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Author Topic: Evolution in action?  (Read 37046 times)
Baltar
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2007, 03:23:44 am »

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/index.html

Check out this PBS series about the human brain. I highly recomend the 3D brain map and the episodes. (The mind illusions and explanations are pretty cool too). Seeing this, I'll bet even the most hardcore evolutionist amongst us will have at least a slight tinge of doubt to a naturalistic, chance chemical origin and evolution of this amazing organ.

Absolutely fascinating.

Way to go!  Argument from astonishment....no, we haven't seen you do that before....
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2007, 01:20:02 am »

A self-contained evolutionary drive is not working toward any goal at all; it's a natural force. Personifying "evolution" is like personifying "gravity" or "tectonic shift." Are these forces working towards any goal? I should think that nobody would suggest that they are (go ahead, prove me wrong).

Well call me crazy but when I read stuff like:

The mystery begins in the womb -- only four weeks into gestation the first brain cells, the neurons, are already forming at an astonishing rate: 250,000 every minute. Billions of neurons will forge links with billions of other neurons and eventually there will be trillions and trillions of connections between cells. Every cell is precisely in its place, every link between neurons carefully organized. Nothing is random, nothing arbitrary.


...It's difficult to ascribe a naturalistic force such as "gravity" or "tectonic drift" producing this.

So if I were to use Meep's tennis ball analogy when describing evolution, I'd have to say the balls rolled down the hill and organized themselves into, say, the shape of the Ifel Tower.

I notice a trend for natural evolutionists to describe evolution in vauge and simplistic, trivial  terms. Somthing that life itself is neither. Life from the simplest cell on up is specific and complex.

Also, I personally would never claim that evolution needs a god, just somthing more than chance and natural selection. People seem to forget that natural selection can only work AFTER the chance phisiological change, so one would think natural selection can't really drive anything in any particular direction.

Arne talked about a need in animals to evolve to an ever changing enviornment.. A need to survive. I don't disagree. But what could possibly establish such a need? Does this seem like a naturalistic force of nature such as wind, gravity etc.?
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2007, 01:36:48 am »

Evolution is definetly magical, and its amazing, but that doesn't mean it can't be random.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2007, 03:20:03 am »

People seem to forget that natural selection can only work AFTER the chance phisiological change, so one would think natural selection can't really drive anything in any particular direction.

Ok, let me give this another try.
(1) chance mutations go in all directions, some are for the worse, some for the better
(2) natural selection culls out the individuals that are worst suited for their environment, leaving the better ones
(3) the result of 1 and 2 is that given
      (a) a high enough reproduction rate (so that there are enough good changes),
      (b) the existence of changes for the better, and
      (c) enough time
      the average population will be better suited for their environment

Now why do you think natural selection can't really drive anything in any particular direction? What step of my reasoning is wrong? And I'm explicitely asking you to point out what is wrong in my reasoning. I don't want another example of how complex life really is, or how all other complex stuff has been designed. Just give me a straight answer to my question, please. What is wrong, and why is it wrong? If you're going to ignore any part of my post, ignore what is below, but just answer this one.


Yes, biological organisms are complicated. But this didn't happen overnight. If you think evolution hasn't been going on long enough, how many generations do you think would be needed to produce enough small improvements for such complicated total results?
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2007, 05:03:17 pm »

Quote

Ok, let me give this another try.
(1) chance mutations go in all directions, some are for the worse, some for the better
(2) natural selection culls out the individuals that are worst suited for their environment, leaving the better ones
(3) the result of 1 and 2 is that given
      (a) a high enough reproduction rate (so that there are enough good changes),
      (b) the existence of changes for the better, and
      (c) enough time
      the average population will be better suited for their environment

Now why do you think natural selection can't really drive anything in any particular direction? What step of my reasoning is wrong? And I'm explicitely asking you to point out what is wrong in my reasoning. I don't want another example of how complex life really is, or how all other complex stuff has been designed. Just give me a straight answer to my question, please. What is wrong, and why is it wrong? If you're going to ignore any part of my post, ignore what is below, but just answer this one.

Ok fair enough. There is nothing "wrong" with your reasoning but i have a few questions that I believe make your reasoning highly unlikely.

1) Where do these chance mutaions take place in the body, specific location(s) please.For argument's sake let's say you may have a sixth finger or a 20% larger brain than the average person. If these mutations do not take place in a meaningful place in the body where you can pass it on to your offspring, what good are they?

2) Natural selection can only select for good mutaions by way of weeding out bad (detrimental) mutations. Thats it.  So why do we not see (as Darwin asked) many neutral and flivorous body changes both living and in the fossil record? And especially internal systems such as the inner ear, the lungs, the liver, the heart, the brain etc. Can natural selection really fine tune organs to thier present state? And why do we not see half made organs, not quite evolved yet but on their way to becoming?

