The Veritas Society

Discussion Areas => Spirituality => Topic started by: JustinReeves on January 21, 2014, 07:16:17 PM

Title: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 21, 2014, 07:16:17 PM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Constructman on January 21, 2014, 07:56:27 PM
By evolution, are you talking about the process of evolution itself (which I wholeheartedly believe is an accurate observation) or are you talking about how evolution has impacted humans (ie are we really descended from monkeys, etc.)?

The actual process that evolution represents I feel is an accurate one (genetic mutation, natural selection, etc.); however, I am not sure about the prospect of a last universal ancestor from which all life is descended. I am also not sure about how humans fit into the process, and coming from a religion that believes man was made by God, it just adds to the confusion.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Mind_Bender on January 21, 2014, 08:12:50 PM
I believe a creative Source was first, is foremost, and eternal, but with that said, I also believe in evolution. You plant a seed and it grows into a plant, tree, or creature.  You focus on internal change and your old friends and associates no longer recognize who you have become. We were created to recognize our own beauty, and I think that is what evolution is - a moving picture of us towards our perfection.

From a more humanesque view, as physical beings, we learn and change internally and externally constantly, but our spiritual essence or soul is perfect, we just lost sight of it and evolution is helping us return to the understanding of our perfection.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: EllyEve on January 22, 2014, 05:39:55 AM
Evolution isn't about belief. Science is not about belief. It's about people who don't know, and are doing their best to find and figure it out, or at least it should be.

I don't see why politics or culture should have charged the "evolution meme" with an agenda other than sharing with us plebes something that happens in too big a perspective for many of us to care, but I appreciate this explanation as to a mystery of nature.

Sometimes it isn't appropriate, like I used to be a huge fan of evolutionary psychology until I saw how problematic it was from the standpoint of kyriarchy. Not everyone is there, and that point that is there shouldn't be everywhere.

But generally I like it.

Quote
Here is a story that I believe.

Once we were blobs in the sea, and then fishes, and then lizards and rats, and then monkeys, and hundreds of things in between. This hand was once a fin. This hand once had claws.

In my human mouth I have the pointy teeth of a wolf and the chisel teeth of a rabbit and the grinding teeth of a cow.

Our blood is as salty as the sea we used to live in.

When were frightened, the hair on our skins stands up, just like when we had fur. We are history!

Everything weve ever been on the way to becoming us, we still are.

Im made up of the memories of my parents and grandparents, all my ancestors. Theyre in the way I look, in the color of my hair.

 And Im made up of everyone Ive ever met whos changed the way I think.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Mars on January 22, 2014, 10:42:21 AM
Evolution is clear to me, I believe in an original divine creator, but we evolve not just biologically, and mentally but spiritually every day. I think it is the way of things, to ever evolve yet stay the same, a grand contradiction and confusion that I have yet to understand.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 22, 2014, 01:20:27 PM
By evolution, are you talking about the process of evolution itself (which I wholeheartedly believe is an accurate observation) or are you talking about how evolution has impacted humans (ie are we really descended from monkeys, etc.)?

The actual process that evolution represents I feel is an accurate one (genetic mutation, natural selection, etc.); however, I am not sure about the prospect of a last universal ancestor from which all life is descended. I am also not sure about how humans fit into the process, and coming from a religion that believes man was made by God, it just adds to the confusion.
I was talking about the whole theory about how humans come from a common ancestor of monkeys and the evolution that happens to a species over millions of years through natural selection.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 22, 2014, 01:23:38 PM
I think it's fascinating that the theory of evolution states that every living creature came from one single organism.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Constructman on January 22, 2014, 02:00:49 PM
I think it's fascinating that the theory of evolution states that every living creature came from one single organism.

Well, the matter of that organism came from aside, the whole process makes a lot of sense. When organisms reproduce, sometimes the resulting organisms may have differing genetic codes. The process repeats itself, with organisms with adaptations unsuited to the environment dying out, ad infinitum.

I still don't really understand how the transition form prokaryotes to eukaryotes and other big jumps worked though. I'll have to do a lot more reading on biology.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 22, 2014, 02:32:31 PM
It's just amazing to think that every organism came from one single organism.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Steve on January 22, 2014, 05:40:02 PM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Do you believe in gravity? And if you don't, why? :)

~Steve
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Mind_Bender on January 23, 2014, 12:16:32 AM
It's just amazing to think that every organism came from one single organism.

Yeah, it's kind of mind boggling, and how everything is made of the same basic atomic structures to become even more multifaceted atomic structures... but quantum physics isn't the same as evolution. I wonder how, or if, particle physics relates to evolution  :confused:
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 23, 2014, 04:47:37 AM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Do you believe in gravity? And if you don't, why? :)

~Steve
I'm guessing you asked this question to make us realize that you are pretty idiotic if you don't believe in scientific fact.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: EllyEve on January 23, 2014, 06:58:21 AM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Do you believe in gravity? And if you don't, why? :)

If you've dropped anything on the ground, and call that habit "gravity" then it's easy to know rather than believe.

