Author Topic: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor  (Read 5677 times)

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Online wright

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #87 on: December 15, 2011, 02:15:18 PM »
WIKI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution

Quote
Russian entomologist Yuri Filipchenko first coined the terms "macroevolution" and "microevolution" in 1927 in his German language work, "Variabilität und Variation". Since the inception of the two terms, their meanings have been revised several times and the term macroevolution fell into limited disfavour when it was taken over by such writers as the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt (1940) and the paleontologist Otto Schindewolf to describe their orthogenetic theories.[5]




added: 29 EXAMPLES OF MACROEVO FOUND HERE

Thanks, monkeymind. The terms did seem a bit archaic; I hadn't bothered looking into their origin.

Wow, it would seem others have already done most of the heavy lifting on this thread. But since BibleStudent mentioned "lizards to snakes"...

nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/03/070326-lizard-snakes.html

http://arachnophiliac.info/burrow/evolution_of_snakes.htm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,192317,00.html

And yes, BibleStudent: all those sources admit we do not, as yet, have a complete fossil lineage between lizards and snakes. Fossil remains are relatively rare to begin with, and the delicate bones of smaller animals like snakes fossilize less often before they decay.

What we do have is definite morphological and genetic similarities, in fossils and in modern species of both types of reptile. Again, evolution is the best explanation for these similarities.

Since you disagree, for that disagreement to have any weight, you need to provide a theory that explains these facts better than evolution. And that theory had better have evidence, or it won't even be worth considering.
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Online Aaron123

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #88 on: December 15, 2011, 02:21:16 PM »
Sometimes I feel like I have to explain things in intricate detail in order to get a point across. Do you not see the fallacy in asserting, for example, that "microevolution proves that all living things evolved?"It's the grandaddy of all logical fallacies because it's built on insufficient evidence. The proof of insufficient evidence lies in the use of the words/phrases "we think," "probably", "must have," "should have" and so on.....particularly when it is referring to something highly crucial to demonstrating how some unit of 'life' initially evolved.

You've ignored everything I said after my first sentence.  The fact that scientists uses such words is a GOOD thing.  That they don't use absolute statement is part of what allows science to correct itself.  Our knowledge of evolution and other things are incomplete.  We can only base our answers on what we know currently.  Years from now, we will know more about things, and our ideas will be updated accordingly.  That words like "we think" and "probably" demostrate that we're aware that we don't have all the answers.  Adding bits and pieces to our knowledge is a continuous process. 


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To assert with any degree of certainty that the ToE is the one and only 'be-all-end-all' explanation for 'life' has no logical verifiable basis in fact. How can you not see that?


It sounds like you're saying that the ToE is suppose to explain how life began.  That isn't what the theory is about.  The theory of evolution is about how life changes.  How life started is abiogenesis, and it's a field that's still under heavy development.
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Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #89 on: December 15, 2011, 02:30:16 PM »
Here's the hypocrisy. Whenever I have even alluded to abiogenesis and evolution being closely knit, I am judged and taken to task and called ignorant, uneducated, foolish, etc etc. When someone in the science community does it, it's just a simple error...a human error.....no big deal.

And there is a reason for the different results.

   Theists tend to claim an all-knowing god and infallible holy book on their side. If you make a mistake based off of either your book or your god, you call into question either the all-knowing aspect or the infallibility. Worse, as a group you tend not to learn from the mistakes of your peers, or even your own - constantly repeating the exact same stupid claims that we've heard and refuted from the start. It's a cascading failure as each piece gets examined and refuted and your god is reduced beyond detection.

   A scientist, however, basically admits he doesn't know everything when he signs up. Science is a tools for finding out about the world - and by being a scientist you must (practically by definition) use science.
So why would you use a tool to find out about a world you already know everything about? Well, you don't! We know we don't know, but we want to find out. No other method has given us results as good as science.

The whole point behind using this method is to explain the world, and to do so we put every hypothesis and theory through the ringer in an attempt to discredit it. We expect things to fail and in order to make them fail we at least try to come up with novel ways to do it.

Also, as a side note: I doubt whoever wrote that is an actual scientist - that's the kind of title journalists are known to use - attention grabbers. A little accuracy in the title can be sacrificed in exchange for a few more readers.

However, when it is used as a weapon to dismantle a long standing belief system that hundreds of millions of people have lived by and believe strongly in, that is just wrong....and highly irresponsible.

I said it before; you put them in contention. Science does not seek to dismantle religion - it puts its findings out there for all to see. When someone doesn't like reality, then they cry foul and attack the science. As a result (and bonus) they throw everything they have at it, thus helping us test our theories. When the theory continues to stand - that means whatever was thrown at it is a failure - up to and including the relevant parts of your religion.

So, effectively, theists do the damage to their beliefs themselves far more effectively than we ever would have bothered to do without their help.

Only a true fool would dispute that microevolution is a fact. Where I (and many others) take exception is when this fact data is extrapolated into a macroevolutionary model and presented as equally substantiated fact. I know that my distinction between micro and macro is heavily frowned upon but there is very good reason I hold strongly to it. Microevolutionary change is well documented and, for the most part, indisputable. There are, however, huge massive holes in the belief that micro=macro.

There are many such true fools, I am glad you are not down at their level, but I must ask, as a few other here have as well;

What mechanism do you propose exists that prevents microevolutionary changes to add up over the course of hundreds of generations to become macroevolution? I'm not asking for evidence or a lack of it; but how could you stop microevolution going beyond the bounds of a "kind" or species (I don't know which label you would use)? What prevents you from constantly adding 1 plus 1 plus 1 ... and eventually ending up at 1 million?

And, not to go off onto another topic here, but none of this even begins to validate an abiogenesis or panspermia (whatever you subscribe to) event

And, not to encourage your other topic here, but whether or not panspermia occurred, an abiogenesis event would still be needed- it just wouldn't be limited to having occurred on Earth.

