Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:11 PM
"I've read a lot on this forum and I find it full of great information. Yet I don't see any evidence for evolution."
I'm new here so I can't speak to what's posted here, but if you can't find any evidence in favor of evolution (one of the most widely accepted and highly tested theories in all of the physical sciences which is supported by avenues of evidence in at least half a dozen fields) honestly you're not looking hard enough. Or at all, more likely. I'm not trying to be rude but there it is.
"I have yet to see one fully formed transitional fossil."
I don't know what you mean by this, what is a "fully formed" transitional fossil?
"I've seen drawings, pictures, and some bones that claim to be transitional. Yet, I have not seen evidence of a fully formed transitional fossil. Can someone provide a link to some?"
I could give you a hundred pictures of fossils, I could even hand you one in person, but it wouldn't mean anything unless I explained what actually makes a fossil transitional and why that matters in evolutionary science.
The basic idea is this - countless species in the animal kingdom have a lot of very similar anatomical features and very similar segments of DNA. You and your dog for instance have basically the same skeleton, four limbs with five digits on the end of each, a spine, ribs, collar bones, shoulder blades, skull, same five senses, all the same organs etc. There are two explanations for this. One is that that's just the way the creator or aliens or whatever made life wanted them to be like. And hypothetically that could be true (I'm an atheist but I'm a skeptic so I have to admit the possibility). The problem though scientifically is that you can't test for that, because a creator or designer or whatever you want to call it could potentially make life similar or different or any which way it wanted, so there's no way to test the hypothesis - you can't in other words say "if the same designer made me and a dog then this must be in our DNA" or "if the same designer made me and a dog this can't be in our DNA". So although it may be possible and could even be true, it can't be tested and can't honestly be called science.
Which brings us to the evolutionary explanation. That you and your dog (and pretty much everything else) are distant cousins, and you have some traits in common and some DNA in common because you inherited it from a common ancestor a very long time ago. Fortunately this is testable because many things must be true if this is true, like there must be intermediate forms showing the appearance of these various traits in a logical chronological order (and there is, ie fins appear first, then fins with wrist and digit bones, then amphibious creatures with legs, then reptiles, then mammals and eventually canids and humans in that order). A really good way to test whether common ancestry holds water is that any time we find a modern species of say mammal or reptile that doesn't have a trait that is virtually universal among mammals and reptiles there are two possible explanations - 1) that all those species developed identical traits separately - this is pretty much impossible logically and mathematically, or 2) that that species that doesn't have that trait had it and lost it at some point in the past.
So if common ancestry is correct we can predict that we will find an earlier version of that species that has the missing trait. Which brings us to transitional fossils like archeopteryx. Why is this an important find for evolution science? Because darwin specifically predicted it's existence two years before it's discovery. See modern birds don't have separate digits in their wings, but according to common ancestry the wing must be a modified arm, there's no other way for it to have evolved. And virtually all mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs have separate digits at the end of their four limbs, usually five. So if the bird's wing evolved from an arm then there must be a prehistoric, extinct bird that had separate digits, or as darwin put it, a bifurcated wing. Two years later archeopteryx was discovered which has not only wings with separate digits in them, but the digits also have claws at the end.
But why stop there? Lots of other animals are missing common traits, so lets test evolution some more. Whales don't have hind limbs, where's the earlier version that has them? Ambulocetus. Horses have four limbs, but only have one digit on the end of each (their hooves are literally giant toenails and yes are made of the same stuff yours are because of common ancestry, a chemical called keratin which is also what your dog's claws are made of). So they must have had more digits in the past if evolution is true - turns out the further back we go in the fossil record the more digits the horse-like fossils have. But wait, there's more! Most snakes don't have legs at all, and the ones that do the legs are leftover and non-functional (why should that be?). But they do have legs in the fossil record.
The fact is you can keep going, just with this one anatomical example and the predictions hold up throughout the animal kingdom and the fossil record. And you can literally do this with every trait in every species in every lineage and play find the transitional form all day and new ones pop up all the time.
"However there appears to be 10s of 1000s of living fossils, if not more. Virtually unchanged animals, birds, reptiles, etc. over 'millions of years'. Why is this?"
Two reasons - one is that not nearly all changes are evident in the fossil record, these species' organs, immune systems etc could've changed dramatically and there'd be no evidence - another is that major anatomical changes are usually prompted by changes in the environment, the introduction of new predators or prey or dramatic changes in the weather - some environments have been more or less static, or species have been in successful niches where the proverb "if it ain't broke don't fix it" applies biochemically as well as it does in society. But it is a fact that not one species alive today appears in the fossil record from 500 million years ago.
