Total Posts:177|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Evolution is unfalsfiable

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Langan: "And now, as long as I've responded to Andrew here, I suppose that I might as well slog through an explanation of why evolution is unfalsifiable, which is probably of more interest to, and certainly more easily understood by, most of those who visit this forum.

First, I"ll issue the usual pro forma reminder to Rubix and his fellow travelers that CTMU debates are for people who are both real and qualified. I'm the author of that theory, and those are my conditions. They are the very same rules that have been in place throughout the scholarly world from the very beginning of the intellectual enterprise. I see no reason why they should be changed for the CTMU, and I consider it dishonest of anyone to even suggest it.

That being reiterated, Rubix is again missing the point regarding evolution.

Regarding your examples of how evolution might be falsified " e.g., rabbit fossils embedded in the wrong geologic strata, etc. - falsification requires an observation (statement) expressing a direct counterexample to a theory specific enough to be *directly* counter-exemplified. If the observation statement merely presents some sort of "evidence" of a counterexample, then one must justify the choice of that particular interpretation of the evidence over all other possible (non-falsifying) interpretations, and one is back to the problem of induction.

The more one tries to limit the interpretation to make the evidence direct and incontrovertible, the more localized it becomes, until finally, evolution as a whole is seen to be quite immune to it. Instead of being accepted as a counterexample, the "evidence" is then dismissed as a local anomaly with its own localized explanation that supports, or at least does not contravene, the overall theory that it was supposed to have "falsified". The evolutionary hypothesis is simply too broad to affected one way or the other by localized evidence tightly bound to context. A sea-change in the evidence would be required to turn the adherents of evolutionary theory away from it, and this isn't going to happen. There's already too high a pile of "confirming" evidence that isn't going away.

You"ve proposed some falsificative scenarios. Here are those which actually have falsificative bearing (as creation in the generic sense does not preclude evolution, that scenario is omitted):

"[1] Finding fossils in the wrong areas (e.g. the famous Haldane quote, "Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian!") or [2] a fossil record that shows no change over time, or [3] finding that mutation doesn't pass on genetic material properly or doesn't operate in aggregate, ""

These are all virtual impossibilities. [3] is either a tautology (mutation in the course of replication is precisely the failure of proper replication), a malapropism (mutations are not what "pass on" genetic material, but merely what modify the genetic material that gets passed on), or a blatant counterfactual that violates the foundations of biology and is therefore not an option (mutations in reproductive DNA are indeed passed on by reproduction). In none of these cases can it falsify evolution.

[1] and [2], on the other hand, would require a metaphysical explanation; they would imply that something must have exempted certain living entities from the pressures and/or limitations of physical causation. Claiming that evolution is falsifiable on that basis is thus like claiming that the statement "physical objects have mass" is empirically falsifiable simply by finding a massless physical object. The problem is that a physical object must have mass (or equivalently, energy) in order for one to find it using a physical detector; thus, although it briefly passes as sensible to talk about finding a "massless physical object", it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

Next, we have the problem that in the large, standard evolution can be regarded as something like a principle of indifference which is perfectly transparent to physical causation. For its specific causal explanations, it points to the "laws of nature", especially the laws of physics as presently conceived (which is where it gets its putative affinity for materialism and randomism). This renders its causal dimension, summarized as "evolution is a natural process," quite immune to falsification. Anything that it cannot specifically explain is simply attributed to the action of unspecified, even hitherto undiscovered, natural laws. This kind of open-ended naturalistic attribution is rife throughout the sciences, and can be justified only under an extended definition of "nature" accommodating the unknown.

But perhaps this isn"t convincing enough, so let's take a closer look. Since evolution is a composite thesis, one must specify which part of it is up for falsification. These parts include the existence of selective environmental pressure, adaptation to selective pressure by individual organisms as a condition of survival, and reproductive heritability of the adaptive traits of those organisms. One thus assumes either that all adaptive traits are initially present in some line or combination of lines, up to and including the very source of "common descent", or that they can arise "emergently" through random mutations within the genetic code.

The first two ingredients are clearly tautologically related. On both the individual and intergenerational scales, adaptation is defined as a viable response to selective pressure, and selective pressure is defined as that which requires adaptation for survival. Similarly, reproduction with heritability of traits is not only a well-observed empirical fact, but something without which neither we, nor any other species, would exist in a remotely stable form....

