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Evolution vs. Creation

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Is there an Evolution verses Creationism "controversy"?

Here's a video featuring a number of renown scientists commenting on the debate of evolution versus creation:

Creation

Creation is a general term relating to the creation of life. This field of study is ongoing. Creationism is the belief that life was created by some higher power. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. It cannot be called a "theory" by traditional scientific standards because a theory requires some form of tests or validation process to verify the legitimacy of such a theory. There is no way, short of having God appear and demonstrate, to prove the theory of "creation" as it pertains to the supernatural.

Theist position on evolution


How Creationists Attack Evolution

Here's a video montage of creationists attacking evolution using various logical fallacies and false information (broken link):

The Argument from Homosexuality:

Theists have argued that if evolution is a natural biological process where an organism evolves specific traits over long periods of time that are beneficial to its overall survival under specific environmental pressures then there is absolutely no reason for there to be a "Gay Gene." After all, the introduction of homosexuals into an organisms population would prevent those individuals from reproducing, setting aside present day medical advances that allow homosexuals to have children. On a genetic biological level these homosexual members of a species population should not be expected to reproduce. Having members of a population consume food, water, take up living space and other resources and yet never reproduce any offspring is not a beneficial evolutionary trait on any level. Of course some specific traits that were at one time beneficial can become a threat to an organism's survival if the environment changes faster then their evolution can keep up. Those traits were at one time beneficial to the organism, yet homosexuality in a population is not and could never be a beneficial trait to any species. If evolution is true then why is homosexuality present?

Why this is wrong... First, when confronted with this argument you should point out that it only makes sense if homosexuality is in fact a genetic trait. (A now scientific fact but one that was widely refused by theists before) Second, point out that not all genetic traits and evolutionary mutations are beneficial. Like a sophisticated computer file being copied over and over, some mutations to the code can be made that are a threat to the natural workings of the machine. Finally, science has pondered this question before the theist brought it up. The answer is this... Whenever a genetic trait is no longer necessary for the survival of a species there are two main ways for evolution to dispose of it. One way is for the trait to naturally evolve away; such as a fin to an arm or the disappearance of a tail. The second way is used when the trait is deemed harmful to the creature and must be expelled relatively faster then the first process would allow. The second way restricts the reproduction of the gene by limiting the sexual involvement of its host. If the host cannot reproduce then the gene cannot spread to the next generation. The overall beneficial genes will continue to be spread by other members of the population, but the member with the exiled gene will be unable to reproduce naturally. If you were to take every homosexual person in the world and map out their entire genome you would find either one or more genes, or even combinations of genes they all have in common. This gene might not represent a physical trait, such as blonde hair or blue eyes. But it does represent an underline trait or traits that is no longer necessary in the species. This does not mean that homosexuals are inferior in any way, or that they are less evolved. Every person in the world has some traits that are other than beneficial to their ultimate survival. Think to yourself of every trait you dislike in a person, physical and mental. Now assume one or more of those traits were exactly what activated the dormant "gay gene." There are far too many genetic variables to do this for real. Who knows what combination of genes activate the gay gene?!? But the theory is supported by observation and fits within the margins allowed by the evolutionary process. Luckily, in today's world we have many different ways for people who are homosexual, infertile and sterile to have children of their own. Parenthood is a wonder and a responsibility that all people should have the right to. Science makes that possible.

Evolution

Evolution is a biological process described as the changes seen in the inherited traits of a population from one generation to the next. These changes cause populations of organisms to alter over time. Inherited traits come from the genes that are passed on to offspring during reproduction. Mutations in genes can produce new or altered traits, resulting in the appearance of heritable differences between organisms. Such new traits also come from the transfer of genes between populations, as in migration, or between species, in horizontal gene transfer. Evolution occurs when these heritable differences become more common or rare in a population, either non-randomly through natural selection or randomly through genetic drift.

Natural selection

Natural selection is a process by which heritable traits that are helpful for survival and reproduction become more common in a population, while harmful traits become more rare. This occurs because individuals with advantageous traits reproduce more successfully, so that more in the next generation inherit these traits. Over many generations, adaptations occur through a combination of successive, small, random changes in traits, and natural selection of those variants best-suited for their environment. In contrast, genetic drift produces random changes in the frequency of traits in a population. Genetic drift arises from the role chance plays in whether a given individual will survive and reproduce.

Micro-evolution verses Macro-evolution

All evolution is "micro-evolution". All evolution occurs through a series of tiny changes over large amounts of time.

For scientists in the field of evolutionary biology, there is no such distinction. Only untrained, religious people make use of these terms for the purpose of distinguishing between genetic mutation that is undeniable, and larger scale mutations that are not immediately observable which conflict with their personal belief system, scripture or dogma.


What Evolution is not

Creationists often assume evolutionary theory explains how life was created. The theory of evolution does no such thing. It merely speculates an idea relating how life continued to develop. The theory of evolution does not in any way address the specific cause of the origin of life on this planet.

To recap:

Evolution is NOT about the creation of the universe.

Evolution is NOT about the creation of life.

Evolution is all about the development of life.

Documentation substantiating evolution

  • The fact of evolution - a comprehensive article on the subject
  • Peppered Moth - A recently study of the Peppered Moth demonstrates evolution in action.
  • Evolution and sex - One theory suggests that as female genetalia evolved from being visible to hidden, this

prompted more complicated mating procedures which required advanced mental abilities.

Evolutionary evidence deemed to contradict scripture

  • 164,000 Year old humans - University of Arizona researchers have found evidence of early humans living on the coast in South Africa 164,000 years ago, far earlier than previously documented, being published in the Oct. 18 issue of the journal Nature. This clearly contradicts the much shorter accounts of the age of mankind that biblical literalists feel they can deduce from biblical texts.

Additional information

  • Evolution - The central index on evidence for evolution, not specifically related to creationist claims

References


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