I am not a biologist and don't make claims of posessing expertise but, as I recall, only cell sub-units containing DNA are considered organelles. Correct ?

If you don't mind a quick wiki:

"While most cell biologists consider the term organelle to be synonymous with "cell compartment", other cell biologists choose to limit the term organelle to include only those that are DNA-containing, having originated from formerly-autonomous microscopic organisms acquired via endosymbiosis."

I would tend to go with the majority of professionals in a field I do not specialize in, unless I have a good reason to disagree. In this case I do not, do you? Thus a "cell compartment" is a viable definition for organelle.
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I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #90 on: December 15, 2011, 02:41:23 PM »
nice lie there.  Funny when Christians claim to know something that is supposedly going to happen and then it doesn’t.  Go ahead, coward, ask your 20-30 questions.  And watch your “prophecy” fail just like all of the others.   


You know, I used to enjoy reading your posts because they typically made arguments of substance. Now all you do is attack me and my character. It’s old. It’s boring. It’s unoriginal. It’s unproductive….and, most importantly, it is a classic symptom of someone who has nothing of any real meaning to offer. For someone who claims to think so logically, you are guilty of ad hominem arguments in an extreme way. You have made it quite clear that you are of the opinion that your beliefs are all that matter and that anyone who contends with them are fools and idiots and derserving of zero respect. How arrogant is that.

I’ll play along, though. Here are just three very basic questions. Remember, the challenge is for you to fill holes here by giving concrete evidence for whatever your claims are. If you qualify any of your answers with statements that are along the lines of “to the best of my/our knowledge”, you lose. If you have answered these before somewhere else and you want to link to those answers or copy and paste, I am fine with that. Here you go:

1. Is Archaeopteryx universally accepted as a transitional fossil? If not, why?
2. When, why, and how did humans evolve intelligence, morality, and altruism? Please provide the order in which each evolved and please provide the specific biological process that has been thoroughly tested and accounts for this.
3.  Explain how and why bipedalism in humans evolved? There are varying scientific hypotheses behind the answer to this so choose wisely and, again, please provide the concrete tested proof for your claims. 

After we have addressed these, we can continue on with more questions if you would like? There are plenty more “holes” to be filled.

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #91 on: December 15, 2011, 02:55:14 PM »
After we have addressed these, we can continue on with more questions if you would like? There are plenty more “holes” to be filled.

So you admit to using a form of "God of the Gaps"?
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Online Aaron123

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #92 on: December 15, 2011, 02:55:43 PM »
I’ll play along, though. Here are just three very basic questions. Remember, the challenge is for you to fill holes here by giving concrete evidence for whatever your claims are. If you qualify any of your answers with statements that are along the lines of “to the best of my/our knowledge”, you lose.

Seriously, what the fuck is your problem with the expression "to the best of my/our knowledge"?  You keep saying this is a bad thing, but you have yet to explain why.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #93 on: December 15, 2011, 03:27:47 PM »
Saying that, do you find the examples that I and TruthSeeker offered as descriptive on micro/macro-evolution.  I especially like his "1+1+1..." example.  The fact is very simple: the accumulation of many small changes lead to a larger change over a larger amount of time.
I agree. 1+1+1 illustration clearly depicts the thought process which I absolutely grasp. However, Truthseeker’s comment that the theist contends you can never get to 10 or 100 is correct. The reason for this is that there is no 10 or 100. There are scientifically inferred 10’s and 100’s but nothing that can produce an irrefutable 10 or 100. For example, using the OP of this thread, the 1+1+1 deduction process can only create an ‘imagined’ LUCA….and only imagined or inferred intermediaries. For one thing, there are varying positions on what the earth’s environment was at the time LUCA may have sprouted its first descendant. This is something we will never know with certainty, therefore, we will never know what a LUCA (if one existed) specifically consisted of. We will only be able to present hypotheses and they will continue to vary (as they do now) into the forseeable future. That’s a hole !! In fact, that’s a BIG hole because one of the centerpieces of the ToE is common descent that goes all the way back to a single ancestor.

You see what I am getting at? The ToE can go back only so far with verifiable evidence. From there on, the history of evolution is pieced together based on inferences and speculation. Believing in a single common ancestor, therefore, requires an element of ‘faith’ rather than fact….(which, by the way is the very thing the theist is heavily criticized for). I choose to place my faith in one place and you place it in another.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #94 on: December 15, 2011, 03:43:41 PM »
I’ll play along, though. Here are just three very basic questions. Remember, the challenge is for you to fill holes here by giving concrete evidence for whatever your claims are. If you qualify any of your answers with statements that are along the lines of “to the best of my/our knowledge”, you lose.

Seriously, what the fuck is your problem with the expression "to the best of my/our knowledge"?  You keep saying this is a bad thing, but you have yet to explain why.

The problem is not me. The problem is your failure to grasp my contention….even though I’ve made it perfectly clear. Let me try again…from a different angle. What is the most common and oft repeated challenge I am presented with here in these discussions? It’s “show me proof that your God exists.” When I fail to provide the proof in accordance with some mysteriously established criteria, the erroneous and fatal logical progression that follows is that absent proof, evolution is IT....the only possible explanation. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That is a logical fallacy that when employed by you (or anyone else) makes you a hypocrite….particularly when you use it as a weapon to dismantle other people’s beliefs.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 03:47:15 PM by BibleStudent »

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #95 on: December 15, 2011, 03:44:31 PM »
After we have addressed these, we can continue on with more questions if you would like? There are plenty more “holes” to be filled.

So you admit to using a form of "God of the Gaps"?

How is it that you inferred that ?

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #96 on: December 15, 2011, 03:44:48 PM »
Seriously, what the fuck is your problem with the expression "to the best of my/our knowledge"?  You keep saying this is a bad thing, but you have yet to explain why.

I think the reason he doesn't like those phrases, is because he wants you to make statement, an absolute. So that if found incorrect, he can bash it in your face. Cheering how "All-Knowing Science" got it wrong.

