That’s Science: Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ Defends Evolution

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To many American 20-somethings, Bill Nye the Science Guy is an television legend. But he’s also an outspoken defender of scientific principles.

In a two-and-a-half minute video posted on YouTube last Thursday, Bill Nye, who starred in the popular educational show Bill Nye the Science Guy, expressed his very serious views over the debate between creationism and evolution. In the short clip professionally produced by Big Think, he defends evolutionary theory, arguing that the United States is unique in its denial of the concept.

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“When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in [evolution], it holds everybody back.,” he said in the video. “It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates.”

Nye continued on to emphasize the importance of teaching young children evolution theory in an effort to build young minds and scientific innovation. “Here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their life cycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.”

Nye was the main face of Bill Nye the Science Guy, which aired on PBS from 1993 to 1998. Since then, Nye, a Cornell-educated mechanical engineer who started his career at Boeing, has remained heavily involved in science education. According to ABC News, Nye also toured through New Hampshire earlier this year to support and endorse Obama’s education policies, for science programs nationwide. “[The] world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution,” Nye added.

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However, Nye is in the minority of Americans that believe exclusively in evolution. A Gallup poll released in June showed that only 15 percent of people say that humans evolved without divine intervention. An overwhelming majority, 46 percent of those surveyed, said “God created humans in their present form,” with the other 32 percent believing in a hybrid “theistic evolution” process.

And it seems, though, that his comments may not have sat well with some on the Internet. On Sunday, just three days after the video was posted to YouTube and began to go viral, “R.I.P. Bill Nye The Science Guy” was noticed as a trending term on Twitter. While no one has claimed responsibility for the death hoax, Nye was very much alive Tuesday as he clarified his position to CBS, explaining that the point of his video wasn’t to attack religion, but to highlight the scientific proof behind evolution.

Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

76 comments
Roel
Roel

I like how dlegr presented his ideas. I'm a Catholic, but i have doubts about my religion because of evolution. But after reading through dlegr posts, I have to hold back my doubts on my religion. Now, I have doubts about evolution.

Michael Cavanagh
Michael Cavanagh

Bill, Applause! However, you are trying to appeal to the logic of people who deny logic. And for which merely contemplating a logical argument is "sinful."

Paul S. Lyon
Paul S. Lyon

(forgot one word)Evolution begins with nothing and culminates in a universe with nothing (absolute zero) and offers no reason for the existence of anything between the bookends of nothing, other than "it happened that way."  So, evolutionists, ultimately, have faith in nothing.Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/...

Paul S. Lyon
Paul S. Lyon

Evolution begins with nothing and culminates in a universe with nothing (absolute zero) and offers no reason for the existence of anything the bookends of nothing, other than "it happened that way."  So, evolutionists, ultimately, have faith in nothing.

Terry
Terry

Even if "HUMAN" evolution were true, and there is no proof, it still does not disprove God.  God spent just a few pages of the bible explaining the creation of the world, that make it quite obvious he didn't explain in detail how he did it.... evolution can simply be his plan, so everyone should just get over it.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@Terry 

98%  DNA identical to chimps and an alien looking upon us would find it merely amusing that you think a poorly written book explains the cosmos.

joshcalv
joshcalv

So he's bsicly saying that someone can't fonction in the scientific world in any capacity if that person doesn't believe in evolution? That is profoundly short sigthed and baseless realy. But notices how they always attack those who don't believe instead of defending theur point of view just to intimidate people. And to say that creationist can't explain certain things is simply ignorant of their position. How about the fact that a God abke to create the universe is also able tocreate it with apearance of age? And in 200 years, it's evolution that will be considered on the same level has alchemy. Anyone reading The Origin of Species honestly would have to at conclude that Darwin himself would doubt his own theory with what is now known about microbiology. You wanna believe in evolution, then don't wander why all forms of moraity are going out the window.

