Evolutionary Theory Takes Another Hit

Posted: August 9, 2007 in Blitherings, Christianity, Creationism, Evolution, Nut Jobs, Rants, Science

This is almost too easy.

Skull Suggests Two Early Humans Lived at Same Time

Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.

The new research by famed paleontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya shows our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, calling into question the evolution of our ancestors.

So you suddenly have some clear distinctions between the evolutionary paths of the human species, where before a linear and intrinsically linked sequential development had been held as near immutable for decades. Hey, you know the reason that it’s always been so hard to find that “missing link” guy?  Because. Maybe. It. Was. Never. There.

They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.

Yes. Absolutely. Continue to insist dogmatically on a common ancestor, despite the fact there is, by your own admission, no actual physical evidence for it.

This is and will continue to be my biggest beef with the anti-creationists/acolytes of the Temple of Evolution.  The hypocrisy.  The foundational tenet of evolution is a common ancestry, out of which sprang the multi-varied species of our world through all that adapting and responding and evolving into more complex forms (in violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).  Therefore, evidence is categorized and framed only within that frame of reference, because it must be in order for the theory to remain valid.  Faced with two concurrently developing species, rather than sequentially as previously assumed (declared, heralded, decreed, whatever…), you therefore INFER an ancestor who existed even earlier than previous estimated, despite the lack of evidence, because it must be true if the theory is to remain viable

You establish as “fact” that which must be true in order for your worldview to conform to your pre-established expectations, despite being unable to provide any evidence of it.  And this is different from the creationists how?

Someone, somewhere, I believe, said that creationism would remain in the realm of religious faith and wishful thinking until the creationists/ID folks could provide solid scientific evidence of a creator or design influence.  So, where does that put the evolutionist in light of this imaginary common ancestor which now MUST exist, where before it didn’t, and despite any “solid scientific evidence,” simply because evolutionary theorists demand it in order to preserve their canon manifesto holy book St. Darwin of Galpagosea  theory?

Ah, you poor misguided soul, they say as they sadly shake their collective heads with the long-suffering indulgence of a saint.  The evidence for the common ancestor is clearly the two simultaneously developing offshoots, and if you weren’t such a wild-eyed, unscientific, Bible-thumping creationist, you’d be able to see that. Tsk, tsk, tsk.  You know, despite the fact that previously the evidence for a common ancestor was a single, unbroken line of evolutionary development.  Now, away with you, neophyte!  Do YOU have a PHD? NO?  Well then, trouble me no more with your plebian babblings.

I believe someone, somewhere called that “shifting the goalposts.”  Another quote, in chuckling about those wacky creationists, said something to the effect of:

If a fossil is discovered to cover a gap between two species, they’ll shout – “Look, there are two gaps now, on either sides of the fossil”

Uh, yeah.  And if a gap is discovered between two species, some people say, “Look, there must be a common ancestor we don’t know about 2 or 3 million years ago.”  I can TOTALLY see the difference there.

Overall what it paints for human evolution is a “chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us,” Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.

That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings.

And yet that is what continues to be published in textbooks.  

Scientists hadn’t looked carefully enough before to see that there was a distinct difference in males and females.

Why? Because they needed an intermediate species to help fill gaps in the fossil record.  And so in with an emphasis on supporting the prevailing meme, they failed to properly (read: objectively) analyze the information.  Oooh. Ouch.  MeOW.

All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said.

Color me shocked.  Shocked, I tell you.  Let me translate:  “Despite how completely this throws our understanding of evolutionary theory into a freakin chaotic mess, let’s make sure that we don’t abandon our fundamental premises.  And make sure that we color these finds in shades of ‘refining’ evolutionary theory, rather than having to basically start over from scratch when it comes to human evolution.”

Again.  Evidence can only be examined in the context of evolution.  If the evidence rocks your world, you change your theory….of evolution.   You come up with a new theory…of evolution.  In the proudest tradition of the scientific method, you take a cold, calculating, objective look at the data, and smoosh the theory around until it fits the evidence, or you “interpret” the evidence to fit the theory.  As long as the new shape still looks like evolution.

