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Author Topic:   Nature belongs to ID
RAZD
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Posts: 19295
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 106 of 146 (662229)
05-13-2012 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Vanessa
05-06-2012 12:38 PM


Pantheism?
Hi Vanessa, and welcome to the fray.

Sorry if I'm coming in a little late on the discussion, but I hope my comments put some different light on this debate. I apologize for the length, but it is in response to all your posts on this thread thus far.

I attended a five day Intelligent Design conference to see if it really was 'religion masquerading as science'. ...

Curiously, I am a Deist, the classic type of intelligent design faith, deism is a faith, and the modern "neo-Paleyist" intelligent design crowd are mostly christians proposing a watered down deism.

Anything that can design parts of the universe and then implement them in undetectable manner are gods by definition.

Proponents that claim it is not religion are like the Wizard of Oz saying "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" ...

... The arguments were robust and compelling, ...

They are designed to appear that way to the undereducated and gullible audiences they cater to, mostly christian fundamentalists that want to believe their faith has a scientific basis (the foundation for "creationism" pseudo-science).

Pardon me for saying it, but from your posts you appear to be somewhat under-educated in what biological evolution actually involves.

... but I believe it's all for naught. ID in its present incarnation will not usurp current evolutionary theory for two reasons - ...

One of which is that science will only be overturned by more science. Pseudo-science is incapable of affecting reality or altering it in any way, no matter how robust and compelling the arguments appear.

Science is robust and compelling because it is founded on objective empirical evidence that is used to form hypothesis about reality, and the hypothesis is then used to make validation test predictions to test it against objective empirical evidence that should result if true or should not result if false.

Pseudo-science is not tested, which is why it is pseudo-science.

If ID is to succeeds it must lay claim Nature. Nature is God's work ...
Message 11: ... Evolution as explained by Naturalism claims to show how 'Nature did it' . And this is where I take exception. Nature does not develop life by arbitrary events but through systems and processes, ...
Message 18: You say: "Sorry but belief in a god is a religion"
Then my religion is Nature.

Have you looked at Pantheism?

quote:
Pantheism is the view that the Universe (or Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical.[1] Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek (pan) meaning "all" and the Greek (theos) meaning "God". As such, pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of relating to the Universe.[2] The central ideas found in almost all pantheistic beliefs are the view of the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.

Message 11: Nature does not develop life by arbitrary events but through systems and processes, whether it is seed to sapling to mighty oak, caterpillar to pupal to butterfly, egg to chick to eagle.
Message 17: My first argument is against the title of 'Naturalism' to explain a process that has little of anything to do with Nature. Nature does not develop life through accident - an egg is fertilised by a sperm and implants itself in the wall of the uterus where a complex process kicks in to develop the baby. The system is in place before the egg is fertilised. The baby is the result of the system - without a system there is no baby. ...

This is not evolution but the biological growth and development of organisms. Evolution is how these developmental processes change over many generations:

The process of evolution involves the change in the frequency distribution and composition of hereditary traits within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities.

Message 44: ... I argue it is the same for life on Earth, a system of development is in place before the first cells on Earth first formed. I hold up Nature as evidence. Nature develops life through predetermined systems. ...

The "predetermined systems." for the development of life on earth is evolution ... via random mutation and selection and other evolutionary systems.

Mutation can cause change in the composition of hereditary traits carried by individuals of a breeding population, but not all mutations do so. In addition there are many different kinds of mutations and they have different effects (from small to large).

Natural Selection and Neutral Drift can cause change in the distribution of hereditary traits within the breeding population, but they are not the only mechanism that does so.

The ecological challenges and opportunities change when the environment changes, the breeding population evolves, other organisms within the ecology evolve, migrations change the mixture of organisms within the ecology, or a breeding population migrates into a new ecology. These changes can result in different survival and reproductive challenges and opportunities, affecting selection pressure, perhaps causing speciation, perhaps causing extinction.

Mutations of hereditary traits have been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, rather than an untested hypothesis.

Natural selection and neutral drift have been observed to occur, along with the observed alteration in the distribution of hereditary traits within breeding populations, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

... I hold up Nature as evidence. ...

The evidence is that evolution occurs in every generation of every species. The nature of evolution is pervasive in all forms of life.

... Nature develops life through predetermined systems. ...

