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September 15th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

soundoff (998 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    John Richardson
    Yes, Muneef, wherever there is water that is neither scalding hot or frigid, there tends to be life, sometimes oodles of it and much of it invisible to the naked eye. THAT much we can agree on. Oh, and we can also agree that life turns to compost after death. No argument there. I'll leave it at that, for now! Good night!

    September 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    Muneef
    John Rich.

    Hmm.
    They say a part at the end of the spine of Mankind at the size of a Tomato seed remains untouched by rot nor it become composted and that this seed remains in the ground until resurrection date when it rains and these remaining spinal seeds grow from earth as plants to head for the place of judgment...! I just wonder what happens to this seed when people are burnt to dust...?? Does it go to dust or remain in shape this I wouldn't know.....!?

    September 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    Muneef
    John Rich.
    They already found some living organisms in the bottom of the sea at hottest spots where underwater volcanos breath as well as having found it at the coldest spots in the north or south poles...!
    Simple basic organisms of (Water&Earth) were the source of all complex creations...

    September 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |

    September 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, there is fairly complex life deep, deep down in the ocean by these volcanic vents, but those vents heat the water so that those waters are not frigid. The temperature gradient is fairly severe and while there is a riot of life right around the vents, it peters out very quickly as you move away from the vents. Most life found in truly extreme environments is very simple, generally bacterial.

      I don't have a lot of faith in the spinal seed hypothesis and, yes, my immediate question was what happens to people who are cremated or whose bodies are otherwise destroyed in a way that makes survival of any such seed dubious.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.

      There no worse of destroying the body other than fire... But they as well said the seed would not be affected by this fire to dust thing...but since we as muslims only bury our dead one's therefore we wouldn't know if that dust would contain the seed undamaged in to dust....?!

      September 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I would say that the bodies of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who were basically vaporized by atom bombs were the most thoroughly destroyed in history.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.

      Never crossed my thought but now that you mentioned it...I suppose instant death was more merciful than those had to suffer the contamination effects it has created to them.
      You know that they said who ever dies drunk will be resurrected drunk and who died praying will be resurrected praying...meaning all will be resurrected in the form they died at...

      September 17, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.

      Quote; "Abraham took four birds and cut them up, placing pieces of each on nearby hills; when he called out to them, each piece joined and four birds flew back to Abraham.[47] This miracle, as told by the Qur'anic passage, was a demonstration by God to show Abraham how God gave life to the dead."
      Unquote:

      That could mean that even if the seed turned into dust or any form of matter, still upon the sound of the trumpet call all will be gathered and joined to grow out for the date...

      September 17, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • *frank*

      I'm confused–the soul resides in the coccyx?!?

      September 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Well, Muneef, I'm gonna have to take a pass on speculating about the survival of any spinal seed during nuclear holocausts. I have my doubts. Also, it's not clear why such a thing would be impervious to being vaporized in an atomic blast, but apparently sensitive to the presence vs absence of alcohol in the body of someone when they die. Kinda reminds me of the macrobiotic enthusiasts who seem to think that they'll survive nuclear holocausts because of the iodine in the seaweed they eat, but would all but croak if they so much as touched a potato. Seems like a fairly significant series of disconnects in the reasoning.

      On a somewhat related topic, however, I have heard a theory which states that if you study for a test drunk, you should take it drunk. Never tested the hypothesis myself, however!

      September 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.

      Thank you friend for the chat about this issue "Evolution". But what really worries me tonight is the "Revolution" and what it has brought us of mess and disorder...

      Any way today heard over the news that JPN has seeded Sun Flowers excessively in the devastated area by the N.C. Plant, they claimed that sun flower will suck the contamination's that might been caused?? Really do not know if they are fooling us or giving us false hopes with such theory's...!

      September 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      That's a new one on me, Muneef! I'll have to look into it! The ONLY thing I can think of as possible justification of this is that the inordinately rapid growth of sunflowers might suck up contaminants more quickly than they otherwise would be taken up by the environment. But then you have to figure out where you'll go with the sunflower plants! This should be a fun one to investigate!

      September 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.
      What the news head lines quote;
      Sunflowers melt Fukushima's nuclear "snow"
      (Reuters) – Sparks from burning strips of paper swirled into the hot summer sky, carrying the names of the dead above a temple in Fukushima where thousands of sunflowers have been planted to help fight the omnipresent radiation.
      Unquote:

      Although they said the seeds that will become out of this planting will be used to grow more of it but am not sure if any gets to Human consumption or feeding poultry...?! 

      September 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • hahaha

      Yeah the sould remains in our vestigial tail from our monkey anscetors. Wow people will beleive anything to make themselves seem important

      September 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Dee

    Why do you have to 'believe' in evolution. Doesn't that imply that evolution is a religious-type belief?

    September 16, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • william

      Why should we have to "believe" in God? Why doesn't He reveal himself so that we who wonder might know for sure?

      September 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      God did reveal Himself.In the person of Jesus of Nazareth.Seek and you will find!God bless

      September 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  3. ColoredMountains

    God made me. He must have been really stupid to do that.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • okeydokey

      That is obvoius from your post, and you must be an 'Atheist'

      September 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • ColoredMountains

      I'll be back I have to go steam a rancid tilapia and stink up my block while I strain all 30 of my brain cells thinking of another insipid username.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  4. Ida

    Anyone seen me? no I am extinct and did not evolve..sorry..:(

    September 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Darwinius masillae

      The atheistic nuts hopes revolve around 'ME', puhleeeeeeese say I evolved.

      Don't want to insult the atheistic intelligence let them keep believing in me.

      Ida lives on!

      September 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Duh

      "Anyone seen me? "

      No we haven't we are on the internet unless you have a facebook page with your photo on it. 😉

      September 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Ida

      that is why you are duh,

      I am already on FB along with my BF Steve.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  5. Sue

    chad, you keep claiming that transitional fossils don't exist. They do.

    "transitional fossil" is not a scientific term, but if you must, here are a few of the hundreds of transitionals now known:

    Proteroctopus
    Vampyronassa
    Pikaia
    Arandaspis
    Corydoras revelatus
    Nichollsia borealis
    Bohlinia
    Pezosiren portelli

    just to get started. I can easily continue and I was on a couple of the digs that found a few.

    Just looking at the last 2, a short-necked giraffe and a manatee-like creature with feet, really blows away whatever case you had, not that you really had one to begin with.

    Creationism and your sky daddy stories are on their way out, however painful you might find that. Show some courage and start to deal with the real world and real evidence.

    September 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • *frank*

      There is also a subspecies of modern human with cerebrums the size of an average human testicle. Many of them frequent these boards.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Yeah

      "There is also a subspecies of modern human with cerebrums the size of an average human testicle. Many of them frequent these boards."

      That must be why their so gullible to take the bible as fact.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • John Richardson

      If multicellular animal life arose about 600 million years ago and speciation on average takes about 50 thousand years and species stasis goes on for about 450 thousand years on average, then we'd expect to have had 1200 speciation events in our evolutionary history. We might have had more, since all the major groups to which we belong, ie chordates, tetrapods, mammals and primates, all had periods of relatively explosive adaptive radiations during which so much clearly happened in relative short periods that it is not just reasonable but almost mandatory to assume that the evolutionary tempo was increased during certain critical periods. So let's guesstimate about 1500 speciation event sin our history. Is that enough? Well, look at standard cladograms and connect them and you'll see that there are nowhere near 1500 cladistic splits if you trace back from humans to the original split in multicellular animals life, Of course, we KNOW that these cladograms are schematic and leave out a lot of detail. But when I say nowhere near, I mean nowhere near. So even if we assume that every split shown on these standard cladograms corresponded to 20 to 30 actual speciation events, we could fit 1500 such event s into our history.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Quarks

      Yeah..also, there are subspecies here having a(n) (entire) brain the size of sub-atomic particles and.......they call themselves, atheists.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      so sue how many of yourn relations has been apes

      September 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Hazardous

      If you had any education, you'd know that man is an ape, moron.

      September 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      so hazard how long you all been a ape

      September 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Quarks: better a small brain then a christian one
      Bishop – condoning genocide in Rwanda
      On 7 May 1994 soldiers and militias arrived at Shyogwe Diocese aboard a red pick-up vehicle to transport civilian Tutsi refugees to the killing sites. "On that day Bishop Samuel Musabyimana was present and, addressing the soldiers and militias, publicly stated that he did not oppose the killing of Tutsis, but that he did not want killings at the Diocese and that the Tutsis should be taken to Kabgayi to be killed." (Indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda against former Anglican Bishop Samuel Musabyimana).

      September 17, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • King Kong

      Oook! Urgh! Ugh! Aurgkh!

      September 17, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  6. Faux

    What happened to the 'Piltdown Bird'

    What say you-Birds evolved from Dinosaurs..yeah right!

    September 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Faux

      Where is 'Zinjanthropus boisei '

      sorry they ditched you as well....

      September 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Zinjanthropus wasn't ditched. Just renamed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranthropus_boisei

      September 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • *frank*

      Do these people find these totally uneducated and misinformed/stunningly devoid of thought/painfully flawed "arguments" in the pamphlets by the door in their church, along with the gems of idiocy from C.S. Lewis, or is there a store somewhere that sells stupid juice that they have to go to?

      September 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Good question, *frank*! Maybe someone should investigate what's in that communion wine.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      ah like to keeps my corn squeezins in mason jars

      September 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  7. chad

    Sue: How many punctional changes does it take to go from single celled organism, to a human being?
    I have no idea, but it's definitely more than 100 LOL

    We have millions of fossils, representing millions of years of life on earth.
    what are the odds, that none of the transitional beings existing during those punctional changes, ever made it into a fossil? I dont have an exact number. You tell me, what do you believe the exact odds to be?

    September 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Why do you keep asserting things as facts that aren't facts? Read Eldredge's book and then come back to discuss.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • MIke

      "Read Eldredge's book "

      Let's hope since he's against creationist.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Facts

      The most glaring problem with the belief that all life arose from a common ancestor is the lack of fossil evidence of the millions of transitional forms that should be evident if evolution had happened

      September 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • John Richardson

      A fantastic website for those interested: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs.html

      September 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • FACT!

      There is absolutely no evidence Adam and Eve ever existed.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Sue

      "transitional fossil" is not a scientific term, but if you must use it, here are a few of the hundreds of transitionals now known:

      Proteroctopus
      Vampyronassa
      Pikaia
      Arandaspis
      Corydoras revelatus
      Nichollsia borealis
      Bohlinia
      Pezosiren portelli

      just to get started. I can easily continue and I was on a couple of the digs that found a few.

