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Quote from Hammer at 1:47 PM on January 4, 2009 :
Evolutionists believe, and teach, that the first cell formed itself without any outside intelligence or preexisting blueprint.             



For the thousandth time.  Evolution IS NOT THE SAME as abiogenesis.




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“It is impossible for any number which is a power greater than the second to be written as a sum of two like powers. I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.” -Pierre de Fermat
 


Posts: 42 | Posted: 9:12 PM on January 4, 2009 | IP
waterboy

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Hammer

You said
"Now when we die our spirit goes back to God and our bodies return to dirt."

You dont even know your Christian doctrine!
Metaphysical dualism of the type you describe here belongs to Gnosticism and the Mystery religions (and traces back to Persian religion).  It is NOT orthodox Christian doctrine. It is, however, a common belief among poorly educated and superstitious 'christians' and is also  taught by some of the psuedo-christian denominations. (pseudo-christian because they are usually schismatic sects).

It is also 'taught' in some mainstream denominations but usually by theologically illiterate, self-appointed teachers.

Christian doctrine teaches resurrection of the body.

As for creation... evolution IS widely accepted in the mainstream churches where people understand the difference between theological narrative and scientific hypothesis.

Quite simply there is no more conflict between Genesis and evolution than there is between Shakespeare and general relativity. The one is literature and myth while the other is a working hypothesis of science.

Now there are 'scientists' who take creation as their working hypothesis but sadly these scientists have not been specially productive beyond challenging some dating methods. Well... they havent come up with any better methods but they have questioned aspects of some of the dating methods. In fact, as far as I can see, almost all of their efforts have been directed at 'disproving' evolution (unsuccssfully obviously). But, forgive me if Im wrong, 'disproving' evolution is the proper work of evolutionary biology so technically the so-called creation biologists are actually working in the field of evolutionary biology and not creation biology at all. Actually there is not much work to do in 'creation biology' because creation is an irrefutable (and unprovable) hypothesis.




-------
Charis kai Eirene
 


Posts: 218 | Posted: 06:32 AM on January 6, 2009 | IP
Lester10

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Orion,
The fossil record does not clearly show that life evolved over a long period of time -you have to believe that to see it -if you didn't believe it you certainly wouldn't see it. Instead you'd see vast gaps between invertebrates and fishes with nothing showing how either invertebrates or fishes came to be there in the first place.

(Orion)The tales in Genesis are attempts by earlier people to try to explain the beginnings of the earth and life on it.

Or it is an historical account of what actually happened? There's more than enough historically verifiable fact in the Bible to make you wonder -  at least if you actually looked into that sort of thing.

(Orion) "theologically illiterate, self-appointed teachers."


Yes only 'scientists' have any brains and are thus allowed to speak generally about truth  for mankind.

(Orion)As for creation... evolution IS widely accepted in the mainstream churches where people understand the difference between theological narrative and scientific hypothesis.

Problem... if sin brought death than how does one compromise so hugely and decide that actually death is just a part of life and sin has nothing to do with it? Also if death was always there and man had nothing to do with causing it, then we didn't need Jesus Christ to come to earth to put an end to the problem. End of Christianity - no point - why waste your time?

How about evolution is myth and the Bible is the true account of the history of this earth from the beginning of time.

Some of this is quoted -can't work out how to show that it is a quote. Somebody please enlighten me!


-------
Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”
 


Posts: 1554 | Posted: 08:05 AM on January 11, 2009 | IP
Lester10

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For the thousandth time.  Evolution IS NOT THE SAME as abiogenesis


Well what else is there for those that exclude all but naturalistic explanations? The story has to start somewhere.




-------
Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”
 


Posts: 1554 | Posted: 08:18 AM on January 11, 2009 | IP
orion

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If you say the fossil record does not support evolution, then you simply are ignoring the evidence.

The fossil record certainly is evidence of evolution.  

