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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 111: Tue May 21, 2019 10:46 am
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[Replying to post 110 by mgb]

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I'm not arguing that there is an ideal. What I'm saying is that evolution functions as if there was an ideal.


I still don't get this concept of an "ideal." Bodily structures and subsystems evolve based on functional requirements. Eyes need to be laterally displaced to achieve binocular vision and depth perception. The brain needs an unbroken, single volume to house itself. Nose and mouth need air flow passages for clearance to the lungs, and similarly for all the other internal interconnections, muscles, signal pathways, etc. The skull evolved to encase all of this stuff and position things as they were needed for functionality, and we ended up with the skull shape we have today. Genes and signalling proteins ensure that this same basic shape appears in offspring.

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Adherents of ToE would say that this ideal is an emergent property of chance events and natural selection.


Adherents of ToE would discard this concept of an "ideal" and say that the skull evolved via DNA changes and natural selection because it is functional and solves the problem of locating the various components (brain, eyes, mouth, etc.) properly (in a spatial sense), and protects them via its overall shape, thickness, material, etc. It happened to end up in a specific, present-day shape for each animal, but this is because these shapes are efficient, functionally, for that animal including things like sexual selection which may impact the shape in addition to the primary functional requirements the skull solves.

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Because they are so exacting and so detailed only the most select mutations will achieve them. The nth refinements of the skull are detailed 'micro sculpting' on little a very small scale. So the chances of random events finding these details are diminished the more detailed they are.


It doesn't work that way. Again, you're describing this as if there is some ideal, final shape that is a target, and the closer evolution gets to this the more precise the mutations have to be to do the "micro sculpting." The last mutation creating the most recent change (whatever that may be) is no more or less likely than the first mutation creating some much earlier, possibly more "coarse" change in the skull evolution. The whole idea that mutations creating smaller changes later in time are harder to come by than any earlier mutations is simply wrong. There is no fine tuning towards some final goal for a skull shape. Once the overall shape is in place and functional, there may be some small change that improves functionality and natural selection would select for that if it appeared (by chance). But the probability of this happening for some small, later "fine tuning" change is exactly the same as some much earlier change related to a possibly more coarse feature.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 112: Wed May 22, 2019 4:37 am
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Re: "failed-theory Darwinians"

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mgb wrote:

I know that. But selection has no effect unless 'mutations' come up with the goodies in the first place. No mutations no selection. The point with regard to the whales is all the different body parts got what they needed in a way the exceeds what chance mutations would provide. That they all got what they needed almost simultaneously is what exceedes chance. That is what the roll of the dice is illustrating.

It's not clear why you still think that though. Your original reasoning seemed to have been: there wasn't enough time, but the time part is resolved by chance + selection. So what other reason do you have left to think the mutations required exceedes chance?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 113: Wed May 22, 2019 4:44 am
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John Human wrote:

The problem is with the definition of species, including inability to mate and produce fertile offspring with the parent species. The essential question is what is involved with speciation events. Failed-theory Darwinianism presupposes that (for example) members of a new "homo" species with locking knee joints (in all their complexity) can reproduce with members of whatever parent species (nobody knows) that presumably (as required by Darwinian dogma) had partially formed locking knee joints (incrementally approaching the fully formed feature, which can't function properly unless all the component parts are in working order), which would appear to be an evolutionary absurdity, as well as unsupported by the fossil record.

Right, which is why we proposed another solution: that members of a new "homo" species with locking knee joints can reproduce with members of whatever parent species that had fully formed partially locking knee joints that function properly with all the component in working order, which is well supported by the fossil record.

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Or perhaps you could go with the mutation pipe-dream, where a random mutation magically made a fully-formed locking knee joint appear without a speciation event, and this "caught on" over the generations by means of natural selection.

That's the same thing as what I said above, I am not seeing the distinction that require I to pick one or the other.

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The problem is, there is simply no evidence to support such a fairy tale, and no evidence to support the Darwinian hallucination of a fully-formed locking knee joint magically appearing through a random chance mutation.

Why do you think a mutation to get from a a fully-formed locking knee joint from a prior iteration of a knee joint would require any magic?

