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Milton Fuller

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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? ,


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    May 9 2013: In order to manufacture something we must start with a vision.
    We then make detailed drawings.
    We then gather all the raw materials & sub assemblies.
    Finally we assemble the materials as per drawing.
    I am watching birds on a feeder outside my window. We do not have the technology to manufacture one; it is totally beyond our capability. However we are asked to believe that over millenia they gradually refined themselves from simpler machines; without a vision, without drawings, without suitable materials, & without any intelligent input. Here they are though, with perfect aerodynamics, matching wing patters, eyes, claws, beaks etc. They also have the ability to reproduce, and adapt to their environment. This last point is their downfall, as it gives us an excuse to believe that this is what produced them.
    Why is evolution considered a fact, especially with respect to abiogenesis ? Well, if there is no God, then we can do as we please, & to consider evolution as a fact expedites this view. You won't find the answer in the science, it has to be in the faith/religious/political arena. It's something that must be believed, as it; conveniently; cannot be proven.

    • May 9 2013: Why does evolution have to be outside the realm of the spiritual? Is it so difficult to believe in a deity who puts its vision into existence by creating a set of natural laws that run the universe and then allowing his creations to develop through those natural laws? Evolution does not tell us that there is no God. In fact, I believe it is one of the strongest arguments for a higher intelligence. If you accept that the natural order of the universe is randomness (chaos), then the order imposed upon chaos that is the DNA molecule is of such a magnitude that it is hard to believe that it developed without a plan (or vision, if you will). If God exists, and through my statements above you now understand that I believe he does exist, what is more likely: (1) that he produced life spontaneously in the form that it is now but left us such a plethora of scientific evidence that these natural laws (evolution being one of them) exist but are actually false, or (2) he has the vision to create such complex life forms as humans and orchids and algae, etc, through a series of natural laws. The complexity, and yet such elegant simplicity, of a molecule such as DNA and its ability to produce such different life forms is overwhelming evidence in my mind of the existence of a supreme creator.
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        May 9 2013: Hi Michael
        In your scenario; what is the vision of your god? Are we the vision, or do we have some evolving to do yet? What's his end game ?
        Personally I am not persuaded that simple to complex evolution is happening. However, let's assume it is. Surely it is the most painful, & wasteful process for producing higher life imaginable. Any self-respecting engineer would be embarrassed.
        What evidence has persuaded you that a god has taken the route you outline.
        My position is orthodox. I believe that the bible is accurate, & that Jesus Christ is our creator God. There is plenty of meat that can be checked out against recorded history. If it is just taken at face value things seem to make sense. The intelligencia however seem to tie themselves in knots by 're-interpreting it to suit themselves.

        • May 9 2013: I do not have a single vision of God. I do not believe I can understand that which I am not capable of understanding. Like all things spiritual, this is a question of faith. I am thankful for being here and I am more than hopeful that death is not the end. Looking back at the evolutionary record, I must assume there is some higher goal on the evolutionary scale that we are to achieve, or else what is the meaning of it? In the meantime, since I will not be that further evolved creature in my lifetime I am charged with maximizing that which I can be, whether that is physically, emotionally, ethically, morally, or metaphysically. I believe that comparing God to an engineer is silly, and an insult to a deity outside the constraints of time and space. What is 14 billion years to such an entity? It is meaningless. Thus evolution is not painful or wasteful, it is elegant. Any self-respecting engineer would crave to be the designer of such a system that perpetuates itself with no further need for external manipulation. This would be the ultimate achievement in any engineer's career, and it has yet to be accomplished by humans. The problem I have with religion is that each one professes to know the truth. If there is one God and he wants us to follow the truth, why allow more than one to be evident? The answer is simple - none of us can know for sure, that is what makes it a matter of faith. You come to the question with a preconceived notion of what God is. That is your faith. I do not. That is my faith. There are only 3 possible situations: 1). You are correct, 2). I am correct, 3). neither of us is correct. In the realm of possibility, I suspect the real answer is number 3, but I hope it will be quite some time before I find out. In the meantime, I like to think about a deity who could place all of this into motion and say to us "I am giving you all the tools - figure it out. I will be waiting for you when you do".
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        May 9 2013: He has given us the tools. We know how to manufacture things; we put atoms together in a meaningful manner to produce a product. God has obeyed His own laws, we can learn from his designs.
        It is true that there are many variations on the theme among mankind. It is incumbent on us as individuals to find the truth. To me, the bible stands alone as the candidate for God's message to mankind. In the Christian church I find believers & unbelievers. Among the believers there is a remarkable unity of opinion regarding core truths. I freely admit this is not obvious when listening to church leaders.

