Talk:Theory of evolution/Archive 20

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Is the Discovery Institute a reliable source?

Not to nitpick too much but is the Discovery Institute really a reliable source? I mean yes Liberal Bias is pretty bad but you have to admit the results from the discovery institute seem pretty unbalanced and biased. Also Incidentally I didn't find the catholic church's stance on evolution which is the very reason why I came to this article.

--Leviticus2013 20:13, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

No mention in this article of the Catholic Church's stance on evolution?

The Vatican claims Darwin's theory to be compatible with a Christian view of Creation and a Christian lifestyle. Why isn't this mentioned anywhere in the article? GeorgeCS 16:16, 12 February 2009 (EST)

I'd like to add that I suggested that article be posted as a news article on the main page, as it is recent and extremely relevant to this website. But now I can't even find the page that I submitted it to--It used to be right below "Sign up to work on the news wikiproject," on the main page. Has it been deleted or something? What's up with that? GeorgeCS 12:18, 13 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, the news suggestions have been deleted as you noted. See the prior discussion. --DeanStalk 15:29, 13 February 2009 (EST)

Hitler Picture

I would like to assist in the matter of improving this article. As a first step, the picture of Adolf Hitler should be removed as the main image for the article. This not only makes us conservatives look foolish, but perpetuates the idea that someone who takes a scientific theory out of context is responsible for the original theory. I can assure you that Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler never had a conversation. Griffin84 06:24, 9 November 2008 (EST)
I would suggest you did not read the whole evolution article or if you did you are engaging in willful error or deception. Charles Darwin wrote in his work The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex the following: “At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla." conservative 22:55, 9 November 2008 (EST)
And I would suggest that you explain why this quote has anything to do with a Christian creationist who killed six million Jewish people. I think it's rather bad taste to keep that picture up there, and rather bad formatting to keep such a long eyesore of a text box underneath it. --Rainedaye 15:00, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Rainedaye, if memory serves I think you are establishing quite a reputation for errant posts on talk pages. Please show that Darwin was a creationist and not an evolutionist. Secondly, I think there is certainly considerable and rightful skepticism regarding Hitler being a Christian. I think you should consider that historical determinations are often probabilistic and not certain. For example, there is the "Hitler Tabletalk" controversy. I seem to recall that Hitler likely was into the occult and the History channel noted this. Please see: There is also the issue of the Nazi's persecution of the confessing church associated with Bonhoeffer: In short, I think your statement above is rather simplistic. conservative 21:10, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Conservative, assuming that you are correct about Hitler being an evolutionist, the Hitler image should still be removed from its current position. A picture of Charles Darwin would be far more fitting as a main image for the article. Hitler does not represent the Theory of Evolution. Darwin does. --JArneal 20:04, 13 November 2008 (EST)
Why not just split the evolution article from a discussion of eugenics - a simple link is sufficient. The current mixing of the two makes the article confused. This page should be simply limited to the theory of evolution and the evidence against it - related political matters need their own article.

Hitler, Social Darwinism, and the "survival of the fittest" are all linked to the Eugenics movement which led to the Holocaust. The picture is apt. --Ed Poor Talk 20:09, 13 November 2008 (EST)

I will not disagree with you on that point. But the image is not as apt as an image of Darwin.--Jarneal 20:38, 13 November 2008 (EST) Please? Will someone who has the authority change it?-- JArneal 16:04, 28 November 2008 (EST) This half-Hitler-half-Darwin picture is ridiculous! At least it's partly Darwin, but the fact that it draws similiarities between Hitler and Darwin renders it unfit to be the first picture of an evolution article. You might as well say,"Nazism is the same as the Theory of Evolution." Should anyone even have to say that this statement is wrong? -- JArneal 18:18, 6 January 2009 (EST)

Meaning of the word "theory"

I know everyone hates wikipedia, but this article does a good job explaining what evolution really is, and why it is both a "fact" and a "theory"

An interesting read, regardless of your political/religious position Conservamike 19:47, 17 November 2008 (EST)

Please see the section of the Conservapedia evolution article which cites Popper. The evolutionary position is not a theory. conservative 18:11, 18 November 2008 (EST)
How is evolution not a theory? All that is required for a scientific idea to be a theory is to be a testable model that can predict future occurences. Evolution has been tested against fossil records and has that ability to predict based on what scientists have found. I can understand disagreement with evolution, but to say that it is not a theory mystifies me.-- JArneal 22:17, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Spelling errors

There are many spelling errors in the article. Please review the article. I will not list the errors here, because they are quite elementary and I am sure that any CP editor can see them clearly.--JZim 23:27, 17 November 2008 (EST)

If you wish to make any more unsubstantiated claims please let us know. In addition, we do thank you for your generous spirit and willingness to pitch in and roll up your sleeves. Again, thank you for your helpfulness. I don't know what this website would do without you. conservative 23:37, 18 November 2008 (EST)
I guess my claims may seem unsubstantiated now that the spelling errors have been moved - not deleted, but moved - to the CP main page. My willingness to pitch in and roll up my sleeves? Thanks for noticing that the article is not blocked in any way and has never been blocked, ever. Your astounding sense of perception never ceases to amaze me, Conservative. What would this website do without me? Perhaps it would elevate a person who cannot spell words in his own mother tongue to the highest editor status, in true encyclopaedic fashion. Once more, I thank you for your evident civilised manner, Conservative.--JZim 21:32, 19 November 2008 (EST)
I have seen Hitler's first name spelled both ways if that is what you are referring to. Of course, I am not sure what you are referring to as your communication was rather vague which I find quite ironic. conservative 16:18, 4 January 2009 (EST)

Picture of Hitler

Regardless of what you think of the theory of evolution, is a picture of Hitler really an appropriate first picture in this article? Certainly he belongs in the article, but this seems to me equivalent of putting the a picture of John Wayne Gacy Jr. on the top of an article about clowns.

