|Comment:||I would like
to thank you for both the quality and coverage of your
site. In Australia, with certain constraints being lifted
from the formation of sectarian / community schools, we are
seeing a rise in the teaching of creationism as a valid
science in our schools. This site is indeed essential
reading to both parents, scientists and educators alike. As
a prospective parent I am indeed alarmed by this trend and
am doing what I can to counter it, though I am very careful
not to attack religion per se. Your site (including your
feedback area) has certainly been invaluable in helping me
formulate arguments and responses against the teaching of
creation as a science. Do I understand correctly that your
site is not 'funded' but only maintained by volunteers? I
hope that this situation never forces this site to close -
it is too valuable for that! Is there anything a layman can
do to help? I am not a scientist but I do care very much
about the continuation of your site and what it represents.
I'm not sure how I could help but I work in a scientific
library and if you ever need any research done (especially
on anything written 'down-under') then I would be glad to
for your kind comments, and we at the Talk.Origins Archive
are glad that the resources on this site have been of use
You are correct that the Talk.Origins Archive is funded and maintained by volunteers. The hardware itself is maintained by Brett Vickers; he has ultimate control over the content and appearance of the archive. The FAQs on the site are written and maintained by their respective authors; the feedback is processed by a number of volunteers, including myself. If you wish to provide financial support to the Talk.Origins Archive, contact Mr. Vickers.
The primary assistance you can provide the Talk.Origins Archive is to you find on the site. We try very hard to provide a site containing accurate and up-to-date information, as well as one that is easy to navigate and attractive to look at. Any suggestions in that regard are warmly appreciated.
A good way to become involved in the Evolution/Creationism debate is to participate on the newsgroup talk.origins. Being a scientific layman does not matter (as I am one). Being a thoughtful and active participant does.
We are always in search of new FAQs, even from us "laymen." FAQs on biology are always helpful, but we need FAQs on cosmology, history, philosophy, and plenty of other subjects as well. Read the newsgroup to see what FAQs might be needed. Even compiled lists of good journal articles or popular books can come in handy. Your association with a scientific library may give you access to materials not available easily elsewhere. Even good illustrations are in demand.
Just ask around in the talk.origins newsgroup. You're sure to get several suggestions for topics to research.
Oh, and I wouldn't worry about the Archive disappearing. If Mr. Vickers can no longer support it, I'm sure the torch will be taken up by others.
|Comment:||What is your response to the mathematical and stastistical improbabilities against evolution? What is your response to the seeming absence of transitional forms from the fosil record? After having been taught evolutional fact in high school and college, and having now read creationist material, your calling creation science "crap" seems a little premature. Science itself seems to "evolve", changing it's own self as new discoveries are made.|
|Response:||You do not
describe any particular improbabilities, so I can only
respond in general terms. The mathematical and statistical
improbabilities I have seen proposed are invariably
worthless. They proceed by multiplying a lot of numbers
together as if events were independent, or as if the
current particular life forms in existence were the only
possible outcome to be considered, and usually they
completely ignore the effects of any actual evolutionary
processes in the so-called analysis.
For lists of transitional fossils, see Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ. If this does not address your concern you will need to be more specific about what lack of transitionals you mean.
You are right about science "evolving", in the sense that scientific theories change with time. However, this kind of change is adaptive, in the sense that new theories deal with new observations but must continue to explain the same observations and evidence as the old theories. Old theories continue to give a good approximate explanation. Evolution as a theory is being extended and changed -- but this change does not invalidate all that has gone before. Common descent, selection and diversification will continue to be important aspects of any theory of how life forms arise.
Creation science is sometimes described rather unkindly in this archive; but in restrained terms it is enough to point out that it is not actually science, and it does not have any theory or framework for explaining evidence. It has been shown to be incorrect by the real observations and evidence available.
I am sure this reply will be unsatisfying to you; I recommend you look through the archive and the links to related creationist sites. Any more specific questions you have will be welcome.
how it seems that creationists have become the bane of you
evolutionists' existence. You seem to spend a lot of energy
trying to say that people of faith are incorrect and yet
when cornered on the question of where did the universe
itself and the big huge mass that went "bang" come from,
you say, "I don't know, but wherever it came from, God
didn't do it!"
