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Evolution has never been observed

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Still dodging, and there were two questions.

 

No. The references I offered answers your questions.

 

 

 

Science doesn't claim to have all the answers, and what you propose isn't science.

 

Science is not the pursuit of validated facts about our world?

 

1. Evolution has been observed, thus it is a fact.

 

The capability for known evolutionary processes to account for all biological diversity has not been observed. The capability of known evolutionary processes to generate known molecular precursors to new cell molecular function and new biological forms had not been observed. Only limited adaptation of existing function has been observed and I suspect this is not what you intend when you speak of evolution.

 

2. Define "design"

 

Planned for a role, purpose, or effect.

 

Hm. How would one validate the action of something that transcends this universe? If it is outside of this universe, it is outside of our known physical laws, and no experiment can determine the laws it operates under. (We cannot experiment outside of our own universe.)

 

Just because you are unable to conceive of a test for a probable cause does not mean it cannot now be or ever be validated. Should we eliminate causes that may occur to slowly to validate also, or should we look for alternative methods to validate them?

 

As a simple example, suppose I've determined that the action of some simple physical system exhibits the influence of a cause transcending this universe. It would be impossible to falsify this hypothesis.

 

I'm not sure this is true. Do you reject as unscientific the idea that something can be generated from nothing? Surely "nothingness" must transcend this universe since this universe is everywhere something. Do you reject the idea of multiple universes? How about multiverses? String Theory?

 

Should another scientist fail to find the influence, I can argue that the transcendent cause does not always occur, or that it hides itself when experimented upon. Should it recur, I have no reason to believe it is from outside this universe rather than an unknown cause inside our own universe.

 

QM uncertainty allows for the possibility of something from a quantum field. How would you discern spontaneous appearance of matter as caused by a quantum field verses a transcending cause? If one can't why should we accept one but reject the other?

 

In short: How is a transcendent cause falsifiable?

 

In the case of a claim for a transcendent cause for this universe one would falsify it by validating an alternate.

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Just because you are unable to conceive of a test for a probable cause does not mean it cannot now be or ever be validated. Should we eliminate causes that may occur to slowly to validate also, or should we look for alternative methods to validate them?

There is a difference between "hard to validate" and "impossible to validate." Actually, as we'll see in a minute, they all fit into one category anyway...

 

I'm not sure this is true. Do you reject as unscientific the idea that something can be generated from nothing? Surely "nothingness" must transcend this universe since this universe is everywhere something. Do you reject the idea of multiple universes? How about multiverses? String Theory?

I'm not sure I know what you mean when you say nothingness must transcend this universe, but it's not relevant. Unfalsifiable ideas are unscientific. Multiverse claims are unscientific unless there is a way to falsify them; I believe some variants of string theory posit multiple "universes" (actually branes of some kind) which can weakly interact, so it is conceivably falsifiable.

 

There has been immense criticism of string theory for its difficult-to-falsify predictions, so this is hardly unprecedented. As time goes on, of course, more and more parts of it will be testable.

 

QM uncertainty allows for the possibility of something from a quantum field. How would you discern spontaneous appearance of matter as caused by a quantum field verses a transcending cause? If one can't why should we accept one but reject the other?

Quantum mechanics is a more useful hypothesis: it makes numerous other falsifiable predictions, has been successfully tested under a variety of circumstances, and so on. Now, if a transcendent cause hypothesis met similar criteria, there'd be no reason to favor one over the other, but as we'll see, no transcendent cause can meet these criteria.

 

In the case of a claim for a transcendent cause for this universe one would falsify it by validating an alternate.

Hm. Now, I suppose this only works if the alternate hypothesis and the transcendent cause hypothesis make different predictions; if they made identical predictions, validating the alternate would not falsify the transcendent cause.

 

Now, if it's the case that an alternate hypothesis that makes different predictions is tested in experiment and found to be correct, it is also the case that predictions made by the transcendent hypothesis have been tested and found to be incorrect. In other words, the transcendent cause hypothesis has been falsified. No appeal to an alternate hypothesis is necessary, because the same would occur if we only had the one hypothesis and it failed a test.

 

So, all you've done is say that we could falsify a transcendent cause hypothesis by falsifying it in experiment. That is not helpful.

 

An example

 

Suppose I hypothesize that transcendent causes sometimes cause particles to appear in our universe. Now, a transcendent cause can be any cause outside our universe, so for the sake of argument, let's assume there's another universe whose intelligent occupants are capable of influencing our universe, but we are unable to influence or detect them through any means. (If we could influence them or detect them, they'd by definition be part of our universe.)

 

My hypothesis is then that the occupants of the alternate universe occasionally influence events in our universe to cause certain particles to come into existence. Suppose I perform experiments and make the hypothesis specific: particles will appear under certain experimental conditions and can be detected with certain equipment. There is no known cause for these particles, so I hypothesize that the other universe's occupants create them.

