Friday, August 7, 2009

Coming Soon! "Ray Comfort, Live!"


Beginning Monday, September 14, "Ambassadors Alliance Radio" that was hosted by Tony Miano and Bart McCurdy will become "Ray Comfort, Live!" and Ray Comfort will host the show! Tony Miano will produce the program and join Ray in studio. The show will air Monday through Friday, 2-3 PM (PST).

Here's a word from Tony Miano about "Ray Comfort, Live!":
"Join Ray as he shares his 30+ years of biblical evangelism and open-air preaching experience. The show will include daily, live witnessing encounters (that's where Trish comes in - we've given her the opportunity to hit the streets to phone fish once each week), you'll hear from interesting guests, plus news about the persecuted church, and the passion, wisdom, and humor of Ray Comfort."

Visit "Ray Comfort, Live!" for more details!

50 comments:

Marty said...

WOW this a great news. I hope there will be podcasts. Keep up the great work for the Lord. May the Lord give you the strength and wisdom.

Marty said...

martinskuse@comcast.net

Kaitlyn said...

I wish all the best for Ray and that this works out; but I hope you realize that Ray Comfort is a creationist, right?

stranger.strange.land said...

Kaitlyn said...
"...I hope you realize that Ray Comfort is a creationist, right?"

Yep. He's no fool. ; )

Wretched Sinner said...

This is awesome, looking forward to phone fishing coming back!

Kaitlyn said...

"Yep. He's no fool. ;)"

*facepalm*

And I just got back from the Academy of Sciences too where they had an exhibit regarding hominids, great apes, and how they are related.

We are closely related to the chimpanzee.

Chris said...

Kaitlyn -

We are closely related to the chimpanzee.

There's something to be proud of. Do all those at the Academy of Sciences act like them too? Acadamia at it's finest...

Heath The Blogless said...

Kaitlyn

You make it sound as though being a creationist is a bad thing.

Kaitlyn said...

"Do all those at the Academy of Sciences act like [chimpanzees] too?"

In many ways, yes; but in some ways no.

"You make it sound as though being a creationist is a bad thing."

Well, I wouldn't say that; but it definitely works against your ability to persuade others when your viewpoint is at odds with mainstream science.

ExPatMatt said...

Why is it that many Christians seem to be offended by the thought that we are related to the rest of the animal kingdom (chimps in particular)?

As far as I can see, they are generally peaceful, mostly only kill for food, live in equilibrium with their natural ecology and have a bunch of fun while they're at it - is their something wrong with that?

I'd say we could benefit a lot from being more like them than not. And given the Christian view that mankind is inherently wretched and sinful, I would have thought that would be a not unreasonable conclusion.

Either way, our personal preferences about place in the natural world are irrelevant when it comes down to the evidence. You might as well try and deny that you are related to your cousin because you don't like the way they style their hair; an utterly futile gesture.

Ah well.

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

I'd say we could benefit a lot from being more like them than not. And given the Christian view that mankind is inherently wretched and sinful, I would have thought that would be a not unreasonable conclusion.

So how would you go about doing that? Wouldn't we have to start teaching people to behave like the animals in order to produce such results? Are we going to start using the morals of the animals as a guide? Which animals would you suggest?

Either way, our personal preferences about place in the natural world are irrelevant when it comes down to the evidence. You might as well try and deny that you are related to your cousin because you don't like the way they style their hair; an utterly futile gesture.

Yes, the evidence for our relation to the chimpanzee is as solid as that to our first cousins. Perhaps we should give the chimps some voting rights while were at it.

Well with the last several elections... ah never mind.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"Yes, the evidence for our relation to the chimpanzee is as solid as that to our first cousins".

I'm glad to hear you accept the evidence for common ancestry - can you believe that some people have chosen to deny it!

Regards,

Whateverman said...

Chris wrote the following (asking the question of ExPatMatt):

So how would you go about doing that? Wouldn't we have to start teaching people to behave like the animals in order to produce such results?

Speaking entirely from my own opinion, "behaving like animals" is a subjective standard. However, wisdom can be gained by showing people how chimps interact with their environment, and comparing/contrasting that behavior against our own.

For example, what happens when a chimpanzee population undergoes environmental stress (shortage of food/shelter, conflict with other colonies, etc)? Are the consequences similar those experienced by humans under the same kind of stress? Do they handle those stresses more or less effectively than we do?

In other words, stating that Humans are like chimpanzees doesn't imply that we should stop shaving, or learn the pleasures of throwing poop [sic]. What it does mean is that we might learn from understanding where we're similar and where we're dissimilar.

Brazen Hussey's said...

@ ExPatMatt:

Evidence?

Like what--we walk bipedally?

We enjoy bananas?

The laughable "DNA evidence"?

Alright, sorry. All this talk about counting the noses of scientists who deny the deity of Christ as some "experts" in how the world's biosphere came to exist is too much. One can only handle so much comedy at once.

Back to the point:

The news of Ray's new show with Lawman Tony is awesome, he's one of the most enjoyable folks to listen to.

Alright, gotta go. My chimpanzee cousins are coming over to discuss the proper peeling of bananas whilst swinging from a tree by the tail I don't have, and then I'm laughing myself to sleep.

