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Another Piece of Evidence for Evolution?

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  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    We all know that an astounding majority of world scientist, 99.9%, accept evolution as fact. Here is an interesting piece of information; Consistent with previous polls, in the United States, acceptance of evolution was higher among respondents who were younger, with a higher level of household income, and with a higher level of education.

    Creationism, the belief of divine engineering of the human race, certainly has made a name for itself. So just how prevalent is creationism? Which countries contain the most creationists? A 2011 global poll had found that the creationist view was most popular in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Indonesia, with the United States ranking 6th, between Brazil and Russia.

    Something else that people have noticed is that no matter how much scientific evidence is shown to a creationist, they cannot accept it due to their faith. For example, one of the most famous Creationist of current times, Ken Ham, said that nothing would change his mind, there is no evidence that could ever possibly be shown to him that would cause him to change his faith. An all too commonly voiced sentence...

    I personally have been told “This is all old evidence, how do scientist know anything if they were not there to witness it? If we were to even consider listening to scientists, *smirk* we would need new evidence!”

    Well ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you this.

    Tibetans are able to live at high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new study. These people are alive now, they are not fossils, they have not been placed there by God to test our faith. They are real people with names and families. I encourage everyone to read this article and tell me what you think. Is this now proof enough? If not, what amount of proof would constitute enough?

    Just in case you missed it, here is the article again.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TroyRC Wrote: We all know that an astounding majority of world scientist, 99.9%, accept evolution as fact. Here is an interesting piece of information; Consistent with previous polls, in the United States, acceptance of evolution was higher among respondents who were younger, with a higher level of household income, and with a higher level of education.

    Creationism, the belief of divine engineering of the human race, certainly has made a name for itself. So just how prevalent is creationism? Which countries contain the most creationists? A 2011 global poll had found that the creationist view was most popular in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Indonesia, with the United States ranking 6th, between Brazil and Russia.

    Something else that people have noticed is that no matter how much scientific evidence is shown to a creationist, they cannot accept it due to their faith. For example, one of the most famous Creationist of current times, Ken Ham, said that nothing would change his mind, there is no evidence that could ever possibly be shown to him that would cause him to change his faith. An all too commonly voiced sentence...

    I personally have been told “This is all old evidence, how do scientist know anything if they were not there to witness it? If we were to even consider listening to scientists, *smirk* we would need new evidence!”

    Well ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you this.

    Tibetans are able to live at high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new study. These people are alive now, they are not fossils, they have not been placed there by God to test our faith. They are real people with names and families. I encourage everyone to read this article and tell me what you think. Is this now proof enough? If not, what amount of proof would constitute enough?

    Just in case you missed it, here is the article again.
    "Troy", correct piece; compliments. Indeed the "religeous" crowd loves to stick their head in the sand; they will never accept real facts.
    The world is only 7000 years old they wrote in a "thread"; I've never seen a country which loves the "herd" mentality so much; but the universe continues as always and laughs at it.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Troy -- Thanks for sharing the articles. Yes it's a futile exercise to try sway creationists with scientific evidence. I don't even try anymore. Their brains have been so conditioned by their religious doctrine, that they are incapable of reflective thinking (as opposed to their reflexive responses) as it pertains to religious ideology. The certitude of their convictions is astounding. Example:

    "Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That's a verifiable fact, as is Santa." -- Megyn Kelly, Fox News

    Okay I just had to get that dig in from last Christmas, but it is indicative of how some people think...and you cannot change their minds.

    However, more to your point, I am fascinated by how fast the science of DNA has advanced. I read Nicholas Wade's book, Before the Dawn, a few years ago, but since then the science has advanced beyond what he documented then.

    Certainly in some geographic regions of the world, DNA studies supports the contention that ancestors of modern humans interbred with both Neanderthals and Denisovans, although not on a large scale. And more recent studies suggest a yet third branch of an unknown human ancestor.

    The study of evolution does not have to be exclusive of faith. Many people of faith do indeed accept evolution, much the same as they reject many of the old scriptures in the Bible that pertains to women, slaves and such. On the other hand, I have yet to find a scientist that believes in creationism.
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    I have found that, in general, people have to realize certain things on their own. They cannot be told a different view on life. It shakes their entire fountation apart.

