Difference between revisions of "Talk:Question evolution! campaign"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(sorry but you cannot go to the head of the page purported biologist)
m (Answering the questions is what makes him a biologist, regardless of pervious qualifications.)
Line 85: Line 85:
 
::::::FRodgers and ARamis are like typical evolutionists, argument by empty assertion. For example, how does the price of the question evolution printed t-shirts in the usa compare with other printed t-shirts? I noticed that zazzle charges twice as much for a printed t-shirt. Also, why does CMI allow people to print up their own t-shirts using their design if their purpose was to sell t-shirts? You case is non-existent. :) You can start whining about the supposed costly tracts now. :) [[User:Conservative|Conservative]] 22:55, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
 
::::::FRodgers and ARamis are like typical evolutionists, argument by empty assertion. For example, how does the price of the question evolution printed t-shirts in the usa compare with other printed t-shirts? I noticed that zazzle charges twice as much for a printed t-shirt. Also, why does CMI allow people to print up their own t-shirts using their design if their purpose was to sell t-shirts? You case is non-existent. :) You can start whining about the supposed costly tracts now. :) [[User:Conservative|Conservative]] 22:55, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
 
:::::::That answers that but, outside of the branding talk (I care not for t-shirts - I always wear collars!), lets make a [[Creationary Scientific Breakthroughs]] article. [[User:MaxFletcher|MaxFletcher]] 23:13, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
 
:::::::That answers that but, outside of the branding talk (I care not for t-shirts - I always wear collars!), lets make a [[Creationary Scientific Breakthroughs]] article. [[User:MaxFletcher|MaxFletcher]] 23:13, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
==A Purported Biologist's Answers to the "15 Questions"==
+
==A Biologist's Answers to the "15 Questions"==
  
 
1. '''How did life originate?'''
 
1. '''How did life originate?'''

Revision as of 19:38, 13 September 2011

archive 1


One Question for Creationists

How did God create DNA?

It's not a frivolous question. What were the steps (in whatever level of detail is known) that the Lord went through to plan, design and assemble the DNA that He put into all living things? --QPR 18:07, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

Why don't you ask Him? I am sure if He finds your question to be important, He will gladly answer it. :) I would make sure that you repent and become a Christian first (if you have not done so already), before you issue your petition. Conservative 18:12, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Conservative, instead of avoiding the question entirely, we should at least point him the right direction.
God has woven each of us together, individually, since the time of conception. (Psalms 139) ~ JonG ~ 18:22, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Clarification: Why don't you ask Him? I am sure if He finds your question to be important, He will gladly answer it. :) I would make sure that you repent and become a Christian first (if you have not done so already), before you issue your petition. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and asking for guidance about your petition, I am sure that you will not ask amiss. Conservative 18:12, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

@JonG - thanks. That quotation does certainly suggest a Biblical awareness of DNA, but it's still really a restatement of the fact THAT God created DNA, not a description of HOW he created it. --QPR 18:28, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

Then, frankly, Conservative is correct. The "How" cannot be answered by us (or as far as I know, by The Bible). For that, you will have to ask the Creator himself. Keep your thirst for knowledge. ~ JonG ~ 18:31, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
So does that apply to other enquiries? Was Jenner wrong to work out how to vaccinate against smallpox for himself?--QPR 18:37, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
And if it is a mistake for me to ask this question, isn't it also a mistake for the Question Evolution campaign to ask precisely the same question?--QPR 18:40, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

First sox, then shoes. I would make sure that you repent and become a Christian first (if you have not done so already), before you issue your petition. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and asking for guidance about your petition, I am sure that you will not ask amiss.Conservative 19:49, 7 August 2011 (EDT)

