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How can a rational person believe in evolution?


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Empirical/theoretical cause-and-effect demonstration of how four fundamental interactions - gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear can arrange atoms into a state that we observe at a simplest level of biological organization

 

Do you think that biological systems operate independently of those forces?

 

or empirical/theoretical cause-and-effect demonstration of how random DAN shuffling and natural selection can produce three-dimensional cellular structures and arrangements - organs, tisues, signaling and regulatory networks, checkpoints are control mechanisms, molecular machines, metabolic pathways.

 

All this evidence exists. So you can change your mind now.

 

"DAN shuffling" - very good. :)

 

 

Unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative explanation and storytelling does not belong into that category.

 

So that rules out creationism and God, then.

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Except we don't.   It maybe possible to cherry pick the observations to support an idea. This is in fact quite typical of pseudoscience.     Based on all the evidence available we have

A) Because the argument for irreducible complexity falls under the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignoratium - also known as the argument from ignorance. Put simply, just because you personally can

Let's take the RNA splicing process in eukaryotes as an example. The RNA splicing process is the ability of the eukaryotic cell to recognize, capture, cut, rearrange, join and release premRNA molecule

 

But all you are doing is presenting the same old creationist lies. You haven't presented any science, just empty assertions.

 

 

Science is all about evidence. So saying that you want to ignore the evidence is a typical religious anti-scientific approach.

Science you said? Ok.

 

Since, by proponents of evolution, evolutionary processes created every level of biological organisation and since all living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins, functional RNA chains and hold the information to build and maintain an organism's cells, from the science perspective - evolution is natural process that produce new genes. So, the real scientific question is this: is there a knowledge in biology, based on facts learned through experiments and observation which shows that processes of evolution can create new genes?

Why are new genes important? Because the hypothetical first self-replicator did not contain genes for three-dimensional cellular structures and arrangements like lungs, heart, blood vessels, stomach, liver, kidneys, muscles, brain, nerves, skin, hair, ovaries, uterus, testes, prostate, penis, bones, ligaments, ... etc. All these arrangements are significantly different in their three-dimensional shape, and function, so the information written in genes that represent them also have to be significantly diferent. Ear is different than eye, heart is different than kidneys, DNA polymerase is different ATP synthase, mechanical gears in jumping insects are diferent then bacterial flagellum, knee is different than jaw, liver is differnt then stomach...

 

So, you cant just randomly duplicate existing genetic code for a particular organ or part of the organ, add few hundred random mutations and voilà, new organ or molecular machine will emerge. Hundred years of experimentation and millions of lab-induced random mutation in various organisms have shown that this is not possible.

Due to this reason the only real scientific test for the idea od evolution is this: can evolutionary processes produce a new or de novo genes? De novo genes are genes without homologues in genomes of other organisms. This question is especially important because comparative genome analyses indicate that every taxonomic group so far studied contains 10–20% of genes that lack recognizable homologs in other species. These genes are also called orphan genes.

 

For example this research identified a total of 60 protein-coding genes that originated de novo on the human lineage since divergence from chimpanzee: http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1002379

The functionality of these genes is supported by both transcriptional and proteomic evidence. RNA–seq data indicate that these genes have their highest expression levels in the cerebral cortex and testes, which might suggest that these genes contribute to phenotypic traits that are unique to humans, such as improved cognitive ability.

Since the chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor 240,000 generations ago, this indicates that the rate of origin of de novo genes is 1 gen per 4,000 generations. Of course, this rate will grow with the future discovery of new unique genes.

 

So, what can empirical science say about the power of evolution to create a new genes?

 

Well, the biggest scientific observations of evolution in action is E. coli evolution experiment. On February 24, 1988. Richard Lenski and his team at Michigan State University embarked on an ongoing long-term evolution experiment. He started 12 genetically identical lines from a single strain of E. coli. The bacteria reproduced every few hours. The populations reached the milestone of 50,000 generations in February 2010 and 60,000 in in April 2014. So, what did Lenski experiment show? How many new genes evolutionary processes created after 60,000 generations? Well, the answer is 0, - ZERO. Most of the changes in this experiment involved streamlining the genome, deleting genes no longer needed, or reducing protein expression.

 

One of the changes in this experiment involved something that proponents of evolution refers to as evidence for bacteria evolving a "key innovation", a "new function" and a "fascinating case of evolution in action." A New Scientist writer proclaims: "A major innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers’ eyes. It’s the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait". In September of 2012 the well-known science journal Nature published an article about Lenski’s experiment entitled, "Evolution: How the unicorn got its horn". One evolutionary biologist said that Richard Lenski’s published research is: "another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists".

 

So, te question is: what all the fuss was about?

 

Well, Lenski’s lab discovered that at generation 31,500, one line of E. coli could utilize citrate – something they weren’t able to do before. And, they achieved this novel function via evolutionary processes - random mutations and natural selection. As is generally the case, the devil is in the details. And, when one looks a bit more closely at the details of the Lenski experiment, it loses quite a bit of its luster.