1.  The fossil record shows a clear and orderly change in species over time.  Fossils have never been shown to be out of their progressive order.  We don't see hominid fossils at the same strata as dinosaurs.  We don't see dinosaur fossils at the Cambrian period, etc, etc.  The fossil record shows a clear change of life on earth.  If this record was not due to evolution, then how do you explain it?

2.  Fossils rarely form.  Think about it.  How many bones of animals do you find lying around on the ground today.  Go into the forest, pasture, woods, whatever - you don't see a lot of bones, do you.  Fossils formation is relatively rare.  You have to have the right conditions occur for an organism to become fossilized.  And even when bones and other organics fossilize there is no guarantee that the fossils will survive the eventual crushing weight of rock above them.  Some species, such as bats, are too delecate to fossilize well.  If organisms get buried in an anoxic environment (little oxygen), then fossilization has a better chance of occuring.  There are sites around the world where abundant fossils have formed in such instances - the Burgess Shale for Cambrian fossils, the Devonian Hunsruck Slates, the Jurrastic Solnhofen limestone are examples.  Some event or circumstance has to occur to delay decay and allow the organism's remains to mineralize.

New fossils are being discovered every year, some of them showing clear transitional characteristics.

Look at the following Wikipedia URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

It shows examples of transitional fossils between the major taxa of animals.  

- Invertebrates to fish
- Fish to Tetrapods
- Amphibians to Amniotes (early reptiles)
- Synapsids (mammal-like reptiles) to mammals
- Dinosaurs to Birds
- Land mammals to Whales
- Hominid transitional fossils to Homo sapiens

 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 3:10 PM on January 11, 2009 | IP
Aswissrole

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All this confusion over transitional animals. People seem to forget that all animals are transitional animals. Transitions between what they were and what they will be.

Seals did not evolve into whales.
Chimpanzes did not evolve into humans.

This is not how evolution works. They had a command ancestor! Chimps and Humans both evolved from the same creature which is now extinct.

You can't ask for the tranasitional fossil between humans and chimps because chimps did not directly evolve into humans. I hope I made this statment clear but to all those out there who don't understand evolution it may seem very confusing.

What we interpret as transitional fossils is these extinct comman ancestors. Quite different from what you appear to interpret transitional fossils as.

(Edited by Aswissrole 1/11/2009 at 4:24 PM).
 


Posts: 69 | Posted: 4:22 PM on January 11, 2009 | IP
orion

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Aswissrole brings up a good point - evolution is not a ladder, not a linear progression.  Evolution is more like a bush, with many branches - some leading to other branches, some branches leading nowher (dead-ends).

Humans and chimps share a common ancestor, that was Charles Darwin's other pillar in his theory of evolution - Common Descent.  And the evidence of looking at the various genomes agrees with that concept.  

And another point I'd like to make is that science has progressed quite a bit since Darwin's day.  Yet everything that has been discovered since then (more fossil discoveries, DNA and genetics, molecular biology, radiometric dating, etc) have only strengthened the evolution, not contradict it.

It's not a conspiracy among scientists, as some creationist seem to think.  It's where the evidence points.  And all the evidence points to evolution, not creationism.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 4:44 PM on January 11, 2009 | IP
Aswissrole

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Evolution has been one of the most sucessful theories of all tme but yet it is the most challenged.
 


Posts: 69 | Posted: 5:16 PM on January 11, 2009 | IP
Lester10

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Orion
The fossil record certainly is evidence of evolution.


Depends how you interpret it -all we actually can see is that billions of things died and were laid down in sedimentary rock. That one kind may have changed into another is an interpretation based upon philisophical beliefs.

The fossil record shows a clear and orderly change in species over time.


Actually it shows a 'big bang' out of nowhere with no clear progression at all -billions of transitionals missing right there in the cambrian.
Then there's the fish - also appeared suddenly and fully formed, billions of them with loads of variety - no signs of where they came from.

