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> Evolution vs. Creationism
Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 01:23 AM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:18 AM)
In that case, the problem is if God exists, he could create the world in six days without using evolution.

And if he said that he did...well yeah. I'd think I'd trust that over a bunch of scientists with limited information. But that's just me, the non-scientist. It's not like my life is going to come apart over it.

I've done my fair share of reading up on this. It's all incredibly skewed research in one direction or the other. It seems that there is no neutrality on this subject, and everyone comes down hard on one side or the other and flames the other side for not doing their homework. Anyway. :shrugs:

But he didn't. The evidence clearly states that he didn't. There are rocks and stars and even human civilizations older than the purported age of the universe, and there is definitely enough evidence (in fossils, naturally) that all life was not created in its present forms. If you can overturn all of that evidence with a simple "God can do whatever he wants, even if it doesn't make any sense", I question how this debate can have any sort of satisfying logical basis.

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Letagi
 Posted: May 25 2015, 01:44 AM
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I feel the need to point out some flaws in the application of physics to this discussion.

Some things about the Second Law of Thermodynamics need to be explained here. Yes, it has to do with transfer of thermal energy from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration, but at its core is the concept of entropy. A simply way of explaining entropy is that it's the level of order or chaos in a closed system. Some creationists argue that evolution violates entropy. They are wrong.

Saying that entropy is a measure of chaos in a system is a massive oversimplification. Entropy has to do with microstates within macrostates. A micro/macrostate is an arrangement of particles. The macrostate is the overall arrangement of particles, and microstates are possible arrangements of particles that yield the same macrostate. For example, this coffee table in front of me has a macrostate that consists of many identical glass molecules and many idential wood molecules in a specific arrangement. If we take two identical glass molecules and swap their positions, we'll have changed the microstate, but the macrostate will remain the same. If we swap a glass molecule and a wood molecule, the macrostate changes. Entropy is a measure of how many possible microstates yield a single macrostate. Thus, complex structures have lower entropy because they have fewer microstates than simple structures. Although complexity can increase with evolution, it doesn't have to. Evolution is simply the changing of life to better suit its environment; if that means becoming simpler, then that's what will happen. For instance, humans used to use the appendix. Now we don't, and since it poses a danger to our health, it will eventually disappear. That would be a decrease in complexity.

Even if evolution did necessarily mean an increase in complexity, though, it still wouldn't violate the Second Law, because Earth is not a closed system, as Jess said, because of the exchange of photons. In fact, although the photons we radiate into space are lower energy than the ones we receive from the Sun, they actually have higher entropy. By around 20 times, if I remember correctly, but that number may be off. Regardless, the total entropy of Earth continues to increase despite evolution.

Another problem I see here is that people are saying that our universe will eventually run out of energy. Energy, fundamentally, cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred into different forms. Yes, the temperature of our universe will be nearly zero Kelvin, and yes, all that will be left are neutrinos. But the energy content will be there, in the form of momentum carried by leftover particles that can't decay. Unlike Earth, the universe is a closed system (by definition, we think). That means that the very far off universe will have extremely low temperature and extremely high entropy, but it will have the exact same total energy content as it did 13.8 billlion years ago.

As for the rigid time structure of the universe, or the "arrow of time" as it's often called - that has to do exclusively with the principle of entropy, but there's a fundamental misunderstanding here of what time really is. Time is simply another dimension. Fishers, when you say that "evolution ... does not explain the origin of time itself," you could just as well say evolution is flawed because it doesn't explain the origin of space itself. Time is like space in almost every way; in particular, because in order to specify a point in the universe, you need a temporal coordinate just like you need three spacial coordinates, and because it behaves much like space does in Einsteinian relativity. The fundamental difference between space and time is that time only moves in one direction. This is because of entropy - entropy also only moves in one direction. In a universe where entropy could increase and decrease freely, we could move back and forth through time just like we can more back and forth through space. Entropy is what causes time to appear to move in one direction.

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fishers64
 Posted: May 25 2015, 02:28 AM
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To Jess, I've heard my share of actual "scientific evidence" to the contrary, yes. But I don't feel like arguing it. It falls under presuming global floods and massive species die-offs, and also that some species did change. (For example, that would be under catastrophism - feathered dinosaurs exist, but they all died because of a flood or an asteroid.)

It also falls under the radio-carbon dating controversy, but I don't know how that debacle breaks down into the arguments for and against. That's not something I've researched recently, and I'm real fuzzy on it.

I'm pretty sure that there's other dating methods using other particles that fall under this as well.

QUOTE (Letagi @ May 24 2015, 10:44 PM)
Another problem I see here is that people are saying that our universe will eventually run out of energy. Energy, fundamentally, cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred into different forms. Yes, the temperature of our universe will be nearly zero Kelvin, and yes, all that will be left are neutrinos. But the energy content will be there, in the form of momentum carried by leftover particles that can't decay. Unlike Earth, the universe is a closed system (by definition, we think). That means that the very far off universe will have extremely low temperature and extremely high entropy, but it will have the exact same total energy content as it did 13.8 billlion years ago.

Good catch. Although that would point to the energy losing usable structure over time and progressively becoming more random. See, I goofed - by energy, I meant usable energy, not entropic energy.