You also seem to convienently hide behind your "scientist" masks, proclaiming that God didn't create the initial matter and certainly didn't orchestrate the creation process, but then proclaiming that science can't comment on God, but is forced to observe and comment on what can be seen. What a bunch of bunk that is! You are hypocritical to even your own logic! If as a scientist, you can't comment on the existence of God and what God may or may not have to do with creation, why are you constantly going to battle with people of faith? What is your agenda, really?
A true scientist wouldn't be so threathened by "ignorance." You, however, know that you have a real battle at hand trying to spread the gospel of evolution to humanity. What do you really gain by all of this? Would it be a "scientific" acheivement if you could disprove creation? How can you call yourselves scientists? Science is not so full of emotion and lack-logic. Science tests all things and is ever-changing as knowledge increases. How can you be so sure current science is correct "this time?" The premise of science itself seems to say that tomorrow, something we believe as true will surely be proven false, which will open new doorways for discovery.
You know, I guess the current axiom is true, I just don't get it. Maybe you could clue me in, huh?
|Response:||As I see it,
the bane of most scientists' existence is obtaining funding
for their research projects. That, and dissertation
defenses, and trying to fight off ninety other candidates
in order to obtain a single tenure-track faculty position.
You have, like so many before you, confused science and atheism. Science doesn't say, "God didn't do it." (How else could one explain the large number of scientists who are devoutly religious?) What science does say about the Big Bang is, "The laws of physics don't necessarily apply before the Big Bang." Since they don't necessarily apply, we can't use them to tell us, scientifically, what happened before that point. There may not even be any such thing as time "before" that point, since time is a property of this universe. All science can say is that our understanding of space and time and causation are not good guides to the creation of the universe. (Understand, too, that this is cosmology, not evolution, which deals solely with the diversity of life on Earth.)
The debate over evolution is not a battle between atheistic science and religion. It is between some claims of certain minority Christian sects about the physical world and the evidence from the physical world that contradicts those claims. Many scientists are devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc., who reconcile their religious beliefs with the science they practice and who accept evolution as the explanation of the diversity of life on Earth.
Your statement that a "true scientist" would not be threatened by ignorance is completely false. The practice of science is expensive. It often requires expensive and complicated equipment maintained by trained personnel. Funding for that must come from somewhere, and in most democratic nations, scientific funding comes primarily from the public. I have to live in a society controlled by voters, and I would prefer, for the sake of myself and the country I live in, that those voters be well-educated and make wise decisions based on reality and not lies, half-truths, or wishful thinking.
As for whether science is "correct this time," I can only say that the theory evolution has over a century of observations and experiments to back it up. It is as well established as any other theory in science. Millions of pages of biology journals recount experiments that depend on evolution in one way or another, and if it weren't true, it surely would have collapsed by now. Despite the lies of some creationists, all that science is doing now is tinkering with the edges, dotting the i's and crossing the t's. If there were serious holes in the theory of evolution that had good evidence to back them up, enterprising young scientists would have found them by now. Punching holes in established theories is, after all, the path to scientific fame and fortune.
Despite what you may have been told about science, new theories don't tend to wipe out well-established, experimentally verified old theories. They may be richer than the old theories, in that they explain more data, but the old theories still stand as a good approximation in most conditions. So even if a new theory came along to supplant evolution, evolution wouldn't be tossed out wholecloth. The new theory would have to explain the same set of facts as evolution, and would have to be similar enough to evolution so that evolution would be a good approximation for the data that we have now. The chances of that happening, though, are very slim.
Just because science is "ever-changing" as time passes doesn't mean that everything gets thrown out and we start from scratch.
Chinese and Negroes fit in the evolution
Could find anything on Races , Mongoloid,Negroid, Chinese or Negroes. Mind you, I did not read all the hundreds of documents.
How and where did they originated. Thank you, Dennis
|Author of:||Evolution and Philosophy|
that there are four races of humans is now outdated, and
indeed depends on a number of racist assumptions. Recent
work on genetic polymorphism shows that there is more
genetic and morphological diversity in the ethnic groups
that are original to the region of Africa south of the
Sahara than between any two other human groups (eg,
Australian Aboriginals and Finns). To find out more, you
should try to find the following books by Luigi
Cavalli-Sforza, the great human geneticist:
The Great Human Diasporas : The History of Diversity and Evolution by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Francesco Cavalli-Sforza, Sarah Thorne, Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1996, ISBN: 0201442310
The History and Geography of Human Genesby L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza, Published by Princeton Univ Press, 1996, ISBN: 0691029059
Humans are a single species with high diversity, and there is no evidence that one ethnic or regional group is any more or less fit than any other.
|From:||April Adamson Fawn Finnerty|
|Comment:||We feel that Evolution is wrong because it disses peoples' religions.|
of evolution, like any other theory in science, is an
attempt to examine and describe the natural world we see
around us. People studying nature didn't say, "We don't
like certain religions, so let's come up with a theory to
tear them down." Instead, they said, "Let's look at the
evidence we see and describe it as best we can."
