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August 19, 2011

Comments

Daron,

>> We have to define evolution now. Is it not merely change over time?

Nope. It's not "merely change over time." The classic evolutionary model would dictate that the first pelican evolved from an earlier organism of a different species.

This should be rather obvious of course.

Oh, I see. Now you are begging the question by first telling me that the construct called (arbitrarily, in the fashion of some kind of taxonomical guide) a pelican evolved from a construct not called a pelican, and you are going to now decide that by "evolution is true" you get to roll all your claims in tautologically.
I want you to see your presuppositions. Since wiki is so highly valued in your debates, let's start there.

Evolution (or more specifically biological or organic evolution) is the change over time in one or more inherited traits found in populations of individuals.[
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Louis,

>> "Clearly even at early stages of development, there is a clear human DNA signature that along with the identification of the parents identify the individual as being excluded from any other species."

If this is so clear, why is there a debate about if neanderthal samples are human?

Daron,

:)

Please note the image on the top right of that page.

For extra points, you can also hover your mouse over it and read the yellow box.

The classic evolutionary model would dictate that the first pelican evolved from an earlier organism of a different species.

This should be rather obvious of course.

If this is so obvious of course (how? by some innate ability?) why is it that for tens of millions of years pelicans are still constructed as pelicans and not as a new species? Your claim is that a human can give birth to a non-human and that every species will necessarily give birth to a new species. It is not a claim about what happened hundreds of millions of years in the past, but what is guaranteed to happen in the future. Evolution does not tell us, and cannot and will not tell us, that every species will birth a new species. in fact, "evolution" tells us that 99% of species did not do this but that, instead, they went extinct as evolutionary dead ends.
Oh yeah, and don't forget you can't even define a species.

Please define a plausible situation where in the case of fetal reduction, it would become necessary to consider this due to the child being determined to be a neanderthal?

Oh, I see. Now you are begging the question by first telling me that the construct called (arbitrarily, in the fashion of some kind of taxonomical guide) a pelican evolved from a construct not called a pelican, and you are going to now decide that by "evolution is true" you get to roll all your claims in tautologically.
I want you to see your presuppositions. Since wiki is so highly valued in your debates, let's start there.

Evolution (or more specifically biological or organic evolution) is the change over time in one or more inherited traits found in populations of individuals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Daron,

>> "why is it that for tens of millions of years pelicans are still constructed as pelicans and not as a new species?"

the issue on the floor was not "is evolution true?"

the issue was based on your claim that, even if evolution were true, one species does not birth another.

It appears you were confused about the premise.

In the future, refer to the link you posted.

Read this for extra points.

Evolution may in the long term lead to speciation, whereby a single ancestral species splits into two or more different species.

Why do they say "may" instead of "necessarily guarantees"? Obvious of course.

Trent,

>> "Please define a plausible situation where in the case of fetal reduction, it would become necessary to consider this due to the child being determined to be a neanderthal?"

Louis said that one could examine a construct and determine that the construct was of the set of humans because of a "clear human DNA signature"

In order to negate this statement, I need only find an example of a case in which you could examine a construct's genome, and not know if it was of the set of humans, or not.

Daron,

>> "Why do they say "may" instead of "necessarily guarantees"?"

when i said that i was referring to the history of our species if the evolutionary model was granted

obviously, any given species may simply go extinct, in which case in would no longer undergo anymore evolutionary change of course.

because its er, dead.

I didnt think that needed to be said...

O.o

ToNy,

the issue on the floor was not "is evolution true?"
Indeed. That is not under debate at all.

the issue was based on your claim that, even if evolution were true, one species does not birth another.
That's right. Good job. :)

It appears you were confused about the premise.

That is not how it appears at all.

In the future, refer to the link you posted.
In the future read what people write.
You said evolution necessitates that every species will give birth to another species. By no stretch of language or imagination is this the case. Evolution, if true, can tell us only about the past and nothing about the future. Using the past as a guide what evolution really tells us is that most species just go extinct and that the ones that don't are not seen to change.
And, again, without Hopeful Monsters, one species does not birth another species. Comment again on ring species.

