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Memphis

I am at a point were I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I am extremely close to being atheist, I reject all organized religion, and was until recently a steadfast believer in evolution. I'm not here to suggest intelligent design because I cant really buy that either given my stance towards the existence of a god is extremely limited in its extent. However I have an honest question to put out to you scientific minds out their. I am currently finishing my first year of Anatomy & Physiology in college, and I gotta say that every time we enter a new system such as the vessels and arteries, urinary system, or endocrine system, I cannot help but feel that these systems are so complex (ya i know irreducible complexity stupid argument right?) that they could not of developed adequately by either evolution given its mechanics or intelligent design as that causes a logical fallacy (IE what created the creator?).

For example, the bi-valve and tri-valves of the heart as well as its 4 chambers are something that brings this to mind, or the intricacies of lipid and water soluble hormones and their extremely specific effects (incidentally in a properly functioning system we also time and release specifically what we need at that), another example is the filtration process of nephrons in the kidney. I will expand on what I see with hormones. We have three separate but completely interacting mechanisms here. We have the evolution of the neural stimulus to release these hormones in response to certain specific conditions. We have the evolution of the hormone itself. And shockingly if we discuss hormones that have specificity we also have only the target cells having receptors that are not only the only cells with the receptor, but the receptor only fit's that hormone. These three things developed separately, as each of them are unrelated except for the fact that they work together.. Yet they obviously perfectly work together. I could expand on the other categories, but that will have to be another day as I am tired. What I am looking for is an answer. I don't buy into religious ID answers and its becoming harder and harder by the semester for me to accept evolution as a good answer either. Maybe someone can correct any ignorance I have on the subject and point me in the right direction.

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elantheros

I cannot help but feel that these systems are so complex that they could not of developed adequately by either evolution given its mechanics

What do you understand about the mechanics of evolution, then?

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splur

I'm not arguing for evolution or a sense of a creator, because I believe in both.

Think of the rudimentary part of life, the single celled organism. We believe that this was the first to come out in the web of life and in evolution. Somewhere in the primordial soup and a spark came life in this cell and through millions, maybe billions of years of evolution came the multi-celled organism. Maybe just two cells communicating with each other and working in unity. Or four, eight, sixteen, etc. Evolution being a random mutation in a given organism which by the law of the survival of the fittest, if the mutation is advantageous then the organism will live to reproduce more of itself.

Now you're asking about veins, arteries, endocrine systems, gastrointestinal, hormones all which are used to regulate, maintain, and control the body. Remember, this is millions if not billions of years of evolution in the making. Think of it this way, consider a human as one cell in a city being the organism. We've created roads, buildings, infrastructures, water mains, sewage pipes, electrical and telecommunication lines, all to maintain a functional city. It took a long time to create this city, but we did it over time building from a small farm with only a family of four. Why you ask? Would you rather live in a farm where you have to fend for yourself and grow everything you eat? Or in a city where you just have to walk down the street to the grocery store and buy your food, and you're protected by the local police and neighborhood watch? It's the same idea, cells aren't stupid little things. They're able to work in harmony with other cells using chemicals (ie. hormones) as a means of signal transduction.

Scientists have actually observed a similar kind of network which occurs between bacteria in colonies. They're able to communicate with each other to signal specific things. We're simply a larger and more advanced version of this.

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the evn show

However I have an honest question to put out to you scientific minds out their. I am currently finishing my first year of Anatomy & Physiology in college, and I gotta say that every time we enter a new system such as the vessels and arteries, urinary system, or endocrine system, I cannot help but feel that these systems are so complex (ya i know irreducible complexity stupid argument right?) that they could not of developed adequately by either evolution given its mechanics or intelligent design as that causes a logical fallacy (IE what created the creator?)

I don't intend to sound spiteful or condescending but: given that you can see complex structures develop from a single cell - what is so hard to understand? I am making the assumption that your courses spent a fair amount of time on embryology.

The development of individual structures, and evolution of traits in species are (IMO) beautifully illustrated in "The Evidence for Evolution" by Richard Dawkins and "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne. Both books are accessible to anybody with a high-school education. You may find

- part of a series intended for young people to be informative. It covers the changes that lead to the development of eyes, wings, and acid sprays.
These three things developed separately, as each of them are unrelated except for the fact that they work together.Yet they obviously perfectly work together. I could expand on the other categories, but that will have to be another day as I am tired. What I am looking for is an answer.

