Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 87 (8929 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 08-26-2019 5:02 AM
27 online now:
PaulK, Tangle (2 members, 25 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Jedothek
Post Volume:
Total: 860,465 Year: 15,501/19,786 Month: 2,224/3,058 Week: 82/516 Day: 3/79 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Evolution and the BIG LIE
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 17 of 108 (441334)
12-17-2007 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Kitsune
12-17-2007 3:01 AM


Re: Thank you Beretta
hi lindalou--

Actually, the statement, "This is the first fact to learn about evolution: this is what evolution is, the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation.", is so nebulous that it really says nothing more than that, 'heredity is evolution, and evolution is inheritance of traits that vary across populations from one generation to the next'.
Which in fact, is simply not true. Not even at the most trivial level, say the ratio of brown eyes to blue in members of a certain human lineage. The same applies at even more serious levels, such as the differential ratio inherited traits-- such as haemophilia in european aristocrats [see 'Queen Victoria, descendents of'], or anaemia in certain populations of african descent, or even HIV resistance from plague survivors dating back to the days of the roman empire. No matter what population geneticists would like the world to continue to believe, differential trait inheritance is NOT evolution.

Evolution only takes place when an entirely new trait is introduced into the biosphere, [this is called, 'origins'] or when an old trait
is entirely extinguished from a taxon.[this is 'extinction']

Evolution is not, as we've been convinced by the Ronald Fisher crowd, and as repeated above, nothing more than differential 'hands of cards' dealt out of the same old 'deck', 're-shuffled' and 're-dealt', generation after generation.

Edited by Elmer, : clarification


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Kitsune, posted 12-17-2007 3:01 AM Kitsune has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Wounded King, posted 12-17-2007 7:33 AM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 38 of 108 (441448)
12-17-2007 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by mobioevo
12-17-2007 4:07 PM


Re: the Theory of Evolution definition
I'm with mobioevo on this one.

The fact of the matter here is that the BIG LIE in question is the big lie told by both Creationists and Darwinists, not only to each other, but to the public at large. A really big lie that has had the kind of overwhelming success that only really big lies and completely unbelievable assertions always seem to have. Both darwinists and creationists have not only completely convinced each other of its truth, but have duped the general public as well--thanks to their combined, strident insistence upon it.

The Really Big Lie is this--that evolution itself is equal to and synonymous with the darwinian "ToE". Meaning that to 'believe' in 'evolution', [which is a proven fact, not a belief], is to believe in "the" ToE. As if evolution would not, could not exist, if "the" 'ToE' were not to be fully accepted as an article of faith. Sort of like saying that 'god' would not, could not exist, if people did not believe in such an entity.

Another form in which this "Really Big Lie", [that evolution _is_ "the" one and only, "ToE"], is promoted by darwinists and creationists is through their mutual insistence that the "Intelligent Design" 'theory' of evolution is not a distinct, secular, scientific hypothesis wrt evolution's causal mechanism, but is merely another label for creationism. So successful has been their mutual insistence upon this lie that "ID" is now thought to be discredited. It isn't, but the name is.

Intelligent design 'theory', following from lamarck et al, and presently expressed in biological 'systems' theory and developmental, epigenetic evolution theory, is simply the hypothesis that living organisms, as biosystems, are able to harness a natural universal force to their own purposes, so that life may persist and flourish under a variety of environmental circumstances. That is, that evolution is the process by which lifeforms are intelligently designed by themselves and by their own forebears. Many, a vast number of, intelligent designers, all adjusting/adapting their bioforms to proximate and immediate environmental conditions, simply because that which bestows life, [the universal natural force], gives them both the power, and the compulsion, to do so.

Edited by Elmer, : Mistaken deletion


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by mobioevo, posted 12-17-2007 4:07 PM mobioevo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by nator, posted 12-17-2007 6:37 PM Elmer has responded
 Message 40 by mobioevo, posted 12-17-2007 6:44 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 41 of 108 (441459)
12-17-2007 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by nator
12-17-2007 6:37 PM


Re: the Theory of Evolution definition
Hi nator;

You say--


1) You do realize that there are no Darwinists here, nor do they exist in the ranks of professional scientists, don't you?

I don't know from, "the ranks of professional scientists", but I do know that this particular forum, [and every other 'evo-vs.-creo' forum to be found on the net], is literally crawling with them.


"Darwinism" was improved decades ago by incorporating the various fields of genetics, and also Puntuated Equilibrium. The theory is now referred to as "The Modern Synthesis".

