Why won't the Creationists talk turkey?

The creationists who are replying here are missing the point. What Ben has listed are several aspects of molecular genetics which directly contradict any type of special creation or guided evolution, as we would understand it.

These all are things which directly contradict several points of “special” or “divine” or “young earth” creationism:
[ul][li]young earth creation – our only explanation for most of these findings is that things have been around for billions of years.[/li][li]divine creation – our only explanation for many of these findings is that all things are related. Hypotheses can be applied over unrelated fields of science, namely paleontology and molecular evolution.[/li][li]omniscient creator or a “guided process” – many of these things are remnants of evolutionary dead ends and are vestigial remnants of systems no longer used. There is no reason for pseudogenes to exist in a created being.[/li][li]irreducible complexity – complicated systems (like the eye) are cobbled together using different proteins and different structures numerous times during evolution. There are many ways to skin a cat.[/li][/ul]The answer is that life, in general, appears to be a cobbled together system formed by the interaction of thousands of factors over millions of years. Transposons rearranged the genome, and we see evidence that it is still happening (read up about the recent invasion of P-elements into the Drosophila melanogaster species from other Drosophilids). We see evidence of millions of years of mutations, with variations dependent on the importance of that particular stretch of genome. We still see mutation today. We see evolution of protein function in many different ways. We see new proteins evolving and old ones fading away into the padding of the genome. We even can see remnants of the abiogenetic RNA world from the structure of introns and exons. We see speciation, natural selection, and other principle tenets of Darwinism from levels ranging from nucleotide to ecosystem.

Nothing about our observations would say “special creation” or “divine intervention” or “omniscient guidance.” It is an ugly, higgeldy piggeldy world of billions of years of mutation and reformation.

Somedays I think I should have staid in bed.
The problem with the cold is not identifying the sucker. It is just that you would have to give up a snot sample, wait a week or ten days for the test results to come back telling you which particular rhino virus you’ve got. Then the doctor can give you something to knock it out. Um. Gee. By then you won’t care because the cold will have gone away by itself. It isn’t a lack of knowledge. It just isn’t pratical, and the common cold isn’t enough of a problem to warrant the tests needed to select the proper cure. Actually, I don’t know that anyone has even attempted to find cures for all of the different rhino viruses. It just isn’t all that big a problem.
The second quote above really bugs me. If you have faith in God, then you don’t have to grant the existence of God for the sake of our discussion, which is what I was doing. Your statement throws me for a loop, and I don’t know why.

As for the prize:
Walor has won one Margarine Dildo (tm Spider Robinson,) available at your neighborhood supermarket.:smiley:

Okay… here in the UK we’ve had a number of interesting diseases within the livestock population over the last 15 years or so. One is BSE (mad cow disease) which affected our cattle.

On a number of occasions, government scientists were asked to outline the public health risk of consuming cattle exposed to the disease. Categorical assurances were given that the disease was not zooinotic and could not possibly transfer to humans. It was impossible!

The number of deaths now attributed to the transfer of the disease is rising and worst yet, a grim picture of the future is being painted as the incubation period for the disease appears to have the potential to be in excess of 20 years. We sit on a time bomb. The scientists are now certain that they were wrong!


You weren’t supposed to spill the beans. I think the whole point was to see if the creationists could muster enough understanding of the science they condemn to be able to actually discuss it. Now you’ve let them in on it, and they can spout their answers based on your explanation of a science they don’t understand.

You’ve just pointed out the exact problem with Creation “Science”. A hundred years ago, everyone “knew” for sure that the Judeo-Christian God created life exactly as it exists now. That false paradigm has since been proven wrong by years of scientific discovery and very clear evidence. And it doesn’t even have to be as complicated as pseudoextrons; what do you think dog breeding is?

The only proof that Creationists have is the Bible. And biblical scholars can’t even decide which parts of it are supposed to be literal and which are metaphors. Why should I believe that, when there are some Wiccans over here with just as much proof that there’s actually an Earth-Mother instead? Or some Eskimos that “know” that animals came from a baby giant’s fingers?

The common cold is caused by any one of a number of rhinoviridae, arenaviridae, or adenoviridae. These number in the hundreds.

Nobody is saying that what we scientifically believe now is hard and fast. Nobody is saying that every single fact in every single paper or textbook is “truth.” In science, we look for the best explanation for a set of data until a better explanation comes along.

Our observations are generally sound. The theories concoted to explain the observations must have predictive value which stands the test of time and future observations. Theories generally don’t get chucked out a window. As soon as observations are made which do not fit the theories, a new, better theory takes its place. Note that the new theory must encompass the old findings.

