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Do you believe in evolution?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:59 pm
by ShadowLurker
I've heard the global warming poll results caused quite a fair bit of shock concerning the amount of people that do/don't and knowing that over half of all American's don't believe in evolution and it isn't taught in Kansas, I want to see what % of MSers believe in evolution.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:03 pm
by Simenon
Am I allowed to answer this question seriously?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:07 pm
by Yosarian2
Simenon wrote:Am I allowed to answer this question seriously?


This is GD. Only serious discussion is allowed here. :seriousface:

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:16 pm
by Streeflo
Evolution: Serious Business.

(Kansas doesn't teach this?)

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:34 pm
by Fritzler
No its not on the curriculum. I had a couple of science professors talk about it anyways in 7th grade with his own time, but that was about it. My 9th grade teacher in biology never mentioned it, and after that I took 2 physics and 2 chemistry classes, and never really had an option to talk about it. I do know that a couple teachers talked about it anyways in class (mostly the AP/Honors teachers), and some didn't (mostly for the stupid people). Do people really teach evolution like, to every kid in other states?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:39 pm
by ShadowLurker
Fritzler wrote:No its not on the curriculum. I had a couple of science professors talk about it anyways in 7th grade with his own time, but that was about it. My 9th grade teacher in biology never mentioned it, and after that I took 2 physics and 2 chemistry classes, and never really had an option to talk about it. I do know that a couple teachers talked about it anyways in class (mostly the AP/Honors teachers), and some didn't (mostly for the stupid people). Do people really teach evolution like, to every kid in other states?


Yes.

The only state I'm not sure about is Texas as they have their own textbook for everything and I dunno about the contents of their biology curriculum.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:43 pm
by Yosarian2
Fritzler wrote:No its not on the curriculum. I had a couple of science professors talk about it anyways in 7th grade with his own time, but that was about it. My 9th grade teacher in biology never mentioned it, and after that I took 2 physics and 2 chemistry classes, and never really had an option to talk about it. I do know that a couple teachers talked about it anyways in class (mostly the AP/Honors teachers), and some didn't (mostly for the stupid people). Do people really teach evolution like, to every kid in other states?


Yeah, it's definatly supposed to be covered in some detail bio class, which every kid in NJ takes. I'm sure a few teachers kind of skirt the topic, but they're supposed to teach it at least.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:05 pm
by vollkan
I object to the question itself. "Believe"?

This isn't the sort of thing that requires "belief" in the sense of "Do you believe in god/pixies/unicorns/etc.?"

There is plenty of evidence to support evolution (ie. haemoglobin splits, viral development, ring species, and so on) so I really don't think it is a matter of "belief" so much as it is a matter of being persuaded by the existing evidence. I might as well say "I believe I am sitting on my chair at my computer."

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:08 pm
by ShadowLurker
vollkan wrote:I object to the question itself. "Believe"?

This isn't the sort of thing that requires "belief" in the sense of "Do you believe in god/pixies/unicorns/etc.?"

There is plenty of evidence to support evolution (ie. haemoglobin splits, viral development, ring species, and so on) so I really don't think it is a matter of "belief" so much as it is a matter of being persuaded by the existing evidence. I might as well say "I believe I am sitting on my chair at my computer."


AND THAT WOULD BE PROPER EVEN THOUGH IT IS OVERLY POLITE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:18 pm
by IH
eh I personally think that the evidence is too inconclusive to prove evolution thoroughly and scientifically myself. Viral development and such can form to make a larger organism, but.....

Where did the original spark of life come from?

Are these organisms ever mutating, or just repeating itself?

Etc etc. Not to mention, there are some arguments about the 'fossil layer' which I don't agree with.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:41 pm
by JDodge
vollkan wrote:I object to the question itself. "Believe"?

This isn't the sort of thing that requires "belief" in the sense of "Do you believe in god/pixies/unicorns/etc.?"

