Tim Colgan


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Why don't people believe the fact of evolution?

Biological evolution, the principle that species change over time due to the combination of random mutations and natural selection is a well accepted scientific fact (about a clear a fact as any).

Why do so many people insist on denying it? Why do people feel such a need to protect an archaic world view that they deny science?

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      Apr 13 2011: I think its impressed on people that evolution is a fact because of the Creationist's tendency to represent the word 'theory' as a mere educated guess, which it is not of course. But yea, point well taken.
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          Apr 14 2011: Yea I am aware that most Christians never read the Bible fully. If they did there would be less Christians. I've also heard that in some cases, Muslims learn parts of the Koran by heart even if it's in a language they can't understand.
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          Apr 14 2011: "I say a prayer everyday. God save me from the saviors! and the peace makers.

          But truly; may the god save us all from the true believers of all types; Atheists, religiosos, politicos and scientist alike."

          Nice one. I agree with many of the stuff you said, but that one just cracked me up.

          (Or was that bit serious? If so... If the kind of God you believe in is nothing more than a creator, why pray? Prayer was also a man made ritual)

          In particular, I agree that basically, the only dogma should be that there should be no dogma (religious or otherwise). That we should only infallibly believe nothing can be believed infallibly.
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      Apr 13 2011: The goldfish example sounds like a case of recessive genes.
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          Apr 14 2011: I agree with the Masonic dude, very well put.
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          Apr 14 2011: Masonic: Yes the theory has come a long way since Darwin.

          But in terms of the basic concept of random mutations and natural selection where do you find fault in the core theory of biological evolution?
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          Apr 14 2011: Sir Isaac Newton, Descartes and many others of that time grew up in a society so immersed in Christianity that it was apparently difficult for them to think outside of that mindset.

          We live in a global world where we are in contact with peoples who come from very diverse theological traditions. There is a need for us all to overcome our parochial beliefs and think more universally. Don't you think?
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          Apr 15 2011: Masonic. I looked into "Newton's footlocker". Very interesting. Also interesting that Keynes would be the one to buy the contents.
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    Apr 17 2011: this is a topic i feel quite strongly about. I think there are a number of contributing factors to the billions of people in the world today still choosing to seek religion as an answer instead of entrusting science to provide the answers.

    firstly, people are unfortunatly born into religions families and the belief system is entrenched into the minds of the children. admittidly, sometimes human nature takes over and they seek answers instead of ignoring facts. i think its one of the most tragic occurances in the world today.

    secondly, for clear reasons, people are scared. the idea of nothingness and no point or purpose to life is haunting. even I who has accepted my own mortality and enjoy looking at life as a wonder of sheer amazment and chance, finds it hard to think of the inevitable. we are animals. like the pets we keep and the food we eat. do people think chickens go to heaven? we have meat on our bones just like they do. apologies for the example, but creationists still have it in their mindset that we are superior to all the other animals and have a greater purpose. the fact is, we are just the first creatues on this planet that have been able to recognise and question our own existance.

    other examples i feel are defiant ignorance and im sorry to say, stupidity.

    as prof. Dawkins explains, why is it that if we talk of fairies at the bottom of the garden, it is out job to prove it. but religion and faith is exepmt from those rules. why? it is sheek nonsense and on behalf of religions worldwide, im embarrsed for them. I am sorry if i offend anybody or sound condesending but, i honestly do.
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      Apr 18 2011: Davie: I think your point about children is an important one. They need to be presented the theory before they have hard-coded in their minds the mythology.

      I don't think I've known any adult who believed in creationism and later switched to believing in evolution. Do you?
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        Apr 19 2011: I agree that as a child there is certainly a degree of entrenchment however, education should allow an individual to transcend this and define their beliefs based on what they believe is rational and applicable to them.

        Regarding our existence, evolution vs creation doesn't have to be so extreme. Religious professionals propose the theory of "Emanationism" which allows creation and evolution to co-exist. It is the idea that all things physical emanated from a divine source.

        As for me, I haven't yet been able to fully accept either theory. I'm trying to learn more before I make up my mind
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          Apr 27 2011: Scott:

          Although I don't agree with "emanationism", my main contention is that science has offered sufficient evidence that "biological evolution, the principle that species change over time due to the combination of random mutations and natural selection" is a fact. Moreover, the only reason that I can see for people refusing to accept that fact is a desire to maintain a belief system which is at odds with science
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          May 5 2011: Hi Tim
          Looking back I had a period of 15-20yrs where I understood the theory, but didn't accept it as fact; and learning anything about Christianity.
          I fully understand where the ID guys are coming from, especially the scientists. They know that this theory just doesn't hold water, regardless of any belief system & their chosen profession is being harmed by association.
      • May 5 2011: The point about children is very well made and something I defend for quite some time. In this particular subject I think any religions shouldn't be allowed to be taught at so young age up until 16 or 18 years old in each teenagers can really learn and decide for themselves without pre-concepts.
        A good example of this is Santa Claus, sure people stop believing in it with age but that is only because the parents and community decide it's time for them to learn the truth. If the majority of the community I live in believed in Santa Claus and never told be otherwise I would hardly stop believe in him.
  • Apr 18 2011: Evolution is not a fact. Evolution is a theory.

    Definition of a theory: a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena
    Definition of a fact: (1) something that actually exists; reality; truth (2) something known to exist or to have happened

    Facts can be proven. The Theory of Evolution is substantiated by a variety of principles, facts, and educated assumptions, but it is different from indisputable fact.

    I'm not saying I don't believe in Evolution, I am merely clarifying.
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      Apr 18 2011: So Austin. I'll rephrase the question.

      "Why don't people believe in the theory of evolution?"

      Or - what motivation do you see in people studying the body of supporting evidence and rejecting the theory?
      • Apr 18 2011: Much better. :)
      • Apr 18 2011: Either (1) they were raised to think Evolution is false or (2) they think that Evolution and religion are mutually exclusive, so they feel they are not allowed to believe it.
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          Apr 27 2011: Austin:

          Based on further thought and investigation I'm going to reiterate my original contention that "evolution is a fact"




          "Another way "fact" is used is to refer to a certain kind of theory, one that has been so powerful and productive for such a long time that it is universally accepted by scientists."
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      Apr 18 2011: what is the source of these definitions? this is not at all the definition of a scientific theory. don't be confused by the strange wording. in science, theory is much stronger than the general meaning of the word suggests. in science, what you've described is called "hypothesis". as an example: newton's laws are also form a theory. just like maxwell's electrodynamics, and the theory of relativity.

      strangely, "fact" in science is a weaker word than the general meaning. by fact, we mean a statement that is well supported by evidence, and not yet disproved. but it can be disproved in the future, we can never be sure. while the common meaning of the word implies something unchangeable, final. but in science, nothing is final, so we don't have a word for such nonexistent thing.
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    May 10 2011: I stumbled upon a fresh new video that I think just DESTROYS "intelligent design"... with its own metaphor:

    Typically arguments go by atheist pointing the analogy with "watch has a watchmaker" as invalid... but this one is pure genius in that it accepts the metaphor AND it still points to evolution. I was just blown away honestly.
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      May 10 2011: Intelligent design also suggest that a God created the original cell on earth. This idea comes from the fact we do not know how life started (lightning strike, crystal formation are some of the theories).

      The intelligent design in which he is destroying simply is debunking the fundamentalist position that God made us and we are an intelligent design.

      He starts off showing pictures of body parts and not cellular parts. These are WORLDS of differences. To say it was intelligent to design an ear, eye and nose is silly non-sense because those parts are not even intelligently designed. I mean our spine is like the most sensitive thing on our body in comparison to how important it is. Jelly fish seem to be better designed at this level of consideration.

      On a microscopic consideration, and the fact WE CAN NOT manipulate the cell but only copy it. This concept of intelligent design is far more superior than the creationist ideals of God + science.
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        May 10 2011: "Intelligent design also suggest that a God created the original cell on earth. This idea comes from the fact we do not know how life started (lightning strike, crystal formation are some of the theories)."
        Well in that part, the idea is on equal ground with every other idea... actually, no... on a lesser ground, because it's not testable, but we can agree to fullback to it if all other ideas were proven false until another explanation is proven true :-P .

        "To say it was intelligent to design an ear, eye and nose is silly non-sense because those parts are not even intelligently designed. I mean our spine is like the most sensitive thing on our body in comparison to how important it is. Jelly fish seem to be better designed at this level of consideration."

        Details, details.... :-D
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          May 10 2011: As long as we do not know we cannot make certainties.

          The fact there are many theories of how life started only means we have more options to consider for thought. Which is great and awful at the same time. I mean if we knew for sure we were made by an alien-god that came here to start life for an experiment, we would be better off because we would have to get smart fast to kill this bastard if he ever decides to end the project.

          Or, if it is certain we were made by chance of the universe, we get to create our own purposes and need to create more consensuses, I mean, it all plays into science being a secondary value and not just a subject in high school. (Science = Eliminating the unlikely to make the likely more likely)

          If our forefathers created those type of scriptures dictating the need of science to live life happy and perfectly, we would of been so much better off. However our forefathers were tradtionalizing superstitions and writing scriptures about that!

          Had science been emphasized as how to pursue "God" we would of been so much better off, however the opposite has happened. Now we have people like you Vasil forced to be militant atheist, having to debunk all the crazy nonsense that exist because of this tradition of lying to children that are believed truths.

          The forefathers of philosophy, weren't consider philosophers they were consider scientist. Some scientist viewed the earth, some created thought experiments to share, others figured out logical solutions. HOWEVER all scientist would create consensuses, a value lost today.

          The point... Humans are subjective to their cognitive experiences and how they interpret them is based on how well they educated inside those experiences.

