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Author Topic:   Darwinism Cannot Explain The Peacock
Taq
Member
Posts: 7263
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 121 of 165 (689853)
02-05-2013 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


Re: The story is not complete.
Imagine that you are feeling sick and you go to a doctor. The doctor draws some blood and you see him again in a few days. He says, "We ran a bunch of tests, but everything came back negative." So you go to another doctor. He tells you the same: that he'd run some tests, and they all came back negative. The third doctor, however, tells you that you've tested positive for HIV. Now it's entirely possible that the other doctors also did a standard test for HIV and you came back negative twice but they didn't tell you. They just said they'd run some tests and they'd all come back negative. You didn't get an in-depth report on exactly what tests had been run because you didn't think that negative results were important. Well, they are important - very important.

That is not how the accuracy of the tests are determined. The ELISA test is compared against PCR tests which are the gold standard for HIV detection. This is done in controlled clinical trials.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 7263
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 122 of 165 (689855)
02-05-2013 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:06 AM


Re: And May God Have Mercy On Your Soul
According to evolutionary theory once, a very long time ago, peacocks had normal, small tails. However, by chance, a certain peacock had a larger, more ornate tail and the peahens just creamed their little non-existent panties for him and he had greater reproductive success. Over time and further similar incidents the peacock tail has evolved into what it is nowadays. This belief has been widely preached among the evolutionist faithful since 1859.
However, it had never been scientifically tested. Why bother? Faith should be enough for the acolytes, shouldn't it?

If it is not being selected for, why is the trait dominant in the population? If it is deleterious it will be selected against.

The fact that the trait is dominant in the poplation demonstrates that it is resulting in increased reproductive success. Now the problem is figuring out why that is.


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5166
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 123 of 165 (689882)
02-05-2013 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
Arriba writes:

I can tell you for a fact that Newton wasn't a scientist.

Who cares? Gravity would work the same way if a poet or a pig farmer wrote the equations.

Perhaps Catholicism is more responsible for us getting to the moon than science, eh?

Einstein was a patent clerk, does that mean government bureaucrats discovered relativity? (this in the days when scientist were called scientists and everything)


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

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NoNukes
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Posts: 10072
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.9


(2)
Message 124 of 165 (689885)
02-05-2013 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
Newton died in 1727 we know that he was not a scientist.

Your argument is inane.

Be aware, however, that if you take that claim you are excluding Galileo as a scientist as he wasn't a natural philosopher.

I don't care what Galileo or Newton were called during their lifetimes. If they used the scientific method to explore how things worked, I can use today's language to say that they were scientists.

Alternatively one could note that you need not be recognized as a scientist to conduct scientific investigations.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2725
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(2)
Message 125 of 165 (689886)
02-05-2013 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Tangle
02-05-2013 3:11 PM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
Tangle writes:

Who cares? Gravity would work the same way if a poet or a pig farmer wrote the equations.

Or patent clerk.

*I guess we should keep our day jobs.

Edited by 1.61803, : added *


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 292 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(3)
Message 126 of 165 (689889)
02-05-2013 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:06 AM


Re: And May God Have Mercy On Your Soul
Hi, Arriba.

Arriba writes:

Anyway in the 1980s someone finally decided to "test" it. First of all, Petrie took groups of feral peacocks and captured them in order to trim their tails. The control group was not captured. Accordingly she observed that peacocks with mutilated tails had lesser chances of success.

Again, the control group was captured. The study began with 11 experimental males and 11 control males. Most of the control males did not lek or mate, so they included data from males outside of the original study design to serve as additional controls. These males were not captured over the winter, but they had been captured in previous winters, and the data collected over those previous years showed that capture during the winter had no effect on mating success in the subsequent mating season.

Arriba writes:

Dakin, whose own studies were underway in 2008 when the Japanese study came out, noted that males had the same success regardless of eyespots (which varied between 165 and 170) but plucked males had markedly lower success.

