Online Movie: Evolution-Fact or Belief


#1

I came across this movie today and I thought it was pretty interesting. It is about 1 hour, 15 min long and was made around 1994.

noevolution.org/

I recommend people watch the movie.

If you have seen the movie, what do you think?

I don’t like the way the title was worded (contrasting “fact” with “belief”) but I thought it raised genuine objections. The parts about the layers on earth shifting and building up is the most interesting part, because if that is true then the idea of lower layers being older is not always (if even for the most part) true. The only part I’m not sure about is how widely these truths apply.
Lastly, there were PhD’s in that movie saying there were problems with evolution, they cant be said they don’t know what they are talking about, so that tells me there is not as much agreement and undisputed facts as sometimes depicted.


#2

That evolution occurred is not debated by scientists. The mechanism of its occurrence, however, is still debated.

There is no conflict between being Catholic and accepting the evolution happened. In fact, the Church has stated that is is a Christian’s duty to seek out the modern explanation of the origin of the universe. The Church does, however, require the faithful to believe in the special and instant creation of the soul; that is, we are not allowed to hold that the soul evolved.

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html

(See articles 61-70)

The “scientific” claims of creationists are either distortions of good research, lack verifiability, or are outright lies. Creationists habitually and consistently choose to ignore the evidence supporting evolution. I find it appalling that they should advocate for the teaching of creation “science” in science classrooms because it is simply not sound science - if you even consider it science at all.

I suggest that you look at the following resources.

ca.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

The is a video of a lecture given by Catholic biologist Ken Miller. He argues against and exposes intelligent design and creationism.

He has also written a book called “Finding Darwin’s God” which is about how evolution and a belief and God cannot and should not be at odds. See his website at millerandlevine.com/km/evol/

I urge you not to become involved in the creation or intelligent design camp. Do your research, corroborate it, and make sound choices based on the evidence.


#3

Yeah, there are people with Ph.D in fields unrelated to evolution that say they have a problem with evolution. The fact that they don’t say what that problem is, is rather telling.
Generally, they say things like “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” (Calling it Darwinian theory is not even correct!)
They don’t say they can disprove evolution, because they can’t, and they don’t want to lose scientific credibility.
(Note: There are problems with our understanding of gravity too!)

Even if their field is biology, to just say “I have this degree and say evolution is wrong” would be an appeal to authority (the authority of their degree, or institution they got it from), which is logically fallacious.

If someone could disprove evolution with actual proof, they’d be world famous and likely get a Nobel prize.

When it comes to what is taught in schools, you need to rely on the experts. If the subject is X, the experts in X should determine the textbook and coursework. (Though it doesn’t need to be specifically taught by the expert until you get to the college level.) With evolution, earth and life scientists support evolution (and specifically not creationism or ID) by an incredible vast majority.
To put creationism or ID in a science classroom against the wishes of scientist is outrageous. I’m an engineer, and I think my engineering classes should not include, say, poetry. Stick to the subject as the experts of the subject say it is. Having a layman determine the course work of a technical class is never a good idea.

Also, I second giving a look into the works of Kenneth Miller. I haven’t read his books, but seeing his lectures on you tube actually gives one quite a bit of info.

Also, he was involved in the Dover trial. Documentary on it found here.

Finally, I view evolution as a study of God’s creation mechanism! (I know it shouldn’t be taught in schools as such; science classes should remain secular.) This makes evolution extra cool for me!


#4

awww, do I have to … (I’m pretty sure we’ve been here before, this sounds like a rehash of a lot of the same old stuff)

***Ecclesiastes 1:9 (New International Version)

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.***


#5

has anyone actually watched the movie, especially the part about lower layers not necessarily being older than upper layers?


#6

I have not seen the movie, but if it is standard creationist PRATTs then the reference to lower layers being younger that upper layers is probably going to be one of two things: overthrusts or Dr Berthault’s work.

Overthrusts are where a block of rock is compressed so it splits and one part rides up over the other, alternatively two blocks are thrust together and one rides up over the other. Overthrusts are easily recognisable by geologists, and are allowed for where they occur.

Dr Berthault did some excellent and interesting work on the deposition of layers in conditions of fluid flow. Unfortunately some creationists have taken this work and extrapolated it to cover all deposition everywhere at all times, which is extending it well beyond its limits. For a critique of the creationist misuse of Dr Berthault’s work see: Critique of Guy Berthault’s “Stratigraphy”. That webpage also includes a link to a response by Dr Berthault.

