Expelled? Go to the movies!

csuguy

New member
The BeareanBut Gould was a public defender of evolution as against creationism, right? Sure, there are discussions about what the data means, and what the best explanation for that data is - but all the folks you mention agree that evolution is the best fit for the data. What is more, disproving evolution will not demonstrate creationism. The data just does not fit a literal reading of Genesis.

Something creationists seem to miss in their battle against science is that, big picture, science is committed to understanding the natural world, not to any particular theory. Sure, people are passionate, and will defend what they believe to be true, but over time, people come to accept the data that best fits the facts. Examples are the Big Bang and plate tectonics, ideas that upset then-current scientific explanations. Over time though, as the data lined up behind the new proposals, the ideas were accepted. Not accepted as dogma, but as the best explanation for the facts. Of course it is messy, of course there are personalities involved - this is people we are talking about, right?

But I do have confidence that, except for undue economic influence (like with cigarettes), or undue religious influence (like the Pope silencing Galileo), over time, the theory that best fits the fact will win. Creationism has been trying (and failing) to make its case for 100's of years. It just does not fit the facts.

I think evolution tells the story - broad brush, more detail to come, doubtless corrections to be made - but big picture, there is no doubt that the earth is old, and that all life evolved from common ancestors. You have to believe that this is how God did it, because... this is how it happened.

All the folks he listed might agree that evolution is the best fit for the data, but what evolution means to each of them is not the same. Gould even suggested an additional evolutionary force to explain the data - a Macro Evolution. He goes completely against the traditional model of slow, steady, continual evolution and instead suggests instead instantaneous large mutations followed by long periods where there is little or no evolution occurring. Despite this night and day difference, both are called Evolution.

It is the same for Christians. Protestants are starkly different from Catholics, and protestants are perhaps even more differentiated between themselves than that - like Armenians and Calvinists.

My point is that a title like 'evolutionist' or 'christian' or even 'creationist' does not mean conformity - it only appears that way to one who does not bother to research beyond the basic ideas presented by those who fall under these titles.
 

laughsoutloud

New member
CSUGuy Writes
All the folks he listed might agree that evolution is the best fit for the data, but what evolution means to each of them is not the same. Gould even suggested an additional evolutionary force to explain the data - a Macro Evolution. He goes completely against the traditional model of slow, steady, continual evolution and instead suggests instead instantaneous large mutations followed by long periods where there is little or no evolution occurring. Despite this night and day difference, both are called Evolution.
Nope, you've got it wrong. They all agree that evolution is the best fit for the data, and they revise and improve the theory as more data comes in, and as new minds think it through. Gould went to great lengths to state, publicly and in writing, that his work did not support creationism or invalidate evolution. When he talked about rapid speciation events, he was talking millions of year, and in the context of the general sweep of evolution. This is not completely against the gradualist model - it is an improvement of the model to better fit the data - which is completely fair for evolution, as it is not a fixed dogma.

It is the same for Christians. Protestants are starkly different from Catholics, and protestants are perhaps even more differentiated between themselves than that - like Armenians and Calvinists.
No, again, historic Christianity has much more in common that they have differences. All the groups you mention would agree that the saving work of Christ, for example, was central. All would identify themselves as Christians. Even if some Christians would insist that some other group is apostate, this would not be true of the group you mentioned - they would disagree on some points, but still embrace one another as evolutionists.

My point is that a title like 'evolutionist' or 'christian' or even 'creationist' does not mean conformity - it only appears that way to one who does not
You may be right about the term Christian (though I think you overstate the case), but you are simply wrong about evolution. Yes there is robust debate within the scientific community, but they don't doubt that the earth is billions of years old, that all life shares common ancestors, and that evolution is the driving force in the diversity of life.
 

laughsoutloud

New member
The Bearean Writes:
One can claim the Sun circles the Earth and the Sun earth circles the sun since both assertions are really truu. It all depends on the reference frame one uses.
But you don't so claim, do you? You say it yourself, it is a reference frame you use because it is convenient. This is not what Luther was talking about, and is not the world being described in the Bible. As predicted though, you have rationalized the clear meaning of the text to fit the facts you cannot deny. Luther believed the Bible taught one thing, you come up with an approach that lets you pretend that the Bible isn't wrong.

