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livefreeordie
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« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2008, 10:04:12 PM »

Lot of "ifs" there!  Smiley

Now what really fascinates me about this discussion is this: if you believe man evolved over billions of years from proteins purely through natural biological processes.  How can you possible reconcile this belief with belief in the "fall of man", or the "soul", or the "afterlife", or almost anything else miraculous.

How could man "fall" if he was in a constant state of evolvement.  How could their be a soul, something apart from the material.  Atheistic evolutionists would just say the "soul" is a myth, in reality just our conscience working as a brain function.  If we evolved naturally, why would we do anything but die naturally, i.e. turn to dust and lights out forever.

Even more fascinating to me, on the one hand if I don't believe in evolution as posited by scientists I am crazy, but these same scientists who are Christian find it perfectly logical to believe in a Christ whose sacrifice was necessary primarily because of the fall, a fall which doesn't plausible within the confines of evolution.  There must be some serious back and forth going on in the brain of the TBE christian scientist!
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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2008, 10:15:16 PM »

George,

Is there any kind of "Evolution for dummies" you could suggest? I have found TalkOrigins to be a very useful site, but reading from the computer has its limitations. It would be great if I could take something readable to bed.

God be with you.


Honestly, I don't know, I am not sure. The thing is, the whole notion of evolution is so linked to DNA, nucleotides, mutations... and, unfortunately, in my experience, biology is hardly ever taught to average American schoolchildren to the extent that they can really connect evolution with DNA in their minds. Darwin, of course, did not have the concept of genes, DNA, etc., in his head, so he just used very wishy-washy terms like "undefined variabilty" to refer to things that we now call random DNA mutations. His whole mental activity was, to a very large extent, a "pre-science," a work of a unique genius who feels, senses some major phenomena even before these phenomena are rationally dissected (based on new empirical findings) and summarized and put on paper.

Maybe just begin to read a biology textbook, like Campbell's or Krogh's or Minkoff&Baker's (the last one is the shortest). But do make sure first that you understand, visualize DNA and its biological function and the real significance of DNA mutations for *POPULATIONS*, not just for individual creatures. Then go the chapters about evolution.

My best, best wishes to you as you go. If I could be of any help, please let me know by a PM!

G.
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2008, 10:18:31 PM »

You keep making this point.  But don't the DNA mutations begin with an individual who is then the determinator for a population.

Quote
. But do make sure first that you understand, visualize DNA and its biological function and the real significance of DNA mutations for *POPULATIONS*, not just for individual creatures. Then go the chapters about evolution.

My best, best wishes to you as you go. If I could be of any help, please let me know by a PM!

G.

Modified this only to correct the quote tags.  ~EofK
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« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2008, 10:24:33 PM »

But do make sure first that you understand, visualize DNA and its biological function and the real significance of DNA mutations for *POPULATIONS*, not just for individual creatures. Then go the chapters about evolution.

Thanks George, I do understand that point. Smiley

God be with you.
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« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2008, 10:32:32 PM »

Lot of "ifs" there!  Smiley

Now what really fascinates me about this discussion is this: if you believe man evolved over billions of years from proteins purely through natural biological processes.  How can you possible reconcile this belief with belief in the "fall of man", or the "soul", or the "afterlife", or almost anything else miraculous.

How could man "fall" if he was in a constant state of evolvement.  How could their be a soul, something apart from the material.  Atheistic evolutionists would just say the "soul" is a myth, in reality just our conscience working as a brain function.  If we evolved naturally, why would we do anything but die naturally, i.e. turn to dust and lights out forever.

Even more fascinating to me, on the one hand if I don't believe in evolution as posited by scientists I am crazy, but these same scientists who are Christian find it perfectly logical to believe in a Christ whose sacrifice was necessary primarily because of the fall, a fall which doesn't plausible within the confines of evolution.  There must be some serious back and forth going on in the brain of the TBE christian scientist!

Dear Livefreeordie,

Again, all I can say is this: scientists labored lond and hard, and because of their long and hard labor, we now KNOW (not believe, but know) what we know (if we so choose - nobody forces anyone to know anything).

Soul, sin, fall, salvation - those are terms that cannot be explained in the frame of reference of these empirical findings of scientists. Just how to explain them, I simply do not know. I really don't, speaking in scientific, empirical terms. I know that sin exists, of course. I know that people commit sins all the time and that I, for one, do sin a lot. I also believe - ABSOLUTELY irrationally, without any premise for this belief that I could find in science - that my personal physical death will not be the complete end of me and I will somehow continue to exist and, while continuing to exist after my physical death, will be somehow brought to justice for everything I've done while I lived. That's, basically, all I feel confident about right now. To what extent the lines of the Holy Bible or the writings of all Holy Fathers from Irenaeus of Lyons to Seraphim Rose add to this basic belief of mine - again, I, honestly, honest-to-goodness-ly, DO NOT KNOW. The whole concept of one physical Adam existing and falling in sin and holding in himself the entire future humankind makes no sense to me and I do not believe it, cannot believe it, no matter what. Why has Christ come, what exactly He has done (in strict empirical terms), and how exactly does He save - also, in all honesty, I do not know, do not understand, even though I somehow believe that He does.

