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Author Topic:   Definition of Evolution
Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 1 of 212 (418191)
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


I am unhappy with the results of the last thread for the definition of evolution. Which seemed to be from RAZD (Source):

Evolution is the change in hereditary traits within populations of species over time, and these theories explain different mechanisms and processes that occur. These theories also explain the existing evidence known from genetics, lab and field studies and the fossil record.

One could say that the overall theory of evolution is that evolution happens, has happened and will continue to happen.

I don't think that it is fair to Creationists that this be let off the hook so easily. I think the definition should be changed to:

Evolution is observable change(s) in all living systems limited to the observed time frame.

Mechanisms should not be classified within evolution.

It should be acknowledged that theoretical science is separate from theological musings, and should not be coupled within a standard of a definition.

Rebuttals?

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added "Source" link.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Nuggin, posted 08-27-2007 4:31 AM Ihategod has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Tusko, posted 08-27-2007 5:00 AM Ihategod has responded
 Message 7 by Modulous, posted 08-27-2007 6:03 AM Ihategod has responded
 Message 8 by Doddy, posted 08-27-2007 6:44 AM Ihategod has not yet responded
 Message 26 by RAZD, posted 08-28-2007 7:28 PM Ihategod has responded
 Message 91 by bluegenes, posted 08-31-2007 6:44 AM Ihategod has responded
 Message 177 by Q, posted 09-06-2007 6:55 PM Ihategod has not yet responded
 Message 199 by Sky-Writing, posted 03-22-2009 9:43 AM Ihategod has not yet responded

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 212 (418244)
08-27-2007 2:51 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 570 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 3 of 212 (418249)
08-27-2007 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ihategod
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


The what?
Evolution is observable change(s) in all living systems limited to the observed time frame.

What the heck is an "observed time frame"?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ihategod, posted 08-26-2007 9:45 PM Ihategod has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 4 of 212 (418251)
08-27-2007 4:48 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Nuggin
08-27-2007 4:31 AM


Re: The what?
Nuggin writes:

quote:
What the heck is an "observed time frame"?

He's basically being pedantic.

There's a joke of the engineer, the physicist, and the mathematician on a train. While looking out the window, the engineer says, "Look! There's a goat in that field."

The physicist looks and says, "Yes, there is a white goat in that field."

The mathematician looks and says, "Yes, there is a goat in that field, and the side that is facing us is white."

Basically, he wants to be able to say that the various laws of physical nature only work back to some point in the past and beyond that, absolutely nothing can be said. Depending on how far he wants to take it, it is nothing but a thinly veiled variant of the, "Were you there?" argument: That because humans were not physically present to directly observe the biological processes of the past, then we cannot say anything about what happened, as if we had no physical evidence of what did.

He can help allay this suspicion by answering a direct question:

Assuming that we do see evolutionary processes happening now, what is to prevent them from having happened in the past?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Tusko
Member
Posts: 605
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 5 of 212 (418252)
08-27-2007 5:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ihategod
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


If I understand you rightly, you are saying that it is unscientific to belief evolutionary change took place before people observed it.

This isn't actually true. This belief can be scientific. Whether observed first hand or not, there is still a wealth of evidence from beyond a human timeframe (paleontology in conjunction with geology for example) that is best explained using an evolutionary hypothesis.

You say you are unhappy with mechanisms, but why? One reason you might object is because once a mechanism is in place, then for what you say to be true, you would require a second 'brake' mechanism to be in place to prevent continued change by natural selection. By itself, this isn't a very persuasive argument against evolutionary mechanisms. So putting this ad hoc objection aside, why don't you think mechanisms should be classified within evolution?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ihategod, posted 08-26-2007 9:45 PM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 9:59 AM Tusko has responded

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


Message 6 of 212 (418253)
08-27-2007 5:12 AM


This topic's messages have been pretty good so far
Thank you - Please keep it that way.

If you haven't noticed it before, please see the Admin quote, below.

Please, no replies to this message, in this topic. If you feel the need to complain about me complimenting your message quality, go to the "General discussion..." topic, link below.

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Minor tweek.


New Members should start HERE to get an understanding of what makes great posts.

