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The-Brights.net

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 CE

We are apes

This is information that has been around for a while. However, when is described in the way it is here, it really should make us think about our nature. We, humans, are the product of evolution, despite whoever speaks against it. The people who despise evolution describe it as a “mere theory”. As a matter of fact, a theory is: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena. The atomic theory explains the world, however no one has ever seen an atom. It is not necessary to see the atom. These are the situations in which theory and fact become one single entity. Finally, the only way of improving ourselves is understanding who we really are. We carry in our DNA the selfishness needed for survival. After all, the guys who invented the original sin were not lying to us.

If you are interested, read

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering....your last blog was about using nuclear power to control other countries, and now this blog is mentioning that we are apes. Are we heading for the Planet of the Apes? If so, what would you be? Charleton Heston or one of the Apes?

6:36 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

I do not form part of the future.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

This is my comment in AOL

http://messageboards.aol.com/aol/en_us/articles.php?boardId=556504&func=3&channel=News+AOL+Managed&refresh=true

The initial question is wrong. You can ask if someone believes in a supernatural being, however, you canot ask if someone believes in Evolution. Evolution is science and the scientific method is not based on faith, in fact, the exercise of faith is inaproppriate when doing science. Evolution is a theory, but this is the definition of theory:

"a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena".

The atomic theory has the same status. Has anyone seen an atom?

If you like to have mature debates about this issue visit:

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marco,

Since last commenting here I've done some reading on the topic of quantum physics - mostly low level books for beginners and the mathmatically illiterate (me).

On the one hand, I have trouble with people that deny the Theory of Evolution, after all, it is just a scientific way of saying that things (in this case living creatures) change as a result of the "pressures" applied by outside forces - like the environment. Look around. It is hard to deny.

On the other hand, I also find that most people do not get to the crux of the argument surrounding evolution which is: how did something evolve from nothing. That is where the quantum physics comes in.

As far as I can tell, and I've read the most current books I can find, there are 3 viable theories that describe our existence:

1. Super determinism - a Scientific Theory which is very close to an all powerful creator as proscribed by Christianity which is creationism
2. The Theory of Many Worlds - which seems to gibe with some Eastern philosophies
3. Connectedness - another theory that gibes with Eastern philosophies

What's my point? Two points:
1. Theory of Evolution is valid - just look
2. Creationism is scientifically viable at this point in time according to quantum physics

Q

9:32 AM  
Blogger Puma said...

Well hello Q :)
Quantum physics is scientifically viable because it has established itself empirically as a science. Creationism is simply a belief, or set of beliefs, and as such is not scientifically viable. This is not to say that either are right or wrong, this is just to be clear about what is, and what is not, a science.

If proponents of quantum physics were to announce tomorrow that their studies prove the existence of God, or in some manner spiritually explain anything, I would be as justified in saying the same thing: sorry guys, you don't qualifiy as a religion, since you have made no study of moral codes or values, have no humanly meaningful rituals, no useful stories, have no comforting words for us, nor have you wrestled with the unexplainable.

Similarly, if Creationism wishes to be regarded as a science, then it must begin to perform the tasks of science using the scientific method: empirical study, reproducible tests from cogent hypotheses, logic, and evidence. Once it has performed enough of these and has published its findings and passed muster in a review by the wider established community of scientific peers (as all scientific theories must) THEN perhaps it may be considered a science. Not, however, until then.

That having been said, of course there are bound to be overlapping discovery, puzzling patterns, and insightful (to us) correlations between the religions and the sciences. But that is NOT the same thing as saying that Creationism is a science. What you call "the crux of the argument" could more accurately called "the unexplainable" which of course is outside the bounds of science, which IS in the business of explaining things. That is the limitation of science. The unexplainable falls squarely into the realm of religious and spiritual belief. When you attempt to call a religious belief science, I believe you are limiting that religious belief, and end up failing to understand what religion is about to begin with: profound grace and faith in the face of uncertainty and not-knowing.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Sarah: I think that your explanation regarding the difference between religion and science could not have been better. It is so well structured that, if you do not mind, I will use parts of it to explain this issue to other people. Religion and science are two different disciplines with different goals and different perspectives.

