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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
I kind of got stuck on the part where it’s okay for adults to hold creationist ideas if they want, but that they shouldn’t indoctrinate their kids because we need informed voters and capable scientists in the future. What about now, today?
I’d rather not give up on adult creationists like that. Yes, it ruffles feathers to tell people they are wrong, but we might be able to reach some. We need to expose everyone to reality, even the ones that seem hopelessly lost.
Some people are a lost cause no matter what.
What the hell happened to the layout on this site?
I like the new layout. With the old, posts disappeared far too quickly. This helps keep more of them on the front page.
Yeah, we lost aesthetics and gained accessibility. It’s a net win.
I’d also like to know that. It’s much more cluttered, and I dislike the new layout.
I love the new layout.
I’m kind of feeling fire-hosed. There’s so much information out there I want to consume. And I can’t.
I’m finding it overwhelming as well.
Same here. I hated paging through the site to find an article I read just three days ago. It’s great now.
I had to page through to find an article I read the same day and I would miss a lot of articles because I never saw them.
I dislike it as well. There are methods that will load more articles, many involving JQuery and perhaps AJAX. Seeing the images and videos is more aesthetically appealing and more engaging for the audience. At the very least the articles should go left to right then down.
Definitely not a fan either!
I love Bill Nye.
I love that you’re “Of Bangor.” If it’s the Bangor I’m assuming, it’s nice to meet you; I’m Indy Of Brewer.
Well if you are in Brewer, Maine then I’m just across the river.
I am, and you are. At leas the AFF’s volume level isn’t as obscene as the Waterfront Concerts usually are.
The AFF is a lot of fun though. If you care, you can send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org it is a spam account so I don’t care if it is posted here. Didn’t know other atheist that posted on this board lived so close.
Yeah, so I don’t count ’cause I’m nearer to Portland. I know. I know. “The Other Maine”
Come on up to Bangor and have a beer with us.
There’s no proof of creation, yet there is an enormous amount of proof for evolution..dumbass.
I wonder at this kind of logic. No wonder there are so many foreigners in the top universities.
It is 2012 and accepting evolution is still being talked about in this country.
It is funny. And by funny I mean incredibly sad and depressing.
its a good thing that people still have the sense to question it. If you were not the type to simply accept whatever garbage you are told you should accept, you might be willing to notice the glaring issues with what you are being told to accept. Even materialists are starting to speak up about evolution and yet the sheep still think others are crazy for having questioned it so long. Rejection of the theory is perfectly legitimate on a scientific level and, if atheists such as Nye were honest, they would reject it as well on the same grounds they doubt theism. Unfortunately we really are dealing with sheep. Most supporters of evolution i have discussions with are woefully ignorant of the theory and its issues. They just belittle others because someone told them that they should or because they themselves are atheists and accept evolution as default without need for a logical and evidence based reason.
what is sad to me is that Americans seem to be getting stupider and stupider on the issue. They are being lead by atheists in their view about evolution, yet they cannot see that those leading them ARE atheists. These people have materialist outlooks (even when theistic some of them look on the world like that) and basically HAVE TO accept evolution REGARDLESS of the evidence against it. Sheesh. While you are leading your students astray and forcing them to accept idiotic things rather than making them think (yes, evolutionists have opposed attempts to get students thinking more critically in science classes. critical thinking = creationism apparently), the rest of the world is more open to the truth and will pass you by. Isn’t it remarkable? A group opposes critical thinking legislation and calls it creationism, yet nobody thinks anything of it. That is how lost many americans are. Nobody wonders why, if the position is so strong, should they be so opposed to having students taught to analyse the evidence carefully? Instead these people are content with believing fallacious arguments against such legislation like good sheep
Most supporters of evolution i have discussions with are woefully ignorant of the theory and its issues.
most opponents of evolution that I talk to are woefully ignorant as to what evolution actually means. They start talking about monkeys and animals without eyes giving birth to animals with fully formed eyes and present that as evolution.