 

Suppose, then, another scientist tests my hypothesis. He sets up the same equipment under the same conditions and makes the measurements. He finds my predictions to be wrong: no particles appear, or the wrong particles appear, or they appear in a different way, or whatever.

 

I simply retort "The occupants of the other universe changed their minds, and did something different."

 

My other-universe-meddling hypothesis has not been falsified, because the undetectable intelligence of the other universe's occupants allows anything to happen and still fit in. "I've never detected a single unexplained particle!" "They must not like your lab." "But when I ran the same test in your lab, it didn't work!" "They're trying to deceive you."

 

Sure, it's a fanciful example, but similar examples could be created for any transcendental hypothesis. Things outside this universe do not have to obey the rules of our universe, so we can easily explain away failures in experiment as saying "well, the effect stopped because of unknown causes in the transcendental realm."

 

Transcendental hypotheses are thus useless as explanatory tools because they explain everything, and thus, nothing.

 

Now, this is not to say that it is impossible that transcendent beings meddle with our universe, or that it cannot be true. The possibility cannot be discounted, but likewise cannot ever be proven true; there is no experimental method we have (or can ever have) that can allow us to determine the truth of such a hypothesis.

 

A transcendental hypothesis may be true, but it is impossible to know.

 

A footnote on validation and verifiability

 

Theories are, therefore, never empirically verifiable.

 

- The Logic of Scientific Discovery

 

That is all.

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No. The references I offered answers your questions.

 

Really? That book discusses the operation of a computer? I had no idea. And if it confirms that Darwin is mentioned in Mein Kampf, why don't you just say so, instead of all these charades?

 

Science is not the pursuit of validated facts about our world?

 

Do you really think that was the part of your statement to which I objected?

 

The capability for known evolutionary processes to account for all biological diversity has not been observed. The capability of known evolutionary processes to generate known molecular precursors to new cell molecular function and new biological forms had not been observed. Only limited adaptation of existing function has been observed and I suspect this is not what you intend when you speak of evolution.

 

That's not what you claimed, so this is moving the goalposts. You contended that people who say evolution is a fact are wrong. And the rest of the claim seems to rest on what counts as an observation, and on artificially narrowing what constitutes evidence.

 

Planned for a role, purpose, or effect.

 

How does one objectively tell the difference between planned and something that just happened?

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A transcendental hypothesis may be true, but it is impossible to know.

 

Not all transcendental hypothesis are metaphysical. There are transcendental hypothesis where it is possible to know whether it is true or not.

 

We can make posteriori synthetic statements of the noumena world.

 

My link

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Really? That book discusses the operation of a computer? I had no idea. And if it confirms that Darwin is mentioned in Mein Kampf, why don't you just say so, instead of all these charades?

Darwin is not mentioned in Mein Kampf, but a distorted perception of Darwinian principles is evident:

 

Thus men without exception wander about in the garden of Nature; they imagine that they know practically everything and yet with few exceptions pass blindly by one of the most patent principles of Nature's rule: the inner segregation of the species of all living beings on this earth.

Even the most superficial observation shows that Nature's restricted form of propagation and increase is an almost rigid basic law of all the innumerable forms of expression of her vital urge. Every animal mates only with a member of the same species. The titmouse seeks the titmouse, the finch the finch, the stork the stork, the field mouse the field mouse, the dormouse the dormouse, the wolf the she-wolf, etc.

Only unusual circumstances can change this, primarily the compulsion of captivity or any other cause that makes it impossible to mate within the same species. But then Nature begins to resist this with all possible means, and her most visible protest consists either in refusing further capacity for propagation to bastards or in limiting the fertility of later offspring; in most cases, however, she takes away the power of resistance to disease or hostile attacks.

This is only too natural.

Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.

The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.

Therefore, here, too, the struggle among themselves arises less from inner aversion than from hunger and love. In both cases, Nature looks on calmly, with satisfaction, in fact. 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 or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.

 

Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler

Volume One - A Reckoning

Chapter XI: Nation and Race

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Darwin is not mentioned in Mein Kampf, but a distorted perception of Darwinian principles is evident:

 

Thus men without exception wander about in the garden of Nature; they imagine that they know practically everything and yet with few exceptions pass blindly by one of the most patent principles of Nature's rule: the inner segregation of the species of all living beings on this earth.

Even the most superficial observation shows that Nature's restricted form of propagation and increase is an almost rigid basic law of all the innumerable forms of expression of her vital urge. Every animal mates only with a member of the same species. The titmouse seeks the titmouse, the finch the finch, the stork the stork, the field mouse the field mouse, the dormouse the dormouse, the wolf the she-wolf, etc.

Only unusual circumstances can change this, primarily the compulsion of captivity or any other cause that makes it impossible to mate within the same species. But then Nature begins to resist this with all possible means, and her most visible protest consists either in refusing further capacity for propagation to bastards or in limiting the fertility of later offspring; in most cases, however, she takes away the power of resistance to disease or hostile attacks.

