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Author Topic:   Evolution and the BIG LIE
RAZD
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Posts: 20066
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 46 of 108 (442111)
12-20-2007 7:40 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by mobioevo
12-17-2007 4:07 PM


Re: the Theory of Evolution definition
I checked out the link and find the previous definition. Maybe I lost the point of this thread if you already defined the "theory of evolution.'

The purpose of this thread is to build on both that one and one that was about the definition of evolution, to talk about what evolution is as a science. To do that I wanted to develop a line of argument from the process, where evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation, to a theory based on this process and the insight that this can explain the diversity of life.

Call this the "RAZD small change" theory if you like - that evolution and the mechanisms that cause evolution, is sufficient to explain the diversity of life:

A Theory of Evolution is that all the diversity of life is explained by a synthesis of theories on how hereditary traits in populations change from generation to generation.

If we can agree that this can be considered A theory of evolution, then we can move on to examples of how this works.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by mobioevo, posted 12-17-2007 4:07 PM mobioevo has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Elmer, posted 12-20-2007 10:06 AM RAZD has responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4136 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 47 of 108 (442133)
12-20-2007 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by RAZD
12-20-2007 7:40 AM


Re: the Theory of Evolution definition
I find the given definition of evolution to be tendentious and sel-serving, at least for the 'selectionist' side of the debate. In the OP these statements were made---


We'll start with the process, where evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.

Stated this way this way, the real issue being examined is not evolution, but heredity. This definition reduces evolution to an epiphenomenon of inherited chemical configurations, i.e., nucleotides, DNAcid, 'alleles' and 'genes'. It is not that at all.

Bold has been added to the following--


Where:
trait is an aspect that can be quantified, such as an allele or variation of a gene, the length of a bone, the size of a skull, the color of an eye, the thickness of hair,

Technically, 'alleles', 'genes', 'nucleotides' and other molecular configurations can be called 'traits', but that's pushing it. The fact is that that in terms of evolution, it is really the 'expressed' phenotypic traits that are referred to, that is, the traits that define and identify a certain taxon over sufficient sufficient generations to enable the empirical observation a certain reiterated set of organismic properties that distinguishes that taxon from any other. The fact is that at the molecular level many changes can and happen all the time, with no effect on the characteristic organismic traits which define a taxon, and discriminate one from another. Moreover, the genomic configuration of 'nucleotides', 'alleles', 'genes', etc. can vary from individual to endividual across a taxon, without adding or subtracting any individual from that taxon and creating another one. To say that every time another individual is added to a taxon is to add another taxon to the global sum of taxons may, at an absurd level, be correct. But it is useless to science.
Thereforefore, the molecular 'evolution' of the 'genome', or 'genotype', must be distinguished from the evolution of the phenotype, as defined taxons. Allelic, genetic, and other macromolecular configurations may be called 'genomic traits' if that pleases the biochemists, within the confines of their particular discipline, but in terms of 'traits', evolutionary biology can only be legitimately considered from the taxonomic, i.e., phenotypic, standpoint.
So forget about the 'changes' that happen to the contents of genomes and ecosystems--the only 'trait'differences that matter to organismic evolution are essential changes distinguishing defined phenotypes [taxons].

change is a measurable quantifiable difference in a trait, such as the number, length or color,

'Change' is merely an observable difference in something, anything, (be it an opinion or an icecap), over time, (be that interval a nano- second or a millenium). Besides those changes, such as those given above as examples, change can also occur in more than the simple extension of material properties-- function and productivity, for example, are not material properties, and 'function' is not even a "measurable quantifiable" trait. It is what it is, or it isn't. Like pregnancy.


hereditary means that it is passed from parent to child,

I'd avoid anthropocentricity by substuting 'offspring' for child, but otherwise, OK.

[qs]
population means a group of individual organisms of the same species,[qs]

I prefer, 'taxon', and would add, 'gathered in the same same place at the same time'.


and
generation is the average time it takes for a newborn to become able to reproduce.

Saying "average" means that you are confining the word 'generation' to populations. Which is fine if you are discussing the ecological evolution of populations, in which statistical sums constitute 'traits'. But numbers of members within sets called 'populations', or even numbers of members within sets called taxons [eg., 'species'], have nothing to do with organismic evolution, only ecological [ecosystem]evolution. Organismic evolution only happens when a novel taxon is added to the biosphere, or an old taxon is subtracted from it.


A Theory of Evolution is that all the diversity of life is explained by a synthesis of theories on how hereditary traits in populations change from generation to generation.

