The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156222   Message #3687162
Posted By: Bill D
19-Dec-14 - 12:24 PM
Thread Name: BS: Well, I'm not a scientist...
Subject: RE: BS: Well, I'm not a scientist...
From several days ago...

"IMO the only reason to bother arguing with creationists is to give other people a chance to make up their own minds. Ask yoursleves - would you bother having a one-to-one argument with one ?"

Oh sure I would... as I have said before, I'd love to sit down with Pete and debate terms and logic and what constitutes 'proof' and all the relevant concepts. I have no illusions I'd convert him, but I can talk faster than I can type and we could clear up some misunderstandings 'in real time' and fill in some details.
(I..ummm.. do NOT think I could easily debate GfS in the same way. Our differences are on an entirely different level than I have with Pete.)

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As to earlier remarks about Lamarck and "the inheritance of acquired characteristics"..... it seems that some are not entirely clear about what that means.

Lamarck posited that organisms can pass on characteristics such as 'muscle strength' and 'long necks' (in giraffes) - thus suggesting that lots of exercise could benefit one's children. Evolutionary theory is that the only thing that is passed on is the genetic composition of the muscles and neck... NOT the way they are used. Simplified further, evolution asserts that various accidental genetic changes in the length of necks allowed 'some' giraffes to reach more food and thus *select* for that characteristic in later generations.

see here for details

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As to "show me some evolution"... that is a trick phrase which is an equivocation on "show". Evolution is not a 'process' like kneading dough and 'watching' it change from one consistency to another. Evolution is a description/definition/explanation of the results of various events in order to make sense of the changes in organisms. The events themselves are NOT usually visible. (I don't know if it is even possible to view, under a microscope, the alteration of a gene in some microorganism... it would certainly not be possible to see it happen in a butterfly or a monkey.) But we CAN examine DNA from various generations of certain organisms and note where genes are different.... and we certainly can & do follow the macro changes in organisms by examination of various specimens.

   This last is where Pete wishes to dispute the claims. He suggests that the gaps in the evidence of Paleontology do not allow us to make certain assumptions. (I have noted several times that it would be physically impossible to have an unbroken line of specimens... and even if it were possible, Pete would deny that it 'proved' anything about the variations).
   Science can only follow where the evidence leads, and Paleontology has enough evidence to make educated conclusions about the general processes involved, always mindful that **details** are always subject to revision. There IS no other reasonable explanation than "microbes to man", even though the exact steps will forever be revised as we discover more evidence.
If Pete wishes to assert that God planned and defined the process "at the Beginning", I can only shrug... but we can only look at the evidence and try to understand how "God's plan" proceeded. And no evidence beyond calculations of generations claimed in a translation of a few old manuscripts can dispute that the history of US goes back billions of years rather than thousands or years. "Belief" about the source of those manuscripts is certainly a simpler answer.... but.... well, you know what I think about that.