Talk:Theory of evolution/Archive 21

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Greetings Student Panel members and fellow Conservapedia readers! I am a bit confused with the fundamental view of science presented in your "Evolution" article. As a Christian leader on a small college campus and a scientist, this "religion vs. science" topic is of some interest to me. From what I have read of the nature of science from greats such as Thomas Kuhn, Stephen J. Gould, the Vienna Circle and others, I understand science to be in the business of issuing statements (including theories such as evolution, physical laws and so forth) which, at some point, are reducible to empirically testable hypotheses. This necessitated experimental component requires that science only be sensitive to the naturalistic world as there is no possible way to empirically test the metaphysical. As a Christian, I do not find this in conflict with my religious views as science is but one tool for garnering, admittedly naturalistic, truth. Theology and philosophy are different areas, or "magisteria" in Stephen Gould's wording. Stated differently, there are two types of questions; the "why" and the "how". Suppose you are heating up a pot of water for tea and wonder why the water boils. You could answer "because the kinetic energy within the water has become sufficient to overcome that needed for an observable quantity of liquid water to vaporize" or simply "because I wanted some tea." Are either of these statements wrong? I think not. The first is an example of what Aristotle referred to as an "efficient cause" ... the "how" questions. These are dealt with in science and involve purely naturalistic questions. The second was termed by the ancient Greek philosopher as a "final cause" which largely lie within the realm of religion. Evolution is without a doubt the only naturalistic theory for biodiversity, as explained by Charles Darwin's elegant mechanism of natural selection. The scientific evidence is overwhelming in terms of fossils and morphology, but especially in the realm of genetics. Intelligent Design, resting on the "cracking ice" of Irreducible Complexity, is by nature partially metaphysical and therefore non-scientific. ID proponents seek to change the nature of science back to the days before Kepler and Galileo, when religion was the sole source for naturalistic truth, which I believe is a case of "misplaced magisteria". Much of the power of science, after all, is in physical manipulation (plastics, pharmaceuticals and seedless watermelon are prime examples). We are quite unable to manipulate the metaphysical (as far as I know) and so ID's proposed change renders science a bit more impotent. Also, were metaphysical explanations allowed, it would be all too easy to simply answer "it's a miracle" to difficult questions and call it a day; stifling scientific progress. I am eager to hear the thoughts of the Student Panel on this issue and pray that my small contributions to this discussion are well received! RLSOchem 12:27, 22 April 2009 (EDT)

