Saturday, September 25, 2010

Near the Beginning...:
#43: Day-Old Discount...

Near the Beginning: Day-Old Discount...
Click here for more of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to the individual comics over in the right-hand column.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Certain Christian's Main Problems with Understanding Evolution...
Part 1

No, this cartoon isn't the argument, I just found it amusing and quite apt.
I was reminded a few weeks ago that I had made a promise to refute, in its entirety, the erroneous and terrible misunderstandings (I'll refrain from using "lies" at this point) in a certain post some time ago, but never actually got around to doing so... And seeing as I now have the time (due to some fortunate/unfortunate circumstances), I present you with that argument point-by-point: Why Steve's "Evolution’s Big Problems, Part 1" are not big problems at all, and why some of those aforementioned "Big Problems" are actually just uneducated misses on his part.

We'll begin with Steve's first "big problem" and just go down the list, shall we?

1. In the history of scientific research, living organisms have never formed from non-living matter. Evolutionists hold the unscientific belief that this is possible as the first phase of evolution, but they cannot explain, replicate, or prove it can happen.
Au contraire. I actually blogged about this very topic back in February of 2008 when a fascinating article ran on Discover's web site--about how the building blocks of life arose from non-living chemicals... No, a large chimp didn't appear in the ice. No, it did not dwell on it's existence, question it's place in the world, or seek absolution from its inherent sin nature. It was RNA and DNA created in ice from ammonia and cyanide. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, it was considerably more than the seven days, lacked a certain flair for the dramatic perhaps. After all, it's ice cubes forming the basic building blocks of life! How droll!

2. Nothing has ever given birth to something more genetically complex than itself. This is just assumed by evolutionists to be possible. Never before has information been added to the genome of a species.
Again, something I've blogged about! Here, mainly, but also here. (This may end up being easier than I thought!) Actually, lots of plants and creatures have reproduced offspring more complex then itself, and we've many times seen "information" (think RNA/DNA) added to a genome! For example, a new species of plant arose via polyploidy (when the chromosome count multiplies by two or more) (de Wet 1971). Primula kewensis (a new type of primrose) was created when Primula verticillata and Primula florbunda (each with 18 chromosomes) interpollinated. The new flower, Primula kewensis has 36 chromosomes and cannot breed with either of its parent species, but can promote itself with itself, thus fitting the definition of a new species, having also the added benefit of additional chromosomes (i.e., having had information added to it's genome...) Two birds, one stone. Sweet... And then you can read this post about a bacteria that not only fuses its DNA to its host (thus "adding to the genome"), but this once-independent-minded little creature actually has its DNA passed on with its hosts, and can be recreated even after antibiotics are used to kill it.

3. No single-celled organism has ever morphed into a multi-cell organism. Evolutionists firmly believe this can happen as the second phase of evolution, despite the fact that it has never been observed in the history of scientific research.
Ever heard of algae? Most algae exists as individual free-floating cells (phytoplankton) and occasionally, sometimes even within the same species of normally free-floating cells, these cells cluster together. There is probably some evolutionary advantage to doing so--facilitate exchange of genetic material between the cells, for example. In some species, these cells start to show some level of "specialization." Specialization allows to make the cells more efficient at their task but tend to make the cells more dependent on the other cells... So, should such a clusters of specialized cells (that often multiplied from a single cell and hence contains the same genetic information) be considered a single organism (such as the Portuguese Man-O-war?) or simply a collection of single-celled organisms (such as a clump of algae?) Well, the limit is a bit blurry and subjective; evolution by definition is progressive but, in many "true" multi-cellular organisms, specialization is the normal state of being for a cell, and it's not expected for a cell to revert to a general state. As such, many cells lose their ability to revert to general cells and to re-specialize into something different. Cells which still have this ability, by the way, are called "stem-cells"--and you've heard of them, I'm sure :)

