Evolution Debate

Well, I’m finally back. My work schedule hasn’t changed though so I can’t guarantee immediate replies, but I’ll try to reply in less than 3 months next time!

When I found out the forum was moving, I’d hoped to have the time to post this before the move, but it didn’t work out that way. As it is, I’m sure an evolution debate thread would have come up here sooner or later, so it might as well be now.

For those that don’t know, this is in a reply to this message of this thread at the old board.

If you believe that it had to have started by God, and thus believe the power of God, why do you not believe that he could have done it all in 6 days time, and created all life rather than just some chemicals that mixed together and eventually evolved into the millions of species today? It doesn’t seem like that much of leap.

Because first, I’m not Christian and I reject the view that the Bible is the inerrant word of God along with the notion that Genesis should be interpreted literally. Second, a literal interpretation of Genesis isn’t the simplest explanation for the evidence available.

Well, at least you admit now there have been some. Will an apology be forthcoming for your insistence that I had not addressed it? Didn’t think so.

Perhaps I should have said “so called explanations” because, as I pointed out, you really didn’t answer the question. You danced around the subject a lot by talking about the growth rate of coral, but you never explained how that sequence of rocks were created.

These layers to which you refer are actually proof of a cataclysmic event.

Not just one cataclysmic event, but multiple events and probably not even cataclysmic. The rock layers follow a classic pattern starting with sandstone, followed by shale and limestone. All that is capped off with salt, gypsum and anhydrite.

That sequence is caused by a rising sea level. We know that because of the types of deposits that form on ocean shore lines today. Sand is deposited along the shore, followed by clay in shallow water, followed by carbonates (coral reefs, bottom dwelling animal shells, etc) in deeper water. The sand was deposited first as the sea rose with the clay and carbonates later as the sea level went up. The salt, gypsum and anhydrite deposits come from the ocean above the carbonate layer evaporating. In the shallow edges of the evaporation layer, you can even see the sun baked cracks in the mud when you split the layers of rock apart.

This sequence happens 3 separate times and the layers range anywhere from 100 feet to several thousand feet thick. We know it took a long time because we can measure how long it takes clay to settle out of water solution, how long it takes sea water to evaporate and how long it takes for coral reefs to grow (including your accelerated growth rate). This is not consistent with a flood.

I thought we had also discussed another possibility, but I could not find it - and this was volcanic action. We know that is what built up the huge deposits around the Dead Sea.

Yeah, right. I’m just dying to hear your evidence, but you never seem to be able to supply any when the subject comes up. Perhaps you could start by showing us which Middle Eastern Volcano spews salt, anhydrite and gypsum instead of ash and lava.

The cry of “wolf”…. I mean “fake”! I expected as much. Really, its another convenient excuse.

Carvings of or in rocks are impossible to date properly and are notoriously easy to fake. Perhaps you’ll recall all that uproar over the James Ossuary a while back. It doesn’t matter if they look like dinosaur tracks or hand prints they don’t prove anything. They can perhaps provide context for fossils discovered nearby, but they don’t add anything to the authenticity of a find.

That’s a pretty convenient excuse, don’t you think? Do you have any proof that this is the only way it could have happened?

In science, theory explains facts and evidence. To disprove a theory you need to supply facts and evidence to the contrary. If you want to claim the rock layers in North Dakota are folded upside down, you’ll have to provide your own evidence. I won’t do your work for you. I’m sure you won’t find any for ND because if there was any evidence that the rocks were out of sequence, it would have been of great interest to the companies that were drilling for oil out there and they would have mentioned it in their reports. They would have noticed it because the fossils that they encountered would have been in the wrong order, but when you look at the complete description (I mentioned it in my last post), you’ll find they occur in the proper chronological order.

I think you threw a red herring here. I’m going to have to take a look at the whole Cambrian Explosion argument and see where it leads, and if your explanation here has much to do with it. You point out that there are both very simple creatures and very diverse creatures, and I thought that was their point - that there should not be, and that they certainly should not be all mixed in together with trilobites being UNDER less “evolved” creatures. A flood would do that, incidentally, but I forgot you don’t believe in that.

Sorry, but it isn’t consistent with a flood. If that were the case, you’d have all creatures mixed up from simple to complex. That’s the whole thing about evolution and the geologic column. Everywhere you look simple creatures are on the bottom where the oldest rocks are. Complex creatures are on the top where the youngest rocks are. If you found dinosaurs with trilobites or humans (or any mammal more complex than a field mouse for that matter), however, that would be front page news… and it ain’t gonna happen.