Fish with Trish said...

"My chimpanzee cousins are coming over to discuss the proper peeling of bananas whilst swinging from a tree by the tail I don't have, and then I'm laughing myself to sleep."

Good one, James. :-)

I tried to take one of my long distant relatives on an airplane this past weekend but the folks at the airline said there are "no animals allowed" on the flight. :-)

ExPatMatt said...

Brazen,

Can you name a single physical feature that apes have, that we don't have?

The evidence from ERVs alone is enough to confirm common ancestry with the rest of the great apes, but then, as you've admitted to me before, your rejection of evolution is based on the fact that your interpretation of Genesis doesn't allow for it, not based on a lack of scientific evidence.

So don't worry, I won't expect you to back up your position with anything other than your own Bible-based opinion.

You also appear to be suggesting that only individuals who 'deny the deity of Christ' accept evolution, this is so blatantly untrue that I'm struggling to see it as anything other than a bare-faced lie.


Trish,

Didn't we establish a while back that you don't know nearly enough about biology to have anything useful to say on the subject?

I believe it was Ray & Kirk who actually tried the shtick you're referring to, on a WOTM show. I'm not sure what point they were trying to make; were they under the mistaken impression that biologists think that other great apes are the same species as us and should be capable of everything humans are?

I assure you that no biologist thinks this, they do know that they are separate species, you know?!

Ah well, I know I'm probably wasting my time with this; for those of you who would rather trust a dubious interpretation of of a translation of a copy of His Word, rather than trust an independently verifiable interpretation of His Creation - so be it!

Regards,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

I'm glad to hear you accept the evidence for common ancestry - can you believe that some people have chosen to deny it!

Don't kid yourself, Matt.

Brazen Hussey's -

The laughable "DNA evidence"?

Laughable doesn't even begin to describe it...

Fish With Trish -

I tried to take one of my long distant relatives on an airplane this past weekend but the folks at the airline said there are "no animals allowed" on the flight. :-)

Trish, did you try explaining to them that we're all animals who've evolved from natural processes and that they were clearly discriminating against those who haven't evolved yet?

ExPatMatt said...

I think, perhaps, that my highly-humourous reply was not allowed through for some reason?

Was it because I asked if you (Trish) had a spine? It was just satire!

Chris,

I was kidding. Although....

"Laughable doesn't even begin to describe it... ".

You're right, you'd probably need to actually understand the DNA evidence before you could describe it, so laughter is really all you've got, isn't it?

And then...

"...they were clearly discriminating against those who haven't evolved yet?".

And here we see, yet again, that creationists just don't get evolution (or just don't want to).

I know you were just being (mildly) humourous with this comment, but it does hint at a lack of understanding.

It's kind of like me making a flippant comment about God not being real because if He was then He wouldn't allow suffering.
I'm sure when you hear things like that, your first thought is that this person doesn't understand the nature of the God of the Bible and you wish they'd educate themselves so they could at least reject what the Bible does say, rather than what it doesn't.

Make sense?

Chris said...

ExPattMatt -

And here we see, yet again, that creationists just don't get evolution (or just don't want to).

I know you were just being (mildly) humourous with this comment, but it does hint at a lack of understanding.


Is it a blanket - all creationists, or does it just seem to be a good majority?

Matt, what would have made my {mildly} humorous (perhaps more flippant) comment more in line with an understanding of Darwinian evolution?

Would it be better to say "...they were clearly discriminating against our ancestors who took a different path of evolution than we did."

You write:
It's kind of like me making a flippant comment about God not being real because if He was then He wouldn't allow suffering.
I'm sure when you hear things like that, your first thought is that this person doesn't understand the nature of the God of the Bible and you wish they'd educate themselves so they could at least reject what the Bible does say, rather than what it doesn't.


Excellent example, and spot on. To which, I humbly, concur.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

It certainly seems to be a good majority in my experience!

I have honestly had creationists ask things like;

Why there are still monkeys if we came from monkeys? And, why don't we evolve wings/gills?

I've also seen creationists say things like;

Scientists have never even found a crocoduck or any other transitional fossil.

Along with plenty of other uninformed remarks.

I've seen a lot to lead me to the conclusion I presented although I am fully aware that this ignorance of evolution is almost exclusively limited to YEC. I know for a fact that many Christians understand (and even accept) evolution as I know some of them personally.


Your revised statement is a much better fit to how evolution actually works.

You are clearly aware that evolution describes common ancestry / descent with modification (with natural selection as a major mechanism) and I'm sure you know that this acts on populations over time.

I'm sure you are also happy to acknowledge that 'micro-evolution' occurs which we can basically say is sub-species descending from parent species.

There are plenty of example of observed speciations and creationists have to accept this in order to get all the species we have today from the 'kinds' that were on the ark.

So, being that you understand the basic mechanisms and processes that are evolution, new species arising from older ones, why do you reject it?

Are you aware of some sort of 'barrier' to evolution?


Cheers,

Whateverman said...

Chris wrote (in response to ExPatMatt's analogy) Excellent example, and spot on. To which, I humbly, concur.

You know what? This is almost exactly what I was going to respond with as well - and I lean towards EPM's view. The analogy was excellent.