This is only too natural.

Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.

The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.

Therefore, here, too, the struggle among themselves arises less from inner aversion than from hunger and love. In both cases, Nature looks on calmly, with satisfaction, in fact. 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 or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.

 

Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler

Volume One - A Reckoning

Chapter XI: Nation and Race

 

One can also make the observation that animals reproducing after their own kind is a biblical argument, and the implication that speciation or hybridization does not occur or always results in an inferior result is not in accordance with evolution. So if this is supposed to be an argument based on evolution, Adolf did as well as an unsuccessful art student with no biology training could be expected to do. He failed.

 

The whole argument is fatally flawed. Evolution has its roots in other ideas and observations that predate it, so other arguments that use the same precursors are not necessarily based on evolution. And even if they were, it wouldn't matter. The application of the theory is incorrect and merely used as justification. As I have pointed out before, Archimedes' principle does not justify drowning and gravity does not justify pushing someone off of a cliff.

 

However, my insistence on having cypress answer the questions were not based solely on pointing this out. It was to underscore the pattern of dodging questions only to repeat the same talking points, because the actual answers are inconvenient to the argument. No, Darwin is not actually mentioned in the book, so the connection to evolution is tenuous. And no, computers do not operate on magic and people are not held down by invisible pink fairies, but to actually admit that would undercut the argument that the so-called "commitment to materialism" is a limitation of science. People don't waste their time trying to build computers based on magic, they build them based on quantum mechanics and E&M. But if cypress's contention is correct, it seems reasonable to ask why this is the case, and why biology is being singled out for exception to the precept about supernatural influence on nature.

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The capability for known evolutionary processes to account for all biological diversity has not been observed. The capability of known evolutionary processes to generate known molecular precursors to new cell molecular function and new biological forms had not been observed. Only limited adaptation of existing function has been observed and I suspect this is not what you intend when you speak of evolution.

But this is exactly what leads to new function. Evolution proceeds in small steps, as I have heard it put (but can't remember the source) evolution proceeds to "the adjacent possible". This means that everytime we see change it is this "adaptation of existing function", but then this adaptation gets readapted again and again until it no longer resembles the original function.

 

Have a look again at my earlier post (#75). In this I gave an experiment were you use evolution to evolve one word into another word. But now repeat the experiment, but when you get to the target word, the experiment continues, but you choose a new target word and use the old target word as the starting word.

 

What you get with this is that you get that limited adaptation, but then as it repeats and repeats you get wholy new function (new target word) that can be achieved.

 

Actualy, as each generation has to produce a viable word, you can see it in micro as well. Each changed letter leads to a new word that is almost identical to the orriginal (changed by 1 letter), but over time these changes can lead to a completely different word. This is "new function" appearing from "limited adaptation" which disproves your argument here.

 

Just because you are unable to conceive of a test for a probable cause does not mean it cannot now be or ever be validated. Should we eliminate causes that may occur to slowly to validate also, or should we look for alternative methods to validate them?

In a way I do agree with you here. We can't rule such things out, but where I disagree is that it does not mean we have to include these unprovable things.

 

As an extra caveat: If something has an effect on a system, then that thing can in principal be detected and its existance verified. This means that there can be no unprovable influences on a system.

 

What this also means is that any cause that acts on a system can be considdered part of that system. Thus if there is somthing "outside the universe" then it, by definition, is outside the system. As it is outside the system it can have no influence on the system. However if it does have an influence on the system, then by definition, it is part of the system which means that it is part of the universe and can not exist out side of it.

 

This is why it is a completly incorrect argument to posit something outside the universe as having a causal effect, as if it does have a causal effect, then it is part of the universe and if it doesn't have a causeal effect then it is not part of the system and has no influence (and thus be ignored as far as an understanding of the system is concerned).

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One evolutionary consideration that is often overlooked is the environment can often define selective advantage. As a thought experiment we have two animal mutations. One gives the animal extra warm fur and the other gives the animal less fur. Depending on the environment we use, we can select either one of these animals for selective advantage. If we use a cold environment our heavier fur animals wins. If we use a warm environment our thinner fur animal wins.

 

Let us do this in a slightly different way. We have a herd of animals with a range of genetic diversity, similar to a group of humans with different physical and emotional and mental traits. These animals are migrating over a very long distance. If the first environment lacks water, those who genetics retain water better give them an advantage. Next week, there is plenty of water but the water is in a large shallow swamp. Now those with long thin legs, who can wade easier, have the selective advantage. The next week, the terrain gets very rugged so those who are lighter on the feet have the selective advantage due to less hoof problems. Next they enter a mountainous area. Now those with shorter and sturdier legs have an advantage. Next week, the terrain is full of dense shrubs. Now there is a new constraint, etc.

