What is the Evidence for Evolution?

What is the Evidence for Evolution?


Stated Clearly Presents: What is the evidence for evolution? The theory of Biological Evolution makes two
very bold claims about living creatures: First: All living things on earth are related.
They evolved from a common ancestor. Second: The evolution of living things is
powered by natural processes. Things which can be studied and understood. But is there really any evidence that these
two claims are true? Yes. There are so many observable facts from
so many different fields of study that the only way we can even begin to talk about them
is to group them into categories or lines of evidence. To keep things simple, here we’ll focus
on Evolution’s first claim that: All living things on Earth are related. We cannot tackle the entire tree of life at
once (after all there’s an estimated 8.7 Million species alive today), so instead we’ll
focus most of our attention on one fairly small but fascinating branch of the evolutionary
tree: Cetaceans. This branch includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Biologist claim that all these creatures are
closely related, and that the entire group evolved from an ancient 4 legged land mammal. Instead of taking their word for it, let’s
look at the facts. We’ll start with a few from field of comparative anatomy: the study
of differences and similarities between living things. Whales live in water and from a distance,
they sort of look like giant fish. A close inspection of their anatomy however, tells
us a very different story. Whales, just like land mammals but unlike
fish: have placentas and give live birth They feed milk to their young They are warm blooded (which is extremely
rare for a fish) and whales do not have gills, instead, just
like us, they breath air with 2, fully developed lungs. Whales don’t seem to have noses like mammals
do. Instead they breathe through blowholes coming out the tops of their heads. Some whales
have two blowholes that almost look like nostrils, but dolphins and porpoises only have one.
Surprisingly, if you look at their skulls, you find that the blowhole splits into 2 nasal
passages inside the head. Could it be that the blowhole is actually a highly modified
mammal nose? It looks that way but we’ll need more evidence to be sure. Many whales have hair, just like land mammals.
In this photograph, you can actually see the whiskers of this baby gray whale as he rests
his chin on mama’s back. Strangely, whales have arm, wrist, hand, and
finger bones inside their front flippers. Here’s a photo of these bones, the same
bones that bats, hippos and people have in their front appendages: One bone, two bones,
wrist bones and finger bones. Modern whales do not have back legs but they
do have a pair of strange tiny bones where the hips and hind legs should be. Here’s
a picture of these bones from a bowhead whale. They almost look like shriveled hip, thigh,
and shin bones. This one even has what looks like a deformed ball and socket joint between
the hip and thigh bone, just like the ball and socket joint in your own hip. Is this
resemblance a mere coincidence or are these real leg bones? Perhaps leftovers from the
whales evolutionary history? Before we draw any bold conclusions, let’s
see if a completely separate line of evidence will confirm our suspicions. Embryology is the study of how creatures develop
before being born or hatching from an egg. Here we see a dolphin and a human embryo,
side by side, at similar stages of development. Notice that they both have what look like
arm buds, and leg buds. In humans, the leg buds grow to become legs. In whales, they
grow for a while, but then stop, effectively fading away as the rest of the whale continues
to grow. These are all photographs of a common dolphin
at different stages of development. Notice that early on, we see two nostril grooves
on the front of the face, just like you’d expect in a puppy or a human. As the dolphin continues to grow, the nostril
groves migrate to the top of the head and fuse together becoming the dolphin’s blowhole. So far we have multiple facts from two independent
lines of evidence, comparative anatomy, and embryology, both telling us the exact same
story: The ancestors of whales were once 4 legged land creatures! Will the fossil record
act as a third witness confirming this idea? These are two species of extinct basilosaurid
whales! These creatures are known from multiple well
preserved skeletons. They appear to have lived side by side roughly 34 to 40 million years
ago. In this photo we are looking down at the top
of a basilosaurid skull. This is not a model or a cast, these are the actual bones which
were pulled from the ground. Notice that the nasal opening is not on the top of the head
like those of modern whales, and not at the end of the snout like those of most land mammals.
Instead their nostrils sit right in the middle, this is an intermediate species, exactly what
the theory of evolution tells us we should find! At the back-end of a basilosaurid’s body,
there are small, yet fully developed hips, legs, ankle, feet and we suspect they had
at least 3 toes though we’ve only found the bones for one. These legs are far too small for walking on
land, but may have been useful for mating or scratching away parasites and itchy skin. Evolutionary theory tells us that the further
we go back in time, the harder it will be to distinguish whales from regular land mammals. Meet Maiacetus. Scientists have found multiple
well preserved skeletons of this species, one of which appears to be a pregnant mother. The hip bones of Maiacetus do seem sturdy
enough to walk on land, but this animal is considered to be a whale for many reasons:
Their skeletons have all been found among fossils of sea-creatures Their short legs combined with long flat fingers
and toes, suggest they were strong swimmers with webbed hands and feet. Here we see the bottom side of a maiacetus
jaw and skull as it looked at the dig site. Her teeth match those of the basilosaurid
whales we saw earlier. And unique structures of her middle ear bones,
the bulbs behind her jaw, match those of basilosaurid whales and modern whales. Maiacetus appears to be, a walking whale! The fossils of many ancient whale-like mammals
have been found, and people continue to find more. Together, these fossils blur the line
between 4 legged land mammals and fully aquatic whales, solidifying the idea that whales indeed,
evolved from land creatures. Now lets look at a 4th line of evidence: DNA? DNA molecules contain chemical codes which
act like recipes for living things. Without ever looking at bones, embryos, or
anatomy, researchers can compare the DNA code of different living creatures to find out
who is most closely related to who. Whale DNA has been compared to all kinds of
other animals: fish, sea lions, you name it, and so far, the closest genetic match, is
to the pudgy, water-loving hippopotamus. This does not mean that whales evolved from
hippos, but if this genetic finding is correct, whales and hippos both evolved from a common
ancestor which lived roughly 54 million years ago. At first the link between whales and hippos
surprised researchers. Whales are mainly carnivores – they eat things like fish and small crustaceans,
while hippos are mostly vegetarian. A closer look however, reveals that hippos
and whales, actually share many strange features, some of which may have come from their common
ancestor. Ancient walking whales have specially shaped
ankle bones, found only in hippos and the close relatives of hippos, hippos, just like
whales, often give birth and even nurse their young underwater, they both have multi chambered
stomachs (which is common for herbivores but unheard of in fish-eating mammals), they are
both missing a coat of fur, and here’s a fun fact – whales and hippos are some of the
only mammals on earth that have internal testicles. So there you have it, dozens of facts from
4 independent lines of evidence, all tell us the exact same story, whales evolved from
4 legged land mammals, but the history of whales isn’t the only evolutionary history
that we’ve been able to work out. We know from fossils, DNA, embryology and
many other lines of evidence that bird wings are actually modified arms and claws! Birds
evolved from dinosaur-like ancestors. We can also clearly see that bat wings evolved
from 5 fingered hands, similar to those of monkeys and shrews. We’ve found that humans share a fairly recent
common ancestor with chimpanzees, that mammals evolved from reptile-like creatures, those
reptile-like creatures evolved from amphibian-like creatures, those amphibian-like creatures
evolved from fish-like creatures, and fish if you go back far enough, share a common
ancestor with segmented worms. So to sum things up, thousands of observable
facts from completely independent fields of study, are coming together to tell us the
exact same story. All living things on earth are related. I’m Jon Perry and that’s a basic overview
of the evidence for evolution, Stated Clearly. Thanks for watching our show, if you enjoyed
it, be sure to share it with your friends on facebook and twitter. If you want to learn more about whale fossils,
and who doesn’t, we have links in the description of this video which take you to articles on
our website. Special thanks to Tyler Proctor, Zaid Ghasib,
Anthony Danzl, Leon Z Newman, Rosemary Mosco, and Jordan Collver. All of these folks volunteered
their time and talents to make this animation happen. Special thanks to Dr. Philip D. Gingerich
and Dr. Hans Thewissen. They both volunteered hours of their time advising us, and preparing
images of fossils and embryos. I’m proud to announce that for the first time
in Stated Clearly’s history, this animation was completely paid for with contributions
from our viewers. If you are able to help support our please visit us at statedclearly.com
and click “contribute” So long for now, stay curious.

100 thoughts on “What is the Evidence for Evolution?

  1. Some are asking if whale hips still have any sort of function. Yes they partially do. In normal land mammals, hip bones serve 3 main functions:
    1) attaching the legs,
    2) supporting internal organs
    3) anchoring muscles of the sex organs.

    Whales have lost the first two functions but maintain the third.

  2. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Diversification and Geographic Distribution of Species. As one travels from one isolated landmass, to another, one sees patterns that fit with evolutionary theory. The mammals populating the Australasian continental landmass that included New Guinea and Tasmania as the ancient continent called Sahul were quite different from those elsewhere in the world. Prior to ancient man's arrival, the mammals populating that landmass were virtually all Marsupials; kangaroos, wombats, koalas, quolls, thylacenes, et al; found nowhere else in the world. So too, were the egg laying Monotremes (Platypus and Echidnas) also found nowhere else in the world. Indeed, prior to the coming of humans that brought the dingo, the only placental mammals were those that could swim there (seal) and those that could fly there (bats). It is very obvious that mammalian evolution took a quite different turn in that isolated landmass since placental mammals diverged from their non-placental forebears in the Early Cretaceous or Late Jurassic. It remained isolated from all other eutherian (placental) mammal migrations.

    The almost universal absence of both native land mammals and amphibians on isolated islands argues against a creation event and those islands tell of a different evolutionary history. Alfred Russel Wallace, who had independently arrived at the same conclusion as Charles Darwin regarding natural selection being the engine of evolution, spent many years collecting biological specimens in the Amazon and later on the Indonesian archipelago and New Guinea. What he discovered was sometimes tremendous differences in the fauna of neighboring islands and he discovered a pattern to the distribution of species; those on the western side of a hypothetical dividing line were identical or similar to, mainland Asian species. Those on the eastern side of the divide were more similar to those of Australasia, Australia and New Guinea. This line, now known as the Wallace Line denotes an area of deep water channels that would have prevented migration when sea levels were lower as during Ice Ages, while other areas would have had dry land connections. The islands Bali and Lompok, separated by a mere 20 miles, have quite different fauna. Wallace's studies of species distribution and barriers to their migration has earned him the title "father of biogeography".

    Birds can fly from island to island, reptiles can swim or float on driftwood, plant seeds can be carried to different islands by wind, water or birds, but amphibians cannot survive in saltwater and most land mammals are limited by the distances they can swim. Those deep water channels restricted them to one side of that dividing line.

    New Zealand is another prime example. With no native mammals, except again for those able to fly (bats) or swim (seals) there, birds assumed the ecological roles filled by mammals elsewhere. In the absence of ground dwelling predators, many birds abandoned energy consuming flight, the Kakapo, Kiwi and Moa among them. The wing of the kiwi is a mere vestige, no bigger than your little finger, with an equally useless claw at its end. (There's that "half a wing" creationists talk about.) 😉 https://i.imgur.com/OU30E2N.jpg?1

    Other isolated islands also had their own unique flora and fauna, as did geologically recent islands such as the Galapagos and the Hawaiian Archipelago. The 13 or so species of Galapagos Finches, sometimes called "Darwin's Finches", are all relatively drab in color, varying in beak morphology and physical size. Despite their physical and genetic differences, creationists typically respond with "They are all still finches"; perpetuating their straw man version of evolution as "one animal turning into another." What they ignore is that the Theory of Evolution says no such thing. Evolution is the non-random selection of random mutations; it can only produce changes in existing body parts. Genetic changes (Genotype) take place constantly, Physiological changes (Phenotype) take place incrementally over thousands of generations, and not due to single mutations but accumulations of diverse mutations.
    On the Hawaiian Islands, the indigenous population came up with imaginative names for the colorful bird population. On the Galapagos however, there were no indigenous peoples to name these birds and they were given very prosaic names by the scientists studying them. Giving them names like Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch and Large Ground Finch were descriptive but glossed over their genetic differences and gave credence to the creationist claim "They are still finches".
    https://biogilde.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/tentilhoes2.jpg
    https://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/Geospiza_beaks.jpg
    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/EX6N0C/adaptive-radiation-in-galapagos-finches-EX6N0C.jpg

    On the Hawaiian Islands, the science of comparative genomics shows that another species of finch, the Laysan Finch, underwent adaptive radiation into the at one time 55 species of Honey creepers of which only 18 survive. Unlike the Galapagos Finches that were similarly drab in coloration, the various Honeycreepers exhibit wide differences in plumage coloration and had widely varying bill shapes. Some of the nectar feeders have co-evolved with a specific plant species.
    https://slideplayer.com/slide/6644481/23/images/44/Adaptive+Radiation+in+honeycreepers.jpg
    https://images.slideplayer.com/24/7380275/slides/slide_15.jpg
    http://www.hokulea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/slide_47.jpg

    The same is true of many plants whose ancestral seeds found their way to these islands. The many species of the beautiful Hawaiian Silver Sword and their relatives, collectively known as the Hawaiian Silver Sword Alliance, are an example of adaptive radiation in plants over millions of years from an ancestral pacific coast tarweed.
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&channel=cus&q=Hawaiian+Silver+Sword+Alliance
    http://bio1151.nicerweb.com/Locked/media/ch25/25_18-SilverswordRadia-L.jpg

    Mauritania had the Elephant Bird and the Dodo, neither one of which flew there, and they sure as hell didn't swim. Perhaps Noah dropped them off there while trying to find his way back to the Middle East, you think?

    Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, was separated from other landmasses for 88 million years. During that time plants and animals on the island evolved in isolation; 80% of which exist nowhere else in the world. In each of these areas, evolution took separate paths that refute the creationist concept of a creation event.

    Since birds can fly and establish new and distant populations, they can establish diverse populations where genetic drift alone could result in new species and be further shaped by environmental and ecological factors. The fossil record shows that once birds were able to take to the air and migrate, there was rapid diversification. Again, when the asteroid impact that wiped out all the non-avian dinosaurs, it also resulted in the extinction of most avian dinosaur (bird) species. The plethora of new environmental niches again allowed birds to diversify rapidly. That expansion and diversification had been duplicated whenever the opportunity has presented itself.

    Yet birds are not the only examples of rapid diversification. Cichlid fishes in Africa's Rift valley have exhibited the same diversification whenever new lakes were formed and founder populations made their way into them. The same has occurred with Anole lizards on Caribbean Islands.

    Charles Darwin made remarkable observations 150 years ago and since then biologists, geneticists, geologists, biochemists and other related fields have continued to do so and in every case further evidence is accumulated in support of what is now called the Modern Synthesis of Evolution.
    Explaining General Patterns in Species Abundance and Distributions https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/explaining-general-patterns-in-species-abundance-and-23162842

    Anole lizard evolution
    New Lizard Shows Evolution’s Predictability https://www.quantamagazine.org/anole-lizard-discovery-confirms-that-evolution-is-predictable-20160629/
    The Rapid-Fire Evolution of Green Anoles https://scitechdaily.com/rapid-fire-evolution-green-anoles/
    Cichlid fishes evolution
    Cichlid fish genome helps tell story of adaptive evolution, Stanford scientists say https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/fish-genome-fernald-092214.html
    The Extraordinary Evolution of Cichlid Fishes https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-extraordinary-evolution-of-cichlid-fishes/
    Video: Evolution, Speciation, and Adaptation of Cichlid Fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Gm62x6NWg

  3. SCIENCE PROVIDES THE ONLY RELIABLE WAY TO DETERMINE WHAT IS TRUE OR NOT TRUE ABOUT THE UNIVERSE. It has not yet answered all the questions, but is the only methodology that has the capacity to do so. There are gaps in scientific knowledge and questions remain; What is Dark Matter? Dark Energy?, How did life begin? Why do socks disappear? Science proceeds from evidence to conclusion and does not make a determination where there is insufficient evidence to do so. Science has no problem saying "We don't know…YET." However, that doesn't mean that science is clueless, we know more today than we did yesterday and every tomorrow takes us another step closer. As Richard Feynman said "Science is the joy of finding things out."

    Science is built on facts, much like a house being built of bricks. But a pile of bricks is not a house and a collection of facts is not science. They become science only after being assembled into a coherent explanation of observed phenomena that is a Scientific Theory. Any scientist will tell you that there is no such thing as "only a theory" because A THEORY IN SCIENCE IS THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF CERTAINTY POSSIBLE.

  4. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Vestigial Human Traits Vestigial refers to an organ or part which is greatly reduced from the original ancestral form and is no longer functional or is of reduced or altered function. They are not necessarily useless as some people assume.

    Just as humans inherit characteristics of their nearest relatives, each of us has characteristics inherited from more distant relatives. In the inner corners of your eyes you have what is called a semilunar fold or plica semilunaris. There is a muscle attached to it, but it doesn't do anything in humans. In many other animals (sharks, frogs birds, your cat), however, that muscle controls a transparent nictitating membrane or "third eyelid" that can be drawn over the eye. Proponents of 'intelligent design' have no explanation as to why humans have those muscles. They are perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory as vestigial remnants of an ancestral characteristic.
    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17ov43g1g8g0rjpg/original.jpg
    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17ov445ovzc4mpng/ku-medium.png

    You also have three sets of muscles attached to your ears. In other animals, those muscles turn the ears to focus on the direction of a sound. This ability is found in monkeys, most of which cannot turn their head horizontally. Humans and the other apes can turn their heads vertically and the ability to move the ears is largely lost in those species. Using sensitive electronic devices, researches find that the human brain is still sending nerve impulses to those muscles in response to sounds, but the most any human can do is a bit of a wiggle. Proponents of 'intelligent design' have no explanation as to why humans have those muscles. They are perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory as vestigial remnants of an ancestral characteristic.