Mutations are observed that cause death and disability, that prevent the organism from surviving and/or breeding ... if all those mutations were "predetermined" then they were predetermined for failure.

If, on the other hand, the system is predetermined to then use selection for testing which mutations survive to reproduce, then again we are talking about how evolution works.

In other words, there is no conflict between your belief and evolution (the real evolution) as it is the system that your nature uses.

Message 62:
Percy says: I understand that you believe processes were designed before they were employed, but no evidence exists if this, and things that actually happened usually leave evidence behind. The evidence that is available indicates a process of gradual change over time ...
(Oops my quoting didn't work. (I fixed it for you))

Exactly! That is what I believe. I also believe the evidence to support this view is persuasive. I look forward to explaining my position in greater detail as soon as I get home to my own beloved computer with a standard keyboard and I can type at speed again. I hope to hear from you again at that time.

If one were going to design a process that would develop the diversity of life as we see it, it the fossil record, in the genetic record, throughout history and prehistoric documents, and throughout the world around us, then one would be hard pressed to make a better system than evolution.

This of course is where my Deism comes in: that the universe is designed to operate in the way we see it operating. The laws of physics are designed to work the way they do, and the process of evolution is designed to create the diversity of life we see.

One last thing - our fossil evidence better supports the theory of Punctuated Equilibria which states that biology was static over large periods of time (Equilibria) and then something happens (punctuation) and biology takes a great leap forward in complexity and diversity. Please refer to the Cambrian Explosion as one example.

Punctuated Equilibrium is one of the processes of evolution that involves founder populations type evolution.

Curiously not all fossil evidence supports Punk Eek, some shows definite gradualism in evolution. The cambrian explosion actually occurred over a very long period of time and shows many aspects of gradualism rather than punk eek.

Message 71: No, we have never seen life evolve from simple organisms to complex ones through mutation. It is a theoretical statement. This is my point. ...

Multicellular forms have been observed forming from unicellular life forms. New species have been observed to evolve from a parent population. These are not theoretical statements.

The process of Divergent Speciation involves the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations, which then are free to evolve independently of each other.

The reduction or loss of interbreeding (gene flow, sharing of mutations) between the daughter populations results in different, independent, evolutionary responses in the daughter populations to their respective and different ecological challenges and opportunities (including the existence and impact of the other daughter population/s on survival).

Independent evolution within each subpopulation results in divergence of the subpopulations from each other. Divergent speciation forms a branching pattern of descent from a common ancestor pool, and results in added diversity of species. Further instances of divergent speciation adds further to the branching pattern and results in a nested hierarchy pattern.

These long term changes in hereditary traits and in population distributions is sometimes called macroevolution, even though the evolution occurring is still within the breeding populations.

Phyletic speciation with the development of new species by extended micro evolution in a lineage of descent has been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of long term (macro) evolutionary developments is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

Divergent speciation with the development of new species by the reproductive isolation of daughter populations has been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of long term (macro) evolutionary developments is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

The formation of nested hierarchies of descent from common ancestor populations has been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of long term (macro) evolutionary developments is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

... Nature develops life through systems - in which the organism transforms in it's life cycle - egg to chick, foetus to baby, caterpillar to butterfly. This is how Nature works. This is what our fossil record looks like.

And the "organism transforms in it's life cycle" through the process of evolution. It has been observed happening. The process of evolution is a fact.

The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the process of evolution over generations, and the process of divergent speciation, are sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it, from the fossil record, from the genetic record, from the historic record, and from everyday record of the life we observe in the world all around us.

This theory is tested by experiments and field observations carried out as part of the science of evolution.

Message 86: No one knows how life formed on Earth. We are all in the same boat trying to figure it out. ...

Correct, we know there was a point when the earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago where there was no known life, and we know that the oldest fossils of life are over 3.4 billion years old, and we know that there is a lack of information on what happened in between those dates. Studying that issue is the field of abiogenesis, not evolution -- evolution only applies once life exists, by whatever means.

Message 91: Nature develops life through identifiable systems and processes but we choose to explain the evolution of life as the result of arbitrary cosmic events and chromosomal abnormalities. But this is not how Nature works - look at how a plant grows, how a baby gestates, how a butterfly forms - in each case the development of life is part of a system with transformative stages - just like our fossil record. Does this not make you curious?

Again you are talking about an organisms biological development and not evolution.