 

Evolution sort of assumes the environment is more or less fixed with genetic changes leading to new advantages. But in the above scenario the genetics of the individual members of the herd were fixed with environmental changes leading to new advantages. In the scenario above, say during the long march, each advantageous part of the herd found their niche, where they could be the big fish in a little pond (selective advantage), instead of a little fish in the big herd pond. Our water retainers decide to stay in the dry land. Our long legged waders decide to stay there, etc., since all have found their selective advantage.

 

Using existing evolutionary theory we would say they took millions of years for each niche to evolve, yet the entire apparent evolution happened over months.

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An example

 

Suppose I hypothesize that transcendent causes sometimes cause particles to appear in our universe. Now, a transcendent cause can be any cause outside our universe, so for the sake of argument, let's assume there's another universe whose intelligent occupants are capable of influencing our universe, but we are unable to influence or detect them through any means. (If we could influence them or detect them, they'd by definition be part of our universe.)

 

snip ...

 

A transcendental hypothesis may be true, but it is impossible to know.

 

A footnote on validation and verifiability

 

 

It's an example but it seems incorrect because it presupposes that something or some effect that enters into our universe must be catagorized as part of our universe. This does not make sense. When I enter my automobile I do not become part of my car and yet I am detectable from within it.

 

One can also make the observation that animals reproducing after their own kind is a biblical argument, and the implication that speciation or hybridization does not occur or always results in an inferior result is not in accordance with evolution. So if this is supposed to be an argument based on evolution, Adolf did as well as an unsuccessful art student with no biology training could be expected to do. He failed.

 

The whole argument is fatally flawed. Evolution has its roots in other ideas and observations that predate it, so other arguments that use the same precursors are not necessarily based on evolution. And even if they were, it wouldn't matter. The application of the theory is incorrect and merely used as justification. As I have pointed out before, Archimedes' principle does not justify drowning and gravity does not justify pushing someone off of a cliff.

 

However, my insistence on having cypress answer the questions were not based solely on pointing this out. It was to underscore the pattern of dodging questions only to repeat the same talking points, because the actual answers are inconvenient to the argument. No, Darwin is not actually mentioned in the book, so the connection to evolution is tenuous. And no, computers do not operate on magic and people are not held down by invisible pink fairies, but to actually admit that would undercut the argument that the so-called "commitment to materialism" is a limitation of science. People don't waste their time trying to build computers based on magic, they build them based on quantum mechanics and E&M. But if cypress's contention is correct, it seems reasonable to ask why this is the case, and why biology is being singled out for exception to the precept about supernatural influence on nature.

 

Nonsense swansont. You are not the arbitrator of what Hitler meant by his words. You asked if Darwinian evolution was mentioned in Hitlers writing and it is. Whether or not Hitler's interpretation of Darwinian evolution 80 years ago matches your current viewpoint of it is not relevant. I provided as a reference an entire book that addresses this topic far more thoroughly than your opinion of what you think Hitler said. I did so to prevent this claim of yours that I dodge your trick questions.

 

I even answered the single relevant part of your computer question which is that computers do not run on magic instead they function because designers planned built and programmed them to function.

Edited by cypress

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It's an example but it seems incorrect because it presupposes that something or some effect that enters into our universe must be catagorized as part of our universe. This does not make sense. When I enter my automobile I do not become part of my car and yet I am detectable from within it.

 

You'll have to better explain what you mean by "causes that transcend this universe," then. You brought it up by mentioning that methodological naturalism excludes transcendent causes, implying that transcendent causes are not "natural causes and events," which are under the purview of methodological naturalism. To imply transcendent causes are not natural causes is to imply they are supernatural (by the definition of "supernatural") and that they exist outside natural law and the observable universe. Hence transcendent causes are not observable. (They may have effects in our observable universe, but the cause exists outside it.)

 

You contend that transcendent causes would be observable, but I do not see how this makes sense. Transcendent causes are, according to you, excluded by methodological naturalism, but if they're observable, they're not excluded. You need to explain transcendence more clearly.

 

Furthermore, you still have not explained how to falsify a transcendent cause hypothesis. Your previous answer begged the question.

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Nonsense swansont. You are not the arbitrator of what Hitler meant by his words.

 

Neither are you.

 

But, as I wrote, it doesn't matter. It is impossible to violate physical law; physical law is amoral. One cannot use it to justify an immoral act.

 

I even answered the single relevant part of your computer question which is that computers do not run on magic instead they function because designers planned built and programmed them to function.

 

The problem is that the two parts of this are not mutually exclusive. If we are to not constrain ourselves with a "commitment to materialism," than we should have to consider that we can design and program a computer that works by magic. The design and programming tell us what type of magic to implement for a particular problem. But invoking "design" does not sweep the "magic" part under the rug.

 

So why is nobody investigating magic as a basis for technology?

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Neither are you.

