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Question: What do you think is the origin of the human DNA?
Natural process of evolution from common ancestor - 39 (65%)
Humans have been seeded by advanced civilizations - 4 (6.7%)
Humans have been created by God - 8 (13.3%)
Humans have been seeded by advanced civilizations according to God's plan Smiley - 2 (3.3%)
Humans have evolved in the process of evolution influenced by God - 7 (11.7%)
Total Voters: 60

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Author Topic: The Origin of the Human DNA  (Read 5349 times)
interlagos
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October 29, 2013, 03:58:31 PM
 #21

Not from apes, but common ancestor... I can't really pick that one...

Thank you for the correction.
Wasn't a common ancestor of apes and humans also an ape of some sort?
I corrected the first answer anyway...

I can give you an answer on what I believe but it doesn't match the polling options you put out, we already know that humanity evolved from apes because of scientific evidence but there's a theory out there I find very interesting where scientists think that we are actually evolved from a foreign organism in an asteroid crashing into Earth, this would also go to some way explaining why after all this time we haven't had other species on this planet evolving into sentient life and developing the same brains and thought process we have.

So far I think this is one of the most intelligent theories I've heard yet, much better than all this created out of nothing bullshit we keep hearing about from religious people etc. it might also go to explaining why we haven't seen any other sentients in our galaxy unless of course we've already made contact and our governments are doing their thing of keeping it from us.

Just to point out that the term "seeded" I used in the poll doesn't deny the ape heritage, which has in fact been demonstrated by science (if not proven). One evidence comes to mind is that the mechanizm to generate vitamin C is broken exactly the same way in both apes and humans. Most other animals have it working just fine, except maybe guinea pigs where it's broken in a different way.

Seeding means taking an appropriate baseline DNA from Earth (hominid DNA was used as a base for humans) and infusing it with "improvements".



Earth is not an Isolated system as it constantly receives Energy from the sun. And in this case the complete evolutionary process. So there is nothing to explain as you start with flawed assumptions.


Also this thread belongs into Off-Topic as it has nothing to do with Bitcoin.

What if we consider Solar System then? Is it isolated enough?
Is having more or less constant source of energy enough to account for decrease in entropy in the evolutionary process?

I put the topic in "Politics and Society" as knowing our true origin might affect the way our society is built in the future. If moderators disagree, they can move to Off-Topic of course.
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October 29, 2013, 04:30:34 PM
 #22

...
Evolution is a process that occurs on a species level.  However one of its driving forces is the natural selection of favorable traits of individuals of that species.  Mutations within DNA can arise from many pathways.  Obviously damage is an easy example such as UV light.  Another is a a mistake during replication that is not caught by a repair enzyme.  Finally, there can be major mutations such as duplication of entire segments of DNA.  These are probably the most useful from an evolutionary standpoint.
...

Emphasis mine.
So, it sounds like if I do bugs when I'm coding some program, it will somehow produce a better version of that program? Or if we go and twiddle some bits in the compiled image of the program, then it will make it better eventually? It doesn't seem too convincing.

The evolutionists' argument is of course that if we spend a lot of time and do it on multiple parallel versions, then eventually we get the one where it seems like things are improving. But we somehow need to consistently choose the version of the experiment, where things are improving and not only succeed once. So we are talking about multiplying very small probabilities here, which makes the probability of the chain of successful experiments (the evolutionary chain) almost improbable.


...
There was an Earth with primordial soup and all that.
Some amino acids were formed and started interacting in various ways.
Given enough time and trial and error, it seems plausible that some biological Von Neumann Universal Constructor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_universal_constructor)-like beings were formed. I guess somebody could calculate the likelihood of such machines being assembled without conscious help. Maybe there ought to have been millions of these things climbing out of every rock-pool?
...
You suggest that evolution attempts to decrease entropy. Do we know this for sure? I don't really get the problem with entropy. Say: 2 separate gases are introduced into a common chamber and they're allowed to mix. Even if the only energy in the system is that the gases have a temperature above absolute zero, they will almost always mix and hardly ever become more ordered. The argument seems to be that the 'order' in the beginning is information, and this order is lost -- well, I'm not so sure.
...