Jessica Ferdowsian
Jessica Ferdowsian

A few of the comments argued that speciation has not occurred in our lifetime, when in fact it has.  Here is a list of several scientific studies observing speciation.  Remember, a living being is considered a different species when it can no longer reproduce with the parent species.  Most of the ones we will see in our lifetime are changes of bacteria or flowers from one species to another species.  Comparative anatomy has allowed us to observe the changes, and time, required to go from say hoofed mammals on land to whales in the ocean.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faq...

Also, requiring a subject to be supported in fact before it is taught in school is not "tyranny".  It is common sense.  If scientists are able to come up with evidence of creationism, it would be welcome in science class.  Since it is merely a belief, it should be "taught" in Sunday school, where belief rather than science belongs.  Again, not anti-religion, just common sense.

There are many things in science that have been proven, using the laws of mathematics, physics, etc, without direct observation.  For example, we know the temperature of the sun, but I don't know of anyone sticking a thermometer in the sun.  We know that the universe is expanding, but I don't recall anyone going to the outer reaches of the universe and taking a measurement.  If A=B and B=C, you don't have to prove that A=C, you can just accept that it does.

Graham Cummins
Graham Cummins

The study of genetics is a slam dunk in favor of evolution.  It hands down proves it.  Just like a DNA test can prove who your daddy is, it can prove you and your cousin has a common ancestor.  Widening it still further, it can find two individuals have a common ancestor thousands of years ago.  You can take it even further than that and prove individuals of different species have common ancestors.  You are roughly 15% genetically identical to a daffodil.  Therefore hundreds of millions of years ago, you had a common ancestor.  All life on this planet that we know of has a common ancestor.  Phylogeny, taxonomy, the fossil record, population distribution etc. these just flesh out and further prove evolution.

dlegr250
dlegr250

Graham, that's an interesting concept I haven't really thought about.  I would like to test it out, if you don't mind.  If DNA testing can find and confirm who our common ancestors are, who is my 10th-removed ancestor?  Or another way of putting it, what organism was only 10 evolutionary stages removed from evolving into a human?

Jim Dunlap
Jim Dunlap

There is no logical way to refute evolution.  Using religion to do it just winds up demeaning religion.  It's time that more people woke up in the U.S. as they are making Americans look like a bunch of nitwits with this anti-evolution nonsense.  

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

Gotta admit you are a polite one Dlegr250....

Anyway Abiogenesis is a tricky field of science only explored really since the 70's. What we do know is that the building blocks of life occur all over the place possibly to the point where the ocean (tidal pools and such mostly) was filled with amino acids and all sorts of organic junk.

There are some really interesting ideas out ther but they hinge upon which came first; The proto-cell (think of just an organic shell) or the nuclear materiel in the form of RNA. (This question is the real chicken or egg conundrum) both points have valid theories on paper but what it boils down to is this.

A. Life started somewhere else and arrived here via an impact event ( a whole can of worms here)

B. I one in trillions reaction occurred here and life was just lucky to be formed. Even if the odds were one in trillions the fact we are talking about it shows that it apparently happened. Just because the event was rare doesnt mean impossible, thus we are here. This is called the anthropic principle. In a universe will quintillions of planets the one in a trillion chance would occur somewhere.

C. There is some other mechanism that allows life to form in special conditions we are not yet aware of.

D. God gave a spark of life and his plan was obviously for life to evolve from that starting point.

B and C are my favorites but abiogenesis is truly a recently studied science.

And while we may not know what started that first organism ticking evolution has many thousand pieces of evidence we are digging up every day... Because of this mountain of evidence (which is incomplete) the only valid assumption is evolution because creationists have nothing to dig up or discover... Their pile of evidence is nonexistent and because of that a partially incomplete theory is always better than a big fat nothing creationists can show us.

dlegr250
dlegr250

Drew, I appreciate your kind words.

Am I correct in assuming that amino acids, while considered the basic building blocks, must then be combined in a specific pattern into proteins in order to be useful for building life?  I'm a little unsure on this point; it's been a while since I've studied this topic.

But where did the amino acids come from?  Your comment leads me to believe that it is quite common for amino acids to be randomly constructed from inorganic matter, and if that is so we should be able to witness the random generation of amino acids even today.  It's probably true, I just wanted to clarify so I better understand.

