You are making a post hoc, ergo propter hoc mistake. The odds are long, but that’s immaterial. 1 followed by 50 zeros is a lot, 1 followed by an infinite number of zero is a lot bigger.

    When you compare those two numbers, the odds of the moon being where it is are pretty much a dead certainty. When you consider that the evidence is the moon used to be closer (ergo no total lunar eclipse, and the sun completely eradicated: no corona, during a solar eclipse, then the wonder of it remains, but the question, “What are the odds,” goes away.

    The odds are against winning the lottery, but people do. For them it was 1:1.

    As to the question of the odds of the sky being lavendar, and a buncha moons, it’s exactly the same as the odds of the planet we have (well, no, a lavendar sky would require a very differnt chemical mix in the atmosphere; but on the scale of actual odds, vs. infinite time and space, they are so close as to not matter).

    The understanding you have of entropy is one of scale.

    The Universe is (probably) going to go cold (this depends on the state of the accellerating parts, and a whole lot of other stuff, odds are it will go cold; based on what we now know). But the earth is a lot smaller. We aren’t in a closed system. The sun pours a huge amount of energy into the system every day. That can be (and is used) to make things more complex.

    Tenn: If you took up a faith because you decided Pascal’s Wager was the way to bet… then yeah, you would be doing it to save your ass; and a lot of theologians would tell you that you weren’t going to be saving it.

    Me; I’m a weak theist, with a very developed theology (I considered becoming a Jesuit, and have done a lot of reading). If God is all loving, all knowing and all forgiving, your ass is safe. You may have a miserable piece of eternity while you figure out what needs figuring out, but in the grand scale of things (what with eternity being eternal, and all) reconciliation with the divine will happen.

    So, IMO, the best thing to do is keep on keeping on, and be good to your fellow man. As Hillel said, “Love your neigbor as yourself, that is the whole of the law, all else is commentary.”

  272. @Terry 353,
    Pascal’s Wager, huh? I like that concept, I just Google’d.

    Well, I wouldn’t actually do so. I am rather incapable of taking up a God-faith, because I cannot worship any idea of God that has been proposed to me. I would hope that if there was a God, he was all-loving, but that is not the Christian God.

    I agree that ‘keeping on keeping on’, and being good to your fellow man is the best measure. Hillel’s quote is a good one. I used the Pascal’s Wager idea to explain to my mother why I cannot become Christian and it surprisingly quelled her arguments. She would like me to reconsider and will try to make me every hour of the livelong day, but she accepts that I have reasons behind it, now.

    As far as I am aware I am a Zen Buddhist. I may change my beliefs to fit my knowledge when I have more of it, but the Buddhist concept of sin being what harms others, yourself, or has bad intentions is a good one to me, and the only one I worry about.

    If there is a God that would smite me for the sin of not believing in him, (or not worshipping,) than I do believe I am damned. But I am reasonably sure such a creature does not exist, and I don’t even believe I could worship him if he did.

  273. Oh! Lord Takuan!

    Most Briny, most Massive, of the Small Pickles!
    May we forever have his Glory upon us!

  274. As always, Teresa (326), you are my Heroine. And all this without disemvowelling a sentence.

  275. I’ve picked (stolen) a hymn suitable for me:

    (I want to break free)
    (I want to break free)
    I want to break free from your lies
    You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
    I’ve want to break free
    God knows, God knows I want to break free

    I’ve fallen in love
    I’ve fallen in love for the first time
    And this time I know it’s for real
    I’ve fallen in love, yeah
    God knows, God knows I’ve fallen in love

    It’s strange but it’s true
    I can’t get over the way you love me like you do
    But I have to be sure
    When I walk out that door
    Oh how I want to be free, baby
    Oh how I want to break free,
    Oh how I want to break free

    But life still goes on
    I can’t get used to, living without, living without,
    Living without you by my side
    I don’t want to live alone, hey
    God knows, got to make it on my own
    So baby can’t you see
    God knows, gods know, gods know
    I’ve want to break free

  276. Would you be opposed to this being in Gregorian Chant?

    Take mercy on me for my early leave. Must get to those nightly prayers I’ll establish before I sleep. Ta!

  277. Tenn: I bed to differ on the Christian God, but I can see why you think that. Since my form of theism is Christian, and I believe in the God I described (wherein there isn’t damnation, per se), it’s not so much the question of the God (which is, by definition something one can’t comprehend in toto. As Gaiman and Pratchett put it, “There’s no point in second-guessig the ineffable.”) as that of the church and adherents.

    Takuan: I think Greg, at least, has seen that one. I know I did, because I commented in that thread.

    Then again, there’s a lot of her flensing the illogical fat from arguments to be seen in the world.

  278. Sorry to come in a bit late but I couldn’t resist commenting on the “evos” vs. “creos”.

    What strikes me about the discussion are the ominous signs of idealism and dogmatisation on the part of the evos. This has far-reaching consequences for all of us.

    Genetics and evolution as they are currently widely understood form the basis for the coming generation of lucrative medical research (gene-based therapies) as well as genetic engineering of foods. Yet there is a great deal about evolution that is uncertain, and some aspects of it have already been cast into doubt by scientific research–and not the fake kind put forth by ID “scientists”:

    That the lizards have surprised us is just one recent example but there are other much better ones. It is well known that random mutation followed by natural selection plays at best a small role in the evolution of bacteria on small time scales, because bacteria exchange or excrete DNA much faster than random mutations occur. Or to point out a different aspect, gene expression (genes switching on and off in response to environmental cues) can hugely change the traits of bacteria–this may be erroneously attributed to evolution, whereas the genes are not changing at all. Perhaps those lizards are giving us the first demonstration of this phenomenon occurring in animals–an exciting prospect. To give one final and rather amazing example, there are experiments showing that bacteria can change their own genes without reproducing–gene change without evolution. This has been known for at least 20 years but nobody is talking about it because it is considered heresy by the scientific establishment. (Yes, scientists use words like “dogma” and “heresy”–in print no less–to describe scientific ideas. Warning to those who deride the “creos”: watch your backs!)

    But the theory of evolution has already been incorporated into our biological understanding of ourselves. How often do you hear the word “genetic” used to explain so many aspects of our lives?

    Such new discoveries threaten the basis of profitability of genetic techniques and therefore receive tremendous opposition in the form of funding of scientific propaganda. The propaganda appears in science journals as well as news stories that go hammering on about the by-now-obsolete ideas that your genes permanently determine your susceptibility to heart disease, cancer and so on. We have forgotten so much (or it has been suppressed): heart-disease and cancer cannot be genetically inherited diseases because their rates of increase have been far greater than the speed of genetic evolution. Both heart disease and cancer were virtually unknown before the 20th century.

    I fear that science has become the new religion and that the vehemence with which the evos fight the creos is misdirected. Each can learn from the other. In particular, the evos might learn that the god of nature still knows better than our scientists what we should eat–and that our scientists are out to destroy the nature on which our health depends, out of a predisposition for atheism and profit.

  279. #344 TAKUAN

    Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Now if only I hadn’t pledged all my money to Pastor Melissa Scott, the sexy, former-porn-star widow of the late great Dr. Gene Scott.

    Or to quote a Raymond Pettibon cartoon: the fat hippie guru says “I have more (teenage female) disciples than Jesus did!”

  280. @Era

    Your argument with regard to genetics and disease is a mix of strawman and post hoc reasoning.

    I’m sort of busy now, so I’ll keep it short but …

    The germ theory of disease didn’t become popular until the late 19th century. I don’t know off the top of my head when heart disease and cancer were discovered, but while you talk about them as being “virtually unknown” they were unknown for a a long time. The expected mortality rate due to either of those will also have to do with the expected lifespan of given population (you have to live long enough for either to show up).

    There is definitely a relationship between lifestyle and expected outcome, but among a population with an identical lifestyle, genetics play a role in determining expected outcomes.

    ~~~

  281. Also @era:

    AFAIK nobody said heart disease and cancer were “genetically inherited diseases”. Some people are genetically predisposed to those and other maladies, but that’s different.

    Heart disease and cancer were there all the time (and known to be there). It was only when people stopped dying of plague, cholera, tuberculosis, etc., that heart disease and cancer became significant causes of death.

  282. @JakeTheSnake

    By “virtually unknown” I do not mean that they were unknown to doctors. However most doctors never saw a heart patient before say 1910. By 1940 they were not rare. Today we have an epidemic.

    The expected mortality rate due to [cancer or heart disease] will also have to do with the expected lifespan of given population (you have to live long enough for either to show up).

    This common argument is incorrect. If it were true, you would expect the increase to occur only in older populations. However the recent high rate of increase in cancer occurred in all age groups, and the onset of heart disease is occurring earlier and earlier–now doctors are seeing heart patients in their 30s. You would also expect that our present rates of disease could be seen in the past for older people. Yet older people were generally free of heart disease and cancer in the 19th century.

    There is definitely a relationship between lifestyle and expected outcome, but among a population with an identical lifestyle, genetics play a role in determining expected outcomes.

    I agree with you. But consider taking this argument to its logical conclusion. Place me naked in the sun with my feet buried and leave me there for a few days–I will die of thirst, starvation and exposure. Do the same with a plant and it will thrive. Does this mean I have a genetic predisposition to some kind of diseases under certain circumstances? Well yes of course it does. –the plant’s genes “protect” it from “disease” under those circumstances while mine “predispose” me to “disease”. Plenty of research shows that heart disease and cancer are diseases of the same variety–if your diet is nutrient-poor you will get sick, and the obverse.

    This is the problem with the genetic explanation–it applies equally to everything without addressing the root causes of disease. Beware the new wave of pharmaceutical research: they are doing massive statistical analyses of thousands of genes simultaneously to find that this one contributes a 10% risk, these three a 5% risk, etc. and they will go on to develop drugs to attack all these genes in people supposedly to improve their health. But this kind of research is totally bogus because when you do thousands of statistical analyses simultaneously a few are likely (law of large numbers) to produce false positive correlations. But the profiteers know that this is enough to convince people to buy their drugs.

  283. @Era

    ps Your argument about what the “evos” can learn from the “creos” is utter crap too. Until recently our drive to conquer nature was because of our divine right to, now it’s our divine nature not to?

    I’m as down on scientists who claim to know more than they do as I am on religious zealots who claim the same.

  284. @ERA

    “science has become the new religion?” You are treading dangerously close to IVA BIGGRUDGE territory here.

    Science is self regulating; it makes mistakes, and corrects those mistakes. If you are a creationist however, “God makes no mistakes.”

    On the Origin of Species was not a perfect book, and nobody claims it is; Darwin didn’t rule out Lamarck’s idea of “acquired-inherited traits” or even know about genetics. The Bible on the other hand is widely considered “perfect” by creationists, and not allowed to be edited or corrected. Therein lies the problem. Scientists don’t burn other scientists at the stake for “scientific heresy.” They may have economic self-interest in mind, and denigrate another theory, but in the end if their research doesn’t pan out then they get no more money for research and their “propaganda” was for naught– investment goes where it is profitable, the money doesn’t care about egos or ideas, only making more money. In other words, don’t worry about egotistical hard-headed scientists, they get their comeuppance in the end. Those kinds of arguments between scientific schools are just bumps in the road, and eventually the bumps get smoothed out.

    I am curious: the bacteria experiments you speak of– are these findings being suppressed/ignored, or are the findings just not reproducible? (see: cold fusion.)

  285. @Era

    You don’t get to claim hatred of big pharma as your own. You’ve got a lot of company there, myself included.

  286. @Era

    Do you know of any decent epidemiology from the early 20th century or so? I ask out of genuine curiosity.

  287. “fossils only form under special circumstances” I clicked on the link provided and here is the first point.

    “Fossils of hard mineral parts (like bones and teeth) were formed as follows: Some animals were quickly buried after their death (by sinking in mud, being buried in a sand storm, etc.).
    Over time, more and more sediment covered the remains.”

    I agree fossil form under special circumstances exactly like the ones listed above.

    Think of every fossil you have seen. I would say the majority if not all of them fit the description “buried by sinking in mud, being buried in a sand storm, etc.”

    Sounds like a global flood to me.

    If there was a global flood what would you expect to find?
    Millions of buried dead things on a global scale?

    Occam’s razor = All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.

    I do find fossil most every time I dig in my back yard and it reminds me God judged the world once and He has promised to to it again, next time with fire.

    2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
    2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
    2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
    2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
    2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

  288. Era: How many people die of “fever” today (tertian, quotidian, “sudden”)? Millions, but we don’t call it that (they also tend to do it in places like Africa, SE Asia, &c.)

    The reason is, we’ve pretty much licked malaria in the developed world (though it lingered in Sweden until the 18th century; when changes in husbandry moved the mosquitoes away from people, but I digress).

    A lot of the people who, “took ill and died suddenly” were victims of heart disease. Those doctors who, “never saw a heart patient”, probably did, but they lacked the mindset to see it for what it was.

    If one reads the medical literature of the 19th century we see lots of “costive” patients, with, “elarged livers”.

    We see people who have, “the stone”, which is bladder stones, for some reason those have, largely, gone away.

    You are confusing reportage (and worldview ) with the actual facts. It’s a case of the map not being the territory.

    When a child was, “sickly” and died at eight, was it malaria, sickle cell or leukemia? We don’t know. Some of the “younger” illnesses might have been hidden by the earlier causes of death. If I have a cancer which is going to kill me (look for references to wasting diseases), at 45, and I die of work and malnutrition at 40 (or from a septic injury, fumes at the factory, a head blow from leaving a horse; absent a helmet, or any other of the myriad ways one might die) that cancer won’t show up; even if it were a disease to be diagnosed.

    When the use of a physician was something limited to a narrow class of people, then the reportage of epidemic information (which wasn’t centralised) is going to be full of holes as well.

    Further, the pre-disposition might not manifest, if the other triggers aren’t in play (nb, I have a genetically predisposed disease; it requires environmental factors to be triggered, so my father doesn’t have it, my grandfather’s didn’t have it, my uncles don’t have it… it may be they are prone to it; but they weren’t in the sorts of places; at the right age [oddly it shows a pattern in when it manifests, as well as in whom]) then the diseases will lie dormant.

    I find it amusing you are arguing for a level of genetic determinism the “dogmatists” you see in the “evo” world don’t.

    Now, if you want to propose a testable hyposthesis to show the invalidity of the mechanisms presently thought to be the causes of these things, there are lots of peope (public and private) willing to pay for the research.

  289. Tenn 355:

    If there is a God that would smite me for the sin of not believing in him, (or not worshipping,) than I do believe I am damned. But I am reasonably sure such a creature does not exist, and I don’t even believe I could worship him if he did.

    BINGO.

    Believing in the existence of something is determined by your upbringing, your nature, your knowledge. But to worship or not to worship is a choice, always. I’d like to think that even if I knew for certain fact that the Lovecraftian horror worshipped as “God” by the Westboro Baptist Church were the one true and only God, I would not worship it.

    Of course, by differentiating between these things we also must realize that belief is not a prerequisite for worship, either, and that’s where I have a useful contribution to make. Buy my book when it comes out (don’t hold your breath though, the sucker ain’t writ yet).

    Era 364:

    heart-disease and cancer cannot be genetically inherited diseases because their rates of increase have been far greater than the speed of genetic evolution. Both heart disease and cancer were virtually unknown before the 20th century.

    Now you’re being silly. By that argument an allergy to potatoes can’t be genetic in Europe, because no one got symptoms of a potato allergy there before 1492 (when potatoes were introduced). New environmental hazards are introduced all the time, and some people are more susceptible to them than others. Things just aren’t single-cause deterministic. If you have an oncogene, you need to watch out for the type of cancer it codes for; that doesn’t mean you’ll get it, and of course taking your antioxidants and whatever might help prevent it.

    I fear that science has become the new religion and that the vehemence with which the evos fight the creos is misdirected. Each can learn from the other. In particular, the evos might learn that the god of nature still knows better than our scientists what we should eat–and that our scientists are out to destroy the nature on which our health depends, out of a predisposition for atheism and profit.

    The “evos” have nothing at all to learn from the creos. And blaming the “scientists” for the destruction of nature is so backward as to be laughable: “dominion over the Earth,” a serious mistranlation, has meant that Christians, primarily, have trashed Nature. They believe Nature is to be subdued, even that it’s evil. After all, doesn’t it say so in the Bible?

  290. Evidence…your last post was completely incoherent. You seem to be saying that the lack of fossils all over the world means evolution can’t be true, but that the presence of them proves there was a global flood. This is just plain wacky.

    Or you’re being disingenuous. Or you’re a junior high school kid, in which case you need to look up ‘disingenuous’.

  291. Evidence: Two things: You’ve not answered Teresa’s questions on how you pick and choose the parts of the Bible which you feel compelled to take in the “plain” reading style you say tells you the Bible denies evolution (and I wonder at just which passage does that, but hey, that’s just me).

    I see that you say you are LDS.

    Where is the evidence for the cities described in the Book of Mormon? Where are the remains of the wheat, and the barley; the cattle and the chariots,the metalwork and the civilisations described in the Book of Mormon?

    Because those are mentioned; in one of the books you seem to think less fallible than the applied workings of tens of thousands of minds, each building one on the other (Newton’s sentiment that if he had seen further than others it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants, is well taken).

    You say the evidence for evolution should be everyhwere. Well, if we could find Troy, recover things as small as a single ship (be it galleon, or the Titanic), certainly the civilisation of the Nephites ought to be findable.

    Where is the coinage? How is it grains we can’t find traces of (e.g. barley) until the arrival of Europeans, were used as the basis for those units of money?

    The problem is you have one standard of evidence for the thing you disbelieve (absolute proof) and you are willing to make great leaps of faith (and I’ll wager, no small amount of apologia) to explain away the failings in the things you do believe.

    Shakespeare said it best, “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

    I believe the validity of Evolution because I find the power and majesty of the divine to be so overwhelming.

    I don’t need shortcuts like, “Fiat Lux” to keep it that way.

  292. Terry, I reckon “Fiat Lux” is as good as the current explanation of the origin of the universe, which fades away into handwaving and the-math-is-too-complicated-for-you-proles-to-understand when it gets to t=zero.

