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Author Topic:   No Witnesses
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15972
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 136 of 215 (660382)
04-25-2012 3:22 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:07 PM


Re: What I See
If a process cannot be repeated, or measured in its singular occurrence, and if there is in fact no validated model to support it, can it be considered a fact?

Well yes.

Let's say that John Smith is dead. Do we know what killed him? No (let us say for the sake of argument). Can we repeat it? Nuh-uh, not unless we can figure out (a) what killed him (b) a way to raise the dead. Was anyone around to see it happen? Possibly an extremely ingenious murderer, but he's not talking.

Given all this, can it really be considered a fact that John Smith is dead? Yes. Either that or he's really really good at holding his breath. A process, an explanation, an observation, a repetition, a "validated model" ... none of these is considered necessary to establish the brute fact.

(In fact, if you think about this, it would kill science stone dead if this was a requirement, since necessarily we find out the facts first and explain them second. If we couldn't acknowledge them as facts before we'd explained them, we'd never get started. In order for us ever to figure out how John Smith died, we must first acknowledge that he's dead, or we wouldn't know that there was a question to investigate.)

Now in the case of life, we have evidence that once there wasn't and couldn't have been life on Earth, and that now there is. That's the brute fact.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by angletracks, posted 04-24-2012 9:07 PM angletracks has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 2:53 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7511
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 137 of 215 (660385)
04-25-2012 7:47 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by Rrhain
04-25-2012 2:04 AM


There are plenty of examples of speciation happening both in the lab and in the wild. Speciation, by definition, is macroevolution.

I don't dispute that. I am saying that macroevolution, when used by a creationist in the context of 'it hasn't been observed' does not mean 'speciation' in most cases.

No, we shouldn't. We don't let the people who don't know what they're talking about to define the terms.

I'm not suggesting we 'let' them define terms. What I am saying is that when addressing the meaning of someone's utterance, it is vital to establish what they mean when they say the words they use rather than trying to argue against what someone else more competent would mean with the same words.

Don't get me wrong: I agree with the sentiment that we should try and encourage correct word usage.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Rrhain, posted 04-25-2012 2:04 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2012 9:08 PM Modulous has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7511
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 138 of 215 (660386)
04-25-2012 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:07 PM


Re: What I See
If a process cannot be repeated, or measured in its singular occurrence, and if there is in fact no validated model to support it, can it be considered a fact?

I don't know what your 'validated model to support it' actually means. But if you can establish something as being true beyond all reasonable doubt...it can safely be called a fact even if it cannot be repeated or directly measured.

Is there a body of factual evidence that describes the transition from non-living to living material?

There is. Though we do not have a complete picture, and being able to establish the actual origins of life as a fact maybe impossible due to the absence of sufficient evidence. It might be though, maybe what evidence we have access to is sufficient.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by angletracks, posted 04-24-2012 9:07 PM angletracks has not yet responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11816
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 139 of 215 (660406)
04-25-2012 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by Rrhain
04-25-2012 1:42 AM


Then they're moving the goalposts.

More like: they've had the goalpost in the wrong place.

But you can't shoot the ball over there and claim a point because that's where you think the goalpost should have been. That's not going to work.

A speciation event is "macroevolution" by definition.

Not necessarily. The word "macroevolution" is also used to describe things that aren't speciation events.

I give you the reference, the title, the author, the source, the abstract, and the PMID so that you can go look it up yourself and ensure that you have no reason to complain about the source being insufficient, and you have gall to complain that it's "lengthy"?

Intentionally wrong again

You're supposed to be offering points in your own words. We don't just throw around links, or non-links in this case. This is supposed to be a discussion.

Too, we need to be sure that you understand the sources you're claiming support your position. As Dr A points out in Message 126:

quote:
Meloneis gen. Nov., a new epipsammic genus of rhaphoneidaceae (bacillariophyceae).

They don't mean that it's "new" in the sense that it's just evolved and they know this because they've watched it happen, they mean that it's "new" in the sense that no-one had previously discovered it.

So it wasn't even a case of witnessing macroevolution in the first place.

What you should do is describe a scenario, in your own words, where and how macroevolution has been witnessed and then provide a link to back up your claims. But you'd have to be more interested in discussing than gainsaying to do that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Rrhain, posted 04-25-2012 1:42 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2012 9:23 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13885
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 140 of 215 (660413)
04-25-2012 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:07 PM


Re: What I See
angletracks writes:

If a process cannot be repeated, or measured in its singular occurrence, and if there is in fact no validated model to support it, can it be considered a fact?


Facts don't have to be repeatable. In science, the observation of facts has to be repeatable.

You don't have to be able to replay the eruption of a volcano. You only have to be able to observe the ash layers, lava flows, etc. to infer what happened.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by angletracks, posted 04-24-2012 9:07 PM angletracks has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 1:08 PM ringo has responded

  
angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1946 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 141 of 215 (660511)
04-26-2012 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by ringo
04-25-2012 12:29 PM


Re: What I See
Facts don't have to be repeatable. In science, the observation of facts has to be repeatable.

