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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 91: Fri May 17, 2019 2:21 pm
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Bust Nak wrote:
That's why we keep telling you, it's not all "chance," but "chance + selection." And there is plenty of time for all that to happen when we explain it by chance + selection.


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.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 92: Fri May 17, 2019 2:36 pm
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[Replying to post 90 by mgb]

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I'm talking specifically about the page on whales and the second last paragraph that was quoted.


That is a very different discussion than how the set of major organs in a modern animal evolved to begin with. It wasn't clear in some earlier posts that you were referring only to the specific case of whales evolving from land animals.

In that case the creature was an aquatic animal at one point back in its history (as all land animals were since they evolved from fish), then a land animal, then back to an aquatic animal. So most if not all of the genetic information was there already for the features in question, and it was more a matter of their modification rather than any new development requiring major new beneficial mutations.

The major organs in whales (brain, heart, etc.) already existed in the land animal ... there was no need for these to evolve again in the whale. So I don't see the dice analogy for this case. That kind of analogy is commonly used by anti-evolutionists to suggest that something is statistically impossible, when it is a misuse of statistics because it ignores the fact that evolution works on populations which may contain millions of individuals.

But if you're only talking about whales evolving from a land animal, that is much easier as all the major organs already existed.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 93: Fri May 17, 2019 7:38 pm
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Bust Nak wrote:

John Human wrote:

Once again, because of the problem of inbreeding leading to sterility, whatever speciation event that resulted in the emergence of modern humans required a stable gene pool at the very beginning, and that is far outside "failed-theory Darwinian" thought, unless failed-theory Darwinians go for an Orwellian re-build of the word "species."

But we do have a stable gene pool at the very beginning, the need for a stable gene pool is actually given as a reason to dismiss the literal interpretation of Genesis, humanity could not be the result of a tiny population, let alone from a single breeding pair. So what seems to be problem?


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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 94: Sat May 18, 2019 4:55 am
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DrNoGods wrote:

That kind of analogy is commonly used by anti-evolutionists to suggest that something is statistically impossible, when it is a misuse of statistics because it ignores the fact that evolution works on populations which may contain millions of individuals.


I'm not anti evolution per se, I believe evolution needs a guiding intelligence. I get your point re. millions of creatures but when we consider the complexity involved millions don't add up to much.

Could this https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-exactly-do-neurons-pass-signals-through-your-nervou-... be assembled by random changes? Read carefully...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 95: Sat May 18, 2019 8:43 am
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[Replying to post 94 by mgb]

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... but when we consider the complexity involved millions don't add up to much.


That's six orders of magnitude, and certainly impacts significantly the statistics and probability that an event, or series of events, happens as well as the time frame it happens on. It makes all the difference in the world. Your prior statistical examples assumed a starting population of 1 and sequential mutations, and it is easy to arrive at near impossibilities that way. But that changes completely when you start with populations of millions or billions, as is the case in the real world.

Quote:
Could this https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-exactly-do-neurons-pass-signals-through-your-nervou-... be assembled by random changes?


Why not? It is ultimately chemistry and electrical interactions. Look at the structure of snowflakes or other crystal structures in nature that form purely based on chemical bonds and how those organize themselves. Look at an equally impressive (to the neuron example) display of chemistry and protein signalling during gastrulation:

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

Jamie Davies' Life Unfolding book which I've referenced here many times goes through the details of how the various cells "know" how to differentiate during gastrulation, and it is equally amazing that this kind of scheme developed. But like brains it developed via many small changes over very long periods of time. A single bacterium is incredibly complicated in terms of all the inner workings of the cell without even going to neurons in a modern brain. But there is no reason to believe that these systems did not organize themselves based purely on chemistry and electrical interactions that became ever more complicated and integrated over very long periods of time and countless generations across the plant and animal kingdoms.

The big problem with the idea that some intelligence is involved is that there is no source for that intelligence that has ever been identified. What is it? Where is it? Just because something looks too complicated to have arisen by eons of chemistry and electrical interactions doesn't mean that it didn't, or that some kind of intelligent entity has to be invented to explain it because we don't yet know all of the details. That seems a cop-out, especially given what science has accomplished over the last few hundred years (especially the last 100), and the fact that no intelligent entites like gods have ever been demonstrated to exist.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 96: Sat May 18, 2019 2:51 pm
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DrNoGods wrote:

That's six orders of magnitude, and certainly impacts significantly the statistics and probability that an event, or series of events, happens as well as the time frame it happens on.



