Evolution vs. Creation

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Boris, May 30, 1999.

  1. DaveW Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, this has dragged on (perhaps my earlier messages weren't too useful). I'm actually not a microbiologist in the official sense. Like you I am a student. I've had 3 years of microbiology training, but have since abandoned it and am moving in pursuit of a computer science degree. Stick around, because there's a large community of pro-Christian members here, and I'm sure they'll lend you a more sympathetic ear! Good luck with your finals.

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  3. DaveW Registered Senior Member

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    I just ran across a quote that would seem to nicely wrap up my position.

    "When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
    - Arthur C. Clarke
     
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  5. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Whew, did this thread explode! I had a busy week, and now I regret I ended up missing all the action. And even though DaveW's been doing a pretty good job, I will jump in on a few points he didn't address.

    Micah,

    When you say that life only had 250 million years to evolve, you are ignoring a simple fact: there is less difference in complexity between a human and a bacterium, than there is between a bacterium and the free-floating loose assemblages of mutually-reproducing carbohydrates that touched off evolution of life. While multicellular life has had some 500,000,000 years to evolve, all of that is just an afterthought when you consider the 3 billion years during which life had to evolve from a chemical soup to sophisticated single-celled organisms.

    Second, when you complain about limited time spans, you are marginalizing both the volume of the bioshpere and the time over which evolution occurred. Especially with small, short-lived animals with a short reproductive cycle, the turnover rates for generations become astronomical. For example, a bacterium may reproduce once every day. Over a period of 1 billion years, this would amount to 365.25*10^9 = 365,250,000,000 generations. If you take the typical density of bacteria in the environment, you'll probably get at least 100 per square meter (which is conservative beyond belief, but even so...) The Earth's surface is (given a radius of 6,378.14 km) approximately 5*10^14 square meters. Provided about 1/5 of the surface is actually habitable (again, grossly conservative), you've got some 10^16 single-celled organisms living on earth at any given time. Given the generational turnover rate and the instantaneous population value (assuming steady state), you've got some 3.6*10^27 living single-celled organisms per 1 billion years. Of course, that only assumes the single-celled organisms are distributed in a thin film around the Earth's surface; in actuality the biosphere extends several miles underground and a mile into the sky -- so you could probably add another factor of 10^3 or so to that rough estimate, and another factor of 3 (for 3 billion years), bringing the total to something like 10^31. Don't you think that's enough room for evolution? And actually, even apart from conservative computation, that estimate is even more conservative because when you go farther back in time, organisms become simpler, and eventually are just mixtures of simple reacting molecules. Molecules react on timescales of femtoseconds, not days -- so when we talk about the molecular evolution that preceeded cellular evolution, the number of generations is astronomical for that alone.

    Next, it is obvious that life arose on Earth very early -- the fossil record indicates that there were already single-celled organisms 3 billion years ago -- so I'd say DaveW's extrapolation that given favorable environments life arises 50% of the time is rather merciful (at least given what we know right now). Of course, what happened on Earth might have been just a fluke -- but I wouldn't place a bet either way before Mars and Europa at a minimum are thoroughly investigated both for microfossils and for modern life.

    Concerning your argument that everything has to be just right. First of all, even life on Earth can exist in very diverse environments, so there's no such thing as an "ideal" climate -- an entire (and rather wide) range of climates is tolerable for life. Second, the life we observe on Earth naturally evolved on Earth -- so it will indeed have characteristics that make Earth its ideal environment. This does not mean that under very different conditions a very different type of life could not evolve, so that for this hypothetical life an Earth-like environment would actually be unacceptable. Then, you mix evolution with cosmology when you start delving into physical laws and constants. Even if you try to argue that the universe was created by an intelligent agent because all the constants are tuned just right, such an observation gives you no ground for arguing that evolutionary theory is invalid. As regards the "amazing coincidences" of physics, a number of very powerful retorts are available. First of all, according to your own arguments, the universe would be a barren or uninhabitable place if the various physical constants were even a little out of whack -- so we wouldn't be there to observe the result. The fact that we are here only testifies to the fact that we are here, that the conditions were right for us to be here; it says nothing about uniqueness of our universe, nor about the actual fundamental reasons the particular physical constants we observe have the values they do. As to the latter, consider the analogy: suppose you were measuring circles of unit radius, and discovered their area to always be PI, while their circumference is always 2*PI. You might be tempted to say that there are two fundamental constants linked to circles of unit radius; in fact, you will be wrong because those "constants" are merely derivatives of much more fundamental and "simple" set of axyoms. The same goes for the physical constants that we measure and consider "fundamental" at the moment -- it is not only possible, but in my view inevitable that we shall evetually know exactly why the speed of light is precisely what it is, and not something else, and analogously for the other "fundamental" constants.