Now that we (temporarily) agree upon something, let's all strive to not claim knowledge over things we haven't actually studied. I mean that in a common-sense sort of way. I wont claim to know what God/Jesus said/meant in certain biblical scriptures, and I hope the pro-Ray/Trish camp wont pretend to understand the theory of evolution.

Deal?

Chris said...

Whateverman -

Now that we (temporarily) agree upon something, let's all strive to not claim knowledge over things we haven't actually studied. I mean that in a common-sense sort of way. I wont claim to know what God/Jesus said/meant in certain biblical scriptures, and I hope the pro-Ray/Trish camp wont pretend to understand the theory of evolution.

Of course, we shouldn't claim knowledge over things we really don't know. Which goes completely in line with what you're suggesting, so, deal as far as I'm concerned. I would only add that we may *believe* we know certain topics and should be able to form and voice our opinions on them - however - we should also be able to admit we're wrong when any misconceptions have been proven wrong. That is, of course, much easier said than done, but indicative of those who are really seeking the truth.

From the Christian perspective, that is what Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

While Jesus was speaking in terms of a believer's meekness towards God, the same can, and from a conduct perspective, should be applied towards those we choose to engage in discussion and the free exchange of ideas.

ExPatMatt -

I'll respond to your last comment when I get some more time.

Debunkey Monkey said...

Chris, you just gave me an idea for a great topic for a blog post. Thanks.

Brazen Hussey's said...

ExPatMatt:

Where was that silly missing link again? Still MIA?

What about that conspicuously missing theory that describes how the Big Bang banged, or from what, or why, or how life began, again?

Oh! Right. There isn't a plausible one. Science can't describe origins, it always assumes the universe had these convenient laws and matter and energy for no reason, of course, and then wants us all to believe that an intelligible universe lept into being through unintelligent chance. Gotcha.

On a not-so-funny note, I'm reading a book you may like, though I don't as much, it's called "20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists" by Boa and some other fella. You may enjoy it, the bibliography is decent.

I don't like it because it doesn't go far enough in believing the Bible's account for a young earth, but as I've said before, I leave my mind open a millimeter for the possibility I may be wrong on that.

What I am not wrong on is this:

You still miss the point of the Gospel:

Your soul is still in peril, and on matters of evolution or the earth's age or what not, who cares when Hell yawns beneath you?

You need Christ's forgiveness for those sins, my friend, not another theory to debunk or trash with a materialist's presuppositions.

Whateverman said...

@Chris: thanks for your reply. I'm sincere about not pretending to know things I haven't investigated. If you ever catch me doing otherwise, I'm giving you free reign to chastise me. If/when you do so, remind me that we've had this conversation, and I will gladly concede your point.

@Brazen Hussey (IRT this following quote from you to ExPatMatt:

"What about that conspicuously missing theory that describes how the Big Bang banged, or from what, or why, or how life began, again?

Oh! Right. There isn't a plausible one.
")

What does this have to do with the theory of evolution? Please tell me that you're not still equating the Big Bang Theory with the ToE...

Plausibility is subjective. Just because you refuse to accept current ideas (about the origin of the universe) does not make those ideas implausible.

To be perfectly honest, I readily admit that science doesn't truly understand where the universe came from, or what started the Big Bang. There *are* ideas, however, and to the extent that we can, science is trying to falsify them.

Why does your claim of a "lack of plausibility" sound like a condemnation of those who don't share your faith?

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

Whenever you can dude, no rush!


Brazen,

So you can't name a single physical feature that apes have, that we don't have?

Didn't think so.

Do you know what a missing link is? It's a buzzword that the media made up in the 70s (I think), because it sounds exciting.

Imagine if you showed me a picture of yourself now and one when you were a kid and I didn't believe it was you and asked to see another picture from when you were a teenager.

Sure it looks kind of similar; but where's the picture mid-way between you as a kid and a teenager? Ok, what about midway between those...and those...and those.....

In the end, I'd be asking you for a picture of yourself taken every day from birth to now before I'd believe you were the child in the photo.

That's what the creationist obsession with the missing link is all about; it's not a very honest inquiry in my opinion.

As I've said before, there is enough evidence from ERVs to confirm common descent even if we didn't have fossil evidence...which we do.


And then you start talking about the Big Bang, why? As WEM said, this has nothing to do with a conversation on evolutionary biology and you know it. Stop trying to muddy the waters.

But then again, from conversations we've had previously, that's pretty much what you do. Any chance you could stay on-topic and tell us what you understand the theory of evolution to be (ie what scientists say about it)?


Cheers,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

You are clearly aware that evolution describes common ancestry / descent with modification (with natural selection as a major mechanism)

Yes, I understand what the theory of evolution describes.

and I'm sure you know that this acts on populations over time.

We can see change - it's observable and reproducible. No problem there.

I'm sure you are also happy to acknowledge that 'micro-evolution' occurs which we can basically say is sub-species descending from parent species.

All of this, so far, would be in theory, the ability to get a sphynx cat from a tiger, right?

There are plenty of example of observed speciations and creationists have to accept this in order to get all the species we have today from the 'kinds' that were on the ark.

This isn't a problem when discussing evolution within a species. I don't believe any creationists reject what is, for lack of a better term, micro-evolution.

