Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Family Tree


[the skull of Heidelberg Man]

Evolution basically means that all life on earth developed from simple chemicals through a very gradual process of random chance and trial and error.

Originally, about four billion years ago, the earth was covered by an ocean of water containing certain basic chemicals. Somehow, these chemicals formed simple one-celled animals. Once simple life appeared through the random interaction of chemicals, it continued to change through random genetic mutations. Mutations which had greater survival value became more common and eventually new mutations appeared on top of them and this process continued indefinitely until eventually man appeared.

[Incidentally atheists may protest that evolution refers only to changes in living things, while the creation of life is called “abiogensis”. However actually atheists do not believe that God created the first life. They see life as arising naturally from chemicals. Other than as part of an effort to confuse religious believers, there is no reason to distinguish between pre-life and post-life evolution. Also atheists will protest that evolution is not random because it involves natural selection. However bear in mind that natural selection is merely a filter that removes any living thing that does not meet certain criteria as defined by the earth’s environment. Natural selection does not design anything; according to atheists, random chance must do that.]

Since Darwin suggested evolution in 1859, one of the most fascinating questions has been – exactly what is our ancestry? If we are not descended from Adam who was created by God, but rather we are descended from water and chemicals, what exactly were all the intermediary steps? There surely must have been quite a few. The human body contains about 100 trillion cells. Each cell is so complex that scientists are not close to creating one artificially. The number of random trial and error steps from chemicals to man must have been almost infinite. The search for the “Missing Link” is perhaps the main objective of paleontology, the paleontologists’ Holy Grail.

As any genealogist knows, ancestry must be traced beginning from you and working step-by-step back in time. So I was excited to see the January, 2009 issue of Scientific American magazine which includes on page 60 an article called “The Human Pedigree” by Kate Wong. Based on the chart in the article there is only one extinct species that has a well-supported relationship to man – Homo heidelbergensis, or Heidelberg Man. Heidelberg Man lived in Europe about a half million years ago. He was basically identical to modern man except for a more ape like face - he had large brow ridges and a low forehead. His brain case also was more elongated from front to back than in modern man.

So this is the total success that evolutionists have had in tracing the human family tree. They have found one extinct species, which was basically almost human, and earlier than that the trail goes dead. We can only speculate. (This is one of the reasons why evolutionists get upset when people claim that evolution means we are descended from monkeys. The truth is they have no idea what we are descended from.)

The standard atheistic explanation is “Yes, all those trillions upon trillions of intermediary steps between chemicals and man were really there, however the evidence has been lost.” This sounds a little bit like a prosecutor telling the jury “Yes, there were witnesses, there were finger prints and there was a murder weapon, but we just can’t find them.” Good luck with that.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever noticed that, very often, they don't connect the branches of the family trees? That's because they don't really have the common ancestors, and any ideas about relationships are speculative.

Child Ish Behavior said...

I'm confused, what exactly is your argument? That the argument for evolution isn't strong enough? If you placed the same standards of evidence for religion, could religion stand up to your skepticism? Evolution is a theory that attempts to explain how we got here, they never claim that it is perfect. They just say that the story of evolution fits the evidence that they have now. If they have a new theory, they will replace evolution. Evolution is not a religion.

jewish philosopher said...

"If they have a new theory, they will replace evolution."

How about an old theory - God did it.

Child Ish Behavior said...

God did it explains the who, it doesn't explain the how. Did he snap his fingers, but God doesn't have fingers? We say that everyday Hashem is constantly willing the world to stay in existence, and that if for one second he would Un-will it, the world would stop existing. Yet, we see a natural order for the way the world works. Wouldn't there also be a natural order for the way Hashem created the world as well? If he continually keeps the world going naturally, why couldn't he have created it naturally?

jewish philosopher said...

The Torah does provide some details about "how".

Child Ish Behavior said...

To my knowledge, the Torah says exactly what you did, "God did it, and in 7 days". It is only when discussing man that the specifics are discussed. And even then, your argument would have to go from one that disproves evolution to one that proves that women literally came from man's rib. Disproving evolution would not be enough.

jewish philosopher said...

