The Regurgiposting Creationist
Below is an exchange between a creationist and a scientist, Paul A. Poland, which took place on my Message Board. It's obvious that, like many creationists, this one merely cuts and pastes material from one of the myriad creationist sites on the 'net which has been refuted time and again . Paul A. Poland's responses are in blue text.
Paul A. Poland has a Masters Degree in Biology (West Virginia University 1990) and is currently a Research Specialist, Level IV at the University of Pittsburgh.
The creationist begins with:
Let's review shall we.
1. The Law of Biogenesis
Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the law of biogenesis. The theory of evolution conflicts with this scientific law by claiming that life came from nonliving matter through natural processes.
What creationist web site are you regurgiposting this crap from?
"Spontaneous generation" refers to things like rotting meat turning into flies, or mud turning into tadpoles, NOT abiogenesis.
As always, abiogenesis has NOTHING to do with the validity of the Theory of Evolution. It doesn't matter HOW life arose - once it did, it evolved (changed over time).
2. Acquired Characteristics
Acquired characteristics cannot be inherited. For example, the long necks of giraffes did not result from their ancestors stretching their necks to reach high leaves. Nor can large muscles acquired by a man in a weight-lifting program be inherited by his child. While almost all evolutionists agree that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited, many unconsciously slip into this erroneous belief. On occasion, Darwin did.
Care to give an example ?
However, hostile environments of a few animals and plants sometimes cause their offspring to express various defenses. New genetic traits are not created; instead, the environment can switch on genetic machinery already present.
Pure, unadulterated bovine fecal matter - mutations (alterations in DNA) are KNOWN to exist, most are neutral. However, if the environment changes, the previously neutral traits can become beneficial. A population can harbor quite a range of neutral mutations.
Some articles for you abusement :
"Adaptive evolution of a DUPLICATED pancreatic ribonuclease gene in a leaf-eating monkey", J Zhang, Y-P Zhang, HF Rosenberg, Nature (Genetics) 30:April 2002, pg 411-415 - ONLY colombine monkeys have RNAse1B and RNAse1; all other primates have ONLY RNAse1.
"Natural selection and the ORIGIN of jingwei, a chimeric processed functional gene in Drosophila", M Long, CH Ling, Science 260: 2 April 1993, pg 91-95; this gene exists ONLY in sister species D. yakuba and D. teisseri (formed from parts of other genes).
"Origin of sphinx, a young chimeric RNA gene in Drosophila melanogaster", W Wang, FG Brunet, E Nevo, M Long, PNAS 99(7) pg 4448-4453; gene exists ONLY in D melanogaster - all other species have the parts, but NOT the gene.
The marvel is that genetic machinery already exists to handle various contingencies, not that the environment or "a need" can produce the machinery.
Mutations are caused by failure of the usual DNA replication systems; some are caused by synthesis by error-PRONE DNA polymerases.
Also, rates of variation within a kind (microevolution, not macroevolution) increase enormously when organisms are under stress, such as starvation.
Translation - the rates of MUTATION increase under stress, due to dilution of hsp90 (a chaperone protein that folds slightly misfolded proteins - converts slightly deleterious mutations to neutral), and other procedures (bacteria can ramp their mutagenic rate about 10^5 X under stress).
The word "kind" has NEVER been defined - hence, it is meaningless.
3. Mendel's Laws
Microevolution vs. Macroevolution. macroevolution would require an upward change in the complexity of certain traits and organs. Microevolution involves only horizontal (or downward) changesno increasing complexity.
Where did you EVER get those bullcrap definitions?
Microevolution - change in allele frequencies in a population.
Macroevolution - change at or above the species level (if a new species forms, macroevolution has occurred. Speciation has been observed; therefore, macro evolution is true.)
Gain in complexity is NOT required - if becoming simpler grants a reproductive advantage (as it did for parasites), then the organisms will become simpler.
Because science should always base conclusions on what is seen and reproducible, what is observed? We see variations in lizards. We also see birds. Unquestionable in-between forms (or intermediates), which should be vast in number if macroevolution occurred, are never seen (conclusively) as fossils or living species.
They are seen in the fossil record - its just that creationists absolutely REFUSE to accept them. And who said there should be VAST numbers of them - considering how rare fossilization is in the first place, its lucky we have any at all ! (A prime example is Archaeopteryx)
A careful observer can usually see unbelievable discontinuities in these claimed upward changes.