One can be a devout Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, or Hindu and accept evolution as the best scientific explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. Many people do, including many paleontologists, zoologists, and botanists. After all, evolution has nothing to say about what constitutes moral and ethical behavior.
It is true that the findings of science contradict the religious beliefs of some people. What is contradicting those beliefs is not science itself, but the reality underlying those scientific findings. For example, some people choose to believe that the world is flat and not a sphere, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If people choose to believe things that contradict reality, there's not much that science can do to avoid "dissing" them, except to encourage better scientific education in general.
|From:||William D. Mayercheck|
|Comment:||The only thing that keeps evolving is a new definition for the word "evolution."|
|Author of:||Macroevolution FAQ|
extent, it is quite true that scientific terminology
evolves. The term "evolution" has undergone many changes
since it was first adopted from the debates in embryology
in the late 18th century to apply to the changes of new
forms of life from earlier and different forms of life.
However, in all cases, it has meant that taxa, and especially species, change, and in the views of the post-Lamarckians it has meant that the diversity of modern life developed over time from previous distinct forms. Darwin probably took the term from von Baer, through the influence of Spencer, who used the term before the Origin was published. I think that Chambers also used it in the Vestiges.
In the FAQ Darwin's Influences and Precursors I distinguish several hypotheses of Darwin's, one of which is the hypothesis of (to use Darwin's phrase) the transmutation of species. This is not original to Darwin, and can be found in numerous earlier authors including the great French biologists Buffon and Bonnet. This sense of "evolution" is constant.
In the Macroevolution FAQ, I outline the distinction actually used by evolutionary biologists between microevolution (evolution within species) and macroevolution (evolution of species). This is not a new definition of "evolution" but an attempt to clarify how words are used to avoid confusion in scientific work. Many of those who give to the term "macroevolution" the sense of very large evolutionary changes (that is, bigger than the evolution of a new species) are also not Darwinists, such as Goldschmidt. However, even these "macroevolutionists" are still evolutionists, and all that is at issue is the mode.
|Comment:||I found it interesting that this archive pretends to be a forum of debate about the evolution-creation issue. However, after going through the site, it became obvious that only the evolution position was presented in a positive light. A website which such an obvious bias one way or the other should not be labeled as a forum of debate. In the case of TalkOrigins, it should be billed as a bulletin board for naturalistic/Darwinist evolutionary thought, since that is the lens through which all the subject matter is viewed. It has no value as a forum of debate. Regardless of what one may think of the issue, they will not see both sides equally presented here.|
|Response:||This is not
a forum of debate, nor is it labelled as such. The
maintainers of the archive do have a definite bias -- and
the debate is explored from that perspective. This is made
clear on the welcome
page and the introductory FAQ. We do, however, try to
maintain extensive links to sites provided by people who
disagree with the mainstream perspective.
Web pages are best for presenting information. Interactive debate takes place in the news group talk.origins. This site was set up to address common questions, confusions and errors which recur in that debate.
|Comment:||While doing a report on evolution vs. creationism, I found your site invaluable. While I disagree with most of your theories, opinions and biases, I was very please that you supplied links to your adversaries' web pages, and were not overly caustic in your criticisms of creationists arguments. Thank you so much for providing this service.|
|Response:||Thank you very much, and you're very welcome!|
I am trying to find out if Carl Linnaeus is really the type specimen for homo sapiens. Are there any references that I might check to verify who is the type specimen. I tried to find it by searching your site, without luck. I'd appreciate any leads you might have.
discussion of the Homo sapiens type specimen
that I found on the TAXACOM
message board, the following response from Philip
Tubbs, the Executive Secretary of the International Commission on
Zoological Nomenclature, was
briefly. This is my first time here. Jesus Christ has
contributed much to the morals of mankind. What has the
theory of evolution contributed to the morals of mankind?
