You say the similar mitochondrial DNA variation of 90% of the species studied is very exciting in light of the Bible stories of creation. Please explain why, especially given the other species studied (about 10%) that do not follow this trend.
As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Or, in biblical parlance, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings” (Zech. 4:10); or perhaps, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning” (Ecc. 7:8)?
It’s not small stuff. Any hypothesis worth its salt should be falsifiable. That is, some empirical test should exist that would lead one to declare the hypothesis false.
The authors’ observation that 10% of the species studied do not follow the pattern established by the other 90% seems to falsify the hypothesis that this variation pattern in mitochondrial DNA supports the Bible story of creation.
Out of curiosity, what is the other one? If you don’t mind me asking, that is.
It’s not one of the Zombie forums by chance?
As one who knows a “little bit” about statistics, I second that motion.
lancia, I believe the scientific evidence supporting the biblical narrative of Creation and a worldwide flood—events that are not replicable—is ample, even overwhelming. You don’t. It depends on your paradigm.
Furthermore, for a scientist to support Intelligent Design over Darwinian macroevolution sadly seems to be academic suicide:
I’m retired, I don’t think any of my colleagues read this forum, and they surely would not know my identity through my name used here, so. . . .
From early childhood, through high school, college, and graduate school, I was taught science exclusively through the paradigm of Darwinian macroevolution and scientific materialism. How ‘bout you?
Take the red pill…
I got very little evolution in my high school curriculum. But at college and grad school, it was a key concept. However, what convinced me of its validity was my own research and that of colleagues whose work I knew firsthand.
But I’m not a zealot. One of the reasons I developed and taught a new course (at my institution) in experimental population ecology was to teach students (and myself) more about the scientific method as applied to questions in population ecology, some of which had clear evolutionary implications. The bottom line is we questioned some evolutionarily oriented scientific papers in that class for their lack of falsifiable hypotheses. So, I have not been a blind follower.
This video illustrates blind followers! For the life of me…I can’t figure out where zombies…would fit into the scheme of evolution…as far as I know, they might be what mankind evolves into …before everything comes to a final halt!
Since this is a forum thread about evolution…let me share this appropriate Quora discussion:
Let me quote a bit:
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and there are genuine zombie processes in the natural world; they are called just that in the scientific literature. One of the most bizarre is a fungus that takes over ant brains and controls them in some terrible ways for the benefit of the fungus, making them quite “stupid” zombies relative to their normal behavior. Once infected, they leave the safety of their nests, they attach to the underside of leaves, and become a fungus sport farm; strange growths grow from their heads then explode, spreading more fungus spores. If there were human zombies, they’d presumably be changed by similar processes, an infection disables or changes the portions of their brains normally involved in free will and rational thought, and only behaviors that benefit the disease/pathogen (such as biting others) continue. Rabies and Syphilis are among the diseases that humans can that infect and alter the brain, making someone literally more “stupid” and stiff-walking, yet still able to bite or have sex with others to continue spreading the disease.
That is cool.
Christians can lose their faith in the goodness of God through indoctrination into macroevolution and its pain-filled explanations of the violent “ascent” of all life forms by natural selection from some hypothesized primordial unicellular organism (vs. staying within the bounds of undisputed and observable microevolution).
Here is a quote from “Charles Darwin and the Satan he saw in Nature”:
Having a bi-polar “mother nature” can either rob us of our faith in God, as it did Charles Darwin, or it can strengthen our resolve that “natural evil” is a deformation frequently caused by hostile unseen cosmic forces.
Here’s an interesting article, from this week’s Patheos Catholic newsletter:
Signatories of the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism must either hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences; or they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine. Signatories must also agree with the following statement:
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
“In our experience, expressing dissent from Darwinism can generate controversy and be unsafe, especially for those who haven’t earned tenure. If you have not received tenure, you may want to consider carefully whether you should sign.”
Current list of signatories:
FWIW, my perception is that even evangelical profs of biology, geology and the relevant sciences who sign declarations of an inerrant Bible, with few exceptions, are convinced that God used evolutionary mechanisms to develop the complexity of life. Of course, this could be because they’re all indoctrinated. My own impression in reading the data, is that their consensus results from being exposed to the evidence, and how powerful the explanatory ability of natural selection actually is.
Modern people have been so indoctrinated by evolutionary theory (and it is theory) that the majority of them believe it to be factual. The so-called evidence consists of observations that have been explained by evolutionary theory. Then having explained these observations, evolutionists then present those observations as evidence of the theory.
Creationists do the same. There is intelligent life on earth. They explain this by stating that God created it. Then they say that intelligent life on earth is evidence that God created it.
I don’t understand your complaint. Consider this example, part of an actual laboratory experiment.
Flour beetles were cultured in the laboratory in containers of wheat flour. The eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of these beetles were periodically removed by sifting. Using this method of collecting eggs, the researcher started new cultures with eggs from old cultures. By regular sifting, the earliest appearance of eggs could be documented. When these earliest eggs in each generation were repeatedly used to initiate new cultures, eggs in subsequent new cultures eventually showed up earlier and earlier compared to when they showed up in control cultures initiated without restriction on when starter eggs were laid.
Thus, initiating cultures with the earliest eggs laid led to a genetic change over time in when eggs were first laid, i.e., first reproduction in the beetles evolved to an earlier age as a result of selection.
How does this study demonstrate the circularity you mentioned?
Your allusion is a common criticism of evolution: "there is evidence for microevolution but not macroevolution." But that criticism is wrong. Microevolution (evolution within a species) can lead and often has led to macroevolution (evolution at or above the species level). The key process that links microevolution to macroevolution is speciation or the process by which new species are formed. Hereis a clear discussion of evidence for speciation, and thus macroevolution, occurring before our very eyes. This site linked to is a useful one, and a Christian one at that.
I read your complaint to be that the scientific method makes observations of the physical data, and then argues that the hypothesized scientific mechanism (here, evolutionary change) is the theory that explains the observed physical developments. (A parallel might be observing how objects fall… and proposing it fits the hypothesis that a force like gravity is at work, vs. saying ‘God does it’ explains it.)
Rejecting that approach would appear to be rejecting how science works on any hypothesis. And the thesis that “God created it” is not necessarily a mutually exclusive alternative, since all the evolutionary evangelical inerrantists I cited would also insist that God created everything.
But ‘God does it’ is not a competing explanation of the physical mechanisms involved in the development of creatures. As I see it, theology can propose the purpose, meaning and even the ultimate cause behind physical events. But only science can investigate how they materially develop.