Because it’s the only game in town….and the people with the power to do so intend to make sure it stays that way.

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Comments
  1. […] Tattered Bits of Brain – Evolutionary Theory Takes Another Hit […]

  2. BrianR says:

    Takes another hit? What are the other ‘hits’?

    What do you mean by ‘this is almost too easy’? What exactly did you do with this post? What was easy?

    I really don’t understand why creationists are getting so worked up about this. Very weird.

  3. So you suddenly have some clear distinctions between the evolutionary paths of the human species, where before a linear and intrinsically linked sequential development had been held as near immutable for decades.

    Steve, we’ve known for an incredibly long time that recent human evolution has been wrought with cladogenic change. No, anagenesis was not held “immutable” for decades. This is pretty much exactly wrong.
    Does this look like anagenesis to you?

    You’re right that evolution is the only game in town though. The textbooks will continue to reflect this fact, irrespective of how ignorant you are of the relevant biology.

  4. Kevin says:

    Keep it up. God’s truth shines in the end.

  5. There is no proof of evolution and anyone who argues otherwise is a “randomly mutated” moveondotorgster.

    Evolutionist can not explain the gaps in the fossil records much less how the human eye could have mutated from a single cell bog dweller.

  6. Steve B says:

    The whole point I find amusing is that no matter what happens, no matter what fundamental shift occurs, it will always be heralded as an excited new validation of evolutionary theory. Or a refinement.

    So, on the one hand, you have the school of thought which proclaims that evolution is a fact, a documented natural phenomenon, and then a different (though apparently related) school which proclaims that evolution is a dynamic theory, constantly under construction and revision as new “breakthrough” discoveries are made.

    I guess I just question the position that evolution is the answer, when “the answer” keeps changing like this.

    All I’m saying is that this puts most of evolution in the same kind of sticky intellectual quagmire into which most of it’s critics try to dump creationism.

    Just a basic case of speck and mote, but just try and get anyone on “that” side to acknowledge this.

    Evolution is not A theory, but rather, a whole family of loosely tied together theories, all of which enjoy roughly the same level of credibility because (and often only because) they are evolutionist in nature.

    But try to introduce a non-theory, regardless of how equally esoteric or solid its scientific basis compared to its “mainstream” counterparts, and it is dismissed as uneducated, crackpot theologizing.

    Like I said, a no-win situation for anyone but a fundamentalist evolutionarian.

  7. matt says:

    this argument’s not even about God anymore, much less evolution. this argument is now and forever officially about who’s smarter

  8. RTO Trainer says:

    Well. You know, existance is a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Of course that presupposes that the lwas that apply in this universe applied in the moments before and during Event 1.

  9. The whole point I find amusing is that no matter what happens, no matter what fundamental shift occurs, it will always be heralded as an excited new validation of evolutionary theory. Or a refinement.

    Steve, I don’t think you understand. The findings of this paper suggest that two hominins lived at the same time, instead of not at the same time. That’s all dude. This is not the huge, fundamental shift you obviously think it is. Most paleoanthropologists are more or less yawning at these findings.
    http://johnhawks.net/weblog/2007/08/08#er_42700_spoor_2007

    So, on the one hand, you have the school of thought which proclaims that evolution is a fact, a documented natural phenomenon, and then a different (though apparently related) school which proclaims that evolution is a dynamic theory, constantly under construction and revision as new “breakthrough” discoveries are made.
    I guess I just question the position that evolution is the answer, when “the answer” keeps changing like this.

    I know quite a few people who accept evolution, and I have to say your dividing line here is entirely a product of your own imagination, and in no way reflects real “schools of thought”.
    Evolution is both a fact and a theory. Not either or. Both, at the same time. Withhold your disbelief for a second.

