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Author Topic:   Teleological Science?
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3952 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 46 of 114 (453707)
02-03-2008 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by RAZD
02-03-2008 5:00 PM


it was a designer anticipating (or knowing) upcoming changes, or

a population that was sensitive to information we don't notice, a "sixth sense" like the cat that visits the dying ...There

How would you control for that?

Hmm, I'm not sure you could (or at least I have no idea how you would). Wouldn't the results - the physical evidence - be identical in both cases? There'd have to be some way of differentiating between internal and external "direction". Maybe AzPaul's bacterial studies could be controlled somehow to account for it.

You never know until you try eh? I've wondered if they could be used for a source of funding before. Wonder what their criteria is.

Doesn't the DI already employ a bunch of real scientists like lawyers, PR specialists and...oh, wait. :D


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by RAZD, posted 02-03-2008 5:00 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3952 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 47 of 114 (453710)
02-03-2008 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by AZPaul3
02-03-2008 5:00 PM


Re: A Dish of Bugs?
Indeed it would. I do hope you seriously follow-up on this and keep the rest of us informed. I think we both can hazard a guess as to the eventual outcome, but still, it would be a fascinating try.

Actually, I realized all I'd have to do was conduct one more sampling series after establishing the baseline. IOW, right after randomly selecting which plot (like, by flipping a coin) would be the experimental plot, but before starting the actual intervention. That way if there was any "anticipation" going on, the guild would start to change before I started thinning cacao, smothering grass, or planting trees. I wonder what the lag on something like this would be? I'd bet it would correlate to the lag in the change due to NS, but in advance. Sound reasonable?

Maybe Molbiogirl can get the funding for you.

Great idea! Hey MBG: get us some funding and I'll hire you as a consultant (we'll split the loot). :D

By showing an extreme restriction of variability coupled with the same exact resultant genomes in two isolated populations would, imo, be a strong indicator of directionality.

Okay, now I get it. Thanks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by AZPaul3, posted 02-03-2008 5:00 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by AZPaul3, posted 02-03-2008 8:15 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3815
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 48 of 114 (453717)
02-03-2008 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Quetzal
02-03-2008 7:31 PM


Re: A Dish of Bugs?
I wonder what the lag on something like this would be? I'd bet it would correlate to the lag in the change due to NS, but in advance. Sound reasonable?

It certainly wouldn’t be any faster then NS given the nature of the mechanism but I just play at this stuff. You are the expert in the field (literally). I’ll defer to you.


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 49 of 114 (454600)
02-07-2008 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Quetzal
01-31-2008 9:22 AM


From the Beginning Again
I'll take us back to the beginning and go for what Quetzal was wanting originally.

If teleology were in fact a valid, overlooked concept in the physical and life sciences, what would it look like?

The easiest place to look would be in the "missing links" that IDists continue to perceive as missing. For instance, the fact that Tiktaalik and his predecessors, like Panderichthys and Eusthenopteron, had all the correct bones to form fingers and long bones in the legs and arms of vertebrates before arms and legs existed could be seen as teleological in nature.

I would refute this on the grounds that the bones necessary to create the yaw and roll of the wrist did not exist in these organisms (the pitch, however, was apparently present in Tiktaalik), and that Tiktaalik's wrist and forearm bones seem to have pivoted in a manner quite different from ours.

However, if some trait could be shown to have only one use, and to have evolved before the organism in which it evolved could take advantage of that one use, this might be trouble for evolutionary theory. So, if it could be shown that feathers were only useful in flight (and not in thermoregulation or mating displays), than the feathers on the non-flying dromaeosaurs would be a problem for materialistic evolutionary theory.

This has the potential to unleash some very adamant IDists. Everybody read up on your transitional fossils and stuff.


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Quetzal, posted 01-31-2008 9:22 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Quetzal, posted 02-07-2008 8:24 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3952 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 50 of 114 (454620)
02-07-2008 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Blue Jay
02-07-2008 6:51 PM


Re: From the Beginning Again
However, if some trait could be shown to have only one use, and to have evolved before the organism in which it evolved could take advantage of that one use, this might be trouble for evolutionary theory. So, if it could be shown that feathers were only useful in flight (and not in thermoregulation or mating displays), than the feathers on the non-flying dromaeosaurs would be a problem for materialistic evolutionary theory.

I think you're on the money with the bolded section. Now all the IDists need to do is identify an anomolous trait in a living population that makes no sense in either the evolutionary history (IOW not a formerly "useful" adaptation), or current ecology of the population, and voila. After all, the traits possessed by modern, living organisms are not geared to their current environments, but rather evolved to adapt to the environments of their ancestors...


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 Message 49 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 6:51 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 9:12 PM Quetzal has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 51 of 114 (454622)
02-07-2008 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Quetzal
02-07-2008 8:24 PM


Re: From the Beginning Again
After all, the traits possessed by modern, living organisms are not geared to their current environments, but rather evolved to adapt to the environments of their ancestors

I've had a couple of hours to think since I posted this, now. The fact that nothing we see in nature is really stuck in a specific function is a good support for evolutionary theory. If a penguin can make a wing into a flipper, and a panda can make a random bone in its wrist into a thumb, clearly, nature's adaptability is astounding.