        • May 9 2013: I agree, God has set these laws in motion and all things obey them because they are the natural laws, there is no ability to do otherwise. All science does is try to discover and enumerate these laws. What I can not do is accept the Bible as God's literal words. As a guide towards how to live your life and be good to each other in order to preserve a harmony that will allow us to flourish as best as possible as one of his creations, I can live with that. However, it is a book full of contradictions and just faulty interpretation of his natural laws. This is to be expected for a collection of stories that started as part of an oral record passed down for millennia and having multiple translations and mistranslations, and as such I do not accept it as full truth. Besides, unless you take the literal translation of a day equaling 24 hours, there is nothing in Genesis that contradicts evolution. I believe the Bible is allegory, not fact. The beauty of it all is that whether the Bible is truth or it is not, the universe continues to chug along following the rules that we are literally just beginning to define. The argument over evolution will never be fully resolved because those that accept faith in the Bible as paramount will never be convinced otherwise, and I do not wish to convince them otherwise. Faith is a deeply personal thing that is achieved in different ways by different people. Eventually we will all learn the truth.
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        May 11 2013: ""Besides, unless you take the literal translation of a day equaling 24 hours, there is nothing in Genesis that contradicts evolution.""

        The only possible reason for not taking 24 hours is to try & shoehorn evolution into the bible, so you get a circular argument. What's the point in reading a book if your going to reinterpret it to suit your particular preconceived notions.

        Ev BB etc says the earth started as a fiery ball, G says it started as a ball of water.
        Ev sun & stars preceded the earth. G puts the earth first, then Sun, moon, & stars.
        Ev We came from a common ancestor. G god made each creature individually in types (species).
        Ev. Animals come before birds. G birds come before animals.
        Ev. Death was always part of the plan. G. Death came later, as a result of disobedience.
        Etc etc. Genesis & Evolution are polar opposites; you should really know that if you want to debate this subject.

        • May 23 2013: The problem occurs when you choose to believe stories written by men after centuries of an oral tradition over physical evidence and observed phenomena. With different telescopes we can see stars forming in the cosmos as balls of fire. Water can not be formed until these bodies spawn planets that cool and coalesce. These are the observable natural laws that the universe runs by. We are supposed to believe a story written by primitives that do not understand these natural laws over the reality we have observed and quantified? Again, we have already agreed that God created these natural laws and that the universe follows them. It makes far more sense that the stories are allegory than that God chose to break the laws he so carefully constructed. The people who choose religion (not God) over evolution do it by ignoring the evidence. They choose to believe stories written, rewritten, edited, and mistranslated over millennia over the physical evidence that exists - evidence that if their version is true, God would have had to place in the physical world that completely contradicts what he wants them to believe. Therefore, God must be the greatest trickster and practical joker ever. Or, he could be the most brilliant intelligence and start a process that begins with an explosion and is still active, creating new species that adapt to the changes they encounter and have produced something as elegant as humans, orchids, algae, paramecium, etc. Your God is not as impressive IMHO.
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      May 10 2013: What will your answer be when we do have the technology to manufacture a bird? The polio virus was a success and Mycoplasma mycoides is 90% there. The next step is a eukaryotic cell, which in the right conditions will grow into the complete organism.
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        May 10 2013: We are made in God's image. We may well be smart enough to eventually make a bird. How exactly does that further the argument that a bird made itself over billions of years ? My point is that machines (birds etc) require intelligent input. If we put enough intelligence into the job, then a bird may result. Millions of years just gives dust.

