Evolution of Humans from Non-Humans

“There is literally more fossil evidence that humans evolved from non-humans than there is fossil evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex is a thing.” Quote from the post “Evolution 101: The Missing Link FAQ” on IO9.

There are plenty of sites online where you can learn more about the relevant evidence.

 

  • TomS

    Although fossils are interesting, support evolution, and tell things that we could not learn otherwise, they are not the only evidence for evolution. In the case of human evolution the fact that the human body (both comparative anatomy and on the molecular level) has its space in the “Tree of Life” as a nearest neighbor to chimps and other apes makes its evolution obvious.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Indeed! This is addressing the claim that we lack fossil evidence, and the fact that many who dispute human evolution would happily mention dinosaurs for which the fossil evidence is weaker. But as Francisco Ayala has said, thanks to the genetic evidence, there are now no more gaps!

      • aedgeworth

        Comparative anatomy and genetic similarities are no more proof of common ancestry, than they are of a common designer. If life forms look similar, have similar structure, and similar functions, if they did not have genetic similarities it would be highly unusual. That still could just as easily be interpreted as common design features.
        All the so-called “missing links” have proven to be either completely human with no relation to apes; completely ape (chimp, monkey) with no relation to humans; or deliberate frauds or hoaxes.
        The gaps are so large there are no links.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          No, you have been misinformed. Obviously any time you try to assemble a fragmentary puzzle, putting in a piece creates two smaller gaps on either side where there was previously only one large one. But as Francisco Ayala emphasizes, thanks to the genetic evidence, there are no longer any gaps. The same evidence that allows for paternity testing shows a wider array of interrelatedness among living things. Someone who claimed not to be the father of a child, but simply made by the same designer, would not win a court case, assuming the jury understands how DNA evidence works.

          • aedgeworth

            Why do they use organs and parts from pigs as replacements for human parts instead of parts from a chimp?

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Are you asking why people sometimes need organs replaced? Or why pig hearts are deemed more suitable? How is that relevant? The fact that chimpanzees and humans share a common ancestor does not mean that the size of their hearts is going to be best suited to replace a human one. Why should it? Are you clutching at straws here, or did I misunderstand your question?

              • aedgeworth

                If chimps are much closer to humans than pigs, why shouldn’t their organs be better suited?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  In fact, even human hearts are sometimes rejected. I would encourage you to actually learn about organ transplants, rather than treating your ignorance on this topic as though it were an argument against mainstream science.

                  • aedgeworth

                    Chimps have viruses that pigs and humans don’t have. It is considered to usually be safer to transplant pig parts than chimp parts to humans. Why chimps have these viruses and pigs and humans don’t would seem to indicate pigs were perhaps more closely related to humans than chimps are. But I doubt those conclusions would be considered.
                    The transmission of viruses is the issue, not the parts themselves.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Actually, since pigs and humans have been found in close proximity for millennia due to the domestication of the former by the latter, I would expect chimps to have viruses that have not evolved to affect humans, pigs, and other domesticated animals in the same way. I don’t think you have given this issue much thought. You are just looking to score what you think are points but without even looking carefully or seriously at the matter.

                    • aedgeworth

                      You are probably right. I should learn from your example shouldn’t I?

                    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                      aedgeworth, human and chimpanzee’s common ancestor is more recent than pigs and human’s common ancestor. To show how different species are related, please peruse this absolutely beautiful website: Tree of Life Web Project tolweb.org

                    • aedgeworth

                      Did the belief that apes and humans have a common ancestor come first, or the fossil that the belief was based upon? Lovely drawing by the way. Must give you wonderful dreams.

                    • stuart32

                      Einstein predicted that during an eclipse the position of stars would be shifted by the curvature of space round the Sun. When this prediction was borne out it seemed to be a spectacular vindication of Einstein’s theory. However, it now seems that this isn’t the case. By stating in advance what was expected, Einstein was giving people the chance to fake the evidence to fit the theory.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Are you referring to evolution or creation? We know about Piltdown Man, and the “missing link” that turned out to be a dolphin rib, etc. I wasn’t sure what you were alluding to.

                  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                    aedgeworth has done something of noteworthy creativity, actually. In debating creationists, I always refer to talkorigins.org and aedgeworth has made a creationist claim not on this list, a quite rare event:

                    talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    • stuart32

      We may need to distinguish between evidence that proves a theory and evidence that is compatible with a theory. We could show a frog and a tadpole to an alien visitor and the alien might refuse to believe that one grows into the other. We could then get two more specimens representing intermediate stages of development and show these to the alien. The alien might still think these are four creatures with no connection between one another. The point is that *if* tadpoles grow into frogs then the existence of the intermediates is what you would expect to see, even it doesn’t constitute proof. The evidence is compatible with the theory that tadpoles grow into frogs.

      The fossil evidence is compatible with evolution. The fact that all species can be arranged on a family tree is compatible with evolution. The fact that all life shares the same genetic code is compatible with evolution. The way in which plant and animal species are distributed around the world is compatible with evolution. The fact that the wing of a bat, the arm of a human, the flipper of a whale and the front leg of a dog all have the same basic arrangement of bones is compatible with evolution.

      Of course, when you have enough pieces of evidence that are compatible with a theory you might start to think that you aren’t too far away from proof.

      • beau_quilter

        Proof is for mathematics and liquor.

        All scientific theories, not just the theory of evolution, are confirmed by repeated evidence.

        • stuart32

          Except that a mathematical theorem that has been proved may turn out to have a flaw in it, in which case it wasn’t proved after all.

          • beau_quilter

            True enough.

            But the term “proof” is at least accepted terminology in the field of mathematics. Scientists do not apply the term “proof” to scientific theory, unless they do so informally, outside the realm of peer-reviewed research.

            • stuart32

              Yes, I am aware of the technical use of the term in mathematics and the fact that it isn’t used formally in science. I apologise for my terminological sloppiness.

              • beau_quilter

                No problem. I just think it’s important because you began the thread wanting to “distinguish between evidence that proves a theory and evidence that is compatible with a theory”. I’m not sure that such a distinction exists.

      • aedgeworth

        You say: “The fact that the wing of a bat, the arm of a human, the flipper of a whale and the front leg of a dog all have the same basic arrangement of bones is compatible with evolution.” Why are similar structures for similar functions more compatible with common ancestry than common designer?

        • stuart32

          That is a fair question. I would say two things: evolution can only work by modifying existing structures; it can’t go back to the drawing board and completely redesign something. Therefore, the pattern that we see in the tetrapod limb is definitely what we would expect from evolution. It might also be what we expect from a designer but this isn’t necessarily the case. Therefore, the evidence tends to favour evolution more than design.

          Also, in science generally we accept evidence that is compatible with a theory as evidence supporting that theory without wondering whether there is an alternative supernatural explanation.

          • aedgeworth

            In science we test theories and hypotheses by trying to falsify them, not look for evidence to support what we already want to believe. I used the scientific method for a number of years professionally. If there is an alternative explanation, it shouldn’t matter whether it is natural or supernatural.
            The human body is unbelievably complex, evolution cannot provide answers for this complexity. The human body looks to have been designed. Should obvious design be rejected because that would require a designer? Real science is neutral in regards to the supernatural, not anti.
            The beginning of the universe, of life, of humans, of individual kinds, and the fossil record is believed by Christians to be the result of supernatural events. Why should it be the job of science to attempt to prove they were strictly natural events? What an eye is, what it does, and how we treat it for disease is science. To attempt to determine how we got an eye, and why we have an eye, then limit that to purely naturalistic processes is outside the realm of science and is in the realm of philosophical worldview interpretations concerning origins. We need to get back to just what we “know” about the world around us, and leave philosophical worldviews to a philosophy class.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              One of your statements in particular is obviously false. Christians who understand the subject, who work in biological research, accept evolution. A relatively small number of sectarian groups embrace the false teachings of charlatans like Ken Ham and Kent Hovind. But to attack Christianity by demeaning people like Francis Collins, and trying to drive a wedge between faith and science by misrepresenting things in this way, is something you ought to be ashamed of.

              • aedgeworth

                The only ones you recognize as scientists are those that believe in evolution, do not take a literal interpretation of the Bible, and try to find ways to reconcile evolution theory with the Bible. Sincere Christians who take a literal interpretation of scripture, but just do not believe the theory of evolution fits the empirical evidence, you chastise and ridicule, and won’t recognize as scientists. Then you try to say it is a matter of science versus religion. That is an absolute lie, for which you should be ashamed of.

                Nobody is trying to drive a wedge between faith and science. Evolution is not science, it is a philosophical belief system regarding origins. To attempt to make this an issue of faith versus science is completely dishonest.
                A naturalist cannot correctly interpret a world with a supernatural origin. How do you falsify evolution?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  That is not true. Someone can work to look for evidence that undermines evolution, and if they use the scientific method, they would still be a scientist doing scientific research. But until they made a case that changed the scientific consensus, it would still be inappropriate to choose to embrace their views just because you like them. You can find someone with a PhD who holds almost every viewpoint. That is why looking at the consensus is the appropriate thing for someone outside of the field to do.

                  • aedgeworth

                    You stated: “You can find someone with a PhD who holds almost every viewpoint.” If they disagree with evolution, do you consider them a scientist, or would you state it as “science versus faith”? The use of terminology is an indication of intellectual honesty.

            • stuart32

              Scientists aren’t trying to prove that there is a natural explanation for everything as if they were part of a legal team in a courtroom battle against creationists. There is no agenda. If scientists find that they can’t explain some aspect of the world in naturalistic terms then they have to be honest about it. At one time it seemed that Darwinism might be ruled out because the scientific understanding of the time was that the earth wasn’t old enough. Then radioactivity was discovered and the problem of the earth’s age was solved. This wasn’t like a legal team managing to pull off a win on a technicality; it was scientists examining the facts honestly.

              There is no point in saying that the human body looks designed, because our understanding of design bears little relation to what we see in the natural world. Imagine what things would be like if human design and life really were similar. Imagine what building a house would be like. If building a house was like biology then the builders and their tools would end up being incorporated into the structure of the house. Life and human design are not analogous.

            • Donalbain

              What PREDICTIONS has the supernatural method been able to make regarding new fossil discoveries?

              • aedgeworth

                They almost always, without exception, conform to flood geology.

                • Donalbain

                  Really? Can you give an actual example of a prediction, made in advance, by creationists, that was supported by fossil finds?

                  ETA: I love this phrasing by the way “They almost always, without exception”

                  • aedgeworth

                    Gives room for anomalies which can be explained. As an evolutionist you know what that is all about don’t you?

                    Flood geology predicts that trilobites will be found mostly in the bottom layers, but not always. Fish fossils will usually be found above them, but not always. Next would be things that live near the water. Birds and humans would be found mostly in the top layers because they could survive longer in a flood. Habitat, body density, and the ability to survive in a flood explains what would usually be found in between.

                    Flood geology would also predict giant fossil graveyards with just pieces or bones of different animals all buried together in the mud, with no teeth marks on any of them from being torn apart. You see with all the swirling eddies of waters and high and low tides, what didn’t get buried quickly would start to decay.