They just belittle others
Call them sheep for example?
the rest of the world is more open to the truth and will pass you by
You mean Turkey? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/21329204.html
evolutionists have opposed attempts to get students thinking more critically in science classes
Learning the stork theory of birth isn’t critical thinking.
Not that you need an alternate theory to disprove evolution, it could conceivably be disproved on its own, but it would be nice if someone who doesn’t believe in evolution would come up with something else that works.
Call them sheep for example?”
if you insult other people just because someone else says they are wrong, then yes you are sheep.
“Learning the stork theory of birth isn’t critical thinking.
Not that you need an alternate theory to disprove evolution, it could conceivably be disproved on its own”
obviously not what I was talking about. They oppose bills intended to improve science education because they would allow the critical assessment of the theory of evolution. Scientists complain that the juniors they hire and weak when it comes to thinking. These things are meant to solve that, but evolutionists would rather us return to the caves if it would mean their theory remains sacred.
“You mean Turkey? ”
no. I mean china, south korea etc. Countries where people are free to think and question. Can you believe an evolutionary scientist in china of all places said that they are free to question evolution in china but not the government while in America u are free to question the government but not evolution? Why should this be ok? that the evolutionists are more oppressive that a bad government could be? Should a “scientific” theory really be immune to opposition?
I would even bet its easier to raise questions about it in india and japan than in america. The states is apparently the base of the Darwinian church.
“but it would be nice if someone who doesn’t believe in evolution would come up with something else that works.”
as long as its some form of evolution, right? As long as there is no mention of a mind behind it, right? These world-view imposed limitations on admissible theories is not scientific either, fyi.
As long as there is no mention of a mind behind it, right?
No, mind is fine as long as you can be a little more specific and provide some evidence. There is no alternate theory. ’A mind’ is not a theory. It’s a gap. It’s a “we don’t know so it must have been something”. Ok, what ‘something’? Genesis 1:1? Giant turtle? Aliens? The Matrix? Does the ‘mind’ merely act as a selective force in evolution, or did the ‘mind’ create different ‘kinds’? Do you agree that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to gorillas? Do you accept common descent but reject natural selection as sufficient?
If we are less free to question evolution in the US, I wonder if it’s because of the qualify of questions people want to ask.
Last I checked the arguments for “mind” were a bit more scientific than that. Relying on traditional scientific reasoning etc. Its a common thing to claim that the inference to design is somehow a gap, but are these kinds of opposition useful? One could easily say that all questions, when presented to the evolutionists, are simply thrown into the dark void of “coulda been this way”, “maybe this happened” – stories with no scientific merit. The huge problem with evolution is that it attributes something we have repeatedly verified as coming from a mind, to nature. This is the only instance in which we go against everything we know to appeal to something completely out of tune with our experiences. Whether or not you can make claims about the nature of the designing intelligence, it is not honest or scientific to ignore the fact that the only logical and valid conclusion IS mind. It bothers me listening to people like Nye say all that he says, while in reality he is the one putting what he feels and believes before honest scientific conclusions.
I need not be a little more specific, but the evidence is obvious. The evidence is why even evolutionists cannot stop using the word design in reference to life. The fact that DNA is code, the fact that we see purposeful intricate systems (earing, sight, immunity etc etc.) There is no reason any person should be looked down on for accepting the obvious and natural conclusion over the completely strange and unnatural conclusion that natural processes and time could accomplish what we observe. It is my opinion that DNA refutes the materialist theory of evolution entirely. Code is only known to come from mind.
“If we are less free to question evolution in the US, I wonder if it’s because of the qualify of questions people want to ask.”
people ask good questions but the response is always the same. Opposition to evolution ranges from the bottom to the top of academia. Granted a lot of it cannot be public with the discrimination such individuals would face, but there are quality scientists who publicly oppose the theory. The reason people are less free to do so and why academics who do so are demonised is down to the significance of the issue and the attitude of those who support the theory.
