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  1. #61
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    Re: Evolution or Devolution?

    I accept that the Tea Party and the Christian Right are not exactly synonymous, but there is a big overlap.
    Overlap yes, but the same, no.

    And again, to reiterate. The tea parties rose in opposition as a result of excessive government spending. The size and spending of government has always been the core issue of the Tea Party movement, but not necessarily the Christian Right.

    You are confusing one specific movement within the right as being the whole. Should I assume that communists are not interested in foreign policy because their core issue is economics?

  2. #62
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    Re: Evolution or Devolution?

    "Should I assume that communists are not interested in foreign policy because their core issue is economics?"

    No. I have started a thread on the Tea Party anyway, and I did have a thread on the connection between religion and the right wing. I think we should leave it here because the thread is supposed to be evolution.

  3. #63
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    Re: Evolution or Devolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Life forms do tend to become more complex although this is not an objective but merely a consequence of building upon a foundation.
    This is indeed the microbes to man evolutionary interpretation of the past, that although there is no direction to MME what is seen is just such a general trend from simpler to more complex. The problem with this interpretation is it doesn't match what we observe. What we observe is random mutations breaking things in the genetic code. In some cases this gives a specific advantage, but at the cost of reduced overall fitness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Imagine a painting and you start with one brush stroke. Then you add more over time in response to peoples opinions of the paining and you pretty much never stop. While the image may change to become simpler in some ways, all those strokes and corrections are still there, even if you covered up some of them with others. Its hard to make it any simpler in construction through changes although you could make the final image less complex because the latest set of changes obsolete older parts of the image.
    My first problem with your analogy is you are talking about an intelligence making that painting, one stroke at a time, so it really doesn't fit well to use it as a comparison to your postulated MME which it is claimed has no intelligent agent, it is a result of purely random change. Second, you talk about lots of brush strokes added, however as I said above this is not what we observe. A proper analogy would be an eraser making random deletions and smudges on an existing painting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Devolution, if you take that to be less complexity, is very hard to achieve with DNA.
    Actually it's not hard to achieve in DNA. All it takes is a random deletion of an allele or a random change of an allele which breaks that function. What is actually hard is to introduce new, useful information into DNA from random changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The problem is that we have never found any evidence of that being true. Generally human remains we find show much younger rates of mortality and we almost never see the bones of those living hundreds of years and such. Now these are of course based on some assumptions of what happens as we age, but there are other measures as well.
    According to the Biblical timeline any human fossils up to about Tertiary is within the Flood, could be people who died at a much older age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Mind you there is also no good evidence for a world wide flood either so trying to date to it is impossible. Those geological signs that folks sometimes point to for a flood (but don't match well) happened long before any humans lived.
    That's your evolutionary interpretation of the geologic record there, so that assertion of it happening long before humans lived is the fallacy of begging the question. As for whether there is evidence for the Flood or not, of course there is. It's largely the same evidence interpreted to support an evolutionary time scale; it's just interpreted to support a biblical timescale instead. It actually fits the Flood model much better than the uniformitarian, slow and steady change over millions of years evolutionary interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    In human societies often change and advancement comes from the young rather than the old so perhaps a youthful population is more dynamic and aggressive as where an older one is more static.
    Do you refer to 'young' as someone in their 20s to 50s or something? I don't think longer life would mean people get old and decrepit around 70, then live in squalor for the next 800 plus years. I think it would mean the stage of one's life with the greatest vitality would be greatly expanded, just like probably the other stages. If you had enough time get a degree and then work all the kinks out of some project in a couple hundred years, think what kind of projects you could achieve! Then, since you still have more than twice you lifetime ahead of you still, you go back to school and get a degree in something else, and then go and combine your training and considerable past experience to a new problem. Do you think that would bring about stagnation, or incredible innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Devolution if it were the opposite of evolution would mean the species is less fit to survive due to a change, but natural selection weeds out unfit life forms by killing them. That is the functional definition of unfit, you die and fail to breed. If you live and breed you win the game no matter how sloppy your victory.
    Natural selection can only select from the best, the most fit that are there. All organisms are experiencing an overall loss of usefulness in the DNA, so the trend will be toward less fit over time. Also, natural selection operates at the phenotypic level, not the genetic, so increases generally have to be major changes in order for them to be reflected at the phenotype level. This means the genetic load of each generation due to minor random mutations continues do build and natural selection is helpless to do anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    No. We do have DNA from ancient remains and we have not found that they have a more "perfect" set of traits. This area of research is still very young, so perhaps some of your notions will be supported, we won't know until we look more. So far we have no evidence that I know of for a more "perfect" early human.
    Would we even know what to look for? Although the human genome has been fully sequenced that does not at mean they know the full intricacies of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I don't think so at all. We would expect that living organisms would pretty much stay the same as God had made them and would only change when God wanted them to. We would expect to find remains of animals be pretty much consistent over time and history but we don't find that to be true either. We would expect to start with more diversity and end up with less but we don't find that either.
    I disagree. Due to the loss of perfection at the Fall of Man we would expect to see a steady progression away from perfection. We would see a steady increase of genetic heritable diseases. Just as we do with dog breeding, we see commonly one or more heritable disease in each 'purebreed' such as hip displagia in Shepherds. As the reduce the variation so as to produce a certain set of traits only, they reduce the overall health of the organism. One note about this. When they breed a purebred with a 'mongrel' dog the heritable diseases are almost always eliminated with the first batch of puppies.

