How Not to Argue Against Evolution

(George Tichy) #144

I am glad you have a clearly defined opinion on this issue.


I can answer Tours very easily:

  1. Prof Tours, you agree that microevolution is well documented, and that the mechanism for it is well understood.

  2. Prof Tours, you agree that the fossil record shows that species have changed over time, all extant species differ from their most similar ancestors and that the difference increases the further back in time you compare them, and that the difference is macro, not micro, given enough time between the two samples.

  3. Prof Tours, you agree that every living creature throughout time that arrived on the earth did so by being procreated by parents, they didn’t arrive de novo (I’ll allow you an out for Adam and Eve, and the first of everything at the “beginning” if you like).

  4. QED Prof Tours, you “believe” in macroevolution, you just don’t like it…

(Leandro) #146

There are so many things we don’t or can’t understand. We are like fetuses in a womb. If somebody tells us there is an outside world, we will not believe because we don’t even understand what is the word outside mean. If we are told that someday we will see light, we will not believe because we didn’t even know we are in the dark. If we are told that someday, we will be disconnected from the umbilical cord and breath independently, we will not believe it. The only world that we know is the world as we knew it and can only believe what we see around. We are told to believe. It would be very hard if we always want proof of everything. The Earth is a young boy with the characteristic of an old man. If you don’t believe in a young earth because evidence show age, and pain, disease, and death, don’t believe that someday we will become immortal and have an indestructible body because it is impossible from our point of view today.

(Allen Shepherd) #147

Not at all. I agree that there is change, but i don’t think you have a mechanism for it. Natural Selection working on random mutations is not a mechanism that will work with the time available. The mutstion rate is not fast enough nor good enough to pull it off.

They are different. No question.

Look at the whale series above. Here is the pertinent quote:

Not enough time, or ability to mutate in the time allotted.

Abiogenesis is life from ncnlife without a Creator causing it. It is different than God creating it.

Some have studied this for years. But I will tell you that the regular man or woman in the pew is not so concerned about this issue. They have more pressing matters in their lives, and are not that into science. You and a few others are.

I am aware of the iridium anomaly’ and its interpretation.

As far as the date for the flood that is a difficult matter, and do not try to put a date on it. I might add, however, that the column seems to be mostly water deposited, and the layers cover vast areas, like nothing we see happening today.

I don’t think so.

  1. Tours is an evolutionist
  2. He agrees that microevolution has occurred.
  3. He agrees that there is change in the fossil record over time. He agrees that there are macro differences.
  4. I imagine he believes in the issue of sexual reproduction.
    5 What he would not agree to it that the mechanism of natural selection working on random mutations could do what you ask it to do. It is too difficult. Tours makes molecules for a living and knows how hard it is, and that it is impossible to do it by random methods.

Darwinian processes cannot explain the fossil record. They do not have the power to do it. They can do micro, that is adaptive things, but not the big leaps.

You can’t just wave your hand over the fossil record and say “There, see? Evolution!” You have to explain how it happened. Not a “just so story”.

Even Dawkins says the biological world looks designed. I read his book. He made too many assumptions that cannot be supported by facts. Getting up “Mt. Improbable” would not work in the way he describes.

(Allen Shepherd) #148

Is that so? Was there O2 there for the animals?

The idea of punctuated equilibria probably better describes the fossil record. There is lots of stasis.

No, they are not. ID of some type is a reasoning called “inference to the best explanation”. You look at a phenomena, try to decide the best explanation and that is the one you go with until something better comes along. Nature looks designed, even children can see it. So they infer a designer.

And arguments against evolution are not all about a complete lack of knowledge. There is no other explanation for some biological system than design, because random processes have never been able to reproduce them. In fact it is that knowledge which calls into question the random process of Darwin’s theory. Such randomness does not work to create such things.

That has not been shown. You are inferring this. No one has seen new body plans develop in real time.

(Allen Shepherd) #150

I would like you to explain how the genetic code developed. AGC has nothing to do with the amino acid Lysine. They are different chemicals. etc. And AGC has nothing to do with the tertiary and quaternary structure of the proteins.

The code puts the AA in order so that they might make a viable protein, but the code is not derived from the structure of the protein, IOW, the structure did not determine the code.

Codes are inventions of minds. They are not random, and are unrelated to the entities used as the code. For instance, the sign “a” stands for a sound ‘aye’, but that sound could just has well have been represented by b or x or any letter. A code is arbitrary, but contains information. A was choose by minds to represent ‘aye’. The sound did not determine the letter, but the speakers did.


Independently of how the DNA code developed, and independently of how mutations happen and go to fixation, just answer the question of whether macro evolution has happened. Do you understand that modern whales descended from land dwelling animals, i.e. they are the descendants of ancestors that differed from them by what you would call macro rather than microevolution. Or do you think modern whales popped into existence de novo and that is why the fossil record looks the way it does?