That would point to an intelligence giving it that structure, would it not? Thus the unwinding back to randomness, but if it was random to begin with, the entropy distinction is useless.

But we aren't arguing that?

QUOTE
Time is like space in almost every way; in particular, because in order to specify a point in the universe, you need a temporal coordinate just like you need three spacial coordinates, and because it behaves much like space does in Einsteinian relativity. The fundamental difference between space and time is that time only moves in one direction.

Huh.

QUOTE
This is because of entropy - entropy also only moves in one direction. In a universe where entropy could increase and decrease freely, we could move back and forth through time just like we can more back and forth through space. Entropy is what causes time to appear to move in one direction.

I always thought the inverse was true - that time moving in one direction was what caused entropy. You can see this in human bodies by observation - the more time passes, the more entropy (aging). If I could be outside time, my body would not age or experience entropy.
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Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 02:40 AM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:28 AM)
To Jess, I've heard my share of actual "scientific evidence" to the contrary, yes. But I don't feel like arguing it. It falls under presuming global floods and massive species die-offs, and also that some species did change. (For example, that would be under catastrophism - feathered dinosaurs exist, but they all died because of a flood or an asteroid.)

I don't like the term "presuming" here, as it presumes that scientists are guessing at these catastrophic events from scant evidence instead of having fairly solid evidence on the matter. The fossil record shows several mass die-offs, which is obvious when large amounts of diversity are on one side of a stratum and not as much on the other.

That, and the fact that creatures are so organized within the stratum disagrees with a strict biblical interpretation. In the creation story, birds and fish are created simultaneously before land animals. However, in the fossil record, birds don't develop until the middle Jurassic (in other words, amidst a wide variety of land animals); there has never been a fossil layer with solely birds and fish.

Also, not all feathered dinosaurs died; a portion of them survived to become the most diverse group of tetrapods. It seems like nitpicking, I know, but I feel it's important to remember that not all dinosaurs are dead.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:28 AM)
It also falls under the radio-carbon dating controversy, but I don't know how that debacle breaks down into the arguments for and against. That's not something I've researched recently, and I'm real fuzzy on it.

It shouldn't fall under the radio-carbon dating controversy; radio-carbon dating has a maximum date of 50,000 years before the molecule degrades to the point of being lost in background radiation.

(I also think, like evolution vs. creationism, the controversy itself is almost entirely manufactured by non-scientists, with the vast majority of scientists being in agreement, thus not actually making it a scientific controversy.)

There's more dating than molecules. There's also ice cores, which have one distinct layer of ice per year... and significantly more than 6,000 layers.

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Letagi
 Posted: May 25 2015, 03:25 AM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:28 AM)
It also falls under the radio-carbon dating controversy, but I don't know how that debacle breaks down into the arguments for and against. That's not something I've researched recently, and I'm real fuzzy on it.

I'm pretty sure that there's other dating methods using other particles that fall under this as well.

Radiometric dating, of which radiocarbon dating is one type, simply involves determining the age of a sample based on element content. Elements decay into lighter elements at predictable and consistent rates. By measuring relative contents of various elements in a sample, an age can be determined. Decay rates are measured in laboratories with pretty high precision; there is no controversy, any more than there is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Radiometric dating works - that's all there is to it.

QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:28 AM)

QUOTE (Letagi @ May 24 2015, 10:44 PM)
Another problem I see here is that people are saying that our universe will eventually run out of energy. Energy, fundamentally, cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred into different forms. Yes, the temperature of our universe will be nearly zero Kelvin, and yes, all that will be left are neutrinos. But the energy content will be there, in the form of momentum carried by leftover particles that can't decay. Unlike Earth, the universe is a closed system (by definition, we think). That means that the very far off universe will have extremely low temperature and extremely high entropy, but it will have the exact same total energy content as it did 13.8 billlion years ago.

Good catch. Although that would point to the energy losing usable structure over time and progressively becoming more random. See, I goofed - by energy, I meant usable energy, not entropic energy.

That would point to an intelligence giving it that structure, would it not? Thus the unwinding back to randomness, but if it was random to begin with, the entropy distinction is useless.

But we aren't arguing that?

Right, high-entropy energy is basically useless, especially for life. Since entropy - randomness - is increasing, extrapolating backwards shows that the early universe was in a low entropy, high energy density state. Hot and dense. But that doesn't point to a creator - nor does it preclude one, but it's not evidence for one.

The Second Law is a property of our universe, as is time and space. Logically, before our universe existed, those properties did not exist either. So, although the Big Bang couldn't spontaneously take place within our universe given its properties (laws of physics), there's no reason it couldn't have happened within whatever semblance of existence there was before the Big Bang. No creator is necessary. Other Big Bangs could have happened as well, and there are many theories that state just that - that a multitude of universes are created, with a variety of (infinitely many) initial conditions and physical properties, and that only a select few (i.e. those in which entropy increases from a very low initial state) will support life. Based on the anthropic principle, obviously our universe is one of those.

QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:28 AM)

QUOTE
This is because of entropy - entropy also only moves in one direction. In a universe where entropy could increase and decrease freely, we could move back and forth through time just like we can more back and forth through space. Entropy is what causes time to appear to move in one direction.

I always thought the inverse was true - that time moving in one direction was what caused entropy. You can see this in human bodies by observation - the more time passes, the more entropy (aging). If I could be outside time, my body would not age or experience entropy.

