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Evolution and the Eye



  • I’m having a hell of a time with this.

    Even Darwin concded that its difficult to think a structure as complex as the human eye evolved by chance. Here’s how scientists explain it now:

    "Here’s how some scientists think some eyes may have evolved: The simple light-sensitive spot on the skin of some ancestral creature gave it some tiny survival advantage, perhaps allowing it to evade a predator. Random changes then created a depression in the light-sensitive patch, a deepening pit that made “vision” a little sharper. At the same time, the pit’s opening gradually narrowed, so light entered through a small aperture, like a pinhole camera.

    Every change had to confer a survival advantage, no matter how slight. Eventually, the light-sensitive spot evolved into a retina, the layer of cells and pigment at the back of the human eye. Over time a lens formed at the front of the eye. It could have arisen as a double-layered transparent tissue containing increasing amounts of liquid that gave it the convex curvature of the human eye."

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

    Ok, thats well and good but you know whats missing? Where did the lightsensitive patch of skin come from? A light sensitive cell is a pretty complex thing. Creating one by random mutation  seems a little farfetched, but I can’t find anything on how a light-senstivie patch might have evolved.

    And if a light-sensitive spot DID spontaneously evolve, there are two other things that would have had to evolve simultansouly in order to confer a survival benefit:
    1. A connection to a pathway of nerves leading to the brain (most cells aren’t connected to any type of nervous structure). I suppose you could argue that the light-sensitive spot evolved FROM a nerve cell, but that would require all sorts of simultaneous mutations to go from nerve cell to light-sensitive cell, AND the location of the nerve cell would have to be on the skin of the organism (or just under a transparent layer of skin). That’s not a place we usually find nerve cells.
    2. A change in wahetver brain the organism had to recognize the new data that is being transmitted by the new light-sensitive cell. It doens’t do an organism any good to have new data coming in it can’t understand.

    So I guess I’m still a little skeptical about evolution.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    That something has not yet been explained does not mean it is some sort of divine will.

    Evolution is a theroy used to explain the observed facts of change over time.

    Evolution also does not preclude a belief in the spiritual.

    Skepticism is the mark of a good scientist but it is not an indicator that something is invalid.

    And because something is difficult to believe

    Even Darwin concded that its difficult to think a structure as complex as the human eye evolved by chance.

    does not make it untrue. I have a hard time believing the USA got itself involved in another Vietnam style conflict.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Let’s remember that Darwin was tasked to find another method of human development outside of creation, but himself was a creationist.

    That may help shed some light on why he found some things hard to explain without admitting the existence of a God or god-like entity.



  • Now riddle me this, could evolution been put in place by a divine power?

    That doesn’t mean that a God or God-like entity didn’t also use other (additional) means for creationism.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Nothing to say it wasn’t (except the Public School System who seems closed minded to the idea.)  Of course, the chronology of the Bible does not really line up with the chronology of what scientists say evolution happened.  But who’s to say that a day in the Bible is the same as a day on Earth?

    Maybe it was a Psychlo day, not a Terran day?



  • If you went by Genisis (sorry if I am stepping on toes here)  some where around day 4 or 5 animals and birds were made.  Man wasn’t made until day 6 if I remember correctly.

    If evolution is in fact the way things did happen I think that we can all agree the human beings are more complex so they would have had to come later.

    But who knows I don’t think we will ever know in this life.

    LT


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    Let’s remember that Darwin was tasked to find another method of human development outside of creation, but himself was a creationist.

    http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:16085993

    Which suggests that Darwin thought God put Evolution into motion. By creationist Jen I infer you mean ‘doesn’t believe Evolution’ (by which I mean change in species over time.)

    @LT04:

    Now riddle me this, could evolution been put in place by a divine power?

    Is how it started relevent to whether ‘natural selection’ is a valid theory for Evolution (The change in species over time?)



  • Frimmel,

    Well, I suppose not but the whole ball of wax is interesting to consider.

    LT


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @LT04:

    Frimmel,

    Well, I suppose not but the whole ball of wax is interesting to consider.

    LT

    The whole ball of wax is interesting to consider – in a philosophical discipline.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    Source for below quote.

    A fact is a confirmed observation. For example, it is a confirmed observation that every tetrapod known has at some stage of its life, a humerus, a radius and ulna, and a distal cluster of bones corresponding to carpals, metacarpals and phalanges. The general public (and even some scientists) use the word “fact” to imply capital T “Truth”: unchanging agreement. In science, facts, like theories, may change: it was once a fact (for about 10 years) that Homo sapiens had 48 chromosomes. But other observations were confirmed and explanations found for the erroneous observations, and now we know that there are 46. In general, though, in science we treat facts as statements we don’t need to test and question anymore, but rather can use as givens to build more complex understandings.

