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Author Topic:   Any practical use for Universal Common Ancestor?
Dredge
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 1291
From: Australia
Joined: 09-06-2016


Message 226 of 1384 (849840)
03-23-2019 3:15 AM
Reply to: Message 200 by edge
03-20-2019 7:57 PM


Re: Name one.
So, I have nothing to offer regarding your pointless question. Sue me.

Can you live with the fact that there are no practical uses for the theory of evolution?

Edited by Dredge, : No reason given.


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Dredge
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 1291
From: Australia
Joined: 09-06-2016


Message 227 of 1384 (849841)
03-23-2019 3:19 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by AZPaul3
03-20-2019 9:19 PM


Re: Name one.
AZPaul3 writes:

The best use of the Theory of Evolution is seeing how pissed off you get.


Your arguments in this thread are as devastating as they are deep.

But seriously, I'm not "pissed off" at all - I'm quite enjoying the discussions.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1793
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


(6)
Message 228 of 1384 (849844)
03-23-2019 6:32 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by Dredge
03-23-2019 1:34 AM


Re: Name one.
Sorry, but my fragile, egg-shell mind has no idea what you're talking about.

quote:
Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind

Human beings have been making practical use of the "principles of evolution" in animal and plant breeding for thousands of years. They didn't need any "theory of evolution" to do so.

A bit of an odd semantic victory that you are claiming here. Consider what the differences are between the principles of a process and the theory of a process. Take flight for example. The principles have always been there and exist independently of any explanation of them. We can shoot an arrow or throw a rock without having the slightest notion about why they follow the trajectory that they do. However, with the development of a theory of flight that explains and defines the principles involved we are able to predict what might happen if you strap an engine to a pair of wings.

So using only the principles of biology we could continue probing around in the dark to see what works and what doesn't. Essentially just try everything until something works for you. Similar to the way that a child approaches the world. Now then if you accumulate the observations and filter them through a non eggshell like mind you have a chance of producing a theory that can bring some direction to your studies.

An even better analogy might be that principles are like the roads and a theory is like the map. Can you think of any practical use for a map?


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4806
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


(2)
Message 229 of 1384 (849845)
03-23-2019 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 227 by Dredge
03-23-2019 3:19 AM


Re: Name one.
Your arguments in this thread are as devastating as they are deep.

Not really. At this point in the discussion they are crafted to match your own deep musings.

What we get from you is that knowledge and the framework for its application are useless because ... because you say so. That's deep.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 230 of 1384 (849846)
03-23-2019 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 229 by AZPaul3
03-23-2019 9:08 AM


Re: Name one.
It reminds me of Ronald Reagan.

"Well...."...
Deep Subject


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 231 of 1384 (849847)
03-23-2019 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dredge
11-20-2018 8:07 AM


Dropping In Late To The Conversation...
Dredge writes:

I've been looking for a practical use in applied science for the information that ...

It provides fodder for classroom discussion in Academia. What else would we teach?

*Looks up something*...

What is Applied Science?
*scratches head*...

Now...if I were a teacher, what alternative lessons could I teach?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


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edge
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 232 of 1384 (849850)
03-23-2019 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by Dredge
03-23-2019 1:49 AM


Human beings have been making practical use of the "principles of evolution" in animal and plant breeding for thousands of years. They didn't need any "theory of evolution" to do so.

So, you are saying that the principle of transitional fossils was around long before the theory of evolution, yes?

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edge
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


(2)
Message 233 of 1384 (849851)
03-23-2019 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 226 by Dredge
03-23-2019 3:15 AM


Re: Name one.
Can you live with the fact that there are no practical uses for the theory of evolution?

I can live with almost anything, particularly things that are pointless.

That would include the fact that this is your opinion.


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edge
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 234 of 1384 (849854)
03-23-2019 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Dredge
03-23-2019 1:58 AM


Re: Pills
Which "evolutionary theory" might that be? I thought antibiotics worked according to facts, not a theory.

