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Author Topic:   My Book On Evolution
dwise1
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Posts: 4702
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 61 of 69 (887198)
07-22-2021 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by PaulK
07-22-2021 3:55 PM


Re: Invention is Darwinian!
Of course, on the software side you can always go back and completely rewrite it, whereas life does not have that option.

In my first software job, I was the only one in the Software Development Department with an actual degree in computer science. Everybody else was from different disciplines. Also (this was in 1982), we were working in Pascal (which only I had had in school) since it was seen as a stepping stone to Ada (for which there still was not a validated compiler). As a result, everybody had his/her own programming style based on his/her experience. I learned that when I took over maintaining their code.

For example, Amy was a FORTRAN programmer, so her code was one single routine that she copied and pasted and edited with different arguments. Many times for page after page after page. I pulled that common code out as a separate procedure and replaced its instances with calls with different arguments. That basically cut her code in half.

George was a different matter. His experience was in assembly programming, so his code was a continual loop in which he performed tests and set or cleared flags accordingly, then later do whatever if a particular flag was set. Very long and complex and difficult to modify. I basically rewrote it completely as a Pascal program, which was the easiest and quickest thing to do. When I suggested that to my supervisor he hesitated, but then I told him I had already done it and it worked fine so it was cool.

So the intelligent design analogy breaks down right there. Life cannot completely rewrite and replace the design, but rather all it can possibly do is to tweak the design that's already there. Nor can life completely replace entire structures with a pin-compatible module, like our mini-van which could come with either a Chrysler or a Mitsubishi engine.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2021 3:55 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2021 5:36 PM dwise1 has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16962
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 62 of 69 (887199)
07-22-2021 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by dwise1
07-22-2021 4:58 PM


Re: Invention is Darwinian!
quote:
Of course, on the software side you can always go back and completely rewrite it, whereas life does not have that option

But only because evolution is true and creationism is false. God wouldn’t have to iterate - God could do a clean-sheet design for every “kind”. If God chose to iterate he’d know exactly what changes he intended to make and perfectly prepare for them. If God chose not to do that, God could refactor to remove all problems. We do not do those things as often as we might wish to because it is impractical for us, even when we’re talking about software.

For small programs it can be easy. For major libraries or big applications it’s not at all. It would take years of effort to replace the software I work on with new feature-complete versions. And that’s years of work that won’t be spent on adding the new features we need.

I encountered Pascal at University (and FORTRAN, and even machine code). My first job was in the defence industry and while I even bought a book on Ada (I thought I might need it) we never used it (though we did use the older Coral 66). In my final project there I learned C - on the job, from an early printing of the 2nd Edition of Kernigan and Ritchie. (In a later job - outside defence - there had been a significant Ada project, but it was never released.).

C is still my main language, though I took a Java course (paid for by the EU) some years back and that’s a significant part of my work.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by dwise1, posted 07-22-2021 4:58 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by dwise1, posted 07-22-2021 6:52 PM PaulK has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4702
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 63 of 69 (887200)
07-22-2021 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Parasomnium
07-21-2021 3:01 PM


Re: An arm, a fin, and something in-between
mike whizzer writes:

[...] there is nothing in between arm and leg. Nothing inbetween arm and wing, arm and fin, fin and leg. Every organism, if it has legs, has viable, "complete design" of viable legs, arms, wings etc...


Let's compare an otter, a seal and a dolphin. They all have a similar bauplan, namely a mammalian skeleton with four limbs with five digits each.

What creationists can never understand is that those limbs are indeed fully formed and functional in every generation. As a forelimb evolves into a wing, for example, it is still fully functional as a forelimb for climbing, etc (actually, bird ancestors were theropods who were almost all bipedal, so their forelimbs were never used for running).

Seals, otters, and even humans have forelimbs that are useful for swimming, though some forelimbs are better suited for swimming than others. My Chihuahua could sit back to free up his forelimbs and use them to manipulate objects (mainly his tennis ball). Other dogs can open some doors (Oscar was too short to reach). So the same forelimbs can be used for a variety of different purposes. So just exactly what is mike's point? He has none!

 
I'll use this for another point. Creationists excel at not understanding anything.

