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Scientific American answers 15 common dumbasseries

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[URL]http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=15-answers-to-creationist[/URL]

[QUOTE][B]1. [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=evolution"]Evolution[/URL] is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.[/B]
Many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however... [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]2. Natural selection is based on circular reasoning: the fittest are those who survive, and those who survive are deemed fittest.[/B]
"Survival of the fittest" is a conversational way to describe natural selection, but a more technical description speaks of differential rates of survival and reproduction... [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]3. [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=evolution"]Evolution[/URL] is unscientific, because it is not testable or falsifiable. It makes claims about events that were not observed and can never be re-created.[/B]
This blanket dismissal of evolution ignores important distinctions that divide the field into at least two broad areas: microevolution and macroevolution.[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]4. Increasingly, scientists doubt the truth of evolution.[/B]
No evidence suggests that evolution is losing adherents. Pick up any issue of a peer-reviewed biological journal, and you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies or that embrace evolution as a fundamental concept.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]5. The disagreements among even evolutionary biologists show how little solid science supports evolution.[/B]
Evolutionary biologists passionately debate diverse topics: how speciation happens, the rates of evolutionary change, the ancestral relationships of [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=birds"]birds[/URL] and [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=dinosaurs"]dinosaurs[/URL], whether Neandertals were a species apart from modern humans, and much more. These disputes are like those found in all other branches of science. Acceptance of evolution as a factual occurrence and a guiding principle is nonetheless universal in biology.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]6. If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?[/B]
This surprisingly common argument reflects several levels of ignorance about evolution. The first mistake is that evolution does not teach that humans descended from monkeys; it states that both have a common ancestor.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]7. [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=evolution"]Evolution[/URL] cannot explain how life first appeared on earth.[/B]
The origin of life remains very much a mystery, but biochemists have learned about how primitive nucleic acids, amino acids and other building blocks of life could have formed and organized themselves into self-replicating, self-sustaining units, laying the foundation for cellular biochemistry. [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]8. Mathematically, it is inconceivable that anything as complex as a protein, let alone a living cell or a human, could spring up by chance.[/B]
Chance plays a part in evolution (for example, in the random mutations that can give rise to new traits), but evolution does not depend on chance to create organisms, proteins or other entities.[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]9. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that systems must become more disordered over time. Living cells therefore could not have evolved from inanimate chemicals, and multicellular life could not have evolved from protozoa.[/B]
This argument derives from a misunderstanding of the Second Law. If it were valid, mineral crystals and snowflakes would also be impossible, because they, too, are complex structures that form spontaneously from disordered parts.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]10. Mutations are essential to [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=evolution"]evolution[/URL] theory, but mutations can only eliminate traits. They cannot produce new features.[/B]
On the contrary, biology has catalogued many traits produced by point mutations (changes at precise positions in an organism's DNA)--bacterial resistance to antibiotics, for example.
[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]11. Natural selection might explain microevolution, but it cannot explain the origin of new species and higher orders of life.[/B]
Evolutionary biologists have written extensively about how natural selection could produce new species. For instance, in the model called allopatry, developed by Ernst Mayr of Harvard University, if a population of organisms were isolated from the rest of its species by geographical boundaries, it might be subjected to different selective pressures.[/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]12. Nobody has ever seen a new species evolve.[/B]
Speciation is probably fairly rare and in many cases might take centuries. Furthermore, recognizing a new species during a formative stage can be difficult, because biologists sometimes disagree about how best to define a species. The most widely used definition, Mayr's Biological Species Concept, recognizes a species as a distinct community of reproductively isolated populations--sets of organisms that normally do not or cannot breed outside their community. [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]13. Evolutionists cannot point to any transitional fossils--creatures that are half reptile and half bird, for instance.[/B]
Actually, paleontologists know of many detailed examples of fossils intermediate in form between various taxonomic groups. One of the most famous fossils of all time is [I]Archaeopteryx,[/I] which combines feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=birds"]birds[/URL] with features of [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=dinosaurs"]dinosaurs[/URL]. [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]14. Living things have fantastically intricate features--at the anatomical, cellular and molecular levels--that could not function if they were any less complex or sophisticated. The only prudent conclusion is that they are the products of intelligent design, not evolution.[/B]
This "argument from design" is the backbone of most recent attacks on evolution, but it is also one of the oldest. In 1802 theologian William Paley wrote that if one finds a pocket watch in a field, the most reasonable conclusion is that someone dropped it, not that natural forces created it there. [/QUOTE][QUOTE][B]15. Recent discoveries prove that even at the microscopic level, life has a quality of complexity that could not have come about through evolution.[/B]
"Irreducible complexity" is the battle cry of Michael J. Behe of Lehigh University, author of [I]Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to [URL="http://www.scientificamerican.com/topic.cfm?id=evolution"]Evolution[/URL][/I]. As a household example of irreducible complexity, Behe chooses the mousetrap--a machine that could not function if any of its pieces were missing and whose pieces have no value except as parts of the whole.[/QUOTE]