Aging is not synonymous with an increase in entropy. All it is is the gradual shutting down of biological systems. An old person is no more complex than a young person; an aged body doesn't have more microstates than a young body. Since a human body isn't a closed system, its entropy is not required to increase.

Regardless though, this is tricky to argue and I'm not sure I have the know-how do so effectively anymore (it's been a while since I've read the relevant book - "From Eternity to Here" by Sean Carroll) but maybe this will make sense - think about it in terms of an egg. An intact egg has a low entropy. A broken egg has a high entropy. Things go from low entropy to high entropy; the egg goes from intact to broken. We remember a broken egg as once being an intact egg, because we know the entropy had to be lower previously. Thus, temporal asymmetry is due to entropy, not vice-versa.

-L

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fishers64
 Posted: May 25 2015, 01:48 PM
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QUOTE (Cow Jazz @ May 24 2015, 11:40 PM)

I don't like the term "presuming" here, as it presumes that scientists are guessing at these catastrophic events from scant evidence instead of having fairly solid evidence on the matter. The fossil record shows several mass die-offs, which is obvious when large amounts of diversity are on one side of a stratum and not as much on the other.

I was actually trying to allude to the fact that the creationists were presuming catastrophism, not the scientists. I was under the impression that the evolutionists rejected catastrophism in favor of gradual change over millions of years. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif

QUOTE
That, and the fact that creatures are so organized within the stratum disagrees with a strict biblical interpretation. In the creation story, birds and fish are created simultaneously before land animals. However, in the fossil record, birds don't develop until the middle Jurassic (in other words, amidst a wide variety of land animals); there has never been a fossil layer with solely birds and fish.

Creationism presumes that the birds and land animals were created one day apart. Is that really enough time for a whole bunch of birds and fish to die off and make a "solely birds and fish" fossil layer?

QUOTE
Also, not all feathered dinosaurs died; a portion of them survived to become the most diverse group of tetrapods. It seems like nitpicking, I know, but I feel it's important to remember that not all dinosaurs are dead.

Yeah, that's a bad argument. Thanks for pointing that out.

QUOTE
There's more dating than molecules. There's also ice cores, which have one distinct layer of ice per year... and significantly more than 6,000 layers.


I'm going to have to say I know nothing about this, but you inspired me to pull some sources:

https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/...sands-of-years/

and

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icecores.html

I didn't find a good rebuttal between the two sources, so for the intents of this discussion I'm going to remain neutral. A lot of these sources don't really fight each other - I go to AiG and they say "evolutionists say this is true, and they're wrong b/c of xyz" and then the talkorgins people are like "creationists say we're wrong for xyz reasons, and they're wrong (while giving "proof" that's sketchy)". It's all cheese.

IMO it's all a matter of how you interpret the ice layers and how many years you want to assign to each one. Like radiocarbon dating, which I'm going to grab in a second.
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Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:48 PM)
Creationism presumes that the birds and land animals were created one day apart. Is that really enough time for a whole bunch of birds and fish to die off and make a "solely birds and fish" fossil layer?

I'm going to turn that right back at you and ask how there can be so many uniformly-fish fossil layers if one day later land animals were created.

(And, as I said, that's ignoring the overwhelming evidence that birds developed from theropod dinosaurs, which means they couldn't possibly have come before land animals.)

QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:48 PM)
I'm going to have to say I know nothing about this, but you inspired me to pull some sources:

https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/...sands-of-years/

and

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icecores.html

I didn't find a good rebuttal between the two sources, so for the intents of this discussion I'm going to remain neutral. A lot of these sources don't really fight each other - I go to AiG and they say "evolutionists say this is true, and they're wrong b/c of xyz" and then the talkorgins people are like "creationists say we're wrong for xyz reasons, and they're wrong (while giving "proof" that's sketchy)". It's all cheese.

IMO it's all a matter of how you interpret the ice layers and how many years you want to assign to each one. Like radiocarbon dating, which I'm going to grab in a second.

See, the most confusing thing here is one of them mentions the Ice Age, and I can't even begin to imagine where the ice age falls on a strict biblical creationist time scale, considering all evidence says it ended 10,000 years ago, which is 4000 years before the beginning of the Creationist universe. And if you push it forward, you start messing with established written history, considering Egyptian society started around 5000 years ago, so now you've got humans going from mammoth-hunting hunter-gatherers to complex agricultural society in a time span of, at most, 1000 years. And let's not forget we still need to fit in a flood, and explain why, somehow, cave painting have mammoths but not Apatosaurus, and don't forget that there must have been an impossible amount of biodiversity before the flood judging by the sheer number of extinct species we've found. Sauropods alone probably would have to have filled the entirety of Eurasia, and that's assuming a single average-sized pod of each species.

Again, the evidence just doesn't fit. When almost all of the evidence doesn't fit without snipping away at it and cramming it in, you have to ask, is the evidence wrong, or the assertion?

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fishers64
 Posted: May 25 2015, 02:24 PM
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I'm going to DP this one because a mod said it was allowed and there's no MultiQuote function like on BZPower.