So, yes, my dear brother, you are right, a lot of things do go inside the head of someone like me who does happen to have been exposed to science, its history, its method, and is nonetheless a Christian and feels that the Orthodox Church is the community of the Christian faith...
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2008, 10:45:52 PM »

And I'm glad you are here with us!  But scientists have KNOWN a lot of things universally only to change their mind universally down the road.

To know what is in a molecule of water by walking outside or opening your tap and then getting a sample of it to then study in a lab, is not the same thing as conjecturing how a fish might have developed lungs a billion years ago.  We do not KNOW how some sort of fish developed lungs.  Everything you said about how that might have occurred was completely made up according to your best knowledge, but of course there is no evidence you can examine to make this claim.  You can only speculate.  But I do agree, just because it is speculation doesn't mean it's wrong.  Scientists speculated on the what would happen when they tested the first atom bomb, and they were correct!

"God became man so that man might become God."  So then do you also believe that God must have also evolved for this to be true?

Dear Livefreeordie,

Again, all I can say is this: scientists labored lond and hard, and because of their long and hard labor, we now KNOW (not believe, but know) what we know (if we so choose - nobody forces anyone to know anything).

Soul, sin, fall, salvation - those are terms that cannot be explained in the frame of reference of these empirical findings of scientists. Just how to explain them, I simply do not know. I really don't, speaking in scientific, empirical terms. I know that sin exists, of course. I know that people commit sins all the time and that I, for one, do sin a lot. I also believe - ABSOLUTELY irrationally, without any premise for this belief that I could find in science - that my personal physical death will not be the complete end of me and I will somehow continue to exist and, while continuing to exist after my physical death, will be somehow brought to justice for everything I've done while I lived. That's, basically, all I feel confident about right now. To what extent the lines of the Holy Bible or the writings of all Holy Fathers from Irenaeus of Lyons to Seraphim Rose add to this basic belief of mine - again, I, honestly, honest-to-goodness-ly, DO NOT KNOW. The whole concept of one physical Adam existing and falling in sin and holding in himself the entire future humankind makes no sense to me and I do not believe it, cannot believe it, no matter what. Why has Christ come, what exactly He has done (in strict empirical terms), and how exactly does He save - also, in all honesty, I do not know, do not understand, even though I somehow believe that He does.

So, yes, my dear brother, you are right, a lot of things do go inside the head of someone like me who does happen to have been exposed to science, its history, its method, and is nonetheless a Christian and feels that the Orthodox Church is the community of the Christian faith...
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« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2008, 10:50:39 PM »

I apologise if this replay is taking the thread beyond its intention of being for information only and into debate.

Now what really fascinates me about this discussion is this: if you believe man evolved over billions of years from proteins purely through natural biological processes.

Those who believe in theistic evolution don't believe that this is a purely "natural" biological process. But the point is, there is a biological process, current evidence shows that quite clearly. The question then begs, is God a master deceiver?

I did read at one time (unfortunately, I lost the information in a computer crash and haven't been able to redicovery it) that the "fall" could be looked upon as a parable about man never having reached his potential; one that is reached in Christ. Sorry, but the details are fuzzy. Perhaps someone else in the forum might know something of what I refer to and help out here.

God be with you.

Edited by self to add "current" and correct an incorrect preposition.

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« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2008, 10:54:33 PM »

You keep making this point.  But don't the DNA mutations begin with an individual who is then the determinator for a population.

Well, mutations are defined as changes in the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA, so, strictly speaking, they begin with nucleotides, not with a particular individual. *IF* the carrier of these mutations acquires features advantageous to the survival and reproductive success in the particular environment, than the progeny of this mutant individual forms a distinct population evolving into some direction away from the "wild type" (the sum total of individuals before the mutation appeared). If not - then not. For example, if there are no shallow lagoons that dry down occasionally, then there is no diffrence whether or not a fish acquires the mutation that makes its gills branch inward rather than outward.
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« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2008, 10:54:59 PM »

I believe, but I could be wrong, that the theistic evolutionist believes God set the stage for evolution to result in man, rigged the odds so to speak, then he rolled the dice, and sat back to watch it happen until he was ready to intervene as recorded in the bible.
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« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2008, 11:03:18 PM »

Can one instance of the mutation of a nucleotide cause a gill to branch inward as opposed to outward.  Or would it take a succession of these mutations all beneficial, all passed down from one fish to another until it was pointing inward?

And doesn't it take a number of nucleotides to mutate at the same time to actually change a DNA strand in any beneficial type of way. And aren't most observed mutations usually harmful, not beneficial?

What are some examples of current species where a mutation was observed, it was beneficial and new to the species, and was then passed down to the "population."

Thanks for your patience!




