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Everything on this page is worded in my own words. If I use someone elses words, I will use citations, quotes, whatever, all that good stuff.
The stuff I put on this page is of my interest. I like writing about these things in hopes of learning something new mysef and/or spreading the knowledge to others and openning minds to other opinions.
My apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors. Sometimes I tend not to proofread these:-/

-Understanding Evolution- *Second Revision*
            Evolution. Many people seem to think it is quite ridiculous. This is understandable, if you don't understand it, that is. Many teachers teach evolution in quite an ignorant and unknowledgable way, especially if they do not "believe" in evolution themselves. It's not a matter of believing evolution, but understanding it.
       Many skeptics of evolution ask questions like, "If things evolve to their needs, how to their bodies know they need to evolve for that? It's impossible and ridiculous..." and, "Everything apparently evolved so much. Why haven't alligators and some other things changed?" and, "Evolution is not proven, so how can you idiots say it's for real?" These are the questions of the ignorant. I will answer these questions and more. Read on...
       Just to get something in the clear, speciation has not yet been proven, but natural selection has been. Not only in labs, but in nature, we have witnessed it with out own eyes, plenty of times. I will explain some examples later on.
       First with the basics. Since genetic mutation accounts for almost all of natural selection, that is what I will be talking about. Evolution is based on the concept of genetic mutation. Genetic mutation happens all the time. In fact, it happens most of the time. You are mostly likely mutated in some form or fashion, whether you know it or not. I am not talking about being mutated by radiation or other man-made things, I am talking about simply the way of nature. A DNA strand may have missing parts, added parts, or just be mixed around a little. It usually makes no significant difference, but all those things are still genetice mutations. They may be noticeable, or they may not be. This is where evolution comes in.
       Animals do not change to survive, they survive because they change. How? Genetic mutation, of course. Most of the time, genetic mutations are not helpful to an organism, therefore the organism usually dies before it can reproduce, not passing on the gene/s. Sometimes though, genetic mutations are helpful to that organism. This enables the organism to reproduce and pass on this gene. Soon, this gene is passed on throughout generations, so now many of the organisms have this mutation. This is called natural selection. The ones without the mutations die off more quickly because they do not have the advantage as does the "mutated" organisms. After years and years, practically all of that species will have that mutation, which would not really be considered a mutation anymore. If so, then we humans would be just a load of mutated genes, along with almost every other creature on this earth... which is basically true. Anyway as this continues, things begin to change more and more, until they are no longer the same species as the original, which is called speciation.
       Many times, you may find a species of animal which seemed to evolve from an original, which still exists. Why would the original and the greatly evolved species both be living, though? Why didn't they all evolve like that? Well, I believe it is called geographical isolation. This happens when a species gets broken apart be geographical means, leaving that certain species to be living in separate environments, therefore evolving seperately and going into different evolutionary directions.
       The organisms adapt to their new environment by genetic mutation. As time passes, the species that has been separated now have become totally different groups of creatures, so much that they would not be able to mate, therefore concluding them to be two different species. Of course, one of the two new species could have stayed quite similar to how they once were, while the other just shoots off like a rocket, completely changing. And also of course, there are many different ways it could turn out.
       I'll give an example of what geographical isolation has done. Humans and apes. Here is a huge and common mistake. Many people think that humans evolved from apes. THAT IS NOT TRUE. We and apes just have a common ancestor that goes way, way back. All primates evolved from a common ancestor years and years ago. Geographic isolation has created many species of primates.
       Now I shall inform you even more on natural selection using several examples. I'll also explain why some creatures like alligators and crocodiles don't seem to have changed much.
       I'll start with something that is very much proven. Microorganisms. As you know, microorganisms multiply rapidly, up to a million times faster than humans reproduce, so it is easy to see the natural selection occuring in them. One common fact is that antibiotics do not always work. They work at first, but the bacteria or what not you are trying to kill evolve a resistance to the drug. So in actuality we are making harmful bacteria even stronger and more harmful. There is an importance for knowing this, though. Scientists are now coming up with ways to evolve harmful microorganisms to become more mild. I'm not informed on what exactly they are doing to succeed in this, but if you care enough you could look it up.