                    Flood geology would predict clam fossils that would be fossilized closed. Clams are the most common fossil in the world, there are trillions of them. They are all fossilized closed. That takes sudden deep burial because when a clam dies the ligaments at the hinge starts to relax quickly and they open up. They are eaten by prey leaving only the shell.

                    • Donalbain

                      Ahhhh yes, the old “Grass runs quicker than T Rex” theory.

                • Daniel Webb

                  Almost always…without exception.

                  Classic.

                  • aedgeworth

                    Thank you. I picked that up from reading biology books. “May have,” “could have,” “possibly did.”

                    • Daniel Webb

                      Haha, so science isn’t the only subject you struggle with. Turns out grammar really gives you problems too.

                      “Almost always” and “without exception” could function fine on their own, but one can’t use them together to describe a single concept because they contradict each other.

  • Daniel Webb

    This is why it irks me to no end when someone like Ken Ham proclaims that creationists and scientists are both looking at the same evidence but starting from a different worldview. Creationists clearly aren’t looking at the same evidence…they’re doing their best to pretend it’s not there at all.
    I wish Bill Nye had actually hit this point a little harder in the debate when he flashed up those skulls on the screen. Too little thought is given by creationists to how lower primate vs neanderthal vs human fossils don’t indicate the clear differentiating lines that they believe in.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      I think Ken Ham is attempting to protect the dogma of Original Sin by a literal Adam and Eve. Without that, Paul’s soteriology tends to collapse.

      If evolution is fact, then at what point in evolution did humans begin to require salvation?

      Is Lucy in hell, or did she not need salvation?

      • Daniel Webb

        They struggle with the idea that it could just be a parable because then they think the lesson it teaches wouldn’t be true…but don’t apply that same line of thought to the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan. It wouldn’t have to be literally true in order for it to mean something.

      • aedgeworth

        Lucy was a chimp, not needing of salvation.

        • stuart32

          In that case, why did Lucy have femurs that angle inwards, which is what you would expect of a biped?

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Genus Pan is chimp. Lucy wasn’t a chimp.

          • aedgeworth

            Tell that to the anthropologists who say she was. I’m just telling you what the scientists say. Don’t shoot the messenger.

            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

              Cite?

              • aedgeworth

                I gave you three of them.

                • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                  Actually, you’ve given no references, you simply stated, “Lucy was a chimp.” But if you have any, do tell.

                  • aedgeworth

                    Okay, here they are again. I’m not an expert, I have to rely on those who are. This requires “quote-mining.”

                    “I noticed that the ribs [Lucy] were more round in
                    cross-section, more like what you see in apes. Human ribs are flatter in cross-section. But the shape of the rib
                    cage itself was the biggest surprise of all. The human rib cage is barrel shaped, and I just couldn’t get Lucy’s ribs to fit this kind of shape.”
                    Peter Schmid (paleontologist at the Anthropological Institute in Zurich) Quoted from Origins reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin

                    “In Lucy’s case, her ribs are conical, like those found in
                    apes.”
                    Brad Harrub (Ph.D. Anatomy and Neurobiology) and Bert Thompson (Ph.D. Microbiology), The Truth About Human Origins, 2003, p. 47.

                    “The marked resemblance of AL 288-1 (Lucy) to the chimpanzee is equally obvious… It suggests to us that the mechanism of lateral pelvic balance during bipedalism was closer to that in apes than in humans.”
                    J. Stern & R. Sussman, “American Journal of Physical
                    Anthropology,” 1983, pp. 291 & 292.

                    “…anatomist Dr. Charles Oxnard has shown that the big toe [Lucy’s] actually sticks out as in chimpanzees.”
                    David Catchpoole, Ph.D., “New evidence: Lucy was a
                    knuckle-walker”

                    Again: How do you falsify evolution?

                    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                      As with all creationist claims, I run them first through here: talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

                      Sure enough, yours comes up. Looks like it is completely debunked, even by Oxnard himself.

                      CC: Paleontology
                      CC080. Australopithecus was fully ape, closer to chimp. talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC080.html

                      It links to a large article here, which explains your errors:

                      Creationist Arguments: Australopithecines
                      talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/a_piths.html

                      I’m not going to cut and paste it, but you may peruse it at your leisure.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Wow! If talkorigins says it, it must be true. Have you checked out the TrueOrigins website that debunks most of talkorigins claims?

    • aedgeworth

      One of the biggest lies that evolutionists make is we are not both looking at the same evidence. We both look at similar structures in life forms for similar functions; one sees evidence compatible with evolution, the other sees evidence compatible with a common designer; we are both looking at the same structures, functions, and life forms; just interpret it differently.

      • Daniel Webb

        That’s some wonderful paraphrasing of Ken Ham and his clan, but it’s wrong.

        If you were looking at the same evidence, then you wouldn’t make up reasons why a light year doesn’t actually mean the amount of distance that light travels in a year–that it could have just gone faster at some point in time. There’s no evidence that light has ever traveled faster or slower–that is made up creationist malarkey to counter observable scientific evidence.

        If you were looking at the same evidence, then you wouldn’t make up reasons why Neanderthal DNA only shares a 98% similarity with human DNA. There’s no evidence that neanderthals were just a different version of modern humans that were affected by “the Fall”–that is made up creationist malarkey to counter observable scientific evidence.

        There are hundreds more examples where creationists step beyond willful ignorance to just plain denial. Don’t let the stupid ruin your life.

        • aedgeworth

          Erik Trinkaus, Professor of Physical Anthropology at
          Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and considered by many to be the world’s most influential scholar of Neandertal biology and evolution, writing in Natural History said: “Detailed comparison of Neanderthal skeletal remains
          with those of modern humans have shown that there is nothing in Neanderthal anatomy that conclusively indicates locomotor, manipulative, intellectual, or linguistic abilities inferior to those of modern humans.”

          But you probably have done more research in that area of science then he has.

          There I go, quote-mining again. Of course it isn’t considered so if it supports evolution theory.

          Just give examples of empirical evidences that evolutionists have that creationists don’t have. The tell how evolution can be falsified.

          • Daniel Webb

            You are exactly right–you did quote-mine Trinkaus

            Here’s what he actually says about Neanderthals:
            “The Neandertals were an extinct human group that immediately preceded anatomically modern humans. There was nothing in their total morphological pattern that would indicate a consistently abnormal or diseased condition. This conclusion has been substantiated by numerous subsequent discoveries of Neandertals in Europe, the Near East, and Central Asia.” Trinkaus, Erik. 1982a. “Trauma Among the Shanidar Neandertals.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 57:61-76.

            Trinkaus was not speaking about genetic differences in the section you quote-mined, nor was he promoting in any way the idea that Neanderthals are the same as humans. Nice try.

            Which scientist are you going to quote-mine next?

            Shameful.

            • aedgeworth

              In an article quoting Trinkaus in the NY Times, the writer believed Neanderthals and modern humans presumably were more alike than different, not a separate species or even subspecies, but two groups who viewed each other as appropriate mates, based on the information he had gathered from different sources. In the quote I gave of Trinkaus it noted how he believed they were very similar with no major differences. He did believe they did not exist at the same time, although very similar. Many disagree with his conclusions and believe they did. I did not misquote him. To indicate I took it out of context is shameful on your part.

              • Daniel Webb

                No, it is absolutely a misquote because you’re attempting to use something he said out of context to show why what you believe (creationism) is true. What he said does not support that, nor does the greater body of his work support of that.

                It was a deliberate attempt by you to take someone out of context and give the impression that they, as an expert in their field, support the BS that you think is true based on a book. Sorry. It doesn’t work like that.

                • aedgeworth

                  It was only given to show how closely he felt they resembled each other. He didn’t believe however that they existed at the same time. I noted that. I didn’t say he believed they were the same. Quit inventing straw men so you can take them apart. Its called intellectual integrity.

                  Again: How do you falsify evolution?

                  • stuart32

                    We know now that they were similar enough to be able to mate with modern humans but there were marked differences. If you saw a Neanderthal walking down the street wouldn’t you notice the huge brow ridges, very low forehead, bulging occiput and absence of chin?

                    • aedgeworth

                      The brow ridge never stops growing. Before Noah’s flood people lived to be several hundred years old. The Neanderthal skull I saw would probably be about 200 years old. Not that you will accept that explanation. You have your mind already made up, like you accuse creationists of.

                  • Daniel Webb

                    Are you stupid? You have asked me the same question on two other threads and I’ve given you the same answer both times.

                    You were just hoping to throw out an out of context quote by and expert in the hopes that it supported any smattering of your creationist nonsense. It doesn’t. Stop backpedaling, it’s pathetic.

                  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                    As I’ve done before with creationist claims, yours is on there, again.

                    CA211. Evolution can not be falsified.
                    talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

                    • aedgeworth

                      Good old Talkorigins. I’m sure they are neutral in regards to creation versus evolution and give forth nothing but unbiased opinions. Do you know what your reaction is when a creationist site is quoted? Did you check out TrueOrigins yet and their refutations of talkorigins claims? Let me guess. Would that be “No”?
                      There is a static fossil record if by that you mean no clear transitional fossils. You need more than a mechanism that would prevent mutational buildup, since almost all mutations are harmful. Ever hear of the genetic load? That is a mutational buildup. Is that transforming simple life forms into complex life forms? The fact that life forms are going extinct and no new life forms coming into existence should be enough to falsify evolution. The amount of beneficial mutations needed to produce the complexity of the human body should be enough to falsify evolution. Observations of organisms being created would not prove that is how it happened originally. Those are bogus arguments.

    • aedgeworth

      You indicate your dishonesty in your first sentence when you classify scientists who believe in creation as creationists, and scientists who believe in evolution as scientists. You don’t think it is dishonest to only consider them scientists if they believe in evolution, regardless of their degrees or schooling?

      Some believe similar genetics indicate common descent, some believe it indicates common designer. Are they looking at the same evidence? Some believe the geologic record indicates uniformitarianism, some believe it indicates flood geology. Are they looking at the same evidence? Some look at similar structures in different life forms as indicating common descent, some view similar structures for similar functions as evidence of a common designer. Are they looking at the same evidence?

      Some view stars moving away from us as evidence of an explosion from a state of nothingness, some view the stars moving away as proof of scripture (17 different verses) stating that God created the stars closer to the earth and moved them out as you would stretch out a curtain. Since man always had to see them, He couldn’t start with them billions of light years away. He would also have to leave a trail of light coming back to us at the speed of light so we could always see them. Are they looking at the same evidence?

      If they don’t agree with your interpretation of the evidence, how exactly is that the same as not having the evidence to look at? Do you need more examples before you will be honest about it?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Using a reference to God making the firmament, i.e. the dome over the earth into which the lights in the sky were fixed, as a way of defending your view as being scientific is, pun intended, a stretch.

        • aedgeworth

          I didn’t make a reference to God about making a firmament into which the lights in the sky was fixed. The stars are not fixed in a dome over the earth. I don’t have a clue about what you are talking about but as long as it makes you happy.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            You might want to look up what the raqi’a is. It seems it is a part of the Bible that you do not take literally.

            • aedgeworth

              The word raqiya for firmament in the Hebrew in Genesis chapter one literally just means an expanse. It is called heaven, and there are three heavens mentioned in scripture. One refers to inner space where the birds fly, one represents outer space, and one is where God dwells, the “third” heaven as it is referred to. What exactly is your point?