Am I right?

rossum


#7

I’d like to start by saying that I am not a creationist. I am a Catholic, and I do believe that God created everything, but exactly how He did it, while a fascinating subject, is of secondary importance.

I watched the whole film, and I found it very interesting. About a year ago I watched a fascinating film on the idea of intelligent design. It didn’t discuss rock formation or carbon dating, but it went into great detail regarding biochemistry. It focused on three points. First, the fact that proteins cannot be created except by other proteins. Second, that the amino acids that make up all proteins come in two varieties, nicknamed right-handed and left-handed, depending on their atomic configuration. All proteins are constructed entirely of left-handed amino acids, which exist at something like 1/1000th the frequency of right-handed ones. Protein-like structures made from right-handed amino acids are not capable of the reactions necessary for life. And third, the problem of “irreducible complexity”. This idea states that any machine, microscopic or macroscopic consists of various components, all contributing to the function of the machine. The loss of any one component would greatly hinder or even destroy the proper function of the machine. On a cellular level, the various molecular machines that a cell requires to function are each tremendously complex, and the cell as a set of systems is even more complex. Not even taking into account the unbelievable complexity of even a simple multicellular organism with numerous organs, the organelles inside a single bacterium will not function independent from one another, and the components of each organelle cannot function if the others are missing. In essence, the idea of evolution claims that more complicated systems arose from less complicated systems, however it can be easily demonstrated that the system cannot get any simpler and still function.

This post is getting long, so I will hunt down my bit on genetics compared to computer programming, and the one on gravity and time dilation in regards to the age of the universe and post them later.


#8

But I suspect that they did not tell you that a simpler system using ribozymes instead of proteins was probably the precursor the the DNA -> RNA -> protein system we have now. Google for “RNA World” to learn what the ID propaganda movie did not tell you.

Second, that the amino acids that make up all proteins come in two varieties, nicknamed right-handed and left-handed, depending on their atomic configuration.

Correct, which is why all current hypotheses on abiogenesis include an allowance for this fact.

And third, the problem of “irreducible complexity”.

Irreducible complexity can evolve, and has been shown to evolve. See Lenski et al: The Evolutionary Origin of Complex Features.

An example of the development of Irreducible Complexity is modern banking. In the 16th century banking was done by hand with bank statements being calculated by hand and written by hand. Gradually primitive adding machines were used; these were useful but not essential. Eventually the transition was made to electronic computers. At first the computers were useful but soon they became essential because the people who were previously doing things by hand got fired. Then the internet arrived and it was useful for banks to offer the alternative of getting statements by e-mail rather than on paper. This is useful and in some internet only accounts the internet is now essential because the bank does not send out paper statements at all.

Something starts by being a useful addition to an existing system, then the system adapts to the presence of the new element and it becomes essential. The end system is IC: banking now requires computers and sometimes the internet but the initial system required neither, just a man and a quill pen. The IC nature of the sytem has developed over time.

In essence, the idea of evolution claims that more complicated systems arose from less complicated systems, however it can be easily demonstrated that the system cannot get any simpler and still function.

It is far from easy to demonstrate this because it may have functioned in a different way. A modern bank finds computers essential and could not function without them, a 16th century bank functioned very well without electronic computers.

rossum


#9

First, the fact that proteins cannot be created except by other proteins.

That is false. Would you like to learn about it?


#10

And did banking just spontaneously develop out of a nebulous randomness? No, it was thought up by people. Every time someone tries to insist that God wasn’t necessary for things to exist or develop always ends up running into this problem. Programmers of genetic algorithms ran into it too. They thought they were so smart for proving that useful things could develop randomly. Then someone reminded them that someone still had to write the program, and give it parameters and victory conditions. And the computer didn’t just spontaneously form out of random parts either. Someone had to build it. This applies to everything. You can go as deep as you want, molecular, atomic, subatomic, quarks, theoretical particle physics, and yet the atheist still can’t even begin to offer any explanation for the infinite complexity and order of the universe. But they’re sure it wasn’t God, of that they can be certain. How scientific.

Sure, lay it on me! I’m always up for learning something new.