What Dr. Lenski did was to grow E. coli under oxic conditions in citrate-rich media. E. coli bacteria are generally unable to use citrate under oxic conditions as a source of energy. However, they can use it under anoxic conditions. In other words, they already have the gene for citrase in their genome. It is just that it is normally turned off under oxic conditions. How is it turned off? Well, the promoter for the gene that transports citrate into the bacterium (citT) is not active under oxic conditions. So, all that needs to happen is to move the citrate transport gene close to a promoter that is actually active under oxic conditions. Once this is done, citrate will enter the bacterium and be used for energy.

 

And, this is exactly what happened. Nothing structurally new needed to be evolved. After about 31,000 generations, in a large population of bacteria, there was a single genetic mutation in a bacterium that ended up moving the citT gene and placing it under the control of a promoter that is active under oxic conditions. The protein product, however, remained the same with no required amino acid changes to achieve a selectable effect. All that was required was to move a pre-existing gene close to a promoter to turn it on during oxic conditions. That’s it.

 

Now, imagine how many new, different genes you need, to be able to construct every observable level of biological organisation, all three-dimensional cellular structures and arrangements, organs, tisues, signaling and regulatory networks, checkpoints are control mechanisms, molecular machines, metabolic pathways... and all that evololution can do in 60.000 generation is to move one pre-existing gene from one location to another. That is all. And this is what proponents of evolution all aroud the globe refers to as "fascinating case of evolution in action." Hm..., isn't that interesting?

 

Why empirical science demonstrates the complete impotence of evolution in the creation of new genes? Well, to create a new gene it is not sufficiently to randomly add variation(mutations) throughout the genome. A coordinated mutations at specific location of the DNA are needed. Also, for the completion of adaptive evolution it is not enough that certain variation enters the population (gene pool), either as the result of random change (mutations), recombination, epigenetic modification, etc. Completion of adaptive evolution requires that such variation avoid stochastic loss(genetic drift) and ultimately become established (fixed) in the population. When we create mathematical models of evolution with this realistic requirements for gene production, what result do we get?

 

Well, this study show that the appearance of only two coordinated mutations in humans would have an expected time of appearance of 216 million years.

 

Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution, http://www.genetics.org/content/180/3/1501.full

 

If these calculations are put alongside the research which identified a total of 60 protein-coding genes that originated de novo on the human lineage since divergence from chimpanzee, failure of evolutionary ideas is even more obvious. If absurd assumption is made, that only two coordinated mutation are nedded to create one protein coding gene from junk DNA, the appearance of this gene in humans would have an expected time of appearance of 216 million years. Since ancestors of humans and chimps diverged 5-7 million years ago, it is obvious that evolutionary hypothesis are in complete contradiction with science.

But that's not all. Besides mentioned, Lenski experiment with asexual species(bacteria), in September 2010, Molly K. Burke report results of a second largest evolution experiment, this time with sexual populations - fruit flies, which were selected in the lab for more than 600 generations to develop rapidly from egg to adult. For decades, most researchers have assumed that sexual species evolve the same way single-cell bacteria do - a genetic mutation sweeps through a population and quickly becomes “fixated” on a particular portion of DNA. But the fruit flies experiment shows that when sex is involved, it’s far more complicated.

The authors of the experiment conclude: Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for 600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments. This suggests that selection does not readily expunge genetic variation in sexual populations, a finding which in turn should motivate efforts to discover why this is seemingly the case.
So, the two largest scientific experiments, together with the calculations of population genetics, demonstrate a total inability of evolution to create even the simplest level of the biological organisation, let alone, a new gene.

 

So, the scientific answer to the question mentioned at the beginning is: no. There is no knowledge in biology, based on facts learned through experiments and observation which shows that process of evolution can create new genes. And since all features of living organisms are written on genes, scientific fact is that living organisms are not the product of evolution.

 

Do you think that biological systems operate independently of those forces?

 

 

All this evidence exists. So you can change your mind now.

 

"DAN shuffling" - very good. :)

 

 

So that rules out creationism and God, then.

I am not interested in this kind of discussion.

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Since the chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor 240,000 generations ago...

So you do believe in evolution? But then you say...

 

 

And since all features of living organisms are written on genes, scientific fact is that living organisms are not the product of evolution.

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So you do believe in evolution? But then you say...

 

 

I forgot to add "according to evolution"... chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor 240,000 generations ago...

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I forgot to add "according to evolution"... chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor 240,000 generations ago...

Okay, so you do not think we have a common ancestor with chimps and other great apes. There is of course plenty of evidence for the idea of common decent. I am sure others here can give better accounts that I.

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I am not interested in this kind of discussion.

 

Well, nobody here is interested in hearing all these tired, long-debunked pseudo-arguments based on ignorance and misinformation. Go to TalkOrigins if you have any questions regarding any of these arguments you've been fed. They've all been shown to be full of little falsehoods and half-truths, perpetuated by religious extremists who refuse to first learn what they claim is wrong.

