moral issues

A comic about the future of humankind, whether for good or bad (<--drawing and story skills there)

moral issues

Postby Kilre on Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:02 pm

for those who need more information, BSkies is pretty much a culmination of two opposing views, religion and evolution science; this is, in a sense, the final testing grounds, though neither side knows this.
and that leads me to my question: who is right, when all is said and done?
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Postby Soldier Volkov on Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:43 pm

Well evolution is a completely debunked and bankrupt theory with no basis in reality. It insults one's intelligence. :(

I'd make my decision from there.
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Postby Alaskawolf on Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:14 pm

im loving the story and art so far, cant wait to see more :)
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Postby Kilre on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:37 pm

Soldier Volkov wrote:Well evolution is a completely debunked and bankrupt theory with no basis in reality. It insults one's intelligence. :(

I'd make my decision from there.


i can debate that ^^
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Postby Gengar003 on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:48 pm

Soldier Volkov wrote:Well evolution is a completely debunked and bankrupt theory with no basis in reality. It insults one's intelligence.


I'm sorry, you are kidding, right?

I'm sure, once rkolter finds this, and perhaps Ghastly, they'll defend the theory of evolution much more eloquently than I, but I shall begin.

Evolution has been observed in action. Whether or not people will accept that is what the debate is really about. I would make my desicion from there.

Furthermore, religions, in the sense I believe they're being talked about here, provide an all-inclusive where-we-came-from, how-we-got-to-where-we-are, and what-we-should-do-now view of the world. Evolution is ONLY a how-we-got-to-where-we-are theory. It does not answer how the first life that we evolved from came into being. It doesn't tell us how we should act now, either. Nor should it be used for either of those two purposes.

In order to achieve any meaningful discussion/debate of the religious telling/theory of evolution, BOTH concepts must be evaluated on the same framework. Objectively, if possible.

To accept anything, be it a religious doctrine or the theory of evolution on faith, and defend it with your mind already made up, is meaningless. You're (speaking impersonally) welcome to believe what you like, but when it comes to convincing others you'll need more than the fact that you (and maybe many others) believe this to be the truth.

So come, let's examine the religious and evolutionary accounts of human development with a critical, skeptical eye.

Or better yet, to preserve some semblance of order, let's leave religion out, since you (speaking to Volkov) didn't mention it. Let's just look at the theory of evolution. Where has it been observed in action? The most in/famous example that comes to mind is the peppered moth of great britain -- changing environmental conditions led to an evolutionary change in the moth's coat. However, this is disputed, so let's look at other things instead.

Firstly, surely you've heard of the "neanderthals," the cavemen? Remains illustrating their evolutionary "journey" and the journeys of other early humans, including the line that possibly lead to modern humans, have been found.

So, too, have been found fossil lines tracing the evolutionary histories of many other species.

Then, of course, we have bacteria. Surely you don't doubt the existence of bacteria? Evidence of them abounds -- hell, they've even been observed. I've even seen some! I'd be a fool too look at my cat and deny her existence; why should bacteria be any different?

So fine, you acknowledge that bacteria exist. How is that relevant? Ever heard of "drug-resistant" "strains" of bacteria? When a single medicine is used to treat a bacterial infection, especially when not all the antibiotic is taken, bacteria immune to the antibiotic can arise. This has been observed, confirmed, and duplicated worldwide, and is a major problem at hospitals, where poor hygiene and multitudes of sick humans greatly accelerate this phenomena.

The fact that bacteria can arise that are resistant to a drug they were previously vulnerable to is evolution in action -- the bacteria that are killed by the drug die. Every now and then there may be a freak bacterium that is immune, by some twist of fate. When all the others are killed off, and it has the whole human body, or petri dish, or animal, or whatever to itself, it will quickly fill the available space with bacteria resistant to the new drug. THAT is evolution.

Finally, evolution makes logical sense. You have a group of creatures (a "population") living somewhere. Disaster strikes, and many die. Does it not make sense that the creatures best suited to survival will survive more often than the less-suited? Thus, those better-suited to survial will survive and reproduce, and the number of better-suited creatures will increase, while those that are less able to deal with the conditions will die off and decrease.

For a more concrete example, consider a population of rabbits. For simplicity's sake, we'll look at only one characteristic: their ears. In order for this to make sense, you have to accept that certain characteristics of organisms can be passed on to their offspring predictably, via their DNA. If you doubt the existence or funtioning of DNA, this won't work.

The long ears give the rabbits more surface area, and have blood vessels close to the skin, that allow them to more efficiently and quickly get rid of excess heat.

The short ears prevent this heat loss by minimizing the available surface area to lose heat from.

The medium ears are a little of both, but exel at neither.

The rabbits have three types of ears: long, medium, and short. One day, the grass where they live runs out (these rabbits eat grass) and the herd (or whatever a group of rabbits' called) splits. Half go north, where it's colder, but there's uneaten grass, and half go south, where it's warmer, and there's uneaten grass.