#11

Sorry rossum, I got my terminology mixed up, I confused proteins with something else (I’m not a biochemist, I’m just a geek who thinks it’s cool). Proteins can be formed by other things, but there is a point further back in the chain of reactions where the spontaneity stops. This is what I was referring to:

Since there are no known chemical pathways for the abiogenic synthesis of nucleotides from pyrimidine nucleobases cytosine and uracil under prebiotic conditions, it may be the case that nucleic acids did not contain the nucleobases seen in life’s nucleic acids. Tellingly, the nucleoside cytosine has a half-life in isolation of 19 days at 100°C and 17,000 years in freezing water, which is still very short on the geologic time scale. Others have questioned whether ribose and other backbone sugars could be stable enough to be found in the original genetic material. For example, the ester linkage of ribose and phosphoric acid in RNA is known to be prone to hydrolysis. Additionally, ribose must all be the same enantiomer, because any nucleotides of the wrong chirality act as chain terminators.

According to what I read about the RNA World theory, it has the same holes in it that every other abiogenesis theory does. There are certain types of molecules that simply don’t work right outside of life. The speculation is that RNA or one of a host of other organic molecule chains could have possibly performed protein catalyst reactions by itself, but nobody has any idea how.

But again, even if someone did figure out a plausible and demonstrable method by which life could have formed, it simply pushes the question further back. The stuff life is made of, where did that come from? The stuff that the stuff is made of, where did that come from? And isn’t it interesting that the laws of nature in this universe work so perfectly? And that they go so deep? Name one scientific question that has been answered that hasn’t resulted in dozens of new questions. There isn’t one. Personally, I think it’s cool. It means we’ll never run out of questions!


#12

This analogy falls short in many ways. If “banking done by hand” was Irreducibly Complex, that would mean that it would be impossible to “gradually change” any part of that function to the adding machines without losing purpose. Of course, this would have to happen on its own – with no “goal” of an adding machine provided for the future.

How would mutations to “hand banking” create an adding machine? The teller was using a pencil and paper. One day, the pencil would need to change into a “part” of an adding machine. But if it did that, it wouldn’t be a pencil. Thus, the banking process would stop. If the banking process stopped, there would be no more changes from the pencil-machine-part. The whole “banking organism” would die.

The pencil evolving to an adding machine doesn’t know where it is going to end up. It just mutated into something else. If the mutation caused the pencil to stop working (which 99% of the mutations will do), then the pencil dies in usefulness.

Eventually, the pencil has to evolve into an adding machine – at the same time that it continues to produce accurate numbers.

An adding machine cannot work with just keys, or just an ink pad, or just digits. It needs all of those parts.

In your analogy, an adding machine was designed separately (with a goal and a purpose) and then manually added to the process. This was not a gradual change from a pencil and paper.

An example of “evolution” in this would be a pencil that had to be sharpened often, but the teller just left it “dull” for longer times. Then the numbers gradually got “fatter” on the page.

But it’s still a pencil. Natural selection only works with “what is there”. It would have to create new substances (supposedly by mutations) to evolve into an adding machine.

Plus the adding machine would have to work with only half of the parts while it was “being evolved”. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t produce the numbers and thus would die.


#13

Ahh, without this or that part, the whole system will die. The Creationist’s favorite words (besides no transitional fossils) :slight_smile:

Read Finding Darwin’s God, page 142-160 and you’ll see why your story doesn’t work in reality :slight_smile:

Stop attacking God’s creating process :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

What process? The Darwinian mechanism that nobody can defend, support, agree upon or demonstrate? Or do you have some other process in mind that God used? If so, I’d like to see it.


#15

Wow, that’s some claim. You really can’t find anyone who can defend, support or demonstrate evolution or you refuse to acknowledge that which you have been presented?

I guess science really doesn’t exist in your mind.

Peace

Tim


#16

Perhaps you don’t want to make a distinction between “evolution” and the “mechanism by which God created all things” because to do so would require more clarity instead of ambiguity.

The claim was that I was “attacking God’s creating process”.

Apparently, I don’t need to look far to find someone to explain how God created life – since you will do that for us right now, right?

You might respond by saying “evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis” – but the question is with regards to “God’s creating process” which you’re (apparently) claiming is perfectly explained by science.

Where does science explain how God created things?

If it cannot, does God really exist in your mind?


#17

I don’t make a distinction because they are the same, at least in terms of life.

Apparently, I don’t need to look far to find someone to explain how God created life – since you will do that for us right now, right?

As you note below, evolution is not about how life began. I know you don’t like to hear that, but it is true.

However, I will explain it. God used evolution to get to the life forms that we currently find on earth starting with the first life form that He created.

You might respond by saying “evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis” – but the question is with regards to “God’s creating process” which you’re (apparently) claiming is perfectly explained by science.

Not perfectly, but really well. Do you require perfection? No doubt at all?

Where does science explain how God created things?

