Talk:Pangaea

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Any Suggestions

Do I need to add anymore than that? How do you propose the flood broke up the super-continent to form the world as we know it in a year? From the miniature tectonic activities we have in our current environment causing the massive natural disasters they do, would this not have destroyed the world with mega-earthquakes and unending volcanic eruptions, changing the very chemical make-up of the atmosphere?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Entheogenicorder (talk)

You might like to have a look over the articles here. I can't say, though, whether those specific points are addressed, but then you've not been too specific about the effects. The intention was to destroy the world (in a sense, but perhaps not the sense you mean?). And although I'm sure that the volcanic activity affected the atmosphere, suggesting that it would have "[changed] the very chemical make-up" of it seems a bit overboard. Philip J. Rayment 03:23, 19 February 2008 (EST)
I don't think so. I think that, according to many descriptions of life, much of our atmosphere is affected by the gases released from volcanoes, and if the activity of these volcanoes was increased enormously, then they may have the capacity to alter the climate and atmospheric conditions. My argument is this; 1. The movement of tectonic plates on a small scale, as seen today, causes worldwide catastrophes, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami's. 2. If Pangaea existed at the time of Noah's Ark landing - as implied by the article - then the plates would have needed to move astronomical distances between the time of Noah's flood - several thousand years ago - and the time when the modern world existed in its current format, at least as long ago as the Greeks. 3. If this change in tectonic plates did occur in this period of roughly 2-3000 years, then given the catastrophic consequences of slow-moving tectonic plates now, then the consequences of these - positively speeding - quicker plates would have been astronomical and immeasurable. It would surely have created a planet so volatile that human kind could not possibly have existed.--Entheogenicorder 07:55, 17th November 2008(EST)

Good point, but are you an expert in the field, or just (like Philip and myself) a well-educated layman? We need to quote authoritative sources in our articles. --Ed Poor Talk 07:58, 17 November 2008 (EST)

No, I'm no expert. It was just what came to my head as I read the article. If I had references etc. to cite then I might have added a sub-heading on the article about it. Maybe I'll be able to back up my words with qualifications one day, but untill then I'll just share my theories with people. Also, with the 'intention to destroy the world' part Philip, I was more refering to tectonic activity making the world completely uninhabitable for any human beings in the time suceeding the flood, rather than being part of the judgement of mankind which is embodied by the flood. --Entheogenicorder 07:37, 19th November 2008(EST)
"If Pangaea existed at the time of Noah's Ark landing - as implied by the article...": It is not accurate to say that the article implies that. It mentions two different flood-related possibilities. First, that the break-up occurred during the time of Peleg, which would indeed mean that Pangea existed when the ark landed. In this case, your description of the consequences is likely close to correct. However, it then also says that most creationists believe that it occurred during the flood, which means that Pangea had ceased to exist at the time the ark came to rest, and therefore the consequences that you describe would not have occurred. Philip J. Rayment 21:15, 19 November 2008 (EST)
True, I had factored in something else which I should have mentioned, which is the idea of exotic animal migration - namely the kangaroo's - to places like Australia. I absolutely deny the theory which says they could have migrated there with lower sea levels as a scientific theory - it is a list of possibly-nearly-maybe's. In the article's themselves, they say that of places such as Krakatoa, that "it was eventually recolonized by a surprising variety of creatures, including not only insects and earthworms, but birds, lizards, snakes, and even a few mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did. Even though these were mostly smaller than some of the creatures we will discuss here, it illustrates the limits of our imaginings on such things." However, the instruments whereby small animals migrate are well-known, and the limitation on specific animals which can journey by such methods is also well known. As I said this is an 'if and maybe' scenario, and provides no evidence to suggest this possible method of migration should or would transpose onto kangaroo's. The article also speaks about Kangaroo's spreading out over time, but there is no fossil evidence of any such slow-paced migration . He also states that "The ancestors of present-day kangaroos may have established daughter populations in several parts of the world, but most of these populations subsequently became extinct." However, again, there is no fossil evidence of kangaroos living anywhere but Australia. The author cites rabbits who have migrated across Australia as an example of long distance migrations, however they moved with human populations, and also didn't have to cross any major bodies of water, which the kangaroo's would have had to do at some point. The author in this article also states that specialized, localized populations may have come to be out of "A need for unique or special conditions to survive may be a result of specialization, a downhill change in some populations. That is, it may result from a loss in genetic information, from thinning out of the gene pool or by degenerative mutation.", which surely removes itself from a true creationist perspective, as it basically states the creatures evolved to suit their surroundings. So if we take the existence of a post-flood Pangaea as the only possible explanation of kangaroo - and other exotic creaturs - migration, then the argument can stand. As I said, mine is only a theory, but I also don't accept the science behind the migratory explanation, so I cannot accept that as a defeating criticism.--Entheogenicorder 07:02 20th November 2008(EST)
I understand what you are saying about animal migration, but just as you describe it as a "a list of possibly-nearly-maybe's", your response is simply a bit of hand-waving to say that we know how smaller creatures did it and bigger creatures can't. But there's been plenty examples in science of unexpected discoveries. It's a big leap from "we can't imagine how it's possible" to "it couldn't have happened that way".