I have other posts about proof of Torah from Sinai.

Child Ish Behavior said...

You missed my point, I grant you that the Torah was from Sinai. Agreed.

The point is that if you take the literal interpretation of everything you are required to show where the vestigial "female rib" used to be on the male.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't think it was a rib. I think Eve was created from Adam's side.

Child Ish Behavior said...

But that is my point, while you are so quick to point out the failings of evolution, you never ask for the evidence of where the human body once had an extra part that was subsequently turned into Chava.

"I think Eve was created from Adam's side."

How was this done? And where is the physical evidence of this happening?

If the lack of physical evidence doesn't support evolution, it certainly doesn't support woman from man's rib theory either.

jewish philosopher said...

"How was this done?"

Most likely the Garden of Eden medical records are closed due to privacy considerations.

"And where is the physical evidence of this happening?"

What physical evidence is there of George Washington? We have documents and a tradition.

Child Ish Behavior said...

So basically what you are saying is that evolution " sounds a little bit like a prosecutor telling the jury “Yes, there were witnesses, there were finger prints and there was a murder weapon, but we just can’t find them.” and this doesn't seem good enough to you. But when it comes to the literal biblical narrative, "Most likely the Garden of Eden medical records are closed due to privacy considerations." is good enough. This seems very inconsistent. Do you really care at all what the evidence says? I'm betting that even if they had every missing link figured out you still would be unconvinced.

jewish philosopher said...

I think evolution simply contradicts common sense, since we know that machines don't form spontaneously, and the fossil evidence, which indicates castrophism not evolution.

All the proofs of evolution remind me very much of the proofs of Christianity - ad hoc apologetics which convince no one who doesn't already believe.

BlackEyedP said...

and POOF! god created adam. and there was a tree in this place with a talking snake underneath it who pursuaded eve to eat an apple and then they were naked. HAHAHAHA!

jewish philosopher said...

Right. So?

000646 said...

The idea that the fossil record should show trillions of small changes is ridiculous,

all we have found is a couple hundred million fossils and it is common sense that there has to have been trillions of individual animals on earth in the past hundred million years alone.

The way the fosill record would look if evolution happend is exactly as it does namely with less complex further back going to more complex closer to the present.

To ask to see trillions of small changes in a fossil record that consists of just a couple hundred million fossils simply makes no sense.

jewish philosopher said...

If evolution had indeed occurred the fossils should look entirely different. Instead of several sudden changes to completely new ecological systems, there should be a very gradual change and also there should be innumerable unsuccessfully mutated organisms discovered in the fossils. Evolutionists must irrationally claim that the fossil record is not only incomplete, but very deceptive.

000646 said...

The fossil record shows that the "sudden" changes you talk about took tens of millions of years to occur.

There would not be anything that looks very gradual in the sense that we are used to,
like i said there has to have been trillions of animals on earth in the past three hundred million years alone even and we only have a couple hundred million fossils from the past couple billion years.

since we are only finding a very very small percentage of the animals that have exsisted we should excpect for there to be very large gaps in the fossil record.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

The fossil record's sudden changes took MILLIONS of years, which is compatible with evolution. Still, this is still relatively rapid and should be explained:

Relatively rapid diversification can occur after the survival phase of a mass-extinction is complete. With so many organisms having become extinct it leaves a massive ecological vacuum, this creates new opportunities for the surviving lineages to diversify into niches left vacated by the now extinct predecessors. This radiation is known to be rapid for all surviving taxa, and some orders can diversify faster than others. This means that by undergoing a mass extinction some orders which diversify the fastest eventually benefit, from being able to fill the empty niches and becoming the dominant order. At the Permo-Triassic boundary this is especially the case with the Ammonoids.

http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/Palaeofiles/Permian/survivors.html

000646 said...

meaning since we have such a small amount of fossils (relativley speaking of course) spread out over such a huge expanse of time, huge gaps are exactly what we should excpect to find.

jewish philosopher said...