Maybe that is what you call it, but the rest of the world calls "The Modern Synthesis", "darwinism".


2) I think you will find that nobody on the science side of this issue wants people to "believe" in evolution in a religious sense, no more than we want people to "believe" in a heliocentric solar system or that matter is composed of atoms, or that germs cause disease.

That's probably true of anybody coming from "the science side of this issue", but the truth is that people do not fly into apoplectic rages and start hurling bitter insults at people they don't even know, when they are simply debating the objective empirical merits of a given scientific hypothesis. Not if they are sane adults.

That should tell you that all the insult-hurling, snarling, snapping and howling defenders of darwinism in this forum are NOT, "on the science side of this issue", but are fighting an ideological battle to which their personal identities are tied emotionally. That ideology is evangelical atheism, [what they falsly misrepresent as 'secularism'], and that ideology is why they are emotionally driven to be here, and to scream here. Science has bugger-all to do with it.


What I think we'd like to see is people well-educated in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Cosmology, etc. "Belief" in any scientific concept without real understanding or knowledge is worthless.

So true. But when I tell that to the darwinists, they refuse to listen.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by nator, posted 12-17-2007 6:37 PM nator has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by RAZD, posted 12-20-2007 7:31 AM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 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

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 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

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 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

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 67 of 108 (443054)
12-23-2007 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by RAZD
12-23-2007 11:08 AM


Re: Waiting for Elmer
Hi;

Must have been a communication breakdown, since I've been waiting for you to answer the question with which I closed my last response to you; that is, in view of the fact that I am not a creationist and that seems to be your focus, do you want me to drop out of the debate? I received no reply, and since you and ray have been quite busy responding to each other, I assumed that you weren't interested in my thoughts.

But, sine you invite me to continue--


So, for Elmer (from Message 62):

So which is it?
(1) "evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation" ...

OR perhaps

(1a) "(micro)evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation" ...

OR

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

Enjoy.

If your are asking me to endorse any of the above, I cannot. My own definition would be something like this--

Evolution is change in organisms, over generations, in those intrinsic, inherent, morphological, physiological, and instinctive behavioural traits which, by their continuing presence, form the empirical parameters that characterize and identify a particular taxonomic group; eg., a herring gull, a spruce tree, a dog. Minor, trivial, non-vital changes to this historically established set of organismic properties constitute micro-evolution, whereas robust, vital changes to the above are macro-evolutionary. It must be noted that micro-evolution and macro-evolution are usually determined on the basis of their contribution to the basic, vital functioning [survival] of that class of organism.

Is there anything in your post 62 that you'd particularly like me to go back to and address?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by RAZD, posted 12-23-2007 11:08 AM RAZD has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-23-2007 4:56 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 69 of 108 (443080)
12-23-2007 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Cold Foreign Object
12-23-2007 4:56 PM


Re: Waiting for Elmer
Hi ray;

You say--


quote:

If your are asking me to endorse any of the above, I cannot. My own definition would be something like this--
Evolution is change in organisms, over generations, in those intrinsic, inherent, morphological, physiological, and instinctive behavioural traits which, by their continuing presence, form the empirical parameters that characterize and identify a particular taxonomic group; eg., a herring gull, a spruce tree, a dog. Minor, trivial, non-vital changes to this historically established set of organismic properties constitute micro-evolution, whereas robust, vital changes to the above are macro-evolutionary. It must be noted that micro-evolution and macro-evolution are usually determined on the basis of their contribution to the basic, vital functioning [survival] of that class of organism.

Elmer: I am taking the liberty here in an attempt to reiterate what I think RAZD is trying to accomplish.

YOUR definition of evolution (as articulated above) is essentially what is called a stipulated definition because it is your own and because it contains no references in support.

Actually, you might call my definition of evolution, above, 'idiosyncratic', but it will not be, 'stipulated', until those 'to whom it may concern', agree to it. A thing is 'stipulated'when it settled upon, agreed to, by those involved-- be it a decision, a date, a definition, a quantity, a time, or whatever.

If and when all here agree to accept my definition of evolution, or any other, then that definition, at least among ourselves, will become 'stipulate'. In fact, as I originally understood the purpose of this thread, it was to stipulate [agree upon] a definition for evolution.


While I am sure you could provide references for each claim or component, and that the same is based on scientific facts - all of this is beside the point because the point is that because your definition has no references and it is your own definition - admittedly - it is therefore stipulated.