When creationists point to gaps in the fossil record, we are told how sparse it is. Yet now I'm supposed to believe that it's complete enough to be able to dismiss an argument from a lack of evidence? If some things are totally absent from the fossil record for over a supposed 60 million years, then of what significance is the absence of fossils of kangaroos from the fossil record for a few thousand years?
No, I'm pretty certain that rabbits spread across Australia by their own means, just as the cane toad is currently spreading across Australia, despite human attempts to stop it.
Evolution from the first cell to the variety of creatures that we have today requires a massive increase in genetic information. That increase is not actually observed. What is observed, however, is decreases in information, but decreases are not microbes-to-man evolution. You can redefine evolution all you like, including into forms that creationists agree with (e.g. a current popular one is variations in gene frequency), but the point is that it is the evolutionary "family tree", not changes in gene frequency, that creationists disagree with.
I'm not sure that I get your final point. You seem to be saying that the idea of Pangea splitting up during the flood doesn't work because it doesn't explain animal migration, so you prefer the idea of Pangea splitting up after the flood, despite that idea not working because nothing would survive the split?
Philip J. Rayment 08:36, 20 November 2008 (EST)
You got my final point exactly friend; that I came to a paradox in my thinking, one that I couldn't solve. That's why I re-titled this page as "Any Suggestions", and they are welcome. It's positive debate as I see it. I don't see that scientific evolution has described to any complete degree the world coming to be at it is, but at present, I am looking for an explanation which I feel is right, and that - in my opinion - can only be found through observation, experience and reason.
Where you talk about my hand-waving though, I feel this is maybe a little unfair. When we speak of evolution, it is sometimes suggested that what is observed is insufficient to explain microbe to man evolution, and I can understand that point. What I am saying is that, while we have observed ways and means in which small creatures can traverse large distances, we have also observed that these means are not usable as the means of transporting larger creatures. Therefore, I see no reason to make the assumption that larger creatures could have traversed such distances, just as you see no reason to accept microbe to man evolution. I'm not trying to force an evolutionary explanation on you, but to discuss the problems I see.
"what significance is the absence of fossils of kangaroos from the fossil record for a few thousand years?" I think the significance for me is that there aren't as many recent gaps in fossil evidence. If a creature was supposed to have migrated from somewhere within a few thousand years of today, then it is highly probable that there would be fossil evidence to support this. I can understand the point you make again, and I have to agree to some degree that fossil evidence can in some cases be incomplete, inadequate and somewhat misleading, as shown by the Anomalocas, although this is usually with older fossil records.
The rabbits spreading of their own accord is a moot point, given that they still did not need to traverse any great body of water. I wasn't trying to redefine evolution either. I provided a dictionary definition because I felt that what he had described - in essence the specialization of creatures to their environment - was akin to what I take to be evolution. Entheogenicorder 11:51, 20 November 2008 (EST)

This may seem odd (not sure of right word so odd will do) but some arguments about the flood suggests the involvement(interferance/intervention) of God to ensure the survival of the ark and subsequent survival of Noah etc. If you accept that premise then the diapora(?) of the animals or surviving the breakup of Pangea becomes moot. Markr 13:04, 20 November 2008 (EST)

(To Entheogenicorder) Perhaps the "hand-waving" comment was a bit unnecessary, but my point was that you were simply waving away an argument with little to go on. I understand what you are saying about observations, but I guess my point was that observations in this case are very inconclusive.
Another point that I didn't mention is that it may be that the kangaroos that arrived here did so as young roos, not fully-grown adults. Would that fit in with the size range that you are talking about that we have observed covering water stretches? Another possibility that may be unlikely but I don't think can be ruled out is that they were brought across by humans.
