Author Topic: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.  (Read 6107 times)

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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2012, 11:15:04 AM »
Really? Rather than just two fins and a tail helping with propulsion you get at least two fins, a tail and two stubs. How is that detrimental?
Still, if we assume the stubs to be non-functional, they wouldn't be detrimental, nor would they be helpful. They would just be there without doing anything, until they became functional "legs".
Well as I said - 4 stubs would create more resistance to the water, making the fish slower - would also require the fish to consume more food for energy since it would require more 1. to have the extra appendages and 2. to be able to swim.

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2012, 11:31:21 AM »
Perhaps better than a "higher state" I should say a "higher state of complexity?" - or a "higher order"(less close to chaos).

Higher state of complexity will do.

I by no means assume that humans have reached the peak of evolution - but I can't see how they are "fitter for survival" than a bacteria, since it seems most/many scientists believe that at some time we will probably not survive - but the bacteria will still be here.

Dogs will probably also be here. So what? This is meaningless.

Again - it seems to me that bacteria have already proven themselves to be the fittest for survival

First of all, evolution can only make changes that are visible to the naked eye in a span of millions of years. With our (very) limited lifespans, we could never hope to see it "in action", so to speak. We can only see it on a very small (genetic) scale.
Now then, once again, it depends on what you mean by "fittest". In the context of the theory of evolution, it means best suited for life in their habitat.
Also, you are speaking of a group that includes thousands (if not millions) of different species. Evolution occurs in all of them, but you can only speak of "fitness" (in the context of the theory of evolution) when you refer to specific species.

?4/5 billion years worth of survival.

Dude, our planet isn't even 5 billion years old. :P
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2012, 08:24:51 AM »
Perhaps better than a "higher state" I should say a "higher state of complexity?" - or a "higher order"(less close to chaos).

Higher state of complexity will do.

I by no means assume that humans have reached the peak of evolution - but I can't see how they are "fitter for survival" than a bacteria, since it seems most/many scientists believe that at some time we will probably not survive - but the bacteria will still be here.
Ok, let's stick to one species of fish - and there are billions of them in the sea.
1. For some reason, some of them begin to mutate towards being able to grow legs - I suppose some with 1 leg, some with 2, etc.
2. Over billions of years those legs are now little stubs - they are useless at this point.
3. The stubs, require the fish to eat more because they require more energy.
4. The fish has to be much slower in the water because the subs are hanging there - therefore he gets eaten more easily and has a harder time catching food.
5. Whatever he is, he is still living the life of a fish and is now a fish not very fit for survival and he goes extinct.

So.. Where is my description wrong - and why is the fish growing legs anyway? The fish doesn't know that someday legs will be a good thing.



Dogs will probably also be here. So what? This is meaningless.

Again - it seems to me that bacteria have already proven themselves to be the fittest for survival

First of all, evolution can only make changes that are visible to the naked eye in a span of millions of years. With our (very) limited lifespans, we could never hope to see it "in action", so to speak. We can only see it on a very small (genetic) scale.
Now then, once again, it depends on what you mean by "fittest". In the context of the theory of evolution, it means best suited for life in their habitat.
Also, you are speaking of a group that includes thousands (if not millions) of different species. Evolution occurs in all of them, but you can only speak of "fitness" (in the context of the theory of evolution) when you refer to specific species.

?4/5 billion years worth of survival.

Dude, our planet isn't even 5 billion years old. :P

Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2012, 08:29:21 AM »
Dude, our planet isn't even 5 billion years old. :P
[/quote]
[/quote]
Sorry  - 4.5 billion years (wikipedia) - but some on - what's 1/2 billion years between friendly atheists?

Offline Hatter23

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2012, 08:33:35 AM »
First of all, evolution can only make changes that are visible to the naked eye in a span of millions of years.

Actually, the English Moth made a change in color within 60 years, and the Farro Island mouse made a visible speciation change in a span in about 180.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2012, 08:40:28 AM »

Sorry  - 4.5 billion years (wikipedia) - but some on - what's 1/2 billion years between friendly atheists?

