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Author Topic:   Who Owns the Standard Definition of Evolution
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 6 of 698 (914872)
02-06-2024 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by K.Rose
02-06-2024 4:15 PM


K.Rose in Message 5 writes:
1. The first life form sprang forth from non-living matter.
Abiogenesis isn't part of the theory of evolution.
2. All life-forms have developed from this first life form.
This is a possible implication but not part of the theory itself.
3. Successive, more complex life forms developed over great periods of time due to random, non-directed mutations.
Increasing complexity is a possible outcome of evolutionary forces like competition and differential reproductive success but is not part of the theory itself.
4. Inferior mutations disappeared due to the observable process of natural selection, or survival-of-the-fittest, while the more robust mutations continued evolving.
Close enough.
5. The succession of ever-more complex, adaptable mutations has thus far resulted in the highest life form, modern man.
All life is a product of evolution. "Highest life form" isn't a scientific term, but it would be accurate to say that humans are an extremely successful species that inhabits a very broad range of environments.
6. Evolution continues today.
Yes.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by K.Rose, posted 02-06-2024 4:15 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 24 of 698 (914908)
02-06-2024 8:53 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by K.Rose
02-06-2024 7:07 PM


K.Rose in Message 16 writes:
In my experience, Evolution as a hypothesis does not rise to the level of Theory due to its un-testability.
Why do you think evolution is untestable?
I'm interested in an observable experiment that can be applied to any of Evolution's key principles. If one is out there then I am all ears.
Can you think of any experiment that didn't validate descent with modification and natural selection?
Incidentally, one expert (Mr. Mayr) defining Evolution many times in many ways is a nullification of rather than an endorsement of Evolution as a coherent hypothesis.
If anything that can be explained in different ways has been nullified then everything is nullified. Or to put it another way, when something isn't understood the first time it is frequently helpful to try a different approach. Oops, I just nullified everything, didn't I.
--Percy

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 Message 16 by K.Rose, posted 02-06-2024 7:07 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 39 of 698 (914928)
02-07-2024 7:09 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by K.Rose
02-06-2024 8:58 PM


K.Rose writes:
I have seen a great deal of supporting data for this Evolution process, all of it pictures and explanations, and none of it the type of hard, repeatable data demanded by the Scientific Method.
Let's have a look. Could you present some of it here?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by K.Rose, posted 02-06-2024 8:58 PM K.Rose has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 44 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 6:38 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 45 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 6:38 PM Percy has replied
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 55 of 698 (914956)
02-07-2024 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 6:38 PM


K.Rose in Message 45 writes:
Percy in Message 39 writes:
K.Rose in Message 26 writes:
I have seen a great deal of supporting data for this Evolution process, all of it pictures and explanations, and none of it the type of hard, repeatable data demanded by the Scientific Method.
Let's have a look. Could you present some of it here?
Stones and Bones: Emergence of New Species
The evolution of whales - Understanding Evolution
Whale Origins
Philip D. Gingerich
The last one requires a log in, I assume to Professor Gingeric's personal account at the University of Michigan.
You said that you have "seen a great deal of supporting data", but the remaining three links do not appear to contain any data. They contain descriptions of what has been deduced or inferred from the data. I only gave them a cursory glance, but they don't appear to contain any data themselves.
If you can be specific about any data you would like to see then let us know and we'll see if we can find it for you. For example, if you're interested in how we know that the whale's closest living land relative is the hippopotamus you might look at Analyses of mitochondrial genomes strongly support a hippopotamus-whale clade.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 6:38 PM K.Rose has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by kjsimons, posted 02-07-2024 7:55 PM Percy has replied
 Message 63 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 8:12 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 59 of 698 (914960)
02-07-2024 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 7:14 PM


