So I decided to create this thread to debate something which really does not need debating, in the scientific community, however, religious fundamentalism and interpreting the scriptures litterally has halted the evagelically denominations from accepting evolution, as they have accepted most other scientific theories.
Biological evolution, is something beautiful, God did not have to create; He allowed the universe to create itself, of course His hand was guiding the whole process. Think of it as dominoes, God lays down every single domino, and then gently touches one (the cosmological beggining, whatever that was) and then universe begins to exist, it now has physical laws to obey. Galaxies, stars and planets are formed and then Earth. We do not know how life came onto this planet, perhaps through abiogensis (elements and matter becoming life) or through an intelligent being, God or aliens, scientists cannot really explain how life came onto our planet, as of yet.
However it happened, it evolved.
Unfortunately, God did not give me the gift of writing well, so, I will simply copy and past a fabulous article defining evolution, before we get into any detail.
ost non-scientists seem to be quite confused about precise definitions of biological evolution. Such confusion is due in large part to the inability of scientists to communicate effectively to the general public and also to confusion among scientists themselves about how to define such an important term. When discussing evolution it is important to distinguish between the existence of evolution and various theories about the mechanism of evolution. And when referring to the existence of evolution it is important to have a clear definition in mind. What exactly do biologists mean when they say that they have observed evolution or that humans and chimps have evolved from a common ancestor?
One of the most respected evolutionary biologists has defined biological evolution as follows:
"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."It is important to note that biological evolution refers to populations and not to individuals and that the changes must be passed on to the next generation. In practice this means that,
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.
This is a good working scientific definition of evolution; one that can be used to distinguish between evolution and similar changes that are not evolution. Another common short definition of evolution can be found in many textbooks:
"In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next."One can quibble about the accuracy of such a definition (and we have often quibbled on these newsgroups) but it also conveys the essence of what evolution really is. When biologists say that they have observed evolution, they mean that they have detected a change in the frequency of genes in a population. (Often the genetic change is inferred from phenotypic changes that are heritable.) When biologists say that humans and chimps have evolved from a common ancestor they mean that there have been successive heritable changes in the two separated populations since they became isolated.
- Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974
Unfortunately the common definitions of evolution outside of the scientific community are different. For example, in the Oxford Concise Science Dictionary we find the following definition:
"evolution: The gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believed to have been continuing for the past 3000 million years."This is inexcusable for a dictionary of science. Not only does this definition exclude prokaryotes, protozoa, and fungi, but it specifically includes a term "gradual process" which should not be part of the definition. More importantly the definition seems to refer more to the history of evolution than to evolution itself. Using this definition it is possible to debate whether evolution is still occurring, but the definition provides no easy way of distinguishing evolution from other processes. For example, is the increase in height among Caucasians over the past several hundred years an example of evolution? Are the color changes in the peppered moth population examples of evolution? This is not a scientific definition.
Standard dictionaries are even worse.
"evolution: ...the doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower.." - ChambersThese definitions are simply wrong. Unfortunately it is common for non-scientists to enter into a discussion about evolution with such a definition in mind. This often leads to fruitless debate since the experts are thinking about evolution from a different perspective. When someone claims that they don't believe in evolution they cannot be referring to an acceptable scientific definition of evolution because that would be denying something which is easy to demonstrate. It would be like saying that they don't believe in gravity!
"evolution: ...the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogeny" - Webster's
Recently I read a statement from a creationist who claimed that scientists are being dishonest when they talk about evolution. This person believed that evolution was being misrepresented to the public. The real problem is that the public, and creationists, do not understand what evolution is all about. This person's definition of evolution was very different from the common scientific definition and as a consequence he was unable to understand what evolutionary biology really meant. This is the same person who claimed that one could not "believe" in evolution and still be religious! But once we realize that evolution is simply "a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations" it seems a little silly to pretend that this excludes religion!
Scientists such as myself must share the blame for the lack of public understanding of science. We need to work harder to convey the correct information. Sometimes we don't succeed very well but that does not mean that we are dishonest. On the other hand, the general public, and creationists in particular, need to also work a little harder in order to understand science. Reading a textbook would help.
