Jump to content


Photo

25 Common Misconceptions About Evolution


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
142 replies to this topic

#81 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:43 PM

A belief does not necessarily have to be entirely based on faith; beliefs can be based on evidence as well.


I hope you don't mind me butting in but where did Mike say anytthing about faith being separated from evidence? What faith, according to you, exists without evidence?

#82 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:17 AM

I’ve also heard about a genetic mutation that makes people more likely to be religious. I don’t know very much about this mutation, and I have no idea how much research has been done or whether it is largely speculation. You can Google “God Gene” if you’re curious, and you’re bound to get some interesting results.


That an interesting theory and appeals to my logic. Personality types are genetically related, and religious people are generally more grave/serious/pious and could be said to fit in with a stereotype. So a certain higher allele frequency could be found in religious communities. However since we don't have the facts yet, my speculation is that evangelical Christians would have less of the religion gene than other religious groups. Evangelical Christianity attracts a wide variety of people who are highly committed to their beliefs, without any emphasis on the more pious types found in other religions and so I doubt this gene would be as extreme.

I hear where you coming from with the mention of this, its as if you are attributing even religious beliefs to evolutionary processes. If a God-gene exists it would actually have no bearing on the logic of whether God actually does exist and did create complex life. It would just show the tendency of certain types to look for deeper meaning in life. As far as having a true conversion to a reliance on Jesus, I believe that gene would give no genetic advantage to finding the truth. (the true religion - relying on Jesus). But if it does show up high even in evangelical christianity it would just show that we can inherit good traits which isn't a surprise either.

#83 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:15 PM

That is another huge debate: do genes affect personality and behavior? I say not significantly, if at all. You can have one g*y identical twin and one straight. I would say that life experiences (education, socioeconomic status, traumatic occurrences, worldview, etc.), diet, and drugs (legal or illegal) affect our behavior more than genetics (or nurture more than nature to simplify). I am curious if we will ever settle this with hard evidence, but I am skeptical that we will. Regardless of nature or nurture, we should be held accountable for our actions.

#84 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

That is another huge debate: do genes affect personality and behavior? I say not significantly, if at all. You can have one g*y identical twin and one straight. I would say that life experiences (education, socioeconomic status, traumatic occurrences, worldview, etc.), diet, and drugs (legal or illegal) affect our behavior more than genetics (or nurture more than nature to simplify). I am curious if we will ever settle this with hard evidence, but I am skeptical that we will. Regardless of nature or nurture, we should be held accountable for our actions.


Surely that would be relatively easy to establish? they can monitor brain activity in certain areas of the brain, and obviously there are differences in brain size. The secret would be to monitor seperated twins or siblings and see if there brainwave patterns have a resemblance with the parents. We could be genetically predisposed to behave in certain ways. I'm pretty certain personality traits are partly genetically inherited.

#85 Isabella

Isabella

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 589 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Vancouver, Canada
  • Interests:Cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, zoology, anthropology.
  • Age: 0
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Vancouver, Canada

Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:23 PM

Hi Tirian,

But is this not a misconception on your part Isabella? Evolution is the change in inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. If the inherited characteristics have not changed the population have not evolved. Or what kind of definition of evolution are you using to back up your claim that populations that do not change over time evolve? What you just described is that natural selection might hinder changes in inherited characteristics over time. In that case natural selection seems to act as a preserver of the already existing characteristics for that species and hinder it to evolve.


In my previous post, I was dealing specifically with primitive traits rather than the organism as a whole (I realize this was not clear, my mistake). When evolutionists say that a present-day organism is primitive, they mean that it has retained some ancestral characteristics. Primitive does not mean that the organism is literally unchanged. Even a so-called primitive bacterium has undergone significant genetic change compared to the ancestral population, and therefore has evolved according to the most widely used biological definition of evolution: a change in the allele frequencies of a population over generations. So while primitive traits may not change much over time, the organism as a whole is still considered to be evolving according to evolution.

And why is it wrong to call a bacteria less evolved (i.e. less change over time) than for example a fish? Shouldn't something more evolved simple be a species that have changed its inherited characteristics more over a certain amount of time then a less evolved species.


