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Author Topic:   Evolution Simplified
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 1 of 170 (308854)
05-03-2006 6:01 PM


Some time ago, Adminmooseus suggested that I make this previous post of mine a new topic. I didn't do it at the time since I didn't see the need. Now it seems to be relevant to a conversation that is going on in another thread.

There is often confusion about what the theory of evolution is or what it says. Here is a very simplified version of evolution; I present it to show that the basics are independent of the mechanisms of heredity and independent of the processes of abiogenesis.

1. Fact: Most breeding organisms produce more offspring than is necessary to replace themselves.

2. Fact: The population of most species are not increasing.

3. Conclusion: Most individuals must die before reproducing.

4. Fact: Many of the physical traits of individual organisms are hereditary.

5. Fact: Some traits make an organism more likely to survive and reproduce, while others make an organism less likely to survive and reproduce.

6. Conclusion: From 3, 4, and 5 we can conclude that organisms with the traits that make them more likely to survive and reproduce will produce offspring with those traits, while organisms with traits that make them less likely to survive and reproduce will leave few or no offspring with those traits.

7. Conclusion: A corollary of 6 is that as generations pass, the number of organisms with "good" traits will increase, while the number of organisms with "bad" traits will decrease, until eventually all individuals in the species will have the "good" trait and the "bad" trait will disappear altogether.

8. Fact: New heritable traits, usually subtle, occasionally appear.

9. Fact: These new traits do not appear in any predictable pattern; these traits can appear in any body part or instinctual behavior; furthermore, some of these traits are helpful to an organism's survival, and others are detrimental.

10. Conclusion: From 7, 8 and 9 we can conclude that a species will slowly "improve" with time, as new helpful traits appear and as the organisms with these traits are better able to survive and produce offspring with these traits.

11. Fact: There is no mechanism that is known to prevent these small, incremental changes from adding up, over time, to large changes; furthermore, there very few (if any) physical organs and instinctual behaviors in any species that do not appear in simpler versions in other species.

12. Conclusion: From 10 and 11 we conclude that there is nothing that will prevent very simple, primitive living species from producing the complexity of the sort that we seen in the species around us.

13. Fact: Occassionally separate populations of a species will become physically isolated from one another and cannot interbreed.

14. Conclusion: From 9 and 13 we conclude that these populations will evolve independently; from 12 we conclude that these will become different species.

15. Conclusion: From several interations of 14, we conclude that several species can have a common ancestor.

Everything that I have labelled as a fact is a fact; these facts have been observed and verified. Everything I have labelled as a conclusion seems to me (and to most people) reasonable conclusions based on these facts. What about all of this do you not think makes sense? More to the point, what here violates any known law?

I will end this post with some evidence for the plausibility of evolution, and some evidence for evolution having actually occurred.

16. Fact: Over the course of human history, animal and plant breeders have produce a huge variety of animal and plant breeds; many of these breeds share of common ancestor, and these breeds are often very, very different from one another as well as from the ancestor.

17. Conclusion: The appearance of random traits coupled with a selection process can result in evolution.

18. Fact: The species can be classified in a hierarchical pattern.

19. Conclusion: 15 and 18 allows us to conclude that all known species have evolved from a very few (perhaps one) ancestral species.

So the intent of this thread is to guage where the disagreement with the theory. So, what do people disagree with? Is it the facts that I have presented? If so, why do you disagree with them? Is it with the conclusions? If so, why do you feel that the conclusions are not warranted?


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3879
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 170 (308861)
05-03-2006 6:20 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 170 (308950)
05-03-2006 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
05-03-2006 6:01 PM


You should insert something about sexual selection in 9. Survival is nothing without reproduction.

Excellent summary.


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 4 of 170 (308955)
05-03-2006 11:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
05-03-2006 6:01 PM


Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
quote:
1. Fact: Most breeding organisms produce more offspring than is necessary to replace themselves.

True.

quote:
2. Fact: The population of most species are not increasing.

This conflicts with your first premise, which I agree with.

quote:
3. Conclusion: Most individuals must die before reproducing.