Bacteria haven't been here since the formation of the earth ...have they?
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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »
@Sonshein
Please try to fix your quotes. This is all that I could gather that was your actual reply.

Ok, let's stick to one species of fish - and there are billions of them in the sea.

That's how it works.

1. For some reason, some of them begin to mutate towards being able to grow legs - I suppose some with 1 leg, some with 2, etc.

If they're in the same habitat, they should evolve towards having the same traits.

2. Over billions of years those legs are now little stubs - they are useless at this point.

Let's reduce the "billions" to "millions".

3. The stubs, require the fish to eat more because they require more energy.

A few thousand cells don't make much of a difference in terms of energy requirements, not to mention that we all consume slightly more food than what we need to survive.

4. The fish has to be much slower in the water because the subs are hanging there - therefore he gets eaten more easily and has a harder time catching food.

"Much slower" shows you don't understand hydrodynamics. At best the fish would be a little slowed, but not enough to make a difference.

5. Whatever he is, he is still living the life of a fish and is now a fish not very fit for survival and he goes extinct.

See above.

So.. Where is my description wrong

I think I've covered that.

and why is the fish growing legs anyway? The fish doesn't know that someday legs will be a good thing.

Assumes that the fish somehow changed its DNA on its own and/or that evolution is a sentient entity.
As for the rest, have you studied DNA replication? It sucks. We're lucky we're not all born with horrible genetic diseases, IMO.

Sorry  - 4.5 billion years (wikipedia) - but some on - what's 1/2 billion years between friendly atheists?

If it were half a million years, I'd agree with you. But half a billion is a long time.

@Hatter23
Actually, the English Moth made a change in color within 60 years, and the Farro Island mouse made a visible speciation change in a span in about 180.

I didn't know about this. Let me rephrase: Evolution rarely makes changes that are visible to the naked eye.

Bacteria haven't been here since the formation of the earth ...have they?

IIRC the first (confirmed) life forms appeared something like 3.6 billion years ago.
EDIT: Note that it's possible I'm getting that number confused with something else.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 08:47:30 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2012, 08:47:54 AM »
Just wondering how soon after the earth began to cool did stromatolites appear?  I could google, but I thot I'd ask Sonshein, since he seemed knowledgeable about this stuff.
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2012, 08:54:59 AM »
Bacteria haven't been here since the formation of the earth ...have they?

Sorry, once again I've not used exactly the correct terms - my fault - always kick myself when I do it.

Single cell life was believed to be the first form of life on earth and that includes bacteria.
Wickipedia says: Single-cell microorganisms were the first forms of life to develop on Earth, approximately 3–4 billion years ago.[7][8][9] Further evolution was slow,[10] and for about 3 billion years in the Precambrian eon, all organisms were microscopic.[11] So, for most of the history of life on Earth the only forms of life were microorganisms.

So, I'm off by some billions of years, but still, I think the argument stands. Single cell life is the most "fit for survival", although they do "horizontally" evolve - and quite well, I believe. Still can't see why they would evolve to a higher level of complexity, since they have done quite well, better than any other form of life, just as they are.

I'd like to thank everyone for their polite replies. Not only do I enjoy this, I spend a lot of time attempting to figure out a "belief system" that makes solid sense to me. Another very interesting subject - all belief/truth is relative to the individual. If it wasn't at some point in IQ, Education, Experience - everyone would believe the very same thing and yet we don't see that. Sorry - I digress. Have a great day -Scott


Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2012, 08:56:21 AM »
What's a few billion years among theists?
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2012, 08:57:19 AM »
What's a few billion years among theists?

Considering that the universe is only 6000-10000 years old, it's not even possible. :P
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2012, 09:07:07 AM »
What's a few billion years among theists?

