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#1 Adrian7

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 08:16 PM

This matter may seem trivial, almost laughable but it is something that I have hardly seen addressed before. Why is it that we humans have become the most developed and dominant creature? Creatures of all kinds have alledgedly been around for much longer than we have yet there has not been, or at least there has not been any evidence for civilizations other than human. Why not a cat, dog, crocodile or dolphin(they are very intelligent) civilization? These creatures have been around for a long, long time(especially crocs) according to evolution and they all have alledgedly done some significant evolving in that time, why stop. According to the show "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" that aired on the discovery channel a few years back our alledged ancestors were "pushed" forward in evolution by moving into the savanna and picking up a taste for meat that was suppose to cause an increase in brain size, if this happened to the australopithecines(spelling?) why not leopards who lived during the same time, in the same area and with an even greater habit of eating meat? Again, I concede that this post may seem a bit humorous or not so serious, but this question is one that has genuinely interested me.

#2 chance

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 10:31 PM

No it a fair question, basically the ability to reason (especially to the extent that humans can) is a huge advantage (brains over brawn), it’s effectively gives you the ability to predict the future i.e. cause and effect (not next weeks lotto numbers).
But it is a very costly investment and only the hominids have ventured down that path.

I would also point out that just about all carnivores can outthink there equivalent herbivores, with few exceptions. But non to the extreme as hominids.

#3 Springer

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 08:39 AM

Another interesting question: Why did humans "evolve" into physically weaker creatures than their ape ancestors? What selective advantage could that have been? The selective advantage of added intelligence is obvious... but what selective pressure could there have been to "exchange" that intelligence for a weaker constitution?
Just another perplexing question for ToE to rationallize away.

#4 Adrian7

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 11:20 AM

No it a fair question, basically the ability to reason (especially to the extent that humans can) is a huge advantage (brains over brawn), it’s effectively gives you the ability to predict the future i.e. cause and effect (not next weeks lotto numbers). 
But it is a very costly investment and only the hominids have ventured down that path.

I would also point out that just about all carnivores can outthink there equivalent herbivores, with few exceptions.  But non to the extreme as hominids.

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Thats interesting, humans have alledgedly only been around for about less than 1 percent of earth's history yet they have been driven by nature further than any creature in that short amount of time. The lack of civilizations other than human are not necessarily evidence against evolution but an interesting point because it seems as if, looking at the matter from a naturalistic point of view, nature "favored" hominids and pushed them foward(in mental capacity atleast) beyond any other creature. This just does not seem to fit in with random or gradual processes reshaping creatures.


Springer you also pointed out something interesting, although Chance pointed out the development of the brain would likely be a costly investment, I too do not understand why such an exchange would happen. Going off topic a little I would also like to bring up the fact that humans, as we are now, Homo Sapiens sapiens, are said to have been around for I believe around 100,000 years yet civilization, writing and most importantly agriculture have only been around for about 5,000 years I wonder why such intelligent creatures would take that long(the last 5% of their alledged existence) to develop these skills unique to humanity. This question concerns mainly the age of humanity but also how evolution ties into that picture.

#5 lwj2op2

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 03:08 AM

Thats interesting, humans have alledgedly only been around for about less than 1 percent of earth's history yet they have been driven by nature further than any creature in that short amount of time. The lack of civilizations other than human are not necessarily evidence against evolution but an interesting point because it seems as if, looking at the matter from a naturalistic point of view, nature "favored" hominids and pushed them foward(in mental capacity atleast) beyond any other creature.  This just does not seem to fit in with random or gradual processes reshaping creatures.
Springer you also pointed out something interesting, although Chance pointed out the development of the brain would likely be a costly investment, I too do not understand why such an exchange would happen. Going off topic a little I would also like to bring up the fact that humans, as we are now, Homo Sapiens sapiens, are said to have been around for I believe around 100,000 years yet civilization, writing and most importantly agriculture have only been around for about 5,000 years I wonder why such intelligent creatures would take that long(the last 5% of their alledged existence) to develop these skills unique to humanity. This question concerns mainly the age of humanity but also how evolution ties into that picture.

