Evolution is not an opinion

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JLives
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Evolution is not an opinion

Post by JLives »

I thought I should put this in the Science forum but this one gets more views so I'll put it here for any doubters out there.

More and more evidence is mounting by the day. Now with the genome mapping, it is confirmed. Evolution is a fact.

http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRe ... p?id=10049

Richard Dawkins: Universal DNA Code Is 'Knockdown' Evidence of Evolution
October 19, 2009 – Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was on Grounds Friday to discuss his new book, "The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution," which lays out more than a dozen lines of argument and evidence in support of evolution. Dawkins gave a quick introduction to every one of those lines of evidence (each gets a chapter in the book), speaking to a standing room only audience in the Gilmer Hall Auditorium. (Scores more were turned away after the room filled.)

The most compelling evidence of all, Dawkins explained, comes from molecular biology – the fact that DNA code is universal among all living things, with all creatures sharing identical segments of code.

Dawkins, recently retired from his position as the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, is perhaps most famous (and certainly most controversial) for his 2006 international bestseller "The God Delusion." In it, he makes the case for the improbability of the existence of a supreme being, and, more provocatively, that religion is not only wrong, but evil, a position that defines so-called "New Atheists."

But on Friday, Dawkins skipped any attack on religion, sticking to the subject matter in his latest book. However, he did express palpable scorn for those who believe the young-earth creationist view that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, a view that 40 percent of Americans (and 28 percent of Brits) agree with, according to a Gallup poll Dawkins cited.

Since the earth is actually 4.6 billion years old, Dawkins said, the magnitude of error in the young-earth creationist view is equivalent to thinking North America is 8 yards wide. Such a magnitude of false belief would be disabling in practically any other field, Dawkins quipped, noting that a plumber wouldn't be able to connect his pipes and do his job if his measurements were off by such a factor.

Dawkins' new book is an attempt to better muster the evidence for evolution, in hopes of changing the "disturbing" opinion of some who subscribe to the creationist view. While Dawkins acknowledged that there was little use in trying to argue with the most dyed-in-the-wool creationists (responding to a student who asked how best to join the fight against the creationist view), he suggested that the most persuasive tactic is to drop the truculence and share the fascinating ways that evolution can explain the natural world.

Dawkins himself did so with a mix of wry humor and a wide-eyed appreciation for the power of the idea of evolution.

The most convincing evidence for evolution comes from considering the similarities between so many living creatures, Dawkins explained.

Charles Darwin himself was quite aware of the striking similarities in the skeletons of various mammals, such as the wings of a bat and the fingers of a human hand, Dawkins explained. The bat's wing is composed of five sets of bones that support the flesh draped between them. Compared to the bone structure of a human hand, the bats' five wing bones are quite elongated in proportion to his body, but there is a striking similarity in the number and arrangement of the bones that makes it plain, Dawkins said, that they are two versions of the same thing. The same 'five-finger' outline is even evident in the skeleton of a winged dinosaur, the pterodactyl, that lived more than 65 million years ago.

While Darwin was limited to observing such qualitative sameness among species, a similar lesson is much more discretely apparent in comparisons of the genetic code of various creatures.

To begin with, it's striking that all life, from plants and animals to bacteria, viruses and fungi, rely on the same DNA coding mechanism to carry the biological instructions guiding how the creature is put together, Dawkins noted. What varies from one animal to another is not the code's structure or mechanism, but the individual genes.

Thanks to the Human Genome Project and similar projects that have uncovered the gene sequences of other animals, such as the chimpanzee, scientists can now compare the code among different species. They can be textually compared, like a Biblical scholar might compare two scrolls containing the book of Genesis. When every letter of two gene sequences is compared, scientists find whole 'sentences' and 'paragraphs' of identical DNA 'text.'

In the future, as ever-increasing computing power will enable a proliferation of genome sequencing, scientists will be able to make detailed DNA comparisons about the evolutionary relatedness of every species to every other. There is already enough such DNA comparison evidence to prove beyond doubt that all living things have shared ancestry, Dawkins said. This textual proof of the common ancestry of all living things is "knockdown evidence" of evolution.

Dawkins' talk was sponsored by U.Va.'s Department of Biology.



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steven lloyd
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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jennylives wrote: ... those who believe the young-earth creationist view that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, a view that 40 percent of Americans (and 28 percent of Brits) agree with, according to a Gallup poll Dawkins cited.

Since the earth is actually 4.6 billion years old, Dawkins said, the magnitude of error in the young-earth creationist view is equivalent to thinking North America is 8 yards wide. Such a magnitude of false belief would be disabling in practically any other field, Dawkins quipped, ...


Wow ! Great analogy ! That many people believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old ? That’s almost as naive as still thinking the world is flat. Where are these people going to school ? What do they do if they want to go on to post-secondary education ?
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JLives
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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"Every dollar you spend is a vote for what you believe in."
"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
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westsidebud
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by westsidebud »

personaly i never had a doubt.but try going into a church and doing some convincing :spinball:
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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steven lloyd wrote: Where are these people going to school ?


Either they go to 'christian' schools, get home schooled, or they get stuck in the public school system...where they get to complain about 'teaching the controversy'.

What do they do if they want to go on to post-secondary education ?


They either go to a christian themed university/college where they reinforce the their collective stupidity, or they go to normal university/college, but they avoid the science classes like they are the work of the devil.
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eyepop
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by eyepop »

..and then go on to become presidents..

and prime ministers?
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by I Think »

And posters here.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by Wet-Net »

Something that comforts me is knowing that we are still evolving and one day probably not too far into the future humans will look back and say I cant beleive people denied evolution and called it a theory...stupid primitive folk they were back then... :127:
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JLives
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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On a mommy board I'm on I have a Republican MICROBIOLOGIST trying to tell me evolution is not a fact. My jaw dropped.
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quietlywatching84
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by quietlywatching84 »

jennylives wrote:On a mommy board I'm on I have a Republican MICROBIOLOGIST trying to tell me evolution is not a fact. My jaw dropped.


So I guess it's safe to say that she probably has an ackward relationship with her co-workers LOL...
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normaM
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by normaM »

not so sold on DAwkins, he is too interested in his minutes of fame.
De-volution seems to be a trend
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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jennylives wrote:On a mommy board I'm on I have a Republican MICROBIOLOGIST trying to tell me evolution is not a fact. My jaw dropped.


The good thing is a mitochondria is a mitochondria, no matter what your thoughts on how it got to be what it is. She probably isn't putting forth theories as to how it got there, and chances are her job doesn't ask her to. Her beliefs shouldn't be a problem unless she starts to say that prayer is the power that mitochondria run on.
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lulwut
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by lulwut »

The religious fundamentalists already know evoloution kicks there butt every time. Thats why they invented Intelligent design arguments.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by Mr. Personality »

Evolution seems to be the best theory so far, I'll admit.
Still seems like it's more an "all signs point to" than an absolute proven fact, though.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by zzontar »

There has been proof evolution happens for quite some time, what started the whole ball rolling still hasn't been proven, though. I really find it very hard to believe that 40% of Americans think the world is 10,000 years old, that would be saying 40% of Americans would think all dinosaur bones found were man made... I really, really doubt that, yet somehow it seems 100% of atheists on here would believe that stat without question.
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