Well, mutations are defined as changes in the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA, so, strictly speaking, they begin with nucleotides, not with a particular individual. *IF* the carrier of these mutations acquires features advantageous to the survival and reproductive success in the particular environment, than the progeny of this mutant individual forms a distinct population evolving into some direction away from the "wild type" (the sum total of individuals before the mutation appeared). If not - then not. For example, if there are no shallow lagoons that dry down occasionally, then there is no diffrence whether or not a fish acquires the mutation that makes its gills branch inward rather than outward.
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« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2008, 11:11:14 PM »

And if you believe Man evolved from protein without God intervening to make it happen, I don't think you can honestly believe the bible is anything more than metaphors and myths.  Your heart might tell you this is not true, and you might not want to believe, but that is where the logic leads. Being a fan of Christopher Hitchens(a fan in the sense I find him entertaining, I disagree with many of his beliefs), I think he argues this pretty persuasively. 

The views of Hitchens are religious and shouldn't be confused with scientific views (i.e the scientific view is evolutionary theory, the religious view is that therefore there is no sort of god(s) or if there is a god it exists merely in weak deist type of way).  OTOH, someone like me sees the science and comes to the religious conclusions, How Great are Thy works, O Lord, in Wisdom Thou hast created them all. 

As for the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, what's wrong with seeing at as mostly myths and metaphors? 
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« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2008, 11:19:45 PM »

I think Hitchens would disagree with you! But you can argue with him yourself!  Wink

The problem with believing that the bible is mostly myths and metaphors is that you become the judge of what are myths and metaphors and what is reality.  In essence you judge God which puts you in a precarious spiritual place. I would recommend much prayer before confessing a belief in whether a particular passage is a myth or not.

The views of Hitchens are religious and shouldn't be confused with scientific views (i.e the scientific view is evolutionary theory, the religious view is that therefore there is no sort of god(s) or if there is a god it exists merely in weak deist type of way).  OTOH, someone like me sees the science and comes to the religious conclusions, How Great are Thy works, O Lord, in Wisdom Thou hast created them all. 

As for the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, what's wrong with seeing at as mostly myths and metaphors? 
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« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2008, 11:24:40 PM »

I believe, but I could be wrong, that the theistic evolutionist believes God set the stage for evolution to result in man, rigged the odds so to speak, then he rolled the dice, and sat back to watch it happen until he was ready to intervene as recorded in the bible.

Theistic evolution is the proposition that God is in charge of the biological process called evolution. God directs and guides the unfolding of life forms over millions of years. Theistic evolution contends that there is no conflict between science and the Biblical book of Genesis.
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« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2008, 11:31:47 PM »

The problem with believing that the bible is mostly myths and metaphors is that you become the judge of what are myths and metaphors and what is reality.  In essence you judge God which puts you in a precarious spiritual place. I would recommend much prayer before confessing a belief in whether a particular passage is a myth or not.

But surely no one would suggest that the entire bible should be taken literally? Clearly it is made up on metaphor, parable, history, poetry, etc. Discernment is needed to differentiate between the many genres. Why should Genesis be excluded from that process?


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« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2008, 11:36:01 PM »

I think Hitchens would disagree with you! But you can argue with him yourself!  Wink

He publishes in the popular press.  His theological claims aren't evaluated by peer reviews, nor could they be.  Hence to claim they are anything other than his personal philosophical and religious views is simply incorrect. 

Quote
The problem with believing that the bible is mostly myths and metaphors is that you become the judge of what are myths and metaphors and what is reality.  In essence you judge God which puts you in a precarious spiritual place. I would recommend much prayer before confessing a belief in whether a particular passage is a myth or not.

And the same could be said of you for rejecting that which is obvious from empirical observations.  In other threads, I've made my case that my views are not some random set of ideas rather they form a coherent system with a basis in patristic thought.   

And for that matter, which creation story in Genesis do you consider to be the authoritative (since they are contradictory)?
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« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2008, 11:40:33 PM »

Can one instance of the mutation of a nucleotide cause a gill to branch inward as opposed to outward.  Or would it take a succession of these mutations all beneficial, all passed down from one fish to another until it was pointing inward?

There are several kinds of mutations, one of them called "homeotic." These change the whole pattern of tissue development in embriogenesis, so that indeed just one nucleotide change can cause a very radical change in the way respiratory tube is branching.


And doesn't it take a number of nucleotides to mutate at the same time to actually change a DNA strand in any beneficial type of way.

You see, there is no "policeman" that stands there with a baton and tells nucleotides, "hey, make sure you guys change in a beneficial way!" Mutagens - like UV light, cosmic radiation, some chemicals - just keep acting and changing the sequence of nucleotides in DNA. Whether or not these changes will be "benefitial," will be decided during the interaction of mutants with their particular, peculiar environment. A stream of cosmic particles can hit the DNA in a fruit fly, and the wings of this fruit fly will become dark rather then light-colored. If the progeny of this fly lives in the environment where the fruit on which it feeds is somewhat darker, then it's "beneficial," because these flies will hide from predators who eat them, but if it's lighter, then, on the contrary, this same mutation will be harmful. One nucleotide substitution in your hemoglobin gene that results in the so-called s-allele is harmful for you if you live in the USA or Western Europe, because you will suffer from anemia. This same siutation, however, is beneficial if you live in the Amazon basin jungle, because, even though you will still suffer from anemia, you will be resistant to Plasmodium malariae (the unicellular organism that causes malaria by invading normal red blood cells - but it cannot invade red blood cells filled with s-hemoglobin), so you will less likely die of malaria when you are 20 or 30, and have more children.