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I think the proper term is "You go Adrian7"!.

#6 Springer

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 05:46 PM

Thats interesting, humans have alledgedly only been around for about less than 1 percent of earth's history yet they have been driven by nature further than any creature in that short amount of time. The lack of civilizations other than human are not necessarily evidence against evolution but an interesting point because it seems as if, looking at the matter from a naturalistic point of view, nature "favored" hominids and pushed them foward(in mental capacity atleast) beyond any other creature.  This just does not seem to fit in with random or gradual processes reshaping creatures.
Springer you also pointed out something interesting, although Chance pointed out the development of the brain would likely be a costly investment, I too do not understand why such an exchange would happen. Going off topic a little I would also like to bring up the fact that humans, as we are now, Homo Sapiens sapiens, are said to have been around for I believe around 100,000 years yet civilization, writing and most importantly agriculture have only been around for about 5,000 years I wonder why such intelligent creatures would take that long(the last 5% of their alledged existence) to develop these skills unique to humanity. This question concerns mainly the age of humanity but also how evolution ties into that picture.

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Evolution yet again fails coincide with observations in the real world. If man has been around for ~100,000 years, where is the evidence of past civilizations? There's no evidence that "prehistoric" man was any less intelligent than modern man. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that had he been on the earth for that length of time, there would be some direct evidence of it. As far as assigning dates of ~100,000 years,... I'd like to know what methods they're using.

#7 Adrian7

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 12:55 AM

I think the proper term is "You go Adrian7"!.

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Lol, thanks. :rolleyes:

Evolution yet again fails coincide with observations in the real world.  If man has been around for ~100,000 years, where is the evidence of past civilizations?  There's no evidence that "prehistoric" man was any less intelligent than modern man.  Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that had he been on the earth for that length of time, there would be some direct evidence of it.  As far as assigning dates of ~100,000 years,... I'd like to know what methods they're using.

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Very true, I too do not see how mankind would be delayed for such a long period of time, this, as you pointed out, is very much against what is observed.

#8 chance

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 06:46 PM

No it a fair question, basically the ability to reason (especially to the extent that humans can) is a huge advantage (brains over brawn), it’s effectively gives you the ability to predict the future i.e. cause and effect (not next weeks lotto numbers). 

But it is a very costly investment and only the hominids have ventured down that path.

I would also point out that just about all carnivores can outthink there equivalent herbivores, with few exceptions.  But non to the extreme as hominids.

Thats interesting, humans have alledgedly only been around for about less than 1 percent of earth's history yet they have been driven by nature further than any creature in that short amount of time. The lack of civilizations other than human are not necessarily evidence against evolution but an interesting point because it seems as if, looking at the matter from a naturalistic point of view, nature "favored" hominids and pushed them foward(in mental capacity atleast) beyond any other creature. This just does not seem to fit in with random or gradual processes reshaping creatures.


The randomness in only insomuch as the first push down that path, after that natural selection takes over (that is directional not random). If a theme is successful (i.e. intelligence) then another aspect of evolution tends to become apparent i.e. specialisation. I don’t know if this analogy is apt but there seems to be a sort of snowball effect once on a particular path, but I suspect that is a misconception from a position looking backwards in time.

What it boils down to is that among the hominids an individual with intelligence of X, has less chance of survival when competing with someone of intelligence X+1, so the survival strategy of intelligence feeds of itself.

It is somewhat of an anomaly that hominids have been the only species to explore intelligence as a survival trait, and I am not sure of the cause. But to speculate – A large brain is very expensive to fuel, from memory 10% of everything we eat goes into fuelling our brain!, therefore there has to be significant advantage to go down that path, and a few things in favour: easy access to food (meat), cooperative behaviour (not a lone hunter).

Like any trait (or design) there are tradeoffs e.g. a cheetah is fast, at the expenses of being fragile, so specialised is the Cheetah that it has become almost 100% dependant upon one prey animal (the Thompson’s gazelle). Speed is the equivalent to intelligence in the Cheetah world.