          Today everyone needs to promote a few things: True open-ended education from educators, information from all points of view in reference to third parties, and parental guidance in which inspires critical thinking. (Stop teaching God to kids, let them find God)
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    May 8 2011: Tim,

    I find nothing but respect for you from many conversation on TED.

    But anyone in this conversation going against it is a crazy-nut-job therefore the fact is 99.9 percent of scientist conclude that evolution is a fact.


    It is pure ignorance to deny evolution from a single cell. "Intelligent Design" is the best argument for God involving evolutionism, which is credible.

    No amount of bad science can debunk these and these.


    These are modern day examples of fish living on land. To deny evolution is to deny nature.
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      May 8 2011: Sure fish can evolve to land, but is it still a fish? Evolution is true but it has limitations. There is no hard evidence that demonstrates that the human and the chimp share a comman ancestor.
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        May 8 2011: Hi Chris
        Where is the evidence that fish can 'evolve' to land ? Why is that more likely than the creation of a walking fish ?

        It's a bit weird; Tim is now doubting evolution & you are starting to believe it. Confusing.

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          May 8 2011: The evidence? Where is the evidence?

          Marine-biology is all the evidence I need. How many different types of fish there are competing in the ocean for food, only seems accurate that some would want to try and come out of the water to get more food (by jumping, flying, crawling, etc), after all life is based on survival. Stop picturing a fish jumping on land, that is just nonsense. Catfish can stay on land of hours without dying. Dolphins/whales breathe air and is thought that they evolved onto land and then back into water. There are many marine animals without gills.


          (You should go and put your two cents there Peter, but first read and look at the links)

          Tim is performing the English tradition of sarcasm, it is this new thing. Tim is no way doubting evolution but perhaps the specifics just like me, but not because of this conversation, because I believe we can evolve merely by thinking in that direct. I mean fat people evolved the gene in which children now are preordained to being fat. (correct me if I wrong Tim)

          Evolution is nature, to deny it, is to deny nature, pure ignorance,

          It's not weird why someone would think evolution is factual, because they are looking outside of their cognitive experiences. they are digging up facts and studies and discoveries. Want to still believe in God and evolution? Cool, "Intelligent Design". Want to continue to debate that evolution is not a fact. Post links with me, because you are not a scientist and neither am I. But both of us can read and therefore can post sources. I am young, I have time, and patience. the more research I do the better for me in the long run. I can only wish you post links to discredit evolution considering 99.9 percent of scientist know it to be fact. All those who deny, deny it on fundamentalism values and not genuine knowledge of reality
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          May 9 2011: Peter. I was talking about those fish that can come out of the water to spawn. Not sure if it has been demonstrated whether scientists can scientifically show that these fish actually evolved from a fish that could not live on land. My guess is probably not. Not sure though, never have looked into it. Sorry didn't mean to imply that there is actual evidence to support it.

          But I am sure that fish can evolve or change in color, shape, size, based on what type of environment they wonder into over time.
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        May 8 2011: @ Chris

        Glad this is the only point you address....

        "In effect, there is now not a priori reason to presume that human-chimpanzee split times are especially recent, and the fossil evidence is now fully compatible with older chimpanzee-human divergence dates [7 to 10 Ma..."


        Yes, Chimps and us are relatives, in fact we experiment with giving monkey hearts to people all the time, and the success rate is high. It's a theory and fact. The theory is part is how we evolve the fact is we evolve.
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        May 9 2011: You're sourcing a website where it is based on religious ideals. (they even source the bible)

        Must be the ideas of the .9 percent of scientist that they are referencing.

        Source a science website. Not a website with "donate" on the main page.

        There is no other reason, just nonsense.

        Why don't people believe the fact of evolution?

        Because as children some aren't taught the genuine facts based on reality, they are taught religious ideals based on traditionalized culture/heritage. Does not make it real or fact but a faith system. However faith defended with science can only make it more bullet proof. But when that faith is based on ideals from the Bronze Age there are many more holes to fill. Instead of filling them with personal ideals people listen to other peoples ideals.

        Problems = Organized religion

        Non-problems = Jesus' message/God
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      May 8 2011: Thanks Nicholas. Some interesting links there. Thought particularly pertinent the first line in the one article which states:

      "You can believe anything you want to believe, but the theory of evolution is an accepted fact by almost all scientists. "
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        May 9 2011: 95% of scientists believe in evolution, but they never poll the scientists to see if they believe that science demonstrates that evolution occurs on a grand scale versus variances and speciation.

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        May 9 2011: Chris/Tim
        I think the most pertinent question is whether it is possible for dna to construct fresh code that can be interpreted by the cell to produce a beneficial outcome. If it can then evolution is a possibility, if it can't, then it's dead in the water.
        To me all the evidence is for coding that gives enormous variability programmed within each 'kind' at the creation which allows change to suit the environment, but sets limits.

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        May 9 2011: Hi Nicholas

        Not got a lot of time just now, but if you need input try googling "Douglas Axe" with the video selected.

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          May 9 2011: Considering I have 5 or 6 links proving evolutionary code development. no one person can disprove compilations of data that is proven factual.

          I never denied intelligent design, in fact that is one of my original statements. Intelligent design suggest God created the cell to be super intelligent to hold infinite amounts of data. Cool, I do not see where religious fundamentalism comes into play, at all. The Bible/Korean/Torah says nothing about science being the key to success. I support Intelligent Design fundamentalism, because it requires science on a scale that goes beyond faith. Intelligent Design also suggest evolution of all life from an original cell. How that original cell started is very up in the air.
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        May 10 2011: Hi Nicholas
        I think you are getting carried away with labels. Even I know that religious fundamentalists blow things up. It is an emotive label that some find useful as a put-down when rational argument has failed. I am just an ordinary guy like most others, I have never considered blowing anybody up. I nearly did it to myself once as a kid when I tried to dismember a stick of dynamite, but that's another story.
        I believe that the bible is the literal word of the guy who made us. I have come to this conclusion because I have tested it, and it works. It gives the history of the world, why we are here, how we got here, & what happens next.
        Most of the guys who set up the scientific method believed more or less the same thing. Science is only possible because atoms follow regular rules. the world is designed in such a way that we can understand it. If it was random, then we would be wasting our time trying.
        If we do science with a confidence in the bible we certainly get different answers than if we are dead set against the bible being true. When I look at the Grand Canyon I see the results of a large mass of water passing through very quickly, because I believe in the flood. If I believe in millions of years then I attribute it to the Colorado river. But what is real ? Look at the Badlands. It hardly ever rains, & yet most of the ground is absent, save for butes sticking up into the sky. What happened there ? Millions of years of wind ? Well maybe.......
        We are both at the mercy of our stance on God; if we believe we see it one way, if not then another. Looking at the exquisite engineering (my trade) in nature I can only conclude that a super-engineer exists, & studying the bible I reckon that's the best manual for the job.
        I promise not to blow anyone up.

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          May 10 2011: I don't care how nice you are Peter,

          I only care about what you are outputting onto TED, and what you are outputting is lies and poor information sourced poorly and sourced by literature (nothing scientific).

          You love God/religion, awesome, don't think it is the ultimate answer; by no means it is the only answer. I find it entirely too easy to find faith in an Abrahamic religion. It is gravely more difficult to see the world for what it actually is, and that world does not have a God and if it does "he" is NOT the Abrahamic God.

          You may see the world in some superficial mind-set of a greater engineer, but I will take the word of scientist, and geologist so when they say the world is 4.5 billion years old I trust them, they have no reason to lie.

          You want to love your fundamental God, cool, but does not mean you are correct about evolution at all, it makes you just seem ignorant. I already suggested intelligent design twice, that is plausible. God made original single cell organism with an intelligent design possibly with a more in depth meaning to life installed, AWESOME! Means nothing but a philosophical expression of idealism based on literature = fundamentalism.

          "So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."
          —Bertrand Russell

  • May 8 2011: "Why don't people believe the fact of evolution?"
    I do not know exact, but I think at least half of world population believe in God and they think Evolution theory has conflict with believing in God and also they know scientists always have has mistakes had always are developing and what scientists say is not 100% true. so they prefer wait for scientists to agree with God.
    but if people understand that God selected the method of Evolution for creating spices among other possible ways of creating spices then people will believe theory of evolution.

    also a point:
    Evolution is a Hypothesis. not still a proven fact.
    and Hypothesis is a guess and guess does not the need for truth.
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      May 8 2011: S.R. Ahmadi: Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful response.

      The only thing I would take exception to is:

      "Evolution is a Hypothesis. not still a proven fact."

      Whether evolution is a fact or not is true or not true regardless of whether it has been proven.

      To say that a scientific theory has been proven is to say that the majority of experts in a field have been convinced of it's truth. The majority of experts in the field of biology have been convinced that evolution is a fact.
      • May 9 2011: Dear Tim Colgan,
        "To say that a scientific theory has been proven is to say that the majority of experts in a field have been convinced of it's truth. The majority of experts in the field of biology have been convinced that evolution is a fact."
        I disagree.
        this is the logic killed Galileo Galilei. not always what majority of experts in a field say is true.
        by this logic if you was the head of church at time of Galilei you would kill him also.

        majority can do mistake same as minority.
        please read the idea of Koran about this logic:

        another example is what majority of experts said about cigar.
        do you know how many was the number of experts in 50 years ago saying cigar is good for health? its huge unbelievable number.
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          May 9 2011: S.R. Ahmadi:

          You appear to have mixed up my words a bit.

          A fact is a truth independent of human belief.

          Something is proven if there is sufficient evidence to produce a belief in it's truth.

