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Everything posted by Edtharan

  1. But, lets apply that to belief in God. Do you have irrefutable proof that God exists? You require it from science that there exists irrefutable proof, so if you want to avoid being a hypocrite, you must require it from God as well.
  2. I would point more to the Ultimatum Game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game) than Prisoners Dilemma. Specifically the variations whit "tipping" (players can let others know what either of the players currently playing have done in the past). In these versions, what occurs is that moral behaviours ends up giving the players a better score in the long run, and, that punishing a player at your own expense is better for you in the long run too (as other players will realise that you will punish them for bad deals and so offer fair deals to you).
  3. To start with, there has been no discovery of "Shadow Matter". What they might be confused with is "Dark Matter", but this is matter that does not interact with the electromagnetic force (and because light is electromagnetic, we can't see it). In fact, the only way Dark Matter can interact with us is through gravity, but if there was enough of it to effect you in some way, it would be detectable by other instruments (there are detectors so sensitive they can weigh an electron - which is much, much lighter than an atom and you would need the mass of several billion atoms to effect you). So, right from the outset, they have invented something that has nothing to do with science (and has not been discovered at all) and then used it to justify their whole proposition. This leads me to conclude they are just making the whole thing up.
  4. You did know I was talking about the process of evolution, which is not only biological evolution. I made it a point to talk about both Biological evolution and Algorithmic evolution in order to separate that I was talking about both separately. What I showed is that Algorithmic evolution is mathematically proven, but that Biological Evolution is just one instance of the algorithm. We look to the fossil record to see if traces process of algorithmic evolution is left in the fossil record. Even if the fossil record did not show any evidence of evolution, it would not make a difference to my argument. To reiterate my argument: Evolution, as a mathematical process has been proven. Also, biological systems have the same processes going on in them that would cause evolution to occur in them. I am not saying that we are applying mathematical analysis to fossils to come up with the process of evolution to prove it is true. Even if biology did not exhibit evolution, my argument for the existence of Algorithmic Evolution would not be impacted at all. Trying to use the debate over biological evolution as proof that algorithmic evolution doesn't exist is a false argument. What I did was to first establish that Algorithmic Evolution exists. Then once that is established, show that biological system perform the same processes and thus evolve. You seem to think I am trying to do the opposite: Prove mathematically that biological evolution exists, and thus prove that algorithmic evolution exists. I am not trying to use mathematics as an analogy. I am literally trying to show that Evolution as a mathematical algorithm is a fact. Then after that, show that biological evolution is just an implementation of that algorithm. In the first part, it does not matter at all if biological evolution exists. All I need to do is to show that there exists an algorithm that acts on data sets in the way evolution is supposed to. Only after that has been done do I try to show that biological systems show that same behaviour and that they do so through the same algorithm (set of mathematical processes). All one needs to show to prove the first part is that computers will execute a program that implements algorithmic evolution. As this has been known about for almost as long as computers have exists, this is pretty much proven. To answer the second part, all I needed to do was to show that biological systems can perform the processes required by the algorithm, and that these processes are linked together into such an algorithm. As I said with Ophiolite above, I am not starting from biological evolution and trying to prove that mathematically. I am starting with mats, then showing that there exists a mathematically true process that produces the results we would call evolution (not biological evolution at this stage though). It is only once mathematical evolution is established that I try to show that biological systems perform this too.
  5. In computing an Image file is not a picture. You can have an Image file of a Hard Drive. This type of file is a copy of the data on the hard drive that retains the exact positions of the bits that make up the data. So an image is not the same as a picture (it is really an analogy).
  6. This would make God immoral. First of all, the commandments that God gives states that one should not bear false witness (that is lie). If God were to lie to us by creating a shroud that appears younger than it should be, then this would be bearing false witness, something that is explicitly forbidden. Now, there is the argument that God does not have to follow the ten commandments. However, the commandments are what is supposed to be moral right, and God is supposed to be moral perfect. So if the ten commandments are a moral code, then God would have to follow them. Also, if one is to accept that God tests us by lying to us, then you have to consider anything could be such a test, including the bible. But this road leads to a religion that has to conclude that nothing about it could be true, and this would not work as a religion. So either God does not lie to us to test us (there are ways of testing that do not require lies, so lying is not an essential component to testing) and thus the shroud is a fake, or God is immoral and therefore not the God of the bible (which also means the shroud is a fake).
  7. Some species of bamboo are really fast growing (Some up to 1 metre per day): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo
  8. I can prove it is false really easy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping This is the process where you take a 3d model and unwrap the mesh onto a 2D surface. This same process occurs when you wrap a 3d object with a 2d surface, such as someone's face wrapped by a shroud. The shroud of Turin shows a face as one would see it when looking at a 3D object (or an image of one such as a painting or photo) and not one one as it would appear mapped to a 2D shroud surface. Thus, this proves it is a fake as the image on the shroud is completely wrong for it to have been created from it being wrapped over someone. A good way to see this is computer image software. I regularly use this to construct images for computer graphics and thus I know the difference between them. You can see the effect here: http://tech-slop.serveit.org/wiki/index.php?title=Multi_Chan_Hax_Head (it is a tool I use for doing exactly what should have occurred on the shroud but as it doesn't it is proof the shroud is a fake).
