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Everything posted by Francis

  1. I suspect that all the examples you have mentioned here are either based on microevolution (making Darwin's tree irrelevant) or they are theories ("coalescent theory ... predictions of common descent ... assumption ... models ... supports common ancestry") that actually have no practical use in applied science. So, what''s your beef? If one is looking to see how something evolved then it's essential. It has given researchers a blueprint in where to search for solutions by classifying genetic progressions. If you haven't got a working theory you can't make predictions. Which practical use of applied biology owes its existence to the knowledge of Darwin's tree? I come across this sophistry a lot. If you dig a little into such a claim, you will find that what is happening is this: Scientists discover certain facts pertaining to microbiology or genetics that prove useful in producing an effective vaccine. These same facts may also be used as evidence of common descent - ie, Darwin's tree. But then something strange happens in the minds of some of these scientists - they somehow CONFLATE the FACTS that proved useful with the THEORY that uses these fact as evidence. But the facts came first and their usefulness in producing a vaccine doesn't depend in any way, shape or form on the theory that came later. So in the case you allude to, the existence of the flu vaccine needed the useful facts, but the vaccine didn't need the Darwinian theory built on those facts - at all.
  2. - No, my point is not whether or not Darwin's tree is "considered essential". I already know that it is "considered essential" by the scientific community, but only in a theoretical sense. In the real world of applied science it appears to be the opposite of "essential" - ie, completely irrelevant and useless. - Whether I consider Darwin's tree to be "right or wrong" is irrelevant to the OP. - No, I don't believe it is "INTEGRAL to biology", because biology includes a little ol' thing called applied biology - you know, the stuff that really matters and makes a difference to people's lives ... and Darwin's tree seems to be not at all INTEGRAL to applied biology. - You obviously haven't noticed that you've been indocrinated, but I suggest you have. Darwin's tree is the Great While Elephant of biology - it seems to me that no biologist working in the field of applied biology has any need of it - at all. - The jigsaw of EVOLUTIONARY biology considers Darwin's tree to be essential - ie, a form of THEORECTICAL biology. But theorising about the mechanism that allowed the history of life to unfold appears to irrelevant to applied biology - ie, the real world, where biologist actually DO useful stuff, not just TALK aboiut useless theories. - You "can do SOME sort of biology without it"? That's the understatement of the century - it appears that you can do ALL OF APPLIED BIOLOGY without Darwin's tree!
  3. Hello Reg! Thank you very much for your insightful, intelligent and eloquent post. You're the first poster on this thread who has made any sense. Dobzhansky said "Nothing in biology makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution." It obvious from his essay that what he meant by "evolution" is Darwin's tree. But it seems to me that there is not even one use of applied biology (ie, the stuff that really matters) that owes its existence to the D-tree. Therefore it appears that Dobzhansky's proclamation - which is accepted as dogma within the scientific community - is false. I was once challenged on this topic (on another forum) by an angry senior research scientist who claimed that he had found Darwin's tree "useful" in the treatment of various diseases. But on closer inspection his claim turned out to be (as I suspected) completely bogus: As it turned out, what he really meant was that he found the theory of common descent useful in explaining certain observations. Moreover, he admitted that such theorising hadn't led to any practical use or benefit. Dobzhansky's Delusion runs deep and wide in the scientific community and I find it quite a bizarre phenomenon, especially when one considers the high intelligence of the people involved. I've read the OP, and it says that you find it rather curious that there are no practical uses for Darwin's tree. And later you call it a myth As Reg has pointed out, I didn't call Darwin's tree a myth. The "myth" I was referring to in that post was the myth (aka Dobzhansky's Delusion) that Darwin's tree is essential to all biology. Someone forgot to teach the delusion to applied biology (ie, the real world), which seems to function quite well without any need of Darwin's tree at all. It appears that the only "use" for the D-tree is in evolutionary theories - otherwise known as useless talk. Thanks for your comments, Reg - spot on, as usual.
  4. Thinking you "understand" a problem according to some theory is not the same as a practical use. And we don't know that the HIV virus came from a monkey - it just a theory - and one that hasn't helped at all in curing the disease in question.
  5. Er, no ... read the OP The theory of evolution doesn't include Darwin's tree of common descent. The D-tree is a conclusion from the theory of evolution. You don't know what a practical use in applied science means? Trying googling it; that might help you understand the concept ... or ask any Grade 8 science student. Straw man. The OP is not about "progress in science", which is a very broad subject. No, you're wrong. Think about it. We examine the DNA of a human and a chimp, and notice that there are similarities. To notice these similarities, there is no need to resort to the concept of Darwin's tree ... or even be aware of Darwin's tree. Techniques for analysing DNA don't need Darwin's tree at all. You are conflating the EVIDENCE for common descent (ie, the aforementioned similarites in DNA) with the CONCLUSION of common descent. The evidence is not at all dependant on the conclusion. If a fundamentalist creationist (who rejects the theory of Darwin's tree) examined the DNA of humans and chimps, he would notice exactly the same similarities as somone who accepts Darwin's tree. This is irrelevant to the OP, which is about a practical use in applied science, not confirming a theory. What are you talking about? Re-read my post. The "myth" I refer to is not Darwin's tree Another straw man ... and completely irrelevant to the OP Irrelevant to the OP.
  6. How do you define "the theory of evolution"? And do you realize that confirming a theory doesn't actually equate to a practical use in applied science? I would say that what is useful is what is here and now, and that how foods crops evolved from some plant millions of years ago is of no practical use at all to applied science. But perhaps you can give me an example of how a theory of what happened millions of years ago has proven practically useful to applied science. I don't think so. My understanding is these techniques rely on only the principles of microevolution - eg, mutations and natural selection. Darwins' tree - macroevolution - is therefore totally irrelevent to their success. Following one's family tree is not dependant in any way on the theory of Darwin's tree of common descent. You are talking about micorevolution within a species. Darwin's tree is about how life evolved from microbes over millions of years. No, you're barking up the wrong logic tree here. Knowledge of the genetic similarities between human and other animals is not dependant in any way on the theory of Darwin's tree. Those genetics similarities exist regardless of what anyone believes about what happened millions of years ago or any theories of human evolution. Theories don't produce facts and theories don't change facts. I would suggest you think it's ludicrous because you've been indoctrinated to believe that Darwin's tree is essential to all forms of biology and you've never stopped to question this myth. And I believe it is a myth, because it seems to me that no practical use in applied science depends on it. Darwin's tree is "useful' only for formulating evolutionary theory, and mere theory is not a practical applied use. So the D-tree is "useful" only in the minds of evolutionists - meanwhile, out in the real world, it has proven perfectly useless. Furthermore, I am not "criticizing Darwin" - I am merely contending that Darwin's tree of commonse descent is a theory that has no practically use. As far as I can tell, you are referrring to theories and not practical uses. Understanding the fossil record does not amount to a practical, applied use; it's more useless theory. This comment seems to be irrelevant to the topic.
  7. I'm no expert, but seems to me that there exist no practical uses for Darwin's tree of common descent in applied biology (or in any form of applied science, for that matter). I find this rather curious.
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