The problem with using terms like “more evolved” and “less evolved” is the implication that evolution follows a linear sequence. By linear, I mean the false idea that evolution is a series of stages beginning with unicellular organisms and ending with humans.

According to evolution, a modern species of bacteria has been evolving for the same amount of time as a modern species of fish. It is entirely possible that the bacterial species has undergone the same number of discrete evolutionary events as the fish. Actually, I would guess that the bacterial species has undergone many more evolutionary changes, simply because bacteria reproduce so quickly which provides more opportunity for mutation. So if bacteria have evolved so much, why haven’t they become more complex? Bacteria are an extraordinarily successful organism, having adapted to all kinds of extreme environments. Think of all the places bacteria are able to live: extreme cold, extreme heat, very high altitude, very deep oceans, low oxygen conditions, inside digestive tracts, highly acidic water, complete darkness, etc. Being large, intelligent, and multicellular is not necessarily the best way to maintain high fitness. Adaptations are most apparent on organisms we can see without microscopes, but bacteria have plenty of genetic adaptations too. They’re just not as visible to us as those possessed by the fish. Also keep in mind that evolutionary change is not necessarily directional: an organism can become more complex, and then go back to being less complex due to environmental pressures. An example that comes to mind here are the blind amphibians living in caves: they developed complex eyes, and then lost them again due to the selective pressure of complete darkness.

#86 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:51 PM

Surely that would be relatively easy to establish? they can monitor brain activity in certain areas of the brain, and obviously there are differences in brain size. The secret would be to monitor seperated twins or siblings and see if there brainwave patterns have a resemblance with the parents. We could be genetically predisposed to behave in certain ways. I'm pretty certain personality traits are partly genetically inherited.


If you are raised by your biological parents and they are angry people, that might have a tendency to rub off on you (for one example). To rule this out, you would have to do control tests with adopted children and their biological parents (whom they have never contacted for experiments sake). Also, you would have to compare the adoptive parents as well, and factor in possible similar nurture/experiences etc between biological parent and adopted child. Not as simple as it sounds.

#87 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:25 AM

If you are raised by your biological parents and they are angry people, that might have a tendency to rub off on you (for one example). To rule this out, you would have to do control tests with adopted children and their biological parents (whom they have never contacted for experiments sake). Also, you would have to compare the adoptive parents as well, and factor in possible similar nurture/experiences etc between biological parent and adopted child. Not as simple as it sounds.


Makes sense, I think it could be done. Personality traits are a subjective subject but with a large enough study sample I'm sure trends could be detected. And it could be done another way as per the god gene. Look at any particular extreme groups and examine if there is any differing allele frequency across that group, compared to the average of the population. (eg religion, anger management groups, alcoholism, benevolent societies, poetic, musicians groups etc etc
  • MarkForbes likes this

#88 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:07 AM

Makes sense, I think it could be done. Personality traits are a subjective subject but with a large enough study sample I'm sure trends could be detected. And it could be done another way as per the god gene. Look at any particular extreme groups and examine if there is any differing allele frequency across that group, compared to the average of the population. (eg religion, anger management groups, alcoholism, benevolent societies, poetic, musicians groups etc etc


I wonder why it hasn't been done...or at least not widely disseminated. Anyway, sure it would be interesting to see such research done.

#89 MarkForbes

MarkForbes

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,138 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Waverley

Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:17 AM

That is another huge debate: do genes affect personality and behavior? I say not significantly, if at all. ...

They do that and they do so significantly. But it's rather a proclivities that are passed on. And by no means they would pre-determine behavior. You will however get trends and statistical patterns that indicate the passing on of personality traits that are found back into behavior. Of course the post-pregnancy experiences and nurture of a person do also play a role, so does the will and personal decision making.
That traits and behavioral proclivities are past is actually taught in the bible as well. And it's part of very important teachings, too.
  • JayShel likes this

#90 drwho

drwho

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Age: 27
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • canada

Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:20 PM

I wonder why it hasn't been done...or at least not widely disseminated. Anyway, sure it would be interesting to see such research done.