    Finally, I've noted that much of the information you quote is blatantly incorrect. For example, the spiral galaxies constitute a majority of galaxy types, not 5%; it is also true that much less than 20% of all stars in the Milky Way have Sun-like metal content -- and actually the Sun's metal content is 0.02%, which places it squarely in the "second generation" of stars, as you put it. Then, you've made false claims concerning chances of habitable planets, as DaveW pointed out. The radiation argument is hollow, since life seems to have evolved either under water, in the crust, or even inside volcanoes; in either case it would have been well-shielded even in the harshest space weather; additionally, elliptic galaxies ought to in fact produce fewer supernovas and less harmful radiation, since their star formation has nearly stopped, and there are no young supermassive stars left. In general, it seems you are simply grabbing information off of creationist web sites and re-posting it here under assumption that it is indeed correct. Well, I've got news for you: it never is. Creationism only continues to exist by marshalling ignorance, and it even actively breeds ignorance along the way. Thanks for bringing that particular point to my attention, since I don't believe I ever explicitly stated it before on this thread.

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    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited April 08, 2000).]
     
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  7. DaveW Registered Senior Member

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    I was going to say something about the propaganda-wing of the Christian church, but thought I'd better avoid being too inflammatory!

    Anyways, I've just posted some articles (more like conference abstracts) from the National Astrobiology Conference on the news page. They have some relevance to the topic. Here are the links:
    http://www.exosci.com/main/news/shownews/?id=1285 http://www.exosci.com/main/news/shownews/?id=1294 http://www.exosci.com/main/news/shownews/?id=1303
     
  8. ltcmmdr Registered Senior Member

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    I believe more in creation than evolution because none of the animals and other creatures evolved from a creature.

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    everything is not what it
    appears to be
     
  9. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    Are you serious, ltcmmdr? You're having fun with us...right? <img src = "http://www.exosci.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif">

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    It's all very large.
     
  10. iqmagazine.com Registered Member

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    Further to the debate regarding this area and also general UFO, ET's, GOD, and cosmic mechanic's on the 1st of May www.iqmagazine.com will publish for the first time in the history of mankind's evolution a SINGLE THEORY which will explain in a very simple way the answer to the whole mystery of how the universe was created! On a personal note I hope you will be there to witness this most amazing discovery and remember the day when mankind truely discovered his place in the universe

    God be with you all and thank you for keeping the faith.
     
  11. darkcrystal Registered Member

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    How about this...

    There is only one Reality. However we try to define it does not change the substance of that Reality.

    The evolution theory and the creationist belief are just two major human attempts to understand this Reality. One is based on scientific analysis, the other on the interpretation of spiritual revelation. Each have faults, due the the fallible human nature (I don't think anyone has basis to deny that), and each have truths.

    Instead of debating on which is the one-and-only true way, why not pool together are vast experiences and knowledge, with open minds (meaning healthfully skeptical), and attempt to create an improved picture of what Reality really is.

    Because, when ya get down to it, none of us KNOW what reality is, no matter how sure we are of it. Maybe, instead of picking sides as a rule, we should realize that every large concept has a truth contained within its bowels, even if all the rest is invalid.

    It could be a better world (sorry, i know being optimistic irks some of you) if we helped each other realize not only the faults in our concepts, but also the truths.

    Anyway...Just meandering by...

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    My main basis for hope is that love is greater than hate.
     