Iím getting a little technical here, but it wonít be the first time that has happened on this blog! Note that I did not say that facts needed to be repeated (though we can repeat them to each other if we like). I mentioned processes being repeated. And what are we going to repeatedly observe to support our fact claims if we donít observe a process?

You don't have to be able to replay the eruption of a volcano. You only have to be able to observe the ash layers, lava flows, etc. to infer what happened.

Granted. But am I not inferring on the basis of having observed an actual volcano in process? Where has anyone observed a natural process (no manipulation by intelligent agency) which resulted in organisms being produced from anything other than another organism?

BTW, how are things in good ole Stubblejump?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by ringo, posted 04-25-2012 12:29 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by ringo, posted 04-26-2012 1:28 PM angletracks has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13885
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 142 of 215 (660512)
04-26-2012 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by angletracks
04-26-2012 1:08 PM


Re: What I See
angletracks writes:

I mentioned processes being repeated. And what are we going to repeatedly observe to support our fact claims if we donít observe a process?


For example, we can observe objects moving in the universe and from those observations we can infer that that motion must have had a beginning. We don't have to observe the Big Bang directly to know that it must have happened.

angletracks writes:

Where has anyone observed a natural process (no manipulation by intelligent agency) which resulted in organisms being produced from anything other than another organism?


We have observed the chemistry. We understand the individual steps petty well. All that's missing is the exact sequence of steps required to form an organism.

(By the way, no intelligent agency can do anything but manipulate the natural behaviour of the chemcals.)

angletracks writes:

BTW, how are things in good ole Stubblejump?


It's still pretty early in the season. The stubble is pretty short but I can't jump as high as I used to.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 1:08 PM angletracks has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 3:28 PM ringo has responded

  
angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1946 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 143 of 215 (660519)
04-26-2012 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Dr Adequate
04-25-2012 3:22 AM


Re: What I See
Now in the case of life, we have evidence that once there wasn't and couldn't have been life on Earth, and that now there is. That's the brute fact.

Sure, OK, but I don't think anyone at the Alabama SBE was uncertain about that. And just as you say about poor John Smith (RIP) his deadness can be established quite apart from an explanation of what killed him. But that is where it gets interesting, not?

When the detectives come in and assert that Professor Plum killed him in the kitchen with a nuclear missile or with a spider web, they donít have to have observed the criminal act when it happened, but they do have to explain to the court how it is consistent with what is observed (a dead body with no evidence of violence on the body or the surroundings) that a nuclear weapon or a spider web was the murder weapon. That is where some modeling might come in (think Exhibit A). How exactly might the professor have used a spider web to do the job?

So once there was no life on Earth and now there is. This begs for an explanation that fits the facts we now observe. In the absence of any known natural processes that make dead things alive, and in a universe that once was not and now is, what is a reasonable proposal to explain the existence of the universe and the origin of life? Evolution just doesnít seem adequate or even relevant to these questions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-25-2012 3:22 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by jar, posted 04-26-2012 3:22 PM angletracks has responded
 Message 146 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-26-2012 3:36 PM angletracks has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 29622
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 144 of 215 (660520)
04-26-2012 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by angletracks
04-26-2012 2:53 PM


it really is simple
HUH?

Where does evolution enter the picture?

Evolution deals with what happened after life began.

Abiogenesis deals with how life may have begun, and there we have lots of experiments that show steps leading towards life.

There is tons of evidence of complex molecules forming naturally.

There is even evidence of complex self replicating molecules forming and even complex self replicating with errors molecules that evolve.

What IS missing is any evidence of any unnatural, nonnatural or supernatural causes, effects, existence as well as any model of how a nonnatural, unnatural or supernatural cause could do anything.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 2:53 PM angletracks has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 3:55 PM jar has responded

  
angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1946 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 145 of 215 (660521)
04-26-2012 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by ringo
04-26-2012 1:28 PM


Re: What I See
Ringo: For example, we can observe objects moving in the universe and from those observations we can infer that that motion must have had a beginning. We don't have to observe the Big Bang directly to know that it must have happened.

But we have observed, innumerable times, the behavior of objects in motion. Maybe there is a better way to say it, but I would call that repeatedly observing a process - the only difference with the Big Bang is that the objects in motion are different entities of the same class. I don't see evolution as the explanation for the origin of life having the same kind of evidential support.

You say we have observed the chemistry but not the exact sequence of steps to form an organism. So, in short, there is no scientific explanation at this point [though perhaps you believe there will be one sometime, maybe soon]. Maybe there will be one tomorrow, but that is not yet among the facts we have to include as evidence. Without that evidence, I don't see how there is a scientific case to be made. Not that we don't all like to think our ideas are correct in the meantime.

Ringo: (By the way, no intelligent agency can do anything but manipulate the natural behaviour of the chemcals.)

Sorry, not sure where you were going with that.

And thanks for the news from Stubblejump! I'm sure your jumping will improve as the season advances. Who is sponsoring the championship this year?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by ringo, posted 04-26-2012 1:28 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by ringo, posted 04-26-2012 3:47 PM angletracks has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15972
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 146 of 215 (660522)
04-26-2012 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by angletracks
04-26-2012 2:53 PM


Re: What I See
Well, quite so. But you asked:

If a process cannot be repeated, or measured in its singular occurrence, and if there is in fact no validated model to support it, can it be considered a fact?