As far as how God could design a world where things happen by evolution? Simple I guess, set off the Big Bang, and watch it unfold. This is more difficult that to beleive that he made us all from dirt?
 

csuguy

New member
Nope, you've got it wrong. They all agree that evolution is the best fit for the data, and they revise and improve the theory as more data comes in, and as new minds think it through. Gould went to great lengths to state, publicly and in writing, that his work did not support creationism or invalidate evolution.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I in no way implied that his work some how supported creationism or invalidates evolution - what I was saying is that his version of evolution is starkly different from the standard model of evolution that is typically taught. He disagrees with the core element of that model - the process by which new species emerge. He doesn't dismiss the idea that small mutations throughout time have the potential to create new species - but he does NOT accept this as the primary source of evolutionary change.

Both his theory and the standard theory fall under the title of 'evolution,' but they are not compatible. There is a night and day difference between the two - despite whatever similarities there maybe.

When he talked about rapid speciation events, he was talking millions of year, and in the context of the general sweep of evolution. This is not completely against the gradualist model - it is an improvement of the model to better fit the data - which is completely fair for evolution, as it is not a fixed dogma.

Well, as Ben Stein stated in his new movies (which I watched tonight - excellent :thumb:) - you are entitled to freewill so long as you are on the right side of the wall (paraphrase). Regardless of much faster/slower Gould's theory, the fact remains that his model requires a new process - a process which is not compatible with the old theory.

No, again, historic Christianity has much more in common that they have differences. All the groups you mention would agree that the saving work of Christ, for example, was central. All would identify themselves as Christians. Even if some Christians would insist that some other group is apostate, this would not be true of the group you mentioned - they would disagree on some points, but still embrace one another as evolutionists.

Ignorance is bliss. You obviously have not studied very much theology - or Church History. Yes - the saving work of Christ is central to Christianity (any form of it), just as any form of evolution hinges on the idea of random mutations that are built up over some amount of time will produce new species. But common joints like this don't mean a thing when you look at the actual theologies of these groups. Catholics believe salvation is through the church, and that only through the church can you have a relationship with Christ. To them, the church is the mediator between Jesus and man (though they may not like it worded like that). Protestants take a more personal approach and say that your salvation is based solely on your relationship with Christ - which is not dependent upon the church. To them Christ is the sole mediator. To one who has not studied Christianity this might not mean much, but it makes a HUGE difference. I could go more in depth into various difference between these two groups and various other divisions, but I'm sure that's not necessary. If you are interested I suggest opening a new thread - you'll get a lot of responses no doubt.

Also, while some Christians may regard Christians of other groups as not being Christians - there are still others who recognize that they are in fact brothers and sisters in Christ, like myself. And there are plenty of evolutionist who quickly and ruthlessly take out anyone amongst there own ranks who question evolution. They might still call them evolutionists - but they consider them fools for considering anything than what they deem valid to question. If you haven't already - watch the movie.

You may be right about the term Christian (though I think you overstate the case), but you are simply wrong about evolution. Yes there is robust debate within the scientific community, but they don't doubt that the earth is billions of years old, that all life shares common ancestors, and that evolution is the driving force in the diversity of life.

I get the vibe that you are an evolutionary layman. You have not studied it, the differences in it, or the lack of evidence for it. Nor have you studied Christianity or probably other religions. Its easy for one such as you to say that I am wrong - but to support such a claim is another matter.

Is there one common ancestor or more? Perhaps the major groups are derived from completely unrelated organisms? Evolution is the driving force behind diversity in life - but what processes are involved in evolution? What is the MAIN driving force? Depending upon how you answer these is going to get you are starkly different evolution than if you answered another way.
 

Pekkle

New member
Common ancestor is a weird term, it depends which ancestor you are talking about.

Apes (which include humans) all share a common ancestor, and all mammals share a common ancestor before that, and all life will be derived from the very first cell.

Evolution is the driving force behind diversity in life - but what processes are involved in evolution? What is the MAIN driving force?

In a word evolution can be summarised as "Heredity".

To get a bit deeper the "driving forces" behind evolution or main processes are Natural Selection and Genetic Drift.


Also for people whose sense of worth is challenged when it is proposed that humans are animals and that we came from ooze, remember that the bible says we came from dirt.
 

csuguy

New member
In a word evolution can be summarised as "Heredity".

To get a bit deeper the "driving forces" behind evolution or main processes are Natural Selection and Genetic Drift.

I get the feeling you didn't really read my post... :plain:
 

Pekkle

New member
I get the feeling you didn't really read my post... :plain:

There is no room for interpretation in the questions you posed. No scientists will have a different answer for each question, though I'm sure some will be more eloquent or factual.
 

Delmar

Patron Saint of SMACK
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
I think evolution tells the story - broad brush, more detail to come, doubtless corrections to be made - but big picture, there is no doubt that the earth is old, and that all life evolved from common ancestors. You have to believe that this is how God did it, because... this is how it happened.