At the very LEAST evolutionists should be more courteous in their criticism of the opposition. Your position is not what you think it is. It is a view only valid scientifically if you hold to materialism and not on the basis of the evidence, but as a default – must be so – position.
Last I checked there were no arguments for ‘mind’. There were only arguments against evolution. That was brought out in the Dover trial in particular. There are speculations that since it “couldn’t be evolution” then “it must be mind”, but no actual evidence for mind other than ‘evidence’ against evolution.
Just saying ‘mind’ is a giant “I don’t know”. What exactly does this mind do? How does it affect speciation? Do humans and chimps share a common ancestor? Why do we share so much DNA with chimps, and less so with gorillas, and still less so with other mammals? How come our chromosome #2 shows all signs of being 2 chromosomes fused, matching 2 ape chromosomes? Did the ‘mind’ fuse those chromosomes?
Again, that you don’t have any answers for any of that doesn’t mean evolution is right, in the same way that if evolution was wrong it still wouldn’t prove a ‘mind’. But it sure would help you to disprove evolution if you could tell us how it actually did happen.
Just saying ‘mind’ is a giant “I don’t know”"
Hardly true. Unless you are a dog or something not intimately familiar with conscious beings and their capabilities. You may also notice I said I do not need to be specific for the conclusion to be valid. We can determine from our observations that certain features must exist in the explanation we give. These features are typical of “mind”
A mind ( /ˈmaɪnd/) is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, thinking, reasoning, perception, and judgement — a characteristic of human beings, but which also may apply to other life forms.
The amount of DNA we share with Chimpanzees is 1. over-exaggerated historically 2. Not an argument that proves common descent. Common descent is one explanation, but so is design. Unless you have some reason to think that a designer would choose, in this case, to completely create every living thing differently from the other.
“For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, thechimpanzee.” http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/10/2266.full.pdf+htmlmost of this stuff is still under investigation, but even the long held view that we are very similar to chimps is false. The facts also jump all over the place. Where they claim we are more similar to gorillas 30% of their gemone and some cases more similar to orangutans. The kind of thing u would expect if we were designed.
this is what I am talking about. You have circumstantial pieces of evidence that already are replied to by your opponents, yet insist that these are valid reasons to believe something counter to our factual knowledge. You object to stronger observations in favour of preferred weaker beliefs. 1. The fusion is not in the expected location 2. it only suggests that a fusion occurred in some portion of human history. There are other replies to your chromosome 2 argument.
“Again, that you don’t have any answers for any of that doesn’t mean evolution is right, in the same way that if evolution was wrong it still wouldn’t prove a ‘mind’. But it sure would help you to disprove evolution if you could tell us how it actually did happen. ”
who doesn’t have an answer? These things have been dealt with already. The problem is that evolutionists insulate themselves from them and refuse to consider the answers. The arguments that show mind is necessary for life are around, go do some actual research
there is also the issue of ignoring data that contradicts the evolutionary view and simply making up stories to accommodate it. Which brings up the issue of the theory not really being falsifiable as it is being dealt with
You may also notice I said I do not need to be specific for the conclusion to be valid.
You need to be specific for the conclusion to be remotely useful.
As Paul Nelson said:
Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a real problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now what we’ve got is a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as “irreducible complexity” and “specified complexity” – but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.
Or has one been developed since 2005?
certain features must exist
As in something that must be so complex that it must be designed?
pieces of evidence that already are replied to by your opponents
Exactly how I feel.
The problem is that evolutionists insulate themselves from them and refuse to consider the answers.
Again, replace ‘evolutionists’ with ‘creationists’ and we’re both saying the same thing. I’ve been all over AiG, just as I’m sure you’ve been all over talkorigins.
I was curious if you were more on the Francis Collins end of things or the Ken Ham end of things.
You’ve said so little in so many words. We get it; you think supporters of evolution are sheep, etc. But you say there are holes in evolutionary theory.
What are your scientifically based critiques of conventional evolutionary theory?