This 'definition' is vacuous (what exactly, is "a synthesis of theories", pray tell?) and 'heredity-centric'. That is, it may serve as a definition for 'biological inheritance theory', but it falsely conflates inheritance with evolution, and so is a false definition of evolution, being tendentiously and inappropriately forced upon it by those whose particular jobs/livelihoods are all about inheritance studies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 7:40 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 8:33 PM Elmer has responded

    
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1280 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 48 of 108 (442215)
12-20-2007 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
12-15-2007 6:57 PM


We'll start with the process, where evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation

Where:
trait is an aspect that can be quantified, such as an allele or variation of a gene, the length of a bone, the size of a skull, the color of an eye, the thickness of hair,
change is a measurable quantifiable difference in a trait, such as the number, length or color,
hereditary means that it is passed from parent to child,
population means a group of individual organisms of the same species, and
generation is the average time it takes for a newborn to become able to reproduce.

You have not described any part of the alleged evolutionary process. This is a description of variation (excluding the out of place "allele/variation of a gene component").

General Reader: RAZD has presupposed 'evolution.' He then creates a list of heritable or non-heritable variations that are assumed to be evolutionary causations or part of the evolutionary process. But, in and by themselves, these variations (whatever their cause) is not evolution.

Evolution is an inference; one species has changed into a completely different species over vast amount of time. So far, RAZD has not evidenced evolution. Variation is not evolution. Darwin had no clue as to the origin of variation, and the modern theory was built having no clue, as well. RAZD has simply described evidence of special creation.

However variation is produced or caused the same corresponds to a mechanism reflecting Divine power. It occurs in the womb; therefore, the womb is a mechanism that produces special creation, and that mechanism itself reflects Divine power or craftsmanship. Evolution says biological reality does not reflect Divine power. But I have just shown you that it does.

Evolution is a process that is observed in everyday life: there is no species that does not change hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation. This process is an observed fact, and this is the objective evidential basis for the "Theory of Evolution" (ToE), and then both become the foundation of the science of Evolutionary Biology.

False.

Modification evolution (also known as "gradualism") is an alleged process postulated to have taken billions of years to produce us and the nature that we see today. It cannot be observed because it is too slow for the naked eye to see. This is a big lie written by RAZD, or he has confused variation with macroevolution.

Astute creationists will notice that this is "just variation and adaptation within kinds" or "microevolution" which has become a well accepted fact even in these circles (as has a heliocentric solar system). That's the good news: creationists should not be concerned about evolution as defined here. The next question then is "what is the controversy all about," and how does this relate to "the rest of the story."

Now RAZD admits that he has been defining evolution incorrectly - intentionally. It is not even microevolution - just variation. But this is precisely where RAZD is lying. The lie is the admission, which is simply a disclaimer to silence Creationists. RAZD really believes variation is evolutionary.

I will reply to the remainder of RAZDs post ASAP....

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 12-15-2007 6:57 PM RAZD has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by AdminNosy, posted 12-20-2007 5:22 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 49 of 108 (442275)
12-20-2007 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Cold Foreign Object
12-20-2007 3:49 PM


Welcome is Worn Out
RAZD is working through this in a slow an methodological fashion.

I'm afraid that given you past history Ray you are NOT welcome to post in this thread and clutter it up with your nonsense. Open a thread in parallel if you want.

If you post here again I will suspend you from the whole forum.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-20-2007 3:49 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-20-2007 5:34 PM AdminNosy has responded

  
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1280 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 50 of 108 (442278)
12-20-2007 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
12-15-2007 6:57 PM


I have read enough of this thread to see why you want it closed, RAZD. You are taking a beating.

the University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley definition is “evolution, simply put, is descent with modification”

That was Darwin's definition - good grief!

The University of Michigan defines evolution as “changes in the genetic composition of a population with the passage of each generation” and the “gradual change of living things from one form into another over the course of time, the origin of species and lineages by descent of living forms from ancestral forms, and the generation of diversity” ...

Here we have a camel (a horse created by commitee). Gene-centric to standard Mayr-Naturalist inference evolution.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Population Genetics) definition is “evolution is a change in the frequency of alleles within the gene pool of a population from one generation to the next”

Pure gene-centric.

Ernst Mayr has said that evolution IS NOT a change in gene frequencies. EvC Forum member, Elmer, has explained this to you slightly up-thread.

That this is consistent with "variation and adaptation within kinds" or "microevolution" as used by creationists, and thus that creationists should not be concerned about evolution as defined here.

Microevolution is an interpretation of evidence that presupposes the falsity of a Genesis Deity active in reality. The interpretation is based on the conceptual mechanism of natural selection to select beneficial changes, thus propelling microevolution. Creationists accept God as the Designer and Creator - not natural selection. Therefore, we reject microevolution to have happened because we reject natural selection as creator.

Your definition: "evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation" relies on an anti-Bible assumption, and the assumption that Fundamentalist creationism and their acceptance of microevolution is the Creationist view - it is not.

