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Please disprove the theory of evolution to me


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Just saw a post in another thread where someone said they could disprove a lot of evolution. I'm a believer in the theory of evolution, (yes, I know I just called it a theory), and I would welcome some food for thought. Always nice to have a chat.

Keep it nice and civil please, it's just a discussion.

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The person you were speaking to may have some philosophical or religious reason that compels them to ignore important scientific principles like the theory of evolution, but what they don't have is solid proof. If such proof existed several fields of science would be in major upheaval, as it would mean throwing out most of the theoretical basis for their work.

In short, ask a scientist how the Theory of Evolution is doing, not someone with a vested interest in ignoring the science.

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First of all: Evolution is not "just" a theory. http://www.notjustatheory.com/ Also, you don't believe in science. http://theweek.com/article/index/265653/why-you-should-stop-believing-in-evolution It's true whether you want it to be or not.

I disagree with the assumption in the second article that we are related to everything. It is possible that life did not start from a single replicating protein strand. But may have happened more than once, in separate places on earth. Such a possibility would allow for animals not being related to plants at all.

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There's nothing that can be disproven in the theory of evolution. Almost all of the fossils required to prove it where already found. This theory is solid as rock.

That's the only "problem" with the theory. Not all of them (nor will they) will be found. And with gaps here and there people will point to that as a "failure" of the theory.

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I've asked scientists a lot about evolution, Richard Dawkins chief amongst them, The Selfish Gene is an eye opener for sure, but I like discussing things so I thought I would. I totally agree about evolution being about as cast iron definite as any thing can be, it's elegance, simplicity and seeing it happen throughout the 20th century are all sticks beating me about the head with 'Fact' printed on the sides, but there is an awful lot of people who refuse to accept, quoting interesting appendages on strange shrimp and fossil record inconsistencies and all manor of silly things to protect their version of events, I'm interested to see if anyone can give me an argument I can't think or Google my way around

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Oh, by the way, my favourite one I've come across is when I get asked what the chances are of 2 human beings evolving at the same time and close enough to each other to meet and have intercourse? Hmmm, very unlikely I think you'll find. Then who did the first human to evolve have intercourse with?

Edited by Monkeh
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That's the only "problem" with the theory. Not all of them (nor will they) will be found. And with gaps here and there people will point to that as a "failure" of the theory.

Where there can be reasons for this gaps because maybe there where some events we do not know of that resulted in them, the theory itself is not touchable by them. Everybody with a reasonable mind will conclude that such small gaps can happen and won't put the whole theory into question only because of that.

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We have no idea if life arose multiple times. We do know that all life on Earth today arose from just one of those lineages, as the most intrinsic genetic machinery is common to them all. We share a genetic code. Scientists recently created a bacteria with an incompatible genetic code, so we know it's possible to have different ones.

"Just a theory" - theories are better than laws, because they have explanatory power.

Evolution is inevitable given a few premises: 1) Mutations arise in populations giving rise to variation 2) Not all variations have equal reproductive fitness 3) More effective variations will therefore increase in prevalence within the population. Even the creationists accept this stuff, but relabel it as 'adaptation' or 'micro-evolution', but lose the plot at the species boundary ('macro-evolution'), which is not nearly as clearcut as they'd like to believe.

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Oh, by the way, my favourite one I've come across is when I get asked what the chances are of 2 human beings evolving at the same time and close enough to each other to meet and have intercourse? Hmmm, very unlikely I think you'll find. Then who did the first human to evolve have intercourse with?

Evolution doesn't work like that.

You're thinking of humans and pre-human ancestors as discrete categories. They're not; it's a smooth progression [1] all the way. You don't have a non-human ape one day and a human the next; you have a species of pre-human ancestors that gradually became more human-like over the course of a very long time.

"Theory" in science doesn't mean "guess"; that's a hypothesis. A theory is something that coherently explains a wide array of observations and has resisted attempts to disprove it for a very long time. The only reason we don't call it "fact" is because scientists hate making absolute statements about anything that isn't absolutely 100% provable (i.e. pretty much everything outside of mathematics). 99.99999999999999999999999999999...% likely to be true still isn't 100%.