And again, I repeat, evolution is an observed, documented, process of involving the change in the frequency distribution and composition of hereditary traits within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities.

This is a feedback response system that is repeated in each generation:

This is how nature works, this is what the objective empirical evidence shows.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : wiz


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)

This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


(1)
Message 107 of 146 (662231)
05-13-2012 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by shadow71
05-13-2012 6:56 PM


shadow71 writes:

After seeing your posts over the years, I don't think humility is one of your virtues.

Perhaps you ought to think about that.


You know the saying all the jerks get the girls? Why is that? The answer is simple. Younger/naive women/girls can't tell the difference between being an ass and being confident. Since being an ass is easy to achieve than gaining self confidence, we end up with more jerks than not.

When we're talking about academic stuff like evolution, mutation, natural selection, etc., often times people who are not well equipped in these areas can't tell the difference between confidence from years and years of education and experience and ego from studying the bible and faith in god.

Think about that.

Edit.

By the way, I make the same observation in gay men as well. All the gay assholes get all the gay younger/naive guys. Same reason.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15984
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(2)
Message 108 of 146 (662234)
05-13-2012 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by shadow71
05-13-2012 6:56 PM


After seeing your posts over the years, I don't think humility is one of your virtues.

If humility involved agreeing with sentences beginning with the words: "While there are random adapative changes resulting from natural selection ..." it would not be a virtue.

But it does not. Myself, I think that humility, amongst other things, involves finding out what you're talking about before you talk about it, and that arrogance is betrayed by the assumption of knowledge which you have not in fact labored to achieve. If you think it's the other way round, then I suppose we are two very different people.


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 Message 105 by shadow71, posted 05-13-2012 6:56 PM shadow71 has acknowledged this reply

  
Vanessa
Member (Idle past 1852 days)
Posts: 38
Joined: 05-06-2012


Message 109 of 146 (662259)
05-14-2012 3:40 AM


Many people in this forum mistake 'evolution' to mean a particular theory - and only that theory. Like saying money only refers to Ammerican dollars - there is different currencies, there are different theories/explanations of evolution.

The approach preferred on this site is what I call 'auto-naturalism', meaning Nature evolves itself. This explanation could perhaps be adequate when evolution is viewed as a very simple process, in which life can spontaneously arise with few chemicals bumping into each other in a heated Petrie dish.

Auto-naturalism no longer makes sense. Nature is far too complex - in fact we have yet to determine its parametres. Yet many writers here have decided what Nature 'isn't', before we've figured out what Nature 'is'.


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 Message 114 by RAZD, posted 05-14-2012 7:47 PM Vanessa has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15984
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 110 of 146 (662261)
05-14-2012 3:52 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Vanessa
05-14-2012 3:40 AM


The approach preferred on this site is what I call 'auto-naturalism', meaning Nature evolves itself. This explanation could perhaps be adequate when evolution is viewed as a very simple process, in which life can spontaneously arise with few chemicals bumping into each other in a heated Petrie dish.

Yes, well, anyone who views evolution as simple process involving (a) the origin of life (b) a few chemicals in a Petri dish clearly needs their head examining, and their dictionary, since that is not what the word "evolution" means.


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5235
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 111 of 146 (662262)
05-14-2012 5:51 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Vanessa
05-14-2012 3:40 AM


Vanessa writes:

Many people in this forum mistake 'evolution' to mean a particular theory

The particular theory that evolution is, is, surprisingly, 'the Theory of Evolution.' Accept no substitutes.

"Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations."

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

The approach preferred on this site is what I call 'auto-naturalism', meaning Nature evolves itself. This explanation could perhaps be adequate when evolution is viewed as a very simple process, in which life can spontaneously arise with few chemicals bumping into each other in a heated Petrie dish.

You can, of course, make up any names you like, but unless they conform to science's standard definitions, they are meaningless - just as your words above are.

Evolution is not a simple process and life does not spontaneously arise from petri dishes full of hot chemicals. (But if it did it would not be evolution, it would be abiogenesis.)

So please put your straw men back in their boxes and argue from what science actually says rather than what you imagine that it says.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 16307
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 112 of 146 (662269)
05-14-2012 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Vanessa
05-14-2012 3:40 AM


Hi Vanessa,

Well, now you're just making things up. If you type "auto-naturalism" into Google you'll get back a single page of links, and one of them is to you. How many searches have you ever done in Google that returned a single page?