So would you call yourself a theistic evolutionist? or do you leave room for the idea that it was all random? In other words wouldn't it be fair to say that theistic evolution is the same thing as Intelligent design?
 

aharvey

New member
All the folks he listed might agree that evolution is the best fit for the data, but what evolution means to each of them is not the same. Gould even suggested an additional evolutionary force to explain the data - a Macro Evolution. He goes completely against the traditional model of slow, steady, continual evolution and instead suggests instead instantaneous large mutations followed by long periods where there is little or no evolution occurring. Despite this night and day difference, both are called Evolution.
Actually, you're misrepresenting Gould's position so badly that you clearly haven't read what he wrote. He did not invoke anything resembling "instantaneous large mutations." Rather, he (and Niles Eldredge, his co-author on the original punctuated equilibrium papers) made the up-til-then underappreciated observation that a geologic instant still spanned many thousands of generations for most organisms, plenty of time for significant changes to occur.

It's been a while since I've read these papers, but I also think that in discussing statis (the long periods of little noticeable change), they made two rather extremely relevant observations, both of which are central to the phenomenon and neither of which require any sort of adjustment to evolutionary theory. First is that organisms usually don't evolve for no reason; thus, just because time passes doesn't mean organisms have to evolve. Second, the fossil record preserves only a small, and as far as we can tell, relatively highly conserved, fraction of an organism. That is, just because the bones aren't changing doesn't mean the organisms aren't evolving.

Indeed, the great thing about these papers was not that they identified some new mysterious type of evolutionary process, but that they showed that the evolution that paleontologists studied and the evolution that neontologists studied, though they looked extremely different, were actually one in the same, and that these two groups of scientists, who historically paid little attention to each other, really had a lot to talk about.
 

Lighthouse

Star-Spangled Kid
Gold Subscriber
Hall of Fame
Wow! The last time I watched a movie in theatres that many times was the Lord of the Rings.
Nerd.










:eek:

So would you call yourself a theistic evolutionist? or do you leave room for the idea that it was all random? In other words wouldn't it be fair to say that theistic evolution is the same thing as Intelligent design?
Theistic evolution declares who is responsible. Intelligent Design does not. Also, the latter rejects macro-evolution where the former accepts it as true.
 

The Berean

Well-known member
The Bearean Writes:
But you don't so claim, do you? You say it yourself, it is a reference frame you use because it is convenient. This is not what Luther was talking about, and is not the world being described in the Bible.
Since I am not up on what Luther wrote then please educate us in what he meant?

As predicted though, you have rationalized the clear meaning of the text to fit the facts you cannot deny. Luther believed the Bible taught one thing, you come up with an approach that lets you pretend that the Bible isn't wrong.
Nice run around. And please don't tell me what I am thinking. Exactly what specific text are you referring to? Are you saying the Bible is wrong? If so what parts do you think are wrong? What parts are correct? And how do you decide?

As far as how God could design a world where things happen by evolution? Simple I guess, set off the Big Bang, and watch it unfold. This is more difficult that to beleive that he made us all from dirt?
You guess? Also, I thought the Bible was wrong is certain parts? So has God involved himself since the Big Bang? Did Jesus Christ really come back from being physically dead?
 

Prisca

Pain Killer
Super Moderator
The fossil record preserves only a small, and as far as we can tell, relatively highly conserved, fraction of an organism. That is, just because the bones aren't changing doesn't mean the organisms aren't evolving.
In other words, even if we can't see it, it must be evolution.
 

csuguy

New member
Actually, you're misrepresenting Gould's position so badly that you clearly haven't read what he wrote. He did not invoke anything resembling "instantaneous large mutations." Rather, he (and Niles Eldredge, his co-author on the original punctuated equilibrium papers) made the up-til-then underappreciated observation that a geologic instant still spanned many thousands of generations for most organisms, plenty of time for significant changes to occur.

It's been a while since I've read these papers, but I also think that in discussing statis (the long periods of little noticeable change), they made two rather extremely relevant observations, both of which are central to the phenomenon and neither of which require any sort of adjustment to evolutionary theory. First is that organisms usually don't evolve for no reason; thus, just because time passes doesn't mean organisms have to evolve. Second, the fossil record preserves only a small, and as far as we can tell, relatively highly conserved, fraction of an organism. That is, just because the bones aren't changing doesn't mean the organisms aren't evolving.