And aren't most observed mutations usually harmful, not beneficial?

No, actually, because of the so-called redundancy (or "degeneracy") of the genetic code, most mutations, statistically speaking, are "silent" (not affecting the amino acid sequence at all), and, therefore, indifferent, neither harmful nor helpful. Very many mutations are harmful. A minority turns out to be beneficial; but, given the enormous rate of DNA mutation, even this relatively small number of potentially beneficial mutations cannot be discounted. The rate of DNA mutation is estimated to be 10 (-9) per base per generation in every individual cell, which means that during the lifetime of an organism that consists of many trillion cells, at least several thousand cells (including germ cells) will acquire new mutations. And populations consist of many, many thousands of these mutation-carrying individuals, so even if most are either indifferent or harmful, some will be beneficial to this ever-changing environment. Therefore, evolution keeps going. Besides, random events like earthquakes, forest fires or floods cause the so-called genetic drift, which can cause profound genetic changes in populations even regardless of the natural selection.


What are some examples of current species where a mutation was observed, it was beneficial and new to the species, and was then passed down to the "population."

Peppered moth is one "classical" example.

Thanks for your patience!

You are certainly most welcome, thank you for good questions.

Fixed the quotes, nothing else. --YtterbiumAnalyst

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« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2008, 11:48:54 PM »

Actually, what you defined is Intelligent Design. Most scientists have disavowed it as "God in the Gaps" and basically creationism.

Francis Collins, the founder of the human Genome project and one of the leaders in Theistic Evolution offers a definition in his book, The Language of God.  Two parts of the definition, are 1) The universe came into being out of nothingness, apporximately 14 billion years ago. 2) Despite massive improbabilities, the properties of the universe appear to be precisely tuned for life.  and skipping to point 4) once evolution got under way, no special supernatural intervention was required.

So basically, if you read his book, the bible of Theistic Evolution, God tuned the Universe, rolled the dice, then stepped back and let it evolve.

Theistic evolution is the proposition that God is in charge of the biological process called evolution. God directs and guides the unfolding of life forms over millions of years. Theistic evolution contends that there is no conflict between science and the Biblical book of Genesis.

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« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2008, 11:50:12 PM »

Of course not, I would suggest I'm not the one who will decide what is literal, what is metaphor, parable, etc.  I will let the Church and the Holy Fathers decide and I will follow.

But surely no one would suggest that the entire bible should be taken literally? Clearly it is made up on metaphor, parable, history, poetry, etc. Discernment is needed to differentiate between the many genres. Why should Genesis be excluded from that process?



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« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2008, 11:51:07 PM »

Whichever one my Church teaches!  Wink Doubt it matters one iota to my salvation or faith.

   

And for that matter, which creation story in Genesis do you consider to be the authoritative (since they are contradictory)?
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« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2008, 11:57:57 PM »

Now is the "peppered moth" the classic example, or the only example?  And is a moth's wings changing colors macroevolution that results in some new biological processes, or isn't that just an example of differentiation.  The pigment of the wings changed is my understanding, which is very understandable via genetic theory.  But I'm not sure it helps me understand the development of lungs on a fish.

There are several kinds of mutations, one of them called "homeotic." These change the whole pattern of tissue development in embriogenesis, so that indeed just one nucleotide change can cause a very radical change in the way respiratory tube is branching.


You see, there is no "policeman" that stands there with a baton and tells nucleotides, "hey, make sure you guys change in a beneficial way!" Mutagens - like UV light, cosmic radiation, some chemicals - just keep acting and changing the sequence of nucleotides in DNA. Whether or not these changes will be "benefitial," will be decided during the interaction of mutants with their particular, peculiar environment. A stream of cosmic particles can hit the DNA in a fruit fly, and the wings of this fruit fly will become dark rather then light-colored. If the progeny of this fly lives in the environment where the fruit on which it feeds is somewhat darker, then it's "beneficial," because these flies will hide from predators who eat them, but if it's lighter, then, on the contrary, this same mutation will be harmful. One nucleotide substitution in your hemoglobin gene that results in the so-called s-allele is harmful for you if you live in the USA or Western Europe, because you will suffer from anemia. This same siutation, however, is beneficial if you live in the Amazon basin jungle, because, even though you will still suffer from anemia, you will be resistant to Plasmodium malariae (the unicellular organism that causes malaria by invading normal red blood cells - but it cannot invade red blood cells filled with s-hemoglobin), so you will less likely die of malaria when you are 20 or 30, and have more children.