Evolution has a definition. If you're going to discuss evolution I suggest you use the same definition everyone else is using. Same with the word "nature" - stop making up your own definitions. Also, stop telling us what we believe. We'll tell you what we believe, and one of the things we definitely don't believe is a made up term like "auto-naturalism."

Everything we know in science has come from studying nature. If there's anything in science that disagrees with nature then it's wrong. If you think there's something in evolution that says that nature is one way when it is actually another then you tell us what that is. But don't make up something like that nature is processes and evolution is not. Tell us something that is actually true.

Auto-naturalism no longer makes sense.

I'd go one step further - auto-naturalism as a scientific philosophy never existed.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 113 of 146 (662289)
05-14-2012 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Percy
05-14-2012 8:41 AM


Percy writes:

I'd go one step further - auto-naturalism as a scientific philosophy never existed.

I know that she just made up that word, but I think she did an ok job at trying to convey what she meant. She's saying that evolution as a natural process that works on its own (auto) doesn't make sense since everything just looks too perfect and designed.

The problem with this line of thinking is that ongoing researches in all types of scientific fields continue to show very complex patterns that appeared to be "designed" arise automatically from natural processes.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19295
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 114 of 146 (662327)
05-14-2012 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Vanessa
05-14-2012 3:40 AM


work in progress
Hi Vanessa,

Many people in this forum mistake 'evolution' to mean a particular theory - and only that theory. ...

Curiously, everybody here is using the terminology used in biological sciences. In science terms are used to mean specific things so that everybody understands what they are talking about.

quote:
University of Michigan Website:

Definitions of Biological Evolution

We begin with two working definitions of biological evolution, which capture these two facets of genetics and differences among life forms. Then we will ask what is a species, and how does a species arise?

  • Definition 1:

    Changes in the genetic composition of a population with the passage of each generation

  • Definition 2:

    The gradual change of living things from one form into another over the course of time, the origin of species and lineages by descent of living forms from ancestral forms, and the generation of diversity

Note that the first definition emphasizes genetic change. It commonly is referred to as microevolution. The second definition emphasizes the appearance of new, physically distinct life forms that can be grouped with similar appearing life forms in a taxonomic hierarchy. It commonly is referred to as macroevolution.

A full explanation of evolution requires that we link these two levels.


We link these by showing that (micro)evolution (a) over many generations results in "phyletic speciation" -- sufficient change within a lineage of descent from an ancestral population that the offspring population is a different species (also called arbitrary speciation), and (b) in isolated populations can cause divergent speciation, and that the process of divergent speciation is what forms the nested hierarchy. Here is an example of both forms of speciation in the fossil record:


(I've added the color lines, the original image without color lines is fig 10 from Gingerich, P.D. 1976. Paleontology and phylogeny: Patterns of evolution at the species level in early Tertiary mammals, American Journal of Science 276:1-28.):

The red lineage shows phyletic speciation, while the green purple and blue lines show divergent speciation (and the purple lineage died out).

This is one example of many.

quote:
Berkely University Website:

The Definition:

Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life.


You could vastly improve your understanding of the field of biological evolution if you took a week to go through this whole website, which is designed as a teaching aid for high school biology teachers.

You can see that they are talking about evolution the same way, and you can also compare this to the definition I gave you earlier:

The process of evolution involves the change in the frequency distribution and composition of hereditary traits within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities.

And I can add:

The process of Phyletic Speciation involves a lineage of descent from an ancestor population accumulating sufficient differences through (micro) evolution that, when compared to the ancestor population, it would appear to be a different species.

And:

The process of Divergent Speciation involves the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations, which then are free to (micro) evolve independently of each other.

Many people in this forum mistake 'evolution' to mean a particular theory - ...

And as I said before,

The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the process of evolution over generations, and the process of divergent speciation, are sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it, from the fossil record, from the genetic record, from the historic record, and from everyday record of the life we observe in the world all around us.

Like saying money only refers to Ammerican dollars - there is different currencies, there are different theories/explanations of evolution.

In the biological sciences, curiously, we are only interested in "Ammerican dollars" (biological evolution), while other science may be interested in other uses of the term (stellar evolution in astronomy is a different "currency" of evolution, the chemical evolution of life in abiogenesis is another different "currency" of evolution).

