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Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins
June 1st, 2012
03:46 PM ET

Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup on Friday.

That number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, since 1982, when Gallup first asked the question on creationism versus evolution. Thirty years ago, 44% of the people who responded said they believed that God created humans as we know them today - only a 2-point difference from 2012.

"Despite the many changes that have taken place in American society and culture over the past 30 years, including new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no sustained change in Americans' views of the origin of the human species since 1982," wrote Gallup's Frank Newport. "All in all, there is no evidence in this trend of a substantial movement toward a secular viewpoint on human origins."

The second most common view is that humans evolved with God's guidance - a view held by 32% of respondents. The view that humans evolved with no guidance from God was held by 15% of respondents.

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

Not surprisingly, more religious Americans are more likely to be creationists.

Nearly 70% of respondents who attend church every week said that God created humans in their present form, compared with 25% of people who seldom or never attend church.

Among the seldom church-goers, 38% believe that humans evolved with no guidance from God.

The numbers also showed a tendency to follow party lines, with nearly 60% of Republicans identifying as creationists, while 41% of Democrats hold the same beliefs.

Republicans also seem to be more black-and-white about their beliefs, with only 5% responding that humans evolved with some help from God. That number is much lower than the 19% of both independents and Democrats.

According to Newport, a belief in creationism is bucking the majority opinion in the scientific community - that humans evolved over millions of years.

"It would be hard to dispute that most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years, and that relatively few scientists believe that humans began in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution," writes Newport. "Thus, almost half of Americans today hold a belief ... that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature."

The USA Today/Gallup telephone poll was conducted May 10-13 with a random sample of 1,012 American adults. The sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Creationism • evolvution

soundoff (3,830 Responses)
  1. Possessor

    mandarax

    Possessor, I would like to see the data....

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    One has a brother, sister, aunt or uncle who is a drug addict. Does that person need data to know and understand that they are one???

    June 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Obviously if you think someone is an addict it's because you are looking at the evidence and making a judgement. The evidence in this case being that they are stealing money to feed their habit, lost their job, beating their wife...

      June 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • mandarax

      I was actually thinking much more basically – what are the data that indicate we each possess a soul that is immortal (never-ending), animated (alive), and angelic (whatever that means)? What is all that based upon other than the fact that some people say so?

      With regard to the other, GodFreeNow is absolutely right. An addict is defined based upon the chemical and psychological dependence on a chemical, and the observed behaviors that result – all of this is backed up by objective observations (data).

      June 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • WhatsHappening

      You cannot have data for that. An analogy would be to try to measure light intensity with a microphone. Light is light and sound is sound. Similarly, these profound mystical experiences cannot be put into 1's and 0's.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Paul

      Whats,
      Well, then we'll just dismiss those "profound experiences" as unproven hooey for the time being, until you or others can present some evidence. Seems fair to me.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • mandarax

      That's really not a good analogy, as both light and sound are both observable and measurable. In your analogy you are simply using the wrong instrument to measure what is otherwise measurable. No instrument has ever been able to detect or measure what you are claiming exists.

      I was really sort of making a joke in my original comment – of course there are no data to back up what you are saying. The point of my joke was how people talk about things like the "immortal soul" with absolute descriptive certainty, and yet it is based on nothing other than imaginings.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Primewonk

      WhatsHappening wrote, " An analogy would be to try to measure light intensity with a microphone. Light is light and sound is sound. Similarly, these profound mystical experiences cannot be put into 1's and 0's."

      You obviously have never used a fiber-optic microphone. Via wiki:
      A fiber optic microphone converts acoustic waves into electrical signals by sensing changes in light intensity, instead of sensing changes in capacitance or magnetic fields as with conventional microphones.[8][9]
      During operation, light from a laser source travels through an optical fiber to illuminate the surface of a reflective diaphragm. Sound vibrations of the diaphragm modulate the intensity of light reflecting off the diaphragm in a specific direction. The modulated light is then transmitted over a second optical fiber to a photo detector, which transforms the intensity-modulated light into analog or digital audio for transmission or recording. Fiber optic microphones possess high dynamic and frequency range, similar to the best high fidelity conventional microphones.
      Fiber optic microphones do not react to or influence any electrical, magnetic, electrostatic or radioactive fields (this is called EMI/RFI immunity). The fiber optic microphone design is therefore ideal for use in areas where conventional microphones are ineffective or dangerous, such as inside industrial turbines or in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment environments.
      Fiber optic microphones are robust, resistant to environmental changes in heat and moisture, and can be produced for any directionality or impedance matching. The distance between the microphone's light source and its photo detector may be up to several kilometers without need for any preamplifier or other electrical device, making fiber optic microphones suitable for industrial and surveillance acoustic monitoring.
      Fiber optic microphones are used in very specific application areas such as for infrasound monitoring and noise-canceling. They have proven especially useful in medical applications, such as allowing radiologists, staff and patients within the powerful and noisy magnetic field to converse normally, inside the MRI suites as well as in remote control rooms.[10]) Other uses include industrial equipment monitoring and sensing, audio calibration and measurement, high-fidelity recording and law enforcement.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • WhatsHappening

      @ Paul :

      ALternatively one could admit one's five senses are probably just a subset of possibilities, and there is something much bigger than us. That, trying to measure this bigger thing with the five senses is futule. Bound for failure. Then one can revel in the SUBJECTIVE experience of the soul without getting all hung up on measuring it.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins"

    I'm not surprised, over half of Americans are dumb-asses. Personally, I think "over half" is being overly optimistic. I'd say it's more like 3/4s of American's are dumb-asses. That those 3/4s are probably christians, MIGHT be a coincidence.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Maybe we can sell some of the red states in the middle of the country to Canada, you think?? Raise money for our ailing economy and rid ourselves of a bunch of backwards people... kill two birds with one stone....

      June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Possessor

    We "humans" ALL have an immortal soul ( animated angelic ). Close our eyes and imagine a picture of our father in our minds. We have internally have an imprint of our father inside ourselves. The flesh IS TOO conform it self to our immortal soul, thus alot of people evolve and look like their father or mother. Basically the same concept of how God work's inside of ourselves internally, IF we give our self the permission for Him to do so.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Possessor –

      Waah? So, children conceived by utilization of donated sperm and artificial insemination are able to close their eyes and picture their biological fathers? Your going to have a hard time selling that one outside of the asylum

      June 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Again! DOH! your = you're.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Possessor

      Really-O?

      @Possessor –

      Waah? So, children conceived by utilization of donated sperm and artificial insemination are able to close their eyes and picture their biological fathers? Your going to have a hard time selling that one outside of the asylum

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      With your help genius, they are screwed. Isn't life INFINITELY wonderful genius???

      June 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      What the?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • mandarax

      Possessor, I would like to see the data....

