Evolution or Creationism

Ruby's picture
Submitted by Ruby on Thu, 2007-04-12 01:40

Which one's true? The Big Bang theory has been proven wrong in so many ways but these contradictions of evolution can be answered by the creation theory.

e.g. 1. Shells on mt Everest. Maybe Noahs' flood?

2. If the earth was millions of years old the sun would have burnt it's self out by now. Not a problem for 6000 years.

3 Once upon a time there was absolute nothingness "then suddenly there were all these gases that exploded creating a perfectly revolving, evolving world. (Doesn't make sense to me - where would all these gases come from).

4.Recently a volcano exploded and scientists thought it would be a great time to try to prove that carbon dating worked. The results came up that the volcano exploded millions of years ago. Hmmm.

5. What about the human fossils that they have found that look like Neanderthors?? Well back before Noah's flood the air pressure was a lot higher making it possible for humans to live a lot longer. As you grow older your eyebrow bone comes foward making you look like you have a monkey face and of course as you grow older your posture gets bad and you bend foward like a monkey.

All these things have one thing in common - not a problem for the creation theory.

Does anyone have some light to shed on my questions?


( categories: )

Many evolutionists confuse

Erik Christensen's picture

Many evolutionists confuse dna VARIATION or 'micro' evolution---, i.e. breeding a horse and a donkey to get a mule so as to produce a variation within a species, however no new dna information has been created, just interchanged within the species of the said animal that already shares the right chromosomal code,---with macro-evolution aka natural selection. Strict evolutionists argue that entirely new dna sequences and information within a class of archetypes can been created. That's absurd seeing as it has never been seen, proven, or even demonstrated in nature or elsewhere.

Leonid "All these things

Leonid's picture

Leonid

"All these things have one thing in common - not a problem for the creation theory."

Nothing is problem for creation theory since it based on the action of supernatural entity,alleged omnipotent God which is not bounded by natural limitations that is the Law of Identity. You can find tousands of contradictions in creation theory-not a problem since He moves in misterious ways.

From what I have seen so,

reed's picture

From what I have seen so far, I don't think objectivism includes evolution - though some objectivists do believe it.

This subject is where I part

Erik Christensen's picture

This subject is where I part with Objectivism. I do not not believe in evolution, in fact I think that it is out-dated and sloppy science at best. Even Occam's Razor would agree that you are never in hell going to someday end up with a thinking reasoning human being by starting with Hydrogen gas. That being said I am not a Creationist in the traditional Biblical scholar sense of the word either. I'm somewhere in between. Still figuring out where exactly, but definitely not with evolutionists or creationists exclusively.

Fake, overdone, tiresome comment

reed's picture

I've heard of Socrates - I'm not familiar with his philosophy or approach but I'll take the comparison as a complement.

WRT Faith - One mans evidence based extrapolation is another mans faith.
I don't think anyone has faith without some evidence and each person would apply their own reasoning filling in the "gaps" with faith.

I am hoping we can separate assumptions/beliefs from the scientific evidence and come up with some concise evidence based reasoning for readers to follow.

Note: Discussing my opinions will not affect the argument for common descent. And disproving B will not prove A.

Faith is belief without

Aaron's picture

Faith is belief without evidence, without reason; it doesn't just mean belief in the most likely theory with some evidence but lacking 100% complete knowledge. Have scientists made, say, living organisms from charcoal, water and multi-vitamins in the lab? No. Have various building blocks been made - e.g. amino acids or nucleotides from simpler chemicals? Yes. Hence evidence, though not 100% knowledge of all steps. Compare this to the degree of evidence that saying "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures" makes it so (last I checked, evidence for this was sorely lacking), and we still have formation of self-replicating macromolecules from simpler ones via natural mechanisms as the clearly more supported and reasonable explanation.

Look Reed, your faux scientific curiosity and over-done Socratic approach grow tiring. It's clear you have something against at least abiogenesis and macroevolution, so how about at least taking a clear stand for what you believe. Come out and say "I believe in literal Genesis 1 creation" (or Genesis 2 for that matter. pick one!) or "I believe in an old earth and evolution within species, but supernatural intervention for speciation" or whatever is appropriate.

Objectivism and faith

reed's picture

Objectivism appears to be opposed to faith in general (wishing won't make it so).  My observation is that it is not being applied consistently.

To believe in abiogenisis + common descent, creation or uniformitarianism (the philosophy) all currently require faith.

There was a comment earlier regarding abiogenisis "we don't know how it happened" but in reality we don't know if it happened.

Assumptions/beliefs are necessary to make any conclusions but we must remain aware and acknowledge them - at least to ourselves.

Is there a reason the philosophy is being applied inconsistently or is my understanding incorrect?

Galileo - I wasn't expecting

reed's picture

Galileo -
I wasn't expecting my sexist comment to be taken seriously. I can be a bit obscure but I thought the seahorse bit would give it away.

It's a bit off topic but caesarian rates are affected by lifestyle (diet, smoking, drugs), fertility treatment, age, "too posh to push" mentality and the lack of practice delivering breach babies. Actually I agree with you to some degree and would say that birth is probably the most dangerous event in our lives preceding the purchase of our first motorcycle.

