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Human origins:Biology vs. Creationism


TeleMad
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This is part of multi-section entry I am working on for my personal notes (the previous entries dealt with astronomy, geology, etc.).

 

Biology was one science conspicuously absent from the above discussion of an old Earth. The reason is, the main evidence biology has for an old Earth is evolution, which could be argued, but YECs, to not support an old Earth but rather to require one. YECs also claim that biologists reject evolution because “evolution is only a theory”…this is not so.

 

“We emphasize that the meaning of the word “theory”, when used by scientists, is not

“speculation” as it is in ordinary English usage. Failure to make this distinction has been

prominent in creationist challenges to evolution. The creationists have spoken of evolution as

“only a theory”, as if it were little better than a guess. In fact, the theory of evolution is supported

by such massive evidence that most biologists view repudiation of evolution as tantamount to

repudiation of reason.” (Cleveland P. Hickman Jr., Larry S. Roberts, & Allan Larson, WCB

McGraw-Hill, 1997, Integrated Principles of Zoology: 10th Edition, p13)

 

Anyway, let’s see how the two explanations fair for a key biological event…the origin of humans. The scientific explanation for the origin of humans is, of course, evolution; while the YEC position is special creation (divine intervention)

 

Scientific origin of humans

What does science have that verifies its position that humans are the results of evolution? Fully supported and demonstrated underlying principles, for one. Science has shown that DNA stores genetic information, in its base sequences. Science has shown that it is the genotype (genetic makeup) of an organism that determines its phenotype (outward appearance or biochemical properties). Science has shown that changes made to DNA base sequences result in altered phenotypes. Science has shown that mutations – changes in the DNA (that can be inherited) – can occur spontaneously, changing the information stored and therefore the phenotype. Thus, there is a fully supported scientific explanation for why organisms are as they are as well as how their morphology/appearance can change over time, completely naturally. Logic and experimentation have shown the next key factor: natural selection. Because of individual differences in members of a population, some will be more fit than others: in the particular environment the population finds itself in, some individuals will have a better chance of surviving and/or reproducing, thus having a better chance of passing on their own genes to the next generation. As part of adapting to the environment, associated with changes in the allelic frequencies of the population, comes changes in appearance: the population is evolving. Thus, there is a fully supported scientific explanation for how populations evolve. In addition to all of the sound reasoning that indicates speciation would occur in the wild, science also has documented cases of such (for both plants and animals); and speciation is a macroevolutionary event. Thus, science has a fully supported theoretical model for speciation which has been confirmed by observations.

 

The rest is often times said to be nothing more than extrapolation...because microevolution and speciation have been observed in the short amount of time that biologists have been examining organisms, there is reason to believe that additional time would allow for larger scale evolution, such “humans from chimps” (sticking with the common misconception). But is this just extrapolation? No. There is scientific evidence that supports the notion of humans and chimps sharing a common ancestor. First, human and chimp DNA is between 95% and 99% identical (it depends upon whether or not one counts insertions and deletions). Second, the banding patterns of human chromosomes is nearly identical to that of chimps (and some other primates, such as orangutans). Third, one of

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Darn, I just took the time to try the links and not one of them takes you to the proper web page anymore. I LIKE BOOKS! Their pages don't just up an disappear on you! Anyway, the sites are still there, so I assume that searches of a given site will lead those interested to the appropriate pages.

 

PS: I just got the two links for the mitochondrial genome part fixed.

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TeleMad, I just edited your text to correct the links. There is something strange with the edit function which messes up links. The easiest way to fix it is to remove everything surrounding the URL (ie, the "L" tags) and just leave the URL alone - it should parse correctly then.

 

I'll catch up with your post later. Good work, though.

 

Tormod

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TeleMad, earlier I posted How can evolution develop both male and female, two different beings? Being a non scientist I seemed to not express myself clearly on my question. My question is not about evolution but how was it possible that, after the big bang or other theories, the evolutionary process knew or had intentions on creating a male for a female, vice versa, for reproductive purposes. I can understand GOD creating male and female at one time, and I can understand how a single existing being can evolved. I am just having a hard time in understanding how the evolutionary process could have INTENTIONS to create male and female species for reproductive purposes. I just can't see evolution creating male and female unintentionally, without the objective of reproduction. Thanks

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hey aldon, my name's wisdumn. seems you're going through the same basic argument that has been happening on another thread called "The Creator". yeah it's funy how that big bang or evolution or whatever it was just had intelligence enough to do anything on it's own. but don't worry, the scientific mind has a hard time justifying anything it can't see with it's eyes. for a scientist it has to be 2+2=4 or it gets rejected. scientists probably don't believe in love either since it can't be mathematically added.

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Originally posted by: aldon

TeleMad, earlier I posted How can evolution develop both male and female, two different beings?

I saw that thread and thought it could be a good one to discuss.

Being a non scientist I seemed to not express myself clearly on my question.

I thought you did a reasonable enough job to get it started. Let it develop, Don't expect too much in one reply. If all you wanted was to read one thing that gave the total answer, Google would probably be better. The value to this site is on going discussion.

My question is not about evolution but how was it possible that, after the big bang or other theories, the evolutionary process knew or had intentions on creating a male for a female,

1) yes your questions IS about Evolution

2) NO your question is NOT about the BB it has NOTHING to do with it.

3) there is nothing valid about trying to anthropomophize Evolution. Evolution does not KNOW anything nor did it have any "intentions". You are arbitrarily assigning human characteristics to Evolution.

vice versa, for reproductive purposes. I can understand GOD creating male and female at one time,

Strange I can't! Why would an all powerful, perfect being create such a horrible system that is so filled with waste and horrendeous results? More that 65% of all fertilized human eggs fail to come to term naturally. Most going thru spontaneous "natural" abortion and never even implant. This would make the god/ creator not only a supporter of abortion, but the most prolific one of all times!

and I can understand how a single existing being can evolved.

So you do accept Evolution, Good!

I am just having a hard time in understanding how the evolutionary process could have INTENTIONS

No one blames you there. There is absolutely no reason to think "evolutionary process could have INTENTIONS". That is just a failure of logic used by creationists.

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Originally posted by: wisdumn

yeah it's funy how that big bang or evolution or whatever it was just had intelligence enough to do anything on it's own.

What makes you think the BB posessed intelligence? Show me this intelligent BB. The Big Bang was an occurence, not an entity. Your assertion is analogous to lightning being smart enough to know which golfer to strike. Please provide some proof of this ridiculously absurd proposal.

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