(782) Mon 05 Oct 92 12:16
By: David Rice
Re: Facts about evolution
I am going to restrict my reading of this echo to only messages
addressed to me, and only messages that concern evolutionary
science. At the moment I read over one million bytes of mail
each day (!) excluding this echo, and Holy Smoke is not worth
the disk space it holds, let alone my time to read it all.
One MAJOR problem folks who are against evolution is their
belief that it is somehow against their religion. This is
wrong. Evolutionary science does not make a case against or
for the existance of God. Evolution does not preclude God.
Most Christians know evolution is true, and yet they have
retained their belief and worship of God. However, evolution
theory explains how we have come to be, without resorting to
magic and occultism (i.e. God).
That we have evolved via common decent from previous organisms
is beyond any question or doubt within the scientific community.
Also, there is a massive amount of known transitional fossils,
and more are being discovered daily.
Scientists have an accurate K-ar dating scale that dates from
200 million years ago, and is 25 million years long. With
this scale, which is beyond all doubt and refutation, fossils
may be dated with extreme accuracy based upon K-ar in the rocks
the fossil is found in.
"In recent months a 25 million year long record from the
triassic (about 200 million years ago) has been obtained. The
rock is banded, and the bands form quite regular groupings.
The smallest bands contain about 20,000 varves (annual
layers) - and the precession cycle at that time was about
20,000 years long. Coincidence? Well, the precession cycle
is modulated by the 100,000 year eccentricity cycle so the
bands should occur in groups of five, with slightly different
characteristics within the group. They do. Not enough? There
is also a 400,000 year eccentricity cycle, so the large bands
should be bunched in groups of four. AND THEY ARE!
Using other dating techniques on the same sample as cross checks,
measurement PROVES all well-applied dating techniques are accurate.
Alas, the Creationist lost the war over 100 years ago, and still
doesn't know it.
One exciting, rather new technique is DNA sequencing, and even
mapping (!). Insects caught in amber many millions of years ago
have their DNA compared to decendant species--- a highly accurate
evolutionary bush is created based upon DNA changes over time.
For instance, if you copy a program one million times, a bit
might be swapped--- resulting copies of THAT copy will have that
bit swapped, so it may be placed upon a bush as a decendant. When
a decendant has another bit swapped, the bush gains another twig.
Keep in mind that while decendants are being copied, the original,
as well as the successive bit-swapped and bit-bit-swapped, and
bit-bit-bit-swapped (etc.) NEED NOT HAVE DIED OUT if the nich
is large enough for all copies (i.e. species). That is, even
if a copy has gone through a dozen bit-swapped, the original
can (and will) eventually produce a copy that has a bit swapped,
ENTIRELY DIFFERENT than all other decendants. That is exactly
what happened in real life.
An error many make is that evolution is a "tree," and that one
species is directly decended from another. Creationists like to
say that "Evolution teaches humans evolved from apes." THIS IS
NOT TRUE, and evolutionary scientists DO NOT say so. Creationists
love to decieve people, to further their occult agenda.
Evolution did not happen like this:
ape ----------> human
fish ---------> amphibian --------> reptile
but like this:
ape/human common ancestor
fish amphibian reptile
\ \ /
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\ \ /
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\ Amphibian/reptile common ancestor
Fish/amphibian common ancestor
Indeed, there is very good reason for =NOT= placing humans in their
own family, outside some other primates. Only our vanity places us
apart from the chimpanze--- humans and chimps are so close on the
evolution bush, some biologists want to reclassify our species.
orangutan gorilla chimp human
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* Origin: The Skeptic Tank (1:102/890)