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Evolution: A Reality

Evolution is not a theory (though science, cautious of crowning anything a "law," may still call it one). It's a reality. We've seen it, we've observed it, it's a fact for all intents and purposes. Evolution is not a religious belief, and Creation and Evolution are not mutually exclusive. There's nothing to say that some deity couldn't have created humans, and then scripted their evolution (and that of every other species).

Anyone who denies that evolution is a reality is, in fact, a moron. So I side with the university professor who is refusing to write letters of recommendation to students who don't "believe" in human evolution. He shouldn't - they're clearly morons unable to process simple logic, reality, and history, and see that they don't conflict with their religious views at all.

Says the whiner: "I really don't see how believing in the evolution of humanity has anything to do with patient care or studying science." Moron. I sure as hell wouldn't want that kid practicing medicine on me or anyone I care about.

(Update: there's a rather long discussion here.)

9 Responses to "Evolution: A Reality"

  1. Creation

    In my normal morning look at blogs, I can across this. Very funny and true. I do believe that evolution

  2. I must admit up front that I am out of my field of expertise here. I studied history and anthro/archeo, not biology or chemistry, so my research in this area is very limited.

    However, recently I have seen some pretty compelling evidence pointing towards intelligent design theory as not some loonie intellectual suicide, but as a viable option to those who have trouble with some of the points of Darwinian evolution. Evolution is within the realm of question. Natural selection, however, is not. It is one component of evolution, not the whole thing. It accounts for how we've most likely developed over time, not necessarily the exact origin. Several very well respected bio-chemisists are starting to really question and have to come to terms with things at the molecular and DNA level they cannot explain away using Darwinian evolution.

    Again, I am out of my field here so I am unable to argue specifics with great depth, but I've seen some pretty compelling materials lately. I wish I could remember the name of the tape I was watching last weekend that talked about a lot of this stuff. Also, there is a book by Michael J. Behe called "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution" that caused a pretty big stir a few years back in the scientific community that MANY intelligent individuals have told me to read on this subject.

    As far as the religious end of this debate, I think I am more in the camp of my friend Erik and his comments now than I once was. I am a very commited Christian, believe in Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection for our sins so that those who accept that gift will have eternal life. Yes, I believe all that very much so and am commited to helping others see that truth as well. The reality of the spiritual realm is vivid and effects the temporal realm. Without sin and an original fall there could not have been a redemptive (redemption = "to buy back", it's an old slave trade term in Mediteranean culture, God literally bought us out of our slavery to sin through Christ taking our debt on himself) plan in the first place. Romans 8:20 states "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it..." and in 22 "For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." Is it possible that God had his hand in creating the world through a process that looks to us like evolution? Sure, I'll concede that that's possible because we weren't there to know exactly how God did it (or is doing it, that verse above indicates that childbirth is still occuring). However, I would argue that the reality of natural selection is a distortion of God's original creation that came into being because of sin entering the world. Think about it, there's no order to it. There's no reason. It's dog eat dog, stronger creature wins out and passes on its traits of domination. It's not a compassionate thing at all, it's cut throat. It is the exact opposite of God, who is love, it's chaos and selfishness and evil (which, for another discussion, you could boil pure capitalism down to the same thing...but that is another discussion). So yeah, all of creation is in random flux because of the spiritual chaos sin created and its effects in the temporal existence.

    As far as all the stupidity in the Christian world concerning this topic, I couldn't agree more with Erik. I think, for one thing, the Bible was gotten a hold of by uneducated paranoid preachers early on in the 20th C (some with good intentions, mind you, I'm not condemning them as individuals, just recognizing their stupidity) and now we have a whole culture (not too unlike the pop culture at large) of Christians that is just ignorant about what the truth we base our hope and faith in really is and says. A real reflection of the stupidity of American culture as a whole as a result of mass media, but that's another discussion too. The idea of seven literal days is simply preposterous. The Hebrew word for day used in Genesis, yom, means "a period of time" in most contexts, not a literal 24 hour day. So I am not a young earth person.

    Before I leave this posting for lunch I must address one more thing. When you look at the idea that there may be an intelligent designer out there you have to ask yourself, why bother creating us? Besides that God presents himself to us in the Bible as a creative individual (thus the reason we are creative since we're made in his image), why? Talk about a cruel God! He has fun creating and we have to suffer here on earth. I would challenge you to ask this question as you look into intelligent design theory and the Bible. The God of the Bible is a loving God who gave of himself fully to show his love to us. Part of his character is to act as judge as well (because he is the moral standard to judge by, it's the only fair way in a world where everything is morally tainted in some way), but in one of the Psalms he states that it is his "unpleasant strange business" to act as judge. It is not something he enjoys. The Bible paints an overall plan of creating us to pour out his love on us and to give us the chance for complete fulfillment of every need, desire, want, etc. that we have had or could ever have in a relationship with the loving creator of the world. That's the process you enter into when you accept Christ's sacrifice and become a Christian, or a follower of "The Way" as the original Christians called themselves before the term Christian came about. Most churches in this country have it totally backward and have ruined God and his plan for many people because of their want of human control. The institution has covered the real reasons. We don't grovel before God, we do have respect, but we enjoy intimately knowing and enjoying the God of the universe in gratitude for his love.

    Think about it. I have to run to lunch. If you have questions feel free to e-mail me. Catcha later.

