Here is a link to a resource from Berkeley http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/lines_01
50% of Human DNA is shared with a banana. All life has DNA and has a common ancestor (as described by the phylogenetic tree). With humans and bananas, it was some 2 billion years ago in a single celled organism. For a long time, there were no sexes. There was only asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction evolved through a need to generate complex new genetic code. This process evolved over time as did everything else and different species went different ways on how they reproduce. The sexes of a species are genetically identical save the Y chromosome that is optionally engaged so there would be no need for each sex to evolve independent of one another.
Some animals are both: http://news.yahoo.com/ouch-hermaphrodite-sea-slug-stabs-mate-head-during-003239483.html
"The perpetrator of this bizarre act, Siphotperon sp. 1, is a small sea slug found off the northeast coast of Australia. A simultaneous hermaphrodite, it has both male and female reproductive organs that it uses simultaneously during sex."
> "It is stated in Genesis that GOD created plants and animals first. Man was last. Actually Women were last."
My interpretation of this is that GOD is Creation itself and plants and animals came to be within this system with man being certainly last to arrive. This strikes me as an attempt to explain how the stars, the earth, animals, and humans came to be with the limited evidence available at the time (God of the Gaps). I do not find this book to provide compelling evidence for the literal origin of Creation. If you have any resources regarding the book's origin, I would be interested to learn more.
> "Why would an omnipotent being use a process?"
Why would an omnipotent being need to do anything at all beyond setting existence into motion if it is perfectly feasible for evolution to have occurred through natural and (recently) artificial selection?
The big bang theory is outside of the scope of my argument. I do not suggest that science offers more certain answers for creation (origin of existence and reality and matter and energy) itself than "God did it".
However, evolution has enough evidence behind it to where any other explanation for the evidence would be counter intuitive. Dog breeding shows even today before our eyes how artificial selection has shaped man's best friend.
Now take that and have nature slowly select the dominating variation of each species over the course of a billion years. The earliest fossils of our homo sapien species were found to be only 200k years old. http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/the-oldest-homo-sapiens/
"Uncontested microfossils and chemical traces of life were present at least by 2.7 billion years ago." http://paleobiology.si.edu/.../htmlversion/archean3.html
Given these numbers, the evidence suggests that modern man has only been around for 0.00740740% (200K/2.7B) of the time that life has been evolving. That is more than enough time for random mutation and natural selection (including several mass extinctions where life almost didn't make it) to leave us where we are now.
"Less time separates us from Tyrannosaurus rex than separated T. rex from Stegosaurus." http://www.smithsonianmag.com/.../on-dinosaur-time-65556840/
It is perfectly reasonable for your omnipotent god to answer questions science cannot. However, science can and did answer the question of the evolution of life. We aren't 100% on how it started (maybe it was God?) But I find the evidence to be very compelling that life evolved over the course of 2.7 billion years as the theory describes.
My belief here is compelled entirely by evidence. If validated evidence were to surface tomorrow to invalidate evolution, I would abandon evolution as a viable theory.
Without science based on evidence, we could not have gone to the moon, or properly understood our physical place in the cosmos (geocentric vs heliocentric). This is why it is so important to me that evidence and a scientific approach be prioritized in all cases.
I went to see "Book of Mormon" last Friday and thought it was perfect.
What I took away from it was a clever satire on the horrible conditions in Uganda, and a nice message about the Mormon religion. After the play, I discussed the play with those that came to the show with me.
They expressed that they felt the happy ending was done out of necessity to avoid upsetting anyone as 'bashing' the entire time would not have been acceptable. I feel this opinion misses the powerful message of the play: The religion is based on broken logic, but the teachings are quite applicable and to everyone's benefit.
First to address the statement that they wouldn't just bash a religion without a happy ending. Matt and Trey have a long running show called "South Park". There was one episode where they addressed scientology and bashed it for being BS (and suggested that Tom Cruise was gay) pretty much the entire time. At the end, Stan (a main character in the show) openly stated in front of the followers that the religion was one big scam. This episode should disuade anyone from considering that they (Matt and Trey) would avoid purely bashing anyone (that didn't deserve it).
There is another episoide of South Park that further exemplifies what I took away from the play and that is actually when they deal with the Mormon religion. A new family comes to town and the new kid is very very polite to everyone. He is originally not welcome in the group and Stan is sent to beat him up. The kid is very polite and even invites him to dinner. The show goes on and Stan's family looks into being Mormon because of how happy this new family is. At the end, Stan can not handle the broken logic behind the origin of the Book of Mormon and denounces the religion, claiming the family is tricking people into their way of thinking. The new kid finds Stan the next day and explains that while the logic may be broken, its teachings are what matters and what keeps everyone happy.
The Book of Arnold exemplifies this point very well in that the story is not what matters, but the teachings (which in the case of Uganda, were very specific to their conditions and spoke to them in an effective way).