Dakin's group also included a meta-analysis of all studies done on eyespot number in feral peafowl populations. In this analysis, it was concluded that natural variation in eyespot number had no impact on female preference; but, deviation from the natural range in eyespot number did impact female preference.

Interestingly, the natural range of variation seems to be largely due to damage, rather than to genetics. So, selection on that scale would not be meaningful for evolution, anyway.

Arriba writes:

My additional questions: How were the males captured? Did researchers simply resolve to capture half of the males and then mutilate their tails? Couldn't that imply that the males who got mutilated were the ones who were the easiest to capture? Or had they specifically set out to capture certain pre-selected males? We may never know since the study in question is paywalled.

You mean you haven't even read the papers yet!?

I have access to all the articles listed via institutional subscriptions, and I've read them all except Petrie's rebuttal. Good grief! I didn't realize I was so desperate to procrastinate writing my dissertation! Now I feel guilty.

Did you at least read Takahashi et al. (2008), before lauding it as a grand refutation of Darwin's peacock hypothesis?

Arriba writes:

I also believe that Petrie's pathological need to publish a rebuttal to the Japanese study (also paywalled) shows that she is heavily emotionally invested in the outcome - a bad sign.

Petrie is listed as the second of four authors on that manuscript. In my experience, that means she was neither the mastermind (last author) nor the actual writer (first author) of the paper, but an invited co-author. But, maybe bird people do that differently from bug people.

Still, you're reading too much into it, which is a bad sign.
Admittedly, my choice of procrastination fodder might also be a bad sign, so perhaps it's time for me to drop it and get back to my work.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 13889
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(2)
Message 127 of 165 (689917)
02-06-2013 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
Arriba writes:

All you need to do is pick up a dictionary (try dictionary.com) and you'll see that the word "scientist" got added to the dictionary in 1834.


You're kidding, right? You accidentally posted that here instead of the Humour forum, didn't you? You can't be seriously suggesting that something doesn't exist until it's defined in the dictionary.

Newton and Galileo were scientists because they did science. It doesn't matter what they were called.


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.6


(1)
Message 128 of 165 (689923)
02-06-2013 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
I can tell you for a fact that Newton wasn't a scientist. All you need to do is pick up a dictionary (try dictionary.com) and you'll see that the word "scientist" got added to the dictionary in 1834.

And before that the term was "cultivators of science". That has to be the stupidest argument I have heard in a long time.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15972
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 129 of 165 (689935)
02-06-2013 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:02 AM


Re: And May God Have Mercy On Your Soul
You state: "But Ioannidis had a reason for producing his figure --- that the results in his hypothetical example were based on data-mining." This only proves that you have no reading comprehension ability.

And yet it falls to me to point out that Ioannidis was describing data-mining, and to you to be wrong about it.

But this is by-the-by. My point, which you have not attempted to dispute, is that Ioannidis' figure was calculated, whereas your figure for P(H) was simply made up to reflect your biases.

This is not brain surgery. It's simple math - something you're supposed to be good at.

As I have pointed out, the study of mathematics does not include a study of your personal prejudices. Mathematicians are not interested in how biased you are, even if you quantify it.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15972
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(12)
Message 130 of 165 (689938)
02-06-2013 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Arriba
02-05-2013 9:04 AM


I can tell you for a fact that Newton wasn't a scientist. All you need to do is pick up a dictionary (try dictionary.com) and you'll see that the word "scientist" got added to the dictionary in 1834.

Also, we know for a fact that he wasn't a vertebrate, since that word was only added to the dictionary in 1826.

You silly little man.


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Arriba
Junior Member (Idle past 1205 days)
Posts: 22
From: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Joined: 01-24-2013


Message 131 of 165 (690602)
02-14-2013 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Taq
02-05-2013 10:47 AM


Re: The story is not complete.
I think you are solidly missing the point.

We have a test (let’s forget about HIV for a second) that tests for a disease. Let’s call it test A.

