Why you should think that the Natural-Evolution of species is true


#7071

You have to honestly compare which theory says the most about the most observations and which theory’s shortcomings represent the least serious conflict with the facts.

For instance, let’s say that I want to believe that the creation of all life was a one-time event that occurred in a relatively short span of time 6,000 years ago, which is about 1,000 years before recorded history began.

That explanation beggars belief, from a strictly natural point of view. It would require that (for instance) the rate of radioactive decay in many different articles be very different from each other,. It would require that the weathering of rocks occur at different rates in different places. I suppose nothing is impossible, but that one ranks so far into the realm of the improbable that it would have to be miraculous. So, while someone might say, “Well, I think there is no other conclusion but that the miraculous must have happened,” I cannot see how they can possibly berate anyone for proposing alternative scientific theories that do not involve miracles. The grace to believe in miracles should not be required to accept a scientific theory.

Science, for its part, sometimes has to admit, “in light of the evidence, we don’t have a theory based on natural law that is at all plausible.” That is as close as science is going to get to “maybe it was a miracle,” because the miraculous, being above being put to test, is by definition above science. Science can only say, “in our current state of understanding, we have no explanation for this that is even plausible.”

I think evolution meets the criteria of being plausible as far as it goes. It has problems; it might not hold up in its present form. There might be, for instance, discovery of a mechanism for macro-evolution (that is, the appearance of new species with chromosomal arrangements incompatible with any previous species) which does not occur due to random mutation. The mechanism for that might be very different than the mechanism by which some forms of the same gene come to vary within a single population.

I have yet to see an explanation for simultaneous creation of all life 6,000 years ago that can explain the fossil and anthropological record as simply weathered artifacts originating in that era. That kind of thing can conceivably be true, but such an explanation is not within the realm of science. It would be a miracle, and science is not in the business of declaring miracles. Science can only declare the absence of a natural explanation for a body of facts. It cannot declare miracles.


#7072

So it’s your position that the validity of any theory that relates to human life is dependent upon a relationship with God.

If that isn’t a fundamentalist religious outlook, then I don’t know how else one could describe it.

It is then totally beyond me why anyone who admits to that position would even attempt in any way to discredit evolution from a scientific perspective. You only need a short post to explain your position and then be done with it.

No-one who doesn’t believe in God is interested in your position on this matter and all those who do believe in Him keep telling you there is no problem. With whom are you arguing?


#7073

All very true. And despite you seeing no reasonable explanations, you have, in this thread, seen more arguments than one could count that evolution is bunk.

So my question is in effect this: How can any sane person reject the consensus on any given scientific matter if it is, to all intents, universally accepted?

And I am not suggesting that we simply have a vote as to what is true and what is not. But try if you will to find any acceptance whatsoever that there is indeed almost complete universal acceptance. Surely any reasonable person would say: ‘Yes, I’ll admit that the weight of evidence is massively against my position…’

And also try to find anyone who says: ‘But my position is based on a specific reading of religious scripture’. Zero chance. None whatsoever. The lack of honesty in this regard is astonishing. Every argument is put forward as a scientific argument. And very bad scientific arguments as it turns out. They may as well try to convince us that the world is 6,000 years old and then claim that it has nothing to with religion.

Colour me bemused.


#7074

So we’re talking what? A few billion years? And that impacts on your position that things are in a position of degenerating now in what way?

Clue: It doesn’t.


#7075

To PetraG,

Regarding this topic, I “accepted” evolution in high school because my teacher told me. That’s it. Oh sure, I got the whole thing about dinosaurs but that was it. So here, the unanswered question is, If evolution is true or factual, why all the fuss? Lack of knowledge? I sincerely doubt it. The “mountains of evidence” that allegedly support it are on the internet for anyone to see. The “religion has blinded some people to the ‘truth’” argument is not an argument.

First, there are two parts to the “Why you should think that the Natural-Evolution of species is true” statement. On a Catholic forum it should be obvious but it’s not.

On the science side, there are issues with redshifts, dating and assumptions. Strangely, quoting Popes is used to hold up the reasonableness of the the theory. Statements from religious leaders do not have anything to do with science. Or if they are admitted, only those statements in support of the theory are accepted. Statements against the theory are discarded or that particular Pope is uneducated or wrong.

So this is not about science at all. If a 15 year old accepts the theory, nothing further needs to be done. If people question it, they are lying or uneducated or both.

So expect this thread to go on forever. As in, forever.


#7076

The theory of evolution fails at different levels of how we understand the world.

That it fails at the level of physics and chemistry should prompt people to seek a truth beyond the modern mythos.

There exists a psychological structure to living forms, unexplainable except to go beyond the forces of nature. This is yet another clue that there is more at work than what evolution describes.

It is my experience that most scientists working directly with nature, inspired by its wonders and awesomeness, worshipping nature speak of evolution as if it were a unified life force driving the intricate, interdependent, diversity of nature - sort of naturalistic pantheists. The glory I know belongs to its Creator.

I am speaking to those who have an open mind and heart, those true skeptics who yearn for the truth.


#7077

Yes, science is sometimes taught in high school as if nothing is going to change. Well, kind of. Nobody is saying Newton was wrong in the sense that gravity and momentum aren’t real things. That doesn’t mean that physics will not progress into realms that Newton could not have dreamed of.

The Popes have only made pronouncements concerning how truth known by revelation ought to be understood, such that no truth will be violated by assumptions made from observations of the natural world. They understand that science tells a story that evolves because it is the most plausible explanation of what is known, not an end-all explanation from a point of view that is either omniscient or infallible. Science is a human enterprise; of course it is fallible. It wouldn’t be reasonable to say otherwise. It is the business of the Popes, however, to protect people from errors that can be avoided in light of revealed truth. They do not get into the inevitably errant process of scientific discovery itself.

