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Answering Questions About Evolution

Ithacus
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12/19/2013 8:44:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Hello, I'd like to open this thread up to answer various questions about evolution.

I often find misconceptions and strawmen in debates and I thought this would be a great place to provide reasonable responses to questions concerning the theory of evolution supported by logic, scientific evidence, and the considerable amount of research that has gone into this field. I'm not trying to judge anyone on being misinformed, many anti-evolution activists perpetuate a large body of unscientific claims to "refute" evolution and quite intelligent people can be deceived.

Speaking of which, if you poke holes in the theory of evolution which I consider to be supported by factual evidence, you could change my mind on its validity. I am open to being proven wrong. However, at the time of this writing at least, I am confident that sufficient evidence exists to support any doubts about the credibility of this scientific theory.

I would ask that conduct remain respectful :) Trolls will be ignored. You are also welcome to challenge me on various evolution-related issues, but depending on my RL schedule I may not have the time to accept.

This thread is not devoted to anti-Creationist, anti-theist or anti-religious sentiments, it's simply here to clarify what evolution is and how it works, since there seem to be some misunderstandings. Many prominent evolutionary scientists are in fact faithful theists. Btw, I would be quite interested to see a similar thread for Creationism as well.

Happy holidays!

Thanks,
Ith
v3nesl
Posts: 4,505
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12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 8:44:11 AM, Ithacus wrote:
Hello, I'd like to open this thread up to answer various questions about evolution.

I often find misconceptions and strawmen in debates and I thought this would be a great place to provide reasonable responses to questions concerning the theory of evolution supported by logic, scientific evidence, and the considerable amount of research that has gone into this field. I'm not trying to judge anyone on being misinformed, many anti-evolution activists perpetuate a large body of unscientific claims to "refute" evolution and quite intelligent people can be deceived.

Speaking of which, if you poke holes in the theory of evolution which I consider to be supported by factual evidence, you could change my mind on its validity. I am open to being proven wrong. However, at the time of this writing at least, I am confident that sufficient evidence exists to support any doubts about the credibility of this scientific theory.


That's having blind faith, isn't it? You don't know what the doubts might be, but you're confident any doubts can be answered.

Why? What is your confidence based on? Don't answer too quickly, be real. You'll probably have to admit that you trust the evolutionists, not that you've actually seen incontrovertible evidence yourself.

it's simply here to clarify what evolution is and how it works, since there seem to be some misunderstandings.

Yeah, I would say one misunderstanding is that it happens at all. There is genetics, of course, there is change over time, but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.
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Ramshutu
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12/19/2013 9:22:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM, v3nesl wrote:
... but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

That's the text book definition creationism.....

I guess that means the Creation vs Evolution debate is now over because you have basically said that Creationism is wrong.
Ramshutu
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12/19/2013 9:32:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:22:20 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM, v3nesl wrote:
... but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

That's the text book definition creationism.....

I guess that means the Creation vs Evolution debate is now over because you have basically said that Creationism is wrong.

Well, asside from the goddidit bit...
Ramshutu
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12/19/2013 9:40:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM, v3nesl wrote:
Yeah, I would say one misunderstanding is that it happens at all. There is genetics, of course, there is change over time, but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

Hmm, something else I just figured out:

Ignoring the fact that the word "spontaneous", implies some instantaneous process that blipped something into existance (which is not what abiogenesis implies), the argument is pretty hilarious that creationism is true but that sort of spontaneous creation is false and a misrepresentation of the data.

If God existed, he is supernatural, so the process of creation through which he operates is supernatural and therefore probably not really detectable.

As a result, naturalism would only be able to measure, test and record evidence for spontaneous creation of several original forms by definition: Something that you "think" is " just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data."

I'm pretty glad that you have sort of thoroughly discounted and disproved your own worldview by default. Saves me the trouble.
Ithacus
Posts: 18
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12/19/2013 9:45:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
That's having blind faith, isn't it? You don't know what the doubts might be, but you're confident any doubts can be answered.

It is scientific skepticism. I don't assume a hypothesis is true, I withhold judgment until I see the evidence. Once I see the evidence, I temporarily accept the hypothesis, but am open to changing my hypothesis should better evidence come around, or should my evidence be soundly contradicted. I simply said that I was confident there is no sound contradictory evidence. Should there be, I will happily receive it. Faith is based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof; scientific skepticism is an attitude both of curiosity and constantly questioning assumptions.

