Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Kidneys - Our Beautiful Little Miracles


[one human kidney]

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, a person’s kidneys process all of the body's blood about 20 times. About 2 quarts of waste products and extra water are sifted out of blood each day. This becomes urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination.

Wastes in the blood come from the normal breakdown of active tissues, such as muscles, and from food. The body uses food for energy and self-repairs. After the body has taken what it needs from food, wastes are sent to the blood. If the kidneys did not remove them, these wastes would build up in the blood and damage the body.

The actual removal of wastes occurs in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. In the nephron, a glomerulus—which is a tiny blood vessel, or capillary—intertwines with a tiny urine-collecting tube called a tubule. The glomerulus acts as a filtering unit, or sieve, and keeps normal proteins and cells in the bloodstream, allowing extra fluid and wastes to pass through. A complicated chemical exchange takes place, as waste materials and water leave the blood and enter the urinary system.

At first, the tubules receive a combination of waste materials and chemicals the body can still use. The kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium and release them back to the blood to return to the body. In this way, the kidneys regulate the body’s level of these substances. The right balance is necessary for life.

Total or nearly total and permanent kidney failure is called End-stage Renal Disease. If a person’s kidneys stop working completely, the body fills with extra water and waste products. This condition is called uremia. Hands or feet may swell. A person will feel tired and weak because the body needs clean blood to function properly.

Untreated uremia may lead to seizures or coma and will ultimately result in death.

There is a machine which engineers have invented to replace, to a limited extent, the kidneys. This machine is called a dialysis machine. It's about the size of a small cabinet. The patient must be attached to it for several hour sessions several times per week. People relying on dialysis generally survive five to ten years.

The Talmud mandates the following prayer following urination or defecation:

When he comes out from an outhouse says: 'Blessed is He who has formed man in wisdom and created in him many orifices and many cavities. It is fully known before the throne of Thy glory that if one of them should be [improperly] opened or one of them closed it would be impossible for a man to stand before Thee'. How does the blessing conclude? 'Who healest all flesh and doest wonderfully'.

Let's say that this blessing with the greatest intensity and enthusiasm. We should really cry tears of joy after each urination. Without kidneys, each one weighing about one third of a pound, life would be quite bleak at best.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although I am a skeptic, I'll agree with you on this one.

I have no problem with recognizing good and not taking anything for granted. Honestly, every time I come out of the bathroom and everything is OK, I am thankful for my health.

In addition, our bladder and rectum are for storage and are the most social of internal organs (second only to the brain). These give us our humanity. Even animals depend on continence for proper social functioning and health.

Non-Atheist said...

Beautifully written!

Anonymous said...

Every organism from the bacteria to the blue whale has some system that functions to maintain the correct balance. High school biology texts call this homeostasis. All life depends on it. IT makes it hard to understand how lif could have gotten started without thses systems in place.

Shalmo said...

But again this could be explained away by evolution. All these arguments about how well "designed" the universe all fall under the appeal to consequences fallacy.

JP why don't you focus on different arguments for God; such as the morality argument. Now that is an argument no atheist can refute!

jewish philosopher said...

They have nothing to do with an appeal to consequences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_consequences

Shalmo said...

The argument for morality is the best argument for God. Its the one I don't think any atheist can refute.

Its doesn't prove any religion is true, it just proves there has to be a higher power mandating it.

But evolution does away with the argument from design.

I'm studying darwinian evolution right now in a more formal setting. Its amazing when you compare Darwin's ideas on evolution to his competitor Lamarck. Lamarck believed in the god-guided evolution. Darwin proved him wrong by showing there appears to be a randomness in it all. Even quantum mechanics, via string theory, are revealing a "seeming" randomness in the universe.

This is why most atheists are not convinced by design arguments.

But as I said there are other arguments for God that are more convincing!

jewish philosopher said...

The kidneys are just accidents. The lungs are accidents. And the eyes and the liver. It's all created by the mindless god of atheism.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo:

Lamarcj believed inthe inheritance of acquired characteristics. Organisms, acquire things due to the environment, then passed them on tho their offspring. G-d had nothing to due with it, according to Lamarck.

Alex said...