No, actually, because of the so-called redundancy (or "degeneracy") of the genetic code, most mutations, statistically speaking, are "silent" (not affecting the amino acid sequence at all), and, therefore, indifferent, neither harmful nor helpful. Very many mutations are harmful. A minority turns out to be beneficial; but, given the enormous rate of DNA mutation, even this relatively small number of potentially beneficial mutations cannot be discounted. The rate of DNA mutation is estimated to be 10 (-9) per base per generation in every individual cell, which means that during the lifetime of an organism that consists of many trillion cells, at least several thousand cells (including germ cells) will acquire new mutations. And populations consist of many, many thousands of these mutation-carrying individuals, so even if most are either indifferent or harmful, some will be beneficial to this ever-changing environment. Therefore, evolution keeps going. Besides, random events like earthquakes, forest fires or floods cause the so-called genetic drift, which can cause profound genetic changes in populations even regardless of the natural selection.


You are certainly most welcome, thank you for good questions.




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« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2008, 12:06:23 AM »

Now is the "peppered moth" the classic example, or the only example?  And is a moth's wings changing colors macroevolution that results in some new biological processes, or isn't that just an example of differentiation.  The pigment of the wings changed is my understanding, which is very understandable via genetic theory.  But I'm not sure it helps me understand the development of lungs on a fish.


Peppered moth is just one example, there are many others (see textbooks). Pigment change and/or similar genetic changes can influence of mating preferences, and therefore on the reproductive isolation of the new population from the old -> possible speciation.
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« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2008, 12:06:27 AM »

My brother, I'm enjoying these posts as my kids sleep and my dog rests at my feet, and I sure enjoy your enthusiasm and insight.  But step back for a minute.  We are talking about creation, one of the fundamental questions of life.  We are talking about millions and billions of years of scientific speculation.  You are a scientist with obviously a lot of study into evolution.  So I ask a simple question and fundamental question, show me an example of the type of mutation that results in evolution.  The example given is the classic one and usually the only one given, a species of moth get seperated and the character of their pigmentation changes.  Now can't you understand why I would have a hard time following, understanding and believing that the change in pigmentation of a specked moth is PROOF that plant life evolved over billions of years via billions of random mutations to become man.  Please, give me some understanding here.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm not trying to debate science with ignorance.

There are several kinds of mutations, one of them called "homeotic." These change the whole pattern of tissue development in embriogenesis, so that indeed just one nucleotide change can cause a very radical change in the way respiratory tube is branching.


You see, there is no "policeman" that stands there with a baton and tells nucleotides, "hey, make sure you guys change in a beneficial way!" Mutagens - like UV light, cosmic radiation, some chemicals - just keep acting and changing the sequence of nucleotides in DNA. Whether or not these changes will be "benefitial," will be decided during the interaction of mutants with their particular, peculiar environment. A stream of cosmic particles can hit the DNA in a fruit fly, and the wings of this fruit fly will become dark rather then light-colored. If the progeny of this fly lives in the environment where the fruit on which it feeds is somewhat darker, then it's "beneficial," because these flies will hide from predators who eat them, but if it's lighter, then, on the contrary, this same mutation will be harmful. One nucleotide substitution in your hemoglobin gene that results in the so-called s-allele is harmful for you if you live in the USA or Western Europe, because you will suffer from anemia. This same siutation, however, is beneficial if you live in the Amazon basin jungle, because, even though you will still suffer from anemia, you will be resistant to Plasmodium malariae (the unicellular organism that causes malaria by invading normal red blood cells - but it cannot invade red blood cells filled with s-hemoglobin), so you will less likely die of malaria when you are 20 or 30, and have more children.

No, actually, because of the so-called redundancy (or "degeneracy") of the genetic code, most mutations, statistically speaking, are "silent" (not affecting the amino acid sequence at all), and, therefore, indifferent, neither harmful nor helpful. Very many mutations are harmful. A minority turns out to be beneficial; but, given the enormous rate of DNA mutation, even this relatively small number of potentially beneficial mutations cannot be discounted. The rate of DNA mutation is estimated to be 10 (-9) per base per generation in every individual cell, which means that during the lifetime of an organism that consists of many trillion cells, at least several thousand cells (including germ cells) will acquire new mutations. And populations consist of many, many thousands of these mutation-carrying individuals, so even if most are either indifferent or harmful, some will be beneficial to this ever-changing environment. Therefore, evolution keeps going. Besides, random events like earthquakes, forest fires or floods cause the so-called genetic drift, which can cause profound genetic changes in populations even regardless of the natural selection.


You are certainly most welcome, thank you for good questions.




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« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2008, 12:13:06 AM »

I did read at one time (unfortunately, I lost the information in a computer crash and haven't been able to redicovery it) that the "fall" could be looked upon as a parable about man never having reached his potential; one that is reached in Christ.
I would be most interested in learning more about who the proponents of this theory are; perhaps I am wrong, but I don't believe any of the Fathers or Mothers would ever allude to the Fall as being a parable.  IMO, there is too much evidence to the contrary.

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« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2008, 12:15:21 AM »

Actually, what you defined is Intelligent Design. Most scientists have disavowed it as "God in the Gaps" and basically creationism.