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                You are thinking about the Ptolemaic view of the cosmos reflected in the New Testament, with multiple heavens around the earth corresponding to the planetary and other such spheres. I was asking about the dome mentioned in Genesis. The linguistic data indicates that it was thought to be a solid object, stemming as it does from a root that means to stretch out by hammering, as is done with metal.

                • aedgeworth

                  I have been studying the Bible for over 44 years, and especially Genesis. I have published a Commentary just on the first chapter. I have taught it on the college level. The New Testament does not teach multiple heavens around the earth, and the linguistic data concerning the firmaments does not mean a solid object, just an expanse. Now I understand why you have a skewed view of science.

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    Can you point me to linguistic studies that substantiate your claim? Even if you can, I have looked into it and the consensus is that, like others in their time and place, the ancient Israelites thought of the sky as solid. Insisting otherwise without providing evidence does not change that.

                    I’d be interested to see your commentary. Who published it?

                    • aedgeworth

                      What the ancient Israelites thought of the sky is not exactly the same as the literal interpretation of what the Word of God said about the sky. They also only had the first 5 books for comparison.
                      I use a local publisher, Calvary Publishing in Lansing, MI. I’ve only sold a few hundred copies, don’t expect it to be a best seller. Several bookstores have purchased a supply.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            These illustrations show Biblical “reality.”

            • aedgeworth

              If you say so Brian.

      • Daniel Webb

        Scientists follow the scientific method. Creationists don’t. Creationists think they already know the answers because they’re in a treasured holy book. That’s the difference. It’s the complete opposite of the bottom-up approach of following evidence where it leads.

        The creationist in Questioning Darwin (I’m sure you’ve seen it) summed it up perfectly when he said that if he read that 2+2=5 in the bible he wouldn’t question it. He said he would just try to find out how it could be true. That’s why creationists need to be differentiated from scientists.

        I’m assuming that you are completely aware of your intellectual shortcomings since you chose to respond to this post instead of the post where I showed your blatant quote-mining . Quit grasping at straws and misrepresenting people who have demonstrably shown your silly views to be insane.

        • aedgeworth

          I just respond to them in the order in which they arrive in my email box. Sorry if you felt neglected.

          Your statement: “Scientists follow the scientific method. Creationists don’t.” There again is a demonstration of your intellectual dishonesty. You then say: “That’s why creationists need to be differentiated from scientists.”

          In your mind a belief or non-belief in evolution is what determines whether they should be considered a scientist or not.

          That is why when scientists from both sides are in a debate it will always be dishonestly characterized as science versus faith. Which would be closer to the truth if by faith they meant evolution.

          To go along with: “Scientists follow the scientific method. Creationists don’t,” you follow up with: “Creationists think they already know the answers because they’re in a treasured holy book. That’s the difference. It’s the complete opposite of the bottom-up approach of following evidence where it leads.”
          Another case of intellectual dishonesty. The amazing complexity of the human body does not lead one to conclude humans were not designed but are the result of random chance mutations, by accident, for no purpose.
          It is because you have already made up your mind without considering where the evidence would logically lead.
          In relation to 2+2=5, an evolutionist would just try to find out how it could be true, if it was in regards to evolution. A bird is completely different from the life form it supposedly evolved from, but you just try to figure out how it could have happened. Actually it would have to be redesigned from the inside out, and that is what God did.
          Now, answer my question: How do you falsify evolution?

          • Daniel Webb

            Clearly you’re confusing a couple things here:

            First, you’re using your inability to understand what the scientific method actually is and how it works with the idea that an argument from complexity is somehow valid. It’s not.

            Second, what makes a scientist a scientist is not about what they believe in. It’s what they can test, observe, and calculate within a reasonable margin of error to be true. Creationists don’t do this! You start off assuming exactly what you need to prove! You believe god exists and that he gave you eyewitness testimony of his perfect creation. Do you disagree?

            You assume exactly what you need to first prove. That’s called top-down. You started with the conclusion and now you’re attempting to finagle little bits and pieces of “evidence” to match.

            I already answered your question on the other thread. Evolution can be falsified by something as simple as finding a fossil out of order. Let’s just say that we found a fossil of a dinosaur eating a human. That would falsify evolution. That’s just one of many things that could–but nothing has.

            • aedgeworth

              Interesting. I used the scientific method professionally for a number of years. I never said an argument from complexity is how the scientific method works, any more than genetic similarities are. If you were going to test a theory or hypothesis you wouldn’t look for evidence to support it.

              Are you saying evolutionists don’t start out believing evolution to be true? I do disagree with you stating with creationists it is not what they can test, observe, and calculate within a reasonable margin of error to be true. How could you possibly make a blanket statement about what all creationists do or don’t do as scientists?

              You state: “what makes a scientist a scientist is not about what they believe in.” Then you state a creationist believes god exists and that he gave them eyewitness testimony of his perfect creation. So make up your mind, first you say it isn’t what they believe, then you say it is.

              You state that creationists assume exactly what they need to first prove. Both creationists and evolutionists are aware of what it is they are trying to substantiate before they start. When you state that genetics prove evolution, you don’t assume what you need to prove first, being genetic similarities? Why do you arrive at the conclusion it supports evolution then?

              You start with the conclusion that genetic similarities prove common descent, then observe the similarities. Do you ever consider any other alternatives like a common designer? Of course not.

              A fossil of a dinosaur eating a human would falsify evolution? Really? I’m sure you believe the Ica stones were fake. What about the petroglyph of a dinosaur found at Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah? It is attributed to the Anasazi Indians who lived in the area from AD 400 to AD 1300. It proves dinosaurs lived with humans. Or what about the American Indian pictograph from the Grand Canyon found in Havasupai canyon of a land dinosaur?
              What about the Thunderbird that the American Indians talk about of the giant flying dinosaur with teeth in its beak and claws on its wings, that would swoop down and pick up small Indians and fly off with them?
              I haven’t heard any evolutionists saying if that is true it falsifies evolution. Want to try again?

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                I am sure that you are happy to gullibly accept that anything that might support your case is authentic. Scholars must hold to a higher standard. But be that as it may, humans have seen fossils and created stories about dragons based on them since time immemorial, and so a depiction in art of something dragon or dinosaur-like would not be sufficient evidence, for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone investigating this in any sort of serious fashion.

                • aedgeworth

                  ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct 18, 2002 (Reuters) – A
                  bird the size of a small airplane was recently spotted flying over southwest
                  Alaska, puzzling scientists, the Anchorage Daily News reported this week. Like something out of the movie
                  “Jurassic Park,” had a wingspan of 14 feet.

                  Petroglyph of a dinosaur found at Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah. It is attributed to the Anasazi Indians who lived in the area from AD 400 to AD
                  1300. (Prehistoric Indians, Barnes and Pendleton, 1995, p. 201)

              • Daniel Webb

                Yeh…you didn’t argue from complexity when you said: “The amazing complexity of the human body does not lead one to conclude humans were not designed but are the result of random chance mutations, by accident, for no purpose.”

                Right.

                If you can’t even comprehend what you’re saying, it’s pretty futile for me to expect you to comprehend what I say.

                The artifacts you speak of have been debunked. They are little more than people seeing what they want to see–not a credible piece of evidence.

                Enjoy ignorance. I’ve heard it’s bliss

                • aedgeworth

                  You should know Daniel.

                  • Daniel Webb

                    Good one. The “I know you are, but what am I” comeback is the mark of true intelligence.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Your response has always been, you are stupid and I am smart, which smacks of elitism.

                    • Daniel Webb

                      Being stupid is, like being smart, a subjective term. I never said that I was smart though. Thank you for concluding that on your own–means a lot.

                      I’m not sorry I called you stupid nor would I take it back even if it did sound elitist. If you see someone wandering around blindfolded in a library while demanding that he be shown evidence there are books surrounding him– you call it what it is. Stupid.

                      The good news is that you don’t have to stay that way. You can just take the blindfold off…and stop quote mining scientists who would laugh in your face if they knew how were trying to twist their words to match your faith-based beliefs.

                      Pulling for ya!

                    • aedgeworth

                      Thanks Daniel. You don’t know how much that means to me.

              • stuart32

                All species have the same genetic code. If this wasn’t the case evolution would be ruled out. A universal genetic code could be also be due to the choice of a designer, but variations in the genetic code – if there were any – could also be due to the choice of a designer. Therefore, the nature of the genetic code is something that could potentially falsify evolution but not design. Weren’t you talking about the importance of falsification before?

                • aedgeworth

                  If we could actually look around us and see different life forms in different stages of transition today that would substantiate evolution but also refute life forms only reproducing after their own kinds, thus falsifying creation. If evolution has been going on for 600 million years, we should be able to see those stages of transition, we can’t. That is one form of empirical evidence that refutes evolution.

                  If dead chemicals could be combined to form a living cell, that would tend to falsify creation. It hasn’t been done although they have tried.

                  I believe another thing that falsifies evolution is amino acids in life forms. Every life form requires only left-handed amino acids. The natural tendency is both right and left-handed amino acids. Scientists have tried experiments starting with all left-handed amino acids but they started to revert back into both right and left. When a life form dies the left-handed amino acids revert to approximately half right and half left. Life, made up of all left-handed amino acids does not arrange itself through natural processes. Life is a miracle.

                  • stuart32

                    When you say that you want to see life forms in transition I get the impression that you want to see the biological equivalent of a half-built house. You want to see an animal with a “construction in progress” sign on it. Life doesn’t work like that. Every species on earth is potentially in a transitional stage. We ourselves might evolve into a new species but that wouldn’t be apparent now.

                    Still, it is possible to see evidence of transition. If land-living vertebrates have evolved from fish then you would expect to find something in between a fish and something completely adapted to life on land. And we do find exactly that in the shape of amphibians. Although modern amphibians have themselves been evolving for as long as we have they still retain characteristics of the original creatures that first invaded the land.

                    • aedgeworth

                      It has supposedly been going on for 600 million years. What do you mean it wouldn’t be apparent now? If you were on earth in past ages, are you telling me if you were here when fish supposedly started walking out on land it wouldn’t be apparent then? You wouldn’t be able to recognize different stages of evolution happening at different time periods? Were there giant leaps of evolutionary change that couldn’t be observed ay any point in time?

                      We aren’t talking about some change just starting to happen, so it will take a few million years to really observe a life form in transition. It has been going on for 600 million years. That doesn’t strike you in the least bit strange that we can’t observe anything in any stage of transition after 600 million years?

                      Why after 600 million years could you not observe a half built house, if it was in a half way stage? Just show any life form changing from what it always has been. If you don’t wonder why you can’t, that says a lot about your faith in things unseen.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      So I see that you have been arguing against evolution without understanding the most basic aspect of it. A horse and buggy is only a transitional form on the way to the automobile when viewed with hindsight. In its time, it was merely transportation. All living things in their present forms have the potential to be transitional forms when viewed from the distant future. There are no organisms that are aiming to become something else and get halfway there. That is a common misrepresentation among those who are trying to make money off of selling their books or “museum” tickets to the gullible. And if you had read even a couple of the books you say you did, and understood what you read, you ought to have known this.