Anonymous wrote: "I have no problem with recognizing good and not taking anything for granted."

There's recognizing good, and then there's expressing gratitude. How does an atheist do the latter after using the bathroom? For an atheist, isn't "OK, I am thankful for my health" a chimera? He's not thankful, he's happy!

Shalmo writes: "But again this could be explained away by evolution. "

I love it that you wrote "explained away by evolution," and not "explained by evolution"!

Anonymous said...

JP, just substitute "laws of nature" for "God" and you will be saying the same thing as a skeptic.

Kidneys are a product of the laws of nature, like a glass dropping a breaking from gravity.

Not an "accident", just the outcome of obeying physical laws. The only thing that could be said to be "accidental" is that evolution could have lead life to branch off in one direction or another in response to environment. But otherwise it is certainly not an "accident" that life evolves.

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution means: Time, plus random chance plus an external selective force will create things which appear to have been purposefully, intelligently designed but really weren't. That's the theory.

As I have explained, first of all that won't work. Second of all, there is no evidence that it ever happened.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

And the fossils don't disprove the Torah.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

Anonymous said...

"Evolution means: Time, plus random chance plus an external selective force "

plus laws of chemistry and physics, to be precise.

jewish philosopher said...

None of the 18 basic physical laws have anything to do with evolution, unless you want to mention the second law of thermodynamics as apparently contradicting evolution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laws_in_science#Overview

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-thermodynamics.html

Shalmo said...

Anonymous (could you please take a proper name):

"Lamarcj believed inthe inheritance of acquired characteristics. Organisms, acquire things due to the environment, then passed them on tho their offspring. G-d had nothing to due with it, according to Lamarck."

God very much did for Lamarck. He believed animals were designed with an inherant ability to adapt via biological changes self induced. Darwin disagreed, he showed thaT its not that the animals themselves are pushing themselves to achieve these results, but that the weak ones are just finished off by nature. He replaced God with survival of the fittest.

Shalmo said...

JP:

"http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-thermodynamics.html"

Friend I have noticed you appeal a lot to missionary websites.

I'm curious JP, for the above site you just quoted what do you think about their "witnessing" to Jews section:

http://christiananswers.net/evangelism/beliefs/judaism-openletter.html?zoom_highlight=isaiah+53

The above is Isaiah 53 which the main canard in the christian handbook for proofs for Jesus

I'm assuming you believe they are lieing about their Jesus prooftexts, so what makes you think they are any more honest in their anti-evolution masterbation?

Anonymous said...

All of biochemistry follows from the basic physical laws

jewish philosopher said...

Shalmo, Newton was a Christian. Can I quote him?

Anonymous, there isn't any Law of Evolution.

Bryce said...

Newton was heavily influenced by Maimonides. (See Faur's study.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

One very important law of physics is second thermodynamics. This means that entropy, or disorder increase with time. This means that the laws of physics are working against making a highly ordered thing like the kidney.

Alex said...

Yeah, but they're also working against making snowflakes.

"Kidneys are a product of the laws of nature, like a glass dropping a breaking from gravity.

Not an "accident", just the outcome of obeying physical laws."

... which are themselves accidents, right?

Anonymous said...

"One very important law of physics is second thermodynamics. This means that entropy, or disorder increase with time".

This is a great oversimplification and distortion of the law. Does you deny that crystals cannot form by themselves, or other kinds of exothermic or endothermic polymeric reactions don't happen? You're not talking about closed systems. Energy can flow to and from the object, thus allowing entropy to increase or decrease.

jewish philosopher said...

But there's no Law of Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics is pretty much a Law of Devolution.

Anonymous said...

When you add energy to a system, you actually increase entropy. Crystals form when matter cools and loses energy. The only time entropy decreases when you add energy to a system is if the energy is added in a very controlled way. Machines do this. A car for example burns fuel ina controlled way to create useful work. But if you poor gas on a car and ignite it you increase the entropy, and will emd up with a cahrred peice of metal. Organisms control the flow of energy throug very complex mecahnisms similar to machines cretaed by humans. This is metabolism. Polymerization involves the very controlled use of energy by organisms. Without the controls, adding energy will only break the polymers down.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo,

What do you think of this Muslim who saw the light?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1151941.html

Alex said...