  9. Hence why prostitution is illegal in many places...
  10. Evolution can actually be mathematically proven as a process. Biological evolution (which is what we are really talking about here) is just one instance of the process of evolution. To put it simply, computers are mathematical machines. They are designed to operate only on mathematical processes. If a process is not mathematically true, then it can't operate on a computer (it is more complex than this, but this is essentially it in a simplified statement). Thus, if evolution is mathematically true, then it would be possible to write a computer program that performs evolutionary processes. This has been done and much of the technology we have today relies on the fact that evolution as a process is true. Look up "Evolutionary Algorithms" if you want more on that. The problem here is thinking that one species is superior than another. It is possible to say that one species is better than another in a specific set of traits, but you can't say one is "superior" as a general statement. Yes, we are better than bacteria in thinking, but bacteria are better than us at reproducing (about 20 minutes for bacteria as opposed to 20 years for humans). Also, bacteria can survive without us, but we can't survive without bacteria (in fact, there are more bacterial cells in you than human cells, so are we just bacteria with a bit of human pollution? ). So, depending on what traits you choose to look at, bacteria could well be considered superior to humans. This is why it is a fallacy to claim one species has superiority over another as it is entirely a biased opinion formed by cherry picking the traits for the species you want to be considered superior. Still going on quite nicely. It didn't Actually I just answered them. Since evolutionary processes have been mathematically proven, then if 1 + 1 = 2 then evolution must exist. This is because processes can be described by an Algorithm, and an algorithm is a series of mathematical functions. The mathematical functions needed to describe evolution are capable of being performed by a computer, thus is a computer is capable of running the algorithm of evolution, then it must be mathematically true that evolution exists. This means that if you dismiss evolution you also have to dismiss all mathematics (and your bank account is handled by mathematics). Again, the problem with inferior/superior is a false one. It only depends on what you arbitrarily define. Think of it this way. Are you a superior being to your parents? If you believe that all creatures were created simultaneously then you couldn't be superior to your parents. Sure, you might know more, but your parents are capable of learning that knowledge too. This shows that thinking that evolution creates "more superior" species as time goes on is a false one. And here is a real important one: Are you more superior than your cousins? Your cousins are of the same generation to you (you share a common ancestor - your grandparents) so biologically you haven't had more or less chance for evolution than them. Now, if evolution is true, then a monkey living to day is like your cousin. That is: We share a common ancestor. Now you probably think that you are superior to a monkey, but as you would not think you are superior to your cousin, then why would you think one species is more superior than its cousin species. This means that talking about superior or inferior species is not true. But, as your argument relies on there being superior and inferior species, then your argument collapses. Actually no, it is not a Scientific theory. It might fit the colloquial use of the word theory, but the colloquial use does not have the word "Scientific" in front of it. The word "Scientific" in Scientific Theory is a very important one as it tells you which definition of the word "Theory" you are supposed to use (ie: not the colloquial one). A scientific theory has a very precise meaning. What you have proposed is not a theory, but is speculation (hence why this thread is in the speculation part of the forum). The mathematical process of evolution works like this (note: I am not, at this point, talking about biological evolution, but evolution as the more general process): 1) Take a data set (such as a sting of letters and numbers) 2) Make many copies of that data set 3) With each copy make small changes in them form the original (these don;t have to be random, but they don't have to be non random either) 4) Test these data sets according to some sets of criteria 5) Remove the ones that fit the criteria the worst 6) Repeat from step 2 to step 5 until no data sets are left or another event you define. This process IS evolution. This process exists (you just read it and you couldn't have done that if it didn't exist). Thus evolution exists. You can see the evidence of the existence of evolution yourself (just look at the process above). Not only that, you can test it out for your self. All you need is a pen and paper and a bit of time (or a computer and a knowledge of programming). Here is an experiment you can try: We are going to evolve one string of letters into another string of letters (the Word "yellow" into the word "blue"). So grab a piece of paper (you might need several) and a pen (or pencil) and a 6 sided dice (we need this for randomness as we are using randomness in this) So to start off, we will begin step 1 of the process: Take a data set This will be the word: "yellow" In step 2 we make copies of this (we will just use 10 copies as we don't want to fill up too many sheets of paper). So write out the word Yellow 10 times. In step 3 we make a small change to each of those copies. Start with the first copy of the word Yellow (we will do the same with each word, but I'll only describe it once). For each letter in the word we will roll the dice. If the dice comes up a 6 we will make a change (this will mean that some words won't have any changes to them and some will have multiple changes to them). To make the change we will rill the dice again to determine what change occurs. If this second roll is a: 1: Delete that letter from the word (if the letter was the "Y" in "yellow", then the word would become "ellow") 2: Duplicate the letter (if the letter was "E" in yellow, then the word would become "yeellow") 3: The letter becomes the previous letter in the alphabet (if the letter was the "O" in "yellow" the word would become "yellnw") 4: The letter becomes the next letter in the alphabet (if the letter was the second "L" in "yellow" the word would become "yelmow") 5: The letter moves 1 place forward in the word and if it is the first letter it becomes the last letter (if the letter was the first "L" in "yellow" the word would become "ylelow"). 