Let's put it another way. Organisms either adapt to their environments, or their environments kill them and thereby obstruct their breeding and ultimately arrest the continuation of their lines (or in the language of the modern synthesis, the spread of their genes). It comes down to a very simple and incontrovertible fact: organisms, being physically embedded in their environments, are critically causally dependent on their environments, and when they change (evolve), they must do so in accommodation thereto. This means that the definitions of "selection" and "adaptation" are tautologically linked via the real, logically inevitable organism-environment relationships on which they are semantically based.

[Elsewhere, you write that "natural selection isn't an unfalsifiable tautology. Survival of the fittest is a gross oversimplification meant to dismiss evolution as a mere notion of "survivors surviving." Scientists don't even like using that definition precisely because it's an incomplete view." Nevertheless, specific definitions of "fitness" and "adaptation" are necessarily coupled with survival - otherwise, fitness is obviously out of the question - and the overall structure of the theory of evolution is invariant with respect to them. Specific instances wander hither and yon, and specific explanations wax and wane, but the theory of evolution rolls ever onward.]

What if we now add a fourth component to the evolutionary hypothesis, namely, the stipulation that one species can arise from another by mutation, or from some combination of others by hybridization or some other form of gene-mixing? Evolutionary speciation comes close to being an "independent axiom" of evolutionary theory akin to the parallel postulate of Euclidean geometry; it cannot be derived from natural selection, adaptation, and mutable reproduction alone. Suffice it to say that it comes to rest on the details of the genotype-phenotype mapping, which are still...
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 10:59:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"...still rather poorly understood. It would therefore be difficult if not impossible to falsify.

In case all of this still leaves you cold, all that you really need remember is the bottom line, which you have already (in effect) acknowledged: in logic, falsification is really just inverse verification, and because empirical verification is impossible for explanatory and predictive scientific theories, so is empirical falsification. Both are out of the question for anything exceeding the bare data, and are thus limited to purely descriptive theories. Definite (as opposed to statistical or inductive) falsification is primarily for descriptive empirical theories only, via which it can secondarily preclude explanatory or predictive empirical theories based on false or irrelevant data. Aside from that, only in the non-empirical, logico-mathematical realm can we employ the axiomatic method or metamathematical reasoning to effect falsification by disproof (derivation of the negation).

What does this mean? To falsify evolution under present circumstances, one would have to produce, in realtime, an organism that is able to survive independently of its environment, without any kind of adaptation whatsoever. But "an organism independent of its environment" is an oxymoron, because organisms are all physically embedded in their environments and therefore causally dependent on them. To deny this is to imply that physical embedment is somehow not what it seems, and that the "organism" in question is in such complete and intimate control of its environment that it need no longer go through the motions of behavioral adaptation, wasting no effort on eating, breathing, or eliminating. Such an organism, being so perfectly adapted to its environment that its survival is no longer dependent on the environment in any way, exists entirely on its own terms; its environment is a virtual extension of it and thus integral to it. In short, it is literally one with its world.

But of course, if we were ever to find such an "organism", we would regard it as more than a mere organism, and rightly so. This, of course, would take it out of the biological realm as it is currently understood, in which case biological evolution could hardly be falsified by it. Such a being would also very likely be credited with having effected the most profound and transcendent evolutionary adaptation of all time: taking complete control of its own evolution, or as it were, its own stasis. In this, it would reflect the theological aspect of the CTMU.

That"s really the final word on the supposed falsifiability of evolution, at least as far as logic is concerned, and why I've been on record as accepting evolution from the start. I merely hold that for various reasons, evolution is an incomplete explanation of what it purports to explain, and that God and divine creativity must be added to it in order to complete the explanation (stock "theistic evolution" is not implied; I have my own unique, and uniquely correct, perspective). Therefore, those who claim that I reject any form of evolution are boldfaced liars, and any commentator who fails to understand this needs to wrap his mind around it as quickly as possible."
http://scientopia.org...
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Is this a joke?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:11:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM, Noumena wrote:
Is this a joke?

Don't think so, but I'm sure some members of the Vienna Circle just rolled over in their graves.
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:13:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:11:25 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM, Noumena wrote:
Is this a joke?

Don't think so, but I'm sure some members of the Vienna Circle just rolled over in their graves.

They're never happy are they. Which might be understandable after.....Wittgenstein.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:16:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:13:32 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:11:25 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM, Noumena wrote:
Is this a joke?

Don't think so, but I'm sure some members of the Vienna Circle just rolled over in their graves.

They're never happy are they. Which might be understandable after.....Wittgenstein.

Oh, you have a thing against Wittgenstein?
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:20:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:16:10 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:13:32 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:11:25 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM, Noumena wrote:
Is this a joke?