  293. Think of every fossil you have seen. I would say the majority if not all of them fit the description “buried by sinking in mud, being buried in a sand storm, etc.”

    Sounds like a global flood to me.

    Why in hell does it sound like a global flood to you?

    What about lake beds river beds flash floods localized floods swamps!? It says sinking in mud, not ‘sinking in mud formed from a flood that lasted a year and covered the entire earth.’ I seem to recall that there is not enough water in the world to cover every bit of land mass and even if it were possible (would factcheck but am on slow computer), why does that scream God’s judgement?

    You find fossils most every time you look in your back yard? Bully for you. Why does it matter? You likely live in a place that was once geographically inclined to fossilize.

    That’s a faulty argument. Just because there are fossils does not mean there was a flood. If there was a flood, does not mean it was God. I don’t even see how that’s relevant. I told you why there aren’t a hundred thousand isntances of transitional fossils (but there are -enough,-), you told me why any fossils existing are from God’s judgement. I also gave you specific instances of transitional fossils, and you simply said that they are not transitional, and used a flippant comment about Wal-Mart denizens having neanderthalic skulls.

    And before you say ‘it is in the Bible, and therefore it is true,’ or ‘a flood proves the entire Bible’- no. It doesn’t. If we found evidence of a global flood, it would prove only the account true- and not even Noah’s story. 2 of every animal in a 40(?) cubit boat? What about mayflies? They don’t even live as long as the flood lasted. Did they lay eggs, rebirth? What about locusts, who shelter for 17 years? Did Noah pluck them from the ground, put them in a safe box, and then tuck them back in the ground when all was well and done?

    Believing in the existence of something is determined by your upbringing, your nature, your knowledge. But to worship or not to worship is a choice, always. I’d like to think that even if I knew for certain fact that the Lovecraftian horror worshipped as “God” by the Westboro Baptist Church were the one true and only God, I would not worship it.

    The more I read your comments the more I enjoy your eloquence. I have been raised to believe, but I do not; it’s my nature and my knowledge that wins. I vaguely recall a study that suggested that the predisposition to belief / faith is neurologically based. I respect your theistic leanings, because as similar to a fantastic few Christians I know, they seem to be based on a good deity. What is your view on the Bible, precisely? Of what I’ve read (and despite all arguments to the contrary, I’ve probably read everything in it over the years), many a concept seems at odds with the good and forgiving God Christians tout for converts.

  294. @377
    Read it again I said I am not a Mormon for the reasons you state and many others.

    If you believe in evolution don’t blame God for it.

    @XOPHER

    “You seem to be saying that the lack of fossils all over the world means evolution can’t be true, but that the presence of them proves there was a global flood. This is just plain wacky.”

    Lack of transitional fossils not fossils in general. Please tell me you understand what I am saying?

    I do think some of my/our problem is that we do talk past each other. People with the same world view as I have know what I mean when I say what I say and I am sure the same can be said for your camp. It seems hard for us to communicate and is frustrating for both sides.

    General info for accuracy in all the slams thrown my way.

    I am 42 and not in junior high I actually graduated in the top 10% of my class in high school in the sate of Indiana.

    None of you would count my college as real because evolution was not taught.

    I am a Pastor of a small church in the same town I grew up in and I work full time in the graphic arts industry.

    I have been married for 21 years. So I am straight and not anyones boyfriend.

    The only thing that I have done that would interest any of you is a rock (for lack of a better word) that my family found.

    It is a fulgurite that we found in our yard. Indiana University, Indiana state museum, IUPUI and a few other colleges and clubs have some of it in their collections. (I wish I looked like the one in Sweet Home Alabama because I would be rich but most of the cool green glass is on the inside)

    I have never lived under a bridge, or been intentionally stupid or deceptive in my comments. I am serious I am not playing.

    I am sarcastic and according to my wife I am a jerk sometimes but what can I say. God is not done with me yet.

    I am truly sorry for how people have treated you in the name of Jesus and I hope I haven’t been a wedge to drive any of you further from Him.

  295. “Occam’s razor = All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”

    EVIDENCE’s razor = “All other things being equal, the simple-minded solution is the best.”

    (relax, it’s good-natured ribbing.)

    There are a lot of questions EVIDENCE hasn’t answered here, and even when he does answer questions his answers are poorly-written and disjointed. He claims that we are “talking past each other” because the two camps have their own world-view. Fine– EVIDENCE, here you are debating a majority of evolution-believers, so perhaps in order to more forcefully argue your points you would be wise to learn science as we see it, and use that knowledge and terminology. You are the odd-man-out here, not us.

    I mentioned earlier that I didn’t know why I was debating this anymore, so please just answer me one question EVIDENCE: Do you believe a perpetual-motion device is possible?

    I ask this because I have known other creationists to deny the laws of thermodynamics. Your answer will decide whether I continue in this debate or not.

    Thanks, and seeing as how yesterday was Easter (for my relatives anyway, if not for me as an agnostic) I’ll offer you a respectful Христос Воскресе!

  296. @TENN

    “What about mayflies, locusts”

    The Bible says they only took things that breathed with nostrils on the ark.

    “Gen 7:22
    All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of life”

    Insects do not breathe that with nostrils. Probably for the reasons you sate and more. They could have easily survived on mats of dead things floating around and the ones in the ground just stayed there.

    Also you attribute things to me that I didn’t say. Though I do despise the Westboro Baptist Church and anything they stand for.

    “Believing in the existence of something is determined by your upbringing”

    Most of you say you were brought up Christian but now are not so that is not it.

    “many a concept seems at odds with the good and forgiving God Christians tout for converts”

    Like what?

  297. Just to reiterate Tenn’s point, in case you miss it, Evidence, there are rivers, seas, lakes all over the Earth, floods, landslides and turbidity currents as well. The normal actions of the environment serve to fossilize the occasional creature. So how do you tell the animals and plants that were fossilized normaly, and the ones fossilized by the single catastrophic event of the biblical Flood?

  298. Sorry, Evidence. The junior high remark was mine, and I apologize for it. It seemed you were saying one thing in one set of circumstances and contradicting yourself in another. I was confused about what you were saying.

    You are incorrect in thinking that the only thing you’ve ever done that would interest me is find a rock. I think being the pastor of a small church is MUCH more interesting than that, and the graphic arts industry is right up there too!

  299. @380

    “…and I hope I haven’t been a wedge to drive any of you further from Him.”

    Well… in that sense, you pretty much are a wedge.

    It’s difficult for me to imagine myself being “further from Him”, but the way you represent Him, or, at least, the way you represent what sort of beliefs are required of me, I feel like I would have to make myself ignorant and cultivate a blindness to science in order to be closer to Him. That’s just repulsive.

    So, yeah, in that sense, I think you are a wedge — if not to drive me further from Him, then at least to make me completely disinterested in giving Him a serious second thought.

  300. Evidence 382: You cut off my quote. I said “Believing in the existence of something is determined by your upbringing, your nature, your knowledge.” Those three taken together, not any one alone. For example, I was raised to believe in nothing except science, and to be cynical about absolutely everything. But I am by nature a spiritual person, and I’ve learned (acquired knowledge) that cynicism is not a good way to live.

    I’m unsurprised to learn you share my attitude toward the Westboro Baptist Church. Any decent person would be appalled by them, and you seem a decent sort.

    I think, however, that you missed the point of that paragraph, which was that the connection between belief and worship is not, and should not be, automatically assumed. I know lots of people who believe but don’t do anything that could be called worship, even in private, and others who worship regularly even though they’ve told me they no longer believe any of it.

  301. EVIDENCE’s razor = “All other things being equal, the simple-minded solution is the best.”

    I can deal with that. Make it simple for me.

    “here you are debating a majority of evolution-believers, so perhaps in order to more forcefully argue your points you would be wise to learn science as we see it”

    I am trying and have learned some about what you mean be evolution. I thank you for it. I know I am the odd man out.

    The way I understand evolution as you/commenters see it is= All the stuff needed for life was here, you don’t know where it came from and don’t care to know. But because all this stuff was here it collected itself together. Very small and simple at first but as necessity reared its head, changes occurred in what ever it was that had become organized. It changed its DNA put new information there and made itself adapt to it needs at the time.

    That what I can remember without going back and reading it all. Is this right?

    Do I believe a perpetual-motion device is possible?

    No. But I enjoy the videos on BoingBoing.

  302. Ugh, I kind of got tangled in my sentence there. “…the connection between belief and worship is not, and should not be, automatically assumed” should be “the connection between belief and worship is not automatic, and should not be assumed.”

    Please correct your copies. This WILL be on the exam. Thank you.

  303. ERA is partly correct in what he/she is saying or at least as far as I understand him to be saying. Epigenetic effects are quite real. The organism can and does switch certain genes on or off as it needs them. It is also true that heart disease and cancer were virtually unknown in some undeveloped countries. When they became wealthy and adopted a western diet their rates shot up.

    The prevailing paradigm has been that genetic information flows in only one direction. The genotype rules all and determines what you will be. You are just a gametes way of making more gametes. This is no longer true but paradigms die a hard death.

    Evidence
    Think of every fossil you have seen. I would say the majority if not all of them fit the description “buried by sinking in mud, being buried in a sand storm, etc.”

    Sounds like a global flood to me.

    Non sequitur. There was no global flood. We know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Or do you seriously believe that every single continent was underwater and the whole earth was one ocean? If that is what you believe then your ignorance is truly massive and there is little point in arguing with you.

    Lack of transitional fossils not fossils in general. Please tell me you understand what I am saying?

    It isn’t worth the time to discuss this with you because it appears you have made up your mind. There is nothing anyone could say that would convince you otherwise. There have been plenty of books written to explain all the questions you have asked but you either don’t read them, can’t understand them or have in other ways closed your mind. You are a Pastor and for you to change your mind on this issue would no doubt cost you your livelihood.

    If you are really “serious and not playing” then read the books of those who have taken the time to answer your questions.

  304. XOPHER tangled sentences are my specialty.

    I reread what I post and sometimes I can’t guess what I was thinking. Maybe I should take my mittens off.

  305. All the stuff needed for life was here, you don’t know where it came from and don’t care to know. But because all this stuff was here it collected itself together. Very small and simple at first but as necessity reared its head, changes occurred in what ever it was that had become organized. It changed its DNA put new information there and made itself adapt to it needs at the time.

    I don’t know where you got that babble from, but it wasn’t from this thread.

    Really, you aren’t going to get a complete picture from the comments in this blog or many others. If you seriously want to know what the science of evolution is about, then you need to crack open a book or two on the subject. I’d recommend some of the late Stephen Jay Gould’s essay collections, but there are other good writers.

  306. Punctuated Equilibrium by Stephen Jay Gould

    Please correct me if I am wrong but Isn’t Punctuated Equilibrium where things just appear without evolving? Was it not known earlier as the hopeful monster? A alligator give birth to a duck or something?

    Isn’t he also the one who talked about irreducible complexity?

  307. EVIDENCE: That understanding of evolution is simple enough, but I don’t think that is really the problem with understanding evolution, it is the details you don’t seem to get– the proper definition of entropy for example (which is one reason I asked about a perpetual motion device); a lot of creationist attempts at debunking evolution show a profound misunderstanding of the science involved. It’s like we’re discussing how to build a crystal radio set, and I say “we need a magnet” and they want to debate the existence of magnets.

    And then this: “you don’t know where it came from and don’t care to know.” Well, no, certainly scientists want to know where it came from, and there are plenty of theories as to where it came from as well (you apparently are not aware of them, like a lot of other science). Neither you nor I were there, nor are there any witnesses we know of, although you contend God witnessed it and you use the Bible as proof. We find that proof severely lacking, just like all the other creation myths of non-Judeao-Christian cultures. We will never agree on that point, at least until we build a time machine and head back there to watch. Scientists are not interested in debating the existence of god from a scientific point of view, be it Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, or Quetzalcoatl; that is the bastion of philosophers, and there is just no way to prove a philosophy– it’s a matter of taste.

    Imagine Australian aboriginal scientists offering you proof of their own creation myth, would you even for a second consider it as valid, even if they had “evidence” as convincing as you think you have for Genesis?

  308. Evidence: I apologise if I misread your faith. I can’t find the post of the person who said they were Mormon, and I thought it was you. Mea Culpa.

    Insects may breathe through trachae, but I think, the phrase, “The breath of life in their nostrils” is poetic, much as the water referred to in John 4:10-14

    Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

    The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

    Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

    Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

    But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    Which, of course, reverts to the questions Teresa asked, and you have yet to answer. A strange sort of thing it is too, you demand those who defend evolution against you provide an answer to each, and every, of your questions; and then that they defend the follow on accusations you level, but you won’t be so kind as to explain the reasons for your thinking (she isn’t asking you to prove the texts you say are literal, merely to explain why some are, and some aren’t).

    To make a point of order, because I am afraid I may be mis-taken. I don’t dislike you. I don’t think you are trolling. I think you 1: Sincerely believe the things you say (by itself this doesn’t preclude trolling: If I were to go to an ID Homechooling site and tell them off for being backwards; or malevolent, I might be sincere, but it would also be flamebait; and trollish).

    2: I don’t get the impression you are telling us these things to piss us off. I think you want to show us the error of our ways, and that you do it from a desire to keep us from ignorance. I can’t say I think you do it from love; though I think an expression of Agape is at the core of it, because I am not sure I think this sort of testimony is truly loving in expression; which is independent of motive.

    3: I think you are engaging us as best you are able (which I hope I am doing in return).

    That said, I think you could be doing better (and I think you are doing better now than when you started: see your comments at #s 44 (excoriations on the sinful nature; and an implication we somehow missed the “evidence” for a nochaic flood; regarding which, to digress, how is it this, “self-evident” flood managed to be so orderly in its settling out that so many fossils are in discreet layers? How comes it that the depths of the earth are so fixed in the creatures to be found in it? A single trilobite mixed in with a Palaeotherium would racically rearrange geology, paleontology, biology and I can’t think what all else. But so far, in all the world, no such jumbling happens. When we look at known floods, we find this sort of jumbling, but not at all for the Nochaic; strange that)

    #89 (where you accuse people of making things up)

    # 106 (where you say we are wilfully blind, unwilling to follow the evidence where it leads).

    You may not be “Calling names” but you are imputing motives which aren’t kind; nor supported by the evidence.

    I am searching for truth. I happen to think, from my searche, evolution is a better candidate for truth on the mechanisms for the origin of life than the Bible.

    Odalchini: No, it doesn’t. One, I have yet to read a paper (as opposed to abstractions of them) which says, “thi is how the start started. They say, “this is what we think we see when we peek back as far as we can.” They also have the math. That I can’t understand it (and I can’t) in no way prevents me from looking at it; it’s all published in papers; most of which have been peer reviewed. If the reports you read are failing you, that’s on them, not the actual papers.

  309. @ILL LICH

    “Neither you nor I were there, nor are there any witnesses we know of, although you contend God witnessed it and you use the Bible as proof”

    You understand my view point well.

    Can I give you sampling of some Bible/science verses? (Disclaimer: Christian science is a cult and that is not what I mean) I mean how the two harmonize?

    Did I get the perpetual motion answer right?

  310. Sounds to me like nature reached back into the genome and pulled out the useful genes that were already there.

  311. Evidence, your explanation of evolution isn’t quite correct. “Put new information there” implies conscious deliberate action, and also raises the question of where the new information came from.

    Instead, think of it as a species (as a whole) “learning” to live in the world (this is a possibly-helpful metaphor, not what’s actually going on). Any given individual in the species is just a set of biological strategies for survival. The species throws away the strategies that don’t work (or rather the ones that don’t work get taken out by the world: they die), and develops the ones that do (they breed).

    When two groups of a species are in different environments, two things happen: one, different environments cause different strategies to be effective, and two, even in similar environments different groups of individuals may develop different strategies to cope with the same issues.

    But where, I’m sure you’re wondering, do these different strategies come from? I know it’s just a metaphor, but species can’t actually think. Especially ours! :-)

    Actually that’s a good question, and the learning analogy ceases to be useful here. The fact is, various things cause genes to change randomly. This can result from cosmic rays, transcription error (when the DNA strand is just miscopied), even exposure to chemicals. Most of these mutations make no difference whatsoever; they happen in genes that aren’t expressed (that is, they are “switched off”), or they code for something that has no effect for good nor ill on the survival ability of the organism.

    The next biggest group of mutations are the ones that are lethal. They’re important, all right, and they kill the critter before it’s even born.

    Then there are lots of different levels of harmful a mutation can be. All of them make it less likely the critter will survive, or less likely it will breed. Whether they die or simply fail to reproduce, that tends to take the genes out of the “strategy book” for the species. (I hedged that with that ‘tends’ there. I have a reason for that, which I’ll get to in a moment.)

    Last and most rarely, there are the mutations that are actually beneficial in the particular environment in which the species finds itself. They confer a survival and/or breeding advantage, and the individuals who have it outbreed or outsurvive those who don’t…eventually. Those genes tend to spread through a population. Slowly.

    See, all these unlikely and slow events have to happen a lot for a species to change much. That’s why the article at the top of the thread here is so fascinating. This lizard species changed in an astonishingly short period of time in evolutionary terms. Ordinarily it takes a long time.

    When two groups of a species diverge enough, they become separate species (and no, we really don’t have a sharp dividing line for when that happens). That’s what Darwin was talking about in On the Origin of Species—that process. NOT specifically about where humans come from, but about the process by which different species arise.

    Now, I promised to tell you why I hedged. Recessive genes (meaning genes that aren’t expressed unless the critter has them from both parents…it’s more complicated than that, but bear with me) aren’t eliminated as fast as dominant ones (always expressed if the critter has even one copy). This is because those individuals with only one copy aren’t disadvantaged enough to keep them from living and breeding, and even if they breed with another “carrier” only a quarter of their children (on average) will have the undesirable trait.

    Also, a recessive trait can have advantages if the environment changes. Among species of elephants where the bulls have tusks, there are always a certain small number of tuskless bulls. This is a profound breeding disadvantage, since bulls compete violently for mates. So the numbers stay small, but never drop to zero.

    Recently a new environmental factor has changed that: Poachers.