  12. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    darkcrystal,

    Unless you assume determinism, there is no reconciliation between the mutually contradictory positions that the present state 1) was engineered, or 2) formed autonomously. Whenever you have mutually opposing hypotheses, empirical evidence inevitably leads to acceptance of one, and rejection of the other. There is no middle ground.

    If, on the other hand, you assume a determinist position and argue that God set everything up just right from the start so that the universe would then proceed to mechanically unfold according to God's plan, then indeed you succeed in unifying creationism and evolution, at least to some degree. However, in the process of assuming determinism, you loose much ground on many other aspects of any religion, most notably free will and individuality.

    Either way, there is no hope for a Creationist in the battle of saving their religion from the onslaught of reason.

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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  13. darkcrystal Registered Member

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    From what you have told me of determinism (the topic is unfamiliar to me) i do not hold that position.

    My view is that the "engineer" of reality utilizes evolution as one of his/her "tools". Evolution is a process of gradual progresive growth, which for humanity means the slow uphill battle toward perfection. Perfection is attainable only after the realiztion of the love of the True Source, and accepting that love as one's own love to share with the rest of the world.

    The theory of evolution and Creationism is unified when one realizes that the process of evolution does not soley include biological factors, but also mind and spiritual realities of the human race.

    You are right that reason can be no basis for any religion. Nor is reason sufficient to explain all aspects of life. How many experiences in life have you had that you can not explain through logic? I'm sure if you openly search through your memories, you will discover occasions of which you would have no understanding of without actually experiencing it. Logic and reason are neccesary, but do not stand on their own. Their must be a balance with personalized religion (as opposed to organized), which could be described as the individual's interpretive account of his/her discovering of truth.

    One of the points i'm trying to make here is that we do not have to conform to existing terms (ex: creationism, determinism, etc.) in order to discover truth. All existing philosophies, religions, and scientific theories are the result of the words of sincere truth seekers becoming institutionalized. Institutions stagnate the truth-seeking process. In other words, there is not an either/or to this topic. Rather, there are infinite speculations from infinite individuals.

    Growing toward peaceful love,
    Darkcrystal

    [This message has been edited by darkcrystal (edited May 01, 2000).]
     
  14. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

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    Boris: I read through page 4 and decided to post, hopefully not prematurely. I can see that you are very intelligent and have looked at the issue from many vantage points, scientific, philosophical, etc.

    I have a couple of comments and questions, if you have covered these please refer me to where or just ignore this post if you prefer.

    First, to observe micro-evolution and expand it to the point where it becomes macro-evolution and includes mammalian evolution is to commit the fallacy of composition in logic. You stated on Feb. 27 2000 at 2:55 pm that:

    If you will check the latest books on the subject you will find you are wrong here. Dogs and wolves can still interbreed. They are the same species, even under the BSC concept of speciation.

    Secondly, you have stated that you are a determinist. Are you a soft determinist or a hard one? If you are a hard determinist why does any of this matter to you, if indeed it does, since all this charade is just a bunch of chemicals continuing on the blind inarticulate path it has always traveled?

    Adlerian (Mortimer, for those who are interested)
     
  15. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

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    Boris, where are you? Mammalian evolution is a myth. I've done the research, I know.
     
  16. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Adlerian,

    You will have to forgive my response times, but I'm a little overloaded with other obligations right now. Rest assured I'm still around, I just don't always have the same amounts of time to spend on this board (much as I enjoy it

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    )

    Mind expanding on this a little? What do you mean by "fallacy of composition in logic"? Personally, I think it's a pretty classic example of induction. Though, we do not arrive at macroevolution through mere induction. When we examine the mechanisms behind evolution (namely, accumulation of mutations in the genetic code, assimilation of foreign material, symbiosis), it is relatively easy to conclude that such processes need not be limited either by timespan or by the magnitude of changes they may eventually engender.

    Re-reading that post, I indeed see that I was not being very careful with language. Sometimes, stooping down to the level of less educated, you end up using oversimplified constructs just to bring the point across. No, of course there is little chance that the ancestors of modern domesticated dogs were wolves (in fact, there is little point in guessing whether they were or weren't; I don't have time to research it right now but I'm sure the ancestry of dogs is no less well-established or diverse than the horse family tree mentioned in that debate. As far as interbreeding goes, it's questionable depending on how you want to define it. For example, a wolf would not be able to have a natural (or indeed fruitful) intercorse with a poodle, regardless of which way you mix the sexes (the, ahem, sizes, are a little out of balance in this case.) Maybe you could artificially inject wolf semen into a female poodle, but you must wonder how on earth the poodle is going to give birth to a puppy that is larger than the poodle's birth canal.