Why? What is your confidence based on? Don't answer too quickly, be real. You'll probably have to admit that you trust the evolutionists, not that you've actually seen incontrovertible evidence yourself.

As a biology student who has observed evolution under laboratory conditions, the empirical evidence has made me *fairly* certain for now, but I am not totally certain of anything except for the existence of my thoughts.

Yeah, I would say one misunderstanding is that it happens at all.

Evolution has often been observed under laboratory conditions. http://www.newscientist.com...

There is genetics, of course, there is change over time, but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

That is only one extension of evolutionary theory. The predominant school of thought indeed traces modern life forms back to common ancestors, but disproving the existence of "one or several original forms" would not necessarily contradict evolutionary theory as a whole, which is simply that genetic change occurs in populations over time (due to mutation and environmental pressures).

How the process began is not necessary relevant to whether or not it is occurring now. We don't necessarily need to discuss the origin of a child's life to have a scientifically valid conversation about his cognitive development. Science is the study of the natural, by definition excluding the study of the supernatural, so it is not within the scientific domain to judge whether a deity imbued this child with the spark of life.

According to the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy, mass and energy cannot be created or destroyed, meaning all matter and energy existing today, if it exclusively follows that law as we have observed thus far, has always existed, only in different and changing forms.

It is interesting that you bring up Ptolemy. The great thing about the scientific method is that it corrects itself when proven wrong, rather than hanging on to outdated ideas which are thousands of years old but no longer credible or relevant today. The instruments he used are not comparable to the equipment we boast today, and while the Greeks used theoretical models to dicuss science, modern science is based on the experimental technique, which is far more accurate and verifiable.
v3nesl
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12/19/2013 10:43:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:40:04 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM, v3nesl wrote:
Yeah, I would say one misunderstanding is that it happens at all. There is genetics, of course, there is change over time, but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

Hmm, something else I just figured out:

Ignoring the fact that the word "spontaneous", implies some instantaneous process

No, that's not what the word means. "Spontaneous" means "without outside cause", as in "spontaneous combustion". It has nothing to do with the time involved, rather with the lack of outside cause. Evolution proposes that life diversified without any outside cause.

the argument is pretty hilarious that creationism is true but that sort of spontaneous creation is false and a misrepresentation of the data.


"Spontaneous creation", then, is kind of an oxymoron. Creation implies an outside cause, namely the creator. Creationism is the exact opposite of spontaneous. I think people get confused here: If I have no idea HOW God did his work, that does not imply that he didn't use means to do what he did. I personally don't equate creation with magic, just with causes we don't know. Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.
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v3nesl
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12/19/2013 10:56:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:45:06 AM, Ithacus wrote:
That's having blind faith, isn't it? You don't know what the doubts might be, but you're confident any doubts can be answered.

It is scientific skepticism. I don't assume a hypothesis is true, I withhold judgment until I see the evidence. Once I see the evidence, I temporarily accept the hypothesis, but am open to changing my hypothesis should better evidence come around, or should my evidence be soundly contradicted. I simply said that I was confident there is no sound contradictory evidence.

You are also acknowledging that the evidence is tentative and circumstantial.

No one, for instance, can reasonably deny that gravity exists. There may be debate on exactly what it is, but no debate about the existence of the force.


As a biology student who has observed evolution under laboratory conditions,

You have not observed evolution, come on now. You have not observed dinosaurs developing wings and learning to fly. This is a big part of the problem here - evolution is yet to have a scientifically precise definition that could be tested, much less have the actual testing.

It is so very much like "climate change". Well, yeah, the climate changes. That's hardly a scientific theory.


Evolution has often been observed under laboratory conditions. http://www.newscientist.com...


No, the assumed building blocks of evolution have been observed. That which is extrapolated from these observations has most certainly not been observed.

Bacteria, for instance, for all their countless reproductive cycles in the lab and in suto, have never been observed to become anything other than bacteria. Seems to me such tests clearly demonstrate the statistically bounded nature of reproductive variation. Sure, there are outliers, but changes do NOT accumulate ad infinitum.