Let us say that my definition is idiosyncratic, that peculiar to myself and deviating the popular, common, and customary definition, has nothing to do with whether or not it is a better or worse definition. That depends on what people are trying to get out of a definition. I think that a scientific definition of any phenomenon is best when it is strictly empirical, with no built-in suppositions, assumptions, or judgents.


RAZD has done the same thing. He has repeatedly pointed out that his definition, while being based on a conglomeration of sources, is stipulated; and he ASKS persons to accept it on this basis for the sake of the debate or the discussion.

RAZD keeps pointing out that his definition of evolution is the one stipulated by darwinists, that is, population geneticists, biochemists, and molecular biologists. And he is correct about that. That is, in fact the stipulated molecular definition of evolution. As far as I'm concerned, that is fine for defining how chemicals evolve, but as for myself, I'm looking for a definition that applies to live organisms, not macromolecules.


RAZDs definition of the evolutionary process appears in yellow lettering through-out his posts. It is a working definition that only needs to be understood,

OTC, his definitions are easily understood--provided you start with certain set of metaphysical preconceptions--that is, a certain implicit 'faith component'. Without that 'faith' they can still be 'understood', but understood to be, at best, dubious.


and those participating need only to announce that they understand this, and that if they participate in the debate or discussion they will work with his stipulated definition (which he offered to amend early on).

If RAZD says that his definition is still open to amendment, then he is claiming that it is not yet 'stipulated'. But the facts in his case, as I see them, is that he is really only trying to find a way to 'word' the stipulated definition for materialist molecular evolution agreed upon by geneticists, et al, in such a way that might sound agreeable to people who think biological evolution is about organisms, not chemicals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-23-2007 4:56 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by RAZD, posted 12-23-2007 6:45 PM Elmer has not yet responded
 Message 76 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-26-2007 12:57 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 78 of 108 (443781)
12-26-2007 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Cold Foreign Object
12-26-2007 12:57 PM


Re: Waiting for Elmer
Hi ray,

As to, 'stipulates' etc., all definitions are made up of stipulations. Definitions themselves become 'stipulated' when their acceptance are is insisted upon by one party as a precondition to further debate. Whether or not definitions, points, propositions or anything else are idiosyncratic, unpopular,and/or unsupported by anything but personal taste, is irrelevent to their being 'stipulated' or not. Anything, popular or not, only becomes 'stipulated' when one or more of its particulars is insisted upon as a precondition to general agreement to a proposition.

A stipulated pre-condition to RAZD's definition is that it be notional, i.e., genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas my stipulation is that any definition of evolution must be empirical, i.e., based upon observation of what it is as an historical biological [organismic] process, without any insertion of speculation as to what its driving engine/force is, or may be.

I think that we probably agree on this principle issue.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 12-26-2007 12:57 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by RAZD, posted 12-26-2007 6:57 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 81 of 108 (444034)
12-27-2007 9:55 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by RAZD
12-26-2007 6:57 PM


Re: Waiting again for Elmer
Hi RAZD;

You say--


quote:

... RAZD's definition is that it be notional, i.e., genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas ...

... you are wrong again. It amazes me how you can ignore what is plain:

Well, excuse me! Here iswhat is "plain". Your definition of evolution, the one I characterize here, the one you reiterated in several posts, is this--
"evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation".
The first notion inserted ino your definition comes with the word, 'hereditary', implying that evolution is an epiphenomenon of the phenonenon, inheritance, ,-- when in fact evolution is the breaking of the chain of specified trait repetition [inheritance] by the introduction of novelty,change, difference, either by addition to or subtraction from, that chain of iterated traits [inheritence].
The next notional insertion in your definition comes with the word 'populations', [an abstraction treated as if it were some kind of emipirically defined entity. a fallacy called, 'concretizing the abstract']. Populations change numerically, but numbers of like individuals differing from one another quantitatively, arthmetically, on the basis of statistical distribution of parts of a shared trait inheritance, is not at all the same thing as an organism evolving, by addition or subtraction, a new trait 'set' that is not a part of the shared trait set of its fellows [the 'population'], and so puts it into its own trait set [taxon], once it has been shown to be regular and persistent.
Third, though not made explicit, the implication in 'from generation to generation' implies that trait change is discontinuous and abrupt [as in, the effect of a random genetic mutation], rather than a developmental, continuous, and extended organismic process that begins in one generation and continues, fluidly, into and throughout, the next.

