Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180392 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.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#173873 May 1, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>It is ridiculous to suppose that God was needed to get life started, but thereafter was not needed to direct evolution.
You cannot state that "the evidence shows no intervention"...you simply presume atheism.
Do you know how migratory instincts evolved?
You ASSUME that they evolved WITHOUT intelligent design.
Do you know if feather evolution is even possible without intelligent design?
Have you ever produced a feather by irradiating a scale?
You assume that everything evolved WITHOUT intelligence.
What is your evidence that no intervention occurred in the creation of species?
I cannot answer for everyone on my side here, but I tthink if you took a poll of we 'Evo's', the overwhelming majority would have no problem with a Supreme Being that orchestrated the Big Bang, abiogenesis, & evolution as well.....IF THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF THIS DEITY.

Unfortunately for YOUR SIDE, you cling to a 3000 year-old text, written by ignorant, superstitious herdsmen.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#173874 May 1, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You're the one who is playing a "little game"...
Every "piece of evidence" that you present is flawed... from Homo erectus to the creation of the earth. You expect me to dismiss all of this in favor the "coherent whole". You fail to see that everything you have is nothing more than a massive house of cards. All you have are layers of assumptions, most of which are philosophically-based, founded on other assumptions.

I guess hooter does not realize that ever reputable scientist in the world disagrees with him.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#173875 May 1, 2014
Kong_ wrote:
<quoted text>
I cannot answer for everyone on my side here, but I tthink if you took a poll of we 'Evo's', the overwhelming majority would have no problem with a Supreme Being that orchestrated the Big Bang, abiogenesis, & evolution as well.....IF THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF THIS DEITY.
Unfortunately for YOUR SIDE, you cling to a 3000 year-old text, written by ignorant, superstitious herdsmen.

Actually, no portion of the Bible is known to be over 2,700 years old, at most.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#173876 May 1, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
The simplest autonomous self-replicating life form has millions of interacting parts and is analogous in complexity to a 747.
Many microbiologists believe that Rickettsiae and Chlamydiae are the simplest possible life forms. They are not self-replicating, but are obligate parasites. They still have over 1 million base pairs in their DNA.
If you want to adhere to experimental science, then you need to explain how the simplest life form got here from raw materials.
The origin of life is an interesting and complex question that we don't have an answer for as yet, but knowing or not knowing isn't important to evolution. Certainly your take on things is just opinion because you don't really know either. Yours is a religious argument with only token defference to a few facts.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#173877 May 1, 2014
Kong_ wrote:
<quoted text>
I cannot answer for everyone on my side here, but I tthink if you took a poll of we 'Evo's', the overwhelming majority would have no problem with a Supreme Being that orchestrated the Big Bang, abiogenesis, & evolution as well.....IF THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF THIS DEITY.
Unfortunately for YOUR SIDE, you cling to a 3000 year-old text, written by ignorant, superstitious herdsmen.
They also cling to your shoes if you step in them.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#173878 May 1, 2014
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess hooter does not realize that ever reputable scientist in the world disagrees with him.
Even his dog is beginning to question his credibility.
HTS

Mandan, ND

#173879 May 1, 2014
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
I disagree. I think that the chemicals themselves will self-assemble to a greater degree than you seem to be willing to admit. In particular, we know the lipid vesicles spontaneously form, entrap metabolically active RNA strands, that RNA strands can arise that allow for their own transcription, and that such strands will spontaneously produce descendants that are more capable of reproduction. I think that the discontinuity is primarily in the self-reproducing molecules that also reproduce strands that catalyze important reactions, there by forming a loop.
<quoted text>

Can I point out that your claim that matter will not self-assemble has been refuted in several different ways?.
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature. I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble. That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble. You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life. The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity. As you stated, we haven't defined complexity. Maybe we can't agree on a definition. I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step. If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible? Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.

A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare. I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#173880 May 1, 2014
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, no portion of the Bible is known to be over 2,700 years old, at most.
Agreed, but the ORAL traditions that the Bible originated with, not to mention the Sumerian connection that much of the Bible is clearly based upon (especially Creation and Noah's Flood) are as old as FOUR thousand years ago. See the epic of Gilgamesh,(cir 2150-2000 BC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgames...

