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Author Topic:   The Definition for the Theory of Evolution
DrJones*
Member
Posts: 1822
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004
Member Rating: 7.7


Message 166 of 216 (416631)
08-17-2007 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 163 by Ihategod
08-17-2007 1:39 AM


Re: definition of evolution
why it isn't useful to identify birds as things in the sky

Cause not all birds fly, and not all flying animals are birds.

fish as things in the sea

Cause not everything in the sea is a fish.

animals as things on the land

Cause animals don't exist only on land.

Quantifying it anymore seems a waste of time.

Yes, cause science is best when its really really really vague and inaccurate.

I am ready to change my opinion if you can supply me with a reason to believe the Linnean model is "biologically useful."

It allows us to classify living organisms and show how they are related to each other.


Live every week like it's Shark Week!
Just a monkey in a long line of kings.
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist!
*not an actual doctor
This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by Ihategod, posted 08-17-2007 1:39 AM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 168 by Ihategod, posted 08-17-2007 9:53 AM DrJones* has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 167 of 216 (416663)
08-17-2007 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by Ihategod
08-16-2007 11:03 PM


Re: definition of evolution
Welcome to the fray Vashgun

My problem with accepting a definition as broad as: change over time or something akin to that is that it doesn't reflect the true colossal nature of the theory.

Properly speaking you need to define the type of change involved - here we use hereditary genetic change or change in hereditary traits (to differentiate it from change in size etc), and we specify change in breeding populations, species.

The problem with getting more specific is that it gets much more cumbersome in the process. See Message 158 for different levels.

Evolutionist: Evolution is change in species over time.
Me (creationist): I agree

Of course. The argument with creationists is not with evolution per se but with the issue of common ancestors (between which species and how far back).

Message 161
"Evolution has been taking place since life arose."

Nice wording. What about when life was created by a creator and "evolution" is just a variation within a kind.

That's the issue of common ancestors again eh? Please do visit Problems of a different "Kind" and help us define kind though.

Enjoy.


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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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Ihategod, posted 08-16-2007 11:03 PM Ihategod has not yet responded

Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4141 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 168 of 216 (416667)
08-17-2007 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by DrJones*
08-17-2007 2:05 AM


Re: definition of evolution
why it isn't useful to identify birds as things in the sky

Cause not all birds fly, and not all flying animals are birds.

If it can fly it is a bird.

fish as things in the sea

Cause not everything in the sea is a fish.

I disagree.

animals as things on the land

Cause animals don't exist only on land.

I disagree.

Quantifying it anymore seems a waste of time.

Yes, cause science is best when its really really really vague and inaccurate.

You should invest in tee shirts reading: Science is life.

I am ready to change my opinion if you can supply me with a reason to believe the Linnean model is "biologically useful."

It allows us to classify living organisms and show how they are related to each other.

I still don't see how it's useful in life. I guess if you want a background for trying to explain how things evolved from each other...you would need something like this. Otherwise, it's relatively useless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by DrJones*, posted 08-17-2007 2:05 AM DrJones* has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Wounded King, posted 08-17-2007 10:13 AM Ihategod has not yet responded
 Message 172 by RAZD, posted 08-17-2007 10:36 AM Ihategod has responded

Refpunk
Member (Idle past 4164 days)
Posts: 60
Joined: 08-17-2007


Message 169 of 216 (416669)
08-17-2007 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
07-07-2007 11:18 AM


Re: Your opinion, Your Favorite
If evolution were really true, then it wouldn't be hard at all to "define" it. But since it's merely a theory that exists in the imaginations of men, then its definition will be as numerous and varied as each individual imagination.

Edited by Refpunk, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 07-07-2007 11:18 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by RAZD, posted 08-17-2007 10:33 AM Refpunk has responded
 Message 174 by bluegenes, posted 08-17-2007 12:24 PM Refpunk has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2206 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 170 of 216 (416678)
08-17-2007 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 168 by Ihategod
08-17-2007 9:53 AM


Re: definition of evolution
Wow, you are a really hardcore literalist. I think we would be hard pressed to find other creationists past or present on the forum who would argue from the position that bats are birds and whales are fish. I think you would probably have trouble finding anyone else anywhere who would argue that animals exist only on the land.