    A theory, in science, is a logical construct of facts and hypotheses that attempts to explain a natural phenomenon. It is an explanation, not a guess or hunch, that one can casually disregard. Theory formationùexplanationùis the goal of science, and nothing we do is more important. A scientist joked that we should applaud the Tennessee law punishing teachers for teaching evolution as a “fact rather than a theory” because “everyone knows that theories are more important than facts!” Theories explain facts, but the general public doesn’t know that.

    Concerning evolution, then, what’s a fact and what’s a theory? One hears from many scientists, “Evolution is FACT!!!” The meaning here is that evolution, the “what happened,” is so well supported that we don’t argue about it, anymore than we argue about heliocentrism versus geocentrism. We accept that change through time happened, and go on to try to explain how. What we mean and what is heard is often different, however. What the public often hears when scientists say “Evolution is FACT!” is that we treat evolution as unchallengeable dogma, which it isn’t.

    We must learn to present evolution not as “a fact” in this dogmatic sense, but “matter of factly,” as we would present heliocentrism and gravitation. Most people consider heliocentrism and gravitation as “facts”, but they are not “facts” in my definition of “confirmed observations.” Instead, they are powerful inferences from many observations, which are not in themselves questioned, but used to build more detailed understandings.

    From the standpoint of philosophy of science, the “facts of evolution” are things like the anatomical structural homologies such as the tetrapod forelimb, or the biochemical homologies of cross species protein and DNA comparisons, or the biogeographical distribution of plants and animals. The “facts of evolution” are observations, confirmed over and over, such as the presence and/or absence of particular fossils in particular strata of the geological column (one never finds mammals in the Devonian, for example). From these confirmed observations we develop an explanation, an inference, that what explains all of these facts is that species have had histories, and that descent with modification has taken place. Evolution is thus a theory, and one of the most powerful theories in science.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @frimmel:

    @Cmdr:

    Let’s remember that Darwin was tasked to find another method of human development outside of creation, but himself was a creationist.

    http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:16085993

    Which suggests that Darwin thought God put Evolution into motion. By creationist Jen I infer you mean ‘doesn’t believe Evolution’ (by which I mean change in species over time.)

    Actually, no, I meant that he was a creationist as in he believed that God created all life, but he was attempting too explain how God created it.  That is, he did not believe that all life just happened to appear one day when a lightning bolt hit just the right set of amino acids in a puddle of muck when the temperature and humidity and solar radiation happened to be just right and that puddle of muck just happened to survive and evolve into human life we know today.

    BTW, Humans are not the epitome of evolution.  If we were forced into an anaerobic environment, say the lower depths of mud along a river, we’d die.  However, the bacteria would live, so in that environment, they are the more evolved species!

    Just a cute little tidbit I picked up in Evolution class, ere I mean Environmental Biology!


    Also, I want to note, my car runs on 100% solar energy!  Since oil is decayed diotomes and diotomes convert solar radiation into the energy we get from the decayed diatomes, then my car runs on solar energy! (That and gasoline is evolved oil and oil is evolved diotomes!  You can tell since they share similar, but slightly different, genetic signatures and traits, so they must have evolved from each other!  Maybe God had a hand in their evolution though.)



  • @Cmdr:

    That may help shed some light on why he found some things hard to explain without admitting the existence of a God or god-like entity.

    Scientists won’t admit the existence of something that there is absolutely no proof of.  If they do, doubt their methodology and scientific background.

    @Cmdr:

    Nothing to say it wasn’t (except the Public School System who seems closed minded to the idea.)  Of course, the chronology of the Bible does not really line up with the chronology of what scientists say evolution happened.  But who’s to say that a day in the Bible is the same as a day on Earth?

    Maybe it was a Psychlo day, not a Terran day?

    Comparing fact to relative fiction is not a good comparison.  The bible has had so many hands in writing it, revising it, translating it, there is no way the message originally intended is literal or was meant to be received that way…

    Not to say it’s worthless, just that it’s application wasn’t meant for that field of human existence.



  • Athena sprang fully formed from Zeus’s forehead.

    Now, does this support a creationist perspective?  Or is it an allegorical reference that at some point, the creator of Classical Greek Mythology (The being who became known as Zeus) also INVENTED (i.e. sprang from his forehead) the concept of a feminine divine entity to be part of the pantheon?  Or is it just a cure image that someone liked and was passed on?

    Discussions of the hows and what-fors of mythology are excellent mental exercise, but can neither be proven nor disproved.



  • So at what point in the debate are you able to hold religion to it’s word? Back in Galileo’s day when it was absolute blasphemy to say the earth revolved around the sun? Today? Tomorrow? Religion by rights should be an absolute of absolutes but “modern organized religion” has been furiously back peddling on their “story” for the past y2k years.

