You’ve heard me talk about that fact that I live with a card carrying anthropologist, right? I know I have. It is a curse and a gift wrapped up into a giant 6’4″ package that calls himself the eventual ruler of the world. Moreover, he just proclaims that things will be different when he rules the world. One such thing that will change when my husband takes over is the teaching of evolution. Oh for the love of gawd don’t get him started. Because if you think that this is a soap box, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.
I was driving the boy to his school (at our church) one day and I noticed the reader board for a different church. This isn’t so out of the ordinary since I have a deluded notion that God speaks to me through church reader boards. Please don’t think less of me. Anyway… the church reader board said
Evolution is a religion not a science.
This same church’s reader board says “Marriage is one man and one woman” this week. Let’s not even go there.
Before I get all ranty and stuff let’s review the basics of evolution as I was taught in my own basic anthropology classes.
Evolution is the change in inherited traits of a population from generation to generation. It is NOT, in its basic form, adaptation. Traits are expressed as genes that are copied and passed on to offspring via reproduction. Don’t believe me? Look at your own biological children. They are part you and part the other person (whether this be your husband, wife or whatever). The change happens when a gene that is passed from one generation to the next mutates. Eww there’s an icky word for those non-evolutionary types. Mutation. Face it folks it’s a fact of life. The giraffe’s neck isn’t long because of adaptation. The giraffe’s neck is long because somewhere along the way a mutation occurred allowing the giraffe to eat the food way up high and that mutated giraffe passed those genes on to subsequent offspring resulting in an eventual population of giraffes that could eat the available food. Wow! Look at those two brain cells that I have left rub together at lightening speed.
Now you are caught up to speed about what is taught in basic Anthropology 101.
So you get these non-evolution type people proclaiming that evolution is a theory and not real scientific fact. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck just to look at my husbands Bachelor’s degree. It is a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology. Not a Bachelor’s of Science. Anthropology is still considered an art. However, I’m not here to debate the art or science of anthropology. I’m here to say that evolution is not a religion it is a scientific fact.
While the Wiki defines religion as, “A religion is a set of common beliefs and practices generally held by a group of people, often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law,” and I find that definition to be true for evolution, it is much more than that.
Evolution and the process thereof is based in scientific fact. Many who dispute evolution’s validity never took the time to study Darwin’s vast work on a variety of birds from the Galapagos Islands. Granted, few of us have time to sit down and read the very dry and horribly technical “On the Origin of the Species.” I will admit to not reading it myself. The trusty husband has browsed bits.
But if you are still a firm un-believer in evolution take the common bacterial infection. You get sick. You go to the doctor and 9 times out of 10 the doc is going to do whatever he can to not give you antibiotics. Why is that? Because the over use of antibiotics is essentially creating the super virus (or bacteria).? Bacteria mutates and becomes resistant to the antibiotics so scientists have to come up with new ones which the bacteria resists too.? That folks, is evolution at its best.
So you, church billboard you, don’t go telling me that you don’t believe in evolution.? Pull your head out of your proverbial Bible thumping ass and watch it right before your eyes.
Hi Elle! Couldn’t agree with you more. Watch the documentary “Jesus Camp” sometime if you really want to get your blood pressure up. Wow, I think I might be the first person to comment today!
Heathen, blastphemer!!! Oh wait, nevermind. I’ll just sit over here and quietly twiddle my thumbs while evolution takes care of the stupid people.
Sorry, CS’s comment made me laugh out loud
Seriously, I get SO MAD at people who try to deny evolution’s existence. It just boggles my mind how people can sit there and ignore scientific proof. Makes my brain hurt, even, trying to understand their denial.
Now if only evolution could clean out the stupid people in MY lifetime, I’d be a happy camper…
Go Elle! Go Elle! What a lovely, well constructed thump on the head.
Now, how do you feel about our next Presidential election………hmmm?
Hahaha…say it sista.
We weren’t taught evolution in school…
Usually don’t speak up on this topic, but feel it is safe here to politely disagree. I think what you are finding are people not saying evolution as a whole does not exist, rather a difference of macro-evolution and micro-evolution. The example you give is micro-evolution…regardless of what happens the bacteria is still a bacteria. Macro-evolution would be the bacteria turning into something completely different than what it was (a rock, an animal, etc.) Micro-evolution (resistent corn, dog breeding, etc.) is a very observable science, macro-evolution is not something that has ever been able to be observed. No one has ever seen anythign change into something different than a variation of itself.