    Then there is the Plantaris Muscle, which in other primates facilitates arboreal lifestyle, allowing the feet to function much the same as hands in gripping branches. The human foot has lost this ability, rather early on it seems, in the process of becoming bipedal. The muscle, however, is still there. It is a long pencil thin muscle and tendons running down the back of the calf, that are extremely painful when ruptured and often misdiagnosed as a more serious injury. This injury, often called "Tennis Leg" occurs most frequently in athletes over 40 due to the tendon and attachments becoming more brittle. With or without treatment, the two ends of the rupture will shrivel and disappear within weeks with no loss
    of function in the leg. It is indeed one of evolution's leftovers. It is often harvested for reconstructive surgery elsewhere in the body.

    That these muscles are still present in the human body indicates that the genetic instructions for them are still present in the human genome and active to some extent. At some point the genes for these traits may be silenced by a mutation that disables a gene (such as a premature STOP codon or frame shift) making them a pseudo gene; one which no longer produces a protein. There is evidence that is already happening as this muscle is absent in one leg or both in about 10% of the population. The same seems to be happening with wisdom teeth.

    In the wild, primate infants are capable of grasping and holding on to the mother's fur shortly after birth, allowing the mother to pursue other activities. Human infants, because of the limited birth canal and large human brain must enter this world at a much earlier stage of physical and neuronal development. Despite that, the developing human embryo exhibits a grasping reflex in the uterus as early as 16 weeks. Even at birth, that reflex, the Palmar Grip Reflex, is incredibly strong as most parents of newborns will attest. While it is capable of supporting the child's weight, one must exercise caution as the child may suddenly let go. This reflex may persist up to 6 months after birth. As this is of no benefit to a human child, it is vestigial.

    All Great Apes, including humans have an appendix. In other apes, the appendix is quite large and a repository for bacteria which help to digest the leaves that make up a large part of their diet. In humans it is called the vermiform (worm shaped) appendix and is minuscule. While some hypothesize that our appendix is a repository for good bacteria to replenish out gut biota following diarrhea, the fact is that a 'hot' appendix can kill you, whereas those who have had it removed go on to lead normal lives.
    http://custom-car.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/vestigial-tail-removal-5019.png
    http://slideplayer.com/slide/7628305/25/images/9/Vestigial+Structures+Examples:+wings+on+flightless+birds,+human+coccyx+and+appendix..jpg

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), is an organ located at the base of the dividing wall between right and left nostrils (nasal septum). It is present in most amphibia, reptiles and mammals but absent in birds and adult Old World (catarrhine) monkeys which include apes and humans. It enables the detection of pheromones via pheromone receptor (VR) genes that produce proteins sensitive to certain biochemical signals.

    The VNO is clearly present in the human fetus but appears to be atrophied or absent in adults and is thus vestigial. The VR genes, plentiful in other species, while present in the human genome are all or almost all disabled by mutations making them pseudo-genes, again vestigial remnants.

    Evolution makes incremental alterations to what is already there. It may help to think of evolution as a robot gardener, dragging a garden hose around various obstacles until it can go no further. Now, an intelligent gardener would need only to retrace its steps, unwinding the hose before plotting a new path to where it needs to go. The robotic gardener cannot do that. With a limited tool kit, all it can do is add more hose.

    An example of that is the recurrent laryngeal nerve, a branch of the vagus nerve (tenth cranial nerve) that supplies motor function and sensation to the larynx (voice box) present in most vertebrates. In the fish-like ancestors of modern tetrapods the nerve's route would have been direct from the brain, past the heart, to the gills (as it does in modern fish). Over the course of evolution land vertebrates developed longer necks, making heart and brain ever further apart. As a result the RLN became incrementally longer, but still needed to loop around the aorta, thus the laryngeal nerve was caught on the wrong side of the heart. It branches from the vagus nerve in the chest cavity before it loops around the aorta and then back up to the larynx. Natural selection gradually lengthened the nerve by tiny increments to accommodate, resulting in the circuitous route now observed. Were there such a thing as an "intelligent designer", it would have been possible at any point to simply reroute that nerve by a couple centimeters. That did not happen. In humans, that means a detour of about 18 inches:
    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-009e54974f9a0940a49d01163533eaba
    In the case of the giraffe, that amounts to about 15 feet of "extra hose":
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jMjV5J_lotU/VQ2RzF8X44I/AAAAAAAABZs/Q-qu9DBBzwM/s1600/giraffe_nerve.jpg

    Pseudo-genes are vestiges of previously active genes that have been disabled by some mutation and no longer produce a protein. There are some 20,000 of them n the human genome, many of them remnants of Olfactory Receptor (scent receptor) genes. While humans have lost an additional 30 of these genes since our ancestral lineage separated from that of chimps, most of those pseudo-genes are hand-me-downs from even more remote relatives, but disabled by exactly the same mutations, again evidence of common ancestry.

    We see vestigial structures all through nature. They remain in some cases because they have been adapted for other purposes, in others they remain simply because there has been no evolutionary advantage to eliminating them. They certainly do not support the idea of "intelligent design". They are however, completely consistent with the Theory of Evolution.

  5. Einstein: 'the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.'

  6. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Our Common Ancestry with chimps is based on more than physical or genetic similarity. although those are pieces of evidence. Just as you have in your genome a defective gene you inherited from your parents who inherited it from their ancestors.That gene, named GULO, is what allows most other animals to produce vitamin C which is essential for good health. That gene has a specific mutation which prevents it from completing the final stage of vitamin C production and it is now a pseudo gene. Humans who do not get vitamin C in their diet (from fresh fruits and vegetables) get Scurvy, a disease that decimated the crews of sailing ships.

    It turns out that chimps have that same defective gene, disabled by exactly the same mutation. That fact does not bother chimpanzees in the least, because their diet of mostly leaves and fruit provide all the vitamin C they need. Living chimps today of course got that defective gene from their parents who got it from their ancestors who happen to be our ancestors as well. Not only does every ape have that same pseudo gene with the same disabling mutation so in fact does every other primate in the sub order Haplorhini. That is Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, even Tarsiers, which are close to basal primates but not ancestral to the Strepsirrhini sub order (Lemurs, Lorises et al). That places the origin of that mutation to be about 63 million years ago and underscores their common ancestry.

    And that is just one of the many pseudo genes passed from generation to generation from ancestors to present day organisms that are evidence for common ancestry. But those are just part of the problem for creationists and "intelligent design" advocates. Evolution explains pseudo genes very well. Explaining why some "creative entity" would leave such things "on the cutting room floor" is quite another matter.

    And as if that were not enough, there is the matter of Endogenous Retroviruses (ERV's), the genetic 'fossils' of ancient retroviral infections. The thing about retroviruses is that when they enter a host organism's cell, they always insert DNA copies of their RNA into a random location of that host's genome. When that cell divides and replicates, the viral DNA will be replicated at that same location. If that cell is a germ cell, that DNA sequence will be replicated and passed through millions of generations and found in present day species. Again, that is also evidence of common ancestry. As always, the creationist/'intelligent design' people have no good explanation for them.

    Those ERV's make up 8% of the human genome which is an awful lot of DNA compared to just 2% that code for proteins. That expanse of DNA may be something of a 'Scrap Pile' of disabled viruses, but that doesn't mean that certain useful snippets can't be found and put to use. They certainly have. One such snippet is a segment of Human Endogenous Retrovirus W (HERV-W), named Synctin 1 which in humans aids the formation of the placenta.
    See: "Syncytin is a captive retroviral envelope protein involved in human placental morphogenesis" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10693809 Now, other placental mammals use other versions of synctins for placental development, but they are derived from different ERV's. The one utilized by the human genome is the same one used by the other apes and Old World monkeys, but not New World monkeys, which places common ancestry of those species (Catarrhini) more than 25 million years ago.
    https://academy.resonance.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/endogenous-retroviruses.jpg

    http://slideplayer.com/slide/5684143/18/images/63/endogenous+retroviruses.jpg

  7. Evolution of the Gaps :
    Convergent evo
    Divergent evo
    Parallel evo
    Gradual evo
    Quantal evo
    Punctuated evo
    Macromutational evo
    Saltational evo
    Extended evo
    Co-evo
    Evo devo
    …….

    every time evolution contradicts itself you close the gap with new evolution.

  8. While the creation vs evolution debate is important, it’s not the most important. The most paramount debate is whether Jesus is the Christ or not. Even people like Ken Ham and Ray Comfort admit this.

    Believing in creation won’t save anyone. The only way to be saved is by trusting Jesus Christ(John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

  9. The American Association for the Advancement of Science statement on evolution:
    "Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science. It is the foundation for research in a wide array of scientific fields and, accordingly, a core element in science education. The AAAS Board of Directors is deeply concerned, therefore, about legislation and policies recently introduced in a number of states and localities that would undermine the teaching of evolution and deprive students of the education they need to be informed and productive citizens in an increasingly technological, global community. Although their language and strategy differ, all of these proposals, if passed, would weaken science education. The AAAS Board of Directors strongly opposes these attacks on the integrity of science and science education. They threaten not just the teaching of evolution, but students’ understanding of the biological, physical, and geological sciences."

    Creationists, who are often scientifically illiterate, often make the claim that evolution is not really science. The AAAS, in essence, is saying they lie.

  10. And this from the National Academy of Sciences: “The concept of biological evolution is one of the most important ideas ever generated by the application of scientific methods to the natural world. The evolution of all the organisms that live on earth today from ancestors that lived in the past is at the core of genetics, biochemistry, neurobiology, physiology, ecology, and other biological disciplines. It helps to explain the emergence of new infectious diseases, the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the agricultural relationships among wild and domestic plants and animals, the composition of the earth's atmosphere, the molecular machinery of the cell, the similarities between human beings and other primates, and countless other features of the biological and physical world. As the great geneticist and evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote in 1973, ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution’.”

  11. The Biology Department at conservative Baptist Baylor University has issued this statement:
    "Evolution, a foundational principle of modern biology, is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and is accepted by the vast majority of scientists. Because it is fundamental to the understanding of modern biology, the faculty in the Biology Department at Baylor University, Waco, TX, teach evolution throughout the biology curriculum. We are in accordance with the American Association for Advancement of Science's statement on evolution. We are a science department, so we do not teach alternative hypotheses or philosophically deduced theories that cannot be tested rigorously." https://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=77368

  12. The Department of Geosciences at conservative Baptist Baylor University has issued this statement:
    "The fossil record clearly indicates a progression in complexity of organisms from very simple fossil forms in the oldest rocks (>3.5 billion years old) to a broad spectrum from simple to complex forms in younger rocks, that some organisms that were once common are now extinct, and that the living organisms inhabiting our world today are similar (but generally not the same) as organisms represented as fossils in young sedimentary deposits, which in turn have evolutionary ancestors represented as fossils in yet older rocks.

    Mammals, for example, are prevalent today and can be traced back in the fossil record for approximately 200 million years, but are not present as mammals in the fossil record before that; however, fossil forms that have reasonably been interpreted to be associated with the evolutionary precursors to mammals are found in older rocks. Whether biological evolution occurs has not been a matter of scientific debate for more than a century. It is considered a proven fact. The specific mechanisms of biological change over time continue to be a topic of active research, and include mechanisms proposed by Charles Darwin as well as more recently developed ideas based on our growing knowledge of genetics and molecular biology. Using the methods of modern science, our knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of life has grown enormously since the initial characterization of the role of DNA in reproduction, inheritance and evolution in the mid-1950s.

    The American Geological Institute and The Paleontological Society, partnering with the most respected geoscience societies in America including the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (among others), have produced a booklet on evolution and the fossil record that can be downloaded as a PDF file. This booklet was written for the general public by people who have worked with the fossil record throughout their careers, and was thoroughly reviewed by other professional geologists and paleontologists."
    https://www.baylor.edu/geology/index.php?id=62340

    That site also has a link to download above referenced "Evolution and the Fossil Record" by Pojeta and Springer. (1 MB PDF file). It also provides links to the position statements from other scientific organizations.

  13. Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 “I don’t believe in God Letter"
    This is a genuine handwritten letter by Albert Einstein, that sold for
    $3 million in 2012. Clear scans of the letter, written in German, can
    be viewed online, you sneering scumbags.
    Some key excerpts:
    *“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of
    human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of … primitive legends which
    are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle
    can change this.”*
    *“For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation
    of the most childish superstitions. For me the Jewish religion like all
    other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.
    And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I
    have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other
    people.”*
    "I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. "
    Albert Einstein, to Guy H. Raner Jr., July 2, 1945, responding to a
    rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism.
    AND THIS:
    *"During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human
    fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their
    will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the
    phenomenal world."*
    – Albert Einstein, quoted in: 2000 Years of Disbelief, James Haught
    There you go , the EXACT OPPOSITE for what you've just been farting on
    about. ALSO:
    *"A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy,
    education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary.
    Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of
    punishment and hope of reward after death."*
    — Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9
    November 1930

  14. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Evolution Makes Testable Predictions. The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. In the 1950's when it was discovered that humans had 23 pairs of chromosomes (one from each parent), whereas the other great apes, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans had 24 pairs, creationists were ecstatic, thinking they finally had evidence to counter common ancestry.

    [Chromosomes are packages of DNA that form during mitosis and meiosis.There are two sets, one inherited from each parent. Other Great Apes have 48 chromosomes (24 pairs) (1n=24, 2n=48) whereas humans have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs) (1n=23, 2n=46)]

    Evolution made a testable prediction; That somewhere in the human genome we should find evidence of cromosomal fusion. In other words, we should be able to find a human chromosome with the remnants of extra telomeres and centomeres.

    Since the loss of all the genes in a chromosome would have been fatal to any species, scientists reasoned that IF the Theory of Evolution was correct about common ancestry, one of two things must have occurred. Either two chromosomes had fused in human's evolutionary past, OR chromosomes had split in the other apes. Using 'Occam's Razor' or the "law of parsimony" which states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected (Simply put, it means that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one), the most likely event was chromosome fusion in humans.

    Normal chromosomes have a centromere and ends capped with telomeres. It was reasoned that IF two chromosomes had fused, evidence for such an event would be found in a chromosome with two centromeres and teleomeres where they did not belong. That is exactly what was found in human chromosome 2 (chromosomes are numbered by length). It was subsequently discovered that chimpanzee chromosomes 12 and 13 (for comparative purposes designated as 2A and 2B or 2p and 2q) contained the same genes as human chromosome 2 and if placed end to end the positions of those genes matched those of the human chromosome. Those chromosomes in the other apes also lined up in a similar fashion. The fusion event has been confirmed. https://bhavanajagat.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/chromosome-fusion-chromosome-2a2b.jpg

    https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article/figure/image?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.0010056.g001&size=large
    This illustration shows the amazing convergence of human (Homo sapiens – Hs) and chimp (Pan troglodites – Pt) chromosomal alignment. Chromosomes are traditionally numbered by length with number one being the longest. Note here that Chromosome 1 of both species contain essentially the same genes despite some being offset or sequence inverted. Chromosomal rearrangements are evident in other apes as well. Of most significance here is that Human Chromosome 2 (Hs2) lines up almost exactly with chimp chromosomes 12 and 13 (Pt12, Pt13). DNA sequences called telomeres are normally found at either end of chromosomes, yet on Hs2 they are found flanking the centromere. Additionally there is a second, albeit disabled centromere (a pseudo centromere). All of which is evidence for ancestral chomosomal fusion.

    Chromosomal rearrangements (translocations) occur in nature and are not always detrimental, but they can be. This chromosomal fusion occurred by means of a Robertsonian Translocation which is the most common form in humans (about 1 in 900 births). A balanced Robertsonian translocation takes the place of two acrocentric chromosomes and results in no problems for the person carrying it. There is a case of a healthy 44 chromosome man in China and a family in Finland with chromosomal fusions. Although normal in other respects, they may have fertility problems. Chromosome rearrangements may perhaps reduce fertility but do not constitute an immediate barrier to interbreeding. Unbalanced translocations do result in developmental problems.
    Understanding Chromosomal Translocation – Robertsonian Translocation v1.2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbGw4VanNjk
    Robertsonian Translocation Explained in Plain Language https://www.healthline.com/health/robertsonian-translocation

    In just the last few years science has gained largely complete genomes of two other human species, those of Neanderthal and Denisovans. We see that same chromosome fusion in their genomes as well, indication that the fusion event took place in a common ancestor.

    Underlining the fact that chromosome fusion need not result in loss of genetic information, two teams of scientists have recently managed to reduce the normal 16 chromosomes of single celled Brewer's yeast to one or two chromosomes with no loss of function. 'Entire yeast genome squeezed into one lone chromosome' nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05857-9

    As previously stated, the defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The greatest test of ANY scientific theory is in its usefulness as a predictive tool. In this case, as with others, the Theory of Evolution has performed beautifully. Instead of it being the evidence against common ancestry creationists had hoped for, it has established very firm evidence in support of that ancestry.

    References:
    http://uswest.ensembl.org/Homo_sapiens/Location/Synteny?db=core;otherspecies=Pan_troglodytes;r=2:242193529-242193529
    https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/chromosome/2
    www.pnas.org/content/pnas/88/20/9051.full.pdf
    https://biologos.org/blogs/…to…/denisovans-humans-and-the-chromosome-2-fusion
    www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/l_073_47.html

  15. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – The Predictive Ability of the Theory – Part I The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. Perhaps the greatest tests for any theory is their use as a predictive tool, and the Theory of Evolution does that beautifully. The first fossils were discovered quite by accident, incidental to some other human activity. There are still fossils discovered that way, but no paleontologist will count on accidental discoveries. Expeditions seeking particular fossils are planned meticulously. Fifty years ago, creationists could derisively point to the fact that science had no transitional whale fossils. But then with the aid of geologic maps funded in part by oil and mineral companies and the Theory of Evolution predicting when in geologic time such fossils were likely to be found, paleontologists were able to locate where in the world the proper marine sediments were exposed at the earth's surface.

    As each new discovery came to light, they each showed a range of features from inherited to derived. Each was consistent with what would be expected if the theory was correct. There was no evidence of a derived feature returning to a more primitive form. No derived feature occurring out of place in the geologic record.