I guess if you want a background for trying to explain how things evolved from each other...you would need something like this. Otherwise, it's relatively useless.

Haven't you heard, its how rapacious capitalists keep score on how many species they drive to extinction.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by Ihategod, posted 08-17-2007 9:53 AM Ihategod has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 171 of 216 (416684)
08-17-2007 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by Refpunk
08-17-2007 10:00 AM


topic please
Welcome to the fray Refpunk

If evolution were really true, then it wouldn't be hard at all to "define" it.

This thread is not about the definition of evolution, but about the definition of the theory of evolution. A small distinction.

But since it's merely a theory that exists in the imaginations of men,...

This is so for all sciences not just evolution, but we are also talking about a scientific theory based on evidence and not merely a hypothetical concept ...

If you want to discuss either one of these elements further I suggest you open a new thread on the topic -- these are both off topic to this thread.

Go to Forum Proposed New Topics to post new topics.

Enjoy.

ps - type [qs]quote boxes are easy[/qs] and it becomes:

quote boxes are easy

also check out (help) links on formating questions when in the reply window.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 10:00 AM Refpunk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 3:30 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 172 of 216 (416685)
08-17-2007 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 168 by Ihategod
08-17-2007 9:53 AM


getting off topic.
If it can fly it is a bird.

None of this post is about the definition of the theory of evolution, it is off topic.

If you want to discuss this further please open a new topic on it. I'm sure you'll find many happy participants.

Go to Forum Proposed New Topics to post new topics.

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by Ihategod, posted 08-17-2007 9:53 AM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Ihategod, posted 08-17-2007 11:42 AM RAZD has not yet responded

Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4141 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 173 of 216 (416699)
08-17-2007 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by RAZD
08-17-2007 10:36 AM


Re: getting off topic.
they started it dad.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by RAZD, posted 08-17-2007 10:36 AM RAZD has not yet responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 588 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 174 of 216 (416707)
08-17-2007 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Refpunk
08-17-2007 10:00 AM


Re: Your opinion, Your Favorite
If evolution were really true, then it wouldn't be hard at all to "define" it. But since it's merely a theory that exists in the imaginations of men, then its definition will be as numerous and varied as each individual imagination.

Did you mean evolution or the existence and definition of the Abrahamic God?:)

"Evolution" of many different sorts, including biological, is a well observed phenomenon.

If you meant "the theory of (biological) evolution", then do feel free to start a thread explaining your comment on it. Arguably, all scientific theories exist only in the "imaginations" or minds of men and women. I doubt if other animals go in for them!

This thread is about defining the theory, not about what we think of it.

P.S. Welcome to EvC.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 10:00 AM Refpunk has not yet responded

Refpunk
Member (Idle past 4164 days)
Posts: 60
Joined: 08-17-2007


Message 175 of 216 (416741)
08-17-2007 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by RAZD
08-17-2007 10:33 AM


Re: topic please
Thank you for welcoming me to the fray.

If there were evidence, then it would no longer be a theory, but a fact. But since the "evidence" consists men looking at fossils, skulls and bones and imagining what they could be and how they got that way, then again, it's just a theory as you said, not a fact.

Edited by Refpunk, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by RAZD, posted 08-17-2007 10:33 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by crashfrog, posted 08-17-2007 4:06 PM Refpunk has not yet responded
 Message 177 by RAZD, posted 08-17-2007 4:07 PM Refpunk has not yet responded
 Message 178 by Doddy, posted 08-18-2007 7:50 AM Refpunk has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 176 of 216 (416745)
08-17-2007 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by Refpunk
08-17-2007 3:30 PM


Re: topic please
If there were evidence, then it would no longer be a theory, but a fact.

That's not really how it works. Theories don't graduate into facts.

Theories explain facts. Theories, in a way, are made out of facts. That's why we have things like the germ theory of disease, which explains the fact that diseases are caused by germs. Or the theory of gravity, which explains the fact that gravity attracts massive objects together.

Or the theory of evolution, one of the best-supported theories in all of science, which explains the fact that creatures evolve by random mutation and natural selection acting on the genetics of populations.