That is only one extension of evolutionary theory. The predominant school of thought indeed traces modern life forms back to common ancestors, but disproving the existence of "one or several original forms" would not necessarily contradict evolutionary theory as a whole, which is simply that genetic change occurs in populations over time (due to mutation and environmental pressures).


Sophistry, man! Like I say - "Change occurs" - ? Who's going to dispute that? That's not a theory, not even a hypothesis, just a trivial observation of nature.
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Ithacus
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12/19/2013 11:45:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You are also acknowledging that the evidence is tentative and circumstantial.

In which way did I acknowledge that? I do not agree with this assessment. Scientists maintain a skeptical attitude at all times, this is not at all related to the perceived legitimacy of the evidence. We may consider plate tectonics a fact, but that does not prevent us from consistently and regularly comparing recent evidence with the predictions and claims of that theory in order to test its validity. Openmindedness is essential to discovering unexpected or undesired truths, which is the essence of an objective pursuit of knowledge. Approaching different hypotheses with different degrees of scientific rigor would undermine and violate the scientific process.

No one, for instance, can reasonably deny that gravity exists. There may be debate on exactly what it is, but no debate about the existence of the force.

There can be no debate that fossils and modern life forms exist, but there is debate over what caused these phenomena to come about. Evolution is a scientific theory, meaning the body of evidence supporting it is considered equal to the geocentric theory, cell theory, and theory of gravity, among many others (http://www.pbs.org...). There is a scientific consensus that evolution is a fact and exists. There is no scientific controversy whatsoever over the existence of evolution, although this is a myth endorsed by many Creationists. 97% of scientists accept evolutionary theory (http://ncse.com...).

You have not observed evolution, come on now. You have not observed dinosaurs developing wings and learning to fly. This is a big part of the problem here - evolution is yet to have a scientifically precise definition that could be tested, much less have the actual testing.

Unfortunately this is a misconception. The scientific definition of evolution is, as I have mentioned previously, simply the theory that genetic change occurs in populations over time (due to mutation and environmental pressures) [1]. This has been observed. It would be silly to say that gravitational pull acts only on apples but not on galaxies, simply because the large-scale process of galactical collision is too gradual to observe within a human lifetime. Just because a process happens so slowly it is imperceptible to humans, is no reason whatsoever to purport that it is not occurring at all.

[1] "Biological (or organic) evolution is change in the properties of populations of organisms or groups of such populations, over the course of generations. The development, or ontogeny, of an individual organism is not considered evolution: individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are 'heritable' via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportions of different forms of a gene within a population, such as the alleles that determine the different human blood types, to the alterations that led from the earliest organisms to dinosaurs, bees, snapdragons, and humans."

Douglas J. Futuyma (1998) Evolutionary Biology 3rd ed.,
Sinauer Associates Inc. Sunderland MA p.4

It is so very much like "climate change". Well, yeah, the climate changes. That's hardly a scientific theory.

Taken literally, "climate change" is an observation. However, as a theory it encompasses many observations linked to human behavior and the Earth's rotation, among many other things. These causal links, supported by experimental proof, are what makes a scientific theory.

No, the assumed building blocks of evolution have been observed. That which is extrapolated from these observations has most certainly not been observed. Changes do NOT accumulate ad infinitum.

See response #3 in this post.

Sophistry, man! Like I say - "Change occurs" - ? Who's going to dispute that? That's not a theory, not even a hypothesis, just a trivial observation of nature.

"Change occurs" is the observed phenomenon (though hardly a "trivial" one!) -- yet how it occurs, namely mutation and evolutionary pressures -- and the associated mechanisms -- genes, natural selection, sexual reproduction etc. -- are bound into a series of causal links proven by experimental evidence that characterizes a scientific theory.

"What goes up must come down" is an observation, but the mechanisms by which gravity functions and the reasons why it functions in that way are bundled up in a theory given the name "the theory of gravity".
Ithacus
Posts: 18
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12/19/2013 11:48:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.

Not exactly. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Until experimental scientific evidence proves that matter and energy can be created or destroyed, we must assume that matter and energy have existed and will exist infinitely, although the forms in which they exist may change radically over time.
Ramshutu
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12/19/2013 11:49:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 10:43:10 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/19/2013 9:40:04 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/19/2013 9:00:19 AM, v3nesl wrote:
Yeah, I would say one misunderstanding is that it happens at all. There is genetics, of course, there is change over time, but the overall hypothesis that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data.