I would be inclined to agree with you in most lower lifeforms, such as amoeba, plankton, fish, amphibian, and possibly reptiles. However, its a fact that humans populate more quickly than they are dying. Hence, there are more people on earth now than ever before. Aside from that, I'm not sure how that promotes evidence of macroevolution.

quote:
4. Fact: Many of the physical traits of individual organisms are hereditary.

True. Virtually all of our traits were inherited. And of those that aren't directly inherited, it was the product of gene deletion or small insertions.

quote:
5. Fact: Some traits make an organism more likely to survive and reproduce, while others make an organism less likely to survive and reproduce.

True. I agree that Natural Selection exists, and that it may or may not be a product of random chance or design.

quote:
6. Conclusion: From 3, 4, and 5 we can conclude that organisms with the traits that make them more likely to survive and reproduce will produce offspring with those traits, while organisms with traits that make them less likely to survive and reproduce will leave few or no offspring with those traits.

I agree with that to a degree, but not holistically. Yes, Natural selection weeds out the weaker vessels. But on average, everything is dwindling down and winding down in nature. There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. Any process that begins will tend toward degradation. With as much copying of genes that goes on, I believe that all organisms from prokaryotes and eukaryotes, to the most complex ecosystems, are generally deteriorating and not increasing. So while Natural Selection helps stave off complete annihilation, there is an underlying factor of overall degradation within any given population.

quote:
7. Conclusion: A corollary of 6 is that as generations pass, the number of organisms with "good" traits will increase, while the number of organisms with "bad" traits will decrease, until eventually all individuals in the species will have the "good" trait and the "bad" trait will disappear altogether.

Looking at in some Utopian outlook, that would be great, however, it is irreconcilable with the facts. The world will never be without disease, mutation, famine, or natural disasters unless there is some Divine intervention that would preclude it. As far as anyone can tell, there is equal amounts of suffering in the current animal kingdom as there was in the former kingdom. In other words, its incredibly hopeful that we should assume that life is sort of 'working out its kinks' as we go along. As well, this is not in keeping with Darwins model or any neo-Darwinian model. You are suggesting an advancement -that life is continually getting better and stronger. But lets look at what some evolutionists have noted:

The rule that things never organize themselves is also upheld in our everyday experience. Without someone to fix it, a broken glass never mends. Without maintenance, a house deteriorates. Without management, a business fails. Without new software, a computer never acquires new capabilities. Never.

Charles Darwin understood this universal principle. It's common sense. That's why he once made a note to himself pertaining to evolution, "Never use the words higher or lower". (However, the word "higher" in this forbidden sense appears half a dozen times in the first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species.

Even today, if you assert that a human is more highly evolved than a flatworm or an amoeba, there are darwinists who'll want to fight about it. They take the position, apparently, that evolution has not necessarily shown a trend toward more highly organized forms of life, just different forms:

All extant species are equally evolved. — Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, 1995 (11)
There is no progress in evolution. — Stephen Jay Gould, 1995 (12)
We all agree that there's no progress. — Richard Dawkins, 1995 (13)
The fallacy of progress — John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry, 1995 (14)
But this ignores the plain facts about life and evolution.
Life is Organization
Seen in retrospect, evolution as a whole doubtless had a general direction, from simple to complex, from dependence on to relative independence of the environment, to greater and greater autonomy of individuals, greater and greater development of sense organs and nervous systems conveying and processing information about the state of the organism's surroundings, and finally greater and greater consciousness. You can call this direction progress or by some other name. — Theodosius Dobzhansky

quote:
8. Fact: New heritable traits, usually subtle, occasionally appear.

I don't know how usual it is. I assume you are reffering to mutations. But the plain fact about mutations is that 93% are neutral, 6.5% of them irrepairably harmful, and .5% actually manage to benefit any said organism. In the end, life is deteriorating, just like our sun.

quote:
9. Fact: These new traits do not appear in any predictable pattern; these traits can appear in any body part or instinctual behavior; furthermore, some of these traits are helpful to an organism's survival, and others are detrimental.

I agree with the body of your premise, however, evolutionists tell me that they make predictions all the time. So which is it? Is evolution predictable based on odds or is it a misunderstood, guideless, purposeless display of capricious disorder?

quote:
10. Conclusion: From 7, 8 and 9 we can conclude that a species will slowly "improve" with time, as new helpful traits appear and as the organisms with these traits are better able to survive and produce offspring with these traits.