      Just looking at the last 2, a short-necked giraffe and a manatee-like creature with feet, really blows away whatever case you had, not that you really had one to begin with.

      Creationism and your sky daddy stories are on their way out, however painful you might find that. Show some courage and start to deal with the real world and real evidence.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Sue

      chad is a desperate, sick, creationist loser. Chad, your whole worldview fell apart decades ago. You are actually too stupid to even realize it. Meanwhile, science and modern medicine have moved on, and your sky daddy stories no longer can hold sway.

      Grow some courage. Learn some modern science or just go away and die quietly. Your time is over.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • fred

      Fact
      What? I thought science concluded there was an eve from where all modern man descended

      September 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • huh

      "I thought science concluded there was an eve from where all modern man descended"

      Prove it.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • John Richardson

      In the interest of fairness, but also for laughs, there is also the website: http://www.trueorigin.org/

      @fred What science discovered was that all humans can trace their lineage back to a woman who lived in Africa about 120,000 years ago. The obvious metaphor was to call her 'Eve". No one ever said that this was the Eve of the Bible. She also wasn't the first human woman. She is, according to the hypothesis, the most recent female ancestral to all of us. She, too, of course had ancestors.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Chad I think we could squeeze quite a few more speciation events into 550 million years of multicellular animal life than 100. I could say more, but won't bother till you show some evidence of even wanting to understand what people are trying to explain to you.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • fred

      John Richardson
      Is it fair to say the Bible is correct when Moses told the chosen ones they descended from one woman?

      September 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • uh

      Fred, you need to work on your reading comprehension you missed the part that John wrote "She, too, of course had ancestors."

      September 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • fred

      uh,
      You are splitting hairs so you can hold onto your bias. Science has not agreed as to what point "modern man" arrived. That range of date is 90,000 to 250,000 years ago. "Eve" (not the bible one) is thought to be one of those points where "modern man" began. The ancestes of "modern man could have been any number of starts.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      "Mitochondrial Eve" is a concept in human genetics. Wikipedia it real quick before making silly statements. You don't have to be a geneticist.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • fred

      Awkward Situations
      Moses thanks you as does Eve, they just dont know Y.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      And what about Big Bird? Thankless bas'tard.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • *frank*

      I have the gout in my golgi apparatus

      September 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • fred

      Big Bird stopped talking after someone got their feathers ruffled and ripped his head off. Oh, wait I hear a sound now.......nope just another egg.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @fred The thing is that most lineages die off. So while we all presumably go back to Mitochondrial Eve, there were lots of other women alive in her time whose lineages simply died off one by one over the eons. Also, there is a "Y Chromosonal Adam", but if I recall the dating correctly (and it may well have been revised), he lived about 50,000 years after Mitochondrial Eve. I don't think they were married, eh? 😀

      What Moses said may have turned out to be technically correct, but what he was presumably alluding to was something, ie the Genesis story or some earlier creation myth of its general sort, has nothing to do with Mitochondrial Eve.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • *frank*

      I wonder if our noble mitochondrial Eve was the first ever butt of a "yo' mama" joke.

      September 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Fred1

      @fred: “Is it fair to say the Bible is correct when Moses told the chosen ones they descended from one woman”
      No. It is fair to say that the chosen ones were descended from an ape like creature who’s decedents over millions of years would lose their fur, learn to walk upright, and develop brains so big they could invent god and religi

      September 17, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  8. Dyslexic Agnostic

    I'm really not sure anyone knows the true nature of Dog.

    September 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Nostra

      That Dog is too old to hunt.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Dyslexic Agnostic

      Yes, but he's a good dog, and not old enough to put down yet!

      September 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    Evolution is fact.
    Even the Catholic church accepts that!
    There is an ever growing mountain of evidence from different branches of science accu.mulated over more than a hundred years that verify evolution.
    Creationists have yet to advance a single shred of evidence to support their assertions.
    As a matter of fact, the leading rabble rousers in the Creationist world – The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
    In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

    September 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      We are selfish creatures by nature, yet our survival depends on cooperation. In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
      These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.
      Religion binds communities together by giving a common frame of reference. Shared fears (like divine retribution), hopes (like going to heaven) and rituals allow the instinct for self preservation to extend beyond one's self and immediate family.
      This is why the great majority of evolutionary biologists find no conflict between religion and science – as long as religion is recognized solely as a social adaptation.

      September 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  10. chris

    everyone can believe in god, because we just don't know. if we knew, we would know and not just believe anymore. but you still have a brain and you should use it and educate yourself. observe nature and your environment, think about it, be critical. darwin's theory does explain what we see in nature. and it is a beautiful theory that does explain the perceived magic of living organisms we see today. but you got to educate yourself before you dismiss evolution in favour of religion, otherwise you just fool yourself. having said that, evolution and religion do not exclude each other. if things were 'created', the process that leads to evolution could have been created as well. there is no reason it has has to be static.

    September 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      We are much more than "God's buildings" for we are as an individualized and miniaturized cosmos in that each cell are but small universes.

      Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."

      September 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Richard S Kaiser

    I Love GOD because I am.
    I fear GOD because I am not.
    I love all things created and established from GOD's Willingness.
    I fear mankind's embittered opulence to condemn their own kind.
    I love and do fear much most of the time.

    I can do without many things most would need.
    I can do little without the willingness to want GOD's peacefulness.
    You can do as well without the need for many things.
    You can do likewise little if GOD's peacefulness were not amid you.
    Together we need each other for apart we cannot climb over the walls of emtionalism.

    September 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Reposted due a typo,

      Richard S Kaiser
      I Love GOD because I am.
      I fear GOD because I am not.
      I love all things created and established from GOD's Willingness.
      I fear mankind's embittered opulence to condemn their own kind.
      I love and do fear much most of the time.
      I can do without many things most would need.
      I can do little without the willingness to want GOD's peacefulness.
      You can do as well without the need for many things.
      You can do likewise little if GOD's peacefulness were not amid you.
      Together we need each other for apart we cannot climb over the walls of emotionalism.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      hahaha... stay on those knees godslave. baaaabaaaa. your delusional if you think SHE cares one whit about you.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • So

      You are wasting so much time in your life over nothing – it's pathetic. A god doesn't exists it's all in your head, what a mental case.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Lucy's E.T.,,,,,, Such an omniscience of short-winded prudence and embittered opulence,,,,,,,,,,, 😦

      @ So,,,,,,,,,,,, I know about you and of you and my peom just has been proven by your posting,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Anudder typo darn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      @ So,,,,,,,,,,,, I know about you and of you and my poem just has been proven by your posting,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • JohnR

      Yo, Richard! Are you sure you want 'not' in that second to last sentence?

      September 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ JothnR,,,,,,,,,,,,,, yes,,,,,,, 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Dyslexic Agnostic

      I love Dog because he is warm and has a cold nose.
      I love Dog because he is furry and is good to hug.
      I love Dog because he is always glad to see me come home.
      I love Dog because he loves me.
      I love Dog because he keeps the bad guys away.
      I love Dog because he keeps my cats in line.
      Aww, shoot, I just love Dog.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Normon

      @Richard ...,
      Just a quick question. How exactly can opulence be embittered? Unless one literally rubs lemon peels all over stuff, I don't understand.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Awesome. "Squirrels nearly bring Senate to a halt"

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/15/news/economy/coburn_senate_squirrels/index.htm?cnn=yes&hpt=hp_bn4

    September 16, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  13. ColoredMountains

    The West is failing because it listens to the godless super-rich instead of reading the Bible and finds out what God says about life.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Your god is a fossil

      If there is a reason for the west failing it is surely because we listen to people who believe in fairy tales and more often then not they get elected into office and pervert our society through nonsense laws.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • hahaha

      Yep, and the East ... Atheistic China is doing really bad so that supports your point. Keep those blinders on

      September 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • ColoredMountains

      I'm poor and stupid so I whine all the time. God hates me even more than he hates gays.

      September 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  14. God' Word to the Evolution-Believing Rich

    “But God said to him(the rich), ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke chapter 12) The riches and fame and con-tri-butions that do not honor God are complete trash. Read the Book of James and Revelation as well.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

      Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

      "Where then do you say that the "Kingom of God is"?

      September 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Normon

      "And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." ( Mathew 5:22)

      September 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • ColoredMountains

      @Normon, read the whole verse. It's to his brother, a fellow believer. Atheists and the godless rich are clearly and repeatedly classified as fools in the Bible. Atheists never read the whole text; the reason they stay in the darkness of errors.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You fool!!

      September 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Normon

      @ColoredMountains,
      " But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[a][b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[c] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell."
      (5:22)
      Ah the beauty of ambiguous Biblical quotations. The first sentence is qualified with brothers and sisters, as is the second sentence. Why isn't the third also qualified, unless it is meant to apply to everyone? Regardless, though, are we not all brothers and sisters – i.e. children of God?

      September 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Fred1

      @ ColoredMountains: “Atheists never read the whole text”… so here’s an embarrassing little quote from the bible in its whole text. I am an atheist, I have read your bible and seeing it for what it is, I have risen above the darkness of Christianity and now live in the light of truth
      Genesis, Chapter 19, Verses 30-38.
      30. And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
      31. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
      32. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
      33. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
      34. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
      35. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
      36. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
      37. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
      38. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

      September 17, 2011 at 1:20 am |
  15. Richard S Kaiser

    Atheism without GOD is a no-show, ergo, with GOD does Atheiism have a leg to stand on, albeit but a wooden one,,,, :-{

    September 16, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Man is a marvelous curiosity ... he thinks he is the Creator's pet ... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to
      him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea." – Samuel Clemens

      September 16, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • JohnR

      @Richard Going full blown incoherent on us again, Richard?

      September 16, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Lucy's E.T.,,,, If all U have is snippets of otherly icons of sdorenments you idolize upon, I am safe.

      @ JohnR,,,,,,,,,,, So sorry JohnR that you have not the abilities to fathom a coherent poignancy,,,, So sad,,,,, So sad, 😦

      September 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Kaiser – "pious parrot" isn't that what you do with your bible?