--Conservativecarl 14:40, 25 November 2008 (EST)

Hitler was an evolutionary racist (see: conservapedia theory of evolution article). Charles Darwin, the evolutionary racist, wrote in his work The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex the following: “At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla." conservative 01:34, 7 December 2008 (EST)
Wrong =( Historian Paul R. Bartrop asserts that there is "an intimate causal relationship" between Christian antisemitism and the Holocaust: "All that had gone before allowed the Holocaust to happen; indeed, the Holocaust was in fact the culmination of the previous twenty centuries of Christian animosity towards Jews."[1] That Christian teachings dehumanized Jews and justified Christian atrocities towards them, including repeated calls to rid the world of Judaism; that organised, institutionalised defamation of Jews and Judaism is derived from Christianity and incitement to murder Jews begins with the Church Fathers, Popes, and early Christian writers, are irrefutable facts that have been deliberately obscured by Christians in denial of their "sins against Jews, Judaism, and G-d, in thought, word and deed,"[2], assisted by those who have chosen to appease Christians.

The Nazi conception of the Jew as less than human, or inhuman, was based on the Christian conception of the Jew as traitor, murderer, plague, pollution, filth, devil, and insect, which "prepared both killers and victims for the Jews' literal destruction."[3] Jewish deaths at the hands of Christians before 1933 amounted to millions. In the Christian mind, as John Bossy has put it, "the Jews were the original enemies of Christ, who had procured his crucifixion and death and had taken his blood upon their heads and upon those of their children. Nothing was easier for the average Christian to understand than that this was a crime that cried out for vengeance."[4] And over the nearly two millennia of the Christian era, vengeance has been taken by means of Church policies of degradation and only half-hearted protection during pogroms and mass murder of Jews from the Middle Ages on. As Léon Poliakov has put it, Jews have provided "an indispensable reference group, enabling Christians to know themselves as Christians and to incarnate good by contrast with [Jewish] evil."[5] Martin Luther wrote that "Jews are a base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth."[6] History awaited the right leader, movement, crisis, and context to actualize Christianity’s antisemitic ideology into genocidal reality.[7]

Nearly every Nazi administrative order - from yellow stars to ghettos, from defamations to deportations, from round-ups to slaughters - had a precedent in the Christian West.[8][7] Millions of Jews were murdered in Europe "before Adolf Hitler was a twinkle in his mother's eye."[7][9] During the Dreyfus Affair, 20,000 French Roman Catholics wrote that they planned to "flay and butcher and boil the Jewish vampires alive", or "bake them in the ovens of Baccarat".[10][11]One Catholic priest asked for "a bedside mat made of Jewish skin which he would be able to stamp on morning and evening."[12][13] They called Jews "bugs" and a single generation later, the Nazis and their collaborators murdered them in the millions employing an insecticide called Zyklon B. The Holocaust differed from the previous centuries of Christian murder of Jews only in that it added "a comprehensive organization... and technology to follow through to their horrific end the murderous impulses inherent in Christian antisemitism."[7] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fox (talk)-- 01:24, 7 December 2008

I think an important additional point to add is that the evangelical movement in America was either supportive or apathetic to eugenic theory as a whole (c.f. [1]).

The early Church

Christianity's understanding of itself centres on the New Testament, particularly the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus (the "Passion"). In it the Jews are perceived as the "Christ killers," a people condemned forever to suffer exile and degradation. This act of deicide turned the Jews into the embodiment of evil, a criminal people cursed by G-d and doomed to wander and suffer torment to the end of time. Ultimately, all antisemitic accusations and justifications for persecution and discrimination spring from that primal act of deicide.[14] In the words of the Roman Catholic biblical exegete J. D. Crossan "the passion-resurrection stories [are] the matrix for Christian anti-Judaism and eventually for European anti-Semitism," and "without that Christian anti-Judaism, lethal and genocidal European anti-Semitism would have been either impossible or at least not widely successful."[15] In the second century, Bishop Melito of Sardis proclaimed in his Peri Pascha : "God has been murdered; the king of Israel has been slain by an Israelite hand," a teaching that provoked massive attacks on Jews.[14] Robert M. Grant points to this episode as a prime example of what happens to theology when it is divorced from history.[16] Nearly every Christian writer in the first five centuries of the Church "wrote at least one antisemitic treatise or made anti-Judaism the central theme of other writings. Interpretation of the Passion by Christian theologians and apologists fabricated a composite symbol of the Jew, combining the image of the Wandering or Eternal Jew with that of the agent of Satan and the Antichrist."[14] Tertullian accused the Jews of deicide in twenty passages in ten of his works. Origen, the third-century exegete, regarded the fate of the Jews as just punishment for their deicide, the culmination of a history of crime, rebellion against God, blindness, hard-heartedness and carnality.[17][18]