                    • aedgeworth

                      So you are saying if we had been present, at no time in earth’s history would we have recognized any life forms in transition? We recognize the difference between chimps, apes, monkeys, and humans today, but at no time in past history would we have recognized transition in progress? You actually believe that don’t you?

                      So when the automobile arrived on the scene, nobody realized at the time it was different from a horse and buggy, because the change happened so slowly? They still had horse and buggies for awhile after that didn’t they? Oh wait, we still have some today. We still have apes and humans too. Funny, no ape-like ancestors survived. I wonder why no transitional forms survived, just the before and after life forms?

                      Would you be interested in buying a swamp in northern Michigan?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      You still are not understanding. This is very basic. When you lived in the time of buggies, you would not have thought “this is half way to an automobile” and living in our era of cars you do not think “this is half way to a hovercraft.” Evolution moves at a slow pace except in organisms that go through very rapid life cycles, as some bacteria do. And so it happens over longer periods of time than a human lifespan.

                      Does this make sense to you now? I am using an analogy in the hopes that, despite the fact that you clearly have not studies this subject as much as you claim to have, you may still be able to understand at least the basics of the subject which, in your ignorance, you choose to dispute rather than learn about.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I understand perfectly what you are saying James. I understand how the process is suppose to work. Why do evolutionists always come to the conclusion if others don’t accept evolution theory as they do it is because they just aren’t able to grasp it, and aren’t quite as sharp or intellectually gifted as they are?

                      Those who doubt evolution are just ignorant, lacking the ability to understand simple things, haven’t studied it enough, lack common sense, and just haven’t really tried to learn about the subject. We are so fortunate to have brilliant intellectually gifted people like you to explain it to us in a manner that intellectually challenged people like us can hopefully grasp. Unfortunately, some still just don’t get it. I guess you just pat yourself on the back as you admire yourself in the mirror and then move on to a more teachable subject hopefully. Sigh. What else can one do?

                      You say: “it happens over longer periods of time than a human lifespan.” You just don’t get it do you? It isn’t just starting! It has been going on supposedly for 600 million years. Have you never observed a partially built house? I have. Look around you man. Think. Have the past few million years produced nothing? All I can do is just pray that God will open your blinded eyes to the truth. I’m moving on now. Take care.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      If you are looking for “partially built” organisms then the field you are thinking of is embryology. If you are expecting that an adult organism should still be a partially built version of some future organism, then you are confused. Certainly one can view ancestors of giraffes which had shorter necks as “partially-built giraffes.” But that is a perspective from hindsight, and again, if you think that the ancestors were not full-fledged organisms in their own right, then you have not understood even the basics of modern evolutionary biology. It is not that you reject what you think it says that makes me think you do not understand. It is the fact that you do not understand.

                    • stuart32

                      My apologies. I thought you meant that we should see present day life forms which look as if they were in the middle of changing into something else. Instead, you are talking about the fossil record. As you have said, the fossil record is something that has to be interpreted. When I mentioned that Tiktaalik had a shoulder girdle that was detached from its skull you asked what that meant.

                      This is the kind of technical detail that palaeontologists see as evidence of a transitional stage. They are the experts. You may think they have it wrong, or you may find a lone voice who disputes the opinion of the great majority. But if you don’t really understand the details there isn’t much point in declaring that there is no evidence change.

                    • aedgeworth

                      No, I meant life forms in transition on earth today that can be observed, because those transitions have supposedly been taking place for 600 million years already.

                      As I told James, ignorance just shows lack of knowledge, which can sometimes be fixed; willing ignorance shows lack of character, which sometimes can’t be fixed. I’m trusting your ignorance is of the first kind. Good-bye Stuart. Have a nice eternity.

          • stuart32

            If birds had to be redesigned from the inside out how is it that when the dinosaur fossil Compsognathus was first discovered palaeontologists weren’t sure whether it was a bird or a dinosaur?

            • aedgeworth

              Is that a trick question? Except for the fact Compsognathus had no wings or feathers and the hips were different, it would look a little like a bird with the feathers off. You really wouldn’t be able to tell much more that that from a fossil would you? You wouldn’t know about different hearts, lungs, reproductive systems, metabolic rates, systems to regulate body heat, whether they had a growth limit or kept on growing, whether they had a glandular system, muscles for flight, etc. Besides, if you are searching madly for proofs of evolution, you tend to overlook a few things.
              Like the differences between humans and monkeys such as: hands, feet, hair, brain, neck, back, hips, skin, etc.

              • stuart32

                Actually, we don’t know that Compsognathus didn’t have feathers. They may just not have been preserved. Sinosauropteryx, a relative of Compsognathus did have feathers.

                If birds had to be “completely redesigned” you would expect the differences between them and dinosaurs to be so overwhelming that it would be impossible to mistake one for the other. In fact, there is some debate as to whether Archaeopteryx is a bird or a non-avian dinosaur.

  • Guest

    Evolution isn’t real.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I’m afraid that you have been misinformed. If you are an Evangelical Christian, why not look into what Francis Collins has to say on the subject?

      • Guest

        Collins purports “that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science,” but he’s wrong; it can’t.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Then Christianity, as you define it, is not real. Better think up a new definition, quick.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Well, if you want to attack Christianity in that way, you are free to do so. But Christianity survived the attack of those who said that heliocentrism cannot be reconciled with Christianity, and it can survive your attacks too.

          • Guest

            I’m beginning to think you’re quite dense. Bowman certainly is. I’ll spell it out for you so you can understand:

            God says he made the world, all the life on it, and mankind out of the dust of the earth. Nothing like evolution is ever indicated. Jesus spoke of Adam and Eve as real people, not a metaphor, and as he was upsetting a lot of people about a lot of things if it were a metaphor he could have said so and it would have been the least of their problems. So either take him at his word or call him a liar. There is no middle ground.

            As for evolution, there is, as yet, no scientific evidence for it that has not been debunked. Of course we hear so much from so many unqualified people that there are ‘mountains’ of evidence, but no one has ever seen them. When anyone is asked to produce it they get mad and claim ‘you don’t understand science’. This is of no value to anyone.

            And then there are the many frauds that have been perpetrated: Piltdown man, Nebraska man, Java man, and yes, Lucy. Every few years or so someone comes up with some new ‘discovery’, but none of it is ever real. If there are such mountains… always ‘mountains’.. of evidence then why have there been so many frauds? And after lying about it on so many occasions, why should anything they say ever be believed?

            But then not all scientists are so corrupted, and there is real scientific evidence that shows very clearly that not only has evolution never happened but that it can’t happen; it’s physically impossible, but these problems are never addressed. Instead, it’s ‘you don’t understand science…you’re anti-intellectual…I want my woobie..’

            And they expect to be taken seriously? And you also?
            It’s good to have ambition, but let’s be realistic, shall we?

            • stuart32

              How do you explain the fact that all species can be fitted into a nested hierarchy? This is exactly the pattern that you would expect to see from a branching evolutionary process.

              • Guest

                There is no such thing.

                • stuart32

                  So you don’t think there are any such categories as apes, primates, mammals and vertebrates?

                  • Guest

                    There is no nested heirarchy except what has been contrived in peoples’ imaginations. All the categories – kingdom, phylum, species, etc. – are arbitrary designations and not guaranteed to be accurate.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      It is an organization based on the evidence, often intially on the basis of homology, but now demonstrated to have a corresponding basis in genetics. So your view is that God made humans to look like they share common ancestry with other primates, including having two chromosomes fuse into one, to deceive us?

                    • Michael Wilson

                      James, regarding guest claim that evolution invalidates Christianity, in particularly by making Jesus a liar. First, why must Jesus be a liar? Couldn’t he be ignorent? Seriously, why would God limited to human form not also be limited in knowledge. He wasn’t omnipresent, why must he be omniscient? To his first point, and I dont expect an answer, but if you have adressed it ill take a link, how does evolution challenge the Christian message? I would like to hear what you have ti say about this.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Many would say precisely that, that attributing omniscient knowledge to Jesus would be a denial that he was in any meaningful sense a human being.

                      Although I hate making a comparison between Jesus and an internet troll, we might ask whether, just because “guest” is wrong about matters of science, that makes him a liar. Does he have to know that he is misrepresenting the truth in order to be a liar? Of course, today he could simply have looked into the matter online or in a library, in a manner that would not have been possible in Jesus’ time even if they had undertaken scientific investigations into this manner.

                    • aedgeworth

                      In John 3:13 Jesus indicated He was on earth, but in heaven at the same time. He was both God and man at the same time. He demonstrated He knew people’s thoughts, and future events before they happened. When the Bible says that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one, it means exactly that, a triune God.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Or it indicates that the author of John allowed an anachronism to slip in. Do note also the text critical issues in that verse.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Those who reject a literal interpretation of scripture, and reject God as its author, do so by choice.

                    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

                      Don’t forget to read the ‘Verse, the One Verse, the uni-Verse as your primary source. And science is the best tool ever devised for reading the ‘Verse.

                      People wrote the Bible. If the Bible disagrees with the ‘Verse, then the Bible is obviously wrong.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I have no idea what you are babbling about, but 2 Peter 1:20-21 says: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Luke 1:70 says: “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, …” Acts 1:16 says: “…this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas…” Acts 3:18 says: “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” 2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” The word “inspiration” in the above verse means divinely breathed in. It says that “All scripture” is thus given.
                      You don’t have to believe what the Bible says about itself, and you are welcome to your opinions.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Those who call themselves literalists while being only selectively so, and who make God and Paul a liar by claiming that letters by Paul are actually written by God, do so by choice.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Really? I thought it was because the Bible says all scripture is inspired by God and He spoke through those who penned His Word. There is some individuality involved, yet God got included in scripture exactly what He wanted. I guess that is because He is God.
                      He recorded His conversation with Daniel when Daniel admitted he didn’t understand the meaning of some of the things God asked him to pen. God told him not to worry about it because some things were future events that wouldn’t be completely understood until the time of the end, when many would travel to and fro, and knowledge would be increased. The Bible is a supernatural book that has withstood the tests of time. Accept in the minds of certain individuals that is.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I see that you have put as much serious study into the Book of Daniel as you have into biology.

                    • stuart32

                      You are right in thinking that we have to use our judgement to establish these categories, although it seems pretty desperate to question whether that judgement is correct in identitying mammals, for example. The problem for you is that the categories were established by Christian scientists like Linnaeus long before Darwin. Your argument would be much more effective if we had realised that evolution entails a nested hierarchy and then gone looking for it.

              • aedgeworth

                Exactly what you would expect from a common designer. One of the reasons we have genetic similarities is because of similar structure and function, but also to provide a food chain.

                • stuart32

                  I wasn’t talking about just similarities; I was talking about a particular pattern of similarities. What we see is a pattern of groups within groups; this is a nested hierarchy, and evolution is an obvious explanation.

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    It is good to talk about specifics. Is the recurrent laryngeal nerve in the giraffe evidence of common design or evolution? What about human chromosome in comparison with the chromosomes of other primates?

                    • stuart32

                      Indeed. There are certain pieces of evidence which could be explained by either theory, and I will happily concede this. But even then it hardly undermines the theory of evolution because all evolution has to do is explain the evidence; it doesn’t have to rule out a supernatural alternative. But it just so happens, as you say, that there is evidence that does rule out the design theory.

