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25 Common Misconceptions About Evolution


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#101 drwho

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

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.


You can use whatever collection of phonemes you want in order to convey this concept. I'm just trying to clarify what concepts are attempting to be conveyed through the use of this term by the people you're debating.

Although, the issue with using the phrase "less evolved" synonomously with the term "primitive" is that now you don't have a word to represent the temporal differences between a species and its ancestors that doesn't also encompass extant species in non-ancestral branches.

#102 drwho

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:31 PM

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


Do you mean to say that it is impossible to taxonomically organize species in order to diagramatically represent a conceptualized phylogeneic tree?
Or are you objecting to the implementation of these trees as a means to conceptualize and explain biological diversity in the real world?

#103 Mike Summers

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:26 PM

I could turn this argument right back at you. You believe that God created people, and people are responsible for racism, child P*rn*gr*phy, rape, torture, murder, domestic abuse, etc. Does that mean that creationism promotes these things?

Not if you really believe in evolution you couldn't Since you are saying you don't believe there is a God, you are suppose to accept that evo is responsible for everything. Trying to blame religion and/ or God is a silly argument. It makes it seem like you don't believe in evolutionary theoory. You come across as not accepting the ramifications of the theory

Also, and if you think Hitler and Stalin “helped out” evolution by killing off the “unfit”, perhaps you need to go back to my OP and re-read points 12, 13, and 14.


You can't have it both ways. Either evo is true or it isn't! According to evo theory the mentioned people died because tget were unfit! If you believe what you say evo did not select for these people to contjinue livinng!

Mike Summers, on 27 August 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

Look at the world that evo has given us! Which do you like best, love or hate? Evo has given us a choice. Wow evo is wonderful! Somehow evo has given us the ability to choose whether we want to believe in it or not! And since evo has given us intelligence maybe it's time to use the intelligence evo has given us solve our problems. What do you think?

Well we do use intelligence to solve problems, every day. Not sure if this question is rhetorical, but if you’d like a serious answer from me you’ll have to elaborate..

Elaborate on what? This is the world that evo has ecolved!
Do you believe that or not?isabella.maria@live.co.uk

#104 Tirian

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:12 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.


I really don't understand why you and Isabella try to defend the "equally evolved" thesis? Where exactly in evolutionary theory does it state that all organisms are equally evolved?

We could do an experiment.

I state that a salmon is more evolved than an E. coli bacteria, according to evolutionary theory.

My reason to believe that is because (again according to evolutionary theory) I believe that the E. coli bacteria has evolved (changed) over less amount of time, have less evolved DNA and less characteristical changes compared to the common ancestor of salmon and E. coli.

If you (or Isabella) for some reason believe that the above statement is false according to the evolutionary theory, then how will you go about to falsify the statement?

And I also wonder what definitions like primitive, complex or simple has to do with how much a certain organism has evolved? How much an organism has evolved should be to simply compare that organism with some imaginary ancestor and see how much the organism has changed. The problem is to know how the imaginary ancestor looked like, perhaps bacteria evolved from a fish like organism Posted Image

#105 NewPath

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:22 AM

You can use whatever collection of phonemes you want in order to convey this concept. I'm just trying to clarify what concepts are attempting to be conveyed through the use of this term by the people you're debating.

Fair enough


Although, the issue with using the phrase "less evolved" synonomously with the term "primitive" is that now you don't have a word to represent the temporal differences between a species and its ancestors that doesn't also encompass extant species in non-ancestral branches.


Ok so evolutionists like to apply the phrase "less evolved" to extinct species, and "primitive" to extant species? If anything it would be more intuitive to do it the other way around. Terminology however is important for communication and the English language isn't always logical, is this really the common usage among well qualified evolutionists?

#106 Mike Summers

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:27 AM

Isabella,

I thought you might consider adding these to your list of misconc.eptions


1. Evolution is not resonsible for mahem on planet earth.
Accoding to prominent evo's evo is always ongoing as a causitive agent.
.
2. Evo is not a religion.

Evo is a headset, philosophy, worldview, religion etc. All of the afore mentioned concepts have the same core meaning. They essentially men the same thing.

3. Evo is the creator.
True
Evo caused everything that exists

4 We are creative.
Nope it's an illusion. We only appear to be creative. Anything we do is caused by evo.

5. We are free moral agents.
According to evo, we are puppets of the universe. Everything that happens can be reduced to a mathematical function.

6.If any human kills another human, t's just evo's selection process operating on the unfit.This is a true statement.