    Evolution is a repeatably observable biological phenomenon that occurs in every replicating organism. It just happens. This means evolution, as a fundamental process of our universe, is an undeniable fact.
    Evolution is also a theory. Theories explain facts, so in the case of evolutionary theory, it explains the facts of biology and how organisms (have) change(d) over time. It’s amenable to new evidence, and as any historian of science will tell you, there have been ongoing revisions to the theory since 1859. These revisions won’t stop until scientists quit their day job. Through all of that, evolution is not going anywhere, because it is a fact. Instead, our understanding of the process will be tweaked and expanded in light of new evidence. This is a virtue of science–the ability to constantly refine itself to a point where the current manifestation barely resembles the initial idea.

    When Einstein was causing a big turmoil in physics, he was more or less saying Newton’s “laws” were substantially inaccurate. Einstein’s revisions to our understanding of gravity was massive, but apples did not suspend themselves in the air, waiting to see what happens. Gravity still happened.

    Evolution still happened.

    As a quick aside, physicists are still juggling quantum mechanics in one hand and relativity in the other, hoping that someday soon the two will be reconciled. Both theories attempt to explain gravity, yet they are, at present, incompatible.
    Biologists don’t have this problem. Evolutionary theory seriously is the only game in town.

    Here’s what Stephen Gould has to say about this topic:
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html

    I don’t know what your background is in science Steve. I don’t even know if you took biology while you were in school.
    Regardless, what I have gleaned from your blog posts is that you have an incredibly tenuous grasp of how scientific methodology works, and more specifically, the nature of evolutionary theory.

    I’m completely confident asserting that given a test from an introductory course on evolution, you’d fail miserably.
    The reason is because you are ignorant of the relevant biology. Do you really think you can accurately critique a science that you do not remotely understand?

    Have you heard of pseudogenes, B-chromosomes, polyploidy, or endogenous retroviruses? Do you know what a C-value is? Does the term “phylogenetics” ring a bell”? MC1R?
    Nothing?

    Ask yourself why you pretend to understand evolution.

  10. TOTDL says:

    It’s ironic how creationists try to scientifically scrutinize evolution, while they dutifully follow religion with a leap of faith.

  11. Steve B says:

    So, only evolutionists are allowed to use science to attempt to poke holes in competing theories?

    TOTDL, I don’t get your comment. Creationists are criticized for mixing religion and science, and now you are criticizing them for keeping them separate?

    {{scratches head confusedly}}

    It sounds like your premise that anyone who follows a religious faith can’t, by definition, be a good scientist.

    Which nicely makes my point for me. Thank you.

  12. I find that a branched evolutionary structure makes more sense than a linear evolutionary past. I don’t regard it as a “hit” at all.

    And yes, new evidence revises evolutionary theory because that is what evidence does when you think inductively. Evolution can be revised right down to its roots, because we fit the theory to the evidence which is what any person with an ounce of reason does.

    It makes more sense than Christian apologetics which is what evidence does when you think deductively. Creationism can’t explain the fossil record at all, because the Bible cannot be rewritten. You are always force fitting the evidence to a rigid ignorance.

    The more evidence that comes to light the closer it comes to invalidating the ignorance of creationism and validating the theory of evolution. Yes, evolution is a moving target because it is alive. Creationism doesn’t move because it is already dead.

  13. smilingchaos says:

    Yes. I see another hit. Doesnt the fact that a middle thing had been discovered add more evidence to support evolution

  14. Well said Grant.

    Scientists have known about the branching nature of evolution for decades. Only people who have little understanding of the theory or have not kept-up with the scientific literature claim that it is a linear process.

    Have you heard of Neanderthal man? He was not our ancestor (not even considered human) but was another branch of the pre-historic ape decendency.

    An there are no longer any missing links (this phrase was coined decades ago). If I said to you that there is a link running between the numbers 1 and 5 then you might say “well where are those in-betweeners?”. Some time later we discover 4, then 2 and then 3. But then you say “Where’s the link between 2 and 3?” and later we discover 2.5. To which comes the challenge “what links 2 to 2.5?”. This process never ends becuase we might never find “Mrs. Pless’s” daugthers, therefore, to the challenger it means that “Mrs. Pless” was not part of the chain. That is not how it works.

  15. Jon says:

    So, only evolutionists are allowed to use science to attempt to poke holes in competing theories?