6: The letter moves 1 place backwards in the word and if it is the last letter it becomes the first letter (if the letter was the "W" in "yellow" the word would become "wyello"). In step 4 of the process we need to test these new words against the target word according to some set of criteria. We will give each word a score according to the following: If the word has a letter that appears in the target word (in this case "blue"), then the word gets +1 point. If the word has the right letter in the right place it gets +1 point (this is in addition to the point for having the right letter). For each letter difference in length between the word being tested and the target word, subtract 1 point (negative scores are not a problem as we will only be looking at the higher scores in step 5 and as -3 is a higher score than -4 we can still make a comparison). Calculate the scores for each word and write them down next to the word (so you can remember what they are fore the next step). In step 5 we remove the worst scores. So in this experiment we will remove all but the best 3 scores. IF there are more than 3 scores with the same score and are the highest scores, just randomly select 3 of them (you have a dice so you can use that). In step 6 we repeat all of the above (but we will end up with 30 words become we start with 3 words and make 10 words from each). If you follow that experiment it might take you a couple of hours to see evolution happening right in front of you (if you know how to program, it is faster to let the computer perform it). Now, as we are using randomness (a dice) to determine much of what occurs in this, you might wonder how it can lead to evolution. It works because some changes are good and some are bad (and some are neutral), but we remove all the bad ones. Because it removes all the bad ones, all we are left with are the good ones (and the neutral ones). What we then get is an accumulation of good changes, and this accumulations leads us towards the large changes (one word into another in the case of this experiment). In terms of biology, DNA is like the word. It is like a string of letters that makes up the word, but it is limited to just 4 letters (A,T,G and C). And, just as the word "yellow" can be "evolved" into the word "blue", one specific sequence of DNA "letters" can be evolved into another set of DNA "letters". Even though the selection part has a different set of criteria for out experiment from that of biology, there is still selection going on (the specifics of the selection don't matter as as it is the result of that selection is all that is needed for the next step in the process). As for the changes that we did, even in biology there are equivalents. The DNA letters can be added or deleted (and can occur over more than 1 letter at a time too), they can change from one letter to another, and they can be moved around the genome of the organism as well. Now, according to mathematics (specifically the mathematics dealing with algorithms), we can show that because each of the processes we performed in our experiment has a biological equivalent, and that the same sequences of processes are occurring in biological systems, then we can conclude that biology is performing the same process. In other words, biology exhibits evolution. Thus this is evidence that evolution exists in biological systems.
  11. Edtharan

    Ether model

    The problem with Dark matter leading to "an explanation for magnetism, for all EM radiation" is that dark matter does not, by definition, interact with the electromagnetic fields. If it did, we could see it block or emit light. It would cause magnetic fields that accelerate charged particles which would in turn emit radiation. As we see none of these associated with dark matter, and by definition dark matter could not do this, then it can not lead to "an explanation for magnetism, for all EM radiation".
  12. Because we can prove and understand the process as a mathematical construct, we can use maths to analyse a particular even of evolution and then see if any other influences are acting on it other than what are contained in the mathematical model. No extra influences have been found, thus either they are too small to detect, or don't exist. If they are too small to detect, this means they are having a negligible effect on the process and can safely be ignored (in most circumstances - which is why scientists still look for them). IF they don't exist, then it is pointless to propose them.
  13. Evolution can be proven. It is a matter of mathematics. System Analysis is the analysis of algorithms. Algorithms are a proven generalisation of how algebra works, and algebra is the proven generalisation of how mathematics work. At each stage of this there are mathematical proofs to support the next level. What system analysis does is use the mathematics of algorithms to show one process is algorithmically identical to another. Thus one can take a process that occurs in the real world (such as the processing of forms) and turn it into a computer program by showing that the two are mathematically identical. Basically, anything that can be shown to work as an algorithm can be mathematically proven to operate as stated. As evolution can be programmed into a computer, it can be shown to be true, and using system analysis, it can be shown that biological evolution is identical to algorithmic evolution, thus proving biological evolution to be true.
  14. I think you have missed the point of my posts entirely. and this sort of proves it: My point is that this has been known for some time and is already being researched. So someone (Adams) publishing a paper on it is not going to be "revolutionary". Yes, he might have shown that the effects are more significant than they were first thought, but that is not a revolution. It also means that the research already under-way will continue as it has (although immunotherpy research might get more funding). Your argument is that science is unwilling to accept radical information. But all you present is an example of non-radical research as proof. I also pointed out that medical research and development takes decades, so even if Adams' research is accepted immediately and was revolutionary, it could be decades before they can actually do anything about it .
  15. The reason I included the parenthetical statement is in the acknowledgement that you can't show something to be certainly harmless. The primary statement is the idea, the parenthetical is the reality I acknowledge. As you argument in the previous post seemed to not include reference to that acknowledgement I made, I had to make it clearer and thus used it as the primary statement in my response (because it was in response to your post). I think you answered it in your post: "believed that". In other words, they didn't have any evidecne one way or the other, but that they assumed without proof that is was. Many of your examples that you have used as evidecne against my position have had that as a common component. That people "believed" something. Well my position is that you should not assume without proof, or at least as strong evidence as you can get, and also have that evidence subject to question by others. It is this assumption without proof, that has lead to the illegalisation of prostitution. People assumed because of their beliefs, that prostitution was bad. But because p[laces have not assumed that, we have legalised prostitution and in those places this has lead to an increase in the welfare of sex workers in direct opposition to these beliefs. many of the opinions in modern society and politics centre around this "I believe" mantra. And the more strongly someone believe it, the more people assume it must be true. I have found that the more someone uses "I Believe" to convince people of something, the less likely it is to be true. This is because if they actually had proof that it was true, then they wouldn't have to keep saying "I believe", but instead would be able to present the evidence of it.
