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Author Topic:   Arguments 'evolutionists' should NOT use
Doddy
Member (Idle past 4046 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 1 of 74 (399777)
05-08-2007 12:59 AM


I apologise if this has been done before, but I looked and looked but couldn't see. Maybe it is an old topic, so need to be gone over again.

In Message 29 in my thread on Most convincing evidence for evolutionary theory, AnswersInGenitals suggested a list of arguments that should not be used, comparable to AiG (that's Genesis, not Genitals) with its list for unhelpful creationist arguments. So, I'm creating what could be considered the antithesis of that other thread of mine (or perhaps the antithesis would be "compelling evidence for creation"...).

In evaluating what a "bad evolutionist argument" is, I propose that it must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Is not logical
  • Is based on false premises
  • Is easily refuted by creationists ( or at least enough attempted refutations exist and are well known, thus making the argument unusable)
  • Leads to a greater misunderstanding of evolution, rather than elucidating the theory

For example, using a false fossil, such as Piltdown Man, or asserting anything resembling Haekel's "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" approach.

For a less obvious example, using vestigial pelvic girdles in snakes as evidence of evolution is not a good argument against creationists, because they believe that snakes once had legs (and ate food other than dust) - Gen 3:14.

So, got any lousy, useless or confusing arguments for evolution? Perhaps you once tried to use one, but it ended up confusing things, or, even worse, were you were proven wrong?

If we get a good list, I might see if I can upload them to the EvoWiki (with all of your permission of course).


Help inform the masses - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

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Replies to this message:
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AdminPaul
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 74 (399780)
05-08-2007 1:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-08-2007 12:59 AM


Which forum did you have in mind ? "Miscellaneous..." ?
This message is a reply to:
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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4046 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 3 of 74 (399790)
05-08-2007 3:48 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPaul
05-08-2007 1:57 AM


Yeah. That puts it right next to my other thread on the good arguments.


Help inform the masses - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

Contributors needed for the following articles: Pleiotropy, Metabolism, Promoter, Invertebrate, Meiosis, DNA, Transcription, Chromosome, Tetrapod, Fossil, Phenotype, Messenger RNA, Mammals, Appendix , Variation, Selection, Gene, Gametogenesis, Homo erectus and others.

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AdminPaul
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 74 (399794)
05-08-2007 5:28 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1428 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 5 of 74 (399845)
05-08-2007 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-08-2007 12:59 AM


Creationist argument: Evolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which states that disorder can only increase over time.

Bad evolutionist refutation: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics only works for a closed system. Earth is not a closed system.

Why it's bad:While the refutation is somewhat right, it's not the correct way at tackling this issue.

Creationist argument: Speciation has never been directly observed, therefore evolution is based on faith.

Bad evolutionist refutation: Speciation is observed many times in laboratories. For example, some members of an observed population of snails gained a slight mutation which changes the shape of their shells, making it impossible for them to mate with members of the individuals without the mutation. Therefore, we now have two species.

Why it's bad: Yes, we observe all the time small changes in a population that could result in the individuals not being able to mate. But in most of these cases, gene flow will very likely to reoccur. Another reason why this type of "speciation" must not be used is because the creationist could also point out the impossibility of mating between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Great Dane. But the main reason why such instances of "speciation" must not be used is because the evolutionist has just fallen into the creationist's trap. The creationist has always used the strawman that evolution works in the following way: Dog gives birth to cat, cow gives birth to dolphin, chimp gives birth to alligator, etc. Even the fastest speciation event takes a lot longer than that, damn it.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Doddy, posted 05-08-2007 12:59 AM Doddy has responded

Replies to this message:
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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4046 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 6 of 74 (399897)
05-08-2007 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Taz
05-08-2007 12:05 PM


TD writes:

While the refutation is somewhat right, it's not the correct way at tackling this issue.


May I ask what the better, or more correct, way is?
TD writes:

Speciation has never been directly observed, therefore evolution is based on faith.


Generally what a creationist means by that sort of an argument is that a reptile species can't evolve into a bird species, or an ape species can't evolve into a hominid species. Basically, macroevolution.