Amusingly, when you are dealing with things valued in American dollars, then it makes sense to use the terminology of American dollars and not some other currency.

The approach preferred on this site is what I call 'auto-naturalism', ...

Interestingly it matters less than the amount of ant frass in Antarctica what you call things: if you are not using scientific terminology properly then you are just not discussing science but some personal fantasy.

See Definitions, Daffynitions, Delusions, Logic and Critical Thinking..

Auto-naturalism no longer makes sense. Nature is far too complex - in fact we have yet to determine its parametres. Yet many writers here have decided what Nature 'isn't', before we've figured out what Nature 'is'.

No, we have tentatively accepted the current scientific theories as the best working explanations of the observed objective empirical evidence. That not all is known is acknowledged, but we expect that every test of every hypothesis, whether the result is negative (the concept is invalidated and discarded) or positive (the concept appears valid so far) brings us to a closer and closer approximation of reality.

Figuring out everything is a work in progress.

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)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Vanessa, posted 05-14-2012 3:40 AM Vanessa has responded

Replies to this message:
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shadow71
Member (Idle past 547 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 115 of 146 (663154)
05-21-2012 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Taz
05-13-2012 8:15 PM


Taz writes:

When we're talking about academic stuff like evolution, mutation, natural selection, etc., often times people who are not well equipped in these areas can't tell the difference between confidence from years and years of education and experience and ego from studying the bible and faith in god.

I agree with you and I hope you will try and discern the differences you are talking about, and I hope you will try to become well equipped in these areas.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Taz, posted 05-13-2012 8:15 PM Taz has not yet responded

    
Vanessa
Member (Idle past 1852 days)
Posts: 38
Joined: 05-06-2012


Message 116 of 146 (663212)
05-22-2012 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by RAZD
05-14-2012 7:47 PM


Re: work in progress
RAZD writes:

... we have tentatively accepted the current scientific theories as the best working explanations of the observed objective empirical evidence. That not all is known is acknowledged, but we expect that every test of every hypothesis, whether the result is negative (the concept is invalidated and discarded) or positive (the concept appears valid so far) brings us to a closer and closer approximation of reality.

Figuring out everything is a work in progress.

Yes, we do not yet know how life evolved. Current theory (which you fail to properly identify in your post) states that random mutation is the method by which new information is introduced in the genome. Like saying new computer programs are developed by random mutation in the computer code of existing programs - like saying my media player will one day evolve into publishing program simply by me using it. You like this explanation. Cool, it's yours, though I personally think it is inadequate.

My issue is the assumption that any argument to this theory is religiously driven and unscientific. What you are erroneously stating is that evolution can only happen one way - through arbitrary mutation. I claim 'certainty is the enemy of science'.

I take the position of Galileo and Einstein, who both believed and spent the last years of their lives looking for - a unified theory of all things. We should not be content to accept a collection of theories to explain the evolution of the solar system, another for the beginnings of life on Earth and yet another for evolution of life. It is a poor patchwork quilt of life and Nature does not work like that. We should strive to find the best explanation to fit the data. You have already decided what it is and you wait for confirmation. I am much more interested in finding the truth.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Vanessa
Member (Idle past 1852 days)
Posts: 38
Joined: 05-06-2012


Message 117 of 146 (663213)
05-22-2012 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by Percy
05-14-2012 8:41 AM


Percy writes:

Well, now you're just making things up. If you type "auto-naturalism" into Google you'll get back a single page of links, and one of them is to you. How many searches have you ever done in Google that returned a single page?

I'm surprised there was any reference on Google, because I made it up for this forum to better clarify my argument.

Evolution has a definition. If you're going to discuss evolution I suggest you use the same definition everyone else is using

The definition of evolution on this site is narrowed down to a single interpretation - a theory of development through mutation. I will not accept, nor use that definition of evolution - it is an insult to Nature.

Everything we know in science has come from studying nature. If there's anything in science that disagrees with nature then it's wrong.

Nowhere in Nature does life develop through mutation. It is wrong to assume (and call it Naturalism) that all life on Earth developed this way.

... auto-naturalism as a scientific philosophy never existed.