Now you are agreeing that I am correct in saying the fossils are not full. I won’t hold my breath waiting for an apology on that one either. At any rate, NOW you are ignoring WHY I said they were incomplete to begin with. Since it is so incomplete, there’s no way we can know for sure what that creature looked like.

I’ve never claimed that all the fossils in the record are 100% complete or that they need to be. Since vertebrates are laterally symmetrical, you only need 50% to get the complete picture. I wrote about 8 fossils that transition from fish to amphibian. Only 3 weren’t complete and of those one (#3 Tiktaalik) was missing its hind legs and tail while another (#7 Pederpes) was only missing its tail. Only one was fragmentary (#6 Tulerpeton). The reason why it is important is because of what we do have. The feet and fingers. It also dated to the same time period as 2 of the other fossils and shows the kind of diversity there was at the time. The missing parts of this particular fossil don’t matter because this issue is the transition from fins to feet.

I shocked my parents by asserting to them that babies had tails and looked like pigs, calves, and bunnies before they were born!

I don’t know what show you were watching, but Haeckel had been discredited long before then. Here’s a link to an analysis of 15 biology text books from 1923 to 1997:


The only book to report Haeckel’s work as fact was from 1937 even the 1923 book was skeptical.

Kudos for digging up a Network 54 thread

I’ve been around a lot longer than you might think and remember it clearly;) As far as I’m concerned, any statement you’ve made publicly on the subject is fair game, though you’re certainly allowed to correct or change your position if you find it necessary. By the same token, I’m willing to change my mind if enough evidence comes to light, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it.

Evolution Debate

I thought this argument had already died? I was actually kinda hoping that a new forum a new start etc…. None of this. Oh well….

a literal interpretation of Genesis isn’t the simplest explanation for the evidence available - Occam’s razor is NOT always right.

When you’re trying to say God could not have done it you cannot argue unless you a) don’t believe in God or b) don’t believe in an omnipotent God.

If God’s all powerful there is pretty much nothing he can’t do (childish paradoxes aside), but for me, it’s simply that whilst I may believe in some overarching universal order, I’m just not convinced that there is a paternal God. Furthermore, whilst I’d accept if I did believe that God COULD have made everything as it is, I most likely wouldn’t believe it. That said, I find God causes problems with this because if he’s all powerful he must have existed pre-creation surely?

The implication of this is that the universe would be following God’s will as he woulda had to made it and I suppose it would be possible, but I dunno why a deity would bother creating whatever existed at the moment of the big bang. I suppose God could have caused it, but (perhaps because I’m an arrogant human who reckons we’re important universally) I don’t see why he’d bother.

Evolution Debate

I believe what I said was, “why do you not believe he COULD have done…” You apparently believe in an omnipotent God. As such, why could he NOT have created it all in 6 days time?

If God was omnipotent, why would it take any time at all.

Evolution Debate

Very very good Plasma

Evolution Debate

Clearly that’s not a name I’m allowed to use for God - not one of the 99?

But why would he? Because he could. Maybe like the rest of us God needs to keep himself occupied. Can you imagine how boring it would be knowing everything?

Evolution Debate


Personally, I’ve never had a problem with any of the details around the Christian God - creation in six days, the concept of the Trinity or whatever - He’s meant to be a being that exists on a level far above us and it’s entirely expected that he would do extraordinary or implausible things that don’t make sense to us. Trying to explain why a God would act seems senseless if you accept what He is.

I don’t happen to believe in the idea of any Gods because I see no credible evidence for it and it doesn’t fit with my view of existence but in these kinds of debates I think analysing the minutia of whatever particular dogma is a bit of a distraction from the original point, which is determined by faith rather than anything empirical or logical, that everything rests on. For me, because any Christian explanation of how life came into existence has to be constructed from an assumed standpoint - that God exists - it’s credibility is less than a scientific explanation (assuming that it is truly scientific) even if that explanation is imperfect or doesn’t entirely satisfy us. You’re never going to escape the point of whether that is correct or not and it isn’t something that can be resolved through debate.

Evolution Debate

I called God something with a bad word in it - as a joke mind you.

Evolution Debate

I think they should’ve kept Randy Orton in it, what do you think?

Evolution Debate

Very funny Icey, although I still think Orton is a doof.

Evolution Debate

And it was censored? Hmm, I wasn’t aware that either swearing or blasphemy were actually against the rules here.

Evolution Debate

Yup - sorry if I offended you - I really did just mean it as a joke to highlight the difficulty of the question. I would like to point out though that it wasn’t MF in the ‘you MF’ name-calling manner, but in the ‘just another chilled MF’ kind of general identifier.

