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Don McIntosh
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm  Why Evolutionary Theory Is Fundamentally Flawed Reply with quote

The explanatory logic of evolution, at least as it's commonly stated, fails because it assumes (wrongly) that what is true of the parts of a complex system may be validly inferred to hold for the whole as well. Thus my argument:

1. Evolution posits that the function of any complex biological system can be adequately explained as the accumulation of countless minor functional adaptations of its individual components.
2. To say that a characteristic of the whole system can be adequately explained in terms of a characteristic of its individual components is to say that a whole is equal to the sum of its parts.
3. To say that a whole is equal to the sum of its parts is to commit the fallacy of composition.
4. Evolution is a fallacy.

Note that I am not suggesting that all inferences from parts to whole fail to hold, but that the line of reasoning is fallacious on its face because in fact many such inferences do fail to hold. Given that specifiably complex biological systems are structurally heterogenous, there is no prima facie reason to think that what is true of the parts will be true of the whole. Evolution theorists therefore bear the burden of proof, namely, to explain why anyone should expect such an inference to hold in the case of specifiably complex systems.

Read the entire paper here:
https://www.academia.edu/38735629/Black_Box_Logic_Why_Evolutionary_Theory_Is_Fun...

Questions for debate: Is evolutionary theory a fallacy? If so, does that make it false?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 71: Wed May 15, 2019 5:13 am
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Bust Nak wrote:

That's where evolution shines as an explanation, it tells us why these mutations don't need to synchronise with each other and still get the result we got.

But they do need to synchrinise. The whole organism evolved because all its parts evolve simultaneously. In the link on whales they try to get around this problem by pure speculation:

It is mind-boggling to think that all the different organs – limbs, ears, nose – had to change all at the same time, and one wonders how the genome changes needed to enable the morphological changes accumulated.

With such a complete fossil record, a rich diversity of modern whales and their embryos, and the powerful new molecular techniques, it may be possible to approach that question. Could it be that some changes in the genome affected several disparate organ systems simultaneously, in fact creating an evolutionary shortcut that created novel morphologies at a high rate?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 72: Wed May 15, 2019 6:06 am
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mgb wrote:

But they do need to synchrinise. The whole organism evolved because all its parts evolve simultaneously.

Again, the whole point of evolution is that simultaneous evolved features happen spontainosuly without having to synchronise. That's what makes it a great explanation. Pointing out that things happens simultaneously doesn't address my point.

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It is mind-boggling to think that all the different organs – limbs, ears, nose – had to change all at the same time, and one wonders how the genome changes needed to enable the morphological changes accumulated.

With such a complete fossil record, a rich diversity of modern whales and their embryos, and the powerful new molecular techniques, it may be possible to approach that question. Could it be that some changes in the genome affected several disparate organ systems simultaneously, in fact creating an evolutionary shortcut that created novel morphologies at a high rate?

Right, and science will answer that question, if not with said new molecular techniques, then some other advances. This is still a new field in science.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 73: Wed May 15, 2019 9:52 am
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Bust Nak wrote:
Again, the whole point of evolution is that simultaneous evolved features happen spontainosuly without having to synchronise. That's what makes it a great explanation. Pointing out that things happens simultaneously doesn't address my point.


But the problem then becomes how does everything happen spontaneously if it is an essentially random/unguided process? How do things always get what they need to survive? Random/unguided processes are chaotic. The basic problem is like this:-

Let X = beneficial changes.
Let Y = all possible changes at any time.

X/Y is minute because Y is, and must be, vast. So how does randomness find X in Y?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 74: Wed May 15, 2019 10:33 am
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[Replying to post 73 by mgb]

Quote:
So how does randomness find X in Y?


The overall process is NOT pure randomness ... that is a fundamental point that you seem to be missing. Natural selection will find X if it provides some benefit in terms of survival and reproduction rate, and not allow X to persist if it doesn't. So although X itself may be random, the process by which X stays around while all of the other changes do not is not at all random.

Your quoted statement above suggests that the process by which X is "found" is random, whereas it is only the appearance of X itself that may be random. Natural selection is the process by which X is found in Y, and that is demonstrably not random.

Also, there is no reason to believe that all the "parts" of a modern animal (heart, brain, lungs, etc.) evolved simultaneously. Although all of these parts may be needed to realize a functional tetrapod, for example, there is no reason to believe that they all evolved simultaneously, together, in one animal. Your description is that by pure random processes a complex, modern organism evolved with all of its complex organs present in one ancestor, and that this animal evolved as a unit with each of these parts evolving simultaneously in that one animal. That is not how evolution describes things, and not how it suggests complex animals evolved.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 75: Wed May 15, 2019 11:12 am
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DrNoGods wrote:

[Replying to post 73 by mgb]

Quote:
So how does randomness find X in Y?


