Of microorganisms and man: First large-scale test confirms Darwin's theory of universal common ancestry

May 12, 2010

More than 150 years ago, Darwin proposed the theory of universal common ancestry (UCA), linking all forms of life by a shared genetic heritage from single-celled microorganisms to humans. Until now, the theory that makes ladybugs, oak trees, champagne yeast and humans distant relatives has remained beyond the scope of a formal test. This week, a Brandeis biochemist reports in Nature the results of the first large scale, quantitative test of the famous theory that underpins modern evolutionary biology.

The results of the study confirm that Darwin had it right all along. In his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, the British naturalist proposed that, "all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form." Over the last century and a half, qualitative evidence for this theory has steadily grown, in the numerous, surprising transitional forms found in the fossil record, for example, and in the identification of sweeping fundamental biological similarities at the molecular level.

Still, rumblings among some have recently emerged questioning whether the evolutionary relationships among are best described by a single "family tree" or rather by multiple, interconnected trees—a "web of life." Recent molecular evidence indicates that primordial life may have undergone rampant , which occurs frequently today when single-celled organisms swap genes using mechanisms other than usual organismal reproduction. In that case, some scientists argue, early evolutionary relationships were web-like, making it possible that life sprang up independently from many ancestors.

According to biochemist Douglas Theobald, it doesn't really matter. "Let's say life originated independently multiple times, which UCA allows is possible," said Theobald. "If so, the theory holds that a bottleneck occurred in evolution, with descendants of only one of the independent origins surviving until the present. Alternatively, separate populations could have merged, by exchanging enough genes over time to become a single species that eventually was ancestral to us all. Either way, all of life would still be genetically related."

Harnessing powerful computational tools and applying Bayesian statistics, Theobald found that the evidence overwhelmingly supports UCA, regardless of horizontal gene transfer or multiple origins of life. Theobald said UCA is millions of times more probable than any theory of multiple independent ancestries.

"There have been major advances in biology over the last decade, with our ability to test Darwin's theory in a way never before possible," said Theobald. "The number of genetic sequences of individual organisms doubles every three years, and our computational power is much stronger now than it was even a few years ago."

While other scientists have previously examined common ancestry more narrowly, for example, among only vertebrates, Theobald is the first to formally test Darwin's theory across all three domains of life. The three domains include diverse life forms such as the Eukarya (organisms, including humans, yeast, and plants, whose cells have a DNA-containing nucleus) as well as Bacteria and Archaea (two distinct groups of unicellular microorganisms whose DNA floats around in the cell instead of in a nucleus).

Theobald studied a set of 23 universally conserved, essential proteins found in all known organisms. He chose to study four representative organisms from each of the three domains of life. For example, he researched the genetic links found among these proteins in archaeal microorganisms that produce marsh gas and methane in cows and the human gut; in fruit flies, humans, round worms, and baker's yeast; and in bacteria like E. coli and the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.

Theobald's study rests on several simple assumptions about how the diversity of modern proteins arose. First, he assumed that genetic copies of a protein can be multiplied during reproduction, such as when one parent gives a copy of one of their genes to several of their children. Second, he assumed that a process of replication and mutation over the eons may modify these proteins from their ancestral versions. These two factors, then, should have created the differences in the modern versions of these proteins we see throughout life today. Lastly, he assumed that genetic changes in one species don't affect mutations in another species—for example, genetic mutations in kangaroos don't affect those in humans.

What Theobald did not assume, however, was how far back these processes go in linking organisms genealogically. It is clear, say, that these processes are able to link the shared proteins found in all humans to each other genetically. But do the processes in these assumptions link humans to other animals? Do these processes link animals to other eukaryotes? Do these processes link eukaryotes to the other domains of life, bacteria and archaea? The answer to each of these questions turns out to be a resounding yes.

Just what did this universal common ancestor look like and where did it live? Theobald's study doesn't answer this question. Nevertheless, he speculated, "to us, it would most likely look like some sort of froth, perhaps living at the edge of the ocean, or deep in the ocean on a geothermal vent. At the molecular level, I'm sure it would have looked as complex and beautiful as modern life."

Explore further: What gave us the advantage over extinct types of humans?

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El_Nose
2 / 5 (6) May 12, 2010
and applying Bayesian statistics ----

this means that every factor is treated independently of any other -- but since we know that whole groups of species are related and to what degree already wouldn;t it be better to pick representatives from different trunks of the tree of life for this comarison??

FLAW-- as I see it

He took 23 protiens that every living thing we know of uses. Then with this knowledge asks are the permutations of this protien in four different animals close enough that it warrents that a common ancestor gave them the basic code for this protien.

HE asked what are the chances of each line creating there own version and it being as similar to the others...

while I agree it is probably true we share a common ancestor -- this is not a proof merely a support.

I wonder if those protiens are unique to the stresses and restraints chemistry places on our model of life if so then those proteins are not unique but mandatory.
JCincy
2.4 / 5 (12) May 12, 2010
This is weak. Pepsi and Twinkies share common ingredients. Does that mean they are made in the same factory?

Discovering that there are shared proteins among living things proves there are shared proteins among living things. This is not proof of ancestry.

Yellowdart
1.6 / 5 (13) May 12, 2010
I wonder how this would work if you examined the 2010 model year of cars. If all is being looked at is the common similiarities across manufacturers, you would most likely arrive at the same conclusion, that either all were based on a basic model or all from the same manufacturing plant.

Which leads to my issue with such studies is the absence of examining the dissimilarities between the test subjects. I think both are important.

Synoge
3.2 / 5 (11) May 12, 2010
I wonder how this would work if you examined the 2010 model year of cars.


In case you didn't notice Yellowdart, all automobiles today DO share a common ancestry. It's called the model T...Every car alive today is because of the model T...unfortunately creationism loses again.
hrfJC
1.7 / 5 (26) May 12, 2010
Descent from a common unicellular ancestor is pure philosophical speculation, not rational science. "In the beginning was the code" makes better sense and that requires an administrator or master programmer. Increasing complexity in the ascent to higher life forms through random statistical mutations of lower species is contrary to observable natural phenomena. In fact, the converse, reverse evolution through destructive deletions or point mutations in DNA is thermodynamically and statistically favored, manifesting as undesirable traits in breeding and diseases.
Being an old time chemist, I am still awed at the complexity of the chart of Metabolic Biochemical Pathways linking thousands of finely tuned enzymatic reactions each with its specific substrates, all concurrently essential for living cells. And I concur with the late molecular biologist Leslie Orgel who refuted the existence of evolutionary pathways based on hypothetical speculations or "if pigs could fly chemistries".
HR
tkjtkj
4.5 / 5 (18) May 12, 2010
Descent from a common unicellular ancestor is pure philosophical speculation, .....and that requires an administrator or master programmer. ....random statistical mutations of lower species is contrary to observable natural phenomena. In fact, the converse, reverse evolution through destructive deletions or point mutations in DNA is thermodynamically and statistically favored, manifesting as undesirable traits in breeding and diseases. I am still awed at the complexity of the chart of Metabolic Biochemical Pathways .....


You should really take your religion elsewhere ...
neiorah
1.8 / 5 (14) May 12, 2010
All living things need to be made of these genes if they are to function on this earth. It is not proof of a single or a common ancestor. We are also carbon based, what does that say about our ancestry, NOTHING.
jmcanoy1860
4.5 / 5 (17) May 13, 2010
I notice the creationist trolls are spewing their crap here as well. It never ceases to amaze me how they feel that their ignorance is something insightful.

1. Proteins by themselves wouldn't indicate common ancestry, true. However, there is no a priori reason for the protein to have the exact same amino acid sequence. Many proteins have billions of possible amino acid combinations resulting in no change of conformation or function. The proof of ancestry comes from analysis of the sequence and showing that the more closely related species have more closely related proteins.
2. Take the above description and apply it to the DNA responsible for the Amino acid sequence.
jmcanoy1860
4.7 / 5 (13) May 13, 2010
"In the beginning was the code" makes no sense. There is no "code". You are misrepresenting an analogy. Quit trying to back door your way into a proof of god. Your ignorance of the process does not require a god to understand it.

Your understanding of thermodynamics is lacking. And you are failing to factor in the power of selection. No one cares if you are an old school chemist. Unless you mean out dated. There are a lot of big words in the metabolic charts. Most of the enzymes are related proteins though. A chemist would know this. Hence... you are a liar.
jmcanoy1860
4.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
Increasing complexity in the ascent to higher life forms through random statistical mutations of lower species is contrary to observable natural phenomena. In fact, the converse, reverse evolution through destructive deletions or point mutations in DNA is thermodynamically and statistically favored, manifesting as undesirable traits in breeding and diseases.
HR


What is a statistical mutation? For the record there are plenty of observable beneficial mutations, so basically that would be "observed natural phenomenon". The majority are hidden behind the term normal variant, so I don't blame you for not knowing where to look. About the only thing you were right about was that "bad mutations are bad". Well.....no Sh#%#$. That's where selection comes in.
jmcanoy1860
4.7 / 5 (13) May 13, 2010
This is weak. Pepsi and Twinkies share common ingredients. Does that mean they are made in the same factory?