 

If you really take the time to study what you deride, you may rid yourself of some heavyweight ignorance. And that would be fantastic for everyone, and a much more interesting discussion.

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I am not interested in this kind of discussion.

 

You are not interested in discussing the points you raised?

 

No surprises there then. I assume you want to just keep repeating the same untrue statements.

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...

 

So, the scientific answer to the question mentioned at the beginning is: no. There is no knowledge in biology, based on facts learned through experiments and observation which shows that process of evolution can create new genes. And since all features of living organisms are written on genes, scientific fact is that living organisms are not the product of evolution.

 

Unfortunately i don't have time now to study the potentially interesting articles you reference.

 

However, i can provide you some direct evidence against this statement. Let us take antibiotic resistance. We have populations of a certain bacteria that were once susceptible to antibiotics which are no longer susceptible to antibiotics. We can isolate the gene which is responsible for this change (aka evolution):

 

This is due to a resistance gene, mecA, which stops β-lactam antibiotics from inactivating the enzymes (transpeptidases) critical for cell wall synthesis

 

 

Taking the article you raised that found no genetic variation occured after 600 generations and the conclusion you draw from it at face value, we would appear to have conflicting evidence: which is what science is all about.

 

It may be fruitful, since you do not believe in evolution, to offer an alternative hypothesis. We can then apply the process of accumulating evidence and seeing whether each supports the alternative hypothesis or the null hypothesis. This way we may decide which of the two (or more) ideas are supported by the most convincing evidence.

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Okay, so you do not think we have a common ancestor with chimps and other great apes. There is of course plenty of evidence for the idea of common decent. I am sure others here can give better accounts that I.

I believe what evidence suggests - we have a common designer that might not created humans de novo, but by adding on genes into a genetic material of some existing organism, like common ancestor of chimps or other great apes. That is why, for eg., we have transposable elements in our genome which occur in parallel sites in other species.

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I believe what evidence suggests - we have a common designer that might not created humans de novo, but by adding on genes into a genetic material of some existing organism, like common ancestor of chimps or other great apes. That is why, for eg., we have transposable elements in our genome which occur in parallel sites in other species.

So you do believe in evolution, just not that it is driven by natural selection but divine intervention! That is a strange bastard idea and one I guess no-one could ever change your mind on. If you believe in God or gods and no matter what will not change your mind, then I cannot see anyway of making you rethink evolution. You take a fundamentalist position and dig in. I guess this thread is over.

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Unfortunately i don't have time now to study the potentially interesting articles you reference.

 

However, i can provide you some direct evidence against this statement. Let us take antibiotic resistance. We have populations of a certain bacteria that were once susceptible to antibiotics which are no longer susceptible to antibiotics. We can isolate the gene which is responsible for this change (aka evolution):

 

 

Taking the article you raised that found no genetic variation occured after 600 generations and the conclusion you draw from it at face value, we would appear to have conflicting evidence: which is what science is all about.

 

It may be fruitful, since you do not believe in evolution, to offer an alternative hypothesis. We can then apply the process of accumulating evidence and seeing whether each supports the alternative hypothesis or the null hypothesis. This way we may decide which of the two (or more) ideas are supported by the most convincing evidence.

Examples of antibiotic resistance via mutation result in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems/activities, such as porins and other transport systems, regulatory systems, enzyme activity, and protein binding.
Mutation phenotypes leading to resistances of specific antibiotics are as follows:
Actinonin - loss of enzyme activity
Ampicillin - SOS response halting cell division
Azithromycin - loss of a regulatory protein
Chloramphenicol - reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
Ciprofloxacin - loss of a porin or loss of a regulatory protein
Erythromycin - reduced affinity to 23S rRNA or loss of a regulatory protein
Fluoroquinolones - loss of affinity to gyrase
Imioenem - reduced formation of a porin
Kanamycin - reduced formation of a transport protein
Nalidixic - acid loss or inactivation of a regulatory protein
Rifampin - loss of affinity to RNA polymerase
Streptomycin - reduced affinity to 16S rRNA or reduction of transport activity
Tetracycline - reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
Zittermicin A - loss of proton motive force
Resistance resulting from horizontal gene transfer merely provides a mechanism for transferring pre-existing resistance genes and does not provide a mechanism for the origin of those genes.
So, what antibiotic resistance has to do with creating completely new, de novo genes? Absolutely nothing.

So you do believe in evolution, just not that it is driven by natural selection but divine intervention! That is a strange bastard idea and one I guess no-one could ever change your mind on. If you believe in God or gods and no matter what will not change your mind, then I cannot see anyway of making you rethink evolution. You take a fundamentalist position and dig in. I guess this thread is over.

So, you will completely ignore scientific arguments I presented above to explain my reasons for not believing in evolution, and start engaging in ad hominem attacks against me?

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So, you will completely ignore scientific arguments I presented above to explain my reasons for not believing in evolution, and start engaging in ad hominem attacks against me?

Attacks on your position, not on you. What you have stated is a form of evolution, just that some magic is involved.