So in that case, I do agree that going on about speciation isn't going to help the case much, unless you extend it into how speciation events can lead to the diversion of lineages into seperaate families/orders.


Help inform the masses - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

Contributors needed for the following articles: Pleiotropy, Metabolism, Promoter, Invertebrate, Meiosis, DNA, Transcription, Chromosome, Tetrapod, Fossil, Phenotype, Messenger RNA, Mammals, Appendix , Variation, Selection, Gene, Gametogenesis, Homo erectus and others.

Registration not needed, but if desired, register here!


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3453
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 7 of 74 (399906)
05-08-2007 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Doddy
05-08-2007 7:12 PM


An approach that I've usually taken has been to ask the creationist to explain his claim; eg, when he has presented an "insurmountable problem for evolution", I would ask him to explain why he believes it to be an "insurmountable problem". As to be expected, they have very rarely answered that question.
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Sour
Member (Idle past 384 days)
Posts: 63
From: I don't know but when I find out there will be trouble. (Portsmouth UK)
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 8 of 74 (399911)
05-08-2007 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Taz
05-08-2007 12:05 PM


Bad evolutionist refutation: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics only works for a closed system. Earth is not a closed system.

Why it's bad:While the refutation is somewhat right, it's not the correct way at tackling this issue.

Somewhat right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Taz, posted 05-08-2007 12:05 PM Taz has responded

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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4148 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 9 of 74 (399928)
05-08-2007 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Sour
05-08-2007 9:01 PM


quote:
Somewhat right?

A good question...I almost wrote a reply. I guess I will now.

The way I see that it is "somewhat wrong":
1. It doesn't refute the idea that the 2nd Law is about "disorder". The 2nd law isn't about disorder, it's about entropy (which in SOME cases can be intuitively understood as disorder, but NOT all).

2. It states that the 2nd law 'only works for a closed system', which is untrue (by the proper formulation of the law). It works for all systems; however, there are limits on total entropy change of a closed system not present in an open system (at least in the short term).

I'd be interested in Taz's response as to the better way to address the "2nd law" argument.


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Replies to this message:
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fallacycop
Member (Idle past 3657 days)
Posts: 692
From: Fortaleza-CE Brazil
Joined: 02-18-2006


Message 10 of 74 (399931)
05-08-2007 11:33 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Zhimbo
05-08-2007 10:04 PM


Taz writes:

2nd Law of Thermodynamics only works for a closed system

Zhimbo writes:

The 2nd law isn't about disorder, it's about entropy (which in SOME cases can be intuitively understood as disorder, but NOT all).

That depends on what is meant by disorder. It seems to me that it would not be compltely unreasonable to make a case for defining disorder as identical with entropy.

Zhimbo writes:

It states that the 2nd law 'only works for a closed system', which is untrue (by the proper formulation of the law). It works for all systems;

The traditional formulation states that there are some thermodynamic states that cannot be achieved from a given initial state without some colateral change happening elsewhere in the system. Once you lieve the system open, the colateral effects might be happening where you are not looking, and, therefore, the naive interpretation of the 2LoT (no increas in order) falls apart. That`s exaclty the point that one should be making to the naive creationist.

I think that pointing out that the earth is not a closed system is the proper response to bogus claims that the 2LoT is violated by the theory of evolution.

Edited by fallacycop, : typos


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Zhimbo, posted 05-08-2007 10:04 PM Zhimbo has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1428 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 11 of 74 (399933)
05-09-2007 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Doddy
05-08-2007 7:12 PM


Doddy writes:

May I ask what the better, or more correct, way is?


(1) The idea behind the creationist argument using the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is to advocate the idea that the Fall is what's responsible for the imperfections we see in organisms. In other words, the creationist is making the argument that all life eventually breaks down because life itself is a violation of the 2nd L of T.

This is essentially false. Let's take a look at a single cell, for example. There appears to be less disorder, or entropy, within the cell than the surrounding environment. If we look at the mechanics of the cell, we see that the lipid bilayer of the cell acts as a barrier that selectively pumps out ions such as potassium, sodium, chloride, etc. while selectively pumps in essential minerals to support itself and give it a metabolism. In other words, the cell is producing less disorder within itself while causing its surrounding environment to have more disorder. No violation of the 2nd law here.