There is plenty of evidence to support evolution (ie. haemoglobin splits, viral development, ring species, and so on) so I really don't think it is a matter of "belief" so much as it is a matter of being persuaded by the existing evidence. I might as well say "I believe I am sitting on my chair at my computer."


THAT IS A GREAT ARGUMENT AGAINST EVOLUTION

THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH EVOLUTION IS BAD GRAMMAR

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:08 am
by Thestatusquo
DO YOU MEAN POOR GRAMMAR, PERHAPS?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:14 am
by Maz Medias
I don't know, do you fucking believe in sea turtles?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:17 am
by Stewie
In theory yes, but we didn't come from primates


The theory of evolution does not say we came from primates, merely that we have a common ancestor.

I find it hard to not believe in evolution if you are actually educated on the subject on the molecular level. Given that there are random mutations, I find it hard to imagine a situation in which evolution didn't happen.

Where did the original spark of life come from?


Just because there isn't an answer yet, it doesn't mean there isn't one. It's not relevant anyways, the theory of evolution does not explain how life was created, but rather how from one common ancestor we changed to get all the species of the world.

Are these organisms ever mutating, or just repeating itself?

Which organisms? The answer is most likely "they are mutating" but I'm just wondering which organisms you are talking about.

eh I personally think that the evidence is too inconclusive to prove evolution thoroughly and scientifically myself. Viral development and such can form to make a larger organism, but.....

The mere fact that it is called a theory means that there's a vast amount of conclusive evidence.

I can see that you may not be convinced by the arguments for evolution, but did you study the science behind it?

A good example of evolution is antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. Without evolution, once we found an antibiotic, it should be good forever. However, somehow bacteria develop resistance to them.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:37 am
by HackerHuck
Why is option three even on there? Humans are primates.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:59 am
by Fritzler
Maz Medias wrote:I don't know, do you fucking believe in sea turtles?
i believe in fucking sea turtles

Image

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:16 am
by vollkan
IH wrote:eh I personally think that the evidence is too inconclusive to prove evolution thoroughly and scientifically myself.


Well, it depends on what you mean by "prove". It is not the sort of thing you can sit down in a lab and do, except for with things like bacteria which have a very short (by our standard) generation gap.

Evidence in the sense of our knowledge of when certain phenotypes branched off, etc. is amply available to effectively prove it.

IH wrote:Where did the original spark of life come from?


Not entirely relevant but the two theories I most like are the organic primordial soup model or the inorganic model of Graham Cairns-Smith (look it up if you are interested).

IH wrote:Are these organisms ever mutating, or just repeating itself?


I don't quite know exactly what you mean here, but I will answer what I think you are referring to.

Evolutionary mutations occur when the DNA is miscopied across generations. As in a small mutation in the DNA of Parent X may lead to Child Y having some tiny advantage which gives it a higher possibility of surviving to breed and pass that mutation on.

IH wrote:Etc etc. Not to mention, there are some arguments about the 'fossil layer' which I don't agree with.


The so-called Cambrian Explosion is probably the most popular example of this rather weak attempt to question evolution. The 'fossil record' arguments rest on the assumption that all species leave fossils which are as resilient as other species.

I mean, it may be the case that prior to the Cambrian Explosion period many species were very soft and, therefore, did not leave many, if any, fossils.

Combine this with the possibility of natural disasters destroying fossils, etc and there really is no argument against evolution raised by the fossil record.

Stewie wrote:A good example of evolution is antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. Without evolution, once we found an antibiotic, it should be good forever. However, somehow bacteria develop resistance to them.


Yeah. That's one of the easiest ways to explain it to people without having to overwhelm them with science.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:16 am
by Foolster41
If you mean evolution as a system for adaption and change, then yes.
If you mean the big bang, or that one species can change ot a completely differnet species, then no. (That's what the third option is there for)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:23 am
by vollkan
Foolster wrote:If you mean evolution as a system for adaption and change, then yes.
If you mean the big bang, or that one species can change ot a completely differnet species, then no.


