Why do humans kiss?

-- asks Roberto Morabito from Brooklyn, NY.

Scientists currently have no explanation for this particular KISS. (CREDIT: Wok)
By | Posted October 2, 2006
Posted in: Ever Wondered?, Life Science
Tags: , , ,

Her eyes are wide as they stare into yours. You wrap your arm around her waist and pull her in close. She touches your face and you lean in, tilt your head – to the right, of course – and your lips connect. The rushing sensation leaves you little room to wonder, “Why the hell am I doing this anyway?”

Of course, the simplest answer is that humans kiss because it just feels good. But there are people for whom this explanation isn’t quite sufficient. They formally study the anatomy and evolutionary history of kissing and call themselves philematologists.

So far, these kiss scientists haven’t conclusively explained how human smooching originated, but they’ve come up with a few theories, and they’ve mapped out how our biology is affected by a passionate lip-lock.

A big question is whether kissing is learned or instinctual. Some say it is a learned behavior, dating back to the days of our early human ancestors. Back then, mothers may have chewed food and passed it from their mouths into those of their toothless infants. Even after babies cut their teeth, mothers would continue to press their lips against their toddlers’ cheeks to comfort them.

Supporting the idea that kissing is learned rather than instinctual is the fact that not all humans kiss. Certain tribes around the world just don’t make out, anthropologists say. While 90 percent of humans actually do kiss, 10 percent have no idea what they’re missing.

Others believe kissing is indeed an instinctive behavior, and cite animals’ kissing-like behaviors as proof. While most animals rub noses with each other as a gesture of affection, others like to pucker up just like humans. Bonobos, for example, make up tons of excuses to swap some spit. They do it to make up after fights, to comfort each other, to develop social bonds, and sometimes for no clear reason at all – just like us.

Today, the most widely accepted theory of kissing is that humans do it because it helps us sniff out a quality mate. When our faces are close together, our pheromones “talk” – exchanging biological information about whether or not two people will make strong offspring. Women, for example, subconsciously prefer the scent of men whose genes for certain immune system proteins are different from their own. This kind of match could yield offspring with stronger immune systems, and better chances for survival.

Still, most people are satisfied with the explanation that humans kiss because it feels good. Our lips and tongues are packed with nerve endings, which help intensify all those dizzying sensations of being in love when we press our mouths to someone else’s. Experiencing such feelings doesn’t usually make us think too hard about why we kiss – instead, it drives us to find ways to do it more often.

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  1. I had read somewhere else that some theorized it originated from a tradition of men and women swapping tobacco. Not sure of the source.

    Jim
    http://www.runfatboy.net – Exercise for the rest of us.

    Jim Jones, October 2, 2006 at 3:44 pm
  2. I agree with the ‘it feels good’ camp. That HAS to be the reason :) Still it IS odd that chimps and other animals do it.

    the english guy, October 2, 2006 at 6:05 pm
  3. @the english guy

    Just saying “it feels good” doesn’t explain anything. If you believe that humans evolved, as the vast, vast majority of scientists do, then you’ll be curious to find a reason for kissing that makes it advantageous for reproduction somehow. The fact that it feels so good lends support to the idea that there is such a reason. Also, it would be even more odd if no other mammals did it, since most of the things that really make humans unique are more directly related to intellect.

    Joe, October 2, 2006 at 6:44 pm
  4. Kissing is learned. Thais don’t kiss…they sniff each other’s cheeks. Put your tongue down a Thai girl’s throat and she is more likely to puke on you.

    Then again, if you kiss her down below she is more likely to explode in ecstacy. I guess it all comes down to where you do your kissing, doesn’t it?

    Marc Holt, October 2, 2006 at 8:20 pm
  5. Regardless, it’s still disgusting. They don’t mention that over 200 bacteria colonies are exchanged during a kiss.

    Anon, October 2, 2006 at 9:20 pm
  6. Not everything has an obvious evolutionary reason for existing. Humans evolved consciousness, and the ability to think about what feels good and what doesn’t. There are several sexual practices engaged by humans that really have no bearing on improved reproduction.

    pz, October 2, 2006 at 9:27 pm
  7. Bacteria… I believe that is one of the reasons. Many South American cultures share spit in other ways, through community meals and ‘special’ beverages. I have always suspected that this leads to a shared immune response, and makes a group stronger as a whole. Just my 2 cents.

    Michael, October 2, 2006 at 9:30 pm
  8. sounds like someone is disappointed he isn’t getting any bacteria.

    chad, October 2, 2006 at 9:33 pm
  9. There would be a counter advantageous element to the kiss too from an evolutionary stand point. The kiss would greatly increase the chance of transmitting pathogens. If there is a genetic underpinning to this activity it would mean that the advantages must outweigh the negative aspects otherwise selective pressure would have favored individuals that didn’t kiss it or even were repulsed by this type on non-reproductive activity.

    Rod, October 2, 2006 at 9:43 pm
  10. @Anon

    Your point…?

    @Chad

    Yea I agree. lol!

    Al, October 2, 2006 at 9:52 pm
  11. @Joe

    First, evolution is dead in informed circles. Entropy and information theory work against it.

    Second, why must the ‘it feels good’ answer be wrong? Take an example of the inverse – I do not hit my finger with a hammer because it does not feel good. Does that mean that my continued persistance in NOT hitting my finger with a hammer comes from some deeply significant human-promotional act? Perhaps it’s just because I accidentally hit my finger with a hammer one time, and decided I didn’t want to do that again thanks to subsequent throbbing pain, so I avoid it. Similarly, perhaps kissing just feels good to many of us, and therefore we are attracted to the act, akin to how I’m repulsed from the painful hammer-to-a-finger act.

    Matt, October 2, 2006 at 10:19 pm
  12. i’ve read somewhere that it begun with men trying to know if there women had drunk wine.. O.o

    michael, are you from south america? ¬¬

    Krol, October 2, 2006 at 10:24 pm
  13. Even in America, “French Kissing” was fairly uncommon until after Victorian times… I am fairly sure my parents (now aged 80) never did it. When the Clinton scandal broke, Mom expressed disgust that anyone would do *that* kind of thing either.

    Jeff N., October 2, 2006 at 10:27 pm
  14. @Matt,

    ahh… but then one has to ask, “Why does it hurt when you hit your hand with a hammer?” and you thus come back to the “must stay alive” mentality. When you make yourself less “survivable”, your body tells you it’s bad to do what you’re doing through pain. A broken finger would put you a few rungs down on the ladder of traits, so your body reacts by saying “Don’t do that”. Thus human-promotional act.

    Zebov, October 2, 2006 at 10:28 pm
  15. @Matt

    Funny because the majority of scientist in the world all reguard evolution is fact. Quit making up stuff, unless creationists are informed circles to you.

    As for kissing, I believe it’s a combination of feel good/instinctual behavior. I believe it feels good because we are programmed genetically to enjoy kissing because of the advantages that come from it. Still if passing on bacteria is so great, why do we only kiss our mates on the lips?

    Todd, October 2, 2006 at 10:29 pm
  16. “@Joe

    First, evolution is dead in informed circles. Entropy and information theory work against it.”

    Evolution dead in informed circles? I bet the informed professors would disagree if I’d used that argument in any of the Bio courses that I’ve taken in the past few years. Entropy argues against a sustained complex system, but that doesn’t rule out the existence of any complex systems. Nature is full of complex systems, so a few proteins folding in just the right way on one planet out of trillions of stars in the known universe hardly seems unreasonable.

    Andrew, October 2, 2006 at 10:34 pm
  17. @Todd

    You only kiss your mate on the (oral) lips?
    Poor mate.
    And poor you!

    scosol, October 2, 2006 at 10:37 pm
  18. I see what Matt is saying, though. Making sure not to hit your finger with a hammer is not something that evolved evolutionarily exactly. The ability to have things feel good or feel bad evolved first, and then hitting your finger with a hammer happened to feel good. It’s not like cave men were hitting their fingers with hammers and then the ones with nerve endings survived and reproduced.

    Similarly, being close face-to-face with someone, touching something soft to your lips, etc… it just feels good. We don’t need to have evolved kissing… It’s just something that feels good because of the way we evolved already, apart from kissing.

    To say that people who don’t kiss were at any significant disadvantage to reproduce or survive seems ridiculous, IMO.

    Joe, October 2, 2006 at 10:41 pm
  19. Oh, btw, this is a different Joe from the other Joe up there.

    Joe, October 2, 2006 at 10:42 pm
  20. I think kissing helps us determine genetic diversification before mating. For example, my naive theory is that people’s saliva tastes different based on their chemical makeup, and perhaps blood type. If you get the same taste if you kiss someone, you are likely to be too alike, and its not as good for the success of your offspring to mix two alike people. If they taste different, I seem to favor kissing my mate more, and therefore more chance of successful mating with diverse genes in my children. Just a guess, but I haven’t seen any research to that effect.

    Jason, October 2, 2006 at 11:01 pm
  21. Why do humans kiss?

    -, October 2, 2006 at 11:20 pm
  22. What no one has mentioned is that kissing is actually sexually stimulating. Somehow and for some reason, kissing is foreplay. Ear nibbling, hand-holding, and foot rubbing are also sexually stimulating. It could simply be arbitrary. As long as it leads to sex, that’s all that matters. Maybe the cultures that aren’t that into kissing just aren’t that into the aesthetics of sex. Just like the old blue-noses who are offended by oral sex.

    Sean, October 2, 2006 at 11:29 pm
  23. @Zebov,

    Yes, that’s true. That occurred to me as I was contemplating this. The hammer-on-the-finger does sound like an act that would decrease survivability. Perhaps that wasn’t the best example to use. My point was that the “feel goodness” of kissing may be enough to cause us to do it again, similar to the hammer-finger is enough to cause me to never do it again. Also, I would assert that pain does not necessarily govern what is best for our survival. Silly example: growing pains (e.g. aches, etc.) are a part of maturing physically. They hurt, but yet it’s a necessary part of my overall survivability. Maybe I’m thinking too much about this – this is just off-the-cuff theorizing on the topic.

    @Todd & Andrew,

    Not planning to make this an evolution debate, but since one of you suggested that I’m (or “we’re”, more likely) making this stuff up, I’ll play along.

    Entropy & sustained complex systems – sure, that’s fine…except that all systems tend toward decay without purposeful and continued input, implying strategic organization when the system first existed. And where do these complex systems originate? They don’t occur randomly. You need information – articulated design decisions to create a system. Assuming a system defied all probability and was randomly generated, entropy kicks in and decays it. And then on top of that when you complicate the matter with most systems’ irreducible complexity, then the already tiny chances of any non-trivial system evolving become astronomically small.

    I’ve read what learned people say about this, e.g. irreducible complexity. They tend to ignore either entropy (continued decay without information / energy input) or information theory (how the system got there to begin with). Talking about one in a vacuum is useless.

    Matt, October 2, 2006 at 11:30 pm
  24. Stop to consider this.

    Kissing is just another form of touch, just as is a stroke on the back. Both can be innocent, comforting, and arousing. Touch is the ultimate way to excite your senses. I hope we all know what happens when you excite the senses of your potential mate. Well, we all hope it won’t be blue balls.

    If my girlfriend began rubbing my back in an intimate way, she would get a response that would encourage reproduction. But if I was feeling a bit down, and my girlfriend was doing it to bring me comfort, it would encourage a different set of emotions.

    As stated before, there are a shit load of nerve bundles in the mouth and on the tongue, which make a great roadway for excitement. Our society dictates that kissing is a great starting point toward intercourse. If it was giving high-fives, basketball would be a lot more interesting.

    DannyDrak, October 2, 2006 at 11:38 pm
  25. I read somewhere (in Discovery mag I think but i’m probably wrong) that kissing is more about smelling your partner’s unique scent; i.e., while your lips are locked together, you are in a uniquely intimate position to smell your partner. It sounds sketchy and could be pure bollocks but …

    chudez, October 2, 2006 at 11:54 pm
  26. Matt,

    You are mistaken in thinking that a system of life on earth would decay due to entropy. Entropy is not disorder; entropy is energy that can not be used to perform work. New, non-entropy energy is constantly being introduced by solar radiation.

    And don’t babble on about “irreducible complexity;” that’s just a buzzword designed to sound scientific but meaning “we don’t feel like imagining how this would have come to be.” Complexity arises from simplicity all the time. Observe how evaporating water, set to spin from the rotation of the earth, becomes a hurricane.

    Stevis, October 3, 2006 at 12:16 am
  27. @Matt

    What do you call the sun? I’d say that’s somewhat of a lot of energy input. Solar power may be inefficient, but it’s not nonexistent.
    But yeah, entropy only applies in a closed system. The earth is quite thoroughly not a closed system. The sun is becoming more disorderly all the time, which in turn allows the earth to become more orderly. Thus, the complete sun-earth system always increases in average entropy, but that doesn’t mean parts of it can’t become more orderly.

    And I think this debate sort of stems from a confusion regarding whether pleasure and pain serve a purpose. If they are things that are just there for no reason, then Matt could be right. If, on the other hand, they are indeed survival mechanisms, and our genes are punishing self-destructive behaviour such as thumb-hammering and rewarding self-reproductive behaviour such as sex, then the logical assumption is that, yes, we kiss because it feels good, but in addition to that, kissing feels good for a reason. So the underlying question the article was originally trying to ask was not “Why do we kiss?”, but is instead “Why does kissing feel good?”

    Plasma, October 3, 2006 at 12:19 am
  28. “They tend to ignore either entropy (continued decay without information / energy input)”

    *ahem* THE SUN!

    Next!

    (99.85% of all scientists in related fields support evolution theory, 95% in non-related fields do also, your “informed circle” must be pretty small)

    FAB, October 3, 2006 at 12:19 am
  29. It does feel good. And it tends to bond people together, because its an intimate experience. People who wouldn’t dare use each other’s toothbrushes will kiss like there’s no tomorrow. The bonding experience may explain the evolutionary benefits of kissing.

    Miss Cellania, October 3, 2006 at 12:21 am
  30. @scosol – I think Todd was saying something else. Not that lips are the only places we kiss our mates, but our mates are the only ones we kiss. Like, if bacteria swapping is so great, why don’t we kiss the smelly old man at the bus stop?

    bilge rat, October 3, 2006 at 12:26 am
  31. Why do we kiss???

    Q. Why does a dog lick its butt?

    A. Cause it can.

    Super, October 3, 2006 at 12:28 am
  32. @ Sean, DannyDrak

    Glad somebody mentioned this point. Typical of the scientists to miss it :) – yet the ‘lovers’ amongst us know that kissing isn’t just for the lips – either pair.

    But to the assertion that as some cultures do not engage in kissing therefore it is a ‘learned’ behaviour, that seems a bit flawed. Can we be sure that the absence of kissing in those cultures is not due to latterly imposed social or ideological rules, rather like the those of many established religions? I can’t, so I’m with the ‘instinctual’ camp. It’s for sexual stimulation. The fact that it feels good is indicative of the purpose why it triggers our instincts.

    Sexual stimulation is all about finding the best mate for procreation and, as evidenced in other animals at least, in the most efficient and fastest way possible, after all, all animals are extremely vulnerable to predators during this act. In our history, human’s were no less vulnerable.

    Perhaps the act of kissing parts of the body other than the mouth is learned however, in the same way that sign language developed to better communicate the acts of the hunters and now we prattle on about all kinds of trivia on the Internet :)

    Ken, October 3, 2006 at 12:34 am
  33. Could it just be part of the mating ritual that’s evolved along with the notions of love, and from there has become a learned thing?

    Brody, October 3, 2006 at 12:45 am
  34. @ Matt

    >First, evolution is dead in informed circles. >Entropy and information theory work against it.

    You mean uninformed circles?
    Entropy would work against it in a closed system, but guess what the only closed system in the universe is? That’s right… the universe!

    Earth recieves energy from the sun, therefore the law of increasing entropy in a closed system does NOT apply. Take some physics and get back to us, mmmkay? :)

    Jason, October 3, 2006 at 1:02 am
  35. Kissing is of course the smallest favor that leads to sex, it feels good and everyone knows that when you kiss that certain spot, whether it be the ears or what not, it leads to heavy excitement, therefore increasing your chances of reproduction. Sure it could have evolved over time from some mom giving food to her kids or whatever, the fact of the matter is it’s still done today, it improves everyday and it evolves in a sense from just a peck on the lips to full on tonsel hockey. Kissing is something that mates do when they feel comfortable around each other enough to engage in further commitment and bonding. you wouldnt just sit there and twiddle your thumbs to get the night going. NO! it is a common activity to do with a mate and you can think that it evolved from cave men if you want to, but i think everyone is missing the big picture of what kissing really means and what it brings to a relationship. it’s also a tell tale sign that the other mate likes you and wants to take things further and its relaxing and intimate and anyone who doesnt like to kiss or hasnt been exposed to it, should be.

    brit, October 3, 2006 at 1:07 am
  36. most mammles clean one another. for instance my two cats clean each other, and so do my two rats. It is just a way to show love and care to another. but we do it by kissing.

    matty, October 3, 2006 at 1:17 am
  37. Matt..

    As nicely as I can put it – you’re uninformed, if not an outright idiot.

    First off, the notion that Evolution somehow breaks the laws of entropy is just silly. (The 2nd law of Thermodynamics is what you’re referring to, I believe, there is no ‘law of entropy’..): You can read several explanations of why your claim is wrong here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo.html

    Short and sweet, your own words above invalidate this claim! ‘Systems decay without constant input’ – What do you think the SUN is, anyway? It’s a gigantic energy source, pouring vast amounts of energy out into space and onto the earth. The earth is NOT a closed system, so complexity most certainly CAN increase. It’s only in a closed system that the ‘Law’ states that complexity will tend to decrease.

    Snowflakes are far more complex than drops of water, yet they occur all the time. Why? Due to interactions with the sun, air, and water on our planet, we have this nifty process called ‘weather’, where heat energy and water vapor are circulated all around the planet, forming complex patterns in a myriad of forms, from lightning to clouds to snowflakes. There are many other forms of ‘simple’ complexity being created around us constantly.

    As for this need for ‘information’ that you claim, I don’t suppose you could quote any honest science (You know, *real, peer-reviewed* science) that explains this need, or even properly quantifies what ‘information’ is, exactly? It’s a nice claim, but it’s nothing but babbling in an attempt to sound scientific. There is no law or even a proper theory that requires ‘articulated design decisions’ for weather, evolution, or any of the other processes around us. All they take is energy, and we get it from the sun in abundance.

    ‘Irreducible Complexity’ is a farce. Intelligent Design is a farce. It has no science behind it, and everytime one of these creationists hiding as a scientist brings it up, they are quickly shot down by real scientists all around them. Everytime they point to an example and say ‘See? Irreducible Complexity!’, they’re shown to be wrong. Bacterial flagella, the blood clotting cascade, the eye, the immune system, even something as simple as mousetraps! Michael Behe himself had to admit in court that none of his examples either showed IC or ruled out evolution as described in the neo-darwinian synthesis.

    Here. Read about it at http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200.html .
    Try reading the whole site, or at least the sections that explain those particular subjects. Read about the Dover Trial itself here.

    Go to PubMed and search for articles referring to ‘Evolution’, and compare it to articles referencing ‘Irreducible Complexity’. You -might- find half a dozen that mention IC, and all of them showing how it’s wrong. You’ll find tens or even hundreds of thousands of real, peer-reviewed studies, each one validating or explaining yet another tiny piece of the Theory of Evolution.

    There IS no ‘Theory of Intelligent Design’, unlike the Theory of Evolution. After many years of questioning, I have yet to see any ID proponent articulate an actual theory that doesn’t involve ‘and then god’s magic happens’.

    Really, just having you say ‘Evolution is dead in informed circles.’ tells me that you don’t actually travel in any informed circles. Could you give us some examples of these ‘informed circles’ who feel that Evolution is dead?

    Please. Educate yourself about REAL science, and then come back to talk to us about informed circles’ and the laws of thermodynamics (entropy).

    Just today I started seeing articles about the most recent Nobel Prize being given out. To whom?
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2006/
    A pair of researchers who jointly discovered RNA Interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA. Try reading the advanced information about the breakthrough and see how many times it refers to evolutionary implications, and then tell me that evolution is dead!

    Ermine

    Ermine, October 3, 2006 at 1:19 am
  38. Grait stuff. I knid of knew the answer – but it’s nice to be confirmed. Good work – nice (short) reading :-)

    timS, October 3, 2006 at 1:22 am
  39. why does everyone want so badly to think that there MUST be an evolutionary process behind kissing? somethings are done simply for pleasure… look at masterbating, it has no reproductive benefits, it doesnt significantly impact our health, why do we do it then… oh that’s right b/c it feels good. while kissing may have some big chain of events leading to it being ingrained in our brains, it seems more likely that its one of those things we do b/c we like the way it makes us feel.

    this is silly, October 3, 2006 at 1:22 am
  40. I think tis because public oral sex became taboo thousands of years ago.

    anon, October 3, 2006 at 1:55 am
  41. but it isnt now..and kissing isnt public oral sex unless you are actually that daring and out there..kissing is a public thing, i see couples making out in the parks all the time, hell i do it. i have to agree with this is silly, because it is virtually the same concept, it just feels good and honest to god when you find something that feels good and gives you pleasure do you really want to give it up and stop doing it??

    brit, October 3, 2006 at 2:08 am
  42. *raises hand*

    There are some of us who do not find any pleasure in kissing and wonder what the hell the rest of you are so excited about. To me, finding kissing pleasurable is like being ticklish — if you are ticklish, you react to being tickled, otherwise it’s just weird touching. And like being ticklish, it doesn’t mean you’re abnormal in any other way.

    some girl, October 3, 2006 at 2:16 am
  43. i though masterbation did serve a purpose…cleaning out the tubes and what not. not to mention the endorphins released. am i wrong on this??? here i thought i was being healthy :-(

    beer, October 3, 2006 at 2:23 am
  44. what about if you aren’t in love? people seem to be satisfied by kissing still, and i would never understand why making out witha random stranger would be pleasant in any way.

