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Author Topic:   Is ID falsifiable by any kind of experiment?
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(3)
Message 352 of 507 (908142)
03-08-2023 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 351 by AZPaul3
03-08-2023 8:28 AM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
Well that's the point isn't it. sensei knows nothing, so he attacks the very foundations of all knowledge so that no-one else can know anything either. It would be pathetic even if it weren't the thousandth time we've seen someone try to pull this crap.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 351 by AZPaul3, posted 03-08-2023 8:28 AM AZPaul3 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 354 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 5:05 AM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 356 of 507 (908174)
03-09-2023 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 354 by sensei
03-09-2023 5:05 AM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
Reverting to making false claims now, aren't you?
I'm simply responding to your crappy rhetoric.
You whine about people wanting to compare observations against predictions, as though there existed some other way of knowing anything, but that is how science works. That is the only way of gaining reliable knowledge about reality. If we were to accept your bad faith argument, that's it - all science is gone, all knowledge, even of the most simple kind, is destroyed. No-one will be able to understand anything and whilst I can see how it might be tempting from your point of view to drag everyone else down to your level of ignorance, it's not going to fool anyone. We've seen it all before. This is boilerplate creationist blather and it's not going to fly.
If you have a better method of gaining knowledge, go ahead and tell us about it. You have been asked and you have dodged the question. How would you determine if an idea is scientifically useful or not? If not empiricism, then what?
If you have no alternative method (which of course you do not) then all your whining looks like an infantile attempt to escape the fact that there exist multiple lines of evidence for the ToE and you aren't up to the task of criticising them (which you are not).
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 354 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 5:05 AM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 358 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 11:06 AM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(4)
Message 360 of 507 (908188)
03-09-2023 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 358 by sensei
03-09-2023 11:06 AM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
Who asked you to explain science?
No-one. I decided to go ahead anyway. This is - and I know this is going to be a shock to you, but try to brace yourself - a discussion forum. It exists for the sake of discussion. That's why people come here. If you want to try to undermine all knowledge unchallenged, you would be wanting a blog. With the comments turned off. In the mean time you choose to post here and I don't have to ask your leave to post here.
You are a noob.
On the contrary, I have seen this particular stalling tactic used many times before. It's a refuge for those who have no scientific argument to bring forward. It's equivalent to someone who keeps losing at bowling, so one night they set fire to the bowling alley. It's always pathetic and frankly, I've seen it done better.
Just because you think it's the only way to do science, which is debatable
Is it? Well that sounds promising! Go ahead and debate it then; what method of knowledge would you use? How do we understand anything other than comparing ideas against observations?
You are full of ignorance if you think the methods are perfect and flawless.
The scientific method exists not because we are perfect, but because we are flawed. It's whole raison d'être is to minmise error, biases and so on. No-one said the scientific method was perfect, but it is a lot better than the alternative, which, as far as you are concerned at least, appears to be diddly squat.
If you think the scientific method is fatally flawed, present your superior alternative. If you can't do that (spoiler alert; you can't) I guess you're stuck with the existing scientific method like the rest of us.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 358 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 11:06 AM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 362 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:21 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 369 of 507 (908201)
03-09-2023 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 362 by sensei
03-09-2023 12:21 PM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
You prove again that you are noob.
Can I ask; are you eleven years old? Because that would explain a lot.
sensei writes:
Science is not flawless. That is fact. If you refuse to accept that, then you are noob.
Granny Magda writes:
No-one said the scientific method was perfect...
I have already agreed that science is not flawless you strange person.
We use the tools that we have. We should be aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
This is exactly what everyone has been trying to tell you. We use the tools we have. The tool we have for understanding the cosmos is the scientific method. I suggest that we use that tool.