      June 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Biblical

    Evolution is just a theory. Even the scientists admit, they say "theory of evolution"

    June 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • C'mon

      Look up the definition of "scientific theory"... it does not mean what you think it means.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Right... Like speaking to children, the definition of theory has to be repeated to these people who only think words have one meaning.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      Gone are the days when theories were called Laws, e.g Boyle's Law. These days theory is used. Any theory, and especially evolution with the scrutiny it gets, would long be consigned to history if it were not supported by all known facts – fossils, DNA, advanced organisms being more complex, groupings of animals, etc.
      Creationism is even a theory in any scientific sense just the 6000 year old imaginings of various tribes in the middle east and recorded in what became the christian bible.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      That should of course say
      Creationism is not even a theory in any scientific sense just the 6000 year old imaginings of various tribes in the middle east and recorded in what became the christian bible.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Biblical, actually evolution, like many scientific theories (gravity, plate tectonics, etc), is both a theory and a fact. It is a fact because, well, it is easily observable and there is no actual doubt among scientists that it happens. The theory is science's best explanation of how it happens.

      Darwin's Ghost. Actually a scientific law and a scientific theory are two completely different things. A theory is ALWAYS explanatory. A law is just an observation, it is NEVER explanatory. In other words, the Law of Gravity tells what it does, the Theory of Gravity explains how.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      There is a big difference between a law and a theory, and it has nothing to do with "what we used to do, and what we do now"..

      The theory that the complexity of life that we have now is a result of natural selection preserving random mutations in a gene pool is just that, a theory.

      As is the theory of theistic evolution.

      A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis.

      A law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a law. Scientific laws explain things, but they do not describe them. One way to tell a law and a theory apart is to ask if the description gives you a means to explain 'why'.

      Example: Consider Newton's Law of Gravity. Newton could use this law to predict the behavior of a dropped object, but he couldn't explain why it happened.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, just adding that the theory of evolution is based on evidence. There is no evidence available for what you call the theory theistic evolution. One must jump to extreme conclusions to arrive at god. If there were one piece of evidence we wouldn't call it theistic evolution, it would just be called the theory of evolution.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Sorry Chad, but "theistic evolution" doesn't qualify as a theory, it isn't falsifiable.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Chad

      First: no one argues that big birds can "evolve" into little birds, and little fish can "evolve" into big fish.
      Where it gets interesting is when we consider the origin of birds for example, or fish, or land animals (those animals declared by the bible as being creations of God).

      Second: theistic evolutionist dont believe that a herd of land animals (or fish, or birds) just materialized out of thin air and started munching grass (or swimming or flying around), what we believe is that it is only thru divine, supernatural intervention that the necessary and coordinated mutations could have occurred that gave rise to the new species.

      Third: the fossil record, shows that new species appear fully formed (Gould – Punctuated Equilibrium).
      Darwin by the way believed strongly that a fossil record that looked this way, well.. I'll just let him speak for himself:
      He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency into, for instance, one furnished with wings, will be almost compelled to assume, in opposition to all analogy, that many individuals varied simultaneously. It cannot be denied that such abrupt and great changes of structure are widely different from those which most species apparently have undergone. He will further be compelled to believe that many structures beautifully adapted to all the other parts of the same creature and to the surrounding conditions, have been suddenly produced; and of such complex and wonderful co-adaptations, he will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation. He will be forced to admit that these great and sudden transformations have left no trace of their action on the embryo. To admit all this is, as it seems to me, to enter into the realms of miracle, and to leave those of science. Darwin, C. (1872) The Origin of Species

      What we have are two theories on the how:
      1) one says that all the complexity of life is the result of natural selection preserving random mutations.
      2) the other says that as it is impossibly improbable that natural selection/random mutations could have produced these morphological changes, external force was necessary to accomplish it.

      So, the evidence for theistic evolution is the fossil record, our data on the infrequency of any mutation being beneficial and our knowledge that while environment impacts the frequency of mutations, there is NO evidence that mutations are anything but random.

      What is the evidence for atheistic evolution? There isn’t any, the data is stacked against it.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Chad,
      As I stated before, theistic ANYTHING doesn't qualify as a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable. The post you followed up with didn't address this at all. Did you not understand my point?

      And, there are literally dozens of transitional species. Or did you not know this either?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • mandarax

      Gadflie, Chad has had this explained to him dozens of times, he likes to draw in anyone he can into an inane circular argument filled with misinformation and quote-mining. I recommend not responding to him at all. Just my two cents.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Also, Chad, ALL evidence for evolution (mountains of it) is evidence for atheistic evolution since there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that there was anything supernatural involved at all.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually, showing the obvious intellectual dishonesty in the arguments of people like Chad is nothing but helpful. Why would anyone listen to this type of person?

      June 7, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, "First: no one argues that big birds can "evolve" into little birds, and little fish can "evolve" into big fish." Really? I find people saying this exact thing all of the time.

      Chad, I encourage you to consider the Indian Mudskipper Fish. The implications here are so obvious that you have to be completely deluding yourself to obscure the truth. If you can't see how flippers can evolve into feet, well, even I may have to give up on you.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Cq

      The idea that the earth revolves around the sun, and not vice versa, is another scientific theory so, of course, there is still about 20% of the US population that doesn't believe it's true. Want to bet that almost all of them also deny evolution?

      June 7, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Chad

      @Gadflie " theistic ANYTHING doesn't qualify as a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable"

      @Chad "100% untrue.
      If for example, Darwin's notion of phyletic gradualism had been reflected in the fossil record as he thought it would, that would certainly be evidence against, right?

      now, right back at you. How is " the complexity of life that we have now is a result of natural selection preserving random mutations in a gene pool with out any supernatural intervention" falsifiable?

      June 7, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow "I encourage you to consider the Indian Mudskipper Fish. "

      =>what are you arguing, that phyletic gradualism is true?

      June 7, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Chad

      @Cq "...Want to bet that almost all of them also deny evolution?"

      1. ad hominem
      2. define evolution, pick 'A' or 'B'
      A. the complexity of life is the result of natural selection preserving random mutations, no supernatural intervention
      B. it s impossibly improbable that natural selection/random mutations could have produced these morphological changes, external(supernatural) force was necessary to accomplish the coordinated and necessarily reliant changes. As Darwin framed it: .
      He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency into, for instance, one furnished with wings, will be almost compelled to assume, in opposition to all analogy, that many individuals varied simultaneously. It cannot be denied that such abrupt and great changes of structure are widely different from those which most species apparently have undergone. He will further be compelled to believe that many structures beautifully adapted to all the other parts of the same creature and to the surrounding conditions, have been suddenly produced; and of such complex and wonderful co-adaptations, he will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation. He will be forced to admit that these great and sudden transformations have left no trace of their action on the embryo. To admit all this is, as it seems to me, to enter into the realms of miracle, and to leave those of science. Darwin, C. (1872) The Origin of Species

      June 7, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Primewonk

      Chad wrote, "... As is the theory of theistic evolution."

