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The moon is made of cheese!

I believe the latest scientific opinion is that we (those with broadly European roots) owe up to 2% of our DNA to inter-breeding with Neaderthals. I gained that from a recent BBCtv programme tracing the genetic history of 'Eddy Izzard' - it didn't go into details, however it is interesting that our ancestors may have interbred. It is only recently that it has been considered possible and I'm sure opinions will be revised with more testing and samples of ancient DNA. I think that's the way science works.

Skin colour - Vitamin D vs sunburn. Rickets or a red nose! - perhaps the parasol was invented before wheel.


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@Dan I believe that each type of bird, (not exactly each species, but each general kind) were made with a special type of skill (much like humans), and that each one of that type is slightly different for their specific needs.


@Ego, I'm gonna agree with Dan and say around 6k years.


As for neanderthals.. I'll have to agree with Dan again.


Carbon dating? http://voices.yahoo.com/have-scientists-discovered-flaws-carbon-dating-7009058.html


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@Dan I believe that each type of bird, (not exactly each species, but each general kind) were made with a special type of skill (much like humans), and that each one of that type is slightly different for their specific needs.

Well, science classifies the different types as different species on what traits they have. Different traits, different species.

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Rant: There's a lot of conflict in being a biology major and a Christian... I'm going to a state university, so I'm constantly being fed things I don't believe, particularly when it comes to the origin of life on earth. Evolution is absolutely foolish in my opinion. They expect me to believe that life came about because a pool of slime got struck by lightning and formed proteins?

Evolution does not say that "life came about because a pool of slime" etc. That is simply a hypothesis about where life came from, also known as abiogenesis ("Abiogenesis or biopoiesis is the natural process by which life arises from inorganic matter").


Hypothesis and theory are very different terms, and these are connected but separate areas of science. Please do not reject all science just because you do not agree with 1 statement. Evolution, by itself, makes no statement about abiogenesis.


From Wikipedia:


Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.

That's it. Nothing about where life came from (although to be fair the very next paragraph jumps into that topic).


This is provably and demonstrably correct. You can perform experiments to verify it yourself (although it's probably easier, and more humane, to read up on prior work in this area instead).


Heck, a lot of important software uses evolutionary algorithms to perform complicated tasks that aren't well suited to traditional programming methods. How do you think Google works? There's a lot more similarity between biological evolution and evolutionary algorithms than you might think. Your DNA sequence is basically just a long list of numbers, and the same is true about software. (however, it's fair to point out that the success of evolutionary algorithms does not require the success or truth of biological evolution)



Or that the only reason I'm alive today is because x number of Giga-years ago some proteobacteria decided to climb inside a eukaryotic cell and form mitochondria?

Maybe ... maybe not. I doubt we will ever know for sure. It's one of science's coolest mysteries.



The similarities in nature aren't evidence of a common ancestor: they are evidence of a common Creator.

How so? Please back up this statement. This sounds like jumping to conclusions even more so than you claim the other side is doing. Your statement also requires proof of a Creator, which we do not have ("look at everything around you! It must have been made by God!" is not proof. Nor can the creation story in Genesis be considered "proof"). Note that I said we do not have proof of this, which neither confirms nor denies a Creator. However, it does mean that we cannot hang other scientific statements off of it while still being intellectual honest or rigid.


There is significant evidence pointing toward a common ancestor. All it takes is a lot of DNA sequencing and tools (probably software) that point out differences and sort by similarity. You may not have the tools to perform this analysis, or the tools may currently be prohibitively expensive, but in principle it's possible.



It's easier for me to believe that God created everything we see than to believe that it all came about by chance.

Yes, it's easier, but is it correct? Maybe, maybe not. You shouldn't believe something just because it's easier to accept (watch out Occam's Razor). Also, "chance" is very much the wrong term here. Dawkins has some long rant about this somewhere (he's smart, but also a supreme jerk, so watch out). Evolution is not some kind of penny slot machine -- it is strongly guided by environmental factors. There is even research that suggests a certain amount of determinism in the process.


Anyway I'm not trying to call you stupid or anything. There's just a lot more to the truth than claiming something else is wrong because you don't believe it. You can believe in something all you want, that doesn't make it true (and vice versa: you can disbelieve something all you want, that doesn't make it false). Is it fair to state that you are interested in knowing the truth? If so, then you owe it to yourself to perform your own research in areas that are important to you. You may end up changing your mind, or bolstering your beliefs, or maybe you'll become more confused :) At the very least, what you will often find is that the issue is not simply 2-sided, with scientists on one side and Christians on the other side. Scientists disagree with each other all the time, as do people of faith. It is very much not an "us vs. them" type of issue.