Evolution Debate

I thought so, I wanted to get a laugh out of the debaters here, it was getting serious & a little humor never hurt a debate!!

To make my opinion known, I do not believe in Evolution!! To me it is just science trying to explain something with using the Bible or religion!!

Evolution Debate

I finally have another chance to catch up and write a response.

I believe what I said was, “why do you not believe he COULD have done…” You apparently believe in an omnipotent God. As such, why could he NOT have created it all in 6 days time?

Actually, I do believe God COULD have created the universe as we see it today in 6 days time 6,000 years ago. For that matter, it could have happened yesterday (my wife’s favorite theory). But since it doesn’t LOOK like it was created 6,000 years ago (or yesterday) it would violate the doctrine of apparent age.

Umm - what could be “simpler” than “God made it”? It is the simplest explanation, just not the most in depth the explain everything. On the other hand, evolution does not do any better job, as has been shown throughout the debate.

You’re oversimplifying what I said. I said “a literal interpretation of Genesis isn’t the simplest explanation for the evidence available.” A literal interpretation of Genesis doesn’t explain the available evidence and evolution does.

Furthermore, science attempts to find natural explanations for the things we find in the natural world. Supernatural explanations such as “God made it” aren’t sufficient. History has shown us that every time you give up looking for an explanation and claim that God did it, someone else will come along and do a little more research and a little more analysis and find a reasonable explanation. That’s why intelligent design/creationism is a philosophy of ignorance and science is a philosophy of discovery. With creationism, you just give up and conclude God must have made it that way. With science you actually keep working, doing more research to find the answers and make real discoveries in the process.

And you never explained why the layers of rock in your so-called geologic column change places in almost every sample that has been examined. Not only that, but it is not just once difference - there are hundreds of sequences recorded. Sorta screws up your whole record of time, doesn’t it?

You’ve been listening to too much creationist rhetoric. The modern oil industry was built on deciphering and understanding the details of the geologic column. Each area has its own sequence of rocks because each area was subjected to difference types of sediment, flooding and erosion. If an area is above sea level for an extended period of time, it doesn’t get much sediment deposited on it. In some places, previous layers were completely eroded down leaving no rocks from that age at all. But even when there are parts missing from the middle, the fossils that remain appear and disappear in predominantly the same sequence. The reality of the geologic column is very complex, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be explained by natural processes by people that aren’t willing to give up and say “God made it.”

But how do you come to say I never explained it? I did, and I proved in the last post that I did, and you even admitted it then. I referred to you admitting it when I said what I did in what you quote later. Now you say again that I did not explain it.

I guess you missed the sarcasm when I referred to your so-called “explanations”. Not once did you offer an alternative explanation for how multiple layers of salt, gypsum and anhydrite got sandwiched between hundreds of feet of marine sediments. Nor have you dealt with the fact that when closely examined, these deposits look exactly like modern evaporation basins. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Trying to invent salt spewing volcanos without any evidence is not the simplest explanation.

You are ASSUMING that the rate is a constant, and since you weren’t there, you can’t know that.

You’re missing the point. In the area where I live, you can fill up a jar of water from the local rivers and find that the water has a cloudy red color. If you let it settle for a few days the water will become clear and you’ll have a thin layer of red clay on the bottom of the jar. If you disturb the jar just a little bit, the clay will mix with the water again and you’ll have to let it sit still for a while so the clay can settle back out. Just a little turbulence is enough to keep the clay suspended in the water. This is basic physics and there is no evidence to indicate it has ever changed.

Over 40% of all sedimentary rocks were formed from clay deposits. It would be impossible for those rocks to form in the turbulent conditions you’re describing. Without calm, still water, the clay stays mixed with the water and never gets deposited at all.

I have already shown that coral reefs grow at many different speeds.

You’ve shown that coral reefs can grow up to 8 centimeters a year. How long would it take to grow a layer a few hundred feet thick at the rate of 1 foot every 4 years? How long would it take to deposit a few hundred feet of clay on top of that? (don’t forget the calm water) Then the time for the water to evaporate to form the salt, gypsum and anhydrite, followed by a few more hundred feet of coral? To falsify your hypothesis, all I have to do is show that takes more than 6,000 years. Then there’s also the fact that North Dakota would have to have been submerged under water and dried out many times during that process (don’t forget the sun dried mud cracks we can see in the rock layers). You claim there was only one catastrophic flood. That isn’t consistent with the facts.

I never accuse you of never supplying evidence, perhaps you should follow the same rule of respect.

