Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 179706 comments on the www.scientificblogging.com story from Feb 24, 2008, titled Should evolution be taught in high school?. In it, www.scientificblogging.com reports that:

Microbiologist Carl Woese is well known as an iconoclast. At 79 years of age, Woese is still shaking things up. Most recently, he stated in an interview with Wired that...

"My feeling is that evolution shouldn't be taught at the lower grades. You don't teach quantum mechanics in the grade schools. One has to be quite educated to work with these concepts; what they pass on as evolution in high schools is nothing but repetitious tripe that teachers don't understand."

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.scientificblogging.com.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125262 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
I know you must have faith in the mystical powers of complex chemistry.
Photosynthesis conforms to laws of chemistry that are verifiable by experimental biochemistry. Self-organization of DNA from raw materials cannot be explained by invoking laws of complex chemistry, because no such laws are known to exist.
You must have made an inadvertent slip-up, as you are pretending you are Omniscient again. I am sure what you MEANT to say was "we do not know if or how DNA can self-organise naturally, and if it can, we cannot yet explain it, and perhaps we never will".

And equally, I can say that whether we finally discover that or not, evolution stands in any case. Even if you could prove God poofed the first self replicator into existence, the empirical evidence for evolution is still 100% valid.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#125263 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
No
Just you
Really? So you don't have choices in life, no free will?

Tell us what you think is objective morals.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#125264 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Why does anyone lying bother you....?
Since you have no objective basis for morality
What does it matter?
Lying hurts everyone.

I have a more objective basis for morality than you do. You violate what is supposed to be your basis of morality on a regular basis. You therefore should not be talking about anyone else' morality until you fix your own.
HTS

Mandan, ND

#125265 Mar 26, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>

This is where you guys really fail. Ex-nihilo creation posits that all the species were there from the start. Yet NO SINGLE MAMMAL FOSSIL has been found in strata verifiably older than where we find the therapsid mammal-like reptile.
Biblical creationism has its own predictions about the fossil record and it fails miserably against the evidence.
<quoted text>
:
A fundamental problem with ToE is that it makes religious assumptions that cannot be made. I don't believe in scientific impossibilities. I don't believe in ex nihilo creation, and there is nothing in the book of Genesis or any other biblical scripture that suggests that God made everything out of nothing. After all, He created Adam out of matter (dust). Once man was created, he didn't start over... He created woman out of pre-existing DNA.(rib)

Even if the Bible did teach ex nihilo creation, that would not justify anyone using that as evidence against intelligent design or as evidence for evolution.

The entire concept of a geologic column validated through radiometric dating is a massive house of cards founded on unprovable assumptions and, worst of all, selective interpretation of data. The perfect predictable sequences that are portrayed to exist in textbooks are simply not reflective of reality.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#125266 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Becoming extinct is not evolution
And fish have always been fish
Where does this hypothetical "evolution" occur?
Where do we get to see any evidence for this?
Do we need to wait for millions of years?
When the fish grew teeth and became sharks.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125267 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Why does anyone lying bother you....?
Since you have no objective basis for morality
What does it matter?
There are two types of Commandments.

Those that pertain only to God, and those that pertain to your conduct with others and self.

Take out the God stuff. What you are left with is a largely self evident blueprint for harmonious living, very similar to moral codes all around the world. Jesus did not invent the Golden Rule.

Have a look, some time, at the moral codes of the ancient Stoics and Epicureans.

There are plenty of reasons for morality aside from God and fear of hell-fire. In fact, your babyish carrot and stick approach is the worst, most craven and low reason to be virtuous, without a shred of real nobility about it.

You are actually better than that, as you might discover after abandoning your childish fantasies of hope and fear and learn that you have a moral core all of your own.

“Dinosaurs survived the flood!”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

Jesus probably rode dinosaurs!

#125268 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
I know you must have faith in the mystical powers of complex chemistry.
Photosynthesis conforms to laws of chemistry that are verifiable by experimental biochemistry.
Self-organization of DNA from raw materials cannot be explained by invoking laws of complex chemistry, because no such laws are known to exist.
Your belief in "complex chemistry" is fundamentally no different than a belief in intelligent design. You are placing faith in unseen forces.
So chemistry is something else you don't know about. Two for two.