7. Evo is a theory like gravity, not an hypothesis.
True. Evo's consider evo a fact missing only a few support theories.

8. The theory of evo has to be true because the alternative(creationism) is absolutely unthinkable. Evo's think there is no viable alternative other than evolution.therefore it must be true.

9. Darwin married his first cousin even though the church advised against marrying so closely in one's family. This was because of possible birth defects in offspring. Darwin had ten children. Several of his children were born sickly. They died early in their young lives. Darwin expected God to heal his children. When God did not, Darwin became bitter towards God and decided to become an atheist..He wrote Origin... as a replacement for God.

10. Darwin was a racist (see Ikester's post on the subject).
True. Darwin believed that the Europeans (which he belonged to) were further evolved than any other race. He expected the black race to die out along with the other inferior races. Apparently his prediction did not come true. The races that were supposed to die out are now more populous than the European (white) race.

11. Neo-Darwinists believe that the human race has not been around long enough to have sub species.
True.

12. Neo Darwinists believe that humans are 99.99% the same genetically. This is a little bit of a fib. The fact is that we are virtually 100% the same genetically. One 10th of a percent of our genes are scrambled during the mating process. This process accounts for all the variety that is present in the human race (see Mendelson's laws of heredity).

13. Evolution can end
False Evolution is eternal.

14. Today's evo scientist claim that the universe, which prior to this time was not believed to have evolved now believe that the universe evolved. This is a change as only things that were considered alive were considered to be subject to evolution.

15. Evo scientists believe that the human mind along with consciousness, free moral agency etc is a chemical illusion. Logically then, evo is an illusion.

16. Many Evolutionists believe that there is no God. Consequently there can be no being(s) in outer space that are more intelligent than man. Though these same evo scientist believe there may be life in outer space this ais a blatant contradiction. Google SETI).

17. Evolutionary scientists do not believe in the supernatural. However, we are by definition supernatural beings to this solar system. Supernatural means not typically occurring. Since scientists have concluded there are no other human life forms in this solar system, we would therefore be supernatural beings to the solar system.

18. Darwin created the concept of evolution.
False. The concept actually predated Darwin. The Egyptians believed that life originated in in the Nile. Life crawled out of the on to land.

19. Evolutionists like to use percentages when comparing different species. For example they say that we are approximately 96% the same genetically as the great apes. This gives the illusion that we are more closely related to our alleged ancestors. There There are more than 200 million genetic different between us and our closest alleged ancestors.

20.A much more realistic comparison of humans to our alleged closest living creatures, the apes would be a comparison of the mental output of our brains. Obviously the human mind is much more sophisticated by a long shot than that of the apes. Actually there is very little to compare.


20.

#107 drwho

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:49 PM

Ok so evolutionists like to apply the phrase "less evolved" to extinct species, and "primitive" to extant species? If anything it would be more intuitive to do it the other way around. Terminology however is important for communication and the English language isn't always logical, is this really the common usage among well qualified evolutionists?


If memory serves correct, the term primitive isn't restricted to extant species. It's just used to refer to more ancient characteristics (as opposed to more recently evolved characteristics). It is probably the reason why some species appear to have "evolved less" or stopped evolving; because they've retained many of these primitive traits.

I'm going to try to clarify this a bit further by providing a hypothetical scenario:
Picture a single species (species A) existing at a specific time in history. Lets say that at some point, some members of this population begin to migrate away such that the original population breaks off into two populations (population 1 and 2) that never interact again. Each population is subject to mutations at identical rates (x mutations per base pair per generation). The mutations remain, disappear or propagate depending on natural selection and chance. Since the two populations don't interact, different mutations are likely to accumulate in the two populations, and these mutations will not be exchanged between the two populations. So the gene pools of these two populations continues to diverge at a rate that is twice the mutation rate.

Now, imagine that after a long period of time has passed, there could be overwhelming pressure in environment 1 for the many of the characteristics of population 1 to remain similar to their ancestral forms. Thus, due to natural selection in this environment, the mutations that have accumulated (x mutations per base pair per generation) may be mutations that have not altered many of the characteristics passed down from the ancestral population (Species A). Thus, population 1 retains many primitive characteristics.

In contrast, population 2 might find itself in a different environment. Also, there may be a founder effect, where the gene pool of this population, being a subset of the orginial population, may contain alleles in different frequencies. In any case, the environmental pressures on this population and their gene pool is different to begin with. There may not be as strong of a pressure to retain some of these ancestral characteristics. In this case, the mutations that accumulate (at the same rate of x mutations per base pair per generation) may very well cause alterations in these traits, as these traits are no longer advantageous in their present form. In some cases, the original characteistic may be completely supplanted by new traits.