He can't understand that Science, through hypothesis, observation and experimentation we're trying to learn about how the world around us since some All-Knowing God won't even give a breadcrumb. "Do you know the dimensions of the Earth? Huh? Of course you don't, you're just a dumb meat bag. Leave all the thinking to me. Since you're not smart enough to figure this out: Nya, Nya, I'm not telling you!!! PFFFFTT!!   :P BWAHAHAHAHA!! Frikking Job, getting so full of himself and too big for his briches... /sigh"

Offline velkyn

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #97 on: December 15, 2011, 03:48:05 PM »
You know, I used to enjoy reading your posts because they typically made arguments of substance. Now all you do is attack me and my character. It’s old. It’s boring. It’s unoriginal. It’s unproductive….and, most importantly, it is a classic symptom of someone who has nothing of any real meaning to offer. For someone who claims to think so logically, you are guilty of ad hominem arguments in an extreme way. You have made it quite clear that you are of the opinion that your beliefs are all that matter and that anyone who contends with them are fools and idiots and derserving of zero respect. How arrogant is that.
and more baseless claims in an attempt to claim I have “nothing of real meaning to offer”.   Retreating to Now you want to claim that magically my posts are worthless too you.  And I’m so so concerned with your opinion, BS :D  Especially again when you cannot support it as fact.  I demonstrate how you lie and yep, that is an attack on your character because it shows how little of that you have.   and again, more lies about how that’s all my posts are.  Too bad for you that this is a written medium and anyone can see that you are wrong.  You claim I am guilt of an ad hominem.  Show me where, BS.  Go ahead, I’m sure you can if you make the accusation. I’m waiting.  And more strawmen arguments, how not supirising.  Please do show me how I am now magically of the opinion that only my beliefs matter.  Again, you try to conflate belief with acceptance of facts.  I do feel that you are indeed an idiot and a fool because of your own actions.  You do not deserve any respect because I give no liar respect nor do I give the willfully ignorant respect.  It is not arrogant at all, it is simply respect for the actual truth and actual honesty.  I don’t run around claiming that my beliefs should be immune from criticism because I like them and they’re old.  &)   I suspect you also do not give liars respect, if you know that they are lying. If you did, why? 

You have made false claims, BS and I’ve called you on them. You are a liar.  You are willfully ignorant.  And those aren’t ad hominems or baseless character attacks, those are fact-based conclusions about you determined by your actions.  I have not said that your arguments are bad because you dress funny, I have supported my assertions with facts.   

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  I’ll play along, though. Here are just three very basic questions. Remember, the challenge is for you to fill holes here by giving concrete evidence for whatever your claims are. If you qualify any of your answers with statements that are along the lines of “to the best of my/our knowledge”, you lose. If you have answered these before somewhere else and you want to link to those answers or copy and paste, I am fine with that. Here you go:
1. Is Archaeopteryx universally accepted as a transitional fossil? If not, why?
Oh these are hilarious.  Let me clarify what you are really asking so we don’t waste time.  What do you mean by “universally accepted”?  Can you tell me if any idea is “universally accepted” and what that indicates?   Define transitional fossil for me so I know you know what you are asking and tell me if you think that there are *any* transitional fossils.  Do you know how fossils are formed and why they are uncommon? 

Now, I ask these questions so we don’t get mired in the usual ‘BS ignores anything he doesn’t like’ nonsense.  I’ll let you make sure you understand the parameters so I don’t come up with anything you don’t like. 
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2. When, why, and how did humans evolve intelligence, morality, and altruism? Please provide the order in which each evolved and please provide the specific biological process that has been thoroughly tested and accounts for this.
oh this is even better!  The ignorance you show is amazing.  We know it comes from the brain. Concrete #1.  The brain has been evolving in primates for quite a long time. Concrete #2.  We have intellignce, morals and altruism, and they are damaged when the brain is damaged. Concrete #3.  We don’t have the gooshy brains from 10,000 years ago so tah-dah, we don’t know the sequence yet. Humans have shown various levels of intelligence since 2.6 million years ago.  Humans show altruism and care since at least 130,000 years ago, concrete #4. They show morality as defined by laws since at least 1772 BC. All supported by plenty of evidence, Concrete #5   Can’t even get Christians to support when the flood was, when “creation” was, when the “exodus” was,  when their savior supposedly existed, etc.  Rather sad for something claimed repeatedly as the “truth”.  No better than any other myths.     

Ooh, see, I used yet.  Did I lose here? Could be, you could consider “yet” a qualifier, though it makes no sense since humanity has been showing religious myth wrong through out the ages, it being only a matter of time.  Back in the 1600s, against a claim that a disease is from God’s will, I could say “No, but we don’t know for sure “yet” and be correct then supported by evidence in this 200 hundred years later.  If you asked any questions at all, I knew you’d try to ask questions like this and claim them as “holes” since you don’t understand evolutionary theory at all and are indeed a hypocrite.  You’d claim that anything I said was a loss.  And that’s what I wanted, you to destroy yourself even further.  I’ll make a faulty prediction for that happily.  Too bad you can’t say the same for your god. 

You seem to not like hypotheses and theories.  Funny how you benefit from them everyday, things exactly like this.  Take aspirin.  We still don’t know exactly how it works.  We have various hypotheses and theories on why.  That doesn’t chance the fact that it works.  Now, with your abhorrence of science without the complete answer, you would have to believe that aspirin doesn’t work at all.  So, going to keep taking it or any other of a multitude of modern medicines? Why or why not?
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3.  Explain how and why bipedalism in humans evolved? There are varying scientific hypotheses behind the answer to this so choose wisely and, again, please provide the concrete tested proof for your claims.
Yep, scientific hypotheses that have evidence supporting them (see above for your silliness).  Unlike your claims that a god made man out of mud.  Again, we don’t know for sure *yet*.  Got a lot more Africa to dig up.  We are bipedal #6, we have changes in legs and hips just like how evolutionary theory predicts, Concrete #7. The only thing in question is top-down or bottom up.  It was one or the other.  What happens when we get more confirmation one way or another?  Your god further into the cracks and you still with no evidence for its existence.  This little game has been going on for at least a hundred years now.  And still poor creationists have nothing to show for it. 

