|Comment:||I was just wondering, why have monkeys stopped evolving? Why have we not evolved into something more intelligent? If evolution was really true, than all the animals that were extinct wouldnt really be, because some other animal would evolve into it. I am 13 and I am doing a report on evolution/creation, and I was wondering if you could give me some information that I can understand. I am a full on christian and nothing could ever make me believe in evolution. I know that what you are saying is wrong, and what I am saying is totally right. I dont want to say I dont believe in evolution beacuse my parents said its wrong, I want to hear the information that makes it wrong. Have you ever really read the bible or really studied Creation, beacuse if you did you would know that God created us. Not some big bang. Anyways, I would be very appreciative if you could email me back. Thanks, Hana|
|Response:||If you know that we are wrong and you are right and nothing could ever change your mind, then you are wasting your time asking for information and we would be wasting our time to give it.|
Theobald's "29 Evidences for Macroevolution" is an
excellent and methodical work. Having read the Talk.Origins
archive for some time now, I would argue that it is among
the most interesting and persuasive essays currently
offered at your site.
My question is, does there exist a text that synthesizes the evidence for common descent in a readable and complete manner? Theobald's essay is certainly my first exposure to anything near such an ideal, and I believe it may have the potential to fill a hole in current popular science books. If I am correct, Dr. Theobald should write a book on common descent for the educated layman, integrating the evidence in his essay, expanding on the examples, and creating a broad narrative to span the history of evolution. He could title it something gutsy, such as, "The Fact of Evolution," and borrow the "assume-the-reader-is-a-skeptic" approach of the 29 Evidences.
in fish (not the earliest or most recent by Dolph Schluter
on this topic, but you'll find more refs at the end of this
Nagel, Laura, and D. Schluter. 1998. Body Size, Natural Selection, and Speciation in Sticklebacks. Evolution v.52:209-218.
|Comment:||There is always an interest in having an open forum discussion on topics. What bothered me is that a portion of this seemed to be a personal platform for "bashing" other religions, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. The printing of blatant ridicule is not only tasteless, but does not speak well of the motivations of this site. If you want to talk facts, talk facts. If you want debate, then have a healthy one. Leave the personal agendas out of it.|
just so that we're clear, this is not a forum for open
discussion. That forum is the talk.origins newsgroup, a
forum in which anyone may participate. See the Archive's Welcome FAQ.
I searched this site for all references to "Jehovah's Witnesses" that I could find. The primary references are Jehovah's Witnesses and Evolution, by Alan Feuerbacher, and a book review by Corey Carroll, a former Jehovah's Witness. Both are discussing the assertions made in the book Life: How did it get here? By evolution or by creation?, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Both are harsh on the book and the assertions it makes, but I did not see any general denigration of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The only other article talking about the Jehovah's Witnesses is The Vapor Canopy Hypothesis Holds No Water, which addresses the vapor canopy hypothesis specifically and only mentions the Jehovah's Witnesses in passing. In short, I don't see the "bashing" that you reference.
|Comment:||An earlier exchange, prompted by Paul Wheeler (Feedback, March 2002), made reference to a BBC Horizon programme ("The Dinosaur that Fooled the World") and a hoax "Archaeopteryx" fossil. Troy Britain correctly pointed to Archaeoraptor as a more likely candidate. The following site gives a transcript for the programme that appeared on BBC Two, 9.00pm, Thursday 21st February 2002: The Dinosaur that Fooled the World|
|Response:||Thank you very much for providing such a helpful reference.|
|Comment:||This is in response to the article about David Berlinski. I was confused about the argument. From what I understood, the article was stating that Berlinski presents invalid arguments. Somehow, the article seems to completely get of the subject of Berlinski and addresses arguments from other scientist rather than from Berlinski. How is this am I just missing the point?|
as to which article you are referring. As far as I can
tell, the Archive does not have an article about David
Berlinski. The closest thing we have is the reprint of Ed
Babinski's Cretinism or
Evilution?, with its article entitled Berlinski or Babinski?
