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Author Topic:   Is ID properly pursued?
Marcosll
Junior Member (Idle past 3222 days)
Posts: 25
From: Estepona, Spain
Joined: 02-14-2008


Message 46 of 94 (468393)
05-29-2008 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by onifre
05-26-2008 1:05 PM


Re: ID
"There is, its called theology."

I am not talking about theology. I am talking about metaphysics.

"And there are equally as many studies that show the opposite, that what is happening in the human mind is just a neurological process...nothing meta about it."

There are studies that show taking milk is bad for you too. What's your point?

Something tells me you're not exactly an expert in spirituality.

"Ok we'll wait to see your results then..."

I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything. Good luck on your results though.


Estepona Apartments - Apartments for sale and rent in Estepona, Spain
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by onifre, posted 05-26-2008 1:05 PM onifre has responded

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Larni
Member
Posts: 3942
From: UK
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 47 of 94 (468396)
05-29-2008 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Marcosll
05-26-2008 7:37 AM


Re: ID
Marcosll writes:

Contrary to popular belief (because it's taboo in science) there are many scientific (used in the strict sense of the word) studies that show there is something metaphysical in the human mind occurs and can affect the world around.

Where are these studies, I would be fascinated to read them.

Er...but you just said there are many such studies.


This message is a reply to:
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onifre
Member (Idle past 394 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 48 of 94 (468509)
05-29-2008 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Marcosll
05-29-2008 8:24 AM


Re: ID
I am talking about metaphysics.

TomatO, tomAto...Metaphysics and theology is the same bullshit, just one is secular. If your from Spain then in your language "metaphysics y theology es la misama mierda!".

Something tells me you're not exactly an expert in spirituality.

Do you know of any spiritual experts? If they ask for money RUN!!!


All great truths begin as blasphemies
This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 49 of 94 (468510)
05-29-2008 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Marcosll
05-29-2008 8:24 AM


Re: ID
Something tells me you're not exactly an expert in spirituality.

:laugh:
Expert? Sprituality? What qulifications or experience does one need to call themselves an "expert in sprituality"?

Are you an expert in spirituality?
:laugh:
Oh please..... the mind boggles at the ludicrousness of some people!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Marcosll, posted 05-29-2008 8:24 AM Marcosll has not yet responded

  
Marcosll
Junior Member (Idle past 3222 days)
Posts: 25
From: Estepona, Spain
Joined: 02-14-2008


Message 50 of 94 (468565)
05-30-2008 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Larni
05-29-2008 8:32 AM


Re: ID
www.boundaryinstitute.org/articles/rngma.pdf

Above link broken into 3 lines since it's too long for this forum. Link fixed. --Admin

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

P.S. I usually don't just post links but since the above are being rather rude it's justified as I don't like conversing with rude people.

Edited by Marcosll, : Link problems

Edited by Admin, : Fix link.


Estepona Apartments - Apartments for sale and rent in Estepona, Spain
This message is a reply to:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3942
From: UK
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 51 of 94 (468572)
05-30-2008 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Marcosll
05-30-2008 10:09 AM


Re: ID
I'm sorry, mate but I can't get the links to work.

There is a way to shorten links in the db codes:

A shortened link for you, mate

Just click peek on this page to see how.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Marcosll, posted 05-30-2008 10:09 AM Marcosll has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18664
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 52 of 94 (468634)
05-30-2008 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Marcosll
05-30-2008 10:09 AM


Re: ID
Hello again Macosll,

From your link

quote:
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science.

In other words, by definition, NOT science.

This does not mean that such ideas are useless or silly, just that they can not be investigated by a scientific approach.

Not everything can. That's life.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18664
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 53 of 94 (515428)
07-17-2009 8:43 PM


traderdrew, traderdrew, paging traderdrew ...
In Message 24 on the "What exactly is ID?" thread traderdrew says:

If you wish to understand Intelligent Design, I would suggest starting with getting rid of any sterotypes you have of what a creationist is because if we were creationists, then we should call ourselves that. I think this sentence will elict laughs from my Darwinist friends on this forum.

You see creationists take issues and work from science and they attempt to shoehorn those issues into a biblical framework. Proponents of ID should not attempt to do this. (At least not all of them do this.) They should look at the natural world from various scientific fields and form hypotheses from them.

From wikipedia:

Intelligent design is the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1][2]

I completely agree with the first part of this definition but what comes after the comma, I do not completely agree with. I think they might be confusing 'natural selection' with 'common descent'. From my point of view, natural selection can be described as a part of chaos. Natural selection is an undirected process but order can be hidden within chaos. Chaos theory is an emerging branch of science. I believe in natural selection and I also believe in common descent as formed by a process I call assemblism.