This has been done. Quite extensively. There are also twin studies looking at identical vs fraternal twins, twins groiwing up in the same household vs different households. It's pretty well established that personality is strongly correlated with genetics. There's much more of an association than most people outside of the field realize.
  • JayShel likes this

#91 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

They do that and they do so significantly. But it's rather a proclivities that are passed on. And by no means they would pre-determine behavior. You will however get trends and statistical patterns that indicate the passing on of personality traits that are found back into behavior. Of course the post-pregnancy experiences and nurture of a person do also play a role, so does the will and personal decision making.
That traits and behavioral proclivities are past is actually taught in the bible as well. And it's part of very important teachings, too.


This has been done. Quite extensively. There are also twin studies looking at identical vs fraternal twins, twins groiwing up in the same household vs different households. It's pretty well established that personality is strongly correlated with genetics. There's much more of an association than most people outside of the field realize.


Thanks for the correction, you are both right, I should have remembered this from my psychology class. Nature and nurture both have an impact on our proclivities, which ultimately form motives for our actions. Actions are ultimately our free will acting on or resisting those urges, ideas, etc.

#92 MarkForbes

MarkForbes

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,138 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Waverley

Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:49 AM

Well, nature is a given. And you can only nurture nature. That privileges nature in a sense. Free will is kind of a *no cussing*. And that *no cussing* is fed with inborn proclivities as well as with sense impressions as well. Free will of course is a debate on its own.

#93 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:19 PM

Well, nature is a given. And you can only nurture nature. That privileges nature in a sense. Free will is kind of a *no cussing*. And that *no cussing* is fed with inborn proclivities as well as with sense impressions as well. Free will of course is a debate on its own.


Given the option of responding to my post or not, you chose to respond. I would say that's all the proof you need of free will.

#94 Tirian

Tirian

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 134 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 49
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Sweden

Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:13 AM

Hi Isabella,

I'm just trying to show that you might have some misconception yourself. If we start by going back to your original post the only thing you said was:

2. Some organisms are “lower” or “less-evolved”.
False. All living organisms have been evolving for the same amount of time, and thus are equally “evolved”.


And when you state that all living organisms have been evolving for the same amount of time, and thus are equally “evolved” that is simple not true, not according to the theory of evolution at least. And that is because:

1 - All living organisms have not existed (according to evolution) for the same amount of time, do organisms start to evolve before they start to exist?
2 - Some living organisms are supposed to be closer to a common ancestor (if it is from a DNA or characteristics point of view really doesn't matter here) which means that they have changed less.

You try to explain these inconsistencies by:


When evolutionists say that a present-day organism is primitive, they mean that it has retained some ancestral characteristics. Primitive does not mean that the organism is literally unchanged. Even a so-called primitive bacterium has undergone significant genetic change compared to the ancestral population, and therefore has evolved according to the most widely used biological definition of evolution: a change in the allele frequencies of a population over generations. So while primitive traits may not change much over time, the organism as a whole is still considered to be evolving according to evolution.


But what does the definition of primitive have anything to do with if a bacteria has evolved less (and that would probably mean both less DNA and characteristics development) than a fish from an imaginary common ancestor. Or do you seriously try to lure us into some sort of belief that this ancestor could be a multicellular life form with eyes? And if you don't believe that why do you believe that the common ancestor was a single cellular life form without eyes?

The problem with using terms like “more evolved” and “less evolved” is the implication that evolution follows a linear sequence. By linear, I mean the false idea that evolution is a series of stages beginning with unicellular organisms and ending with humans.


I do understand that evolutionary theory does not say that explicitly. But still if you would try to describe the common ancestor of fish and bacteria it would probably have alot more in common with bacteria than with a fish. Why is that?

According to evolution, a modern species of bacteria has been evolving for the same amount of time as a modern species of fish. It is entirely possible that the bacterial species has undergone the same number of discrete evolutionary events as the fish. Actually, I would guess that the bacterial species has undergone many more evolutionary changes, simply because bacteria reproduce so quickly which provides more opportunity for mutation. So if bacteria have evolved so much, why haven’t they become more complex? Bacteria are an extraordinarily successful organism, having adapted to all kinds of extreme environments. Being large, intelligent, and multicellular is not necessarily the best way to maintain high fitness. Adaptations are most apparent on organisms we can see without microscopes, but bacteria have plenty of genetic adaptations too. They’re just not as visible to us as those possessed by the fish. Also keep in mind that evolutionary change is not necessarily directional: an organism can become more complex, and then go back to being less complex due to environmental pressures. An example that comes to mind here are the blind amphibians living in caves: they developed complex eyes, and then lost them again due to the selective pressure of complete darkness.