You claimed the salt, gypsum and anhydrite deposits I keep talking about were created by volcanos. You also claimed the salt deposits in the Dead Sea came from volcanos. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far, you haven’t given us any. You’ve tried to cloud the issue with all kinds of other evidence, but you still haven’t shown us any of those salt spewing volcanos. Not a single one.

At any rate, here is a volcano that spews something other than lava and ash:

Yeah, right. :roll: This is just an oil deposit that has worked its way up to the surface. Just like the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles. By that definition, a geyser is a volcano.

You may also want to look up the Midocean Ridge - a continuously erupting volcano that circles the globe, and is constantly spewing salt into the sea.

I’m very familiar with the mid-oceanic ridges. I learned about them in my geology classes 30 years ago. It is a huge chain of volcanos, not a single one and they produce basalt not salt. Basalt is a type if igneous rock and has nothing to do with salt.

There’s been a lot of great discoveries in that area recently. They’ve found lakes of molten sulphur, bubbles of liquid CO2, tall chimneys that belch black “smokey” water, lots of minerals precipitating out of solution (particularly sulfides) and life everywhere you look that feeds off of the minerals. But, so far, no vast deposits of salt (don’t forget the gypsum and anhydrite).

At the USGS web site there is video of an interesting lecture by a researcher that has actually been to the ridges to study them. You can find the video [u]here[/u] (the good stuff starts at about 7 minutes into it).

Yes - I recall they were able to prove it a fake. In other words, you CAN date carvings of or in rock.

Wrong again. They determined that the grime on the questionable part of the carving didn’t match the grime on the genuine part. If the carving had all been done at the same time, it would have had the same grime everywhere. That tells us nothing about when the carvings were made.

There are so many places with so many different orders of layers, how in the heck can you possibly know which one is right?

While there are sometimes missing layers and the types of rock are usually different from one location to the next, for the layers that are present, the fossils follow the same order. Just because it looks complex, doesn’t mean we can’t figure it out. There is no reason to give up and proclaim “God did it.”

A global Flood beginning with the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep would tend to bury bottom-dwelling sea creatures first ­ many of these are immobile, or relatively so. They are also abundant and generally robust. As the waters rose to envelop the land, land creatures would be buried last. Also, water plants would tend to be buried before land-based swamp plants, which, in turn would be buried before upland plants. Land animals, such as mammals and birds, being mobile (especially birds), could escape to higher ground and be the last to succumb. People would cling to rafts, logs etc. until the very end and then tend to bloat and float and be scavenged by fish, with the bones breaking down rather quickly, rather than being preserved. This would make human fossils from the Flood exceedingly rare.

You’re so sure, are you? Now who’s being arrogant? Pot, meet kettle. At least I’m willing to be proven wrong when new evidence is discovered.

The only problem with your scenario is that isn’t consistent with reality. The kinds of creatures at the very bottom of the geologic column are indeed bottom dwelling creatures, but they aren’t anything like what’s alive today. You do find modern bottom dwelling creatures, but they only show up closer to the top of the column. You don’t find anything that even begins to look like a lobster or a crayfish until the late Carboniferous (almost 100 million years after the transition from fish to amphibians and over 30 million years before the dinosaurs show up). In North Dakota, there’s about 7,000 feet of rock between first bottom dwelling creatures and the Carboniferous. In fact, you find bottom dwelling creatures of one kind or another at almost the all levels in the geologic column (including ND). Even when you start seeing layers with land animals, there are also layers of bottom dwelling marine creatures sandwiched between them.

As to other things you have posted, it has been so long that I don’t remember all the details on them any more. I do recall that not a single one of those fossils to which you referred was complete though, and I also know that they did not have the necessary 50% to assume the rest. Entire portions of BOTH sides were missing.

You’re mistaken. Here’s the fossils I listed that transition from fish to amphibian:

#1 Eusthenopteron, 100% complete with 100’s of specimens
#2 Panderichthys, 100% complete with about 6 specimens
#3 Tiktaalik, missing its hind legs and tail
#4 Acanthostega, 100% complete with multiple specimens
#5 Ichthyostega, 100% complete with multiple specimens
#6 Tulerpeton, fragmentary with a shoulder, feet and partial jaw
#7 Pederpes, was only missing its tail
#8 Proterogyrinus 100% complete with multiple specimens

You don’t have to take my word for it though. You’re welcome to go back to the original message. I’ll even save you the trouble of searching for it. You can find it [u]here[/u]. I’ll even post links to my sources if you’d like.

Evolution Debate

Let’s take a close look at this.

First off, if the humans bloat up and float, why don’t all of the other animals do the same thing? Humans aren’t special about bloating up and floating in water. There should be human fossils found in about the same percentages as they numbered compared to the other creatures.