I just wanted to say it's obvious you took some time and thought with your post, and I appreciate your willingness to help further my understanding.

I would agree that simply "shifting the blame" for the creation of life elsewhere doesn't actually advance any knowledge.  It would just make it harder to come to any satisfactory conclusion, because then we wouldn't even know what the conditions were that may have sparked life initially if it started elsewhere.  So let's assume that life starting elsewhere and reaching earth through an impact is an idea that, while potentially having some merit, practically speaking it would result in our disability to really understand much.

The anthropic principle is interesting.  But it seems that it starts with an assumed thesis A, that life started purely through chance, and arrives at thesis Z, which states here we are today.  Theses B to Y must be explained in some fashion, but this concept doesn't really know how.  But if you can't explain B through Y, is it valid to assume A?  I would think everyone can agree on Z: there is much variety of life on earth today, and we are living creatures.  I doubt anyone can substantially discredit that claim.  So the question is, which thesis A covers as much ground in B to Y as possible?  It's true the middle ground will vary depending upon your starting point, but it would seem that that anthropic principle doesn't do a good job of covering that ground.  It just assumes it was covered.

This raises a very interesting thought I had recently with regards to chance.  Let's say I have a bow and arrow and there's a target the size of a quarter 100 meters out.  I have no skill with such a weapon, so it would be fair to say I literally have "no chance" of hitting the target.  But if I was given an infinite number of arrows, I feel very confident in saying that eventually I will hit that quarter with one of my arrows.  However, if I never pick up the bow or arrow and never try to shoot the target, I also feel very confident in saying that there is absolute zero probability that I will ever hit the quarter, meaning it will never happen.  Doesn't matter how much time you give me or how many arrows you provide me, if I never take them and shoot them towards the target I will never hit it.

I think the story somewhat imperfectly demonstrates what I'm trying to understand.  I can see how, given a bunch of building blocks and an infinite amount of time, eventually one of the possible permutations is a workable protein block from amino acids.  However, what force is trying to mash the amino acids together in the first place?  What natural phenomena is attempting to create life?  If there is no mechanism that is actively seeking to combine the base building blocks into bigger structures, the chances of it ever happening are zero.  So the issue is not whether the chance is 1 in trillions, the issue is what is trying to accomplish that 1 in trillions in the first place?  It's a question I have been puzzled by and have not yet done adequate research to explain to myself.

As to your thesis C, that we just haven't discovered the mechanism yet, I would agree that this is indeed possible, and of your above-listed ideas it would be the one I would side most strongly with.

The issue I have with thesis D is why would God (assuming reference to the Christian God?) need to use evolution to establish life?  If we're talking about the Christian God of the Bible, the Genesis account records that God created life instantly over 6 separate days if one has a literal reading of the account.  I would much prefer either God did it according to the Genesis account or evolution requires no external explanation and there is a naturalistic answer to the origins question.  But theistic evolution would, in my opinion, be an attempt to combine 2 very contrary ideas into 1 idea that neither satisfies either original idea.

Also, would I be correct in gathering from your post that you're saying evolution has dug up a mountain of evidence to support its basic thesis?  And that creationists have never provided any substantial evidence that supports their ideas or accounts?  Could you provide a few examples of the supporting facts for evolution that have been discovered?

My understanding is that evolutionists and creationists both use much of the same "evidence" to support their views.  For instance, both use the same Grand Canyon to support their views, and both provide plausible positions to explain the existence of the Grand Canyon.  The evolutionist claims it was formed over a vast period of time by erosion.  The creationist claims it was established in a short period of time during a great flood.  Which side am I to believe, if both present facts and evidence for their view?  Would not I have to step back and have some mechanism for determining which side was indeed correct?  A worldview, if you will, that allows me to understand the facts?

I must agree that if it is clearly demonstrated that one side has a preponderance of support that truly supports it and the other side can provide not a single shred of evidence, that is a strong argument indeed.