Fox, I don't believe you demonstrated your contention that Christian influence was more influential than evolutionary racism as far as the holocaust occurring. For example, you claim that that "Nearly every Christian writer in the first five centuries of the Church "wrote at least one antisemitic treatise or made anti-Judaism the central theme of other writings." Well, was the Apostle Paul an anti-semite? I know the evidence does not validate the notion that the Apostle Paul was an anti-semite. I also see you give no evidence that Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Jerome, the Apostle Peter, James the brother of Jesus, or the Apostle John were anti-semites. This leads me to suspect that your Tertullian claim maybe rather suspect. Now the New Testament clearly states that both gentile and Jew had some responsibility for the death of Christ so any claims you make must address this issue. With the aforementioned being said, it wouldn't surprise me if Origen may have been anti-semetic as he was rather unorthodox in some of his beliefs (meaning some of his beliefs did not line up with biblical Christianity). [2] Lastly, Fox, I suggest you read the following essay, Triumph of the Gospel of Love. I also would point out what Jesus stated in the New Testament passage of John 4:22: "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." conservative 05:42, 7 December 2008 (EST)

(incomplete,writing remainder offline)


  1. Pinnock, Sarah K. "Atrocity and Ambiguity: Recent Developments in Christian Holocaust Responses" Journal of the American Academy of Religion August 2007
  2. Sherwin, Richard Elliott. Preface to "Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism and the Holocaust" (Michael, Robert. New York, Palgrave Macmillan; 2006.) ISBN 1-4039-7471-3
  3. Young, James "Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the Consequences of Interpretation" (Bloomington, IN 1988)ISBN 0-2533-6716-6
  4. Bossy, John "Christianity in the West, 1400–1700" (Oxford, 1985)ISBN 0-1928-9162-6
  5. Poliakov, Léon "The History of Antisemitism" (Vanguard; 1983) ISBN 0-8149-0762-8
  6. Luther, Martin "The Jews And Their Lies" (Liberty Bell Publications; 2004) ISBN 1-5936-4024-2
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Michael, Robert "Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism and the Holocaust" (New York, Palgrave Macmillan; 2006) ISBN 1-4039-7471-3
  8. Hilberg, Raul "The Destruction of the European Jews" (Holmes & Meier; 1985) ISBN 0-8419-0910-5
  9. A Calendar of Jewish Persecution Hear Now!. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  10. Quillard, Pierre "Le Monument Henry" (Paris; 1899)
  11. Wilson, Stephen "Le Monument Henry: La structure de l’antisémtisme en France, 1898–1899" Annales 32 (1977)
  12. Adrien Dansette "Religious History of Modern France" (Herder & Herder; 1961)
  13. Paris, Edmond "The Secret History of the Jesuits" (1983) ISBN 0-9379-5810-7
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Perry, Marvin and Schweitzer, Frederick "Anti-Semitism: Myth and Hate from Antiquity to the Present" (New York, Palgrave Macmillan; 2002) ISBN 0-3121-6561-7
  15. Crossan, J. D. "Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus" p.32, 35 (HarperSanFrancisco; 1995) ISBN 0-0606-1480-3
  16. Grant, Robert M. "The Trial of Jesus in the Light of History" Judaism 20 (1971): Cohen, Jeremy ed. "Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict" (NYU Press; 1991) ISBN 0-8147-1443-9
  17. Efroymson, David Patrick "Tertullian’s Anti-Judaism and Its Role in His Theology" (Temple University; 1975): Williamson, Clark M. "Anti-Judaism in Process Christologies?" Process Studies pp.73-92, Vol. 10, Numbers 3-4, 1980
  18. De Lange, Nicholas "Origen and the Jews" (Cambridge; 1976) ISBN 0-5212-0542-5

External links


Is anyone going to be terribly upset if I remove the images from the bottom of this talk page? They're not exactly adding much to the discussion.... JimP 23:10, 10 December 2008 (EST)

Character of Darwin

Is that nessesary? I know you guys are against evolution, but at least state facts rather than a picture that suggests Darwin was stupid.

Bacterial flagellum???

Unless someone can undo the massive amount of support that irreducible complexity DOES NOT provide the only, or even best account for bacterial flagellum the section should be removed. The sections on hoaxes also is inaccurate and misleading, and additionally the appeal to popularity in the second paragraph is a logical fallacy. Proof of all of this: [3]. If anyone can provide a refutation I would be happy to see it? --StoryOfTheEye 23:02, 10 December 2008 (EST)

Moved your comment to below the header, as it looked weird otherwise. Yes, there is a lot of data on the evolution of the flagella and homologies (Type 3 Secretory System and ATP-ase,) but this site's bias should be obvious. Linkthewindow 08:28, 11 December 2008 (EST)

Linkthewindow, the creation science organization Creation Ministries International has an excellent article which totally refutes your contention about the flagellum and the article notes that even some notable evolutionary scientists disagree with your contention.

William Dembski wrote the following in a essay:

In a 1996 review of Michael Behe’s book Darwin's Black Box, James Shapiro, a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago, wrote: "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject -- evolution -- with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity" (National Review, 16 September 1996). Five years later cell biologist Franklin Harold wrote a book for Oxford University Press titled The Way of the Cell. In virtually identical language, he notes: "There are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations." [1]

In addition, Michael Behe wrote the following:

Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature—in prestigious journals, speciality journals, or book—that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations. Since no one knows molecular evolution by direct experience, and since there is no authority on which to base claims of knowledge, it can truly be said that—like the contention that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl this year—the assertion of Darwinian molecular evolution is merely bluster." - Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 186 [4]
conservative 00:38, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Thorough Explanation Needed