Q: The only way in which quantum physics will be able to "prove" the existence of a supernatural being, would be if they find something like a "footprint". An example of this would be subatomic particles vibrating at frequencies which are multiples of prime numbers, in a sequential way. Something like that would let us know that there is/was an intelligence behind matter and energy.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Puma said...

Hey Marco, no problem at all - you are welcome to use my explanation all you like, and hopefully improve upon it. I couldn't resist responding to Q - we have gone 'round before :)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Puma said...

Marco, In the Washington Post today, Charles Krauthammer rips apart the Intelligent-Designers' "argument" here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/17/AR2005111701304.html

10:35 AM  
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

I can appreciate your points, but I am not convinced. Before I became a Christian and believer in creationism myself, I often thought the prospect of coming from monkeys was just ridiculous. Why are they still here? Why have they not evolved? I also was just plain insulted by the very thought that someone would even suggest that these "hairy little critters" were from my ancestoral chain.

What about micro evolution as opposed to macro evolution? One works, the other does not. Is not the rule of science to first observe, test, and then re-observe in order to consider anything scientific fact? Do you know of anyone who actually witnessed this phenomenon take place? I do not mean to sound fecicious. I am no expert in science but when I have read "scientific" discoveries and findings, I quite often find the creation science more convincing. Keep in mind that in order to be fair there are scientists(who hold the same credentials as yourself) who share the same passion for science as you do but support creation science as opposed to evolution. You should not dismiss their science because you personally do not agree.

My understanding of scientists is that they have to be open to hearing and considering all ends of the spectrum. If I may suggest a good read to you called "Why does man believe evolution against all odds?" by Dr. Carl Braugh. Maybe someone of your credentials may have already heard of him.

But I would suggest that you do not simply write off creationism as a "belief". The book I mention provides alot of science from the secular community. It also includes scientists who were once firm supporters of evolution, renouncing it. As well you read some of Darwin's statements about the potential flaws that could damage his theory. Things we have now seen come to fruition in our time.

Doc, there is science to support creationism, take the time to look into it. I am not trying to change your mind, only you can do that. but from what I have read into it....It takes far more "Faith" to believe in evolution then it does to believe in God.

I dig your blog though. It is mind stimulating. Interesting reading.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

The Intolerant One

Thanks for your nice words towards the blog

First, I regard your statement that says "I am a believer in creationism myself" as correct. Creationism is something that has to be believed on. Science is not about believing, it is about knowing and discovering. Carl Sagan said, "I do not want to believe, I want to know". A scientist can have hi/her own set of believes, provided that they do not interfere with his/her work.

Second, Evolution is a little bit more complicated than just coming from monkeys. Evolution has to be regarded as a tree that always creates new branches. The species that preceded man like autralopithecus afarensis or homo habilis, or the earlier prohominoids do not exist. The monkeys (anthropoids and non-anthropids) anre ends of branches that have a common origin with the branch of man. Take a look at my post on this topic (December 12,2004)

Third, Evolution cannot be a belief because it is a theory. When I use the workd theory I use the following definition: "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena". As far as I know, I do not know about any serious research about a creator, for the simple reason that a creator would be a supernatural being who could not be explained by any aspect of the natural world. If you have concrete examples that show creationism, let me know.

7:02 PM  
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Thanks Doc for taking the time to respond.

When I mention I am a believer in creationism I feel I should clarify my position. It is no secret to you that I am a man of faith. However, as you would prefer, let's keep God out of the equation so that we talk at a level we both understand. When referring to creationism, I do not simply base that on my faith but also the science behind it. I do not mean, for example, the Bible supporting science but rather science supporting the claims to the Bible.

I do agree with your statement that evoultion is indeed a theory. I would also suggest that there is the "Intelligent design" theory as well. I do not feel it is one that should be dismissed as both require some level of basis for belief. Allow me to qoute from British Biologist L. Harrison Matthews when he stated:

"The fact that evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory - is it then a science or a faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation - both are concepts which believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof."

(Introduction to "The Origin of Species", C. Darwin, reprinted by J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1971, p. XI)

I guess I find it mind boggling, almost arrogant (no direct reference to yourself) that some in your field could accept one as science and dismiss the other when both evolution and intelligent design have no basis to be considered science but have the foundation to be considered theory.