Without wanting to get into anthropic-mania: That's what we'd expect to see. If the systems didn't work together at all then it would be surprising.

I don't buy into religious ID answers and its becoming harder and harder by the semester for me to accept evolution as a good answer either. Maybe someone can correct any ignorance I have on the subject and point me in the right direction.

I'm curious: how much of your course spent covering evolution & biochemistry? My first year anatomy courses had almost nothing to do with evolution whatsoever (it was a recurring theme, but a minor one).

I'm not sure what the courses are labeled at your university but I found compelling answers to some of my questions in the introductory cellular biology courses.This was doubly so when when combined with first and second year chemistry. Zoology looks like it'll also help to clear up some gaps in my knowledge. Obviously a complete understanding from "here are atoms" to "here are people" is the sort of thing that you spend your life learning, but at the undergraduate level you should easily be able to collect the major puzzle pieces.

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Memphis

I'm not arguing for evolution or a sense of a creator, because I believe in both.

Think of the rudimentary part of life, the single celled organism. We believe that this was the first to come out in the web of life and in evolution. Somewhere in the primordial soup and a spark came life in this cell and through millions, maybe billions of years of evolution came the multi-celled organism. Maybe just two cells communicating with each other and working in unity. Or four, eight, sixteen, etc. Evolution being a random mutation in a given organism which by the law of the survival of the fittest, if the mutation is advantageous then the organism will live to reproduce more of itself.

Now you're asking about veins, arteries, endocrine systems, gastrointestinal, hormones all which are used to regulate, maintain, and control the body. Remember, this is millions if not billions of years of evolution in the making. Think of it this way, consider a human as one cell in a city being the organism. We've created roads, buildings, infrastructures, water mains, sewage pipes, electrical and telecommunication lines, all to maintain a functional city. It took a long time to create this city, but we did it over time building from a small farm with only a family of four. Why you ask? Would you rather live in a farm where you have to fend for yourself and grow everything you eat? Or in a city where you just have to walk down the street to the grocery store and buy your food, and you're protected by the local police and neighborhood watch? It's the same idea, cells aren't stupid little things. They're able to work in harmony with other cells using chemicals (ie. hormones) as a means of signal transduction.

Scientists have actually observed a similar kind of network which occurs between bacteria in colonies. They're able to communicate with each other to signal specific things. We're simply a larger and more advanced version of this.

The problem I see with this analogy is simple. In a city, if I loose the police department, crime rate will go up, but the entire city wont burn to the ground killing every inhabitant at a huge rate. If I loose power the city wont immediately freeze over killing every inhabitant. If I for example, remove anti-diuretic hormone, I would be dead within a day because I would loose all the water in my body. If I remove any single part of the Loop of Henle I have just destroyed the filtering process of the kidney and I am also dead. if just of of the flaps on my tricuspid valve is too small I have just created a seriouse problem when pumping blood that will lead to my death within an hour if not minuts. I'm too tired to think of anymore tonight but this is were my confusion lies.

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Memphis

I don't intend to sound spiteful or condescending but: given that you can see complex structures develop from a single cell - what is so hard to understand? I am making the assumption that your courses spent a fair amount of time on embryology.

I have thought about embryology and its relation to this,but the difference that I see is that all the pieces are developing together in a completed fashion if you will, a fetus is completely dependent on the host for the sole reason that it is not fully developed and does not yet show viability. That alone says a lot it seems.

The development of individual structures, and evolution of traits in species are (IMO) beautifully illustrated in "The Evidence for Evolution" by Richard Dawkins and "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne. Both books are accessible to anybody with a high-school education. You may find

- part of a series intended for young people to be informative. It covers the changes that lead to the development of eyes, wings, and acid sprays.

I will look into getting those books, thanks this is the kind of thing im looking for.

Without wanting to get into anthropic-mania: That's what we'd expect to see. If the systems didn't work together at all then it would be surprising.

That is exactly the problem to me. Take away any one piece and we have death of the organism. This is how we expect it to see because we are obviously alive and I understand that, but the how is what bothers me.

I'm curious: how much of your course spent covering evolution & biochemistry? My first year anatomy courses had almost nothing to do with evolution whatsoever (it was a recurring theme, but a minor one).