Nope - they would see quite believable continuities in these changes (unless, of course, they are wearing their Bible Blinderstm).
Mendel's laws of genetics and their modern-day refinements explain almost all physical variations observed in living things. Mendel discovered that genes (units of heredity) are merely reshuffled from one generation to another. Different combinations are formed, not different genes. The different combinations produce many variations within each kind of life, such as in the dog family. A logical consequence of Mendel's laws is that there are limits to such variation. Breeding experiments>b and common observationsc have also confirmed these boundaries.
Genes can change over time.
I must ask again - WHERE did you regurgipost this from ? (I've noticed unnatural letters lying about - as highlighted above). Posting something someone else wrote without citation is PLAGIARISM and a violation of copyright !
While Mendel's laws give a theoretical explanation why variations are limited, there is broad experimental verification as well. For example, if evolution happened, organisms (such as bacteria) that quickly produce the most offspring, should have the most variations and mutations.
And that is PRECISELY what we see !
Natural selection would then select the more favorable changes, allowing organisms with those traits to survive, reproduce, and pass on their beneficial genes. Organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have traits that allowed them to progress the furthest; namely, short reproduction cycles and many offspring.
Other factors may counteract this trend - your "model" is too simplistic. Also, MODERN bacteria are just as evolved as us (you seem to be stuck on the "ladder of being" model discarded decades ago).
We see the opposite. In general, more complex organisms, such as humans, have fewer offspring and longer reproduction cycles. Again, variations within existing organisms appear to be bounded.
ERROR !! ERROR !! Unjustified jump in phylogeny - you leapt from bacteria to humans, presumably based on the mistake of assuming evolution has a goal - the creation of humans.
Natural selection cannot produce new genes; it only selects among preexisting characteristics.
Unfortunately for you, new characteristics (ie, genes) can be generated by mutation.
As the word "selection" implies, variations are reduced, not increased. For example, many mistakenly believe that resistances "evolve" in response to pesticides and antibiotics.
They are excellent examples of microevolution - a mutation that renders them more fit in the toxic environment becomes more common in the population.
Sometimes, a previously lost capability is reestablished, making it appear something evolved.
Sometimes, a mutation or variation damaging to the bacteria reduces the antibiotics effectiveness even more. Sometimes nonresistant bacteria appropriate genes from resistant bacteria. Sometimes, a few resistant insects and bacteria were already present when the pesticides and antibiotics were first applied. When the vulnerable insects and bacteria were killed, resistant varieties had less competition and, therefore, proliferated.
In other words, natural selection works.
While natural selection occurred, nothing evolved and, in fact, some biological diversity was lost.
So what - mutation will restock the diversity given enough time.
The variations Darwin observed among finches on different Galapagos islands is another example of natural selection producing micro- (not macro-) evolution. While natural selection sometimes explains the survival of the fittest, it does not explain the origin of the fittest. Actually, natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes.
Bullcrap - if a major change occurs and it is BENEFICIAL to the organism, then natural selection will make it more common. Where ever did you get the pathetically simple idea that natural selection PREVENTS major changes ?
The abuse continues :
Humans and many animals will endanger or even sacrifice their lives to save anothersometimes the life of another species. Natural selection, which evolutionists say explains all individual characteristics, should rapidly eliminate altruistic (self-sacrificing) "individuals". How could such risky behavior ever be inherited, because its possession tends to prevent the altruistic "individual" from passing on its genes for altruism? If evolution were correct, selfish behavior should have completely eliminated unselfish behavior. Furthermore, cheating and aggressiveness should have "weeded out" cooperation. Altruism contradicts evolution.
Pure bovine fecal material. Social insects have ONE fertile queen - all the rest are sterile, and so cannot pass on their genes directly. By keeping the queen alive, THEIR genes are passed to the next generation by proxy. Evolution deals with POPULATIONS, NOT INDIVIDUALS. If giving up a few of your cells enabled you to live long enough to reproduce, would you have a problem sacrificing them ? No ? Situation similar in "altruist" insects - since those dying were sterile, they can only assist in keeping the lineage around.
12. Extraterrestrial Life?
No verified form of extraterrestrial life of any kind has ever been observed. If evolution had occurred on earth, one would expect at least simple forms of life, such as microbes, would have been found by the elaborate experiments sent to the Moon and Mars.
