How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 668 times
Been thanked: 407 times

How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

This is not a question of whether or not evolution is crazy, but how crazy it seems at first glance.

That is, when we discard our experiences and look at claims as if through new eyes, what do we find when we look at evolution? I Believe we can find a great deal of common ground with this question, because when I discard my experience as an animal breeder, when I discard my knowledge, and what I've been taught, I might look at evolution with the same skepticism as someone who has either never been taught anything about it, or someone who has been taught to distrust it.

Personally my mind goes to the keratinised spines on the tongues of cats. Yes, cats have fingernails growing out of their tongues! Gross, right? Well, these particular fingernails have evolved into perfect little brushes for the animal's fur. But I think of that first animal with a horrid growth of keratin on its poor tongue. The poor thing didn't die immediately, and this fits perfectly with what I said about two steps back paying for one forward. This detrimental mutation didn't hurt the animal enough for the hapless thing to die of it, but surely it caused some suffering. And persevering thing that he was, he reproduced despite his disability (probably in a time of plenty that allowed that). But did he have the growths anywhere else? It isn't beyond reason to think of them protruding from the corners of his eyes or caking up more and more on the palms of his hands. Perhaps he had them where his eyelashes were, and it hurt him to even blink. As disturbing as my mental picture is of this scenario, this sad creature isn't even as bad off as this boar, whose tusks grew up and curled until they punctured his brain.

Image

Image

This is a perfect example of a detrimental trait being preserved because it doesn't hurt the animal enough to kill it before it mates. So we don't have to jump right from benefit to benefit. The road to a new beneficial trait might be long, going backwards most of the way, and filled with a lot of stabbed brains and eyelids.

Walking backwards most of the time, uphill both ways, and across caltrops almost the entire trip?

I have to admit, thinking about walking along such a path sounds like, at very least, a very depressing way to get from A to B. I would hope there would be a better way.

User avatar
Jose Fly
Sage
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 122 times
Been thanked: 337 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #231

Post by Jose Fly »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:50 pmWould you extend the same courtesy, praise of honest neutrality, open mindedness etc, to scientists (biologists, biochemists, molecular biologists etc.) that dispute evolution? or do you regard that as an oxymoron? much like the "No true Scotsman" fallacy?
It depends. For example, the people who work at places like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research all have to agree to abide by the organizations' "statements of faith", which require them to reject any and all data that contradicts the organizations' interpretation of the Bible. That's a fundamentally non-scientific and dishonest framework, thus it would be foolish to assume that the people who works there are doing their work objectively or honestly. OTOH, people who work for legitimate science orgs and do legitimate science, I do tend to assume they're working in good faith.
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
Jose Fly
Sage
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 122 times
Been thanked: 337 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #232

Post by Jose Fly »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:33 pmI call BS. Scientists absolutely get into ruts assuming their pet theories are correct. This is a well-known phenomenon.
Do you believe all, or most scientists are corrupt? Incompetent? Biased to the point that their work is unreliable?
And I didn't even say scientists. I meant people who believe in evolution.
Well most "people who believe in evolution" have little to no scientific training or experience, and mostly rely on trusting that the relevant experts know what they're doing. And to be clear, that's fine. No one can be an expert in everything and we all have to trust the experts at various points in our lives.
That's aside from the fact that in a competitive society, correct gets you published. Correct keeps you in the field. There's enough dirty motivation here to cause a replicability crisis.
Nah. I'm frequently involved in the peer review process and that's not how it goes at all. Specific to evolution, there are no papers that are like "New evidence for evolution" or anything like that, so there's no pressure to keep confirming something we've known for well over a century.
I absolutely affirm that evolution happens. I have seen it. I'm still worried because in the whole world, scientists included, it's just, evolution or intelligent design, and nobody seems to believe in any third parties. This is a bad, bad metagame.
Do you have a third alternative in mind?
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 668 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #233

Post by Purple Knight »

Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:04 pm Do you believe all, or most scientists are corrupt? Incompetent? Biased to the point that their work is unreliable?
No. I believe most scientists, in fact the vast, vast majority of people who have the inclination to become scientists, want to seek truth. The problem is that seeking truth is not rewarded and getting the desired result is, so there's a skew in that direction, and that's borne out by the replicability crisis.
Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:04 pmNah. I'm frequently involved in the peer review process and that's not how it goes at all. Specific to evolution, there are no papers that are like "New evidence for evolution" or anything like that, so there's no pressure to keep confirming something we've known for well over a century.
Of course not. Again, you're the one who started talking about scientists. And I've got a bug up my butt about the replicability crisis so I responded in kind even though I just meant people who believe in evolution are motivated to defend it. Not solely scientists.