Even that article, however, only refers to Berlinski in
You might be referring to an off-site article, in which case, we have no control over its content.
|Comment:||Dear Talk:Origin Archive Person, I would like to know if you believe in God at all. You crazy people never give "us creationists" any proof that evolution is real. All you ever do on this website is try to defend yourselves from the many mistakes you have made that creationists have found. I hate to say it, but you people need to lighten up, wake up and smell the coffee, and realize that God is the One who created you and this universe. The actual age of earth is around sevens thousand years, a much younger earth than you think it is. Why do you people believe the unreal info. Wake up and recognize, you are wrong!!|
actually a number of talk.origins people, and we certainly
do not all have the same beliefs (or disbeliefs, as the
case may be). I cannot speak for anyone except myself in
Personally, I do believe in God, although this has not always been the case. I firmly believe that God is the one who created the universe, and every one in it, and that God did so deliberately, and with intent. I simply do not feel that there is any need to believe in a young age for the earth.
If you are interested in trying to understand how people can have faith in God without rejecting large portions of science, you might want to take a couple of minutes to read the God and Evolution FAQ on this site. You might also find the Various Interpretations of Genesis FAQ to be helpful.
|Comment:||Giant men did exist. An archeologist found the skeleton of a 10 ft tall woman. The remains were found in a grave and in that grave was found a 100 pound solid gold breastplate that was sold at auction. The remains were found in the Valley of Eight in Turkey. As many know, Turkey is where Noah's Ark is believed to be resting. Also in the valley of eight, a giant altar with 3 foot high steps was found. For all the information, go to The Discovery of Noah's Ark thank you for your time.|
|Response:||Ron Wyatt is, to be quite blunt, a complete and utter fraud. Even his fellow creationists held their noses when dealing with the nonsense he pumped out. His work in the valley of eight has been thoroughly debunked even by his fellow young earthers. The only one who appears to take him the least bit seriously is Kent Hovind, who has his own credibility problems.|
|Comment:||I don't know
if this is a question for the evolution/creation debate but
I didn't know really where else to look. One of the things
that always bothered me about the Bible was the explaining
of the ages of the people in the old testament, I believe
it was in genesis. It says that Methusaleh lived for some
950 plus years, right? The odd thing is the calendar that
he used to gauge his existence is NOT the same calendar we
utilize today. So if in man's haste, as it were, to
decipher the religious text, it's possible that the Bible
we read from today is in error because his age is reflected
by our calendar and not his, right? I personally feel that
the way they probaby gauged their passing was by looking to
the heavens and looking at our nearest and dearest
neighbor, the moon. By looking for the arrival of each full
moon, they could count the passage of time. I'm not sure
exactly how the weather is there in the middle east around
where Eden was supposedly set, but I think it was probably
a temperate region year round so gauging the passage of
time by a seasonal change would have been next to
impossible. If they did use the moon and Methusaleh was
around 950 (full moons) old, then by dividing that number
by 12 to account for OUR calendar and you get a figure of
around 80 years old which would coincide with the expected
age of most healthy men.
Thanks for your time and patience in reading my dribble.
|Response:||Yes, this is
distinctly peripheral to the evolution debate; and the
maintainers of this archive do not have a unified opinion
on matters relating to the bible. A resolution to the
"problem" of old ages recorded in the bible makes no
difference to an evolutionist viewpoint, and a creationist
who treats the flood and creationist accounts as literal
will usually treat these ages exactly as given.
On the other hand, the debate over evolution obviously has a lot to do with the bible, so it is not entirely irrelevant. Here are some comments on my own behalf as an individual.
Your idea reminds me of a similar idea by Robert Best, who wrote Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Flood Myth.
Methuselah is recorded as having lived for 969 years. Best suggests scribal translation errors from the Sumerian number system, resulting in a factor of ten error throughout. Best also offers a similar explanation for another ancient document, the Sumerian king lists, involving a factor of 3600. Sumerian stories include the flood, and the list of kings before the flood includes ages which are many thousands of years long!