The northern rabbits must deal with cold, sometimes subzero temperatures year-round. Large ears that radiate body heat away would be a disadvantage, since the rabbits with large ears would be more susceptible to freezing to death/catching hypothermia and whatnot. Gradually, this takes its toll, and more and more long-eared rabbits die and stop reproducing, cause, you know, they're dead, and there end up being many more short-eared rabbits around to reproduce, so there end up being, surprise, more short-eared rabbits.

Meanwhile, down south, the rabbits with short ears who aren't as able to dispose of excess body heat are more vulnerable to overheating/heat/sun stroke than their long-eared counterparts. After a while, more and more short-eared rabbits overheat and die, while their long-eared buddies survive and have kids, leading to more long-eared rabbits.

After many many years, the northern rabbits will have many more short-eared members than any other ear type than the original population, before the split, and the southern ones will have many more long-eared members.

That was a simplistic analogy, but it does make logical sense.

I'd also like to point out an important distinction to make:

In layspeak, "Hypothesis" means guess, and "theory" also means guess.

In the scientific worlds "hypothesis" means "educated guess" and a "theory" is a hypothesis that has been tested, has held up to the test multiple times, and has been duplicated. Should one be tempted to say that "evolution is just a theory," they are saying "it's only been independently tested and verified the world over." Hardly a convincing argument against it.

Really, though, there's nothing to test. Anyone, anywhere, can set up basic science experiments and achieve the same result. Evolution has been put through that process, and passed.

Religion, however, in addition to being quite difficult to test, has, in the area of miracle-workers, faith-healers, etc, frankly, failed to produce anything that is not verifiably explainable with current scientific knowledge.

Science, as they say, is "The magic that works."
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Postby Kilre on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:11 pm

Gengar003 wrote:
Soldier Volkov wrote:Well evolution is a completely debunked and bankrupt theory with no basis in reality. It insults one's intelligence.


I'm sorry, you are kidding, right?

I'm sure, once rkolter finds this, and perhaps Ghastly, they'll defend the theory of evolution much more eloquently than I, but I shall begin.

Evolution has been observed in action. Whether or not people will accept that is what the debate is really about. I would make my desicion from there.

Furthermore, religions, in the sense I believe they're being talked about here, provide an all-inclusive where-we-came-from, how-we-got-to-where-we-are, and what-we-should-do-now view of the world. Evolution is ONLY a how-we-got-to-where-we-are theory. It does not answer how the first life that we evolved from came into being. It doesn't tell us how we should act now, either. Nor should it be used for either of those two purposes.

In order to achieve any meaningful discussion/debate of the religious telling/theory of evolution, BOTH concepts must be evaluated on the same framework. Objectively, if possible.

To accept anything, be it a religious doctrine or the theory of evolution on faith, and defend it with your mind already made up, is meaningless. You're (speaking impersonally) welcome to believe what you like, but when it comes to convincing others you'll need more than the fact that you (and maybe many others) believe this to be the truth.

So come, let's examine the religious and evolutionary accounts of human development with a critical, skeptical eye.

Or better yet, to preserve some semblance of order, let's leave religion out, since you (speaking to Volkov) didn't mention it. Let's just look at the theory of evolution. Where has it been observed in action? The most in/famous example that comes to mind is the peppered moth of great britain -- changing environmental conditions led to an evolutionary change in the moth's coat. However, this is disputed, so let's look at other things instead.

Firstly, surely you've heard of the "neanderthals," the cavemen? Remains illustrating their evolutionary "journey" and the journeys of other early humans, including the line that possibly lead to modern humans, have been found.

So, too, have been found fossil lines tracing the evolutionary histories of many other species.

Then, of course, we have bacteria. Surely you don't doubt the existence of bacteria? Evidence of them abounds -- hell, they've even been observed. I've even seen some! I'd be a fool too look at my cat and deny her existence; why should bacteria be any different?

So fine, you acknowledge that bacteria exist. How is that relevant? Ever heard of "drug-resistant" "strains" of bacteria? When a single medicine is used to treat a bacterial infection, especially when not all the antibiotic is taken, bacteria immune to the antibiotic can arise. This has been observed, confirmed, and duplicated worldwide, and is a major problem at hospitals, where poor hygiene and multitudes of sick humans greatly accelerate this phenomena.

The fact that bacteria can arise that are resistant to a drug they were previously vulnerable to is evolution in action -- the bacteria that are killed by the drug die. Every now and then there may be a freak bacterium that is immune, by some twist of fate. When all the others are killed off, and it has the whole human body, or petri dish, or animal, or whatever to itself, it will quickly fill the available space with bacteria resistant to the new drug. THAT is evolution.

Finally, evolution makes logical sense. You have a group of creatures (a "population") living somewhere. Disaster strikes, and many die. Does it not make sense that the creatures best suited to survival will survive more often than the less-suited? Thus, those better-suited to survial will survive and reproduce, and the number of better-suited creatures will increase, while those that are less able to deal with the conditions will die off and decrease.