After a very long time, Species B, which has descended from population 1, may very much resemble the original Species A because it has retained many ancestral, primitive characteristics. Species C, which has descended from population 2 however, may look completely different than the original Species A.

We know that both populations have changed over time, and we know that these changes have been accumulating in each population at the same rate. The only difference is with respect to how drastically the changes that are retained cause alterations in the ancestral traits. So, given this, would it be more accurate to say that Species B has "evolved less" than Species C? Or would it make more sense to say that Species A is less evolved than both Species B and C, while Species B is just as evolved as Species C, but has retained more of the primitive, ancestral traits?

#108 drwho

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:18 PM

I really don't understand why you and Isabella try to defend the "equally evolved" thesis? Where exactly in evolutionary theory does it state that all organisms are equally evolved?


My reason to believe that is because (again according to evolutionary theory) I believe that the E. coli bacteria has evolved (changed) over less amount of time, have less evolved DNA and less characteristical changes compared to the common ancestor of salmon and E. coli.


If you (or Isabella) for some reason believe that the above statement is false according to the evolutionary theory, then how will you go about to falsify the statement


I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by "falsifying" your thoughts about what is evidently outlined in the theory of evolution. Are we in disagreement about what the theory actually is? Couldn't this be resolved by just reading about it in any biology textbook or something? Forgive me if I misunderstood your question.

But just to clarify, the theory of evolution actually states that all life shares a common ancestor approximately 3.5 billion years ago. So imagine a family tree with this common ancestor situated at the base. This means that everything that is alive today would have to have been part of a 3.5 billion year-old lineage, which means that the lineages leading to E. coli and salmon have been in existence for the same amount of time.

If you're saying that E. coli is the same its ancient ancestors and has therefore stopped undergoing mutational changes and stopped evolving, then that's also not true. Read my reply to NewPath for elaboration on this.

And I also wonder what definitions like primitive, complex or simple has to do with how much a certain organism has evolved? How much an organism has evolved should be to simply compare that organism with some imaginary ancestor and see how much the organism has changed. The problem is to know how the imaginary ancestor looked like, perhaps bacteria evolved from a fish like organism Posted Image


Hopefully, I've also addressed this question sufficiently in my reply to NewPath.
Please let me know if I've addressed all your concerns or not.
Cheers.

#109 NewPath

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:39 AM

If memory serves correct, the term primitive isn't restricted to extant species. It's just used to refer to more ancient characteristics (as opposed to more recently evolved characteristics). It is probably the reason why some species appear to have "evolved less" or stopped evolving; because they've retained many of these primitive traits.


If evolutionary pressures for identical time periods cause more change in one organism than another organism, that means the one organism is less changed than the other organism. (simple fact). For you to say they have both undergone the same number of changes when environmental pressures of the one population is causing DE-selection of transforming mutations in favor of the status quo is hard to fathom. Anyway I will be more aware of the evolutionists use of these terms in future, and thanks for your patient explanations.

#110 drwho

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

If evolutionary pressures for identical time periods cause more change in one organism than another organism

I think there's been a miscommunication. Did you note the part where I said that the rate of mutation is the same at x mutations per base pair per generation? This means that each individual in every new generation has changes at a rate of x mutations per base pair.
That is, evolutionary pressures don't cause changes. The changes happen regardless -- every new individual has a few new changes. The only way to have no changes is to get rid of every new individual.
But this obviously doesn't happen. Some individuals live on to have offspring and others die without doing so. Which means that some changes persist while others don't.
All natural selection does is help decide which changes get to stay.

Another analogy, maybe?
Population 1: 100 decks of standard playing cards.
Selection pressure: Black suits are advantageous (black suits are conserved)

Population 2: 100 decks of standard playing cards.
Selection pressure: no constraints on suit colour -- black and red suits have an equal chance of persisting.

Every new generation has changes: sports trading cards replace existing cards, are added without removing existing cards, or existing cards are removed without adding new cards.

parental generation: All are standard playing cards

First offspring generation (filial generation 1/F1): 100 offspring in each population. All have changes
Population 1: Each individual has x number of changes, but black cards are (usually) not changed.
Population 2: Each individual has x number of changes.. Changes affect both suits equally.