We know this test is 99.5 percent accurate because we’ve compared it against another test (let’s call it test B) and it agrees with it 99.5 percent of the time in “controlled clinical trials.”

But how do we know test B is accurate? I suppose you tested that test against test C, which was in turn validated against test D, and that was validated against test E, ad infinitum.

That’s what we call an infinite regress.

Nor does your logic eliminate the possibility of false positives being reported. We can imagine a researcher who is investigating some 300 medications to see which ones are effective against a certain ailment. In reality none of them are effective. Yet he will still find that, on average, 15 will reach a 95 percent confidence level on by chance alone. If some or all of those get published then he will have a method that is 95 percent effective yet published results that are 100 percent wrong.


"...nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific..." - Imre Lakatos

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Arriba
Junior Member (Idle past 1205 days)
Posts: 22
From: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Joined: 01-24-2013


Message 132 of 165 (690603)
02-14-2013 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Taq
02-05-2013 10:52 AM


Re: And May God Have Mercy On Your Soul
You said, “If it is deleterious it will be selected against.”

Let’s talk about guinea pigs. As you may or may not know, guinea pigs used to synthesize vitamin C. Now they no longer do. In fact they must receive vitamin C supplementation or they will experience rough hair coat, lack of appetite, dental pain, delayed wound healing, lameness, and an inability to fend off infections.

Now according to your faith in neo-Darwinism this must somehow not be deleterious because it is universal in the gene pool. I should very much like to hear your explanation as to why that is.


"...nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific..." - Imre Lakatos

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Arriba
Junior Member (Idle past 1205 days)
Posts: 22
From: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Joined: 01-24-2013


Message 133 of 165 (690604)
02-14-2013 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Tangle
02-05-2013 3:11 PM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
Ok, as you’ve said, Einstein was a patent clerk. Yet you decided to give the credit for his invention to science, as opposed to Judaism, or Deism, or the patent office. You have made no justification for this. Why should I accept it?

"...nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific..." - Imre Lakatos

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Arriba
Junior Member (Idle past 1205 days)
Posts: 22
From: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Joined: 01-24-2013


Message 134 of 165 (690605)
02-14-2013 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by NoNukes
02-05-2013 3:23 PM


Re: Unprovable Postulates
First of all, there is no such thing as the scientific method.

If you are referring to hypothetico-deductive reasoning, that was invented by William Whewell, who is the same guy who decided upon the word “scientist.”

Additionally, I should like to point out that Einstein came up with his theory of relativity by imagining himself riding on a beam of light. This is not part and parcel of the so-called “scientific” method. In fact, it’s not empirical at all. Yet you choose to give science the credit. Why is that?


"...nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific..." - Imre Lakatos

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Arriba
Junior Member (Idle past 1205 days)
Posts: 22
From: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Joined: 01-24-2013


Message 135 of 165 (690606)
02-14-2013 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Blue Jay
02-05-2013 5:54 PM


Re: And May God Have Mercy On Your Soul
As you said yourself, variation in eyespots is invariably due to damage.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s imagine that we are living some 50 years ago and we capture an ex-Nazi concentration camp director. While we are speaking to him he informs us that he has proved that Jews have big noses because of sexual selection.

While we carefully suppress our doubts even that Jews have big noses, we ask for more details and he reveals his experiment.

Step 1. He divides the male Jews into two groups.
Step 2. He amputates the noses of half of the male Jews.
Step 3. He observes their “reproductive success.”
Step 4. When enough “control group” Jews don’t mate he takes Jews from a different concentration camp.
Step 5. Noting that those with amputated noses have less reproductive success when compared to those from the other concentration camp, he feels convinced that he has proved his theory of sexual selection.

Question to you: Are you convinced? I’m not. If you don’t find that method convincing then why do you think mutilated peacocks prove sexual selection in peacocks?


"...nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific..." - Imre Lakatos

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