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John Human
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:24 pm  Debate with a scientist Reply with quote


Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 11: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:58 pm
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[Replying to post 7 by John Human]

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Beyond that, it seems to me that "natural selection" equates with the deification of random chance, as a self-contradictory explanation of ever-higher complexity in the ordering of the biosphere. To my nose, that one just doesn't pass the smell test. My preferred alternative is the original Platonic hypothesis of "intelligent design," without insisting on Christian suppositions about the nature of the "author of our existence".


Agreed

'Natural selection' goes without saying; that superior designs will tend to out-perform, out-last, and so be replicated in higher numbers than inferior designs.. that's why there are more Ford Mustangs on the road today than Ford Pintos

This says nothing about how superior designs arise. The origin of new design, creation without creativity, has always been the problem materialism has not been able to solve

This was the original full title of Erasmus' grandson's book:

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 12: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:28 am
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Re: Erasmus Darwin : no mechanism for evolution

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DrNoGods wrote:

[Replying to post 9 by John Human]

You are grossly simplifying the situation with acceptance of Darwinian (Charles) evolution. Similar concepts had been floating around before and during Darwin's (Charles) time, but the primary reason his version became accepted is that he backed up his mechanistic idea (ie. natural selection) with extensive observations. Then he organized these observations into peer-reviewed science papers and eventually into his famous book On the Origin of Species, which laid out the big picture and explained how natural selection worked. Subsequent observations and other work eventually led to his hypotheses reaching the status of theory.

When that book was published in late 1859, I believe that no human fossils had ever been found (or rather, fossils that were known to be Homo at the time). There was virtually nothing known about DNA or genes, how the genetic code worked, etc. So it is not at all surprising that evolution (like any other theory) has been refined over the years as new information becomes available. But as of yet, it remains the best and most consistent theory [snip]
If Erasmus was only partially right that's fine. His general idea was ultimately supported by observations, and a mechanism proposed, and it took another step from hypothesis to theory where it stands today based on a large body of evidence and many refinements over the decades.


This has turned into an extended digression, but I suppose the details are important for the earlier point about lack of a mechanism. Charles Darwin didn't publish any peer-reviewed papers. Before "The Origin of Species" was published, the idea of evolution was not widely accepted. The book's publication precipitated a storm of controversy, which led to evolution becoming widely accepted in England, WITHOUT the acceptance of Darwin's proposed "natural selection" mechanism, which languished for many decades. "Natural selection" was eventually revived (60 years or so after being published) by being paired with Mendel's work on mutation.

Getting back to the original point about a lack of a mechanism, such a lack does not by itself justify the arbitrary dismissal of a hypothesis. In the case of Rikuoamero's earlier example -- Creation Science -- the sole scrap of supporting evidence is the deeply flawed supposition (as I demonstrated in Post #7) that the Bible, interpreted literally, is an infallible source of evidence. A much better example for this general point about the lack of a mechanism is Erasmus Darwin's evolution hypothesis, later elaborated on by Lamarck.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:46 pm
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DrNoGods wrote:

Then he organized these observations into peer-reviewed science papers


No he didn't. Charles Darwin never published a peer-reviewed science paper about evolution or natural selection.

When Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species was published in 1859, evolution was not generally accepted. As a result of the controversy stirred up by Darwin's book (with Thomas Huxley battling the nay-sayers as "Darwin's bulldog"), evolution became generally accepted in England, but Darwin's proposed mechanism, "natural selection," was not generally accepted for another 60 years or so -- when "natural selection" was paired with Mendel's work on the inheritance of mutations.

The point (relating to my original post): The question of whether a general idea is correct is a different issue from whether a proposed mechanism is correct.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:39 pm
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John Human wrote:

The point (relating to my original post): The question of whether a general idea is correct is a different issue from whether a proposed mechanism is correct.


Other than being a point of historical trivia and how much credit you want to give to, or strip from, Charles Darwin himself, I don't see any relevant point concerning science, religion, and evolution.