It would be quite a task to locate a trait that couldn't be modified into something else. That's why irreducible complexity is a flawed concept. In fact, my statement is very similar to Behe's favorite Darwin quote (that his theory would be utterly destroyed if one system was found that couldn't have evolved gradually).

Now all the IDists need to do is identify an anomolous trait in a living population that makes no sense in either the evolutionary history (IOW not a formerly "useful" adaptation), or current ecology of the population, and voila

I think they would have to go further and say that the trait isn't merely not useful, but somewhat debilitating, before they could actually use it as evidence. Something that has neutral usability may not be selected against, and genetic drift could fix it in the population.

Maybe, then, another teleological trait in nature could be the sacrifice of some beneficial trait that facilitates a future development of greater benefit. For example, a bird sacrifices flight to later evolve hands. This is kind of like the Phorusrhacid (terror bird) Titanis, which is believed to have developed the manus of its vestigial wing into a meat-hook, presumably for killing its prey. I don't think the teleology quite works here, though: you'd have to prove some kind of link between the loss and the later trait.

Edited by Bluejay, : Grammar; addition to last sentence.


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Quetzal, posted 02-07-2008 8:24 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Quetzal, posted 02-08-2008 9:33 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3952 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 52 of 114 (454679)
02-08-2008 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Blue Jay
02-07-2008 9:12 PM


Re: From the Beginning Again
Maybe, then, another teleological trait in nature could be the sacrifice of some beneficial trait that facilitates a future development of greater benefit. For example, a bird sacrifices flight to later evolve hands. This is kind of like the Phorusrhacid (terror bird) Titanis, which is believed to have developed the manus of its vestigial wing into a meat-hook, presumably for killing its prey. I don't think the teleology quite works here, though: you'd have to prove some kind of link between the loss and the later trait.

Interesting. Taking what you said here a bit further, I would say that if it could be shown that a population moves off a local fitness peak by evolving a trait that is a net negative in its local environment, but would be useful in a future context, this would also show teleology. It is one of the central tenets of evolutionary theory that a natural population cannot do this - it can never get "less fit" in the absence of some countervailing selection pressure.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 9:12 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 53 of 114 (454768)
02-08-2008 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Quetzal
02-08-2008 9:33 AM


Re: From the Beginning Again
Taking what you said here a bit further, I would say that if it could be shown that a population moves off a local fitness peak by evolving a trait that is a net negative in its local environment, but would be useful in a future context, this would also show teleology.

Clearly, you are more eloquent than I. I think it serves as good evidence for evolution that traits don't predict the future: the future molds the pre-existing trait to its altered conditions. So, only bears living in the cold north have thick fat and heavy coats; and birds that like to eat fruit only live where there is fruit to eat. Carnivorous plants only live in nitrogen-poor environments, where they need to eat bugs to get nitrogen. Elsewhere, they do not eat bugs.

Now, if someone found a carnivorous plant in a desert (where nitrogen is not the limiting factor), this would be difficult to explain. Particularly if, a thousand years later, said desert was transformed into a peat bog.


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Quetzal, posted 02-08-2008 9:33 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3112 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 54 of 114 (454856)
02-08-2008 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Blue Jay
02-08-2008 4:53 PM


Re: From the Beginning Again
There is still yet again another layer of purely potentially evolutionary causality in here ("future" effects affectable) before one might be certain that one was observing "teleogy in action".

In Niche Construction, the authors describe evolutionary inertia and time lags when niches affect gene frequency changes under the 'standard' theory. Thus past niche construction can affect future gene selection on this view causing lags in fixation of genes and the appearence of inertial effects over longer time frames. This need not be teleological at all.

Within this nonstandard evolutionary theory one would THEN have to refine what teleology looks like, it seems to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Blue Jay, posted 02-08-2008 4:53 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Blue Jay, posted 02-08-2008 10:00 PM Brad McFall has responded

    
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 55 of 114 (454862)
02-08-2008 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Brad McFall
02-08-2008 9:28 PM


Re: From the Beginning Again
Just to clarify all the thick, scientific stuff in that last post: populations can continue to experience the effects of selection in a different environment after they've moved on to a new environment. I'm not sure I've articulated it properly, but, that's my fifth try, and I generally just move on after five.

An example of what I think he's saying: A species of land-based reptile learns to fly, becomes a bird, then returns to the land. It has not lost all of its land-based adaptations during its tenure as a flying organism. This is why, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs, large flightless birds (like the Phorusrhacids I mentioned in an earlier post) transitioned easily into the top carnivore niches in many ecosystems around the planet, hunting like the dromaeosaurs ("raptor" dinosaurs). This also may be stretching the analogy a little bit, though.

All this stuff about teleology that we've been discussing is, of course, a thin membrane of nonsense, that could easily be broken if we stretch it too far. Just like the analogy I was trying to create with that sentence.

I would tentatively put forth the notion that no biological trait is so restricted in its adaptability that it could not take on multiple functions. The vertebrate limb, for instance, is useful as an implement for running, grabbing, digging, flying, swimming, killing and climbing (possibly others). Yet, interestingly, all vertebrate limbs have similar bone structures (the manus, or hand region, is the least conserved portion, however).