So, being that you understand the basic mechanisms and processes that are evolution, new species arising from older ones, why do you reject it?

See here's where our evolutionary paths diverge. You're willing to leap to the conclusion of new species arising from older ones. I'm not. Here we jump from what's clearly observable to what isn't.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"All of this, so far, would be in theory, the ability to get a sphynx cat from a tiger, right?".

"You're willing to leap to the conclusion of new species arising from older ones. I'm not".

A sphynx cat and a tiger aren't different species?

You already acknowledged that new, sub-species, can arise from parent species. All evolution says is that this process continues with species continually diverging from parent populations ...and why wouldn't it?

Cheers,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

"A sphynx cat and a tiger aren't different species?

You already acknowledged that new, sub-species, can arise from parent species. All evolution says is that this process continues with species continually diverging from parent populations ...and why wouldn't it?


It'd be a constant downward spiral.

So, in theory, we can eventually get that ridiculous looking cat (personal opinion of course) from breeding down tigers. But how do you go back up to a tiger?

Whateverman said...

Have humanity avoid the domestication of cats for several thousand years; we should probably also beat a hasty retreat from areas that are full of food/shelter.

I doubt that'll cause the population of tigers to go through the roof, but it'd be a good place to start...

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

Why do you assume that a cat is 'down' from a tiger?

The last time I checked, tigers were endangered and cats were doing fine; it would seem that cats are better adapted than tigers to the modern world.

Just because one population branched off from another does not mean they 'lost' anything in the process. I don't know of a single evolutionary biologists who suggests such a thing.

Think of language - the early feline is latin and modern lions, tigers and cats are the English, French and Italian languages. Did we lose anything going from Latin to English? No, it's just different and the other languages diverged from the same ancestor too. In this case the base language went extinct, but that doesn't always have to be the case for new languages to emerge from it.


But you're moving the goalposts. You said, in the same comment, that you could appreciate a cat coming from a tiger but that you couldn't make the 'leap' to accepting that species came from other species; what's going on there?!

Cheers,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

Why do you assume that a cat is 'down' from a tiger?

Their gene pool is different, no?

The last time I checked, tigers were endangered and cats were doing fine; it would seem that cats are better adapted than tigers to the modern world.

Or domestic cats are sustained by human interaction?

Just because one population branched off from another does not mean they 'lost' anything in the process. I don't know of a single evolutionary biologists who suggests such a thing.

So has a sphynx cat gained anything in the process, or just maintained? All the gene's must have been maintained in the process of breeding from a tiger in order to be able to go back to the tiger. Is this the case?

Think of language - the early feline is latin and modern lions, tigers and cats are the English, French and Italian languages. Did we lose anything going from Latin to English?

I don't know latin, but wouldn't use this as an example. Looking at Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (languages of the Bible) you indeed do lose vocabulary when going from one to the other. To bring any or all of those into modern English makes for quite the task. Many meanings simply cannot be expressed.

But you're moving the goalposts. You said, in the same comment, that you could appreciate a cat coming from a tiger but that you couldn't make the 'leap' to accepting that species came from other species; what's going on there?!

We're talking about speciation within a family. Obviously members of the Felidae share common ancestors, correct? So do they contain more, the same or less gene's than their ancestors?

OR, what am I misunderstanding?

Whateverman said...

Hi - his post is in response to Chris' response to ExPatMatt. Sorry for butting in, but I think this is too obvious to leave alone.

ExPatMatt wrote: Why do you assume that a cat is 'down' from a tiger?

Chris responded Their gene pool is different, no?

Chris, you either missed or dodged the question here - no real offense intended by me. All three of us know that a tiger's DNA is different from a housecat's. The questions was why you feel that a housecat's somehow is less genetically complex/strong/parental (for lack of better descriptors) than a tigers. This is what EPM asked. Why exactly is a house cat lower on the totem pole than a tiger?

---

ExPatMatt wrote "The last time I checked, tigers were endangered and cats were doing fine; it would seem that cats are better adapted than tigers to the modern world."

Chris responded Or domestic cats are sustained by human interaction?

Again, I think you missed the point. House cats are vastly superior to tigers in terms of survival strategy. It's not a matter of humans pulling those animals into survival - the house cat is a willing and active partner in the process.

It's similar (imho) to the way a human baby and its mother bond; if the two did not happen in conjunction, the baby would not survive. Darwinian evolution points to the survival of domesticated animals as a "genetic improvement", as the strategy they use greatly increases the chances that they will bear offspring and aid the survival of the species as a whole.

In Darwinian terms, tigers are much less hardy than the common housecat, and are thus "inferior" despite the obvious differences in favor of the strength of the tiger.

So - in my humble opinion, part of your response really missed what EPM was driving at.

I'll butt-out now :)

Thanks

Chris said...

Whateverman -

Chris, you either missed or dodged the question here - no real offense intended by me.

None taken, I'm not intending to dodge and I should have been clearer.

All three of us know that a tiger's DNA is different from a housecat's. The questions was why you feel that a housecat's somehow is less genetically complex/strong/parental (for lack of better descriptors) than a tigers. This is what EPM asked. Why exactly is a house cat lower on the totem pole than a tiger?

