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Author Topic:   What is missing from the theory of evolution
RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(4)
Message 3 of 68 (682606)
12-04-2012 2:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by dayalanand roy
12-04-2012 12:36 AM


philosophical considerations
Hi again dayalanand roy,

Everybody knows that the living systems are too complicated, ...

Nope.

... but they must have been formed stepwise through evolution. However, I perceive that the existing evolutionary theories are not sufficient to fully explain this phenomenon. ...

Curiously, I have no such problem.

... But no person with a sane head on his shoulders can support the Intelligent Design theory as an alternative. However, if I do, I can do it in a different way. I can see all the natural forces leading to evolution as part of an Intelligent Design and the entire Nature as an Intelligent Creator.

The universe could have been created so that evolution would occur, just as it could have been created so that gravity would occur, leading to the universe and life as we observe it.

This is a philosophical consideration, however, not science (it's not testable).

However, I suppose that in addition to the known mechanisms, some very crucial other mechanisms might be operating to guide the wheel of evolution ...

Feel free to suggest something that can be tested.

... I have always thought that random mutations followed by natural selection are too slow a process to create such complicated biological phenomenon in the given time period as we see. ...

Again, what you think -- your opinion -- is stunningly incapable of altering reality.

... But it is wonderful to see in Prof Thornton’s work that even a single mutation can have such a large effect on evolution, thus highly accelerating the process.

And thus you contradict yourself.

When we compare the genetic changes necessary to go from shrew-like organism to elephant and the time necessary to do this with known mutation rates we find that there is an excess of time available rather than a shortage.

I have an intuition that there might be some ‘yet unknown, unseen power’ that helps organisms to evolve the most favorable way. Or else, could there be some ‘pre-destined course’ that evolutionary mechanisms tend to follow? Or, are these two things ‘linked together’.

More philosophical thinking, unless you can come up with something testable.

In my childhood, whenever I spilled some water on a floor, I would closely observe the course it took while flowing down. I still do it. It always flows in the direction of slope, but never takes exactly the same course every time and never a straight one. When I try to analyze the event, I find that primarily, it is the slope of the floor, aided by the fine structure of the surface, that determines the course (the ‘pre-destined course’?) of the water-flow. The major force working behind this factor is the unseen gravity (the ‘the unknown, unseen power’). These are the two principal but ‘linked together’ factors. However, the properties of water and the force exerted by air and some other unknown factors are also affecting the course of water. But these factors are working as the ‘wheels’ for movement, not as the ‘power’ for movement.

Surface tension is affected by chemicals in the floor, dirt, footsteps, cleaning, etc etc etc.

I have a basement that often has water flowing across it from the bulkhead steps (poorly installed) to the sump pump when it rains. I know where I can put things to stay dry, because the water flows along the same general path -- even though there may be some minor variation at the edges, they don't extend to the flow "experimenting" with reaching every square inch of the floor by taking different paths.

I try to find an analogy between the water-flow on a surface and evolution. The evolutionary process also tends to drive species towards a common destination- better adaptability to environment, better survival and more offspring (can it be taken as a ‘pre-destined course’?). ...

Post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

... (Is evolution of cognition and consciousness of human beings a part of better adaptability to environment, ...

There is no discernible reason to think otherwise that I am aware of.

... But the course it takes is also never a straight one and never the same for different species. ...

Random mutation means not a straight course, and never the same for different species is because that would require the same random mutations.

... It appears to me that the hitherto known factors (mutation, natural selection etc) steering ahead the process of evolution are actually the ‘wheels’ of evolution. Is there also an invisible but quite natural ‘power’, like the gravity in case of water flow, working to drive forth the evolutionary process?

You are free to think this, however that does not make it true. You can believe what you want. Science, however, tests hypothesis against objective evidence to determine what is likely to be real.

Enjoy.

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Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dayalanand roy, posted 12-04-2012 12:36 AM dayalanand roy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by dayalanand roy, posted 12-12-2012 9:32 AM RAZD has seen this message

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 5 of 68 (682671)
12-04-2012 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taq
12-04-2012 12:59 PM


Hi Taq,

We also observe that each human is born with between 50 and 100 mutations, so let's go with the lower 50 number. Let's also use a constant population of 100,000 individuals, 5 million years since common ancestry, and 25 year generation time. These are probably the more conservative values for each. My calculator tells me that there were about 1 trillion, or 1E12, mutations in that time. We are only separated by 35 million mutations. That is just 0.0035% of all mutations that did occur, using this simple model. I would say that evolution is plenty fast enough to produce the divergence we see at the DNA level.

