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Is Randomness Not Part Of Evolution?


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#1 Adam Nagy

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:17 PM

I think this is an important question.

Richard Dawkins has repeatedly said that "Evolution is the exact opposite of random chance."

This statement is a dead end but I would like to look at what randomness is and what role it plays in the evolutionist's paradigm and how it should be addressed and understood.

Natural Selection is supposed to be the engine of Evolution in the biological sense and hence make randomness passé as a description for evolution.

Is this true?

Does natural selection overcome the role of random chance in this supposed undirected process?

What do we do with the time imagined before life? Is randomness explained away there as well?

What do we do with things like multi-verses, string theory, dark matter, and dark energy? Should we consider them viable or just hand waving to explain away the strong evidence for our maker?

#2 Hazard

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:33 PM

I think this is an important question.

Richard Dawkins has repeatedly said that "Evolution is the exact opposite of random chance."

This statement is a dead end but I would like to look at what randomness is and what role it plays in the evolutionist's paradigm and how it should be addressed and understood.

Natural Selection is supposed to be the engine of Evolution in the biological sense and hence make randomness passé as a description for evolution.

Is this true?

Does natural selection overcome the role of random chance in this supposed undirected process?

What do we do with the time imagined before life? Is randomness explained away there as well?

What do we do with things like multi-verses, string theory, dark matter, and dark energy? Should we consider them viable or just hand waving to explain away the strong evidence for our maker?

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Here are a few of my earlier posts on this subject.

Here is what Dawkins was talking about in that debate. The process that drives evolution, natural selection, is a non random process. Those that are best fir for their environment and most responsive to change will survive to reproduce and pass on there genes; natural selection. The other driving process in evolution is random, mutations. Mutations happen all the times and happen randomly and are due to copying errors in reproduction.

The chance argument has already been refuted on MLGPro.com, which happened after this post was made. If you consider a multiverse you don't have the problem of chance of X happening. It is a certainty.

Natural selection works like this, the animals best suited for their environment will survive. A bird who can fly will survive better then one that cannot. Similarly speaking a bird that can fly faster or stronger will be more likely to survive and pass on its genes, then a bird that flies slow and cannot escape predators. The same goes for any organism. The better suited for their environment survive.

Yes it is speculation at the moment, the LHC, if it ever gets working, could provide some very conclusive, and good evidence for String Theory, which predicts multiuniverses, 10-11 dimensions, etc. We would have to see gravitons floating away and disappearing, because in string theory, gravity travels between universes.

The other universe do not have to be fine-tuned in any way, all they have to do is exist, the only laws we know at the moment are the ones in our universe, but say another universe does not have these laws, you would not need to fine-tune that universe in order for it to exist. There could be universes where Entropy doesn't apply, so they could in fact be infinite in nature.

The evolution and abiogenesis of life happened in 4 billion years, the age of the Earth, at least on this planet. Who knows other planets may harbor life. A few have been discovered that could have life but are either, to young or we cannot tell at the moment. So there could be other life, and if so would arise via abiogenesis.

Yes the second law of thermodynamics, Entropy, basically says that everything goes from order to disorder (this is a very simplified explanation of it and not extremely accurate, but it is a complicated point), and statically holds true, but is not always true; Hawkins has a point on this, not sure where I heard it though will try and find out. The universe itself could be infinite but the Earth, Sun, stars, planets are not. So yes life did not have all of time, on Earth and in our universe, to form but it did, if multiverse is true, an infinite amount of tries. Also in our universe there are billions of billions of planets that could have life and our universe has had all of these tries to get it right at least once, here on Earth.

#3 CTD

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 11:24 PM

What do we do with things like multi-verses, string theory, dark matter, and dark energy? Should we consider them viable or just hand waving to explain away the strong evidence for our maker?

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Perhaps give them their own thread? I'm half kidding, but they don't have a whole lot to do with the main topic.

And they're far worse than just hand-waving. These things are always maintained to be "scientific" when in fact they are nothing of the sort. "That which cannot be observed is outside of science" is the standard they use to keep from acknowledging God. Well, none of these things can be observed. They're all make-believe, ad-hoc pipe dreams, concocted in order to prop up atheism.

#4 CTD

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 12:11 AM

Okay, I see now that this thread descended from another.