If people here know their own reasoning we should be able to come up with a concise, sound argument for common descent.

Note: I have used the terms "common descent" and "common ancestry" as the term "evolution" varies in its meaning. This is to avoid the logical error that proving evolution (changes/variation) proves evolution (common descent).

I'll get back to you with

User hidden's picture

I'll get back to you with birth stats and c-section stats. This is a passion of mine, so I want to get it all right. I apprenticed as a midwife for a while, so I'll have to pull out my old books.

Kelly

Galileo?

xsryder's picture

I feel like Galileo...offering my telescope...but no one wants to look.
Reed, it's nice that you and Kelly agree.
However, you state as if fact "the difficulty of birth has been much exaggerated". What sources support your statement about the exaggeration of birth difficulty?
I note that while you dismissed my statement as an exaggeration, you omitted to answer my questions about caesarean births (percentage of all births, the need for C section births at all, and the result/impact on mother and child of not performing C sections).
Actually, Kelly eluding to the fact that modern baby’s heads are smaller, more flexible and with the skull un-fused, proves exactly my point. Birthing human babies has become more difficult due to changes in the birthing canal, the result of adaptation to our bi-pedal, as opposed to quadrupedal gate. The reduced maturation of the head (perhaps neotonic mutation) and flexibility of skull is an adaptation in response to this change in the birthing canal. Indeed, increases in premature births may also be in response to the difficulties of birthing a large brained hominid through a bipedal birthing canal.
I find it interesting that very few people other than creationists associate the word “theory” with evolution any more. Indeed the Wikipedia entry only mentions “theory” in the historical context of evolutionary thought. It also amazes me how many people use information presented by modern sciences (taxonomy, biology, genetics etc)to support thier own beliefs, but skip right past the chapter on evolution. Just my observation.

You gotta say yes to another excess

Making friends

reed's picture

I agree with Kelly, the difficulty of birth has been much exaggerated and, like I tell my wife, there wouldn't be the same fuss if it were the men that gave birth - you never hear sea horses complaining.

myths that require a cisarian

xsryder's picture

What percentage of births are cisarian, and how many of those mothers and babies would be at risk of injury, deformation or death, if a cisarian was not performed? And why are cisarians even necesary at all if there is no risk of a natural birth?
Yes a modern human baby is less mature at birth, and the head is more flexible, but unlike quadripeds, the human baby must perform at least a quarter turn while passing through the birth canal, and that is often where birthing problems rise, in many cases requiring the help of a third party to birth.

You gotta say yes to another excess

Birth isn't very risky.

User hidden's picture

Birth isn't very risky. That's a myth. As our bone pelvic structure has evolved to be more rigid and the passageway smaller, our babies have been born more and more immature with very plastic heads and movable skull plates. The very high death rates of mothers and babies that are often quoted from the last few centuries were caused by infection introduced by dirty hands and instruments not needed for birthing anyway. Handled properly (well nourished mothers mostly left alone), death rate for mothers is almost nil, and only slightly higher for babies.

Kelly

I am hoping we can get to a

reed's picture

I am hoping we can get to a point where we have a concise argument for the common ancestry portion of evolution, listing the assumptions and proofs. When/if we get to this point Ruby and other readers will be able to assess the soundness of the theory for themselves.

Good point about current multi celled organisms starting life as a single cell. I couldn't summarise this fairly. Can you explain what this proves or implies with regard to the common ancestry proposal of evolution?

I should have explained what I meant by my phrase "variation, mutation and selective extinction".
I have used this in place of the commonly used phrase "selective adaptation" as I feel the phrase "selective adaptation" implies intent, and "intent" is not part of the current theory of evolution.

Scientific opinion has changed regarding gill slits and the "Recapitulation theory" (see wikipedia) and this theory would need a proof of its' own to be considered proof of another theory. I think it would be considered "Begging the question" (see wikipedia) if we were to add to the assumptions that "The Recapitulation theory is true".

I may be talking out my blow hole but as far as I know there is currently no aquatic mammal in mans proposed evolutionary ancestors. Identifying one would be helpful toward proving/testing common descent.

Starting with a mixture of dark and light coloured moths and predators killing off all the light coloured ones to find that only dark ones remain isn't surprising and doesn't affect evolutions proposal of common ancestry.

