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Everything posted by cypress

  1. The critical point bolded is the failure of this illustration because you have just inserted teleological intelligence into the process. Experiments in molecular biology indicate that the stepwise model of evolution accumulating favorable modifications is not happening. Trillions of trillions of organisms have been exposed to selection pressure and thus far there have been no examples of multistep pathways greater than three steps observed. Even the couple of three step examples included steps that were not favorable. One can point to several single and two step mutations that provide some adaptation advantage but do not progress any further. The illustration is interesting but it does not describe what is actually going on. This statement mischaracterizes the issue. Molecular studies seem to demonstrate that functional pathways don't exist at all, rather all stepwise routes involve unfavorable mutations that render natural selection incapable of preserving the unfavorable modifications that are later needed to generate new functional molecular components and cellular function controls. Here is a report on one such study of the salmonella bacterium whereby the researchers employed a technique to generate mutations anywhere and in the genome. They found that regardless of the mutation each and every mutation had the same small negative impact on fitness of 0.5%. With no selection advantage the model you described becomes impotent because if one wants to posit that the accumulation of many mutations can bring about new function, then one has to maintain that the accumulation of negative impacts eventually makes positive and this is counter to your model. Correct. However while we continue to look for natural processes that are more capable than the ones identified and observed today, Genetic Engineers are racing ahead with teleological process that do explain observed diversity. I find it interesting that many people prefer to be blind of that reality.
  2. I'm not sure how a book that fails to address a fundamental issue regarding a topic covered in the book is going to explain it.
  3. It was the issue to which I was responding. As for your notion that Hitler and Stalin's pronouncement that the traits they favored were outside reproductive fitness at best only demonstrates that they were wrong in their belief about their favored race being superior. Had either succeeded in their objective of ridding the world of these lesser humans, those they exterminated would not successfully reproduce so reproductive fitness would have been demonstrated. That Hitler and Stalin's actions followed from their beliefs about evolution is not subject of speculation. They both wrote about it. The chapter in Mein Kampf, "Nation and Race," Hitler discusses the need to defend the Aryan race from the Jewish menace. His argument is couched in Darwinian terms. He writes: "In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right of opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a mean for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of higher development." In this chapter he praises "the iron logic of Nature" with its "right to victory of the best and stronger in this world." But what if the strong Aryans choose not to dominate and exterminate the weak Jews? According to Hitler, this would be against Nature, whose "whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, might be ruined with one blow." Stalin wrote about his ideology in "Anarchism or Socialism?", speaking of evolutionary science where he said, "Evolution prepares for revolution and creates the ground for it; revolution consummates the process of evolution and facilitates its further activity." Hannah Arendt speaks of Darwin and Marx in his book, "The Origins of Totalitarianism", where he says, "If one considers, not the actual achievement, but the basic philosophies of both men, it turns out that ultimately the movement of history and the movement of nature are one and the same." The idea that evolutionary processes accounts for all biological diversity is not real. It is the result of a prior commitment to materialism and little more. Though mutation and natural selection is proficient at generating adaptation to existing function it seems unable to generate any evidence that it is capable of generating even the precursors to novel form and function. You are wrong. Genetic Engineers are wildly successful at generating and placing new functional components in organisms that previously lacked them. Design is miles ahead of evolution at explaining diversity. I am fairly certain that one day soon designers will successfully generate a completely novel life form. For my part I continue to suspect there are processes that do account for observed diversity. I would not be too surprised if they turn out to have a natural explanation, but it is becoming clearer by the year that the processes are not the ones currently promoted by current evolutionary theory. At this time the process that explains it best is design and the evidence is the success of Genetic Engineers.
  4. I admitted ignorance as to why someone would take Hawking seriously on this particular point. I do however have some knowledge of this topic. Perhaps you might address some of the issues I raised rather than throwing out red herrings. Perhaps you can explain how absence of existence, lacking agency, can cause something. Perhaps you can explain why "nothing can generate..." is not an oxymoron.