I agree that many populations will improve, but that it crecendos back and forth, but that the overall trend is deterioration. So, in a holistic view, I don't entirely agree with that.

quote:
11. Fact: There is no mechanism that is known to prevent these small, incremental changes from adding up, over time, to large changes; furthermore, there very few (if any) physical organs and instinctual behaviors in any species that do not appear in simpler versions in other species.

Again, this ignores the plain fact that is losing information in the genome and not ever-increasing.

quote:
12. Conclusion: From 10 and 11 we conclude that there is nothing that will prevent very simple, primitive living species from producing the complexity of the sort that we seen in the species around us.

This also ignores the fact that even the 'simplest' organism is more radically advanced than the computer you're using to type that very message. Furthermore, it says nothing about the fact that we are so perfectly situated to sustain life. Terrestrial life teeters on the edge of a knife. The balance found in nature is so miniscule, yet is still present everywhere. I think more can be said about how miraculous it is that 'chaos' has never seemed to live up to its name and lend itself towards a catastrophe.

quote:
13. Fact: Occassionally separate populations of a species will become physically isolated from one another and cannot interbreed.

Agreed.

quote:
14. Conclusion: From 9 and 13 we conclude that these populations will evolve independently; from 12 we conclude that these will become different species.

Different species is nature's assurance that we aren't mindless automoton, carbon copies of one another. I have no problem with that.

quote:
15. Conclusion: From several interations of 14, we conclude that several species can have a common ancestor.

Yes, I agree with that. German Shephards can come from wolves, but wolves can't come from bears.

quote:
Everything that I have labelled as a fact is a fact; these facts have been observed and verified. Everything I have labelled as a conclusion seems to me (and to most people) reasonable conclusions based on these facts. What about all of this do you not think makes sense? More to the point, what here violates any known law?

It violates the 2nd Law: In any ordered system, open or closed, there exists a tendency for that system to decay to a state of disorder, which tendency can only be suspended or reversed by an external source of ordering energy directed by an informational program and transformed through an ingestion-storage-converter mechanism into the specific work required to build up the complex structure of that system."

quote:
I will end this post with some evidence for the plausibility of evolution, and some evidence for evolution having actually occurred.

16. Fact: Over the course of human history, animal and plant breeders have produce a huge variety of animal and plant breeds; many of these breeds share of common ancestor, and these breeds are often very, very different from one another as well as from the ancestor.


I don't contend with that. However, the assertion that all life is somehow interrelated and intertwined is a metaphysical mystery that no one has been able to reproduce or witness through natural means. Aside from which, it violates genetic coding and attempts to usurp the 2nd Law.

quote:
17. Conclusion: The appearance of random traits coupled with a selection process can result in evolution.

18. Fact: The species can be classified in a hierarchical pattern.

19. Conclusion: 15 and 18 allows us to conclude that all known species have evolved from a very few (perhaps one) ancestral species.

So the intent of this thread is to guage where the disagreement with the theory. So, what do people disagree with? Is it the facts that I have presented? If so, why do you disagree with them? Is it with the conclusions? If so, why do you feel that the conclusions are not warranted?


That was a great post. It was very well-thought out, and was mindful of scientific observation. I do not deny that macroevolution is a very appealing theory. I mean, it provides the ultimate form of escapism IMO. But for how undeniably evident it should be, it simply isn't. Aside from which, there is no logical explanation for how any organsim became actual at all. For the sake of brevity, I'll just say that the First Cause can never be known in some sort of Newtonian principle. Nonetheless, we still have the plain fact that we are dealing with a metaphysical principle that has never extended itself to offer any verifiable proof. The proof that it is seriously lacking won't be manifested on creationist websites, but rather, usernet's like Talk Origins. Go in there and make a mental note of virtually all of the dialogue. The dialogue from start to finish is attempting to debunk those pesky fundies. But people don't worry about things that cause no threat. So there is little doubt that they understand the frailty of their own theory, for however appealing it may be in the abstract. I leave you with a quote to ponder. It summarizes what I feel your 'list' amounts to.

