Calling Cofty and others regarding evolution

by dubstepped 340 Replies latest jw friends

  • dubstepped

    So I have started down the path of trying to understand evolution, and to get the linear lies that the JWs planted in my head out of it. I bought an audiobook called "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" by Donald Prothero. I heard it recommended on an atheist podcast that I listened to. Unfortunately the book spent more time destroying creationists (and very thoroughly I might add), of which I'm not, than it did really explaining evolution. I was sorely disappointed. However, I do feel like I pieced together some things between his rants against creationists and want to see how close I am to understanding. I thought he was supposed to go into the primordial soup but he never even mentioned it.

    What I gather is that there are two types of evolution, micro and macro. Micro involves small changes in species like a certain type of sparrow (I think) that developed the ability to crack nuts for food as the food supply changed on an island. Macro would occur when new species evolve. Such evolution occurs due to environmental pressures or maybe some part of dna changing through reproduction. It is more likely to occur somewhere like on an island that is more isolated and where a change in one progeny is less likely to breed out due to a large population.

    Fossilization doesn't happen often and needs specific circumstances to do so that aren't often found. So it isn't really fair to assume that we'd have fossils of all of the different changes throughout time. I get that.

    Unlike the linear way that evolution was presented to us where an amphibian turns into a mammal that turns into a monkey and eventually a human (I butchered that), there were slight changes over time in chimps over time that led to us. There is only a small difference in dna between us and a chimp.

    Now I may have the above wrong. Feel free to correct me. I'm trying to grasp the concept.

    From what I do understand above I feel confused in one degree. I get micro evolution. It is easy to see. What I can't quite grasp is macro evolution. I get that there are fossils or whatever of different primates and changes where they begin to look more human over time. I get that such macro evolution takes place over looooooong periods of time. I get that a bird's wings or dolphin's flippers or human's hands have similarities to one another. I just can't seem to grasp how those different species evolved in the first place. I see that birds can evolve to have different characteristics, but are birds still evolving in a macro way into something as different as a dolphin is from a bird? Or if such a small genetic change as there is between a chip and a human creates such different creatures (we are quite different than a chimp even with 99% similarity in DNA), then why don't we see other large changes like that more? I hope I'm explaining my questions well. I'm not asking the old "if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys" question. I just want to understand why there aren't new species entirely being developed that we can see. Are we humans evolving into something else? Is there something else evolving that isn't a bird or fish or mammal or that has such large differences as between those three types of critters?

    Feel free to set me straight. I'm open to watching a video or reading another book (if in audio form) but think that some of you that are more knowledgeable can set me straight more directly. I've tried researching some things and feel like I'm jumping in the middle of a deep pool and that I'm probably not ready for that yet.

    I know that Cofty knows his stuff, and so do others on here. I respect your minds on this subject immensely. I'm finding myself more stuck in black and white linear thinking than I expected while trying to grasp this.

  • scratchme1010

    Look at the National Geographic Library. They have quite a lot of information and references to reliable sources of information.

  • shepherdless

    Well, to start with, “micro evolution” and “macro evolution” are terms used by creationists.

    Also, the linear model of us evolving from a monkey or a chimp is incorrect. Rather, we had a common ancestor, about 3 to 5 million years ago. And it was not a simple fork in the road. There were numberous forks or branches, with many species that are now extinct. Some of our ancestors became (or remained adept) at surviving in a forest, whereas our direct ancestors were better surviving in grassland, and walked more and more upright.

    I will leave it to others to explain more.

  • Crazyguy

    Check out human chromosome number two , that’s what sealed it for me to obvious to deny.