I don't follow the reasoning of your other points that lead you to conclude common ancestry is correct.

details

xsryder's picture

Reed, no offence but;
It may or may not shock you, but “evolution” has been both proven and played out during, and for a short period after, gestation in every single human being ever born.
But before I offer where to find the evidence, I would like to comment on your detailed list of concerns.
“2. Transition from single celled to multi-celled life”
Don’t humans start life as a single celled organism; an egg, and “evolve” into a multi-celled, intelligent, bi-pedal higher mammal?
“3. Animals evolved organs”
The sexual organs in animal species have evolved to be not only physically complimentary, but also to give sperm and egg the best possible chance to develop, survive and meet. Humans predominantly propagate vetro-ventrally (belly-to-belly) like aquatic mammals, due to our earlier semi-aquatic phase and adaptations brought on by our bi-pedal gate. Importantly, the human birth canal and hips have evolved in response to our bi-pedal gate, and as a result birth has become increasingly difficult for both baby and mother. Like rails and other flightless birds, the human hip has become semi-fused and more rigid, supporting our bi-pedal gate, but making birth very difficult and risky.
“3d ...respiration and other animal abilities.”
Believe it or not, but humans in the earlier stages of development actually have gill slits. From a single celled organism, the potential human becomes a multi-celled organism (blastocist), and eventually a foetus. During its development towards birth, many bizarre physical characteristics develop and later disappear, including gills and full body hair called lugano; all are past evolutionary adaptations. Indeed when a child is born, his/her throat is very different from an adult’s; it cannot drown. Yet by around 6 months old (about the same time as the greatest risk of cot death), the child’s throat has slowly “evolved” into an adult throat.
“7. New animal species and plant species evolved through variation, mutation and selective extinction.”
I appologise but I have never heard of the term “selective extinction”, and my belief is that the term “selection” is used inappropriately in describing evolutionary process. Rather, survival comes down to those “most able to adapt quickly to environmental change”.
Wikipedia-“The evolution of the peppered moth over the last two hundred years has been studied in detail. Originally, the vast majority of peppered moths had light coloration, which effectively camouflaged them against the light-colored trees and lichens which they rested upon. However, due to widespread pollution during the Industrial Revolution in England, many of the lichens died out, and the trees which peppered moths rested on became blackened by soot, causing most of the light-colored moths, or typica, to die off due to predation. At the same time, the dark-colored, or melanic, moths, carbonaria, flourished because of their ability to hide on the darkened trees…As a result of the relatively simple and easy-to-understand circumstances of the adaptation, the peppered moth has become a common example used in explaining or demonstrating natural selection to laypeople and classroom students.”
Elaine Morgan, author of “the Aquatic Ape”, “The Decent Of Women” and “The Decent Of The Child” describes the biological evidence of human evolution in a way that even the layman can understand. Once a person understands the biological path a human takes from conception to adult life, it is difficult to deny the process of evolution.

You gotta say yes to another excess

You gotta say yes to another

xsryder's picture

You gotta say yes to another excess

Wow, sometimes science is

reed's picture

Wow, sometimes science is mind numbingly boring.

I have completed my search for common ancestors and have only found one ancestor which is proposed to be a common ancestor of man and any other living organism. The proposed common ancestor is Sahelanthropus tchadensis and it is proposed to be the ancestor of pan (chimpanzee) and man. It's placement in the evolutionary tree is disputed by evolutionary scientists and there are no other proposed pre chimpanzees to link chimpanzees to Sahelanthropus tchadensis or any other organism.

Through my search I have found that common ancestors of any major groups (in the proposed lineage to man) exist in the minds of evolutionary scientists and may or may not have existed in reality. Without proposed common ancestors it is impossible to test common descent (the theory of evolution).

Even if you are a scientist (or group of scientists) believing something doesn't make it true.

Criticisms of my method and conclusions are welcome.

I can send my notes to anyone who is interested but I think they are too long and boring to post here.

Long complicated post - sorry

reed's picture

Lets examine item 7 in more detail.
7. New animal species and plant species evolved through variation, mutation and selective extinction.

Note: The following information is from wikipedia, there may be mistakes - corrections are welcome. I am working my way through the taxonomy/phylogeny (I don't get the distinction) and trying to 1) Identify the common ancestors 2) Examine the evidence/plausibility of the proposed transitions. I am not being selective but am making a beeline toward homo sapien.

Life is classified into 6 kingdoms, (Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia), evolution proposes that all six kingdoms share a common ancestor. Is there proof of a common ancestor for these? Is there a working, testable theory?

Animalia (Animal) is broken into 2 groups Parazoa (sponges) and Eumetazoa. There is scientific speculation that sponges may have evolved separately. Common ancestor is speculative.

Eumetazoa contains the sub-kingdoms Ctenophora (comb jellies), Cnidaria (sea anemones, jellyfish and sea pens) and Bilateria. What proof is there of a common ancestor for Bilateria and Cnidaria or Ctenophora? What proof is there of a common ancestor for anemones, jellyfish and sea pens?

Bilateria group contains Deuterostomia, Protostomia (a group including insects, spiders, crabs, roundworms, flatworms and molluscs), Chaetognatha (predatory marine worms), Cycliophora (Symbion) and Mesozoa (parasitic worm-like animals). Is there proof of a common ancestor for these? Is there any proof of a common ancestor of insects, spiders, crabs, roundworms, flatworms and molluscs?

Deuterostomia group contains Echinodermata (starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, etc.), Hemichordata (acorn worms and possibly graptolites), Chordata, Xenoturbellida (worm-like animals from the Baltic Sea), Chaetognatha (arrow worms - grouping uncertain), Vetulicolia. Is there any proof of a common ancestor ?

Chordata group contains Urochordata (sea squirts), Cephalochordata (Lancelet), hagfish and Vertebrata. Again... is there any proof of a common ancestor?