Abiogenesis has NOTHING to do with the validity of the Theory of Evolution.
Children as young as seven months understand grammatical rules. Furthermore, studies of 36 documented cases of children raised without human contact (feral children) suggest that language is learned only from other humans. Apparently, humans do not automatically speak. If this is so, the first humans must have been endowed with a language ability. There is no evidence language evolved.
Right - and MODERN English is PRECISELY the same as Middle English.
Did language evolve? Charles Darwin claimed it did. If so, the earliest languages should be the simplest. On the contrary, language studies show that the more ancient the language (for example: Latin, 200 B.C.; Greek, 800 B.C.; and Vedic Sanskrit, 1500 B.C.), the more complex it is with respect to syntax, case, gender, mood, voice, tense, and verb form. The best evidence indicates that languages devolve; that is, they become simpler instead of more complex. Most linguists reject the idea that simple languages evolve into complex languages.
Name one that does not have a copy of the New Testament stuffed between his ears.
Evolution does NOT require an increase in complexity.
Speech is uniquely human. Humans have both a "prewired" brain capable of learning and conveying abstract ideas, and the physical anatomy (mouth, throat, tongue, larynx, etc.) to produce a wide range of sounds. Only a few animals can approximate some human sounds.
Because the human larynx is low in the neck, a long air column lies above the vocal cords. This is important for making vowel sounds. Because apes lack this long air column, they cannot make clear vowel sounds. The back of the human tongue, extending deep into the neck, modulates the air flow to help produce consonant sounds. Apes have flat, horizontal tongues, incapable of making consonant sounds. Even if an ape could evolve all the physical equipment for speech, that equipment would be useless without a "prewired" brain for learning language skills, especially grammar and vocabulary.
Our "high" larynx makes it much easier to choke than other animals. Humans merely have more of certain brain cells than apes - the differences are a matter of DEGREE, not KIND.
15. Codes and Programs
In our experience, codes are produced only by intelligence, not by natural processes or chance. A code is a set of rules for converting information from one useful form to another.
Physics can provide the rules - now, if creationists can only define "information" as some form of coherent or stable form instead of waffling between the various definitions ...
Examples include Morse code and braille. The genetic material that controls the physical processes of life is coded information.
Nope - just chemical reactions. Its a "code" merely because WE define it as one.
It also is accompanied by elaborate transmission, translation, and duplication systems, without which the genetic material would be useless, and life would cease. Therefore, it seems most reasonable to conclude that the genetic code, the accompanying transmission, translation, and duplication systems, and all living organisms were produced by an extremely high level of intelligence using nonnatural (or supernatural) processes.
Nope - genetic codes can evolve. Once a stable system arises, it has an advantage (can replicate), so all its descendants would have the same ability.
Likewise, no natural process has ever been observed to produce a program. A program is a planned sequence of steps to accomplish some goal. Computer programs are common examples. The information stored in the genetic material of all life is a complex program. Because programs are not produced by chance or natural processes, it seems most likely that an intelligent, supernatural source developed these programs.
Pathetic, simple minded QUESTION BEGGING. You merely ASSUME that genetic material has a "goal", and make the faulty analogy between a computer program and life. Living systems would be like self-modifying code, and CAN be produced by mutation/natural selection - as shown in Evolution of Biological Complexity
All isolated systems contain specific, but perishable, amounts of information. No isolated system has ever been observed to increase its information content significantly.
Please define "information", for MANY biological systems have been seen to significantly increase their information content.
Natural processes, without exception, destroy information.
PURE CRAP, and your Overlords of Misinformation KNOW IT! Selection reduces information, but INCREASES complexity; mutations increase information (random strings harder to describe, and makes the population more heterogenous - harder to describe; hence requires MORE information to describe ). They always forget about that (if they knew it at all).
Only outside intelligence can increase the information content of an otherwise isolated system.
See above link to 'Evolution of Biological Complexity'.
All scientific observations are consistent with this generalization, which has three corollaries or consequences:
Macroevolution cannot occur.
Outside intelligence was involved in the creation of the universe and all forms of life.
A "big bang" did not and could not cause life.
And all are, of course, COMPLETELY FALSE OR IRRELEVANT.
Macroevolution has been OBSERVED TO HAPPEN - speciation.