  16. Many people think they just have 1 dream a night. This is wrong. You go through a dream cycle every 90 minutes or so (that is not precise and it varies between people, and between a persons dream cycles too). However, people don't think they have that many dreams a night because at best they only remember 1 (if that). Think how quickly you can forget a dream unless you really try to hold onto it (and even then you can forget it). Most people forget a dream within about 5 minutes of waking up. But think about that. If you forget a dream in about 5 minutes, then if you wake up 5 minutes after you have finished a dream, you will probably have no memory of it. It is only the dream you wake up from that you remember. I don't often remember my dreams, but then that means I don't usually wake up during a dream. However, there is a thing called "Lucid Dreaming", where you semi-wake up during a dream and then fall back asleep afterwards (although something going into full wakefulness). When this occurs, you can gain control of your dream and be concious within it. As people in nightmares know, it can be possible to force yourself to wake up from a dream (not easy, but possible). This also means you can probably bring yourself to the semi-wakeful state needed for lucid dreaming. With me, certain patterns in dreams act as a signpost and allow me to lucid dream. It could be your belief that an external entity has the power to give you dreams is the pattern you need to bring you to the semi-wakeful state where you can become aware of your dreams. Also, it could be that you are wanting certain dreams to occur, and when you have a dream about it (and focusing attention on certain events can increase the likelihood of having such dreams) this can act as the signpost and bring you to semi-wakefulness (or even full wakefulness). There is nothing supernatural about dreams, although many people want there to be. Before we understood much about the brain, dreams were given supernatural properties, but this was nothing more than people trying to explain something they didn't understand. Like lightning, people who didn't know about atmospheric static discharges, attributed lightning to supernatural beings (like Thor - the Norse god of thunder). Thus it is with dreams. People haven't had much understanding about how the brain worked in the past (and still there is a lot we have to learn about it) and thus attributed much of what goes on to supernatural influences. However, even though we have only scratched the surface of how the brain works, we know that the brain can function as it does without the need for supernatural influence. Of course, this does not mean there isn't any, it just means they are not necessary (that means that if they do exist, then they either don't influence the brain, or they influence it in a way that is not actually having any effect - which also means dreams wouldn't be caused by a supernatural influence).
  17. When you look at biology from an information technology perspective, all DNA is, is a program. A program being a set of instructions carried out by a Turing Machine. The way that DNA is converted into proteins is a program. A sequence of 3 DNA letters forms a code that is translated by the ribosome into an amino acid which is joined to the growing protein. The way a Turing Machine works is that it translates one set of symbols into another set of symbols according to a pre-set list of instructions (a universal Turing machine is a bit more complex, but is essentially the same thing, but one that the set of instructions is also subject to manipulation of the Turing Machine). As you can see, the conversion of one set of symbols (DNA) into another set of symbols (amino acids) according to pre-set instructions (ribosome) is just what is happening. At its core, biology works of the same principals as information technology, and is thus also subject to proof via the same mathematics that govern it. Of course, Turing Machines are the base of IT, and there has been much research and investigation into how they work at a higher level (how the basics combine into more complex structures and processes). This "System Analysis and Design" as it is known will also apply to other systems that use the same basic functions. This can be shown because of the symbolic nature of information. As these symbols are abstract, and that the mathematics that govern it are not dependent on what the symbols represent, but how they are manipulated, by looking at the way the information within the system operates, we can determine the behaviour of the system. The history of the development of this kind of analysis and mathematics goes back a long way. Algebra is where this mainly started. Once people realised that common mathematical processes could be generalised into just symbolic representations, we could dispense with numbers and use other symbols to do the same thing. As 1 + 1 = 2 and that 2 + 2 = 4 share a patter ( if you add a number to itself, then the answer is equal to 2 times the number), this can be represented symbolicly as: a + a = 2a But as times when on, it was realised that even these algebraic expressions could be represented symbolicly, and algorithms were invented. Computers are just devices designed to operate on, and create algorithms. System Analysis is the next step up. It is a way of comparing algorithms and showing they are identical in function. In practice, this is generally used to identify a process that occurs in the real world, such as the processing of forms for a business and creating the same process in the computer as a program. But, this could not occur if the program in the computer was not the same as the one that occurred on paper. Buy showing they were identical systems, the programmer can test that their software performs the same function as the paper system. Now, using such analysis on biological evolution and algorithmic evolution, you can show that they are the same process, and that what would occur in one will occur in the other. More over, part of system analysis is identifying inputs and what data they act on and how they effect the processes going on. If there is some unknown influence on the system, it can be shown to be either insignificant or irrelevent as the outcome of the algorithmic evolution, where all external influence are controlled and known is the same as biological evolution. This means that either there are no external influences that create the process of evolution, or that any external processes are unnecessary to create the process of evolution. IF there are external processes create the illusion of evolution, then they are operating exactly as the algorithmic processes would demand. And according to the principal of Occam's razor, if two or more explanations produce the same output, then you should use the simpler. So which is more simple: That biology, which has been shown to be capable of performing the functions necessary for evolution, is capable of performing those function without an external influence. Or that biology, even though it is capable of performing the function of evolution has an external influence that prevent it from doing so, but then acting to create the illusion of the process of evolution. Think about it. This is what creationists claim, they claim that something both prevents and then creates the illusion of evolution, despite the functions of biology having the capability of doing so unaided.