The human body is only specialised towards un-specialisation, not particularly fast or nimble, small teeth, no claws, poor climber, and swimmer, the only thing our body seems to be able to do better than a lot of animals is endurance, by comparison we are quite accomplished long distance travellers, a “jack of all trades, master of non”.





<snip> Homo Sapiens sapiens, are said to have been around for I believe around 100,000 years yet civilization, writing and most importantly agriculture have only been around for about 5,000 years I wonder why such intelligent creatures would take that long (the last 5% of their alledged existence) to develop these skills unique to humanity. This question concerns mainly the age of humanity but also how evolution ties into that picture.


There are two important things to realise:

First, while we are intelligent we are also conservative (rapid change is risky, and risky behaviour is dangerous).

Second, circumstance, The change from a nomadic lifestyle to that of a farmer is a very interesting aspect of our history, again triggered by circumstance:

A stable environment for agriculture (only half a dozen spots in the world are conducive to this)
A reliable crop (again only a few of these – wheat, rice etc).

But you will note that once man settled, he was quickly able to produce an energy surplus, this frees up his time, – from that point, civilisation virtually exploded onto the scene once resources are assured.

#9 chance

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 06:47 PM

Another interesting question: Why did humans "evolve" into physically weaker creatures than their ape ancestors? What selective advantage could that have been? The selective advantage of added intelligence is obvious... but what selective pressure could there have been to "exchange" that intelligence for a weaker constitution?
Just another perplexing question for ToE to rationallize away. 


To be strong requires more bone and mussel (thus energy), that need not be an advantage if ability to cover long distance is your survival strategy, it’s better to be light and nimble. Strength is only an advantage if you need that strength to survive, else it’s a hindrance.

#10 Adrian7

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 05:53 PM

[quote name='chance' date='Nov 13 2005, 06:46 PM']
[/quote]
The randomness in only insomuch as the first push down that path, after that natural selection takes over (that is directional not random). If a theme is successful (i.e. intelligence) then another aspect of evolution tends to become apparent i.e. specialisation. I don’t know if this analogy is apt but there seems to be a sort of snowball effect once on a particular path, but I suspect that is a misconception from a position looking backwards in time.

What it boils down to is that among the hominids an individual with intelligence of X, has less chance of survival when competing with someone of intelligence X+1, so the survival strategy of intelligence feeds of itself.

It is somewhat of an anomaly that hominids have been the only species to explore intelligence as a survival trait, and I am not sure of the cause. But to speculate – A large brain is very expensive to fuel, from memory 10% of everything we eat goes into fuelling our brain!, therefore there has to be significant advantage to go down that path, and a few things in favour: easy access to food (meat), cooperative behaviour (not a lone hunter).

Like any trait (or design) there are tradeoffs e.g. a cheetah is fast, at the expenses of being fragile, so specialised is the Cheetah that it has become almost 100% dependant upon one prey animal (the Thompson’s gazelle). Speed is the equivalent to intelligence in the Cheetah world.

The human body is only specialised towards un-specialisation, not particularly fast or nimble, small teeth, no claws, poor climber, and swimmer, the only thing our body seems to be able to do better than a lot of animals is endurance, by comparison we are quite accomplished long distance travellers, a “jack of all trades, master of non”.
There are two important things to realise:

First, while we are intelligent we are also conservative (rapid change is risky, and risky behaviour is dangerous).

Second, circumstance, The change from a nomadic lifestyle to that of a farmer is a very interesting aspect of our history, again triggered by circumstance:

A stable environment for agriculture (only half a dozen spots in the world are conducive to this)
A reliable crop (again only a few of these – wheat, rice etc).

But you will note that once man settled, he was quickly able to produce an energy surplus, this frees up his time, – from that point, civilisation virtually exploded onto the scene once resources are assured.