    1, October 3, 2006 at 2:26 am
  45. @beer

    actually you are correct..i learned this in bio..you are being healthy and plus it builds up the muscles in ur arm..well both if you’re multi talented..plus when you eat healthy too, like lots of fruits and vegies and protien, it makes it taste sweeter and better because its all vitamins and proteins that you release.. so yea just a lil tip watch what you eat, cuz we swallow it too… (hah) and of course making out with a complete stranger isnt pleasurable, its gross cuz you dont know them, for it to mean something you have to be friends with the person first.

    brit, October 3, 2006 at 2:31 am
  46. @Jason

    The ‘physical’ universe is not a closed system. It’s not that difficult to see this if you look with a disciplined mind. Of course, if you only observe physical law being played out, and take probabilities to be governed by such law (as opposed to sentience), you aren’t going to percieve that which lies before you, within you, ohh, basically everywhere.

    @Plasma

    I don’t know why people associate increased entropy with increased disorder. Here is a little definition for you from a popular book:
    “entropy: the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity”
    Like, what if everything was Iron? Would Ozzy be the alpha Fe-Male then? :p

    mk62, October 3, 2006 at 2:37 am
  47. Joe says…
    “If you believe that humans evolved, as the vast, vast majority of scientists do”
    Joe, you are full of shit. Interesting that when someone knows subconsciously that they are full of shit, they have to use superlatives. The word “vast” would be unnecessary even once if you believed what you are saying. Twice is absurd, and focuses your self doubt like a laser beam on your statement. Anyone who has a passing familiarity with the scientific community knows that evolutionism is not nearly as popular as you so fervently hope.

    Redneck Joe, October 3, 2006 at 4:00 am
  48. Matt Says…
    Funny because the majority of scientist in the world all reguard evolution is fact. Quit making up stuff, unless creationists are informed circles to you.
    Matt,
    Provide some sources. You made a fool of yourself with that comment. It is utter nonsense.
    Also, you should repeat 7th grade English class.

    Redneck Joe, October 3, 2006 at 4:04 am
  49. Matt, I apologize.
    In the above post, I meant to say, “Todd says”

    Redneck Joe, October 3, 2006 at 4:05 am
  50. FAB says…
    (99.85% of all scientists in related fields support evolution theory, 95% in non-related fields do also, your “informed circle” must be pretty small)
    Bachelor’s degree in physics, grad study in electrical engineering here.
    I know no one with a real scientific background who supports evolution theory. Not ONE. Where do you guys get these numbers? From your freshman biology professor? He is probably not a scientist, but a political activist, memorizer, and wishful thinking secular humanist with an agenda. Wake up, guys.

    Redneck Joe, October 3, 2006 at 4:13 am
  51. Jason says…
    Earth recieves energy from the sun, therefore the law of increasing entropy in a closed system does NOT apply. Take some physics and get back to us, mmmkay? :)

    Jason,
    Physics major here with degree. Anyone who uses mmmkay is too immersed in popular culture to be taken seriously.
    Sarcastic fool.

    Redneck Joe, October 3, 2006 at 4:17 am
  52. redneck joe keeps sidestepping refutations to the argument with which he agrees, with personal attacks and appeals to his own authority. why not directly address the argument if you are so familiar with the subject matter? You require sources, but do not provide any yourself.
    here’s a link to an outside source concerning this very claim that scientists “who know” don’t believe in evolution. HTML may not work in this forum so just copy the text between quotations if the link does not appear.
    outside source

    it’s obvious that emotions run high when anyones beliefs are challenged, but that doesn’t excuse us from trying to communicate with civility.

    BTW i use big words because they are a normal part of my vocabulary… i read a lot of books.
    p.s. who knew an article about kissing could spawn such a debate?

    IT jon, October 3, 2006 at 6:02 am
  53. ah, since links work i’ll give a couple more:
    page referencing the same claim
    evowiki

    poll results of ohio scientists, primarily framed around intelligent design, but with specific questions about the validity of the theory of evolution.
    poll results

    i’m curious, do the people “with a real scientific background” agree on an alternative to evolution? or do they just not know how to explain the state of species diversity we see on the earth today?
    “i don’t know” is a valid answer as far as i’m concerned.

    IT jon, October 3, 2006 at 6:31 am
  54. @Matt (and all the other @$$hats…)

    Regarding strategic organization and the origin of complex systems… Try to use just a little imagination, and wonder how much time passed before the universe came into existence. Whatever *scientific* theory of creation (i.e. big bang) you choose to assault with your “information theory” argument, it can be countered by considering that given enough time any random system will organize itself into all possible arrangements.

    Every time I flip a coin, I have a 50% chance of flipping heads or tails. Maybe I want flip heads a billion times in row… If I flip I coin *forever*, this will eventually happen.

    Jackass

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 7:48 am
  55. Marc Holt: Ever learnt anything about generalisation and assumption…

    Showing affection for a partner might not be social acceptable in Thailand but it doesn’t mean all Thais don’t kiss and only sniff kiss.

    Brian, October 3, 2006 at 8:04 am
  56. The interesting thing about the evolution theory is how it has adopted a sort of “emperor’s new clothes” superior attitude. Anyone who believes in evolution seems to think those that question it must be stupid. Then they make smug and superior posts flaming the persons who question. Ergo, “you must be stupid if you don’t believe like I do.” It took an honest and unpretentious little kid, in the fairy tale, to look at the emperor and say, “wow he’s naked! ha ha!”

    It seems to me that the evolution theory disregards simple logic in its basic premise. We know from human experience that nothing complex in our environment spontaneously develops. Nothing. Everything we see that is complex, from tiny bacteria to complete, massive, living biochemical structures that are animals and plants from birds, fish, humans to whales, ALWAYS develops from a precursor. Never do we see even so called “simple” forms like bacteria or single celled organisms spontaneously occurring. The odds against such spontaneous generation of complex life forms are astronomical.

    I’ll insert a quote here. “The probability of life having originated through random choice at any one of the 10-46 occasions is then about 10-255. The smallness of this number means that it is virtually impossible that life has originated by a random association of molecules. The proposition that a living structure could have arisen in a single event through random association of molecules must be rejected.” [Quastler, Henry. The Emergence of Biological Organization, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1964, p. 7]

    The odds of life spontaneously occurring, then, are 1 in a number so vast as to be quantitatively larger than the estimated number of atoms in the universe! Forget planets.

    It’s as Dr. Chen said – “In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 8:20 am
  57. Speaking of scientists who support evolution, there’s Project Steve:

    http://tinyurl.com/efqgp

    A list of now 761 scientists named Steve, Stephanie or other variants who support evolution as a fundamental principle. And yes, I’m one of them. Good luck finding that many scientists of any name who think evolution is hogwash.

    Not that the appeal to authority means anything anyway, of course.

    Stevis, October 3, 2006 at 8:28 am
  58. Has anyone asked the French? Kiss?

    Biff, October 3, 2006 at 8:35 am
  59. Where is the science in the shiat article? This artcile reads and feels like an high school newspaper expose! Well in retards!

    Burt Notch, October 3, 2006 at 8:36 am
  60. Steve:

    As the old saying says, following the crowd, may lead nowhere. Most scientists in Galileo’s day believed the earth was the centre of the universe. Only a select few believed the truth.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 8:37 am
  61. u book answer: The ceremony of adoption consisted in drinking each other’s blood. In some groups saliva was exchanged in the place of blood drinking, this being the ancient origin of the practice of social kissing. And all ceremonies of association, whether marriage or adoption, were always terminated by feasting.

    P787:8, 70:3.8 In later times, blood diluted with red wine was used, and eventually wine alone was drunk to seal the adoption ceremony, which was signified in the touching of the wine cups and consummated by the swallowing of the beverage. The Hebrews employed a modified form of this adoption ceremony. Their Arab ancestors made use of the oath taken while the hand of the candidate rested upon the generative organ of the tribal native. The Hebrews treated adopted aliens kindly and fraternally. “The stranger that dwells with you shall be as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”

    jeff, October 3, 2006 at 8:37 am
  62. I’ve got to add in Sir Fred Hoyle. He’s a riot.

    Evolution teaches that in the beginning, inanimate matter, through countless combinations and a great deal of time, arrived at the present highly complex forms of life found on the earth. Let’s see what the experts have to say:

    “…anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik’s Cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cube faces at random. Now imagine 10-50 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously [emphasis original] arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling of just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only the biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the earth is evidently nonsense of the highest order.”

    This quote was from Sir Fred Hoyle, an honorary research professor at Manchester University and University College Cardiff. He was a University lecturer in Mathematics at Cambridge. He is a well known and well respected scientist. Chance development of life on earth, in his opinion, is “nonsense of the highest order.”

    He also says in another work concerning biomolecules:

    “…one must contemplate not just a single shot at obtaining the enzyme, but a very large number of trials such as are supposed to have occurred in an organic soup early in the history of the Earth. The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10-20 x 10-2000 = 10-40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.”

    I love it. And yet, the majority of scientists, as Steve-o mentioned previously, adhere with blind faith to this theory, with its “outrageously small probability” of occurrence. Why? The answer is hinted at in an above post – “secular humanist agenda.” They do not want to consider the possibility of a higher force, a higher intelligence, which must have started and put into operation the order we see around us.

    I reserve the right to question and to doubt. Evolutionists, in my experience, are just as rabidly fanatic in their groundless faith in their theory, as say, your average Southern Baptist is with regard to his ridiculous literal creationism and racism.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 9:22 am
  63. @Todd

    blow yourself up.

    Matt didn’t make anything up you sack O’shit. he made a very valid point, which was in turn just as easily arguable. and yea, I’d say creationists are well informed circles. Any scientist not interested in being proven wrong is no scientist. He’s a slandering buffoon of a coward.

    And kissing came from the mothers feeding the young most likely, and enough of it happening, it could be a comforting mechanism to press lips. Birds do it for their young.

    Josh, October 3, 2006 at 9:28 am
  64. @ Kami-MP

    Perhaps I was a little harsh, but I am not saying that “Intelligent Design” is wrong, I just think it is rediculous to try and undermine well established scientific theories with bogus arguments.

    IMO, it doesn’t make sense to mix science and religion, because I believe religion is based on faith, and faith is believing something to be true without evidence. If one needs to support their faith with “scientific” evidence, or feels that science infringes on their beliefs, perhaps they should reexamine their faith.

    I would guess that many scientists are also people of faith, go to a place of worship and regular pray to a supreme being, and still except that evolution is a sound scientific theory. Perhaps one could believe that evolution is part of God’s plan and call it “Intelligent Design”, but that is faith, not science.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 9:31 am
  65. @ Kami-MP

    Again, it seems common to neglect time when discussing probablities. For all we know througout time there have been countless iterations of perhaps lifeless universes. But we are here now, and perhaps it is a random empty occurrence. It is rediculous to suggest that our existence defies all odds of probablity, and therefore our creation must be by design.

    Any event with probability greater than 0 MUST occur eventually.

    Either accept it on faith, or accept that we just “are”, because we must be.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 9:38 am
  66. Redneck Joe sez: I know no one with a real scientific background who supports evolution theory. Not ONE.

    Southern Man replies: Interesting that in my thirty odd years of university teaching in the natural and applied sciences – mainly in private Bible-belt Christian schools – I’ve not met ANYONE with a real scientific background that didn’t at least accept that the theories of evolution, coupled with the mountains of physical evidence in support of those theories, gave a compelling explanation for the extraordinary diversity of life on Earth. The ultimate test of ANY scientific theory is how well it explains what we see in the observable universe – and, like it or not, evolution is the theory that most successfully does so today. If a better theory comes along, evolution will be replaced by it. However, there isn’t much sign of a superior alternative today. Arguments about information theory and entropy certainly don’t make the grade.

    But my real reason for replying is ’cause I sent this link to my gf. Hi, gf! I don’t know if it’s your pheremones or your superior immune system or what, but I can’t wait to kiss you tonight!

    Southern Man, October 3, 2006 at 9:38 am
  67. @ Kami-MP

    Give one blind man a rubics cube, and wait forever…. he’ll solve it

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 9:39 am
  68. Scott:

    I think most people believe faith must be something that is ethereal, without basis or grounding in fact, just a blind belief or credulity that someone inexplicably has in a higher power.

    In fact, real faith is grounded on fact, knowledge, and experience. The foundation of REAL faith is reason, not credulity. For instance, you will have “faith” in your good friend after he or she has proven themselves reliable. I trust in my Mercedes because I know it was built well in the first place – it has good handling and good brakes.

    Likewise I have experienced from my observation of science and nature on this planet that we were created by a being that is wise and powerful, and obviously wanted us to enjoy life. In my personal life I have also experienced other things, and learned other things, which have caused me to logically and reasonably pursue and advocate belief in a creator, and to pursue a relationship with that being. My faith is not blind but based on a firm foundation.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 9:40 am
  69. Scott:

    Who is the man? Who built his hands? Who built the Rubik’s cube? Who created the time-based dimension in which he exists? Who supported his eternal existence, allowing him to eternally attempt to solve the cube?

    Your logic is supremely flawed.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 9:44 am
  70. KamiMP

    “The interesting thing about the evolution theory is how it has adopted a sort of “emperor’s new clothes” superior attitude. Anyone who believes in evolution seems to think those that question it must be stupid.”

    There is nothing unique about “evolution theory” in that respect; only creationists single it out. People would tell you you’re stupid if you denied the validity of quantum electrodynamics or the germ theory of disease. They are all scientific theories supported by massive amounts of hard evidence. The only reason people claim that only Darwin cannot be criticized is because it’s only Darwin that wingnut creationists attempt to criticize.

    “We know from human experience that nothing complex in our environment spontaneously develops. […] Never do we see even so called “simple” forms like bacteria or single celled organisms spontaneously occurring.”

    Of course. We never will, for many reasons. First, it took a very long time for life to develop in the first place; far longer than the lifespan of any human or even human civilization. Second, early life was able to develop because our atmosphere was oxygen-free; oxygen tends to disrupt the simpler biochemical processes. Most importantly, new life can’t develop in an environment already populated with life. Existing organisms have evolved to be too efficient at processing biomolecules; new life would never have a chance to compete.

    “The odds against such spontaneous generation of complex life forms are astronomical. I’ll insert a quote here.”

    All such quotes are based on ridiculous assumptions, neglecting such basic principles of selection and self-organization. Statements such as “the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial” bear no relation to the processes by which enzymes actually form: it wasn’t 10^40000 simultaneous shots in the dark.

    Furthermore, the particular figure you use was arrived at by especially ridiculous reasoning: the odds of producing life *exactly like us* are small, but that has nothing to do with the odds of producing *life*. As a crude analogy, shuffle a deck of cards and lay them out in sequence: the odds of getting the particular sequence you do are astronomically small, but the odds of getting some sequence are 100%.

    See Stuart Kauffman’s work for arguments that the development of life is not only not astronomically unlikely, but in fact overwhelmingly likely whenever a sufficient chemical complexity is present. Of course, those arguments cannot yet be proven, but it is an example of how probabilities depend heavily on the assumptions being made.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 9:45 am
  71. Kami

    I think you make a very good point and I don’t disagree with you, and I suppose my definition of faith was overstated:

    “faith is believing something to be true without evidence”

    I am just trying to say that we shouldn’t need to look for concrete proof that there is a creator…

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 9:49 am
  72. Kami

    I don’t see how an argument with no logic can demonstrate that another argument is without logic… that seems flawed to me.

    It is a fact, and I will repeat it again, it doesn’t matter “who” made what, in this universe, any event with a probability greater than 0 MUST occur, given enough time.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 9:54 am
  73. Mathematical likelihood is a very sound basis for questioning the origin of life on this planet. Wishful-thinking along the lines of Kaufmann, with his outlandish theoretical postulations, and stating that earth had a zero-oxygen environment which supposedly would be more favorable for the spontaneous generation of complex amino acids (a supposition which is entirely unproven and actually very dubious given the geological evidence) is a sad attempt to patch up the popped balloon of the theory as it stands. Think about it: we know that if we were to take microorganisms from earth and deposit them on another planet, they would almost certainly perish. Why/ Because every life form on earth fits into the massive and exceedingly complex pattern of things we see around us. one depends on another to survive. if we were to terraform another planet, we would need to simultaneously introduce a large number of elements to support the survival of earth organisms. We haven’t even scratched the surface in our attempts to understand the complexity of earth’s ecosystems! What would this newly spontaneously formed single celled organism eat? Breathe/ How would it reporduce? Oh, so you’re saying not only did it spontaneously pop into existence from inanimate matter, it came fully programmed with instructions for survival, DNA which would allow it to breathe, eat and reproduce, and within an environment in which it might survive? What if a rock fell on it? oh, well, many of them must have spontaneously developed at 1 in 10×40000 a pop? Come on! The whole concept is unrealistic to the point of making a sci-fi writer die of mortification.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:03 am
  74. Scott:

    If what you say is true, then why does science maintain a higher law of probability, and a ratio of odds-based improbability or even impossibility? My point is valid – for life to exist, the building blocks of life and an ecosystem to support life must exist. Are you saying that a VCR would spontaneously pop into existence somewhere in the universe, given enough time? If so, would it really play a VHS tape? Would it have a power plug? If it did, wouldn’t you wonder why a planet with no life on it would have a VCR with the ability to play a VHS tape (doesn’t exist) and designed to plug into a power receptacle (doesn’t exist?) Even a single celled organism is beyond imagination in terms of how much more complex it is, compared to a VCR. So the VCR couldn’t spontaneously exist, but the vastly more complex single celled organism could, and somehow it would survive? The idea defies logic, and common sense.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:09 am
  75. Kami

    Faith is precisely as Scott defined it, belief without evidence.
    Your experiences that lead you to believe in a god are also exactly that – without evidence. I challenge you to bring up a single thing that could not be explained in some other (simpler and more scientific) way.

    And people who challenge evolution are dismissed as fools because they overwhelmingly are fools. Fools with a poor undertanding of what they challenge, a poor understanding of the arguments they try to use against it and a fundamentalist religious agenda. Intelligent design is not science. Evolution is. If and when any of you have a better theory about how the biological diversity we see around us came about, a theory that fits the evidence, then the world will listen. Until that time I suggest you back off and reconsider your religious stance.

    Even the Pope has acknowledged evolution as god’s work. Why can’t you?

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 10:11 am
  76. Self-organization? Don’t get me started… The universal law of entropy as applied to living organisms defeats such arguments soundly. No complexity on the order of that required for life to exist, (let alone what might be required for the random spontaneous generation of a living organism from inanimate matter) can be shown to spontaneously develop at all, ever. Period. You don’t get swiss watches by throwing a hand greande into a china shop, people. Not even in an eternity of hand grenades and china shops.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:17 am
  77. Kami

    I think you may be overlooking the part about “any event with a probability greater than 0″

    I think its reasonable to assume the spontaneous appearance of a VCR has a probablity of 0

    :P

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:19 am
  78. “Gothnet”:

    The Pope? Don’t get me started. I challenge you to show that you have a greater understanding of the science behind evolution and what its premises are trying to make us accept, than I do. We’ve already discussed blind faith, and where it leads. I seriously doubt you have studied these issues anywhere near to the depth I have. And your expressions on the matter faith betray a definite ignorance on that subject as well.

    Are YOU sure you believe in evolution based on the evidence, or do you just think that’s what smart people believe in, so you believe it too?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:21 am
  79. So a VCR has a zero probability, but a microorganism made up of complex amino chains, (clearly evidence of engineering on the MOLECULAR level, good lord) capable of eating, breathing, self locomotion, basic behavioural capability and reproduction, spontaneously popping into existence from raw elemental materials, has a higher probability? What about the probability of the planet, its minerals, the solar system’s organization, the galaxy’s organization and picture perfect operations, the distance of the planet from the sun, and on and on, all having just come to be at random? In science there are principles, not imagination – cause, and effect. As in, without cause, there is no effect?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:24 am
  80. Kami

    Actually, entropy is not a universal law. It is a law of thermodynamics. Somehow, it has become a law of ecosystems in certain circles… I have no idea why.

    Try this link for a definition.

    In information theory, entropy also has a meaning, but it has nothing to do with systems decaying to a uniform state.

    Heres the link

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:26 am
  81. Oops… that link didn’t work

    try this

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:27 am
  82. Kami

    If I remember correctly, you were earlier quoting the probabilities assigned to the proper arrangement of organic compounds necessary for life to begin here on earth… I think it was greater than 0

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:30 am
  83. Simple entropy law states that any complex machine or system, in time, decays. Eg., you organize your house, but over time, it becomes a mess again. You leave a nice car on the lawn, and over time it rusts and falls apart. We have no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the postulation that complex systems are derived from long periods of time, with random chance. None. Ergo, I can build something, and over time it will decay, not get more complex or organized. Complexity does not arrive without cause and effect, and for complexity on the level we see on this planet and solar system, galaxy, etc., that cause has to have been intelligent and powerful.

