Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For my (virtual) friend, Gus.

Sorry to get this out so late, I have been pretty tied down lately with Chemistry (argh!). Also, my faithful chariot took a dump (yay, Ford engineering!) So with no further adieu, I present to you this quick blurb as to why I like Gus. (Last name withheld for his anonymity).

Recently, I have been scouring the internet to find places that no skeptic has gone before. Most 'public' forums make you register and await moderation from an admin. I couldn't get in with my stated beliefs- and I didn't want to lie.  Little did I know that right under my nose there was a wealth of people who held the beliefs I so desperately wanted to study (non-academically, of course.)

Some of the beliefs held by this group, to the best of my understanding, are as follows:

- Belief that the Illuminati/ Freemasons/ Unknowns are secretly controlling society and more specifically, the music industry.

- These same Illuminati not only control; but they worship Satan/Lucifer and persecute Christians.

- Rhianna is harboring the anti-Christ in fetal form.

- HAARP is controlling weather; causing catastrophes such as hurricanes and even earthquakes. (Yes, you read this correctly.)

-Anchor proteins; therefore god.



So that was the back ground...

Now, you may be asking yourself, "why would you like someone who believes all this nonsense that has absolutely no merit or basis in reality?" And this is what I would tell you:

People who lack any curiosity and desire to understand the world, simply do not get my respect. Gus isn't the typical young earth creationist- he displays some intellectual curiosity, and that is wonderful! He doesn't shut off from debate or condemn other thoughts (though, the same can be said about Ken Ham and Kent Hovind, so I guess it isn't that praiseworthy).

He doesn't see all science as opposition to his beliefs, he even said something along the lines of "science is a way to familiarize yourself with God's creation." He only rejects out of hand what contradicts him, that is:

1. Geological dating ( or any other dating that shows the earth is much older than what the Bible says it is)

2. Evolution. (What creationist doesn't?)

Even so, he doesn't necessarily lose points with me. Why? Because *gasp* I used to believe the same thing. I used the think that goddidit. I used to think that the Christian god came along and made humans in their human form. Then something wonderful happened, I learned biology. I am, in no way shape or form, an expert. But the biology taught me many, many things and one of them is how evolution works. I explained it all to Gus, gave him the evidence, the solid foundations, the terminology, examples, and so on. But he still concluded that there still wasn't enough evidence. He denies 'that the theory even exists'.

He doesn't accept any of the countless data points that support the theory.

So I have decided not to debate him. I actually now want to study his schemas and heuristics (since I am now studying cognition and resistance schematic change.)

So this is for you Gus, I wrote this all out for you. I only want one thing in return;

I acknowledge that you don't view any of the piles of evidence in favor of evolution as valid. So let's forget about it. I am asking this assuming that nothing is known about the world.

I simply want you to answer these honestly. I am not 'calling you out' or anything. I just want to know your thought process.  So let's throw both of our beliefs out of the window. Do not assume existence of God. And do not presume evolution is true, either.

1. How would you explain variation of life on earth?

2. What would you conclude about our biologic similarities to the other great apes? How could you explain the similarities in structures, genetics, and metabolic pathways?

BONUS QUESTION:

Now back to our beliefs, you can believe in god, I can have evolution:

How does your model account for the #2 Human Chromosome?

Background: Genetically speaking, this chromosome was the result of the fusion of two chimpanzee chromosomes, (complete with structures that would not be needed if it was created as a single, unified chromosome.

Thanks Gus, I hope to hear from you! Take your time if needed!

6 comments:

  1. LEts go in!

    Question 1: I explain variation of life on earth through natural selection. Variation is the adaptation of a species to the enviorment to gain more favorable outcomes of the survival of a species. We are both familiar with this! I believe NS is a law of science. Completely observable and testable. NS weeds out the weaker genes and keeps the more dominant ones. They aren't lost however. You leave science when you say "they must be from a lizard!" Not observable. Not scientific, no matter how many people think otherwise. Ive been working on a detailed 'peer review buster' that covers everything theyre saying, because its based on make believe assumptions that we come from rock soup that lightning struck a long time ago. Im just not buying it :/

    Taking creationist views out of this, I think we are (us v. Diddy Kong) different. Similar seeming, but there are millions of differences between us & apes. Sure we look sorta alike and act in aggression kinda similarly, but where is the proof that links us together? Excluding that the guy who found Lucy found human bones near this monkey, He said that there was 'proof' because the joints in the knees were slanted like people. Hm. but no feet? Or hands? interesting... The artists that put the drawings together of lucy did a better job tough, giving her human feet and human hands. Im unimpressed. In popular culture we call this Fake & Gay.

