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« "Gay" and "Homosexual" Are Not the Same | Main | What Dr. Moreland Said »

November 27, 2007

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He educational site on evolution:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/phj263762420/?sortorder=asc&p_o=10

Just a question:

if this isn't about the culture wars then why did the Discovery Institute just hire Michael Medved?

Patrick, to assert that I'm not permitted to point out that humans and apes have a common ancestor without simultaneously showing how this has come about is just absurd. I can look at the gene code and look at transitional forms and conclude that it happened without knowing how it happened. You simply assert that I can't, but you don't show why I can't.

When Einstein discovered that F=ma doesn't work at high speeds, and this was proved experiamentally, was it necessary to show why this was the case before accepting relativity? We observed it with test. We don't know why it works that way. So what?

>> When Einstein discovered that F=ma doesn't work at high speeds, and this was proved experiamentally, was it necessary to show why this was the case before accepting relativity? We observed it with test. We don't know why it works that way. So what?

Not knowing what F=ma is, I, nevertheless, see a flaw in the structure of your argument.

What you have, presumably, in F=ma, is a formula that has been tested to work at non-high speeds, yet doesn't work at high speeds.

We don't need to know why F=ma doesn't work at high speeds because we know what F=ma is/does at non-high speeds, and the same result is not observed.

But what Patrick is saying is that you haven't tested the equivalent of the "F=ma" of biology, and without that information you can't determine whether "F=ma" works, and you also can't determine whether "F=ma" is the correct formula to apply.

In short, unless you first prove that microevolution *can* result in the direction of Evolution, you haven't proven that Evolution works. And not only *that* - and I think I've finally found a way to say this - but even if you prove that it's *possible* that microevolution results in the direction of macroevolution, you still have to prove *that* it happened.

This is why I said that for Evolution to be proven, *every* step needs to be accounted for.

But since all scientific research is based on the metaphysical processes of our minds, Evolution has other sets of problems which are arguably more foundational.

"Not knowing what F=ma is, I, nevertheless, see a flaw in the structure of your argument."

This is perhaps one of the problems. So far we have folks who don't understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics's attempting to apply it to biology and folks not familiar with the Second Law of Motion pushing ahead none the less.

It is scientifically acceptable to form hypotheses on evolutionary assumptions because we can then go out and test them. So far this has proved to be a very productive strategy.

As long as this is the case why wouldn't you want to continue? Also, will all respect, if one saw something one didn't understand, why not just google it and find out in less than a minute?

"But what Patrick is saying is that you haven't tested the equivalent of the "F=ma" of biology"

Sorry, the analogy between the Second Law and gravity and modern biological research strategies and evolution is spot on.

>> This is perhaps one of the problems. So far we have folks who don't understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics's attempting to apply it to biology and folks not familiar with the Second Law of Motion pushing ahead none the less.

I want to be careful to qualify my next statement for the sake of intellectual honesty, goodwill, and precision; It needs to be said.

I will grant you that, As you probably suppose, I decided against Google-ing F=ma because I didn't care to put in the time to understand what the formula was about; But like I said, this is qualified.

You'll notice that my objection was not to the *meaning* of F=ma, but to the structure of the argument. So, really, depending on my understanding of the *structure* of the argument, Jon could be right in what he *meant* to convey, while at the same time *I* could be right in my assessment of the structure of what he *actually* said.

Here's another example of what I was attempting to say:

If I tell you that "Jub-Jub" [that's me honoring Conan O'brien :D ] is equal to "Joe-Momma", and "Joe-Momma" is equal to "My-Underwear", then you would be justified in saying that you know something about My-Underwear in relation to Jub-Jub - all without knowing who Joe-Momma is [et al].

Furthermore, you'll notice that I actually granted Jon that F=ma worked like he said; I was saying that he couldn't be applying the same formula to biology ("We know what F=ma is, and it doesn't work at non-high speeds") because the particulars of how an organism would develop body parts consistent with those of another species is not known. Not only that, but it is not even know whether a given organism *can* evolve, that is, whether the genetics have, can, or will ever allow for such a development.

This is what Patrick meant by "the mechanism".

I will also grant that Evolution at least seems plausible, in that little changes happen to organisms. It's an interesting theory, in both senses. Maybe it's right; but you won't know until you understand the mechanism behind it.

And then there's the issue of how Evolution meshes with free-agency.

Hi Agilius, The reason why you should have followed the threads that a search would have revealed is you might have found this:

"There is no immediate prospect of identifying the mediator of gravity."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

And this:

The gravitational constant appears in Newton's law of universal gravitation, but it was not measured until 1798 — 71 years after Newton's death — by Henry Cavendish..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_constant

Newton didn't have to have it all worked out; neither did Einstein; it still isn't completely worked out. His insights into gravity provided him and those that followed him with testable hypotheses that built on the initial assumptions. An astronomy professor I had awhile back pointed out Newton didn't solve everything but Newton will get you to the Moon and that's pretty good.

"Not only that, but it is not even know whether a given organism *can* evolve, that is, whether the genetics have, can, or will ever allow for such a development."

Like Newton's, Darwin's initial assumptions provided a pretty good base from which to work.
If evolution as a theory is still allowing for testable hypotheses that work out then you keep the theory, which will be modified as necessary.

Logic is fact driven when applied to a given subject. Your assumptions about evolution appear to have come from the ID side. You would do well to check out mainstream biology. If I had a legal problem, I would consult a lawyer, otherwise not.

>> If evolution as a theory is still allowing for testable hypotheses that work out then you keep the theory, which will be modified as necessary.

I'll respond to this on the newer thread

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