Once those self-replicating "machines" first occurred they seemed to "want" to get better, more efficient, smarter. That's what I call reducing the entropy. I don't have much problem imagining, that they would occur eventually, but why wouldn't they be destroyed later?

The analogy I hold in my head is this: if you run this "random mutations" theme over your hard drive for a good amount of time, then you might eventually end up with an image of Linux and a bunch of programs that would allow your computer to boot and do some basic stuff. But why running this "random mutations" theme further would produce better versions of programs over time?
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October 29, 2013, 04:36:27 PM
 #23

What is the force behind evolution that attempts to decrease entropy as opposed to the laws of thermodynamics, which state that isolated systems eventually evolve towards the state of maximum entropy (complete lack of order). Is there an external influence on our system then?

I meant this. The process of evolution does not happen in an Isolated system. This law in not applicable here.



Earth is not an Isolated system as it constantly receives Energy from the sun. And in this case the complete evolutionary process. So there is nothing to explain as you start with flawed assumptions.



What if we consider Solar System then? Is it isolated enough?
Is having more or less constant source of energy enough to account for decrease in entropy in the evolutionary process?

Earth Environment ≠ the Solar System. I could argue about that but for Evolution it just doesn't matter, unless you want to talk about the creation of the Universe know?



I know it must be hard, because all the Creationist use this as favorite argument, beat science with science. But either they all don't understand this law or they lie to have a good argument, knowing the majority of their viewers / listeners will be more than happy to swallow everything they say as long as it "proofs" their believes.

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October 29, 2013, 04:44:07 PM
 #24

With evolution certain parts of system get more ordered, but in total entropy increases?

There is energy spend in evolution, that energy can't be reclaimed and it dissipates.

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October 29, 2013, 04:56:42 PM
 #25

"The Origin of the Human DNA"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2YnC0JmVfA

If you choose the first answer "Natural evolution", please describe how "random mutations" increase genetic information as opposed to actually destroying it. What is the force behind evolution that attempts to decrease entropy as opposed to the laws of thermodynamics, which state that isolated systems eventually evolve towards the state of maximum entropy (complete lack of order). Is there an external influence on our system then? What might that be?

Imagine you have a bunch of 6-sided dice, which are your "life" that needs to survive and evolve.

1) What you are describing, involving random mutations and entropy:

You throw the dice, get a bunch of random numbers. They don't actually mean anything, since you can randomly pick any numbers as survivors, and toss any other numbers aside. This isn't how evolution works though.

2) Let's say there is still entropy, but now we add evolution, where the results of the randomness have meaning. In this case, anything that is 4 or above "survives," anything that's 3 or below we throw away. This is similar to 4> being a beneficial mutation that helps the creature survive, and 3< being a bad mutation that kills it (like cancer or a defect).

You throw the dice, get a bunch of random numbers. You throw away all the ones that are less than or equal to 3. Now you have a bunch of survivors of 4+. Pick them up and throw them again, you'll have fewer survivors. Keep repeating, and you'll eventually have none left. This is basically a species that exists in entropy, where it's genetic mutations are guided by its environment (evolution), but there is no outside influence to propagate it, so, as entropy states, it will fall appart into maximum entropy.

3) Now let's use the real world we live in. There is still entropy, and there is still evolution, but now there is an outside source of energy, like the sun, which allows this species to survive and reproduce.

As in 2, you throw the dice, throw away anything that's 3 or below, and keep everything that's 4 or above. Now you can use the outside energy source to "reproduce" the dice. For every die that's still around, add another, basically doubling the amount of survivors. Throw again, and repeat. If you are lucky, this species will keep growing in number. If not, it will die out, and some other luckier dice thrown by someone else will take over.

This is the right way to think about evolution: it has a source of outside energy (sun, geothermal, etc) as opposed to being an issolated system of entropy, and although the genetic mutations are random, they are selected and guided by the outside environment, such as longer hair helping survive in cold climates, and harder skin or faster legs protecting from predators. Yes, eventually, once the sun's energy will run out, this system will fall apart as well, just as our actual sun and solar system will.