My criticism of your definition is quite plainly accurate.


From Message 1
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,

(color and bold added for emPHAsis)

We were talking about your definition of evolution. Now you are talking about phenotypic traits. This is what is known as a 'non sequitur', an attempt to confuse the argument by replacing one issue with another. See also, 'red herring' and 'strawman'.


The size of a finch beak would be another quantifiable trait. You really should stop arguing against false representations of positions - it's called a straw man, and it is a logical fallacy - especially when it is so easy to show that this is what you are doing.

Do you wish to discuss finches? Just remember two things. One, finch beaks are an utterly distinct and different issue wrt my comment that-- "RAZD's definition is that it be notional, i.e., genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas ... ",-- which you are supposedly attacking.
Second, you are the one suddenly throwing 'traits' and 'finches' into your definition of evolution. So let me remind you, in your own words-- "You really should stop arguing against false representations of positions - it's called a straw man, and it is a logical fallacy - especially when it is so easy to show that this is what you are doing.".


So can we move forward with 'variation and adaptation'?

If you like, but as you use these terms in your variations on your definition of evolution, [i.e., simply substituting them for 'evolution', and so implying that 'evolution' and 'variation and adaptation' are the same thing], " 'variation and adaptation' is the change in hereditary traits in populations from one generation to the next.', is something of a problem for me, since this proposition is so obviously false. "Variation and adaptation" are not, "Evolution", although 'adaptation' is a causal factor for evolution [i.e., change], and variation is an observable effect of evolution [change], neither nor both is act of evolution itself.


Where (as given in Message 71 = Message 1 with corrections):
trait is an aspect that can be quantified, such as an allele or variation of a gene,

An "allele" aka, a "gene", is a macromolecular entity. Genes cannot 'evolve', that can only change, become, abruptly, that which they were not, i.e., different, in a mechanical sense. Just as a stick can be broken in two, a glass smashed two pieces, or two pipes welded into one. Such changes are not evolutionary, from 'to evolve', since evolution does not consist of abrupt mechanical changes to objects, but only to extended connected changes to productive systems'

If, as a materialist/mechanist, you wish to speak of molecular change as 'evolutionary', and any given macromolecule configuration as a distinct 'trait', then I guess I can't stop you. But let me point out this fact. When we speak of 'traits', the world at large speaks of properties that pertain to biosytems, not to molecules, i.e., that is, that apply to phenotypes, not to genotypes. That means that, as far as we non-materialist/mechanists are concerned, genes/alleles are not 'traits' in the evolutionary sense. That is, the 'gene' is not the 'trait'.


or the length of a bone, or the size of a skull, or the color of an eye, or the thickness of hair, etc.,
change is a measurable quantifiable difference in a trait, such as the number, length or color,

True, but you seem to be confusing 'what a trait is' with 'what evolution is'.


hereditary means that it is passed from parent to child offspring,

Fine. Noone is arguing with what inheritance is, but only your insitance that evolution is an aspect of inheritance, or an epiphenomenon of it. IOW, what matters is not what iheritance is, but what it is not--it is not evolution.


population means a group of individual organisms of the same species,

Uhm, I think a 'population' is distinct group, as above, but only when found together at the same time, in the same place. Never mind, but one thing "population" is, is an arithmetical, quantitative abstraction, like a 'sum'. One thing "population" is not, is a concrete empirical entity. Although a 'sum' of particular concrete entities, such as a flock of chickens, may be referred to as 'a population'.

IAC, one thing a population is, it isn't an organism, and so, like a molecule, it can only change arithmetically-- organisms can evolve novel traits--populations cannot. They can only be a collection of organisms that have or have not evolved.


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

As I said, above, I have no quarrel with what a 'generation' is, but only with what you imply with your [paraphrased], 'evolution is change in traits from one generation to the next'.


We observe this in every day life, and this process is recognized by a creationist organizations. Do you have a problem with this process?

What process? Evolution, no problem. Your definition of evolution--plenty of problems. See above.


One step at a time eh? Then we can discuss Adding speciation to the mix (Message 73)

Yep, but 'step one' is a mutually agreed upon definition of evolution, and we aren't there yet.

Edited by Admin, : Fix quote.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by RAZD, posted 12-26-2007 6:57 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Percy, posted 12-28-2007 1:29 PM Elmer has not yet responded
 Message 83 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2008 9:06 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 84 of 108 (445540)
01-02-2008 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by RAZD
01-01-2008 9:06 PM


Re: RAZDism then, not Elmerism.
Hi;

You say--


quote:

the one I characterize here, the one you reiterated in several posts, is this--
"evolution is the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation".