The overall process is NOT pure randomness ... that is a fundamental point that you seem to be missing. Natural selection will find X if it provides some benefit in terms of survival and reproduction rate, and not allow X to persist if it doesn't. So although X itself may be random, the process by which X stays around while all of the other changes do not is not at all random.


Yes but the problem is that natural selection does not 'find' X. It selects X but it can only select X if it is first found by chance. Otherwise natural selection has nothing to work with. Consider the following-

Imagine a block of bone, say, 6 inches/cm wide, high and deep. How many bone shapes can be carved out of this block? It seems like every bone shape can be carved because evolution seems to able to come up with every shape. The number of shapes is immense; every conceivable bone shape. That is Y, that total number of possibilities.

Now suppose evolution is fashioning an vertebrae. How many ways can the vertebrae be altered? If the above is anything to go by, a great many. Even if the vertebrae is close to perfection it can still change in a vast number of ways but most of them are useless. Only X of them are useful in terms of survival advantage. And the closer to perfection the bone is the smaller X/Y becomes. But evolution refines things to a very high degree and as 'perfection' is reached useful changes become harder and harder to find because they become more exacting. Yet, evolution always seems to find them. Granted, they are selected when they are 'found' but that have to be found first.

Quote:
The overall process is NOT pure randomness ... that is a fundamental point that you seem to be missing


True, but natural selection must 'wait' until the required changes are found. The creation of these changes is random...so it is still dependent on randomness coming up with the right changes.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 76: Wed May 15, 2019 12:58 pm
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mgb wrote:

Yes but the problem is that natural selection does not 'find' X. It selects X but it can only select X if it is first found by chance. Otherwise natural selection has nothing to work with.

Right, but why would one believe generating X for nature to select would be beyond random chaos? There is no synchronisation require to generate X.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 77: Wed May 15, 2019 2:14 pm
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[Replying to post 75 by mgb]

Quote:
...so it is still dependent on randomness coming up with the right changes.


And why is this a problem? If you go back to fish evolving into amphibians, that could start with just one species of fish living in coastal tide pools encountering a persistent situation where it was beneficial to be able to crawl from one pool to another one (eg. pools drying out, new predator, etc.). If just a tiny subset of fish in the population had an existing mutation that caused their fins to be stiffer (representing no benefit in water, and possibly even a disadvantage) they may have an advantage over the rest of the population in being able to crawl between tide pools. Eventually the stiffer fin gene(s) would spread through the population (assuming the need to move between tide pools on land persisted), and natural selection would have selected this particular change that may have come about purely by chance.

So far no new species or drastic change in the population ... just they now mostly all have stiffer fins than the original population did. Now let the environmental conditions worsen so that not just getting from pool A to pool B is beneficial, but it is necessary to do that much faster for some reason (eg. the pools become farther apart). Some small fraction of the population may have another mutation that helps them move faster on land, such as longer fins that are even more stiff, or some ability to articulate the fin differently than in a "normal" fish. Again, this would be no advantage for the original population, or even the second group, but it is for the third group. Evolution works by this kind of incremental process so that after many thousands or even millions of generations amphibians appeared, where at each step the active mutation, insertion, deletion, etc. was random.

This randomness does not preclude a complex organism, or speciation, from appearing, so I don't see how the bone carving analogy is relevant. The chance of a beneficial mutation may be very small within each generation, but as long as this is not zero then change happens, and if it is beneficial change natural selection will select for it. I don't see how the fact that X is small relative to Y, or that X is random, causes any problems.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 78: Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm
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DrNoGods wrote:
I don't see how the fact that X is small relative to Y, or that X is random, causes any problems.


It has everything to do with it. Say 1 in 1 billion changes are good for survival. Then, on average, it would take 500 million changes to get a beneficial one. There has only been 550 million years since the Cambrian Explosion. That's about 55 million generations. That does not seem like enough to get all modern complex life forms because they all date from that time.

BustNak wrote:
Right, but why would one believe generating X for nature to select would be beyond random chaos? There is no synchronisation require to generate X.


The question is, how do different body parts all evolve together if the must all evolve by chance events? If part A and part B evolve together and get all the required mutations to integrate with each other the chances are multiplied together.
If there 1 chance in 1000 for A getting a good mutation and 1 chance in 1000 for B then there is only 1 chance in 1,000,000 for them getting what they need simultaneously.

