Posted: Jun 26, 2010 6:08 am
by Rumraket
CharlieM wrote:
CharlieM:
What I'm calling unsubstantiated belief is the power of evolution by natural selection to produce anything but small changes within a limited area. What observed phenomenon did you have in mind?


Rumraket:
The fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative genetics(the tree of life), biogeography etc. etc. etc. You going to handwave it all away with reference to the flagellar hook protein FlgE ?


CharlieM:
Let's say the flagellar proteins FlgB, FlgC, FlgE, FlgF, FlgG and FlgK are homologous and that they all developed from some unknown precursor protein. Why is this evidence that they were formed by some unguided, evolutionary mechanism? My blood cells, neurons, liver cells and skin cells all developed from a common precursor cell. Does it then follow that they were formed by some unguided developmental mechanism? Your list above is good evidence that life changes and develops over time, but it tells us nothing about the cause of the change; whether or not it was brought about by unguided accidents.

You are making the mistake of thinking about any given line of evidence as seperate from the otheres. If you take it all together, observed speciation, observed micro/macro evolution, our knowledge of the workings of genetics and all the other stuff I listed above, plus more, the simple conclusion is that life evolved. And the geological record shows it.

Additionally, the alternative "design" explanation is ludicrous. We have fossils stretching back almost 700 million years before we get to jellyfish stage in life, and before that there is only bacteria. Are we now supposed to believe that intelligent designers returned to earth to finetune living organisms once every, say 100.000 years, over a course of 3.5 billion years just so they can engineer existing life into looking like the slowly evolved? Unless of course, you are now going to say that radiometric dating is false and the change only took place over a course of 6000 years?

Furthermore, I never understood the objection to large-scale speciation in the first place. Creationists often cry about the supposed impossibilites of "macro evolution" with inane references like "We have never observed a fish turn into a cow".

Well, actually.... we have. You did it yourself in nine months. Every fucking animal on earth did. At one point, you, a Blue-Whale, a Bear, an elephant... every fucking mammal was a tiny fishlike creature with a tail inside their mothers womb. And you all turned into a fully grown living member of your extant species, without intervention by any intelligent agent. All you required was time and nutrients. Here you are now... from almost nothing to a huge chunck of flesh. And it was pure, unintelligently guided chemistry and physics. If that can happen... a fish turning into a not-so-much-a-fish-but-with-legs in 20 million years cannot really be said to be a stretch of the imagination.