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Evolution stuffs up

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lucaspa said :

 

"The "bad design" argument only works against ID if you have the theology that deity is "good", "more intelligent than humans", and "kind". If the deity is not too bright and sadistic, then the "bad" designs can still be manufactured by the ID. So the bad design argument is not a scientfic argument but a theological one. The bad design arguments says that ID has theology that is not consistent with Judeo-Christianity."

 

This is correct. However, this argument is based on a very general and broad interpretation of ID. In fact, as I am sure you know, ID is mostly a thinly veiled covering over fundamentalist Christian creationism. So, in fact as opposed to theory, ID is a very narrow and specific interpretation, which includes the concept of a perfect creator.

 

lucaspa also said :

 

"You can't limit "they choose to believe what they are told" to only religious faith. "

 

 

This, of course, is true. However, one difference between religious faith and science is that in religion, people are required to stick to the dogma (ever hear of executions for blasphemy?), whereas in science, if it is done well, people are encouraged to be sceptical and question the various ideas. Of course it does not always happen this way. Scientists are human too, and have the full range of human faults - but at least the intent is there.

 

I have no problem with ID or even old fashioned creationism being taught in schools - as long as it is done under the subject "religious studies." To introduce it as a topic of science is something I would fight like hell to stop!! ID and creationism are NOT science. They fail to meet pretty much any description of modern science.

 

lucaspa's words

 

"Do you really think science works like that? I don't. I think theories are evaluated on evidence."

 

Tut tut. Naughty. I said nothing like that, and you are implying something I did not say.

 

Also said :

 

"Instead, what you showed was that skepticism is an integral part of faith. What you showed was that some religious leaders fight skepticism."

 

Actually, the fight against religious scepticism extends throughout all religions. Not just leaders. If you publicly insulted Mohammed while in Iran, you would not live long. The ones who killed you would almost certainly be ordinary muslims - not religious leaders, and it would be their idea - not that of their leaders. Religion is ultra conservative and ordinary religious people police that conservatism with vigor.

 

Again - a major difference between religion and science is that differences in opinion in science are accepted, and encouraged. You only have to look at the letters sections of scientific journals to see the ongoing debates and disagreements. This is not part of religion. Faith is expected to be total. You are expected NOT to dispute facets of religion.

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Is it not a possibility that intelligent design theory, in other words the creation of life by some intelligent form(i have no idea what it is or could be) could include the process of evolution. It is always a possible explanation that The design was meant to form on its own.
Intelligent Design is not a theory. In science, an idea is only called a theory when it has been rigorously tested by scientists the world over. The scientific method is a process by which we avoid what we want to believe, to get at what is repeatable, testable and predictable.

 

If ID was content to say that perhaps an intelligent designer used evolution (one of the most tested theories available in science) as a method, scientists could retain their skepticism but really wouldn't mind (science is more interested in how than why). But ID contradicts evolution, with bad data, misrepresentation (we didn't descend from apes, at least not modern apes; apes and man both descended from a common proto-ape ancestor) and repeated claims that have been thoroughly debunked but still get passed around.

 

Could God have used evolution to help Earth "be fruitful and multiply" once He got things going? Sure, why not, if God exists. Could evolution have produced the biodiversity we see today in just 6000 years? Not a chance.

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Evolution is imperfect by its very nature - too many random variables.

 

the core reason that Evolution produces "not really ideal" results is because it is an inheriting process - all modifications are made on the template of previous generations, which leads to the inevitable Heath Robinson/Rube Goldberg contraptions.

 

Intelligent design can eliminate this, because the design is created conceptually before it is implemented in the real world, and so there is no need to replace the horse with an engine, and leave the straps tethered to the fuel line, which is the sort of thing you end up with in evolution.

 

the fact is that we see these patterns of modification when we look at the phylogenetic trees. We see whales and dolphins with digits in their flippers and genes for smell even though these things are totally unnecessary. we see the recurrent laryngeal nerve looping under the aorta and so on. These things have simple explanations so far as evolution goes and can be tracked right through the various species, however ID is at a loss to explain them, unless they admit that their designer is incompetent.

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These things have simple explanations so far as evolution goes and can be tracked right through the various species, however ID is at a loss to explain them, unless they admit that their designer is incompetent.
Not exactly true. It is, after all, called intelligent design, not omnipotent design.

