VIDEO: Dawkins debates a Creationist

Oh, No, not Dawkins again

VIDEO: Dawkins discussion with Wendy Wright.

  1. I feel sorry for poor Mr. Darwin. What would he think about all of this? Charles wasn’t even as certain about his theory as Mr. Dawkins is. Darwin was willing to be proved wrong… But I would agree with Mr. Dawkins on one point: i.e. not wanting to live in a Darwinian world, Darwin, I believe would be horrified at how his theory has been exploited as a philosophy.. Let me remind Mr. Dawkins that evolution is not the problem – most of us know it happened – Dah! Although I’m not a creationist, I’m a scientist and researcher – there are many, many problems with the very particular Darwinian mechanisms for evolution. Even the most modern Darwinian synthesis is coming under increasing pressure from wonderful new science – epigenetics, natural genetic engineering vs. natural selection, transposible elements, horizontal gene transfer, hybridization between ancient lineages of complex animals, including mammals, etc, etc, etc…

    When we dig really deep, you begin to see that she (the creationist in this video) is right about the lack of transitional fossils and the fact that no amount of experimentation has ever demonstrated macro evolution (a change from one species/family/domains of organisms to another). The new insights into epigenetic factors etc are some of the complex mechanisms that are in the running for explaining (trans-generational inheritance) how evolution may have occurred and it is far more complex and intriguing than anyone could ever have imagined. Mobile (genetic/genomic) elements have played a major role in evolution & NATURAL GENETIC ENGINEERING is offered as an alternative to natural selection as the driver of macro-evolutionary change according to Shapiro (See ‘A view from the 21st century, where peer reviewed molecular biological studies are presented in abundance).

    This leads us to: the argument that Dawkins puts forward for shared DNA (chimps are closest to humans etc). He is talking about the minuscule 2% of DNA that codes for proteins and it is 98% of this tiny 2% that we share with chimps. So, the same goes for bananas. In other words, as I ask in my bloghttp://diggingupthefuture.com ‘If we share half our genes (the coding ones) with bananas, does that make us half bananas?
    As for the religious questions – well, why don’t we keep religion out of science – that goes for you too Mr. Dawkins……All in all, this is a very civil discussion throughout this video and I believe well worth a watch. As they both say:.RESPECT! Let’s keep talking and examining the facts.

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4 thoughts on “VIDEO: Dawkins debates a Creationist

  1. Actually we share most of our lineage with both bananas and other primates, since both bananas and primates are eukaryotes (as opposed to say bacteria) and were evolving for over 2 billion years before they diverged into the wide groups of plants and animals less than 1 billion years ago. However the claim that we share the same degree of genetic resemblance to chimpanzees as we do to bananas is, well, bananas. And while we share 98% of our coding DNA with chimps we share about 95% of our genes overall with them, so the implication that there is only a 2% resemblance is simply a falsehood (where are you getting your information from?). As for the claim that there are no transitional fossils, google “list of transitional fossils” and you will find many long lists of them. Google transitional fossil and click the image tab and you will find many pictures of the fossils you claim do not exist. It is also worth mentioning that it is not scientifically valid to dig up a fossil and then speculate about it’s origins, true scientific theories are used to predict discoveries before they are made – such as darwin’s predicting many traits never before seen in nature and the fossil record using his theory before they were discovered. He predicted for instance the existence of early bird fossils with separate digits in the “hands” of their wings, because according to his theory their wings had to have originally been limbs, and because land animals so widely have separate digits (usually five) birds at some point had to have them too. Two years after he made the prediction the first archeopteryx was discovered (a fossil dinosaur which had feathered wings with separate, clawed digits). He also predicted absurd creatures like a moth with an 11 inch long tongue over a century before they were discovered based on the necessity of their existence for the evolution of certain types of plants. As for demanding to see a species spontaneously produce in a short period an entire new family or genus, that is like saying that unless you can produce 15 generations of descendants before my eyes it is not true that you had 15 generations of ancestors. It is a disingenous “experiment” which is impossible by the very mechanics of the phenomenon it pretends to debunk.

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    1. Thank you for well considered and clear comment which I have approved on my blog. The point I was trying to make in the banana argument (which, was intended purely in a playful way to make the point about our shared common code having such drastic different results, i.e. a banana vs. a human}, perhaps. as you rightly point out – was somewhat misleading unless you understand the basis of the full argument, which I only skimmed over in my reply to the video. As you say: “And while we share 98% of our coding DNA with chimps we share about 95% of our genes overall with them, so the implication that there is only a 2% resemblance is simply a falsehood (where are you getting your information from?)”. It is perhaps not so much where am I getting my info from (it is deeply researched and from the latest peer-researched scientific studies), but more a case of HOW I am interpreting these studies based upon a significantly lesser emphasis on shared genes and conversely, a much greater emphasis upon the other 98% of our genome (the non-expressed stuff – junk – regions of wasteland that tell a very different evolutionary history to our conventional understanding as seen through the lens of Darwinian evolution.

      I simply see the similarity of genes as the closer an organism resembles another: the more similar the gene sequences will be. Or, you could say this the other way around. The more closely the gene sequence line up: the more alike two organisms will be. Regarding this resemblance/similarity genetic make up, the 95 or so (it changes depending upon what you are comparing), which we do share with chimps, is only a very small part of the evolutionary story as my research has led me to understand. Genes are relatively fixed, but their markers/tags (epigenetic) – which direct what genes are expressed and when, turned on or off etc change a great deal. They make the difference between identical twins with the same genes (identical) same environments/food etc have a very different outcome in their health in later life depending on their experience. How genes are expressed change through your life time and evolutionary gene expression within even similar types of species (AKA chimps & humans) has created profoundly different responses to environmental conditions and has changed profoundly how and what genes are expressed – the outcome being quite dramatic – e.g. differences in walking/speech etc and many higher functions.

      This of course is an oversimplification of all the research emerging from the world of molecular biology, developmental biology and even other broader disciplines such as physiology and physics that are applicable to biological systems and diversity. In other words, although chimps genes are very similar to ours: how, when and which genes are expressed, is what sets us apart.

      This brings me to the other points you make regarding the transitional fossils. Here, I have to de-construct every assumption that you base your evidence on. As this would take an entire book, it just so happens, you guessed it – I didn’t do all this research for nothing. Yes, it is in a book being edited at the moment and here I dedicate an entire chapter to this issue alone. I truly do appreciate your points and I am so glad you brought them to my attention as it has made me more attentive to confusion I seemed to have created regarding the underplaying of the shared genetic (genes) between chimps and ourselves/ I really will consider re-wording this so that my arguments may be clearer.

      Maria Brigit

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