But the theory explains those facts.

Oh, that's right! You don't need no stinking explanation.

Neither do you have one. Nor do you care.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 17844
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 235 of 1384 (849855)
03-23-2019 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by Dredge
03-23-2019 2:12 AM


Dredge writes:

ringo writes:

But evolutionary theory doesn't necessarily imply UCA


Yes it does.

No it doesn't. Life could have evolved separately - on each continent, for example. The process of evolution would be the same.

Dredge writes:

That's basically what ToE is - all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor via a process of natural selection.


No. The common ancestor is based on observation. The observations happen to lead back to one root but that is not a requirement of the evolutionary process.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 17844
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 236 of 1384 (849856)
03-23-2019 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by Dredge
03-23-2019 2:17 AM


Dredge writes:

you can't back up your claim (that the evolutionary history of the world has proven practically useful in tackling climate change) with any facts.


On the contrary, if scientists do use it, it is useful. Maybe it isn't necessary, like oxygen, but it is useful. Do you understand the difference?

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 17844
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


(2)
Message 237 of 1384 (849857)
03-23-2019 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 225 by Dredge
03-23-2019 3:12 AM


Re: Don't creationists have a universal common ancestor too?
Dredge writes:

ringo writes:

I can think of a practical use for potato chips. That doesn't mean I depend on them


"none of the progress made in biology DEPENDS even slightly on a theory"

Louis Bouroune ( Professor of Biology, University of Strasbourg), Determinism and Finality, 1957, p. 79. (emphasis mine)


Yes, Professor Bouroune is saying the same thing as I am - there is no dependency. We don't have to be dependent on something for it to be useful. What part of that do you not understand?

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20488
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(5)
Message 238 of 1384 (849860)
03-23-2019 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Thugpreacha
03-23-2019 9:17 AM


Applied Science is the use of scientific knowledge
It provides fodder for classroom discussion in Academia. What else would we teach?

*Looks up something*...

What is Applied Science?
*scratches head*...

Engineering is applied science, probably the most obvious example of it. It takes knowledge gained by science and applies it to practical applications, from bridges to sewage systems.

Atomic bombs and GMO crops are also applied science.

Anything we learn through science that is them used for some purpose would be applied science. This includes DNA matching used in forensics or ancestry studies. This DNA sequencing has been used to develop a genetic 'tree of life' - identifying common ancestors or their most probable common breeding ancestral populations.

This leads to the concept of the universal common ancestor, where all mammals (for instance) are related via one common universal ancestral population. This does not preclude other proto-mammal organisms that died out (extinction) before contributing to the surviving gene pool of mammalia.

The same can be done for all other taxonomic branches, and they too can be related via a common ancestor, reptilians and mammalia for instance. Ultimately this leads to the concept of a (last) universal common ancestor breeding population, the (L)UCA of this thread.

This shows that (L)UCA is a conclusion from the evidence rather than a theory. This is like concluding that the sky appears to be blue because the atmosphere absorbs and then re-emits light in the blue spectrum. The scientific knowledge leads to this conclusion.

As described in the OP:

Dredge writes:

(Message 1): I've been looking for a practical use in applied science for the information that all life on earth evolved from a microbe that existed billions of years ago, but can't find any. It seems to me that the whole Universal Common Ancestor thing is completely irrelevant and useless outside the realm of evolutionary theory.

This is like asking for a practical application to the scientific knowledge that the sky appears to be blue.

The question that rises is why this should be necessary for the conclusion to be valid. Especially when the conclusion is reinforced by different methods arriving at a common conclusion.

You could say that (L)UCA is a practical application of the scientific knowledge of common ancestry via evolution and the occurrence of divergent speciation (which is a process that has been observed, and thus a fact known to occur):

The process of divergent speciation, or cladogenesis, involves the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations, which then are free to (micro) evolve independently of each other.

We apply the scientific knowledge to the DNA and fossil evidence regarding divergent speciation in order to explain the pattern found, and the end result is a (L)UCA).