Atheist-evolutionism and Fundamentalist-creationism agree with one another concerning microevolution. In my opinion this evidence alone is the best evidence that microevolution is false.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 12-15-2007 6:57 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 9:40 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

    
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1280 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 51 of 108 (442284)
12-20-2007 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by AdminNosy
12-20-2007 5:22 PM


Re: Welcome is Worn Out
RAZD is working through this in a slow an methodological fashion.
I'm afraid that given you past history Ray you are NOT welcome to post in this thread and clutter it up with your nonsense. Open a thread in parallel if you want.

If you post here again I will suspend you from the whole forum.

Actually I just made another post. I did not see this post or I would not have made the second post.

You are evidently making a personal point in the form of Moderation. I am comforted that my post, and its arguments, has caused this. My recent posting history shows scant activity, so banning me is not punitive in any way.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by AdminNosy, posted 12-20-2007 5:22 PM AdminNosy has responded

Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 52 of 108 (442327)
12-20-2007 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Cold Foreign Object
12-20-2007 5:34 PM


Re: Welcome is Worn Out
I see that the timing was tight. Just stay out from now on.

You continue to be delusional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-20-2007 5:34 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20066
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 53 of 108 (442368)
12-20-2007 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Elmer
12-20-2007 10:06 AM


Good discussion with Elmer
Thanks for your input Elmer,

I find the given definition of evolution to be tendentious and sel-serving, at least for the 'selectionist' side of the debate. In the OP these statements were made---

I'm not sure what your problem is here, or what you mean by " the 'selectionist' side of the debate" -- mutation is a fact, selection is a fact: these have been observed in the lab and in nature, and I have a feeling you are trying to create a barrier to understanding, rather than clarification.

Stated this way this way, the real issue being examined is not evolution, but heredity. This definition reduces evolution to an epiphenomenon of inherited chemical configurations, i.e., nucleotides, DNAcid, 'alleles' and 'genes'. It is not that at all.

Of course it includes heredity, as non-hereditary features are not important for following generations, as they've been eliminated already. That's why it says "hereditary traits" in the definition. I find it funny when creationists seem to be so leery of just the word "evolution," and wan't to avoid any usage of it - like it's some boogieman to scare kids with - even when it is applied to a known and observed process. If it makes you feel better we can call it "RAZDism" and say that it is the same as "hereditary variation and adaptation" and is the "change in hereditary traits" in populations from generation to generation." The purpose is to agree on the process, so we can go with this if you want. This gives us:

"'RAZDism' is the hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation."

"'RAZDism' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation."

OR

'variation and adaptation' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.

This gives us a basis for further discussion if nothing else, and we can come back later to the issue of what is and is not "evolution."

Technically, 'alleles', 'genes', 'nucleotides' and other molecular configurations can be called 'traits', but that's pushing it.

Yet it can be measured and it can be compared from one generation to another, so it is a real effect, an observed (small) change in (something) hereditary. Perhaps it affects something in development or smell or some other aspect we do not see or understand. It may be that it needs to be in a population for a while before seeing the effect. If it is minor in it's effect on the phenotype/s, then it is not operating to make the phenotype less fit or selectable.

The fact is that that in terms of evolution, it is really the 'expressed' phenotypic traits that are referred to, ...

It is the phenotype that is subject to selection, whether survival or sexual, but that does not mean that all of the hereditary traits contribute to selection nor that they are not part of evolution when they don't - they still contribute to the change in hereditary traits from generation to generation. An example could colors and patterns of cat fur in domestic cats, no real effect as long as the cats are domestic pets, but as soon as they become feral selection tends to eliminate conspicuous colors and patterns. Thus a set of traits that seems unimportant in one ecology can become important in another and have an advantage due to hold-over heredity of those traits.

... that is, the traits that define and identify a certain taxon ...

You really need to look up taxon and start using it properly. The way you use it has no meaning. If you mean genus say genus, if you mean species, say species, if you mean variety, say variety. It is traits that define a genus, species or variety (see "type species" for usage), it is the relationship to a common ancestor that defines a taxon, whether they still have the same traits or not.

tax·on –noun A taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.
(American Heritage Dictionary, 2007)

"Life" is a taxon.

I'd avoid anthropocentricity by substuting 'offspring' for child, but otherwise, OK.

If you avoid using "taxon" for species it's a deal. :D

... the traits that define and identify a certain taxon<species or variety> over sufficient sufficient generations to enable the empirical observation a certain reiterated set of organismic properties that distinguishes that taxon<species or variety> from any other.

You can also use "traits" for your cumbersome and confusing "organismic properties" ... what you are saying is essentially a tautology - a species with a set of traits that can be observed over several generations continues to be a species with a set of traits.

The fact is that at the molecular level many changes can and happen all the time, with no effect on the characteristic organismic traits which define a taxon, and discriminate one from another.

Let's look at it this way: minor variations that do not contribute to negative selection are still an element of selection. Selection occurs across a spectrum of phenotypes and not a matter of selecting only one "best" phenotype, just those that survive and reproduce according to their relative success at survival and reproduction.