4. No creature has ever given birth to something that was a different kind of organism than itself. This is again just believed by evolutionists to be possible, although it has never happened in recorded history. Evolutionists believe that over time, lizards change into birds and fish turn into mammals. Yet, of all the billions of lizards on Earth, not a single one is in turning into a bird. Of all the billions of fish on Earth, not a single one is in the process of becoming a mammal.
Oh. My. God. To have so much so wrong in so little a paragraph... Well, for starters, just head back up there to #2. As stated, lots of creatures and plants give birth to something completely different then itself. Happens more often than most would believe, actually. That being said, and as I also expect this to be a *very* long post, I'll try to sum up simply and concisely why not all lizards have "become" birds, and why not all fish have "become" mammals--try and stay with me on this: Despite the fact that evolution happens most times in small, local steps as necessity, chance, and environment dictate--say, that fish with the stronger fins able to flop to the next puddle and survive until the rainy season as opposed to the others whose fins weren't as strong and couldn't make the land crossing... This process ensures that only those stronger-finned fish will pass on their genes (DNA), as well as the learning process of moving over land to reach a more suitable area. The same type of fish on the other side of the forest had no such need to "walk" to another body of water, and thus will change and adapt only as much as it needs to--and thus, separated by maybe only a few hundred yards, you may have the beginnings of speciation occurring and, given a bit more time, other environmental factors, and other causes such as disease and predation, you may end up after only a few hundred years with two completely different looking fish that had the same genetic base--and further, may now not be able to interbreed with one another, thus ensuring that both branches of this tree will survive and continue to grow more branches. Of course, branches that haven't had enough time can still intermingle--maybe due to lack of similar mates, or some sort of quake that separated one from the rest--and some of those changes may then re-enter the original gene pool, but certainly not enough to ensure that all the guppies (or what-have-you) will have super-strong fins, and perhaps may even be bred out of this population as the need isn't present! Now, take that one step further (for, as anyone with a multi-cellular brain can tell you, macroevolution is the exact same thing as microevolution), and perhaps you can glimmer why we still have lizards *and* birds, fish *and* mammals...

5. Never in the history of science has any mutation benefitted an animal’s species long term, or made it more genetically complex. Evolution would require billions of these mutations to be happening constantly both today and throughout history, and yet none have ever been observed. All mutations ever witnessed in reptiles, birds, or mammals are either a loss or a scrambling of existing genetic information, and are either neutral or negative to the mutated animal.
Oh my. I see we're beginning to get redundant. Well, again, read #2. Let me know when it starts sinking in. Okay? Got it? Positive mutations documented and noted? Great. Hopefully number 5 isn't the same argument reworded and repeated.

6. Transitional species required for the theory of evolution to be true are called “missing links,” instead of “links,” because they do not exist.
Uh, no. But thanks for trying. Trouble is, every time someone discovers a "missing link," it creates two new gaps "which prove that an unseen hand was at work" (as if...) The Earth is billions of years old. To create fossils, a very unique set of requirements is needed. Thus, to say "every single gap must be filled before I will believe in evolution" not only means you probably failed at "connect the dots" in elementary school, but over billions of years, lots of fossils are made and lost through erosion and cataclysmic events--but, since you think the Earth is some type of closed system that swallows all bones and preserves them like a giant freezer, you still wouldn't believe if I had a Polaroid of each and every second of every step from the first microscopic strand of RNA until your mother spewed you our of her uterus, so... Good look with that...

7. It is impossible for a cold blooded animal to give birth to a warm blooded animal; and yet this is believed by evolutionists in the fish to mammal and lizard to bird theories.
Because there's no such thing as a warm-blooded lizard or fish? See here concerning warm-blooded sharks and tuna, or here, or even here.

8. Plants have been around since the beginning of life, and despite all the supposed evolution that should’ve taken place, they have not evolved intelligence.
And thank you for proving you know nothing about evolution. Where, in any and all of the scientific data on evolution, does it state that some form of intelligence is necessary? That intelligence should be a by-product? That intelligence is a goal, or the goal of evolution? Because the one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

9. There are no instances of plants morphing into animals.
And now I'm beginning to think you're trying to be an a**hole. Since when has evolution ever claimed that plants turned into animals? Or vice versa? I thought this was supposed to be the "Big Problems with Evolution," not the "Stupid Arguments I Thought Up on the Crapper."