Francis Collins, the founder of the human Genome project and one of the leaders in Theistic Evolution offers a definition in his book, The Language of God.  Two parts of the definition, are 1) The universe came into being out of nothingness, apporximately 14 billion years ago. 2) Despite massive improbabilities, the properties of the universe appear to be precisely tuned for life.  and skipping to point 4) once evolution got under way, no special supernatural intervention was required.

So basically, if you read his book, the bible of Theistic Evolution, God tuned the Universe, rolled the dice, then stepped back and let it evolve.

Theistic Evolution is a concept that's been around a lot longer than Intelligent Design. Perhaps there are differering definitions amongst theistic evolutionists as to what theistic evolution is. It wouldn't surprise me. Grin
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« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2008, 12:17:53 AM »

I still say that where we go from here is to strike a balance.  Theology and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures did not stop with the Holy Fathers.  What we must strive for is interpretation in the spirit of the Fathers.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't this one of the reasons that Orthodox Christians complain about Latin theology?
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Of course not, I would suggest I'm not the one who will decide what is literal, what is metaphor, parable, etc.  I will let the Church and the Holy Fathers decide and I will follow.

See, this is one of the things that keeps from converting.  When and where do you decide that the "fancy" story isn't just a metaphor anymore?  My train of thought goes:

Creation - Well, they didn't know any better.  Theistic evolution works fine even though it isn't scriptural.

The Fall - Well, they didn't know any better.  There had to eventually be the first man and woman, and obviously they did something bad because there is death in the world for us.

The Flood - May be Utnapishtim from Gilgamesh, maybe Utnapishtim is Noah.  Either way, the Flood was probably a local flood, and there probably was no Great Ark.  It's just intended to convey a lesson.

So and so on, until

The Resurrection.  Okay, thats symbolic, too, and intended to convey a lesson, right?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO every single word of that story is 100% true!

Where is the line drawn?  The Exodus?  Job?  Jonah?
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« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2008, 12:22:48 AM »

I would be most interested in learning more about who the proponents of this theory are; perhaps I am wrong, but I don't believe any of the Fathers or Mothers would ever allude to the Fall as being a parable.  IMO, there is too much evidence to the contrary.

I'm sorry, my post was messy. I meant to say that the Genesis account of the fall was in the form of a parable. I'll keep hunting and hopefully come across the article. It was from an Orthodox source, but I just can't remember details.
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« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2008, 12:23:46 AM »

My brother, I'm enjoying these posts as my kids sleep and my dog rests at my feet, and I sure enjoy your enthusiasm and insight.  But step back for a minute.  We are talking about creation, one of the fundamental questions of life.  We are talking about millions and billions of years of scientific speculation.  You are a scientist with obviously a lot of study into evolution.  So I ask a simple question and fundamental question, show me an example of the type of mutation that results in evolution.  The example given is the classic one and usually the only one given, a species of moth get seperated and the character of their pigmentation changes.  Now can't you understand why I would have a hard time following, understanding and believing that the change in pigmentation of a specked moth is PROOF that plant life evolved over billions of years via billions of random mutations to become man.  Please, give me some understanding here.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm not trying to debate science with ignorance.


Rather than looking for one miraculous "proof" of a complex concept by one simple example, I think one should just see the logic of how things work.

Of course the fact that the frequency of perrered moth increased during the Industrial Revolution, per se, is not a "proof" that humans evolved from apes or that amphibians evolved from fishes.

But what this observation if fact is, is this:

- mutagens change our genes randomly, so that in a group of one million individuals there will always be a few with a changed gene;

- we live in a certain environment, which can be indifferent to this change in our genes, or disfavoring it, or favoring it: for example, if you and I are two butterflies with light-colored wings and my genes changed so that my wings became dark, this can be irrelevant to my survival vs. yours, or it can be favoring your survival (if you can, for example, hide from predators better tan me on a light-colored background), or it can favor my survival (if, for example, the environment became darker, because of the chimney emissions);

- in a population where there are many males and females with light- or dark-colored wings, after many generations, given some other mutations occur, mating preferences can be established so that light-colored butterflies mate with their like, and dark-colored with their like;

- in a few more thousands or millions of years, humans will begin to observe the two separately mating populations and call the first of them butterlies and the seccond - bitterfloys (or whatever - because species names are mere human labels, rather arbitrary in many cases); and "creationists" will argue that butterflies and bitterfloys have ALWAYS been different species, like, say, polar bears and grizzly bears. Or like dogs and wolves (... ah, not a good example because gods and wolves actually do cross-mate, so for them it did not matter whether certain mutations occured or not as far as their existence as ONE biological species was concerned...)
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« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2008, 12:27:48 AM »

(... ah, not a good example because gods and wolves actually do cross-mate,
Where are these beings today, Heorhij? The Ukrayne? Cheesy  Wink
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« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2008, 12:32:09 AM »