Oh yeah, and you don't even know what a species is, so all your claims on the issue are irrelevant.

when i said that i was referring to the history of our species if the evolutionary model was granted
No you were talking about the present and about a guaranteed future.
I didnt think that needed to be said...
I just hope to expose your presuppositions though, ToNy. I'm giving you a helping hand because what you think it innately obvious and what others must be evil and deluded to fail to see is not, as a matter of fact, obvious after all.

And you don't even know what a species is, so all your claims on the issue are irrelevant.

Daron,

>> "No you were talking about the present and about a guaranteed future."

:)

no guarantees of course. the world may indeed end tomorrow. in which case no creatures today would evolve.

i am sorry though, if that wasn't an obvious contingency...

I am rather glad that we have finally unearthed your issue with how species come to be in an evolutionary model.

I will be sure to paste your wikipedia link next time, to make sure future members are not confused.

No guarantees, of course, because if evolution is true, there is nothing if not contingency. And if it is true most species remain the species they are until their extinction .... or until their non-extinction tens and hundreds of millions of years right up to the present. But it certainly doesn't require your once-again extreme contingency of the world coming to an end. Things could just continue as they always have and we see that there is no necessity of speciation whatsoever.
And there surely is no reason to think that a human will ever give birth to a non-human. And this is true whether evolution is true or not, whether you appeal to the past or not.

I am rather glad we have found out that when you say that something is necessarily so that you are not saying it is actually necessarily so. That will be helpful for future members and participants in your niceness debates.

Oh, sorry ...
:)

ToNy

"If this is so clear, why is there a debate about if neanderthal samples are human?"

You make a claim later on that I made a claim that one's humanity is only determined on the basis of DNA which is patently false. I listed other criteria alongside that to determine the humanity of the individual that you have conveniently excluded from your response. You don't get to pick and choose from my statements the parts that appear to prove your case. Either you take my statements as a whole, or discard them as a whole. They come as a complete package that works together to accomplish a particular task. Take any part and the only work it does is that of perverting my position into something that it never was.

ToNy:

If evolution is true, all species necessarily give birth to different species eventually of course.

ToNy:

In order to negate this statement, I need only find an example ...

You have been giving multiple examples. Your statement is negated and, obviously, is shown to be a completely nonsense answer to the question it was offered in response to :

"unless you are actually claiming that humans often give birth to nonhumans."

Once again, not nice.

ToNy,
sadly I must leave again so you can bury your failures in a volley of missives in order to hide them upthread.
Fire away.
:)

Daron,

:)

is that what this is about? there i was just trying to negate Trent's rule that a parent always gives birth to the same species.

I just mentioned that if evolution was true, then this was not always the case.

And he agreed.

i wasnt really trying to make a blanket statement about the fate of every species that has ever existed, ever. I mean my friend is a bio phd and she's got darwin's famous sketch tattooed on her thigh, and its mostly dead ends.

he knew this even way back then.

>> "There simply is no question that human parents give birth to human babies."

Do you understand now how your statement is incorrect in this evolutionary paradigm?

Ah, a momentary reprieve.

>> "There simply is no question that human parents give birth to human babies."

Do you understand now how your statement is incorrect in this evolutionary paradigm?


No, ToNy, I only understand true things so I can't understand my being in error on this. I have demonstrated my accuracy amply.

And now, adieu.

Louis,

ok i'll print your whole paragraph:

"Clearly even at early stages of development, there is a clear human DNA signature that along with the identification of the parents identify the individual as being excluded from any other species. Both of these pieces of evidence are verifiable. It is unlikely that a cow is going to perform a paternity test in order to determine this on its own kind, but then, when it comes to human beings, it takes one to know one. At a later stage of development we can verify that our early assessment was correct, by the fact that the child is capable of distinguishing moral categories in knowing right from wrong, further confirming humanity. So, we have material and immaterial working hand in hand to inform us of what is in fact a human being. To exclude one or the other is discarding a holistic approach to identification of what it means to be human."