      One requirement of a scientific theoory is that it must be falsifiable. In other words, you have to be able to show how it could be wrong. Theistic evolution posits that "goddidit" and "poof, then another miracle occurs" are valid scientific answers. However, neither of these is falsifiable since science doesn't deal with the supernatural realm.

      Ergo, theistic evolution is not, and never can be, a scientific theory.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Chad

      @Primewonk "One requirement of a scientific theoory is that it must be falsifiable. In other words, you have to be able to show how it could be wrong. Theistic evolution posits that "goddidit" and "poof, then another miracle occurs" are valid scientific answers. However, neither of these is falsifiable since science doesn't deal with the supernatural realm."

      =>as stated above, if it can be shown to have occurred entirely w/out supernatural intervention, then you have falsified it.
      ergo, it is falsifiable..

      June 7, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      Chad wrote, " =>as stated above, if it can be shown to have occurred entirely w/out supernatural intervention, then you have falsified it.
      ergo, it is falsifiable.."

      No, you dolt. Inherent in THEISTIC evolution is that a god caused it. Gods, by definition are supernatural. The supernatural is not falsifiable.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Chad

      Theism

      On the view of some, theism is not falsifiable, since the existence of God is typically asserted without sufficient conditions to allow a falsifying observation. God being a transcendental being, beyond the realm of the observable, claims about its existence can neither be supported nor undermined by observation. It is quite consistent for a theist to agree that the existence of God is unfalsifiable, and that the proposition is not scientific, but to still claim that God exists. This is, of course, a matter of interest for anyone who places stock in natural theology–the argument from design and other a posteriori arguments for the existence of God. (See non-cognitivism.) However, arguments relating to alleged actions, rather than the existence, of God may be falsifiable.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      You said, "Third: the fossil record, shows that new species appear fully formed (Gould – Punctuated Equilibrium)."
      As has been pointed out to you before, Gould was not saying there were no transitional forms.

      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups." ( Gould, Stephen Jay 1983. "Evolution as Fact and Theory", as quoted at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html)

      June 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Chad – Creationwiki? Seriously? That is what you are using as source docûmentation?

      Oh hell to the no. If you're going to claim that theistic evolution can be falsified, you need to post the citations to the actual SCIENTIFIC sources that show this.

      Seriously Chad, this isn't your first rodeo, I expect better from fundiots like you.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "You said, "Third: the fossil record, shows that new species appear fully formed (Gould – Punctuated Equilibrium)."
      As has been pointed out to you before, Gould was not saying there were no transitional forms."

      @Chad "and I didnt claim that he had said that, did I?????

      A sincere question for you.. are you being purposefully obtuse or disingenuous?

      as I have said TO YOU several times: I am NOT citing Gould saying that there are no transitional fossils.
      I am citing Gould to say that phyletic gradualism is not noted in the fossil record, rather it reflects the sudden appearance of fully formed species. Gould has his theory on why there is this sudden appearance, you might think about reading the paper once.. 😉

      now. MEII.. do you understand this?

      or, do you just have some automatic reply function that you just use to spit out accusations of quote mining every time you see a non atheist cite Gould? For crying out loud, at least READ THE WAY THE CITATION IS BEING USED before you spout off. It's getting old.

      News flash: a non atheist CAN ACTUALLY CITE ATHEIST SCIENTIFIC STATEMENTS.. yes! that's right! As long as the point being made is consistent with the point the the atheist scientist was making.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Primewonk
      @ Chad – Creationwiki? Seriously? That is what you are using as source docûmentation?

      @Chad "I dont see that entry any where on creationwiki..
      since you made the accusation, perhaps you can provide a link? I'd hate to think you just spout ignorant responses w/out having looked anything up.. 😉

      This is where I got it from:
      http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Falsifiability
      http://www.encyclopedia4u.com/f/falsifiability.html#Theism has the same thing..

      You guys are really off the deep end today.. Please try and keep the responses at least somewhat related to the original post..and, discover the wonders of http://google.com

      June 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • wayne

      LOL Chad, all theistic evolution says is that God can't create life to evolve on it's own and God needs to keep meddling. It's also a way for christians to accept evolution without it killing their God. They know if theisic is removed, their Jesus is nothing more than another dead ape.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      Good then you recognize that Gould was convinced that evolution happened and he accepted the Theory of Evolution and he was simply trying to show that evolution did not happen at a constant rate, e.g. phyletic gradualism, but that, none the less, it did happen.
      Is that correct?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Wow... what a painful thread.

      Haven't we all learned that arguing logic with a religious person is an utter waste of time??

      June 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "Good then you recognize that Gould was convinced that evolution happened and he accepted the Theory of Evolution and he was simply trying to show that evolution did not happen at a constant rate, e.g. phyletic gradualism, but that, none the less, it did happen. Is that correct?"

      @Chad "like I said before.. and before.. and before. yes.
      Gould believed that evolution did not happen at a constant rate, rather that:
      "re-analysis of existing fossil data has shown, to the increasing satisfaction of the paleontological community, that Eldredge and Gould were correct in identifying periods of evolutionary stasis which are interrupted by much shorter periods of evolutionary change

      Where Gould and I differ of course, is in the causes of that rapid change.
      BUT, just because we differ on the cause, doesnt mean I cant cite him when pointing out that indeed "species appear fully formed in the fossil record".

      so, I trust you will drop the nonsense at this point?

      June 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      I don't get your objection to the evolutionary model. It's been tested and shown as fact. It's that simple.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "I don't get your objection to the evolutionary model. It's been tested and shown as fact. It's that simple."

      =>define evolution.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      In the simplist terms, change over time, speciafically natural selection acting on random mutations. That's the only real definition of evolution.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "In the simplist terms, change over time, speciafically natural selection acting on random mutations. That's the only real definition of evolution"

      that definition is broad enough to encompass both theistic and non-theistic evolution.
      If you want to distinguish between the two, you need to refine your definition.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      Theistic evolution is merely a little pet name you've invented in an attempt to validate a flawed argument that you constantly get called on.

      Change over time is what evolution is, and you saying that I need to redifine a scientific definition of a process because you've made up "theistic evolution" is completely absurd.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "Where Gould and I differ of course, is in the causes of that rapid change."
      I have no problem with that.

      " 'species appear fully formed in the fossil record'."
      This however, I don't think you've shown, that Gould was saying this.
      If Gould acknowledged that there were transitional fossils, then how is he also saying "species appeared fully formed"?

      June 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "" 'species appear fully formed in the fossil record'." This however, I don't think you've shown, that Gould was saying this. If Gould acknowledged that there were transitional fossils, then how is he also saying "species appeared fully formed"?"