          I'm not saying that a majority opinion makes a thing true. I'm saying that in science, something is considered proven when the consensus agree that sufficient evidence exists to produce a belief in truth. Of course, they could be wrong.
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      May 8 2011: evolution is not a hypothesis. don't spread disinformation. there are many hypotheses inside the theory of evolution, about minor points. but the entire thing is a theory, not a hypothesis.
      • May 9 2011: Dear Krisztián,
        thank for your explain.
        this still not change the matter.
        theory is not still true same as hypothesis.
        appreciate if you explain more clear what is the exact difference of theory and hypothesis?
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    May 7 2011: The body of evidence for evolution only demonstrates that variance exists within a species. From here evolutionists only presume that over time a species will change into a different species due to environmental conditions that favor a certain trait or traits than others. No species has ever been observed changing into another one. Indeed environmental conditions may favor specific traits within in a species and a characteristic like color or size may well become dominant over time, but this in no way suggests that it will eventually transform into a separate species. It merely proves that different characteristics should exist within populations that are removed from other populations.
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      May 7 2011: Couldn't have put it better; welcome back Chris.
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        May 8 2011: Hey Pete! Lost you for a while. I was still back on the other forum.
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      May 7 2011: I'm open to other theories concerning what influences evolution of lifeforms.

      Why don't you make your proposal?
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        May 7 2011: i'm not arguing evolution when evolution is defined as variances within species. I do not have any theories of my own on this matter. I simply follow the work of the professionals when it comes to science. I do however read the fine print and therefore refrain from making generalizations. Now if you want to learn about what I believe check out a few other posts floating around.
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          May 7 2011: I understand. You wish to simply state your authoritative answer and not debate. OK.
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        May 7 2011: It is not my conclusions, it is the body of evidence found in science. What is there to debate?. i'm merely stating what the body of evidence on evolution states. Don't take my word for it. Read the work of Dawkins "Greatest show on Earth", that's what I did.
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          May 7 2011: So you approached the subject with an open mind. Read a popular book on the subject by a well respected scientist. And decided he was wrong. I commend you for your unbiased approach. I had mistakenly thought that you had a religious influence to your thinking.
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        May 7 2011: Yes. He cited a wealth of studies that clearly demonstrated how animals evolve in differrent environments. However, He did not by my non professional opinion cite studies that demonstrate how animals actually evolve into completely different species as compared to their parent species.. Wouldn't that be impossible to do?
        • May 8 2011: Animals don't evolve into other species, they evolve away from the parent species. As they change further from their ancestors the ability to interbred lessens until it's not possible, and the small changes on top of many other small changes produce a different animal.
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        May 8 2011: Yes, that is the theory of evolution. However there is no evidence that demonstrates that these small changes eventually produce a different animal. The only evidence that I have read involves variances on small scales, and studies that involve speciation. I can see how one would logically conclude that these small changes would eventually lead to a different animal, but as far as the evidence goes...science is not there yet.
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          May 8 2011: I'm not following your logic. You agree that the evidence supports speciation? That is, a new species is generated. I.e. a different animal.

          Where am I losing you?
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        May 8 2011: Speciation occurs when one species gives rise to a closely related sister species. Take for example the evolution of the finches on the Galapagos Islands from an ancestral finch species that came to this archipelago from South America. Upon arrival this ancestral finch evolved into a variety of species that vary primarily in body size and in beak size and shape. Speciation has been repeatedly observed in nature and, in my opinion, is noncontroversial

        The issue that I raise involves if evolution occurs on a grand scale. This is where there is limited evidence by my opinion. Examples include humans evolving from a primate ancestor, whales evolving from a terrestrial wolf-like mammal, and birds evolving from theropods. I am skeptical that evolution on this type of grand scale is a real process that shaped life's history
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          May 8 2011: Chris: Obviously, as you extrapolate farther and farther the chance of the speculation being the truth diminishes:
          . That humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor is well-supported
          . That apes and dogs have a common ancestor is likely, but less supported.
          . That land-living mammals and whales have a common ancestor, somewhat less.
          . That animals and plants have a common ancestor is very questionable.

          To focus on a theory that whales evolve from a terrestrial wolf-like animal is a totally disingenuous argument.
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        May 8 2011: But the fundamental understanding of human evolution is that all life shares a common ancestor at the beginning, which would be the single cell organisim. True?

        I used that anaology only as an example. I do not think there is strong evidence to support that humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. Or that any animal shares a common ancestor with another animal for that matter.
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          May 8 2011: Chris: I would re-write your first sentence as follows:

          "... the fundamental MIS-understanding of human evolution is that all life shares a common ancestor at the beginning, which would be the single cell organism."

          The core theory of biological evolution is that lifeforms change over time through a combination of random mutations and natural selection.

          Given this definition it is natural to ask whether humans and chimps are related. How might we answer that question? Study the similarities in physical form. Study similarities in DNA. Study fossil records. Study similarities in behaviour. All possible sources of evidence provide confirming answers. No, we can't reconstruct the exact DNA evolution of change through the eons. We are confronted with a puzzle. There are some missing pieces. But the evidence we do have do all fit the puzzle. Most scientists who study this information are convinced that we are related. The ones that don't almost universally have a religious influence to their thinking.
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        May 9 2011: I'm in favor of everything you wrote in this post.

        I would also like to add that the puzzle is one of those 1000 piece puzzles and scientists have a few of these pieces in the puzzle so are.

        Also scientists who study this information are convinced...But what other choice do they have? It is nearly impossible to put your worldview on the shelf.
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          May 9 2011: Chris: Agreed. It is very difficult to change a person's world-view. My hope is that children will be exposed to multiple world views. Both the dogmatic and the logical. And that in the end they will make the best choice.
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    May 5 2011: My guess Tim, in light of our other conversation, is that no amount of evidence will convince someone for whom evolution threatens a more vitally held belief. If someone;s entire world view is predicated on the belief that everything must agree with the literal words of a book they only have two choices (maybe three). They should according to the book simply disregard all input that does not agree as from a source of evil designed to turn a person from God. They could throw away all they have believed until the moment the theory arised in their life- but there is so much rationalization and support for the contrary view in their own communities that they choose the evidence of trusted voices over salient information. Finally, they could take a sort of compromise position which integrates scientific findings with a more malieable interpretation of faith. In that case they would be less likely to hold fundamentalist convictions.
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    E G

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    May 4 2011: I don't think that the evolution is a scientific fact , it is a theory , a model which try to combine the most scientific facts ,which rest upon the scientific facts. (even though will never mange it) ......................... I think we should judge ourselves according to our understanding everything what we hear even though we hear something form scientists.
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    May 3 2011: My view is that everything evolves both spiritually and physically. However with regards to Darwin's theory on simian, albeit admitting no proof, I cannot accept since logic don't allow it.

    Human beings are always human beings and always were. They evolved in physical structure along with their spirituality over the age of the planet. If we look at early man, we see them with larger jaws and teeth because they hunted and ate that way. Their physical design was apt for the consciousness. As they improved consciously they improved physical as well. Today we manipulate our environment and the more we continue to do so the more refined we become. It is nature and we are unique in it and so is every life form unique in its evolution. Physical and spiritual improvements are exclusive to each form, both human and non-human. So! yes we evolve and always have but we did NOT evolve the way Darwin purports it.

    Darwinist claim more than one theory and some hardly even agree or align with each other. I have had this discussion for a number of years and always found incongruent explanations. Some argue the missing link is sort of a metamorphosis that happened over thousands of years therefore an intermediate phase or fossil could not be found. How typical to add all those years when it cannot be observed even though they base their theory on empirical study. Evolutionary biologists sometimes claim there exist no fossil records regarding the origin of vertebrates because invertebrates have soft tissues and consequently leave no fossil traces. Another obvious unrealistic approach. Darwin said "If my theory be true, [the Cambrian] Age must have been full of living creatures."

    The "Piltdown Man" was a hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. Evolutionist are desperate to prove their theory?

    a good read
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      May 3 2011: DivineInterllect:

      To me it seems incredibly naive to study science and see that everything changes, moves, transforms, evolves and then say that humans always were and always will be just the way they are.

      The only reason I can see for thinking that way is a strong desire to maintain a mind-set based on "holy scripture".

      Is there anyone who believes that humans do not evolve who is not religious?
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        May 4 2011: I do believe we evolve, everything evolves and revolves. Humans evolve into better humans, more refined and an increased intellect but were always human. Each form perfects its self and that in its self is evolution. The only difference is I don't accept that we share a common ancestor nor that we come from the simian/ape family and this does not come from a religious belief.

        As for being religious, I am not at all. In fact I don't subscribe to any labels except believe in Creation (some call it God). I call it - all that exist, the total sum is it. We are it.
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          May 4 2011: Spontaneous generation of the complex?
  • May 2 2011: I think that people take "advantages" of the sincerity of scientists, sort of speak. Because every single fact derived from science is initially based on theory and even most of our actual knoweldge is based on 90% certainty people take advantage of those 10%. However, it is part of being a scientist to still call it a theory despite the evidences and that, in some people minds, leave space for other theories.
    To contradict this movement we must break it down in groups:
    1) people that believe in the Bible, just because it is in the Bible.
    2) people that believe that other theories should been giving the same importance as Darwin's simply because science can't 100% prove them wrong. To these i usually said that we should teach children evolution, creationism and my own particular theory: a banana created it all, because science can't prove it with 100% certainty it is wrong.
    3) people that are well informed and don't take evolution as a dogma.