You want to claim that oh “microevolution” is okay but “macro” isn’t, but 50 years ago, creationists would have been horrified that you went that far.  Again, creationists have to change their supposed “truths” again and again, to keep up with reality.  You try to claim that “oh we knew all along” and unfortunately, your ridiculous books show you wrong.  Pity you can’t just ring up the Ministry of Truth and have them change everything you’ve written. 
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After we have addressed these, we can continue on with more questions if you would like? There are plenty more “holes” to be filled.

keep going, always am amused to watch you try to be clever.  it’s like a Mr. Bean episode.  Or if you like address my “concrete” bits. Show how they are wrong.  You can can’t you?  Offer up a supportable alternative?  Show that your myths are true?   
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Online wright

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #98 on: December 15, 2011, 03:58:04 PM »
until the latter can be recreated under conditions that likely existed on the Earth of 3.5 billion years ago, evolution is effectively a separate topic.

It's getting there, there's lots of strides being made in understanding how life first started. Scientists are creating more and more complex self-replicating molecules in the lab under conditions of an ancient earth. They've found four RNA neucleotides that can be created pretty simply, one through mixing and evaporation, take that one and expose it to UV light and it changes into another. Expose those two to heat and pressure like an undersea volcanic vent and you get the other two.

So the first one forms on the edge of the water and gets exposed to sunlight forming the second. Then they get washed out to sea by the tide and drop to the bottom to for the other two. An elegant and simple way to form early RNA.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16382-artificial-molecule-evolves-in-the-lab.html

Thanks, I99. I certainly don't dispute that abiogenesis is the most likely explanation for the origin of life. The process of unifying that and evolutionary theory is a slow one (compared to the pace of advance in other sciences), but I'm hopeful that I'll see it in my lifetime: the next 20-30 years.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #99 on: December 15, 2011, 04:42:38 PM »
What do you mean by “universally accepted”? 
Is there any disagreement within the scientific community that Archaeopteryx is a transitional fossil? If so, why is there disagreement? What is the scientific basis that warrants the dispute?
Can you tell me if any idea is “universally accepted” and what that indicates?
How is this relevant?
Define transitional fossil for me so I know you know what you are asking
For the purpose of this discussion pertaining to Archaeopteryx, let’s say that it is a fossil that confirms speciation.
and tell me if you think that there are *any* transitional fossils. 
There are….but none that confirms a speciation event occurred.
Do you know how fossils are formed and why they are uncommon?

Yes but my knowledge of the subject matter is irrelevant at this point. You can call it into question once you've given me an opportunity to examine whatever evidence you present.
We know it comes from the brain. Concrete #1.  The brain has been evolving in primates for quite a long time. Concrete #2.  We have intellignce, morals and altruism, and they are damaged when the brain is damaged. Concrete #3.  We don’t have the gooshy brains from 10,000 years ago so tah-dah, we don’t know the sequence yet. Humans have shown various levels of intelligence since 2.6 million years ago.  Humans show altruism and care since at least 130,000 years ago, concrete #4. They show morality as defined by laws since at least 1772 BC. All supported by plenty of evidence, Concrete #5   Can’t even get Christians to support when the flood was, when “creation” was, when the “exodus” was,  when their savior supposedly existed, etc.

This is an EPIC fail, Velkyn. Where is the scientific data, the peer reviewed papers, the evidence that demonstrates anything you’ve said….the very same material you demand of me and other theists?
Yep, scientific hypotheses that have evidence supporting them (see above for your silliness).  Unlike your claims that a god made man out of mud.  Again, we don’t know for sure *yet*.  Got a lot more Africa to dig up.  We are bipedal #6, we have changes in legs and hips just like how evolutionary theory predicts, Concrete #7. The only thing in question is top-down or bottom up.  It was one or the other.
This is almost laughable. It is evident that you have not researched the evolution of bipedalism and you should have said so rather than responding just so you could say you responded. Wanna try again?
Or if you like address my “concrete” bits.
Without something to support and validate your “concrete bits” I would simply be contending with your opinion, now wouldn’t I?? C’mon, I only gave you three simple questions rather than the 20-30 I could have. This is a great opportunity for you to meet the challenge of a “foolish” “lying” “willfully ignorant” theist and validate your claims with regards to the ToE. I already know that you cannot provide the same level of irrefutable empirical evidence you require of the theist to accomplish this so if you want to just concede now, I am fine with that.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 04:51:04 PM by BibleStudent »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #100 on: December 15, 2011, 05:10:58 PM »
The problem is not me. The problem is your failure to grasp my contention….even though I’ve made it perfectly clear.  Let me try again…from a different angle. What is the most common and oft repeated challenge I am presented with here in these discussions? It’s “show me proof that your God exists.” When I fail to provide the proof in accordance with some mysteriously established criteria, the erroneous and fatal logical progression that follows is that absent proof, evolution is IT....the only possible explanation. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That is a logical fallacy that when employed by you (or anyone else) makes you a hypocrite….particularly when you use it as a weapon to dismantle other people’s beliefs.
The thing is, you're basing this on several incorrect assumptions.  First, the reason you get asked for evidence is because science operates around evidence.  If you can't provide evidence to support your belief, then you can't show that your belief is a reasonable explanation for reality.  Second, the reason evolution is considered a correct explanation is because it fits the evidence we've managed to accumulate so far.  For example, being able to test drugs on an animal and figure out how it would likely affect a human; being able to make vaccines for diseases that haven't jumped the species barrier; being able to show how much DNA is shared between humans and animals, especially animals that are closer to humans.  Third, evolution is not judged the only possible explanation because religious belief is shown to be lacking.  Evolution is judged based on its own merits, and everything we've found via evolutionary theory has held up under examination.  Religious belief is also judged based on its own merits, but it has not held up under examination, such as there has been of it.  Science is about figuring out what's correct and what isn't, no matter the source.  Evolution has been demonstrated to be reasonably correct, so it is accepted as true.  Religious belief has not been demonstrated to be reasonably correct, so it is not accepted as true.  It's really that simple.