10^50/10^6 = 10^44, a big number. I still think the numbers are an issue. One has to appreciate how many possibilities must be open to evolution at each stage. Most of them are useless. How many ways can a human skull change? There seems to be as vast number. And these possibilities must be open to evolution at all times if the ideal skull is to emerge. As the shape of the skull approaches the ideal the fraction of 'good' mutations diminish drastically but evolution refines and refines down to the most subtle details. If the fraction is diminishing so fast how does evolution always find the most subtle changes as it perfects the skull?

Another objection, from Anthony Flew, concerns useless changes that don't retard survival. That is, neutral changes that are neither a help nor a hindrance. For example, a ridge of bone above the eyebrows. This would not be a good or bad thing and, not being a bad thing, it would not mutate away. And such a ridge is bound to emerge, since everything else (that is useful) emerges. If evolution is constantly trying out new shapes, randomly, then why are there not people today with all kinds of lumps and bumps and ridges on their skulls?!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 97: Sat May 18, 2019 4:29 pm
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[Replying to post 96 by mgb]

Quote:
10^50/10^6 = 10^44, a big number.


Where does 10^50 come from?

Quote:
One has to appreciate how many possibilities must be open to evolution at each stage. Most of them are useless. How many ways can a human skull change? There seems to be as vast number. And these possibilities must be open to evolution at all times if the ideal skull is to emerge. As the shape of the skull approaches the ideal the fraction of 'good' mutations diminish drastically but evolution refines and refines down to the most subtle details. If the fraction is diminishing so fast how does evolution always find the most subtle changes as it perfects the skull?


This is a very strange way to look at how ToE works. There is no "ideal" or target of evolution to produce anything, skull or otherwise. You're describing it as if there is some target in mind (the ideal skull) and evolution is working towards that as a goal, and since there is this goal of a perfect skull there must be fewer and fewer mutation options available as it gets close to this ideal. That is not at all how the process works. There is no ideal skull, and skulls have all kinds of shapes in different animals. But they all have similar functions which is to house and protect brains and eyes and jaws, etc., so it isn't surprising that they can have roughly similar shapes overall. But this didn't arise because it was some design goal ... it arose for functional reasons and the most efficient designs are the ones that "win out" in the end.

Quote:
This would not be a good or bad thing and, not being a bad thing, it would not mutate away. And such a ridge is bound to emerge, since everything else (that is useful) emerges. If evolution is constantly trying out new shapes, randomly, then why are there not people today with all kinds of lumps and bumps and ridges on their skulls?!


This is also wrong. Some fish living in dark caves have lost their eyes because they are no longer needed. The eyes weren't a "bad thing", but they still "mutated away." There is a cost to having eyes and their associated structures, and if they aren't needed they do indeed mutate away. We'll probably lose wisdom teeth for the same reason. Evolution doesn't "try out new shapes" so that there should be people running around with all kinds of them on their skulls. If a bump or lump doesn't provide some benefit in the evolutionary sense then it won't "mutate in" just because there is some random chance that it could, possibly, appear out of the many different kinds of lumps and bumps that are theoretically possible.

If CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere slowly rose over the next millions of years while O2 levels dropped, there would probably be humans who could evolve to handle that if it happened slow enough. Maybe we'd have lungs that worked more like gills with chemistry to extract O2 from CO2. This would be an evolutionary change to our lungs that would be necessary to survive, and those lungs/gills would most likely look very different from our present lungs. So we don't have the "perfect" lungs now as if evolution were working towards that goal somehow. We have lungs that efficiently carry out the functions needed in the present environment, and ditto for skulls, etc.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 98: Sun May 19, 2019 3:20 am
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[Replying to post 96 by mgb]

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If evolution is constantly trying out new shapes, randomly, then why are there not people today with all kinds of lumps and bumps and ridges on their skulls?!


...are you sure they don't exist? Have you tried a Google Image search?
Why is it you assumed such people don't exist?

http://healthmedicinet.com/i2/toddler-battling-a-rare-brain-condition-is-left-wi...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 99: Sun May 19, 2019 7:32 am
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mgb wrote:

DrNoGods wrote:

Another objection, from Anthony Flew, concerns useless changes that don't retard survival. That is, neutral changes that are neither a help nor a hindrance. For example, a ridge of bone above the eyebrows. This would not be a good or bad thing and, not being a bad thing, it would not mutate away. And such a ridge is bound to emerge, since everything else (that is useful) emerges. If evolution is constantly trying out new shapes, randomly, then why are there not people today with all kinds of lumps and bumps and ridges on their skulls?!