Discovering that there are shared proteins among living things proves there are shared proteins among living things. This is not proof of ancestry.


You get my vote for the worst analogy ever.
jmcanoy1860
5 / 5 (5) May 13, 2010


while I agree it is probably true we share a common ancestor -- this is not a proof merely a support.

I wonder if those protiens are unique to the stresses and restraints chemistry places on our model of life if so then those proteins are not unique but mandatory.


I would agree for the most part. I would add that nothing in science is presumed proven simply because science is about the continuous improvement in understanding.
QuantumDelta
4.3 / 5 (3) May 13, 2010
Indeed, Science itself is making a prediction based on the evidence to date, if that prediction or the evidence is to change, or be proved false then the situation is looked at again. There's nothing 'wrong' with this report per say, it might simply be a little ...over-eager, proof, is the wrong word.
Strong probability however, might better suit it.
jmcanoy1860's first reply explained the situation best.
Rute
4.2 / 5 (5) May 13, 2010
jmcanoy1860 said pretty much what I was about to say. I would like to add though, that creationists should educate themselves on some important biological concepts such as homology (structural similarity) and analogy (functional similarity). Some related concepts include orthology, paralogy and ohnology.

Funny thing is, that the methods of genetical and functional analysis criticized by creationists in the area of evolutionary biology somehow escape their judgement in areas such as forensic science and paternity testing.
kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (18) May 13, 2010
in the numerous, surprising transitional forms found in the fossil record

Very surprising since there are none that are undisputed!
Just what did this universal common ancestor look like and where did it live?

This is a very important question that hasn't been answered yet. Evolutionary theory assumes that this creature exists/existed yet it does not specify it's appearance, location and origin. it's trying to build evidence for such an organism but in the process denies researchers from exploring exactly the varied avenues that might lead to an answer to the question.
Since no-one [human] was present when life first appeared on earth and since no-one[scientist] can give a definite answer as to where life came from in the first place and what form it took when it arrived here, evolutionary theory is build on shaky ground. It might well be that life got here en-masse in one fell swoop with most forms not very different from how we know it at the moment.
kevinrtrs
1.3 / 5 (16) May 13, 2010
The fact remains - no one [scientist] knows where life came from. So to build a whole theory on the assumption that life as we know it derives from one common ancestor is fallacious. There is no proof that the first life was single-celled. No one was there to record that arrival. No amount of shouting that people who don't believe it are idiots is going to change the fact.
@tkjtkr
You should really take your religion elsewhere ...

You are the first to mention religion. Who says the man is talking about religion? He's expressing his viewpoint as to why evolution is scientifically not feasible. There's no religion in that. Remember that setting up a UCA is a philisophical matter - it cannot be proven because it cannot be observed and it cannot be repeated [basic tenets of science]. So it's anyone's guess. Yours is as bad as mine.
Staunch evolutionists are quick to denounce and vilify alternate views as coming from idiots in the dark ages - thereby stifling any new viewpoints.
minimegamonkeyman
4.4 / 5 (7) May 13, 2010
It might well be that life got here en-masse in one fell swoop with most forms not very different from how we know it at the moment.


You criticize evolutionary theory for being just a guess, and the alternative you propose is (insert creation/New-Age alien myth here)?

If this is satire, very well-played.
JCincy
2.3 / 5 (6) May 13, 2010

In case you didn't notice Yellowdart, all automobiles today DO share a common ancestry. It's called the model T...


Ford didn't invent the automobile. And unique designs for the automobile were created from all over the world. New and different designs continue to be manufactured.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
Very surprising since there are none that are undisputed!

The only reason why there are no undisputed transitional forms is because creationists like yourself dispute all transitional forms. If I remove creationist arguments there are no disputed transitional forms.
Since no-one [human] was present when life first appeared on earth and since no-one[scientist] can give a definite answer as to where life came from in the first place and what form it took when it arrived here, evolutionary theory is build on shaky ground.

Which gives even less creedence to your idea of a God. Since you weren't here when the Universe was made you can never know if God did it, but, the evidence indicates science is still more correct due to evidence. Your own argument makes you look more foolish than I ever could have.

This is why freedom of speech is necessary.

'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak well of creationism and remove all doubt.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
Ford didn't invent the automobile. And unique designs for the automobile were created from all over the world. New and different designs continue to be manufactured.

But they are all based on a basic setup centered around the original successful designs. If anything you're defeating your own argument. We developed the wheel, the wheel became the roller, which became the cart, which became the buggy, which became the car, which diversified into coal powered cars, electric cars, gasoline cars, benzine cars, etc, Most of those variants died out and the gasoline car ruled the world.

Then politics changed and now the car is mutating into the EV and PHEV which will dominate until the next "cambrian car design explosion".

My 57 Bel Aire is a "transitional form" between the 1908 Model T and my 2010 Chevy Impala. Evolution always works where change and selection are involved.
Yellowdart
1.8 / 5 (5) May 13, 2010
I wonder how this would work if you examined the 2010 model year of cars.


In case you didn't notice Yellowdart, all automobiles today DO share a common ancestry. It's called the model T...Every car alive today is because of the model T...unfortunately creationism loses again.


Who said anything about creationism?

And if your using the Model T, youd be a fool. The first petrol engine used in a car was probably in 1862...before that steam engines were attempted several times and even into the late 1800s. All the Model T did, was make the car affordable to the masses.

Learn some history.

JayK
3.9 / 5 (14) May 13, 2010
Look guys, you can't dispute the science with people like kevintrs because they hate all science that doesn't already confirm and conform to their belief structure (christianist for sure). If a creationist/IDer won't accept any dating methods, if they won't even honestly answer how old the earth is supposed to be in their belief system, then you're not dealing with a rational person, you're dealing with an irrational belief (christianity in this case). You can sit here and list the newest fossils that show previously missing linkages forever (Tiktaalik is my favorite) but they actually will not even start to process the ideas before posting an anti-intellectual screed.
CHollman82
3.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2010
I do love it when people mistake an analogy for literal truth and then form an ignorant argument based on that misunderstanding... They act all angry and serious as they think they are making a good point while the rest of use are quietly laughing at them behind their back.

This describes more than one person commenting here.
CHollman82
3.8 / 5 (10) May 13, 2010
Just what did this universal common ancestor look like and where did it live?
This is a very important question that hasn't been answered yet. Evolutionary theory assumes that this creature exists/existed yet it does not specify it's appearance...


What did it look like? Are you seriously asking this question? This is not a very important question it is an uninformed and ridiculous question stemming from your wholesale ignorance of the topic at hand.

Hint: It didn't look like anything, you wouldn't be able to see it, it would be in the form of self replicating microscopic constructs of proteins that someone with your complete lack of understanding wouldn't even consider life.
Yellowdart
1.4 / 5 (10) May 13, 2010
"My 57 Bel Aire is a "transitional form" between the 1908 Model T and my 2010 Chevy Impala. Evolution always works where change and selection are involved."

Well most leading creationists wouldnt argue with that. They would argue if you attempted to call a 57 Bel Air a "transitional form" to a Boeing 747.

The question isnt about the winner over time. The UAC question is asking if all variants are from a single entity of a lifeform, or if there were multiple.

My point is that similarities arent enough. Look at the dissimiliar traits as well. Only then can you be sure that you could actually build a Ford Mustang in a Chevy Corvette plant, much less a Twinkie in a Pepsi factory.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2010
My point is that similarities arent enough. Look at the dissimiliar traits as well.

Wholesale ignorance of the topic manifests itself in this quote.

If we weren't looking at the dissimilarities then there would be no division between the species.

Eukaryotes and Archaea would be one in the same under all classification, which they obviously aren't, because we are looking at the dissimilarities.

You and your sibling look similar, but you both came from your mother's womb. You and I probably don't look as similar but we both came from the womb of a woman who lived in the Rift valley 200,000 years ago. The twinkie-pepsi thing is ridiculous because your frame of reference is garbage. Their component parts both came from the same places, a mix of corn, sugar cane, flour, and chemical vats in a preservative production plant, then those pieces when their seperate ways and were constituted into something dissimilar, regardless of the fact they had the same origin.
Yellowdart
1.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2010
Actually their component parts dont come from the same place. The requirements for the type of flour alone in a Twinkie is well beyond anything Pepsi would ever use or need.

Shootist
2.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
This is weak. Pepsi and Twinkies share common ingredients. Does that mean they are made in the same factory?