As for the rabbits, I agree that they didn't have to cross large bodies of water. But you appeared to be making two distinct points there, that they move (a) with humans, and (b) not across water. I grant you the second, but I was replying to the first.
The reference I made to fossils missing for 60 million years was actually to things that are still alive, but are missing for the last 60 million years; hence they are missing from the recent fossil record as well as the ancient one.
My reference to "you" redefining evolution was plural: "you" meaning "evolutionists", not you specifically.
(To Markr) Biblical evidence is that God kept the use of miracles to a minimum. Genesis specifically records that God brought the animals to Noah, but not that he assisted their distribution after.
Philip J. Rayment 00:56, 21 November 2008 (EST)
I was not 'waving away' anything. I was commenting on an encyclopedic entry which, as such, purports to be truth, with theoretical arguments against said encyclopedic entry. My lack of concrete evidence for my argument is a moot point given the lack of scientific evidence for the content of the article itself, given that mine is a criticism of something which poses itself as a truth.
I don't think in all truth that young roos - or any roos - could successfully have made the journey, across land and sea, without some sort of aid, so the suggestion of human interference seems the most plausible, without being much to go on.
What I was referring to with the rabbits - if I must expand, despite it being a moot point - was more that their populations would thrive with human influence - the harsh outback would not be friendly to a rabbit, and there would be little food untill humans settled down and grew crops and suchlike. Given this, it is quite likely that without human influence they would not thrive as they have done. It is interesting to note the example of the Cane toad, as they have been an example of evolution in action since their introduction to a new environment.
If we take it as true that there have been periods of history lasting 60 million years, then we also accept the changing nature of the earth, and the possibility of fossils being lost, even in the last 60 million years. Within the last ten thousand years or so is another matter, and as any archaeologist will probably testify, there are constant discoveries being made and therefore amendments to what we know or can learn from fossils.
I think the definition of evolution as a term, and natural selection as a theory, has changed very little since Darwin theorized the history of life. The agents which we believe natural selection to work on have changed, and as such, natural selection can be observed now on a microscopic level in genes, and this has led to changes in exactly how it is viewed. To the extent that bacteria can be viewed to evolve even in the lab. I very much resent being labelled under the terms of evolutionists without note though. Yes, it's true that I accept hard fact, and that scientific evidence has not been in any effective way refuted in this field, however, that does not mean that I deny the existence of God, nor does it necessarily mean that I absolutely reject the Bible. The most convincing argument I have ever heard for the existence of God can be put into one statement, that any act of creation must involve the creation of a being with a history that never took place. Essentially, it goes that Adam was created as a full grown adult, this gives the appearance of having been a child, and a baby, with a naval or bellybutton, giving evidence of Adam having had a father before him. Given that Adam was the first person created, this appearance of history is false, but is still evident from research. This means that we can make accurate scientific or geological observations of a deep and distant past, which only in truth existed inside the mind of God. So the evolution of genes, and even speculatively the Big Bang, may be said to be the working of God's mind before we were born into physical existence.
Entheogenicorder 08:01, 4 December 2008 (EST)
I don't see any reason that the Kangaroos would have trouble crossing the land. As for them crossing the water, you haven't explained why some small creatures that you say can cross water could do so but not young kangaroos.
As far as the rabbits in the outback are concerned, you may be right, but note that Australia built some very long fences in the outback to limit the spread of the rabbits. Yes, there probably was human activity there, but it would have been minimal. Cane toads have shown no evidence of evolution of the sort that creationists object to. What the news report is referring to is adaptation within the genetic variability of the cane toads.
I don't follow your point about missing fossils; it seems to be just special pleading to dismiss my objections to your earlier claim.
Lenski's research, even if it is genuinely new genetic information produced by chance, is actually an argument against goo-to-you evolution, as it shows extremely little evolution occurs over a large number of generations.
Scientific evidence may not have been refuted, but evolution is mostly philosophy and story telling, with only a small amount of scientific evidence, most of which is also compatible with creation.
You may not deny the existence of a god, or of parts of the Bible, but if you believe evolution, you must of necessity reject those foundational parts of the Bible that are inconsistent with it, such as the creation of the world in six days, the creation being "very good" (without fault), and death occurring only after the appearance of mankind.