                  • aedgeworth

                    Only to someone with a naturalistic philosophical worldview, trying to explain what they see without God being involved. There are hundreds of differences between chimps and humans such as hands, feet, hair, brain, neck, back, hips, jaw, skin, etc. Why are you looking only for similarities if you are testing a theory, and not considering the differences which real science would require?

                    • stuart32

                      The differences between us and chimps tell us that we are members of different species. The greater differences between apes and other primates tell us that apes are more closely related to each other than they are to other primates. The even greater differences between primates and other mammals tell us that primates are more closely related to each other than they are to other mammals etc. This is the pattern I was talking about of groups within groups, and this pattern is what you would expect of evolution.

                    • aedgeworth

                      It is what you would expect from a common designer who made many different kinds as well. Do you know what we actually see going on in nature today? Kinds reproducing after their own kinds, what God said would always happen. If it has been going on for 600 million years we should be able to observe many stages of transitions taking place, not stasis.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Can you please address the giraffe’s recurrent laryngeal nerve? Or human chromosome 2? This is the third time I am asking you to.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I already addressed human chromosome 2. As far as the giraffe’s recurrent laryngeal nerve, I will have to quote two biologists on the subject as I am not an expert in that field.

                      “The vagus nerve in the stage 16 embryo is very large in relation to the aortic arch system. The recurrent laryngeal nerve has a greater proportion of connective tissue than other nerves, making it more resistant to stretch. It has been suggested that tension applied by the left recurrent laryngeal nerve as it wraps around the ductus arteriosus could provide a means of support that would permit the ductus to develop as a muscular artery, rather than an elastic artery” – Gray’s Anatomy, 39th edition 2005, p. 1053.

                      “this is only a problem for design if one assumes
                      design means designed from scratch for each taxon, and if one believes that the designer would necessarily use the shortest distance between two points (in other words, that the designer thinks like we do), and that there are not other design considerations at play.”
                      You could find lots of information explaining this on the internet if you actually wanted to know.
                      You haven’t explained how accidental random chance mutations and natural selection can account for the shutoff valves in the giraffe’s neck.
                      And, once again: How do you falsify evolution?

                    • stuart32

                      So if it looks like incompetent design this isn’t evidence against the design theory because it may have been designed in a way that we can’t comprehend? If the design process is beyond our comprehension then we can’t trust our judgement to identify design in the first place.

                      By the way, when two complementary strands of DNA are being copied why is DNA polymerase only able to track smoothly along one strand but not the other? To get an idea of what happens on the other strand imagine that you write words in the normal order from left to right but when you write each word you write the letters from right to left and then jump back to the start of the next word. This looks like bad design at the molecular level.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Sounds like an evolutionary excuse. It may not seem to fit evolution, but we don’t have all the evidence yet. But that is a viable argument for either side.
                      The appendix was said to be a vestigial organ but it is now recognized as serving an important function of the immune system. It was said to be poor design. The same with the human tailbone. It has an attached muscle system and if removed humans would need a radically different support system for their internal organs which would require numerous design changes in the human posterior.

                    • stuart32

                      It’s true that the appendix appears to have some function but it is still poor design. People are able to survive perfectly well without an appendix, while having one entails the considerable risk of suffering appendicitis, which would usually have been fatal in the days before surgery.

                    • aedgeworth

                      That is only an opinion.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      It is funny that you keep asking the same question about falsification over and over, no matter how many times I and others answer it, and yet here you have illustrated that no evidence can count against your assertion of design since the Designer is inscrutible. So how is your view capable of falsification? And why could your Designer not have been capable of achieving his ends through evolution? Is your Designer not capable of accomplishing that?

                    • aedgeworth

                      No one has offered a valid method of falsification yet. When you come up with one let me know.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I guess you missed some of the comments here answering your question? Perhaps the e-mail notifications about new comments have not reached you?

                    • aedgeworth

                      I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you just did not understand my explanations as to why those were not valid ways to falsify evolution.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      You will give me the benefit of the doubt that I did not understand something you never provided?!

                    • stuart32

                      There is an easy way to settle this. We can test taxonomy against the fossil record. Taxonomy gives us an automatic prediction of what the fossil record should be like. According to the standard classification, humans are apes, apes are primates, primates are mammals, and mammals are vertebrates. Therefore, we should see verterbrates in general appearing in the fossil record before mammals, mammals in general appearing before primates, primates appearing before apes, and apes appearing before humans. And this is exactly what we see.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Flood geology makes the same predictions, try again but put a little more thought into it.

                    • stuart32

                      In what way does flood geology predict that primates without tails won’t be found in the lowest strata in which we find primates with tails?

                    • aedgeworth

                      It predicts habitat and the ability to survive a flood. When you find a fossil, how do you date the layer it is found in? Sometimes reversed layers are found, and missing layers. Two-thirds of Earth’s land surface has only 5 or fewer of the 12 geologic periods in place. 80-85% of Earth’s land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in correct consecutive order, according to Historical Geology, 2nd edition, pgs 9-10.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      And yet somehow that fails to persuade you that these layers are not the result of the entire earth being under water simultaneously…

                    • aedgeworth

                      I’ve studied the flood model and it isn’t a problem. How do you explain this failing to persuade you these layers were not laid down slowly one on top of the other? The real geologic record doesn’t look anything like the charts in the geology books.

                    • stuart32

                      Because if they were laid down slowly it would allow time for the depositional environment to change.

                    • aedgeworth

                      The tendency would less likely be reversed layers, missing layers, etc. Are you familiar with the Lewis Overthrust in Montana where Pre-Camrian rock lies on top of Cretaceous? The explanation given is a piece of land 350 miles wide and six miles thick (about 10,000 square miles in area) picked itself up and slid 40 miles on top of the
                      “Cretaceous” strata, without leaving any skid marks.

                      Funny thing though, all the layers that should be in between are missing.

                      The Franklin Overthrust in Texas – reversed layers and missing layers; Crazy Cat Canyon in Texas – reversed and missing layers; Grand Canyon – missing layers and several overlapping layers; etc. etc. etc.

                      One such find should question evolution theory, repeated examples should falsify it.

                    • stuart32

                      Yes, I am also familiar with thrust faults. If you don’t accept the idea of slabs of rock sliding underneath each other then it must be reassuring for you to know that earthquakes are impossible.

                    • aedgeworth

                      We are talking about a slab of rock 350 miles wide and six miles thick (10,000 square miles) picking itself up and moving ten geologic ages of time and sliding on top of another completely different time period without leaving any skid marks. Aren’t those layers stratified together? How did one separate itself? Oh wait, those other nine layers of rock representing 470 million years of earth’s history aren’t even there. 470 million years go by and no strata is laid down, but somehow this layer of rock 470 million years older that the other ends up on top without leaving skid marks
                      .
                      Oh wait, you indicated the 10,000 square miles of Cretaceous rock somehow separated itself slid itself under Pre-Cambrian rock of the same size and didn’t leave any skid marks. Those layers are all stratified together right? How do they completely separate themselves?

                      Do you know why the evolutionary geologists believe this somehow happened? Because if it didn’t, then those fossils are extremely out of order, and we can’t have that. That might falsify evolution.

                      Do you know why you don’t often hear of out of place artifacts? Because they date the layer by the artifact. I was told that by a professional geologist, with over 30 years of field research. I’ve also read it in science books. When I said that was circular reasoning he got angry and started name calling. Dating rocks by fossils, and fossils by rock layers is common practice.

                    • stuart32

                      A slab of rock that size is nothing. The Pacific plate is 100km thick and 100 million square km in area, and it’s sliding under the South American plate.

                    • aedgeworth

                      If you have layers of sediment, mostly laid down by water, one on top of the other, like in the Grand Canyon, are they not all connected and stratified together? How exactly does one a portion of that separate itself, move down 470 million years of stratified rock formation and force itself underneath of an older layer without leaving slide or skid marks? What happened to all the missing layers in between representing that 470 million years of earth’s history? You are pretty gullible aren’t you?

                      The only reason the geologists come up with those explanations for the layers being scrambled and shuffled like a deck of cards is the fossil evidence, or lack of same, found within them.

                      Those layers are identified by the fossil evidence found in them. If those layers weren’t shuffled somehow then that would mean the fossil record was all out of order, and that would disprove evolution theory. That is the only reason they say the layers are reversed, or there are missing layers, so in order to have the fossil evidence in the right order to support evolution theory.

                      The fossil evidence is somewhat scrambled because those layers were formed by a global flood. The one that is described in the Word of God and also in over 300 global flood accounts in ancient cultures. The boats are described a little different to fit their culture, but the general description is usually the same. I wonder why all the ancient cultures described it as a historical event that actually happened? I wonder why the scientists up until the 1800s believed it happened as well, until those scoffers came along to try to discredit the Word of God?
                      I hope you eventually come to the knowledge of the truth Stuart before it is eternally too late.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Except that the fossil evidence isn’t scrambled the way you would expect it to be by a global flood, you shameless liar.

                      How do you account for great chalk beds in terms of flood geology? You have already said that you think the Creator is dishonest. But creating billions of microorganisms in order to make it look like long periods of time were involved in forming them, and then making it essential to salvation that we believe ignorant internet commenters rather than what the rocks cry out, seems particularly deceitful. If God is as you depict, then God is not worthy of worship. And if God is not, then your claims are blasphemy.

                    • stuart32

                      There is one argument that I didn’t get round to mentioning. According to flood geologists, all the earth’s sedimentary rocks were laid down during the flood. This means that the flood must have had the power to churn up countless trillions of tons of rock, pulverise it, grind most of it into fine particles and then deposit it. It is highly unlikely that this process would have left a single bone intact. The idea that it could leave a complete skeleton is utterly inconceivable. So flood geology makes a very clear prediction: there shouldn’t actually be any fossils!

                    • stuart32

                      The problem with your argument is that the Grand Canyon doesn’t consist of a continuously connected series of rock layers; it contains unconformities. We can see that the deposition of sediment has been interrupted and the rock has then been subject to erosion before a new cycle of deposition began.

                      Or, at least, that is my opinion. If it turns out that I am ignorant, as you say, then I hope it will be seen as honest rather than wilful ignorance.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      What would it take to get you to read a book written by Christian geologists, like The Bible, Rocks, and Time? I don’t consider you any less dishonest even if you are not doing it willfully, but merely have not taken the time to fact-check what you have heard from charlatans. You are still a deceiver, and unless you think that the warnings about the fate of liars in the Bible is something to be scoffed at, I would treat these subjects much more seriously than you currently do.

                    • stuart32

                      Let’s talk about flood geology. As you might imagine, I am sceptical, but I’m also willing to be convinced and I think I know how you could do it. What you need to do is to get a fish tank and fill it with water. Now get a load of sand and a load of an insoluble powder. Mix it all up in the water and wait for it to settle. I predict that when it does settle you will find a layer of sand on the bottom with a layer of powder on top. If instead you find alternating layers of sand and powder I will be convinced that flood geology is possible.

                      In case you are wondering how this is relevant, what we find in sedimentary rock is just this kind of interleaving of layers of rock with different particle sizes.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Are you familiar with hydrologic sorting? The waters came down from above for 40 days and nights. About 3 days of heavy rains can do quite a bit of damage. If this was from a large canopy of water above our atmosphere as the Bible seems to indicate it could do much more damage than a regular rainstorm.