    When Neil Shubin and his team sought a fossil with transitional features between fish and tetrapod, they knew that the earliest tetrapod fossils were found in fresh water sediments dated about 370 million years ago. It was reasonable to assume that a transitional fossil, if such existed, would most likely be found in similar sediments somewhat older, perhaps those dated at about 375 mya. Geologic maps indicated that there are few places in the world where such layers are exposed at the earth's surface, but one they deemed to have the greatest probability of success was on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. Not exactly ones ideal summer vacation spot.

    It took four expeditions in the very short Arctic summers, but they returned in 2004 with nine fossil specimens of a fish they named Tiktaalik. It was a fish, but a fish like no other. It had scales, gills and a swimming tail, but it also had lungs, a sturdy rib cage and muscular fins ideal for pushing through weedy shallow marshes. Those fins had the same arrangement of bones found in land based animals; One bone: humerus (forelimb), or femur (hind limb); Two bones: ulna and radius (forelimb) or tibia and fibula (hind limb), followed by metacarpals and phalanges. Even more interesting was the flattened head with eyes on top whose focus would have been at or above the water's surface, and a neck that allowed it to move its head without having to move its whole body. Here was a Devonian fish, capable of breathing air, watching at the water's surface, most likely for the insects and other arthropods that millions of years earlier had followed plants in colonizing the land.

    Recent research has revealed that eyes are very expensive tissue in terms of calorie consumption. That is why cave dwelling organisms are quite often blind. The limited food sources in those caves are the environmental pressure for the elimination of superfluous tissue. Experiments have shown that larger eyes only marginally improve underwater vision, but can increase air vision 100 fold. While we cannot for certain determine the eye size of extinct organisms, the size of the eye socket provides a pretty good approximation. Tiktaalik's eye sockets were quite large, indicating it was most likely searching for prey above the water's surface.

    This is a fish at the margin of land and water with many features that would have suited it on land. We cannot be certain that this fish or its progeny was the ancestor of all tetrapods, but if not, it was something very similar to it.

    As previously stated, the defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The Theory of Evolution pointed to where such a fossil would be found, and indeed it was.

    References:
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12052-009-0119-2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
    https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_04
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/newfound-fossil-is-transi/

  16. “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages … has been a persistent and nagging problem for … evolution". Stephen J. Gould, Marxist Professor at Harvard,

  17. DOES THE BIBLE PRESENT A FACTUAL VIEW OF HISTORY? THE EVIDENCE SAYS NO.
    Legitimate scientists do studies, write up their findings, then submit them to peer review and publication in recognized scientific journals. A real scholar is a seeker of truth, a detective. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts". Those words from Sherlock Holmes are just as true of science as it is indeed detective work. Truth is established by EVIDENCE, not by what anyone says. Science, or a good detective, proceeds from evidence to a conclusion, not the other way around. Some biblical scholars actively seek evidence that would support their preconceived opinion, namely that what is written in the bible is correct.

    A true detective however, seeks and follows evidence wherever it leads. A young Frenchman, Jean-François Champollion, discovered the keys to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics in the early 1800's and lead an archeological expedition to Egypt. Ever since that time, biblical scholars and archaeologists have combed through Egyptian writings looking for anything that would confirm biblical accounts. There is NOTHING, absolutely zero evidence that would support the existence of either Moses or the biblical Exodus.

    What they did find was that the Egyptians had recorded virtually every aspect of daily life; cattle sales, marriage contracts, magical incantations and curses, work details, grocery lists, all the details of daily life. What they eagerly sought but never found was any reference to event is the bible. Nor has anything been found to this day. Nothing about mass slavery. No mention about Israelites (until much, much later). No mention of the deaths of every first born son. No mention of a mass exodus of people. No signs of economic disruption that would have resulted from such a population loss. No mention of the loss of an entire army, let alone the loss of 600 chariots (Exodus 14:7).

    No mention of anyone named Moses or anyone like him. Nothing about a baby in reed boat who grew up to be an official in Pharoah's court. (That baby story was obviously plagiarized from a Mesopotamian legend about Sargon the Great, who was in fact , a real person, the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire, who conquered Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BCE.)

    So, no supporting evidence from Egyptian writing. How about physical archaeological evidence?
    According to the bible (Numbers 1:46) the numbers of males capable of bearing arms was 603,550, meaning that, with their wives and children, the Israelites would have numbered over two million people. Yet, this huge number of people—who would have overwhelmed the Egyptians in Egypt by sheer weight of numbers—left no trace of their passage through the Sinai Desert. Nor is there any evidence from either history or archaeology of the plagues that ravaged Egypt in the story of the Exodus or of the loss of an entire Egyptian army, including 600 chariots (Exodus 14:7).

    For almost 200 years, biblical scholars and archaeologists have combed the Sinai for any evidence a sizable population had ever been there, and there is nothing to show for their effort. Two million Israelites supposedly spent 38 years at the oasis of Kadesh Barnea leaving not a trace of their having been there. No fragments of pottery, no bones of the numbers of animals that would have been required to feed such a population, no hearths, not a single tent stake, NOTHING.

    There is also no evidence that Joshua was a real person. Many of the cities he is claimed to have conquered did not even exist at the time he was supposedly rampaging through the 'Holy Land'. Joshua is supposed to have fought a major battle at Jericho where "the walls came tumbling down". Now Jericho was one of the earliest agricultural settlements in the "Fertile Crescent". The springs in the area had attracted people since paleolithic times, when hunter gatherers congregated there. Neolithic peoples built a town there and, since it was on an earthquake fault, the walls came tumbling down on several occasions. Archaeological evidence indicates that the town had been abandoned for some time prior to about 1200 BCE when Joshua supposedly attacked it. Nor has archaeology found the sort of evidence that would indicate an attack by hostile forces, i.e. arrowheads or other weapons of the sort found at the ruins of Troy.

    During the 15th century BCE, the entire Levant, including the area of Canaan, was firmly under Egyptian control.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Egypt_1450_BC.svg/666px-Egypt_1450_BC.svg.png
    Egypt had been trading with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia since the early bronze age. Those trade routes were a surce of inome for those controlling them and that was a source of conflict in the region. Levantine trade routes, ca. 1300 BCE https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Ancient_Levant_routes.png
    The unexplained collapse of many Mediterranian civilizations lead to regional instability and the rise of the "Sea Peoples", one of which were the Philistines who conquered 5 coastal cities sometime around 1150 BCE.

    What DNA and archaeological evidence tells us is that there was no large influx of peoples into the Levant, no cultural changes, no pottery style changes, nothing to indicate a change in lifestyles that would indicate a significant change in the makeup of the population. What the evidence tells us is that the culture and population of the Levant had been Canaanite since the third millennium BCE and remained so during the biblical period. The 'Israelite' or Jewish identity arose from within the Canaanite population, not from outside. Even among today's Jewish peoples, despite mixing with othere ethnicites, their DNA is mostly Canaanite, the highest percentage of which is among those whose ancestors remained in the Middle East; the Mizrahi Jews.The Hebrew language and writing both derived from earlier Canaanite forms.

    What the evidence shows is that the Old Testament was written during and shortly after the Babylonian Captivity. The The story of Moses and the Exodus was pure fabrication meant to unify a diverse illiterate population. The supposed Egyptian Captivity was the founding myth of the Jewish religion and was a simile for the Babylonian Captivity.

    Now, fundamentalist practitioners of the Abrahamic religions start with the premise that the biblical stories are correct and that any evidence to the contrary must be false. To do this, they (insensibly) begin to twist facts to suit theories. That is the antithesis of science and is very dishonest.

    It seems many Christians deeply resent any questioning of biblical accounts, yet there are Jewish theologians who reluctantly accept archeological and genetic evidence: articles.latimes.com/2001/apr/13/news/mn-50481
    https://medium.com/@mattsamberg/what-if-we-weren-t-slaves-8f92dd6eac01

  18. 53 Bible People Confirmed in Authentic Inscriptions
    Name

    Who was he?

    When he reigned or flourished B.C.E.

    Where in the Bible?

    Egypt
    1

    Shishak (= Sheshonq I)

    pharaoh

    945–924

    1 Kings 11:40, etc.

    2

    So (= Osorkon IV)

    pharaoh

    730–715

    2 Kings 17:4

    3

    Tirhakah (= Taharqa)

    pharaoh

    690–664

    2 Kings 19:9, etc.

    4

    Necho II (= Neco II)

    pharaoh

    610–595

    2 Chronicles 35:20, etc.

    5

    Hophra (= Apries)

    pharaoh

    589–570

    Jeremiah 44:30

    Moab
    6

    Mesha

    king

    early to mid-ninth century

    2 Kings 3:4–27

    Aram-Damascus
    7

    Hadadezer

    king

    early ninth century to 844/842

    1 Kings 11:23, etc.

    8

    Ben-hadad, son of Hadadezer

    king

    844/842

    2 Kings 6:24, etc.

    9

    Hazael

    king

    844/842–c. 800

    1 Kings 19:15, etc.

    10

    Ben-hadad, son of Hazael

    king

    early eighth century

    2 Kings 13:3, etc.

    11

    Rezin

    king

    mid-eighth century to 732

    2 Kings 15:37, etc.

    Northern Kingdom of Israel
    12

    Omri

    king

    884–873

    1 Kings 16:16, etc.

    13

    Ahab

    king

    873–852

    1 Kings 16:28, etc.

    14

    Jehu

    king

    842/841–815/814

    1 Kings 19:16, etc.

    15

    Joash (= Jehoash)

    king

    805–790

    2 Kings 13:9, etc.

    16

    Jeroboam II

    king

    790–750/749

    2 Kings 13:13, etc.

    17

    Menahem

    king

    749–738

    2 Kings 15:14, etc.

    18

    Pekah

    king

    750(?)–732/731

    2 Kings 15:25, etc.

    19

    Hoshea

    king

    732/731–722

    2 Kings 15:30, etc.

    20

    Sanballat “I”

    governor of Samaria under Persian rule

    c. mid-fifth century

    Nehemiah 2:10, etc.

    Southern Kingdom of Judah
    21

    David

    king

    c. 1010–970

    1 Samuel 16:13, etc.

    22

    Uzziah (= Azariah)

    king

    788/787–736/735

    2 Kings 14:21, etc.

    23

    Ahaz (= Jehoahaz)

    king

    742/741–726

    2 Kings 15:38, etc.

    24

    Hezekiah

    king

    726–697/696

    2 Kings 16:20, etc.

    25

    Manasseh

    king

    697/696–642/641

    2 Kings 20:21, etc.

    26

    Hilkiah

    high priest during Josiah’s reign

    within 640/639–609

    2 Kings 22:4, etc.

    27

    Shaphan

    scribe during Josiah’s reign

    within 640/639–609

    2 Kings 22:3, etc.

    28

    Azariah

    high priest during Josiah’s reign

    within 640/639–609

    1 Chronicles 5:39, etc.

    29

    Gemariah

    official during Jehoiakim’s reign

    within 609–598

    Jeremiah 36:10, etc.

    30

    Jehoiachin (= Jeconiah = Coniah)

    king

    598–597

    2 Kings 24:6, etc.

    31

    Shelemiah

    father of Jehucal the royal official

    late seventh century

    Jeremiah 37:3, etc.

    32

    Jehucal (= Jucal)

    official during Zedekiah’s reign

    within 597–586

    Jeremiah 37:3, etc.

    33

    Pashhur

    father of Gedaliah the royal official

    late seventh century

    Jeremiah 38:1

    34

    Gedaliah

    official during Zedekiah’s reign

    within 597–586

    Jeremiah 38:1

    Assyria
    35

    Tiglath-pileser III (= Pul)

    king

    744–727

    2 Kings 15:19, etc.

    36

    Shalmaneser V

    king

    726–722

    2 Kings 17:3, etc.

    37

    Sargon II

    king

    721–705

    Isaiah 20:1

    38

    Sennacherib

    king

    704–681

    2 Kings 18:13, etc.

    39

    Adrammelech (= Ardamullissu = Arad-mullissu)

    son and assassin of Sennacherib

    early seventh century

    2 Kings 19:37, etc.

    40

    Esarhaddon

    king

    680–669

    2 Kings 19:37, etc.

    Babylonia
    41

    Merodach-baladan II

    king

    721–710 and 703

    2 Kings 20:12, etc.

    42

    Nebuchadnezzar II

    king

    604–562

    2 Kings 24:1, etc.

    43

    Nebo-sarsekim

    official of Nebuchadnezzar II

    early sixth century

    Jeremiah 39:3

    44

    Nergal-sharezer

    officer of Nebuchadnezzar II

    early sixth century

    Jeremiah 39:3

    45

    Nebuzaradan

    a chief officer of Nebuchadnezzar II

    early sixth century

    2 Kings 25:8, etc. & Jeremiah 39:9, etc.

    46

    Evil-merodach (= Awel Marduk = Amel Marduk)

    king

    561–560

    2 Kings 25:27, etc.

    47

    Belshazzar

    son and co-regent of Nabonidus

    c. 543?–540

    Daniel 5:1, etc.

    Persia
    48

    Cyrus II (= Cyrus the Great)

    king

    559–530

    2 Chronicles 36:22, etc.

    49

    Darius I (= Darius the Great)

    king

    520–486

    Ezra 4:5, etc.

    50

    Tattenai

    provincial governor of Trans-Euphrates

    late sixth to early fifth century

    Ezra 5:3, etc.

    51

    Xerxes I (= Ahasuerus)

    king

    486–465

    Esther 1:1, etc.

    52

    Artaxerxes I Longimanus

    king

    465-425/424

    Ezra 4:7, etc.

    53

    Darius II Nothus

    king

    425/424-405/404

    Nehemiah 12:22

  19. 53 Figures: The Biblical and Archaeological Evidence
     

    EGYPT

    1. Shishak (= Sheshonq I), pharaoh, r. 945–924, 1 Kings 11:40 and 14:25, in his inscriptions, including the record of his military campaign in Palestine in his 924 B.C.E. inscription on the exterior south wall of the Temple of Amun at Karnak in Thebes. See OROT, pp. 10, 31–32, 502 note 1; many references to him in Third, indexed on p. 520; Kenneth A. Kitchen, review of IBP, SEE-J Hiphil 2 (2005), www.see-j.net/index.php/hiphil/article/viewFile/19/17, bottom of p. 3, which is briefly mentioned in “Sixteen,” p. 43 n. 22. (Note: The name of this pharaoh can be spelled Sheshonq or Shoshenq.)

    Sheshonq is also referred to in a fragment of his victory stele discovered at Megiddo containing his cartouche. See Robert S. Lamon and Geoffrey M. Shipton, Megiddo I: Seasons of 1925–34, Strata I–V. (Oriental Institute Publications no. 42; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939), pp. 60–61, fig. 70; Graham I. Davies, Megiddo(Cities of the Biblical World; Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1986), pp. 89 fig. 18, 90; OROT, p. 508 n. 68; IBP, p. 137 n. 119. (Note: The name of this pharaoh can be spelled Sheshonq or Shoshenq.)

    Egyptian pharaohs had several names, including a throne name. It is known that the throne name of Sheshonq I, when translated into English, means, “Bright is the manifestation of Re, chosen of Amun/Re.” Sheshonq I’s inscription on the wall of the Temple of Amun at Karnak in Thebes (mentioned above) celebrates the victories of his military campaign in the Levant, thus presenting the possibility of his presence in that region. A small Egyptian scarab containing his exact throne name, discovered as a surface find at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan, now documents his presence at or near that location. This site is located along the Wadi Fidan, in the region of Faynan in southern Jordan.

    As for the time period, disruption of copper production at Khirbet en-Nahas, also in the southern Levant, can be attributed to Sheshonq’s army, as determined by stratigraphy, high-precision radiocarbon dating, and an assemblage of Egyptian amulets dating to Sheshonq’s time. His army seems to have intentionally disrupted copper production, as is evident both at Khirbet en-Nahas and also at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan, where the scarab was discovered.

    As for the singularity of this name in this remote locale, it would have been notable to find any Egyptian scarab there, much less one containing the throne name of this conquering Pharaoh; this unique discovery admits no confusion with another person. See Thomas E. Levy, Stefan Münger, and Mohammad Najjar, “A Newly Discovered Scarab of Sheshonq I: Recent Iron Age Explorations in Southern Jordan. Antiquity Project Gallery,” Antiquity (2014); online: http://journal.antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/levy341.

    2. So (= Osorkon IV), pharaoh, r. 730–715, 2 Kings 17:4 only, which calls him “So, king of Egypt” (OROT, pp. 15–16). K. A. Kitchen makes a detailed case for So being Osorkon IV in Third, pp. 372–375. See Raging Torrent, p. 106 under “Shilkanni.”

    3. Tirhakah (= Taharqa), pharaoh, r. 690–664, 2 Kings 19:9, etc. in many Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions; Third, pp. 387–395. For mention of Tirhakah in Assyrian inscriptions, see those of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal in Raging Torrent, pp. 138–143, 145, 150–153, 155, 156; ABC, p. 247 under “Terhaqah.” The Babylonian chronicle also refers to him (Raging Torrent, p. 187). On Tirhakah as prince, see OROT, p. 24.

    4. Necho II (= Neco II), pharaoh, r. 610–595, 2 Chronicles 35:20, etc., in inscriptions of the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal (ANET, pp. 294–297) and the Esarhaddon Chronicle (ANET, p. 303). See also Raging Torrent, pp. 189–199, esp. 198; OROT, p. 504 n. 26; Third, p. 407; ABC, p. 232.

