Re: where's the evolution?

Kevin O'Brien (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 19:24:59 -0700

>> It's quite obvious that you do not understand the first thing about
>> thermodynamics. There are three thermodynamic systems. An
>> isolated system
>> is one in which neither matter nor energy is exchanged between the system
>> itself and its surroundings. A closed system is one in which only energy
>> can be exchanged between the system itself and its surroundings. An open
>> system is one in which both energy and matter can be exchanged between
>> system itself and its surroundings.
>If I do not understand thermodynamic systems then it must be your assertion
>that God or space aliens are guiding evolution.

Talk about your non sequiturs; when you hear yourself talk, does it make
sense to you? Then maybe you can explain the connection.

>If that's the case, neither I nor the
>Evolutionist community has any interest in your faith.

Thermodynamic systems (which is what we are discussing) have nothing to do
with faith, aliens or evolution. Try reading a good book about
thermodynamics some time.

>Evolutionists believe (do
>you really need such a basic education?) that essentially the only outside
>influence on Evolution is the sun's energy.

You are extremely naive my friend. The sun provides the energy for the
biosphere, yes, but creationists believe this as well. The sun's energy
does not cause or control evolution; it simply provides the energy necessary
for evolution to occur. Do you really need such a basic education?

>Does that not make the Earth a closed system?

You mean the biosphere, and yes, the biosphere is a closed system. But the
biosphere doesn't evolve; only its living components evolve, and they are
open systems.

>Is that not what Evolutionists preach?

Evolutionists do not "preach" anything, but the only person I know of who
has suggested that the biosphere does evolve was Lovelock, and I don't know
if he was an evolutionist. In any event, the vast majority of evolutionists
reject his Gaea hypothesis.

>No wonder you Evolutionists spend so much time
>hiding behind fascist laws to propagate evolution -- reason doesn't come to
>your aid.

It sounds to me like you are the one who is lacking in reason, or at least
knowledge. You seem to be rather ignorant about a good many things.

>> Evolution does not work in either isolated or closed systems; it
>> only works
>> in open systems. As such, your definition is fatally flawed.
>So, where's ET?

Another non sequitur. Why this obession with extraterrestrials; don't you
creationists believe they are Satan in disguise?

>Why couldn't you make the least bit of intellectual effort and
>anticipate that we would like an explanation of why the Earth isn't a

Now, temper; don't loose your cool. I know from sad experience that people
on this list don't tolerate bad manners very well.

The earth IS a closed system, but the earth is not evolving. Living
organisms evolve, but they are open systems.

>> So you are saying that the only acceptable definition of evolution is a
>> controversial one?
>I'm going to spell this out for you (unavoidable given the forum) -- the
>only acceptable definition is the one that applies to the context.

And this statement means what? When you hear yourself talk does it make
sense to you?

>> I should also point out that this is not "my" definition, but it is the
>> official scientific definition of evolution. As such, your definition is
>> also flat wrong.

You must be new at this listserv debating thing; your lack of self control
is quite amateurish to say the least. Apparently I understand the term
better than you do, since your definition violates observed reality, whereas
"mine" describes it.

>Changing allele frequencies is not the issue.

Indeed, it is the only issue, since this is exactly what evolution is.

>Further, it wasn't even the issue when the word Evolution
>became attached to Darwin's dogma.

True, Darwin didn't know about genes, but he recognized that evolution was a
change in the frequency of observable morphological traits, which is why he
devoted so much space in his book to artificial selection. The
diversification of the rock dove (or of any domestic animal for that matter)
into so many widely variant breeds parallels what happens in nature, and is
a microscale version of the diversification seen in the fossil record.
Later, geneticists identified these observable morphological traits with
their concept of the phenotype, which is the physical appearance of the
organism. Since they knew that the phenotype was determined by the
genotype, the genetic makeup of the organism, they concluded that the change
in frequency of the observable morphological traits Darwin spoke of must be
matched by a change in gene frequency as well, hence the modern definition.
And this definition has been verified numerous times by laboratory and
natural experimentation.

>> I have often challenged creationists on this list and elsewhere to
>> empirical evidence that supports their claims, but none have ever met my
>> challenge either.
>As I creationist, my claim is that Evolution doesn't account for the
>complexity of modern life.

Maybe, but your personal opinion is not empirical evidence.

>As for the origins of species, God, but I freely admit that's

"God..." what? Or were you taking His name in vain?

>You're more than welcome to offer a scientific explanation....

"A scientific explanation" for what, the diversification of living
organisms? The modern synthesis of natural selection and genetics does that
quite well, and has been verified so often we can accept it as true. Or
were you referring to "complexity"? Before I can do that you need to define
"complexity". Evolution makes no claims about "complexity", only

>...but you Evolutionists
>don't know the difference between science and naturalistic hogwash.

With all due respect to your ad hominem claim, science is naturalistic,
methodologically speaking. Since science can only study natural phenomena
and forces, it can only offer naturalistic explanations. And so far, the
history of science has been remarkably successful at finding naturalistic
explanations for even the most difficult of problems.

>Challenge met.

Hardly. All you did was offer personal opinion and personal attack; you
offerred not one shred of empirical evidence to support any of your claims.
You'll fit into this listserv quite well.

>> >If you
>> >Evolutionists can't even show that evolution is possible....
>> Ah, but it is possible; read Futuyma for the evidence you need to
>> yourself of that.
>If you were a defense lawyer, would you tell the jury that the evidence of
>client's claim is out there all they have to do is look for it? If so, you
>would have the worst trial record possible.

This is not a court of law, and I do not need to provide you with evidence
you could find yourself if you simply put forth the effort. I'll tell you
where to look for it, but you will have to find it and read it for yourself.

However, if there is a specific topic you wish to discuss, name it, and I
will provide evidence as needed to support my case. But I would expect you
to do the same.

Kevin L. O'Brien