We can see the results of chemistry. We can predict the results of chemistry. We can do experiments in chemistry, observe the results and draw conclusions based on those results. You are using chemistry right now, though not optimally. We use chemistry everyday. Intelligent design not chemistry. It is not used in any constructive way to ask or answer questions about which experiments can be designed and conducted and observations made. It does not provide answers to anything. All Intelligent Design is used for is to forward a political and social agenda. And so far it hasn't been very successful there either.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#125269 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Why does anyone lying bother you....?
Since you have no objective basis for morality
What does it matter?
If only people who choose the same morals as you are capable of good, then why is it that people who choose the same morals as you are filling up the prisons?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125270 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
You have no objective basis for morality
None
That must be why those atheistic Scandinavian scoundrels regularly have the lowest crime statistics, highest regard for honesty, score highest on happiness indexes world-wide, among the highest longevity rates, and basically demolish most countries on every positive index you can imagine. And they even have lousy weather.

Ever wonder about that Russell?
HTS

Mandan, ND

#125271 Mar 26, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
We HAVE the fossil record of complexities created on the same order of magnitude. Therefore, we know that evolution can achieve this. Therefore, picking one creature out millions available, and demanding the the particulars of that one when we do not have a fossil record of that particular creature, is ridiculous.
Since YOU cannot know and rule out all the possible evolutionary pathways to any particular creature because you are not omniscient, I repeat again - your approach is a failure.
Let me put it yet ANOTHER WAY! Even if that feature WAS irreducibly complex, you would have no way of proving it.
On the other hand, several claims for IC have been shown to be false after more research (3-boned middle ear, blood clotting, immune system, flagellum). So you are merely arguing from ignorance while pretending omniscience!
Should be telling you something.
You are attempting to diffuse logical barriers to evolution by pointing to other perceived evidences, such as the fossil record. A scientific theory can be falsified by documenting one single impossibility. You have faith in the validity of the fossil record, so you're dismissing hostile evidence.
That is a grave error of scientific logic.
Any false theory can be supported by positive evidence.

Example: Theory: Smoking is a healthy practice.
1. A lower incidence of Parkinson's is found among smokers than non-smokers.
2. Smoking results in less stress, and reduced stress results in fewer heart attacks and strokes.
3. Smoking is associated with less obesity, and less obesity is associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes.
4. Nicotine is correlated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer's.

I can document all of the above claims with published peer-reviewed papers

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125272 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Why does anyone lying bother you....?
Since you have no objective basis for morality
What does it matter?
Here is a personal question for you.

When somebody lies and you discover it, even about something that does not affect you, do you think to yourself "Oh Boy, that guy is in trouble with God!" or actually, do you feel, directly, a sense of disgust at that person? Exactly the same thing you would feel whether you believed in God or not. Really, stop and think about that for a minute.

How about when you yourself lie? Do feel a little twinge of self disgust? That you have just made yourself indefinably smaller, regardless of whether anyone finds out, and you don't like that feeling? Most people do, you know.

Its not a cliche that virtue is its own reward.

Think about that. About how that looks from the standpoint of someone who is not expecting any "external" reward for good behavior.
HTS

Mandan, ND

#125273 Mar 26, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
You must have made an inadvertent slip-up, as you are pretending you are Omniscient again. I am sure what you MEANT to say was "we do not know if or how DNA can self-organise naturally, and if it can, we cannot yet explain it, and perhaps we never will".
And equally, I can say that whether we finally discover that or not, evolution stands in any case. Even if you could prove God poofed the first self replicator into existence, the empirical evidence for evolution is still 100% valid.
No, I'm not pretending to be omniscient.
I'm stating the obvious. There are no laws of chemistry to even suggest that a functional genetic code could self organize.
The manner in which you framed your statement is a special pleading argument... As if there's some compelling reason to believe that raw chemistry could result in the most complex assembly of matter in the universe by sheer non-random binding affinities.

Now you're stating that even if abiogenesis needed ID, that doesn't effect the general ToE... Yet you still assume that complexities that you cannot explain, such as the evolution of the mantis shrimp, occurred without ID. You admit that maybe ID was necessary in one case, but not another... both of which cannot be logically defended by scientific explanations. What is the basis for that convoluted logic?

“Dinosaurs survived the flood!”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

Jesus probably rode dinosaurs!

