Evolution / Creation Debate (3)

By | September 12, 2009

Evolution / Creation Debate (3)CREATIONIST: My references to the Miller/Urey experiment correlate to my statement of “flawed experimentation and assumptions” for the oversights in the experiment.

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): Without trial and error we would not be able to have this debate. Computers and the internet evolved into what they are now through a process of incremental improvement over time. There were many flawed assumptions along the way. There are supposed to be.

CREATIONIST: Numerous compounds generated in the solution would break down said amino acids, and more or less be incompatible with further advancing of the amino acids into proteins.

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): There only has to be on average a net gain. If you create 100 amino acids and 99 vanish, you still created one amino acid in the process.

CREATIONIST: Last time I checked, huge bolts of electricity and ultraviolet rays tend to also break down compounds into disorganized states. I can introduce a lot of energy into a house, but that fire won’t build you the new deck you wanted. Without a very organized energy input, it’s hard to achieve higher orders of complexity (that pesky entropy).

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno):  This argument is like saying the sun can not help the earth because it is too hot. Energy diminished with distance. When lighting strikes, it burns what is directly in its path, but it also mildly warms those things which are just far enough away from where it strikes. Electricity starts forest fires which clear debris and allow, over the long term, healthy new organized growth starting from a clean slate. Small amounts of UV rays do contribute to more organization over time. UV causes genetic variation by introducing mutations.

CREATIONIST: Random releases of energy tend to scatter matter. Paintings fade in the sun, bombs render fragments from former buildings, lightning blows limbs off of trees, fire oxidizes mater down to it’s basic components.

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): You are not understanding self organizing systems.  Putting energy into a system does not always increase entropy. If the energy of movement of dust particles falling through clouds was not present, the complex organization of snowflakes would not exist.

Nature is analog, not digital. Yes, lighting would fry and destroy what it hit, but it would also warm areas near where it hit. Warmth changes molecule shapes and makes them move faster and bump into each other more, and stick together more.

CREATIONIST: Likewise, controlled heat can mold metals, controlled electricity drives our entire modern infrastructure, directed UV is used to kill life and sterilize potable water, and controlled explosions can build roads through mountains. The key is control, and I highly doubt evolution has much room for a “Controlling Force” to direct the flow of energy in a controlled manner.

EVOLUTIONIST: Living things are not metals. They are self organizing systems. Controlled heat and electricity is not involved in creating snowflakes. A controlling force is not need and a lack of one is evident.  As you grew, no one controlled the energy that turned a single cell into the adult “you”. No controlling force was required because small local interactions governed by atomic forces add up to complexity.

CREATIONIST: And, in defense of my beliefs… Christianity does not change, only the way people and “organizations” interpret it. The Roman Catholic church of the past is notorious for severely twisting Christianity.

They still do it today, but not as bad. Most modern churches do the same. By rights, there should be no denominations, no separate church organizations, but there are. They exist, because humans can’t sit down and collaborate on what’s the truth. One interpretation of the creation story is that the 6 days represent 6 “eras”. It’s a rationalization for those who want to bend Christianity to a popular mold (old earth theories).

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): I’m very interested in things upon which people can not seem to agree: God, UFOs, Bigfoot, etc. I share your frustration in that. It seems to me that we should be able to talk it out, look at the evidence, go after additional info if needed, and solve the mystery.

CREATIONIST: New species have been observed because they were either not previously known, or they are simply a variation of a “kind”.

EVOLUTIONIST: You just made an important point regarding evolution: We are ALL  simply a variation of a kind! Most “kinds” of life that ever existed are gone forever. Yet all “kinds” of life ever found on earth come from other life forms that existed before them. Everything had parents and the parents are slightly different.

CREATIONIST: All observed evolution is nothing more than genetic data loss or corruption.

EVOLUTIONIST: Yes, exactly, that is what evolution is, the result of  billions of years of genetic corruption! We are all mutants.

CREATIONIST: It is not a gain in complexity, as that would violate the laws of thermodynamics. One of the Christian theories states that “kinds” refer to similar creatures.

There may have been a more complex, genetically common ancestor that diverged into a wide variety of what modern science refers to as species, but that would not be evolution. That would be a de-evolution.

EVOLUTIONIST:  Complexity is not superiority. Pinot Noir grapes are genetically more complex than humans. Evolution is a process that makes a net gain, but because it is driven by randomness, makes wrong turns and results in many dead ends. Where are the Neanderthals now? In other words, there is no such thing as de-evolution. De-evolution is part of evolution. The environment on the earth changes and life changes over time to survive.

CREATIONIST: Evolution claims that the simpler creatures came first, but this again violates the laws of thermodynamics. It’s very possible that Dogs, wolves, foxes, and coyotes all came from a common kind, a more complex being that de-evolved over the years into the sub sets. Same with cats, rodents, etc. But it must be stated, that the “kinds” would never have had any common ancestor, and would not have become more complex over time.