 

But, as I wrote, it doesn't matter. It is impossible to violate physical law; physical law is amoral. One cannot use it to justify an immoral act.

 

If humans and human behavior are the result of physical law then human behavior would necessarily be amoral.

 

The problem is that the two parts of this are not mutually exclusive. If we are to not constrain ourselves with a "commitment to materialism," than we should have to consider that we can design and program a computer that works by magic.

 

It is inability to provide a validated causally adequate coherent explanation and not a commitment to materialism that disallows magic.

 

The design and programming tell us what type of magic to implement for a particular problem. But invoking "design" does not sweep the "magic" part under the rug.

 

Computers and their function have full causally adequate explanations including design and front loaded functional, specified information that are not reducible to only material causes and physical law.

 

So why is nobody investigating magic as a basis for technology?

 

I suspect it is because most people prefer explanations that are causally adequate and logically coherent.

 

You'll have to better explain what you mean by "causes that transcend this universe," then. You brought it up by mentioning that methodological naturalism excludes transcendent causes, implying that transcendent causes are not "natural causes and events," which are under the purview of methodological naturalism.

 

Transcending entities would transcend (go beyond) our natural world which I take to be the universe. Those who speak of materialism and methodological naturalism speak of our material world.

 

To imply transcendent causes are not natural causes is to imply they are supernatural (by the definition of "supernatural") and that they exist outside natural law and the observable universe. Hence transcendent causes are not observable. (They may have effects in our observable universe, but the cause exists outside it.)

 

It makes more sense to me that a transcending agent that causes an effect in our universe would be detectable from within our universe when and after the effect occurs. If it is not detectable then we would not be able to tell the difference between it and an uncaused event or an event that occurred from nothing or a quantum event.

 

You contend that transcendent causes would be observable, but I do not see how this makes sense. Transcendent causes are, according to you, excluded by methodological naturalism, but if they're observable, they're not excluded. You need to explain transcendence more clearly.

 

It is according to many who use and defend the term methodological naturalism who seem to exclude potential transcending causes. If you argue observable effects and causes not originating in this universe are not excluded by your way of thinking, I can accept that. I see the term transcendence as a very clear term.

 

Furthermore, you still have not explained how to falsify a transcendent cause hypothesis. Your previous answer begged the question.

 

A hypothesis is falsified for example by invalidating predictions. If one shows that an event that is hypothesized to have a transcending cause actually has another cause then quite clearly the hypothesis is invalid. Clearer examples would require illustration of such a hypothesis. I currently don't hold to any such hypotheses but I do not reject the possibility of one. It seems from your previous statement that any transcending agent that causes an event in this universe whereby the cause was observable then a hypothesis covering the event and observable cause should be falsifiable.

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This is a multiple choice reply. Select your preferred answer in each instance.

 

If humans and human behavior are the result of physical law then human behavior would necessarily be amoral.

1) So what?

2) Only if you dispute the existence of emergent properties.

 

 

It is inability to provide a validated causally adequate coherent explanation and not a commitment to materialism that disallows magic.

1) Within science numerous observations are accepted and hypotheses considered positively even when no causally adequate coherent explanation is available. Such events are often unpopular - Wegner and continental drift spring to mind - yet they are not rejected wholesale by the scientific community.

2) Demanding causally adequate coherent explanations for phenomena is equivalent to a commitment to materialism.

 

Computers and their function have full causally adequate explanations including design and front loaded functional, specified information that are not reducible to only material causes and physical law.

1. Incorrect.

2. Which aspects of computers do you assert are not reducible to only material causes and physical law?

 

 

I suspect it is because most people prefer explanations that are causally adequate and logically coherent.

1. Do you advocate researching magic for solutions to social, engineering or scientific problems?

2. So you prefer explanations that lack causal adequacy and are logically incoherent. It is nice to have such a powerful suspicion confirmed.

 

 

 

Transcending entities would transcend (go beyond) our natural world which I take to be the universe. Those who speak of materialism and methodological naturalism speak of our material world.

1. That didn't clarify things at all.

2. Incorrect, many speak of our natural world, by which they mean a material world which they will investigate while adhering to the principles of methodological naturalism. (Here's a hint: the clue is in the word naturalism.)

 

 

It makes more sense to me that a transcending agent that causes an effect in our universe would be detectable from within our universe when and after the effect occurs. If it is not detectable then we would not be able to tell the difference between it and an uncaused event or an event that occurred from nothing or a quantum event.

1. I agree this is plausible.

2. Just because something makes more sense to you or anyone is no argument for its veracity.

 

Transcending entities would transcend (go beyond) our natural world which I take to be the universe. Those who speak of materialism and methodological naturalism speak of our material world.

1. That didn't clarify things at all.

2. Incorrect, many speak of our natural world, by which they mean a material world which they will investigate while adhering to the principles of methodological naturalism. (Here's a hint: the clue is in the word naturalism.)