    No, anyone can attempt to poke holes in a competing theory. Only someone with the facts actually accomplishes the perforation, though.

  16. losdiablostejano said: “Evolutionist can not explain the gaps in the fossil records much less how the human eye could have mutated from a single cell bog dweller”

    The eye is explained in creationist claim number CB921.1 at http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB921_1.html

    And the “missing link” … Well this (CC200) and all other questions are addressed … http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    But maybe you will find it a better resource for stocking-up on other questions without reading the answers.

  17. Steve B
    Yeah, sure, evolution certainly has taken a hit… by scientists… who, you know, do all the work of science…
    Here’s the thing, my cretinist creationist friend; sitting around in your pajama playing rhetorical games is not science. Reading a news article and then going ‘bloggy ranty bloggy’ isn’t nearly as impressive a blow to the scientific establishment as you may think it is, especially as you are using one of the fruits of science to ‘demolish’ science. (Unless, of course, you folks are going to start claiming that Pat Robertson prayed the internet into being. Who knows what crazy thing you’ll say next!) Perhaps if fundamentalist Christian creationists actually contributed something to humanity besides angry noise, I would be able to take you more seriously, but for the moment you make me giggle. I will try to explain one thing to you because I think you really need this explained for you, but I must warn you I don’t have any hand puppets to help illustrate my point so you’re going to have to pay close attention to the words…
    The reason science advances is because when new evidence is discovered, the theory is altered to fit the evidence, resulting in a theory that most closely matches physical reality-this is why you and I can communicate over the internet like we are now as opposed to sending letters by Pony Express. If your theory of ‘science’ cannot be altered to disagree with the creation mythos of a Bronze Age Nomadic tribe, you’re going to get a little stuck… kinda like you are right now.
    The day creationists actually contribute something to the body of human knowledge, they can be taken seriously. For right now, you’re arguing that the world is flat, buddy.
    WD

  18. suppose says:

    Don’t you love it when the guy making a counter argument to creationism by using what he considers logic insults the other guy by calling him a cretin?
    What other insults have you got stored up for the man named Steve B if dares to disagree with you.

  19. Brian says:

    Creationists cannot and will not accept any explanation of evolution. Yet, they still ask for details and evidence.

    Why?

  20. Suppose-
    I didn’t call him a ‘cretin’, I called him a ‘Cretinist Creationist’, which is at least wittier than simply calling him a ‘cretin’! I am working from the principle that I would want others to do to me as I would want done to myself; if I were making an intellectual jackass of myself publically, I would hope to be jeered and mocked so that I might be able to correct my behavior in the future. Steve B is essential arguing that because the fossil record is not complete the entire framework that explains it should be tossed out, apparently in favor of a ‘theory’ that doesn’t explain anything at all. This is like saying that because nobody has found hard

  21. (sorry, got cut off)
    physical evidence that Jesus cursed a fig tree, all of Christianity must be disregarded. It’s an absurd argument and therefore the only right thing to do is call it absurd.
    -WD

  22. Jon says:

    What other insults have you got stored up for the man named Steve B if dares to disagree with you.

    Two things creationists can’t live without:

    A) A persecution complex
    B) A rebel complex

    Creationists are always the quickest to eschew actual discussion in order to pursue trivialities like whether someone called them bad names. It’s always politics over science, isn’t it? Easier to win if you use politics.

  23. Steve B says:

    I have once again failed to explain myself completely or clearly, so cleary I need to quit.

    If you’ve read any of the preceeding posts here on the topic, you’d find that it’s not the process of scientific discovery I have a problem with. I’m not a science-is-heresy, we just need the Bible fringer.

    It’s the continued insistence that creationism provide scientific evidence to support it’s claims, while at the same time dismissing any evidence provided by creationist because its founded in some sort of religioius funamentalism or some such, and therefore can’t really be scientific, no can it?

    Jon, who was the first in this thread to eschews the actual discussion by reducing it to ad hominem attacks and deriding a person’s faith to condemn his approach to the problem?

