1. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 19:41
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
  2. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 19:46
    Originally posted by josephw
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
    The Origin of Species: Charles Darwin
  3. Donationkirksey957
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    27 Mar '07 20:01
    Originally posted by josephw
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
    It always helps to believe in things that one can see. A number of years ago I got my kids this rather large salamander. It had a name like Aloxilotil, but I'm not sure of the spelling. Anyway, it was a completely underwater animal. It ate goldfish. About a year later we noticed that it became somewhat lifeless and lethargic. My wife said, "hey, look, it's gills are getting smaller." Sure enough they were. We kept a close eye on him/her and the gills continued to get smaller. So we thought we had better lower the water level and put some rocks in there. Eventually the gills vanished completely and it emerged as a land animal. We had to change its diet to crickets. It would sit in the water , but never submerge itself in water again. We eventually gave it away so I'm not sure if there were further evolutionary stages for this animal. While I doubt it, to me that was a clear case of evolution before my eyes.
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Mar '07 20:40
    Originally posted by josephw
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
    Only the single longest thread on here, with 3032 posts. From 27 March, ’06 to 25 March ’07—so far...

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=40560
  5. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    27 Mar '07 20:49
    Originally posted by josephw
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
    You're an idiot.
  6. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 21:04
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    You're an idiot.
    And you're a desendant of an ape.
  7. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 21:064 edits
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    It always helps to believe in things that one can see. A number of years ago I got my kids this rather large salamander. It had a name like Aloxilotil, but I'm not sure of the spelling. Anyway, it was a completely underwater animal. It ate goldfish. About a year later we noticed that it became somewhat lifeless and lethargic. My wife said, "hey, lo or this animal. While I doubt it, to me that was a clear case of evolution before my eyes.
    I'm afraid that is not a very good example. In fact it's not an example of evolution at all. Evolution does not occur in an individual. It occurs through many generations of individuals.

    There are loads of examples of evolution (change in organisms over time), for example, selective breeding by humans of domesticated animals or viruses and bacteria gaining resistance to to the drugs targeted at them. the second of these is an example of evolution with no intelligent direction. The best model we have to describe this is Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

    There is no proof of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, in the same way that there is no proof of the theories of gravity, relativity, plate tectonics or any of the other established scientific theories. However, there is a mountain of compelling evidence for it and no counter examples have been demonstrated.

    A very quick and dirty overview of how the scientific method works is this (others will be able to describe it better or correct flaws in it)
    1. Observe some natural event or phenomenon
    2. Construct a hypothesis that seems to explain that event
    3. look for any further events or phenomena that would show the theory to be false. Similarly, attempt to construct tests of the theory that, if failed, would show the theory to be false.
    4. If no such counter examples are found, then your hypothesis may be promoted to the status of a theory and you may, for the moment and with the knowledge that it still may later be shown to be false, treat the theory as accurate and true.

    Hence you cannot prove any scientific theory to be true. What you can do is think up tests or situations that would prove it to be false. This is the difference between a scientific explanation and a religious or spiritual one: the religious explanation does not allow any set of physical observations to show it is wrong; the adherents would simply say 'God made it to look that way' or something similar. Hence a spiritual or religious explanation has no predictive power.

    There is a huge thread on this forum called 'What's wrong with evolution'. I don't suggest you read though, it's over 3000 posts long and generally goes round in circles! I would point you instead to the following websites where the arguments from both sides are given:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/
    goes through the claims of anti-evolutionists and explains why they are invalid from a scientific viewpoint.

    www.trueorigins.org
    is an equivalent site from a (christian) creationist viewpoint.

    http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/index.html
    is a site I recently came across that seems to explain things pretty clearly from an atheistic and evolutionary standpoint.

    Regards,

    --- Penguin
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Mar '07 21:14
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I'm afraid that is not a very good example. In fact it's not an example of evolution at all. Evolution does not occur in an individual. It occurs through many generations of individuals.

    There are loads of examples of evolution (change in organisms over time), for example, selective breeding by humans of domesticated animals or viruses and bacteria gainin ...[text shortened]... ly came across that seems to explain things pretty clearly

    Regards,

    --- Penguin
    Wouldn't #2 be better labeled a hypothesis at that stage?
  9. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 21:26
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Wouldn't #2 be better labeled a hypothesis at that stage?
    Yes it would. [edit] and now it does. Thanks.

    --- Penguin.
  10. Joined
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    27 Mar '07 21:47
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    You're an idiot.
    And that is a singularly unhelpful post. If you have nothing to say, please say it.

