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Thread: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

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    Default Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    It seemed to be a bad idea to even try, and it did raise a lot of money through ticket sales for the Fred Flintstone-really-rode-dinosuars Museum, but...

    even a creationist web site has a poll up as to who won the debate, and the latest results are


    92% Nye
    8% Ham

    http://www.christiantoday.com/articl...time/35688.htm

    debate summary & analysis links, some with video of the event:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-nye-wins-creation-debate-against-ken-ham-2014-2


    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1...n-science-wins

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/scien...faceoff-n22076

    http://guardianlv.com/2014/02/bill-n...s-and-who-won/

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...ye-and-ken-ham


    Ham's odd assertion that science has to be "observational" rather than " historical science based on belief" was hilarious. His claim: You can't tell how old the Earth is, 'cause we weren't there when it formed. You can't tell how fossils appeared in Grand Canyon rocks, 'cause we weren't there...


    Of course, science based on historical reconstruction, when done properly, is just as valid as science based on direct, real-time observation. As Nye pointed out, just looking up into the sky is a historical reconstruction.


    Everyone firmly believes many things that happened in the past that they didn't have a chance to observe. I'd ask Ken Ham "How do you know that Abraham Lincoln was President? After all, you never met him?" How do we know anything about Greek civilization, or that there were Ice Ages?"

    Of course Ham had no answers for the existence of ice cores with records of 680,000 winters (rather than 6,000) and the billions of stars that are over 6,000 light years away.

    Overall it was a good night for reason over superstition, for both non-believers and believers alike (the overwhelming majority of followers of every major religion worldwide, including Christianity, accepts the fundamental principles of evolution as established science)
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    I'd be highly skeptical of those poll numbers. Darwinists/atheists are notorious for loading polls in their favor. I'd love to see a list of voter I.P. addresses.

    I remember a time when every single book on Amazon.com which challenged the Darwinist position was rated 1-2 stars, with most of the votes coming from people who not only didn't read said book, but very likely couldn't read it due to illiteracy. Amazing took care of that, thankfully.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    Overall it was a good night for reason over superstition, for both non-believers and believers alike (the overwhelming majority of followers of every major religion worldwide, including Christianity, accepts the fundamental principles of evolution as established science)
    I side with evidence, not popular opinion, and the evidence says the blind watchmaker view of evolution is wrong. Random mutation is destructive, not creative, and natural selection is a culling process, not a designer mimic. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
    Last edited by Lance George; 02-05-2014 at 10:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    I side with evidence, not popular opinion, and the evidence says the blind watchmaker view of evolution is wrong. Random mutation is destructive, not creative, and natural selection is a culling process, not a designer mimic. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
    Why does it have to be creative? How is natural selection a culling process? What? You seem to take the words natural selection to literally.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by immortality View Post
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    Why does it have to be creative? How is natural selection a culling process? What? You seem to take the words natural selection to literally.
    It has to be creative because it has to explain the engineering of every trait of every organism which has ever existed.

    Natural selection is a culling process in that it eliminates the weakest, most-defective organisms from the gene poll. It doesn't select only the strongest; it selects only the weakest.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    Overall it was a good night for reason over superstition, for both non-believers and believers alike (the overwhelming majority of followers of every major religion worldwide, including Christianity, accepts the fundamental principles of evolution as established science)
    Not to pick on Slick (I believe he has me blocked due to my challenging of his beliefs in this thread), but I'll have to challenge the above statement.

    Three polls:

    Harris poll, December 2013 (.PDF file):

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This poll shows less than half of all adults accept evolution, at least Darwin's infamous version. Is less than half an overwhelming majority? Yeah... I think not.

    Pew Research Center, December 2013:

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This is a little more evolution-friendly, but it still shows less than an "overwhelming majority" of any of the listed religious adherents accepting evolution. I'd argue that not even the 76% of those unaffiliated (nonreligious) constitutes an "overwhelming majority."

    Gallup, June 2012:

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This is limited to just the religious, and again, it challenges Slick's claim, which anyone who attends church at least once a month being more likely to deny evolution than accept it.

    That's 3 strikes for Slick. If this were baseball, he'd be out.

    This all begs the question: If Darwinists can't even get the easily-verified facts correct, whether intentional or not, why should we believe them on the more controversial issues?

    My answer? We shouldn't.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    It has to be creative because it has to explain the engineering of every trait of every organism which has ever existed.