 

 

It is according to many who use and defend the term methodological naturalism who seem to exclude potential transcending causes. If you argue observable effects and causes not originating in this universe are not excluded by your way of thinking, I can accept that. I see the term transcendence as a very clear term.

1. Transcendent causes are not rejected by adherence to methodological naturalism, but they are ignored since supernatural events lack the characteristics required for scientific investigation.

2. Methodological naturalism is a provisional position for science to adopt. Were observable transcendent events to be identified science could elect to move away from it.

 

 

A hypothesis is falsified for example by invalidating predictions. If one shows that an event that is hypothesized to have a transcending cause actually has another cause then quite clearly the hypothesis is invalid. Clearer examples would require illustration of such a hypothesis. I currently don't hold to any such hypotheses but I do not reject the possibility of one. It seems from your previous statement that any transcending agent that causes an event in this universe whereby the cause was observable then a hypothesis covering the event and observable cause should be falsifiable.

1. Ah yes, but how are you going to replicate it?

2. Ah yes, but how are you going to replicate it?

 

Evolution proceeds in small steps, as I have heard it put (but can't remember the source) evolution proceeds to "the adjacent possible".

Sounds exactly like Stuart Kaufmann to me.

Edited by Ophiolite

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One evolutionary consideration that is often overlooked is the environment can often define selective advantage. As a thought experiment we have two animal mutations. One gives the animal extra warm fur and the other gives the animal less fur. Depending on the environment we use, we can select either one of these animals for selective advantage. If we use a cold environment our heavier fur animals wins. If we use a warm environment our thinner fur animal wins.

Actually it doesn't. It is only simplifications of evolution or misrepresentations that assume a fixed environment.

 

Let us do this in a slightly different way. We have a herd of animals with a range of genetic diversity, similar to a group of humans with different physical and emotional and mental traits. These animals are migrating over a very long distance. If the first environment lacks water, those who genetics retain water better give them an advantage. Next week, there is plenty of water but the water is in a large shallow swamp. Now those with long thin legs, who can wade easier, have the selective advantage. The next week, the terrain gets very rugged so those who are lighter on the feet have the selective advantage due to less hoof problems. Next they enter a mountainous area. Now those with shorter and sturdier legs have an advantage. Next week, the terrain is full of dense shrubs. Now there is a new constraint, etc.

As a week is not long enough to have multiple generations, the pressures on these animals over their migration will all have an effect. So animals won't evolve to suit just one of these environments, but would have to evolve to suit all of them (at least while they are migrating), and then only enough to get them through that patch.

 

This would be a better example if they were boardered by these environments and the population size was large enough that any increase in population would force some of them into these new environments. Then, any individuals that had a mutation that enabled them to exist better in these new environments would do better than others in those environments. And, over many generations, as these better evolved groups increased in number, they would be under pressure to evolve better tolerances for those environments.

 

There would come a time where the changes that have enabled thes new "subspecies" to deal with their particular environments would cause a selective disadvantage when combined with traits from other gene pools. At this point a new pressure developos, one that reduces the hybridisation between that group and another. This is when you get speciation occuring as the ones that interbreed will be less capable of surviving than the ones that don't.

 

This, I think, is what this whole debate surounding the Nazis and evolution is centred on. What they were proposing sounds a lot like this, but it is actually completely different as with actual seciation there needs to be a far greater difference in genetic, and there has to be significant trait incompatability.

 

As it is, the Nazis used ideological and cultural differences to split groups of humans up, and these do not have a genetic cause (Yes, the ability to have culture is genetic, but the minutia of the culture is not).

 

Evolution sort of assumes the environment is more or less fixed with genetic changes leading to new advantages. But in the above scenario the genetics of the individual members of the herd were fixed with environmental changes leading to new advantages. In the scenario above, say during the long march, each advantageous part of the herd found their niche, where they could be the big fish in a little pond (selective advantage), instead of a little fish in the big herd pond. Our water retainers decide to stay in the dry land. Our long legged waders decide to stay there, etc., since all have found their selective advantage.

As I was saying, it wouldn't be a migrating species that would do this, but it would be a static species that was forced to expand into new territories (eg: population pressures).

 

Using existing evolutionary theory we would say they took millions of years for each niche to evolve, yet the entire apparent evolution happened over months.

No, it would occur over generations, not months. It was only in your example that ignored actual reality and the actaul theory of evolution that allowed them to do so in months.

 

It was just a strawman argument.

 

Using these does not help you position as a logical falalcy does not logically prove your point in an argument. Also, if you have to resort to logical falacies then it indicates that you have no logical reason to hold your position. It just weakens your position in the argument and weakens it for anyone else that holds your position.

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The only point I was making is for any given genetics there is an optimum environment. In the same token, for any given genetics there are non-optimized environments. The frail child may be optimized as part of the chess club, since his physical limitations will not matter in that environment. There he can be a champion and leader. But playing on the football team would not be an optimized environment. Now he is neither champion or leader.