Comments on moderation procedures (or wish to respond to admin messages)? - Go to:
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Admin writes:

It really helps moderators figure out if a topic is disintegrating because of general misbehavior versus someone in particular if the originally non-misbehaving members kept it that way. When everyone is prickly and argumentative and off-topic and personal then it's just too difficult to tell. We have neither infinite time to untie the Gordian knot, nor the wisdom of Solomon.

There used to be a comedian who presented his ideas for a better world, and one of them was to arm everyone on the highway with little rubber dart guns. Every time you see a driver doing something stupid, you fire a little dart at his car. When a state trooper sees someone driving down the highway with a bunch of darts all over his car he pulls him over for being an idiot.

Please make it easy to tell you apart from the idiots. Source


    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 7 of 212 (418255)
08-27-2007 6:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ihategod
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


Evolution is observable change(s) in all living systems limited to the observed time frame.

Can we drop the 'living systems' and stick with 'populations'? What I'd like to know then is what do we call the 'unobservable changes in populations that occur outside an observed time frame'?

Mechanisms should not be classified within evolution.

No - mechanisms should be the realm of theories. Events should just be described as they happen and we should develop theories to explain them as best we can.

It should be acknowledged that theoretical science is separate from theological musings, and should not be coupled within a standard of a definition.

Consider it acknowledged. I'm not sure why you needed that - I thought it was obvious!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ihategod, posted 08-26-2007 9:45 PM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 10:10 AM Modulous has responded

  
Doddy
Member (Idle past 3987 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 8 of 212 (418257)
08-27-2007 6:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ihategod
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


Vashgun writes:

Evolution is observable change(s) in all living systems limited to the observed time frame.

Firstly, my body is a living system, but nobody would argue that my getting up to go to the bathroom is evolution (though it is an observable change). Perhaps 'living species' or something would be more accurate?

I also don't know about the last bit. If you're already observing the change, can't you just assume the time frame was observed too?


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

What do you mean "You can't prove a negative"? Have you searched the whole universe for proofs of a negative statement? No? How do you know that they don't exist then?!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ihategod, posted 08-26-2007 9:45 PM Ihategod has not yet responded

    
Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 9 of 212 (418269)
08-27-2007 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Rrhain
08-27-2007 4:48 AM


Re: The what?
Basically, he wants to be able to say that the various laws of physical nature only work back to some point in the past and beyond that, absolutely nothing can be said. Depending on how far he wants to take it, it is nothing but a thinly veiled variant of the, "Were you there?" argument: That because humans were not physically present to directly observe the biological processes of the past, then we cannot say anything about what happened, as if we had no physical evidence of what did.

Close. I want and meant to state that observable change shouldn't be coupled with unobserved pretenses. This should be separate from the actual definition of evolution. I don't know how many tabs have been kept on actual populations in the world and for how long. Not to long probably for either YEC or old earthers. I wouldn't dream of confining the laws of physical nature to the observed as I doubt that evolution is a law of nature. If we adopted a catastrophistic ideology, then it's possible that life might not have varied greatly as was there was zero neccesity. Uniformitarianism commits itself to evolution as a foundational philosophy, and people will argue that it is validated by geology. However, even if this were true, the implications of major change are not noted in the overwhelming majority of the fossil record. Also, if the definition on evolution were loosened, these things would and must be inferred.

Assuming that we do see evolutionary processes happening now, what is to prevent them from having happened in the past?

A perfect pre-flood world.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Rrhain, posted 08-27-2007 4:48 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Nuggin, posted 08-27-2007 11:25 AM Ihategod has responded
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Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 10 of 212 (418271)
08-27-2007 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Tusko
08-27-2007 5:00 AM


You say you are unhappy with mechanisms, but why?

Because, then evolution would be a loaded definition. A definition of a car gives an overview of the machine, not the origins of design nor does it explain any facets of a combustible gasoline engine.

I'll be happy to change evolution to exactly what you really want it to be. Evolution- a change in species via genetic mutations and natural selection over Billions of years.
As long as we can officially change observable change in genetics and physicality to Variations within a kind.