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To Ophiolite

 

If you use 'intelligent design' as an open theory, you are correct. However, I think we all know that is not, in fact, the case. ID is merely a more palatable coating for christian creationism, and fundamentalist at that. The ID people do actually believe in a perfect creator, even when they publicly espouse a more open ended ID theory. It is this core belief that is wrong.

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To Ophiolite

 

If you use 'intelligent design' as an open theory, you are correct. However, I think we all know that is not, in fact, the case. ID is merely a more palatable coating for christian creationism, and fundamentalist at that. The ID people do actually believe in a perfect creator, even when they publicly espouse a more open ended ID theory. It is this core belief that is wrong.

 

Which is honestly why Lucaspa is right and you're arguing a theological issue by pointing out imperfections in the design of various organisms. It's still a good argument, but you should be aware when you use it that you're referencing a specific theological belief that most ID adherents just happen to hold.

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To CDarwin

 

That is, undoubtedly, a correct way of explaining it. I prefer to think of it as attacking a point of dogma rather than a theological debate, since the latter accords too much respect to a rather silly belief.

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ID is merely a more palatable coating for christian creationism, and fundamentalist at that. The ID people do actually believe in a perfect creator, even when they publicly espouse a more open ended ID theory. It is this core belief that is wrong.
What you say is true, but it is also - in my opinion - a great loss. I like to distinguish between Intelligent Design, the camouflage concept for fundamentalist Christians, and intelligent design. (Note the lower case.)

There is evidence for the latter, not for the former. The evidence for intelligent design (lower case again:-)) is sketchy, provisional and open to other interpretation. It will readily fall to Occam's razor, but may not entirely go away. [Think Strong Anthropic Principle, Henderson's Fitness of the Environment, etc.]

The ID stance is such that is inhibits proper objective discussion and scinetific investigation of id. That is the loss.

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Only if id has anything meaningful to bring to the scientific table. AFAIK, it doesn't provide any scientific use, ergo discarding it doesn't bring any loss.

Edited by iNow
C -> K

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Not exactly true. It is, after all, called intelligent design, not omnipotent design.

 

the point is, that intelligent designs do not show the patterns that evolutionary designs do. For example in my car I have a radio and a CD player. the CD player has a laser in it, but that laser was not designed by car manufacturers or co-opted from a part of a horse and carriage. It was co-opted from a completely different area of development in semiconductors. evolution cannot do this, and thus the patterns of inheritance in terms of where structures come from is totally different.

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Radical and iNow, I am speaking of the possibility of a form ofintelligent design, wherein the intelligence lies within the ground rules. And, to repeat the point, the intelligence need not be omnipotent, and it may be contingent and ad hoc in its application. There is nothing in evolution, as presently understood, that excludes intelligent design.

The counter statement is, of course, "but there is no need for it, and no evidence". I would question that, citing for example, the suggestive precision of the fundamental constants, without which life would be impossible. Now this is moving us off topic, I'm simply pointing out that while ID is a no-no, id is worth a further look.

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There is nothing in evolution, as presently understood, that excludes intelligent design.

 

You can define 'design' in so many ways, it's obviously impossible to completely eliminate this hypothesis. But it IS completely useless to add design to the equation of life, it IS arrogant and anthropocentric, and most importantly, every time we could've detected design, we found just the opposite. Just look at how our genome is organized. If some sort of god designed us, he's an idiot.

 

I would question that, citing for example, the suggestive precision of the fundamental constants, without which life would be impossible. Now this is moving us off topic, I'm simply pointing out that while ID is a no-no, id is worth a further look.

 

It's completely irrational. It's a little like this; I roll a gazillion six-sided dice, and I decide that I will only have children if I roll a gazillion 1s and nothing else (probability of doing so; 6^(-gazillion) = very, very low).

 

Now, if I do roll only 1s, my child could say 'oh my god, it must've been fate, because it's so improbable'. But the point is; if I roll something else, s/he won't be there to ask the question. In other word, if my child look at the improbable and interpret it as a sign of fate, s/he will always get to the conclusion that his/her existence is the result of fate.

 

So, how can you use the value of the fundamental constant as an evidence of design, you wouldn't be there if its value would've been different, so, by definition, if you exist, the universe must've made your existence possible.

