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Thread: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

  1. #501
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PejFLQ1ZxNA


    I'm a devout Catholic and retired microbiologist. (My credentials don't measure up to others on here though). This is my BELIEF. The Bible is devinely insprired, but the Book of Genesis is of the Old Testament and as a Jewish "book" was written in the style of the Jewish people....that of parables.
    Do I believe in evolution? Sure...now tell me where first man came from to evolve into what we are today. I look at amazement to the millions of genetic variants that had to occur to create our body and mind as it is. As I do so, I build my faith around my BELIEF in Intelligent Design.
    I do not believe that so many coincidences could occur as to create human life.


    Hey a question for all...........what spark created life in that primoidal soup that existed 10 billion years ago (whatever)? Tell me it was lightening and I'll challenge you to duplicate it in the lab.
    Ignore the primordial soup for a second...and lets revisit the genetic variants you speak of. If you look at the fossil record, then surely you acknowledge that there are variants of early humans. These early humans would have no concept of GOD, only survival, breeding, and maybe rudimentary idea of pleasure and accomplishment. If the Bible is divinely inspired and I.D. is real. Then what sense does it make for the designer to make all these adjustments to our bodies and minds only to reveal itself as our creator a few thousand years ago through a collection of writings assembled and deemed sacred by a council of men and canonized into what you call the Holy Bible. Why would it take millions of years for the designer to reach this point? Does that mean as species from a biological state we are a work in progress, continuously? Surely we are not the end result of what is considered the most complex creation, because we are quite flawed as a species. If we are a result of trial and error by the designer over the course of millions of years, then we can't possible be done, because perfection is not attainable.

    If you separate out the religiousness of ID as some in this thread stake their flag, then we must ask the logical question, if there was a designer, what was the purpose of his designs, and if we are a continuous project, then what is the end goal of the designer? Surely such complexity must have an end goal.

    All the sudden we personifying the designer's intentions and that is where ID falls apart in my opinion. Intelligence is defined by reason, foresight, intention, and purpose.

    In my experience, humans tend to personify things they do not full understand as a way to perceive order.
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  2. #502

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    You can't call yourself a scientist, nor even a scientific thinker, if you don't have at least a certain degree of skepticism regarding the global warming movement. There are suspicious red flags everywhere; to ignore them is to shun critical thought, which is the most unscientific behavior a person can engage in.

    Let's do a quick rundown of the red flags...

    • Financial motivations. Proponents are using global warming to line their pockets, as are companies which manufacture "green" products. For example, Al Gore has rode the climate change gravy train to increase his net worth by 5,000% -- from $2M to a whopping $100M.

    • Political motivations. Proponents use climate change for political power, often resorting to scare tactics and guilt trips to get bills passed.

    • History. We have a well-documented history of of climate change nutjobs making bold predictions about the climate and its effects, nearly all of which have proven wrong. From ice ages a few decades back, to melting glaciers today, and everything in between, climate change alarmists have produced fewer correct, and more incorrect, predictions than the flat Earth hypothesis. Their credibility amongst thinking people is running on empty.

    • Hypocrisy. Proponents of global warming are prone to not practice what they preach, which calls into question whether or not they actually believe it. Huge houses, huge cars, globetrotting in large jets... these massive-carbon-footprint-producing activities aren't what we would expect from people who truly thought millions of lives were in danger due to climate change. They're the actions of money-grubbing businessmen looking to get rich off of the general public's stupidity and naive blind faith in scientists.

    • Fraud. The Climategate emails, amongst other discoveries, have revealed a large degree of fraud, from fabricated data, to bogus charts, peer-review corruption. That fraud and deception have played a key role in pushing climate change on the public is no longer a conspiracy theory, it's a conspiracy fact.

    • Unscientific tactics. Climate change proponents resort to unscientific tactics to defend their views. For example, pleading to a consensus. Consensus isn't science. Science is determined by facts, not by an American Idol-like popularity contest.