However, my questions are not to determine whether I should accept evolutionism vs creationism.  My main point of inquiry is to establish the root experiment that proves evolution.  That being said, whether or not God exists or even whether or not evolutionism or creationism are correct is not the point.  I am seeking to understand the core thesis of evolution and how it is verified that random mutations over time (theses B to Y) have resulted in the variety of life we have today (thesis Z).

Pacific Vacuum
Pacific Vacuum

Go. Outside. Now. Take a break and enjoy life.

dlegr250
dlegr250

Pacific Vacuum, I'm not sure why you care what I do with my time?  I had thought that the article had presented an opportunity for people to discuss various ideas related to the topic and further each other's knowledge by the transferal of ideas.

If you have no desire to participate, then you don't need to.  Unless you have something of note to help with the topic at hand, I would request that you please don't alter the discussion topic or troll on any informative discussions I'm having.  I have learned quite a bit already from several other posters and have found their insights very helpful.  My agenda, if you want to call it that, is to learn.

We're each free to do as we desire, but I'm simply asking you to stay on the topic at hand or please find another venue.

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

In Reply to Dlegr250. (for some reason the reply ended up as a new comment)

Hogwash. Irreducible complexity has had every example refuted. Give me your examples and ill find the refutation. Belief in a young universe is just silly. Outside of being able to see galaxies billions of light years away and thus the light from them taking billions of years the creation of heavy elements via previous generations of stars and the ability to determine solar age via the emissions is iron clad proof of an old universe.

Tying evolution to both the creation of the Universe and the creation of life completely ignores that evolution DOES NOT cover these things. Evolution ONLY discusses what happens to life once it appears never touching the creation of life or the history of the universe. Ignorance of this basic knowledge shows that you are ignorant of what evolution even is. You obviously have never bothered to learn the distinction.

The creation of life from inert elements is called Abiogenesis.

This science has a few basic experiments but is completely removed from Evolution.

Cosmology and Astronomy shouldnt even enter a discussion about evolution but the evidence for the big bang is also iron clad ever since the cosmic baackground radiation was PREDICTED and then discovered years after that prediction...

I have never understood christians not accepting the big bang... The big bang is the ONLY example ever found where something was created from nothing... If you want to find an act of God that was it.

dlegr250
dlegr250

I'm sure I'm not as knowledgeable about any of these topics as I would like to be, in that I fully agree.

I have to agree that there is a distinction between the origins issue and Darwinian evolution.  I would say they are distinct yet are somewhat related, as evolution involves a vast period of time with random mutation.  If you remove the vast amount of time, evolution has very little to stand on, so I would say they are related but definitely agree with you that they are distinct.

But let us cast aside the concerns of the age of the universe or the existence of original matter or any issue up to the point where the universe is existing and there is no "life".  Let us assume that the big bang has resulted in a universe with planets cool enough to now support life and it has taken billions of years to get to this point.  We now have planet earth with no "life" on it.  There are no bacteria.  There are no single-celled organisms.  There are no flies.  Nothing.  No life-form currently exists at this stage of the universe's existence.How does the first bacteria come into existence?  Bacteria (and all organisms) replicate/reproduce (figuratively speaking) via DNA, which is their blueprint or source code, if you will, that tells them how to build themselves.  If there is no DNA to instruct the first bacteria how to create itself, how does the first bacteria create itself?  I'm just puzzled by how abiogeneis actually works.

But I fail to see how abiogenesis and evolution are completely separate.  If abiogenesis is not true, and the universe is completely natural, how do we get to the point where evolution can even start to take place?

I know I've already made some mistakes in my assessment, which you kindly pointed out, so hopefully this is another one.  But it seems that your'e saying you can have a chicken egg without a chicken.  I'm just not sure how that works, practically speaking.

If we only concern ourselves with what happens to the egg, then yes, you are completely correct, and we need not address where the egg came from.  But then we must assume that any conclusions we make about the egg are suspect ideas, because the base conclusion is rooted purely upon an assumption.

But even if we sever those ties and deal exclusively with just the egg and how it transforms itself, I have yet to see the experiment that demonstrates that a basic organism such as bacteria can evolve into another organism through random mutations over a vast period of time.  The experiment has never been run or observed, to the best of my knowledge.  We have seen adaptation in organisms but we have not been able to re-produce the effects where, given one organism to start with, we produce another organism.  I'm not stating it's right or wrong: I'm merely saying the root assumption has never been verified and is assumed to be true.