How God created what? The universe? See the Big Bang. Life? Science hasn’t shown how life began, but it has clearly demonstrated (at least to those who don’t deny science to begin with) how life has developed over time.

If it cannot, does God really exist in your mind?

Same song, different verse, eh Reggie? Still think I’m an athiest?

Peace

Tim


#18

Interesting. Actually you did seem to make this very distinction not long ago, unless I misread what you posted:

It seemed like you divided “evolution” from the “theory of how it occurs”. So it’s not the same thing.

However, I will explain it. God used evolution to get to the life forms that we currently find on earth starting with the first life form that He created.

I wouldn’t call that much of a scientific explanation – nor do I see you providing any evidence that God did this versus unguided natural laws.

Not perfectly, but really well. Do you require perfection? No doubt at all?

No, I don’t need perfection or something beyond doubt – just some reference in the scientific literature that tells us what God did. This is a rhetorical question. We both know that science does not tell us this. You’re giving proposed answers, and those are fine, but they’re based on your own belief and observation – not on scientific theories about God.

How God created what? The universe? See the Big Bang. Life? Science hasn’t shown how life began, but it has clearly demonstrated (at least to those who don’t deny science to begin with) how life has developed over time.

The question was “where does science explain how God created things?” Anything – sure, the universe, life, human beings. I can see the Big Bang referenced in science but I don’t see where scientists have explained that God created the universe.

Same song, different verse, eh Reggie? Still think I’m an athiest?

No, I do not think you are an atheist, nor did I say such a thing.

I think you claimed that science explains “God’s creating process”. But since science does not posit that God did any particular thing at all (or that God exists), then what should I conclude about your view of God? If science doesn’t say anything about God (perhaps you’re claiming that there are peer-reviewed scientific papers that explain what God does), then why do you refer me to science in order to defend your belief in God?

That seems like you’re pointing me to an empty void where I can see nothing that talks directly about the process God used and how He used it.

You’ve offered some ideas on your own, but what level of certainty can I place on them? For example again, as you stated:

God used evolution to get to the life forms that we currently find on earth starting with the first life form that He created.

That does not strike me as a scientific statement, but rather a statement of belief, or a philosophical concept.

You are free to explain nature with your theological views alongside of science, but I do not think you can claim that there is a consensus for “how God did things” in the scientific community. On the contrary, the consensus in the scientific community is that God does not exist.

The question on how God used evolution is not one of dogmatic certainty for Catholics. Because I question many aspects of these theories about God and evolution does not mean I am “attacking God’s creative process” since it is far from certain how God intervened in nature, what precisely He created, what He created directly or how He guided natural laws.

Can we see evidence of God’s influence (creative power) in nature? The teleological argument says that we can.


#19

You didn’t make that distinction in your claim that I was responding to. You said evolution. Evolution is a fact. The discussion in the science world is about how it happens. But I wasn’t addressing that, I was addressing your comment.

I wouldn’t call that much of a scientific explanation – nor do I see you providing any evidence that God did this versus unguided natural laws.

I don’t have any evidence that God did this. I make my claim based on my faith, not on science. See, I don’t have a problem having both faith and an acceptance of science. The science says that evolution is a fact. I agree with that. My faith says that God uses evolution to create the life forms we have on the earth now. I don’t have to deny either my faith or science.

No, I don’t need perfection or something beyond doubt – just some reference in the scientific literature that tells us what God did. This is a rhetorical question. We both know that science does not tell us this. You’re giving proposed answers, and those are fine, but they’re based on your own belief and observation – not on scientific theories about God.

What is a scientific theory about God? God is outside of science.

The question was “where does science explain how God created things?” Anything – sure, the universe, life, human beings. I can see the Big Bang referenced in science but I don’t see where scientists have explained that God created the universe.

That is because science cannot deal with God. God is supernatural and science is the study of nature. God doesn’t have to play by the rules, so we can’t test for Him nor can we falsify Him.

No, I do not think you are an atheist, nor did I say such a thing.

You certainly imply that when you ask me if I think that God really exists, especially since you and I have already discussed this and, I thought, had come to an agreement that I am Catholic. It seems as though I was mistaken.

I think you claimed that science explains “God’s creating process”. But since science does not posit that God did any particular thing at all (or that God exists), then what should I conclude about your view of God? If science doesn’t say anything about God (perhaps you’re claiming that there are peer-reviewed scientific papers that explain what God does), then why do you refer me to science in order to defend your belief in God?