From the other:

No it is not. I just explained why, natural selection is not random. it is a self governing process that directs itself.

Natural selection works like this, the animals best suited for their environment will survive. A bird who can fly will survive better then one that cannot. Similarly speaking a bird that can fly faster or stronger will be more likely to survive and pass on its genes, then a bird that flies slow and cannot escape predators. The same goes for any organism. The better suited for their environment survive.

Please explain how it has to be random and if not random, controlled.

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Hazard, I notice that your argument refutes your own claim. once again, with bold this time:

No it is not. I just explained why, natural selection is not random. it is a self governing process that directs itself.

Natural selection works like this, the animals best suited for their environment will survive. A bird who can fly will survive better then one that cannot. Similarly speaking a bird that can fly faster or stronger will be more likely to survive and pass on its genes, then a bird that flies slow and cannot escape predators. The same goes for any organism. The better suited for their environment survive.

Please explain how it has to be random and if not random, controlled.

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"More likely" isn't the same thing as "will certainly". "More likely" indicates chance.

#5 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:13 AM

"More likely" isn't the same thing as "will certainly". "More likely" indicates chance.

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I just thought this would be interesting because Hazard would have to start playing obvious word games and you sniffed them out pretty quick.

Multi-verses and all the other rigmarole evolutionists go through are just amazing. Double-think resulting in Double-speak is a common symptom of defending evolution.

If evolutionists want to be taken seriously, they should think long and hard before relying on Richard Dawkins for talking points. Dawkins is a clever little fairytale spinner but he has little to no respect as a philosopher even among many atheists.

Hazard,

I hope you stick around and try to defend your position but also give yourself enough leeway to think critically about some things that you run into as you try to bolster the common evolution position at this forum.

Don't get mad or insulting but do it rationally. Realize also that what you're saying has been investigated from many perspectives so you are going to find answers here if you're interested in hearing them. We should all be interested in one thing, Truth.

#6 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:23 AM

If you consider a multiverse you don't have the problem of chance of X happening. It is a certainty.

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What good is a multi-verse if it is just pretend?

From what I can tell the multi-verse was dreamed up with one purpose, to cover up the embarrassing problem evolutionists having defending an undirected, non-designed, and unordered happenstance type universe, while staring at a reality that our universe is directed, designed, and ordered.

The solution was to protect random-chance, and not acknowledge God, by dreaming up some sort of universe self-generation process. Hey, if there are billions of universes with all kinds of different wacky laws surely one would accidentally look designed. :(

So, Hazard do you have your fingers crossed that this:

Posted Image

Will turn into this:

Posted Image

#7 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:53 AM

Here is what Dawkins was talking about in that debate. The process that drives evolution, natural selection, is a non random process. Those that are best fir for their environment and most responsive to change will survive to reproduce and pass on there genes; natural selection. The other driving process in evolution is random, mutations. Mutations happen all the times and happen randomly and are due to copying errors in reproduction.

The chance argument has already been refuted on MLGPro.com


Everything about the process is random. There is a probability associated with a mutation to create a "more fit" offspring. There is a probability associated with the survival of a supposedly "more fit" offspring. There is a probability associated with the "more fit" offspring having offspring. The list goes on and on.....

The idea that there is no probability associated with microbe-to-man evolution via natural selection is non tenable. Statements like that are a strong testimony of how strong religion can be, and how blinding the deluding influence brought by God on those who reject him is.

Terry

#8 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:02 AM

Okay, I see now that this thread descended from another.

From the other:
Hazard, I notice that your argument refutes your own claim. once again, with bold this time:

"More likely" isn't the same thing as "will certainly". "More likely" indicates chance.

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Alright I am up for word games :( .

First In what you bolded I never said certainly. I said natural selection is a non-random process that governs itself. There are instances where the fittest animals do not survive, ice ages, floods, and other natural disasters. Yet in general the animal that is best suited for its environment will survive.

To use an example (oversimplification but easy to see).
Say there is a population of brown beetles. One of these beetles mutates and has green offspring. After a while the green population has increased but not overtaken the brown. A bird(s) that can only see the brown beetles is inserted into the environment and eats all the brown ones. Only the green ones, which are best suited for the environment that they live in survive. This is natural selection on a small scale but is a good example of it.