A little, the more I studied anatomy, the more i tried to do my own research on the topic (part of that is my post here on Neowin to point me in the right direction)

I'm not sure what the courses are labeled at your university but I found compelling answers to some of my questions in the introductory cellular biology courses.This was doubly so when when combined with first and second year chemistry. Zoology looks like it'll also help to clear up some gaps in my knowledge. Obviously a complete understanding from "here are atoms" to "here are people" is the sort of thing that you spend your life learning, but at the undergraduate level you should easily be able to collect the major puzzle pieces.

I might go back through some of my textbooks again and look but my textbooks didn't cover much on how they developed TBH.

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elantheros

The problem I see with this analogy is simple. In a city, if I loose the police department, crime rate will go up, but the entire city wont burn to the ground killing every inhabitant at a huge rate. If I loose power the city wont immediately freeze over killing every inhabitant. If I for example, remove anti-diuretic hormone, I would be dead within a day because I would loose all the water in my body. If I remove any single part of the Loop of Henle I have just destroyed the filtering process of the kidney and I am also dead. if just of of the flaps on my tricuspid valve is too small I have just created a seriouse problem when pumping blood that will lead to my death within an hour if not minuts. I'm too tired to think of anymore tonight but this is were my confusion lies.

I still think you need to clarify your question a bit more. What is it that you understand about evolution, that makes all these complex organs and interdependence impossible?

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lamminium

I am at a point were I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I am extremely close to being atheist, I reject all organized religion, and was until recently a steadfast believer in evolution. I'm not here to suggest intelligent design because I cant really buy that either given my stance towards the existence of a god is extremely limited in its extent. However I have an honest question to put out to you scientific minds out their. I am currently finishing my first year of Anatomy & Physiology in college, and I gotta say that every time we enter a new system such as the vessels and arteries, urinary system, or endocrine system, I cannot help but feel that these systems are so complex (ya i know irreducible complexity stupid argument right?) that they could not of developed adequately by either evolution given its mechanics or intelligent design as that causes a logical fallacy (IE what created the creator?).

For example, the bi-valve and tri-valves of the heart as well as its 4 chambers are something that brings this to mind, or the intricacies of lipid and water soluble hormones and their extremely specific effects (incidentally in a properly functioning system we also time and release specifically what we need at that), another example is the filtration process of nephrons in the kidney. I will expand on what I see with hormones. We have three separate but completely interacting mechanisms here. We have the evolution of the neural stimulus to release these hormones in response to certain specific conditions. We have the evolution of the hormone itself. And shockingly if we discuss hormones that have specificity we also have only the target cells having receptors that are not only the only cells with the receptor, but the receptor only fit's that hormone. These three things developed separately, as each of them are unrelated except for the fact that they work together.. Yet they obviously perfectly work together. I could expand on the other categories, but that will have to be another day as I am tired. What I am looking for is an answer. I don't buy into religious ID answers and its becoming harder and harder by the semester for me to accept evolution as a good answer either. Maybe someone can correct any ignorance I have on the subject and point me in the right direction.

Literally almost everything in the human body is well designed. You need to step away from the human anatomy for a bit and look at other animals. The remarkable similarities in embryological development in mammals, for example, suggest that living animals are related in some sense.

As for the human body itself, it is beautiful yet imperfect. When you study the head region, you'll evidently see evolution at work. I still don't get why the maxillary sinuses drain superiorly which means in normal human gait, they fail to drain completely (not cool if they're filled with paranasal fluid). Further down the abdomen, why is that appendix there if it all has are some lymph nodes which our body apparently is perfectly fine without?

Evolution is no longer genetic but is now genetic with an epigenetic component (the latter has recently gained attention).

I mean the beauty of nature is readily seen in simple things like everyday life matter. How does one atom in a molecule "know" that the other atom can bond with it? Then what is "energy"? We use "energy" to explain virtually everything but we can't give it an appropriate definition. Is it a fundamental identity of nature? We have more questions than answers. Instead of letting "this can't explain this fully" take over you, why not turn this into a life long challenge? It only fuels further development and benefits the community as a whole. From the seed of doubt sprouts the tree of knowledge.

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Pam14160

It would appear that your education is at a level that allows you to determine what and how the human body works. Now you are for some reason attempting to put it along with evolution, and religion together in your mind. You are without a doubt an intelligent person, so stop trying to think so much. One of the problems we have as humans is our ability to ascertain what is happening in the world around us; we have the tendency at times to carry this further than necessary.