    The idea that complex systems can be arrived at over long periods of time is just as ridiculous as the idea that a VCR would grow, somewhere on some planet, with enough time and random chance thrown in. It defies logic and common sense.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:31 am
  84. Scott:

    Reasonably, at what point do you define a probability an impossibility? And have you thought about the implications of time as an eternity? How old do astronomers think our galaxy is, for instance? Nowhere near old enough to support the idea that an event as unlikely as 1 in 1×10-4000 could possibly have occurred.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:34 am
  85. Kami

    I do not “believe” in evolution, I have looked at the available evidence, granted not all of it because there is so much, and it makes sense as a scientific theory.
    Creationism does not.
    Your last post there about entropy belies your lack of scientific understanding as well.

    If you leave a nice car on the lawn it rusts and falls apart. That may be true, but what if someone was putting in energy to maintain it? The entropy argument is old and was busted long ago. The earth is not a closed system, energy is continually supplied by the sun, the second law does not apply. I sincerely doubt you’ve made any sort of study of thermodynamics if this simple fact has escaped you

    why not take a look here for thorough, scientific debunkings of all your arguments and many many more?

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 10:39 am
  86. Ambitwistor:

    It must really rot your socks that, although it’s true that we don’t see spontaneous generation of life in our natural environment, mankind, with all his sophistication, has as well been unable even in complex laboratory situations, to replicate the process that supposedly led to the development of life on this planet?

    What about the “hard evidence” you so adroitly refer to? Bring it on! Hardcore evolutionists often are unaware of how thoroughly the fossil record undermines concepts of evolution, rather than supports them.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:41 am
  87. Kami-MP:

    “Mathematical likelihood is a very sound basis for questioning the origin of life on this planet.”

    Not when the assumptions which go into the calculations are total nonsense, a point which you have not addressed.

    “Wishful-thinking along the lines of Kaufmann, with his outlandish theoretical postulations, and stating that earth had a zero-oxygen environment which supposedly would be more favorable for the spontaneous generation of complex amino acids (a supposition which is entirely unproven and actually very dubious given the geological evidence)”

    I didn’t say that zero-oxygen is more favorable for the formation of amino acids; certainly there is no shortage of amino acids today. However, oxygen most certainly is poisonous to most anaerobic life; almost all life on Earth died off when oxygen-producing organisms evolved.

    “Think about it: we know that if we were to take microorganisms from earth and deposit them on another planet, they would almost certainly perish.”

    Actually, bacteria were taking to the Moon and back and survived. However, they were not biologically active on the Moon itself.

    “Why/ Because every life form on earth fits into the massive and exceedingly complex pattern of things we see around us.”

    Life on Earth is adapted to the planet on which it evolved. Is that supposed to be an argument against evolution??

    “What would this newly spontaneously formed single celled organism eat? Breathe?”

    Do you think there was a shortage of chemicals in the early Earth? That’s how life formed in the first place: from a chemical soup.

    “How would it reporduce?”

    Self-reproducing molecules existed long before cellular life did.

    “Oh, so you’re saying not only did it spontaneously pop into existence from inanimate matter, it came fully programmed with instructions for survival, DNA which would allow it to breathe, eat and reproduce, and within an environment in which it might survive?”

    No, that’s the ludicrous creationist strawman argument for how life formed. The earliest life was nothing more than a self-reproducing molecule, like a peptide chain or RNA.

    “What if a rock fell on it? oh, well, many of them must have spontaneously developed at 1 in 10×40000 a pop? Come on!

    Of course. Life probably simultaneously developed many times all over the Earth. Your 10^40000 is a made-up number, not a real calculation based on anything having to do with what happened on Earth.

    “for life to exist, the building blocks of life and an ecosystem to support life must exist.”

    The building blocks of life are simple chemicals, and so is its “ecosystem”.

    “Are you saying that a VCR would spontaneously pop into existence somewhere in the universe, given enough time?”

    Single-celled life did not spontaneously pop into existence.

    “Would it have a power plug? If it did, wouldn’t you wonder why a planet with no life on it would have a VCR with the ability to play a VHS tape (doesn’t exist) and designed to plug into a power receptacle (doesn’t exist?) ”

    Life didn’t pop into existence adapted to survive in a world that didn’t exist, either.

    How can you presume to be so arrogant as to make these arguments here without knowing the first thing about biology or chemistry?

    “So a VCR has a zero probability, but a microorganism made up of complex amino chains, (clearly evidence of engineering on the MOLECULAR level, good lord)”

    Circular reasoning. The existence of complicated molecules in no way logically implies “engineering”.

    “capable of eating, breathing, self locomotion, basic behavioural capability and reproduction, spontaneously popping into existence from raw elemental materials, has a higher probability?”

    You’re skipping way, way ahead in the history of life. Those capabilities EVOLVED OVER TIME. You know, evolution? That theory you’re supposedly talking about?

    “spontaneously popping into existence from raw elemental materials”

    You’re being ridiculous. Do you really think that anyone thinks that an entire cell “spontaneously popped into existence”?

    “the solar system’s organization, the galaxy’s organization and picture perfect operations,”

    All of those things happen naturally due to the laws of gravity, and are quite common in the universe.

    “Operations”? You are again begging the question. Just because planets move in orbits doesn’t mean that they are executing designed “operations”.

    “the distance of the planet from the sun, and on and on, all having just come to be at random?”

    There are lots of planets in the universe. Many of them are likely to be in the liquid water zone. Not all of them are. So what?

    “In science there are principles, not imagination – cause, and effect. As in, without cause, there is no effect?”

    I imagine you will next circularly reason that for an effect to take place, the cause must be set in motion by some intelligent being.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 10:41 am
  88. Kami-MP:

    “It must really rot your socks that, although it’s true that we don’t see spontaneous generation of life in our natural environment, mankind, with all his sophistication, has as well been unable even in complex laboratory situations, to replicate the process that supposedly led to the development of life on this planet?”

    Why should we? Life took hundreds of millions of years to develop using the chemicals present over the entire surface of the Earth. Why do you think this process should be easily possible to replicate within a laboratory within a few decades?

    “What about the “hard evidence” you so adroitly refer to? Bring it on!”

    Read a textbook for a summary of the tens of thousands of papers providing such evidence.

    “Hardcore evolutionists often are unaware of how thoroughly the fossil record undermines concepts of evolution, rather than supports them.”

    Of course that is further nonsense, but I’m sure you are ready and willing to back up that claim with more strawmen arguments and misunderstandings of what evolution predicts should be seen in the fossil record. Not to mention the fact that the fossil record is far from the strongest evidence in favor of evolution.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 10:45 am
  89. Debunking? Why can’t you debunk me, then, Scott?

    Show me the relationship, on a biological level, between energy input from the sun and the generation and survival of living mico-organisms at random, from raw inanimate matter.

    To use your illustration, maintenance of a car doesn’t occur just by leaving it in the sun. I know because I’m a technologist. System maintenance requires understanding, training, intelligence, and effort. So who or what provided the understanding, training, intelligence, and effort to the project of developing life from primordial goo? Or are you saying that by hooking the car up to solar panels from the sun will prevent its decay? Will an uneducated child, even, be able to prevent the car’s entropy? The child is a lot more sophisticated and capable than say, a dog. Let alone random chance!

    Logic, reason, common sense, and cause and effect.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 10:46 am
  90. Kami

    An impossibility is any event with a probability equal to zero. Any probability greater than 0 is a possibility. Because we are here having this discussion, I would say that an event as unlikely as 1 in 10-40000 must have occured.

    Just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it can’t happen (obviously in this case). And probability theory tells us that it will, eventually.

    If you give me a deck of cards and ask me randomly select a card, any given card has a probability of 1 in 52 of being selected. Just because I pull out a 2 of clubs, it doesn’t mean anything special… it just happened. In fact, if you asked me to pull out the jack of diamonds, odds are not very good that I would, but I could.

    On a small scale, it should not take very many trials for me to eventually draw the jack of diamonds, but, assuming we are reshuffling the deck, it is really just as plausible that I will never draw a jack of diamonds, as it is plausible that I will draw the jack of diamonds on the first try. Hell, another possibility is that I will always draw the jack of diamonds.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:50 am
  91. Gothnet:

    “The entropy argument is old and was busted long ago.”

    In fact, Answers in Genesis has it on their list of arguments so ridiculous that even other creationists shouldn’t use them. (Instead, they prefer an equally bogus but more erudite-sounding argument about “information increase” being impossible.) Something like the conception and birth of a baby increases the entropy of the universe

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 10:50 am
  92. Kami-Mp

    thankyou for saving me the time of writing out responses. every time i read something i took issue with i just scrolled further down to read your response.

    too many scientists and science-types have decided they HAVE the answers and KNOW they are right.

    JohnC, October 3, 2006 at 10:51 am
  93. Kami-MP:

    “Show me the relationship, on a biological level, between energy input from the sun and the generation and survival of living mico-organisms at random, from raw inanimate matter.”

    It’s just chemistry, you know. Endothermic and exothermic reactions. All life that exists is nothing more than chemical reactions, and “raw inanimate matter” reacts chemically too. Do you think chemistry is impossible?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 10:52 am
  94. JohnC:

    “too many scientists and science-types have decided they HAVE the answers and KNOW they are right.”

    Do you say the same thing about those snotty arrogant scientists who have decided that they KNOW that apples fall when you drop them, and even have the presumption to claim that they know a law that governs that fall? Do you, in fact, know anything about the evidence that supports evolution? Why do you single that theory out, and not, say, gravity?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 10:54 am
  95. Kami

    I’m pretty sure we call evolution a theory, or more properly, “The Theory of Evolution”, because we don’t know that it is right. Otherwise we would call it a “Law”, like the second law of thermodynamics, for example.

    Scientists don’t have answers, they have questions. Engineers have answers… so do bible-thumpers.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 10:59 am
  96. Anti:

    The basic assumption that all these processes could even have begun to occur is total pie in the sky. Show me an example, even in a laboratory environment, of any self-replicating molecular structure that develops without human intervention into a more complex structure.

    Do you understand the concept of what an amino chain is? It is a molecular structure that shows tremendous organization on the molecular level, without such life as we know it could not exist. Complexity such as this cannot exist without cause and effect. We have no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that it can. Ergo my problem with the arrogant supposition that it actually did.

    Hoyle’s example of a rubik’s cube works for laymen: imagine a rubik’s cube with thousands of sides (our chemicals.) Now imagine that cube somehow organizing itself, (on it’s own, wth no-one manipulating it, mind!) into a perfect pattern. How can anyone imagine that this is somehow possible?

    We see tremendous climate change in a short period of time on earth. The process you describe would obviously take huge stretches of time to complete. What about the effects of outside influences? What if the planet cooled or got hotter, over the course of the billions of years it is imagined such a process might take? That would undermine it as well.

    All I am saying is that it is very far-fetched, to the point of ridiculousness. You can call me ignorant or wrong headed all you like, obviously my asking these questions and poking holes in your “holy theory” have struck a nerve. I know, I’m not blue-blooded! I can’t see the fabric, guys. Sorry, you’re naked.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:01 am
  97. Scott:

    “I’m pretty sure we call evolution a theory, or more properly, “The Theory of Evolution”, because we don’t know that it is right. Otherwise we would call it a “Law”, like the second law of thermodynamics, for example.”

    That’s not how scientific terminology is really used by scientists. Usually, a “theory” is a broad explanatory framework, and a “law” is a specific component of a theory. Sometimes, a “law” is an empirically determined rule that is awaiting a theoretical framework. For instance, the laws of thermodynamics were determined experimentally before a theory was developed to explain why they are true; that theory now exists, and is called statistical mechanics. But “laws” are theoretical too; you can never prove 100% that a law is correct. In fact, you can’t tell very much about the certainty of something by its terminology; there are theories we are very sure of (such as quantum theory) and laws that we are unsure of.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:02 am
  98. Chemical processes apply to chemicals, Scott – not complex machines and organisms. Complex machines and organisms require a higher level of support and maintenance. Or would you just drop a baby into a vat of chemicals and expect him to grow to adulthood?

    Ambi:

    You talk about apples falling from trees. So, then, explain to me if you know it all, how does gravity work, exactly?

    :P

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:05 am
  99. “Why should we? Life took hundreds of millions of years to develop using the chemicals present over the entire surface of the Earth. Why do you think this process should be easily possible to replicate within a laboratory within a few decades?”

    How can chemicals from all over earth be involved in a process which in application develops a life form that can only be discerned with the aid of a microscope?

    Your supposition that an event that is obviously highly unlikely in terms of statistical mechanics, somehow occurred multiple times and all over an earth which would supposedly at that time have an atmosphere and other conditions completely inhospitable to life, seems to me to be quite illogical.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:12 am
  100. Kami-MP:

    “The basic assumption that all these processes could even have begun to occur is total pie in the sky.”

    It’s not an assumption; there is enormous empirical evidence that these processes did in fact take place.

    “Show me an example, even in a laboratory environment, of any self-replicating molecular structure that develops without human intervention into a more complex structure.”

    Self-replicating molecules alter their structure all the time through mutation. Certainly these new structures lead to different functions and behaviors for the organisms which rely upon them.

    If you are asking whether we will ever see a lone self-replicating molecule develop into a cell in a laboratory, no, we won’t. Evolution *predicts* that we won’t. And the fact that we won’t see it says nothing against evolution or the evidence which supports that theory.

    Do you understand the concept of what an amino chain is? It is a molecular structure that shows tremendous organization on the molecular level,

    It’s a bunch of small molecules which have stuck together into a larger molecule. Amino acids can and do form on their own, and stick to each other on their own as well.

    “Complexity such as this cannot exist without cause and effect. We have no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that it can.”

    “Cause and effect” is a red herring. Of course chemical reactions have causes and effects, but that says nothing about whether life on Earth developed on its own or via intelligent intervention.

    “Hoyle’s example of a rubik’s cube works for laymen: imagine a rubik’s cube with thousands of sides (our chemicals.) Now imagine that cube somehow organizing itself, (on it’s own, wth no-one manipulating it, mind!) into a perfect pattern. How can anyone imagine that this is somehow possible?”

    A carefully chosen poor analogy works wonders, does it not? Rubik’s Cubes need human intervention to manipulate, but chemicals do not require outside intervention to interact with each other. Furthermore, no self-organizing or selection principles are at work on a Rubik’s Cube, unlike biochemistry.

    “We see tremendous climate change in a short period of time on earth. The process you describe would obviously take huge stretches of time to complete.”

    Billions of years.

    “What about the effects of outside influences? What if the planet cooled or got hotter, over the course of the billions of years it is imagined such a process might take?”

    The planet *did* cool and get hotter. Life adapts. The life that can’t stand heat will die off when it gets hotter; the life that can survives. Natural selection. Only a global catastrophe so extreme that it wipes out all life on Earth can stop the process. Life on Earth will certainly survive global warming, or even an asteroid impact. *Humans* may not, but bacteria undoubtedly would, somewhere.

    “All I am saying is that it is very far-fetched, to the point of ridiculousness. You can call me ignorant or wrong headed all you like,”

    Fine. You’re ignorant. You’ve demonstrated that quite clearly with your ridiculous “examples” of how evolution works, which have nothing to do with how evolution actually works. But you still plug ahead making the same disproven arguments.

    “obviously my asking these questions and poking holes in your “holy theory” have struck a nerve.”

    You give yourself too much credit. You haven’t poked any holes in any theory, let alone “struck a nerve”. And for your information, evolution is not my “holy theory”. It would be quite interesting if it were proven wrong; that’s when we learn the most about science. There’s no way for a scientist to become more famous than by disproving a major theory. However, sadly for your case, all of the existing evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, and only someone profoundly ignorant of that evidence is honestly capable of denying that fact.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:14 am
  101. Kami

    Imagine all the matter and energy of the entire universe compressed into a tiny little space, of practically zero size…

    Oh hell, just go read “A Brief History of Time” if you’re looking for cause and effect and all that crap about why planets exist and orbit around stars, etc.

    That’s one theory…

    Or, imagine that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…

    That’s another theory according to some…

    The evolutionary theory of is a scientific theory that makes some assumptions that so far can neither be proven nor disproven (all theories do this, otherwise they would be laws) and combines those assumptions with some facts that can be proven, and uses that information to define a model that helps us understand how life develops and changes (effects) as its surrounding environment changes (causes).

    This theory has been extended by some to help answer, or model, the question, “How did we get here?” You know, the whole primordial soup, arrangement of molecules theory (weaker theory, sure, because it makes more assumptions). The model suggests that those molecules became more organized, eventually developed into cellular organisms, and as the planet changed over millions of years, those organisms specialized, diversified, and became more complex according to sound theories based on the work of very observant non-scientists, such as Charles Darwin (a student of medicine and theology, eventually a naturalist) and Gregor Mendel (a monk).

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 11:14 am
  102. Give it up Kami.

    Every argument you’re making boils down to “I don’t understand this so god must have done it”.

    Back on topic for a second – kissing is great, who cares why we do it?

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 11:15 am
  103. Kami-MP:

    “You talk about apples falling from trees. So, then, explain to me if you know it all, how does gravity work, exactly?”

    I never said I “knew it all”. You’re the one being arrogant here, not me.

    As for “how does gravity work”, what kind of answer are you asking for? Science is capable of giving a quite detailed description of gravity, including mathematical laws governing its behavior. Science is not capable of saying why the universe obeys those laws to begin with, if that’s what you’re getting at. However, that has nothing at all to do with the *validity* of our theories of gravitation, evolution, etc. Their validity is determined by the extent to which their predictions agree with our observations.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:17 am
  104. Kami-MP:

    “How can chemicals from all over earth be involved in a process which in application develops a life form that can only be discerned with the aid of a microscope?”

    Chemical reactions took places all over the Earth. In some places on the Earth, those reactions over millions of years eventually resulted in self-replicating molecules, which then spread to the rest of the Earth.

    “Your supposition that an event that is obviously highly unlikely in terms of statistical mechanics,”

    Statistical mechanics says no such thing. You don’t appear to even know what statistical mechanics is; certainly your probability arguments were not based on it.

    “somehow occurred multiple times and all over an earth which would supposedly at that time have an atmosphere and other conditions completely inhospitable to life,”

    The conditions were inhospitable to most modern life, but not to early life. In fact, as I mentioned, the conditions then were *more* hospitable to early life than modern conditions would be. And modern anaerobic bacteria would have gotten by quite fine back then.

    “seems to me to be quite illogical.”

    “Illogical”. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Otherwise, you would provide a logical argument.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:21 am
  105. Ambit

    Thanks for the clarification… but I do want to illustrate that technically, we don’t really know much of anything. We just have models that work well according to what we are able to observe, and that help us make predictions. If you want an answer, ask an engineer, a mathematician, or God.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 11:24 am
  106. moreover, as you stated, there are many theories that we are pretty sure are true, and some will treat their pet theories as true. I guess you could call that scientific faith :)

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 11:27 am
  107. More emperor’s new clothes superior attitude, Ambi. Your statement of generalities, and no specific examples of facts, about sums up the scientific community’s general take on evolution: baffle them with BS, act superior, and you’ll sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    I am not ignorant. I have read a lot of books on this subject and many others, and I have a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects. Nothing from the evolution-supporters has ever made me think that somehow life spontaneously grew from nothing. Chemical reactions notwithstanding, it is scientists like Hoyle who have made calculations, based on knowledge of the complexity of amino chains and how chemicals interact with one another, who have made statements as to the extreme unlikelihood of that process leading to life.

    Evolutionary development I have not even gotten into so far. I have a Swiss Army knife. It is very adaptable. Is that evidence of greater or poorer design?

    I don’t have any agenda, but I will exercise my right to debate. As more and more is learned about the complexity of life on this planet, more and more scientists (like Behe, for instance) will be forced to drop the idea of random spontaneous generation over time and have to accept that a higher power ordered this plane of existence so that life could be developed here.

    If you see fish in a fishbowl, you assume someone bought the fishbowl, set up the heater and water filter, put the water and other stuff in, bought the fish and put them there. That’s simple logic. How could you possibly imagine that the bowl happened because of an explosion, the water and filtering system all happened through simple chmical reactions over time, and the fish grew there from chemical reactions too?

    Give me an example of a fossil article which supports evolution. I’ll show you a scientist with an agenda holding up an old and very messed up animal bone. That proves NOTHING. Just that an animal once lived and died, and left behind fossilized remains.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:29 am
  108. Scott:

    I understand your point, but I wouldn’t say that “we don’t really know much of anything”. I think there is kind of a postmodern backlash against science in which the fact that science can’t speak with certainty is conflated with science being unreliable. As you say, we have models which work well, and I would like to emphasize that on the basis of these models, we *do* know a lot about how the world works, even though most of our models will ultimately be supplanted by new (better) ones. In particular, our theory of evolution is far from complete — witness the debates over gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium, for instance — but the fact that evolution occurred is not in doubt. The details of *how* it occurred are still being hashed out, but even there we still know a great deal.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:29 am
  109. I wasn’t referring to classical statistical mechanics, but was using a play on words, there, Ambi… Obviously.

    Statistically, the mechanics of molecular activity in the admittedly highly unlikely, supposed early environment of earth, ergo the chances of life deriving from the process that you describe, is remote. Very remote. Or do you claim to have better information than Hoyle, Denten, Quastler, and Dawkins, just to name a few?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:37 am
  110. That evolution did occur is a matter of debate, Ambi, particularly by those who are more in the know than we are.

    Adaptation certainly does occur, but saying that because we observe minor adaptation back and forth, the indication is that a bird can evolve from a fish, is a huge leap in logic.

    Let’s talk finches. Are you aware that recently due to climate change finches in the Galapagos have been observed cross-breeding and adapting, over a very short period of time, from one type of beak to another? Apparently this is a normal occurrence, it is built into their DNA to have this ability, and does not actually constitute the development of new species at all.

