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Friday, December 30, 2005

Intelligent Evolution Anyone?

I went to Lone Pony's blog today, and she had a very well written, and thoughtful piece on her teaching style, and how she deals with her own beliefs on creationism/ID, and what she teaches. It got me thinking quite a bit about the idea of intelligent design (creationism) and the Darwin Theory of Evolution. I wrote a fairly long answer to her post, deleted it, and decided I should weigh in with more room, like on my own blog.

Then I went to People Covered in Fish, scrolled down, and he also had a long post on the idea of ID vs. Evolution. That capped it, I needed to post something on this subject. Not because I want to follow on their coat tails, but because I think both THEORIES are wrong, and right, and need to be intermingled.

Stick with me, this post is a bumpy ride that took about 3 rewrites, and I still don't think I've totally conveyed my thoughts on the two theories, but it's about as close as I can come on 4 hours of sleep and too much coffee today.

Evolutionary Evidence has a large amount of data showing that human and 'great ape' chromosomes are very similar, and very different, and uses that evidence to work towards convincing readers of the evolutionary theory.

But when you go to other references, like PubMed, and Karger, and look at the time lines of most species genetic mutations, and you realize that 95 million years or so isn't long enough for the mutation/evolution from ape to human.

Darwin himself admitted that if there were an "irreducibly complex system", one that wouldn't follow his theory of design, the theory itself would be proven false. The truth is science has found thousands of them, and ignored Darwin's warnings on his theory. They still push it, for a lack of other "credible theories".

Where does that leave us? We have a lot of traits (but not enough chromosomes) of apes, where some believe we evolved from. However, there doesn't seem to have been enough time from the introduction of human / primate life for use to have evolved completely from the apes.

What all this means is somewhere one has to take a leap of faith, either on the side of science and Darwinism, or on the side of creationism and a higher being than ourselves.

Or, you can do like me, and split the difference. I have no problem believing that we evolved, from a point. I don't think it was from the accidental collision of two protien cells with the right alignment, weakened cell walls and the right electrical charge at the perfect momemt.

At the same time I have a hard time with the big bang theory, and the idea that everything in the universe is the result of a huge explosion of something, that we don't know the origin of. What I chose to believe, based on both ID and evolution is more of a "parallel theory of evolution".

I believe something out there planned this, or at least started it. I don't buy the Bible's six day creation scenario anymore than I'm sure of the Big Bang. I think that some sort intelligence out there, tossed the right proteins together to form life. I don't believe that through constant (over a billion or so years) accidents that one celled organism evolved to us; we started a little higher on the chain than that.

For the scientific folks, who look to the similarities of man and ape, I look at the different ape species. Like humans and other apes, they have very similar traits, but so far off science has decided they must have evolved separately. But they won't say humans and apes evolved separately, because that blows the theory of evolution.

I also don't believe we are the only intelligent life in the universe. Lets face it with the size of the universe, if evolution alone were true, the odds are there is something else out there. If it was intelligent design, I have a hard time believing a Creator would see the peak of his creation in a group that will watch Fear Factor and Oprah, and invented the Clapper.

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Blogger shoprat said...

I too am somewhat skeptical of the six days of Genesis being a literal six days, but I find evolution very difficult to swallow. The chromosome differences (23 pairs vs 24) in humans and apes are, in my opinion, an insurmountable barrier to random mutation. (A male and a female, close enough together in time and space to mate, have exactly the same mutation -- A fusion of the same chromosomes?) I posted on that a few weeks ago.

But I also doubt that life is only a few thousand years old on earth.

9:25 PM  
Blogger elliot said...

Evolution does NOT claim man evolved from apes.

The contention is that man evolved from a common ancestor with apes.

9:41 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

You are correct but how many chromosomes did the common ancestor have? There still had to be a change in the chromosome number, either up or down resulting in a new species. That is something we have never, to my knowledge, seen and it had to happen twice to a male and female in proximity to each other. How did this happen?

10:52 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

SR, you've got a great point on the chromosome numbers. Evolutionary Evidence (the website) glosses that point over. Though they do point out that two animals with different numbers can't procreate.