    Poachers kill all tusked bulls they can find, because they want the ivory. Being a tuskless bull is still a breeding disadvantage, but that disadvantage is offset by the survival advantage of not being a target for the ivory poachers. Result: More and more tuskless bull elephants are appearing. If we somehow manage to stop ivory poaching, the numbers will return to what they were before; if not, the tusked genes, though dominant, may be entirely removed from the population—if elephants don’t go extinct first.

    Does all that make sense?

  312. Evidence @392: No, saltation is completely different from punctuated equilibrium. Saltation is as you described; punctuated equilibrium is when a species rapidly — in geological scales of time — evolves and then changes only a little over a long period. The latter is compatible with a general acceptance of evolution, though it isn’t strictly Darwinist.

    As you don’t believe in geological scales of time as it is generally understood by geologists, they may look the same to you, but saltation and punctuated equilibrium are different things.

    And, no, Stephen Jay Gould did not invent irreducible complexity.

  313. Evidence:

    Please, please (please) consult the “Index of Creationist Claims”: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    The claims made in your last few posts are covered by:

    “Paleontology” claims CC200-CC250: Lack of Transitional Fossils (including CC201.1 on punctuated equilibrium, and perhaps CC300: on the Cambrian Explosion).

    “Biblical Creationism” claims CH400-CH599, which address a whole range of claims regarding the biblical flood.

    There are many, many other claims addressed there as well. If you wish to have a meaningful conversation, I strongly suggest that you consult the list, and read and understand the rebuttals before posting again. You are unlikely to convince anyone by rehashing the same tired, false creationist claims and non-sequiturs.

    When you do, you appear ignorant at best. If you continue to repeat them, or fire off one disposable claim after another in scattershot fashion, you run a serious risk of appearing to be arguing in bad faith. It is a tactic many of us have seen all to often from creationists.

    I’m sure the commenters here (or elsewhere) will be happy to try and answer any genuine questions you may have- just please, please don’t post another claim without at least attempting to understand and address the points covered by the Talk Origins rebuttal.

    (Apologies if a similar post appears sooner or later: I wrote something a little while ago, but it may have been held up for having too many links, so I’m trying again.)

  314. @EVIDENCE

    Yes, your answer for perpetual motion allows me to continue this debate, though I am finding it tiring still. If you had believed a perpetual motion device possible I would say this thread had officially “jumped the shark” and move on.

    If you want to give us some Bible versus, go ahead (hasn’t stopped you before), but first please answer my question about how you would react to an Australian aborigine providing scientific proof of his culture’s creation myth.

  315. Guys, I found these helpful tips on the Internet, meant to help young earth creationists annoy you more efficiently:

    – Know what the Bible says about our beginning. Read Genisis 1-3 and realize that if we can not trust what the Bible says in the first verse (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”), then we cannot trust the rest!

    – Try to lead them to Christ first before debating with them!

    – Various questions to ask an evolutionist:

    “How could life come from non-living material?”

    “Where did matter originate?”

    “How does a personality or conscience evolve?”

    “Which came first, the light or the eye?”

    “If evolution is true, what is the basis for morals? law? ethics?

    “If evolution is true, then why shouldn’t we murder, rape, and steal?”

    The last one’s my favorite – it makes me wonder if converting these folks is really a good idea – I mean, as soon as they understand evolution, will they just start raping and murdering indiscriminately?

    When can we get back to debating how Xopher and Antinous can exchange pictures so their adorable BoingBoing romance may begin?

  316. @ Terry Karney

    Thanks for the dialogue.

    Concerning Mormons. They say you can know the book of Mormon is true by reading it and getting burning in the bosom. I referenced that and caused the confusion.

    I say I read the Bible plainly as I am sure you have read. I haven’t answered the moderator because I was not sure what she was asking to be honest but with your help I think I understand.

    I can sum it up in one word. Context.

    You cite a perfect example. Jesus is using a metaphor and it is obvious in the context. The bible tells Noah’s story as historical narrative. Read them as they are written or plainly.

    Some things in the old testament are changed in the new testament or are done away with.

    Help me out.

    What is a troll, trollish or trolling and flamebaiting?

    I think I know what you mean but I want to make sure.

  317. To be more clear on the irreducible complexity thing…
    The idea is very much analogous to an arch. An arch could not have been constructed a brick at a time on its own, which is the same claim made for ‘irreducible genes’. But clearly, god didn’t poof all arches into existence. An arch can be made by filling the middle and placing stones on top, then removing the filling to allow the stones to stand. (proteins that support the function get outdated and can disappear when they’re no longer necessary). Or it can be assembled on its side and lifted into place at once (a set of proteins fulfilling one purpose end up helping another process and eventually adapt to fit).

    Another way of visualizing the mismatch between creationists and scientists is that the scientists describe the functionality of a gene or protein, and it sounds like the mean this:
    http://www.bibleplaces.com/images/Gerasa%20Triumphal%20Arch%20of%20Hadrian,%20tb%20n031701.jpg
    When in fact they actually mean this:
    http://www.phys.ksu.edu/personal/cdlin/picture/us/utah/delicate-arch.jpg
    You can argue about god’s hand in that arch, but it’s clear the tools used were wind, water, and time.

    On the scientific end, irreducible complexity is utterly meaningless and useless as a concept. No matter how many complicated things you find that don’t work if you take pieces out, ALL of them could have been made like the arch, by removing structure to leave it afterwards. Just like god, even if you haven’t found the exact history of those genes, you can’t guarantee you’ll never find them. And between the hypothesis of “God did it” and “a protein in the middle disappeared”, one of them’s much simpler. In fact, almost every example of irreducible complexity used by ID supports has been discredited by finding nearly identical versions of the proteins involved serving other purposes.

    On eyes in particular, your eyes are a similar environment to the ocean, because our ancestors developed them there. It couldn’t change too much because it’d break everything else. We don’t see infrared because water blocks it. Thus we can’t see what insects see, such as the beautiful infrared patterns on flowers. The lenses of our eyes are adapted from digestive proteins, which is why we get cataracts – a minor injury will set off a chain reaction and the proteins will coagulate.

  318. What is a troll, trollish or trolling and flamebaiting?

    Per Teresa: A true hardcore troll is someone who cannot be brought to understand that their social difficulties stem from their behavior, rather than their opinions.

    Per me: Trolls come in various flavors. Some just scream obscenities or epithets (Trollus allcapsicus.) More subtle ones espouse positions that they do not believe (Trollus disingenuus.) Perhaps the most subtle and currently prevalent type is the time-waster (Verbithrax loquacius), who specializes in repeating the same argument over and over with minor changes to entice new victims.

    Flamebait is what you call someone else’s post when you got mad, posted something rude and don’t want to take responsibility for your own behavior. Flamebait can be neutralized by ignoring it or remembering to have some personal dignity.

  319. Evidence: Please read my post at 397 for a basic understanding of evolution. Please ask me any questions you may have.

  320. @JACK LECOU

    “you appear ignorant at best. If you continue to repeat them, or fire off one disposable claim after another in scattershot fashion, you run a serious risk of appearing to be arguing in bad faith. It is a tactic many of us have seen all to often from creationists.”

    Ignorance is bliss they say and I do not want to argue in bad faith. I will apologize for the others who have done so.

    Can I let you in on a secret? When Christians have what they think they know challenged they get mad, yell something, slam and bang things and run away. Some evolutionists throw in cursing as well.

    This is an old post and can stop reading whenever you want. What draws you back?

    “rebuttal”

    They don’t give feed back and if I misinterpret it who is there to correct me?

    @ XOPHER

    I suspect you are a teacher.

    Can you name a good mutation for me?

    Are dogs a good example of species breeding? (Loaded question warning!)

    Again if your not a teacher you should be and it I am seeing what your saying but I have flags go up every where when I read it.

  321. @ILL LICH

    “jumped the shark”

    I love happy days references.

    In regards to the Australian aborigine providing scientific proof of his culture’s creation myth question. Hmmm.

    I first would measure his origin story in light of scripture first science second.

    I have to go for the day but please check back tomorrow for the Bible verses I promised. God evening and God bless.

  322. Evidence (#387) I do care to know how it all got started. What I don’t care to do is make a leap of faith about it. There was a time before life on Earth. The question of abiogenesis is hard. As I said elsehwere (here I think, but I’ve been in a lot of these conversations, and some recently, so I may not be repeating myself here) there are some interesting hypothesis, but none of them are provable, because that is something which has to be seen to be known.

    If we could go to abiotic planets, and watch them, and all of them had the same trigger for biogenesis, that might be strong enough to say, “Thus it ever is”.

    As to new information… you might want to look at polyploidy in plants. Replication errors, recombinant errors, strand duplication (related to replication errors, if I understand it correctly), various causes for mutation.

    Punctuated equilibrium is just what we see in the island off Croatia. The system was stable. The mainland wal lizards were stable. There were no strong pressures to diverge from the parent population.

    Comes the move. They had different competition and, most importantly, the strategies the species had weren’t great; the insect population wasn’t adequate to sustain them.

    So some of them chewed on plants. Some of them were able to digest plants. They had more offspring.

    All of this is contingent. It’s possible that the tendency to nibble on plants was rare, and a couple (in theory only one would be enough, but that’s a more severe bottleneck than is needed) of the lizards had it. If it were a recessive trait then a pair would be best. If it were a differently expressing (call it semi-recessive, in that it might manifest as a mild behavior when not reinforced. Yes, it gets complicated; we could color in horses or snakes, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. I know those two subjects because I breed the latter and keep the former). If that’s the case (this is a rare trait) then absent a couple of lizards having it, the species would have died out.

    If the trait is rare, the odds of it happening like this again (all other things being equal) is realy slim.

    If the trait is common, then the likelihood of it being a repeatable experiment goes up. Not every time, but more than once.

    They don’t “make themselves adapt.” They adapt, or they don’t.

    Punctuated Evolution doesn’t say things appear without evolving. It says things are static for a long time. Then something in the environment changes, and species adapt; and rapidly.

    Assume with me (for the sake of argument) that the world is really old (not 6,000 years, but 100,000 times that, or, 6,000,000,000). Now, in that context, look at the new lizards. The odds of the “transitional forms”(and I suspect they aren’t done with this bout of evolution, so they will probably get a little larger, and have more defined changes in skull and dentition) are going to have maybe a couple of hundred years; on just that one island, to get caught in a fossilising environment.

    Lets say this “strategy” is a good one, and some of them manage to get from the island to mainand italy, where the plantlife is abundant, and they spread across all of the Italian penninsula, south of the alps.

    Ages hence, when the fossils are found, the lizards will seem to appear in Italy from nowhere, with no transitional forms to be found. Even if a few (how many of 10,000 will be fossilised in the next couple of hundred years?) are around to be found, they will only be on that one island.

    You say context tells you which verses are literal, and which aren’t. How do you know?

    Genesis says “the breath of life in their nostrils” You say this is literal (hence there were no insects on the ark) but the “Water of life” is metaphoric.

    Genesis has two accounts of creation (animals, then man and woman together; followed by man, animals and then woman). How do you choose?

    Jesus says the law shall not pass, not one jot, not one tittle. Peter says, “eat anything you like, nothing God has made is unclean”.

    How do you choose (Jesus, the Incarnate God on Earth says Keep The Law, in all it’s aspects. Peter [a man] says, “forget what Jesus said)?

    A troll is one who goes into to make a fight.

    Trollish is doing things which are like a troll, but might just be poor grasp of the conventions of the locale.

    Flamebait is something said with the intent of causing the locals to get upset. It’s usually something which derails an extant conversation.

  323. Evidence:

    I’m not sure I understand your reply, so just to clarify, I did not mean to be insulting. Your claims/questions of the form “doesn’t punctuated equilibrium [or whatever] mean that…?” are, literally, ignorant. And while it’s good to ask questions and try to learn more, I have seen at least four or five claims/questions of this sort put forward by you in fairly rapid succession, with very little indication that you have read or understand the (mostly very good) responses you have received.

    I just think it would be helpful to focus on one topic at a time. I suggested the Talk Origins Index as a useful starting place, to put everyone on the same page, as it were. Most of your questions are answered there, and it provides a common vocabulary.

    Asking specific questions where you don’t understand part of the response there, or believe it to be in error, would make for a much more fruitful discussion. And if we find ourselves discussing material in more than half a dozen or so claims at once, it may be time to narrow the focus.

  324. Like I’ve said before– it is proving a pointless debate because of a profound misunderstanding of evolution on the part of you, EVIDENCE. I only continue because it is good mental stimulation, and confirms my ideas about evolution even more (perhaps having the opposite effect to what you would prefer.)

    “Can you name a good mutation for me?”

    Well– I’m wondering if you are using the word “mutation” with a negative connotation, thus your question is perhaps intended to be a loaded question.

    A “mutation” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Consider the mutation that would have brought about sickle-cell anemia in Africans. Although sickle-cell causes some health problems, it provides resistance to malaria; sickle-cell is the mutation, malaria is the environmental stress that would have favored the mutation. Thus, because of all the malaria in Africa, the sickle cell gene spread, as a child with sickle cell would survive malaria to adulthood and pass on the gene.

    Evolution just extrapolates this out to include the cumulative effect of these changes over time, a long time, longer than your young Earth theory allows. In fact some stalagmites and stalactites take more time than your young Earth theory allows.

    In dogs, it is human breeding techniques that are the environmental stress– humans desire a trait, and only allow dogs with that trait to reproduce. I see your loaded question warning, you are trying to equate humans with god I assume? Humans create a dog breed, so therefore god must have created all creatures? In humans it is a conscious act, in nature it is unconscious (unless you are saying that god acts through evolution.) Whether conscious or unconscious doesn’t matter, only the end result of speciation.

    In the end I know that, like all my other posts this goes right over your head. Your answer to my aborigine problem proves that to me– the Bible comes first, so no matter WHAT science proves, if it ain’t in the Bible it’s untrue. What do they say? “Fossils were put there by Satan to test our faith in God!”

    How convenient.

  325. Evidence 406: You flatter me, sir! No, I’m not a teacher except by nature. I probably would have been, but at the time I was choosing a career path it was impossible for an openly gay man to be a teacher in America (I wanted to teach high school English), so my life went another way.

    The thing about good (and I’m assuming you mean beneficial here, not just a good example?) mutations is that we stop thinking of them as mutations. For example, one (or more) of my far-distant ancestors had a mutation that causes iris pigment to be minimal, just enough to refract light going into it without blocking it. Result: blue eyes. Sensitivity to light; ability to see in dimmer light than people with dark eyes; really painful effects in bright sunlight.

    This mutation may have happened everywhere from time to time, but in northern Europe it had a survival advantage and became widespread. I had blue eyes as a child, but in adolescence another gene I have, for yellow iris pigment, was expressed and my eyes turned green.

    Another, subtler European mutation is the arterio-venous shunt. In extreme cold the body can conserve heat by dumping blood in the extremities directly from an artery into a vein, the strategy being to sacrifice the fingers and toes to save your life. ONLY people with European ancestors have this, and it doesn’t show up unless you’re very chilled for a long time.

    I’ve experienced it, and let me tell you, it HURTS. It honestly feels like your palms and feet are being pierced with a sharp object, which has led me to give it the somewhat irreverent name of ‘cryostigmata’. (That’s a joke, but honestly the first time it happened I was pretty weirded out…”wait, I’m not even a Christian!” I thought. But hypothermia was dimming my thoughts by then anyway.)

    Dogs are a complex case. Domestication is a process of UNnatural selection, or to be clearer, of a very complex environmental pressure called human culture. Humans bred dogs from wolves; they’re essentially infantilized wolves. Even the oldest dog will play in a way that wolves stop doing in adolescence. And while we (last I looked) distinguish canis lupus from canis familiaris, they can sometimes interbreed (one reason I said we don’t have good firm criteria for when we say two species are separate).

    As for all the different breeds of dog, those are just humans imposing their ideas on another creature, sometimes according to needs, and other times indulging vanity (tell me a practical use for a pocket toy poodle, I dare you). I don’t know why they aren’t considered separate species, except for a) the old criterion of interfertility producing fertile offspring, but that would apply to dogs and wolves; or b) convention.

    If you could get specific about the flags that go up for you, I could try to address them. Mind you, I’m trying to give you a clear idea of what we believe, not trying to convince you that it’s true, though a lot of it seems obvious to me. To accept it, you would have to give up the idea that the Bible tells the history of the world and of humans and animals—but not, in my opinion at least, in a true and loving God.

    You know what my Christian friend Marjorie says? She says “the stories in the Bible are God’s parables. You read them for the lesson they teach, not as history.”

    Speaking of history, did you know that the keeping of history was a pretty rare thing in the ancient world? Almost no one did it but the Egyptians, and the Ancient Hebrews certainly did not. The idea of writing down events just to have a record of what happened was entirely alien to them (they may have borrowed it from the Egyptians, but since they were specifically admonished not to do as they do in Egypt this seems doubtful).

  326. The Bible says they only took things that breathed with nostrils on the ark.

    Point granted.

    Another; why do we have fish?

    They do not breathe with nostrils. They would have been left to the water. A global flood would have mixed salt and fresh waters; the atlantic current and other great currents would have caused an inevitable mix in all water. Rivers would not have been proper rivers; fresh water would have mixed with salt, and marine life would have died.

    Insects can not survive on random floating things. Some may, but -not- in the excessive variety we have today.

    Also you attribute things to me that I didn’t say. Though I do despise the Westboro Baptist Church and anything they stand for.

    I wasn’t attributing directly, I was speaking to Xopher. The italics make it easier.

    “Believing in the existence of something is determined by your upbringing”
    Most of you say you were brought up Christian but now are not so that is not it.

    As Xopher has already pointed out, you did not quote in entirety. We would all be fools to assume that any one factor could entirely decide the human mind on any subject so important as religion.

    “many a concept seems at odds with the good and forgiving God Christians tout for converts”

    Like what?

    Though it is grossly simplistic, I would like to keep this conversation to an evolutionary / creationist bent, and not a Biblical guidance bent. This comment wasn’t direct out of desire to guide the conversation in that direction, but to concur and discuss with Xopher.