Evolution has long since been proven to be a fact of reality. So it really doesn't matter how correct, or incorrect, Dawin's original ideas might have been. Evolution is here to stay no matter what. There's no turning back now.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:30 am
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Divine Insight wrote:

John Human wrote:

The point (relating to my original post): The question of whether a general idea is correct is a different issue from whether a proposed mechanism is correct.


Other than being a point of historical trivia and how much credit you want to give to, or strip from, Charles Darwin himself, I don't see any relevant point concerning science, religion, and evolution.

Evolution has long since been proven to be a fact of reality. So it really doesn't matter how correct, or incorrect, Dawin's original ideas might have been. Evolution is here to stay no matter what. There's no turning back now.


If defined as merely change over time, the Bible describes life beginning in the ocean and culminating later with mankind, - & that seems to have been pretty well established scientifically-

But the post was about the mechanism of change, whether there could be a reductionist/ materialist explanation, that's the trickier scientific question, and certainly has greater implications

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 16: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:01 am
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[Replying to post 15 by Guy Threepwood]

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If defined as merely change over time, the Bible describes life beginning in the ocean and culminating later with mankind, - & that seems to have been pretty well established scientifically-


It also describes this entire process happening in a mere 6 days time, which completely destroys any relationship to established science. There is no way to reconcile the biblical creation tale with actual science and observation, even if you ignore biblical chronology which puts "creation' at some 6,000 years ago.

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But the post was about the mechanism of change, whether there could be a reductionist/ materialist explanation, that's the trickier scientific question, and certainly has greater implications


Fortunately there is already a proven explanation for this mechanism ... the modern theory of evolution. That is, evolution by natural selection as originally described by C. Darwin, amended since 1859 with extensive observational data and the many genetics advances since Oswald Avery (along with Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty) first proved that DNA was the "transforming principle" back in 1944.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 17: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:44 am
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[Replying to post 16 by DrNoGods]

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It also describes this entire process happening in a mere 6 days time, which completely destroys any relationship to established science. There is no way to reconcile the biblical creation tale with actual science and observation, even if you ignore biblical chronology which puts "creation' at some 6,000 years ago.


I'm not sure billions of years could be expressed in ancient Hebrew, or that it would be at all helpful to the point communicated anyway- which is that life began simply in the ocean, progressed in distinct stages of development, with man being the culmination of creation, given dominion over what came before.


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Fortunately there is already a proven explanation for this mechanism ... the modern theory of evolution. That is, evolution by natural selection as originally described by C. Darwin, amended since 1859 with extensive observational data and the many genetics advances since Oswald Avery (along with Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty) first proved that DNA was the "transforming principle" back in 1944.


proven?

you'd have to argue that with the attendees of the recent Royal Society meeting, who recognized that ToE lacks any adequate theory of the generative- it's taken a long time for mainstream secular academics to get to this point, but it is because the field of biology has been utterly transformed since Darwin's day- the fundamental problem today is an information one, which was simply beyond the scope of science in the Victorian age,

But it is essentially the same fatal flaw that skeptics have pointed out all along; natural selection can originate exactly nothing, it can only select from what has already been created- what is the mechanism behind this creation? ToE offers only blind luck to answer this critical question, and it is becoming increasingly clear even to many staunch materialists, that this is wholly inadequate.

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(along with Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty) first proved that DNA was the "transforming principle" back in 1944.


right, we found that life depended on vast amounts of digital information processed by a sophisticated information processing system. That new forms of life require new information, new code- we only have one proven mechanism for origination of new information systems

We have no observable instances of them being created spontaneously, far less being ' the proven mechanism' in this case





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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 18: Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:50 am
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Guy Threepwood wrote:

... what is the mechanism behind this creation? ToE offers only blind luck to answer this critical question, and it is becoming increasingly clear even to many staunch materialists, that this is wholly inadequate.

What is wholly inadequate is your understanding of the ToE if you think it has anything to do with how life started. Does gravitational theory explain the origins of life or is it also only offering 'blind luck' to this 'critical question'? How about theories around electricity, general relativity, etc.?