Consider that variations in each trait, whether it only shows at a molecular level or whether it involves one or more molecular changes that (together) form a variation on a trait, can be set on an arbitrary scale from -10 (maximum negative selective value) to +10 (maximum positive selective value) and where 00 is selectively neutral (no negative or positive selective value):


-10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 00 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10
___|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|___

Some sets of variations on a trait may range from -10 to +10 in selective value, while others may range from -1 to +1 or less. They are still part of the phenotype, part of the whole that is subject to selection.

Each phenotype will include a vast number of traits that can be placed on such a scale, and more successful ones will tend to be composed of mostly positive values and accumulate high positive value variations of traits, while less successful ones will tend to be composed of mostly negative values and have some high negative value variations of traits (negative selection would prevent their accumulation).

That there are traits that don't vary more than -1 to +1 does not mean that they don't contribute to selection, just because they don't contribute to positive selection, as they also don't contribute to negative selection.

If this is not clear we can continue this discussion on Evolution and Increased Diversity.

Moreover, the genomic configuration of 'nucleotides', 'alleles', 'genes', etc. can vary from individual to endividual across a taxon, without adding or subtracting any individual from that taxon and creating another one. To say that every time another individual is added to a taxon is to add another taxon to the global sum of taxons may, at an absurd level, be correct. But it is useless to science.

Again this is confused because of your use of "taxon" -- also a reason you are having trouble on Evolution and Increased Diversity.

When discussing science it is useful to use the terms as used in science in order to actually talk about the same meaning.

Thereforefore, the molecular 'evolution' of the 'genome', or 'genotype', must be distinguished from the evolution of the phenotype, as defined taxons. Allelic, genetic, and other macromolecular configurations may be called 'genomic traits' if that pleases the biochemists, within the confines of their particular discipline, but in terms of 'traits', evolutionary biology can only be legitimately considered from the taxonomic, i.e., phenotypic, standpoint.

Nope. If they are unimportant to changes that occur then they are unimportant during the time those changes occur, and they also don't contribute to negative changes.

So forget about the 'changes' that happen to the contents of genomes and ecosystems--the only 'trait'differences that matter to organismic evolution are essential changes distinguishing defined phenotypes [taxons].

How about we let them "forget" themselves and see what happens? It seems you have made a big issue about something that you think is insignificant: if it IS insignificant then it doesn't matter to the discussion of "hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation." If they are in the background then they will be in the background eh?

'Change' is merely an observable difference in something, anything, (be it an opinion or an icecap), over time, (be that interval a nano- second or a millenium). Besides those changes, such as those given above as examples, change can also occur in more than the simple extension of material properties-- function and productivity, for example, are not material properties, and 'function' is not even a "measurable quantifiable" trait. It is what it is, or it isn't. Like pregnancy.

Change can be in a feature or in an ability, it just needs to be quantifiable, and be able to be linked to the hereditary traits involved. Skin flaps on squirrels are quantifiable and can be linked to gliding ability for instance. You can also measure eye color, but find no survival advantage, yet still have a strong sexual selective value.

I prefer, 'taxon', and would add, 'gathered in the same same place at the same time'.

What {you} prefer is relatively unimportant if not irrelevant - "taxon" is just not used the way you have been using it and that usage is wrong.

The usual definition uses 'species' to define the ability to interbreed, while 'group' is used to distinguish those 'gathered in the same same place at the same time' from the rest of the members of that species that are not in the group. They are "grouped" in time and space to form a "group".

Saying "average" means that you are confining the word 'generation' to populations. Which is fine if you are discussing the ecological evolution of populations, in which statistical sums constitute 'traits'. But numbers of members within sets called 'populations', or even numbers of members within sets called taxons [eg., 'species'], have nothing to do with organismic evolution, only ecological [ecosystem]evolution. Organismic evolution only happens when a novel taxon is added to the biosphere, or an old taxon is subtracted from it.

Again, you are making a verbal mountain out of a semantic molehill. Evolution of a species is related to the life cycle of that species and no other, and generation is a convenient measure that also ties in to the need to survive AND reproduce in order to be successful. As for usage, again we can refer to a common definition as a standard:

gen·er·a·tion –1. All of the offspring that are at the same stage of descent from a common ancestor: Mother and daughters represent two generations.
2. Biology A form or stage in the life cycle of an organism: asexual generation of a fern.
3. The average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
(American Heritage Dictionary, 2007)

We could also use the average life-span of organisms, but then we run into problems with species like humans where the period of reproduction occurs mostly in the younger years and individuals can live for very long periods of time and have no offspring. The length of a generation as defined here is what affects Malthus's population explosion, rather than the average lifespan of individuals.

This 'definition' is vacuous (what exactly, is "a synthesis of theories", pray tell?) and 'heredity-centric'. That is, it may serve as a definition for 'biological inheritance theory', but it falsely conflates inheritance with evolution, and so is a false definition of evolution, being tendentiously and inappropriately forced upon it by those whose particular jobs/livelihoods are all about inheritance studies.

