Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Proof of Evolution?

Breaking news from New Scientist:
    A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers' eyes. It's the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait.

    And because the species in question is a bacterium, scientists have been able to replay history to show how this evolutionary novelty grew from the accumulation of unpredictable, chance events.
OK, so some scientists observed bacteria change slightly over time. The conclusion?:
    [T]he experiment stands as proof that evolution does not always lead to the best possible outcome. Instead, a chance event can sometimes open evolutionary doors for one population that remain forever closed to other populations with different histories.

    Lenski's experiment is also yet another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists, notes Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. "The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events," he says. "That's just what creationists say can't happen."
Hold on there, professor. You started with bacteria and ended with bacteria. I don't think there's a creationist in the world that would question your findings.


P.D. Nelson said...

You are correct Lee what is being observed is "micro" evolution, which as many creationists have said happens all the time. But "macro" evolution that is a different story.

When the bacteria becomes a bird alert the media.

Quintin said...

What amazes me is they'll say "we've observed it before." And then when they think they've found 'better' evidence it's "the first time."

James said...

What I find interesting is when "science" looks at a finch on two different islands and sees them different they claim evolution and they are right. Evolution in the same species is adaptation to the invironment, not a changing of species. Cats don't turn into horses, but adapt with stronger or weaker this or that. God keeps his species pure and adapts that species so they can cope with invironmental changes.
I have noticed in deer hunting that by culling the strongest and largest deer that deer are now being born smaller, weaker, I don't know but they are still deer.

Truth is, it is the unbelieving world trying to make the world into something they would like to see and cannot understand God, or His word because they are spiritually dead.

I enjoy a good science or nature documentary but I am not so gullible to accept their many unbiblical conclusions. I just like the High Def beauty and locations.

Anonymous said...

James. You have a remarkable lack of knowledge regarding evolution. You are right that a cat will never turn into a horse. This is not claimed by evolution.

You could say that one result of the theory of evolution is that one must think of the beginnings of life on the world to be a 'soup' of bacteria from which issues (after many millions of years of tiny mutations and adaptions) a cat and horse but through very different paths of evolution.

The purpose of this experiment was, presumably, to experience these early developments first hand.

Although, I do seem to remember reading a Ben Goldacre article about this experiment where the scientists in question refuted the idea that this was definitive proof of evolution, so no need to worry there.

It is true that evolution may well in fact be proven wrong but it will be proven wrong by science. Science is nothing more than the extension of our own senses. We extend them so as to 'see' things we could not otherwise see.

We build a telescope to look at the stars. This is based on scientific laws of optics.

Do you believe what you see when you look thorugh a telescope?

In fact, for Galileo, the first time he looked through a telescope could not believe what he saw as there were several 'artefacts' or anomalies in the viewfinder. He saw things that weren't there but this too was acknowledged and repaired by the use of scientific principles. The same happened with the hubble telescope when the giant lens was manufactured incorrectly.

You may also be correct that there are mistakes and unknowns in the theory of evolution and you'd be correct but does that mean you should go rushing to the next available theory - creationism - while at the same time, ignoring its far greater lack of evidence? This is the hallmark of conspiracy theorists.

You need not fear science. Do not listen to the Dawkins of this world. You can believe in God and in science. The truth will always prevail. Have faith in your beliefs - in both science and religion and if they are the truth, nothing can crush them.

All the best

Lee Shelton IV said...

Anonymous, did scientific laws evolve, or are they universal and constant? Did they exist when the universe began? Did they exist before it began?

We do not fear science, we embrace it. Science helps to reaffirm our faith in a Creator God. Only those who presuppose the non-existence of God say that we have less evidence than the evolutionist.

Anonymous said...


Scientific laws are ideas created by humans to describe the world. They exist only as other ideas exist. They are not deities or entities but are (or at least intend to be) universal.

It would be incorrect to say that scientific laws 'evolve.' Certainly, they have been adapted and changed over the years but to say they 'evolve' would imply a degree of random mutation which I don't think is there.

These two points are certainly not to be taken for granted. An American scientist and philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce did believe that scientific laws exist independently of humans (as do many others) and evolve to adapt to the universe. The scientifc example he gives is the tenet: "Large bodies gravitate towards each other." He wrote that at some time in the universe there existed a law that stated the opposite - that large bodies repelled each other - but this law 'died out' because it was insufficient for a stable universe.

I'm not too sure I believe Peirce in this case. I prefer to think of scientific laws as immensely valuabe but still fallible ideas that are not independent of humans. The beauty of this is that science will constantly develop based on new findings as long as people still ask questions.

You say that:

"Only those who presuppose the non-existence of God say that we have less evidence than the evolutionist."

This is simply not true. Out of everyone I know, I would be hard pressed to find someone who believes in creationism. I come from a Catholic upbringing and many of the people I know believe in God and most don't pre-suppose He doesn't exist.

I would also be interested in hearing your evidence as long as you remember that Faith is Faith and does not count evidence. Faith may be a stronger and more valuable force than evidence but they are still seperate things.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Look no further than creation itself, my friend. Don't let the trees block your view of the forest.

Your presuppositions dictate that the evidence you see must be interpreted apart from a belief in God. My presuppositions dictate that no truth can be known apart from God.

You define faith as something that is blind, something that is not based on empirical evidence. Yet the evolutionist is the one who exhibits blind faith be insisting on the truth of a theory that cannot be tested through observable, measurable means.

My faith is grounded in the Word of God. It is a book that was written by about 40 different authors (all eyewitnesses) over a period of about 1,500 years (during the time of other eyewitnesses) and remains internally consistent. None of the Bible's claims have ever been disproved by science or archaeology. This same book, which claims to be the authoritative word of God, has explained in the simplest of terms how all life began. Why should I not take that as evidence?

Anonymous said...

Lee, what about the existence of other gospels, that were written at the same time as some of the gospels that you now turn to for proof? Many of the extra gospels contain conflicting information about the life of Jesus and the practices at the time of writing. Why are some gospels more "truthful" to you than others just because they happen to be bound in a compilation of stories that you have based your beliefs upon?

This is not to say that the Bible is telling lies, far from it. However, your presumption that the Bible contains the Words of God rather than the words of Man lead us to believe that you must use Faith, which in this point must be blind (for this belief does say that the other gospels are lies and only the Bible gospels are truth) in order to truly believe that the Bible contains the Words of God.

Therefore, just like Anonymous previously stated (I am another Anonymous), your proof relies on your blind Faith that the Bible is truth. Do you dismiss recently found gospels (take the gospel of Judas, do you believe that? It was carbon dated to be around the same time...)? Do you believe that those also contain the Words of God?

Why can't we believe that God created these things that will change over time, or have that ability? Why does that go against God? The only reason there is such conflict is because you want to believe in the Garden of Eden and the things that happened there in the story, while most who believe in evolution don't. More importantly, however, is that most people who believe in evolution don't care about the Garden of Eden. It doesn't affect how we view evolution.

So as far as evolution is concerned, the Bible doesn't have much to say; but religious people seem to have a lot to say because evolutionists don't necessarily follow your beliefs.

Lee Shelton IV said...

The Gospel of Judas didn't appear until about the 3rd century. And it promotes gnosticism, not Christianity.

There are no gospels other than what we have in the canon of scripture. How can I be sure? The manuscript evidence is overwhelming. That same evidence demonstrates the Bible's authenticity.


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