You seem to have offered three rules:

the DNA of the baby
the DNA of his parents
the ability to distinguish moral categories

For the first two, I would ask what method do you use to determine the range of genetic samples that are of the set of humans. There are a few tolerance values that have been published over the years. Can i ask you which one is the objectively true one?

For the third rule, one could never prove if any given organism had this ability. You could possibly prove it for your own mind though. But unfortunately, because of the nature of minds, this proof is not transferable.

Next, what scale would you offer me such that I could judge if your ruleset (or any given ruleset) resulted in a proper identification of which constructs belonged in the set of humans.

Here i drew a picture

IMAGE

Suppose that Louis sits (on a motorcycle) atop a grand arch, and before him lies every organism that has ever existed.

And, Louis is given a job: His job is to devise a method by which he can vet each construct, and ensure that only the organisms of the set of humans pass through the gate.

How would you approach this job?

Daron,

what do you mean

you said

>> "There simply is no question that human parents give birth to human babies."

of course, if evolution is true (and we define evolution via your wikipedia link), then obviously there is always at least the possibility that any resultant birthed construct is of a different species.

ToNy

I too am short on time, so I will make this brief. You have it wrong on the second point...it is not the DNA of the parent, but established humanity of the parents that I refer to. Your comment on the third point "For the third rule, one could never prove if any given organism had this ability." That is clearly untrue. Human beings can and do express their understanding of moral categories of right and wrong through their actions, both as individuals and as groups.

Louis,

>> "we can verify that our early assessment was correct, by the fact that the child is capable of distinguishing moral categories"

couple problems with this rule

1. what about psychopaths?
2. zygotes can't do this
3. chimps seem to do this

Aside from that, I'd like to get a working ruleset that we could write out, and give to our biker friend in the above image.


Again since we are talking about twins and triplets, the question of if this happens or the rate at which this might happen over the millennia isn't relevant, on the time scale in question.

Since the claim that we can't know whether a child is the same species as the mother, because there is no adequate definition of human, no one can ever point to a situation where it ever happened, making the whole point purely academic.

This is where philosophy ( even philosophy of biology) starts to fail. You get into the absurdity of things like Zeno's paradox claiming that you can never reach your destination where it can easily be seen that even though
the statements are true the practical application doesn't follow.

Trent,

>> "the question of if this happens or the rate at which this might happen over the millennia isn't relevant"

sure its relevant

to negate your universal rule, one needs an instance in which it is not true.

i gave you an instance in which it was not true.

Hence your rule is not universal.

If you still believe that there exists a ruleset that one could use to vet a construct and determine that said construct was of the set of humans, then you'll need to modify your rules.

Consider the problem posed above in the image

IMAGE

Suppose that Trent was tasked with discerning which constructs were of the set of humans. How might he go about doing this.

What criteria could you use to determine who gets to walk through the gate?

That's not the question.

That is the question you are trying to get people to focus on to avoid anyone from discussing the actual question posed.

No sane person spends this much effort trying to determine if their parents, children, or identical siblings is a separate species than they are. I see no evidence that any reasonable person would contemplate speciation in the choice to carry a child to term.

This is the type of nonsense that causes people to write off philosophers as useless. A scientist would simply state a definition and move on an not monotonously keep asking people what they think it should be without offering anything.

I am not using the definition of human to decide anything. In this context, conceived by two humans is a good enough definition to discuss the question. I really could not care less if you can conceive of an exception, unless you can reasonably show that I am likely going to be faced with making a decision based on that exception. Sometimes a definition can be loose enough to have some vagueness and still be usefull, and I have already stated what my position would be in the case the vagueness becomes an issue.

ToNy:

If evolution is true, all species necessarily give birth to different species eventually of course.