      September 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Lucy's E.T.,,,,,,,, Is that all you can muster,,,,,,,,,,? Thought you were beyond 'parrotrousness',,,,,,,,,,,,,, So snide, So snide.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • JohnR

      Coherence isn't exactly your strong suit, Richard! 😀

      September 16, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Sue

      So, Chad, get quanti-tative. What exactly are the "odds" that you are talking about, how did you arrive at them, and what time scales will you allow for, for a recognizable species to be established? Give us some numbers.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  16. chad

    The fossil record records millions of years of evidence.

    What is seen is the oldest fossils are simple organisms; complex organisms are present only in later fossils.

    What is seen is that that new organisms appear in the fossil record fully formed, then remain unchanged for long periods of time.

    Evolutionary theory would have us believe that the fact that simple organisms arrive earlier than more complex organisms and that the characteristics of newer organisms “frequently appear to be modified forms of characteristics of older organisms”. Is strong inferential evidence that evolution is the process by which the complex organisms of today were developed from the simple organisms of millions of years ago.

    Evolution requires great lengths of time, mutation of genes and combination of gene pools to provide the variation by which natural selection can work.

    By definition, evolution is a requires more “intermediate forms” than “final forms”, as this mutation and natural selection is an extremely slow process (fish just don’t sprout legs and lungs and start walking, it takes millions of intermediate mutations to accomplish that).

    Evolutionary theory does not attempt to answer the question of how life initially began.

    So, all that being said, what are the odds that with the fossil record we have, ALL WE HAVE, for some wildly incomprehensible reason, is the final forms? How is it really possible, that the fossil record, for millions and millions of years, only captured the final forms, when (by definition) there would have been MORE intermediate forms than final forms? How is that really possible?

    Now, if you’re going to claim to have all kinds of intermediate forms, provide an example.

    And, before you start with “the fossil record isn’t complete” I’ll just say: granted, it isn’t. However my point still holds, even if it is incomplete (which it is), what are the odds that what we do have, somehow, only represents the final forms?

    September 16, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • chad

      And please dont call me names.... It does nothing to address the question

      September 16, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Laughing

      @Chad

      I don't understand your question to be honest. There isn't such thing as a "final form" of evolution, I guess if you're looking at a specific range you might be able to say the final form in a specific range, but I think you have a misunderstanding here. Here's a couple of clarifications. You are right that the fossil record is incomplete and will always be. We're looking back millions of years and getting a lot of fossils, but the amount of lifeforms and vegetation were so great, we're only getting a very small peek into what life was about. This is why evolution is still a theory in a scientific sense, because we're basing all our observations off of millions of samples, however since the record is incomplete, we'll never be able to get a full picture.

      Think of it sort of like this. Fossils are polaroids, snap shots of different specific things at different moments throughout earths history, but they aren't taken at precise times, dates or for any purpose, so they're very out of order, and "important" things and "unimportant" things are mixed in. Our job has been to figure out the order, figure out what was important, had an effect on its environment, what lived and propagated to spread its genes and what was unimportant and died out soon after.

      September 16, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Venus

      @Chad, great points for discussion.

      some of the traits are to try to back you down by name calling, just refuse to notice those..stick to your discussion.

      stay strong..you are doing Great!!!!

      September 16, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • JohnR

      "Final forms"???? There ARE no final forms.

      You should read some of the popular works by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge on punctuated equilibrium and allopatric speciation.

      September 16, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • JohnR

      Although Gould is justly more renown for his essays for the educated lay person, Niles Eldredge's book "Unfinished Synthesis" is an especially comprehensive account of why the fossil record looks the way it does. But you are simply wrong in your suggestion that there were no intermediate forms as appendages evolved into legs, arms, wings, etc. LOTS of attested intermediate forms.

      September 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • JohnR

      @Venus If Chad bothered to study the science he presumes to critique, he wouldn't need a pompom girl to inspire him to keep up his end of the conversation.

      September 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • JohnR

      Here's a useful place to start on punctuated equilibrium: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_comes-of-age.html

      September 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Chadworthiness, Upon our "celestial plain of existence" have all "celestial-based life-forms evolved". This celestial cosmos we find and perceive ourselves upon is the 2nd cosmos of differentialisms. We are born from the 1st cosmos which is what we have labelled as being the "atomic" cosmos. All things of Celestialness are made manifest from the 1st cosmos, the atomically designed cosmos. Without the 1st cosmos being fullfilled, the 2nd cosmos of celestialness could not be.

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      As a "building" our bodies are, and to say our bodies are made of cellularized universes of atomic origins then, we are designations of a built cosmos of a design established by the "building's inhabitants".

      Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."

      Now knowing this one can say that inside our body that is but a building, there stands at the door, the God-like Being of the cellularized universes and His many subjects who are manifested in live upon our insides of and upon the atomic cosmos of celled universalisms.

      1Cr 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

      It takes concentrated light to see upon the veiled things of "inner soace" places via our microscopes and as such microscopes become stronger in resolution of enlargements, the veils become lifted concerning the hiiden things of inner darkness.

      Likewise, it takes a concentrated amount of time to gather the light from outer space things/stars that are ever distantly away from our perring eyes. The Hubble space telescope focused in on a dark spot for (I think) around 8 hours and the astronomers were in awe when they were given a picture of galaxies were there was once darkness.

      In summation, be it unveiling the things of inner space things or outer space things, light is needed. Also, it will come to pass that what one peers in finality upon within the things of inner space, one will eventually conclude that outer space things are in-mimmickery of inner space things. Life living upon the Heavenly realms of celestial-based spaces, are created by Beings using machined complexities of atomized symmetries. We truly are God's Buildings and even science cannot deny that we are mechanized conglumerations wherein as buildings does cellular life formations live. It is within and inside celestial life's cellular formations where otherly life does live out their life and ways.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • chad

      Re no such thing as a final form: ok, thats fine, lets use "species" or "specific range" instead.

      Granted the fossil record is incomplete, however, what are the odds that every "polaroid" taken, just miraculously happened when an intermediate form wasnt around? Evolution says that at any moment in time, the earth is going to be replete with "specific ranges" and "intermediate forms". How is it possible to have only fossils of "specific ranges"? And the fossil record that we do have of that specific range, shows it to be stable and not "evolving"?

      Again, if you're going to claim there are loads of intermediate forms, what are they? examples please

      September 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • chad

      The authors of Punctuated Equilibrium state that the fossil record does not support Darwins theory of gradual evolution.

      I love this one: "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"
      or
      Charles Darwin:""Better begin with this: If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory false."

      In any case, PE would still have us believe that not only did dramatic changes occurred in very short periods of time, but that again, ALL of those periods of time somehow escaped the polaroid (didnt end up as a fossil). A pretty fantastic claim.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Laughing

      @chad

      I think you're still missing the point. There is no such thing as an "intermediate form". It implies that there is a final form, which there is not. For instance, outwardly humans all look the same, have the same basic structure and very close to identical code, but everyone is unique, no one is exactly cloned from one another and so if we were to find, say, fossils of humans 30,000,- 40,0000 years ago we could try and say here is what man looked like at the time, but that's from a specific place with a specific gene pool, it doesn't give us the whole picture of say, man on the other continents. To go with my polaroid example, we have maybe, pictures of many different people but from only a few places on earth and then we're expanding to include the rest and observing that unless something major happened that isn't recorded geologically, then this could be what the human race looked like, how we evolved, ect..., It's all supposition.

      So the theory of evolution gives us a basis in which to make these suppositions, however the basic idea that all species, over long periods of time gradually formed to what they are today using their strongest characteristics to survive makes senses and fits for the wide diversity we see today and why certain aspects of human behavior or animal behavior are still here even if they don't serve any observable purpose in today's period.

      September 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Laughing

      Also, for the "specific range" comment. These ranges I'm referring to are entirely arbitrary and what I basically am trying to say is that if you set a range, say between period A and period B we theorize this organism became that organism, then tehcnically you would have an intermediate and final form, the final form being the last form that falls at the end of that range, however if you take a step back and include everything else, no species ever has a true "final form"

      September 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • chad

      Laughing: Here is a statement: "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"

      explain why we should believe "imperfection of the record as the favored explanation" when to believe that would be accepting astronomical odds against that happening.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Laughing

      @chad

      2 Things, First of all, the Cambrian explosion is in our geological terms dramatic, but you do realize it stills spans a a couple million years. Secondly just because theres an imperfect record doesn't mean we have to throw it out and ignore it until it becomes perfect, expecially since you seem to immediatly jump to a different conclusion without any evidence to back it up and decided it was "more" true.

      It also isn't atronomical odds of it happening, it could mean a number of things, chiefly among them (and has been noted by scientists such as Charles Walcott) that we're just missing fossil records from a time between the colonies of single-celled organisms to multi-celled organisms.

      You should also tread carefully, many christian apologists before you have tried to find a specific hole in the theory that they believe unravels the entire theory and thus somehow proves the alternative theory of god to be correct, their only evidence being that the accepted theory is wrong, which isn't evidence. When you point out a hole, it only spurs scientists (if it is a truely unexplainable hole and not from lack of understanding as many people on this board has proven) to focus on solving it and will eventually do so without the need of god being present. When this does happen (as it has happened time and time again) many christian apologists who just as easily accept the idea that if science can't explain something then god did it, or better yet if a scientists concedes that god may be involved in something a religious person holds that up as proof as well (even though they may bash every other theory from that same scientist if it doesn't accept their worldview). Yet, when scientists are able to figure out a phenomenon previously occupied by god, the religious retreat back into either, god moves in mysterious ways, or faith doesn't need evidence.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad!

      >The authors of Punctuated Equilibrium state that the fossil record does not support Darwins theory of gradual evolution.

      They say that it does not support any theory that presupposes a more or less constant rate of very slow change.

      >I love this one: "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial >gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by >Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"
      >or
      >Charles Darwin:""Better begin with this: If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory >false."

      This is not about Darwin. It's about evolution. Darwin's theory about how traits are transmitted between generations, his pangene hypothesis, sounds almost crackpot to modern ears. Punctuated Equilibrium is the major REFINEMENT of evolutionary theory post-modern-synthesis. Gould and Eldredge were totally committed to evolution as THE conerstone of modern biology. To miss this is to miss the whole point.

      >In any case, PE would still have us believe that not only did dramatic changes occurred in very short periods of time, but >that again, ALL of those periods of time somehow escaped the polaroid (didnt end up as a fossil). A pretty fantastic claim.