#125274 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
If you think the fossil record demonstrates "predictions" of evolution, you are drinking evo-koolaid.
Evolution logically predicts millions of unequivocal transitional species... And they are conspicuously absent.
You have pointed out very questionable finds such as purported ancestors to whales. The finding of a few curious possibilities is not what evolution logically predicts.
What about powered flight? With a geologic record spanning over 500 million years, does evolution "predict" that fully developed flight would be found in four lineages (insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles), with no transitional forms, despite thousands upon thousands of specimens identified and catalogued?
Surely if transitional flight was documented in the fossil record, evolutionists would be screaming that evolution predicted this.
We don't need to find all the transitional forms to show the existence of such as predicted by evolution. Again, this isn't a lottery winning number. A detective doesn't have to account minute for minute every action of the criminal carried out during the crime. He just has to find strong evidence that the criminal was there and committed the crime. We have that evidence. You can click the heals of your denial slippers together all you want Dorothy, but it is there.

No, evolution doesn't make those kinds of predictions. Just as financial predictions won't tell you which is the best detergent. But because they don't tell you which is the best detergent does not mean they don't tell you anything. You are not using logic by the way.

You are right, I don't know how flight could be fossilized. However, transitional forms of birds exist. Of course, I predict you will deny this. Denial seems to be the only argument you brought to the table. I don't know all the fossil evidence for the lineages you reference, but I can say that in cases where good transitional forms are unknown does not refute the theory. There are many reasons these may not be in evidence. Invertebrates do not leave good fossils. Most of the best fossils derive from marine environments and it isn't likely you would see the development of flight in aquatic organisms. It may be we simply have not found them yet if we ever do. But we have found numerous fossil intermediates for other lineages that support what evolution said we should find (keep clicking, denial might get you back to Kansas).

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125275 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You are attempting to diffuse logical barriers to evolution by pointing to other perceived evidences, such as the fossil record. A scientific theory can be falsified by documenting one single impossibility. You have faith in the validity of the fossil record, so you're dismissing hostile evidence.
That is a grave error of scientific logic.
Any false theory can be supported by positive evidence.
What hostile evidence? All you are saying is, "here is an unlikely structure, we demand you show us how it evolved!".

Since we do not have the fossil evidence for every creature, we cannot possibly show you in every case how every creature did evolve. We can make plausible conjectures that fit the evolutionary paradigm, but then you just call it a "just so story".

Which it is, but that is what you asked for.

However, since we have cases where we know how equally "difficult" structures DID evolve, your example is not a falsification. Its merely a case where we lack the evidence to answer your specific question definitively. So you are wasting your time with this failed approach.

“Dinosaurs survived the flood!”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

Jesus probably rode dinosaurs!

#125276 Mar 26, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Becoming extinct is not evolution
And fish have always been fish
Where does this hypothetical "evolution" occur?
Where do we get to see any evidence for this?
Do we need to wait for millions of years?
Extinction is a part of evolution. It has happened so often throughout history, that more species have gone extinct than are known to exist today.

Fish have always been fish once they evolved into fish.

Evolution occurs everywhere there are living organisms. It is occurring within your own body and mine even as we type these posts.

You have been on here long enough to have been shown reference after reference of the evidence available supporting evolution. Please don't act like a juvenile with your fingers in your ears.

No, you don't have to wait millions of years. In 15,000 years a single species of cichlid evolved into nearly 500 different species in Lake Victoria. However, I would remind you that individual mileage will vary.
Russell

Aranda, Australia

#125277 Mar 26, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Lying hurts everyone.
I have a more objective basis for morality than you do. You violate what is supposed to be your basis of morality on a regular basis. You therefore should not be talking about anyone else' morality until you fix your own.
You have no objective basis for morality OR for complaining when you think someone is lying to you

“Dinosaurs survived the flood!”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

Jesus probably rode dinosaurs!

#125278 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You are attempting to diffuse logical barriers to evolution by pointing to other perceived evidences, such as the fossil record. A scientific theory can be falsified by documenting one single impossibility. You have faith in the validity of the fossil record, so you're dismissing hostile evidence.
That is a grave error of scientific logic.
Any false theory can be supported by positive evidence.
Example: Theory: Smoking is a healthy practice.
1. A lower incidence of Parkinson's is found among smokers than non-smokers.
2. Smoking results in less stress, and reduced stress results in fewer heart attacks and strokes.
3. Smoking is associated with less obesity, and less obesity is associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes.
4. Nicotine is correlated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer's.
I can document all of the above claims with published peer-reviewed papers
You are just providing cheery picked evidence. Of course your hypothesis is not falsified. What is the name of the logical fallacy you are illustrating. I forget you all use so many.