I've been protesting the first picture of this article for a while, but it has come to my attention that this article has a far bigger problem. The article begins by giving two definitions of the Theory of Evolution, then the rest of the article is about why evolution is wrong. An article about the Theory of Evolution should have a good explanation of the reasoning behind the theory, not just criticism. I know that if someone came along having no idea what evolution is about, they could read this article and come away knowing only one thing: "evolution is wrong." The definition provided from Merriam-Webster is superb, but without an explanation, it is nothing. I think I typed up a good summary of it in my first post here, if you want me to be more specific about what this article needs. It certainly isn't much, but it's better than no explanation whatsoever. -- JArneal 21:05, 6 January 2009 (EST)

Jarneal, there is no reasoning behind the evolutionary position. It is pure methodological naturalism fantasy that heavily uses the exclusionary fallacy and ignores the compelling evidence for creation science. The article clearly shows this matter. Furthermore, in the Conservapedia evolution article please read the candid admission by Simon Conway Morris published in the peer reviewed science journal Cell. conservative 21:28, 6 January 2009 (EST)
There is reasoning behind evolution whether you agree with that reasoning or not. I'm just saying that a person should know what is being refuted in this article, because there is no clear explanation. Please allow evolutionists to make a case for their theory in this article. Then let the reader decide whether evolution is wrong or not. Isn't that what Conservapedia is about? -- JArneal 21:47, 6 January 2009 (EST)
Jarneal, was Popper an excellent philosopher of science? Are you sure it is a theory in the scientific sense? The article does mention what various evolutionists propose as being mechanisms and why they utterly fail. The article clearly shows what is being refuted. It is bunk that is being refuted. Next, the evolutionists have no case so they would be unable to make one. Lastly, Conservapedia is not going to have an article on the white supremacy or Holocaust denial and give "both sides" due to the speciousness of the pro-positions. The same applies for the bunk of evolutionists. conservative 23:03, 6 January 2009 (EST)
It is a scientific theory. I have not read enough about Popper to have an opinion about him. Yes, the article mentions evolutionary mechanisms, but only very briefly. It ultimately fails in providing a good explanation of the subject. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, isn't it? The criticism of evolution should probably be in its own section. It should not be 95% of the text. And evolutionists do have a case, but their opinions are being censored because the article is protected, and therefore they are unable to present it.
Conservative, I know that you hate the Theory of Evolution. Please don't allow that hatred to get in the way of a comprehensive encyclopedia. I hate Adolf Hitler, but I know that it is best for people to see what is wrong with him for themselves, so I oppose censorship of the awful things he did. Please, please include an explanation of evolution, if only to emphasize the absurdity of the theory. -- JArneal 23:39, 6 January 2009 (EST)
Jarneal, I suppose we could go back and forth regarding our emotional states. I could go on and on about how you love the "theory" of evolution. I don't see this as productive. Secondly, I don't believe you made a compelling case that the "theory" of evolution was not adequately explained. conservative 23:54, 6 January 2009 (EST)
There's nothing about genes being transfered between species. Also, nothing about adaptation of species to certain environments. Very little about how genes are favored. I didn't see anything about sexual selection. There wasn't much about the effects of mutations that are not beneficial to that organism's ability to reproduce. A big thing I saw was no mention of co-evolution. No mention of extinction or near extinction in the context of evolution.
This part isn't necessary, but it would improve the article if there was a brief explanation of stuff like genetic drift, speciation, and macroevolution. I know they have their own articles, but it would be better if a person could read straight through the evolution article without having to check other pages.
Actually, after reading the article more carefully when I was looking for suggestions, I found more explanation of the theory than I thought I would. I just didn't really see a synthesis of the idea. I'm really no big expert on the theory though. It would probably be better if an expert checked the article and submitted suggestions. -- JArneal 20:23, 7 January 2009 (EST)


This article has a few problems, mainly with how the word "Evolution" is presented

"Merriam-Webster's dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: "a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations."[5]"

This is partially correct, but is a gross over simplification for an encyclopedia article. "Evolution" does not attempt to explain anything, it cannot because "evolution" is an observation. "Evolution" (I am putting it in quotes to emphasize the word Evolution without any other words around it) is the observed change in species over time (even though it may be contested). The "theory of evolution by natural selection" and it's modern cousin "Modern evolutionary synthesis" are proposed models that explain these changes. I think the article should stress the difference in the first paragraph. One is an observation and the other is a theory (theory used as in "model" not as in "guess")

I also take issue with the fact you are leading with an image of Charles Darwin. While this is certainly a better representation than Hitler, Darwin did not "invent" the "Theory of evolution." Darwin's only real insight was to propose the notion of Natural Selection, everything else he wrote was pretty much junk (from a modern science POV). The modern "Theory of evolution" contains much, much more information that Charles Darwin proposed. Trying to debunk the "theory of evolution" by portraying it as a brainchild of Darwin is ineffective and looks childish, the facts should speak for themselves.

NotALiberal 10:03, 1 February 2009 (EST)

I agree with everything you said, but what do you suggest for the image? Just curious. -- JArneal 22:15, 3 February 2009 (EST)

Caricature of Charles Darwin

Though I have nothing against intellectual discussion and argue of facts on both sides of the evolution/creationism controversy, I believe that the caricature of Charles Darwin<s head placed on an ape is downright slander. It does not contribute to the article and simply demeans the opposing argument in a frankly childish way. It would be best, in my opinion, to have it removed.--SmokingGnu 18:20, 12 February 2009 (EST)

Is this article explaining the theory of evolution, or providing arguments against it?