A creationist at work cited to me the great improbability of the eye having evolved. Knowing Dawkins' treatment of the subject in The Blind Watchmaker and remembering an earlier creationist argument on that subject, I tried to press him for details of how his model proposed that the eye would have evolved and got nowhere. Basically, he would start somewhere else entirely (kind of like Sheldon teaching Penny physics by starting out on a sunny day in ancient Greece). Apparently, he knew so little about his claim that he had to recite it blindly from the beginning.

I suspected that his claim was the same that I had heard decades before. In that claim, the creationist basically took a razor blade to the human eye and divided it into separate pieces; eg, the retina, the pupil, the lens, the optic nerve, etc. Then that claim proclaimed that each and every single element of the eye had to be fully formed and in place before the eye could work, plus it required that each separate piece had to have evolved entirely on its own and separately from all the other elements. So of course, it would have been impossible for the eye to have evolved in that manner. To creationists, that meant that the eye could not have evolved, when in reality it just meant that that cannot have been how it had evolved. IOW, their model for the evolution of the eye was not only dead wrong, but wasn't even right.

The model presented in The Blind Watchmaker has all the component parts of the eye coevolving together, not separately and independently. In every generation along the way, some form of light perception (AKA vision) was possible and provided a benefit to the organism, grist for the mill of natural selection.

 
So the problem for creationists like mike is that they not only don't understand anything about evolution, but all their ideas about it are completely wrong. They keep coming up with worse than useless "models" for how something would have evolved which immediately fall apart all on their own and base their conclusions of "evolution couldn't possibly have happened" on that.

Even worse than that, their "models" are so divorced from reality that when we do try to explain evolution to them, then we don't address the fake "issues" raised by their "models".


This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4702
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 64 of 69 (887201)
07-22-2021 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by PaulK
07-22-2021 5:36 PM


Re: Invention is Darwinian!
But only because evolution is true and creationism is false. God wouldn’t have to iterate - God could do a clean-sheet design for every “kind”. If God chose to iterate he’d know exactly what changes he intended to make and perfectly prepare for them. If God chose not to do that, God could refactor to remove all problems. We do not do those things as often as we might wish to because it is impractical for us, even when we’re talking about software.

All of which raises yet another problem for creationists. So why does it look for all the world that evolution did happen? If all the various "kinds" are indeed not related to each other, then why the appearance of their being related? For example, protein comparisons between species. A lot of the amino acids in proteins are just filler where any other amino acid in that locus would work just as well, yet in species that would appear to be more closely related to each other their corresponding proteins are also more similar.

Even professional creationists realize that. Either Gish or Henry Morris had admitted that it looks like evolution did happen right before trying to explain that away. (sorry, I encountered that decades ago and do not have a citation)

I encountered Pascal at University ...

My university trained us on an IBM S/370, so after the introductory FORTRAN course followed by a semester of assembly we went straight into PL/I. Then a couple years before I left (graduated in 1979, but remained on active duty until 1982) we got Pascal.

That's kind of a funny story. Basically, someone took a tape up to a university in Canada, downloaded a copy of their Pascal compiler, smuggled it into the US, and installed it on our school computer. The compiler had been developed by the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) and the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC). And because our computer used EBCDIC instead of ASCII, our arrays of characters had to be broken up into three arrays. I immediately dropped PL/I for Pascal since Pascal was so much easier even though it was far less powerful (eg, file I/O was extremely limited).

When I entered the civilian job market, everybody was getting ready for the Ada Mandate by working in Pascal (compiler validation was a really big issue and there was still no validated compiler for Ada) and I was pretty much one of those rare birds who had actual Pascal experience. But then the DoD switched from Ada to COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf).

In one job I worked in Turbo Pascal and 8048 assembly (too dumb of a microprocessor to warrant a compiler like for the 8051), so I got a lot of MS-DOS systems programming experience. I learned some C and C++ (the first language I actually got excited about) along with some Java and later C#. Then starting in 1995 I was working exclusively in C for embedded programming with some C++ on the side for utility programs. I retired in 2018 and have done practically no programming since then.

