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Wednesday, October 27

Evolution vs. Creationism


                I expect that I will have to blog on this subject again in the future, as it is easily the most discussed subject without a proven “right or wrong” answer. Actually…that isn’t entirely true. Evolution is a proven fact. It happens all the time. Now before anyone goes wacko on me, let me explain what evolution really is: a change in genetic information, caused by either Natural Selection or Genetic Drift.
                Natural Selection is typically quoted as “survival of the fittest”. That’s not a very good description because it allows people to jump to their own conclusions. In a nut shell however, that is essentially what Natural Selection is. Let me explain how it works.
                Nearly everything about populations fall on a bell curve. A bell curve looks like this:
Bell Curve
                A bell curve shows variation in a population. The reason for the bell shape is that most people will fall among “average” in whatever you may be measuring. Slightly less will fall just below and above average. Then less will fall below and above that point. Essentially, the farther away you get from average, the fewer of the population you will find there. For example, here is a chart I found on quickstep.com showing height in males of North America. I cannot completely verify its accuracy, but it gives you a good perspective:
Average Man's Height


                Now let me show you how this would affect evolution. Let us pretend we drop a large population of people into the Savannah. We shall use the same graph we showed earlier and pretend that the zero marker indicates average running speed of the people in this population. Now, I do not know the actual average speed of an adult human, so I won’t attach any values. Let us say that the “1” designates one point above average. Again, I don’t know average speed so I’m attaching unit-less values. “-1” designates one point below average, "-2" designates 2 points below average, and so on and so forth.
          Now I have added a red box around an area of the graph. Let’s pretend this box is the average running speed of lions. Again I am using an unrealistic value, but just bear with me. Most of the humans that fell on that graph anywhere below that red box (slower) will probably be eaten, whereas those who are faster than the average lion will live on to reproduce and pass their genes onto the next generation. So, according to this, if you were slower than about “0.75” you probably died. Because of this, the ones who survived are the ones who were 0.75 faster than the original average ("0"). So when they reproduce the result is faster children. This makes perfect sense. If the slow ones are dead they cannot pass on their genes to the next generation of lion-food (This whole scenario is assuming that speed is located in the genes, which it more than likely is). So if we were to redraw the bell curve, the average would now probably be somewhere around “1” instead of “0” because all the “0”s are dead. There would still be some “0”s in the next generation though, just like there were some “-1”s and “-2”s in the previous batch.
          If this doesn’t make sense, re-read it. If it still doesn’t make sense Google up an explanation of Evolution and Natural Selection. Do not continue reading until you know this concept. This kind of thing occurs all the time in the Animal Kingdom. If something is keeping the less-than-averages from surviving then they will never reproduce and the result will be a progressively higher average with each generation. Of course, in some cases all of the species dies out, resulting in extinction. This could potentially have occurred in our example population, since the group was so reduced in size there may not have been enough left to reproduce.
                Genetic Drift on the other hand is a change in the frequency of a gene variant (allele) due to random sampling. Now, to explain what an allele is, take the classic genetic example of rolling your tongue. You all probably learned in Biology that this is a dominant trait, whereas not being able to do it is recessive. An allele is just these two different traits. There is a dominant allele and a recessive allele. Over time, the frequency of these alleles can change. In an enclosed sample, the recessive gene would probably disappear eventually on its own. This is genetic drift.
                Put Genetic Drift and Natural Selection together and you have evolution. That’s right, evolution does not just describe apes turning to humans, or dolphins growing legs. “Adaption” is nothing but evolution.
                Now we can start the actual debate. First off I must ask why it is that Evolution and Creationism can’t co-exist. Evolution does not describe the origin of the universe at all. Why do people draw such a thick line between the two? I’m going to discuss the issues that say that Evolution and Creationism can’t coexist and let you form your own opinions.