“The anemia in the bag of evidence for evolution is vivdly portrayed by modern vogue pro-evolution arguments. You have left the field and laboratory and now feverishly, in collaboration with slide rules and banks of computers, grind out abstract esoteric mathematical formulas and calculations in an effort to prove your case. In other words, rather than demonstrate within the laboratory or field, the feasibility of evolution, you hand me something like, an abstract formula.” –Dr. Wysong


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 170 (308957)
05-04-2006 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Hyroglyphx
05-03-2006 11:53 PM


Re: Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
I agree with the body of your premise, however, evolutionists tell me that they make predictions all the time. So which is it?

It's Chiro's post, so I'll let him address the bulk of your misunderstandings, but I want to be a part of the discussion as well so I'll quickly address this one, myself.

You're confusing what is meant by "predictable." Statistical observations about the odds are not predictions. A proper flip of an unweighted coin is unpredictable. The fact that you know that, in the past, it's landed heads about half the time and tails about half the time, doesn't mean you have any ability to predict the outcome of your next flip.

You just don't know. It's unpredictable, even though you can say what the odds of it being one or the other are going to be. You still don't know the outcome in advance, so the flip is unpredictable.

We can tell you the odds of one or another mutations happening, sure. But we can't tell you what mutation is going to happen next, for sure. We know the odds but the outcome cannot be predicted. Clear enough?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-03-2006 11:53 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-04-2006 12:36 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 6 of 170 (308964)
05-04-2006 12:36 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
05-04-2006 12:06 AM


Re: Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
quote:
You're confusing what is meant by "predictable." Statistical observations about the odds are not predictions. A proper flip of an unweighted coin is unpredictable. The fact that you know that, in the past, it's landed heads about half the time and tails about half the time, doesn't mean you have any ability to predict the outcome of your next flip.

You just don't know. It's unpredictable, even though you can say what the odds of it being one or the other are going to be. You still don't know the outcome in advance, so the flip is unpredictable.

We can tell you the odds of one or another mutations happening, sure. But we can't tell you what mutation is going to happen next, for sure. We know the odds but the outcome cannot be predicted. Clear enough?


Well, your post was clear to me and I can certainly appreciate it, however, it runs counter to making any kind of prediction. I'm not sure if it was you or someone else, but someone today said that evolution makes predictions all the time. Well, which is it? Does it make predictions, or is it so nonsensical that we really can't make any legitimate predictions?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 05-04-2006 12:06 AM crashfrog has responded

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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3069 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 7 of 170 (308982)
05-04-2006 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Hyroglyphx
05-03-2006 11:53 PM


Re: Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

It violates the 2nd Law: In any ordered system, open or closed, there exists a tendency for that system to decay to a state of disorder, which tendency can only be suspended or reversed by an external source of ordering energy directed by an informational program and transformed through an ingestion-storage-converter mechanism into the specific work required to build up the complex structure of that system."

Oh no, not again...

This passage is muddled techno-babble, and represents one of the most common anti-evolution falsehoods.

The true definition is:-

"The entropy of an isolated system not at thermal equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value."

Earth receives energy from the Sun so it is not a closed system. The 2nd Law has no implications on the ToE. End of story.

This message has been edited by RickJB, 05-04-2006 04:19 AM


This message is a reply to:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 775 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 8 of 170 (308983)
05-04-2006 5:29 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Hyroglyphx
05-04-2006 12:36 AM


Predictions, and more
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

I'm not sure if it was you or someone else, but someone today said that evolution makes predictions all the time. Well, which is it? Does it make predictions, or is it so nonsensical that we really can't make any legitimate predictions?

Here's an example of the kind of predictions the theory of evolution makes. This particular prediction was made by Charles Darwin himself.