I did most of my early C programming with Turbo C -- I had bought it when it first came out and I was between jobs. I immediately fell in love with *printf. In Turbo Pascal you had to write half a screen of individual statements in order to create a formatted string with embedded values, but in C all you needed was a single function call that didn't even have to be the only thing on that line. On the down side, I never could cotton to iostreams in C++ because it felt like a huge step backwards to Turbo Pascal. In almost every C++ program I have written (except for school assignments that required iostreams) I have stuck with *printf functions.

One of the compiler options in Turbo C was "K&R". When Kernigan and Ritchie wrote their first book on C, that was all there was so it became the Bible. It was only later that ANSI came out with a standard for C, which is what their second edition was for. A lot of free source code online, especially for astronomy, is in the pre-ANSI "K&R" syntax. K&R was where if you don't specify a data type then it assumes int, a "feature" which has confounded so many students (I used to participate on the DevShed forums, now defunct, and had to explain that so many times).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by PaulK, posted 07-22-2021 5:36 PM PaulK has not yet responded

  
driewerf
Junior Member
Posts: 24
Joined: 08-14-2010


(1)
Message 65 of 69 (887306)
07-30-2021 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Parasomnium
07-20-2021 3:22 PM


quote:
Personally, I don't have a problem with the notion of the process of evolution "inventing" things. I look upon it as a kind of shorthand for saying that through the process of evolution certain structures arise which seem like inventions that solve certain problems encountered by living things in their struggle for existence. It's a bit like Richard Dawkins' use of the word 'selfish' in conjunction with the concept of genes.
Of course I can't be entirely sure about Mike's intended meaning when he uses these constructs, but he could be forgiven for it, because it makes it easier to discuss the substance of the argument without having to deal too much with its form. Mike is a stickler for formal logic, but unfortunately he gets it wrong very often, so these turns of phrase could also be viewed as a stylistic improvement on an otherwise muddled thought process.

I don’t agree with that assessment. Analogies are useful to explain and describe complex ideas or notions. But it is then indicated that it is an analogy. Nowhere in his essay does Mike indicate it as such.
It fits too well with his world view, a teleological one. The multiple times that he refers to nature or evolution, inventing or designing organs or appendages, he clearly thinks that evolution happens with a goal in mind. And it fits his final conclusion well. He is an ardent proponent of intelligent design. So if he can make the reader comfortable with the false (!) notion that evolution invents or designs organisms, the step to an intelligent designer is easier to make. His multiple use of these phrases shows that he still doesn’t understand that evolution – or adaptation – is a reaction to changes in the environment and not a striving to a certain goal. If you are acquainted with the Kanban methodology, it’s induced by pushes, not by pulls.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Parasomnium, posted 07-20-2021 3:22 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2196
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 66 of 69 (887801)
08-22-2021 1:32 PM


Earth calling Mike
Mike, have you abandoned this thread?

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by PaulK, posted 08-22-2021 1:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16962
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 67 of 69 (887804)
08-22-2021 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Parasomnium
08-22-2021 1:32 PM


Re: Earth calling Mike
His last post to this thread was in April - last year. Draw your own conclusions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Parasomnium, posted 08-22-2021 1:32 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2329
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006
Member Rating: 6.7


(3)
Message 68 of 69 (887873)
08-24-2021 1:37 PM


Mike the Wiz Fix
For all those missing Mike the Wiz and the great magnum opus, here is some Mike methadone to tide you over.

Wiley E Coyote played by Mike the Wiz
Bugs Bunny played by other EvC members who took a wrong turn in Albuquerque

There, now you don't need to read the first several paragraphs of any Mike the Wiz post.


The problem with knowing everything is learning nothing.

If you don't know what you're doing, find someone who does, and do what they do.

Republican = death


  
driewerf
Junior Member
Posts: 24
Joined: 08-14-2010


Message 69 of 69 (888022)
08-30-2021 1:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


In a previous post I wrote that Mike's essay is fractally wrong. Actually this already starts with the title.

quote:
A BRIEF (intellectual) DEMOLITION OF EVOLUTION THEORY.....By Sir Toado Baggins.

The number of academic works that aim to demolish an alternative theory is : null.
Nothing screams intellectual rigor as "demolish theory x, y or z". Theories can be found invalid, or outdated, or an alternative can be proposed, but to demolish is the signature of the ideology driven zealot, and not of someone who seeks truth.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by mike the wiz, posted 03-21-2020 11:01 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
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