                      After the waters from above stopped, waters from beneath kept coming up for over 4 more months. The Bible also indicates volcanic activity going on during that time (fountains of the great deep). The swirling waters combined with high and low tides and no coastlines to stop them would cause much upheaval. This went on for 5 months before it started to subside and calm down.

                      I have watched laboratory experiments using water flow and action and different types of soil. This is the hydrologic sorting part. I saw the different types of soil produce a layering affect that resembled the layers of the Grand Canyon, as they sorted themselves out by density.

                      The three eruptions of Mt. St. Helens formed a canyon and produced three separate layers on top of each other, but each layer also exhibited a layering effect in it. If geologists did not know how it formed they would probably conclude it took several million years looking at it now. Those three distinct layers would be considered time periods of earth’s history, except we know these layers formed quickly over a three day period I believe.

                      Back to Noah’s Flood: The waters began to subside at about 25 feet every 2 1/2 months until the 10th month. But then 4 months later the water was gone and the earth was dried. Psalm 104:6-9 indicates that God spoke and the mud and soil began to lift upward to form mountain ranges, and He pushed down and split apart the remaining sediments creating great water basins, or oceans. He said it was because of a promise to Noah and his family that God would never allow this type of flood to cover the earth again. The rainbow was given as a reminder of His promise.

                      On top of all the high mountain ranges we find marine fossils. If you could watch this process in reverse you would see continents coming together like pieces of a puzzle.

                      If you raised the ocean bottoms up to the continental shelf, and pushed the mountain ranges down to a few hundred feet, there is enough water today to cover the earth to over a mile and a half deep.

                    • stuart32

                      I am indeed familiar with hydrologic sorting. In fact, that is exactly what I described in my original comment. If you mix sand and powder in water and let them settle you will end with a layer of sand at the bottom and a layer of powder on top. What you won’t see is a layer of sand on top of the powder. However, this is exactly what you do see in the Grand Canyon. There are layers of sandstone on top of layers of shale. This cannot be explained by hydrologic sorting during a flood.

                      The presence of marine fossils on mountain tops is also inconsistent with flood geology. A flood would tend to wash material off mountain tops. The actual explanation is that the fossils were originally laid down on seabeds which were uplifted by tectonic forces.

                      Of course, you gave the game away when you said that after the flood God raised the mountains. So in other words, the whole thing depends on a miracle, and, as I have explained, I reject appeals to miracles.

                    • aedgeworth

                      How exactly did you expect to discuss flood geology without referring to what the Bible says about the flood? You are the one that wanted to discuss it. You reject appeals to miracles so you want only natural explanations for supernatural acts? Its kind of hard to discuss the great flood and restrict it to natural processes only. If you get this sorted out in your mind get back to me.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              No, you have been misinformed. It may well be that you do not understand science, but I suspect that the problem is that you have only consulted propaganda authored by charlatans. What is the last book you read about the evidence by a mainstream biologist?

            • Bret

              “As for evolution, there is, as yet, no scientific evidence for it that has not been debunked.”
              Poppycock! If you do a search for evolution in Google scholar the result is 3+ million papers. One can believe that they are full of nothing but blank space and question marks, but it simply would not be true.

              “And then there are the many frauds that have been perpetrated: Piltdown man, Nebraska man, Java man, and yes, Lucy.”

              It would be wise not to get your knowledge of information from Chick tracts or Kent Hovind. Lucy was not a fraud. Nor was Java (which is an H. erectus). Nebraska wasn’t a fraud, but was a misidentification of a peccary molar and never was taken seriously by anyone but a newspaper artist and Creationists. And then there’s Piltdown. The reality doesn’t match Creationist mythology.

              • aedgeworth

                “I noticed that the ribs [Lucy] were more round in
                cross-section, more like what you see in apes. Human ribs are flatter in cross-section. But the shape of the rib cage itself was the biggest surprise of all. The human rib cage is barrel shaped, and I just couldn’t get Lucy’s ribs to fit this kind of shape.” Peter Schmid (paleontologist at the Anthropological Institute in Zurich) Quoted from Origins
                reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin

                “The marked resemblance of AL 288-1 (Lucy) to the chimpanzee is equally obvious… It suggests to us that the mechanism of lateral pelvic balance during bipedalism was closer to that in apes than in humans.” J. Stern & R. Sussman, “American Journal of Physical Anthropology,”
                1983, pp. 291 & 292.

                “…anatomist Dr. Charles Oxnard has shown that the big toe [Lucy’s] actually sticks out as in chimpanzees.”
                David Catchpoole, Ph.D., “New evidence: Lucy was a
                knuckle-walker”

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  And since Lucy is like us in some ways but unlike us in others, you will find that anti-science creationists will disagree about whether to put her and other fossils into the human or some other category. And so they illustrate that “species” is a category which blurs into others, in keeping with the understanding of modern biology regarding how species are formed.

                  • aedgeworth

                    Interesting terminology: “anti-science creationists.” So that quote out of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology was made by an anti-science creationist? Of course if it doesn’t completely support evolution theory it has to be automatically categorized as anti-science. I thought testing a theory was what science does? Whenever someone even dares to question evolution theory it is considered “anti-science.”
                    Evolution is a philosophical naturalistic belief system that is not allowed to be put under normal scrutiny, and is above being questioned. Any evidence can be interpreted as supporting a theory, if that is all you are looking for.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Then you clearly have no idea how much scrutiny evolution has been and continues to be subjected to. You really should stop reading only propaganda and actually learn about what scientists do, how it works, and what the published results are.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I see how you react to scrutiny. Not in a scientific way. You have no idea what I read or don’t read. Typical for an evolutionist to assume things not in evidence. I’ve collected over 150 science textbooks, some on the college level. I have Darwin’s Origin of Species, Hutton’s Theory of the Earth, Lyell’s Principles of Geology, Coyne’s Why Evolution is True, and about 100 other books, the majority by evolutionists. I rarely read creationist material.
                      To you, scrutiny of evolution is an attack on your belief system, not scientific challenges to a theory. Evidence doesn’t speak for itself, it has to be interpreted. The issue isn’t the evidence, it is whose worldview interpretation is the correct one.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      That you list archaic rather than recent works first says a lot. But if you mean by worldview the fact that some follow the evidence where it leads, while others allow their worldview to require them to crowbar the evidence into awkward positions, then that is true, and you keep providing evidence of that very approach.

                    • aedgeworth

                      How do you falsify evolution?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      You would need to show that all the combined genetic, paleontological, and other evidence which supports it is better explained in other terms. A tall order, but that is to be expected with a well-substantiated theory. How would you falsify the conclusion that the Earth orbits the sun?

                    • aedgeworth

                      Scientists have said it only takes one evidence to falsify a theory. You can’t come up with any way to test it other than to come up with better explanations than evolutionary interpretations for all the evidence combined that would be accepted by evolutionists? Then you are admitting there is no way to falsify it that evolutionists would accept?
                      Observe the earth and sun from a fixed point in space in relation to each for a long period of time if that would be possible, but I’m sure astronomers have already figured out how to test that. And I’m sure it would only take one evidence to falsify it.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      While one decisive piece of data could indeed falsify a theory, obviously a well-substantiated conclusion is not to be discarded frivolously. It is perfectly logical and appropriate to treat someone’s claim to have clear evidence that the Earth is flat with some skepticism, and to consider whether the data is compatible with the current understanding. That does not mean that one piece of evidence cannot change scientists’ minds. What it means is that the evidence needs to be examined closely, since it is more likely that there is no dome over the earth and one researcher has made a mistake, than that this one researcher has found the truth while everyone who went before her or him was incompetent.

                    • aedgeworth

                      In other words you can’t come up with a valid way of falsifying it.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      No, that isn’t what I said.

  • stuart32

    It’s unfortunate for creationists that one of the best fossil sequences we have is of hominins. They are forced to draw a very arbitrary line through the sequence and declare that apes are on one side and humans on the other. The creationists all agree that Australopithecus is non-human and that Homo erectus is human. There seems to be some disagreement about Homo habilis and this disagreement is exactly what you would expect if we are seeing a genuine evolutionary sequence.

    There is just a possibility that we could go further and more or less prove that this is an evolutionary sequence. It might just be possible to resurrect these three extinct species by extracting their DNA. If we could have Australopithecus, an obviously ape-like creature, walking around on two legs in a very human manner it would be a sight to see.

    The next step would be to get Australopithecus to breed with Homo habilis, then to get Homo habilis to breed with Homo erectus, and lastly to get a female Homo erectus to seduce Ken Ham and bear his child. No evolutionary gaps here.

    • arcseconds

      So were Adam and Eve Homo erecti? Maybe Ken Ham needs to change his Eden diorama…

      • stuart32

        The tragic thing is that people are actually debating this. Some Christians who aren’t creationists think that God chose a pair of hominins and gave them souls, and that this pair were Adam and Eve. The trouble is that they can’t agree on when during the evolutionary sequence it happened. Was it Homo habilis, Homo erectus or Homo sapiens?

        • arcseconds

          Well, it kind of makes sense if you think Genesis 2 describes a squence of events that happened after Genesis 1. Then humans have already been created before Adam is created.

          While my question was mostly a joke, there’s a serious point behind it. I think that a lot of what holds YEC in place for many people is a kind of sentimentality. Part of that sentimental appeal is the idea that a perfect couple came into being fully-formed and didn’t do any messy evolving from horrid ape-creatures (and happen to be caucasian – Ken Ham’s museum has been somewhat clever at making them kind of slightly dusky, not classic Aryan, could be exotic middle eastern, but they’re also not clearly not Cacausian – they could easily ‘pass’).

          Also, it’s nice and simple. No messy, complicated, hard-to-understand, transgressive evolution.

          But what the creationist theorists think isn’t necessarily like this. Ham thinks evolution happens, and he thinks it happens a lot faster than mainstream science thinks it happens, but just restricted somehow to ‘kinds’. Some of the people you raise (any idea where Ham sits on this?) think we did in fact evolve from horrid ape-creatures, and if they were honest in presenting this to their co-religionists, then the later would be shocked.

          If one were to go into the Creationist museum and see an early hominid Adam and Eve, it would not seem very different from a diorama in the Museum of Natural Sciences.

          • stuart32

            I did appreciate the joke. I think you are right about the “yuck” factor. When Queen Victoria saw an orangutan in London Zoo she apparently described it as, “frightful and painfully and disagreeably human.” What seems to disturb some people is the blurring of the boundaries between us and the rest of the animal kingdom. This would be far worse if we could bring to life some of the extinct hominins.

            I think other people are just afraid of the potential conflict between science and the bible. I don’t know whether you followed any of the discussions that Mike Gantt had on here recently. He took a lot of stick but I had some sympathy for him. He wanted to think that there was no conflict but couldn’t accept any attempt that anyone made to reconcile the two things.

            As for the rapid diversification within “kinds” after Noah’s ark came to ground: pure insanity.

            • aedgeworth

              There is no conflict between science and the Bible. There is a conflict between real science and evolution, and a conflict between the Bible and evolution.
              If a scientist believes in evolution it is called scientific in nature. If a scientist believes creation fits the empirical evidence better it is classified as religion. We are both looking at the same exact evidence but interpret it differently. Anyone who claims evolutionists have all the evidence, and creationists just have faith in the Bible is lying, but it could just be a case of self-delusion, or brainwashing.