If the argument you mention is the most convincing argument you've heard for the existence of God, then it would appear that you've heard very little on the subject. The argument is false anyway, in proposing a history for Adam. Being created as a fully-grown man only gives the appearance of him having been a child if you reject that God could create him as an adult (and that therefore the only way an adult could come about is by being a child first). As a belly button is a scar (not a design feature) of an event that never occurred, Adam would not have had one, so this "evidence" is invented. You are confusing an appearance of adulthood with an appearance of aging, and the processes that go along with that. That is, Adam would have appeared as an adult, true, but without any evidence of having grown older or of a past life, such as scars, wrinkles, callouses, or the like, that would be evidence of actual events happening. A machine such as a television, fresh off the factory floor, is complete, but without scratches, worn parts, etc. which come with aging. Adam would have been like that. The analogy with cosmology and genetics follows: Any evidence of actual events happening indicates that those things happened; they were not fake history created by God. But similarly, evidence that is not actually of events happening, but which assume that a history was required, is not evidence, but presumption. For the same reason, creationists generally reject the idea that God created starlight in transit, because that starlight carries information about events happening, such as stars going nova, that would never have happened if the starlight was created in transit. But similarly, they reject claims about ages based on presumptions that things started off in particular states when it is just as valid to claim that God created them that way.
Philip J. Rayment 07:54, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I see a problem in that they would have passed through many different environments in getting to Australia, so they would surely need to adapt to those environments. With regards to young roos being able to cross the water easily, we know that they spend much of their young lives depending on their mothers for protection and sustinance, so that means the journey would have had to fit nicely into the alotted time period between dependence and full-grown maturity, which is doubtful. If young roos are able to travel in the same way as other small mammals, it begs the question why they would not migrate further beyond Australia, to colonize other islands, as other small animals have done. Did they set off from the Middle East with the objective of ending up in Australia? Was it by luck that they ended up there?
I don't necessarily believe in the evolution of Mankind - at least not the evolution of our conscious, reasoning minds - but even the slow evolution demonstrated in the lab is evidence of some evolution, no matter how little, in some creatures. Even waiting 41,000 generations - very much within the lifetime of one scientist - to see genetic mutations, is a small number of generations in terms of a 6 billion year earth-history.
Regarding fossils, I know there isn't a perfect picture of the past 60 million year history, my point was that if you accept that the earth has had a 60 million year history, then you also have to accept dramatic geological changes as part of the earths history, and these will lead to the destruction of historical evidence. The fact that there is evidence of such an ancient history is in itself scientific evidence that the Biblical accounts of creation are incorrect or inadequate.
Evolution is philosophy and story telling in as much as the scientific observation of ones environment can be. The genetic age has demonstrated that genes are passed from both parents down to their child, and that mutations in parental genes - such as genetic disorders - therefore appear in their children. In this, and as with the example of the cane toad and many more we can see evolution to some extent at work.
I see your argument against the appearance of a history but I don't necessarily agree. When you speak of ageing features - scars, wrinkles etcetera, this would not be the appearance of history I was referring to. It was the appearance of growth, rather than ageing - that God would have created Adam with fingernails, hair and eyesight, all traits which a human being otherwise has to grow or learn, not ones they are born with. The appearance of history exists insomuch as Adam is a functioning human being. Regarding the example you give with the television, I would say that the construction of the component parts for the television may be analogous with the construction of genetic material for human beings. Equally I would not like to make an analogy between Gods creation and mankinds creation, as that would imply the assumption of God having constructed us in a similar way to the way we construct inanimate objects. I believe if God did create us, it would be far more complex than this and could not be described wholly in any human given description. The argument I was putting forward is one which has existed for many years, and I don't think you've fully addressed to absolute nature of it, which is looked at in greater depth in the reference given.
I did not want this to turn in to a creation - evolution argument, but that seems to be the only grounds on which I will find any sort of reasoned debate. A theological debate without jumping back to the idea that 'the Bible says this so it must be right' or that 'scientist have no evidence' seems impossible, though it would be beneficial to Christian dogma and any idea of the pursuit of truth to engage in one fully.
Entheogenicorder 11:23, 5 December 2008 (EST)
How many different environments between the middle east and Australia would there have been in the first few hundred years after a global flood wiped everything out? I doubt that there would be much in the way of deserts by then, for example.
I don't think the journey is doubtful at all on the basis that the journey would have to fit into the time between dependence and maturity. If you've got enough of the animals around, chances are some will be at just the right stage to make the water-crossing part of the journey.