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): As I said, by your definition, you violate the laws of thermodynamics and therefore, do not exist. You came from a single cell. That cell was FAR less complex than you are now. You are wrongly applying a generalization because you do not understand self organizing systems.

Biological processes are part of thermodynamically open systems, that are constantly receiving, transforming and dissipating chemical energy. Such systems can and do exhibit self organize far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

CREATIONIST: The same is true of so called “super-bugs”. Drug resistant bacteria are not superior, but rather have damaged structures that don’t allow certain toxins to penetrate.

EVOLUTIONIST (xeno): Yes, good example. “Super bugs” are new and they are superior, because they reproduce more. That’s the definition of superior in terms of evolution. “Damaged” is a value judgement which is a fundamental logical flaw underlying your suppositions. Biology does not have rights and wrongs. Whatever works is right. As I said, “damage” is what created all life on earth.

CREATIONIST: In the presence of undamaged microbes, they typically are less able to compete, due to reduced functionality. There are cases where drug resistant infections were overcome with a second infection, and subsequent eradication of the secondary infection. This is not an upwards evolution, but a de-evolution that allows a microbe to fill a tighter niche more effectively, but at the cost of it’s own diversity and functionality. When the niche is removed, it is less able to survive then before the damage, the de-evolution.

EVOLUTIONIST: There is no “de-evolution” because evolution has no goal other than survival. You are describing competition, which is another driver of evolution.

CREATIONIST: Extinction is hardly evolution. It’s natural selection, and one is not the other. Extinction simply means a creature failed to find any suitable niche. The world just lost genetic diversity with any new extinction. How is this even remotely considered related to evolution. It’s just a culling of the pre-existing diversity of life.

EVOLUTIONIST: Extinction is an important part of evolution because the earth has limited resources for which life competes. Mutations cause diversity. Species with certain mutations have new traits which allow them to better survive and reproduce. Not all mutations which cause physical differences have an advantage. Humans of different hair colors all co-exist, for example.

CREATIONIST: Natural selection is just another means of increasing entropy by reducing the complexity of our world, reducing it to a simpler state. The loss of life never improves diversity.

EVOLUTIONIST: Sure it does.  Get rid of a dominant species that is hogging all the food and many new species spring up.

CREATIONIST: many people cite the existence of monsters in the bible as preposterous. Behemoths and Dragons and Leviathans and other such names for creatures as spoken of, are words that may have existed in the languages used in modern translations. There may not be easily understood concepts of what 3000 year old words meant to people back then.

EVOLUTIONIST: Are you saying that our intelligence has  evolved so that we can now understand things that humans could not understand 3,000 years ago?

CREATIONIST: We do our best to understand. These words could describe various dinosaurs, creatures that held symbolic status, creatures that are extinct, or other creatures, and to a people who had never seen such things, I say it’s a valid theory.

EVOLUTIONIST: Yes, why does the bible not clearly and accurately describe the kinds of dinosaurs we would find many years later?

CREATIONIST: It’s a known fact that the King James Version is not the greatest translation ever. All references in the bible to other gods refer to them as idols, not legitimate gods. Translation errors are a huge flaw in our modern interpretations.

EVOLUTIONIST: Have you read Gilgamesh?

CREATIONIST: I am a strong advocate for a multifocal new translation that translates words and grammar into the most literal possible manner from original language texts, with a side by side modern translation, with defining notes to correlate the two side by side translations.

It would be a bible meant for those who want the most accurate understanding, with the ability to analyze the meaning in the most intricate detail. A guy from the middle of the last millennium is probably not the best choice to interpret ancient words written thousands of years prior, in a manner that conforms to our modern understanding. English has changed in the last 10 years, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500 years, and so on. I get a real kick how people love to pick apart a 500 year old translation. Try going to the Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic and analyze that. At least it’ll be less disputable if you want to fight with it.

EVOLUTIONIST: You may end up having to believe in multiple gods if you base your beliefs on documents which are the earliest writings which became the modern bible. Some hold that the early Jews were polytheistic.

CREATIONIST: People who argue the bible teaches a flat earth, always use the phase “four corners of the earth” as found in the bible. These are cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west. There are several places where the earth is referred to as a circle. Jesus’s own words state (in regards to the unexpected time of the final day, in Luke 17) that “that day” and “that night” are one and the same, simultaneous events that indicate an understanding that night and day occur simultaneously on the surface of the planet. The passages refer to an instant moment. There is no mistaking the intent to say day and night are simultaneous on this world. The earth has no bottom, no edge. The “circle” of the earth both faces towards and away from the sun at once. Job 26 speaks of the earth suspended in empty space “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.”

EVOLUTIONIST: Historically, people before the Christians did believe the earth was round.

