wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes: You make a point here that I have been trying to

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From: bvickers@net3.ics.uci.edu (Brett J. Vickers) Message-ID: <2C011CBE.24604@ics.uci.edu> Reply-To: bvickers@ics.uci.edu (Brett J. Vickers) Newsgroups: talk.origins,alt.atheism,talk.religion.misc wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes: >You make a point here that I have been trying to make. We have a >degree of confidence in that which we have OBSERVED. Macroevolution >is not based on occurrences we have OBSERVED. Your view of science appears to stem from the definition of science put forth by Francis Bacon. Bacon argued that science should be based only upon direct, sensual observations and upon inferences drawn from those observations. This strict, empirical definition of science is no longer accepted by professionals, for if it were, many scientific disciplines would have been rendered powerless. For example, much of physics does not meet the Baconian definition of science. Elementary particles cannot be directly observed with the senses, nor can all of their effects be so observed. Should we therefore toss out all we know about quantum mechanics? Similarly, macroevolution is based on indirect observance of its effects. We have the fossil record, which we can directly observe, and the molecular biology of living organisms, which we can indirectly observe. From these types of observations, we are able to draw reasonable inferences that lead to the conclusion of common descent. There is, in fact, so much evidence in favor of large-scale evolution that not a single reputable biologist or paleontologist denies it has happened. >We have NO experience that an organism with scales can be genetically >altered into an organism with feathers. We have experience with >small-scale genetic changes, but nothing close to the magnitude >required for the massive large-scale genetic changes required to >support macroevolution. In fact, evidence shows that grossly mutated >forms are typically unable to reproduce. While "grossly mutated forms are typically unable to reproduce," very few biologists argue that evolution occurs in such rapid, mutational steps. Small, beneficial mutations generally accumulate, and we can see evidence of this in both the fossil record and in the comparison of the DNA of living organisms. For example, the genetic distance between two organisms is an approximate measure of the time it took for them to diverge from a common ancestor. Humans and chimpanzees share nearly 99% of the same DNA, suggesting that only are very small mutations required to accumulate before divergence is achieved. Amazingly enough, the fossil record matches extraordinarily well with the evolutionary distances suggested by measuring genetic differences between two organisms. >Look at the complexity of the human eyeball, the reproductive process, >the circulatory system, etc..... Do you honestly believe that this >complexity was developed over X years (define X to be any number you >want) by mutation and natural selection? You are using argument from incredulity, an argument which is not particularly convincing since it hinges on the ignorance of the arguer. The human eye is a particularly popular argument from incredulity used by creationists to attack evolution. As Richard Dawkins notes, it was first used way back in 1828 by William Paley to bolster his "Argument from Design." It is, however, a very flawed and outdated example. One need only look at living organisms with eyes much less complex than our own. For instance, single-celled organisms with the ability to sense light could be said to own primitive eyes. Such organisms do, in fact, exist. Furthermore, there are organisms with mobile, cupped "eyes" that have no lenses -- only holes and a light sensitive sheet of cells with which they can observe light and know what direction it is coming from. So, you see, there exist intermediate forms of eyes, and you don't even have to go to the fossil record to observe them: they exist in living organisms. >THINK !!! The accusation is often made against creationists that they >do not think! The accusation is best leveled at macroevolutionists! The thinking is constantly being done. That is why there is so much positive research and meaningful results being generated in the field of evolutionary biology. Creationists, however, do not have so much as a scientific theory under which to pin their pseudoscientific beliefs. >THINK! Look at the billions of large-scale genetic mutations required >to support your theory. I have looked, and I have found more evidence than I have time to fully comprehend. Can you say that you have also looked for the evidence? (By the way, are you ever planning to list the titles of books about evolution that you are supposedly reading? I asked you about a month ago, but you never responded.) >You will do much better to spend a tenth of your "think" time to >consider the possibility that a creator created it all. Then, after >you meet the creator, you will see. Threats of hellfire and damnation will do you no good here, Mr. Rawlins. Many people who accept evolution are also practicing Christians. You see, evolution and religion are fully compatible. -- Brett J. Vickers bvickers@ics.uci.edu Only a fool plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

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