    And finally id like to answer the bonus question. Either God made humans with what appears to be a fused chromosome, or a fusion happened somewhere in our past. If this fusion did happen it does not point to descent from apes. Even if we did share the same number of chromosomes as apes at one point we still could have been completely different from apes. Cats and pigs both have 19 pairs or 38 chromosomes. But do pigs and cats look like the same animal to you? Do we even try to prove their common descent? no because its far fetched (and even he doesn't evolve)If number of chromes constituted our genetic progress we have alot of growing to do.Maybe if we get more complex and gain more chromes unlike our dirty, stinkin ape brothers, we can be a supreme beings like the holy fern. (1200 chromes! what bosses!) but i think ill stop evolving @ a Nagaho-no-natsu-no-hana-warabi.

    Number of chromes are not a good detail of how we evolved. They produce proteins that can link up & look similar but they arent proof of a common ancestor. Its more so proof of a common designer allowing us to eat different organisms for sustenance so we don't have to eat each other for the proteins we need. Your model of chrome #2 assumes that because we have similar building blocks, it is imaginary (animorphic) proof that we came from a soup.

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  2. Before I continue, is this Gus?

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  3. and before you go any further I take back what i said about "could have been completely different from apes) and Im going to say we ARE and always have been completely different from them, no matter how similar we appear to be..which is actually dropping. Its about 93% and Im almost sure that overtime it will once again fall because there are only about..millions of differences between us and apes. I was trying to say it doesnt mean we 'could have' descended because of that one gene similarity between King Kong and you. Knives have blades, but we didnt evolve from them because we have shoulder blades. but anyways, excuse my bad editing skillsz lol.

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  4. (Gus again)And finally, Geological dating doesn't tell us how old things are. Its takes 3 formulas to determine a decay equation, looks something like D= D(sub)0 + N(T)E^[decay constant]T-1). The decay constant is never the same in the atmosphere, some things decay in certain places faster than others, so it usually is an adjustable number to reflect the average decay in the atmosphere. It utilizes a parent isotope and a daughter isotope to determine its relative age. The parent isotope after time produces a different chemical called a daughter iso. So we can find out how fast it is decaying, and we can see how much carbon it has in it while it is decaying. But there's a problem. How do you know how much carbon the organism has to begin with? There are so many variables that can alter this number. Things like eating meat, acquiring a wound, or giving a birth just to name a few. So in order to know the exact carbon count in an organism, we would have to know approximately how old it may be to have a marker for its age. Best way to find that is through the geological column. So we can use its depth in the earth to find out how old the organism is. So, if its found in the Cenozoic-Jurassic part of the earth, we can determine it was around X years old and creatures around that time should have about C(just as an input variable here)amount of carbon left, so if we do a little backtrack formula we can determine that organisms that died in the Cenozoic-Jurassic period have about C carbon in them...So we have how much it had when it died, how fast it approximately decayed, and finally how much is in it (which can easily be determined through observation)

    This is the problem with this formula. How do you know the geologic time scale is correct? Its a piece of circular reasoning. The fossils determine the age of the ground, no tyranosaraus(my bad on the spelling, its too awkward to spell) rex fossils are found with present day animals that died long ago like birds or crocodiles. And we just used the geologic column to find the age of the fossils in our formula! This is exactly the mistake these these people make who observe the earth to be billions of years old. Which leads back the the example i gave you a while back on facebook. The only things that we can have in a Iso-Dating formula are the average decay rate and how much of that isotope is clearly in the organism.


    Suppose I take you to a place where a candle is lit. It is 7 inches (current iso in sample). and burns at about an inch an hour (rate of decay). When was it lit? You cannot solve this equation because you dont have the height of the candle before it was lit (aka the amount of carbon in the organism had at the time it died) Which makes this impossible without knowing how much was in it at the time it died (age!) Its such a faulty solution to finding the age of things and thats why it dates freshly killed things like oysters at about 12 million years and parts of a wooly mammoth at one age and another part as another age. Because isotope distribution is uneven and varies from organism to organism greatly. No you cannot kill something now and observe the amount of carbon in it to determine how much is in it and compare it to something in the past to get an average carbon count because not every creature lives the same life. Some things get injured, some dont, some get fat, some dont, some get more food than others, some give birth, some dont, some die early, some dont! There is a huge variety of things that can go into an organism's carbon count to the degree that it is impossible to tell the life of a creature by its bones. Truly, the only thing you can tell by a bone is that it died. not when, not how, and sometimes not even where.

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  5. http://spinozasbicycle.blogspot.com/2011/09/im-back-and-this-is-for-you.html

    Also, don't use the word 'gay' negatively.

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