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Failed-theory Darwinianism was all but dead in the early 20th century, until the discovery of genetic mutation allowed for its zombification, and the failed theory rose from the grave to eat the minds of later generations of graduate students, who must accept the pseudo-religious Darwinian dogma if the want to avoid being ostracized.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Unscientific individuals should be ostracized.

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Some readers of this post might not know what a "tenure battle" is: infighting within a university department -- perhaps for a decade or more -- to make sure that tenure is only extended to professors who hold certain views. The pressure to conform in graduate schools is amplified by the need for aspiring professors to show "correct thinking" as they consider their potential career paths.

Right, becasse incorrect thinking is somehow better?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 114: Wed May 22, 2019 9:15 am
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Bust Nak wrote:

mgb wrote:

I know that. But selection has no effect unless 'mutations' come up with the goodies in the first place. No mutations no selection. The point with regard to the whales is all the different body parts got what they needed in a way the exceeds what chance mutations would provide. That they all got what they needed almost simultaneously is what exceedes chance. That is what the roll of the dice is illustrating.

It's not clear why you still think that though. Your original reasoning seemed to have been: there wasn't enough time, but the time part is resolved by chance + selection. So what other reason do you have left to think the mutations required exceedes chance?

All the body parts get what they needed at more or less the same time. It is the difference between getting a 6 on a dice and getting 10 6s on 10 dice simultaneously. What are the chances of all body parts getting the right mutations at the same time? (I'm speaking about the article on whales here)


Last edited by mgb on Wed May 22, 2019 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 115: Wed May 22, 2019 9:23 am
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DrNoGods wrote:
The whole idea that mutations creating smaller changes later in time are harder to come by than any earlier mutations is simply wrong. There is no fine tuning towards some final goal for a skull shape. Once the overall shape is in place and functional, there may be some small change that improves functionality and natural selection would select for that if it appeared (by chance). But the probability of this happening for some small, later "fine tuning" change is exactly the same as some much earlier change related to a possibly more coarse feature.


I don't think so. There are many many 'coarse' skulls that would do fine. There are less skulls that are ideal. The skull is a very precisely made thing. It is less likely than the many coarse skulls that would do just as well.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 116: Wed May 22, 2019 9:28 am
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[Replying to post 114 by mgb]

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It is the difference between getting a 6 on a dice and getting 10 6s on 10 dice simultaneously. What are the chances of all body parts getting the right mutations at the same time?


The probability of getting a 6 on one roll of a dice is 1/6. The probability of rolling 10 dice and getting 10 6's is (1/6)^10 = 1.65e-8. But with 1 million groups of 10 people (ie. a large population) all rolling their dice at the same time, the probability that one group rolls 10 6's is 0.0165 or 1 in 61. Far more likely to happen.

This is the key point you are missing. These mutations can happen to any individual within the population and spread throughout it (via reproduction cycles) if beneficial. So all of the members of the population are available for mutations ... not just one individual who must accumulate all the mutations themselves.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 117: Wed May 22, 2019 9:35 am
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[Replying to post 115 by mgb]

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There are less skulls that are ideal.


Again ... what do you mean by "ideal"? The phrase "form follows function" is often applicable to features created by slow evolution over time. The particular shape of a skull at any point in time is what serves the purpose at that time, but there is no drive towards some intentional "ideal" shape.

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It is less likely than the many coarse skulls that would do just as well.


But that wasn't the point. The point was that mutations early on in skull development when it may have been at a coarse stage are no more or less probable than the last few mutations that did the "fine sculpting"as you call it. It really isn't fine sculpting though, as that implies a design goal and evolution has no design goal.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 118: Wed May 22, 2019 10:23 am
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DrNoGods wrote:

[Replying to post 114 by mgb]

Quote:
It is the difference between getting a 6 on a dice and getting 10 6s on 10 dice simultaneously. What are the chances of all body parts getting the right mutations at the same time?


The probability of getting a 6 on one roll of a dice is 1/6. The probability of rolling 10 dice and getting 10 6's is (1/6)^10 = 1.65e-8. But with 1 million groups of 10 people (ie. a large population) all rolling their dice at the same time, the probability that one group rolls 10 6's is 0.0165 or 1 in 61. Far more likely to happen.