  3. Oh God You Devil

    Saw an interesting post on Erik's blog regarding a Texas biology professor who refuses to write letters of recommendation for students who don't believe in the Darwinian theory of evolution. This sort of thing has, of course, been coming for quit...

  4. Response to a comment I posted on Matt's blog:

    I didn't define the term "evolution" nor did I use the term "natural selection" on purpose. I specifically did not mention Darwin specifically.

    Giraffes have long necks because the longer necked ones had a higher chance of survival by reaching higher leaves.

    Moths in Detroit turned grey in a generation when Detroit was industrialized - their former white markings made them easy prey for birds against the now sooty landscape.

    Evolution - in this sense - is what I was talking about. It exists. We see it. Napoleon lowered the average height of French people because he put tall people at the fore of the armies, eliminating quite a few "tall" genes from the pool. It happens.

    Please understand that religion and science are not necessarily butting heads here. This topic has nothing to do with creation in my mind. This biology professor - one who has taught theology classes and is a devout catholic - believes that "evolution" itself is central to understanding biomedicine. IT IS.

    Put penicillin in a bacterial culture and watch the culture - after largely being killed off - adapt to tolerate and perhaps even feed off of the penicillin. THAT is evolution (as I'm using the term), and THAT is very very central to a person's ability to be a good doctor.

    Furthermore, we must remember that this is ONE darn student. One seemingly lazy student. I was challenged by a theology professor to write about how religion has shaped my life, once, and instead of whining about how I couldn't possibly do this because I didn't have religion (as an example), I instead found a creative way of answering the question.

    There is NO proof to show that, should this lazy whiner student be able to put together a cogent, logical theory which supports God, religion, and whatever bits of science might support him, that the professor would NOT support him and write a recommendation.

    Furthermore, were I a professor, I'd be darn certain to offer my recommendations only to students who - for MY reasons - met my requirements and deserved it. If I didn't like the way someone was always 5 minutes late for class, would I be wrong in refusing to write a recommendation? If a student seeking further placement in a very scientific field not be able to apply simple logic to answer a question were seeking my recommendation, you bet your butt I'd deny him, regardless of whether his reason was religious or otherwise.

    I've ranted long enough on this today, but it's certainly very interesting. I'm going to post this as a comment on my blog as well, I think.

  5. You say:

    Moths in Detroit turned grey in a generation when Detroit was industrialized - their former white markings made them easy prey for birds against the now sooty landscape.

    I say:

    It was London. =)

  6. It was London, but regardless, Detroit or London, the point is clear that natural selection is very real. All the examples Erik stated are documented factual proof of its existence (France still has an extremely unbalanced ratio of men and women because of the Napoleonic Wars and WWI and, to some extent, WWII, so there's more amunition for that particular argument).

    I think I understand Erik's point a little better now, and I didn't read the article fully. Still not sure I fully agree, but undestand. A person in fields dealing with biology need to be aware of these basic things to be competent. My mother is a perfect example (and Erik and mine high school science teacher, Phil Sarver, whom my mother studied with for her masters work - they were in the same program together). She is a hemotologist. Looks at blood all day. Does she believe in evolution persay? No, she's an intelligent design person as well. Does she know that parts of it are very real (like natural selection)? Absolutely! She sees it every day. She has a masters in biology and had to argue her stance on this issue before a board to be able to receive that degree. She happens to believe one theory over the other, but can argue both extremely well, because both are based on many of the same principles, and all of the same body of information (you can't pick and choose, remember, which is what a lot of people on both sides of the issue try to do). The scientific community is, from everything I've gathered, pretty open to differing theories as long as you can argue them logically. My mother did her independent study work for an entire summer pretty much proving natural selection, regardless of what she believes. Basically, she knows her shit and this kid should know his shit too if he wants to practice in any field that is biology related.

    Now, there is the chance that this professor could just be a prick. We've all had those kind.

    But regardless, I think the spiritual issues are worth wrestling through. This one issue is one of those things that gets blown way out of proportion by everyone involved, especially uptight Christians. If everyone would take a nice deep breath I think people could probably think a little clearer.

  7. You say:

    Moths in Detroit turned grey in a generation when Detroit was industrialized - their former white markings made them easy prey for birds against the now sooty landscape.

    I say:

    It was London. =)

    It was London, but regardless, Detroit or London, the point is clear that natural selection is very real.

    Actually it was neither. The whole Peppered Moth incident was supposed to have happened in London but was later shown to have been staged. Here's a UK Guardianpiece on it.

    I agree with Erik: macro-evolution is a fraud, micro-evolution/natural selection is less problematic.

  8. This sticker is incredibly stupid: This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considere...

  9. amazing how USA is still debating about evolutions

    evolutions whatever you want to call it, it's not "one" single theory in academy

    there many theories discussing how and by what mechanism evolutions occurs

    and these have nothing to see with rELIGIONS , put the religions OUT sometimes. is it incredible the number of news you can read about USA and Religions. every month, Hop! a new story ! (I'm sure if I read all american newspaper it could be one by day)

    and it's a fact, creature, humans, anything changed with the years, there are so many hints and noone cannot deny it

    but ,if you reaaaally want a god to exist , you can say the god (or gods) put all things (and so fossils and hits) for a purpose or the mighty nice god start the universe with all the tiny particles and stuff to let the World as we know it be.

    well.. I cannot understand "creationist", it's just denial of reality for.. nothing (there are nothing to lose or gain , even their faith)