Hmm, something else I just figured out:

Ignoring the fact that the word "spontaneous", implies some instantaneous process

No, that's not what the word means. "Spontaneous" means "without outside cause", as in "spontaneous combustion". It has nothing to do with the time involved, rather with the lack of outside cause. Evolution proposes that life diversified without any outside cause.

No it doesn't. Not at all. It only says that if you make stuff up. Evolution proposes that life diversified without any outside "actor". It most certainly has a cause!

However, this is mostly irrelevant as I said. It's the implication of your poor terminology.

the argument is pretty hilarious that creationism is true but that sort of spontaneous creation is false and a misrepresentation of the data.


"Spontaneous creation", then, is kind of an oxymoron. Creation implies an outside cause, namely the creator. Creationism is the exact opposite of spontaneous. I think people get confused here: If I have no idea HOW God did his work, that does not imply that he didn't use means to do what he did. I personally don't equate creation with magic, just with causes we don't know. Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.

You said, and I quote "that all of the ecosystem spontaneously arose from "one or several" original forms, I think that's just wrong, akin to the way the Ptolemaic scientists misinterpreted the data."

You are basically saying that spontaneous creation is just wrong, and doesn't match the data, but what you are claiming is that God did it and you don't know how. If God created life, and you have no idea how, then what you would see in the data is spontaneous creation; which you yourself said is just wrong....
Ithacus
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12/19/2013 11:57:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
No, that's not what the word means. "Spontaneous" means "without outside cause", as in "spontaneous combustion". It has nothing to do with the time involved, rather with the lack of outside cause. Evolution proposes that life diversified without any outside cause.

No it doesn't. Not at all. It only says that if you make stuff up. Evolution proposes that life diversified without any outside "actor". It most certainly has a cause!

I think a misunderstanding is occurring here. Both of you are referring to correct definitions of "spontaneous". v3nesl, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears you are using the term to mean "(of a process or event) occurring without apparent external cause", as in "a spontaneous miscarriage". Ramshutu, correct me if I'm wrong, it appears you are using the term to in the strictly biological sense: "(of movement or activity in an organism) instinctive or involuntary", as in "spontaneous reflex". Both of you are right.
v3nesl
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12/19/2013 12:27:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 11:48:44 AM, Ithacus wrote:
Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.

Not exactly. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Until experimental scientific evidence proves that matter and energy can be created or destroyed, we must assume that matter and energy have existed and will exist infinitely, although the forms in which they exist may change radically over time.

You've heard of the big bang theory?
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v3nesl
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12/19/2013 12:37:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 11:45:50 AM, Ithacus wrote:
You are also acknowledging that the evidence is tentative and circumstantial.

In which way did I acknowledge that? I do not agree with this assessment. Scientists maintain a skeptical attitude at all times, this is not at all related to the perceived legitimacy of the evidence. We may consider plate tectonics a fact, but that does not prevent us from consistently and regularly comparing recent evidence with the predictions and claims of that theory in order to test its validity. Openmindedness is essential to discovering unexpected or undesired truths, which is the essence of an objective pursuit of knowledge. Approaching different hypotheses with different degrees of scientific rigor would undermine and violate the scientific process.


No one, for instance, can reasonably deny that gravity exists. There may be debate on exactly what it is, but no debate about the existence of the force.

There can be no debate that fossils and modern life forms exist, but there is debate over what caused these phenomena to come about. Evolution is a scientific theory, meaning the body of evidence supporting it is considered equal to the geocentric theory, cell theory, and theory of gravity, among many others (http://www.pbs.org...).

But it's not. Again, not even close.

There is a scientific consensus that evolution is a fact and exists.

So what? Consensus is virtually irrelevant in real science. That's kind of the point of the scientific method, to put a discipline on fallible human reasoning.

Look, you happen to have been born in an age when science has gone off the rails in a particular area. It's hardly the first time in history. So you can't base your faith in evolution in the say-so of the smart, you have to look at the actual evidence. And I think you'll be a bit surprised if you take an honest look under the hood.
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Ramshutu
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12/19/2013 12:40:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 12:27:02 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/19/2013 11:48:44 AM, Ithacus wrote:
Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.