    • The intolerance of skepticism is another oft-used unscientific tactic. In science, skepticism is the backbone of progress; the trait which constantly pushes us forward by questioning everything. Unfortunately, with climate change proponents, skepticism is treated as a form of heresy. Question climate change and be prepared to be attacked viciously, which takes us into the next unscientific tactics used by climate change alarmists...

    • Bullying. Attempts to get skeptics to go along with them out of fear of being attacked is common. Hell, we've seen multiple people in this very thread use them. It's not science.

    Look, I get that accepting global warming is some sort of litmus test for liberalism, and so the non-thinkers amongst us will accept it with nary a single critical thought passing through their under-evolved brains, but to those of us who still "get" science, we know B.S. when we smell it.

    Climate change fails every single test of the bologna detection kit, thus, I can't reasonably accept it as true. It could be true. Maybe my bologna detection kit is broken, or perhaps climate change alarmists are so stupid that they've unwittingly made climate change look like a pile of B.S. despite it being completely legitimate. I doubt both. I tend to side with it being exactly what it looks like: Politics masquerading as science.
    Last edited by Lance George; 08-23-2013 at 05:37 AM.

  3. #503

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierguy View Post
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    and his sig-line claims that atheism killed millions of people, as if rejecting belief in a divine entity has any correlation at all to mass murder. He is nothing more than an insult artist that wraps his debasing and absurd remarks in pseudo-scientific jargon and volumes of text.
    Atheism isn't merely the denial of God, it's a worldview which strips humanity of any intrinsic value/worth (we're mere unintentional byproducts of nature), while also denying universal objective mortality (nature is blind and pitiless at its root).

    If you can't see how those two beliefs, accepted together, would naturally lead to the horror story that has been the history of atheists in power, then I truly pity you.

    There's a correlation between atheism and death and destruction, and there's sufficient commonsense rationalization to believe that correlation can be elevated to full-blown causation. In simpler terms: It's not a coincidence that atheism and death and destruction go hand-in-hand; atheism is THE driving factor.

    I would ask you to prove me wrong, but looking at your worldview's history, that might end up with me lying dead in a large ditch, surrounded by other casualties.

  4. #504

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Did anyone ever answer my challenge from a few months back of what research finding would falsify abiogenesis?

    The problem is, abiogenesis proponents can plead to chance to explain away literally any finding. They've clearly proven they care about neither math nor probability, nor empirical warrant, so there's literally nothing we could find that couldn't be explained (in their minds) by pleading to a combination of chance, deep time, and the unknown.

    To be blunt: Abiogenesis is unfalsifiable because abiogenesis proponents' imaginations are unlimited. The same problem holds true for Darwinism.
    Last edited by Lance George; 08-23-2013 at 07:23 AM.

  5. #505
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Ignore the primordial soup for a second...and lets revisit the genetic variants you speak of. If you look at the fossil record, then surely you acknowledge that there are variants of early humans. These early humans would have no concept of GOD, only survival, breeding, and maybe rudimentary idea of pleasure and accomplishment. If the Bible is divinely inspired and I.D. is real. Then what sense does it make for the designer to make all these adjustments to our bodies and minds only to reveal itself as our creator a few thousand years ago through a collection of writings assembled and deemed sacred by a council of men and canonized into what you call the Holy Bible. Why would it take millions of years for the designer to reach this point? Does that mean as species from a biological state we are a work in progress, continuously? Surely we are not the end result of what is considered the most complex creation, because we are quite flawed as a species. If we are a result of trial and error by the designer over the course of millions of years, then we can't possible be done, because perfection is not attainable.

    If you separate out the religiousness of ID as some in this thread stake their flag, then we must ask the logical question, if there was a designer, what was the purpose of his designs, and if we are a continuous project, then what is the end goal of the designer? Surely such complexity must have an end goal.

    All the sudden we personifying the designer's intentions and that is where ID falls apart in my opinion. Intelligence is defined by reason, foresight, intention, and purpose.

