Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Every Creationist Must Deny by cdk007

Are you willing to deny all of this and all the progress that we've gained through science and technology? If you are a creationist, you'd have to.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Difference Between The Theory of Evolution and The Theory of Abiogenesis

Before I begin with explaining the difference between the theories of evolution and abiogenesis, I'd like to first give a definition of the word "theory," because a lot of people, primarily religious fundamentalists, don't get it or have never bothered to look at the proper definition of the word. As I post the definitions and provide the science to back each theory up, I will be posting the links to show where I've been getting my research from, so you know that I don't intend to take all the credit for my research, and to show you all that I'm not pulling any of this stuff out of my ass.

Theory: (Courtesy of the Urban Dictionary) A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena.

In short, a theory is not a wild guess, like most fundamentalists would like to believe. A theory is an explanation on how things in the natural world work. There is knowledge and evidence to support it, in order for it to be accepted as an explanation for different circumstances and results, depending on a specific situation of observation. Also, it's something that has been proven, which we will explore as we look at the true definitions of the theories of evolution and abiogenesis.

Here is how Wikipedia defines the theory of evolution:

Evolution: (As defined in the Urban Dictionary, given to us by Robert Gay, a biologist) The idea that organisms change over time, and that is change occurs through natural selection which allows favorable traits to be passed along through generations. It has been refered to as a theory, which, in science, means it is an idea that has not been disproven. Many scientists are moving towards calling it the Law of Evolution, similar to the Law of Gravity, in order to help reduce frivolous claims that it is "only a theory" by people ignorant of what a scientific theory entails.
Some (especially miseducated critics) refer to macro and microevolution. There is no such thing. Evolution is evolution. Fruit flys, rats, frogs, etc., have all been observed undergoing character change in laboritories, resulting in the inability to mate with other members of the base species (the control), thus forming a new species. Several examples of so-called macroevolution (the change at a genus level) have been observed by biologists in the rain forest. Furthermore, good fossil evidence shows transition between genera, and even higher taxanomic orders (incorrectly called Kingdom, Phylum, etc. - current work in phylogentic taxonomy does away with Linnean ranks). Representatives of higher order change in the fossil record includes change with fish, fish to amphibians, with amphibians, within reptiles, "reptiles" to dinosaurs, within dinosaurs, dinosaurs to "birds", within "birds", "reptiles" to mammals, within mammals, and other mammals to humans. I am not mentioning invertebrates here, as I do not deal with them in my line of work. See current molecular and physical phylogenetic phylogenies in Nature, Science, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, etc., all of which are peer reviewed, something most parties who oppose evolution will not do (publish in peer-reviewed journals).
Evolution has nothing to do with The Big Bang - that is astronomy, not biology.
The synthysis and subsequent radiation and adaptation of life is a wonderful and beautiful thing, and far more complex than the, "We don't look like fish, so can't have evolved," argument presented by many whom view evolution/natural selection as the work of the devil.

So, in actuality, evolution does not explain the origin of life. It explains that over time, the most basic of organisms, such as a single-celled organism, can over time, through mutation, natural selection, reproduction, and changes in the environment, can change this organism and its future generations of offspring into different types of organisms, whether they remain a single-celled organism or become multi-celled organisms. Also, the Big Bang and evolution are two completely different fields of science. The Big Bang, as explained earlier, is astronomy. Evolution is biology. So for all the religious and uneducated people, I hope this sheds some light on what evolution really is.

Newms34, a user on Urban goes further to explain some of the mistakes made by creationists and religious fundamentalists:

"Creationists often erroneously use to discount Evolution, bringing up half-baked ideas about how one or more "facts" disprove evolution, without bothering to actually know what they're talking about. However, a little care and attempt at education can easily clear up these mistakes:

1.) Evolution does NOT necessarily dictate that animals (or plants, or fungi, or whatever you fancy) must evolve into something more complex. If all animals over the size of cockroaches were wiped out tomorrow, that would be a form of evolution: the Cockroaches and smaller animals would be the surviving species, and "Survival of the Fittest" (a common saying used in evolution) would hold true.

2.) Evolution does NOT, I repeat NOT suggest that humans "magically appeared from crawling fish". Evolution takes time. HUGE amounts of time. We're talking about half a billion years here (~500,000,000)for the total evolution from the first protochordates into the modern Homo sapiens. Not a couple days. Not even a couple centuries. This time span is so long that it's often hard to comprehend. The changes were gradual, as some random "mistakes" in our DNA made some animals better able to adapt, and others not as able to adapt. It is NOT like throwing sand in the air and having it come down as a sand castle. It is, however, like sprinkling little tiny bits of sand here and there - sometimes a grain at a time - and eventually building up to a sandcastle. And sometimes having bits of the sandcastle knocked down.

3.) Species that died out, such as Homo neanderthalis (Neanderthal Man) are not counterexamples. In fact, it shows that two different species, with two different natural "sets of equipment", have different ways (and thus chances) of surviving or outlasting each other. We and Neanderthals DID stem from the same common ancestor. However, whereas Neanderthals had stocky, tough, but not to bright build, we went the lean and brainy root. That was fine for a little while, but soon we outcompeted them, and they died out.

4.) In regards to the comment above that some species were found in the wrong area: The earth moves. Ever see a volcano? An earthquake? Rocks don't always just sit there.

5.) Any educated biologist will not respond by saying "oh, you're right, evolution didn't happen."