So where do proponents of ID draw their beliefs from? Very briefly:

1. Molecular machinery inside of the cell. An example would be irreducibly complex systems.

2. Patterns of appearance of organisms in the fossil record.

3. The fine-tuned physics of the universe. Robin Collins is an expert in this.

4. The fine-tuning of our terrestrial environment and our solar system along with the specific "galactic habitable zone" in our galaxy which is also the right type of galaxy that supports life. If any of you doubt me on this, read the book "Rare Earth" which is divorced from any sort of theological framework. The science we have now is different from the era of Carl Sagan.

5. The complex specified information within DNA providing specific functions that helps build organisms. Abiogenesis models typically do not attempt to explain the origin of this information. They also don't account for other crucial details.

I will be investigating a new area next week I could list as a possible #6. I have a strong lead came from a one on one interview I had personally with a biologist who was a secular Darwinist. I never heard of it being advanced by any proponent of ID so I find the propects exciting.

What is important for you to understand is that most of these things were relatively or virtually unknown 20 years ago!!! The trend for ID is up and the gaps in secular evolution are growing. I think we will win.

Don't take what we all say at face value.

"Beware of one one hand clapping."

What is ID to me?

Not only is it a learning process, it is a way of perception. It is a way of seeing through the irrational debate of secular evolutionists with critical analysis. I might make a good philosopher of science.

By the way, if you are impressed with the eruditeness of my post, don't let me fool you. I am an amateur and I have no official crucial scientific training. However, I have a brain and I have a background in other things formed by self-education through some experiences I have had in life. I think this gives me a unique perspective.

If you wish to understand Intelligent Design, I would suggest starting with getting rid of any sterotypes ...
You see creationists take issues and work from science and they attempt to shoehorn those issues into a biblical framework.

The reason for this confusion is creationists that promote ID. There would be no need to confuse them if creationists didn't use ID. Perhaps this is more of their attempt to make reality fit their belief (which we know is a false process).

Another problem is the attacks on evolution by ID when rationally this could be an argument for the fine tuning of life. Once you have discarded creationism, then there is no reason to insist on the creation of kinds and specific life forms, and you are free to consider that the natural laws were established so that (a) life would develop in many places and (b) that life would naturally evolve into complex thinking organisms.

From my point of view, natural selection can be described as a part of chaos. Natural selection is an undirected process but order can be hidden within chaos. Chaos theory is an emerging branch of science.

Chaos could well have been used to make as diverse a universe as possible so that the opportunities for different forms of life in different places could be maximized.

Proponents of ID should not attempt to do this. (At least not all of them do this.) They should look at the natural world from various scientific fields and form hypotheses from them.

Agreed. This is the basis for my thread here - the proper pursuit of Intelligent Design (see Message 1)

I believe in natural selection and I also believe in common descent as formed by a process I call assemblism.

I'm interested in how you define "assemblism" and how you differentiate it from evolution.

I might make a good philosopher of science.

Which is where I conclude that ID could be taught and studied.

... I would suggest starting with getting rid of any sterotypes you have ...
It is a way of seeing through the irrational debate of secular evolutionists with critical analysis.

It would appear that evolutionists aren't the only ones that need to lose their reliance on stereotyped people. At least you state secular rather than atheist, so you get a positive mark for that, unfortunately it is negated by your implication that all evolutionists are irrational.

I'm a Deist, and I consider ID to be an inherently poor version of deism, because it relies too much on a priori concepts, and logical fallacies (such as the argument from incredulity), and it is not self-policing in discarding falsified concepts.

An example would be irreducibly complex systems.

Can you explain what makes IC applicable in your mind?

Consider this example: the Bridge of Ross in Ireland


Click to enlarge

You may not be able to see this clearly, but this is a naturally formed keystone arch, where the rock has fractured into many small blocks, and they are held in place by the pressure of gravity, there is no cement. You cannot remove a block without the arch collapsing, you cannot build the arch with blocks assembled one at a time with just the structure that is here.

This is an IC system. It formed naturally by sedimentary layers being deposited, lithified into rock, uplifted into an arch and subsequently fractured into small blocks and cleared out by the erosion of the original supporting structure. There is no magic here.

Consider this example: a flying bat


Click to enlarge

WIthout bones, the wing fails. WIthout a flap of skin, the wing fails. Without muscles to hold the wing out, the wing fails.

Yet we see organisms that evolve skin, then muscles, then limbs, and we see intermediate forms all along the way, right up to several gliding forms where the skin is adapted to become the flight membrane:


Click to enlarge

There is no magic here.

What convinces you that IC is anything but a trumped up god-of-the-gaps explanation?

4. The fine-tuning of our terrestrial environment and our solar system along with the specific "galactic habitable zone" in our galaxy which is also the right type of galaxy that supports life. If any of you doubt me on this, read the book "Rare Earth" which is divorced from any sort of theological framework. The science we have now is different from the era of Carl Sagan.