Discovering that there are shared proteins among living things proves there are shared proteins among living things. This is not proof of ancestry.



analogy is the weakest form of argument
Shootist
1.9 / 5 (10) May 13, 2010
Look guys, you can't dispute the science with people like kevintrs because they hate all science that doesn't already confirm and conform to their belief structure (christianist for sure).


bah.

Oh, and I'm not a christian, I'm just offended by your self-righteous bigotry.
Yellowdart
1.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
My point skeptic is that in order to determine origin, as youve well pointed out, we have to look at the dissimilar traits, not the similiar traits.

If we set up our study to say that all Cocacola 12 oz cans can be reproduced/replicated and assume that changes may be made in the future...it will never tell us two bits and tiddles about whether it was one bottling plant or several.

Thus to make a conclusion that it was one bottling plant, is a jump. All that the study determined is that everything in the Coke can is coke.

So I see no difficultly with the possibilty of several ponds of goo, vs just one.

CHollman82
3.6 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
analogy is the weakest form of argument


Here here.

It's like people think that dumbing everything down to the point of meaningless drivel is somehow a good premise to base an argument on.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2010
So I see no difficultly with the possibilty of several ponds of goo, vs just one.

Yes and neither did the above study. They found that the several ponds of good model had a far less probably chance of creating what we see today, and if they did, that the alternate forms were either outcompeted or merged with the primary survivor.

Did you even read the above?

I'm just offended by your self-righteous bigotry.

Defaming religion is not bigotry. Religious views are bigoted and promote bigotry on the whole.
JCincy
1 / 5 (10) May 13, 2010
Science has brought multiple theories for the relationship of the earth and moon and their origins.

Several of the theories were as follows:
- Late 1800s: the moon spun off the earth.
- Late 1800s: the moon and earth developed independently of each other, but side by side and were made of similar materials.
- Early 1900s: the moon was "wandering" through our galaxy and was capture by the earth's gravitational pull.

The above theories were shredded by the data gathered from the Apollo missions.

Now as then, if someone challenges the scientific 'facts' of the day they are ridiculed and mocked. Pathetic.

True science begs for skepticism and questioning. True science wants to be tested and challenged. True science starts with a question. Unfortunately, much of science today starts with a premeditated answer.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) May 13, 2010
Now as then, if someone challenges the scientific 'facts' of the day they are ridiculed and mocked. Pathetic.

True science begs for skepticism and questioning. True science wants to be tested and challenged. True science starts with a question. Unfortunately, much of science today starts with a premeditated answer.


You don't know science. Science is the practice of understanding reality through observation and reconstruction of the most probable occurence. As we refine the tools and gain new insight into observations and experiments, that can be repeatedly performed or collected, we refine our answers.

Trying to say that Man was created by God demands scrapping all current observations and experimental evidence to follow the "science" of a bronze age mythologist. What you outline above is not akin to what you suggest is occuring here.

And if you think evolution is incorrect, stop going to the hospital as everything that occurs there is based on fantasy IYO.
JayK
2.8 / 5 (10) May 13, 2010
I can't tell what JCincy is trying to say. It could be just about anything, short of actually saying anything of substance. If you think the Theory of Evolution is incorrect, that it makes incorrect assumptions about common ancestry, then just say so, then we can mock you at will instead of trying to guess your intentions.
breadhead
1 / 5 (15) May 13, 2010
"numerous, surprising transitional forms found in the fossil record" Well, where are they? By the
way, how did any fossils form?

You evolutionists have nothing to base your belief upon. Talk about a religion, evolution is just a big one. When you have nothing left to prove your evolution religion, you begin your name calling and ridicule those of other faiths. Science should be the quest for understanding the world around us. But, we let presuppositions set the coarse before we even begin the study.
JayK
2.7 / 5 (12) May 13, 2010
By the way, how did any fossils form

Satan put them there, right now he uses Richard Dawkins to do his dirty work. Then he goes and makes you touch yourself on the subway, breadhead.
Rute
5 / 5 (6) May 14, 2010
Breadhead: try googling Turkana boy, Archaeopteryx, Merychippus, Tiktaalik roseae, Pikaia, Acanthostega, Basilosaurus, Eusthenopteron, Ambulocetus, Yanoconodon, Moeritherium, Procynosuchus, and Therapsids for starters.
jmcanoy1860
4.5 / 5 (10) May 14, 2010
Breadhead: try googling Turkana boy, Archaeopteryx, Merychippus, Tiktaalik roseae, Pikaia, Acanthostega, Basilosaurus, Eusthenopteron, Ambulocetus, Yanoconodon, Moeritherium, Procynosuchus, and Therapsids for starters.


Here comes the typical cretin excuses. "Those are fully formed organisms". We all know what the cretins want. They want the crocoduck. They want the crocoduck and the banana man. They have no desire to actually understand the theory that they so viciously attack. The same arguments over and over and over. Straw men comprised of logical fallacies. Then a whole lot of bit@#hing when we point out that, perhaps, Pastor Bob isn't the end all of scientific understanding.

Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (10) May 14, 2010
You evolutionists have nothing to base your belief upon.

Not only have we found transitional species, we've found so many transitional species that only the ignorant can believe in creationism. Christianity across the entire world, with the excpetion of the American sectarian versions are 100% certain that evolution and divergence of the species is true in all cases. Aside from some Hindus and Seikhs, and the majority of Islam, you stand alone in your ignorance for refusing to acknowledge the depth of evidence.

ID created a goal post, find an ancestor that links man to chimps. So we did: Homo Rhodesiensis. Then you said find one that links Humans and Chimps to all other Apes. So we did: Homo Austrolopithecus. And then you moved the goal post again, and again, and again, and as we dug we answered the challenge again and again and again.

Darwin was vindicated within his own lifetime by discoveries like this. To say otherwise is utterly ignorant.
kevinrtrs
1.3 / 5 (13) May 14, 2010
Hey Skeptic,

If you believe ardently enough you'll find proof of evolution. Problem is just that when someone begins to point out that perhaps there are some other explanation for what you see as evidence [ and in this case transitional species] then you get a little hot under the collar and say things like this:
And if you think evolution is incorrect, stop going to the hospital as everything that occurs there is based on fantasy IYO.


You are assuming that everything that has been discovered/developed using the scientific method is necessarily founded on evolution. Nobody NEEDS the theory of evolution to do any science. They can simply just go ahead and work to their hearts content without so much as a sniff of evolution and they'll still get their job done. And pretty well at that.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) May 14, 2010
You are assuming that everything that has been discovered/developed using the scientific method is necessarily founded on evolution. Nobody NEEDS the theory of evolution to do any science. They can simply just go ahead and work to their hearts content without so much as a sniff of evolution and they'll still get their job done. And pretty well at that.

Without the Theory of evolution all of our knowledge on how the human body works, antibiotics, drugs and therapies wouldn't exist. The fact you think people jsut mix up some chemicals, feed em to rats and say "Hooorah we've discovered a cure for leprosy" is entirely ignorant.

As such, you are entirely ignorant for suggesting it. Give me one irrefutable piece of evidence for creationism and I'll be happy to recant and say evolution is wrong. Give me jsut one piece of explicit contradictory evidence. Just one, and I'll change my view. I've given you millions and you refuse to change your view.

Who's wrong?

You are.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (7) May 14, 2010
Kevin,

It is especially insideous that you proclaim your ignorant views as fact on a site dedicated to scientific news and discovery while you are entirely uneducated in that which you proclaim a point of authority.

People do not believe in evolution, we know of evolution. Evolution is no longer debatable, it is fact. Scientific Theories are facts. Standard Theories are ideas, known as scientific hypotheses. We call our facts "Theories' as we can recognize the human ability to err and as such will ALWAYS leave room for skepticism when warranted by contrary observation.

Beyond this, you have clearly shown that you do not understand what evolution is and have repeatedly shown that you are unable to grasp the concept. For this I'm sorry, and I apologize that there are things in this world that you do not understand. In a way I feel bad for you as in my experience, the feeling of understanding something that was previously out of your grasp is the purpose of life.
JCincy
2 / 5 (12) May 14, 2010
Without the Theory of evolution all of our knowledge on how the human body works, antibiotics, drugs and therapies wouldn't exist.
-- Skeptic_Heretic

That's one of the most inaccurate statements I have read in a long time. Congratulations on your ignorance.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (8) May 14, 2010
hat's one of the most inaccurate statements I have read in a long time. Congratulations on your ignorance.
Argumentum ad hominem is the vanguard of creationism. Evidence to the contrary or stand aside.
JCincy
1.6 / 5 (7) May 14, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic,

Clearly you do not understand the difference between operational science and origins science.

One is based on observation, repeated experimentation and testable conclusions. The other is based on observation, presuppositions, and speculation.