Vertebrata group contains Gnathostomata and Hyperoartia (a group of jawless fish) - Ignore this - inconsequential to proving evolution.

Gnathostomata group contains Osteichthyes (bony fish) and Tetrapoda (four-limbed vertebrates). Again... is there any proof of a common ancestor?

Tetrapoda group contains amphibia (amphibians), Sauropsida (reptiles and birds) and Synapsida. Is there any proof of a common ancestor for amphibia and Sauropsida? Is there any proof of a comman ancestor for all amphibians?

The post is already too long so I'll stop there, and wait before continuing, this will give people a chance to find the common ancestors and post replies (if anyone is here). The next group "Synapsida" looks like it may contain some links between organisms.

Learnt something new

reed's picture

Wm -
I'd never heard of abiogenisis and always thought this was part of evolution.
1a and 1b - covered by abiogenisis.
Note: I'm presuming you meant 1a and 1b and not 1 and 2.

We would need to add to the assumptions that "life existed prior to the process of evolution".

Aaron -
I used the term "opinion" as it is interpretation of the facts and "scientific" because it is from experts in that field. No disrespect or sarcasm intended. Scientific opinions vary in their accuracy - weather reports (in my opinion) are an example of poor scientific opinions.

WRT the flood - I'm sure creationists could accept the scenario you propose.

What open problems of evolution are there, and is there a list somewhere? - Just the general (non-specific) ones.

I agree about the throwing of the hands, it would be illogical to say "I can't prove A entirely therefore A can't be true and B must be true".

I have repented of my

reed's picture

I have repented of my profile baby picture sin and the solopassion gods have allowed me to speak again. I appear before you a new man.

Reed- Yes, tree rings show

Aaron's picture

Reed-
Yes, tree rings show back beyond 6000 years by correlating rings between dead trees and live trees. Do you use 'scientific opinion' as if it's an insult?

I don't think it's silly to believe the land forming Himalayas was once under water. I do, however, consider it incredibly silly to believe all the earth had nothing but mere hills till 5000-odd years ago, then all the mountain ranges up to over 5 miles high formed, without major disruption to humans and animals, historical record, or other dating methods indicating dates at all in this range.

Abiogenesis, evolution of sexual reproduction and other specifics remain open problems of science. Naturalistic and evolutionary theories exist and I think are on the right track even if current ones are not correct in details, but we're not to the point of nailing things down. However, only by keeping them problems of science can we hope to solve them. Throwing up our hands and saying 'God did it!' solves nothing, and seeks to end true scientific inquiry to understand reality.

reed

Reed, your steps 1 and 2 are flawed. Evolution does not deal with the how of the origin of life, but the origin of species. You are more correct when you say "life started simply and became more complex with time". The answer to "Where did the first living thing come to be?" is "We don't know yet".

Wm

Islam insofar as it is directed by governments, and as a measure enforced from above by any government, is to be done away with.

I commend you Ruby for

reed's picture

I commend you Ruby for putting these views to a group that you know the majority would disagree, it's an excellent way to test the ideas.

It is human nature, unfortunately, to apply scepticism to ideas that disagree with our own and easily accept ideas that fit with what we already believe or what the majority believe. I doubt you could find a non religious website that has a sceptical analysis of evolution or a christian website that has a sceptical analysis of creation.

We could do a sceptical analysis of the theory of evolution here if people are willing.
I believe that the theory (or the common understanding of the theory) proposes that life started simply and became more complex with time roughly following these steps...

Assumption - There is no external intelligence involved in the process
1a. Spontaneous life from non-living matter
1b. ...capable of reproduction.
2. Transition from single celled to multi-celled life.
3. Animals evolved organs
3b ...asexual reproduction
3c ...sexual reproduction
3d ...respiration and other animal abilities.
4a. Plants developed sexual reproduction
4b. ...photosynthesis and other plant abilities.
5. Animals developed senses and consciousness.
6. Animals developed instinct (might seem a bit odd in the list but it is necessary for survival).
7. New animal species and plant species evolved through variation, mutation and selective extinction.

Has anyone here ever seen a proof presented for any of 1 to 6 or workable theories?

Now I have seen proof of 7 and it is observable - we can see and test that mutations do occur and they are passed on to the next generations.
I've also seen proof that new subspecies have been shown to occur when one group of the same species is no longer able to breed with others of the same species.
Apologies for not having references.

OK so there is proof that 7 is true to some extent but hardcore creation fundamentalists explain this as "variation within a kind".

And if we prove 7 does that prove or imply 1 to 6 occurred?

Funny you should ask, I was

reed's picture

Funny you should ask, I was careful not to make an assertion like that Smiling.

It was the logic that interested me, that and that I remember being around Rubys age and looking at these kinds of issues myself.

It's not always easy to spot the assumptions that are being made, in this case the assumption that makes a worldwide flood impossible in some peoples minds is that "the world could not have been less mountainous in the past".

BTW the world could be coverered in 4km high mountain ranges and still be completely covered with water. And no I'm not saying the eath was covered with 4km high mountain ranges.