Once you've got to Australia, there's not much place left to go that is not across larger stretches of water. No, they would not have targetted Australia. Rather, what's likely is that the sea levels rose (at the end of the ice age) and cut off or increased the gap from the mainland after the marsupials reached Australia and before large carnivorous animals reached Australia. When spreading out from the middle east after the flood, the carnivorous animals are not going to lead the way; they are going to follow the vegetarians. The vegetarians would lead. Everywhere but Australia the carnivores eventually caught up and wiped them out, but the ones that reached Australia became isolated so survived.
41,000 generations might seem a small number in terms of a six billion year earth history, but (a) Earth's history is only supposed to be 4.5 billion years; (b) life on Earth is only supposed to be around 3.5 billion years old, (c) humans are supposed to have evolved around, say one million years ago, from a common ancestor with the apes around, say, six million years ago. This means that humans evolved from that common ancestor in around 200,000 generations. With one mutation per 41,000 generations, that allows for about five mutations! But it's worse than that. With sexual reproduction, there's only a 50% chance of any mutation being passed on, so you'd only get to keep two or three of those five! That is why Lenski's research is so bad for the evolutionary hypothesis (one reason anyway).
Okay, I think that I understand your argument about the fossil record. Is this it? If the Earth has a 60-million year history, it would have lots of gaps in the fossil record. But if it has a 6,000 year-history, the fossil record would be pretty complete. Is that it? If so, the problem is that if the Earth has a 6,000-year history, the vast majority of the fossil record comes from the one year of the flood around 4,500 years ago, and comparatively very little since. So under either scenario, the "recent" fossil record is very incomplete. As for the "fact" of evidence of an ancient history, I reject that there is any such "fact". Dates are based on the belief and on assumptions, not directly on measurements (see radiometric dating).
Evolution is not philosophy and story telling like scientific observation is, because molecules-to-man evolution is not observed! If I propose that water boils at 120 degrees Celsius, you can test that claim for yourself, and observe the results. If you propose that 100 million years ago dinosaurs turned into birds, what test can I do to see if your claim is correct? Testing the boiling point of water is science. Claiming that dinosaurs turned into birds is story-telling. Genetic changes that don't add new genetic information—such as wings on cane toads (or even something less dramatic but still something new)—is not molecules-to-man evolution, but merely variation within the created kind.
Your reference to fingernails, hair, and eyesight is a distinction without substance. There is no reason for God not to have created man with these features, so, as I said before, this is not an argument against creation unless you first presume that God wasn't involved. Unlike scars, etc., fingernails, hair, and eyesight are design features, not the products of wear and tear, and for that matter, are present from conception in the form of genetic information.
I did miss reading your reference about different views on apparent age. It is a reasonable summary of the different positions as far as it goes, but doesn't really get into the problems with each view very much. It lists the "theological questions" as being non-existent for the (misnamed) "Ham" view, but not for your view; although it only discusses what these problems are in the briefest possible way. It says that the "Ham" view has the most "scientific challenges", but accepts a priori that those "challenges" really are scientific, which the "Ham" view rejects (i.e. it takes sides). "Conventional" geology starts by rejecting the biblical account (Hutton said that geology must be based only on the processes we see happening today. We don't see global floods happening today, so he's ruled out the biblical account by decree). On the other side of the coin, the Bible unambiguously says that the entire period of time from the start of the universe to the appearance of man was six days. The biblical problems with an "old" Earth are insurmountable. The "scientific" problems with a "young" Earth are by the decree of someone who didn't believe the Bible.
In any debate, the two sides need to start with common ground. And when there is not even common ground regarding such basic things as how we came to be, then debate necessarily must start there. It does help, however, to not misrepresent the other side as "dogma" nor the debate as one between the Bible and science.
Philip J. Rayment 08:25, 7 December 2008 (EST)
I'll start by admitting I wasn't in the best of moods when I replied, and could have kept the debate more civil, for that I'm sorry. My problem is that I feel like I'm searching for answers but only being given half truths or interpretations.
In the first few hundred years after a global flood, I could not begin to imagine what the environment might be like. I have no idea if I'm honest; there would most likely be a wealth of plant and insect life in some areas, and if we accept that God willed for no creatures but those on Noah's Arc to survive, there would be a distinct lack of animal life. I would imagine that it would not take many years for desert to be re-established however, owing that only very specialized plants can exist for any length of time without rainfall. I would also imagine that the environment in the years after a global catastrophe would not be a stable environment, but I wouldn't like to go beyond that.
"If you've got enough of the animals around..." Surely after Noah's flood there were only a limited number of animals, who then also had to be in adolesence, or between dependency and maturity?