Not exactly. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Until experimental scientific evidence proves that matter and energy can be created or destroyed, we must assume that matter and energy have existed and will exist infinitely, although the forms in which they exist may change radically over time.

You've heard of the big bang theory?

The big bang doesn't create matter and energy. It is about the expansion of the universe from an initial state that contains mass and energy.
Ithacus
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12/19/2013 1:19:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
But it's not. Again, not even close. Consensus is virtually irrelevant in real science. That's kind of the point of the scientific method, to put a discipline on fallible human reasoning.

By that standard, we might as well discard the notion that smoking is harmful for your health, that global warming has anthropogenic aspects, and that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism, therefore catering to </= 3% of the scientific community. If over 95% of expertly trained minds agree on something, it is unreasonable to assume you alone see fallacies that they do not. For even just 80% of scientists to agree on something -- let alone 97% -- there needs to be a ludicrously vast amount of evidence to support it.

Unfortunately, your post reveals a misunderstanding of the scientific method. One of its steps is publication & peer review. The most important aspect of an experiment, without which an experiment cannot be scientifically labeled as such, is its repeatability. The constant re-testing of hypotheses is what makes them theories once sufficient supporting evidence has been discovered. A scientific theory, by definition, is accepted by an overwhelming scientific consensus, because it is considered a fact just like gravity. As unpleasant as the truth is to anti-evolution advocates, evolution is indeed a scientific theory.

Look, you happen to have been born in an age when science has gone off the rails in a particular area. It's hardly the first time in history.

When was the last time science has "gone off the rails in a particular area"? I'm curious whether you can name examples after the adoption of the modern scientific method wherein 97% of scientists were proven wrong about a scientific theory.

So you can't base your faith in evolution in the say-so of the smart, you have to look at the actual evidence. And I think you'll be a bit surprised if you take an honest look under the hood.

I consider empirical observation rather compelling evidence. I mentioned I am a student of biology -- I have studied this field for years and read thousands of scientific papers discussing evolution and its validity as a theory. Provide me with "actual evidence" that contradicts or disproves evolution and I will happily reconsider my position.
Subutai
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12/19/2013 1:23:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 12:27:02 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/19/2013 11:48:44 AM, Ithacus wrote:
Matter is logically assumed to have come about by non-material means.

Not exactly. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Until experimental scientific evidence proves that matter and energy can be created or destroyed, we must assume that matter and energy have existed and will exist infinitely, although the forms in which they exist may change radically over time.

You've heard of the big bang theory?

The Big Bang Theory doesn't consider the origin of the universe or matter; only how the universe has evolved over time.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Ithacus
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12/19/2013 1:24:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
You've heard of the big bang theory?

Firstly, I am supporting the theory of evolution on this thread, not the Big Bang theory. Some scientists do not agree with the Big Bang theory and I could easily be among them. For the purpose of responding to your question, as it stands now, the Big Bang theory postulates that all matter and energy existing now was contained in a singularity. Since matter and energy is infinite (Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy), matter in a singularity is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole. When this singularity expanded, scientists purport it happened in an explosive process, thus dubbing it the Big Bang whereby our universe was born. The laws of the universe as it is now would understandably not necessarily apply to the singularity because of significant structural differences, but the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy is not violated because the theory does not challenge the statement that the matter and energy of our universe are infinite.
Subutai
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12/19/2013 1:29:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Here's a common misconception: That evolution is a fact or a theory. Both sides are guilty of this claim. In reality, evolution is both a fact and a theory. The underlying process of evolution, natural selection, itself is fact, but evolution is a very broad theory that has changed significantly since Darwin proposed it in the 19th century.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
JonMilne
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12/19/2013 5:02:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 12:37:38 PM, v3nesl wrote:
Look, you happen to have been born in an age when science has gone off the rails in a particular area. It's hardly the first time in history. So you can't base your faith in evolution in the say-so of the smart, you have to look at the actual evidence. And I think you'll be a bit surprised if you take an honest look under the hood.