(Darrel Lindensmith) #152

According to Dr. Perry Marshall’s “Evolution 2.0.” he notes the sophistication of the code of life as follows:

  • DNA is a programming language, a database, a communications protocol, and a highly-compressed storage device for reading and writing data-all at the same time.
  • “As a programming language, it’s more versatile than C, Visual Basic, or PHP.”
  • “As a data base, it’s denser than Oracle or MySQL.”
  • “As a compression algorithm, it’s superior to WinZip or anything else we’ve dreamed of.”
  • "As a storage medium, it’s a trillion times denser than a CD, and packs information into less space than any hard drive or memory chip currently made."64
    Hi Allan, I thought this was as interesting


You should try actually reading something about the history of life on earth…

(Allen Shepherd) #154

Hawaii, I am a old earth, young life creationist. No, I don’t think there was macro-evolution.

The fossil record does look like that, however. But it if the Bible is true, it could not be so.

Now, you can answer my questions about DNA and how genetic fixation occurred with the present scientific evidence in hand.

You know, I just did some of that. But the articles make assertions, but cannot give straight answers. Here is a sample:

So a date and a culprit can be fixed for what scientists refer to as the Great Oxidation Event, but mysteries remain. What occurred 2.45 billion years ago that enabled cyanobacteria to take over? What were oxygen levels at that time? Why did it take another one billion years—dubbed the “boring billion” by scientists—for oxygen levels to rise high enough to enable the evolution of animals?

Most important, how did the amount of atmospheric oxygen reach its present level? “It’s not that easy why it should balance at 21 percent rather than 10 or 40 percent,” notes geoscientist James Kasting of Pennsylvania State University. “We don’t understand the modern oxygen control system that well.”

Climate, volcanism, plate tectonics all played a key role in regulating the oxygen level during various time periods. Yet no one has come up with a rock-solid test to determine the precise oxygen content of the atmosphere at any given time from the geologic record. But one thing is clear—the origins of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere derive from one thing: life.

So, lots of assertions and interpretations, but mystery remains. Not clear cut.

(Ikswezdyr) #155

Give me a break, regardless of what I personally believe, there is intolerance on the so-called “liberal” side that far outweighs the “conservative,” To be really liberal is to be open and honest with other viewpoints, and this is not the case. You have provided an example that actually reveals the problem we have with evolution vs creationism–we question motives, make judgments about what we don’t know, We need to recognize “how nonsensical some of our arguments are” in the political framework to understand the questioning of science on both sides.

(Allen Shepherd) #156

Wait a minute. The lefties are the ones who have declared all on the right evil. How can you say this!?

Don’t you read the posts here and in the media? The left is full of moral indignation and posturing. The right does hardly any. I am a bit surprised by the recent felling on the left of moral superiority. Read the posts on WO or any liberal site on Trump and you can get sample. They drip with sanctimony. Really!

(Ikswezdyr) #157

I note most of the posts ignored the topic of not intimidating those with questions and assigning them evil motives. That is no way to defend truth, I agree, even if we learn some things from these unfortunate confrontations. It’s an example of political division as well. We are all subjective in our outlook and where we choose to get information. In one way or another we testify to our faith or lack of it in how we treat those who disagree with us.
Question: I have not read the Baldwin book, but this seems like a legitimate subject. I would like to hear more on it. Evolution can’t be the creation mechanism for a good God. The Bible is not science and does not explain the how of creation as it was not important to our ancestors. I would opt for another creation having to do with Lucifer, maybe in another part of the world or before creation. How can we understand the ancient world in terms of space and time when God is outside of time?


Agreed George, the notion that things sprang from nothing is magical thinking.

The author of this article is of course concerned about the level of thinking and hyperbole that some chose to indulge in when addressing this topic.

The account of creation of the Earth in both the order of development and time period as described in the Bible it is really limited to highlights of what happened to what. Their is no account of any previous creative act in any level of detail.

The Bible is not a science book or narrative explaining the physical laws of anything in the universe it simply states what happened…on Earth.

If you know nothing of the Bible or don’t believe in the God of creation it is hardly a surprise that you would derive your conclusions of the physical world around us without this as a reference.

(reliquum) #159

Yet, just saying that one must accede, in times past science has said there is “nothing”, yet that nothing is later discovered (with better tools and questions) to actually be more than nothing. Also consider that most “somethings” are indeed mostly “inner space”, ie virtually nothing.

Not advocating that truly “from nothing, everything came”, just that we need to examine the underlying assumption(s).

There well may be a form of something (whether particle or energy or?) where we are assuming nothing. Perhaps God, also, abhors a vacuum…and a complete desolation, where nothing truly exists, is not a common occurrence, if at all…


Indeed, we see through a glass darkly and the universe is filled with amazing things and mysteries we have yet to crack.