Don't think so, but I'm sure some members of the Vienna Circle just rolled over in their graves.

They're never happy are they. Which might be understandable after.....Wittgenstein.

Oh, you have a thing against Wittgenstein?

Not even dood. I love Wittgenstein.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/14/2014 11:22:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:20:41 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:16:10 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:13:32 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:11:25 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:06:19 PM, Noumena wrote:
Is this a joke?

Don't think so, but I'm sure some members of the Vienna Circle just rolled over in their graves.

They're never happy are they. Which might be understandable after.....Wittgenstein.

Oh, you have a thing against Wittgenstein?

Not even dood. I love Wittgenstein.

Excellent.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified. Evolution is a tautological fact, and fails to meet this criterion. Thus, it is not science. And of course it's valid. If you had read the post, you would know that was never under question.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:41:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

Do you know what the problem of induction is?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:46:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:41:22 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

Do you know what the problem of induction is?

Of course, but let's stick to the basics right now.

Theories explain phenomena. They are possible explanations of why phenomena occur -and, therefore cannot be falsified, but only ruled more or less likely to be valid.

Laws state that phenomena occur and do not attempt to explain why, meaning that they can be falsified, because there is empirical evidence against which laws can be tested.

That's the basic difference. Conceptually, laws and theories are not the same thing -and you're confusing the two.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:50:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

This isn't perfectly sufficient, but it's going to get you to a closer understanding of how this works:

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 10:02:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

I don't disagree with any of the ideas presented in either of those articles, except, of course, for the point they made about evolution being a scientific theory. How exactly was this supposed to refute my claim?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 3:10:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?

I'm trying to help you understand something, here. Something that you're going to need when you get to college to take your required 8-12 hours of lab science.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 3:14:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 3:10:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?

I'm trying to help you understand something, here. Something that you're going to need when you get to college to take your required 8-12 hours of lab science.

Help me understand what? That the problem of induction doesn't exist?...
YYW
Posts: 36,391
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 3:17:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 3:14:56 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 3:10:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?

I'm trying to help you understand something, here. Something that you're going to need when you get to college to take your required 8-12 hours of lab science.

Help me understand what? That the problem of induction doesn't exist?...

You're talking about something that doesn't do what you think it does, and I'm trying to get you to understand the basic conceptual difference between scientific theory and law.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 3:28:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 3:17:39 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 3:14:56 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 3:10:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?

I'm trying to help you understand something, here. Something that you're going to need when you get to college to take your required 8-12 hours of lab science.

Help me understand what? That the problem of induction doesn't exist?...

You're talking about something that doesn't do what you think it does, and I'm trying to get you to understand the basic conceptual difference between scientific theory and law.

Scientific laws face the problem of induction as well. The difference between the two is that scientific laws are essentially descriptions, confined to the bare data (no extrapolation), while scientific theories add an explanatory factor on top of supporting data.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 3:44:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 3:17:39 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 3:14:56 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 3:10:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 1:00:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:51:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:45:24 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 9:31:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/15/2014 8:34:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/14/2014 11:10:03 PM, YYW wrote:
Evolution is a theory not a fact, so, of course it's not falsifiable. That doesn't mean it's not valid as a scientific theory... sheesh.

Scientific theories cannot be verified, but they can be falsified.

Vice versa, kid.

This explains it: http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://undsci.berkeley.edu...

Are you going to defend your assertion, or do you concede that it is false?

I'm trying to help you understand something, here. Something that you're going to need when you get to college to take your required 8-12 hours of lab science.

Help me understand what? That the problem of induction doesn't exist?...

You're talking about something that doesn't do what you think it does, and I'm trying to get you to understand the basic conceptual difference between scientific theory and law.

The take away is this: the so-called theory of evolution is not a theory at all, but a logical necessity. Therefore, evolution can in no way be used as an argument against the prospects of an intelligent designer.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 6:05:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

WTF ?

If evolution is true, then this means we would expect to find fossils where simpler life forms exist PRIOR to more complex life forms.

If all life forms came into existence at once (some form of instantaneous creationism perhaps ?) then we would expect to find in the fossil record all life forms existing at the same time.

So what does the fossil record show ?

Is it not the case that the fossil record does NOT show that all life existed at the same time and also shows that simpler life forms existed prior to more complex life forms ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 7:32:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 6:05:26 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

WTF ?

If evolution is true, then this means we would expect to find fossils where simpler life forms exist PRIOR to more complex life forms.