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The evolution of species is a fact. Darwin's explanation of how it happened is a theory, albeit the one that is generally accepted today.

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[quote name='Davidson Deac II']The evolution of species is a fact. Darwin's explanation of how it happened is a theory, albeit the one that is generally accepted today.[/QUOTE]

yeah and the sky is purple too..right?

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Under the right conditions, yes.

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Remarkably weak answers, especially number 11

EDIT: Excuse me. Upon re-reading, number 9 is the weakest answer. My bad.

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As a former subscriber, sciam has gone downhil in the last several years. :(

Not to criticize their viewpoint, but the way they view science, fact, theory and consensus has completely changed, and not for the better.

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[quote name='ItsNotGonnaBeAlright']Remarkably weak answers, especially number 11

EDIT: Excuse me. Upon re-reading, number 9 is the weakest answer. My bad.[/QUOTE]

i only copied the first one or two sentences from each answer. can't post full articles.

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[quote name='xPUREBYBLOODx']yeah and the sky is purple too..right?[/QUOTE]

no, the sky appears blue because of Rayleigh scattering. most light wavelengths pass through our atmosphere unaffected, but the shorter blue light wavelengths are absorbed by the gas molecules and scattered in every direction... including down to our eyes. hence we see blue in the sky.

science taught of this. what does the bible say on the matter?

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its the reflection of Jesus blue Aryan eyes gazing down upon us in loving wonder

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God made the sky carolina blue...





















...so nobody would have to step in it.

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Evolution can't be fact because some Minister told me that his imaginary friend told him!!

That covers it right?

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I use to think evolution was "from the devil" then I realized how ridiculous those church lies sounded, read a couple of books and realized how freakin ignorant I sounded for so many years.

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[quote name='rodeo']i only copied the first one or two sentences from each answer. can't post full articles.[/QUOTE]

No, I read the whole thing. There's a common problem with his viewpoint that destroys it's validity in scientific discussion.

As for the sky being purple, everyone is aware that they are looking at the sky the wrong way, right?

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[quote name='Cat']I use to think evolution was "from the devil" then I realized how ridiculous those church lies sounded, read a couple of books and realized how freakin ignorant I sounded for so many years.[/QUOTE]

Just because someone wrote a book doesn't make them all knowing...Mankind is relatively stupid with a few very nice achievements along the way. Nobody knows everything, but there are some that think they do. The fact is that even if evolution (as Darwin hypothisized) turns out to be completely on the mark, it doesn't disprove an existence of God at all. The complexity of life is amazing. The complexity of a cell is amazing. I'm not one to buy into the "well, random accident" line of thinking.

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[quote name='Htar']Just because someone wrote a book doesn't make them all knowing...Mankind is relatively stupid with a few very nice achievements along the way. Nobody knows everything, but there are some that think they do. The fact is that even if evolution (as Darwin hypothisized) turns out to be completely on the mark, it doesn't disprove an existence of God at all. The complexity of life is amazing. The complexity of a cell is amazing. I'm not one to buy into the "well, random accident" line of thinking.[/QUOTE]



First off, its not just one book that I read. Also if you don't believe in evolution you are claiming that almost all scientist are wrong. If you would only read a little bit about evolution you would realize how absolutely ridiculous it is that so many Americans reject it.