And this surplus of mutations\time to achieve the observed differences in the genomes also shows that evolution is not directed, because so much is "wasted" in the process.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 35 of 68 (685240)
12-21-2012 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by kofh2u
12-21-2012 1:01 AM


Re: Directed Evolution
Hi Kofh2u

Pierre Cardin Teilhard saw the direction of Evolution headed towards the end game of Omega Point:

Not sure he saw this as evolution per se or that the omega point would be achieved by current humans. IIRC, he saw the growth of the oosphere as more of a divine force.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : i


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 37 of 68 (685252)
12-21-2012 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Genomicus
12-21-2012 11:07 AM


Re: Directed Evolution
Hi Genomics,

I said the Directed Evolution was inherent in the Natural Laws which control our Evolution.

Kewl. How would one go about testing that idea?

Can't test it, it is a philosophical hypothesis, it can be considered logically valid, but it remains hypothetical.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by kofh2u, posted 12-23-2012 9:59 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 53 of 68 (686142)
12-29-2012 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by DC85
12-29-2012 11:51 AM


Re: Directed Evolution
Hi DC85,

The defies most definitions of what instincts are. Many inherited instincts are observed and pretty constant from culture.

I would say that instinctual behavior is not a learned behavior, nor a rational behavior (ie - based on rational thought processes resulting in a conclusion), but one that occurs at a subconscious level. Breathing (when not under conscious control) would be instinctual.

It's more likely that in the pre-modern world people without such instincts died. For instance there are a number of social instincts and reactions that have proven beneficial for a complex social species, people without such traits may become outcasts or less liked within the population meaning they were less likely to reproduce. These social instincts are such a part of human behavior that we say that people without them have a disability. One example I believe is Asperger's syndrome and varying forms of it.

Anti-social and\or a-social behavior, a lack of empathy with others -- not necessarily restricted to asperger's or even to other forms of autism.

We are directed yes.... but by behaviors often needed to be part of a population. Those that didn't have them in the past died or were less likely to reproduce.

I believe that learned behavior, especially those passed on by social mentoring, can override most instinctive behaviors (you can learn to control your breath in times of crisis, for instance). These "memes" can be "inherited" through social interactions and they can lead to survival\reproduction success: we learn from our parents and teachers.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by DC85, posted 12-29-2012 11:51 AM DC85 has replied

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 58 of 68 (686161)
12-29-2012 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by kofh2u
12-23-2012 9:59 AM


Re: Directed Evolution -- not testable philosophic hypothesis
Hi Kofh2u,

Even if you are correct, a hypothesis is the first Scientific Step into considering an idea.

This does not make an hypothesis scientific. I can take a step, and I can note that taking a step is the first stage of walking across the US from here to California, but the actual step can be in any direction, and thus may not be on the path to California. I can end up walking back and forth and never make a dent in the distance to California, yet still take a step or a series of steps.

What makes an hypothesis scientific is the ability to test it, and the test must distinguish the particular hypothesis from an anti-hypothesis.

Here the hypothesis in question is whether evolution is directed or not.

At this time I am unaware of any means to test whether there is (or has been) a "director" to this process -- a means to distinguish it from a purely natural (ie not directed) process -- and thus I cannot consider this a scientific hypothesis, so it remains a philosophical one.

Curiously, it is a philosophical hypothesis that I agree with, but I have no need to pursue a more scientific investigation at this time: I can note that it is untestable, that there is no empirical evidence that invalidates the concept, and I can wait for further evidence while remaining theistically agnostic (agnostically theistic?).

And I think it important to realize the limitations of science in pursuit of such a topic, and that those limitations do not restrict our imagination from further considerations.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by kofh2u, posted 12-23-2012 9:59 AM kofh2u has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by kofh2u, posted 12-29-2012 2:42 PM RAZD has replied
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 65 of 68 (686207)
12-29-2012 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by kofh2u
12-29-2012 2:42 PM


Re: Directed Evolution -- not testable philosophic hypothesis
Hi kofh2u,

1) I guess if the hypothesis is discarded because no empirical evidence can be found to support it, you would de facto have a good argument against, in regard to thereafter being science.

But that is not sufficient reason to discard the hypothesis ... it just means that insufficient information is available. Likewise if there is no information found that contradicts the hypothesis, then it has not been tested by such information. What you have is an hypothesis that is neither supported nor invalidated nor tested. You need to wait for more information (or look for more information) before you can get out of the starting gate.

2) But I was referring to the first step in what is calld The Scientific Method.

The investigation of some observable phenomenon or anotber always begins with an idea, one that my have been brain stromed along with a number of others.
Do we agree on this or will you google scientific method and check me out?

Already done on another thread (there are variations in the description):

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/...appendixe/appendixe.html

quote:
... The scientific method has four steps

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
  2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
  3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
  4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.