Are you sure that two modern species has evolved for the same amount of time and how do you show that using the evolutionary theory. Say that we wish to compare E. coli with a modern salmon.
1 - How do you establish for how long the organism has evolved, what definitions do you use?
2 - Aren't E. coli an organism that is supposed to have appeared earlier than a salmon. And does that not mean that it needed less time to evolve?

I find that there are a lot of question that come up when reading your last text, things like:

How do you know how many discrete evolutionary steps a certain organism has made?
Is the size and complexity of the genome in an organism an indication of anything and in that case of what?
Why do you think bacterial species has undergone many more discrete evolutionary steps? Is it not more likely that the bacteria reached a local optima early on (think genetic algorithms and how they work) and that natural selection actually selected for the already optimized solution all the time, instead of evolving new solutions that where less optimal and select for that.
Why would adaptability or fitness measure how evolved a certain organism is, does adaptability or fitness say anything about how many discrete evolutionary steps that have been taken?
  • NewPath likes this

#95 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:39 AM

I do understand that evolutionary theory does not say that explicitly. But still if you would try to describe the common ancestor of fish and bacteria it would probably have alot more in common with bacteria than with a fish. Why is that?


Exactly, as per your various scenarios the terms "less evolved" can be applied in certain cases under certain conditions and still be semantically correct from an evolutionist's point of view. Its difficult for a lot of evolutionists to admit small faults in their logic, maybe they feel that they give in once they are acknowledging that creationists aren't all thick, lol!

#96 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:38 AM

Exactly, as per your various scenarios the terms "less evolved" can be applied in certain cases under certain conditions and still be semantically correct from an evolutionist's point of view. Its difficult for a lot of evolutionists to admit small faults in their logic, maybe they feel that they give in once they are acknowledging that creationists aren't all thick, lol!


Actually there is a big taboo at play here which leads to rejection of the whole "less evolved" idea: this rationale was used in more recent times as a vehicle for racism, bigotry, subjugation, murder, rape, etc; some races were (probably still are in some circles) thought to be less evolved. Hitler used this for his "master race" idea, and slave owners used this rationale to justify their subjugation of slaves in the US. Given there was no scientific basis to think that other races were less evolved, besides the idea that some races had smaller skulls, we now know that the size of your head is not linked to your IQ. This is a big black mark in history that resulted from one spin on evolutionary thinking. Now I do NOT take this opportunity to take a cheap shot and lump all evolutionists into this camp, because time has shown that such crazies will use ANY ideology to further their misguided agenda. I view the inquisition, salem witch trials, and the crusades in a similar light.

That being said, I would say that if you accept evolution, you must accept that some organisms have more advanced features, and therefore they are more evolved. Time does not really factor, it has more to do with random positive mutations accruing in one organism faster another organism. A sea sponge would be more primitive than a turtle, because it lacks mobility,eyes, etc. Both are well adapted to their environment, but when considering which is on the faster track to self-awareness, I would have to choose the turtle.

How does this play into different races? Well within all races there are people who are smarter and some people who are not as smart. Given the "evolutionary timeline" all races would be almost identical in how evolved they are. I think this is why most evolutionists can see past such simple "this race is less evolved" type thinking.

Now I don't buy any of it, because I don't subscribe to evolution in the first place, but that is how I see things on that side of the fence.

#97 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:34 AM

Actually there is a big taboo at play here which leads to rejection of the whole "less evolved" idea: this rationale was used in more recent times as a vehicle for racism, bigotry, subjugation, murder, rape, etc; some races were (probably still are in some circles) thought to be less evolved. Hitler used this for his "master race" idea, and slave owners used this rationale to justify their subjugation of slaves in the US. Given there was no scientific basis to think that other races were less evolved, besides the idea that some races had smaller skulls, we now know that the size of your head is not linked to your IQ. This is a big black mark in history that resulted from one spin on evolutionary thinking. Now I do NOT take this opportunity to take a cheap shot and lump all evolutionists into this camp, because time has shown that such crazies will use ANY ideology to further their misguided agenda. I view the inquisition, salem witch trials, and the crusades in a similar light.