I understand that the purpose of this website is to provide a conservative perspective on things. However, were I a creationist seeking to better my understanding of evolution this page would not be of much help to me. When I look down the contents box I do not find the history of the theory, or its defining features; rather, I find argument after argument against it. Surely this article would be more aptly-named 'Arguments against the theory of evolution'? --Yorpa 09:37, 15 February 2009 (EST)

Re:Is this article explaining the theory of evolution, or providing arguments against it? Yorpa, you haven't shown that the two are mutually exclusive. conservative 19:17, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Content move

I've been following the back and forth over this article and the need to accurately describe the theory of evolution versus the desire to have a rigorous disclosure of all the points of contention between it and creation science. I think that both of these are important and need our attention. However, I also think it's obvious that the current content and format of this article supports neither. Given the fact that there is already a page for creationism and another for the creation-evolution controversy, it would make sense to consolidate certain parts of this and other articles to those and make this one more about the specifics of evolutionary theory. Note that there are also pages for evolution and creation, creation vs. evolution videos, and natural selection, the latter of which is arguably more even-handed with its subject than this article.

I'm not opposed to leaving a section here that touches on the debate and links to the controversy page, but anything beyond that isn't really appropriate for an article with the stated purpose of explaining evolutionary theory. Thoughts? --SStaples 09:14, 25 February 2009 (EST)

You cannot have an even dog fight when one of the dogs is dead. Therefore, your "even handed" comment is quite wrongheaded. The article does accurately describe the fact the evolutionary position is a intellectually dead position foisted on the public by those wishing to promote an errant materialistic worldview. conservative 01:35, 1 March 2009 (EST)
Your analogy is lost on me. If you truly feel that evolutionary theory is a "dead" position, then I submit that this is only because of the gross inadequacies of this article in its present form. A more complete discussion of the topic would lead to greater understanding among both proponents and detractors of the theory. Also, the description of this as a having to do with a "materialistic worldview" is a mischaracterization for two important reasons: 1) it incorrectly ties evolutionary theory to any particular set of beliefs and 2) it is based on the assumption that anything not based on the "immaterial" or spiritual is inherently flawed. Would you call Newtonian physics materialistic because it is based on measurable observations, even though it describes what are to our best understanding very immaterial forces? --SStaples 09:18, 3 March 2009 (EST)

Addressing evolutionists' rants

Hitler was a Roman Catholic, the holocaust was done in the name of god, read Mein Kampf. They're using an appeal to emotion, irrelevant

It doesn't matter if 99% of all US citizens reject evolution, fact is not democratic, this would only serve to put us behind Turkey as the least biologically inclined first world country. They're using an argument from popularity, irrelevant.

"The theory of evolution posits a process of self-transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory."

It's not really self transformation, its driven largely by the environment, anyway, observed increases in complexity via evolution include but are certainly not limited to the nylon bug, cit+ E. Coli, culex mosquito, hedylepta. They're using an argument from ignorance, irrelevant.

"The great intellectuals in history such as Archimedes, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Lord Kelvin did not propose an evolutionary process for a species to transform into a more complex version"

Nor did they propose the theory of relativity.

"Theory of Evolution and Little Consensus" See; Project Steve

"Dr. Stephen Meyer published an article favoring intelligent design in a peer reviewed science journal which had traditionally only published material advocating the evolutionary position."

On 4 August 2004, an article by Meyer appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. On 7 September, the publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement retracting the article as not having met its scientific standards and not peer reviewed.

"A notable case of a scientists using fraudulent material to promote the theory of evolution was the work of German scientist and atheist Ernst Haeckel."

Only 6 of his over 100 drawings were at all embellished due to lack of visual reference, what we know now with the ability to take photomicrographs is that embellishment was unnecessary, human embryos DO have pharyngeal pouches identical to fish embryo gills, human embryos DO have tails, whale embryos DO have legs, these are facts confirmed by modern science.

DNA alone spectacularly confirms common descent beyond any doubt, see; chromosome 2, the vitamin C synthesis gene, the human-chimp genome project.

I will expand this when I have time, if this comment isn't deleted for debunking most of the main page in about 15 lines. If you really had any valid arguments against evolution, not just arguments from incredulity and appeals to emotion, the page would be open to editing.

I noticed you did not cite on factual error in the article. By the way, I found your rant less than persuasive. conservative 23:47, 1 March 2009 (EST)
It is possible to lie by omission. If I sell a large quantity of stock but fail to alert the federal government of the resulting income, I have lied to the government. This sort of thing -- factual inaccuracy due to important missing information -- is the main problem with this article. --SStaples 09:23, 3 March 2009 (EST)
SStaples: And yet, you failed to mention any of the so-called important missing information. Given the "missing links" issue, the irony of your complaint was quite delectable. conservative 21:51, 5 March 2009 (EST)
I'll be happy to provide a few examples with citations. Duplication mutations, in which an extra copy of one or more genes is inserted, is one way in which new genetic information can be added to an organism's genome. This material would naturally then be subject to other types of mutation, leading to modified or new functions for the genes in question. Regarding transitional forms, there are numerous recorded examples of this. There is also the matter of observed speciation events; that is, the documented appearance of new species, i.e. macroevolution. Co-evolution is also not mentioned in the current version of this article, nor is endosymbiosis, which is thought to explain the appearance of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and possibly other organelles. --SStaples 23:22, 5 March 2009 (EST)