  18. I am more familiar with bat evolution than bird or insect. Not that I am a biologist (or even a scientist), it is just that happened to read more about it. An interesting thing about Bat evolution is that they came from a shrew like creature. Shrews are small mammals that usually scurry around on the ground looking for insect and other invertebrates to eat. This doesn't mean that shrews are an ancestor of bats, but that bats has an ancestor that filled the same niche as shrews, and shrews probably had the same ancestor as well. If you look at the behaviour of modern shrews (and the behaviour can be determined from their skeletal structure to some degree), they rarely climb trees, but there are some that do climb trees. They live on the ground, and the ancestral bat (from fossils) would have also done this (climbing animals have slightly different leg and claw structures which are adapted from normal claws and legs to aid climbing). Climbing would most like occur on low shrubs where falling is not too great a problem. This would enable the legs and claws of the proto-bat to adapt to climbing. Many insects and other invertebrates can live in such shrubs (eg: Caterpillars , preying mantis, flies, dragonflies, etc) and thus provide the adventurous proto-bats with an extra food source (an advantage). Of course, you also get medium sized shrubs that are more like short trees, and this provides a gradual increase in height that these animals can adapt to exploit. The higher they go, the more they need to develop protection from falling. But, as there is a gradual increase in heights that they can go to, they can keep pushing higher and the advantage that gives allows the gradual transition from simple structures to the more complex, fully developed ones. This means it is not a case where they lived on the ground, and then lived in the tops of trees, the continuum of heights of shrubs, to low trees, to medium trees, etc means that at no point was there necessary for there to be a sudden jump from flightlessness to fully fledged flight capabilities. the origin of life (Abiogenisis) is not the same as Evolution. Evolution deals with how organisms change over time, Abiogenisisdeals with how those organisms developed from simple chemicals. The origin of life is more about chemistry and thermodynamics than biology. Yes, they do. But you must remember their ability is the result of hundreds of thousands of years (perhaps millions of years) of evolution. It might seem uncanny now, but it didn't start off that way. Yes, the reason that they might not seem water tight is that they were simplified so as not to get bogged down in the details. If he did work to make them water tight, then the books he writes on evolution would take up shelves in a library. There are just so many details from the evidence gathered that it could take a lifetime just to go though them all (and more are being discovered all the time too). With that much attention to detail, the reader would get bored before Dawkins could make his point. So, he had to compromise by giving a simple description in the main body of the book, but then uses references at the end to point to where the reader can get that information for themselves. If evolutionary theory states that for a shrew like mammal to develop into a bat through evolution would require certain changes to occur, then when fossils are discovered that match those changes from the ancestor species to modern bats, then that is pretty good evidence to support the theory. The theory makes a prediction and then is confirmed by observation. Bats would have developed mechanisms to survive falls due to their behaviours taking them up into the trees and shrubs. This could have been for many reasons (eg: after food, to escape from predators, living space, etc). But, remember, they wouldn't have just gone from a ground living species to living in the tops of trees. there would have been shrubs, smaller trees, and so on up to the point where full flying capabilities would have been an advantage. The proto-wings would have developed as a result of them moving up into the trees. Evolution doesn't deciding what an organism should have before the need it. Evolution works in response to the need. So until they moved up into the trees they would not have needed proto-wings. It is surprisingly quite interesting how bats evolved. Yes, there are many such structures and organs that boggle the mind. However, there are clear, step by step pathways where each step confers some kind of survival/breeding advantage to the organism. Bat sonar is one. Shrews make high pitched chirping sounds (some about the same frequencies as bat sonar calls - smaller animals tend to make higher pitched noises). Now, it is possible to hear the return sound (the echo) from these kinds of calls. You can actually learn to do it yourself. You can learn to navigate by making clicking sounds (there are people who can do this with their mouth, or you can just buy a toy that makes a clicking sound) and listening for the echo. It takes a bit of practice, but it is not hard to learn the basics of it. So, if the ancestors of bats lived in dark places, or hunted at night (more insects are out at night and less predators are out at night too), then using clicks and listening to the echo would be a good way to navigate (even for a ground living proto-bat). As this confers a survival advantage (know where you are and detecting prey), then evolution can act to refine this more and more, thus leading to full bat sonar capabilities. The basic algorithm is this: 1) Create many data set copies from a few original data sets 2) While making these copies add in small variation (mutations) 3) Test these new data sets against a set of criteria 4) Repeat until no data sets are left, or the user indicates to stop. Look up Genetic Algorithms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithms
  19. If you re read my post, you will see I actually addressed this. The reason that there has to be resistance, even in the face of new data is: that that data might be wrong. This means that if someone claims new data that contradicts accepted theories, then that data had better not be the result of an error. The longer a theory has been accepted for, the more data supporting it there is. But if someone then produces new data that contradicts it, then there needs to be a lot of resistance because it is more likely to be an error (as it would have shown up earlier if really it was there). But yes, sometimes the new data is correct and not the result of an error (or forgery), and when this is confirmed, then the new data gets accepted. There is not one theory in science that has not been changed due the the dicovery of new data that contradicted the other theory. Not one. This proves that science is willing to accept new data because those theories would never have changed if they didn't, and since they have, that is proof. This is the whole thing I have been talking about in this post and my last post. Science dosn't just accept new data because it is new data. The new data has to be checked for errors, mistakes and fakery. It is only when these checks are done (which you call rejection because you only point to the instances when they were found to be such - that is a logical fallacy called Cherry Picking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_(fallacy) ) and the data found to be reliable can the data be used as an argument against a theory. The data supporting the theory also went through this process, so it is only fair that any other data (supporting or opposing) also goes through this same process and requirement. Just because it is new data, does not automatically make it good data. Yes, this is right. If the current theory only need a small change to account for the new data, then you may as well use the modified