I am not presenting this idea because I endorse it. But it seems worthy of consideration. You can read about it on the web site for Robert Best's book.
|Comment:||Hello Hello... My name is Ken and I am a Creationist. Well I'd like to state two points: 1. Can you please tell me what a religion is based on? Of course, it is based on something we call faith. Ok why is a religion based on faith? Because your basing your belief or confidence in an idea or speculation Now we all know Evolution is a speculation founded by a guy named Charles Darwin. So technically Evolution is based on faith. You can't tell me that man evolved from millions of years ago from an ape that came from a single cell which came from nothing. That goes against the law of BIOGENESIS which states that all living matter must come from living matter. Anyways my point is that Evolution itself is like a religion itself. So why do we ban prayer and creationist concepts in public schools? 2. Well you explain all these formulas and equations how Evolution does not go against the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. So in other words are you telling me that the 2nd Law of thermodynamics is not true?|
|Author of:||Problems with a Global Flood, 2nd edition|
has different meanings. If the faith that a religion is
based on is no more than unfounded speculation, then I
don't see how the religion is worth much. And since you use
your understanding of faith to belittle evolution, you
apparently agree. It is ironic that people who believe
creationism on faith view faith as an insult.
2. Evolution is not speculation. The theory of evolution and the fact of common descent are based on hard physical evidence. See 29 Evidences for Macroevolution. Evolution is no more a religion than plumbing is.
3. There is no such law of biogenesis.
4. The creationist version of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is not true. Order arises from disorder all the time. Creationists claim that that is impossible without some kind of intelligence or program to guide it, but (A) evolution has such a program in the form of natural selection, and (B) it happens even without a program.
5. We do not ban prayer or creationist concepts in public school. You are free to believe what you will and pray as you wish as long as it isn't disruptive. What is banned is using public time and money to push prayer and religious concepts on others.
|Comment:||I read in
your FAQ the following question:
'If evolution is true, then why are there so many gaps in the fossil record? Shouldn't there be more transitional fossils?'
And a part of the answer is that it's due to the rarity of preservation transitions between species are uncommon in the fossil record.
But the answer says that there IS evidence of transitions between organisms. I'm not a scientist, but I do have a few reasonable questions about this.
1) Evolutionists always say that evolution is a process of millions of years, so if a reptile turns into a bird, there will be countless phases between these two. This would mean that a new body part (wings for instance) will not be recognisable in the beginning. My question: is there any evidence of an organism (fossil) that at that point has an undefinable body part which later turns out to be something useful?
2) Which brings me to the following question: is there, at this time, any organism on earth that has an undeveloped body part, that is not useful yet?
I hope you will take my (maybe not entirely scientific correct) questions seriously and that you will forgive my somewhat poor English.
Marnix Izeboud, The Netherlands
|Comment:||I am looking for the Entire Evolutionary Tree up to date. Is there anyone who has the complete tree available?|
|Response:||The Tree of Life project is probably the best single resource. With well over a million species to include on the tree, it will be awhile before the project covers all of them.|
|Comment:||I do not fit
in the creationist/evolutionist debate. Though I began life
with a secular outlook, I have ended up as a Quaker and
thus a Christian mystic. I would also say about myself that
I have walked a path of scepticism and that I am a reader.
I am sending this note to request some assistance. I would like to be put in touch with informed people,preferably someone trained in evolutionary biology, who subscribes to Edmund O. Wilson's thinking about the illusionary quality of consciousness and free will, all of which will eventually be explained and rendered predictable, according to Mr. Wilson, by the laws of genetics and biochemistry. Mr. Wilson represents a school of thought with perhaps many adherents.
I have thought and read at length about these issues and am of a differing persuasion. I would like to engage in a friendly discussion or debate with scientists or other informed people who might see things as Mr. Wilson does. I would like to engage in this friendly debate because it would stimulate and prod me to think harder and further on this subject that I have been reflecting on for years.
point made in Frank Steiger's essay called: The Second Law of
Thermodynamics, Evolution, and Probability - I'd like
to ask a question. Mr. Steiger makes, in my opinion at
least one grave error in his essay and I'd like to know how
you feel about posting it when it is clearly misleading.
Mr. Steiger states "In fact, there are many examples in nature where order does arise spontaneously from disorder: Snowflakes with their six-sided crystalline symmetry are formed spontaneously from randomly moving water vapor molecules. Salts with precise planes of crystalline symmetry form spontaneously when water evaporates from a solution. Seeds sprout into flowering plants and eggs develop into chicks."
