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Evolution: Can it be disproved?

Evolution is the name for the observed process of genetic variation within a species through successive generations. Sexual and Asexual reproduction are examples of Evolution.

To disprove Evolution would mean proving that there is no genetic variation between the Parents and their offspring.

Then what is the "Theory of Evolution"? Scientists use what we know of Evolution to make predictions that can be tested. These Theoretical Models are then subjected to the Scientific Method.

Perhaps there would be less confusion if Scientists called it the "Prediction of Evolution". Which is what Scientific Theories are.

For the sake of keeping this easy to read and understand I'll end here and thank everyone for reading this.

You might like to read "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry A. Coyne or "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins. Both books would answer your question by an expert in evolution.

Technically, evolution has nothing to do with atheism, except that it makes the Adam and Eve story an obvious fairy tale. Too bad original sin and the whole reason for Jesus' existence use that story as a cornerstone.

You might also find this article interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precambrian_rabbit

Good Morning by the way.

I'm quite confused by your response.

Creationists tend to claim the Evolution has been disproved by Science. I hoped to explain that Evolution is a term and not a claim in of itself, that Evolution happens is an observed fact.

After assessing what Evolution is, I tried to explain what the Theory of Evolution actually meant.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough?

Sorry

Why are you sorry?

You gave some valuable resources, books and sites. I enjoy any feedback, positive, negative or indifferent. Especially from you guys who I have so much respect for. I was just confused if I my comment was clear or not.

Matt O'Neill said, "Evolution is the name for the observed process of genetic variation within a species through successive generations. Sexual and Asexual reproduction are examples of Evolution."

Evolution means to change. That means anything, including the universe, planets, stars, whole galaxies or languages, etc. Matt O'Neill said, "To disprove Evolution would mean proving that there is no genetic variation between the Parents and their offspring."

In order to replace any theory you have to come up with a theory that explains things better. Theories are replaced all the time by better theories. Newton's gravity replaced Aristotle's. Einstein's theory of gravity replaced Newton's. That didn't mean that the original theories were not basically sound, but when new things are discovered theories can change. That's progress not dogma; things do change in science, but not in religion.

Matt O'Neill said, "Then what is the "Theory of Evolution"? Scientists use what we know of Evolution to make predictions that can be tested. These Theoretical Models are then subjected to the Scientific Method."

A theory is not a law and a law is not a theory. A theory will always be a theory; a law will always be a law. A scientific law is a description of an observed phenomenon. Laws describe what something does, but it does not explain it. A theory explains it.

Matt O'Neill said, "Perhaps there would be less confusion if Scientists called it the "Prediction of Evolution". Which is what Scientific Theories are."

A theory is a scientific explanation of a natural phenomenon. A scientific theory can be a fact. Macroevolution is the theory that there is no limit to the degree that a species can change. Creationists try to deny macroevolution because it contradicts the Creation story in Genesis. We know it happens because we can observe it directly in short-lived species, and for longer lived species there is genetic and fossil evidence that is unequivocal.

Matt O'Neill said, "For the sake of keeping this easy to read and understand I'll end here and thank everyone for reading this."

No problem.

I was discussing the difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution.

While the Theory of Evolution can be revised replaced and "disproved", Evolution cannot. Evolution is the observed process of change (in biology, that means from parent to offspring).

So while the Theory may have flaws, that doesn't change the fact Evolution happens.

The point of this was to discuss what Evolution actually is, because I find Creationists use Evolution interchangeably with the Theory of Evolution which is the explanation for the process of change that we observe.

They then try to separate Evolution from its meaning by using the term Macroevolution which is Speciation. Speciation and Evolution are not the same thing.

Matt O'Neill said, "I was discussing the difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution."

The word evolution does have more than one meaning, but the biological definition of Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. By that definition evolution is a fact and a theory. The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms.

Somehow I got the idea that you were discussing more than that and I couldn't tell that you had it all figured out.

In your first post Matt O'Neill said, "Then what is the "Theory of Evolution"?

Evolution is a theory and a fact. Like I said, theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret the facts; like the theory of evolution.

In the first post: Matt O'Neill said, "Scientists use what we know of Evolution to make predictions that can be tested. These Theoretical Models are then subjected to the Scientific Method. Perhaps there would be less confusion if Scientists called it the "Prediction of Evolution". Which is what Scientific Theories are."

Scientific theories do more than make predictions. Theories allow scientists to organize and understand earlier observations, then predict and create future observations. The scientific method is how scientists investigate an observation and gather data. They do this through experiments. The scientific method begins with observation. Then developing a hypothesis (hypothetical explanation) that is falsifiable to explain what they observed. They design experiments that attempt to effectively test the plausibility of their hypothesis, and then they use the hypothesis to predict the results of new observations. They then experimentally falsify the hypothesis. If the results do not contradict the predictions you do more test. The hypothesis is submitted for peer review. If experimental evidence supports the hypothesis it is often referred to as a model. Models may be combined into a theory, for instance the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Scientific theories must be compatible with existing data, theories should be the best simple explanation (not supernatural) testable (experimentally) usable and advance our knowledge.

Matt O'Neill said, While the Theory of Evolution can be revised replaced and "disproved", Evolution cannot. Evolution is the observed process of change (in biology, that means from parent to offspring).

Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the term. The existence of biological evolution is a scientific fact. It can be demonstrated that evolution occurred in the past and is occurring today. There are different theories about the mechanisms (how evolution occurred) the observed changes. Even if those theories change that does not effect evolution theory and fact.

Evolution is a paradigm for the origin of life on Earth. The theory says life originates out of nonliving chemicals and evolves to higher levels of organization simply by following mechanistic laws. Einstein's theory of gravity replaced Newton's, but earthly apples still don't float. Evolution, which is genetic change over time, does not rely upon any entities or concepts that do not otherwise exist in any scientific model. Evolution does not require anything new or unusual in the universe. Science doesn't require supernatural intervention in the natural world.

Matt O'Neill said, "So while the Theory may have flaws, that doesn't change the fact Evolution happens.

The theory of evolution does not have flaws. Scientists have examined the so-called flaws that creationists claim exist in evolutionary theory and have found no support for these claims. The flaws are based on misinterpretation of evolutionary theory or misstatements about the evidence. Scientists continue to refine the theory of evolution, but that doesn't mean it is flawed. If flaws were discovered in the theory of evolution by a scientists they would be world famous. A theory is a model that makes scientific explanations with testable predictions. "Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution." much of what is done in the biological and medical sciences could not occur without the background premise of evolution.

Matt O'Neill said, "The point of this was to discuss what Evolution actually is, because I find Creationists use Evolution interchangeably with the Theory of Evolution which is the explanation for the process of change that we observe."

That is what I said in my first post. A theory is a scientific explanation of a natural phenomenon. A scientific theory can be a fact. Evolution is the simplest and most reliable explanation of the diversity of life on our planet. Evolution is a theory and a fact. The theory of evolution is externally consistent. It does not contradict solid findings in any other physical science. If evolution did contradict physics or chemistry, that would be a significant problem. Every alternative that ID or Creationists try to foist upon us requires new entities not used or needed in any other scientific model, like a creator or designer.

Matt O'Neill said, "They then try to separate Evolution from its meaning by using the term Macroevolution which is Speciation. Speciation and Evolution are not the same thing."

Macroevolution refers to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. Microevolution refers to any evolutionary change below the level of species. Macroevolution is between species evolution and microevolution is within species evolution. Microevolution and macroevolution are both the exact same processes.

Most Creationists do not deny microevoltion because they know it has been observed. They deny macroevolution by saying it hasn't been observed. It has many times.

The Creationists think that macroevolution means that new species are so different that one can't even tell they're related. Evolutionary theory never suggested that kind of hogwash. Microevolution is variation within species, and macroevolution is variation between species. The different breeds of dogs are an example of microevolution, while the different species of wolves and foxes, panthers and felines, horses and zebras, or llamas and camels are examples of macroevolution. Each set is definitely biologically closely related, but they're each different species, of the same one. Humans and armadillos are related, but not closely. We share the same class, but belong to different orders. Every new taxonomic class that ever evolved began with speciation, the emergence of a distinctly new species; it's a modified version of its parents. It's eventual descendants will always belong to whatever categories their ancestors did; no matter how much they may change as time goes on.

I'm not confused about what you are saying. I disagree with some of your definitions and comments. There is a difference. The next step should be, find what you actually said that I disagreed with, and then prove that you were right.

Evolution as defined only happens within a population of organisms. Speciation may occur but that is a result of Evolution not what Evolution means.

The Theory is a working model which that can make predictions and test them. It is an explanation and that is the point. When we know how things work, we can make accurate predictions.

I only brought up the Theory of Evolution to distinguish it from the Fact of Evolution that people commonly ignore.

I didn't say the Theory of Evolution has flaws.. I said while it may be flawed it wouldn't matter. Evolution is a fact regardless of the current state of the Theory.

The Macro, Micro evolution conversation is moot. Creationists use them for obscuration. Even when scientists accepted the terms, Creationists use them improperly.

Micro-evolution is Evolution and Macro-evolution is Speciation.

You do not need elaborate posts, the point of this was to simplify evolution and avoid the clutter that confuses Creationists.

Is posting Creationist's misconceptions without explanations or accurate information better? That is precisely the reason that there is so much misinformation on evolution.

Nobody dictates how "elaborate" our writing can be or what we can say. Although, what you wrote was not elaborate, it wasn't informative, explanatory or interesting. I think that what you wrote added to the confusion because it was so ambiguous.

Matt O'Neill, "Evolution is the name for the observed process of genetic variation within a species through successive generations. Sexual and Asexual reproduction are examples of Evolution."

Evolution is the theory of the origin of the entire Cosmos, as the elaborate post pointed out.

Matt O'Neill, "To disprove Evolution would mean proving that there is no genetic variation between the Parents and their offspring."

Evolution is the theory that explains the origin everything. Disproving it would entail far more than what you implied it would.

Matt O'Neill, "Then what is the "Theory of Evolution"?"

Evolution is the theory that everything evolved.

Matt O'Neill, "Perhaps there would be less confusion if Scientists called it the "Prediction of Evolution"."

No it wouldn't be less confusing - it would be stupid. It was point out that a theory is more than predictions.

Matt O'Neill, "I was discussing the difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution."

There isn't a difference. Evolution is the theory of how everything evolved.

Matt O'Neill, "While the Theory of Evolution can be revised replaced and "disproved", Evolution cannot."

Although the fact that evolution occurred and still occurs has been proven to the point that it is considered a fact, it is still a theory. Scientists never consider anything proven no matter how remote the possibility is that it could be disputed. That is why the fact that evolution occurred is still a theory.