    In my experience, humans tend to personify things they do not full understand as a way to perceive order.
    Are we so arrogant as to assume we can know or understand the machinations of God? I have come to realize that there must be a creator otherwise how does creation spring from absolute NOTHINGINESS? Now, if I accept there is a Creator then I can accept the fact that the story of Jesus can absolutely be possible. Since we know through recorded Roman history that Jesus did in fact exist, I can believe the accounts of Him. That is not to say that others who recognize the existence of God may not have their own beliefs based upon the single Diety.
    As to the evolution of man. Look at the eyes and all of the miraculous genetic variants that had to come together to make sight possible. Look at all of the variants that had to come together to create the soda straws in our fingers and toes that keep the tendons from drawing inward and developing into paws and pads rather than our human toes, feet, hands, fingers, and opposable thumbs. They are just two or the miracles of genetics that ALL came together to create this human body as it exists now.....and whatever it becomes in the future.

    Now, let's revisit that primoidal soup you wanted to avoid.......................................
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierguy View Post
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    My response is so what? Evolution explains something completely different than calculus or gravity but is no less valid. There is no scientific evidence invalidating evolution even with all that society has learned since Darwin. If there had been it would have been published in a legitimate scientific journal and the theory would have been modified but it hasn't.
    You don't get to kick the scientific method to the curb, just because you're dealing with a theory that explains something different than gravity, thermodynamics, and calculus.
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  7. #507
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Is psychology science?

  8. #508

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Is psychology science?
    Yes it's a more abstract version of neuroscience, a hard science. Psychology is a science when it is based on studies that follow the scientific method (confrontation with reality), and it is not when it doen't use (psychoanalysis, new Age alternative therapies)

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by immortality View Post
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    Yes it's a more abstract version of neuroscience, a hard science. Psychology is a science when it is based on studies that follow the scientific method (confrontation with reality), and it is not when it doen't use (psychoanalysis, new Age alternative therapies)
    using the term abstract would invalidate it as a science. Thats' rather like saying Scientology is an abstract form of Sociology.


    SERIOUS QUESTION..... Was Darwin's THEORIES or should I say, was his book on evolution peer reviewed? Serious, I don't know.
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  10. #510

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    A post I wrote elsewhere a few months back. It's in response to the, "you must prove a designer before you plead to design" argument.

    Sure; it’s unreasonable to plead to an explanation which is nonexistent. Translation: You can’t have intelligent design without an intelligent designer.

    I completely understand your argument. I just think it sucks.

    My counterargument is that the argument for design, as so eloquently explicated by many I.D. proponents, is significantly stronger than your argument that a designing intelligence could not have existed prior to Earth-based life, thus, I side with I.D.

    Their reasoning and evidence trumps your reasoning and evidence.

    To be blunt, I find your position irrational, and I’ll tell you why.

    Your position requires that nature, in itself, be capable of producing advanced intelligence, like human beings, while simultaneously requiring that no such intelligence could have existed prior to that which exists on Earth.

    See the problem? If nature is capable of producing advanced intelligence, then that undercuts the premise that no advanced intelligence could have existed prior to that were familiar with on Earth.

    Now, your predictable follow-up will be that if nature, in itself, is capable of creating life, then I.D. becomes superfluous. I disagree. If nature is capable of creating intelligence (you say it is), and this intelligence is capable of bioengineering, then we must be open to the possibly that any life we discover anywhere throughout the cosmos is a product of that intelligence, including ourselves. Yet you’re completely hostile to that possibility. How strange.

    To develop this idea further, here’s a quick thought experiment:

    Let’s say the our own bioengineers create life, and we seed that life on five other planets throughout our solar system. That would mean that of the six planets we know which contain life, five of them would be known to be the result of intelligent design.

    Do you see where I’m going with this? All if takes is one sufficiently advanced intelligence, anywhere throughout the cosmos or beyond, to create life and to seed it elsewhere. And, if that created life is designed to develop advanced intelligence, the process will grow, exponentially.