Your current line of approach is a red herring.  You're basing it on the idea that evolution is simply accepted as true without evidence (with faith, I suppose you might say), and trying to prove it by demanding ironclad evidence and refusing to accept "to the best of our knowledge" as a reasonable answer.  Science is about finding out stuff to the best of our knowledge; we'll never have a complete and perfect understanding of everything because our knowledge will never be perfectly complete.

In answer to your questions:

1.  There is no such thing as a "transitional fossil" as you mean the term.  This term as it's generally used is a demand for a half-something, half-someotherthing creature, which is silly.  We aren't talking about chimera here.  All species are their own species, none are "transitions" in the sense you mean.  However, no species exists in a vacuum either, and assuming it doesn't go extinct, it will develop based on environmental pressures, which leaves behind intermediate species.

2.  Humans evolved intelligence, morality, and altruism because those things helped to increase the likelihood of human survival as a species.  That's the simple explanation.  I don't know the specifics because I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm reasonably sure that an anthropologist could demonstrate the order and evidence for this development.

3.  Bipedalism evolved because humans became specialized tool-users.  Again, I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist could demonstrate the order and evidence.

That's the other thing about science.  I don't have to learn all of this myself.  People can specialize to study specific things, and other people can use their knowledge without having to spend decades acquiring it.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #101 on: December 15, 2011, 06:17:05 PM »
First, the reason you get asked for evidence is because science operates around evidence.  If you can't provide evidence to support your belief, then you can't show that your belief is a reasonable explanation for reality.
With all due respect, you make it sound as though science is to be worshipped. Is it the only means for acquiring knowledge and making decisions? Would you seek out scientific evidence when deciding on who is going to be your spouse, or which gas station you will fill your vehicle up at? Do you use science as the exclusive guide to determine which color you will paint your house or who you will vote for in the next election? Does philosophical thought have any place in how we go about forming our beliefs and determining our actions? Again, with all due respect, you make it sound as though science is God. I can look at the same scientific data you do and see evidence of a Creator rather than a chaotic randomly generated naturalistic machine that produced life. Beliefs can be formed in different ways. Important life decisions can be made without science having to guide us every step of the way. With that being said, I will repeat something I have said before: I do not find fault with the discipline of science. Not at all. What I find fault with is using it as a means of tearing down someone else’s belief system. If you contend that science does no such thing, see my next response to your Third point below.
Second, the reason evolution is considered a correct explanation is because it fits the evidence we've managed to accumulate so far.
That’s fine. Present as an alternative view with the disclaimer that it is an incomplete theory.  Referring to people such as myself as deluded, ignorant, stupid, foolish, etc. implies that the ToE is the only sensible explanation for life. While it may seem a convincing argument to some, it lacks the completeness to attain such power.
 
Third, evolution is not judged the only possible explanation because religious belief is shown to be lacking.  Evolution is judged based on its own merits, and everything we've found via evolutionary theory has held up under examination.  Religious belief is also judged based on its own merits, but it has not held up under examination, such as there has been of it.  Science is about figuring out what's correct and what isn't, no matter the source.
Then let science have its place and let religion have its place. Science seems to be subtly starting to  contend with religion….which I have been told (on more than one occasion) is something science should have no inclination to do:
http://crev.info/content/111206-science_of_atheism

I don't know the specifics because I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm reasonably sure that an anthropologist could demonstrate the order and evidence for this development.

Again, I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist could demonstrate the order and evidence.

I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist theologian or God Himself, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist God could demonstrate the order and evidence.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 06:21:24 PM by BibleStudent »

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2011, 06:25:42 PM »
In answer to your questions:

1.  There is no such thing as a "transitional fossil" as you mean the term.  This term as it's generally used is a demand for a half-something, half-someotherthing creature, which is silly.  We aren't talking about chimera here.  All species are their own species, none are "transitions" in the sense you mean.  However, no species exists in a vacuum either, and assuming it doesn't go extinct, it will develop based on environmental pressures, which leaves behind intermediate species.

2.  Humans evolved intelligence, morality, and altruism because those things helped to increase the likelihood of human survival as a species.  That's the simple explanation.  I don't know the specifics because I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm reasonably sure that an anthropologist could demonstrate the order and evidence for this development.

3.  Bipedalism evolved because humans became specialized tool-users.  Again, I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist could demonstrate the order and evidence.

I am intentionally refraining from commenting on any of your points with respect to the 3 questions I posed.  Reason being, I am waiting for a certain individual to respond before I begin offering my interpretation of the scientific data that is used to support these issues.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2011, 06:49:45 PM »
What mechanism do you propose exists that prevents microevolutionary changes to add up over the course of hundreds of generations to become macroevolution? I'm not asking for evidence or a lack of it; but how could you stop microevolution going beyond the bounds of a "kind" or species (I don't know which label you would use)?

This is a VERY GOOD question and, admittedly a difficult one to address without being long winded.. I don't normally like to do this but I am going to borrow someone else's explanation just so I don't make a mess of trying to explain it myself:

The fallacy of the argument lies in the assertion that “the same processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles can be extrapolated to between species changes, so this argument fails unless some mechanism for preventing microevolution causing macroevolution is discovered.” They are different processes, one can’t be extrapolated to the other, and there is a mechanism that prevents microevolution from causing macroevolution. Let us explain it very carefully.