    Natural selection is a culling process in that it eliminates the weakest, most-defective organisms from the gene poll. It doesn't select only the strongest; it selects only the weakest.
    I'm not following your creative enviornment, why does it have to explain every trait of every organism? Some traits are through environment, look at North Korea, it's been shown North Koreans are shorter compared to the South Koreans due to decades of malnutrition. Alot of is it also epigenetics.

    No it does not select the strongest, it selects the genes that provide the best chance of survival, some of these are recessive and not everyone expresses them.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Not to pick on Slick (I believe he has me blocked due to my challenging of his beliefs in this thread), but I'll have to challenge the above statement.

    Three polls:

    Harris poll, December 2013 (.PDF file):

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This poll shows less than half of all adults accept evolution, at least Darwin's infamous version. Is less than half an overwhelming majority? Yeah... I think not.

    Pew Research Center, December 2013:

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This is a little more evolution-friendly, but it still shows less than an "overwhelming majority" of any of the listed religious adherents accepting evolution. I'd argue that not even the 76% of those unaffiliated (nonreligious) constitutes an "overwhelming majority."

    Gallup, June 2012:

    Spoiler Spoiler:


    This is limited to just the religious, and again, it challenges Slick's claim, which anyone who attends church at least once a month being more likely to deny evolution than accept it.

    That's 3 strikes for Slick. If this were baseball, he'd be out.

    This all begs the question: If Darwinists can't even get the easily-verified facts correct, whether intentional or not, why should we believe them on the more controversial issues?

    My answer? We shouldn't.
    You are ignoring the whole point of the debate, it was to argue evolution is a theory, just like the theory of relativity, which through current quantam mechanic research is being questioned, just as some parts of evolution theory has been questioned. Creationism is not a theory, definitely not a scientific theory, and is more of a belief like religion, it cannot be considered a science. Nye's entire point was to stop the spread of anti-science.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Are we doing this again?
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    Are we doing this again?
    As long as people can assert their position is as strong as the observable force known as gravity while not being able to present even a shred of compelling evidence, this debate will live on.
    Last edited by Lance George; 02-06-2014 at 04:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by immortality View Post
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    I'm not following your creative enviornment, why does it have to explain every trait of every organism?
    Anything(s) posited as the cause behind the origin and/or diversification of life must be responsible for every aspect of natural life. Where else would said traits have originated?

    Quote Originally Posted by immortality View Post
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    Some traits are through environment, look at North Korea, it's been shown North Koreans are shorter compared to the South Koreans due to decades of malnutrition. Alot of is it also epigenetics.
    Differing height is related to genetics, which have been know about, at least in part, since the early Greeks. These type of changes are minor, being cosmetic differences, and have nothing to do with the debate. Darwinists will claim otherwise, but they're trying to trick you. The debate is over the origin of life (including the genetic code programming language), and the origin of novel traits and bodyplans (morphology/organism structures).

    Darwinists have no evidence of random mutations or natural selection being responsible for any of this, hence the trickery. They want you to believe differences in height prove their theory because they don't have actual proof for it. It's nothing less than shameful.


    Quote Originally Posted by immortality View Post
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    No it does not select the strongest, it selects the genes that provide the best chance of survival, some of these are recessive and not everyone expresses them.
    No, you've set the bar for natural selection way too high. This is a mistake Darwinists have made throughout history. Natural selection doesn't select for only the upper-tier of organisms. Rather, it eliminates (culls) the lower-tier. Darwinists claim it's the driving force behind change, mimicking design, yet it actually acts by weeding out defects, and, thus, stabilizing populations (read: it acts as the chlorine for the gene pool).

    Basically, 90% of everything you were taught about biology in school is wrong, being based on 19th and 20th century ignorance. Unfortunately, ideology, money, and indoctrination prevents certain people from evolving into the 21st century, so we're left in a position where only a scientific revolution -- which typically takes one or more generations -- will save us from Darwin's great argument from ignorance.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    I understand that Nye trumped the 'unmoved mover' logic of Aristotle with a simple demonstration involving mint toothpast, a Dr Pepper, two paperclips and an empty jelly jar.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    The people on Earth who have any issues with the scientific concept of the biological evolution of species are largely Americans and Australians who are a subset (perhaps <30%) of the slice of the pie marked "5.78%"



    I cannot see many of the posts on this thread because I (wisely IMO) decided to place on ignore a certain poster who when challenged on ANYTHING would result in name-calling and personal attacks coupled with completely avoiding the topic under discussion, since he has not even a rudimentary understanding of the basic principles being discussed. I plan to keep my ignore list at its current status of two people, GRH and Ole Blu, though I understand that the latter person ceases to post at PD.
    Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 02-06-2014 at 08:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    Are we doing this again?
    I believe that it was the most-watched online debate in internet history, followed up with extensive coverage on CNN, so I felt that it seemed worthy of discussion.