Second, the Bible doesn’t mention that plant life was destroyed at all, in fact it mentions that at least one olive tree survives.

Gen 7:21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

Gen 8:11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

So the plant life seemed to survive. (That dove isn’t going to stay away without food.)

While not on your quote, the Noah story still fails to explain how life was distributed around the world. The isolated life forms found in Australia that aren’t found anywhere else. The other animals that are found only in one area of the earth and no other.

Evolution Debate

Of course it would have been nice if they had been honest when they interviewed the scientists they interviewed for the movie. Telling them they were making a film that “was an honest attempt to examine evolution and intelligent design.” They even lied about the name of the movie, calling it Crossroads, even though they had already registered the website name for the title Expelled. Having one of the scientists removed from the premier is kind of odd too. Claiming that he was not invited, when all the attendees had to do to get tickets to the premier was register online, which he did.

I wonder about this too, the IMDb synopsis:

This movie follows Ben Stein as he seeks to determine whether Intelligent Design is a pseudo-science trying to undermine evolutionary biology or whether it is legitimate science being suppressed by a scientific establishment that is hostile to any deviation from the status quo. Along the way, Stein is told that evolutionary biology is responsible for the Holocaust, Stalinism, and the Second World War, and that only Intelligent Design and the intervention of God can adequately explain the existence of life.

This is a blog by one of the scientists interviewed for the movie. He discusses the movie, what he was told about it, and what turned out.

Unfortunately, it appears that the makers of the movie had to lie to get the interviews they needed to make the movie.

Evolution Debate

I just watched the trailer.

To continue with my Macro thing:

Evolution Debate

You may not like the man, but he’s not a certified liar.

And you say he’s biased, but it’s hardly like anything is actually contestable here.


The people behind this film clearly are as stupid as one would expect.

Darwinism may not hold all the answers, but that definitely isn’t proof of Creationism’s veracity.

Evolution Debate

The issue seems to be more that they’re rather confusing themselves now.

I wonder, for instance, why Dawkins’ question about Myers’ exclusion from the screening couldn’t have been met with such a clear and reasoned response as the one you copied above, Winnie. Instead, the bloke made up a sack of crap to hide is hypocrisy.

As for your questions about the implications for the scientific method, I would say they appear (I need to see the film and do some reading first before I can be precise) to be largely irrelevant. If they’ve been denied publication that could be an issue (depending on quite how crackpot they are and why they have been denied), but denying tenure etc. has nothing to do with the validity of science and everything to do with attempting to run the best possible academic institution.

As for creationism vs. ID, you know full well what I meant. I wasn’t talking about six days etc. but the very notion of the involvement in a higher power in the creation of everything. Unless that higher power was an alien who itself came from the ooze. I’d accept that.

Also, the film seems to have an incredibly childish tone from the trailer.

Evolution Debate

Actually, I think I’d quite happily accept a God. Just not without proof. At the moment the weight of proof seems to be in favour of our coming to be here by chance. As to the origins of everything, well, yeh, but God doesn’t answer that either.

Evolution Debate

Winnie, no one ever claimed that Richard Dawkins was unbiased. I don’t even remember ever hearing of him, until I looked up this movie. The point is that he says he was contacted and interviewed for a movie called Crossroads, which was to be about Evolution and ID, when in fact the movie was titled Expelled, and about something different.

About PZ Myers attending the screening, if it was by invitation only, how did he get tickets? You would think that his online registration would have been kicked out without giving him a ticket. Dawkins also was not given an invitation, so how did he get tickets?

Did you read the blog, because no one claimed to be quoted out of context or to having their quotes chopped up.

The interviewees were informed that the interviews were for the purpose of addressing important conflicts or debates within science, or between, science and religion – and specifically the controversy over evolution. If you want to see more, go to the website on the Premise production subsidiary Rampant Films at:

But from what I understand THAT isn’t what the movie is about. It isn’t about conflicts or debates in science.

From the Expelled website:

In a scientific world gone mad, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed is the controversial documentary that will chronicle Ben Stein’s confrontation with the Neo-Darwinian machine, exposing widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination in his heroic quest to bring back freedom in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms, with the help of the world’s top scientists, educators and thinkers.

That does not sound like “important conflicts or debates within science, or between, science and religion – and specifically the controversy over evolution.”

Winnie, how would react to a serious interview about LGs and then find out later that the company lied to you, and is actually owned by Jerry Springer.

You say that Dawkins blog is full of lies, this particular entry or in general? If it is this entry can you provide some proof?