Tell me, do you think, now that we have theorized a universe created with maximum diversity via chaos, that life would develop on a planet that was not fit for life? Or would not the seeds of life that we can see liberally spread throughout the universe (prebiotic chemicals in space that can form amino acids), necessarily find fruit on a planet where life can develop? Can you explain how this differs from the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy?

Is the environment "finely tuned" for life as we know it, or has life become "finely tuned" to the environment where it happens to live?

That's probably enough for now - let's focus on these issues before moving on to the rest or any new ones:

1. What is "assemblism"?

2. What is special about IC systems?

3. What is really meant by "fine tuning" of systems?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by traderdrew, posted 07-18-2009 10:42 AM RAZD has responded

  
traderdrew
Member (Idle past 2597 days)
Posts: 379
From: Palm Beach, Florida
Joined: 04-27-2009


Message 54 of 94 (515486)
07-18-2009 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by RAZD
07-17-2009 8:43 PM


Re: traderdrew, traderdrew, paging traderdrew ...
One thread at a time please. If you really want something from me here, then let me give you what came off the top of my mind.

How does the squirrel or the glider (a marsupial?) develop the very first stages of flight before they actually fly? What spurs the initial stages of this development? I'm sure neo-Darwinism has an answer for it. I think hopping from branch to branch would account for it. But what types of random mutaions would account commence the thin membranes to form? I would think Lamarckism would be a more plausible explanation.

Edited by traderdrew, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18664
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 55 of 94 (515531)
07-18-2009 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by traderdrew
07-18-2009 10:42 AM


Re: traderdrew, traderdrew, paging traderdrew ...
Hi traderdrew,

One thread at a time please. If you really want something from me here, then let me give you what came off the top of my mind.

I thought you would appreciate my take on ID, what it is, and what it could\should be.

How does the squirrel or the glider (a marsupial?) develop the very first stages of flight before they actually fly? What spurs the initial stages of this development? I'm sure neo-Darwinism has an answer for it. I think hopping from branch to branch would account for it. But what types of random mutaions would account commence the thin membranes to form?

The normal explanation is that genetic variation resulting from mutations means that some skin forms small webs between arm and side, and this slight difference allows a squirrel to jump a little further, leading to increased access to food and increased ability to evade some predators.

I would think Lamarckism would be a more plausible explanation.

How does one acquire a webbing of skin by use?

How does this trait get passed to following generations?

The reason that Lamarckism has been discarded, is that there is no known mechanism to pass a developed trait to your offspring. Developing muscles, for instance, does not change your DNA, and the development is not conveyed to your sperm\eggs.

How does neo-Paleyism explain the similarity of the sugar-glider to the flying squirrel?

If there is a design element directing certain aspects of evolution, then would not there be evidence of this in the patterns of evolution?

Why would convergent evolution be necessary?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : spling


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1074 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 56 of 94 (539372)
12-15-2009 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by RAZD
07-18-2009 4:56 PM


Re: traderdrew, traderdrew, paging traderdrew ...
The normal explanation is that genetic variation resulting from mutations means that some skin forms small webs between arm and side, and this slight difference allows a squirrel to jump a little further, leading to increased access to food and increased ability to evade some predators.

This is one of the kinds of explanations that evolutionists make about how complex features could have formed, that is the most unsatisfying to me.

In your scenario the creature obtained a small mutation (I assume it must be quite small, because we don't see many of these gross mutations forming in all of our observations of animal populations).

Now the amount of illogical assumptions just continue to grow and grow in this scenario:

-- The animals that preceded this mutation apparently were finding food just fine, so were they really that handicapped compared to this new mutant?

--The mutation would have had to have been exactly symmetrical on this mutants body to be of any use at all.

--How much further could a squirrel with a little flap of skin jump compared to one with none, a few inches?

--Were there other mutations also going on within the population that were giving other individuals advantages, that the one with the flap of skin didn't have? Or did every other individual stop gaining any beneficial mutations during this time that helped them in another way? In other words, that one mutant individual had one kind of benefit, but perhaps others had bigger stomachs, or bigger jaws, or any of thousands of other advantages that this guy didn't have. Or are we to believe all of these other mutations and selections are happening consecutively but not concurrently?

--This zero point mutant (the original) gives birth to a second with a similar mutation. Once again, this small advantage is trumping all other advantages within the population, even though there could be some things this mutant has that are not good at all, like the wrong color fur?

--How many generations do you want to continue down the line of this squirrels ancestry before the next mutation that improves upon this one occurs? Ten generations, 20, 100? How long before this next one pops up which does exactly what the previous one did, only better? Not a flap of skin elsewhere, or one that makes the skin mutate smaller again, or what have you, but one that once again directly benefits this previous one?