Not trying to start a debate by any means! Just putting in my blurb. I’m the type that usually avoids confrontation (and this is one subject that is nothing but confrontational!) It’s been a goal of mine this year to stand up a little more and doing it here feels safe 🙂 Go ahead, everyone…get mad as hell at me, though do NOT expect me to debate you (see afore mentioned “I have a hard time with confrontation” bit.) Not that I avoid the topic, I am open to discussion.
Hoping I can take the hate/ridicule that this belief produces better online than in person…just know that when I comment I believe in the 7-day creation account in Genesis as written.
I’m remaining quiet. (For once)
Jenn, I appreciate your disagreement. However, if you read Darwin’s accounts of soft and hard beaked bird species on the Galapagos you will observe macro-evolution. Essentially what the report indicates is that there was a species of soft beaked birds that was unable to cope with the available food supply (it was too hard). A mutation occurred creating a hard beaked bird in the same species. This small mutation allowed for the species to feed on the available food and thus survive. The soft beaked bird of the species died out because it was unable to eat. That is macro-evolution. It just so happens that that particular part of the evolutionary process takes hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. None of us is around to see it take place. If one studied the fossil record you will note that mutations have occurred and are continuing to occur thus evolution continues.
I will say that as a card carrying Lutheran that I do not believe the Bible as written. That is I don’t believe that instantly the world was formed an that there were humans walking upon it. Where the hell did dinosaurs come from? And why is there no scientific proof that humans and dinosaurs lived together.
you GO girl!!
I definitely believe in evolution and I believe that God wanted it to be that way. Why *couldn’t* it be the way that God decide to create the world, and let it keep on evolving? No reason, that’s why.
Love your blog, again.
Wow. I applaud your courage to bring in such a
no nocontroversial subject to your blog. As a medical student and a Catholic, I find it difficult to balance my faith and the facts of science. In the last few years, I have found myself questioning everything I’ve been taught since I was a child. However, I have come to the conclusion that both exist. Evolution is real. No questioning that on my part. But, I believe God created the universe, light, people, animals, etc. I just believe that the 7 days are hypothetical or some vast time that we can’t really even comprehend. That would explain the time allowed for evolution in between. And besides, if religious people believe God is Everywhere and does ALL things (which I was taught in Sunday school) then why not believe that God evolved his creations? Just my thoughts. This is something I continue to struggle with. Don’t even get me started on the concept of medicine. Am I healing/saving lives or is God ready to take these people? Am I fighting a disease or something greater? Maybe I’ll post about this on my blog after all.
CS – evolution is taking too long to deal with the stupid people. Anything we can do to speed things along?
Something else for people to consider is that macro evolution can be seen in written history if the naturalist (which was what they were called at the time) took good notes; the Galapagos Islands are a great example because it is a much studied and contained ecosystem. Another example that we can see today is the domestication of caribou (aka reindeer) in Siberia, and how their DNA differs from wild caribou populations. Currently they are the same species (with is defined by having viable offspring), but their DNA is far enough off that they will eventually become a new species.
A famous example of micro evolution occurred in Britain during the Industrial Revolution: light colored moths used to blend into a certain tree they liked to sit on, when the Industrial Revolution hit, it caused the trees to be covered in soot, and those moths with a dark mutation lived, whereas the light moths were eaten. As we moved out of the Industrial Era, the trees lost their coating of soot, and the lighter colored moths started surviving because the dark moths stood out and were eaten. The moths were the same species because they could interbreed.
The line between macro evolution and micro evolution is a fine line that depends upon the species and time. How long does it take and at what point is it a different species? Looking at the fossil record (Ok, here’s my geology degree raising its head), it is relatively easy to say that at point A we have one species (i.e. dinosaurs), and at point B we have a different species (i.e. birds), but at what point do we say that it’s a new species? Do feathers make a bird? If so, then the new discovery that velociraptors had feathers would make them a bird. Is it flying? Then pterodactyls are birds (yet this theory has been disproved).
The way evolution was taught to me, as a geologist, is that if the mutation can fill a new niche (i.e. a giraffe’s long neck to browse the upper tree stories), then the species has a greater chance of surviving, and therefore the gene is passed along to the animal’s offspring.