Of course there's evidence

Duncan Bayne's picture

Of course there's evidence that suggests Everest was once the ocean floor: the fossils on it.  But are you really suggesting that, at that time, there were no other mountains of comparable size to Everest now?

 

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Evolution

Sam64's picture

I might add the term "God" i use is also a very loose label-before the can opener is extracted from the drawer to open the can of worms:-)

Evoulution

Sam64's picture

Is it worth considering that the little experience of scientists and their craft (for want of a purposeful term) may never have all the answers without having all the evidence and therefore until then will continue to remain at best - "Speculative". Or until someone, somehow somewhere provides more proof??

If the area of metaphysics(God) is not considered as a contributing factor, then and until then, maybe all the pieces of the puzzle may never be revealed!

Aaron - It sounds like you

reed's picture

Aaron -

It sounds like you believe that there isn't enough water to flood the earth because it's silly to consider that the earth may have once been less mountainous than it is now. There is evidence that suggests everest was once the sea floor.

I've had a look to find long living trees, the longest living I could find were 'Methuselah' (4,838 years old and still alive) and 'Prometheus' (also 5000ish years old - cut down in 1964). Details about these trees are on wikipedia. These ages would be acceptable to 'Die hard creationinsts'.

I couldn't find any with the >10,000 year figure you gave where the age is determined by the rings.

What I did find was that the ring data from trees grown in the same areas has been accumulated. In one instance to produce a span of >10,000 and 8,500 years in another. More details at wikipedia - Dendrochronology. The ">10,000 years" and "8,500 years" are scientific opinions.

Ruby- Original questions

reed's picture

Ruby

1. Shells on everest is not a problem for creationists or evolutionists. It does imply that this was once the seabed.

2. You've probably heard Einsteins theory (proved mathematically and experimentaly) E=mc2.
Energy = mass times the speed of light squared.
The speed of light squared is a big number (approx 90,000,000,000,000,000) and if you can convert mass into energy (like the sun does) you're going to end up with a lot of energy from very little mass.
So the sun is losing mass but not very much.
Not everyone who believes in creation beleives in a young universe - "In the beginning" is vague enough to allow any period of time.
If the biblical flood happened it would have to have been before the oldest living tree was a seedling (unless it could survive underwater for a year). Check the trees age was established by counting the rings.
I haven't seen any proof but the arctic/antarctic ice cores may have proof of the earth being here longer than 10,000yrs. If you check this out make sure they are using continuous cores and not partials collected from different sites.

3. IMO Scientists don't believe in nothing (anymore). 'Nothing' can be 'created' by combining a positron and an electron. Check out positron on wikipedia for more info. This helps me understand how a wave (light) can travel through space and still behave like a wave but it doesn't help me believe that nothing is explosive.

4. I've never seen any mention of air pressure in the bible.

5. Current evolutionary thinking is that neanderthal lived at the same time as humans and didn't become extinct but have been absorbed into the human population. The existance of the Neanderthal (race) doesn't affect the beliefs of creationists or the assumptions of evolutionists.

Ruby- Light from stars, many

Aaron's picture

Ruby-
Light from stars, many radiometric dating methods, etc. show an age many orders of magnitude older than biblical creationists' 6000-some years. My favorite though is that even simple tree rings go back further than the 'Young-Earthers' claim.

Die-hard creationists will counter these by claiming that God was so brilliant that he created the universe with the appearance of age, with trees already partially grown, light from stars en route, etc. Of course such claims are no less silly than just saying the entire universe was created five minutes ago, with our memories created at the time.

Reed-
If the earth didn't have mountains or trenches and was perfectly smooth, water could cover the earth to about a depth of 2 miles. But the real world has mountains, trenches, etc. and what I said about not enough water to nearly flood it all holds.

One thing to note: although

Duncan Bayne's picture

One thing to note: although unrelated, evolution requires that the Earth not be young, in order for there to be enough time for complex organisms to evolve.

 

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Not enough water?

reed's picture

The argument that there isn't enough water to flood the earth doesn't hold water.
The real question is how deep could it cover the whole earth.
If you were to get a fish tank, fill it with stones so that 1/4 of the surface is above water.
This is a rough model of the earth. Roughly 3/4 of earths surface is sea and 1/4 land.
Now rearrange the stones so that they are all under water. Mt Everest was part of the seabed.
Note the average water depth is 3/4 of the previous average water depth.

So there is enough water on earth (Ignoring the ice caps) to cover it entirely to a maximum depth of 3/4 of the current average ocean depth.

Without looking up that figure I think that would be pretty deep.

There are two different

Duncan Bayne's picture

There are two different issues here: the age of the Earth, and the age of the universe. I have heard creationists argue that only the Earth was created ~ 10,000 years ago, and others argue that the entire universe was created ~ 10,000 years ago. I'll refer to these as the young Earth and young universe arguments respectively.

The young universe argument is easily refuted by the fact that we can see objects far more than 10,000 light years away. This means that the light must have been travelling for at least 10,000 years to get here, implying that the object radiating the light is at least that old, for there is no evidence suggesting that the speed of light in a vacuum is variable. The furthest object visible to the naked eye is around 3,000,000 light years distant, and with telescopes we can see objects far more distant than that.