Indeed, the great thing about these papers was not that they identified some new mysterious type of evolutionary process, but that they showed that the evolution that paleontologists studied and the evolution that neontologists studied, though they looked extremely different, were actually one in the same, and that these two groups of scientists, who historically paid little attention to each other, really had a lot to talk about.

Gould suggested that most of the time species very slowly changed over time - like with the traditional theory - but at times something caused this rate to drastically speed up. This new process he called a Macro Mutation- which is NOT a micro mutation. Thus his theory is not combatible with the synthetic view that macro and micro mutations are the same thing.
 

aharvey

New member
In other words, even if we can't see it, it must be evolution.
This is one of those statements that inspire the "Lying for Jesus" label for creationists, Becky. Do you really, really, really fail to see the fundamental difference between these two statements?

"Just because the bones aren't evolving doesn't mean the rest of the critter isn't."

"The rest of the critter must be evolving even if we can't see it."

To me, the first statement is true whereas the second statement is false. Please, set me straight!
 

aharvey

New member
Gould suggested that most of the time species very slowly changed over time - like with the traditional theory - but at times something caused this rate to drastically speed up. This new process he called a Macro Mutation- which is NOT a micro mutation. Thus his theory is not combatible with the synthetic view that macro and micro mutations are the same thing.
csuguy,

I suppose some full disclosure might be helpful here: even though I hadn't looked at the original Gould and Eldredge papers in a while, I have more than a passing familiarity with their work (and them; I had several discussions, some of them fairly intense with the former, and worked for years in the same department as the latter). Not that this means you can't be right and I can't be wrong, but you're going to have to do more than simply repeat your claims.

For example. How do Gould and Eldredge summarize their arguments? Here's an extensive quote (no quote-mining for me!) from their 1977 followup paper:

We wanted to expand the scope of relevant data by arguing that morphological breaks in the stratigraphic record may be real, and that stasis is data-that each case of stasis has as much meaning for evolutionary theory as each example of change. We did this by recognizing that the model of speciation preferred by most evolutionary biologists did not yield a prediction of gradual change in large populations. Most evolutionary change, we argued, is concentrated in rapid (often geologically instantaneous) events of speciation in small, peripherally isolated populations (the theory of allopatric speciation). The norm for a species during the heyday of its existence as a large population is morphological stasis, minor non-directional fluctuation in form, or minor directional change bearing no relationship to pathways of alteration in subsequent daughter species. In local stratigraphic sections, we expect no slow and steady transition. but a break with essentially sudden replacement of ancestors by descendants: this break may record the extinction or emigration of a parental species and the immigration of a successful descendant rapidly evolved elsewhere in a small, peripherally isolated population. (Small numbers and rapid evolution virtually preclude the preservation of speciation events in the fossil record; in any case, speciation does not occur in local sections inhabited by abundant ancestors.)

(My emphases) They are arguing that conventional models of speciation and population genetics, taken together, imply patterns in the fossil record that more closely match what paleontologists actually find, obviating the need to explain away periods of stasis or transitional fossils as "gaps in the fossil record."

They also contradict your claim that they're proposing something incompatible with traditional evolutionary theory: For all the hubbub it engendered, the model of punctuated equilibria is scarcely a revolutionary proposal. Their contribution was synthetic (that is, bringing together several already existing, well established models) not novel (that is, they did not invoke some revolutionary new phenomenon like, Macro Mutations!).

Now, Gould did speculate in his popular Natural History column about Goldschmidt's hopeful monsters notion. But it was taken completely out of context by all manner of folks (so you're not the first, if it's any consolation). Here's what Niles Eldredge (1995) had to say about it:

Steve Gould wrote two consecutive essays in Natural History in 1977. Among other things, Steve speculated that the recent (sic) discovery of regulatory genes -genes that turn other genes on and off— raised the possibility that mutations in the regulatory apparatus might occasionally have the sort of effect Goldschmidt had in mind with his notion of 'macromutations.' These macromutations had the large-scale effects of the sort he posited for his 'hopeful monsters.' Nowhere in either article did Steve mention punctuated equilibria.

But it was enough, it seems, that he, champion of a new model positing bursts of relatively rapid change, would, a few years later, discuss Goldschmidt in favorable terms.


I'll also add that in his essays Gould directly contradicts even the most specific claim you attribute to him: he says that these macromutations could be impressive in their effects, but they are fundamentally compatible with traditional Darwinian processes. Macromutations are just like micromutations, except that their effects are bigger.
 

GuySmiley

Well-known member
Saw the movie . . . it was excellent. I'm suprised he went into the Nazi's and eugenics and abortion. He's really got guts. Entertaining film too.
 
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