Matt O'Neill, "So while the Theory may have flaws, that doesn't change the fact Evolution happens."

I don't want to get too elaborate, but I would interpret that to mean the theory "may" have flaws. It doesn't. If there were "flaws" the whole thing would fall like Humpty Dumpty. If creationists were good at finding flaws, they could find plenty in the Creation story or Intelligent Design theory, which is pseudoscience.

Matt O'Neill, "The point of this was to discuss what Evolution actually is, because I find Creationists use Evolution interchangeably with the Theory of Evolution which is the explanation for the process of change that we observe."

Creationists deny evolution period. Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the term; it also includes mechanisms, which explain how life evolved.

Matt O'Neill "They then try to separate Evolution from its meaning by using the term Macroevolution which is Speciation. Speciation and Evolution are not the same thing."

Micro - evolution and Macro - evolution is "EVOLUTION" at different scales. Creationists claim that Micro and Macro - evolution is not the same process. It is the exact same processes. Micro - evolution is small change over short periods of time. Macro - evolution is big change over very long periods of time. Micro - evolution is within species and Macro - evolution is at or above the level of species. "SPECIATION" is the line between micro- and macro - evolution.

Sorry, but you don't know Jack squat about evolution. However, you have accumulated a mass of information on what Creationists think concerning evolution.

I didn't post Creationist misconceptions.

I pointed out there was a difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution. One explains the other and can be used to make predictive models.

John said "Evolution is the theory of the origin of the entire Cosmos"

No it isn't.Evolution, is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

John said "Evolution is the theory that explains the origin everything."

No it isn't. Evolution, is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations.

John said "There isn't a difference. Evolution is the theory of how everything evolved. "

Yes there is, and that is precisely why I made this post to begin with.

John said "but I would interpret that to mean the theory "may" have flaws. It doesn't."

That is because you see Evolution as interchangeable with the Theory of Evolution. They are not, Evolution is the word that defines a specific process and the Theory of Evolution is several processes.

John said "Micro - evolution and Macro - evolution is "EVOLUTION" at different scales."

Evolution and Speciation are not the same biological processes. Micro and Macro evolution are terms coined by Creationists that thought Evolution and the Theory of Evolution are 1 in the same.

The genetic variation between you and your parents is Evolution. The Theory of Evolution expands on this observed process of Evolution.

Matt O'Neill, "I didn't post Creationist misconceptions. I pointed out there was a difference between Evolution and the Theory of Evolution. One explains the other and can be used to make predictive models."

John (current), Evolution is a fact and a theory that includes the mechanisms, which explain how life evolved.

John (previously), "Evolution is the theory of the origin of the entire Cosmos"

Matt O'Neill, "No it isn't. Evolution, is the change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms through successive generations."

John (currently), Evolution is about the origin of the Universe and life in the Universe, no distinction is drawn. Evolution does include the processes that change one species to another over time.

Creationists deny that the Universe evolved. Creationists believe the Universe was created or has always been there. The Universe is about 14 billion years old. There is more than one theory about the origin of the Universe, but they all include the theory that the Universe evolved. The best known is the Universe evolved from a dense, isothermal state. The universe Cosmology is the study of the origin and evolution of the Universe.

John (previous), "There isn't a difference. Evolution is the theory of how everything evolved. "

Matt O'Neill, "Yes there is, and that is precisely why I made this post to begin with."

John (current), "The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism" by Niles Eldredge "Biologists assert that there has been one history of life: all life has descended from a single common ancestor; therefore one process - evolution - is responsible for the diversity we see (p. 123)."

John (previously), "There isn't a difference. Evolution is the theory of how everything evolved. "

Matt O'Neill, "Yes there is, and that is precisely why I made this post to begin with.

John (current), Evolution is the theory of how everything evolved. "The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism" by Niles Eldredge "This tremendously diverse array of life, spanning at least 3.5 billion years of Earth history, is all connected by a pattern of nested sets of genetic and anatomical similarity that can rationally be explained only as the simple outcome of a natural shared descent with modification.

Matt O'Neill (posted) John (previously) "but I would interpret that to mean the theory "may" have flaws. It doesn't."

What Matt O'Neill left out was what I (John) was answering, let me put that in for you.

Matt O'Neill (previously), "So while the Theory may have flaws, that doesn't change the fact Evolution happens."

John (previous), "I don't want to get too elaborate, but I would interpret that to mean the theory "may" have flaws. It doesn't. If there were "flaws" the whole thing would fall like Humpty Dumpty. If creationists were good at finding flaws, they could find plenty in the Creation story or Intelligent Design theory, which is pseudoscience."

John (currently), "To say nothing of the fact that it is creationists who claim evolution has "flaws" and is not science."

Matt O'Neill, "That is because you see Evolution as interchangeable with the Theory of Evolution. They are not, Evolution is the word that defines a specific process and the Theory of Evolution is several processes.

John (current), Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the term; it also includes mechanisms, which explain how life evolved. Niles Eldredge "There is utter continuity in evolutionary processes from the smallest scales microevolution up through the largest scales macroevolution."

John (previously), "Micro - evolution and Macro - evolution is "EVOLUTION" at different scales."

Matt O'Neill, "Evolution and Speciation are not the same biological processes. Micro and Macro evolution are terms coined by Creationists that thought Evolution and the Theory of Evolution are 1 in the same. The genetic variation between you and your parents is Evolution. The Theory of Evolution expands on this observed process of Evolution."

John (current), one of the processes of evolution is speciation, it's not a separate mechanism, but a result of the proceeding mechanisms played out in time and space. Speciation occurs when a population changes sufficiently over time that the early and late forms are referred to by different names. Speciation also occurs when one population splits into two distinct forms that can no longer interbreed. Reproductive isolation does not generally happen in one generation; it may require many thousands of generations (example) one part of a population becomes geographically separated from the rest and adapts to a new environment. Over time if the remain separated the two populations that live apart will branch off by mutation, drift, and selection until eventually their genes are no longer compatible for successful reproduction. Speciation is the dividing line between micro- and macro - evolution. Macro - evolution and micro -evolution are evolution at different scales and are legitimate scientific terms that are used by evolutionary biologists like John Maynard Smith and Richard Dawkins.

In science, macro at the beginning of a word just means "big", and micro at the beginning of a word just means "small" (both from the Greek words). Micro - evolution is small changes within a species. Macro- evolution is change from one species to another.

Creationists argue vehemently against macroevolution and claim that Miro and Macro - evolution is not the same process. That is what creationists claim. They didn't invent the term scientists did, and they are the same processes. Creationists try to separate evolution from all its mechanisms.

Matt O'Neill, "The genetic variation between you and your parents is Evolution. The Theory of Evolution expands on this observed process of Evolution."

The scientific term Evolution is both a fact and theory, explaining the major patterns of change in nature and how these changes occur. That includes the evolution of the Universe over billions of years into conscious life. Evolution is not just about variation between you and your parents. All life forms evolved from earlier life forms. Bacteria have an extremely important place in the evolution of life. Through the study of bacteria we understand more about evolution. Bacteria had a primary role in the origin of life on Earth and still does. All life originated from a common ancestor.

No actually there is, what you are doing is the same thing that Creationists do when they say Cells are Machines and DNA is a Code..

We do say the Universe evolved in a sense, but it doesn't actually evolve. Evolution is such a simple process and we notice many similarities between Evolution and the progress of society and so on.

Everything in the rest of your post stems from your failure to distinguish between the word Evolution and the Theory of Evolution or the argument about micro and macro evolution. Which as I said is Evolution and Speciation and those terms are part of the Theory of Evolution.

I also never said there were flaws in the Theory of Evolution, I said it wouldn't matter if there was.

As I said, this wasn't a post about the Theory of Evolution. Which is distinguishable from Evolution as Gravity is distinguished from the Theory of Gravitation.

The atoms that make up the molecules that make up life did not exist in the beginning. They came into existence over time as our universe evolved. The big bang is the theory of how the universe evolved. The big bang theory pertains to the explosive expansion of the entire universe that continues to this day. At quantum physics level transitions do occur spontaneously without an apparent cause, like nuclear reactions. The Universe does not require a cause. Every atom that ever was or will be came into existence during the big bang. All of the energy and mass in our universe was formed within and following the expansion of the singularity. Every atom then and now was actualized in the course of the big bang.

When the initial extremely hot universe began cooling the heat was converted into volume. As a result of the cooling of the universe subatomic particles were able to condense into the matter that we recognize in the universe today, things such as electrons, neutrons, and protons. About a million years later (when the universe was cooler) there was a condensation of subatomic particles into hydrogen atoms (much fewer helium atoms and even fewer lithium atoms). These hydrogen atoms continue to make up a large part of the matter in the universe. Beside these forms of matter there was a formation of the physical forces in the universe. The singularity, big bang, inflation and then the cooling created the energy and matter in the expanding universe, except for that life would not exist in the universe. But mass, energy, expansion (space and time) these events alone are not enough for a universe in which life can evolve. Regions of higher density within the expanding hydrogen cloud were formed, and gravitational force lead to (clumping) inhomogeneous. The clumping in the early evolving universe was necessary for the existence of life. The gravitational collapse of clouds of matter around inhomogeneous (clumps) was the source of galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planet formation. Solar systems and planets allowed the formation and composition of complex carbon based molecules and other materials that form the basis for life.

The Hubble Space Telescope will document how the universe evolved to gain insight into the most basic processes underlying the formation of everything around us. This study will allow us to chart for the first time the maturation process of galaxies.

The universe evolved and continues to evolve. The universe is expanding. The majority of the objects in the universe are moving away from the Earth. The farther an object is from the Earth, the faster it is moving away from the Earth. If we keep looking back in time, consequently further collapsing the universe, we eventually reach a time in which the universe has been so thoroughly collapsed that it no longer exists. At this point in (time and space) will be the singularity.

"We are star stuff, which has taken its destiny into its own hands. The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter." Carl Sagan

Reading the comments on these forums, especially those of Matt O'Neil and Linda reminds me why there is so much discord in the world. Everyone wants to be right and no body wants to accept the fact they are wrong. Not to say they are wrong, but the tone in the responses seem to indicate they have a high regard of there opinion. Oh, I'm sorry--- facts.

This is a discussion about the facts not opinions. Yes, really evolution and history shouldn't be based on someone's opinion instead of the facts. You seem to have overlooked the fact that another person had just as much discord as Linda did. Go back and read all this again.

Maybe you should stop trying to blame all the discord in the world on people who stand up to someone who is flaunting their ignorance. Maybe you have some really good reason for doing that.

As atheists point out to believers, the burden of proof is on he who proposes. Thus those who believe evolutionary theory must provide proof that the theory fits the facts and explains observed phenomena.

