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Author Topic:   Key points of Evolution
RAZD
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Message 22 of 356 (464022)
04-22-2008 9:14 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by seekingthetruth
04-22-2008 2:58 PM


Welcome to the fray, seekingthetruth: I wonder if you really are.

Evolution in and of itself is very anti "christian".

Not really. Evolution, like all science is about truth, regardless of preconceptions. To be "anti" something you have to be actively against it, and science is not against any single idea that stands up to the evidence and to testing.

There are many christians that have no problems with evolution, so evolution cannot be anti- to their beliefs: the problem is not evolution. This book is just by one of them.

Evolution is a very simple truth: no two organisms are identical, and the differences between individual organisms result in different ability to survive and reproduce and pass on genes that - however small the difference - over generations means that all types/pools/kinds/groups of organisms, no matter how you choose to sort them, change over time. Evolution is inevitable.

If what you believe is contradicted by this simple truth it is not the fault of the truth.

I don't know how Hindus belive, but I bet if you told them their god didn't create the universe they would be pretty
upset as well.

Fanatic hindus - to speak in general terms - don't like evolution because it doesn't use up enough time for their dogma. But the problem for them is the same as it is for anyone of faith not founded on facts:

If what you believe is not the truth then what you believe is not true.

Evolution has nothing to do with it, it is about truth.

That the earth is over 4.5 billion years old has nothing to do with evolution, it is about the truth.

That geological science shows that no world wide flood happened has nothing to do with evolution, it is about the truth.

That physics and astronomy show that the universe is over 13.7 billion years old has nothing to do with evolution, it is about the truth.

Evolution states that "nothing" exploded billions and billions of years ago.

Nope. Somebody lied to you or you weren't paying attention, or you didn't understand, or ... the root cause is immaterial, the fact is that you are wrong. Time to do some real truth seeking?

Where is the proof? If evolution and science is all about proof, where is it? There is nothing you or anyone can produce showing a genetic link between a man and a tree.

So much for the search for truth -- you are already in denial, and you haven't even learned the basics: how science works.

Message 15
I don't need a doctorate and years of study to know that humans and trees did not come from the same material. If you
have proof to the contrary please let us know.

All life is built the same way from amino acids with DNA and RNA. These ARE the same material by definition. Hint: one is food the other uses to grow ...

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added topocal comments


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 Message 8 by seekingthetruth, posted 04-22-2008 2:58 PM seekingthetruth has not yet responded

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 Message 24 by 1071, posted 04-23-2008 6:56 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

RAZD
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Posts: 15822
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Message 57 of 356 (464200)
04-23-2008 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by 1071
04-23-2008 10:17 AM


For the record.
Welcome to the fray antiLie.

[my last post on this thread]

Therefore I won't reply to you expecting an answer, but just to straighten out several misconceptions for other readers that happen by.

I shouldn't even be on this thread. This is why; I do not even agree that evolution is scientifically possible.

Fortunately nature is not inhibited in any way by what you believe is possible, it just keeps doing what comes naturally. This is the general problem when dealing with truths: they are true whether you believe them or not, they are independent of belief.

This is decietful. Only Microevolution can be observed. I do not deny that.

There is nothing deceitful about saying that evolution has been observed: evolution at it's simplest is the change in hereditary traits in a population from generation to generation -- and there is no population where this is not observed.

If you want to wrangle about terminology, then I can suggest several threads that deal with microevolution versus macroevolution -- the critical element being actually defining what macroevolution is:

MACROevolution vs MICROevolution - what is it?

"Macro" vs "Micro" genetic "kind" mechanism?

Can Domestic Selection cause Macroevolution?

When does microevolution turn into macroevolution?

How different is macro/micro evolution

and one that has already been suggested:

Dogs will be Dogs wil be ???

As you can see, there has been discussion about this before. Unfortunately it seems that no creationist has really answered the question of what macroevolution IS before declaring that it can't happen.

Message 33
we have, One Family Tree unites all of life and
Species change through time and place

what else?

But the first is not necessary for evolution to be true. If only microevolution has happened since T=0 then evolution is still true.

For one, the change has to be hereditary for it to be evolution, for another it has to cause a differential advantage for survival or breeding for selection to operate. Change for change sake is not evolution.

You saying that evolution is a fact, is the same as myself saying creation is a fact.

No, the difference is that evolution has been observed, and that is why it is a fact and not just an assertion.