Your argument says nothing about the theory of evolution and is meaningless in that regard.

I can shoot a gun. I can demonstrate it. It doesn't mean I shot Kennedy.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#125279 Mar 26, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I'm not pretending to be omniscient.
I'm stating the obvious. There are no laws of chemistry to even suggest that a functional genetic code could self organize.
Of course there are. But -

Do we have the whole picture? No.
Does the emergence of a self replicator determine whether evolution applies to self replicators once they exist? No.
The manner in which you framed your statement is a special pleading argument... As if there's some compelling reason to believe that raw chemistry could result in the most complex assembly of matter in the universe by sheer non-random binding affinities.
Now you're stating that even if abiogenesis needed ID, that doesn't effect the general ToE... Yet you still assume that complexities that you cannot explain, such as the evolution of the mantis shrimp, occurred without ID. You admit that maybe ID was necessary in one case, but not another... both of which cannot be logically defended by scientific explanations. What is the basis for that convoluted logic?
No, I admit, as a good skeptic should, that it would be dogmatic to insist that life had to come about naturally until we have a better idea how that could happen.

On the other hand, once biological evolution is in action, we already have enough well supported examples of very complex, peculiar, and specific items evolving, not to regard a particular unexplained item as falsification. We could make up some just-so stories that fit the evolutionary paradigm, if that is what you wanted.

My just-so story would not confirm evolution, any more than your incredulity falsifies it. But I don't need it. I can just point you to the 3-boned middle ear, the clotting cascade, the immune system, the flagellum, and remind you that you thought all these things could not be simpler either, until you were proven wrong.

In other words, your approach is flawed even in principle. You will never disprove evolution by pointing at things we do not yet have the evidence to explain, while pretending you are Omniscient and knowing they could never be explained.
Russell

Aranda, Australia

#125280 Mar 26, 2013
DanFromSmithville wrote:
<quoted text>Extinction is a part of evolution. It has happened so often throughout history, that more species have gone extinct than are known to exist today.
Fish have always been fish once they evolved into fish.
Evolution occurs everywhere there are living organisms. It is occurring within your own body and mine even as we type these posts.
You have been on here long enough to have been shown reference after reference of the evidence available supporting evolution. Please don't act like a juvenile with your fingers in your ears.
No, you don't have to wait millions of years. In 15,000 years a single species of cichlid evolved into nearly 500 different species in Lake Victoria. However, I would remind you that individual mileage will vary.
Any evidence to back your claims?

Call me keen....I just love science

----------
Cichlid parallel but independent development in lakes Tanganyika and Malawi is not proof of evolution.

All it shows is similar assortment in varied combinations of the same characters from the same ancestral gene pool

So where has the evolution of fish from something else occurred?

When were fish not fish?
HTS

Mandan, ND

#125281 Mar 26, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
What hostile evidence? All you are saying is, "here is an unlikely structure, we demand you show us how it evolved!".
Since we do not have the fossil evidence for every creature, we cannot possibly show you in every case how every creature did evolve. We can make plausible conjectures that fit the evolutionary paradigm, but then you just call it a "just so story".
Which it is, but that is what you asked for.
However, since we have cases where we know how equally "difficult" structures DID evolve, your example is not a falsification. Its merely a case where we lack the evidence to answer your specific question definitively. So you are wasting your time with this failed approach.
You don't have "plausible conjectures within the evolutionary paradigm" for the evolution of the mantis shrimp.
And you don't have "evidence" that "equally difficult structures did evolve".
You are again dismissing logical barriers to evolution by relying on your overall belief in ToE.
You're telling me that the evolution of IC is not a problem for ToE, even though you can't provide plausible conjectures? The only reason it's not a problem is because you think that other evidence for ToE is on balance so overwhelming.

My challenge to you is to honestly and squarely confront the barriers of IC [for there are innumerable examples], and allow the hypothesis of evolution to stand on its own without appealing to other perceived "evidences".
Any false theory can be supported by positive evidence. One single impossibility can topple a theory.

Albert Einstein understood this principle when he stated,

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”*

*Wynn, Charles M.; Wiggins, Arthur W.; Harris, Sidney (1997) The Five Biggest Ideas in Science. John Wiley and Sons, p. 107. ISBN 0-471-13812-6.

In the case of the theory of evolution, no amount of overwhelming evidence can prove it right. However, one impossibility can prove it wrong.

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