    I guess, to me, it would ring a little truer if something like this comes out and a core of evolutionist-pure researchers said something to the effect of, “Well, shit. Yeah, I guess we’ve got some real work to do here to reconcile this.”

    But others, such as the quoted researcher, are all, “Hey, yeah, no problem. This TOTALLY supports evolution too! Isn’t it exciting?”

    I don’t have a problem with a researcher being excited at the prospect of some new gnarly problem to chew over. Good on ‘im. It’s the over-arching approach so many take that treats the theory as sort of sacrosanct. Again, if you are criticing creationists for it, don’t be guilty of it yourself.

    I suspect part of the problem is that “creationism” is categorized as the literlist, young-earther, if-its not in the Bible we can’t talk about it groups. Which, to me, are actually the frings of the true creationism/ID set.

    So, whereas significant alterations to the theory of evolution are taken in stride, all part of the investigative process, the same latitude does not seem to be extended to the creationists, MOST of whom I would submit do not hold as tightly to a rigid, strictly literal interpreation of the Genesis (and others) records in the Bible. They use it as a framework or context for their investigations, just as evolution frames or gives context to much of modern paleontology.

    It’s not absurd to infer the existence of some common ancestor 2 or 3 million years ago, but it is absurd to suggest a fig tree withered?

    I propose that both take a kind of faith, even if arrived at from different directions.

    Again, I’m not saying that its necessarily absurd that this pre-historic ancestor existed. I’m simply saying that the methodology for determining the possibility of its existence isn’t that far removed from attempting to determine the existence of an ark, or a cross, or Solomon’s tomb.

    It’s merely which you chose to grant credibility in the public (scientific forum) and which you choose to arbitrarily and summarily dismiss as crackpot theologizing.

  24. suppose says:

    Let’s see, according to Jon someone objecting to personal insults in a discussion on origins of man is a “triviality,” with the further logic that this seems to show politics over science?
    I am not a creationist nor am a Darwinist[although I agree with many of his theories], but I think many people who cry “science is the holy grail” protest too loudly and too much. In fact the worst of this makes them look as ridiculous as those at the opposite end.

  25. Brian says:

    SteveB, you say above that the “young earthers…are on the fringes of the creationist/ID set”

    Really? I’ll admit that I don’t follow every last little debate that goes on in the blogs, but if this is indeed the case, then how come you don’t denounce the YECs w/ more vigor? If they are the minority, they are extremely vocal.

    I definitely think we can all have interesting and perhaps even constructive philosophical discussions once we can sweep the 6,000 yr-old earth and single-flood theories under the rug. At least, to me, that’s a step in the right direction.

    I almost wish there was a creationist classification scheme…or that I knew what ‘kind’ of creationist I was having discussions w/ from the start.

  26. Jon says:

    …while at the same time dismissing any evidence provided by creationist because its founded in some sort of religioius funamentalism or some such

    Evidence? What evidence? “This looks like it was created”? That’s not evidence. That’s conjecture. And it’s pretty bad conjecture at that. Arguing something looks designed necessitates a comparison between the only things we know for sure are designed–namely, the things that WE design. An amoeba might say that an amorphous rock formation looks like an amoeba, therefore it is designed. It’s the same exact argument creationists make, and it’s poppycock.

    The other argument, of course, is the a priori assumption of the Bible’s accuracy, and the attempt to fit facts accordingly. This is, I think, where the majority of the misunderstanding comes from, because this is exactly opposite to the way science obtains knowledge.

    Jon, who was the first in this thread to eschews the actual discussion by reducing it to ad hominem attacks and deriding a person’s faith to condemn his approach to the problem?

    Did you actually read the relevant paper? No? So you’re writing about something without knowing what the researchers involved even found out? Then what else, pray tell, do you deserve but derision? You’ve made up your mind before even examining the facts.

    I’m simply saying that the methodology for determining the possibility of its existence isn’t that far removed from attempting to determine the existence of an ark, or a cross, or Solomon’s tomb.

