When I first started learning piano, I had to learn to hit one key while simultaneously releasing another.

Well, for the life of me I couldn’t do it. I kept getting closer and closer, shortening the time between when I let one key go and hit the next key, halving the silence in between notes, but I just couldn’t eliminate it. I couldn’t shorten it to zero.

My piano teacher said I was thinking about it wrong. Said that instead of trying to shorten the time to zero, I should hit both keys simultaneously, let the keys overlap, and then shorten the overlap instead. In essence reverse the process.

I instantly got it.

You are one of the few people I’ve ever had this discussion with that I completely trust. I have zero doubt in my mind you are genuinely trying to understand my position (and it is a breath of fresh air, and I thank you so much for it!).

Nonetheless, I think you have, without being aware of it, adopted a point of view which is self sabotaging. The theory of evolution must overcome your objections. In this way, even if it’s true, no matter how much evidence there is, all your good faith discussions can do is half the distance to getting there.

The problem, it seems to me, is that you’ve been taught a pigeon version of what the “theory” is, what it claims, how it works, and what evidence supports it. You’ve also been taught objections based on this misunderstanding. Then, when someone tries to correct these objections, it has to overcome both a faulty understanding of the theory, and a suspicion of that theory and ANY evidence supporting it based on that prior faulty understanding.

It becomes a vicious cycle that’s rather hard to break. It’s swimming upstream, and is immensely frustrating.

So let me start out with a suggestion….

I’ve been known to refute some of the claims of the bible.

However, when I do this, I ALWAYS do it with a FULL understanding of those claims. I usually look at multiple translations, consider the difficulties with the original source material, cultural problems, and always get my original understanding of biblical interpretation from ministers and priests, not scientists. I get it from the people who believe it so that I know I’m understanding what’s being said. Please believe me when I tell you I know far more about the bible (both the verse and tradition of it) than the vast majority of Christians I encounter.

And yet when religious people want to understand science, they often go to the same priests and ministers. Or they learn it from internet memes.

I don’t know where you learned evolution from, but I know for a fact it’s not from experts. I know for a fact that the average 8th grader understands the theory better than you (I teach 8th grade, I’m not going ad hominym, I’m saying, you’re understanding is that poor…).

I don’t think it’s fair to judge a theory when you’ve not learned it from people who believe it. Who’ve studied it. Do you? I think you should know a scientific theory well before you say it’s false, don’t you? I have to tell you, you simply haven’t met that bar. Not remotely. And I’ve had to repeat myself because I’m fighting pre-conceptions you refuse to let go of.

So now I have to work out of this deficit. I’m not a scientist, this isn’t my specialty, and you already think it’s silly (despite the overwhelming evidence).

 

Many things sound silly until you understand and fully assimilate the knowledge. Oftentimes once you do, not only does it make perfect sense, but you wonder why you ever questioned it. The notion that the sun does not go around the earth is one such thing… This notion was scandalous when it first came out, and was thought to be absolutely silly.

Most people, once they understand evolution, sit there and say to themselves “oh… I get it… Of course!”

Indeed, that’s why there are so few people, even the deeply religious who, once they truly get it, once they get their understanding from real science sources, don’t come to the conclusion it’s true. There are hold outs, of course (there are people who think that the earth is flat, come to that). But if you approach it with an open mind, it usually becomes clear. Now you and I may have many similar objections to Catholicism, but even the Pope (who’s not to shabby on his understanding of the bible) has reached the conclusion that evolution is a fact.

It always amazes me… people ask

  • “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys”
  • “If evolution were real, why did it stop”
  • “Evolution can’t create differences in kind”
  • “There have never been any transitional fossils”

These arguments would appear to destroy evolution. Yet common sense suggests that if evolution were so fragile such that that it could be destroyed by a single meme, people getting their Ph D’s in the subject should have noticed that by now. So maybe there’s a disconnect in the understanding.

Now you’ve been asking questions, and I’ve actually given you the only answer you need – all evolution is micro evolution. If you start from a common ancestor, and to evolves, and it’s got billions and billions and billions to the billions power of offspring, the changes start to add up, and start to group up using a process called natural selection. New species began to form. At first these species were all nearly identical. Over time, they changed, and changed very differently.

The tree of life shows that change, and who and what came from where.

Now you asked me –  well how did a fish become a person.

Where did people come from fish? We didn’t… We co evolved from a common, aquatic ancestor 3.7 million years ago.

I’ve actually already answered that. You’re making the same mistake you’ve made repeatedly time, and time, and time again. It was an immensely slow process, and it wasn’t a fish becoming a person, but an incalculable number of incremental steps.