--Could the descendant of this squirrel get a different mutation, like say better camouflage which could help it to survive, but not for the reason of jumping better, but because it hid better? Now are we selecting for both at the same time, or for one or the other, or does he get a slight advantage this generation for his camouflage, and the next generation for better jaws, and the next generation, for better hearing, etc,etc..

--While we are sifting through these generations upon generations of selecting, are the needs for survival staying constant? Is one generation struggling for more food, while another generation is struggling to hide from predators, while another is struggling for water, while during another generation the food source has changed from being in the trees to being on the ground?

--Did the guy who got the first beneficial mutation (beneficial mutations don't happen very often right, much less often then detrimental ones, correct?) also happen to be born with a parasite in his intestine which caused him to die before he could reproduce?

--Or was he at the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to have gotten picked off by an eagle when he was only 6 months old? Whoops one good mutation that could have really gotten our team off to a good start, and now we have to wait ANOTHER 500 generations for the next beneficial mutation.

--If the first zero mutant of such good fortune didn't happen to get picked off by the eagle, but his son did, we are right back to the same problem again right?

--Can we list ANY examples of beneficial mutations that we have observed in nature as a starting point, that has the potential to give one individual a bio mechanical advantage which could lead to the creation of a new trait? ONE? Ever?

Now I honestly believe I could go on and on with the logical difficulties your theory faces, but the problem is that your side wants to brush EVERYONE of these difficulties aside, and claim it is the ID's or creationists who are living in a faiy land void of empirical evidence.

You will say to the ID side, well how do you account for this, and for that, and so on...and yet you can't account for any of these issues, let alone all of them. But you STILL claim to have science on your side.


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Briterican
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 57 of 94 (539405)
12-15-2009 4:04 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Bolder-dash
12-15-2009 1:14 PM


Evolution through natural selection is a very satisfying explanation
Bolder-dash writes:


The normal explanation is that genetic variation resulting from mutations means that some skin forms small webs between arm and side, and this slight difference allows a squirrel to jump a little further, leading to increased access to food and increased ability to evade some predators.

This is one of the kinds of explanations that evolutionists make about how complex features could have formed, that is the most unsatisfying to me.

Evolution through natural selection is a wonderful thing, which when given proper thought provides very elegant and satisfying explanations. We are looking for explanations here aren't we?

Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker writes:

Many animals leap from bough to bough, and sometimes fall to the ground. ...There must be some height, call it h, such that an animal would just break its neck if it fell from that height. In this critical zone, any improvement in the body surface's ability to catch the air and break the fall, however slight that improvement, can make the difference between life and death. Natural selection will then favour slight, prototype wingflaps. When these small wingflaps become the norm, the critical height h will become slightly greater. Now a slight further increase in the wingflaps will make the difference between life and death. And so on, until we have proper wings. There are animals alive today that beautifully illustrate every stage in the continuum.

The animals that preceded this mutation apparently were finding food just fine, so were they really that handicapped compared to this new mutant?

By what assumption do you say they were apparently finding food just fine. Their very existence is not sufficient evidence of this. And what about the falling from height example discussed above? That's got nothing to do with food.

The mutation would have had to have been exactly symmetrical on this mutants body to be of any use at all.

I disagree. But regardless, symmetry is a basic element of embryology. Mutations with morphological results tend to manifest themselves with bilaterally (or radial) symmetry. I think you are forgetting entirely about embryology, which is crucial to understanding.

How much further could a squirrel with a little flap of skin jump compared to one with none, a few inches?

See above. Even a small fraction of an inch could make enough of a difference for natural selection to then play a role.

Were there other mutations also going on within the population that were giving other individuals advantages, that the one with the flap of skin didn't have? Or did every other individual stop gaining any beneficial mutations during this time that helped them in another way? In other words, that one mutant individual had one kind of benefit, but perhaps others had bigger stomachs, or bigger jaws, or any of thousands of other advantages that this guy didn't have. Or are we to believe all of these other mutations and selections are happening consecutively but not concurrently?

There are always "arms races" going on between competing species, whereby the evolutionary advantages gained by one are offset by the evolutionary advantages of another. The changes happen in unison and are driven by each other. Sometimes things work out as a more symbiotic relationship. Flowers have had a lot to do with the evolution of insects, but it could just as fairly be said that insects have had a lot to do with the evolution of flowers.

I think you are trying to ask about the possibility that in one generation you might have a number of different phenotypical mutations that all arise at the same time. If it is even conceivable that this could happen, some mutatations would be selected for and flourish. Others would be selected against and vanish. There would be no point at which all other possible mutations are "on hold" while one develops.

This zero point mutant (the original) gives birth to a second with a similar mutation. Once again, this small advantage is trumping all other advantages within the population, even though there could be some things this mutant has that are not good at all, like the wrong color fur?

Nobody ever said that the small advantage would trump all other advantages within the population. In most populations they would be competing against other species, not themselves. The small advantage wouldn't necessarily trump all possible adversaries' advantages, but it would be enough to lay the groundwork for natural selection to favour those bestowed with that advantage.

