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May 22, 2014

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Linnaeus also tried to organize rocks in a nested hierarchy.

Animal Kingdom, Plant Kingdom, Mineral Kingdom!

Nice try. Who knew? It might have worked.

But it didn't.

Rocks don't have heritable characteristics.

God could certainly have organized his creation into something like the nested hierarchy. He can do anything power can do.

So he (would have) had all kinds of choices.

But a nested hierarchy was evolution's only choice.

A nested hierarchy follows directly from common descent.

God could have organized life like geology or in any other way of his choosing.

ronh

You said that "God could certainly have organized his creation into something like the nested hierarchy. He can do anything power can do."

Of course that is true. However, simply because power makes one capable of doing something, does not mean that one should use that criteria for going ahead and doing it. What would happen if a nuclear country just decided to lob atomic bombs at everyone around them on the bases that they could? To exercise power in this manner may have very serious consequences and there are good reasons for not doing it that way. That is why we can see that god had good reasons for creating the natural order in the manner that he did.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes_factor

The probability of a nested hierarchy given evolution is essentially 1.

You may think a nested hierarchy is likely given creation, but you'd be stretching it to say the probability is 1.

So the nested hierarchy is evidence for evolution.

god had good reasons for creating the natural order in the manner that he did


Then why no nested hierarchy in geology (where Linnaeus looked for it on your assumption)?

Or chemistry?

Or anywhere in nature.

Except biology - where evolution all but requires it.

ronh
I appreciate that you are convinced that organization such as a nested hierarchy is evidence for the evolutionary process, but I posit to you that organization in all its forms may also be evidence of an organizer behind it. That we are able to understand such organization, may well be evidence that the characteristics that make it possible to be understood were in fact a feature that the thing itself obtained from its creator. Just like an internal combustion engine and its function can be understood by other human beings because a similarly endowed builder expressed his understanding through its engineering and construction. So, the argument could go both ways...supporting the evolutionary process as well as design, but I think that the stronger argument is for design.

As to your question regarding the this unique feature in geology...well, we are, after all, fearfully and wonderfully made...no such a claim is made of a mountain, no matter how majestic its peaks.

Louis Kuhelj,

The point is not that I am convinced.

I'm presenting an argument meant to convince anyone.

And anyway, I'm not convinced 'that organization such as a nested hierarchy is evidence for the evolutionary process'.

There is no 'such as' in what I'm saying. A nested argument is the only form of organization compatible with the theory.

You think that 'organization in all its forms may also be evidence of an organizer'.

So support that.

And explain why the nested hierarchy shows up in biology and nowhere else.

You say understand-ability 'may well' be evidence of a designer - presumably one with understanding. It reminds me of homeopathy: like cures like. It sounds nice, I suppose. But that's no reason to think it's true.

You say that the nested hierarchy 'could' support design.

Well maybe, but it can't support design over evolution.

Of the two hypotheses evolution is the one that more strongly implies the nested hierarchy.

So the Bayes factor goes in favor of evolution.

So the nested hierarchy is evidence for evolution over creation.

That's what the Bayes factor is about.

As to being fearfully and wonderfully made - well, we could be fearfully and wonderfully made without there being a nested hierarchy in nature at all - let alone our being part of it.


ronh,

>> As to being fearfully and wonderfully made - well, we could be fearfully and wonderfully made without there being a nested hierarchy in nature at all - let alone our being part of it.

In response to your last post, I find only one word that truly applies.

Raspberries.

No, no. Not that tongue-induced sign of disdain for another. My parents raspberries and the patch they maintained so long ago.

You see, I have fond memories of that collection of plants and the energy my folks put into it. The plant normally produced fruit the size of "tip of pinkie," but with careful pruning and cross-pollination produced fruit the size of "tip of thumb." But as they grew older and the demands of plant management became difficult, they allowed the patch to go wild. It became scrubby plants with fruit the size of "pinkie-nail." I found that usual advances in botanical structure have to be planned and managed, but only due to a biological genetic structure that is intricate and complicated, a matter that I could not leave up to random uncontrolled biological forces.