A clear signal an anti evolution rant is occurring is someone trying to throw it into question by talking about things related to how life started.

Get back to us when you understand what the ToE actually encompasses and then maybe you can start trying to poke holes in it. At this point we are watching another pointless battle with a strawman.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 19: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:02 pm
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benchwarmer wrote:

Guy Threepwood wrote:

... what is the mechanism behind this creation? ToE offers only blind luck to answer this critical question, and it is becoming increasingly clear even to many staunch materialists, that this is wholly inadequate.

What is wholly inadequate is your understanding of the ToE if you think it has anything to do with how life started. Does gravitational theory explain the origins of life or is it also only offering 'blind luck' to this 'critical question'? How about theories around electricity, general relativity, etc.?

A clear signal an anti evolution rant is occurring is someone trying to throw it into question by talking about things related to how life started.

Get back to us when you understand what the ToE actually encompasses and then maybe you can start trying to poke holes in it. At this point we are watching another pointless battle with a strawman.


How life started is an even tougher problem for reductionist materialism, which is what the topic was about, but you digress from what we were talking about

For ToE, and the sake of discussion, yes we are generously granting the miracle of a spontaneously created, fully functional, self replicating, bacteria-like, single celled organism.

Having said, that the reason that it was not covered in ToE, was because nobody had any idea just how difficult that step would prove to be, in Victorian times the cell was a blob of simple protoplasm- chemicals which presumably just multiplied by some simple reductionist-friendly mechanism. Had people been aware of the sophisticated nanomachines and digital info systems involved, not mentioning them as key to the question of the origin of species, would have been a glaring omission

But all that aside, to get from this miracle single cell to a human being- you need more new information, beyond what is represented in the design of the single cell, lots & lots of it.

How was this new information originated?

ToE: pure blind luck

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 20: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:23 pm
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[Replying to post 17 by Guy Threepwood]

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I'm not sure billions of years could be expressed in ancient Hebrew, or that it would be at all helpful to the point communicated anyway- which is that life began simply in the ocean, progressed in distinct stages of development, with man being the culmination of creation, given dominion over what came before.


My point was that even if the biblical creation tale had some coincidentally correct general relationship to life's development sequence, it is meaningless when it gets the time scales wrong by six orders of magnitude, along with all the many other errors (like plants being created before the sun existed, etc.). And if man is the culmination of creation with "dominion over what came before", who or what had dominion over the first 99.8% of the time that multicelluar animal life existed before the genus Homo came along?

Quote:
you'd have to argue that with the attendees of the recent Royal Society meeting


Maybe they can ask the National Academy of Sciences:

http://www.nas.edu/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

Or the National Center for Science Education:

https://ncse.com/project-steve

or the general consensus of scientists worldwide:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution

Quote:
But it is essentially the same fatal flaw that skeptics have pointed out all along; natural selection can originate exactly nothing.


What do you consider "originating"? I assume it is not the actual origin of life on this planet as it is well known that this issue both is not understood yet as far as the mechanism, and that it has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. But if you are referring to new species, or new functional features, evolution explains these perfectly. How did lungs develop in amphibians? How did legs develop from fins? How do ring species come about? How did a highly complex 1250 cm^3 brain in Homo sapien develop from a simpler and less capable 450 cm^3 brain in Homo habilis?

These were million+ year long processes driven by natural selection, and are examples of how slow changes over long periods of time result in substantial changes which creationists like to separate into false divisions of "micro" and "macro" evolution (generally accepting the former, but not the latter). How do you explain that there are many "simple" creatures with far larger genomes than humans, if humans are supposedly the "culmination" of creation? The biblical creation tall tale doesn't explain anything that we see in nature, and is just another example of a creation myth common to most religions:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

Why should the particular one outlined in the christian bible be chosen over any other one? They are all equally false as shown by modern science. ToE on the other hand, is nicely summarized in the NAS and NCSE statements above, and continues to be solidly supported by scientists worldwide as well as the observational evidence (despite certain mechanistic details still being researched actively). The "big picture" correctness of ToE is still very much intact.

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