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Author Topic:   Evolution is random! Stop saying it isn't!
epo5
Junior Member (Idle past 4179 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 08-12-2007


Message 76 of 99 (416059)
08-13-2007 3:21 PM


Stephen Jay Gould
"Debate is an art form. It is about the winning of arguments. It is not about the discovery of truth. There are certain rules and procedures to debate that really have nothing to do with establishing fact..."
-Stephen Jay Gould

I have to disagree with Gould, here. I am NOT interested in debating for its own sake. I AM interested in getting at the truth.


    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 77 of 99 (416062)
08-13-2007 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by epo5
08-13-2007 3:17 PM


Re: Crocaducks
This exactly what I'm asking to find.

You're asking because you don't understand evolution. It's a tree, not a chain.

Ducks aren't the descendants of crocodiles. They're the descendants of something that is also the ancestor of crocodiles.

A crocoduck would disprove, not prove, evolution. Since evolution is largely true, we don't see any crocoducks.

If you want to see deformed individuals, there's a bazillion of those. Two-headed frogs and albino tigers. Evolution, though, doesn't proceed from a basis of deformity. It proceeds via small mutations - like the hundred or so mutations you yourself possess.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by epo5, posted 08-13-2007 3:17 PM epo5 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by EighteenDelta, posted 08-13-2007 3:46 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
EighteenDelta
Inactive Member


Message 78 of 99 (416064)
08-13-2007 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by crashfrog
08-13-2007 3:30 PM


Re: Crocaducks
The only people who think that there should be transitional species between every existent species are those who really don't understand the tenants of evolution. Epo5, I don't ridicule you, I point to the straw man creationist so often construct to knock down with grand applause with self deluded belief that it proves a point. I am not accusing you, in this case, of intentionally misrepresenting evolution, I think you simply are one of the people who has already been mislead by someone else to believe that this really is the case. And thank you for addressing the quote in my sig block...

Edited by EighteenDelta, : No reason given.


"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that You exist, and so therefore, by Your own arguments, You don't. Q.E.D."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

--------------

"Debate is an art form. It is about the winning of arguments. It is not about the discovery of truth. There are certain rules and procedures to debate that really have nothing to do with establishing fact — which creationists have mastered. Some of those rules are: never say anything positive about your own position because it can be attacked, but chip away at what appear to be the weaknesses in your opponent's position. They are good at that. I don't think I could beat the creationists at debate. I can tie them. But in courtrooms they are terrible, because in courtrooms you cannot give speeches. In a courtroom you have to answer direct questions about the positive status of your belief. We destroyed them in Arkansas. On the second day of the two-week trial we had our victory party!"
-Stephen Jay Gould

----------------

“ I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. ”
—Stephen F. Roberts


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19815
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 79 of 99 (416069)
08-13-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by epo5
08-13-2007 3:17 PM


Crocaducks and Hopeful Monsters and Going Off topic
As I predicted this is going way off topic on whether evolution is random or not.

This exactly what I'm asking to find. I don't see how making light of it impacts the fact that they should have existed. I see your ridicule, I don't see your argument.

The answer is that changes from generation to generation in any species breeding population are smaller than the kind of wholesale change that the terms "crocaduck" and "hopeful monster" imply.

Instead what you have are transitions from one species to another over many generations and those species are closely related in form, behavior and appearance.

When you look at the fossil record you see a nested hierarchy of lines, some leading to dead ends (extinct) and some leading to modern life. At every stage along those branches the fossils found are intermediate in form from the ones before and the ones after.

You can see this kind of change over time in the evolution of the horse:

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/Stratmap1.htm

Evolution is the change in hereditary traits - like the length of leg bones and the shape of the skull - in species over time. It's that simple.

If you want to pursue this further though it IS off topic and a new thread should be started.

Go to Forum Proposed New Topics to post new topics.

Or you could go to another existing thread with this kind of discussion, such as Evolution and complexity or When does microevolution turn into macroevolution?. Both of these debates will give you some additional information (some good some bad, so ask if you have questions), and both are stalled for now, and the issue of "crockaduck" complexity or macroevolution would be on topic.

Then we can get back to random evolution.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clarity


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by epo5, posted 08-13-2007 3:17 PM epo5 has responded

Replies to this message:
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epo5
Junior Member (Idle past 4179 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 08-12-2007


Message 80 of 99 (416070)
08-13-2007 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by EighteenDelta
08-13-2007 3:20 PM


Re: Fossil record PROVES Darwinian evolution never happened
"It's just the usual Loki's Wager maneuvering. Science will never be able to provide enough transitional species to satisfy those who don't want to be satisfied and there will never be enough examples of 'failed experiments' given to satisfy those who don't want to be convinced."