Evolution is as close as we can come to “fact” in science. The theory of evolution is so well supported by so many observations that it will never go away, just like Newton’s Theory of Universal Gravitation. Note that Newton’s theory has been revised as new observations have been made, but new theories take into account all of Newton’s old stuff. Evolution will never be proven “wrong.” The most you can hope for is a new theory which encompasses evolution but has further predictive value.

Mort Furd:
Oh. Damn. Oops. Sorry.

*Originally posted by sdimbert *
**I’ve always considered the basic question of dinosaur fossils to be an interesting one. I mean, how did fossils that seem to be much much older than 5600 or so years get into the ground?

Is that a good place to begin? If so, I’m satisfied with any one of a couple of possible answers:
[li]Design Theory - The Creator placed those fossils in the Earth’s crust and made them appear to be much, much older than they are. Why? I don’t know. I could guess, but to be sure, you’d have to ask Him.[/ul]**[/li][/quote]

From a strictly secular perspective, this implies a deceitful God - one who wishes to fool the non-believers, while at the same time demanding unquestioning obedience from His followers. This alone makes this view unsatisfactory. From a scientific perspective, it’s useless, and little more than a Grand Cop Out.


[ul][li]Scientific Error Theory - Scientist aint’ as smart as they think they are. There’s an error in the calculations, Carbon-14 dating is flawed, someone dropped a decimal point, etc. I’m going to guess that you’re not happy with this one.[/ul]**[/li][/quote]

How about, “scientists are smarter than Creationists give them credit for.” To use your example, C-14 dating can be flawed, if the tester doesn’t fully grasp what s/he is doing. I suspect that many Creationists who use absurd radiometric dates to support their views fall into this category. C-14 dating also has limitations which are well known by scientists, but which Creationists latch onto as “proof” that the entire concept is erroneous!
Beyond that, however, one does not need mathematical figures to supply a decent theory. Read Darwin’s The Origin of Species. All theory, no math. No dropped decimals. But one hell of a lot of evidence. No observations to date have falsified Darwin.


[ul][li]Time Warp Theory - This is the one usually attributed to Dr. Gerald Schroeder. Basically, he uses Relativity to explain that, as the universe expanded from the Big Bang/Moment of Creation, time started to slow down, when viewed from God’s Perspective/Outside the Universe (deep stuff). So, the first “day” of creation was longer than the second, which was longer than the third, etc. This allows us to say that everyone is right; the Universe is both 5700 years old and millions of years old, depending on your perspective.[/ul]**[/li][/quote]

Another Grand Cop Out, coupled with pseudo-science. Basically, little more than an attempt at appeasement. How does Dr. Schroeder know what “God’s Perspective” is? How can anything be viewed from “Outside the Universe”, when “outside the universe” does not exist?


If He created many Universes, one would reasonably conclude that previous ones would have been completely overwritten. Otherwise, it’s not a new universe, is it? And where is even the Biblical evidence of multiple creations?

That such mental gymnastics must be used in order to explain an event which can be very easily explained using natural means is astonishing. We know how sedementation works. We know about taphonomy and fossilization. We know about geological uplifting. It follows logically, even without knowledge of Darwin’s theories, that dinosaurs lived, and died, a very long time ago, and that the fossils we see are remnants of those animals.

Not sure what to say.

Neither do I.

Hmmm… couldn’t I have a book on wit and eloquence instead?

Are you saying that if god created everything everything would not be related? What is your reasoning behind this?

If you can know that then why don’t you tell us why god created the universe?

If god created something then why would he not make it complex?

Like Darwin’s Finch said How do you know what “God’s Perspective” is.

Here’s a better idea- why don’t you have a crack at the stumper questions?

Don’t be shy! No excuse for putting your light under a bushel!


Relation is, by definition, a product of descent. If all organisms are created in toto through Divine means, they cannot possibly be related, since descent would not exist. If descent does not exist, then we should have no reason to expect to find evidence of such.


Wha…? The logic is that pseudogenes have no function. Why should a specially-created organism exhibit such non-functioning elements? And why can we trace these non-functioning elements along what we have determined to be lines of descent?

It goes back to that whole “evidence of descent” thing.


If God created something then why would He not make it simple?

I’m not sure that there’s anything there that I disagree with. I think that your take on things is a fair and reasonable one that I would support in the main.

AAMOF, I would also advocate that all scientific ‘discovery’ is helpful to us in some way (maybe with a few little caveats).

I guess my money is on your last point:

‘The most you can hope for is a new theory which encompasses evolution but has further predictive value.’

(Humour me for a while).If there is a God, and if God created the heavens and earth etc etc, then presumably, scientists still have a lot of ‘discovering’ to do. In other words, what we currently know is likely to be a minute fraction of what there is to know.