    So for sake of argument let’s see. On the one side you have those wanting to understand things and gain knowledge through a practical logical approach. On the other side you have this age old explanation handed down and which has been contorted for millennia so as not to appear completely absurd and foolish in the face of knowledge.

    And now apparently the debate over creationism vs. evolution seems to have been “ended” once and for all with the scientologists. Why they’ve discovered the ultimate end all answer: “oh yeeeaaah… the big bang and all that evolution stuff… yep God created all that… and just exactly the way you’re sayin’ it, too.”

    Divine intervention they say. Well isn’t that convenient. And how well would that explanation have gone over even 20-30 years ago? But it had got to that point where to try and tow the old line would have been absurd. Like trying to maintain the earth is the center of the universe/center of all life while a martian lander is sitting on the red planet scraping the soil as we speak.

    Someone was telling me recently when they moved the new church they were considering joining was insistent, adamant they provide them with their yearly salary… ya know, so the church would know how much money they could count on them for (and it was a specific percentage too). Gee, how “spiritual” that. Needless to say, they didn’t join.

    So ponder, read between the lines, connect the dots, fill in the blanks and draw your own conclusions. I’m not saying anybody is right or anybody is wrong. There’s a reason why they call it faith. My “faith” in daring to overfly your AA with my fighters might not be the same as yours, either. Faith is like that.

    But this discussion of course applies to “modern organized religion.” Spirituality is something very different and that I hold in great regard. Sometimes I tend to think Native Americans were the closest to getting it right in a practical sense after all. Their “religion” somehow understood the balance of all things. They believed that the air and water and soil were alive. Of course we know better…(wait, get a microscope.)

    But just look at where our “modern religion” indifference of these simple “pagan” things have got us. Poison our very own water and air… health problems with much longevity thanks to modern medicine. Spirituality is all but lost while religion is stronger than ever. The world just doesn’t work well with the concept of “take only what you need” anymore. It’s take all you can. Yes, just look at us now.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Jermofoot:

    Comparing fact to relative fiction is not a good comparison.  The bible has had so many hands in writing it, revising it, translating it, there is no way the message originally intended is literal or was meant to be received that way…

    Not to say it’s worthless, just that it’s application wasn’t meant for that field of human existence.

    No, it’s still the go too reference for history of the region, almost all of it’s history has been confirmed by other sources. Scientifically speaking it was way ahead of it’s time talking about the sun being locked in place, the earth being hung in the heavens (no stars directly beneath us we have found), paths in the oceans (currents), etc….yea, totally unscientific source.  Hell, Noah’s ark is what gives us our dimensions for ocean going cargo ships to this day because it’s the most stable form to put in the water.

    The question is, why are scientists loathe to use the Bible?  If I found a science text from 2000 years ago that explained, in detail, how to build a glider it would be lauded as one of the best archaeological discoveries of all time!  I’d probably even get a Nobel prize.  But when you have one sitting under your nose, you disparage it.  There’s a lot of historical knowledge and old science and medicine in the Bible.  Things like telling you to bathe regularly, tells you what you can safely eat, what medicines work (herbal of course), how to build boats (for a desert people???).

    Maybe it is or is not the word of God.  But you cannot just discount the science, medicine and history just because it’s enshrouded in a faith, anymore than you can ignore the scientist who finds the cure to cancer just because he happens to be a Scientologist.



  • Jen,

    I agree with you.  A history teacher I had once described history as his-story.  The bible is no diffrent if I read a sacred text about a Scientologist that lived 2,000 years ago (that he or she would have thought of as a journal) I may not agree with some of his/her points of view but to see the math and science he used every day as well as getting a good look into their way of life is very interesting.

    LT


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    :? :? :? Did Jen call the Bible a Science book?


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    No, it’s still the go too reference for history of the region, almost all of it’s history has been confirmed by other sources.

    Forgive my ignorance but where besides the Bible is Jesus mentioned in the writings of his contemporaries?

    Scientifically speaking it was way ahead of it’s time talking about the sun being locked in place, the earth being hung in the heavens (no stars directly beneath us we have found), paths in the oceans (currents), etc….yea, totally unscientific source.

    Ummm? What do you mean none below us? There are Southern Circumpolar stars.  As well as Northern Circumpolar stars.

    Hell, Noah’s ark is what gives us our dimensions for ocean going cargo ships to this day because it’s the most stable form to put in the water.

    Please cite present sea-going, freight-shipping examples that fit the classification ‘ark.’


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    Which Roman history book? Written by who? Contained in which library?



  • Yay, old Jen is back.  😄



  • Wasn’t Paul a Roman?  <ouch brain="" cramp="" can’t="" think="" far="" that="" back="" to="" sunday="" school.="">LT</ouch>


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    No, it’s still the go too reference for history of the region, almost all of it’s history has been confirmed by other sources.