First example: You provided a page which alledgedly shows an archaic whale evolvoing into a gray whale [5], yet this page provides NO evidence of a transitional form; the pic in the middle is just a question mark. Where's the transitional image on the page you provided? Are we supposed to take your word for it? The next pages you site, including your first reference to "duplicate mutation", are frought with the following: "It may involve..."; "All fossilized animals found should conform..."; "suggests it is close to...", "indicate that it may have been..." These are guessing or speculative phrases which are more of what the scientist thinks has happened rather than what has actually happened. Then there's the fish you pulled up here: [6]. "This fish also had lungs and nostrils (Vorobyeva and Schulze, 1991, p.87) but also had gills." Lungfish have both lungs and gills; all fish have nostrils. The claim again by a scientist here, and here [7] is that we have to accept this example as a transitional form with no evidence to back it up as per the first step in the Scientific method. As for this one [8], where are the actual fossils? Are they truly flat-fishes, or are they "flattened fishes", as is every single fossil fish ever recovered? This page is evidence of microevolution only [9], and most of the examples on it were influenced by man's own actions. Until the average scientist could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fish turned into the amphibian, that the amphibian turned into the reptile, which turned into the mammal, etc, and he proves that by following to the letter all of the steps in the Scientific method and ceases making uneducated guesses about it, the subject will never be more than a bad theory here. Karajou 23:57, 5 March 2009 (EST)

Well, I certainly appreciate such a rapid and vigorous response. For the record, though...
1. The question mark you mention has a button below it that reads "click here to meet the intermediate", and when you do click it another fossil is revealed. (Or at least it does this on Firefox.)
2. You're right, the source for duplication mutations was pretty weak. Here's a better one.
3. How does the existence of the Lungfish render those examples of transitional forms irrelevant?
4. If the known fossil evidence is unsatisfactory, what would constitute acceptable proof in your eyes for the existence of transitional forms?
5. Speculative phrases are very common in scientific literature, and their use is actually considered good form during the discussion section of a published article, where new theories are presented based on the new data. The reason they are used is because while these ideas often seem like the most probable explanation, there simply isn't enough information at the time of writing to be absolutely sure they're the right explanation. So, yes, the statements they were attached to might not actually turn out to be correct. But as I'm sure you are aware, this is all just part of the scientific method.
6. This website has more information about the flatfish fossils, including pictures.
7. Aren't speciation events an example of macroevolution? We seem to think so.
8. I noticed that you had no dispute over my citation of the Conservapdia article discussing gain-of-function mutations or with the preceding source. Can I take it then that you accept that portion of my last entry?
Kind regards. --SStaples 01:13, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Regarding question number 4, the only acceptable proof would be the actual change from the old to the new, as vusualized under direct observation by the scientist as per the first step of the Scientific Method. Nobody can take the fossilized remains of "animal A" and say it evolved into the fossilized remains of "animal B". Even Darwin couldn't find them, and a century and a half later, Darwin's worshippers still can't [10]. It either happened, or it didn't.
I would agree that speculation phrases are common in any subject, but as far as I'm concerned, if someone is going to say "maybe this happened", "it is conjectured", "it is plausable". "scientists believe", and then tell the reading audience at the same time that "it's a fact", all he's doing is spouting hearsay. Either it happened, or it didn't.
The lungfish was included on that particular site to illustrate what the fossil fish had. What's the claim for the age of that fish? 200 million years? 300 million years? If the lungfish is considered "primitive", then what's it doing here alive and well? Why didn't the other survive? And then there's this fish [11], which our scientific community would have us belief evolved a clear canopy so that its withdrawn eyes could see straight up from within its skull.
Number 7 is not macroevolution in the slightest. We seem to think so, and so do a lot of Phd's.
I didn't read number 8.
In the beginning, God created. That fact has never been proven wrong; this website will promote it.
Kindest regards. Karajou 03:30, 6 March 2009 (EST)
So you would only be convinced if someone actually, physically observed a distinct morphological change? The problem with this is that the theory of evolution itself states that changes like that are expected to take thousands or millions of years. Is it reasonable to expect the kind of proof you seek given that kind of timeline? Who would make the observations? And for that matter, is it any surprise that you can find no example of this, given that the theory is only 150 years old? In any case, while you'll no doubt object to the lack of morphology changes, this paper describes in detail a recorded case of speciation. Fair warning, it's a PDF file.
Regarding the lungfish, just because evolution is taking place all around us does not preclude some organisms from finding a comfortable niche in which they don't require much further adaptation. Sharks haven't changed much in the last couple hundred million years because they're so perfectly equipped for their environment, and I suspect it's probably the same for the lungfish. Many insect forms, such as the shape of a dragonfly or mosquito, have also been conserved over a very long period because they are highly effective. If you're interested, here is a great site with lots of information on the lungfish.
From macroevolution -- "Macroevolution is the theory that natural selection, mutations, and genetic drift can, given enough time, lead to the creation of new clades which are groups of organisms consisting of a single common ancestor and all the descendants of that ancestor." From clade -- "A clade is a group of organisms, such as a species, whose members share homologous features allegedly derived from a common ancestor."
What about co-evolution in the hummingbird and endosymbiosis? These are discussed in my last two links above.
Why didn't you read #8?
Lastly, you state that it's a fact that God created. I don't dispute God's creation of the universe, but what proof do you present for God's creation of one or more species in its present form? I am not interested in offending anyone. I think this is a reasonable question, however, given your very strong objections to my points and your stringent requirements for proof of evolution. --SStaples 08:17, 6 March 2009 (EST)
  • There is a reason it is called "faith" do realize that? Have you ever been in love, SStaples? Do you have a child? Do you love it? Do you believe your mother/father/wife/child loves you? Please quantify it.
You are just about to go over a bridge en route to work. Why do you believe the bridge will hold the car, bus or train on its journey across it? You would probably respond, ‘well, the engineers and building contractors have gone over the specifications before building it to measure how much weight it would hold and how many vehicles could cross at a given moment. Then the builders would make sure all the iron/steel/concrete were the best quality for these specifications to use. The builders would make sure that their construction workers were skilled enough to rivet the girders together to keep the strength specifications or pour the concrete at the right temperature for the foundations. You have faith in the characters and reputations of all the people involved in designing and constructing the bridge. Even though you haven’t met any of them.