ToNy:
In order to negate this statement, I need only find an example ...

Daron:
You have been giving multiple examples. Your statement is negated and, obviously, is shown to be a completely nonsense answer to the question it was offered in response to :
"unless you are actually claiming that humans often give birth to nonhumans."

ToNy:
is that what this is about? there i was just trying to negate Trent's rule that a parent always gives birth to the same species.

That's right, ToNy. You were trying to negate his statement with a false and indefensible claim. This is why I exposed it and defeated your defeater. You claim you didn't even see the connection between our evolution discussion and this claim. And I believe you although the connection could not have been more obvious. The problem is that your wise-acre statements are throwaways even to you. They are meant only to disrupt and to get you past one more obstacle. You don't see the connections because you don't pay attention (either to the people you are talking with or to your own statements) and you don't pay attention because you don't care. This is not "nice" and it is insulting. Then you whine that you are being insulted or that Christians might not be acting Christlike in response to you. But you demonstrate here your purely disingenuous strategy and your lack of respect for those with whom you are "debating". You will say anything to "try to negate" a statement and it doesn't matter to you what it is at all or whether it connects logically to what has gone before or is to follow: even when, like your species problems, it defeats all your own arguments.

of course, if evolution is true (and we define evolution via your wikipedia link), then obviously there is always at least the possibility that any resultant birthed construct is of a different species.
Incorrect. That is Hopeful Monsterism and not evolution.

Since you can't get this try to imagine with me. You have a population of potentially interbreeding organisms in which two of them interbreed and produce viable offspring. But this offspring has deviated so far from the the parents genetically that it is incapable of interbreeding with the original population. This rare and extreme mutation does not cause the creature's demise but renders it reproductively incompatible with its parent-population WHILE not being so extreme that it kills or sterilizes the creature. This is unlikely enough, but now we throw in the other necessary component: in order to constitute a species it must be part of a group of interbreeding organism. There has to be another member of this strange genotype which is reproductively incompatible with the parent, but compatible with the first mutant discussed. Et voila, Hopeful Monsters.

Now, as Trent has so patiently tried to do, why don't you apply this to the question at hand? It turns out that we need no definition of humanity because the necessary factors have already been spelled out in the OP.
You have twins conceived. They are identical biologically/genetically with one another (at least as far as the parents/abortionists could possibly tell) so whatever one is the other is. If one is a baby human then so is the other. And yet the family cherishes one and destroys the other.
All so-called problems with definitions and classifications are already taken care of.

Nice work, Trent.
However....

This is the type of nonsense that causes people to write off philosophers as useless
Please don't take ToNy as any example about how philosophers operate.

I roomed with some philosophy majors in residence at university.

He sounds very much like a second year student. They kept trying to win arguments by redefining terms without telling you. Spent a lot of time arguing whether a dead cat was alive, until I realized alive was being defined as existing, so since a dead cat existed a dead cat was alive.

Second year is when you start learning the tools but haven't mastered using them to do much useful.

I was taking physics. You start by stating your starting assumption and move on from there.

Physics has more interesting things to say about dead/alive cats than philosophy anyway, thanks to Schroedinger ;)

Daron-- excellent summary of the OP.

Brad,

Woah! Don't look for "a more subtle variance".

You were talking about propositions right?

And, you were talking about the law of non-contradiction, right? The LNC is about a proposition and it's negation.

Read about negation.

Negation is what I said; it is not more subtle.

By the way, if "A" is a proposition, then it's normal to talk about "not A" rather than "non A", as you have been doing.

And "not A" means the negation of "A" - the proposition that's true when "A" is false and vice versa. Negation is not more subtle than that.

In the context of "natural" language - because time and ambiguity come into play - it is normal to add something like "in the same sense and at the same time". But, this has to do just with natural language - not logic.

In natural language, the truth of A, might change over time reflecting real world circumstances. Logic doesn't take time into account. So, when "A" is natural language, we remind ourselves: "at the same time".