Where can evolution get morals, or ethics, except from
As someone once said, "I shall return."
|Response:||Scientific theories (like relativity, plate tectonics, evolution, gravitation, and the atomic theory of matter) are not about morals or ethics. They give us understanding of the physical world. Of course we all get morals and ethics elsewhere.|
|Comment:||You know what I think that your full of s**t!!! And you have know idea what your talking about|
|Response:||Alas, you give little indication as to what you are talking about. If you have a specific question, or an issue to address, feel free to try again.|
|Comment:||I am not a scientist by any mean's that is to say Ihave no degree's behind my name .But in researching this debate for sometime and based on the facts given by both side's I cast my vote in favor of Creation Science and I do so as an impartial student of this subject.|
|Response:||As an impartial student, it would appear that you have studied the issues. If so, what reasons can you give to justify your conclusions? BTW, let me invite you to peruse my web site and its links to t.o. faqs and other web sites.|
|Comment:||From a single celled creature to a human being, there should be hundreds, even thousands, of examples of transitionals. Where are they?|
|Response:||In the Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ, for one.|
|Comment:||Why no Post of the Month (POM) since September 1997?|
|Response:||Brett Vickers, the of the Talk.Origins Archive, has been quite busy lately. He recently posted a request in the talk.origins newsgroup for someone to take over the job of selecting the talk.origins Post of the Month. If you're interested, please contact him or post a message to the newsgroup.|
|Comment:||Scanning through your lists of articles, I noticed that one stated that creation scientists do not have the neccasary credentials. However, I would like to point out that Charles Darwin's only degree was a degree in theology. The fact that the supposedly "scientific" theory of evolution was created by a group of individuals without scientific training of any kind amazes me.|
|Author of:||Darwin's precursors and influences|
studied under the best scientists of the day, including
Henslow, Owen, Lyell and Grant. There simply were no
scientific degrees of the day. He might have got a
mathematics degree from Cambridge, but that would not have
trained him as a naturalist. Instead, while doing the first
years of medicine at Edinburgh, and then the theological
studies at Cambridge, he gained the very best education in
science one could then get. And he worked hard at it, so
much so, that his initial writings and specimens sent from
the Beagle caused an immediate stir in the London
scientific community (unknown to Darwin himself), and he
had an excellent reputation as a first class researcher
upon his return.
This criticism displays the error of reading back into the past the standards of today. Criticisms of creationists with faux or the wrong degrees to be speaking in a discipline are applying the standards of today to today's people.
I wish to thank all of you who manage this site. It's
I was a fundamentalist Christian (my family still is), but I'm now an atheist. I'd like to make some comments on "God and Evolution." (Note I don't claim to represent all Christians.)
While I was a Christian, I believed in Creation. You could prove thousands of times that evolution did happen, etc., and I wouldn't believe. I thought that the Christian God and Evolution are incompatible (and I still think so). The fundamental belief of the Bible is the fall of man (Adam) and the redemption of man (Jesus). In other words, if there was no Adam, no fall of man, there's no reason for the existence of Jesus! Evolution threatens the very foundation of the Christian faith. Therefore, evolution and Christianity do not mix. If any of you is "Christian and evolutionist," can you answer that? Sorry about any mistakes in my English, I'm Brazilian. Keep up the good work!
question is perhaps more appropriately addressed to a
religious newsgroup or web site, but I will try to answer
it here with the response that some Christians would give
It is not Adam that requires redemption; it is sin. Sin exists in this world, by any reasonable definition of the word. Because humans sin, we require redemption and salvation by God. How that sin came about really isn't important. The existence of an actual person named Adam, created from dust to be the first person on Earth, just isn't necessary to the point being made. After all, Jesus spoke in parables; why can't the Bible do so as well?
By focusing on the truth or falsity of specific details of the Adam story, one loses sight of the larger picture, namely the point of the imperfection of man and the necessity of redemption and salvation.
|Comment:||I've been reading comments by readers and of yours about "racism" in evolution, as well as in creation. Although in creation it's obvious (Noah cursed the generations of one of his grandsons), I think that evolution does not answers the charge. I've been told that human races "split apart" about 200,000 years ago, and have been subjected, since then, to different environmental pressures (obvious). How come that, after 200,000 years of nearly separate development, they could have come to exactly the SAME "place" in evolution ? What's the mathematical chance of an EXACT correspondence in 200,000 years? [Ed. The text here was garbled.] it can be, which has been subjected to the greatest environmental pressure has reached higher "points" that other(s) who "has been sitting idly by"? How evolution answers the charge of racism? I'm not saying here, as it might be thought, that evolution has any kind of "scale." But we might consider any given variable that's important FOR US, e.g. brain size, IQ, etc.|
Unfortunately, the text of your question was partially
garbled, but I shall do the best I can to answer your
I think you have several misunderstandings about evolution and how it applies to humanity. The first is that there is no "ladder" of evolution, no "higher" or "lower" points. Anything we define as being "higher" or "lower" is merely our subjective viewpoint; evolution is concerned only with differences, survivability, and reproduction in a particular environment.