  5. No the studies are fine, but if someone concludes that behavior can be reduced to material causes then that would be metaphysical. Designed systems very clearly include specialization, incorporate trade-offs and local optimizations. How do we objectively establish that natural selection favors specialization rather than that it is simply constrained, unable to generate new digestive functionality? This is a terrible argument. First of all, who are you to know the mind of another designer? Second, designers employ this approach routinely. A sewer plant accepts influent that contains organic matter and ammonia sending it through filter beds that the filter can't digest. Designers of refineries, chemical manufacturing and separation facilities make use of similar approaches. Except when evolution is taken as a prior commitment as it has been in this thread, then one simply speculates as to how and why certain things came to be the way they are. I am saying that it has not been demonstrated that behavior is reducible and therefore determined by material cause.
  6. Yes a philosophical answer to this scientific question is likely all that can be provided and if so adds to the notion that Hawking's proof is not worth much.
  7. The universe is a something, I agree. However Hawking seems to be claiming that this something se call the universe can be generated from nothing. Your suggested definition of nothing seems to be a something. Yes I agree Hawking's approach does seem to be wrong. I think I agree that it seems more correct to describe the cause of the universe as a something rather than nothing and to attribute properties to it. hmm, I don't understand what you said here. Yes imaginary things treated as real can make lots of difficulties go away.
  8. Interesting speculation. With food scarce why wouldn't all animals have the taste and ability to digest all sources of food energy? I don't see were either field has provided an objective demonstration that behaviors have a genetic source.
  9. Not sure why one would even bother to read it. "Nothing" doesn't generate anything. Nothing is absence of existence. Nothing has no agency. "Nothing can generate..." is an oxymoron. Perhaps the universe was generated from a quantum fluctuation but then what generated the quantum field? Perhaps cause does not apply to the universe, but then the principle of sufficient reason is invalid, and if it is invalid then the traditional arguments that lesser events within the universe require reason. If the entire universe requires no reason then all things need no reason. No need for abiogenisis no need for evolution, no need for science. Math is a wonderful model, but it does not always model reality....
  10. Questions like these don't have scientific answers, because science is unable to account for behaviors. This relegates the answers to speculation which is metaphysical. If the drive for survival accounted for tastes and development of digestion then all organisms would by now have developed systems that are able to consume anything and everything in their environment that provided a source of energy and raw material for cell construction and function while eliminating anything that is potentially toxic.
  11. Nonsense. different breeds of animals and races of people do have genetic differences . Population genetics confirms this. The Nazis focused on differences and downplayed similarities. They were neither correct nor incorrect to have done so. It is you who have the facts mixed up. I can see that some are neutral to evolutionary theory but in the case of Hitler and Stalin, their actions were driven by their faith in evolutionary theory. You would have to read his other book "Descent Of Man" to understand his thoughts on human race. He devotes an entire chapter in it to the application of natural selection to civilized societies. Darwin regarded blacks as lesser humans when he observed that the progression of evolution between apes and humans fell Darwin frequently maintained in "Descent of Man" that natural selection produced human intellectual development and thus significant differences in the mental faculties of "men of distinct races." Again you are reading the wrong book Edtharan. Actually both points matter. It matters that Hitler and Stalin exercised their beliefs in evolutionary theory because if their beliefs were correct but their conclusions were wrong then the theory must explain how and why their conclusions and actions were wrong. It also matters that the idea of evolutionary theory (that all diversity is accounted for by know evolutionary processes) is not an established fact. If evolutionary theory accounts for all observed diversity and all biological processes, then it accounts for behaviors as well. The theory places an additional burden on those who support the idea of evolution because of the grand claim that evolution accounts for every aspect of biology and every function that biological systems perform. It does since the theory cannot reconcile the dichotomy. It does since molecular biological experimentation seems to contradict many of the predictions that follow from the theory.
