[Bioforum] Re: help me please...

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum via bioforum%40net.bio.net (by engelbert_buxbaum from hotmail.com)
Sun Feb 7 13:29:41 EST 2010


Am 04.02.2010, 19:07 Uhr, schrieb Bob <bbx107.XYZ from excite.xyz.com>:

> On Wed, 3 Feb 2010 01:14:10 -0500 (EST), James Simmons
> <jpncsimmons from earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>> Sir,
>>
>> My name is JP Simmons.  I am retired technician with a working  
>> knowledge of science but without any real authority to make certain  
>> statements.   I am one of many who engage "creationists" in the tired  
>> old debate regarding creation vs evolution.    It occurs to me that the  
>> opponents of evolution simply are not defining the term correctly.   I  
>> am repeatedly told either directly or through implication that  
>> evolution is defined as "life coming into being (originating) by  
>> chance".    I say that evolution does not address the origin of life  
>> since that is as yet an open topic.   I maintain that evolution is  
>> merely a word which describes how, over time, life forms change.
>>
>> I'd like to ask for an authoritative definition of the term so that I  
>> may have some strength in response beyond my own ability to convince.    
>> Will someone in your group be good enough to give me a short paragraph  
>> in which evolution is defined being sure to mention whether or not it  
>> is concerned with the actual origins of life?
>>
>
>
> You are on the right track, but looking to definitions is not a good
> solution.
>
> People define words various ways. Fine. What is important is that
> whatever process led to life was different from what has occured
> since. The former is pre-biotic.
>
> What Darwin addressed, and what is most commonly meant by "evolution",
> is biology. How we got to the first life is a good issue, but
> different. Just keep them as separate topics.

Yes, however, the term evolution can be legitimately used in a much  
broader sense. Why is life made up of particular compounds and not some  
others? Because those compounds were easily formed and relatively stable  
under the conditions of prebiotic earth. Hence they enriched enough to  
organise into pre-life structures, which competed for these resources.  
Eventually life cam from them. In other words, there is not only  
biological, but also chemical evolution. Even the formation of matter  
after the big bang can be explained in evolutionary terms. This is the  
real beuty of science, when a concept derived from one field can be  
applied to other fields as well.

The main issues with creationists are the following:
- Creationists see creation and evolution as mutually exclusive concepts.  
Therefore, you believe either in God or in Darwin. That of course is a  
fallacity, one can see evolution as the method by which God created life.  
This is the official position of the Catholic Church.
- Creationists tend to literally interprete Genesis, in that a day means  
24 h or 1440 min or 86400 s. This of course is nonsense,
   a) because for God as an infinite being "a day is like thousand years  
and thousand years are like a day". Applying human time concepts to God  
makes no sense at all.
   b) because although the Hebrew word translated by "day" in the King  
James Bible can mean a "day" in the above sense, it can also mean any  
other defined time period, say, a millenium.

This is like the guys who address each other with "thee", because that is  
supposed to be the
way in which Jesus addressed his disciples. Of course he did not, he  
probably spoke Aramaeic for everyday communication. English as a language  
did not even exist then, it started to form only about 1000 years later  
when Wilhelm invaded Britain.


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