But say insert a meteor hitting the Earth and killing all the green and brown beetles. Even if the green ones were better suited for their environment they cannot pass on those genes. So in essence natural selection is a non-random process.

What good is a multi-verse if it is just pretend?

From what I can tell the multi-verse was dreamed up with one purpose, to cover up the embarrassing problem evolutionists having defending an undirected, non-designed, and unordered happenstance type universe, while staring at a reality that our universe is directed, designed, and ordered.

The solution was to protect random-chance, and not acknowledge God, by dreaming up some sort of universe self-generation process. Hey, if there are billions of universes with all kinds of different wacky laws surely one would accidentally look designed. wink.gif


The multi-verse is not a scientific theory at the moment and that is because it has no evidence backing it up. This is true and the only reason I brought it up is because it has a chance at refuting the probability argument. At this present time it and one other argument are the best there are. The other is, how do we know the universe can form in any other way then it is right now.

The multi-verse was not created by evolutionists but rather by physicists. This was in response to trying to unify the 4 forces; gravity, weak nuclear, strong nuclear, and EM. And also some complicated math. The multi-verse theory (the string version/M theory) is well supported mathematically but not in evidence. Evolutionists did not have anything to do with the creation of this theory.

Also I would never dream of using Ad hominems in a formal debate like this so don't worry, and I will stick around.

Hoping that the LHC will show gravitons disappearing providing strong evidence for string theory.

#9 CTD

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:57 AM

Alright I am up for word games  :) .

First In what you bolded I never said certainly. I said natural selection is a non-random process that governs itself.

The opposite of random is __________?

There are instances where the fittest animals do not survive, ice ages, floods, and other natural disasters. Yet in general the animal that is best suited for its environment will survive.

This makes the process __________?

To use an example (oversimplification but easy to see).
Say there is a population of brown beetles. One of these beetles mutates and has green offspring. After a while the  green population has increased but not overtaken the brown. A bird(s) that can only see the brown beetles is inserted into the environment and eats all the brown ones. Only the green ones, which are best suited for the environment that they live in survive. This is natural selection on a small scale but is a good example of it.

So? Everything in the story is random. Nothing is certain.

But say insert a meteor hitting the Earth and killing all the green and brown beetles. Even if the green ones were better suited for their environment they cannot pass on those genes. So in essence natural selection is a non-random process.

And meteor strikes are non-random too, I suppose. All within the firm control of this self-regulating selection goddess...

If I described step-by-step how a roulette wheel works, would that suffice to demonstrate that it is non-random?

The multi-verse was not created by evolutionists but rather by physicists.

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While there's no real excuse for it, it is a fact that a good number of physicists are evolutionists.

Maybe I should take a break and try to stockpile some patience... :(

#10 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 02:30 PM

If I described step-by-step how a roulette wheel works, would that suffice to demonstrate that it is non-random?

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CTD, this actually a great point that cuts to the heart of the matter. Random chance is a non-force it actually has no power. Randomness is something we use to describe events that are too complex to track.

I can see the temptation to declare that evolution is not random chance but this begs the question; well, what did it then? The evolutionist will pull out natural selection, but this is just to white wash what an undirected and un-caused universe boils down to.

I offered this personal and analytic explanation on a hostile Forum to the same question:

http://www.freeratio...678#post5443678

...Anyway, is evolution the exact opposite of random chance? I guess we never really defined chance. I know that in this forum you guys have tried hard to avoid abiogenesis as an integral part of evolution but I’m going to have to use it for part of my argument.

First, let me use a very personal and recent example of biological events. One of my best friend’s, her mother was rear-ended and killed on her motorcycle today (I’m not making this up, I was there when they pronounced her death). She was run over and killed almost instantly, by a seventeen year old girl in her SUV.

Now we know that according to evolution, the neurons in their minds were directing their decision-making processes. My friend’s mother, the motorcyclist, had decided to turn into her business after deciding to spend her morning at a decidedly leisure breakfast. Now the driver of the SUV was decidedly distracted because she was late for work because of her decision to make poor time decisions earlier. The biological outcome was the loss of a life.

So here’s what I see. By our understanding of probability there are many factors that could have been tweaked even minutely to vary the outcome of what happened today. I believe this is our scientific understanding of chance and its practical use, meaning, that it’s perfectly logical from our understanding to speculate the chance of things having been different, if such-and-such happened instead.