For simplicity, we (and many evolutionists, too) talk about “the gene for blue eyes” and “the gene for brown eyes.” In most cases, there usually isn’t a one-to-one correspondence between single genes and visible characteristics. Visible traits are usually caused by a combination of genes. Individuals who have undesirable combinations of genes typically die before they reach sexual maturity, thereby reducing the abundance of those genes. But the genes still exist in the population, and may resurface if environmental conditions make them beneficial again.

So, the “processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles” are natural selection and, to some extent, dumb luck. (Some evolutionists say that luck is more important than natural selection, but let’s not go there.) The important point is that these are processes that vary the abundance of existing genetic information by causing some genes to become very rare, or disappear entirely. This makes other, existing genes more plentiful (relatively speaking) in the population.

For a dinosaur to turn into a bird, you need to give it new genetic information that tells the body how to grow feathers. There is no known process that creates genetic information.

Information can get lost through random processes. (If you don’t believe me, rub a floppy disk with a strong magnet in a random pattern.) Information cannot be created by a random process. (If you want to convince me, rub a blank floppy disk with a strong magnet in a random pattern, and send me the resulting randomly-generated text file that explains how it can happen.)

The genetic information in a horse is greater than the genetic information in a bacteria. For a bacteria to evolve into a horse, genetic information had to be added. A horse’s genetic code is not simply a rearrangement of the genetic information already in a bacteria.

Evolutionists believe that genetic information somehow accumulates slowly over millions of years. But speed isn’t really the issue. Genetic information does not naturally increase at any rate at all. It does, however, get lost over time through the processes of mutation and extinction. We can’t clone any dinosaurs in the lab today because that genetic information has been lost.
http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v4i7e1.htm

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2011, 07:01:04 PM »
BS (to Jaime):
Quote
With all due respect, you make it sound as though science is to be worshipped. Is it the only means for acquiring knowledge and making decisions? Would you seek out scientific evidence when deciding on... etc etc ...
Classic straw-man. Jaime implied nothing about 'worshipping' science.

Quote
Referring to people such as myself as deluded, ignorant, stupid, foolish, etc. implies that the ToE is the only sensible explanation for life.
Another straw-man. The ToE does not presume to 'explain life'.

Quote
I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist theologian or God Himself, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist God could demonstrate the order and evidence.
Then let's compare, shall we? Give us a few days, and we'll go and find a proper biologist to help us. You go and find God. We'll meet back here and our biologist and your God will present their case. You got a problem with that, BS?
 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 07:02:48 PM by Gnu Ordure »

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #105 on: December 15, 2011, 08:18:38 PM »
What mechanism do you propose exists that prevents microevolutionary changes to add up over the course of hundreds of generations to become macroevolution? I'm not asking for evidence or a lack of it; but how could you stop microevolution going beyond the bounds of a "kind" or species (I don't know which label you would use)?

This is a VERY GOOD question and, admittedly a difficult one to address without being long winded.. I don't normally like to do this but I am going to borrow someone else's explanation just so I don't make a mess of trying to explain it myself:

Quote
Evolutionists believe that genetic information somehow accumulates slowly over millions of years. But speed isn’t really the issue. Genetic information does not naturally increase at any rate at all. It does, however, get lost over time through the processes of mutation and extinction. We can’t clone any dinosaurs in the lab today because that genetic information has been lost. [/i]http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v4i7e1.htm

Bolds mine.

The old "let's see a tornado assemble a 747 in a junkyard" argument? Seriously?

Well, here's a reply to the laughable claim that mutations can't add information to genes...

.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

And the bolded section is an outright lie, BibleStudent. The rate of mutations over long periods of time is another confirmation of the validity of evolution, and has been found again and again. Here's a link that gives a pretty good explanation of the process...

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section5.html

Just scroll down to "Prediction 5.8: genetic rates of change". A relevant quote from that:
Quote
What we must compare are the data from three independent sources: (1) fossil record estimates of the time of divergence of species, (2) nucleotide differences between species, and (3) the observed rates of mutation in modern species. The overall conclusion is that these three are entirely consistent with one another.

For example, consider the human/chimp divergence, one of the most well-studied evolutionary relationships. Chimpanzees and humans are thought to have diverged, or shared a common ancestor, about 6 Mya, based on the fossil record (Stewart and Disotell 1998). The genomes of chimpanzees and humans are very similar; their DNA sequences overall are 98% identical (King and Wilson 1975; Sverdlov 2000). The greatest differences between these genomes are found in pseudogenes, non-translated sequences, and fourfold degenerate third-base codon positions. All of these are very free from selection constraints, since changes in them have virtually no functional or phenotypic effect, and thus most mutational changes are incorporated and retained in their sequences. For these reasons, they should represent the background rate of spontaneous mutation in the genome. These regions with the highest sequence dissimilarity are what should be compared between species, since they will provide an upper limit on the rate of evolutionary change.

Given a divergence date of 6 Mya, the maximum inferred rate of nucleotide substitution in the most divergent regions of DNA in humans and chimps is ~1.3 x 10-9 base substitutions per site per year. Given a generation time of 15-20 years, this is equivalent to a substitution rate of ~2 x 10-8 per site per generation (Crowe 1993; Futuyma 1998, p. 273).

Background spontaneous mutation rates are extremely important for cancer research, and they have been studied extensively in humans. A review of the spontaneous mutation rate observed in several genes in humans has found an average background mutation rate of 1-5 x 10-8 base substitutions per site per generation. This rate is a very minimum, because its value does not include insertions, deletions, or other base substitution mutations that can destroy the function of these genes (Giannelli et al. 1999; Mohrenweiser 1994, pp. 128-129). Thus, the fit amongst these three independent sources of data is extremely impressive.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #106 on: December 15, 2011, 08:35:18 PM »
Classic straw-man. Jaime implied nothing about 'worshipping' science.
Another straw-man. The ToE does not presume to 'explain life'.

True. Strawmen. My bad....got a little carried away. Consider my post nothing more than commentary and opinion on my part.