 

When we add the brain to evolution, there is another push where instinct seeks an optimized environment. The human mind can play tricks and alter the goal of instinct. Putting that aside, things like population pressure will cause the brain to sense the lack of optimization. There will be a conscious movement outward, but not intentionally to where there is worse optimization. The goal is to find a place where one is optimized based on the environmental variables.

 

The brain can help pick the environment for genetic optimization. For example, when the prehumans migrated out of Africa, they migrated great distances beyond any push associated with just population pressures. We could fit them all in a space the size of England, yet they spread over the world. I tend to think as various members found their optimized place (home) they stopped. Others continued until they found home.

 

Evolution is too 1-D around genetics. There is also the brain which is designed to work in real time and react to changes in the environment and can sense non-optimization. A tree does not have a brain so 1-D is good enough. But once we add animals, it is more 2-D.

Edited by pioneer

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If humans and human behavior are the result of physical law then human behavior would necessarily be amoral.

 

Since we do not appear to be amoral (we "invented" morals), feel free to give examples of humans violating physical law.

 

It is inability to provide a validated causally adequate coherent explanation and not a commitment to materialism that disallows magic.

 

Feel free to give an alternate validated causal coherent explanation for what we call evolution.

 

I suspect it is because most people prefer explanations that are causally adequate and logically coherent.

 

Quite. Of course, one must be careful not to let an ideological bias change the criteria for what is "causally adequate" (as compared to other areas of science)

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Since we do not appear to be amoral (we "invented" morals), feel free to give examples of humans violating physical law.

 

Introspection indicates that morals are not invented but are instead inherent properties. That humans are able to generate a large quantity of information seems to be an exception to laws of information entropy.

 

Feel free to give an alternate validated causal coherent explanation for what we call evolution.

 

biological diversity currently lacks a validated explanation. Design though is a process currently in operation that does explain many more aspects of what it would take to generate diversity.

 

Quite. Of course, one must be careful not to let an ideological bias change the criteria for what is "causally adequate" (as compared to other areas of science)

 

Unfortunately this ship of ideological bias sailed prior to the 20th century.

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Introspection indicates that morals are not invented but are instead inherent properties. That humans are able to generate a large quantity of information seems to be an exception to laws of information entropy.

I have neaver heard of "information" entropy, but from the context I can guess you mean something like standard entropy applied to information. As entropy is a measure of disorder, then it would apply to information anyway and so you don't need to use the word "information" at all.

 

However, entropy says that any closed system will increase in disorder, but it says nothing about open systems. That is when energy can flow into and/or out of the system. In these cases, disorder (entropy) can decrease. As the Earth is an open system (we get energy from the sun), then it is perfectly possible for entropy to decrease here on Earth, however, when you take into account the Sun and the Earth as a single system, then entropy is indeed increasing (and quite a lot too). So there is no voliation of entropy (information or otherwise) and so no exception to it.

 

biological diversity currently lacks a validated explanation. Design though is a process currently in operation that does explain many more aspects of what it would take to generate diversity.

Nope. There are many different environments on Earth, and as each organism evolves and changes it changes the environment (along with other environmental processes like erosion, plate tectonics, climate shifts, etc). This crease a lot of ways that organisms have to adapt and each being a different solution to the problem of survival. This creates selection for a large variety of diversity in organisms. And, as I explained above, as the Earth is not a closed system and we are getting energy input form the sun (and Earth radiates energy too in the form of infra-red light as the energy from the sun heats the Earth), then no voliation of entropy occurs.

 

As your arguments seem to rest on your belief that evolution can't occur because it violtes entropy, this sort of nullifies your argument as there is no violation of entropy as the Earth is not a closed system and increasing entropy only applies to closed systems and not open systems.

 

Unfortunately this ship of ideological bias sailed prior to the 20th century.

Design is a decrease in entropy, so your argument would also apply to this. However an extranl creator (like God) forms a closed system (there is nothing greater than God, so the dogma goes), this means that a creator has to violate the entropy laws that you are relying on as your argument, where as Evolution and Biology have the fact that entropy is increaseing in the Sun/Earth system. But, as Earth by itself is an open system it can decrease entropy if it gets an energy input (from the sun which is increasing massivly in entropy to compensate the decrease here on Earth).

 

In other words, your arguments disprove your position that a creator had to have made life as that would entail a decrease in entropy in a colsed system (which is exactly what you are arguing against).

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Introspection indicates that morals are not invented but are instead inherent properties. That humans are able to generate a large quantity of information seems to be an exception to laws of information entropy.

 

 

 

biological diversity currently lacks a validated explanation. Design though is a process currently in operation that does explain many more aspects of what it would take to generate diversity.

 

 

 

Unfortunately this ship of ideological bias sailed prior to the 20th century.