If you imagine that these vertebrates were transformed from the invertebrates, you do so by faith because there are no fish precursors. Nor are there Cambrian precursors of any value since there is nothing that looks as if it is leading up to the cambrian invertebrate phyla.

Aswissrole:
People seem to forget that all animals are transitional animals. Transitions between what they were and what they will be.


Only if you 'believe' in evolution. For those of us following the evidence of what genetics is capable of, mutations do not produce new information, they degrade the existing information -that is why we refer to the 'genetic load' -why the burdensome word if it's all onwards and upwards, new and original?

'Everything is a transitional' is a clear cop out. The first time I heard that excuse for vast amounts of missing parts, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Now I seem to hear it repeated everywhere.

Yet everything that has been discovered since then (more fossil discoveries, DNA and genetics, molecular biology, radiometric dating, etc) have only strengthened the evolution


Actually advances in these various disciplines has weakened the theory significantly which is why evolution is picking up so much flak these days. People are waking up to the impossibility of what used to be deemed possible. The dark ages when cells were thought to consist of blobs of jelly-like material, have long gone and along with it, a lot of us previous believers in evolution.
 




-------
Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”
 


Posts: 1554 | Posted: 04:43 AM on January 16, 2009 | IP
Lester10

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Evolution has been one of the most sucessful theories of all tme but yet it is the most challenged.


That didn't used to be the case - accumulating evidence is forcing the theory of evolution to take a good hard look at itself.


-------
Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”
 


Posts: 1554 | Posted: 04:51 AM on January 16, 2009 | IP
Aswissrole

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"accumulating evidence is forcing the theory of evolution to take a good hard look at itself."
Yes. To take a good hard look at itself and marvel at how incredable simple it is.

Seriusly, I have not seen any evidence against evolution. All I have herd are creationists arguing about possible short commings. Most of these are rubbish and I have never seen a creationist post evidence for their argument.

Its one thing to say a theory is wrong but another thing to offer evidence on a more viable theory. Do this and I will be impressed.
 


Posts: 69 | Posted: 10:58 AM on January 16, 2009 | IP
orion

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That didn't used to be the case - accumulating evidence is forcing the theory of evolution to take a good hard look at itself.

You're not referring to ID, are you?  The main proponents of ID (Johnson, Dembski, Behe, etc) have yet to come up with any serious scientific evidence disproving evolution.  Dembski's mathematics have been shown to be of no consequence.  Behe's examples of irreducible complexity have been shown to have evolutionary pathways.  Johnson't Wedge concept is not going to work - the courts will keep knocking down Creationists attempts to get 'equal time' in public school classrooms.

All you have to do is read any general news on science to see that the theory of evolution is doing just fine.  You don't even have to read science journals - you can see examples of articles supporting evolution in the science section media publications, such as the NY Times, the Christian Science Monitor, MSNBC, etc.

ID has made no impression at all in the scientific community.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 12:05 PM on January 16, 2009 | IP
Lester10

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Aswissrole says about evolution:
To take a good hard look at itself and marvel at how incredable simple it is.


No, look at it in the light of day and modern science, and without the philisophical blinkers on that rule out any other possibility in advance. Evolution is a nice simple story but it is just not true. Even Dawkins allows for the possibility of space aliens -you know, intelligent design -it's just the idea of God that causes fuses to pop in his head. Wonder why the prejudice?

Seriusly, I have not seen any evidence against evolution.


You have got to be kidding me!

Orion says:
Dembski's mathematics have been shown to be of no consequence.  Behe's examples of irreducible complexity have been shown to have evolutionary pathways.  


Pure prejudice this and by the way despite what evolutionists may say none of the above has been refuted, they just say 'refuted, refuted' and expect you to believe it. And you do....I like both Dembski's and Behe's arguments and the 'refutations' are all hot air and no substance.

All you have to do is read any general news on science to see that the theory of evolution is doing just fine.