    The thing I don't understand, is why they say "This will change my mind", but then they never change their minds.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Troy --

    Yes, you are right...people have to realize things on their own, and I am one that is continually guilty of throwing out facts and expect people to change. They don't. I am a big fan of George Lakoff. I've read many of his articles in addition to his 2009 book, The Political Mind. Lakoff promotes the neuroscientist view that 98 percent of what we think is reflexive. From his website:

    George Lakoff: The NY Times Uncovers Conservative Attacks and Then Prints One; Both Are On The Front Page

    Lakoff covers quite a bit of his philosophy in the above article as he attacks the NYT for engaging in the language of conservative metaphors. He does not get into the subject of evolution, but rather they way we think unconsciously:

    "A common neuroscience estimate is that about 98 percent of thought is unconscious and automatic, carried out by the neural system. Daniel Kahneman has since brought frame-based unconscious thought into the public arena in what he has called “System 1 thinking.” Since frames carry value-based inferences with them, successfully framing public discourse means getting the public to adopt your values, and hence winning over the public by unconscious brain change, not by open discussion of the values inherent in the frames and the values that undergird the frames.

    "I have always suggested to progressives to know their values and state their real values clearly, using frames they really believe. Values trump mere facts presented without the values that make them meaningful. Honest values-based framing is the opposite of spin — the deceptive use of language to avoid embarrassment."


    I recommend reading Lakoff's entire article at the above link. And here's another:

    George Lakoff: What Conservatives Really Want

    These articles summarize much of what he brings out in his books...how the conservative mind works versus the liberal mind.

    This is a bit off the topic of evolution, but it does explain why some conservatives and religious people can never accept the evolution argument as being put forth by liberals.
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    That's a good article. I bought this book, A Manual for Creating Atheists, I haven't started it yet. Seems to show a different approach to talking to theists.

    I'll read it and see how it is.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Troy -- I'll be interested in what the author says. Whether it's politics or religion, it is extremely difficult for those that are "indoctrinated" to see any opposing views. And certainly not in a casual conversation.

    A 2009 paper of identical twins by Carolyn Funk et al, Genetic and Environmental Transmission of Value Orientations: A New Twin Study of Political Attitudes, suggests that genetics could play a part by as much as 60 percent for one's political views (conservAtive versus liberal). They didn't test religion, but by analogy I would guess some similar finding.

    In the 2013 book, Predisposed, the authors suggest that biological differences, including genetics, are a big factor in our ideological make-up, and these views can be either amplified or suppressed by ones environment.

    However, an article by the University of Maine, Children and Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn, suggests that much of what we are is determined by our environment from birth. I have referenced this paper before in this website and here is an extract:

    "At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way, and almost all the neurons the brain will ever have. The brain starts forming prenatally, about three weeks after conception. Before birth, the brain produces trillions more neurons and “synapses” (connections between the brain cells) than it needs. During the first years of life, the brain undergoes a series of extraordinary changes.

    "In the brain, the neurons are there at birth, as well as some synapses. As the neurons mature, more and more synapses are made. At birth, the number of synapses per neuron is 2,500, but by age two or three, it’s about 15,000 per neuron. The brain eliminates connections that are seldom or never used, which is a normal part of brain development."


    So while genetics does indeed play a part in our political and religious views, the formative early childhood experiences also plays a part. I contrast the role of nurturant parent upbringing versus the James Dobson "conservative" approach to child rearing, which is heavy into discipline and establishing authority. And while political views may be developed later in a child's life, religious indoctrination by parents and clergy is something that is immediately a part of a child's life. Or to put in neuroscientist terms, those trillions of connections or synapses that are formed in the first decade of a child's brain, are a direct result of the child's environment. So in my view, religious indoctrination in childhood is a significant factor in why we cannot engage religious people in scientific debate. I experienced this myself because my mother was highly religious, but I also grew up seeing two viewpoints as my father was an atheist.

    My mother believed the dinosaurs were killed off in the great biblical flood, and once admonished me for thinking otherwise. Yet she was also a liberal (the teachings of Jesus) so I don't necessarily buy into the contention that there is a correlation between conservatism and religious ideology...maybe at the extreme ends, but not for the general public as a whole. Other factors such as "tribalism" can also come into play.

    I'll be interested in what you learn from, A Manual for Creating Atheists, as from my experience, it might be a hopeless task. The only way that happens is by one's own critical thinking that might have been turned off and suddenly turned on by an event...and that event is not usually a person like me trying to persuade someone on religious or political beliefs. I am a lifelong failure at that.

    Good topic. We have discussed and debated evolution and creationism many times in this website, but usually those arguments center around scientific theories being proven or disproven by scientific evidence. We have not delved very much into how our brains might be predisposed by genetics and parenting to think the way we do. In any case when I bring those topics up, the thread usually ends...not much interest.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Nice story; however I think the "evolution" in the US has come to a screaming halt, if I see what our politicians are doing. Slowly but surely they are becoming dinosaurs with big bankaccounts.
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    I've noticed a trend in the U.S., could be from the fact I moved to a more liberal part of the country, but has anyone noticed that the people who are hardcore believers in creationism have decreased in number...thus making the need for them to be louder a necessity?