(From: Deep Jungle by Fred Pearce, page 59)

quote:
Darwin's last laugh

Even at his death, Darwin's ideas of natural selection remained controversial. For many sceptics, the confirmation of his theories came only with the strange story of the comet orchid, a native of Madagascar. The orchid produces white waxy flowers that attract pollinating insects with a fragrance that is specially seductive after dark; but any insect alighting on the flower in the forest night will have great trouble finding its nectar, because it is hidden deep inside a narrow tube roughly 30 centimetres long. This curious plant was first discovered by Aubert du Petit-Thouars, a French aristocrat and botanist who narrowly escaped the guillotine during the French Revolution and spent years travelling Africa before daring to return home. It was another fifty years before the first comet orchid was coaxed into flowering in Europe, in 1857, and a further five years before its notoriety reached the attention of Darwin at his home-cum-laboratory in Kent.

For Petit-Thouars, the plant was little more than a curiosity. For Darwin, it raised a fundamental question: what kind of insect could suck the nectar from such a flower? He experimented in his greenhouse, using bristles and needles and glass rods, but the answer was clear enough to him. For this orchid to be pollinated, it required an insect with an extremely long proboscis, many times the length of its body. Darwin predicted that one day such an insect would be found. He was laughed at by many of his peers for what seemed an outrageous suggestion. Whoever heard of a moth with a tongue as long as that of an elephant? And yet, another forty years later, in the depths of the Madagascan jungle, a subspecies of the Morgan’s sphinx moth was discovered with just such a tongue – and it pollinated the comet orchid. Darwin was long dead by then, but he surely had the last laugh.


On the same page are some pictures of the first time this insect was filmed sucking nectar from a comet orchid.

-------

If I may comment on some of your objections against Chiroptera's opening post:

nemesis_juggernaut writes:

quote:
7. Conclusion: A corollary of 6 is that as generations pass, the number of organisms with "good" traits will increase, while the number of organisms with "bad" traits will decrease, until eventually all individuals in the species will have the "good" trait and the "bad" trait will disappear altogether.

Looking at in some Utopian outlook, that would be great, however, it is irreconcilable with the facts. The world will never be without disease, mutation, famine, or natural disasters unless there is some Divine intervention that would preclude it. As far as anyone can tell, there is equal amounts of suffering in the current animal kingdom as there was in the former kingdom. In other words, its incredibly hopeful that we should assume that life is sort of 'working out its kinks' as we go along. As well, this is not in keeping with Darwins model or any neo-Darwinian model. You are suggesting an advancement -that life is continually getting better and stronger.

As you may have noticed, Chiroptera used scare quotes around the words 'good' an 'bad'. This means he doesn't really think the traits are good or bad in an absolute sense of those words; that if some trait is good at some point in evolutionary history, it will always be good, or that if it's bad, it will always be bad.

Whether a trait is good or bad should always be looked at in the light of the current circumstances. It is always possible that the circumstances change in such a way that what was once a good trait now becomes a liability, and vice versa. Chiroptera isn't suggesting that life is continually getting better and stronger, but that life is continually adapting to a changing environment.

You quoted Richard Dawkins as saying: "We all agree that there's no progress." It might have been better if you had quoted him more extensively, to put that one-liner in perspective. Here's what he said about it in full:

quote:
Stephen Jay Gould argues against progress in evolution. We all agree that there's no progress. If we ask ourselves why some major groups go extinct and others don't, why the Burgess Shale fauna no longer exist, I'm sure the answer is "Bad luck." Whoever thought otherwise? There's nothing new about that. On the other hand, the short-term evolution within a group towards improved adaptation — predators having arms races against prey, parasites having arms races against hosts — that is progressive, but only for a short time. It's not that everything in evolution has to be progressive, but there will be a period of a million years when a lineage of prey animals is evolving together with a lineage of predator animals, and they're all getting faster and faster, their sense organs are evolving, their eyes are getting sharper, their claws are getting sharper: that's progressive. The prey animals are getting better because their predators are getting better.

[...] even the 'simplest' organism is more radically advanced than the computer you're using to type that very message.

I doubt that. It depends on what you mean by 'advanced'. The function of "the 'simplest' organism" is to replicate. The only thing it can do is make copies of itself. A computer is a multipurpose machine. With the right programming, it can do a plethora of different things. In that respect, it is much more advanced than "the 'simplest' organism"

German Shephards can come from wolves, but wolves can't come from bears.

Then where do wolves come from? I'm not asking this because I want you to tell me, but because I want to show you the kind of questions you should be asking yourself.