"The order of the universe cries out God's creation. The position of the sun, the moon, gravity, the rotation of the earth, etc. Evolutionists explanation in a nut shell: "It just happened to get it right".
That's not my explanation. Galaxies have stars that travel more or less around the center of the galaxy not by and kind of magical fine tuning, but by the black hole at the core of the galaxy ripping apart and consuming or flinging into the void between galaxies any stars that aren't in the right trajectory. Younger, less stable (and much more radioactive) galaxies are called quasar galaxies, look it up. If you set a forest on fire the fire will eventually burn itself out - that's not intelligent design that's just unsustainable chaos. I could go into similar depth explaining the positions of the sun, moon, gravity etc. Will if you like.
"We see design behind vehicles, churches, houses, etc., but when it comes to something as amazing and complex as our planet and life itself... it's... luck?"
It's a bit more complicated than "luck". Want to know why the earth is round? Because liquid follows the path of least resistence, which in zero gravity spontaneously forms a ball shape. The earth was formed by the impact of many planets and planetoids, asteroids and comets over a long period of time which produced enough heat to liquify rock and metal (the earth is still almost entirely liquid rock and metal today). This ball of rock and metal was spinning so it formed into a ball that is slightly fat at the equator.
Not nearly everything you chalk up to "god did it" is as mysterious as you make it seem. You have access to google and wikipedia, the answers to many of these questions are already known.
"Birds that can fly 1000s and 1000s of miles to migrate without landing, turtles that can navigate under the ocean, and the many other amazing creatures in this world of ours... just happen to have this ability? How do they know to use these abilities?"
Because at the same time their abilities were evolving their instincts were too. Do you understand the basics of natural selection by the way?
"What in this universe cries 'old earth', 'evolution', 'no design', 'no God'?"
The geological column contains not just a few billion years of fossil history, but also the history of the formation and erosion of mountain ranges (not a quick process), the entire oceans that have come and gone, the history of multiple mass extinction level meteor impacts (there's a crater in canada 100 kilometers across, a meteor that big would've released more heat and energy on impact than every nuke in the world, many times over - you think the indians were there when it hit?) It also contains the history of every ice age, massive river valleys that no river has gone through for thousands of years, the history of billions of years of volcanic activity etc. Everything about it screams old earth. Which is why you will have a hard time finding a young earth geologist even if you just ask christian geologists how old the earth is. As for no god, I can answer if you like but this is already too long.
"The Big Bang...How did 'something' (the rock/asteroid/whatever) come from nothing? How did this 'something' explode? What was the cause?"
No one claims to know how the universe began, the big bang doesn't attempt to explain it's existence, just wind the clock back a bit. The big bang (which was first proposed by a catholic priest) simply explains the expansion and cooling of the universe from an earlier state.
Neither the universe coming into existence on it's own or just always being there makes any sense to me. Nor does a god coming into existence on it's own or just always being there and then making a universe by some unknown means. I reject both as nonsense and admit I simply don't know how the universe began.
"I find it ironic that many atheists find creationists to be loony because we have our faith in God. Yet, in a way, atheists have MORE faith than us because of what they believe!"
No, atheists really don't.
"We can observe biogenesis daily. Life comes from life. Abiogenesis on the other hand... any examples?"
Abiogenesis is hypothetical at best, I doubt you'll find any atheist pushing the idea around as being more than that.
I don't need to have all of the answers to know that you don't have any more than I do.
"How do organs know what functions to perform? Does evolution explain that?"
They don't "know" anything. Evolution is not a conscious process. You sound like you aren't familiar with the basic mechanics of natural selection. I would explain it but this is already very long.
"Where is the observable, testable, repeatable evidence for evolution?"
Google "evolution experiment" and you will find lots of examples. Also google "observed instances of speciation" and "ring species". Evolution has been experimentally observed since the mid to late 1800s.
"I honestly hope that any evolutionist reading this ponders these things."
You can tell from my responses that I have. Will you ponder what I have said?
"I'll close by asking this... To the evolutionist, if there was one, just ONE thing that you disagree with concerning creation, what is it?"
It isn't an explanation for anything. We don't know what god is really supposed to be, or how he supposedly created anything. So "creation" is just positing that "god (???) exists by the mechanism of ??? and created the universe by ??? and made life by ???"
Why not just not bother with all that vaguery and just replace it with one question mark and treat the universe as what it is - a mystery we are trying to unravel.