First, I was taught that organization and order are two different concepts. Mr. Steiger seems to be lumping the two together. It is not logical to assume that snowflakes and crystals appearing in nature constitute organization. His effort to equate these processes with "flowering plants" and "eggs developing into chicks" seems to reflect his misunderstanding or ignorance of the scientifically acknowledged line drawn between the notions of order and organization.
Can you explain this?
|Response:||It is not Mr
Steiger who attempts to equate order and organization. It
is the creationists.
The second law of thermodynamics refers to a quantity called entropy, and this is carefully explained in the essay. Creationists deliberately confuse this with the notion of organization; a subject which is not addressed at all by the second law.
Mr Steiger's essay explains the concepts of thermodynamics and entropy. He shows that the second law does permit increasing order, in a thermodynamic sense. Thus creationist appeals to the second law as a problem for evolution are nonsense.
You are raising another matter: the matter of organization. Mr Steiger does not talk about organization much in his essay, because the subject of the essay is thermodynamics, and thermodynamics does not refer to organization. This is another reason why appeals to the second law are nonsense; the second law simply does not deal with the matters of complex organization that worry you.
Mr Steiger also has another essay which you should read. It is on the subject of Attributing False Attributes to Thermodynamics.
Basically, I would put the matter thus: thermodynamics is not about organization, in the sense that you speak of. Eggs develop into chicks, and seeds develop into flowering plants, all the time, and with no violations of any physical laws. A thermodynamic analysis would look at energy flows and entropy changes; and completely miss all the really fascinating stuff about the natural growth and development of the complex systems involved in a chicken or a flowering plant. Study of embryonic development rarely considers thermodynamics; any more than it considers laws of conservation of energy or momentum. Those laws are about other subjects, like energy, or momentum, or entropy; we are more interested in something else: the developing organism.
There is no scientific law of any kind that says this development is impossible. After all, we see this development happening all the time. On the other hand, such development cries out for some explanation, and we have some idea of the processes involved as an embryo grows into its adult form; and a lot still to learn.
You, on the other hand, are probably concerned about evolution; which is not about "eggs developing into chickens" but more about "animals other than chickens changinging over many generations into chickens". We have a lot to learn about that, also, but the underlying processes are reasonably well understood, and in no conflict with any physical laws.
|Comment:||How do I get into Talk.Origins? When I click on "talk.origins newsgroup" above all I get is error messages as it tries to bring up Netscape Navigator.|
|Author of:||Isochron Dating|
|Response:||talk.origins is a USEnet newsgroup. Netscape comes with a USEnet news-reader, but it has to be set up (told which server to use, for example) in order to work properly. You can ask your internet service provider's tech support how to set up USEnet access, if they have their own news server.|
|Comment:||I am a recovering creationist. Here are two things i still have a very difficult time with. 1)Why do evolutionists say natural selection "chooses" the more advantageous mutations. Doesn't this imply intent or proclivity rather than randomness, or chance? 2) I can see how venom sacs in snakes could develop independently of fangs, but how could something like the eyeball gradually evolve? What good would an optic nerve be by itself?|
|Comment:||I just read
through the article "Evolution is a Fact, and
a Theory". In my view, the article isn't particularly
helpful, it actually exacerbates the controversy between
evolution and creationism.
The problem I see with the article is that other branches of science do not feel the need to call what they study "facts". For instance, in Physics we refer to the "Theory of Relativity" or "Quantum Theory" or "String Theory" or "Particle Theory". This simply means that, for example, there is a body of observed evidence for which the theory of how they relate best explains at the moment. The door is always open to new theories to supercede old ones, if the new theory explains observation better.
Evolutionary biology is not a fact, it is a theory which best explains the fossil and geologic record. Yet by calling it a fact, the author seems to be attempting to slam the door on any further questioning of evolution. This is detrimental to the progress of science, for it leads to a stasis, and that for what appears to be polemic reasons.
It is unfortunate the archive presents this article as a "must read". The article does not prove or teach anything, it simply comes across as a ham-handed attempt to silence "the enemy", cheapening the overall credibility of the archive, to a degree.
Thanks, - Robert
other branches of science do not need to emphasize that
they are studying facts is that there is not a concerted
attempt to speak of their finds as just a theory, as
if in contrast to a fact.