      No, PE says that major evolutionary change occurs during speciation, which tends to occur in relatively small, isolated populations over periods that range from about 10,000 to 100,000 years. The size and isolation of the populations and the relative speed, by GEOLOGIC time standards, make fossils of forms transitional between the parent species and the new species quite rare, especially when compared to the gazillions of forms for large, widespread, stable species, but not unattested. Read a book now and then.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad, seriously, you are making a classic argument from ignorance, in the case of transitional forms, unconscionable ignorance. The terrestrial limb is the transitional form between fish fins and bird wings. There are molluscs with full shells, vestigial shells, just a hint of a shell under their skin and no shell. Examples are truly legion if you would simply bother to educate yourself on the matter, and reading noting but creationist and "intelligent desirn" tracts doesn't count as education.

      September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • chad

      Test

      September 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • chad

      Laughing: the notion that I would come up with anything original enough to spur Atheists on to additional scientific achievement kind of makes me smile. What I am saying is really nothing new at all. I'm just pointing out what evolutionary thought is based on and the outrageous odds against it. People love to obfuscate the issue to hide the problems.
      Lastly, be careful accusing someone of claiming to be right because the only other explanation is wrong. That is precisely the argument you use against ID.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • chad

      John: First thing people do when you run out of rational arguments is start calling people names. Leading evolutionary biologists dont see intermediate forms "in abundance", (as evidenced by the statement below) yet you claim to (w/out providing examples) and call people names if they disagree?

      "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"

      September 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad writes: "Lastly, be careful accusing someone of claiming to be right because the only other explanation is wrong. That is precisely the argument you use against ID."

      Nonsense. Most of evolutionary theory has been, is being and will continue to be developed on its own terms based on huge piles of data and the interpretation of date. Real evolutionary biolgists seldom even reference ID. It is the creationist community that seldom does anything even remotely reminiscent of novel research and little in the way of theory development but just keeps harping on problems, both real and imagined, in evolutionary theory and other scientific theories. If you familiarized yourself with how real working scientists argue their points, you'd see how VERY different their work is from the almost wholly polemical work done by creationists and IDers.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • hahaha

      Fossils are for our grandparents.... Welcome to the new world of bioinformatics, analyzing DNA (which the great majority of result all agree with fossil and embrological evidence). And like someone said, your and idiot there are no FINAL FORMS in evolution.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Sue

      So, Chad, get quanti-tative so that we can test your claims. What exactly are the "odds" that you are talking about, how did you arrive at them, and what time scales will you allow for, for a recognizable species to be established? Give us some numbers.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Laughing

      Didn't say you came up with it on your own, I'm sure you heard the quote among others in the many creationist tracts and websites and decided to use it to prove a point. My point is that you among others bring up holes that spur scientists to fill those holes with knowledge. Now if you want to talk about putting a smile on my face, "I'm just pointing out what evolutionary thought is based on and the outrageous odds against it" What outrageous odds are specifically talking about? Are you talking about origin, because they are two separate things and only relate to one another because evolution expounds on there being life. The case for evolution has been made, countless times, and accepted because of the overwhelming evidence to it. Of course there are problems to it, no one hides it, but to use a problem as a way to discredit the entire theory and not offer a new theory with evidence to back it up neither helps nor proves anything. It's the basic idea of saying "you're wrong" without offering any reason why.

      "Lastly, be careful accusing someone of claiming to be right because the only other explanation is wrong. That is precisely the argument you use against ID."
      See, I'm not though, not even remotely. I'm saying evolution is right, here is the evidence to prove it. When you bring up an objection I use even more proof to show why my point is correct. I do NOT say god can't exist, thus evolution is right, that's a strictly christian apologist approach. When you try and prove evolution wrong without offereing an alternative theory with evidence (certifiable and solid evidence), it's easy to dismiss your claim. Add on the fact that you've clearly proven you don't have a grasp of the theory evolution with your first couple of questions, its hard to take any of the exceptions you raise seriously.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad, as SHOULD have been clear from what I wrote previously, there are specific reasons why fossils that are obviously transitional between SPECIES are rare. Besides the aforementioned issues of speciation occuring relatively rapidly in relatively small, isolated populations, there is the added problem that closely related species are often almost impossible to distinguish just by visual inspection in life, let alone when looking at fossils. So the examples I gave you were of morphological traits for which a true abundance of intermediate forms from fin to forelimb to wing, etc exist.

      I haven't even begun to exhaust my rational arguments. But it IS exasperating when the person you are talking to seems to be making no effort whatsoever to understand what you are saying. And why so sensitive anyway? We seldom go a day without some theist accusing all non-believers of having no morals and just doing what pleases us. We don't go crying to mama over it.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Laughing

      @JohnR

      It's same sh.it different day with this guy. On a previous thread he was arguing how evolution and the big bang theory fit in line perfectly with genesis. When presented with rational arguments by both myself and BRC he refused to concede or even understand the content which was presented until hours and hours of rephrasing it, then he just rejected it again anyways, arguing that words can be translated different ways from ancient hebrew. I think he also likes to take the moral high ground whenever he wants by goading anyone debating with him to call out his stupidity and then getting upset because he believes he isn't being stupid, its everyone else.

      I do the arguing because I think it helps sharpen my knives as it were, to understand what truely moronic lies are out there by creationists so I can better defend evolution and refute their arguements.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      Intelligent Design is a sham.
      Answers in Genesis is a series of rationalizations, not scientific theories.
      The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
      In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • chad

      I understand completely the points you are attempting to make when I point out that the fossil record doesnt support the classic Darwinian definition of evolution:
      Here is the problem with darwins view: "Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species."

      So you are asserting Punctuated equilibrium as a potential answer to that glaring problem.
      There are several problems with PE, not the least of which is that it requires periodic episodes of extremely rapid change, ALL of which are not contained in a fossil record.

      I understand exactly the case you are making, I just view it as extremely unlikely.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Sue

      chad, again, give "extremely unlikely" some real numbers.

      Get quanti-tative so that we can test your claims. What exactly are the "odds" that you are talking about, how did you arrive at them, and what time scales will you allow for, for a recognizable species to be established? Give us some numbers.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • chad

      Laughing: when you run out of things to say, you call people names. End of story.

      I could call you names for irrationally believing in non existent intermediate forms (remember, its not me saying they are non-existent, it's Eldredge and Gould so if you think there are, your disagreeing with them)

      I could call you names for irrationally believing that it was possible, that over the course of millions of years, and (neccessarily) millions of "Punctional changes", every single one somehow escaped fossilization..

      but I dont.

      And, BTW, Laughing, you're the one that refused to acknowledge, after me saying it about 15 times, that what you are reading when you read an English bible, is a translation. You 100% refused to acknowledge that.. why?

      September 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • chad

      @Sue: How many punctional changes does it take to go from single celled organism, to a human being?
      I have no idea, but it's definitely more than 100 LOL

      We have millions of fossils, representing millions of years of life on earth.
      what are the odds, that none of the transitional beings existing during those punctional changes, ever made it into a fossil? I dont have an exact number. You tell me, what do you believe the exact odds to be?

      September 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • chad

      I should have elaborated:
      "arguing that words can be translated different ways from ancient hebrew"

      are you seriously saying that words couldnt be translated differently? That translating 4000 year old text might be the subject of ongoing scholarship and impacted by ongoing archeological finds? Seriously, that's that you're saying?

      September 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • MIke

      Chad I am not really sure of your exact point in all this but you do understand that Dr. Eldredge is an evolutionist par excellence, scourge of creationists, lover of trilobites, and longtime ally of NCSE, and is indeed a mighty friend of Darwin.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • caution

      To whomsover this may concern:

      Be warned that talking to Laughing is no laughing matter indeed,

      It has traits of quarrelsome behavior and tends to hurl insults and engage in other forms of childish behavior.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Sue

      "transitional fossil" is not a scientific term, but if you must, here are a few of the hundreds of transitionals now known:

      Proteroctopus
      Vampyronassa
      Pikaia
      Arandaspis
      Corydoras revelatus
      Nichollsia borealis
      Bohlinia
      Pezosiren portelli

      just to get started. I can easily continue and I was on a couple of the digs that found a few.

      Just looking at the last 2, a short-necked giraffe and a manatee-like creature with feet, really blows away whatever case you had, not that you really had one to begin with.

      Creationism and your sky daddy stories are on their way out, however painful you might find that. Show some courage and start to deal with the real world and real evidence.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Yo!

      "It has traits of quarrelsome behavior and tends to hurl insults and engage in other forms of childish behavior"

      LOL! you realize you just did the EXACT same thing! LOL!

      September 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Sue

      chad is either very stupid or is a dishonest coward. The evidence is plain.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Chad You keep saying PE requires "extremely rapid" change. The low end estimate for how long it takes for a single speciation event to occur is 10,000 years. That's almost twice as long as many "young earth" creationists allow since the beginning of time. We aren't talking lightning speeds here, Chad. But in the context of 700 million years of multicellular life, yes, 10K years is RELATIVELY rapid and in many places where fossils can be found at all, it's too quick to give anything remotely like a historical column.

      Gould did come up with an interesting argument for his view involving only extant species. Given that species are expected to survive so and so many thousands of years and speciation on PE assumptions takes so and so many thousands of years, he calculated that at any one time, there would be a predictable percentage of species for which the question of whether two or more populations are really one species or two or more would be unclear and found that his prediction was in at least rough accordance with the facts. But note that whether or not this argument is as good as Gould suggests, the mere fact that there ARE species where there is serious disagreement over whether different populations should be considered different species shows how silly it is to blithely state that there are no transitional forms and leave it at that. We have cases where we have what are clearly two closely related but separate species and cases where it is clear that we have one species. But in between these are certain cases where our understanding of what consti-tutes separate species leaves things unclear. What are these if not cases of speciation in progress?

      September 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Laughing

      @caution

      You are correct that you should probably bring your A game when you debate with me, I expect nothing less and so you shouldn't assume from my moniker that I'm joking. However, I only hurl insults where insults are due, and in this instance they might be insulting truths, but hey, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen

      Now as for you chad
      Again, you keep jumping to conclusions. It is incredibly frustrating to even try to debate with you because clearly you have the reading comprehension of an 8th grader. If you think this is name calling, I apologize, I'm just stating a fact here. I literally had to post and repost quotes from the last thread a couple of times and yet you still would either ignore it or walk out your whole theory of "well when they say day, they don't really mean day" theory. I am perfectly capable at understanding there are translation problems in every text that needs translation, however like BRC and I pointed out to you over and over again, the ultimate authority is the text and you have to take it literally. If you believe that there was an egregious translation error where day doesn't mean day, then I'm fairly certain this would be a bigger deal and the church (catholic or any other type) would try to amend it to so that day actually meant age or epoch. Since, for 2000 years, after being translated into every language on this earth and they all translate into the word day in their respective language, it's supposed to mean day, 24 hours, 1440 minutes, give or take. The fact that you think every argument fails based on you deciding the interpretation is wrong means you are narrowminded and don't understand a) how to debate and b) will not accept any other worldview because it doesn't fit in your very small vision of the world.