In the process of breeding down (down, for lack of a better word) to a domestic cat, the DNA changes. If there is no loss of genetic information in that process, then we should, theoretically, be able to breed back up (up, for lack of a better word) to a tiger. However, if there's been a loss of genetic information in the process, how do you go back?

Perhaps Cheetah's would make a better example since it looks like the consensus is that domesticated cat's have evolved from them and they are much further up the Felidae family.

If my understanding is wrong here, then please correct or point me to a source that will help shed some light on this.

Again, I think you missed the point. House cats are vastly superior to tigers in terms of survival strategy. It's not a matter of humans pulling those animals into survival - the house cat is a willing and active partner in the process.

WEM, we can't possibly remove human interaction from this equation. Human's have been raising animals, particularly cats for this example, at least as far back in our history as we can tell. Humans play a role in the differential reproduction of many animals and the domesticated cat is certainly no exception.

I'm not sure I'm understanding your example. What strategy are domesticated animals using? How do we know there's a genetic improvement outside of human interaction? It seems, unless you can somehow remove human interaction from the equation entirely, the survival of domesticated animals in general is speculative at best.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris (WEM),

A few points here that I'll try and keep short.

Cats & Tigers.

You are now happy to say that speciation occurs within a family (Felidae), right? So we've got no problem at all really.

Now, theoretically, you could breed 'back' to an ancestral form but, a) it would take a while, b) you'd have to know exactly what mutations happened over that time and when they occurred, and c) you'd have to replicate (in reverse) the environmental conditions that selected the surviving forms originally.

So this isn't particularly likely, but is theoretically possible as evidenced by the fact that by turning an 'off' gene 'on' in chickens, we can get them to develop teeth - a throw-back to their ancestral past.

But why would we want to do such a thing? Every organism on the planet is as highly evolved as the next, otherwise they wouldn't be here. My point with the cats vs. tigers thing was that tigers are on the verge of extinction which, in evolutionary terms, is a major fail on their part. Meanwhile, cats are exploiting a niche as companions to humans (a very secure and successful species) and so their long-term survival has a good chance.

So, you're happy to say that evolution, by way of speciation, occurs within a family? Just to be clear.


The language thing I don't think you really understood what I was getting at.

It sounds like you're talking about translating Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic between each and/or into English, but that wasn't the point and you don't have to understand Latin to know what I was saying.

Latin is your base form and English, French and Italian are derived from it. They are all cousins and Latin is their common ancestor. The transitional forms would be things like Middle English, etc.

What's important to note with this example is that at no point did any parent speak a different language to their children. It was a gradual shift, imperceptible almost, yet the results we see today are very different. If you isolated a group of Italians for a couple of thousand years, they wouldn't revert 'back' to Latin, but they would probably have developed a new sub-language of Italian that mainstream Italians couldn't understand - it may even be as different as to call it another language entirely (speciation!)

Lastly,


You seem a bit wrapped up in the idea of who has more or less genes, but it's not really important. A cat is not a lesser version of a tiger - they both fill different niches in their respective environments as I discussed above.

I'm not sure where the problem is here, you seem to accept evolutionary mechanisms, but reject evolution; it's very strange!

Cheers,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

You are now happy to say that speciation occurs within a family (Felidae), right? So we've got no problem at all really.

Yes, but we do have a problem...

Now, theoretically, you could breed 'back' to an ancestral form but, a) it would take a while, b) you'd have to know exactly what mutations happened over that time and when they occurred, and c) you'd have to replicate (in reverse) the environmental conditions that selected the surviving forms originally.


This is where we disagree. You're presuming mutations have taken place in the process and we'd have to reverse those. I'm saying from everything we can tell (unless I can be pointed to information demonstrating otherwise) you work with the genetic information you've got and you don't get more in the process.

What forms of mutation do we see that aren't like poison to living things? Even still, bacteria can create resistance to certain antibiotics, but they're still bacteria and their new form is actually weaker than their old.

so...

So, you're happy to say that evolution, by way of speciation, occurs within a family? Just to be clear.

Yes, but even then within limits. Such as, this is the genetic information you can work with and that's it. That is observable, testable, repeatable.

Whateverman said...

Chris wrote What forms of mutation do we see that aren't like poison to living things? Even still, bacteria can create resistance to certain antibiotics, but they're still bacteria and their new form is actually weaker than their old.

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, Darwin's finch beaks come to mind...

Incidentally Chris, I apologize for not having responded to your last reply to me. I occasionally get overburdened with eDebate and have to limit how much I write.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

You can't accept that evolution (within a family) occurs, but then claim that it's nothing to do with mutations, or that mutations always leave the organism in a worse state!

What you're saying is; modern organisms are rubbish compared to the ancestral form at the head of their family.

Or, that no mutations took place and the new species just appeared out of nowhere!

Or, that all species contain the same genetic information (just rearranged) which is clearly not true because we've decoded quite a few genomes and they're quite different.

The driving mechanism behind evolution is random mutation in the genome during reproduction. This is an undeniable fact.

However, if you'd like to define 'information' and explain your hypothesis regarding how it changes over time to produce new species within a family; I'm all ears.

"What forms of mutation do we see that aren't like poison to living things?".