Based upon the fossil record, life itself appeared suddenly as well. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/bacteria/cyanofr.html

The fossil record indicates several special creations, not evolution.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

Let me ask you a question. Did you read the source you quoted? Or did you just skim it over and make a post trying to use it to support your conclusion? Be honest.

The reason Cyanobacteria show up in the fossil record so early while other earlier and more simple life does not is because the stromatolites provide a good environment for fossilization to occur (relatively speaking of course) since all you would need after is for the stromatolite to be infiltrated with a mineral-rich solution for the fossilization of the Cyanobacteria, and the stromatolites are PRODUCED BY THE ACTIVITY OF ANCIENT CYANOBACTERIA. One of the byproducts of Cyanobacterial processes is calcium carbonate.

Perhaps I should quote to you your own source again so you will actually read it this time:

"At right is a layered stromatolite, PRODUCED BY THE ACTIVITY OF ancient cyanobacteria. The layers were produced as calcium carbonate precipitated over the growing mat of bacterial filaments; photosynthesis in the bacteria depleted carbon dioxide in the surrounding water, initiating the precipitation. The minerals, along with grains of sediment precipitating from the water, were then trapped within the sticky layer of mucilage that surrounds the bacterial colonies, which then continued to grow upwards through the sediment to form a new layer. As this process occured over and over again, the layers of sediment were created."

"In some cases, the stromatolites were infiltrated with a mineral-rich solution which fossilized the bacteria along with the layers, but more often only the layers are preserved."

"The oldest stromatolites date to the Early Archaean, and they became abundant by the end of the Archaean."

OK, got those 3 pieces of information so far? This means that Cyanobactera may have existed ~3.8 billion years ago. Which is consistent with the fossil that we found ~3.5 billion years ago. Before this the Cyanobacteria might not have evolved it's metabolic process it uses/ might have used a different metabolic process, and thus wouldn't create the stromatolites to aide in it's fossilization. Likewise, earlier and more simple life also would not have this ability and thus would not have the increased chance of fossilization.

So essentially Cyanobacteria aids in it's own fossilization. If earlier and more simple life would have that ability we probably would find them fossilized also.

This also demonstrates just how low the chance of fossilization is. Even with the Cynobacteria producing stromatolites to aid in it's fossilization, the chance of one actually fossilizing is EXTREMELY LOW. KAL'VECHOMER the chance of fossilization would be even lower, in fact MUCH LOWER in earlier life, since it did not contain the ability to aid in it's own fossilization.

The notion that you can use this to support a "sudden creation" is absurd, silly, and laughable on it's face.

000646 said...

No, the fossil record looks the way it should if evolution happend and all the fossils we have are just a vey small percentage of the life forms that have exsisted.

Put it this way, we know that evolution causes small changes to the genetic structure of living things,

we have no reason to assume that these stop at the point were all them added together would be considerd a big change (and the modified limb or animal would be so alterd by these modifications that we would call the limb by a diffrent name or the animal a new "specie"),

We now dig in the fossil record and the record shows three things:

One, that only a tiny tiny percentage of living things actualy fossilise

Two, that life has gone from less complex further back to more complex the closer to the present you go.

Three, that nothing is found in any rocks that is too complex to have evovled in them (there are no creatures with the complexity of a bunny in precambrian rocks).

This is exactly what we would excpect to see had evolution happend and the fossil record is incomplete.

With a fossil record showing special creations there would be no reason for there to be less complex animals in earlier creations and more complex later on.

jewish philosopher said...

You see the reason why the early appearance of life is a problem for atheism is because it appears at the same time that water appears, leaving no time for abiogensis.

And the fossil record looks exactly as we would expect it to look if there would have been several special creation events. It completely refutes evolution.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"You see the reason why the early appearance of life is a problem for atheism is because it appears at the same time that water appears"

The earliest Cyanobacteria fossil we found was 3.5 billion years old. They probably existed 3.8 billion years ago as well as a small amount of stromatolites date back then.