The point is made nevertheless.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#173881 May 1, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Even if you set your lower limit at, say, 50 nucleotides... you are still faced with an impossibility. What is the probability of a specific sequence of 50 nucleotides to randomly occur by chance? It is impossibly low... even given billions of years and billions of planets. Also,.. your scenario would require other factors to fortuitiously exist, such as the first "proto-cell" to be sufficiently stable so as to not be immedidately denatured by ionizing radiation, protection by a cell membrane, etc.
Classic Sharpshooter fallacy. Who says that only one specific sequence will work? There are many sequences that should work. All that is required is for early life to hit one of those.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#173882 May 1, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature. I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble. That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble. You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life. The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity. As you stated, we haven't defined complexity. Maybe we can't agree on a definition. I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step. If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible? Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.
A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare. I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.
So what? Even if you are right you have to be able to show that no precursor would show up in the environment at the time that abiogenesis occurred. And in the laboratory under conditions that would have been found at that time they can and do exist.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#173883 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
The junkyard tornado analogy is meant to be metaphorical.
That's why it's bullshite.(shrug)

Natural forces can't make a junkyard either. That's just one of the reasons why your analogy fails on so many levels. In fact, analogies are all you have.
HTS wrote:
You are relying on the tendency of chemicals to attract to other chemicals in a non-random way to form molecules such as amino acids...fair enough. There is no observable chemical tendency for bonding preferences to result in sponteneous self-sequencing of a genetic code.
Then provide us the evidence that every single living thing observable today was made by a wizard. Because so far no one on planet Earth can see it.

By the way, the theory of evolution does not rely on abiogenesis.
HTS wrote:
Therefore, no science can be invoked to justify such a hypothesis.
Then what are they doing up at Harvard? Chugging beer?
HTS wrote:
My purpose for bringing up the junkyard tornado analogy was simply to ask you to define why it is impossible to assemble a complex object such as a 747 through trial-and-error.
And thereby absolve yourself of any kind of responsibility to provide any evidence at all to back up your assertions. That way we do all our own homework, and yours too. Meanwhile we can ignore your baseless analogies for the simple fact that they are merely analogies. Analogies are meant to explain things. You tried, but your explanations failed. The only way out of that is demonstrate something in reality instead.

You can't.

That's why no one on Earth has evidence of creationism or evidence that evolution is false.
HTS wrote:
At some point, you're going to need to rely on the hope that the proverbial tornado will at least randomly assemble some of the components of the aircraft by sheer luck.
No we don't. Because aircraft do not develop naturally. Life does. Ergo your analogy fails again.
HTS wrote:
You cannot realistically invoke gradualism from molecules all the way to a functional cell. Example...how did the machinery switch from RNA to DNA? What freakish event allowed that to happen?
Unknown at this time. However keep in mind the phenomena we observe in the geological record is precisely what we would expect from a naturally occurring abiogenesis event. You on the other hand need one, just ONE 3.5 billion year old rabbit. And since we ALL know what they're like at reproducing, you should find MILLIONS of them.

So what freakish event allowed for magical poofing?

(sound of crickets chirping)

Of course none of this is relevant to the validity of evolution.

Explain orthology Hooter.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#173884 May 2, 2014
polymath257 wrote:
And, just to point out your logical flaw: once there is life, we are no longer talking about abiogenesis.
TAKE NOTE, EVERYBODY!

Especially you, Hooter.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#173885 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
It is ridiculous to suppose that God was needed to get life started, but thereafter was not needed to direct evolution.
That's your philosophical opinion. However if you're an infinite being with infinite power there is no logic to your claim as such a being could do whatever the heck it wants.
HTS wrote:
You cannot state that "the evidence shows no intervention"...you simply presume atheism.
Do you know how migratory instincts evolved?
You ASSUME that they evolved WITHOUT intelligent design.
Do you know if feather evolution is even possible without intelligent design?
Have you ever produced a feather by irradiating a scale?
You assume that everything evolved WITHOUT intelligence.
What is your evidence that no intervention occurred in the creation of species?
Why, your simple total utter LACK of ability to present a single mechanism for that intelligence by which to operate.(shrug)

Explain orthology Hooter.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#173886 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature. I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble. That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble. You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life. The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity. As you stated, we haven't defined complexity. Maybe we can't agree on a definition. I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step. If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible? Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.
A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare. I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.
(yawn)

Same old rhetoric and assertions, zero rebuttal or evidence.

Name ONE tree that did not self-assemble.

Or try explaining orthology.

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#173887 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature. I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble. That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble. You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life. The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity. As you stated, we haven't defined complexity. Maybe we can't agree on a definition. I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step. If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible? Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.
A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare. I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.
Well you did manage to type this post.