CREATIONIST: As for the claim the bible says the earth is the immobile center of the universe, they often quote “Psalm 93:1. The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” In each of these cases the word moved is translated from the Hebrew “mote”, which means “to waver; to slip, shake, or fall.” So the word has nothing to do with being absolutely motionless, but a steadiness in permanence. This is because saying that something does not “waver, slip, shake, or fall” does not eliminate other forms of motion. The Hebrew word “mote” and the English words “moved” are passive voice. So these verses only speak against external influences that are not part of the Earth’s pre-planned course. A simple look at the Hebrew shows that these verses do not say that the planet Earth does not move, but rather speaks of its steady continuance as established. Compare with Psalms 16:8 “I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”, which uses the SAME Hebrew word, “mote”. This SAME WORD is translated into two DIFFERENT English words in two different places in the NIV bible. The KJV still used the phrase “I shall not be moved”. Obviously, the author does not mean that he is absolutely motionless, whether physically or spiritually! He is unshakable in in his faith. Same as the earlier text regarding the earth states that the earth is unshakable in it’s established state of being.

EVOLUTIONIST: I don’t speak Hebrew so I can’t really comment.

CREATIONIST: Psalm 19:1-6 and Joshua 10:12-14 are observational descriptions, based on point of view. Do you still use the words sunrise and sunset? You and I both know the earth revolves around the sun, yet we still use those observationally defined terms. I looked online for 15 minutes just trying to find a more accurate term. I gave up. Terminator advance and terminator regression? Seriously, that’s all I could come up with. Not as poetic as sunrise or sunset. These verses describe motion of the sun as seen by an observer on a rotating Earth and have nothing to do with absolute motion.

EVOLUTIONIST: Yes, you make another good point showing that our knowledge has evolved over time.

CREATIONIST: In regards to Joshua, and every other “miracle” mentioned in the bible, I believe that God exists in a state free of entropy. That whatever God “is”, he surely has the ability to alter the physics of this universe, since it stands that if he created it, he can manipulate it. It was created in a state of low entropy (high energy potential, extreme ordered state) and advances to a state of high entropy (low energy potential, extremely chaotic state). If a creator can infuse this high energy level (low entropy) into our universe, then I feel that by means external to this universe, it is possible to introduce or remove energy to or from and to manipulate the matter and energy that exists within it. We can only move the existing energy and matter around by consuming energy, The laws of thermodynamics.

EVOLUTIONIST: You are still discounting the observable facts regarding self organizing systems.

CREATIONIST: It’s an extremely rudimentary comparison, but it’s like a toy robot. Depending on it’s design, it can operate semi autonomously, maybe push a ball around, push through stuff sitting in front of it, but it only has as much power as it’s been initially given, and only as much ability as has been designed into it. It can’t climb a stair case, but I could carry it up to the top. It will eventually run out of power. I could however jump in and replace the batteries, or I could tether a plug in power pack to it, by hacking it’s hardware. I could move the obstacles around. I can even move things around in a manner the toy robot can not do. It’s not a violation of the rules defining the robot’s operation and existence, just and external force that exceeds the capabilities of the toy robot.

EVOLUTIONIST: Robots are not self organizing systems. At least not yet. We may eventually create robots which fully self replicate.

Another example might be legos. I’m a huge fan of the LPEpower Lego pneumatic engines. They build a compressed air powered V8 engine out of the pneumatic and mechanical Lego Technic parts. They went further to built a lego model of an 05 Mustang with a functional 3 speed plus reverse transmission. They power the steering and transmission remotely with the Lego Mindstorms kit, and the engine is driven with an air tube and an adjustable nozzle connected to a portable compressed air tank. The car can not modify, add, or subtract to itself or refill the air tank on it’s own, but we can. We can alter the construction of the legos, add air to the tank with an air compressor, replace the batteries in the mindstorm kit. We could add new lego bricks or crash the car (putting it into a VERY high state of entropy! 🙂

EVOLUTIONIST: Cars, watches, and Lego contraptions are not self organizing systems.

CREATIONIST: Likewise, I believe God can add energy and rearrange the contents of this universe, while we, as a component of it, are powerless to add energy (reduce total entropy) or alter it by any means that exceeds the level of our abilities.

EVOLUTIONIST: You are neglecting the difference between open vs closed systems. We can add energy to an open system.

CREATIONIST: We do not have the power to reduce entropy beyond the performance of work generated by consuming energy (We increase entropy more than we reduce it due to inefficiencies).

EVOLUTIONIST: Yes, we can. You would not have food to eat if what you say were true. If it took more energy to create food than the food contained, we would have run out long ago. We did not because the seeds we plant contain self organizing systems.