It violates the 2nd Law: In any ordered system, open or closed, there exists a tendency for that system to decay to a state of disorder, which tendency can only be suspended or reversed by an external source of ordering energy directed by an informational program and transformed through an ingestion-storage-converter mechanism into the specific work required to build up the complex structure of that system."

I have never seen the Second Law of Thermodynamics formulated that way. It's a law of thermodynamics and it has nothing to do with direction by informational programs, "ingestion-storage-converter mechanisms", or complex structures. The way you formulated it - or more probably cut-and-pasted it - seems specifically tailored to using it in an argument against evolution. It also contains a mistake: the Second Law of Thermodynamics is only applicable for closed systems. If you want to use the Second Law of Thermodynamics against evolution, you should use it in the form that is accepted by science. And then you'll fail.

This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 04-May-2006 10:31 AM

This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 04-May-2006 10:45 AM


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
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U can call me Cookie
Member (Idle past 3032 days)
Posts: 228
From: jo'burg, RSA
Joined: 11-15-2005


Message 9 of 170 (308992)
05-04-2006 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Hyroglyphx
05-03-2006 11:53 PM


Re: Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

quote:
11. Fact: There is no mechanism that is known to prevent these small, incremental changes from adding up, over time, to large changes; furthermore, there very few (if any) physical organs and instinctual behaviors in any species that do not appear in simpler versions in other species.

Again, this ignores the plain fact that is losing information in the genome and not ever-increasing.

I often see this bandied about but i don't quite get how one arrives at it. Could you please explain, how genomes lose information, and are never-increasing.


"The good Christian should beware the mathematician and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell." - St. Augustine
This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 170 (308999)
05-04-2006 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Hyroglyphx
05-04-2006 12:36 AM


Re: Irreconcilable differnces in the evolutionary paradaigm
Well, your post was clear to me and I can certainly appreciate it, however, it runs counter to making any kind of prediction. I'm not sure if it was you or someone else, but someone today said that evolution makes predictions all the time. Well, which is it? Does it make predictions, or is it so nonsensical that we really can't make any legitimate predictions?

I don't understand why you're attempting to draw this dichotomy. The assertion was that mutations (new traits) were not predictable, not that evolution as a theory was incoherent and completely lacking in predictive power.

Which is it? It's both. Evolution is used to make predictions; mutations happen at random and while they can be analyzed with statistical tools, the precise outcome and occurance of any single mutation cannot be predicted.

If I may suggest - this is going to be a much more fruitful discussion for you if you concentrate more on learning the information that is being presented to you, and concentrate a lot less on trying to trip us up in amateur games of "gotcha."


This message is a reply to:
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SuperNintendo Chalmers
Member (Idle past 3913 days)
Posts: 772
From: Bartlett, IL, USA
Joined: 12-27-2005


Message 11 of 170 (309003)
05-04-2006 9:01 AM


Thermo nonsense
Can we stop with the 2nd law of thermodynamics stuff? That is the WORST argument against evolution ever.

1. Thermodynamics has nothing to do with evolution
2. The earth IS NOT A CLOSED SYSTEM!!!! (ever heard of the sun?)


  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 12 of 170 (309005)
05-04-2006 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Funkaloyd
05-03-2006 11:41 PM


Hi, Funkaloyd.

For purposes of the discussion, members of the opposite sex are part of the environment of the individual, and any trait that would make it more likely that one or more of these members of the opposite sex will choose to breed with the individual is a "good" trait.

Sexual selection, in other words, is but a certain type of natural selection.

How's that?


"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)
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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 13 of 170 (309006)
05-04-2006 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Hyroglyphx
05-03-2006 11:53 PM


One step at a time
Good morning, nemesis.

Good response - the sort of thing that I was looking for. You know the "Socratic dialogue" method of discourse, where the other person asks questions one at a time, trying to lead you to the answer that they want? Well, I find that method annoying. So the OP contains all of my questions all at once, so that anyone can read through it and see where I want to go with this.

Let us take things a little at a time.

quote:
quote:
1. Fact: Most breeding organisms produce more offspring than is necessary to replace themselves.

