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Great Resources for Info on Evolution and Darwin (Merged)
Posted: 14 November 2006 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This is not new, but new to me (I’m clearly well behind the times), and looks excellent. Check it out:

The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy.

Probably the best place to start is with their excellent FAQ page.

They also have a lengthy page of awards and recognitions.

There is also a good page from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

And there is also the CSICOP’s wonderful Intelligent Design Watch site.

Also the Tufts University Answers in Science site, “devoted to evolution and the science supporting it”.

Kudos to these folks for all their hard work!

[ Edited: 07 December 2009 08:00 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 22 November 2006 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks!! And right in time!

I had dinner with my father the other night.  He is a well-read, intelligent man.  He tranferred to me his wonder and love of the space program and all things scientific.  When I was 2, I could recite the names of all the Mercury astronauts, thanks to him.

However, he revealed to me his denial of human evolution.  His canard was “no transitional fossils.”  I’m not a biologist, but an avid reader of all things Sagan, Gould, Dawkins, Scott.  I assured him that there are such fossils.  Not just for Homo Sapien, but horse, dog, bird, etc.  He denies it.  Yes, no, yes, no…that was the conversation for a while!!  I explained that, besides hard fossils, we have DNA!  This is the strongest link for a single common ancestor of us all.  But he denies that is evidence.
Long story short:  I searched the databases and sent him excellent essays, such as Shermer’s recent wolves to dogs essay.  I event sent in Eugenie Scott as he has been influenced by the right wing religious wackos who have infiltrated the Republican party (sigh, he’s a conservative!) and might counter with the materialism arguments of theists.
I await his admission that he’s read the things I’ve sent.  Perhaps he’ll realize there is more out there than Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

Anyone have some other good essays/article to compliment my list?  I do also have, and plan to give him, The Blind Watchmaker, Why People Believe Weird Things, some Sagan and Gould.

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Posted: 24 November 2006 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In a footnote at the beginning of his Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Dan Dennett lists a few of the better books attacking intelligent design. Can’t recall them right now, but you could go to a bookstore or library and look.

Or do some research on the websites I listed above. They are really FULL of great info.

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Posted: 27 November 2006 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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OK, I have Dennett’s book in front of me now. The books he recommends are:

Philip Kitcher 1982 Abusing Science
Douglas Futuyma 1983 Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution
Langdon Gilkey 1985 Creationism on Trial: Evolution and God at Little Rock
“And others.”

But I still think the best place to start is with the sites above or Judge Jones’s Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. It is free on the web and brilliantly written.

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Posted: 07 December 2006 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks!

Good choices.  I don’t know if my dad’s read the stuff I gave him yet.

About the Dover transcripts—very enlightening.  I especially liked Michael Behe’s testimony on cross.  He really wiggled around defining Intelligent Design, what exactly an irreducibly complex structure looks like—all these things.  Clearly, if the leading expert on ID can’t give succinct answers, then the theory can’t be very good.

Even I can define evolution in one or two clear sentences. And I’m no scientist!

How to tell if someone is lying?  They can’t give you a straight answer.

Thanks again, doug!

Linda

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Posted: 07 December 2006 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Glad to be of help.

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Posted: 22 April 2008 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m not sure if someone else posted this somewhere on this site and I missed it.
But HERE is an excellent resource site for Charles Darwin primary source material.
It includes text, images, and even audiobook versions of Darwin’s books.  Entirely free.

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Posted: 23 April 2008 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you!
I find the presentation of the materials on that site to be very well done.

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Posted: 23 April 2008 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Erasmusinfinity, I’ve merged your thread here; we’ll keep it as a sticky.

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Posted: 23 April 2008 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Great.  I figured that since, being atheists, we all worship Darwin… We are Darwinists, right?  LOL

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Posted: 23 April 2008 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 23 April 2008 09:53 AM

Great.  I figured that since, being atheists, we all worship Darwin… We are Darwinists, right?  LOL

I think I’d prefer to say I appreciate Darwin.

wink

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Posted: 23 April 2008 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Speaking of Darwin, I would like to know how people get this idea that Darwin’s theory is collapsing?  I just don’t see how they get that idea and I heard it again on another podcast.  I ended up turning it off because it was not as scientific as the lecturer thought he was.  Manly P. Hall was his name and he didn’t seem to know anything about science, esp with that statement that Darwin’s theory was collasping.  IF anything, it is expanding with more knowledge about evolution and alike.  These people make no sense and obviously don’t know what they are talking about when they attempt to talk science.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Sometimes beliefs are more important than facts.

Sure you’re going to reply, “How can you not believe Darwinism? The proof is all there!” However, to this I will say, proof is only what you believe.

Maybe its not a religious thing for me so much as it is I’d prefer to not think that we used to be damn apes. Why are there still apes if thats true? Why are there no half ape/human remains? How in the heck did a 6 ton, flesh eating, roaring dinosaur turn into a 8 ounce, singing, happy, vegetarian bird? Or is there all this pent up rage and desire to hunt in the birds I have in the next room?? Why haven’t sharks or alligators evolved? Surely they aren’t at the peak of their performance, I see plenty of room for improvement in their cases. People cry evolution but when you ask them to explain cases like birds and sharks and countless other species they reply, well they don’t need to.  Oh, alright then Mr/Mrs Scientist that explains it perfectly, they were asked but they didn’t feel like it.