    But regardless of interbreeding, the important thing in the dog example is that our ancestors were able to mold the dogs into such vastly different shapes and optimize them for such vastly different functions. This goes quite a bit of a way toward refuting the creationist arguments based on limited short-term change. You must admit that the example putting a chihuahua side by side with a german shepherd is a little bit more emphatic than mere decadal change of several percent in beak sizes of some bird. Observing the variety of dogs, cats, horses, cows, and other domesticated animals, we must conclude that microevolution is not limited to mere slight change in proportions of some organs; it can go deeper, and as far as drastically altering the skeleton and the internal organs, drastically changing the fur, teeth, behavioral traits, etc.

    Why does it matter? Why is the sky blue? Why is the Earth round? I'm sure there are reasons, but when it comes to dynamics of my own cognition or the environment to which I owe my past and present states, I have little clue concerning all of the factors that conspire to bring me to this particular discussion and write these very words in this particular order. That's the philosophical answer, like it or not. On a more personal level, I care because I am tired of religious activism against objectivity, and I am especially tired of that special mix of brainwashing and congames that keeps on festering in the United States. I can not stand by idly and watch manipulative idiots marshal their drones and try to dictate the national policy. I have developed an allergic reaction to snake oil. Ideally, I'd love it if they all just left me alone to my own devices; unfortunately, that particular strategy doesn't work out in a society known for its witch hunts and crusades. And when it comes to creationism or any other science- or materialism-bashing rituals, I just feel that the religious institutions are plain setting themselves up to be knocked down in a most satisfyingly gruesome fashion. Crucifying the crusaders -- there is some kind of a beautifully poetic justice in it. How could I pass up an opportunity like that?

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    Now I know what you are going to say. If I'm so bent on really making some kind of difference, then why am I wasting time on some bulletin board and not trying to start up some kind of a social movement. Well, for one I still have my material needs, and at this early stage in my life don't really have much time for things like activism. Maybe in ten years or so... Meanwhile, I enjoy the little battles and discussions on this board, and I even learn a little bit from them every now and then. And the other thing you might say, is that there is no meaning in hard determinism. We've had that sort of argument with Plato before, on the <A HREF="http://www.exosci.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000276.html">Faith and Reason</A> thread. Finally, don't you find it ironic that, being just a bunch of chemicals yourself, you are asking that particular question?

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    Well, let's hear it. You've read through page four of this thread, so you know the majority of what I have had to say on the issue. Though I must say that you are missing out on some real entertainment by not reading the other 5 pages. There's been some cool scraps there, and (of course I can't know, but what if--) you might find that some of your own research and arguments have already been discussed. But yeah, sure, jump in, welcome to the slaughterhouse.

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  17. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

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    Boris,

    Thanks for responding. I know about time limitations because I have quite a few myself. However, I hope we can have a fruitful discussion on this or maybe even perhaps other subjects. Rarely do I get the chance to speak with others who are as knowledgeable as you are. I know what you mean about having to speak in simplistic concepts to convey your points. All too often do I have to do the same thing. Most people aren’t interested in learning or thinking for that matter, but I digress.

    I will try to make this as brief as possible and still get my points across. I can get quite loquacious when I get the opportunity to speak on a matter that is not only important to me but speak with someone who can understand what I am saying (even if they don’t agree with me).

    You said:

    The fallacy of composition and it’s opposite, fallacy of division, are the case of assigning values or attributes to a whole that are the values or attributes of it’s parts or assigning a value of a whole to a part of that whole. Example: All the things in the universe that we know of are created by living beings, hence, the universe was created by a living being as well. This is the same as saying, all bacterium, reptiles, birds, insects show instances of speciation, therefore, all of life evolved. Yes, it is induction. Induction used incorrectly becomes the fallacy of composition. Mammalian speciation is only a hypothesis, and an unproven one at that. Science itself is a string of deductions and induction’s, which form hypotheses that are tested and finally form a theory. No theory is “safe” from being re-evaluated and corrected. The theory of evolution needs correcting badly, for it contains error.