The young Earth argument is also easily refuted, by radiometric dating. There is an excellent (if somewhat technical) article The Age of the Earth which summarizes the work in this field, and refutes common creationist criticisms of that work. Another problem with the young Earth argument is that there is clear proof of plate tectonics; e.g. rock that matches on different continents, on opposite sides of oceans. 10,000 years is simply insufficient time for that plate movement to have happened.

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How?

Ruby's picture

How can you prove that the earth is not 10.000 years old Duncan?

My View Only

MarkH's picture

Scientific Process
Ruby, the problem with creationism as a "theory" is that its proponents start with their own answer: the sequence of events described in the Book of Genesis. They then proceed backwards to pick and choose pieces of supporting evidence. It's not really a scientific process because they already have their answer.

A valid scientific process, though, starts with the questions and looks for explanations that are objectively proveable. As Daniel wrote above, "no scientific theory is EVER truly complete, because there will always be parts, however small, that we haven't quite figured out yet."

There will always be holes in human theories. But the existence of those holes doesn't mean that one should throw out the scientific process in favor of a preconceived idea; it only means our knowledge in a specific area is imperfect at the time and needs revision. (Some methods of carbon dating? Speed of light?)

Concept of God
I suspect there's an element of God lurking behind your questions, so consider this: even if we had a 100% watertight theory to explain the universe and human existence, it still wouldn't necessarily explain the why. For example, the Roman Catholic Church accepts evolution as a material cause for our existence but not the final cause, which they attribute to God. (I don't defend the RCC's other views, just using them for this example.)

Two Separate Issues
I agree with you when you wrote: "But that means that you can't rule creationism out because of its gaps." However, one can rule it out as a theory for the material cause of human existence because it's not based on the scientific process, even if some of its cited proof is accurate, or some of its proponents' criticisms of evolution turn out to be valid.

My point here is your questions imply curiosity about two issues: the material cause and the final cause of human existence. Sorry that I have no Final Answer to offer -- at least, not yet!

[Edited to clarify my own ramblings.]

But that means that you

Duncan Bayne's picture

But that means that you can't rule creationism out because of its gaps, even though it might sound unreasonable. Smiling

Indeed.  But you can rule it out because it can be disproved by observation - it's not a matter of it having gaps, but of it containing assertions (e.g. the Earth being < 10,000 years old) that can be disproved. 

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Some articles

Duncan Bayne's picture

Ruby,

I am neither a physicist or a good teacher, so I think the best I can do is to point you at some online resources.  There is a good explanation of the way the sun works here. It's quite a simple article, so once you've read it, you might be interested in this more detailed explanation.

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Hi guys

Ruby's picture

thankyou for answering my questions as best you can. I don't understand all of it of course. But Mum is helping me to go through your answers. Interesting about Mt Everst and the tectonic plates clashing. I don't completely understand the whole sun producing its own energy thing so if you could clear that up for me I'd be grateful.

If I have anymore questions I'll post them.

Duncan, Mum said she'll buy me the Bill Bryson book. Thanks for your links.

Daniel - I get what you mean that just because there are a few gaps in one theory doesn't rule it out or mean that the other one (creationsim) is true. But that means that you can't rule creationism out because of its gaps, even though it might sound unreasonable. Smiling

i think i might have raed

michael fasher's picture

i think i might have raed something about that to tired light i think the term was but in order to get the light from say hubble ultra deep feild say would require it to be a hell of a lot faster say thousands or millions of times faster not just slightly faster.
but not just that the light would have to set of from different destinations at radically different speeds to get here in time

Speed of light

Landon Erp's picture

Michael Fasher,

Keep in mind that this is just something I've heard second hand from my fiancee (who is much better versed in science/physics than I am) but she did mention that the C in E=MC2 stood for constant (meaning the speed of light as a constant) and She mentioned to me about a year ago that there was some evidence that the speed of light might not be constant.

Minor point (which I'm basically incapable of defending).

---Landon

Inking is sexy.

http://www.angelfire.com/comics/wickedlakes

edited because I forgot that there were two Michaels posting to this thread

Some things to keep in

MichaelB's picture

Some things to keep in mind.

Evolution deals with the changes in life forms over time. It does NOT deal with where the universe came from, how life began, etc, etc. This is one of the big mistakes of the creationists.

Several of your points have nothing to do with evolution.

1. As noted, this is covered by plate tectonics, not evolution.
2. Astrophysics, not evolution.
3. Astrophysics again, not evolution.
4. Vulcanism & carbon-14 dating, again, not evolution.
5. What about this fossils?

There are some great resources on-line and off to learn what's really going on with evolution and creation.

Some further points. I recommend you learn what a "theory" is. Its too often misued by creationists. To be a theory, it must met certain criteria. Theories must explain the evidence we have, and be strong enought to deal with new evidence. Its not a guess. Some theories out there: Theory of gravity, Theory of Relativity, etc.