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[/quote]


Good points, but that is just the issue, I’m sorry if I am oversimplifying your post but what you wrote seems to be an interpretation based on the belief that humanity did in fact evolve from ape-like creatures what would distinguish it from saying God created man is the evidence and as of yet I have not seen nor read of any convincing evidence that shows that a mutation can cause significant beneficial change or development nor that natural selection can lead to development and modification as that which would have to have occurred in order to turn an ape into a man. Natural selection would definitely serve to specialize but I know of no proof that would cause the specialization process to turn the brain of a chimp-like creature into that of a man.
The example you gave of the Cheetah having great speed but a fragile frame is a good example but one could also argue that the cheetah has a light frame because such a physiology is most efficient when running at high speeds. This would make it appear that the cheetah having a light frame was purpose driven, not a sacrifice or tradeoff, for speed. At any rate I thought it was a good example but I am unsure of how this helps the case of man developing from apes or ape-like creatures.
As far as what you wrote concerning mankind being conservative I agree, but it still does not really explain why it took as long as it did, the places that mankind where believed to have first appeared ( Eastern Africa, and more recently the Middle East) are not too far from areas that were suitable(relatively) for agriculture (West Africa, Middle East(especially in the past)) and which did develop agriculture. Not only that but wheat and barley(I believe) grew naturally in some places in the Middle East which again seems odd for early man not to have realized its potential for as long as they did considering that they were in the area.

#11 JustTed

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 06:10 PM

Natural selection would definitely serve to specialize but I know of no proof that would cause the specialization process to turn the brain of a chimp-like creature into that of a man.


Really? What about the fossil record or the similarity of our DNA?

#12 Springer

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 07:34 PM

Really?  What about the fossil record or the similarity of our DNA?

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The fossil record provides no objective evidence of ape to man evolution.
As far as similarities of DNA... The homology argument for evolution is weak at best and fits equally as well with intelligent design.
If you're going to fixate on DNA similarities, you've got to be honest and consider the differences, like several million DNA base pairs. How do you reconcile innumerable sequential step by step favorable micromutations (on specific sites on specific chromosomes)with known laws of probability?
The reason no living ape is considered an ancestor to humans is because it would immediately be proven false due to the implausibility of the ancestral relationship by DNA analysis. Evolutionists conveniently hide behind extinct common ancestors. You'll notice that in every evolutionary tree of life, there is not a single actual transitional form known among the 2 million plus species of animals and plants in the world.

#13 JustTed

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 08:40 PM

The fossil record provides no objective evidence of ape to man evolution.


Exactly why is that?

If you're going to fixate on DNA similarities, you've got to be honest and consider the differences, like several million DNA base pairs.  How do you reconcile innumerable sequential step by step favorable micromutations (on specific sites on specific chromosomes)with known laws of probability?


"Know laws of probability"? You'll have to define laws you're attempting to cite since I have no idea what you're talking about.

Yes, we should look at the similarities and the differences in DNA. But what you're saying in the above is we should disregard the overwhelming similarities in chimp and human DNA (depending on what estimates you read, anywhere from 96% to 99% similar) and focus on the tiny minority of differences. And why is this exactly? Why are the 4% of differences improbable exactly?

If you're going to talk probability, I think you have far more explaining to do with 96% of similarities than you do with 4% of differences.

#14 Adrian7

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:55 PM

Really?  What about the fossil record or the similarity of our DNA?

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The fossil record, as Springer pointed out does not provide any strong evidence for ape to man evolution. Let me now quote experts in the field:
"Bipedalism has traditionally been regarded as the fundamental adaptation that sets hominids apart from other primates. Fossil evidence demonstrates that by 4.1 million years ago, and perhaps earlier, hominids exhibited adaptations to bipedal walking. At present, however, the fossil record offers little information about the origin of bipedalism, and despite nearly a century of research on existing fossils and comparative anatomy, there is still no consensus concerning the mode of locomotion that precded bipedalism. Here we present evidence that fossils attributed to Australopithecus anamensis (KNMR-ER 20419) and A. afarensis (AL 288-1) retain specialized wrist morphology associated with knuckle-walking. This distal radial morphology differs from that of later hominids and non-knuckle-walking anthropoid primates, suggesting that knuckle-walking is a derived feature of the African ape and human clade. This removes key morphological evidence for a Pan-Forilla clade, and suggests that bipedal hominids evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor that was already partly terrestrial.