I don't know where you got the 200,000 year figure from, and I can't comment on its accuracy or inaccuracy. I can state, however, that racial features such as hair and skin tone are a minute part of the entire human genome. The vast majority of the human genome is shared by all of us. Moreover, there is more than enough genetic mixing among all human populations to ensure that we all remain part of one species. (There's not really any such thing as a "place" in evolution, but this is the closest that I can come to answering your question.) As far as your genes are concerned, race is of little consequence as compared with other genetic differences.
Brain size has much less correlation with intelligence than it does with body size. See the Brain Sizes section of the Fossil Hominids FAQ for more information. Furthermore, despite the arguments made in The Bell Curve, the differences in IQ averages amongst racial groups is better explained by social and educational differences than by any innate mental disparities.
You might be interested in Stephen Jay Gould's 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man, published by W.W. Norton, which deals with many misconceptions regarding human evolution and races. You should also see the Creationism Implies Racism? FAQ.
|Comment:||I have read at least one article at this site that accuses creationists of deceitfulness. My rejoinder would be this: From an evolutionary standpoint, what is morally wrong with deceit? One group does what it can to get ahead of another group. Is that not the evolutionary way? Evolution provides the universe with no purpose or accountability. Without purpose and accountability, nothing is objectively immoral and anything goes. So then, why complain about somebody's deceitfulness?|
reasoning, then, because things fall, the theory of gravity
says we should push people from tall buildings.
In short, no, that is not the "evolutionary way." For one thing, altruistic behavior plays a role in a number of evolutionary theories. But more importantly, the theory of evolution, like every other theory in science, makes no statement about morality. It doesn't say that deceit is "good" any more than it says deceit is "bad."
People who accept evolution as the explanation of the diversity of life on Earth are, like the rest of the population, moral people for the most part. In fact, many of them are devout adherents of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths. They recognize that science is not a source of morality and look for that morality elsewhere.
There are some who might try to create a moral philosophy from the theory of evolution. What they are doing, however, is not science. I quote Richard Dawkins, from The Selfish Gene:
(Emphasis added.) Deceit by creationists is not good or bad because of the theory of evolution. It is bad because it obscures the truth. Discovering and disseminating the information of science is difficult enough without having liars spread disinformation and simplistic half-truths.
|Comment:||There is far
too much order in the universe to come to any other
conclusion than it originated from a creator.
Man, with all of his "accomplishments" cannot make even one cell that is truly alive. All he can do is "revise." If I found a watch ticking in a remote riverbed, I would be insane if I assumed that it just "evolved." And God's living creation has nothing as primitive as a ticking watch. The "stupidest" blade of grass knows how to make another blade of grass, and the offspring itself knows how to photosynthesize, and make yet another blade of grass. The most powerful supercomputer comes nowhere close to this level of sophistication.
I think that the reason many scientists and people that "buy" the evolutionist theory want to try so hard to disprove creationism is because down deep they know, that if indeed there is a creator, he is smarter than them, and mightier. And they might have to obey him, and give account one day of why they disbelieved what is obvious. And this goes against our arrogant wills.
Do you want to prove the truth of creationism? Just look at your hand. Look at your eye. Wow!
observed to arise quite naturally in many physical systems.
That we have not made life is irrelevant. We have not made a volcano either, and yet we have a pretty good idea how they originate.
You are correct that watches do not evolve; they do not even reproduce.
Grass does not "know" how to make more grass. It simply does so naturally and unconsciously, with no indication of any special intervention into the natural working of the universe required.
If you choose to believe in a creator you may find it helpful to consider that the creator's activity is exactly what we see when we study the world. Hence, for example, you are created using processes studied in embryology, and diversity is created using processes studied in evolution.
The reason people buy into evolution is the same reason they buy into any other scientific theory: it is overwhelmingly supported by all available evidence. No rejection of a creator is required: though you may need to ditch some simplistic ideas about how the creator manages the job.