Which is not "genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas ..." as I specifically defined trait to "an aspect that can be quantified,"

First, your use of 'hereditary' is confusing, since it would make more sense to say 'heritable' or 'inherited'. Second, in either case, genes, alleles, and other molecules, since they are all "aspects that can be quantified", and are all key aspects of 'heredity', cannot be denied on that basis . Your definition of evolution, if it is to be anything but 'gene-based', [i.e.,chemical], when you use the word, "hereditary" in it, [and/or arithmetic/statistical when you use the word "populations" in it], is going to require something more in order to avoid being pre-supposed as ' gene dependent'. Simply saying that a 'trait' is "an aspect [of an organism] that can be quantified", just doesn't get it done.


and gave specific examples that were NOT genetic.

Giving examples of organismic traits [hair, bone, whatever] is not claiming that those traits are not gene-dependent. Examples of traits that evolve without dependence upon prior genetic change exist, and this is called 'epigenetic' evolution, but your definition of evolution makes no reference to them.


quote:

... when in fact evolution is the breaking of the chain of specified trait repetition [inheritance] by the introduction of novelty,change, difference, either by addition to or subtraction from, that chain of iterated traits [inheritence].

Here you appear to be confusing evolution with something else of your own invention. We'll call it Elmerism.

You can invent as many words as you please, but that won't make this generation of evolution any less true. You are going to have to put some reaoning on paper if you hope to do that. Your problem is that you still confuse evolution with something else--heredity itself.


quote:

My criticism of your definition is quite plainly accurate.

What you have done is shown that this thread is not about Elmerism.

Well, you are the only one who is calling 'evolution', "Elmerism". I have shown, reasonably, that evolution is not as you define it {RAZDism}. It is up to you to show what I most certainly have not shown--"that this thread is not about Elmerism",-- as you claim.


Unfortunately, we are not here to discuss Elmerism (you have your own thread for that), but the process laid out in the OP.

Remind me, what process was that? I have been under the impression that it was evolution. The process that you are now referring to as "Elmerism".


quote:

We were talking about your definition of evolution. Now you are talking about phenotypic traits. This is what is known as a 'non sequitur', an attempt to confuse the argument by replacing one issue with another. See also, 'red herring' and 'strawman'.

Actually what I was doing was specifying a term used in the definition, indicated fairly clearly in the original post. This is for the purpose of clarity and communication.

When you inexplicably switch focus from 'cause' to 'effect', without explanation or justification, you do not improve "clarity and communication".


quote:
Do you wish to discuss finches? Just remember two things. One, finch beaks are an utterly distinct and different issue wrt my comment that-- "RAZD's definition is that it be notional, i.e., genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas ... ",-- which you are supposedly attacking.

Thus demonstrating that your characterization of my definition of evolution as "genetically based, arithmetically and chemically" is false. Thank you for that clarification.

Fine. I should have said, 'One, finch beaks are a perfect example of RAZD evolution, and perfect support for my criticism of his definition, i.e., "RAZD's definition is that it be notional, i.e., genetically based, arithmetically and chemically, whereas ... ",

The Grants' study of finches was a perfect example of supposed support for the "RAZD" definition of evolution, which I had just finished criticising. Their work is a perfect way of showing just what your definition means, and why that meaning is false.

The 'finch' business had nothing to do with evolution, since in fact it found only a temporary fluctuation in the standard normal average beak size, [within the the parameters, ranges, and limits of normal sizes], in a population of finches. A direct conflation of 'alleles', 'genes', macromolecules, with beak size was assumed [as per RAZDism], and was applied to the statistical arithmetic of the whole population [as per RAZDism]. A perfect example of what evolution, except where contrived by population geneticists to mean, " a fluctuation in differential allele [chemical] statistics[arithmetic] within a group of genetically similar organisms over generations", is NOT.

But that study was a perfect example of RAZDism. See also 'peppered moth' for another example of non-evolution of the very same kind. Or, check out the unstable statistical allelic fluctuations in the heritable variation of thoroughbred horses, and/or champion cat breeds, and on and on. They are all RAZD. They are all about heredity, and differentiallele fluctuation in a local population. They are not evolution.


You mean it's not Elmerism (what you think evolution is), thus providing additional justification for calling the process under discussion something else.