    I notice this trend with a lot of topics that the far right bring up often. Anyone else?
  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Since the orthodox creationists dismiss any information or evidence if it departs from or conflicts with what the Bible states . . . to present science or rationality as evidence of evolution, or disproof of Genesis (especally Noachian Flood) us futile.
    Therefore, the "documentary" must be the Bible -- as indisputable (Hey, God's own word!!!) . . . . disproof of itself!!!

    I'll just mention a few here, without going into my usual lengths. And I'll leave it others to read Genesis for themselves.
    (or get a copy of CREATIONIST LITERAISM -- A GENESISIAN HERESY AND ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBILITY).
  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Since the orthodox creationists dismiss any information or evidence if it departs from or conflicts with what the Bible states . . . to present science or rationality as evidence of evolution, or disproof of Genesis (especally Noachian Flood) us futile.
    Therefore, the "documentary" must be the Bible -- as indisputable (Hey, God's own word!!!) . . . . disproof of itself!!!

    I'll just mention a few here, without going into my usual lengths. And I'll leave it others to read Genesis for themselves.
    (or get a copy of CREATIONIST LITERAISM -- A GENESISIAN HERESY AND ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBILITY).

    There are two different accounts of the creation of man (and woman). Only one has Eve made out of a rib from Adam.
    Man (and woman) are stated as being made in "the image of God". In numerous passages in the Bible it's stated that God is invisible, a spirit, cannot be seen, etc. Be that so, then Adam and Eve should have been invisible.

    It's stated that death will be the the result in the day that the fruit of the forbidden tree is eaten. Neither or the eaters die.

    On the completion of His supposed six-day project, the infallible, omniscient God, creator of the universe, assesses and delares that what he has made is "very good". Yet within the first few generations the "special creation" made "in the image of God" is deemed to be so evil that God decides to wipe out everything he's made.

    The six day (and on 7th rested) time-frame is somewhat totally dismissed by Genesis 2: "These are the GENERATIONS of the heavens and the earth when they were created in THE DAY that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." (my capitalizations)

    God says . . . (Gen: 1: 20 and following) "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature and fowl , , ,and the waters brought forth , " -- " . . . let fowl multiply IN THE EARTH" . . ." . . . . let the earth bring forth the living creature . . . "

    And to me the undeniable Biblical assertion of evolution (as the process of creation) Psalms:139 last verses of 5-17: "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and criously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, whichin continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."

    As far as the "flood" is concerned, calculating from the "specs" given to Noah, if the highest mountain of the (max.) 10,000 year old earth was (and still is Everest), then 15 cubits of water to cover the highest "hill" (29,028') would mean a cubit was 1,9352 feet and the ark (300 cubits long, 50 high, 30 wide) . . . you do the multipication.
    Basing calculations on the given length of a cubit (20.6-20.8 inches), the size of the ark feasible, but not to carry 2 of every "kind" of creature which would, for the Creationist-extremist, include dinosaurs as well as all else. And multiplying 20.8 inches by 15 cubits reveals that the "hills" covered by the flood were hardly more than variations of almost flat topography.

    Noah's orders were 2 of every kind. But in verse not long thereafter, he's to take two of each unclean by 7 pairs each of "clean" creatures.

    Oh, and in the New Test. the "nativity" is only mentioned in to books. One says Jesus born in stable. The other says in a house. One has wise men and kings (bearing gifts), the other account has shepherds coming to the birthplace.

    The conflicts, contradictions, irrationalities, and worse are innumerable -- if one reads the Bible. Just "reciting" as revelation? Well, pick a myth that's written down and there ya go with religion = reality. Believe and it will be -- belief. Not actuality except for often moronal neuronal process.

    Critical, analytical reading of the Bible turns up innumerable inconsistensies unto plain contradictions of content. And an overall assessment of Biblical documentary is that it really amounts to a blasphemy -- such horrific and unending evil of a special creation "in the image of the universal creator" who'd found his creation to be "very good" (so took Sunday off).