The only way in which the reverse (a record of fossils indicating the opposite) could falsify evolution would be if said fossils were left by animals unaffected by selective pressure. In other words, a decline in complexity is relevant only insofar as it is an impossibility. As Chris Langan observes " Finding fossils in the wrong areas...would imply that something must have exempted certain living entities from the pressures and/or limitations of physical causation. Claiming that evolution is falsifiable on that basis is thus like claiming that the statement "physical objects have mass" is empirically falsifiable simply by finding a massless physical object. The problem is that a physical object must have mass (or equivalently, energy) in order for one to find it using a physical detector; thus, although it briefly passes as sensible to talk about finding a "massless physical object", it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils."


If all life forms came into existence at once (some form of instantaneous creationism perhaps ?) then we would expect to find in the fossil record all life forms existing at the same time.

So what does the fossil record show ?

Is it not the case that the fossil record does NOT show that all life existed at the same time and also shows that simpler life forms existed prior to more complex life forms ?

As Chris Langan notes "creation in the generic sense does not preclude evolution", so a scenario in which we found evidence of that kind would not falsify evolution, thus rendering the objection -- that fossils left from supernatural creation could falsify evolution -- invalid. Your tone suggests that you are under the assumption Chris Langan denies evolution. He does not, and neither do I. So treating your last sentence as if it were in response to what was actually said: how would the presence of evolutionary-consistent fossils pose a problem for the claim that 'evolution is unfalsifiable'.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 7:55:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 7:32:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 6:05:26 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

WTF ?

If evolution is true, then this means we would expect to find fossils where simpler life forms exist PRIOR to more complex life forms.

The only way in which the reverse (a record of fossils indicating the opposite) could falsify evolution would be if said fossils were left by animals unaffected by selective pressure. In other words, a decline in complexity is relevant only insofar as it is an impossibility. As Chris Langan observes " Finding fossils in the wrong areas...would imply that something must have exempted certain living entities from the pressures and/or limitations of physical causation. Claiming that evolution is falsifiable on that basis is thus like claiming that the statement "physical objects have mass" is empirically falsifiable simply by finding a massless physical object. The problem is that a physical object must have mass (or equivalently, energy) in order for one to find it using a physical detector; thus, although it briefly passes as sensible to talk about finding a "massless physical object", it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils."


If all life forms came into existence at once (some form of instantaneous creationism perhaps ?) then we would expect to find in the fossil record all life forms existing at the same time.

So what does the fossil record show ?

Is it not the case that the fossil record does NOT show that all life existed at the same time and also shows that simpler life forms existed prior to more complex life forms ?

As Chris Langan notes "creation in the generic sense does not preclude evolution", so a scenario in which we found evidence of that kind would not falsify evolution, thus rendering the objection -- that fossils left from supernatural creation could falsify evolution -- invalid. Your tone suggests that you are under the assumption Chris Langan denies evolution. He does not, and neither do I. So treating your last sentence as if it were in response to what was actually said: how would the presence of evolutionary-consistent fossils pose a problem for the claim that 'evolution is unfalsifiable'.

The fossil record is consistent with the claim that complex life existed A LONG TIME AFTER simpler life existed on earth.

The fossil record is inconsistent with the claim that complex life has always existed with all simpler life forms.

Do you agree ?

If the fossil record showed that complex life had always existed with simpler life this would disprove evolution theory, why ? cause evolution theory posits that the complex has being build up from the simpler over time............a long time.

I put this to you that this is one way evolution theory is falsifiable.

Now tell me one way creationism is falsifiable.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 8:15:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 7:55:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/15/2014 7:32:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 6:05:26 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

WTF ?

If evolution is true, then this means we would expect to find fossils where simpler life forms exist PRIOR to more complex life forms.

The only way in which the reverse (a record of fossils indicating the opposite) could falsify evolution would be if said fossils were left by animals unaffected by selective pressure. In other words, a decline in complexity is relevant only insofar as it is an impossibility. As Chris Langan observes " Finding fossils in the wrong areas...would imply that something must have exempted certain living entities from the pressures and/or limitations of physical causation. Claiming that evolution is falsifiable on that basis is thus like claiming that the statement "physical objects have mass" is empirically falsifiable simply by finding a massless physical object. The problem is that a physical object must have mass (or equivalently, energy) in order for one to find it using a physical detector; thus, although it briefly passes as sensible to talk about finding a "massless physical object", it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils."


If all life forms came into existence at once (some form of instantaneous creationism perhaps ?) then we would expect to find in the fossil record all life forms existing at the same time.

