TED Conversations

Milton Fuller

This conversation is closed.

Why is evolution considered a fact?

A key component of evolution is spontaneous generation. If Pasteur refuted spontaneous generation in the 1800's, why is evolution considered a fact? ,


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 8 2013: Hi Milton.

    Welcome to TED. I have been asking this question most of my life. You will receive three answers.
    1) Abiogenesis is not part of the Theory of Evolution.
    2) We have almost achieved this in the lab.
    3) You don't understand the Theory; go & read this list of books.
    If you receive empirical evidence, then there is clearly favouritism & I will be upset, but delightfully surprised.

    • thumb
      May 8 2013: Peter you nailed it right on the head.
      • May 11 2013: No he didn't. Can you explain to me what exactly is wrong with clarifying that evolution is not the same as abiogenesis? Can you explain what is wrong with clarifying that abiogenesis is not the same as spontaneous generation? Wouldn't you clarify that Christ is not the same as Mohammed if I had such a misconception?

        Second, if I made a question about Christianity that assumed wrong ideas and stated them as facts, would you answer and offer "empirical evidence" to answer such a nonsensical question? Wouldn't you rather clarify so that I am not left in the dark about what I misunderstood?
    • thumb
      May 10 2013: Question: Why do people get all wound up about Evolution? And Why do people believe that if you embrace Evolution as a valuable scientific theory (as FACT) that makes you an Atheist? The theory/fact of natural selection says nothing about God. And just having a lot of strong, valid, scientific information about how things happen in the universe, neither validates or disproves anything anyone wants to say about God or the meaning of creation. Scientists have one set of answers. Theologians have another set of answers. Although both sets may intersect -- nothing about Science proves or disproves the existence of God. Nothing about Theology proves or disproves anything about the conclusions of Science. We have one set of data called "science." We have another set of data called "theology." Nothing in the one set proves or disproves anything in the other set. Even if both sets intersect, nothing in the theology set invalidates science. And no facts created or offered by science, invalidates theology. It's apples and oranges.
      • thumb
        May 10 2013: Good question Juan.
        Folks tend to argue vehemently for either side, but how many understand why?
        I think Christianity is the main culprit; I am a Christian, so here is my take.......
        The bible, taken at face value, states that the universe was created in six days. One day being defined as 'evening' and 'morning', ie one rotation of the planet. Evolution demands more time than this. The main problem here is that if we cannot trust the bible in this, then why should we trust it in anything else. Many try to merge the bible & the evolution time frame, but major gymnastics have to be performed.
        The main reason for conflict is a little more subtle however. The bible teaches that we can live forever, that death is not what we naturally think it is. According to the bible, there was no death envisaged at the beginning. Death is the consequence of the first humans disobedience to God. Jesus Christ (God) died at Calvary to absorb this consequence & give humans once more the opportunity to live forever. This is the message of the whole bible.
        Now, let's suppose evolution is true. Death is a 'normal' phenomenum; it has always existed & is indeed essential for life to progress. There are a couple of consequences. 1) Jesus wasted his time.& 2) We have no hope of eternal life.
        Now we have a choice; we can 'tow the line' , & live forever; or eat, drink & be merry, for tomorrow we die. Most chose the latter, but those of us who chose the former are anxious to inform folks that there is hope. I have studied the evolution thing for many years; it intrigues me; but I have never found any compelling reason to believe it. Everything about it boils down to someone's opinion. Jesus Christ has changed my life; it's a no-brainer.

      • thumb
        May 10 2013: Hi Juan.
        I see you retain the Christian willingness to be honest about your struggle, thanks for that.

        I had no God in my early life, but searched for meaning. Harder in these days of no computers. I was a big fan of Eric Von Daniken, then of Charlie Darwin, but nothing really clicked into the truth drawer.
        When I was 35 my wife came near to death & became a Christian through the folks next door. This p.....d me off somewhat, so I decided to use my superior knowledge of such things to rubbish her faith.
        This was the first time I had considered the bible, & soon found it was not so easy to rubbish. Her minister gave me a couple of Creationist books. I found the evidence pretty good. Simple things like fossils need to be buried rapidly to form at all, so how could it take millions of years of gradual accumulation. Fossils that penetrated a dozen layers that supposedly took millions of years to form. Stuff like that.
        Jesus says He stands at the door & knocks. So I decided to test Him on that. I started serious prayer & bible study, & going to all the meetings I could. Over a period of a few months I knew enough & asked Him into my life. The remaining questions were answered thick & fast. In the last 30 years He has guided my life, & love it. Evolution is somewhere to hide for those who reject God. The only evidence is man's opinion; you have to "believe in " it, just the same as the bible. At least the bible can be authenticated against the history books, archeology, etc.
        If you are in a secular college studying under a Darwin regime, then you are bound to be moved in that direction. I am a mechanical engineer, I started with no strong bias in favour of God, but came to my conclusions initially on the evidence. Since then my decision has been vindicated many times by events in my life. The engineering in biology fascinates me. I am 300trillion cells, each more complex than the Space Shuttle, flying in close formation. Evolution? Uh uh.

    • May 11 2013: What exactly is wrong about clarifying that evolution is not the same as abiogenesis?

      Empirical evidence for what? The question was why evolution is considered to be a fact if here's no spontaneous generation. It's like asking, why is Christ said to have sacrificed for my sins if Adam was born 6000 years ago? My question about Christ and Adam does not make sense, does it? OK then, what kind of empirical evidence can be given to answer a nonsensical question? What you do is explain that the question is misinformed, wrong, et cetera.

      So, please, no avoidance: what exactly is wrong with clarifying that evolution is not the same as abiogenesis, and that abiogenesis is not the same as spontaneous generation? I repeat so that you understand what I am asking: what exactly is wrong with clarifying that evolution is not the same as abiogenesis, and that abiogenesis is not the same as spontaneous generation?

      Please explain?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.