QUOTE (Letagi @ May 25 2015, 12:25 AM)

Radiometric dating, of which radiocarbon dating is one type, simply involves determining the age of a sample based on element content. Elements decay into lighter elements at predictable and consistent rates. By measuring relative contents of various elements in a sample, an age can be determined. Decay rates are measured in laboratories with pretty high precision; there is no controversy, any more than there is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Radiometric dating works - that's all there is to it.

QUOTE (Cow Jazz)

It shouldn't fall under the radio-carbon dating controversy; radio-carbon dating has a maximum date of 50,000 years before the molecule degrades to the point of being lost in background radiation.

https://answersingenesis.org/geology/radiom...back-to-basics/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of...h.html#creacrit

https://answersingenesis.org/geology/carbon...rbon-14-dating/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

No controversy?

Again, I find that these sources don't adequately address each other's claims.

QUOTE
(I also think, like evolution vs. creationism, the controversy itself is almost entirely manufactured by non-scientists, with the vast majority of scientists being in agreement, thus not actually making it a scientific controversy.)

This is in of itself a controversial statement, with the creationists claiming that their voices are being silenced by the evolutionist party, and that young scientists are being indoctrinated to believe evolution.

I do believe that this controversy has no basis in science, though. It's people who aren't scientists (or who are) interpreting the facts to fit one interpretation or another. That's not science, that's baloney feathers.

(Not to be confused with feathered dinosaurs. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif)

QUOTE
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:28 AM)

Good catch. Although that would point to the energy losing usable structure over time and progressively becoming more random. See, I goofed - by energy, I meant usable energy, not entropic energy.

That would point to an intelligence giving it that structure, would it not? Thus the unwinding back to randomness, but if it was random to begin with, the entropy distinction is useless.

But we aren't arguing that?

Right, high-entropy energy is basically useless, especially for life. Since entropy - randomness - is increasing, extrapolating backwards shows that the early universe was in a low entropy, high energy density state. Hot and dense. But that doesn't point to a creator - nor does it preclude one, but it's not evidence for one.

The Second Law is a property of our universe, as is time and space. Logically, before our universe existed, those properties did not exist either. So, although the Big Bang couldn't spontaneously take place within our universe given its properties (laws of physics), there's no reason it couldn't have happened within whatever semblance of existence there was before the Big Bang. No creator is necessary. Other Big Bangs could have happened as well, and there are many theories that state just that - that a multitude of universes are created, with a variety of (infinitely many) initial conditions and physical properties, and that only a select few (i.e. those in which entropy increases from a very low initial state) will support life. Based on the anthropic principle, obviously our universe is one of those.

Yes, but where did all that energy come from? People argue that our universe's energy always was and always will be, but that implies that something had to place the universe in a high energy, low entropic state to being with, since our universe unwinds things to a high entropic state.

Something that isn't going to happen again. And it's not going to happen again because of physical laws, which had to be set by an intelligence. Otherwise, things would be random as regards entropy and energy.

QUOTE
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:28 AM)

I always thought the inverse was true - that time moving in one direction was what caused entropy. You can see this in human bodies by observation - the more time passes, the more entropy (aging). If I could be outside time, my body would not age or experience entropy.

Aging is not synonymous with an increase in entropy. All it is is the gradual shutting down of biological systems. An old person is no more complex than a young person; an aged body doesn't have more microstates than a young body. Since a human body isn't a closed system, its entropy is not required to increase.

I'd think that the biological systems shutting down would be due to entropy, however. Biological systems are subject to entropy - if you have ever studied biology, you know that cellular respiration produces heat as a by-product.

But it's not a perfect analogue, because of shortening telemeres, and the fact that our bodies are designed to age as a result, so point taken.

QUOTE
Regardless though, this is tricky to argue and I'm not sure I have the know-how do so effectively anymore (it's been a while since I've read the relevant book - "From Eternity to Here" by Sean Carroll) but maybe this will make sense - think about it in terms of an egg. An intact egg has a low entropy. A broken egg has a high entropy. Things go from low entropy to high entropy; the egg goes from intact to broken. We remember a broken egg as once being an intact egg, because we know the entropy had to be lower previously. Thus, temporal asymmetry is due to entropy, not vice-versa.

-L


Yeah, I'm going to have to say that it's tricky to argue. I'm going to make note of the book ya mentioned for at least a look-over. The problem I have with it is the perception of time in one direction isn't all tied to a decrease in usable energy.

If I'm sitting in my chair reading a book, and I turn a page, I notice that before I turned the page, I was looking at something else (a different page) and after, I'm looking at the page I turned to. Do I notice a decrease in energy as a result of this? No, I just note the state (the page I was looking at) the action (turning the page) and the result (I'm looking at a different page now).

Same thing with the egg - breaking its shell doesn't increase its entropy, just changes its shape. If I break it into a frying pan, I'd probably be adding energy to said egg so I can eat it, but that's a whole different thing.
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Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:24 PM)
I'm going to DP this one because a mod said it was allowed and there's no MultiQuote function like on BZPower.

QUOTE (Letagi @ May 25 2015, 12:25 AM)

Radiometric dating, of which radiocarbon dating is one type, simply involves determining the age of a sample based on element content. Elements decay into lighter elements at predictable and consistent rates. By measuring relative contents of various elements in a sample, an age can be determined. Decay rates are measured in laboratories with pretty high precision; there is no controversy, any more than there is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Radiometric dating works - that's all there is to it.