    This last group is hopefully the one writing here because these can be reasoned with. As a response to Mr. Peter Law, I personally apologized for all evolution "believers" when they resort to insults, however, part of that may result of they confusing you for the other two groups.
    As response to Mr. Peter Law, the example you gave is too limited in time. Evolution is a slow process, which may look convinent, but truth. However, to fully be able to respond I would need to understand further at what alternative you believe in: spontaneous creation of species that eventually were extincted and left the fossils or the fossils aren't real all together?
    But to continue, I believe in God and stil believe in evolution. There is a misconception that evolution proves God as non-existent and that make people fearful to accept evolution as truth. There is so many thinks science cannot explain that can be attribute to a God figure, it does, however, nulfully most of what religions preach in regards of creation hence the pression
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      May 3 2011: Hi Joao
      Thank you for putting me in category 3. We should also respect those in 1 & 2.
      We can cross-breed dogs & cattle etc, & see a change over a few hundred years. I find it hard to believe that we couldn't detect some sort of evolution in humans over the same timescale.
      The truth is however that the changes are merely variations within a type, utilising already existent dna coding, driven by natural selection. Each type of creature is complete & functioning, there are none becoming something else.
      I was interested in evolution from childhood, but could always see the 'belief' required. Only at age 35 did I take an interest in the bible, & was amazed how everything became clear. So I now believe in the creation account of Genesis; & everything else in the bible.
      The fossils are real, no-one denies that. How they got there is another thing. Very few fossils are being made today, as they require very special circumstances. The creature needs to be buried very rapidly or they will rot.
      It is difficult to imagine that fossils would be produced over long time spans, as each group of them would require a catastrophe of some sort. We do find millions of creatures in large fossil beds worldwide, together with enormous coal & oil deposits. For me this fits in with the worldwide flood scenario much better than slow deposition over millions of years.
      Lots of people believe in God & Evolution, but the question must be "What kind of God needs to use such cruel wastefulness to achieve his goals ?" If God is Jehovah/Jesus of the Christian bible, we then have the small problem of re-writing the bible to accommodate evolution. People used to think the world was flat, & some clergy went along with it; even digging up 'proof texts'. Today many want to appear scientific & do the same thing. People often tell me that the bible says the world is flat (it doesn't). Long after evolution is debunked, people will be saying that the bible agrees with it.
      • May 3 2011: Hi Mr. Peter Law,

        I agree we should also respect the other artificial categories I created sort of speak and I do not like to label people I was just trying to make the point that, although we should respect them and I condemn people who don't, I can comprehend that in some situations people can became mad at someone that is unwilling to argue, in either sides.

        As for your arguments the time scale for dogs is different then for humans as they live shorter lifes so change becames more aparent. One could argue that we can cross-breed people as there are "combinations" for obtaining a certain color of eyes or hair or even color of skin. As it is excepted simply would be immoral to conduct similiar tests on humans that in dogs and cattle (although the nazis famously did some, basically to prevent dilution of they're so called superior blood).
        There are other different structural differences in humans as blue eyed people, for instance, tend to existed in colder climates, which is an mutation error that wasn't allowed to prevail in other regions of the globe as they tend to be photosensitive.
        I dont know if you believe that God created us in his imagine, giving particular purposes for each organ. If is that leaves the question of the appendix.
        As for humans never been able to detect differences in species we have to account for the fact that humans exist for about 10 thousands years and with recorded history of about 3000 years and little tecnology for monitoring such changes. The point is that is progressive, as a new breed of cat left in the wild could developed further changes. We do share many characteristics with different animals in what people can say is a scale of complexity.
        As for the a worldwide flood scenario as a creator of fossils how would you account for the dissaperance of thousands of different species as dinossaurs and others? The question is, why did the died in a flood and not every other?
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          May 4 2011: Hi Joao

          We have gone a long way with dogs, but there is absolutely no sign that they are anything other than dogs. If we interbred the different types then they would revert to the original mongrel.
          I do not accept that blue eyes are a mutation. Have you any evidence for this. Eye colour is determined by the colour of the parents eyes.
          It used to be thought that there were lots of parts of the human body which did nothing & were left over from evolution. The last of these to find a use is the appendix.
          There are now precisely zero items in the human body which serve no purpose.
          When we discovered dna & that it coded for proteins, we quickly jumped to the conclusion that the parts of the dna that did not code for protein was just spare stuff left over from evolution. Luckily not all scientists believed this & set out to discover what this "junk" dna was for. They are now discovering that it has a purpose.

          Representatives of each type of creature alive at the time of the flood would be taken aboard the ark & released after the flood. This probably included dinosaurs. It is estimated that over 99% of all types of creatures are now extinct. Human beings are responsible for their fair share. We hear many stories of dragons being killed by valiant men. The pictures of these 'dragons' greatly resemble dinosaurs. How can this be if humans never saw these creatures ?
          Evolution is supposed to start with one type of creature & diversify into many types. However, in the fossils we have many arriving at once & going extinct at an alarming rate. Exactly the opposite of what we would expect.
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          May 4 2011: Peter: Somehow I know you'll have a rationalization to this one, but I'm going to put myself through the abuse anyway:

          What about our tail bones? Please don't tell me they were designed to give us proper support when sitting on office chairs!
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          May 5 2011: Hi Tim
          My you are a glutton for punishment.
          "A structure that is the object of reduced evolutionary pressure can, within limits, take on different forms. As a result, one of the telltale signs of a vestige is variability. A good example is the human coccyx, a vestige of the mammalian tail, which has taken on a modified function, notably as an anchor point for the muscles that hold the anus in place." (New Scientist.)

          So by the admission of New Scientist the Coccyx is required to hold your anus in place.

          You may also believe it used to be a tail, but has now modified it's use. This begs the question ; "what holds your anus in place if you have a tail?" You may believe this rather tall tale (sorry) if you like. Me; I'm happy that my anus is held firmly thanks to a well designed anchor.

      • May 5 2011: Hi again Mr. Peter,

        I have some follow up questions for you: Why did God prevented the destruction of mammals and other animals in the ark and not dinossaurs and many many others as the fossils suggest? And do you believe God created all species at the same time and since the beginning some have been disapparing (as dinossaurs) or does God create creatures in different moments in time? By this I mean, did God created dinossaurs first and mammals later? And why just life on Earth and not in other places? Seems to be like a big waste of space! At one point in my life I believed that God was evolution, meaning that creatures didn't adapt randomly but God adjusted creatures that were worthy of survival as for mammals that "suffered" a lot in the reign of dinossaurs and then earned evolution in return. Now it seems far-fetched but I liked my theory. The point is that there is many ways to see things without clashing with Science. I particulary like a group of scientists that are studying alternative dimensions to prove the existence of God as they believe that he exists in a different dimension. To me, if you look at the God issue in a scientific, non-dogmatic, way we can still believe in Him but I think it is wrong to think that we humans know so much of God's designs so we must see religion as a learning process where our feeble minds have to adapt it's new knowdelge of God's creation (space, stars, black matter, etc) to be able to understand It better. Church, though, believes that God gave us all the answers clearly in the Bible but then argue that only scholars can truly understand the Bible, a document that was supposed to inform all Mankind. There is this dogma that God doesn't appreciate creativity and imagination as not to doubt what the Bible (or church).
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          May 5 2011: Hi Joao

          I believe the Bible (Old & New Testament) is God's handiwork. I believe this because when you study the 66 books, they are all telling the one story. Such intricacy would be impossible for man. The more we study the deeper & more intertwined they become. A bit like science, the more we discover, the more complex it gets. The bible can be checked by history, archeology, & science in general. No serious flaw has ever been found. If we live by it's precepts we tend to prosper; it works. We need no priest to tell us what it means; we can all read it ourselves. So my answers all come from the bible.

          I believe the whole universe, including earth & all the animals was made in 6-days. Before the Great Flood creatures lived for many hundreds of years. Dinosaurs are reptiles; reptiles continue to grow throughout their lifetime, so if they lived a very long time, they would get very large. I see no reason why young ones could not have been saved on the ark.

          I think the fact that the universe is so large is just God's way of showing his power. He said the stars are to light up the night, & to help us work out seasons. He is a spirit, therefore needs no form. We are made in His image, therefore we need no form either. He has given us bodies for the present & He also took on a body, & walked among us as Jesus Christ. It helps us to be friends with God, if we know the man Jesus. He lived & died in real history, and came back from the dead to prove who he really is. His promise is that if we trust in him, we also will overcome death.

          I too am interested in science, & if the bible didn't make sense scientifically, then I would have a problem. However, as far as I can tell there is no conflict between the two.
      • May 5 2011: Is it my believe (and I can see that this may be perceive as insulting to your believes and for that I apologize but it isn't my intention) that the bible was writed by multiple humans, corrected trough time which could explain it's intricacy in which they placed enough relatable data to defend its credibility in terms of accuracy and by this I mean that they selected historical facts and report them in a well placed fashion to go with the flow of the story they were trying to convey. Case and point, the narrow passage described in each the jewish people attack by surprise a faction in the region. That was so historically accurate that an English General read it and found the very same passage and use it to surprise attack the nazis hundreds of years later.
        However, I desagree with you in terms of who can read the Bible. It is one or the other: for one hand if anyone can read it and understand it completely and fully passages such as this:" However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)" are controversial, or only priests and scholars can really understand the message of God in these kind of passages.
        in its my understanding of what you just wrote (and please DO correct me if mistaken) that you believe that "our" reptiles, if long-lived could make as large as previous dinossaurs before the Great Flood? If so, that leaves the question to why didn't the little reptiles that were saved in the ark grew to that size already? Or hasn't passed enough time for that to happen?
        As for other flaws in the Bible, how old is the Earth? do you agree with bible scholars that say 5500 years?
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          May 6 2011: Hi Joao

          Much of the Old Testament has laws which were relevant for the Jews at that time. When Jesus came he fulfilled the law, so it is only relevant to Christians as history. Slavery at that time was a way of paying your debts, & was not for life. It only became such a hot topic when Africans started being forced into gross slavery. This was partly justified by the belief that Africans were not completely human; but that's another story.

          I'm not sure how long life was for a dinosaur, but humans are recorded at 900yrs +. After the flood, due to the revised climate human life expectancy shortened (probably gradually) to what we have today. There are many tales of dragons & sea monsters, & quite a lot of drawings. Most wild animals which are dangerous to humans have been killed over the years, so the most likely scenario is that any dinosaurs which survived the flood would eventually be killed by humans.

