Non-evidence reasons why people embrace Evolution.

by hooberus 282 Replies latest jw friends

  • Qcmbr

    AGuest - if you haven't studied evolution why do you spend hours debating with those who have and then continually describing the strength behind your stance as 'it doesn't make sense.'

    I've spent 30 plus years in your world, I've studied the bible and religious thought continually during that time, prayed for hours, sought spiritual confirmation and witness and lived as best as I could to follow my saviours example. I and pretty much everyone else on this board are absolute experts in your world. I hope you can see why this sort of discussion gets frustrating - we know your position but you refuse to know ours but argue anyway.

    May I suggest that you take a few days breather and read Dawkins, 'The Greatest Show On Earth.' After that I think we'll be able to discuss things with common points of reference, common understanding and you'll be much better equipped to understand the counter arguments.

  • AGuest

    It's Shelby, dear Zid... and peace to you!

    As to "Homo species" - let's use the CORRECT terminology, "HOMINID" species - first of all... Secondly, let me pull up some links for you... Here's a decent website.....

    Interesting, dear one. I thought "hominid" was the "family"... with "homo" the genus... and sapiens the "species."

    Note that when you click on the link, you are AUTOMATICALLY on the most recent form of hominids - Homo Sapiens - us... The text discussing the age and fossil finds of Homo Sapiens will be BELOW a listing of the other types of hominids - titled "The Hominid Family Tree" - the lettering is a green or aqua color.... You can click on each one of those species of hominids to see the time span wherein they existed and what their territories - areas of habitation - were.

    Yes, and so it states, right there, that homo sapien is the species. I mean, I could be wrong, but that's what the page seems to state (and my reading corroborated), but...

    Just something to get you started...

    Yes, thank you! I do find it curious that the page indicates that homo sapien evolved from homo neanderthalensis... yet, scientists believe the two actually interbred.

    By the way, when I observe the fossilized skull bones of - say, Neanderthals, as compared to so-called 'modern' humans, there are CLEAR differences in the skull structures.

    Yes. Is it possible that this is merely a mutation... the result of, say, inbreeding?

    Sometimes I even see a person on the street who seems to bear a strong resemblance to Neanderthal skull structure...

    Yes, I actually have an inlaw who... nevermind...

    Which makes me wonder about one of the current theories on the 'disappearance' of the Neanderthals... I suspect that there is a strong possibility that some remnants of the Neanderthals may have interbred with Homo Sapiens...

    Some scientists tend to believe this... and apparently, a 2006 study (published in 2010) shows it...

    And I just read your latest comment... Yes, some anthropologists theorize that there was some inter-breeding between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens... I fancy that I occasionally see evidence of that, myself. Of course, REAL evidence will probably come as the science of genetics advances - and the ability to read genetic materials from fossilized bones is developed and improved...

    So, you believe it's just a theory? I mean, I do, too... but not for the same reason as you, I don't think...

    If I recall correctly, currently DNA specialists aren't able to extract readable DNA samples from Neanderthal bones... The fossilization process - even the mere passage of time - degrades the DNA to the point that it's unreadable, at least, while using current techniques...

    Hmmmm. The "Neanderthal Genome Project" seems to have shown otherwise. In fact, that study showed that neanderthalensis and sapiens not only have 99.5-99.9% common genomes, but because they are so closely related "some researchers group them and us as a single species. The head of the team that conducted the study, Svante Pääbo, a palaeogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, stated, "I would see them as a form of humans that are bit more different than humans are today, but not much."

    I say give them all another 10-20 years, if that long, and they'll conclude that they are in fact the exact same species... with the slight genome variation being nothing more than a mutation due to inbreeding. But that's just me. This shouldn't surprise YOU, however, because as of a moment ago you didn't even believe readable DNA could be extracted... yet, here we are with the entire Eurasian population having neaderthalic genomes in their DNA even today. Funny, no such genomes in the African population. How can THAT be, however, if homo sapien evolved/divulged from homo neanderthalensis? Africans are homo sapiens, too (but apparently, less primitive than Eurasians...)

    Anyway, Happy reading, and I hope you come away with an increased knowledge of the information available on hominid evolution...

    I did indeed come away with an increased knowledge, dear Zid... and my current position intact (for now). In fact, reading what I have today due to your and dear LC's (peace to you!) questions only make my questions all the more valid. Which is usually what happens when I read such information... and why I still have the questions I do.

    But thank you for your comments and, again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • AGuest
    I never thought I'd say this, but your response was a little too brief, Shelley. However, it is perhaps better if I provide a summary of what I think, as you request, and you can tell me what you think about what I think. Ok?