And I would agree with you that it is indeed puzzling why anyone (Christian or not) would discredit the big bang. As far as I can tell, the evidence supports that at some point in time (if that word can be used here) all matter was somehow compressed into an infinitely dense mass that then exploded into the universe we now have.  All the research so far seems to support this thesis, and I see no reason to doubt it, given our current level of knowledge.

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

Belief in God is fine.

But dont be an ignoramus with a simple minded God of the Gaps. Any man with Gods power could magic animals into existence but it takes an awesome Divine Intelligence to start with creation via a big bang 14 billion years ago and know the end result.

The point is that Theistic Evolution requires an awesome God with incredible itelligence and power. A creationist God simply magics things into existence with a flash and puff of smoke.

Afterall what do creationists imagine creation as looking like? That flash and puff of smoke? With such a rediculous belief how can creationists challenge evolution when their version of creation is both without evidence and idiocy requiring an idiot God?

As ive said... Evolution has piles of evidence whether they accept it or not. Creationsim has a dusty old book and pseudoscience complete with overwhelimg refutation by the legitimate scientific community... I'd love to see some creationist evidence but generally Creationists simply try refuting and ignoring the scientific evidence while ignoring their own rediculous premise.

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

If average Americans payed any attention to history they would know that the founding fathers were Deists whom believed that a God may have created the Universe but afterwards he left it to its own devices according to the natural laws He created.

Almost without exception the founders of this nation thought the Church was corrupt and useless and that Reason, Logic, and the Evidence provided by valid science was the only way to understand the world and that ignorance via faith was morally wrong.

What this means is that the founding fathers of this nation would have overwhelmingly with very few exceptions been not only ok with evolution they would declare that it was the only way life has crreated different species.

A creationist is ignorant to science by definition. Creationism SHOULD be taught in public school specifically to refute and ridicule it.

dlegr250
dlegr250

While I would have to agree that there were definitely Deists among the founding fathers (Jefferson among them) I'm not sure if one could claim that they were almost all deistic without exception.  Do you have some researched numbers to validate that claim?

And when you say that the founding fathers also thought the church was corrupt and useless, what do you mean exactly? Could you define the "church"?

And doesn't it seem a rather large step to speak for the founding fathers and say they would wholeheartedly agree with evolution when these men wrote, signed, and many died for a document that claimed a Divine right to freedom and life as a foundational principle for the formation of America?  That just seems a little counter-intuitive to me.

danlunche
danlunche

Never trust a guy in a bow tie.

Kimmee Sun Woo
Kimmee Sun Woo

we celebrate ignorance. It is literally amazing, the US  rejection of Science when we once were the smartest country in the world.  Denouncement of evolution, teaching creationism...wtf happened to this country and when did we become so totally and completely mindless? We have a major political party, the GOP,  that champions ignorance.  And a base that believes in the sheer stupidity. Welcome to China's century. 

George McDowell
George McDowell

He has nothing to defend. Only morons preach ID. Evolution is NOT a theory. It once was, but it has absolutely been proven over and over. You might as well say the jury is still out about whether the Earth is flat or claim that the Universe isn't 13.7 billion years old (which we now have four separate lines of verifiable, repeatable evidence to prove it, by the way - something the soothsayers NEVER have). It's time for the nutcases to grow up and stop believing ancient creation myths. Oh, and there's no Santa either (except the local sex offender amp; church goer at the mall during the holidays).