    Creation -- as a vehicle for the incarnation and materialization of the supernatural??? Creation -- God = Edsel . . . .
























    incarnation and materialization . . . an EDSEL ???
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schneider" Nice piece; yes you are right there are plenty of anomalies; what do you expect anyway in a book written by "humans".
    Especially the Genesis thing is laughable; talking snakes? full grown apple trees right from the start? 7 days to have clumb of lava cool off and sustain full grown life immediately; doubt if any first people could talk at all (what language? no dictionairies printed yet) let alone to a snake. They had two sons; one got killed; so how did the species continue? Did the one son rape his mother?
    Anyway I did already address all of this in a previous thread about Noah etc. I'm glad the kangero's and lama's where not aware of Noah.
    Since this was likely wriitten less than 8000 years ago; I do not think the writers had any idea at all what happened millions of years ago.
    But yeah, the church goers believe in la la land anyway so let them.
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    Keep in mind that the Bible could not have been written during the lifetime of Adam &/or Eve, since there was no written language, no paper or pens that we know of, and nobody to teach them. Yes, it is a big mystery that Adam & Eve are only known to have 2 children, both of them boys. One of them (Cain) is supposed to have killed (Abel) & Cain was then thrown out of the Garden of Eden. So where did he go? And where did he find a wife?

    Some say women were not important enough to have been written down, in ancient times. The scribes only wrote down males, since their names kept track of genealogy & titles to property. But if only 4 humans had been recorded as born on the planet, where DID the wife of Cain come from? If he was sent away from Eden (his birthplace, the place where he would have been "immortal" & never die) -- how did he know where to go? After Adam & Eve "sinned" by eating an apple from a forbidden tree, (all because of a talking "worm" which they thought of as a serpent), who popped up in the apple that Eve was chewing on. That is when (& you can check this out) he said: "God told you if you ate of the apple you would surely DIE, but see? I am a serpent (worm) who eat of the apple, and I DO NOT DIE, so neither will you." He appealed to the logic of Eve, a woman, who immediately saw that the worm spoke the truth. He DID eat the apple, and did not die. So she tried it, & asked Adam to try it, & they both SURVIVED.

    But then, a few mos/yrs flew by and they had discovered they were naked, so they put on fig leaves to cover themselves. Just then, God decided to pay them a visit, to see how things went. Right away, he saw the fig leaves (to cover their nakedness) & said, "OK, guys, what have you been up to?" Then Eve had not yet learned to lie, so she said, "God, we were told by the serpent (worm) that eating of the forbidden fruit would not make us die, & so we tried it, and it was good." God was (for some reason) FURIOUS, and he immediately cut off his invitation for Eternal Life. "You will both have to leave here, (Eden) and go East (into the vicinity of modern day Iran)." But nobody had written language, so nothing was written down.

    Two sons were born, (no mention of any daughters), but one son herded sheep, & one grew agriculture. Eventually a conflict grew up, due to they thought God favored one's burned offering better than the other's at the altar. This led to bloodshed, where Cain killed his brother Abel, & it was judged by God, so Cain was punished by forced banishment from the place they lived. The next thing, it is mentioned that Cain took a wife, but since it was not ever recorded, that there were any other humans on earth, & no females were born yet, so WHO did he marry? (Perhaps an inter-species monkey)? There could not have been any form of written record, during those ancient times, so all is purely conjecture, but there must have been some kind of spoken language, very primitive sign language, or cutting into stone. We will probably never know the whole truth.

    But one time fairly recently, I came across an article that said Scientists HAD discovered the "missing link" between monkeys and humans. It was a skeleton found in a primitive region near Africa, & it was a semi-human skeleton named "LUCY". I imagine some will say it is a "Hoax" & will never want to acknowledge it. Maybe the scientists are afraid of the repercussions of such a "find." But due to fear of some kind, they have never fully revealed the existence of poor "Lucy" -- she may be the most important skeleton remains ever seen on earth. But hidden away out of fear of the religious community, who could not ever admit, we as humans may have "evolved" from a monkey-like ancestor. For some reason, I do not have too much problem with it.

    Inside the womb, first we are a one-celled "egg" & then develop into a multi-cellular creature, & later have gill slits on the side of our neck (for breathing like a fish in the amniotic fluid), & some fetuses in development have laguno (fur) all over the body, & even a primitive vestigial "tail". The microscopic fetus (unseen) goes thru many of the stages of evolution, as it develops silently, hidden in the womb. One small CLUE to our ancestry, our history, of the human species. WOW -- the mystery is still captivating after all of this time. (centuries in the making).
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    EF, for a busy lady you seem to have way to much time on your hands! ;)
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Eternal Flame -- I enjoy reading your biblical descriptions. Brought back memories of all my Sunday school and confirmation classes, and the questions that we never dared to raise then, least we be admonished by our clerical teachers.