    5. Hophra (= Apries = Wahibre), pharaoh, r. 589–570, Jeremiah 44:30, in Egyptian inscriptions, such as the one describing his being buried by his successor, Aḥmose II (= Amasis II) (Third, p. 333 n. 498), with reflections in Babylonian inscriptions regarding Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of Hophra in 572 and replacing him on the throne of Egypt with a general, Aḥmes (= Amasis), who later rebelled against Babylonia and was suppressed (Raging Torrent, p. 222). See OROT, pp. 9, 16, 24; Third, p. 373 n. 747, 407 and 407 n. 969; ANET, p. 308; D. J. Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings (626–556 B.C.) in the British Museum (London: The Trustees of the British Museum, 1956), pp. 94-95. Cf. ANEHST, p. 402. (The index of Third, p. 525, distinguishes between an earlier “Wahibre i” [Third, p. 98] and the 26th Dynasty’s “Wahibre ii” [= Apries], r. 589–570.)

     

    MOAB

    6. Mesha, king, r. early to mid-9th century, 2 Kings 3:4–27, in the Mesha Inscription, which he caused to be written, lines 1–2; Dearman, Studies, pp. 97, 100–101; IBP, pp. 95–108, 238; “Sixteen,” p. 43.

     

    ARAM-DAMASCUS

    7. Hadadezer, king, r. early 9th century to 844/842, 1 Kings 22:3, etc., in Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser III and also, I am convinced, in the Melqart stele. The Hebrew Bible does not name him, referring to him only as “the King of Aram” in 1 Kings 22:3, 31; 2 Kings chapter 5, 6:8–23. We find out this king’s full name in some contemporaneous inscriptions of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria (r. 858–824), such as the Black Obelisk (Raging Torrent, pp. 22–24). At Kurkh, a monolith by Shalmaneser III states that at the battle of Qarqar (853 B.C.E.), he defeated “Adad-idri [the Assyrian way of saying Hadadezer] the Damascene,” along with “Ahab the Israelite” and other kings (Raging Torrent, p. 14; RIMA 3, p. 23, A.0.102.2, col. ii, lines 89b–92). “Hadadezer the Damascene” is also mentioned in an engraving on a statue of Shalmaneser III at Aššur (RIMA 3, p. 118, A.0.102.40, col. i, line 14). The same statue engraving later mentions both Hadadezer and Hazael together (RIMA 3, p. 118, col. i, lines 25–26) in a topical arrangement of worst enemies defeated that is not necessarily chronological.

    On the long-disputed readings of the Melqart stele, which was discovered in Syria in 1939, see “Corrections,” pp. 69–85, which follows the closely allied readings of Frank Moore Cross and Gotthard G. G. Reinhold. Those readings, later included in “Sixteen,” pp. 47–48, correct the earlier absence of this Hadadezer in IBP (notably on p. 237, where he is not to be confused with the tenth-century Hadadezer, son of Rehob and king of Zobah).

    8. Ben-hadad, son of Hadadezer, r. or served as co-regent 844/842, 2 Kings 6:24, etc., in the Melqart stele, following the readings of Frank Moore Cross and Gotthard G. G. Reinhold and Cross’s 2003 criticisms of a different reading that now appears in COS, vol. 2, pp. 152–153 (“Corrections,” pp. 69–85). Several kings of Damascus bore the name Bar-hadad (in their native Aramaic, which is translated as Ben-hadad in the Hebrew Bible), which suggests adoption as “son” by the patron deity Hadad. This designation might indicate that he was the crown prince and/or co-regent with his father Hadadezer. It seems likely that Bar-hadad/Ben-hadad was his father’s immediate successor as king, as seems to be implied by the military policy reversal between 2 Kings 6:3–23 and 6:24. It was this Ben-Hadad, the son of Hadadezer, whom Hazael assassinated in 2 Kings 8:7–15 (quoted in Raging Torrent, p. 25). The mistaken disqualification of this biblical identification in the Melqart stele in IBP, p. 237, is revised to a strong identification in that stele in “Corrections,” pp. 69–85; “Sixteen,” p. 47.

    9. Hazael, king, r. 844/842–ca. 800, 1 Kings 19:15, 2 Kings 8:8, etc., is documented in four kinds of inscriptions: 1) The inscriptions of Shalmaneser III call him “Hazael of Damascus” (Raging Torrent, pp. 23–26, 28), for example the inscription on the Kurbail Statue (RIMA 3, p. 60, line 21). He is also referred to in 2) the Zakkur stele from near Aleppo, in what is now Syria, and in 3) bridle inscriptions, i.e., two inscribed horse blinders and a horse frontlet discovered on Greek islands, and in 4) inscribed ivories seized as Assyrian war booty (Raging Torrent, p. 35). All are treated in IBP, pp. 238–239, and listed in “Sixteen,” p. 44. Cf. “Corrections,” pp. 101–103.

    10. Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, king, r. early 8th century, 2 Kings 13:3, etc., in the Zakkur stele from near Aleppo. In lines 4–5, it calls him “Bar-hadad, son of Hazael, the king of Aram” (IBP, p. 240; “Sixteen,” p. 44; Raging Torrent, p. 38; ANET, p. 655: COS, vol. 2, p. 155). On the possibility of Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, being the “Mari” in Assyrian inscriptions, see Raging Torrent, pp. 35–36.

    11. Rezin (= Raḥianu), king, r. mid-8th century to 732, 2 Kings 15:37, etc., in the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria (in these inscriptions, Raging Torrentrecords frequent mention of Rezin in  pp. 51–78); OROT, p. 14. Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III refer to “Rezin” several times, “Rezin of Damascus” in Annal 13, line 10 (ITP, pp. 68–69), and “the dynasty of Rezin of Damascus” in Annal 23, line 13 (ITP, pp. 80–81). Tiglath-pileser III’s stele from Iran contains an explicit reference to Rezin as king of Damascus in column III, the right side, A: “[line 1] The kings of the land of Hatti (and of) the Aramaeans of the western seashore . . .  [line 4] Rezin of Damascus”  (ITP, pp. 106–107).

  20. NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL

    12. Omri, king, r. 884–873, 1 Kings 16:16, etc., in Assyrian inscriptions and in the Mesha Inscription. Because he founded a famous dynasty which ruled the northern kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians refer not only to him as a king of Israel (ANET, pp. 280, 281), but also to the later rulers of that territory as kings of “the house of Omri” and that territory itself literally as “the house of Omri” (Raging Torrent, pp. 34, 35; ANET, pp. 284, 285). Many a later king of Israel who was not his descendant, beginning with Jehu, was called “the son of Omri” (Raging Torrent, p. 18). The Mesha Inscription also refers to Omri as “the king of Israel” in lines 4–5, 7 (Dearman, Studies, pp. 97, 100–101; COS, vol. 2, p. 137; IBP, pp. 108–110, 216; “Sixteen,” p. 43.

    13. Ahab, king, r. 873–852, 1 Kings 16:28, etc., in the Kurkh Monolith by his enemy, Shalmaneser III of Assyria. There, referring to the battle of Qarqar (853 B.C.E.), Shalmaneser calls him “Ahab the Israelite” (Raging Torrent, pp. 14, 18–19; RIMA 3, p. 23, A.0.102.2, col. 2, lines 91–92; ANET, p. 279; COS, vol. 2, p. 263).

    14. Jehu, king, r. 842/841–815/814, 1 Kings 19:16, etc., in inscriptions of Shalmaneser III. In these, “son” means nothing more than that he is the successor, in this instance, of Omri (Raging Torrent, p. 20 under “Ba’asha . . . ” and p. 26). A long version of Shalmaneser III’s annals on a stone tablet in the outer wall of the city of Aššur refers to Jehu in col. 4, line 11, as “Jehu, son of Omri” (Raging Torrent, p. 28; RIMA 3, p. 54, A.0.102.10, col. 4, line 11; cf. ANET, p. 280, the parallel “fragment of an annalistic text”). Also, on the Kurba’il Statue, lines 29–30 refer to “Jehu, son of Omri” (RIMA 3, p. 60, A.0.102.12, lines 29–30).

    In Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk, current scholarship regards the notation over relief B, depicting payment of tribute from Israel, as referring to “Jehu, son of Omri” (Raging Torrent, p. 23; RIMA 3, p. 149, A.0. 102.88), but cf. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “‘Yaw, Son of ‘Omri’: A Philological Note on Israelite Chronology,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 216 (1974): pp. 5–7.

    15. Joash (= Jehoash), king, r. 805–790, 2 Kings 13:9, etc., in the Tell al-Rimaḥ inscription of Adad-Nirari III, king of Assyria (r. 810–783), which mentions “the tribute of Joash [= Iu’asu] the Samarian” (Stephanie Page, “A Stela of Adad-Nirari III and Nergal-Ereš from Tell Al Rimaḥ,” Iraq 30 [1968]: pp. 142–145, line 8, Pl. 38–41; RIMA 3,p. 211, line 8 of A.0.104.7; Raging Torrent, pp. 39–41).

    16. Jeroboam II, king, r. 790–750/749, 2 Kings 13:13, etc., in the seal of his royal servant Shema, discovered at Megiddo (WSS, p. 49 no. 2;  IBP, pp. 133–139, 217; “Sixteen,” p. 46).

    17. Menahem, king, r. 749–738, 2 Kings 15:14, etc., in the Calah Annals of Tiglath-pileser III. Annal 13, line 10 refers to “Menahem of Samaria” in a list of kings who paid tribute (ITP, pp. 68–69, Pl. IX). Tiglath-pileser III’s stele from Iran, his only known stele, refers explicitly to Menahem as king of Samaria in column III, the right side, A: “[line 1] The kings of the land of Hatti (and of) the Aramaeans of the western seashore . . .  [line 5] Menahem of Samaria.”  (ITP, pp. 106–107). See also Raging Torrent, pp. 51, 52, 54, 55, 59; ANET, p. 283.

    18. Pekah, king, r. 750(?)–732/731, 2 Kings 15:25, etc., in the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III. Among various references to “Pekah,” the most explicit concerns the replacement of Pekah in Summary Inscription 4, lines 15–17: “[line 15] . . . The land of Bit-Humria . . . . [line 17] Peqah, their king [I/they killed] and I installed Hoshea [line 18] [as king] over them” (ITP, pp. 140–141; Raging Torrent, pp. 66–67).

    19. Hoshea, king, r. 732/731–722, 2 Kings 15:30, etc., in Tiglath-pileser’s Summary Inscription 4, described in preceding note 18, where Hoshea is mentioned as Pekah’s immediate successor.

    20. Sanballat “I”, governor of Samaria under Persian rule, ca. mid-fifth century, Nehemiah 2:10, etc., in a letter among the papyri from the Jewish community at Elephantine in Egypt (A. E. Cowley, ed., Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C.(Oxford: Clarendon, 1923; reprinted Osnabrück, Germany: Zeller, 1967), p. 114 English translation of line 29, and p. 118 note regarding line 29; ANET, p. 492.

    Also, the reference to “[  ]ballat,” most likely Sanballat, in Wadi Daliyeh bulla WD 22 appears to refer to the biblical Sanballat as the father of a governor of Samaria who succeeded him in the first half of the fourth century. As Jan Dušek shows, it cannot be demonstrated that any Sanballat II and III existed, which is the reason for the present article’s quotation marks around the “I” in Sanballat “I”; see Jan Dušek, “Archaeology and Texts in the Persian Period: Focus on Sanballat,” in Martti Nissinen, ed., Congress Volume: Helsinki 2010 (Boston: Brill. 2012), pp. 117–132.

  21. ASSYRIA

    35. Tiglath-pileser III (= Pul), king, r. 744–727, 2 Kings 15:19, etc., in his many inscriptions. See Raging Torrent, pp. 46–79; COS, vol. 2, pp. 284–292; ITP; Mikko Lukko, The Correspondence of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon II from Calah/Nimrud (State Archives of Assyria, no. 19; Assyrian Text Corpus Project; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2013); ABC, pp. 248–249. On Pul as referring to Tiglath-pileser III, which is implicit in ABC, p. 333 under “Pulu,” see ITP, p. 280 n. 5 for discussion and bibliography.

    On the identification of Tiglath-pileser III in the Aramaic monumental inscription honoring Panamu II, in Aramaic monumental inscriptions 1 and 8 of Bar-Rekub (now in Istanbul and Berlin, respectively), and in the Ashur Ostracon, see IBP, p. 240; COS, pp. 158–161.

    36. Shalmaneser V (= Ululaya), king, r. 726–722, 2 Kings 17:2, etc., in chronicles, in king-lists, and in rare remaining inscriptions of his own (ABC, p. 242; COS, vol. 2, p. 325). Most notable is the Neo-Babylonian Chronicle series, Chronicle 1, i, lines 24–32.  In those lines, year 2 of the Chronicle mentions his plundering the city of Samaria (Raging Torrent, pp. 178, 182; ANEHST, p. 408). (“Shalman” in Hosea 10:14 is likely a historical allusion, but modern lack of information makes it difficult to assign it to a particular historical situation or ruler, Assyrian or otherwise. See below for the endnotes to the box at the top of p. 50.)

    37. Sargon II, king, r. 721–705, Isaiah 20:1, in many inscriptions, including his own. See Raging Torrent, pp. 80–109, 176–179, 182; COS, vol. 2, pp. 293–300; Mikko Lukko, The Correspondence of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon II from Calah/Nimrud (State Archives of Assyria, no. 19; Assyrian Text Corpus Project; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2013); ABC, pp. 236–238; IBP, pp. 240–241 no. (74).

    38. Sennacherib, king, r. 704–681, 2 Kings 18:13, etc., in many inscriptions, including his own. See Raging Torrent, pp. 110–129; COS, vol. 2, pp. 300–305; ABC, pp. 238–240; ANEHST, pp. 407–411, esp. 410; IBP, pp. 241–242.

    39. Adrammelech (= Ardamullissu = Arad-mullissu), son and assassin of Sennacherib, fl. early 7th century, 2 Kings 19:37, etc., in a letter sent to Esarhaddon, who succeeded Sennacherib on the throne of Assyria. See Raging Torrent, pp. 111, 184, and COS, vol. 3, p. 244, both of which describe and cite with approval Simo Parpola, “The Murderer of Sennacherib,” in Death in Mesopotamia: Papers Read at the XXVie Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, ed. Bendt Alster (Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1980), pp. 171–182. See also ABC, p. 240.

    An upcoming scholarly challenge is the identification of Sennacherib’s successor, Esarhaddon, as a more likely assassin in Andrew Knapp’s paper, “The Murderer of Sennacherib, Yet Again,” to be read in a February 2014 Midwest regional conference in Bourbonnais, Ill. (SBL/AOS/ASOR).

    On various renderings of the neo-Assyrian name of the assassin, see RlA s.v. “Ninlil,” vol. 9, pp. 452–453 (in German). On the mode of execution of those thought to have been  conspirators in the assassination, see the selection from Ashurbanipal’s Rassam cylinder in ANET, p. 288.

    40. Esarhaddon, king, r. 680–669, 2 Kings 19:37, etc., in his many inscriptions. See Raging Torrent, pp. 130–147; COS, vol. 2, p. 306; ABC, pp. 217–219. Esarhaddon’s name appears in many cuneiform inscriptions (ANET, pp. 272–274, 288–290, 292–294, 296, 297, 301–303, 426–428, 449, 450, 531, 533–541, 605, 606), including his Succession Treaty (ANEHST, p. 355).

  22. BABYLONIA

    41. Merodach-baladan II (=Marduk-apla-idinna II), king, r. 721–710 and 703, 2 Kings 20:12, etc., in the inscriptions of Sennacherib and the Neo-Babylonian Chronicles (Raging Torrent, pp. 111, 174, 178–179, 182–183. For Sennacherib’s account of his first campaign, which was against Merodach-baladan II, see COS, vol. 2, pp. 300-302. For the Neo-Babylonian Chronicle series, Chronicle 1, i, 33–42, see ANEHST, pp. 408–409. This king is also included in the Babylonian King List A (ANET, p. 271), and the latter part of his name remains in the reference to him in the Synchronistic King List (ANET, pp. 271–272), on which see ABC, pp. 226, 237.

    42. Nebuchadnezzar II, king, r. 604–562, 2 Kings 24:1, etc., in many cuneiform tablets, including his own inscriptions. See Raging Torrent, pp. 220–223; COS, vol. 2, pp. 308–310; ANET, pp. 221, 307–311; ABC, p. 232. The Neo-Babylonian Chronicle series refers to him in Chronicles 4 and 5 (ANEHST, pp. 415, 416–417, respectively). Chronicle 5, reverse, lines 11–13, briefly refers to his conquest of Jerusalem (“the city of Judah”) in 597 by defeating “its king” (Jehoiachin), as well as his appointment of “a king of his own choosing” (Zedekiah) as king of Judah.

    43. Nebo-sarsekim, chief official of Nebuchadnezzar II, fl. early 6th century, Jeremiah 39:3, in a cuneiform inscription on Babylonian clay tablet BM 114789 (1920-12-13, 81), dated to 595 B.C.E. The time reference in Jeremiah 39:3 is very close, to the year 586. Since it is extremely unlikely that two individuals having precisely the same personal name would have been, in turn, the sole holders of precisely this unique position within a decade of each other, it is safe to assume that the inscription and the book of Jeremiah refer to the same person in different years of his time in office. In July 2007 in the British Museum, Austrian researcher Michael Jursa discovered this Babylonian reference to the biblical “Nebo-sarsekim, the Rab-saris” (rab ša-rēši, meaning “chief official”) of Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 604–562). Jursa identified this official in his article, “Nabu-šarrūssu-ukīn, rab ša-rēši, und ‘Nebusarsekim’ (Jer. 39:3),” Nouvelles Assyriologiques Breves et Utilitaires2008/1 (March): pp. 9–10 (in German). See also Bob Becking, “Identity of Nabusharrussu-ukin, the Chamberlain: An Epigraphic Note on Jeremiah 39,3. With an Appendix on the Nebu(!)sarsekim Tablet by Henry Stadhouders,” Biblische Notizen NF 140 (2009): pp. 35–46; “Corrections,” pp. 121–124; “Sixteen,” p. 47 n. 31. On the correct translation of ráb ša-rēši (and three older, published instances of it having been incorrect translated as rab šaqê), see ITP, p. 171 n. 16.