True.


Good. So there is nothing more to discuss here.

quote:
quote:
2. Fact: The population of most species are not increasing.

This conflicts with your first premise, which I agree with.


Unfortunately, facts are facts. They do not conflict. They are what they are. It is a fact that the population of most species are not increasing. You do point out an exception that humans are one species whose population is increasing. I would also add the possibility of domesticated plant and animal species which rely on humans for their survival, as well as certain pests (like rats and cockroaches) which can take advantage of the ecological niches that human societies provide. But by and large, the vast majority of species are not increasing in population, and it has only been historically recently that humans have been increasing at such a phenomenal rate.

quote:
quote:
3. Conclusion: Most individuals must die before reproducing.

I would be inclined to agree with you in most lower lifeforms, such as amoeba, plankton, fish, amphibian, and possibly reptiles. However, its a fact that humans populate more quickly than they are dying. Hence, there are more people on earth now than ever before. Aside from that, I'm not sure how that promotes evidence of macroevolution.


As I said, facts are facts. We already agree to Fact 1. I'm not sure whether you are really objecting to Fact 2; if you are, then that warrants further discussion. At any rate, Fact 1, by itself, would seem to indicate that the populations of animals and plants should be increasing, but Fact 2 is that they are not. It would seem to be a necessary conclusion that in most species (humans being a current exception) more individuals are born than will reproduce, and so most individuals will die without having reproduced.

I'll wait for your response before I make any further comments.


"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-03-2006 11:53 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-06-2006 12:54 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 14 of 170 (309010)
05-04-2006 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by RickJB
05-04-2006 4:17 AM


Friction --------> dilapidates ---------> decay = What?
quote:
This passage is muddled techno-babble, and represents one of the most common anti-evolution falsehoods.

I know that alot of evolutionists have objections to the 2nd Law as it relates to biological evolution. Here's the problem. 2LoT has become muddled to the point of obscurity. But you can't fault creationists with sole ownership of the problem. There have been some evolutionists who have tragically gone off the deep end by ascribing and asigning everything to 2LoT.

I've found a website that is completely objective to explain how this all came to be. Simply read it and critique it and maybe you will understand why entropy, (not neccesarily, thermodynamic law) plays a central role in everything.

http://www.panspermia.org/seconlaw.htm

quote:
"The entropy of an isolated system not at thermal equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value."

1. Symbol S For a closed thermodynamic system, a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work.

2. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.

3. A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.

4. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.

5. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.

quote:
Earth receives energy from the Sun so it is not a closed system. The 2nd Law has no implications on the ToE. End of story.

No, unfortunately it doesn't because even though we recieve energy, there isn't this perpetual increase of emitted energy into that system. The plain fact of the matter is, anything that began does not have the same amount of usefulness as when it first derived. And what is the natural tendency for all things? Destruction, deterioration, death. Nothing circumvents this very evident law, but you allege that life is always reaching higher and higher, which is funny because your contemporaries understand that this logic runs counter to the prevailing facts about life. Therefore, taking notice of entropy is not a point that is moot. And creationists mention it for good reason.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3951 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 15 of 170 (309016)
05-04-2006 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
05-04-2006 9:56 AM


Re: Friction --------> dilapidates ---------> decay = What?
No, unfortunately it doesn't because even though we recieve energy, there isn't this perpetual increase of emitted energy into that system.

I think you'll find that the system doesn't require a "perpetual increase" in energy to maintain the system. Considering the amount of energy emitted by the sun (which is indeed increasing in entropy, thus making the equations balance nicely) that is simply "lost" or reflected away (in other words, not used), there is quite a bit of extra "room" thermodynamically-speaking available on Earth for any conceivable amount of life processes. In fact, this is one of the aspects of the biosphere that leads to altitude and latitude stratification and the increase in biodiversity in the tropics/subtropics as opposed to the higher latitudes (not the only factor, of course). Overall, however, for the purposes of life here, the net effect of thermodynamics is zero as long as the sun shines (it would be interesting to be around in a few billion years to see what the effect of reduced solar radiation would be on life - probably exactly what the creationists assert is supposedly happening now).


This message is a reply to:
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