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Ophiolite proposes intelligent design (no capitals) as a scientific hypothesis. That is perfectly fine, and scientifically acceptable. However, there is a follow up to any hypothesis, which is absolutely compulsory. Carl Sagan called it prediction. Once you have formed a hypothesis, you must then use that hypothesis to make novel and testable predictions.

 

This stage is where super-string theory falls down and is the reason why books have been written by reputable physicists denouncing super-string as non-science. ID is the same.

 

Having made a testable prediction, you must test it using empirical means, with the intent (a la Karl Popper) of falsifying it if it is incorrect.

 

It is this process that is failed for intelligent design. For evolution, I can and will make a testable prediction.

"I predict that no fossil will be found in a rock stratum that is way older than the fossil should be. For example. There will be no clear cut fish fossils in pre-Cambrian rocks."

This prediction has been under test to a truly enormous extent, for the last 100 years. It has passed every time, and passed the falsification principle.

 

Intelligent design does not meet this scientific requirement.

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Radical and iNow, I am speaking of the possibility of a form ofintelligent design, wherein the intelligence lies within the ground rules. And, to repeat the point, the intelligence need not be omnipotent, and it may be contingent and ad hoc in its application. There is nothing in evolution, as presently understood, that excludes intelligent design.

The counter statement is, of course, "but there is no need for it, and no evidence". I would question that, citing for example, the suggestive precision of the fundamental constants, without which life would be impossible. Now this is moving us off topic, I'm simply pointing out that while ID is a no-no, id is worth a further look.

 

well if we're going to propose intelligent design, then what is intelligence?

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It is this process that is failed for intelligent design. For evolution, I can and will make a testable prediction.

"I predict that no fossil will be found in a rock stratum that is way older than the fossil should be. For example. There will be no clear cut fish fossils in pre-Cambrian rocks."

 

Honestly, that's probably not the best test, because it relies on such a subjective value. If we found a fish in the pre-Cambrian, I have a feeling that it would radically restructure our view of vertebrate history but wouldn't unseat evolution.

 

The reality of evolution is almost one of those "the sky is blue" statements. It's obviously falsifiable, but the evidence that is already known is so evident that future evidence isn't likely to overturn it. Tests of evolution are things like the distribution of characteristics of living organisms in a branching, connected network and the presence of fossils to fill in the paths between nodes of common ancestry. An old fish won't undo that.

 

When I think of it, something like a fish with fur might do the trick to overturn common descent, or some other bizarre combination of obviously derived features from different lineages in a single organism. Maybe modern evolutionary theory could still be overturned, or at least a big chunk of it, but needless to say the probability is vanishingly low.

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Honestly, that's probably not the best test, because it relies on such a subjective value. If we found a fish in the pre-Cambrian, I have a feeling that it would radically restructure our view of vertebrate history but wouldn't unseat evolution.

 

The reality of evolution is almost one of those "the sky is blue" statements. It's obviously falsifiable, but the evidence that is already known is so evident that future evidence isn't likely to overturn it. Tests of evolution are things like the distribution of characteristics of living organisms in a branching, connected network and the presence of fossils to fill in the paths between nodes of common ancestry. An old fish won't undo that.

 

When I think of it, something like a fish with fur might do the trick to overturn common descent, or some other bizarre combination of obviously derived features from different lineages in a single organism. Maybe modern evolutionary theory could still be overturned, or at least a big chunk of it, but needless to say the probability is vanishingly low.

 

I'd agree with this, that evolution is effectively unchallengeable. The mechanism is simple yet powerful, and precludes very few things. Finding a copy of the Bible in our genes or something else that is (truely) irreducibly complex would be one of the few things that might disprove it. As for furry fish, be aware that mammals with snake genes have been found (apparently due to a retrovirus).

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To CDarwin

 

The only way that a fish fossil could be found in pre-Cambrian rock is if evolution is wrong, or someone set it up as a fraud. I doubt that such a fraud could survive the intense scientific examination such a fossil would get. This is the reason evolution is true science and ID is false. True science requires falsifiability.

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citing for example, the suggestive precision of the fundamental constants, without which life would be impossible.

Actually there is very few fundamental constant that slight changes would cause life to be impossible. It might make us as we currently are impossible but not other forms of life. We have evolved in this universe with these fundamental constants.