      But we're on evolution aren't we, so let me show you (even though like you've proven many times before you probably won't understand) where exactly your argument fails time and time again.
      Laughing: when you run out of things to say, you call people names. End of story.

      "I could call you names for irrationally believing in non existent intermediate forms, I could call you names for irrationally believing that it was possible, that over the course of millions of years, and (neccessarily) millions of "Punctional changes", every single one somehow escaped fossilization.."

      I've already shown you and given you the tools to understand how that statement neither makes sense nor has any veracity.
      Gould and Eldridge, like it's pointed out by other posters, rely on Evolution and are proponents of it, meaning that if they expand on evolution and have evidence to back it up, it is acceptable. However their criticisms and new theories neither invalidate evolution or prove that the bible is correct.
      Instead of trying to prove the bible and god are correct by disproving evolution, hows about you try and positively affirm ID? What evidence is there to back up your stance? Oh yeah, I forgot, even though the bible doesn't mention it and actually says something completely different than current scientific models, YOU believe that through translation error the bible actually does include evolution and the big bang, it's just since it's in ancient hebrew and everyone up till now who's translated didn't understand it so they mistranslated.....how silly of me.

      And, BTW, chad, I'm confused where I ever refused to admit that the english bible is a translation from ancient hebrew? Any numbskull who can read knows that it wasn't originally written in English, but you're idea that the english version, really any version other than the ancient hebrew, is so horrifically mistranslated that everyone (both atheists and just about any other christian on this board) doesn't understand that the bible includes evolution theory and the big bang.

      If I am putting words into your mouth, I apologize, that's what I've gleaned from all your posts. If I am at fault I am sorry but also recommend you learn to better communicate your thoughts.

      I will say it again just to hammer the point home. If you disbelieve in evolution, if you think the theory is wrong, and that the bible is right, prove it. Provide evidence in the bible in the garden of eden where we see animals evolving, where it shows the earth is over a couple of billion years old, where dinosaurs come into the mix and before that. Give me proof there was a legit garden of eden. I will also settle for affirmative proof of god.

      Or you can take the route that most apologists take and say "god works in mysterious ways" or "you don't need proof for faith" If that is so, fine, enjoy your faith but stay out of trying to insert god into science where it clearly doesn't belong. If you actually think evolution is true and believable, do more research on the matter before trying to debate it.

      Capiche?

      September 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • caution

      'A' game ? u ???? really...

      That sure was a joke like your handle....

      September 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Yo

      "'A' game ? u ???? really...

      That sure was a joke like your handle...."

      Dude seriously work on your reading comprehension.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Laughing

      awwwwww caution, you're better than that. Then again since it's clear that you basically read this blog to tell other people that I insult people, I guess maybe you're not. Thanks for the ego boost though. Clearly what I write illicit's enough of a response from you to write something on this blog and follow multiple threads where I post. Your welcome for educating you on the many different points of religion, I hope I've help educate you and convince you to abandon your silly belief.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Chad

      Sue: I recommend anger management classes for you.

      John Richardson: agreed that if you cant get speciation in a time period like 10k years, it makes it less likely to be in the fossil record.
      But: you have buy into 3 things ALL happening:
      1) you have to actually be able to get speciation in 10k years. Remember, we've been around that long, and we've sure never seen anything like that
      2) none of those 10k periods ever get to show up in the record, EVER.
      3) AND it assumes that ALL evolution occurs in these rapid bursts, it always has to be a short time period

      If you say it sometimes is short, sometimes long, you loose your claim that they arent in the fossil record due to the short bursts. Also remember that "Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species."

      September 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Chad

      Laughing: 'A' game?
      think much of yourself?

      September 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • captain america

      Game,set and match to a real American,I give you chad who has vanquished all of sues unamerican,undermining,underwhelming arguments!

      September 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Chad

      John: "Gould did come up with an interesting argument for his view involving only extant species. Given that species are expected to survive so and so many thousands of years and speciation on PE assumptions takes so and so many thousands of years, he calculated that at any one time, there would be a predictable percentage of species for which the question of whether two or more populations are really one species or two or more would be unclear and found that his prediction was in at least rough accordance with the facts. But note that whether or not this argument is as good as Gould suggests, the mere fact that there ARE species where there is serious disagreement over whether different populations should be considered different species shows how silly it is to blithely state that there are no transitional forms and leave it at that. We have cases where we have what are clearly two closely related but separate species and cases where it is clear that we have one species. But in between these are certain cases where our understanding of what consti-tutes separate species leaves things unclear. What are these if not cases of speciation in progress?"

      A. that is not stasis (it makes vastly more sense to me than this crazy stasis-explosion theory, but it isnt stasis), which is what the fossil record is reflective of, as all experts agree. If "at any point in time", that was the situation, you loose your stasis-explosion-stasis rationale for no transitional forms in the fossil record

      B. you keep trying to discredit the term "transitional form" because you know the evolution argument is weak there. But it is an excepted term, and experts use it.

      September 16, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Chad OF COURSE speciation isn't stasis, you moron! Sorry, but you have now officially proven yourself to be a screamingly illiterate nitwit. And where did I try to discredit the term transitional form? Are you paying any attention to anything anyone is saying? Would it even matter if you did?

      September 17, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • John Richardson

      My reply to your earlier post in which you once again started harping irrelevantly about Darwin's gradualism got blocked by the filter. No time right now to figure out how to fix that. Will repost a response later. But seriously, you clearly don't know even a little bit of the relevant literature and are clearly misreading many posts. You really don't seem up to the educational challenge.

      September 17, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • Laughing

      @Chad

      How is thinking much of myself that I would expect you to bring your A game? are you not? It would explain how you keep showing over and over again you have 0 reading comprehension (again, not an insult, its a fact that you've proven a couple of times already).

      You also failed address any of my points and your response to John shows that you reached probably the first paragraph and realized you didn't feel like making your brain hurt too much.

      September 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • J.W

      The website on punctuated equilibrium made my brain hurt but I got through a couple pages.

      September 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Chad

      My point in posting is just to joust, to give and get. It isn’t to call people names or be called names. Folks ALWAYS resort to name calling when they are feeling threatened and run out of something to say that is data driven.

      One absolute favorite of arrogant people is to claim that if you remain unconvinced by their argument, you didnt understand it, your illiterate, ignorant, etc.. I have found very few atheists willing to just engage in data driven discussions, it always disintegrates into "you're an idiot", as if no intelligent person could disagree. @Lauging is a poster child there.

      Any way:
      Darwin proposed many things, but a central part was mutation, natural selection, all in a gradual manner: gradualism. There are various aspects, but at the end of the day, it’s gradualism.
      However, “"The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation"”

      To deal with the stasis evident in the fossil record, other explanations were put forth: macro-mutation, “hopefull monster”, punctuated equilibrium: “Macromutation (also known colloquially as the Hopeful Monster hypothesis) is the term used in evolutionary biology for the hypothesis that sudden jumps in evolution are necessary to explain how new biological species arise. It describes an event of instantaneous speciation, saltation, or systemic mutation, which contributes positively to the production of new major evolutionary groups.”

      Now agreed, that kind of “evolution” would be less likely to have been captured in the fossil record, however as I said before there are 3 problems with that notion:
      1) you have to actually be able to get speciation in 10k-50k years years. I read this interesting tidbit, “Most evolutionary biologists believe that small mutations are far more likely to be beneficial than macromutations. Recent progress in the understanding of the genome has further undermined the Hopeful Monster model. Many dramatic mutations induced by X-rays in the laboratory are now known to involve deletion or rearrangement of entire genes, but DNA sequencing data from many species shows that in the wild these genes persist undisrupted for hundreds of millions of years. Macromutations do occur in the wild and in human genetic diseases, but are more often than not removed by natural selection. Nonetheless, some major rearrangements in the genome have been observed in species, and the idea of the adaptive landscape hints that very small changes may not always be able to pull a species out of an evolutionary rut.[citation needed] Small developmental changes, on the other hand, can have a large effect whilst producing a viable organisms; for instance, gastropod molluscs exposed to high platinum concentrations do not develop their characteristic spiral shape, and produce an internal shell; their body plan is very dissimilar to that of a natural gastropod”
      2) None of those 10k-50k periods ever get to show up in the record, EVER.
      3) ALL evolution occurs in these rapid bursts, it always has to be a short time period, gradualism must never occur, as that would then have to show up in the fossil record.

      Note: “Creationists such as Luther Sutherland claim that both theories (PE and “hopeful monster”) inadvertently appeal to the absence of fossil evidence for evolution and thereby undermining the theory of Darwinian evolution. This predicament is used by creationists to argue that "there are no transitional fossils." Paleontologists such as Niles Eldredge, Stephen Jay Gould, and Steven M. Stanley avoid this by explaining that transitional forms may be rare between species, but "they are abundant between larger groups" and none of these paleontologists support Goldschmidt's "hopeful monster" hypothesis.”

      Remembering that the “abundances between larger groups” is the theory that the fact that simple organisms arrive earlier than more complex organisms and that the characteristics of newer organisms “frequently appear to be modified forms of characteristics of older organisms”. Is strong inferential evidence that evolution is the process by which the complex organisms of today were developed from the simple organisms of millions of years ago.

      So, again, what you’re left with is that, inference, no direct evidence.

      September 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chad

      I should add that I didnt really differentiate between Macromutation and Punctuated Equilibrium in that post. They are quite different in terms of individual vs population, and speed of mutation (one generation vs 10k-50k years). However they both attempt to explain the stasis evident in the fossil record and have the 3 difficulties I list.

      September 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Chad

      And to explain one last time my response to Johns post.
      If, at any point in time, “there would be a predictable percentage of species for which the question of whether two or more populations are really one species or two or more would be unclear” then you’re saying that at any point in time, “intermediate species” would exist, some percentage of the earths population is in intermediate form.