Quantum mechanics, for example, is the theory which gives the best explanation for facts of subatomic physics. The quantum effects are real; they are facts. And the theory, or model, which explains those facts is one of the well tested models in science. There is room to press the details, such as questions about mass of a neutrino, or about underlying models involving strings or branes, but any model we come up with, at any time in the future, will still need to explain the same facts about particles and interferences and so on.
Evolutionary biology is a field of science. It deals with certain facts, like the long history of life, and the shared ancestry of living creatures, and the diversification of life, and the effects of diversity of mutation and selection. The theory, or model, which ties these facts together and puts them into a coherent framework is the theory of evolution. Any theory we come up with, at any time in the future, will still need to address the facts of life's long history and diversification.
The article is definitely a must read. Too many people fail to understand what it means to be a theory in science.
You might like to read it again. There is nothing there silencing an enemy, as if that was even possible. It is a plain straightforward explanation of what biologists mean by saying evolution is a theory; and what are the basic facts which any theory will need to address.
|Comment:||If this particular site is going to focus in on creationist's credentials, why not do the same for others, especially for the founders of modern evolutionary thought? As far as I can recollect, Darwin had no scientific degrees of any sort, Lyell was a lawyer, etc. In fact, one of the few leading evolutionary thinkers of their time that had any sort of hard credentials was Lamarck (professor of invertebrate zoology and paleontology, I believe), and even his ideas on "acquired characteristics" are disregarded today by modern scientists. There are others, I'm sure, but let's at least be fair. If we're going to sling academic mud here, let's at least consider the credential cleanliness of the side that you are adoring. Thank you for your time.|
referring, I believe, to our article entitled Suspicious Creationist
Credentials. You may have missed the point of that
article. It is not that one cannot do respectable science
without a degree. It is that a person should not tell
others that he received a particular credential without
having performed the work and study needed to receive that
credential. Furthermore, a person who fibs about his degree
is likely to be fibbing about the ideas that he is trying
to support with that degree.
See Ed Brayton's response on this subject in the October 2001 Feedback.
South Dakota paper carried a letter that claimed that the
US Supreme Court declared in 1987 that Creation Science was
a bona fide science, and that 2 "evolutionists" (I've heard
of physiologists, pharmacologists, microbiologists,
biologists, etc, but that term was new to me), one, a Dr.
Does anybody know what the writer was referring to? And who is this Dr. Lipson? It's hard to call something a load of crap when you can't find any reference to it. thanks, you're doing a great job. There are rumors that the ID/Creationsist are going to try some nonsence in Nebraska and S.Dakota this year. Any advice would be appreciated. gj
a bit like it might be a very confused reference to the
case Edwards v.
Aguillard, for which information is available on the
archive. However, what the court actually found is that
creationism was a religious teaching, and not bona fide
science at all.
There were 2 members of the court who dissented from the findings, and seven who concurred with the finding. The two dissenters, of course, were not scientists or evolutionists, but two supreme court judges. You can read the various opinions at the link supplied above.
The Supreme Court has consistently found that creationism is religion, not science; and indeed this is pretty obvious.
There is a British physicist, one H Lipson, who spoke skeptically about evolution in 1980 or so; but he is not an evolutionist; and as far as I know he had nothing to do with the Supreme Court in the USA. There can't be too many other alternatives; finding scientists with anything positive to say about creationism is hard work. You can find a few, but there can't be too many Lipsons amongst them.
|Comment:||How many times can one say *mainstream* in one website? You guys certainly are shooting for a record. I guess you need to repeat that mantra in order to keep yourselves and everyone else convinced that creationists are whackos. Of course if they are moronic whackos, they can be dismissed out-of-hand and *poof*, "Talk.Origins" is no longer biased. Magic!|
|Response:||I think the
reader may have missed the point. There has never been, to
my knowledge, any attempt to claim that the Talk.Origins
Archive is not biased. It is biased. It is
biased in favor of the arguments and understanding of
modern mainstream science.