Do you have a better tool for understanding the world around us? If so, feel free to lay it out. Until then, the scientific method is all we've got and all you've got and that involves comparing predictions against observations wether you like it or not.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 362 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:21 PM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 372 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:36 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 374 of 507 (908211)
03-09-2023 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 372 by sensei
03-09-2023 12:36 PM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
We use the tools that we have. We should be aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
Good. You might like to try testing the predictions of the ToE against observations then.
I have something against people drawing false conclusions from it.
What false conclusions are people drawing from it? That the notion that observations which fit a given theory are evidence in favour of that theory? Is that a "false conclusion"?
No-one is claiming that just because a theory fits a certain piece of evidence it must thereafter be considered absolute 100% unalterable inviolate truth. That would be idiotic hubris.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 372 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:36 PM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 376 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:57 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 378 of 507 (908219)
03-09-2023 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 376 by sensei
03-09-2023 12:57 PM


Re: dishonesty is not a good look
You evolutionists seem to be doing it all the time here, claiming that the model is correct without doubt, because it fits data.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 376 by sensei, posted 03-09-2023 12:57 PM sensei has not replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(1)
Message 481 of 507 (910972)
05-29-2023 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 476 by sensei
05-26-2023 5:26 PM


Okay, I'll take a stab at this one.
sensei writes:
By modification, you mean, that descendents have mutations or just a different sample set of the ancestor genes, or both...
Both.
An evolving population will have a variety of genes providing diversity within that population. Also individuals within that population will have novel mutations, which may or may not spread through the population. Obviously, those novel mutations are the source of genetic variety. Even a badly bottle-necked population will gradually pick up new mutations.
sensei writes:
and you believe that leads straight to the conclusion that all life descended from single celled ancestors?
No. Not really.
The existence of an evolving population would not on its own necessitate UCA. It would logically mean that a certain amount of common ancestry existed, but it would not, on its own, demonstrate UCA. It would imply UCA, but I don't think that that observation would be enough to prove UCA all on its own. For that you would need further evidence of widespread common descent.
Of course, we do have that evidence, so...
If your claim was valid, then all you have to do to proof common ancestry, is finding difference between parent and child.
What? No!
In order to provide evidence for common ancestry, you would look at the commonalities between the organisms in question. Think about it; when we compare two people's genes to see if they are related, we look at what they share, not what's different. The fact that There are differences between parents and their children is evidence of random mutation, but the fact of random mutation on its own would not provide incontavertible evidence for UCA.
The fact that all living creatures share the same basic genetic code on the other hand, that would count as strong evidence of UCA.
sensei writes:
It does not work like that. Science does not work like that.
I don't think anyone is claiming that. Either you have misunderstood what people are actually claiming or there has been some other miscommunication.
sensei writes:
More of the typical evolutionist tactic, trying to impose, and appealing to "overwhelming" or "enormous" data. Yet, so few of you actually follow the scientific method, that, even though not perfect, at least tries to be objective: formulate your hypothesis, specify the quantity that you have measured and at which level you would accept or reject your hypothesis. And then compare measurement with this critical level.
I could quibble over the exact phrasing of that but instead I'll just ask; what would you say is the threshold for UCA? What type and level of evidence would you accept as sufficient to accept UCA? What would that look like?
sensei writes:
Science demands proof, when a scientific claim is being made.
Science demands evidence, not proof. Evidence for science, proof for logic and mathematics. I know that this sounds like nit-picking, since the two terms are used interchangeably in everyday parlance, but they have distinct meanings in the philosophy of science and the distinction is important. No scientific theory is ever "proved". The germ theory of disease is not proved. Boyle's law for the expansion of gases is not proved. Rather, they have been backed with evidence to the point where they have been (tentatively) accepted as consensus.
Tangle writes:
We need an honest discussion of this subject, not the typical creationist attempts at "got-cha!"
sensei writes:
That's fair. But on the evolutionist side, typical attitude is replying to everything with "evolution is fact, you don't understand it. There is so much evidence, got-cha!". But I suppose that is what we usually get, when both sides believe they are right 100%.