Edward, either way, or through them, the claim that we have a lot in common with apes really means very little. A car has a lot in common with an aircraft, yet they didn't come from the same line, they evolved (actually were created) at about the same time, from different concepts.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Robosquirrel said...

CP: Your belief requires just as much of a leap of faith as any other. Scientifically, the question must be what can be proven? There is significantly more scientific research and data to support evolutionary theory, regardless if it is still under construction.

If there was an outside intelligence involved, where did that come from? Who created the aliens or God? Talk about irreducibly complex.

I can accept that these are all theories and require more study, and maybe there is indeed some great puppetmaster or clockmaker or little green men. But you can't teach that as science to schoolchildren unless there's fact to back it up, or at least do like Becky does and teach them where the holes are and to question everything.

ID proponents state that one of their goals is "to disprove Darwinism". That's swell for a negative hypothesis and all, but no scientist studying evolutionary theory is out to disprove the existence of God. Because it can't be done,any more that the existence of God can be proven. ID seems to me to be borne of paranoia of religious persecution rather than reconciliation of facts by the devout.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

RS, I agree, it all takes a huge leap of faith, and that some ID folks are bent more on disproving evolution than anything. They are generally nutty enough that anyone with a little common sense can see through them.

Darwinism itself, though, has already been disproven, at least if we use Darwin's standard. Maybe in (50,100,150) more years we'll have another big scientific breakthrough that will make those thousands of irreducibly complex items reducible, and prove he was right, or at least closer than it looks now.

Of course the third option is that we all live in a litte crystal around a cats neck, and Will Smith is keeping us safe :) But then we'd have to figure out who made the crystal.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I - like you CP - see creationism and evolution as intermingling. I see both as part of a whole. No, I don't take the 6 day theory as written in stone either. I don't think God's time is our time.

As far as people watching Opra and the Fear Factor, we were given "free will." That many don't know what to do with it is not God's fault! :)

It's an excellent, well written and thoughtful post, as always.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...


Thanks for the kind words.

You gotta wonder, if the big guy in the sky doesn't slap himself in the forehead once in a while going "what was I thinking with that free will thing?"

I think that's right after he realized "My Name Is Earl" is a top 10 TV show.

2:31 PM  
Blogger jakejacobsen said...

I recently blogged on this too. My theory is that the preponderance of what we call evolution is actually adaptation. This may seem like a fine distinction, but it has the added value of being something we can see, as opposed to evolution which, as you say, is as much of a faith system as creationism.

I believe in God, but I'm not 100% opposed to evolution, it just doesn't make much sense to me.

But what the hell do I know? I don't even have a TV!

2:38 AM  
Blogger goliah said...

COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED. A real monkey wrench is about to hit both sides in the ID vs Evolution debate and particularly religion is in for difficult times. For a wholly new interpretation of the teachings of Christ, contained within the first ever religious claim and proof that meets all the criteria of the most rigorous, evidential, testable scientific method, is published and circulating on the web. It is titled The Final Freedoms. An intellectual, religious and political bombshell!

It is described by a single Law and moral principle, offering its own proof, one in which the reality of God confirms and responds to an act of perfect faith, by a direct intervention into the natural world, delivering a correction to human nature, including a change in natural law [biology], consciousness and human ethical perception [proof of the soul], providing new, primary insight and understanding of the human condition!

So while proponents of ID may have got the God part right, if this development demonstrates itself to be what it claims, and the means exist to do so, all religious teaching, tradition and understanding of ID are wholly in error, while the proponents of evolution who have rightly used that conception to beat down the credibility of religious tradition, but who have also used it to deny the potential for God, are in for a very rude shock.

However improbable, what history and theology have presumed to be impossible is now all too achievable. The implications defy imagination! No joke, no hoax and not spam.

Review copies of the manuscript, prior to paper publication, are a free pdf download from a number of sites including: www.energon.uklinux.net and http://thefinalfreedoms.bulldoghome.com

4:19 PM  

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