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Author Topic:   Dogs will be Dogs will be ???
Tangle
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Posts: 6680
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 316 of 331 (655972)
03-15-2012 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 314 by Chuck77
03-15-2012 5:23 AM


Evolution happens by a series of small changes over time. The first wing would not have been a fully functional aerodynamic artefact - it would have been a slight modification of something that already existed. So why didn't the designer just make a fully formed wing? A human designer would if he could.

Of course if you believe that the world is 6,000 years old and God created everything as we see it today, then that answer doesn't work for you. (But you then have to explain geology and the fossil record etc)

But with special creation you then have to explain why the nested hierarchies exist - ie why do it that way?

Why design several eyes when some are better than others? Why several wings? Why not put gills in whales? And so on. A human designer would pick the best design for the job and use that in all his basic models.

We wouldn't be able to show nested hierarchies because the whale which gives birth to live young and suckles them and has a warm blooded circulatory system would have gills like a fish.

But a fish (usually) lays eggs, has scales and is cold blooded. They wouldn't fit in the same tree. None of it would make sense.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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Chuck77
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 317 of 331 (655978)
03-15-2012 6:50 AM


I found out what I was doing wrong: Message 24

I think I got it now.


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Tangle
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Posts: 6680
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 318 of 331 (655982)
03-15-2012 7:42 AM
Reply to: Message 317 by Chuck77
03-15-2012 6:50 AM


cool :-)

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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caffeine
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From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
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(2)
Message 319 of 331 (656056)
03-16-2012 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 315 by Chuck77
03-15-2012 6:14 AM


Re: kinds and clades
Hey Chuck,

All of what you listed are clades. A clade isn't a particular level in the tree of life, a clade is defined simply as an organism and all of it's descendants, and only its descendants. Animals are a clade - the first animal and the animals descending from it, and mammals are a smaller clade, contained with the animal clade. A clade can be a species, a genus, a family, a phylum, and it is often a group that was never given any rank.

Reptiles, on the other hand, are not a clade, since the last common ancestor of living reptiles was also an ancestor of birds; and if we count extinct 'mammal-like reptiles' as reptiles, then the last common ancestor is also an ancestor of mammals. Whales aren't a clade, at least as we commonly use the term, since the last common ancestor of whales was also an ancestor of dolphins.


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dwise1
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Posts: 3310
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 320 of 331 (656089)
03-16-2012 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Chuck77
03-15-2012 5:23 AM


Perhaps an analogy from software engineering would help.

I'm currently working on a GUI that communicates with via telnet with our equipment. Basically, it presents a Windows application view for the user to monitor the equipment status and send configuration commands to the equipment. Actual communication with the equipment is through a not-very-human-readable command protocol for which the GUI acts as an interpreter for the user.

Actually, we have three systems that we're doing this for and hence three different GUIs, with the third system being new and its GUI currently being developed. The approach we're taking on this third GUI is analogous to what evolution does: take what's already there and modify it to a different use. That is an approach that engineers frequently use: take something that already works elsewhere and modify it for this new application.

A second engineering approach to parts of a new design is not at all like what evolution does: we take an entire module or sub-system for an entirely different design and plop it into the new design, redoing its interface with the rest of the system as needed.

OK, since the third system is very similar to the second, I took the second's GUI as my baseline and started modifying it. There were also some new plug-in cards in the system, so I made copies of the code modules that handled the old cards and modified them for the new cards -- analogous to evolution taking copies of genes and modifying them to make new proteins. And the over-all layout of the equipment is similar to but different from the layout of the second system, so I modified that -- analogous to evolution taking an existing structure and modifying it.

But the third system uses GPS, which the second doesn't but which the first, much simpler, system does. So I took the code modules from that first system's GUI and copied them whole into the new GUI, adding some "glue code" to connect it to the rest of the program. This is not at all like something that evolution would be able to do. This is an example of a designer being able to and motivated to add something that evolution could not account for. BTW, when I had to upgrade the first GUI to handle a new firmware version in the equipment, I solved most of that problem by lifting entire sections of code from the second GUI and transplanting them into the first GUI; the arbitrary non-evolutionary transfer of code travels in both directions.

Many years ago, I once mused over a new science: software archaeology. As you compare the code in different related programs, you can see where code had been copied and modified to new uses. Indeed, there is such a science, but it's computer forensics and is used in finding evidence of patent and copyright infringement. But the point is that in comparing the code of different programs or even examining the code of a single program, you can detect where code was copied and modified (the evolutionary approach) and where code was just simply inserted whole (the ex-nihilo approach).