              • stuart32

                “We are both looking at the same exact evidence but interpret it differently”

                When you looked at the evidence did you notice those inward pointing femurs?

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                Do you see the irony in claiming that the people who actually do the scientific research, including the many Christians among them, are deluded and brainwashed, while those who do not do such research and merely misquote those who do are not?

                • aedgeworth

                  I see irony in only recognizing the interpretations of evolutionists as being scientific, but the interpretations of scientists that happen to disbelieve in evolution is considered anti-science in nature. So I misquoted all three sources and they do not believe Lucy was a chimp? Can you prove that? How do you falsify evolution?

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    Science, like other areas of inquiry, depends on doctoral students and researchers coming up with new ideas. These are then tested and evaluated by other scholars. We need to challenge one another in order to get published, which we need to do in order to get and remain employed. If there is a legitimate challenge to evolution to be made, it would be made by researchers in peer reviewed journals, not in internet comments.

                    • aedgeworth

                      The main difference is the internet comments usually get published. The science journals are controlled by evolutionists, and reviewed by evolutionists. Why don’t you suggest we have an equal amount of creationists and evolutionists deciding who gets published?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Why not say that we should have an equal number of Holocaust deniers deciding what gets published in history journals? This is not about being fair to all viewpoints, it is about upholding rigorous standards of evidence. Anyone who can meet those standards can have their work published, no matter how unconventional their viewpoint may be.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Right. That is not what I have read from those that have tried, but thank you for your opinion.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Well, if they were doing what you have been doing here, trying to crowbar evidence into your preconceived ideas and failing to address counterevidence, then the peer reviewers who rejected them did what was appropriate. The sort of things you have been spouting here are not what scientific research involves. Do you understand that?

                    • aedgeworth

                      Scientific research is seriously flawed when it comes to evolution theory, but you fail to comprehend that. I’ve used the scientific method. I know how it is supposed to work through personal experience. You can’t even come up with a valid way to test it. It can be tested, but when it is questioned the challenges are never taken seriously. Only evidence that supports it is given consideration. That is flawed science. Do you understand that?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      This is absolute nonsense. Why not actually sign up for a course in biology at a school that has student research opportunities? Why not read the publications of those who engage in research? Slandering a profession in this dishonest way is despicable!

                    • aedgeworth

                      Because unlike some gullible people I recognize fiction and fairy tales when I hear them. Like the Bible indicates, people you scoff at original creation and a great flood are dumb on purpose. Ignorance just shows lack of knowledge, you can sometimes fix that. Willing ignorance shows lack of character, you might not be able to fix that. Good-bye James. Have a nice eternity.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Can you recognize fables by the talking animals in them?

                      Saying “Have a nice eternity” because you have been shown not to know what you are talking about is absolutely shameful, as is your arrogance. Whoever taught you that this is what being a follower of Christ is about has a lot to answer for. I hope that one day you will repent and embrace the way of the cross, which involves among other things humility and an a willingness to admit when we do not know and need to learn.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Okay, you drew me back into it momentarily. If someone taught you that being a follower of Christ meant to poke fun at and ridicule the Word of God, they will have a lot to answer for as well. You just said the events in the Word of God are fables. What exactly do you mean by repenting and embracing the way of the cross, because you haven’t displayed any Christian character, nor shown any indication that you are a follower of Christ? You have exhibited no humility nor a willingness to learn anything. You don’t have a clue what embracing the way of the cross means.

                      The account of original creation and the great flood are actual historical events that are backed up by a correct interpretation of the scientific evidence. You Mr. James McGrath are one of those scoffers described in 2 Peter 3:3-9 whom God’s Word says are willingly ignorant that will be facing God in judgment.

                      But there is good news for you. Verse 9 does say that God is not willing that any should perish, and that all should come to repentance. That is why He has delayed His Coming, for people like you to have a chance to repent and be saved. You will have to answer for all those young people you have misled and caused to doubt the clear promises of God, and will probably suffer great loss of reward, but you can be forgiven.

                      The Bible says that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” All scripture includes original creation, a great flood, the way someone can be saved, and all those other things you refer to as fables in the Word of God.

                      Evolution is probably one of Satan’s greatest lies, and has caused more harm to the cause of Christ than all the cults and isms combined, and you are helping him to accomplish that. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
                      2 Timothy 3:13 That verse is in reference to those who scoff at original creation and a great flood.
                      You have been deceived James, and you are deceiving others. I pray that God will open your eyes to the truth before it is eternally too late.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      OK, so now you are saying that the Creator is Satan! How dare you?! It is the evidence from the creation that leads to the conclusion that life evolved. You have to twist the evidence to avoid the conclusion, and you have the audacity to call that doing science correctly?! Shame on you! At the root of this is your idolatrous elevation of a collection of human writings to the status of inerrancy that in fact belongs to God alone. How can you think that you are defending the Bible when you keep rejecting its teachings – about God’s uniqueness, the inappropriateness of making anything made by human hands into a god, about God’s trustworthiness, about creation testifying truthfully to the Creator? Repent!

              • Daniel Webb

                I don’t think anyone here doubts the level of sincerity with which you believe in creationism. However, you need to understand there is a fundamental problem with basing your belief in the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

                You’re free (I don’t think anyone here will try to stop you) to believe in something without a rational reason to do so. You’re free to make up your own evidence to confirm what you want to believe though–but you’re not free to present an intellectually dishonest position and demand that anyone take you seriously.

                The entire reason why organizations like AiG and ICR exist is because there is conflict between Science and the Bible (when read the way they want it read). There is no grand conspiracy on the part of scientists to say that the earth is old when it isn’t, to say that we evolved when we didn’t, etc…just get over your delusions.

                • aedgeworth

                  Since you quoted Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” apply that to what we actually see in the world around us. Supposedly evolution has been going on for 600 million years. Is that enough time for transitions to take place?

                  If we could go back to different time periods in earth’s history, would we be able to observe life forms in transition, to a totally different life form? Wouldn’t we be able to observe the different stages of the transitions?
                  Look at the world around you. Is there any life form in transition to a different life form than what it always has been? We should be able to view life forms in different stages of transition. Changes within a life form, or microevolution, is not in question and never has been. Be honest about it. Macroevolution is the only thing in question. Evolution is the transitions of life forms hoped for, the transitions of life forms not seen.

                  Darwin himself admitted there should be millions of fossils that are clearly in transition, but there aren’t. It is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of fossils not seen.

                  Evolutionists are famous for taking a few scraps of bone, and relying on artist’s reconstructions of what they think the life form may have looked like, then putting those drawings in science books and teaching it as fact.

                  Evolution is a fairy tale for grownups that don’t understand real science. At least they start out: “Once upon a time, long ago and far away, millions of years ago.” Some have heard the fairy tale so long from people they trust, they don’t recognize the difference between science and science fiction when they hear it.

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    Hebrews does not say that faith allows you to deny the evidence that is available.

                    You have been lied to about evolution, and you seem not to know how the evidence has supported Darwin, and how it has required rethinking and a move beyond things. Biology is not still in the 19th century. Neither should your discussion be. You need to talk about the genome. About Tiktaalik. About human chromosome 2 and the recurrent laryngeal nerve in giraffes – those last two have already been mentioned, and you have yet to discuss them.

                    • aedgeworth

                      As for Tiktaalik: The coelacanth was found in the same geological location and also has lobed fins, as does the Panderichthys. There are several that are considered to be fish but appear to be similar in lobe and fin structure with Tiktaalik, none of which could walk and are just fish. But use your imagination and it might work.
                      Here is one conclusion by two scientists in that field concerning human chromosome 2: The purportedly overwhelming DNA evidence for a fusion event involving two primate chromosomes to form human chromosome 2 does not exist, even without the aid of new analyses. In this report, our review of only the reported data by evolutionary scientists shows that the sequence features encompassing the purported chromosome-2 fusion site are far too ambiguous to infer a fusion event. In addition to a lack of DNA sequence data for a head-to-head chromosomal fusion, there also exists a decided paucity of data to indicate a cryptic centromere. In a companion paper (part 2) to this, we report the results of additional data analyses using a variety of bioinformatic tools and publicly available DNA sequence resources that further refute the hypothetical chromosome fusion model.
                      Mutations and natural selection cannot explain the control valves in the neck of giraffes.

                    • stuart32

                      So do you deny that Tiktaalik has a shoulder girdle detached from its skull, and elbow joints?

                    • aedgeworth

                      I don’t know, what do you think, and what would that mean? Would that prove it wasn’t created as is? Again: How do you falsify evolution? Consider: this is not the same as looking for similarities. It would also not conclude anything if creation and or a great flood would make the same predictions.

                    • stuart32

                      No, it wouldn’t prove that it wasn’t a separately created animal, but, as I have explained, I’m not trying to disprove creationism. I’m looking to see whether the evidence is compatible with a naturalistic theory, and in my opinion it is. Since scientific theories stand or fall on their compatibility, or lack thereof, with the evidence that is all that matters. Evolution has passed the test.

                    • aedgeworth

                      In the minds of scientists who have accepted evolution only. Scientific theories have to be falsifiable. It is through negative testing a premise is verified. Evolution doesn’t hold up to that type of testing. Has any evolutionist tried to evaluate if accidental random chance mutational change could explain human complexity? Are there anomalies in the geologic record that don’t seem to fit?

                  • Daniel Webb

                    Ditto to what Dr. McGrath says. You have such a distorted strawman understanding of evolution that you allow it to be defeated as an explanatory option before even considering the evidence for it.

                    Intellectual dishonesty at its finest.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I’ve read the textbooks. I understand how it is supposed to work. I believe a creation interpretation of the same empirical evidence is a better fit, and a better explanation.

                      Let me give your quote, but change one word: “You have such a distorted strawman understanding of creation that you allow it to be defeated as an explanatory option before even considering the evidence for it.

                      Intellectual dishonesty at its finest.”
                      How can evolution be falsified?

                    • Daniel Webb

                      Is that a serious question? “how can evolution be falsified?” Evolution could be falsified by finding fossils out of place–that’s just one way. It could have been falsified by genetics–but it wasn’t.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Fossils out of place, does that include Ooparts that haven’t been explained yet? Evolution and creation both predict the same. Evolution says order of arrival on earth, creation says order of survival during a flood. Both place them in the same order. Both would expect the general order of their placement. That would not be a way to falsify evolution.
                      Similar appearance, similar structure, and similar functions result in genetic similarities. Common descent or common designer? You can’t falsify evolution through genetic similarities.
                      Try again but put a little more thought into it.