Evolution is the process by which one species changes into another over many generations by small mutational changes. It is technically possible for one animal to give birth to a completely different species, but very unlikely and then there is the matter of the new species being unable to survive.

However, evolution does cause new species over long stretches of time due to many small mutations.

What don't you like about the big bang?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:24 am
by Thestatusquo
Fritz, I should have known you'd believe in Bestiality.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:59 am
by IH
Stewie wrote:Just because there isn't an answer yet, it doesn't mean there isn't one. It's not relevant anyways, the theory of evolution does not explain how life was created, but rather how from one common ancestor we changed to get all the species of the world.



But if there's inconclusive proof, then it's a belief that it's right. The theory of evolution is usually used as an argument against things such as creationism as the origin of life. I feel that explaining the spark of life coming from somewhere is a very important part to the correctness of evolution.

Also I will remember the "just because there isn't an answer yet" in future arguments with you.

Stewie wrote:Which organisms? The answer is most likely "they are mutating" but I'm just wondering which organisms you are talking about.


Virus's, colonies of bacteria, etc etc.

Stewie wrote:The mere fact that it is called a theory means that there's a vast amount of conclusive evidence.

I can see that you may not be convinced by the arguments for evolution, but did you study the science behind it?



Err, no, anything can be called a theory. I think a quasar is actually masses of living organisms emitting radio waves. Thats a theory.

Stewie wrote:A good example of evolution is antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. Without evolution, once we found an antibiotic, it should be good forever. However, somehow bacteria develop resistance to them.



Adaptation does not=evolution though I think. The organism may change slightly to adapt, but it's never mutating into an entirely different virus or such. Just a different strain, right?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:43 am
by vollkan
IH wrote:But if there's inconclusive proof, then it's a belief that it's right. The theory of evolution is usually used as an argument against things such as creationism as the origin of life. I feel that explaining the spark of life coming from somewhere is a very important part to the correctness of evolution.


Yes, and there are explanations for the origins.

The most common is the primordial soup theory. To put this very simply, in the rather more chaotic and different atmospheric conditions of early earth organic molecules (ie. carbon-containing) form amino acids, form proteins, form building blocks of life.

The Cairns-Smith inorganic theory is basically that certain clay crystals survive longer in the prescence of certain organic molecules. Over time, the clay crystals may evolve (ie. not be destroyed) so that large deposits form with particular replications of the organic molecules. Eventually, the clay scaffolding is no longer needed and organic life arises.

Of course, this is really simplified, but the point is that there is no "spark" of life. In both of these theories, "life" arises simply by chemicals developing over time.

IH wrote:Adaptation does not=evolution though I think. The organism may change slightly to adapt, but it's never mutating into an entirely different virus or such. Just a different strain, right?


Right, but that is the beauty of evolution.

We forget that evolutionary change occurs over VERY large numbers of generations. Hence, these slight adaptations build up over generations (for bacteria, this is very short, for us quite long) and new species form.

1 tiny change may not mean much, but 100 million small changes in many different gene areas is going to have a hell of an impact.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:13 am
by joost
The real question of course is: Do you believe in Revolution?

Image

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:33 am
by Mr Stoofer
Is there any country in the world, other than the United States, where this is a topic of debate?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:08 pm
by IH
But there are still faults with the origin.

If chemicals produced it in the first place, why isn't it being reproduced today? Why can't we reproduce it?

I continue to feel like the generations is still something thats just going "BUT YOU CAN'T DISPROVE IT!"

Not only that, but alot of evidence points that the earth is not that old. Like the degeneration of the magnetic fields. Etc Etc.

Which brings me back to the main point of this thread, which is talking about teaching it in schools, right? The spin thats getting put on it is that Evolution is right, you're stupid, shut up, at least from my viewpoint, when Evolution is a highly inconclusive theory, and needs to be taught objectively if they insist on teaching it.

I don't believe it myself, but if they insist on teaching it, then thats how I believe things should go about.