I do hope Ramshutu doesn't mind me sampling a previous comment of his into my response into this truly breathtaking bit of quoted idiocy from v3nesl, but frankly, I think that the following that Ram wrote goes a long way in demonstrating just how full of crap this "science has gone off the rails" comment really is:

As I sit here and type over on my consumer electronic device, which is communicating to a server somewhere over a collection of cables, fibre optics, and Wireless LAN radio frequency connections, I decided to take a break and look down.

I am drinking pureified water made from plastic bottles while my phones are charging from a power socket supplied by oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy sources. I am about to go eat a meal which I would assume is mainly created from plants that have been fertilized using the haber or similar process (which incidently feeds 40% of the worlds population). I am wearing semi-synthetic clothing; and I'm pretty sure that the headache I have right now is due to being hungover, but know that I could get it checked out in a modern hospital with a CT scan, PET scan, and treated with various pharmaceutical products should it be a little bit more serious.

I'm in Kansas at the moment, but will be flying back to the UK shortly on a translatlantic flight on a Boeing 777, which is fairly modern aircraft with all the relevant testing and features. Yesterday I watched a program about the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, skylab and shuttle programs, with all the things that went into them, and the day before I watched a program on some of the space probes we have sent to other planets.

There is a smoke alarm in my room which is most likely to use elemental Americium 141 to detect the smoke, which would pressumabley have come from some sort of breed reactor. The key card to my hotel is managed by a magnetic strip.

While I can imagine that there are a number of ways science can be improved, especially the funding of it I can quite happily point out that the inspiration, science, and theoretical physics behind all of the above did not come from any religious texts. It came from the broad overarching mechanism of scientific investigation leading to an increase and persistent growth of modern scientific knowledge.

Science works.



And of course, there's still a lot more for us to do in science! We of course are looking for cures for cancer and for AIDS and considering the role evolutionary theory had in helping us create vaccines and fighting other diseases, it's almost certain that research in evolutionary theory will help us find the cures for cancer and AIDS too. And there's loads and loads of other things in science that research om evolutionary theory is helping us out greatly with: http://www.talkorigins.org... , http://evolution.berkeley.edu... , http://evolution.berkeley.edu... , http://www.pbs.org... , http://www.news-medical.net... , http://www.actionbioscience.org... , http://www-personal.umich.edu... , http://sciencenordic.com... . And the list goes on and on and on about ways that research based on evolutionary theory has been able to impact our lives and provide us with ways of advancing our understanding about the world as well as giving us advancements in technology and the quality of our lives.

Too bad that anti-evolution "theories" like ID and creationism can't say the same, right?
Installgentoo
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12/19/2013 9:35:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 5:02:11 PM, JonMilne wrote:
And the list goes on and on and on about ways that research based on evolutionary theory has been able to impact our lives and provide us with ways of advancing our understanding about the world as well as giving us advancements in technology and the quality of our lives.

Yeah, and it also inspired Adolph Hitler's regime to destroy 2 million the sick and disabled people of Germany.

Regardless, just because something improves our lives, that doesn't make it correct. That is a textbook logical fallacy.
JonMilne
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12/20/2013 3:17:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 9:35:12 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 12/19/2013 5:02:11 PM, JonMilne wrote:
And the list goes on and on and on about ways that research based on evolutionary theory has been able to impact our lives and provide us with ways of advancing our understanding about the world as well as giving us advancements in technology and the quality of our lives.

Yeah, and it also inspired Adolph Hitler's regime to destroy 2 million the sick and disabled people of Germany.

Wrong on several counts. For starters, Hitler based his ideas not on Darwinism but on a "divine right" philosophy:

Thus, it [the folkish philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe. (Hitler 1943, 383)

The first edition of Mein Kampf suggests that Hitler may once have believed in a young earth:

"this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men" (p. 65; the second edition substitutes "millions" for "thousands," and chapter 11 refers to "hundreds of thousands of years" of life in another context.)

Other passages further support his creationist leanings:

The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. (Hitler 1943, 383)

and

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. (Hitler 1943, 214)

Quotes from Hitler invoking Christianity as a basis for his actions could be multiplied ad nauseam. For example:

Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (Hitler 1943, 65).

"[T]he task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission (Hitler 1943, 398).

A campaign against the "godless movement" and an appeal for Catholic support were launched Wednesday by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces (Associated Press 1933).