    However, I will say (again, gross simplicity here) that the oft quoted “eye for an eye” is at complete odds with “turn the other cheek.” That, and 2 Kings 2:23-24, among others. If you would like to give commentary as a pastor on 2 Kings 2:23-24, feel free to e-mail me privately; as it is not related directly to evolution, this is not the place for it, and it is rather more religious debate than we really need here.

    Are dogs a good example of species breeding?
    Posed to Xopher, but I’m still going to jump in and say that humans bred dog species. One of the most useless is currently on my lap, a Pomeranian we just got. I’m allergic but this critter will not stop following me and yipping. He is nine weeks old and would like to tell the whole thread ‘YAP!’

    I first would measure his origin story in light of scripture first science second.

    Again, using the medium of text to insert my all together too large mouth where it need not enter.

    We are measuring your claims by science first. How is it that scripture overrules science for you? Science is not anything but bricks used to build a house. A collection of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks a house. Scientific theories (a theory in science is not the same thing as a theory in the common parlance), once understood, are simply truth. If your scripture does not match up to the theory, then do you say that the science is wrong? Judging by this debate, you must. I assume you take ‘four corners of the earth’ and ‘ends of the earth’ and ‘longer than the earth’ and the concept that all of the earth was visible from an ‘exceeding high mountain’ not plainly but figuratively. If you do take the Bible plainly, then I suggest you never visit Australia.

    The last statement is not meant to be inflammatory; I cannot seem to word it in a way that does not, in some way, sound vaguely disapproving. It is not meant as belittlement.

  327. EVIDENCE–

    You know, all of this is just going around in circles, and here’s why:

    You believe the Bible absolutely (or as Theresa pointed out, you conveniently get to pick and choose what is valid, what is metaphorical, etc.).

    We do not believe the Bible absolutely.

    Never the twain shall meet.

    So all your “debating” is really just disguised prosthelitizing .

    When I was told of the Genesis story of creation, even as a very small boy I saw it was probably a metaphor. I didn’t believe folk tales about Rumplestiltskin or Rapunzel or Baba Yaga. I’m not even sure I really believed in Santa Claus (I mean really– I went to Santa’s Village in NH and sat on his lap and asked for an airplane, and got clothes instead. He could have at least given me coal!)

    So you can provide all the Bible quotes you want.
    But if I don’t accept the Bible as absolute truth we can’t really debate.

    I’m not “scared” of the Bible, any more than I’m scared of Dracula or Werewolves or the Mummy. I just don’t think any of those things are true, so what’s there to be scared of?

  328. When can we get back to debating how Xopher and Antinous can exchange pictures so their adorable BoingBoing romance may begin?

    Right now, I say. Antinous! Xopher! Get to Imageshack, stat!

    If things progress well, Lord Takuan may give his blessing and I will preside.

    It couldn’t change too much because it’d break everything else. We don’t see infrared because water blocks it. Thus we can’t see what insects see, such as the beautiful infrared patterns on flowers. The lenses of our eyes are adapted from digestive proteins, which is why we get cataracts – a minor injury will set off a chain reaction and the proteins will coagulate.

    Brilliant explanation there of a question I didn’t even know I had, good sir!

    None of you would count my college as real because evolution was not taught.

    I am a Pastor of a small church in the same town I grew up in and I work full time in the graphic arts industry.

    I would count your college as a real religious college, but not a real college on the level of biology, biochemistry, or anything which may remotely relate to evolution. However, I would not discount any credit hours you may have gained in Physics – or Religion – or Calculus. I have nothing against the ministry and its jobs (nor do I find them uninteresting.) I have on occasion attended church to please my family and there are instances in which a proper moral message is being taught. I don’t believe in religion being any one’s basis for everything, nor do I believe it in being a mandated basis, nor do I believe in it involving science. Churches, however, can be some moral guidance for those who cannot find the way on their own. Graphics art is cool. Please don’t mistake the honest debate here for disdain on anything but your steadfast creationism. At least, on my part. I’m sure the others agree.

  329. I went to Santa’s Village in NH

    How about Clark’s Trading Post and Six Gun City? I spent my whole childhood cruising those tourist traps. Santa’s Village in July just didn’t cut it.

  330. Takuan 413: I know what the Dive Reflex is, but haven’t discussed it here; I had to look up Raynaud’s, and though it sounds similar, it’s not quite the same. The AV shunt doesn’t last long enough for the fingers to turn blue, though they do hurt and get chilled, and the description of Raynaud’s I just read doesn’t suggest that blood is being dumped from an artery into a vein, but just that bloodflow to the fingers is constricted.

    Also, there’s nothing in the Raynaud’s description to suggest that onset is accompanied by a sudden sharp stabbing pain in the center of the palm, or that the pain is repeated at intervals of about ten minutes, as happens when the AV shunt activates.

    Tenn: I think when Evidence says he reads the Bible “plainly” he means literally where it seems to be telling history, and figuratively where it seems to be illustrating a point. If you want to challenge him on this, try pointing out that one of the Gospels says that Jesus was descended from David through Joseph, and another that he wasn’t even descended from Joseph. But: as you yourself suggest above, attacking the inconsistencies in the Bible isn’t really talking about evolution.

  331. oh,and Evidence? Would you like to go bowling?

    I would be offended at your failure to invite me (and I your dogma propagandist and future commune mate!) if I wasn’t trying to figure out how many ways you may be planning to booby trap the lanes.

  332. Takuan, I gave up trying to understand everything you post a while back (not that that’s a bad thing in any way), but I have to say 417 has me really stumped. I’m not sure what I’m looking at there. Looks like some elderly clergymen holding pillows with crowns on them. Whiskey tango foxtrot?

  333. think back,I believe BB covered the event recently, a Korean gentleman?-

    Dear Tenn, I take it you haven’t seen that film? The one with My Left Foot’s star?

  334. ‘Tis okay Xopher. I realize most of us here actually have responsibilities- and unlike me and my homework- are at least making efforts to attend to them.

    Takuan-
    I was confused at the image, now I’m yet more confused at your ‘clarification’. Hear hear; “Whiskey. Tango. FOXTROT.”

  335. Tenn: To tangent with you (because religion is part of my bent). the Eye for an Eye, is just and merciful: when compared to the systems next to it.

    It called for a sense of parity (see Micah 6:8-11, which commands that one, Love justice, do mercy and walk humbly with one’s God). The Code of Hammurabi is touted as the world’s first legal code. In it there were such gems as these:

    If any one buy from the son or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death.

    If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.

    If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.

    If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

    If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and sell himself, his wife, his son, and daughter for money or give them away to forced labor: they shall work for three years in the house of the man who bought them, or the proprietor, and in the fourth year they shall be set free.

    If he give a male or female slave away for forced labor, and the merchant sublease them, or sell them for money, no objection can be raised.

    There are a lot of other passages, which say that for striking an equal, the same shall be visited on the offender, but for striking one who is not equal greater, or lesser, punishments shall be inflicted.

    (at variance to other codes, infidelity was a capital offense for both the man, and the woman; but the woman can be pardoned. Rape of a virgin is no blot against the victim; but capital for the rapist. Abandoning a husband captured in war, when sustencance is present in his goods is capital, but if no sustenence is present it is not. Abandoning a wife releases her from her marriage)

    So, by and large (discounting a not terrible; in comparison to what else was out there are the time, set of rules for women, but less pleasant than those of Hammurabi’s Code), the Hebrew Code was just.

    With changes in thought, the rules became more kind/just (like any other human endeavor things change).

    re dogs: They are not separate species. Breeds might be sub-species but they are still interfertile( though a great dane and a shih-tsu aren’t going to breed; absent human intervention, aren’t going to breed).

    So they aren’t really separate species.

    Evidence: to address the aboriginal world-view question… What have you got to support you belief in the Bible, vs. his belief in the dreamtime (esp. when his dreamtime accounts go back further than your biblical accounts; when one measures using scientific tools. Aboriginal stories tell of a meteor impact, with details not knowable to them; absent good oral history, or modern ideas. Since they didn’t have the one, and they have the stories, we have conclude the “remembered” it).

    You assert, “the bible is true”, but outside the bible, you’ve got nothing to prop it up.

    The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it; makes for stirring rhetoric, but is lousy for argument.

    When you do that you have to make all sorts of special pleading. Joshua didn’t really stop the sun (or gravity doesn’t work the way we think it does). People used to live longer (that, or the years were shorter; which plays a a different sort of hob wih the age of the earth), all of which raises (again) how does one choose which verses are “true” and which are poetic and metaphoric.

    The Bible cannot be used to prove itself.

  336. GMTMOOGGLE: We don’t see infrared because water blocks it. Thus we can’t see what insects see, such as the beautiful infrared patterns on flowers.

    To be nitpicky here, this isn’t quite right. Yes, water blocks IR, pretty damned fast. But it’s not IR that insects see (by and large, though some butterflies do see in the near IR (ca 700-750 nM), it’s generally UV (which some birds seem able to exploit, at least the longer UV).

    It’s also not clear that an aquatic start is why we can’t see into the IR spectrum (though there are some interesting experiments by some photographers using near IR filters as goggles, and learning to see in the restricted vision space. I keep thinking of making a set, just to try it out), since insects are descended from aquatic arthropoda.

    We happen to not need to exploit flowers. Brains (and eyes are damn-near brain) are expensive. Absent a real need, the odds are a trait will atrophy, so it would be amazing if we had that trait.

  337. To be nitpicky here, this isn’t quite right. Yes, water blocks IR, pretty damned fast. But it’s not IR that insects see (by and large, though some butterflies do see in the near IR (ca 700-750 nM), it’s generally UV (which some birds seem able to exploit, at least the longer UV).

    Thank you, carnival operator. I was going to inquire about the insects / marine life idea but I forgot. I was going to suggest your idea nearly in the reverse; that insects gained their sort of eyesight out of a need to see in the IR and that we never needed it, so we never developed it.

    In response to your tangenting with me- (takes two to tangent, does it?) – I can’t remember when I first encountered the Code of Hammurabi, but I’m always surprised that it’s something like the first codified, civilized law. Scary. Yes, eye for an eye does set an equality that was never before seen (I’m punny) in law, but that still is at odds with later New Testament, which was very hippie, ‘turn the other cheek’. I don’t say that the Hebrew code wasn’t just in comparison, I just say that there’s a disparity in the Bible. And if it’s because of the time period it’s in- well that totally shoots to hell the idea of the Bible being infallible, since presumably ‘turn the other cheek’ could have been implemented sooner.

    Takuan- Okay, now I get where we’re going with these images.

  338. Tenn: a tangent is best when shared.

    Re IR, the other thing (dons photographer hat), is that IR is odd in how it works.

    Since it’s a long wavelength, and since plants reflect rather a lot of it (which is purely defensive, since they can’t move into the shade), it tends to lack (so far as we can tell) much in the way of definition.

    Photos of plants, taken under IR, show them as blobby, and really bright. So being able to see into it (more than a little; and that perhaps to contrast the leaves with other things; though that is pure speculation on my part) is probably of only moderate use.

    The same problem exists when using IR in night-vision devices. Soldiers (mostly in armor, though recent changes have more infantry using them) spent a lot of time training to recognize the specific heat signatures of enemy vehcicles, because it’s not easy (even with active IR emitters) to make out detail.

  339. Oh how I wish I could get this much attention from everyone, wow. Evidence is just leading you all on, you know that by now right?

  340. A fellow photographer! Carny, is there anywhere I can see your work? I enjoy photography and at some point plan to try IR (I’d get a filter, but my Canon, borrowed from the school, is experiencing strange problems with the film.)

    Hm. I wonder if insects find that moderate use much more sufficient than we would, much as bats get much more information from echolocation than we ever would.

  341. Noen,

    But he’s an interesting conversation, whether or not he’s real. I’m enjoying it because I’m learning more about evolution.

    Come on, I’ll buy you a drink while Ark handles Tak-kun’s embeerment. We’ll pay attention to you then!

  342. Conceded, I like to oversimplify things.

    However, to nitpick back, not every possible trait is developed by evolution. Just because it might be useful doesn’t mean it’ll ever happen. Also, traits are not developed because they’re useful, but are kept because they happen to be useful. We all know this, but it’s worth repeating.

    The difference between human eyes and insect eyes is, of course, depth. “water blocks IR, pretty damned fast.” Human eyes are so large that useful IR can’t really reach the back of our eyes. So even if we had some way to use the IR spectrum, we’d probably never develop much ability without deforming the eyes we have in ways that would be too detrimental to us vision-based creatures along the way.

    Insects may even emphasize IR reception *because* it’s mostly hidden to larger creatures, helping them be less predictable.

    It tends to get simplified to “traits are selected for”, but it might be more clear to say that a trait is selected against if it’s sufficiently detrimental. As long as the environment supports it, evolution will expand the genetic possibilities. You could sort of visualize it as a sort of thick gas, slowly filling its environment. (That’s a very weak analogy, don’t try to extrapolate anything from it)

  343. Tenn, I don’t really drink any more. Where I live I’m not permitted to keep alcohol in my apt. (it’s part of my lease agreement and I don’t mind anyway) I do however have to thank those who were worried last week when I disappeared for a bit. There were reasons for that. I’ll shut up now.

  344. In IRC, you never have to shut up! A lease agreement sans alcohol? Sounds different.

    Well, I said a drink and didn’t specify! We’ll get cokes. I’m not legally allowed to drink anyhow.

  345. I think I’ve said all I have to say on this, perhaps more than I really had to say.

    I should have noted on my last post that I’m done with this– EVIDENCE can post his Bible quotes and you guys can rip him to shreds all you want. He is not interested in debating science, but religion.

    I had a friend who worked on (the American PBS version of) Antiques Roadshow, and she used to be amazed at how often people would bring in obvious prints of famous paintings (framed) and want an appraisal: “NO! This is a REAL Picasso– SEE? it says ‘Picasso’ right on it! It was handed down by my grandmother, she wouldn’t lie to me about that!!” That’s EVIDENCE in a nutshell; no matter what we tell him, he’s convinced he has the real masterpiece in his hands, despite all the obvious flaws. To consider the alternative would be too upsetting; suddenly there’s no safety net below his trapeze act.

    I think one of Brian Eno’s ‘oblique strategies’ said “giving up in disgust is not the same as admitting defeat.”

    And so I say “farewell” to this long tangled thread.

    Peace.

  346. Fare thee well, Ill Lich. You’re a good fellow debator. Peace.

    Oh, and by the way Noen that was an invite to the illustrious halls of BB IRC.

  347. Fare thee well, Ill Lich. You’re a good fellow debator. Peace.

    Oh, and by the way Noen that was an invite to the illustrious halls of BB IRC.

  348. That sounded convincing.

    I am an angel who has never touched an illegal substance in her sweet blessed life, Antinous.

  349. GTMOOGLE: I’ll redouble your nitpick back and point out I never said we ever had IR sensitivity. I said that it would be amazing if we’d kept it; I can see where the buried use of the counterfactual subjunctive might make it seem I was saying we had it at one time, but that wasn’t my intent.

    I was saying (poorly, it seems) that had we been descended from a beastie which had IR sensitive vision, our keeping it would have been against expectation, since a creature which diverted the energy required to maintain that trait ought to be at a disadvantage; given the cost of neural matter.

    Tenn: You can see various of my images here,and here

    Since I’ve been retouching a lot of photos for a client, have a couple of software reviews to write and have a presentation to do for an event, the odds of new images on either site in the next week or so is slim; certainly there won’t be any quantity of them; much as I want to finish going through the Galapagos pictures.

    I shan’t ask how much of your life falls outside the realms of sweet and blessed.

  350. Carny,

    I had the insight to actually look at your site better after I sent that. I checked your flickr. You’re not half bad (and read half bad as damn good).

    Oh, much of my life is sweet and blessed. I’m quite straightedge as youngin’s call it. I have an aversion to not being in control of my own mind, and that puts most entertaining diversions out of my reach.

  351. Ah, you are TA Metcalf.

    I understand the desire to not lose control of mental function. This probably why complex sugars are about as adventurous as my recreational use gets (though fentanyl is nice, and I hate the effects of Morphine and Codiene).

    Thanks for the compliment (flip as it’s tone may be), with some 24 years behind the lens (some spent more seriously than others) I hope I’ve managed some small amount of skill.

    No matter what my personal opinions may be, I have enough customers that you are not alone in your estimation.

    Of pictures I really like, this one, this one and this one (of photos I’ve posted to the web) are all in the running (the first two are scanned), for very different reasons (and the last is both good, and pedestrian, the middle one flawed, and perfect).

  352. Tenn: I also note that parsing what you said: You’ve never touched an illegal substance is different from never touching a substance illegally.

  353. To be entirely honest, I have more correctly never touched a substance illegally than an illegal substance. But I think I have done both of the two (but getting high on Lysol today does not count. That was pyromania that got out of hand.)

  354. Tenn: That lysol thing; counts as illegally, “It is illegal to use this product in a manner inconsistant with its labelling.”

    Using it to start fires isn’t consistent with it’s labelling.

  355. Carny,

    Is it just me, or is such labelling worrying? I mean, sure, huffing and arson is bad- but what if, say, I found that Lysol was a perfect bug killer (it does a fair job.)

  356. Weeeee, reading this reminds me why I don’t have fundie-friends(anymore): too time consuming. Y’all are mucho-entertaining, though.

    My favorite part is that EVIDENCE believes the world is G-d’s creation, but believes in a book (books, really) writen/edited/anthologized by men (who SAY it is dirrect from G-d) more than the study of G-d’s creation.

    Hey EVIDENCE, while I’m here and there’s a general debate about religion: I’m interested in your (a pastor’s) take on the Synods convened for the purpose of creating/modifying the canon of the new testament, on how they left out quite a few holy texts, how the texts for what you consider the holy bible were chosen by the Catholic church, how the Catholic church has accepted evolution, and lastly [just wondering] do you feel that there is a need to add further holy texts to the canon from/about the last ~1900 years of scholarly learning and [un]holy events?

    Disclaimer:I am xian, though I find the majority of my brothers and sisters who call themselves the same lacking in knowledge about our messed up little organization, and the world in general.

  357. @ Ill Lich 370

    “science has become the new religion?” You are treading dangerously close to IVA BIGGRUDGE territory here.

    Science is self regulating; it makes mistakes, and corrects those mistakes.