K.Rose in Message 49 writes:
But within Physics we have very clear definitions of force, pressure, momentum, reflection/refraction, gravity, et al.
And within evolution there are very clear definitions of nucleotide, DNA, gamete, mutation, descent, et al. But you'll get a variety of definitions for physics, just as you did for evolution earlier in the discussion.
But Evolution is not such a broad category as Physics...
True. At heart all science is physics. Physics is all-encompassing.
...and even if it were there are key principles in Evolution that demand controlled experimentation and supporting empirical results.
Which "key principles of evolution" do you believe are lacking experimental support?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 7:14 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 61 of 698 (914962)
02-07-2024 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by kjsimons
02-07-2024 7:55 PM


kjsimons writes:
Percy, that's odd, I was able to access Gingerich's website without a login using that link.
Seeing this I tried Firefox and was able to access it. Thanks.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by kjsimons, posted 02-07-2024 7:55 PM kjsimons has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 65 of 698 (914966)
02-07-2024 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 7:50 PM


K.Rose in Message 57 writes:
From all of these replies it is evident that Evolution is not so much a science as it is a worldview.
Could you explain your reasoning?
Every life form can be explained through nebulous concepts such as "modified descent" or "life doing what life naturally does".
The latter might require a little contemplation to see the implications, but isn't descent with modification overtly obvious everywhere? Haven't you observed this yourself with every baby?
As new lifeform phenomena are encountered, then a new elements are introduced to these nebulous concepts
I'm not certain enough of your meaning to comment.
Evolution is a "living" "theory".
I certainly hope so. All theories, even those of physics, are subject to change in light of new information or improved insights.
I suspect this is why no concise Evolution definition has been offered. To do so hazards too much accountability, it compromises too much wiggle room.
You were offered a number of concise definitions. My own favorite short definitions are descent with modification winnowed by natural selection, and changing allele frequencies in populations over time.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 7:50 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 66 of 698 (914967)
02-07-2024 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 8:08 PM


K.Rose in Message 60 writes:
The scientific method can be defined generally as Concept>Data Collection>Hypothesize>Test>Observation>Empirical Data>Conclusions. And these conclusions must be accompanied by an error statement, a probability figure, and a confidence figure.
Would that your conclusions possessed the same rigor.
Evolution lacks the substantiating part of the Scientific Method: Testing-Empirical Data.
For just a single counterexample, give this a click: Google Scholar search for "creating new species"
I understand that all technical advancements begin as ponderance and speculation, but at some point we have to get serious and demonstrate that our proposals have merit. Perpetually modified explanations in and of themselves are not science.
Your conclusions seem to ignore mountains of empirical research on evolutionary topics.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 8:08 PM K.Rose has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 9:13 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 76 of 698 (914980)
02-08-2024 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 8:57 PM


K.Rose in Message 68 writes:
Can you provide an exceptional example of such a fossil sequence?
Horse evolution is one such example. The Evolution of the Horse. A Record and its Interpretation is an overview paper from 1926. Here's a diagram from the third page of the paper:
Naturally we've added immensely to our evidence and understanding of horse evolution in the past hundred years. Try this Google Scholar search for "horse evolution".
As someone else already said, all species are transitional, including us. Stasis isn't possible given changing environments and circumstances, mutations and genetic drift. Even the modern horseshoe crab, famous in the popular imagination for remaining unchanged over millions of years, has changed in small ways. While we only have a record of fossils and not of DNA, since mutations are inevitable the horseshoe crab genome could not possibly be identical to its ancestors from millions of years ago.
The completeness of any fossil record of evolutionary change over time for any life is subject to circumstances outside our control. What decays or erodes away or subducts or becomes buried deeply enough under sediment is gone to us forever. The fossil record for upland regions is very poor because they are regions of net erosion. Small or delicate species are much more likely to decay before preservation than large species. Most of the record of life's history on Earth either no longer exists or is inaccessible.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 8:57 PM K.Rose has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by K.Rose, posted 02-08-2024 5:03 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 77 of 698 (914981)
02-08-2024 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 9:07 PM