You might ask me, “What does this have to do with God?” Isn’t that what you were asking about what is faith for?” Yes, it is but don’t you see that believing in God is the same thing as you mentioned about the people who constructed the bridge. Having faith in God is believing in His character and what that means to each of us personally. You might now ask, ‘how can we know His character?’ We can find out God’s character through a book that was written many, many years ago. It’s the Bible-Old Testament and New Testament. In it many men and women had real everyday dealings with God and His Son, Jesus. [12]

--₮K/Admin/Talk 08:39, 6 March 2009 (EST)

SStaples, the "changes are expected to take millions of years" line is totally illogical. Do you honestly think a giraffe is going to wait a million years to grow a neck to reach the leaves it needs to eat? It's a proven observable fact that if anyone places those same leaves out of reach, the giraffe will starve to death inside of a month. A dead giraffe cannot leave genomes to its offspring, let alone written instructions on the art of neck growing. And the tail on the rattlesnake? What's it warn other, bigger animals away from it? We have to assume - by evolution - that a snake (which cannot hear) makes a noisemaker? And the coral snake created all by itself bright coloration to warn black-and-white-seeing wildlife from stepping on it. Somehow, the king snake looked at that and decided - also by itself - to copy it. Chimpanzees still would rather take the faces and hands off of people than to sit down and type out some Shakespeare, which explains why they're not evolving. And the smartest animals on the planet, dolphins and whales, still haven't evolved a way to avoid drift nets and harpoons. Are they expected to wait millions of years for instincts to come their way to avoid something they have to have right now?

It's because of those illogical holes, statements, and beliefs in evolution that we have no trust in it as a scientific theory; it's psuedo-science at best, and scientific religion at worst. It takes more faith to believe that it works than it does to believe that God created everything within six days. Karajou 14:25, 6 March 2009 (EST)