QUOTE (Cow Jazz)

It shouldn't fall under the radio-carbon dating controversy; radio-carbon dating has a maximum date of 50,000 years before the molecule degrades to the point of being lost in background radiation.

https://answersingenesis.org/geology/radiom...back-to-basics/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of...h.html#creacrit

https://answersingenesis.org/geology/carbon...rbon-14-dating/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

No controversy?

Again, I find that these sources don't adequately address each other's claims.

The AiG argument (terrible site, by the way; Ken Ham is a hack) isn't even an actual arguement at all; it's not "this is wrong" so much as "this may be wrong". Reading the second page linked, it addresses it just fine; it points out that a majority of the rocks give consistent results, which wouldn't happen if we assume the amount of uranium vs. lead was a random proportion for each rock to begin with. Additionally, 95% of radiometric dating tests fall in line with predictions based on a billions-year-old Earth; that kind of consistency can't be random.

And, again, the controversy is not among scientists. Answers in Genesis is not a scientific group; they're simply a religious group with a basic grasp of some scientific concepts. Apparently, only enough to "refute" arguments for evolution.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:24 PM)
QUOTE
(I also think, like evolution vs. creationism, the controversy itself is almost entirely manufactured by non-scientists, with the vast majority of scientists being in agreement, thus not actually making it a scientific controversy.)

This is in of itself a controversial statement, with the creationists claiming that their voices are being silenced by the evolutionist party, and that young scientists are being indoctrinated to believe evolution.

I do believe that this controversy has no basis in science, though. It's people who aren't scientists (or who are) interpreting the facts to fit one interpretation or another. That's not science, that's baloney feathers.

Creationist voices aren't being silenced, though; they're getting plenty of attention. That attention, however, comes with a critical scrutiny of the hypothesis they try to present, and that scrutiny has found it unscientific and incompatible with the evidence.

Also, interpreting facts is actually a big part of science. What matters is whether or not you interpret them correctly. Warping the facts is another thing, but evolution does not require any fact warping; the only "evidence" that must be ignored to support evolution is an ancient book written by flawed mortal men that's been translated and re-translated to the point of certain passages being practically gibberish.

Not to disparage religion; I just don't think the Bible holds up well to literal interpretation.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:24 PM)
And it's not going to happen again because of physical laws, which had to be set by an intelligence.

I'm always wary of the assertion that something like physical laws would have to be set by an intelligence. Have we ever seen a universe that we know for a fact did not have an intelligence designing it? If not, how can we know what features such a universe would and would not have? It's quite the assumption.

It feels a lot like the circular "divine watchmaker" argument. It argues that when you see something complex, you know something had to have created it... except, due to that argument, we have no basis on which to judge something not having been created, so we can't possibly compare something created vs. something not, and find which qualities they do and do not have.

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fishers64
 Posted: May 25 2015, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (Cow Jazz @ May 25 2015, 11:09 AM)
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:48 PM)
Creationism presumes that the birds and land animals were created one day apart. Is that really enough time for a whole bunch of birds and fish to die off and make a "solely birds and fish" fossil layer?

I'm going to turn that right back at you and ask how there can be so many uniformly-fish fossil layers if one day later land animals were created.

Fossilization happens faster at the bottom of the ocean than on land.

*headscratch* I'm pretty sure fossilization actually requires water to happen, which would be consistent with the flood. Land animals don't normally fossilize when they die anyway - they get eaten by decomposers and their bones rot to dust, leaving very little geological evidence.

QUOTE
(And, as I said, that's ignoring the overwhelming evidence that birds developed from theropod dinosaurs, which means they couldn't possibly have come before land animals.)

I really would like to ignore this, but it is possible that birds could have been eaten by decomposers and leave no fossil record. I have no dispute with feathered dinosaurs - it's entirely possible that a mix of a bird and reptilian existed, or that birds looked different however many years ago it was, but when you start implying that birds came from reptiles that's when I get nervous.

Mostly because I don't buy that reptile scales turned into feathers. There's so much overwhelming evidence against that it's just ridiculous. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif

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See, the most confusing thing here is one of them mentions the Ice Age, and I can't even begin to imagine where the ice age falls on a strict biblical creationist time scale, considering all evidence says it ended 10,000 years ago, which is 4000 years before the beginning of the Creationist universe. And if you push it forward, you start messing with established written history, considering Egyptian society started around 5000 years ago, so now you've got humans going from mammoth-hunting hunter-gatherers to complex agricultural society in a time span of, at most, 1000 years.

I'm not sure that the Creationist timeline included the Ice Age. A lot of what I've seen seems to suggest that the flood went in place of the Ice Age.

In anyway, Egypt is in the center of the earth, far away from the poles, as is Sumerian early history and the history recorded by the Bible itself.

Also, this is probably just me, but agricultural society could have developed in one place but not somewhere else. This is evident when Europeans came to America - the Europeans were a complex agricultural society and were waaay more complex than the American Natives, who were still hunter-gatherers in some places. So Egypt could have developed it but America didn't develop it until way later. Yeah?