Where are these beings today, Heorhij? The Ukrayne? Cheesy  Wink

Oh, sorry, I meant dogs and wolves, of course. And yes, they are in Ukrayne as well as in Ukaraine or Urakania. But not in RUSSIA!!! Smiley Smiley Smiley Because whatever is in Ukraine, is not the same as in Russia. By now, y'all would definitely know that I'm a diehard Ukarayjanieen nationalist!  police
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« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2008, 12:35:19 AM »

By now, y'all would definitely know that I'm a diehard Ukarayjanieen nationalist! 
But of coarse! Wink  Yet, I hope you understood that I was merely teasing you and meant no offense to you or Ukraine. Cheesy
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« Reply #75 on: January 04, 2008, 12:37:12 AM »

I am asking your permission, folks, to bail out from this discussion till tomorrow. My wife just threatened to demolish our computer if I do not log out immediately.  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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« Reply #76 on: January 04, 2008, 12:39:40 AM »

Your marriage or OC.net?!!

Where are your priorities, Heorhij!  Wink
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« Reply #77 on: January 04, 2008, 12:40:18 AM »

I'm sorry, my post was messy. I meant to say that the Genesis account of the fall was in the form of a parable. I'll keep hunting and hopefully come across the article. It was from an Orthodox source, but I just can't remember details.
The way in which the account was given to us, that is, the scenery and people (and subsequent dialogue), could perhaps be in parable form yes.  Does anyone have any references of where this theory can be found?
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« Reply #78 on: January 04, 2008, 12:43:27 AM »

How can we as fallible men living thousands of years after the events occurred draw the line.  At best, it's an interesting exercise in speculation, at worst, it will keep you from the church and following her medicine.  The only option that will keep you from going crazy thinking about it is to just accept what your jurisdiction teaches and follow the rule of prayer, fasting, etc.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't this one of the reasons that Orthodox Christians complain about Latin theology?
See, this is one of the things that keeps from converting.  When and where do you decide that the "fancy" story isn't just a metaphor anymore?  My train of thought goes:

Creation - Well, they didn't know any better.  Theistic evolution works fine even though it isn't scriptural.

The Fall - Well, they didn't know any better.  There had to eventually be the first man and woman, and obviously they did something bad because there is death in the world for us.

The Flood - May be Utnapishtim from Gilgamesh, maybe Utnapishtim is Noah.  Either way, the Flood was probably a local flood, and there probably was no Great Ark.  It's just intended to convey a lesson.

So and so on, until

The Resurrection.  Okay, thats symbolic, too, and intended to convey a lesson, right?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO every single word of that story is 100% true!

Where is the line drawn?  The Exodus?  Job?  Jonah?

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« Reply #79 on: January 04, 2008, 12:55:21 AM »

I am asking your permission, folks, to bail out from this discussion till tomorrow. My wife just threatened to demolish our computer if I do not log out immediately.  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

LOL - good for you, Mrs George!!! SmileySmileySmileySmileySmileySmiley
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« Reply #80 on: January 04, 2008, 12:56:24 AM »

But after thousands or millions of years they are still butterflies, and the changing of pigment is no where near as complicated as growing lungs, or evolving a brain, etc.  Again, science's answer just seems to be, "give me enough time and I can explain anything".

What's interesting to me is that I've read the one year in the evolutionary life of a virus is equal to one million years in the evolutionary life of an evolving DNA-based entity.  We have been studying viruses for years.  Now while plenty of mutations have occured making them nastier and nastier and giving them many new properities, I've never read anywhere of viruses "evolving" into anything other than different types of "viruses".  Doesn't it seem odd that if we've been able to observe the equivalent of millions of years of viral evolution, and in something as simple as this it has never evolved into anything other than what it started out as, a virus, albeit a newer, better virus! wouldn't that call into question the statement, "all evolution needs is time."

One group of scientist did a test on 13,000 generations of viruses.  Scientists speculate this is the number of generations between ape and man.  The viruses changed a lot, the scientists made lots of interesting findings that contributed greatly to the understanding of evolution, but at the end of 13,000 generations, they were still left with viruses.  Not some other organism or creature, just different types of viruses.

Of course, I'm not a scientist and this is just my understanding which could be greatly flawed.  I welcome feedback.

Rather than looking for one miraculous "proof" of a complex concept by one simple example, I think one should just see the logic of how things work.

Of course the fact that the frequency of perrered moth increased during the Industrial Revolution, per se, is not a "proof" that humans evolved from apes or that amphibians evolved from fishes.