Yes imagination and self deception is still with us and probably always will be to one extent or the other. However, the change that has occurred is that the opposition is increasing, the arguments against evolution are piling up. Evolutionists used to ignore creationist opposition until they realized that they were losing support without even opening their mouths. They were just too sure of themselves back in the day of little opposition.
We may still be in the minority but truth remains the best insurance of eventual success. We all have the same 'evidence' -but one of the interpretations, evolution or creation, is untrue - all we want to do is air the options and not allow for hostile suppression. That's what academic freedom is all about.
If creation is rubbish then you have nothing to fear.


-------
Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”
 


Posts: 1554 | Posted: 05:04 AM on January 17, 2009 | IP
Aswissrole

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"Seriusly, I have not seen any evidence against evolution."

You have got to be kidding me!


That was kind of a cue for you to present some evidence. Please, just give me some. I have asked for evidence may times and I have not been presented with any. If you want me to present you with some documents on evolution I will.
 


Posts: 69 | Posted: 09:29 AM on January 17, 2009 | IP
orion

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We may still be in the minority but truth remains the best insurance of eventual success. We all have the same 'evidence' -but one of the interpretations, evolution or creation, is untrue - all we want to do is air the options and not allow for hostile suppression. That's what academic freedom is all about.
If creation is rubbish then you have nothing to fear.


The idea evolutionists oppose is that Creationism be taught as a science.  Presenting Creationism as an alternate scientific theory to students would be UNTRUE.  It would be like teaching that astrology is an alternate scientific theory in a physics or astonomy class.  Astrology is simply not based on the scientific method.  It has no scientific basis.  Creationism is in the same boat - it can't be tested/disproven by the scientific method.

Creationism has as its premise that God created life, and that life is unchanging.  That's a fine explanation for some people, but the assumpttion that God created life is not a testable condition under the scientific method.  

The 2nd assumption, that life is unchanging, has already been disproven by evolution.  Its a fact that life HAS changed over time.

Also, and I find this points to the real agenda of Creationists, they don't want to present just any Crationist alternative - they want to present just the Biblical account of creation.  That there is only ONE god responsible for the Creation.  The biblical monotheistic view.  

Why do Creationists discount all the other Creationist stories from other cultures?  There is just as much evidence of those other stories as there is of the Biblical one.  Why not teach the Babylonian or Egyptian or native American stories as alternate explanations for life on earth?

You see, all a Creationist account can say is that 'God did it', or 'The gods did it'.  They can't present any actual scientific evidence that proves their claims.  

Oh they try.  Michael Behe comes up with a claim that life shows signs of irreducibly complex organs and chemical pathways.  Therefore this proves that God was involved, that life is too complex to have evolved.

He claims that the bacteria flagellum and the blood clotting chemical pathway as examples of systems that are irreducibly complex - therefore they cannot have evolved.  Proof that they were designed.  But both his examples have shown that they are not irreducibly complex.  

evolution of bacteria flagellum

Evolution of Blood Clotting system

Can Creationism be taught in public schools?  Ihave no problem with that except when Creationism is presented as a scientific theory.  It is clearly not a scientific theory, and THEREFORE IT SHOULD NOT BE PRESENTED AS SUCH.  That would be confusing students as to what science really is - the endeavor to understand nature using the scientific method.  

Saying that 'God did it' or 'the gods did it' is not a scientific explanation because it is not testable.  

If you know of any means to detect God, please present it.  I am sure you would get everyone's attention - including that of the entire scientific community.

Maybe that's why God is a matter of faith, don't you think?  Religious faith is fine, but don't bring it into the science classroom and present it as science.  It's not.

 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 1:30 PM on January 17, 2009 | IP
timbrx

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Orion, a biblical Christian believes that only God is unchanging. The charge that creationists believe that life is unchanging is rubbish so please throw that presupposition into tha trash can where it belongs.