          The Jews, who are the experts on the Old Testament, believe that the world is 5771 years old. just Google "Jewish Calendar". If you work through the bible genealogy from Adam to Jesus, then you will come up with a similar answer. Why do you think this is wrong ?

      • May 6 2011: Well if you own someone you are bond to mistreat it at some point so gross slavery didn't begin with africans. And it was a way of paying debts, sure, but that is an human system, clearly not perfect that shouldn't be "endorsed" by God.
        Humans lived for 900 years?
        As for the calendar, 5771 years old isn't evolution that is in question but pure carbon dating and other very solid scientific techniques. You don't believe in radioactive decayment for thousands of years that allows us to date things to a couple hundred years of accuracy? And this techniques aren't based on theories but straight up scientific facts. Humans alone exist for 10000 years.
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          May 6 2011: Hi Joao

          Radiometric dating of all sorts is highly unreliable, it has to make large assumptions.


          Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
          Gen 5:4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
          Gen 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

          God did not endorse slavery, but given that it happened He gave instructions on how it should be handled. He didn't like multiple wives either, but as He had given man free choice He had to live with it.

          Sorry, had assumed you were familiar with the bible.

      • May 6 2011: Wow! Does any science whatsoever is real to you? By saying radiometric dating isn't valid you are basically saying that all modern historians are a bust.

        God did not endorse slavery but since it existed he went with it? What about robbery and murder? That existed and yet God forbid it (as it should) but not slavery.
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          May 7 2011: Hi Joao

          Historians use C14 which is good for 50-100,000yrs. However in order for it to be accurate they have to calibrate it against an artifact of known age. They can then use the results for anything of that age. If they just estimate the variables it doesn't work.
          C14 is produced in the upper atmosphere, & slowly decays. When it was discovered it was calculated that it would reach a balance in the atmosphere after about 30,000yrs. As the earth was millions of years old, it was assumed that the atmospheric C14 would be in balance. Recent measurements show it is still rising; something isn't adding up.

          Everyone who works for a paycheck is a slave. It's all a matter of degree. This thread is not about God, he is only used as a diversion from the problems with evolution.

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    Apr 30 2011: Hi Tim ,like many people I am yet to be able to solve Rubick's Cube. Does it prove it can't be solved ? So happens to evolution.
    What more I wanted to say is already said here by Vasil, Nicholas, Davie.

    Just sharing my own example , I came across Darwinism at 11th grade and in my college from teachers to students I heard it's sin to believe it. Question came to me why then it is in our biology text & asked quietly ? But nobody answered. I didn't learn anything of Darwinism at that time, even couldn't memorise (that usually students do in my country to get good grade) anything of theory of evolution because even teachers failed explain it.

    By that time I came to know even in US state of Tennessee there was lawsuit against Darwinism in early 1900s. I got a story book about excting lawsuits in the world ,it was included there.

    At university level in my course Evolution & Paleontology were to two subjects. Professor considered to be the best & the senior most came to teach , started with saying "I will teach you Evolution but personally I don't believe it" !!! This time I was loud to say , Why you are teaching something you don't believe as a teacher ?

    I had great trouble for the rest of my university life from that corner ...........

    Does it explain why so many people are out there who don't believe theory of evolution
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        Apr 30 2011: Hi Richard Good day :)
        I am with your thoughts about belief.
        Yes we should be careful about beliefs that can invade to violate others freedom and restrict progress. Self awarness about putting the right brake at right moment might help. How can we have that brake in society at large ?

        As usual, you are so nice to me. Thanks my friend
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      May 2 2011: Salim: As always, I appreciate your inputs. So do you think it is basically a form of brainwashing imposed by our education?
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        May 3 2011: Hi TimYeap to some extent it's eduction system but it happens much earlier to us.
        Before we joined formal schooling, any difficult to answer question was being answered as "it's GOD's wish , or it's done by GOD". That trend is still existing ...........
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          May 3 2011: Salim:

          I was raised to be catholic. We went to church EVERY Sunday. My parents put me through communion and confirmation. Yet upon reaching the "age of reason", i.e. when I was able to think for myself, I looked at religion and realized it was nothing but a bunch of fairy tales. This was probably at about 12 to 13 years old.

          Why do some people stick with the superstitions and others come to reason for themselves?
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        May 3 2011: Your childhood started like mine as well (guess almost all kids start life in that way , i mean religious way) though I am not as knowledgable as you are Tim

        .I don't know whether any parent's or family tries to explain anything to a kid scientifically (if they have the capability & attitude of doing so) because may be they think it's too early for kids to understand in logical way , scientific way.
        Or may be due to shortage of time (we don't have enough time for kids really) take the shortcut by giving all glory to GOD. That may be the killer of curiosity or having the ability of thinking , with logic, reasoning & fact finding for most people but few exceptions like you can come out of that.

        If some can , why others can't , the only asnwer roaming in my mind is something like my inability with Rubick's Cube
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    Apr 29 2011: Hi Tim

    If evolution was a fact it would not need to be believed in.

    Let's stick to the science. I see it this way. Each creature is born with a dna library. That library is more than sufficient to cope with many differing stresses brought on by environmental pressures. Natural selection choses the most efficient set of instructions. This causes variation over time; but only within the scope of the creature's dna. Sure this creature mates & can gain information from it's mate's dna, but this will still be within the common pool of the creature 'type'.
    I have not been able to locate real evidence that this is not the case. All I get is fossils arranged in lines, & assurances that evolution is true.
    We had a mongrel dog for 15yrs, it stayed healthy & died suddenly. My mum in law has a Yorkie. It's teeth are falling out, because they all do that. My neighbor had a German Shepherd, it's hind legs went, because they all do. Any vet will tell you. Left in the wild dogs would return to the healthy mongrel. Where is the 'evidence' that one type of creature can morph into another? Where does the dna 'coding' come from ? Why does the cell understand the instructions ?
    I have been bouncing around TED for a couple of years now, asking these questions, without success.
    I was an Agnostic, I gave evolution the benefit of the doubt. However the most strident call I get now is that I'm dumb for not believing. That is hardly a rational argument to win me to the cause.
    Like most Christians I have thought this through rationally & come to my conclusions. In the process I believe I have gained eternal life. I find evolution totally unconvincing & unappetizing. When people resort to fairies & spaghetti monsters, then they have relinquished the right to be taken seriously.

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      Apr 29 2011: "All I get is fossils arranged in lines"
      Here's the main problem. That you see them arranged in lines, and not into a single vast tree.

      If you still think that evolution claims you're descendant from a monkey, you'll fail to see the evidence for what it is. Evolution doesn't claim that - it claims you and monkeys evolved from a common ancestor which separated into monkeys and humans.

      Here's a video showing some fossils in regards to human evolution:
      And here's one presenting more generic evidence:

      And here's a video that addresses some common misconceptions:

      Even if you disregard the interpretations... how do YOU interpret the evidence?
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        Apr 30 2011: Hi Vasil
        Interesting videos, although I am pretty much up to speed on the theory. I understand that we are said to have a common ancestor with the apes.
        The homo skulls; A human skull & ape skull are fairly similar anyway. Most seem to be disputed by the experts, so who am I? If you were presented with two skulls, one from a boxer dog & one from a greyhound would you not suspect two different creatures. These however are from the same dna pool, & with careful breeding you could get the descendants to exchange facial features. If I may be so bold as to mention the bible for a moment. Imagine a race of people who had a 900yr. lifespan. What effect would that have on their skull? Maybe it would be bigger, requiring extra teeth. Maybe thicker, maybe bigger brow ridges; perhaps Neanderthal. Just a thought. I think that to attribute evolution in the classic sense to such small differences is too much.
        Homology; If you accept evolution, then the argument is sound. However if I were designing creatures to live on this planet, then they would have lots of similar features. They all breath the same air, eat the same food etc.
        Embryology ; Haekel (?) has muddied the water on this one by his deception. It's too specialised for me.
        DNA; This for me is the crux. The whole system screams hi-tech, it's stupendously beautiful, & complex, I love it. Natural forces cannot change the oil in my car; to suggest they can write fresh code is just silly. Apparently there are more proteins than there are subroutines to code for them; so I just heard, maybe wrong. This would mean that the routines are used to code more than one protein. Also how does the cell understand what the code is saying. I love it!
        I understand how natural selection works on the micro scale (within the type), but for me there is zero 'evidence' for extrapolating it to the macro (formation of a new kind).

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      Apr 30 2011: Peter, can I call you Peter?

      If evolution is not a fact, tell me why there are so many different kinds of fish.

      Now, one more thing, tell me how there are fish that live on land.

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        Apr 30 2011: Hi Nicholas

        Of course you can call me Peter.
        You are way off subject, I don't think God is in the question at all.
        Many ex-RC are angry with God, & I fully sympathise, but this is the wrong page.

        God Bless

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      May 2 2011: So Peter, I assume you accept that DNA carries our genetic information.

      Why is it so far-fetched to believe that mutations in our DNA would cause inheritable changes in our make-up?
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        May 3 2011: Hi Tim

        I noticed farther up you were brought up a Catholic. I think you are around the 6th. person with a similar background I have come across on this site, who now reject the whole God hypothesis. If you think that the RC church is Christianity, then I fully understand your position. I agree; it's a lot of fairy stories. They are not alone either, there are many big denominations who are off the wall, but the RC is by far the worst. I have many christian friends in the RC, but as christians they reject the fairy stories. Eat the meat, & spit out the bones.

        OK; DNA
        I see DNA like a computer program; a very long & complex one. It normally runs properly, if a bug creeps in then there are error sorting routines to correct them. Now & again they are not corrected & become embedded. What are the chances of these random bugs altering a spreadsheet into a spreadsheet plus database program while keeping the whole thing operational? We agree; absolutely none. That is such a simple thing, compared with what you are asking me to believe. We do change; BUT, the routines were all there from the start.