I can't link, but if you type in 'list of beneficial mutations' into Google, you'll get a load of reading material on the subject.

Wait, are you thinking of mutations like 'Urrgghhh, he's a MUTANT!'? Because it's not really that kind of mutation we're talking about.

"Even still, bacteria can create resistance to certain antibiotics, but they're still bacteria and their new form is actually weaker than their old".

What? How do you think they 'create' the resistance to these antibiotics (man-made antibiotics, it must be said)?
There's no way they already had the information to resist these antibiotics because we only recently invented them.

We actually have, in the freezer, bacterial cultures showing a chronological progression towards being able to resist specific antibiotics. Analysis of these cultures shows how the bacteria evolved and the bacteria with the 'right' information was able to survive the antibiotics.

How you can possibly say that this new bacteria is 'weaker' than the older version when the old version is being killed and the new version is surviving is absolutely mind-boggling!

"Yes, but even then within limits".

I don't think there's any data to back your position up - care to provide any?

"Such as, this is the genetic information you can work with and that's it".

Got it. No new genetic information.

Except, that's not what the data tells us. The data tells us that genetic drift occurs by random mutation in the genome and that beneficial mutations are selected for, based on environmental pressures. A mutation can mean a replication, addition, change or deletion of a certain sequence of DNA and can result is some fairly radical changes in morphology.

"That is observable, testable, repeatable".

I'll tell you what we've observed - random mutations that give an organism an additional trait that it never had before and natural selection selecting the individuals with this trait until it is universal among the population.

I'll tell you what's testable - common descent. If two species really were descended from an ancestral species, we'd expect to see evidence of this in their DNA by way of ERVs and other recognizable sequences of DNA. Evidence for this is found in abundance and lines up perfectly with evidence from morphology, paleontology, geology and a bunch of other scientific disciplines.

And I'll tell you what's repeatable - explaining to creationists how evolution works! ;)

Cheers,

Chris said...

Whateverman -

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, Darwin's finch beaks come to mind...

Not sure. If it could somehow be proven that this was done through mutation, then perhaps. But having variation in beaks could just as well have been accomplished via dominant or recessive and additive genes much like how our hair or eye color can be affected.

Incidentally Chris, I apologize for not having responded to your last reply to me. I occasionally get overburdened with eDebate and have to limit how much I write.

No problem - I'm the same way - and taking on too much keeps me from my studies (guess that can be good or bad...)

Best regards.

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

And I'll tell you what's repeatable - explaining to creationists how evolution works! ;)

Funny! ;)

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

What you're saying is; modern organisms are rubbish compared to the ancestral form at the head of their family.

Bingo.

Or, that no mutations took place and the new species just appeared out of nowhere!

No.

Or, that all species contain the same genetic information (just rearranged) which is clearly not true because we've decoded quite a few genomes and they're quite different.

Speciation within a family is much like 'each according to it's kind'; Genesis 1:11-12; 1:21 and 1:24. You'll also notice if you read Genesis 1:1-31 that man was not made after any kind but God's likeness and image. It's interesting that the Human Genome Project has helped to establish that there is no DNA evidence to indicate separate classifiable subspecies to exist within human beings.

Would you suggest that this is going to change over time?

I can't link, but if you type in 'list of beneficial mutations' into Google, you'll get a load of reading material on the subject.

We're talking about random changes in genes being beneficial to a species.

Wait, are you thinking of mutations like 'Urrgghhh, he's a MUTANT!'? Because it's not really that kind of mutation we're talking about.

Oh it's not?! Shoot!

We actually have, in the freezer, bacterial cultures showing a chronological progression towards being able to resist specific antibiotics. Analysis of these cultures shows how the bacteria evolved and the bacteria with the 'right' information was able to survive the antibiotics.

Now THIS is an interesting statement. Is it hopeful that as this is analyzed and better understandings emerge that you may be able to circumvent that process?

How you can possibly say that this new bacteria is 'weaker' than the older version when the old version is being killed and the new version is surviving is absolutely mind-boggling!

Eh... weaker may not have been the best word. I'll leave it to Lee Spetner:

We have seen that there are some point mutations that, under the right circumstances, do give the organism an advantage. There are point mutations that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics. There are some that make insects resistant to insecticides. There are some that increase quantitative traits in farm plants and animals. But all these mutations reduce the information in the gene by making the protein less specific. They add no information, and they add no new molecular capability. Indeed, all mutations studied destroy information. None of them can serve as an example of a mutation that can lead to the large changes of macroevolution.

Is this wrong and if so, how?

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

"Bingo".

Do you have any data or studies to back up this position?

If the ancestral forms were so amazing, how come they're extinct? If they're not, there should be one species in every family that contains all the genes for all the rest of the family. Does such a species exist? If you find it you'll be famous...

"It's interesting that the Human Genome Project has helped to establish that there is no DNA evidence to indicate separate classifiable subspecies to exist within human beings".

That's because human beings are a sub-species. We're homo sapien sapien from the species homo sapien from the genus homo from the family Hominidae.

Also in the family Hominidae;

Chimps, gorrilas and orangutans...

That's where we fit according to taxonomy.

Would you suggest that this is going to change over time?.