Now we know that all occurrences are directed by laws so even a roll of the dice in a technical sense is not left to chance (and for now let’s assume that universal laws are eternal in themselves and undirected and uninitiated). The dice will ultimately follow the same physical laws each time with varying consequences do to varying forces upon it. The difference is the variation and likely-hood of the dice landing a certain way. Now the likelihood that the dice will land on any of its six sides is about the same. However, what is the likelihood or probability that a thrown die will land on a corner and rest that way? Is it impossible? Absolutely not. However, how many people when seeing a dice on a flat surface standing on it’s corner, without seeing how it got there, would proclaim simply that it was an unusual roll. Or would it be more logical to ask the people in that room; who directed the balancing act and how did they achieve it?

So in the most technical sense, chance is not a creative force, or an active force, but it is a logical tool of understanding that can be used to examine probability when multiply outcomes are just as likely to occur from perceived forces acting on any given situation. I believe someone mentioned before about the complexity of weather patterns being an example of nonrandom forces producing unpredictable results.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it logical, and scientific, to examine probability when using our understanding of physical laws to determine the chance of forces acting on a desolate planet sparking life and producing the balanced eco-systems we see today? After all, according to evolution, everything we see today only appears to be designed because we know (I don’t know how) that the universe is 18 billion years old and the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. It’s this magic expanse of time that supposedly allows these occurrences to be probable without a creator intentionally acting on His creation. Now with all that time it seams logical (to some) that these things are a result of specific physical laws working (again we are assuming that there is no need to explain where these laws came from) in an undirected fashion ultimately turning into biological matter that is directed by the same physical laws keeping it from being chance in the strictest sense. How’s that for an answer?

Isn’t chance still a logical basis to examine the evidence and not the exact opposite of evolution? After acknowledging that physical laws aren’t random, isn’t randomness a viable concept and way of explaining how we got here from nonrandom laws producing random results. Even computers as exact as they are can produce what we call randomness.

Now at the end of the day is it logical or useful to proclaim that our minds are just very complex difference engines produced by evolution? What’s a greater reality to you the things that science can test and verify (BTW. Putting skulls in an order that seams fitting to their perceived age doesn’t test or verify anything.) or the relationships and revelations that you have?

Is it beneficial to life for us to try and boil out of reality the things we can’t empirically test and verify? How about explaining our behavior in strict scientific terms and disregarding things like love, morality, and the desire for eternal life as an illusionary trick produced by switching brain cells that are a product of evolution?

It’s kind of like me analyzing that horrific accident today and finding the science behind how my friend’s mother died the most essential reality of the situation since it’s testable and verifiable. On the other hand my friend’s need for a hug and prayer was merely an illusion produced by certain neurons discharging a sensation that seemed like grief thanks to evolution.



#11 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:26 PM

The opposite of random is __________?

This makes the process __________?

So? Everything in the story is random. Nothing is certain.
And meteor strikes are non-random too, I suppose. All within the firm control of this self-regulating selection goddess...

If I described step-by-step how a roulette wheel works, would that suffice to demonstrate that it is non-random?

While there's no real excuse for it, it is a fact that a good number of physicists are evolutionists.

Maybe I should take a break and try to stockpile some patience...  :(

View Post

No he was saying that I said it was a certainty, which I never did.
Meteor strikes are random and not part of natural selection. Natural selection is driven by random mutations, which cause the green beetles, but is not random in itself. The best suited for their environment survive, there is no way that this could be random. Random events do have an effect on evolution but not on natural selection. Natural selection is non-random, but parts of evolution are.

Many physicists think that everything can be explained by physics. Sure the accept evolution because it is a scientific theory, but many do not know the exacts and everything behind it. This is because many simply don't care, they are physicist because that is their field and the one they like the best. There job is not to provide evidence for other fields of study but to seek the truth of the matter. Sames goes for any scientist, they just report the natural world and how it must be.

well, what did it then?


What did what? Not sure of your question here.

#12 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:45 PM

You obviously like Richard Dawkins’ perspective. I hope we can help shed some light on how he doesn’t help the intellectual cause. He is helping people produce another vestigial structure, the part of the mind used for critical thinking.

Hazard, if you don’t see how silly this sounds; then I don’t know if we can help you.