Enjoy


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JonF
Member
Posts: 5807
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.1


(1)
Message 239 of 1384 (849862)
03-23-2019 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by ringo
03-23-2019 12:15 PM


Re: Don't creationists have a universal common ancestor too?
That's a well-known but mangled quote mine of Professor Bounoure (not Bouroune). At least he didn't overstate Bounoure's credentials as is usually done. Cretinism or Evilution? No. 3, E.T. Babinski, More Out of Context Quotations of French Scientists:

quote:
Concerning the quotation with which this section began, let's repeat it here:

quote:
"Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless."

- Prof. Louis Bounoure (Former President of the Biological Society of Strasbourg and Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum, later Director of Research at the French National Centre of Scientific Research), as quoted in The Advocate, Thursday 8 March 1984, p. 17. (p. 5 of The Revised Quote Book)


Since the Revised Quote Book stated that "Prof. Bounoure" had served as the "Director of Research" at the "French National Centre of Scientific Research" I wrote the Center [The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique = The National Center for Scientific Research]. I asked them about the exact origin of the quotation and received the following reply, dated March 3, 1995 (translated by professional French translator, Jacques Benbassat, with some minor editing and paragraphs re-arranged in an easier to follow order)...

quote:
The beginning of the quotation, "Evolution is a fairy tale for adults" is not from Bounoure but from Jean Rostand, a much more famous French biologist (he was a member of the Academy of Sciences of the French Academy). The precise quotation is as follows: "Transformism is a fairy tale for adults." (Age Nouveau, [a French periodical] February 1959, p. 12). But Rostand has also written that "Transformism may be considered as accepted, and no scientist, no philosopher, no longer discusses [questions - ED.] the fact of evolution." (L'Evolution des Especes [i.e., The Evolution of the Species], Hachette, p. 190). Jean Rostand was ... an atheist.

The [end] of the quotation of Professor Bounoure to which you allude is taken from his book, Determinism and Finality, edited by Flammarion, 1957, p. 79. The precise quotation is the following: "That, by this, evolutionism would appear as a theory without value, is confirmed also pragmatically. A theory must not be required to be true, said Mr. H. Poincare, more or less, it must be required to be useable. Indeed, none of the progress made in biology depends even slightly on a theory, the principles of which [i.e., of how evolution occurs -- ED.] are nevertheless filling every year volumes of books, periodicals, and congresses with their discussions and their disagreements."


[Obviously, Bounoure was expressing his distaste at those in his day who argued over the "principles" of evolution, "how" it took place, whether via Lamarckian or Darwinian "evolutionism." Bounoure probably thought that such "principles" were not worth all the "discussions and disagreements" since they were not well understood, were yet to be discovered, and perhaps might not be discovered, i.e., if supernatural intervention into the evolutionary process was accepted. Bounoure was a theist. He also probably thought that more practical scientific investigations needed to be pursued and less "discussions and disagreements." - ED.]



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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3957
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 240 of 1384 (849868)
03-23-2019 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Thugpreacha
03-23-2019 9:17 AM


Re: Dropping In Late To The Conversation...
*Looks up something*...

What is Applied Science?
*scratches head*...

Your link supports what I was thinking, that "applied science" is basically engineering. While engineering tries to take advantage of the findings of science, it will also use techniques that have no basis in science, just the empirical discovery of something that seems to work even though they don't know why. Science is about learning how everything works and why something works that way, whereas engineering only cares about getting something to work.

To quote Slartibartfast, I've always been a big fan of science. A fundamental characteristic of my mind is the desire to figure out how something works, which is basically what science is about. In high school and college when I worked in carpentry and construction for my father (a master carpenter and general contractor), he kept emphasizing what he called "construction thinking", which is basically an approach to problem solving where you arrive at practical solutions. I feel that those two forms of thinking are where most of my questions and arguments on this forum come from. I also feel that those two forms of thinking, along with my computer science degree, are what helped to lead me to working as a software engineer (having a family to support also helped). As a software engineer, I have worked for 35 years alongside engineers of other disciplines, mainly electrical engineers (EE). In addition, my introduction to computers was my training as an Air Force technician, which I augmented while working on my computer science degree by taking a few EE courses for fun.