Then let's compare, shall we? Give us a few days, and we'll go and find a proper biologist to help us. You go and find God. We'll meet back here and our biologist and your God will present their case. You got a problem with that, BS?
Nope. No problem.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #107 on: December 15, 2011, 08:49:57 PM »
With all due respect, you make it sound as though science is to be worshipped.
With all due respect, you either don't know what you're talking about or you're deliberately obfuscating the issue.

Quote from: BibleStudent
Is it the only means for acquiring knowledge and making decisions? Would you seek out scientific evidence when deciding on who is going to be your spouse, or which gas station you will fill your vehicle up at? Do you use science as the exclusive guide to determine which color you will paint your house or who you will vote for in the next election?
It's called "show me the evidence".  If someone were to suggest a prospective spouse to me, I'd want actual details to go on instead of bland promises.  If someone were to suggest an alternate gas station from the ones I normally used, I'd want to know details to decide if it was reasonable to use it.  If I were wanting to paint my house, I'd find out whatever details I felt I needed about the paint to make sure I was making a good decision.  I also try to get details about candidates before I decide who to vote for.  It isn't always about science, but it is always about getting the information I need to make good decisions.

And religion is not a good source for that information, being based on subjective experiences, hearsay evidence out of ancient books, and other such things, which can't be shown in a reasonable and reliable fashion.  Evidence doesn't necessarily have to be scientific, but it does have to be demonstrable to an independent observer and able to be done repeatedly and reliably under the same conditions.  Religious beliefs meet neither test.

Quote from: BibleStudent
Does philosophical thought have any place in how we go about forming our beliefs and determining our actions? Again, with all due respect, you make it sound as though science is God.
Of course philosophy has a place in things.  But philosophy has to be based on reality, or else it's speculative and pretty much useless.  Also, stop making insinuations about me.  I do not worship science; I do not think science is God.  I do think that a belief has to be built on things that really exist, which means you have to have evidence to back it up.  If you can't show the evidence, don't expect anyone else to believe it.

Quote from: BibleStudent
I can look at the same scientific data you do and see evidence of a Creator rather than a chaotic randomly generated naturalistic machine that produced life.
I'm sure you can.  The problem is that if you expect to see something (and I think it is a safe bet what you expect to see in this case), you'll be predisposed to see it even if it isn't there.  That's one of the reasons scientists (just to name one category, but anyone who investigates something has to watch out for this) have to make a deliberate effort to leave their biases at home.  You really do have to judge the evidence as it actually exists, not through the framework of your worldview.

Quote from: BibleStudent
Beliefs can be formed in different ways. Important life decisions can be made without science having to guide us every step of the way. With that being said, I will repeat something I have said before: I do not find fault with the discipline of science. Not at all.
There are things science isn't especially useful for, I'll admit.  But the "show me the evidence" methodology is useful in all situations.  Because if you're basing your beliefs on something that you have no evidence for, then you're building them on a foundation of sand.

Quote from: BibleStudent
What I find fault with is using it as a means of tearing down someone else’s belief system. If you contend that science does no such thing, see my next response to your Third point below.

Then let science have its place and let religion have its place. Science seems to be subtly starting to  contend with religion….which I have been told (on more than one occasion) is something science should have no inclination to do:
I pulled that latter quote up so I could respond to both at the same time.  I don't have any objections to belief systems as long as they affect nobody but the believer(s) in question.  I have serious objections to belief systems which impose their beliefs on people outside the system, or harm people inside of it.  Any belief system, religious or otherwise.  For example, let's take homosexuality; if Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong, well, that's their business.  But if Christians try to pass laws specifically to ban homosexuality (as in Uganda), or to ban homosexual marriage (as is being done here), in other words, to impose their beliefs on non-Christians, it's everyone's business.

I could name dozens examples of things like this, both in and outside of Christianity.  If people insist on trying to push their beliefs onto society as a whole, then they had better expect to be pushed back against.  For example, certain categories of Christians have been trying to push their beliefs onto society through the mechanism of laws for decades or more.  Yet you complain because other people are using what means they can to push back against Christian encroachment on secular American society and government; you call it "tearing down someone else's belief system".  Maybe if Christians didn't try to push their belief system onto society as a whole, that would have a leg to stand on.

Quote from: BibleStudent
That’s fine. Present as an alternative view with the disclaimer that it is an incomplete theory.  Referring to people such as myself as deluded, ignorant, stupid, foolish, etc. implies that the ToE is the only sensible explanation for life. While it may seem a convincing argument to some, it lacks the completeness to attain such power.
Should we list the universal theory of gravity as an "alternative view with the disclaimer that it is an incomplete theory"?  Should we list atomic theory as an "alternative view with the disclaimer that it is an incomplete theory"?  Should we list quantum theory as an "alternative view with the disclaimer that it is an incomplete theory"?  I think not.  I am adamantly opposed to teaching creationism (or intelligent design) as any sort of science, and that is essentially what you are saying you want, at least as far as I can tell.  I don't really care what you personally believe in terms of philosophy, but until there's evidence to demonstrate the idea of special creation as being scientifically valid, it has no place in the science classroom, nor does any 'disclaimer' about "alternative views".
 
Quote from: BibleStudent
I don't know the specifics because I'm not a biologist theologian or God Himself, but I'm reasonably sure that a biologist God could demonstrate the order and evidence.
Leaving aside the sarcasm, I have to wonder why you have not gone and asked a theologian, or God, to assist you with this.  It's not that difficult.  Show the evidence, and if you don't have the evidence, go find it.  I'm quite sure that I would be able to find a biologist or an anthropologist who can either give me the information I want, or can help me find it.  Can you honestly say the same?

Offline Irish

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #108 on: December 15, 2011, 08:58:27 PM »
For a bacteria to evolve into a horse, genetic information had to be added. A horse’s genetic code is not simply a rearrangement of the genetic information already in a bacteria.