Creationsists would simply argue that just because the evidence collected so far seems to link well or project a particular conclusion, who is to say that all of the important bits of evidence (that may outweigh out current evidence) are yet to be found.

Ben I would except I don’t have a clue as to what they mean. So sorry, but you might as well have asked me in another language. Its generally a good idea to not use highly technical terms from a specific field in GD.

Unfortunately, many creationists do not take this stance. The honest ones go through disturbing mental gymnastics to explain why what we know doesn’t really support evolution (see sdimbert’s post with his alternate theories). The dishonest ones ignore that evidence which doesn’t support their point and make fallacious attacks on the theory of evolution.

You’re right that there may be evidence that blows the current theory out of the water. In this case, we would get a new theory of evolution that accounts for that evidence as well as the old evidence. However, as each day goes by and such evidence is not found, the probability that such evidence exists seems to decrease.

My beef with most creationists, one that seems to be shared by a lot of scientists, is that they seem to miss that whatever theory they put forth has to explain all existing evidence as well or better than the current theory, and it should make predictions that turn out to be true. No theory of evolution does this better than Neo-Darwinism (unless something big has happened in the last fifteen twenty years of which I am unaware).

What I don’t understand is why fundies and creationists even need to fiddle wih science and evolution. I mean, what happened to faith? Isn’t the general idea of Christianity to believe the impossible, as in Jesus rising from the dead? There can be no possible scientific proof of that, but it doesn’t stop you from believing it, does it? So why do you all need to believe pseudo-science about the age of the planet and such?
So what if the planet is billions of years old-does that mean God doesn’t exist?

Have faith in things that require faith and don’t worry about the rest, would be my advice. I mean, next are you going to have to try and find some ancient pillar of salt shaped like Lot’s wife so you can justify believing in that?

Of course, it’s a lot easier to just ignore it or shout it down with nonsense…

Unless god makes things that way. One would assume the simplest answer if it supports the facts. In creationism and evolution the facts are different.

Because nothing is non-functioning. Something might not serve any other purpose than as a dead weight, but that is still a purpose.

Is it simple or complex in gods eyes?

Regrettably, I have to agree with the creationists who have posted in the thread so far. I would bet that somewhere in the neighborhood of 99% of the evolutionists on the SDMB have little or no idea what the OP is talking about. I’ve read Darwin, and Gould, and Dawkins, and believe fully that evolutionary theory appropriately describes life on Earth. But I couldn’t tell you what an intron or a transposon were if you stuck red-hot pokers in my eyes.

What purpose is served by finding out that most of the creationists don’t know this stuff, either, except to demonstrate that molecular biologists know a lot about molecular biology? I would be utterly amazed to discover that there are no molecular biologists in the world who are Christians, who accept some sort of theistic evolutionary view of the world, and who can intelligently address the topics addresses in the OP. Gaspode is a creationist (albeit not a Judeo-Christian one) and I have little doubt that he can and will intelligently address these points.

I might add that there is a certain tone of, “Foolish Christians–we scientists have all the answers! Bwaaaahahahahahaha!” in the OP as well, intended or not.

What I don’t understand is why fundies and creationists even need to fiddle wih science and evolution. I mean, what happened to faith? Isn’t the general idea of Christianity to believe the impossible, as in Jesus rising from the dead? There can be no possible scientific proof of that, but it doesn’t stop you from believing it, does it? So why do you all need to believe pseudo-science about the age of the planet and such?
So what if the planet is billions of years old-does that mean God doesn’t exist?

Have faith in things that require faith and don’t worry about the rest, would be my advice. I mean, next are you going to have to try and find some ancient pillar of salt shaped like Lot’s wife so you can justify believing in that?

Of course, it’s probably hard to take advice on this subject from a poster named ‘Lucifer12’… :wink:

Just a thought then I’m off home for the night…

If there’s a God that created heaven & earth etc etc… I think I’m looking at a supernatural kinda thing. I mean, how long would it take to figure how that works? My money would be on… quite a while (even if we worked weekends and holidays).

Modern science (300 years old) - prepared to argue on accuracy. Okay, ancient science (Hippocrates etc) 2000 years old. Come on, we haven’t really been on the case for that long. I can’t remeber the facts but i saw something recently that argue that most of our current ‘knowledge’ has been generated in the last ten years or so.

To say that the probability is of finding such evidence is decreasing seems an unreasonable take on things. Like I said earlier, my feelings are that if you piled up all the knowledge that we’ve accumulated since time began, it would amount to diddly squat in relation to what we don’t know. This limits the power of science to explain things, even though I feel that scientific knowledge is extremely valuable (see my response to edwino earlier)

By the way… neat thread Ben

Sorry about the typos there. It’s obviously time to go home. Adios.