Evolution is both a theory and a fact. Its been shown in nature, in the lab, and in the fossil record (despite what the creationists claim). The Theory of Evolution does NOT deal with whether or not evolution exists, but what CAUSES evolution.

Creationism is nothing more then an attempt by certain religiou types to replace science with religion. This is because these people insist on a literal view of the Bible, and thus anything that goes against this literal view, is a threat to their faith. Not all Christians have this issue, btw.

Some good resources:
Talk Origins archive- http://www.talkorigins.org/

gives you a lot of facts about the controversy.

Follow-up

Duncan Bayne's picture

Ruby - have all of our replies made sense? If you have any follow-up questions, or want more detail, please feel free to post & we'll do our best to answer. I strongly advise you check out the Skeptic's Annotated Bible - in particular the lists of contradictions and treatment of women.

 

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Heres why the universe is

michael fasher's picture

Heres why the universe is not 6000 years old.
The two main claims that creationists need to make to squeeze the world into 6000 yaers is that radioactive decay was enormously faster in the past and that the speed of light from distant galxies was much much faster than what it is now.
Firstly raioactive decay gives of heat this is what generates vulcanism and techtonic activity so an increase in rates of radioactive decay would give of more heat,about a million times for the aparrently oldest rocks as much things woulld get pretty hot.Also you would have to acount for rocks of apparently different ages
Well then you need to explain how light from say m 31 andromeda 2 million light years away or m100 galaxy 52 million light years away gets here in 6000 years.You would need to have two seperate speeds of light for each galaxy in fact every object in the universe would have to emit light at a different speeds.
Well that would create further problems with radioactive decay.
When an atom decays some mass is converted to energy and the formulae is the famous e=mc squared equation and e=energy m=mass lost and c=speed of light.Well just imagine the energy given off in any nuclear reaction if the speed of light was a hell of a lot faster.
Theres not a shed of evidence that decay rates or the speed of light have any variation.

Part of the problem...

Daniel Walden's picture

...is in the Creationist mindset. Proponents of Young Earth Creationism (the sort that supposes that the planet is 6000 years old) are either Biblical fundamentalists or are taking orders from one, and fundamentalist doctrine is notoriously fragile. The way they see it, EVERYTHING in the Bible has to be true or the entire thing falls apart. Since this is so for the Bible, they suppose it to be so for everything else. Sometimes they will actually point out legitimate gaps in our scientific knowledge, and they suppose that our theories must be wrong because these gaps exist. But science doesn't work that way; science is quite comfortable with letting problems lie around until someone has the time, resources and desire to tackle them. No scientific theory is EVER truly complete, because there will always be parts, however small, that we haven't quite figured out yet. It's a wonderful testament to our cognitive abilities that we've been able to get as far as we have, and we show no signs of slowing down.

Creationism

Landon Erp's picture

I feel bad. NZ's educational system is confusing kids with creation "science" (at least it's not as bad as America's educational system which produces people who come up with 9/11 conspiracy theories).

But I'll start and finish my primary discussion of creation science with this.

Creationism or Intelligent design aren't actual theories being offered, it's a method of trying to shoehorn biblical stories into a scientific confines. Most creationists aren't activly trying to offer scientific theories on the nature of the creation of the universe (or the physical nature of a creator capable of creating something such as the universe) but with nitpicking and distorting the arguements of evolutionary theory. Trying to pick apart a scientific theory is all well and good (dare I say even necessary) because if a theory does not correspond to reality it is useless. But the key thing is that there is an honest way of going about this and a dishonest way.

Einstein for instance spent the second half of his life trying to disprove the theories developed in the firt half and I've heard that about as much is true of Stephen Hawking. But the creationists arguement consists of saying something akin to "The world is not flat.. therefore it is cone-shaped." Their key motivation is in disproving a thouroughly developed and time tested theory, not offering a legitimate alternative which is testable, provable or disporvable.

That's all I had to say, coupled with agreeing with most of what's already been said.

---Landon

Inking is sexy.

http://www.angelfire.com/comics/wickedlakes

In his inimitable style,

Duncan Bayne's picture

In his inimitable style, Michael is talking about this phenomenon, which happens to be one the aspects of quantum physics that seems totally counterintuitive to me.

Mind you, many properties of the microscopic world are counterintuitive (e.g. the physical properties of silicon at the microscopic scale make it an excellent construction material for nano-robots, much like steel is for industrial robots).

 

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The total amount of positive

michael fasher's picture

The total amount of positive energy such as rest mass,kinetic energy electromagnetic energy is apparently equal to the total negitive energy such as gravitational energy pulling everything back together.
Therefore the net total energy at the start of the universe would be zero like a rocket at escape velocity has zero net energy its kenetic energy is exactly equal to gravitational potential energy.
In a vacuam sometimes an electron and positron will pop into existance out of nothing.Think of how this happens by thinking how we define existance or non existance.The electron and positron are the two flipsides of the same coin which make their presence be felt when seperated but together their effect is cancelled out if you know hwhat i mean.That means our definition of what nothing means,think of nothing as being capable of being separated into opisite components and this is how you get something out of nothing at the big bang

Not Noah's flood

Kenny's picture

The Himalayas were caused by massive tectonic movements. So the shells could have been on the ground was under the sea or ice before being moved to create the mountains. Apologies for my non-scientific language - no geologist either.