    Here is some of the research I have done on this:


    I would like to explain the difference between a cline, a ring species, and a complex.

    A deme is a small local population, such as all the deer mice or all the red oaks in a certain woodland, or all the perch or all the waterstriders in a given pond. Though no two individuals in a deme are exactly alike, the members of a deme do usually resemble one another more closely than they resemble the members of other demes. There are at least two reasons for this: (1) the individuals in a deme are more closely related genetically, because pairings occur more frequently between members of the same deme than between members of different demes; and (2) the individuals are exposed to more similar environmental influences and hence two more nearly the same selection pressures.

    Notice that intergradation is between “similar” demes. We expect some interbreeding between deer mice from adjacent demes, but we do not expect interbreeding between deer mice and house mice or between deer mice and black rats or between deer mice and grey squirrels.

    There is usually so much gene flow between adjacent demes of the same species that differences between them are slight. Thus, the frequencies of alleles A and b may be 0.90 and 0.10 in one deme and 0.89 and 0.11 in the adjacent deme. But the further apart geographically two demes are the smaller the chance of direct gene flow between them, and hence the greater the likelihood that the differences between them will be more marked. If, for example, we collect samples of five hundred deer mice each from Plymouth county, Mass., Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and Roanoke county, Virginia, we will find numerous differences that enable us to distinguish between the three populations quite readily-much more readily than we could between populations from three adjacent counties in Mass. or from three adjacent counties in Pennsylvania.

    When a character of a species shows a gradual variation correlated with geography, we speak of that variation as forming a cline. For example, many mammals and birds exhibit north/south clines in average body size, being larger in the colder climates farther north and smaller in the warmer climates farther south. Similarly, many mammalian species show north/south clines in the size of such extremities has the tails and ears; these exposed parts are smaller in the demes farther north. The Brazilian Spiny Rat (Proechimys trinomys iheringi is but one of these examples. It may impress some people that it was found in the Amazon because there is an inference that such a place holds the key for the “mysteries” of evolution but our own deer mice exhibit the same characteristic.

    The various isolating factors that cause clinal morphological features are ecogeographical, habitat, seasonal, behavioral, mechanical, and gametic.

    The idea of a complex in mycology is one that stands between a ring species and a cline. In many cases not only do the various individuals have major taxonomic differences but sometimes will not interbreed. I know I said earlier that they can but there is a dispute among mycologists in the matter and I hold that they are more like a cline than a ring species. Some mycologists disagree with me and hold that certain species are unable to interbreed. The issue is simply not that easy. I am not going to get into my argument with my fellow mycologists here in this discussion. It would require more time than I have to devote to it. The complex Gymnopilus spectabilis is a complex and well below the level of sentience required for non-speciation.

    Again, I reiterate the difference between life forms is drawn at the level of neural network complexity.

    Boris I would like to respond to more of your letter so if you see this please wait until tomorrow to respond. I would like to add more information but I have some things to do and won’t be able to post until tomorrow. Thanks


    I think you have a very good attitude and I agree with you about certain “religious people”.

    Till then, Adlerian
     
  18. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Adlerian,

    You may have oversimplified here to make a point, but I'll reply just in case. The modern conclusion that life evolved does not stem from any single thread of observations. In fact, a great variety of converging threads of observation currently support that conclusion. The observed patterns of speciation are just one such thread. Fossil evidence and the associated study of morphology form another. The study of reproduction and trait inheritance form a mathematical case for evolution all their own. DNA divergence analyses contribute another source of information. Embryonic development contains clues to a species' origins. In short, there is altogether overwhelming evidence for evolution, that is multidisciplinary and multifaceted. When a hypothesis gets that much support, it is more properly termed a theory.

    <hr>

    As to your "research" that you seem to have quoted, I don't see anything in it that points to the conclusion that mammalian speciation is nonexistent. And actually, I do not quite understand what you mean by that. Clearly, there are multiple species of mammals in existence that are truly separate species by any definition (including an inability to interbreed.)

