A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 41


There was a great feature in the Guardian this Saturday about Darwin's great great great Grandson who is writing a book on creationism and the Jones (i think) trial where a teacher was prosecuted for teachng evolution. In this piece, the journalist was taken to a giant network of pot holes by a 'scientist' who believes the world is 6000 years old and that place such as aformentions chasm and the Grand Canyon were formed by the great flood. His evidece, as is obvious, falls down at every single hurdle and the man just comes across as an idoit.

You can deny what you've seen to be true, but the only person you're fooling is yourself. The creationists fail to appreciate the beauty of the world around them, because in each leaf and each creature, they're looking for a message. Well, the message is... there is no message. Wake up and see it.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 42


An idoit is like an idiot, only much worse. A new one for the OED there I think.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 43

Gnomon - time to move on

Obviously, when God created the world, he put an awful lot of hard work into persuading us that we weren't produced by creation but evolved:

- He got evolution to start happening the moment that the world was created. We can see this happening all around it, with insects changing to match their environment. It hasn't happened with any big species yet, but we're only here 6004 years so far.

- He left tons of fake evidence that evolution happened in the past, right up to the moment of creation.

So God really wanted us to believe in evolution. Why won't we?

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 44


I'm taking it that Gnomon's last posting was a joke. Or at least I hope it was.

Has Kansas really taken any mention of evolution from its school science curriculum and, if so, do they know the effect they'll be having?

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 45

Niz (soon to be gone)

In the mid to late 20th century bacterial infections such as T.B and polio had almost been irradicated due to successful use of antibiotics.
For the past 5 - 10 years these previously treatable diseases (in the west) are now making a comeback and are at the minute very difficult to cure. This is due to bacteria becoming resistant to current antibiotic treatments.
Because bacteria seperate and create a new generation every 20 minutes means mutations occur a lot quicker than bigger lifeforms. This means that over time the bateria have EVOLVED to be resistant to drugs. We can and have watched bacteria and other single cell lifeforms actually evolve in a lab and they can and do everyday.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 46

Mother of God, Empress of the Universe

An OPINION, here. (It's my nature--can't help myself)

Both are useful ways to try to explain the mysteries of the universe. I think the creationist stories are helpful in developing a picture of the world and how to interact in it. A broad overview to allow for cohesion. Science is a means of zooming in on the details and getting more specific answers to our questions.

The problem is that people seem to need them to be mutually exclusive, to force choice between one or the other, rather than using them for what they are designed to do. A pity, in my opinion.

Kept that short and sweet for once. I'm proud of myself smiley - smiley

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 47


Doesn't one solution negate the other?
The only way for creationism and evolution to coexist peacefully is to cop out and say god created the universe at the moment of the big bang, and evolution started at that moment. The problem with that is that the Bible claims that man sprang fully formed from His thoughts, which isn't borne out by the evidence.

For one to be right, the other must be wrong, so there doesn't seem to be much point in looking for common ground.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 48

Martin Harper

If I don't mention this quote, someone else will... "consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds" (Oscar Wilde? dunno).

Suppose that you hold a number of logical beliefs - B1, B2, ... BN
Now, take the belief that at least one of B1, ... BN is incorrect.
If you do not hold this belief then you are conceited.
If you hold this belief, then it must be one of B1-N. But this means that B1-N are self-contradictory. Hence you are inconsistent.

Therefore you are either conceited or inconsistent.

This has no relevance to the price of meat.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 49

Mostly Harmless

Mother is right. If I say that I made a loaf of bread and you say that flour, milk, eggs,... and heat came together and made the loaf of bread, who's right?? We both are, depends on your point of view.


Creationism vs Evolution

Post 50


Hi Folks, I am a new boy to the forum. I must admit that the quality of your discussions is a bit higher than the usual tits and bums chatrooms, congratulations.

On the subject of Creationism vs Evolution can I make this observation without upsetting anyones religious beliefs.

Knowledge is power, this applied hundreds of years, nay, thousands of years ago as much as it does today. Sadly when there was not any knowledge or explaination for way the world worked. Even in primative society there were some members of the group or tribe which the rest of the members looked up to as being more intelligent and looked to these people to explain the unknown to them. These Seers, Druids, Priests, Rabbies, Mulahs etc invented to the best of their ability reasons for events that had no obvious answers .