    Like I said – adaptability is a mark of better design, not NO design.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:41 am
  111. Kami-MP:

    “Your statement of generalities, and no specific examples of facts,”

    You’re the one who refuses to give specific examples, so how can I argue against them? You just wave your hands and say “this is impossible”, and I retort by saying that none of the laws of physics or chemistry actually predict that any of these things are unlikely.

    “I am not ignorant. I have read a lot of books on this subject and many others, and I have a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects.”

    You are extremely ignorant. You have made ridiculous statements about single-celled organisms “spontaneously popping out of nowhere” when anyone who knew a thing about biology would know that has nothing to do with how single-celled organisms came about. You make arguments about the probability of life forming when anyone who knew a thing about chemistry would know that you don’t produce an amino acid chain by having a single set of molecules lining up in a particular final order that you want to produce. You refuse to admit that your arguments have nothing to do with reality, and talk about how well read you are. It’s absurd.

    “Chemical reactions notwithstanding, it is scientists like Hoyle who have made calculations, based on knowledge of the complexity of amino chains and how chemicals interact with one another,”

    Hoyle’s calculations are worse than ridiculous. You can find debunkings of them all over the Internet. See, for instance, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html. Not to mention Kauffman’s work, which is far more modern than Hoyle’s, and Kauffman is an actual biologist, unlike Hoyle who was a physicist.

    “Evolutionary development I have not even gotten into so far.”

    And for good reason. It’s much easier to debunk stupid creationist arguments against evolutionary development than it is stupid creationist arguments against early-Earth abiogenesis, since far more is known about the former.

    “I have a Swiss Army knife. It is very adaptable. Is that evidence of greater or poorer design?”

    Non sequitur.

    “As more and more is learned about the complexity of life on this planet, more and more scientists (like Behe, for instance) will be forced to drop the idea of random spontaneous generation over time”

    Behe’s arguments are just as absurd as yours. Every time he comes up with some dumb claim about how some system or other is “irreducibly complex”, someone else shows up and disproves it. In fact, it is well established through both experiment and theory that “irreducibly complex” systems (according to Behe’s definition) can arise through genetic processes.

    “If you see fish in a fishbowl, you assume someone bought the fishbowl, set up the heater and water filter, put the water and other stuff in, bought the fish and put them there.”

    Paley’s watchmaker argument is even stupider than your existing arguments.

    “How could you possibly imagine that the bowl happened because of an explosion, the water and filtering system all happened through simple chmical reactions over time, and the fish grew there from chemical reactions too?”

    What is so hard about imaging that? It is well understood how an “explosion” (your inaccurately phrased euphemism for the Big Bang, no doubt) produced stars, planets, etc.; how geological processes formed silica grains, and so on. Forming those silica grains into a bowl had to wait for people to come around and develop glassblowing.

    Which part of the process do you object to? 1. That the primordial Earth was filled with a soup of chemicals? 2. That those chemicals can react with each other to form more complex chemicals? 3. That complex chemicals can include self-replicating chemicals?

    “Give me an example of a fossil article which supports evolution.”

    All of them support evolution. Why don’t you pick one?

    “I’ll show you a scientist with an agenda holding up an old and very messed up animal bone.”

    So you deny that all life on Earth is related to each other, despite all physiological, fossil, and genetic evidence to the contrary?

    “That proves NOTHING. Just that an animal once lived and died, and left behind fossilized remains.”

    The point is that on the basis of the fossil evidence, those animals were all related to one another.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:44 am
  112. And no one has debated my statement that complex organization cannot be derived at random from basic chemical reactions in a system that tends to be entropic with regard to complex structures, such as on earth…

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:44 am
  113. I never debated the concept that life is related. When developing software, you often use a template. That template is very different from the end result of your work. But in a basic way, it is the framework for perhaps your entire series of creations. Similarly, DNA templates, I believe, were used to create the various organisms on earth. That they are adaptable is a matter of planned functionality for the purpose of survival. That they are related is a matter of fact as well. Brothers and sisters are related, are they not? Why? Because they all came from the same parent. Can a random process produce functional software? Nope.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:48 am
  114. If evolution is true, why are we closer, from a genetic standpoint, to field mice than to, say, chimps? “Questions evolutionists hate.”

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:50 am
  115. “Statistically, the mechanics of molecular activity in the admittedly highly unlikely, supposed early environment of earth, ergo the chances of life deriving from the process that you describe, is remote.”

    What the hell is that sentence supposed to mean? Molecular activity certainly occurred on the early Earth. It would have to be frozen to absolute zero for molecular activity *not* to occur.

    “Very remote. Or do you claim to have better information than Hoyle, Denten, Quastler, and Dawkins, just to name a few?”

    Better than Hoyle, certainly. His calculations, as I have mentioned, utterly neglect the parallel reactions of life all over the planet, selection processes, the self-organization of autocatalyzing chemical networks, and all kinds of other concepts. It also ignores the other point I made before, which is that there are *many* ways of producing polypeptides; when you change the calculation from “producing this specific biomolecule” to “producing a biomolecule”, it is an entirely different matter.

    I suspect Denten and Quastler have the same problems, since all creationist probability calculations I’ve seen make the same naive assumptions, but I haven’t seen their calculations.

    As for Dawkins, he most certainly does not agree with you; he is probably the world’s most vocal critic of your position. Have you really read Dawkins?

    “That evolution did occur is a matter of debate, Ambi, particularly by those who are more in the know than we are.”

    No, it’s not. Creationists are very vocal, but among biologists, there is no debate.

    “Adaptation certainly does occur, but saying that because we observe minor adaptation back and forth, the indication is that a bird can evolve from a fish, is a huge leap in logic.”

    All of the evidence is that birds and fish share a common ancestors, based on their morphological and genetic similarities. Read about the nested hierarchy of descent.

    “Let’s talk finches. Are you aware that recently due to climate change finches in the Galapagos have been observed cross-breeding and adapting, over a very short period of time, from one type of beak to another?”

    So what?

    “Apparently this is a normal occurrence, it is built into their DNA to have this ability,”

    Yes, it’s called “evolution”. In fact, it’s the definition of the word.

    “and does not actually constitute the development of new species at all.”

    That has nothing to do with the fact that different species of Galapagos finches are related to each other, or the fact that evolution can lead to speciation.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 11:53 am
  116. I look at the creation of life on earth as a process somewhat similar to software development. A framework, or operating system, is developed first. (Comparable to the universe, with its matter and chemical materials, energy sources, etc.) Then, once an environment has been established, design can be accomplished. DNA is like software, and to me it represents masterful conceptual design, the ability to generate a distinctive outcome from a carefully selected combination of molecules. Those instructions, set within a living cell which maintains the life and order of the system, form the foundation and basic building blocks of life.

    You see language like this even in evolutionist texts. But really, what are they saying? Likening these systems to things that WE BUILD. Houses don’t come about without design and effort. I feel that the earth is a lot more complex than any human dwelling. It is arrogant to postulate that it somehow happened on it’s own.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:54 am
  117. “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer.” [R. Dawkins, “The Necessity of Darwinism”. New Scientist, Vol. 94, April 15, 1982, p. 130.]

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:56 am
  118. Evolution, or design? Darwin’s original suppposition was that these variances, (adaptations) were the mechanics of evolution. But these modern findings show that these birds adapt all the time as a matter of course, and still remain what they have always been: birds.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:58 am
  119. No debate among biologists? Come on, who are you trying to kid? I suppose you’ll now tell us that WW2 was just a minor spat?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 11:59 am
  120. Ambi,

    Thats my point exactly… it is the job of science to evaluate and refine those models. It is true that there is much that we do know, and that fact that we are able to make accurate predicitions based on our models suggests that those models are fairly correct. When something happens that doesn’t fit the model, we go back and try and find out why, and build a better model. I suppose I am prone to overstate my point.

    Kami,

    Is it really so hard to imagine that there is a supreme being who was so smart that all He (take no offense from the gender reference please) had to do was set off a chain reaction of events that occurred within a framework of rules (physics to us mortals) beginning with an immense explosion of a tiny random ball of matter and energy that eventually led to the creation of primitive atoms (i.e. Hydrogen) that collected into trillions huge spherical masses called stars that fused the hydrogen into heavier atoms like helium, carbon, and iron and eject those particles, which in turn clustered into other large spheres called planets, which orbited those trillions of stars, and on a certain planet certain combinations of molecules associated into primitive organic compounds and eventually those organic compounds where captured in a phospholipid membrane resulting in a primitive cellular organism that was capable of reproducing itself, but existed in a hostile, changing, environment and was thus, via evolution, forced to adapt and diversify in order to continue its existence, eventually resulting in a vast variety of diverse organisms, over billions of years, knowing this whole time that “we” would eventually come to be?

    I suppose not, but our existence is not evidence of a supreme being, one can either choose to believe that there is a God, or that there is not a God, it has nothing to do with science.

    I am going to go get lunch with my girlfriend… there is a probability greater than 0 that I will kiss, and I have faith that it will happen.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 11:59 am
  121. Show me hard evidence of natural adaptation leading to speciation. You can’t. It’s all just imagination. As much as drawing an entire hairy beast based on a fossil finding of a little piece of a jaw.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm
  122. Kami-MP:

    “And no one has debated my statement that complex organization cannot be derived at random from basic chemical reactions in a system that tends to be entropic with regard to complex structures, such as on earth…”

    What’s there to debate? You have no argument, just the naked assertion. Certainly all life now on Earth is based on basic chemical reactions, despite “entropy”. Entropy doesn’t forbid the formation of complex structures.

    “I never debated the concept that life is related.”

    By related, I mean the way you are related to your parents, not the way two individually manufactured telephones are related to each other: a common ancestor in the Earth’s distant past reproduced to produce all of the organisms now alive.

    “Similarly, DNA templates, I believe, were used to create the various organisms on earth.”

    So you agree that all the species on Earth were descended through birth (or other reproductive processes) from a common ancestor, inheriting its DNA with modifications?

    “That they are related is a matter of fact as well. Brothers and sisters are related, are they not? Why? Because they all came from the same parent.”

    Yeah, that’s the point of evolution.

    “Can a random process produce functional software? Nope.”

    Proof by assertion and inadequate analogy is not compelling. Especially when it’s manifestly false. Genetic algorithms operating by random evolutionary processes *have* produced functional software.

    “If evolution is true, why are we closer, from a genetic standpoint, to field mice than to, say, chimps?”

    That’s easy: we aren’t. We are genetically more similar to chimps than to any other species.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm
  123. All the best on the kissing, Scott. I don’t disagree with you – I simply believe that it was created specifically, according to kinds, not via a process that started from goo and derived therefrom. If you believe an intelligent designer was involved, why couldn’t that being have specifically created these creatures, and finally humans, from basic elements? When we build a car we don’t start with a bicycle and adapt it into a car, do we? Wouldn’t make sense.

    Terraforming the planet would have started with the creation of micro-organisms that could survive in the environment. After that more complex, presumably photosynthetic organisms could be added, then perhaps fish and insects, then grass, then terra forming larger creatures like dinosaurs, and finally the end stage, mammals on more complex and beautiful plants and animals. Each with the ability to adapt in order to survive, and in incredible diversity, “from the shop” if you will.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:05 pm
  124. i’ve been reading (most of) the posts after finding this article on digg, and i’d like to submit another point of view regarding the philosophies involved, and the end product of those fruits.

    i’m not a philosopher by definition, but have been recently considering what separates a healthy world view from an unhealthy world view, as determined by the end product, or behavior of the people group who adhere to that world view. the filters in our mind that process information that are established by our beliefs will always influence our thoughts, which will influence behavior. influence may not be a strong enough word in this context.

    how has the belief or world view of evolution influenced the way we live our lives? that’s a big question, and the implications are massive. the beliefs of darwin led to german fascism. hitler was openly known to be a strong supporter of darwin’s beliefs. millions of people were killed, families were destroyed, and a continent scarred from the idea that one race was more evolved, or superior to the other. how can one race claim to be equal to the other, if it’s true that one race of people is underdeveloped, which evolution blatantly suggests?

    i’m interested to hear what everyone thinks about this perspective.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:06 pm
  125. Who cares why we do it. Its fun. People trying to figure out why we kiss are the people who have never kissed anything but their test tube. Leave it alone and let the good times roll

    Eric, October 3, 2006 at 12:07 pm
  126. I’m sure I read that mice and humans share 99% of the same genes, and are closer in terms of DNA than humans and chimps. Ambi, just because you ascribe to the “I’m a monkey” concept doesn’t mean that all the evidence necessarily supports it.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:11 pm
  127. “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer.”

    Perhaps you are taking this out of context… it is hard to believe that something improbably *can* happen, so we chalk it up to intelligent design. He is saying that it is the “superficial” conclusion, i.e. the naive conclusion.

    Again, just because something is improbable doesn’t mean it won’t happen… we are here, aren’t we? Even if one assumes that a series of improbable random events were required to allow for our existence, they must of occurred, and then the not-so-random process of evolution led to “life as we know it”. We could be purple and have four eyes and be capable of climbing walls… it would have just been a different set of random events, a different environment for evolution.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:11 pm
  128. “DNA is like software, and to me it represents masterful conceptual design, the ability to generate a distinctive outcome from a carefully selected combination of molecules. Those instructions, set within a living cell which maintains the life and order of the system, form the foundation and basic building blocks of life.”

    So you’re not objecting to evolution at all, but to abiogenesis (the formation of DNA from chemical precursors)? You agree that there was an original cell, which produced more cells, which differentiated through mutation, and through further reproduction led to all species on Earth?

    Where exactly do you think the Hand of God let go and biochemistry let go? Do you think that cells can reproduce on their own? Can new species form on their own, or were all of them created? From what? God altering existing organisms, or just poofing new ones into existence?

    “Houses don’t come about without design and effort. I feel that the earth is a lot more complex than any human dwelling.”

    Yes, but houses also don’t self-reproduce subject to the introduction of diversity via mutation and recombination of existing plans, under selection pressure for more complex and adaptive forms. If they could, we’d probably have some really complex living cities.

    “It is arrogant to postulate that it somehow happened on it’s own.”

    No, it’s arrogant to postulate a designer in one’s own image when there is no evidence that anything other than natural processes have been at work.

    “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer.”
    [R. Dawkins, “The Necessity of Darwinism”. New Scientist, Vol. 94, April 15, 1982, p. 130.]”

    It’s kind of pathetic to quote someone out of context in order to support your point.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part7.html

    “Darwin’s original suppposition was that these variances, (adaptations) were the mechanics of evolution. But these modern findings show that these birds adapt all the time as a matter of course, and still remain what they have always been: birds.”

    Well duh. A bird isn’t going to evolve into a fish or something before your eyes. Wait a few tens of million years and you’ll see some radically new body structures. But within a human lifetime a population of birds can evolve to contain a slightly different species of bird that looks almost the same as the original.

    “No debate among biologists? Come on, who are you trying to kid?”

    Are you insane? Pick up any respected biology journal and find JUST ONE article contesting whether evolution occurred. There is certainly debate on HOW evolution happened, but not WHETHER it happened.

    “Show me hard evidence of natural adaptation leading to speciation.”

    There are a number of examples witnessed both in the lab and in the field. However, creationists reject all such examples because they are “too similar” to the original species. However, according to the biological definition of species, they are different species.

    But we don’t have to witness it happening to have hard evidence of it. The structural and genetic similarities between species are evidence enough.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:14 pm
  129. You make a good point, Michael. The sociological effects of the evolution theory have definitely not had a positive effect on humanity. The idea tends to divide us as a species, and causes all sorts of undesirable effects on the basic group conscience of human society.

    If I’m just a more advanced ape, why not just do what apes do? Live my life like a hedonist, enjoy it while you can baby cause soon it’s over, and there’s no point to anything. That’s a life view that really sucks from my perspective, and leads to all sorts of misery, not least of which the Columbine style killings we are seeing across America right now – people with no conscience and no fellow feeling.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:16 pm
  130. michael

    So the validity and factual basis of a scientific theory should be subject to what evil people do with it?
    And the whole concept of “race” is somehwat flawed.

    Kami

    Once again your idea, that a creator came along and did things is waves, does not fit the evidence of either genetics or the fossil record. You’re making up more and more elaborate ways to fit a designer or creator into known evidence and failing. It is not a scientific viewpoint, to take evidence and discard what disagrees with your preconceived notions. So far evidence has only reinforced and refined what we know about evolution, occasionally pointing out where our theories were inadequate. Nothing so far has been found that contradicts the overall theory. You’re playing the “god of the gaps” game in which verything unexplained is god’s work. As the gaps in our knowledge close up your god is forced to a smaller and smaller domain. It doesn’t need to be that way. Consider the book of genesis to be an analogy, consider that god set the rules and set things in motion, but do not presume to deny scientific fact (evolution) and theory (our hypotheses about the mechanisms of evolution) in the name of god.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:17 pm
  131. Kami-MP:

    “I simply believe that it was created specifically, according to kinds, not via a process that started from goo and derived therefrom.”

    Oh, your a by-kind creationist. So, we didn’t start out with single-celled life, we started with “kinds” of organisms pre-formed. So, what were the original “kinds” that first populated the Earth? Were there cat and dog kinds, for instance, or was there a combined canine-feline kind that later led to the cat and dog species?

    “If you believe an intelligent designer was involved, why couldn’t that being have specifically created these creatures, and finally humans, from basic elements?”

    You could. A sufficiently powerful designer can do anything. However, you would have to explain why these different creatures which appeared out of nowhere appear to be descended from each other, right up to the same mutations in their non-coding DNA.

    “I’m sure I read that mice and humans share 99% of the same genes, and are closer in terms of DNA than humans and chimps.”

    You may be sure you read that, but it’s not true: we are much more similar to chimps. It is, however, true that mice and humans are genetically very similar. See here: http://www.genome.gov/15515096 (“To put this into perspective, the number of genetic differences between humans and chimps is approximately 60 times less than that seen between human and mouse and about 10 times less than between the mouse and rat. On the other hand, the number of genetic differences between a human and a chimp is about 10 times more than between any two humans.”)

    “Ambi, just because you ascribe to the “I’m a monkey” concept doesn’t mean that all the evidence necessarily supports it.”

    The evidence supports it regardless of what I ascribe to.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:21 pm
  132. michael,

    Science, like anything else, can be used improperly, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid it. Nuclear physics led to the atomic bomb, which is a terrible thing, but it has also led us to great advances is medicine, for example. Evolution theory and genetics also have opened doors for advancement in the medical field, and as Ambi mentioned, even in mathematics and computer science.

    I think it is in mankind’s nature to search for answers, or even questions. An apple fell on Newton’s head (myth?) and now we have calculus and sent a man to the moon. If we chose not to pursue science, we’d still be living in caves.

    Unfortunately, it is also in mankind’s nature to wage wars, and scientific progress has improved are ability here as well.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:22 pm
  133. Reading all of these posts is hilarious and far more interesting then the topic of “Why we Kiss?”
    Bacteria swaps? Evolution? Thai orgasms?!?!
    It would be more interesting to find out who read this story because it was interesting and because they were bored at work (me), and how many people read it and had to make a post to try and justify why evolution is the reason they have no social life and are jealous of kissing chimps.

    Taylor, October 3, 2006 at 12:24 pm
  134. Kami-MP:

    “If I’m just a more advanced ape, why not just do what apes do?”

    If my father was a child abuser, why not be a child abuser myself? For someone who claims to be so logical, you sure to put forth stupid arguments.

    “Live my life like a hedonist, enjoy it while you can baby cause soon it’s over, and there’s no point to anything.”

    That certainly has nothing to do with evolution. Atheism, perhaps, but it’s still stupid. Atheists certainly see a point in what they do; whether there is an afterlife or not has no bearing on whether you find a point to doing things while alive.

    “That’s a life view that really sucks from my perspective, and leads to all sorts of misery, not least of which the Columbine style killings we are seeing across America right now”

    Once again, you’re confusing evolution and atheism, and what’s more, you’re also wrong. Atheism doesn’t lead to “no conscience and no fellow feeling” any more than religion does. It just means that you don’t believe God exists; it doesn’t imply anything about your morals or values, other than you don’t get them out of a religious text.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:25 pm
  135. Kami

    So atheists are a threat to society? Lovely train of thought there.
    Care to explain all the good that religion has done over the years? Crusades, suicide bombing, socially conscious acts like those. Grand.

    Well you may say that those people weren’t really believers and only used religion to their own ends. One can say exactly the same about people who used misguided eugenics to justfy the scapegoating and attempted extermination of whole peoples.

    Evolution is not a force for anything, it is fact, the theory of evolution is a set of hypotheses about how that occurs.
    If anything it’s less divisive than religion, showing how closely everything is interrelated, let alone the miniscule genetic variation amongst humans.
    Please keep morals away from fact. Your simplistic assessment of people’s motivations when they don’t “believe” is offensive. When one does not believe in some sort of almight protector or a life of eternal bliss and realises that this life is all we have, many people such as myself think that we should be struggling to make this life as good as possible for everyone. Don’t even get me started on the sector of US fundamentalism that’s sitting there patiently waiting for god to take them away in “The Rapture” and leave all the “sinners” to chaos, pain and hellfire.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm
  136. Any theory has to be examined in it’s whole, not in part. Evolution teaches that everything happened on it’s own without any outside influence. I think that’s ridiculous. Life and the systems we see around us are too complex to have just occurred without design, power and purpose (cause and effect.) Do animals adapt to their environments? Can humans? Definitely. Did God create the earth in seven literal days? Obviously not. Does adaptation, as we have observed it, prove that one species derived from another? No, I’m sorry, it does not. We don’t know enough about biological and biochemical processes to state that it does, either, despite scientific arrogance to the contrary.