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Thank you for your perspective. If you read a little more of what has been said, I explain myself a little better. As a man of science and a man of faith, I often have to learn about things that I do not agree with. But I do not reject all science. (I'm a science major) I am interested in knowing the truth, and what I have learned in these classes has bolstered my beliefs. I don't believe that religion can be separated from science. When I see that mitochondria bear resemblance in function to proteobacteria, I do not think, "Mitochondria must have come from bacteria, then." Instead, I think, "It's a common design because God decided to make it that way." Albert Einstein once said that "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." The beauty and complexity of the world around us gives me confidence that there is a God, and that He created it all. Whether you agree or not is up to you.

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Yeah, I prefer to live in ignorant bliss, and focus on useless information, which I store in my head rather well.


However, I mentioned this discussion to my hubby, a paleontologist, and he said almost word for word what Rubrica said.


And here's a fun fact - the first paleontologists were clergymen, who began looking for proof of God and creation, and found evidence leading to evolution instead.

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So why would nature provides us with this big brain but not to use

only a small part of it? Actually some are not using even 1% of it, and there

are some are using 0% for thinking and it is just their in there skull to

control their everyday activities without even they know that it is doing this

to their bodies.


Till Chimpanzee, the theory may survive, but with the human

being it is impossible and not related at all by any meaning.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to bump an old topic, but I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on evolution. It seems to be a popular topic lately and has also drawn some attention to the scientific method.


I do not consider myself to be an "evolutionist." By which I mean I do not hold beliefs in evolution. I accept evolution as a current, science supported theory. I do not "believe in" evolution or accept it as truth. That is not science. If you look at the history of science you will see why it is not always a good idea to accept a theory as truth: they are often disproven or altered as time goes on.


I do see value in the theory of evolution as there are some good, observable examples of it working. We can observe evolution in bacteria and viruses today, because they are able to reproduce and mutate so quickly. I think some people in this thread are denying evolution completely when it is a decent explanation for these things. Just ask the question: "Why does bacteria become resistant to drugs or vaccinations?" The flu requires new vaccinations after a certain period of time. Certain bacteria like MRSA have become resistant to antibiotics (which were designed to combat them). I think that evolution is a good theory to use in these situations as it works well. I should say it is the best scientifically valid theory to use in these examples. I don't mean that it is the "correct answer" to these questions, but rather it is an acceptable answer.


I also go to a state university which teaches the theory of evolution. And I saw a number of people get upset with the teachings because they do not have an understanding of the scientific method. I personally held a "belief" in evolution until I improved my understanding of the modern scientific method and how it was used in the past. The book I read was called "Understanding Philosophy of Science" by James Ladyman. The basic, modern system used to classify scientific theories is known as falsification. Here are some, but not all basic rules of falsification if you are interested:


1. There are no beliefs (induction). 
2. A previous event does not prove a future event will have the same outcome. (Again, this is induction).
3. The goal of falsification is to disprove previous theories, not prove.
4. Therefore, no theory is “truth.” There is no truth.
5. Statements that cannot be disproven are invalid under falsification. They have no relevance.
#5 is a very important point of falsification in my understanding of it.
I think that understanding falsification will help a lot of people with the scientific method in general. I can say it helped me a lot, but I don't know what your opinions are.
But I can say this- the technical "disbelief" in evolution will not make you any less of a scientist under the terms of falsificationism. 
Edited by kirby145
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"By trying to reinvent the wheel every time we find very often with square wheels" ...X-blaster

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"The Bible was written years before scientists thought the Earth was round did they not? Well, in the Bible, it specifically states that the Earth was ROUND."


This is an all-too-common Christian argument that doesn't really hold water, and here's why:


That verse in the Bible refers to the "CIRCLE of the Earth", which is not the same thing as a SPHERE.  A circle can still be flat, just look at any circular table.  Sorry if it seems like I'm splitting hairs here, but terminology is extremely important in a debate such as this one.

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This is an all-too-common Christian argument that doesn't really hold water, and here's why:


That verse in the Bible refers to the "CIRCLE of the Earth", which is not the same thing as a SPHERE.  A circle can still be flat, just look at any circular table.  Sorry if it seems like I'm splitting hairs here, but terminology is extremely important in a debate such as this one.

I'm sorry. I had every intention of staying out of this thread cuz it's nothing but trouble, but I'd like to point out that the Bible was originally written in another language. This passage can be translated in more than one way. In fact, "circle of the earth" can also be translated as "round ball of the earth." Another translation calls it the "circle of the horizon." You'll have to ask an expert in the Hebrew language about this one.

Different translations aside, even the English "circle of the earth" does not suggest the earth is a flat circle. The "of" suggests that there is an aspect of the earth that is circular. Think of the grammar like this: if I said "the whites of your eyes," is that to say your eyes are completely white? Obviously not. Likewise with "the circle of the earth."