    The go to references for the region of which you speak are the Egyptians with honorable mentions to the Babylonians, Assyrians, and, later on, the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

    @Cmdr:

    The question is, why are scientists loathe to use the Bible?

    Well, you explained it in your last post.

    @Cmdr:

    And no, the Bible is not a “science” book.  It’s a book that contains scientific facts, historical facts, medical facts, and stories passed from one generation to another.

    The bible is a collection of documented oral histories. As a historical text it is unreliable, at best. NONE of the events described in the bible were actually documented at the time they occurred and are therefore subject to major discrepancies and bias by the writers. Much more so than the normal discrepancies and bias that happened when the ancients recorded events as they occurred. As it is, the New Testament was written at least 100 years AFTER Christ’s death and scholars are still unclear as to exactly when the Exodus occurred.

    And no, very little of it’s history has been confirmed by other sources. For centuries, theologians, archaeologists, and lay people have been trying to prove the events of the bible and, for the most part, they’ve come up with bupkus. The Hebrews of the Old Testament were a nomadic people. The only time you can pin their history down is when they interacted with a known historical location and, even then, neither the events nor the time as described can be trusted. Only the location can.

    The bible is no more a reliable historical document than the WWE is real wrestling. Looks real enough, but….


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    You may want to look at Josephus (sp?) as he is a historian who also documented many of the facts that are also documented in the recorded history of the Israelites and Romans.  Just to give you one, very famous, name.

    Source.

    Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus’ short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus’ birth in 37 C.E., well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus, puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written! Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

    Source.

    Although Christian apologists have listed a number of ancient historians who allegedly were witnesses to the existence of Jesus, the only two that consistently are cited are Josephus, a Pharisee, and Tacitus, a pagan. Since Josephus was born in the year 37 CE, and Tacitus was born in 55, neither could have been an eye-witness of Jesus, who supposedly was crucified in 30 CE.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    You may want to look at Josephus (sp?) as he is a historian who also documented many of the facts that are also documented in the recorded history of the Israelites and Romans.  Just to give you one, very famous, name.

    I dug this up:
    Titus Flavius Josephus was a first century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

    There are two extant references in Josephus on Jesus, the one directly concerning Jesus has come to be known as the Testimonium Flavianum. These passages appear in The Antiquities of the Jews, written in the year 93 by the Jewish historian Josephus. All extant copies of this work, which all derive from Christian sources, even the recently recovered Arabic version, contain the two passages about Jesus. The authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum has been disputed since the 17th century, and by the mid 18th century the consensus view was that it was a forgery. This conclusion was questioned in the 20th century and the intellectual controversy will probably never be resolved. The other passage simply mentions Jesus as the brother of James, also known as James the Just.

    His most famous work Antiquities of the Jews is mainly about Hebrew history over 1000 years after it occurred. Now explain to me how anything Josephus says could be considered concrete proof for anything the bible says.

    @Cmdr:

    Rome has records of Jesus being crucified and records of some of his disciples being imprisoned.

    Source?

    @Cmdr:

    Egypt has records of the fleeing of the Israeli slaves.

    Really? Egyptian records specifically mention, by name, the Exodus of the Hebrews? So then you can tell me, with 100% certainty, exactly which Pharoah was in power at that time. Please do so. I’m curious.

    @Cmdr:

    Ancient texts from the Germanic tribes and from Gaul show requests to King Solomon for loans.

    Oooooh, I love this one. Aside from the fact that Solomon is another disputed historical figure, Gaul is the ROMAN name for that region, not the Hebrew one, if they even had a Hebrew name for it. I want you to provide me with solid evidence that King Solomon, if he did actually exist, had contact with people in southern France let alone was loaning them money.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    If you close your mind and look to unsupported claims of the ignorant for your support, no one will ever be able to change your mind, Frimmel.

    Change my mind to think the Bible is a science book? Change my mind to ignore the evidence that species change over time to favor traits that give a survival advantage? I don’t recall saying there is no God simply asking if his existence is relevant to whether evolution is a valid theory to explain the facts that species change over time.

    Removed reference to deleted post df

    Barring the destruction of a signifigant number of librarys or 180 degree turn in attitudes toward archiving history in 2000 years it will likely not be an issue of dispute that Abraham Lincoln, or Winston Churchill or Babe Ruth or John Kennedy existed.

    You can not provide me with ONE person who knew this Jesus person. A person who would surely have attracted considerable attention. The only person you can bring up was born many years after his supposed death?

    While I suppose that is hardly conclusive proof that he did not exist the burden of proof is not mine to bear.

    But I guess even in the days of old there were people who thought the world was flat and that telescopes were the work of the devil.  So I will allow you to remain with your hatred and hope that you will one day out grow it.

    Which is it? Are things to be taken on facts or faith?

    You applaud those who questioned the FACT that the world is flat yet condemn me for questioning the FACT of the existence of Jesus?


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