    44. Nergal-sharezer (= Nergal-sharuṣur the Sin-magir = Nergal-šarru-uṣur the simmagir), officer of Nebuchadnezzar II, early sixth century, Jeremiah 39:3, in a Babylonian cuneiform inscription known as Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism (column 3 of prism EŞ 7834, in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum). See ANET, pp. 307‒308; Rocio Da Riva, “Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism (EŞ 7834): A New Edition,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, vol. 103, no. 2 (2013): 204, Group 3.

    45. Nebuzaradan (= Nabuzeriddinam = Nabû-zēr-iddin), a chief officer of Nebuchadnezzar II, early sixth century, 2 Kings 25:8, etc. & Jeremiah 39:9, etc., in a Babylonian cuneiform inscription known as Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism (column 3, line 36 of prism EŞ 7834, in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum). See ANET, p. 307; Rocio Da Riva, “Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism (EŞ 7834): A New Edition,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, vol. 103, no. 2 (2013): 202, Group 1.

    46. Evil-merodach (= Awel Marduk, = Amel Marduk), king, r. 561–560, 2 Kings 25:27, etc., in various inscriptions (ANET, p. 309; OROT, pp. 15, 504 n. 23). See especially Ronald H. Sack, Amel-Marduk: 562-560 B.C.; A Study Based on Cuneiform, Old Testament, Greek, Latin and Rabbinical Sources (Alter Orient und Altes Testament, no. 4; Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker, and Neukirchen-Vluyn, Neukirchener, 1972).

    47. Belshazzar, son and co-regent of Nabonidus, fl. ca. 543?–540, Daniel 5:1, etc., in Babylonian administrative documents and the “Verse Account” (Muhammed A. Dandamayev, “Nabonid, A,” RlA, vol. 9, p. 10; Raging Torrent, pp. 215–216; OROT, pp. 73–74). A neo-Babylonian text refers to him as “Belshazzar the crown prince” (ANET, pp. 309–310 n. 5).

  23. PERSIA

    48. Cyrus II (=Cyrus the great), king, r. 559–530, 2 Chronicles 36:22, etc., in various inscriptions (including his own), for which and on which see ANEHST, pp. 418–426, ABC, p. 214. For Cyrus’ cylinder inscription, see Raging Torrent, pp. 224–230; ANET, pp. 315–316; COS, vol. 2, pp. 314–316; ANEHST, pp. 426–430; P&B, pp. 87–92. For larger context and implications in the biblical text, see OROT, pp. 70-76.

    49. Darius I (=Darius the Great), king, r. 520–486, Ezra 4:5, etc., in various inscriptions, including his own trilingual cliff inscription at Behistun, on which see P&B, pp. 131–134. See also COS, vol. 2, p. 407, vol. 3, p. 130; ANET, pp. 221, 316, 492; ABC, p. 214; ANEHST, pp. 407, 411. On the setting, see OROT, pp. 70–75.

    50. Tattenai (=Tatnai), provincial governor of Trans-Euphrates, late sixth to early fifth century, Ezra 5:3, etc., in a tablet of Darius I the Great, king of Persia, which can be dated to exactly June 5, 502 B.C.E. See David E. Suiter, “Tattenai,” in David Noel Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 6, p. 336; A. T. Olmstead, “Tattenai, Governor of ‘Beyond the River,’” Journal of Near Eastern Studies3 (1944): p. 46. A drawing of the cuneiform text appears in Arthur Ungnad, Vorderasiatische Schriftdenkmäler Der Königlichen Museen Zu Berlin (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1907), vol. IV, p. 48, no. 152 (VAT 43560). VAT is the abbreviation for the series Vorderasiatische Abteilung Tontafel, published by the Berlin Museum. The author of the BAR article wishes to acknowledge the query regarding Tattenai from Mr. Nathan Yadon of Houston, Texas, private correspondence, 8 September 2015.

    51. Xerxes I (=Ahasuerus), king, r. 486–465, Esther 1:1, etc., in various inscriptions, including his own (P&B, p. 301; ANET, pp. 316–317), and in the dates of documents from the time of his reign (COS, vol. 2, p. 188, vol. 3, pp. 142, 145. On the setting, see OROT, pp. 70–75.

    52. Artaxerxes I Longimanus, king, r. 465-425/424, Ezra 4:6, 7, etc., in various inscriptions, including his own (P&B, pp. 242–243), and in the dates of documents from the time of his reign (COS, vol. 2, p. 163, vol. 3, p. 145; ANET, p. 548).

    53. Darius II Nothus, king, r. 425/424-405/404, Nehemiah 12:22, in various inscriptions, including his own (for example, P&B, pp. 158–159) and in the dates of documents from the time of his reign (ANET, p. 548; COS, vol. 3, pp. 116–117).

  24. Just because we see design doesn't mean there is a designer no matter the intricacy of it. Snowflakes have a design or pattern but no one would say they have a designer because we see them come about through natural processes. Same goes for DNA. It's one of the most complex molecules in nature but complexity isn't a hallmark of design, simplicity is. We can also create more complex molecules that have a triple helix design instead of double. DNA is seen to form naturally through RNA so it too doesn't require a designer just the laws of nature and chemistry.

  25. Evolution isn't random, it is non-random because selection naturally favors the traits that are more fit to the environment. The mutagen process by which information is added to an organism or genetic material is random so no god could be adding information it's purely chance.

  26. Evolution in my personal philosophy teaches me to be kind to everyone. We aren't brothers and sisters in christ but we are all cousins in evolution.

  27. Evolution is a fact and a theory. The fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change, how it goes about changing is the theory part. Natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, and gene flow are the sources of new alleles.

  28. A huge misunderstanding people have with evolution is the nomenclature of science. Theory has a different meaning in science than it does colloquially. Theories do not turn into laws after they are proven. Theories always remain theories. It starts as a hypothesis which is an educated guess about natural phenomena and then is vindicated through experimentation. They must be able to make predictions and they must be testable/repeatable however they can never be proved as proof only exists in mathematics and alcohol. Evolution is a theory with such a overwhelming preponderance of converging lines of evidence that it is tantamount to sacrilege for any self-respecting scientist to deny it (which is why there really arent any modern scientists that do, including the religious ones). Theory does not mean guess. A theory is a model to explain how something happens. Evolutionary theory is the only theory that explain biodiversity. The theory of evolution is as solid as gravitational theory, atomic theory, oxygen theory, heliocentric theory et cetera.

  29. LIES CREATIONISTS TELL – Misquotes and quote mining Stephan Jay Gould. Creationists repeatedly use these tactics to misrepresent the views of those people they wish to to discredit and revile. One favorite creationist quote mine is to extract this sentence by Gould and changing its meaning by omission: *"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and
    nagging problem for gradualist accounts of evolution."* By removing the words "_gradualist accounts of_" they make it appear that Gould was arguing against evolution, when he was arguing for punctuated equilibrium in evolution over Darwin's claim that evolution was gradual.

    Gould was incensed at the dishonesty of creationists. Here is his rebuttal: "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists — whether through design or stupidity, I do not know — as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

  30. Creationists all have the same basic 'personality' type — dishonest, low intelligence, bitter, no sense of humor and hypocritical. When the contradictions, irrationality and violence of the Bible are pointed out to them, they will do one of the following:
    1. Change the subject to something irrelevant
    2. Copy and paste an inane quote from Kent Hovind or similar buffoon
    3. Say it's been 'taken it out of context'
    4. Hurl abuse
    5. Disappear, never to be heard from again

  31. BEHOLD!!! I AM A PROPHET!!!
    I PREDICT THAT WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR THERE WILL BE:
    1. AN EARTHQUAKE IN NEW ZEALAND OR SOUTH AMERICA!!!!
    2. A WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!!
    3. A TERRIBLE MARRIAGE BREAKDOWN OF A FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD COUPLE!!!!
    HEED MY WORDS, FOOLS!!!!!!!!

  32. Creationist Horseshit 101:

    1. Carbon dating doesn't work!! BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS!

    2. There are no transitional fossils!!! OF COURSE I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A MUSEUM, THAT'D BE BORING!

    3: Living coelacanths prove the fossil record is false!!! BECAUSE THEY JUST DO!

    4. There are polystrate tree fossils!!!!! WHATEVER THAT MEANS!

    5. There are cave drawings of dinosaurs!!!!

    6. There are human and dinosaurs footprints together!!!! I DON'T CARE IF THE HOAXERS ADMITTED THEIR SCAM, IT'S STILL TRUE!

    7. Hundreds of Bible prophecies have come true!!!! I DON'T FEEL LIKE NAMING ANY OF THEM, I'M BUSY!

    8. None of the creationist evangelists are lying, why would they??? SO WHAT IF THEY'RE ALL MULTI-MILLIONAIRES CONTRARY TO THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS?

    Same old crap from you mindless douchebags … .day after day…..

  33. The so-called tomb of Jesus dates back to 326 AD, which is, oddly, three entire centuries after Jesus' cruciFICTION. However, the date corresponds to the rule of Constantine, the Roman emperor who converted to Christianity and declared it the official religion of the empire and used it to take over Europe once again. Yeah, seems so totally legit, that Jesus.
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/scientists-find-tomb-of-jesus-christ-is-older-than-people-thought-2017-11?r=US&IR=T

  34. How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 1.
    DON'T study anything. It's a waste of time. You don't even need to study the Bible, just half memorize the few bits your preacher yells out every Sunday in church — simple!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 2.
    If an evolutionist says something like the Earth is billions of years old — laugh at him! Do the LOL sign or type hehehehehe! Say that radiocarbon dating, whatever that is, is all wrong. If he asks you for proof, just ask HIM for proof. When he GIVES proof, who cares? He's stupid! Besides, it's already time for your NEXT topic!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 3.
    Some Darwinists will try to tell you stuff like the Bible says the Earth is flat. The truth is, NOBODY KNOWS what the Bible says about the shape of the Earth! The Earth is round anyway, it goes in a circle just like a frisbee.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 4.
    Some super-evil Darwinist will say, like, Jesus never really existed. Well, of course he did — he's in the Bible! Just like all that other true stuff like demons, angels, giants, dragons, unicorns, talking asses and all that. I mean, hellooooo, it's a no-brainer!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 5.
    Evolutionists are so stupid they say the world was never, like, totally flooded. They're like, "well there should be one big sediment with all the dead animals in it." Your answer here should be "What do you think OIL is?!" Then they'll be all like, "Wow I wasn't ready for that" and call you rude names. You win again!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 6.
    The BEST that can happen is when an evolutionist starts swearing and calling you rude names! Seems crazy, right? But no, it's like a gift! Because now you've WON! Whatever else he says does not matter! Like, if the evolutionist then starts talking trash about, say, God murdering babies all the time, you just go "Nothing you say matters, you resort to childish name-calling because you have no real arguments you liberal f*ggot!"
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 7.
    Tell evolutionists that the Bible makes all kinds of totally scientific claims that nobody could have possibly known at the time. Say you have tons of evidence but you will only give it them if they stop calling you rude names. Which will never happen — you win again!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 8.
    OK now, the WORST thing evolutionists can ever say is that WE come from monkeys! NO WAY, we are SPECIAL!! Remember, this is THE main reason that evolution is so evil! So whenever an evolutionist says this evil stuff, be sure to call him "monkey boy" and ask if he would like a BANANA!! BAM!!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 9.
    Always tell evolutionists that there is totally NO SUCH THING as macro-evolution!! Now, nobody knows what macro-evolution is, but it really seems to annoy the Darwinists when you say it! So say it about 100 times every day, and Jesus will be proud of you and you will get zillions of Christian friend invites on YouTube including hot babes who are probably using their real profile photo.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 10.
    Always remember to say there is NO PROOF FOR EVOLUTION!! It is totally based on guesswork and wishful thinking and in fact it is a Satanic plot to overthrow Jesus and is the cause of 9/11!! The evolutionist might ask for you to provide evidence for this — as if your word isn't good enough!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 11.
    Here's a good one, say this: EVOLUTION IS ONLY A THEORY! Basically, once you say this it puts an end to the discussion, like, CASE CLOSED.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 12.
    If evolution was true, WHY ARE THERE STILL MONKEYS? Now THAT is your secret weapon and it stumps 'em EVERY TIME. They start babbling about how "only a certain population evolved" or "apes aren't monkeys" and other science-fiction bullcrap.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 13
    Always say there are no transitional fossils. What IS a transitional fossil? Who knows? Who cares? It doesn't MATTER! Just say there AREN'T any! And if an arrogant evolutionist starts listing some, just tell him those are all faked and glued together by Chinamen! THERE IS NO ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 14.
    Just remember God has chosen YOU to be a proud Creationist, and thanks to the Holy Spirit YOU know more about everything than every dumb-ass scientist and professor-type guy in the world put together! YOU DON'T NEED BOOKS OR SCOOOL! Well, except the Bible and Sunday Scoool.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 15.
    Sometimes, evil Darwinists will quote stuff from the Bible that kinda sounds bad, like God killed millions of babies, and Jesus is going to kill people with a sword in his mouth. Well, the Bible is supposed to be confusing on purpose and is totally metaphorical! Except where it says God made everything in six days, and the Noah's Ark stuff and Jesus coming back and all that. Dumb atheists!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 16.
    Evolutionists are like "It takes millions of years for a cat to turn into a frog or whatever". So you say "Well, THAT is not good enough! Show me a cat turning into a frog in FIVE MINUTES then MAYBE I will believe it. But PROBABLY NOT because it would be Satan doing it. So shut up!" The evolutionist LOSES AGAIN.
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 17.
    Scientists think they're so smart 'cause they've read like five books and they went to school for about 10 years! Well HAHA because the Holy Spirit teached me more then any book! Except the Bible, but that would take a hundred years to read. Evolutionists are stupid!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 18.
    THE use of upper-case writing to MAKE your point can BE completely random! JUST like stupid evolution!!!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 19.
    Demand evidence for evolution, because you have NEVER SEEN ANY!!! This is like total BAIT for evolutionists and you'll soon have a feeding frenzy of them all making dumb comments about fossils, DNA, bacteria and other stuff that nobody understands, including them. Now the secret here is you JUST GO AWAY!! Then, get back on there again the next day and… Demand evidence for evolution, because you have NEVER SEEN ANY!!!
    How to be a Creationist – Tips for online debating, Lesson 20.
    Evil Darwinists will try to tell you that the whole Bible is a bunch of fairy tales. YEAH RIGHT!! How do they KNOW because nobody has ever read the WHOLE Bible yet!!

    In other words, you FUCKING WANKERS are not telling us anything we haven't heard a thousand times before….

  35. I like how there are three different accounts here in this section with the same name that comments the same stupid bullshit ideas. @Emanuel e, I’m pointing at you. Fucktard.

  36. LIES CREATIONISTS TELL – "Evolution is a religion" or "science is a religion"
    Claim: "Those who rely on science do so out of faith, just as do religious proponents." Assertions that evolution or any science has any similarity to religion is again creationist nonsense. Evolution has no required beliefs, nor prohibited beliefs, but that is what religions are all about. When someone affirms a tenet of religion, they are in essence taking a vow of ignorance as it limits freedom of thought. Hallmarks of religion are beliefs in supernatural entities or events, a 'spirit' capable of surviving death in an afterlife, inerrancy of scriptures, etc. However much such beliefs may be comforting to religious proponents, they are not supported by any evidence. Science neither affirms nor denies such beliefs. The fact that it does not affirm their personal beliefs is what incurs the ire of fundamentalist religious proponents.

    Neither does any area of science recognize authorities. Truth is established by EVIDENCE, not by what anyone says. It wouldn't matter whether ones name was Albert Einstein, Stephan Hawking or Joe Somebody; if they do not have evidence, they have nothing.

  37. Standard creationist technique:
    1. post some complete horseshit
    2. run away when it's immediately debunked
    3. Come back the next day and post the exact same horseshit again as if nothing happened.

  38. "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
    "We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication ."
    "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
    Thomas Jefferson

  39. "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church."
    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
    "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
    James Madison

  40. "In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it."
    "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
    Benjamin Franklin

  41. "The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion" John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797.

  42. "How has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
    John Adams

  43. "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."
    "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
    Thomas Paine

  44. "There are upwards of a thousand lies in the Bible."
    "If Jesus were here today there's one thing he wouldn't be–a Christian."
    Mark Twain

  45. "Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause."
    George Washington

  46. 'All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.' Thomas Paine

  47. DOES THE BIBLE PRESENT A FACTUAL VIEW OF HISTORY? THE EVIDENCE SAYS NO.
    Legitimate scientists do studies, write up their findings, then submit them to peer review and publication in recognized scientific journals. A real scholar is a seeker of truth, a detective. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts". Those words from Sherlock Holmes are just as true of science as it is indeed detective work. Truth is established by EVIDENCE, not by what anyone says. Science, or a good detective, proceeds from evidence to a conclusion, not the other way around. Some biblical scholars actively seek evidence that would support their preconceived opinion, namely that what is written in the bible is correct.

    A true detective however, seeks and follows evidence wherever it leads. A young Frenchman, Jean-François Champollion, discovered the keys to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics in the early 1800's and lead an archeological expedition to Egypt. Ever since that time, biblical scholars and archaeologists have combed through Egyptian writings looking for anything that would confirm biblical accounts. There is NOTHING, absolutely zero evidence that would support the existence of either Moses or the biblical Exodus.

    What they did find was that the Egyptians had recorded virtually every aspect of daily life; cattle sales, marriage contracts, magical incantations and curses, work details, grocery lists, all the details of daily life. What they eagerly sought but never found was any reference to event is the bible. Nor has anything been found to this day. Nothing about mass slavery. No mention about Israelites (until much, much later). No mention of the deaths of every first born son. No mention of a mass exodus of people. No signs of economic disruption that would have resulted from such a population loss. No mention of the loss of an entire army, let alone the loss of 600 chariots (Exodus 14:7).