    --- Penguin.
  11. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    27 Mar '07 22:26
    Originally posted by josephw
    And you're a desendant of an ape.
    We all are.


    I'm rather proud of it, in fact.
  12. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    27 Mar '07 22:27
    Originally posted by josephw
    And you're a desendant of an ape.
    As are you.

    Penguin, he's an idiot because he can't seem to find any of the numerous threads about Evolution and instead started his own.
  13. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    27 Mar '07 22:29
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I'm afraid that is not a very good example. In fact it's not an example of evolution at all. Evolution does not occur in an individual. It occurs through many generations of individuals.

    There are loads of examples of evolution (change in organisms over time), for example, selective breeding by humans of domesticated animals or viruses and bacteria gainin ...[text shortened]... etty clearly from an atheistic and evolutionary standpoint.

    Regards,

    --- Penguin
    It is worthwhile noting that trueorigins does tend to make rather a lot of its "facts" up.
  14. Standard memberRemoved
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    28 Mar '07 00:49
    Well, I be a monkey's uncle....or maybe he's the uncle...I'm confused...
  15. Joined
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    28 Mar '07 01:262 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    evolution?

    No doubt this has been debated before, but I was wondering if someone could tell me why you believe evolution is true.

    I'm tired of trying to prove God exists, so I thought this might be refreshing.

    Also, my scientific background is limited so please keep it in layman's terms.
    Evolution has left numerous signs of the histories of different species. Fossils, along with the comparative anatomy of present-day organisms, constitute the morphological, or anatomical, record. By comparing the anatomies of both modern and extinct species, paleontologists can infer the lineages of those species.

    The development of molecular genetics, and particularly of DNA sequencing, has allowed biologists to study the record of evolution left in organisms' genetic structures. The degrees of similarity and difference in the DNA sequences of modern species allows geneticists to reconstruct their lineages. It is from DNA sequence comparisons that figures such as the 96% genotypic similarity between humans and chimpanzees are obtained.

    Other evidence used to demonstrate evolutionary lineages includes the geographical distribution of species. For instance, monotremes and most marsupials are found only in Australia, showing that their common ancestor with placental mammals lived before the submerging of the ancient land bridge between Australia and Asia.

    Scientists correlate all of the above evidence, drawn from paleontology, anatomy, genetics, and geography, with other information about the history of Earth. For instance, paleoclimatology attests to periodic ice ages during which the world's climate was much cooler, and these are often found to match up with the spread of species which are better-equipped to deal with the cold, such as the woolly mammoth.

    Fossils are critical evidence for estimating when various lineages originated. Since fossilization of an organism is an uncommon occurrence, usually requiring hard parts (like teeth, bone, or pollen), the fossil record provides only sparse and intermittent information about ancestral lineages.

    The fossil record provides several types of data important to the study of evolution. First, the fossil record contains the earliest known examples of life itself, as well as the earliest occurrences of individual lineages. For example, the first complex animals date from the early Cambrian period, approximately 520 million years ago. Second, the records of individual species yield information regarding the patterns and rates of evolution, showing whether, for example, speciation occurs gradually and incrementally, or in relatively brief intervals of geologic time. Thirdly, the fossil record is a document of large-scale patterns and events in the history of life. For example, mass extinctions frequently resulted in the loss of entire groups of species, while leaving others relatively unscathed. Recently, molecular biologists have used the time since divergence of related lineages to calibrate the rate at which mutations accumulate, and at which the genomes of different lineages evolve.

    Phylogenetics, the study of the ancestry of species, has revealed that structures with similar internal organization may perform divergent functions. Vertebrate limbs are a common example of such homologous structures. The appendages on bat wings, for example, are very structurally similar to human hands, and may constitute a vestigial structure. Vestigial structures are idiosyncratic anatomical features such as the panda's "thumb", which indicate how an organism's evolutionary lineage constrains its adaptive development. Other examples of vestigial structures include the degenerate eyes of blind cave-dwelling fish, and the presence of hip bones in whales and snakes. Such structures may exist with little or no function in a more current organism, yet have a clear function in an ancestral species. Examples of vestigial structures in humans include wisdom teeth, the coccyx and the vermiform appendix.

    These anatomical similarities in extant and fossil organisms can give evidence of the relationships between different groups of organisms. Important fossil evidence includes the connection of distinct classes of organisms by so-called "transitional" species, such as the Archaeopteryx, which provided early evidence for intermediate species between dinosaurs and birds, and the recently-discovered Tiktaalik, which clarifies the development from fish to animals with four limbs.

    is this good. or do you need more?
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