This supplicates both of our religions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Tusko, posted 08-27-2007 5:00 AM Tusko has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 24 by Tusko, posted 08-28-2007 6:33 AM Ihategod has responded

  
Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 11 of 212 (418273)
08-27-2007 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Modulous
08-27-2007 6:03 AM


Can we drop the 'living systems' and stick with 'populations'? What I'd like to know then is what do we call the 'unobservable changes in populations that occur outside an observed time frame'?

Fine by me. We call "unobservable changes in populations that occur outside an observed time frame" -speculations or fantasy.

I haven't personally witnessed any type of "evolution" in or outside a laboratory. I remember something about experiments on a fruit fly. They never got anything else other than a fly.
http://www.hartnell.cc.ca.us/faculty/jhodin/superfly.htm
This guy pretty much makes some wild claims against evolution, maybe he is unaware? His defense of the fruit fly is disturbing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Modulous, posted 08-27-2007 6:03 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Modulous, posted 08-27-2007 11:19 AM Ihategod has responded
 Message 23 by Rrhain, posted 08-28-2007 4:31 AM Ihategod has not yet responded
 Message 25 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-28-2007 8:06 AM Ihategod has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 12 of 212 (418300)
08-27-2007 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Ihategod
08-27-2007 10:10 AM


We call "unobservable changes in populations that occur outside an observed time frame" -speculations or fantasy.

If evolution is change in populations over time - observability of this phenomenon doesn't change the phenomenon so why should we give it a different name?

I understand you argument is that we cannot be sure of events that happened before direct observation - but that should have no bearing on the name we give something - otherwise you'd have to call Creation 'fantasy' since that was also inherently unobservable.

This doesn't really make much sense - why not stick to one word to describe one phenomenon?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 10:10 AM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 12:05 PM Modulous has responded

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 570 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 13 of 212 (418303)
08-27-2007 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Ihategod
08-27-2007 9:51 AM


What we didn't see before...
So, you're theory is that what happened in the past was not directly observed by us and therefore could have been different than it is now.

Okay, then here's my theory: The world was created exactly as it, including these forums along with my previous posts, at exactly 10:33 am PST on what we call July 22nd, 2007.

Everything was created, including our memories, in order to give us the appearence of it being older or that we had been around longer.

Before 10:33am everything was "different".

Good luck disproving me.

A perfect pre-flood world.

This is an incredibly short sentence and you've still managed to get it wrong.

You hypothesize that there was a different world "pre-flood" however, since we know there was no flood, this hypothesis falls flat on it's face.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 9:51 AM Ihategod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Ihategod, posted 08-27-2007 12:12 PM Nuggin has responded

    
Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 14 of 212 (418307)
08-27-2007 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Modulous
08-27-2007 11:19 AM


If evolution is change in populations over time - observability of this phenomenon doesn't change the phenomenon so why should we give it a different name?

It's the inference to uniformitarianism I want out.

I understand you argument is that we cannot be sure of events that happened before direct observation - but that should have no bearing on the name we give something - otherwise you'd have to call Creation 'fantasy' since that was also inherently unobservable.

This doesn't really make much sense - why not stick to one word to describe one phenomenon?

To you, creation is fantasy. To me, common descent is fantasy.
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/fantasy

The fact that origins is unobserved yet, given evidence to support each hypothesis makes it speculative. Evolution claims of supporting evidence that is at best loosely related, ie geology however, doesn't really support the macro model of development.
I would gladly stick to evolution without the common descent inference attached.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Ihategod
Member (Idle past 4107 days)
Posts: 235
Joined: 08-15-2007


Message 15 of 212 (418311)
08-27-2007 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Nuggin
08-27-2007 11:25 AM


Re: What we didn't see before...
Good luck disproving me.

I could use the same argument to further my philosophy, as I did in fact suggest.

So, you're theory is that what happened in the past was not directly observed by us and therefore could have been different than it is now.

Yes, It would be foolish to suggest the same atmospheric and environmental conditions existed the same at any given point in the unwritten historical record. This is the problem with uniformitarainism.

You hypothesize that there was a different world "pre-flood" however, since we know there was no flood, this hypothesis falls flat on it's face.

I don't think the flood can be easily written off like your peremptory comment. And this is off topic. please see the rules section to better understand.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by bdfoster, posted 08-27-2007 1:38 PM Ihategod has responded
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