Orion says,
"Can Creationism be taught in public schools?  Ihave no problem with that except when Creationism is presented as a scientific theory.  It is clearly not a scientific theory, and THEREFORE IT SHOULD NOT BE PRESENTED AS SUCH.  That would be confusing students as to what science really is - the endeavor to understand nature using the scientific method."

Exactly. creation should be presented as an alternate THEORY to the THEORY of evolution.

It is ironic, is it not, that we have the same problem.

But imagine this. Two scientists, one believes in evolution one believes in creation.  The e.scientist chemically reproduces a biological compound that cures cancer "X". He takes a naturally occuring substance, reduces it to its least form suitable to the task, patents it and makes a bundle after 10 years of testing.  The c.scientist, on the other hand, believes the natural form to be more benificial and hybridizes it into an easily grown form, dries it, and sells it as a homeopathic remedy right away. Both scientists make a living from their efforts. Both scientists help in the fight against cancer "X". The only differance is that one scientist gets a large grant and the other struggles to get by with family support.
Which world view is more likely to produce a livelihood for scientists? As it stands I contend that it is the e.science that gets the research money and thus more e.scientists. We may be missing out on a whole huge realm of discovery due to stubborn and closed minded policies regarding two opposing THEORIES.

In light of this hypothesis, tell me. What is wrong with having a creationist world view? You can get allong just fine believing in no divine absolute. But if there is a creator God? Well, I'd prefer not to be in your shoes when you lay before Him.


 


Posts: 226 | Posted: 10:57 AM on January 19, 2009 | IP
orion

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from Timbrx -
Orion, a biblical Christian believes that only God is unchanging. The charge that creationists believe that life is unchanging is rubbish so please throw that presupposition into tha trash can where it belongs.


Are you telling me that Creationists think that life does change?  When I say 'life changes' or 'life remains unchanging' I am implicitly referring to a change in the species.  Creationists believe that God created Kinds, and that those Kinds remain unchanging.  Don't you agree to that?  Isn't that what you are arguing?

Again, from timbrx -
Exactly. creation should be presented as an alternate THEORY to the THEORY of evolution.



Except for one thing - Creationism is not a scientific theory.  A scientific theory is testable, and its successfulnes is dictated by how well it can make predictions and explain the facts.  The theory of evolution does that very well - extremely well.  

Creationism only makes the statement that God created life and that life does not change (does not evolve).  

Try looking at it from a scientific perspective - You say God created all life in its present form.  Well, that's a nice little statement, but where is the proof that God did it?  Can we positively identify God?  I haven't ever seen anyone come right out and show me the hard evidence.  Have you?  

If God created all life in its present form, then what are all these fossils that we have found that look for all the world like transitional species?  We even have fossil skulls that look like they are transitional between a more ape-like species and becoming more human-like with the passage of time!  What are those?  The theory of evolution has a good explanation for them.  Does Creationism?

Why do we find evidence that the earth is billions of years old?  And that evidence comes from a variety of seperate fields - geology, paleontology, astronomy, physics, molecular biology.  All the evidence points to something other than creationism.

The Bible -
What makes the stories in the Bible more true than other creation stories we find in every other culture?  Do you deny that it is Christian creationism that Creationists want presented in public schools alongside evolution?  I don't think it is the legend of Gilgamesh that you want presented, even though that is certainly a Creation story.

Why do you believe that the Bible is the divine word of God?  Because tradition tells you it is so?  What proof is there that it is?

The Bible makes numerous hints that the earth is flat, that the earth is the center of the universe.  This is obviously wrong.  So why should we believe in all the other stuff it says - including that Jesus Christ is our lord and savior?  There is nothing to prove that.

It is all faith based.  That's fine.  I have no problem with that.  But it is not science!

Maybe evolution is wrong.  But until something comes along that provides a better explanation (a scientific explanation, or if God himself/herself appears and proves all us evolutionists wrong) then evolution will contiinue to be the scientific theory that best explains life on earth.  