 

As soon as you mention God, the scientific arguments are more-or-less over. You should not make the mistake of interpreting troubles with the details as meaning the whole subject is fundamentally flawed (I would have to consult an expert to see if what you have said actually does represent meaningful problems). The biggest mistake is filling any gaps with a God or gods.

 

Bottom line is that we have lots of evidence for evolution driven by natural selection. We have lots of evidence that these small changes are random in nature. Maybe not all the details of evolution as applied to any given species are known, but the general notion of evolution is sound and does not require any 'outside' help.

 

What you should be doing is looking to scientifically explain any of these problems (again assuming they are problems) and not simply by your ignorance state 'God did it'. That is not science.

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One of the ways to refute Darwin's theory is to show that evolution can build things by random chance alone and that natural selection has absolutely nothing to do with it, since even the most ardent advocates of evolution admit that organisms complexity is orders of magnitude too improbable to have come about by chance.
In order to successfully demonstrate this point we first have to define the meaning of the word "solution" in biology, of course in the context of evolution. Since the DNA is a molecule that carries most of the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known life, the solution in biology is nothing but some arrangement or combination of nucleotides in a DNA. To be more precise, it is the combination of nucleotides that contains the information on how to billd some biological structure with the ability to cope with a particular problem at the level of environment, cell or the whole organism.
Let us now look at some examples to illustrate this point. Imagine that we have an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by some organisms. Sources of food in this area are drying up and population of organisms is introduced into a new environment. In this new enviorment there is a plenty of energy rich substances. But, the problem is that genes for metabolic pathway to convert this substance into usable energy do not exist in a gene pool of that population. Metabolic pathway that can convert this new food into useable energy consists of 2 enzymes. So the information on how to bulid those enzymes is not present in the DNA, just like information on how to bulid eyes was not present in the genetic material of the first self-replicating organism. So, here evolution needs to find a solution to this problem which means, evolution needs to find the right combination of nucleotides in the DNA so that cell can produce functional enzymes with the ability to convert new energy rich substance into a usable energy. Once this is done and solution enters the gene pool, natural selection can kick in and spread this new solution through the population. So, this was an example of finding a solution in the context of the enviorment or by filling of ecological niches.
For the problem solving at the intracellular level we can use intronic insertions problem. Genes of today's eukaryotic cells are interrupted by noncoding sequences called introns that need to be removed via splicing machine from the RNA molecule before the process of protein synthesis can begin otherwise they would destroy the protein-coding capacity of genes. So, from the evolutionary point of view the splicing machine is the complex evolutionary solution to the intron insertions problem, that began early in a cellular live, once one of these early cells get one of these introns inserted into a critical gene.
Now that we know what the concept of solution in biology is, we can turn towards the critical point of this demonstration and show why fundamental assumption behind darwin's theory of evolution is false.
We will do that with the help of one simple analogy in the context of previous intronic insertions example. By using this analogy we will try to solve one problem via evolutionary mechanisms. Ok.
Imagine that someone offers to pay you one million U.S. dollars if you can provide the correct answers to the question written down on paper. So, you will be rewarded if you provide the right combination of letters, just as the cell in our intron insertions example would be rewarded if evolution provides the right combination of nucleotides in the DNA with the information to make splicing machine. So, the principle is the same in both problems.
In answering a question you are allowed to use whatever method you want. You can use encyclopedias and textbooks, you can do a Google search, you can conduct science experiments, communicate with other people, and so on. But, you have only one constraint - you are required to use mechanisms of Darwinian evolution. You say, ok, I am fine with that, evolution is a powerful method of finding solutions, as demonstrated in nature and by evolutionary programming so this shouldn't be a problem.
Finally you ask: so what is this million dollar question? And the person replies: well, you are not allowed to see the question. Remember, you are required to use mechanisms of evolution. And we know that evolution have no intelligence and no mind so evolution can't see, read, think, percieve,... evolution cannot grasp the problem. The only thing evolution can do in finding solutions is a random shuffling of nucleotides in the DNA and once the solution emerges natural selection process can kick in and spread this solution through the population. In the same way, you are alowed to combine existing letters, words and sentences that exist in books, newspapers, magazines,dictionaries, internet or in your mind. You can do whatever you want in creating new combinations of linguistic elements. The only constraint is your inability to use engineering and inteligent design principles in solving a problem. You are unable to notice or become aware of the question, or in other words, you are unable to create a mental representation of perceived question and then, using your cognitive faculties, to co-opt the right combination of letters, words and sentences according to this mental representation. In short, no intelligence is allowed.
Now you just thing about the extent of the problem. The subject of the question can be any aspect of the reality that can be expressed in words. So there is a potential for nearly infinite number of potential questions. And since you do not know what the question is you don't know what words or letters to use, how to combine them, you don't know what amount of words constitute the correct answer. You just pick letters and words randomly, put them together randomly and hope the correct solution will pop up, so that you can win a million dollars.
Also, in this process you are not able to communicate with the asker about a partial accuracy of the answer since communication is intelligent activity, and we know that evolution does not have intelligence and therefore its not able to communicate. In our intron insertions problem, solution consists of at least five subprocesses: to recognize mRNA and its intron-exon boundaries, then to cut the RNA, to rearrange cuted parts, to join and finally to release the mRNA molecule. Only when combination of nucleotides in the DNA that contains all five subprocesses exists only then natural selection can act. And not before. For example: If we assume the existance of splicing helper proteins that assembly at the intron-exon borders to guide small nuclear ribo proteins to form a splicing machine, this partial correctness of the splicing process won't cause introns to magically disappear without a complete splicing machine. This partial correctness won't cause random, blind and unintelligent process to put aside these helper proteins because they're good for the future splicing function. Evolution has no long term goal, it cannot plan. There is no long distance target to serve as a criterion for selection.
In the same way you will be selected by the author of the question and rewarded one million dollars only when complete and acurate answer is provided. Selection process cannot help you in finding solution. If that is the case then the only available way for you to find a solution is by pure chance. At this poin we can clearly conclude that evolution is refuted since even the most ardent advocates of evolution admit that organisms complexity is indeed orders of magnitude too improbable to have come about by chance.