In short, I don't think the theory works because it requires faith that genetic mutation, which sometimes results in producing a biological advange to the mutants, is the source of all variation and that every living thing can be traced back to the first living cell. That cannot be true because a mutation can only alter what already exists (i.e. cannot increase complexity). The basis of evolutionary theory is thus a sort of alchemy and, if one is careful in one's questioning and does enough reading on the subject, one will discover that nobody can prove that genetic mutation can create new material or how mutation and selection could lead to such transformations as scales becoming feathers (to name one evolutionary claim).

Now, that said, there is a lot of evidence of transisitional life forms and similar genetic code but the fact that such exists doesn't explain how it came to be. Evolutionary theory fails at the fundamental (no pun intended) level and thus I would say until a biologist can observe and prove the type of genetic/structural change proposed by the theory then it isn't proven (and really ought not be called a theory but rather a hypothesis).

I am, by the way, a biologist and an atheist. I only mention the latter because I want to emphasise that evolutionary theory is a biological theory and not really related to religion and, just to be clear, not to lead anyone to think that I in any way support creationist dogma.

I disagree on your assessment of the theory of evolution. It takes no faith to accept this theory, as it is completely based on evidence. Your assumption that "that cannot be true because a mutation can only alter what already exists (i.e. cannot increase complexity)" is in error.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

I'd like to point out that I'm a theist. Also evolution is both fact and theory.

Disagreement is accepted. I, however, am not alone in questioning the assumption that mutation of existing genetic material explains all biological complexity is questionable. That is is questioned is noted in the same index you quote (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111_1.html). All those who question the doctrine are saying (quoting here) is:

"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be examined."

The response goes on to say "Since scientists are trained to examine evidence and to be skeptical of everything, even ardent evolutionists could sign such a statement. Indeed, it is well known that random mutation and natural selection are not the only mechanisms contributing to the complexity of life .... "

BTW, I had not seen this index until you noted it. Thanks for the reference.

I'm not interested in trying to prove anything on an internet forum. I'm just noting that there are holes in the theory at the most fundamental level, non-theist researchers have noted such, and their questions need to be addressed. In the meantime to say that genetic mutation and selection explain everyting is, indeed, a matter of faith.

Note that I am not rejecting all evidence for evolution (re-read my first post); I'm merely saying that the current theory does not explain with certainty how all complexity occurred. Thus, I agree with you entirely that evolution is a fact, just not that gene mutation explains all of it.

It wasn't that long ago that it was a matter of indisputable fact that the atom was the smallest particle of matter and to question such was blasphemy. I think its the same today with evololutionary theory, especially since the advent of the strident creationists have made any questioning suspect. Time will tell I imagine. Just keep an open mind.

Luckily, whatever the answer is it won't affect how I live my life so I'm not wedded to any interpretation. My interest is mainly a desire to satisfy intellectual curiosity. I just wanted to interject a little question mark in your world of certainty (and its more fun than chasing the neigbor kids out of my flowers).

John McGlothlin said, "As atheists point out to believers, the burden of proof is on he who proposes. Thus those who believe evolutionary theory must provide proof that the theory fits the facts and explains observed phenomena."

Yes, Creationists are beginning to admit that their "science" depends on faith, but they claim, "so does evolution". Biologists do not have to believe that there are transitional fossils; they can examine them in hundreds of museums around the world, and they make new discoveries in the rocks all the time. Scientists do not have to believe that protocells can be easily created from simple chemicals in the laboratory; they can repeat the experiments with comparable results. They can also create artificial species of plants and animals by applying selection, and observe natural speciation in action. That is the big difference between science and religion. Science exists because of the evidence, whereas religion exists upon faith (in the case of religious fundamentalism and creationism) in spite of the evidence. DNA is credible, rational proof of the taxonomy of evolution. Anyone who wishes to claim it isn't has the burden of proof. Science has satisfied itself using its thorough system of peer-review. Modern DNA research proves it. Evolution is stronger today than it was when it first started because of DNA. If evolution was an erroneous theory DNA would have falsified it, but instead DNA is confirming evolution. Evolution operates by 'natural selection' traits that help an organism survive to reproductive age, and that help it to produce offspring that do the same, will be in evidence in those succeeding generations. Traits that did not do this will disappear with the organisms that died before they could pass them on. Creationist (Intelligent Design) have not shown that they have a theory that can account for any of the data evolution accounts for, and they have not provided any reason for believing that their theory (Creation or Intelligent Design) has even the potential to produce anything useful to science. There are all sorts of findings and experiments that could have falsified evolution. In 200 years since Darwin published his theory, not one has.

Life began on earth about 1.5 billion years ago, and for the first billion of those years reproduction was asexual. Unicellular microorganism splits up its DNA into batches, divides up and each half goes it own way. The parent dies but two copies of itself will live on. Not a very effective - and very slow. Around 500,000,000 years ago bacteria mixed and matched DNA of two organisms rather than making clones for children. This sped up evolution and sex evolved for reproduction that is what caused the Cambrian explosion. Life Forms, that eventually led to man, some 495 million years later. Until sexual reproduction for a billion years amoebas were the highest life form.

The origin and development of the Universe and all of its complex systems living and non-living organisms can be explained on the basis of continuing natural processes, innate in the very structure of matter and energy. 'apologists' who try to prove scientists wrong confiscate Evolution or the Big Bang theory (scientific theories) to prove that there is a god. Scientists know that nobody can prove anything about god, they just find answers to questions that are real

What has been found the progression over time seen in the millions of fossils unearthed around the world is exactly what evolutionary theory predicts. Unicellular organisms appear before multicellular ones. Jawless fish precede jawed fish. Lunged fish precede amphibians. Amphibians precede reptiles. Reptiles with scales precede mammals and birds with modified scales (fur and feathers). Apes precede humans. All it would take is one or two exceptions to seriously challenge the theory. No such exceptions have ever been found anywhere. There have been a few claims to this effect, of course, but even creationists admit that these claims are fraudulent.

Creationist's attempts at science are usually so comical and disputable that real scientists would find it (jaw-droppingly) absurd. Most of the apologist's arguments wouldn't even make a good science fiction flick. It's a gross injustice for apologists to make science their 'scapegoat'. Research scientists have found cures for diseases that have saved many peoples lives (slapping someone on the head to cure them has done nothing). Most people think twice before they waste their time on anything as lame and pointless as (the war on science) that they could possibly spend their time forming a 'movement' around.

John McGlothlin said, "In short, I don't think the theory works because it requires faith that genetic mutation, which sometimes results in producing a biological advange to the mutants, is the source of all variation and that every living thing can be traced back to the first living cell."

Starting from single celled animals, each of which has the capability to reproduce there, is no sex in the sense that we think of the term. Selective pressure has been observed to convert single-cellular forms into multicellular forms. A case was observed in which a single celled form changed to multicellularity.

Crystals have the ability to create "order from disorder" and "reproduce" other crystals similar to themselves if a piece of the crystal is placed in a suitable environment. In fact the existence of a crystal in Life, which helps propagate the "genetics" of the Life form. This suggestion is said to have inspired the discovery of DNA later on. The Theory of Negentropy did propose a crucial point that is often overlooked, and that is that however "mysterious" Life may seem, we are still physically composed of nothing more than the same molecules also found in non-living matter. Just as with everything else, these molecules must comply with the laws of the Universe.

John McGlothlin said, "That cannot be true because a mutation can only alter what already exists (i.e. cannot increase complexity). The basis of evolutionary theory is thus a sort of alchemy and, if one is careful in one's questioning and does enough reading on the subject, one will discover that nobody can prove that genetic mutation can create new material or how mutation and selection could lead to such transformations as scales becoming feathers (to name one evolutionary claim)."

Evidence of prebiotic evolution is obtained through simulating and replicating such an event that happened about 3.5 billion years ago. Although biochemical evidence first obtained in the 1950s showed the spontaneous generation of amino acids in a replica of the 'primordial soup', most biologist now believe that amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins and peptides, today's essential tools in all life forms, were not important at this earliest stage and that proteins and enzymes were indeed preceded by RNA type molecules which still plays an essential role in modern metabolism including energy metabolism, enzymatic catalysis (protein biosynthesis), and processing and storage of genetic information. DNA, this modern molecular marvel and blueprint of life, may indeed have come into existence after the evolution of proteins as enzymes.

John McGlothlin said, "Now, that said, there is a lot of evidence of transisitional life forms and similar genetic code but the fact that such exists doesn't explain how it came to be. Evolutionary theory fails at the fundamental (no pun intended) level and thus I would say until a biologist can observe and prove the type of genetic/structural change proposed by the theory then it isn't proven (and really ought not be called a theory but rather a hypothesis)."

There are many transitional fossils, including the ape-human transitional form, Australopithecus. Eusthenopteron shows marvelous intermediate characteristics between the lobe-finned fishes and the amphibians. The transitional fossils between amphibians are so various and so intermediate that it is difficult to define where one group ends and the other begin. Archaeopteryx (most primitive bird known) is clearly intermediate between reptiles and birds. In spite of such reptilian affinities as a long bony tail, toothed jaws, and clawed wings, creationists declare that because Archaeopteryx had feathers, it was a bird, not a transitional stage between reptiles and birds. Having no explanations of their own, the creationists attempt to deny the transitional fossils out of existence.

Molecular methods are used widely to measure genetic diversity within populations and determine relationships among species. However, it is difficult to observe genomic evolution in action because these dynamics are too slow in most organisms. To overcome this limitation, they sampled genomes from populations of Escherichia coli evolving in the laboratory for 10,000 generations. They analyzed the genomes for restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) using seven insertion sequences (IS) as probes; most polymorphisms detected by this approach reflect rearrangements (including transpositions) rather than point mutations. The evolving genomes became increasingly different from their ancestor over time. Moreover, tremendous diversity accumulated within each population, such that almost every individual had a different genetic fingerprint after 10,000 generations. As has been often suggested, but not previously shown by experiment, the rates of phenotypic and genomic change were discordant, both across replicate populations and over time within a population. All descendants in a population shared certain pivotal mutations, and these are candidates for beneficial mutations, which are rare and difficult to find. More generally, these data show that the genome is highly dynamic even over a time scale that is, from an evolutionary perspective, very brief.

Chlamydomonas is a unicellular green algae capable of photosynthesis in light, but also somewhat capable of growth in the dark by using acetate as a carbon source. They cultured several clonal lines of Chlamydomonas in the dark for several hundred generations. Some of the lines grew well in the dark, but other lines were almost unable to grow at all. The poor growth lines improved throughout the course of the experiment until by 600 generations they were well adapted to growth in the dark. This experiment showed that new, beneficial mutations are capable of quickly (in hundreds of generations) adapting an organism that almost required light for survival to growth in the complete absence of light.