  • shepherdless

    Here is a short video which may help:

  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    The proper perspective is to think like this:

    You have parents and they no doubt have a brother/sister who has kids... your cousins. Go back to you grandparents and many second cousins are found next to you. Go back another generation and many more cousins show up. Go back far enough you find you are related to every person on earth only a few 10s of thousand years ago now go further and further. At 5.7 million years ago you meet an ancestor that is ALSO the ancestor of chimps (And Bonobos) Go back more you met more cousins through more of your ancestors. At 80 million years ago you find almost all mammals are your cousins including the ones in the sea. Go back 300 million years ago your ancestor is in the sea and you are cousins with all amphibians, reptiles, birds and other mammals and some fish. Go back 1.5 billion years not only is you ancestor one-celled but you are cousins with your pine tree lol. Go back to 2.8 billion years ago you reach LUCA. He is the ancestor of ALL life on earth making them all your cousins (Viruses are debatable). From there it's a chain down only one family tree to the origin (or one of the origins) of life about 4 billion years ago. (Hey we can drag this back 13.7 billion years and show that we are part of the universe)

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    First of all I think it's probably best if you discard the whole micro vs macro evolution duality. In reality, there isn't any real difference between the two. That is to say, microevolution isn't a thing unto itself that is somehow distinct from macroevolution. These are purely linguistic constructs. Evolution is evolution. Adaptation is evolution. Small changes accumulate over long periods, eventually resulting in an evolved population being reproductively incompatible with its ancestral population many, many, generations ago. In other words, speciation.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that evolution occurs over very, very long periods of time. Yes, evolution is still happening but you won't see any significant changes in your lifetime because it takes place so very, very slowly. There are new species developing right before our eyes but it's a very slow process - too slow see in totality (in most cases). Here's an important thing to keep in mind: The transition from one species to another is not a sudden leap that occurs in one generation. Rather, it's a slow murky transition spanning many generations and not a sudden crisp dividing line. An animal of one species isn't going to give birth to an animal of another. Throughout the transition from one to another animals continue to give birth to young that is of their same species! You can only see a new species has developed when you compare animals of generation z with the ancestors of generation a. Never by comparing generation y with generation z. And we typically don't live long enough to span the time from generation a to generation z.

    Think of yourself as being like a fly watching seedlings of giant sequoia trees and finding it difficult to imagine these tiny plants growing to trees hundreds of feet high. You stare at the seedlings for long seconds of time but you can't see any growth happening before you eyes. Throughout your entire life of about a month you hardly notice any change.

    Another way to think of it is to liken the move from one species to another to the transition from the brightness of midday to the darkness of night. Imagine each generation is like 1 second of time. Can you pinpoint any single second that separates the brightness of midday from the darkness of night? No. The transition is too gradual to span such a small time difference. And each second of time is followed by another second of time that is only ever so slightly darker. You would be hard pressed to ever be able to point at any second of day being followed by a second of night. The transition is too slow for that situation. Yet, you can clearly see that night is much darker than at midday.

    Apart from humans and chimps, there are other examples of animals having significantly more dramatic outward differences compared to their genetic difference. Dogs come to mind. Look at the dramatic differences between different breeds. Yet, genetically, they're of the same species! Different dog breeds is due to evolution by artificial selection. The difference between evolution by artificial selection and evolution by natural selection is purely philosophical. Different dog breeds are like different species in the process of developing but not yet there (as different species).

  • dubstepped

    @HTBWC - I get what you're saying. You're telling me a way of seeing what happened. However, it doesn't explain how any of that happened, merely that it did. I want to understand how it happened. How did Luca become birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and fish? Why only those things and not something else? To my understanding that speciation (if that's the correct term) would be macro evolution. So how did Luca form those other species? What process happened? Why? Why aren't there new species like mammals or birds or amphibians or whatever?

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    As an engineer trained to evaluate systems within systems within systems, whose functions are complementary and contribute to a complex array of diverse cooperative functions, the design of all life on Planet Earth is found to be incredibly complicated. The thought that all of this beautiful, productive life which covers the Planet just came into existence without an extremely intelligent guiding hand is incomprehensible.

  • waton
    The thought that all of this beautiful, productive life which covers the Planet just came into existence without an extremely intelligent guiding hand is incomprehensible. Old Navy:

    Unless the originator of the process is so advanced, that the initial setup guaranteed that the function, and ingredients will automatically bring results, good, bad and whatever. without any further fiddelling.

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