Considering that the universe is only 6000-10000 years old, it's not even possible. :P
Well sir, I have heard this number before and I attempt to give more credence to "minority" beliefs since many great discoveries have come from those in the minority - earth not flat, sun doesn't' revolve around us, etc. However, the only reason I have heard for this number (10,000 yrs), also involved a huge conspiracy theory among the scientists and government so I have disregarded it until I see something that seems more solid to me.

Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2012, 09:12:12 AM »
Just wondering how soon after the earth began to cool did stromatolites appear?  I could google, but I thot I'd ask Sonshein, since he seemed knowledgeable about this stuff.
Please - I do not suppose that I am knowledgeable about hardly anything and much less when it comes to evolution or the history of our planet. This is really why I'm on this site and asked my original question. My lack of knowledge is perhaps the reason for my confusion on why anything evolved upward / higher level of complexity. I am willing to admit that I may be completely off-base! Thanks

Offline riley2112

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2012, 09:12:41 AM »
and the fact is not all evidence is scientific,

Nope, not true at all.  All evidence IS scientific, or it is not evidence.
That is really not true.
ev·i·dence? ?/??v?d?ns/  Show Spelled [ev-i-duhns]  Show IPA noun, verb, -denced, -denc·ing. 
noun
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

That would seem to make stories told by someone as evidence , more so when backed up by another.

So if I was in court being charged for murder, and the court had a witness that said they saw me do the crime, that would be evidence. If  the court had two , three, or more witnesses then would not the evidence be more believable? It would seem that the more witnesses they had the more reliable and believable the story/evidence would be. Or is the court system of the world wrong in their belief? Just wondering.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2012, 09:13:33 AM »
Well sir, I have heard this number before and I attempt to give more credence to "minority" beliefs since many great discoveries have come from those in the minority - earth not flat, sun doesn't' revolve around us, etc.

And it's amazing how YHWH's perfect book was wrong about every one of those. &)

However, the only reason I have heard for this number (10,000 yrs), also involved a huge conspiracy theory among the scientists and government so I have disregarded it until I see something that seems more solid to me.

That number is straight from the Bible. You know, that infallible book that's wrong about pretty much everything?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2012, 09:19:20 AM »
That number is straight from the Bible. You know, that infallible book that's wrong about pretty much everything?
[/quote]
Ok, now going to show how slow I am. Not sure if you are playing with me or not. If you are serious - where does the number 10,000 yrs show up in the bible? When you say it comes directly from this infallible book, I'm assuming you are directly referencing the book. I've never been pointed to a verse that states this.

Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2012, 09:20:51 AM »
Just wondering how soon after the earth began to cool did stromatolites appear?  I could google, but I thot I'd ask Sonshein, since he seemed knowledgeable about this stuff.
Please - I do not suppose that I am knowledgeable about hardly anything and much less when it comes to evolution or the history of our planet. This is really why I'm on this site and asked my original question. My lack of knowledge is perhaps the reason for my confusion on why anything evolved upward / higher level of complexity. I am willing to admit that I may be completely off-base! Thanks

Kewl, but why this site? Why not a site dedicated to evolution, a university, or biology, paleontology, etc. etc?
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2012, 09:21:31 AM »
Ok, now going to show how slow I am. Not sure if you are playing with me or not. If you are serious - where does the number 10,000 yrs show up in the bible? When you say it comes directly from this infallible book, I'm assuming you are directly referencing the book. I've never been pointed to a verse that states this.

OK, maybe "straight from the Bible" was a bit exaggerated. The number itself is never shown, but, according to creationists' calculations[1], that's as old as the universe can be.
 1. Using the number of generations in the Bible, IIRC.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2012, 09:35:49 AM »
OK, maybe "straight from the Bible" was a bit exaggerated. The number itself is never shown, but, according to creationists' calculations[1], that's as old as the universe can be.
[/quote]
Thank you for being very candid. While I would like to say that we now have "fallible" men making the calculations, the same applies to the 4.5 billion estimate so we may be at a stalemate there.