    Consider this as temporary feedback, in case you want to edit your latest message to include more information and arguments. If you do, then I promise to edit this message so that it is a response to your final version of the post.

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  19. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

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    I want to respond to this before it gets away.

    Here I have to agree with you. The problem as I see it is that MOST people (this certainly DOES NOT include you or I) have never taken the time to construct a worldview that was logically consistent or cogent) The issue you have against the group you refer to is very similar to mine. I ecshew religion or any philosophical system that hasn't "done it's homework, and even though you and I are on different sides I can see that you have spent a lot of time effort and energy into assuring yourself that what you think is rational. I applaud you for that. It makes you a rare person. I am, myself, the same. The stances that I take have been well thought out. And I am always open to revision. Any true scientist is.

    Now, back to the issue at hand, chemically speaking...

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  20. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

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    Let's just pick up here:

    At first glance it seems that the fact that there are more than one thread of evidence going against my hypothesis nullifies it. But does it? In fact it does not. Logically when you say that mammals had to speciate because other forms of life have, it is the fallacy of composition.

    Fossils. One of the ways the fossil record has been incorrectly interpreted is in the light of the assumption of macroevolution. Which creates a “begging the question” fallacy. A further assumption is that Canis lupus was bred until it diverged into many morphological types. But we know from biology that clinal variation leading to speciation can be formed from north/south clines. If you were to find fossils of the many different breeds of dogs and found them at different times you would conclude that they couldn’t produce fertile offspring...and you would be wrong. We have NO WAY of knowing that certain fossils weren’t the same species rather than just different varieties without the assumption that macroevolution exists, again, circular logic.

    The study of reproduction and trait inheritance form a mathematical case for evolution that proves that things like clinal variation can and do exist in mammals but you need more evidence than that to be sure of macroevolution for mammals. The case of Canis lupis var. familiaris is a compelling case against macroevolution for mammals.

    Another is Cryptotis parva which has nine subspecies and they are in order:

    Cryptotis parva parva

    Cryptotis parva harlani

    Cryptotis parva berlandieri

    Cryptotis parva floridana

    Cryptotis parva orophila

    Cryptotis parva soricina

    Cryptotis parva tropicalis

    Cryptotis parva publensis

    Cryptotis parva elasson

    I also found it interesting that the domain of Cryptotis parva extends from near the Panama Canal all the way up into Canada. The first fossils of Cryptotis parva are about 4 or 5 million years old. Morphologically the skeletal structure has remained intact enough to identify it and it has had plenty of geographic pressure to evolve but it hasn’t.
    An honest note here: Cryptotis parva floridana was thought to evolve into a separate species but I can't find that part in the monograph right now. I know the work was stopped though before it became proof. I'll find it later and post it. and Dr. you are referring to the name that was originally given to the Genus by Say in 1823. Its' proper name now is Cryptotis. It was found approx. 2 mi. E Ft. Calhoun on the West Bank of the Missouri River.

    I believe that further evidences concerning macroevolution cannot be found because the mechanism does not evidence itself in any way that is observable in nature or testable in a lab. I believe that most life forms exist in relative stasis but some have the ability to shift a little in order to insure the future existence of those life forms. All the evidence we have for evolution is the fact that certain life forms can shift within their genus. This is an observable fact. The idea that it is not is incorrect. The salamander that lives in the California valley can interbreed with itself along the pathway of its cline (from deme to deme to deme), which is a gradual variation, correlated with geography, in a character of a species. I believe that the limit is there because I haven't seen any evidence other than speculation that disproves it. All life forms are linked chemically and genetically but that doesn't mean we can postulate more than we can prove. It's bad science to do so. All life forms have DNA but all life forms cannot interbreed and the line of speciation cuts off when two living beings cannot share or transmit genetic information. Theodosius Dobzansky

    The idea that we as human beings evolve because we start at a small level is correct, but it is only correct if you consider that embryonic development is a paradigm for "evolution". I do not. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny has a long way to go to prove itself. Further we do not develop from a single cell. We are an example of heterogamous reproduction. We need two cells, not one, to develop.