                Biggest attack coming from both sides is the Monkey to Man theory. Let me just go ahead and say that this theory is in and of itself total crap. Monkeys did not turn into humans. Monkeys are barely even close to “related” to us. The images you see of a chimpanzee evolving into a human were made by evolutionists with no knowledge of the actual subject what-so-ever, or creationists trying to show how ridiculous it looks. The belief is that we shared a common ancestor. Now, this area gets a little cloudy. We as humans have without a doubt changed over time; it is extensively documented in the fossil record. But figuring out where we linked into modern apes…not so easy. It is hard to tell where the Apes have their own history and we have our own without overlapping. So this throws the “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys around?” argument out the window. Now you know why the smart evolutionists rolled their eyes at that one. So when you throw this out, what’s to keep Evolution and Creationism from lining up? As far as I am able to tell, the Bible does not ever really describe what we looked like when first created. What is there to say we didn’t have protruding jaws and smaller builds? We certainly would have been able to survive better.  The only verse I have really noted that describes appearance is “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. -Genesis 1:27” Because we look at ourselves and then read this verse we assume that God must look exactly like we do now. But we don’t know that. We don’t even know God has a designated appearance. Now I don’t know how to read Jewish, or have a copy of the original manuscripts so I cannot re-translate the verse, but it would not be unlikely for a couple words to have multiple meanings. Ever tried google translate? Try translating a random sentence into spanish and then translate it back. Usually your new sentence will be different from the original. So taking this all into account, it is quite possible that God created man, best suited for the current environment, and then gave the world the ability to adapt.

                Many creationists like to say the earth cannot be a million years old because the Bible says so. The Bible does not specifically say this, but does provide a genealogy going from Adam to Jesus, including birth and death dates. It goes back to a total of about 6,000 years. Red flag! I’m surprised so few people actually take serious note of this: the 12-month definition for the word “year” comes from the Julian Calendar, which was not introduced until 46 BC. 46 BC was only a little more than two thousand years ago. Therefore, all the places the Bible says “year”, they could be talking about almost any period of time! We can just begin to guess at the possibilities and may still miss the mark completely. So when the Bible says “6,000 years”, we really don’t know that it means “72,000 months”. It could be referring to some sort of Seasonal year, maybe only counted every time a river reached a certain point. It could mean a Full Moon Cycle Year which lasts 411.78443029 days. The possibilities are endless, so we really cannot safely say that the Bible tells us the earth’s age.
                This kind of argument also applies to the word “day”. In Genesis God creates the earth in 7 days. Now, a day is defined as the time when the sun rises, sets, and then rises again. So, before God creates these sources of light, how exactly is a day measured? And why would we even assume that a day to God is the same as a day to us? To God a day could be a year, or maybe, even a billion years. This is really pushing the envelope I know, but really, why should we even assume our day now is the same as the day described in the Bible?
                While on the subject of time I feel the need to say that anyone who says that something was “dated to be a million years old using Carbon dating” may be spoon-feeding you a nice helping of BS, whether intentional or not. Radiocarbon dating is, unfortunately, only accurate on organic objects up to 50-60 thousand years old. This obviously presents a problem. In fact, when compared to methods that are more accurate on older rocks, the results can be off by millions of years. So whenever somebody says anything was “carbon dated” to any date older than 60,000 years, don’t buy into it. The results could be significantly off, even if they are true. This is a very creationist-based site that describes radiocarbon dating: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-c14-disprove-the-bible. There is an obvious bias, so take it with a grain of salt.
                That’s all I have for now, I may talk about some more later. But I’d like to hear your opinions on the current things I have discussed, any questions you have, pointing out the things I missed, and any good reasons you know of why Evolution and Creationism cannot co-exist. Present some good ones and I may talk about them next time.
***Some Images Were Removed From This Page To Avoid Potential Lawsuits and/or Shutdowns. My apologies***

References:
Wikipedia (For images, dates, names, and description of events only)
Google Images (For some images)
http://drydredgers.org/links.htm
Biology 1110, and 1120
Anthropology class


Coming next week: The Beast of Bray Road


1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Evolution doesn't prove there is no God. It just proves that if there is a god then he is pretty dang smart. I would love to see what you can do with creationism and the big bang theory.

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