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Author Topic:   How do you define the Theory of Evolution?
Tangle
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From: UK
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Message 76 of 93 (813721)
06-30-2017 7:34 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by RAZD
06-30-2017 7:06 AM


Re: Your Definitions
You'd think that that would be enough but I somehow doubt it.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"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:
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dwise1
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(1)
Message 77 of 93 (813792)
06-30-2017 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by CRR
06-30-2017 3:57 AM


Re: Your Definitions
One thing that I don't understand about your definitions is that you keep leaving out the part where you are equating evolution with atheism.

You declare as atheist a site that examines creationist claims and tries to dispel creationist misunderstandings of evolution by explaining it to them. And Dredge agrees with you and adds that they are Satanic, plus he explicitly describes evolution as "atheist theology."

Yet both of you refuse to provide your reasoning for that. Why is that? Because you know that yours is a false equivalence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by CRR, posted 06-30-2017 3:57 AM CRR has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phat
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Member Rating: 2.3


Message 78 of 93 (813794)
06-30-2017 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by dwise1
06-30-2017 1:25 PM


Equating the ToE with Atheism
I googled a few articles and found this one:
Does Accepting Evolution Require Atheism?

Basically, the answer is not necessarily.

ThoughtCo writes:

Although it is true that evolution is not about the origins of life, and hence the way is left open for a god to be thought responsible for that, the fact remains that the process of evolution itself is incompatible with so many of the attributes traditionally ascribed to God in the West.

Why would the god of Christianity, Judaism or Islam produce us humans through a process which has required such untold death, destruction, and suffering over the course of hundreds of millennia? Indeed, what reason is there to think that we humans are the purpose of life on this planet — we've only taken up a small fraction of time here. If we were to use time or quantity and a standard of measurement, other life forms are much better candidates for the "purpose" of terrestrial life; moreover, maybe the "purpose" is yet to come and we are but one more stage on that path, no more or less important than any other.

Thus while accepting evolution may not cause atheism or even necessarily make atheism more likely, there is a good chance that it will at least force a revision of what one thinks about their theism.

By making humans no more special than pond scum, a revision of our relationship with a Creator is inevitably contemplated.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
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(1)
Message 79 of 93 (813795)
06-30-2017 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phat
06-30-2017 2:57 PM


Re: Equating the ToE with Atheism
I would respond with the following point - which I've made before.

All that death and suffering happened, independently of whether evolution is true.

Humans have only existed a (relatively) short time on this planet, independently of whether evolution is true.

Obviously, evolution isn't the problem.


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Tangle
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From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 80 of 93 (813796)
06-30-2017 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phat
06-30-2017 2:57 PM


Re: Equating the ToE with Atheism
Phat writes:

I googled a few articles and found this one:
Does Accepting Evolution Require Atheism?
Basically, the answer is not necessarily.

For god's sake Phat, of course it bloody doesn't. Not 'not necessarily', just no. The largest Christian organisation on the planet accepts evolution. It's a tiny and diminishing proportion of Christians that think the way people like Faith do.

You guys live in your own little bubble.

Have you ever travelled outside the US Phat?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"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 78 by Phat, posted 06-30-2017 2:57 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
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Posts: 2866
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 81 of 93 (813814)
06-30-2017 10:34 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phat
06-30-2017 2:57 PM


Re: Equating the ToE with Atheism
By making humans no more special than pond scum, a revision of our relationship with a Creator is inevitably contemplated.

That would be considered the Sin of Pride. Last I heard, that was still one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Or is that just a Catholic thing?

I would recommend that one follow the link you provided and read the rest of the article. I don't quite feel that your quote represents the thesis of the article, so it would require the rest of the article for context.

Also, the last "paragraph" you quote is the introduction into another section of the article. The first part was from the section, "EVOLUTION & ATHEISM", and the last sentence was from the section, "EVOLUTION & RELIGION". Here is that second section's entire first paragraph:

quote:
EVOLUTION & RELIGION

Thus while accepting evolution may not cause atheism or even necessarily make atheism more likely, there is a good chance that it will at least force a revision of what one thinks about their theism. Anyone who consciously considers and accepts evolution should think about it long and hard enough to cause them to seriously question some of their traditional religious and theistic beliefs. Such beliefs may not be abandoned, but they may not continue untouched.