    But this is exactly what I mean: you believe that it is enough to say that science corrects its mistakes– that the sense in which this is true is enough to acquit science of being counterproductive or harmful in the same sense as religion. But we now have numerous examples of scientifically justified “medicines” that have caused and continue to cause huge numbers of deaths. These “mistakes” cannot ever be “corrected”. But perhaps more to the point, it is now business as usual for science to heap more false justifications on theories that have already been disproved, rather than turn around and throw out the old theories.

    Scientists don’t burn other scientists at the stake for “scientific heresy.”

    This is quite untrue. There are many stories of scientists who were witch-hunted for their contrarian ideas, and some of them turned out to be right in the end. Some committed suicide. Today such people are marginalized and put out of business through lack of funding.

    They may have economic self-interest in mind, and denigrate another theory, but in the end if their research doesn’t pan out then they get no more money for research and their “propaganda” was for naught– investment goes where it is profitable, the money doesn’t care about egos or ideas, only making more money.

    But there is money in deception. Pharmaceutical companies now pay professional scientists to put their names on papers the companies have written for them! The longer a large group of people continue to take a certain drug, the more money is made–regardless of whether the drug works or is deadly. If the public eventually figures it out, well, just move on to the next drug.

    Have you seen all the recent news stories about how all the cholesterol lowering drugs actually increase the risk of death from heart disease? Yet they all lower cholesterol quite effectively. And the “evidence” continues to pile up that cholesterol causes heart disease. (What about contradictory evidence? Is there any? Does anyone ask? http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/benefits_cholest.html
    )

    Those kinds of arguments between scientific schools are just bumps in the road, and eventually the bumps get smoothed out.

    I believe that to be truly scientifically minded one must be more critical than this, even of science itself.

    I am curious: the bacteria experiments you speak of– are these findings being suppressed/ignored, or are the findings just not reproducible?

    They were published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals like all the other research, received some striking negative commentary which failed to invalidate them, and the scientific community moved on maintaining its prejudices as if nothing happened. There are many examples of forgotten experiments which invalidate current scientific beliefs.

  358. @ JakeTheSnake 372

    I think this is not quite the right way to ask the question, since the field of Epidemiology was born in the early 20th century. However there are plenty of good historical references documenting diseases at that time. Sorry I don’t have time to get such things for you (you can google around–I believe history is always worth researching), but here is a respectable website that makes the same assertions I am making.

    http://www.fi.edu/learn/heart/history/history.html

  359. ERA
    “To give one final and rather amazing example, there are experiments showing that bacteria can change their own genes without reproducing–gene change without evolution. This has been known for at least 20 years but nobody is talking about it because it is considered heresy by the scientific establishment.”

    I laugh at your straw-man. I’m taking a basic (well, 2ng or 3rd semester depending on where you start) Bio class for fun at the local CC, and we’ve managed to show natural gene-transfer/change in the lab – based off an old experiment from pre-DNA days. Think of it as natural single-celled gene therapy.

    Different types of non-reproduction genome change for bacteria:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_conjugation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformation_%28genetics%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transduction_%28genetics%29

    Very accepted. Also has nothing to do with the change of an existing gene’s expression, so I’m not sure why you brought it up. Also has nothing to do with complex organisms, so I’m not sure why you brought it up.

    As for science in general, you seem to have a misunderstanding about what is and is not science. What you read in science journals/magazines are not accepted science [aka scientific facts]. The journals are there to spread new concepts, so that others can repeat and/or refute findings. Medical science is generally even worse, as it is largely a statistical-science, dealing with data sets that have large outliers.

  360. @ Xopher 375

    I said: “heart-disease and cancer cannot be genetically inherited diseases because their rates of increase have been far greater than the speed of genetic evolution. Both heart disease and cancer were virtually unknown before the 20th century.”

    You said: “Now you’re being silly. By that argument an allergy to potatoes can’t be genetic in Europe, because no one got symptoms of a potato allergy there before 1492 (when potatoes were introduced). New environmental hazards are introduced all the time, and some people are more susceptible to them than others. Things just aren’t single-cause deterministic.

    I feel that you are correct in pointing to a logomachical difficulty here. Let me give some examples to make my argument more precise.

    If lightning strikes a house and it burns down, what was the “cause” of the destruction? Was it A) the lightning or B) that the house was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Well obviously both things are “causal” here. Why are we inclined to choose A? Because it is easier and more effective to do something about the lightning (install a lightning rod) than to do something about the location of the house.

    So when I talk about “causes” or “root causes” I generally mean those causes that are easiest or most effective to address.

    To take your example of the introduction of potatoes from the New World, to my way of thinking the problem can be framed like this: how shall we address the problem of potato allergy? Shall we A) look for a “causal” gene, design a drug to block it–and who cares what the gene was for–and then sell the drug to everyone with potato allergies? Or B) recommend that people with potato allergies not eat potatoes? In other words, what shall we decide is the “cause” of potato allergies: A) genetic predisposition or B) eating potatoes?

    If you have an oncogene, you need to watch out for the type of cancer it codes for; that doesn’t mean you’ll get it, and of course taking your antioxidants and whatever might help prevent it.”

    The theory that there are “oncogenes”–genes that cause cancer–has led nowhere as far as treating or curing cancer is concerned (thus per my above argument we should not think of genes as “causal” in cancer). Read this fascinating repudiation by one of the codiscoverers of the first “oncogene”:

    http://mcb.berkeley.edu/labs/duesberg/pdfs/2007,_Duesberg0507,_SciAm.pdf

  361. @ 465, Agent 86

    You have confused me–I suspect we are largely in agreement. Please explain what you think my “straw man” was intended to prove and what you think it does not prove.

    Here is a quote from my comment #364:

    “It is well known that random mutation followed by natural selection plays at best a small role in the evolution of bacteria on small time scales, because bacteria exchange or excrete DNA much faster than random mutations occur.”

    Correct me if I am wrong but this is exactly what you are saying.

  362. @Era

    What’s your point? Creationists would never have made the mistake of the oncogene theory? I tend to agree that there are a lot of mistakes they wouldn’t make, but here again we might be over looking root causes.

    Also, your example of the house and the lightening is false – lightening doesn’t hit church steeples because they were built in the wrong place, but because they were there. Do I have to explain to you about how lightening hits tall objects?

    Let’s take this to a logical extreme – if you’re totally illiterate, you’re unlikely to misspell words, that doesn’t make you a better speller however.

    ~~~

  363. Also @465:

    As for science in general, you seem to have a misunderstanding about what is and is not science. What you read in science journals/magazines are not accepted science [aka scientific facts]. The journals are there to spread new concepts, so that others can repeat and/or refute findings. Medical science is generally even worse, as it is largely a statistical-science, dealing with data sets that have large outliers.

    I agree that medical science is quite problematic for precisely the reason you state–the way it is carried out today involves purely cookbook statistical experimentation, and its goal is not health but drug sales.

    However I disagree that one can dismiss science journal articles so easily. One must certainly take any single experimental result with a grain of salt, but when they all begin to point the same way, well, that is what science is–there isn’t any other acceptable definition of “science” beyond what is published in scientific journals.

    By the way: many journal articles summarize their results in a manner that misrepresents or even outright contradicts the data given in the paper. In this way, scientists whose findings contradict the paradigm can avoid rocking the boat. Yet the data is there for those who read carefully, which most often does not include medical doctors who don’t have the time for it. At best hey just read the concluding section which just supports what they already believe, or more often they relying on drug reps for their scientific info, which info is of course totally biased towards drug sales.

  364. @ JakeTheSnake

    What’s your point? Creationists would never have made the mistake of the oncogene theory?

    I would not have characterized my point that way. However, if I must choose between a creationist who wants to pray for my health and a doctor who wants me to accept a harmful “treatment”, I will indeed choose the creationist.

    Also, your example of the house and the lightening is false – lightening doesn’t hit church steeples because they were built in the wrong place, but because they were there.

    I do not understand your response. Note I did not say “built in the wrong place”. With a little imagination, I think my actual phrase “wrong place at the wrong time” is quite reasonable–say the location of the house is a mountaintop in one geologic age and a valley in another.

    Let’s take this to a logical extreme – if you’re totally illiterate, you’re unlikely to misspell words, that doesn’t make you a better speller however.

    While correct, your example convinces me that you have missed my point. Perhaps a somewhat better example would be that, in the driver’s seat of a car, a 3-year-old is less dangerous than a drunken teenager, yet the teenager is arguably the better driver since the 3yo. will not be able to drive at all.

  365. @Era

    I agree that medicine fucks up. It does it all the damn time. But what is your point of comparing medicine to religious approaches? What are you getting at?

    I just reread your posts and while I’m not sure what your main point is, you aren’t arguing that fatuous I had initially thought you were, with the exception of “scientists can learn from creationists.”

    Do scientists make mistakes? Yes.

    Do scientific theories get abused for profit? Yes.

    Do scientific theories get totally misrepresented in the media? Oh hells yes, just see how science gets discussed here on bb.

    But how does this lead to your conclusion?

    Having once confused me with an analogy, why not try to explain your point directly?

    What about the choice between praying for your health and modern medicine?

    ~~~

  366. @ ILL LICH

    “In fact some stalagmites and stalactites take more time than your young Earth theory allows” Like the ones under the Lincoln memorial or under man made bridges?

    “dog breed/you are trying to equate humans with god I assume?”

    In a sense. We are forcing the traits we want but from terriers to St. Benards they are still dogs, the same species or kind. Like Xopher’s elephants if we left them alone they would go back to being elephants some with and some without tusks and dogs would be mutts again which are much stronger and healthier than pure bred dogs because they have all the traits/variability back in them. All the information was there for us to force the breed, we didn’t add anything, we suppressed things. Elephants lost tusks, they didn’t gain new information and they never became hippo’s. You must all agree we can not breed dogs to become nondogs can we?

    “(unless you are saying that god acts through evolution.) ” No. He put the information in all the animals to adapt to their environment they didn’t create it on their own or with magic time and long ages. [I learned to use magic from you guys ;0)]

    “the Bible comes first, so no matter WHAT science proves, if it ain’t in the Bible it’s untrue.”

    Yes the Bible comes first.

    “No matter what science proves” If it is good science it will agree with the Bible. What science says is true today might be laughed at tomorrow, read history. The Bible is not a science book but when it speaks of things that would fall under the science category it is correct. (I promise to post some examples of that today)

    “if it ain’t in the Bible it’s untrue” No this is to broad of a statement. The Bible does not speak of the space shuttle and it is really there. Some might be that blind and feel for me because I have to deal with them too.

    “What do they say? “Fossils were put there by Satan to test our faith in God!””

    I am glad you said they and not that I said it. Fossils show me that death is coming and I better prepare for it. They are also there for discovery and science.

    Maybe things are in the strata they are in for different reasons than science holds to now. Maybe fish are lower in the strata because they were buried first (closer to the bottom). Maybe birds are last because they could fly longer before succumbing to the flood and are on top with other creature in between sorted as they drowned and were buried? Is there more than one way to look at things? If science is arranging things in order how about an order like this? Or is it dismissed because it just can’t be, it is to close to the Bible and must be dismissed?

    Shouldn’t science be looking at it a thousand and one ways and then choose the best one?

  367. @Evidence

    Why is your bible any better than the books of another religion? How do you pick which translation to use? And how do you decide which pages to understand as poetry and which literally?

    At some point it was understood that he earth was flat and any other interpretation of the facts was sacrilege. You’re content to engage in post hoc rationalizations with some parts of science and the bible.

    Scientists should have some humility about their predictions, they’re sometimes wrong, but religion has no place trying to tell science what is what.

    ~~~

  368. @Evidence

    Scientific theories are proposed and and dismissed by scientists with as much attention paid to the bible as to any other work of fiction. The reason your theories are readily dismissed is that they don’t hold up to the evidence and they don’t explain anything.

  369. @Evidence

    You say “Shouldn’t science be looking at it a thousand and one ways and then choose the best one?” Which is pretty much what it does, you’re the one who only will accept something if you see it as compatible with the bible.

    ~~~

  370. @ JakeTheSnake

    Thanks for your direct question. My original point was that the language used in the discussion here by those defending science and the theory of evolution shows many telltale signs of idealisation and dogmatisation. I find this dangerous because the high esteem in which science is held today is being used to justify a lot of very unscientific and unscrupulous research, the effect of which is to increase profits at the expense of the public’s wealth and health. I would very much like these noble defenders of science to take a closer look at what they are defending.

    Below are some examples selected from the above thread of what I consider to be either unthinking repetition of scientific dogma, gratuitous scientific zealotry, or in one case a baseless ad hoc argument. If we are going to hold the creos to a higher standard, we should do the same with everyone, including ourselves.

    You see, the main difference between you ID folks and scientists is that scientists don’t make assumptions. At all. There is not faith involved. … Thats where the burden of proof comes in. Scientists don’t “have faith” in the scientific theory of evolution, and so if you can come up with some kind of proof that god made man, scientists will believe you. The scientists don’t have to prove their point, they already have. You have to disprove them.

    …even when you are looking at big changes, they ultimately come from the microscopic level. Each outward change is reflected genetically, so when looking for evidence, persons of science look to the genetic code.

    …professional scientists are real scientists, men who have spent years earning their doctorates, men who make their living looking for clues and trying to figure out how things work, men who when they make a mistake admit error and modify their thesis …

    …science is defined more correctly as “a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method.”

    …the reputations of scientists who are infinitely more reasonable than you. Hundreds of years of earnest investigation down the toilet, if you had your way.

    Nothing in Darwinian texts deals with the origins of the universe or of the Earth. Other scientists are responsible for those areas of study. … The thing about science that makes it notably different from creation or ID is that it is rigorously tested. No scientist can say, “I have a theory, now teach it.” ALL scientific theories are tested by many other researchers and if they don’t hold up to independent testing, they are thrown out.

    Ultimately if I look at everything science has produced, versus everything religion has produced, science wins by a landslide.

    Before Darwin, Lamarck came up with a similar theory of evolution, except he believed that acquired traits were heritable. … Lamarck was proven false by experiments like the one where they cut the tails off mice and bred them, to see if their offspring would be tailless. …. The genes will, however, differ from parent to offspring if there is a mistake in the DNA transcription, and that is how mutations and variations happen.

    …matters of faith and matters of science do not mix.

    A lot of the people who, “took ill and died suddenly” were victims of heart disease. Those doctors who, “never saw a heart patient”, probably did, but they lacked the mindset to see it for what it was. … When a child was, “sickly” and died at eight, was it malaria, sickle cell or leukemia? We don’t know. Some of the “younger” illnesses might have been hidden by the earlier causes of death…. Now, if you want to propose a testable hyposthesis to show the invalidity of the mechanisms presently thought to be the causes of these things, there are lots of peope (public and private) willing to pay for the research.

    And blaming the “scientists” for the destruction of nature is so backward as to be laughable…

    …various things cause genes to change randomly. … there are the mutations that are actually beneficial in the particular environment in which the species finds itself. They confer a survival and/or breeding advantage, and the individuals who have it outbreed or outsurvive those who don’t…eventually. Those genes tend to spread through a population. Slowly.

    ——–

    And finally here is a remark which was aimed at the creos but which applies equally to the evos:

    The problem is you have one standard of evidence for the thing you disbelieve (absolute proof) and you are willing to make great leaps of faith (and I’ll wager, no small amount of apologia) to explain away the failings in the things you do believe.

  371. Evidence:

    From the Index of Creationist Claims, covering the fallacious claims made in your post #472 (I think I got them all):

    “CD250. Stalactites can grow very rapidly.”

    “CH350. Organisms come in discrete kinds.”

    “CB101.2. Mutations do not produce new features.”

    “CB102. Mutations do not add information.”

    “CA250. Scientific findings are always changing.”

    “CH561. Fossil order was determined by the Flood.”

    (See also: “CC310. Fossils are dated from strata; strata are dated from fossils.”, etc.)

  372. Oops, this one is probably relevant too:

    “CB110. Microevolution selects only existing variation.”

  373. Xopher

    “I’m trying to give you a clear idea of what we believe, not trying to convince you that it’s true” Same here.

    “my Christian friend Marjorie says? She says “the stories in the Bible are God’s parables. You read them for the lesson they teach, not as history.”

    I am sad for her.

    “Speaking of history” God gave the early history of the Earth to Moses as a way of introducing Himself, in a sense. The Bible is not a history book but as with science when it speaks of historical things it is true.

    “So all your “debating” is really just disguised prosthelitizing” I didn’t think it was disguised but think of where we are. I have people who really believe in evolution and who can explain to me what they believe and talk with them. You get to talk to someone who really believes the Bible and ask any question to me and see the world through my eyes. I don’t get the feeling you all hate me and I hope you don’t feel I hate you. This is rare indeed. Sadly some have quit.

    @TAKUAN
    Would you like to go bowling?

    Lets all go see Ben Stein’s movie and then go bowling. How does that sound?

    “The Bible cannot be used to prove itself.” Thats like saying we can’t look in the White House to prove the president lives there. Silly.

    “leading you all on, you know that by now right?” For what?

    I am a fake what?

  374. Also @ JakeTheSnake

    Sorry, I forgot to respond to this question of yours:

    What about the choice between praying for your health and modern medicine?

    I was just making a statement about my trust in science. If a doctor says “here take this” then most people just do as he says. Why? Faith in science.

    As an aside, prayer has been scientifically demonstrated to be good for your health:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/01/05/mantra-rosary.aspx

    (To be fair, I don’t think they demonstrated that having someone else pray for you is good for your health–but if you find it relaxing it probably would be. But I wonder whether the contributors to this board would find that terribly relaxing!)

  375. Note that CH561 is in 4 parts:

    “CH561.1. Fossils are sorted by ecological zonation.”

    “CH561.2. Fossils are sorted hydrologically.”

    “CH561.3. Fossils are sorted by the ability to escape.”

    “CH561.4. Fossils are sorted by a combination of these factors.”

  376. @Era

    Masturbation has also been shown to be healthy.

    I trust a doctor who can explain to me why something will work.

    ~~~

  377. @Evidence

    Say I pick up Moby Dick and assume it’s all true, why shouldn’t I?

