Merry Meet all! I was doing a little 'light' reading on the subject of evolution, and I read something that kind of stood the topic on its head for me. The author said something about evolution explaining why a giraffe has a long neck, but it doesn't explain why other animals don't. That was kind of an 'aha' moment for me. Just how and why does evolution 'choose' a particular modification for one species, but not for others? Why do birds fly, but pigs don't? Why are dogs great friends and companions to humans, but grizzly bears not so much? I am not a creationist and am not a fan of 'intelligent design' but this has me thinking. I'd like to know what other people think, and how exactly does evolution fit into our beliefs as Pagans?
Honestly I think you asked the wrong question. You shouldn't have asked about Evolution but Creationism. Anyone that looks arround will see Evolutionist theories can see some of them occurring still today. Well I certainly cant speak for everyone but I like the idea of blending Creationism and Evolution to some degree. Some "one" at some point and time in space had to do something or send something to this planet to spark the formation of the first single cell life forms. Now I don't exactly fall in with the creationists because I believe that that life evolved and changed to the unique situations presented and it over came these situations to continue living and we continue to see these types of things occurring today in life. If two separate species are vying for limited resources then one must adapt and start eating something else or both may die. This is one of the basics behind evolution. One species just adapts to the new food source easier than the other. Now as to the dog vs. bear thing dogs were already a pack animal they relied on other wolves to survive and thus were easier to adapt to relying on us humans but bears are natural loners. Point being our ancestors wouldn't have tried to domesticate an animal that out right attacked its own kind over food. I'm not sure this is really a question of faith but a good science question basically. Now to the failings of the evolutionists they say live started here but I seriously doubt that it happened that way. Something had to change, a distant planet exploded and sent fragments with single cell organisms maybe, or an alien space craft landed and they came to look about and one of them sneezed releasing some form of life. Who knows what really happened but something had to change, life doesn't just form out of thin air. Once life was introduced to this environment it was determined to survive. We see this still today. Hope this is all stated somewhat uniformly and intelligently.
I've always been comfortable with the coexistence of evolution and creationism. personally. It makes perfect sense to me that the Multiverse would have been created with the capability to evolve and adapt to changing conditions. If I were going to create a world, I would most certainly include self-sustaining and self maintaining systems to keep it in balance. This would definitely include evolution as a means for life forms to change, and to have the most viable individuals of a species thrive, whether on the basis of hardiness or intelligence.
However, I DO believe humans were created as such - there is simply no link between apes and humans proven scientifically to exist even yet. It is simply assumed by evolution theorists that a link MUST exist, as that is the big hole in their theories. The presence of Cro-Magnon man also rather throws a left hook into the pure evolutionary theory. A bugger brain than we have now - and what happened to them? Why did they die out? There is also no general agreement as to what happened to the Neanderthals, and even as to whether they had the capability for spoken language and a social, rather than pack, lifestyle.
So, as i said, I believe both theories are in force, and not mutually exclusive.
Sorry to correct you phenix, but there is ample evidence that humans evolved from less developed apes. Visit www.talkorigins.org
if you want to check it out.
PS: Humans ARE apes, btw...
Sorry to correct you, Oberon, but that's all a matter of opinion, even among mainstream evolutionists. Evolution won't be the first or the last scientific theory to have internal dissension among it's adherents. We just don't hear from the dissenters, because the scientific Journals of the field won't publish their research, because it disagrees with the 'experts' in the field.
This is just one of the links that involves Creationism, but the science in it is sound~~
That site points to several inacuracies and holes, but assumes their solution. That we don't know the whys doesn't make any other reasoning equally valid, especially when taking into account you're making an exception for humans when no other species has one-
Evidence weights a lot on the other side phoenix, check sources, they are important.
Also, it's Tannan :P
Just pointing out that there ARE other opinions between the two extremes ~~
Here is another link, which contains footnotes which can be checked out. I'm not necessarily saying that I BELIEVE what either site is saying - I am just pointing out that even in the scientific community evolution is not universally agreed upon, as you seem to imply. Your link specifically says on the title page that it is MAINSTREAM scientific opinion only, BTW.
Actually, if you check talkorigins you'll see critics to this sites. Funamented critics, AiG is known for missquoting experts and missrepresent their findings. The quotes in question are presented in the page, along with the original source, to illustrate the point
Furthermore, they are not part of the cientific comunity. They are not recocnised experts on the fields, and do not submit peer-review papers for review, wich is a must if something is to be considered a serious proposal.
Not trying to start a fight, Drakill - just pointing out other viewpoints. And as far as peer reviews - if you are not starting from the accepted paradigm in a field, then you are ignored - period.
No offence Oberon, but maybe you should try other books. There are many books on evolution done by absolute morons who apparently slept during their biology classes, and don't really understand evolution nor the theory. Your average highschool textbook should do, it is in fact a simple theroy.
Evolution starts rather randomly, when one of the random traits adquired is incremented and results beneficial to the species, it remains, but if the trait does not afect survivavility in a positive way, the trait will die out over time. In this case, the ancestor of birds had the mutative trait that pointed it towards flight, and probably some of the ancestors of non-flying species did too, however, only to the first it gave more chances of survival, not to the latter. Once that happened the road was "set" for some traits to be more likely to passed on than others, namely the ones that increse the efectiveness of the positive trait. For example, if a pig began developing lighter bones to eventually be able to fly, seeing the pig is actually fat and heavy, he'd have less chances of survival than a pig with more dense bones, the benefitial trait could be, instead, stronger tusks, so the pig is not heading towards flight, but the other way arround. But if a bird does, it increses it's survivavility by making it a better flier. In the same way, if a bird began devloping heavier bones he'd be a worse flier, and be more likely to die.
In all honesty, if your religious belifs do not allow "change over time", you need to re-examine and change them. While americans seem to have the idea that change over time is merely a hypothesis, it isn't, it's an observed and documented fact. The theory of evolution merely refers to the mechanism through wich this change over time occurs. And i have no problem if a belif makes you differ from the mainstream theory, as long as you don't go dennying plain truths, like saying all mutations are harmfull, or some nonesence like that.
EDIT: For example, i accept change over time and accept both the theories of evolution i know as a viable responsability for it, but i belive the change is also being "channeled" or "looked after" by our elder brothers: demons, angels, and the like. Certinaly your average scientists would call be an idiot but... well, even if i were an evolutionary biologist it wouldn't affect my performance, so i guess it is allright.
Drakill, I appreciate your comments, but I just want t point out that I am not naive or uneducated. My beliefs certainly do allow for change over time, and I am well versed in the theory and mechanics of evolution. And I disagree about most Americans believe that change over time is a hypothesis. America may currently be dominated by xtian fundamentalists, but there are actually a majority of people in the country who accept evolution as fact and not theory. I am merely pointing out that there seem to be some unexplored questions within the theory that it would be interesting to explore.