But there is a problem with replicability. To me it seems like people are welcome to fudge and make up as much data as they please as long as they get the correct result, because the field is dominated by one ideology. The fact that it's the correct ideology makes no difference; it's still bad for science.
Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:04 pm
I absolutely affirm that evolution happens. I have seen it. I'm still worried because in the whole world, scientists included, it's just, evolution or intelligent design, and nobody seems to believe in any third parties. This is a bad, bad metagame.
Do you have a third alternative in mind?
Sure. The first thing that came to my mind is that we're entropy's order siphons, and we develop to be the best order siphons we can be in the current biological metagame, driving apparent evolution.

Why is a river shaped as it is? Because it is the most efficient path for the water to flow. Why are we shaped as we are? Because we are the most efficient destroyers of order, absorbers of resources, and breakers down of other orderly things, though we are orderly ourselves, we create net disorder so that we may maintain that.

User avatar
brunumb
Prodigy
Posts: 3926
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:20 am
Location: Melbourne
Has thanked: 2991 times
Been thanked: 1626 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #234

Post by brunumb »

Sherlock Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 11:26 am The fossil record is in fact evidence of evolution if and only if we assume evolution caused the fossil record.
From your point of view, what caused the fossil record and how was the ordered layering achieved?
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

User avatar
Difflugia
Guru
Posts: 2290
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Michigan
Has thanked: 1832 times
Been thanked: 1358 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #235

Post by Difflugia »

Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:57 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:50 pmWould you extend the same courtesy, praise of honest neutrality, open mindedness etc, to scientists (biologists, biochemists, molecular biologists etc.) that dispute evolution? or do you regard that as an oxymoron? much like the "No true Scotsman" fallacy?
It depends. For example, the people who work at places like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research all have to agree to abide by the organizations' "statements of faith", which require them to reject any and all data that contradicts the organizations' interpretation of the Bible. That's a fundamentally non-scientific and dishonest framework, thus it would be foolish to assume that the people who works there are doing their work objectively or honestly. OTOH, people who work for legitimate science orgs and do legitimate science, I do tend to assume they're working in good faith.
Neither sincerity nor being a scientist confers immunity to being sincerely wrong. Linus Pauling and his vitamin C crusade offers a bit of a cautionary tale there. On the other hand, there are certain things that no reasonably competent scientist would get wrong. The rub there is that most creationist talking points are wrong in one or more pretty fundamental ways. A scientist, especially a biologist, that honestly questioned evolution would do so because of some weird, esoteric detail that few nonscientists would pick up on in the first place.
Last edited by Difflugia on Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

User avatar
DrNoGods
Guru
Posts: 1902
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ
Has thanked: 347 times
Been thanked: 804 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #236

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Jose Fly in post #222]
"Intelligent design" never was an option in science.
I agree and mentioned that it is faith-based only (ie. not science), but it remains the dominant alternative for people who don't believe in evolution and/or science. Purple Knight is asking for more options apart from ID or evolution and proposed an entropy alternative. That faces the same hurdle any other alternative hypothesis would in that it has to be supported sufficiently to displace the current scientific consensus (evolution), or to convince the nonscientific but somehow still wildly popular ID crowd that they are wrong.

I doubt the ID crowd could ever be convinced of any alternative given that the overwhelming evidence for evolution has not fazed them one bit after 150+ years.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 668 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #237

Post by Purple Knight »

Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:57 pmOTOH, people who work for legitimate science orgs and do legitimate science, I do tend to assume they're working in good faith.
A person working in good faith has no problem with being assumed to work in bad faith, because he welcomes scrutiny.