10. Eyes are far more complex than anything man can create, and yet they’ve been around since the first animals of an evolutionist timescale. In addition, fossils indicate that they’ve always been just as complex as they are today, which means that evolutionists face a fundamental problem. For instance, trilobites had extremely complex eyes, and were supposedly alive long before people according to evolutionist assumptions. Their eyes had two lens layers that allowed everything to be in focus without the need for refocusing, and yet had no spherical aberrations (distortion) because of the precise alignment of the lenses. Chuck Darwin, the founder of the religion of evolution, didn’t even believe eyes could have evolved:

“To suppose that the eye… could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” -Charles Darwin, in ‘The Origin of Species,’ 1859, p. 217

Again, something I've blogged about before here. You've also COMPLETELY and MISLEADINGLY and DECEPTIVELY misquoted Darwin. Why a Christian would need to mislead (dare I say "lie" at this point?) is, indeed, a grave mark against taking anything else you say seriously, but I'll digress if only to continue showing how foolishly ignorant you are of even the most basic evolutionary principles. Darwin goes on to say: "Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound." (This is where my mom usually says, "What? What is that in layman's terms! Speak English!") Darwin acknowledges first the complexity of the eye in its various, interworking parts and states up front that, if one were to simply say the "eyeball evolved" exactly as it presently is into being, thinking so would be absurd! (As is thinking the sky god made it as it is!) Nothing simply pops up into existence so complex! But he goes onto explain that, through small, numerous changes over periods of time involving genetic variance and natural selection, such a complex thing comes into being as it continues to need improvement for the survival of the fittest, as well as for the species itself! But, of course, being as you fundies don't like using reasoning or logic, you simply say, "Wow! It must have been a god!" and totally ignore (conveniently) Darwin's simple, clear explanation of how it came to be. You can read the rest of that old blog post if you care to actually learn anything. For now, we'll move onto your next "big problem":

10. Virtually every species of animal has two genders required for reproduction. How this system could have randomly changed from cell division, when it started, and how it manages to be so consistent is inexplicable by evolutionists. I wonder how any species survived before it gained the instinct and ability to reproduce.
Would it be remiss to note that you have two #10's? Is that a "big problem" as well? Anyway, onto sexual reproduction!! First off, there are more than two genders--but I expected that kind of ignorance from you. Second, sexual reproduction is cell division. Third: not all creatures need the opposite sex present to reproduce, like this blog post about the a shark in an aquarium. Fourth, add to that the fact that no creature that produces sexually ever produces it's "own kind." It may be seen as a matter of semantics, but every creature born through sexual reproduction is an "average" of the two creatures that mated. If there's anything else you still don't understand about why cell division is sex, you need to head back to the ninth grade...

11. Nature is full of “irreducible complexities,” or things that could not function if a single part is removed. Since evolution is a gradual and slow process, things like the human knee joint could not have evolved, because they would not function until they were fully formed. If one part/aspect were missing, they would serve no purpose. This is inexplicable by evolutionists.
This one has also been beaten to death, especially since the Dover trial in PA in 2005. The fact that you still have it listed as a "Big Problem" proves to me that you aren't interested in educating yourself so much as hoping no one will take the time to call you out on your "big problems."

12. No creature has ever evolved or “adapted” a new body-part to suit it’s environment, despite evolutionist belief, and they do not have the capability to do so. Among the ridiculous claims of evolutionists, one would be the land mammal that evolved into a whale. I’d like to see the transition where the nostrils supposedly change into the blowhole and move to the top of the head, and learn how the hind legs could magically morph into a tail flipper, all while continuing to function for millions of years.
Have you heard of seals? Manitees? Walrus's? Lungfish? Well, if you care to learn about whale nasal drift or tail formation, see here or you can order a very educational DVD from PBS here. Happy learning!

13. Spiders have been found perfectly preserved in amber that supposedly date back “hundreds of millions of years,” according to evolutionist faith-based dating systems. These spiders spin webs, and are no different from today’s modern spiders. If evolution were true, spiders should have changed significantly over millions and millions of years. To the contrary, spiders remain the same spiders throughout the fossil record. How would the first spider gain the ability to spin a web? By accident?
Go back and read the answer to #4. It's a doozy! (And accurate!) If you can't make the leap after that, you're more hopeless than I thought...

14. DNA has to already be present in order to create protein, and protein has to be present in order to create DNA. Both are required as building blocks of a living organism. Which formed first, randomly, from the primordial soup that may or may not have existed, and how is that possible?”
And now you can go back and read the answer to #1! Wow, we've come full circle! Do you see, Steve? Your big problems have been taken care of, in some cases years ago! Not that I expect this will change anything, but at least you no longer have these pathetic excuses to fall back on.