The story I get is this; that Noah's arc has successfully traversed a global flood. The animals are then set free and set to disperse across the land as they choose. The creatures are venturing off in all directions across the Earth, to find their new homes in what is currently a brutally ravashed planet. The roos head towards the Australian continent - I would assume - by travelling the tough, mostly mountainous route through modern Pakistan and India towards South East Asia, or alternatively, assuming they are the right age, floating a great distance towards the Southern tip of India. From here they passed through Thailand and Malaysia and then set off to Indonesia - given that sea levels were much lower and assuming therefore that land was more accessable - where they had to face their first sizeable stretch of water. This they crossed with the right timing between being dependent and fully grown, and also with the right timing that they could populate this new found home without being followed by the predators who had hunted them across the rest of the world, wiping out their ancestors and therefore leaving the only remaining colony and fossil records upon a giant continent 6500 miles from their original starting place. Please excuse me if I've missed any details and allow me to add that this seems highly far-fetched to me.
Yes, I'm sorry for the inaccuracy of earth-age, I didn't have time to double check the figures on that. That is an interesting point about the evolution rate. It would seem it would have needed to be a "hot" period for evolution, e.g. more changes than one every 41,000 generations. If this is the general rate of evolution then it hardly seems likely for human beings to have evolved in a "short" space of time from a common ancestor. It should be noted as well though, that the bacteria in Lenski's research were not exposed to the number of environmental variations as evolving human beings would have been, and given that natural selection is based on environmental interaction, this is likely to affect the rate of evolution. There are also recent genetic theories which may make the idea more plausible, by suggesting that evolution works on codes that an organism already has embedded in it's genetic data, and that there is a method of "unlocking" these unused genes. I don't know the exact science behind this so it's only a theory, but obvisouly this would create the capacity for a quicker rate of visible changes in species if it was observed.
That was my point for the age of the earth - that there would be a more complete fossil record if the earth was only 6,000 years old, but if the earth were ≈ 4 billion years old, you would expect to find gaps in the fossil record. Radiodating may not be absolutely accurate, nor the science fool-proof, but it can safely give the conclusion that something is very old, and when coupled with other data this is usually accepted as fact. Given that, it is not true that the fossils we find, which are recorded as being older than any historical records to accompany and verify them, should be rejected as absolutely false. Besides that, there is other evidence which points to an earth older than 6,000 years - evidence of the Ancient Chinese, Mesopotamian and Ancient Mesoamerican cultures being some, and reference by Egyptian Pharaohs such as Khufu, and philosophers such as Plato and alike who speak of ancient races, thousands of years before their own [1].
I understand the difference between observations in that sense. What I meant was that Darwin travelled to the very corners of the earth to sudy animals, plants, geology, fossils and the conclusion he drew was based on his observations of his environment. It is an observable hypothesis in that you can visit remote islands and see the mutations or adaptations which have occured to species there in a relatively small amount of time, and there is even a definite divergence in remote populations in the homo genus [2]. What you have seemed to outline to me is that creationist science accepts gene mutation, but not as dramatically as "goo-to-man", so it is a matter of degree which we are debating.
"as I said before, this is not an argument against creation unless you first presume that God wasn't involved..." You seem to have mistaken my point for an argument against the existence of God? I was using it as an argument for the existence of God; that all scientific study we do into the history of the earth and the universe is in reality a study into God's mind before the ultimate conception of human beings. The appearance of fingernails and hair etc. are not appearances of age, nor proof that God didn't create Adam, they would be - if Adam had a full head of hair and fully grown fingernails - an apparent sign that he had grown fingernails and hair, as human beings are born mostly without. The argument was an argument that seeks to bring together scientific discovery with religious belief by saying that all scientific exploration into an ancient universe is acceptable as long as we remember that we are exploring into the history of the world in the mind of God, rather than any physical reality. It was more addressed out of interest than as something I believe.