The hand and the eye are wonderful and complex structures, which give clear indication of their evolutionary origins.
|Comment:||I'm writing a paper on evolution vs. creationism. You gave me plenty of information, but my only problem is that I need to find reasons to teach creationism in schools, and you did not help me here. If you do have reasons why creationism should be taught in America's public schools, and I just have not found it, please send it to me.|
unlikely to find any such reasons on this site, for two
reasons. The simple reason is that the United States
Supreme Court has ruled that creationism is a religious
doctrine, and that teaching religious doctrines in
publicly-funded classrooms is an unconstitutional violation
of the First Amendment guarantee against government
establishment of religion. See the Edwards v. Aguillard
decision, one of the primary cases on this subject.
The more complex reason is that mainstream science views creationism as a combination of religion and poor science. That is to say, where creationism does make testable predictions, those predictions have been demonstrated to be false. As the home page for this site states, this site is dedicated to presenting the views of mainstream science on the questions of origins.
As to why some people want creationism taught in public schools, the reasons vary with the individual. I think that many creationists feel that the theory of evolution (or at least their understanding of it) attacks their religious beliefs and that they don't want their children exposed to it, or at least want someone teaching their views to "counter" what evolution says. I personally feel this reflects an ignorance of science, poor theology, and flawed educational pedagogy, but that's just my view.
You might look through the Talk.Origins Archive's list of other web sites to find some creationist sites and see what they have to say.
macro evolution ever been observed? What's the mechanism
for getting new complexity such as new vital organs? How,
for example, could a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly?
2.Where are the billions of transitional fossils that should be there if your theory is right? Billions! Not a handful of questionable transitions. Why don't we see a reasonably smooth continuum among all living creatures, or in the fossil record, or both?
3.Who are the evolutionary ancestors of the insects? The evolutionary tree that's in the textbook: where's its trunk and where are its branches?
4.What evidence is there that information, such as that in DNA, could ever assemble itself? What about the 4000 books of coded information that are in a tiny part of each of your 100 trillion cells? If astronomers received an intelligent radio signal from some distant galaxy, most people would conclude that it came from an intelligent source. Why then doesn't the vast information sequence in the DNA molecule of just a bacteria also imply an intelligent source?
5.How could organs as complicated as the eye or the ear or the brain of even a tiny bird ever come about by chance or natural processes? How could a bacterial motor evolve?
6.If the solar system evolved, why do three planets spin backwards? Why do at least 6 moons revolve backwards?
7.Why do we have comets if the solar system is billions of years old?
8.Where did all the helium go?
9.How did sexual reproduction evolve?
10.If the big bang occurred, where did all the information around us and in us come from? Has an explosion ever produced order? Or as Sir Isaac Newton said, "Who wound up the clock?"
11.Why do so many of the earth's ancient cultures have flood legends?
12.Where did matter come from? What about space, time, energy, and even the laws of physics?
13.How did the first living cell begin? That's a greater miracle than for a bacteria to evolve to a man. How did that first cell reproduce?
14.Just before life appeared, did the atmosphere have oxygen or did it not have oxygen?
15.Why aren't meteorites found in supposedly old rocks?
16.If it takes intelligence to make an arrowhead, why doesn't it take vastly more intelligence to create a human? Do you really believe that hydrogen will turn into people if you wait long enough?
17.Which came first, DNA or the proteins needed by DNA--which can only be produced by DNA?
18.Can you name one reasonable hypothesis on how the moon got there--any hypothesis that is consistent with all the data? Why aren't students told the scientific reasons for rejecting all the evolutionary theories for the moon's origin?
19.Why won't qualified evolutionists enter into a written, scientific debate ?
20.Would you like to explain the origin of any of the following twenty-one features of the earth:
The Grand Canyon and Other Canyons Mid-Oceanic Ridge Continental Shelves and Slopes Ocean Trenches Seamounts and Tablemounts Earthquakes Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor Submarine Canyons Coal and Oil Formations Glaciers and the Ice Ages Frozen Mammoths Major Mountain Ranges Overthrusts Volcanoes and Lava Geothermal Heat Metamorphic Rock Strata Plateaus Salt Domes Jigsaw Fit of the Continents Fossil Graveyards If so, I will point out some obvious problems with your explanation and refer you to 77 pages that explain them all as a result of a global flood.
|Author of:||Macroevolution FAQ|
Macroevolution is observed whenever species divide. The Speciation FAQ gives
examples. The development of a caterpillar into a butterfly
is not evolution but ontogeny, that is, growth of an
2. Evolution theory predicts that there will have been billions of transitional organisms. It does not predict that all these organisms will have been preserved as fossils. Consider how many animals that are killed by cars each year are left with no trace in a matter of weeks. However, we do see a reasonably smooth continuum of forms in both the living world and the fossil record; the emphasis being on the word "reasonably".