Why have you never addressed the 15 answers to this campaign. 2 people have so far published answers in the talk archive page yet you keep talking as though no one can answer these questions. MaxFletcher 19:57, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Faux answers do not count. See: Evolution and Atheism and deception.Conservative 20:12, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
What do you mean "faux answers"? What's faux about them? You haven't countered a single one of them. MaxFletcher 20:16, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Proverbs 26:5 Conservative 20:23, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Seems to mean avoid ad hominem attacks and go after the argument itself. --Chouston 21:05, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
that's not an answer. The way I see it (and I am no atheist) is that the 15 questions can and have been answered. Why not respond and rebut them? MaxFletcher 21:33, 7
Faux answers still do not count. See: Evolution Conservative 21:37, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
What is faux about them? MaxFletcher 21:39, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Max, why do you continue trying to engage "Conservative"? It's very clear he has no interest in honestly participating in any discussion. He's right. Everyone else is a fool. You've never gotten anything but deflection or sneering responses! Nate 21:51, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Because I am genuinely interested. I want to know why the answers people have provided are incorrect. I am learning about creationism and i want to know why these answers do not satisfy creationists. MaxFletcher 21:54, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Then obviously he's the wrong person to help you. I've learned a lot from Talk Origins, EvoWiki, and Creation Ministries International. You can write to CMI and they have responded to my questions. Nate 21:59, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
I have written to CMI before to and received a very courteous reply. MaxFletcher 22:01, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Because if you could satisfy creationists with correct, logical, scientific answers, then they wouldn't be Creationists. When you reverse the scientific method, no amount of answers derived from the correct order is going to convince them. He's not going to answer us according to our alleged folly, because it isn't folly. --Chouston 22:03, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
I don't know if that's true or not. I do know that the apologetics that CMI and creationists I have seen use is sometimes presuppositional in nature and strongly influenced by reform epistemology. Without getting into it in any detail, my impression is that presuppositional apologetics answers nothing of interest, just like creationism. It ends up being nothing but argument by assertion and occassional tarring of people who don't believe exactly as the presuppositionalists do, which includes Catholics who get called "liberal" and "un-Biblical". Cornelius Van Til wrote that people who beleive differently are Satanically deceived. That's offensive and it gets repeated at places like CMI as fact. Those who do not hold those beliefs, which creationists describe is "worldviews", live in a material reality that is unintelligible to creationists because they do not accept exactly what creationists are told is a literal reading of the Bible, when in reality many others like certain Catholics (me!) read the Bible literally and come at radically different conclusions about what creationists call "history". I have no idea what "Conservative" believes because he won't tell us. I also don't care at this point since he's shown himself to be incapable of or at least uninterested in learning and teaching about the Bible, science, and creationism. He wants to throw quotes at you and repeat himself. Max, if you'd like to learn about the Catholic Church it may be interesting to you. I can point you toward some good resources for getting back in touch with your faith in Christ if you would like. Please let me know. Peace. Nate 22:19, 7 August 2011 (EDT)
Seems to me that Conservative's line of reasoning, though it may have its merits, runs counter to the idea behind the Question Evolution! campaign. The fifteen question are intended to engage atheists and evolutionists on their own ground (in that they think their arguments are based on reason/science/logic) and hopefully persuade them that they are wrong. Once that's achieved then their is a chance that they may accept God as the only remaining alternative. But to suggest that such people must accept God first is clearly not going to work - that's not the way they think. Similarly, dismissing answers to the fifteen questions as 'faux' is going to be counter-productive. It may be a good way of reinforcing one's own belief, but it has little chance of persuading anyone else to change theirs. --QPR 12:37, 8 August 2011 (EDT)
You go beyond what I said. I suggested no cookie cutter approach. Jesus and his apostles did not have a cookie cutter approach to dealing with people. Conservative 13:49, 8 August 2011 (EDT)
Sorry, I don't get the analogy.--QPR 15:40, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

UK Contact details

How do I contact the UK Question evolution! campaign? AlycaZ 17:42, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

What's wrong with public education?

I just want to say that the Question evolution! campaign has provided me with a lot of new valuable information not readily available in the public school system. Why is it that public universities create entire departments aimed at promoting the liberal agenda, but when it comes to teaching information like this campaign does it is simply out of the question? DerekE 15:57, 20 August 2011 (EDT)