    Okay, dear LC (again, peace to you!).

    I subscribe to the majority perspective that homo neanderthalensis was a distinct hominid species that branched off independently from homo sapiens and the two hominids coexisted.

    You're misstating the taxonomy (i.e., hominid is the family, homo is the genus, and neanderthalensis/sapien are supposedly the species), but I understand what you mean...

    I would be surprised if there was no interbreeding, given homo's penchant for interspecies sex (bestiality) but I would not be surprised if any H. neanderthalensis genetic material failed to survive much beyond single generations of progeny.

    Then prepare to be surprised, dear one, as apparently it has survived... even down to this day. Indeed, the entire Eurasian population possesses neanderthal genomes:

    But none in the African population. Interesting, that.

    A simplistic parallel can be found in the Equidea family. Horses and donkeys are distinctly different species which share similar, but obviously not identical, genomes. Horses breed with donkeys to produce mules, but mules are almost always sterile.

    Yes, I understand what you're saying... and I have stated that I believe in evolution within the species; however, when two different species mate the offspring species is sterile, thereby cutting off (well, actually, slamming the door on) further "evolution."

    The fossil evidence indicates that H. neanderthalensis died out about 30,000 years ago, while H. sapiens thrived. Why? Don't know. Genocide? Perhaps, but that is pure speculation.

    Well, if they interbred (assuming two different species), their offspring would have been sterile. Yet, nothing (showing the genomes of both, even if sterile) between the two has been found... until now. But what was found is that ALL Eurasian homo sapiens... carry neanderthalic genomes. For more on this, please see my response to dear Zid, above.

    I apologise for messing up your name. Won't happen again.

    Absolutely NO worries, on that, dear one. I am truly not that sensitive. Shel, Shelby, Shelly, Shelley, Chelle... all works for me!

    I should mention, Shelby, that back in 1979 I belonged to a group called Toastmasters, whose sole purpose was to provide a venue for people to speak on topics of their own choosing. On one occasion I addressed an audience on the subject of evolution through natural selection. My objective was to refute it and I used as my research material the most lucid and logical creationist arguments I could find. I was convinced at that time that belief in evolution was just that, a belief, and I naively perceived my argument as devastating. In the audience was a professor from the local university of which I was an undergraduate science alumnus. At the next meeting, he invited me to read some well thought out papers that addressed the very things I brought up in my dissertation. I was supremely confident in my position so took him up on his offer. I actually scoffed at most of what I read and dismissed it out of hand. I just would not, could not, believe it to be anything but science fiction. In short, I refused to understand.

    Well, that is not what's occurring here, dear one. I am not "refusing to understand" (which statement, BTW, smacks of WTBTS/"christian" rhetoric). I have done a little research (not a great deal, I admit), but based on that I have questions. Which no one has answered... yet. And which, given my most recent "research" (based on your question re neanderthals)... I believe are quite valid.

    There was no eureka moment years later, like a light just coming on all of a sudden, but a very slow dawning in my mind. At first a little doubt, followed by troubling doubt, followed by a long period of not thinking about it, then wanting to understand, then a gradual change of mind.

    Yes, I understand. Like losing one's religion, yes. Been there, so I do know how it "feels", dear one. Truly.

    I guess what I am saying to you is I fought hard to retain my creationist beliefs but in the end it was I myself who shot them down.

    I understand that, as well. And I am "where" I am on the subject (evolution)... because I haven't found that "bullet." And no one here seems to be able to provide it. So, like those who say, "I don't believe in God because I've seen no proof/evidence of Him and what folks are offering just doesn't add up/suffice," I must say that I do not believe in evolution (beyond the level of species)... because I've seen no proof/evidence of it. And what folks are offering doesn't add up/suffice.

    I will not be able to help you see things differently, of that I am certain, because you really can't see things differently until you entertain the possibility that what you believe might just be inaccurate and then embark upon a voyage of discovery on your own.

    Smile. Okay. Reminds ME of what we used to tell householders, but if you say it's not the same thing, then it's not the same thing.

    Again, peace to you and thank you for responding!

    A slave of Christ,


  • AGuest
    AGuest - if you haven't studied evolution why do you spend hours debating with those who have and then continually describing the strength behind your stance as 'it doesn't make sense.'