3. I'm not able to answer this in detail, but I understand that there were animals in the sea that fit the body plan of insects. I'm sure that the topic is discussed in a textbook on insect paleontology.
4. (and 13., 17.) Numbers such as these are essentially meaningless. For a start, the likelihood is not that an entire DNA sequence plus all the machinery needed top make it work would self-assemble, but rather that something much simpler would self-assemble and more complex forms evolve over time. See Steps Towards Life By Eigen and Schuster, 1992 for details of the best reconstruction. See the The Probability of Abiogenesis FAQ for a brief discussion and pointer to other sources.
5. Nobody says they evolve by chance, so the question is meaningless. You might like to read Richard Dawkins' Climbing Mount Improbable 1996 for a discussion of these very topics.
9. Sexual reproduction could have evolved in a number of ways, but it probably evolved from selection for the ability to exchange genetic material, for sexually reproducing species seem to resist extinction longer than asexual species. John Maynard Smith wrote a book called (I think) The Evolution of Sex. For what it's worth, I think that sexual reproduction evolved initially as an accident due to the diploid nature of the DNA material, and was conserved in later lineages, but I'm no expert. I recall that it is thought to have evolved several times.
16. Yes, in the right circumstances, but it is not inevitable.
17. How are we sure that the only way proteins can be produced is through DNA? There are debates about the likely early chemistry that are not yet resolved. Disagreement in the absence of strong evidence is normal in science, if not in theology.
19. Oh, they do, all the time. But they tend not to spend their time debating dead issues.
The rest of the questions: These are not topics of evolutionary biology, or indeed any biological discipline.
I have never even heard of an "evolutionary theory of the moon's origin". I suspect you are lumping all sciences that involve a natural origin for anything together, and concude that this is because you have determined, a priori, to only believe in divine causes. That is your prerogative, but it is no challenge to modern science.
|From:||B. R. Boland|
evolution to "work," wouldn't spontaneous generation have
had to occur? Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous
generation in the late 1800's.
Moden cell theory clearly states that all cells arise from pre-existing cells. How, therefore, could life have begun by any but supernatural means?
the study of changes in the gene pool of a population of
organisms. Since evolution studies changes in existing
organisms, it can only be concerned with events after the
first primitive cells appeared on Earth. As far as
evolution is concerned, the first cells could have appeared
by magic, been brought here by space aliens, been created
ex nihilo by some divine power, or have come about
via natural processes. Evolution doesn't care; it only
deals with what happened after that point.
What you are discussing is not evolution, but research into abiogenesis. Although the work of Pasteur and others did demonstrate the falsity of spontaneous generation, abiogenesis is not spontaneous generation. Abiogenesis predicts that the first cells came from the self-organization of molecules and cellular parts (such as organelles) according to the laws of chemical reactions subject to the environment of the early Earth. For more information, you should see the Abiogenesis FAQ.
|Comment:||The black and white moths are examples of evolution? Wow, so then black "moths" (I use the term "moth" loosely, as it can no longer truly be a moth, it has obviously evolved beyond that) is a different species than the white moth, and the white moth doesn't carry the genetic potential (except via mutation) to breed black ones or visa versa. Cool, that means all those few white-eyed "fruit flies" bred from generations of red-eyed (you know, from those experiments seeking macro-evolution) are a new species (and as such no longer fruit flies) so the experiment was actually a complete success, not the overwhelming failure it was reported to be. And, on a higher level, that means that Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Indonesians, Polynesians, Caucasians, Africans, etc... are each their own species genetically adapted to their enviroment. Evolution is vindicated! How can one argue with such overwhelming evidence?! (Please note I'm being sarcastic!)|
evolution and speciation. Species can evolve without
becoming new species. New species tend to form as a
population diverges and as accumulated evolutionary changes
(one example of which is the change in colours of the
peppered moth) become sufficient for reproductive
evolution. The change in colours does illustrate evolution
in action, but it is not an example of speciation.
Moth, by the way, is not a species, but a very large number of related species.
Fruit flies likewise consist of a very large number of different species. Experiments have been quite successful in showing incipient speciation in a laboratory.
