Monday, January 24, 2011

Evolution Just the Facts Pt. 8

Hey all,

Alright we are almost done the review of conservapedia's evolution page! I have to admit the entire thing took me much longer than I thought that it would, but here we are, so let's continue:

Inflated Claims about Evolution Growing in Frequency and Intensity:

In recent times, despite their being little consensus on how evolution allegedly occurred according to the various theories of evolution, evolutionists have tried to convince the public of the supposed validity of the evolutionary position by increasing and frequently using the term "overwhelming evidence" or similar terms in relation to the alleged existence of evidence that supports their position. For example, prominent atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins claimed in an interview with journalist Bill Moyers that there is "massive evidence" for the theory of evolution.

- There is actually is consensus on how evolution occurred. The various theories explain different things that we see in the modern world today, in the lab and in the fossil record. Natural Selection and Sex Selection seem to be the biggest driving force in evolution, but there are other theories to describe the periods of status and rapid change (keep in mind rapid is still over 1000 years) as well as DNA, how it is formed and how it mutates.
- There is actually mountains of evidence for evolution, in the fossil record, morphology, DNA, embryonic studies, and many many more. Closing your eyes and plugging your ears does not make the evidence go away, no matter how much you don't want to believe it. Some of the most well documented evolutionary histories are the evolution of homo sapien (humans), whale evolution, bird evolution and horse evolution. If you do a google search on any one of those things you will find that there is a lot of evidence to support it.

The atheist and evolutionist Carl Sagan was an avid marijuana smoker who claimed marijuana gave him scientific insights. Given the lack of any real evidence for the evolutionary position and the aforementioned abundance of evidence against the evolutionary paradigm, Sagan's atheism and avid marijuana smoking no doubt helped inspire Sagan's atheistic pseudoscience fantasy that evolution was a "fact". The Barna Group found concerning atheism and morality that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.

- This is probably one of the most outrageous statements that this article had to offer, and considering the content of this article that is impressive. So Sagan smoked marijuana, so what? He started smoking it in the 60s when it was not a crime. Even then, it doesn't really make much of a difference because studies have shown that marijuana has less mind altering affects than alcohol, but that is neither here nor there.
- This has nothing to do with the validity of the theory of evolution!
- I'm not in the mood to address the statement there about atheism and agnosticism, needless to say that I don't see a problem with things like premarital sex because as primates we are not inherently monogamous, I am pro-choice (and based on some studies a number of Christians are to with 43% being Protestant and 27% being Catholic source), cohabitation with someone of the opposite sex makes sense, in my opinion, if you are planning on marrying someone it makes sense to see if you can actually live together before making that commitment (which would likely result in a lower divorce rate), obscene language, well the definition of what is considered to be obscene changes over time, but there is a time and a place for every type of language even obscene language, gambling, hey if it's legal what's the problem so long as it is done in moderation? Pornography can actually help relationships by adding a little spice, obscene sexual behavior? I say to each their own (of course so long as everyone involved consents), and I'm not really sure what exactly they would consider to be obscene. Engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality, do you know how troubling it is for someone who is homosexual or bisexual to admit to themselves that they are gay or bi when they are indocritinated in a religion which tells them that they are an abomination even though God clearly made them that way? I'm willing to bet that it is the influence of Christianity and other anti-gay religions which leads gay/bi teens to attempt suicide...

Creation Vs. Evolution Videos:

Here is what they provide (l've left the links in case you want to see them for yourself):

Major Creation Science Organizations - Creation Vs. Evolution Videos:
Hickory Hammock Baptist Church Videos - Creation Vs. Evolution and Other Topics:
Other Creation Vs. Evolution Videos:

Now here are a few that I suggest:
Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism
Why Do People Laugh at Creationists?
Creationist Astronomy Propoganda (CRap) Debunked
Challenging the Discovery Institute to Discover
Why Young Earth Creationists Must Deny Gravity
Evidence for Evolution and Against Creationism
Origins: The Series
How Evolution Works
Transitional Fossils
Top 25 Creationist Fallacies
Evolution: How We Know it Happened & Why It Matters
Creationist Junk Debunked
From the Big Bang to Us - Made Easy
Creationism: Still Crazy After All These Years
Design Vs. Chance
Show Me the Intermediate Fossils!
Why Evolution is True (YouTube Channel)  - This channel is full of Evolution documentaries from the BBC, History Channel, Discovery, PBS, Channel 4, Nova, National Geographic and much more. I highly recommend this one!

So it's not hard to figure out which side of this "debate" I'm on, and although I have already explained why I think that "creation science" is dangerous I will explain a few other things about evolution which I think are important in society.

Evolution is fundamental to an understanding in biology, which leads to an understanding of medical science which in turn will help to save thousands if not millions of lives in the fields of epidemiology, cancer research, the research of AIDS and HIV as well as organ transplants, and many more which I couldn't even name.

Evolution is also fundamental in understanding what it means to be human as well as where we came from and where we are going as a species. Also by examining our non human primate cousins we can understand more about why we interact in ways that we do and even understand how some of our earliest ancestors might have interacted with one another.

DNA has helped us to understand more about evolution than we had before and it is through the premises of evolution that we understand things like children differ from their parents, and the application of DNA tells us how, and is also useful in determining paternity using evolutionary principles. These things will hold up in court, BTW.

The application of evolutionary principles are also helpful in the field of engineering, and chances are that you own something, or used something, or taken advantage of something which has been built using evolutionary principles.

Something that always occurs to me when this debate begins is the philosophical implications of the debate. I know that creationists want to believe that God created us as special and above the rest of the animal kingdom and are critical of evolutionary scientists because we know that we are a part of the animal kingdom, but they are missing the point. Creationism, and many other religions in my opinion, rob human beings of their potential. Creationism, in fact, robs all life of it's potential. Which story tells us more about ourselves? That we were specially created? Or that Life found a way to survive and thrive on a hostile planet, eventually leading to human beings who could reason, understand, and learn our history and place in the universe.

In the words of the late Carl Sagan, we are made of star stuff, we are a way for the universe to know itself. I think that is incredibly profound and meaningful. Take what you want from my opinions, but when evaluating the claims of both creation and evolution be critical, and take the time to investigate and look at the evidence. Also think about the applications and how both have helped humanity in general, I'll give you a hint, one has not helped humanity at all. 

Until next time,

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