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Author Topic:   Explaining the pro-Evolution position
PaulK
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Posts: 13115
Joined: 01-10-2003
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(6)
Message 1 of 393 (777056)
01-25-2016 2:01 PM


After reading TheArtists recent topic proposal I think that an explanation of the mainstream pro-evolution position is needed. I will try to be uncontroversial in that but if anyone on the evolution side objects to this characterisation (which is not intended to include fringe positions) please speak up.

1) Evolution is not an all-encompassing belief system, it is a scientific theory with a limited scope. In particular, it is not a source of moral or ethical values. There are many Christians on the pro-evolution side.

2) Science is the best way to learn about and understand the physical universe, both how it operates and its history. A well-established scientific theory should be accepted as a good approximation of the truth. (And no more than that - nobody on the mainstream pro-evolution side would claim that the current theory was absolutely correct in every little detail)

3) Evolution is a well-established scientific theory (this should be uncontroversial to anyone, since it is a clear fact)


Replies to this message:
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AdminAsgara
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Posts: 2073
From: The Universe
Joined: 10-11-2003


Message 2 of 393 (777058)
01-25-2016 3:34 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Explaining the pro-Evolution position thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Coyote
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Posts: 5988
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


(5)
Message 3 of 393 (777084)
01-25-2016 11:22 PM


Theory
Heinlein had a good explanation of this:

Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness. To be valid a theory must be confirmed by all the relevant facts. ... A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts.

Expanded Universe, pp. 480-481.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


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Taq
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(3)
Message 4 of 393 (777471)
02-01-2016 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
01-25-2016 11:22 PM


Re: Theory
Heinlein had a good explanation of this:

Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness. To be valid a theory must be confirmed by all the relevant facts. ... A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts.

Expanded Universe, pp. 480-481.

The obligatory SJG quote:

quote:
Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" does not mean "absolute certainty." The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/...gould_fact-and-theory.html


For the pro-evolution side, common ancestry between species is considered a fact. It is "confirmed to such a degree" as defined by SJG. When someone claims that God could have produced the fossil and genetic evidence, to us it sounds like someone saying that God could have planted DNA evidence at a crime scene, so we should just ignore it.

What we look for in a theory is the ability to predict what we will see in nature. With evolution, we predict we should see a nested hierarchy (i.e. phylogeny), at least for multicellular animals. This allows us to make tons of interesting and testable predictions, such as the prediction that we will not find a fossil species with feathers and three middle ear bones. This separates evolution from pseudoscience where such precise and interesting predictions are hardly ever brought forward.

We evolutionists don't reject creationism because we are afraid of the concept. We reject creationism because it is useless in the field of science.


This message is a reply to:
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Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 5 of 393 (792238)
10-07-2016 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
01-25-2016 2:01 PM


You will have to pardon my formatting because it has been quite a while since I've used dBCodes. But for my first response on this forum, I've chosen PaulK's post.
quote:
1) Evolution is not an all-encompassing belief system, it is a scientific theory with a limited scope. In particular, it is not a source of moral or ethical values. There are many Christians on the pro-evolution side.

There is a difference between "Evolution" and "The Theory of Evolution"
quote:
2) Science is the best way to learn about and understand the physical universe, both how it operates and its history. A well-established scientific theory should be accepted as a good approximation of the truth. (And no more than that - nobody on the mainstream pro-evolution side would claim that the current theory was absolutely correct in every little detail)

It is possible to believe that evolution occurs but that the theory of evolution is not true. In fact, I believe that is the correct view.
quote:
3) Evolution is a well-established scientific theory (this should be uncontroversial to anyone, since it is a clear fact)

Evolution may be a well-established scientific theory but the "Theory of Evolution" is not a well-established scientific theory.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by PaulK, posted 01-25-2016 2:01 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 1:23 PM Kleinman has responded
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 1:29 PM Kleinman has responded

  
Tangle
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Posts: 5053
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 6 of 393 (792240)
10-07-2016 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Kleinman
10-07-2016 1:20 PM


Kleinman writes:

....the "Theory of Evolution" is not a well-established scientific theory.

Yes it is.