Probably not. Unless one population of humans was isolated from the rest for many years.

We're talking about random changes in genes being beneficial to a species. .

And that's what was discussed in the reading material I pointed you towards. Problem?

I don't know what you're talking about with 'circumventing the process'. What process? Evolution? You're implying magic, I presume?

The bacteria in question can now survive something that used to kill them - how is that possibly worse?

Nylonase can now digest Nylon, even though it is a recent, man-made fabric. New information is required to do this.

Croation lizards evolved a cecal valve in their digestive tract when a group were isolated on a new island. None of their ancestors have this valve, it's new. New information.

Got to go, have a great weekend!

Fish with Trish said...

Cathing you all up to speed. There has been a change in the launching of Ray Comfort Live!

They are postponing the launch of the radio show and they hope to launch the show sometime this Fall.

Whateverman said...

Thanks Trish

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

A busy week and a cold didn't leave much time or energy for Internet discussion. Better late than never though, right?

If the ancestral forms were so amazing, how come they're extinct?

Whoever said they were so amazing (subjective - though I believe creation is pretty incredible) that they couldn't become extinct? Catastrophists have plenty of reasons for heads of a family and species in a family to go extinct. I think evolutionists and creationists agree in regards to extinction. What's the current estimated rate? Some 100 species a day or so?

If they're not, there should be one species in every family that contains all the genes for all the rest of the family. Does such a species exist? If you find it you'll be famous...

That's not necessarily true. At one point there would have been, but we're all subject to changes in climate, meteor strikes, floods, deluge or take your pick... If you believe in an old creation, you've got a LOT of time and events to play with.

I don't know what you're talking about with 'circumventing the process'. What process? Evolution? You're implying magic, I presume?

Certainly not magic - there's a process involved with how bacteria mutate when dealing with poison. Spending time to understand such a process will help in continuing to defeat infections with better technology. If that weren't the belief, then why bother studying it?

The bacteria in question can now survive something that used to kill them - how is that possibly worse?

Non-mutant bacteria reproduce faster than new antibiotic resistant bacteria. If a protein has been altered so that the antibiotic can no longer bind to it, it's normal function (copy DNA, etc) has changed. Now you've got a problem of differential reproduction.

Nylonase can now digest Nylon, even though it is a recent, man-made fabric. New information is required to do this.

This isn't shown to be a random process; it's done by combining parts of genes.

Croation lizards evolved a cecal valve in their digestive tract when a group were isolated on a new island. None of their ancestors have this valve, it's new. New information.

That's simply not true. Lizards have the muscles, they just don't typically use them. The ability to eat plants was always there, but if you don't exercise what you have, what happens?

It's not new information, it's latent information suddenly being put to work.

ExPatMatt said...

Hey Chris, I hope you're feeling better!

"Whoever said they were so amazing that they couldn't become extinct? Catastrophists have plenty of reasons for heads of a family and species in a family to go extinct. I think evolutionists and creationists agree in regards to extinction. What's the current estimated rate? Some 100 species a day or so?".

But why would any catastrophe wipe out the best of a 'kind' and leave the lesser species behind? It doesn't make much sense...

"Certainly not magic - there's a process involved with how bacteria mutate when dealing with poison".

Yes, it's called evolution.

"Spending time to understand such a process will help in continuing to defeat infections with better technology. If that weren't the belief, then why bother studying it?".

That's exactly why biologists study the evolution of bacteria. It's also how they know so much about how evolution works.

"Non-mutant bacteria reproduce faster than new antibiotic resistant bacteria".

Really? I didn't know that. DO you have any further reading I could look into on that?

"If a protein has been altered so that the antibiotic can no longer bind to it, it's normal function (copy DNA, etc) has changed. Now you've got a problem of differential reproduction".

Well, the bacteria is different to its predecessor, that's to be expected. Why is 'differential reproduction' a problem?

"This isn't shown to be a random process; it's done by combining parts of genes".

So? Who said it had to be random or wasn't allowed to be a recombination of existing genes?

"That's simply not true. Lizards have the muscles, they just don't typically use them. The ability to eat plants was always there, but if you don't exercise what you have, what happens?

It's not new information, it's latent information suddenly being put to work"
.

While I appreciate that that is AIG's considered opinion on the matter, I think I'm going to trust the experts instead; call me old-fashioned!

Cheers,

Chris said...

ExPatMatt -

Hey Chris, I hope you're feeling better!

I am, thanks!

But why would any catastrophe wipe out the best of a 'kind' and leave the lesser species behind? It doesn't make much sense...


Too many factors, I'd think. Who had more offspring? Where did they migrate to? What/Where was the catastrophe? Perhaps the best question would be 'Why not?'

Yes, it's called evolution.

Which is a process...

That's exactly why biologists study the evolution of bacteria. It's also how they know so much about how evolution works.

Which works a certain way...

Really? I didn't know that. DO you have any further reading I could look into on that?

Yes, check out the footnotes to the AIG article: Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria: An Example of Evolution in Action? Particularly 4, 5 and 6.

Well, the bacteria is different to its predecessor, that's to be expected. Why is 'differential reproduction' a problem?

If bacteria are now reproducing slower then how much it reproduces will play a role in it's future survival, no?