Prove to me that the horse evolved from Eohippus to Equus, by using the steps of the Scientific method. Karajou 02:04, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
Thank you for the quick response to my query, Karajou. Your question is an interesting one, as it implies a certain finality that I believe science lacks entirely. The concept of "proving" an argument, while valid in philosophy and mathematics is absent from the vocabulary of learned scientists. I say this not as a jibe, as it is a common misunderstanding, but as a point for possible clarification. Ideas in science, including the evolution of equine species (of which I am by no means an expert) proceed via justification; ie. accumulation of supporting evidence. In this regard, there is much available regarding your specified evolutionary pathway. From a brief search of ISI's "Web of Science" I uncovered a number of articles dealing with the fossil record and taxonomics which may be of interest (though I do not have time to adequately review them at the moment). For the interested reader (which may be you) I refer " FOSSIL HORSES FROM EOHIPPUS (HYRACOTHERIUM) TO EQUUS .2. RATES OF DENTAL EVOLUTION REVISITED " by BJ McFAdden and "ON THE MEASUREMENT OF MORPHOLOGICAL RATES OF EVOLUTION" by EJ Fenster and U Sorhannes. There are many others which you can quickly find through Google Scholar, Web of Science and other search engines. Evolution, as with all things in science, is not a finished theory; if it were many biologists would be out of a job! As for the scientific method, which you mention briefly, it too is not as static as may be believed. Much in science proceeds via persuasion of the relevant scientific community, for better or worse. For an excellent treatise on this and the more broad topic of paradigm shifts, I highly recommend "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" and "The Copernican Revolution" by Thomas Kuhn. Equine evolution is certainly interesting, but I am rather unfamiliar with it. In addition, I would bet the majority of the doubt facing all Christians is not the slow modification leading to modern horses but regarding the evolution of our own species. I would be happy to share my thoughts on this if you would like. As a final note; many of the anti-evolution arguments try to attack a necessarily unfinished theory (as are all scientific theories, as I mentioned previously). What I would like to focus on instead is the scientific validity of Intelligent Design. Why is Intelligent Design science? It seems to clearly invalidate some fundamental assumptions of the scientific community. I look forward to continuing this discussion! RLSOchem 10:04, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
Well, some of the scientific community needs to be out of a job, as what they are teaching students matches exactly what the cartoon implies on the article page here. As to I.D., no, we cannot ask God to recreate everything as a way of testing what He did in the scientific sense. On the flip-side, as a Christian it would be the height of stupidity or hypocrisy to state that the Creation according to the Bible never happened...all it does is call God a liar.
I asked that you provide proof of the evolution of the horse. You did not. The fact of the matter is that no proof can ever be provided because it cannot be recreated in the lab or anywhere else, and all that is left is people like your Steve Gould or Tommy Kuhn or Charlie Darwin saying it happened; are we to take their word for it? One could easily state that a malamute sled dog evolved into a grizzly bear; we could have someone do his comparative anatomy between the two in the lab; we could have Carl Sagen show off his computer model of the dog evolving into the bear; and we could have a dozen paelontologists and a veteranarian stand over their fossilized remains and once more say the dog evolved into the bear, but we all know it can never happen because it cannot be demonstrated. The logic of my explanation of the dog turning into the bear is no different than any other scientist explaining the Eohippus turning into the Equus, or the fish evolving into the frog or anything else regarding evolution. Since I know for a fact that God doesn't lie, I'm taking His word for it. Karajou 21:01, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
Good evening Karajou. I did not say "many biologists would be out of a job" in order to imply that science is deceptive for the purposes of job security; such a notion is abhorrent to any scientist. With regard to "proof" you are quite correct, I cannot prove the specified step of equine evolution, though nothing in science may be definitively proven, as I stated earlier. What I can do is provide large amounts of non-fabricated, near objective evidence to support my claim. While I am no expert in the evolution of horses, as I mentioned, I did provide you with a few papers to consider regarding morphological and fossil evidence; what did you learn from them? I am honestly curious as I only had time today to skim. Also, there is a fundamental tenet of my belief that is being misunderstood; I do not claim that God lied in Genesis or anywhere else, merely that the Bible is not a science book. In my view, Genesis 1 and 2, while not scientifically accurate, provide a powerful moral story depicting human fallibility; a very true concept as I am sure you would agree. In addition, your example of a dog evolving into a bear betrays some fundamental misconceptions regarding the evolutionary process (again, not a jibe; this is common). Evolution acts as a gradual process, selecting expressed traits which lead to a reproductive advantage over less advantageous traits. Mutation leads to the necessary variation for this selection. Over time, these changes accumulate until speciation occurs. This is vastly simplified as numerous types of speciation exist (stemming from gene flow, character divergence, genetic drift ect.). Science is not a merely a matter of one's opinion, as you suggest. The scientific community is swayed, particularly in a foundational paradigm, only by near incontrovertible evidence (sometimes not even then ... see Kuhn's books). This is built into the peer review process, as a scientist who disproves a paradigm, especially one as fundamental as evolution, would be quite famous. With this incentive present, why would evolution, were it as crumbling and weak as you suggest, still survive? Also, what rationale is there for the Bible as a literal science textbook? There are obviously multiple manners in which it could be true without being scientific. Besides, various theories other than evolution contradict Biblical passages. Consider the heliocentric universe which seems to contradict Ecclesiastes 1:5 and Joshua 10: 12-13. Is it possible that these stories and those of Genesis were not written as science? I eagerly await your answer. RLSOchem 21:59, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
Sorry to contradict you, but "near objective evidence" does not count. Either evolution is a fact, or it's false. And I did not imply that the Bible is a science book; it is not. At the least, it is a historical account of what happened. And you did say "As a Christian leader on a small college campus and a scientist..." You're either a Christian according to what the Bible says, or you're a Christian in name only, which of course just means that you're not.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 describes the sunrise and sunset, and people the world over who were not Christian sometimes say that the sun "goes home"; what does that verse have anything to do with the heliocentric universe you claim contradicts it?
Joshua 10-12 describes the slaughter of the Amorites at Gibeon. What problem do you have with this account? The hailsones or the sun being up all day? We had baseball-sized hail hit my town a just over a week ago, and if there's a problem with the sun being up all day in Israel, then the North Pole has a similar problem with it all summer. Karajou 22:59, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
Greetings again Karajou. Joshua 10: 12-13 says: One the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still … This clearly implies that the sun was moving ... were it stationary it would be quite impossible for it to stand more still. There are other verses describing the immovable nature of the earth which were used by the church to "refute" heliocentric claims. In response to your definition of "Christian"; I agree. I would also say that I do accept what the Bible says, just not as a science textbook. Recall from earlier when I described Genesis 1 and 2 as a moral tale illustrating human fallibility; a very true tale. As for the status of evolution and all scientific theories, the status of "fact" is irrelevant as it is quite unattainable; there are no scientific facts, by the nature of the discipline. Paradigms and theories are constantly tweaked to more accurately reflect the available evidence. The 150 year duration which Evolution has survived is quite impressive and bespeaks its robust status as a scientific theory. I fail to see the necessity in a literal Genesis interpretation ... St. Augustine, before the advent of evolution, bespoke its poetic nature and the possible figurative meaning behind the tale; it is not theologically unsound. RLSOchem 23:42, 23 April 2009 (EDT)
As a small note, the website was lauched yesterday by a group led by Dr. Francis Collins, a friend and impeccable scientist; perhaps this site could answer some questions in addition to my humble thoughts.RLSOchem 13:57, 29 April 2009 (EDT)