I think we all agree on this. These are contentious issues with entrenched opinions on both sides. The only way to avoid this is to hew as closely as possible to the science. What is UCA? What evidence would we expect to see if it were true? Do we see that evidence? What, if any, alternative explanations exist and what evidence would we expect to see from them? How do rival explanations compare in their evidential base and explanatory power?
The alternative is to shoot of one or two sentence posts calling someone a big stupid meanie, but I can't really see what anyone would get out of that.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 476 by sensei, posted 05-26-2023 5:26 PM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 482 by sensei, posted 06-01-2023 5:18 AM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(3)
Message 485 of 507 (911012)
06-01-2023 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 482 by sensei
06-01-2023 5:18 AM


What alternatives to UCA are we considereing?
Well, you have to understand that personally, I'm not considering any alternatives for my own purposes. I am perfectly content to accept the ToE, UCA and all that. I'm really only in the business of examining such alternatives as others wish to propose in the context of discussions like this.
Some have been considering one or two or an unspecified few number of distincted common ancestors.
Yeah, that's kind of plausible, but if there were two or more extant lineages, we should see that reflected in the life we observe today. We would expect to see differences like different protein transcription or different energy transfer processes. We don't see that sort of thing. All life uses the same DNA/RNA transcription. All life uses ATP to get energy into the cells, etc. ID proponents like to talk about how incredibly unlikely abiogenesis was. Well, if that's so, the idea that multiple lineages of life emerged using exactly the same chemical processes must be even more astronomically unlikely. There may well have been more than one instance of abiogenesis, but we will almost certainly never know and if it happened, it appears that only one lineage survived.
Of course that's looking at it from a mainstream scientific perspective. From a more religious perspective, a lot of Christian creationists propose a different kind of "multiple origins" model; special creation. They propose a model where different created "kinds" were originally made by God and they diversified from there. Something like this;
Needless to say, this is not what we see in reality, where all known living things fit into a single tree of life, whether looking at morphology or genetics. The special creation model can be safely considered debunked.
Other theories are origins from outer space...
That's not really an alternative to UCA. It's actually kind of irrelevant. It doesn't change anything about UCA. Either we have UCA or we don't. The possibility that the first life came from space doesn't really change that. Even the proponents of panspermia - who, it must be noted, are few - typically suggest a single panspermia event with all terrestrial life originating form that. The only difference would be that if panspermia is true we would presumably share common ancestry with whatever life we originally came from, somewhere out in spaaaaace.
As I have said before, I have no time for panspermia, I think it's kind of silly. It has very few serious proponents.
...creation by intelligence. Last one may be hard to compare as it needs specification on how life could have been created.
It sure does!
You've hit the nail on the head here. If someone wants to suggest that life was created by an intelligent agent, it immediately begs the question of exactly who this creator was and in the case of "Intelligent Design" types, it's always Yahweh. Oh sure, they will leave open the possibility that it was some nebulous other, but privately, personally, they're always convinced it's the God of the Bible. They often try not to say so of course, because that would give the game away and reveal that they are doing apologetics rather than science and destroy their chances of being taken seriously. The number of entirely secular ID proponents is so small that they can be counted on one hand. So these are extremely muddy waters.
Also, I have to point out again that this is not an alternative to UCA. An intelligent creator could have created all life together, thus giving us UCA for all life on Earth. Or they could also have created life in separate batches. They clearly didn't, but they could have, in principle. Like panspermia, this is an alternative to natural abiogenesis, not UCA.
So we have two alternatives that are not really alternatives and one - the creationist model - which is trivially easy to falsify with observations like widespread genetic similarities, shared endogenous retroviruses, human chromosome 2, that sort of thing.
We would need plausible evolutionary paths with evidencial support for some critical processes in species we see today.
Okay. Any specific "processes"? Because there are lots of examples of well understood evolutionary pathways.