Combining the above two paragraphs, then, "circle of the earth" could refer simply to the fact that the horizon makes a circle around you, or that, when you are at a high altitude, it has an apparent curvature to it. One way or another, it doesn't in any way suggest that the writer believed the earth to be a flat circle.

And while I'm at it, Christopher Columbus didn't have to prove the earth was round. Europeans at the time already knew the earth was round. In fact, ancient Greeks already knew the earth was round. One of them, Eratosthenes, even calculated (quite accurately) the circumference! If you have taken geometry, almost every geometry textbook has a section that references that accomplishment.

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I think that instrumentality helped me with my personal usage of scientific theories.


Falsificationism does not allow you to believe in evolution as truth, but you can accept that it is a scientifically valid theory.


So, I need a reason to use theories which are currently accepted and scientifically valid, but without holding a belief in them.


Instrumentalism was my favorite approach. As stated on Wikipedia: "instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality."


There are a lot of arguments for and against these approaches as well as other approaches. But I think it is likely that everyone in here as chosen their own methods for using and understanding science (and a lot of people in here could use certain methods in order to utilize the theory of evolution).


See the theory of gravity and its history. It's something which we thought we understood until people like Einstein came along- and now there's a lot of room for debate on how gravity works.



Edited by kirby145

"By trying to reinvent the wheel every time we find very often with square wheels" ...X-blaster

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  • 5 months later...

I am a scientist and a Christian, and I have no problem reconciling the two.  If you do, you probably haven't spent enough time exploring either.


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them." - Galileo Galilei


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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I'm just going to assume you're trolling, because otherwise I will cry at humanity.


Honestly, I've been in this debate for far too long and I've been beaten every time.  However, due to my stubborn nature, I don't give in. 


It was in a cracked.com article that I cant seem to find - the Science's theory of how the world was made fits in with almost every religious explanation to how the world was made.

The universe existed for x amount of years, then x appeared and did x which made the entire world and everything that's in it. 

The universe existed for an infinite number of years, then a super-dense atom appeared and exploded which made the entire world and everything that's in it.  

In the beginning, the Word was with God and the Word was God.  Then God went through that seven-day-long process, which made the entire world and everything that's in it. 

Of course, my writing of it isn't as convincing/good as the other guy's, but it brings the point across.  Evolution doesn't really matter, in my opinion.  Some book called "the Icons of Evolution" that we read last year for Biology went through and supposedly disproved every major "proof" of evolution.  But according to the internet (namely, wikipedia) the book is extremely biased and completely wrong.  But according to the book, evolutionists are extremely biased and completely wrong.  Who knows.  It's like the gun debate - better to have religion and not need it, than to need religion and not have it, right?  




I don't know.  I'll just leave that there.  Having read the bottom part about Darwin's Finches, I will say that it appears that they left out the stuff that was said about it (that the beaks increased/decreased in size during harsh or prominent times, but went back to normal in between.)  I think I'm too biased to try to make any sort of opinion on any of it, at this point.  It just depends on who introduced you to what, and when - I think that we, as humans, tend towards the values we were raised with.  

Edit:  A friend on facebook shared this.  It seems relevant to me.  



Edit 2: 


Reading this, linked in the previous article, was an interesting experience.  


That last paragraph didn't give me the same vibe as the rest of it.  However, it was more scientifically acceptable than the other article.  

But I found it interesting that it went from saying

"The first are based on the Terman cohort of the gifted, started in 1921 by Lewis Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University. (The cohort is still being followed.) In the study, Terman recruited more than 1,500 children whose IQ exceeded 135 at the age of 10. Two studies used this data, one conducted by Robin Sears at Columbia University in 1995 and the other by Michael McCullough at the University of Miami in 2005, and they found that “Termites,” as the gifted are called, were less religious when compared to the general public."


"The most common explanation is that intelligent people don’t like to accept any beliefs that are not subject to empirical tests or logical reasoning. Zuckerman writes in the review that intelligent people may think more analytically, which is “controlled, systematic, and slow”, as opposed to intuitively, which is “heuristic-based, mostly non-conscious, and fast." That analytical thinking leads to lower religiosity."  


"As always, the word “correlation” is important. It hasn’t been shown that higher intelligence causes someone to be less religious. So, it wouldn’t be right to call someone a dimwit just because of their religious beliefs. Unless, of course, you are an ancient playwright looking to provoke your audience."



"That analytical thinking (of higher intelligence) leads to lower religiosity."


"It hasn't been shown that higher intelligence causes someone to be less religious." 


Am I that biased, or is that contradicting?  

But, then again, this is about evolution, not atheism vs. religion.  It's just that my mind drifts this way whenever this comes up.  

Edited by AGJM

The hardest part of ending is starting again. 

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