And now I have to apologize because I really don't wish to debate the fallibility of the bible. I've literally spent 100's if not thousands of hours thinking about this, reading some of Bart Ehrmans books 2x, listened to a dozen of his debates, read the godisimaginary proofs(their word not mine) as well as read the responses to Ehrmans books and I see the bible as being extremely fallible. The gospels don't even agree on the day of Crucifixion - theoretically the 2nd most important day in history. So, forgive me, I have to focus on my original question going forward. Take care my theist friend.
 1. Using the number of generations in the Bible, IIRC.

Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2012, 09:37:57 AM »
Quote
I don't believe in the bible - because of the bible, however, I can't accept pure evolution because of the theory of "survival of the fittest".

[/Laughing Jesus]
OK, now that I read your posts, I may have answered my own question. You are confused. You don't believe the bible, but because of the bible can't accept "pure" evolution because of survival of the fittest.

BTW, You can easily tell when I am kidding you because of Laughing Jesus mode.
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline Sonshein

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2012, 09:39:09 AM »
Just wondering how soon after the earth began to cool did stromatolites appear?  I could google, but I thot I'd ask Sonshein, since he seemed knowledgeable about this stuff.
Please - I do not suppose that I am knowledgeable about hardly anything and much less when it comes to evolution or the history of our planet. This is really why I'm on this site and asked my original question. My lack of knowledge is perhaps the reason for my confusion on why anything evolved upward / higher level of complexity. I am willing to admit that I may be completely off-base! Thanks

Kewl, but why this site? Why not a site dedicated to evolution, a university, or biology, paleontology, etc. etc?
Perhaps you are correct and I should move to a more appropriate forum. The original subject seemed to fit with position of confusion, but perhaps not. Scott

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2012, 09:42:38 AM »
Thank you for being very candid.

Stick around. You'll find that I do that often. ;)

While I would like to say that we now have "fallible" men making the calculations, the same applies to the 4.5 billion estimate so we may be at a stalemate there.

Irrelevant. An infallible book couldn't be misunderstood... unless it was supposed to. And the 4.5 billion was calculated using very precise methods.

And now I have to apologize because I really don't wish to debate the fallibility of the bible.

That's smart. If you were on the "infallible" side, you would have already lost.

I've literally spent 100's if not thousands of hours thinking about this, reading some of Bart Ehrmans books 2x, listened to a dozen of his debates, read the godisimaginary proofs(their word not mine) as well as read the responses to Ehrmans books and I see the bible as being extremely fallible.

See above.

The gospels don't even agree on the day of Crucifixion - theoretically the 2nd most important day in history. So, forgive me, I have to focus on my original question going forward.

*Points above.*

Take care my theist friend.

I'll assume that this was a typo. I'm a gnostic[1] atheist.
 1. Not a typo; see the difference between "gnosticism" and "agnosticism".
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline monkeymind

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2012, 09:46:31 AM »
Quote
We know and have evidence that bacteria is extremely versatile and lives in all kinds of adverse and different conditions - why would it ever, just left to nature, evolve to a higher state? It is already the very most "fit for survival" form that life can take.

This was your first question. Google Darwin's Legacy and watch the videos, you should get your answer from the group of scientists and profs assembled by Stanford. I'm sure that someone can answer that question here, tho. Not sure if you would find it very convincing.
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2012, 09:54:29 AM »
I can answer that... I think.

Bacteria can live in many habitats, but it still has predators - other bacteria. Therefore, bacteria could still "improve" itself... and then so would the predators, and so on until what we have nowadays.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2012, 09:57:54 AM »
I'm a bit late on this thread due to having a bunch of stuff on my plate over the weekend.

This is the testimonial section.  Thread drift is inevitable around here, of course, just as it is everywhere, but now that we've seen quite a bit of it here, it's time to move the discussion(s) to the appropriate forum.  Please take the topics to those forums... thank you.  (I'm currently in the middle of a very busy morning, but I'll split this off and/or close the thread as needed later today as soon as I get a chance, unless another mod can get to it first.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2012, 10:23:30 AM »
Extra body parts use energy, both to grow and to maintain.  Unless they're also being useful, they're detrimental - even if just mildly so.
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Offline Fiji

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2012, 10:48:45 AM »
1. For some reason, some of them begin to mutate towards being able to grow legs - I suppose some with 1 leg, some with 2, etc.