theory. This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. Just because a new theory to explain the data is proposed, does not make it a good one. Take for example the theory that describes how an aeroplane wing works. There are at least 2 of them. Both give the same results, but each works better given how you are looking at the situation. Theories are descrioptions, and only that. They are descriptions of the regularities that we observe in the universe. they are not the actual "source code" (so to speak) of the universe. This means that there can be several equally valid ways to describe a particular phenomena. However, some work better in certain situations than others. The principal of Occam's Razor is the guiding principal here. If a theory is too complex, even if it gives the same result, then there is no reason to use it if a simpler theory works just as well (occasionally, the situation determines which is simpler as it is with wings). Yes, this is actually a good thing. Remember, theories are just description (it is why people keep telling you to learn what a scientific theory actually is, rather than use your own definition). It is better to use the simplest description you have for a given phenomena because it means there is less for you to make a mistake on. So as data build up about a phenomena, the description of it tends to become more complex. then when someone realises there is a simpler way to describe it, then the new simper description (theory) gets used. With epicycles, the description was based on circles, but as the data kept coming in, the theory (the number of cycles) kept growing. Now, there is mathematics called Fourier Analysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_analysis) which deals with how complex shapes can be built up form simple shapes. This means it would be possible to construct the orbits of the planets accurately using epicycles. In other words, the epicycle theory still works. It is a perfectly valid and operational theory. However, you would actually need an infinite number of such circles to accurately predict the orbits. That is a problem. However, if one uses ellipses rather than circles, then the mathematics of it becomes much simpler. So, why would you embark on an infinite number of calculations, when you could just do a couple of simple sums to work out the orbits of a planet. And that is why the epicycles theory is not used any more. There are 2 reasons an hypothesis gets rejected: 1) It doesn't fit the data. 2) There is a simpler description that accounts for the data. there have even been occurrences where a simpler description was though to be found, only later that data was discovered through experimentation that that showed that the theory was too simple and couldn't account for the data. Light is a really good example as this occurred several times (between particles and waves). What it was, was that there was a simpler explanation that accounted for all the data, it was just that it hadn't been thought of at the time. Yes, as that description of the phenomena was accurate enough for his work, and simple enough. However, the phlogiston theory does not account for all the data, but that discrepancy didn't effect the result of the work. A theory does not change over night. It can take decades to confirm or invalidate data, especially in medicine where the course of a disease might take years to develop (which means any study done on the development of the disease also takes years to perform). There is only a 4 to 5 year difference there, and such studies take decades to do. So I am not surprised that there are still competing descriptions occurring at that time. In fact, if what you are claiming about science is correct, then you would never get such a dispute occurring. The fact that it does occur is proof that your claims are wrong. Again, you havae what science is completely wrong, and you are only argueing against your incorrect concept of science. Stop. Listen. Yopu do not ahvae the correct view of science. You need to readjust your undersntaing first. All you are doing here is to continue, against the evidence counter to it, to retain you own description of what occurs in scinece. Guess what: This is exactly what you are claiming sicence does. Perhaps the problem is not science it is your attitudes to new information you are projecting onto science. It is not individuals that we are talking about. I have already agreed that individuals will do this. But you keep using individuals and the scientific community interchangeably. This is not a correct view, it is in fact a logical fallacy: Fallacy of Division ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_division ). Just because some individuals might not be able to accept change does not mean the scientific community as a whole is resistant to changes. Diabetes is a complex disease. It has many factors that can cause it (including genetics). However, the "disease" is really a list of symptoms, not a cause. Thus there will be many causes of a set of symptoms. The problem is not that you described it badly, but that you didn't actually understand what you were trying to describe and thus your argument from it was not a good argument. this is the exact same problem you are having with science and the scientific method. Until you stop and actually try to understand what it is you are arguing about, you can not form a coherent argument. This is not the speculation sub-forum, and as such there is a certain level of understanding needed to be able to discuss a topic. If you don't understand the topics under discussion, either take the time to learn about them (instead of just repeated making the same mistakes with them) or ask to get the topic moved to Speculations. Insulin is not a treatment to correct diabetes, it is a treatment to manage the symptoms of the disease. Again, you are showing you don't actually understand enough about diabeties to for an argument based on it. Either learn about it, or don't use it. As you said "if" Adams is right. In other words, the results of Adam's study is not enough to prove him right. However, as I said, there is research already being done to correct the autoimmune aspect of diabetes. But you are saying that because of Adam's study, they should start researching to correct the autoimmune aspect of diabetes. This is why there has not been a major shake up of the medical scientific community over this study, because it if it is true, they should just keep doing what they already have been doing. Yes, keeping the status quo is a real revolution. the thing is, treating the hyperglycaemia is still necessary. Because of the loss of function of the pancreas the people with diabetes still end up with low blood sugar and still pass out from low blood sugar and all the other problems of it. Sure, the progression might be caused by autoimmune problems if Adam's is correct, but you still have to deal with the rest of the symptoms of the disease. As I said above, with medical research it can take decades for data to be confirmed and tested for validity. Jsut because 1 person produced some result does not mean that theory changes overnight. Adam might be wrong, but it could take 5 years to confirm this. Medical research on long term diseases take time. Just because in the movies they find a disease, come up with a theory to its cause and then create a treatment to fix it in 3 hours, does not mean that real life medical research occurs on the same (or even similar) time scales. It generally takes about 10 years for a treatment, once identified in a lab to make it to human trials (it has to go through testing to be sure it does what it is supposed to do, animal trials to make sure there is not any major side effects that might occur, human trials to make sure it work in humans and doesn't have any side effect specific to humans, etc).