I don’t. I was responding to your posts. I don’t need science to support my faith. However, unlike you, I won’t deny science. I don’t have any issues reconciling my faith with science, but it seems you do.

That seems like you’re pointing me to an empty void where I can see nothing that talks directly about the process God used and how He used it.

So? If I sent you to a chemistry book to learn why sodium hydroxide and hydrocloric acid combine to form salt water, would you make the same claim? There would be no discussion about God in that reaction. Did God have a hand in that reaction?

You’ve offered some ideas on your own, but what level of certainty can I place on them? For example again, as you stated:

[quote]God used evolution to get to the life forms that we currently find on earth starting with the first life form that He created.

That does not strike me as a scientific statement, but rather a statement of belief, or a philosophical concept.
[/quote]

Dang right it is a statement of faith. Am I not allowed to make faith-based statements?

You are free to explain nature with your theological views alongside of science, but I do not think you can claim that there is a consensus for “how God did things” in the scientific community. On the contrary, the consensus in the scientific community is that God does not exist.

There is a consensus that evolution is a fact. That is a scientific position. There is no consensus that God does not exist. That is a faith statement and not a scientific statement.

The question on how God used evolution is not one of dogmatic certainty for Catholics.

Nor is it prohibited. I wonder why?

Because I question many aspects of these theories about God and evolution does not mean I am “attacking God’s creative process” since it is far from certain how God intervened in nature, what precisely He created, what He created directly or how He guided natural laws.

I agree that you are not attacking God’s creative process. I do think that you are denying it based simply on your faith. As I have said before, I don’t have a problem with that, but you don’t have the same approach. I accept science so you question whether or not I really believe that God exists.

Can we see evidence of God’s influence (creative power) in nature? The teleological argument says that we can.

With faith we can. Without faith, we will never recognize that which we are looking at.

Peace

Tim


#20

I think if you go back you’ll see that I did make the distinction between “evolution” and “the mechanism God used”. But in any case, we started with a misunderstanding about what I was talking about so all of your efforts to re-state that science cannot speak about God are irrelevant. You’re merely proving what I said – we cannot consult science to explain what God did, since science does not claim to teach us about God.

The discussion in the science world is about how it happens. But I wasn’t addressing that, I was addressing your comment.

Ok, that was a misunderstanding. My comment refered to “God’s creating process”. I believe you interpreted that to mean “science” and “evolution” but we know those do not make claims about God.

That is because science cannot deal with God. God is supernatural and science is the study of nature. God doesn’t have to play by the rules, so we can’t test for Him nor can we falsify Him.

Correct – that’s why the comment that I was “attacking God’s creative process” was wrong. That was my point, and I’m glad you’re supporting that.

I agree that you are not attacking God’s creative process.

That was the point of my comment – so again, there was a misunderstanding. There is no scientific agreement on how, when or if God did things. In fact, science does not say anything about it. Even in Catholic theology we don’t know for certain what “God’s creative process” is, and anyone who claims to know this is either arrogant and teaching falsely, or is possessing a rare degree of supernatural knowledge given only to great saints and prophets.

If I sent you to a chemistry book to learn why sodium hydroxide and hydrocloric acid combine to form salt water, would you make the same claim?

Yes, absolutely. If I ask you for where science explains “God’s creative process” and you sent me to a chemistry book to learn about sodium hydroxide and hydrocloric acid, then I would conclude that you are not giving me information about God at all since that book says nothing about God. If that is your foundation for belief in God, then I would find that empty since it says nothing about God at all.

There would be no discussion about God in that reaction.

Then why would you use that as an explanation about what God does?

Did God have a hand in that reaction?

That’s the question I’m asking you – and you’d refer me to a chemistry book? The chemistry book does not answer whether God had a hand in it or not.

Dang right it is a statement of faith. Am I not allowed to make faith-based statements?

Well, you should try to provide some support for them and not just assert something. The same goes for the gentleman who said I was “attacking God’s creative process”. This assumes that the person knows how, when, if and to what degree God influenced, changed, created and shaped nature.

There is no consensus [in the scientific community] that God does not exist.

Why doesn’t the fact that 70% of the scientific community identifies itself as atheist indicate some widespread agreement among scientists that God does not exist?

With faith we can. Without faith, we will never recognize that which we are looking at.

I fully agree with that and I wish this part of the discussion would be explored more fully, rather than a continual repetition of the lines “science does not speak about the supernatural” or “evolution is not about the origin of life”.

Those points are irrelevant. The questions are – what did God do, how did He do it, and how do you know?


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