    No mention of anyone named Moses or anyone like him. Nothing about a baby in reed boat who grew up to be an official in Pharoah's court. (That baby story was obviously plagiarized from a Mesopotamian legend about Sargon the Great, who was in fact , a real person, the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire, who conquered Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BCE.)

    So, no supporting evidence from Egyptian writing. How about physical archaeological evidence?
    According to the bible (Numbers 1:46) the numbers of males capable of bearing arms was 603,550, meaning that, with their wives and children, the Israelites would have numbered over two million people. Yet, this huge number of people—who would have overwhelmed the Egyptians in Egypt by sheer weight of numbers—left no trace of their passage through the Sinai Desert. Nor is there any evidence from either history or archaeology of the plagues that ravaged Egypt in the story of the Exodus or of the loss of an entire Egyptian army, including 600 chariots (Exodus 14:7).

    For almost 200 years, biblical scholars and archaeologists have combed the Sinai for any evidence a sizable population had ever been there, and there is nothing to show for their effort. Two million Israelites supposedly spent 38 years at the oasis of Kadesh Barnea leaving not a trace of their having been there. No fragments of pottery, no bones of the numbers of animals that would have been required to feed such a population, no hearths, not a single tent stake, NOTHING.

    There is also no evidence that Joshua was a real person. Many of the cities he is claimed to have conquered did not even exist at the time he was supposedly rampaging through the 'Holy Land'. Joshua is supposed to have fought a major battle at Jericho where "the walls came tumbling down". Now Jericho was one of the earliest agricultural settlements in the "Fertile Crescent". The springs in the area had attracted people since paleolithic times, when hunter gatherers congregated there. Neolithic peoples built a town there and, since it was on an earthquake fault, the walls came tumbling down on several occasions. Archaeological evidence indicates that the town had been abandoned for some time prior to about 1200 BCE when Joshua supposedly attacked it. Nor has archaeology found the sort of evidence that would indicate an attack by hostile forces, i.e. arrowheads or other weapons of the sort found at the ruins of Troy.

    During the 15th century BCE, the entire Levant, including the area of Canaan, was firmly under Egyptian control.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Egypt_1450_BC.svg/666px-Egypt_1450_BC.svg.png
    Egypt had been trading with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia since the early bronze age. Those trade routes were a surce of inome for those controlling them and that was a source of conflict in the region. Levantine trade routes, ca. 1300 BCE https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Ancient_Levant_routes.png
    The unexplained collapse of many Mediterranian civilizations lead to reagional instability and the rise of the "Sea Peoples", one of which were the Philistines who conquered 5 coastal cities sometime around 1150 BCE.

    What DNA and archaeological evidence tells us is that there was no large influx of peoples into the Levant, no cultural changes, no pottery style changes, nothing to indicate a change in lifestyles that would indicate a significant change in the makeup of the population. What the evidence tells us is that the culture and population of the Levant had been Canaanite since the third millennium BCE and remained so during the biblical period. The 'Israelite' or Jewish identity arose from within the Canaanite population, not from outside. Even among today's Jewish peoples, despite mixing with othere ethnicites, their DNA is mostly Canaanite, the highest percentage of which is among those whose ancestors remained in the Middle East; the Mizrahi Jews.The Hebrew language and writing both derived from earlier Canaanite forms.

    What the evidence shows is that the Old Testament was written during and shortly after the Babylonian Captivity. The The story of Moses and the Exodus was pure fabrication meant to unify a diverse illiterate population. The supposed Egyptian Captivity was the founding myth of the Jewish religion and was a simile for the Babylonian Captivity.

    Now fundamentalist practitioners of the Abrahamic religions start with the premise that the biblical stories are correct and that any evidence to the contrary must be false. To do this, they (insensibly) begin to twist facts to suit theories. That is the antithesis of science and is very dishonest.

    It seems many Christians deeply resent any questioning of biblical accounts, yet there are Jewish theologians who reluctantly accept archeological and genetic evidence: articles.latimes.com/2001/apr/13/news/mn-50481
    https://medium.com/@mattsamberg/what-if-we-weren-t-slaves-8f92dd6eac01

  48. Evolution is a FACT and a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. Science is built on facts, much like a house being built of bricks. But a pile of bricks is not a house and a collection of facts is not science. They become science only after being assembled into a coherent explanation of observed phenomena that is a Scientific Theory. Any scientist will tell you that there is no such thing as "only a theory" because A THEORY IN SCIENCE IS THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF CERTAINTY POSSIBLE.

    "Proof" is a concept of mathematics, where absolute certainty is possible. Every determination in science is initially PROVISIONAL (a hypothesis). Science makes determinations based on EVIDENCE and as evidence accumulates in support of an explanation for observed phenomena, the level of certainty increases to the point where the explanation is called a THEORY and regarded as TRUE. It remains TRUE so long as all available evidence is consistent with the theory. Should even one piece of evidence come to light that is NOT consistent with the theory, the theory must be revised or discarded.

    The Theory of Evolution is perhaps the most thoroughly tested theory in science, yet if one fossil were to be discovered out of its predicted place in the fossil record, such as a pre-Cambrian fish or a mammal in the Carbonaceous, the theory would be in serious jeopardy.

    Evolution is a FACT, or rather a vast collection of facts. The explanation for how it happened is called the Theory of Evolution. It is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. All available evidence supports that theory and none refutes it. Anyone claiming the contrary needs to present evidence supporting their contention. Assertions lacking corroborating evidence are rightly regarded as nonsense.

    The facts that build the Theory of Evolution are the vast diversity of life on earth, the hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils, the physiological and genetic similarities, protein redundancy, Endogenous Retroviruses, Pseudo-genes, the unique flora and fauna of isolated islands, and much, much more.

  49. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Diversification and Geographic Distribution of Species. As one travels from one isolated landmass, to another, one sees patterns that fit with evolutionary theory. The mammals populating the Australasian continental landmass that included New Guinea and Tasmania as the ancient continent called Sahul were quite different from those elsewhere in the world. Prior to ancient man's arrival, the mammals populating that landmass were virtually all Marsupials; kangaroos, wombats, koalas, quolls, thylacenes, et al; found nowhere else in the world. So too, were the egg laying Monotremes (Platypus and Echidnas) also found nowhere else in the world. Indeed, prior to the coming of humans that brought the dingo, the only placental mammals were those that could swim there (seal) and those that could fly there (bats). It is very obvious that mammalian evolution took a quite different turn in that isolated landmass since placental mammals diverged from their non-placental forebears in the Early Cretaceous or Late Jurassic. It remained isolated from all other eutherian (placental) mammal migrations.

    The almost universal absence of both native land mammals and amphibians on isolated islands argues against a creation event and those islands tell of a different evolutionary history. Alfred Russel Wallace, who had independently arrived at the same conclusion as Charles Darwin regarding natural selection being the engine of evolution, spent many years collecting biological specimens in the Amazon and later on the Indonesian archipelago and New Guinea. What he discovered was sometimes tremendous differences in the fauna of neighboring islands and he discovered a pattern to the distribution of species; those on the western side of a hypothetical dividing line were identical or similar to, mainland Asian species. Those on the eastern side of the divide were more similar to those of Australasia, Australia and New Guinea. This line, now known as the Wallace Line denotes an area of deep water channels that would have prevented migration when sea levels were lower as during Ice Ages, while other areas would have had dry land connections. The islands Bali and Lompok, separated by a mere 20 miles, have quite different fauna. Wallace's studies of species distribution and barriers to their migration has earned him the title "father of biogeography".

    Birds can fly from island to island, reptiles can swim or float on driftwood, plant seeds can be carried to different islands by wind, water or birds, but amphibians cannot survive in saltwater and most land mammals are limited by the distances they can swim. Those deep water channels restricted them to one side of that dividing line.

    New Zealand is another prime example. With no native mammals, except again for those able to fly (bats) or swim (seals) there, birds assumed the ecological roles filled by mammals elsewhere. In the absence of ground dwelling predators, many birds abandoned energy consuming flight, the Kakapo, Kiwi and Moa among them. The wing of the kiwi is a mere vestige, no bigger than your little finger, with an equally useless claw at its end. (There's that "half a wing" creationists talk about.) 😉 https://i.imgur.com/OU30E2N.jpg?1

    Other isolated islands also had their own unique flora and fauna, as did geologically recent islands such as the Galapagos and the Hawaiian Archipelago. The 13 or so species of Galapagos Finches, sometimes called "Darwin's Finches", are all relatively drab in color, varying in beak morphology and physical size. Despite their physical and genetic differences, creationists typically respond with "They are all still finches"; perpetuating their straw man version of evolution as "one animal turning into another." What they ignore is that the Theory of Evolution says no such thing. Evolution is the non-random selection of random mutations; it can only produce changes in existing body parts. Genetic changes (Genotype) take place constantly, Physiological changes (Phenotype) take place incrementally over thousands of generations, and not due to single mutations but accumulations of diverse mutations.
    On the Hawaiian Islands, the indigenous population came up with imaginative names for the colorful bird population. On the Galapagos however, there were no indigenous peoples to name these birds and they were given very prosaic names by the scientists studying them. Giving them names like Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch and Large Ground Finch were descriptive but glossed over their genetic differences and gave credence to the creationist claim "They are still finches".
    https://biogilde.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/tentilhoes2.jpg
    https://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/Geospiza_beaks.jpg
    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/EX6N0C/adaptive-radiation-in-galapagos-finches-EX6N0C.jpg

    On the Hawaiian Islands, the science of comparative genomics shows that another species of finch, the Laysan Finch, underwent adaptive radiation into the at one time 55 species of Honey creepers of which only 18 survive. Unlike the Galapagos Finches that were similarly drab in coloration, the various Honeycreepers exhibit wide differences in plumage coloration and had widely varying bill shapes. Some of the nectar feeders have co-evolved with a specific plant species.
    https://slideplayer.com/slide/6644481/23/images/44/Adaptive+Radiation+in+honeycreepers.jpg
    https://images.slideplayer.com/24/7380275/slides/slide_15.jpg
    http://www.hokulea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/slide_47.jpg

    The same is true of many plants whose ancestral seeds found their way to these islands. The many species of the beautiful Hawaiian Silver Sword and their relatives, collectively known as the Hawaiian Silver Sword Alliance, are an example of adaptive radiation in plants over millions of years from an ancestral pacific coast tarweed.
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&channel=cus&q=Hawaiian+Silver+Sword+Alliance
    http://bio1151.nicerweb.com/Locked/media/ch25/25_18-SilverswordRadia-L.jpg

    Mauritania had the Elephant Bird and the Dodo, neither one of which flew there, and they sure as hell didn't swim. Perhaps Noah dropped them off there while trying to find his way back to the Middle East, you think?

    Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, was separated from other landmasses for 88 million years. During that time plants and animals on the island evolved in isolation; 80% of which exist nowhere else in the world. In each of these areas, evolution took separate paths that refute the creationist concept of a creation event.

    Since birds can fly and establish new and distant populations, they can establish diverse populations where genetic drift alone could result in new species and be further shaped by environmental and ecological factors. The fossil record shows that once birds were able to take to the air and migrate, there was rapid diversification. Again, when the asteroid impact that wiped out all the non-avian dinosaurs, it also resulted in the extinction of most avian dinosaur (bird) species. The plethora of new environmental niches again allowed birds to diversify rapidly. That expansion and diversification had been duplicated whenever the opportunity has presented itself.

    Yet birds are not the only examples of rapid diversification. Cichlid fishes in Africa's Rift valley have exhibited the same diversification whenever new lakes were formed and founder populations made their way into them. The same has occurred with Anole lizards on Caribbean Islands.

    Charles Darwin made remarkable observations 150 years ago and since then biologists, geneticists, geologists, biochemists and other related fields have continued to do so and in every case further evidence is accumulated in support of what is now called the Modern Synthesis of Evolution.
    Explaining General Patterns in Species Abundance and Distributions https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/explaining-general-patterns-in-species-abundance-and-23162842

    Anole lizard evolution
    New Lizard Shows Evolution’s Predictability https://www.quantamagazine.org/anole-lizard-discovery-confirms-that-evolution-is-predictable-20160629/
    The Rapid-Fire Evolution of Green Anoles https://scitechdaily.com/rapid-fire-evolution-green-anoles/
    Cichlid fishes evolution
    Cichlid fish genome helps tell story of adaptive evolution, Stanford scientists say https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/fish-genome-fernald-092214.html
    The Extraordinary Evolution of Cichlid Fishes https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-extraordinary-evolution-of-cichlid-fishes/
    Video: Evolution, Speciation, and Adaptation of Cichlid Fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Gm62x6NWg

  50. HERE IS WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS US – About Morality. Please cite the passages that promote morality. Quiz at the end.
    1. You can own slaves. You can buy and sell slaves. You can even sell your own daughter (Exodus 21:7-10). If she fails to please her master, you must refund him the purchase price.

    2. You can beat the living shit out of your slaves without being punished, as long as they do not die within two days (Exodus 20:20-21). Under what standards of morality is it ever okay to beat another human being like that and not suffer any consequences? It is reassuring the bible endorses property rights, but a source of morality it is not.

    3. The bible not only condones slavery but sets prices for them (Leviticus 27:3-7). The bible obviously was concerned about human traffickers getting a fair price for their goods.

    4. Surely Jesus had compassion towards slaves. He tells slaves to be obedient and subservient. That is why slave owners in the Americas pushed Christianity onto their slaves and punished those caught practicing their ancient religions.. Very reassuring. It was okay to beat slaves, those who unwittingly made mistakes were to be given few lashes, those who knowingly violated rules were to be given many lashes.

    5. Thou shalt not kill. Now THERE is a good one. However, it seems there are exceptions:
    No sooner had Moses returned from his first trip up the mountains to find a party to which he had not been invited, in a fit of rage he orders his Levite goon squad to kill "every man his brother, and every man his friend and every man his neighbor." Exodus 32:28 "The Levites did as Moses commanded and that day about 3000 of the people died." 'Tough Love' maybe?

    6. But there are others. The bible requires the faithful to put to death by stoning;
    Adulterers (Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Leviticus 20:10);
    Homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13),
    Non virgins (Deuteronomy 22:20-21),
    any of your neighbors foolish enough to mow their lawn on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15,Exodus 35:1-3,Numbers 15:32-36).

    7. Oh, and speaking of rape, surely that ranks high on the ‘Thou shalt nots’ of the ten commandments. NO??? It is not even mentioned???

    An oversight perhaps? But then it was so important to forbid mixing fabrics or cooking a kid in its mother's milk (so important that it needed to be repeated three times) and such. Take a look at these REALLY important commandments (there are different versions within the bible). Thou shalt not:
    Worship other gods
    Work on the Sabbath (death penalty crime)
    Take the name of the lord in vain (OMG, ANOTHER capital crime)
    Make graven images
    Covet thy neighbor’s wife or house or ass
    And, oh yes, ‘thou shalt not kill’ and ‘thou shalt not steal’ are in there somewhere near the bottom. But rape? Not one word!!!

    How about elsewhere in the bible? Surely somewhere the bible must condemn rape, no?
    Oh, yes, here; Deuteronomy 22:28-29 28 "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives"

    *YESSS! There it is. Rape is a PROPERTY crime*. The rapist has damaged the father’s PROPERTY and it is he that must be compensated. What justice for the victim of the rape? She has to marry her rapist. Surely she lived happily ever after, no? And what if they were not discovered and the girl kept quiet out of fear? The bible is quite clear about the fate of girls who are not virgins on their wedding day. Here, as elsewhere in the bible, women are chattel and have no say in their future.

    It is interesting to note that, while the bible mandates death by stoning for adulterers and non virgin brides, raping an unbethrothed virgin incurred only a monetary penalty. This is biblical justice?

    8. The bible endorses mass murder and sex slavery. Numbers 31:14-18 "14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle. 15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."
    Numbers 31:35 – "And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him." THIRTY TWO THOUSAND VIRGINS being divided up to be used by “god’s chosen people” at the same time their mothers and brothers by the tens of thousands were being slaughtered like animals. Many of those women would have been pregnant, their unborn fetus dying inside them. And what would have been the crime of young boys of whatever age? 2? 4? 10? There was no distinction about age. This is GENOCIDE, condemned by civilized nations of the world.

    If you fail to feel a deep sense of moral outrage at this, how do you condemn ISIS for doing far less? Genocide in whatever form is an ugly stain on humanity. To claim it to be a moral act is the ultimate evil. Why then, should you regard the bible as a moral guide? Is ISIS any less evil?

    So what response do we hear from zealots? Shock? Horror? No! Their predicable response is indifference and a callous “They had it coming to them.” We have heard those words echoed by unrepentant Nazis and the barbaric ISIS. And how does that equate to morality? Are not empathy and compassion the cornerstones of morality? Where then is there any morality here?

    Perhaps it was just an oversight that the bible nowhere condemns slavery, or rape or molesting children, but yet it was so important to forbid mixing fabrics or cooking a kid in its mother's milk (so important that it needed to be repeated three times). What does that say about biblical priorities?

    If the bible is the source of your 'morality', call a mental health hotline, NOW..
    God sends Abraham to murder his own son, clearly an immoral act. Abraham is perfectly willing to do so. And for this, the bible praises Abraham. To a rational person, morality is doing what's right, no matter what one is told. Biblical morality is doing what you are told no matter what.

    Although an angel was sent to 'stay Abraham's hand', no such courtesy was given Jephthah's daughter made into a burnt offering to the lord (Judges 11:29-40). That should be enough to turn anyone's stomach. And what of Jephthah? Was this murderer of an innocent child punished in any way? Was he condemned? NO. He is PRAISED. THE BIBLE APPROVES OF HUMAN SACRIFICE.

    To suggest that morality stems from religion is not only wrong, it is frightening. You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong, you lack empathy, not religion. And the bible has a special message for women: "STFU". We see at every turn they are denied the rights afforded to men; they were regarded as property, either of their father or their husband. It can be a source of pride for women that apparently not a single one of them participated in the writing of the bible.The rights that women have today were not granted them by the bible, they had to fight for them. The bible endorses misogyny.