...calling evolution a fact, is not a keypoint to the theory

Correct, because that would be confusing the evidence that forms the basis for making the theory, the factual process of evolution -- the observed change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation -- with the theory of evolution -- the theory that this process is sufficient to explain the diversity of life we know on earth. All scientific theories are based on known evidence, and then they make predictions of what you will find if the theory is true. The better the theory is, the better it explains all the current evidence and makes new predictions that can be tested.

you are saying that fossils, geology, cosmology, microbiology, and biology are not key points of evolution... wow

This has been answered adequately by PaulK in Message 31, however this shows that you are confused about what is and what is not evolution. Couple this with your assertion (see above) that evolution is not scientifically possible, really means that you don't really know what you believe. This is not uncommon. An easy resolution is to learn what evolution is really about, not what creationists - and other non-biologists - tell you.

Now we get to your response to my simple post, Message 22:

even if you say it over and over you can not make it true.

What makes it true is the testing of concepts against the evidence of reality. Note that I said several testable things:

  • no two organisms are identical
  • the differences between individual organisms result in different ability to survive and reproduce and pass on genes
  • that - however small the difference - over generations means that all types/pools/kinds/groups of organisms, no matter how you choose to sort them, change over time.
  • Evolution is inevitable.
Now you can show that these are false statements, or you can shuck and jive around the issue and pretend you've dealt with it.

Key points of Evolution;
- There are fossils, geology, cosmology, microbiology, and biology

Do not confuse evolution with the natural history of what has happened. Fossils are evidence of past life, evidence that we can use to test the theory of evolution, but they themselves do not evolve.

- To deny this, you are saying that Evolution is only biology.

As pointed out above evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation -- as such it is necessarily a part of biology, and is NOT part of astronomy or geology.

- I have college "Biology" text books that teach paleontology, geology and cosmology to push the principals of evolution theory.

So quote what they say. Do they teach them as essential elements of the theory or do they state that these are additional areas of vast amounts of evidence for what has happened that just happen to corroborate the evidence for evolution. I believe you are still confusing the evidence of the natural history of life, earth and the universe with the biological concept of evolution.

Evolution has to have vast amounts of time to work according to naturalists.

Nope. Evolution occurs from generation to generation, and it can be -- and has been -- studied from generation to generation.

So they have to involve these other scientific fields in order to have evolution.

False again. Note what I have said previously: evolution is simply the change in hereditary traits from generation to generation, the theory of evolution is that this process is sufficient to explain the diversity of life we know on earth, the fossil record is a test of that theory. The fact is that the age of the earth is irrelevant to evolution, however, the fact that it IS OLD is evidence that evolution CAN explain the diversity of life. It is not required that the evidence support the theory, it is just another one of the many ways the theory is corroborated.

- What is funny, is that every ones eyes are different. The evidence you have for evolution you are seeing through evolution colored glasses. The same evidence proves creation when viewed by creationists. However I realize that this never matters to either side. The individual is always right, from a certain point of view. (obi-wan kenobi logic)

And now we come to one of the pet excuses for creationists -- it sure sounds convincing, but I have yet to see any substantiation of this claim. Not one. I've seen whole threads with creationist dancing around the issue but never really addressing what those different eyes see.

Let me quote from message 50 of the "So Just How is ID's Supernatural-based Science Supposed to Work?" thread (you can substitute "creationist" for "ID"):

Science presupposes that there is a single objective reality.

The alternative is to suppose that there is no single objective reality, that nothing is real -- is this the ID position? Should that position be taught in science class?

Science presupposes that the objective evidence we observe\experience\witness truly represents that reality.

The alternative is to suppose that evidence is false -- is this the ID position? Should that position be taught in science class?

Science presupposes we need to test our concepts against the evidence of reality to weed out falsehood and fantasy.

The alternative is to suppose that we don't need to test concepts to weed out falsehood and fantasy -- is this the ID position? Should it be taught in school?

Science presupposes that any invalidated theories are false and no longer relevant to understanding reality.

The alternative is to suppose that we need to consider every theory that has ever been proposed as still possibly as true as any other -- it this the ID position? Should it be taught in school?

So when it comes to alternative explanations -- what are they? Real explanations deal with all the evidence, not just the evidence that is convenient.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by 1071, posted 04-23-2008 10:17 AM 1071 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Wumpini, posted 04-28-2008 8:59 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
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Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 62 of 356 (464739)
04-28-2008 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Wumpini
04-28-2008 8:59 PM


Re: Are evolutionary observations sufficient?
That is quite a leap (you might even say a leap of faith). How can we say that observing small changes in the hereditary traits of populations is sufficient to explain the diversity of life we know on earth.

It's not a leap of faith -- because it is testable and falsifiable, and because it is presented as a theory, it is tentative. This is the essence of scientific theories, that they can be tested and they can be falsified, and until they are falsified, they can tentatively be regarded as valid to see what further conclusions can be drawn.