    God's command was to fill the earth with life. This implies the life would have a well developed ability to adapt to various ecological niches, and this would be reflected in wide morphological differences in different ecologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I don't get why Christians have to think that anything and everything there is to know can and should be derived from the Bible. Even if it is gods sacred message for mankind it can't represent all knowledge nor seems intended in any way to be a book about how nature or the physical universe operates. Its clearly a book about morality and human behavior and human history and its scope is pretty limited outside of that. It doesn't tell us how to talk, or to write, or how to use the toilet, or how to have sex, or how to swim or any number of rather important life skills. It teaches about respecting and loving god and how to be holy or not holy and how to treat other people or how not to treat them. And that is the vast bulk of the book.
    It does tell us to have dominion over this earth, as it's stewards. In order to do that we need to know and understand how to do that wisely. We are also study and gain in knowledge to show ourselves approved unto God. The more I know about the world around me the more I can intelligently give thanks to God for His marvelous creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    If God had tried to explain plate tectonics, the formation of solar systems, and evolutionary biology to moses he would not even begin to understand all that much less write it down for others of his day and age. But he could fathom "god made the heavens and the earth" because those were things he could see and understand as general concepts and he understands the general act of making things like how we make things from clay so thats how they describe it. Look down and you see the earth, look up and you see the heavens. Those tribes didn't have calendars and a sense of time beyond seasons, days and living generations so those are the terms used to express time in the bible and days are the most fundamental of these so creation is described that way. Look at it like that, and there is no need to say well if the bible says X then this must be true when we look at it with science.. All you need to is look at the science and then say, ahh so this is how the bible can express what we have learned.
    It is true God did not talk specifically about plate tectonics however there are many areas where the Bible does touch on science and it has never been proven wrong. They did have calendars. Even in Leviticus, which is after the Hebrews were rescued from slavery in Egypt, they refer to certain celebrations to take place on certain days of certain months. They also had a calendar in Genesis 6-8, in the Flood account, because the dates of the events were recorded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The bible had to be written through the lenses of a man who knew almost nothing of modern physical sciences and had no libraries of knowledge other than stories told around the camp fire which is limited by both what the story teller can remember and what you can understand of the story tellers words. The bible had to be fairly simple to work the way it does, but the world and God must be very complex and so the bible is just a small window onto a very large universe. It can be true and so can evolution and the two need not be in contradiction unless you close your mind and consider that the bible must have all answers to all questions, something it never claims anywhere in its pages.
    It was authored by God and written down by men. This means there are portions which could not be made sense of until the prophesy they referred to occurred or some other circumstance came about to provide context to the words. It doesn't claim to be the answer to all questions, only the general principles and guidelines and enough tools to be able to learn the rest and be guided by God personally day by day.

 

 
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