    Atheists are far more moral than those who espouse religion. They are moral because it is the intelligent way to behave towards our fellow man, not out of expectation of reward or fear of punishment. If you are "moral" because of those constraints, you are a very dangerous person.

    Slavery still exists, but it has been made illegal in virtually every part of the world, NOT because of guidance from the bible, but because it was the right thing to do. Morality stems from empathy and concern for our fellow man. Good people will do good things, bad people will do bad things; but for good people to do bad things, that takes religion. Dictators take control of a populace by instilling fear of punishment, how is religion any different than that?

    Mark Twain once said "It ain't the parts of the bible I don't understand that bother me, it's the parts I DO understand.

    Now the question: Do YOU understand why the bible is said to be the source of morality? Because I sure don't.

  51. Did anyone hear about the creationist that won a Nobel Prize for disproving evolution?……….
    Yeah, neither did I.

  52. Emanuel E is trolling and attempting to hold control over the comment section.

    Ignore this one at all costs.

  53. Emanuel E continues to dumpster fire the comment section. This person is by far the 2nd most irritating creationist I have ever come across.

  54. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

    Knew evolution was fucked up. Go job education

  55. HOW TO IDENTIFY A FAKE RELIGION Since no one is born with a religion and seem to somehow acquire one by osmosis or some other process, it is rather strange that each proponent of the various religions is convinced that their religion was of their own free choice and is the best of all possible religions. They are firmly convinced that the proponents of other religions are, at the very least, mistaken and quite possibly evil. Since they cannot all be right, The problem becomes how to tell the real religion from the fake.

    HOW TO IDENTIFY A FAKE RELIGION:
    1. The deity never appears in person to any credible person or group of people, and his very existence is unverifiable.
    2. No miracles or supernatural events are ever documented by any credible source.
    3. Praying to the deity has no measurable, real-world effect.
    4. Belief promises a reward and non-belief promises a penalty, but these consequences are unverifiable.
    5. Holy text makes unsubstantiated claims and describes events of questionable historicity.
    6. There is no clear evidence that the text has divine origins.
    7. Regular groupthink meetings are held to reinforce belief. A person of authority is present to interpret the holy text, and money is collected.

    Followers of all religions have justifications for all of these failings and believe wholeheartedly. How is your religion different from a fake religion?

  56. Creationists do not come to these websites seeking education or information and they are not here by accident. They are directed here to attack legitimate science with the intent of promoting their fundamentalist views. They are vociferous but they fail. One need only look at the approval ratings above.

  57. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Evolution Makes Testable Predictions. The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. In the 1950's when it was discovered that humans had 23 pairs of chromosomes (one from each parent), whereas the other great apes, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans had 24 pairs, creationists were ecstatic, thinking they finally had evidence to counter common ancestry.

    [Chromosomes are packages of DNA that form during mitosis and meiosis.There are two sets, one inherited from each parent. Other Great Apes have 48 chromosomes (24 pairs) (1n=24, 2n=48) whereas humans have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs) (1n=23, 2n=46)]

    Evolution made a testable prediction; That somewhere in the human genome we should find evidence of cromosomal fusion. In other words, we should be able to find a human chromosome with the remnants of extra telomeres and centomeres.

    Since the loss of all the genes in a chromosome would have been fatal to any species, scientists reasoned that IF the Theory of Evolution was correct about common ancestry, one of two things must have occurred. Either two chromosomes had fused in human's evolutionary past, OR chromosomes had split in the other apes. Using 'Occam's Razor' or the "law of parsimony" which states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected (Simply put, it means that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one), the most likely event was chromosome fusion in humans.

    Normal chromosomes have a centromere and ends capped with telomeres. It was reasoned that IF two chromosomes had fused, evidence for such an event would be found in a chromosome with two centromeres and teleomeres where they did not belong. That is exactly what was found in human chromosome 2 (chromosomes are numbered by length). It was subsequently discovered that chimpanzee chromosomes 12 and 13 (for comparative purposes designated as 2A and 2B or 2p and 2q) contained the same genes as human chromosome 2 and if placed end to end the positions of those genes matched those of the human chromosome. Those chromosomes in the other apes also lined up in a similar fashion. The fusion event has been confirmed. https://bhavanajagat.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/chromosome-fusion-chromosome-2a2b.jpg

    https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article/figure/image?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.0010056.g001&size=large
    This illustration shows the amazing convergence of human (Homo sapiens – Hs) and chimp (Pan troglodites – Pt) chromosomal alignment. Chromosomes are traditionally numbered by length with number one being the longest. Note here that Chromosome 1 of both species contain essentially the same genes despite some being offset or sequence inverted. Chromosomal rearrangements are evident in other apes as well. Of most significance here is that Human Chromosome 2 (Hs2) lines up almost exactly with chimp chromosomes 12 and 13 (Pt12, Pt13). DNA sequences called telomeres are normally found at either end of chromosomes, yet on Hs2 they are found flanking the centromere. Additionally there is a second, albeit disabled centromere (a pseudo centromere). All of which is evidence for ancestral chomosomal fusion.

    Chromosomal rearrangements (translocations) occur in nature and are not always detrimental, but they can be. This chromosomal fusion occurred by means of a Robertsonian Translocation which is the most common form in humans (about 1 in 900 births). A balanced Robertsonian translocation takes the place of two acrocentric chromosomes and results in no problems for the person carrying it. There is a case of a healthy 44 chromosome man in China and a family in Finland with chromosomal fusions. Although normal in other respects, they may have fertility problems. Chromosome rearrangements may perhaps reduce fertility but do not constitute an immediate barrier to interbreeding. Unbalanced translocations do result in developmental problems.
    Understanding Chromosomal Translocation – Robertsonian Translocation v1.2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbGw4VanNjk
    Robertsonian Translocation Explained in Plain Language https://www.healthline.com/health/robertsonian-translocation

    In just the last few years science has gained largely complete genomes of two other human species, those of Neanderthal and Denisovans. We see that same chromosome fusion in their genomes as well, indication that the fusion event took place in a common ancestor.

    Underlining the fact that chromosome fusion need not result in loss of genetic information, two teams of scientists have recently managed to reduce the normal 16 chromosomes of single celled Brewer's yeast to one or two chromosomes with no loss of function. 'Entire yeast genome squeezed into one lone chromosome' nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05857-9

    As previously stated, the defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The greatest test of ANY scientific theory is in its usefulness as a predictive tool. In this case, as with others, the Theory of Evolution has performed beautifully. Instead of it being the evidence against common ancestry creationists had hoped for, it has established very firm evidence in support of that ancestry.

    References:
    http://uswest.ensembl.org/Homo_sapiens/Location/Synteny?db=core;otherspecies=Pan_troglodytes;r=2:242193529-242193529
    https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/chromosome/2
    www.pnas.org/content/pnas/88/20/9051.full.pdf
    https://biologos.org/blogs/…to…/denisovans-humans-and-the-chromosome-2-fusion
    www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/l_073_47.html

  58. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – The Predictive Ability of the Theory – Part I The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. Perhaps the greatest tests for any theory is their use as a predictive tool, and the Theory of Evolution does that beautifully. The first fossils were discovered quite by accident, incidental to some other human activity. There are still fossils discovered that way, but no paleontologist will count on accidental discoveries. Expeditions seeking particular fossils are planned meticulously. Fifty years ago, creationists could derisively point to the fact that science had no transitional whale fossils. But then with the aid of geologic maps funded in part by oil and mineral companies and the Theory of Evolution predicting when in geologic time such fossils were likely to be found, paleontologists were able to locate where in the world the proper marine sediments were exposed at the earth's surface.

    As each new discovery came to light, they each showed a range of features from inherited to derived. Each was consistent with what would be expected if the theory was correct. There was no evidence of a derived feature returning to a more primitive form. No derived feature occurring out of place in the geologic record.

    When Neil Shubin and his team sought a fossil with transitional features between fish and tetrapod, they knew that the earliest tetrapod fossils were found in fresh water sediments dated about 370 million years ago. It was reasonable to assume that a transitional fossil, if such existed, would most likely be found in similar sediments somewhat older, perhaps those dated at about 375 mya. Geologic maps indicated that there are few places in the world where such layers are exposed at the earth's surface, but one they deemed to have the greatest probability of success was on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. Not exactly ones ideal summer vacation spot.

    It took four expeditions in the very short Arctic summers, but they returned in 2004 with nine fossil specimens of a fish they named Tiktaalik. It was a fish, but a fish like no other. It had scales, gills and a swimming tail, but it also had lungs, a sturdy rib cage and muscular fins ideal for pushing through weedy shallow marshes. Those fins had the same arrangement of bones found in land based animals; One bone: humerus (forelimb), or femur (hind limb); Two bones: ulna and radius (forelimb) or tibia and fibula (hind limb), followed by metacarpals and phalanges. Even more interesting was the flattened head with eyes on top whose focus would have been at or above the water's surface, and a neck that allowed it to move its head without having to move its whole body. Here was a Devonian fish, capable of breathing air, watching at the water's surface, most likely for the insects and other arthropods that millions of years earlier had followed plants in colonizing the land.

    Recent research has revealed that eyes are very expensive tissue in terms of calorie consumption. That is why cave dwelling organisms are quite often blind. The limited food sources in those caves are the environmental pressure for the elimination of superfluous tissue. Experiments have shown that larger eyes only marginally improve underwater vision, but can increase air vision 100 fold. While we cannot for certain determine the eye size of extinct organisms, the size of the eye socket provides a pretty good approximation. Tiktaalik's eye sockets were quite large, indicating it was most likely searching for prey above the water's surface.

    This is a fish at the margin of land and water with many features that would have suited it on land. We cannot be certain that this fish or its progeny was the ancestor of all tetrapods, but if not, it was something very similar to it.

    As previously stated, the defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The Theory of Evolution pointed to where such a fossil would be found, and indeed it was.

    References:
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12052-009-0119-2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
    https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_04
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/newfound-fossil-is-transi/

  59. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – The Predictive Ability of the Theory – Part II The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The best test of any scientific theory is its usefulness as a predictive tool. In that respect, the Theory of Evolution performs admirably. The Theory of Evolution would predict that, IF birds evolved from dinosaurs, there should be a progression of derived traits in dinosaurs leading up to the origin of birds and that is exactly what we see.

    Perhaps the most complete transitional sequence in the fossil record is that from dinosaurs to birds. Birds didn’t just evolve from dinosaurs overnight, but the features of birds evolved one by one; first light bones and bipedal locomotion, then feathers, then a wishbone, then more complex feathers that look like quill-pen feathers, then wings. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Distribution_of_feathers_in_Dinosauria.jpg/800px-Distribution_of_feathers_in_Dinosauria.jpg
    Yes, wings evolved before flight. Just as there are birds today such as ostriches, emus, rheas, etc. that no longer fly, yet still use their wings for other purposes, there were winged theropod dinosaurs that may have used them to shelter young, for mating displays, or intimidating a predator or rival just as do birds of today.

    Long before wings, the forelimbs of theropods evolved to allow them to reach forward to grasp prey with their claws. Those are the Maniraptors. That movement is exactly the same as that required for flapping wings. Archaeopteryx still had those grasping claws as did other early birds. The young chicks of the Hoatzin still retain them. Claws are also evident on many bird species; Emus, Cassowarys and Kiwis still have them on vestigial wings. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/files/2014/05/ratite-manus-diversity-600-px-tiny-May-2014-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-Zoology.jpg

    Feathers and scales are formed from the same material, keratin. Birds retain scales on their legs; the Japanese Silkie chicken and pigeon varieties have been bred for fully feathered legs, indicating that only slight genetic modification is necessary. Take a look at an Emu; its legs are exactly what would be expected on a dinosaur. It too, has a useless nub of a wing with an equally useless claw. Vestigial remnants are always confusing to creationists

    There is a succession of feathered dinosaur fossils with increasingly bird like characteristics i.e. Xiaotingia, Sinosauropteryx prima, Caudipteryx, Sinovenator and others. Any of these fossils showing such a mix of traits can be considered transitional. The whole lineage of feathered dinosaurs could be considered transitional. The fossil record even shows the stages of feather evolution from simple spikes to down to contour feathers and ultimately to quilled flight feathers. Today we have lots of feathered dinosaur fossils; so many feathered theropod fossils in fact, that most paleontologists now think ALL theropods were probably feathered. Feathers could not have had an aerodynamic function until after bipinnate, closed pennaceous (flight) feathers (stage IV) had evolved.

    There were dinosaurs with wings that couldn't possibly fly, like 5 foot 40 pound Zhenyuanlong suni. There were a great many almost-birds and not-quite-birds, until about 150 million years ago, birds ultimately took flight. Birds or almost birds like Auronis, Archaeopteryx, Shenzhouraptor, Rahonavis, Yandangornis Jixiangornis, Sapeornis, Omnivoropteryx, Confuciusornis and Changchengornis retain some dinosaur-like features such as teeth and long bony tails. Evolution is NOT a linear process. Many of these species lived at the same time, displaying a matrix of characteristics. Evolution is a natural experiment. Some things work and get perpetuated, others may enjoy brief success before extinction.

    Any organism that can exploit a new environment or food source has an evolutionary advantage.When birds took to the air it vastly expanded their ability to move through and into new environments and rapid diversification followed.

    With so many transitional fossils displaying both bird-like and dinosaur-like features, there is an almost seamless transition from dinosaur to bird (as well as a great number of dead end evolutionary experiments) and it is often difficult to separate the two. Doing so requires statistical analysis of nearly 1000 inherited and derived characteristics.

    Lest you think of evolution as being a linear process, feathered non-avian dinosaurs continued to pursue differing evolutionary paths. About 25 million years after the origin of birds saw new evolutionary experiments in Microraptors, four winged dromeosaurs with pinnaceous flight feathers on both arms and legs that were capable of gliding and possibly powered flight as well. Their fossils indicate that for a while at least, they were quite successful. There are some 300 of these fossil 'experiments' in museum collections around the world.

    Coinciding with the demise of the dinosaurs, a great many lineages of birds (excuse me, Avian Dinosaurs) and mammals also perished. However, so many environmental niches were opened to mammals and birds that, again, rapid diversification followed in both groups.

    The Theory of Evolution predicted that, IF birds evolved from dinosaurs, there should be a progression of derived traits in dinosaurs leading up to the origin of birds and that is exactly what we see. It is not just that birds descended from theropod dinosaurs, they ARE theropod dinosaurs,… AND Amniotes AND Sarcopterygians AND Vertebrates AND Animals AND Eukaryotes, because ones ancestry is never lost.

    References:
    https://img00.deviantart.net/1d57/i/2015/113/9/1/theropod_phylogeny_by_ntamura-d5m5qnu.jpg

    Hairs, feathers and scales have a lot in common
    phys.org/news/2016-06-hairs-feathers-scales-lot-common.html

    Differences in feathers shed light on evolution of flight
    phys.org/news/2015-02-differences-feathers-evolution-flight.html

    Using modern genomics to turn alligator scales into birdlike feathers
    phys.org/news/2017-11-modern-genomics-alligator-scales-birdlike.html

    A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers
    The Science of Nature October 2017, 104:74
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-017-1496-y

    A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales
    science.sciencemag.org/content/345/6195/451

    New study suggests that any kind of dinosaur could have feathers, not just birds
    washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-study-suggests-that-any-kind-of-dinosaur-could-have-feathers-not-just-birds/2014/07/24/

    Thor Hanson s Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
    blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/thor-hanson-feathers-review/

    Feathers, Hair, Scales Evolved from One Ancestor
    seeker.com/feathers-hair-scales-evolved-from-one-ancestor-1880586713.html

    Fossils reveal how ancient birds got their beaks Science 04 May 2018 DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6388.477
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6388/477/tab-article-info

    When Birds Had Teeth – PBS Eons
    https://youtu.be/QGR5yOrChMA

    The Facts About Dinosaurs & Feathers PBS Eons
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOeFRg_1_Yg&t=393s

  60. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Diversification and Geographic Distribution of Species. As one travels from one isolated landmass, to another, one sees patterns that fit with evolutionary theory. The mammals populating the Australasian continental landmass that included New Guinea and Tasmania as the ancient continent called Sahul were quite different from those elsewhere in the world. Prior to ancient man's arrival, the mammals populating that landmass were virtually all Marsupials; kangaroos, wombats, koalas, quolls, thylacenes, et al; found nowhere else in the world. So too, were the egg laying Monotremes (Platypus and Echidnas) also found nowhere else in the world. Indeed, prior to the coming of humans that brought the dingo, the only placental mammals were those that could swim there (seal) and those that could fly there (bats). It is very obvious that mammalian evolution took a quite different turn in that isolated landmass since placental mammals diverged from their non-placental forebears in the Early Cretaceous or Late Jurassic. It remained isolated from all other eutherian (placental) mammal migrations.

    The almost universal absence of both native land mammals and amphibians on isolated islands argues against a creation event and those islands tell of a different evolutionary history. Alfred Russel Wallace, who had independently arrived at the same conclusion as Charles Darwin regarding natural selection being the engine of evolution, spent many years collecting biological specimens in the Amazon and later on the Indonesian archipelago and New Guinea. What he discovered was sometimes tremendous differences in the fauna of neighboring islands and he discovered a pattern to the distribution of species; those on the western side of a hypothetical dividing line were identical or similar to, mainland Asian species. Those on the eastern side of the divide were more similar to those of Australasia, Australia and New Guinea. This line, now known as the Wallace Line denotes an area of deep water channels that would have prevented migration when sea levels were lower as during Ice Ages, while other areas would have had dry land connections. The islands Bali and Lompok, separated by a mere 20 miles, have quite different fauna. Wallace's studies of species distribution and barriers to their migration has earned him the title "father of biogeography".

    Birds can fly from island to island, reptiles can swim or float on driftwood, plant seeds can be carried to different islands by wind, water or birds, but amphibians cannot survive in saltwater and most land mammals are limited by the distances they can swim. Those deep water channels restricted them to one side of that dividing line.