Everything that has been pointed out in your thread has a point in both evolution and religion; it all depends on who you are talking to. It is only you who can come to the final decision of what you are looking for. I to went through this same pattern of thinking except as one studying for a PhD in History. When looking at history you have to be able to look at all sides of an issue to truly understand the outcome of a specific action, thus understanding all sides of the issue (if your lucky).

Your mind is working overtime, put it in natural and allow it to learn more before you make a final decision on what is bothering you. In other words stop thinking so much, and use your intelligence to continue to comprehend what you are studying. As a scientist you will always be wondering about the wonders of life.

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Shokus

I would like to point out that while there are evidences is out there, it is important to separate evidence from interpretation of evidences. For example:

The remarkable similarities in embryological development in mammals, for example, suggest that living animals are related in some sense.

Evidence: Embryological development in mammals are remarkably similar.

Interpretation 1: Mammals evolved from each other, hence they have a similar development due to their common origin.

Interpretation 2: Similarity is a form of design, which would require a Designer.

Just food for thought.

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lamminium

I would like to point out that while there are evidences is out there, it is important to separate evidence from interpretation of evidences. For example:

Evidence: Embryological development in mammals are remarkably similar.

Interpretation 1: Mammals evolved from each other, hence they have a similar development due to their common origin.

Interpretation 2: Similarity is a form of design, which would require a Designer.

Just food for thought.

On this ground, both would be plausible.

However, if you apply Occam's Razor, the first one is favoured.

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Shokus

^Agreed. Though Occam's Razor isn't exactly a scientific methodology.

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elantheros

On this ground, both would be plausible.

However, if you apply Occam's Razor, the first one is favoured.

Actually, if Occam's Razor were to be applied, the second one would be.

A few pages' worth of Bible text is decidedly far easier, simpler, and less demanding on IQ than the complex mechanisms involved in evolution, as described by molecular biology, probability statistics, etc.

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lamminium

^Agreed. Though Occam's Razor isn't exactly a scientific methodology.

Perhaps not strictly a scientific methodology per se but it ensures that science works the way it should. The principle has proven to be successful for centuries because it immediately forbids the assumption of a Deity where natural explanations suffice.

@elantheros: see above.

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elantheros

Perhaps not strictly a scientific methodology per se but it ensures that science works the way it should. The principle has proven to be successful for centuries because it immediately forbids the assumption of a Deity where natural explanations suffice.

Last I checked, the purpose of science was to find the right answers, not to deny the possible existence of deities in favor of natural explanations.

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lamminium

Last I checked, the purpose of science was to find the right answers, not to deny the possible existence of deities in favor of natural explanations.

Science never means to deny the existence of a Deity, e.g. evolution in itself never negates the prospect of a Creator because not a single word in its formulation points to the absence of a God.

What science tries to achieve is use the available empirical resources to explain the phenomena. Scientific theories have to follow a few criteria which include, but not limited to, "observable, testable and falsifiable". In this sense, the theory of a Deity's existence falls out of favour.

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elantheros

Science never means to deny the existence of a Deity, e.g. evolution in itself never negates the prospect of a Creator because not a single word in its formulation points to the absence of a God.

What science tries to achieve is use the available empirical resources to explain the phenomena. Scientific theories have to follow a few criteria which include, but not limited to, "observable, testable and falsifiable". In this sense, the theory of a Deity's existence falls out of favour.

Good. This is a better answer than your previous one.

Given how widespread the belief is among creationists that there is a worldwide conspiracy by scientists against religion, there's really no reason to give them any more ammo to fuel their theories of connivance.

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Stetson

I don't really see complexity as an issue as far as evolutionary theory goes. Millions and millions of years take care of that. Systems didn't form independently one at a time, they gradually formed from more simple to more complex as time went on and these more complex systems allowed for creatures better able to adapt, survive, and cover territory.

There are a few things that I feel might possibly point to some sort of outside influence or are just very very incredible luck.

One is that life (as far as we know at this point) began once and only once. The conditions were favorable enough for life to occur out of non life but we have no evidence that there were three or four or hundreds of separate lineages based on different core chemicals and processes, all life that we have studied fits with a single common ancestor.

Two is that we humans seem to have a lot more mental capability than would be required to survive and reproduce in this world. We build roads at 90 degree angles, mow our lawns, invent complex processes and tools to wage war or do things that interest us. We write novels and history books (we actually care about history!) that are thousands of pages long and other people want to read them. We engage in global struggles about rights and culture. We conduct routine manned missions to outer space and have actually gone to the moon. Compare that with a few creatures that are right below us on the scale of mental capability.