       Many Russian prisons have been having a problem with the disease tuberculosis. The prisoners receice treatment and they usually appear to do better... but when they are released, it could be a different story. One man was released after having tuberculosis. After a while the disease came back, so he recieved the same treatment that he had gotten before, but this time it did nothing. This is because the microbes in his body evolved a resistance to the previous treatment he had gotten, so he had to get a different, stronger treatment.
      One of the most poisonous creatures on this planet is a certain species of newt. The only other animal on this planet resistant to its toxins is a snake that lives in the same environment as the newt. Just like certain microorganisms, this snake has evolved a resistance to the newt toxins.
       But why has a simple newt devoloped such a strong toxin in the first place? A selective pressure was that same snake, which ate the newts. The newts developed a very strong toxin which helped to rid of the snake... but the prey didn't just evolve to the preditor, the preditor evolved to the prey as well, as I already explained. Interesting how species interact with eachother during the process of evolution and effect how each evolves.
       Giraffes. You may have heard that they used to have short necks, but they grew them long so they could reach the vegetaion on trees. Sound ridiculous? Listen to this. Some people think it is complete lunacy that giraffes used to have short necks. You've got to take a closer look and understand how exactly this happened. Here is the explanation of how they evolved with longer necks.
       At one time, giraffes had short necks. Of course, their necks varied. Some might have had 5-inch necks, while others had 6 or 7-inch necks. Just like some humans are taller than others or why some cats have longer claws than others. Well, the giraffes with the slightly longer necks had an advantage of the shorter-necked ones; they could get more food from the trees. The giraffes with the shorter necks were unable to feed themselves as well and over time slowely began dying off, leaving their slightly longer-necked friends behind. Those giraffes reproduced, passing on their genes. Soon, the neck lengths varies from 7 inches to 9 and 10 inches, simply by genetic mutation, as I've discussed. This goes on until we have the giraffes that exist today. Makes perfect sense. The survival of the fittest.
       In fact, I have a real-life proven example of this simple evolution, or natural selection. Elephants. Most elephants have tusks, correct? Of course. Over the past few hundred years or so, many elephants have been spotted without tusks. Why? Here's why: Hunters. Hunters almost always hunt elephants for their tusks. Every long once in a while, a major but normal genetic mutation would occur, leaving an elephant without its tusks. The hunters did not want elephants without tusks, obviously, so they were left. These elephants were able to mate, passing on their tuskless gene. Soon, many elephants had no tusks. They did not lose them to survive, they survived because they lost them, completely by accident. Make sense? Also keep in mind that female African elephants naturally do not have tusks, so I am talking about the male African elephants and all of Asian elephants, since both sexes of Asian elephants do have tusks.
       Another example of presently occuring natural selection is in us, humans. We have showed small changes only within the past few generations. One thing is the decreasing size of appendixes and spleens. What they do is filter out toxins and such, which was once very useful to the more primitive human beings. We don't need them as much as we used to, as the human race in general lives in a much cleaner lifestyle. Just like the giraffe necks, every humans organs vary slightly in size. Humans with larger appendixes and spleens tend to have more medical problems, having to have these organs removed, therefore leaving the humans with the smaller organs healthier and able to reproduce more. This mutation of smaller organs just happens to help us out. They didn't become smaller to help us survive, we survive because they happened to become that way.
       Back to another question. Why have alligators and crocodiles stayed the same while all these other animals changed so drastically? First off, they didn't stay the same. Ancient alligators and crocodiles used to be much longer than the ones today. Quite a change, although the ones today they are still like miniature ancient alligators and crocodiles. The reason they stayed so similar is because they had no selective pressures to change. They were already adapted to their environment quite well. Another significant detail is that alligators and crocodiles are a MUCH older species than dinosaurs, so they did much their major evolving much further in the past.
       I'd like to conclude by saying to all you skeptics out there, I hope you've read this and learned something from it. Evolution is not ridiculous, it is very much possible. Natural selection is a proven concept, which some people still refuse to believe, whether it be religious beliefs or whatever else. I wrote this essay because so many people are very ignorant on the concept of evolution and natural selection. Not only people who do not "believe" in it, but people that do as well. Hopefully your little heads are filled with a lot more knowledge than when you first started reading this, and if so, then I am a happy girl.