So what does the fossil record show ?

Is it not the case that the fossil record does NOT show that all life existed at the same time and also shows that simpler life forms existed prior to more complex life forms ?

As Chris Langan notes "creation in the generic sense does not preclude evolution", so a scenario in which we found evidence of that kind would not falsify evolution, thus rendering the objection -- that fossils left from supernatural creation could falsify evolution -- invalid. Your tone suggests that you are under the assumption Chris Langan denies evolution. He does not, and neither do I. So treating your last sentence as if it were in response to what was actually said: how would the presence of evolutionary-consistent fossils pose a problem for the claim that 'evolution is unfalsifiable'.

The fossil record is consistent with the claim that complex life existed A LONG TIME AFTER simpler life existed on earth.

The fossil record is inconsistent with the claim that complex life has always existed with all simpler life forms.

Do you agree ?

A fossil record composed of successively less complex life forms would falsify evolution only if complexity had been selected for. Deviation from selection pressures would, by definition, require supernatural intervention, which, by definition, is beyond the realm of scientific insight. Thus, such a record, were it to exist, would lack falsificative bearing on evolution.

If the fossil record showed that complex life had always existed with simpler life this would disprove evolution theory, why ? cause evolution theory posits that the complex has being build up from the simpler over time............a long time.

I put this to you that this is one way evolution theory is falsifiable.

Now tell me one way creationism is falsifiable.

Creationism as conceived logically can obviously be falsified.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 8:24:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Actually, only the reasons for believing in creationism could be falsified. You're right. Creationism is not falsifiable.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/15/2014 8:31:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/15/2014 8:15:19 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 7:55:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/15/2014 7:32:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/15/2014 6:05:26 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/14/2014 10:58:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils.

WTF ?

If evolution is true, then this means we would expect to find fossils where simpler life forms exist PRIOR to more complex life forms.

The only way in which the reverse (a record of fossils indicating the opposite) could falsify evolution would be if said fossils were left by animals unaffected by selective pressure. In other words, a decline in complexity is relevant only insofar as it is an impossibility. As Chris Langan observes " Finding fossils in the wrong areas...would imply that something must have exempted certain living entities from the pressures and/or limitations of physical causation. Claiming that evolution is falsifiable on that basis is thus like claiming that the statement "physical objects have mass" is empirically falsifiable simply by finding a massless physical object. The problem is that a physical object must have mass (or equivalently, energy) in order for one to find it using a physical detector; thus, although it briefly passes as sensible to talk about finding a "massless physical object", it is actually nonsense. Similarly, any "evolution-falsifying" fossil is clearly embedded in the physical environment, and absent spontaneous generation or a wormhole connecting different geologic eras (etc.), must by definition have adapted to that environment in order to proliferate and produce fossils."


If all life forms came into existence at once (some form of instantaneous creationism perhaps ?) then we would expect to find in the fossil record all life forms existing at the same time.

So what does the fossil record show ?

Is it not the case that the fossil record does NOT show that all life existed at the same time and also shows that simpler life forms existed prior to more complex life forms ?

As Chris Langan notes "creation in the generic sense does not preclude evolution", so a scenario in which we found evidence of that kind would not falsify evolution, thus rendering the objection -- that fossils left from supernatural creation could falsify evolution -- invalid. Your tone suggests that you are under the assumption Chris Langan denies evolution. He does not, and neither do I. So treating your last sentence as if it were in response to what was actually said: how would the presence of evolutionary-consistent fossils pose a problem for the claim that 'evolution is unfalsifiable'.

The fossil record is consistent with the claim that complex life existed A LONG TIME AFTER simpler life existed on earth.

The fossil record is inconsistent with the claim that complex life has always existed with all simpler life forms.

Do you agree ?

A fossil record composed of successively less complex life forms would falsify evolution only if complexity had been selected for. Deviation from selection pressures would, by definition, require supernatural intervention, which, by definition, is beyond the realm of scientific insight. Thus, such a record, were it to exist, would lack falsificative bearing on evolution.

"A fossil record composed of successively less complex life forms would falsify evolution.......

??????????


If the fossil record showed that complex life had always existed with simpler life this would disprove evolution theory, why ? cause evolution theory posits that the complex has being build up from the simpler over time............a long time.

I put this to you that this is one way evolution theory is falsifiable.

Well ?


Now tell me one way creationism is falsifiable.

Creationism as conceived logically can obviously be falsified.

Oh please do.........

1) Define creationism

2) Provide an example of how it could be falsified
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12