  12. False, I am very aware of what science is. I am correcting statements by other posters that stated evolution (the idea that all observed diversity is accounted for by known natural process observed today) is a fact, these people who make statements that evolution is fact are making appeals to ignorance. For my part, I do not know how the diversity of life actually occurred and do not make any claim that I do know and so I am not making any appeal to god. I do note that while observed evolutionary processes have thus far failed to produce the kinds of intermediate subcomponents that are required to generate the novel forms predicted by the theory despite trillions of trillions of observed opportunities to do so, genetic designers have been quite successful at producing far more than simply the subcomponents. Nearly all developmental forms require complex molecular machines at the cell level to produce distinct functional forms and these require multitudes of novel protein tertiary structures, new protein binding sites, new protein expression controls, new developmental controls, new cell process controls, new inventory and transportation controls and a host of protein hosts to aid in construction. All these components must come together to generate new functional forms. The fact is that evolutionary theory is approaching a crisis because of this growing dichotomy in molecular biology. I don't see how Hitler and Stalin abused evolutionary theory. If the theory is correct, then the conclusions they reach are correct as well. Let's be honest about what these two men believed and how they put their beliefs into practice. If their beliefs were correct but their practices were not correct then the theory must be able to explain how the practices were wrong and why. I have not seen this explanation. The fact that Social Darwinism is making a comeback today seems to vindicate that especially Stalin was correct in at least his beliefs or at least this new bread of Social Darwinists must think so.
  13. Because it is false that DNA similarities that are orders of magnitude less than similarities directly observed from established relationships confirms relatedness, though some who are predisposed to particular metaphysical beliefs might say it implies a degree of relatedness. It is customary not to pretend that falsehoods are truths.
  14. While this troll uses extremely poor arguments, he is correct when when by evolution one means the idea that known and observed evolutionary process operating today account for all biological diversity. It is far from established that this is the case. Hitler used evolutionary theory to justify his belief that the Arian race was superior, whereas Stalin used the same theory to support his belief that those who rejected communism were genetically predisposed to resist communism and therefore he was obligated to isolate them in Gulags lest their genes spread throughout the population. Today, social Darwinism seems to be making a comeback, for example by those who look for the "God Gene".
  15. If by related you mean humans factually are offspring of a common ancestor of apes an other animals, then you are making assumptions that inferences based solely on observed similarity are correct. Can this kind of induction be used to establish truth? These numbers seem to be in error. Males and female genomes differ by about 4% alone so humans do not share 99.9% of the same genome. Human and chimpanzee genomes are loosely 92-96% similar when the term similar is taken to include assumed homologous genes that are different and exclude gene rearrangements, genes with no analog in the other species, presumed "junk" DNA, and repeating sequences, but the genome is less than even 80% when "same" is taken to mean identical excluding presumed rearrangements. At what point in observing similarities do we draw the line? Are these lines drawn based on objective criteria or metaphysical presumption?
  16. Non-sequitor. Why should I care what is necessary to be a creationist? As I said before, simliarities and differences allow minds to generate and place things into artificial groupings but these similarities can not tell us how they actually came to be or if they are actually related. Of what use are artificial categories that are not demonstrably correct in what they imply?
  17. Our minds are quite proficient at grouping and categorizing according to observed similarities. Minds are also good at generating definitions to describe these groupings. By some measures and corresponding definitions, humans are in a common group called animals. By other measures and definitions humans are distinct from all others. But the bottom line is we don't factually know if we are cut from the same cloth as these things we call animals. Some think we are while others doubt it. Personally I tend to focus on identifiable differences rather than similarities and when I view the differences, I tend to conclude humans belong in a distinct group.
  18. In conversations with many of the atheists I know, the reason they cite for this is that they take it as an assumption (they take it as an article of faith) that theism and other religions are false and therefore there is no need to be rigorous since their position is factually true and truth speaks for itself. As I said before, it takes two to tangle. They are both at fault. The theist presented several very poor arguments but the atheists arguments were not much better. I think you are extracting the bolded portion and taking it out of context. The bigger problem are those who set the science standard too low for ideas that support their favored political or metaphysical views. Evolutionary theory is an example of one of these and it leaves it vulnerable to attack because it lacks the rigor that other scientific ideas contain.