John McGlothlin said, "I am, by the way, a biologist and an atheist. I only mention the latter because I want to emphasise that evolutionary theory is a biological theory and not really related to religion and, just to be clear, not to lead anyone to think that I in any way support creationist dogma."

Theodosius Dobzhansky provided laboratory evidence for natural selection and variation as the major forces driving evolution. "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" is a 1973 essay by the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky.

Well, Linda, our responses have got out of sequence - like so much RNA - but it seems that you are lumping me in with the creationist camp (even though I clearly said I wasn't a creationist by any stretch). I am simply pointing out that non-theist scientists have found holes in evolutionary theory regarding the ability of mutation and selection to account for all diversity. That there is plenty of evidence to support the theory isn't disputed; just that it has flaws. Scientists question and propose new lines of research and that is what is being done, fianally, with regartds to evolutionary theory.

I said I wasn't going to debate and I'll try to keep my word but I will point out that the fossil record has long be thought deficient with regards to showing true transitional forms (as the creationists are happy to point out). Also, 1973 was a long time ago and much new research and evidence has arisen since then that gives rise to the theory being questioned. Thus, what might have been believed in 1973 is not terribly relevant today.

The fossil record problem and several areas of biochemistry are the two focal points of current questioning. The current thought is that while mutation and selection likely account for much of evolution there are likely other processes also in play. Thus, the theory needs re-tuning and those who dig in their heels are, in fact, not practicing good science and are guilty of a form of faith.

I'll leave it at that for now. Perhaps we'll meet up again on one of your boards as I've just discovered this site and organization and think there's potential for high-level discourse. In the meantime I'll bet you ten dollars that in the next ten years there'll be revisions to evolutionary theory regarding how much can be explained by mutation and selection.

Carry on the good fight.

John McGlothlin said, "Well, Linda, our responses have got out of sequence - like so much RNA - but it seems that you are lumping me in with the creationist camp (even though I clearly said I wasn't a creationist by any stretch)."

Organic chemists have synthesized hundreds of different polymers, yet the only ones used by life, irrespective of species, are polynucleotides, polypeptides, and polysaccharides. Regardless of the species, the DNA, RNA and proteins used in known living systems all have the same chirality, even though there are at least two chemically equivalent choices of chirality for each of these molecules. For example, RNA has four chiral centers in its ribose ring, which means that it has 16 possible stereoisomers - but only one of these stereoisomers is found in the RNA of known living organisms. All known life uses the same polymer, polynucleotide (DNA or RNA), for storing species specific information. All known organisms base replication on the duplication of this molecule. The DNA used by living organisms is synthesized using only four nucleosides (deoxyadenosine, deoxythymidine, deoxycytidine, and deoxyguanosine) out of the dozens known (at least 102 occur naturally and many more have been artificially synthesized. Many molecules besides ATP could serve equally well as the common currency for energy in various species (CTP, TTP, UTP, ITP, or any ATP-like molecule with one of the 293 known amino acids or one of the dozens of other bases replacing the adenosine moiety. Discovering any new animals or plants that contained any of the anomalous examples suggested above would be potential falsifications of common ancestry, but they have not been found. You haven't given any evidence to support anything that you have asserted. Why didn't you dispute what I have said about RNA and DNA with evidence or were we just supposed to believe you on faith: or do you not know about or honor the rules of evidence in science.

Creationist claim (what they call) a gap in the fossil record is evidence of creation or at least the fallibility of evolution. Unfortunately for the creationists evolution is natural law. Evolution is not just fossils. Evolution is the experimental development of species variations in a laboratory, and changes observable in nature. It is the study of the historical record provided by genetic material - DNA.

Darwin's original proposal was that individuals vary in their characteristics, and the environment imposes natural selection that picks which will survive and reproduce, and it is testable. There is a certain statistical probability for permanent structural alterations in DNA, consisting either of substitutions, insertions or deletions of nucleotide bases. which is absolutely known. There are also known genetic order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule that differ from one another. Evolution claims that all life is descended from previous life, and the fossil record gives us the approximate time at which species appeared. Statistical calculations can be made on the basis of divergence. Complete genomic order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule is just beginning to be completed. There will always be some unknowns with any scientific theory - this is not the only theory that has been exploited for the same reason - they just won't put "god in the gaps".

John McGlothlin said, "I am simply pointing out that non-theist scientists have found holes in evolutionary theory regarding the ability of mutation and selection to account for all diversity. That there is plenty of evidence to support the theory isn't disputed; just that it has flaws. Scientists question and propose new lines of research and that is what is being done, fianally, with regartds to evolutionary theory."

A scientist would have great incentive to find an exception to evolution, as it would be a Nobel-Prize winning discovery. If anyone had found a flaw in the theory of evolution they would have already won a Nobel Prize. If anyone came up with a better theory than evolution it would win them fame and fortune. This hasn't happened. All of the books claiming that there are flaws have been soundly disputed by world-renowned evolutionary biologists. The idea that there are flaws in the theory of evolution has been a complete failure.

A Scientific Support for Darwinism was created. A total of 7733 scientists signed the statement, affirming their support for evolution in four days. Evolution is one of science's impressive triumphs. ID, on the other hand, doesn't even meet the definition of science.

John McGlothlin said, "I said I wasn't going to debate and I'll try to keep my word but I will point out that the fossil record has long be thought deficient with regards to showing true transitional forms (as the creationists are happy to point out). Also, 1973 was a long time ago and much new research and evidence has arisen since then that gives rise to the theory being questioned. Thus, what might have been believed in 1973 is not terribly relevant today."

Yes, it is convenient to say you are not going to debate while making unsubstantiated claims. Creationists do have some really squirrelly ideas but they are not scientists. The fossil record shows clearly that there are transitional fossils. There have been many transitional fossils found since 1973 but if it was important then it is just as important now. Archaeopteryx is the most primitive bird known, and is clearly intermediate between reptiles and birds. In spite of such reptilian affinities as a long bony tail, toothed jaws, and clawed wings, creationists declare that because Archaeopteryx had feathers, it was a bird, not a transitional stage between reptiles and birds. Having no explanations of their own, the creationists attempt to deny the transitional fossils out of existence. And yes we do know a lot more today and it all supports the Theory of Evolution.

John McGlothlin said, "The fossil record problem and several areas of biochemistry are the two focal points of current questioning. The current thought is that while mutation and selection likely account for much of evolution there are likely other processes also in play. Thus, the theory needs re-tuning and those who dig in their heels are, in fact, not practicing good science and are guilty of a form of faith."

Yes, Some Creationists claim that evolutionism is a religious cult. However, the claim that there are "other processes also in play" does not dispute the fact that there are transitional fossils. You are trying to merge the "transitional fossils so-called problem" together with there "might be other processes". This is BS there are transitional fossils. Where is the proof that there are "other processes in play"?

If all organisms are united by descent from a common ancestor, then there is one single true historical phylogeny for all organisms. Similarly, there is one single true historical genealogy for any individual human. It directly follows that if there is a unique universal phylogeny, then all organisms, both past and present fit in that phylogeny uniquely. Since the standard phylogenetic tree is the best approximation of the true historical phylogeny, we expect that all fossilized animals should conform to the standard phylogenetic tree within the error of our scientific methods. Every node shared between two branches in a phylogeny or cladogram represents a predicted common ancestor; there are 29 common ancestors predicted from the tree. Our standard tree shows that the bird grouping is most closely related to the reptilian grouping, with a node linking the two, so we predict the possibility of finding fossil intermediates between birds and reptiles. The same reasoning applies to mammals and reptiles. However, we predict that we should never find fossil intermediates between birds and mammals.

We have found a complete set of dinosaur-to-bird transitional fossil with no morphological "gaps", represented by Eoraptor, Herrerasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, Compsognathus, Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, Velociraptor, Sinovenator, Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Confuciusornis, Sinornis, Patagopteryx, Hesperornis, Apsaravis, Ichthyornis, and Columba, among many others. All have the expected possible morphologies, including organisms such as Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, and the famous "BPM 1 3-13" (a dromaeosaur from China now named Cryptovolans pauli; which are flightless bipedal dinosaurs with modern-style feathers. Additionally, several similar flightless dinosaurs have been found covered with nascent evolutionary precursors to modern feathers (branched feather-like integument indistinguishable from the contour feathers of true birds), including Sinornithosaurus (Bambiraptor), Sinosauropteryx, Beipiaosaurus, Microraptor, and an unnamed dromaeosaur specimen, NGMC 91, informally called "Dave". Some of these were discovered very recently.

Behe 1994 - Where are they? It seems like quite a coincidence that of all the intermediate species that must have existed between the mesonychid and whale, only species that are very similar to the end species have been found. - Michael J. Behe Anti-Darwinian, Intelligent Design, writing against the validity of evolution less than a year before three transitional species between whales and land-dwelling Eocene Mesonychids were found.

Another impressive example of incontrovertible transitional forms predicted to exist by evolutionary biologists is the collection of land mammal to whale fossil intermediates. Whales, of course, are sea animals with flippers, lacking external hind limbs. Since they are also mammals, the consensus phylogeny indicates that whales and dolphins evolved from land mammals with legs. In recent years, we have found several transitional forms of whales with legs, both capable and incapable of terrestrial locomotion. An intermediate sirenian fossil - a seacow with legs. Reconstructed skeleton of Pezosiren portelli - length is approximately 7 feet. Seacows (manatees and dugongs) are fully aquatic mammals with flippers for forelimbs and no hind limbs. Evolutionary theory predicts that seacows evolved from terrestrial ancestors with legs, and so we could find seacow intermediates with legs. Recently, a new transitional fossil has been found in Jamaica, a seacow with four legs.

John McGlothlin said, " I'll leave it at that for now. Perhaps we'll meet up again on one of your boards as I've just discovered this site and organization and think there's potential for high-level discourse. In the meantime I'll bet you ten dollars that in the next ten years there'll be revisions to evolutionary theory regarding how much can be explained by mutation and selection."

The consensus of modern scientific research is that mutation and natural selection together can indeed produce novel, beneficial features in biological systems. Scientists further postulate that this low-level novelty extends to entire populations, which can, over time, become entirely separate species. On the other hand, creationist and intelligent design writers have insisted that whereas minor changes may occur within an established "kind," nothing fundamentally new can come through "random" or "undirected" evolution. Many intelligent design writers look to an intelligent designer as the true source of novelty in the biological world.