    Greetings, dear Qcmbr (peace to you!), and who's debating? There's no debate going on here, and I doubt that there will be. I had... and have had... questions regarding the subject and asked them. Many times. No answers, yet, though. But I'm curious: this is an open discussion board. Should evolution be off-topic for those who wish to understand its... ummmm... details? Isn't that like saying no non-JW folks can/should come here and talk "WTBTS" with current/former JW folk? And I'm even more curious: why does the discussion "bother" you? No one has to respond - anyone can choose to remain silent, even let the thread die. That some are still discussing means either (1) they're interested, or (2) they don't have anything better to do. Either is fine by me.

    I've spent 30 plus years in your world, I've studied the bible and religious thought continually during that time, prayed for hours, sought spiritual confirmation and witness and lived as best as I could to follow my saviours example.

    That does not put you in my world, dear one... nor does any of it mean you've come to understand what I believe. I truly don't believe you do. I do not say that to say I am "special" (as some here wish to believe), but only that what you're saying is that someone who's been, say, a Catholic for 30 years, even a priest, perhaps, can now say he understands the JW. I don't believe that is the case.

    I and pretty much everyone else on this board are absolute experts in your world.

    I would disagree, but I am sure you would disagree with that, so...

    I hope you can see why this sort of discussion gets frustrating - we know your position but you refuse to know ours but argue anyway.

    I am not sure why YOU'RE frustrated (or are taking this personal)... but I promise: you don't know my position. Particularly if most of your acclimation came from "christianity"... and certainly if it came from the WTBTS. Now, if you said you've received the promised holy spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who taught you about and led your understanding as to your position... I would have to concede that perhaps you DO understand my position. I do not, however, purport to understand yours. Which is why I am asking the questions that I am.

    May I suggest that you take a few days breather and read Dawkins, 'The Greatest Show On Earth.' After that I think we'll be able to discuss things with common points of reference, common understanding and you'll be much better equipped to understand the counter arguments.

    If this was a discussion on the writings/teachings of Dawkins, I would say that your suggestion is a good one. It is not, however. I don't want to discuss what DAWKINS thinks/says/opines/theorizes/believes. That would be like a JW telling me to read the latest WT issue... or Insight book... or some such publication... when I asked him/her to explain to me what HE/SHE believes... and why... or to at least answer my questions directed at what he/she says he/she believes.

    Personally, I don't get it: why can't you all just answer the couple/few "silly little questions" I've asked... rather than sending me to read what someone else has written? "I believe in evolution because I like the way Dawkins explains it" is like saying, "I believe in salvation because I like the way Milton Henschel explained it." Not that there aren't some of those folks out there...

    Look, dear Qcmbr... I did the "believe because we say you should believe" thing. I did the "if you just read this THEN you will see/understand" thing. Funny thing: couldn't ask questions. Was either told to read some more... or someone [else] would get back to me. IF one believes... TRULY believes... in something... shouldn't one be able to explain... even answer questions that another raises as to... that belief? HOW can you be TRULY convinced of something you can't explain/answer questions about? That, to me, is just another form of blind conviction. And I'm not falling for that ever again.

    Bottom line: I am NOT going to believe... put my faith in... something just because someone else... even a large number... tells me that I'm stupid if I don't. That, now, to me, is stupid. I will put my faith in the evidence. And thus far, the only Onewho's provided credible evidence, IMHO... is my Lord, the Holy One of Israel and Holy Spirit. HIS evidence has been, for me, irrefutable.

    So, my question now is... what YOU got? "Cause so far, I'm not seeing much... except just my questions being danced all around.

    Again, peace to you!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • cofty

    We seem to have established you have never read a single book on evolution and yet you presume to have an opinion about it because your god with the double-barrel name tells you so hmmm

    Please re-state your question as succinctly as possible, I looked at your link and could not find anything resembling a specific question

  • bohm


    I made an offhand comment about you arguing over the definition because that is something you frequently do. Arguing with you over definitions with you is a total waste of time. You argued, on another thread, for 7 pages, over the word believe. Yet, on this thread you were able to define it in 4 words.

    ...yes, i had a discussion with another poster at some length about if the word "believe" carried the meaning of certainty in general. It was an interesting and stimulating discussion and i parted with that other poster on friendly terms, knowing more about how he thought on the subject. So where is your problem? Did this somehow hurt you? Or has it been the times where i have tried to demonstrate what i see as errors in justifying God in a "Uncaused first cause" type of argument? Is that somehow a bad thing to give counter points to, and to demand rigor?

    When these topics has gone on for a length of time, its because others have opposing viewpoints they hold to as much as i hold on to mine. Do you single me out because i am particular dishonest, or because AFAIR you dont have a very good track record in a more evidence-oriented discussion than the mud-slinging and name-calling you are engaged in here, and i have pointed that out at some occations?