If it had the "wrong" colour fur and was eaten by a predator (who might have missed it had it had had the "right" colour fur) then that zero point mutation doesn't get carried forward. Oops, sorry, kthxbai. When viewed against the vast backdrop of geological time, this possibility does not somehow rule out beneficial mutations taking hold. Besides, what exists now is not representative of the best possible results of evolution. It is just one of the many possible permutations. It could very well be that the unfortunate loss of a zero-point mutation has somehow denied us some further benefit.

How many generations do you want to continue down the line of this squirrels ancestry before the next mutation that improves upon this one occurs? Ten generations, 20, 100? How long before this next one pops up which does exactly what the previous one did, only better? Not a flap of skin elsewhere, or one that makes the skin mutate smaller again, or what have you, but one that once again directly benefits this previous one?

Pass. I don't know the specific answer to this, but hope that another member will address it. All I can say is I'm not sure why you're concerned that a subsequent mutation directly benefits the previous one. Mutations that survive will invariably be beneficial to the groundwork laid by the previous ones, lest they wouldn't have survived.

Could the descendant of this squirrel get a different mutation, like say better camouflage which could help it to survive, but not for the reason of jumping better, but because it hid better? Now are we selecting for both at the same time, or for one or the other, or does he get a slight advantage this generation for his camouflage, and the next generation for better jaws, and the next generation, for better hearing, etc,etc..

Natural selection works on everything in concert. The complex interactions of these simultaneous and sometimes opposed selection factors is vividly demonstrated in sexual selection, where mutations that would have been selected against for valid reasons relating to survivability instead thrive and flourish for no reason other than their "attractiveness" to the opposite sex (it's usually the females who do the selecting).

While we are sifting through these generations upon generations of selecting, are the needs for survival staying constant? Is one generation struggling for more food, while another generation is struggling to hide from predators, while another is struggling for water, while during another generation the food source has changed from being in the trees to being on the ground?

Nope. Again this is all happening at the same time. I mean honestly, would you really think that just because a mutation arose that helped in terms of hiding from predators, suddenly everything else going on in the creatures ecosystem is put on hold?

Did the guy who got the first beneficial mutation (beneficial mutations don't happen very often right, much less often then detrimental ones, correct?) also happen to be born with a parasite in his intestine which caused him to die before he could reproduce?

See above. If so, adios mutation (in that instance anyway).

If the first zero mutant of such good fortune didn't happen to get picked off by the eagle, but his son did, we are right back to the same problem again right?

This is probably a good argument for why many creatures give birth to litters: Redundancy in case one gets "carried off by an eagle".

Can we list ANY examples of beneficial mutations that we have observed in nature as a starting point, that has the potential to give one individual a bio mechanical advantage which could lead to the creation of a new trait? ONE? Ever?

As mentioned above, the evolution of prototype wings can be observed in many creatures. Using frogs as an example, you have frogs with no sort of prototype wings and no leg flaps or anything. You've then got various species that demonstrate the intermediate stages all the way up to Wallace's Flying Frogs (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus).

Now I honestly believe I could go on and on with the logical difficulties your theory faces,

Yes I believe you could, but your points are neither "logical" nor "difficulties".

but the problem is that your side wants to brush EVERYONE of these difficulties aside, and claim it is the ID's or creationists who are living in a faiy land void of empirical evidence.

Please provide us with specific examples of what "difficulties" you think we are sweeping aside? The points mentioned above have relatively simple explanations and do not present the theory of evolution with any real difficulties.

You will say to the ID side, well how do you account for this, and for that, and so on...and yet you can't account for any of these issues, let alone all of them. But you STILL claim to have science on your side.

Again as I said in another thread, science is a work in progress. Just because scientists can't account for everything with exacting precision does not mean there is not a naturalistic explanation waiting to be found, one that will piggyback nicely onto what we've already learned.

Supernatural/religious/pseudoscience "answers" generate more questions than answers, in an infinitely regressing series of "turtles all the way down".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-15-2009 1:14 PM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-16-2009 7:53 AM Briterican has responded

    
Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 2252 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 58 of 94 (539409)
12-15-2009 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Bolder-dash
12-15-2009 1:14 PM


Answers to Bolder-dash's questions
Hello Bolder-dash,

Bolder-dash writes:

The animals that preceded this mutation apparently were finding food just fine, so were they really that handicapped compared to this new mutant?

No, they weren't "really that handicapped" compared to the mutant. Obviously, one new beneficial mutation within a population does not require that all members without the mutation get out-competed. Natural selection is about statistics, it's about likelihood of survival, and all other things being equal (as they should be given a fair-sized sample), squirrels with a small increase in gliding ability will have a subtly higher probability of surviving and passing their genes on.