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          May 3 2011: Peter:

          The east coast of the US is about 1500 miles long. There are frogs living all the way along. The frogs from Maine (way up north) can mate and reproduce with frogs in NY (a little farther down) and produce offspring. And these can mate and produce offspring with frogs a bit farther south. This holds true all the way down to Florida. Yet the frogs from Maine can not mate and reproduce with frogs from Florida.

          Doesn't this suggest speciation (the evolution of separate species)? When you think about it, doesn't this make sense? Insisting that species always were and always will be what they are today seems to be motivated by something other than reason.
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        May 4 2011: Hi Tim
        You lost me. We have a bunch of frogs that could mate at one time; now they have lost that ability. How does that indicate that they are evolving ? Isn't that just entropy taking it's course ?
        It's easy to bust something, where is evolution making something ?

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    Apr 16 2011: Although evolution can be observed, has been observed, and can be seen on a factual basis...

    That does not mean one might automatically infer that the whole theory of evolution holds true. (That would be a generalization fallacy)
    BUT all the gathered evidence make the theory of evolution (Darwinian) the most plausible (given the data). All other explanations combined don't add up to a fraction of what might be seen as a rivaling hypothesis.

    I would not ask people to "believe" evolution. I would point out that not accepting the theory of evolution would be ignoring a lot about what is known about reality.
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      May 2 2011: Christophe: To me the "debate" over evolution touches on a core concept concerning religion vs science. It appears that some arcane concepts (such as creationism) must be maintained in order for religion to sustain it's mind control. Not really sure how the whole mechanism works, but I'm convinced there is a correlation. What do you think?
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    Apr 16 2011: BTW, here's a video I just stumbled upon that talks about most misconceptions in regards to evolution:
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    Apr 13 2011: Hi Tim:

    Great but painful question. I get stressed sometimes reading the comments by believers in the supernatural denying hard facts…
    The discussion on this topic (god) at TED forums is generally circular and it seems like there is no information exchange at all.
    The only way I can answer your question is going back to Plato’s cavern allegory (a free analysis on it tough): if you don’t believe in the information you get thru your senses because you believe the world of ideas is the real world, then you can argue against anything and no fact nor argument will make any difference.
    Saying this on a different way, the god meme, filters, selects and changes the meaning of the information coming in to its convenience, there is no other way for me to understand why an educated adult will consider for example that the bible is literally true…

    This always reminds me of something that is hereditary (culturally of course).

    Hope I’m making sense.


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      Apr 14 2011: Julian: You make an interesting point about the culturally "hereditary" aspect of belief systems.

      And perhaps education is the analogy to mutations.

      A big problem I have is that people are still trying to teach intelligent design/creationism in schools.

      In my state (Pennsylvania) there was a recent case where a local school board attempted to introduce textbooks promoting intelligent design to form a "balanced" education.


      Does this stuff happen in Argentina?
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        Apr 14 2011: Hi Tim!

        As far as I know, we don’t have that problem in Argentina.
        Though the catholic church is very relevant politically and of course religious schools teach creationism (probably not intelligent design) and even them are forced by law to teach geography, and the different eras of planetary evolution, etc.
        Most of the schools are laic by law (all the public ones and I’m guessing most of the private ones as well).

        I’m amazed that the church / state separation works so bad there. People should not use state funds nor infrastructure to promote any religion…



        PS correct me if I’m wrong but this doesn’t happen in Europe either.
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          Apr 15 2011: It doesn't need to happen in school parents are teaching children God is the answer before their ABC's. It is just devastating for thought! Only those lucky enough to connect enough information to see bigger questions unanswered will be the ones to transcend in thought.

          If all religions were taught in school, this would be no problem (transcending in thought) because then children would see for themselves what connections and disconnections exist in religion or at least just have the grounds to think larger than their preset religion.

          Real education (thinking/learning in all dimensions) will destroy any fundamental education (thinking/building on left and right) no question!
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          Apr 18 2011: Nicholas: Yes I think you've pointed to the best solution. Exposure to a broad variety of perspectives will eventually eradicate superstition.

          I think these TED debates are a good example. It's really not important that anyone "win" the debate. The important thing is that all sides are placed on the table. Those who are open-minded will choose the most rational argument.
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    Apr 12 2011: Hi all................I think of two possibilities......rational belief and irrational belief. I don't deal in facts because everything we KNOW is really belief. We see something as logical or we can observe particle interactions. I believe that all living things evolved from a single cell...I see the progression of consciousness resulting in the human mind. And I wonder if the state we find ourselves right now is end point or pinnacle of evolution. Don't yall (that's Texas for you all (:>) ) ?
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      Apr 12 2011: You're evading the question Helen. People usually place the existence of atoms in the realm of "facts", yet many refuse to consider biological evolution a fact.

      Why the distinction? I can see no reason other then an overwhelming desire to protect an archaic and outmoded belief-system. What other motivation do you see?
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        Apr 12 2011: Tim........I am not evading the question. You and I have different perspectives. And the reason for my answer is not to hang onto an archaic, outmoded belief system. My concept of God would hardly qualify for that definition. I believe that I am limited as to knowing (direct knowledge) I know that the only thing I KNow is that I do not know. Peace
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          Apr 13 2011: Helen: Since you said you believe in evolution, my comment wasn't directed towards you, but to those who refuse to view it as the truth. What do you see as the motivation for people who are presented with the body of information which supports evolution and refuse to accept it?
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      Apr 12 2011: if everything we think is a belief, we don't need that word anymore. so i recommend to redefine the terms as below:

      belief that is in line with observations, constantly questioned, refined and reinforced by experience should be "knowledge"

      belief that is independent of observations, neither supported nor refuted by evidence should be "belief"

      belief that is against observations should be "delusion"

      belief that is unshakable by observations, though not yet refuted, should be "faith"

      good news: we already define these words that way :)
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        Apr 12 2011: Krisztian.............Not everything we think is a belief. Please refer to my post to Tim. Peace
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          Apr 13 2011: who upvoted this post? it is only a redirection. i have a bad feeling about this. we have the voting drones in action again?
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        Apr 13 2011: Krisztian and Tim.................I am sorry about redirecting. I guess I am just lazy because I did not want to post the same thing again. I do not have two accounts and this will not happen again. Now to answer your post. We have different perspectives. Perhaps this is a case of semantics. I know only one thing and that is that I do not know (direct knowledge) Something you are born with is what you know. All else is belief. (:>)
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          Apr 13 2011: i feel uncomfortable with the fact that you get an upvote regardless of content. we saw that earlier. if you have any influence on it, make it stop. we came here for honest discussion. we are not interested in propaganda.
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        Apr 14 2011: Krisztian............I too feel uncomfortable with someone upvoting my post, however I had nothing to do with that and never will. I am not posting so I get credits and I do not like your insinuation that what I post is propaganda. I notice you have 20+ cred and it seems that this is very important to you. It is not important to me.
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      Apr 12 2011: I'm glad you accept evolution Helen, but humans are certainly not a pinnacle or an endpoint of evolution, because there is no-endpoint in evoluiton. Evolution is an ongoing adaption to a specific environment which is essentially purposeless. All living creatures today can be said to be perfectly adapted to their current environment and all have as long a story of adaption.
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        Apr 12 2011: Matt.......I am referring to an end point to intelligence not adaptation. It has been said that ETAs could be much more highly evolved and more intelligent. This is of course all speculation on my part and may amount to nothing, however however isn't this how we discover that which we do not know yet ? Peace
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    Apr 12 2011: This Not an Idea its a question ,
    Please put in right place to find the right answer
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      Apr 12 2011: Sorry AbdelRahman. I put it in the wrong category to start with and can't change it now.

      But please comment in any case.
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        Apr 14 2011: Hi Tim
        I do not buy the evolution theory
        because evolution is a process and each process need planning and raw materils to give us the final product
        the structure of life have a common signature which tell us every thing is coming from one place
        and all these thing can not made it self very very difficult to believe in that
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          Apr 14 2011: AbdelRahman: Do you believe that all humans are related?
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          Apr 14 2011: Evolution is a fact however the components, causes/effect, and complete knowledge of evolution is not set in stone.

          I like to use fish as the prime example.

          You see there are billions upon billions of fish. It is a constant struggle to survive in the ocean. So fish have to keep evolving to adapt to their environment. There are fish who indeed live on land that need to say in wet mud to survive. There are fish that look like other fish just to try and get a bite of them. There are fish who bottoms are white and tops are dark blue. There are fish who make pattern-ships and evolve together in that pattern-ship. There are so many fish because of evolution!!

          You see evolution is happening as we speak, to deny it, is to deny nature.
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        Apr 17 2011: @Tim Colgan
        Yes I do
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          Apr 18 2011: How do you explain the variation of physical characteristics with the human species?
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        Apr 17 2011: @ Mosonic 33rd Ring
        GOD does not pop up he was always there what pop up is life it self
        you flip the picture there was nothing but GOD
        not life was there then GOD popup
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          Apr 19 2011: "How do you explain the variation of physical characteristics with the human species?"

          There is a story in Genesis that provides insight to this question, it's called the Tower of Babel.

          The story goes that originally the human race was of one language, when we decided we could build a tower that would reach heaven God became angry and confounded the language of the human race so that we could not understand each other.

          Religious scholars have expanded the meaning of the word language (applying the golden rule) to include race (a bit of a stretch I think)

          There is also the bible story of Cain and Abel (I think it's in Genesis also)

          Evil Cain murdered his good brother Abel so God cursed Cain with dark skin. Not only did God curse Cain but also his children, his children's children, and so forth.