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October 29, 2013, 05:03:00 PM
 #26

What is the force behind evolution that attempts to decrease entropy as opposed to the laws of thermodynamics, which state that isolated systems eventually evolve towards the state of maximum entropy (complete lack of order). Is there an external influence on our system then?

I meant this. The process of evolution does not happen in an Isolated system. This law in not applicable here.



Earth is not an Isolated system as it constantly receives Energy from the sun. And in this case the complete evolutionary process. So there is nothing to explain as you start with flawed assumptions.



What if we consider Solar System then? Is it isolated enough?
Is having more or less constant source of energy enough to account for decrease in entropy in the evolutionary process?

Earth Environment ≠ the Solar System. I could argue about that but for Evolution it just doesn't matter, unless you want to talk about the creation of the Universe know?

I know it must be hard, because all the Creationist use this as favorite argument, beat science with science. But either they all don't understand this law or they lie to have a good argument, knowing the majority of their viewers / listeners will be more than happy to swallow everything they say as long as it "proofs" their believes.

I agree that laws of thermodynamics might not be exactly applicable here, but I used them as an example of the fact that things usually decay and get eventually destroyed if left alone.

I don't see how an energy source would make things different. If you leave some food on the Sun for a day or two it will get rotten and decay eventually, but would not become a better looking hamburger Smiley

So it must be something else that drives evolution. Even though you do need an energy source to sustain life, it doesn't seem enough from the above experiment.

With evolution certain parts of system get more ordered, but in total entropy increases?

There is energy spend in evolution, that energy can't be reclaimed and it dissipates.

Well, if certain species evolve to the point, when they are capable of destroying the whole civilization, then if they actually do destroy themselves, the overall entropy would increase or stay the same. But what if they evolve beyond the point of surviving on a single planet and move to the stars?
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October 29, 2013, 05:13:04 PM
 #27

"The Origin of the Human DNA"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2YnC0JmVfA

If you choose the first answer "Natural evolution", please describe how "random mutations" increase genetic information as opposed to actually destroying it. What is the force behind evolution that attempts to decrease entropy as opposed to the laws of thermodynamics, which state that isolated systems eventually evolve towards the state of maximum entropy (complete lack of order). Is there an external influence on our system then? What might that be?

Imagine you have a bunch of 6-sided dice, which are your "life" that needs to survive and evolve.

1) What you are describing, involving random mutations and entropy:

You throw the dice, get a bunch of random numbers. They don't actually mean anything, since you can randomly pick any numbers as survivors, and toss any other numbers aside. This isn't how evolution works though.

2) Let's say there is still entropy, but now we add evolution, where the results of the randomness have meaning. In this case, anything that is 4 or above "survives," anything that's 3 or below we throw away. This is similar to 4> being a beneficial mutation that helps the creature survive, and 3< being a bad mutation that kills it (like cancer or a defect).

You throw the dice, get a bunch of random numbers. You throw away all the ones that are less than or equal to 3. Now you have a bunch of survivors of 4+. Pick them up and throw them again, you'll have fewer survivors. Keep repeating, and you'll eventually have none left. This is basically a species that exists in entropy, where it's genetic mutations are guided by its environment (evolution), but there is no outside influence to propagate it, so, as entropy states, it will fall appart into maximum entropy.

3) Now let's use the real world we live in. There is still entropy, and there is still evolution, but now there is an outside source of energy, like the sun, which allows this species to survive and reproduce.

As in 2, you throw the dice, throw away anything that's 3 or below, and keep everything that's 4 or above. Now you can use the outside energy source to "reproduce" the dice. For every die that's still around, add another, basically doubling the amount of survivors. Throw again, and repeat. If you are lucky, this species will keep growing in number. If not, it will die out, and some other luckier dice thrown by someone else will take over.

