Saturday, October 14, 2006

Evolution by Default!

Ha! An intriguing thought just occurred to me, one which has the upshot that christians are bound to accept evolution, as I shall now explain.

If you accept that human beings give birth to offspring, then by default you accept evolution by nature of the fact that the offspring are not identical clones of either parent. The offspring have genes which are made of genetic contributions from both parents, and are thus genetically different to the parents. The degree of difference may vary between offspring, but the fact remains that the genes of the child are not the same as one or other parent, i.e. the antithesis to evolution is cloning.

What is really being argued is whether the degree of difference in the genes of offspring to that of their parents proceeds at a rate which shows that human beings could have evolved from more primitive life forms, or whether some man in the sky made everything in seven days.

So what many people refer to as the 'evolution vs. creation' debate should be more correctly termed the 'rate of evolution vs. creation' debate, since it cannot be denied that you and I are different, therfore evolution is evident.


Blogger Custard said...

Pretty much.

To be fair to the 144 hour creationists (of whom I am not one), I'd want to add "And whether such genetic variation can ever produce new structures."

1:18 am  
Anonymous Ben Abbott said...

Hi Scott,

Excellent obvious observation ;-)

I came to my postion on a different route, but one which parallels yours.

I began by realizing that natural reproduction is the only known phenomena for the creation a new life.

If all life today descended from their parents, and the parents from parents of their own ...

... then how did the factual evolution of life occur. By the *fact* I refer to the table on this site.

That life has evolved is a *fact* to everyone, except for those who deny *all* scientific evidence of past life on our planet. 3.5 Billion years ago life was only existed in the form of simple microbes. Today we have a far greater diversity of life, including humans. Life evolved.

Sans the theory of evolution, what other explanation is consistent with scientific impiricism and does not beg for a unobservable miracle maker?


5:07 am  
Blogger Douglas Cress said...

Thanks Scott,

Pretty busy with a few projects I've been working on. Will keep the community posted via the Blog.

Keep up the great writing!!


2:21 am  
Blogger J.L. said...

Hi guys,

Thanks for the comments. For the record, my name is J.L. as per my profile. There seems to be some confusion regarding this and the blog description found just under the title 'The Incomer'. A Scots (or Scottish) person is someone from Scotland. Commonly around the world, people from Scotland are referred to as 'scotch', which is incorrect, but is accepted as close enough. Scotch is another name for whisky, so usually I take being called 'scotch' as a compliment and like to think that I am warm but fierce, and leaving you in a reflective mood.

I think of myself as a Scots-New Zealander since I am Scottish by birth and grew up there, moving to New Zealand when I was 15.

Best Regards,


11:48 am  
Anonymous Shewbie said...

An excellent argument, my friend [all scotch is my friend] - but I can't find it anywhere in my bible so you must be wrong!

12:16 am  
Blogger J.L. said...

Very good! Yes, this is exactly the kind of argument I have come across when debating with christians.

(Shewbie is a good friend of mine, and is being ironic.)

10:48 am  
Anonymous Luc said...

Hey J.L.,

Creationism doesn't just deny evolution. It denies all other major areas of science as well. If you are a creationist you cannot believe what geologists say (they talk about cycles of erosion and sedimentation that take billions of years). You cannot believe what astrophysicists say (they talk about things billions of light years away). You cannot believe what the chemists say (they talk about specific isotope analysis and atomic half-lives and can date things to billions of years ago)... the story goes on.

As far as your thoughts go, a child being different from their parents, or other siblings, is not enough to show evolution. In fact it is possible (although very unlikely) for a child to be born only of their parents unaltered genetic material (half from mum and half from dad). If two siblings (with their parents unaltered genetic material in the right combinations) also had such a child they could potentially produce offspring identical to either of themselves or their own parents...did that make sense?

For example:

Grandparent #1: AABBCC x
Grandparent #2: aabbcc y

Have two children (a boy and a girl)

Parent #1: AaBbCc x
Parent #2: AaBbCc y

Have a couple of children

Child #1: AABBCC x (identical to grandfather).

Child #2: AaBbCc y (identical to mother).

What makes evolution possible is that children can be created with mutations. Things go wrong... portions of genetic material get copied too many times, or missed, or crossover occurs on chromosomes etc.

But yes, you are right. As this mutation does occur, we must be evolving.

However the creationistic argument can take account of this (and anything else in existence) with the response: God created everything last Thursday including all our memories, evolutionary history, geological evidence etc. (Why God would do this is beyond me, but then I'm just a limited mortal :p). The creationistic argument is a false one, it is unbeatable.

A commonly used argument for creationism, and against evolution, is that things are so wonderful and complex that they couldn't have occurred by chance. This of course raises the question: If God is so wonderful why did God create the praying mantis, a creature that cuts off its partner's head during sexual intercourse? The response: Oh that was the Devil's creation, doesn't cut it. After all an all-knowing God that created everything must also have created the Devil, and being all-knowing would have know what the Devil would do...

Anyway creationism is fucked. The only way to accept the existence of a ‘God that created the world’ is to say “God created the world and evolution is the process whereby He created it.”

Best wishes and keep up the great writing.


11:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can a child be a better piano player than both its parents? A better writer? A better watercolourist? Can a boy be a better football player than his father, can a girl be a better cook than her own mother?

If your answer is no, where are the plays by Shakespeare's father? How many times did David Beckham's father play for England.

If your answer is yes (as it has to be) how can you deny evolution - the 'natural' bringing about of something that is 'better' in a fitness sense than the sum of its parts?

The Creationist's only escape hatch is to say that Shakespeare, Glen Gould, Beckham et all were 'specially created' with their talents by God, which raises the interesting question of who created Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, et al.

11:56 am  
Blogger J.L. said...

Hi Anonymous,

I like your Socratic approach, and would tend to agree. However, this still leaves the creationists plenty of wiggle room: They could, for instance, claim that we all just have a different set of skills or abilities, regardless of what these are, and that we have freedom of choice over what we do with them.

It comes down to where we get our skills from. Personally, I would say that, although skills are learned, each person has a particular predisposition to aptitude in certain areas, stemming from genetic and physical traits, previous experience, and environmental factors. A creationist would probably claim that 'god' made the skilled person that way, and arranged things so that their talent blossomed. Which leads to the very question you have posed - what about the bad guys like Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler?

I'm certain that it has been firmly established that evolution is by far the most likely explanation for the state in which we find ourselves today. Creationism just doesn't stack up.

Best Regards,


10:17 pm  

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