I recently brought up my atheism to a christian friend last night (through email) and explained why I now disbelieve religion.  A couple of the reasons included scientific basis for how old our planet actually is, such as carbon dating, dendrochronology, radiation half-life, evolution, and so forth.  Some of these methods I know date the world much, much older than the bible's approximation of 6-10,000 years.  So of course, she came back with arguments against these methods and evolution.

 

1. "Carbon dating is not an exact science either."

With this, she mentions that scientists "redate" things because they retest and come up with different answers.  Even still, the differentiation is minute in the grand scheme of things correct?  From what I've understood about carbon dating is that it's quite accurate (at least relatively).

 

2. Drum roll please...  "Even evolution is a theory."

I hear christians using this all of the time.  I even dropped it a few times myself previously.  I do know that there are several definitions of the term 'theory,' and the theory of evolution is proven by facts, the same facts that disprove creationism and intelligent design.

 

What are some good arguments to come back with?  I am asking advice mainly for my own education, so I would like some handy unbiased resources and I can form my own answers.  One of her arguments as well was "don't you think that the sources you have studied might have been funded by scientists trying to prove their theories?"  Implying that any site you go to is biased in one direction or the other.

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For rizzle?  LMAO
I don't believe in evolution for the same reason I don't believe in my chair.  It's not a fairy or a god, it doesn't need my belief, it's just a thing that is.
Haha, now I'm embarrassed about the title of this.  Kidding!  But it is silly now that I think about it.  There is no need to argue about something that has as much evidence as evolution does without contradictory evidence at all.
You know I have been rolling that one around in my pea brain here for a while as well. I never understood how anyone could say that they don't "believe" in evolution. Now if they said, "I don't believe evolution is true", that might make a little more sense.

I have been struggling with how to reason that one out....so thanks surgoshan for clearing that up for me.

And of course I believe evolution is a fact.

Argument for evolution.

 

1. Traits are passed through offspring.

2.more successful traits remain due to natural selection.

3.These traits come from DNA/RNA.

4. Mitosis and other phenomenon that involve replication of genes are rarely perfect, meaning that mistakes are made in the copies. Even sunlight changes DNA!

5. Supposedly the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees only goes as low as 96%(you'll need to reaffirm that I suppose)

6. Because of point number 4, traits that have never existed maybe come to exist through the happenstance of mutation in a single generation, and because of points 3, and 4, those traits may cause the extinction of previous traits that existed prior to mistakes in DNA copying.

7. Because of point 6 and 7, the likely hood of a gradual 4% change throughout billions of years mite be so likely that something would probably have to occur to keep that from happening(This point probably has some faults. You'd have to determine the genetic similarities to the common ancestry of chimps and humans, rather than common genetics of humans and chimps themselves.)

 

Argument number two: Self replicating RNA has been found on asteroids which hit the earth, which evidence enough of abiogenesis occuring on earth, and while the statistical probability of a self replicating RNA being created from amino acids coincidentally banging into each other in the rite way in primordial soup phase of the earth is extremely low, the fact that it exists outside of the earth is proof enough that life on earth can be caused by the creation of self replicating RNA anywhere in the universe, increasing the probability of it happening by... I'm not sure how much, but however many planets had a primordial soup phase, and I'm sure there are a lot of those. So weather or not god created life in an extremely short amount of time, it was going to happen without him.

 

K....I am only a science enthusiast and not a scientist, but the farthest Hubble has seen to date is 600 million light years away. Right? Sooooooo..it only follows that despite what anyone of these hypnotized people are saying is "hogwash". And would the Grand Canyon not be a good place to start the rocks at the bottom of the canyon are nearly 2,000 million years old (according to the Grand Canyon National Park Web site). The oldest rocks are 4000 million years old.

This gets a bit complicated because the observable universe is larger than its age suggests. The universe is 13,75 billion years old, but has a diameter of about 90 billion light years (think sphere, not a circle). That's because after the Big Bang space-time itself expanded and that happened at a speed faster than light.

 

The oldest known star is about 13,2 billion years old.

I have to say that I really like Coyne talking about Oceanic Islands versus Continental Islands. There are many singular things that we can point to, but the whole of the differences in the islands really struck me.
Continental Island that broke away from continents have large mammals on them. We find conventionally flying birds. Occasionally we'll see differences in the animals, but largely they look just like the continent in terms of an ecosystem.
Oceanic islands such as Hawaii arose out of the see. The plant life is almost always has unique examples. You don't find mammals there until after humans arrive. This includes predators. Since there are no predators and flying takes a lot of energy and hollow bones are fragile, birds often select for dense bones and to be flightless ground dwellers.
[Link to book/blog http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/ ]

Nylonase is a great example of seeing beneficial mutations. Nylonaise is a bacteria that feeds on nylon which is a by product of oil. This mutation occurred since the invention of Nylon and clearly it is beneficial because it gives the bacteria a new food source.
(Sorry, link wasn't working in Chrome Browser http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria)

Telomeric Fusion of Chromosome #2 shows common ancestry between humans and apes. We can see how we deleted a Chromosome from the ape lineage and point exactly to the correct base pairs. It shows that we at one time had 48 Chromosomes.

ERV's - ERV's are only added through reverse transcriptase. Basically we get an infection and if it's through an ERV (I believe that HIV is an example), it infects a gene and forever leaves it's signature to be passed from generation to generation. We share 14 common locations with chimps. This means that 14 times in history we have had the same infection as chimps that just so happened to hit exact same location in the genome, or, we have a common ancestor. Clearly, 14 locations that show the same infection out of billions of possibilities leaves no question.

This is very interesting information!  Thanks Gaytor.  I've used the rapid evolution of P. sicula in order to prove that evolution (even on a micro level) happens and is explained and backed up by loads of evidence.  The nylonase is very interesting and somewhat parallels P. sicula.

 

The info on ERV's is very interesting, and I'll have to study up a little bit to fully understand it.  But I do see the point of it being that there is [more] evidence that we share a common ancestor with chimps.  As you'll see in the video I posted below, a common misconception among creationists is that they will argue that we claim to have evolved from chimps.  Their 'reasoning' couldn't be more ignorant.

This is basically how EVERY conversation goes with an ignorant creationist.

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