We should teach that hereditary change occurs in population over time. That is a fact.

Good.

We should teach that it is a theory that these changes may result in the population changing to the extent that a parent population can give rise to two separate populations that are considered different species. They no longer have the ability to interact in such a way to produce offspring. This is a theory, and should be taught as such.

Speciation is an observed fact as well. As one example that shows how little change is necessary for this division of a parent population into two non-breeding daughter populations we can discuss the ring species, the Asian Greenish Warbler: here separated in space instead of time is a chain of varieties of warbler all descended from the same parent species, and all interfertile, all interbreeding until the ring is closed and two varieties overlap that do not interbreed. The coloration is different, the song is different, and neither recognizes the other as mate material. Break the chain at any point and you have two species.

There appear to be way too many unknowns to promote this as an acceptable theory.

I don't understand this objection: no theory explains everything. The better a theory is the better it is at explaining the evidence. What makes it a theory is that you can test it against the evidence.

I really have a problem with the word sufficient.

However, to make the statement that these hereditary changes are sufficient to explain all of the diversity in life on the earth today does not even appear to be close to a supportable theory.

Should the theory of evolution be taught in such a way that it is understood to be sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth today?

Please notice that you have used sufficient three different ways. This is called equivocation. This is also just your opinion, you have provided no reason, no evidence, no substantiation for your opinion, and unfortunately for you nature is rather unimpressed with opinions.

This should not be taught as a theory that is supportable by the evidence.

Yet it is supported by the evidence. Both the genetic evidence and the fossil evidence show the relationships of species to one another via common ancestors. Both also show an accumulation of differences over time.

If you have a real objection to this being a theory then you should have some evidence where this cannot happen.

It could be taught that some scientists promote the idea that these changes that we see in organisms could explain the diversity in life that we see on this planet.

That is what being a theory means -- it is a tentative explanation based on evidence and logic that is testable: we can test this by seeing if we in fact can explain the diversity of life with speciation and accumulated changes within species.

It could also be taught that others promote the view that the diversity we see in life is due to supernatural causes that are no longer taking place on the earth today.

But we could not say that was science, as it is not testable, nor is there much to teach once you've said it (unless you want to list each and every single variation of the god-did-it we know of) because there is no evidence to support such an assertion.

We could also say that lightening used to be caused by gods but isn't any more. We could also teach that some people believe the world is flat.

The problem is that what we are teaching in science class is how to test ideas for validity, not just a bunch of opinions.

How can we teach that our observations are sufficient to support this theory of evolution.

Because so far all our observations support the theory. Observations of the natural world, observations of the fossil record, observations of genetic relationships. What we see is that all life is related.

Scientifically, we do not even have a solid theory for the origin of life.

There are several theories. These theories are being tested, however this issue has no effect on the fact that evolution occurs today, and would still occur whether the first life was created or formed naturally.

The issue of origins is really irrelevant to evolution.

Would it not be more reasonable to teach the facts as we know them.

Fact: evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - occurs.

Fact: speciation - the division of a parent species into two or more non-interbreeding daughter populations - occurs.

Fact: evolution and speciation result in different (ie diverse) species related by common ancestors.

Fact: this kind of relationship can be found in the fossil record.

Fact: this kind of relationship can be found in the genetic record.

Fact: the genetic relationships match the fossil record relationships.

However, this theory is not sufficient at the present time to explain many of the changes that would have needed to take place for the diversity and complexity of life that we see today.

Care to substantiate that assertion? Please go to the "Dogs will be Dogs wil be ???" thread, and we'll see if you can get as far as Beretta got?

Should the theory of evolution be taught in such a way that it is understood to be sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth today? No

Should students be taught that there are various views related to the diversity of life that have not been scientifically proven including some that suppose that supernatural events took place? Yes

Unfortunately once again, this is just opinion. Science deals with testable concepts, not with myth, maybe and magic. Such philosophical questions can be taught in philosophy classes, but we should not lie and pretend that they are science.

This would give the student the same opportunity that you and I have. To seek out the truth!

Indeed. I think comparative religion should be taught as well as philosophy.

The big question though, is how you teach them to test for truth. How does one determine that a statement is true?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Wumpini, posted 04-28-2008 8:59 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Wumpini, posted 04-29-2008 6:47 AM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 90 of 356 (464834)
04-29-2008 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Wumpini
04-29-2008 6:47 AM


Re: I am not ignoring your post
No problem. You might also want to read through the "Dogs will be Dogs wil be ???" thread, as that also addresses the issue of generating enough change to explain the diversity of life we see, and why creationists viewpoints and evolutionist viewpoints differ on macroevolution.