Why is this article so one-sided? How can this be considered "a trustworthy encyclopedia" if it is clearly has a bias? Anziro 23:42, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Explain the bias, please. Karajou 23:44, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
Is that a joke? Anziro 23:50, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
No, it's not. Please explain your bias accusation. Karajou 23:53, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
Accusation is a joke. All of the information is sourced to religious, Christian based websites. Almost all of them are not qualified to be making any of the conclusions - they're opinions, not facts. It would be just as easy to write an article in favour of evolution with reputable sources. The fact that you mislead American citizens who just don't know any better is dispicable. At least let them make up their own minds by representing facts, not merely opinions shared by the writers. Anziro 00:00, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
And what makes you think that they are mere "opinions" as you've said? Should we trust your opinion on the matter? Karajou 00:02, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
They're opinions because they're not supported by facts, but merely biased information. The sites aren't even reputable, it seems that all someones done is scoured the internet for any sort of "citation" they can find to back up their beliefs. And I guess I can deduce that you agree with me on the rest, or were you just sidestepping the rest of my answer? Anziro 00:12, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
Well, in your opinion, should we re-write this article to show evolution as A) a fact; B) a scientifically-falsifiable theory; or D) nonsense? Karajou 00:18, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
I don't have an answer to that, i'm not an authority on the subject. Neither is the United Christian League, if you know what I mean. Anziro 00:29, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
You're not an authority on the subject? But you can come here and accuse us of "misleading American citizens" through this article about a subject in which you admit you're not an authority on? I also looked at the sources in the article, and what you dismiss as mere opinion came from pro-evolution scientists themselves, but you're not an authority on the subject to even tell the difference, are you? Karajou 00:35, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
Anything that came from pro-evolution scientists has only been twisted like the other articles. You can't just simply block people that you cant refute without resorting to personal attacks. I am not an authority on evolution, but I can conclude things and all I see here is the truth being twisted. I'll be honest with you, I don't believe in evolution either - I believe theres something different that hasn't been discovered yet. I don't believe in God though, but I do respect people who do. All I am saying is that without focusing on both sides and using fair and respectable or even just neutral sources you cannot claim to be the trustworthy encyclopedia. I'm sorry if this doesn't fly with you. If you block me, i'll simply come back as another account in another day or two and never come to this article again. You might like to notice that you still haven't refuted a single thing i've said, but merely worked your way around it. Typical! Oh well. Have a great day. Bivista 00:59, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
If we say that nothing can be trusted from pro-evolution scientists because of bias, then are not pro-creation scientists guilty of the same? Seeing how you link to articles that clearly have an ID bias, why are the not more links to articles that have pro-evolution bias? Also, I would suggest rewriting this article as a "scientifically-falsifiable theory" or renaming it to arguments against evolution.zbyte64 04:31, 7 June 2009 (PDT)