      =>this is something that you would know had you actually read the paper that you presume to criticize others for misrepresenting.
      interesting activity, criticizing others for misrepresenting something that one has not read... doesnt seem to stop any atheists that I know..

      In this paper we shall argue
      (1) The expectations of theory color perception to such a degree that new notions seldom arise from facts collected under the influence of old pictures of the world. New pictures must cast their influence before facts can be seen in different perspective.
      (2) Paleontology’s view of speciation has been dominated by the picture of “phyletic gradualism.” It holds that new species arise from the slow and steady transformation of entire populations. Under its influence, we seek unbroken fossil series linking two forms by insensible gradation as the only complete mirror of Darwinian processes; we ascribe all breaks to imperfections in the record.
      (3) The theory of allopatric (or geographic) speciation suggests a different interpretation of paleontological data. If new species arise very rapidly in small, peripherally isolated local populations, then the great expectation of insensibly graded fossil sequences is a chimera. A new species does not evolve in the area of its ancestors; it does not arise from the slow transformation of all its forbears. Many breaks in the fossil record are real.
      (4) The history of life is more adequately represented by a picture of “punctuated equilibria” than by the notion of phyletic gradualism. The history of evolution is not one of stately unfolding, but a story of homeostatic equilibria, disturbed only “rarely” (i.e., rather often in the fullness of time) by rapid and episodic events of speciation.
      – Eldredge & Gould (1972)

      Paleontologists have paid an enormous price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we almost never see the very process we profess to study. We believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism. The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.'" (Gould, Stephen J. The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182)

      June 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      Get over Darwin already! Newton use to spend most of his time trying to turn lead into gold, but nobody denies that his laws of motion are correct. Columbus thought he had landed in India, but this doesn't disprove the fact that America actually exists.

      If Darwin had been incorrect in anything we now understand about evolution, and I'm not sure that you can even say that he was really, this would have no real impact upon the truth of evolution today. As it is, for an individual without any knowledge of genetics and a pretty skimpy fossil record to work with what he did manage to figure out about evolution was absolutely genius. Attacking Darwin as if he were the final word in evolution is just plain ridiculous, and I think you know that already, right?

      June 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      It seems to me that the Gould quote from Panda's Thumb, is exactly what he was complaining about as being misquoted/misunderstood.

      "Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.'"
      Besides using his own quote marks, which usually indicates a non-standard usage, he is arguing against "gradualism" and not that species simply appearing without any ancestors, just not "gradually" and with a "steady" transformation.

      As you quoted Gould, "The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism."

      This is an example of quoting out of context or quote mining, whether you used the normal 'no transitional fossils' line or not.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "....not that species simply appearing without any ancestors..."

      @Chad "do I argue ANYWHERE that Gould says species appear w/out ancestors? NO.
      in fact
      Do I personally make that argument anywhere?? NO

      so.. I know you didnt get what I just said.. so I'll repeat it: I DONT MAKE THE ARGUMENT ANYWHERE THAT NEW SPECIES SUDDENLY POOF INTO EXISTENCE.

      I am seriously questioning your ability to follow a discussion.. please do some reading before responding.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • mandarax

      I've heard Chad make that argument in so many words over and over and over and over. Chad, you are full of it.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "" I've heard Chad make that argument in so many words over and over and over and over. Chad, you are full of it."

      =>no you havent
      because I dont..

      very interesting.. I think atheists have this picture of what they want Christians to be.. What Christians actually are is really irrelevant.
      You see that a lot even in this thread, people arguing against things I never said.. very interesting..

      Atheists want all Christians to be young earth snake handling "science is the devil" people..

      sorry.. it just isnt so. deal with it.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      What are you trying to say regarding Gould then? Surely not that punctuated equilibrium casts doubt on whether evolution happened, or is proof that a creator being had a hand in it! What?

      June 8, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "Theistic evolution is merely a little pet name you've invented in an attempt to validate a flawed argument that you constantly get called on."

      @Chad "I did?? I had no idea I had such influence on the scientific community!!
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution
      http://www.theisticevolution.org
      http://www.theistic-evolution.com
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html
      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/bart_klink/evolution.html
      atheism.about.com/od/creationismcreationists/p/theistic.htm

      😉
      so, no.. atheists obviously have acknowledged it as a separate and distinct theory.

      do some reading !!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Chad

      @Cq "What are you trying to say regarding Gould then? Surely not that punctuated equilibrium casts doubt on whether evolution happened, or is proof that a creator being had a hand in it! What?"

      @Chad "like I said before.. and before.. and before.
      Gould believed that evolution did not happen at a constant rate, rather that:
      "re-analysis of existing fossil data has shown, to the increasing satisfaction of the paleontological community, that Eldredge and Gould were correct in identifying periods of evolutionary stasis which are interrupted by much shorter periods of evolutionary change

      Where Gould and I differ of course, is in the causes/triggers/mechanisms (whatever you want to call it) of that rapid change.
      Gould believes in allopatric speciation
      Chad believes in divinely orchestrated environmental occurances.

      if you are messing with me, just please stop.. I have explained this so many times.. please do some reading.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Paul

      Chad, your 'explanations' have rather obviously been found wanting, at best. You might do well to sit through a first year university biology course and do a bit more studying outside your holy book. Science has sort of blown your ancient creation myths away, and while many still cling to the same beliefs as you, smarter folk are leaving them behind. Pretty much just a matter of time before others do likewise.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • mandarax

      Chad: "Where Gould and I differ of course..."

      (simultaneously groaning and laughing)

      That is the most ridiculous and deluded bit of self-inflation I have heard in a long time! Where you and Gould differ?!? As if you are equal players on some field? Where you and Gould differ is that he is one of the most influential evolutionary biologist – actually one of the most influential scientists – of the past century, and you are a pathetic charlatan using horrid logic and dishonest quote-mining to peddle your ignorant religious bullshit on the internet. Give me a freaking break.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Paul " your 'explanations' have rather obviously been found wanting, at best."

      =>explain where.

      ========
      @mandarax ""...That is the most ridiculous and deluded bit of self-inflation I have heard in a long time! Where you and Gould differ....."

      =>it wasnt meant to be, just re-phrase it as "where Gould and theistic evolutionist disagree"
      then
      deal with the failings of non-theistic evolution.. (I notice everytime that comes up, the name calling gets ratcheted up, is that a coincidence?)

      Failing of of the non-theistic evolution as an explanation: it is impossibly improbable that natural selection/random mutations could have produced these rapid morphological changes as described by Gould. External(supernatural) force was necessary to accomplish the coordinated and necessarily reliant changes.

