A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've been having an ongoing discussion with someone about creationism. He thinks it is a valid scientific theory that can replace evolution. After a while, I realized that he doesn't know what evolution is. Here is the tail end of that conversation. Tell me what you think.

Creationist writes:
I have no problem with adaptation, THIS NOT PROOF OF EVOLUTION. This old trick is called equivication, and the writing of dawkins is full of it. (i mean that on more than one level too) He shows some examples of adaption, then goes on to qualify it with evolution. This IS NOT science, its clever guerilla ontonlogy.

The kind of adaptaion that he assumes can occur, where lizards grow feathers and wings, is evolution, the praying mantis species that can develop wings (it being a part of its natrural design, like adaption) and then lose them again through subsequent generations, is adaption, the kind of thinking needed to proove, monkeys to man is unprovven EVOLUTION THEORY.

I am surprised you haven't noted the difference, and therefore have realised that perhaps we better qualify semantics before every discussion, i thought we had (or are you just applying the same strategys as these authors you seem to admire??) been through this in the past.


Well, I think I see the problem here ... or at least one of them. It is the word "theory". If a scientist acquires a large body of data, and if this data coheres with a working theory ... than the theory is a working and highly probable theory.

If I drop a penny a million times, and it actually drops to the ground. I can conclude that there is some sort of force that pulls things toward the Earth. I can then go about measuring different ways in which that force pulls different weighted objects, etc.

I can put all that data, including the simple dropping a coin a thousand times, into a working theory of gravity. It might change, mind you. Maybe some other, more sophisticated scientist, will discover that all matter can bend space around it and this curvature is what causes things to fall toward it.

Likewise, a naturalist notices that humans can create new species via domestification. If you look at a banana, for example, you'd find it indistinguishable from a wild banana ... which is full of seeds, hard to eat, etc. It took maybe hundreds of years to cultivate a banana so that it can reliably produce the type that we are familiar with today. The guy's arm hair in the above picture is also quite fitting for the explanation I am going to make.

If humans can cause this radical change in animals and plants to make them useful for humans ... than ... in a natural way, animals and plants unknowingly change over time to adapt to different climates and environments. I think you can agree with me that nature is much more grander than man is.

And though the workings of nature in general are not at all similar to the purposes of a single species like man ... it does follow that nature could still bring about these changes, and we can see its effects through natural section. Natural selection is generally agreed upon by all people, even by creationists, who like to call it microevolution.

If we are to accept geology, chemistry, astronomy, and physics ... and we should, we should at least come to the conclusion that the universe is, if I remember correctly, something like 18 billion years old, and that the Earth has been around for at least a couple billion years. Please note that these facts are agreed upon by all sciences. Fossils of creatures show up fairly recently at a few hundreds of million years and these are fairly simple single-celled organisms.

But as we look at more recent times in the geologic column the animals generally get more complex because of environmental changes, etc.

Everyone accepts the idea of natural selection, because it has been noted and recorded within the past few hundred years. Almost everyone, but most importantly scientists, also accept that life started a few hundred million years ago because of a uniform location in the geologic column.

It is only plausible to connect the two and say that natural selection also occurred hundreds of millions of years ago. During that HUGE span of time, natural selection has naturally created the animals that we are familiar with today.

We need only look at the fossils we've been able to collect, those few creatures that died in conditions that preserved their remains over the years, and we can see their relation to creatures that exist today.

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