Well, that certainly nonsensical. I meant exactly what I said, that variation [biodiversity] is an effect of evolution. Do you deny that fact? Do you still confuse, let's say, the length of a giraffe's neck,[a trait], for evolution, the process of changing from a short-necked okapi-like animal to a long-necked animal? A final product is not the process by which that product is developed.


An "allele" aka, a "gene", is a macromolecular entity. Genes cannot 'evolve', that can only change, become, abruptly, that which they were not, i.e., different, in a mechanical sense. Just as a stick can be broken in two, a glass smashed two pieces, or two pipes welded into one.

So?

So you cannot equate chemical change [genetic mutation] to organismic evolution [the development of productive traits]. The relation between the two exists only at the 'information' level, and chemicals, in and of themselves, do not contain information, only data--they are meaningless unless and until something that is itself meaningful invests itself in them. Such as making glass out of silica. Random accidents have no inherent meaning of their own. They invest no meaning into the chemicals they impact. They create nothing productive, including biological traits.

Individuals do not evolve, and neither do parts of individuals.

Totally false.


quote:
Such changes are not evolutionary, from 'to evolve', since evolution does not consist of abrupt mechanical changes to objects, but only to extended connected changes to productive systems

You mean Elmerism.

If that is how you wish to characterize the word, 'to evolve'-[see any dictionary]. Smashing a water glass is merely changing it,-- it does not 'evolve' into a pile of broken glass.


quote:
But let me point out this fact. When we speak of 'traits', the world at large speaks of properties that pertain to biosystems, not to molecules, i.e., that is, that apply to phenotypes, not to genotypes. That means that, as far as we non-materialist/mechanists are concerned, genes/alleles are not 'traits' in the evolutionary sense. That is, the 'gene' is not the 'trait'.

And some of those traits are determined by single genes, and thus they can be measured by the gene.

I don't know what you mean. Are you saying that the gene and the trait are the same thing?


The world at large talks about the genes for blue eyes, blond hair and other familiar traits. The phenotype does not exclude the genotype.

quote:
True, but you seem to be confusing 'what a trait is' with 'what evolution is'.

Yet you are the one that seems to be confusing the parts of the process with the whole of the process.

Not me. You are the one confusing the outcome part of the process, the trait, with the process as a whole.


Yet you are the one that seems to be confusing the parts of the process with the whole of the process.

As above. That's your mistake, not mine.


Individual organisms do not evolve,

Wrong. You know nothing of devo-evo, do you? Google, 'developmental biology'.

[qs]
the population changes because the offspring have different phenotypes from the parents,[/quote]

No, the "population" changes because its members, or its membership, have changed. Or are you going to tell us that a population can evolve without, or before, its individual members change? 'Population evolution' is the after-effect of individual evolution. To deny that fact is irrational.


and their phenotype is driven by their genotype,

Aw, and here you've been insisting all along that your RAZD definition is not gene-dependent. So much for that.


So we won't talk about "evolution" then -- not because we don't agree on the process but because we don't agree on which process to call evolution. The topic is the process, not what it is called, so we are not here to talk about Elmerism, but RAZDism:

You must be joking. This is hilarious!


In other words we can measure the variation in trait {A} in population1 and then we can measure the variation in trait {A} in population2 and compare the results.

Yes, we can do that. What's your point?

Edited by Elmer, : typoes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2008 9:06 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by RAZD, posted 01-02-2008 9:51 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 4137 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 87 of 108 (445741)
01-03-2008 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by RAZD
01-02-2008 9:51 PM


Re: RAZDism then, not Elmerism.

quote:

Yes, we can do that. What's your point?

That it's the topic. Not what you want to make it.

Oh! I thought that the topic was biological evolution, beginning with a definition of what what evolution is. Since I didn't know that evolution is, or is definitively defined as, "In other words we can measure the variation in trait {A} in population1 and then we can measure the variation in trait {A} in population2 and compare the results.", offered a descriptive definition of evolution that you labelled, "elmerism".

Now, your assertion just doeasn't correct to me. Doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything but measuring local differences in flora, fauna, or 'genomes'. But if you insist that that is what constitutes evolution, or, that that exercise is the actual topic of this thread, well then, I guess I'll drop out, since that sort of thing means nothing to me.

Edited by Elmer, : clarify


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by RAZD, posted 01-02-2008 9:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by RAZD, posted 01-05-2008 10:59 AM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019