    There is as much observable evidence in our environment of a creator as there is for evolution, more in fact. There are a huge number of coincidental circumstances which support life here, far more than I believe could have just spontaneously occurred.

    Chemical processes cannot explain beauty, love, music, art, even kissing, man. Life is complex and enjoyable. Why is there just one dominant species on this planet? Why not two or three? Do you ever question what you have been taught, or do you blindly accept it? Look around you at the diversity of this planet. Look at the way life forms are interdependant and interact. Is this the product of cold, unreasoning chance? I’m sorry, that does not make sense.

    You accuse me of having an agenda, but that does not invalidate my point that evolutionists definitely do have a secular humanist agenda themselves, and their faith in evolution is just that – faith. My faith is in an intelligent designer. I believe it makes me a better person, at least. In the long run, I believe such belief will be powerfully vindicated.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm
  137. There is nothing instinctual about humans. When we came down from the trees we gave up instincts. The pheromones however is a good reason, I’ve ran across a girl or two that just drove me wild to when she breathed out her pheromones.

    j-wheezy, October 3, 2006 at 12:32 pm
  138. thanks for responding.

    my thought on your responses:

    this may sound harsh, but it’s logical. i by no means am supporting hitler’s actions, idealogy, or murder, but if logically followed, if evolution is correct, wasn’t he doing the world a favor by removing flawed humans, therefore improving the genepool for generations to come? if there is no ultimate being to be responsible to, why should we not extinguish people who have a family history of having disease, mental disorders, or even alcoholism or obesity? after all, it’s survival of the fittest, right? why not speed up the process and help humankind out? obviously, everyone is screaming out “because it’s wrong”. what makes it wrong? we’ve removed god. we’ve removed accountability. it’s your word against mine. no one is right, truth is abolished, let’s make this world a better place for the future.

    THAT is where evolution leads. it’s not a good place. some of you used the term “evil” in previous posts. who defines what is evil? man is evil, so who is another man to call me evil? wouldn’t that be hypocrisy?

    i’m interested to hear your thoughts.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:34 pm
  139. “Life and the systems we see around us are too complex to have just occurred without design, power and purpose (cause and effect.)”

    Complex does not mean impossible. You are stating an opinion, not a fact. It is okay that you find it difficult to believe, but it is still possible.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:35 pm
  140. Kami
    more appeals to ignorance I see.

    There is one dominant species because we out-competed everything else. Looking at the sheer numbers of insects on the planet one could question how dominant we really are though.

    Where is this evidence for a creator you speak of? Nobody has yet come up with any at all. Perhaps you ought to read about the anthropic principle before you claim that everything is too coincidental for life to have arisen.

    And yes, I constantly question what I’ve been taught. You, however, reek of religious dogma.

    PLEASE read this page, it really does answer a lot of the questions on complexity that you’ve posed to everyone today. You do not need to argue from ignorance any longer, please.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:37 pm
  141. michael,

    I may be cynical, but I am still an optimist… I mean, I believe people mostly to be good, regardless of their beliefs… I just prepare myself for disappointment :)

    Anyhow, humans are intelligent, and we are generally brought up to respect others, regardless of where they’re from, how they talk, what they believe, or what they look like (except during highschool… thats where we learn to sh!t on people that aren’t like us). Not everyone in this world is a hitler.

    We have a conscience and morals (gifts from God perhaps?). Not everyone is a Hitler.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm
  142. michael

    Hitler doing the world a favour? Dear god no, how do you figure that?

    1. Evolution is not a philosophy, humanity does not have to strive to evolve.
    2. I don’t think that jewish people (or any other “race”) are inferior humans. Do you?
    3. Why should we extinguish people who have hereditary diseases? Who the hell are you to decide what their life is worth?

    Your questions have nothing to do with evolution, though do keep trying to tar a theory that explains biological diversity and development with your cod-philosophical brush, it’s entertaining.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:41 pm
  143. “Life and the systems we see around us are too complex to have just occurred without design, power and purpose (cause and effect.)”

    Once again, you’ve put forth nothing but an argument from ignorance. “I can’t imagine how it could have happened, so it couldn’t.”

    P.S. “Design, power, and purpose” are entirely different from “cause and effect”. Hydrogen and oxygen combining to form water is “cause and effect”, but that doesn’t mean design, power, or purpose is involved.

    “Does adaptation, as we have observed it, prove that one species derived from another? No, I’m sorry, it does not. We don’t know enough about biological and biochemical processes to state that it does,”

    We don’t have to know anything about biochemical processes to conclude that adaptation leads to speciation; already there was enough evidence in Darwin’s time, before DNA was known. The genetic evidence just makes it even more airtight.

    “There is as much observable evidence in our environment of a creator as there is for evolution, more in fact.”

    “I can’t imagine how it could have happened naturally” does not constitute evidence of a creator.

    “Chemical processes cannot explain beauty, love, music, art, even kissing, man.”

    Love, art, etc. are all products of chemical reactions, because life itself is nothing but a giant self-sustaining chemical reaction. Of course, we cannot derive the concept of “love” from the laws of chemistry, but all of our emotions ultimately are governed by them.

    “Why is there just one dominant species on this planet? Why not two or three?”

    Before us, there probably was no clear “dominant species” on the planet. Then we evolved. Do you think another species of equal intelligence should have evolved at the same time? Wait a hundred million years, we’ll see if something else turns up.

    “Look around you at the diversity of this planet. Look at the way life forms are interdependant and interact. Is this the product of cold, unreasoning chance? I’m sorry, that does not make sense.”

    All of your arguments are based on nothing but the naked assumption that complex things can’t happen by themselves. You don’t have evidence for any such assumption. You acknowledge that there is complex interdependence among organisms right now. Forget the past, do you think those organisms are obeying something other than natural law *right now*? If so, what is the evidence that *right now* supernatural interventions are taking place to maintain the interactions between organisms? If not, we have demonstrated that natural law can support complex interactions.

    “You accuse me of having an agenda, but that does not invalidate my point that evolutionists definitely do have a secular humanist agenda themselves,”

    That’s ridiculous. There are plenty of evolutionary biologists of all faiths. You just can’t admit that evolution was arrived at on the basis of evidence, not atheist conspiracy.

    “I believe it makes me a better person, at least.”

    How does your belief in an intelligent designer make you a better person?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:41 pm
  144. I haven’t even gotten into Penrose. Your arguments have been as passionate as mine, but I could point out as many flaws in your reasoning as you have attempted to point out in mine.

    I think Michael’s questions are very thought provoking. Another reason, IMHO, to debate evolution and yearn for another alternative.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:42 pm
  145. gothnet

    i’m responding to 2 of your posts. you had mentioned earlier that “the concept of race is somewhat flawed”. i’m interested to hear you unpack that a little bit.

    you also suggested that religion leads to wars, which i don’t disagree with. however- i think we need to consider how many wars/deaths/killings/etc. were caused by a LACK of religion. idealogy is idealogy whether it believes in a god or host of gods. Stalin killed more people than all religious wars put together, but no one ever chalks that up to atheism.

    as someone posted earlier, there are misguided individuals anywhere you look, in any organization, country, business, or religion. there will always be people who stray from the initial foundational principles of that organization, business, religion, etc. and cause damage.

    what i’m talking about is the actions, thoughts, and behavioral patterns that the world view or belief system produces as a whole.

    for example- when i was in india, i saw children who had been maimed, disfigured at birth by their parents. it was disgusting. why on earth would anyone do this to their children, you ask? well- that family was a member of the lowest caste possible, the begging caste (sorry, i’m not familiar with the exact term for their caste) and was going to be a beggar for life. their parents actually DID THEM A FAVOR by damaging their bodies, so that they’d be better beggars. this wasn’t a small percentage of kids, either, it was a majority. the caste system is morally and idealogically bankrupt, in the same way i believe that evolution is morally and idealogically bankrupt.

    thoughts?

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:44 pm
  146. Read the Emperor’s New Mind, guys. It’s a lot of fun. And it will cause you to (gasp!) question your programming.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:46 pm
  147. Kami
    So you give up?
    You assert that evolution makes people evil somehow, without considering either the arguments for compassionate atheism or that the majority of christians are not ID believers, and you leave us by saying you could point out flaws in our arguments. Well either do it or at least examine your own arguments and look honestly at what you’re doing – denying a small piece of rock-solid evidence based science because of your religious beliefs.

    Really, whilst michael’s questions are interesting (but prejudiced), there’s no reason to “yearn for another alternative” other than your own (and michaels) blinkered reasoning. Open your eyes.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:47 pm
  148. Michael again brings up extremely thought provoking ideas. Good points all.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:48 pm
  149. gothnet

    you obviously didn’t read the first sentence of my “hitler” post, so i’ll repost it in all caps to make sure you read it. here goes:

    I BY NO MEANS AM SUPPORTING HITLER’S ACTIONS, IDEALOGY, OR MURDER, BUT IF LOGICALLY FOLLOWED…

    hope that clears up any suggestions that i support hitler in any way, shape, or form. the point that i was trying to make is that if evolution is played out to its endgame, this is what will happen.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:48 pm
  150. KISS RULEZ!!!!!!!!

    razerbern, October 3, 2006 at 12:48 pm
  151. Ambi,

    Thanks for bringing up the anthropic principle… I couldn’t remember what it was called.

    Hehehe… so many people are trapped in that bubble.

    For everyone:

    Basically, if you can’t accept the fact that although it is extremely unlikely for life on earth to exist without some “Intelligent Design”, consider that the Universe cannot exist without life on earth, or we would not be here having this conversation.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:49 pm
  152. thanks kami, i’ve appreciated your points too.

    if anyone’s interested in who sparked some of these thoughts for me, check out Ravi Zacharias- he has a podcast (search RZIM on iTunes) which has been extremely thought provoking for me.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:52 pm
  153. The odds against life forming here by chance, as shown by Penrose, are represented by a number that cannot be written in full form.

    In terms of the beginning events: Not only would these all powerful chemical processes have to form specific patterns (highly unlikely) in an organic soup, there would have to be around 2000 of these highly unlikely events occurring all at once. All at once!

    Arguments against this basic point are insubstantial becasue they take as a basis for further conceptualizing basic molecular structure formation like we see today, such as with salt crystals. but how do molecules form MORE COMPLEX structures? Where is the evidence that this is possible? There is none.

    Once again, act superior and baffle with BS, they’ll think you know what you are talking about. It’s easy to put me down, guys, I’m just a simple man. But your reasoning doesn’t hold water.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:52 pm
  154. Airtight, indeed!

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 12:53 pm
  155. michael – I’ve already told you that evolution is not a philosophy or a moral code. It simply is.

    Please stop conflating evolution and atheism. If you want to debate atheism then fine, I’m your man, but it has nothing at all to do with the theory of evolution.

    Noone chalks Stalin up to atheism because he was a corrupt dictator. I do not necessarily attribute historic or recent religious atrocities to religion, because they are perpetrated by twisted and cruel people.

    I’m going to repeat this, just as others have done in this discussion, as you seem to be a little hard of thinking – evolution does not imply atheism and, for a followup, atheism does not imply barbarity

    What do you mean when you say evolution, michael? Do you mean the fact of diversity and development and the theory of how it all happened? Or do you mean the assertion of a godless universe? They are not the same.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:53 pm
  156. Actually Gothnet brought up the anthropic principle… sorry

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:54 pm
  157. gothnet:

    i’m interested to hear what i’ve said so far that leads you to believe that i’m prejudiced. i’m assuming you’re using that term with an emphasis on racisim.

    i’m also eager to hear you unpack your statement that “the concept of race is somewhat flawed”.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 12:55 pm
  158. michael:

    “if logically followed, if evolution is correct, wasn’t [Hitler] doing the world a favor by removing flawed humans, therefore improving the genepool for generations to come?”

    Who said the people Hitler killed were genetically flawed?

    Even assuming they were, evolution doesn’t prescribe ethics. It merely states that selective pressures tend to eliminate organisms that are less successful at reproduction. It doesn’t say that this is “good” or “bad”, it just says that it happens. A *person* can decide that this is good, or that it is bad: that is an ethical question, not a scientific one. And if a person did decide that it is good to “improve the gene pool”, they might decide that “improving the gene pool by murdering people is bad”.

    Furthermore, it assumes that we even know what “improving the gene pool” means. As far as evolution is concerned, a “better” gene pool consists of organisms that are more successful at reproducing. That doesn’t necessarily translate to people who are more healthy, or smarter, or whatever, especially in modern society when the largest factors influencing one’s reproductive success are probably social.

    Also, fitness changes with time. Suppose we wipe out all people who have a genetic tendency to diabetes, on the grounds of “improving the gene pool”. We might find out later that the gene that led to heart disease also would have conferred immunity to some new plague that wipes out our species. Ooops. (For example, the same gene responsible for sickle cell anemia also provides resistance to malaria. Be careful in thinking you know what’s best for “the gene pool”.)

    “if there is no ultimate being to be responsible to, why should we not extinguish people who have a family history of having disease, mental disorders, or even alcoholism or obesity?”

    People can be and are responsible to each other as well as to their own ethical standards regardless of whether they are also responsible to some “ultimate being”. Why should anyone care about the existence of an ultimate being in determining whether I think something is right or wrong, anyway?

    “it’s your word against mine. no one is right, truth is abolished,”

    I will note that even monotheists disagree on what is right or true. So people disagree — so what? Maybe you think eating babies is fine; I disagree. There may be no way to prove anyone correct, but I’ll still stop you if I think it’s wrong, whatever you may happen to think. Just because I acknowledge that you may disagree with me doesn’t mean that *I* think that your views are “equally valid” as mine.

    “THAT is where evolution leads.”

    You are also making the mistake of confusing evolution with atheism. There are people of all faiths who recognize that we evolved from other species.

    “who defines what is evil?”

    Everyone is capable of defining it for themselves. And as I mentioned, even religious people may disagree on that matter. Absolute morality is fairly irrelevant as far as how people actually behave, no matter how much you may want to claim otherwise.

    “man is evil,”

    I don’t agree.

    “so who is another man to call me evil? wouldn’t that be hypocrisy?”

    Is it hypocrisy for me to think that a painting is ugly if you think it’s beautiful? How does an opinion become hypocritical if it relates to morality, but not to, say, aesthetics?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 12:56 pm
  159. Scott, no problem :)

    michael – there is no logical progression from evolution to hitler. Sorry.

    And what’s more, let me make this very clear, I do not think you could EVER prove that faith in god leads to a better society than reliance on established fact. Witness the massive development and improvement of the west since religion was largely thrown off as a basis for knowledge.
    And even then, if you could prove that, which you can’t, it wouldn’t matter in a discussion of facts.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 12:58 pm
  160. Kami,

    If you want to know how basic molecules form more complex structures, well, its simple really… just chemistry and physics… adhesive and cohesive forces, polar charges, the fact that matter wants to exist in the lowest possible energy state, the fact that our planet is bombarded with high energy particles all the time… okay, so its not simple, but it happens all the time.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 12:59 pm
  161. my point regarding stalin is that many people attribute war to religion when religion is involved, but no one credits war to atheism when an athiest is involved, despite the fact that the individuals waging that war are operating under their own idealogies equally influenced by their idealogy or religion.

    i didn’t attribute evolution to stalin, but hitler was a devout student of darwin.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 1:01 pm
  162. michael

    So hitler was a devout student of darwin, great, please actually read some of the posts replying to you wherein we explain that Hitler still made a (crazy) leap from “selective pressures influence the develpoment of organisms” to “all the jews must die”.
    There is no logical progression, please give up your smear campaign.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:03 pm
  163. Scott:

    Interesting. your idea of us not being able to discuss this point if we weren’t here kind of echos a thought from an ancient book.

    “Should the potter himself be accounted just like the clay? For should the thing made say respecting its maker: “He did not make me?” And does the thing formed actually say resepcting its former: “He showed no understanding?””

    Further: Hugh Ross gives 154 narrow, mandatory parameters for the fine-tuning of the conditions on earth to support life, and lists 226 references. An interesting read. You can find it here.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:05 pm
  164. and, michael, when I said prejudiced I didn’t mean racially. I meant prejudiced as in the questions you raise are prejudiced to the answer you want and are in fact irrelevant establishing the factual (or not) nature of evolution.

    I’m not accusing you of being a racist, just that you are not actually interested in the answers to your questions, you have already decided the only answer for you is “religion is good, god made everything without evolution”.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:07 pm
  165. Kami:

    The point here is that the processes of the creation of the Universe are must be constrained to only those which could have allowed for our existence.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 1:07 pm
  166. Crap I screwed that up, sorry guys…

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:08 pm
  167. Kami.

    ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

    look it up some time. 226 fine tuned factors is nothing compared to the size of the universe.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:09 pm
  168. How easily complex systems are messed up, huh? :D

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:09 pm
  169. Kami-MP:

    “Read the Emperor’s New Mind, guys. It’s a lot of fun. And it will cause you to (gasp!) question your programming.”

    Penrose is a professor in my department. I’ve had a front row seat in many of his talks on the subject. I hate to tell you, but he does not support your views on intelligent design.

    His calculations aren’t of life evolving per se, but rather of the universe having the flatness it does (which may be related in an anthropic way to the existence of life). He regards that problem as one to be solved via physics; his famous Weyl curvature hypothesis is part of his proposed resolution of that issue.

    “In terms of the beginning events: Not only would these all powerful chemical processes have to form specific patterns (highly unlikely) in an organic soup, there would have to be around 2000 of these highly unlikely events occurring all at once. All at once!”

    No, they don’t have to happen all at once. That’s part of why that calculation is so flawed.

    “but how do molecules form MORE COMPLEX structures? Where is the evidence that this is possible?”

    There are molecules forming into more complex structures all the time in your own cells. Sheesh. Do you think the Hand of God is in there all the time pushing them all together to make sure they react?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:09 pm
  170. michael:

    “i didn’t attribute evolution to stalin, but hitler was a devout student of darwin.”

    There are Jesuit priests who are “devout” students of Darwin. What evidence is there that Stalin’s purges were motivated by evolutionary theory?

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:11 pm
  171. So you’re saying that the (largley unproved and unprovable) concept that the universe is designed to support human life, supports evolution and not belief in an intelligent creator? Ok I’m laughing in my sleeve here guys.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:12 pm
  172. Kami-MP:

    “Further: Hugh Ross gives 154 narrow, mandatory parameters for the fine-tuning of the conditions on earth to support life, and lists 226 references.”

    Fine-tuning is actually evidence *against* supernaturalism, not *for* it. Since you are a self-professed adherent of probability theory, see here: http://quasar.as.utexas.edu/anthropic.html

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:13 pm
  173. Kami:

    These are arguments used by “Intelligent Design” advocates, but really they are truisms, or tautologies… They basically don’t mean anything, it’s like saying 5=5. Duhh.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 1:13 pm
  174. it’s called a rhetorical question, gothnet. it’s a form of argument designed to get a point across.

    the term “prejudiced” has an obvious negative implication to it. i think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of us have made up our minds on which side of the fence we sit on regarding the theory of evolution. if you’re suggesting that i’m prejudiced because i know where i stand on it, you’re right. but i believe that’s the case for pretty much everyone in here.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 1:14 pm
  175. Kami-MP:

    “So you’re saying that the (largley unproved and unprovable) concept that the universe is designed to support human life, supports evolution and not belief in an intelligent creator?”

    Nobody on the evolution side of this debate has claimed that the universe was “designed to support human life”. The weak anthropic principle merely states that we should not be surprised to see that the universe is conducive to life, because if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Or as Douglas Adams said, “. . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'”

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:15 pm
  176. Kami

    No, I’m saying if our little corner of the universe wasn’t set up to support human life none of us would be here to talk about it.

    And it’s got nothing to do with evolution. You’re conflating the origins of the universe and physical laws with evolution. The two are seperate. Evolution describes how organisms change and develop, it has nothing to do with the laws of physics, thermodynamics, astrophysics or any of the rest.
    I’d like to add that nothing in those fields implies a god either, but what you are proposing has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. NOTHING.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:17 pm
  177. There are molecules forming into more complex structures all the time in your own cells. Sheesh. Do you think the Hand of God is in there all the time pushing them all together to make sure they react?

    Your attempt at patronization is not welcome. Obviously, I believe my body ot be a machine which carries out pre-designed and pre-programmed processes, many of them automatically. The complex molecular processes going on in my body are a result of the design and function of my body. My question is and always has been during this debate, where do we see such things occuring outside of the frame of currently existing biological structures?

    You claim such occurrences are common, but we have already shown that even in a complex laboratory experiment, none of our scientists have been able to demonstrate the formation of even a fraction of the amino chains required for life.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:17 pm
  178. michael
    I said your questions were prejudiced, and they are. They imply from the outset that it is accepted that anyone who puts creedence in this evolution thing is both godless and amoral. That is the prejudice. Yes, I did mean it in a negative way.

    You tried to set yourself up as an impartial philospher interested in people’s opinions, yet the questions you posed assumed many things about the subject already. That is prejudice.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:20 pm
  179. I made a cell membrame in highschool biology… it was cool

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 1:20 pm
  180. And michael,

    you may have made up your mind, I have not. The moment anyone presents me with anything the slightest bit credible, I’ll look at it. I’ll test it to see if it stands up, I’ll criticise it, and if it does get past all that I’ll reevaluate my world view in accordance with the new information.