NO EVIDENCE for Magical Sky Men of ANY sort.
Cosmogony has NOTHING to do with the validity of the Theory of Evolution.
The creationist continues his "borrowed" regurgipost with:
Mutations are the only known means by which new genetic material becomes available for evolution. Rarely, is a mutation beneficial to an organism in its natural environment. Almost all observable mutations are harmful; some are meaningless; many are lethal. No known mutation has ever produced a form of life having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors.
Greater complexity is NOT required to evolve - just higher fitness.
"Evolution on a Petri Dish : The evolved B-galactosidase system as a model for studying acquisitive evolution in the lab", B Hall, Evolutionary Biology (1982) 15:85-150.
"Evolution of Anti-Freeze glycoprotein gene from a trypsinogen gene in Antarctic notothenoid fish", L Chen, AL DeVries, CC Cheng, PNAS 94, pg 3811-3816, April 1997.
Evolution of Biological Complexity
7. Fruit Flies
A century of fruit fly experiments, involving 3,000 consecutive generations, gives absolutely no basis for believing that any natural or artificial process can cause an increase in complexity and viability. No clear genetic improvement has ever been observed in any form of life, despite the many unnatural efforts to increase mutation rates.
Best tell that to all those farmers who used selective breeding then.
"No barriers to speciation", NH Barton, JS Jones, J Mallet, Nature 336:13-14, 3 Nov 1988 - apple maggot fly ORIGINALLY only infested hawthorn, now goes after apples, cherries, roses and pears. The apple variant matures earlier than the hawthorn variant - MATURATION RATE IS HERITABLE.
8. Complex Molecules and Organs
Many molecules necessary for life, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, are so complex that claims concerning their evolution are questionable.
Only to those with their Bible Blinderstm on ...
There is no reason to believe that mutations or any natural process could ever produce any new organsespecially those as complex as the eye, the ear, or the brain. For example, an adult human brain contains over 1014 (a hundred thousand billion) electrical connections, more than all the electrical connections in all the electrical appliances in the world. The human heart, a ten-ounce pump that will operate without maintenance or lubrication for about 75 years, is another engineering marvel.
That WOULD explain why its entire blood supply is from a small artery, rendering us susceptible to heart attacks....
This is standard 'Argument from Personal Incredulity'
9. Fully-Developed Organs
All species appear fully developed, not partially developed.
Whatever THAT crap is supposed to mean ...
They show design.
Only to those desperate enough to believe in Magical Sky Men.
There are no examples of half-developed feathers
Dinosaur with feathers
More feathered dinosaurs
The molluscs show every plausible "intermediate" form of eye from simple patches of cells to eyes better "designed" than our own.
skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs.
Just look at some other life forms - insects, for example, have an OPEN circulatory system (heart just pumps fluid into body cavity- NO ARTERIES OR VEINS, but they do quite well indeed ...)
Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing.
Half a Wing and No Prayer10. Distinct Types
If evolution happened, one would expect to see gradual transitions among many living things. For example, variations of dogs might blend in with variations of cats.
Where DO you get such simpering pathetic ideas ?!?! Look at the fossil record - canines and felines split from a common ancestor millions of years ago - so there shouldn't be a DIRECT intermediate between them. Both lines, however, do 'blend' in with the early therapsid lineages though.Actually, some animals, such as the duckbilled platypus, have organs totally unrelated to their alleged evolutionary ancestors.
HAM ATTACK !! Only a complete and utter MORON would believe this about the platypus !The platypus has fur, is warm-blooded, and suckles its young as do mammals. It lays leathery eggs, has a single ventral opening (for elimination, mating, and birth), and has claws and a shoulder girdle as most reptiles do. The platypus can detect electrical currents as some fish can, and has a bill like a ducka bird. It has webbed forefeet like an otter, a flat tail like a beaver, and the male can inject poisonous venom like a pit viper. Such "patchwork" animals and plants, called mosaics, have no logical place on the evolutionary tree.
Monotremes are basal mammals, and since mammals developed from reptiles, the reptilian features are not surprising. Other creatures can sense electrical fields (not exclusive to fish), and male platypi have SPINES ON THEIR BACK LEGS for envenomation (hence, NOT like pit vipers).There is no direct evidence that any major group of animals or plants arose from any other major group. Species are observed only going out of existence (extinctions), never coming into existence.
Speciation in progress