    If life forming naturally is a relatively rare event, then this intelligently-designed life will quickly overtake abiogenesis as the most prevalent cause for life throughout the cosmos.

    In short: Not even abiogenesis-supporting atheists have a reasonable excuse for dismissing I.D., a priori, and yet, from my experiences, most of them do.

    Of course, these are the same people who often reject the basic laws of logic, and claim to be free thinkers while simultaneously denying free will. I think it’s safe to say that logic isn’t their strong suit.

  11. #511
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    What's the point of that, though? That's essentially an ancient aliens explanation with no original source. I get that it supports the idea of an intelligence designing biology/life, but it states in this case that the intelligence in question was built by other intelligence which was in turn built by another intelligence, ad infinitum. How can you reconcile relying on an ancient alien engineer theory on the one hand to justify that intelligence could create life, and on the other hand presuppose that life was originally created by a supernatural being such as God?

    It seems like while it supports one part of your theory, it undermines the other part, no?

  12. #512

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    The point of it is to show that no one, whether atheistic or not, can rule out design as a possible explanation. If you look at those people who reject design, probably the single biggest reason is their a priori belief that design absolutely cannot be the answer. They don't actually look at the evidence and say it's wrong; they say it's wrong because it can't be right. My argument refutes that line of reasoning. If you believe nature is capable of creating life, and that life is capable of creating other life, then you must be open to the possibility of design. And if nature producing life is fairly rare, then it's very plausible, probably even likely, that I.D. would overtake abiogenesis for the leading cause of life in the universe.

    There's no valid reason to reject I.D. beforehand, which means the #1 reason for rejecting it is intellectually bankrupt.

    For the record, I do believe the designer is God, and I believe that design extends beyond biology and into the very fabric of existence. I guess you could say what I've said above undercuts that argument in that it doesn't make I.D. synonymous with God, and leaves open the possibility that I.D. could be true and God still not exist.

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    I agree there's no good reason to reject ID as a possible explanation. What I don't know how to answer is: How could science ever specifically prove it? Science establishes that on many levels biological and abiological objects are extremely complex and remarkably organized, yet technically that's all it proves: Complexity and organization.

    It's up to human reason to decide or conclude that it all has a conscious architect. The shoe may fit, it may seem extremely reasonable, but without being able to document that consciousness itself, I don't think science as we know it is capable of definitively proving God. God would have to make itself plainly visible and/or make direct contact in a lingual sense with humanity to allow for physical observation and documentation.

    I can only conclude that if there is a God it specifically does not want that to happen. My theory as to why that may be is perhaps physical existence as we know it is merely a subdivision of what reality actually is. Perhaps we exist only as some form of non-physical consciousness before and after physical life-and-death, and to make physical life achieve what it's meant to achieve, for it to have substance or meaning or purpose, perhaps we are purposefully meant to live a physical life without definitive knowledge of, or direct contact with, God.

    Or maybe we're just biological robots forged by eons of chaos, and when we die we turn off like a light and there was no meaning to any of it. A total bummer of a concept, but it's also possibly the truth. I hope not, but it could be.

  14. #514
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I agree there's no good reason to reject ID as a possible explanation. What I don't know how to answer is: How could science ever specifically prove it? Science establishes that on many levels biological and abiological objects are extremely complex and remarkably organized, yet technically that's all it proves: Complexity and organization.

    It's up to human reason to decide or conclude that it all has a conscious architect. The shoe may fit, it may seem extremely reasonable, but without being able to document that consciousness itself, I don't think science as we know it is capable of definitively proving God. God would have to make itself plainly visible and/or make direct contact in a lingual sense with humanity to allow for physical observation and documentation.

    I can only conclude that if there is a God it specifically does not want that to happen. My theory as to why that may be is perhaps physical existence as we know it is merely a subdivision of what reality actually is. Perhaps we exist only as some form of non-physical consciousness before and after physical life-and-death, and to make physical life achieve what it's meant to achieve, for it to have substance or meaning or purpose, perhaps we are purposefully meant to live a physical life without definitive knowledge of, or direct contact with, God.