    New Zealand is another prime example. With no native mammals, except again for those able to fly (bats) or swim (seals) there, birds assumed the ecological roles filled by mammals elsewhere. In the absence of ground dwelling predators, many birds abandoned energy consuming flight, the Kakapo, Kiwi and Moa among them. The wing of the kiwi is a mere vestige, no bigger than your little finger, with an equally useless claw at its end. (There's that "half a wing" creationists talk about.) 😉

    Other isolated islands also had their own unique flora and fauna, as did geologically recent islands such as the Galapagos and the Hawaiian Archipelago. The 13 or so species of Galapagos Finches, sometimes called "Darwin's Finches", are all relatively drab in color, varying in beak morphology and physical size. Despite their physical and genetic differences, creationists typically respond with "They are all still finches"; perpetuating their straw man version of evolution as "one animal turning into another." What they ignore is that the Theory of Evolution says no such thing. Evolution is the non-random selection of random mutations; it can only produce changes in existing body parts. Genetic changes (Genotype) take place constantly, Physiological changes (Phenotype) take place incrementally over thousands of generations, and not due to single mutations but accumulations of diverse mutations.
    On the Hawaiian Islands, the indigenous population came up with imaginative names for the colorful bird population. On the Galapagos however, there were no indigenous peoples to name these birds and they were given very prosaic names by the scientists studying them. Giving them names like Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch and Large Ground Finch were descriptive but glossed over their genetic differences and gave credence to the creationist claim "They are still finches".
    https://biogilde.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/tentilhoes2.jpg
    https://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/Geospiza_beaks.jpg
    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/EX6N0C/adaptive-radiation-in-galapagos-finches-EX6N0C.jpg

    On the Hawaiian Islands, the science of comparative genomics shows that another species of finch, the Laysan Finch, underwent adaptive radiation into the at one time 55 species of Honey creepers of which only 18 survive. Unlike the Galapagos Finches that were similarly drab in coloration, the various Honeycreepers exhibit wide differences in plumage coloration and had widely varying bill shapes. Some of the nectar feeders have co-evolved with a specific plant species.
    https://slideplayer.com/slide/6644481/23/images/44/Adaptive+Radiation+in+honeycreepers.jpg
    https://images.slideplayer.com/24/7380275/slides/slide_15.jpg
    http://www.hokulea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/slide_47.jpg

    The same is true of many plants whose ancestral seeds found their way to these islands. The many species of the beautiful Hawaiian Silver Sword and their relatives, collectively known as the Hawaiian Silver Sword Alliance, are an example of adaptive radiation in plants over millions of years from an ancestral pacific coast tarweed.

    Mauritania had the Elephant Bird and the Dodo, neither one of which flew there, and they sure as hell didn't swim. Perhaps Noah dropped them off there while trying to find his way back to the Middle East, you think?

    Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, was separated from other landmasses for 88 million years. During that time plants and animals on the island evolved in isolation; 80% of which exist nowhere else in the world. In each of these areas, evolution took separate paths that refute the creationist concept of a creation event.

    Since birds can fly and establish new and distant populations, they can establish diverse populations where genetic drift alone could result in new species and be further shaped by environmental and ecological factors. The fossil record shows that once birds were able to take to the air and migrate, there was rapid diversification. Again, when the asteroid impact that wiped out all the non-avian dinosaurs, it also resulted in the extinction of most avian dinosaur (bird) species. The plethora of new environmental niches again allowed birds to diversify rapidly. That expansion and diversification had been duplicated whenever the opportunity has presented itself.

    Yet birds are not the only examples of rapid diversification. Cichlid fishes in Africa's Rift valley have exhibited the same diversification whenever new lakes were formed and founder populations made their way into them. The same has occurred with Anole lizards on Caribbean Islands.

    Charles Darwin made remarkable observations 150 years ago and since then biologists, geneticists, geologists, biochemists and other related fields have continued to do so and in every case further evidence is accumulated in support of what is now called the Modern Synthesis of Evolution.
    Explaining General Patterns in Species Abundance and Distributions https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/explaining-general-patterns-in-species-abundance-and-23162842

    Anole lizard evolution
    New Lizard Shows Evolution’s Predictability https://www.quantamagazine.org/anole-lizard-discovery-confirms-that-evolution-is-predictable-20160629/
    The Rapid-Fire Evolution of Green Anoles https://scitechdaily.com/rapid-fire-evolution-green-anoles/
    Cichlid fishes evolution
    Cichlid fish genome helps tell story of adaptive evolution, Stanford scientists say https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/fish-genome-fernald-092214.html
    The Extraordinary Evolution of Cichlid Fishes https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-extraordinary-evolution-of-cichlid-fishes/
    Video: Evolution, Speciation, and Adaptation of Cichlid Fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Gm62x6NWg

  61. EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION – Our Common Ancestry with chimps is based on more than physical or genetic similarity. although those are pieces of evidence. Just as you have in your genome a defective gene you inherited from your parents who inherited it from their ancestors.That gene, named GULO, is what allows most other animals to produce vitamin C which is essential for good health. That gene has a specific mutation which prevents it from completing the final stage of vitamin C production and it is now a pseudo gene. Humans who do not get vitamin C in their diet (from fresh fruits and vegetables) get Scurvy, a disease that decimated the crews of sailing ships.

    It turns out that chimps have that same defective gene, disabled by exactly the same mutation. That fact does not bother chimpanzees in the least, because their diet of mostly leaves and fruit provide all the vitamin C they need. Living chimps today of course got that defective gene from their parents who got it from their ancestors who happen to be our ancestors as well. Not only does every ape have that same pseudo gene with the same disabling mutation so in fact does every other primate in the sub order Haplorhini. That is Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, even Tarsiers, which are close to basal primates but not ancestral to the Strepsirrhini sub order (Lemurs, Lorises et al). That places the origin of that mutation to be about 63 million years ago and underscores their common ancestry.

    And that is just one of the many pseudo genes passed from generation to generation from ancestors to present day organisms that are evidence for common ancestry. But those are just part of the problem for creationists and "intelligent design" advocates. Evolution explains pseudo genes very well. Explaining why some "creative entity" would leave such things "on the cutting room floor" is quite another matter.

    And as if that were not enough, there is the matter of Endogenous Retroviruses (ERV's), the genetic 'fossils' of ancient retroviral infections. The thing about retroviruses is that when they enter a host organism's cell, they always insert DNA copies of their RNA into a random location of that host's genome. When that cell divides and replicates, the viral DNA will be replicated at that same location. If that cell is a germ cell, that DNA sequence will be replicated and passed through millions of generations and found in present day species. Again, that is also evidence of common ancestry. As always, the creationist/'intelligent design' people have no good explanation for them.

    Those ERV's make up 8% of the human genome which is an awful lot of DNA compared to just 2% that code for proteins. That expanse of DNA may be something of a 'Scrap Pile' of disabled viruses, but that doesn't mean that certain useful snippets can't be found and put to use. They certainly have. One such snippet is a segment of Human Endogenous Retrovirus W (HERV-W), named Synctin 1 which in humans aids the formation of the placenta.
    See: "Syncytin is a captive retroviral envelope protein involved in human placental morphogenesis" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10693809 Now, other placental mammals use other versions of synctins for placental development, but they are derived from different ERV's. The one utilized by the human genome is the same one used by the other apes and Old World monkeys, but not New World monkeys, which places common ancestry of those species (Catarrhini) more than 25 million years ago.
    https://academy.resonance.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/endogenous-retroviruses.jpg

    http://slideplayer.com/slide/5684143/18/images/63/endogenous+retroviruses.jpg

  62. @emanuel e Illiterate Indian Bahai hypocrite who hates evolution SO MUCH he calls its proponents 'stupid idiots', and 'chickens' who 'live in caves'. He also claims carbon dating is used to measure the age of the Earth. Yep, this POS is THE dregs of life on Earth.

  63. The marble slab that Jesus supposedly lay on was built in 345. The slab
    was was independently dated at two separate labs using optically
    stimulated luminescence. The results reveal the slab was mortared in
    place in the mid-fourth century under the orders of Emperor Constantine.
    Sorry, but the whole thing is just one more fake in a massive history
    of Catholic fakery.

  64. emanuel e
    Why do you keep posting your butthurt anti-science rants on here? Literally nobody here agrees with your creationist bilge, you angry, spiteful little pimple.

  65. I don't understand why it's either creation or evolution? Clearly evolution is true. But science is the study of the material world. It's like studying a painting and concluding that the painting painted itself because you can see how the lines were painted.

  66. Does every animal & bug & every other living creature have the same story for Adam & Eva?, why did all realigons skip this part?

  67. Today's Creation Moment
    An Orchid Outwits a Wasp
    Genesis 1:12

    “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

    Some orchids are remarkable. In a previous Creation Moment, we referred to the bucket orchid and its relationship to the orchid bee. There is a very strange orchid in Australia, called the hammer orchid, which seems to fool wasps.

    The thynnid wasp is, itself, quite strange. The females have no wings, but emerge from tiny burrows and climb up a plant to await the male wasp, which flies in, attracted by the female’s scent.

    The hammer orchid produces a flower which closely resembles the appearance of the female thynnid and even releases a scent similar to that of the female wasp. So, the male wasp flies in, but instead of a female wasp, he finds the flower awkwardly pivoted, and a little hammer knocks him into the anthers to collect pollen. If he is already coated in pollen, then some of this is rubbed off on to the flower’s stamen.

    This process cannot be described as co-evolution because the thynnid wasp gets no advantage. One article on the hammer orchid points out that the male wasp would never confuse the orchid for a female if both were side by side. Therefore, the article stated that natural selection has favored plants which flower just before the females emerge. But an incorrectly timed, pre-evolutionary orchid would not have survived to pass on the supposed evolved genes. Therefore, once again, we see that evolution is impossible as a means of explaining this remarkable design. p. f. t.

    Thank You, our Lord and Creator, that Your creation shows such wonderful evidence of Your hand. Your glory is seen through creation, and we are all without excuse. Amen.

  68. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all the religion of Jesus Christ.
    George Washington
    God Created All Living Matter

    Get Real in the 21st Century

  69. "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." – Isaac Asimov, Column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

  70. DNA mutates with each replication and natural selection causes some genetic traits to proliferate over others in subsequent generations to allow populations to branch out into new species. If it weren't for science you cretinists wouldn't be signalling your grotesque ignorance via the atheist internet — ancient religious mythology never led to any understanding of the natural world.
    -László Löwenstein

  71. Evolution fails as it involves the wrong type of change. One cannot turn a pauper into a billionaire by depleting his bank account.
    https://creation.com/the-evolution-trains-a-comin

  72. Today's Creation Moment
    Population and the Age of the Earth
    Genesis 6:8
    "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
    How long have people been living on Earth? The evolutionist says millions of years. Bible believing Christians generally say only about 6,000 years. But the answer to this question is amazingly simple.
    If we start with only two people, and they have four children who live to have their own children, the second generation now has twice as many people – four. Now, allowing for infant mortality and other human problems that keep population down, we still find that on the average it only takes about 130 years to double the Earth's population. This figure fits into known historical records. And if anything, it's a conservative number.
    If human history is 2 million years, as the evolutionists say, the Earth ought to have a lot more people than it does now. Alternatively, if we accept the 2 million years, then it must have taken 125,000 years to double the population in order to finish with today's world population. But that doesn't make any sense at all, especially since human historical records show that the doubling time is about 1,000 times less!
    But if we start with eight people and reckon that the population doubles every 130 years, we find that it takes only about 4,000 to 4,500 years to get a population of 1 billion. And that was the Earth's population in the year 1800 – just about 4,200 years after the Flood, through which only eight people were saved to repopulate the Earth!
    Prayer:
    Lord, even the growth of human population testifies to the truth of Your Word! Help me to remember that to You humanity is not a mass of people. Even though it numbers in the billions, each is an individual whom You are seeking with Your Word. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

  73. Using Creationist Logic: Let us calculate the probability of the first living cell forming.
    As I said before, let us ignore trolls and in time they will go away. However “emanuel e” poses this question, which is echoed by other creationists. He asks:

    ”My simple math question for you still waits for your answer: There are 22 unique characters. What is the probability to get an exact, specific sequence of 13 characters by randomly extracting (in one shot) these characters from those 22 characters?”

    Of course, what he is trying for is a crude analogy of the illustrating the "impossibility" of the forming of the first living once celled organism. The actual numbers are 10 prebiotic amino acids, while the human body has about 30 amino acids.

    Obviously, this troll and creationists try to squeeze out an answer that when applied to the probability of the first life form coming into existence will show an incredibly low number, very close to zero. But does it really? Just for fun, let me play their game by using their numbers, and teach creationist trolls a high school level lesson in probability. (Using their logic and numbers):

    To select the first specific character has a probability of 1/22, the second character has the probability of 1/21, the third, 1/20…… the thirteenth character has the probability of 1/10. To calculate the probability of selecting the correct 13 characters in the right sequence is calculated by multiplying the 13 individual probabilities together: 
    1/22 x 1/21 x 1/20……1/10 = 3.23 x10^-16
    we get 1 chance in 3.23 x 10^16 or 0.000000000000000323
    a very small number indeed. This is the one shot according to the resident troll.

    Now, let us ask if the origin of life (the formation of the first viable cells) had a SINGLE try in the BILLION years or so? To assume this would be totally absurd. There are approximately 5×10^30 bacteria on Earth; and the average life of bacteria is approximately 12 hours or two generations per day.

    In a billion years there would be trillions of trials going on at the same time, at least twice per day, but let us select ONLY ONCE per each day and ONLY 1 billion years of trials. The billion years has 365 x 10^9 days (periods) where in each period 10^9 trials are taking place. That means that in the billion years we have 365 x 10^18 trials to get the correct sequence.

    The probability of getting the sequence of one event WRONG = 1.00 – 3.23 x 10^-16

    The probability of getting all sequences WRONG in 1 billion years (10^18 trials) can be computed as  [1.00 -3.23 x 10^-16] for [10 ^18 trials]= virtually 0 or 0%

    If the probability of getting all trials WRONG = near zero, than the probability of GETTING ONE OR MORE TRIALS TO SUCCEED IS 1.00 – 0.00, OR VERY NEAR 100%

    Well this was fun creationists, you are hoisted on your own petard. Distorting and abusing mathematics will only get you ridicule and displays your ignorance in all its glory.

  74. Religions are 'Belief Systems', they are not 'Truth Systems'. Truth is established by EVIDENCE, not by what anyone says, feels, thinks or believes. A person's philosophical or religious views are totally irrelevant to science and every effort is made to eliminate personal views. Science can only go where evidence leads.

    'It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts'. Holmes was a fictional detective, but those words are true of science as it is indeed detective work. Science proceeds from evidence (data) to forming a Scientific Theory that explains those facts. If evidence is ever uncovered that is inconsistent with that explanation (theory), then the theory must be discarded or revised.

    When a religion starts with a premise that the biblical stories are correct and assert that any evidence to the contrary must be false, they (insensibly) twist facts to suit their theories (dogma). This is in effect poisoning the well of knowledge and is the very antithesis of science.

  75. The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. Neither creationism nor its recent reincarnation as "intelligent design" can do that. Science does not simply make rational explanations; there must be evidence for hypotheses. A rhetorical argument for the existence of something does not offer evidence — a hypothesis must be empirical (measured and supported with evidence) to be viable. Science never attempts to prove a hypothesis correct, but makes every effort to prove it WRONG. It behooves science to do so as quickly as possible so that time and other resources can be directed to more promising research. "I cannot stress often enough that what science is all about is not proving things to be true, but proving them to be false." – Lawrence Krauss. Even Albert Einstein said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong".

    Whenever creationism or "intelligent design" have attempted to make falsifiable or testable predictions, they have failed utterly.

  76. All religions have their origins in the mythology of ancient cultures when mankind lacked the tools to unlock natures secrets. Lacking rational explanations for events they didn't understand, supernatural explanations seemed plausible. Those who claimed to be intermediaries for those supernatural entities wielded enormous power, rivaling and sometimes exceeding that of rulers. Those rulers, recognizing the potential threat posed by religious leaders had but two options, eliminate them or enter into alliances with them. An uneasy alliance was often the safer of the two. The king or pharaoh gave up some of his sovereignty in return for legitimacy a priesthood could provide. The priesthood benefited from the military protection the ruler could provide. The two seats of power have operated in more or less harmony for thousands of years.
    Faith is a virtue, Doubt is made a thought crime, belief is then a fear of one own thoughts

  77. TRUTH is established by EVIDENCE,not by what anyone says. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, They are not evidence for anything.

  78. Metamorphosis of frog proves evolution & defies creationism ……..  By examining metamorphosis of frog, you see how a tiny little tadpole with tail slowly grows into a larger size adult frog with hind and front legs with the tail disappeared and its gills disappear. Its a dramatic change in size, shape and form. The tadpole lives in water evolves into a adult frog that can live on land. This change of tadpole (water living creature) into frog (land living creature) is an example proof of short-span evolution…………..  "designed ???"… When something is designed or created, the product designed is fixed in size, shape & form and there is no process of transformation or growth. Designed or created product does not self-replicate….. For example, a watch or aeroplane that were designed and created will not grow bigger in size or change in its designed form. Metamorphosis of frog illustrates trace of evidence of evolution which defies creationism or "design". of evolution which defies creationism or "design".

  79. Creationism is a multi-million dollar scam — a huge industry with big bucks to be had for little if any effort and requiring zero intellect, study or qualifications. Evolutionary science, on the other hand, is incredibly hard work –years of intensive study, followed by months, years or decades of hard labor in extreme conditions in inhospitable deserts or tundras, digging massive skeletons out of cliff faces…. having a deep understanding of extremely complex molecular data and advanced mathematical formulae, lecturing around the country or world and constantly writing new material for peer review. And having to deal with mentally simplistic giggling creationist dullards who think they know more than them…

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