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Discussion 9 to Talk Back 88
In a choice between observable reality and literal Genesis - I choose reality.

by: JT

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Proof does not amount to "well ,I don't understand how something this complicated happened naturally, therefore there must be a designer." And that is what your "You ask for proof of a designer. I give you life on our planet with its complex matrix" amounts to. That's not proof. That's simply fitting an observation into a pre-existing idea.

On the other hand, evolution, as a theory, was developed from the evidence. It is not a case of forcing the evidence into a mold to fit a pre-existing concept.

You ask "What mutation had a bee naturally decide it wanted nectar." I doubt there is any single specific mutation that resulted in bees being nectar collectors. It's the result of many mutations over millions of years - the same as for any other nectar loving species. But the evolution of various nectar loving creatures and the plants that provide nectar is a continuing ongoing process.

You ask "why have we in the last two hundred years of serious science not seen one species turn into another?" Actually, species don't turn into another species. What happens is that the descendants within a species over generations gradually differentiate and eventually are unable to interbreed. Thus one species divides into two or more species.

You claim this has never been observed! Wrong! There are quite a few examples of ring speciation which actually captures evolution in progress - where slightly different neighboring populations can interbreed, but the populations at each end of the chain are different enough that there is not interbreeding. They are different species. You can see evolution as you move around the ring.

Further, from Science Daily:

Lizards Undergo Rapid Evolution After Introduction To A New Home

In 1971, biologists moved five adult pairs of Italian wall lizards from their home island of Pod Kopiste, in the South Adriatic Sea, to the neighboring island of Pod Mrcaru. Now, an international team of researchers has shown that introducing these small, green-backed lizards, Podarcis sicula, to a new environment caused them to undergo rapid and large-scale evolutionary changes.

“Striking differences in head size and shape, increased bite strength and the development of new structures in the lizard’s digestive tracts were noted after only 36 years, which is an extremely short time scale,” says Duncan Irschick, a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “These physical changes have occurred side-by-side with dramatic changes in population density and social structure.”

Yes - evolution has indeed been scientifically observed.

I'd also point you to the point made by Jerry Coyne in the interview extract published in Meditation 773.

Finally, I'll deal with your last thought. "One last thought on the Genesis story. We can now make a diamond out of coal in less than a week. If we can do that why can't a Deity create the whole world in six days?"

On the six days issue, if you want to posit an all-powerful designer deity, I have to ask - What took him so long? Surely such a god could have created the Universe and everything in it instantaneously via a "Big Bang" (and as the big bang is a theory with less evidence behind it than does evolution, you can instead consider any of the other current cosmological theories for the initiation of the Universe) some 13.7 billion years ago. And no need for further meddling. Alternatively, an all-powerful designer deity could have created everything as it now stands (complete with our memories) at the very instant you began reading this sentence. At least those two possible examples are internally consistent. The real problem with your six days in Genesis (either the Chapter one version or the differing Chapter two version) is that the claimed sequence of events from day one through day six is entirely in conflict with the observable evidence.

Evidence? Or literal interpretation of Genesis? I'll take the evidence.