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

Creationist Arguments.

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1
    What are some arguments against these creationist claims?? I know nuts about biology or paleontology, so I reckon I would need the help of you guys here.....

    : )
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2004 #2

    iansmith

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    First amphibian are one of the transitional form from fish to reptile. Some species of fish can use their fin as feet and can come out of the water for several hours and walk on land. Also not all species leaves good fossil, and some do not cannot leave any fossil.

    As far as genetic goes, if your are capable of measing the genetic distance between two group, the conclusion is both species share a common ancestor. The distance also tells you when the the branching occurs which can help you to correlate it with fossil record.

    Yes there is few human ancestor skeletal are complete but we have good knowledge of skeleton of different modern species which allows use to build model and make excellent prediction. It is not perfect but it is closed to reality and holds true 99.99999999% of the time.

    No all species leave good fossils. We might be able to only find fossil 0.01% of species that exited between the single cell eukaryotes and the cambrian age.
    Genetics are used to try to fill up the gap by building tree and looking at branching and common ancestor.

    Also, in last 20 years new mechanisms that influence the rate of evolution have been discover. For example, in microorganism, we know that genetic material can be transfer from 2 unrelated species by virus and it sometimes results in quantum leap. It is now thought that this could of occurs in multicellular organism.

    Who ever proposed this argument should redo its introduction to genetics course. This is full of error.

    First, mutation do not introduce new genetic code. Mutation change the coding sequences by either by introducing new base pair, deleting base pair or subtituting base pair. Mutation do not introduce new genetic code.

    Second, the example is just a misconception. Mutation will turn fins into limb, but a mutation can alter the expression of certain gene. If assume that a mutation occurs in one the fin gene, this mutation might introduce an premature stop codon and this gene will not produce a fully functional protein. This might lead that the fins are partly webbed and what are some finger appears. This could help a fish walk.

    As far as analogies goes, they used seldomly when explaining science. His analogies is just wrong.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3
    Hey, thanks alot, that was indeed useful....

    : )

    hmmmm, i can understand most of them, but can you explain no.3 again?? thanks.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4
    Do you mean your question #3 or his third reply (which is to your #5)?

    Here is a *GREAT* list of answers to creationist style questions: (everyone should have this linked!)

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
     
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5
    ohhh, sorry, I meant question no. 3. Great link.....thanks...
     
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6

    kreil

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If I remember from my Earth Science class correctly, then this is caused by earthquakes and the movement of cont. plates bending the crust to the point where it falls over, seemingly becoming backwards.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7
    This is completely tongue in cheeck, but I swear that religion was invented by scientists just so they could have a few laughs. I have always wondered how much further society would have advanced if religion never existed, or if it did, in a manner much less obtrusive to progress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  9. Nov 10, 2004 #8

    iansmith

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I will rephrase my answer to question 3.

    Based on previous observation and experiment, it is known that certain bone are proportionnaly related and, for example, the size of one bone will give you the height of the individual. We also know that certain bone feature are hominid-like, chimp-like, etc. Based on this knowledge, we make model and make prediction that are closed to reality and holds true virtually all the time. So, an imcomplete skeleton can be analysed and the feature and size of an individual can be predicted based on the models we design.
     
  10. Nov 10, 2004 #9

    Phobos

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is Geology 101. In other words, yeah, scientists know that and take it into account when they evaluate fossils. A paleontologists will evaluate the geology of the site as well as the fossils within it. Radiodating of the rocks can tell you the age of a particular layer regardless if it was folded or flipped.

    This is a simple lie.
    Here are some examples... http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    Show me the data.

    It is true that 100% complete fossils are not found and that there are not a lot of human ancestor fossils compared to other species; however, that's about the extent of the truth in this statement.

    From Lucy's species alone (A. afarensis), there are over 300 specimens (fossil bones) found from over 111 individuals of that species. We can tell the bones come from different individuals based on (1) their location (2) their repetition (e.g., if you find two mandibles, you know they didn't come from the same individual). Based on the array of specimens/individuals, you can piece together a pretty good complete picture.

    Similarly, large numbers of specimens from many individuals were found from other species (e.g., over 500 individual Neandertals have been found, over 100 individuals from A. africanus, ~100 specimens of A. boisei, over 40 specimens of A. ramidus, etc. etc.)

    A great summary of this can be found in Donald Johanson's book "From Lucy to Language" (which is my reference for those specimen/individual numbers).

    They didn't appear out of nowhere, but they did appear suddenly (geologically speaking of course) in the fossil record during that time period. However, this is likely a record of new body types that were amenable to being fossilized. Previous mulitcellular lifeforms were likely too soft-tissued to be turned into a fossil.

    Misrepresentation.
    First of all, mutations can add new information to the genetic code. A gene that was AAAA that becomes AAAC is something new, although it may be nonsense in any particular instance. It is incorrect to say that every mutation is harmful ("smeared" sentence as stated above). Many mutations are harmful, but some are neutral (no beneficial or adverse affect) and a rare few are beneficial. But mutations are not only point changes (for example, changing a A to a C) but can also include duplications, reordering, and flipping of gene codes. A hypothetical example may include a 10-segmented bug that becomes a 12-segmented bug with a mutation to the gene that regulates the development of body parts. A mutation or two won't turn a sea creature into a land creature, as strawmanned by the example, but mutations (and recombinations, etc.) create a variation in the species population. Some variations may have stronger/flatter/whatever fins compared to the others and that subgroup could find itself in a shallower water zone in which scooting across the seabed would be beneficial. And thus the slow change toward ever-more walking begins. Here, I'm providing a hypothetical example as I don't have a specific example of this on hand, but the idea is the same. The important point is that the transition occurs (1) slowly and (2) within the margins of the current habitat (fish didn't leave water and then develop legs....they developed leg-like appendiges while still in water and then they were able to take advantage of that feature when circumstances changed).
     
  11. Nov 10, 2004 #10

    Phobos

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    True, but even smaller scale geologic processes can cause rock layers to fracture, bend, fold, slide, etc. It's a common feature of bedrock.
     
  12. Nov 10, 2004 #11
    Why would you want to argue with creationists? Creationism is based purely on faith. If creationists had the ability to reason they'd already be scientists.
     
  13. Nov 10, 2004 #12

    kreil

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    excellent point...arguing with them is fruitless, because in order for them to change their minds they would have to lose their faith, and thats not something that would happen during the course of a debate/conversation
     
  14. Nov 13, 2004 #13

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Even with all the replies already here, there's still more wrong with this argument. The author of this argument must have turned to Creationism because they were bitter about getting a failing grade in high school biology. RNA is translated directly from DNA, via enzymes that don't care in advance what the DNA base pairs are, just goes along and builds the complementary RNA strand as it reads what the DNA says (a simple way of stating it). The author seems to imply RNA is manufactured entirely independently of DNA and then needs to match up with it :confused:, which is blatantly wrong.
     
  15. Nov 15, 2004 #14

    Phobos

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    NeutonStar & kreil - You may be right about veteran Creationists*, however, most people are new to the debate, so it's good to keep both sides of the argument out there so newcomers understand that there are scientific rebuttles to Creationist claims. Creationists are pushing their claims into public schools rather than the scientific arena...and you won't find many scientists sitting on school boards, so it's good to keep the public informed.

    * - Here at PF (a couple years ago), one creationist told me I almost convinced him of evolution. :) And hey, it's not impossible for a YEC to become a theistic evolutionist (i.e., retaining faith, but acknowledging scientific evidence)
     
  16. Nov 19, 2004 #15
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?