Evolution is something sophisticated and bigger. Not everybody looks at their opposable thumb and just knows that it came from millions of years of living cells happening to work together and then work better with the environment that they're in.

Rather than gravity, it's more like... Do you believe in the cosmological constant that prevents all the planets crashing into each other, or do you believe that the universe is expanding at a rate that renders the cosmological constant moot? It's like, as long as the planets don't crash into one another and kill us all, or unless that's an imminent threat we can do something about with such knowledge, then why would most laypeople care enough to believe in it?
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Steve on January 23, 2014, 05:33:40 PM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Do you believe in gravity? And if you don't, why? :)

~Steve
I'm guessing you asked this question to make us realize that you are pretty idiotic if you don't believe in scientific fact.
Something like that. But also to draw another scientific parallel between the two.

See, despite the experiential understanding of gravity that every layman can pick up on, and how humans have long known intuitively that we're "rooted" to the Earth because of it, it wasn't until Sir Isaac Newton that it was seriously studied as a scientific endeavor (Galileo studied it too, but it didn't take off among the rest of the scientific community at that time).

Evolution, on the other hand, was accepted as a natural (or divine) thing at least as long ago as the Greeks. But it also didn't receive serious scientific study until around the time of Darwin and his Theory of Evolution (or at least, that's what teachers of today credit as being the serious start of that thread of scientific inquiry).

Like the original theories of gravity, the original theories of evolution weren't entirely correct. However, it was with study and experimentation that information was gleaned and theories were updated, again and again, enhancing one another towards the path of understanding.

It is scientific fact that evolution happens. It has been proven time and again in selective breeding experiments. It is not up for serious debate among any scientific circle that puts their science before their religion. And thus, yes, to not believe in at least the basic concept of evolution, as the concept that animals species change over time and that genetic variations occur through both mutations and genetic selection over time, is about as silly as not believing in the basic concept of gravity, as the concept that masses attract one another for some odd reason.

So I don't mean to derail your thread and make it sound like the question is kind of moot, because it's not. It's always okay to ask why people do or don't think or believe the things that they do.

~Steve
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 23, 2014, 06:30:59 PM
Do you believe in evolution? And if you don't, why?
Do you believe in gravity? And if you don't, why? :)

~Steve
I'm guessing you asked this question to make us realize that you are pretty idiotic if you don't believe in scientific fact.
Something like that. But also to draw another scientific parallel between the two.

See, despite the experiential understanding of gravity that every layman can pick up on, and how humans have long known intuitively that we're "rooted" to the Earth because of it, it wasn't until Sir Isaac Newton that it was seriously studied as a scientific endeavor (Galileo studied it too, but it didn't take off among the rest of the scientific community at that time).

Evolution, on the other hand, was accepted as a natural (or divine) thing at least as long ago as the Greeks. But it also didn't receive serious scientific study until around the time of Darwin and his Theory of Evolution (or at least, that's what teachers of today credit as being the serious start of that thread of scientific inquiry).

Like the original theories of gravity, the original theories of evolution weren't entirely correct. However, it was with study and experimentation that information was gleaned and theories were updated, again and again, enhancing one another towards the path of understanding.

It is scientific fact that evolution happens. It has been proven time and again in selective breeding experiments. It is not up for serious debate among any scientific circle that puts their science before their religion. And thus, yes, to not believe in at least the basic concept of evolution, as the concept that animals species change over time and that genetic variations occur through both mutations and genetic selection over time, is about as silly as not believing in the basic concept of gravity, as the concept that masses attract one another for some odd reason.

So I don't mean to derail your thread and make it sound like the question is kind of moot, because it's not. It's always okay to ask why people do or don't think or believe the things that they do.

~Steve
I don't believe you derailed this thread at all. I think you contributed a lot to this topic so thanks :)
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: JustinReeves on January 23, 2014, 06:34:35 PM
See, despite the experiential understanding of gravity that every layman can pick up on, and how humans have long known intuitively that we're "rooted" to the Earth because of it, it wasn't until Sir Isaac Newton that it was seriously studied as a scientific endeavor (Galileo studied it too, but it didn't take off among the rest of the scientific community at that time).

That is actually false in that Aristotle actually pondered why objects fall when you drop them prior to both Newton and Galileo where Galileo's concept of a pendulum was analogous, in some ways, to the constrained fall of say a rock. The idea was that per the nature of the rock, it will seek to fall to its lower state. It is one of those things they tell people in grade school like Thomas Edison invented the light bulb or Christopher Columbus set out to prove the world was not flat. I do not know why, though. These myths are often times addressed in college, though, I do not know why a lot of people do not teach things correcly from the get go.

Evolution, on the other hand, was accepted as a natural (or divine) thing at least as long ago as the Greeks. But it also didn't receive serious scientific study until around the time of Darwin and his Theory of Evolution (or at least, that's what teachers of today credit as being the serious start of that thread of scientific inquiry).

Also not true. What made Darwinian views initially controversial is that it went against concepts of organic teleology where Greek concepts of growth were teleological at its core(reading material for you: Epigenesis and Preformationism (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epigenesis/)). According to Darwinian concepts, an organism is not working towards a predetermined state of being; rather, adaptations to the environment help shape morphogenic traits. Greek science addressed morphogensis from the stand point of teleology which evolution contradicts on multiple points. This embodies the creationists versus evolutionists debate in that creationists hold to a teleological view point which evolution contradicts (intelligent design), so, technically, while the Greeks investigated development(such as how a seed changes into a tree), they did not investigate evolution anymore than creationists arguments are evolutionary arguments(not in the same sense of the word, at least, Greek concepts of evolution are closer to concepts of development). Versus a human eye being a human eye due to a teleological nature creating such, a human eye came about per adaptions to the environment and not due to a predetermined state. For some stupid reason, a lot of high school teachers, and even college professors, teach things incorrectly.
I'm pretty sure that during the time Darwin published his theory of evolution, it was controversial due to the fact that it went against the orthodox view on how man was created
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Shadowx089 on January 23, 2014, 08:34:03 PM
For me the answer is simply yes. It is obvious based on the degree of differences in humans alone that it does occur.

However, something bothers me about it.

Inanimate objects don't seem to evolve, like a rock for example or a cell phone. They don't seem to evolve. So when it comes to our existence. I question how can inanimate object become animated objects and evolve without being able to evolve in the first place.

Even if we were to credit primordial ooze we would have to question how an inanimate molecule manged to reach a state that it was capable of evolving. When is it considered alive? How did it become alive by random chemical reactions? There just doesn't seem to be a good enough explanation if this is the case.
Title: Re: Evolution
Post by: Trihalo42 on March 25, 2015, 09:10:52 PM
I seem to have this psychotic need to bring people up to speed on Evolution theories. I think it's because of Neil Tyson's groupies throwing so much hate and ignorance around the internet.

First off, the typical reason for these threads is an attempt to make people who are religious seem "unscientific". Simply put, the atheist media icon known as Neil deGrasse Tyson said in an interview on Big Think that there is no conflict between science and religion. It's only a minority of religious people who try to create a conflict.
http://bigthink.com/videos/neil-degrasse-tyson-on-science-and-faith

Another thing these threads typically do is assume that "evolution" has explained how life began and why things are the way they are now. "Evolution" itself is often divided up into the origins of life, macro evolution, micro evolution, etc etc. This usually leads to someone trying to argue in favor of some small point and claiming that everything else with the word "evolution" attached to it is true by association. Another reference comes from Tyson is seen in Season 1 Episode 2 of the Cosmos reboot, "some of the things that molecules do". Near the end Tyson is speaking about early earth and says,
 
"Nobody knows how life got started. Most of the evidence from that time was destroyed by impact and erosion. Science works on the frontier between knowledge and ignorance. Not afraid to admit what we don't know. There's no shame in that. The only shame is to pretend that we have all the answers. Maybe someone watching this will be the first to solve the mystery of how life on Earth began."

That quote tends to shut down the "evolution explains all life everywhere ever" crowd. But that's about the origins of life, and not about adaptive mutations and "natural selection".

Another bit from Tyson was in a Tweet he made. He was speaking about the classic question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? He suggested that what laid the chicken egg was not quite a chicken. This is a reference to mutations creating new species. A few of us responded that significantly different creatures either cannot produce offspring or they create hybrids. So if it was a chicken that came from the egg, the only organisms around it could then breed with would not be chickens. This leads into the problems we see with white tigers.

A sexually reproducing organism that is governed by hereditary traits that experiences a significant mutation, that then breeds back with the general population that does not share that mutation, will produce hybrids. Further breeding of those hybrids with the general population that does not share that mutation will see that mutation "bred out" of the line. We see this in white tigers in that we have to inbreed them to preserve that mutation. This in turn has led to research that attempts to show how mutations can somehow build up among a group of organisms and enough of them experience simultaneous mutations to create a sufficient population to preserve the mutation without inbreeding.

This is a reason that Charles Darwin said, If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down". Quoting that sends most evolutionists into a rage, as people continue to explain things as being "small steps" and using the theory of "co-opting genetic material". The thing is, even if an organism "co-opts" genetic material, it has to have a sufficient pool of other organisms to breed with to continue that mutation, else it gets "bred out". Thus the research on how traits might re-emerge in a large group of organisms.

A problem comes in with the people echoing the idea that things evolve in direct response to their environment, as if DNA had some level of intelligence and could re-write itself like a geneticist creating better GMOs. It doesn't work like that.

Another problem is with the people in the "it's all completely random" camp, that don't get the whole white tiger thing. That goes along with the research showing that mutations tend to occur along areas of the genetic code called "hot spots". Certain markers tend to cause mutations to be focused in those areas, thus preserving the basic traits of a species and only allowing slight changes such as size or coloration. So "evolution" is random, but that randomness in our time appears to be locked into certain regions of the code. No real evidence on this being the case or not millions of years ago.

So saying that "evolution" has been absolutely scientifically "proven" is a false statement. There's plenty of evidence, but there's still research being done to fill in the holes. Until that research is completed, it is "scientific" to question any results.