Natural Selection is fact an can account for much in the arena of survival of the fittest. Specifically the mechanical systems of the animal. Longer legs, sharper teeth, wider habitat etc. But what about the features that don't seem to offer a direct survival advantage? For example, is the individual really more "fit" if it has say a 5% better hearing than it's contemporaries? So maybe it can hear slightly better,see slightly better, taste better etc. but these are not  nessicarily a distinct survival advantage and one would think they'd be just as competitive with their close family members.

To me there are too may biological features that defy Natural Selection in this manner. Natural Selection can account for some biological systems but I don't believe it is the whole explanation for every biological system.

Quote
Yes, biological organisms are complicated. But this didn't happen overnight. If you think evolution hasn't been going on long enough, how many generations do you think would be needed to produce enough small improvements for such complicated total results?

The complexity argument isn't this simple. We find that life and it's biological systems are "specifically" complex. For example I read that the human ear can detect sound wave vibrations half the distance of a molecule. Not only that but has safety features that damp down sounds that are too loud. (That's why one rock concert, or sonic boom won't destroy our ears). Our inner ear also has an organ so that our brains can process balance and allow us to walk upright,

This doesn't seem like a chance assembelage of parts to me. Take a look for yourself and tell me if this looks like a series of accidents to you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear

So how does random mutation build this system or even a more simple version? And it has to be built BEFORE natural selection can "decide" if it's bad or good? I can't even begin to quantify how unlikely this is, let alone every biological system of every creature on earth being built in the same manner.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 05:11:55 pm by RTyp06 » Logged
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2007, 05:10:12 pm »

http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/creation.shtml
This exceptional page has many arguments in favor of creation and against evolution, plus bibliography.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2007, 05:49:48 pm »

http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/creation.shtml
This exceptional page has many arguments in favor of creation and against evolution, plus bibliography.

The problem with arguing from religion is that god trumps any argument and requires no scientific evidence. Although, some creation sites do raise some good scientific questions, they just end up going beyond the science into their mythology.

btw One of the more interesting God arguments I heard was from the Stephen Colbert show:

"Why is there anything at all?"
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2007, 06:21:53 pm »

Neutral evolution occurs quite often. There are actually numerous formulas that can be used to calculate how advantageus or not.

Quote
. If these mutations do not take place in a meaningful place in the body where you can pass it on to your offspring, what good are they?

I'm not really sure what you mean here. Not all mutations are useful, thats true, but that doesn't mean evolution is controlled.

And all biological systems can be explained by natural selection. Sensory organs developed further and further. The auditory organ isn't the same in every single organism.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2007, 07:27:50 pm »



Quote
. If these mutations do not take place in a meaningful place in the body where you can pass it on to your offspring, what good are they?

I'm not really sure what you mean here. Not all mutations are useful, thats true, but that doesn't mean evolution is controlled.

Think where the physical DNA mutations have to take place in order to be incorporated into the subsequent generations. Don't the mutations have to take place in the sperm or egg cell of breeding animals? If the genetic mutaion happened anywhere else in the body, it wouldn't be passed on.

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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2007, 07:55:59 pm »

"Why is there anything at all?"
Applying the weak anthropic principle, the explanation would be something like "If nothing existed, we wouldn't be here to ask the question, would we?". This, of course, explains little or nothing about how the universe is created. All it really says is that a lifeform will find itself in a universe where it can exist.

Let's start off with a problem we have more data on: "Why does this planet Earth, which is so nice to live on, exist?". Applying WAP, we get "We have to evolve on a planet where we can thrive." (or similarly for ID, assuming the designer actually cares about us staying alive). Now, looking at the universe we see, there would seem to be a lot of different planets, and as far as we understand planet formation, it seems a few of them (which is quite enough) would be suitable for our form of life.

Generalising this concept to universes, you could speculate that anything that can happen will, in a universe somewhere in an imperceptible multiverse (quantum physicists, especially many-worlds guys, like this one), or, at least, that lots of different universes exist. As far as theories go, this is actually a simplification, because we don't need to explain why everything in our universe is tuned just right for us; it's just that this particular universe was one where we popped up. However, some people object on methodological grounds to introducing uncountable amounts of universes as an explanation (and I see their point!). A variation on this idea allows a universe to have areas with varying physical constants or even different laws of physics; however, in this case you'd expect to see some evidence of variation (which some argue they have; this is really unclear at this stage), making this theory at least somewhat testable.