The latest experimental evidence supports the scientific view. Here are several examples: 1974 E. Coli experiment. In a 1974 paper Barry Hall and Daniel Hartl identified a gene in the bacterium E. Coli that is responsible for metabolizing lactose, using a complicated three-part process. They removed this gene, and then permitted the bacteria to multiply in a stressed environment containing lactose. Within 24 hours the bacteria had evolved a capability to utilize lactose, by means of a similar but distinct three-part biochemical pathway, involving two mutated genes. Biologist Douglas Futumya described this discovery as follows: "One could not wish for a better demonstration of the neo-Darwinian principle that mutation and natural selection in concert are the source of complex adaptations." Biologist Kenneth Miller points out that not only is it a valid example of evolutionary novelty, it is also an example of a multi-part biochemical system that intelligent design writer Michael Behe has insisted could not be produced by natural evolution.

The Milano mutation - Scientists recently discovered that certain persons in an Italian community, all descended from a single individual several generations back, possess a genetic mutation that increases good cholesterol and provides an effective antioxidant, thus resulting in measurably improved cardiovascular health.

Tibetan high-altitude genes - in 2010, researchers at the University of Utah and Qinghai University in China have found that natives of the Tibetan highlands have evolved ten unique genes that permit them to live well at very high altitudes. Because of these genes, Tibetans have more efficient metabolisms, do not overproduce red blood cells in response to thin air, and have higher levels of nitric oxide, which helps get oxygen to tissue. Even more recent study found a total of 30 genes that were distinct in the Tibetan population, and concluded that this change constitutes the fastest documented case of human evolution.

Several other examples of human genetic changes have recently been discovered, mostly by comparison of DNA sequences that appear to have occurred very recently in human history - around the past 50,000 years. These include - a genetic adaptation has arisen among Southern Chinese that makes them more resistant to alcohol, at the cost of turning red in the face - gene changes in Eskimo populations that help them better cope with bitter cold - genetic changes have been identified among certain primitive farming people that enhance folic acid (vitamin B9) production, which is absent in the tuber plant diet they rely on - two different genetic mechanisms have arisen for the lightened skin color, which among higher-latitude people promotes vitamin D production - Europeans have one, while East Asians have another - a version of a gene that promotes hair with thicker shafts has arisen in East Asians, possibly as added protection against cold.

Origin of new genes. Recent studies in genetics and genomics has illuminated the origin and development of many genes, as well as the mechanisms behind the formation of new genes. One recent review describes seven different mechanisms that have been identified for the formation of new genes, including gene duplication, "exon shuffling", and "mobile elements". DNA-based analysis techniques also permit scientists to determine, with fairly good accuracy, how long ago a new gene or set of genes first appeared. For example, the FOXP2 gene, which plays a key role in human speech and language development, first appeared approximately 100,000 years ago.

Numerous examples of true evolutionary novelty can be cited in the scientific literature. What's more, computer-based simulations of biological evolution and evolution-like processes also demonstrate the production of novelty. Thus the claim by creationists and intelligent design writers that evolution cannot produce anything truly new has been rather soundly refuted.

Whoa there Linda. You continue to try to put words in my mouth and lump me in with the creationists and now you question if I honor "the rules of evidence." Let me try again.

I am not rejecting evolution in its entireity and am not proposing any creationist or theological challenges. I am only saying that Darwinian theory has holes, these are recognized by non-theist evolutionary scientists, and that the hypothesis that all diversity is the result of genetic mutation and natural selection is questionable. To simply deny such and not allow for any questioning is the definition of orthodoxy.

I'm not going to engage in long-winded technical debate but just for the record I will quote a few heretics.

Massimo Pigliucci of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook Universiy said in an interview with LiveScience magazine:

"I think one of the greatest mysteries in biology at the moment is whether natural selection is the only process capable of generating organismal complexity or whether there are other properties of matter that also come into play. I suspect the latter will turn out to be true." (http://www.livescience.com/1736-greatest-mysteries-drives-evolution.html)

From the TalkOrigins index to creationist claims (www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA510.html):

"Many noncreationist alternatives to Darwinian evolution, or significant parts of it, are possible and have received serious attention in the past. These include, among others, * orthogenesis * neo-Lamarckianism * process structuralism * saltationism"

Jay Gould himself felt there were serious problems with the fossil record and thus postulated that phenotypic change occurs not gradually (as proposed by the gene mutation/selection theory) but, rather, in more dramatic leaps.

Such ideas and debates have been reviewed in a number of places. One such is the book "Dawkins vs Gould" by Kim Sterenly where Gould's ideas are examined in detail. A somewhat different set of questions can be found in the book "Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution A Social Construction" by Michael Ruse.

If you want ot continue to throw a tantrum and misconstrue what I have said go ahead (but I'll probably have to re-examine my thoughts about the liklihood of higher level debate on this site). I'm not proposing we throw out the baby with the bath water, just that the theory as now written is legitimately questionable at a rather basic level.

John McGlothlin said, "Whoa there Linda. You continue to try to put words in my mouth and lump me in with the creationists and now you question if I honor "the rules of evidence." Let me try again."

Whoa yourself, as anyone can see I copied exactly what you posted and then answered it.

John McGlothlin said, "I am not rejecting evolution in its entireity and am not proposing any creationist or theological challenges. I am only saying that Darwinian theory has holes, these are recognized by non-theist evolutionary scientists, and that the hypothesis that all diversity is the result of genetic mutation and natural selection is questionable. To simply deny such and not allow for any questioning is the definition of orthodoxy.

You are putting words into my mouth I never said nobody could question a theory. However, the way science works is that a theory is not accepted until proven. Evolution has been tested for over 200 years. Scientists never stop questioning theories (science is a process) and theories are improved upon all the time. That does not mean the theory has serious flaws. Scientists are not questioning the fact that natural selection occurs. If they were that would be a serious flaw, but some scientists believe that there is something that assists natural selection. This is not new or something that finally got started; it's been known for decades.

John McGlothlin said, "I'm not going to engage in long-winded technical debate but just for the record I will quote a few heretics. Massimo Pigliucci of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook Universiy said in an interview with LiveScience magazine: "I think one of the greatest mysteries in biology at the moment is whether natural selection is the only process capable of generating organismal complexity or whether there are other properties of matter that also come into play. I suspect the latter will turn out to be true." (http://www.livescience.com/1736-greatest-mysteries-drives-evolution.html) From the TalkOrigins index to creationist claims (www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA510.html):"

Massimo Pigliucci told LiveScience. "Over the past decade or two, scientists have begun to suspect that there are other properties of complex systems (such as living organisms) that may help, together with natural selection, explain how things such as eyes, bacterial flagella, wings and turtle shells evolve,"

If there were organisms that help "natural selection" it would not be a flaw in the theory of evolution - it would be an addition to the same theory. However, that has not been proven, and that depends on a model or a theory that can be designed proving that organisms help natural selection. This does not mean that the organism's complexity is not due to natural selection. Natural selection is still accepted by scientists as the main engine capable of generating organismal complexity. In some cases we can directly observe natural selection. Human activity has led to environmental changes that have caused populations to evolve through natural selection.

John McGlothlin said, "Many noncreationist alternatives to Darwinian evolution, or significant parts of it, are possible and have received serious attention in the past. These include, among others, * orthogenesis * neo-Lamarckianism * process structuralism * saltationism"

ORTHOGENESIS - Paleontologist George g. Simpson was quoted by creationists that were listing a bunch of common out of context quotations taken from the writings of various scientists to give the false impression that the fossil record does not support evolution. What Simpson was referring to in that sentence which the creationists quoted was showing that the horse is not an example of orthogenesis: Of course the impression that they are trying to give is that George Gaylord Simpson, a great paleontologist, has rejected the fossil series showing the evolution of the horse. He did no such thing. He was not trying to debunk the fact that the fossil record supports evolution, nor was he trying to debunk notions of horse evolution shown in the fossil record. What Simpson actually wrote was about an old discredited notion called Orthogenesis. Orthogenesis was an idea that was popular in the late nineteenth and very early twentieth century but has been rejected by scientists since no one could provide a viable mechanism for it and more importantly the evidence showed it to be wrong. Orthogenesis is the notion that evolution proceeds in straight lines. This can refer to the idea that evolution proceeds straight from species A to species B without any side branches. More importantly, it refers to the idea that an evolutionary lineage changes steady, uniform way with no reversals. Sometimes, but not always, it was imagined that species were evolving steadily towards a goal. Usually this trend was supposed to be caused by some "mysterious inner force" (to use Simpson's words) of the species that compelled it to evolve. Some supporters of Orthogenesis would say that once a trend got started in a lineage that it would unchangingly continue until extinction occurred. Supporters of Orthogenesis example were the sabertooths. They claimed that the sword-like canine teeth of these cats over evolutionary time continuously got bigger until they were overgrown to the degree that they caused the animals extinction. Simpson pointed out that at least forty years (now ninety years) that those who studied sabertooth fossils stated that it was not so. The earliest sabertooths had canines about as large as those of the last survivors of the group. For some forty million years of great success the canines simply varied in size, partly at random and partly in accordance with individual advantage to species of various sizes and detailed habits. The famous trend for the sabers to become larger did not really occur at all.

neo-Lamarckianism - Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1774-1829) Theory of Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics. The Neo-Lamarckian challenge to Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection hinged on whether mutations were directed or random. In 1943, Salvador Luria and Max Delbruk showed that cultures of bacteria grown in laboratory dishes, and which survived lethal doses by a selective agent, obeyed the theory of random mutation - the distribution of the surviving microbes could only have occurred if the bacteria had mutated before presentation of the lethal agent. The statistical distribution of survival indicated that post-lethal dose mutations had not occurred. This final blow to Lamarck's concepts still did not permanently deter Lamarck's followers. Luria's and Delbruk's successful investigations removed one doubt from the Theory of Natural Selection - that random mutations could improve a species chance of survival.

Other evolutionists have shown that nervous system and eye developments have a variety of intermediate patterns in the animal world and a gradual evolution of these systems is entirely possible. Neo-Darwinist Stephan Jay Gould, who did not have total acceptance from other neo-Darwinists, proposed a Theory of Punctured Equilibrium - evolutionary changes occur in short and quick bursts. Using this theory, the lack of fossil records and incomplete number of generations become lesser limitations to Darwin's theory.

The perception that limitations remained in the Theory of Natural Selection prompted these evolutionists to find a more complete scientific theory of evolution. Their more complete theory did not attempt to contradict Natural Selection. It attempted to complement it and strengthen its acceptance.

Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection obtained greater scientific recognition, but Lamarck's concepts had support. German Zoologist August Weismann, while performing experiments in the late1880's to prove Lamarck right, convinced himself that Lamarck had been wrong. Weissman concluded that the cells in mammals that determine heredity (germline) became isolated before birth from the cells (soma) that determine the growth of the mammal. No mechanism had been determined by which changes in the soma could affect the germline, or by which soma changes could be inherited.