Creationism is not science.  And evolution is not religion.  You plainly don't understand the difference if that's what you truly believe.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 12:27 PM on January 19, 2009 | IP
timbrx

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Are you telling me that Creationists think that life does change?  When I say 'life changes' or 'life remains unchanging' I am implicitly referring to a change in the species.  Creationists believe that God created Kinds, and that those Kinds remain unchanging.  Don't you agree to that?  Isn't that what you are arguing?



See, Orion , you are talking about two distinct things here. Yes , a "kind" called dogs can change (addapt / evolve) into quite a variety of dogs. But they are still the dog "kind". You said you refer to the change in the species. If you mean "within" the species (micros), than I agree. If you mean "without" the species (macros) thin I disagree. Dogs "evolve" into different dogs. Are they still dogs? yes. Are they better forms of dog? not necessarily.

If God created all life in its present form, then what are all these fossils that we have found that look for all the world like transitional species?  We even have fossil skulls that look like they are transitional between a more ape-like species and becoming more human-like with the passage of time!  What are those?  The theory of evolution has a good explanation for them.  Does Creationism?


You keep referring to the fossil record. And rightly so. We have but one "fossil record" from which to draw our conclusions. I agree with Lester10 that the fossil record seems to be more consistant to a worldwide flood. If I were a paleontoligist I would start with this presuppusition and interpret the evidence in light of my presupposition. If I were to find an anomoly that seemed to contradict my position, I would be amazed. But I would not simply sweep the evidence under the rug.

regarding fossil deposits in the Morrison formation (dinosaur national monument):
Fact #1: The most common fossil in the Quarry sandstone is not the dinosaur, but a group of clams, of the genus Unio.9 Nearly identical forms of this clam thrive today in nonturbid and perennial fresh waters. This clam, known for a weak hinge joining its two shells, normally comes undone within days of the creature's death.10 Fossil clams at DNM are mostly disarticulated, and obviously were transported along with the big sauropod bones and other debris. Some of the loose shells are stacked, or imbricated, in a preferred west-to-east direction. Others, less commonly, are found in articulated form, that is, with the two matching shells closed and intact. These articulated clams are not in natural growth position, but represent a "transported death assemblage." In other words burial was the cause of death.11 The equivalent sedimentary layers near Grand Junction, Colorado, display a multitude of unionids, all articulated, that are recognized as having been "buried alive during an episode of rapid sedimentation."12 That something similar happened at DNM is almost inescapable. The numbers of these clams, and their manner of burial, remind us that the real story at DNM is first and foremost, one of death, transport, and rapid burial.

This is evidence of a flood.
About fossil whales in Peru:
"Today, when diatoms die, their silica skeletons accumulate on the ocean floor. One gram (0.035 oz.) of diatomite may contain up to 400 million skeletons.4 Diatomite sediment normally accumulates slowly—only a few centimetres per thousand years.1 Even where the rate is higher, such as in some shallow-water areas, accumulation is still slow. For example, in the fjords of British Columbia, diatoms and clay accumulate at 2.5–5.0 mm (0.1–0.2 inches) per year.2

Also today, when a whale carcass sinks to the bottom of the ocean, many kinds of scavengers quickly attack and colonize it. And in their quest for food, some scavengers churn up the adjacent sediments.5

However, in Peru, the fossilized whales and diatoms were well preserved and the whale skeletons were mostly intact. There was no evidence of normal decay, such as wormholes, barnacle encrustations or general degradation. Neither was there any sign that organisms had churned up the adjacent sediment.

The whale skeletons were partially mineralized, and, remarkably, baleen from five whales was preserved. Baleen forms the comb-like structure in the whale’s mouth that filters its food. This is remarkable because it is softer than bone—the same composition as our human fingernails.

There is no doubt that these well-preserved whales, entombed in diatomite, indicate rapid burial. After eliminating other possibilities, Brand and his coauthors concluded:

‘The most viable explanation for whale preservation seems to be rapid burial, fast enough to cover whales 5–13 m [16–42 ft] long and approximately 50 cm [20 in] thick within a few weeks or months, to account for whales with well-preserved bones and some soft tissues.’1

These burial times are probably a maximum, based on a comparison with modern environments. It could have been even faster than a few weeks.