Since you state the Theory of evolution is the basis for how the human body works, for antibiotics, etc... it would be fascinating to read your explanation for the works Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke. Not to mention others that followed them, such as Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel and Robert Koch?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) May 14, 2010
Utterly hilarious that you list all of the objectors to the theory of evolution who's research led them to integrating their research with evolution. Their research is complimentary to evolution and in some cases, like Mendel's, depend on evolution for validity.

Again, learn what you're talking about before you prove your ignorance. What else do you have in your arsenal of misunderstanding?
JCincy
1 / 5 (9) May 14, 2010
Tell me how Leeuwenhoek and Hooke could have been objectors to Charles Darwin's work.

Pasteur, the father of modern medicine, opposed and debunked the evolutionist myth of spontaneous generation.
JayK
3.9 / 5 (7) May 14, 2010
Spontaneous generation has nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. The topic you might be attempting to address is abiogenesis and isn't a topic under discussion, JCincy. Would you kindly stay focused?
Au-Pu
1 / 5 (3) May 14, 2010
El Nose may be correct. The 23 selected proteins may as he suggests be mandatory rather than unique.
The research is flawed because it is based upon a presumptive bias.
Their final conclusion may ultimately be proved correct it is the path they have chosen to arrive at that conclusion which is flawed.

As for synoge the model T was a johnny come lately version of the automobile, you need to get your history right. Henry Ford introduced assembly line production systems. That gave us mass production not a precursor auto model.
If you wish to use autos as an example that would support multiple origins.
jsa09
5 / 5 (2) May 15, 2010
In the beginning was the rainbow - from the rainbow came the sun and the land and the sea. Then came the animals.

The badger walked into a bush without leaves and became the first porcupine; and so formed all the other animals. That is the word.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) May 15, 2010
Pasteur, the father of modern medicine, opposed and debunked the evolutionist myth of spontaneous generation.


And then experiments were ran afterwards in a closed system that showed the potential for spontaneous generation.

Unfortunately Pasteur was wrong, but none of this has anything to do with evolution, this would be abiogenesis, so again you're moving the goalpost like a good little creationist.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (8) May 15, 2010
The repetition of "good" data structures is to be expected even without common ancestry. One need only look at object oriented programing for an example of why.

From an engineering perspective, if something works, you re-use it, with maybe a minor scale up or scale down as needed, or add or remove a feature as needed.

So genetic similarity is actually proof of creation rather than proof of common ancestry.

Example:

All automobiles have basicly the same characteristics:

engine, wheels, axles, steering wheels, batteries, wires, frame, exterior, interior, guages(sensory info,) fuel tank, etc.

Of course, they do NOT have a common origin, as different automobiles are manufactured by different companies. Moreover, each company manufactures more than one type of automobile.

Here I have shown how highly complex systems are ENGINEERED through intelligence, and may or may not have common origins.

Special creation explains genetic similarity for the same reason OOP is used
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) May 15, 2010
Here I have shown how highly complex systems are ENGINEERED through intelligence, and may or may not have common origins.


Then why did God leave so much junk DNA in some animals and none in others? Is he just a sloppy engineer? If so he isn't perfect, meaning self contradiction and in turn invalidity.

Above and beyond that, Christianity on the whole has accepted evolution as fact, you are bearing false witness.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2010
http://www.youtub...LDKQp_Qc

Please watch, and feel free to watch the rest of these videos for a thorough explanation of why Creationism is fundamentally flawed. Thank you Aron Ra.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) May 15, 2010
I don't see how either the theory of a universal common ancestor or of evolution through natural selection can be all that controversial. Evolution is not even a biological theory, but a logical consequence of any system who's members have a finite lifespan, properties which make a difference in the length of that lifespan, a process of reproduction whereby the offspring inherits some or all of its parent's properties, and a means of introducing new properties into some new members. A UCA just means that some group of properties shared by all current members were first present in some historical member which was the ancestor of them all. It doesn't mean that life didn't arise in multiple places, or that the first living things couldn't combine in interesting ways to create new properties in offspring. Let any evolutionary system like the one described above run long enough, and eventually you will get a UCA, no matter how many different original members you start with.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2010
Thank you thras. You're correct. Right now the prevailing hypothesis for pre-evolution biology is that there were multiple starts to the chemical reactions we call pre-life. These reactions would swap material, transcribe and share material and eventually these processes gave rise to "life as we know it". This is pre-evolution and post abiogenesis and is the leading hypothesis for the rise of evolutionary life.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) May 15, 2010
I think it's probably likely that life did arise in multiple places, roughly simultaneously, and that this would mean probably radically different ways of putting those 27 proteins together amongst all of them. I also think it's likely that horizontal transfer resulted in the organism that was the ancestor of all life, and that this organism lived with a multitude of other, very similar organisms. It probably wasn't until well after the Snowball Earth stage that the offspring of other variants finally died off.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (5) May 15, 2010

Then why did God leave so much junk DNA in some animals and none in others? Is he just a sloppy engineer? If so he isn't perfect, meaning self contradiction and in turn invalidity.

Above and beyond that, Christianity on the whole has accepted evolution as fact, you are bearing false witness.


Christianity as a whole has done no such thing.

And you must be out of the loop or something, as "junk dna" has been debunked recently.

The Biblical account of creation history and human history directly contradicts evolutionary theory in many, many ways, both in the old and new testaments.

For example, the Bible specifically states that "whales", and "fowls" were created before "creaping things" (land animals).

Also, the definition of a "perfect" life form depends on perspective. Some things are created stronger (elephant) or weaker(insect), smarter(most humans) or dumber (most other stuff) by design. See "dominion" Gen. 1:28.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2010
The Bible also suggests that men inject women with tiny people that grow to semi maturity and are then born. That doesn't make it true.

The Bible is quite wrong, actually it's completely wrong when taken literally.

So now you're saying that God is a life form. Since God must've created life, what created him?
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (5) May 15, 2010
The Bible also suggests that men inject women with tiny people that grow to semi maturity and are then born. That doesn't make it true.


The Bible doesn't say that, so you are again a liar.

The Bible is quite wrong, actually it's completely wrong when taken literally.


A statement you certainly cannot prove.

So now you're saying that God is a life form.

Once again, you say something that nobody has said, and then try to argue against that. God is not a "life form" in any temporal sense.

Since God must've created life, what created him?

It's pretty clear that the Bible teaches that God is eternal.

If you have a problem with God being eternal, then you must also have a problem with existence itself, because one way or another you must admit that for anything to exist at all, something must be eternal.

See John 1:1.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (12) May 15, 2010
I'm not sure what you're saying, QC. I agree with pretty much everything you've said. Christianity as a whole has not admitted that evolution is true, because there's no such thing as Christianity as a whole. There are more variations of that faith than there are Hindu gods, each of which retains the right to interpret their history and central beliefs as they wish. Some prominent branches, such as Catholics, have agreed that evolution is true as applied to the presence of physical organisms and their natures, but by no means have the majority of them so agreed. Literal Biblical Creationism is also incompatible with the scientific theory of our evolutionary history, but then, it's also incompatible with observed facts.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 15, 2010
A statement you certainly cannot prove.
That's where you're wrong. I absolutely can prove that God didn't make the male human out of clay and then craft a female from the rib of a male human. To argue this with you shows that you have no understanding of evolution, and only a fundamental and literal understanding of your faith. All observations of all systems of this world show that the creation myth of Christianity, considered science back in 120AD, is incorrect. At the time it was the best explanation they had. Now we have a better one. Use your head and stop saying stupid things.
It's pretty clear that the Bible teaches that God is eternal.
So if the God is eternal and he made the Universe but didn't require a creator of his own, why can't you understand that the Universe could potentially be eternal, no creator needed?

see Reality
JayK
1 / 5 (4) May 16, 2010
And you must be out of the loop or something, as "junk dna" has been debunked recently.

A statement that strong must have a citation. Please, share, so the rest of us can laugh at how ridiculous it is. Of course, if you want to link to Stephen Meyer and the Disco Institute, you will become the joke.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 16, 2010
Junk DNA has its significance just in Lamarckian evolution and horizontal gene transfer via RNA, it's reservoir of sleeping genes leading to mutations, which proved their relevance earlier.