This is the right way to think about evolution: it has a source of outside energy (sun, geothermal, etc) as opposed to being an issolated system of entropy, and although the genetic mutations are random, they are selected and guided by the outside environment, such as longer hair helping survive in cold climates, and harder skin or faster legs protecting from predators. Yes, eventually, once the sun's energy will run out, this system will fall apart as well, just as out actual sun and solar system will.

It seems easier with the dice example, but in reality the organizms are so much more complex and tuned and yet fragile.

How would the bird evolve wings (and probably feathers first) provided that their rudiments would be a burden for those mutated species and would decrease their ability to survive. How would the bird "know" to continue to evolve wings until the point it can actually fly and take advantage of that?
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October 29, 2013, 05:13:46 PM
 #28


With evolution certain parts of system get more ordered, but in total entropy increases?

There is energy spend in evolution, that energy can't be reclaimed and it dissipates.

Well, if certain species evolve to the point, when they are capable of destroying the whole civilization, then if they actually do destroy themselves, the overall entropy would increase or stay the same. But what if they evolve beyond the point of surviving on a single planet and move to the stars?


You can use energy to do work, but you still lose some energy, that the entropy. Evolution can be seen as work done. And as whole for on large scale the entropy increases, energy get's used and eventually no more of it can be used.

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October 29, 2013, 06:20:24 PM
 #29

agree that laws of thermodynamics might not be exactly applicable here, but I used them as an example of the fact that things usually decay and get eventually destroyed if left alone.

I don't see how an energy source would make things different. If you leave some food on the Sun for a day or two it will get rotten and decay eventually, but would not become a better looking hamburger Smiley

So it must be something else that drives evolution. Even though you do need an energy source to sustain life, it doesn't seem enough from the above experiment.

Well, thats not a very good example. 1. You bring personal perspective into it, what you understand under chaos and destruction. If you put a burger into the sun it changes due to it water drying out into the air (where it can help new plants grow, thank to suns energy), flies lay their eggs into it and fungus grows in it. I would not call this destruction.

If you instead put the Burger into an isolated place like open vacuum space with no energy source affecting it. It in fact doesn't change at all.

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October 29, 2013, 06:34:46 PM
 #30

What is the purpose of Evolution?
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October 29, 2013, 06:39:38 PM
 #31

What is the purpose of Evolution?

Why should there be a purpose?

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October 29, 2013, 06:50:03 PM
 #32

What is the purpose of Evolution?

Survival.

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October 29, 2013, 06:51:42 PM
 #33

How would the bird evolve wings (and probably feathers first) provided that their rudiments would be a burden for those mutated species and would decrease their ability to survive. How would the bird "know" to continue to evolve wings until the point it can actually fly and take advantage of that?

Birds wouldn't evolve wings if they decreased their ability to survive. Birds (or proto-birds) don't need to "know" anything.

Riddle me this: If wings that couldn't provide flight weren't advantageous, why do we have so many species of flightless birds?

Still around.
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October 29, 2013, 06:59:05 PM
 #34

@interlagos

Here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

And our external influence is the Sun.

I can give you an answer on what I believe but it doesn't match the polling options you put out, we already know that humanity evolved from apes because of scientific evidence but there's a theory out there I find very interesting where scientists think that we are actually evolved from a foreign organism in an asteroid crashing into Earth, this would also go to some way explaining why after all this time we haven't had other species on this planet evolving into sentient life and developing the same brains and thought process we have.

It's the Panspermia Hypothesis.

And there were other "sentient" life similar to humans, probably a lot, like the Neanderthal, but we were the ones who survive.

Does God could have created human through evolution?

If you believe evolution is a logical, natural process of certain genetic mutations flourishing due to their suitability in a given environment, why would you need a god to guide it?

i.e. Satoshi wrote a bunch a mathematical rules and laws that happen to "evolve" just as it is supposed to be (for now on).
So why not a God could not have created a bunch of mathematical rules and laws that make things evolve over time just as it is supposed to be.

You're entering in the deistic perspective here, the problem is this hypothesis makes more questions than gives answers, where did this God came from? Is it conscious? Did it evolve? Is it alone? Are there more like it? Questions that we can't even think how to begin testing...