          Another example (this is specific to LDS religion) is the story of the Nephites and the Lamanites in America. It is similar to the above, God cursed the wicked Lamanites with dark skin so they could be distinguished from the righteous Nephites.

          Religion does have some interesting theories, I find it illuminating to appreciate both sides of an arguement
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        Apr 17 2011: @Nicholas Lukowiak
        what is Nature ? is it the sun or Earth or water ?
        or us ?
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          Apr 17 2011: Ha, excellent question.

          Stars, organisms, and planets are all apart of nature. Nature is the unstoppable force in the universe that if understood and worked with would benefit exponentially without question. Natural evolution gave human beings a gift/result that is unmeasurable in it's ability for conquest. No other animal on this planet has this type of intelligence that goes beyond surviving. The more we understand nature in relation to the world is how the human race began science. Science is not merely biology, chemistry, and/or anatomy. It is everything.

          Science is the process of eliminating the unlikely to make the likely more likely. So when people say morals can be made by science they are right and wrong because morals developed science and science developed morals. True or false, it is easier to work with one another than against one another? Obvious, so science says work together because it is more beneficial than not.

          Religion came to be to an answer when trying to figure out what is the meaning or purpose of life? Instead of agreeing on helping one another to go beyond surviving, some people decided to answer with abstraction beyond logic and reason. There is no meaning to life beside what you make of life, but wouldn't life be better with everyone being your friend than a few select individuals?

          Science says for us to work together so no one is unhappy in life, and after that everything is extra. Get high, have fun, make love, be in love, explore, be the best at something, but live life.

          So what is nature? Survival of the fittest for animals. Except intelligence allows us to go beyond just surviving and be able to explore and create. The better question is "Can intelligence alter nature?" or "Does nature alter intelligence?" What is nature? A force that involved on the subatomic to the cosmic broad spectrum of reality.
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        Apr 18 2011: @ Masonic 33rd Ring
        Nice to talk to you too I enjoy talking to ashiest because they increase my faith
        yes you do exist but when did you exist
        where were you 100 years ago? and where you will be 100 years later
        hope you have a none preposterous idea
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        Apr 18 2011: @ Birdia Tak Wai Chan
        if life is about Get high, have fun, make love, be in love, explore, be the best at something, but live life."
        you forget one thing
        you did not and ca not choose your arrival and departure time to and from life
        so what make it possible you are here and what force will force to leave life
        if life was about to life as we want then why we do not have the privilege to come when we want and leave when we want
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        Apr 18 2011: @ Nicholas Lukowiak
        your definition does not make sense
        Nature is the unstoppable force in the universe
        but didn't nature made the universe in the first place

        Nature Survival of the fittest for animals.
        is the Nature which made animals is different from nature which made the universe ?

        Except intelligence allows us to go beyond just surviving and be able to explore and create
        what gave you the Intelligence in first place its nature of some this else

        so what is nature which able to create from where it get this wonderful idea ?
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          Apr 19 2011: Natural occurrences made the universe and continue to make the universe so thus nature is the unstoppable force in the universe.

          As far as survival of the fittest, yes, even on subatomic levels the atoms unneeded to move on to the next phase of their processes are eliminated. But I claimed with intelligence survival of the fittest becomes less and less needed, well unless you want to get into science fiction and consider the film "Independence day" as a plausible event as Hawkins does. However the universe is so vast that I cannot see how aliens need our resources when there is so much existing in the universe, if anything the resource would be humans. Sucks huh? Still highly unlikely.

          By harnessing nature as the accepted way to start all thinking, humans would do a lot less harm to one another. Science is beautiful because it says to eliminate the unlikely to make the likely more likely. Install that into everything and you a good system of morals and thinking. My favorite question: "What is better, to work together or to work against one another?" Easier said than done though. By denying nature you deny worlds of thought.


          You are being a nitpicker of ideas and phrases, stop it. I enjoy it because you are challenging me to think beyond what I have originally said, but you seem to not be absorbing much of this information to be directing so many nitpicking comments. Go and read articles and papers that simplify these ideas of nature, evolution, and the human condition after a while of question asking. Never stop questioning though, but do it on a personal level also.
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        Apr 19 2011: @ Tim
        "How do you explain the variation of physical characteristics with the human species?"
        I'm not specialist in this filed but I think due to genetic factors and life experiences
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        Apr 19 2011: @ Richard
        ". Yes it does need the raw materials the atoms and molecules that we consist of but they were always there"
        but according to Big Bang Theory there was nothing before 13.7 Billion years
        watch this talk @ 4:07
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        Apr 19 2011: @ Richard
        "Once born our life is ours and we have the privilege of living as we want."
        No you can not live as you want
        why do you sleep which take 1/3 of the fun time
        Why do you get tired ?
        Why do you eat ?
        why do you go to toilet ?
        If I had a choice to live as I want I would you choose
        not to sleep not to get tired not to go toilet not to feel hungry
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        Apr 19 2011: @ Richard
        " There was not nothing. The entire Universe existed in a black hole,"
        does this black exist before 13.7 Billion years?
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    May 6 2011: Hi Tim

    "Why don't people believe the fact of evolution?"

    How about giving your reasons for thinking that evolution is a fact.
    Not variation 'within' a kind, but the production of 'new' kinds.
    Not opinions, but relevant scientific data.

    How hard can it be?

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      May 6 2011: Well, to me it's all very simple. But it's the obstinacy of it's detractors which makes giving a solid explanation difficult.

      Let's start where it started - as a theory proposed by Darwin. It was really the mountain of supporting evidence which emerged afterward which make most scientists aware that it is a fact. But Darwin is a good place to start.

      While sailing around the Galapagos Islands on a world-wide exploratory journey, he observed that many animal forms varied from island to island. Pondering on this, he developed the theory of natural selection to explain why certain characteristics emerge and become predominant in these groups. Essentially, he postulated that natural variations (he didn't at the time know how variation emerged) which were most adaptive to the environment would essentially be "selected" and survive and be passed on to offspring.

      With the discovery of DNA and the research that followed, the mechanism for change became apparent. Since our genetic makeup is based on complex molecules which replicate, any error in the replication could induce a new characteristic. Of course the majority of those "errors" at copying are counterproductive, but occasional a beneficial characteristic emerges.
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      May 6 2011: So here we have a simple theory which explains a lot about life. Many observations support this theory:
      . variation in and between species
      . commonality of life forms
      . fossil records
      . our tail bone and other body parts which serve a function in one species, but not another yet are still present

      Anyone who has spent any time studying science, history, etc. knows that everything that exists is in a state of constant change. That we as a species came were instantly formed from nothing (or some super-natural being's imagination) is counterintuitive.

      Having this theory of evolution of species via natural selection and a body of information which supports it most scientifically minded people consider it to be a fact. The only ones who don't seem to have a vested interest in maintaining some belief system which requires humans to have been created, whole and complete, by some super-natural process.
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        May 6 2011: Hi Tim,
        Ok we have covered variation within kinds, we have typo's in the dna, we've had a go at god, but where's the meat ? Why do you believe that one type of creature will / may evolve into a more complex creature ? Never mind god & biased scientists, where is the science ?
        We covered the alleged Tail Bone earlier, do you still think it's a throwback?

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          May 6 2011: Peter: If you want me to conduct a demonstration experiment for you, taking one species, mutating it's dna, putting it through a process of natural selection and showing you a new species...

          ... I'm afraid I can't do that. Has that proved that evolution is not a fact?

          But let's take a different approach. Let's imagine for a moment that evolution is a fact and we wanted to prove it. How would you go about doing that?
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        May 6 2011: Tim :
        I agree that the evolution theory is something very rational which span a lot of scientific facts (the most perhaps) , and maybe it is the best scientific explanation now about ourselves as species and ..........
        the evolution is theory because do not explain the all facts , the whole reality , for example the evolution theory do not say us anything about the coming to life of the first cell , how it happen ? this isn't explained and everything is based on it without no explanation for it , isn't it irrational ?
        supposing that the evolution is true this do not explain too much again (do not explain almost anything) about the life , the evolution of species in the precambrian era but yet the evolution is relying on it ...................the evolution theory have deficiences and intellectually isn't a so big mistake to reject it even though according to my knowledge we don't have now a better scientific explanation . With all these I want to make the point that the evolution is a theory not a fact.
        • May 6 2011: Mr. Eduard, the most relevant point in this discussion to me isn't that people don't believe in evolution is that they believe in far more far-fetched ideas and theories as facts which is ironical considering scientists still have to call "the theory of evolution" with multiple evidences obtained from the life's work of Darwin and many other scientists, a "theory" that led to multiple medical breaktroughs and on the other hand religious people have a book and the phrase "God did it" and call it fact and we have to believe in it otherwise we probably go to hell, and asking for evidences is punishable by eternal in hell and in other moments in time death.
          To conclude this monumental irony those same people that sign DNRs because God doesn't want us to remain alive artificially, have a good health system with all kinds of artificial chemicals which aren't any more natural than life support and prevent them from dying young. In addition, they also enjoy the benefits that the so called "theory" of evolution gave to medicine and other fields of science and engineering and by their hand try to prevent future advancements such as stem cell research.
          Sure, evolution is just a theory the same way as Newton's laws were just theories that Einstein proved wronged in the end. But is was a rational explanation that the state of science at the time could provide but did gave us a lot of advancements. However, not all theories should be given the same weight as I could say absolutely anything that people would have to take into consideration because everything is theorical? What if I say that I did? I created the world and all species and control all gravity. There. Now teach THAT in all the schools in ALL the world.
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        May 7 2011: Hi Tim

        "But let's take a different approach. Let's imagine for a moment that evolution is a fact and we wanted to prove it. How would you go about doing that?"
        It may be that evolution is a fact; I may be wrong; but it is not a scientific fact, as it cannot be demonstrated. This makes it a faith-system, or religion if you like.
        Scientists have been mutating fruit flies within an inch of their life for over 100yrs. They have a very short life cycle turn-around. To date all we have is damaged fruit flies.
        If some gradually changed into something other than fruit flies, I would take note. If evolution were true then every living creature would be moving onward towards a better model. We would see millions in-transit. What we have however is well defined breeds, all with their compliment of parts, & all miracles of engineering. We also have many 'living fossils' which are precisely the same as their ancestors.
        I have heard this same question addressed hundreds of times & there is never an answer.
        At the end of the day, you either 'believe' it or you don't.