Bolder-dash writes:

The mutation would have had to have been exactly symmetrical on this mutants body to be of any use at all.

Mutations do tend to be symmetrical on the body. If this weren't so, then everytime an animal mutated we would see increased assymetry. Since we don't see rabbits hopping around with one small ear and one large one as the norm, you're just blowing smoke.

Bolder-dash writes:

How much further could a squirrel with a little flap of skin jump compared to one with none, a few inches?

Enough to make such squirrels more statistically likely to survive.

Bolder-dash writes:

Were there other mutations also going on within the population that were giving other individuals advantages, that the one with the flap of skin didn't have? Or did every other individual stop gaining any beneficial mutations during this time that helped them in another way? In other words, that one mutant individual had one kind of benefit, but perhaps others had bigger stomachs, or bigger jaws, or any of thousands of other advantages that this guy didn't have. Or are we to believe all of these other mutations and selections are happening consecutively but not concurrently?

Naturally. As I said, it's not about being better than the rest of the population. Because of interbreeding, good traits will combine and build up in the population. Those individuals that have an advantage due to stronger jaws will breed with those that have bigger wingflaps. And the traits will combine. You need to stop thinking of individual squirrels and start looking at the problem in terms of a gene pool.

Bolder-dash writes:

This zero point mutant (the original) gives birth to a second with a similar mutation. Once again, this small advantage is trumping all other advantages within the population, even though there could be some things this mutant has that are not good at all, like the wrong color fur?

You are assuming the mutation arises only once and in one individual. You are also still making the fallacious assumption that the mutation must trump all other mutations in the population. The point is, that a small group of mutants with the advantageous mutation will have a statistically higher chance of survival than those who don't.

Bolder-dash writes:

How many generations do you want to continue down the line of this squirrels ancestry before the next mutation that improves upon this one occurs? Ten generations, 20, 100? How long before this next one pops up which does exactly what the previous one did, only better? Not a flap of skin elsewhere, or one that makes the skin mutate smaller again, or what have you, but one that once again directly benefits this previous one?

How about one? Do you have the exact same bodily proportions as your parents? Do you expect the children of a flying squirrel to have wingflaps the exact same size as their parents? Some will have slightly larger wingflaps, and they will stand a better chance of survival over the span of several generations.

Bolder-dash writes:

Could the descendant of this squirrel get a different mutation, like say better camouflage which could help it to survive, but not for the reason of jumping better, but because it hid better? Now are we selecting for both at the same time, or for one or the other, or does he get a slight advantage this generation for his camouflage, and the next generation for better jaws, and the next generation, for better hearing, etc,etc..

Don't think of it as individual squirrels, but as an entire squirrel gene pool. Each generation, lots of new mutations will appear in the gene pool, some more beneficial than others. Those that increase the survival odds of their carriers (and hence, the survival odds of the genes themselves) will spread throughout the population. Natural selection is only indirectly selecting for larger wingflaps. What it really selects for is survival, and whatever traits that appear in the gene pool that promote survival will soon become the norm across the population.

Bolder-dash writes:

While we are sifting through these generations upon generations of selecting, are the needs for survival staying constant? Is one generation struggling for more food, while another generation is struggling to hide from predators, while another is struggling for water, while during another generation the food source has changed from being in the trees to being on the ground?

Conditions do change, but rarely in the absurd fashion that you are detailing. Usually, a trait that is advantageous to a squirrel will prove advantageous to its descendants for many generations to come. There will always be predators to run from, so the wingflap will always be useful for flying squirrels (unless the trees disappear, but how often has this happened in the evolution of the flying squirrel?).

Bolder-dash writes:

Did the guy who got the first beneficial mutation (beneficial mutations don't happen very often right, much less often then detrimental ones, correct?) also happen to be born with a parasite in his intestine which caused him to die before he could reproduce?

Let's pretend a beneficial mutation in people would be longer legs. How often does a person get born with slightly longer legs than his parents? About as often as shorter legs. 50% of the time, in other words. Larger, more dramatic mutations are rarely beneficial, but for evolution, small step-by-step mutations are generally what's needed.

The same applies to your squirrel wingflaps. It is not rare for a squirrel to be born with slightly larger wingflaps than its parents, is this not a beneficial mutation? Furthermore, if an unlikely mutation does occur and it proves beneficial, and 2 million years later we're sitting here asking ourselves if the original mutant died before reproducing, aren't we being a bit ridiculous? Of course the mutant survived long enough to reproduce, otherwise there wouldn't be any offspring! It's probable that many times in the history of evolution, individual creatures with wonderfully unusual and beneficial mutations were born, only to be killed by a falling coconut. Had they survived we would have had different creatures living today with completely different traits.

Bolder-dash writes:

Or was he at the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to have gotten picked off by an eagle when he was only 6 months old? Whoops one good mutation that could have really gotten our team off to a good start, and now we have to wait ANOTHER 500 generations for the next beneficial mutation.