Lets take a look at one example: life cycle of butterflies, transformation to the last stage. We would need an evolutionary path to how this transformation started from the butterfly ancestor. As we see now, pupa's body structure is almost completely incinerated internally, to give way of forming a whole new butterfly appearance.
If you will forgive me, this is a poor example to pick. How did butterflies evolve their life-cycle? They got it from their ancestors - moths - who already had that life-cycle. Where did moths get it from? From their ancestors, which are thought to have been closely related to caddis flies, which also have a larval stage of their own. In fact, lots of insects have a larval stage, lots of other animals too. In fact it's ubiquitous and certainly not unique to butterflies. It is an incredibly basal characteristic, emerging in the Cambrian at the most recent. If you want to know how larval forms emerged, you're not going to get there by looking at butterflies.
For what it's worth here is the abstract of a paper looking at this;
quote:
Origins of the other metazoan body plans: the evolution of larval forms
Rudolf A Raff
Published:11 January 2008https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2007.2237
Abstract
Bilaterian animal body plan origins are not solely about adult forms. Most animals have larvae with body plans, ontogenies and ecologies distinct from adults. There are two primary hypotheses for larval origins. The first hypothesis suggests that the first animals were small pelagic forms similar to modern larvae, with adult bilaterian body plans evolved subsequently. The second hypothesis suggests that adult bilaterian body plans evolved first and that larval body plans arose by interpolation of features into direct-developing ontogenies. The two hypotheses have different consequences for understanding parsimony in evolution of larvae and of developmental genetic mechanisms. If primitive metazoans were like modern larvae and distinct adult forms evolved independently, there should be little commonality of patterning genes among adult body plans. However, sharing of patterning genes is observed. If larvae arose by co-option of adult bilaterian-expressed genes into independently evolved larval forms, larvae may show morphological convergence, but with distinct patterning genes, and this is observed. Thus, comparative studies of gene expression support independent origins of larval features. Precambrian and Cambrian embryonic fossils are also consistent with direct development of the adult as being primitive, with planktonic larvae arising during the Cambrian. Larvae have continued to co-opt genes and evolve new features, allowing study of developmental evolution.
I would lean towards intelligent creation, rather than gradual steps of evolution.
That's not really a hypothesis available to you. The "gradual steps of evolution" are very real and can be demonstrated in both lab and field. You can suggest a designer, but clearly, that designer left off at some point and evolution took over. You could perhaps dispute how much of the diversity of life is down to evolution, but you can't seriously promote a model which does not include any evolution, because that just isn't consistent with observed reality.
Also due to the fact that I would expect a line of gradual evolution to produce more branches, other than just the "fully" completed butterfly species.
That's a puzzling statement. For starters, there are an estimated 174 250 species of Lepidoptera and only 17 950 of them are butterflies. And I'm pretty sure that's just the extant species. With over 150 000 species of moth out there, how many branches do you want? Trichoptera, AKA caddis flies, a sister group to Lepidoptera, number 14 500 species. How many branches do you want? The Endopterygota, the insect superfamily which contains Lepidoptera and Trichoptera, along with many others, all of whose members have a larval stage, number over 1 million species. How many branches do you want?
Are you talking about branches in the fossil record? How many do you expect to see? I think we all know that insects fossilise poorly. Lepidoptera do so extremely poorly. Nonetheless, there are fossil Lepidopterans.
Also, to speak of ""fully" completed" butterflies is a bit weird. Butterflies are not "complete". No species is. Or all species are, whatever your preference. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking of extant species as somehow "complete", but really that's just presentism. It just doesn't make sense as a descriptor is what I'm saying. Evolution has no goal, so the only objective sense in which it can ever be "finished" is when a lineage goes extinct.
But it's hard to know what exactly to expect, when it is not clear what intermediate species would be like. What could be in between full transformation (for the butterfly) and no transformation at all (for the butterfly ancestor who at some point starting to evolve towards transformation)?