But, we are not finished yet. We want to unmask the empty rhetoric and logical flaws behind the rationalizations invoked in the "covering up" of the fact that evolution proceed by random chance alone. This rationalizations are usage of terms like "functional shift," "exaptation," "co-option". We will se how absurd they sound when they are put alongside our previous examples. Finally we will see how intelligent design is presuposed in the rationalization called evolutionary algorithms.
Functional shift is an idea in evolutionary biology where some cellular or morphological element adopts a new function. And this is said to be the process by which evolutionary novelty is generated. In the words of our analogy, you are alowed to change one semantically correct word into another, or one syntactically correct sentence into another so that existing words and sentences adopt new semantic or syntactic function or meanings. But, what that has to do with providing the right answer?? Absolutly nothing. The problem is not in creating some new random and functional word or sentence the problem is creating words and sentences which will allow you to win one million dollars. In the same way the problem in biology is not in creating some new random function, problem is in creating function that solves a particular enviormental or intracellular problem, like enzymes with the ability to convert new food into usable energy or molecular machine with the ability to cut introns.
So the claims like: the acquisition of new functions by molecules involved in developmental pathways is suspected to cause important morphologic novelties... are nothing but empty claims. They are like saing: the acquisition of new meaning by words involved in writing a novel is suspected to cause important linguistic novelties. Like I said at the beginning , proponents of evolution completely ignore the question of how evolution finds the solution. Instead, they just appeal to the empty terms and abstract hypothetical scenarios that do not exist in reality.
Second therm, co-option, says that the parts nessecary to create molecular machines could be taken from other molecular machines and combined into the new machine being constructed. In the words of our analogy this is like saing: words nessecary to create the correct answer could be taken from dictionary or some textbook. As we can see, this is again completely irrelevant since the problem is not in creating the new combination of words. Problem is in creating the correct combination of words in the space of nearly infinite number of possible combinations. But there is also another problem. The co-option argument presupposes that all functional parts already exist. But this is not evolution. The hypothetical first self-replicator, which is the starting point of the evolution, did not contain genes for three-dimensional cellular structures and arrangements like organs or organ systems. You cant co-opt parts of the organism like bacteria and expect kidneys to emerge. In the context of our analogy this is like using only 1 percent of the dictionary and then trying to evolve new words by randomly shuffling letters of existing words. Now imagine that after the long, long shuffling process, finally one semantically correct word pops up. This is like evolving one new functional protein for future splicing process. Since you dont know what the question is, this new word is completely useless to you. The potential for providing the correct answer and win one million dollar by using this new word is the same as using any other functional word. So, the ability to evolve new functional proteins does nor explain problem-solution relationship that we observe at every level of biological organization.
Finally, we will demonstrate how proponents od evolution implicitly presuppose existance of inteligence in their explanations. They are doing this when claiming that programming techniques known as genetic algorithms mimic biological evolution as a problem-solving strategy. We will first ask a question: can you solve your million dollar question by using evolutionary algorithms. Of course not, because you dont know what the question is so you are not able to calculate fitness. To calculate fitness you have to comunicate with the asker, but we know that communication, which is an intelligent activity, is not available to evolution.
To ilustrate this consider the following example: you start with population of 20 individuals located at the center of the soccer field. Individuals will be rewarded(selected) if they manage to reach the right corner of the field using the following metod: they are alowed to move one step at a time, in one of four different directions; left, right, forward, or backward. Direction of every step is determined randomly. We know that chances od finding solution by using this type of random search are extremely low. This is similar of answering our million dolar question by chance.
But, we can do the following. We start our simulation and every individual is randomly moved one step in one of four mentioned directions. When this is done we measure the distance between individual and the right corner of the field. We repeat this calculation for every individual. Now using this data we calculate fitness of each individual. Next step is the selection process. We want to be constantly improving ourindividuas overall fitness. Selection helps us to keep the best individuals in the population - so individuals who are most distant from the corner are out. Now we have our next generation and we can start again the whole procces until we reach the right corner.
Without further elaboration, we can easily see what technique is used here. At each step of the simulation we have a communication bettwen a solution and the current state of the individual. In other words, we have an a priori knowledge of the solution before the solution is reached. Without this a priori knowledge about the search space structure evolutionary programing does no better than blind search.
The use of a priori knowledge is called planing. Plan is defined as a set of actions that have been thought of as a way to do or achieve something. By creating plans we, as inteligent agents, are creating solution before the solution exists. This solution or representation to show the construction or appearance of something, is created in the form of architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, schemes, models, prototypes and so on. Then, by using our cognitive faculties we design objects by comparing this plans with a current state of the object. In short, this activity is called inteligent design.
So the proponents of evolution are explaining the power of evolution to the general public by attributing the design methods of intelligent agents to evolution.
Best example of this manipulation is Dawkins weasel program presented in chapter 3 of his book The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins knows that a purely random approach to generating biological solutions is theoretically impossible, due to the excessively huge search space. So he created WEASE program where he aims to show that the process that drives evolutionary systems — random variation and natural selection — is different from pure chance. So, how he did it? Short answer. By inteligent design. Now, long answer. Program begins by choosing a random sequence of 28 letters, it duplicates it repeatedly, but with a certain chance of random error – 'mutation' – in the copying. The computer examines the mutant nonsense phrases, the 'progeny' of the original phrase, and chooses the one which, however slightly, most resembles the target phrase, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL. By repeating the procedure, a randomly generated sequence of 28 letters and spaces will be gradually changed each generation until target phrase "METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL" is reached.
Here Dawkins is using an a priori knowledge of the target phrase or solution - METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL- and then in each generation of selective 'breeding', the mutant 'progeny' phrases were judged according to this target phrase. So, Dawkins proved that the process that drives evolutionary systems is different from pure chance by using engineering principles and methods of inteligent design.
Now here's an interesting consequence of this manipulation with evolutionary programing. When creating arguments about the creative power of Darwinian evolution, proponents of evolution are implicitly presupposing the existence of intelligence. And then in the conclusion of the argument they are denying the existence of intelligence, and in the same time they mock people who are claming that living things are best explained by an intelligent cause. Isnt that intresting?