I noticed one of your commentators, Sarah, made a statement that would fall in line with this arrogance I suggest when she said:

"Similarly, if Creationism wishes to be regarded as a science, then it must begin to perform the tasks of science using the scientific method: empirical study, reproducible tests from cogent hypotheses, logic, and evidence. Once it has performed enough of these and has published its findings and passed muster in a review by the wider established community of scientific peers (as all scientific theories must) THEN perhaps it may be considered a science. Not, however, until then."

Was anyone available to perform these very things suggested to support the theory of evolution? Is evolution now science as she suggests or is does it still remain theory as you suggest? It appears to me that there is a double standard when both evolution and Intelligent design are theory but only one is given consideration.

My question to this outlook is this, if evolution is just a theory where is the evidence to support it as science? Allow me one more qoute from my good friend John Feakes (you and him would have a very good debate) he said this:

"Evolution is not based on observable, testable, demonstrable, repeatable, scientific facts, but on philosophical presuppositions. This creates an interesting contradiction in for the evolutionist, since he asserts that creation is to be rejected for it's unscientific nature"

I know I am biased towards my friend but I must say that was well said. He makes a very conclusive and accurate observation.


You also mentioned that you wanted concrete examples of creationism (Intelligent design) I thought science was starting to look no further then the complex structure of DNA and all of it's intricacies. I am aware that some of science's well respected leaders are beginning to acknowledge that the primordial soup theory (life just happened by chance) is now in serious question.

Alright one more qoute:

"Scientists working on the origin of life problem deserve a lot of credit; they have attacked the problem by experiment and calculation, as science should. And although the experiments have not turned out as many hoped, through their efforts we now have a clear idea of the staggering difficulties that would face an origin of life by natural chemical processes."

Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry, "Darwin's Black Box, The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution", 1996, p.172

"In short, scientists have never been able to concoct in the lab, under plausible pre-biotic conditions, all the necessary "building blocks for life." Even if they could, this does not follow that these "building blocks" would or could arrange themselves into a living organism. Think about it. If we put a frog in a blender and hit "frappe", all the chemicals needed for life would be there in the same place at the same time. No one would expect, and rightly so, that these chemicals would actually link together and become a new living organism." John Feakes

I thank you again for this subject, you are interesting to talk to. Even if we do not see eye to eye on this area. Just so you are aware I do consider everything you have to say. Merry Christmas!

2:29 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Dear Intolerant One

Thanks for your contributions, I am glad to be debating with someone like you.

First, read carefully the definition of theory which I mentioned. The gravitational theory fits into it. No scientist has identified how the gravitational field is transmitted. The atomic theory also fits since no scientist has ever seen an atom. However, ID does not fit because it lacks the essential of the scietific method which is to be unbiased. The ID believers, start from the principle that thare is a creator and try to demonstrate it. That is anti-science. Evolution started as an honest method to describe nature based on observation. The observations led to the conclusion that our ancestors could be hairy ugly animals. Scientist who follow ID are very far away from mainstream.

Second, I disagree about the need of faith to "believe" in Evolution. Just look around. Just accept the fact that our DNA is 98% similar to the DNA of the chimpanzee. Just accept that we have not been here forever and that the fossil data shoes constant change. I am a man who has chosen not to accept most of things by faith, and I had no problem understanding the realities of Evolution. As you are not trying to convince me, I am not trying to convince you.

You can call me Marco.

8:50 PM  
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Hello Marco! I am back again. I always appreciate your responses and I am sure this is one debate we could continue until I go to "glory" in the great beyond and you just cease to exist. (hope you caught the humour in that)

I read your last response and then went on hiatus for the Christmas holidays. If it sits well with you I would like to now respond. Opening with one of your first statements:

" ID does not fit because it lacks the essential of the scientific method which is to be unbiased. The ID believers, start from the principle that there is a creator and try to demonstrate it. That is anti-science."

I am not convinced this is an entirely fair statement. I think if we are going to be fair then we must acknowledge that some scientists came to support Intelligent Design, not neccessarily by any belief in a deity, but strongly felt that scientific discovery led them to that conclusion. It would be no different then those who do claim to believe in a deity and yet support evolution.

Your next statement:

" Just accept the fact that our DNA is 98% similar to the DNA of the chimpanzee."