Bill: But monkeys and fish look real different, so evolution must be wrong! Fish change into monkeys suddenly? LOL!

Jill: That's not really what Evolution says..."

In explanation #1, Newms34 shows that evolution doesn't simply mean that something just changes into something even more complex. There's a lot more to consider, which he/she further details with using extinction as an example.

In explanation #2, he/she explains that evolution is not something that takes place instantaneously, but happens over a long period of time, something a lot of ignorant people have trouble with.

In explanation #3, he/she explains that humans did not evolve from monkeys. However, there is evidence that we came from a common ancestor. If you compare the chromosome count of a chimpanzee and a human being, which are part of the Hominidae family, chimpanzees, like all other members of this family, have 24 pairs of chromosomes, while human beings have 23 pairs. If you look at the chromosome #2 of both organisms, you see that the chemicals of the DNA, telomere and centromere, fused millions of years ago, helping to show more human characteristics of our ancestors. Here is the link that explains this in more detail:
All of this doesn't just happen out of thin air, either. Random changes in our DNA make it possible. Again, this can happen during reproduction or natural selection.

In explanation #4, changes in the Earth's atmosphere and geographical changes also aid in the evolution of living organisms. And in explanation #5, anyone who is educated in this field or has any knowledge whatsoever is not just gonna dismiss such important information.

Now, let's move on to abiogenesis:

Abiogenesis: (As defined by Clicky Mic in the Urban Dictionary) The generation of life from non-living sources, by adding energy into the mix. Some creationists often confuse this phenomenon with evolution. They are not one in the same. Evolution is the process of CHANGE in life, not it's origin.

Abiogenesis = Origin
Evolution = Change

Creationist: The theory of evolution starts with life being created by random chance with matter and energy! As such, it disproves itself since no one around the world has opened a jar of peanut butter and found life in it!

Evolutionist: First, that's ABIOGENESIS, you @#%&tard. Also, peanut butter comes from peanuts, an already LIVING THING. How do you expect new life to be created from peanut butter, which is essentially dead peanuts?!

Creationist: . . . SHUT UP, I'M HOLY!!! *baps evolutionist on head with a cross*

Abiogenesis is defined by energy being a catalyst in starting life where there isn't any. Here is a much more detailed definition:

As explained in any high school biology class, for those that didn't drop out, amino acids are the building blocks of life. You cannot have a living organism without them. They can be formed through natural chemical reactions in some places and situations where there is no life, which explains the energy being used to start abiogenesis.

Amino acids build proteins, when reacting with nucleic acids. Abiogenesis suggests that the Earth was formed as a result of this chemical reaction and the forming of these acids. The oldest fossil was found in Glacier National Park (in Montana, for those who don't know where that is), in the Siyeh Formation, which is 3.5 billion years old. In short, this fossil contains the world's oldest fossilized microbes, which totally debunks the religious claims of the Earth being only 6,000 years old.

I hope that this blog helps people understand what evolution and abiogenesis is. As Clicky Mic and Newms34 said, abiogenesis is the origin of life, while evolution is the changing of life.

Evolution is a Blind Watchmaker by cdk007

Is God pro-life? by cdk007

Another thought provoking video.

Is Religion Battered Woman's Syndrome? by cdk007

Please read what cdk007 has to say about this. You'd be surprised with how many similarities religion has with Battered Woman's Syndrome. This video has truly been food for thought for me. But, please. Like the disclaimer in this video, I'm not telling you to abandon your religious beliefs. I'm just telling you to really think about it.

The Logic of God by cdk007

Why Young Earth Creationalists Are Wrong by cdk007

Part 1:

Part 2:

Big Numbers: A Concept Creationalists Don't Understand

Bill O'Reilly Gets Owned By Richard Dawkins

Bill O'Reilly is an example of Christians being afraid of knowledge and rational thinking. Richard Dawkins, like I feel, feels that religion is a bane in the existence for humanity. My question for the theists is this:

Why assume that your bible has all the answers, when you can see that modern science and technology has come through over the centuries, where your god hasn't?

The Human Design with Richard Dawkins and Randolph Nesse

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Fellow Atheist's Poinf of View

The Atheist Creed

This is the Atheist Creed. Many of you will ask where we get our morals from if we don't believe in any God or devil, and dismiss any religion. This is my answer, along with many other atheists.

TaylorX04's Making The Messiah

Let's see how well Jesus Christs stacks up to the actual qualities that actually make a messiah and how to tell apart a messiah from a false prophet:

Part 1: What do we know about the New Testament authors?

Part 2: Old Testament Interpretation

Part 3: Messiah who Missed the Mark

Part 4: The Not-So-Good News

Part 5: Sacrifice Denied

Part 6: The Second Coming--Coming Soon!

Part 7: Was Jesus a False Prophet?

Part 8: Disciples who Suffered and Died For a Lie

Questions for Theists

A fellow atheist on Youtube named ZOMGitsCriss came up with some really good questions that I think about often, and I would really like to hear what theists have to say to these. Here's the video:

And here is a break down of the questions she asked:

1. Would you be able to enjoy heaven knowing that people you love are tormented in hell?

2. How come so many times the all-knowing God doesn't seem to have a clue on what's gonna happen?

3. How do you justify God punishing Adam and Eve for something they did before having any knowledge about good and evil?

4. What will happen in the Afterlife to the people who never heard about your religion?

5. How do you justify an infinite punishment for a finite crime?

If you have a Youtube account, respond to ZOMGitsCriss. If you don't I want to read your answers and share them with her.