No, wrong, very wrong. Post your source.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2010
All living things need to be made of these genes if they are to function on this earth. It is not proof of a single or a common ancestor. We are also carbon based, what does that say about our ancestry, NOTHING.
How would you know?
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) May 16, 2010
The fact remains - no one [scientist] knows where life came from.
Not yet.
You are the first to mention religion. Who says the man is talking about religion?
Godders will try to conceal themselves when arguing here, and try to 'argue' when they have already made their choice as to why things happen and who is right. Both of which expose them as fundamentally dishonest, both with others and with themselves.
much of science today starts with a premeditated answer
And today, as always, religion ALWAYS starts with a premeditated answer.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2010
Thus to make a conclusion that it was one bottling plant, is a jump. All that the study determined is that everything in the Coke can is coke.
Uh, let me choose a spurious analogy to justify my side of the argument... Ah fergit it.
Satan put them there, right now he uses Richard Dawkins to do his dirty work.
I always suspected this...
If you believe ardently enough you'll find proof of evolution
Believe that there are rational, understandable reasons for everything and we will begin to find them. That's how we found evolution.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke. Not to mention others that followed them, such as Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel and Robert Koch
Yah I like to drop a pile of names too when I want people to think I know what I'm talking about.
The repetition of "good" data structures is to be expected
Hey QC! Read about all the subsurface oil they found in the gulf? It's just like all the evidence yet to be found reinforcing evolution-
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2010
-and further disproving your idiot belief system and your worthless god.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (10) May 16, 2010
Lamarkian evolution was a decent hypothesis when nobody knew the source of the variations on which selection operates. Now that we know that DNA and RNA are the carriers of those heritable characteristics, the realms in which Lamark's hypothesis could be operating are vastly reduced, and are currently being studied by epigeneticists. Horizontal gene transfer doesn't have anything to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics, it's more of a special form of sexual reproduction.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) May 16, 2010
Believe that there are rational, understandable reasons for everything and we will begin to find them. That's how we found evolution.
Which is also, by the way, how we discovered the actual breadth and depth of biblical deception. Which is why you and your holymen resent scientific inquiry so much. Every new discovery makes your continued deceptions that more difficult, makes it harder to insist that your holy comic book is infallible.
Thrasymachus
1.3 / 5 (12) May 16, 2010
I understand horizontal gene transfer very well, thank you. It involves a single organism, typically a Moneran or Archean, picking up random DNA or RNA it encounters in its environment which has been shed by other similar organisms or viruses and incorporating it into its own genetic code. Lamarkian evolution involves the development of a characteristic in a single individual through its use, such as bigger muscles from exercise, and passing on that fully developed characteristic to its offspring. HGT involves no such development, changes in the genetic code in an individual are entirely based on its environment. And I think it's perfectly reasonable to suppose that the cell that has already incorporated exogenous genetic material into its own code is the offspring of that same cell prior to its incorporation and whatever cell shed the genetic material in the first place.
JayK
1.8 / 5 (6) May 16, 2010
Aether theory predicts the creations of RNA, DNA and your mama's junk DNA, especially when she doesn't understand the challenge and answers a completely different, unasked, question. Junk DNA assists in reducing transcription errors, but the fact is that it still has little to no actual function in the production of proteins, which is the actual discussion here until the god-bot tried to take it off topic.
hazy_jane
not rated yet May 16, 2010
Noooooo not dense aether theory again. nwaghnbhjmnhghj

@creationists

...and god is a ham sandwich wrapped in tinfoil.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2010
Hey QC
If you have a problem with God being eternal, then you must also have a problem with existence itself, because one way or another you must admit that for anything to exist at all, something must be eternal.
This makes no sense. The fact you wrote it means you believe it despite the fact that it makes no sense. Your failure to realize that it is nonsense means your cognitive processes are seriously flawed.

Do you understand what this means? It means you cannot trust your own judgement in matters requiring reason and memory. Based on this evidence you really ought to take steps to have yourself declared mentally incompetent. A lawyer can advise you on how to do this. This may just help to preserve your assets in the event of future legal problems or when they find you wandering down the street in your underwear. Aw, I'm just yankin ya, it's probably not all that bad. Yet.
JayK
1.8 / 5 (5) May 16, 2010
With dense aether theory mixed with germ theory, you can come up with the ideal means for evolution to move through diagonal evolution, where both the horizontal controls and the diagonal controls are done through particulates that percolate through the materials' commutative relationships forming a perfect matrix that encourages all to live free and happy, that is, until those bastards listen into my thoughts through the mercury (it doesn't like dense aether) in my fillings. I'm having them removed.
kevinrtrs
1.4 / 5 (9) May 17, 2010
@otto1923
And today, as always, religion ALWAYS starts with a premeditated answer.

You're right. Evolution always starts with a premeditated answer.
ZeroX
1.6 / 5 (7) May 17, 2010
With dense aether theory mixed with germ theory...I'm having them removed.
You can forget about aether, but after then you will not understand the connection of life chirality violation to CP parity violation, for example. It's evident, for many people it's more easier to learn many isolated theorems, then simple and general principle, from which they could derive them all. They probably believe, it makes them more educated or something similar...;-)
ZeroX
1.5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2010
In physics heavier particles are fermions (females), whereas bosons (males) are volatile and they're spreading at distance. It's interesting, men and women are chiral system too, so they attract mutually like positron and electron. Men cares about energy & food (hunters) and they collect it from large distance, being movable. Whereas females are collecting building materials (wood) and they're staying inside of houses. There is direct analogy with glykoproteins inside of living cells. For living cell it's important to attract proteins just from inside and sugars from outside side of cell membranes.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2010
@otto1923
And today, as always, religion ALWAYS starts with a premeditated answer.

You're right. Evolution always starts with a premeditated answer.

Actually no it didn't. Darwin had no idea by what mechanism the change would occur until we discovered DNA. Now that we have all the piece to the puzzle in the How of Evolution we now can state unequivocally that evolution is a fact.

The facts of the matter that you are wholly ignorant of includes the knowledge that the world is not 6000 years old. Since you can't refute that and it's entirely contrary to your view of the world, the fault here is your own. Either refute the tenets of evolution using demonstrable facts or go away. I'm still waiting Kevin, give me one piece of evidence that refutes evolution and cannot be ratified within the framework of science. Just one, big boy, that's all it'll take to change my mind.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Junk DNA has its significance just in Lamarckian evolution and horizontal gene transfer via RNA, it's reservoir of sleeping genes leading to mutations, which proved their relevance earlier.


No, wrong, very wrong. Post your source.


http://www.physor...069.html

Apparently physorg reported on it last year. Junk DNA also seems to have implications in cancer and genetic mutations.

It apparently at least serves some purpose, whether or not that it is beneficial or not remains to be seen.

Yellowdart
2.5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2010
Now that we have all the piece to the puzzle in the How of Evolution we now can state unequivocally that evolution is a fact.


Whether it is or not, says nothing about God though. There are plenty of evolutionary theists that simply consider it just like gravity, another mechanism this world was created upon.

The existance of evolution says nothing about God, frankly.

Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 17, 2010
Whether it is or not, says nothing about God though. There are plenty of evolutionary theists that simply consider it just like gravity, another mechanism this world was created upon.

The existance of evolution says nothing about God, frankly.

And now you're trying to put words in my mouth or rather, on my post. I never said evolution had anything to do with the validity of god in the context of whether evolution is valid or not. Evolution does unseat creationism from validity. So if you think that God or whatever being you presuppose built reality, popped every species into existence using magic, you're wrong, and your view of God is wrong.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010
@otto1923
And today, as always, religion ALWAYS starts with a premeditated answer.

You're right. Evolution always starts with a premeditated answer.
Aw thats not true and you know it. Youre just being a typical deceitful polarizing god-lover. Misrepresenting what you know to be true (lying) is a forgivable sin when committed in service to that Big Lie in the Sky, right?
Evolution does unseat creationism from validity.
But it does effectively unseat the traditional explanation of the biblical creation, causing godders to scramble yet again to come up with obvious reasons as to how god thought it up to begin with, and just forgot to tell us.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 17, 2010
Evolution does unseat creationism from validity.

But it does effectively unseat the traditional explanation of the biblical creation, causing godders to scramble yet again to come up with obvious reasons as to how god thought it up to begin with, and just forgot to tell us.

Read more thoroughly.
otto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Evolution does unseat creationism from validity.

But it does effectively unseat the traditional explanation of the biblical creation, causing godders to scramble yet again to come up with obvious reasons as to how god thought it up to begin with, and just forgot to tell us.

Read more thoroughly.
Evolution can be incorporated into an expanded religionist perspective which can and will be 100% wrong. I misread assuming that you were acknowledging this obvious fact. I misjudged you SH.
jnad2
3.7 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010
These creationists would have burned us if we were in the Middle Ages. It's great to live outside their control :-)
muchadoaboutstupid
4 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
@QC, Kevin, and other bible-thumpers

I agree with Skeptic; instead of continually blathering on using the "God of Gaps" argument, please enlighten us poor, misguided heretics with your (clearly) superior scientific explanation involving a Gawd, the Garden of Eden, etc. I await your (until now undiscovered) proof that will rock the very foundations of science!

The fundamental (pun intended) flaw with creationism is that it starts with the supposition that the existence of a god is equiprobable to one's non-exitence. Never mind the fact that their "science" is a farce, it is entirely based on yelling "god did it" every time they encouter something that they do not understand (which, I needn't tell, is not scientific; quite the contrary, I'm afraid).