                    • Daniel Webb

                      If you think that ooparts are evidence against evolution, I encourage you to research on this site rather than nonsenical creationist/conspiracy theorist websites that you clearly go to for all your news. https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Out-of-place_artifact.html

                      A fossil out of place means a fossil that is out of place in time–like an dinosaur that died off millions of years ago fossilized with a higher primate that didn’t come into being until just a few hundred thousand years ago–like man.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Wow! You mean an evolutionary site tried to explain away Ooparts? I am shocked. How many more sites did you do research on? I personally interviewed a man in Kentucky whose family excavates coal. One day they saw something strange so they pulled their equipment back. Right in the middle of a coal bed they found a rock about 10 inches around or so that had a human carved on it. They dislodged it and took it to some local archaeologists to see if it might be valuable.
                      The first thing they asked them was, where did you find it. When they told them they responded: “No you didn’t. You guys are lying. That coal formed 300 million years ago, and there were no humans alive then.” They told me they wanted them to send someone out with them to the site and see where it was lodged. He said they not only wouldn’t investigate the site, they refused to talk with them any further. He said: “We just wanted to find out if it was valuable.” They still have the rock.
                      A friend of mine in Pensacola, FL found a shark’s tooth in his back yard. He took it to some scientists to see if they could date it for him. Of course the first thing they asked was: “Where did you find it?” He said: “What difference does it make, I just want to know how old it is?” They told him: “We have to know where you found it so we will know what dating test to use to get the date we want.” Find out the strata, then pick out a test that will give you an age in that range.
                      Back a number of years ago a man and his wife in Midland, MI thought they found a Wooly Mammoth carcass in their field. They brought in some scientists and using radioactive dating arrived at an age I think of 23,000 years old if I remember right. That is until a gentleman in his 90′s came forward and stated that back in the 1930s the circus came to town. One day one of their elephants died, and they paid him to bury the one they had found. He said: “I might look that old but I’m not.” Very embarrassing for them.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I have also heard stories from people who have seen bigfoot, flying saucers, and fairies. Thank you very much, but I will rely on evidence rather than hearsay. But if you learned a bit more about geological dating methods, you might understand how the stories you have passed on might well be rooted in actual events, but have been garbled by you or others who did not understand the scientific matters involved.

                    • aedgeworth

                      Yes, that must be it.

                    • Daniel Webb

                      It’s not an “evolution site.” It’s an Ivy League site.

                      Tell you what…you get your anecdotal evidence published an reviewed by qualified scientists and then maybe it’ll matter more than just something you pulled out of your rear end for a comment board. Shouldn’t be hard right? Those discoveries sound just so amazing and groundbreaking. I’m sure that credible scientists will say they’re valid.

                      In other news, guess what? They found Bigfoot! And UFOs! Check it out

                      The stupid…it hurts to read it.

                    • aedgeworth

                      I didn’t really expect you to accept any of it Daniel. That is the reason you can’t think of a valid way to falsify evolution. Any evidence that would seem to contradict it you would lump together with UFOs and Bigfoot, unless a group of evolutionary scientists accepted, or it was published on that totally unbiased Talk Origins website you are so familiar with.

                    • Daniel Webb

                      I gave you ways evolution could be proven false. Your inability to read and process them doesn’t change that.

                      Presenting me with anecdotal evidence is meaningless. As I said before, get your amazing discoveries published and reviewed by qualified people. Until then–they’re just the ramblings of a crazy person who expects us to take him at his word that he has found something of significance.

                  • Nancy R.

                    But don’t young earth creationists believe that life forms are rapidly evolving? In order to fit representatives of every “kind” on the ark, YECs believe that evolution (within kinds, but into different species) happened rapidly after the animals left the ark. Bill Nye pointed out in the debate that that would lead to 11 new species a day, I believe. If you don’t see the evidence for the slow evolution that mainstream scientists assert has taken place, then do you see evidence of this super-sonic evolution that is required by current YEC assumptions?

          • stuart32

            Another thing about kinds: in evolutionary biology “kinds” have a straightforward definition. A kind (taxon or clade) consists of an ancestor and all its descendants. So all apes are a kind because they share a common ancestor which isn’t the ancestor of anything else. There are also kinds within kinds. So humans are apes and they are also primates and mammals. Again, this has a clear meaning in evolutionary biology. When there are kinds within kinds it means that the more inclusive the kind the more distant the ancestor. So humans share an ancestor with all apes, a more distant ancestor with all primates, and an even more distant ancestor with all mammals.

            In creationist thinking kinds are also defined by ancestry. All members of a kind share an ancestor. But creationism doesn’t allow kinds within kinds, or if it does then the more inclusive kinds can’t be defined by ancestry. So a creationist might regard all cats as a kind but what about carnivores? Cats belong to the order Carnivora. We know what this means in evolutionary terms, but what does it mean for a creationist? The creationist seems to have a choice. He can regard the order Carnivora as an arbitrary classification which we have invented but which doesn’t reflect any objective fact about the world, or he can regard it as a reflection of God’s choice to create life according to a certain pattern. Either way, there seems to be a problem for creationists because for them kinds are a confused mix of things which are sometimes based on objective facts about the world and sometimes not.

            • arcseconds

              Stuart, I was trying to exercise some self control and avoid yet another interminable debate with a creationist by never looking at this thread again, and here you go pulling me back into it!

              Anyway, I don’t think this is really as much of a problem with creationists as you suggest. I think you’re still thinking that ‘kinds’ have to be a way of referring to everything in the mainstream taxonomy.

              However, they can assert something along the lines that you suggest, but maintain actually mainstream systematics has it wrong, and are combining two different things into one. The design patterns that God used to create the primordial creatures have been mis-interpreted as suggesting common descent.

              Of course, to avoid confusion, they should use a different term than ‘kinds’ when referring to higher taxa, but when they’re being systematic I don’t think they’ve got a confusion here:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraminology

              (I think it’s only fair to cut them a degree of slack here, too, it’s an approach that’s in its infancy. )

              And this is a coherent possibility that we actually see in software. The GNU (GNU’s Not Unix) system started off as a deliberate attempt to create a complete UNIX clone from scratch, and as a result it looks a lot like UNIX, but it doesn’t have a geneological relationship with the UNIX codebase. But there are lots of operating systems that do (BSD, AIX, Solaris, etc.).

              So if you were only looking at the design, you would group GNU with the other Unices, which you might (mistakenly) assume to mean that it was descended from the same codebase.

              • stuart32

                Sorry for drawing you back in. This has been an interesting one. My debate partner seemed genuinely concerned that my ignorance might cost me my salvation.

                Yes, they could take that approach. There would be two different kinds of kinds. :-) The lowest level of kinds would reflect common ancestry and higher levels of kinds would reflect God’s choice in creating life according to a certain pattern.

                My objection to that would be that the method which we use to identify lower level kinds is the same method we use to identify higher level kinds. We classify according to shared features. So we use our method to classify life and when we do it at one level we identify an aspect of the natural world and when we use the same method at higher levels we find ourselves identifying an aspect of the supernatural world, with no way of being able to tell the difference.

                I can’t prove that that isn’t what we are actually doing but it does seem epistemologically jarring.

        • aedgeworth

          It was on day six of the creation week.

    • aedgeworth

      “…the australopithecines known over the last several decades…are now irrevocably removed from a place in the evolution of human bipedalism, possibly from a place in a group any closer to humans than to African apes and certainly from any place in the direct human lineage.”
      Dr. Charles Oxnard, The Order of Man, Yale University Press,
      pg. 332.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        The question is whether you can understand what that quote means in the context of the book as a whole. Young-earth creationists and cdesign proponentsists are notorious for taking small snippets and ignoring the context. If Oxnard’s work about evolution is sound then why quote him? And if it isn’t, then how does mining a quote from him help your case, since presumably he is an imbecile who does not grasp the implications of his own work and words?

        • aedgeworth

          Many other characteristics-such as the details in their skulls, the closeness of their eyes, their sharp molar teeth, their mandibular structure, their long arms, and their short legs-constitute evidence that these creatures were no different from today’s ape. However, evolutionists claim that, although australopithecines have the anatomy of apes, unlike apes, they walked upright like humans.

          Whenever someone uses a quote by an evolutionist to question evolution, they are accused of quote-mining, and often the person they are quoting is attempted to be discredited, or they bring up the fact that they still believed in evolution. They never want to consider the quote in and of itself, because they have to protect their pet theory and not let it be challenged in any way, unlike the scrutiny that other theories go through.

          I have a question James: How can evolution be falsified? Genetics wouldn’t work because similar life forms with similar appearance, similar structures, and similar functions will always exhibit similar genetics. A fossil in the wrong layer wouldn’t falsify it, because flood geology makes the same predictions as uniformitarianism. So how do you falsify it?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            How can the evidence for the roughly spherical shape of the earth be falsified? Scientific studies have given us an increasingly precise understanding of the natural world. When extensive evidence favors something, and no evidence contradicts it, then it can be challenging to think of any one piece of evidence that would require a radical change. And that is as it should be when a conclusion is well supported by evidence.

            As for quotations, just think about what you are saying. When someone writes a book about evolution, and a small phrase taken out of context can be misrepresented as meaning the opposite of what it means in the context of the book, you are saying that we ought to accept its decontextualized meaning. Would you accept the same approach to the Bible?

            • aedgeworth

              To some extent what you say is true. However, Gould and Eldridge said there were no clear transitional fossils to be observed. That is why they came up with “punctuated equilibrium.” Did they still believe evolution occurred? Of course. Because of the observable evidence they believed giant leaps of evolution occurred that left no evidence. Wow! Did they get heat for that. Their overall writings supported evolution. Is it correct to consider what they said about missing transitional fossils in and of itself? If you say “No,” you are perhaps being dishonest, or self-delusional, one or the other. Although there might be another reason for apparent dishonesty.

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                You have misunderstood Gould and Eldridge. They were discussing whether the pace of evolution is steady. You also fail to discuss whether their arguments ultimately persuaded their peers.

                • aedgeworth

                  Whether the pace of evolution was steady or not does not explain the lack of transitional fossils they acknowledged. The reason their arguments didn’t persuade their peers is because they were making their peers look bad because their peers were saying there were lots of transitional fossils. This also harder to believe than slow evolution

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    That is absolute silly nonsense, which can only be claimed by someone who ignorantly or dishonestly misrepresents the history of science. When people assumed flood geology, what changed their minds was the overwhelming amount of evidence. When people assumed a steady-state universe and some atheists preferred it, physicists still came to embrace that the universe had a beginning, because the evidence necessitated it. You have to be arrogant and delusional as well to think that the scientists are all publishing evidence which disproves evolution, but are unable to grasp its significance themselves, while people who have never seriously studied the subject supposedly can see through this conspiracy which actually supposedly doesn’t hide the evidence against it. Can you not see how ridiculous it is to view the entire scientific enterprise in this way? Are you not ashamed to associate the Christian faith which such garbage?

      • stuart32

        There is no point in posting that when I have just asked you why Lucy has inward pointing femurs. Perhaps you can also explain why she had a foramen magnum at the base of the skull and not at the back?

        • aedgeworth

          You are asking the wrong person. Ask the scientists who say Lucy was a chimp.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Some may find this BioLogos series informative on this topic: http://biologos.org/blog/evolution-basics-from-primate-to-human-part-4

  • Matthew Jenkins

    I don’t think evolution disproves original sin, nor adam and eve, nor Christianity. I don’t have a steady opinion on the matter because I don’t have a huge interest in biology, but I am very much open to the evidence for evolution. I guess I would say I am somewhere in between Theistic Evolutionist and OEC.

    I think based off what I have learned in high school(not that the counts or anything), is pretty accurate with Genesis.

    God could have used evolution via natural selection+mutations to bring about different species and kinds.

    Then on the last day of his creation, he made man in his image.


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