CREATIONIST: The next argument may make most cringe at the thought, but the long rant does lead somewhere at the end, so bear with me. I’ll seriously get to a point that applies to modern times at the end. I’m also exhausted, so I’m not editing this before posting…

As for the biblical law stating that “children who curse their parents should be put to death”, it all comes down to different laws and morals, be they in conflict or accord. At that time, that was considered an acceptable punishment. At the same time, We are also instructed to obey our political leaders. Modern laws prohibit this sort of thing, and we should respect those laws. These failures to follow biblical law are on our leaders, though we must still obey them. most of us are MORE THAN HAPPY to obey the modern laws on this subject. I’d rather not be subject to such a cruel sounding law.

Still, Jesus brings this very specific issue up, condemning the elders of Israel in those days for failing to follow that very law. At that time, they could have legally enforced it, but chose not to. It is clear that the bible DOES PROMOTE spanking and other forms of physical punishment. Pain is an effective deterrent. Our modern society has chosen to prohibit such forms of punishment as “cruel”, and the stability of family life has steadily diminished. There is a CLEAR dividing line between abuse and physical punishment. That’s not a debate I’ll get into here. Children who are unable to be set straight with punishment would have been subject to the law described above, if our legal system allowed it. If I had a child at a time when this law was enforceable, I would do my best as a parent to raise them well and discipline them when they do wrong, so they never are subject to it. This law makes 3 basic statements when analyzed… It states that punishment to a child is a blessing that makes them better when they grow up. It states that when a child does a good thing for their parents, it is not an excuse to “cover” for their wrongs. Finally, it states that a child that can not be disciplined, is subject to death. This is a very hard pill for most people to swallow. The goal is to use the law to make certain that parents properly discipline their children and teach them moral living to save them.

We do see a change in the attitudes between punishment versus repentance and redemption after Jesus comes into the picture. The story of the adulterer about to be stoned, saved by the words “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” comes to mind. The bible states how things were, and how things are now with the addition of salvation. Still, this attitude of forgiveness and salvation is dependent on repentance.

Our modern society will not accept such an archaic law. With a better understanding of mental illness, and new methods of discipline, we ought to be able to reduce the number of “rebellious” children, but I don’t have much faith in most of the modern methods.

EVOLUTIONIST: I hope not. Without rebellious children the USA would not exist and we would not be free to have this debate.

CREATIONIST: They only reward good behavior, and do far too little to punish wrong behavior. I’m not saying we should go around killing the worst of the worst brats. As stated, we do have laws that would prohibit that, laws that are valid and are absolutely necessary to follow. It doesn’t change that there is a fundamentally flawed discipline mechanism in this world. By “sparing the rod and spoiling the child” as it’s stated, we see a far more rebellious society.

This law does find it’s way to be enforced, if indirectly. The more rebellious the child, the more likely that child is to grow into someone of no worth to society. Gang violence, drug use, diseases spread by immoral behavior, suicide, crime, and recklessness may lead to an early demise. I see the law ordering the death of rebellious children as potentially self fulfilling, not by divine act or guidance, but simply by the sheer stupidity on the part of the child’s poor choices. There is simply a greater risk of meeting a violent end or a pathetic end if you lead the “rebellious life”. The good kid is substantially less likely to die from inhaling his own vomit after he passes out drunk over a toilet. The good kid is not as likely to play an active role in a gang shootout, or rob a convenience store, or contract a deadly STD. These things CAN happen to good people, but statistically, the worse the character, the worse the life, the worse the end.

In conclusion to the analysis of the child punishment law in the bible, I feel the following points are true…

We must follow modern law that bans enforcement of this law.

We must acknowledge this law’s existence.

We must properly punish children for wrong behavior, to make them into good adults when they are grown.

We cannot allow children to bargain over their bad behavior with good behavior, as if good behavior were a reward or excuse or exchange.

We accept that failing a proper upbringing of the child, this law appears to be self fulfilling in far too many cases, purely due to statistical probability of immoral behavior accelerating the potential for premature death, in the absence of actual enforcement.

I could go on further, but quite frankly, I must sleep. It’s now 3:33 AM here. I enjoy this sort of debate. It only serves to reaffirm my own faith, as I do the research and studies required to defend my views.

EVOLUTIONIST: I hope I am reading this wrong and you are not saying that the only reason you don’t murder your children as the bible says is because modern laws stop you. Too much faith without proof is a real problem, so keep researching.

CREATIONIST: Normally, I would not choose this sort of place for such a debate, but I’m only countering the already existing debate that’s taken over this thread. I feel bad that this thread has been so drastically commandeered from the focus of the twins, but it’s a subject that is of extreme interest to both parties involved. I also feel less bad, as it seems this is your blog anyway Xeno.

I’m definitely going to have to catch up on the ZZZs though. I’m a bit afraid of this word count I have going! Yikes!

Good night.

EVOLUTIONIST: Good night and thank you for the exchange of ideas.