    Does it bug you at all that you’re taking literally a work which has been translated numerous times?

    The problem with using the bible to prove the bible is that if you have no reason to assume it is true then it’s really hard to use it to deduce its truth.

    Pretend I’m an evolutionary biologist who was raised Hindu, why should I buy the idea that your book (younger than our books) is literal truth?

    ~~~

  378. @ Jake

    “Say I pick up Moby Dick and assume it’s all true, why shouldn’t I?”

    Does it claim to be true? The Bible claims to be true and it claims to be the word of God.

    “Does it bug you at all that you’re taking literally a work which has been translated numerous times?”

    Nope. If God can make the world in six days can’t He protect His book from errors? I think so.

    “Pretend I’m an evolutionary biologist who was raised Hindu, why should I buy the idea that your book (younger than our books) is literal truth?”

    Which one claims to be true and then backs up what it claims? The Bible’s history is accurate when examined, ask Sir Walter Ramsey. The Bible tells events before they happen. It also has more copies than any other book of antiquity to see if it has changed.

  379. EVIDENCE:
    The Earth is about 6,000 years old, is that young? (The rest of the quote was a bit wishy-washy. Please clarify if you didn’t mean this statement literally, or if it’s out of context.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrochronology
    So, you’re familiar with tree rings, right? You can tell the age of a tree by counting the rings. The rings also vary in size and makeup depending on the weather. In a small area, you can match dead trees against each other like puzzle pieces. You can figure out the exact calender year for each ring, for progressively older and older trees.

    Guess how far back we can precisely date every ring? Over 10,000 years for one area, and over large areas of Europe over 7,000 years. In the US, bristlecone pines are dated back to 8,500 years ago. These are also verified against each other, so we know that the records are accurate. (For the record, because I fear this will get misinterpreted, 10,000 years old is the oldest for which we know the date of every single ring. Beyond that, we have floating islands of matched tree rings with gaps inbetween, which will go back much much further, but we just don’t have enough pieces to tie them exactly to each other. This most certainly shouldn’t be misconstrued as the world being 10,000 years old instead of 6,000)

    To go further, creationists like to argue that this or that method of dating is unreliable. Well, how do we judge reliability? We compare things to each other. The trees are radiocarbon dated, and we can tell that it’s very accurate along the entire length the well established tree timeline. We can tell that the depth in layers of earth is accurate because we can match fossilized trees there against our tree record, and against the carbon dating. We can take animal fossils from the same layers and compare them to modern animals, and observe the changes in features, and compare the DNA and check the expected mutation rate, and carbon date those as well.

    ALL of this evidence matches up. Even once we go beyond the tree record, radiocarbon dating, geology, genetics, morphology, palentology and so many more all agree with each other extraordinarily well.

    By the way, there’s plenty of records of floods in areas. We know how a flood shows up in the layers of dirt, we know what happens to trees that have been submerged for extended periods, so on and so forth. Yet in all the millions of pieces of evidence, there’s absolutely no sign of a global flood. None. It’s not a matter of interpretation of the data, it just did not happen. The only way you could conceivably believe that it happened is to accuse millions of scientists of profound incompetence or some sort of sinister plot. It’s insulting, which is why so many people get angry with creationists.

    (Just in case someone says “OMG Wikipedia you lose all arguments evar!”, the article HAS citations. Go read them before you start making up reasons why they’re wrong. They’re not online, so you’ll have to go look them up.)

  380. @JakeTheSnake

    Yes, explanations from a doctor can be a good sign. We once visited four doctors about a certain important question–the first three all said the same thing with very little added information, while the fourth gave a convincing explanation as to why we should not follow the advice of the first three. We trusted him and he turned out to be right. And no surprise, since his explanation made quite a lot of sense. Caveat emptor as usual.

    I too heard from one doctor (whom I do trust) that a man should have approximately one orgasm every day to maintain prostate health. Maybe that explains wet dreams: involuntary bodily functions kick in to save us when we don’t use our bodies as nature (god?) intended–including masturbation!

  381. Evidence 472:

    You must all agree we can not breed dogs to become nondogs can we?

    Um. Of course we could. We bred wolves to be non-wolves. That was simpler than the dog example, because you just keep taking the most docile and obedient wolves and eventually you get wolves that never grow out of being cubs, i.e. dogs. This would take a long time, but you could breed dogs to some other purpose until they became a separate species, absolutely. Humans have done this again and again; it’s called domestication.

    479:

    “The Bible cannot be used to prove itself.” Thats like saying we can’t look in the White House to prove the president lives there. Silly.

    No, it’s like saying you can’t ask the White House for an opinion on whether a White House press release is full of lies. You could, but it’s a meaningless exercise. Nothing can corroborate itself. If you trust the Bible you do so on faith, not evidence, because there IS no evidence.

    This is the exceptionalism of Bibliolatry. Even if the original words were handed down by God, it’s been knocking around a lot since then, and human (i.e. fallible) committees decided what was in and what was out. They argued over the two incompatible creation stories in Genesis and finally just put them both in and hoped no one would notice. They put in some Gospels but not others, and still managed to leave in two versions of Jesus’ ancestry (is he descended from David through Joseph, or is he not descended from Joseph at all?). Were they stupid? Incompetent? Did they not READ these texts and see that they didn’t match?

    No. None of the above. They knew, as you do not, that these texts are not to be taken literally. “All of scripture is valid for instruction and enlightenment” or some such, but not “all of scripture tells accurate, specific historical and scientific facts.”

    And THEN came the translations. Short of learning Biblical Hebrew, and studying the culture and the times extensively, you’re relying on another set of fallible humans, the translators, to tell you what the text says. The line translated in KJV as “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” is translated in a Greek version as something more like “don’t patronize apothecaries.” The KJV translators were trying to please their patron, King James, who had a wacky paranoid horror of witches. Same reason they added that ‘in spirit’ bit to the Beatitudes. Jesus was talking about the real, actual poor, and King James would NOT have qualified. They deliberately falsified the translation to keep themselves out of trouble.

    Jesus would have spoken Hebrew only in the Temple; to get a sense of his words, you’d have to study Aramaic—but wait, there’s nothing in the Bible actually written by anyone who ever met him, so that’s a waste of time. Learn the Greek the Gospels were written in, more than half a century later by people who not only never met Jesus, but had no language in common with him or anyone who ever did meet him (except maybe Pilate, who as an educated Roman might have had some Greek).

    The Bible is just a book. To think otherwise is Bibliolatry. I can write you a book that says that the Earth was created out of the dung that falls through the grate of the Heavenly Stable, and put in a line that says “everything this book says is true,” and will you believe it? No, of course not, but 6000 years from now someone will!

    And now I think I’m finally exhausted.

  382. OK, one more. Era 486:

    I too heard from one doctor (whom I do trust) that a man should have approximately one orgasm every day to maintain prostate health. Maybe that explains wet dreams: involuntary bodily functions kick in to save us when we don’t use our bodies as nature (god?) intended–including masturbation!

    When I was discussing this issue with MY urologist, he said that wet dreams take care of the surplus—when you’re fifteen. Adults need to masturbate. I live in a majority-Catholic town, to put it mildly, and he told me that his patients who are priests really don’t like hearing that, but he tells them anyway.

  383. “Does it claim to be true? The Bible claims to be true and it claims to be the word of God.”

    Whoa. So if Moby Dick stopped every few paragraphs to reiterate that it was a true story and the word of God, you’d be obliged to take it literally? What about the Koran, or Norse eddas?

    “If God can make the world in six days can’t He protect His book from errors? I think so.”

    I don’t.

    I’ve no doubt you can rationalize away at least some of the contradictions on that page. However, to do so you will essentially have to interpret the conflicting passages in different ways–a humble person might take the occasion to admit that even if the Bible itself is “True” when read “correctly”, interpretation is surely fallible.

    (Of course, the more parsimonious explanation is that the Bible is a book like any other, a somewhat carelessly edited compendium of old myths, stories and texts with no more or less historicity than Homer.)

    —–

    Back to the real world (which, being God’s creation, must be at least as true as the Bible, right?), any thoughts on stalactites, fossil sorting, or any of the other fallacious arguments you made a little way back?

  384. Maybe fish are lower in the strata because they were buried first (closer to the bottom). Maybe birds are last because they could fly longer before succumbing to the flood and are on top with other creature in between sorted as they drowned and were buried?

    No. Fish would have survived longer than birds, actually (except for the fact that they would have choked on the brine or vice versa). The only bird that could even survive a little while would be an albatross, and at any rate, even the longest flying albatross would sink to the water. The corpses would not begin to fossilize until reaching the bottom of the flood zone, and with a whole world full of water, that would have taken a while (because currents would have kept everything from settling, unlike in a pond.)

    If that were true, then EVERYTHING would be on the same strata, which also disproves the idea of a global flood- since everything’s not on the same strata.

    Read me at #414, please, and discuss.

  385. While I’m at it, some relevant Creationist Claims:

    CH100. The Bible says it; I believe it; that settles it.

    CH100.1. Science must be interpreted in light of scripture.

    CH101. The Bible is inerrant.

    CH101.1. If part of the Bible is wrong, none of it can be trusted.

    CH102. The Bible is literal.

    CH102.1. Genesis must be literal; it is straightforward narrative.

    CH102.2. Genesis must be literal; later writers refer to it as fact.

  386. Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago): “He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing.”

    The Bible claimed that the earth freely floated in space. Science then thought that the earth sat on a large animal. We now know that the earth has a free float in space.

    Hebrews 11:3 (written 2000 years ago): “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

    The Bible claims that all creation is made of invisible material. Science then was ignorant of the subject. We now know that the entire creation is made of invisible elements called “atoms.”

    Leviticus 17:11 (written 3000 years ago): “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

    The Scriptures declare that blood is the source of life. Up until 120 years ago, sick people were “bled”, and many died because of the practice. We now know that blood is the source of life. If you lose your blood, you will lose your life.

    Genesis 1:1,3 (written 3,450 years ago): “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and motion. “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the earth (matter) . . . And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.”

    Psalm 8:8: “And the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas.”
    What does the Bible mean by “paths” of the seas?

    The sea is just a huge mass of water, how then could it have “paths?” Man discovered the existence of ocean currents in the 1850’s, but the Bible declared the science of oceanography 2,800 years ago. Matthew Maury (1806- 1873) is considered to be the father of oceanography. He was bedridden during a serious illness and asked his son to read a portion of the Bible to him. While listening, he noticed the expression “paths of the sea.” Upon his recovery, Maury took God at His word and went looking for these paths. His book on oceanography is still considered a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.

    Job 38:12, 14, (written 3500 years ago) God Himself says: “Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It [the earth] is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.”

    Modern science has come to understand that the earth’s rotation on its axis is responsible for the sun’s rising and setting. The picture here is of a vessel of clay being turned or rotated upon the potter’s wheel — an accurate analogy of the earth’s rotation.

    Genesis 2:1 (after creation): “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”

    The Hebrew word used here is the past definite tense for the verb “finished,” indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was “finished” — once and for all. That is what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. It states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed. There is no “creation” ongoing today. It is “finished” exactly as the Bible states.

    Chapter one is the retelling of creation. Chapter two God brings the animals past Adam to name them not two stories thrown together.

    Isaiah 40:12 (written 2,800 years ago): “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand . . .”

    We are told that God has measured the waters and set a proper amount of water on the earth. Modern science has proved that the quantity of water on earth is just enough for our needs. If the sea became three meters deeper, the water would absorb all the carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and no creature could live any longer.

    Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago): “He stretches out the north over the empty place . . .”

    Less than 200 years ago, through the advent of massive telescopes, science learned about the great empty space in the north.

    Isaiah 40:22 (written 2,800 years ago): “It is He that . . . stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.”

    Scientists are beginning to understand that the universe is expanding, or stretching out. At least seven times in Scripture we are clearly told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain.

  387. Evidence, don’t start saying that the Bible makes correct claims about science. The Quran does the same.

  388. Evidence @492:

    CH130. The Bible’s accuracy on other scientific points shows overall accuracy.

    CH131. The Bible says that the earth is round.

    CH132. The Bible says that the earth is unsupported.

    CH133. The Bible got the water cycle right.

    CH134. Records say civilization was man’s original state.

    CH135. The Bible specifies good medical and hygienic practices.

    CH135.1. The Bible specifies the best time for circumcision.

    CH135.2. Moses reveals that blood is the essence of life.

  389. If something is True for you, subjectively, then that’s all that counts. If the Bible is true, it’s should be used as a private, quiet truth that doesn’t require band-standing, IMHO.

  390. EVIDENCE: You don’t understand the strata issue. There are lots of layers which have certain species. Then comes a point at which they stop. It’s not thta fish are at the botttom. It’s that Trilobites stop.

    Nautiloids suddenly get reduced. Dinosaurs are all (every last one of them) a lot of layers below any large mammal. Trinodonts are all below rodents. And so on, and so on, and so on. This is inconsistent with any other flood’s behavior.

    The clam on the top of the hill, are in layers which can be traced to other places, and they are only found in those layers.

    So how did the clams get to the top of the hill, and the botttom of the valley, and why are the land animals above them in the valley, and absent on the hilltop?

    How, I wonder, can you say questions should be choosing the best answer, when you dismiss the conclusions of people who did just that, because it doesn’t fit with what you already believe? You have a litmus test (does it agree with the book of your religion), and if it fails to meet that, you say it not, “good science”, so you are refusing to look at 1,001 ways and choose the best one. You have one way, and that’s the only one you will accept.

    Evidence: Re proofs: You are confusing a “micro-question” (is there a president in the White House” to a “macro-question”.

    And your answer proves my point: A book whch says, “the President of the United States lives in the White House” can’t be proven by pointing to the words, you have to go to the White House.

    So when you say, “I know god made the world because the Bible says so”, and I say, “that’s nice, It also says Joshua stopped the Sun, Methuselah lived more than 900 years, Cain got a wife (from where?), and thousands of people were fed on five loaves and three fish, with leftovers. Show me the proof.

    And you say, “look, it’s right there in the book.”

    Well, I can do that with any book. I can tell you that First Man and First Woman climbed out into the world, and they were in the Din’eh Ta, and all the other things which are in the Navajo view of the world.

    I can show you the writings of the Shinto and how Amerteratsu made the world.

    And when you say, “Prove these things to me,” I will say, “It’s all there in chapter one”.

    And you will laugh.

    To prove the writings which say the president lives in the White House, you have to go to the White House.

    So how can you do that with the Bible? Where is the proof (the physical evidence)?

    That book can’t do it. Hell, with translational problems we can’t even make it clear we know just what it says, so what sort of proof it that (who wrote the letters of Paul, and how do we know. Are the Deuterine Pauline letters really Deuterine, or did Paul write them).

    We know (not think, know) that some of the Gospels are false. There never was the census which is supposed to have caused Joseph and Mary to be in Bethlehem.

    If something so close to the present is false, what of the very beginnings of time?

    Lots of things which claim to be true aren’t. People claim they did things all the time. Things which they didn’t do.

    Xopher: It’s not clear that Greek would have been unknown to “anyone who ever met Jesus” as it was a widespread trading language, and a lot of the things going on the, Jewish, world were struggles between the Hellenic Jews, and the non-Hellenic. It might not have been a first language, or even a language of trivial fluency, but it’s probably a number of people who knew Jesus, spoke/understood Greek.

    Era is more annoying than Evidence. So far as I can tell he’s trolling. Civil, but meant to make heat, rather than shed light.

    Wrong place/wrong time? That’s silly. The house was built. The conditions for lightning arose, and it was the point at which the lightning struck.

    Is the tree in the “wrong place, at the wrong time?,” as well? No. That requires the ability to be in some other place at that time.

    Evidence is as least honest that he doesn’t want real science. “Good” science agrees with the bible, Bad science doesn’t. Architecture, by this reasoning, is “bad” because there come points where the rule of thumb that pi = 3 doesn’t work.

    At which point we come to the irreconcilable difference. Because the bible doesn’t speak of evolution (and more than it does of space shuttles), and he refuses to entertain it.

    Tenn: Those labels are worrisome. They are meant to make it possible to avoid lawsuits; and to makes sure that some uses (which would be really bad, like using Raid wasp and hornet spray as a mosquito repellent.

  391. @xopher

    Moving water Mixed with dirt naturally stratifies. Get a jar with dirt in it and shake it and see what happens. (Feel free to add this to the next MAKE mag.)

    Fish did not drown but were buried. It was not just rain that flooded the Earth but the fountains of the deep flooded it as much as anything if not more.

    The deep drilling that Russia is doing finds this virgin salt water in the Earth.

    Was there salt water then? Was it as salty as it is now? We know the ocean gets saltier every year. By the way why is it not saltier if it is millions of years old? Jack will cite this for me I am sure.

    All the fish adapted to the water they found themselves living in. Thats good design.

  392. Also, a few from the other side:

    DEU 14: Of all clean birds ye shall eat…And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

    Fail.

    LEV 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

    Fail.

    LEV 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
    LEV 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
    LEV 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

    Four legged beetles?! I suppose they have at least four…

    Fail.

    ISA 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

    MAT 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    Fail.

    (Sounds like ‘circle’ means disk, not sphere. Pretty ignorant, especially since the Egyptians and Greeks already knew the Earth was a sphere by Isaiah’s time…)

    JOB 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
    JOB 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

    Foundations or no? Whoops.

    Fail.

  393. Back to the lizards.
    So you/the article is saying the lizards “could not” eat plants before being on this island. It was impossible for them.
    But now through added information in their DNA they now can?

    No lizards had big heads or could bite hard before their DNA had added this information.

    Is this correct?

  394. Wow, that’s just sad. Are you really so impressed that you can cut the bible up into little snippets, and hunt through them until you get a handful that sound vaguely like something someone misheard in science class?

    The ‘science’ you cite there is stretched out of context at best, and much of it is made up, twisted, or just plain nonsensical. Almost none of it whatsoever has more than the thinnest possible connection to your quotes.

    Worse yet, it’s pretty much impossible to predict anything from those quotes. They’re devoid of any predictive power. Huh, great empty space in the north, eh? Well let’s look north, find the first thing that might be ’empty’, and use that? What could it be, the lands where no trees grow? Sure, that works! How about the north pole, where all the ice is floating and there’s no land? Why not!

