Monday, May 18, 2009

Does evolution really happen? (Part 3)

You may remember that in my recent blog on evolution, I invited corrections and dissenting opinions. When I received none within the first few days, I went on with my life. Well folks, somebody answered. He or she posted as my superego. While I'm glad for Freud's contribution, I'm really not so Freudian myself. But if I were, I would say that my own superego is much harder on me than this person will ever be.

My point is that I didn't write this, just to clear up any possible confusion. You can find the full text of SuperEgo's argument in the comments for "Does evolution really happen? (Part 2)." I'll be quoting the whole thing anyway in small blue text. To any that might wonder, I don't intend in the future to answer every criticism or flame offered. But if I think it's interesting, or if it poses an interesting question, why not?

1) You state that Microevolution is a proven scientific fact. But then you state that evolution is unproven . . . which is it?

Building on this, over thousands, millions, or billions of years of microevolution, or minor changes in a species, the changes become overwhelming and develop a new species, hence macroevolution.

Even today we are seeing evolution. Just watch the evening news. The H1N1, or swine flu virus, evolved from a form the human flu being in pig DNA. It has been evolving since the 1930's and 40's.


. I was saying "evolution" when I really meant "macroevolution." Let's call that creative license for the sake of convention. Now to clarify, the example SuperEgo lists is a classic case of microevolution, or "species variation." Macroevolution would be if the swine flu virus had evolved into a fish.

2) Car keys. We all know that car keys and non-organic matter cannot evolve into life. Please do not be-little your SuperEgo. Carbon is the foundation for all things life. All living matter has to be made out of Carbon. That is all I will say about your "Transformers" argument.

Does anyone remember an episode of the original Star Trek series that featured an alien species called the "Horta?" If not, feel free to revel in your non-nerdiness.

The Horta were a silicon-based life form. (I know. I know. They look like hamburger meat. Get over it.) This was a point of interest because all life as we know it is carbon-based, as SuperEgo points out. It's also one of many reasons Star Trek is a nerdy sort of way.

My example of keys coming to life used the example of an object that is not carbon-based. Fair enough. But I also have two rods made of carbon fiber in the guitar neck I'm working on. Should I be worried?

There are reasons why carbon is so conducive to the formation of living organisms. One might look at that and see evidence for intelligent design, or one might not. Interestingly enough, some scientists have hypothesized that silicon might also be a plausible candidate for the formation of life. From an evolutionary standpoint, perhaps the Transformers are no so far-fetched.

3) Hitler was a nut. Do not place Hitler near Darwin. Hitler used the Jews to create a common enemy for the people. In a way he was right; he was annihilated by the allies, a superior group of people.

Darwin was close to becoming a priest and the whole time believed he was discovering how God created the universe and life; the same is true of Newton and Galileo, all of whom were impeded by the church.

SuperEgo makes a good point here. I realized it before he pointed it out, but didn't have the conviction to remove the statement I made. I will leave it so that my retraction makes sense as well.

The link between Darwin and Hitler is a real hot button for many evolutionists, and with good reason. The holocaust was a horror movie come to life. And it's not fair to ask evolutionists to own that. I get frustrated when people fixate on the Inquisition or the Crusades. How much worse is it to blame evolutionists for the holocaust?

So I offer my apologies on that point, although for the sake of clarification it should be noted that Darwin eventually became a self-confessed agnostic.

4) Every animal group has a small percentage that exhibit homosexual behavior. Even though they do not breed, the majority of the species, which is not homosexual, does breed and the species lives on. There is no "Gay Gene;" it is the brain's chemical makeup.

I thought I was clear on this point, but maybe I wasn't, so let me restate myself. I was pointing out that belief in a biological root for homosexuality is inconsistent with a belief in evolution. (Here, I do actually mean evolution in the general sense, and not macroevolution.) If, as SuperEgo posits, homosexuality has a chemical cause, would that not also logically be bred out through natural selection?

Since I have written enough I will not go on, but I do have more. I will leave you with this last thought.

Without citing the Bible, i.e. I am the Alpha and Omega yadda yadda yadda, how did God come to exist? Your answer "He has always been." I know the response, but how is this less of a stretch than life evolving?

This may be a question better left for another day. It's a big one, and my answer concerns the limitations of the human mind. I like the question, but c'mon... Give me more credit. Sure, I could throw some Bible verses at you, but all that would demonstrate is that the doctrine is intrinsic to the religions that support the authority of the Bible.

Thanks again to SuperEgo for the response. And thanks for reading!



  1. alright... i'm in. i'll bookmark your blog. but you'd better entertain me.

    doubtful you'd remember me, but we shared a senior high i at glen lake... summer of 1991 maybe?

    as for my substantive comment, i don't think we should discount darwin's potential faith simply because of his acquired agnosticism... isn't the essence of faith doubt, rather than certainty? what faith is required of someone who is certain?