Meanwhile I have to comment on this remark:

Message 69

To be frank, I value the opinion of a physician about as much as I do that of a custodian when it comes to evolution
Maybe this can explain why there is so much division in the scientific world related to the origin of life, and the theory of evolution. Not much value is given to the opinions of those that disagree.

Next time you think you need a physician, perhaps all you need is a physicist or a chemist? How about a car mechanic - he can make your car better, yes?

The point being that physicians are not biologists, their training is in a different specialty, and this makes them no better than anyone else that does not have a biology degree to be able to talk about biology. Scientific opinions are only valid when they come from scientists that have studied the field ... and even then you are dealing with the argument from authority logical fallacy. Scientists don't trust the validity of the theory of relativity because Einstein said so.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added reply to msg 69


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This message is a reply to:
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 Message 91 by Catholic Scientist, posted 04-29-2008 7:40 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 113 of 356 (464979)
05-01-2008 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Wumpini
05-01-2008 5:03 PM


Re: Thanks for the input
However, it does reassure me that 45% of the scientists polled believe in God.

Then you should be even more reassured (twice as much?) that 95% feel that evolution explains the diversity of life on earth as we know it.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 120 of 356 (464987)
05-01-2008 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Wumpini
05-01-2008 6:06 PM


Re: Theistic Evolution vs Intelligent Design
I wonder if the scientists that were polled that believed in intelligent design would be classified with the 5% that believe in a young earth, or would some of them have been mixed in with the 40% that believe in the God guided process for evolution?

Some IDists are on record as being old earth christians that accept evolution.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Wumpini, posted 05-01-2008 6:06 PM Wumpini has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 143 of 356 (465085)
05-02-2008 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Wumpini
05-02-2008 7:53 PM


Define friendly
Is it possible to teach evolution to people that believe in God in a friendly manner?

Judging from the results of that poll you referred to:

quote:
Scientists almost unanimously accept Darwinian evolution over millions of years as the source of human origins. But 40% of biologists, mathematicians, physicians, and astronomers include God in the process.

The answer would be yes, but that some religious people will reject it anyway. Perhaps it is some religious people who are not friendly to science that are the problem, and not the science attitude to religion.

Remember it is not science that is attacking religion, not going into churches and synagogues and mosques, but religious people trying to bring their faith into science class.

Who has caused the problem?

Enjoy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Wumpini, posted 05-02-2008 7:53 PM Wumpini has responded

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 Message 145 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:15 AM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 149 of 356 (465128)
05-03-2008 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by Wumpini
05-03-2008 6:15 AM


Re: Define friendly
I looked up some definitions and here are some that I like and think would apply.

Now consider that science will support any conclusion based on evidence, that leads to predictions and that can be tested. Science is friendly to new hypothesis, tested theory and concepts that are not contradicted by evidence. New ideas are created every day in science, some pan out, others don't.

It is not science, but reality that is not friendly - either to religion or to science - it is what it is. The flat earth concept cannot be considered true because of the evidence that contradicts it. This is not science being "unfriendly" to the flat earth belief, it is the facts of reality that rule it out as a false concept. The age of the earth is a fact - precisely what that age is may be open to some debate, but the actual age of the earth is a fact - and as we get closer to understanding all the facts the closer we get to understanding the true age of the earth. Science doesn't cause the earth to be old, it is what it is.

Rhazd says:
The answer would be yes, but that some religious people will reject it anyway. Perhaps it is some religious people who are not friendly to science that are the problem, and not the science attitude to religion.

Quick tip: write [qs=RAZD] and it comes out:

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RAZD stands for Rebel American Zen Deist (see signature)

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The reason I brought up the concept of friendly is because that is how this entire thread began. It was based upon a book that claimed it was possible to teach evolution in a Christian friendly manner.

And my point is that, seeing as how there are scientists and biologist that are christian (evolutionary biologist Ken Miller is one, as is paleontologist Bob Bakker who gave us Jurassic Park via finding that dinosaurs were warm blooded), and therefore it is not christianity per se that is the problem where science is concerned. If leading evolutionary biologists and world renown scientists can be christian, then by definition (any of the ones you provided) science in general and evolution in particular are "friendly" to religion in general, and specifically to christianity.

I believe there are those on both sides that are not friendly to the other side. Both sides claim to be right, and become unfriendly when they are challenged. I do not see the sides as science in general and religion in general. Scientists claim to have the truth because they have observed it as fact. Religious people claim to have the truth because it has been revealed to them so based upon their faith it is fact. You cannot have two contradictory explanations for the same event and both of them be factual.