  19. There is no need to debate applicability of NFL to evolutionary algorithms employing search routines that operate on changing fitness landscapes unless you can show a case of an evolutionary algorithm that is observed to generate information substantially faster than a blind search that does not incorporate teleological assistance externally. Similarities can be demonstrated but common ancestry cannot. Instead it must be inferred based on observed similarities. I recall that for most arguments you frown on induction. Now, there's also theory that explains how we believe those changes occur -- natural selection, genetic drift, sexual selection, mutation, gene duplication, and so on. These arguments too rely on inductive approaches. Researchers have once again noted weak similarities to other molecular structures in inferring the source of some but not all the components falgella. but similarity can never tell us by what process these similarities arose. Here is an excellent discussion of the problems with the research you refer to. Lenski's research is not a case of exaptation, it seems to be a case of overexpression of an existing enzyme that performs the same function in both cases, but with overexpression it is able to compensate for the negative influence of oxygen. I would describe this as adaptation of existing function. If this and YodaPs' example of the single point insertion mutation leading to the nylase enzyme (note once again an enzyme rather than a case of exaptation of complex multipart molecular structures such as the components of flagellum) represents the fundamental step involved in evolutionary processes, then you should be able to point to a nearly contiguous string of stepwise pathways involving these kinds of steps. Unfortunately in all the research I have read, I have come across fewer than 10 total examples all fewer than 4 steps and from the sounds of things you can't do any better. These seem like little more than excuses intended to cover for the failure to identify examples of the lowest level predictions of evolutionary theory (the idea that all diversity is explained by known evolutionary processes in operation today). Mutation and selection adequately explains adaptation of existing populations of organisms and this explanation is observed, but it does not even begin to explain what is required to generate novel forms. We did not need Lenski's cultures to know that interesting mutations happen. The history of selective breading and more recently genetic engineering and acquired drug and pesticide resistance confirms that interesting mutations allow for adaptation. Lenski's work instead seems to confirm that there is a limit to what natural processes can accomplish.
  20. Bascule, you failed to answer my question to you regarding the null hypothesis. Not sure why you felt it necessary to bring in a red herring argument regarding particle physics when we are discussing climate models. GCM's have been modified for the purpose of confirming what the designers presuppose about radiative forcing, just one aspect of the energy budget without incorporating other known causal channels. Then they pretend they are on to something significant all the while still unable to account for the overall energy budget. This is another logical fallacy. It is not like saying physicists are unable to construct a model of what particles do because physicists have been able deconstruct the fundamentals of kinetic motion to successfully account for the overall energy budget in particle kinetics. Climate science have thus far not been so successful. That you say I am half right and have things backwards are opinions you hold that cannot be demonstrated until the models are free of these errors. I can't think of a better way to describe a model that fails to reproduce actual behavior than to say it is invalid. Models that use similar assumptions generally produce similar results. You err when you place temperature proxies in the same category as GCM's. Thus far, there has not been a funding source identified to allow a group of skeptics to construct a proper Global Circulation Model. Furthermore it is likely not possible since it is currently not possible to develop a proper energy budget.
  21. Yes, this seems to be another way of acknowledging that since the climate's causal factors are not understood, we cannot accurately predict future patterns and thus the alarmists predictions of warmer temperatures of 2-6 degrees C are not credible.
  22. Well he gave a couple of atheists the finger after they pissed all over him. It takes both sides to get into a fist fight. Evolution is a hot topic because it is largely a prior conclusion based on a commitment to a particular worldview as opposed to a pure scientific area of study and it directly contradicts the theistic worldview. These more pure sciences that you mention don't have that baggage so the controversy is reduced.
  23. I don't see your point. Are you suggesting the observation is wrong? since historically natural forces have resulted in climate variations greater than what we presently observe should we not take natural causation as the null hypothesis? I don't think it is wise to use a climate model to attempt to demonstrate natural causal factors that the model does not include in its physics engine. Models do a poor job of establishing causal factors because the output is too heavily influenced by the biases and beliefs of the designers. There are better ways of identifying causation. No, it is true because climate scientists have been unable to construct an accurate global energy balance and are presently unable to determine the feedback effects of CGHG. These are red herrings. False. Climate scientists are aware of long term ocean oscillations and yet they are not incorporated into the models at this time. False on both accounts. Here is another paper (I offered two others above) that offers an alternative theory and a model.
  24. I think you misunderstand that group. It was the theists that first set science apart from religion. They did it when several theistic thinkers attempted to objectively prove the existence of their God. They set the bar too high and when they couldn't clear the bar they instead concluded that religion and science were in two different magisterial groups. Myself, I think that if a religion is true it must conform to science and likewise true science must include the possibility of a creator. NO, this seems mostly off the mark. Atheists only need facts about certain things, on others they depend on a continued lack of evidence. Its about where one puts their faith not the presence or absence of it.
  25. I'm not surprised at all by your response, but I certainly do not consider myself to be an animal. Sapiens are sentient beings not animals.
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