We can come back to this once we deal with the process definition first, let's not put too much on the plate at once eh? This is long enough. Thanks.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : added spectrum

Edited by RAZD, : consistent replacement of "evolution" with "RAZDism" or "variation and adaptation"


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

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Elmer, posted 12-20-2007 10:06 AM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Elmer, posted 12-21-2007 2:27 AM RAZD has responded
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20066
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 54 of 108 (442375)
12-20-2007 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Cold Foreign Object
12-20-2007 5:24 PM


Notes for Ray // note edits
Thanks for the insight your posts provide, Ray. I'll reply to all your posts in this one (as needed).

Message 48

You have not described any part of the alleged evolutionary process. This is a description of variation (excluding the out of place "allele/variation of a gene component").
General Reader: RAZD has presupposed 'evolution.' He then creates a list of heritable or non-heritable variations that are assumed to be evolutionary causations or part of the evolutionary process. But, in and by themselves, these variations (whatever their cause) is not evolution.

For those interested in Ray's understanding of what evolution is (and isn't), I refer you to the definition of evolution, message 192, where I showed that Ray was using a quote-mine from Mayr to misrepresent his position. I'll be happy to continue that discussion on that thread, Ray. Elmer may be interested as well.

For the purposes of this thread it doesn't really matter what we call it as long as we agree on what we are talking about. Communication is about ideas, and ideas can be described many different ways. As I noted to Elmer:

quote:
If it makes you feel better we can call it "RAZDism" and say that it is the same as "hereditary variation and adaptation" and is the "change in hereditary traits" in populations from generation to generation." The purpose is to agree on the process, so we can go with this if you want. This gives us:

"'RAZDism' is the hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation."

"'RAZDism' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation."

OR

'variation and adaptation' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.


Evolution is an inference; one species has changed into a completely different species over vast amount of time. So far, RAZD has not evidenced evolution. Variation is not evolution. Darwin had no clue as to the origin of variation, and the modern theory was built having no clue, as well. RAZD has simply described evidence of special creation.

However variation is produced or caused the same corresponds to a mechanism reflecting Divine power. It occurs in the womb; therefore, the womb is a mechanism that produces special creation, and that mechanism itself reflects Divine power or craftsmanship. Evolution says biological reality does not reflect Divine power. But I have just shown you that it does.

Modification evolution (also known as "gradualism") is an alleged process postulated to have taken billions of years to produce us and the nature that we see today. It cannot be observed because it is too slow for the naked eye to see. This is a big lie written by RAZD, or he has confused variation with macroevolution.

We are not talking about this aspect of the theory of evolution yet, so we can come back to this issue later. If Ray (still) doesn't like the way "evolution" is defined in the evolutionary biology science, we can use "RAZDism" as defined above to focus on the process under discussion.

False.

Fortunately, as has been amply demonstrated, nature is not in any way even inclined to be restricted by your opinion. You are free to maintain that all you want, and we'll proceed to study what nature actually does. K?

Now RAZD admits that he has been defining evolution incorrectly - intentionally. It is not even microevolution - just variation. But this is precisely where RAZD is lying. The lie is the admission, which is simply a disclaimer to silence Creationists. RAZD really believes variation is evolutionary.

I'll repeat what I said above, to make the point clear:

For the purposes of this thread it doesn't really matter what we call it as long as we agree on what we are talking about. Communication is about ideas, and ideas can be described many different ways. As I noted to Elmer:

quote:
If it makes you feel better we can call it "RAZDism" and say that it is the same as "hereditary variation and adaptation" and is the "change in hereditary traits" in populations from generation to generation." The purpose is to agree on the process, so we can go with this if you want. This gives us:

"'RAZDism' is the hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation."

"'RAZDism' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation."

OR

'variation and adaptation' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.


Message 50

I have read enough of this thread to see why you want it closed, RAZD. You are taking a beating.

Which is why I also asked for the topic to be reopened, just to be consistent? Your logic fails you again Ray, or do you want to continue the discussion of why seashells are not obvious evidence of a global flood. I never got a (good) answer to the question of why seashells 10 to 30 years old on mountain tops was evidence of a much briefer (in theory) flood, Ray. The tread is still open, so you are free to answer it. (it would be off-topic here, this is just an(other) example of Ray's logic)

That was Darwin's definition - good grief!

Here we have a camel (a horse created by commitee). Gene-centric to standard Mayr-Naturalist inference evolution.

Pure gene-centric.
Ernst Mayr has said that evolution IS NOT a change in gene frequencies. EvC Forum member, Elmer, has explained this to you slightly up-thread.

Note (1) that none of this invalidates the definition for the process of evolution as:

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

and (2) that Ray has not learned that misrepresenting what Mayr actually said is a falsehood. Again I refer you to the definition of evolution, message 192, where I showed that Ray was using a quote-mine from Mayr to misrepresent his position.