(bold added)

Key here, imho, is that it is not a scientific theory until these four steps have been done, and the hypothesis proves useful in predicting new knowledge. Not having done any experiments that test the falsifiability of the hypothesis means it is an untested or untestable hypothesis. An untestable hypothesis (as we have here) means it cannot be scientific hypothesis that generates predictions.

A similar view is seen here:

Background research precedes the hypothesis, and it involves objective empirical data where you know that the hypothesis is true, because you have derived the hypothesis from the data. Even when you start with a question, that is not the hypothesis, it structures how you do your background research to then use to derive your hypothesis.

Again from the above link:
http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/...appendixe/appendixe.html

quote:
... Hypotheses, Models, Theories and Laws

In physics and other science disciplines, the words "hypothesis," "model," "theory" and "law" have different connotations in relation to the stage of acceptance or knowledge about a group of phenomena.

An hypothesis is a limited statement regarding cause and effect in specific situations; it also refers to our state of knowledge before experimental work has been performed and perhaps even before new phenomena have been predicted. ...

The word model is reserved for situations when it is known that the hypothesis has at least limited validity. ...

A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests. ... The validity that we attach to scientific theories as representing realities of the physical world is to be contrasted with the facile invalidation implied by the expression, "It's only a theory." For example, it is unlikely that a person will step off a tall building on the assumption that they will not fall, because "Gravity is only a theory."


Again, we see that the scientific theory is a tested hypothesis that produces consistent positive results, and again we see that the hypothesis rests on cases of objective empirical evidence where the derived hypothesis is known to be true.

Do you agree with this?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by kofh2u, posted 12-29-2012 2:42 PM kofh2u has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by kofh2u, posted 12-30-2012 9:43 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 645 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(3)
Message 68 of 68 (686260)
12-30-2012 3:21 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by kofh2u
12-30-2012 9:43 AM


science method needs more than initial hypothesis -- perhaps pigs can fly?
Hi kofh2u

1) With all due respect, Mr RADZ, you are agreeing with me here in that such Hypothesis IS as I said, Science, de facto it is part of the Scientific Method to which I referred.

As a hypothesis, in may await some experimental proof in order to move ahead in accord with that Scientific Method, but, nevertheless, it is still within the realm of th discipline as I had stated.

i.e.; you now correct yourself here.
Right?

No.

The hypothesis that pigs can fly is not a scientific hypothesis until it is used to make predictions to test the validity of the concept, and it isn't a matter of waiting to see if pigs fly.

It IS a matter of predicting what would be needed for pigs to fly to see if they can then be tested for having the necessary attributes.

A philosophical hypothesis doesn't make empirically testable predictions because it is untestable.

What distinguishes a scientific hypothesis from a philosophical one is testability\falsifiability. Now it may be that the testing has not been performed yet, however this is still different from an hypothesis with no test predictions.

This of course would deny the credit to Democritus for having hypothesized the Atomism we took so long to discover evidence in its support as an Atomic Theory.

He (and Leucippus) formed a philosophical hypothesis and did not propose any means to test it. It was common in the time of the Greek philosophers to make hypothesis about the natural world, and many of them were contradictory, and many were incorrect, and none of them were tested against objective empirical evidence. They used logic and did not use evidence, another point that distinguishes philosophy from science.

I am apparently more liberal than you, holding that ideas that seem to have merit continue to be science Hypothesis however slow the discipline may prove to be in substantiating them further.

And you could be "more liberal" by holding that astrology is a scientific hypothesis, but that would not make it so, it would just demonstrate a lack of understanding in what is or is not a scientific hypothesis.

An hypothesis leaves the realm of general (philosophical + scientific) hypothetical concepts and becomes a scientific hypothesis when it makes predictions to properly, definitively and uniquely test the validity\falsifiability of the concept. This prediction needs to be something necessary for the hypothesis to be true.

For instance we can predict that if pigs fly that there must then necessarily be a means for them to fly, things not necessary for non-flying pigs, so we could predict that we would find pigs with:

  1. wings AND/OR
  2. jet propulsion (explosive farts?) AND/OR
  3. balloon organs filled with light gas (hydrogen?)

Finding one or more of these mechanisms would be validation for the hypothesis.

We can also predict that if pigs cannot fly, that throwing one off the empire state building would result in an impact of pig on the street-scape below. This test would need to be repeated to ensure that a defective or undeveloped pig was not chosen by accident for the test -- perhaps they can only fly within a certain age bracket for instance.

These are now things that can be tested to see if it is feasible\valid to think that pigs can fly.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by kofh2u, posted 12-30-2012 9:43 AM kofh2u has taken no action

  
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