A good 500 million years or so of evolution would lie between butterflies and the first emergence of larval forms. So you're casting this particular net a bit wide. There are butterfly and moth fossils and we have an idea of what the most basal Lepidoptera looked like, but none of that is going to address the origins of larval forms.
As there are many examples like this, without any plausible intermediates, being as objective as possible, evidence is in favor of intelligent creation over gradual evolution.
But that would mean ignoring the evolutionary pathways for which we do have good evidence and proposing a "designer" for which we have absolutely no evidence whatsoever. That seems like a massive breach of parsimony.
I don't think it's scientific to cling onto a theory that is not plausible, do you?
Everyone agrees with this in principle. In practice however, I don't find either UCA or the ToE implausible and critics of evolution have, over the years, failed to make a convincing case against them.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 482 by sensei, posted 06-01-2023 5:18 AM sensei has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 489 by sensei, posted 06-02-2023 4:11 AM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(1)
Message 495 of 507 (911031)
06-03-2023 4:56 AM
Reply to: Message 489 by sensei
06-02-2023 4:11 AM


If UCA fails, we need to reconsider our origins.
But you haven't provided any viable alternative. You mentioned two ideas that are not alternatives and one that has been thoroughly debunked. If you want to topple common descent, you'll have to provide an observation that completely falsifies it, or provide a model that better explains the data. Preferably both. You don't seem to have either.
We have branches of species with larvae gradually changing into their adult form, and branches of species where larvae/caterpillars that completely rid of their larvae form to grow their adult appearance. So I would expect to find many species in between, or at least some branches originating from these intermediate species.
What do you mean "find"? Do you mean amongst extant species? Why would you expect that? There's no guarantee that any given intermediate should survive, most species become extinct. Anyway, as PaulK mentioned, there are a wide variety of larval forms with many variations on exactly how they function. We have insects that undergo no metamorphosis, some that undergo incomplete metamorphosis and some that undergo full metamorphosis. Even amongst those insects that undergo full metamorphosis there are various different ways of going about it.
Do you mean in the fossil record? You know perfectly well that things like caterpillars are going to leave relatively little in the way of fossils. Nonetheless, we do have fossils of early insects. They start out simple, with young looking more or less like tiny adults, as per modern silverfish. Incomplete metamorphosis emerges next, followed by complete metamorphosis. To me, that looks like what we might expect to see in the fossil record under the standard evolutionary model.
Also, it's not as if researchers are clueless when it comes to the evolution of full metamorphosis. This article from Scientific American gives a good run down;
quote:
Complete metamorphosis likely evolved out of incomplete metamorphosis. The oldest fossilized insects developed much like modern ametabolous and hemimetabolous insects—their young looked like adults. Fossils dating to 280 million years ago, however, record the emergence of a different developmental process. Around this time, some insects began to hatch from their eggs not as minuscule adults, but as wormlike critters with plump bodies and many tiny legs. In Illinois, for example, paleontologists unearthed a young insect that looks like a cross between a caterpillar and a cricket, with long hairs coating its body. It lived in a tropical environment and likely rummaged through leaf litter for food.
Biologists have not definitively determined how or why some insects began to hatch in a larval form, but Lynn Riddiford and James Truman, formerly of the University of Washington in Seattle, have constructed one of the most comprehensive theories. They point out that insects that mature through incomplete metamorphosis pass through a brief stage of life before becoming nymphs—the pro-nymphal stage, in which insects look and behave differently from their true nymphal forms. Some insects transition from pro-nymphs to nymphs while still in the egg; others remain pro-nymphs for anywhere from mere minutes to a few days after hatching.