    • May 11 2013: False. I started reading on the origin of species laughing at those stupid evil evolutionists who just believed it because they wanted to enjoy their sins, expecting to find all the things I was misguided to think that evolution was about. What I discovered is that evolution was a scientific proposal based on observation of the natural world. Darwin presented several lines of evidence and did an admirable job at presenting possible objections and answering with loads of data and examples. Evolution is far from being based on faith. Unfortunately, in the process I discovered how misinformed I had been, and how easily it came to apologists to spread and worsen the misinformation. I would be arguing against an evil atheist, even back then, but then a friend of mine would say something very wrong, very misinformed, and I would turn around and say "no, that's false." Then I had to face criticism for not just buying into creationist lies and misinformation, for reading about evolution directly rather than the lies and misinformation provided by creationists. For understanding what this thing actually was about.

      The point is this: evolution is not based on faith. It is not based on wanting to enjoy sins. There's plenty of evidence, and once understood you will find that there's nothing scientifically wrong with it. The evidence is overwhelming, and what I wanted back then did not matter. What mattered and still matters to me is what the evidence says. And it tells that evolution is a fact.

      Abiogenesis is another story. Scientists have not figured out exactly how life originated. For a while I held to that to keep my faith. However, I would have never dreamed to hold that as proof that evolution is false. That would have been, and it still is, both ridiculous and dishonest. If the evidence is clear about evolution, knowing or not knowing how life started won't make a difference. Why is this so hard to understand for you guys? Why exactly?
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        May 11 2013: Hi Entropy.
        It's just the sheer complexity. If Ford want to develop a new engine, it takes millions of dollars & man hours; and they already know what they want. Biology is infinitely more complex, there is no possibility in my mind of this sort of engineering happening without intelligent input.
        We are looking at mind numbingly complex systems. We understand a fraction of what is going on. They are producing effects which we interpret as evolution, & jumping to the conclusion that this process is what initiated the whole thing. Are we really saying that with all our technology we cannot emulate a process that happened all by itself, long ago & far away?
        Darwin saw that birds grew different types of beaks, driven by natural selection. He was right, the system works, but the machinery to make it work is amazingly complex. Computers work with the data we input, but that data would never manufacture a computer.
        Each of us checks the evidence & comes to our own conclusion. Neither side is cut & dried. Some things just have to be taken on faith; if that faith is strong, you may consider it a fact, but the next guy should be permitted to disagree.

    • May 12 2013: Peter,

      You are free to be as skeptical about evolution as you wish. I am not going to try and convince you. You are just as free to then turn around, change your skeptical standards into nothing, and accept as true a book made of other books, containing all kinds of contradictions, and a god that changes in morality and temper, no matter how much you have to twist reality to believe such stuff, no matter how nonsensical. Thats fine by me. If that kind of double standard suits you it's your problem.

      What I won't accept is for you to come and tell me that evolution is about faith, or that I accept it because I want to delight in sin, or that it's all political. I will not accept your mixing of evolution with abiogenesis just because for you it's an all or nothing issue. When something is shown to be true beyond reasonable doubt, then it is true. Evolution qualifies. That you are ignorant of the facts does not matter. That you are skeptical to unreasonable points about science, while accepting your fantasy without a flinch does not matter. It's your problem. But I can tell that you don't know the facts from the way you argue. Example, you claimed that Darwin thought of evolution because of finches beaks. Obviously you did not read his book. So, unless you are willing to read it and understand it, you should not argue against it. If complexity convinces you that magic makes better sense as an answer, fine by me. But I went through too much to have you saying that I accept evolution on faith, sin, and politics. Don't make statements of fact about what you don't know.
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        May 12 2013: Hi Entropy.

        What's the problem then. The man wants to know WHY evolution is considered a FACT. Just tell him why you think it is & put us all at ease.

    • May 12 2013: The man was asking the wrong question. He wanted to know why if Pasteur showed spontaneous generation to be wrong, evolution was considered a fact, putting spontaneous generation as a "key component" of evolution, which it is not. I started by showing that the man had a misinformed question, with false premises. If the man has further questions we can talk about it, but apparently you guys think that clarifying mistaken assumptions is wrong. The man so far has not asked anything further. My clarification is there at the top. So far all I have is silence.

      So, if the man could ask a proper question, then we could start talking about that. I would be more than happy to continue and explain. That does not mean any of you has to trust my word for it. That does not mean that you guys have to accept evolution even if you trusted me. All I would aim to do is answer to the best that comments in a discussion forum would allow.

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