I'm pretty sure the "campaign" at this point is just a scheme to sell T-shirts and bumper stickers, not to provoke any meaningful discussion on the validity of evolution. Any Freshman Biology major can easily answer all 15 questions, why would a serious academic institution embarrass themselves by even acknowledging this farce? I have serious reason to believe that this is not actually a serious attempt at promoting scientific integrity, but is an attempt to scam hard-working, god fearing Christians out of their money. Evolution has flaws, but the campaign fails to address any of them in a meaningful way, and even seems to barely understand the actual theory of evolution that scientists promote. FCapra 18:07, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
Perhaps that's a flaw in the campaign strategy to get their desired message out there? I don't know enough about it to understand all of the information presented in the campaign. What are some of the good points of discussion that should have been used that were not?
Another good point you brought up is on this concern: "why would a serious academic institution embarrass themselves by even acknowledging this farce?" In the link to a Department of Social Justice at a university that I consider an extraordinary academic institution, would you consider this -- as an education path at four year university -- to be somewhat embarrassing? I do.
It would be much less embarrassing if they accompanied the embarrassing department of Social Justice with a department of Constitutional Studies, or something along those lines. Surely you wouldn't think a Department of Constitutional Studies is an embarrassing idea? The only information the UW offers on the Constitution is what's mandated:
[e]ach educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution. - Section 111 of Division J of Pub L. 108-447
The UW's mandated 20 megabytes on the Internet can be found HERE. Try not to laugh. It is a serious academic Website.
Lastly, FCapra, the response you gave is chilling because, as pointed out in an article Conservapedias InTheNews linked to, regarding Rick Perry's evolution question in The Right Answer section it states:
...[L]ike the populace in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” people are afraid to check them out. Afraid because the evolutionists have convinced everyone that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid or unfit for his post. Evolutionism isn’t the only premise that people are afraid to check. Keynesianism, or the idea that a society can tax and spend its way to prosperity, is another.
The UW's department of Social Justice is probably bias. So, since there are so many highly acclaimed universities that are willing to dabble in Social Justice as an academic study, why not offer an opinion and the freedom of expression from all points of view? Why would a study that questions evolution be any more or less embarrassing than the study of taxing and spending our way into prosperity? That is what confuses me, and should be disturbing most people who consider these facts. DerekE 19:21, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
The beauty of science is that it doesn't care about public opinion. Scientists have been trying for years to disprove evolution, because that would lead to tons of new research opportunities, book deals, and almost universal fame. They would be the modern equivalent of Darwin, or Marie Curie. There is no point in an anti evolution campaign directed at the public, because it doesn't matter. There are only two reasons to direct this towards the public: To reassure one's self of one's own ideals through popular acceptance, and to make some easy money off of trustworthy Christians. If CMI actually cared about refuting evolution, they would hire scientists to preform experiments, not pass around a badly written pamphlet. Science questions evolution all the time, they just always keep getting the same answer.
Just so you're clear, I'm not against questioning scientific theories. I just feel that the question evolution campaign is a scam, not an actual scientific endeavor. FCapra 20:40, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
True, science doesn't care about public opinion, as it should be. Your points are well taken. I personally appreciate science because it has helped humanity achieve great advancements in certain types of technology. It's just when politics takes over a type of unproven science to move forward with an agenda that I have problem with. Usually when this happens it's accompanied with increases in taxes, decreases in liberty, and hordes of drive-by mouths telling everyone they are stupid if they don't believe their theory is a fact. Liberals probably lost momentum in their global warming movement due to these silly tactics getting exposed. You can tell the liberals sense this loss too, when all of a sudden MSNBC starts spouting about a crisis of aliens coming to destroy humans because somehow these aliens know that this fake global warming we cause is going to heat up and devour the entire uinverse.
Going back to Perry's answer on evolution, I think it was a good answer without getting to into it with someone who clearly wanted to make a scene. I can just see the day when liberals will shout about some sort of crisis where we must stop our evolving or else we will become mutant aliens or something. All it will take to stop this crisis is higher taxes and more unions... So let's get on it!!! Seriously though, your point is well taken. ;) DerekE 15:14, 21 August 2011 (EDT)


You're far more forgiving than I am, Derek. I think hiding behind a child and attempting to use him as a ventriolquist's dummy as the woman in the video did is worse than cowardly. I don't blame Governor Perry one bit for refusing to be baited. --Benp 15:39, 21 August 2011 (EDT)
I like to try and view things from both sides while keeping true to my own opinions and values. I am a forgiving person, but I'm not one to forget quickly. As for the woman and her use of a child to make a scene, I agree with you 100%. Similar to the time the SEIU went to the house of a bank CEO and scared the child inside the home, I think tactics like these are despicable and it goes to show what kind of values these thugs have. Their character lacks any sort of moral boundaries or ethics, it's sad really. It's difficult to forgive a woman like that when you know she would gladly exploit children for her own benefit in the future, wihout even thinking twice about it. These are the type of people who end up working for Acorn hiding child prostitution rings because they make a dollar from it and it benefits their selfish desires. DerekE 15:06, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

Punctuation of the article title

Do we need the exclamation mark in the article title? It's like Joomla, which is often advertised as "Joomla!" to draw attention to it. But it makes it hard to link to, when writing encyclopedia articles.