If they're in the same habitat, they should evolve towards having the same traits.

Agree with Lucifer but minor nit re Sonsheim ... we, the vast majority of animals, have mostly symmetrical bodies (and since we all know evolution can't go back to the drawing board, we're stuck this way) so developing two legs is more likely than just the one.

3. The stubs, require the fish to eat more because they require more energy.

A few thousand cells don't make much of a difference in terms of energy requirements, not to mention that we all consume slightly more food than what we need to survive.

disagree with both of you ... Those stubs will just be a variation of fins (as was the case irl) so they won't necessarily require more energy (possible, but not needed)
and if they do require more energy, evolution will act upon the change ... increased energy consumption is not a problem per se just as long as the payoff is positive ... not getting eaten is indeed positive.

4. The fish has to be much slower in the water because the subs are hanging there - therefore he gets eaten more easily and has a harder time catching food.

"Much slower" shows you don't understand hydrodynamics. At best the fish would be a little slowed, but not enough to make a difference.

again, disagree with both.
'a little slower' is enough for evolution to act on ... however (and this brings me to the disagreement with Sonshein) the ocean is not a huge fish tank ... it's not a load of water with hard edges. In the middle of the ocean, yes, Sonshein, you're right, any move away from fins-for-swimming is gonna get you killed ... however, in shallows (or the drying pools someone mentioned) stubs mean you can go into shallower water than the other fish, water where that predator can't even go and all the food in those shallower waters is yours and yours alone (no competition). Energy problem solved!


5. Whatever he is, he is still living the life of a fish and is now a fish not very fit for survival and he goes extinct.

He and his offspring are increasingly moving away from being what we're accustomed to calling 'fish'. At some point you get a critter who's so well addapted to being outside the water that you can't really call him a fish anymore. But if you were to hand a book of photos of these increasingly non-fish creatures (a book of, let's say, a few tens of thousands of pages representing tens of thousands of generations) and asked a hundred people to pick the page where they'd no longer call the creature on the photo a fish, you'd most likely get 100 different anwers ... and they'd all be right to some extent.


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Offline kevinagain

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2012, 11:28:43 PM »



Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: I was an Atheist. Now, not so much.
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2012, 01:53:17 AM »
2. <snip> I still don't see how we evolved "upward". <snip> - why would it ever, just left to nature, evolve to a higher state? It is already the very most "fit for survival" form that life can take.

I know you and Lucifer agreed to "higher complexity" instead of "upward" so it is to the higher complexity I will attempt to call your attention to.

What is more stable or strong...one piece of solid metal or several pieces of metal welded together? On a cellular level we are  like galaxy clusters compared to single celled organisms. You[1] seem to view the theory of evolution as a continual "improvement". I do not see it this way.

You tried to create a word "anti-entropy". There is no such thing. There is entropy, but there is no word which describes an opposite effect. There is no evidence of an opposite effect.

On a cosmological level we have the theory that everything was ONE. We use words like "bang" and "expand" to described why everything is no longer ONE. However those words are not entirely accurate in my estimation. According to observation, the universe is breaking down into it's constituent parts. Nothing is being "created".

On our terrestrial level. We have the theory that the first life was LUCA. We use words like "evolve" and "natural selection" to describe why everything is no longer LUCA. However those words are not entirely accurate in my estimation. We are breaking down into more complex[2] forms of life.

Entropy is the natural state of our reality. Sure, from our tiny little perspective it may look like life is a creative process



However, life is frantically clinging to it's tentative existence, and getting weaker and weaker as it burns up it's energy struggling to survive. That's how I see evolution.



But we wont be around when all the stars burn out and there is no more energy to make more of them.









 1. And others
 2. Therefor weaker and more fragile
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.