Not the best example, JP. There's seeing the light and then there's seeing the light. He saw enough light to leave Islam. But then he joined Christianity. Do you comfortable calling that "seeing the light"?

Shalmo said...

Anonymous:

"What do you think of this Muslim who saw the light?"

ARGH!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5-TMfWYwfw&feature=PlayList&p=9A0C43D6236F37FF&index=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O70HOrZ4Dgs&feature=PlayList&p=9A0C43D6236F37FF&index=3

for a longer list of (to borrow your words)Jews who saw the light go here:

http://forum.bismikaallahuma.org/arab-israeli-conflict/1516-jewish-converts-islam.html

(scroll down the page to see the whole list!)

jewish philosopher said...

Alex, that's not me with the "light" business.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo,

Its not in the numbers but in the "quality"...Look at who he was and what he did.

This is off topic and I didn't intend to start a tit for tat. Sociologically speaking, I find it interesting and hard to understand how this guy changed the way he did. It challenges everything we know about human psychology. He wasn't brainwashed, didn't have an unhappy childhood, and he appears psychologically normal (as far as I can tell in the videos). Yet he rejected everything he was raised with and everything in his environment that supported his former life. The same might be for the Cohen guy who became a Muslim, I don't know.

I guess like everything else, there is the rule and then there are the exceptions to the rule, not black and white.

JP, perhaps you can shed some light on this.

Shalmo said...

Anonymous its rather obvious that guy is brainwashed by missionaries. As with Jews for Jesus, there are missionary cultic organizations targetting muslims for conversion as well.

I don't know why you keep bringing Islam into a discussion that does not warrant it. If you wish to discuss my reasons for converting to it from Judaism, well we can do that off JP's blog.

If you are sweating about sincere conversions then again check out Laura's interview. Her story shows no one asked her to do it, in fact she has to fight her family for her new theological choices:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O70HOrZ4Dgs&feature=PlayList&p=9A0C43D6236F37FF&index=3

You are correct that quality and not quantity determines worth. Which is why you should watch Laura's story or for that matter read any of the stories posted on the link I gave you:

http://forum.bismikaallahuma.org/arab-israeli-conflict/1516-jewish-converts-islam.html

The majority of people there did their own investigations, there was no proselytizing as muslims rarely do that. Dawah is usually just sharing knowledge of your faith, but sufficiently different than the aggressive proselytizing christian missionaries do.

Btw are you familiar with Mohammed Asad. He perhaps the most famous jewish convert to Islam, but more importantly one of the most prolific muslim philosophers of the 20th century:

http://www.sufism.org/books/asad.html

Many of his reasons for converting matched my own when I was doing my own research. He makes a good case for why ISlam is a much better expression of the Tanakh based religion, than what most Talmudic Jews today practice.

For example, many ashkenazi Jews do not pray the way the prophets in the Bible do. Usually in congregations only the rabbis do "some" of the prostration rituals, but not the entire congregation. Many sephardi Jews rightfully criticize the ashkenazi for giving up ancient hebraic ways (even amongst the orthodox) for their european cultural surroundings. In contrast, all muslims during congregational prayers pray just like the prophets in the Tanakh, using a complex set of prostration rituals.

And while numbers don't really make a religion "correct" I should point out most secular stats are showing Islam is the fastest growing religion:

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/14/egypt.islam/

http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/a100501b.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1026534.ece

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1227/p01s04-woeu.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A27758-2001Jan6&notFound=true

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=qw1100423885802B264

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53018-2002Sep22.html

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/3016/fastest.htm

None of these of course prove the religion to be correct. But they do show how meaningless it is for you to link to me to one guy who lost his edge, when I can show you so many others who are seeing the light day by day.

Shalmo said...

And btw I should add I still adhere to some level of attachment to Judaism. I would very much be happy if Jews stayed Jews.

In fact I am dismayed at the loss we are suffering to atheism and secularism. Yes believe it or not, that actually does bother me.

I want Judaism to survive. I want the Jewish people to survive. And quite a few things in Orthodox Judaism need to change to make it so.