TK – I have no problem with religious faith. And since you asked, yes, I am in love right now :-). But I don’t see how this relates to my question, since evolutionary theory doesn’t attempt to deny faith in God. Sure, people like Richard Dawkins can be abrasive, but he’s not really a representative example of the mindset among proponents of evolution. (A disclaimer here: I haven’t actually read any of Dawkins’ work, so I don’t know exactly what he has to say. But I accept evolution and I’m not an atheist, so I feel confident enough to at least say that he doesn’t share my mindset.) And yes, accepting evolution as fact my force one to re-evaluate a literal interpretation of some portions of scripture, but this shouldn’t prevent one from embracing them as allegory and holding true to their messages about God, morality, and the nature of humanity. That’s just my interpretation, of course. Personally, I take heed in Darwin’s own statement that “there is grandeur in this view of life.” I think that if God was involved in the process of creating life as we know it, this involvement probably took the form of laying out the processes by which life could evolve and adapt, leading to the tremendous diversity we see around us today. I also believe very strongly that the more we learn about the universe in general, the more awe-inspiring and obviously perfect it is revealed to be, and I draw much spiritual strength from this.
Back to my point about proof, though. We have established that the creationist community demands proof of evolution, and that they call into question much of the existing scientific research which supports it. But on what basis do they question the validity of that material? I assumed it was because of conflicting scientific evidence which was not common knowledge but had been subjected to equally rigorous review nonetheless. Many, including Karajou above, state it as fact that God created all life in its present form. Surely, if no double standard is to be applied when comparing creationism to evolutionary theory, there must be substantial evidence supporting this statement, or at least some in contrary to the material supporting evolution.
Your example of the bridge is definitely relevant, yet it is incomplete. Yes, I would have faith that the people involved in building the bridge had done their jobs properly. But if I had been standing on that spot while they were building it, I could have verified the quality of their work with my own eyes. This seems to be the primary difference between the scientific material supporting evolution and the counterarguments I have been presented with thus far in this discussion. One is based on observation, the other on faith. Can faith really be used to disprove observation in this way? Furthermore, should it? How do you explain what appears to be a double standard here for evaluating scientific and faith-based arguments? And is there any possibility that some particularly profound observation or display of evolution in action could cause you to change your thinking about your faith, or are you unconvinceable on this point? Hundreds of years ago most people had faith that the world was flat even though none of them had attempted to sail to the edge. --SStaples 19:48, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Karajou – You seem to have misinterpreted some of the fundamental aspects of evolutionary theory. Either that or you are attempting to use a straw man fallacy against me, though I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is not the case. I will try to clear up the confusion using some of the examples you just mentioned.
In the simplest description, evolution is dominated by two forces acting on a given population of organisms. The first, mutation, consists of changes to the genome of individuals through damage or mistakes in DNA replication. Sometimes a single mutation will have dramatic consequences for good or ill, and sometimes they will have no effect at all. Often, it takes an accumulation of many mutations to give rise to a change that impacts an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce. The second force is selection pressure, which is the sum of all the things in that organism’s environment which determine its ability to survive, such as the presence of predators, the types and relative abundance of food, and competition or interference from other organisms. It’s called selection pressure because those organisms that are better suited to the environment are more likely to be able to survive long enough to pass on their genes, making successive generations more likely to bear those traits. In this way, the pressures of the environment select for organisms with particular traits.
Now, let’s imagine a group of horse-like animals which could have roamed central Africa six or seven million years ago. Just as with humans today, this population is not homogenous; some of the animals are taller than others, some have darker or lighter fur, and some are naturally stronger and faster. Food is abundant and there are few predators, so even though mutations are still occurring, the population isn’t changing much because the selection pressures are not very strong. Then, a cataclysm occurs: a major earthquake causes a larger river far to the east to change course. This causes the home range of our creatures to receive significantly less water, and as a result plant growth slows. Within a few years, the food supply has shrunk dramatically and a large portion of the population of animals has starved. Many of those that survived did so because they were tall enough to reach leaves that their brethren could not, and thus experienced less competition for food. Fast forward a few dozen generations and the landscape more closely resembles modern-day savannah, with only the heartiest trees able to scratch out a living. The same is true for our population of herbivores, which has gradually been whittled down as animals too short to gather enough food starve before they are able to bear offspring. All this time, the rest have been passing on the trait that allowed them to survive, height, to their offspring, and the continual background process of mutation ensures enough variation in each new generation for there to be room for improvement. They are well on their way to becoming the animal we now call a giraffe.
Your point about dolphins needing to avoid drift nets and harpoons is another good example of a sudden change in the environment which puts a strong selection pressure on a population. These threats would probably cause only those animals with superior eyesight, hearing, and intelligence to survive, which they would need in order to recognize and avoid the new “predators”. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever know for sure how dolphins would evolve to handle this, since the threat from these hazards seems to be increasing far too fast for them to avoid extinction. But, if by some chance a small portion of the population was able to survive long enough to begin to adapt, I would expect them to develop larger eyes and a more sophisticated means of communication.
I hope this has helped a little bit, and that you don’t mind what I now realize has turned into a very long-winded response. I also look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of the other points and questions I posed in my earlier post. If I wrote a more thorough explanation than the one I just gave and provided some citations, do you think you could add it to this article as a better description of how evolution works? --SStaples 19:48, 6 March 2009 (EST)
SStaples, again you have provided stories, conjecture, and inuendo without provable fact; and yet at the same time you expect us to accept evolution as fact by way of those stories, conjecture, and inuendo. A hypothetical story is just not proof of evolution. You have the strawman argument here. Karajou 01:09, 7 March 2009 (EST)
I don't think it's accurate to call what I've written so far innuendo, since nothing I've said has been of a derogatory nature. Nor was my above example meant to serve as proof of evolution, but rather was meant as just that: an example of how the process works, as described by the theory in very simple terms. I had hoped that you and the other editors here would want to understand that which you seem so intent on refuting. If you believe evolution is wrong, it stands to reason that you must have first developed a basic understanding of the subject. In the context of this encyclopedic article, such a basic understanding is important as it provides a foundation on which to build any criticism that might follow. --SStaples 13:17, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
Even in very simple terms, there has to be decisive proof that evolution took place. If a scientist states that the horse evolved from Eohippus, then I want him to demonstrate that fact in the lab by creating a horse from Eohippus. But we both know that cannot be done. Instead, we have to accept the scientist's belief that this event took place, and what we get as an alternative are bacteria in a petri dish or wingless fruit flies in a bottle, and above all their own personal interpretations of what they think happened with every form of life out there. Karajou 14:04, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
Well of course such an experiment is impossible, since there are no Eohippus currently in existence. And besides, how would that be different from wingless fruit flies in a bottle? For that matter, how is a scientist's belief that the modern horse evolved in this way any less qualified than a strict YEC's belief that the horse was created by God in its present form?--SStaples 14:52, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
The view that the horse was created by God is logical, and there is no deception whatsoever in presenting it. Neither can be said about the claim that the horse somehow evolved. Perhaps logic doesn't matter much to some, and perhaps deception doesn't bother them. But on this site logic and truthfulness carry the day.--Andy Schlafly 15:51, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Undent<-- Andy, Karajou, TK, everyone; please don't let what I'm about to say come across as disrespectful of your religious beliefs. After lots of reflection and rereading of our little debate here, I've come to realize that the fundamental objection to the theory of evolution stems from an appeal to ignorance. Essentially, you say that no one has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that evolution is real, and therefore evolution cannot be real. Put another way, no one has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that God did not create the horse in its present form, therefore He must have done so. And my personal favorite, "In the beginning, God created. That fact has never been proven wrong." Note that the inverse of any one of these statements would be just as much of a logical fallacy, and for the exact same reason. It's been fun chatting with you, but I now see the futility of continuing further. Best of luck. --SStaples 09:06, 9 March 2009 (EDT)

    • PMichael I removed your inflammatory and unproductive comment. Christians, devote ones, all accept Jesus Christ and differ on YEC beliefs about the age of the Earth, including the world's 1.15 Billion Catholics. The main point is, Christians accept Jesus as our Lord, and that God, his Father, did indeed create the Heavens and the Earth, no? --₮K/Admin/Talk 20:10, 6 March 2009 (EST)