      Which I said was not consistent with stasis in the fossil record. If at any point in time that was indeed the situation, ONE of those WOULD HAVE to have been fossilized, after all, the other species that were in stasis at that point were getting fossilized. One would have to believe that that percentage of species that was undergoing speciation some how escaped fossilization, and only the species in stasis didn’t.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • JohnR

      Gould and Eldredge have explained many times that 10-50K years will very often correspond to a single embedding plane in the fossil record. That and the fact that punctuational evolution will tend to occur in small, isolated populations explains why fossils that are clearly transitional between species are very rare. No one except creationists have ever said that they are totally non-existent. Repeating a falsehood over and over doesn't make it true.

      Gould's statistical experiment made a prediction, reasonably well confirmed, about what percentage of species have unclear boundaries. And, as I attempted to point out, the fact that there are indeed clines of relatedness between "clearly two subpolulations of one species" to "clearly two distinct species" disproves the old canard that speciation is unobservable. Note that between the extremes of "freely reproduce with one another" to "cannot reproduce with one another", there are at a minimum "can mate, but rarely produce viable offspring", "produce viable, but non-fertile offspring" and "can produce healthy offspring, but tend to avoid mating in natural environments". These are all examples of speciation in progress.

      As for the stasis, some of it for sure is real, but not that the fossil record has problems that can make stasis seem more rampant than it is. We know from currently living species that two or more species, called "sibling species", can look a lot alike even in life but in fact be genetically distinct species. Unless you have the extreme good fortune of having some usable dna in at least two preserved specimens, there is absolutely no way to tell if two or more very similar looking fossils might not in fact belong to distinct sibling species. That for sure can't be the norm, but it is likely to be reasonably common. In any case, the existence of sibling species proves that considerable amounts of evolution can "fly under the morphological radar" and affect genes that don't have a big impact on appearance, but may have significant effect on behavior and physiology. So SOME of the stasis in the fossil record is withouit question due to the fact that not all evolution affects outer form, let alone the fossilized remains of outer form.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad, your response to my first explanation of Gould's statistical argument for punctuated equilibrium showed zero comprehension. That's just a fact.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad writes: "Which I said was not consistent with stasis in the fossil record. If at any point in time that was indeed the situation, ONE of those WOULD HAVE to have been fossilized, after all, the other species that were in stasis at that point were getting fossilized. One would have to believe that that percentage of species that was undergoing speciation some how escaped fossilization, and only the species in stasis didn’t."{

      That does it. *frank* must be right. It MUST be stupid juice.

      I'll get back to this gem tonight.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Chad

      ""Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."" – Charles Darwin

      LOL

      September 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Chad

      "[R]eason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real" – Charles Darwin

      Course, any record for such gradation has never been found.

      Now PE would have us believe that the eye was just poofed into being, during some 10k to 50k year period, in some geographically isolated location, which for some reason amazingly escaped fossilization. And that all such complex parts of all species all poofed in the same manner.. sounds reasonable.. not..

      September 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Dang, Chad, how incessantly dense can you be? Yes, just as Darwin's pre-Mendelian "pangene" hypothesis proved wrong, his assumption of more or less smoothly continuous change was wrong. Darwin is no one's infallible savior, eh? Got that?

      One might even wonder why Darwin ever assumed change would be smooth and continuous. From what we ourselves know of history, change can happen at a wide variety of tempos at different times in differing contexts. But that's one for the historians of science.

      Now, please, Chad, try to distinguish time scales for speciation versus time scales for phylogenetic refinement. Primitive eyes that basically just sense light vs dark have apparently evolved multiple times. But no single speciation event produced the best eyes, like those of eagles and other avian raptors. You are constantly mixing things up because, I repeat, you have never bothered to read any of the source material for the science you presume to criticize. Hint: don't just read short passages quoted in the creationist polemical literature. Read whole works. Gould even makes that really easy with his many, many lucidly written essays on the relevant matters.

      September 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • *frank*

      I won't call you names, Chad, but I think your thinking ability is possibly not impeccable.

      September 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Chad

      Ok, so instead of small genetic changes occurring periodically over long periods of time producing some benefit we have extremely large genetic mutations occurring rarely, which convey little or no benefit but that isnt the real purpose of them anyway. The real purpose of these rare, not very useful very large genetic mutations is to provide a way for future genetic mutation to occur gradually and provide the real advantage while all the time being hidden from observation in the fossil record.

      sneaky.. I get it now, thanks!

      September 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Chad writes: "Ok, so instead of small genetic changes occurring periodically over long periods of time producing some benefit we have extremely large genetic mutations occurring rarely, which convey little or no benefit but that isnt the real purpose of them anyway. The real purpose of these rare, not very useful very large genetic mutations is to provide a way for future genetic mutation to occur gradually and provide the real advantage while all the time being hidden from observation in the fossil record"

      No. Try again. Or don't. You're not exactly hitting 'em out of the park!

      Why would you assume that the evolution of a primitive eye provides "little or no benefit"? It could make the difference between being aware of a possible predator swimming above you blocking out some light or not.

      Oh, that's right. You aren't trying to understand any of this. You are trying to score rhetorical points with witty barbs!

      You're failing at that, too.

      Oh well.

      September 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • *frank*

      No, you still have it wrong. All of it.

      September 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • John Richardson

      http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-scientists-insights-early-eye-evolution.html

      September 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Oh Boy....what a mess. With all due respect to all worthy defenders of evolution and your excellent explanations, chad isn't interested in learning the truth. Fossil formation of ANY sort is an extraordinarily unlikely event. Nearly all creatures that die decompose completely and only very specific conditions allow for the preservation of carcasses and of those only a tiny percentage persist until they become fossils. Over 99% of every species that ever lived is extinct. If fossils were common we would be neck deep in them. Add to that the fact that the aforementioned isolated populations that diverge from main populations represent a tiny percentage of the main populations its no surprise that their fossils are extremely rare. Yet they do exist as detailed by Sue. The entire point is moot anyway since we can prove the validity of evolution even if we ignore the fossil record entirely. The examination of DNA alone and the interrelationships between all lifeforms confirms a common ancestry. Molecular biology and modern chemistry would collapse without the foundation principles of evolution. The multi-disciplinary nature of the theory is its own best advocate. To deny this is folly and willful ignorance.

      September 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Chad

      AtheistSteve: you missed Johns point, he isnt arguing that we havent found the fossil evidence yet.
      He's arguing that the sudden appearance of newly formed species, followed by long periods of little or no change, is the result of two things:
      1. we have very large mutations occurring in very short periods of time, conveying little or no benefit (by definition much less benefit than the "refined" version). The purpose of this is to provide a fossil structure behind which later usefulness of the vestige can be provided.
      2. we have small mutations providing the real benefit, occurring over longer periods of time, but hidden in the fossil record behind the previous short period large-little benefit ones. (it sounds better if you call it phylogenetic refinement)

      We need only accept that large and small mutations occur, over small and long periods, with the small-long period ones always hidden behind the large-short period ones. Sounds plausible, right?

      September 18, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • John Richardson

      Chad, you've gone from being ignorant to deliberately misrepresenting. You are a contemptible human being. I already rebutted your "little to no benefit" claim and here you simply repeat it. I won't waste time rehearsing the whole thing for you, but advise you to be really, really careful about making deliberate misrepresentations.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Laughing

      @John or anyone attempting to debate with chad

      Chad has proven time and time again to literally have no reading comprehension while simultaneously writing unwittingly stupid arguments as if they are facts and then do some grandstanding. When I point out the fallacies in his arguments, rebutt them or just generally ask a question about an argument he's making, he deliberately ignores it, brings up his old tired argument that has already been proven to be incorrect because of his lack of knowledge on the subject and then asks not to be called names. Anytime any "name-calling" is brought up, generally directed at him, he takes that as a sign he's "winning" and that "we have nothing else to say" even though most of the name calling done up till now has been about his poor reading comprehension skills that he so clearly lacks, which is not name calling at all, it's stating fact.

      I admire most of the arguments you, the supporters of evolution, have done and continue to do! Keep up the good work and know that chad is just a misguided soul who's read too many creationists websites and tracts to truly give evolution a chance because it clashes with his worldview too much.

      September 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      For people more intelligent than Chad, which includes almost all non-believers and probably most believers posting on this website: Chad wants to claim that the first step, ie the evolution of a primitive, light-detecting eye (which can consists of as little as two cells, as per the article I cited) confers "little to no benefit". He defense of this claim seems to rest on the fact, and it of course is a fact, that such a primitive eye is very rudimentary compared to the much more complex, true image-forming eyes that evolved over many, many speciation events. But that is bunk. But that's like saying that since one canteen of water is small stuff compared to a whole grocery store of various sorts of beverages, having a canteen of water with you provides "little to no benefit" over not having any water at all as you trek across a desert. When calculating how beneficial something is, you have to consider what the pre-existing alternative was. A complex eye was not going to pop up in one speciation event, contrary to Chad's earlier total misapprehension of punctuated equilibrium theory. No, the only alternatives available were no ability to detect light vs dark versus some ability to detect light vs dark and it is not surprising that those organisms who had this rudimentary but door opening ability thrived at the expense of those that didn't. But now a new game was one. Once you are within the realm of some ability to perceive light, any mutation that makes these eyes less rudimentary and allows better perception would, ceteris paribus, confer survival advantage.

      September 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chad

      So, or course, your siezing on the "little or no", disregarding my "by definition of less usefullness than the fully formed" and completely ignoring the major problems:

      1) whether or not this speciation event confers small or large benefits, you claim that it of such a physical magnitude that later refinements will not be observable in the fossil record. fact, that's what you are saying.

      2) you are saying that speciation events occur over small periods and involve MUCH larger genetic mutation than later
      refinements. fact, that's what you are saying.

      3) you are saying that phylogenetic refinements are gradual small increments, occurring ONLY AFTER speciation events, and provide most of the benefit/complexity of the organism. fact, that's what you are saying.

      what really defies logic, is this notion that small-gradual mutations that provide the real complexity/benefit occur ONLY after large-infrequent mutations, and that the small-gradual are NEVER observable in the fossil record.

      September 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I seized on the "little or no" because (a) that is the part that grossly misinterprets (or willfully misrepresents) the views of the people you presume to criticize and (b) that is one of your prior errors that I was at pains to correct in a prior post. To simply repeat it again shows either a profound like of reading comprehension or a profound lack of intellectual integrity.