Still waiting for the proof, guys!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2010
Evolution can be incorporated into an expanded religionist perspective which can and will be 100% wrong. I misread assuming that you were acknowledging this obvious fact. I misjudged you SH.

No idiot, you misread my post.

Evolution disproves creationism. It does not disprove non-creationist aspects of religion as dogma within the Bible cannot be scientifically evaluated.

Wake up.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Evolution does unseat creationism from validity.


Not really. If evolution is a mechanism, the existance of a mechanism does not say one way or the other about its creation or lack there of.

How do you unseat creationism, simply upon evolutions existance?

I was not trying to put words in your mouth earlier, but your jumping to a conclusion about what God may or may not have created, with no evidence or explanation.

Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
I await your (until now undiscovered) proof that will rock the very foundations of science!


This is an irrational conclusion. Why would it rock the foundations of science? There being a God or not does not change how the mechanisms in this universe work, nor would it upon such a discovery.

muchadoaboutstupid
3.7 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010
This is an irrational conclusion. Why would it rock the foundations of science? There being a God or not does not change how the mechanisms in this universe work, nor would it upon such a discovery.



If the existence of a diety who designed and determined the course of life on this planet does not rock the foundations of science, it is not much of a deity. Once again, however, this line of thinking presupposes a greater "fact": that a god actually exists. Once you have offered some proof beyond the scribbled words of sheep herders from 2 millenia ago that your god actually exists, you can start attributing natural phenomenae to him/her/it... Until then (and I'm still waiting), the burden of proof rests firmly (and forever) on your side of the debate.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
The fundamental (pun intended) flaw with creationism is that it starts with the supposition that the existence of a god is equiprobable to one's non-exitence. Never mind the fact that their "science" is a farce, it is entirely based on yelling "god did it" every time they encouter something that they do not understand (which, I needn't tell, is not scientific; quite the contrary, I'm afraid).


I dont know to many scientists in the past, including Darwin who were ever impeded by God simply out of his existance. Many of the great discoveries in science came from scientist who had no issue with a God existing. In most cases, it even pushed them to understand what they believed was his authorship/creation.

Toss out the garden of eden, and science is still filled with metaphysical fantasies in attempts to explain the origin of the universe.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010
Whether it is or not, says nothing about God though. There are plenty of evolutionary theists that simply consider it just like gravity, another mechanism this world was created upon.

The existance of evolution says nothing about God, frankly.
That's true. But many atheists are not literate enough to know, for instance, about the stance of the Catholics.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Once again, however, this line of thinking presupposes a greater "fact": that a god actually exists.


And the presupposition that he does not is better? Science is not an examination of the nonphysical/unnatural. To request proof for either view is irrantional in the study of science. Unless God makes himself known by physical presence present day science will be unable to answer the question either way.

frajo
5 / 5 (2) May 17, 2010
These creationists would have burned us if we were in the Middle Ages. It's great to live outside their control :-)
In those times the ruling groups used to burn their adversaries, no matter which denominations they or their adversaries belonged to.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Whether it is or not, says nothing about God though. There are plenty of evolutionary theists that simply consider it just like gravity, another mechanism this world was created upon.

The existance of evolution says nothing about God, frankly.
That's true. But many atheists are not literate enough to know, for instance, about the stance of the Catholics.


This is true, although, even many protestants are this way. Many preachers after Darwin had no problem conforming to evolution. The knee jerk back to YEC and 6000 years came around the early 1970s thanks in part to Ager and Gould and their exceptions to gradualism, rightly or wrongly.
muchadoaboutstupid
5 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010


And the presupposition that he does not is better? Science is not an examination of the nonphysical/unnatural. To request proof for either view is irrantional in the study of science. Unless God makes himself known by physical presence present day science will be unable to answer the question either way.



You have touched upon the very essence of the argument: gods have no place in science. I do not "presuppose" that god does not exist, I just choose not to buy into popular rhetoric and organized religion. As such, the existance of god is not a option for me.

Consider a world in which you were not raised to believe in a god; would you spontaneously arrive at the conclusion that one does exist? or would the natural explanations for various phenomenae be enough?

Simply put: if you don't start with the idea that a god is plausible, no proof exists to support the idea.
Yellowdart
1.7 / 5 (6) May 17, 2010
Consider a world in which you were not raised to believe in a god; would you spontaneously arrive at the conclusion that one does exist?


Didnt that already occur? Where did such a concept come from originally? Some man, eons ago, had to spontaneously arrive at such a conclusion...

muchadoaboutstupid
5 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010


Didnt that already occur? Where did such a concept come from originally? Some man, eons ago, had to spontaneously arrive at such a conclusion...



It occured because man needs a frame of reference/explanation for things it does not understand. As an example: it likely did not occur to early man that there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for why lightning & thunder exist; to him, it was the work of Zeus, Thor or any number of other angered deities, rather than the discharge of static electricity from clouds in the atmosphere. Without this knowledge, the idea of a large bearded man hurling fire from the skies made sense, but with the knowledge, the idea seems a little absurd.

That said, you are dodging my question: what proof do you have that supports the existence of a creator or god? One single, solitary scrap of evidence is all I require. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the existence of a god is a mighty extraordinary claim!
Yellowdart
1.7 / 5 (6) May 17, 2010
Simply put: if you don't start with the idea that a god is plausible, no proof exists to support the idea.


Not plausible is still a presupposition.
Yellowdart
1.7 / 5 (6) May 17, 2010
That said, you are dodging my question: what proof do you have that supports the existence of a creator or god? One single, solitary scrap of evidence is all I require. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the existence of a god is a mighty extraordinary claim!


I'm not dodging your question. Science only lends evidence to natural/physical phenomena. If God is not natural or physical, science lends no evidence, it makes no statements.

Your problem is not with the evidence though, this is clear by your request for a single scrap and then requesting it to be extrodinary. As youve noted, youve already made God not plausible, thus you will never see evidence, even physical for tha matter.
Yellowdart
1.8 / 5 (5) May 17, 2010
As an example: it likely did not occur to early man that there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for why lightning & thunder exist; to him, it was the work of Zeus, Thor or any number of other angered deities, rather than the discharge of static electricity from clouds in the atmosphere


You think its lack of knowledge? Man has modern knowledge and still arrives at the same conclusion today, although the goal posts have been moved. Knowledge is limited.

You are practically in the minority of those who think "Nature did it all"...

And thats fine if thats your preference.
PS3
1 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Not convinced. And where does all this information that DNA has come from?
otto1923
2 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010
Evolution can be incorporated into an expanded religionist perspective which can and will be 100% wrong. I misread assuming that you were acknowledging this obvious fact. I misjudged you SH.

No idiot, you misread my post.

Evolution disproves creationism. It does not disprove non-creationist aspects of religion as dogma within the Bible cannot be scientifically evaluated.

Wake up.
No you pinhead. Creationism can and has been expanded to include evolution, as in 'god invented it.' I figured you knew that. Whats your fucking problem?
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) May 17, 2010
I'm not dodging your question. Science only lends evidence to natural/physical phenomena. If God is not natural or physical, science lends no evidence, it makes no statements....thus you will never see evidence, even physical for tha matter.
So which is it- god leaves evidence or he doesnt? There is no evidence beyond what you all think and feel. And dont say 'bible' because science has proven that that was written and copied by bungling, careless, scheming priests and politicians. It is as demonstrably imperfect and amateurish as any dime store novel. Beyond that you got nothing. Moses, 2M israelite in goshen, exodus through egypt-occupied sinai- lies. Kingdoms of david and solomon- lies. No reliable independent records of the shaman trickster jesus. Certainly nothing for that one thing you put all your hopes on, what you serve and sacrifice to achieve- immortality.
muchadoaboutstupid
5 / 5 (4) May 17, 2010


I'm not dodging your question. Science only lends evidence to natural/physical phenomena. If God is not natural or physical, science lends no evidence, it makes no statements.

Your problem is not with the evidence though, this is clear by your request for a single scrap and then requesting it to be extrodinary. As youve noted, youve already made God not plausible, thus you will never see evidence, even physical for tha matter.



the fact that I demand extraordinary evidence should come as no surprise, since your claim involves a supernatural, omnipotent creator of everything that had the presence of mind to create the imperfections that it condemns in it's holy books!

Again, I repeat my request: you have chosen to express your opinion on a scientific website, ergo you must have some evidence to back your claims beside your feelings and your bible (which has been shown to be, at best an opinion paper, at worst an amalgamation of lies). Let's hear it!
jinxgt
1 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
This discussion seems to be an entertaining mental exercise.