The fact that Darwinism is becoming more and more popular is because more and more people it seems are becoming less and less religious. They are looking for answers and find it in theories like this. You cannot honestly say that you are a religious person and still believe in Darwinism. Science and Religions aren’t good bedfellows, you’ve gotta pick which of your core beliefs you really rely on.  Personally I don’t choose to look into Darwinism as the beliefs I have are good enough and strong enough for me. That and the fact that so much time and energy has been spend on deciding if we were once apes or not. Surely all that discussion and debate could be spent better than deciding if Coco at the zoo could be your great great great (x100) aunt.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Um, awisemanoncesaid, what you’ve written isn’t very ... wise. I suggest you read some of the resources on evolution I cited above, since your message contains several fundamental misunderstandings of evolution.

(1) Why the epithet “damn” apes?

(2) Nobody claims that we evolved from the apes that exist presently. We evolved from a common ancestor of humans and modern apes.

(3) There are ape/human remains. For example, Lucy. There is more information on these early ancestors HERE and HERE.

(4) Nobody claims that birds evolved from Tyrannosaurs; they most likely evolved from feathered dinosaurs, of which many specimens exist. That said, there is nothing in evolutionary theory that would make it impossible for a large creature to evolve into a small one over millions of years.

(5) Sharks and alligators did evolve. For more on sharks see HERE and HERE. For more on alligators see HERE and HERE for example.

(6) You note that “they aren’t at the peak of their performance, I see plenty of room for improvement in their cases.” I’m not precisely sure what you mean by that, but nonetheless evolutionary theory would predict that animals are not perfectly constructed or suited to their environments. Evolution occurs piecemeal and an animal does not need to be perfectly fit in order to survive and reproduce. It only needs to be better (or luckier!) than its competitors. The alternative theory (intelligent design by an omniscient and omnipotent deity) would predict that animals would be perfectly designed and without flaw, however, so your observation actually supports evolution over intelligent design.

(7) Evolution can explain the existence and many of the adaptive features of birds and sharks, so I’m not sure who you’re talking about when you say that “people who cry evolution” say “they don’t need to” explain these cases. They have.

(8) Many religious people are themselves believers in evolution, beginning with the hierarchy of the Catholic church.

[ Edited: 16 June 2008 04:43 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 16 June 2008 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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awisemanoncesaid - 15 June 2008 11:05 PM

Sometimes beliefs are more important than facts.

Sure you’re going to reply, “How can you not believe Darwinism? The proof is all there!” However, to this I will say, proof is only what you believe.

Maybe its not a religious thing for me so much as it is I’d prefer to not think that we used to be damn apes. Why are there still apes if thats true? Why are there no half ape/human remains? How in the heck did a 6 ton, flesh eating, roaring dinosaur turn into a 8 ounce, singing, happy, vegetarian bird? Or is there all this pent up rage and desire to hunt in the birds I have in the next room?? Why haven’t sharks or alligators evolved? Surely they aren’t at the peak of their performance, I see plenty of room for improvement in their cases. People cry evolution but when you ask them to explain cases like birds and sharks and countless other species they reply, well they don’t need to.  Oh, alright then Mr/Mrs Scientist that explains it perfectly, they were asked but they didn’t feel like it.

All of these questions can be answered by reading scholarly books on biology. Your questions imply you are more inclined to seek shallow answers from forums like this than to spend a few hours with a well-researched text. Your opinions about apes are meaningless.

The fact that Darwinism is becoming more and more popular is because more and more people it seems are becoming less and less religious. They are looking for answers and find it in theories like this. You cannot honestly say that you are a religious person and still believe in Darwinism. Science and Religions aren’t good bedfellows, you’ve gotta pick which of your core beliefs you really rely on.  Personally I don’t choose to look into Darwinism as the beliefs I have are good enough and strong enough for me. That and the fact that so much time and energy has been spend on deciding if we were once apes or not. Surely all that discussion and debate could be spent better than deciding if Coco at the zoo could be your great great great (x100) aunt.

I like your optimism about people becoming less and less religious. If you understood the first thing about evolution, you would know just how silly your statement about Coco truly is. I hope you find an environment that lets your mind grow beyond that reflected by your recent statements.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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awisemanoncesaid - 15 June 2008 11:05 PM

Why haven’t sharks or alligators evolved? Surely they aren’t at the peak of their performance, I see plenty of room for improvement in their cases.

Nobody needs to be at their “peak performance” in order to reproduce. Some animals indeed haven’t changed for a long time. Coelacanth has remained unchanged for millions of years. Why fix it if it ain’t broken?

P.S. I am sure you don’t look like Brad Pitt but it won’t stop you from having a family, will it?

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