"During knuckle-walking, chimpanzees and gorillas flex the tips of their fingers and bear their weight on the dorsal surface of their middle phalanges, permitting them to use their hands for terrestrial locomotion while retaining long fingers for climbing trees."

-Brian G., Richmond and David S. Strait - 2000. Evidence that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor. Nature 404 (23 March): 382.

"Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans - of upright, naked, tool-making, big-brained beings - is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter."
-Dr. Lyall Watson, Anthropologist
'The water people'. Science Digest, vol. 90, May 1982, p. 44.

I realize that this last quote was made over 20 years ago but the points it makes are still relevant.

As far as us and chimps sharing very similar DNA, I will again rely on quotes from scientists:
"Now the genetic difference between human and his nearest relative, the chimpanzee, is at least 1.6%. That doesn't sound like much, but calculated out, that is a gap of at least 48,000,000 nucleotides, and a change of only 3 nucleotides is fatal to an animal; there is no possibility of change."-Dr. Barney Maddox, Human Genome Project, Quantitative A Disproof of Evolution, CEM facts sheet. Cited in Doubts about Evolution?


And my favorite:
"We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that doesn't make us half bananas, either from the waist up or the waist down."- Steve Jones, interviewed at the Australian Museum on The Science Show, broadcast on ABC radio, 12 January 2002.

#15 JustTed

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:53 AM

The fossil record, as Springer pointed out does not provide any strong evidence for ape to man evolution. Let me now quote experts in the field:


Very nice. Shall I now go get several hundred thousand quotes from the rest of the scientific community who do think the fossil record shows evolution for humans? Regardless of what you and I might think here and now, you must know that evolution is accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists, correct?

As far as us and chimps sharing very similar DNA, I will again rely on quotes from scientists:
"Now the genetic difference between human and his nearest relative, the chimpanzee, is at least 1.6%. That doesn't sound like much, but calculated out, that is a gap of at least 48,000,000 nucleotides, and a change of only 3 nucleotides is fatal to an animal; there is no possibility of change."-Dr. Barney Maddox, Human Genome Project, Quantitative A Disproof of Evolution, CEM facts sheet. Cited in Doubts about Evolution?


Again, you want to focus on 1.6% of differences and not the 98.4% of similarities. How many nucleotides identical would that be (if it's 48,000 for the 1.6% difference, the similarities must be staggering!)? I suppose it's a coincidence?

And who said anything about changing three nucleotides at once? This argument is a straw man as is the banana argument. Since no one claims we're "half-banana" (whatever that means), it doesn't even warrant a response.

98.4% similarities strongly supports common decent. Where did the similarities come from if not from common decent? This is where you're free to spin a testable hypothesis that fits the observations better than the current one.

#16 Springer

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:35 AM

Shall I now go get several hundred thousand quotes from the rest of the scientific community who do think the fossil record shows evolution for humans?  Regardless of what you and I might think here and now, you must know that evolution is accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists, correct?


JusTed, this isn't a popularity contest, and wide acceptance of evolution is of no consequence whatsoever.

98.4% similarities strongly supports common decent.  Where did the similarities come from if not from common decent?

Your argument is very narrow minded. As I explained, homology fits very well into creation. Obvoiusly humans and apes are similar, and it is perfectly reasonable to have similar blueprints. That in no way implies common descent.


You wanted some math. Try to figure out what the probability is of changing 48,000,000 nucleotide base pairs. I'll give ToE the benefit of the doubt. The probability of a favorable mutation per generation: 10^-3; the probabilty of a favorable mutation at a specific nucleotide base per generation: 2.3 x 10^-12; since there are four possible substitutions per base pair, the probability of a particular mutation at a particular base pair is 2.3 x 10^-16; Assume a population of 50 million and a generation time of ten years. Assume humans evolved over 10 million years.
That would be 2.5 x 10^9 generations of humans. The probability of a single favorable mutation at a specific site during all generations over ten million years is ~10^-6. Now, try figuring how you could get 48,000,000 during that time period.