And what might some of those "traditional religious and theistic beliefs" be? How's 'bout the list of YEC beliefs in a 6,000 year old earth, immutability of species (which creationists constantly violate with the hyper-evolution required by their "basic created kinds"), Noah's Flood. Beliefs which contradict the reality of their god's alleged creation. If you hold beliefs that contradict your own god's Creation, then shouldn't that be a clue that there might be something wrong with those beliefs? So shouldn't you want to detect such defects in your theology and to correct them?

But a major theistic belief among creationists and IDists appears to be the God of the Gaps. For example, Lawyer Phillip Johnson, one of the founders of ID, stated that the primary reason he objects to evolution is because it leaves God with nothing to do. That's the attitude and kind of arguments that I keep seeing from the creationist side: if we find a natural explanation for something, then that means that God did not do it. If they were truly creationists, then they wouldn't be saying such nonsense. If they were actually creationists, then they would believe that God did create everything, including those natural, material processes that get things done.

Evolution, along with all the other scientific ideas, describe what happens in the real world. Creation says that God created the real world and everything that makes it run. There is no inherent conflict between evolution and creation. One does not disprove the other.

But if you misrepresent either or both of those, evolution and/or creation, then you create conflict where none actually exists. That is what creationists do. And do please note that it is a small subset of creationists, YECs, who have usurped that title for themselves. A very great number of believers in Divine Creation would be excluded by the YECs for calling themselves creationists, even though that is what they are. I have read a number of anti-YEC creationists complain loudly how their own title had been usurped from them.

And it is those YEC creationists who insist that evolution is atheistic, along with all other science that does not agree with their own narrow false theology. Plus there are those non-Christians who hear YEC creationists declare that accepting evolution requires you to be an atheist and they make the mistake of accepting what they are being told at face value.

So then, no, there's nothing at all atheistic about evolution. Nor about any other scientific idea. Of course science does not mention the supernatural nor can accept any supernaturalistic explanations, but that is because science simply cannot deal with the supernatural. It says nothing about whether the supernatural exists or not, because ... who can even tell?

So then, no, accepting evolution does not in any way require atheism. However, it may well require you to re-examine a number of facile ideas you may have about theism, but that is a good thing.


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RAZD
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Posts: 18804
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 82 of 93 (813850)
07-01-2017 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by CRR
06-13-2017 3:03 AM


Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
Yes species IS hard to define and there are many "species" (and genera) today than can exchange genetic material. ...

Ran across this, and thought it might help with your species problem ... they advocate dispensing with "speciation" and "anagenesis" and "cladogenesis" because there is confusion, and instead talk about evolutionary lineages:

quote:
An evolutionary lineage, or line of descent, is the inherent product of evolutionary units replicating in generations over time, and consequently it is a universal feature of all biologically evolving systems (Cutter, 2013). A ‘species’ is therefore always a taxonomic description of an arbitrarily delineated segment of an evolutionary lineage in time (de Queiroz, 1998, 2007; Sites & Marshall, 2003; Podani, 2013; White, 2013).

... ie - a "species" is an arbitrary snapshot of a section of the evolutionary lineage, and it is the lineage that is important rather than the species designation in question.

Now I find their arguments against using anagenesis and cladogenesis to be a little contrived, especially when one take the effort to define the terms when used (for clarity), and a bit over concerned with taxonomy classifications.

They discuss divergence from a parent population as a factor in both anagenesis and cladogenesis

But I also note that they also talk about "cessation of gene flow" rather than genetic incompatibility:

quote:
... The most popular definition of cladogenesis is the splitting of evolutionary lineages (cessation of gene flow), whereas anagenesis is evolutionary change between splits. ...

And they discuss the time frames of which such cessation occurs, and when there is interweaving and hybridization before the process is complete -- ie it is not a single point in time phenomena/event.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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caffeine
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Posts: 1316
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
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Message 83 of 93 (813879)
07-01-2017 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by RAZD
07-01-2017 11:03 AM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
The most popular definition of cladogenesis is the splitting of evolutionary lineages (cessation of gene flow),

At the risk of going wildly off topic - this touches on the reasons why the BSC has also seemed a no-starter to me, and I struggle to understand why it's still treated as if it's the default definition of species - despite it being one that is never used by taxonomists.

Cessation of gene flow can take an extraordinarily long time and, unless physical barriers (like oceans) get in the way, can sometimes take place long after populations have become clearly separated from one another.

Geladas are clearly a separate evolutionary lineage than normal baboons. Nevertheless, hamadryas baboons have been observed to occasionally mate with geladas, and genetic testing has established that this is ongoing gene flow into one of the two populations (it only goes one way, if I remember correctly, due to hybrid incompatibility depending on the sex of the parents).