Remarkably, these rapidly buried fossil whales contradict one of the ruling principles of modern geology, uniformitarianism—i.e. rocks formed slowly in the past similar to what we observe in the present. Interpreted according to that principle, the whales were buried over a period of two million years about 10 million years ago. However, the fact that 80 m of sediment buried 346 whales within months or weeks (or less) creates a problem for those who believe in millions of years. Where do they put the time? There is nowhere for it in the rocks.

The whale graveyard fits much more comfortably with the biblical timescale of thousands of years."
Whale fossils in the desert, Scope, Loma Linda University, www.llu.edu/news/scope/sum00/fossils.htm, April 27, 2004.
Brand, L.R., Esperante, R., Chadwick, A.V., Porras, O.P. and Alomia, M., Fossil whale preservation implies high diatom accumulation rate in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru, Geology 32(2):165–168, 2004.
Esperante, R., Brand, L., Chadwick, A. and Poma, O., Taphonomy of fossil whales in the diatomaceous sediments of the Miocene/Pliocene Pisco Formation, Peru; in: De Renzi, J. et al. (Eds.), Current Topics on Taphonomy and Fossilization, Ajuntament de Valencia, International Conference, Valencia, Spain, pp. 337–343, 2002.

Since much variability is present within any given organism and hence its fossils, paleontologists often do not know where to draw the line in their classification schemes. Different names for nearly identical fossils are probably common. This tendency to give different names to similar fossils found in formations with supposedly different ages, even to placing them in different superfamilies, has been demonstrated by Tammy Tosk for the microfossils called foraminifers.6

John Woodmorappe found that much of the stratigraphic order in the ammonoids is due to time-stratigraphic concepts and taxonomic manipulations.7 This is particularly serious because particular types of foraminifera and ammonoids are used as index fossils for dating formations.

"Geologists do not know the three-dimensional distribution of fossils in the rocks, and tend to invent different names for similar fossils, just because they are found in strata of supposedly different ages.8 This does not engender confidence in the geological column they construct, or in the fossil-dating scheme on which it is based."

First published:
Technical Journal 14(1):7–8
April 2000

by Michael Oard






(Edited by timbrx 1/19/2009 at 1:34 PM).
 


Posts: 226 | Posted: 1:33 PM on January 19, 2009 | IP
ArcanaKnight

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Its pretty convenient to retreat to the "kinds" argument when you don't even have a definition of what a kind is and the determination of what constitutes a "kind" is just left up to individual, subjective judgment calls; I've seen some refer to all birds as a single "kind" and others split them up into a couple different "kinds".


 


Posts: 41 | Posted: 4:44 PM on January 19, 2009 | IP
timbrx

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ArcanaKnight says:

Its pretty convenient to retreat to the "kinds" argument when you don't even have a definition of what a kind is and the determination of what constitutes a "kind" is just left up to individual, subjective judgment calls; I've seen some refer to all birds as a single "kind" and others split them up into a couple different "kinds".



Forgive me as I was simply referring to to the previous comment as you can tell by the quotation marks. Also, I don't see how answering the previous post can be called retreating. As to definitions, how about "species".

1 a: kind , sort b: a class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name ; specifically : a logical division of a genus or more comprehensive class c: the human race : human beings —often used with the d (1): a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name (2): an individual or kind belonging to a biological species e: a particular kind of atomic nucleus, atom, molecule, or ion.

Is that more clear to you?