What we really have are specific beliefs - rather than religion per se - that are contradicted by facts, just like the flat earth belief mentioned above. The earth is old, and belief that it is young is contradicted by this fact. It is not science that makes the earth old, but the reality of the evidence: the truth, which as you point out cannot have two (or more) contradictory explanations. One (at least) of them has to be false. With science we believe that there is one reality, and that evidence can be understood to find that reality, that the evidence is true. Those that are religious believe they are understanding gods truth through science. Science also insists on testing that understanding continually to eliminate the false concepts or to complete the incomplete concepts. This understanding grows as we eliminate false ideas, such as a flat earth, a geocentric universe, and a young creation.

We must remember also that public school is mandatory in the United States. You must send your children to a public, private, or home school. I would think many of the people that this would apply to would not be qualified to home school their children, and could not afford a private school. So they are being forced by the government to go into these science classes. I am not trying to defend anyone. I am only stating a fact.

So in effect, the government is forcing families to send their children to science classrooms that teach as fact something that contradicts a devout religious belief.

Nor can government decide what facts are true and which are not (nor can people who are not qualified to home school ... ?). Nor does science decide what facts are true and which are not: the facts, the evidence is either true or false based on reality. It is a fact that evolution (change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation) occurs. It is a fact that speciation (the division of a parent population into two or more daughter populations that don't interbreed) occurs. It is a fact that these two mechanisms can explain diversity (see thread "evolution and increased diversity" and thread "Evolutionary Theory Explains Diversity" to discuss).

But most specifically the (american) government needs to provide school for all americans without regard for any one religion over any other, so we can't teach a belief that is specific to a certain branch of a certain faith, but must stay with common, tested, secular (agnostic) knowledge.

For example, I will try some logic again.
premise - If your belief that God is real is true.
premise - If your belief that God cannot lie is true.
premise - If the Bible is literal and inerrant.
conclusion - Then the scientific theories of evolution and origins are incorrect.

OR one (or more) of your premises are false. Consider your premise that God cannot lie means that the evidence of the natural universe he created must be true, and that understanding that evidence leads to understanding his truth. Then the scientific theories of evolution and origins (universe to life) are correct.

There could be education that explains how scientists claim their theories as fact because this is what has been observed in nature. I do not believe most people understand this concept. Parents need to understand that these theories have been tested and proven to be true without any consideration that a supernatural force could have ever taken place. Parents need to be taught to understand that their religious beliefs could be true, but they cannot be proven by science (creation could be true, even if many people on this forum believes it is a joke). Scientists could explain to parents and their children that if their religious beliefs contradict science and that if their beliefs could be proven through objective evidence, then the scientific theory would have to be changed.

Finally, parents and their children need to understand that if their religious beliefs could be proven to be true, and if their beliefs contradict science, then it would prove that the scientific theory is incorrect, and it would have to be changed. (This is the communication that would make or break the solution.)

The flip side of this is that if they cannot show this that specific beliefs that are contradicted by the evidence of reality (as understood and tested by science), that perhaps the belief(s) in question should be discarded. Let me close with this comment (not meant to antagonize, but to challenge thought):

de·lu·sion –noun 1.
... a. The act or process of deluding.
... b. The state of being deluded.
2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.
(American Heritage Dictionary 2008)

Rational belief is one that is not contradicted by reality, and reality is what science tries to find and understand, regardless of how "friendly" the evidence is for any cherished concepts.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[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 145 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:15 AM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:26 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 154 of 356 (465180)
05-03-2008 9:38 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Wumpini
05-03-2008 6:26 PM


Back to Reality ...
We have a choice of how we present reality to others. If you are a doctor and you know a patient is going to die, you present that information to a relative in a loving manner (I hope) even though it is reality.

So we should sugar-coat the evidence and speak in half-truths? Sometime the kindest thing is to tell the truth. If a friend is engaged in self-destructive behavior and denial you don't ignore the problem, but help them confront it.

I see these two compared a lot on this forum. It was inevitable that man figure out the shape of the earth. He is presently living on the earth, and it has a shape. If man evolved then why did it take him millions of years to figure this out?

It took a while to figure our what was superstition? Science is only some 200 years old, before that people didn't really test concepts for validity. Knowledge compounds.

The reason that these are compared a lot is because they are similar: beliefs based on superstition that are contradicted by the facts. Have you ever honestly confronted the age of the earth?

The point I am trying to make now is the age of the earth is different. Yes, the age of the earth is the age of the earth. It is a fact. However, we will never be able to determine the age of the earth through observation as we determined the shape of the earth. There is the necessity of too many unobservable assumptions.