I don't need to refute anything you said; you refuted yourself. Oh, and you did come to this site with a personal vendetta against it, so don't lie to us. Bye. Karajou 01:01, 2 April 2009 (EDT)

As Anziro was blocked for being "a blithering, uneducated idiot" he is unable to continue this debate. I must say that this article is biased, as there is, as far as I can tell, no support for the theory that is not quickly followed by some refute. Yes, there are many problems with the Theory of Evolution as it currently stands, but I think this article would benefit from (for example) a "Proponents' View" section and an "Opponent's View" section as well. That way, high school students looking at this page (because that was why CP was made, to be a trustworty resource for high schoolers) they can see what it actually is. PatrickA 11:46, 17 April 2009 (EDT)

I would like to suggest that you change the name of this article to "Arguments Against Evolution"...since that is what the vast majority of the article is about. Djcox 2:20, 22 May 2009 (EDT)

As a biologist, I second this suggestion. There is very little information on evolution itself. Darkghost 17:54 29 May 2009 (EDT)

Can I please have some help?

Okay, I'm new here, and I know that I'm risking running afoul of the 90-10 rule, but here it goes. I've been a rather apathetic Christian when it comes to evolution (I attend church fairly often, and I didn't really pay attention to things like Evolution vs ID or YEC). My Catholic friend was explaining evolution to me (since it is coming up in bio) and I got to thinking. My church doesn't accept evolution, but his does, and moreover, noone at my church is a biologist. Most of the issues we basically decided we weren't exactly qualified enough to discuss several points, but the one area that he could explain better than me was a mechanism for evolution. Basically (I know you all probably know this, but just to get the ball rolling), natural mutations occur, and then as long as they aren't disadvantageous, they survive, and when a population is separated, eventually the changes occur to the point where the population can no longer interbreed, and the two groups are separate species. Can someone please enlighten me to the mechanism for Intelligent Design? ElijahH 01:12, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

  • Try this article, here at Conservapedia: Intelligent_Design and see if it helps you. The 90/10 "rule" by the way, is only a worries for you yet. ;-) --₮K/Admin/Talk 01:52, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

New Picture

If you want to explain how the theory of evolution was linked to the attack at Columbine in any way outside of the crazed delusions of the shooters, I'd love to hear it. If you want anyone to take this article or this encyclopedia seriously, I suggest you replace this image with something more appropriate. Shame on you for trying to use such a tragedy to push your ideology! --SStaples 17:22, 15 April 2009 (EDT)

At the moment that picture was taken, killer Harris had on a T-shirt which said "NATURAL SELECTION". Who are you to say he wasn't practicing such a belief in that school on that day to to those kids? Karajou 17:53, 15 April 2009 (EDT)
I'll say it. Murder is NOT natural selection! JimP 18:08, 15 April 2009 (EDT)
According to CNN, Harris before the massacre previously wrote the following: "Sometime in April [of 1999] me and V will get revenge and will kick natural selection up a few notches. Armed with the following; a terroist bag full of noisey crickets, noisey crickets strapped to WD40 cans, pipe bombs with a s--t load of shrapnel, fire bombs, chlorine gas bombs, and smoke bombs."[1] conservative 19:12, 15 April 2009 (EDT)
Go and watch bigwammy's video again and you'll see a decent description of natural selection. You'll note that picking up a gun and shooting someone doesn't come close to fitting that description. JimP 18:26, 19 April 2009 (EDT)