What was a Priest to say to a member of the tribe who brought to him the head or jaw of, say, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, when, after a thunder storm it was exposed to daylight after it had been buried for thousands of years. Or how do you explain the thunder storm, or an earthquake, or a plague, or a flower or a butterfly.

The temptation was to invent a Diety who can control these facts, and this is what they did. This Diety had to be worshiped and obeyed, or we would consigned to that pit whence the monsters came from.

But now that we understand what those primative fears and mystries are, is that any reason to continue accept the explainations of those ancient wise men,

Regards form Spud

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 51

Virus I

Seems to be a good battle going on here. Occam's razor is probably worth mentioning.

As so often happens the goalposts have been moved on this argument over the years. Creationism and evolution are not usually seen as being in direct opposition to each other these days. After all God could quite happily have created evolution just to cover his tracks.

I don't believe in Him myself but few scientists are happy with any current explantions of how it all began. Scientific explanations always seem to end up in an infinite regress.

Try reading 'The Mind of God' by Paul Davies for a physicists well considered overview of the problem.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 52


As I believe that this topic will never be fully exhausted, mostly in due to the fact that chances are we really will never know this side of death how exactly everything started.

When I have this conversation with people, I tend to try to play devil's advocate, it is interesting and keeps me on my toes. When I play the side of the creationist, the question that continually baffles the evolutionist is something along the lines of "If everything came directly or indirectly from the Big Bang, which came from some tiny particle floating among the primordial soup or what not; if that is true, from where did that partical come? From where did the primordial soup originate?"

It is a question that within the realms of modern science, cannot be answered.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 53

Martin Harper

Being an evolutionist has nothing to do with agreeing with big bang theory, or indeed being atheist. It just means that you agree with the theory of evolution as the basic mechanism for the creation of life.

That said (smiley - winkeye) the standard responses to the question "what caused the big bang then?" are:

1) A previous big crunch from a previous universe. Which was caused by a big bang, which was caused by a big crunch. It's universes all the way back.
2) It came from a black hole/something in a previous universe. Which came from a previous universe. It's universes all the way back.
3) Universes are one of those things that just happen.
4) Either there was going to be nothing, or something. There are a lot more ways that something can happen than nothing can. So it was pretty likely.
5) It's an invalid question because time was created in the big bang. So there.
{my favourite} 6) It was created by time travellers from the future, who set up a causal link. See star trek.
7) Dunno. What caused the existance of God then?

Some of these theories are testable, some are not. The testable ones are part of science, the untestable ones aren't.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 54

Mother of God, Empress of the Universe

Lucinda, I caused the creation of God. And as you can see, I exist. hehehe Even setting the story straight, here in h2g2. The buck stops here smiley - winkeye

But seriously, that's part of the reason why I have had this title for the past 13 years. It would be fascinating to find one simple, undeniable answer to a question of that nature. But then what would people have to get all heated up over? Seems as if it would take a lot of the intrique out of life, the universe and everything. Then the only question left would be "what's the point?"

Shutting up now. Carry on......

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 55


I remember reading (back in my really pretentious days) a book called The Evolution Of The Idea Of God which contained a quote from Niezche (spelt wrong probably): If God didn't exist, we'd have to invent Him.
This seems perfectly reasonable, Man is not made in the image of man, it's the other way round.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 56


1. Your quotation MyRedDice is from a chap called Ralph Waldo Emerson - "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do." Oscar Wilde would be appalled at the things said by others that get attributed to him - so many of them lack flipancy.

2. From a Darwinian perspective evolution as a theory explains the origin and development of the species not the origin of life itself. Miller and Urey's experiment (a flawed but a valid attempt to provide the starting point is not evolution but biochemistry). Evolution works from the primordial soup onwards but doesn't explain how it arose.

3. Imagine that we have a quantum singularity and a trigger that causes it to expand at an unimaginable exponential rate. Now I would like to give these two objects names. I call one "quantum egg" and the other "cosmic spermatozoa". I could create a whole mythology around this that extrapolates various scientific facts. (L. Ron Hubbard did it - although I am by no means an apologist for Scientology!).