You're making this sound like a religion (and indeed I believe evolution is nothing but a religion without a god). I do not "want" or "not want" to believe in evolution. I want to see the evidence to tell me whether or not evolution makes any sense. So far the "evidence" tells me it's more bunk than science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by EighteenDelta, posted 08-13-2007 3:20 PM EighteenDelta has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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epo5
Junior Member (Idle past 4179 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 08-12-2007


Message 81 of 99 (416073)
08-13-2007 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by RAZD
08-13-2007 4:51 PM


Re: Crocaducks and Hopeful Monsters and Going Off topic
You're playing with different scenarios of the same concept, which does not add to or detract from any of this. It really doesn't matter if the changes were small, incremental changes or quick, sudden changes. At the end of the day, there should have been some very strange creature all over this planet. And it doesn't matter who said this or how many times it was said -- these strange creatures should have exited and they don't. Unless you can find them, all the talk-arounds have little meaning.

"...those species are closely related in form, behavior and appearance..." I'm not aware of profuse quantities of transitional species or missing links you're talking about. The last time I check, they were scarce.

And if they don't exist in large quantities, I guess we must be talking about magic. Or maybe some god of evolution, who, without an extensive trial and error of many strange species that did not work out it, somehow knew what the next species was supposed to have in order to survive. Are your kidding me? We have religion for this kind of hocus pocus.

As far as your little map is concerned, most of this "well understood" progression of life forms is now being uncovered as just a lot of misunderstood malarkey.

Here's the tip of the iceberg:

The New York Times - 8/9/2007

FOSSILS IN KENYA CHALLENGE LINEAR EVOLUTION
-------------------------------------------

Two fossils found in Kenya have shaken the human family tree, possibly rearranging major branches thought to be in a straight ancestral line to Homo sapiens.

Scientists who dated and analyzed the specimens — a 1.44-million-year-old Homo habilis and a 1.55-million-year-old Homo erectus found in 2000 — said their findings challenged the conventional view that these species evolved one after the other. Instead, they apparently lived side by side in eastern Africa for almost half a million years.

If this interpretation is correct, the early evolution of the genus Homo is left even more shrouded in mystery than before. It means that both habilis and erectus must have originated from a common ancestor between two million and three million years ago, a time when fossil hunters had drawn a virtual blank.

Although the findings do not change the relationship of Homo erectus as a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens, scientists said, the surprisingly diminutive erectus skull implies that this species was not as humanlike as once thought.

Other paleontologists and experts in human evolution said the discovery strongly suggested that the early transition from more apelike to more humanlike ancestors was still poorly understood.

The challenge to the idea of a more linear succession of the three Homo species is being reported today in the journal Nature. The lead author is Fred Spoor, an evolutionary anatomist at University College London. Other authors include Meave G. Leakey and her daughter Louise Leakey, the Kenyan paleontologists who are co-directors of the Koobi Fora Research Project that made the discovery. The field work was supported by the National Geographic Society.

You can read the rest at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/science/09fossil.html


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by RAZD, posted 08-13-2007 4:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
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epo5
Junior Member (Idle past 4179 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 08-12-2007


Message 82 of 99 (416075)
08-13-2007 5:37 PM


No more replies on this thread
I will not be responding anymore on this topic on this thread. I'll start a new, more appropriate one when I get a chance. Thank oyu.
Replies to this message:
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bdfoster
Member (Idle past 2986 days)
Posts: 60
From: Riverside, CA
Joined: 05-09-2007


Message 83 of 99 (416078)
08-13-2007 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by crashfrog
08-13-2007 3:15 PM


Re: Fossil record PROVES Darwinian evolution never happened
crashfrog writes:

If the 99% of species that went extinct aren't "unsuccessful", exactly what are they?

Every individual is an evolutionary experiment. The ones that fail are the ones who die without having offspring. Surely it should be sufficiently obvious that some individuals die without having offspring.

At the risk of going off topic, there are two different types of extinction, those where descendant species are left and those where no descendants are left. Eohippus is extinct but is the ancestor of modern horses. Dinosaurs left no descendants. But which was more successful? Are those species that currently occupy the outermost growing shoots of the tree of life the most successfull simply because they are alive now? There are undoubtedly evolutionary experiments going on right now that are doomed to failure (I'm 46 and single, so I'm probably one!). And it doesn't look too good for the unique species that have evolved on the Galopagos. Are they successful just because they're alive now? From a naturalistic perspective it is possible that humanity will be a failed experiment. Which species was more successfull, humans surviving a few million years, or trilobites dominating the Paleozoic, or dinosaurs dominating the Mesozoic? Looking at the tree of life now there is no way to know what it will look like in the future. But we can look back in amazement at large branches that are no longer growing. It's hard for me to think of dinosaurs as unsuccessful just because a ET impact terminated their branch. They represent one of the most explosive radiations and branching the tree of life has ever seen.


Brent
This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19815
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 84 of 99 (416082)
08-13-2007 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by epo5
08-13-2007 5:24 PM


Re: Crocaducks and Hopeful Monsters and Going Off topic
As far as your little map is concerned, most of this "well understood" progression of life forms is now being uncovered as just a lot of misunderstood malarkey.