It is the primary scientific philosophy of evolution, it is time to name accurately.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Percy, posted 05-14-2012 8:41 AM Percy has responded

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vimesey
Member
Posts: 888
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011


Message 118 of 146 (663218)
05-22-2012 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 11:45 AM


Re: work in progress
Hi there Vanessa,

Vanessa writes:

Like saying new computer programs are developed by random mutation in the computer code of existing programs - like saying my media player will one day evolve into publishing program simply by me using it.

Well, not like that really, no. We observe that genetic mutations occur in reproduction of life. (My dad was a veterinary surgeon, and once put down a kitten that was born with two heads. Sad, but very much observed). We do not observe that computer programs reproduce and occasionally mutate in so doing.

Vanessa writes:

I claim 'certainty is the enemy of science'.

Interestingly, RAZD was arguing precisely that science is not certain - we observe, predict, and then either discard a theory, or determine that it seems to represent the best explanation available to us of the phenomena which we observe. As I understand it, scientists are not certain - they are sufficiently convinced to move scientific enquiry and advances in technology forward, but they are always open to improving their understanding.

Vanessa writes:

We should not be content to accept a collection of theories to explain the evolution of the solar system, another for the beginnings of life on Earth and yet another for evolution of life.

Well, there are obviously efforts ongoing to identify a unified grand theory which would unite quantum and Newtonian physics (I really hope I got that right - apologies to the scientists if I didn't), but in broad terms, science in its widest sense will always be a patchwork - the explanations of how a cell functions; of how electrons (sort of) orbit an atom's nucleus; of how gravity bends light; of how plate tectonics create earthquakes, will all be different from each other. Connected, yes, at a very deep and complex level, but still resembling a patchwork. There is nothing which says that a single, smooth, unified theory of all of existence should look neat and shiny - it could well look like a poor patchwork quilt of life.

Vanessa writes:

I am much more interested in finding the truth.

I think that a lot of people try to get away from the word "truth", because it always sounds like it is spelled with a capital "T". From reading the posts of most of the scientists on here, they seem to be interested in finding out the answers to "what", "how", "when", "how much" and similar questions. It is a matter of trying to understand what is, rather than trying to determine an ultimate reason for everything. It's a subtle distinction, but looking for "the truth" suggests too many preconceptions - let's just find out what is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 11:45 AM Vanessa has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 5:47 PM vimesey has responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7277
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 119 of 146 (663220)
05-22-2012 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 11:45 AM


Re: work in progress
Current theory (which you fail to properly identify in your post) states that random mutation is the method by which new information is introduced in the genome. Like saying new computer programs are developed by random mutation in the computer code of existing programs - like saying my media player will one day evolve into publishing program simply by me using it.

Strawman argument. No one is claiming that computer programs evolve.

However, we do observe that species evolve. We do observe that offspring are born with changes in their DNA, and that these changes are random with respect to fitness. We also observe that beneficial changes are passed on at a greater rate than neutral or detrimental changes. These are all OBSERVATIONS.

What you are erroneously stating is that evolution can only happen one way - through arbitrary mutation.

That is not what has been stated. What we are stating is that this is what we OBSERVE. Yes, it is possible that evolution could occur through mutations that are not random with respect to fitness. However, this isn't the case. We OBSERVE that mutations are random with respect to fitness. The two best examples are:

Luria-Delbruck fluctuation experiment

Lederbergs' Plate Replica Experiment

These are the classic experiments that demonstrated the randomness of mutations. I even ran these experiments when I was in college to help us better understand what is meant by random mutation.

We should not be content to accept a collection of theories to explain the evolution of the solar system, another for the beginnings of life on Earth and yet another for evolution of life. It is a poor patchwork quilt of life and Nature does not work like that.

Actually, yes it does work like that. Planets and species evolve through different mechanisms.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 11:45 AM Vanessa has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 3:55 PM Taq has responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7277
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


(2)
Message 120 of 146 (663221)
05-22-2012 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 11:57 AM


The definition of evolution on this site is narrowed down to a single interpretation - a theory of development through mutation. I will not accept, nor use that definition of evolution - it is an insult to Nature.

Then please use a word other than "evolution" to describe what you are talking about.

Nowhere in Nature does life develop through mutation.

See the two experiments in the post above. They directly disprove your claim.

It is the primary scientific philosophy of evolution, it is time to name accurately.

Perhaps you could develop that definition here and we will see if it is accurate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 11:57 AM Vanessa has not yet responded

  
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