Once again you are asserting that beneficial mutations are very rare. Are they really? Can you back up your claim that in a gene pool of thousands of squirrels, beneficial mutations would only occur once in 500 generations? I think you're just blowing smoke out your ass. But if you can back this up with some reference I'd be happy to have a look.

Bolder-dash writes:

If the first zero mutant of such good fortune didn't happen to get picked off by the eagle, but his son did, we are right back to the same problem again right?

No, because his five other sons and daughters would be still be humping like crazy (we're talking squirrels here after all) and passing on the mutation to an even larger third generation.

Bolder-dash writes:

Can we list ANY examples of beneficial mutations that we have observed in nature as a starting point, that has the potential to give one individual a bio mechanical advantage which could lead to the creation of a new trait? ONE? Ever?

Sure.

Nylon-eating bacteria
These bacteria had a rare mutation that allowed them to digest nylon. Seeing as how the mutated population was living in a nylon-rich environment, it's obvious why the mutation was selected for.

The peppered moth
The peppered moth recently developed a remarkable camoflauge for city-living.

Hiv-Resistance
A mutation in humans that confers resistance to HIV.

Bolder-dash writes:

Now I honestly believe I could go on and on with the logical difficulties your theory faces, but the problem is that your side wants to brush EVERYONE of these difficulties aside, and claim it is the ID's or creationists who are living in a faiy land void of empirical evidence.

You will say to the ID side, well how do you account for this, and for that, and so on...and yet you can't account for any of these issues, let alone all of them. But you STILL claim to have science on your side.

I haven't brushed any of these "difficulties" aside, mostly because they aren't "difficult". I don't even have a college degree yet, and even I can see how you're just blowing smoke. Is this the best you've got, or do you actually have some truly difficult problems that go beyond the grasp of a College undergrad who isn't even studying biology? Or do you want to go on blowing smoke out your ass? I leave that up to you.

Respectfully,

-Meldinoor

Edited by Meldinoor, : Changed message subtitle


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-15-2009 1:14 PM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Briterican, posted 12-15-2009 5:07 PM Meldinoor has not yet responded

    
Briterican
Member (Idle past 1392 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 59 of 94 (539416)
12-15-2009 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Meldinoor
12-15-2009 4:28 PM


Re: Answers to Bolder-dash's questions
Thank you for bringing the gene pool into it, an important point.

I'm still trying to "get my head around" some of the deeper elements of the theory of evolution, but I can't help but feel that there is a core element that BD is missing, which is that individuals don't evolve - populations do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Meldinoor, posted 12-15-2009 4:28 PM Meldinoor has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18664
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 60 of 94 (539441)
12-15-2009 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Bolder-dash
12-15-2009 1:14 PM


Re: traderdrew, traderdrew, paging traderdrew ...
Hi Bolder-dash,

This is one of the kinds of explanations that evolutionists make about how complex features could have formed, that is the most unsatisfying to me.

In your scenario the creature obtained a small mutation (I assume it must be quite small, because we don't see many of these gross mutations forming in all of our observations of animal populations).

There are two problems with this: (1) this thread is not about what is wrong with evolution, but about what is wrong with ID -- IS ID PROPOERLY PURSUED -- and (2) variation is common.

Variation in the amount of skin on a body makes some slightly loose skinned compared to others, and we see this in all kinds of animals and even in humans.

-- The animals that preceded this mutation apparently were finding food just fine, so were they really that handicapped compared to this new mutant?

And they don't need to be for the mutation to survive and spread, so this is no argument against this process.

--The mutation would have had to have been exactly symmetrical on this mutants body to be of any use at all.

Nope, it just needed to be symetrical enough, as the animal with a larger flap on one side can compensate by folding the arm or by adjusting the tail position in the same way that flying squirrels steer.

--How much further could a squirrel with a little flap of skin jump compared to one with none, a few inches?

A few inches is sufficient to have a survival differential in some cases, and that is sufficient for natural selection to keep the mutation in the population and weed out the lesser flapped animals in the population.

--Were there other mutations also going on within the population that were giving other individuals advantages, that the one with the flap of skin didn't have?

That would cause a divide in the population that could result in speciation where both beneficial mutations evolved on different paths, and in any event this does not prevent the skin flap development from proceeding to be selected for the survival advantages.

--This zero point mutant (the original) gives birth to a second with a similar mutation. Once again, this small advantage is trumping all other advantages within the population,

Nope, it does not need to "trump" all others, it only needs to be passed on. Initially this can be by neutral drift where the small difference in skin tightness is neither beneficial nor detrimental.

--How many generations do you want to continue down the line of this squirrels ancestry before the next mutation that improves upon this one occurs?