This is mostly opinionated. Even so, I hope to offer some insight and new ideas about religion that many people may not have ever thought of. Hopefully, I can inspire many close-minded fundamentalists to become more open-minded.
       You might have heard me say, "I cannot prove God does not exist, just as I cannot prove that tiny purple elephants do not exist. Why believe?" Many peoples responses could be, "But tiny purple elephants have no history behind them... millions of people do not believe in them. On the other hand, millions of people DO believe in God, and apparently there is a great and long history behind it all." This is true, so I've come up with another statement to replace my elephant one. "I cannot prove God does not exist, just as I cannot prove that Zeus and Athena do not exist." 
       At one time, millions of people did believe in the Greek gods. But... why not anymore? They've apperently realized that the Gods were made up and mythical. Even so, there are still people today who believe in these Gods, and believe them to be real. Not many, but they are out there. Sound familiar?
       Perhaps Christianity is just like this. Right now millions have faith in it... but perhaps in a few hundred or thousand years from now, it will all be regarded as myth. Adam and Eve, the Virgin Mary, Jesus rising from the dead.
       Imagin if most humans were to parish... and a new society had to begin from the few humans who were left. Imagin that they had no religion. After a while, they would start to think of things like, "Hmm... how did we get here? How did everything come about? How should we live our lives?" And guess what? They would begin answering those questions. How? Take a guess. The only way, to make things up. Perhaps someone had a dream of how everything was created... so he wrote it down. Other people started making things up and having dreams, too. Soon, they all made books.
       What I am trying to say is this: that is probably how it happened. We needed explanations on how we came to be... so they were provided. We had no science back then, people were ignorant. We needed ideas on how to live our lives.. what could be good and what could be bad. It was all provided to us. By who, though? People, who else?
       Different cultures came up with their own unique ideas. Some have faded due to common sense and modern knowledge or science, possibly proving it all wrong, and some have hung on, due to being raised in it, and having nothing else to believe but what they were taught.
       Fundamentalists seem to think that somehow, they just happened to be born in the one and only correct religion. There are hundreds of religions out there, what are the odds? They don't even want to know about other religions and what they are all about... they don't care. This is extreme close-mindedness. It makes me sad.
       Where I live, Georgia, you can count on there being hundreds of fundamentalist Christians. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure most people around here are. They refuse to listen to other beliefs and think that they know the truth... only because it was told to them. Complete brainwashing.
       I don't mind Christians, not at all. But I do mind fundamentalists, of ANY kind, of ANY religion. Atheists included. An exception would be Agnostics. No, not because I am one, but because most Agnostics are not fundamentalists. In fact, that is the definition on an Agnostic. Knowing that there is not enough evidence for either side, and there is no way to know whether or not there is a God. Agnostics could lean in any direction. Some think there might be a God, some don't. But they do not insist that they know whether there is one or not. They do not insist on having infinite knowledge, like many ignorant people of today's society do.
       A world without religion. How would that be? Perhaps a lot less violence. Religion is one of the leading causes of wars. But what would be a downfall in no religion? Well, people would have no easy way out anymore... they wouldn't just be able to say, "Oh, okay, this is why we are here. Oh, okay, I should live like this." They would not have anyone to pray to anymore... they would be lonely. At least thinking someone is listening to you makes you feel better.
       Anyway, if you are a fundie, listen up. Realize that you cannot know everything. Realize that you do not have infinite knowledge, and don't be so gullible as to think that you do. Open your mind to other religions out there. You do not have to follow them, just listen to them, consider them. Accept them. Accept Atheists, accept Muslims, accept Pagans, accept Wiccans. There is nothing wrong with what people believe, with some exceptions, of course. Then again, something can only be evil to whoever thinks it is.
       Open your mind. Don't be caught up in the ignorance, even if ignorance is bliss. Think.
-Moral Absolutes; Nonexistent-
       Some people might argue that without religion, morals would not exist. God is who/what determines what is right and wrong. This is not true. Humans create what is right and wrong. Society creates what is right and wrong for the benefit of itself, society, not because some existant or non-existant god tells us too.
       Imagin this scenerio: Hitler wins WWII. He's got the entire world following him. Currently, we all think Hitler was wrong and horrible for what he did. If he did win, though, then much of society would agree with him and make what he did the RIGHT thing, and all his other actions would be right. He'd be an honorable leader.