  20. But, if they didn't know right form wrong, then how could they understand that it was wrong to eat from the trees? Without the knowledge of good and evil, it would be impossible to comprehend that you could be punished for doing something, because you could not know that it is wrong (and would not even know the meaning of punishment either).
  21. Strawman again. If you read my post I actually used the words "Less harmful". In other words you don't have to prove that it is "absolutely not harmful", just that it is less harmful, or (within accepted levels of harm - like people are willing to accept that level of risk - which is the point I have been making all along).
  22. Actually evolution can be framed into an algorithm (a mathematical process using functions). In this form evolution is provable. Biological evolution is just organic chemicals performing these evolution algorithms. Thus you can prove that biological evolution is true through proving algorithmic evolution is true and then demonstrating that biological systems undergo the processes of algorithmic evolution. Genetics is only essential to biological evolution. Biological evolution is just one application of algorithmic evolution. To prove algorithmic evolution, all you need to do is to prove that evolution operates by logical steps that can be performed by a Turing Machine or a Universal Turing Machine (also know as a computer). If one can show that the processes required for Evolution can be executed by a Turing Machine and that the output of this is what is describes as evolution, then you have proven that evolution is a mathematical fact. This has been done many, many times. Much of modern technology relies on algorithmic evolution being true. Many of the manufacturing processes use algorithmic evolution to optimise production and thus make then cheap enough for people to afford and for mass production of them. Many of the transport networks that bring good and food to us are also optimised by algorithmic evolution. The designs of modern computer chips and motherboards are also designed by evolutionary algorithms, so the computers you are using to view this could not exist without them working. If it didn't work, then none of these system (and many others) could be easily optimised, and without that optimisation, the speed, power and cost of these goods and services would not be affordable to anyone by the mega-rich. As computers are a type of Universal Turing Machine, and evolution can be programmed into them, this proves that evolution is mathematically true. For biological evolution to be true, we need to show that biological systems perform the same function as in algorithmic evolution. Algorithmic evolution uses these functions: 1) Make many copies of a given data set 2) Add in small changes to each copy of the data set 3) Remove the copies of the data set that perform below a given threshold 4) Repeat steps 1 to 3 until either non data sets are left, or the a data set exceeds a given performance threshold. Now, do biological systems do this? 1) Make many copies of a given data set: Yes. When an organism reproduces, it reproduces the DNA it had. This also means that DNA is the data set. 2) Add in small changes to each copy of the data set: Yes. Mutations in the data set of DNA can and does occur and had been well documented to occur. 3) Remove the copies of the data set that perform below a given threshold: Yes. This is what is called natural selection in biological evolution. For a population to remain stable exactly 2 offspring from a breeding pair must survive to breeding age. This is not 2 from each litter, but 2 from the entire life time of a breeding pair. Simple calculations show that most offspring must not survive to breed, or we would be quickly over run with organisms. This means that removal of under-performing organisms must be occurring and thus selection taking place. 4) Repeat steps 1 to 3: Yes. Each generation ends up performing the steps 1 to 3. If there are no organisms left, then the cycle stops. However, there is really no upper limit to performance, unless you consider an organism that completely wipes out every other living organism. So, this actually proves that biological evolution must be occurring because algorithmic evolution has been mathematically proven to be true. By showing that biological evolution is identical to algorithmic evolution and that biological systems perform the processes of evolution, then we can show biological evolution must also be true.
  23. If you bother to do research, you will find that Dawkins bases his "yarns" (as you put them) on the results of scientific experiments and observation. He also puts references to these in his books so you can go and look them up yourself. What Dawkins is trying to do is condense all these thousands of studies into something most people can understand. I could post up a computer program that would prove that evolution works, but most people would not understand the programming language that I use. However, most people can understand a description of what the program did, so I would use that, and you call that a "yarn". A scientific theory is an explanation. However, the explanation used in forums like these when dealing with someone who does not understand something are simplified to aid basic understanding before the real details are brought up. Until you can understand the basics (even if you don't accept them as being correct), it is completely pointless to go into the specific details. It is useless to give the details if you would not be able to understand what they meant. That may be so, but you first need to understand the subject. Being open-minded but rejecting things you don't understand because you don't understand them does not work well together. You have to first try to understand what is being discussed before you reject it or accept it. It is known that cats can survive falls of quite long drops. We can investigate this and we find that it is due to air resistance from their fur, their ability to control their fall and their flexibility that allows them to absorb the impact better. But we know that cats have variation in the length of their fur. Would short hair (or hairless) cats survive a fall better or worse than a long furred cat? I think the long haired cats would survive better as would have greater air resistance. This is a known variation in a known species. We can show that selective breeding for the trait of length of hair is possible. So, armed with this knowledge, that fur length varies among cats, and that the length of fur will influence survival rates of falls: Would you think that if cats were in a situation where falling was likely (say climbing after birds in trees), would cats with long hair or short hair be more likely to survive? If you accept that long haired cats would be more likely to survive, then you have just accepted evolution as being true and accepted a direct example of it occurring. Protowings can take many forms. One such is a flap of skin between the legs of an animal. There are many animals with such protowings, from squirrel, to lizards, to possums and many more. As you can see from the cat example above, air resistance would be important for the survivability of a falling animal. Although smaller, there is still a natural variation in the length of skin over the body. So animals that had slightly looser skin would end up with more air resistance. Also as control of the fall is also a survival factor (landing on your head is not as good as landing