The various human races are all one species. We interbreed with alacrity and enthusiasm, and there is no clear boundary between racial types.
Sarcasm will backfire if it is founded on ignorance. I invite you to review the actual meaning of evolution, and the overwhelming evidence in its support.
For basics of evolution, read Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and What is Evolution?.
On the the species concept and speciation, you may like to read the Observed Instances of Speciation FAQ, which also lists a number of experiments on different species of fruit fly, and indicates what has and has not been achieved.
Some of the evidence for evolution is listed in Evidence for Evolution: An Eclectic Survey.
|Comment:||This statement is for you who believe that we evolved from apes. -1. If you say that we came from apes, wouldn't we all look the same? For example, why do chinese people look the way they do and why do only certain people have black skin? People in Mexico are on about the same latitude as Africa, so wouldn't they be black too? Duh! god is the greatest artist of them all!|
that we are descended from ape-like ancestors over the last
few millions years does not carry the slightest implication
that we should all look the same: just the reverse, in
fact. I have no idea why you think skin colour ought to
match on the same latitudes. There is a huge variety in
skin colour in Africa. There is no one African skin colour:
Africa encompasses more human diversity than anywhere else
in the world.
You are yourself a remarkable being -- and you grew from a tiny fertilized cell over the last several decades. The processes of your growth and development are studied in sciences of biology, embryology, genetics, human development and so on. I presume you do not consider this study is a denial of God's artistry -- which makes it rather mysterious why you should set up the study of evolution as being in opposition to God's artistry.
|Comment:||I was researching on the topic of evolution and found the article "What is Evolution?" by Chris Colby. I am writing an informational article about this topic, and this article helped me tremendously. I now have developed a much clearer understanding of the defintion of evolution without confusing it with the theory. I am a sophmore attending Rancho Bernardo High School (California), and I doubt my comments mean a great deal, but I absolutely loved the article "What is Evolution?"! I can't even describe how much I enjoyed reading it.|
|Response:||I have taken the liberty of forwarding your comments to Chris Colby. Since none of us receives any recompense for maintaining the Talk.Origins Archive and its FAQs, your comments do indeed mean a great deal to all of us. We are pleased that you have found the information contained here useful to you, and we hope that you won't hesitate to learn more about evolution, biology, and science in general.|
First let me compliment the outstanding research that has gone in to composing this website, I have recently been carrying on a discussion on the validity of evolution with an atheist and we have both found your resource useful. Nonetheless, we have come across what appears to be an inconsistency, and I would greatly appreciate some feedback on this.
In your glossary, you said that macroevolution refers mostly "to large scale change, mostly at the SUPERSPECIES level, eg, by Niles Eldredge." However, you also said that: "Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution. The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution. Larger changes, such as when a new species is formed, are called macroevolution" (Introduction to Evolutionary Biology.)
My question is: Is the speciation that has been observed considered macroevolution or does this occur only at higher levels?
Also, has macroevolution been observed at all? It was my understanding that macroevolution was by definition unobservable (unless you lived a million years).
I appreciate any comments you can send me.
|Author of:||Macroevolution FAQ|
|Response:||There is a
longstanding confusion about the use of the term
"macroevolution" by evolutionists that lends itself to
these sorts of misunderstandings. The Macroevolution FAQ
gives the basic definitions and history of the term.
Briefly, macroevolution is evolution at species level or higher. This involves, at a minimum, speciation - the splitting of one species into two. Because even more derived varieties of evolution, such as the appearance of new families, occur above the species level, they are also "macroevolutionary", and Eldredge's book referred to covers the dynamics of evolution at that level.
So, since speciation has been seen, macroevolution has been seen. Since some kinds of macroevolution occur at very long periods, some kinds have not been seen. For example, the original ancestor of a new family would be very similar to other species it shared an ancestral species with. The fact that it has some novelty that forms the basis for a large number of species many millions of years later would not (then) be apparent. You'd have to wait until the large number of species evolved to find out that it was a family-producing novelty. And so forth for higher taxa.
So, to observe macroevolution of that kind, where it involves millions of years of data, you have to dig, literally, into the past, and since some sorts of information get lost over time (ie, behavioural) you have to infer rather than observe. But the converse is also true, that nobody can demonstrate that the sorts of small-scale macroevolutionary changes we do see in the period of biology known as the Recent, or Neontological, period are not capable of producing the paleontological patterns we find in the fossil record, and there is every empirical reason to think that they do.