Now what?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:20 PM Kleinman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:43 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
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Posts: 13631
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 7 of 393 (792242)
10-07-2016 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Kleinman
10-07-2016 1:20 PM


Kleinman writes:

There is a difference between "Evolution" and "The Theory of Evolution"


Yes, evolution is a fact and the Theory of Evolution is the only real explanation of that fact.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:20 PM Kleinman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:51 PM ringo has responded

  
Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 8 of 393 (792243)
10-07-2016 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Tangle
10-07-2016 1:23 PM


quote:
quote:
Kleinman writes:
....the "Theory of Evolution" is not a well-established scientific theory.

Yes it is.

Now what?



Let's see how well established the theory of evolution is. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 1:23 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 1:51 PM Kleinman has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5053
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 9 of 393 (792244)
10-07-2016 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Kleinman
10-07-2016 1:43 PM


Kleinman writes:

Let's see how well established the theory of evolution is. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?

Nope, it doesn't work like that, it's your claim the the ToE isn't well founded. You now have to explain why.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:43 PM Kleinman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:57 PM Tangle has responded

  
Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 10 of 393 (792245)
10-07-2016 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
10-07-2016 1:29 PM


quote:
quote:
Kleinman writes:
There is a difference between "Evolution" and "The Theory of Evolution"

Yes, evolution is a fact and the Theory of Evolution is the only real explanation of that fact.

You are half right ringo and to start the explanation why you are only half right, answer the same question I pose for Tangle. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 1:29 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Genomicus, posted 10-07-2016 1:57 PM Kleinman has responded
 Message 51 by ringo, posted 10-08-2016 11:41 AM Kleinman has responded
 Message 53 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-08-2016 9:19 PM Kleinman has responded

  
Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 11 of 393 (792247)
10-07-2016 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Tangle
10-07-2016 1:51 PM


quote:
quote:
Kleinman writes:
Let's see how well established the theory of evolution is. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?

Nope, it doesn't work like that, it's your claim the the ToE isn't well founded. You now have to explain why.

The answer to the question I ask you contains the reason why the theory of evolution is not true. I'm trying to get you to figure this out yourself.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 1:51 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 3:11 PM Kleinman has responded

  
Genomicus
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 12 of 393 (792248)
10-07-2016 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Kleinman
10-07-2016 1:51 PM


You are half right ringo and to start the explanation why you are only half right, answer the same question I pose for Tangle. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?

I'm going to take a gander and guess that you've recently read Behe's The Edge of Evolution. Right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 1:51 PM Kleinman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 2:04 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 13 of 393 (792249)
10-07-2016 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Genomicus
10-07-2016 1:57 PM


quote:
You are half right ringo and to start the explanation why you are only half right, answer the same question I pose for Tangle. Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?
quote:
I'm going to take a gander and guess that you've recently read Behe's The Edge of Evolution. Right?


Nope, do you want to try to answer this question? Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Genomicus, posted 10-07-2016 1:57 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Genomicus, posted 10-07-2016 2:08 PM Kleinman has responded

  
Genomicus
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 14 of 393 (792250)
10-07-2016 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Kleinman
10-07-2016 2:04 PM


Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?

Multi-valent drug approaches to HIV are more effective because there is a lower probability of the HIV population hitting on the right mutations to counter both drugs simultaneously.

Next.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 2:04 PM Kleinman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Kleinman, posted 10-07-2016 2:17 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Kleinman
Member (Idle past 251 days)
Posts: 136
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2016


Message 15 of 393 (792251)
10-07-2016 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Genomicus
10-07-2016 2:08 PM


quote:
Why does combination therapy work for the treatment of HIV?
quote:
Multi-valent drug approaches to HIV are more effective because there is a lower probability of the HIV population hitting on the right mutations to counter both drugs simultaneously.

Next.




Good, you are on the right track for understanding how random mutation and natural selection (rmns from here on) works. rmns is governed by the theorems of probability theory. So consider the simpler case when HIV evolves very rapidly to single drug therapy. How do compute this probability?
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 3:00 PM Kleinman has responded
 Message 41 by Genomicus, posted 10-07-2016 7:30 PM Kleinman has responded

  
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