      Darwin thought this rapid change was impossible to explain scientifically: He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency into, for instance, one furnished with wings, will be almost compelled to assume, in opposition to all analogy, that many individuals varied simultaneously. It cannot be denied that such abrupt and great changes of structure are widely different from those which most species apparently have undergone. He will further be compelled to believe that many structures beautifully adapted to all the other parts of the same creature and to the surrounding conditions, have been suddenly produced; and of such complex and wonderful co-adaptations, he will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation. He will be forced to admit that these great and sudden transformations have left no trace of their action on the embryo. To admit all this is, as it seems to me, to enter into the realms of miracle, and to leave those of science. Darwin, C. (1872) The Origin of Species

      June 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "Failing of of the non-theistic evolution as an explanation: it is impossibly improbable that natural selection/random mutations could have produced these rapid morphological changes as described by Gould."

      First, what is your evidence for it being "impossibly improbable"?

      Second, isn't Darwin, in your quote, actually arguing against a form of Lemarkian, and/or need-based intentional, evolution suported by Mr. Mivart?

      When Darwin says, "He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency" isn't he, in fact, refering to what he mentioned several paragraph earlier:

      "At the present day almost all naturalists admit evolution under some form. Mr. Mivart believes that species change through "an internal force or tendency," about which it is not pretended that anything is known. That species have a capacity for change will be admitted by all evolutionists; but there is no need, as it seems to me, to invoke any internal force beyond the tendency to ordinary variability, which through the aid of selection by man has given rise to many well-adapted domestic races, and which through the aid of natural selection would equally well give rise by graduated steps to natural races or species. The final result will generally have been, as already explained, an advance, but in some few cases a retrogression, in organisation." (Darwin, C. (1872) The Origin of Species)

      Isn't he, in essence, saying, "He who believes [what Mr Mivart believes] ... will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation.... [and] it seems to me,... enter into the realms of miracle"

      Third, why even bring Darwin into this discussion? A great man, but his information is 150+ years out of date. Even Gould is out of date with recent genetic and fossil discoveries.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      "Chad believes in divinely orchestrated environmental occurances."
      So, are you just stating what you feel here, or did I miss where you actually offered compelling reasons to support your position?

      June 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cq "So, are you just stating what you feel here, or did I miss where you actually offered compelling reasons to support your position?"

      =>yep, you missed it.. ;-(
      werent looking, or ignored it? not sure which..

      in any case, here it is again.

      1. stasis (millions of years) followed by rapid change(10k-40k year range estimated by proponents of PE) dominates the fossil record (see Gould)
      2. to posit this as a natural occurrence, one would have to explain two equally improbable things:
      --A. why do species "wobble about the genetic mean" (remaining in stasis) for millions and millions of years then in a suddenly produced; flurry of complex and wonderful co-adaptations, produce a new species. Why do they remain stable for so long, with all those (by definition) random changes being weeded out of the gene pool, then WHAM (10k-40k years) everything gets incorporated?
      It's just not believable that for so long mutations get dropped, the in one short stretch, all these necessarily reliant mutations persist.

      --B. Why is this always the pattern?
      One might think that once in a while this very unusual thing happens, but every time?
      Why? That doesnt make any sense at all. If you follow the allopatric speciation argument, you are accomplishing a greater genetic change with a smaller gene pool.. that makes no sense at all.

      so, IMO natural causes is just not a possibility, and like the origin of the universe, the possibility of an external force orchestrating things must be considered.

      The God of Abraham is a strong candidate as He IS an external force, and has demonstrated His reality by the formation and shepherding of the nation of Israel, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      June 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "First, what is your evidence for it being "impossibly improbable"?"
      =>see response to CQ above

      @ME II "Second, isn't Darwin, in your quote, actually arguing against a form of Lemarkian, and/or need-based intentional, evolution suported by Mr. Mivart?"

      =>Darwin in that quote is simply stating that stasis followed by a sudden appearance of new species fully formed is in his opinion, evidence of the miraculous.
      =>"need based" evolution(the notion that mutations arent random, that they are more likely to meet a need in the environment) has been thoroughly debunked.:

      Mutations are Random The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation. Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be. Berkeley.edu

      =>year after year, the fossil find bolster the notion that stasis and rapid change completely dominates the fossil record.

      June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  5. WhatsHappening

    Whats wrong with teaching the strengths and weakness of various theories like evolution, global warming etc.?

    June 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      You say that as if it's not already taught. You think colleges just sit around and talk about how great the science is on evolution and global warming and never question anything about it? Again, you're confusing religion and science.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      In theory, the creationist part should be covered quickly as it's not science – just a campaign to preserve belief in the original sin

      June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Darwin's Ghost, Which has been pointed out makes original sin ridiculous because at what stage in our evolutionary tree did we become capable or responsible for sin?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • mandarax

      These responses are absolutely right. The "weaknesses" of current science are exactly where research takes place – they are the unanswered questions. Teaching the strengths and weaknesses of science is the very foundation of science education. The problem is that what you are likely referring to is not strengths vs. weaknesses, it is information vs. misinformation. These bills that insist upon teaching the "controversy" or the "weaknesses" are basically insisting that we teach a certain amount of misinformation along with the information.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "Whats wrong with teaching the strengths and weakness of various theories like evolution, global warming etc.?"

      Very well, please post the weaknesses and holes in evolution and climate change. Remember, these weaknesses and holes MUST be grounded in science, and you MUST include the citations to peer-reviewed scientific research supporting your proposed weaknesses and holes.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Cq

      Nothing wrong with it ... as long as you keep evolution in the science class and creationism in the Sunday school class. One is science, and the other is a religious belief. If you want to open it up, then open it up to all fields and invite representatives of religions with different creation stories as well as poets, sci if writers, other artists and anyone else who has an opinion about the complexity of life to have a round table discussion but, again, this would not be a "science" class. See what I mean?

      June 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • WhatsHappening

      There are no peer reviewed examples for Evolution's (and 'global warming') faults because the priests who watch the temple of science deny access to those who would heresy, i.e. question the sacred beliefs. As much as believers and even agnosts like me (I merely question if science can hold all the answers) are pilloried, the scientists have their own silent and subtle form of punishing those who would dare to leave the plantation!

      June 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • mandarax

      WhatsHappening, your inexperience with any actual science is showing again. Your description is a delightfully contrived conspiracy theory, but it is nowhere near reality. In reality, there is no better way to make a name for yourself in science than to disprove the status quo. The scientific giants didn't become so by carefully towing the party line.

      But disproving well-supported ideas isn't done by simply insisting things are just not so – it takes hard work and valid research. There is no conspiracy to maintain the status quo in science, there are only rigorous standards. That's what makes science work. The idea that there is some secret conspiracy is ludicrous, scientists are notoriously independent-minded, skeptical, and roguish thinkers. Whenever someone says something like that, I know they have never interacted with any actual scientists. It would be like herding cats.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Primewonk

      WhatsHappening wrote, " There are no peer reviewed examples for Evolution's (and 'global warming') faults because the priests who watch the temple of science deny access to those who would heresy, i.e. question the sacred beliefs. "

      This, of course, is a HUGE FREAKING LIE. You'd think someone with a masters who has published, and "understands the scientific method" would know better. During one of the creationist trials, the fundiots claimed this same thing – that big bad science wouldn't let the creations play. The judge, trying to be fair, and wanting to see just how unfair things were asked the fundiots to produce the rejection letters for all the articles they had submitted. Imagine their shame when they had to admit, in court, under oath, that there were no rejection letters, because they hadn't even submitted any articles!