If you are talking about A, B, C, and D the chances are 1 in 1000^4 = 1 in 1,000,000,000,000

That is the problem. Everything is happening at the same time and the chances of this simultaneity are enormously small.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 79: Wed May 15, 2019 5:44 pm
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DrNoGods wrote:


But that isn't correct. Evolution (on naturalism) is not dependent on the exact mechanism for how life appeared in the first place. It doesn't matter whether it arose from a creation event by a god, or from nonliving material, etc. It only depends on it happening by some mechanism, independent of what that mechanism is. That is my point.


That is your point, and that is the problem; on one hand, you agree (I'm assuming), that naturalism is incompatible with creationism.

Well, if naturalism is true (no creationism) then abiogenesis (or whatever non-supernatural/intelligent creating agent) must be true.

But abiogenesis could be false...which by default, means that naturalism and the evolution that comes with it also could be false.

There is just no way out of it, bruh.

DrNoGods wrote:

Actually, my girlfriend came up with that name as the James Bond flick Dr. No was on the tube when I signed up for this website, and since I am an atheist she thought that would be an appropriate name. It occupied about 10 seconds of effort.


Good stuff. Very Happy

DrNoGods wrote:

But atheism is a lack of belief in gods ... it does claim that they absolutely do not exist. Big difference.


Wellll, the belief has been modified over the past 50 years. Ask Madalyn Murray O'hair her definition of "atheism".

DrNoGods wrote:

If some god came down from the clouds and turned this glass of orange juice I have in front of me into a good Chardonnay, I'd believe in that god as I would have seen it, or direct evidence of it.


Sure, an intelligent being turning orange juice into Chardonnay, miracle. But dead matter coming to life and beginning to talk; good ole natural law.

Yet, you don't believe one until you see it, but you have no problem accepting the possibility of the other one.

SMH. "Anything but the G word".

DrNoGods wrote:

But so far none of the thousands of god concepts humans have came up with can satisfy those basic requirements.


Cool. Because so far, none of the thousands (or however many) scientific concepts have ever come up with theories as to how dead matter can suddenly/gradually becoming sentient...and also how a reptile can suddenly/gradually evolve into a bird.

So hey; I am without convincing evidence on my end, too.

DrNoGods wrote:


I believe some sort of abiogenesis or panspermia event is true, and we just haven't found the mechanism yet (using the humble, agnostic approach that leaves this on the table).


Well, sure. That is what you believe. I believe, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth".

Very Happy

DrNoGods wrote:


Well, it would certainly defeat the atheism part.


Well, after atheism is defeated, what is the only game left in town? Would that be...theism?

DrNoGods wrote:

But so far there is no evidence that any creating god(s) exist.


*No evidence that is convincing to you

DrNoGods wrote:

And if god doesn't exist, and abiogenesis is true (being humble and agnostic again), then we have the answer.


True, but that is a big "if".

DrNoGods wrote:

Science says to keep looking for the mechanism for nonliving molecules organizing in such a way as to create the simplest, single-celled organism meeting the requirements for life. Religion says to forget that ... just pin it on some unseen god being that has yet to reveal itself in any way and be satisfied with that explanation. One has some hope of being demonstrated, the other does not if past history is any guide.


You've just basically made a "God of the gaps" accusation, only after using "Nature of the gaps" rationale.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 80: Wed May 15, 2019 6:11 pm
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mgb wrote:

The question is, how do different body parts all evolve together if the must all evolve by chance events? If part A and part B evolve together and get all the required mutations to integrate with each other the chances are multiplied together.
If there 1 chance in 1000 for A getting a good mutation and 1 chance in 1000 for B then there is only 1 chance in 1,000,000 for them getting what they need simultaneously.

If you are talking about A, B, C, and D the chances are 1 in 1000^4 = 1 in 1,000,000,000,000

That is the problem. Everything is happening at the same time and the chances of this simultaneity are enormously small.

Yes. This is precisely what Robert Koons is getting at when he says,

"These pathways must be possible, not only in the sense of involving no violation of physical or chemical laws, but also in the sense that every step in the path can be assigned an estimated probability that is sufficiently high for the joint probability of the entire pathway to be consistent with a reasonable belief that such a thing might actually have happened."

With each component required to have evolved by natural selection for the specifiably complex system to function, the joint probability of the whole system evolving by natural selection diminishes exponentially.

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