"The "scientific" problems with a "young" Earth are by the decree of someone who didn't believe the Bible." Most of the original geologists, biologists and other scientists who uncovered some of the mysteries of the earth were in fact Christian. Even Darwin himself was Christian, and he did not seek in any way to disprove the Bible when he began his studies. As is the scientific way, he made his observations and drew his conclusions based upon them. I suppose it comes down to a single principle, that I believe the Bible is another man's interpretation of the word of God, given that it was written by men, and opposing that, you believe that it is the literal word of God. And we will probably never get past that. However, my belief is that scientific problems do not arise solely from someone who didn't believe the Bible. The scientific problems would arise say, from someone who had never read the Bible. If he studied the rocks of the earth, and from his data concluded everything about the earth as scientists had, and concluded it to be ≈ 4 billion years old, then, should he one day come to read the Bible, he would not accept it as being the word of God in any capacity, and definitely not literally. However, someone who read the Bible, was taught with the belief that it was the literal word of God and had maybe even had a religious experience in their life would, upon reading the first man's work, believe him to be lying or making it up. The second man may then seek to prove the first man wrong, even though the first man believes he has already proved the second man wrong. The second man may interpret things differently or find flaws in the first man's findings and then challenge his views. The first man would respond with his own data and in turn challenge the views of the second man and so on and so on, untill no resolution is found. If both men just admitted they were both partially wrong, and that neither of them could claim to know everything, then the two men together would be able to share their wealth of knowledge and even gain a new level of understanding of the universe. Or so I wish.
I have enjoyed this debate, even if I would have liked to establish some more common ground, and I hope I haven't offended you - through my ignorence or otherwise - because that is not my objective. In truth, I am selfishly wanting to learn but selflessly wanting to teach, and I hope you appreciate this and can show the patience you have so far. Thanks for your time.
Entheogenicorder 11:00, 8 December 2008 (EST)

Any suggestions, part 2

(Editing section break; discussion continued from above)

Your post-flood description is reasonable, although I'd make the following comments:
  • I don't follow the reference to deserts and specialised plants existing without rainfall. There would likely be a relatively high precipitation after the flood, which would mitigate against deserts.
  • Your description does not address the point that you raised in this regard, that the kangaroos "would have passed through many different environments in getting to Australia".
How many animals there were after the Flood would depend on just how many years after the flood you are talking about. It may have taken kangaroos a few hundred years to reach Australia. In fact, creationists propose that the Ice Age lasted around 500 years after the flood, so if they reached Australia just before rising post-ice-age sea levels rose, then perhaps this gives an indication of when they arrived. By several hundred years after the flood, there could have been millions of kangaroos.
Your description of the post-flood dispersion of animals is also reasonable, except for the comment that the kangaroos "head towards the Australian continent". I said earlier that they likely headed in several directions, but only the ones reaching Australia survived (until modern times). Kangaroos are not limited to dwelling on plains; they are right at home in forested and hilly areas also, so mountainous country would not necessarily be an obstacle (I'd think they travelled as much as possible by land). By the time they reached bodies of water to cross, there would be many kangaroos from joeys to fully-grown adults, so there being ones of a suitable size and age to cross the water requires no stretch of imagination at all. I don't see what is particularly far-fetched about that explanation at all.
Your argument about the rate of evolution is an ad hoc one to explain why the evidence doesn't fit the theory. That's not to say that it's wrong of course, but the point is that Lenski's experiments provide evidence that doesn't fit with the theory without invoking other, unseen, factors (faster rates in the past). Furthermore, Lenski has also found[3] that there seems to be a limit to how fast organisms can evolve, so your suggestion about what would need to be much faster rates seems contrary to the evidence.
Perhaps (although I'm not convinced) humans would have experienced a greater range of environmental pressures, but that wouldn't make that much difference to account for the orders-of-magnitude shortfall in the mutation rate. Furthermore, you have more opportunities for mutations with larger populations, and Lenski apparently had trillions of bacteria, which provide many more opportunities than for humans.
Yes, there is evidence of genetic data being "unlocked", but this raises more questions than it solves for evolution (such as how did this information appear and get selected for if it was "locked" and therefore contributed no survival value?)
Radiometric dating has so many problems that it can't "safely give the conclusion that something is very old", and it is usually accepted as fact simply because and when it gives the dates the researchers are after. Given that, fossil dates cannot be used to reject an accurate historical account and much scientific evidence that say that they are much younger.
Although there are some claims of historical dates older than 6,000 years, there's really very little such evidence that is very strong. The Egyptian king lists are supposed to go back further than allowed on a biblical timescale, but dates assigned to these lists did not allow for overlapping reins, and Egyptian chronology today is is much dispute.
Darwin's conclusions were based, in part at least, on his beliefs, not just on his observations. He didn't see mutations nor adaptations happening; he saw variations that he attributed to adaptations. And the adaptations he saw are consistent with a creationary view (see more below).
