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Author Topic:   For Inquisitor, et al: What is Evolution?
Inactive Member

Message 1 of 81 (38650)
05-01-2003 5:30 PM

Mainly for Inquisitor, but anyone else with a definition to provide may do so. I don't plan to be the first.

Keep in mind that langauge is descriptive, not perscriptive: Words describe and refer to meaning, they do not contain it. Therefore, any attempt to supply definitions cannot be intended as a final word about what evolution is or is not, but can only be used to ensure we're all talking about the same thing when we say "evolution".

This may not be good enough for Inquisitor, but we shall see. Who'd like to start?

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Inactive Member

Message 13 of 81 (39019)
05-05-2003 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Buzsaw
05-05-2003 11:47 AM

Evolution is an explanation, compatible with the limits of the human natural mind for observed life and order, to satisfy those who cannot accept the notion that there is, in the universe a dimension of understanding and power above the ability of finite man to comprehend, known as the supernatural.

This is not so much a definition of evolution specifically as it is a definition of science. Science, by definition, precludes the supernatural as an explanation. Which isn't, nessicarily, to ay it doesn't exist - it just can't ever be a scientific explanation. If it were, it would cease to be "supernatural".

Evolution is a theory contrived by one and believed by most which attempts to explain the observed existence of life and order solely by billions of random/chance happenings and interactions involving things pre-existing for no explicable reason.

This is also incorrect. Evolution as a modern theory and model is the result of the efforts of hundreds of scientists. Strictly speaking, evolution as a theory predates Darwin, even. Darwin may have planted the seed for the modern theory but it is by no means his alone.

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 Message 12 by Buzsaw, posted 05-05-2003 11:47 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

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Inactive Member

Message 26 of 81 (39781)
05-12-2003 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Buzsaw
05-11-2003 10:57 PM

It's tough to keep on keeping on defining an ideology that somehow magically does things like turning pumpkins into coaches at precisely 12 midnight as in Cinderella.

Or, say, turning water into wine? Raising the dead? Parting the Red Sea? That does sound hard to defend. Best of luck with that.

This was a topic for Mike the Wiz and others to pose honest questions about the modern theory of evolution and what it claims, not for wiseguys to shoot their mouths off.

You don't have to believe the theory to post in this topic; just be genuinely interested in what the theory actually claims.

[This message has been edited by crashfrog, 05-11-2003]

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Inactive Member

Message 34 of 81 (39889)
05-13-2003 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Buzsaw
05-13-2003 12:46 AM

Re: Probabilty calculations
Evolution is a little known process taught in most educational institutions to the extent that it has become believed by most.

Value judgement on your part; not part of the theory.

This process is theorized to have proceeded over billions of years beginning with the original big bang after which large numbers of atoms reacting randomly proceeded to produce billions of timely combinations so as to eventually produce randomly all that is observed.

The big bang has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. What you've described is a philosophy of materialism. ToE isn't philosophy.

So, to answer your question, that's a terrible definition of the Theory of Evolution. It might be a great definition of a certain philosophy but it's pretty clear you don't know what constitutes scientific theory.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Buzsaw, posted 05-13-2003 12:46 AM Buzsaw has responded

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 Message 41 by Buzsaw, posted 05-13-2003 9:28 PM crashfrog has responded

Inactive Member

Message 43 of 81 (40022)
05-13-2003 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Buzsaw
05-13-2003 9:28 PM

Re: Probabilty calculations
It had to start somewhere. Right?? When you begin with inorganic chunks floating about in space and end up with life on planet earth as we see it, aside from intelligent intervention, you've got evolution all the way, don't you?

Most evolutionists I know or have read about believe in the BB, including Christians.

Sure, but the people doing the most work in evolutionary biology aren't cosmologists, they're biologists. Why would that be unless cosmology was irrelavent to evolution?

Evolution isn't a theory to explain the history of reality. It's an explanation relevant only to the diversity of life on earth. Evolution begins with a replicating organism on planet earth, not before.

Clearly what you are against is a philisophy of materialism; this is larger than just evolution.