It might even help us to understand what's involved if religion/mythology is allowed to interpret complex scientific concepts in such a way. "An extended mythology surrounding a concept of being" could be a useful definition for "religion". And much of it can thereby be dismissed because it originates in the mind of a man.

But there may be a kernel of truth at the heart of it (I don't mean allegory, I mean genuine truth). In most religions this is more likely to take the form of truths about social or moral philosophy than about metaphysics or ontology. But, for instance, the Mayans understanding of maths or the Egyptians knowledge of cosmology, shrouded in mysticism as they are, are essentially true.

4. Not all archaeologists are scientists, not all good scientists at any rate. Some prefer to examine culture and society, art and linguistics, and science is simply a tool to help uncover these things.

5. I read that human and dinosaur footprints HAD been found in the same strata, on a mudflat in the United States. Can't remember where. Please tell me this is a hoax. (interesting point - evolutionists are now the sceptics and some creationsists have become the hoaxers. Can we identify the point where the two ships passed each other in the night?).


Creationism vs Evolution

Post 57

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

You still get hoaxers from the evolutionary field, but you are right, they are now the exception rather than the rule. But does anyone remember that missing lizard-bird link discovered in China just a year or so ago? Turned out to be a chicken and a lizard stuck together. Stupid.

Having never heard anything about that dino-human interaction, I don't know what to say, except that it is most likely a hoax. Otherwise, I'm sure every believer in the world would be throwing it in my face.

I'm not sure I like the implication in #4. The science of humanity is every bit as important as the study of physics. How do you figure out where you're headed if you don't know where you've been? How do you avoid the mistakes of the past if you don't know what they were? Well, it's not an exact science, because we're not an exact species. There are no universal laws in human behavior beyond "People are stupid." That's what makes it so fun.

Creationism vs Evolution

Post 58

Mostly Harmless


The human-dino interaction that glider was talking about is that in Texas there is a stream that has dinosaur footprints in the bedrock. There is also a set of human/humanoid footprints along side the dino footprints. It looks like one was hunting the other. The reason that it is little known is that:

The scientists believe that the dino walked though mud. The mud harden into stone and was covered by silt. Later a flood washed away the silt and soften the stone back into mud (with out destroying the dino footprints) and an early human walked though the mud beside the dino foot prints. Then the mud re-harden into stone. (Boy, that's a stretch)


The scientists think it a fake because it doesn't fit their model. They are unwilling to admit that they might be wrong and have to change their model.

It reminds me of the controversy over the age of the sphinx. The egyptologists say the sphinx is 5000 years old. The geologists that have studied the stone of the sphinx and the ground around the sphinx say the sphinx is around 9000 years old. The egyptologists are unwilling to consider the geologist findings because it doesn't fit their model.

There are some people that will not change their mind no matter what evidence is presented to the contrary. Most people say that they want the truth, as long as they don't have to think about it to hard or it doesn't take them to far outside their comfort zone. A there are an extreme few that will follow all the facts with an open mind. Eager to know the truth where ever it takes them.


Creationism vs Evolution

Post 59

Xanatic(phenomena phreak)

Hmm, from what I know about those footprints, it has been shown that the human footprints(or the dino-prints) had been carved out by some artists. They were hoaxes. But I´ll look it up. But about the Ark of Noah somebody mentioned earlier. There hasn´t been found the real ark yet. All that has been found are old ships, from many different cultures that ppl has just claimed was the ark. And then different rock formations that looked kinda like ships, and has been claimed to be a fossilized Noah´s Ark. I think the one on Sinai was of the last kind. It seems now that the story of Noah originates from the creation of the Black Sea. Where it is now there was once some different tribes living. One day water started to fill up the place and everybody had to run for their lives. They ran in different directions and settled. It is these places where they settled that you have the idea about a Noah-like figure. But they´re only just finding out as we speak, so it might not be true what I´m saying. Actually I´ve looked in this book called The Bible Is Right or something like that. In it thr author was able to "proove" that the flood had happened. He had dug out a place in Africa and found a thick layer of mud over a large area. There you have it, proof of the Flood. There is of course no reason to dig out other places to see wether it covered the whole Earth, you just need faith. The idea that it could simply have been a lake that used to be there is blasphemy.


Post 60

Xanatic(phenomena phreak)

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