 

Introspection is hardly an objective method for gathering data.

 

What laws of information theory are violated? AFAIK, there is no "second law," as in thermodynamics, which would preclude increases in information.

 

Biological diversity only "lacks a validated explanation" in your view (and others), who generally apply a different set of standards to one aspect of science than to others.

 

No, the ideological ship is still in port. Do you really want to baldly assert that creationism doesn't exist now, much less claim that it did not exist in the 20th century?

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What laws of information theory are violated? AFAIK, there is no "second law," as in thermodynamics, which would preclude increases in information.

I believe cypress is referring to Dembski's law of conservation of information, which is mathematically unsound and misinterprets standard information theory. There is no law of conservation of information inside any standard information theory formulation, and Dembski has repeatedly stated "I'm not and never have been in the business of offering a strict mathematical proof for the inability of material mechanisms to generate specified complexity" ("specified complexity" being another one of his invented terms), drawing a comparison with physicists who don't feel obligated to prove the law of conservation of energy. (I have, on several occasions, mathematically proven the law of conservation of energy in a given system.)

 

And as Edtharan pointed out, it is always possible that we merely transform one kind of information to another, rather than generating it.

 

Introspection indicates that morals are not invented but are instead inherent properties.

 

As a student taking a course in ethics and morality, I'd be very interested in seeing how you achieved this. Perhaps in a new thread in the Ethics forum. I believe Kant tried to prove that there are inherent universal morals for all rational beings, but he wasn't very convincing.

 

(Also, if introspection were to reveal some "inherent" morals, that would just as well support the evolutionary morality hypothesis)

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Introspection is hardly an objective method for gathering data.

 

What laws of information theory are violated? AFAIK, there is no "second law," as in thermodynamics, which would preclude increases in information.

 

Just as probability theory predicts that systems undergoing influence from physical only processes will over time migrate to a state with the highest probability distribution, so too would information under the influence of physical only processes. Thus thermodynamic systems relying on physical processes to transfer energy seem incapable of reducing the total system probability distribution to a state that is significantly less probable. Likewise physical systems seem incapable of generating significant amounts of new information.

 

Edtharan's appeal to influences beyond the boundary of earth to import low probability states does not apply to my example unless he is able to identify the external source humans use to import information from beyond this planet or beyond ones mind for that matter.

 

Perhaps you can offer an example of a physical system without use of a mind and without import of information that is observed generating new information beyond what is predicted by probability and information theory.

 

Biological diversity only "lacks a validated explanation" in your view (and others), who generally apply a different set of standards to one aspect of science than to others.

 

Standards for science apply equally to all branches. The theory must make reference to observable processes currently in operation. The processes must be demonstrated repeatably to be capable of generating the results claimed by the theory and not some watered down set of results that don't scale up.

 

No, the ideological ship is still in port. Do you really want to baldly assert that creationism doesn't exist now, much less claim that it did not exist in the 20th century?

 

Since you admit that creationist ideology is and has influenced science for some time, it is quite clear that my metaphor is correct (all sides bring their bias into science). Beginning in the 1600's and then accelerating in the 1800's and 1900's, the materialists have added their creation narrative and it too has been heavily influencing science. More honest materialists even admit this. Here is what geneticist Richard Lewontin said about this:

 

‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen"

 

Lewontin, Richard, "Billions and Billions of Demons", The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997

 

More recently, social tinkerers, primarily in the early 1900's and continuing today, also influence science to promote political and social policy.

 

(Also, if introspection were to reveal some "inherent" morals, that would just as well support the evolutionary morality hypothesis)

 

By making this claim you seem to be contradicting swansont's observation that physical law is amoral.

Edited by cypress

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I believe cypress is referring to Dembski's law of conservation of information, which is mathematically unsound and misinterprets standard information theory. There is no law of conservation of information inside any standard information theory formulation, and Dembski has repeatedly stated "I'm not and never have been in the business of offering a strict mathematical proof for the inability of material mechanisms to generate specified complexity" ("specified complexity" being another one of his invented terms), drawing a comparison with physicists who don't feel obligated to prove the law of conservation of energy. (I have, on several occasions, mathematically proven the law of conservation of energy in a given system.)

 

And as Edtharan pointed out, it is always possible that we merely transform one kind of information to another, rather than generating it.

I can't help but notice that this post has been completely ignored.

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I can't help but notice that this post has been completely ignored.

 

It represents new information, and as such, cannot exist. Ha! You disappear in a puff of logic!

 

Just as probability theory predicts that systems undergoing influence from physical only processes will over time migrate to a state with the highest probability distribution, so too would information under the influence of physical only processes. Thus thermodynamic systems relying on physical processes to transfer energy seem incapable of reducing the total system probability distribution to a state that is significantly less probable. Likewise physical systems seem incapable of generating significant amounts of new information.

 

 

"Seem incapable?" There is no law that supports this.

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