Perhaps this pro-nymphal stage, Riddiford and Truman suggest, evolved into the larval stage of complete metamorphosis. Perhaps 280 million years ago, through a chance mutation, some pro-nymphs failed to absorb all the yolk in their eggs, leaving a precious resource unused. In response to this unfavorable situation, some pro-nymphs gained a new talent: the ability to actively feed, to slurp up the extra yolk, while still inside the egg. If such pro-nymphs emerged from their eggs before they reached the nymphal stage, they would have been able to continue feeding themselves in the outside world. Over the generations, these infant insects may have remained in a protracted pro-nymphal stage for longer and longer periods of time, growing wormier all the while and specializing in diets that differed from those of their adult selves—consuming fruits and leaves, rather than nectar or other smaller insects. Eventually these prepubescent pro-nymphs became full-fledged larvae that resembled modern caterpillars. In this way, the larval stage of complete metamorphosis corresponds to the pro-nymphal stage of incomplete metamorphosis. The pupal stage arose later as a kind of condensed nymphal phase that catapulted the wriggly larvae into their sexually active winged adult forms.
Some anatomical, hormonal and genetic evidence supports this evolutionary scenario. Anatomically, pro-nymphs have a fair amount in common with the larvas of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis: they both have soft bodies, lack scaly armor and possess immature nervous systems. A gene named broad is essential for the pupal stage of complete metamorphosis. If you knock out this gene, a caterpillar never forms a pupa and fails to become a butterfly. The same gene is important for molting during the nymphal stage of incomplete metamorphosis, corroborating the equivalence of nymph and pupa. Likewise, both pro-nymphs and larvae have high levels of juvenile hormone, which is known to suppress the development of adult features. In insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis, levels of juvenile hormone dip before the pro-nymph molts into the nymph; in complete metamorphosis, however, juvenile hormone continues to flood the larva's body until just before it pupates. The evolution of incomplete metamorphosis into complete metamorphosis likely involved a genetic tweak that bathed the embryo in juvenile hormone sooner than usual and kept levels of the hormone high for an unusually long time.
Sounds reasonable to me. Certainly more reasonable than the completely unsupported notion that some kind of "intelligent designer" (read: deity) came along and interfered with insect evolution multiple times.
Or would you suggest it was fast evolution without many intermediate steps, instead of a gradual evolutionary process that took millions of years or longer with many intermediate species?
I would suggest that we listen to the people who study these things professionally. Why would I even have a personal opinion on a subject like that? As far as I am concerned I don't have sufficient expertise to be entitled to an opinion on the matter.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 489 by sensei, posted 06-02-2023 4:11 AM sensei has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 496 by Theodoric, posted 06-03-2023 10:29 AM Granny Magda has seen this message but not replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(1)
Message 502 of 507 (911064)
06-07-2023 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 497 by sensei
06-07-2023 4:06 AM


Hi sensei,
Okay, firstly, if you are going to reply to multiple people in one post - which is fine - it would be super helpful if you could attribute each quote so we can all see who said what, like this;
sensei writes:
Hard to say, as we can only hypothesise what LUCA was like.
That's incorrect. We can reconstruct LUCA, to at least some extent, by looking at highly conserved gene sequences. You write as though we can only guess and that's simply not true, there are evidence based methods for studying LUCA.
sensei writes:
Though I find it perculiar that the whole top part of the tree above fungi, insects, animals, etcetera, vanished without trace.
Huh? In the "Tree of Life" metaphor the "top" of the tree represents the most recent life, the extant species. The above/below axis on a tree of life or cladogram is simply time, ancient at the root, current at the top. You get that right? Because this is incredibly basic, entry level stuff and if you can't even get this straight, I don't see how you can hope to engage in meaningful discussion on this topic.
sensei writes:
We see many groups of species being able to survive relatively unaltered for hundreds of millions of years, around 1/10th or 1/20th of time since first life began. Crocodiles, snakes, spiders, musquitos, all existed in roughly the same form few hundred million years ago.
