Questions on Evolution and the Existence of God and...

by ILoveTTATT 130 Replies latest jw friends

  • Apognophos

    a human baby without its parents left alone in the woods (may that never happen!) would die pretty quickly

    Yes, the baby is the best example of our specialization. Most baby animals become self-sufficient fairly quickly and many have shorter gestations than we do, too. Our gestation period is devoted mainly to brain growth, which we know from comparison to other animals' state of development at birth. The human baby is basically all brain, and the rest of it is just barely able to survive without the womb and umbilical cord.

    If the baby were born later, with the extreme priority that nature has given to growing its brain, it would be diminishing returns because of all the mothers who would die in childbirth, so it is born sooner and more helpless than most animals. As it is, 273,000 women died in 2011 giving birth, and this is way lower than the 1% mortality rate that scientists think women used to experience in ancient times (per Wikipedia), and by "ancient times" I mean 99.99% of our history. The cost in human (female) lives of our large brains is incalculable over the millennia.

    The tale of the Garden of Eden attempted to answer (among other questions) why childbirth was so much harder for humans than the animals that the Jews observed every day. Their answer was "the first woman must have done something wrong". The real answer is "large brains requiring wider hips + bipedalism favoring narrow hips". It's, frankly, a bit of a cluster$%, but no more than many other paths evolution has taken that are costly to individual organisms but which preserve genes effectively. If God designed us, then he must have altered or removed something really important down there when women became "imperfect" (a word not found in the original Genesis account and only added by later interpretive frameworks to explain a perfect God's flawed designs) to make childbirth so difficult for Eve and her daughters.

    To get back on topic, take a look at the Wikipedia articles on EQ and especially Cranial Capacity. Note that Neanderthals had bigger brains than us (we might have outbred them because their bigger brains killed too many mothers or had other drawbacks). Just as important to our intelligence as final brain size is the amount of growth that takes place after birth. Most animals do far less learning than we do (more reliance on instinct), so their brains do not need to grow much in life. Elephants have an insanely long gestation period (680 days) because they not only have to develop as fully as most animals do, in order to be physically self-reliant as soon as possible, but they also have brains which rival our own (they're probably #2 in intelligence on this entire planet). So they get hit with a double whammy during gestation, but at least their mothers are quadrupedal, so the birth is easy. (Supporting WP article)

    True, it is still a problem in solving the "abiogenesis" puzzle, but science did not just "stand there" and quietly concede to creationists

    Yes, as I think you realize now, there's always new information in the world of science. JWs and other fundamentalists simply fill the current gaps in man's knowledge with "God did it", but there is always some gap getting closed by new information or reliable theories. In fact, the Society is not exactly good about (or interested in) keeping up to date with science, so they make a lot of claims based on where science was 20, 30, or more years ago, sometimes quoting works from the early 20th century as support.

    But, as far as I know, many animals have the "dopamine-motivation" system. I have guinea pigs as pets, and I know that they enjoy certain types of music... they even try to "sing along"!

    This goes along with what I was saying, not against it. Dopamine has been around a long time evolutionarily, but what's interesting is that the chemicals like dopamine are dispensed in humans not just for obviously pleasurable events like music, but for more profound things like learning and creating. The pathways that determine the conditions for their dispensation are a large part of what makes us who we are. You might want to check out The Dopaminergic Mind, though I haven't read it myself yet, and it is theoretical, but it attempts to explain how evolving dopamine pathways led to the ability and inclination of man to ponder things more deeply and to develop technology.

  • Perry

    The Silver fox experiment, The foxes were tamed, and they evolved into dogs with different colour fur and shaped noses

    So one Canine turned into another Canine? That doesn't sound like Darwinian Evolution Macro-Evolution to me. Now, if someone could get a Fox to turn into Buzzard, I could get on board with that.

  • cofty

    if someone could get a Fox to turn into Buzzard,...

    That would be the exact opposite of everything we know about evolution. At least try to understand what it is you reject.

  • cantleave

    Perry - about time you actually learned some science.

  • adamah

    Perry said-

    Now, if someone could get a Fox to turn into Buzzard, I could get on board with that.

    Perry, you DO realize you cannot just pull the names of extant animals out of your arse, and expect evolution to make them change into each other to convince you, right? Evolution ain't magic (what you think of as a miracle) and it doesn't care about your wants and requests, no more than you can wish God(s) into existence.

    That stated, I don't suppose you'd be interested in a small flightless dinosaur (theropod) that was the size of a kit fox that eventually turned into buzzards? There's been a TON of incredible fossils found in China within the last decade or so that reveal intricate details of wings and characteristic features of dinosaurs (add this to the famous archaeopteryx species specimens found over the last two centuries):

    Here's a size comparison, showing how small it was:


  • cantleave

    But Adam those fossil have feathers, they can't be more than 6000 years old, how would the feathers have survived otherwise?

    Oh better put this here so you know I am being facetious

  • adamah

    Cantleave said-

    Oh better put this here so you know I am being facetious

    Thanks for the clarification, since it's sometimes very hard to discern between counterfeit ignorance vs the genuine article, LOL!

  • cofty
  • jgnat
  • jgnat

    The friendlier foxes were selectively bred. The same was done (less well known) with the more feral foxes.

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