K.Rose in Message 69 writes:
A good part of this discussion string has been me pleading for a definition of Evolution.
More than several definitions were provided. You nonsensically complained that anything that can be explained in different ways has been nullified, as if you believe different people usually explain things the same way. You complained that there is no "official" definition of evolution, as if there are any "official" definitions in science. Even physics has no "official" definition:
Wikipedia:
Physics is the natural science of matter, involving the study of matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force.
Britannica:
Physics, science that deals with the structure of matter and the interactions between the fundamental constituents of the observable universe.
I provided my own understanding of Evolution in Message 5 in that hopes that I might be corrected with the official definition of Evolution. Alas, I only managed to bring scorn upon myself.
Commenting on what you say you're experiencing as scorn, when you first began this discussion there was much presumption, which I then felt premature but have since been proven wrong, that where you are now is exactly where you were headed.
Evolution strikes me as remarkable in that it is so widely accepted yet so thoroughly unsupported by the Scientific Method. And the farther we delve into the details the more incoherent it becomes, the more debatable it becomes.
You'll have to describe your reasoning. You seem to be ignoring much of what's been said, pretending that mountains of evidence and research do not exist, and drawing conclusions unsupported by anything in this discussion.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by K.Rose, posted 02-07-2024 9:07 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 78 of 698 (914982)
02-08-2024 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by K.Rose
02-07-2024 9:13 PM


K.Rose in Message 70 writes:
I'm very interested to see just a small sample of this mountain of evolutionary process empirical data. Keeping in mind that empirical data is derived from experimentation, or from direct observance & recording of the phenomenon.
I already gave you an answer in the very message you're replying to:
Percy in Message 66 writes:
For just a single counterexample, give this a click: Google Scholar search for "creating new species"
You seem intent on ignoring people while restating your opinions. If this isn't the kind of thing you're looking for then just say so and explain what you are looking for.
And no, direct observation of the fossil record doesn't count.
How so? How are fossil digs and fossil analysis not (to use your words) "direct observance & recording of the phenomenon."
What if they found fossils of bunnies back in the Permian, creating numerous difficulties for evolutionary theory? Would that count?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


(3)
Message 100 of 698 (915010)
02-08-2024 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by K.Rose
02-08-2024 5:03 PM


K.Rose in Message 94 writes:
Thank you for putting this example together, but the evolutionary process in question is the one governing the descent of one life form from another, e.g., aquatic creature to land animal, bird to lizard, etc.
The evolutionary process is the same, whether tracing lineages from eohippus to equus, or from sea creatures to land animals, or from ancient reptiles to dinosaurs to birds. It's all descent with modification (mutations, and also genome mixing for sexual species) winnowed by natural selection.
Variance within like life forms is to be expected, particularly across generations and geographies.
What is most pronounced in the fossil record is the increasing difference from modern forms with increasing distance in the past.
I'm assuming all of the skulls shown above are from horses, exhibiting variance.
The ancestral species are the same family as horses, but they're extinct and are not the same species as horses.
Skulls from present-day dogs would show a more striking variance; however, they are still all dogs.
Yes, all dogs are the same species, Canis lupus. That's why they can all interbreed. Wolves, from which dogs are descended, are also the same species, and dogs can interbreed with wolves, too.
The evolutionary process in question is the one that would demonstrate that all life forms come from a common ancestor.
Evolution is a theory that places the evidence into an interpretive framework. Theories don't prove things. While the evidence we have is consistent with a universal common ancestor, there are other possibilities and no proof that it is the correct one.
The processes that result in variance (genetics and natural selection) are not that process.
If by "genetics" you mean the imperfect copying that occurs with almost all reproductive events then this is exactly the process that produces variation. In general the more time that passes the more variation accumulates until at some point it is no longer the same species.
One other observation - If the fossil record is so incomplete, what certainty can we have of any conclusions drawn from this record?
All science is tentative. There is no certainty. The best we can do is improve upon evidence and insight to increase our confidence that our understanding is likely true.
On one hand the Evolutionist says the fossil record is replete with transitional life forms, and on the other hand he says it is highly incomplete. How can it be both ways?
Imagine a town through which a hurricane has passed. Some neighborhoods are decimated, some spared. Who knows why.
It is the same with the fossil record. In some regions sedimentary layers have been preserved, in others they've been eroded away, in yet others they've subducted back into the mantle, and in yet others they've become hopelessly deeply buried. Fossil preservation after death and the preservation and/or accessibility of the region where the fossilization occurred are serendipitous.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by K.Rose, posted 02-08-2024 5:03 PM K.Rose has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 101 of 698 (915011)
02-08-2024 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by dwise1
02-08-2024 5:48 PM


dwise1 writes:
How does this do for a definition of Theory?
Fairly well, especially in that it distinguishes between theory, fact, and law.
It's copy-n-pasted.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by dwise1, posted 02-08-2024 5:48 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 121 of 698 (915040)
02-09-2024 4:27 PM


