Understanding through Discussion

QuickSearch

 EvC Forum active members: 58 (9173 total)
 2 online now: Newest Member: Neptune7 Post Volume: Total: 917,565 Year: 4,822/9,624 Month: 170/427 Week: 83/85 Day: 0/20 Hour: 0/0

EvC Forum Science Forums Biological Evolution

# If evolution is true, where did flying creatures come from?

Author Topic:   If evolution is true, where did flying creatures come from?
vimesey
Member (Idle past 149 days)
Posts: 1398
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011

 (7)
 Message 41 of 225 (737661) 09-28-2014 4:24 AM Reply to: Message 22 by mike the wiz09-27-2014 2:43 PM

Probability is a pain
"Likely true"? Well - if it's down to probability, what is the probability of an eye evolving 40 times by convergence? Shall I be generous and say the chances of eye evolution are 1 in 2? That would then be 1 in 3 X 340. Is it likely true that the aggregate eye of the Trilobite solved the problems with optics?
Probability is a tricky area, and you're making the mistake of looking at the odds of the particular result, instead of the odds of a successful result.
A fair analogy is the lottery. For our non-UK readers, the lottery here chooses 6 numbers, from 1 to 49. The odds of any one particular combination occurring are around one in 14 million.
However, the odds of a successful combination occurring is (I'm guessing from the number of rollovers) currently around 3 in 5. This is obviously due to the number of tickets people buy.
Evolution doesn't require a particular winning combination. It just requires any winning combination, whatever it may be.
And with every organism in a species getting a free ticket, the odds of successful evolution in that species are very high.
So the odds of me, Vimesey, being the end product of millions of years of evolution, sitting here in Brum, typing this - vanishingly small. The odds of some life form being here filling the biological niche I fill - virtually certain.
Evolution fired its arrow at the wall, and hit it where I am. You're looking to paint a target around the point of impact, and claim that the arrow must have hit there by design, because the odds of it hitting that particular point on the wall is tiny.
In reality, evolution just has to hit the wall.

Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

 This message is a reply to: Message 22 by mike the wiz, posted 09-27-2014 2:43 PM mike the wiz has replied

 Replies to this message: Message 43 by mike the wiz, posted 09-28-2014 10:08 AM vimesey has not replied Message 46 by mike the wiz, posted 09-28-2014 10:53 AM vimesey has replied

vimesey
Member (Idle past 149 days)
Posts: 1398
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011

 (1)
 Message 54 of 225 (737729) 09-29-2014 6:03 AM Reply to: Message 46 by mike the wiz09-28-2014 10:53 AM

Re: Probability is a pain
But you're still making the same mistake - you're still looking at the particular result and saying that the odds of that particular result occurring are tiny. Whereas evolution simply needs a successful result, whatever that particular result's configuration is.
And in order for your racetrack analogy to work when applied to evolution, you would have to run your 14 laps millions and millions of times. To use your analogy, a successful mutation, which led to a species-wide change, would equate, say, to a barrier being hit once on each lap. Which barriers are hit, in what order, doesn't matter for evolution - all that needs to happen is that a barrier gets hit on each lap. And over millions and millions of races, that's going to happen.
You're making the mistake of looking at one race, and applying probability to the outcome of that one race. But evolution has millions of races and millions of drivers.
You go on to try to extend this to the unlikelihood of 40 separate eye evolutions. However, what you should be asking is how likely it is, given observed mutation rates, observed natural selection and a sod of a lot of organisms over a hellishly long period of time, that something would have evolved to detect light in an increasingly sophisticated way. It could have been an eye - it could have been light sensitive skin - hell, it could have been a sprungle on the end of a grollit's dringle stalk. That it was an eye is irrelevant - that it was a successful series of mutations is all that matters.

Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

 This message is a reply to: Message 46 by mike the wiz, posted 09-28-2014 10:53 AM mike the wiz has not replied

 Date format: mm-dd-yyyy Timezone: ET (US)
 Newer Topic | Older Topic Jump to:Board Administration     The Public Record     Announcements     Proposed New Topics     Suggestions and Questions Science Forums     The Bible: Accuracy and Inerrancy     Big Bang and Cosmology     Dates and Dating     Education and Creation/Evolution     Biological Evolution     Geology and the Great Flood     Human Origins and Evolution     Intelligent Design     Is It Science?     Creation/Evolution Miscellany     Origin of Life Social and Religious Issues     Bible Study     Comparative Religions     Social Issues and Creation/Evolution     Faith and Belief     Theological Creationism and ID Side Orders     Coffee House     The Great Debate     Free For All     Post of the Month     Links and Information     Creation/Evolution In The News     The Book Nook     Columnist     In Memoriam     Practice Makes Perfect Archives     Topic Proposals Archive     Showcase Retired Forums     Short Subjects (No new topics or messages)     Welcome visitors