      There's another problem that I suspect is in play. You have to understand that how beneficial a change is completely determined by relative survival rate. If lineages with simply light detection survive and proliferate to the point of driving otherwise highly similar organisms without light detection to extinction, well, it doesn't get any more beneficial that that, eh?

      September 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I had lengthy replies to all of your other three points, Chad, that aren't getting past the word filter and I'm becoming seriously unamused by the game of "spot the word fragment" this idiotic website filter makes us play.

      So briefly:

      (1) PE clearly states that speciation is typically fairly rapid and after there is a speciation event, there is a relatively longer period of relative stasis. You won't see much if any change in the fossils of this one species during that period. But that of course doesn't mean that you won't see very long term phylogenetic trends in, eg, the improvement of the eye. That is exactly what you do see and exactly what you expect to see at least many instances of. If having a shell confers an advantage, having a harder shell or a spiked shell or what not may well confer a greater advantage and later speciation events often are associated with the development of just such direct improvements on what arose in prior speciation events. The eye is another classic case. Once you can detect light at all, you'll want to gather more light, focus it, sense images rather than just light sources and shadows, etc, etc. Eyes per se don't fossilize well, certainly nowhere as well as shells do. But the evidence clearly is that eyes became more complex in many lineages over multiple speciation events, even as they atrophied in, eg, all sorts of cave dwelling species.

      September 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • John Richardson

      To Chad's point (2): PE does NOT require vastly increased mutation rates during speciation. The speciation occurs due to a combination of the differences in gene flow regarding recombination and drift and wholesale extinction of certain genes in small vs large populations plus the different selection pressures put on "pioneer" populations that get isolated on the periphery or well beyond the periphery of the parent species range. So (2) is pretty much completely wrong.

      In general, you gotta lose the assumption that there is a one to one trait to gene relationship, let alone a one to one new trait to mutation relationship. Some mutations are totally inert. Some, in controller genes, can cause a cascade of changes, Many traits are polygenetic and the key isn't a new mutation, but getting things in a novel combination. Such novel combinations, if the arise at all, are more likely to get fixed in smaller populations.

      September 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • John Richardson

      As for your last point, which I will quote:

      "3) you are saying that phylogenetic refinements are gradual small increments, occurring ONLY AFTER speciation events, and provide most of the benefit/complexity of the organism. fact, that's what you are saying."

      I cannot make any sense of what you are saying. Longterm phylogenetic trends are the accu-mulation of the changes over many speciation events. The occur incrementally WITHIN speciation events. Complexity arises incrementally as the all of the smaller changes associated with speciation events are in effect "added up". Later benefits aren't greater than earlier benefits. Indeed, they tend to be dependent on earlier benefits. All the image focussing anatomy in the world wouldn't amount to a hill of beans if you didn't have basic photoreceptive light sensing cells.

      September 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Chad

      love how you nit pick terms to completely avoid the argument raised, which is simply put:

      – the fossil record shows stasis, species appear fully formed and remain so for very long periods of time

      – no one is going to buy that complex new components, aspects, what ever you want to call it. NO ONE is going to believe that complex things (such as an eye) always manage to come into being during such a short time period that the intermediate forms of that process manage to escape fossilizaiton.

      – so, the theory is that enough of the process which produced this new component occurs very quickly (thus escaping detection in the fossil record), and in such a manner such that the later complexity can be gradually added in but hidden from detection in the fossil record.

      And I'm saying that's ridiculous. How does the "process that adds in complexity slowly" ALWAYS occur after the "process which creates a structure for that slow complexity to hide behind in the fossil record". How does "process that adds in complexity slowly" do so in such a way that it ALWAYS escape fossilization?

      cue obfuscation...

      September 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Lots of word filter woes this AM. But quickly, Chad. There aren't two different processes. There is an initial speciation event that creates a rudimentary structure and then subsequent speciation events that improve on that structure. The reason the subsequent speciation events B thru Z always occur after the first one A is that B thru Z are subsequent and A was the first.

      Duh.

      Do you go out of your way not to understand such trivialities or are you really that poor a reader?

      September 19, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • JohnR

      Oh, and Chad, have you ever noticed that the people who come in 2nd thru 43rd or whatever in a race ALWAYS cross the finished line AFTER the person who comes in first? Amazing, huh?

      September 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Chad

      Not exactly sure how to frame my objection so it's clear, let me try it this way:
      "The reason the subsequent speciation events B thru Z always occur after the first one A is that B thru Z are subsequent and A was the first"

      My objection is this:
      1) how is it that B-Z ALWAYS hide in the fossil record behind A, in other words, how is it that 'A' ALWAYS produces a structure behind which B-Z can hide?
      2) How is it that the rapid changes are the ones producing a structure and the more gradual ones producing complexity?

      Quite a coincidence that the rapid process provides all the structure ever needed for this thing, and the process providing complexity never changes the structure.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • JohnR

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      show details 4:36 PM (9 minutes ago)

      >1) how is it that B-Z ALWAYS hide in the fossil record behind A, in other words, how is it that 'A' ALWAYS produces
      >a structure behind which B-Z can hide?
      What on earth are you babbling about? WHEN there is a phylogenetic trend, by definition that means that a series of distinct species show more and more of some trait. Not every new structure founds a phylogentic trend. But when one does, the first species to show the trait is, um, first. Later ones are, well, later. Specifically, the first precedes the second, which precedes the third, which precedes the fourth, and so forth. Got it?
      All of the A, B, C, ..., Z in this abstract example are distinct species. They arise through speciation, which is when the bulk of evolution occurs. There will only rarely be fossils found of organisms between any two of these species, for reasons discussed ad nauseum. But the phylogenetic trend is perfectly visible in the fossil record through comparison of fossils of the successive species in the trend.
      >2) How is it that the rapid changes are the ones producing a structure and the more gradual ones producing complexity?
      No, you are still TOTALLY misunderstanding. Each speciation event – 26 in our abstract example – occurs relatively rapidly. Hence, each incremental increase in complexity (or size or WHATEVER the trend is) occurs rapidly. What is gradual, ie takes a long time, is the entire process of 26 speciation events, which includes all the events themselves added together PLUS the relatively LONGER periods of stasis between the events. So the evolution of, for instance, the eye did not take 10K-50K years as it would have if you could go from no structure at all to the eagle eye in one speciation. But you can't. You can go from no eye structure to perhaps some minimally photo-sensitive patch of skin in one speciation event. To get from there to an eye of the sort we are talking about will take many more speciation events and the evolutionary changes that occur within them. That will take vastly longer than 10K – 50K years.
      I'd like to think that this finally explains it so that even you will understand, Chad. But I am truly baffled by the intransigence of your prior failures to understand. Downright scary.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • JohnR

      First, sorry about the strange stuff at the beginning of my last post. I had to edit in my email program because of the ever annoying word filter and obviously when I copied back, I got a bit more than I intended!

      Anyway, let's consider this amazing thought from the mind of Chad:

      >Quite a coincidence that the rapid process provides all the structure ever needed for this thing, and the
      >process providing complexity never changes the structure.

      What can you say? This guy takes misunderstanding to a whole new level everytime he responds! OF COURSE, the initial speciation event doesn't provide ALL of the structure seen by the end of the phylogenetic trend and OF COURSE when the trend is one of increased complexity, the structure changes A LOT.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chad

      Now ya got some really severe problems... 🙂

      "You can go from no eye structure to perhaps some minimally photo-sensitive patch of skin in one speciation event. To get from there to an eye of the sort we are talking about will take many more speciation events and the evolutionary changes that occur within them. That will take vastly longer than 10K – 50K years."

      What you are describing would be clearly present in the fossil record as clear incremental development of a complex organism(this complex thing being put together over these many speciation events). A situation that we ALREADY KNOW doesnt exist, that was already the death of gradualism.

      Stasis says "species appear fully developed in the fossil record and stay that way".

      I feel for ya John, I really do.. It's not easy being on the wrong side of common sense and naturalistic evidence. If you back away from the unlikely hood of PE poofing complex organisms into existence in 10-50k years, you risk exposing yourself to the lack of any gradualism evidence in the fossil record. Kind of interesting the way you tried to finesse it, but any time you try and spread this complex_thing_building out over some larger time frame, you're hosed.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Chad

      Note also that you backed away from the "the structure gets poofed in one speciation event, then the complexity gets added later but you cant see it in the fossil record cause the structure was already in place"..

      September 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad writes:

      >Note also that you backed away from the "the structure gets poofed in one speciation event, then the
      >complexity gets added later but you cant see it in the fossil record cause the structure was already in place"..

      I never said anything of the sort, liar. After you suggested that PE claims the eye arose in 10K-50K years, I explained, no, something as complex as the eye does not arise in one speciation event, but over many, many speciation events, which of course would take millions of years. I have stated explicitly that the phylogenetic trend is clearly visible in the fossil record, even if forms intermediate between two adjacent links in the chain of species are extremely rare. I'm sure everyone else understands this. Why don't you?

      September 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Chad

      and yes, I do understand I used the term gradualism not exactly correct in my post since it is most commonly joined with Darwinian gradualsm, a process of slow but constant, where as you are suggesting slow but not constant. Problem is they both fall to the lack of fossil evidence.

      "lack of any gradualism evidence in the fossil record"
      to be strictly correct should have read
      "lack of any evidence of gradual development of complex things in the fossil record"

      September 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • JohnR

      Chad writes:

      >What you are describing would be clearly present in the fossil record as clear incremental development of a complex >organism(this complex thing being put together over these many speciation events). A situation that we ALREA
      >DY KNOW doesnt exist, that was already the death of gradualism.

      No, Chad, this is where your screaming ignorance of the pertinent literature comes into high relief. Phylogenetic trends are indeed visible in the fossil record, as I have stated repeatedly in this very thread, and others elsewhere. Sue gave several exapmles. The increase in brain size (and presumed increase in complexity) in hominids is just the most famous of many, many such examples in the fossil record.

      The gradualism we don't see is at a MUCH finer level of detail. H. habilis -> H. erectus -> H. sapiens form a cline of increased body size, increased brain size, and also increased brain size per body size. But they don't form a completely smooth cline. There is a bit of a "jump" between H. habilis and H. erectus and another between H. erectus and H. sapiens. We may find more intermediate forms, but likely will never form a perfectly smooth cline.

      >Stasis says "species appear fully developed in the fossil record and stay that way".