Maybe we could just stick to the facts?
--Percy

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22689
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 183 of 698 (915104)
02-09-2024 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by K.Rose
02-09-2024 12:10 PM


K.Rose in Message 107 writes:
I’ll accept that Evolutionism includes a broad category of studies, but there are a couple of essential components in in the Evolutionary process that go beyond mere natural selection and variance within like lifeforms. The notion of a random, non-directed, continuing common ancestry for all life forms is the most critical of these, critical in that it is the prerequisite for refuting Biblical Creation.
This is the first time you've mentioned a religious motivation. No one here is trying to refute Biblical creation. Creationism only receives attention from scientists in response to efforts to teach it as accepted science in public schools.
What you're calling "random, non-directed, continuing common ancestry" does not "go beyond" descent with modification combined with natural selection. Descent with modification already means random, non-directed mutations. Common ancestry is a necessary implication of the process.
My effort here is to understand the evidence showing that this is possible. How does one life form evolve into another?
Gradually, one generation at a time.
What is the mechanism?
Descent with modification combined with natural selection.
Can or has it been observed? Can it be reproduced in the laboratory?
Has the origin of a new species been observed? Maybe at the single-celled level where generations are short. There are some claims of speciation being observed in real time at much higher classification levels, but I'm not convinced.
But we'll never observe the origin of a new species of fish, amphibian, reptile, bird or mammal because each generation takes too long. For example, the changes in Eohippus ("dawn horse") that gradually became Orohippus ("mountain horse") probably took a couple million years. Each Eohippus/Orohippus birth included a number of mutations, and with many births every year there would be millions and millions of mutations over a couple millions years. Each Eohippus/Orohippus would live out its life in its environment and be selected or not to contribute its genes to the next generation, i.e., its mutations would either be passed on or not. It would not be possible to duplicate such a lengthy process in the laboratory. Especially it wouldn't be possible to accelerate the mutation rate.
We could of course exert strong selection pressures in the lab, but your own example of the dog shows that strong selection pressures do not produce speciation. Domestically bred pigeons are another example of huge variation within a single species.
There's another more subtle reason why it would be difficult to observe speciation, and that's that speciation is a very gradual process. One way that speciation is thought to happen is when a species population becomes divided into two separate populations, for example by a river changing course. The separate populations evolve independently and only gradually become less and less capable of interbreeding.
This means that there is no exact point where the two populations become two different species. There's a point where interbreeding is 90% successful, then 80%, then 70%, and so on until finally they'll incapable of interbreeding at all. At what point do they become two different species? At 50%? 20% 0%?
Examples are helpful in considering this question. Even though the lion and the tiger are two different species, a male lion can mate with a female tiger to create a liger. A male donkey and a female horse can mate to create a mule. Species are not hard boundaries but a continuum. Some species are closely related and can interbreed to some extent, others are less closely related and can interbreed less successfully, and distantly related species cannot interbreed at all.
DNA can provide us a measure of relatedness. Chimp and human share 98.8% of their DNA and yet cannot interbreed at all.
Note that Scientific Fact has a pretty high Certainty bar: Zero Error, 100% Probability, 100% Confidence.
One widely held viewpoint is that everything in science is tentative, including facts. Stephen Jay Gould (paleontologist and evolutionary biologist at Harvard) had this to say about facts:
Stephen Jay Gould:
In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
These days the Great Deceit of many scientific theories lies in their presentation to the public as implied fact, and in allowing the misconception of factuality to stand.
"The Great Deceit of many scientific theories?" Now you sound anti-science. This isn't really the topic, but which theories do you think science has been deceitful about?
If Evolutionism can meet the high bar of Scientific Fact, then it should be presented as such. If not, then the Certainty of Evolutionary conclusions must be divulged front and center.
Evolutionism? Is that analogous to religionism?
The theory of evolution is a theory, not a fact, but it *is* a fact that one little step of evolution takes place with nearly every reproductive event.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by K.Rose, posted 02-09-2024 12:10 PM K.Rose has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by K.Rose, posted 02-10-2024 8:33 AM Percy has replied

  
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