And like it or not, the theory of evolution is a part of modern mainstream science. Research is carried out in the field. Experiments are conducted and observations recorded. Predictions are made and then tested. Results are published in peer-reviewed journals. All of this is precisely what mainstream science does, and the overwhelming consensus of science, after 150 years of testing and criticism, is that evolutionary theory is the best model to explain the diversity and characteristics of life on Earth.
We recognize that many people disagree with the conclusions of mainstream science. We also try to let those people speak for themselves. That is why we maintain a tremendously long list of links to other sites, including many creationist sites, so that visitors to our site may compare the information we provide with that on other sites and judge for themselves.
Furthermore, I would take issue with the reader's characterization that we treat creationists as "whackos." I certainly don't think creationists as a whole are crazy or morons, and I believe that most of this site's contributors feel the same way. Misguided, yes, and often woefully ignorant about that which they seek to criticize, but not crazy or stupid.
|Comment:||What do you think of the argument presented on this web page? Pastor C. Johnson, a pastor and physicist attempts to argue that both science and young earth creationists are right.|
|Response:||This is essentially a reworking of the "day-age" interpretation of Genesis. See the Various Interpretations of Genesis FAQ.|
|Comment:||Hello. I am
interested in some information you have published at
www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mutations.html, regarding a
bacterium's ability to metabolize nylon oligomers as a
result of undergoing a frame shift mutation.
I ran accross a letter to the editor at "Answers in Genesis," where a critic of their web site used the bacterium as an example that information in DNA can increase.
The response from "Answers in Genesis" sounded a bit suspicious. They claim that the author of the letter "is out of date about this new nylon digesting ability allegedly from a frame shift. New evidence shows that the ability [to metabolize nylon oligomers] was due to plasmids [e.g. K. Kato, et al., 'A plasmid encoding enzymes for nylon oligomer degradation: Nucleotide sequence analysis of pOAD2', Microbiology (Reading) 141(10):2585–2590, 1995.
See the bottom of the page at: That depends on what your definition of 'information' is
I was wondering if anyone can comment on the likely hood that the ability was due to plasmids or to a frame shift mutation.
|Comment:||What do they do at Jehovah's Witness meetings?|
|Response:||You might try asking the Jehovah's Witnesses themselves. See the Watchtower, the official web site of the Watch Tower Tract and Bible Society of Pennsylvania.|
many of the essays I glean the following:1.Evolution is a
change in the gene pool 2.Evolution needs genetic variation
3.Individuals do not evolve 4.Populations evolve 5.There
once existed an originnal life form 6.This life form gave
rise to all subsequent life forms.
If the 'original life form' was one single individual it is difficult to understand have it can have 'evolved' as defined since conditions 1 - 4 cannot be fulfilled there being only an individual, no population, no gene pool, no variation.
there was only a single individual to begin with. I do not
suppose this, because I cannot see any time when
the"population" of protoliving things was down to a single
"thing" - life feeds on, among other things, the products
of other life, and complex molecules can vary like living
systems. But suppose...
How do we achieve a population? Well, we might have a self-copying system (not a cell, exactly, but some kind of protocell). Each time these duplicate, some error can be introduced, so that over a very short time, variation will occur in the population. Thos that happen to be more effective at getting hold of the resources they need to duplicate will tend, on average, to become the most common in the new population.
A single bacterium can generate a colony of bacteria in a very short time, and mutations occur regularly even today, on which selection for antibiotic resistance can occur, to give an example. In the early days of life, when there were few if any error correction "devices", variation would come about rapidly.
|Comment:||I am new to your site. One thing I have noticed is that in visiting creationist websites (at least the few I have sampled) is that they do not have a feed back feature such as you have here. It seems they are afraid of open discussion. They also do not provide links to websites with alternate points of view. That in and of itself indicates their fear of everything being examined in an open and fair way.|
|Comment:||Hello. I am a junior in a HS AP biology class and chose to initiate a project based on creationism vs. evolution. Without a doubt, I am a strong supporter of evolution, and I believe this site is an excellent supplier of evidence against creationism as an illegitimate "science." I thought this site was the best I've seen while researching, that I even felt compelled to write to compliment all the contributers. Thanks, and if I get an A on this project, I will be even more grateful.|
|Response:||On behalf of us all, thanks. Don't forget to cite us properly, or you might get into trouble for plagiarism.|