Oh, and Linnaeus was disproved: if you cut off a mouse’s tail, it will not pass on a short-tail gene, even if you cut off many generations of mice tails.
Ok, long, but on something like this, it’s hard to be short!
I’m caught in a bind here. If I don’t comment I might get kicked in the teeth. If I say what I am going to say- I might get kicked in the teeth.
Here it goes anyway. I agree with you about the evolution/ mutation thing. It is plainly obvious that natural selection exists. However, there are some unexplainables in the whole evolution theory. Have you ever read Darwin’s Black Box? And if so… any comments about it?
I just read through the comments and see that the micro/macro evolution was addressed a little bit. I have to agree that it does not make sense that there was no death (of any creature) until the Fall of Adam and Eve like the Bible implies. Like you said- the Bible does not explain the dinosaurs. Big puzzle pieces are missing; however, I don’t think we have it all figured out. I think if we knew the exact truth there would be quite a few surprises from all sides of the “beginning of the world” theories.
I like having a little bit of belief in both….
I need coffee for this conversation…
**Note from Elle: I approved this one because it made me laugh prior to my morning coffee. That is a feat in and of itself.**
So many people like to dichotomize this discussion between only two choices, when there are really so many postulated explanations that it probably would be impossible to list them all.
Possible explanations available, listed somewhat in order of popularity and leaving out a nearly countless number, almost all of which disagree with each other.
1) A great and omnipotent sky-god created everything we know in a few days, placed two people of opposite gender in a magical garden and warned them, “Whatever you do, don’t be naughty!” (this works very well on teenage boys and girls placed together by themselves, naked, in a garden, try it).
2) A great and omnipotent sky-god created everything we know in a few days, but NOT YOUR sky-god number 1, and if you suggest they are the same I’ll $#&^ing KILL YOu!!! At first, everything was like smoke, but that sucked, so he turned it all into what we have today and created a bunch of critters and other celestial objects to make things more interesting. Then he put the naked coeds as sky-god from number 1, BUT DON’T SUGGEST THEY ARE THE SAME GOD OR I’LL KILL YOU! into the garden again and warned them, “Don’t be naughty!”
3) A god of three aspects, the creator, the sustainer, and the destroyer has both created and is within all of his creations in the entire universe which was generated from a golden embryo or golden womb (presumably a giant one). Some also believe that this may have been accomplished through the sacrifice of the primaeval cosmic male. Perhaps it’s a combination of both.
4) No observable beginning, continue examining hard evidence available, such as subatomic particles, light, galactic spin, etc, and try to form some reasonable conjectures about the perceived beginning. Life as we know it, has slowly evolved over many billions of years as demonstrated by observable and linkable fossil record where no system is irreducibly complex, including humans themselves.
5) A ultra-powerful dictator of a galactic conferederacy brough billions of his people to earth 75 million years ago in dc-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them using hydrogen bombs. The essences of these spirits remain and drive humans to do everything they do today. We must purge ourselves of these vile alien spirits that drive us to do bizarre things! Oh…and psychologists need to all %&*#ing die.
6) In a universe full of chaos the earth as a female entity was given birth from the chaos, as were The Underworld, Desire, and Darkness. The female earth entity then brought forth an equal in the form of the sky to keep her company and cover her, as well as the seas. From the union of this great female and the sky creature sprung forth all the other things that have come into being.
7) A very tricky raven stole light and water from a rich man (where did he exist?) which was used to fuel the moon and stars and heavens and rivers. He then made the winds, the races, and dogs, who are humans cursed to walk on all fours.
Clearly, I have my own preferences on which explanation I’m most satisfied with, but to each’s own.
The blue car zoomed through the neighborhood, probably faster than it needed to and nearly knocked over the “Garage Sale” sign posted by the side of the road.
“Sweet mother of buttermilk!” exclaimed Jim, “Oompa Loompas must yet again be at work distributing those “Garage Sale” signs all over town!”
“Why would you think it was Oompa Loompas?” queried Jane.
“Well, have you ever seen anyone actually out there putting out a sign? They just mysteriously appear and disappear each day, only Oompa Loompas could accomplish such a feat” explained Jim.
“Hmmm…I don’t think it was Oompa Loompas, I think it was one of the people in the neighborhood, we just didn’t see it happen. I’ve seen people posting other signs before, just not “Garage Sale” ones.” postulated Jane.