I'd like to call it the Question Evolution campaign, and say that's slogan is, "Question evolution!" Note that I have placed the exclamation point in the slogan, rather than in the name of the campaign. --Ed Poor Talk 16:55, 25 August 2011 (EDT)

I agree with you Ed, the grammar looks rather strange. Who has "move page" powers? MaxFletcher 16:59, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
I do, but I want to wait a bit in case the move would be too abrupt for others. If no one objects by the end of the month, I'll move it. No hurry. --Ed Poor Talk 17:12, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
I defer to you, Ed! MaxFletcher 17:25, 25 August 2011 (EDT)
I think we should let this sleeping dog lie. If we changed it, content would have to change in Conservapedia as a result and the extra work doesn't seem justified. Conservative 14:54, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Something is Fishy

Is it just me, or does the entire Question Evolution campaign seem like a poorly though-out scam to try to sell T-shirts to people? Rather than try to do any actual scientific research or bring up legitimate gaps in evolution theory, CMI seems to just be repeating poorly researched soundbites that allegedly "disprove" evolution, while refusing to engage in any meaningful debate and relying entirely on grassroots movement to support themselves. I really don't think this campaign is something any halfway reputable website should advertise. It just seems like they are so many more effective, though less profitable way, to bring up legitimate arguments to evolution. CMI seems to have such a tenuous grasp on evolution theory, they don't even understand that some of their question LITERALLY have nothing to do with evolution theory. Evolution may be poorly supported by science, but there is no reason to stoop to their level in an attempt to disprove it. FRodgers 21:36, 8 September 2011 (EDT)

Have you ever noticed that liberals use the word "seem" a lot when they do not have a strong case? :) I really do not see a strong case being made. Conservative 22:20, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
Actually I agree with FRodgers here. While there is much to say against evolution, the Question Evolution! campaign just ask some unrelated questions. For example: Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution?It is not because a theory is useless that it is false. In fact, there are not much scientific breakthroughs due to creation neither.--ARamis 22:25, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
i can't think of any evolutionary scientific breakthroughs either. But neither can I think of any creation ones - does anyone know of any because then we could make a Creationary Scientific breakthroughs article. MaxFletcher 22:29, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
FRodgers and ARamis are like typical evolutionists, argument by empty assertion. For example, how does the price of the question evolution printed t-shirts in the usa compare with other printed t-shirts? I noticed that zazzle charges twice as much for a printed t-shirt. Also, why does CMI allow people to print up their own t-shirts using their design if their purpose was to sell t-shirts? You case is non-existent. :) You can start whining about the supposed costly tracts now. :) Conservative 22:55, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
That answers that but, outside of the branding talk (I care not for t-shirts - I always wear collars!), lets make a Creationary Scientific Breakthroughs article. MaxFletcher 23:13, 8 September 2011 (EDT)

A Biologist's Answers to the "15 Questions"

1. How did life originate?

Truthfully, we don't know. Science is built upon repeatable evidence as provided by observation and experimentation. There is very little evidence, one way or the other, regarding the exact mechanism of the origin of life. Science cannot rely on dogma, and the existence of scripture is hardly evidence in support of divine creation; therefore the most scientifically sound answer here, relying on the evidence, is that we do not conclusively know. That said, there are a few good hypotheses that have been presented--notably the "RNA world hypothesis", for which there is actually quite a bit of evidence--but not a single one of them can be conclusively demonstrated yet.
Organic compounds, such as amino acids and nucleic acids, will form spontaneously--albeit in trace amounts--wherever the proper elemental ingredients (Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous, and Sulfur) and environmental conditions can be found. The common thread underlying all naturalistic hypotheses on the origin of life is that at some point these compound polymerized (which will happen spontaneously if the conditions are right) into larger polymeric biomolecules and that a very tiny minority of these molecules were able to self-reproduce. The rest, as they say, is history.
This may seem a far-fetched phenomenon to happen by chance until you consider the scale on which these events happen. Out of millions of trillions of randomly formed polynucleotides or polypeptides (the actual number is probably many orders of magnitude larger than that), all it takes is one with the capacity for self-reproduction to get the process started. Self-reproducing strands of RNA, for instance, can be created and identified in a lab by a much smaller-scale screening of random nucleotide sequences--that this could be the mechanism for the origin of life on Earth is quite plausible.