For the evolutionists...with what certainty do you make your claims? Have you carried out the experiments yourself to have such conviction about your statements? Or do you simply read the writings of another and accept his claims as unequivocal fact without any observations of your own? Do you even take the time to challenge the theory or do you assume it to be fact because others do?

For creationists...why are you so resistant to accepting new ideas? Whether evolution is right or wrong...why is it necessary to make proclamations of your belief over another? Doesn't Jesus teach for his followers to be modest and humble...do you think Jesus would rather you reflect on yourself than to criticize and judge others? If you aren't Christian, I'm not an expert on your teachings so I can't make any claims about that.
jsa09
5 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
@jinxgt is difficult not to get personal in responding to some of the strangest assertions presented as reasoning responses.

Some people with loaded agendas seem intent and content to continue stating confusing mishmash of ideas and ideology as possible real world scenarios.

The argument above is mostly reason vs unreason. This is distinct from evolution vs creation.

It hardly matters one iota to evolutionary theory whether things were made or they made themselves. What matters to evolutionist is how things evolve. This is possibly why there are some Christians and others that have embraced evolution and have stopped fighting it.

What is patently obvious to some (both creationists and evolutionists) is that once you accept the argument that things can evolve all on their own without divine intervention then you can extrapolate backwards to the beginning and ever feel threatened or inspired to cast of the shackles of restricted thought.
ZeroX
1 / 5 (4) May 18, 2010
This discussion seems to be an entertaining mental exercise.
There is nothing intellectual on the assumption of God - we could "explain" whatever we want in such tautological concept, including evolution itself. The only point there is, most of physical theories converge to tautologies, too. The TOE (theory of everything) would be tautological, too.
jmcanoy1860
3 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
This discussion seems to be an entertaining mental exercise.

For the evolutionists...


Well, I'm a biochemist and an MD. The observation based experiments are easy to repeat. The more detailed exercises in genomics and HOX genes are beyond the expertise of most to put into practice. As far as questioning evolution....I do it all the time. I would absolutely love for my personal theory regarding the diversity of life to supplant evolution. Unfortunately "because I said so" doesn't appeal to most people.
jmcanoy1860
3 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010

No you pinhead. Creationism can and has been expanded to include evolution, as in 'god invented it.' I figured you knew that. Whats your fucking problem?


So magic has been expanded to include biology? Where is the proof of this? Magic created the universe and all life. It's true because it's magic. It's magically delicious!!
frajo
5 / 5 (1) May 18, 2010
So magic has been expanded to include biology?
You simply can't prevent people to believe things you _know_.
Where is the proof of this?
Believers don't need a proof.
Magic created the universe and all life. It's true because it's magic. It's magically delicious!!
You seem to be angry because believers enjoy the fruits of science, too.
frajo
5 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
This discussion seems to be an entertaining mental exercise.
There is nothing intellectual on the assumption of God
For some people it seems to be kind of challenging to acknowledge that certain non-scientific statements neither can be proved nor can be refuted.
Skeptic_Heretic
1.5 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
For the evolutionists...
Evolution isn't a religion, it's a scientific fact. There are entire libraries devoted to the research papers, experiments, fossil evidence, underlying biological theory, and the fact we can wind back the clock on species and bring back extinct animals should be more than compelling enough by now.

Well, I'm a biochemist and an MD... As far as questioning evolution....I do it all the time.

Then you're a very poor biochemist and certainly not a proper practicing Doctor.
ZeroX
2 / 5 (4) May 18, 2010
Evolution isn't a religion, it's a scientific fact.
It's just a theory, science doesn't recognize "facts".

While it's apparent, many species have evolved (and are evolving) gradually, it's still possible, many important steps of evolution were initiated from outside, for example by panspermia or in an attempts of some extraterrestrial civilization to terraform the Earth, thus introducing well known indicia for creationism.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) May 18, 2010
It's just a theory, science doesn't recognize "facts

A theory is composed of facts and accurately explains the dynamics of a system in all cases without exception.

A scientific theory can be a fact as well. Scientists leave the term fact off because within science there is always room for human error.

Within vernacular, which is the only language creationists understand, evolution is a fact.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) May 18, 2010
Evolution isn't a religion, it's a scientific fact.
No its not its a working hypothesis, a functional model of our current understanding based on observation.

Only an idiot would conclude that it was a 'done deal'.
Thrasymachus
1 / 5 (10) May 18, 2010
There is the fact of evolution and the theory of evolution, just as there is the fact of gravity and the theory of gravity. Evolution happens, it's observable and it has been observed, both directly in the directed evolution found in the laboratory and throughout human history in various breeding programs, as well as indirectly through the fossil record and genetic comparisons. Evolution is also a theory, that the source of the variations on which selection operates is heritable, found in the genes, is relatively immutable in the individual, and make a difference to the natural selection that occurs. Theories are not made up except to explain facts. The theory of evolution explains not just the diversity of life, but its remarkable similarity through that diversity.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
Evolution isn't a religion, it's a scientific fact.
No its not its a working hypothesis, a functional model of our current understanding based on observation.

Only an idiot would conclude that it was a 'done deal'.

Evolution is a done deal. Speciation occurs due to evolution. If you harbor any doubt you are explicitly ignoring evidence.
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (13) May 18, 2010
Speciation is irrelevant. There is no such objective thing as a species when you look closely enough. There are simply more or less closely related individual organisms. No objective, non-arbitrary or generalizable line can be drawn to determine how closely related two individuals must be to be the same species.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) May 18, 2010
Speciation occurs due to evolution.
Not always.
"2006 research shows that jumping of a gene from one chromosome to another can contribute to the birth of new species. This validates the reproductive isolation mechanism, a key component of speciation."
"Dumsten Hunde bissen sich Selbst."
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 18, 2010
Not always.
"2006 research shows that jumping of a gene from one chromosome to another can contribute to the birth of new species. This validates the reproductive isolation mechanism, a key component of speciation."
"Dumsten Hunde bissen sich Selbst."

And the "gene jump" is an example of physical mutation at a pre-cellular level, ie: Evolution. subtle change within the genome resulting in different physiological or biological phenotypes.

And if you're going to go pull the pre-evolution mechanisms out that deal with abiogenesis and not evolution, go right ahead and do that too, godder.
ZeroX
1.6 / 5 (7) May 19, 2010
Evolution is a done deal.
This is simply the same religion, like creationism - not a science.
jmcanoy1860
5 / 5 (2) May 19, 2010

Because you say so? I can provide a full curriculum vitae half wit. You have no basis for your claims that I am poor at anything other than to make empty claims. It makes no difference whether you create your own straw men or attempt to create one out of me.

Regardless, attacking me does nothing to support any of your claims. If you have some sort of valid science which contradicts the veracity of evolution, please ....enlighten me. FYI from your quotes, I do believe we are arguing for the same points.
jmcanoy1860
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2010
For the evolutionists...
Evolution isn't a religion, it's a scientific fact. There are entire libraries devoted to the research papers, experiments, fossil evidence, underlying biological theory, and the fact we can wind back the clock on species and bring back extinct animals should be more than compelling enough by now.

Well, I'm a biochemist and an MD... As far as questioning evolution....I do it all the time.

Then you're a very poor biochemist and certainly not a proper practicing Doctor.


I'm in your camp and I was replying to another person. Please read ALL of my comment rather than attacking for nothing.
ZeroX
1.7 / 5 (6) May 19, 2010
The discussion apparently became turbulent up to point, it became chaotic and meaningless.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2010
I'm in your camp and I was replying to another person. Please read ALL of my comment rather than attacking for nothing.

You'll have to excuse me if I took your statement in a manner other than which you intend. You must realize that not knowing the mechanism is not akin to doubting. You use the terminology "question evolution" which will immediately be set upon by creationists and anti-scientists of all stripes. I have contention with your vernacular, not your pedigree.
Yellowdart
1.8 / 5 (5) May 19, 2010
the fact that I demand extraordinary evidence should come as no surprise, since your claim involves a supernatural, omnipotent creator of everything that had the presence of mind to create the imperfections that it condemns in it's holy books!


I dont believe I made a claim on his qualities or character at this point. All I have suggested is as frajo said quite well above, that nonscientific statements can not be refuted or proven by science.

The plausibility of God can not be refuted by science, even without physical evidence.

The plausibility of the Higgs Boson cant be refuted by the lack of evidence either.

frajo
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2010
The plausibility of the Higgs Boson cant be refuted by the lack of evidence either.
As it's a component of scientific theories the existence of the Higgs could very well be refuted.
Falsifiability is the most distinctive feature of science. Plausability is nice but not necessary.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 19, 2010
The plausibility of the Higgs Boson cant be refuted by the lack of evidence either.
As it's a component of scientific theories the existence of the Higgs could very well be refuted.
Falsifiability is the most distinctive feature of science. Plausability is nice but not necessary.