W.r.t. 3: "we don't know" is

Duncan Bayne's picture

W.r.t. 3: "we don't know" is a perfectly valid answer - and we don't yet know the cause of the universe's existence, or even whether (given the existence of a singularity & event horizon at the start) obtaining that knowledge is even physically possible.

What we *do* know is that even if you accept that God created the universe, that doesn't actually solve the problem ... for what then created God?  If you claim that God has always existed (or that the details of his existence are unknowable by man), then you're right back to the same problem, only now it's God rather than the Universe.

 

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Corrected.  Score another

Duncan Bayne's picture

Corrected.  Score another point for the depersonalising effects of internet communications.

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Ruby ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... is a she. Smiling

OK.. I'm giving this the

Aaron's picture

OK.. I'm giving this the benefit of the doubt as serious and not satire or simple proselytizing.

1. What Duncan said. And as for 'not a problem for the creation theory' - not true. There's only enough water in all the Earth's ice caps, glaciers and atmosphere to flood several hundred feet deep - nowhere near the height of Ararat or Everest.

2. The claim about the sun burning itself out was made by Lord Kelvin in the 1860s. I believe he calculated how big the sun would have to be to have burned for millions of years if it was burning anthracite coal, and this would have been bigger than the orbit of the earth. He didn't know about nuclear fusion - orders of magnitude more energy dense than burning coal or any other substance - at the time. It's frustrating that creationists exposed you to a 140 year old argument that was outdated 60 years ago.

3. I think you're presenting what's commonly called a 'first cause' argument. Yes it can be hard to envision a very huge and complicated universe always existing. But adding an infinitely complex sentient being to create it certainly doesn't make it any simpler.

4. As Duncan noted, the creationist attack actually is upon K-Ar dating rather than carbon dating (carbon dating is only applicable on the order of 10s of thousands of years and to organic material). K-Ar dating can be used to date rocks up to billions of years old - but not for rocks <100,000 years old, and with a resolution of no more precise than hundreds of thousands of years. The creationist criticism of K-Ar dating concerning Ngauruhoe is simply violating a known and expected limitation of K-Ar and not-so-innocently acting as if it's news or somehow discredits the dating method itself.

Aaron,I might be wrong, but

Duncan Bayne's picture

Aaron,

I might be wrong, but from the tone of his writing I think Ruby is a young'un.  Hence my eagerness to answer her questions in a helpful manner.

Edited to add: I just checked out her profile; she's 13 years old and attending school in New Zealand, which will no doubt explain the odd gap in her scientific education.

Ruby: please don't take that as an insult; I left high school for Massey University at the end of sixth form after realizing that high school was a waste of my time. I wish I had had a resource like SOLO when I was your age. I'm serious when I tell you: you will find a far deeper and broader range of knowledge here on SOLO than you will in any high school. There are people here who are experts in many different fields & sciences, & I strongly advise you pick their brains at every opportunity.
 

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Please, please, please tell

Aaron's picture

Please, please, please tell me this is a joke and I just missed a smiley somewhere.

Ruby,It's good to see you

Duncan Bayne's picture

Ruby,

It's good to see you here posting questions.  My apologies if I seem a bit terse; I'm quite busy at the moment, but thought I'd take a bit of time out to answer you as best I can.

Fossils on mountains: plate tectonics are the cause of this.  Basically, most mountains exist because the areas of the Earth's crust they exist on are being pushed up as the continental plates move around.  So, the land that is now a mountain may once have been at the bottom of a sea.

As for the age of the sun, the sun doesn't burn; it produces heat by a nuclear reaction called fusion, where hydrogen atoms combine together to form helium - and in the process release a lot of energy.  There is enough hydrogen in the sun to last for billions of years.

You're right with respect to the origins of the universe: no-one knows where the energy / matter in the universe came from.  As I understand it, current theory suggests there was a singularity at the (chronological) start of the universe.  This means that we cannot know what preceeded the big bang, no matter how we try, any more than someone in a black hole can see what's going on outside.  This is a very difficult area of study, & is one that I'm only now beginning to grasp myself. 

I suggest getting a copy of A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking, and reading it.  He'll explain this better than I could ever hope to. While you're at it, get A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - it's a fantastic introduction to many of the areas we're discussing here.

With respect to the dating of rocks: very interesting.  I've had a look on Google, and found you're correct in your summary: lava recently (as in, within the last few decades) ejected and cooled from Ngauruhoe subjected to radioactive potassium-argon dating looks like it's several million years old. 

My first thought on this matter is: what if the material has been sitting in a caldera decaying (in a nuclear sense) for millions of years prior to ejection?  But I'll leave this one to the resident geologists ... I'm sure we have a few here at SOLO.

Finally, as to the fossils of Neanderthals & similar: we have found fossils of infants, which disproves the assertion that those fossils are simply aged homo sapiens.

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