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Wisdom from the Web

Compiled by Daily staff

On the Vail Daily Web site, you can comment on each story or editorial you read there.Here, we publish excerpts of those comments:Re: Evolution a worldview, not scienceSorry you don’t feel you’ve received a serious challenge to your challenge to evolution. Let’s see if we can have a civilized conversation.Where did the primordial soup come from?In the 1920s, A.I. Oparin in Russian and J.B.S. Haldane in England independently came to the realization that when ultraviolet light acts on a mixture of water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia, a bunch of organic substances are made including sugars and amino acids, the building blocks of complex proteins. These molecules are the building blocks of RNA and DNA. These results have since been confirmed experimentally, even when substituting carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide for methane.Random processes produced DNA right out of the soup?Absolutely not. No serious scientist has suggested that happened. DNA was probably not even the first replicating molecule that exhibited heredity. There are several competing theories. My personal favorite involves the synthesis of RNA or a similar molecule first. RNA is simpler than DNA, is more robust, and is a precursor to DNA. I suggest you sample the Canterbury chapter of “The Ancestor’s Tale,” by Richard Dawkins.Does the fossil record show gradual evolution?Indeed it does. One finds transitional animals right where evolutionary theory predicts we will. There are animals that bridge the gap between modern birds and theropod dinosaurs. There are fossils that bridge between modern whales and their land ancestors. Furthermore, we do not find bridge fossils where we would not expect them, such as between fish and mammals. The fossil record shows fantastic correlation with known geological movements. For example, kangaroo-like fossils found on Antarctica are fantastic evidence for evolution since Antarctica and Australia used to be one land mass separated from those without marsupials. The fossil evidence is overwhelmingly in support of evolution. We can have the microevolution vs. macroevolution debate if you like, but you didn’t open the box, so I won’t either.If we came from apes, why are they still around?I’m really trying to be respectful here, but this statement either reflects a lack of understanding about evolution or an attempt to mislead. Man is not descended from modern apes. Between 5 million and 7 million years ago, humans and their lineage shared a common ancestor with modern chimpanzees and bonobos. Evolution does not predict a march forward progressing towards the pinnacle of humanity. That’s a creationist way of thinking about things. Evolution simply states that if you follow our ancestors back approximately 250,000 generations we happen to have the same ancestor as today’s chimpanzees. Over those 6 million years, the descendants of that ancestor slowly diverged into the different species you see today. Evolution in no way predicts that we would replace apes.Evolution is not science because it is not testable.Would you argue that astronomy and geology are not sciences? You can’t measure the effect of gravity on light in a lab, either, but do you contend Einstein was not a scientist? The fact is that many science disciplines can learn a great deal about the world by using indirect techniques. And by the way, evolutionary theories often dovetail nicely with hard science theories like plate tectonics.Fossil gapsI’ve already covered the fossil gap argument, but here is some more reading: http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/evolution/blfaq_evolution_evidence15.htmPeppered mothOne must assume you are referring to Judith Hooper’s book on the topic since you parrot her arguments so closely. I’m sorry you have been misled by a rather poor attempt at science. Please see the articles from the Genetics Society News and the Colorado School of Mines for an explanation as to why this book’s thesis falls short:www.ucl.ac.uk/taxome/jim/pap/malletgensoc03.pdfwww.talkdesign.org/faqs/moonshine.htmIrreducible complexity (blood clotting)This is always one of my favorites. Every creationist has his pet biological adaptation that just can’t be explained by evolution. Then I do some research and find a perfectly good explanation. Here’s one for complex blood clotting:www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/clot/Clotting.htmlThe missing papersHere it appears you are citing the book “Darwin’s Black Box.” Sigh. Here’s a link to a page with thousands of articles:www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.htmlHere’s Behe’s response to this evidence. (Apparently, none of these articles are “serious” enough for him.)www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_evolutionaryliterature.htmCheers! HawkeyeGKVail, Colorado


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