    Would the existence of an ark, a cross, or Solomon’s tomb even remotely hint at the existence of a designer? No! They’re entirely irrelevant to that question! A lot of people built boats. A lot of people got crucified. A lot of kings had tombs. Evolution explains how organisms develop. What does Solomon’s tomb do on that front? Zip.

    In fact the worst of this makes them look as ridiculous as those at the opposite end.

    Unfortunately, many people believe that how nice you say something bears on how true that thing is. I, for one, do not.

    If they are the minority, they are extremely vocal.

    The YECs have become smart (cough) after their court losses. They won’t admit to believing what they really believe, because they know it’ll discredit them. If they hope to remain influential, they have to appear secular.

  27. […] Published August 12th, 2007 evolution , Writing , Science Before you argue against something, make sure you actually know what it is you’re arguing […]

  28. suppose says:

    Unfortunately, many people believe that how nice you say something bears on how true that thing is. I, for one, do not.[Said Jon]

    Jon, it’s pretty obvious to all you are not going to say anything, as you put it,”nice.”
    It is you assuming an “all-knowing” attitude and everyone is an idiot who doesn’t agree with everything you say that is off-putting to me, and I dare say many others.

  29. Steve B-
    Based on your response, you clearly don’t understand. I was saying that to breathlessly make statements like:
    ‘Because. Maybe. It. Was. Never. There./
    Yes. Absolutely. Continue to insist dogmatically on a common ancestor, despite the fact there is, by your own admission, no actual physical evidence for it.’
    because of a single fossil find is to display your own ignorance and naive worldview. I was trying to make you understand how silly you are being by conversing your argument, but you are so silly you don’t get it.
    I was not saying it’s absurd to have faith that a fig tree withered, I was saying that by using your method of inquiry and investigation, it is possible to dismiss all of Christianity because the withered fig tree cannot be produced today. When you said ‘this is almost too easy’, that should have been your clue to yourself that perhaps you were jumping the gun… I mean, you obviously feel some insecurities about your lack of credentials and training: ‘Now, away with you, neophyte! Do YOU have a PHD? NO? Well then, trouble me no more with your plebian babblings.’
    It’s not the PHD that makes you smart, but the thing about the process of attaining one means that you do pick a few things up. Not the least of which is that no document that heralded a major shift in how the scientific community viewed any important issue ever began with ‘This is almost too easy.’ Really. Go read some of them. In Einstein’s Relativity papers you’ll find there’s an almost total lack of sneering and sarcasm. In fact, he was also lacking full academic credentials at the time but for some reason didn’t whine about how he had to work in the patent office in his groundbreaking papers.
    I’m sure by now you think I’m a big meanie. Sorry. I’m just trying to wake you up, brother. God is alive and everywhere you look and doesn’t need you to rewrite Darwin. Try living your faith instead of defending it.
    -Winston Delgado

  30. Jon says:

    @suppose

    You’re imagining me as a firebrand when I’m not. It makes it easier to pigeonhole me and ignore the content of my replies.

    It’s no wonder, then, that the only substantial addition to this conversation you’ve made is complaining about the words people use.

  31. suppose says:

    The words people use have something to do with their message. The content of your replies indicates you are willing to substitute one dogma for another, and in the process attempt to show you are the superior intellect and those who don’t agree are inferior.

  32. Jon says:

    There’s nothing dogmatic about it.

    Evolution explains the evidence. Creationism doesn’t.

  33. Suppose & Jon-
    Sorry, don’t mean to butt in, but there’s something I’d like to point out (especially to Suppose) to you guys. You are arguing about the merits of two ideas that really have nothing to do with your actual lives and seem to be getting pretty personal. The way intellects become strong and healty is via examination, study, argument, and debate. Believing in something isn’t going to make you smarter, it’s just an idea you are using to understand the world. Many ‘superior’ intellects embrace ‘inferior’ ideas and many ‘inferior’ intellects can embrace ‘superior’ ideas. I guess the thing is that neither of you is going to prove anything to each other at this point… I recommend looking for common ground. You both live on Earth, right? Start there.