“Well, if you’ve never seen anyone actually putting one up, you cannot prove it WASN’T Oompa Loompas, and that sign certainly didn’t just spring up out of the ground on it’s own! Therefore, it must have been Oompa Loompas. Besides, lot’s of other people believe it was the Oompa Loompas.”
“Like who?” asked Jane.
“Like Peter! He read a book once that suggested that since time before time Oompa Loompas have been stalking the earth and putting up “Garage Sale” signs to trick humans into putting out quantities of junk for other humans to paw through. He also met a man who tells such stories once a week, in the mornings, in a special building where people gather JUST to listen to Oompa Loompa stories.”
“Oh.” said Jane.
No one argues micro evolution or changes within a species but macro is where the problems come in. Species are not evolving into another species and most mutations are negative not positive. That comes from a master in science. Check out Creation Moments and Answers in Genesis.
I read the church signs also and usually call my one friend with what they have to say. Funny thing is I just left her a message of one this morning that said “The big bang theory? Are you serious?…God”
Ok, WTF with #17?… I mean someone must be off their looney pills.
I’ve told to hold my tongue but I just can’t anymore. Don’t get me started on the whole ‘intelligent design’ fairy tale. This is just the creationist’s way to repackage their theory into a media friendly package. Evolution often occurs in small increments and not on the macro scale. Beverly is right in saying random mutation is often negative, but the those mutations that don’t benefit the species are usually not passed to the next generation. Those micro changes often lead to larger changes in future generations. They are cumulative and often interact to drive species change.
I have been card-carrying Lutheran all my life, but don’t take the bible as “THE word”. It’s called the creation STORY for a reason. But that is a whole different discussion for another day.
Elle and CS, #17 would be my beloved husband, who’s sense of humor is often times… different. But I love him for that and most of his other aspects! He is summarizing the major religions as well as the big bang theory. You must remember that someone who doesn’t believe in your religion will see certain aspects of your religion as strange, goofy, or just ridiculous. Think of the Oompa-Loompa story as Jim explaining his religion to Jane, and it will make sense.
CS, you’re correct in that evolution occurs in small steps (micro evolution), but that can lead to macro evolution (if it’s better for the species), which can take hundreds or thousands of generations. We may not see the evolution of something with a large lifespan (say elephants or humans), but we can get a better idea of it with species with a short lifespan (say, fruit flies), where we can manipulate the environment to put stress upon the species, and see how it reacts. If we have created a niche that the species currently doesn’t inhabit, and there’s a positive mutation that can can take advantage of that niche, then micro evolution will occur, leading, eventually, to macro evolution.
A common example of macro evolution is a lagoon: a storm washes a species into a lagoon that is cut off from the ocean, and the species can’t get out. Either it dies or it survives, but the species can’t escape from the lagoon. If it survives, it probably has to go through some adaptations, that can lead to micro evolution, to survive, and passes on those mutated genes to it’s offspring. When the next storm comes, it deposits more of the species, which can then interbreed. After a while, the lagoon species can’t interbreed with the ocean species and produce viable offspring; therefore, by definition, a new species has evolved. This is a common example of evolution that is used in entry level biology and geology classes, as well as ecology. Yes, it’s simplified, but it explains evolution very clearly.
Beverly, you’re correct that most mutations are bad. We see this everyday, from the baby who’s body rejects sodium to cancer. Some of the mutations are bad at the offset, but may eventually lead to a stronger species. We won’t be able to see that in humans, in our life time. The point is that it takes hundreds or thousands of generations for the mutation to become a benefit, and lead to a new species.
I’m already looney, i don’t need any pills to make me more so!
I’m also rabidly skeptical (not to be confused with simply being contrary), I’m open to new ideas, I just want reasonable evidence rather than random conjecture.
If good mutation take a long time to help a species along then a lot of species would not have made it at all. Even the bird’s beaks in Darwin’s observations were still birds not lizards or other animals but birds. Darwin has been debunked for a long time. Read Darwin’s Black Box. Darwin and his theology, ie evolution, explaining creation, really is the ground floor of the stalinist movement as well as the Nazi movement among many other things such as the continuance of slavery. Why in this enlighted age are we still postulating on Darwin? Just the position of the earth in the galaxy speaks to a creator. Had it been any closer or farther from the sun we wouldn’t be here having this discussion.