This picture, in my opinion, should not be the first picture that visitors to this page will see. If you feel you absolutely MUST, you could find a place for it later in the article. However, it is not an accurate depiction of evolution. Perhaps the picture of Darwin's head with the monkey's body would be better? PatrickA 11:37, 17 April 2009 (EDT)

Great Article

Just wanted to say what a great article this is! I am a private school teacher and have recommended this article to my students to counter the falsehoods they see in standard textbooks. Keep up the good work! RichardA 21:28, 6 May 2009 (EDT)

I am the principal author of the evolution article. Thanks for telling people about the article. Please feel free to tell more people about the article. conservative 09:53, 1 June 2009 (EDT)
Congratulations on writing such a great article! I am definitely letting more people know about it. By the way, as a teacher, I feel compelled to correct your spelling mistake: you should have written "principal" author, not "principle." RichardA 22:01, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
If you want to go over the Conservapedia evolution article with a fine tooth comb as far as spelling/grammar, it would be appreciated. Thanks for telling more people about the Conservapedia evolution article. conservative 09:53, 1 June 2009 (EDT)

Sorry, may I ask just what falsehoods there are in these textbooks of yours and why a teacher would recommend this page to students with it's obvious bias? (see above)--Xodion 00:40, 2 June 2009 (EDT)

Bias is evident in the omission of facts. You don't have to dig very deep to discover these facts. However there are numerous factual issues with the facts presented. While I wouldn't expect Conservapedia to present the argument with equal weight on both sides, I do expect facts presented to be accurate. Many of the arguments presented have also been refuted which dates the material. Darkghost 16:47, 2 June 2009 (EDT)

Citations early in the article

The citations regarding polls given to doctors are inaccurate. They are citations 5-8. The article cited here twists information, and in fact the poll doesn't state that nearly 2/3 of doctors deny Darwin evolution. In fact, Darwin evolution isn't even mentioned in the poll. Over 2/3 of the doctors in the poll actually state that they accept evolution. And, although only 38% of them agree that God had nothing to do with it, 42% more still accept evolution guided by God. Please, when you cite things, make sure they use accurate information, and don't try to twist what the results state. Clearly. this is the poll the article cites. And, as you may be able to see, the article gave you inaccurate information.

Comment and Questions

Quite a coincidence: I haven't been to Conservapedia in quite a while but today I decided to read the Evolution article. First thing I see is that Evolution is the article of the year.

The article is disappointing in one respect: It's almost entirely evidence that the conventional wisdom is wrong. That's fine but I wish there were more description of what the theory is before destroying it. The article almost assumes that all readers know the standard theory of evolution and so there is no need to describe it. Well, it's been a long, long time since I was in school so I don't know what the theory says. I am skeptical about the theory but that may be partly because I just misunderstand it. After reading the article, I still don't know just what the theory says. Even if the theory is complete poppycock the article should provide more explanation of just what the theory is.

Anyway, I've long had some questions about the theory, and maybe someone can respond - and perhaps add to the article.

1) Have there been any observed new offshoot species in say the last thousand years? If the theory says that new species evolve from older species, and then natural selection allows some of the new species to survive, and others to die out, wouldn't there still be some evidence of other descendant species even if they died out? E.g. if humans evolved from apes, is there any evidence of apes evolving into other new species? Just because one new species evolved from apes, that would not stop other new species from evolving from apes. So is there any evidence of other species evolving from apes?

2) related to 1 - Is there any explanation in the theory as to why evolution on a species might stop after a new species had evolved from that species. Apes continue to exist as a species. Whatever random event triggered one new species (humans?) should eventually trigger other new species. If there are no other observed descendant species, what caused the random events to stop triggering new species?

3) Natural selection might explain why some new species survive but it doesn't explain the origin of those species, only the survival of the species. If mutations or gene combinations are the explanation of how new species come about before natural selection winnows them out, then scientists ought to be able to create new species by triggering mutations and/or breeding. Apparently, no scientist has tried to create a new species from apes but has anybody tried to create new species from lower life forms, with shorter life spans that would allow many generations of breedings?