That's my problem with evolution.  Chaos doesn't lead to order in the absence of intelligence.  Ape to man can be probably be explained, but the question is how non-life would give rise to life.

God of the Gaps Fallacy.

Thanks for the links!
I'm now reading about the "club-winged manakin bird" and in the article they ask:

"How did such strangeness evolve? What evolutionary pathways led to a bird that moonwalks for its sweetheart? Or that tickles its mate's face with its wiry tail feathers? Or whose wings produce a musical, violin-like sound?".

Lots of things to think about... Smiley

agree that laws of thermodynamics might not be exactly applicable here, but I used them as an example of the fact that things usually decay and get eventually destroyed if left alone.

I don't see how an energy source would make things different. If you leave some food on the Sun for a day or two it will get rotten and decay eventually, but would not become a better looking hamburger Smiley

So it must be something else that drives evolution. Even though you do need an energy source to sustain life, it doesn't seem enough from the above experiment.

Well, thats not a very good example. 1. You bring personal perspective into it, what you understand under chaos and destruction. If you put a burger into the sun it changes due to it water drying out into the air (where it can help new plants grow, thank to suns energy), flies lay their eggs into it and fungus grows in it. I would not call this destruction.

If you instead put the Burger into an isolated place like open vacuum space with no energy source affecting it. It in fact doesn't change at all.

I agree that it was a bad example for the reason that the hamburger cannot replicate. Smiley

It seems that we only need the energy source (and other resources as building blocks) for the "healthy" organisms to reproduce as many copies of themselves as possible to provide the playground for the changes (either destructive or constructive) to occur. And then the idea is that "defective" new organisms will die out, but those with "improved" characteristics will have an advantage and will eventually dominate. It seems plausible.

But there is still this problem about how complex ideas (like an organism that would fly in the air) are implemented by those little incremental steps. The evolution seems to optimize locally for survival and you need to have so many things to go out of the optimal in order to have everything in place for an organism capable of flight, that it would have died out many times before it reached that stage.

I think it's called "irreducible complexity" if I remember correctly and there are other examples of it.
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October 29, 2013, 07:02:28 PM
 #35

I think it's called "irreducible complexity" if I remember correctly and there are other examples of it.

Creationists love to cite examples of so-called irreducible complexity...until the complexity is reduced by an evolutionary biologist.

I have yet to see an example of "irreducible complexity" that makes any kind of sense.

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October 29, 2013, 07:13:26 PM
 #36

How would the bird evolve wings (and probably feathers first) provided that their rudiments would be a burden for those mutated species and would decrease their ability to survive. How would the bird "know" to continue to evolve wings until the point it can actually fly and take advantage of that?

Birds wouldn't evolve wings if they decreased their ability to survive. Birds (or proto-birds) don't need to "know" anything.

Riddle me this: If wings that couldn't provide flight weren't advantageous, why do we have so many species of flightless birds?

Then why don't we see those flightless birds to eventually get rid of the wings completely in the process of evolution? Why doesn't evolution optimize for that?

I think it's called "irreducible complexity" if I remember correctly and there are other examples of it.

Creationists love to cite examples of so-called irreducible complexity...until the complexity is reduced by an evolutionary biologist.

I have yet to see an example of "irreducible complexity" that makes any kind of sense.

I wonder how birds teach their "chicken" to fly?
Consider the first capable-of-flight bird has everything in place for a flight and we can imagine that she learned to fly by an accident. But how do then other birds start to fly? Do they all learn it by accident? Can they pass their knowledge and experience to other generations genetically?

Also why don't we see more random species, that the evolution must have produced, like animals with 5 legs, 2 heads or 3 wings, some really random messy stuff like that? Yes, they would have died out, but nonetheless those "random mutations" must have produced a lot of those things, yet we only see the result of what I would call a "guided mutation".
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October 29, 2013, 07:19:47 PM
 #37

It seems that we only need the energy source (and other resources as building blocks) for the "healthy" organisms to reproduce as many copies of themselves as possible to provide the playground for the changes (either destructive or constructive) to occur. And then the idea is that "defective" new organisms will die out, but those with "improved" characteristics will have an advantage and will eventually dominate. It seems plausible.