There is not "definite" divergence in populations of the homo genus. The classification of the beings that you link to is still very much in dispute, and could in fact be homo sapiens[4].
Yes, creationists accept gene mutations, but no, it's not a matter of degree. It's a matter of direction. That is, evolution requires increasing amounts of genetic information. The first living cell had no information for blood, bone, livers, eyeballs, and so on. Evolution had to supply this extra information. The mutations and adaptations we observe are not the result of new information, but the loss of information. For example, sightless fish adapted to living in dark caves have lost the information for sight. This sort of loss is all that Darwin observed. But evolution requires new information in huge quantities, and such new information has never been observed, except perhaps in a few disputed examples, but still nothing like the amounts that evolution requires.
I'm not sure that I follow your argument about science being an argument for God's existence. It seems to be saying that we are free to assume that what we study is actually a study of what was going on in God's mind before He created, but this is not what is generally claimed, and as such cannot be an argument for God's existence.
Yes, most of the early geologists, biologists, and other scientists were indeed Christians, but these were generally not the ones who argued for an old Earth. Darwin's Christianity was fairly nominal to begin with, but he soon discarded it, and it was already being doubted in his mind before he came up with the idea of evolution. Historians of evolution have actually said that evolution was intended as a substitute for Christianity.
Perhaps you've simply not been clear, but I don't believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. I believe that God "ghost-wrote" it using human authors (their words, his ideas and ultimate control), and that it contains literal history as well as parable, euphemisms, metaphors, and other non-literal passages. This is based on what the Bible itself claims as well as logic and evidence, not on wishful thinking.
Your description of two different views of history, Bible-based and not Bible-based, is interesting and makes sense, but at the very least it acknowledges that what we believe about the past is based on our worldview (biblical, non-biblical, etc.), rather than (solely) on hard evidence. Creationists don't claim that creation can be scientifically proven, but point out that evolution and long ages are similarly based on worldviews, not absolute evidence. However, it's also true that much of the support of evolution and long ages has come not from people ignorant of the Bible, but from people opposed to it. Further, your description falsely insinuates that those that believe the Bible do so solely because that's what they are taught, rather than on the basis of other evidence, as opposed to the other person who hasn't read the Bible and bases his views on scientific evidence. This is not an argument about science vs. the Bible, but about the science of one worldview (Christianity) vs. the science of another worldview (atheism).
I've not found your posts to be offensive at all, and appreciate the civil debate.
Philip J. Rayment 08:55, 9 December 2008 (EST)

Rename

Can somebody rename this article "Pangaea," as this is the proper spelling? I'm not sure how to rename articles (or if this is even possible). If nobody responds I'm going to just move this to the Pangaea page and redirect it. -Ilikecake 16:33, 15 February 2009 (EST)

Please first convince us that it is the proper spelling and not just an alternative spelling. Wikipedia lists it under Pangaea, but lists Pangæa and Pangea as alternatives but seemingly without explaining the differences. Britannica lists it under Pangea, although lists Pangaea as an alternative form.
Only administrators can rename/move articles, and renaming/moving is much better than creating a new page and copying the content as the article then retains its history.
Philip J. Rayment 20:48, 15 February 2009 (EST)
The Oxford American Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Online Etymology Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary, and the American Heritage Dictionary of Science all list "Pangaea" as the primary spelling and "Pangea" as a secondary spelling, among other sources. Here is the dictionary.com reference page: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pangaea -Ilikecake 15:55, 16 February 2009 (EST)
To save what could be a circular argument about semantics, I have created a redirect for Pangaea that should sort out any problems if somebody searches for Pangaea. After all, Pangea does not appear to be incorrect, just an alternate spelling. --KotomiTnandeyanen? 16:02, 16 February 2009 (EST)
It does appear that "Pangaea" is the preferred spelling. If nobody provides suitable counter-argument in the next few days, I'll move the page (remind me if I forget). Philip J. Rayment 21:38, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I would have thought that "Pangea" would be preferred in the US, and "Pangaea" in other countries (similar to US encyclopedia/UK encyclopaedia). If so, it should stay as "Pangea" (but having both spellings direct to the page is obviously a good idea).--CPalmer 08:08, 17 February 2009 (EST)
It wouldn't surprise me to be an American spelling, but in my moderate research into the spelling, nowhere did I find anybody saying that. Philip J. Rayment 08:32, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Also, notice that all of the sources I cited as listing "Pangaea" as the primary spelling are American resources. -Ilikecake 21:02, 17 February 2009 (EST)
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