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

 

Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to

allow creationism back into the classroom.  This law turns the clock back

nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply

embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than

that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic

Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual

response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at

http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

timebiter
timebiter

Creationism is based on the bible, a book written and edited by man for thousands of years. I am constantly amazed to see the arrogance of people who insist that the bible is the literal word of God. Who do thet think they are to tell God what God can or can not do.

timebiter
timebiter

 The bible is Judeo-Christian Mythology. It was written by and for its consumers. It is biased. Like all mythology you could find historic origins for the stories but those stories were modified to suit the needs of the writers.  Most of the new testament was written 70-100 years after the events depicted and the books included in the new testament were edited(many gospels never made it). The stories went from hebrew or aramaic to greek or latin to the local language.  The old testament finds it's roots in Sumerian mythology.  It is part of a belief system and has nothing to do with empirical factual knowledge. The beauty of the theory of evolution is that it is a theory, which means it is not cut in stone and is open to change as data presents itself.  The point I tried to make in my original post was that the fundamentalists who believes the bible is literally true are, in that belief, telling their almighty what was meant to be said. Sounds presumptuous to me.

dlegr250
dlegr250

By your statement it seems you're equating supernaturalism with mythology.  Is there any particular reason why you seem to discount the possibility of the supernatural at the outset?

Also, how do you define a reputable scholar to validate the dating of the NT writings?  It would seem one may run into the issue of defining reputable to be one who agrees with the original thesis one is trying to establish.

I was just asking because you are the one who made the statement so I assumed you had some further knowledge to support your statement.

In your post you also alluded to the Pauline writings being the first, but second-hand knowledge at best.  But are the 4 Gospels not first-hand, eyewitness accounts?  And was not Paul a contemporary of the Gospel writers?  And was not Paul considered a great leader of the early Christian church whose views were widely respected?  So why would it matter if Paul's writings were second-hand if even the eyewitnesses themselves seemed to concur with his beliefs?

I'm just trying to further understand the issues.  I think the dating of the documents in question is very important.  If it can be adequately demonstrated that the documents were, in fact, not first-hand accounts and came about after the death of the eyewitnesses themselves, I think it would be a great blow to the Christian ideology, as much Christian theology springs from these documents and what they claim.

I'll also follow up on your excellent suggestion and do some further research into the dating of the documents myself.

dlegr250
dlegr250

timebiter, you raise some interesting points about the origins of the Bible.  I was just curious if you could help me out and point out which parts of the Bible are mythological and which are not?

Also, your remarks about the dating of the New Testament writings have spiked my curiosity.  Do you have some references for establishing the dating of the NT books to 70-100 years after the events?

timebiter
timebiter

When supernaturalism enters the picture you begin to view mythology. Need specifics? Try the virgin birth. Plenty more where that came from.  As to the time frame of when the new testament was written all YOU need to do is the research and all reputable scholars will confirm my statement. The Pauline documents are most likely the ealiest of the bunch but Paul had no physical contact with Jesus so his info is second hand at best.

dlegr250
dlegr250

I'm not sure I fully understand what you're saying. It seems to me that you're saying that the Bible is not trust-worthy because it was written and edited by man.  But I'm struggling with something, because I thought scientific journals and research were also written by men.  Am I to discount these writings as well because they were written by man?

Yacko
Yacko

No, they are peer reviewed and error checked. Can you give us a list of people who throughout history debugged the bible? Any "book" written at that time period is likely to be rife with errors, particularly in copying and translation.

What of a chain of people, the first given a long sentence and told to repeat it to the second, the second passing it along, etc? After a sequence of a dozen what comes out is nonsense. The bible has the same problem.

dlegr250
dlegr250

@facebook-1576751992:disqus, I appreciate your openness to presenting both views and allowing individuals to come to their own conclusions.  I very much agree with you.  People should not fear either view, and, in my opinion, often when they do fear something it's because of a lack of knowledge.

I am a little puzzled by some of what you said, however.  I'm not sure I understood you properly, so if I am misinterpreting your statement it is my fault.  But your post seemed to imply you believe the Bible is a lie that is based off of potentially some truth.  Is that a valid understanding of your view?

Furthermore, you mentioned that you believe the Bible was based on some historical happenings but was altered.  Do you have a means of establishing which happenings were truly historical and which were altered at some point?

dlegr250
dlegr250

I completely agree that the Telephone Problem is a valid problem but does not apply to the Bible for 1 basic reason: Bible translations (converting original language documents to other languages) go back to the original language documents.  A translation does not depend upon another translation and so forth, hence no telephone problem.  Modern Bible translations are only 1 conversion away from the source language material.