So? Who said it had to be random or wasn't allowed to be a recombination of existing genes?

How else are you getting new information? You're either working with what's already there or your introducing new information to the process.

While I appreciate that that is AIG's considered opinion on the matter, I think I'm going to trust the experts instead; call me old-fashioned!

While I appreciate your honesty, it seems to me, judging from constant echatter and debate, that AIG are often held to much higher scrutiny than anyone else for the conclusions that they come to while utilizing the same facts. The question, ultimately, is: is it true?

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

Glad to hear you're feeling better.

I didn't really understand the point of most of your initial replies to me.

What I do know is that I have seen evolution in the lab. I have seen ring species in the wild and I have seen evidence of faunal succession in both the fossil record and in genetics.

I really don't see what more there is to it. If you have something concrete that goes against the lines of evidence for evolution, please present it.

Really? I didn't know that. DO you have any further reading I could look into on that?

"How else are you getting new information? You're either working with what's already there or your introducing new information to the process".

When was the last time a new letter was added to the English language? As far as I know, there have been 26 for quite some time, but the number of words utilizing those letters has increased. And the number of new concepts and expressions described by new combination of those words has formed totally new books. DNA is pretty similar. There isn't going to be another 'letter' added to the GATC that DNA is made of, but the combination and sequences can be rearranged endlessly to express new traits all the same.

"While I appreciate your honesty, it seems to me, judging from constant echatter and debate, that AIG are often held to much higher scrutiny than anyone else for the conclusions that they come to while utilizing the same facts".

I think this is why;

"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record...".

They start with a conclusion and try and find evidence that supports that conclusions.

Science starts with observed evidence and tries to build a theory that explains the facts. After that, every 'evidence' that is found can potentially falsigfy the theory and, it is hoped, help develop a new one. (check out how the theories of gravity developed as new evidence emerged)

It is this 'starting with your conclusion' that causes AIG to reject evidence outright because it doesn't fit their pre-conceived interpretation of a document that was never intended to be a science book.

Also, they lie. A lot.

And you're wrong to say that they are more heavily scrutinized - the peer-review process can be incredibly brutal sometimes.

"The question, ultimately, is: is it true?".

You're right, that is the question.

Cheers,

Chris said...

Matt -

I didn't really understand the point of most of your initial replies to me.

Well I'm not sure what wasn't clear...

What I do know is that I have seen evolution in the lab. I have seen ring species in the wild and I have seen evidence of faunal succession in both the fossil record and in genetics.

I really don't see what more there is to it. If you have something concrete that goes against the lines of evidence for evolution, please present it.


As it was when we started this discussion, we agree on evolution... to an extent. Evolution means change. Where you see change, you're willing to figure that everything ultimately evolved from one source. I look at change and come to the conclusion that what I can observe doesn't conflict with the Genesis account - animals were created according to their kinds (family, if you will).

You haven't presented any evidence that we can use beyond a shadow of a doubt to state otherwise. What we should see, if your view is correct, is an upward and onward vertical ascension. I've argued for a horizontal and almost downward descent. Again, darwinian-evolutionists and creationists agree on the matter of extinction.

When we're discussing origins (which we really haven't here) it's a matter of speculation. Secular science says 'Look, we see the evidence and use that to come to our conclusions, it's objective.' as you pointed out. But it's not really when we're told over and over again that everything we see can be explained by slow processes over millions and millions of years. That puts blinders on and everything must be interpreted through that assumption. If that's the foundation, those will be the results.

So YECists use the Bible as our foundation (if we're Christian). AiG and others who stand firm on Scripture do so because of their trust in Jesus Christ. So when the secular scientists (and the 'new' atheists) want to pull the tail end of AiG's Statement of Faith which from the start proclaims their priorities that:

1. The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.

2. The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

they aren't attacking AiG but are instead attacking the Word of God. What item 6, the final item in the Statement of Faith falls under is:

The following are held by members of the Board of Answers in Genesis to be either consistent with Scripture or implied by Scripture.

Item 6 also closes with:

Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

You write:

And you're wrong to say that they are more heavily scrutinized - the peer-review process can be incredibly brutal sometimes.

Well, the peer-review process has a typical etiquette that most follow. I really wasn't speaking of that.

ExPatMatt said...

Chris,

This comment of yours interested me;

"What we should see, if your view is correct, is an upward and onward vertical ascension".

Now, I don't think I've given that impression, at least I hope I haven't.

Evolution isn't about species getting 'better' or 'ascending' some metaphorical ladder. It's about branching descent with modification from common ancestors.

We both agree on this, as you've said. It's just that where I gather all the species of a family and say that they evolved from a common ancestor (which you agree with), there's then no reason to suppose that that common ancestor and its contemporaneous (and morphologically similar) species didn't also arise from a common ancestor.

This is evidenced very nicely in genetics as well as the fossil record.

You also appeared to question the assumption of 'millions and millions' of years ('billions and billions' too, I guess) when interpreting biological evidence. But then, an old earth (and universe) is a conclusion from many other fields of science, independent of what evolution has to say on the matter.

What is your basis for doubting an old earth? I mean, we can get a minimum age of at least 10,000 years just from counting tree rings...


Cheers,