But what this observation if fact is, is this:

- mutagens change our genes randomly, so that in a group of one million individuals there will always be a few with a changed gene;

- we live in a certain environment, which can be indifferent to this change in our genes, or disfavoring it, or favoring it: for example, if you and I are two butterflies with light-colored wings and my genes changed so that my wings became dark, this can be irrelevant to my survival vs. yours, or it can be favoring your survival (if you can, for example, hide from predators better tan me on a light-colored background), or it can favor my survival (if, for example, the environment became darker, because of the chimney emissions);

- in a population where there are many males and females with light- or dark-colored wings, after many generations, given some other mutations occur, mating preferences can be established so that light-colored butterflies mate with their like, and dark-colored with their like;

- in a few more thousands or millions of years, humans will begin to observe the two separately mating populations and call the first of them butterlies and the seccond - bitterfloys (or whatever - because species names are mere human labels, rather arbitrary in many cases); and "creationists" will argue that butterflies and bitterfloys have ALWAYS been different species, like, say, polar bears and grizzly bears. Or like dogs and wolves (... ah, not a good example because gods and wolves actually do cross-mate, so for them it did not matter whether certain mutations occured or not as far as their existence as ONE biological species was concerned...)
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« Reply #81 on: January 04, 2008, 12:58:33 AM »

I should have said, "they still seem to be butterflies."  I don't know if the changing of wing colors would allow you to call the newly colored butterfly still a butterfly.
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« Reply #82 on: January 04, 2008, 01:09:03 AM »

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO every single word of that story is 100% true!

Where is the line drawn?  The Exodus?  Job?  Jonah?

It must always be remembered that without the Holy Tradition to explain what was meant, the Holy Bible (to quote Fr. Maximos in The Mountain of Silence) is simply an empty letter.  To expunge Holy Tradition is to become one of the 24,000 or so sects of Protestantism and to fall into error.  As Preoteasa Mari has reminded us- our interpretations must be in the spirit of the Holy Fathers.  The Holy Tradition has been handed down to us in an unbroken line beginning with Christ Himself as well as the Holy Apostles and the Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles.    
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« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2008, 01:11:28 AM »

You are a prince, I wish I would have given an answer this good.  God help me if I had to interpret scripture on my own. Thanks Gabriel.

It must always be remembered that without the Holy Tradition to explain what was meant, the Holy Bible (to quote Fr. Maximos in The Mountain of Silence) is simply an empty letter.  To expunge Holy Tradition is to become one of the 24,000 or so sects of Protestantism and to fall into error.  As Preoteasa Mari has reminded us- our interpretations must be in the spirit of the Holy Fathers.  The Holy Tradition has been handed down to us in an unbroken line beginning with Christ Himself as well as the Holy Apostles and the Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles.    
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« Reply #84 on: January 04, 2008, 01:18:14 AM »

It must always be remembered that without the Holy Tradition to explain what was meant, the Holy Bible (to quote Fr. Maximos in The Mountain of Silence) is simply an empty letter.  To expunge Holy Tradition is to become one of the 24,000 or so sects of Protestantism and to fall into error.  As Preoteasa Mari has reminded us- our interpretations must be in the spirit of the Holy Fathers.  The Holy Tradition has been handed down to us in an unbroken line beginning with Christ Himself as well as the Holy Apostles and the Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles.     

Okay.  Christ Himself, the Holy Apostles, and the Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles believed in a literal Adam and Eve.  So... what is your point?
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« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2008, 01:29:55 AM »

My point would be that if you believe Christ was truly the son of God and you believe he believed in a literal Adam and Eve, you're probably safer to put your money on the son God than the collective speculation of 21st century scientists.

If you don't believe in a literal Adam and Eve and can't believe any other way due to your scientific beliefs and faith in 21st century science, you are left with a few possibilities: 1) Christ was the son of God and knew he was wrong but spoke in a literal way because of the feeble minds of the time, 2) Christ wasn't the son of God, he was just a man, and he merely repeated what he had been taught to him by man about Adam and Eve, or 3) We can't trust what the scriptures say about what Christ believed.  It was probably so altered by first and second century folk tales we can't possibly know what or who to trust.

There might be more than this, but I think this pretty well covers it.

As always, the point is real simple, what do you believe.

Okay.  Christ Himself, the Holy Apostles, and the Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles believed in a literal Adam and Eve.  So... what is your point?
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« Reply #86 on: January 04, 2008, 01:33:53 AM »

As always, the point is real simple, what do you believe.


I believe that it shouldn't be this freaking hard to find real Truth.

I'm bowing out of this thread.

Peace.
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« Reply #87 on: January 04, 2008, 01:39:49 AM »

I must ask, you have "Agnostic Pessimist" under your name.

I ask this sincerely, do you seek truth, or do you seek to expose what you believe to be a myth, that their is truth? What in your life has led you to believe that truth should be easy to find?

I believe that it shouldn't be this freaking hard to find real Truth.

I'm bowing out of this thread.

Peace.
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« Reply #88 on: January 04, 2008, 01:45:00 AM »

I must ask, you have "Agnostic Pessimist" under your name.

I ask this sincerely, do you seek truth, or do you seek to expose what you believe to be a myth, that their is truth? What in your life has led you to believe that truth should be easy to find?


*sigh*  Okay, I'll come back, even though this is off-topic.

I seek Truth, regardless of what that might be.
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« Reply #89 on: January 04, 2008, 01:52:01 AM »

You are a prince, I wish I would have given an answer this good.  God help me if I had to interpret scripture on my own. Thanks Gabriel.

Thank you for the kind words, but I'm no prince.   A lowly sinner full of pride and arrogance, but no prince.  With prayer, I hope to get over myself someday...
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