I don't believe translations are the key issue in this discussion, though.  I believe the real question is how do we know that the original language documents were copied properly so that our translations are valid?

This is addressed by having thousands of documents (manuscripts, pieces of manuscripts, full texts, etc) from a variety of sources that have survived since the originals were written.  With so much source material it is not difficult or unacceptable to confirm what the original autographs said.  The variety of thousands of source material from differing geographical regions has demonstrated that the copies we have today are trustworthy copies of the original autographs.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no single discrepancy among the source material we currently have that removes any single doctrine of Christianity.  And there is no reason to assume that we do not have virtually the same material as the autographs because of the vast number of material from a variety of sources.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

dlegr250, I would have to say that the bible does have facts amp; findings in it. Every lie is based off of some sort of truth. In my opinion, the bible was written based on some true historical happenings but altered with good intentions. 

People are scared to have their children taught evolution or even religion in school. But you have to. Growing up with religion and having a blind eye to science (or vire versa) seems silly. Let the children grow up and make their own decisions. 

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

Scientific journals are about facts and findings. The bible is basically a "rule book". The bible was probably written by men who were tired of other peoples shenanigans and thought there needed to be a supreme being with supreme laws to govern the people. Facts in scientific journals are written from countless experiments that can be repeated. I don't believe in evolution, but I also do not believe there is a God that will answer your prayers just because you believe in him.

dlegr250
dlegr250

I completely agree with you that mere belief in a higher power does not mean that power exists.  But does the Bible not have any facts and findings in it?  Am I to discredit everything in the Bible?

Hector Sanchez
Hector Sanchez

"only 15 percent of people say that humans evolved without divine

intervention. An overwhelming majority, 46 percent of those surveyed,

said “God created humans in their present form,"

How about this: Anyone who doesn't believe in evolution isn't qualified to hold public office or teach school. PERIOD.

You are free to think what you want about the spiritual world, but when it comes to the physical world, you are constrained by this thing called "evidence." If you can't accept that, you're unqualified to be involved with educating or governing the public or  schoolchildren.

And, as the poster below mentioned, it doesn't really matter if you "believe" in evolution or science or global climate change. This isn't about belief, but about evidence. Beliefs are irrelevant. Facts are facts. Until you got your own actual facts, the preponderance of the evidence rules every time. That's the nature of "science."

Ettel Chava Rosenabaum
Ettel Chava Rosenabaum

 How about this. the country was founded on the base argument that G-od, the creator, endowed us, his creations, with certain unalienable rights, and the rights endowed by g-od trump those endowed by government. in that case king George. after all, if there was no G-od to endow rights beyond those given by the king, then the revolution would have had no standing. hence the entire country, and its constitution would be illegitimate. How about anyone who doesn't believe in G-od is not qualified to hold

public office because he by definition would be unable to uphold the

constitution and the founding documents while denying their founding

principles.

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he

must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

If you actually payed any attention to history the founding fathers were Deists whom believed that a God may have created the Universe but afterwards he left it to its own devices according to the natural laws He created.

What this means is that the founding fathers of this nation would have overwhelmingly with very few exceptions been not only ok with evolution they would declare that it was the only way life has crreated different species.

A creationist is ignorant to science by definition. Creationism SHOULD be taught in public school specifically to refute and ridicule it.

Ettel Chava Rosenabaum
Ettel Chava Rosenabaum

 in other words anyone who doesn't agree with your views doesn't deserve to have an opinion. how very American of you.

Drew Hadz
Drew Hadz

You may have your scientifically illiterate opinion but suggesting that the American nation is a Christian nation is plain silly.

Creationism in schools is wrong because there is absolutely no science behind creationism thus teaching it is teaching children to be ignorant.

At LEAST evolution has proof because all creationists have is a dusty old book written by goat herders.

dlegr250
dlegr250

Well said!  It's not about belief but the evidence.  Can you please direct me to the experiment that has proven that a species can evolve into another species by random mutations directed by natural forces over a vast period of time?  Because I know an extremely large scientific community that has been claiming it's possible but has just been too busy to actually perform that experiment.  It's good to know that you have the evidence they cannot provide.   I'm looking forward to running the experiment myself and establishing evolution.