On the National Jewish Population Survey (2000-2001) presentation regarding Orthodox Jews, slide 9 presents the following statistics:

Of the 587,000 Jews who were raised Orthodox and currently consider themselves Jewish
- 240,000 are currently Orthodox
- 347,000 are currently non-Orthodox

Of the 297,000 Jews who were raised Jewish and currently consider themselves Orthodox
- 240,000 were raised Orthodox
- 57,000 were raised Non-Orthodox

http://www.jewishfederations.org/local_includes/downloads/4983.pdf


What does this mean?

Orthodoxy has lost 347,000 aka a 59% failure rate, and the baalei teshuva/converts are not making up the numbers. That means Orthodoxy (the one sect rumored to be the one that can sway assimilation) is actually losing a majority to assimilation.

The number they present that left Orthodoxy is staggering…This isn’t’ about the success of the teshuva movement as much as the failure of Orthodoxy.

And I very much am concerned about that. Which is why I would like to see Orthodoxy change before it suffers more losses.

Larry Tanner said...

Thesis - Human kidneys exist because a miracle happened (or otherwise, not by evolutionary processes)

Paragraph 1: Kidneys are x, y and z. They do this and that.--> Thesis not supported.

Paragraph 2: Without kidneys - or something performing their function - waste would build in an organism. --> Thesis not supported; evolutionary hypothesis better attested.

Paragraph 3: Kidneys have lots of nephrons. "Complicated" chemical exchange. --> Thesis not supported as no clear connection is made between observed judgment of 'complexity' and hypothesis of a designer.

Paragraph 4: Kidneys help maintain critical balance of chemicals. --> Thesis not supported.

Paragraph 5: Kidney's sometimes fail. --> Thesis contradicted, unless it also stipulates that the designer sometimes makes faulty equipment.

Paragraph 6: Kidney-related death. --> Scary, but thesis not supported.

Paragraph 7: Dialysis machine. --> Thesis is not supported; people required to improve natural engineering of "the miracle."

Paragraph 8: Introduction of cute but ineffective prayer by people long since dead. --> Thesis well forgotten.

Paragraph 9: Articulation of thanks that "the miracle" has not yet failed, as it inevitably will. --> Thesis not supported.

Paragraph 10: Admonition to be always grateful to "God" for our having working kidneys.

Summary: This post does nothing to suggest there's anything at all "miraculous" about the kidneys. If the point of this post is to argue that kidneys are miraculous and too complex to have been anything but designed, the post fails to defend this point. There are no specifics tied to the thesis at all.

The post is informative. However, it fails as an argument, as an example of basic reasoning, and as writing.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course evolution didn't create the kidneys, because evolution doesn't exist.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

And of course God did because the Bible says so. Genesis 2:7

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0102.htm#7

The point of this post is merely to remind us of one of God's infinite kindnesses which are so often overlooked.

Larry Tanner said...

"The point of this post is merely to remind us of one of God's infinite kindnesses which are so often overlooked."

Oh. Thanks for the reminder. Please don't also overlook his kindnesses in Chile, either. But of course, all that destruction and suffering is "good," no matter what. Good, good, good.

----------------------------

Thank you, god, for the kidneys,
Thank you, god, for the quakes,
Thanks for the Nazi stormtroopers
Impaling our children on stakes.

Thanks for disease and thanks for our our health,
It don't make no difference,
To us it's all wealth.

Because I say thanks,
It puts me in bliss,
And I'll just go on and ignore
The feeling you just don't exist.

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, since you feel your kidneys are so worthless, then why not donate them to two of the 350,000 Americans who don't have any?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-23-dialysis_N.htm

Anonymous said...

Larry:

Are you saying that the kidney's sren't necessary for maintaining homeostasis? Or That homeostasis is not necessary? And in what way is the evolutionary hypothesis better suppported?

Larry Tanner said...

Talk about two people who need to learn to read! I never said one bad word about the kidneys. I love my kidneys and I'm glad to have them.

My point is very simple: if you were trying to assert that god was somehow responsible for our kidneys, then you did a prodigiously poor job of supporting it. In fact, you make a better case for the evolutionary scenario.

Anonymous said...