#17 Adrian7

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:56 AM

Very nice.  Shall I now go get several hundred thousand quotes from the rest of the scientific community who do think the fossil record shows evolution for humans?  Regardless of what you and I might think here and now, you must know that evolution is accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists, correct?
Again, you want to focus on 1.6% of differences and not the 98.4% of similarities.  How many nucleotides identical would that be (if it's 48,000 for the 1.6% difference, the similarities must be staggering!)?  I suppose it's a coincidence?

And who said anything about changing three nucleotides at once?  This argument is a straw man as is the banana argument.  Since no one claims we're "half-banana" (whatever that means), it doesn't even warrant a response.

98.4% similarities strongly supports common decent.  Where did the similarities come from if not from common decent?  This is where you're free to spin a testable hypothesis that fits the observations better than the current one.

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You are more than welcome to get quotes from the rest of the scientific community, I am fully aware that the majority believe in evolution and believe that humans evolved from ape-like creatures but I also understand that much of that belief is based on interpretations of evidence and the not the evidence itself, interpretations that are guided by naturalistic philosophy and so would see even partial bones or a few fragments of bones as the glass half full rather than half empty. The reason I included the quotes is because they made objective statements about the current state of the knowledge of human ancestors.

Well the 98.4% similarity is truly amazing, I suppose a common designer is not a possibility? The quote stating that bananas share 50 of our DNA was intended to show that many living creatures share DNA characteristics yet it is only the chimp and man similarities that are given attention because of their importance to the ape-to-man idea of ancestry and this is unfair disregard of other creatures that could lessen the similarities between chimps and man in importance. I see now that my including it in my previous post the way I did without describing my intentions could well have been a strawman so I apologize for that. The issue of changing 3 nucleotides, however, is relevant to the point. You have stated that you do not think it is a coincidence that man and chimps share over 98% of their DNA so the issue of changing three nucleotides is relevant since the 1.6% difference translates to 48 million, not 48 thousand, difference in nucleotides a change of a mere 3 is fatal, this places chimps much further away and as R.Conniff, a writer for the Smithsonian, once stated: "just a few percentage points can translate into vast, unbridgeable gaps between species." Also you seem to be indirectly refering to homology, as Springer has noted, in that case the argument is not very strong. Homology is an interpretation that is used as proof, it was an interpretation of evidence made by evolutionists who subsequently used their own interpretation as evidence for their own theory. One could look at the anatomical similarities of mammals from different families and see a common design and not common descent, for instance there are several different types of vehicles such as cars, trucks, busses, all are quite different is size and often in shape but they have a common design feature, wheels. Wheels are there because they are a good basic design to expand on. Similarities in various animals can be seen a a good basic design to expand on. Of course this is also an interpretation but it is not less valid than viewing similarities in creatures as common ancestry especially considering that the fossil record and current observation do not support the notion of common ancestry.

#18 JustTed

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:38 AM

Your argument is very narrow minded.  As I explained, homology fits very well into creation.  Obvoiusly humans and apes are similar, and it is perfectly reasonable to have similar blueprints.  That in no way implies common descent.


First, DNA is not a "blueprint", but we'll skip that for now.

Why do the overwhelming similarities "in no way" imply common decent?

#19 Springer

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:44 AM

First, DNA is not a "blueprint", but we'll skip that for now.

Why do the overwhelming similarities "in no way" imply common decent?

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While I'll admit that it's tempting to conclude that similarities suggest ancestral relationship, it's an unjustified assumption. Similarites imply creative design. The same prototype was used for different species. The homology argument is a two edged sword. If you're going to use homology as evidence for ToE, then you need to explain the existence of homologous structures produced by non-homologous chromosomes. That fact strongly implies creative design. The example of the pentadactyl forelimbs and hindlimbs remains unanswered.

#20 JustTed

JustTed

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:53 AM

While I'll admit that it's tempting to conclude that similarities suggest ancestral relationship, it's an unjustified assumption.


Yes, you keep saying that. What you're not saying is why?

Why is it "an unjustified assumption" specifically?




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