STRUCTURALISM - structuralism asked what happens when an organism does something, and functionalism asked how and why. Structuralism did not withstand the test of time and soon faded out despite an intensive program of research that relied on the contemplation of one's own thoughts, desires, and conduct. The experimental methods used in structuralism would not hold up to today's standards; the experiments were too subjective and the results were therefore unreliable. Functionalism emphasized the function, or purposes, of behavior as opposed to its analysis and description, and soon disappeared as a separate school because it lacked the kind of exactness needed to facilitate its theory. Despite its disappearance as a separate school of psychology "functionalism never really died, it became part of the mainstream psychology" (Oxford Companion, 2006). The importance of looking at process rather than structure is a common attribute of modern psychology.

SALTATIONISM - Gradualists insist that evolution proceeds by means of small successive changes; saltationists that it proceeds by jumps.

John McGlothlin said, "Jay Gould himself felt there were serious problems with the fossil record and thus postulated that phenotypic change occurs not gradually (as proposed by the gene mutation/selection theory) but, rather, in more dramatic leaps."

Neo-Darwinist Stephan Jay Gould, who did not have total acceptance from other neo-Darwinists, proposed a Theory of Punctured Equilibrium - evolutionary changes occur in short and quick bursts. Using this theory, the lack of fossil records and incomplete number of generations become lesser limitations to Darwin's theory.

John McGlothlin said, "Such ideas and debates have been reviewed in a number of places. One such is the book "Dawkins vs Gould" by Kim Sterenly where Gould's ideas are examined in detail. A somewhat different set of questions can be found in the book "Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution A Social Construction" by Michael Ruse."

Richard Dawkins believes that the apparent gaps represented in the fossil record document migratory events rather than evolutionary events.

Incidentally, that's been a while. As I mentioned in my previous answer we have now found a complete set of dinosaur-to-bird transitional fossil with no morphological "gaps", represented by Eoraptor, Herrerasaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, Compsognathus, Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, Velociraptor, Sinovenator, Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Confuciusornis, Sinornis, Patagopteryx, Hesperornis, Apsaravis, Ichthyornis, and Columba, among many others. All have the expected possible morphologies, including organisms such as Protarchaeopteryx, Caudipteryx, and the famous "BPM 1 3-13" (a dromaeosaur from China now named Cryptovolans pauli; which are flightless bipedal dinosaurs with modern-style feathers. Additionally, several similar flightless dinosaurs have been found covered with nascent evolutionary precursors to modern feathers (branched feather-like integument indistinguishable from the contour feathers of true birds), including Sinornithosaurus (Bambiraptor), Sinosauropteryx, Beipiaosaurus, Microraptor, and an unnamed dromaeosaur specimen, NGMC 91, informally called "Dave".

John McGlothlin said, "If you want to continue to throw a tantrum and misconstrue what I have said go ahead (but I'll probably have to re-examine my thoughts about the liklihood of higher level debate on this site). I'm not proposing we throw out the baby with the bath water, just that the theory as now written is legitimately questionable at a rather basic level."

Did you mean likelihood? A higher level of debate is when you find people who challenge you - and I don't think you can handle that. I'm throwing a tantrum - it's not you? I only asked for evidence - my replies have been very matter-of-fact and to the point accompanied by facts and evidence. The theory of evolution is not legitimately questionable at a basic level.

John McGlothlin said.."Jay Gould himself felt there were serious problems with the fossil record and thus postulated that phenotypic change occurs not gradually (as proposed by the gene mutation/selection theory) but, rather, in more dramatic leaps."

-Yeah he did. It's called Punctuated Equilibrium.....and it is still an aspect of natural selection. Gene selection and mutation are still responsible for Punctuated Equilibrium as well as gradual evolution. And most evolutionary biologists agree that both P.E. and gradual are involved in the evolutionary process. You are right, mutations and gene selection aren't the only factors involved in evolution. There is also environmental factors as well. Point is, all the factors that scientists have found in the process of evolution, lay under natural selection. The fact that we don't have all the answers yet for the theory, doesn't translate to the theory having flaws in it, that's a grossly misunderstanding of evolutionary biology. As far as science can tell actually, there is no flaws that have been found with the theory, if there was, the theory wouldn't be as plausible or accepted as it is today. There is also plenty of biologists that explain very well how genetic mutation is responsible for evolution.

-To Linda, you obviously have much knowledge when it comes to subjects like evolution and history, but it's hard for people to read through all your 10 paragraph(big paragraphs) long posts where it seems like you are simply copying and pasting. (Not saying that you are, just that it seems that way) You would do better to actually hold a conversation with the person you are quoting. Instead you are simply just quoting the person, then you go off on a extremely thorough fact laden binge where you most the time don't actually address the person's point or quote, despite the fact that your posts are true and accurate for the most part. It just feels like I'm reading a post made by a robot rather than a human being. Try having a little more interaction with the people you are debating on a level that they can understand and appreciate. Nobody likes listening to a Know-It-All who doesn't seem to have any emotional content to their posts. Though I agree with almost everything you say, you do have a tendency to misrepresent and misunderstand the people you are debating. John has repeatedly pointed out that he isn't a creationist or I.D. supporter, yet you keep labeling him that because, to me, it seems that you briefly skim through a post, then without actually thinking about how to approach answering and pointing out certain aspects and points made in that post, you just go off on another fact laden spiel that may in fact have nothing to do with what the person you're addressing was trying to say. You need to slow down and actually respond to the person's post, one point at a time, instead of just slapping a 8 paragraph textbook explanation on the table that may not have anything to do with the post you're responding to.

Mamba24,

You couldn't teach anyone anything. You didn't answer the lion's share of the dispute! The topic is evolution. Linda's answers were straight to the point. I'll post some of your improvements though.

Mamba24 "Yeah he did. It's called Punctuated Equilibrium.....and it is still an aspect of natural selection. Gene selection and mutation are still responsible for Punctuated Equilibrium as well as gradual evolution."

I guess you think that's really audacious but you didn't prove anything you made a statement. Answers without explanations are pointless.Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory that instead of a slow, continuous movement, evolution tends to be characterized by long periods of virtual standstill. Gradualist is not mutually exclusive to Punctuated Equilibrium; in fact Punctuated Equilibrium embodies gradualism. Punctuated Equilibrium was meant to explain so-called "gaps" in the fossil record. Punctuated Equilibrium theory is that evolution generally proceeds in bursts, or not at all. "Continuously variable speedists," on the other hand believe that "evolutionary rates fluctuate continuously from very fast to very slow and stop, with all intermediates. They see no particular reason to emphasize certain speeds more than others. In particular, stasis, to them, is just an extreme case of ultra-slow evolution.

What you wrote was inadequate and was explained much better (without grammatical errors), which makes your answer unnecessary. It's like having a defective echo.

Mamba24 "There is also environmental factors as well."

May I correct this example of correctness? You really don't need the also (There are environmental factors as well etc…) or (there is also an environmental factor). Yes, you should be instructing people on the proper way to respond.

Mamba24, "The fact that we don't have all the answers yet for the theory, doesn't translate to the theory having flaws in it, that's a grossly misunderstanding of evolutionary biology.

No, that's gross grammar (that's a gross misunderstanding or that's grossly misunderstood). We don't know everything has nothing to do with what he calls flaws in the theory. Nothing disputes what we do know.

Mamba24, "As far as science can tell actually, there is no flaws that have been found with the theory, if there was, the theory wouldn't be as plausible or accepted as it is today. May I point out this answer is without references (uses poor grammar) and is without details? (As far as science can tell actually, there are no flaws that have been found with the theory,) Why not name some evolutionary biologists that agree with that statement and tell us why. Then mention that evolution is considered a theory and a fact. It has been observed.

Mamba24, "There is also plenty of biologists that explain very well how genetic mutation is responsible for evolution."

May I make a correction? (There are also plenty of biologists that explain very well how genetic mutations are responsible for evolution)

The comment was made without references or explanation. Mutation is undeniably responsible for the ultimate origins of all novel genetic material, and evolution without mutation would eventually come to a stop. This as well as the names of the biologists and their explanations would be required for your answer to be considered an actual rebuttal.

Mamba24, "you briefly skim through a post, then without actually thinking about how to approach answering and pointing out certain aspects and points made in that post,

Really! I think that fits your commentary and tirades; you didn't care a thing about the actual topic. Linda answered every argument with excruciating detail and evidence. Unfortunately, you haven't proven that Linda is a know-it-all that doesn't know how to frame an argument, which seems to be what you had in mind. You have proven your level of literacy. Your reply was frankly long and dull because most of it is not on topic; it's conjured up complaints full of errors. Nobody has to gear remarks to someone's short attention span or poor reading habits. Some discussions are not appropriate for people who don't want to read that much. Nobody should dumb down responses or try to be congenial for no reason; it's not that kind of message board. We are discussing evolution and proving what we say with facts. What you posted was really a competitive waste of time.

Mamba24 said, "you just go off on another fact laden spiel that may in fact have nothing to do with what the person you're addressing was trying to say."

Everyone knew what he was trying to say. It was posted. These are pointless remarks. It was John McGlothlin that didn't answer most of the rebuttals and just went on to some other non-fact-laden jabber as if he didn't need to explain anything. Linda had to explain his so-called arguments in her replies. That's what anyone besides John McGlothlin the biologist would be pointing out.

Mamba24, "You need to slow down and actually respond to the person's post, one point at a time, instead of just slapping a 8 paragraph textbook explanation on the table that may not have anything to do with the post you're responding to."

Your jabber didn't properly address any issue. Guess what? Most of us probably knew the answers to that junk as soon as we saw it. Most researchers look things up in science books when something involves details. However, I will point out that the person you are carping about is not posting replies that are full of errors grammatically, factually and punctuation wise. Some people can write very well without copying and others can't write a coherent sentence. You are writing about Linda not the issues for obvious reasons. Everything she rebutted was on target and to the point. All that you have proven is that you're good at butting in on discussions that someone has lost to make inane comments? You're trying to bring someone down to your level, which is not about addressing the topic. Even if you don't want to read the rebuttals that doesn't mean that we can't read them. Even though, it is hard to give up preferred person status.

The comments were copied and replied to, which proves his remarks were not changed. Arguments creationists often use were included in some of the replies, so deal with it. It happens to be a fact that creationists do claim that the theory of evolution has flaws and they do use many of the same arguments. Your complaints are not valid.

Some creationists don't deny microevolution but they do deny macroevolution, and they deny that they are the same processes. Some of them deny macroevolution and the transitional fossil record, which was soundly addressed only by Linda. The single cell issue is something that most creationists deny. Although, Linda solidly addressed that issue, I'll add that the oldest rocks contain only single-celled creatures. Your complaints are simply not valid.

Frankly, Linda wiped the floor with John's evolution flaws. You didn't address most of the actual topic, and when you did it was either redundant or very inadequate.