This is the key point you are missing. These mutations can happen to any individual within the population and spread throughout it (via reproduction cycles) if beneficial. So all of the members of the population are available for mutations ... not just one individual who must accumulate all the mutations themselves.


But even if there are millions of individuals we must still multiply chances.
My argument is that even though there are millions of individuals that don't amount to a hill o'beans when compared to the immense complexities we are talking about.

Another problem with evolution by chance changes is that you would have to have innumerable mass extinctions just to evolve one species. Suppose some guy gets some mutations that make him run faster. How long would it take for his kind to proliferate over, say, the continent of Africa? How many generations? If there's another guy 1000 miles away he is not going to go extinct just because the other guy can run faster! Even if there are individuals getting different advantages throughout the population it would still take too many generations for the rest to go extinct and for them to dominate because, according to the theory, changes are small and painfully slow. If evolution is incremental on this small scale it would take forever for the ones with slight advantages to dominate. Many generations. But how long have mammals existed? Only millions of years.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 119: Wed May 22, 2019 11:20 am
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[Replying to post 118 by mgb]

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My argument is that even though there are millions of individuals that don't amount to a hill o'beans when compared to the immense complexities we are talking about.


That is a very vague statement. You have 2-3 billion years of trillions upon trillions of single-celled organisms evolving over the globe, then 1 billion or so years of multicellular organisms. The single-celled prokaryotes are immensely complex themselves, and once brains, nervous systems, muscle systems, and things like that developed they spread across millions of species. "Immense complexities" has no quantitative meaning.

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Another problem with evolution by chance changes is that you would have to have innumerable mass extinctions just to evolve one species.


Why? That makes no sense. Nothing in ToE says that one group has to go extinct before another one can dominate. If that were true we wouldn't have the diversity of life we have today, with millions of species all living together on the same planet. And you have to consider chance changes, plus selection, as we keep pointing out.

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If there's another guy 1000 miles away he is not going to go extinct just because the other guy can run faster!


Of course not, and ToE makes no such claim.

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Even if there are individuals getting different advantages throughout the population it would still take too many generations for the rest to go extinct and for them to dominate because, according to the theory, changes are small and painfully slow.


Why do the rest have to go extinct? There are some 250,000 described species of plants, 12,000 described species of roundworms, 4,000 described species of mammals, and over 350,000 beetle species described. It has never been a situation where one species rises to domination and all the others must go extinct. That is a really strange (and wrong) interpretation of how ToE works.

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If evolution is incremental on this small scale it would take forever for the ones with slight advantages to dominate. Many generations. But how long have mammals existed? Only millions of years.


Why do they have to dominate? They can live in different geographical areas, or speciate, etc. Mammals have existed for about 200 million years, with generational cycles lasting from under 1 year to 20-30 years. With a 10 year generational cycle that's 20 million generations of mammals.

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

The speed of evolutionary change depends on the forcing functions as well as mutation rates. It is well known that exposure to certain chemicals, for example, and cause the DNA repair mechanism to fail allowing far greater mutation rates than normal (ie. more mutations "get through" because the DNA repair mechanism doesn't stop them as it normally would). Drastic environmental changes can cause selection for traits present only in a tiny part of the population, which then very rapidly spread to a new population (eg. bacteria that have resistance an an antibiotic). It is not one fixed rate process based purely on mutation rates, and can happen very slowly or relatively rapidly depending on many external factors (with natural selection operating on the results of any DNA changes).

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 120: Wed May 22, 2019 11:26 am
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mgb wrote:

All the body parts get what they needed at more or less the same time. It is the difference between getting a 6 on a dice and getting 10 6s on 10 dice simultaneously.

Is it though? Did you see my earlier post re: adding in the mechanism of lock down? It's easy to get 10 6's on 10 dice simultaneously if you get to re-roll only the failures, locking in the successes. I have dice right here, I just did a run, all it took was 16 tries to get 10 6's.

(Again, with the caveat this is an over simplication as evolution doesn't get to lock down successes this way, instead it uses multiple trials to get a simular result to one trial + lock down.)

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What are the chances of all body parts getting the right mutations at the same time? (I'm speaking about the article on whales here)

Don't know, you tell me. What are the odds? More importantly, why don't you think such odds are beyond random mutations?

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