    And a note regarding tone… it is very difficult to determine someone’s tone in these posts (or in email). Remember that you are providing the ‘voice’ for what you are reading, not the writer. If you disagree with them vehemently, then there’s a good chance that person could be writing ‘The sky is blue’ and you could feel that it was the most arrogant thing anyone ever said.
    -WD

  34. jeannie says:

    First of all, Micro-evolution is the alteration of a specific trait due to natural response. This is a fact. However, Macro-evolution is a theory that has never been observed in science.

    And by the way, there are many gaps and ‘hits’ to the evolution theory. Like the cambrian explosion, despite searching the strata for over 100 years, fossils which would close the gaps between classes and even species have NOT been found, as many evolutionists are now prepared to admit.

    All the known species of birds and mammals appear and ‘diversify’ within the last 150 Million years according to the evolutionists geological time scale. At this rate, the 70 million years it has taken simply to modify a horse’s hoof is far too large a proportion of the time since mammals first appeared. There is therefore something seriously wrong with the time scale.

    Want more? After breeding over one million fruit flies, they still obstinately remain fruit flies! There is a wide variety of dog BREEDS but they are still dogs. Species bred beyond limits develop serious deformities. Darwin bred pigeons and knew this fact but in his “Origins of Species” he glossed over what is an impassable barrier to the “evolution” of one species from another.

    As for the ‘origin of life’ theory, passing a spark through a mixture of gasses forms simple amino acids but –

    -they are only the very simplest of ‘building blocks’ used in the formation of larger organic molecules.

    -they must be caught in a cold trap to prevent the spark from destroying them

    -a reducing (non oxygen) atmosphere is necessary.

    -any amino acids forming would have been destroyed by the ultra-violet rays of the Sun. These conditions would not have occurred in nature.

    -Even allowing millions of years, there has still been insufficient time or material in the whole universe for very complex organic molecules to have formed BY CHANCE.

    So you ‘know it all’ pro evolution people who are so closed minded to all the facts pointing against darwin’s theory and towards intelligent design, explain why there are so many gaps and contradictions to the theory?

  35. Hi Jeannie,

    I thought we were done here, but apparently not.

    Cambrian “explosion” of diverse life forms? Is 10 to 50 million years a “sudden” event? http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html

    Evolutionary pressures on individual species are not the same across all species. The evolution of the hoof may have been slow but consider that the crocodile has had almost NO change in tens of millions of years. If the life form fits well in its environment and there are no pressures to be “better” then it doesn’t change. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC216_2.html

    After breeding over one million fruit flies you still have fruit flies. I for one am not shocked. Evolution isn’t a process built into a lifeform which says that after X thousand breeding cycles, mutate. Where is that counter kept? Anyway, the million fruit flies all lived at the same time in the same environment where there was (probably) no competition for food, obviously no competition for mates and (probably) no predators. Why change what works? There is no pressure to mutate.

    And everything about amino acids and simple building blocks is addressed in section CB0: Abiogenesis of the Creationist Claims index.

    Before you return with more examples, please visit http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html I am tired of repeating someone else’s (excellent) work.

    I speak for my self when I say that I most definately am not a know it all. The more I learn the more I realise how little I know (thanks Al) and how much more there is to learn. I love unanswered questions, they allow me an opportunity to learn some more.

    The way I have experienced religious “learning” is that for any question the answer is god, so stop asking questions. Doesn’t that bother you?

  36. Jon says:

    However, Macro-evolution is a theory that has never been observed in science.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    And by the way, there are many gaps and ‘hits’ to the evolution theory.

    There are gaps in every single scientific theory that exists. We don’t know everything. That some fossils don’t exist isn’t surprising. Fossils only form under certain conditions. And even when they do form, they’re subject to the chaotic geological rumblings of our planet. Despite this, what you’ve said about gap fossils is wrong. Many, many transitional fossils have been discovered. But as someone once said (it might be in this thread), remarking humorously on this very argument: Once you find a fossil that fills one gap, you’ve created two more gaps. So in essence, creationists want scientists to account for every fossil for every species that has ever existed. Well, as I said before, fossils only form under certain conditions. So that’s impossible.