Attacks on your position, not on you. What you have stated is a form of evolution, just that some magic is involved.

As soon as you mention God, the scientific arguments are more-or-less over. You should not make the mistake of interpreting troubles with the details as meaning the whole subject is fundamentally flawed (I would have to consult an expert to see if what you have said actually does represent meaningful problems). The biggest mistake is filling any gaps with a God or gods.

Bottom line is that we have lots of evidence for evolution driven by natural selection. We have lots of evidence that these small changes are random in nature. Maybe not all the details of evolution as applied to any given species are known, but the general notion of evolution is sound and does not require any 'outside' help.

What you should be doing is looking to scientifically explain any of these problems (again assuming they are problems) and not simply by your ignorance state 'God did it'. That is not science.

Of course, we have lots of evidences that overwellmingly supports a flat Earth.... if we ignore direct empirical observations that Earth is an oblate spheroid. We have knowledge about the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation, and that knowledge shows that Earth is an oblate spheroid. Likewise, we have knowledge based on facts learned through experiments and observation which shows that evolution is not able to create new genes. So, excuses mentioned above(we should looking to scientifically explain any of these problems) are completely flawed. They are like saying something like this: Because we currently cannot provide an adequate explanation of why we observe Earth's round shape what we should be doing is looking to scientifically explain any of these problems, and not simply by ignorance state - "Earth is round". Meaby there are some undiscovered laws of nature that cause distortion of our perception so that we observe round earth, when in reality the Earth is flat.

You see where your reasoning is going?

Edited by forex
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Of course, we have lots of evidences that overwellmingly supports a flat Earth....

Except we don't.

 

...if we ignore direct empirical observations that Earth is an oblate spheroid.

It maybe possible to cherry pick the observations to support an idea. This is in fact quite typical of pseudoscience.

 

 

We have knowledge about the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation, and that knowledge shows that Earth is an oblate spheroid.

Based on all the evidence available we have reached this conclusion... and?

 

Likewise, we have knowledge based on facts learned through experiments and observation which shows that evolution is not able to create new genes.

Evolution does not create new genes, no-one has claimed that it does. Random mutations during copying can create new genes. These small changes may be deadly, or do nothing or lead to traits that help an organisms survive and reproduce. Natural selection then helps ensure that these traits remain expressed in some species. (I oversimplify here, but the picture is okay)

 

So, excuses mentioned above(we should looking to scientifically explain any of these problems) are completely flawed.

Because we do not currently understand something in science we should abandon science? Science works on exploring the things we do not understand and scientists do not just give up when it gets too hard. Just think about this. How different would the world be if scientists just gave up on trying to understand, say atomic structure?

 

They are like saying something like this: Because we currently cannot provide an adequate explanation of why we observe Earth's round shape what we should be doing is looking to scientifically explain any of these problems, and not simply by ignorance state - "Earth is round".