Todd DeGroff
Todd DeGroff

Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's not true.  I doubt you understand the technicalities of how your cell phone functions, but it still works out here in the reality in which the rest of us live.  I recommend  the "Beak of the Finch" by Jonathan Weiner, a short, extremely clear recounting of multiple experiments--in the wild and in laboratories-- proving both natural selection and sexual selection, Darwin's 2 central ideas. At least one of these experiments is simple enough for you to duplicate, if you wish.

BobTX2
BobTX2

 This is really a response to @alwaysproventrue:disqus :

FWIW, the finch is a therapod dinosaur (as are all birds), if we want to get technical, easily demonstrated by a number of conserved skeletal features, its feathers, and several other features.  The example you proffered is just one example of a species that we know to have been arrived at only after massive changes in body plan and behavior.

alwaysproventrue
alwaysproventrue

The finch is still a finch.  Bacteria is still bacteria.  Nothing evolves.

dlegr250
dlegr250

Todd, thanks for pointing out a good reference; unfortunately the book isn't sold in digital format (except audio), so I'll have to wait a few days to get a hard copy.  I did read some reviews of the book and some summaries, though.

I agree that simply because I do not understand something does not invalidate it.  But with the cell phone example, at least 1 person somewhere at some time understood how that cell phone works because he had to build it in the first place.

From my understanding of the summaries of Jonathan Weiner's award-winning book, the thesis is that there is great variation among the finches, which is attributed to natural selection.  In fact this variation can quite often be visibly observed in the finches, specifically via their differing beaks as they are introduced to differing food sources.

However, natural selection is not the same thing as evolution on a macro-scale, and in fact, natural selection really has no bearing at all on macro-evolution.  Neither one requires the other to exist.  Natural selection presents that an organism has some advantage in its given habitat so that it outlives others and has thus been "selected" by nature.  I'm not questioning that point at all; we see that everyday and it's just a fact of life.  It could be called survival of the fittest or any other name.  That is not the item in question, or the item I'm seeking a verifiable experiment for.  Because natural selection never alters the genetic code of an organism, it just explains why one lived and others died.

In order for macro-evolution to occur (converting species into another species, thus accounting for all variety of life from common ancestors), the genetic code must be altered.  If the genetic code of those finches is not altered, it's still a finch and will never be anything other than a finch.  The varying beaks are already within the genetic code of the finches; it's nothing new.  And without new genetic code being created, a finch will always be a finch.

I also believe Weiner's book makes this distinction when it mentions that the changes between generations do not accumulate, but wobble about the phenotypic mean (average).  I understand that to mean there's variety that goes back and forth in the finch's beak structure, but there's no single direction that all the changes are headed towards.

I do look forward to reading the full details of the book when it arrives, but unless these pioneering men have a means of establishing how random mutations have altered the genetic code of the finches, it really does not support the theory of macro-evolution.  I will have to withhold a final conclusion until I have read the book, however.

sorrykb
sorrykb

Tell you what... Next time you have a serious bacterial infection, demand that the doctor give you Penicillin.  After all, there's no reason why it shouldn't be just as effective as any of those fancy newer antibiotics against an unevolving bacterium.

alwaysproventrue
alwaysproventrue

Bacterium remaining bacterium is not evolution. Bacterium "evolving" into a tomato plant-- THAT is evolution! And it never happens, never has, never will.

Archidoodle
Archidoodle

 @ dlegr250: It's only "adaptation" if the characteristics are not passed along to the next generation. If the characteristics are heritable, it is...evolution. If you had paid attention in science class, you would know this.

dlegr250
dlegr250

But you made my point in the words you used...it's still bacteria. It may have adapted to a particular antibiotic but it's still bacteria. Adaptation does not verify or prove evolution. If we want to present modern day evolution unfolding before us cancer would be the best example as it is random mutations taking place in an organism eliciting change.