This 'objection' only show that neither you nor Mr Flew understand evolution and prefer to make stuff up.

What does 'mutate away' mean? Once a mutation has entered the genome and it is a mutation that is inheritable, it can be inherited if reproduction happens.

If it happens to produce a ridge bone in the skull, it will only become prevalent if that person has a productive line of offspring and a population of people carrying that mutation continues to thrive.

So now we have at least four things that need to line up. 1) A mutation that produces a ridge bone 2) This mutation is inheritable 3)The person who has this inheritable ridge bone manages to produce offspring 4) These offspring manage to continue reproducing (i.e the bloodline continues). This is certainly possible, but it's not going to happen at the pace you are suggesting.

You and Mr Flew seem to be of the impression that the ToE states that every birth should be producing inheritable, physically changing mutations and these people all reproduce like rabbits to create populations of all kinds of things. You also seem to be of the incorrect impression that evolution is trying to 'get somewhere'. You are wrong on all counts.

For once, it would be nice if evolution deniers actually went and studied the real science not made up straw men found on religious web sites pedaling lies and misinformation. I thought Christianity in particular was about truth? If so, why are so many adherents fine propagating misinformation?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 100: Sun May 19, 2019 12:43 pm
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DrNoGods wrote:
This is a very strange way to look at how ToE works. There is no "ideal" or target of evolution to produce anything, skull or otherwise. You're describing it as if there is some target in mind (the ideal skull) and evolution is working towards that as a goal,


I'm only using the word 'ideal' in the sense that ideal forms do emerge. I am an artist and I have drawn the skull many times. It is an ideal balance between weight and strength. There is no waste. It, like other bones in the body, is optimised and highly refined and fit for purpose. This is what I mean by ideal. The ideal does emerge (or something approaching it. This is one of the very premises of ToE; that forms get optimized).

Quote:
This is also wrong. Some fish living in dark caves have lost their eyes because they are no longer needed. The eyes weren't a "bad thing", but they still "mutated away." There is a cost to having eyes and their associated structures, and if they aren't needed they do indeed mutate away.


But a ridge of bone over the eyes is hardly going to cost anything. There should be all kinds of 'baggage' that don't cost anything and do not impede survival advantage.

Quote:
Where does 10^50 come from?

Just a ball park figure. But the complexity we are talking about is immense. Millions of creatures are tiny by comparison.

rikouamero wrote:
...are you sure they don't exist? Have you tried a Google Image search?
Why is it you assumed such people don't exist?

What I'm getting at is that there should be enormous variety but there isn't. Everything is as if there was an ideal. Whether there is or isn't the ideal comes about. How did this happen when the nth refinements become more and more exacting and are reduced to a vanishingly small subset of 'good' versus 'bad' mutations or changes? As the skull approached optimization the required changes become more and more exacting. How are they found in such an immensity of possible mutations/changes? It would take far more generations than there have been since the Cambrian Explosion.

benchwarmer wrote:
If it happens to produce a ridge bone in the skull, it will only become prevalent if that person has a productive line of offspring and a population of people carrying that mutation continues to thrive.

So now we have at least four things that need to line up. 1) A mutation that produces a ridge bone 2) This mutation is inheritable 3)The person who has this inheritable ridge bone manages to produce offspring 4) These offspring manage to continue reproducing (i.e the bloodline continues). This is certainly possible, but it's not going to happen at the pace you are suggesting.


But those odds should also work against evolution in general; a creature gets a 'good' set of mutations and gets eaten before it reproduces. So it works both ways.

Quote:
You and Mr Flew seem to be of the impression that the ToE states that every birth should be producing inheritable, physically changing mutations and these people all reproduce like rabbits to create populations of all kinds of things.


It is more subtle than that. And Mr. Flew has a point. As I have said, if such an optimized form for the skull is to emerge - and it has - then a great many possibilities must be 'tried out' so to speak. There is no other way if you are depending on random changes. And if all those many changes took place - billions of them - why were the not inherited if they don't retard survival advantage? This is not 'pedaling lies'. It presents a case to be answered. I am not an evolution denier. Evolution happens, for sure, but ToE has huge holes in it and there is something missing in it.

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