Plus humans developing at a high rate is not unprecedented. 1000 years ago was the Roman empire, with swords and javelins and hand plows. These days, we have computers and missiles and nuclear bombs, which are way more complex than anything the average Roman soldier would know anything about. Developing an agricultural society over 1000 years seems awfully plausible to me - that feels like a cakewalk compared to things like the Industrial Revolution, trains, and airplanes, not to mention the entire societal structures that fit around them.

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And let's not forget we still need to fit in a flood, and explain why, somehow, cave painting have mammoths but not Apatosaurus, and don't forget that there must have been an impossible amount of biodiversity before the flood judging by the sheer number of extinct species we've found. Sauropods alone probably would have to have filled the entirety of Eurasia, and that's assuming a single average-sized pod of each species.

Well, you see, the flood only lasted for 40 days and 40 nights. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif (Nah, even the Bible says that it took awhile for the water to drain back into the ocean. Anywho.)

Apatosaurus didn't survive the flood, the mammoths did. Any pre-flood cave paintings would have been washed away by the floodwaters, which is IMO a major darn.

The problem is that we don't know what the Earth was like before the flood. I'm pretty sure that it could support more biodiversity. Floods tend to be destructive. I mean, if the Bible is to be believed, people lived for 900 years! The amount of edible plants and nutrient content must have been outstanding, seriously.

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Again, the evidence just doesn't fit. When almost all of the evidence doesn't fit without snipping away at it and cramming it in, you have to ask, is the evidence wrong, or the assertion?

I'm going to throw this one right back at you, and ask why you have to cram things like the Ice Age and loooong human development into the picture.
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Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:02 PM)
QUOTE (Cow Jazz @ May 25 2015, 11:09 AM)
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 12:48 PM)
Creationism presumes that the birds and land animals were created one day apart. Is that really enough time for a whole bunch of birds and fish to die off and make a "solely birds and fish" fossil layer?

I'm going to turn that right back at you and ask how there can be so many uniformly-fish fossil layers if one day later land animals were created.

Fossilization happens faster at the bottom of the ocean than on land.

*headscratch* I'm pretty sure fossilization actually requires water to happen, which would be consistent with the flood. Land animals don't normally fossilize when they die anyway - they get eaten by decomposers and their bones rot to dust, leaving very little geological evidence.

Except a flood wouldn't leave neat striations; we'd find dinosaurs and mammoths side-by-side, not separated by large quantities of rock. A single fossilizing flood is inconsistent with the ways fossils are actually organized in the rock.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:02 PM)
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(And, as I said, that's ignoring the overwhelming evidence that birds developed from theropod dinosaurs, which means they couldn't possibly have come before land animals.)

I really would like to ignore this, but it is possible that birds could have been eaten by decomposers and leave no fossil record. I have no dispute with feathered dinosaurs - it's entirely possible that a mix of a bird and reptilian existed, or that birds looked different however many years ago it was, but when you start implying that birds came from reptiles that's when I get nervous.

Mostly because I don't buy that reptile scales turned into feathers. There's so much overwhelming evidence against that it's just ridiculous. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif

Really? I'm interested in seeing this evidence. Is this actual, scientific evidence, or just a "feeling"?

The problem is, you're thinking too strictly. "reptile" and "bird" are not strict biological definitions; they're just groups of animals with a common ancestors. Dinosaurs, for instance, were very different from what most people consider a reptile. Their gate was held high off the ground with downward facing legs as opposed to the sprawling crawl of lizards. Many of them were closer to warm-bloodedness than cold-bloodedness, especially the theropods. Many of the saurischian dinosaurs at least had pneumaticized bones, like birds. And, as I said, several of them had feathers, which is undeniable based on physical evidence. This isn't lizards turning into birds; this is a gradual shift from more reptilian creatures to birds, with several stages along the way.

(By the way, did you know that crocodiles have a gene related to feather production in their genome? Yet they're scaly. If feathers could not develop from scales, how'd that get there?)
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:02 PM)
I'm not sure that the Creationist timeline included the Ice Age. A lot of what I've seen seems to suggest that the flood went in place of the Ice Age.

Which is stupid, because the Ice Age obviously happened. I can tell you for a fact that denying that Ice Age happened is extremely unscientific and just plain wrong.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:02 PM)
The problem is that we don't know what the Earth was like before the flood. I'm pretty sure that it could support more biodiversity. Floods tend to be destructive. I mean, if the Bible is to be believed, people lived for 900 years! The amount of edible plants and nutrient content must have been outstanding, seriously.

But I thought fossils were supposed to show a pre-flood world?

And I'm not just talking plants. I'm talking sheer population sizes here. The world is big, but it's definitely not big enough to support survivable populations of the number of species seen in the fossil record. There simply isn't enough room. You can't cram hundreds of millions of years of life in the same place.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:02 PM)
I'm going to throw this one right back at you, and ask why you have to cram things like the Ice Age and loooong human development into the picture.

Because the former definitely happened and the latter is supported by anthropological evidence.

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fishers64
 Posted: May 25 2015, 03:47 PM
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QUOTE (Cow Jazz @ May 25 2015, 11:46 AM)
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 01:24 PM)


https://answersingenesis.org/geology/radiom...back-to-basics/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of...h.html#creacrit

https://answersingenesis.org/geology/carbon...rbon-14-dating/

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

No controversy?

Again, I find that these sources don't adequately address each other's claims.