Really? We have a number of ways to remove the effect of unknowns, of making correlations, and measuring things. The age of the earth is one of these.

My computer connection is very, very slow. That precludes me from searching a lot of things on the internet. Therefore, I have not been able to search your forum for a many of the items that interest me. The age of the earth is one of those.

If you are truly interested in some of the simple ways to see that that the earth is older than several thousand years, then see Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III).

How do you explain all the evidence of an old earth? That the evidence is lying?

I did have an idea. I will run it by you. Do you remember that movie “Back to the Future?” If scientists could get on the ball and build one of those time machines then they could sell tickets to the creationists and take them back to the time when there were no people. Problem solved.

Ah yes, just turn fantasy into reality, <> fingers, click your ruby slippers, twitch your nose. Sorry. didn't work.

Can we measure the past? yes. We can do it in relative ways and we can do it in some more exacting ways in places where we can then test other methods. And we don't need to play with fantasy to do it.

Give Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III) a try and see what I mean.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:26 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by Wumpini, posted 05-07-2008 8:55 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
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Posts: 15822
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Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 158 of 356 (465525)
05-07-2008 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by Wumpini
05-07-2008 8:55 PM


Re: Who is playing with fantasy?
Thanks Wumpini,

Sorry to take so long to respond. My internet connection is back from the dead.

I know the problem, whenever it rains here my DSL link goes down and my wireless system tries to chose a different IP for everything. I have to reboot everything from the modem up.

My wireless card died, but I figured out how to use my cell phone as a modem.

I'm impressed. Does your phone have internet or are you using dial-up with hookup to the phone's earpiece\mike jack to carry the modem sound waves back and forth? That would let me use my laptop in the park and at my parents (eLuddites).

I don’t see how you can remove the effects of unknowns, when they are unknown.

There are a number of ways scientists (and engineers) have learned to do this. One way is to look at net effects rather than total effects, and changing one variable at a time. Look at how scientists figured out the gravitational constant with all the variables the existed around them, and the massive constant force of the earths gravity compared to the masses they were using.

You continually attempt to remove the effect of God, when you do not know the effect. You assume the effect to be zero.
The question is what are you doing when you ignore God?

I don't. It's more like asking him how he did it. Look at the gravity example again.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by Wumpini, posted 05-07-2008 8:55 PM Wumpini has responded

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RAZD
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Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 240 of 356 (466246)
05-13-2008 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by Wumpini
05-13-2008 8:03 PM


Re: What am I missing in this comparison?
The electron is unseen, but the effect can be repeatedly tested in the present.

The evolutionary event in the past is unobserved, and the event cannot be repeated so that testing can be done at any time.

Am I missing something here?

Yes. The evolution event can be repeated, the result will be evolution. Evolution can be repeatedly tested in the present as well.

Evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.

What are you expecting?

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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 Message 242 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-13-2008 11:35 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
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Message 258 of 356 (466381)
05-14-2008 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 242 by Dr Adequate
05-13-2008 11:35 PM


Re: What am I missing in this comparison?
That was disingenuous.

I'm perfectly serious. There are a number of chemical reactions that are dependent on environmental factors (heat, acidity, light, catalysts, etc etc etc) and thus are unpredictable no matter how predictable the electron behavior is (and I challenge that concept as well).

Evolutionary events happen all the time -- a C replaces and A in a strand of DNA -- and they are just as repeatable as any electron behavior.

Enjoy


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RAZD
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Message 259 of 356 (466387)
05-14-2008 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Wumpini
05-14-2008 5:39 AM


Going long on the differences between trees and forests ...
If you test for the effect of an electron in an atom, you can reapeatedly test over and over again the same element and compare the results. Therefore, you can confirm your theory.

Likewise you can look at changes in DNA and see if the same kinds of changes are repeated. It takes many such "events" to add up to some noticeable change.

Now let us say we are dealing with an evolutionary event that is supposed to have happened billions of years ago.

The problem here is definition. What is MEANT BY an "evolutionary event" other than a mutation (repeatable changes in DNA)? Or are we talking about the accumulated effect of many many "events" rather than a single one?

Second, the environment that existed that long ago cannot be known so its effect ...

We can actually know quite a bit about the environment.

Third, it seems the mechanisms for evolution would allow for evolution to occur in any direction.

Of course. And even to go back and forth occasionally. There is no direction other than survival and breeding.

Life does not always evolve from a less complex form to a more complex form. Actually, I believe I have read somewhere that it would be more logical for life to evolve from the complex to the more simple.