My only point was that God is the author of all things, when creating the Earth the things spoke came into being and we are left to learn from this.

We are by design curious, filled with questions and an insatiable hunger to explore and learn. Through the grace of our great God we have now and in the future have a universe to explore and learn about :slight_smile:


Evolution is a complex science with varying levels of certainty behind and provisional hypotheses that serve as possible explanations of when and how. As such it’s not a reductionist science like physics or chemistry. Much of the data is simply inaccessible. So asking about mechanisms of reality billions of years ago is like asking you about an exact mechanism by which God constructed this reality.

Certain questions will likely not be answered ever. Likewise, the compounding complexity of different variables make it inaccessible for us to understand the detailes.

Our scientific models are oversimplification of reality for our mind to process and use as a predictive pattern.

You take a page out of Kent Hovind’s playbook by implying that because the exact nature of the proposed mechanism is unknown at some distant developmental step, due to insufficient data, therefore Creationist assumption takes over. BUT Creationitst assumptions simply doesn’t fit the paradigm of obsevable data. I was YEC and defended YEC using the same tactics you do, but when you run across people who both admit their ignorance of the details, and then show you the broader picture and ask you which hypothesis accommodates the existing data better… It becomes rather clear if you agree to set your bias aside for a moment. That’s why one is elevated to a status of scientific theory and the other remains a religious conjecture.

Yes, there are problematic details for both hypotheses that we can discuss to no end. But you haven’t answered the central question as to what do you actually believe?

If we take ALL of the existing data, lay it on the table and measure it against both YEC hypothesis. (Old Earth cration still stipulates young life), then which hypothesis fits the data better and why?

Do you believe God created ALL life as is less than 10k years ago and then flooded the Earth some 5-6k years ago? We can dance around details for years, but let’s look at the bigger pictures and the supporting documents for for either.

(Sirje) #162

this is meant for @SaraB . (The computer grabbed timeteichman as well. - sorry)

Does that apply to our understanding and application of scripture as well? Do we ever manipulate scripture to agree with our biases and inclinations? How can we trust our own understanding of Scripture?

Can we trust scientific information that form the basis of scientific “discoveries”, resulting in medical and technological advances? Can we trust the calculations for the speed of light, for an example, that has enabled man to land on the moon, and machines to land on Mars, but has also sent us pictures of deep space whose light has travelled billions of years to reach us? What are we to do with information that makes our rockets land safely on Mars and also gives us data about the universe that contradicts that the world is flat - and that there are three heavens (like the Bible says); and as some want to believe the earth to be six thousand years old?

Is it intellectually honest to accept some results of scientific discoveries, but reject them when they don’t agree with our preconceived beliefs? It’s convenient to blame the Devil every time science discovers information that contradicts ancient beliefs held by Bible writers. Are we able to discern Godly principles from the Bible, but recognize its limitation of culture and knowledge in the details? Can we trust that the Holy Spirit is able to help us discern the difference?

Scientific knowledge is neutral - neither good or evil. How we use that knowledge can certainly be manipulated. Science can be manipulated by funding; and religion can be manipulated by bias; both can be manipulated by human error.


So you think the rocks are old, but the fossils all about the same age, i.e. no fossil is really older than 6k to what 10Kya or so?


Again… Is the Creator a biological entity. If not, then you are talking about Abiogenesis. It would be different kind, but nevertheless, there are multiple means of thinking about this when it comes to possible mechanisms.

Either way, the way I see it, because of it’s adamant inistance on YLC (young life creationism), the church has no alternatives but to conceptually align itself with YEC.

The eventuality of both YEC and YLC is an argument that “yes, the data only looks like it’s old and evolved, but it’s only because God created it that way”. Which is ok argument as a religious assertion. But it’s not an ad-hoc argument when it comes to following the data.

Arguments about details of how evolution may not have happened are very welcome in science. But, attempting to overrule science on a basis of conjecture is dishonest, if you don’t mention that your assertions are not derived from the data, but from a-priori assumptions before you ever get to the data. Which is also ok, but again, that’s incongruent with scientific methodology.

Science and religion can play well if they occasionally pause and synch up their assumptions. It happened in history innumerable times. What modern Christian believe about Cosmology and biology would have been a heresy during the early church days.

Martin Luther believed that Bible teaches that stars and the sun are balls of firenfasted the the firmament not that far away. He insisted that Christians shouldn’t be like those philosophers and scientists and follow him in that belief. And many Christians believed and argued that in his day. If they still insisted on that, then church wouldn’t likely to exist today.

So, the church eventually shifts along with science. Evolution is one of these scientific theories that even Adventists would likely accommodate eventually in some shape or form. It would likely be when the present generation retires and takes a backseat, but church would be much more productive spiritual enterprise if it stopped this nonsensical infighting on issues of little ontological significance or consequences.