F2 generation: same as above (All have changes, but changes in population 1 don't affect black cards).
F3 to Fn: same as above, etc.

By the nth generation, population 2 is a mixture of trading cards and black and red playing cards. Population 1 has undergone the same number of changes (because each individual in each generation has new changes). Nonetheless, population 1 retains the primitive trait of having many black cards.

Note: the analogy is incredibly simplified and completely skips over the fact that there can be changes in genotype that don't affect phenotype. But the point I'm trying to get across is that changes can occur without affecting existing characteristics.


Anyway I will be more aware of the evolutionists use of these terms in future, and thanks for your patient explanations.


Any time.

#111 NewPath

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:24 AM

I think there's been a miscommunication. Did you note the part where I said that the rate of mutation is the same at x mutations per base pair per generation? This means that each individual in every new generation has changes at a rate of x mutations per base pair.



You seem to think that just because mutations exist at the same rate in two populations, they are both just as changed. This is not how it occurs in reality. I do believe in evolutionary processes to some limited extent and understand natural selection. When a mutation occurs, except for some unique situations, the mutation nearly always causes immediate loss of fitness. It is naturally de-selected out of the population immediately in one generation in most cases, but can take longer. ie the mutated organism doesn't breed or is slower to breed and that mutation will soon cease to exist in that lineage, even if it keeps appearing in future or other lineages.

With no changes to the environment, the average chromosomal organization of the population will remain the same. When there are environmental pressures (eg malaria) then the beneficial mutation (disabled Duffy gene) can become widespread in a population (Africa/New Guinea). To say that a population with the disabled Duffy gene are just as changed over time to those with the enabled Duffy gene is just playing with words, and inaccurately playing with words.

I really do understand what you are trying to say, and yet 100% disagree with you. I will respect evolutionist incorrect use of the English language, just for future communication sake.

#112 drwho

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:08 PM

When a mutation occurs, except for some unique situations, the mutation nearly always causes immediate loss of fitness. It is naturally de-selected out of the population immediately in one generation in most cases, but can take longer. ie the mutated organism doesn't breed or is slower to breed and that mutation will soon cease to exist in that lineage, even if it keeps appearing in future or other lineages.


I want to make sure I understand what you're saying. Which individuals do you think tend to remain and pass on their genes? I'm getting the impression that you think that only individuals without mutations are the fittest?

If so, I don't see how that can be true, because there is no such thing as "individuals without mutations"
As I mentioned in my previous post, mutations occur in (vitually) EVERY individual. And that individual's offspring will almost assuredly have novel mutations of their own, as will their offspring, and so on.
Consider what this means: In order for all mutations to be de-selected out of the population, the species MUST go extinct.

Can you please clarify? Thanks.

#113 drwho

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:56 PM

If so, I don't see how that can be true, because there is no such thing as "individuals without mutations"


Oops. That should be editted to say "no such thing as lineages without mutations," as almost every individual has a few mutations, so it would statistically be extremely improbable to go several generations without mutation.

#114 NewPath

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:49 AM

I want to make sure I understand what you're saying. Which individuals do you think tend to remain and pass on their genes? I'm getting the impression that you think that only individuals without mutations are the fittest?

This is partly true. But now we are moving into the realm of the evolution debate rather than the "misconception" debate. I believe devolution is observed , because of increased genetic disease the disabling of genes is sometimes beneficial. So the mutation does sometimes have a benefit, and the benefit outweighs the reduced complexity. ie a loss of an unknown function is a trade-off with protection from malaria, the disabled gene affords malarial immunity and then is naturally selected into the population. the fact that the disabled gene is not naturally selected into non-malarial populations is indicative that there is some function in the Duffy gene, even if it's minor and unknown.


If so, I don't see how that can be true, because there is no such thing as "individuals without mutations"
As I mentioned in my previous post, mutations occur in (vitually) EVERY individual. And that individual's offspring will almost assuredly have novel mutations of their own, as will their offspring, and so on.
Consider what this means: In order for all mutations to be de-selected out of the population, the species MUST go extinct.

If one organism de-selects more mutations than another organism, then that organism is less changed.
If one organism is less complex than another organism, the more complex organism will undergo more mutations. ie a human has more mutations per generation than bacteria because a human has 22000 genes and bacteria only 1000 genes. And so there is an exponential effect in evolutionary theory. For evolutionists to claim that a particular bacteria in an unchanging environment which has less mutational pressure and less environmental pressure is evolving at the same rate as humans which have more mutational pressure and more environmental pressure does not make any sense.