      And, even better, some years ago Eugenia Scott and collegues did a systematic review of over 135,000 papers submitted for publication in science journals. The ones based on creationism (which were only a handfull) were totally unacceptable for publication. Here is an excerpt from the article in Science –

      Evidence for Scientific Creationism?
      ROGER LEWIN
      Science 17 May 1985 228: 837 [DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4701.837]

      It's a report on the work of Eugenie Scott and Henry Cole. They queried 3 years worth of articles in 1000 scientific and technical journals looking for articles by the editorial board member, research associates, or technical advisors of the CRS and the ICR. That's a lot of articles! They got 18 hits. Quoting from the paper, "four were critical of scientific creationism
      as pseudoscience, five editorials discussed the controversy
      over creationism, and nine letters to editors expressed a
      mixture of opinions on the merits of creationism versus
      evolution. "Nothing resembling empirical or experimental
      evidence for scientific creationism was discovered," concluded Scott and Cole."

      Then they looked at total submissions – how often were your guys even trying to publish. They looked at all submissions to 68 scientific and technical journals over a 3 year period and came up with 135,000 total papers submitted. These were queried looking for scientific creationism. They came up with 18 articles. Again quoting from the paper, "Of these 12 went to one journal on science education; a second science education publication received one more. Three submissions went to one anthropology journal, and two further manuscripts were sent to an anthropology journal and a biology journal. At the time of writing, all manuscripts had been rejected by journal editors, with the exception of three that were still under review at one of the education journals. The American Zoologist, which has a very open policy on submission of abstracts, received not a single presentation on empirical evidence for scientific creationism during the 3-year study period.

      Part of the survey included reasons for rejection of
      papers. According to reviewers' comments, papers on
      scientific creationism suffered from several faults, including the following: poor presentation ("ramblings . . . ";
      "no coherent arguments . . . "; "high-school theme quality
      . . . "; "tendentious essay not suitable for publication
      anywhere"; "more like a long letter than a referenced
      article") and failure to follow accepted scientific canons
      ("no systematic treatment . . . "; "does not define
      terms... "; "flawed arguments... "; "failure to acknowledge
      and use extensive literature on particular questions
      . . . "). Scott and Cole note that "From the reviewers'
      comments, it appears as if laymen rather than professional
      scientists are submitting the few articles..."

      June 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  6. WhatsHappening

    Intelligent Design isnt the same as creationism. We dont say the universe was created in 6 days or that it is 10K years old.

    We just dont assume that the faults in anything, including darwin's theory, should be ignored.

    June 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      You don't keep up with the news do you. At the Dover trial it was proven that the "ID" texts were produced by a mass edit of the creationist texts. Same nonsense – new name.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Gadflie

      WhatsHappening, please point out any "weaknesses" in the Theory of Evolution that are not either a logical fallacy or an obvious misuse of statistics.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chad

      Define evolution

      June 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Chad, a good scientific definition is "any change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations.".
      That being said, speciation has been observed in lab experiments.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Bring on the blizzard of BS..Chad's in the game. At least he teamed up with his kind...WhatsHappening is as full of nonsense and bollocks as is Chad.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • WhatsHappening

      How can a dinosaur like T-Rex become a bird like a sparrow?

      How did whales get into the water? where are it's legs?

      If monkeys 'evolved' into man, does that mean we are all monkeys?

      June 7, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • WhatsHappening

      What ae the odds that a complex piece of machinery like the bacterial flagellum came into being by fluke changes adding to one another? Thats like saying this swiss timepiece was made by banging together a bunch of metallic parts in a plastic bag and shaking it. and voila, it came together.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • mandarax

      WhatsHappening – these are not the hard questions you seem to think they are. Answers to them are abundant in books and on the web. You just have to access legitimate sources (those without a religious agenda).

      June 7, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @WhatsHappening, First of all, T-rex didn't ever become a bird because it was wiped out with the rest of the dinosaurs in a mass extinction. And before you ask... no we didn't put harnesses on dinosaurs and ride around on them.

      Second, the whale is a great question and easily answered. Have you ever wondered why a whale is considered a mammal? Google "bones of a whale's flipper" and you can see precisely where it's hands went. Also, consider what does its tail move up and down as opposed to right to left. All of these answers and more are waiting for you to discover in THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SCIENCE... *insert echo*

      Lastly, monkeys didn't evolve into man. Monkeys are monkeys. Man evolved from a distant ancestor of apes. Apes/chimpanzees are not monkeys. But if you go back far enough in the tree, you will see a common ancestor for monkeys, humans and apes. 50 million years ago there were 2 groups of which we, monkeys and apes descended from and there is some controversy as to which we belong. They are the tarsidae and adapidae respectively. In 2009 in Madagascar paleontologists discovered a 47 million-year-old fossil which would put us in the adapid category.

      Now, sorry if that's too science-y and fact-y... I know it requires a lot more effort and mental exercise that just believing a magical superbeing in the sky spoke things into existence, but trust me, it's worth the discipline. You'll find gathering facts, and using reason and logic can be beneficial in all aspects of your life.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Primewonk

      "Intelligent Design isnt the same as creationism." Bullshît. Perhaps you can explain " cdesign proponentsists"? Perhaps you can explain the Wedge Docûment?

      "Define evolution" A change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time. Google is a verb as well as a noun.

      "How can a dinosaur like T-Rex become a bird like a sparrow?" Dinosaurs like T Rex didn't become birds. Birds evolved from some species of dinosaurs.

      "How did whales get into the water? where are it's legs?" Front fins are remnants of limbs – look at the bone structure. Plus whales still have rudimentary hip bones. Some cetaceans still are born with non-functioning legs.

      "If monkeys 'evolved' into man, does that mean we are all monkeys?" Humans diidn't evolve from monkeys.

      "What ae the odds that a complex piece of machinery like the bacterial flagellum came into being by fluke changes adding to one another? " Talkorigins Index to Creationist Claims – Claim CB200.1 – the same as the other half dozen times you have posted this exact same bullshît.