EMC said.."I'll post some of your improvements though."

-Alright have at it buddy. Wow quite the post you made here EMC! lol I love how I got the grammar police on my back! lol Because it's so important that my grammar and punctuation skills are flawless in order to get a point across.....are you serious man?? lol Frankly I don't care if I miss a comma here or there, or forget to cross a T or dot an I. I know you are sticking up for Linda and want to try and find a reason to rant on me for exercising a little criticism and advice. But I find your post slightly amusing and hypocritical at the least. lol You basically accuse me for not providing enough evidence or detailed information to back up the one point I made about Punctuated Equilibrium, and then further accuse me for not responding directly to the topic of this post when I offer my opinion on Linda. And after all this, you start pointing out grammar errors.......LOL Good Job Buddy.

EMC said.."No, that's gross grammar (that's a gross misunderstanding or that's grossly misunderstood). We don't know everything has nothing to do with what he calls flaws in the theory. Nothing disputes what we do know."

-It's funny that you point that out, because I myself recognized this grammar error AFTER I posted it. But usually little errors like this aren't that big of a deal, unless some angry, anal, grammar nut job is trying to find a reason to rant on me for criticizing their friend. By the way, the main point of my post towards Linda was because she was incorrectly labeling John as a creationist or I.D. supporter. That's what I was trying to say when telling her to read a little more carefully before she jumps to conclusions.

EMC said.."However, I will point out that the person you are carping about is not posting replies that are full of errors grammatically, factually and punctuation wise."

-Wow really? lol Grammar and punctuation errors? This is laughably ridiculous. Are you sure Linda doesn't ever make grammar errors? Or punctuation mistakes? lol Is this all you got man? Factual errors huh? Not sure what factual errors you're talking about, because the one point I made about P.E. is something you basically agreed with. You just accused me of not having supporting and detailed evidence to back it up. Then you expanded on my point. So no EMC I'm not really sure what factual errors you're talking about. How long was my response towards John? Like three or four sentences? Yeah I'm sure there was many factual errors in there despite you not actually pointing out any. This is funny because you accuse me of not providing detailed information for my statements, and stating factual errors, yet you don't provide any evidence for it.

-So what did I get out of this little tirade of yours? lol Not a whole lot, just that your mad at me for offering a little criticism of Linda.(Despite the fact that I agree with pretty everything she says) So you found an excuse to rant on me, and the excuse is grammatical errors. And not having enough detailed information........wow, I feel so humbled. Thanks for your flawless opinion and advice concerning pretty much nothing, except that your feelings got hurt and that you don't feel I adequately explained P.E.(I don't think I have too unless John asked for it, which he didn't) So thanks for expanding on my statement and pointing out irrelevant grammar errors. That must have been really satisfying for your mental masturbation. lol I look forward to your reply, which will probably consist of more irrelevant grammar advice and emotional rhetoric. Thanks for the post. lol

I also love how you seem to worship Linda. "Linda is absolutely correct on everything she posts, it's excruciatingly flawless, it's absolutely ridiculous that anyone would offer even the slightest bit of advice or critique." LOL I know this isn't an actual quote so you don't have to tell me. This is just the basic impression I got from your emotional post, which by the way, seemed to me like a complete overreaction.

If Linda has anything to complain about, then she can tell me, it was a simple piece of advice, and entirely my opinion. She in no way has to react or respond to me, or change the way she posts on here. And I completely agree with basically everything she says, so I don't think she really needs you to completely overreact and freak out on me because I offered a simple opinion. (By the way, my critique of her wasn't based off just that one post, but from many I've read form other threads as well.) Yeah you're right, I am in no position to be teaching evolution to anyone here, not past a basic level anyway. I'm not an evolutionary biologist, so that's why I keep my points regarding the issue pretty simple and short, and I'm still educating myself on the subject. Yeah I could probably go read up a little on Wikipedia or some other site like talkorigins.com like you do probably and type a long textbook explanation on how Punctuated Equilibrium works soon after to make myself look smart, that way the one anal grammar atheist on this message board can be satisfied with me. Because it's utterly insane to critique any atheist, especially you or Linda, because you guys apparently know everything and can't accept advice.(I sorry EMC, is this post up to your grammatical standards? lol Are we in english class?)

-LOL Honestly I was taken by surprise with your post, I hadn't realized I did anything wrong except offer an honest opinion. But I welcome any critique, because I know I'm not an expert and I certainly don't claim to know everything, nor do I consider myself to be some sort of teacher. I am an atheist by the way, so don't jump to the conclusion that I'm biased against atheism or make up some stupid excuse like "Yeah but that's the kind of response you can hear from creationists or intelligent designers, so we are justified in labeling you as one."

EMC said.."Linda solidly addressed that issue, I'll add that the oldest rocks contain only single-celled creatures. Your complaints are simply not valid."

-I wasn't aware that my complaints had anything to do with the validity of her research or post, I've already said I agree with pretty much everything she said. I'm now pointing this out for the second or third time...... This is exactly what my point was supposed to be, you type out some long and detailed post and accuse people of saying things they didn't actually say while worshiping your hero Linda. Take a chill pill man, because "I believe" that your accusations aren't valid. Do you want to go back and forth and start slinging false accusations and misrepresenting what I was trying to say? Or are you mature enough to admit that you overreacted and really had no grounds to be attacking me in the first place? lol Because I find this all to be pretty amusing, while you seem to be absolutely serious. Not to mention that you pulled the grammar card for like 80% of your post. Quite the defense mechanism you got there. lol

John McGlothlin,

Because DNA and proteins are so intimately related and co-dependent on one another, many scientists consider it unlikely that either arose independently. So, a more credible candidate for the primordial polymer of life is the intermediary RNA. The idea was apparently first suggested by Francis Crick who shared the Nobel Prize with James Watson for discovering the structural basis for the storage of genetic information by nucleic acids.

When this idea was presented to you with much more detail and on a "higher level" you didn't seem to know this. Most high school biology students probably know this.

You need to be able to explain the facts in the form of a convincing argument. What you are doing is posting comments or words and then you fail to follow through on the details. You say, "the theory as now written is legitimately questionable at a rather basic level" when nothing you have stated actually proves that comment. That comment also disputes your claim, "I am not rejecting evolution in its entireity" if evolution was "legitimately questionable at a rather basic level" the theory would have been discarded like your arguments (without explanation) orthogenesis * neo-Lamarckianism * process structuralism * saltationism" all have been because they were flawed, which means defective.

You have been given tons of stuff disputing your erroneous claims but you've ignored most of it. You have just gone on to some other issues without giving any real evidence. You have stated repeatedly that you don't want to debate the issues, so I guess it is safe to assume that we must agree with your statements or you will leave this site to pursue a "higher level debate." What you need is a web site where people will say, "I completely agree with you," and that would be better because they are on the same level as you are on.

Mamba24: thank you.

EMC: Perhaps I am guilty of poor usage (e.g. "flawed"). I will give you that. I'll have to re-examine my thoughts in light of the comments here. What I do still feel, however, is that legitimate scientists question certain aspects of the theory. I only quoted sources so as to demonstrate that there are, in fact, non-theist evolutionists who question certain orthodoxies. I didn't feel that quoting them at length, as Linda does, would be useful and that is what I meant when I said I didn't want to debate in detail. I have read the books quoted (and others) and - perhaps incorrectly - I see question marks. That's all.

I'm new to internet sites and found this one by accident and thought I'd venture out a bit. Perhaps that was a mistake. I have been polite and have not attacked anyone but some of the responses seem like angry personal attacks to me.

I still find this organization and site interesting but perhaps you are right and I should just move along; wrong neighboorhood.

John McGlothlin said.."What I do still feel, however, is that legitimate scientists question certain aspects of the theory."

-Sure. That's the whole point of science. Scientists are always continually investigating theories. That's the whole point of it being falsifiable. However, that doesn't mean that the theory has flaws. Scientists have been trying to find things wrong with the theory for 150 years......yet none can point anything out. And the ones who have claimed to find flaws in the theory, have been thoroughly refuted. The fact that there are biologists that may think that genetic mutation isn't sufficient enough to explain the process of evolution by natural selection alone, isn't necessarily disputed, there is legitimate reason to think that other factors may play in the role of evolution, such as the environment. But even the environment plays a role in genetic mutations. So all these factors are intertwined with each other. You pointed out a quote by Gould earlier that talks about P.E. thinking that this backed your point, yet it doesn't. All the evidence suggests that genetic mutations are still responsible for punctuated equilibrium evolution, as well as gradual evolution. I'm not an evolutionary biologist, but I would suggest reading a book called "Did man create God?" by David E. Comings. He specifically talks about all the questions pertaining to the theory of evolution in pretty good detail for normal people to understand, and goes through almost every point you raised in this discussion.

John McGlothlin was not attacked, his claims were, and there is a big difference. Many of his arguments come right out of the Creation or Designer playbook and that's what he was told. Let's start from the beginning:

John McGlothlin, "As atheists point out to believers, the burden of proof is on he who proposes. Thus those who believe evolutionary theory must provide proof that the theory fits the facts and explains observed phenomena. In short, I don't think the theory works because it requires faith that genetic mutation, which sometimes results in producing a biological advange to the mutants, is the source of all variation and that every living thing can be traced back to the first living cell".

I'm sure you meant to say advantage so I will just assume that is right. No, it does not require faith to know what science has proven through discoveries and with experiments. It is Creationist or Design propaganda that it requires faith to believe evolution theory. That is why Creationists use words like Darwinianism instead of Darwinian theory to give the impression that Darwin's theory of evolution is like a religious cult.

John McGlothlin, "That cannot be true because a mutation can only alter what already exists (i.e. cannot increase complexity). The basis of evolutionary theory is thus a sort of alchemy and, if one is careful in one's questioning and does enough reading on the subject, one will discover that nobody can prove that genetic mutation can create new material or how mutation and selection could lead to such transformations as scales becoming feathers (to name one evolutionary claim)."

Gee! Has anyone ever suggested that punctuation would make this stuff easier to decipher? Scientists have shown that beneficial mutations do occur to produce brand new alleles (variants of genes) that improve an organism's chances of survival in a particular environment. You were given this same information from Linda with the experiments. I guess you don't recognize that this was in fact the actual answer?

John McGlothlin, Now, that said, there is a lot of evidence of transisitional life forms and similar genetic code but the fact that such exists doesn't explain how it came to be. Evolutionary theory fails at the fundamental (no pun intended) level and thus I would say until a biologist can observe and prove the type of genetic/structural change proposed by the theory then it isn't proven (and really ought not be called a theory but rather a hypothesis)."

I will assume this was meant to be transitional. There are transitional fossils and we can trace how life forms have evolved with DNA testing.