The AiG argument (terrible site, by the way; Ken Ham is a hack) isn't even an actual argument at all; it's not "this is wrong" so much as "this may be wrong". Reading the second page linked, it addresses it just fine; it points out that a majority of the rocks give consistent results, which wouldn't happen if we assume the amount of uranium vs. lead was a random proportion for each rock to begin with. Additionally, 95% of radiometric dating tests fall in line with predictions based on a billions-year-old Earth; that kind of consistency can't be random.

And, again, the controversy is not among scientists. Answers in Genesis is not a scientific group; they're simply a religious group with a basic grasp of some scientific concepts. Apparently, only enough to "refute" arguments for evolution.

I'm just presenting both sides of the argument. *waves peace signs* I wish that there was a better creationist website to cite with more scientific sophistication so I don't feel like I'm comparing apples and oranges. But anyway.

And 95% consistency could be because the facts add up...or it could be because the scientists are only taking the data to back up their claims, based on assumptions as AiG claims.

It's not a very good case either way.

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Creationist voices aren't being silenced, though; they're getting plenty of attention. That attention, however, comes with a critical scrutiny of the hypothesis they try to present, and that scrutiny has found it unscientific and incompatible with the evidence.

Really? Most scientific communities and universities that support scientific research teach that evolution is a fact. Even public high schools teach evolution as a fact. I'd call that silencing.

The evolutionists get tons of research cited and support for their stuff and practically every school across the country, whereas the creationists get a website thrown together by a "hack".

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Also, interpreting facts is actually a big part of science. What matters is whether or not you interpret them correctly. Warping the facts is another thing, but evolution does not require any fact warping;

And that's exactly what the creationists would tell me, replacing the word "creation" with the word "evolution". http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif

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the only "evidence" that must be ignored to support evolution is an ancient book written by flawed mortal men that's been translated and re-translated to the point of certain passages being practically gibberish.

Actually, this is straight-up not true - we do have manuscripts of the Bible in the original languages that translators have taken pains to render accurately in English. (see: Dead Sea scrolls, for example)

The problem becomes when ancient Greek and Hebrew doesn't translate to English exactlyand people argue over the best way to render it. That's why we have like 20 English translations. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/tongue.gif

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Not to disparage religion; I just don't think the Bible holds up well to literal interpretation.

It's all completely true. *is shot*

Some parts of the Bible aren't meant to be taken literally though. Usually that is made clear in text, however, to avoid confusion. *has actually read the thing few times though lol*

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I'm always wary of the assertion that something like physical laws would have to be set by an intelligence. Have we ever seen a universe that we know for a fact did not have an intelligence designing it? If not, how can we know what features such a universe would and would not have? It's quite the assumption.

I can't remember the argument I would use against this, so I'll just respond to the next point:
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It feels a lot like the circular "divine watchmaker" argument. It argues that when you see something complex, you know something had to have created it... except, due to that argument, we have no basis on which to judge something not having been created, so we can't possibly compare something created vs. something not, and find which qualities they do and do not have.

Complexity does NOT point to intelligence necessarily, a lack of randomness does. If we have all the energy in the universe with no physical laws and no set of rules in which to behave, what will it behave as?

Whatever it decides. Which is random. You've never played tic-tac-toe with no rules? If you do that, you can draw a tic-tac-toe board in a circle, draw a bunch of Xs around it and say you win. Or anything else you randomly decide to think up.

Without this universe's laws of matter and the way it behaves, this universe could have formed itself into a giant robot and went around terrorizing other universes, and we would probably be none the wiser.

The real difference isn't complexity, because complexity can happen randomly, and randomness is actually more complex than intelligence. The difference is ORDER, a reduction in complexity. This universe has laws and rules we can understand, as opposed to the endlessly variable complexity of randomness which is beyond our comprehension.

And we do know what randomness is like. Anyone who has ever played Monopoly knows randomness. And Monopoly is a whole lot more complicated than tic-tac-toe, which is hilariously less complicated due to having more specific rules.
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Cow Jazz
 Posted: May 25 2015, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:47 PM)
QUOTE
Creationist voices aren't being silenced, though; they're getting plenty of attention. That attention, however, comes with a critical scrutiny of the hypothesis they try to present, and that scrutiny has found it unscientific and incompatible with the evidence.

Really? Most scientific communities and universities that support scientific research teach that evolution is a fact. Even public high schools teach evolution as a fact. I'd call that silencing.

The evolutionists get tons of research cited and support for their stuff and practically every school across the country, whereas the creationists get a website thrown together by a "hack".

It's not because it's being silenced. It's because it's not science. It's the same reason you don't see geocentrism presented as a reasonable alternative to heliocentrism; it's not.

Evolution is taught as the best possible theory as to how populations of organisms change over time because it is. It's not a conspiracy against biblical creationism, it's actually being scientific.
QUOTE (fishers64 @ May 25 2015, 02:47 PM)
Complexity does NOT point to intelligence necessarily, a lack of randomness does. If we have all the energy in the universe with no physical laws and no set of rules in which to behave, what will it behave as?

Whatever it decides. Which is random. You've never played tic-tac-toe with no rules? If you do that, you can draw a tic-tac-toe board in a circle, draw a bunch of Xs around it and say you win. Or anything else you randomly decide to think up.

Without this universe's laws of matter and the way it behaves, this universe could have formed itself into a giant robot and went around terrorizing other universes, and we would probably be none the wiser.