Good Coco.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#173888 May 2, 2014
Kong_ wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed, but the ORAL traditions that the Bible originated with, not to mention the Sumerian connection that much of the Bible is clearly based upon (especially Creation and Noah's Flood) are as old as FOUR thousand years ago. See the epic of Gilgamesh,(cir 2150-2000 BC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgames...
The point is made nevertheless.

Agreed.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#173889 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature.

Why would you expect one to be found? And RNA does exist in nature so you are wrong (as always) at any rate. You simply hate science so much you cannot contain yourself. Maybe if you found a topic you knew something about....

HTS wrote:
<quoted text> I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble.

DNA
RNA
Proteins

All are chemicals.

You can't even win when you set the rules.

HTS wrote:
<quoted text> That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble.

Nothing in nature has ever been found to be unnatural. Look it up. Science is looking at Quadrillions of pieces of information and you are looking at your special pleading.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life.

You are willfully ignoring all of science.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity

So a molecule is not more complex than an atom....? I can sit here and refute you from dawn to dusk, but as you are not interested in science, but only in your own religious presuppositions it is pointless. You have chosen what to believe a priori.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> As you stated, we haven't defined complexity.

Nothing unreal has been shown to exist.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> Maybe we can't agree on a definition.

Maybe it is only a concept that cannot be defined in a way you can defend it.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step.

They actually can. It is just not very likely. Deal with reality FIRST then I will trash you point by point.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible?

See above. It is not impossible.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.

You can make up what you like and we will tear it down.

[QUOTE who="HTS"]<quoted text> A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare.

But they can. I just used the string generator on random.org and found:
a
my
is
I
no
hobo
brat
to
age
cope
buzz
sum
buy
cry
fan

And then I quit looking. Some of those words W.S. used, ergo it can be done.

It just takes a long time.
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.

But your own analogy is both incorrect and does not support you. Is that of any concern to you?

Since you are all emotion and no logic you are simply no challenge in a logical argument.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#173890 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
The analogy is meant to be metaphorical.
Let there be 10,000 junkyard tornados...the result is the same.

Flawed analogy = GIGO.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#173891 May 2, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
No precursor to single cell life is found in nature. I don't deny that chemicals themselves can self-assemble.
Good. That is at least progress. Before you claimed that self-assembly was impossible for matter without intervention of an intelligence. Now, at least, you admit that it is sometimes possible.
That observation does not remotely suggest that life can self assemble. You are willfully ignoring the great complexity of life.
And, at least in part, we have a problem concerning what is required for something to be declared to be 'alive'. Is reproduction enough? How about reproduction and growth? How about reproduction, growth, and both anabolic and catabolic metabolism? It seems to me that none of those things is inherently complex in the way that a modern cell is.
The self assembly of molecules cannot be used as evidence that random forces can produce complexity. As you stated, we haven't defined complexity. Maybe we can't agree on a definition. I think you will agree that random molecular interactions cannot produce a strand of functional DNA in one step. If you agree, then would you explain why such an occurrence is impossible?
Large molecules tend not to form in one step. There tend to be multiple steps in the polymerization required to form larger molecules. In particular, DNA is a large polymer and would be unlikely to form in a single step. But, we could reasonably expect it to form by repeated steps that are simple.
Perhaps at that point we can discuss further the definition of complexity.
A monkey can in fact type characters on a keyboard. That observation does not remotely lead to the conclusion that a monkey could type Shakespeare. I use this analogy to refute your inference that the observation of molecular self assembly can be extended to a belief that life can self assemble.
The problem is that a good deal of complexity can and does form by application of simple laws under repetition. That is perhaps one of the basic lessons from automata theory: that complex behaviors can arise from very simple, local interactions done again and again over time.

Nobody thinks that complex structures occur by one-off production from basic units like monkeys typing. Instead, the expectation is that repetition and selection, either by size, or speed of reaction, or concentration of reactant is involved. By claiming that one-off productions cannot produce the complexity we see, you miss the point that there are many situations where complexity *is* produced by cyclic or sequential reactions.
HTS

Mandan, ND

#173892 May 2, 2014
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>

<quoted text>
We see the origin of feathers in the fossil record. How it happened at the molecular level is irrelevant. We know they did evolve. Whether or not an intelligence was involved, evolution happened. And it is indistinguishable from the evidence we have from being undirected.
No, you don't "know" that feathers evolved. You see filamentous imprints in the fossil record. You do not "know" that those are feathers or feather precursors, any more than you "know" that uniform microscopic spaces in lava are bacteria. You are simply taking someone else's word for it... A word which is heavily biased toward evolution.

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