It can - and does - do both. Vestigial organs are an example of a trend to less complexity, as are blind cave fish.

If you were only dealing with natural selection then you may be able to theorize a particular path, but with the many different mechanisms which are now believed to be part of the evolutionary process this would not seem to be the case.

Path to what? There is no purpose to natural selection - it is just different organisms with different ability to survive and breed.

How can we make a conclusion about an evolutionary event that occurred that long ago when the event cannot be repeated in the present. It would appear that whatever evidence appeared in nature, no matter what direction was taken, it would never disprove or falsify the present theory of evolution.

Let's start with some definitions:

Evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation. A repeatable "event" is a change in hereditary traits from generation to generation -- you don't have to repeat the same changes, just change.

Speciation is where a parent population divides into two or more daughter populations that no longer interbreed. A repeatable "event" is a speciation division of descendant populations from a common ancestor population. It doesn't have to be the same division, just division.

The THEORY of Evolution is - simply speaking - the theory that these two basic mechanisms are all that are needed to explain the diversity of life as we know it, today, in history, in the fossil record, and in the genetic record.

We test that theory against the evidence. We look at the "events" in the various records and see whether in fact they are due to the mechanisms of evolution.


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RAZD
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Message 261 of 356 (466813)
05-17-2008 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by Wumpini
05-13-2008 7:38 PM


Re: Facts and Theories - Testing and Repeatability
Hello Wumpini,

Let me take a different approach to the issue of repeatability. You have (as have many creationists) raised this issue several times now:

Any conclusions made on evidence that is that old would seem to be questionable to me. Since you cannot repeat the event, it does not appear that there is any method to test these conclusions.
Message 245
That brings me back to my original question. How can we make a conclusion about an evolutionary event that occurred that long ago when the event cannot be repeated in the present. It would appear that whatever evidence appeared in nature, no matter what direction was taken, it would never disprove or falsify the present theory of evolution.

The real issue is {{{what}}} are we repeating. Let's use the "evolutionary event" of the domestication of wolf into dog. We know what is actually possible from dogs, but we don't know the actual pre-historic event or how it actually happened. Now we have repeated this "evolutionary event" with foxes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_Silver_Fox
http://reactor-core.org/taming-foxes.html

quote:
Foxes bred for tamability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development.

When scientists ponder how animals came to be domesticated, they almost inevitably wind up thinking about dogs. The dog was probably the first domestic animal, and it is the one in which domestication has progressed the furthest — far enough to turn Canis lupus into Canis familiaris.

Evolutionary theorists have long speculated about exactly how dogs' association with human beings may have been linked to their divergence from their wild wolf forebears, a topic that anthropologist Darcy Morey has discussed in some detail in the pages of this magazine, (July-August, 1994). ...

... Belyaev, however, believed that the key factor selected for was not size or reproduction, but behavior; specifically amenability to domestication, or tamability. More than any other quality, Belyaev believed, tamability must have determined how well an animal would adapt to life among human beings. Because behavior is rooted in biology, selecting for tameness and against aggression means selecting for physiological changes in the systems that govern the body's hormones and neurochemicals.

... To keep things as clear and simple as possible, Belyaev designed a selective-breeding program to reproduce a single major factor, a strong selection pressure for tamability. He chose as his experimental model a species taxonomically close to the dog but never before domesticated: ulpes vulpes, the silver fox. Belyaev's fox-breeding experiment occupied the last 26 years of his life.

Today, 14 years after his death, it is still in progress. Through genetic selection alone, our research group has created a population of tame foxes fundamentally different in temperament and behavior from their wild forebears. In the process we have observed some striking changes in physiology, morphology and behavior, which mirror the changes known in other domestic animals and bear out many of Belyaev's ideas.


From this controlled experiment Belyaev repeated the evolutionary event of the dogs evolving from wolves. In addition we now see that the domesticated foxes overlap the traits of the domesticated wolf, and this shows that a common ancestor population linking wolf and fox is not only possible but highly probable - without even looking into the fossil record or genetics to ascertain how recent this division occurred. That the fossil and genetic information confirm and validate this just increases the degree of reliability for this having occurred (maintaining scientific tentativity).

Does that help?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Wumpini, posted 05-13-2008 7:38 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by Wumpini, posted 05-17-2008 2:50 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15822
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 265 of 356 (466915)
05-18-2008 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Wumpini
05-17-2008 2:50 PM


Re: Scientific Tentativity
Hey Wumpini,

I am still trying to figure out this scientific language.