Irrelevant. Either there is a selective advantage that is then part of the normal traits around which variation in the degree of development is subject to selection or it isn't. Evolution does not require a direction. With variation in degree of expression\development and active selection, the ones with larger flaps will continue to be selected. Much of the development in organisms is just variation in how much certain parts are done, making part X and making more of part X is not a major genetic shift and can be regulated by hormones, hormones that the parents being skin flap individuals would have more than non-skin flap individuals.

--Could the descendant of this squirrel get a different mutation, like say better camouflage which could help it to survive, ...

It could, and then it would take a different evolutionary path if it was beneficial, from descendants that did not have any different mutation, and so this too would not stop the evolution of flying squirrels.

--While we are sifting through these generations upon generations of selecting, are the needs for survival staying constant?

Doesn't matter. Either the trait continues to be selected by survival advantage or it doesn't. When we see an organism with a development like the flying squirrel it is apparent that selection still gives them an advantage. The selection pressure can change but the trait can still provide a slight advantage in the changing ecologies. Certainly traits that allow prey to avoid predators will always be under selection pressure to some degree.

--Did the guy who got the first beneficial mutation (beneficial mutations don't happen very often right, much less often then detrimental ones, correct?) also happen to be born with a parasite in his intestine which caused him to die before he could reproduce?
--Or was he at the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to have gotten picked off by an eagle when he was only 6 months old?
--If the first zero mutant of such good fortune didn't happen to get picked off by the eagle, but his son did, we are right back to the same problem again right?

Amusingly this would mean that the mutation would never have been passed on. Perhaps a tree fell on him, or the sky. So?

--Can we list ANY examples of beneficial mutations that we have observed in nature as a starting point, that has the potential to give one individual a bio mechanical advantage which could lead to the creation of a new trait? ONE? Ever?

Sadly this is irrelevant to the discussion of how mutations can build up in a species.

Now I honestly believe I could go on and on with the logical difficulties your theory faces, but the problem is that your side wants to brush EVERYONE of these difficulties aside, and claim it is the ID's or creationists who are living in a faiy land void of empirical evidence.

And yet, amusingly, not one of the things you listed is any kind of real problem, they are just ad hoc imagination scenarios that avoid the issue of natural selection operating on variation in populations. You have provided:

(1) no reason why evolution cannot work
(2) no reason why ID would provide a better answer

Now that we have dealt with your irrelevant rant against evolution let's get down to the issue of whether or not ID is properly pursued. Message 1:


What it should be

The concept of ID properly pursued to it's logical end, would use all the available evidence of all the available sciences in the search for evidence of the Designer. The concept of ID properly pursued, would include (but not be limited to) all the actual factual evidence for: physics (from sub-atomic particle, to cosmic inflation and string theories, to a 13.7+ billion year old universe, to the questions of the reality of dark matter and energy), geology (of a 4.55 billion year old earth formed from the stellar debris of previous cosmically generated materials, with layers of material organized by age and distribution by the forces of preceding tectonic, volcanic, sedimentary and other processes), paleontology (the organization of fossils found by the time and lineage relationships, the layered development that builds from single cells 3.5 million years ago to the vast complexity of modern life and finally to the many varied hominid lineages and relationships, to the array of branches of taxonomy and why they are branches and not a web of some kind), archaeology (the world wide variety and diversity of culture and artifact and development from the first humans to present day modern man and the complete absence of any evidence of hominid existence below the iridium layer that covers the earth from the impact event 65 million years ago ending the age of the dinosaurs, to say nothing of the lack of evidence of any "modern" humans before 10 million years ago), genetics (the study of genes, how they work and the genetic trees of life relationships they show), evolution (the documented changes of life with time from those first single cells to modern complexity, the phylogenic trees of life relationships, the process by which life changes, tries new features, adapts to new needs), xenobiology (considering the possibilities and possible variety of extraterrestrial life) ... as well as all the other disciplines of science, and including how all these sciences relate to and confirm one another even though they are based on different sets of data (the genetic tree matching the phylogenic one, the geological age matching the physics and cosmological age, etc.).

Do you disagree with this argument? Have you read the opening post? If you haven't read the opening post, then how do you know what the topic is about?

You will say to the ID side, well how do you account for this, and for that, and so on...and yet you can't account for any of these issues, let alone all of them. But you STILL claim to have science on your side.

Let's dispose of a misconception. My beef is that ID is NOT being properly pursued, and that it is - as commonly used - a poor cousin of the original argument from design. I am a Deist, and this means I support a properly pursued ID investigation AND all of science. There is no conflict: science is used in the proper pursuit of [Deism\ID], not the other way around. Properly pursued, [Deism\ID] is a religious philosophy based on reason and logic and the scientific knowledge of reality.

If you have problems with evolution, it isn't because it is in any necessary conflict with ID per se, as both evolution and ID can be true. This holds for any scientific theory or study.

enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
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to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-15-2009 1:14 PM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
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