To which the answer is "yes". Our puzzlement over the nature of the process does not prevent us from knowing as a fact that it occurred.


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 Message 143 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 2:53 PM angletracks has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13885
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 147 of 215 (660523)
04-26-2012 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by angletracks
04-26-2012 3:28 PM


Re: What I See
angletracks writes:

I don't see evolution as the explanation for the origin of life having the same kind of evidential support.


In the case of the Big Bang, we infer an origin from the observed motion of "heavenly bodies". In the case of abiogenesis (not evolution), we infer an origin from the observed chemistry of organisms. Where's the difference?

angletracks writes:

You say we have observed the chemistry but not the exact sequence of steps to form an organism. So, in short, there is no scientific explanation at this point [though perhaps you believe there will be one sometime, maybe soon].


It's incorrect to say we have "no scientific explanation". We have a scientific explanation that isn't quite complete. You're suggestng that there's no road from New York to Los Angeles just because a few miles haven't been paved yet.

angletracks writes:

Ringo: (By the way, no intelligent agency can do anything but manipulate the natural behaviour of the chemcals.)

Sorry, not sure where you were going with that.

I'm saying that it's all natural processes. No intelligence that we know of can do anything but tweak the natural processes that already exist. Intelligence is a complete non-answer to the question of origins.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 3:28 PM angletracks has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 4:35 PM ringo has responded

  
angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1946 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 148 of 215 (660524)
04-26-2012 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by jar
04-26-2012 3:22 PM


Re: it really is simple
Jar: Evolution deals with what happened after life began.

I am guilty of conflating my terms. What redress does the court decree?

Jar: There is even evidence of complex self replicating molecules forming and even complex self replicating with errors molecules that evolve.

What IS missing is any evidence of any unnatural, nonnatural or supernatural causes, effects, existence as well as any model of how a nonnatural, unnatural or supernatural cause could do anything.

Are these naturally occurring molecules generally understood to be alive? And could you be more specific about their identity?

As for evidence of supranatural causes and effects, it all depends on what you count as evidence, and how you define natural. If you construe evidence very narrowly along completely materialist lines, I'm not sure you would say there is evidence for anything like a mind - we are only brains with bodies. Is that your position?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by jar, posted 04-26-2012 3:22 PM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 29622
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 149 of 215 (660525)
04-26-2012 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by angletracks
04-26-2012 3:55 PM


Re: it really is simple
As for evidence of supranatural causes and effects, it all depends on what you count as evidence, and how you define natural. If you construe evidence very narrowly along completely materialist lines, I'm not sure you would say there is evidence for anything like a mind - we are only brains with bodies. Is that your position?

I don't go down rabbit holes. Whether there is a "mind" or not is totally irrelevant and unimportant.

But there is still no evidence for anything other than natural processes.

It really is that simple.

Are these naturally occurring molecules generally understood to be alive? And could you be more specific about their identity?

If I had meant to say they were living I would have said they were living.

But I didn't, mainly because so far there is no good way to determine where the line between life and non-life is.

We can point to things that are clearly alive and things that are clearly not alive but when it gets to the actual line between the two, there is simply no answer.

But the literature is littered with examples of self-replicating, even evolving molecules.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by angletracks, posted 04-26-2012 3:55 PM angletracks has not yet responded

  
angletracks
Junior Member (Idle past 1946 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 04-24-2012


Message 150 of 215 (660529)
04-26-2012 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by ringo
04-26-2012 3:47 PM


Re: What I See
Ringo: It's incorrect to say we have "no scientific explanation". We have a scientific explanation that isn't quite complete. You're suggestng that there's no road from New York to Los Angeles just because a few miles haven't been paved yet.

I remain stubborn on this point. If you cannot drive from NY to LA on the road, you cannot get to LA by that means. The contractor won't (better not!) get paid his final payment until he actually connects the dots. I'm not insensible to the idea that, as Jar has said, some steps have been made. But "unforeseen circumstances" is a common phrase for a good reason. History is full of abandoned theories and projects that were "almost" and "so close."

Ringo: I'm saying that it's all natural processes. No intelligence that we know of can do anything but tweak the natural processes that already exist. Intelligence is a complete non-answer to the question of origins.

Isn't tweaking the natural process precisely how we are able to interact purposefully with our world? If you asked me to explain how that road got paved, I think at some point I would have to appeal to the organization of men and tools and material according to a design plan that was intelligently conceived.

If one is willing to consider that there may be realities that extend beyond the material, then a similar tweaking of natural processes by a divine mind can be inferred quite easily. Even so there is no processual explanation, so in that sense it might still be a non-answer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by ringo, posted 04-26-2012 3:47 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by ringo, posted 04-26-2012 4:51 PM angletracks has responded
 Message 152 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-26-2012 5:13 PM angletracks has not yet responded
 Message 162 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2012 9:34 PM angletracks has not yet responded

    
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