 

The universe as we see it is a point where various forces cancel out. Take for instance Stars. They are a balance of forces between Gravity and the outward forces created by fusion. But what if gravity was weaker, shouldn't stars just blow themselves up?

 

Well, no. The process of star formation means that the gasses will contract unbder gravity until the amount of outwards push form the processes of fusion cancel out the pull of gravity.

 

If you were to transport a star from this universe straight into that other universe, then the star would blow it's self to pieces, but in that other universe, star formation means that a balance will be achieved.

 

And such as it would be with many of the other fundamental constants.

 

There are limits, but the processes are quite robust in the face of change in the fundamental constants. Also, even if the fundamental constants are changed so radically that life as we know it is impossible, who is to say that other kinds of life are not impossible under those circumstances. Even in our universe, life as we know it (chemical reactions of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and trace amounts of others) might not be the only form of life possible.

 

So under examination, this argument is actually quite thin.

 

There is nothing in evolution, as presently understood, that excludes intelligent design.

In concept, yes. However, do to the history fossil record) if there was an intelligent designer, then they would have to be doing so in a way indistinguishable from pure randomness. At which point asking if there is an intelligent designer is moot as it would be indistinguishable from randomness (and Occam's razor says to take the simplest one).

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To CDarwin

 

The only way that a fish fossil could be found in pre-Cambrian rock is if evolution is wrong, or someone set it up as a fraud. I doubt that such a fraud could survive the intense scientific examination such a fossil would get. This is the reason evolution is true science and ID is false. True science requires falsifiability.

 

Or fish just lived a lot earlier than we thought.

 

In concept, yes. However, do to the history fossil record) if there was an intelligent designer, then they would have to be doing so in a way indistinguishable from pure randomness. At which point asking if there is an intelligent designer is moot as it would be indistinguishable from randomness (and Occam's razor says to take the simplest one).

 

Evolution doesn't work by "pure randomness." You're playing into Creationists' bad arguments when you say things like that.

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One of the really bad flaws in the creationist argument is based on their idea of a perfect creator.

 

Ooh... I know! Satan did it. :)

 

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Evolution doesn't work by "pure randomness." You're playing into Creationists' bad arguments when you say things like that.

Sorry, I meant mutation. Thanks for the catch.

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To CDarwin

 

The only way that a fish fossil could be found in pre-Cambrian rock is if evolution is wrong, or someone set it up as a fraud. I doubt that such a fraud could survive the intense scientific examination such a fossil would get. This is the reason evolution is true science and ID is false. True science requires falsifiability.

 

I seriously doubt that either you or the scientific community would dump evolution if such a fossil were found.

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To Mr Skeptic

 

If a fossil fish were found in pre-Cambrian rocks, and intensive investigation showed it was genuine - not a fraud - then evolution would undergo drastic change, even if it was not dumped. There would be very serious questions asked, and answers would need to be found, or else evolution as a theory would get rather shakey.

 

The whole point is that evolution is potentially falsifiable. Of course, the probability of any such thing happening at this point in time is close to zero. That is because the evidence for evolution, and for fish evolving later than pre-Cambrian, is so massive that we know the chances of a falsifying event is microscopically indistinguishable from that zero figure.

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To Mr Skeptic

 

If a fossil fish were found in pre-Cambrian rocks, and intensive investigation showed it was genuine - not a fraud - then evolution would undergo drastic change, even if it was not dumped. There would be very serious questions asked, and answers would need to be found, or else evolution as a theory would get rather shakey.

 

The whole point is that evolution is potentially falsifiable. Of course, the probability of any such thing happening at this point in time is close to zero. That is because the evidence for evolution, and for fish evolving later than pre-Cambrian, is so massive that we know the chances of a falsifying event is microscopically indistinguishable from that zero figure.

 

Well, for one there are other option besides genuine and fraud. It could just be a geological mix-up. The dating on the rocks of the fossil was wrong, it got intruded into an earlier layer, something along those lines. But assuming that that wasn't the case, either, it depends on what you mean by 'fish.' If palentologists found a trout in the Pre-Cambrian, yes, that'd be a problem.

 

But if it was just an Ostracoderm then it would be huge, make Nature, all the newspapers, but it wouldn't do any real damage to evolutionary theory. We would just have underestimated how long primitive fish have been around.

 

So I'll allow that the discovery could be so ridiculous that it reach a threshold where it challenges evolution as a theory.

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