Actually, Marco, I do accept that already. That is a scientific reality that is irrefutable. However, I would argue that this is not a convincing arguement to accept the theory of evolution.

For example, a jellyfish, a watermelon, and a cloud are made up of almost 100% water. Although all three have similar compositions we would not claim that one is the "father" of the other.

My point being that similarities do not neccessarily imply an evolutionary relationship. In fact, according to science, humans and mice share alot of similarities and yet we would not hear suggestions of an evoultionary relationship with regards to mice coming from the science community. Allow me to quote:

“The two genomes, it turns out, are remarkably similar: 99.9 % of mouse genes have a direct human counterpart.” Alison Abott, “Sorry Dogs – Man’s got a new best friend”, Nature Magazine, 420, December 19, 2002, p. 729

According to science's rough approximation the difference between man and mouse is about 300 genes. In my last entry I had noted that science has also never been able to observe the mutation process that led to the evolutionary process from chimp to man. What you have challenged me on in this debate is to stick to the science(That is a challenge, it is so much easier to tell people that "God did it"). Here is something I came across that science has in fact observed:

“Scientific observation directly contradicts evolutionary theory. The vast, vast majority of genetic mutations are usually lethal, or at least crippling to the organism, drastically damaging survival and function. A few examples in humans include trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome), polycystic kidney disease, and cystic fibroses…The important point is that science has now quatitated that a genetic mutation of as little as 1 billionth (0.000000 percent) of an animal’s genome is relentlessly fatal!…Now the genetic difference between human and his “nearest relative”, the chimpanzee, is a least 1.6 percent. That doesn’t sounds like much, but calculated out, that is a gap of at least 48 million nucleotide differences that must be bridged by random changes. A random change of only 3 nucleotides is fatal to an animal (and, of course, the death of a crippled mutant animal ends all possibility of further change)…obviously there is no way to bridge even small genetic gaps successfully between animal species closely resembling each other.” Genetics Researcher Barry T. Maddox, “Human Genome Project: Quantitative Disprove of Evolution”, Cleburne, Texas: Self Published, 1992, pp. 1-3

A rather interesting read. I would appreciate your thoughts on that. Hope you had a very happy new year!

2:38 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Hello Intolerant. Happy New Year, welcome back to my blog

First, the reason why I believe that someone who arrives to a conclusion that we were made by a supernatural being using science is biased it is science cannot deal with knowledge beyond nature.

Second, comparing or making an analogy beween DNA and water in order to downgrade Evolution is an unfortunate mistake. DNA is a code for protein building. And that is what we are, protein buildings. Water is everywhere it is a solvent for many substances. Living and non-living beings are composed of it.

Third, we have very high degrees of correlation in genetic counterparts with all mammals. This does not mean a mimilarity between the total geentic material. I will explain it in this way. The 99% correlation with the mouse means that for a gene encoding for hemoglobin, there is one for man and one for mouse, for a gene encoding for collagen, there is one for man and one for mouse and so on. There are mimal differences like uricase for example which is present in mouse but not present in man. This high level of correlation holds true for all mammals, and it decreases as you start to compare man to bird, reptile, amphibian and fish in sequential order (another footprint of Evolution). The 98% percent correlation between man and chimpanzee means that in average, all codes coding for protein are 98% similar. To explain it with an example, means that the code for hemoglobin of the chimpanzee is more similar to that of man than the code of hemoglobin of the mouse. This is the same for all other proteins. And, to complete the example, the chimpanzee lacks uricase, just as man.

Fourth, it is true that most mutations are deleterious, however, there are mutations that are not, like the ones bacteria have undergone to become antibiotic resistant. Mutations happen all the time most of them are negative, some of them are neutral and few of them are beneficial. Look at the example of Hemoglobin S and malaria

11:11 AM  
Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Thank you for this debate. It has been respectful, mindbending, and informative. I will be posting my own entry's from time to time regarding "new science" and I will look forward (I almost expect it) your input. It has been a pleasure Marco. I am certain we will discuss something else in the near future.

I, too, have added you to my blog links and by the way I took that "political" test you had posted. I am just not sure I like my own results so I am debating with myself if I want to post them or not.

Take care.

2:27 AM  

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