@Shalmo
Look at Wikipedia "divine command theory" and "Euthyphro dilemma"

@JP
It is a Issue deorata to deny reality by claiming that a scientific fact (such as gravity or evolution) is false.

jewish philosopher said...

Because they sometimes fail? So do Toyotas apparently; I guess cars evolved too, those engineers are just an iron age myth.

Anonymous said...

@JP
according to the Rambam it is a mitzvah to love hashem. How do you do this? by looking at the world and being in awe of it. If you deny reality then you deny that you love hashem.
Also it is lifnei iver - you are putting an educational stumbling block in front of people who wish to learn how the world works.

If you say that evolution is false because the Torah says so, and then someone, chas vshalom, believes you, and then learns basic facts about the world - they may think that all the Torah is false. This is a worse result then just speaking the truth in the first place.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course evolution is false, as I've proven here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

Anonymous said...

Larry:

What wxactly is the evolutionary scenario? Life isn't possible withoit complex mechanisms to maintain homoestasis. So how did the mechanisms evolve before life did?

Anonymous said...

This is interesting:

http://documents.clubexpress.com/documents.ashx?key=mMO81vHzts4s1FXFqOC2RlYzQ9uTteuk0em24kbGZLg%3d

Some mathematical thnking is applies to random evolution, and it comes up short.

Anonymous said...

@ anon:march 02 @ 5:06

be careful about making the poker player's falacy (because one outcome is unlikely it is impossible that the scenario occurred even if observed)

Anonymous said...

@JP - by "proven" do you mean "failed to prove"?

jewish philosopher said...

No

Larry Tanner said...

Anonymous @ Tuesday, March 02, 2010 4:58:00 AM:

Are there any such things as single-cell organisms? Are there organisms on earth that do not have kidneys and yet live?

Anonymous said...

@JP
Learn the basics before you claim that evolution is false:
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs.html

I feel sorry for you, your kids, and anyone that believes what you say - having a father that is a min and a kopher - a denier that there is a mitzvha to love god and denier of reality.

I close with a bracha about deniers of reality
And for slanderers let there be no hope, and may all the evil in an instant be destroyed and all Thy enemies be cut down swiftly; and the evil ones uproot and break and destroy and humble soon in out days. Blessed art You, LORD, who breaks down ememies and humbles sinners.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm sure that I know more than you do about evolution. And I am well aware of the hatred that atheists have for Jews; Stalin murdered thousands. We're still here and we will be here when your god evolution has gone the way of Jupiter and Zeus, or for that matter Marx and Lenin.

Anonymous said...

Larry:

Single celled organisms have complex systems for maintaining homeostasis. All life depends on this. How did life get started without it?

Anonymous at 8:06

The chances of a single protein 100 aminos acids long happenign by chance is 20^100. There have only been 10^19 seconds since the big bang. So you need something like 10^100 universal lifetimes to be reasonably certain you would get a single small protein. That's longer odds than getting a royal flush. And the article ckited discusses how you basically can't develop a complex system via a Darwinian process because there is no benefit until the whole systemis complete. The author proves it rigidly. It does not discuss porbability.

Anonymous said...

@anon
I hope your not Jewish as you are commiting the same issur that JP did

PS google "poker player's falacy" for a disproof to your chances argument

jewish philosopher said...

The existence of any natural object exhibiting complexity and purposefulness proves the existence of God, since such objects never form without an intelligent designer.

Like for example a kidney.

Anonymous said...

I did google poker players falacy. The description I found was that the poker players falacy is the belief that someone in a game believes that everyone thinks the way he does. Anyway, I guess you didn't read all of my post. I siad that the article linked does not deal primarily with probability.

And I"m not saying that evolution is false because the
torah says so. I'm saying it is false because it makes no sense and the evidence is spotty at best.
And much of the evidence for evolution is based on theological questions, not scientific ones.

Anonymous said...

@anon
1) I guess that "poker player's falacy" is an overloaded term.
The falacy is: just because getting a particular outcome is unlikely does mean that it can't occur if at least one result is needed.
For example a poker player getting a Royal Flush is very unlikely. However one a player gets it you can't say that he didn't get it because it is unlikely.

2) Evolution is the basis for all of biology, medicine, (most of) physics, and pretty much all of modern science. By reject the fact (laymen's term for theory) of evolution you reject nearly all of science.