    As for the ‘origin of life’ theory, passing a spark through a mixture of gasses forms simple amino acids but –

    -they are only the very simplest of ‘building blocks’ used in the formation of larger organic molecules.

    -they must be caught in a cold trap to prevent the spark from destroying them
    -a reducing (non oxygen) atmosphere is necessary.

    -any amino acids forming would have been destroyed by the ultra-violet rays of the Sun. These conditions would not have occurred in nature.

    -Even allowing millions of years, there has still been insufficient time or material in the whole universe for very complex organic molecules to have formed BY CHANCE.

    Every one of these points is wrong. I posted links refuting them, but the spam filter caught it. If you want the links, I’ve posted them here on my blog.

  37. kontan says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post- great points!

  38. Hi everyone,

    I would like to make a couple of corrections to what I said a little earlier in this thread … I said “Why change what works? There is no pressure to mutate.”

    That is so wrong on so many levels. I just didn’t spend the time QAing the post before I submitted. Anyway, it should be a little more like …

    “There are no survival pressures which allow various mutations an oportunity to prove if they are better adaptations for the new (more pressurised) world the organism is in.”

    The original sounds more like a lay pop-science explanation of what mutations are. A hungry animal doesn’t start having more mutated offspring than a fed animal would have.

    And the closing line of my previous post was just a poke-at-the-sleeping-bear. Completely uncalled for and not adding any value to the discusion. Theologists don’t stop asking questions, they just ask different questions.

  39. Sarah says:

    The idea of evolution predicts that we would never observe macroevolution, so the fact that we don’t directly observe it does not imply it’s wrong.
    Many people are convicted of murder and sent to jail on similar evidence. Fingerprints… bloodstains… prints found on the murder weapon… tyre tracks in soil. No-one has to witness the murder, the fact that the evidence is circumstantial does not mean it’s inadequate. Circumstantial evidence can be absolutely unequivocal, despite a lack of eyewitnesses or a security videotape.

    Dismissing a creationist argument because it’s based in religious dogma? Absolutely fair. It’s like this:
    Say I had never heard of religion, and one day I meet someone who is a Christian and he tells me what he believes, there’s this God, and his son, God and his son can do magic, and when you die your soul goes to heaven or hell. I say ‘that’s interesting. I can’t disprove it and I won’t say it is definitely untrue. But I have never seen anything that would make me think what you’re talking about is correct. What is it that makes you believe it?’
    You say ‘I know it’s true because there’s a book that is the word of God that says so, and it can’t be wrong because it is the word of God’. The argument in favour of his existence presupposes that he exists.

    You say there is a presumption for this ancestor despite absolutely no evidence. How about the fact that everything you believe about evolution implies the existence of a common ancestor and in your opinion you have never seen any evidence that contradicts it? Or the fact that so often the hypothesised ancestor turns out to exist? You think that’s really so illogical?

    “So you suddenly have some clear distinctions between the evolutionary paths of the human species, where before a linear and intrinsically linked sequential development had been held as near immutable for decades”. What? Linear sequential development? Are you saying that those cartoons where you see a monkey growing into a chimp and then standing a bit straighter as it morphs into a human is what you consider reasoned scientific argument? Are you ware of the fact that evolution has ALWAYS been thought of as, let’s call it a bush with lots of branches as opposed to a straight line? Darwin actually drew one of those branching diagramx himself. And now a fossil/s have been discovered that would have to be put on a branching tree diagram rather than a straight-line diagram and you think this contradicts Darwin?

    Um, yeah, these new fossils do contradict stupid cartoons of monkeys morphing into humans with only humans as endpoints. But those cartoons do not reflect anything about the scientific conception of evolution.

    And are you surprised that people admit they don’t know everything about how evolution occurs in specifics? You think that’s proof of its untruth? I don’t know exactly how gravity works. I don’t know if Einstein’s idea about mass distorting space is the right explanation. Physicists debate what causes gravity. Probably always will. Does that make you think the theory of gravity is suspect? I don’t know what causes gravity, but I believe it exists.

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