    Or maybe we're just biological robots forged by eons of chaos, and when we die we turn off like a light and there was no meaning to any of it. A total bummer of a concept, but it's also possibly the truth. I hope not, but it could be.
    I'll admit, I'm not some cold hearted atheist who believes that there is nothing beyond this physical existence, but if I find myself diving too deep in to the idea of an after-life, I find myself sounding ridiculous. For instance, I hope beyond all hope that my recently departed dog is in some happy place, maybe a giant field playing with other dogs, waiting for me to show up one day. I mean thats how everyone would want it to happen right? But then you get the logistical side of things, how would my dog recognize me 30-40 years later? If its my spirit then how would he recognize me? How would I recognize his spirit? What if in 40 years I barely remember anything about that dog? (not that it would be the case, but just in general). I have no idea how that could be true though.

    Certainly the idea that it all works out for you in the end, is reason enough to have hope in an otherwise harsh journey that is life. But if you accept that reality...how far down the rabbit hole do have to go? Whether you believe in the idea of a designer, or the idea of a Big Bang, its all one form of magic vs another.
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    First off....who is this "nature" if not another name for the creator? Nature created this and nature caused this to evlove...bah, it's a simplified way of saying God without admitting the existence of God.
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Who said nature is a 'who'?

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    First off....who is this "nature" if not another name for the creator? Nature created this and nature caused this to evolve...bah, it's a simplified way of saying God without admitting the existence of God.
    An anti-evolutionist may marvel at the beauty of something in nature and see it in terms of an awe of God's handiwork, while right next to him/her a more mainstream Christian (i.e., almost any non-American Christian, most Catholics, or other non-fundamentalists), might well experience the same (or higher) level of awe and appreciation for nature, recognizing that the universe is amazing and literally awesome, but at the same feeling no need to attribute everything to an actively interventionist higher power.

    Taking it a step further, an atheist next to them both may well have the same awe. In some ways the sense of appreciation might be even higher for the non-believer, IMO, because he/she seeks to understand exactly why/how a marvelous natural phenomenon happens, rather than digging no deeper than thinking "God is good to give us this pretty sight to see".

    For example, watching a solar eclipse is an awesome experience. To me, thinking about how it occurs actually adds to the wonder. If I look and just conclude that "God just made the sun disappear" and think no more, then I really don't see the awesomeness in that. I'd just fear that the next act of God might be something less beautiful and more harmful.
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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    As a practicing Roman Catholic I don't get that comment about Catholics not feeling the need to attribute everything to a higher power. You'll have to explain that to me. I know that I believe in God and at the same time I know I never feel closer to God than when I am sitting along a quite stream or pond fishing or watching the steam come up off a frosty field in the early morning sun. And yes, as a scientist I can marvel at how things work and seek answers to what makes them work...but with the understanding that it was God's creation in the first place.
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  19. #519

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    What I meant is that most all Catholics (the ones I've met anyway) agree with former Pope John Paul's clear statement that the fundamental ideas of evolution are "much more than a hypothesis".

    People paint the debate on evolution as "Christians vs. Science" rather than "A vocal minority of (mostly) American non-Catholic Christians vs. Science".

    Further, many of that vocal minority try to paint people who consider evolution to be established science as necessarily being atheists, which is far from the truth. For example, the most coherent teaching in evolutionary biology my kids ever received in elementary & middle school was when they were in Catholic schools, rather than in public schools.
    Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 08-25-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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  21. #520

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    A more accurate description would be 21st-century minded scientists vs. 20th-century minded scientists. We have one side recognizing that biology is a top-down designed process, from the origin of life and on, and the other side which still insists that Darwin's ignorance-based hypothesis was largely correct, bar some tweaking.

    For example, Slick probably still thinks all non-protein-coding DNA is junk, inspired by the Darwinian narrative, when we 21st-century thinkers now know otherwise.