A person actually working in bad faith becomes immediately offended and demands trust, because he abhors scrutiny.

Therefore trust none and scrutinise all.


- Me

User avatar
Sherlock Holmes
Under Suspension
Posts: 1532
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:42 am
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 75 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #238

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

Jose Fly wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:57 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:50 pmWould you extend the same courtesy, praise of honest neutrality, open mindedness etc, to scientists (biologists, biochemists, molecular biologists etc.) that dispute evolution? or do you regard that as an oxymoron? much like the "No true Scotsman" fallacy?
It depends. For example, the people who work at places like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research all have to agree to abide by the organizations' "statements of faith", which require them to reject any and all data that contradicts the organizations' interpretation of the Bible. That's a fundamentally non-scientific and dishonest framework, thus it would be foolish to assume that the people who works there are doing their work objectively or honestly. OTOH, people who work for legitimate science orgs and do legitimate science, I do tend to assume they're working in good faith.
So making claims in the name of science is valid, legitimate except when those making the claims have agreed to some preconditions that might limit what they can say.

Consider then:
Other courts have similarly found that teachers do not have a First Amendment right to trump school district decisions regarding the curriculum (Clark v. Holmes, 7th Cir. 1972, Webster v. New Lenox School Dist. No. 122, 7th Cir. 1990). One court wrote: “the First Amendment has never required school districts to abdicate control over public school curricula to the unfettered discretion of individual teachers.” (Kirkland v. Northside Independent School Dist., 5th Cir. 1989)
So to be a teacher of biology means that one is unable to voice criticisms of anything that contradicts the stated curriculum.

This too then seems - based on what you have said - to also be "a fundamentally non-scientific and dishonest framework".
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

User avatar
Sherlock Holmes
Under Suspension
Posts: 1532
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:42 am
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 75 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #239

Post by Sherlock Holmes »

DrNoGods wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:43 pm [Replying to Jose Fly in post #222]
"Intelligent design" never was an option in science.
I agree and mentioned that it is faith-based only (ie. not science), but it remains the dominant alternative for people who don't believe in evolution and/or science. Purple Knight is asking for more options apart from ID or evolution and proposed an entropy alternative. That faces the same hurdle any other alternative hypothesis would in that it has to be supported sufficiently to displace the current scientific consensus (evolution), or to convince the nonscientific but somehow still wildly popular ID crowd that they are wrong.
So what's wrong with asking the question "Was X designed"?

Answer: Nothing, absolutely nothing, asking questions underpins science, the freedom to ask any question and question any dogma, underpins scientific inquiry.

Discouraging such question, punishing those who ask them, passing laws and regulations designed to stifle open discussion is not the hallmark or attitude of science, ask Galileo.
DrNoGods wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:43 pm I doubt the ID crowd could ever be convinced of any alternative given that the overwhelming evidence for evolution has not fazed them one bit after 150+ years.
What's wrong with not paying attention to confirmatory observations and instead focusing instead on the problem observations?

It is almost like an instinct among evolutionists, the leap to "the overwhelming evidence for evolution" and blissful disregard for the problems.

Another important point here is that questioning evolution does no societal material harm to anyone anywhere, absolutely no harm yet is treated by some as if it were Fascism or slavery or child labor.
When one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

User avatar
Jose Fly
Sage
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 122 times
Been thanked: 337 times

Re: How Crazy does Evolution Seem?

Post #240

Post by Jose Fly »

Difflugia wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:08 pmNeither sincerity nor being a scientist confers immunity to being sincerely wrong.
Agreed. In my work we've probably learned as much from our errors as anything else.
Linus Pauling and his vitamin C crusade offers a bit of a cautionary tale there. On the other hand, there are certain things that no reasonably competent scientist would get wrong. The rub there is that most creationist talking points are wrong in one or more pretty fundamental ways. A scientist, especially a biologist, that honestly questioned evolution would do so because of some weird, esoteric detail that few nonscientists would pick up on in the first place.
Yup. Well said. :approve:
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

Post Reply