    "Evolution" has fallen err to the fallacy of composition from its' beginning. Just because a finch can change into a different species does not mean that all of life can, neither does it mean that a finch could continue to speciate into an eagle. When you use logical induction in science it can only take you so far. If you push the envelope too far you err. If I say that lead melts at 1000 c. and then test several samples of lead I can use induction to say that lead melts at 1000 c. but if I then say that ALL metals melt at 1000 c. I am wrong.

    In order to think that mammals can change into a different species I would need to see something like a clinal variation that leads to instances like the salamander in California or the Herring seagull. Some kind of clinal variation should do the trick. After all we see other life forms do it from bacteria to birds. Why do not mammals do it? As you know I reason they don't have to, the mammalian brain is sufficiently developed that mammals do not need that mechanism to insure their future existence in a meaningful way. Some kind of isolation should do the trick as well. There are many kinds of isolation that can "force" speciation, everything from ecogeographical that works for sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis and Platanus orientalis to behavioral isolation of the Genus Uca (crabs).

    Embryonic development contains clues to a species' origins when it is interpreted with the assumption that macroevolution for mammals exist. We have no proof for that. IF mammals could speciate we would find what we find in ALL other forms of life, instances TODAY that they are doing just that. We can find it in reptiles (California salamander), birds (Herring seagull), etc, etc, etc. No one yet has found it in mammals anywhere, and believe me, they have looked hard. The level of speciation breaks down at the level of neural network complexity; mammals have a higher level even though their cranial capacity may be smaller. Compare Cryptotis parva with the Herring seagull in the area of cranial capacity and life span and fossil record. The comparison backs up my theory of evolution not Darwin’s.

    That’s all I have time for today. Some of this was from previous writings due to time constraints.

    Nice to see you, Boris.... Fire away!




    [This message has been edited by Adlerian (edited May 10, 2000).]
     
  21. Plato Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    366
    Adlerian,

    you are fighting a losing battle I'm afraid. You see evolution is not something that is only restricted to life or the different species that make up life, it is a general mechanism that manifests itself in all non equilibrium systems. Life is just an example.
    Further more macro evolution or evolution of the fenotype is something that has been proven in controlled laboratory systems. They have succeeded in making new virus species by gradually changing the environment where the virusses thrived.

    However I here you saying already that its not because virusses evolve that mammals evolve. I get the feeling that the fallacy of composition is just your way of hiding from the enevitable conclusion.
    In the extreme I am also falling for the fallacy of composition if I expect the sun to rise tomorrow or if I expect my pencil to drop if I release it. In the end we can't be certain of anything any more...

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    "If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants."
    Isaac Newton
     
  22. Theword Registered Member

    Messages:
    20
    I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

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    This is The Word of God
     
  23. Adlerian Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    107
    Plato: Thanks for dropping by... didn’t I see you at the Lyceum?

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    Seriously, first of all I am not fighting. This is not a fight, it is about ascertaining the closest approximation to the truth or what is aligned with the universe as it exists outside of our minds, the real external universe that we can know and know the truth about.

    You stated that evolution is a general mechanism. If by that you mean change or development, I agree, stasis is unusual or rare or perhaps non-existent in the universe. If you mean that all things change equally you would be wrong. They don’t. Some things change more than others. Allele frequencies do drift but not as much in all cases. I have no need to hide from anything. I only want the closest approximation to the real picture of the universe I can find. To hang on to a theory that is in bad need of revision is to hide, and not only that but it does a disservice to science at the same time.

    You have misunderstood the fallacy of composition. In logic, it occurs when you attribute a value to a whole that is a value of a part of that whole. If a salesman tells you that the car he is trying to sell you is cheap because it only costs $269.00 a month, he has deceived you when the payments have to be made for 45 years.

    Lastly, you are correct up to a point when you say that we can’t be certain of anything any more. Very few things can be known with certitude (epiteme, in Greek) and most things outside philosophy cannot be known with more than knowledge that is open to revision (doxa, in Greek). The things that can be known with certitude usually take the form of tautology, as in the platitude “survival of the fittest”.

    Nice to meet you!

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