There is nothing wrong with this statement. But it seems to support my thesis that science is the way to go. You see that the Earth is round and then hopefully new exciting science will come from trying to understand this properly.

 

Meaby there are some undiscovered laws of nature that cause distortion of our perception so that we observe round earth, when in reality the Earth is flat.

 

Maybe, but uncovering those is part of science.

 

You see where your reasoning is going?

Yes, to advocating the logic and philosophy of the scientific method.

Edited by ajb
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Examples of antibiotic resistance via mutation result in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems/activities, such as porins and other transport systems, regulatory systems, enzyme activity, and protein binding.
Mutation phenotypes leading to resistances of specific antibiotics are as follows:
Actinonin - loss of enzyme activity
Ampicillin - SOS response halting cell division
Azithromycin - loss of a regulatory protein
Chloramphenicol - reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
Ciprofloxacin - loss of a porin or loss of a regulatory protein
Erythromycin - reduced affinity to 23S rRNA or loss of a regulatory protein
Fluoroquinolones - loss of affinity to gyrase
Imioenem - reduced formation of a porin
Kanamycin - reduced formation of a transport protein
Nalidixic - acid loss or inactivation of a regulatory protein
Rifampin - loss of affinity to RNA polymerase
Streptomycin - reduced affinity to 16S rRNA or reduction of transport activity
Tetracycline - reduced formation of a porin or a regulatory protein
Zittermicin A - loss of proton motive force
Resistance resulting from horizontal gene transfer merely provides a mechanism for transferring pre-existing resistance genes and does not provide a mechanism for the origin of those genes.
So, what antibiotic resistance has to do with creating completely new, de novo genes? Absolutely nothing.

 

So you have listed a small number of antibiotics and briefly describe how resistance to these might occur with a little preamble. What does this add to the discussion other than obfuscation? Please be specific how this list added in any way to our discussion.

 

Next you have assumed that because genes can transmit horizontally that they have done so in this case. An obvious logical fallacy.You would have to provide evidence of this. Evidence like this.

 

You have asserted your assumptions as scientific fact, while at the same time admonishing others for not explaining things scientifically. This is why people are becoming frustrated with you.

 

So, you will completely ignore scientific arguments I presented above to explain my reasons for not believing in evolution, and start engaging in ad hominem attacks against me?

 

To be clear, if someone calls you a dick, that is not an ad hominem attack, it is just an insult plain and simple. They have to say your idea is wrong because you are a dick for it to be a fallacy.

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One of the ways to refute Darwin's theory is to show that evolution can build things by random chance alone and that natural selection has absolutely nothing to do with it, since even the most ardent advocates of evolution admit that organisms complexity is orders of magnitude too improbable to have come about by chance.

 

...

Poppycock. Not only do you not have/give any such reference, but no such valid probabilistic calculation exists. Chance is as chance does.

 

Emphasis mine:

Improbable things happen

Improbable things happen, all the time.

 

Creationists, William Lane Craig and all manner of non-rationalists like to disparage their opponents or bolster their own arguments by pointing out the improbability of something happening. Out of all the possibilities, they say, this one is the one that occurred - how fantastically unlikely and amazingly miraculous! It is simply impossible to believe that it just happened by chance!

 

But improbable things happen all the time, because "improbability" is an illusion based on our preconceptions. Often it has nothing to do with statistical truth. The trouble is that we can't grasp the difference between (a) "This particular improbable pattern of lottery numbers came up on this particular day in this particular lottery" and (b) "Some improbable pattern of lottery numbers came up sometime in the last five years somewhere in the world."

 

In short: "improbability" does not imply "impossibility."

...

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In short: "improbability" does not imply "impossibility."

 

Or even "unlikely". Against all odds, someone wins the lottery every week. But maybe that is just God moving in mysterious ways.

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Or even "unlikely". Against all odds, someone wins the lottery every week. But maybe that is just God moving in mysterious ways.

Indeed. The article I quoted and linked to goes in depth into the lottery and numerous other examples of the misuse and/or misunderstanding of probability. Terms such as 'unlikely', 'maybe', 'improbable', etcetera are synonymous in regards to the subject. An argument that a god or gods do not exist because of unlikelihood is as baseless as forex's argument that evolution does not exist because it's unlikely. As has been pointed out numerous times, evolution and per se science is about evidence and not wishful thinking masquerading as facts. :)
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One of the ways to refute Darwin's theory is to show that evolution can build things by random chance alone and that natural selection has absolutely nothing to do with it, since even the most ardent advocates of evolution admit that organisms complexity is orders of magnitude too improbable to have come about by chance.

 

You mean genetic drift?

 

I'd be interested in how genetic drift refutes natural selection, given that it's fairly routine to observe them simultaneously.