3) None of the evidence for evolution is based on theological questions. By none I mean absolutely none. I'm sorry to say that your statement to the contrary betrays your ignorance.

4) The evidence for evolution is GREATER THAN the evidence for general relativity or gravity.

5) If your Jewish I pray for your return to the Derech HaTorah and your rejection of the shtuyot that is the denial of Evolution

jewish philosopher said...

"2) Evolution is the basis for all of biology, medicine, (most of) physics, and pretty much all of modern science. By reject the fact (laymen's term for theory) of evolution you reject nearly all of science."

Evolution is the basis of nothing. There is no new technology or treatment which could not just as easily have been developed by a creationist.

"4) The evidence for evolution is GREATER THAN the evidence for general relativity or gravity."

Evolution is clearly bogus since a complex and purposeful mechanism cannot and never has developed without an intelligent designer.

Anonymous said...

2) JP google predictive value of evolution
4) Its so bogus that all the evidence points to it being true! wow!

JP - as a Jew you really should know better than to deny reality.

jewish philosopher said...

It has none.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/evolution-no-predictive-value.html

google for evidence of creationism

Anonymous said...

@JP
1) Your research fails
2) I've already googled for evidence of creationism - there is NONE. Its ALL argument from ignorance ("I don't understand so I'll say evolution is false")
3) I don't understand how as a Jew you could deny reality.
4) Deuteronomy 6:5 "And you shall love the L-rd, your G-d"
which is Positive Mitzvah 3 according to the Rambam
I'd suggest starting there.

Next try
Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 2:2
Rambam rules that an appreciation of nature draws one closer to Hashem and love Him (Ahavat Hashem) and stand in awe of Him (Yirat Hashem). In our generation - where we have the best tool to understand reality - and when we have the fact (laymens term for "theory") of evolution explaining how Hashem made the world it is hard not to do this mitzvah.
Yet you resist and deny reality. You lose the ability to do both ahavat and yirat hashem. In fact you come close to denying the existance of god himself. One who denies god denies reality. One who denies reality denies god.
Sadly you have taken the second approach

5) I cry as I see some people that claim to be Religious Jews leading our chosen nation down the path of kefria. I cry as I you, a Jew, giving up your share in Olam Haba for narashkeit and shtuot such as the denial of reality.
I cry as I, despite my tochaha, can do nothing.
I cry because even you choose to follow Halacha there are countless others like you who are willfully ignorant of reality.
I cry because I can do nothing for them.

jewish philosopher said...

Stop crying. Keep googling "creationism" "intelligent design". You'll get it eventually.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7:32.

I guess you didbn't raed my point about hopw it would take ~10^100 universal lifetimes to make one functional protein.

And some of the arguements for evolution are along the lines of "why would a creator create things like vestigal organs or junk DNA." Any question that starts "why would a creator..." is a theological question.

Botany, genetics, agriculture, medicine, did not depend on evolution. They were doing just fine before Darwin.

Now, as far as the predictive power of evolution is concerned, well archaeopteryx, which Owens predicted, is no longer considered a transition by many paleantologists, the true ancestor of birds is still unknown. They predicted the discovery of Tiktaalik as a ancestor of tetropods. Turns out that they were wrong. The real ancestor lived long before Tiktaalik, and is still unknown. IDA the lemur/monkey lost its status as a transtional species real fast. The evolutionists were very happy when junk DNA was discovered. The ID people predicted that junk DNA would be found to have functions. The ID people called that one right.

Now Behe predicted that the malarial parasite would not be able to develop a way arond sickle cell disease, and that HIV would not be able to develop immunity to a three drug cocktail. So far, he is right.

Now the reason I don't think I;m violating the Rambam's teaching is because the Rambam is talking about science. Evolution is not science.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that the evolutionists predicted that DNA would match morphology. They were sooo wrong on that one. They had to invent stuff like horizontal gene transfer to save their theory.

Anonymous said...

I guess you didbn't raed my point about hopw it would take ~10^100 universal lifetimes to make one functional protein.

And I responded

And some of the arguements for evolution are along the lines of "why would a creator create things like vestigal organs or junk DNA." Any question that starts "why would a creator..." is a theological question.