      Well, "stasis" doesn't say that. But no bother. The important point is that SPECIES tend to appear pretty much the way they stay for the duration of their period on earth. But that doesn't mean that speciation stop. Early H. habilis look much like late H. habilis. But along come H. erectus, who looks rather different. And H. erectus stays pretty static, but here comes the rather strikingly different H. sapiens.

      Stop reading only imbecilic creationist tracts about evolution and familiarize yourself with the real deal and you won't make such a ridiculous series of elementary mistakes in public again.

      Oh, but I DON'T feel for you, Chad. Your ignorance is willful and disgraceful.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Chad

      >Note also that you backed away from the "the structure gets poofed in one speciation event, then the
      ">complexity gets added later but you cant see it in the fossil record cause the structure was already in place"..

      I never said anything of the sort, liar."

      Well, then, you need to figure out why none of these later "speciation events that provide the complexity needed to achieve the true value of the thing" show up in the fossil record. Remember "species appear fully formed in the fossil record and remain that way for sometimes millions of years"

      September 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • John Richardson

      The quote from Gould himself in this video succinctly recapitulates what I have been explaining about what sorts of transitional forms are and are not abundant in the fossil record AND quite pithily expresses the dilemma facing those who bother to talk to creationists: are these people just really, really stupid or are they unspeakably dishonest?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2E1yXhZmeY&w=640&h=360]

      Chad again:

      >Well, then, you need to figure out why none of these later "speciation events that provide the complexity needed to
      >achieve the true value of the thing" show up in the fossil record. Remember "species appear fully formed in the fossil
      >record and remain that way for sometimes millions of years"

      The forms intermediate between species in the phylogenetic chain are extremely rare for the same reason that forms from within speciation events always tend to be rare. The species in the links are attested. So the phylogenetic chain showing the rise in complexity of an organ, or increase in size or whatever is indeed visible in the larger fossil record.

      The fact that you quote that last bit again shows once again how out of your league you are. The parent species can continue however long it does. But new species will continue to bud off the parental stock. The rise of a new species doesn't mean the ancestral species immediately goes extinct. It may well eventually go extinct as the "offspring" species continues. So even extreme stasis in the parental species doesn't mean that the phylogenetic trend is necessarily on hold for millions of years. It MAY be in some case, but need not be. But even when things do reach a steady state that lasts an extra long time, that doesn't mean the trend can't eventually resume, again with or without the extinction of the parental species.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Chad

      "The forms intermediate between species in the phylogenetic chain are extremely rare for the same reason that forms from within speciation events always tend to be rare. "
      => and why is that?

      "The species in the links are attested. So the phylogenetic chain showing the rise in complexity of an organ, or increase in size or whatever is indeed visible in the larger fossil record."
      =>Again, this is just inference, it's based on the observation that simple organisms arrive earlier than more complex organisms and that the characteristics of newer organisms “frequently appear to be modified forms of characteristics of older organisms”. Is "strong inferential evidence" that evolution is the process by which the complex organisms of today were developed from the simple organisms of millions of years ago.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • Chad

      "You can go from no eye structure to perhaps some minimally photo-sensitive patch of skin in one speciation event."

      Interesting theory, found this when I was looking at criticisms of Nilsson and Pelger.
      "a simple light sensitive spot is extremely complicated, involving a huge number of specialized proteins and protein systems. These proteins and systems are integrated in such a way that if one were removed, vision would cease. In other words, for the miracle of vision to occur, even for a light sensitive spot, a great many different proteins and systems would have to evolve simultaneously, because without them all there at once, vision would not occur. For example, the first step in vision is the detection of photons. In order to detect a photon, specialized cells use a molecule called 11-cis-retinal. When a photon of light interacts with this molecule, it changes its shape almost instantly. It is now called trans-retinal. This change in shape causes a change in shape of another molecule called rhodopsin. The new shape of rhodopsin is called metarhodopsin II. Metarhodopsin II now sticks to another protein called transducin forcing it to drop an attached molecule called GDP and pick up another molecule called GTP. The GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II molecule now attaches to another protein called phosphodiesterase. When this happens, phosphodiesterase cleaves molecules called cGMPs. This cleav*ge of cGMPs reduces their relative numbers in the cell. This reduction in cGMP is sensed by an ion channel. This ion channel shuts off the ability of the sodium ion to enter the cell. This blockage of sodium entrance into the cell causes an imbalance of charge across the cell's membrane. This imbalance of charge sends an electrical current to the brain. The brain then interprets this signal and the result is called vision. Many other proteins are now needed to convert the proteins and other molecules just mentioned back to their original forms so that they can detect another photon of light and signal the brain. If any one of these proteins or molecules is missing, even in the simplest eye system, vision will not occur."

      The question now of course is, how could such a system evolve gradually? All the pieces must be in place simultaneously. For example, what good would it be for an earthworm that has no eyes to suddenly evolve the protein 11-cis-retinal in a small group or "spot" of cells on its head? These cells now have the ability to detect photons, but so what? What benefit is that to the earthworm? Now, lets say that somehow these cells develop all the needed proteins to activate an electrical charge across their membranes in response to a photon of light striking them. So what?! What good is it for them to be able to establish an electrical gradient across their membranes if there is no nervous pathway to the worm's minute brain? Now, what if this pathway did happen to suddenly evolve and such a signal could be sent to the worm's brain. So what?! How is the worm going to know what to do with this signal? It will have to learn what this signal means. Learning and interpretation are very complicated processes involving a great many other proteins in other unique systems. Now the earthworm, in one lifetime, must evolve the ability to pass on this ability to interpret vision to its offspring. If it does not pass on this ability, the offspring must learn as well or vision offers no advantage to them. All of these wonderful processes need regulation. No function is beneficial unless it can be regulated (turned off and on). If the light sensitive cells cannot be turned off once they are turned on, vision does not occur. This regulatory ability is also very complicated involving a great many proteins and other molecules – all of which must be in place initially for vision to be beneficial."

      September 21, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  17. gupsphoo

    Actually, he wouldn't have to "believe" in evolution if he looked at the evidence hard enough. Evolution is a scientific fact and is backed up by a mountain of evidence. On the other hand, you need to have a lot of faith to believe in the creation story as told by the Bible (or the Koran for that matter).

    September 16, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  18. herbert juarez

    Hey have amistavia spell, *frank* every other inning.

    September 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Your post appears to be in religious insane-speak. Want to translate that into rational so we know what you're talking about?

      September 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Jimmy G

      Religion, the last refuge of the incompetent.

      September 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      In the game of life it is always good to have someone in left field.When you relieve *frank*if a ball comes your way,toss it back amistavia,o.k.?

      September 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  19. Fred1

    @godbeliever: I tried reading the bible and all I got was disgusted. Those first 5 books are just full of horrible things that god’s chosen people do to others. It certainly belies the commandment though shelt not kill

    September 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  20. Jungle Jargon

    Richard, there is observable evidence of a Creator. (Look it up on Youtube).

    The essential ordered functions that hydrogen and most of the most common elements have in life forms requires a Maker.

    Every other simple function has a maker and there is no reason to believe that the much greater functions in life forms do not.

    The Maker of the function that hydrogen needs to be all knowing, all powerful and able to stretch out the fabric of time and space so that it has function.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • *frank*

      I'm convinced.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • boris

      @JJ, That's not even jungle logic. Those things are the way they are because in current constraints many other things that you might think of as alternatives are unstable. Some even decay into what you describe, as the more stable state. No Invisible Hand required.

      Then you are also stuck with, Who made the Maker?

      I'll give you a hint for the correct answer: It's turtles all the way down. Turtles, big jumble man, turtles.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • John Richardson

      If god didn't set the parameters just right, he himself would explode! I actually saw this happen once in another possible world. It was funny as hell to watch.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Jimmy G

      So is this fred or herbert?

      Your incredible lack of understanding of physics is very clear. Thanks for coming out.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • *frank*

      I saw a Brady Bunch episode where Peter blasphemed and God made his science experiment volcano splatter mud all over the living room. Alice was aghast. Then Peter asked Satan for guidance and the next day he knocked Buddy Hinton's tooth loose.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      I remain your only border fence hoppin herbie,my only handle.Hey jimmy saw your post on page 3.You best try to stay with physics because you don't know squat about theology.God bless

      September 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Calling you an idiot would be an insult to idiots.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @*frank*
      in the game of life it is good to have someone in left field.If a ball comes your way ,frank, toss it back ,o.k.?God bless

      September 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      The concept of a creator is the most illogical solution to our observation that there is a universe. Actually saying god "created" the universe is a totally meaningless string of human linguistic elements. If there were a creator, it would have had to "begin" the act of creation BEFORE it created space-time, and that is a meaningless statement. "The essential ordered functions that hydrogen and most of the most common elements have in life forms require a Maker" is a false statement. They do NOT "require" anything. Particles come and go, in and out of existence all the time. They require nothing. You obviously know nothing of physics. "Every other simple function has a maker and there is no reason to believe that the much greater functions in life forms do not" is also a completely false statement. "The Maker of the function that hydrogen needs to be all knowing, all powerful and able to stretch out the fabric of time and space so that it has function" is simply anthropomorphic projection. Every "act" requires time to be preceding it's creation for the "act' to be defined as such, which is a circular unending argument, which has no meaning. You are VERY confused. 😈

      September 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Jimmy G

      Don't worry, herbert. I can whup your ass any day of the week on physics and pretty much anything to do with science and the real world.
      Having been a devout Christian, I can whup your ass on Christianity, too. All I have to do is ask and you got NOTHING.
      See? So easy to shut you up or make you scramble for mystical bullsh.t.
      You are so predictable because your knowledge is small. Very small.

      September 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "herbert" ?
      Ok, lets see you start. Waiting ........................

      September 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So in other words, JJ, you don't understand, therefore god must be responsible. This is a shiny example of humans creating a god to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • hahaha

      If everything needs a maker, who is the makers maker?

      September 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well I stand as a witness that GOD "Allah" has created all that we know and try to give a scientifical explanations for as if created it self from nothing...!! Have you ever seen a symphony being played with out a musical conductor ??
      I stand as a witness that GOD "Allah" has prepared and sent us messengers to reveal him self through the inspired words given to them....!!

      We witness GOD "Allah" through our feeling and knowing that for every creation there must be a creator...as obvious as that since we have not seen or heard of a car that has created it self by it self with out a creator...!!

      GOD "Allah" is the maker of all makers whether you deny that or not, it is the truth...

      September 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.