In natural language, there might be more than one meaning for "A". Logic doesn't take that into account. So, we remind ourselves: "in the same sense".

Get it?

RonH

Hi RonH, you asked me to "use my own words", and now you want to play word games? I could easily have pasted wikipedia quotes also. Your scolding has little effect since you've already stated you dont need laws of logic since your sense pereception is accurate enough for you but you require precision from me on a topic you deny. I think it strange that you are comfortable with a relativistic reality and yet want to make a distinction about using "not" and "non", and whether or not "not" cannot include even a subtle variance when it suits you.

You wish to deny that the law of non contradiction has no legitmate use in the real world, which leaves you with no right to make a distinction about anything since the law of identity relies on the law of non contradiction. Without resting on the law of identity, your worldview allows a cat to be a vase to be a table to be a star and on and on depending on who hears. I guess I was wrong, you do have another option besides 1)resting on the laws of logic for justification of knowledge or 2) skepticism, now it seems you can have 3)total irrationalism.

Now, you've really disqualified yourself from making any meaningful argument since by your own standard, justified means that anything sitting on the foudation of the "world according to RonH" is solid and trustworthy but not everyone or even maybe anyone agrees with the decree from this demonstrably unstable authority.

Trent,

>> "Sometimes a definition can be loose enough to have some vagueness and still be useful"

there are lots of ways to answer the abortion question as merely a matter of utility.

The point in a philosophy discussion, however, is to find the objectively true answer to the question.

Not merely to decide on whose rule of thumb we're going to use.

The above exercises are meant to prompt the pro-lifer to try to understand the nature of taxonomic ranking itself. And to see that, with that any ruleset they would scribe, is indeed subjective.

Daron,

>> "tony: if evolution is true (and we define evolution via your wikipedia link), then obviously there is always at least the possibility that any resultant birthed construct is of a different species.
daron: incorrect"

O.o

still on that...

this is really the most basic of evolutionary theory...

You need only answer the question: The species of the world's first pelican was ______.

oops meant

The mother of the world's first pelican, was of the species ____.

Asked and answered, ToNy.
To quote me:

You don't see the connections because you don't pay attention (either to the people you are talking with or to your own statements) and you don't pay attention because you don't care. This is not "nice" and it is insulting.

Now how about some answers from you?

Daron,

oh i re-read your above comments. I think you did answer my question.

You said:

"You have a population of potentially interbreeding organisms in which two of them interbreed and produce viable offspring. But this offspring has deviated so far from the the parents genetically that it is incapable of interbreeding with the original population."

Further you said:

"in order to constitute a species it must be part of a group of interbreeding organism."

Hence in the scenario you've outlined, the mother gave birth to an offspring that was no longer part of her species--given that, as you said, it was so genetically different, that it was incapable of breeding with the original members.

Right, so you now agree with me then.

That, sometimes, a mother gives birth to a child that is not of her own species.

Thanks.

ToNy, how stupid do you think we all are? All you have done is try to avoid letting anyone focus on the question by simply repeating that you cannot define human, and no one else's definition is good enough for you.

You are making it quite clear that your approach have no other practical use than to stifle actual discussion and bring forward justification for rather disgusting behavior.

It has been shown that all required definition to have this conversation has been presented. No one, other than you seems to have the idea that twins may be different species and except for continually repeating that you can't define human you have shown absolutely reason why anyone here should care what the exact definition is.

It is a tempest in a teapot. It is a stalling tactic.

Here is a question for you. What is matter? You go define that and the adults can talk among themselves.

Oh, and when you define matter I don't want any vagueness or possible exceptions.

Show all us stupid people how to properly define a word.

if you can't define matter, what are you talking about constructs being constructed of without defining that there is anything to be constructed from. Your question, although not relevant to the discussion, can't be answered because the asker can't define his terms well enough.

This can go on and on and on, and no one gets anywhere, as eventually we will get to having to define what the definition of is is.

Trent,

>> "What is matter?"