These are arguments against creationism - not arguments for evolution. Evolution stands on its own.

Botany, genetics, agriculture, medicine, did not depend on evolution. They were doing just fine before Darwin.

And they did far better afterwards because we better understand the world

Now, as far as the predictive power of evolution is concerned, well archaeopteryx, which Owens predicted, is no longer considered a transition by many paleantologists, the true ancestor of birds is still unknown. They predicted the discovery of Tiktaalik as a ancestor of tetropods. Turns out that they were wrong. The real ancestor lived long before Tiktaalik, and is still unknown. IDA the lemur/monkey lost its status as a transtional species real fast.

Nothing to do with anything

The evolutionists were very happy when junk DNA was discovered. The ID people predicted that junk DNA would be found to have functions. The ID people called that one right.

Not sure what this has to do with anything

Now Behe predicted that the malarial parasite would not be able to develop a way arond sickle cell disease, and that HIV would not be able to develop immunity to a three drug cocktail. So far, he is right.

Actually he is wrong. HIV is immune to a number of three cocktail drugs. Besides WHO GIVES A DARN. Just because a certain mutation is impossible does not mean that the fact of evolution (laymen's term for "theory") is wrong

Now the reason I don't think I;m violating the Rambam's teaching is because the Rambam is talking about science. Evolution is not science.

What peer reviewed research has anyone published attacking evolution? (whether it be from ID people or anyone else)

PS - I won't have internet access for about 4 days so if I don't respond please excuse me

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention - you may want to look into the books of Dr Gerald Schroeder, Rabbi Natan Slifkin, and Rabbi Hirsch, (I think) Aryeh Kaplan, Nathan Aviezer
Some older books include those of: Rabbi Eliyahu Benamozegh, the Netziv, the Maharsham,
You may also want to look at Chaggiga 13b

The first set of people reassure Jews that evolution and Judaism are not incompatible (this is a mistake many misinformed people make)
The second set do some of the same, but mainly show that evolution is already in the Torah
The Gemarah in Chaggiga also talks about evolution (it has been a while since I've read but I think it is near the middle-bottom of the amud)

Remember - denial of reality is denial of god. non-acceptance of evolution is a denial of reality. Therefore non-acceptance of evolution is a denial of god.

jewish philosopher said...

"denial of reality is denial of god. non-acceptance of evolution is a denial of reality"

Can you cite any rabbi prior to 1859 or any ultra-Orthodox rabbi ever who has claimed that we are descendants of monkeys?

I really don't know if you're serious or not, but if you are you sound to me you sound no different than all the "messianic Jews" who go around insisting "Of course Jesus was the messiah! All the prophets said so! Believe in Jesus and be a fulfilled Jew!"

http://jewsforjesus.org/

Come on.

Anonymous said...

@JP can you cite one evolutionist who stated we are descended from monkeys?
The closest thing to what you said is that apes and Humans share a common ancestor. You are betraying your ignorance yet again.

I don't appreciate the analogy to Jews for Jesus. I've completed Shas once so far and I'm working on my second time. I'm currently learning in the Gruss Kollel for smicha. I also have a college degree (in an unrelated field).

Please read the books I mentioned (specifically the Gemorah in Chagiga and the Netziv) - they might knock some sense into you.

This is my last post for about 4 days.

jewish philosopher said...

OMG, you're really serious. I honestly thought you were being sarcastic.

The comparison to Jews for Jesus is very precise. They are a bridge between Christianity and Judaism in exactly the same way modern orthodoxy is a bridge between atheism and Judaism. Same concept exactly. And they've also got a million bogus proof texts. Give them a call; they'll talk your ear off.

Anonymous said...

Anonnymous at 3:5

You talked about the predictive power of evolution, that is why I mentioned all the cases that the evolutionists got wrong.

And as far as evolution advancing science, it actually held up the acceptance of genetics for a long time. This is because Gregor Mendel discovered that inheritence is controlled by discrete units that remain intact from generation to generation. This is very different that Darwin's Gemules which change in response to the environment. Mendel's finding made it hard to account for the necessary variation that evolution depends on.