    The people on the ID/creationism side of this debate cannot claim to do the same thing. Kami for one has repeated herself despite having his/her arguments torn to pieces and despite being given links to resources that could inform him/her

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:28 pm
  181. “Obviously, I believe my body ot be a machine which carries out pre-designed and pre-programmed processes, many of them automatically.”

    You admit that the laws of chemistry alone support the formation of complex biomolecules. So why do you deny that these biomolecules could have formed on the early Earth?

    “My question is and always has been during this debate, where do we see such things occuring outside of the frame of currently existing biological structures? You claim such occurrences are common,”

    That depends on what you mean by “common”.

    “but we have already shown that even in a complex laboratory experiment, none of our scientists have been able to demonstrate the formation of even a fraction of the amino chains required for life.”

    As I said before, if you have a laboratory the size of the Earth and wait hundreds of millions of years, and that lab doesn’t have any existing life that will outcompete protolife, then yes, they will form on their own. Otherwise, no.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:29 pm
  182. Kami, if you believe your body to be a programmed machine, why not the whole universe? Why couldn’t the “programmer” have set it all in motion with the big bang (or whatever)?
    Is there a reason s/he has to have interefered with his/her own creation all throughout history?

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:31 pm
  183. Circular reasoning. We shouldn’t be surprised the universe supports life, because we’re here? That’s the same as saying we shouldn’t doubt there is a creator, because we’re here. Again, sleeve, laughing.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:31 pm
  184. Kami

    Nope, sorry, the fact that we observe a universe we can live in means that whatever conditions were needed along the way to get here did happen. It implies nothing about probabilities or creators.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:33 pm
  185. I never stated I believed the creator interfered at all, Gothnet.

    How life started is what we’re debating here, not religion. It’s obvious the universe and even our bodies are programmed. I believe they were designed. I don’t believe it all happened on it’s own, by accident. As I said before, if you go to build a car, you don’t start with a bicycle and adapt it into a car, that doesn’t make sense. You start with the raw materials and a plan. Then you build A CAR. Likewise, I think the creator started with the raw materials and built a HUMAN, not a monkey. He had already built monkeys. Let alone trying to start with a single celled organism and hoping it would somehow come out the way he wanted. If an intelligent being designed us, we can see obviously that he is a very specific person – he doesn’t deal in generalities. I think Einstein said it best: “God does not play dice.”

    As to whether that creator cares about what he made, I leave it to you to decide: would you care about something so awesome and manifestly intricate and fabulous, had you made it? I think the answer is self evident.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:36 pm
  186. “Circular reasoning. We shouldn’t be surprised the universe supports life, because we’re here? That’s the same as saying we shouldn’t doubt there is a creator, because we’re here. Again, sleeve, laughing.”

    Your snickering only shows that you’ve missed the point. The reasoning is not circular, it demonstrates what you can and cannot conclude from the condition that life exists.

    Saying that “we shouldn’t be surprised the universe supports life, because we’re here” is *not* the same as “we shouldn’t doubt there is a creator, because we’re here”. The existence of life by itself doesn’t say something one way or another about “creators”. The point of the weak anthropic principle is to debunk the claim that the improbability of life proves a creator.

    Imagine for the sake of argument that the universe was created naturalistically, “at random”, and further for the sake of argument that it is extremely unlikely for a life-friendly universe to be formed in this way. The greatest possibility is that there will be no life (and nobody to wonder about this fact). There is a small possibility that life will arise. By your argument, the life in that universe should argue “Hey, our universe is incredibly unlikely, therefore a creator exists”. But they would be wrong: this hypothetical universe was created naturally.

    For more on what you *can* conclude from the existence of life, when you condition all your probabilities on the known fact that life exists, see the anthropic link I posted above.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:39 pm
  187. Kami

    So much to choose from…

    1. You’re right, you wouldn’t start with a bicycle, you’d start with a car. Care to explain the coccyx or the appendix?
    2. I thought god was all powerful? Why could he not set the starting conditions perfectly and just watch things go? He’s god, he doesn’t need to hope things turn out ok, he knows!
    3. The creator does not care about his creation unless child murder is a form of caring I didn’t know about.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:40 pm
  188. “As I said before, if you have a laboratory the size of the Earth and wait hundreds of millions of years, and that lab doesn’t have any existing life that will outcompete protolife, then yes, they will form on their own. Otherwise, no.”

    So we’re intelligent enough to say it all happened by chance, but not intelligent enough to recreate the same thing given our supposed advanced knowledge of chemical processes? you’re saying that something definitely happened by chance billions of years ago, but somehow it can never be proven so we should just believe in it because someone told us to. Great.

    I say, show me evidence that complex life forms, even basic ones, can be created through chemical processes in a lab. you can’t, we can’t, many scientists have said that the chances of it happening are beyone statistically impossible, but yet you still hold to this smug attitude that somehow it did all happen, I just must be ignorant because I don’t believe it, ad nauseum.

    Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:40 pm
  189. Kami

    We can create viruses in the lab, from scratch if necessary. We are only now getting to understand genetic coding well enough to alter it, let alone start from scratch, you expect too much.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 1:43 pm
  190. Kami-MP:

    “It’s obvious the universe and even our bodies are programmed.”

    Proof by obviousness, huh? That’s even better by proof by personal incredulity. Well, I’m convinced.

    “As to whether that creator cares about what he made, I leave it to you to decide: would you care about something so awesome and manifestly intricate and fabulous, had you made it?”

    Maybe the universe is nothing special to the creator. Maybe it was a mistake and the creator has since gone on to better things. Anthocentric arrogance regarding the intentions of a hypothetical entity is amusing, but not even a rhetorical argument.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:43 pm
  191. I don’t know Gothnet, do you care to explain them? Medical science can’t, but they are learning that the things they used to say are just “extras” actually do have a very important function – they just didn’t understand it before. Tonsils, anyone?

    The point is the same with the origins of life – the more we learn, the more it seems that life must have been designed.

    American astronomer George Greenstein expresses his thoughts:

    “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

    This is a hard pill to swallow for someone like you, who humanistically believes that if there were a creator, he would automatically be expected to run down here and fix everything up for us all the time. “Ow I got a bloody nose, Mommy!” Well no, a creator would not necessarily be our nursemaid or daddy to fix up all our problems and bail us out at every turn. We do have free will, right? We are resposible for our own actions (or lack of action) right?

    Everything did turn out all right, Gothnet, we are here, life continues as it has for as long as we have had records, against the odds. Apparently, God knew?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:48 pm
  192. gothnet,

    as i said before, everyone has their prejudices, or probably better worded, pre-conceived ideas. based on your posts, you obviously have one against religion in general, therefore your opinion, and posts influenced by your opinion may not be as objective as you claim they are. after all, like i said earlier, our behavior is strongly influenced by our world view- of course we all have strong ideas about the beginning of life as we know it- if we were indifferent to it, we wouldn’t be posting on this forum.

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 1:49 pm
  193. Kami-MP:

    “So we’re intelligent enough to say it all happened by chance, but not intelligent enough to recreate the same thing given our supposed advanced knowledge of chemical processes?”

    That’s a stupid comparison. We’re intelligent enough to understand all kinds of processes that we can’t recreate ourself. We can’t make stars and galaxies, but we can understand how they formed. What does understanding evolution have to do with whether we can cause cells to evolve from amino acids in a lab? It’s precisely our understanding of evolution that tells us that we *can’t* do that. We might be able to fabricate cells ourselves someday, but that’s irrelevant: if we want it to happen the way it happened on Earth, we have to wait.

    “you’re saying that something definitely happened by chance billions of years ago, but somehow it can never be proven so we should just believe in it because someone told us to.”

    We may never have conclusive knowledge of how the first life formed, although we have some good ideas. We certainly do have proof beyond all reasonable doubt that all life on Earth evolved from single-celled organisms. Of course, creationists make their living from unreasonable doubt.

    “I say, show me evidence that complex life forms, even basic ones, can be created through chemical processes in a lab.”

    By chance? The way it happened on Earth? They can’t. That’s a PREDICTION of evolution, not a refutation of it.

    “many scientists have said that the chances of it happening are beyone statistically impossible,”

    Essentially no biologists or chemists have ever made that argument, because they know better. There are, of course, always a few idiots in any discipline. Once again you try to pump up support for evolution, like your amusing claim that there is a debate raging among the biology community as to whether evolution occurred.

    “but yet you still hold to this smug attitude that somehow it did all happen, I just must be ignorant because I don’t believe it, ad nauseum.”

    Smug? It’s just honest. You are ignorant, we’ve proven it in this thread, and you have outright stated that you don’t WANT to believe that you weren’t designed by a creator.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:50 pm
  194. You obviously missed my point, Ambi. If you create something good, you care about it. Supposing that a creator might consider this to be a mere mistake not only contradicts reason (why are we here if it was a mistake? Obviously something worked well enough for us to exist) it’s nothing more than more anthocentric arrogance. Such as, “we’re so smart as humans, we have decided and discovered we’re nothing more than animals!”

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:51 pm
  195. Kami-MP:

    “I don’t know Gothnet, do you care to explain them? Medical science can’t,”

    Medical science can’t explain what? How viruses work? The genetic code?

    “The point is the same with the origins of life – the more we learn, the more it seems that life must have been designed.”

    It’s actually the opposite.

    “American astronomer George Greenstein expresses his thoughts:”

    Yeah, let’s turn to an astronomer for an opinion on biology.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:53 pm
  196. i enjoyed talking with you guys. time to get some work done…

    michael, October 3, 2006 at 1:54 pm
  197. You’re good at insults, Ambi, but you still didn’t address the thrust of my argument – that we have been unable to demonstrate even the beginning of the process that evolution supposedly “predicts.” in fact, such research has been abandoned. Why? Isn’t it true that the more we have learned about even simple biological life forms, the more thos in the know have realized that such an endeavor is impossible. If it is impossible under controlled conditions, how could it possibly occur at random in a barren, lifeless landscape, even over “billions of years”?

    The planet is only about 4 billion years old, anyways… How does this fit into the overall idea? If the process took so long, and required such a specific set of criteria for it to occur, would these criteria continue over a long period of time? And would that long period of time even fit into the estimated age of earth?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 1:58 pm
  198. Kami-MP Says:

    “You obviously missed my point, Ambi. If you create something good, you care about it.”

    You missed MY point about your arrogant anthrocentrism. It is not a fact that just because you consider the universe to be “good”, that the creator does too. It is also not a fact, for that matter, that if you create something “good”, that you care about it. Maybe you have no emotions and don’t care about anything, regardless of how “good” it is. Maybe you once cared about it, but have since moved on. You are projecting your own opinions of what you think a creator ought to be like.

    “Supposing that a creator might consider this to be a mere mistake not only contradicts reason (why are we here if it was a mistake?”

    Maybe the creator’s goal was to produce a universe with pretty galaxies, and we’re an unwanted byproduct. Maybe the creator once thought creating humans was a good idea, but no longer believes so. Maybe lots of things. Just because you subscribe to a particular story of a creator doesn’t mean that any of these attributes follow logically.

    “Obviously something worked well enough for us to exist) it’s nothing more than more anthocentric arrogance.”

    Yes, it is.

    “Such as, “we’re so smart as humans, we have decided and discovered we’re nothing more than animals!””

    Another non-sequitur.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 1:58 pm
  199. Kami-MP:

    “If an intelligent being designed us, we can see obviously that he is a very specific person – he doesn’t deal in generalities.”

    Assumption upon assumption.

    “I think Einstein said it best: “God does not play dice.””

    Einstein actually vehemently disbelieved in the kind of creator you are describing.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 2:00 pm
  200. “You’re good at insults, Ambi,”

    You aren’t, despite your weak attempts at condescension.

    “but you still didn’t address the thrust of my argument – that we have been unable to demonstrate even the beginning of the process that evolution supposedly “predicts.””

    The beginning of the process is the hardest to demonstrate. The rest has already been demonstrated.

    “in fact, such research has been abandoned.”

    This is absurdly wrong. Check out the literature on RNA-world and protein-world scenarios, for instance.

    We are never going to reproduce cellular life in a lab from scratch, but we can try to reproduce elements of the original process, such as the formation of self-reproducing molecules. It is unknown at this point whether we can do that in a lab on human timescales, but people are trying.

    “Isn’t it true that the more we have learned about even simple biological life forms, the more thos in the know have realized that such an endeavor is impossible.”

    No.

    “If it is impossible under controlled conditions, how could it possibly occur at random in a barren, lifeless landscape, even over “billions of years”?”

    Laboratory abiogenesis experiments are also barren and lifeless. That’s the POINT. The early Earth was not any less conducive to life than a laboratory is, and it was much, much bigger.

    “The planet is only about 4 billion years old, anyways… How does this fit into the overall idea?”

    Pretty well.

    “If the process took so long, and required such a specific set of criteria for it to occur, would these criteria continue over a long period of time?”

    The criteria are “enough heat to support chemical reactions, and a supply of chemicals”. Just what do you think happened to the early Earth that would have destroyed life? We have plenty of evidence that life on Earth has survived global catastrophes for billions of years. If anything, the simpler life survives easier; a global catastrophe may wipe out complex organisms, but bacteria are incredibly hardy.

    “And would that long period of time even fit into the estimated age of earth?”

    Evidently.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 2:07 pm
  201. Kami

    Really, the suffering and poverty that afflict so many humans are all good?

    I’m sorry, but your creator, if he exists, is malevolent. As for “deciding we cme from animals”, we haven’t, that’s what the evidence points to. YOU are the one who has decided against evidence that we don’t. The more we learn the more the theory of evolution is supported by evidence. There is no evidence of design anywhere. And I mean evidence, not “gut feeling that all these things I don’t understand must have been made by someone”.

    michael
    yes, we all have strong ideas. Some are supported by evidence though.

    I too must go now, to the pub. It has been fun, other than the occasional feeling of bashing my head against a brick wall. Kami, michael, please do us (and yourselves) a favour and read some of the talkorigins stuff, it really does address most of the issues you have (repeatedly) come up with here.

    Gothnet, October 3, 2006 at 2:12 pm
  202. I think I will also bow out at this point, there’s only so much rehashing of the same arguments that I can take in one day. Kami, if you’re interested in going to the Usenet talk.origins forum on Google Groups, where I hang out and which is devoted to such topics, I may see you again.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 2:17 pm
  203. I think I started as men and women are trying to eat each other.

    Derrick, October 3, 2006 at 2:18 pm
  204. This is hilarious. I really hate to break it to you, Kami, but there is a large community of scientists who believe that life in this universe is quite common. To be honest, the probability issue goes out the window when you consider the vastness of the universe. I hate to sound anthromorphic, but this conversation could be taking place on the planet Zorg if not here. To give you an idea of how common they expect life should be, look up the Fermi Paradox sometime. Basically, according to what we know about the scale of the universe and relative probabilities of intelligent life forming, there should be countless intelligent civilizations scattered throught the universe, and several within our own galaxy. So, why haven’t we heard from anybody… and therein lies the paradox.

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 2:21 pm
  205. that clears up some of my questions into the art of kissing.

    Seo Rock Blogs, October 3, 2006 at 2:28 pm
  206. All the protein chains for basic life are left handed. From there derives the improbability. If you don’t understand that, read up on the probability of life spontaneously forming from inanimate matter – basically, it’s impossible. All the arrogant postulating in the world can’t overcome the left-handed problem, and so to Ambi, Scott and Gothnet: good night.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 2:48 pm
  207. From what I have heard and seen in the movies prostitutes don’t kiss.

    gary gromet, October 3, 2006 at 2:58 pm
  208. the answer to “can we make life in a lab”

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 3:00 pm
  209. oops try this link

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 3:01 pm
  210. Eh, I can’t resist throwing this in. The leading theory of homochirality is a perfect example of what physicists call spontaneous symmetry breaking, and it happens quite naturally.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 3:02 pm
  211. Ambi:

    Waaay back, I asked:

    How could a life form “capable of eating, breathing, self locomotion, basic behavioural capability and reproduction, spontaneously [pop] into existence from raw elemental materials”?

    You answered:

    “You’re skipping way, way ahead in the history of life. Those capabilities EVOLVED OVER TIME. You know, evolution? That theory you’re supposedly talking about?”

    Ok, so I ask you: if these capabilities (basically required for any life form to be able to survive) evolved over time, how did the initial creature survive and propagate itself, so as to have a chance to evolve these abilities over time?

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:09 pm
  212. Miller’s experiments only generated a sparce handful of the amino acids that would be required for life, and none of them were organized the way we see in actual living organisms. And his experiments do nothing with regard to providing answers to the left handed problem.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:11 pm
  213. Yes, but the key is that they were able to demonstrate that the fundamental building blocks of all life on earth can be readily created from abundant simple compounds. The exact processes that took place billions of years ago will likely remain unknown.

    And what the hell do you mean by “left handed”?

    Scott, October 3, 2006 at 3:14 pm
  214. “We are about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information …. ” – D. Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50 (1), p. 24, 25

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:17 pm
  215. John Bonner, a biologist at Princeton, writes that traditional textbook discussions of ancestral descent are “a festering mass of unsupported assertions.” In recent years, paleontologists have retreated from simple connect-the-dot scenarios linking earlier and later species. Instead of ladders, they now talk of bushes. What we see in the fossils, according to this view, are only the twigs, the final end-products of evolution, while the key transitional forms which would give a clue about the origin of major animal groups remain completely hidden.

    The blank spots on evolutionary “tree” charts occur at just the points where, according to Darwin’s theory, the crucial changes had to take place. The direct ancestors of all the major orders: primates, carnivores, and so forth are completely missing. There is no fossil evidence for a “grandparent” of the monkey, for example.

    “Modern gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees spring out of nowhere,” writes paleontologist Donald Johansen. “They are here today; they have no yesterday.” The same is true of giraffes, elephants, wolves, and all species; they all simply burst upon the scene de novo [anew], as it were.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:18 pm
  216. A transitional fossil is the fossil remains of a creature that exhibits primitive traits in comparison with the more derived life-forms it is related to. According to evolutionary theory, a transitional form represents an evolutionary stage.

    But the fossil record has been against the Darwinian theory from the very beginning. It’s true that different kinds of organisms lived on the earth at different times. But what is not seen in the fossil record is the steady progressive change of one kind of thing into something completely different. Instead, if something new shows up in the rocks, it shows up all at once and fully formed, and then it stays the same.

    If evolution means the steady progressive change of one kind of thing into something completely different, then the fossil record contradicts evolution.

    Given the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record, evolutionists quietly acknowledge this is still a “research issue”.

    There is virtually nothing in the fossil record that can be used as evidence of a transitional life form When apparent examples of useful mutations are examined thoroughly, it becomes clear that no transitional creatures exist anywhere in the fossil record.

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:20 pm
  217. It should be noted that Darwin himself believed that the first form of life was the result of intelligent design. See last paragraph of Darwin’s The Origin of Species (Sixth edition, January 1872): “There is grandeur in this view of life … having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one ….”

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:23 pm
  218. Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know. ~ Eric Hoffer

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:26 pm
  219. When a valid criticism of Darwinism is first proposed, it is dismissed without an adequate response, either on some technicality or with some irrelevancy or by simply being ignored. As time passes, people forget that Darwinists never adequately met the criticism. But Darwinism is still ruling the roost. Since the criticism failed to dislodge Darwinism, the criticism itself must have been discredited or refuted somewhere. Thereafter the criticism becomes known as “that discredited criticism that was refuted a long time ago.” And, after that, even to raise the criticism betrays an outdated conception of evolutionary theory. In this way, the criticism, though entirely valid, simply vanishes into oblivion. ~ William Dembski

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:27 pm
  220. When you ask a Darwinist, ‘What evidence do you have for your mechanism that random variation and natural selection can actually do any creating?’ the Darwinist will say, ‘Well, tell me what God looks like, Why did he do this or that? I want you to show me God doing the creating because if you can’t show me that, we can get rid of God or the creator and what’s left is Darwinism, so it’s got to be true.’ It’s the variation of, ‘This is the only thing that could have happened, so it doesn’t have to be demonstrated, it can just be assumed to be true.’ And anyone who doubts that it could be true has to provide ironclad proof and justification for an alternative. ~ Phillip Johnson

    Kami-MP, October 3, 2006 at 3:28 pm
  221. As I pointed out, there is no “left-handed” (homochirality) problem. The leading theory holds that there were originally both chiralities, but since they couldn’t metabolize each other, they didn’t “interbreed”, and eventually one of them died out. A less popular theory ascribes the symmetry breaking to some kind of physical mechanism such as weak-force asymmetry. The existence of a single chirality certainly doesn’t imply anything about the improbability of life; I’m sure you’re thinking of some absurd argument like “what are the odds that every molecule was produced left-handed” or something equally dumb.

    P.S. The original life was a self-replicating molecule, or perhaps more likely, a small set of such molecules which together autocatalyzed their own replication. “Breathing, self-locomotion, and behavioral capability” didn’t exist yet. “Eating” consisted of chemical reaction with neighboring molecules, which was equivalent to “reproduction”.

    Now really, I’m out of here.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 3:32 pm
  222. P.P.S. Quote-mining is the lowest form of debate.

    Ambitwistor, October 3, 2006 at 3:33 pm
  223. My 2 cent’s worth on Evolution:

    1) Life most likely started on another planet and was “seeded” on earth by comets/meteorites. If this is true, it began on a planet (or moon) that had the ideal environment for such a thing to occur.

    2) If life requires “an intelligent hand” in order to begin, then where did the intelligent hand evolve from?

    3) Most life on earth rely on energy from the sun (directly or indirectly) to survive. But the deep-sea vents have ecosystems based on energy derived from sulfur, not solar radiation. Clearly those life forms have evolved to ultilize sulfur.