For something to be a scientific theory and not just a belief, it must be falsifiable. I.e. there must be experiments with possible outcomes consistent or not consistent with the theory. E.g. Einstein proposed a theory and also proposed experimental results that could have disproved his theories. If those experiments had produced results inconsistent with his predictions, Einstein would have happily discarded (or further refined) his theories. I am unaware of any evolutionary scientist proposing experiments that could amplify or disprove the theory. If that is indeed true, then the theory of evolution is a faith, not a science. Sbowers3 22:25, 13 May 2009 (EDT)

a few things

hi i'm new here so I want to help make good articles in conservapedia however i find a lot of bias in this page. especially this paragraph:

"The theory of evolution posits a process of transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.[12][13] Although not a creation scientist, Swedish geneticist Dr. Heribert Nilsson, Professor of Botany at the University of Lund in Sweden, stated: "My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived antievolutionary standpoint."[14] "

why is this even relevant? he tried to demonstrate EVOLUTION for 40 years and found nothing? considering evolution takes millions of years, what does this prove? thanks and i hope i'm welcome here (: Helloskitty 14:04, 15 May 2009 (EDT)

New view on "Missing Link"

I think that a new section should be made in this article pertaining to the recent discovery of what might be a form of the "missing link" between humans and other mammals. I believe that such information will negate much of the arguments found in this article, including the ones that claim the theory of evolution is an ungrounded scientific theory with no factual basis. Here is a link to the article describing this new discovery: --Reeperbahn 18:20, 19 May 2009 (EDT)

Windmill Ministries

"he made the suggestion that what he call 'simple' life may have begun in a "warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, [so] that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes." We now know that is impossible and origin-of-life scientists are at a dead end trying to explain how the most simplest life form (a bacteria) ever came about. How can the theory of evolution be a viable theory if it cannot explain the origin of life?"

Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, it's the same thing as discounting gravity because it doesn't explain the magnetic field that surrounds the earth. The theory of evolution simply assumes that life already existed, by natural or by supernatural means - It doesn't matter, as it's irrelevant to Evolution itself, Evolution is just the process in which life evolves and diversifies.

Conservapedia should not support this website if it brings misinformation on Evolution, even if it isn't deliberately done - As major details such as this one makes you wonder what else they got wrong, as I found this major error just by skimming it. --Atheuz

Please explain the concept of "Chemical evolution". It seems to me as if the evolutionists attempt to play both sides on this issue. conservative 01:38, 1 June 2009 (EDT)
Chemical evolution is the process by which increasingly complex elements, molecules and compounds developed from the simpler chemical elements that were created in the Big Bang - Although I assume you specifically mean the process of which molecules, amino acids and all that junk developed from simpler forms in the 'premordial ooze' and eventual creation of life through that process, abiogenesis. The Theory of Evolution, the theory that postulates that genetic material in live organisms change from one generation to the next, does not attempt to explain abiogenesis and has no connection to chemical evolution other than the simple fact that even elements, molecules and compounds change over a significant period of time - Chemical evolution, abiogenesis, or the origin of life should not be connected with the theory of evolution as the theory of evolution merely assumes that life already existed - It doesn't matter how it came to appear, it could have been God, it could have been a natural process - Evolution itself just continues the process of change from that point on, thinking Evolution is the best scientifical explanation for how diverse life is now does not preclude you from thinking about other natural and scientific processes nor does it mean you should be judged if you don't believe in a supernatural origin of life, but believe in a natural origin of life. --Atheuz


The cartoon at the top of the page makes the article look really unprofessional and unreliable. Can we please change it? The quote underneath it is about one professor talking about his own personal opinion. It's not an opinion that's held by most evolutionists and probably isn't even the entire quote of what he said. All in all, it just makes this website look really untrustworthy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zbyte64 (talk)

No it doesn't. There are hundreds of places where you can find standard pro-evolution information. Is it horrible to have one place that shows a skepticism towards it? AddisonDM 17:02, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

I love this article

I just wanted to say this is one of the greatest things I've ever read. Kudos! KingReagan 16:23, 9 June 2009 (EDT)