For a more concrete example, consider a population of rabbits. For simplicity's sake, we'll look at only one characteristic: their ears. In order for this to make sense, you have to accept that certain characteristics of organisms can be passed on to their offspring predictably, via their DNA. If you doubt the existence or funtioning of DNA, this won't work.

The long ears give the rabbits more surface area, and have blood vessels close to the skin, that allow them to more efficiently and quickly get rid of excess heat.

The short ears prevent this heat loss by minimizing the available surface area to lose heat from.

The medium ears are a little of both, but exel at neither.

The rabbits have three types of ears: long, medium, and short. One day, the grass where they live runs out (these rabbits eat grass) and the herd (or whatever a group of rabbits' called) splits. Half go north, where it's colder, but there's uneaten grass, and half go south, where it's warmer, and there's uneaten grass.

The northern rabbits must deal with cold, sometimes subzero temperatures year-round. Large ears that radiate body heat away would be a disadvantage, since the rabbits with large ears would be more susceptible to freezing to death/catching hypothermia and whatnot. Gradually, this takes its toll, and more and more long-eared rabbits die and stop reproducing, cause, you know, they're dead, and there end up being many more short-eared rabbits around to reproduce, so there end up being, surprise, more short-eared rabbits.

Meanwhile, down south, the rabbits with short ears who aren't as able to dispose of excess body heat are more vulnerable to overheating/heat/sun stroke than their long-eared counterparts. After a while, more and more short-eared rabbits overheat and die, while their long-eared buddies survive and have kids, leading to more long-eared rabbits.

After many many years, the northern rabbits will have many more short-eared members than any other ear type than the original population, before the split, and the southern ones will have many more long-eared members.

That was a simplistic analogy, but it does make logical sense.

I'd also like to point out an important distinction to make:

In layspeak, "Hypothesis" means guess, and "theory" also means guess.

In the scientific worlds "hypothesis" means "educated guess" and a "theory" is a hypothesis that has been tested, has held up to the test multiple times, and has been duplicated. Should one be tempted to say that "evolution is just a theory," they are saying "it's only been independently tested and verified the world over." Hardly a convincing argument against it.

Really, though, there's nothing to test. Anyone, anywhere, can set up basic science experiments and achieve the same result. Evolution has been put through that process, and passed.

Religion, however, in addition to being quite difficult to test, has, in the area of miracle-workers, faith-healers, etc, frankly, failed to produce anything that is not verifiably explainable with current scientific knowledge.

Science, as they say, is "The magic that works."


daaaahmn! i got data for evolution, but not an eloquent essay!

can i use that last line out of context?
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Postby Gengar003 on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:45 pm

Kilre wrote:
Gengar003 wrote:[An allegedly eloquent essay]


daaaahmn! i got data for evolution, but not an eloquent essay!

can i use that last line out of context?


I'm flattered you find me eloquent, though I cannot compare to others who abound on this forum. Please, present some of your data. The last line isn't mine, but I'm not sure where it came from. I'm also pretty sure it's not taken verbatim, so yeah. Take it and run with it.
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Postby Kilre on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:57 pm

Gengar003 wrote:
Kilre wrote:
Gengar003 wrote:[An allegedly eloquent essay]


daaaahmn! i got data for evolution, but not an eloquent essay!

can i use that last line out of context?


I'm flattered you find me eloquent, though I cannot compare to others who abound on this forum. Please, present some of your data. The last line isn't mine, but I'm not sure where it came from. I'm also pretty sure it's not taken verbatim, so yeah. Take it and run with it.


alright, so maybe it is impassioned.

i find it hard to gather the facts in an easy-to-read manner, mainly because i don't get into debate over evolution often.

the most important thing to remember is that deep time governs evolution. without the concept of deep time, there would be no real backing for the long progress of macroevolution. deep time, thanks to the theory of plate tectonics, is the chink in the armor of anti-evolutionists.

then there is the problem of the eye; darwin, on his deathbed, stated that evolution could not account for the complexity of such a structure. yet, now, an organism has been found with rudimentary eye structures of rods and cones, the tiny receivers in our own eyes: Platynereis dumerilii. (http://www.embl.org/aboutus/news/press/ ... oct04.html).

i won't go much further, because i think my last point should drive home something.

the fact that humans exist in a variety of forms, shapes, and sizes should be evidence enough that our ancestors were specialized to certain areas of the globe; africans are tall and lanky, and generally do not have much body hair: this helps in heat transfer. alaskan inuits are short and stocky; an increased body mass in a smaller body allows for more heat with less surface area for heat transfer.

evolution is a random thing; your statements on bacterium and viruses becoming resistant is true, taking into count the random mutations. the thing that drives evolution is random alterations of the genes through transcription errors. we all have these mutations, but not all mutations are noticable. in fact, if you notice a mutation, that's a bad thing. most mutations will not manifest, and will usually be written out of the gene pool, but the mutations that persist and carry down are the ones that might help one's offspring. for instance, the mutation for resisting human drugs.
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