      Each and every claim raised by these ignorant creationist îdiots has been answered and refuted thousands of times. Each of these ignorant lying sacks of shît has posted these exact same lies over and over. The question is – Why? Why do you môrons lie like this? Is it pleasing to your god to watch you cretins repeatedly lie in his name? He must be so fûcking proud of you.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Cq

      Tell me, what "science" has intelligent design given us? Has it proven which being was the creator? Has it formulated a scientific theory as to how that being created life on this planet? Has it used it's methods to help create new medicines and medical treatments? Has it been effective in predicting new fossils, or undiscovered species? Has it theorized how the animals first migrated to the ark site and then dispersed to there present environments, skipping over closer matching environments leaving, say, no kangaroos in Africa, and no penguins in the Arctic? In short, apart from it's job as a criticism of evolution for fundamentalists, has it done anything useful?

      June 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • WhatsHappening

      1. I would like to see a complete fossil record of mystery land animal to whale with NO gaps. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. That a mammal could become a huge animal like a blue whale just by 'random changes' is an extraordinary claim

      2. ditto for man. I want to see a step by step fossil record of monkey to man with no gaps

      3. Random changes can be for the good or for the bad. its 50-50. So why is it that 'evolution' unaided by a creator is able to avoid the 50% of bad? Miracle!

      June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • mandarax

      WhatsHappening – Boy, I would like to see that too, but it is a ridiculous request. There is not even a record of what you did this morning that has no gaps. Here is an example of the logic of your request:

      What did Abraham Lincoln do in March when he was 7 years old?
      Don't know?
      HA!
      A gap!
      Therefore, God must have taken him away and replaced him with another Abraham Lincoln that was one month older in April. Because, obviously, there is a gap in the record. (or, we could just assume that he continued to grow even though there is a gap?)

      In short, I think it makes a little more sense to connect the dots with lines rather than magic tricks.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • mandarax

      What does "no gaps" even mean, really? Do you actually expect to see every single individual in a 7 million year lineage fossilized, preserved, and recovered? If you're missing one, that's a gap.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Cq

      mandarax
      That's exactly what they want. If you showed them a standard 30 frames per second movie of it they'd laugh that it isn't 60. Like Dawkins says; for every new transitional fossil discovered creationists now see two gaps where there was once one. Never mind that the gaps are much smaller than before. They are, as my grandmother use to say, doing it just to be "contrary".

      June 8, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Chad

      @Gadflie "a good scientific definition is "any change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations."."
      @Chad "that definition doesnt distinguish between theistic and non-theistic evolution.. If you want to discuss "evolution" with a person that believes in theistic evolution, your definition needs to be refined.
      Yes?

      OTOH, if you want to continue to disingenuously be able to say "evolution is fact" and paint with "anyone who doesnt believe that is an idiot", then, by all means, stick with your current definition.

      ===================
      @Gadflie "That being said, speciation has been observed in lab experiments"
      @Chad "
      A. define speciation
      B. then explain how your statement and definition line up with the observed fossil record (See Punctuated Equilibrium – Gould)

      June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @mandarax "What does "no gaps" even mean, really? Do you actually expect to see every single individual in a 7 million year lineage fossilized, preserved, and recovered? If you're missing one, that's a gap."

      @Chad "do some reading and understand why phyletic gradualism is dead and punctuated equilibrium is the recognition that the fossil record reflects a pattern of stassis and sudden appearance of new species fully formed.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • mandarax

      No one was talking to you Chad. The things you are trying to interject have been addressed and corrected over and over, and you keep shoveling it out anyway. If you would like to see responses to your misrepresentations, why not just revisit the dozens of earlier debates where you have been thoroughly debunked.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      Even with punctuated equilibrium, a "sudden" appearance is still over the course of millions of years, right? Quick compared to other rates of evolution, but still long enough to affect great change, even from one species to another. Hardly the presto-change-o way creationists imagine species just popping into existence like in the Genesis story, right?

      June 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cq "Even with punctuated equilibrium, a "sudden" appearance is still over the course of millions of years, right?"
      @Chad "no.. have you ever heard of http://google.com? you should check it out, it is a really amazing tool.

      The time frames must be short, because the entire PE theory has been put forth to explain the sudden abrupt appearance, which means that the forms during that period of time all escaped fossilization (yes, we are all well aware how difficult it is to create a fossil, but remember, we have fossils, so one would expect that the ratio of dead bodies to fossils remains relatively the same all the time, during stasis and rapid change)

      so, how long is the period of abrupt change? most articles quote 10k to 40k years, here are two on each end of the extreme:
      "thousands of years at most compared with millions for the duration of most species" Gould in Paleobiology

      Before punctuated equilibrium, most scientists assumed that evolutionary change occurs slowly and continuously in almost all species, and that new species originate either by slow divergence from parental stock of sub-populations or by slow evolutionary transformation of the parental stock itself. Punctuated equilibrium proposes that most species originate relatively suddenly (i.e., over tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, rather than the millions of years assumed by traditional theory) and then do not evolve significantly for the rest of their time on Earth. Most species thus have a sudden or punctuated origin and then remain in stasis or equilibrium until extinction. http://science.jrank.org/

      June 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, can you post anything of substance without pasting, or are you completely dependent on the words of others?

      June 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  7. GodFreeNow

    For people that say we should just let people believe what they want to, look at this list of legislative bills attempting to change how kids are educated.

    http://ncse.com/evolution/anti-evolution-anti-climate-science-legislation-scorecard-20

    June 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  8. Abrondon

    Richard Dawkins has written that we exist only and entirely to propagate our DNA. If that's true, then we are utter failures, as when we procreate only half of our DNA survives since another's DNA is required. And even if evolution is true, it is powerless to explain the laws of physics that govern it. Not to mention that biologists never invite mathematicians to their parties, because it's been shown that the odds of even the simplest amino acid forming by chance alone are effectively zero. And not only would one have to have beaten the zero odds to kick start life, it would have simultaneously had to have the ability to replicate itself.

    June 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Really?

      Strawman, strawman, red herring, false analogy, blatant misinformation, cosmology vs evolution... how many can you get in one reply? Wow.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Which laws of physics govern the theory of evolution? Be specific and include links to actual science sites.

      Also, asèxual reproduction doesn't provide nearly the amount of genetic as sèxual reproduction.

      Please post a link to a valid science site that supports your claim about formation of an amino acid.

      Your post, like many of these, is an excellent example of what happens when you get your "sciency" sounding information from "Pastor Dave" instead of actual science sources. The problem is that "Pastor Dave" is as ignorant about science as you are.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • ME II

      @Abrondon,
      I think every single one of my direct ancestors was an amazing success. All the way back to first life form, they have successfully passed on their DNA until it reached me.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ME II

      The probability of my exact combination of DNA showing up is staggeringly small, and yet here I am. The likely hood that one specific thing will happen may be small, but the likely hood that something will happen is almost certain.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sadly, these fundiots don't have even a Junior High level of knowledge of statistics and probability.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Cq

      The fact that we are 7 billion plus strong suggests that we are very good at reproducing, and surviving. That's a whole lot of individuals passing on their DNA, but that's only the evolutionary reason why we exist. As individuals, we each find our own reasons to keep on going.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • mandarax

      Biologists never invite mathematics to their parties?!? You clearly have never ever read a professional paper. You guys really do just make crap up.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Abrondon, that's funny. The arguments against the "odds" of, well, anything concerning past evolution can easily be shown to be totally bogus by anyone who has studied statistics. If you need an explanation, let me know and I'll be happy to give you one.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  9. Chad

    Ridicule all you want, but the fact that the message of Jesus Christ resonates more with the down trodden, disenfranchised and less "successful" (by this worlds standards) people wasnt something that Jesus Christ denied, in fact he stated that that is exactly what would happen.