       As you can see, right and wrong is what society makes it and has made it for thousands of years. Morals are a man-made concept, created for our own good and are always changing. There are small societies in this world that have never heard of such a concept as God, but they still have morals. There are no moral absolutes, the only reason they are there is because someone recognizes them to be here.
       Nothing is good and nothing is bad... when you are talking about absolutes. Isn't killing a person bad, though? In many societies and to the masses, yes. Each individual might think differently. In other words, good is what is on your side and your beliefs and bad is anything against your beliefs. That is why there are no moral absolutes, and morals only exist because someone is here to recognize their existence.
       Short essay, yes, but to the point. I just want to inform you all that man is intelligent enough to create his own morals. Moral absolutes don't exist, but morals do exist only within the individual.
       Many people who do not know the facts make up their minds that is is wrong to have abortions. They assume it's the murder of a human being, which it is not. Read on.
       For those of you who think abortion is wrong because it's the prevention of a human life, then that is a very poor reason for the most part. If that is your only reason, then you are also against using condoms, birth control pills, other forms of birth control, and the menstrual cycle, yes, the menstrual cycle. In a woman's body before her period, an egg is singled out and prepared to be fertilized. It sits and waits for sperm, but if the sperm never come, then the egg must be flushed out of the body. You just prevented a human life from ever existing by having your menstrual cycle. Birth control is a little less intense, as there is no human egg involved, but the idea still stands. It is all the prevention of a potential human life.
       Some people assume that abortion means killing an actual human baby. Absolutely not so. An abortion can only be performed for a short limited time, when the potential human is in the zygote or fetus stage. It is not a human or a person.
       A zygote is not a human. A potential human, yes, but not an actual human being. A human zygote is exactly the same as a single-celled ameba, the only difference being the ameba is not a potential human. They both convert nutrients and oxygen into energy which causes cells to divide and multiply, and they both contain a a full set of DNA.
       Just because something has full human DNA does not make it a human. Pull out a strand of your hair. The follicle contains your full human DNA, as does every cell in your body. It is no different then a human zygote. The only difference being that your follicle is not a potential human, like the ameba example.
       Why is a fetus is not a person? The one thing that makes you a person is consciousness. Self-awareness. A fetus does not have this, therefore is not a person. A three-month-old also does not have this consciousness, so does that mean that it is all right to kill a three-month-old baby? What is the difference between a zygote and an independent human baby? I just said it, independence. A zygote is a potential person, but after birth it becomes an independent potential person, no longer receiving its nutrients through an umbilical cord from the mother. Since we do not know the exact time a child has consciousness, independence is the perfect dividing line for determining when the child is a human being and is given full human rights.
       Reading all that, I'm certain there are still people out there thinking it's completely immoral and even evil to terminate a human zygote or fetus. Laws are made in the best interest of the people. If we put personal morals before societal laws, it would be chaotic. Not only that, but a moral only exists within the beholder. Every person has different morals, none of which are right or wrong. There are no moral absolutes.
       Abortion is legal for a reason. If women had no control over their bodies, that could ruin their lives. It's not fair for a woman to have to go through the pain and suffering of being raped, and then find out she has to give birth to the rapist's child, especially if she is around the age of 14, even younger. If it became illegal to perform abortions, girls like this would have to go through heart-wrenching pain not only physically, of course, but mentally. They would have to go through their teen years as a mother, cope with being judged, drop out of school, and completely turn their lives around when all that could have been done was terminate their little zygote. Is it worth ruining the life of a completely innocent person just by saving a zygote?
       Sure, a select few could take advantage of being able to have abortions, but that is something that you have to deal with. People take advantage of welfare, even though many people truly and honestly need it to survive. It would be the equivalent to one student in school cheating on a test and getting caught, receiving a zero, therefore causing every other student in school to also receive a zero grade. It isn't fair to punish all these innocent people for something bad a few other people did, and not worth the effort.
       The bottom line is NO, a zygote or fetus is not a human being. NO, abortion is not the murder of a human being. Abortion is just the prevention of a human life, which goes on everyday in nature with menstrual cycles, as with humans using birth control. And just like the use of birth control, abortion is used for the best possible reasons. For the best interest of society, people should be able to choose what they can do to their own bodies and live better lives.