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Cubist



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Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2011,15:22   

Quote (Southstar @ Nov. 08 2011,07:05)
My brother is getting sucked into the evil sect of creationist people who for some wild reason that is above mindboggeling suggest that evolution is just a theory an bla bla bla.
Well, evolution is "just a theory". The thing is, saying that evolution is "just a theory" is kind of like saying that Bill Gates is "just a multibillionaire" -- it's nothing more than a rhetorical flourish intended to cast unwarranted doubt upon its subject. Creationists who say evolution is "just a theory" are counting on their listeners to understand that statement as using the common vernacular meaning of 'theory', which is basically 'a wild guess', never mind the fact that in the context of science, a 'theory' is a well-tested idea that successfully explains a whole lot of data.

Quote (Southstar @ Nov. 08 2011,07:46)
Is there any direct evidence that microevolution leads to macroevolution. Feel free to quote studies.
What's going to stop 'microevolution' from leading to 'macroevolution'? Arguing that the former doesn't lead to the latter, is very much like saying that yes, you can walk 5 steps, but it's clearly impossible to walk 5,000,000 steps. Demand details. Where's the barrier that prevents microevolution from leading to macroevolution? How does this alleged barrier prevent new mutations from occuring?
Also: Since this is a Creationist question, ask your Creationist 'friends' to define 'microevolution' and 'macroevolution'. It's a damn good bet that 'microevolution (as defined by Creationists)' cannot lead to 'macroevolution (as defined by Creationists)' -- but unless they're defining those terms the same way real scientists do, they're refuting a caricature of evolutionary theory, and a refutation of a caricature is a caricature of a refutation.
So ask your Creationist 'friends' what they mean by 'microevolution' and 'macroevolution'. Be sure to point out how and where their definitions differ from the definitions used by real scientists. And if their definitions contain vague/undefined terms, demand that they define those vague terms. If they say "macroevolution is a change from one kind to another", ask them what a 'kind' is, and how the heck you can even tell which 'kind' an arbitrary critter belongs to.

Quote (Southstar @ Nov. 08 2011,14:05)
One thing that I keep getting back is that fossils that are found are placed in species according to whim of whoever finds the fossil. ... The main example they throw out is well you see the fossils you find are all extinct apes except for Neaderthals they were human.
If that's what they're saying about fossils, point them at the Comparison of all skulls page, a collection of Creationist "human or ape?" pronouncements about six different fossil specimens -- and the amusing bit is, Creationists themselves can't make up their minds which fossils are human and which are apes! This is very curious indeed. Because if the difference between 100% human!!1! and 100% ape!11! actually was as obvious/evident as Creationists assert it to be, shouldn't Creationist judgments about these specimens be 100% consistent? Alas (for Creationists...), those judgments aren't 100% consistent.
For maximum hilarity, look at the cases where a Creationist has changed their mind about whether or not any given Specimen X is human or ape. PS Taylor, in a 1992 publication, asserted that both Java Man and Peking Man were 100% apes -- but he declared them both to be 100% human in a 1996 publication. Similarly, Duane Gish declared the KNM-ER 1470 (Homo habilis) specimen to be 100% human in a 1979 publication, but a 1985 Gish publication declared that specimen to be 100% ape.
So... if a Creationist says "Neanderthal human, everything else ape", point out that Duane Gish says Java Man was an ape, and ask them what they know that Duane freaking Gish doesn't?

  
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