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"What is the difference between a realist and a dreamer? The realist thinks that someday a UFO will come down and hover over the UN building, and that the aliens will come out of the UFO and offer to share their technology and solve all our world's problems.

The dreamer thinks maybe we can get our act together and do it ourselves."

Russian joke [It's a joke?] cited in William K. Hartmann, A Traveler's Guide to Mars.

06 May 2005

You can't believe in evolution

Please see my current blog (at molvray.com/acid-test) for this post. It's filed under the same name and date in the Archives.

The material here is being stolen by a cheesy marketer as filler for a linkfarm.

6 Comments:

Blogger TroutGrrrl said...

Bravo, very well said.

5/09/2005 4:34 AM  
Blogger That Girl said...

Excellent - thank you so much for being a voice of reason about this issue. The problem I have with most of the other posts about this subject is that they are written by scientists who don't believe that anything that cannot be proven scientifically even exists.

5/26/2005 7:22 AM  
Blogger quixote said...

Yeah, scientists drive me a bit nuts on this issue too--and I'm supposed to be one of them. Socrates said it over two thousand years ago: define your terms. You'd think scientists would know about that, but they were probably too busy taking chemistry instead of those "useless" philosophy electives.

5/26/2005 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How ever things came to be “religion” is not a or necessary or appropriate part of the equation. Religions were concocted by humans and have no legitimate place in this examination. God did not invent religion but He may very well have invented and used what appears to be spontaneous generation or evolutionary processes - like the “evolution” of the automobile.

It is more than reasonable that an Intelligent Designer would use similar designs in different life forms just like human engineers use similar designs in the hundreds of different makes and models of automobiles and other motor vehicles.

I will give you evolutionists everything evolution claims if you will answer just one question - how would seeds come to be under evolution??

Same question stated differently?? Why sperm and ovum?? In as much as evolution admits no cause - only spontaneous generation - why would two genders develop independently so they can combine so that a new young life form would come to be?? How could the two genders survive through eons of time to develop independently while each at the same time came to be able to combine?? And why would one gender produce milk out of its blood with nifty valves for the infant to draw nourishment from and how would it come to be under evolution that orgasms feel so good??

Cheers,

Yadu Alipuria

1/02/2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger quixote said...

Re your first point, if I've understood it right, that's one of the points I'm trying to make. You're saying God may have created evolution, and that's certainly possible. The point is that science studies evolution, not the creator. Science has no methods or tools to study the supernatural. It's purely a way of looking at the natural world, which is why the larger questions don't belong in science classes.

The second point is about complexity. You mention sex as an example, and it's an interesting one. It actually took biology a couple of billion years to come up with sex. Initially, there was nothing but bacteria making exact copies of themselves (with the occasional mutation to provide a very low level of change). Sex, in contrast, takes half of a creature's genetic information, combines it with somebody eles's half, and the new creature is never exactly like anyone. That diversity is the biological point of sex. It means that at least some of the new creatures should be able to survive if the environment changes (which it generally does). Diversity results in so much more success, that the bacteria have been pretty much left in the mud.

(Another facet is that diversity can't coexist with immortality, since if the same organisms survive forever, there's not going to be much diversity. Sex makes death possible, which makes the world as we know it possible. Now there's a philosophical knot.)

Sperm and eggs, as we know them, are not essential to sex. The only essential aspect is having cells that contain only half the genetic information, so that when two cells are combined you're back to one full complement. Some algae, for instance, grow whole plants where all the cells are "halfed" so to speak. Some of those cells have to ability to merge and form a new "whole," but they're indistinguishable from each other. You wouldn't know which one to call an "egg" and which one a "sperm." Differentiation of function, with one carrying more nutrition and one being more mobile comes in many gradations. The evolution of egg and sperm is not actually that difficult to see in the biological record.

Just as a point of interest, egg and sperm isn't the only way to do things. The general case is that those are two mating strains. A must go with B. A won't merge with A or B with B. Some fungi take it much further than that. They have many mating strains, and which ones are compatible can vary all over the map. A may be able to combine with C and F, but not B, D, E, G, and so on. G may combine with everyone, including other Gs. B may combine only with E, but E combines with B and F. Imagine how complicated the dating scene could get if it wasn't just a matter of distinguishing between boys and girls and straights and gays. What if there were, say, twelve sexes you had to worry about?

The point I'm trying to make is that the complexity of sex is even greater than perhaps you've realized.

The feeling good question, by the way, isn't hard to answer either. Biological functions essential to your individual survival (eating, breathing, urinating, and so on) feel somewhat good when satisfied, but truly awful when not. Pain or its relatives provides the right level of motivation to deal with the problem and survive. Sex and nursing are not essential. You, personally, won't die without them. (Nobody ever said Nature was nice.) But you will have more offspring and be a bigger evolutionary success if you do them when you can. Pleasure provides the level of motivation that has resulted in the most evolutionary success. If nature has a motto, it's "whatever works." (That doesn't mean it's a good one. It's just what it is.)

The really fascinating complexity happens well before sperm and eggs. The real riddle was how DNA came to be and how cells arose. There have been a whole series of truly breathtaking experiments, starting in the early 1950s, that have gradually documented how this could come about. For starters, the simplest molecules of life self-assemble. Literally. You put carbon, nitrogen, and so on in a flask, and when you look again a few days later, the elements have combined into a variety of organic (ie carbon-bearing) compounds. Under the right conditions, and Earth four billion years ago had those conditions, simple compounds aggregate into more complicated ones. Some of those compounds are capable of forming bubbles like the membranes of a cell, and inside the bubble is a (relatively) protected environment. RNA (which can carry genetic information like DNA) came before DNA, and very simple RNA appears in petri dishes under the right conditions. Once you have some RNA lucky enough to get trapped inside the protective environment of the bubbles, you have your first cells, and the rest is history. Or evolution.

1/03/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous SuPRn0A said...

Or God was'nt a supernatural being but an Extra-Terrestrial "coming from the sky" being who created all life on Earth scientifically, and nothing has ever evolved.

Of course that's not science yet, but consider that we can create new life form from chemicals. We will soon, also consider that DNA is a code, and codes need coders or programmers.


In the first post it says we can't mesure happyness, joy, sadness, etc. We will soon, we just started to understand how the brain actually works, we are able to locate which part of the brain is very active at any moment of a though, of course every part are active but some are more active than others. Soon we will be able to locate emotions, not in one point but on a neurones path into the brain of anyone.

We will also learn very soon that criminality has the same effects on the brain that any drug or alcohol, which means that criminality will be consider an illness, which we will be able to cure.

There is so much that science will discover soon, in 2050 everyone will know that evolution was just as stupid as the idea of God.

rael.org
infinite = 1
SuPRn0A MAX

9/22/2006 11:33 AM  

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