    I believe in a Higher Power, but don’t see any reason to reject the Theory of Evolution. I think the main problem people have with evoution is that they think (incorrectly) that if it is true then it means that God doesn’t exist.

    Dan, October 3, 2006 at 5:21 pm
  224. Ambitwistor said:
    ———————————————
    “Eating” consisted of chemical reaction with neighboring molecules, which was equivalent to “reproduction”
    ———————————————

    So THAT’S where kissing came from :-)

    RDL, October 3, 2006 at 6:26 pm
  225. Why do we kiss? It’s a form of social bonding. Why to pairs of Eastern Grebes dance together and entwine their necks? Why do monkeys groom each other? Why do wolf packs touch and rub against each other? It’s all about pair-bonding, group-bonding, and creating a social organization whereby the survivability of the genes locked in a group of intimate social animals is greater than the survivability of the genes of a similar group of animals which are not socially organized. The main mechanism is by intimacy and touching. Handshakes, backrubs, kissing, hugging, biting, fanny-slapping, whatever. The details are cultural, but the overall effect is to create a working social order. Different packs of wolves and baboon also show different ways of reinforcing social bonds, just like humans. Kissing is (in many cultures) reserved only for pair-bonding, which creates another level of social organization.

    And the evolution debate is laughable. If evolution does not occur, then please explain the genetic difference between a dalmation and a chihuahua without using gradual genetic change over time, based on reproductive success. Controlled breeding is purely evolution at work, just speeded up by humans. You can observe it yourself if you doubt me, just get yourself three bottles of fruit flies (only $1.99 from most biological supply houses) and a Genetics 101 textbook. While you’re at it, try to explain how viruses and bacteria magically become drug-resistant without using evolutionary arguments.

    Corwin, October 3, 2006 at 6:43 pm
  226. WHO CARES WHY WE KISS?!?!?!?!?

    erika, October 3, 2006 at 7:26 pm
  227. I agree with Erika….we kiss it happens, it’s a great sport.

    Jes, October 3, 2006 at 7:46 pm
  228. Some of you guys have valid opinions and others of you just like to rant incessantly. Do you guys have anything better to do?

    kat, October 3, 2006 at 7:58 pm
  229. Irreducible complex systems…completely insane. You might as well say we kiss because the planetary spin of Saturn is 47% faster than earth, causing an inequality of spacial distortions, thereby effecting temporal dimensions.

    WE DO IT CUZ WE WANT TO.

    Justin, October 3, 2006 at 8:00 pm
  230. I was interested in this article when i saw it because i was sure there had to be a reason that i desire a kiss above all “sexual” acts. Now some may disagree but i think that the kiss can be the most intimate part of a physical relationship. The feelings you get right before the first kiss, the butterflies. Now i know there is scientific explanation for the reasons we feel these things when we kiss. But why cant we just chalk it up to “it feels good, it’s a connection to someone we have attraction towards, let it just be what it is” I know that’s a girlie thing to say but hey, im a girl. I also would like to point out the resemblance between the lips and the female …. “sex” (i dont know how graphic i can get on here) i dont know how cement the fact is but there seems to be a connection there. Also, why does everything we do have to be some deep rooted aspect? Technically there is no need for oral sex. People do it because it feels good. All im saying is (and i think i speak for a good amount of my female friends) there is nothing better then a long passionate kiss. Heck, after talking about it i may have to go makeout with my roommate….and he’s gay.

    emily, October 3, 2006 at 8:06 pm
  231. “Regardless, it’s still disgusting. They don’t mention that over 200 bacteria colonies are exchanged during a kiss.”

    Has anyone ever seen the “Debbie Downer” skit on Saturday Night Live?

    Bryan, October 3, 2006 at 8:06 pm
  232. P.S.-i dont really think this article gave us much to go on.

    emily, October 3, 2006 at 8:06 pm
  233. I would also like to mention that the women are making the most sense here, and we over analyze EVERYTHING. but give it a rest guys….maybe some of you just havn’t been kissed like you should.

    emily, October 3, 2006 at 8:11 pm
  234. very interesting conversation. this entertained me greatly.
    P.S.
    I love kissing.

    ashley, October 3, 2006 at 8:12 pm
  235. “Regardless, it’s still disgusting. They don’t mention that over 200 bacteria colonies are exchanged during a kiss.”

    I’m pretty sure sexual intercourse would exchange a lot more than that actually.

    Donn, October 3, 2006 at 8:12 pm
  236. with my experience in kissing (wich is extensive)i feel that kissing is sort of a segway to sex
    *but thats just me*

    doc holiday, October 3, 2006 at 9:35 pm
  237. my mommy gives me butterfly kisses everynight before beddie-byes

    funny brother, October 3, 2006 at 10:13 pm
  238. this is one of the myriads of unexplainable things of nature !!!

    bnura, October 4, 2006 at 1:09 am
  239. Kami

    One last thing, I don’t want to kick off the argument again, but there are plenty of transitional fossils. We have good evidence of that. Whoever is feeding you these arguments is deliberately feeding you misinformation..

    this page has fully cited examples.

    This page covers any other objections you might have to paleontology and the fossil record.

    Really, all the arguments you use have been dealt with before and proven to be wrong. I’m not saying there is no god or that science precludes god, really, just that your strict interpretation of a creator is demonstrably incorrect. This stuff actually happened.

    Gothnet, October 4, 2006 at 6:04 am
  240. Kami “Ask a Darwinist to show you evidence and they will say ‘Well, tell me what God looks like, Why did he do this or that? I want you to show me God doing the creating because if you can’t show me that, we can get rid of God or the creator and what’s left is Darwinism, so it’s got to be true.'”

    Oh my god you’re ignorant. We have evidence by the boatload for evolution. You have a feeling, a belief that god did everything, and not just that he did everything but that he did it in a way that precludes evolution. You do not have evidence.

    YOU are the one saying “well I’m going to ignore the evidence and deny evolution, and once that’s gone we don’t have a proper explanation so it must be god!”

    Get a clue, that’s not science, that’s nonsense. And stop trying to tar legitimate scientific endeavor with your assumptive brush. Seriously, I’m starting to find yuour agenda here offensive.

    Gothnet, October 4, 2006 at 6:13 am
  241. “Gothnet”:

    (See how much travel this name will get you in Montreal these days, but that’s another story)

    No-one here has shown me any evidence of evolution. Just a lot of links to lists of attitudes written by evolutionists.

    And you are falling back on the old evolutionist tactic, if you can’t defeat the reasoning or provide logical responses, insult the questioner. Question his or her education. Ask, “Is he RELIGIOUS?” (Insert sneer.) It makes me wonder about the real depth of your arguments, when evolutionists consistently fall back on these schoolyard bully tactics when faced by people who don’t think evolution is correct.

    I’ll tell you what I’ve seen from the fossil record. I’ve seen a lot of old bones. Some of them are very interesting, and show various interesting features these animal creatures had. Many of these creatures are likely extinct, or if not they were examples of animals born with birth defects. But never have I seen anything to lead me to think that these old bones are somehow, automatically, my ancestors bones or that they’re some “inbetween” species. I’ve seen a few pieces of jaw bone found. What does the scientific journal show? An artist’s conception of an 8 foot tall ape man! How do you get that from a little piece of jaw bone? I’ve seen ape skulls in varying states of disrepair. If Lucy had elongated forearms and walked with the aid of her knuckles, I’m sorry, she was an APE, not a HUMAN (no humans save those with serious physical deformities walk with their hands. We walk UPRIGHT.) Paleontologists like Chen have stated that the fossil record shows massive diversity of species SUDDENYLY APPEARING, WHOLE and then staying the same until they disappear. Just like our findings today – if you introduce genetic mutation, it does not stay. Descendants of the mutated creatures revert back to the original DNA programming in a few generations.

    Quit your pathetic mudslinging and come up with some real arguments, and maybe we’ll have something approaching a real debate here.

    Kami-MP, October 4, 2006 at 8:02 am
  242. I have never understood why if one believes in God, then evolution and other scientific theories must be wrong… or if one agrees with the theory of evolution then they can’t possibly think there is a God. I would think that God would be the greatest of all scientists and could surely create things in totally scientific way.And once created, could observe the evolution of that creation. Just because there was a “Big Bang” doesn’t mean it wasn’t God who made that Big Bang occur. Some of you might find this interesting:

    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com

    scroll to the bottom of the page and click
    “New Scientific Evidence For The Existence of God”

    Kandy, October 4, 2006 at 8:21 am
  243. Well, Kandy, I see your point – and I think God is the greatest scientist ever. He created science. But the idea that you can believe the creator created everything by evolution just doesn’t hold water. The “Big Bang” theory is very well-known but it doesn’t explain a lot of things astronomers and physicists have discovered about our universe. Very likely, though, the universe did start as a small singularity that was then expanded outwards at a measured pace. The idea of a “Big Bang” (explosion) was put forward to explain how the universe could have supposedly formed on it’s own – with no guidance. (Ergo, atheism.) And evolution is as well the keystone of the belief that there is no creator. Not that I’m saying everyone who believes in evolution doesn’t believe in a creator; many likely do. But really, it is illogical to try and reconcile the two. As I said above, if you’re going to build a car, you don’t start with a bicycle and adapt from there – you just build a car from the raw materials available. The only reason a creator might have to change one being into another could be that the species’ purpose was no longer required – for instance, if dinosaurs were used to terraform earth (plow up the earth, spread vegetation around, etc.) then once that stage of development was done, they wouldn’t be needed anymore. (When the lot is prepared, you don’t keep the bulldozer anymore, you send it back…) So, perhaps, those creatures were changed into new creatures that would fit the next stage of development (birds, maybe, or perhaps totally different creatures.) This could be done through genetic modification. (If that creator built the system, he would know how to modify it.) But all of these processes required intelligent influence and direction. As does any construction an development project.

    Kami-MP, October 4, 2006 at 8:50 am
  244. Kami
    No, I have provided links to material that scientifically refutes your repetetive, mindless nonsense. Many of the answers there link to further evidence.
    The “scientists” you site have either been deliberately misinterpreted or had their arguments discredited.
    The “facts” you state, like men being closer to mice than chimps or species suddenly appearing, not changing, then disappearing are all patently FALSE.
    I no longer have time to argue with someone who has such an obvious agenda of denial as you.

    Kandy
    Please don’t listen to that nutcase, it is a small proportion of (largely USian) fundamentalists that have this particular malfunction. Most Christians around the world have no issue with evolution. Especially since the theory of evolution has nothing to do with either the origins of the universe or life, only how life changed since it’s initial forms. Kami and those like him/her are trying to conflate the theory of evolution with origin theories and atheism, which is absurd. There is no reason god could not have used evolution as his/her creation mechanism. The heads of the anglican and catholic churches both accept this. People like Kami do not and are trying to turn the issue into some sort of war.

    Science and religion do not need to be at odds, it is only when people like Kami make an argument out of nothing and then deliberately cloud the waters with stupid and repetetive arguments that we get into a situation like the US has today where children are taught nonsense in some areas because of misguided religious intent.

    Gothnet, October 4, 2006 at 10:06 am
  245. As long as we’re trading broadsides, Mr Scientific, you should learn how to spell. :D

    Kami-MP, October 4, 2006 at 11:00 am
  246. Big whoop, I spelled “repetitive” incorrectly. Twice!

    At least I know what evolution is before I start arguing about it, you seem to think it covers everything from the big bang to abiogenesis.

    Gothnet, October 4, 2006 at 12:20 pm
  247. It is you who have elevated what began as a reasonably calm debate to a series of over-inflated insult flingings, “Gothnet” person. I don’t have a problem with science. My religious beliefs are not what we are discussing here. And no, I am not a fundamentalist. Once again, anyone questions the tenets of the evolution theory and they must be a redneck fundie from the South, huh? Back off Gothboy. There are serious problems with the theory of evolution as it is arrogantly taught around the world, and there are a lot of scientists whose findings have questioned the theory. Live with it. It’s my choice to question the theory, it’s my right to debate it publicly, and despite the attempts of academics with superior attitudes, ongoing discussion and debate will not be silenced or censored.

    Once again, the merits of your arguments are seriously brought into question by the insecurity obviously displayed in your debate tactics! If you are so sure of yourself, why do you need to use schoolyard bully tactics and silly insults? Why do you assume I’m a religious person, or a religious fundamentalist? Why do you call me ignorant, when I merely asked some thought provoking questions? Why is your cage sooo rattled, Mr. Gothnet? Perhaps you are a bit unsure of your position, after all.

    Kami-MP, October 4, 2006 at 2:36 pm
  248. sheesh… kami, evolution is one of the most logical descriptions of factual observations… pure science infact. Observe, hypothesize, test, refine. This is a theory that has undergone hundreds of years of scrutiny and is still unrefutable.

    The theory makes so much sense it hurts. If a creature or species is not fit for survival, it will die. Genetic traits that are well adapted to the existing environment (including ecosystem, climate, predators, food supply), will continue to persist through successful offspring.

    But the environment on this planet, though relatively stable has undergone massive changes over short periods of time on several occasions, and these are the periods where we see the most speciation in the fossil record.

    It should also be considered that your transistory creatures do in fact exist, classic examples including the lung-fish, amphibians in general, archaeopterix, and how about the platypus. Lets not forget about embryology… yes, you had gills for a few weeks in your mother’s womb.

    Additionally, transitory creatures would most commonly exist in these transitional periods. Look up the whole eon, era, period, epoch breakdown, called the geologic time model. The timeline is demarcated by significant events that drastically transformed life on the planet (like a meteor impact or an ice-age), and after such an event, a new emergence of biodiversity flourished in this new, significantly different environment. Relatively rare genetic traits that were previously unsuccessful would rapidly dominate the gene pool if they suddenly became successful in the new environment. Old species die out, new ones emerge, very quickly, and exist for very long periods, whereas transitional periods are comparably short.

    Again..

    Scott, October 4, 2006 at 3:04 pm
  249. pure logic

    Scott, October 4, 2006 at 3:05 pm
  250. Why do whales have fingers and legs?

    Scott, October 4, 2006 at 3:07 pm
  251. i like bananas…theyre fun.

    hey, October 4, 2006 at 9:10 pm
  252. i agree with “hey.” bananas ARE fun. and u guys are losers how can u right so much about this and is there any need to research it. SERIOUSLAH!

    mickey, October 4, 2006 at 9:12 pm
  253. WOW!!! LMFAO!!! AHAAHAAHA! other than this person named hey, and mickey, u all need to get lives. get off ur computer for 5 minutes and go do something u nerds

    Mark, October 4, 2006 at 9:23 pm
  254. @Mark

    well done…
    way to add to the debate…
    (yes i see the irony in making a post to chastize someone else for exactly the same reason im doing it, so in that spirit…)
    If creationalism is equally valid as evolution as a scientific theory, which creator should be taught? Judeo/Christian? Hindu? or should we all submit to the theory of the people on Viltvoodle 6 (sp?)

    beer, October 5, 2006 at 3:47 am
  255. Kami

    I accuse you of being a fundamentaist because you are. A trade mark of fundamentalism is ignoring factual evidence in favour of your own beliefs, which you do. There are no serious scientific studies that have found any problems with the underlying theory of evolution. If you actually had any then this debate would be over and evolution would be thrown out and you would win the argument. Fact is you can’t produce scientifically valid studies supporting your viewpoint because they don’t exist.

    And what you mistake for insecurity is actually frustration, frustration that you won’t listen, that you spout off your nonsense arguments over and over, refuse to actually tackle criticism in a logical way or even address the points against you and the repeat your flawed assertions. It’s clear you know absolutely nothing about evolution or genetics because you bring into question the big bang (nothing to do with evolution) and claim humans are more closely related to mice than chimps (just not true). Where are you getting this stuff? It’s just plain wrong.

    Gothnet, October 5, 2006 at 5:38 am
  256. i dont kno

    harmeen, November 5, 2006 at 2:38 pm
  257. And how does this explain blow jobs? Answer me that Gothfag and Kamichrist

    Mr. Happy, December 7, 2006 at 10:54 pm
  258. Ah, Americans squabbling over evolution.

    Meanwhile (mainly atheist) China is creeping up on you. It won’t be pretty if all you have is a bunch of religious right ranters and no jobs, will it?

    Peter Morgan, January 2, 2007 at 6:24 pm
  259. If we kill Kami off now, then there will be no descendents of his. Then the warped brain will not replicate. There, evolution demonstrated.

    V2+, January 10, 2007 at 1:17 am
  260. First off Anon is right, kissing spreads the most bacteria from human to human in daily life next to money. Of course that won’t stop people from doing it, I am a germaphobe so I have never kissed or even touched a women at that, my mental disorder won’t allow it, but I heard it sounds good and the origin I believe was the male checking to see if his wife had wine, I don’t know if there is any truth to this but that is what some say. I studied human behavior in college and the reason we kiss now days is because we grew up learning that it is fun and “naughty” and may lead to other stuff. Well to all u kissers out there have fun and make sure u wash your mouth afterwards lol jp, chances of u getting a lifethreatening bacteria from kissing is 10,000 to 1 so have fun and enjoy those sweet lips

    Riley, January 30, 2007 at 5:30 pm
  261. @ Riley, Can you even comment on kissing if you’ve never done it? This question goes out to all those non-kissers. You all need to drop your barriers because ur missing out. Seriously, who cares if you get bacteria from another person you get it everyday whether you like or not, and if you did’nt you’d be dead right now bc ur immune system wouldn’t be able to cope with the highly unsanitary world we live in. no matter how clean u r, ur still dirty. So the point is get out there don’t be a prude, and have a good time, this way you don’t become best friends with your right hand. Seriously,sexual activity is important for ur mental and physical health. U don’t know what ur missing

    @ Britt, ur funny, lmao

    random, February 23, 2007 at 12:47 am
  262. While you morons are talking about kissing I’m doing it because it feels good and its a way to show my feelings towards my loved one. Have fun arguing!

    John, February 26, 2007 at 10:56 pm
  263. I’m not quite sure why we kiss, but i have a feeling it has something to do with instict, because when you kiss some one you’re involved with you get turned on,there for a female gets “wet” and a man gets “hard”. So i would think it has to do with instinct, mating, and emotionally bonding reasons.

    Amanda, April 7, 2007 at 9:44 pm
  264. Oh and as far as the 200 colonies of bacteria you swap with each other when you kiss. You have over 200,000,000 colonies of bacteria where ever you go.Do you open doors??? the answer is yes, there’s bacteria. Do you wash your hands before you eat?? some people do, alot don’t, there’s bacteria going in your mouth then. It’s not like you live in a hospital where everythings sterile, and even in a hospital everythings not sterile. If you live with the one you’re kissing you both have basically the same bacteria in your body anyways, so why does it matter??

    Amanda, April 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm
  265. Interesting ideas all..has anyone noticed the length of this thread? its safe to say, we are ALL curious about something as “simple” as kissing.
    Heres my 2 cents…
    as to bacteria, so what? Humans are incredible machines, we harbor, and NEED countless forms of bacteria in countless numbers…
    Think about it, most of us have had some form of food poisoning, and disregarded it something else (what, exactly IS stomach flu anyway????)
    bacteria, is a non-factor.
    evolution vs. creationism-this one is sticky….
    seems to me, that both sides of the argument are equally arrogant and unknowing, yet i myself by definition must be on one side, or the other…
    i personally can see no way that anyone can deny evolution. personally, i consider it more as fact than theory.
    however, evolution as fact or theory does not disprove god or creation.
    and i have no idea where that places me on said argument.
    now, since i dont know any of you, nor ever will, i can be personal here regarding kissing.
    i dont have to smell or taste someone to want to kiss them, or to know that i dont want to kiss them. i know that well before i get that ‘close’
    purely physical then? shes got a hot body, so i wanna kiss her and go from there?
    no, thats not it, but its closer than i need to let my pheremones parade through her tulips (no pun intended) comes….
    i guess, at the end of the day, it implies intimacy, and trust, which some believe are the foundations of a lifelong parternship with a mate.
    perhaps these are tests?
    i am no biologist either, but is it not true that
    most mammals do NOT mate for life, that this is the exception, and not the rule?
    as much as i appreciate science, and concede all
    its shown us, i think a good scientist will be the first to tell you to NOT trust it!
    science and religion can, perhaps must, find a way to coexist. i can find many ways that science is faulted-we even have a term for it now-
    Junk Science (global warming, anyone?)
    note that i am neither an evangelist, or a scientist.
    let the flaming begin, and happy smootching!

    Ghosty, April 20, 2007 at 11:01 pm
  266. I am an anthropology student and i brought this subject up to my professor. He says that it is instinct based with techniques and styles being learned. As for thosde who don’t kiss: that is part of their cultural evolution. 100 % their ancestors at some time kissed

    chance beauclair, April 25, 2007 at 5:40 pm
  267. I have always wondered, I love to kiss and its always been a interest I want to be a kissing scientist now, sounds fun :D

    Lucy, April 27, 2007 at 8:56 am
  268. i need about saliva not kissing!!!! dUh!!!

    aloysa cifra, June 25, 2007 at 8:15 am
  269. Blah..When I watch dramas or movies..,I close my eyes when I see kiss scenes coming…I hate kisses!

    Bae Yong-jun, July 24, 2007 at 5:49 am
  270. who doesnt like to kiss?? we do.

    its hot sticking yor tongue down someone elses neck. thats why we all do it. especially to each other. all the time.

    kiss kiss

    anyone who doesnt like an intimate kiss with a lover oviously isnt getting any…

    westonbirty chicks :), October 29, 2007 at 12:50 pm
  271. if you cant kiss…..give head

    if you cant give head….