  22. #521

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    very interesting study, single-celled organisms to multicellular life, in 60 days


    http://scitechdaily.com/evolutionary...ve-in-the-lab/
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  23. #522

    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Regarding the article posted above...

    More Darwinian Degradation: Much Ado about Yeast - Evolution News & Views

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Behe
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    Recently a paper by Ratcliff et al. (2012) entitled "Experimental evolution of mulitcellularity" appeared and received a fair amount of press attention, including a story in the New York Times. The authors discuss their results in terms of the origin of multicellularity on earth.

    The senior author of the paper is Michael Travisano of the University of Minnesota, who was a student of Richard Lenski's in the 1990s. The paper, published in PNAS, was edited by Lenski. The gist is as follows.

    The authors repeated three steps multiple times: 1) they grew single-celled yeast in a flask; 2) briefly centrifuged it; and 3) took a small amount from the bottom of the flask to seed a new culture. This selected for cells that sedimented faster than most. After a number of rounds of selection the cells sedimented much faster than the beginning cells. Examination showed that the fast-sedimenting cells formed clusters due to incomplete separation of replicating mother-daughter cells.

    The cell clusters also were 10% less fit (that's quite an amount) than the beginning cells in the absence of the sedimentation selection. After further selection it was seen that some cells in clusters would "commit suicide" (apoptosis), which apparently made the clusters more brittle and allowed chunks to break off and form new clusters. (The beginning cells already had the ability to undergo apoptosis.)

    It seems to me that Richard Lenski, who knows how to get the most publicity out of exceedingly modest laboratory results, has taught his student well. In fact, the results can be regarded as the loss of two pre-existing abilities: 1) the loss of the ability to separate from the mother cell during cell division; and 2) the loss of control of apoptosis.

    The authors did not analyze the genetic changes that occurred in the cells, but I strongly suspect that if and when they do, they'll discover that functioning genes or regulatory regions were broken or degraded. This would be just one more example of evolution by loss of pre-existing systems, at which we already knew that Darwinian processes excel. The apparently insurmountable problem for Darwinism is to build new systems.

    Literature Cited
    Ratcliff, W. C., R. F. Denison, M. Borrello, and M. Travisano, 2012 Experimental evolution of multicellularity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA doi/10.1073/pnas.1115323109
    So, the multicellularity which evolved was actually a lineage of yest cells which had lost the ability to separate from their mother cell, hence the two unicellular lifeforms "sticking" together and forming pseudo-multicellularity. Rather than a single, multicellular lifeform, as they want you to think, it's actually two unicellular lifeforms. Yawn.

    Mutations can degrade. Mutations can destroy. No one's ever doubted that. What is in doubt is whether mutations can "build up," that is engineer, producing complex new traits. That's what they must show the ability to do if they hope to claim responsibility for the brilliance of the biological world.

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    What I meant is that most all Catholics (the ones I've met anyway) agree with former Pope John Paul's clear statement that the fundamental ideas of evolution are "much more than a hypothesis".

    People paint the debate on evolution as "Christians vs. Science" rather than "A vocal minority of (mostly) American non-Catholic Christians vs. Science".

    Further, many of that vocal minority try to paint people who consider evolution to be established science as necessarily being atheists, which is far from the truth. For example, the most coherent teaching in evolutionary biology my kids ever received in elementary & middle school was when they were in Catholic schools, rather than in public schools.
    I can completly agree with that...I must have just misread what you had written. IMPO there is nothing wrong with evolution as long as you realize that it doesn't explain where life came from to begin with...and recognize to that there is no evidence for evolution of species to species evolution. Wasn't it JP that also stated that Christianity does not preclude the possiblity of life on other planets?
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    I'm a christian who is studying physics. I'm an old earth creation believer. I believe in dinosaurs, mammoths, and other creatures of the past. I just don't believe I evolved from anything.

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    Default Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    The answer is very simple folks...


    God created evolution!


    "Roy, Roy that little attitude you have right there bring it to game 7,
    barbeque chicken I like that when a big man talks smack..." - Shaquille O'Neal

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