The "defective" and "improved" characteristics are just the way you see it, in nature there is no such thing, there's just random mutation, some changes at some particular point in time and space give an advantage to the animal or plant, and those are the ones who survive and perpetuate that characteristic.

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October 29, 2013, 07:23:57 PM
 #38

How would the bird evolve wings (and probably feathers first) provided that their rudiments would be a burden for those mutated species and would decrease their ability to survive. How would the bird "know" to continue to evolve wings until the point it can actually fly and take advantage of that?

Birds wouldn't evolve wings if they decreased their ability to survive. Birds (or proto-birds) don't need to "know" anything.

Riddle me this: If wings that couldn't provide flight weren't advantageous, why do we have so many species of flightless birds?

Then why don't we see those flightless birds to eventually get rid of the wings completely in the process of evolution? Why doesn't evolution optimize for that?

Evolution is not an intentional process, so there is no optimization; we can see this happening because many species have vestigial parts, such as blind mole rats with eyes, women with hymens, whales with hind leg bones.  The only thing animals do is adapt, and those animals which couldn't adapt we don't know about or are now extinct, i.e. dinosaurs and the dodo bird.  So long as that animal has adapted enough to survive in its area, the species thrives and continues to make more of itself, even with the parts it's no longer using.

If we can assume these creatures are placed on earth by God, a more interesting question is why He decided to give these animals parts they weren't going to use.  I don't believe an omnipotent God is so incompetent, nor will we find a valid reason as to why this can somehow be beneficial to the animal, which leads us to believe God has an odd sense of humor or He wasn't behind this at all.  I certainly don't see women cheering over their hymens, anyway, though it is beneficial in other animals who need that extra protection in the wild.

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October 29, 2013, 07:29:00 PM
 #39

How would the bird evolve wings (and probably feathers first) provided that their rudiments would be a burden for those mutated species and would decrease their ability to survive. How would the bird "know" to continue to evolve wings until the point it can actually fly and take advantage of that?

Birds wouldn't evolve wings if they decreased their ability to survive. Birds (or proto-birds) don't need to "know" anything.

Riddle me this: If wings that couldn't provide flight weren't advantageous, why do we have so many species of flightless birds?

Then why don't we see those flightless birds to eventually get rid of the wings completely in the process of evolution? Why doesn't evolution optimize for that?

Evolution is not an intentional process, so there is no optimization; we can see this happening because many species have vestigial parts, such as blind mole rats with eyes, women with hymens, whales with hind leg bones.  The only thing animals do is adapt, and those animals which couldn't adapt we don't know about or are now extinct, i.e. dinosaurs and the dodo bird.  So long as that animal has adapted enough to survive in its area, the species thrives and continues to make more of itself, even with the parts it's no longer using.

If we can assume these creatures are placed on earth by God, a more interesting question is why He decided to give these animals parts they weren't going to use.  I don't believe an omnipotent God is so incompetent, nor will we find a valid reason as to why this can somehow be beneficial to the animal, which leads us to believe God has an odd sense of humor or He wasn't behind this at all.  I certainly don't see women cheering over their hymens, anyway, though it is beneficial in other animals who need that extra protection in the wild.

And males have nipples. Smiley

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October 29, 2013, 07:31:11 PM
 #40

Whenever I ponder evolution, I can never get my head round the basics. People always debating the finer technicalities of it, but the simple question of 'can something come from nothing?' always baffles me. Any evolutionist I have spoken to has attempted to explain it but always leads to me asking...where did that come from? to which he answers and I reply, and where did that come from? eventually it comes to the point that the evolutionist states 'we don't currently know the answer to that yet, but technological advancements will explain that one day', which leads me to the conclusion that the foundation of evolution right now is based on blind faith that technology will one day answer how 'something came from nothing'. That's why the finer details of macro and micro evolution are immaterial, why discuss the finer details when there is currently no foundation for the theory?

I'm very willing to entertain good explanations for this, as I would genuinely like to learn....not anti-evolution here...
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