    In your response, you stated that we can't discuss it because of an undefined term. Then you made a positive statement using the same undefined term that you complained that the author had used - without defining it. And you made this statement as if it proved something.

    No i did not do that and you would know it if you read my posts. For the last time: I have stated again and again there are two measures of information/complexity that seem relevant to this discussion, shannon information and kolmogorov complexity, and the authors point is demonstrably false under those two measures. I even gave the argument in one case in details. Hence i concluded the author must be using an undefined measure and therefore his claims are impossible to proove or disprove; they are not scientific.

    And you somehow want to say i did not debunk an article you did not read. Actually i didnt debunk it as much as showed it did not contain any evidence in favor of the authors claim; the article is empty, there is nothing to debunk. how about reading the article before you critisize my critisism of the article?

    What about you? What are you doing?

    I am showing why it is a waste of time trying to discuss anything with you. It is like trying to discuss something with debator or scholar. I don't agree with much that Leaving WT or Sammielee have to say, but at least they are honest and consistent and they don't pay word games.

    There you go again, more mud-slinging and name calling. I responded to an article hooberus posted. You even say yourself you are only here on a personal vendetta because you think im interlectually dishonest, and you did not read the article.

    Why dont you start a topic about how bad i am when this is the only point you want to make, instead of derailing this one further?

    On reflection, you say i am just like a jw, i am just like scholar and like debator. I find that very offensive. But if it is true it will serve me well to know it so i can change my ways. On the other hand, if this is just another piece of mud-slinging you are making up to justify you have not made any valid points so far, lets try to test it emperically. I will put my money where my mouth is, lets see if you can do so to:

    I will give you an appology and leave this board for at least a year (and not start alternative ids) if you begin a thread where the majority of posters agree with you on what you wrote about me: "I am showing why it is a waste of time trying to discuss anything with you [Bohm]. It is like trying to discuss something with debator or scholar."

    Either you believe your own mud-slinging or you dont. I fully expect you to not start such a thread because i think you are only interested in calling names and do not really believe in the stuff you make up.

    So far you are on the record of:

    • calling names
    • reducing complex scientific questions to slogans like "Evolution is rocks turning into men", which you admit are inaccurate.

    how well do you think its going so far?


    all-caps for the big boy. Your question was this:

    My question was whether you were using the same definition of information as the author of the article or not.

    I summerized it as this:

    So you find a question for me, namely if a word in the article has some specific meaning,

    ...add to this that i have allready given the definitions of information i know and i dont see how the summary is unfair. You ask me to compare the authors definition (which i stated i do not know) with my own, and i say to you i cannot do that because the author does not define what he mean. Again and again. And you keep asking me an unanswerable question.

    That you keep doing this reveal you have a poor grasp of logic. Let me give you an example:

    Bohm: "Does you an the author have the same favorite color?"

    MD: "i cannot answer that since i do not know what favorite color the author has"

    Bohm: "Do you and the author have the same favorite color?"

    MD: "I cannot answer that because i dont know what favorite color the author has. Mine is green."

    Bohm: "But do you and the author have the same favorite color?"

    MD: "Why do you keep asking me this? I have said i do not know what his favorite color is back on page 2 of this thread!"

    Bohm: "I am trying to show people you love to argue trivial points, but will not answer my questions! You argue like a jw! you are like sholar, debator, ..."

    MD: "WTF dude, i dont know the authors favorite color!"

    Bohm: "Thats all i wanted to hear!"

    MD: "...."

    The hack job you do at explaining yourself is even more ridiculous:

    Yes, you did answer that you didn't know what the author meant [correct. i said that allready on page 2]. Here's the problem [oh no...], as I said early on, your use of the word "information" implies that it was the same type of information that you were claiming not to know what the author was talking about.

    ... OR ALTERNATIVELY i was one of the measures of information that is found in information theory, you know that think shannon hacked together to quantatively study information. So which do you think i was using? The scientific measure, or the measure i claim is undefined?

    Ofcourse you go with the undefined measure!

    That is the only way your "information" statement would make any sense.

    no, it could make sence if i used a measure from information theory. Which is what scientists tend to do, you know, use words the way they are defined in science.

    To say that it is not the same or you don't know is to render your statement meaningless.


    In the end, after endlessly dodging the question, you admit to writing a meaningless statement.

    no, i admit no such thing because my claim is demonstrably true: evolution can create information, at least according to the definitions of information i am familiar with from information theory.