So, a Designer should be able to put a Design together any way He wants to, including lifting a perfectly good design for something that He had done elsewhere (eg, wings, obtaining oxygen while living underwater as whales must) and reusing that design over and over again. But evolution is far more constrained and can only work with what is inherited from previous generations and hence has to repeatedly reinvent "common features" (eg, wings, obtaining oxygen while living underwater as whales must) by modifying what is already there.

And again, by examining the Design, we can see whether an evolutionary approach was taken or an arbitrary "ex nihilo" approach. Overwhelmingly, we see evidence of an evolutionary approach. "Common features" such as wings may at first appear to be the same design reused, but when you examine them more closely you find that a bird's wings are different than a bat's, that they use different bones, and as you examine and compare bird and bat genomes you should see that the genes for those wings are different and that should also become apparent when you compare the embryonic development of the wings -- a Designer reusing a common design should have done it with the same genes or very much the same.

Of course, evidence that an evolutionary approach was taken does not preclude a Designer, just a Designer who was free to act arbitrarily and to reuse the same common designs over and over again. The Designer could just as well have constrained Himself to use an evolutionary approach, to have created Nature and then to use Nature to do the rest of the work; as Genesis says, God commanded the waters and the land to bring forth life (Gen. 1:20,24).

Compare topiaries with banzai trees. A topiary is a shrub that's been trimmed into a specific shape, such as that of an animal. There are artful ways to do it, I'm sure, but normally they just hack it into that shape. But a banzai grower patiently trims and influences his creation's growth in the directions that he wants, using and bending Nature to his will. Your Designer as a topiary hacker is far less impressive and praiseworthy than your Designer as a banzai grower.

PS
Recommended reading: The Blind Watchmaker, Chapter Three, "Accumulating Small Changes", by Richard Dawkins.

The main reason for that recommendation is the model he presents there for how evolution works. It's the same as is used in genetic algorithms, a powerful engineering approach that directly uses evolutionary processes:
1. Initialization. Start with an initial population of solutions.
2. Selection. Apply a "fitness function" to select a set of the best (ie, most fit) solutions in that population to produce the next generation of solutions.
3. Reproduction. Use the selection solutions to generate the next generation of solutions, using various techniques to increase variability (eg, cross-over, mutation).
4. Termination. If one of the solutions meets the required criteria, then stop. If not, then go back to Step 2 and repeat.

In life, there are a few more steps and another complication. From basic biology and genetics, your genetic code is called your genotype while your physical characteristics is called your phenotype. You inherit your genotype and it is the genotype that is subject to increased variation through genetic recombination and mutation; indeed, the only form of mutation that means anything in evolution is genetic. But selection does not act on the genotype, but rather acts on the phenotype. And the phenotype is created by the genotype through the process of embryonic development.

It is in Dawkins' discussion of his BIOMORPH program that he goes through the links between genotype, phenotype, and development.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 321 of 331 (656114)
03-16-2012 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 319 by caffeine
03-16-2012 11:43 AM


Re: kinds and clades
Thanks a lot Caffeine. That's a lot of good information there.
This message is a reply to:
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Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 322 of 331 (656120)
03-16-2012 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 320 by dwise1
03-16-2012 1:44 PM


I'm either giving the wrong impression here or you're just up to your regular insults by actually suggesting I read "The blind watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. How bout I grab "the god delusion" while we're at it? NO THANKS.

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 323 of 331 (656127)
03-16-2012 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM


I'm either giving the wrong impression here or you're just up to your regular insults by actually suggesting I read "The blind watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. How bout I grab "the god delusion" while we're at it?

Both of those are good books, and you should read them if for no other reason than to expose yourself to the arguments of those you oppose, giving yourself time to come up with rebuttals before we employ them here.

We've done that with creation/ID sources. Why wouldn't we?


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Theodoric
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Posts: 5954
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 324 of 331 (656139)
03-16-2012 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM


Afraid?
I'm either giving the wrong impression here or you're just up to your regular insults by actually suggesting I read "The blind watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. How bout I grab "the god delusion" while we're at it? NO THANKS.

What are you afraid of?
Learning something?