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Indeed. The article I quoted and linked to goes in depth into the lottery and numerous other examples of the misuse and/or misunderstanding of probability. Terms such as 'unlikely', 'maybe', 'improbable', etcetera are synonymous in regards to the subject. An argument that a god or gods do not exist because of unlikelihood is as baseless as forex's argument that evolution does not exist because it's unlikely. As has been pointed out numerous times, evolution and per se science is about evidence and not wishful thinking masquerading as facts. :)

I hope you don't deny that DNA of an organism contains more information than William Shakespeare's Hamlet. We will now consider probabilities of a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard to type a text of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
If there were as many monkeys as there are atoms in the observable universe typing extremely fast for trillions of times the life of the universe, the probability of the monkeys replicating even a single page of Shakespeare is unfathomably minute. Ignoring punctuation, spacing, and capitalization, a monkey typing letters uniformly at random has a chance of one in 26 of correctly typing the first letter of Hamlet. It has a chance of one in 676 (26 × 26) of typing the first two letters. Because the probability shrinks exponentially, at 20 letters it already has only a chance of one in 26^20 = 19,928,148,895,209,409,152,340,197,376 (almost 2 × 10^28). In the case of the entire text of Hamlet, the probabilities are so vanishingly small as to be inconceivable. The text of Hamlet contains approximately 130,000 letters. Thus there is a probability of one in 3.4 × 10^183,946 to get the text right at the first trial. The average number of letters that needs to be typed until the text appears is also 3.4 × 10^183,946, or including punctuation, 4.4 × 10^360,783.
Even if every proton in the observable universe were a monkey with a typewriter, typing from the Big Bang until the end of the universe (when protons no longer exist), they would still need a ridiculously longer time - more than three hundred and sixty thousand orders of magnitude longer - to have even a 1 in 10^500 chance of success. To put it another way, for a one in a trillion chance of success, there would need to be 10^360,641 universes made of atomic monkeys. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, "The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event...", and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed "gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers." This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys. In fact there is less than a one in a trillion chance of success that such a universe made of monkeys could type any particular document a mere 79 characters long.
To put this into perspective... producing Hamlet at random is like won the lottery more than 100,000 times in a row.
So, if you believe that organisms are product of random chance, then be my guest. I won't try to convince you otherwise. But, I will say: I admire you for your faith.
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There are also way more atoms than monkeys with typewriters. Also note that one monkey will not influence the other monkey to type specific sequences, something that simple molecules DO. Charges influence and induce other charges.

 

First learn some chemistry and biochemistry. Then try to talk about science in those fields.

Edited by Fuzzwood
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I hope you don't deny that DNA of an organism contains more information than William Shakespeare's Hamlet. We will now consider probabilities of a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard to type a text of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

 

blah blah blah

If there were as many monkeys as there are atoms in the observable universe typing extremely fast for trillions of times the life of the universe, the probability of the monkeys replicating even a single page of Shakespeare is unfathomably minute. Ignoring punctuation, spacing, and capitalization, a monkey typing letters uniformly at random has a chance of one in 26 of correctly typing the first letter of Hamlet. It has a chance of one in 676 (26 × 26) of typing the first two letters. Because the probability shrinks exponentially, at 20 letters it already has only a chance of one in 26^20 = 19,928,148,895,209,409,152,340,197,376 (almost 2 × 10^28). In the case of the entire text of Hamlet, the probabilities are so vanishingly small as to be inconceivable. The text of Hamlet contains approximately 130,000 letters. Thus there is a probability of one in 3.4 × 10^183,946 to get the text right at the first trial. The average number of letters that needs to be typed until the text appears is also 3.4 × 10^183,946, or including punctuation, 4.4 × 10^360,783.

 

Even if every proton in the observable universe were a monkey with a typewriter, typing from the Big Bang until the end of the universe (when protons no longer exist), they would still need a ridiculously longer time - more than three hundred and sixty thousand orders of magnitude longer - to have even a 1 in 10^500 chance of success. To put it another way, for a one in a trillion chance of success, there would need to be 10^360,641 universes made of atomic monkeys. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, "The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event...", and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed "gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers." This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys. In fact there is less than a one in a trillion chance of success that such a universe made of monkeys could type any particular document a mere 79 characters long.

 

To put this into perspective... producing Hamlet at random is like won the lottery more than 100,000 times in a row.

So, if you believe that organisms are product of random chance, then be my guest. I won't try to convince you otherwise. But, I will say: I admire you for your faith.

 

Continuing to display your ignorance on the subject of probability is pointless.
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I hope you don't deny that DNA of an organism contains more information than William Shakespeare's Hamlet. We will now consider probabilities of a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard to type a text of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

 

A) Roll a dice 100 times. The probability of rolling 100 sixes is around 6.5 x 10-77, making it rather unlikely. However the probability of all other outcomes is also 6.5 x 10-77. Therefore rolling a dice 100 times and then denying the result could occur by chance after the fact due the the low probability is not compelling. Compound probabilistic events inevitably result in low probability outcomes due to the compound nature of the possible outcomes - however these events result in outcomes. Using post hoc reasoning to deny the probability of the outcome is fallacious.

 

B) Evolution is not a random process. Selection acts on mutation resulting in directionality - doubly making the above calculations irrelevant.

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