While the phenomenon of evolution (which means that species change over time) is an observable fact, the Theory of Natural Selection (which is what Darwin actually came up with, and has since been substantially developed and refined) is an attempt to explain those observations. But it's a very, very good explanation. Nothing in the biological sciences makes any sense without it.

You'll probably benefit from having a dig through this: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

It's a safe bet that pretty much all of the creationist arguments you run into are catalogued and refuted there. They've been recycling the same nonsense for hundreds of years. It's a zombie debate.

[1] Yes, okay, punctuated equilibrium; trying not to needlessly complicate things here.

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The reason Evolution doesn't exist is because God made the Earth and the Heavens! It says so right in the Bible. And he created all of the animals at more or less the same time, so no evolution there. I'm not entirely sure why anybody would be questioning the ultimate source of wisdom.

Fun fact: the Bible (sorry) is deeply flawed. Why? Because it was written with "knowledge" that we know isn't correct anymore, after thousands of years.

The Bible implies that the Sun goes around the earth, and is just another object in the "heavens." It states in Kings that the value of pi is three. It gives medical advice that is incredibly poor, though it does strongly advise you to not eat shellfish. In all realms of science and mathematics, the Bible is lacking compared to today's knowledge.

Why?

Because it was originally written by a populace who was unaware of much of the science that we know today. They were pretty smart and well-educated guys, but they lived two thousand years ago, and this is beginning to show.

And yet, people stubbornly cling to biblical beliefs. Scientists have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution exists, based on hundreds of millions of years of fossil evidence. And yet, a small group of people who speak very loudly are trying to undermine science. The only problem? No matter how loudly they scream, no matter how hard they bang their fists on the table, they've already been proven wrong again and again.

Here, take a look at this. This is the alternative to evolution, according to Creation.com. Look at how happy the humans are together with the dinosaurs! Look at how peacefully the pterodactyls live with the birds! This is the last stand of this aspect of creationism: acknowledging the presence of extinct species, but showing Homo Sapiens among them.

Also on Creation.com is a deliciously illogical Journal of Creation, which attempts to blend science with religion, and, from what I can see, doesn't do a very good job of it. After all, aren't all of our hardships because Mrs. Eve ate that fruit from the tree of knowledge? Being smart is what caused all of humanity's problems in the first place, so let's throw our brains to the wind and embrace the concept of creationism. After all, what use is rational thinking, anyway?

sorry, I got a little carried away.

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Guys, I don't think theirs much to add to this, this is one of those post and collect your noble prize threads.. If you want to keep discussing it, might a suggest a better thread concept along the lines of discussing the theory of evolution, but this is one of those topics that can often lead to a disaster.

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It's the strongest theory science has to offer. Way more solid than The Big Bang.

There's plenty of theories that are better proven than the theory of evolution. Atomic theory being a most obvious example (we basically can "build" new atoms on our own now). Or if you want something from a field of biology - cell theory comes first in mind.

Most of the question marks about the theory of evolution focus around the very early stages, like the evolution of first living cells, a very long period between the appearance of first prokaryote and eukaryotic organisms, or one of the most common examples - the studies of probability combined with our lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life.

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Keep it nice and civil please, it's just a discussion.

There's probably an analogue of goodwin's law for bringig up evolution in polite company.

That said.... by and large, the evolution-deniers are bothered by things organizing themselves, and on a larger scale, by something coming from nothing (as in, the big bang). My most favorite anti-evolution argument goes like this:

Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently, that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn't possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.

The other anti-evolution arguments are, basically, nitpicking: doubting dating methods, complaining about missing links, that kind of thing. We have a good idea about how eyes may have evolved, but there is a lot of hand-waving along the lines "and then something like this must have happened". The doubters see that hand-waving and are turned off. They do *NOT* say "if you don't know everything, you don't know anything" -- but by all appearances, this is just what they seem to think.

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There's plenty of theories that are better proven than the theory of evolution. Atomic theory being a most obvious example (we basically can "build" new atoms on our own now). Or if you want something from a field of biology - cell theory comes first in mind.