 


Posts: 226 | Posted: 6:15 PM on January 19, 2009 | IP
orion

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From timbrx -
regarding fossil deposits in the Morrison formation (dinosaur national monument):
Fact #1: The most common fossil in the Quarry sandstone is not the dinosaur, but a group of clams, of the genus Unio.9 Nearly identical forms of this clam thrive today in nonturbid and perennial fresh waters. This clam, known for a weak hinge joining its two shells, normally comes undone within days of the creature's death.10 Fossil clams at DNM are mostly disarticulated, and obviously were transported along with the big sauropod bones and other debris. Some of the loose shells are stacked, or imbricated, in a preferred west-to-east direction. Others, less commonly, are found in articulated form, that is, with the two matching shells closed and intact. These articulated clams are not in natural growth position, but represent a "transported death assemblage." In other words burial was the cause of death.11 The equivalent sedimentary layers near Grand Junction, Colorado, display a multitude of unionids, all articulated, that are recognized as having been "buried alive during an episode of rapid sedimentation."12 That something similar happened at DNM is almost inescapable. The numbers of these clams, and their manner of burial, remind us that the real story at DNM is first and foremost, one of death, transport, and rapid burial.

This is evidence of a flood.
About fossil whales in Peru:
"Today, when diatoms die, their silica skeletons accumulate on the ocean floor. One gram (0.035 oz.) of diatomite may contain up to 400 million skeletons.4 Diatomite sediment normally accumulates slowly—only a few centimetres per thousand years.1 Even where the rate is higher, such as in some shallow-water areas, accumulation is still slow. For example, in the fjords of British Columbia, diatoms and clay accumulate at 2.5–5.0 mm (0.1–0.2 inches) per year.2

Also today, when a whale carcass sinks to the bottom of the ocean, many kinds of scavengers quickly attack and colonize it. And in their quest for food, some scavengers churn up the adjacent sediments.5

However, in Peru, the fossilized whales and diatoms were well preserved and the whale skeletons were mostly intact. There was no evidence of normal decay, such as wormholes, barnacle encrustations or general degradation. Neither was there any sign that organisms had churned up the adjacent sediment.

The whale skeletons were partially mineralized, and, remarkably, baleen from five whales was preserved. Baleen forms the comb-like structure in the whale’s mouth that filters its food. This is remarkable because it is softer than bone—the same composition as our human fingernails.

There is no doubt that these well-preserved whales, entombed in diatomite, indicate rapid burial. After eliminating other possibilities, Brand and his coauthors concluded:

‘The most viable explanation for whale preservation seems to be rapid burial, fast enough to cover whales 5–13 m [16–42 ft] long and approximately 50 cm [20 in] thick within a few weeks or months, to account for whales with well-preserved bones and some soft tissues.’1

These burial times are probably a maximum, based on a comparison with modern environments. It could have been even faster than a few weeks.

Remarkably, these rapidly buried fossil whales contradict one of the ruling principles of modern geology, uniformitarianism—i.e. rocks formed slowly in the past similar to what we observe in the present. Interpreted according to that principle, the whales were buried over a period of two million years about 10 million years ago. However, the fact that 80 m of sediment buried 346 whales within months or weeks (or less) creates a problem for those who believe in millions of years. Where do they put the time? There is nowhere for it in the rocks.

The whale graveyard fits much more comfortably with the biblical timescale of thousands of years."


Timbrx - it is obvious that fossilization requires a rather unique event in order for the organism to escape the natural decay process.  Rapid burial is certainly one method by which fossils form.  But I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it was due to a worldwide flood.  The evidence just doesn't support such a view.

Uniformitarianism - actually I don't think that moderen geologests and paleontologests consider the formation of fossils to be the result of slow uniformitarianism processes.  Certainly natural events such as volcanism, earthquakes, tsunami, floods, etc played their part.  Certainly uniformitarianism has its place in geology, but natural disasters happen all the time.

That's very interesting about the Pisco whale fossils.  I would be very interested in knowing how it was that they came to be buried by diatomic material so rapidly.  But I fully believe that there is a natural explanation.  There's no need to invoke the biblical catastrophe of a worldwide flood.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 2:59 PM on January 20, 2009 | IP
    
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