    Some postulate that it may be a turning point in American science education. Let's hope so. We rank ~50th or so in science literacy, even behind places like Iran.

    Even creationists, many of whom imagine themselves to be practitioners of science, seem upset that Ham decided not to try to argue anything on scientific grounds, rather time and again arguing that he knew evolution has to be wrong because in his opinion the Bible (or his translation of certain books of the Bible) gives alternative explanations. Since the debate topic was the relevance and scientific validity of creationism, he sidestepped the topic completely and thus could not win in any reasonable analysis. One debater was discussusing the scientific method and scientific evidence, the other was repeatedly saying "look at my book! It has all I need to know!"

    Granted, it IS a fine book. The Bible is a perfectly wonderful compendium of historical accounts and an invaluable guide for many to living a moral life. It is worthy of personal study and even for academic analysis in theology classes. It is not, however, a science textbook. As a practicing Catholic, I certainly cherish many passages. It doesn't help me much in my career as a scientist, however.

    Nye allowed Ham to undermine himself before the audience. By in effect preaching, rather than sticking to scientific assertions, Ham demonstrated what we've always known about creationism, and what many canny anti-evolutionists have sought to conceal: It's a religious doctrine, not a scientific one. When asked what kind of evidence would change his mind in the question and answer phase of the debate, Ham had no answer other than "The answer to that question is, I'm a Christian, And as a Christian, I can't prove it to you, but God has definitely shown me very clearly through his word, and shown himself in the person of Jesus Christ, the Bible is the word of God. I admit that that's where I start from." That's also where he finishes. The picture of a dogmatist, holding out against all evidence for an Earth that's somehow supposed to be only a few thousand years old, where somehow all plant life survived being inundated for months by Noah's flood, shone through.

    In the debate we saw what Young Earth creationists really, really think. They believe in vegetarian lions and an Earth that younger by THOUSANDS of years than the known, verified age of its oldest-living tree! And for most thoughtful people, there's just no way that makes any sense.
    Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 02-06-2014 at 10:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    The people on Earth who have any issues with the scientific concept of the biological evolution of species are largely Americans and Australians who are a subset (perhaps <30%) of the slice of the pie marked "5.78%"
    Seems unlikely. Lots of Hindus and Muslims unaccounted for. Someone polled the animists in the Amazon basin on this topic? Link?
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Differing height is related to genetics, which have been know about, at least in part, since the early Greeks. These type of changes are minor, being cosmetic differences, and have nothing to do with the debate. Darwinists will claim otherwise, but they're trying to trick you. The debate is over the origin of life (including the genetic code programming language), and the origin of novel traits and bodyplans (morphology/organism structures).





    No, you've set the bar for natural selection way too high. This is a mistake Darwinists have made throughout history. Natural selection doesn't select for only the upper-tier of organisms. Rather, it eliminates (culls) the lower-tier. Darwinists claim it's the driving force behind change, mimicking design, yet it actually acts by weeding out defects, and, thus, stabilizing populations (read: it acts as the chlorine for the gene pool).

    Basically, 90% of everything you were taught about biology in school is wrong, being based on 19th and 20th century ignorance. Unfortunately, ideology, money, and indoctrination prevents certain people from evolving into the 21st century, so we're left in a position where only a scientific revolution -- which typically takes one or more generations -- will save us from Darwin's great argument from ignorance.
    No, I've said multiple times the debate was not about the origin of life, but was pointing out that creationism is not science. Evolutionary theory still has a lot of holes in it, I agree but it more based on science than creationism ever will be.

    Not everything has to be "creative" in terms of evolution, if it were truly creative, animals would have ball-and-socket joints instead of the ones we have right now.

    Differences in height was merely an example of plethora of other examples.