Secondly you are right Evolution does NOT disprove that there is a God. it does disprove the literal reading of Genesis which is why so many people reject evolution (they believe a book, full or errors and contradictions written in the Bronze Age over scientific evidence)

Thirdly, you are right no one knows everything (though religious people like to claim they do, like if there is a God, what his name is, his plan for the world and how the world was created) scientist are daily learning more and more about evolution. Darwin wasn't spot on with everything but he got it going.


Seriously you should look into it more. I recommend a new book to start you off with called "why evolution is true" its an excellent read and a whole LOT of evidence.

I also read the christian perspective trying to sell ID as science and disprove evolution. It was very weak, they twisted facts and imo flat out lied.

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why the constant mention of Darwin when discussing evolution? it has grown exponentially since him as we have expanded our understanding.

people don't constantly mention Newton and call it Newtonism when talking about gravity, do they?

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[quote name='rodeo']why the constant mention of Darwin when discussing evolution? it has grown exponentially since him as we have expanded our understanding.

people don't constantly mention Newton and call it Newtonism when talking about gravity, do they?[/QUOTE]


Excellent observation, I've noticed that happens a lot when talking about evolution. :cheers2:

Maybe cause it makes it sound like one mans theory from ages ago.

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exactly. that way it's one old man and his 'followers' against god, and not science/truth.

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[quote name='rodeo']exactly. that way it's one old man and his 'followers' against god, and not science/truth.[/QUOTE]

Also I noticed creationist like to replace the word evolution with Darwinism

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[quote name='Htar']Just because someone wrote a book doesn't make them all knowing...Mankind is relatively stupid with a few very nice achievements along the way. Nobody knows everything, but there are some that think they do. The fact is that even if evolution (as Darwin hypothisized) turns out to be completely on the mark, it doesn't disprove an existence of God at all. The complexity of life is amazing. The complexity of a cell is amazing. I'm not one to buy into the "well, random accident" line of thinking.[/QUOTE]

Complexity is a direct result of Natural Selection and Evolution.

It is ANYTHING BUT random, and the furthest thing from accidental.

You cite two of the most common fundamental misunderstandings of Biology.

7. Is evolution a random process?

Evolution is not a random process. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment.
[url]http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat01.html[/url]

Darwinism is widely misunderstood as a theory of pure chance. Mustn't it have done something to provoke this canard? Well, yes, there is something behind the misunderstood rumour, a feeble basis to the distortion. one stage in the Darwinian process is indeed a chance process -- mutation. Mutation is the process by which fresh genetic variation is offered up for selection and it is usually described as random. But Darwinians make the fuss they do about the 'randomness' of mutation only in order to contrast it to the non-randomness of selection. It is not necessary that mutation should be random for natural selection to work. Selection can still do its work whether mutation is directed or not. Emphasizing that mutation can be random is our way of calling attention to the crucial fact that, by contrast, selection is sublimely and quintessentially non-random. It is ironic that this emphasis on the contrast between mutation and the non-randomness of selection has led people to think that the whole theory is a theory of chance.

Even mutations are, as a matter of fact, non-random in various senses, although these senses aren't relevant to our discussion because they don't contribute constructively to the improbable perfection of organisms. For example, mutations have well-understood physical causes, and to this extent they are non-random. ... the great majority of mutations, however caused, are random with respect to quality, and that means they are usually bad because there are more ways of getting worse than of getting better. [Dawkins 1996:70-71]

[url]http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance.html[/url]

People don't get that last part, like EVER.
Bad mutations outnumber good beneficial mutations. But they get selected out. So what you SEE is the "perfection of God's creations". But what you didn't see was the crappy stuff that got left behind. And the imperfections (conveniently ignored by those that espouse God, wait, He didn't in fact make everything perfect? :)) are either good enough to get by for the animal, or the next step is so expensive in energy requirements that it hasn't happened. Many other reasons exist, I'm oversimplifying for the sake of bandwidth.

Please. Read The Blind Watchmaker. Ignore the title The God Delusion. Read it.

Challenge yourself.
Think.

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I love PBS.

Has anyone watched any of the videos on PBS Nova?

Htar if you are interested in looking more into evolution, i really recommend watching some of there videos over there. they are excellent.

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