There are several good websites that might help, they are run by universities as part of their information for teaching evolution:

Several from Berkeley:
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIntro.shtml
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topicbrowse2.php?topic_id=46
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/similarity_hs_09

Some from U of Michigan:
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/selection/selection.html
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/speciation/speciation.html
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/.../complex_life.html

You could spend a fair bit of time studying those sites, so you may want to take it a bit at a time.

What evolutionary event? Dogs are wolves, and wolves are dogs, are they not? We crossbreed them all of the time in Arkansas.

Well that's the issue isn't it? What do you think an "event" involves? For an evolutionary biologist it is any change in hereditary traits in a population from generation to generation -- you are an "evolutionary event" in this understanding of such terminology (although scientists probably would not use this term, because it is really many "events" at once}. The problem seems to be that he common layperson thinks there are remarkable stages in evolution that occur in a single event -- and this is a false perception.

At least, that is not what I have in mind when I think of an “evolutionary event.” An “evolutionary event” could be the explanation of where these dogs (wolves) originated. Is that a repeatable event?

Yet there would be no point at which you suddenly had wolves. What you think of a single "event" is a cumulation of many events such as the wolf to dog event, which themselves are composed of many intermediate events, down to the level of generation to generation reproduction and survival events.

To be quite honest. No.

Yet you asked for an example of a repeatable "evolutionary event" -- and the experiment on the foxes duplicated the types of changes found in dogs. In this way the "domestication of the wolf" event was repeated with the fox.

It appears you have now thrown another term into this mix of scientific communication (miscommunication). What is “scientific tentativity?”

I looked up the word tentative (because I could not find tentativity):

quote:

1. Not fully worked out, concluded, or agreed on; provisional.
2. Uncertain; hesitant.


If I understand you correctly then you are telling me that the theories that scientists have about...

... anything are regarded as tentative conclusions. This is the essential difference between scientific knowledge and knowledge based on belief - that it is tentative and subject to change when more complete understandings come along.

This is the essence of scientific theory: given these {set} of facts, plus our current understanding of "life, the universe, and everything" (Douglas Adam, "Hitchhiker" series), we can make these {tentative} conclusions ... they may or may not be true.

The next thing science does is ask the question "how can we test this?" ... in other words what can be predicted by the concept and what would happen if it was NOT true.

By testing we can eliminate false concepts and mistaken understandings, and thus advance knowledge by the process of elimination, but we can never prove these concept to be 100% absolutely true ... and thus (all) scientific theory is always tentative.

There is a big difference between stating that Belyaev’s experimental results are a fact based upon repeatable scientific evidence, and stating that evolution between two totally different animals millions of years ago is a fact based upon repeatable scientific evidence.

But you don't ever have "evolution between two totally different animals" ... you have evolution within species, you have speciation division of populations, and you have various degrees of deviation of daughter populations from parent or sibling populations through continued evolution within each species. The dogs and foxes show you how much deviation is possible in relatively short periods of time.

The only truth that Belyaev’s experiment seems to prove is that it is possible to change the temperament of dogs (wolves) through selective breeding.

Yet much more than just the temperament changed. Selection for less aggressive foxes did not select for changes in coloration, build and other features that occurred, and those changes are due to different chemical (hormone) effects during growth of the individual.

The experiment did not cause changes to appear, nor did it select for different appearances.

I believe that when they say the evolutionary history of Carnivora (dogs/wolves) is clouded in controversy, and patchy, and incomplete, it might be another way of sayinging they need to maintain “scientific tentativity.”

The exact path of evolution is patchy and incomplete, no argument, however there is little doubt that dogs are mammals, that they are carnivores, or that they are Canidae.

I also note that your first link says:

quote:
The exact anatomical conformation that corresponds to the canids of today appears for the first time in 10 million-year-old fossils from North America. By seven million years ago the fossil skulls were similar enough to modern species to be put in the genus Canis. ... An early offshoot from the Canis stock were the foxes (genus Vulpes). These smaller animals range in size from 4 to 24 lb (1.8–11 kg). There are 14 species of fox living in Eurasia, Africa, and North America, and they represent the typical canid.

So it looks like foxes and wolves diverged at about the same time that the ancestors were becoming recognizable as similar to wolves.

I believe that when they say the evolutionary history of Carnivora (dogs/wolves) is clouded in controversy, and patchy, and incomplete, it might be another way of sayinging they need to maintain “scientific tentativity.”

I agree with the quote that the conclusions of scientists seem "remarkable" considering this limitation.

Is the glass half full or half empty? Is a jigsaw puzzle that is partially complete "patchy and incomplete" until the last piece is in place?

Enjoy.

Edited by Admin, : Shorten long link.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Wumpini, posted 05-17-2008 2:50 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
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