on your feet), then animals that had some ability to control their decent would have an advantage and their genes would come to dominate the gene pool. For control you need some musculature and rigid structures by which to exert that control, so limbs (legs and arms) or a tail would be good places where mutations in skin length would allow some basic control (and basic control is better than no control, and good control is better than basic control). Yes, gliding and flapping are different, but one can lead to the other. If you want a direct example, go do some research on bat evolution. As bat evolution has occurred fairly recently (as compared to birds and insects), there is more fossil evidence for it (because fossils degrade over time, especially if they are still in the Earth). However, the simplified explanation for people who don't quite understand evolution is: Bats developed the flaps of skin between their legs to help their survival in falls from trees as they hunted insects. Over time, those that had more control over their falls, would land with less injuries than those that couldn't. As more and more control was achieved, it was possible for them to leap and to safe enough in their falls to survive. This enables them to catch more insects because they could catch the insects even if they tried to escape by flying or jumping away from the tree. Over time, the proto-bats that could leap and glide better would catch more insects and survive falls better. Bats with bigger proto-wings would have more surface area to give them air resistance, and to exert control during the fall. This means that the proto-bats with longer wings would have the advantage and dominate the gene pool. As exerting control would require stronger and stronger muscles that control the proto-wings, and that the proto-bats that could use this extra strength to flap slightly to extend their glides would have an advantage (they could now deliberately target already flying insects which the others could not). Thus the proto-bats with more "wing" strength and ability to flap would have an advantage and dominate the gene pool. Over time, there has been a definite chain of advantages that would allow natural variations in skin length, bone length and hair length and patterns to allow a tree living mammal that hunts insects to develop wings and flight with flapping. You might think of this as "just a yarn", but the variations that have been describes would not be objectionable to any biologist (or anyone with even basic knowledge of biology) and are all known to occur naturally in mammals, including bats themselves. Also, at each stage, there has been a clear advantage over the old form of the animal in both survivability and access to food. The only thing that one might object to is the concept of survivability. that even a small advantage is enough to confer a significant influence on the genetic make up of a species. the answer to this is numbers. If you look at small mammals that bats evolved from (or if you don't accept evolution yet, the animals that bats are claimed to have evolved from), they have large number of young (as an average around 4 to 5, but probably much higher) each breeding season. And, the animals might be fertile for 5 or 6 breeding seasons. Which would give a lifetime average of around 25 young. If more than 2 of these young survive to breed, then the population will increase in number. If there are less than 2 that survive, then the population will diminish (because there are 2 parents and to maintain a stable population you need to replace the current breeding population). This means that out of the 25 that are born, 23 must die if the population is to remain stable. In reality the population level will fluctuate, but for the sake of the example we don't really need to take that into account. So, what would a 1% advantage really give in this situation? Well it would mean that 1 extra offspring would survive every 4 generations or so, and in 8 generations this would give an entire breeding pair extra. This means there is an geometric growth, and a geometric growth means even a 1% advantage would, over the course of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years would quickly end up being a massive advantage. So, give a population of say 10,000. A 1% advantage would mean that if you started with a stable population, then it would end up being a increasing population. Remember a 1% advantage is that 1 out of 100 falls is less harmful, and that is not much of a difference really. Think of it like this: A 1% increase in wing length or muscle bulk every 100 generates would still allow a doubling of flight potential 10,000 generations. If a generation is 5 years, then the flight potential of these animals could increase their flight potential by 100% every 50,000 years. Over the millions of years that bats evolved from the proto-bat into modern bats, 50,000 years is nothing. In 1,000,000 years, at that rate, the proto-bats could increase their flight potential by 2,000 percent (and bats have been evolving for more than 1 million years). Your whole problem is that you aren't accepting the scientific literature. First of all, you create strawmen not based on scientific literature (which was pointed out does exist for your question, you just didn't seem to read it) and then shoot down that strawman (which is what the strawman argument is about). When it was pointed out your concept of evolution is wrong, you proceeded to reject both the attempt to correct your misrepresentation and the literature that was pointed out to help you understand it and get the right concept of evolution. As I said above, before we can go into the details of the literature, you first have to understand evolution (whether at this stage you accept it or not is not important, only that you have the correct understanding of what the theory of evolution is). Until you stop using your incorrect (strawman) version of evolution, then no amount of evidence based on the correct version of evolution will make any difference to you, because the results will be different when the information is applied to the different versions of evolution. Think of this in terms of maths: If I had the equation A+C=C, but you though it was A*B=C, then even if I gave you the same values of A and B that I used, we would very likely get different results. Your version of evolution is like the A*B=C, but we keep trying to tell you that was not the equation is. However, dispute all the explanation, links to literature and all the effort we present to you, you keep insisting that we are wrong and that the equation is really A*B=C. This stalls up the discussion because what you are trying to understand is the value of C. But because you refuse to accept that your version of the equation is wrong, we can never agree on the value of C. This means any discussion about C is pointless until we both use the same equation. So, first step. Learn what the real theory of evolution is, and leave your strawman version alone.
  24. Umm... Wrong: http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007 All these steps have been confirm in labs. The problem is not that we don't have any idea, it is that we have too many ideas so we aren't sure which one was the one that occurred.
  25. Ever heard of the appendix? Ever heard of the tail-bone? We all have them and they serve no purpose in us. However, they did have a purpose in our ancestor species, and thus are vestigial in us.
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