#115 drwho

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:25 PM

If one organism de-selects more mutations than another organism, then that organism is less changed.


I don't understand this sentence. Can you define the words you're using and elaborate?
What do you mean when you say "organism?" Do you mean species?
What do you mean by "de-selecting" a mutation? How do you think mutations are de-selected?

#116 Isabella

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:37 PM

Hi Isabella

Thanks for your response. I know it takes time to write a response so I really appreciate your efforts to help me understand evolution.Hope everthing is going well for you in school.

I think you have misunderstood my question that prompted this response. Perhaps I did not express the question clearly. For the sake of our discussion I concede that there is no God. Logically then, materialistic evolution would have to responsible for whatever exists. Since you are right, I accept that you could not be wrong! My belief in God would therefore bebe an evolutionary illusion. Correct.?



For a simple answer, yes it does. Creativity by definition, is the ability to bring something into existence that did not exist before. Therefore, no one knows what anyone could create. As you can well imagine "giving" someone creative ability could be quite dangerous (the atom bomb for example). Of course creativity could also result in many neutral and enjoyable creations. My belief is that God put us here on earth in a training program which involves essentially learning what not to create. For me I am learning not to create anything that would do damage or harm to another creative being.

[

In view of your answer to my current question, what Hitler et al did would be the responsibility of evolution (since God does not exist).


I think there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here. When I say that evolution does not promote racism, I am speaking of evolution as a belief or theory rather than evolution as a process. From the evolutionist’s point of view, humans came about through the process of evolution and hence racism can ultimately be traced back to an evolutionary cause*. However, the belief in evolution does not promote racism. I have no doubt that racist evolutionists exist, but their racism is neither supported nor justified by the theory of evolution.

*Just a side note: if racism did come about through the process of evolution, this does not necessarily mean it’s beneficial or adaptive to be a racist. Evolution can also produce neutral or negative traits.
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#117 NewPath

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:42 PM

I don't understand this sentence. Can you define the words you're using and elaborate?
What do you mean when you say "organism?" Do you mean species?
What do you mean by "de-selecting" a mutation? How do you think mutations are de-selected?


Yes I was using the word "organism" to apply to an individual animal or its species, depending on context. Mutations are de-selected through reduced fitness.

#118 drwho

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:18 PM

Yes I was using the word "organism" to apply to an individual animal or its species, depending on context. Mutations are de-selected through reduced fitness.


Do you acknowledge that virtually all individuals of a species have mutations?

#119 gilbo12345

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 05:07 AM

I think there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here. When I say that evolution does not promote racism, I am speaking of evolution as a belief or theory rather than evolution as a process. From the evolutionist’s point of view, humans came about through the process of evolution and hence racism can ultimately be traced back to an evolutionary cause*. However, the belief in evolution does not promote racism. I have no doubt that racist evolutionists exist, but their racism is neither supported nor justified by the theory of evolution.

*Just a side note: if racism did come about through the process of evolution, this does not necessarily mean it’s beneficial or adaptive to be a racist. Evolution can also produce neutral or negative traits.


History paints a different picture, yes I'd agree that it doesn't occur as much now as it did then, however please don't try and re-write history....

http://www.yecheadqu...rg/shame.3.html



Additionally how does evolution produce negative traits.... That totally goes against everything I have been taught about it. Does this mean that anything can constitute as "evolution", since it is positive, neutral and negative meaning there is literally no way to falsify it since anything can be simply claimed to be "evolution"..

#120 Mike Summers

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:56 PM

Isabella said:

I think there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here. When I say that evolution does not promote racism, I am speaking of evolution as a belief or theory rather than evolution as a process. From the evolutionist’s point of view, humans came about through the process of evolution and hence racism can ultimately be traced back to an evolutionary cause*. However, the belief in evolution does not promote racism. I have no doubt that racist evolutionists exist, but their racism is neither supported nor justified by the theory of evolution.

*Just a side note: if racism did come about through the process of evolution, this does not necessarily mean it’s beneficial or adaptive to be a racist. Evolution can also produce neutral or negative traits.

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    Although Gilbot gave an amazingly thoughtful response I would like to add my two cents worth.

    Let me reiterate ,and I think you will agree, racism does exist! Since it does, the theory of evolution and its alleged process infers that it (racism) had to be selected for. Logically then any act of racism or violence is due to selection processes at work. Persons that were killed were obviously, unfit and were not selected for.There is no explaining "it" away!




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