Microevolution is an interpretation of evidence that presupposes the falsity of a Genesis Deity active in reality. The interpretation is based on the conceptual mechanism of natural selection to select beneficial changes, thus propelling microevolution. Creationists accept God as the Designer and Creator - not natural selection. Therefore, we reject microevolution to have happened because we reject natural selection as creator.
Your definition: "evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation" relies on an anti-Bible assumption, and the assumption that Fundamentalist creationism and their acceptance of microevolution is the Creationist view - it is not.
Atheist-evolutionism and Fundamentalist-creationism agree with one another concerning microevolution. In my opinion this evidence alone is the best evidence that microevolution is false.

So instead we'll talk about RAZDism, where:

"'RAZDism' is the hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation"?

"'RAZDism' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation"?

OR

"'variation and adaptation' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation"?

Message 51

You are evidently making a personal point in the form of Moderation. I am comforted that my post, and its arguments, has caused this. My recent posting history shows scant activity, so banning me is not punitive in any way.

I don't mind your input Ray as long as you stick to the topic. K?

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : subtractions & additions

Edited by RAZD, : missed one

Edited by RAZD, : missed another


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-20-2007 5:24 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-21-2007 2:57 PM RAZD has responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4136 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 55 of 108 (442404)
12-21-2007 2:27 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by RAZD
12-20-2007 8:33 PM


Re: Good discussion with Elmer
**

Hi RAZD;

I really appreciate the change in tone, and I hope we can maintain it at this level.
Your post is quite extensive, and since I am nothing if not verbose and overly fond of exploring all the implications of every assertion, my response will probably be far too long for a single post. I hope you'll bear with me as I address them a few at a time.

You say--


quote:

I find the given definition of evolution to be tendentious and sel-serving, at least for the 'selectionist' side of the debate. In the OP these statements were made---

I'm not sure what your problem is here,

My problem was with your OP definition, which is little diffferent from your last statement, "A Theory of Evolution is that all the diversity of life is explained by a synthesis of theories on how hereditary traits in populations change from generation to generation." First, at this stage we are supposedly defining 'evolution' itself. Once that is done we can move on to an explanion of what causes evolution.

BTW, when we begin talking about developing a valid 'theory',for the mechanism that drives evolution, we should do that without 'a priori' peconceptions of what it is, working from the decided definition of the phenomenon to hypotheses regarding its causation that can be empirically observed, tested, and verified in scientific [empirical]rather than metaphysical terms.

Now, above, you say "A" theory of evolution, which would make more grammatical sense if, instead of "A" , you said "One", implying that more than one exists, which is true, or "The", which implies that only one 'theory'of evolution exists, which is not true. Even granting that there is one hypothesis of evolution which is called, by its adherents, "THE" theory of evolution.

As it happens, that hypothesis sounds suspiciously similar to what you describe in your statement. This leads me to believe that you are not looking for a proper empirical definition of 'evolution' per se, but rather, presnting, 'fait accompli', a tendentious, notional definition of evolution that has built into it a presupposed and pre-accepted explanation for evolution. This, to me, smacks of circular argument and question-begging.


or what you mean by " the 'selectionist' side of the debate" --

"Selectionist" is defined thusly--"somebody supporting natural selection: a believer or promoter of the theory that natural selection is the chief or only force governing biological development"

Needless to say we would all be 'selectionist' if there were no dissenters to this notion, i,e., if there were no 'other side' to the 'evolution's mechanism' debate.


mutation is a fact, selection is a fact: these have been observed in the lab and in nature,

Facts are self-evident. They are data, observations of what is. But in and of themselves they are meaningless. What matters are the inferences drawn from facts, and the hypotheses derived from these inferences, and finally the principles/theories derived once these hypotheses have been validated via the well-known scientific method.

In the selectionist pov, the fact of random genetic mutation is sufficient to explain evolution, without taking the necessary steps that lie between observed fact and established universal principle.

IAC, although 'random genetic mutations' are factual,what is not factual is the assumption that all and every genetic mutation is accidental, i.e., random. Nor that these random mutations can account for increased biosystem productivity, just as they have been empirically shown to account for decreased biosystem productivity.


and I have a feeling you are trying to create a barrier to understanding, rather than clarification.

I'm disappointed that you believe that. AFAIAC, I'm digging out implied assumptions and revealing that these assumptions are often unfounded, illogica, and downright false. No matter how plausible they sound at first blush.

Well, I'm too sleepy to carry on. More tomorrow.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 8:33 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Percy, posted 12-21-2007 10:01 AM Elmer has not yet responded
 Message 62 by RAZD, posted 12-21-2007 4:50 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18808
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 56 of 108 (442443)
12-21-2007 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Elmer
12-21-2007 2:27 AM


Re: Good discussion with Elmer
The detailed level of examination of evolution in the thread so far seems akin to using a microscope to look for elephants. The definition from the OP was:

RAZD in Message 1 writes:

We'll start with the process, where evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation

Another very similar way of saying the same thing is that evolution is the change in allele frequencies over time in a population.