Zircons from Western Australia demonstrate that continents and water existed 4.3 billion to 4.4 billion years ago. Life could have had the opportunity to start 400 million years earlier than previously documented.

The presence of water on the young Earth was confirmed when both groups analyzed the zircons for oxygen isotopes and found the telltale signature of rocks that have been touched by water: an elevated ratio of oxygen-18 to oxygen-16

This proves there was liquid water at least at some point before 4.4 billion years ago. It is also likely oceans may have existed.

This means there was a span of about 500 million years - 600 million years between the earliest stromatolite fossils and water on earth, and about 800 million years - 900 million years between the earliest Cyanobacteria and water on earth.

Of course, we don't know EXACTLY how Abiogenesis occurred but we are finding new puzzle pieces all the time. What we do know is that the necessary factors for life to take hold, such as energy, organic material (from incoming comets) and liquid water were present long before the oldest Cyanobacteria fossil or the oldest Stromatolites for that matter.

It probably was enough time for life to even have arisen many times, only to be smashed, and take a firm hold once the meteorites taper off.

"It completely refutes evolution."

Of course, even if your claim was true. Even if the Zircons told us there was no water until 3.5 billion years ago, it still wouldn't disprove evolution, it would only disprove either Abiogenesis, or our radiometric dating methods. Evolution is only related to life once it is there, even if you had solid bullet-proof evidence that God snapped his fingers and placed the first Cyanobacteria exactly at the point water first originated on earth it would only be a problem for abiogenesis, not evolution. Of course, it's no surprise to see that your claims are factually wrong on this issue as well.

"And the fossil record looks exactly as we would expect it to look if there would have been several special creation events."

No it doesn't. The "special creation events" took millions of years. For example the Cambrian explosion took 5-10 million years and the "rapid" diversification after the Permio-Triassic extinction took over 10 million years.

On the other hand, this is exactly what we should expect to find if evolution is true.

Relatively rapid diversification can occur after the survival phase of a mass-extinction is complete. With so many organisms having become extinct it leaves a massive ecological vacuum, this creates new opportunities for the surviving lineages to diversify into niches left vacated by the now extinct predecessors. This radiation is known to be rapid for all surviving taxa, and some orders can diversify faster than others. This means that by undergoing a mass extinction some orders which diversify the fastest eventually benefit, from being able to fill the empty niches and becoming the dominant order. At the Permo-Triassic boundary this is especially the case with the Ammonoids.

http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/Palaeofiles/Permian/survivors.html

000646 said...

Actualy the fossil record shows liquid water formed about 1 billion years before the first forms of life.

jewish philosopher said...

The more we learn about natural history, the more rapidly changes seem to have taken place. This confirms creationism and refutes atheism. Whatever you do YA, don't throw away that black hat yet.

Scriptulicious said...

Hello Jewish Philosopher,

There is far too much information explained by the theory of evolution. Creationism seeks to explain away this information. It does not predict, for example, the genetic relationships between humans and primates. These relationships extend down to the "junk DNA" and are a huge liability for creationism.

The Torah creation accounts borrow heavily from pagan cosmologies. I am surprised that any would would yet post G-d as their author.

jewish philosopher said...

"There is far too much information explained by the theory of evolution."

There is far too little. Evolution cannot explain a design with no designer. Evolution cannot explain the sudden changes in the fossil record (for example the Cambrian Explosion).

"It does not predict, for example, the genetic relationships between humans and primates."

Similar structure does not prove common ancestry. If it did, then computers would be descended from typewriters.

"The Torah creation accounts borrow heavily from pagan cosmologies."

Perhaps both are based on actual events.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be assuming that the Earth is 5769 years old. But the calendar starts from Adam. I'd suggest you read RAMBAN. He pretty much says the time scale "Day" is not a 24 hour day before Adam, and that the first 6 days are NOT to be taken literally. This leaves plenty of room for Evolution to take place.

jewish philosopher said...

But Adam came from the dust, not a monkey.