 :o As a biologist this is just insulting.  If THIS is what you believe the ToE to consist of then you do not understand the theory.  I believe any member here with even the vaguest idea of evolution will see this to be true.  No part of the theory states that a horse evolved from a bacterium.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #109 on: December 15, 2011, 09:30:58 PM »
Actually, it does, Irish - with the important understanding that there are a couple of billion years of intermediate steps in there, many of which we have a window into via fossils.

The quote above does not imply that the bactera evolved directly to horses.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #110 on: December 15, 2011, 09:49:17 PM »
For a bacteria to evolve into a horse, genetic information had to be added. A horse’s genetic code is not simply a rearrangement of the genetic information already in a bacteria.

 :o As a biologist this is just insulting.  If THIS is what you believe the ToE to consist of then you do not understand the theory.  I believe any member here with even the vaguest idea of evolution will see this to be true.  No part of the theory states that a horse evolved from a bacterium.

I didn't take it as a literal example but rather just an exaggerated illustration to reinforce the point. If that's what he meant 'literally' then your contention is noted.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #111 on: December 15, 2011, 10:11:12 PM »
BS:
Quote
Quote
Classic straw-man. Jaime implied nothing about 'worshipping' science. <snip>  Another straw-man. The ToE does not presume to 'explain life'.

True. Strawmen. My bad....got a little carried away.
Dammit, BS, I came here for an argument. You argue with everyone else, so what's wrong with me?!? "True". "My bad". Sheesh, where's the fun in that? 

+1 for it though. You need a little encouragement.

Quote
Quote
Then let's compare, shall we? Give us a few days, and we'll go and find a proper biologist to help us. You go and find God. We'll meet back here and our biologist and your God will present their case. You got a problem with that, BS?
Nope. No problem.
May I ask exactly how your God is going to present his case? For example, our biologist is going to join the Forum, present his credentials, and then present his evidence. Is God going to do that? If not, what?

Offline Irish

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #112 on: December 15, 2011, 10:22:19 PM »
Actually, it does, Irish - with the important understanding that there are a couple of billion years of intermediate steps in there, many of which we have a window into via fossils.

Of which was conveniently left out. Bacteria and horses are just as modern and "evolved" as each other.  One did not come from the other.

Quote
The quote above does not imply that the bactera evolved directly to horses.

I disagree. If the author doesn't think that he wouldn't mention it or would add a qualifier, such as the one you listed.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #113 on: December 15, 2011, 11:24:48 PM »
Dammit, BS, I came here for an argument. You argue with everyone else, so what's wrong with me?!? "True". "My bad". Sheesh, where's the fun in that? 

+1 for it though. You need a little encouragement.

LOL...
Thanks for +1
I admit, I strayed and you caught me and called me out....rightly so.

May I ask exactly how your God is going to present his case? For example, our biologist is going to join the Forum, present his credentials, and then present his evidence. Is God going to do that? If not, what?

I have the Good Book and all of the same information you do. First chapter of the Book of John says the Word is God so He'll be here....maybe not in the flesh as I'm sure you'd prefer but He'll be here in the manner He has chosen to.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #114 on: December 15, 2011, 11:27:17 PM »
I disagree. If the author doesn't think that he wouldn't mention it or would add a qualifier, such as the one you listed.

You *could* be right. You should write him and ask him. His email address is there on the website somewhere. Give it a try and see what he says. I'd be interested myself to know if he meant that literally or not.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Ocean-sized universal common ancestor
« Reply #115 on: December 15, 2011, 11:39:00 PM »
Bolds mine.

The old "let's see a tornado assemble a 747 in a junkyard" argument? Seriously?

Well, here's a reply to the laughable claim that mutations can't add information to genes...

.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

And the bolded section is an outright lie, BibleStudent. The rate of mutations over long periods of time is another confirmation of the validity of evolution, and has been found again and again. Here's a link that gives a pretty good explanation of the process...

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section5.html

Just scroll down to "Prediction 5.8: genetic rates of change". A relevant quote from that:
Quote
What we must compare are the data from three independent sources: (1) fossil record estimates of the time of divergence of species, (2) nucleotide differences between species, and (3) the observed rates of mutation in modern species. The overall conclusion is that these three are entirely consistent with one another.

For example, consider the human/chimp divergence, one of the most well-studied evolutionary relationships. Chimpanzees and humans are thought to have diverged, or shared a common ancestor, about 6 Mya, based on the fossil record (Stewart and Disotell 1998). The genomes of chimpanzees and humans are very similar; their DNA sequences overall are 98% identical (King and Wilson 1975; Sverdlov 2000). The greatest differences between these genomes are found in pseudogenes, non-translated sequences, and fourfold degenerate third-base codon positions. All of these are very free from selection constraints, since changes in them have virtually no functional or phenotypic effect, and thus most mutational changes are incorporated and retained in their sequences. For these reasons, they should represent the background rate of spontaneous mutation in the genome. These regions with the highest sequence dissimilarity are what should be compared between species, since they will provide an upper limit on the rate of evolutionary change.

Given a divergence date of 6 Mya, the maximum inferred rate of nucleotide substitution in the most divergent regions of DNA in humans and chimps is ~1.3 x 10-9 base substitutions per site per year. Given a generation time of 15-20 years, this is equivalent to a substitution rate of ~2 x 10-8 per site per generation (Crowe 1993; Futuyma 1998, p. 273).

Background spontaneous mutation rates are extremely important for cancer research, and they have been studied extensively in humans. A review of the spontaneous mutation rate observed in several genes in humans has found an average background mutation rate of 1-5 x 10-8 base substitutions per site per generation. This rate is a very minimum, because its value does not include insertions, deletions, or other base substitution mutations that can destroy the function of these genes (Giannelli et al. 1999; Mohrenweiser 1994, pp. 128-129). Thus, the fit amongst these three independent sources of data is extremely impressive.

Are you contending that "NEW" genetic material produces speciation based on the Talk Origins material you provided? I just want to make sure I understand your argument. I started reading through it (very slowly I might add) and realized I should clarify specifically what you are asserting.