Interpretation 2: Similarity is a form of design, which would require a Designer.

Why design millions of related end units when you can design a system?

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lamminium

Good. This is a better answer than your previous one.

Given how widespread the belief is among creationists that there is a worldwide conspiracy by scientists against religion, there's really no reason to give them any more ammo to fuel their theories of connivance.

Well, think about this: a researcher spends 10+ hours in the lab, struggling with his experiment. After managing to set up things properly, he collects data and work out what it tells him. To aid him, he has to go through 50+ articles and pick the ones that offer support for his ideas. Then he has to type up the paper, submits it for peer review and starts examining another topic for the next experiment to broaden our knowledge. In his precious free time, he wants to shake off the burgeoning stress from work.

I don't think he has time to conspire.

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Hani

Actually, if Occam's Razor were to be applied, the second one would be.

A few pages' worth of Bible text is decidedly far easier, simpler, and less demanding on IQ than the complex mechanisms involved in evolution, as described by molecular biology, probability statistics, etc.

We would have to explain an even more complicated entity (designer) that we have no evidence for. The first is much simpler.

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justmike

We would have to explain an even more complicated entity (designer) that we have no evidence for. The first is much simpler.

Not really. What is more simple, one existence, or many existences at the beginning? At the bang? Pre-bang? Or One start, or re-start, of everything from the point of one being first. Take a time line, bend it, now what is your history? For everything we learn, more new questions arise. I do believe in God, and I would say we know many things by our own standards, even tho much of that may not be correct, but how much does any one of us really know about everything? Everything, is somewhat large. So if I ask you to throw out a percentage of everything that you believe you understand now, or will understand sixty years from now, what would the percentage be? Believing does not mean that we should stop sciences. Believing in God is believing in one Good, one Evil, and that good and evil "actually" exist, and that we have choices. Without Good and Evil, survival is really all that is left. Science is simply a tool, it can never completely explain something until it can completely grasp it.

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+John.

I believe in Science. I am completely open to ideas though. If God comes down one day, I will happily accept ideas. I am agnostic, as it is ignorant to assume there is nothing else out there in Space.

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justmike

I believe in Science. I am completely open to ideas though. If God comes down one day, I will happily accept ideas. I am agnostic, as it is ignorant to assume there is nothing else out there in Space.

The Bible does not say anything about other life to my knowledge, and yes I read it. So if there is, there is, and if not, then not. People want to somehow believe that God could do all of these things, but can not create other life? God's timing does exist in the Bible, "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." I enjoy the sciences of time and movements myself, in studying this I've seen writings about reality holes, the liquid universe, and quantum time shifts based on quantum field theory. But even those things, had to have a beginning (to us).

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+devHead

I am at a point were I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I am extremely close to being atheist, I reject all organized religion, and was until recently a steadfast believer in evolution. I'm not here to suggest intelligent design because I cant really buy that either given my stance towards the existence of a god is extremely limited in its extent.

I cannot help but feel that these systems are so complex (ya i know irreducible complexity stupid argument right?) that they could not of developed adequately by either evolution given its mechanics or intelligent design as that causes a logical fallacy (IE what created the creator?).

What I am looking for is an answer. I don't buy into religious ID answers and its becoming harder and harder by the semester for me to accept evolution as a good answer either. Maybe someone can correct any ignorance I have on the subject and point me in the right direction.

I can understand where you're coming from; frankly, organized religion has done nothing for the advancement of science (rather has hindered it in many cases), and the hypocrisy in religion, along with presenting a view of God that is nothing like what is actually written in the Bible (if you read it, you'll see what I mean) has turned people more toward believing in evolution, because, frankly if religion is wrong, then intelligent design must be wrong too, right? I think it's important to remove mainstream religion from the formula and focus on whether it's reasonable to believe in an intelligent designer.

As far as humans know, everything that we have seen constructed by humans (buildings, airplanes, computers, etc.) had to have an intelligent designer behind them. But if you compare the most complex piece of technology we've come up with (and for which we rightfully marvel) with something considered simple in nature (like a single cell), the cell wins out hands down. Now how could that cell have simply 'arrived' by accident with no intelligent thought from anywhere. To me, that just is the epitome of illogic.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this subject, but to me, if something seems like it was intelligently designed, of all creatures we as humans should come to that conclusion, since we ourselves are able to intelligently design things.

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