Choosing the ID approach, the answer was that someone designed it to suit us, but as usual, that raises the question of where the designer came from. It also doesn't really explain anything.

In conclusion, I'd like to say that this question is great for speculation but really hard to answer well.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2007, 02:42:24 pm »

Ah, apropos, has someone of you bothered to check well the arguments of the other side? I mean, evolutionists should try to prove creation and creationists should try to prove evolution. In that way, they would be more informed about the arguments of what they want to dismiss.

Quote from: RTyp06
Quote from: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 05:10:12 pm
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/creation.shtml
This exceptional page has many arguments in favor of creation and against evolution, plus bibliography.


The problem with arguing from religion is that god trumps any argument and requires no scientific evidence. Although, some creation sites do raise some good scientific questions, they just end up going beyond the science into their mythology.
Have you bothered to read all the page, especially starting from the table?
Do you even bother to consider creationism a valid hypothesis?
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2007, 04:07:38 pm »

In order for it to be a hypothesis, it must make falsifiable predictions. I don't see any predictions stemming from creationism that weren't post-facto.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2007, 05:16:41 pm »

"Predictions" here means the "act of foretelling on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason.". Such predictions can happen in the past too.
And creationism is falsifiable. If you prove evolution, it means that creationism is wrong.

Still, this doesn't answer my question.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #58 on: February 20, 2007, 06:52:01 pm »

Ah, apropos, has someone of you bothered to check well the arguments of the other side? I mean, evolutionists should try to prove creation and creationists should try to prove evolution. In that way, they would be more informed about the arguments of what they want to dismiss.

Quote from: RTyp06
Quote from: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 05:10:12 pm
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/creation.shtml
This exceptional page has many arguments in favor of creation and against evolution, plus bibliography.

The problem with arguing from religion is that god trumps any argument and requires no scientific evidence. Although, some creation sites do raise some good scientific questions, they just end up going beyond the science into their mythology.
Have you bothered to read all the page, especially starting from the table?
Do you even bother to consider creationism a valid hypothesis?
As RTyp06 can attest, the subject been done to death on this board already, ending in both parties having read much of the others' material and rejecting it (I actually spent quite a while trying to make sense of Dembski's mathematics and ended up showing the opposite). The site referenced here appears to be little different from the (by this time rather long) list of creationist sites I've seen so far, and even goes so far as to be Young Earth Creationist. As usual, it's full of logical fallacies. A few of the most glaring ones:
  • The reasoning about the age of the Universe and Earth is essentially irrelevant; even if the age of the Universe were overestimated by a few orders of magnitude (which is highly doubtful), it still isn't young enough to fit the YEC model. Non-astronomical dating methods are also ignored here.
  • The flooding explanation for the amount of fossils (using a YEC model) does not take into account that widespread redistribution of dirt and sediment would also uncover fossils near the surface. Furthermore, the evolutionary model is dismissed for no apparent reason here (flooding would also be an applicable mechanism in that case).
  • Polystrate tree fossils have apparently been observed long ago, as requested, rendering this objection irrelevant.
  • Several misconceptions about evolution appear multiple times, such as larger brain = more advanced (counterexample: whale against human), species always become more "advanced" during evolution (the opposite can occur if losing an "advance" favours survival of the species), closely related species can not co-exist (why not? In fact, evolution would suggest this to be very common, at least for a short period).
  • The "circular reasoning" argument against index fossils ignores the fact that other dating methods can be used to verify index fossil dates (which is even mentioned elsewhere in the article).
  • The complaint about lack of transitional forms fails to take into account the possibility that these transitional forms are quickly supplanted by the stabler forms better adapted to their environment (if they weren't, they wouldn't be transitional) and are therefore uncommon in fossils and at any given time (e.g. now).
  • Many dating mechanisms are rejected based on the cases where they've worked badly (ignoring the times they agree) and all explanations for the failure are rejected as excuses.
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Re: Evolution in action?
« Reply #59 on: February 20, 2007, 08:26:05 pm »

Dating methods fail only for very large time periods.
The age of the Universe, as calculated by astronomical means: a) The light from the furthest space bodies would have had to travel billions of years to reach us - Not if God created that light already spread in the Universe, as thought the billions of years would have passed already.
b) Furthest White Dwarves' age - again, they could be created in different stages of their life, meaning that their calculated age is irrelevant.
etc. (So, basically, as RTyp06 said, God trumps every argument)
We can say that, indeed, creation vs evolution debates are unsolvable and you can only choose your champion based on your beliefs, not scientifical evidence.

I can bookmark the following site in Arne's style:
http://www.raptureready.com/rr-ec-debate.html
(the introduction especially)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 08:28:25 pm by Valaggar » Logged
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