For starters, not all of those go back "hundreds of millions of years, only spiders go that far back. The others go back around a hundred million years. Second, I think you are underestimating the variety within some of those groups. It may look to your untrained eyes as though they have barely changed, but it does not look that way to paleontologists. For example, Crocodilians only go back about a hundred million years, but their older relatives, Crocodilomorphs, which go back further are incredibly diverse. Take a look;
Do they look "relatively unaltered" to you? If so, get your eyes checked.
Most problematically though, you are comparing LUCA, a single celled organism to huge slow-breeding tetrapods like crocs. That is patently absurd.
sensei writes:
So what happened to the whole branch leading upto the latest common ancestor of all mammals?
Do you mean Therapsids? They became extinct, except for mammals. You know a quick google could have told you this, just as five minutes of casual research on Wikipedia could have told you that butterflies did not evolve full metamorphosis. Just saying.
sensei writes:
The whole lineage of gradual changes, from cold-blooded to warm-blooded, from egg hatching to placental birth, from horizontal spine movement to vertical (and those are just the obvious changes), and side branches, all vanished without trace again?
That's quite the grab bag of examples. But "vanished without a trace"? WTF are you talking about? That's nonsense. There are traces. There are these things called "fossils", I don't know if you've heard of them. They are traces. Traces of extinct organisms. So nothing vanished without a trace, that's codswallop. Most of the specific species became extinct though, even if they left ancestor populations that survive to this day. I don't see how you can possibly dispute this. The fossil record is full of extinct species, entire lineages even. Extinction is the eventual fate of most species. Where's the problem?
sensei writes:
And why so many drastic changes happened to be all occuring in the same lineage, does not really fit the "random" mutation narrative.
No? How so?
sensei writes:
Same as we see how so many beneficial mutations just happen to be in the lineage of the single primate group with fused chromosomes. Not very likely, under the model that any drastic mutation could happen in any of the many primate groups.
And the first primate with fused chromosomes left no unaltered descendents or descendents with only minor alterations, still showing most resemblance to the primate group before fusion, more than to human appearance today.
This is another fundamental misunderstanding of what evolutionary theory is saying. We would not expect to see ancestor populations surviving "unaltered". They would evolve as well, The idea that a population could give rise to a daughter population and yet itself remain unaltered is a fantasy. No expert would predict that. Evolution has no fixed rate of change. Some groups diverge from their ancestors in big obvious ways, some barely change, remaining much closer to their basal state, but all populations undergo some degree of change. This is normal. This is how it is supposed to work and, not coincidentally, how it does work.
sensei writes:
No, for discussing how likely or how plausible common descent is, we can just look at all observations, objectively.
You can objectively compare observations all you like, but if you want to topple the notion of universal common descent, there are only two ways; find an observation which falsifies the theory or find a better theory that has more explanatory power. Preferably both. Anything else is just intellectual masturbation.
sensei writes:
There is no complete falsification that works for everybody.
You got that right. There is no falsification. You have not falsified and cannot falsify universal common ancestry, the theory of evolution or anything else.
sensei writes:
People can always tweak and adjust model assumptions and parameters, so that it somehow fit observations in their model.
That's,,, how it's supposed to work though. We adjust the theory to match the observations, because a theory that doesn't match the observations would clearly be wrong. That's how we progress in our scientific understanding. There are observations though which would be fatal for the ToE. There are potential observations which would falsify the ToE. You haven't shown us any and neither has anyone else.
sensei writes:
That's the problem with theory of common descent. It's basically a reasonable narrative, full of hypothesese of how things came to be.
So the problem with the ToE is its immense reasonableness? I don't think that's quite the problem you seem to think it is.
sensei writes:
It may somewhat explain just the changes in adult form by random mutation, but it poorly explains the exact timing of cells, to initiate complete transformation in perfect unison, orgistrated in all the details of every transformed body part.
I've read through this a dozen times and I still have no idea what you're talking about. Sorry.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 497 by sensei, posted 06-07-2023 4:06 AM sensei has not replied

  
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