In my first EE class, Linear Circuit Analysis, we basically did the same thing as I had done in my junior college DC & AC theory class and in my Air Force tech school blocks (the curriculum is divided into "blocks" covering specific topics), only from the EE perspective (eg, "current" flows in the opposite direction, because it's a different kind of current).

Each circuit has an input and an output and analysis of that circuit yields a response function which is used to define the output for a given input. The problem is that the response function is in the frequency domain (ie, the response function is a function of frequency because the impedances of the reactive elements (eg, capacitors and inductors) are dependent on frequency) whereas we want the inputs and outputs to be in the time domain (ie, they are functions of time). That conversion between domains is accomplished or facilitated through convolution, a particularly gnarly application of integral calculus (I just barely survived that chapter of the textbook, plus I did not take the subsequent EE courses in which that technique was developed further, since I was taking this class for fun).

A key component in convolution is the delta function, AKA "unit impulse symbol". Basically in calculus, when you integrate a function, you are finding the area under the curve. The delta function is an input impulse signal whose integral (ie, the area under the curve) is one (1). The impulse signal has a pulse-width and an amplitude, the product of which must be kept at one (AKA "unity" in math). Shrink the pulse-width to 1/100 and the amplitude must go to 100 in order to keep the area under the curve at 1. Got that? Now continue to shrink the pulse-width to where it's approaching zero (the idea of limits is absolutely essential to calculus and will be pounded mercilessly into your brain in the first part of your Calculus I course, but I avoided that treatment by having taught myself Calculus I first in a Schaum Outline and then in a university correspondence course). As that input impulse signal's pulse-width approaches zero, its amplitude approaches infinity: limit(1/x) as x->0 = infinity. Therefore, when you apply the delta function to a circuit, you are slamming it instantaneously with a signal of infinite amplitude, and the output is that circuit's resultant ringing. For further explanation, take the subsequent EE courses that I did not take.

BTW, electrical and mechanical engineers can convert electrical systems into mechanical systems for analysis and vice versa. I have two versions of a book on musical engineering and acoustics which presents both mechanical and electrical models for a particular instrument's method of producing a tone. So even though we had learned about the delta function in a EE class, my understanding is that it came from mechanical engineering (ME).

Now for the pertinent part of this story. Our professor for that class had actually worked as an engineer (unlike the department head, but that's another story). When he presented the delta function to us, he added that engineers were the ones who came up with it and they used it because it worked. Then he snidely remarked that it took those stupid mathematicians with their stupid adherence to stupid theories more than a century to figure out that the delta function did actually work, while throughout that century those superior engineers continued to use something that clearly worked. Of course, he did not actually use those adjectives "stupid" and "superior", but his intent and his contempt for "theorists" was quite clear.

A more subtle example comes from a small company I worked at where I, as the sole software type (self-described as "chief programmer and disk formater"), worked very closely with the company's chief engineer and sole electrical engineer (a retiree who invested heavily in this computerized greenhouse controls company) who was primarily familiar with analog electronics, so my experience with digital electronics and ability to read and understand digital component data sheets was essential. Basically, we had sensors and controllers (eg, to control lights, fans, heaters, etc) out in the greenhouse which communicate with the central computer which would use the sensor readings to send commands out to the controllers. All our components communicated over power-line carrier (ie, our communications signals would be added to the normal power lines) whereas our principal competitor required direct connections to all sensors and controllers; if a grower wanted to install a new sensor or controller, our competitor required him to hire an electrician to run new wires to a new sensor or controller, whereas with our system all he had to do was to plug in the new sensor or controller and enter it into the controlling computer. I did the programming for the sensors, controllers, and the controlling computer (in our case, a PC, whereas our main competitor required their own proprietory computer).