Nobody says, do they, that the incandescent light bulb does not work because Edison’s teams had to try 1,000 things before they hit something that worked? They could criticize the method as inefficient, but comparing the errant method that gets you a light bulb to the “rational” method gets you some theories but no light, which is the less efficient?

It is my suspicion that the theory of evolution is lacking an unknown mechanism, a mechanism not based on random mutation, by which a new breeding population with a new genome can emerge from a previously-existing population. Why? Because I don’t see how you get a species with an utterly incompatible chromosomal arrangement by starting with a random mutation in one individual. You’re not going to get enough individuals to start a breeding population by a whole bunch getting the same “random” mutation when it makes the individual incapable of breeding successfully with other individuals who don’t have that mutation. There has to be some mechanism of concerted change. Maybe it is something like a virus, perhaps even something that wipes out 99.9% of a large population and leaves a 0.1% remnant as the new population, I don’t know, but while I can buy the idea that all life is interrelated I cannot buy that random mutation is the only driver of evolution. It doesn’t make sense.


#7078

Suppose one day a person appears who fills in many scientific blanks.


#7079

Why is this view so rarely seen in these discussions?
PROPOSAL: the fossil record and the patterns made clear by comparative biology can be accounted for neither by a single-event creation 6000 years ago nor by random genetic mutations of the type that routinely provide variability within breeding populations. Accounting for those data must involve an unknown mechanism by which large-scale chromosomal shifts are inflicted on an entire breeding population in a concerted manner.


#7080

That would be what we call intelligent design.


#7081

Yes, intelligent design is the best answer. But, unless it was done by aliens, an unacceptable answer here.


#7082

I couldn’t say whether such a mechanism would qualify as intelligent design unless I knew what the mechanism (or mechanisms) of large-scale chromosomal shift might be.

I don’t believe that what we think as a “random” process cannot be an intelligently-designed process. If you know you have a pair of dice that are not loaded and you roll them a million times, there isn’t any question what the distribution of results is going to look like. There is no logical reason the Almighty could not intentionally create using a physical process that seems random. It is only random if you aren’t aware of the big picture.


#7083

Invoking aliens begs the question of Who created the aliens and what was known about the nature of aliens when they were created.

People can look at the Sistine Chapel and give glory not to the artist, but to the Creator of the artist.


#7084

If you can find me someone with the knowledge to discuss the matter on a scientific basis, then bring him along. You have posted waaaay too much incorrect information to be considered such a person.

And away you go with the ‘search beyond the mythos’. No-one is denying God or any search for meaning. You are barking at the moon.

If you cannot see that you can accept the existence of God and wonder at His works and the special place that He has reserved for mankind and accept universally agreed scientific theories, then the problem is yours. And I do consider it a problem.


#7085

You are onto something here. We live in a frame of reference. We are limited by this frame and can only go so far in acquiring information. If we receive information from outside the frame of reference it changes the entire picture.


#7086

Are you denying that things go from order to disorder when interfered with unless there’s an intelligence or a process intelligently designed that counters this tendency to disorder deliberately in some way?

If I pour out a cup holding 12 marbles onto a floor, are the marbles just as likely to form a tight square or circle as they are to scatter all over in all directions and distances from each other?

I simply want an example, besides evolution, where things order themselves in this way, into more and more tightly organized systems of greater and greater complexity and sophistication, just by a series of blind random events, without any intelligently designed constrains and processes behind it.


#7087

Living things are not a pair of dice. The time x mutations = a new life form is highly problematic. How does anyone know that a creature with a mutation even survives to breed and pass it on? Sure, beneficial mutations occur but they are outnumbered by detrimental mutations. Let’s try to build an organism like a complex mechanical device, which follows the approach scientists are using to take apart the genome, bit by bit. The tiny, incremental changes have to follow a good change, and then another good change. If a bad change interrupts the process then everything stops.

The blind watchmaker cannot be assumed to be making a watch if he doesn’t put the right parts in the right relationship with the rest of the parts to make a working watch. If he puts in the wrong part, no watch. The same can be said for living things. The locations of various parts needs to be precise, like a watch, and in the correct relationship to one another to make an organism, much less an “upgraded,” more complex organism. Those new parts need to “know” where to go. In the case of novel organs, they need to fit, get a blood supply and proper neurological connections.


#7088

You are exhibiting a lack of understanding of what entropy actually entails. Likewise a lack of knowledge of evolution, which is not ‘a series of blind random events’. This is Evolution 101.

If you don’t have the knowledge to ask sensible questions, then how are you going to be able to understand sensible answers?

But if you want an example of order from disorder, then check out the ice tray in your fridge. It involvs entropy as well! And no intelligence!

But yeah, that wasn’t what you wanted. But to get the answers that you want, you have to understand enough about the subject to ask the questions that you need to get where you want to go.


#7089

Hey, Ed. Could you post something for PetraG that gives her an idea of how little you understand about evolution?

Thanks.


#7090

All your responses are so many "I’m better than you"s with non-answers slipped in a sentence or two in between. If you’re such an expert, it should be easy to converse with non-experts at their level and dismantle their ideas easily.

I explain complex Catholic theology and Criminal Law to non-believers and non-lawyers all the time without saying “You’re too dumb to know what I mean so I won’t answer your objections. Go get an education first!”

I’ve been around long enough to know that’s a cheap copout and nothing to be impressed by. Anyone who turns a debate into a discussion about his discussants is avoiding the debate. So why bother?


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