    Natural select does not eliminate lower-tier. Thoroughbred horses are the most desirable of horses, but they have a low survival rate due to the changes in their lungs, that help them in running, but fail to protect them against diseases. You are arguing centuries of research in genetics and biology is wrong, which is fine by me you can believe that. But if you believe that then how can you believe Creationism is a science?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate


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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Teaching what the Bible says, just because the Bible says it, will never, ever be science, nor should it be taught in science class.

    That having been said, I'd like to point out that not everyone who entertains the concept of intelligent design is religious.

    Meanwhile, on this concept of natural selection being about selecting the best or eliminating the worst, I need to do more reading and thinking to have a strong position on this, but I will say this: On the surface, I think the idea that it's really just eliminating the weakest makes a lot of sense to me.

    Like the thoroughbred horses, survival isn't just about one factor, such as how well you can run. It's factoring in all things that could kill you, and then seeing how well you can survive despite all of those factors. If their lungs are weak when it comes to disease, then that's pushes them further down towards weakest (versus up towards strongest) when it comes to survival capability. That makes sense to me.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    .

    In the debate we saw what Young Earth creationists really, really think. They believe in vegetarian lions and an Earth that younger by THOUSANDS of years than the known, verified age of its oldest-living tree! And for most thoughtful people, there's just no way that makes any sense.
    You weren't there!! How do you know they weren't vegetarians??

    I think the "you weren't there" argument is really just child-level debating. Not being there doesn't prove or disprove anything, unless the young earth people were there themselves.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    , on this concept of natural selection being about selecting the best or eliminating the worst, I need to do more reading and thinking to have a strong position on this, but I will say this: On the surface, I think the idea that it's really just eliminating the weakest makes a lot of sense to me.
    In most scenarios selecting the best or eliminating the worst are two sides of the same coin. An adaptation may help you avoid death by predation, thus the effect on the population is eliminating the worst among you, and it can help you successfully compete for limited resources to maintain your health and strength through the entirety of your reproductive years, allowing you to produce maximal numbers of offspring (which has the population effect of selecting the best)

    If you look at the evolutionary tree of falcons, for example (shown here: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2010/...edtreefig2.jpg) , you see as you progress toward the modern forms of top predatory falcons some amazing adaptations that resulted in the keenest eyesight in nature. Higher densities of rods and cones, more retinal ganglion cells, even two fovea rather than the one that we have, to process twice as much visual information, 3 sets of specialized eyelids, it goes and on. Their visual system is highly complex and greatly refined over their evolutionary neighbors such as kites and vultures.

    Over countless millions of generations of hawks and their ancestors, did each of these gradually accumulated changes help them avoid prey better, thus eliminating the worst? Yes. Did they allow them to become better hunters and establish new niches (selecting the best). Yes.

    I'm hard-pressed to think of adaptations that do not have some of each.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Merz View Post
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    I think the "you weren't there" argument is really just child-level debating. Not being there doesn't prove or disprove anything, unless the young earth people were there themselves.
    That was very odd indeed. Plus he kept mentioning the outstanding "creation research" that was going on, sort of begging the question as to why they were directing efforts toward things that certainly happened "while we were not there" and thus must be beyond all comprehension.

    And it also begs the question as to whether he believes things like, oh, whether Abe Lincoln existed, whether there was a civilization of ancient Greeks, whether there have been ice ages, whether supercontinents have split and drifted apart, etc. I surmise that he accepts most of these things as facts (though they are not in the Bible!) even though he wasn't there to see them happen, which seems to be a mysterious barrier to understanding. At least when it is convenient!
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Please do not lump the Young Earth crowd in with Christians who do not believe as they do. (I don't know but I suspect the YE numbers are a very small part of Christianity).
    For a different slant
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    BTW...regress all creatures back to their original form and what do you have? And from where came that?
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    BTW...regress all creatures back to their original form and what do you have? And from where came that?
    we don't know for sure!

    Lots of people (on my facebook feed anyway) made fun of Bill Nye for saying "We just don't know the answer to that yet!" to a couple of questions, but as you know, geezer, it is an awfully poor scientist who claims to know more than what is taught by the data for the experiments designed so far to answer the question! We say "I don't know" all of the time, and it is what makes us design new experiments. We don't fill in the gaps based on a favorite book or expectation.