Because they matter to you
also, those rapid changes are not exclusive to “creationists”. Some evolutionary biologists propose similar things to solve some problems with the theory. Note “similar”. I doubt you are representing the arguments you were presented with accurately.
I doubt you are representing the arguments you were presented with accurately.
http://www.kentucky.com/2012/08/14/2298914/gop-lawmakers-question-standards.html you're free to dig through the comments and see some of the stuff that passes for ‘understanding of evolution’ in America.
You won’t even look at evolution because you’re stuck on the idea that the universe must have a creator.
Evolution will never be able to address the problem of the beginning thus ” the big bang” or whatever high sound verbiage is used this year. No evolutionist I have ever discussed with sidesteps the crucial hole in there theory what started the evolutionary process. Scroll through all of the scientific banter in this thread and you will find not one person address this issue. I ask MR WILSON to please start a thread that is dedicated to that one subject. As he seems to be the most reasonable one.
Why not start with “irreducible complexity”
*sigh* Bill’s so dreamy…
So it’s not just me?
Coincidentally, we just got the Bill Nye’s “Evolution” episode on DVD from the library!
Please, don’t call it “accepting” evolution. That gives space for reluctance, like “accepting” a punishment for a crime. Or even worse, it leaves room for one to “accept” evolution in the way we can “accept” religion, “accept” a God.
Don’t even call it “believing in” evolution. “Belief” still belies the inevitability, the fundamental truth of it.
As scientists, as skeptics, as reasoning human beings, we understand evolution. We know it.
I find it so amusing that “scientist” have to ignore fundamental facts of what we know to be true to accept a theory that is impossible to prove. I have two words and one question for Mr Nye the ANTIscience guy. SCIENTIFIC METHOD and what CAUSED the ” big bang. If you half just a little intellectual honest you cannot accept evolution with first addressing the beginning . Unless you are suggesting that we do so on FAITH………….How ironic !!!!!
Seconded. Sometimes researchers can be so blinded by trying to prove their theories that they cannot stand back to look at these theories from fresh perspectives. There are assumptions to every theory. They should be humble enough to accept when others do not agree with their assumptions and therefore with the conclusions. They can talk down to the public meaning people like us are dumb, but many people who are their intellectual equals do not agree with them either.
glad a few people see this somewhat clearly. Many people cannot stand back to see why they think certain things and what assumptions act as the support for what they accept. Bill nye gave himself away when he said “there is no evidence for it” at the end. Its a typical atheist line and even when u do give evidences and arguments, they say the same thing exactly because of there presuppositions about the world – There can be no evidence for something they don’t think exists or can exist.
similar thins apply to evolution. For some its a default position regardless of how inadequate the theory is (it is in a sad state). Its at least amusing watching an evolutionist try to explain how evolution resulted in something. They construct these stories and do not even think about how silly they are sounding. Rejection of the theory is perfectly fine for any thinking person. It’s ridiculous to these people because the alternative is ridiculous to them, not because the evidence makes such rejection ridiculous.
When i started looking into the theory I could not figure how any sensible person could actually accept it. I have a good enough but not oh so wonderful background in biology and it was shocking to see that biologists could actually accept such garbage as a theory or even, in the worst cases, fact. Then i realized the sad state we are in. Some of these people are outright lying to themselves, some are invested as it is their source of income, some have a mindset that makes it impossible to think evolution is wrong, some were told its a fact and just believe that etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately the debate is not being dealt with well so these people are insulated. Evolutionists don’t like to debate the issue and when they do, they resort to ad hominems, strawmen and whatever else they can conjure. I scratch my head wondering wth sometimes. Really. At least atheists debate even though they lose almost always. when it comes to evolution, they hide behind “science”. is the position THAT weak?
Its not believing in evolution or science that made America great. Its the freedom to believe anything you want is what made America great. Long live the creationists!!!
…. as long as they are never allowed to squelch the beliefs of others.