If you REALLY want to know, yes, there are books on the process, but here’s what’s going to happen-you’re going to look at it, and accuse science of gish gallop, because the process took billions of years, and so the explanation is a touch lengthy.

But this is the problem. You seem to be missing the forest for the trees. Once you understand the entire process, once you see how it works, and that there is NEVER this change in kind that you’re stuck on, then I don’t think you’re going to be so eager to read a book explaining the full billion year process for a fish to come onto land (though it’s there if you want it, I know people who have read it).

 

I know people who think the earth Is flat. I argue it wasn’t. They say “Well then tell me how we landed on the moon?” Well… I have to tell you, that’s not an easy one to answer. I’d need like twelve Ph. D’s. But if I don’t come up with the answer, somehow this mean’s the earth is flat… Because I couldn’t answer that one question.

Doesn’t matter I’ve got a billion proofs for round earth, doesn’t matter that you can get a book on exactly how it was done… Again, if you pre-assume flat earth, then everyone has to overcome your objections despite the mountain of evidence that the earth is round.

The problem is you seem to deliberately be looking for reasons to undermine the theory, so I’m not sure there is such a thing as sufficient evidence to convince you.

Let’s assume for a minute it’s true, that evolution is true. What would it take to convince you?

What would it take?

Again, you haven’t actually taken a real look at what we have, but the evidence is STAGGERING, and it agrees across independent fields of study.

 

  • Embryology: Many animals actually DO have gills in the womb, or tails (including us, and some humans are born with it. We have a tail bone, and fossil records show where we got it from).
  • DNA: We can trace where DNA came from and the history of a spices
  • Anthropology: Compare whale bones, bones of species, and you’ll find the structures are similar and grew in a similar tangential way. Wale flippers have arm, wrist, hand, and finger bones just like us, but stopped developing them. And they’re not fish, they’re Mammals! There’s a reason this is important! We have tail bones!
  • Archaeology: We’ve found fossils that fit all throughout this entire process, confirming it, helping support the timeline, showing us which species traveled where and how and why they developed the traits they did and how long it took.

 

These and other fields, all unrelated, all concur, and I’ve just started on the evidence.

I hope you don’t mind, but the evidence is so, so, so much more than this, but this isn’t my field of specialty. Really an evolutionary biologist could tell you so much more, and there’s so much more evidence. I think 12 different, unrelated scientific disciplines.

I’m not sure how you argue with that, but “It’s just a theory” seems inadequate. Certainly, again, I think it’s frustrating when someone who doesn’t quite understand it tries to refute it, says “well, there’s no evidence for it”.

And nearly every species on the planet have vestigial bones (like our tailbone), that help you track where it came from. Wales have leg bones (why?).

Again, I REALLY know the bible before I argue against it. And I learn it from the religious, not from atheists. I think you need to learn more about this, and from scientists or teachers, not priests.

“Well, nobody observed the start, so it doesn’t count”

Well, I think this is a double standard. The evidence, at this point, for evolution, strikes me as far, far, far in excess of any evidence for any medical claim of that of the bible. We’ve proven micro evolution, it’s proven all the time, and if you understand Darwin, that’s the ONLY claim Darwin makes. That’s it. It’s the ballgame. That’s all he claimed. And everything else is achievable. If you think man can not come from apes with microevolution, then you don’t understand microevolution.

I mean… Your argument is “Well, yes, there’s continental drift of a centimeter a year, but that doesn’t explain how you get from one supercontinent, Pangea, which has tiny rivers in it, to having huge oceans” (yeah, that’s EXACTLY what it explains…. Over time)

What you’re not getting is that… given enough time, these species changes add up to what you seem to call “another kind”. Spices drift apart over time, and over time get further and further apart. All changes, even this imaginary “kind” are accounted for with enough time. And while no “fish” became a “human” (we say that because it’s a brief way of saying what actually happened. And you’re not an ape, but you’re not not an ape either, and this ontological stuff misses the point), we evolved from a common aquatic ancestor, yes (and it’s much easier to say we evolved from fish, but yes, then people pigeonhole the argument, so I don’t know what to do, it’s a lose lose).

But I think it’s fair to say your grasp of both evolution and just how much evidence truly supports it is very, very tenuous. And I think it’s fair to say that if one is going to argue against something, one should understand it well. And I have to tell you, you do not understand the clams here well at all. I’ve repeatedly answered your questions. That you keep asking the same ones over is not for my lack of understanding the question, I get exactly what you’re driving at. You don’t understand the answer.

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