Signed,
Nobody Important (just Bluejay)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Brad McFall, posted 02-08-2008 9:28 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Brad McFall, posted 02-08-2008 10:13 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3112 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 56 of 114 (454864)
02-08-2008 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Blue Jay
02-08-2008 10:00 PM


Re: From nonsense to sense again
Well, I do not think it is nonesense at all. It is just about keeping everything well ordered. The reflection on this issue takes more time than is usually available. Gould once said he doubted that people could be arm-chair scientists but science needs more time in the chair.

For me I do not have the stamina to keep up the entire reflection in the wayward nature of our posting on EvC but I feel that the split division algebra of quaternions that distinguishes two emf provides bifurcation I would predict is responsible for reptile and amphbian symmetry but because Loeb made such a case against tropisms being in any way purposive and post Chardin speculations failed to impress grad students in the 60s there was little room for a pasigraphy that was not simply a transitional grammar and thus logic either is or is not working for this horizon.

The notion of environment includes places INSIDE the creature on the teleological view and IT IS THIS that needs to be refined. Saying simply that it is nature or nurture fails to find the intricay beyond the CURRENTLY used statistical divisions (take Wright as an example etc.)

Consequently I find that your position bails or bailed BEFORE it distinguishes purpose from vital force. I have not read all of your posts however.

Kant reflected on a RECIPROCAL relation of cause and effect and this is NOT something that is necessarily contained within the notion of postive and negative feedback (pricipally due to Wiener use of phone notions of information; which may not be what is involved in the division algebra electically made somatic)(but again I do not have the stamina to keep this up at every momemnt, as there are many things that can come to mind).

This "membrane" for me is the different proportion of lipids in the skin only, not Gould's view of Fantasia writ large.


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 Message 55 by Blue Jay, posted 02-08-2008 10:00 PM Blue Jay has responded

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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 57 of 114 (454868)
02-08-2008 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Brad McFall
02-08-2008 10:13 PM


Re: From nonsense to sense again
I'm not even going to pretend I followed all of that.

The part I was calling nonsense was, however, our suggestions of "teleological developments." They are nonsense, because they have not been found. If they are ever found, I will assault them from every possible angle until every possible angle that I can assault them from has been disproven. Then, I will no longer refer to it as 'nonsense.'


This message is a reply to:
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3112 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 58 of 114 (454872)
02-08-2008 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Blue Jay
02-08-2008 10:28 PM


Re: From nonsense to sense again
Yes,yes yes-

but if I am correct....

The reason we do not have a clear case for teleology in action is not because there is no apriori hope of evidence (to cite your use of the word in another thread) but because the kinematics of nonstandard evolutionary theory isnt even a standard part of the teaching and training of evolutionists let alone on the radar screen of two model creationists.

The reflection itself DOES open up to the supernatural but emprical science breaks off its funding and work BEFORE this stage so it is so so hard for any one individual to do not only the whole institution of science but there is no plan laid out for reasearches to even get presort the even potential data. As I said, some changes even in physics seem required for me. Getting to the atoms from the atomic logic is the step that one has to cross when keeping purpose but rejecting vital forces.

That I feel is the place that science needs to suport proposals geared toward teleolgy but the taste of empirical scientists goes first against vital forces which rather are not gone against by creationsits writ small.

I understand your position, but there was no need to try say what I said was so thick, it is actually as thin as thoughts are.

There are no "angles" from which teleology can be 'assualted' from as Kant already made this a difference of reflection and determination. One either assists in the determination or has a different asthetic (such as a humanist one etc).

There are futher points to reflect on, but I can not see responding further in this tree to you. Two model creationists will probably eventually fill this place in mental space. So far I have not seen it but YECism may turn this way, I would guess, but then that is hubris speaking for me.

God Bless,
Brad.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 59 of 114 (454875)
02-08-2008 10:52 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by LucyTheApe
01-31-2008 10:06 AM


Re: Teleology
LucyThe Ape writes:

Wouldn't this just like debating "Intelligent design"?

It seems to me that "Intelligent Design" (the movement as opposed to simply the philosophical idea of intelligent design), rules out evolution whereas teleology could easily view evolution as compatible.
Could someone confirm this as correct with the hope of helping my understanding of the topic.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3952 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 60 of 114 (454936)
02-09-2008 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by GDR
02-08-2008 10:52 PM


Re: Teleology
Hi GDR,

In my view, which could very easily be substantially wrong, teleology is a prerequisite for any scientific "theory" of intelligent design. It would, if it existed, represent the fingerprints as it were of the designer. I would say that only the philosophical view of ID-as-Christian-God would rule out evolution. In fact, the vast majority of IDists agree substantively with most of the ToE, including common descent, etc. They feel, however, that the Designer "tinkers" with the evolution of organisms - and hence there should be physical evidence of Its activities. Thus, this thread attempting to brainstorm possible physical evidence that would indicate on-going activity of this nature. Evidently, the IDist organizations haven't done this - just trying to do my part. :D


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