That being said, I would say that if you accept evolution, you must accept that some organisms have more advanced features, and therefore they are more evolved. Time does not really factor, it has more to do with random positive mutations accruing in one organism faster another organism. A sea sponge would be more primitive than a turtle, because it lacks mobility,eyes, etc. Both are well adapted to their environment, but when considering which is on the faster track to self-awareness, I would have to choose the turtle.

How does this play into different races? Well within all races there are people who are smarter and some people who are not as smart. Given the "evolutionary timeline" all races would be almost identical in how evolved they are. I think this is why most evolutionists can see past such simple "this race is less evolved" type thinking.

Now I don't buy any of it, because I don't subscribe to evolution in the first place, but that is how I see things on that side of the fence.


I hear you on their propensity to avoid the phrase "less evolved" due to its misuse in application to humans. But there's a simple stopper on that point, different racegroups have the same chromosomal organization and so would be "changed" by the same amount over time. (there are no superior races, our core design is the same)
But to regard bacteria as just as evolved as a human, when according to evolution the one has not undergone any significant changes from 550 million years ago, and the other has changed vastly, is actually just playing around with semantics, and denying the meaning of the word "evolve" which means "to change". Anyway its all semantics so I guess it doesn't matter much, I will continue to see evolution as having some less evolved organisms, but I will be more careful how I phrase it around evolutionists.
  • JayShel likes this

#98 drwho

drwho

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Age: 27
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • canada

Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:01 PM

I feel that I can add something to clarify the issue raised in the last few posts regarding the phrase "less/more evolved." It is an issue of semantics. So to try to help everyone make sense of where everyone else is coming from, I'll try to shed some light on the terminology the way I learned it.

There is a distinction to be made between "level of evolvedness" and complexity.
All extant species (meaning all species not yet extinct) are often considered to be "equally evolved." This is NOT because they are perceived to be equally complex. Instead, it is a term that is referring to the amount of time that its lineage has been reproducing. If all species share a common ancestor, then for all species alive at the same time, their lineages leading up the them will have been subject to mutations and natural selection for an equal amount of time (i.e. ~3.5 billion years).
Note that this is true even if one species has gone virtually unchanged since ancient times and another has arisen recently. It also holds true when one species is rather simple (i.e. bacteria) and another is complex.
In cases like this, you could make the distinction by saying that one species is more primitive or less complex. However, the term less evolved would typically be avoided as that is thought to imply that at some point, it stopped being subject to mutation and natural selection, or that it is on its way to turning into another extant species.

Edit:
Think of a tree. All extant species would be at the tips of branches that have not stopped growing, and some branches are longer than others. The organisms at the tips of the long branches are "equally as evolved" as the ones at the tips of the short branches. But one branch tip doesn't turn into another; only species below the tips eventually turn into the ones at the tips. So, you could refer to those as "less evolved" than their descendants at the tips.

#99 MarkForbes

MarkForbes

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,138 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Waverley

Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:34 AM

Yes, and the branches are merely figments of imagination. Extrapolated from the notion that present species/genus populations are usually like trees with branches.

#100 NewPath

NewPath

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 46
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Durban, SA

Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:49 AM

There is a distinction to be made between "level of evolvedness" and complexity.
All extant species (meaning all species not yet extinct) are often considered to be "equally evolved." This is NOT because they are perceived to be equally complex. Instead, it is a term that is referring to the amount of time that its lineage has been reproducing. If all species share a common ancestor, then for all species alive at the same time, their lineages leading up the them will have been subject to mutations and natural selection for an equal amount of time (i.e. ~3.5 billion years).


It's pretty simple to understand the concept that all organisms have been undergoing evolutionary pressures for the same time. Applying the phrase "less evolved" to organisms that have retained more similarities to the original is still semantically correct, even if the phrase is not liked by evolutionists.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users