“The two laws of thermodynamics are the most universally applicable and impregnably confirmed of all laws of science. In effect they specify conservation in quantity and tendency to decline in quality, and so provide what seems to be an impregnable barrier to “upward” evolution. Although evolutionists have tried various ways of getting around this barrier, the fact remains that no case of true upward evolution has ever been observed to occur, nor has any proposed mechanism of evolution ever been found workable, and the thermodynamic barrier provides a good explanation as to why not.” quoted from the book, That Their Words May be Used Against Them by Henry M. Morris
Also, go to CRI.org website for more information of the debunked and faulty thinking in Darwin.
Your world view shapes the way you think and act. I didn’t learn creationism in school. I was taught evolution as a fact. I chose to not believe it because I choose to believe the literal account of the Bible. I am a young earth creationist, not an idiot. The circular reasoning used to explain many of the so called fossil evidence is enough to make a thinking person investigate further.
Beverly, as I have been with a toddler for most of the day my synapse are not firing on all cylinders. However, the website you gave was for a college of legal careers (or formerly California School of Court Reporting-Riverside *say it with jazz hands to get the full effect). I somehow doubt that court reporters are the foremost authority on evolution. Please note the tone of sarcasm.
Just to check here is the link CRI.
Also, I would also have you please note that the Bible was written long after the time of creation. It was written when there was oh say… a written language. The “creation story” happened long before the written language. The story is just that, a story. Passed down from generation to generation and just like what we are discussing here I am certain that it evolved. Please refer to my earlier posts about passing stories from one person to the next here. And in that account I am talking about one person. Now imagine thousands of years, the story told and retold (with no written language). One would have to postulate that the story loses something with time. Better yet, refer to Q’s first comment explaining religious accounts of creation according to various religions as viewed from an outsider.
Ok, I’ve also had 2 glasses of wine. I’ll stop there.
The problem with millions of years is that the Bible clearly states that sin came into the world after man was created. Therefore, dinosaurs (giant lizards) could not have died before death. You would not have to postulate anything is lost if the Bible is the God breathed word. In the book of Job the dinosaurs are discussed but named something else. Read the descriptions, it doesn’t refer to elephants and whales like some have tried to theorize. The true problem comes in when the church attempts to fit the Bible to faulty science as opposed to allowing the Bible to guide science and yes it should be the guide of all learning. No it isn’t a science book but even Moses knew that water would turn blood red with the addition of gold powder.
Sorry about the link it was late for me too. It is http://www.equip.org. This will take you to the Christian Research Institute. As Christians we can figorously debate the creation of the world without dividing but to call non-evolutionary believers stupid as some have done in the comments is a bit intolerant.
I’m with Beverly on this one and must politely disagree. People have been brainwashed into believing evolution is a fact when it is actually a theory and there is nothing factual about it…and, yes, it is also a religion. Definitely check out the Answers in Genesis books. They are very enlightening and they discuss many of the issues discussed above with the account in Genesis, including the religion aspect of evolution. It is really a good thing to thoroughly investigate both sides of the argument before coming to your conclusion, no matter what you have been taught to be fact or fiction.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. An all-powerful God can certainly ensure that His Word is written and passed down from generation to generation exactly the way He wants it.
If you choose not to believe the book of Genesis, how do you then determine for yourself which of the other books, chapters, words to believe or not to believe? If you say the book of Genesis is not true or is not the Word of God, then you are basically calling into doubt every word in the Bible. If you can’t believe what the Bible says, how do you then determine what is moral or not? That’s one of the reasons there is no longer an absolute morality for people these days but rather the attitude of “if it is right for me, I can do it no matter how bad you think it is and nobody should tell me it’s wrong”.
Just a small pet peeve about the use of the word theory…
A theory is a scientific fact based on observable and predictable data supported by “most”.
A hypothesis is a conjecture not based on observable evidence.
So when the non-evolutionist types claim evolution is a theory they are right. It is fully supported by evidence and accepted within the scientific community mostly.
And that is the beauty of science. We keep thinking. And when evidence supports another hypothesis… we re-work our theory.
And I only wrote this so you wouldn’t kick my teeth in. 🙂
I’m not new. I have commented before.
I adopted Maks in 06. You were going to redesign my site.
I just got too f***ing busy with a 3 year old who is now almost 5.
But I still want a new design. 😉