I wasn't quite sure whether to vote that it's a science or a theory. The problem is, it is a scientific theory, but the word "theory" carries implications of uncertainty and guesswork. I finally put "science," although I consider it to be more a phenomenon, fact, or theory than a science. (My definition of science is a branch of scientific study, like biology, or applied science/knowledge, like medicine.)
Could you please give links to your sources? Every reputable, sufficiently informative source I have encountered on it supports the idea that it is a scientific theory. It describes things which have been objectively observed, changes to accommodate discrepancies (and, I assume, would be dissolved entirely if sufficient evidence completely contradicted it), and involves more logic, explanation, and testing than simple dogma.
I can't particularly give links to my sources, because my choice to believe in creation was built over the overwhelming evidence I have seen through my entire life. However, if you would like some of the sources I recall, a very good place to start with simple would be a DVD series called TrueU: Does God Exist?. My church did it and it truely blew my mind. You could also try looking up some of Ken Ham's work. Creation is much more plausable than this socity gives it credit for, and evolution is much less fact. ~Rose
I've looked up one partial biography of Mr. Ham, and may look up more about him and his ideas. I have to admit, first of all, that I am generally apprehensive about literalist interpretations of the Bible. Parts, or maybe even all, of it may have been inspired by God, but it has been passed down, written down, and translated by fallible, biased humans, often with their own agendas. The simplest argument against the Bible as literal fact is the presence of two independent, partially incompatible creation stories in Genesis. I won't go into that further unless asked, as the topic at hand is evolution, not religion. I might check out some of his books and that DVD series you mentioned, just to find out any merits of the other side of the debate. Could you please give me a few of your basic arguments against evolution, though? I don't know when I'll get around to checking those sources, so I would rather know why you oppose the concept in your own words. And I agree that divine creation is plausible, mostly because there's literally no way to prove it. Therefore, it is not scientific, but faith-based. I still don't understand why so many people think evolution and intelligent design of the universe are incompatible.
For one thing, the whole of the bible is not meant to be taken literally. A lot of it meant to be take figurativly. Psalm 98:8 says, "Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;" Taken literally... yeah, no. Now, that has caused many divisions, because a lot of people take different parts to be figurative, like those who say the account of creation is figurative. I personally beleive in six literal days, but many people believe in figurative thousands/millions/billions of years. As for the human fallibility in copying the scriptures, I recently found out about some ancient documents that were found sealed away in a tomb (I will have to look up where) and when compared to the documents we have now, the ones that have been copied and copied and copied, the diferences are very minor. I shall try to organize my thoughts in order to tell you why I don't believe in evolution. It may be a while, because lately I've been stuggling to think in a manner that I can express. If you think about it, there's literally no way to "prove" evolution, either. In short, no one was there, and it can't be repeated. I actually have very good reason why Christianity and evolution aren't compatible. I will have to see if I can explain it well enough for someone to understand. ~Rose
Okay. I was mainly mentioning the literal interpretation because the biography emphasized Ken Ham's assertion of it.
If the ancient scriptures really are so similar, that's pretty neat. There are still some places in which different translations produce very different implications (one of the more minor, but funnier, being the passage in which Moses comes down the mountain after receiving the laws - depending on how the text is interpreted, either he was glowing, or he appeared to have horns.). More importantly, the Old Testament in particular existed as oral folklore long before it was written down, and some parts can be pointed out as changing with the times. Of the two creation stories, for example, the one starting at 1:1 (which was developed after the second) serves to counter a Babylonian creation story of the time: most notably, the Hebrew God, not Marduk, draws the world up out of the watery deep, and only chaos existed before God (as opposed to the Babylonian story, in which there was sufficient existence for dozens of gods to fight a war).
As for your claim that there's no way to "prove" evolution, that's true. There's also no way to prove that gravity attracts objects, rather than them happening to draw near each other in a way that happens to vary with their distance and respective masses. Real proof exists only in mathematics, if there; science works in evidence and explanations. In science, we make observations, note patterns, and attempt to explain all the observations yet made. If a given theory successfully explains all the phenomena it relates to, and still stands after testing, it's valid. However, it is still not considered to be set-in-stone; remember, Newtonian physics is quite different from Einsteinian physics.
More importantly, the question is not whether a theory can be proven, but whether it can be disproven. I can posit a theory that leprechauns make dough rise, but it is only a valid theory (whether or not it is true) if there is some hypothetical set of conditions under which I would admit it to be false. If I were to throw a ball up into the air and it continued without accelerating down again, I would first seek an alternate explanation, but if that didn't work, I would rescind my assumption that gravity is universal on a macroscopic scale. If a dog gave birth to a duck, that would disprove the theory that species are a valid system of classification. And as Richard Dawkins pointed out, if a paleontologist were to find the fossils of a modern hippopotamus in rock from the pre-Cambrian era, that would disprove evolution.
On a lighter note, I've struggled with giving words to thoughts many times. Especially when I need to speak them out loud.
Nope, not the same thing - especially in the extremity of the change. Microevolution, for example, would be the change of a species of moths being predominantly white to predominantly black, because the terrain had changed due to a volcanic eruption (ie lots of ash, so the black ones were now better camoflauged). That's a cited case, forget the specific species name though. It would also include differences in human race, etc. Still the same species, but there are slight differences involved. Macroevolution would be the change from chimp to human, amoeba to multi-celled organism, invertebrate to vertebrate, etc. And while there is much speculation, postulation, and theory, there is no definitive proof for any of those changes. (used to be a big of a science geek)
So I suppose you could say in theory it would be the same thing, but only if macroevolution were provable, which at this point it is not yet. (and no, one thumb bone from something they can't identify doesn't count as 'proof' - just ask the 'brontosaurus', haha.)