2. How did the DNA code originate?

The phrase "DNA code" here is alarmingly vague. Does it reference the specific pattern of which codon encodes a particular amino acid in a protein? Does it reference interactions between nucleic acids and ribozymes (enzymatic RNA molecules)? Or does it reference the "central dogma" whereby DNA encodes biomolecules, the expression of which is regulated by cell metabolism?
In reference to the system of 64 codons (nucleotide triplets) encoding the order in which one of twenty amino acids are incorporated into a polypeptide (a protein), we are still not entirely sure. Interactions between ribozymes and amino acids form the basis of protein production in modern cells. We have pretty good biochemical insight into the function of this system but, until we get more evidence, much of its origin remains subject to conjecture.
As for mechanisms by which DNA/RNA/Protein interactions emerged, much of it has to do with the 3-D structure of these molecules. Again, as for de-novo emergence of this system, the jury is still out, but mechanisms of variation within these systems between lineages are quite well known. In fact, comparing these variations across lineages is one of the most effective ways of understanding their functioning.
Considering other facets of structural genetics, we actually have a pretty idea where they came from. For instance, the itron-exon / RNA splicing mechanism that allows a single eukaryotic gene to encode multiple protein-coding mRNA products seems to have emerged from bacterial retroelements. There is quite a bit of data supporting this.

3. How could mutations create a new biochemical pathway?

They do every day. That's why old antibiotics don't work, that's why first-generation HIV drugs are obsolete, that's why my Aunt's pet poodle doesn't look like a wolf. In terms of more complex processes (say genes and proteins that regulate development) the concept is pretty straightforward. A gene is duplicated (this happens quite a bit), at first, the duplicate copy of the gene is redundant (or, depending on how completely duplicated it was, non-functional). Then, as mutations occur in the duplicate gene, it's sequence diverges and it can ultimately acquire a new function. This process is very well observed both in nature and in the laboratory.

4. Why is natural selection taught as evolution?

It isn't. Natural selection is taught as one of the major mechanisms underlying evolution. Evolution refers to phenotypic (metabolic and morphological) change within a population of a given species over time. Other important factors contributing to evolution and speciation are spontaneous allelic variation (genetic mutation) between individuals, genetic drift (change in prevalence of a given allelic variation within a population over generations), and reproductive isolation of a given population.
Environments change over time, an allelic variation producing a phenotypic variation that allows an organism to reproduce more efficiently in its environment will be increasingly represented in future populations. Therefore, the population will "adapt" to meet the demands of its environment over time. Natural selection is simply the tendency of individuals better adapted to their environment to reproduce more efficiently.

5. How did biochemical pathways originate?

In bits and pieces. Many metabolic reactions are spontaneous, most enzymes simply catalyze them (speed them up). Duplicating one enzyme, and giving it time to change in structure, leads to the emergence of new enzymes. If the new enzyme confers a reproductive advantage (e.g. by allowing the cell to use a new source of fuel) then, obviously, it will become increasingly prevalent in future generations. Furthermore, by re-purposing duplicated parts from various pathways, new pathways and complex structures can, and do, emerge quite efficiently. The only caveat here is that the intermediate forms of such pathways and structures must also function to confer some reproductive advantage--again, this is also observed to be the case.

6. Living things look like they were designed, how do we know that they were not designed?

Have you ever choked on a large bite of food, unable to breathe because we both eat and breathe through the oropharynx? Have you ever heard of the "blind spot" in the visual field of each eye? Modern organisms are overflowing with counter-intuitive "design flaws" that are leftover from the evolutionary process. While this, in and of itself, is not evidence against design, it does call into question the engineering credentials of any hypothetical designer. Furthermore, there is no direct scientific evidence to support such design. Science is all about empirical evidence, circumstantial evidence is not sound science.

7. How did multicellular life originate?

Cells talk to one another--a lot. Even individual bacterial cells secrete and detect chemical signals, they even secrete bio-films to live communally and cooperate with one another. That individual variation would create mechanisms allowing for cells in cooperation to "specialize" and, thus, become cooperatively more efficient is not a stretch of the imagination at all. The alleles present in these cooperating cells (which are very likely to be closely genetically related) will be passed more efficiently to future generations. Multicellular life has arisen separately several times. There's quite a bit of evidence to support that this is essentially what happened each time it did.