    And on top of it all you’ve already admitted that you decide what to nitpick in the bible arbitrarily based on whether you can justify it to yourself!

    These little things you reassure yourself with are not impressive. I’m just flabbergasted by how out of touch you are with so much of the rational knowledge we have of the world.

  395. Evidence:

    No. The lizards could eat plants. Just not very well. (Obviously, since if they couldn’t get at least some benefit from plants, there would be no benefit to accumulating adaptations that allowed them to eat them better.)

    At first they had weak jaws- not so weak that it was impossible to chew plants, just difficult. Perhaps it took them longer to chew, or they were restricted to eating plants with softer leaves.

    They could also digest the plants to some degree, but perhaps not very well. Initially maybe they had to make do with the simpler carbohydrates in the plants. Probably they had some gut bacteria to assist them with the cellulose, but the process wasn’t very efficient until the new muscles developed to seal the system up better.

  396. DEU 14: Of all clean birds ye shall eat…And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

    Just because you classify them one way now does not mean they have always been that way.

    LEV 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

    A rabbit eats its droppings, this is eating food that it has already been partially digested i.e.. chewing its cud.

    LEV 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
    LEV 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
    LEV 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

    Four legged beetles?! I suppose they have at least four…

    This is a new one to me but on the surface I would say they ate them all.

    ISA 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

    MAT 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    Isaiah is poetry for being bigger than the Earth. He didn’t see them all from the vantage point of the hill but Satan used his devilish voodoo. He is a spirt being and operates differently than you or I do.

    JOB 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
    JOB 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

    Foundations or no? Whoops.

    You are telling me you don’t think the Earth has foundation?

  397. Was there salt water then? Was it as salty as it is now? We know the ocean gets saltier every year. By the way why is it not saltier if it is millions of years old? Jack will cite this for me I am sure.

    Happy to oblige:

    CD221.1. Sodium accumulates in oceans too fast for an old earth:

    “A detailed analysis of sodium shows that 35.6 x 1010 kg/yr come into the ocean, and 38.1 x 1010 kg/yr are removed (Morton 1996). Within measurement error, the amount of sodium added matches the amount removed.”

    See also:
    CD221. Oceans do not have enough dissolved minerals for an old earth.

    Doesn’t it bother you to “know” so many things that are false? Have you ever found anything trustworthy in the creationist literature you’re obviously picking this stuff up from?

  398. No, that’s not at all correct.

    My understanding from that and other articles on the lizards is that the original species from the other island only had a few percent of its diet made up of plant material. It was unable to get a great deal of nutrition from plants because it was optimized for eating insects. It did not have a cecal valve, it just had muscles around that area and the area was smooth.

    On the new island, there were not enough insects to support them. After they adapted to their environment by changing size and shape to a small degree, and forming a structure internally where no structure existed, they were able to subsist mostly on plants, and they ate the native lizards out of house and home.

    I’m unaware how much they know about all of the changes, but it’s not likely that all of them were just simple recessive genes. The effect was most likely (I’m guessing) caused by genetic changes in the volume of certain growth proteins produce. However, the cecal valve is important because it shows that a structure that didn’t exist can come from minor changes. This is something that many creationists claim can’t happen, as they seem to think a mutation is something that pops into existence a completely new gene that grows a third arm or something silly like that.

  399. What is is about Verbithrax loqacius subspecies biblicus that causes it to act like catnip for otherwise sane people? Is there some unresolved ambivalence toward the Bible that has to be expunged through counterargument?

  400. Sounds like adaptation and not evolution.

    Develop = To a go through a process of natural growth or exercise. Timmy developed his biceps be lifting weights.

    No new information. No evolution.

  401. Adaptation is a part of evolution. What are you calling information? If every lizard of this new generation is a different size, shape, and has a different structure than the original lizards on the island, and their children are similar to themselves even if put in a different environment, then it’s clearly a change in genetic information.

    The article doesn’t go into the specifics of their methodology, but that’s really basic stuff. Your insistence that the scientists are utterly incompetent without actually hunting down their published work is still insulting and assholish.

    Timmy can work out all he wants, by the way, but his kids won’t be any stronger for it. However, he can teach his kids to work out, and they will be stronger. Not all inheritance is genetic, of course. But for lizards, they’re probably not learning from their parents. Lamarkism was a valid hypothesis, and if it worked, scientists would believe it. It didn’t work. Genetic evolution does work.

  402. A rabbit eats its droppings, this is eating food that it has already been partially digested i.e.. chewing its cud.

    The passage specifically uses the Hebrew word “gerah” which means cud, and sometimes a few other things, but never excrement or dung. It also uses the verb “to bring up” which is an awfully funny way of referring to how poops come out.

    I’ll admit it’s not an extraordinary example of scientific illiteracy. Obviously the people who wrote the book SHOULD have been able to observe basic stuff like how many legs an insect has, or what a hare chews. But of course it’s easy to see how the author might not have made such observations, being a priest writing dietary edicts rather than a keen observer of nature. Yet another example of sloppy writing and witless editing. You’d think God would be more careful.

    Isaiah is poetry for being bigger than the Earth.

    Poetry? It’s not all literal?

    I suppose the Earth must have a foundation. But what’s holding up the North then? The empty place? Any passages with a detailed description of the mantle or plate tectonics? Or is all you have a couple passages offering descriptions of contemporary myths about a round, flat earth hanging from the ‘heavens’ that are vague enough to be twisted to sorta kinda resemble our modern understanding?

    (Our latest modern understanding, I should add. I mean, science changes all the time, so I guess next week someone might publish a paper saying the Earth is flat after all…..Kidding.)

  403. Evidence: Which is it, the settling of comingled things (by the by, that’s why after floods, things are confused, with the things from the top beloew the things from the bottom… see my previous comments), or was it the strata of the deep?

    Wait… DEU 14: Of all clean birds ye shall eat…And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

    Just because you classify them one way now does not mean they have always been that way

    So the bat wasn’t always a mammal? It…dare I say it, evolved (from the birds)?

    Again, you say Isaiah is poetry, except that you used that very verse to support the scientific accuracy of the bible.

    Which is it… proof the bible is “good science”, or poetic metaphor for benevolence of God?

  404. “This is something that many creationists claim can’t happen, as they seem to think a mutation is something that pops into existence a completely new gene that grows a third arm or something silly like that.”

    We see third arms often or five legged cows and two headed snakes. No new information same information gone wrong.

  405. ..and a nude pic of Takuan..

    Wait.. you’ve seen Takuan with clothes ON?
    I didn’t realize we made clothes in that… shape.

    __

    I can’t believe this thread is still going to be honest, the answers that have been offered have been pretty damn good; clear, concise and verbose.

    Even with little or no useful information from Evidence (per all the quality answers offered), everyone seems to be on their uber friendliest/helpful behaviour, even the ones that have sounded snarky. We’re on post #439 of this shit for goodness sake!

    Seriously, mad props all ’round for the level-threadedness, even to Evidence, for actually returning day after day to continue to investigate and chat.. somewhat one-sidedly on the info-ratio in fairness, but not at least, from the woefully misinformed high-horse he started on.

    You guys have learnt to make friends! :)

    (what ever happened to ol’ MoonBatz?) ← entirely rhetorical..

    Oops! -10 HP & -10 Sanity for accidentally naming He Who Shall Not Be Named..

    ..does that even count as invocation? ← not rhetorical..

  406. Argh. I mean Bats have nipples. NIPPLES.

    *************

    catnip for otherwise sane people

    [hoping I’m included in that remark] Pretty much the Someone is Wrong on the Internet Effect, I think.

  407. Evidence,

    Would you mind giving us a concrete definition of “Information”? Or is it just pretty much anything that happens must not be adding information because that’s impossible and it happened?

  408. A rabbit eats its droppings, this is eating food that it has already been partially digested i.e.. chewing its cud.

    OK, now I no longer believe in your sincerity. You could not possibly believe that eating its own droppings counts as chewing the cud. You are just trying to win by denying you’ve lost, at every point.

    I’m sorry I spent so much time explaining things to you. Others told me I was wasting my time, but I ignored them because I thought you were sincere. My apologies to them. Your mind is not only closed, it’s hermetically sealed and buried under 2000 years of intellectual detritus.

  409. One of my favorite mutations is lactose tolerance. That’s pretty well documented, allows me to drink lattes, emerged about 10,000 years ago along with the domestication of cattle, and has been traced to a whole family of mutations of lactase regulating genes.

    Does that count as new information? Why not?

  410. Deformations such as multiple heads and limbs are most likely locational errors during the zygote phase. You’re correct, they’re not genetic information, but that’s not really what I was referring to.

    Those attributes won’t breed true. The offspring of a two-headed cow will most likely have one head.

    (The proclivity to have two heads probably has genetic roots, insomuch as genetics define body form, but there’s probably not anything that specifically codes for twoheadedness. That’s also offtopic though)

    The lizards on the island presumably breed true. I don’t know for certain, not having seen the paper myself, and if you accuse the scientists of such a failure without yourself getting the paper and analyzing their methodology, you’re still just being an asshole and proving nothing.

  411. Thanks a lot xopher

    I just did a quick google for the definition of “chew the cud”.

    Here is the first one I came to.
    “to chew the food over again, as a cow”

    My kids showed rabbits in 4h this (eating their droppings) is counted as chewing their cud. I did not just make it up on the spot.

    I can wait until the next evolution proof boingboing puts up to talk some more but don’t say I wasn’t honest.

    I been insulted often but that one stings from you.

    I can agree to disagree agreeably. I have enjoyed all the debate and generally like all of you.

    TAKUAN operates in a realm all his own but now and then even his things made a little sense but if we bowl I am not going to be alone with him.

  412. One thing to keep in mind, by the way…

    The argument that mutation can only destroy information is easy to sympathize with, but it’s based on a lack of understanding of the scale of time.

    On a short time scale, we will have a hard time finding examples of newly created genes in complex animals. For example, one might argue that lactose tolerance is the damaging of a regulatory gene, showing only distruction. We don’t see lactose digesting genes pop up suddenly.

    The reason is that our library of genes has been created by mutations over billions of years. Lactase was probably the deformation of a very old digestive enzyme created before mammals even existed. There have been billions of years for all this mutation to accumulate.

    We do, however, see the evolution of novel new genes in bacteria, who reproduce fast, and share often. New genes for enzymes that eat nylon have been found, and nylon only existed at all recently!

    Complex multicellular animals such as mammals and reptiles are the exception rather than the rule. We don’t mutate very much since we reproduce very slowly. Instead, we mostly repurpose the parts of the huge set of genes that already existed.

    Every single piece of DNA today is a mutation. It was either a duplication, modification, deletion, insertion, or recombination of existing genes, all the way back to the first DNA.

    We can show that the genes that determine our heads and tails are modifications of the same ones that do the same things in houseflies. (Interestingly enough, between insects and animals, our backs and fronts are flipped, genetically speaking. In one branch or the other, the gene that codes front from back was interpreted differently.)

  413. Good stuff, GTMOOGLE,

    Let me also quote from Creationist Claim CB102: “Mutations do not add information”:

    It is hard to understand how anyone could make this claim, since anything mutations can do, mutations can undo. Some mutations add information to a genome; some subtract it. Creationists get by with this claim only by leaving the term “information” undefined, impossibly vague, or constantly shifting. By any reasonable definition, increases in information have been observed to evolve. We have observed the evolution of

    * increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)
    * increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)
    * novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)
    * novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

    If these do not qualify as information, then nothing about information is relevant to evolution in the first place.

  414. Also, primitive multicellularity has been evolved in algae in a laboratory setting. If that doesn’t count as new information or a new feature….

  415. Measurements of information — whether Shannon, Kolmogarov, or Evidence’s no doubt idiosyncratic system — aren’t really relevant to a discussion of evolution. Outside of Intelligent Design, I don’t think anyone has tried to synthesize a union between evolution and information theory. By all means chat about information theory, but don’t let Evidence pull a bait and switch on you by conflating what you say about the information content of DNA with wild statements about how he thinks this applies to evolution.

    For the record, mainstream evolutionary theory doesn’t have a lot to say about the creation or destruction of information.

    BTW, could someone parse this statement of Evidence’s for me: “My kids showed rabbits in 4h”? Does he mean 4th grade? I get the feeling there’s a bunch of information missing from that paragraph that explains how the kids proved that coprophagia is identical to rumination.

  416. Evidence: By that logic (re rabbits) dogs are kocher and chew the cud, because when they vomit, they eat it again; which is much closer to the actual definition than the one you have created.

    Cud \Cud\ (k[u^]d), n. [AS. cudu, cwudu,cwidu,cweodo, of
    uncertain origin; cf, G. k[“o]der bait, Icel. kvi[eth]r womb,
    Goth. qi[thorn]us. Cf. Quid.]
    1. That portion of food which is brought up into the mouth by
    ruminating animals from their first stomach, to be chewed
    a second time.

    Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed,
    and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye
    eat. –Levit. xi. 3

    cud (kd)
    Food that has been partly digested and brought up from the first stomach to the mouth again for further chewing by ruminants, such as cattle and sheep.

    Veterinary Dictionary: cud

    The bolus regurgitated by ruminants. It contains fiber, other food particles, rumen liquor and flora.

    * c. chewing — after regurgitation, chewing on the remains of the regurgitus.

    None of that is related to rabbits excreting from the cecum (a specialised area of the lower gut, in which some of the food is fermented to gain B Vitamins)

    I have to say that, with Xopher, there isn’t; apparently, any point to continuing. You don’t asnwer questions, repeat assertions which have been responded to (in fact, repudiated) and admit that you aren’t actually going to listen to anything which violates the irrational (by which I mean decisions made without reason; since you say your faith in the correctness of the bible is your first test of the validity of a thing).

    That last is the real killer. It means, contrary to my initial thinking from your tone, and apparent sincerity, you are not acting in good faith, but are baiting us; since you will be able to say, “I bearded the lions in their den” and they could not convince me.”

    Which is true; you say your mind is closed. You want us to investigate One thousand and one questions; but demand we admit the answer is already known.

    I will close with a passage from Matthew (13:10-15, which you might wish to think on, when you peruse the texts of Genesis:

    And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

    He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

    Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

    And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

    For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

  417. 4-H is a group (sort of like scouting) which is focused on animal and plant related things.

    So they grow cattle, chickens, rabbits, swine, etc., and show them.

    Where they are judged.

  418. I feel as though I should point out that lateral gene transfer happens naturally in complex organisms as well. We pick up virus DNA on a regular basis, and recently an entire ancient parasite’s bacterial genome was found within the genome of a species of fly that carries the modern version of the same parasite. On a side note, until this recent find, whole or mostly whole bacterial genomes were thrown out as contamination when sequencing animal genomes. I’ve always thought that that the human LAC gene was transfered from bacteria, as the ability to break down/ferment lactose is a common bacterial trait, and it is much easier to steal it than to (re)make it.

    There is no need to insult EVIDENCE, as I believe he is completely sincere. I also believe he is willfully ignorant. It really doesn’t help his point when he destroys his own arguments before you folks get a chance to jump in. If he was my pastor, I would ask him to go back to school and take a logic class (useful in many situations), a few history courses (secular and non-), and possibly some apologetics courses. I feel bad that I’ve apparently mastered the last in a weekend, better than he has in his pastoral career. (granted, I feel dirty using a set of rules that states that you should brow-beat anyone who vehemently disagrees with you into silence. and saddened that it usually works)

    Well, looking forward to more entertainment from y’all.

  419. I think I’m in agreement about the futility of discussion with (the increasingly in-aptly nicknamed) Evidence. Someday I’d like to meet a creationist interested in learning about the wonderful world around him.

    I’d just like reiterate the point about birds and bats though. Evidence’s response was that classifications change. Which is of course exactly right.

    With no prior knowledge, especially without much up-close examination, one might very logically classify a bat as a bird. This is exactly the sort of classification I would expect a bronze-age sheep herder (or his priest/chieftain/whatever) to make.

    Which is the whole point.

    Because it is NOT the sort of classification I would expect a God (who supposedly made the frigging bat, after all) to make. Bats have fur. And no feathers. They have fingers and claws on their wings. They have proper teeth. The females have vaginas, and nipples. They give birth to live young. They nurse them. They are far more closely related to rhinoceroses than to any bird.

    But the bible doesn’t say that. Because it wasn’t written by a god. It was written by a motley assortment of bronze-age kings and priests and sheepherders.

  420. @Evidence

    Say you’re going to try to evangelize someone who basically regards all religions as equally unlikely to be right – I postulate that your best bet for a sales pitch is on the poetry of what you’re selling. As far as predictive powers go, your books aren’t even as good as someone with a tarot deck. Why should I believe you and your book, when a street magician can do better? And that’s not even comparing you to science!

    The only really predictable thing from the bible is that one group of believers will screw up another group. That’s been a long standing pattern.

    Can you say “shibboleth” ?

    ~~~

  421. “there is no need to insult Evidence”

    I agree. Pernicious memes should be met with fire and sword, not name calling.

  422. All the fish adapted to the water they found themselves living in. Thats good design.

    No.

    Freshwater and saltwater fish follow entirely different biological processes. For a freshwater to survive in saltwater, or vice versa (with notable exceptions as salmon which still suffer from the change), they would have to evolve. Saltwater fish absorb through osmosis salty water and cast out through diffusion the salts and minerals to regulate their PH. Freshwater absorb through osmosis fresh water and cast out through urination the excess water.

    They do not have the same systems in place to handle the change in environment; it is why they DIE in the wrong one.

    To handle the change in the environment, they would have to evolve, which you deny. There is no other way- you say adaptation is the limit, but saltwater fish do not adapt to fresh waters. They die. So too do freshwater fish die in salt waters.

    If a fresh water fish spawned a fish less prone to accepting the salt and minerals… or with membranes that worked equally well to diffuse after osmosis… then you might see a change. But that’s evolution.

    I too take my leave of this conversation. Good day, all!

  423. Evidence: “If God can make the world in six days can’t He protect His book from errors? I think so.”

    Jeremiah 7:22

    King James Version: For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

    New International Version: For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,

    Both of these translations can’t be correct; why did He let this happen?