I love Bill Nye! My 6th grade science class was about 60% Bill Nye videos haha
Can someone help me understand WHERE did all of the materials for life on which this theories hangs come from. Were they just here? How did all of the right combinations miraculously find each other? And the most disturbing question I have is WHY.? Why did these amino acids and other complex ingredients find it necessary to combine? The odds of all these event happening by chance just at the right time in unbelievable. There is just no reason.
on which this theories hangs ”
No, it doesn’t. You’re mixing the start of the first ‘life’ with the evolution of life. Evolution explains how we have the present diversity of life, and that it all descended from a common ancestor. What happened to get us that first common ancestor is a different (and vastly less understood) matter.
As for ‘why’, just because we want there to be a reason doesn’t mean there is. In general, just because we want the universe to be some way doesn’t mean it is.
Well, *somebody* skipped out on their organic chemistry class…
When you can’t support your theory you resort to name calling. There is not a SHRED of evidence to support MACRO evolution. That is why it is called a theory. I am an open minded person and I have yet had someone LOGICALLY explain what caused the ” big bang”, even more there is no explanation on how WHERE did the materials for life come from, and what caused NON LIVING MATTER “to evolve into LIVING MATTER. Instead when I present these crucial flaws in this silly theory You attack me personally, which implies there is no answer. How pathetic.
There is no such thing as ‘macro’ or ‘micro’ evolution. There’s just evolution. I’m sure people have explained what ‘theory’ means before, but you’re going to stick to your guns on that one. If you insist on there being a ’cause’ for everything, you end up in an infinite regress looking for the cause of the cause. You haven’t presented any flaws at all in evolution. You think you’ve presented flaws in other theories, but just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
it’s convenient to deny that. But considering the small nature of the biggest changes observed and the fact that these changes occur in a direction that one could not logically extrapolate to result in the current state of organisms, it is only prudent to have such a distinction. Even if you want to think “there’s just evolution”, you still have to show that evolution can reach a certain level. That it can progress from minor changes to much larger changes gradually or w/e. You cannot just say “there are minor changes so there must be larger changes”. I cannot just say “I can walk from my room to the dining room, therefore I can walk from america to Jamaica”. That would be silly and science is not to entertain such foolishness.
these changes occur in a direction that one could not logically extrapolate to result in the current state of organisms
As opposed to changes that occur in a direction that makes us think they were all ‘designed’? I won’t bore you, I’m sure you know all the bad design examples.
Comparing evolution to walking on water is one of those strawmen you were talking about. Being able to come up with a bad analogy doesn’t discredit anything.
btw, are you sure you’re not confusing this thread with some other spamathon you’re having? I’m the only one who has directly addressed you here, and I haven’t called you any names.
Well perhaps you can help me Mr Willison…….I find e it so amusing that “scientist” have to ignore fundamental facts of what we know to be true eg. (PHYSICS) to accept a theory that is impossible to prove. I have two words and one question for Mr Nye the ANTIscience guy. SCIENTIFIC METHOD and what CAUSED the ” big bang. If you half just a little intellectual honest you cannot accept evolution with first addressing the beginning . Unless you are suggesting that we do so on FAITH………….How ironic !!!!! Mr Wilson I’m sorry to interject truth into this thread but micro and macro evolution are FACTS ……………..
If you want a discussion, it would help immensely if you would pick an identity and stick to it.
Macro evolution: I stand corrected. I should have clarified that the terms, as you are attempting to use them, don’t exit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution#Misuse
you cannot accept evolution with first addressing the beginning
In that case we wouldn’t be able to accept that 1+1=2 without addressing ‘the beginning’. Cars which use internal combustion engines depend on refining oil to gas (or diesel). But an auto mechanic doesn’t need to know about oil refining in order to work on a car, nor does anyone need to know about car mechanics to drive a car.
There’s lots of evidence for the common descent of all life on earth. Endogenous retroviruses are one of my favorites http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh7OclPDN_s
1. Your use of false analogy is a fallacious argument. 2. While the you tube video was full of color and scientific terms it too is fallacious “red herring” .