Tell that to those still looking for the Higgs ;)

Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (12) May 19, 2010
You want a proof for god's existence for science? Fine. The only thing the term "god" can mean with regard to science is "that which is unknown." The entire point of science is to make that which is unknown, known. For this to occur, that which is unknown must exist. Therefore, god exists, QED. However, a corollary of this thesis is that, since the task of science is to make that which is unknown, known, then its task is to make god not-god. That is, its task is to destroy god. And it can't happen fast enough, in my opinion.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 19, 2010
The plausibility of the Higgs Boson cant be refuted by the lack of evidence either.
As it's a component of scientific theories the existence of the Higgs could very well be refuted.
Falsifiability is the most distinctive feature of science. Plausability is nice but not necessary.


Tell that to those still looking for the Higgs ;)


They're not looking for the Higgs specifically they're looking at all energies to see what particles appear at those energies. Many educated within physics don't think the Higgs exists. Many more think that if it does, it will revolutionize science.

No one is assuming the Higgs as fact, regardless of what the press prints.
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (4) May 19, 2010
It was an example SH, I could toss out any other currently unseen, undiscovered theory just as easily.

Although, if they arent looking specifically, would that be any different than a god believing sect?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) May 19, 2010
It was an example SH, I could toss out any other currently unseen, undiscovered theory just as easily.

Although, if they arent looking specifically, would that be any different than a god believing sect?

I don't see how there is a comparison. They're not worshipping the Higgs, or denying evidence to the contrary in order to assume the Higgs exists. They're engaging in a process of elimination to discover or eliminate the Higgs from our understanding of reality.
Yellowdart
1.9 / 5 (7) May 19, 2010
since the task of science is to make that which is unknown, known, then its task is to make god not-god. That is, its task is to destroy god.


I think thats an irrational conclusion. Simply to be made known would not be the issue, it would be if science could then manipulate or control god. As long as some portion is not attainable by man, it would do nothing to alter God.

God also means other things for science, it means order and consistancy, not simply discovering new aspects of the universe. It means an outside entity would exist in whom such mechanisms were established by and would be consistant.

THis is why many of the greatest discoveries in science have come from religious men. They valued how a god has orderd and structured this universe and they wanted to discover more about it. How far would science be without them?
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (3) May 19, 2010
THis is why many of the greatest discoveries in science have come from religious men. They valued how a god has orderd and structured this universe and they wanted to discover more about it. How far would science be without them?

No, the reason the majority of great scientific discoveries have been made by religious men is that there were no non-religious men to make them.

Science has given rise to the denial of a God, or at least made it mainstream. As men discover more and more within science and share these discoveries, the concept of a God fades.
Yellowdart
1.9 / 5 (7) May 19, 2010
SH,

Because they are simply looking for the effects of the Higgs. Isnt that what religionists do with a god? They dont try to prove him directly, they tend to represent the effects.

They're engaging in a process of elimination to discover or eliminate the Higgs from our understanding of reality.


One would hope so, but all men have the tendency to stick to what they believe regardless of evidence. At what point can they confirm its reality or lack there of with something never directly observed?

Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (3) May 19, 2010
Because they are simply looking for the effects of the Higgs. They dont try to prove him directly, they tend to represent the effects.

No, we're actively looking for the particle. If you went to church to actively commune with God, ie: shake his hand and give him a pat on the back in a real and physical way, then the two would be synonymous.

At what point can they confirm its reality or lack there of with something never directly observed?

Very simple, we collide particles at every energy until there are no new resultant post collision particles. Once we've done that, if we haven't found the particle responsible for gravity, we look elsewhere for other mechanisms. As a corrolary, when we find evidence that states explicitly that the Higgs doesn't or cannot exist, or is below reasonable probability, we focus on other hypotheses.

That's the difference between science and religion. We can rewrite our book, or discard it entirely. No dogma allowed.
Yellowdart
1.9 / 5 (7) May 19, 2010
Science has given rise to the denial of a God, or at least made it mainstream. As men discover more and more within science and share these discoveries, the concept of a God fades.


Where as even Darwin admitted such implications that evolution could have in that regard would allow for one to deny deity, atheism is a relatively young belief system. I think it would be quite early to not only think that it will continue to grow considerably due to science, but that science has had anymore to do with it than the number of free societies allowing indifference.

Where as it has propagated slowly, it is also an incoherent mess with one central tenet that "there are no gods". It constructs itself on a belief in something that shouldnt exist in the first place, and becomes thus counter productive to its own ends. It is why it is the least liked belief system in the world even behind scientology, and no amount of science is going to change that.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.5 / 5 (2) May 19, 2010
Where as even Darwin admitted such implications that evolution could have in that regard would allow for one to deny deity, atheism is a relatively young belief system. I think it would be quite early to not only think that it will continue to grow considerably due to science, but that science has had anymore to do with it than the number of free societies allowing indifference.
Atheism is older than Christianity. People have been denying Gods ever since Gods were dreampt up.
Yellowdart
1.8 / 5 (6) May 19, 2010
No, we're actively looking for the particle.[q/]

You siad you were looking for the particle via the results of collisions and energy...thus the effects right? No effects and different than expected effects = new hypothesis right?
Or it means the equipment/test wasnt good enough.

To alot of religionists though, god affects them in a real way and they see his effects in a real way. Going to church for some of them..is like getting a pat on the back. I agree its a loose comparison though.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 19, 2010
You siad you were looking for the particle via the results of collisions and energy...thus the effects right? No effects and different than expected effects = new hypothesis right?
Or it means the equipment/test wasnt good enough.

No we're not trying to make gravity, we're trying to bring the Higgs into a frame of existence so that we can see it directly. If we receive different results than what we expect, yes, new hypothesis, which on occasion will be a hypothesis of "the machine wasn't good enough for the test". In which case we build a better machine and either validate or invalidate the hypothesis of "the machine wasn't good enough".
Yellowdart
2 / 5 (7) May 19, 2010
Atheism is older than Christianity. People have been denying Gods ever since Gods were dreampt up.


Well the term was never used till the 16th century, nor did it carry any weight till the 18th century really. My point wasnt that there were no atheists in the past.
JayK
2 / 5 (4) May 19, 2010
Looks like we have a new troll. Stop feeding it, SH.
frajo
3.5 / 5 (2) May 19, 2010
shake his hand and give him a pat on the back in a real and physical way

we're trying to bring the Higgs into a frame of existence so that we can see it directly.

You are playing with the semantics of "reality" and "directly". It's no use as science does not deal with the definition of "reality" (that's philosophy) and both standard models are far away from any "direct" conclusion.

You can't refute belief by scientific reasoning. And you should not try to as scientific reasoning should be limited to its world, the world of science, the world of falsifiable statements.

No atheist can refute belief. The only danger for belief comes from within belief, via the theodicy project.
Some things have to evolve slowly and it seems that any attempt to force their evolution to speed up might have a countereffect.
jsa09
5 / 5 (2) May 20, 2010
yes frajo Science tends to be the study of things that can be proven. If something cannot be proven or for that matter disproved then science will say forget it.

Which is the whole point. Whether a god or gods exist or not is completely irrelevant to mankind unless there is an interaction. If there is an interaction then it can be proven or disproved. If the interaction is random and unprovable then discard it as irrelevant.

In simple terms god is irrelevant and if you choose to believe in some such construct then you must not expect others to understand or sympathize with you.
frajo
not rated yet May 20, 2010
If something cannot be proven or for that matter disproved then science will say forget it.
Yes.
Whether a god or gods exist or not is completely irrelevant to mankind
Agreed.
If the interaction is random and unprovable then discard it as irrelevant.
You're cheating here.
Because you mentioned science and mankind, but you omitted to mention the individual subject. There are individual subjects for whom their belief matters. It's relevant for them.
No matter what you or I or somebody else might think about it.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 20, 2010
Well the term was never used till the 16th century, nor did it carry any weight till the 18th century really. My point wasnt that there were no atheists in the past.

Wrong.

5 BCE was the beginning of the Atheist school of thought in western civilization, look up Atomists, Leucippus and Democritus, Anaxagoras, Prodicus of Ceos, Protagoras, Euhemerus, Epicurus (and his well known quote), Ibn al-Rawandi, and Hrafnkell.

In eastern philosophy it started back about 9BCE with the Jainists and Buddhists as well as several Hinduist schools.

This is all well known to those who study logic and reason within the fields of theology and philosophy. The term Atheist was taken from the greek term for "Godless Ones" and that term is quite ancient.

Looks like we have a new troll. Stop feeding it, SH.
It's not for him, it's for everyone who reads this going forward.
CHollman82
3 / 5 (4) May 25, 2010
So genetic similarity is actually proof of creation rather than proof of common ancestry.


It is not proof of anything.

I wish people would stop misusing that word. Most people should simply never use it, since almost no one knows how to correctly.

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