There will always be differences of opinion about the best way to define something. If you don't like those definitions of evolution then feel free to provide your own, but it has to accurately define it. It wouldn't make any sense to pick apart a definition of your own invention not accepted by science.

What seems most evident is that you are either unaware of or dispute much of the evidence for evolution, and I would suggest skipping over all the minutia about grammar and definitions to focus on that.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Elmer, posted 12-21-2007 2:27 AM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4136 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 57 of 108 (442488)
12-21-2007 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by RAZD
12-20-2007 8:33 PM


Re: Good discussion with Elmer
Hello again.

Where was I? Oh. yes. You say--

...selection is a fact:

Well, in truth, where biological evolution is concerned, and aside from those rare instances where one organism consciously or, more oftern unconsciously, selects one member of the opposite sex to be its sexual partner and so join in the mutual effort of generating offspring, [that is, what is commonly called, 'sexual selection], selection' is as far from being a 'fact' as it is possible to get. It is only a notional mental construct when presented as if it were a causal mechanism in the specified and universal sense that science requires for efficient causes. And it is only a vacuous truism when presented as an observed current state of ecological affairs. And finally, it is only an arbitrary, ad hoc, label for the generality of statistical quantitative changes/fluctuations in the organismic contents of ecosystems and 'populations' over time.

these have been observed in the lab and in nature,

Nobody has as yet observed, either in the lab or in nature, a case where random genetic mutation is indisputably the causal mechanism for an increase in the productivity of a biosystem. That is simply the metaphysical assumption that some people make and propose be accepted as a 'given', even as an empirical 'fact'. Moreover, human experience with productive systems in general, especially productive machine systems, is in direct contradiction to this assumption, since always and everywhere it is observed that accidental change to such systems invariably decrease productivity, and never increase it.

Also, nobody has ever observed, in the lab or in the field, a case in which 'natural selection' rises above the level of a meaningless truism, that is a trivial observation of an effect, i.e., the
current state of local ecosystem composition.

quote:
Stated this way this way, the real issue being examined is not evolution, but heredity. This definition reduces evolution to an epiphenomenon of inherited chemical configurations, i.e., nucleotides, DNAcid, 'alleles' and 'genes'. It is not that at all.

Of course it includes heredity, as non-hereditary features are not important for following generations, as they've been eliminated already.

Of course 'heredity' is a part of evolution, and is subsumed within that process. I never denied it. Evolution is more than just 'any old change in an organism'.
What I _am_ denying is the neo-darwinian, 'Modern Synthesis', Fisherian assumption-- that evolution is subsumed within genetics, [including population genetics]. That is, the condition wherein evolution is reduced to being just one facet of the study of heredity. The opinion that evolution is merely an epiphenomenon of faulty inheritance mechanisms.


I find it funny when creationists seem to be so leery of just the word "evolution," and wan't to avoid any usage of it - like it's some boogieman to scare kids with - even when it is applied to a known and observed process. If it makes you feel better

None of the above has the least pertinence wrt to myself and my opinions. You seem to have somehow managed to confuse me for a creationist, i.e., an advocate of biblical literalism. Please don't do that again.


we can call it "RAZDism" and say that it is "hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation."

You can, of course, call it whatever you wish. The trick is to get people to agree with you. Inherited variety wrt traits, [which I take you to mean by "hereditary variation and adaptation"] can be unchanging, constant, static within a particular taxon, or can be seen as constantly changing and reconfiguring itself between individual members of that taxon, with no reference to 'evolution' whatsoever--IOW, just heredity, plain and simple.

BTW, interesting article that seems to bear on this question--
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5858/1842


The purpose is to agree on the process, so we can go with this if you want.

I think it necessary to arrive at a generally accepted definition of the process [evolution] itself, apsrt from its supposed causal mechanisms.
BUT, if you think that this thread is only about the proposition that evolution, per se, is a real phenomenon, rather than a hypothetical one, then you need to confine your debate to creationists. Since I am not one of their number, my opinions are irrelevent to your issue, and perhaps I should bow out?

Edited by Admin, : Fix quoting.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 8:33 PM RAZD has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Percy, posted 12-21-2007 3:20 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1280 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 58 of 108 (442527)
12-21-2007 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by RAZD
12-20-2007 9:40 PM


Re: Notes for Ray
Note to AdminNosy: I did not receive a reply to my question in "Suggestions and Questions" topic so I am proceeding under the assumption of a green light.

RAZD writes:

For those interested in Ray's understanding of what evolution is (and isn't), I refer you to the definition of evolution, message 192, where I showed that Ray was using a quote-mine from Mayr to misrepresent his position. I'll be happy to continue that discussion on that thread, Ray. Elmer may be interested as well.