The article you cite is on the right track, in my opinion. The boundaries between two species are no more meaningful than those between genera and families - they're wholly arbitrary and far too much ink and thought is wasted on them. I think arguing that creationists are wrong because speciation has occurred is a mistake. Speciation has no clear, objective definition.


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RAZD
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Posts: 18804
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 84 of 93 (813885)
07-01-2017 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by caffeine
07-01-2017 5:07 PM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
Cessation of gene flow can take an extraordinarily long time and, unless physical barriers (like oceans) get in the way, can sometimes take place long after populations have become clearly separated from one another.

Curiously, the way I see it is that cessation of gene flow occurs by behavior and sexual selection way before it is genetic incompatibility -- and that this functional cessation of gene flow is all that is necessary ... and that later interactions -- hybridization, and interweaving -- create a mosaic of evolutionary descent that explains a mixture of traits that seem to be 1 from column "A" and 1 from column "B" ...

The article you cite is on the right track, in my opinion. The boundaries between two species are no more meaningful than those between genera and families - they're wholly arbitrary and far too much ink and thought is wasted on them. I think arguing that creationists are wrong because speciation has occurred is a mistake. Speciation has no clear, objective definition.

What we see is a division of an evolutionary lineage into two or more independent lineages, and this easily provides the increased diversity that we see. This occurs through the known evolutionary processes.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

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CRR
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Message 85 of 93 (813917)
07-02-2017 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by dwise1
06-30-2017 1:25 PM


Re: Your Definitions
I guess you, like many others, missed the sarcasm in that comment.
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CRR
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Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 86 of 93 (814074)
07-04-2017 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by dwise1
06-28-2017 2:54 PM


Re: Jerry Coyne's Definition
We need to know the context of that quote to be able to understand what he's really saying.

Which is why I told you where I got it from.

Coyne turns out to be a outspoken critic of creationists...

Yep, that's why I used his definition, because he is hostile to Creationism. Personally I think Coyne gives a pretty good definition of the theory of evolution here, although I prefer Kerkut's definition for the General Theory of Evolution because it is more succinct.


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CRR
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From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 87 of 93 (814075)
07-04-2017 6:22 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by caffeine
07-01-2017 5:07 PM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
caffeine writes:

The article you cite is on the right track, in my opinion. The boundaries between two species are no more meaningful than those between genera and families - they're wholly arbitrary and far too much ink and thought is wasted on them. I think arguing that creationists are wrong because speciation has occurred is a mistake. Speciation has no clear, objective definition.

I agree.


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Pressie
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From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
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Message 88 of 93 (814081)
07-04-2017 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by CRR
07-04-2017 6:22 AM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
Ah, CRR, so no fixed boundaries between 'kinds'. You're getting to it.
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RAZD
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Posts: 18804
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 89 of 93 (814112)
07-04-2017 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by CRR
07-04-2017 6:22 AM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
caffeine writes:

The article you cite is on the right track, in my opinion. The boundaries between two species are no more meaningful than those between genera and families - they're wholly arbitrary and far too much ink and thought is wasted on them. I think arguing that creationists are wrong because speciation has occurred is a mistake. Speciation has no clear, objective definition.

I agree.

Because "species" and "genera" and "family" are just snapshots of arbitrarily selected portions of the lineal heritage of descent for all living and extinct organisms.

We know this lineage with the genetic evidence and the fossil evidence and the evidence of life around us.

As I've said many times before, these names are human inventions used for communication. People love to name things. The reality is the ongoing, ceaseless process of evolution, each generation different from the previous.

How does this affect my definition in Message 3 of the Theory of Evolution?

(4) The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the process of anagenesis, and the process of cladogenesis, 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.

If we say that anagenesis is the ongoing, ceaseless process of evolution in a breeding population, and that cladogenesis is ongoing, ceaseless process of evolution in genetically isolated breeding populations, and note that the whole breeding population in anagenesis is genetically isolated, then we can say that

(4) The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the ongoing, ceaseless process of evolution in genetically isolated breeding populations is 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.

Populations can be isolated by genetic incompatibility (such as you normally find between "species") or they can be functionally isolated by geography or behavior.

The overall meaning is the same, it's just a different way to say it.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆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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CRR
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Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.3


(1)
Message 90 of 93 (814136)
07-04-2017 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by RAZD
07-04-2017 1:58 PM


Re: Evolutionary Lineages rather than species?
How does this affect my definition in Message 3 of the Theory of Evolution?

I think I have said before that you gave quite a good definition.
This message is a reply to:
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