Most of the question marks about the theory of evolution focus around the very early stages, like the evolution of first living cells, a very long period between the appearance of first prokaryote and eukaryotic organisms, or one of the most common examples - the studies of probability combined with our lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life.

Which is where I have a problem. I have no problem with, and can easily follow all the steps from single celled organism through what we see today, though there are some pretty big chasms for me early on - like the complete reversal of biological processes. But going from a gooey sludge to RNA to self contained DNA at this point too big a jump for me to be on board with.

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Which is where I have a problem. I have no problem with, and can easily follow all the steps from single celled organism through what we see today, though there are some pretty big chasms for me early on - like the complete reversal of biological processes. But going from a gooey sludge to RNA to self contained DNA at this point too big a jump for me to be on board with.

RNA bases are pretty common in primordial organic material (e.g. CC asteroids), and all you need for a first organism is a single molecule of sufficiently efficient RNA replicase. Regardless, that hardly means we can assume animals and plants could be unrelated; that would mean covergent evolution of the transcription and translation, the genetic code, two instances of incorporation of mitochndrions, and a heck of a lot more. There's not a single organism known that doesn't have the same or only a slightly modified genetic code, whereas in your case it'd be unlikely for them to even all use DNA.

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The other anti-evolution arguments are, basically, nitpicking

FYI: Theory of relativity was born by nitpicking. So don't dismiss that so easily.

doubting dating methods

You should doubt them, as every few years we're getting new calibration curves to the radiocarbon dating. We try to estimate dates using various objects from different eras to calibrate the measurements, but there's only as much as we can do - pretty much everything beyond written history is impossible to calibrate.

They do *NOT* say "if you don't know everything, you don't know anything" -- but by all appearances, this is just what they seem to think.

Yes, well, people do that cause they think that, simply put, scientific theory described "easy" parts while the details that determine whatever it's a valid theory or not are in this "hand-waving" as you put it. ;)

RNA bases are pretty common in primordial organic material (e.g. CC asteroids)

In general molecules similar or identical to these used in living cells are fairly common. Some of them are even speculated to exist in nebulae.

and all you need for a first organism is a single molecule of sufficiently efficient RNA replicase.

Hahaha, good joke. If it'd be that simple - we'd build our own first living, man-made organism already :)

Regardless, that hardly means we can assume animals and plants could be unrelated;

o_O noone mentioned anything alike nor any of the stuff you talk about later on in your post.

Edited by Sky_walker
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You should doubt them, as every few years we're getting new calibration curves to the radiocarbon dating. We try to estimate dates using various objects from different eras to calibrate the measurements, but there's only as much as we can do - pretty much everything beyond written history is impossible to calibrate.

Radiocarbon dating only works for the past few tens of thousands of years, and is dependent on potentially variable rates of production and uptake of carbon-14. The forms of radioisotope dating actually usable for fossils (e.g. U-Pb) are dependent on the constant conversion from an initial isotope to a daughter one over long periods of time; they are only dependent on decay rates, which are probably not variable and known to be not variable enough to significantly effect dating results.

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Radiocarbon dating only works for the past few tens of thousands of years, and is dependent on potentially variable rates of production and uptake of carbon-14. The forms of radioisotope dating actually usable for fossils (e.g. U-Pb) are dependent on the constant conversion from an initial isotope to a daughter one over long periods of time; they are only dependent on decay rates, which are probably not variable and known to be not variable enough to significantly effect dating results.

Decay speed is constant, but the presence of radioisotopes isn't, that's why calibration curves are an important factor in radiocarbon dating.

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Decay speed is constant, but the presence of radioisotopes isn't, that's why calibration curves are an important factor in radiocarbon dating.

Not all radioisotope dating is radiocarbon dating, and does not work in the same manner, that was my whole point. You don't seem to understand what you're talking about.

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F It states in Kings that the value of pi is three.

To be fair even if they had given the value as 3.1415 it would still be technically wrong. If I asked to write it out now you would technically be wrong.

3 pretty close seeing as they did not have super computers. It not like they said it was 4.

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