Completely false.

Mayr said two things:

1. Evolution is not a change in gene frequencies (said in Preface).

2. But genetics is important to evolutionary theory (importance explained in the chapters).

The point I was making using Mayr was to have a source that rejects a gene-centric definition of evolution. Mayr rejects evolution defined at the genetic level but he admits genetics is important to evolutionary theory. Pease do not misrepresent this issue or the plain points I have made above. I think you need to acknowledge that not EVERY evolutionist defines 'evolution' at the genetic level, RAZD.

For the purposes of this thread it doesn't really matter what we call it as long as we agree on what we are talking about. Communication is about ideas, and ideas can be described many different ways.

I completely agree.

So instead we'll talk about RAZDism, where:

RAZDism is the hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation.

Here you have stipulated a definition, which is fine. Now, what is the "big lie" told by Creationists? I assume you are talking about Creationists that accept microevolution? RAZD, what do these Creationists propose for a mechanism accomplishing the micro-changes?

You know I just might agree with you that these Creationists are lying or extremely deluded or sorely mistaken.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 9:40 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by AdminNosy, posted 12-21-2007 3:16 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded
 Message 61 by RAZD, posted 12-21-2007 3:49 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 59 of 108 (442530)
12-21-2007 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Cold Foreign Object
12-21-2007 2:57 PM


Re: Notes for Ray
Be very cautious Ray. Stick to the topic. Make no accusations you can't back up. Only because RAZD ok'd it are you here. I will ignore him if you misstep.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-21-2007 2:57 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18808
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 60 of 108 (442532)
12-21-2007 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Elmer
12-21-2007 1:17 PM


Re: Good discussion with Elmer
Elmer writes:

Well, in truth, where biological evolution is concerned, and aside from those rare instances where one organism consciously or, more oftern unconsciously, selects one member of the opposite sex to be its sexual partner and so join in the mutual effort of generating offspring, [that is, what is commonly called, 'sexual selection], selection' is as far from being a 'fact' as it is possible to get.

You really don't have a clue about evolution, do you?

Nobody has as yet observed, either in the lab or in nature, a case where random genetic mutation is indisputably the causal mechanism for an increase in the productivity of a biosystem.

Yep, not a clue!

Also, nobody has ever observed, in the lab or in the field, a case in which 'natural selection' rises above the level of a meaningless truism, that is a trivial observation of an effect, i.e., the current state of local ecosystem composition.

What is the point of making declarations about something you know nothing about?

Evolution is more than just 'any old change in an organism'.

Uh, remember Message 1, where RAZD provided his definition? Or Message 56 where I provided an alternative definition?

What I _am_ denying is the neo-darwinian, 'Modern Synthesis', Fisherian assumption-- that evolution is subsumed within genetics, [including population genetics]. That is, the condition wherein evolution is reduced to being just one facet of the study of heredity. The opinion that evolution is merely an epiphenomenon of faulty inheritance mechanisms.

You're making up your own definitions again. Rebutting your own definition of evolution is a pointless exercise. You have to rebut the actual definition, not your imaginary one.

None of the above has the least pertinence wrt to myself and my opinions. You seem to have somehow managed to confuse me for a creationist, i.e., an advocate of biblical literalism. Please don't do that again.

You're not being equated with a creationist. It is your ignorance of evolution that is being equated with that of a creationist. They're pretty much equivalent.

...we can call it "RAZDism" and say that it is "hereditary variation and adaptation in a population from generation to generation."

You can, of course, call it whatever you wish. The trick is to get people to agree with you.

RAZD wasn't calling it RAZDism. What he said was, "If it makes you feel better we can call it 'RAZDism'," and he said this because you seemed to be exhibiting an aversion to the word "evolution". He's just saying that if the word "evolution" makes you feel uncomfortable that we could use a different word, but the definition is unchanged and is broadly accepted by the scientific community.

Inherited variety wrt traits, [which I take you to mean by "hereditary variation and adaptation"] can be unchanging, constant, static within a particular taxon, or can be seen as constantly changing and reconfiguring itself between individual members of that taxon, with no reference to 'evolution' whatsoever--IOW, just heredity, plain and simple.

And this is why RAZD suspects you have an aversion to the "evolution" label. Heredity is the genetic storage and transmission mechanism by which traits are inherited. Evolution is genomic change in populations over time.

BTW, interesting article that seems to bear on this question--
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5858/1842

Yes, it does seem to bear on the question, describing at one point the types of genetic change (mutation) that can occur.

I think it necessary to arrive at a generally accepted definition of the process [evolution] itself, apsrt from its supposed causal mechanisms.

You've been offered several definitions of evolution already. As long as it's accurate, go ahead and offer your own.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Elmer, posted 12-21-2007 1:17 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
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