  • May 5 2011: I use evolution as a thought facilitator on many issues, while not "believing" it an infallible construct.
    I do not think it is possible for humans to do anything but interpret observations rather than attest facts no matter how fiercely.

    Anyway this is a serious question, despite that I ask it facetiously.

    Why do you believe that evolution is a fact? Do you believe it is a fact as much as Christians believe (and state) that Christianity is true? Whats the difference between you two? Do you both accede to higher authorities any less? What personal proof (non secondary evidence) have you that it is true?

    Just wondering.
  • Apr 27 2011: I believe that religion and faith are so much a part of our American culture that questioning those teachings has become a social taboo. What a shame that more of our families dont encourage independent thought and inquiry rather than religious tradition.
    I am one who DID believe in creationism and has since come to believe and trust science and its explanation for life on earth.
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      Apr 28 2011: Sherri:

      At what point in your life did you change your mind? What was it that convinced you?

      It's my contention that the more these topics are discussed the more likely people will be convinced by rational arguments (despite the fact that many will be set in their ways).

      What do you think?
  • Apr 19 2011: I thought I'd point out what to me seems obvious but contrarians don't seem to get.

    The Theory of evolution describes HOW we may have evolved, not simply that we did(wouldn't that make Evolutionary Biology a simple degree)

    The question of this post was the FACT of Evolution, not the Theory.
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      May 2 2011: Thanks Deaven. Your adding a bit of depth to the discussion on fact. So would you say a fact is basically an underlying truth?
  • Apr 18 2011: First I will make the point that evolution is a fact, but the "theory" of evolution is a SCIENTIFIC theory.

    People don't want to believe in it obviously for religious purposes. I think it's generally difficult to imagine life after or before we exist, simply because we can only observe life whilst we exist. So people create the idea of afterlife. They add the moderator and creator because humans as all other animals are very good at perceiving intention, and so we look for intention in everything.

    It should be said that truth is truth no matter how we feel about it. Nature doesn't care about us, We have to care about nature.
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        Apr 15 2011: Birdia, We do not remove posts based on opinion, but we do ask that comments to be relevant to the material being discussed. If you have questions and suggestions please email us directly at conversations@ted.com

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  • Apr 14 2011: Sharing an interesting experience... in another discussion group, someone confidently gave me the link to an ebook and told me that it conclusively disproves evolution using scientific data. I opened it up and the central point around which the whole book revolved was this : With the discovery of living fossils - ie, species whose imprints have been found in fossils but have also been found to be thriving to this day - evolution was disproved. It claimed that according to the evolution theory, EVERY fossil MUST be of an extinct animal. The author had taken care to mention a religious figure's name at every alternate sentence to lend himself some credibility. I had trouble controlling my laughter, then had to explain to my friend to please resist shoving lies down people's throats : There was no co-relation between fossils and extinction; no "evolutionist" ever said anything like that; and if that were to be believed then a simple human skeleton found in a cave would lead one to believe humans have gone extinct! :P
    So they pretty much float on hot air - it can get a little difficult to find out how to puncture the balloon but it sure makes for great entertainment.
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    Apr 14 2011: Tim....You said you were trying to be provocative........Does it occur to you that other posters are in the same mindset ? Or may their faith is so strong that they will go to any length to defend their beliefs. ? There are some pretty big holes in some beliefs. If they defy logic then I have no truck with them. I used to hold other people's beliefs as my ow because as aa child I was scared into that. But now I honor my own beliefs
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      Apr 14 2011: Helen: By being provocative I hope to provoke response. Debate is good, no?

      These beliefs effect not only us as individuals, but us as a society. Perhaps we don't manage to persuade those who are set in their ways, but I think that the more these issues are debated, the more likely young people (those who are not yet set in their ways) will evaluate the evidence and make decisions based on reason vs. tradition.
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        Apr 14 2011: Tim Debate is good, Yes. I do know what you mean by persuading. Been dere, done dat. I too love debate but I am not in the business of persuasion. I have nothing to prove and nothing to defend, really. But I love to see what others think ? It is interesting.
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      Apr 13 2011: Since humans ARE animals, what is the significance of "have humans evolved from animals? Absolutely not. "?
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        Apr 13 2011: you can't just take the bits of a theory you like and ignore the rest, it's preposterous. Like the guy at the Christian union who was telling me he accepted the theory of evolution but not that we shared ancestry with other apes. What the Hell does that mean?

        Any reason why you have two accounts Kathy K?
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          Apr 13 2011: Masonic: You reminded me of the following:

          Gandhi was asked what he though of Western Civilization.

          He responded, "I think it would be a good idea".
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        Apr 13 2011: Tim, if she does that I suggest a better approach would be to just walk away from the conversation entirely. Nobody will blame you for it. Clever thing to do lol, Peter Law could learn from her.
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    Apr 12 2011: Krisztian...Now we are on the same page ! We could not prove ether so we go in a different direction. Thank you for understanding.
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      Apr 13 2011: it is not the way of mankind. our cavemen ancestors didn't stop using their science just because it was not 100%. they used their knowledge the best they could. so we are here. we know that the world is discoverable, because we tried, and we succeeded.
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    Apr 12 2011: Because fundamentalist in history used swords! And rationalist used pens!

    The quote "The pen is mightier than the sword" is a foolish one to my dismay.
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      Apr 12 2011: what a neat idea. we could call this religion "church of evolution" or evolutionism. god created the world in a way that it progresses. god loves progress. god created the simplest forms of existence, with the potential of development. when we die, we will stand before god, and he will ask "what did you contribute to make my world a better place? what have you added? how did you promote The Evolution?"
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          Apr 12 2011: you have failed to do only useless things! and god will have a full list of your improvements! you can't fool the bearded old man, he sees through you.
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          Apr 12 2011: don't be harsh on him. isn't his creation a piece of art? no real purpose, just for the sake of it. you could be friends. and in many aspects, the world seems to be dadaist as well :)
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      Apr 12 2011: Intelligent design is what you are talking about Birdia.

      All and all excellent points
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          Apr 12 2011: No! I would of replied to that and not the main one lol!

          "they will have to accept the fact that they will have to die without the sweet promise of an afterlife"

          The future = afterlife. Therefore there is life after yours! It is called the future and being a civil human being would result in your lineage being more likely to follow in those foot steps. Do good in life and live great in the after life!

          We were given intelligence as a result of our evolution, why limit it to just considering we are a spell casted by a magician?
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          Apr 12 2011: Your lineage is your ghost,

          I get this ideal from eastern tradition.

          Honor thy ancestors they watch out for you, well you are a future ancestor why not care about the future of your kids and their kids? Beyond this your future lineage will have to live in an environment that they are going to respond in and grow in. Do what you can to ensure the safety of their body and mind!

          I understand what you meant (heaven/hell) those are scare tactics in religion. In the church of evolution the scare tactic would be "stop being selfish or else your lineage dies or becomes a problem and not a solution."
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    Apr 11 2011: I think we tend to categorize people and ideas and these pigeon-holes are numbered one, two, threeand so on in order of their importance to us ? You think ?
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      Apr 11 2011: Actually, I only have two pigeon holes:
      1) people who believe in science.
      2) those who believe in superstition.

      What was the third category?
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        Apr 11 2011: You sir, you happen to be a more enlightened person. But I was thinking in terms of personality and I believe arrogance could be another which would supercede other categories. Myself, I believe that evolution of species and memes, if you wish, makes sense but why would you state it as a Fact ?
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          Apr 12 2011: Helen: Do you believe that the existence of atoms is a fact? I bet you (or I) could name less supporting evidence for the existence of atoms then we can for the theory of biological evolution via mutation and natural selection.

          Yet you refuse to call it a fact. Why?
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          Apr 12 2011: Helen, it is a fact. Evolution has been observed countless times and people have been doing 'artificial selection' since the dawn of times to breed better pets, cattle, etc.
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          Apr 12 2011: Helen, this is a question of definition. you say that evolution is not a fact. by fact, you mean something that is unchallengeable, and we can be 100% sure about it. but such statements about the world can not possibly exist. none. zip. we can not say with 100% certainty that the earth revolves around the sun. such facts only exist in mathematics.

          when we say evolution is fact, we say that it is as sure as newton's laws, the theory of relativity, or that malaria is caused by bacteria. these statements are in the same league. both are facts as we, scientists use the word. neither of these are facts as 100% sure statements.
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          Apr 13 2011: Masonic: I concede your point that all science is under continual scrutiny and subject to revision when new observations are made.

          I suppose I was just using "fact" to be provocative, but the point I was trying to make is that deniers of evolution are working from a motive other than observing evidence and determining truths. What motivation do you see?
  • Apr 11 2011: We have a politician where I live who falls into this category. He is one of the few politicans who I actually admire because he does what he says he will, he refrains from the normal political posturing, he is articulate and effective, and yet he is a religious extremist who rejects all aspects of evolution. How do people like that compartmentalize their brain to accept 99% of what everybody else accepts but reject that one little piece of science?
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      Apr 13 2011: Revett: Yes, our ability to fragment our thinking this way is amazing. It seems to have the same foundation as the salesperson who faithfully believes in his/her product, or the sports fan who is convinced that the local team is the best. Being indoctrinated into one social group does seem to have a powerful influence on our interpretation of truth. What do you think?