What is observed provides more evidence for the supernatural than it does for ToE.

Hrm, interesting - what would evidence for the supernatural look like? How would we tell the difference between what we can't yet explain and what we'll never be able to explain?

The fossil record, as well as human history supports more evidence for sudden creation of living species than it does for evolution of the species.

Interesting - in what way? How does the clearly preserved sorting of the fossil record, combined with relative inferred age, support sudden universal creation? It doesn't seem to, to me.

So that makes my definition more scientific than yours. A number of scientists would rate both of my definitions on this thread higher than that of the evolutionists.

Wheras, an astronomically larger number of scientists would agree with my criticisms of your definition. So what's your point? I have way more scientists on my side.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Buzsaw, posted 05-13-2003 9:28 PM Buzsaw has responded

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 Message 45 by Buzsaw, posted 05-14-2003 1:15 AM crashfrog has responded

Inactive Member

Message 48 of 81 (40037)
05-14-2003 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Buzsaw
05-14-2003 1:15 AM

Re: Probabilty calculations
It looks like sea fossils high in the mountain ranges. It looks like modern extreme weather patterns, the industrial revolution and so on.

Now I don't understand. You think sea fossils in uplifted mountains (plate tectonics - heard of it?) and the industrial revolution are supernatural?

Imo, the dating methods are flawed, failing to factor the flood.

That still doesn't address the fossil sorting aspect. Fossils are even sorted by criteria that wouldn't affect flood survivability, such as complexity of shell suture. Why would more complex sutures appear higher in the record than less complex one? I don't see how a flood would cause that.

True, but only since modern schools have indoctrinated the students in it for so long without substantial documentation.

Where do you suppose indoctrination is more likely to occur? Honestly: a science classroom or a church? Creationism's church connections make it a much more likely place for "indoctrination" to occr. That's why churches call it "doctrine".

The fact that there are more and more bonafide creationist scientists who are taking notice of new archeological and scientific discoveries to support sudden creation of life gives credence to the need for science to acknowledge that what is observed supports the possibility of the supernatural as much as your views, depending on the interpretation of the data.

I don't think anyone questions that you could explain the data with supernatural explanations. The question is, is it good for science to accept those explanations over naturalistic ones? I don't think so; naturalistic models have served us very will throughout the history of science. But it's a methodology issue.

Personally, I don't think any lack of evidence is sufficient to prompt science to seek supernatural explanations - and evidence for the supernatural would make it natural. I think that's a view shared by the majority of scientific philosophers.

This message is a reply to:
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Inactive Member

Message 54 of 81 (40106)
05-14-2003 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Buzsaw
05-14-2003 10:33 AM

Re: Probabilty calculations
That mankind will destroy himself, life and the world via this revolution unchecked, is undisputed by many.

You hang out with some pretty negative people. I guess I'm a little more hopeful as is everyone I know. If anything destroys us it'll be a natural disease...

1. There is nowhere a total and complete geological column in one area to my knowledge. Why not?

I think Zephyr just covered this? Because in a 4 billion year-old earth, erosion happens. If the flood only happened 4000 years ago, why isn't the column more universally complete?

The walking and flying creatures were able to survive the longest time as they all likely went to high ground during the eommencement of the flood. Likely their bodies rotted, etc and were the least likely to be suddenly burried as were the tiny things. Man being the most intelligent would be the longest survivor of the flood as they would've known the highest places and were the most able to find floating debris to keep afloat the longest.

That still doesn't explain sorting for reasons that have nothing to do with behavior, intelligence, or motive power. And it doesn't begin to explain why the fossil order is almost totally bulletproof - I mean, surely one or two humans - even a city's worth of them - were so dumb that some of them drowned right away? Or had died the previous day and were already buried in "precambrian" sediment? It simply doesn't explain why no humans whatsoever are found with dinosaurs.

Why couldn't flying dinosaurs survive as well as modern large birds? Sloths can't run; why don't we find them down with the idiot dinosaurs? It's just a stupid argument. I can't believe anybody takes it seriously.