You might not believe this but Richard Dawkins might no more about science than you.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

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dwise1
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Posts: 3310
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


(1)
Message 325 of 331 (656152)
03-16-2012 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM


No, no insult. I make that recommendation in earnest. You were deserving of insults when you were wallowing in your ignorance, but now you are trying to learn to and figure things out and that deserves to be encouraged and aided.

And I already gave you my reason for recommending that particular chapter in that particular book: the genotype-phenotype duality and the role of development in giving the genotype expression in the phenotype. Part of what he illustrates in BIOMORPHS is that the amount of change in the phenotype does not normally match the amount of change in the genotype; ie, a small change in the genotype can cause a large change in the phenotype and yet a large change in the genotype can be hardly noticable in the phenotype. It depends on exactly where and what the change is.

Referring to other sources now ...

For example, in the class notes for their two-model class at the State University at San Diego (until protests from the campus Christian clubs got too loud for the administration), Thwaites and Awbrey addressed the old standard creationist "probability of a protein with a highly exact amino acid sequence forming by chance" claim by pointing out that only a few sites in a protein require specific amino acids, whereas others will accept any of a particular type of amino acid and most sites will accept any amino acid. And indeed, we can compare the amino acid sequences of the same protein in a wide variety of organisms and we will find wide variance in those sequences; comparison of those amino acid sequences support the relationships between species that evolution would have us expect, bogus creationist claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

In one of his books, Evolutionary Genetics (a textbook on the mathematics of population genetics), evolutionary biologist and geneticist John Maynard Smith pointed out that the only mutations that matter in evolution are genetic mutations in the germ cells (ie, in sperm and eggs rather than in the body's cells), because a change has to be heritable in order for evolution to use it. Furthermore, he listed the only four such mutations that there are, which (from memory) include base substitutions, base insertions and deletions, copying of sequences (resulting in multiple alleles). The Wikipedia article on mutation covers this far better than I could: http://en.wikipedia.org/...#Classification_of_mutation_types.

And, back to The Blind Watchmaker, the first part of Chapter Three discusses his WEASEL experiment and the difference between single-step selection (which all creationist probability claims I've encountered depend on) and evolution's cumulative selection, an understanding of which is very useful when evaluating creationist probability claims. Since I could not believe his WEASEL's performance, I wrote my own which I called MONKEY and which I posted on-line along with my analysis of the mathematics of the probabilities involved -- see http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/monkey.html.

Science populizing books such as The Blind Watchmaker can be useful to read in order to learn and understand the ideas that you're trying to learn about, so it should come as no surprise that they would be recommended. I have not read his The God Delusion, which I assume is about atheism and criticism of religion rather than about evolution, so I would not think of recommending it for the purpose of helping you learn something about science in general and evolution in particular. Why would you assume otherwise?


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Percy
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Posts: 18310
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 326 of 331 (656163)
03-16-2012 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM


Hi Chuck,

Dawkins isn't the only source of this information, but he has a gift for writing for the layperson. His writing is both interesting and easy to understand. If you'd prefer books by other authors then just say so, I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions.

I'd much prefer someone who understood evolution but rejected it anyway than someone who never understood evolution at all.

--Percy


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6680
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 327 of 331 (656172)
03-16-2012 8:09 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM


I'm either giving the wrong impression here or you're just up to your regular insults by actually suggesting I read "The blind watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. How bout I grab "the god delusion" while we're at it? NO THANKS.

Why not? Know your enemy and all that. Before Dawkins became known as an atheist, he was a pretty excellent biologist. I still think The Selfish Gene is one of the best books on biology I've ever read.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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RAZD
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Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 328 of 331 (656269)
03-17-2012 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 321 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:09 PM


Re: kinds and clades
Hi Chuck,

It seems we are getting away from the Dogs will be Dogs topic into a discussion of clades and kinds.

Perhaps we should start a new thread?

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chuck77
Inactive Member


(4)
Message 329 of 331 (656565)
03-20-2012 3:43 AM
Reply to: Message 328 by RAZD
03-17-2012 11:42 AM


Re: kinds and clades
Sorry RAZD, it does seem that way.

I think I am a little interested in cladistics and Taxonomy at the moment. I think I should start there before getting into what species evolve into what species, if that even makes sense.

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19759
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.4


(2)
Message 330 of 331 (656566)
03-20-2012 3:47 AM
Reply to: Message 329 by Chuck77
03-20-2012 3:43 AM


Re: kinds and clades
Hi Chuck77,

Nothing to be sorry about -- that's how learning progresses, by following your interests.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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