  424. @Takuan

    You need to make sure you mix the ashes with holy water first, else you might as well just curse your own soil.

  425. Misquoting Jesus – here’s a book written by a guy who originally took the whole thing completely literally, then started to study the history of the translation. I saw an interview with him and was impressed, though I haven’t read the book yet. I find it interesting that his effort was started because of his literalism, but the effort actually let him to a different point of view. I quote from the review on amazon:

    From Booklist
    The popular perception of the Bible as a divinely perfect book receives scant support from Ehrman, who sees in Holy Writ ample evidence of human fallibility and ecclesiastical politics. Though himself schooled in evangelical literalism, Ehrman has come to regard his earlier faith in the inerrant inspiration of the Bible as misguided, given that the original texts have disappeared and that the extant texts available do not agree with one another. Most of the textual discrepancies, Ehrman acknowledges, matter little, but some do profoundly affect religious doctrine. To assess how ignorant or theologically manipulative scribes may have changed the biblical text, modern scholars have developed procedures for comparing diverging texts. And in language accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman explains these procedures and their results. He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants. In discounting not only the authenticity of existing manuscripts but also the inspiration of the original writers, Ehrman will deeply divide his readers. Although he addresses a popular audience, he undercuts the very religious attitudes that have made the Bible a popular book. Still, this is a useful overview for biblical history collections. Bryce Christensen
    Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    ~~~

  426. @khatru

    …low reading level your problem? I’ve been reading and re-reading the selection, and I’m not seeing where you have a problem. I must admit, it takes practice reading such abnormal grammar/syntax without thought, but it isn’t impossible to wrap your mind around it. It’s a bit archaic, but it is still English!

    Like I was telling EVIDENCE, don’t use weak arguments – they only make your point of view look bad.

  427. @Agent 86

    Actually, I think the point is basically valid – either god spake or spake not but the two are mutually exclusive. The point remains the same, but under literal reading, the two are inconsistent, no?

  428. Agent, agreed, the sentences are virtually the same, albeit arranged differently.

    A weak point indeed, I’m sure there are much better examples of differently translated passages..

    A quick google revealed the altogether more profound mistranslation of the word “almah” (young woman) into the greek word “parthenos” (virgin!), here, starting the now dogmatically unquestionable myth of the virgin-birth.

    Also here, the mistranslation of the word “Ekklesia” as “church”, when it actually means “assembly” in a completely secular way. This was decreed specifically by King James in his rules of translation:

    “” Two of the rules which King James made mandatory affected the translation of the Greek word “ekklesia”:

    Article 1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit.

    Article 3. The old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the Word Church not to be translated Congregation etc. “”

    This other site has a lot more studies in a similar vein.

  429. @khatru
    The NIV is a paraphrase not a translation.
    It is like eating food someone else chewed on and digested.
    (Cud?) :0)

    The NIV is a bible for baby christians and nonchristians.

    KJV is a word for word translation. (But I am not KJV only if you are aware of that debate)

    @jack
    God could classify a bat a million ways you would never think of but as you put it He was telling shepherds and mostly uneducated people.

  430. Agent 86 @ 541:
    “Low reading level” isn’t my problem. In the King James Version — and most versions — God clearly says that he did not instruct his people regarding burnt offerings and sacrifices. In the NIV, he clearly says that he did. The NIV adds the word “just,” which is apparently not in the original.

    Jake @ 540:
    I read Misquoting Jesus last year and really enjoyed it. There are only a half dozen or so translation errors he talks about, which isn’t much to hang a book on, but all the information on how the text of the Bible has been handled over the centuries is really interesting.

  431. Evidence: I like your line that “The NIV is a paraphrase not a translation,” which seems very appropriate.

    I have read people saying they learned Greek just to read the Bible, which I can sympathize with. I’ve yet to find a translation that I’m completely happy with.

    However, even leaving out the NIV — which I’m very happy to do — there are still translation problems (such as the “virgin” issue mentioned above by Arkizzle) that do change the meaning of things, sometimes profoundly.

  432. Back to the lizards.

    So Lamarckism is wrong. Stronger jaws developed by chewing leaves can not be passed on to offspring.

    Or wanting to chew and digest food because of environmental pressures cannot be passed on to their offspring.

    Is that not what you are excited about with these lizards? Lamarckism?

    I understand that you are all sitting around giddily waiting for their DNA report. What if the DNA is the same? What happened on this island to these lizards then?

  433. Not Lamarckism at all. There is a spread of jaw power in the initial population. In their new location, the ones with strong jaws do better than their weak-jawed fellows because the food is different here. The strong-jawed ones are better fed, fitter, and so survive to have more litters of more and healthier offspring.

  434. @ARKIZZLE

    The Bible (each specific book) was written in a place and time, using their words and meanings. We are to read the words with their meaning not ours imposed upon them.

    A young maid/woman was a virgin when translated in 1611 and in . That cannot be said today.

    The Ekklesia is the called out ones. God has called out to the world. The ones who respond to the call (called out ones, sheep that hear His voice) are an assembly or a church.

  435. Evidence, sorry, I didn’t reload between reading your “back to the lizards line” and posting my “back to the virgin” one.

  436. @ANDYGATES

    So the survival of the fittest?

    Is the stronger surviving evolution? Are the traits not there already?

  437. I’m not sure if you are saying that in 1600, young women tended to be inexperienced sexually or that the meaning of the word ‘virgin’ in 1600 was explicitly unsexual.

    Our modern ideas of sex, and our modern projections of what we think the sexual practices of the ages past, are very likely misguided, to say the least. History’s glossy surface, is often troubled by real life’s inevitable tarnish.

    Also, the word virgin has had a sexual connotation since around 1300:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginity#Etymology

    In defense of the translation though, ‘almah’ does not explicitly mean virgin, but the social norms of the time would probably preclude the discussion.

    It’s an interesting debate though.

  438. @ARKIZZLE
    “I’m not sure if you are saying that in 1600, young women tended to be inexperienced sexually or that the meaning of the word ‘virgin’ in 1600 was explicitly unsexual.”

    I do not have my library with me at work to define almah or if that was the greek word used. But they (young maids) were probably made “experianced” in 1600 than a jewish girl in “0” would have been. Think of their culture and laws.

    Off the top of my head I think the definition as you are referring to is in a prophecy in Isaiah about the virgin birth and not the word used in describing Mary in the New Testament. Not that it makes that much of a difference.

  439. I believe you are right, it is Isaias.

    Basically the articles I’ve read dispute the word ‘almah’ when ‘betulah’ would be more technically correct, and in fact, more the norm of the time and of current times.

    There is a long standing debate on this subject, which has been addressed by both the church (inc. the pope) and it’s detractors over the centuries. Oddly however, the papal stance, was that it did not signify a virgin birth.

    The Papal Catechism:

    This prophecy does not announce explicitly, in the Hebrew text, the virginal birth of the Emmanuel: the word used (almah), in fact, signifies quite simply a young lady and not necessarily a virgin. Besides, we know that the Jewish tradition did not propose the ideal of perpetual virginity, nor has it ever expressed the idea of a virginal motherhood.

    There is quite a good article on jews for jesus that seems pretty unbiased:

    One cannot assert that the prophet was speaking of a virgin technically on the basis of the word almah. Nor can a serious student lightly dismiss the word as having no possible reference to a miraculous conception.

    So, between us, we are probably not going to reach a satisfactory conclusion here. Maybe we should try anyway, if only for the media coup it would give BB.

  440. This prophecy does not announce explicitly, in the Hebrew text..

    Also note, they have differentiated between “the Hebrew text” and the translations, suggesting they have different (or varied, at least) meanings. Suggesting the KJV is probably inaccurate.

  441. Evidence, I’m sorry I a) misread you and b) lost my temper.

    It IS frustrating that you don’t seem to want to answer questions, and are totally unwilling to even notice the flaws and contradictions in your book. If you won’t answer the questions about translations that contradict each other, and places where a deliberate mistranslation was done for political purposes, I don’t see much point in continuing.

    Either the Bible is wrong in saying that rabbits chew the cud, or the translation is wrong in saying “chew the cud,” and scholars can determine which, but you can’t have BOTH an infallible Bible AND infallible translations. That is just plain checkmate. Which do you choose?

  442. @ARKIZZLE

    So you want my proof for the virgin birth of Christ?

    Why it had to be and texts that support it?

  443. I like the poetry of the KJV but Willis Barnstone’s translation of the gospels and Revelations is the one I’ve gotten the most out of (his book is called The New Covenant). The bulk of the book is (fascinating) notes. It’s not a modern-Evangelical-literalist-friendly text, though, since he’s an honest scholar, not an apologist. It’s great. He includes several alternate versions of the book of Mark, showing how the canonized version has changed over the years. I’m an atheist, obviously, but Barnstone satisfies my Christian religious scholarship needs. (His awesome translation of the ten commandments appeared in Harper’s several years ago; if you have an online subscription you can get ahold of it from their archives.)

  444. Emm, not really. I was just showing a better line of mistranslations, that Khatru may have employed to better service his point.

    I don’t think you have any valid proof to be honest. So far it has just been dodging and weaving, and ambiguous language.

    If you have some books or articles you think I’d enjoy on the subject, please do share them.

    I’m not demanding anything of you Evidence, because I don’t think you can give it, and that will just leave me disappointed or frustrated, like Xopher above, and so many others in similar conversations around the world.

  445. @XOPHER

    Lets back up a second.

    1. Glad you are back
    2. Your checkmate is like me asking some one a “Do you still beat your wife?” question.

    Say the Bible is wrong in two places.= Bats Rabbits. (I say it is not)
    And I am right (play along with me) about God and judgement.

    You are willing to stand before God on judgement day and say I rejected you and the salvation you offered because rabbits don’t chew their cud?

  446. (I understand this wasn’t directed at me, but..)

    You think that’s the choice any of us are making? Based on what we’ll say on judgement day?

    How about, none of it stands up, so getting to judgement day was never even an issue.

    If I ever get to meet a god, on any day, I’ll have a lot of things to say and questions to ask, but they won’t be about rabbits or cud, nor about my lack of faith.

  447. Evidence, that’s irrelevant. What makes you think I would reject salvation on such grounds? (I reject it on quite different grounds, as it happens.)

    But “rabbits chew their cud” is at variance with observable fact. Are you saying that observable fact is wrong? They don’t match. Please answer the question.

  448. If you’re saying that part isn’t important, then you’re in line with more modern Christian thought on the whole Creation myth; that is, “it doesn’t tell what really happened at the beginning of the Earth, but so what? Christ is still Christ.”

  449. JakeTheSnake: You might also want to read his, “Lost Christianities” which just came out. It details the various “heretical” beliefs about Jesus, and discusses how/why some of them lost out in the struggle for existence (I can’t say supremecy, because not all of them wanted to be supreme).

    The various stripes of Gnosis are really interesting.

    There’s a lot of interesting things about the texts which were used, the one’s which were banished, and the way in which things were co-opted.

    Where Ehrman is useful isn’t the newness of his ideas (they aren’t) nor the amazing penetration of his exigesis (they aren’t) but his starting point. Because he was a believer in the “Truth” of the Bible, his coming to awareness of the human fallibility which is in the transmission of the message has more resonance with those who aren’t wilfully blind to possibility

    Agent: In the first passage it says God gave no commandments (I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in that day).

    In the second is says He did (I did not give them just commands about).

    Now, one could read it as the commands He did give were unjust; but that still says commands were given (contra the first example) or opens a whole ‘nother can o’ worms.

    Khatru’s reading comprehension is just fine.

    Evidence: The KJV, while a great piece of prose, is a far from accurate translation. It may be “word for word” but some of the words are wrong.

    You have some logical inconsitencies, just in how you deal with the Bible itself (much less the rest of the world). You want to use the words and understandings of the people who wrote the bible, but you refuse to use the words and understandings of the people who write on evolution [I also note that your use of, “plain reading” flies against what you want to do with the text; interpreting the words through the filters of those who wrote it isn’t plain; nor can you then say the Bible presages science; if the words are to be read in accord with the understandings of those who wrote it. God wrote it, and it’s immutable, or men wrote it, and it’s fallible, you can’t have it both ways. But you have refused to answer any of the questions about how you pick and choose. You won’t answer questions about your definitions (which means we can’t put your statments into a proper context; a la the lines you say have to be taken with the bible, except when they don’t).

    (note bene I am not discussing evolution; at this point I am discussing textualism, and hemenuetics; I will not be discussing evolution with Evidence, as he has plainly stated he’s not interested in the discussing the facts, but rather in prostlytising us about the rightness of creationism; in whatever form he prefers [which seems to be YE ID).

  450. So the survival of the fittest?

    Is the stronger surviving evolution? Are the traits not there already?

    No, the traits aren’t necessarily there already.

    Imagine that we can grade bite power on a scale from 1-20.

    Now lets say a bite power of 5 or so is ideal for chewing up an insect, and supplementing the diet with occasional soft plants.

    Then this is the value we’d expect the mainland insectivore population to tend toward: individuals with bites much weaker than that might have trouble chewing bigger, harder shelled insects, maybe even choke on one once in a while. It’ll be just a little bit harder for them to find edible food, and they’ll reproduce at a slightly lower rate than the number 5s. Likewise, individuals born with bites much more than 5 are going to use a lot of energy growing unnecessarily big strong jaws. They’ll also be selected against.

    But there will be a lot of variation. Lets say it’s a bell shaped distribution, centered on 5, with a standard deviation of 1 or so. So almost all the insectivore lizards have bites between 3 and 7. A few 2s and 8s. Essentially zero 1s or 9s. Mutant genes for jaws of strength 0 or 10 appear once in a while, but never spread to get fixed in the population.

    Now we introduce a small number of these individuals to an island with almost no insects. There are many plants, but these are on average much harder to chew than insects. The optimal jaw strength for chewing plants is somewhere around 10.

    However, there is variation in the toughness of the vegetation as well. There are soft leaves which yield to powers of as littles as 4 or 5. Of course, if you can chew tougher plants you can spend that much less time finding and chewing food, and more time hiding from predators, looking for mates, etc.

    So very rapidly, any 3s or 4s, or even 5s in the original population start to disappear. The next generation or two is mostly 6s and 7s and 8s. A few generations in, someone picks up a mutant gene (call it Alpha) that turns up jaw strength a notch or two. A former number 7 can become an 8.5 if he’s an Alpha carrier. (Note that this is a single simple mutation, say a duplication of a head growth promoter.) Alpha carriers find life on the island much easier, especially Alpha 9s and 10s. The first Alpha has lots of children, and even more grandchildren. The next few generations see 6s and 7s shrinking away, and Alpha spreading rapidly. A few dozen generations down, with 10s of thousands of individuals doing pretty well already, there’s another mutation, Beta, which boosts jaw strength another half point. Down the road, there’s Gamma, same story. Individuals with Alpha, Beta and Gamma together can be as strong as 13 or 14.

    We see the population of island lizards rapidly converging to a new mean around 10. Many are 9s or 11s, a few 8s or 12s, a handful of 7s and 13s and 14s.

    So, even the weakest jawed lizards are stronger than all but the strongest of the mainland insectivores. The average island herbivore is a 10, with one of several genotypes that didn’t even exist in the original population.

    A similar process was going on in parallel with the valves in the stomach.

    That’s not Larmarckism, it’s not “development”. It’s evolution.

    Now of course, this is a simplified, made up story. It probably didn’t happen exactly this way. Although we don’t have before and after gene sequences or anything, it sounds like the changes in head size–and especially the stomach valve–are greater than any variation in the the original population, so likely a mutation or two must have occurred. (I’m speculating, of course, but note that even in the unlikely event that no head or stomach related mutations occurred, a substantial change in the population gene pool did, with genes associated with #4 and #5 lizards disappearing completely, for example.)

    (Also, I Am Not A Biologist, so while this is more or less how I understand things, I may be off on some details.)

  451. “Are you saying that observable fact is wrong?” No.

    1. I would and do dispute that they don’t agree with what is observable .

    People can eat their feces and it doesn’t mean they (as a species) are reese’s pieces feces eaters (chew their cud). (Sorry I could not resist the rhyme.)

    It just means that they are sick. Like vomit eating dogs.

    2. We narrowed down how to group kinds. So now we must retro employ that meaning on history and their understanding at the time.

    3. I am glad it (your rejection of God) is not based on something that trivial.

    4. If you call it (the Bible) a poetic myth what do you reject/oppose about it? Especially if Christ is still Christ.

    I hope I answered your question

  452. It’s been far too long since Life of Brian came out.
    The time is right to script the Evolution Movie.

  453. “but you refuse to use the words and understandings of the people who write on evolution”

    I have learned a lot here. But what this group says it holds to as evolution and the people I meet in person do not agree much with what you all agree on. So it is hard for me. I keep trying to put it in my words to see if I am getting it. Can’t you tell?

    “you have refused to answer any of the questions about how you pick and choose”

    I have tried. It seems simple and plain to me but I am having trouble conveying it to you. Please don’t take that as being evasive.

    “You won’t answer questions about your definitions”

    Which ones do you want defined? Bare with me I read one thing then another and comment on the last one I read all while working.

    “but rather in prostlytising us about the rightness of creationism; in whatever form he prefers [which seems to be YE ID).”

    I am dense or tired to understand this, please explain.

    @jack

    Thanks for the explanation but…..

    “No, the traits aren’t necessarily there already.”

    But they could already be there? If they were already there is it not evolution as you describe it?

  454. Evidence: Actually, you didn’t answer my question. Let me pose it a different way: the fact is, rabbits do not chew the cud. The versions of the Bible I’ve seen all say they do. How do you resolve that conflict? Are you saying that our definition of ‘chew the cud’ is wrong? In that case, the translation was incorrect (because to us to chew the cud emphatically does NOT include eating feces). Otherwise the men who wrote the Bible were incorrect about rabbits.

    Either some of the people who wrote the Bible mistook the lapine behavior they observed for proper cud-chewing OR it was incorrect to translate the Hebrew word as “cud.” Can you see that one of these must be so?

    I didn’t say I rejected God. I said I rejected salvation.

    I didn’t say I believe Christ is still Christ. I said moder