    Again, ridicule all you want, but "successful" "self-reliant", "self-made" people are less likely to realize the situation they are in. They just dont recognize the void they are walking in to.

    You may think quoting this scripture is meant to condemn you, but I dont present it for that reason.
    Rather I present it to get you thinking about why/how a person 2000 years ago could make this observation, which rings so true today.

    "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]
    20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
    26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[
    1 Corinthians 1

    June 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why hasn't anyone murdered you yet?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Cq

      Good luck finding a presidential candidate who isn't "successful" "self-reliant", and "self-made". Might as well give up questioning any of their right to call themselves "Christian" then, right?

      June 6, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • >

      TomTom

      Over the line

      June 6, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • wayne

      Evolution being the fact that it is means that Jesus was just another human being and is now nothing more than a dead ape. Nothing he said matters.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • ME II

      Just out of curiosity, what knowledge or "wisdom" has Christianity itself provided that couldn't have been gained elsewhere?

      June 6, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Chad

      @Cq "Good luck finding a presidential candidate who isn't "successful" "self-reliant", and "self-made". Might as well give up questioning any of their right to call themselves "Christian" then, right?"

      =>if you read the post, you'll notice that I said it resonates more, I didnt say it resonates only..
      As I have said time and time again, there are many brilliant Christians (Francis Collins, former director of the human genome project for example)..

      ======
      @ME II "Just out of curiosity, what knowledge or "wisdom" has Christianity itself provided that couldn't have been gained elsewhere?"
      @Chad "that single most important piece of knowledge there is, namely that the God of Abraham is real, and His Son Jesus Christ came to save us."

      June 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Your posting of random bible verses is meaningless. Your god has no power in our secular laws. But in the spirit of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk Bible. I happen to think that my random verses are more relevant than yours –

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reàssuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "that single most important piece of knowledge there is, namely that the God of Abraham is real, and His Son Jesus Christ came to save us."

      Fair enough.
      Peace...

      June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      Yet, if it only "resonates more", then Christian brilliance is clearly not the norm, correct?

      June 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, Come on. You can do better. You seem to think that atheists are raised in affluent families by atheists and grow up to be atheists. I happen to come from one of the "downtrodden" families you mentioned. I grew up in a highly religious, baptist family and spent 13 years in a christian school. I know I'm not alone as most atheists I talk to come from a similar background. So when you talk about not realizing the void we're walking into, you must first consider that we walked out of religion with our eyes wide open and fully conscious of what we were stepping into.

      I have a feeling when you stop telling stories to yourself, you will one day too make that step into the light of truth. As I've stated many times before... I have hope for you.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  10. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Let go and let god".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome .

    June 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Yes, put your treasures in an imaginary fairy land. If you wish it to be true really hard, then it WILL be true.

      Nobody likes to face death. It's not surprising that humans have created such fantastic ways to make themselves feel better about it. If anyone tells you they know what happens after death, they are lying to you. It's that simple. It may make you feel better for the moment, but you know deep in your heart that it's a lie.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • SweetGenius

      Amen...He is the sweetest taste there is.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You'd know, wouldn't you, having sucked his dick?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Cq

      So, you're telling people to let their thoughts be free, but expecting them to conform to your, "boxed" set of beliefs? You can't say "Let your mind take you wherever it will" and the funnel it into the exact place you want it to go. Where's the freedom in that?

      What really happens is that, when people experiment with free thought, the result usually doesn't bide well for ideas held dogmatically, which is bad news for religion.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  11. SkepticOne

    Man I hate the south....

    June 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  12. Cq

    About 1 in 5 Americans can't even identify the US on a world map. The same percentage don't know who the US declared independence from, or think "W" Bush was a great president, or believe that witches are real, or believe that the sun revolves around the earth, or believe that the world will completely be destroyed within their lifetime, or believe that pot is more dangerous than booze, or think that buying lotto tickets is an "investment", or even believe in alien abductions.

    Sounds crazy, but that's only about half as many who think that evolution scientists are all conspiring to dupe the world into questioning their faith in God having created the universe.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Nothing against Africa, but if you just read the statistics, you'd think it was some isolated tribe in Africa somewhere.

      June 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Cq –

      Are you serious?! All of those things are stupid. However, Elvis IS still alive (I saw him at 7-11).

      June 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Cq

      I forgot to mention that, chances are, the same people who deny evolution probably share a couple of these other weird beliefs too, a few maybe all of them, while I doubt that many atheists hold even one of these beliefs.

      June 6, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  13. Mister Jones

    That is just depressing. This article made me a little unproud to be an American today. So, one out of every three of us is obese, and HALF of us are just idiots? I do not care what your mommy told you, people were not made out of clay. Seriously.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  14. Boisepoet

    Hmmm, that's about the same percentage of people who normally vote Republican...any correlation between ignorance and conservative views?

    June 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  15. JoeP199

    I blame this on the media. Left wing, right wing, it doesn't matter. The media is so afraid of offending anyone that they insist on giving "science" such as creationism and denial of climate change equal credence with verifiable science. They've dumbed down the coverage of such topics to the point where every opinion regarding science is given weight, no matter how ridiculous its basis.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  16. Robert

    That's good news then. That means that 54% of Americans aren't complete idiots.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  17. Pastapharian

    After reading some of these posts, I'm left speechless. Smh

    June 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • M.F. Luder

      Personally, I'm disgusted. Britain is observing a similar phenomenon. This will be the collapse of the West.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  18. Jamest297

    Fact is that half of Americans have below average intelligence.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  19. FoodForThought

    Scary that so many people will still dismiss scientific evidence because it doesn't support their unfounded beliefs. If evolution was wrong we'd have plenty of evidence (scientific) against it by now. Instead, all of the significant scientific discoveries (e.g., DNA) since Darwin published his ideas offer more and more support. Time to wake up, America.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • shep

      You have identified the Romney voter.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Cq

      It's the same conspiracy theory kind of thinking that will deny Obama's birth certificate no matter how many copies are put in front of them simply because they don't want to believe it. I would call it childish except that I have no wish to insult children.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  20. bp

    Translation: nearly half of Americans are stupid, uneducated and reject science. There's undoubtedly also a strong correlation with religious belief, hatred of gays and general intolerance of others who are different.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:24 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.