John McGlothlin "I am, by the way, a biologist and an atheist. I only mention the latter because I want to emphasise that evolutionary theory is a biological theory and not really related to religion and, just to be clear, not to lead anyone to think that I in any way support creationist dogma."

I'm pretty sure you mean emphasize! I can't imagine why a biologist would have to read a book on evolution that "normal people" could understand. I read this entire thread and the type of rhetoric I posted continued throughout. I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone that these arguments do not come from science. Your arrogance faded when you couldn't win; you just got angrier and angrier. Thanking someone for getting you off the hook make sense, and never mind the fact nobody has the right to become involved in a discussion to trash people when they are kicking your ass.

Mamba24, I'm sure if you try real hard you will figure out that what you were told is; we are not here to discuss the attributes of people who kicked our ass, we are here to discuss the topic, or get lost. Stop interrupting discussions to parrot answers that someone else has given with much better evidence.

Harvey said.."Mamba24, I'm sure if you try real hard you will figure out that what you were told is; we are not here to discuss the attributes of people who kicked our ass, we are here to discuss the topic, or get lost."

-OH! Burn! Man you got me there, wow you're smart! lol Way to misrepresent me and try and act as if you're the top dog who makes all the decisions here. "Stop interrupting discussions here and get serious and discuss the topics, and especially provide your evidence."......sweet man I will keep that in mind if i ever need to provide any. Yeah I really consider myself to have gotten my ass kicked, all that grammar critique was mind blowing! I guess this just goes to show how uptight and stubborn people are who can't have any kind of normal conversation without spewing out words and phrases like "evidence" and "Linda is awesome, don't offer advice or criticism to her!"

-You know what would have happened had I left out the "linda" part, and just had my punctuated equilibrium part on there? Probably nothing. It's only because I thought Linda sounded like a robot, despite me agreeing with her research and factual information, that some uptight atheists come rushing to the defense with their grammar criticisms and ass-kicking rhetoric to put me in my place. LOL I mean I agree that John's statements were wrong and unjustified, and I realized that Linda had already addressed pretty much everything..........except for the one comment about P.E. So I briefly mentioned that P.E. was still dependent on genetic mutation and moved on. Because in my honest opinion, I don't believe you have to have three paragraphs of detailed textbook information to back up a simple point......especially on a message board......that like 5 people use. So sorry Harvey, I don't believe I have to provide a boatload of evidence for ONE point I made. Not unless John had asked for it. So you don't need to act like a stick is up your a** and criticize me for expressing my opinion about someone. Like I said, if she wants to fire back at me, she is welcome to do that. But we don't need people rushing to her defense who apparently think very highly of themselves and can't allow any criticism of any form directed towards a fellow atheist. If you had read what John was saying, he was simply offering his opinion on the mechanisms of evolution, he wasn't disputing whether or not evolution is a fact, just that he thought it was possible that there might be other factors involved in the process. So your little tirade about these being the common complaints of creationists is irrelevant, because he isn't one. So when I simply pointed out that genetic mutation was still responsible for P.E., I didn't really need to have supporting evidence, because I was making a strict point in reference to the particular quote he posted about Stephen Jay Gould. I wasn't trying to educate him on anything, just tell him a simple fact.

Harvey said.."Stop interrupting discussions to parrot answers that someone else has given with much better evidence."

-Oh! So I'm parroting answers now! Wow, I simply made one point about Punctuated Equilibrium in relation to genetic mutation, and now I'm parroting answers!...."Oh, you didn't explain it as well as Linda! Ha Ha! Therefore you can't address any topics on here!" lol Just another example of why I'm getting accused for things I didn't do.....for simply criticizing Linda.(Despite me agreeing with her information) Thanks for proving my point even further Harvey. I'm sorry, this doesn't have anything to do the topic does it? Yeah I seem to remember you accusing me of doing that in my last post. Well, are there any other uptight, stubborn, know-it- all atheists who have a problem with me criticizing one of their friends for sounding like a robot? LOL I'm having fun with this.

Mamba24,

There is no debate among real scientists about the basic theory of evolution. There are some Creationist's asking for schools to fairly present the scientific evidence against evolution; when any real scientist will tell them, there isn't any. Anyone researching scientific journals will find that these claims are unfounded. A creationist calling for a "scientific debate over Darwinian evolution" and asking to have the controversy taught is without reason. The problem, again, is that there is no debate or controversy to teach. The National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific organization, emphasizes, "There is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution."

I didn't find anything to complain about with any of the responses to John's claims. The on-going discussion was with Linda. John's reply was a rebuttal to Linda's post. It is a little inconsistent to claim to have only interrupted an on-going discussion to complain about a person that you agree with because their answers were too descriptive and long, by posting complaints about that person that are several pages long.

You were not involved in the discussion, so you had no reason to offer a rebuttal or to interrupt a discussion to complain about the person who was addressing John's claims. John's answer was in reply to Linda's post. It doesn't matter what you thought about her answers to his claims when they had nothing to do with you. It's absurd that you have complained about the length or explicitness of posts that addressed the claims that were being made on the actual topic when you have raved on for pages about nothing.

The argument about EP were addressed to Linda, and not to you. She answered John's last post with the EP issue he raised in her reply (right under it), as well as, all the words that she defined for him that he considered evidence of his claims. The claims were answered but John ignored the reply and just answered yours instead, which was not justifiable. His response should have been to the rebuttal of the argument that he posted. There were many issues that you did not address. Right under John's last post that is the Reply From: Linda (Posted Mar 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm) to John's arguments that were ignored due to your interruption. Maybe he would like to answer it now?

Your characterization of someone's responses can easily be repudiated because we can read the responses and your portrayal. If John raised a point she answered it. There was no unnecessary commentary; it was explicit. If John didn't want to read all that stuff then John shouldn't have posted all that stuff as proof of his claims. Your long drawn out boring nauseous complaints are not appropriate because you have no right to complain. Your interruption did not explain the facts better or even answer all of the claims in the last post. So, it's obvious what the goal was, and that wasn't to discuss the topic. Looking at the last post From: Linda (Posted Mar 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm) to John, I find every answer there is relevant, and does not sound like a "robot" or a fool that "just briefly skim through a post."

Yes, you do have to provide evidence if you are challenging someone's claims. You can't just make ambiguous statements based on nothing. You do have to give actual proof of what you are saying. If someone is making creationists claims and saying that scientists believe them the counter argument will have to explain why scientists do not believe that; without any real knowledge and understanding of the theory you can't provide that kind of information. Why would anyone enter into an on-going discussion who knows less about the topic to carp about a person who clearly thoroughly understands the topic and is providing John with an abundance of actual facts about evolution? It's clear that if someone is doing a better job than most of us could do they do not need our advice or help.

John should have answered the last reply to his arguments From: Linda (Posted Mar 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm), and that was not you. Biologists would have no problem understanding anything in those answers and they would know that every answer is germane.

Maybe someone already mentioned this; I'm not about to read through those walls of text. The theory of evolution, like all science, is constantly revised. The core of the theory, like all theories, remains quite solid, but there are many outlying details that are still being worked out. Apparently, we don't know everything yet. The theory of evolution represents the best explanation we have for the observed changes in species over time. It explains those changes with great precision. So yes, of course there is still work being done, but that doesn't throw the basic ideas of evolution into question at all.

I assume you mean the "walls of text" on the topic not the "walls of text" junk about the person who proved John's arguments were total BS. Why make the familiar repetitive complaint about the "wall of text" if you didn't read the discussion and don't know what all the issues are that were raised? John's claims entailed much more than what your comment addressed. That didn't answer a fraction of the issues raised by John. You made statements without giving the basis or proof of those statements. That's really not that hard to do. That's been done too. Mamba24 did the same thing second verse - to prove what? Also, what you did mention was pointed out in the discussion numerous times. That you didn't bother to read before commenting.

Linda, "Scientists never stop questioning theories (science is a process) and theories are improved upon all the time. That does not mean the theory has serious flaws. Scientists are not questioning the fact that natural selection occurs. If they were that would be a serious flaw, but some scientists believe that there is something that assists natural selection. This is not new or something that finally got started; it's been known for decades."

Now you would have to address the single cell theory, the fossil record and that is just to name a small part of the issues I remember off the top of my head that John raised. John's last post: "Many noncreationist alternatives to Darwinian evolution, or significant parts of it, are possible and have received serious attention in the past. These include, among others, * orthogenesis * neo-Lamarckianism * process structuralism * saltationism"

None of which was defined or explained by John. He didn't explain why he thought any of this was an argument against Darwin's theory of evolution.

It was all defined and explained in the post From: Linda (Posted Mar 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm). That reply was never answered. Because?

Evolution is not in question but evolution makes Creation and Intelligent Design totally invalid. Proponents assert that modern life on Earth could not have developed solely through scientifically established processes of evolution but instead required the direct intervention of an "intelligent designer." Evolution begins with mutations in biological organisms that occur naturally during the reproductive process. That fact disputes ID and Creation.

In order to be valid, a scientific theory must unite a broad range of observations, inferences, and facts under a detailed explanation, which makes predictions about the outcomes of future experiments, and observations. All theories have gaps, which invite further investigation and testing, and through this process some theories are discarded, while others are strengthened. That is what has happened with Evolution. There is no better alternative that has been proposed which accounts for more facts and makes better predictions than the theory of evolution. Everything we know points to natural process and nothing indicates Creation/Design.

The only alternative to answering all John's claims was to just leave them there without a rebuttal. Discussion boards just don't work that way. The real remedy to this little problem is not to make claims if you don't want to debate them or have anyone point out that Creationists use some of these arguments. It's great to have this debate about evolution in writing with all the explanations as to why these arguments are not valid. It's right here for those want to read it and can understand it to read. Creation/Design advocates probably will pass.

I didn't make a complaint about the walls of text. Thanks for your unnecessary reply. I am not under any onus whatsoever to address all comments made here. I addressed what I saw fit to address.

Surely it's amazing as people better believes in such things like TO, full of fails, void of proofs, instead of bible's truth! But skeptics needs true 'proofs' to comprove their 'beliefs'!

I'm amazed by your ability to say absolutely nothing and look stupid doing it.

I just joined ACA & saw this post. I would like to leave a comment that illustrates my opinion on this matter.

Evolution can be disproved, just as gravity can be disproved. Science is inductive, I.E. it "goes from some to all." Because we have not seen every possible instance where gravity works we are not absolutely certain that it will operate the next time we drop a rock. However, we have a very LARGE degree of certainty that it will fall, just as we are have a LARGE degree of certainty that evolution is a valid process based on the evidence. (experience of gravity is evidence).

I think that in dealing with scientific illiterates it is sometimes useful to resort to use simple comparisons like this.

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