8. How did sex originate?

Increasing the genetic diversity of a population facilitates adaptation and is generally good for the population as a whole. Sex, in the most reductive sense, is simply the process of mixing the genetic material of two indivuals--it allows reproductive advantages conferred on an individual by allelic variation to combine with other advantageous alleles. It also protects against the effects of deleterious alleles on an individual's ability to propagate their genes. In a sense, it's a way of "hedging the bet".
As for the origin of sex, it's been around for a long time. Even the simplest bacteria exchange genetic material with one another. As with all of evolutionary biology, an idea that works is generally kept. Why change a good thing?

9. Why are the "transitional fossils" missing?

They're not. While the fossil record is incomplete at best, it does document, in detail, many major evolutionary transitions. For instance, we've found fossils of dinosaurs with feathers, whales with legs, and mammals (which have a distinctive hip-bone morphology) that lay eggs. Whale evolution from a dog-sized land animal ancestor is very well documented; we have intermediate fossils illustrating virtually every step of the transition.

10. How do "living fossils" remain unchanged over hundreds of millions of years?

They don't. Even the modern organisms from the oldest lineages are different, albeit in sometimes minor ways, from their ancestral forms. The body plans and survival strategies that continue to work will continue to persist--that's natural selection!

11. How did blind chemistry create the mind and morality?

It wasn't blind chemistry. Selection favors what is effective, what is effective then persists and can be further improved upon by more selection--evolution is not a process of ad-hoc randomness, "order" is provided by the force of natural selection weeding out less adaptive variations and favoring more adaptive variations.
Intelligence is quite adaptive for the human ecological niche. The mind is biological, modern neuroscience is just starting to unravel the biological mechanisms underlying cognition--what we've found so far is astonishing, and it's just the tip of the iceberg! Besides that, as anybody who has ever owned a cat will tell you, many animals are remarkably intelligent; on the flip side, as anybody who has ever squished a worm on the sidewalk will tell you, many animals with more primitive central nervous systems are not.
We still do not have the complete story behind the evolution of the human brain--but if you want to see transitional forms of cognition from more basal lineages, visit a pet shop!
As for morality, many animals display an in-born sense of right and wrong. As a social species, an innate need to cooperate with the group and establish stable social structure is essential for human survival. While the precise biological mechanisms underlying morality are still unknown, any trait that facilitates this would be strongly selected for.
A good case study for this is psychopathy. The underlying biological causes of psychopathy are relatively well-known, as is the phenotypic manifestation of psychopathy--put simply, psychopaths lack an inherent sense of morality.

12. Why is evolutionary "just so" storytelling tolerated?

It isn't. Yes, as we find new fossils and new molecular evidence, we have to adjust our model of the "tree of life". This is science, we build the best hypothetical model we can with the evidence available, and where new evidence contradicts the model, we adjust the model accordingly.
Playing with his finches, Darwin never could have imagined the wealth of information and new techniques available to modern science. Yes, some of his individual predictions on relationships between species were incorrect. Indeed, many old predictions have given way to newer models as more data becomes available. However, the general idea that speciation results from natural selection acting on phenotypic variation within a population is better supported by the available evidence than it has ever been.
Scientific paradigms and models change--that's the nature of science. Using this as the basis for refuting evolution is similar to doubting the existence of gravity because of special relativity.

13. Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution?

Everywhere! Consider recombinant insulin derived from genetically-engineered bacteria, consider much of modern epidemiology (diseases change over time), or even consider the cereal crops that humans have been selectively breeding for millenia. How about the breakthroughs that have been made in the biomedical sciences using animals to model human disease? To use disease gene research as an example, the whole justification behind studying human birth defects in mice and fish (and fruit flies!) is the relatively close (from a history-of-life perspective) evolutionary relationship between humans and these species. And this assumption of evolutionary relationships has not let us down--it gets good results!


14. Why is evolution taught as operational science instead of history?

Ever heard of astronomy? Making observations to test hypotheses and streamline extant models is science. When a scientist in a lab does an experiment he must observe the outcome to get results and arrive at a conclusion.
The predictions made by the theory of evolution are quite testable and are tested in labs around the world every day. In fact, evolution is an essential cornerstone in every aspect of modern biology. To go with my example from the previous question, without the paradigm of evolution much of the lab work that gets done today would not be possible.

15. Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence taught in science classes?

Creationism is generally kept out of the classroom.

--RudrickBoucher 20:31, 13 September 2011 (EDT)