    GIVE UP!

    westonbirty chicks :), October 29, 2007 at 12:52 pm
  272. Obviously kissing is a source of evolution, it feels good because it is a trait that encourages survival. It is intimate, you would only kiss someone that you don’t think carries disease or illness and it helps to understand their genetic structure better.

    Matt, November 9, 2007 at 2:31 am
  273. I think overall evolution is the most logical explanation – the true workings of the universe are mysterious, but a trial and error basis for genetics makes sense. We do forget how many creatures die off and are extinct every day – which is just a normal part of nature’s random trial and error.

    It may seem amazing how complex things are, but it also makes sense that random cells frequently reproducing and competing would evolve into complex creatures. Think dinosaurs. Makes sense, prior to the asteroid the best survival mechanism was to have monsters that got bigger and bigger, the most relentless huge was most well adapted to survive. Creatures developing other instincts weren’t able to live long enough to see those traits flourish. Post-asteroid it seems the human ancestor was a shrewd little rodent-like creature that could scavage for food and use innovation to live, rather than brauns.

    These are my guesses, but I haven’t read enough on the topic really.

    Robotic Awareness, November 9, 2007 at 2:38 am
  274. Does anyone have the references/ bibliography for the above article? I really liked it, and would like to follow up on some of the findings. Thanks!

    Emmali, November 21, 2007 at 10:04 pm
  275. Kissing is one of the most intimate ways of expressing one’s feelings for another. When done properly, the emotion, the love can be felt in the very act itself. Whether it’s learned or instinctive doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the sensation when it happens, I say.

    Robskca, December 18, 2007 at 2:32 pm
  276. The fact that anon things kissing is gross should be noted. “It feels good” is subject to quite a lot of variance in humans. Personally I think it’s gross too, I just really love inhaling my mate’s pheremones.

    anon, March 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm
  277. I am researching a theory that kissing is actually a way of immunising the female again catching various sexually transmitted diseases. It has been found that males contain higher levels of IgA in their saliva. This is an antibody to HPV (and potentially other things). HPV (human papillomavirus) leads to cervical cancer in females. Kissing, i.e. saliva exchange, could be a way of immunising the female from cathing a potentially life threatening illness, before having sex. This theory also explains why kissing someone once they have eaten garlic is often a turn off. Garlic is a natural antiseptic and would destroy whatever is valuable in the saliva (e.g. IgA). Therefore kissing someone who has eaten garlic has no benefits, only the risk of catching disease. Whether or not the unknown substance is IgA and the unknown disease is HPV, this is a plausable hypothesis!

    Rose, March 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm
  278. you guys are funny :-)

    sandy, April 7, 2008 at 12:43 am
  279. you say chimps do it..
    well MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO..righht? (:

    Love, May 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm
  280. you guyes are forgetting the mane thing you kiss to show how mucch you love the other person i like kurtys

    tommy, May 25, 2008 at 2:52 am
  281. kissing is hot but it has to be good to make sense i mean i,ve had some bad experiences and some dudes are lost!!!!!!!!!

    puffy, June 6, 2008 at 11:00 am
  282. Kiss me someone!

    martha, November 16, 2008 at 8:38 am
  283. This goes to illustrate the point that over analyzing love is worse for love than the actual practice of kissing is bad for your health. Who wants to think about the reasons, who cares? It is instinctual behavior in many cultures and that is really all I personally care about. When I get close to a woman I have no interest in things like bacteria counts or chimpanzees or any other distracting thoughts entering my mind.

    Peter, December 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm
  284. Aaahhh….I can’t believe I read just about all of those comments….

    Ambiwistor (and a few other people), if you ever see this, why did you argue(debate? discuss? whatever.) with Kami-MP for as long as you did?

    Elley, January 23, 2009 at 6:58 am
  285. I can’t believe there is a formal name for people who study kissing… and the call themselves “philematologists.” =) I wonder what kinds of research they do… hmm..^^

    hannah, February 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm
  286. Hello people …
    I have nothing to say …
    You all are awesome !!!
    I can see the variety of answers from the most stupid answer to beyond than normal answer …
    Humans are beutiful … and I love to kiss them ^^ only when and if I want to …

    r9genius, February 14, 2009 at 7:02 am
  287. I neve kissed. Some times I feel like but I have no one too. I just feel the rush to do it.

    SGiTDD, March 26, 2009 at 8:41 am
  288. Maybe people are just like putting their tongues in a warm place because its comforting and it isnt bad to do. I mean is a cold or warm shower more comforting?

    fred, March 30, 2009 at 1:33 am
  289. wow… 288 responses… about why humans kiss… i realli do wish i had that much time on my hands… lol As for the subject.. I think you are all realli digging to deep for such a simple question. Kissing is realli just another way to show your mate you love/care for them. It also does tend to lead to more intimate things to show that one is really into you or wants intercourse…
    Just my two cents… ; }

    btw.. i love it when my guy kisses me… the way he does it shows me he loves me.. there fore he gets kissed back letting him know i feel the same.

    It’s really not that cokmpliacted and why try to complicate things we will never understand anyway? One perspective is no better than another…

    kat, May 5, 2009 at 10:58 pm
  290. The mouth is like the hole of the face and who doesnt like holes.

    john, July 16, 2009 at 12:11 am
  291. little people are not allowed to kiss the girl/boy they like.They are just to small

    sophie, July 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm
  292. what the crap?!
    not true ok!
    im thai and thats really insulting. get your facts right douche!

    mee, December 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm
  293. I do not enjoy kissing. When I have sex I just want sex and no kisses. Expressing love? I never was with a man I loved and I kissed them because they wanted to. I cannot really say it was wonderful.
    I avoid kisses if possible, I do whatever the men want but kissing them is not that esay. I find it simply disgusting.

    Not all women need love for having sex you know?

    trekkicat, January 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm
  294. I love to kiss and women have told me that I’m a great kisser!

    LanzH, February 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm
  295. Kissing is a cultural construction developed with human history.

    The fact that not all humans do it, proves against a solely biological cause and any theory that points towards it being a universalistic phenomenon.

    If human beings needed to be close to eachother in order to smell pheromones, then one could simply embrace, rub noses, or smell areas of the body that excrete such odours the most – which, are not the lips.

    Kissing the lips could have derived from an evolutionarily advantageous act, such as what we see with Chimpanzees: They spend vast quantities of time ‘combing’ eachothers hair – removing dirt, parasites etc. This ‘tradition’ may have been lost in certain groups, and carried on in the majority of others.

    The variance we see in kissing: with or without tongues, slow, fast, pecks or ‘smooches’ gives evidence towards the cultural argument in that it is subject to how you are taught. Kissing is not innate, for, as I’m sure all of us will admit, our first kisses tend to be experimentations and quite frankly ‘bad’.

    Naked Man, April 16, 2010 at 11:43 am
  296. im pretty sure it started with adam & eve ya’ll!!!

    lemonss(:, May 14, 2010 at 8:53 am
  297. im gunna have to disagree with number 5. yes if u really think about it its wierd. but believe it or not kissing actually helps clean one anothers mouths and teeth! look it up. kissing is actually healthy for u in many ways physically and emotionally :)

    josh, June 11, 2010 at 3:26 am
  298. I like the idea of checking for a suitable mate, sex used to be to reproduce and now it’s for fun as well, maybe kissing was testing out a possible mate and because of how enjoyable it is like sex it’s for fun as well.

    Wez, June 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm
  299. Hey it matters if your in love.depends on the person who dosent care about getting bacteria or something.Dont you remember To love each other in sickness and in health it makes kissing sound sweet and affectionate but still its disgusting.=D anyway dont think too much or you will end up into a dark person triying to find the awnser but still could never find it. (no ofense)

    Love is magic, July 23, 2010 at 10:26 am
  300. While it may have been instinctual at first, it has now become a social expectation in many cultures. We in more developed countries (America, England, Australia, Japan, etc.) see it on television, read it in books and watch other people to do it. We kiss because it feels good, and because it feels good, other people do it, making us want to do it so that we ‘fit in’.
    First kiss = Big Deal for a lot of people.
    Why?
    The media and our society make it seem like an amazing bonding experience which in turn actually makes it a bonding experience.

    I say it’s 50% Learned behaviour (Everyone’s doin’ it.) 50% Instinctual/Animal-like Behaviour (Feels good, don’t it?)

    So while you silly adults prattle on about this and that, I have it all figured out. ;) lol

    Microwave, October 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm
  301. Please someone tell me the tricks of kissing….Whenever I go in front of her it feels like avoiding.But after wards feels to kiss.I want to kiss very soon!!

    adam bold, October 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  302. Well, recently I’ve read that French kissing is one way a man can actually transfer testosterone to a woman, which will up her arousal. So kissing as a precursor to sex/procreation makes sense from an evoluntionary standpoint.

    Kay Ess, November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm
  303. hey hey @Beer

    oh come on… of course you are true, if i wanked off my arm i would gain muscle, all those just happen to be the result of masterbating, people say its healhty maybe to make us feel better about doing it, but really your just doing it coz it feels good and relieves stress for men.

    as for kissing, it was probably learned or all of the above, but what matters is we still do it now, if it was bad we wouldn’t do it today. So it’s just a harmfull act, now pucker up and stop wondering about pointless stuff and just accept it…

    Aisha, November 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm
  304. I LIKE BOOBS

    PATRICK STRANG, January 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm
  305. I find that when kissing leads to more enjoyable things we do it more often but when the ‘spark’ is not there it often leads to less kissing. So I’m with the “it feels good theory”.

    Rox, February 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm
  306. It’s a learned thing I think, IF it was instinctual then why would people in other remote areas not do it?
    Then again, there are instinctual things people in certain regions that others don’t.

    It’s a very interesting subject though.

    Delaney, February 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm
  307. I think a woman can get more information about a man’s heart and intentions with one kiss than in hours of ego driven conversation. The tenderness and controlled passion, or the fumbling indecisiveness, the timing, and even responsiveness to the slight movements during the kiss are all clues to a compatibility that cannot be expressed easily with vocabulary. One kiss can make me “ready” and another can forever turn me off. I think there is an old R & B song: It’s in his kiss.

    Honey, February 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm
  308. WHY DO WE KISS?

    In Kissing, there is SALIVA exchange. Saliva contains Chemicals, enzymes, Ant-bacteria etc.

    The partners have different concentration of these chemicals due to diet difference and just their sex (male and Female)

    Kissing… is an evolutionary concept meant to Allow Bonding to TAKE place between Man and Woman. so if you WANT to BOND to a lot of KISSING b4 Sex.

    its Gods design for Bonding Physically.

    Dr Don, March 5, 2011 at 3:15 am
  309. People are making a huge assumption that everybody finds kissing pleasurable. I don’t. Though, strangely, i do feel closer to those i kiss.
    I dont think kissing developed as a means to check out the levels of genetic variance between two people etc cuz otherwise it would’ve evolved alot earlier and it would be more universal (someone said up there that French kissing only really came about after the Victorian era in America; the 10% of humans who dont kiss). I think its just a means to increase bonding. I mean, we subconsciously analyze the smell of potential mates and this helps determine the level of attraction and compatibility, so if kissing were for compatibility and such then people wouldve evolved to skip straight to the kissing stage when scouting for potential partners right? i mean the order of things would be different e.g. ‘kiss, then flirt’ not ‘flirt, then kiss’. (And yes im discounting the club scene whereby people kiss whoever they hope to end up in bed with :-P But seriously, not all cultures would find the idea of kissing a stranger based on physical attraction attractive- this alone confirms the idea kissing is for strengthening a relationship).

    Asking why people kiss is like asking why people tickle one another. Some people are ticklish- while others arent. While we cant say for sure how tickling came about and why some people arent ticklish – its true that for those who are it is a bonding experience and neither would you tickle a complete stranger.

    dont over complicate it ppl, April 3, 2011 at 12:05 am
  310. @ Ermine, October 3, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Regarding your comment about quantifying ‘information’ and there being no ‘real’ science available on the need of information. I assume you’re talking about the need of information in relation to individuals?

    There is in fact a whole field of biological research concerned with the ecology of information use. As you may guess information has to be defined in this field in order to be studied, so a definition does exist and it actually fiercely debated. Individuals gain information from the environment- within the scope of their gambit- on a day to day, second by second basis.

    The ability to act on this information is what drives the behaviour of individuals. I suggest before you mount your high horse you should carry out some research of your own.

    Harvester, May 6, 2011 at 6:30 am
  311. @chad, thunb up to you frm me too!

    Soham Dongargaonkar, May 27, 2011 at 6:10 am
  312. Huh. Well, citing kissing among bonobos as evidence of it being instinctual is problematic since they are not any old animal, and can learn and pass learned things down culturally. [Also, even if kissing were to be instinctual in bonobos it would not necessarily be so in humans.]

    Marisano, June 11, 2011 at 3:29 am
  313. Kissing is practised or instinct is not important because kissing has a mojor role in pre sexual play

    sam, June 28, 2011 at 2:35 am
  314. in fact i’m 32 years old bat i just use my mouth for eating ..lol.. I’ve never kissed so i can’t give you any opinion

    cry35- rennes- france, July 16, 2011 at 4:59 am
  315. in addition to the above stated theories I believe kissing to be an act of trust. As is sharing a bed with another person. We are at our most vulnerable when asleep and to allow someone to sleep with us is a huge act of trust. To allow someone to touch you with their mouth is equally trusting. By doing this it is assumed you will not be bitten when you very well could be. This could have started very early on even before modern-humans were on the scene but this is pure speculation.

    sean, August 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm
  316. i think its because we like it i am 11 and i love kissing it is awesome

    mckenna, September 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm
  317. in the artical it said that it’s an evolutionary thing that people are born with,which would mean that all cultures do it,but as the writer stated,no everyone does it!

    I would think it would be a mixture of the learned thing,cause if it was learned,that means it would be in a specific group of people who do it.

    there is also how it helps our immune system (exchanging bacteria and building immunities to it) and how it does help us find a mate.

    the fact that “it feels good” is relative,cause it doesn’t for everyone.which would point to kissing being a learned thing,or maybe a certain evolutionary thing that comes out in some people,and not in others.

    krevez, September 28, 2011 at 10:25 am
  318. Why do Africans kiss? Because they aped it frm westerners,..why do westeners kiss?..avoidance of strange sounds a woman makes in sex by shutting her mouth,then they realise its good..
    Again kissing is a temptation,we kiss when tempted to do so

    Jared, October 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm
  319. I think a married guy can give us some hint here O.o

    VJ, November 7, 2011 at 7:17 am
  320. People and other animals kiss so the wife get infected with the viruses the man has but she doesn’t. This will lower the change of a primo-infection during pregnancy which can be disastrous. When they kiss, she get infected and form anitbodies.

    patrick roos, November 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm
  321. It is bad for a women to get a primo-infection, with for example CMV when she is pregnant. When the man of the couple has for example CMV, and the wife does not, it is very beneficial for the women and the future kid, that the wife get in contact with CMV, BEFORE she get pregnant. Kissing is a very efficient way to infect the wife with viruses the man has and the wife not, which she did not encounter before. THAT S THE REASON. And to motivate animals/people to kiss, it gives a good feeling.

    patrick roos, November 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm
  322. I would like to make a simple point. Probably its too raw and Basic as i havent studied evolution or psychology…I suppose a kiss is the only other way where a person’s insides connect with another person’s insides. So its the only possible option to sexual intercourse(the feeling to get inside the other person is what i mean here and not Sex)

    Kuunal, December 18, 2011 at 10:56 am
  323. Kiss is the best!

    Gaino, January 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm
  324. i personally believe kissing is learned because, i live in a part of the world where people don’t kiss, well at least not in public. it’s considered obscene and i think i wouldn’t have learned to kiss unless i saw all those western movies

    Anonymous, February 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm
  325. Interesting and funny that most comments are from men trying to find a logical reason for kissing. Its fun! Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) :DDD

    Anna, February 25, 2012 at 6:31 am
  326. we kiss cause we wanna. nothin’ gonna stop us from doing what we like. matters not what in the heck the reason is, we do what we do. kissing came bout as a way to feel good and show afection. dont go and make in complicated an hurt me head; math does enough of that that ye very much. just leave kissin’ as it truly is and stop trying to complicate every little thing in this world born of crimson flames and resolve of sword

    kenneth, April 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm
  327. “Today, the most widely accepted theory of kissing is that humans do it because it helps us sniff out a quality mate. When our faces are close together, our pheromones “talk” – exchanging biological information about whether or not two people will make strong offspring.”

    But then why do homosexuals kiss? Or elderly people? This theory doesn’t also work because, as mentioned earlier, the other then per cent who have no idea about kissing obviously breed as well, and also the majority of animals. I suppose it’s just another degeneration, such as oral sex.

    Brian, October 15, 2012 at 1:18 am
  328. Kissing is universal trend of showing love ,affection and respect.There are unlimited reasons for kissing.I think kissing is as old as human civilization.There can never be one theory or reason for kissing.Interesting views are given in this article.

    Sunita, November 18, 2012 at 9:59 am
  329. @Kami-MP

    Could I possibly contact you in some way? I found your arguments quite interesting. Wouldn’t mind discussing further. Dot me at my e-mail: rougeparapluie@ymail.com <- aka if you feel like it!

    suomynonA, December 8, 2012 at 1:52 am
  330. Why do you all have to make such a scientific thing of it? It makes it harder to enjoy when all you can think of is exchanging bacteria!

    Me, December 23, 2012 at 11:58 am
  331. Kissing has evolved from our relationship and domestication of canines. The act is the ultimate sign of respect and caregiving. Jesus used this analogy at the last supper. We as humans naturally overthink, it is about survival cut and dried.

    joe common, February 14, 2013 at 10:52 am
  332. i love this post. i also wondered why we kiss and the pleasure we got from it. i guess i will be content with this answer or I will derive the answer of my questions from the way i feel about who i kiss.

    Julis & the 10 dwarfs, March 5, 2013 at 10:49 am
  333. to scott #248
    yup. evolution makes total sense. *eye roll* do you know how many times i have heard people say stuff like that? seriously. “we evolved from apes” then why the hell are they still around today?! as for adapting to habitats, where are the mammoths? saber tigers? what about all the species disapearing today like tigers and polar bears? did they forget how to evolve? of course not because it never happend! as for new species appearing, they arent compleatly new! for example, almost all dogs came from certain speicies of wolves and foxes. different species of wolves/foxes bred, making a new breed that carries the genes of both parents. say if a crossed a poodle and a yorkshire terrier. then thhier puppies would be yorkiepoos,correct? did the yorkie “evolve”? no! not to mention animals can change due to dna mutations, which mutates the rna which mutates the protiens that build the organism.
    then theres the matter of the so-called “evidence” in the whale. why do they have tiny, useless hip bones? well for one thing, they could have a use that we simply havent discovered yet. if they dont have a use, then they have them for the same reason male humans have nipples. they are just there with no particular use. it coould be a growth caused by a gene from a different species of wale that mated with another, then went extinct, passing its genes on. either that or it could be as passed down mutation.
    as for all the other people on this site who are calling everyone else that does not support darwins theory, quit calling them religouse and creationist freaks.there is scientifical support for THIS view too. the idea of evolution is just silly. if any organism could evolve then there would be no such thing as natural extinction.

    haibara, March 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm
  334. I think we kiss because it feels good. I think it feels good, because we are hard wired by evolution to make some things feel good and others feel bad because these hard wired “feelings” are the foundation of all our learning – the foundation of why we do everything we do – the foundation of how our brain’s learning system itself works.

    The reason stimulating the lips and mouth is hardwired to feel-good, is because as strong learning machines, we must _learn_ to EAT after birth. We must learn to use our hands and arms to put food in our mouth. And even more important we must learn to breastfeed very quickly, or we will die. So evolution hard wired lip simulation as a reward to help us learn not to pull our head away while breast feeding, such as by kicking our legs, or moving our arms in the wrong way. That learning only works well if there’s a simple and obvious reward associated with it – which is why lip stimulation was hard wired as a reward – just as sex is hard wired as a reward in our brain so as to motivate us to do another very “odd” act to reproduce.

    Kissing just evolved naturally as a social tradition because lip stimulation is hard wired as a reward for us.

    Curt Welch, April 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm
  335. kissing in an evolutionary way would have nothing but reduce the chance of survival by increasing the risk of disease.However maybe just perhaps ,if a man thought that my kissing a woman she would become more responsive to breeding with him then he might risk the chance of disease so as to increase his chance of mating .This of course makes no sense to the caveman like picture of dragging a woman by her hair to rape her …but

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  338. Adam And Eve did the first kiss.

    elias, August 6, 2013 at 5:35 am
  339. why people kiss? that’s because it’s the second sexual desire for most people in the world – why do people have sex? because it’s the first sexual desire for all people in the world and it makes people feel good,that their wanted by some one even if it’s a one night stand.

    harmoni, March 25, 2014 at 10:00 am
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    mobile games, March 27, 2014 at 7:30 am
  341. Has anyone posted this yet? –
    Kissing may be an offshoot of the sucking behavior of a nursing infant ?
    So it’s an adult behavior that has that calming effect ?

    Mike, April 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm
  342. kiss is the most beautyfull moment in the world……
    one kiss ,it will change the world…
    it is a wonderfull romantik feeling

    pranav, August 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm
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  345. Given that most mammals use smell to check out their partners esp their butts, the real question is why don’t humans smell their partners butt?

    Shaun, October 4, 2014 at 6:06 am
  346. Thanks for finally talking about > Why do humans kiss?

    paris plan q, October 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm
  347. This is a great source, I think!

    Greg Greatew, November 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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