A certain creationist has been spamming me lately with these same questions over and over. I’ll answer them here, and I’ll send the link to JASE3217 and see if we can’t get him over here to “handle the truth.”
Sent: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 17:23:10 -0500
Subject: About evolution?
1. Is a theory a fact or a belief?
2. Where did the gases (big bang theory) come from?
3. After the water was formed, what was the first creature to come out of it?
4. Was it amphibious? Or did it run in and out of the water until it developed lungs?
5. If, yes why would it develop lungs under water?
6. What are the true mathematical odds (ask someone in your physics department) of something evolving? Of course you won’t because you don’t like the physics department, because they always prove biologist wrong.
7. If any of these questions are answered with a no, then using science they can not be facts at all!
This would make the cartoon completely hypocritical. You see if you just simply BELIEVE in evolution, then you have a religion! The religion maybe Darwinism, but if you answer I don’t know to any of the questions above then you have a faith based concept of how we as a planet came about. Not a fact based!
I would challenge you to answer these questions, and give me a reply! I doubt you will, because most of you people are only interested in your truth and not actual truth. Try reading LEE STROBEL, “A Case for Christ.”
I see you won’t answer my questions, but I figured you wouldn’t because most liberals can’t handle the truth.
Ho hum. I’ve put my answers below the fold.
1. A theory is neither a fact nor a belief. A theory is a logical construct that explains a class of phenomena and has predictive power. We don’t hold a theory because we believe in it, but because it works—and if a better theory comes along, we abandon the old version.
2. Ask a physicist. I’m a biologist, and so the Big Bang is something like 8 billion years out of my field.
3. The question about what was the first creature to come out of the water doesn’t make a whole lot of sense—there were multiple invasions of the land. From your subsequent questions, I’m assuming you mean what familiar vertebrate animal first emerged; actually, though, arthropods beat us, and you can see in the book lungs of spiders and the organization of crustacean gills that they are clearly aquatic derivatives. If you’re curious about the first tetrapods, though, here are some photos and diagrams. They were lobe-finned fishes.
4. They were “amphibious”. The first terrestrial tetrapods already had lungs.
5. Lungs are very useful for fish! Have you ever heard of lungfish? The atmosphere is much richer in oxygen than is dissolved in the water, especially if that water is warm, brackish, and stagnant to some degree. Early lobe-finned fish would have gulped air to give them a richer amount of oxygen than they could extract from their aquatic environment. The air would have also assisted in buoyancy; modern teleosts have swim bladders, which is a kind of modified lung.
6. The true mathematical odds of something evolving are 100%. Life has evolved, and we have observed evolution in action. You might want to take a look at this short comment on creationist probability arguments.
7. Uh, none of your questions were yes/no questions. The only way I could think I could just answer “no” to any of them is if I were functionally illiterate.
I also have no idea what cartoon you are talking about. However, I don’t “believe” in evolution; you are confused by your own mistaken faith in the power of belief to think that the only way someone could accept an idea is if they have some kind of religious devotion to it. I consider evolution to be a powerful and useful theory that best explains a great deal of evidence. It’s the opposite of religion, which is nothing but a weak and useless notion embraced in the absence of, or in contradiction to, the evidence.
I’ve read Strobel, a long time ago. It was rather forgettable and unimpressive.
Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to ask a question and then declare that I won’t answer? I did answer them.
Evolution should not be a liberal vs. conservative issue, although it is true that many on the far right wing in America have adopted creationism as a cause. Many conservatives, however, have no problem with evolution.