    According to the undefined measure of information in the article you have not read -- who knows? the author does not define it, so we cant really test his claims.

    then you just kind of repeat yourself with more self-serving rants. I suspect you might have been drunk or angry at something else. This particular personal remark is a bit funny:

    It confirmed my suspicion that you really don't read other people's posts, or maybe you have a problem grasping simple grammar. Either is rather odd for someone who presents himself as some sort of expert on information.

    well i do, i even read all of your rant. I dont think i have a problem with understanding simple grammar, and i will just remark that in my country it is considered arrogant and stupid to critisize a non-native speaker for poor spelling by many, i am one of them. Secondly i want to correct you on a matter of facts, spelling and information theory are two different things. you might want to try to memorize this at some point.

  • Curtains

    I'm delighted to suggest another non-evidence reason to embrace evolution - the "neanderthal/leak between species" investigation. Evolutionary science will remain open on the question of whether or not there was interbreeding between homo neanderthalis and homo sapiens until there is more factual proof - for example from the fossil record and from further experimentation on genes which will contine to be refined and hotly debated amongst scientists. Meanwhile we are filled with wonder and awe at imagining viruses and bacteria (among other things) flitting between the two groups and producing unconscious effects.

  • Qcmbr

    AGuest - I can see you will budge not one inch.

    Dawkin's book is a suggestion - it presents a wealth of information in a friendly format and covers the major areas of discussion.

    Why do you refuse to research but expect everyone else to run around and find the answers for you. You are not asking difficult to answer questions but you need to do the study to understand the context and the sheer volume of the answers - a few lines will not suffice.

    I have used that old get out clause of - if you don't agree with my understanding of the world you clearly haven't got the same spirit as I have - when I came across someone who had done the same as I but came out with different 'spiritual' answers. Either your god is no respector of persons or he is and - just as credibly as the WT - you are claiming special status for yourself and your spiritual experiences. If you are really hearing voices in your head, really are seeing spirits and are having conversations with them I will gladly concede a difference between you and I and would like to suggest you get together with my aunt(!)

    When I joined this board I did so as a Christian (LDS make of that whatever you will). After several very bruising discussion encounters (though not simply because of them) I decided that the greatest offering I could give god was not unquestioning belief but my unbelief. I decided that I had the capacity to continue simply with faith, to ignore all interpretations of the facts that didn't agree with my worldview as simply theories of uninformed, unspiritual people but that I needed to be more than that; if this was all true I had to be useful, I had to actually believe because I could see the truth for myself (I would have been a Thomas.) By saying to God and myself that the greatest thing I feared - spiritually - was believing in the wrong thing (including God) and that I would face that fear by careful investigation and searching, I hoped I would come out of that journey as either a fully converted disciple(who knew why he believed) or a man freed from error(I would know what I believed). I prayed, I studied and eventually I evaluated the results and had to face the realisation that there was no god, no spirit, no real supernatural direction in my life. These feelings, impressions, guidances, joys, revelations and so on that I had enjoyed as a believer I finally knew had been nothing more than supremely powerful, very real, self-delusions.

    I make particular focus upon you simply because you remind me of myself, your unflinching, but unsubstantiated, defence of a world that doesn't exist at the end of the rainbow. Until you walk up the mountain and have a look you can't argue that the view isn't there. Most if not all of us started in the valley of belief, we've all(apols for those who haven't) held to supernatural viewpoints at some point and more importantly we've all justified those beliefs in the face of conflicting information.

    Try the journey, one fact or one book at a time.

  • BurnTheShips
    I would be surprised if there was no interbreeding, given homo's penchant for interspecies sex (bestiality) but I would not be surprised if any H. neanderthalensis genetic material failed to survive much beyond single generations of progeny

    The Neanderthal genome has been sequenced. Somewhere around 3% of the modern Eurasian genome is traceable to Neanderthals. You probably have some Neanderthal genes yourself.


  • Gerard

    AGuest, I admire your cool and finesse. And I am puzzled at your assertion that you have evidence from religion but not from science (evolution). There is a dramatic difference between belief and knowledge. Belief is insctinctive, a conviction of the mind, arising from information derived not from actual perception by our senses. On the other hand, scientific knowledge deals with facts for practical understanding of a subject. Do you agree? However, I have not seen one shred of evidence from creationists/intelligent design; all their arguments ultimately rely on the Bible (belief/faith). Is the Bible what you call evidence? (please, I kindly would like to know, if I may).

    I wonder if you are aware that no creationist has ever published a scientific peer-reviewed article. That means no evidence has been presented in favor of creation - or dismissing evolution.

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