Another way of looking at this is that the cell and its surrounding environment makes up a system. After all, the cell cannot survive on its own! This is the crux of the matter. The creationist implies that the cell (or life) is an isolated system and that this system can only head toward more disorder, or sustain more entropy, over time. Disputing whether the system is open or close is somewhat right and somewhat wrong. In the one hand, it is true that the system we are looking at is open, but on the other pointing out that it is open serves no purpose in explaining why the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is not violated.

(2) Speaking of open and close systems, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, under ideal conditions, should only work for a closed system. But obviously, closed systems aren't very common in nature. In fact, I would argue that the only true closed system out there is the universe itself.

However, if we only use approximations, the 2nd Law works for both openned and closed systems. This is like the ideal gas law. Obviously, there is no such thing as a true ideal gas. But the law itself works really really well for real gas in conditions that do not have too high or too low temperatures and do not have too high or oo low pressures.

The Earth's biomass is an openned system because it receives most of its energy from the sun. As long as the sun is there, it will continue to exist. No violation of the 2nd Law here.
------------

Ok, I guess what I'm trying to say in too many words is that the evo in this case is making it sound like the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics doesn't apply to life, when in fact there is no violation of the law here.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Doddy, posted 05-08-2007 7:12 PM Doddy has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1428 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 12 of 74 (399934)
05-09-2007 12:42 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Zhimbo
05-08-2007 10:04 PM


Zhimbo writes:

1. It doesn't refute the idea that the 2nd Law is about "disorder". The 2nd law isn't about disorder, it's about entropy (which in SOME cases can be intuitively understood as disorder, but NOT all).


I somewhat agree. However, I think it is reasonable to use the word disorder in this particular case.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Zhimbo, posted 05-08-2007 10:04 PM Zhimbo has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1428 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 13 of 74 (399936)
05-09-2007 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Sour
05-08-2007 9:01 PM


Sour writes:

Somewhat right?


Let's look at it this way.

Person A: If you pour mouthwash instead of gasoline into your car, you can save a lot of money.

Person B: Take a look at your math again. Mouthwash actually costs more per gallon than gasoline.

Person B unintentionally makes the argument that a car can run on mouthwash.

In my example, the evo unintentionally makes the argument that the 2nd Law doesn't apply to life.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Sour, posted 05-08-2007 9:01 PM Sour has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5386
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 14 of 74 (399960)
05-09-2007 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Doddy
05-08-2007 7:12 PM


May I ask what the better, or more correct, way is?

Perhaps the real problem with creationist 2LoT arguments is that they nearly always conflate the physical/chemical entropy of Clausius and J. Willard Gibbs with the informational "entropy" of Shannon. Information doesn't typically give off or take up heat to any large degree when it's transferred, and doesn't care how warm the room is, so dS = dq/T just really doesn't matter in the area of info.

Ye gods, I hated Thermo.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Doddy, posted 05-08-2007 7:12 PM Doddy has not yet responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1428 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 15 of 74 (399990)
05-09-2007 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-08-2007 12:59 AM


Doddy writes:

Leads to a greater misunderstanding of evolution, rather than elucidating the theory


I don't know how many times I've heard the following statement from someone who believes in evolution.

Evo claim: Evolution is true because there are enough scientific proof for it.

My response.

Proof? It is my personal belief that the word proof should never be used in science. There's no "proof" of anything. Instead, we have mountains and mountains of evidence, all of which point toward the same conclusion.

Why do I make a fuss out of this? Because the word proof gives the false implication that whatever that is referred to is ever unchanging. We use the word proof to commonly describe affirmation of something definite, and thereafter we can always refer back to the proven thing. There are mathematical proofs. Even if the world ends tomorrow, these mathematical concepts that have been proven will remain true.

A scientific theory, on the other hand, is subject to modification. When we say the theory of evolution is proven, we give the false impression that it's more of a doctrine than a theory, which is pretty much a major creationist argument against evolution.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Doddy, posted 05-08-2007 12:59 AM Doddy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by ringo, posted 05-09-2007 3:09 PM Taz has responded

  
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