    Certainly one can make intelligent guesses based on what you do know to be true, as long as you don't pass those speculations off as the gospel truth (no pun intended, well sorta).

    Evolution per se is really only concerned with how life diversified from the first organism, but it is still a worthwhile question to as "what was first?"

    Here's what Andy Knoll of Harvard said on PBS's Nova awhile back:

    What do you think was the first form of life?


    It's pretty clear that all the organisms living today, even the simplest ones, are removed from some initial life form by four billion years or so, so one has to imagine that the first forms of life would have been much, much simpler than anything that we see around us. But they must have had that fundamental property of being able to grow and reproduce and be subject to Darwinian evolution.


    So it might be that the earliest things that actually fit that definition were little strands of nucleic acids. Not DNA yet—that's a more sophisticated molecule—but something that could catalyze some chemical reactions, something that had the blueprint for its own reproduction.


    Would it be something we would recognize under a microscope as living, or would it be totally different?


    That's a good question. I can imagine that there was a time before there was life on Earth, and then clearly there was a time X-hundred thousand years or a million years later when there were things that we would all recognize as biological. But there's no question that we must have gone through some intermediate stage where, had you been there watching them, you might have placed your bets either way.


    So I can imagine that on a primordial Earth you would have replicating molecules—not particularly lifelike in our definition, but they're really getting the machinery going. Then some of them start interacting together and pretty soon you have something a little more lifelike, and then it incorporates maybe another piece of nucleic acid from somewhere else, and by the accumulation of these disparate strands of information and activity, something that you and I would look at and agree "that's biological" would have emerged.


    In a nutshell, what is the process? How does life form?


    The short answer is we don't really know how life originated on this planet...
    there's more here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evoluti...ife-begin.html

    So most likely nothing existing right now really corresponds to that first life, IMO, other than it likely had something similar to RNA.

    Another possibility might be prions (proteins able to cause their own replication, and people debate whether they should be called life).

    Since all of what we call life is nucleic acid-based, though, IMO the more likely ancestor is something more like some of the more simple viruses (though likely with RNA, before DNA evolved, or even with some type of pre-RNA). Viruses have snippets of DNA, though they have a few other things too like a protective protein coat an lipid deposits, which likely evolved over time. Retroviruses are RNA-based, come to think of it though, so a much more primitive form of any retrovirus I know about could have been one of Earth's first bone fide residents.
    Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 02-06-2014 at 04:29 PM.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  31. #25
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    In most scenarios selecting the best or eliminating the worst are two sides of the same coin. An adaptation may help you avoid death by predation, thus the effect on the population is eliminating the worst among you, and it can help you successfully compete for limited resources to maintain your health and strength through the entirety of your reproductive years, allowing you to produce maximal numbers of offspring (which has the population effect of selecting the best)

    If you look at the evolutionary tree of falcons, for example (shown here: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2010/...edtreefig2.jpg) , you see as you progress toward the modern forms of top predatory falcons some amazing adaptations that resulted in the keenest eyesight in nature. Higher densities of rods and cones, more retinal ganglion cells, even two fovea rather than the one that we have, to process twice as much visual information, 3 sets of specialized eyelids, it goes and on. Their visual system is highly complex and greatly refined over their evolutionary neighbors such as kites and vultures.

    Over countless millions of generations of hawks and their ancestors, did each of these gradually accumulated changes help them avoid prey better, thus eliminating the worst? Yes. Did they allow them to become better hunters and establish new niches (selecting the best). Yes.

    I'm hard-pressed to think of adaptations that do not have some of each.
    So aren't we saying the same thing, but just making different conclusions, then? You have a species, they randomly get X or Y sets of traits within the species, and while X can't cut it in a given environment, Y can, or in another scenario both can, but Y is better suited to prosper than X because it sees its prey better or whatever. In other words, you start with N number of different types of versions of the same species, and their environment slowly weeds them out until only the ones best suited for it remain, while factoring in how hospitable the environment already is (which, if ideal enough, could allow for weaker editions of the same animal to stay alive too because there's plenty of food, not many predators, etc.). But ultimately it boils down to random variations, with ultimately some being better suited to stick around than others, and what eventually happens is the less-suited ones die out, hence the worst go away.

    I mean are you suggesting there's some mechanism that notes the needs of the animal and then re-adjusts the DNA of the species so that the next generation is slightly more appropriate to the environment its parents lived in?

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