One such implication became apparent in a evolution debate which I still remember as "The Blunder." To illustrate the idea of biological improvement, the advocate for evolution used the Ford Mustang, to symbolize species improvement over time. This was met by a response that such improvements were the work of automotive engineers, technicians, and designers, thus fitting the design paradigm.

As to being fearfully and wonderfully made ... if it looks designed, perhaps that it because it was so.

DGFischer,

You are just changing the subject.

My claim/argument is very specific and limited: the nested hierarchy weighs in favor of evolution (common descent) over creation.

Saying that you think your observations of raspberries weigh in the other direction is not really responding to my claim/argument.

Will you either concede the point or argue against it?

RonH

ronh,

>> You are just changing the subject.

No, I assure you I am not. The line of argumentation in this line of posts has been the preferred paradigm that best squares with Linnaeus' system of organization, design or evolution. My remark was based on noting that along with natural selection and mutation, informed manipulation of genetics allows for evolutionary change. Design works, and perhaps so in designed mechanisms solely. Sometimes natural forces create detrimental effects. Thus, to allow for evolutionary change as the preferred method of understanding origins has problems for me.

I have many problems with unquestioned acceptance of naturalistic evolution discounting design.

I have been flummoxed by Richard Dawkins critique of advocates of intelligent design which he entitled "The Blind Watchmaker." Was I the only one to ask, "But isn't a watchmaker an intelligent agent?" The whole matter seemed to be a forced defense of unguided forces. I would have preferred had Dawkins would have written "The Blind Rock that Took a Shot at Constructing a Watch." Such contrived thinking reminds me of Hume's attack of miracles, which I still summarize as "A rare event that never happens."

I pause at the fact whether evolution is unlimited, or whether it controls a series of variations that range from point A to point B, oscillating between such manifestations.

I wonder that evolution is destroyed by something of a "Sisyphus complex," where all evolutionary progress must be eliminated at time of extinction, needing to reconstruct that progress from some nothing state (my biggest difficulty).

I ponder over the timing of symbiotic relationships, such as animal pollination of plants, where the survival of one depends on the other. Such suddenness of such relationships must move one towards design.

I have so many reservations about the concept of change over time versus the need for change to be simultaneous or else ecological crash.

So, I guess I can't concede the point. Now, am I arguing against it in a fashion that you would appreciate?

No, I assure you I am not [changing the subject].

You are not responding to my argument.

am I arguing against it in a fashion that you would appreciate?

No.

I suspect you do not understand my argument.

Here are some steps to show that you do.

1) Show that you realize that I'm talking about one piece of evidence: life on Earth is organized into a nested hierarchy.

2) Show that you realize I'm claiming and arguing that this particular evidence supports evolution over design.

3) Show you understand I am not discussing other evidence nor the sum total of all evidence. Much of what you've said indicates that you do not understand that.)

4) Address my claim that evolutionary theory - common descent - implies a nested hierarchy very very very very strongly. You might say it requires it by definition. That is P(NH|E) =~ 1 or the probability of a nested hierarchy given that evolution is true is about 1.

5) Address my claim that, if designed, life might show other forms of organization among it's different form. For example, there might be only one living thing. Or two. Neither of these forms of organization are nested hierarchies and I could go on all day describing ways that life could be organized that are not nested hierarchies. Therefore P(NH|D) seems significantly less than 1. The probability of a nested hierarchy given that design is true is less than one.

6) So P(NH|E) < P(NH|D).

7) Show that you understand that (via Bayes factor), if (6) is true then the nested hierarchy is evidence for evolution (or, more specifically, common descent).

I'll point out something you may not realize: the mere fact that the nested hierarchy weighs in favor of evolution over design does not mean that evolution is true or design is false. So you can make this concession without and still maintain that design is true and evolution is false.


Sorry, I need to correct a few things.

3) (Much of what you've said indicates that you do not understand that.)

5) ...among its different forms...

LAST SENTENCE) So you can make this concession and still maintain that design is true and evolution is false.

No, I'm not changing my name to 'uy'.

RonH

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