Here's the tip of the iceberg:

The New York Times - 8/9/2007

FOSSILS IN KENYA CHALLENGE LINEAR EVOLUTION

Heh. See Two New Hominid Finds (re: Time overlap of H. habilis and H. erectus). You see the curious thing is that those skulls do not challenge branching evolution, which is what we have. The fact that the media is ignorant of a lot about evolution and can't get the facts straight from the scientist interviewed is another topic.

I'll see you on your new thread.

You're playing with different scenarios of the same concept, which does not add to or detract from any of this. It really doesn't matter if the changes were small, incremental changes or quick, sudden changes. At the end of the day, there should have been some very strange creature all over this planet. And it doesn't matter who said this or how many times it was said -- these strange creatures should have exited and they don't. Unless you can find them, all the talk-arounds have little meaning.

Oh please please please make this the topic of your new thread ...

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : .


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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to share.

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 85 of 99 (416087)
08-13-2007 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by epo5
08-13-2007 4:55 PM


Re: Fossil record PROVES Darwinian evolution never happened
I want to see the evidence to tell me whether or not evolution makes any sense. So far the "evidence" tells me it's more bunk than science.

I presented powerful (and as yet unrefuted) evidence in this thread:

More Evidence of Evolution - Geomyidae and Geomydoecus

The evidence I present is irrefutable confirmation of the accuracy of molecular phylogenetics, the scientific field that discerns evolutionary relationships via genetics. Evidence from molecular phylogenetics proves that all organisms are descended from a single original ancestor.

I'd be delighted if you'd share your thoughts on the topic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by epo5, posted 08-13-2007 4:55 PM epo5 has not yet responded

  
Doddy
Member (Idle past 4016 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 86 of 99 (416090)
08-13-2007 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by bdfoster
08-13-2007 12:25 PM


Re: Got it.
bdfoster writes:

As for natural selection being random, I suppose we could play word games and come up with a definition for random that would include natural selection. But I prefer to stick with the standard english definition where biased and random are near antonyms. There is a real world difference between a truly random selection of a population, and a selection naturally biased toward fittness. That difference is the driving force behind evolution.

The problem is that it is easy to equivocate the definitions. Creationists can fairly easily convince people that evolution is random, by using the definition of random where there is no purpose to anything, and then claim that random processes can't produce order, by using the definition of random where all outcomes are equally probable.

I'm going to write an essay on this for the EvoWiki, and that's why I've got you all to respond to my initial pseudo-creationist rant.


Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

We seek contributors with a knowledge of Intelligent design to expand and review our page on this topic.

Registration not needed for editing most pages (the ID page is an exception), but you can register here!


This message is a reply to:
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bdfoster
Member (Idle past 2986 days)
Posts: 60
From: Riverside, CA
Joined: 05-09-2007


Message 87 of 99 (416180)
08-14-2007 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Doddy
08-13-2007 7:13 PM


Re: Got it.
Yes that's true. I think YECs want evolution to be random so they can make ridicoulous straw men like monkeys with typewriters producing the works of Shakespear, or the random chaos of the big bang evolving by random chance into what we see today. They mistakenly equivocate random with purposeless, and ignore non-random processes. They are related but not synonymous. I'd rather not characterize evolution as either random or non-random. It involves both types of processes.


Brent
This message is a reply to:
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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4016 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 88 of 99 (416242)
08-14-2007 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Wounded King
08-09-2007 8:46 PM


Re: random selection and a model of evolution
Wounded King writes:

the initial distribution and effect of the mutations is random

Just playing devil's advocate again. I know the answer, just asking...

How can the effects of mutations be random (using the definition where the probability of each event occurring is equal), if mutations are much, much more likely to be detrimental than they are to be beneficial? That doesn't sound like equal probabilities to me.


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We seek contributors with a knowledge of Intelligent design to expand and review our page on this topic.

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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2202 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 89 of 99 (416314)
08-15-2007 6:18 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by Doddy
08-14-2007 9:40 PM


Re: random selection and a model of evolution
I'm not sure what the benefit of repeatedly using a clearly inapplicable definition is, shouldn't there be a difference between playing Devil's advocate and playing dumb?

The relevant definition is clearly along the lines of ...

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition writes:

Of or relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.

There is a perfectly good term for when all probabilities are equal and it is equiprobable. If I wanted to say that the distribution and effect of mutations were equiprobable then that is what I would have said, and had I said that I would clearly be lying or delusional since the most basic familiarity with molecular genetics would give the lie to both parts of the statement.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4016 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 90 of 99 (416344)
08-15-2007 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Wounded King
08-15-2007 6:18 AM


Re: random selection and a model of evolution
Hmm, then that brings up the problem of evolution being random again. Under a weak selection pressure, survival with respect to fitness is described by a probability distribution. It is more likely for a 'fit' organism to reproduce than a comparatively 'unfit' one, and therefore can be deemed random (yet biased).


Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

We seek contributors with a knowledge of Intelligent design to expand and review our page on this topic.

Registration not needed for editing most pages (the ID page is an exception), but you can register here!


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