See?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 3:30 PM Refpunk has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 177 of 216 (416747)
08-17-2007 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by Refpunk
08-17-2007 3:30 PM


Re: topic please
We are still going off-topic here , but we can start with just focusing on what a scientific theory is:

If there were evidence, then it would no longer be a theory, but a fact.

This is a common misconception on the part of the general public, due in part to confusing {scientific theory} with {idea}.

the·o·ry –noun 1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

The scientific theory definition is #1, while the common definition is either #4 or #6. Notice the significant difference is that the scientific theory explains known facts or phenomena (existing evidence), has been repeatedly tested and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena. The Theory of Evolution fits this definition.

In science (all sciences) no theory is proven, rather they are tested for validity based on predictions. Those that fail the tests are invalidated (falsified), but those that pass the tests are then subject to further testing. This means one can never consider a theory proven, just validated by repeated testing. The more the theory is tested and validated the stronger is the evidence that the theory is correct, but it is never considered proven.

But since the "evidence" consists men looking at fossils, skulls and bones and imagining what they could be and how they got that way, then again, it's just a theory as you said, not a fact.

Let's take this to the Evolution is not science. Note that Message 11 discusses the relevance of evidence to theory and the validation of the theory (rather than "proof").

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


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.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 3:30 PM Refpunk has not yet responded

Doddy
Member (Idle past 4021 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 178 of 216 (416867)
08-18-2007 7:50 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Refpunk
08-17-2007 3:30 PM


Re: topic please
Refpunk writes:

If there were evidence, then it would no longer be a theory, but a fact.

As the others have said, this isn't the case.

This particular claim is one Answers in Genesis's list of Arguments we think creationists should NOT use

quote:
“Evolution is just a theory.”

What people usually mean when they say this is “Evolution is not proven fact, so it should not be promoted dogmatically.” Therefore people should say that! The problem with using the word “theory” in this case is that scientists use it to mean a well-substantiated explanation of data. This includes well-known theories such as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Newton’s Theory of Gravity, as well as lesser-known ones such as the Debye–Hückel Theory of electrolyte solutions. It would be better to say that particles-to-people evolution is an unsubstantiated hypothesis or conjecture.



Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

We seek contributors with a knowledge of Intelligent design to expand and review our page on this topic.

Registration not needed for editing most pages (the ID page is an exception), but you can register here!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Refpunk, posted 08-17-2007 3:30 PM Refpunk has not yet responded

  
Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4141 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 179 of 216 (417104)
08-19-2007 2:20 PM


I got it!
Instead of the "Theory of Evolution" it should be called the hypothesis of evolution.

The HOE. I like the bandy of words here at evc, like

"Evolution" of many different sorts, including biological, is a well observed phenomenon.

yeah, it is. But not the HOE. Nor is common descent scientific, so to pertain to this thread any mechanism for the HOE or hypothesis of the HOE should be stricken from the definition of "evolution"


Replies to this message:
 Message 180 by Chiroptera, posted 08-19-2007 3:11 PM Ihategod has responded
 Message 181 by molbiogirl, posted 08-19-2007 7:33 PM Ihategod has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6532
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 180 of 216 (417115)
08-19-2007 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by Ihategod
08-19-2007 2:20 PM


Re: I got it!
Nor is common descent scientific.

Actually, it is. By assuming common descent, one can predict that various phenomena should be observable. If these phenomena are not observed, then, in the language of science, we would have falsifications of common descent. If the predicted phenomena are observed, then these, in the language of science, would count as verifications. As it turns out, many of the predicted phenomena are observed, just as predicted by the hypothesis of common descent.

So, common descent has been verified according to the standard hypothesis-prediction-observation-confirmation model of science. In fact, common descent is an excellent example of a confirmed scientific theory under the now classical model of what science is and how it works.

In fact, getting back to the OP, I would say that common descent now ranks as a fact, and that the theory of evolution is the theory (or theories) that explain how this happens.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by Ihategod, posted 08-19-2007 2:20 PM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 182 by Ihategod, posted 08-19-2007 9:00 PM Chiroptera has responded

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