First you say:

The process that drives evolution, natural selection, is a non random process.

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Then you say:

Natural selection is driven by random mutations...

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Do I need to spell out the glaring problem here or is it pretty self-evident? :(

What did what? Not sure of your question here.

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You and I exist, right? What is our origin and how did we get here? If you say evolution, then we just need to simply back-track to the beginning of this thread and reread until the problems are understood.

#13 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:24 PM

You obviously like Richard Dawkins’ perspective. I hope we can help shed some light on how he doesn’t help the intellectual cause. He is helping people produce another vestigial structure, the part of the mind used for critical thinking.

Hazard, if you don’t see how silly this sounds; then I don’t know if we can help you.

First you say:
Then you say:
Do I need to spell out the glaring problem here or is it pretty self-evident? :(
You and I exist, right? What is our origin and how did we get here? If you say evolution, then we just need to simply back-track to the beginning of this thread and reread until the problems are understood.

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If you read what I said, in context you will see that those two statements do not contradict each other. The first one was about how natural selection is non random and about how it drives evolution. The second is about how mutations are random and lend to natural selection. Even without random mutations you would still have natural selection. They lend to the rate at which natural selection moves. Natural selection is the survival of those most responsive to change, and best suited for their environment. It therefore cannot be random and is not. Is a bird that can fly more likely to survive then one that cannot. Are me and you more likely to survive because we can think critical about a situation then a dog can? Yes we are, this is natural selection and not random.

We exist because of Evolution, yes. There is no problem with this statement. Life first started with Abiogenesis, evolution took hold after that and after billions of years here we are. You could say that god decided to do create evolution and abiogenesis because that is how she wanted life to come about, but what happened is still evolution.

#14 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:28 PM

The first one was about how natural selection is non random and about how it drives evolution. The second is about how mutations are random and lend to natural selection.

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You just contradicted yourself................again. :(

Hazard, you aren't going to last here real long if you don't see your own word games.

#15 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:38 PM

You just contradicted yourself................again. :blink:

Hazard, you aren't going to last here real long if you don't see your own word games.

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Hmm, maybe you just took it out of context again.


Even without random mutations you would still have natural selection.


Also

In that same quote, the word lend.

Natural selection happens even if evolution is untrue. The stronger dog survives, the faster bird escapes the hunter. You see that is not random. Those birds and dogs that live are able to pass on their genes which could include flying faster and being stronger.

#16 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:42 PM

Am I allowed to hand this out or are only moderators allowed to do it?

I'm really tempted to give this to you, Hazard, but I could wait a little bit longer:

Posted Image

#17 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:51 PM

Natural selection happens even if evolution is untrue. The stronger dog survives, the faster bird escapes the hunter. You see that is not random. Those birds and dogs that live are able to pass on their genes which could include flying faster and being stronger.

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Here are a couple of links if you're interested in serious debate and not just confusion to infinity and beyond.

http://www.evolution...m/forum_faq.htm

Here is a little more perspective...

http://www.evolution...ndefinition.htm

#18 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:10 PM

Am I allowed to hand this out or are only moderators allowed to do it?

I'm really tempted to give this to you, Hazard, but I could wait a little bit longer:

Posted Image

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Oh so now we are going on the attack, I was hoping for a civil discussion.

Is that to much to ask for, I have yet to attack you or anyone on this forum. All I have done is present my case and show how yours is differing from the evidence and show how you take stuff out of context.

How about I give you an image.
Posted Image

#19 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:20 PM

Oh so now we are going on the attack, I was hoping for a civil discussion.

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It's not an attack. You are exhibiting some things that are addressed in those links I sent. Instead of wasting my time rehashing things, go to those links. If you don't like them, the YEC's here don't really know what the sense is, in debating you.

If they do make sense to you, great! Let's talk about real stuff instead of engaging in evo-babble.

#20 Hazard

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:22 PM

It's not an attack. You are exhibiting some things that are addressed in those links I sent. Instead of wasting my time rehashing things, go to those links. If you don't like them, the YEC's here don't really know what the sense is, in debating you.

If they do make sense to you, great! Let's talk about real stuff instead of engaging in evo-babble.

View Post


Alright lets, how about you refute the point I made about natural selection being non random, not about mutations being random, but about natural selection.

...... Oh YEC's, they still exist well I am off of this board now.




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