Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Bush is evolutionist

Do you believe in evolution?

Poll closed Dec 30, 2008.
  1. Yes

    24 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  3. Only micro evolution

    0 vote(s)
  1. Dec 10, 2008 #1
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2008 #2
    I do not "believe" in evolution in the same way Mr. Bush "believes" in his religion. I simply accept the fact of evolution due the the massive amount of converging evidence for evolution as a general conclusion.

    Would you ask someone if they "believe" in the atomic theory, for instance? Its not a belief, its knowledge, really. Furthermore, there is no such thing as an "evolutionist". Would you call someone who accepts the atomic theory or Newtonian mechanics as an atomist, a Newtonist or a gravitationalist? Naturally, there is no fundamental difference in mechanism between the so-called "microevolution" and the so-called "macroevolution" other than time.

    I would also like to congratulate Mr. Bush for finally coming to terms with that particular aspect of biology.
  4. Dec 10, 2008 #3

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I believe that the Theory of Evolution is valid.

    I also believe Bush when he says that he is "way out of my lane, here." That goes for just about anything, right?
  5. Dec 10, 2008 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree with Moridin that the poll question is poorly stated.
  6. Dec 10, 2008 #5
    Have you studied the evidence yourself, or are you just assuming that the scientists know?

    It's perfectly OK IMO to say evolutionist. Yes, you could also use the term 'gravitationalist'.
  7. Dec 10, 2008 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well stated!

    And, yes, there is a problem with using the term evolutionist, especially in context of a poll asking about belief.

    With regard to evolutionary theory, I am convinced that the conclusions drawn from the evidence presented are valid with regard to the overall conclusion that evolution does occur. There is wonderfully exciting work happening in genetics, specifically the field of epigenetics, that might provide new insight into the mechanisms of HOW evolution happens, and how quickly it can happen.
  8. Dec 10, 2008 #7
    "Do you have faith in evolution?" would have been a bad way to put it. Faith is belief without evidence. We cannot know anythihg for sure, can we? So ultimately everything comes down to belief. There is a big difference, however, between beliefs based on observations and beliefs based on nothing.
  9. Dec 10, 2008 #8
    We think that evolution is right, not believe. Humans have a tendency to believe in just about anything without taking the time to look at evidence.
  10. Dec 10, 2008 #9
    What's your definition of 'belief'?
  11. Dec 10, 2008 #10
    Any of the correct ones: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief

    An opinion or conviction, confidence in an unprovable statement, faith, or religious tenets. None of them apply.
  12. Dec 10, 2008 #11
    OK, so belief = faith? Then belief is not interesting at all.
  13. Dec 10, 2008 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I accept evolution, gravitation, the germ theory of disease, Mendelian genetics, and special relativity. I accept some basic forms of atomic theory, general relativity, and quantum mechanics, without fully understanding how they interact or over what domains they apply. I am unconvinced (but not hostile) toward human-driven climate change. I am deeply skeptical about M-theory. I doubt that many traditional herbal remedies are effective. I reject astrology, homeopathy, phrenology, distance healing, and other pseudosciences.
  14. Dec 10, 2008 #13
    I don't need to believe.
  15. Dec 10, 2008 #14
    i believe in intelligent evolutional design
  16. Dec 10, 2008 #15
    That's an oxymoron.

    Well, technically you're right. You "believe" in intelligent evolutional design, because that's NOT evolution. So you'd have to believe in it.
  17. Dec 10, 2008 #16
    so you think evolution is not intelligent, but stupid?
  18. Dec 10, 2008 #17
    I think that anthropomorphizing an essentially stochastic process is either intellectually lazy, dishonest, or foolish. Take your pick.
  19. Dec 10, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    link in the op


    When are people going to realize that one can't believe anything the man says?

    I'll bet the fundamentalists are grabbing their sick bags.
  20. Dec 10, 2008 #19
    for a stochastic process, it sure has a lot of determinism
  21. Dec 10, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Really, how is that?
  22. Dec 10, 2008 #21

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Irony: For most of us, the theory of evolution is taken completely on faith. I might be able to defend the theory to a point, but all in all, my knowledge is based on hearsay, Scientific American articles, PBS, and a couple of classes. And I'm sure this is true for almost anyone who's not a biologist or geneticist.

    For most, "belief" in evolution is really based on "faith" in science.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  23. Dec 10, 2008 #22
    it's influenced by living organisms. either life is deterministic, or it's random. personally, i believe i have a bit of influence in my own outcome, so it's not entirely random.
  24. Dec 10, 2008 #23


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That has nothing to do with Intelligent Design, which is not science. Perhaps you weren't refering to ID? This also isn't Philosophy.
  25. Dec 10, 2008 #24
    nope, it's a poll. i'm not sure why you people want to debate.

    i'm also not convinced that ID has nothing to offer in terms of science.
  26. Dec 10, 2008 #25
    Stochastic processes are the sum of the large set of individually deterministic processes.

    Ex: Diffusion--the motion of individual particles in a a gas is essentially deterministic. Take two rooms, each filled with a unique gas. Remove the barrier between them and the gases will diffuse and mix. That is a stochastic process driven by the deterministic motion of the individual gas particles.

    Evolution isn't much different. Read up on evolutionary game theory. If you have a population of individuals with varying strategy vectors, fitness is a function of the strategy vector. The portion of the total population posessing each strategy vector will change as certain strategy vectors lend themselves to higher reproductive rates. This is a stochastic process.

    You are confusing determinism, with systems where probabilities overwhelmingly favor a particular outcome (certainly not the case in general with evolution. Look up genetic drift and founders effect for more information on that). In the case of the diffusion example, there is no reason why the particles must diffuse. It is perfectly possible that the particles in each room could have a set of velocity vectors that would prevent them from mixing extensively. It is however insanely unlikely. Look up statistical mechanics for more information on that.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook