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« Justified in Not Believing? | Main | Sci Fi & Stem Cells »

July 07, 2009

Comments

That was just a general comment Frank, it wasn't at you...

>You can't start discussing the evolution of a species until you figure out where it came from first.

In this sentence, what does "it" refer to? What exactly is this "it" that must be explained before we talk about evolution?


>Joe says no one believes alage is the ancestor of animals. Then we aren't talking evolution afterall

Yes, we are. No one believes alage is the ancestor of animals...because single cell lineages leading to animals probably split from the single cell lineages leading to plants before the point in time when algae first existed. That is, algae are not directly ancestral to animals. The relationship between animals and algae is more like the relationship between distant cousins, as opposed to the relationship between grandparent and grandchildren.

>Since all life has to have "evolved" from the simple to the complex... ALL simpler forms of life have to be our ancestor. Is this new to you?

Yes, it is. It also shows a serious lack of understanding of evolution.


>"Kind" means species.

Good enough. Here's an example of new species created by a single gene change. A genetic change created a new "kind".

"Evolution: Single-gene speciation by left–right reversal."

Ueshima and Asami

Nature 425:679

By the way, if kind = species, and if Noah carried all "kinds" on his ark, how did he manage to keep them all alive? We're talking tens of thousands of vertebrates species and millions of insect species here.

>"New information" would mean different coding that what was contained in the orignial. It would result an actual physical
increase in genetic material over what was originally there.

Good enough. So why would gene duplication followed by mutation in one of the copies such that we get new traits NOT be considered new information? Since we have multiple copies, there will still be unmutated copies with the original information doing the orignal tasks when the mutated copies are doing something new.

>Yes you can go ahead and explain how any new gentic material can come about on its own.

Already did. See previous comments. Gene duplication, polyploidy, transposons, etc.

References?

Start here,

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

...and then proceed to read all books written by Sean Carroll, including 'The Making of the Fittest' and 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful'.


Sorry, above should read "algae are".

You can't start discussing the evolution of a species until you figure out where it came from first.

"It" meaning the species...

Prince, I would suggest that you can (and indeed, we have); at the same time, not knowing the absolute origin of species presents a very obvious foundational problem. I dont think you need much crudentials to understand that. I suppose the scientist might say that 'someday science will have an answer'. Just hope theyre alive to get that answer.

...not knowing the absolute origin of species presents a very obvious foundational problem.

It sure does!!!


...I suppose the scientist might say that 'someday science will have an answer'. Just hope theyre alive to get that answer. (sounds like a Dawkins statement)


I'll stick to my personal relationship with God while others are anxiously awaiting that ground breaking Scientific discovery...

>"It" meaning the species...

Could you be more specific? Do you have a particular type of species in mind?

>Not knowing the absolute origin of species presents a very obvious foundational problem.

Why?

...Not knowing the absolute origin of species presents a very obvious foundational problem.

First of all, I didn't say it, just agreed with it. Second, if your foundation is floppy then how can you give an accurate answer or conclusion or even and on going study of something to which a firm foundation is needed?

If I were conducting a study I would try to make sure my foundation was sturdy enough to continue on with it.

...Could you be more specific?

Define "specific"...

>First of all, I didn't say it, just agreed with it.

Ok, why did you agree with it?

>If your foundation is floppy then how can you give an accurate answer or conclusion or even and on going study of something to which a firm foundation is needed.

What is this "firm foundation" that is needed? What are we talking about here? What does "absolute origin of species" mean? Are we talking about the first cells?

>Define "specific".

By "species", are you referring to an animal species, a plant species, a single celled species, the very first species ever, what?

I just simply agree with the statement "...Not knowing the absolute origin of species presents a very obvious foundational problem", because of obvious reasons. A study of something with a weak foundation is a pointless subject to argue. There is no point in it due to the lack of a solid foundation of information. It's just my opinion as well as I'm sure you have one on it too.

...What is this "firm foundation" that is needed? Information not speculation!

Any species, pick one, your choice and we'll go with that one. Whatever species you pick it needed a Creator at some point in time. Whatever it may be had a beginning and there isn't a Science research or study that can explain how it started or came to be...

What do i believe my purpose is?

The purpose of every last one of us is to reflect to each other and the rest of creation...the very character of God.

The problems of this world (our greed, hatred, perversion, Jealousy, self centeredness, pride) are only magnified when we try to do what we want with no accountability to our Creator....and it is only going to get worse.

He WILL get our attention...but I'm afraid for most of us that means we aren't going to like it very much.

>Why?

Because the foundation will determine how the data is interpreted. Certainly, I understand, origin has no bearing on how a species may evolve in one sense.

>Whatever species you pick it needed a Creator at some point in time.

Well, I think that the jury is still out on this one.

But for the sake of argument, let's say that I pick the first cell that ever existed. And futher, for the sake of argument, let's say the first cell was created by a magic man.

If this hypothetical fact is true, it has no effect on the "foundations" of evolutionary theory. It doesn't impact the question of whether or not humans ultimately evolved from that first cell by natural mechanisms. None of this affects the question about new information or macroevolution. Create the first cell out of nothing, and the foundation of modern evolutionary theory is as firm as ever, because the theory deals with what happens after cells exist.

God creates the first cell, God goes on vacation, everything else happens by natural mechanisms, what's the problem with the foundation?

In the meantime, everyone should read Carroll's books. To start.

I agree, and thats why I say in one sense I understand why it doesnt have any bearing on the theory itself, as evidence by the fact that we have theistic evolutionists. On the other hand, Evolution predominately excludes God. With that said, we come back to our original problem, where did the first cell come from? And then your theories will be illuminated by your underlieing suppositions. Is it more possible that X, and so on... I know im not telling you anything new.

"God creates the first cell, God goes on vacation, everything else happens by natural mechanisms, what's the problem with the foundation?"

First, the problem is that when God goes on vacation, all consistency in nature goes out the window. We would see physical laws fluctuating every which way, and in under a fraction of a second everything would be chaotic or void.

There is no scientific explanation for why we expect stability in nature.

Second, if God wasn't involved, we wouldn't be able use reason to come to any knowledge about cells or natural selection. The human audience of science and nature would cease to be a player.

There is no scientific explanation for why we expect to understand nature.

Third, there are more problems in the theory of evolution than just where it began. If we're just starting with the first cell, there is still no mechanism to add enough complexity to get very far.

Let me be clearer. "God goes on vacation" means that God does not have to play a direct role in what happens next. I did not mean to imply or suggest that there is no longer "consistency" in nature.

>If we're just starting with the first cell, there is still no mechanism to add enough complexity to get very far.

And you conclude this because...?

>If God wasn't involved, we wouldn't be able use reason to come to any knowledge about cells or natural selection.

Are you sure about that? Can non-human animals reason?

>> God creates the first cell, God goes on vacation, everything else happens by natural mechanisms, what's the problem with the foundation?

That's not even plausible, what with the violation of causal law called free will.

>> Are you sure about that? Can non-human animals reason?

Non-human animals have souls; Sure they can reason.

But souls, or any other violation of causal law, cannot be accounted for by Naturalism; Naturalism precludes the existence of violations of causal law.

"Are you sure about that? Can non-human animals reason?"

I guess there are two kinds of "reason" here. The reason inherent in nature, seen in basic logic, that animals to some degree also possess. And also a higher reason that makes man different from animals in how man can apply logic, use language, develop technology and culture, or rely on intelligence over instinct. (Basically how we reflect some God's attributes by being his image-bearers.)

There is still no mechanism to add enough complexity to get very far.
I conclude this because neither natural selection (dependent on mutations, recombinations or alterations) nor genetic drift can add meaningful information in such a way to develop irreducibly complex features. The vast majority of these changes are harmful or just neutral; probability is against any progress using the current ideas of evolutionary mechanism. There may be ways to show that such mechanisms are in fact impossible without intelligence (developed by ID proponents), or there may be better unguided mechanisms discovered.

"Evolution predominantly excludes God."

How does evolution exclude God in any way that is different from how meteorology excludes God? Or linguistics? I mean the evolution of Indo-European to modern English shows how a complex system can change and evolve without the help of any outside designer,(unless God gave enunciation lessons during the great vowel shift in the 13th century:).

I mean complex systems like language change and add new 'information' all the time without having to invoke God all the time. Why is the evolution of life excluding God in any substantive way from the way that linguistics excludes God?

Why is the evolution of life excluding God different in any substantive way from the way that linguistics excludes God?

'different' sorry I posted too fast

...Whatever species you pick it needed a Creator at some point in time.

>Well, I think that the jury is still out on this one.

The jury may still be out for some. I believe pride may be a factor in the deadlock.


>God creates the first cell...

At least you are acknowledging the starting point! Atta boy.

...He WILL get our attention...but I'm afraid for most of us that means we aren't going to like it very much.

Well said Frank!

>How does evolution exclude God in any way that is different from how meteorology excludes God?

Exactly.

Once again...

At least you are acknowledging the starting point!

>That's not even plausible, what with the violation of causal law called free will.

And what does “free will” have to do with how the natural world works?

>But souls, or any other violation of causal law, cannot be accounted for by Naturalism; Naturalism precludes the existence of violations of causal law.

And what do “souls” have to do with how the natural world works, evolution, brain function, etc.?

>I guess there are two kinds of "reason" here.

Actually, I think that there is just one kind of reason here with respect to comprehending and understand the physical world around a given organism. Non-human animals reason by using the same parts of the brain as humans. Now, we do have the one significant advantage of language, and that capacity allows to reason far beyond what non-human animals can do. But the capacity for language is itself an evolved, physical trait. The capacity is a product of the physical architecture of the brain. Its existence does not appear to require the direct intervention of God.

>I conclude this because neither natural selection (dependent on mutations, recombinations or alterations) nor genetic drift can add meaningful information in such a way to develop irreducibly complex features…

You are stating as “fact” (X can’t add meaningful information in such a way to develop irreducibly complex features) something that is not a fact.

“Irreducible complexity” has been rejected as a concept for several good reasons. I can provide a reading list if you’d like. You can’t say that X can’t happen because of a given principle, when the principle itself is an invalid, inaccurate and/or an untestable hypothesis.

>There may be ways to show that such mechanisms are in fact impossible without intelligence (developed by ID proponents).

And could you point to the peer-reviewed publication in which I can find the “way” that shows that a given feature can not evolve by natural means?

>The jury may still be out for some. I believe pride may be a factor in the deadlock.

Pride is a universal human trait. It’s not unique to scientists.

>At least you are acknowledging the starting point! Atta boy.

I assume that you’re joking. You do understand that I made the statement as a hypothetical so that we could back to Frank’s original statements about evolution. Again, once we have a “first cell”, regardless of where it came from, we can add information, increase complexity, etc., etc.

(Posted to quickly...)

Again, once we have a “first cell”, regardless of where it came from, we can add information, increase complexity, etc., etc.,

...by natural mechanisms such as those described in evolutionary theory.

Pride is a universal human trait. It’s not unique to scientists.

I never said it was only a Scientist' trait... I just have an opinion that the trait is stronger in non-believers...

>At least you are acknowledging the starting point! I assume that you’re joking...

Nah, I'm not joking. It was just exciting to see you type it even if you say it was "hypothetical", because I think you see there is truth to it...

>I just have an opinion...

Well, you know what that say about opinions and certain body parts.

>It was just exciting to see you type it.

I think that you have a low excitement threshold.

I think that you have a low excitement threshold.

Maybe, but anytime someone is talking or even "hypothetically" mentioning our awesome Creator it excites me. Probably equivelent to when some one is talking about "Evolution" or "mutation" in your case... Which I find a low threshold of excitment about!!

And yes, I'm aware of what is said about opinions. As you and I both know though, some opinions are just that... Opinions...


--“Irreducible complexity” has been rejected as a concept for several good reasons.

How could the concept be rejected? I can understand that certain inferences for the irreducible complexity of features has been rejected (as some should be), but as a concept it is based on logic. For example an arch with a capstone holding up stones on both sides is irreducibly complex. You can't have any stone by itself set in position, you have to set them there together.

How is the concept rejected?

>How is the concept rejected?

If you'd like, I can give you a list of books that will help you understand why "irreducible complexity", in the context of living organisms, has been rejected. This is a big subject with a long answer, and I don't think that I can do this justice in a few paragraphs. But one key is to understand that human-created objects are significantly different in several important ways from biological entities. Another key is that you can't deduce the historical origin of an object just by looking at it.

>For example an arch with a capstone holding up stones on both sides is irreducibly complex. You can't have any stone by itself set in position, you have to set them there together.

If an arch collapses without a capstone, how can we assemble the arch as we do, that is, assemble the arch one stone at a time? If all parts must be in place for the arch to function at all, then it can't be built by a series of small, intermediate steps, right?

To give a non-human-created object example, if all parts of an arch must be in place for the arch to exist, how can you explain the presence of natural arches found in places like Arches National Park? Are these arches "irreducibly complex? Did their creation require an intelligent designer?

Are the McDonalds arches irreducibly complex?

Huh?

>>To give a non-human-created object example, if all parts of an arch must be in place for the arch to exist, how can you explain the presence of natural arches found in places like Arches National Park?

In that instance, there's no selection involved and we're not talking about an organism that had to function as a whole. The problem comes when you claim that natural selection chose all the parts that do nothing on their own, and then when they all happened to be there, suddenly there's a complete, working system. How would it know to select for parts that do nothing, and will do nothing until some other random parts come along that fit perfectly with it and only do something when they have been fitted together? To deny irreducible complexity, one needs to explain what function each individual part did on its own (or at least give reasonable possibilities) apart from the functioning of a system such that it was valuable enough to be selected (including the separate parts of the components of a cell, the system in the cell, whole working organs, and the entire system of the body), and I think biologists are a long way from doing that.

Amy,

>(In the case of arches), we're not talking about an organism that had to function as a whole.

No, but we talking about a structure in which the removal of single "part" (section of rock) would lead to the failure of the system. If all of the rock bits have to be in place at the same instance to produce a functional arch, how can this happen? Did God have to make the arch?

>How would it know to select for parts that do nothing, and will do nothing until some other random parts come along that fit perfectly with it and only do something when they have been fitted together?

Here's your prolem. You're assuming that the individual parts do nothing until the final system is in place. But that's not the way things work in the biological world. There are many systems in which the individual parts have or had other functions prior to, and independent of, their roles in a given "complete system".

As you are fond of pointing out, one must have an in-depth knowledge of the field before coming to conclusions. Would you like a reading list on the subject?

>> And what does “free will” have to do with how the natural world works?

That's my point. Free will violates natural (or, causal) law, so the "natural world" is unable to account for it.

>> And what do “souls” have to do with how the natural world works, evolution, brain function, etc.?

With regard to the natural world, see above.

With regard to evolution, the *existence* of souls, per se, does not bear -- not necessarily, anyway. However, the free will which is proof of the existence of souls, is also quite necessary for the propagation of any species [I'm sure that's qualified in some sense], such that Naturalism (to include Evolution the Theory) is not plausible.

Naturalism precludes violations of causal law, and free will violates causal law. They are mutually exclusive.

However, some have tried to argue for a type of Theistic Evolution, which seems plausible, in theory. The Bible doesn't support this, but it's on the table as far as this thread is concerned.

>Free will is also quite necessary for the propagation of any species.

Huh?

Wow, that looks amazing!

What are all the books on the table? I recognize some but not all of them.

Tom,

I haven't read a single book in the picture. I've read Philip Johnson, Michael Behe, and other apologists that argue similarly.

My point is though that if you are doing a seminar debunking a prevailing opinion you need to at least read SOMETHING arguing in favor of the prevailing opinion. Don't you think? Imagine I deny the Theory of Relativity and all I do to prepare is read others that likewise deny the Theory of Relativity and don't read anybody that supports it. Am I informed? Seems too obvious to warrant argument.

Jon, they only accept people into the program with a science background and training (in either the natural sciences or philosophy of science). My guess is that they're assuming these people have studied evolution at their respective universities (a pretty safe assumption).

Jon,

I agree with your point completely and that is why I am so thankful my public high school required students to learn competing theories to the origins of our universe and not just an evolutionary one.

Oh, wait...

Here's the problem, David Blaine. You can't just let any view in a science classroom. Only views that have met the requirements of the scientific method are permitted. Otherwise you get flying spaghetti monsters and so forth.

Intelligent Design is a hypothesis. Fine. But that's just the first stage. You then need to formulate tests. ID hasn't done this. You then undergo peer review of your tests. If you pass that test you get published. Once you've been published your work is then critiqued by a wider audience and ample time is provided to refute the view. If you pass all those hurdles you are a valid scientific theory and you belong in the class room.

ID hasn't gotten past stage 2. That's not just my view. Hugh Ross readily concedes that ID has not been tested, and therefore doesn't belong in a class room. He's developing a testable creation model, and he says that ID proponents need to get out there, do the work, and prove their view correct in a valid scientific manner rather than going to school boards and getting unscientific people to try to get ID in the class room through the back door.

We're saying only science in a science class room. ID might pass the test. I don't believe it will, but in theory it could. Leap the hurdles and I'll be glad to learn of it. If there's a designer I certainly want to know, and the scientific method is the best way to find out.

Amy, I don't know that I think your assumption is all that safe. Ask Alan what books he's read from evolutionists arguing on behalf of evolution. I'd be curious.

Hey Jon,

"If there's a designer I certainly want to know, and the scientific method is the best way to find out."

You don't know if there is an immaterial being out there but you know that a material test is the best way to find out?

"If there's a designer I certainly want to know, and the scientific method is the best way to find out."

Keep studying! Science should lead you pretty quickly to the conclusion that there HAS to be a Designer... Good luck brother.

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