Again, you're assuming that physical laws cannot exist without a creator. Which, since you weren't able to argue against my previous point, isn't actually proven. Therefore, whether or not the universe is completely random is irrelevant to whether or not it requires a creator.

Of course, evolution isn't about any of this. It's just a reasonable method by which creatures change over time.

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Letagi
 Posted: May 25 2015, 05:04 PM
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Frankly, fishers, I'm astounded that you would cite a website like Answers in Genesis as a reliable source.

Of the four links provided a few posts ago, the first is quite good and refutes false creationist claims nicely. This second is literally laughable. The second sentence - "Thus it appears that God probably created those elements when He made the original earth" - completely discredits the rest of the piece all on its own. We know how heavier elements were and continue to be produced, and it has nothing to do with any gods - they're made via thermonuclear fusion inside the cores of the more massive stars from hydrogen and helium. Hordes of computer simulations of stellar core conditions support this, as well as spectroanalysis of stars and supernova remnants. After a star dies, its leftover gas and dust eventually coalesces due to its own gravity into a new star system, complete with the heavier elements forged inside the first generation star.

More to the point of the argument on the reliability of radiometric dating, however, the writer goes on to explain the process of carbon dating, which he does reasonably well. But his conclusion is utterly flawed, which is that since the half-life of carbon is only 5730 years, anything dated with carbon dating will yield an age of that magnitude. This is false. Imagine we have a 100 kg sample of carbon. After one half-life, the sample will be 50 kg carbon and 50 kg nitrogen. After another half-life, the sample will be 25 kg carbon and 75 kg nitrogen. After a third the sample will only be 12.5 kg carbon. Already, we're at three half-lives - three times the age of Earth that the writer proposes - and we still have plenty of carbon to use up. It's true that carbon dating is inaccurate for objects that are millions of years old or older due to the exponentially smaller carbon content - and because nitrogen doesn't always hang around long (radiometric dating that involves much longer half-lives is used) - but its short half-life is in no way evidence for a young Earth.

The third link you provided goes to a specific heading in the first link, so I'll move on to the fourth link. Again, laughable. Of course, it's the same author for both articles, so that's not too surprising.

He points out three "assumptions" that scientists make when it comes to dating objects. I'll refute each of his arguments for why these assumptions are wrong.

Assumption 1: The original number of unstable (parent) atoms can be known based on parent/daughter element proportions.

It can be because we understand radioactive decay. It's not an assumption; it's a calculation based on known constant rates of decay.

Assumption 2: The rate of decay has always been constant, "ignoring the impact of Creation or changes during Noah's flood."

Preposterous. The laws of physics are constant and unchanging by their very definition; if they weren't, they wouldn't be laws. Furthermore, since as we look out into space we also look backwards in time, had the laws of physics been different at any time in history, we would see unexplainable phenomena in outer space. And to say that a flood on Earth could have changed the laws of physics is ridiculous beyond description. The University of Sydney should revoke this guy's PhD. I'm shocked and offended that they gave him one in the first place.

Assumption 3: The daughter atoms were all produced by radioactive decay.

We can be sure that daughter atoms came from parent atoms and not from other geologic processes because we understand geology. For instance, we wouldn't use carbon dating to date a sample where nitrogen has been introduced into the environment via a process other than beta decay. But if the nitrogen didn't come from somewhere else, then it must have come from the parent element. Some of the nitrogen could have escaped, of course; this impacts the accuracy, but asymmetrically. Thus, radiometric dating provides a minimum age for a sample.

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I wish that there was a better creationist website to cite with more scientific sophistication so I don't feel like I'm comparing apples and oranges.

That wish is problematic. There can't be a better creationist website with better science because the science supporting creationism doesn't exist. It's like wishing there was better science to argue in favour of a flat Earth (which some people still believe based on the same level of science as others base their belief in creationism on).

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Most scientific communities and universities that support scientific research teach that evolution is a fact. Even public high schools teach evolution as a fact. I'd call that silencing.

Education institutions teach evolution as a fact in the same way that they teach that Earth is spherical as a fact. There is overwhelming evidence to support it, and no evidence to the contrary. Would you accuse modern education of silencing the Flat Earth Society?

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Breaking [an egg's] shell doesn't increase its entropy, just changes its shape.
Its entropy does increase, because there are more ways to assemble a broken egg than an intact egg. An intact egg is a more complex structure; there are fewer microstates that yield the same macrostate.

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The real difference isn't complexity, because complexity can happen randomly, and randomness is actually more complex than intelligence. The difference is ORDER, a reduction in complexity. This universe has laws and rules we can understand, as opposed to the endlessly variable complexity of randomness which is beyond our comprehension.

If order is the reduction of complexity, and if a high degree of order necessarily had a creator, then that creator must have likewise had a high degree of order. That poses a problem: where did that order come from? The argument from irreducible complexity is inherently flawed.

What you're saying is that the low-entropy state of the early universe must necessarily have been carefully arranged by an intelligence. But that intelligence must necessarily have possessed an even lower entropy. It's an age-old problem: if God created the universe, who created God?

-L

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Steph
 Posted: May 25 2015, 06:36 PM
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lmao jess why did you make a topic encouraging debate over literal fact

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