I'm familliar with the Gemora in Chagiga. It does seem to say that the world is older than 6000 years. It also says that there were ~970 human generations. I don't recall it saying anything about evolution. The Maharasha in Hidushei Aggadahs says that the Gemora that says that the earth is like a palace built on a dungheap says that it is referering to what the earth was like at the point of Tohu Vevohu.

Anonymous said...

Here's a list of peer reviewed publicationsas per your request:

http://www.discovery.org/a/2640

Now, the reason there isn't more peer reviewed stuff is because there really is censorship.

Why is peer publishing in a peer reviewed journal considered the absolute truth? There is so much stuff that gets piblished that is wrong, or is just plain fraud. Please don't ask me for a list of scientific fraud. I don't have time to compile a comprehensive list. Just Google "Scientific Fraud."

Anonymous said...

And citing Rabbis who consider the evolution a possibility would fall under the category of the logical fallicy of appeal to authority.

Anonymous said...

Here's an article that supports what I said above about probabilities:

http://www.biology-direct.com/content/2/1/15

It seems that the problem is even bigger than what I said above. It can only be solve with a multiverse approach.

It must be true since it like, all peer reviewed.

Anonymous said...

I'm a first time commenter ob this blog.
Without getting into the specifics of the truth of evolution I'd like to defend the kfira aspect assuming evolution is true.

If one were to say that that all apples are poisonous and unhealthy and according to science it is bad to eat apples you would be wrong. If you were to know the truth, or if you were capable of learning the truth and didn't, you would be lying or negligent.
If you lie or are negligent about the way the world works (what I think the smicha student calls "reality") you are a kofer. This is because the existence of god is part of reality and to even consider misunderstanding part of the way the world works would be to misunderstand the world that god has created and therefore misunderstand god.

~ DS (I'll sign with this so I don't confuse people)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention: things like gravity general relativity, or global warming, which have air-tight proof behind them would fall under the realm of kfira for denying them as well

Dear anon that is currently away: when you get back can you choose a name - it is easier to talk about all the anons that way.

Same with anon at 7:11

Anonymous said...

prev anon at 1:58:00 PM was me
~ DS

Anonymous said...

If by gravity you mean that if you throw a stine in the air that it will pobably fall down, then you are right. But the reason why it falls, what ciauses gravity, is still highly speculative. Newton said it was a field. General relativity says it is a warp. String theory says it is a particle. And Global warming seesm to be a fraud perpetrated by scientists who are after grovernment grants.

Nathan.

Anonymous said...

I took a quite look at Haemek Dovor by the Netziv. He writes that when the Posuk says "Lemino" it menas that the originla type of animal or plant Hashem created had the potential to chnage into different varieties. But the ability to change is very limited. And the new species are all similar to the original archtype. This could be called evolution, but it is very different than Darwinism. This is basically typology.

Nathan

Nathan

Avi Bitterman said...

"One very important law of physics is second thermodynamics. This means that entropy, or disorder increase with time. This means that the laws of physics are working against making a highly ordered thing like the kidney."

No. The second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system not at equilibrium, the entropy tends to increase. A decrease in entropy is perfectly fine in a system, so long as it causes more entropy to be created in the surroundings of that system.

"When you add energy to a system, you actually increase entropy. Crystals form when matter cools and loses energy. The only time entropy decreases when you add energy to a system is if the energy is added in a very controlled way. Polymerization involves the very controlled use of energy by organisms. Without the controls, adding energy will only break the polymers down."

You don't understand how the polymerization of complex molecules works. Addition polymerization reactions are usually exothermic, that is they give off heat to the surroundings. You generally don't even have to put energy into them. The reason polymerization can occur spontaneously without a controlled environment is because the heat released from the reaction increases the entropy of the surroundings to a greater extent then the decrease of the entropy of the actual system.

The equation to tell if the process is spontaneous or not it dG=dH-TdS

When dG is negative the reaction is spontaneous. In an exothermic reaction dH is negative, so at at temperatures not extremely high, complex polymers form spontaneously. (since dS reaction is negative the -TdS term is a positive)

This is by no means a problem for evolution. Anyone who understands chemistry beyond high school or what their christian creationist sites tell them should know that.