The premise of your argument ” life evolved from nothing is what I find hard to understand. It simple defies logic. You cannot apply that theory to ANY OTHER area of science. Mathematics have no beginning and no end, mechanics do, to corrupt your illustration… Taking for granted all of the parts of a car were CREATED by someone at som time. How many times do I have to blow up a junk yard before I get a perfectly running vehicle. The answer is obvious. But I digress. Evolutionist ignore science when it comes to evolution. No one disputes newton’s LAW, yet you ignore it to support the begging of life with all of its beauty and diversity. THAT Mr Wilson is junk science and a faulty premise to argue from. So please if respond to my rant confine your response to the premise of your argument.
The micro macro issue requires much more space and time. I am frankly not here to debate (contrary to what it may seem). The wiki page in my opinion is full of statements not fact. I found this interesting “”"”(“macroevolution”, i.e. speciation in a specific case) has indeed been observed multiple times under both controlled laboratory conditions and in nature.”"”". There are so many issues i have with this but i will address 2.
1. This cannot be said with non living matter evolving into living matter
2. The entire theory of evolution ” big bang” has never been “”observed multiple times under both controlled laboratory conditions and in nature”"
If I am mistaken please correct me.
I am frankly not here to debate
Yes, I know. You’re here to confuse biology with cosmology and ignore anything anyone says to the contrary.
You are correct with 1), we have not observed non-living evolve into living. The page didn’t claim that. What the page claims is that we have observed speciation. And we have.
2) again, “big bang” has nothing to do with evolution. And since the entire history of evolution has only occurred once, and took billions of years, obviously we have not repeated it, nor observed it in its entirety first hand. We don’t need to. There are many kinds of evidence besides direct observation. I already gave you one with the endogenous retroviruses. The fossil record is another. Yet another is observation of what different species live in different environments.
There are other areas of science that you probably accept without question for which we can’t “observe”. A good one is the periodic table of the elements. When the atomic theory was set forth, we had no way to observe neutrons and protons, let alone electrons. In fact we still don’t. But the theory was so strong that we were able to leave gaps in the table where it was predicted that elements would be discovered. And in time the gaps were filled, as predicted. The atomic theory is just as much a theory as the theory of evolution. But *nobody who understands them seriously think they wrong.
*I say nobody, but obviously there are a very few people out there who don’t believe in evolution, or that the earth is roughly spherical, or that the earth revolves around the sun. The numbers are statistically insignificant.
Creationists are all pathological liars. There is no creationist argument that is not founded entirely on shameless lying.
Understanding something in biology goes not require understanding of something in quantum physics.
Exactly what was incorrect about the video?
Nobody says life evolved from nothing. People sale all life shares a common ancestor. You would not be necessarily incorrect in saying that some God created that first life. I doubt it, but I can’t disprove it. However, we do know that all life is related. If you go back enough generations, you and I are distant cousins to tree moss.
Now, blowing up a junkyard really IS a false analogy. If you want to get closer, you’d randomly toss a bunch of car pieces together. And then pick the few (natural selection) that most resemble a car. And then you randomly make a few small changes to each of those. And you’d keep the ones with modifications that made them look more like cars. And repeat a few hundred million times. That’s still a very poor analogy, but it’s better than your totally random thing.
The premise of my argument? If you’re going to discount that youtube video out of hand with no explanation as to why you think it’s wrong, then there’s no hope for you. You claim to be open minded, but your mind is set. You won’t even look at evolution because you’re stuck on the idea that the universe must have a creator.
You share more genetic material with a chimpanzee than a chimpanzee does with a gorilla. We all do. So if you want to rely on God creating our ancestors, realize that God created chimps more like humans than like gorillas.
wikipedia – the evolutionist favourite. Most of those articles on this topic are edited by evolutionists and atheists. Stop using it.
I wasn’t the one who resorted to wikipedia. I merely posted an anchor link within the exact same page that one of you guys posted.
What is “irreducible complexity”
So what is the real reason that we should accept evolution?
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