This is a highly complex question that spans thousands of years. I do not think it would be wise to start another thread in that vein at this time. Generally, matter is the substance that makes up all physical objects. If you disagree, that would be a much different debate and would usually not be in the purview of the philosophy of biology.

The only question that matters in the abortion debate is:

"Which material constructs in the cosmos are of the set of humans."

Christians believe that there exists an objectively true answer to this question.

The only statement you've offered hence far by which we may determine the species of a construct is:

"an organism is the same species as its parent"

As I have shown, if evolution is true, this is not an objective truth.

It indeed might be a helpful rule of thumb. It might be true 99.999% of the time. But you believe that your matter selection criteria is OBJECTIVELY true, not sometimes true. For example, you think all women should draw the starting line of human life at the fertilization, because you think that this is the objectively true location at which matter becomes of the set of humans.

I'm merely asking you, how do you know this is true? After all, the first rule you offered in your ruleset was not an objective truth. So it is indeed wise for me to be skeptical of your knowledge claims in this regard.

Could it be that the assignment of matter into categories (like the Linnean Taxonomy) is not a practice in the unearthing of objective truth? But rather, is merely a subjective enterprise? And if this is the case, does this mean that when pro-lifers make statements like:

"Ovums are of the set of humans."

that this is not an objective truth. But merely a useful taxonomic arrangement. No more objectively true or objectively false than the statement:

"Pluto is of the set of planets."

Since abortions do not take place at the stage of an unfertilized ovum, this isn't relevant.

Until the fertilization occurs, I will define as not human but merely genetically reduced cells of the parents that are potential building blocks of a human's material structure.

If you are to include Christian beliefs in the mix the genetic variation from the norm or specific species is not relevant. These terms were not used to create our idea of what is human, but at merely recent additions to define on scientific basis. You would have to include the concept of a soul. The debate comes down to when someone believes that the organism ( regardless of the exact details of material construct) is imbued with a soul.

My position has been to err on the side of caution. Assume a soul is there unless shown otherwise. Unless you can show a test for the lack of soul, the only option available is to assume it is there. Since I believe that a body with a souls should not be terminated except in the case of a capitalnoffence, there is only one consistent position for me to take,

The specifics you are asking about are not relavent to me because as a christian I isn't the important question. Regardless of whether the various hominids are physically close enough to me to be the same species ian't the issue. If another hominid could be shown to have a soul, I would consider it human. Whether I would mate with it is a separate conversation.

You could state that that is just a restatement of the same problem,

It is not.

The question is meaningless unless you accept the idea that there is a soul, and can define it. That is a step beyond what many materialists want to go. Merely accepting the existence of a soul would have philosophical issues of it's own.

So, would you accept the existence of a soul? It would seem to be a necessary precondition to asking me how I know someone has one.

ToNy,

Right, so you now agree with me then.

That, sometimes, a mother gives birth to a child that is not of her own species.

I know it is hard for you to find anyone who thinks you're right, but your desperation to be winning has caused you another reading failure.
I gave you a hypothetical, not a fact of history: nor, certainly, of the future. And in that hypothetical we can plainly see (it might be innately obvious) that on order to fulfill the requirements of speciation we would have HM not MET. But you said "nope, works for both". Nope.

So, how about some answers, ToNy?

Daron,

:)

okay lets try again:

The premises in this (very bizarre) ancillary evolution issue were:

A: evolution is true
B: species exists.

Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?

The mother of the world's first pelican, was of the species ____.

Trent,

Sorry man but this other evolution path that daron has gone down is too entertaining.

I'm just gonna have to cease the current issue whilst I wait to see what he's gonna dream up next.

Asked and answered, ToNy.

Are you just trying to get us banned with your obduracy? I know bannination is a nice way for your type to declare victory.


In the meantime, Mr. Asker of Questions, how about you answer some? You'll find them to be plentiful.

If a young earth creationist, it didn't have a mother.

The answer depends on which creation model used.

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