Hmmm?? still sounds like exactly the same thing to me, all these small things add up over time and when a species is isolated due to environmental changes two populations may change so much over time that they can no longer breed with each other, which therefor makes a new species, this is only one way it can happen though but probably the fastest. theres plenty of proof for this. With macroevolutions, it is still the exact same thing as micro, just takes millions of years. For example a tortoise is born with a mutuation that gives it a longer neck when food on the ground is in shortage. This tortoise is much more sucessful and when it breeds it may pass on this gene that helps it to survive. And if over time the food on highter and higher levels becomes unavailable the tortoises neck might change to resemble that of a brontosaurus/Apatasaurus.??? it just takes time
I'll have to disagree still - I think they're very different matters.
Take humans for instance. You compare a Scandinavian and an African, and their climate and environment have (micro)evolved them to have different builds, skin tones, and even bone structures. However, they are still human, and still would be over long periods of time, if under the mandates of micro-evolution, regardless of isolation.
Macroevolution would be a shift so extreme they couldn't be considered the same species, ala Time Machine or X-Men - though even there in both of them the argument could be made for either macro or micro-evolution since they're still similar in so many ways.
Which I'm sure you're aware of and we're just talking semantics at this point. *shrugs*
Anyhow, I see the two very similar in that one stops at a certain point, only bending a species so far before actually changing it all together, while the other makes jumps and leaps and bounds.
Personally, I'm not a believer in macroevolution (I know, surprise suprise - but for me there is not enough definitive proof), hence why I see such a distinction between the two. Even if I were, though, from a scientific standpoint I would still see a divergence between the two types because of the aforementioned cap. I think they are altogether different animals and affect creatures in different ways, though I can see where you'd come from that, if one is true and you believe the other is true, then they could certainly bleed into each other.
But the difference is that is it so incredibly more complicated. The "simple" step of getting the amino acids to line up in the right order to make relitivly small protein is mathmatically three times what is considered impossible, and that's just one step in an astronomical amount that would be needed to bring about what we see today. With the knowledge of the world we have today, I believe that a logical man such as Charles Darwin would see that it is in fact more probable that there was in fact a Creator rather than just random chance. ~Rose
There's a difference between "God initiated life" and "there is no evolution." Let's start right after life began - could have been divinely instituted, could have happened at random. Pretty clearly, some traits would be more advantageous than others. Pretty clearly, some organisms (possibly just protocells at this point) will be more adept at surviving and, eventually, reproducing than others. I assume you acknowledge that genes exist, are hereditary, and can be altered by occasional mutation. So from there, very gradually, some organisms accumulated certain traits others did not. Very gradually, some became so different from others that they could no longer breed (if sexual) or were another species on traits alone. Some of those cells' descendents ended up as bacteria, some plants, some animals, some fungi. There have been well-documented cases of natural selection in modern times; for example, the moths which, over time, have darkened and then lightened in color because the earlier color made them obvious to predators (the difference in requirement was due to soot produced by industry). Also, cane toads in Australia have been found with longer and longer legs, for increased speed and distance. In case you point to these changes as evidence that such improvement is clearly divinely ordained, I present vestigial structures. If evolution is not a real phenomenon, why do some whales have vestigial leg bones? Why must bats be constrained to a wing structure based off of a mammalian forefoot/hand, rather than having a more efficient structure? Why, for that matter, are attributes like hair and milk-production so closely correlated, unless most or all of the animals which share both, logically unrelated, traits are descended from a common ancestor? Again, I am not discounting the possibility of divine creation. I am, in fact, a Presbyterian. I am just saying that the evidence of evolution adds up.
Oh no, I very firmly believe in... selective... I can't remember what I was saying. Natural selection! There we go! I beleive in natural selection, but the difference is that I beleive that it is "natural" "selection". Exatly the way the moths were: they had both black and white genes in them, and they turned black to survive, and then back to white to survive. The trick is; they're still moths. It was information they already had, it wasn't new information. ~Rose
However, suppose the existence of a species of lizard. Over time, some might develop preference for a certain type of prey and pass that on to their offspring. Some of the lizards who prefer burrowing mammals might eventually better become better adapted to pursuing them underground: shorter legs, more flexible bodies, etc. Other lizards of the same initial species might stay above ground, and might in fact be encumbered by such adaptation. Over many generations, some of the descendents of the burrowing lizards may continue to differentiate from the others (which would, themselves, be changing, though perhaps not to such a degree). If an extreme form on either side (flexible body and short legs on one, and firm body and long legs on the other) is preferable, those lizards which prefer mates with similar structures to their own would prosper. If genetic tendency were thus largely confined to two clusters, as it continued, the two groups might become so genetically dissimilar that their offspring would be infertile. They would now be considered separate species. I was going to follow the burrowing lizards and show how they become similar to snakes, but I think simple speciation is good enough.
Also, I've read a little of one of Ham's books now, and I'd like to say that no, evolution, speciation, natural selection, and adaptation are not considered to be the same things; they are, as he correctly points out, different processes, although they are related. And so far as I know, few if any scientists use "evolution" as a synonym for "the history of life on earth." The process of change in lifeforms, yes, the history of life itself, no.
Would you like to take this debate to Notes, or to continue it here?
Lol That maybe so! i dont remember where i heard he denied it, but due to heavy criticisms at the time, he probably had second thoughts.. I get the theory though, it actually makes sense, but its silly to say its fact if its not necessarily provable