  2. Was it cabin 23? I always stayed in that cabin. And welcome. I subscribed to your blog too, just in case you ever actually post something. :)

    You ask a good question. As for Darwin, it's really hard to say where he ended up on his faith journey. I was careful to identify him as a "self-confessed agnostic." Whether he was truly agnostic or not, I suppose only he and God knew. But he called himself that.


  3. Solid . . . your SuperEgo speaks again.
    Your offer intrigued me. Debate the origins of life, opening your mind to the outside world. Mind you . . . you invited me into your blog and your life.

    You still think that it is either God or evolution, it cannot be both. You did not catch my main point, but I digress.

    1) I brought up the swine flu to show how a normal human flu gene can evolve into a completely different virus. The swine flu did not just come into being; it evolved over a period of 60 years. This is due to viruses having a faster evolutionary scale than humans or other animals. Point being, it evolved into something totally different, hence evolution.
    Secondly, you want to make a jump from chimpanzee to man; the “missing link” as you put it. There is no “missing link,” but a record of fossils that show the story. Through Carbon dating, yes I know that word Carbon again, scientists calculate the age of the fossils.

    As scientists find more fossils to add to the record, the “missing link” argument becomes more of a falsehood held onto by the creationist movement. To this your SuperEgo warns you: Do not fill in the holes of Science with God because as those holes are answered, God becomes smaller.

    2) Although there are theories that there could be silicon based life forms on other planets, I am arguing from the scientific facts. Facts tend to have a liberal bias. *Smiles* When I was debating you I thought you were a thoughtful man yearning for an honest debate on creationism vs. evolution; but now, I can see I am wrong. When all life on this planet is Carbon based, you bring up an inanimate object that happens to be Carbon coming to life. Need I say more? When you have a true argument I will follow suit, but please don’t belittle me with childish hogwash.

    3) You are beginning to see the light on this one. Darwin’s faith is his own, as is everybody’s. Notice I have never once ridiculed your faith of God. To say that Darwin’s point is invalid because later in life he became agnostic is pointless. Being agnostic takes nothing away from his findings. Remember that Darwin discovered evolution in the 1800s. There have been over 160 years of research and fossil records discovered to support the main point of evolution.

    4) Homosexuality. For homosexuality to be passed out of the gene pool through extinction, it would first have to be a gene. I did state this previously. I said that it is the chemical makeup of the brain that determines the sexual orientation of the living organism. I am going to add a link to a video you should watch from CNN.
    Notice that the child was born a biological male, but has the chemical makeup of a female. This does happen within the minority of all species. It is not genetically passed down.

    5) I eagerly await your reply to my main question. I too know the whole argument about the “limitations of the human mind.” This argument is a paradox. Religions teach this argument all over the world as a last resort when all others fail. For example, debate a Mormon at length. When you demolish all of their arguments as to the existence of Maroni and the planet Kolab they say, “Well I feel the conviction in my heart; that is how I know I am right.” How am I supposed to logically argue with that? The same is true with the “limitations of the human mind.”
    My main point is that religion is less about science than it is about faith. Faith is a fruit of the spirit and is not to be confused with fact. The world, what you see, what you touch, what we can prove is fact. The theory that an invisible god watches us from above is faith. No matter how much you think I am wrong about this, the fact will always remain until the supposed second coming.

    Please come back with grown up arguments next time.

  4. SuperEgo,

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment. I'll respond briefly.

    First of all, as for the whole either/or thing, not true. Did you also read "Does evolution really happen? (Part 1)," where I presented a reconciliation of evolution and orthodox Christian theology?

    1.) To your first point, please read what I have written above. To your second point, my original argument was simply that there are gaps in the fossil records of every case of evolution.

    Incidentally, we're on the same page with the "God in the gaps" argument.

    2.) Well, you're just trying to insult me here. So I guess...I'm rubber, you're glue? I dunno.

    3.) I agree. I only pointed it out because you said the "whole time." In retrospect, I think you probably meant during the period he was writing "On the Evolution of Species." (Why can't I italicize or underline in comments? Grr.)

    4.) Did we watch the same video? The one I watched didn't present any evidence on brain chemistry. I'd be interested to read some scholarly studies that support your argument. Can you point me in the right direction?

    5.) I'll get around to answering it at some point, in some form or another. For now, let me point out the flaw in your logic. Your priority places God within the boundaries of time. If there is an omnipotent being that created all things, time is a part of that being's creation. In order to conceive of that being, one must think beyond the boundaries of time, including concepts like "before" and "after."

    It sounds like you have more to say, and I'd be glad to discuss it further. Perhaps we could talk more privately through email. What do you say?


  5. Kat--you are awesome! :)

    Great discussion, folks. I'm reading along, and learning some too, I hope!