It is prophecied in it that the vast majority would not believe it.

heh - some prophecy. I could write a book, put in the same prophecy (and a few more for good measure - "Unrest in the Middle East!") - would you believe it? Because it would certainly be true - some people would not believe my book.

It has inspired the creation of the most prosperous, free and blessed culture ever on the planet.

I suspect if you examined the beliefs of the French philosophers that our modern democracy is based on, you'd find a whole lot of atheists. Perhaps you could point out where "democracy" is found in the bible? Heck, if our founding fathers were alive today you'd find their beliefs very, very different from your own.

Look at history and see what athiestic communism and the various other religions have accomplished.

Consider for a moment why the numbers we use are called "arabic". Could that be because modern mathematics was invented in a Muslim culture? They also invented astronomy and medical science way before anything in your christian world. The wheel was invented in Iraq. (Atheists are not communists, anyway. I'm not, for instance.) The Chinese invented the printing press, gunpowder/fireworks/rocketry, paper money, noodles. I could go on. Honestly a little less ethnocentricity would make you look less credulous.

I've looked at both sides for over 50 years and so far the Biblical record wins hands down.

Well, I'm clearly not as old as you - but in my experience, older people are looking more for comfort in the face of impending mortality rather than objective (and scary!) scientific reality.

But there's a reason the Bible is outlawed in public schools.

It's not outlawed in schools - I took a bible to class all the time in school. (I did go to public school, yes.) Heck, I'd even teach from it, if I were a teacher - but I'd teach from it in the context of social examination of religious mythology, like I would examine any other religion. I wouldn't use it in place of science.

Sure, schools tend to decend on anything even remotely christian - but it's a backlash to christians who insist on their worldview being promulgated as science.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Buzsaw, posted 05-14-2003 10:33 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 58 of 81 (40155)
05-14-2003 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Rrhain
05-14-2003 9:14 PM

Re: An Actual Probability Calculation
Suppose I have n darts, each with a 1/n chance of striking the target.

This part I don't understand. Your use of n twice confuses me. Do you mean that if I have 2 darts, I have a 1/2 chance of hitting the target? 3 darts, 1/3 chance? By this logic if I only have one dart (1/1 chance of hitting) it hits every time.

You should be more careful picking your variable names if the above isn't what you meant.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Rrhain, posted 05-14-2003 11:01 PM crashfrog has responded

Inactive Member

Message 62 of 81 (40176)
05-15-2003 12:51 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Rrhain
05-14-2003 11:01 PM

Re: An Actual Probability Calculation
No, you got it exactly right: If I have 4 darts, each has a probability of only 1/4 of hitting...10 darts means each has only a 1/10 probability of hitting...an infinite number of darts means each has an infinitesimal probability of hitting.

And, indeed, a single dart means there is a guaranteed chance of hitting. But, the question put before us is to determine a solution for all possible cases.

What I don't understand is - are these hypothetical darts whose accuracy decreases as the number of them increases, or do you believe this to be fundamental property of real-life darts?

I realize this is nit-picking, but I'm curious.

Given n darts, each with a constant chance of hitting the target, the chances of all of them not hitting the target decreases as n increases. Is that what you're after?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Rrhain, posted 05-14-2003 11:01 PM Rrhain has responded

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Inactive Member

Message 65 of 81 (40376)
05-16-2003 3:14 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Admin
05-15-2003 9:36 AM

Re: And now, a word from our topic...
Looks like Inquisitor is gone. Perhaps the topic should close? I think there's already other topics for some of the disputes we've spawned here.

No one who has an actual question about the theory has posted. I guess it's done, then?

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 Message 66 by zephyr, posted 05-16-2003 3:44 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 75 of 81 (41023)
05-22-2003 1:20 PM

Come to think of it, weren't we closing this thread?

Inquisitor has stopped inquisiting. All we have now is Buzsaw coming up with value-laden misstatements of the ToE. Maybe we could give this a day or two for the probability aspect to be resolved but I'd say we're about done after that...

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