Evolution is a simple process, which happens all the time. Getting sick from the flu, is simply the virus mutating and thus causing you to be sick again, which is an example of evolution.
Alexander, but is that fair? definitions, including scientific ones Change over time.
We should allow science to progress, including deffinitions. We have now had over 150 years to help us re-define evolution more accurately.
Charles Darwin wasnt wrong, he didnt have the science to to help him in creating his theories.
More so they contradict them selves.. For example they will claim it takes thousands of years for something to fossilize when there are fossilized leafs.... How long does it take a leaf to decay?
Then they say that ice rings are an indicator of a thousand year period.. When in fact only a matter of years ago they found a WW2 plane embedded in the ice in the middle of the arctic I believe it was, under a few hundred ice rings.. So you tell me is that plane 100,000 years old or are the ice rings simply event rings and not a representation of a year even though to this day it is still claimed that they are year indicators..
Also (to prove the world wide flood) one of many facts for this case.. Did you know that on every mountain top IN THE WORLD there is a thin layer of coral that can only form under water? As well as other marine sediments.?
This is not even an 100th of the hard scientific evidence I got watching "The Genesis Conflict" by Walter Vieth. Fallow this link and you can watch the whole series for free.
Work your way from the top down on the video list and that is the whole series.. Hope that helps.
Got to love irreducible complexity. :0)
Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, is the full title of Darwins book. The title suggests one race may be better than another. Science? Not the science I would want to learn.
Sorry, for the late reply. Thanks, Im glad to be back.
Lets simply define it is as:"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
i am not trying to be the devils advocate here but this view is totally different that want was presented before..
This definition is fairly new to me.. have the scientific world redefine the term evolution?
Evolution does not equal Natural Selection. Evolution also includes theories on the origin of life on earth. I don't think anyone questions or doubts that natural selection happens. But that is a far different topic than how life on earth originated.
Darwinian Evolution is about how life came about on this earth. That is far different than showing that over time an allele in the peppered moth was expressed differently based on a changing environment and natural selection.
So let us be very clear. Stating that different alleles being expressed in a particular animal over time is not proof that somehow that animal "evolved" from something that was not alive.
So debate the origin of life. But don't expect us to believe the logical fallacy of 'false cause'. Just because you can show that natural selection does occur (again, no scientist disputes that) does not show that evolution also caused life on earth. The cause of natural selection is a changing environment. The cause of life of Earth is God.
Clark, You are very correct. Evolution did not cause life. Darwinin Evolution is simply the change in living organisms, due to mutations.
These mutations can be beneficial, for example, a bird having larger wings. Or a creature having better eyesight. All these happen over a long period of time. There have been millions of years and life has constantly changed.
Evolution fits perfectly into our understanding of science.
Biological evolution is NOT abiogenesis (life coming from nothing). This is one flaw creationists often forget. We simply do not know how life came onto this planet, and to remain objective we shouldnt say God put life on this planet, we do not have enough science yet to say how or where it originated.
I dont know how life came onto this planet, no scientists or person does.
Aliens? Francis Crick, one the men who discovered DNA believed aliens started life on our planet.
I dont understand this part: 'I also agree that Darwin's theories started long after the Big Bang or the beginning of the Earth. But, a lot of scientist say differently. So, it is important you explain your position Federer.'
What do you mean scientists believe differently? If we want to be accurate, the person who first 'spotted' evolution was Gregor Mendel, however, Charles Darwin was the first to write so extensively and talk more than genetics.
Creatures do not simply change into something else, their ancestors do. This is what we call speciation. speciation is a process which 'creates' new species. We have seen this in action, multiple times. Defining what a species is, can be difficult, however, it usually defined as 'a population of interbreeding or potentially interbreeding individuals which has a high degree of homogeneity of both morphology and physiology and is fairly distinct from other comparable groups.'
Species usually evolve into a new species, when they are cut off from the population, especially if the environmental factors are different.
It is a gradual process, that take time; millions of years to perfect. Mammals, fishes and birds have had millions of years to suit their natural environment.
Are you saying we have millions of years? Where are they?
Do you really belive that?
I know how life came about in this planet.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God created in six days, its not a theory but evidence. that is how life came to this planet.
Evolution is a theory, and it depends on who is talking.
People have never proven evolution.