I've been thinking about evolution, and it has occurred to me that there are 3 problems with it. 1.) evolution by definition is a reactionary process, so how can it look forward - eg how can we as end results of the process ask "what if?" 2.) humanity has the potential to self destruct - Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged recognised that we were the only species that could do that - how can an evolved / reactive process develop a self-destruct mechanism? 3.) At what point along the evolutionary process did it decide to split out into separate genders, and where can we point to to demonstrate this? Any thoughts?

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@Eric, we gave you those book titles because no one here has the time, and likely not the inclination to spend hours educating you on how evolution works. I had assumed you would go read, at least the one book, then return to the board with your new found knowledge. You've indicated you won't have time to read those until near Christmas, so again, I assumed - this time that you would postpone further discussion until then.

Whether or not you actually intend reading the books, I can't say, but it would seem obvious - this time without the use of assumptions - that you intend continuing the discussion with your limited grasp of the evolutionary process. I, for one have no intention of continuing any further discussion until your return with a greater depth of information - if others choose to waste their time, that, of course, is their option.

See you upon your post-holiday return.

1.) evolution by definition is a reactionary process, so how can it look forward - eg how can we as end results of the process ask "what if?"

No, it's not "reactive." There is nothing reacting to anything. It's a process that favors the leftovers of the struggle to survive. It's progressive, not reactive.

Your definition appears to be wrong.

Progressive based on what - previous results of natural selection with large amounts of time, environment and error thrown in - it's still a reaction to what has gone before - it still doesn't have the ability to look forward and speculate.

A result is not necessarily a reaction.

And I think a lot of us are wondering why you are so obsessed with "what if." What if there's no what if? What then?

It appears from archaeopteryx's reply that I have outstayed my welcome, so I will bid you all adieu. Thank you for you comments and explanations. I will read the books you've suggested over the Christmas break - between I hope a good selection of novels - this has been very interesting, enlightening, and faith strengthening, and I will raise a glass to you all next time I have one in my hand. Go well, and the next time you ask "what if", I hope it brings a thought to you, and not just "that damn Christian who didn't know what he was talking about." I see things from a different perspective, and perhaps I have challenged you to do the same. Adios.

Vaya bien - regressa despues de leyendo los libros --

Oh, and Eric, I spoke only for myself, and we all know it, so don't try to blame your departure on me. A very sweet, bright young lady theist, Anna Silva, came on the board recently, and it was clear that she was not very knowledgeable regarding how evolution works, and you are just another case of that - I recommended to you no more, no less than I did to her.

Although you appeared honest, open, and interested in learning, the fact that you kept coming back to the "What if" issue, over and over, after being told repeatedly that it bore no relevance, even referring to it in your closing remarks, leads me to believe that you may, in fact, have had a covert agenda, one that required we accept as valid your "What if" premise, but realizing that you were never going to get us to do so, decided not to waste any more of your time.

If I'm right, we've seen the last of you; if I'm not, you'll read the Dawkins book and return, in which case, I look forward to additional dialogue with you, as I'd hope others do as well.

Anything but answer my question, eh?

I am not sure why I am saying this since Mr. James is apparently gone, but I feel the need to say it anyway.  I will not think ill thoughts towards him because of this discussion.  I am grateful for the understanding I have about evolution, and looking forward to learning more.  I really don't find myself thinking, "What if...? very often in this regard.  It doesn't seem to be necessary.

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