Whenever we would adopt a new sensor, I needed to help figure out how to integrate it into our system. I remember a new humidity sensor which had an odd curve. Being a big fan of science, I started to use that curve to derive patchwork functions (a big topic in orbital mechanics). Our chief engineer immediately overrode me and had me construct a look-up table based on that graph. His decision was correct from the engineering perspective, but not from the perspective of understanding what was happening. There were other instances of preferring empirical measurements over understanding, but I cannot recall them at this time.

Now, many of the "scientists" that creationists always list are actually engineers (not counting the several theologians and a couple "food scientists" (which is actually a valid field -- refer to O'Reilly's book, "Cooking for Geeks" -- even though it has nothing to do with evolution, not even the monumentally stupid question of "How did food evolve?")). At the same time, I've encountered creationist engineers who proclaim loudly how much they love science, but then when push comes to shove they turn out unequivocally against science, even to the point of trying to completely redefine science.

Now...if I were a teacher, what alternative lessons could I teach?

That is actually not a rhetorical question, nor hypothetical.

One of the books in my personal library is Science and Creationism edited by Ashley Montagu (1984). Check your local libraries, including college/university libraries. It is a collection of essays, but many of those essays address the then-pertinent case of McLean v. Arkansas (it took the Louisiana act based on the same model bill by respiratory therapist Paul Ellwanger minus the explicit statement of the "creation model", which was blatantly religious, to lead to Edwards v. Aguillard which finally exposed to our court system that "creation science" is pure and simple religious dogma -- it was at that point that creationists adopted "intelligent design" as their new legalistic smokescreen.

Some essays in Montagu's book reported on testimony in Overton's trial of Arkansas' Act 590. That act clearly outlines the basic anti-evolution stance: if you choose to teach evolution, then you must also give equal-time, balanced-treatment to creationism. If you choose to not teach evolution, then you do not need to include creationism. So the basic goal in those laws is not to teach creationism, but rather to prevent the teaching of evolution.

Think about it. Back in the 1920's, all four "monkey laws" barred the teaching of evolution in the public schools (thankfully, not in the colleges and universities, though some chose to exclude it). It was the chance mandate of the Arkansas school district of using the BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) that opened Pandora's Box. The BSCS was written by actual scientists instead of textbook hacks, so they stated what was clearly obvious, that evolution was the cornerstone of biology. Teach that in Arkansas under that state's "monkey law" and you lose your teaching credential for life. Refuse to teach what you are directed to teach and you lose your job -- clearly the school district did not realize what it was demanding. Susan Epperson (Epperson v. Arkansas) was the keystone US Supreme Court case that completely destroyed the anti-evolutionary movement which obliterated the "monkey laws" and led to the modern creationist movement, first with its game of "Hide the Bible", and then after 1987 with Edwards v. Aguillard leading to the game of "Hide the Creationism".

 
 
 

Back to your question of what to teach, in an essay in Montagu's book was a description of teachers' courtroom testimonials. One teacher broke down in tears at the very idea of having to lie to his students as required by the creationist law.

Another teacher described being required to develop a creationist curriculum. He consulted with the leading experts in the field, mainly Dr. Richard B. Bliss of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), which at the time was the premier source of creationist educational materiel. That teacher found all the creationist materials presented to him to be far too religious in nature to be even close to acceptable. The best alternative materiel he could find was Gentry's article in Reader's Digest, but since then we find that Gentry's examples of "Genesis rock" are actually igneous intrusions into metamorphic rock, which means that there had to have been a helluva lot of geological history predating his "Genesis rocks".

So then, to your question of "Now...if I were a teacher, what alternative lessons could I teach?", the creationist alternative would be that you lie your ass off to your students.

How does that sit with your morality? Unfortunately, "True Christianity" requires that you lie your ass off to your students.

Fuck "True Christianity"! It is an abomination!


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