Of course, this does not mean that Hitler's ideas were based on creationism any more than they were based on evolution. Hitler's ideas were a perversion of both religion and biology.

Secondly, there's the fact the the Nazi Party in general rejected Darwinism and supported Christianity. In 1935, Die B"cherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a list of guidelines of works to reject, including:

Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (H"ckel). (Die B"cherei 1935, 279)

On the other hand, an undated "Blacklist for Public Libraries and Commercial Lending Libraries" includes the following on a list of literature which "absolutely must be removed":

c) All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk. (Blacklist n.d.)

It's also worth mentioning that genocide and racism existed long before Darwin. Obviously, they did not need any contribution from Darwinism. In many instances, such as the Crusades and the Spanish conquest of Central America, religion was explicitly invoked to justify them.

And finally, Evolution does not promote social Darwinism or racism or eugenics, but nice try though.


Regardless, just because something improves our lives, that doesn't make it correct. That is a textbook logical fallacy.

No, but the research based on evolutionary theory has, for example, been able to provide us with medical treatments that actually work when it comes to fighting disease, not to mention all the other stuff research based on evolutionary theory has provided us with that are also effective and actually work at doing the jobs we want them to do. So either you have to dismiss every single occurrence of these things being able to work for us to solve the problems of the world as mere coincidences, or it become quite clear that a list of "coincidences" equates far more to a "pattern", and that is that evolutionary theory is correct and that's why the research we use from it is so effectively able to create things that are of practical use to us and it's why those things actually work.
chui
Posts: 511
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12/20/2013 6:03:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 10:56:47 AM, v3nesl wrote:


No one, for instance, can reasonably deny that gravity exists. There may be debate on exactly what it is, but no debate about the existence of the force.

Going of subject somewhat (But v3nesl derailed this thread from the start, what a surprise!) the classification of gravity as a force is very much questioned by physicists following Einstein's publication of his general theory.

"One very important feature of pseudoforces is that they are always proportional to the masses; the same is true of gravity. The possibility exists therefore that gravity itself is a pseudoforce" Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures Vol I 12-11.

The other pseudoforces are inertial, centrifugal, coriolis and Euler force.

Gravity, under general relativity, is thought to be caused by the geometry of space-time. This view is not fully proven as we have yet to detect gravitons, but there is much supporting indirect evidence.

I point this out to show that ideas in science do change when a new understanding is developed. It also shows the tentative nature of scientific conclusions. A common accusation from the theists is that we have blind faith in science and scientific conclusions. I offer this as an example of how the opposite is true and that scientists question everything, even the existence of gravity.

To amuse myself I will try to predict the response from the theists:

1 Ignore me entirely because they can't think of a good response.

or

2 Pick on one single part of my argument, misquote it and rant eg "gravity itself is a pseudoforce" just shows how mad scientists are if they cannot see that gravity is a force.

Perhaps we should coin a new phrase here. "to debate with a creationist" - idiom, meaning a futile endless task. eg " Trying to clear the dead leaves from my garden is like trying to debate with a creationist."

To any theist that finds my drivel insulting, remember that no one asked you to come and heap insults on our "faith". If you want to believe that the earth was created before the sun that's fine, just don't try to argue that you understand science.
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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12/20/2013 6:35:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/20/2013 3:17:35 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 12/19/2013 9:35:12 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 12/19/2013 5:02:11 PM, JonMilne wrote:
And the list goes on and on and on about ways that research based on evolutionary theory has been able to impact our lives and provide us with ways of advancing our understanding about the world as well as giving us advancements in technology and the quality of our lives.

Yeah, and it also inspired Adolph Hitler's regime to destroy 2 million the sick and disabled people of Germany.

Wrong on several counts. For starters, Hitler based his ideas not on Darwinism but on a "divine right" philosophy:

Thus, it [the folkish philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe. (Hitler 1943, 383)

The first edition of Mein Kampf suggests that Hitler may once have believed in a young earth:

"this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men" (p. 65; the second edition substitutes "millions" for "thousands," and chapter 11 refers to "hundreds of thousands of years" of life in another context.)

Other passages further support his creationist leanings:

The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. (Hitler 1943, 383)

and

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. (Hitler 1943, 214)

Quotes from Hitler invoking Christianity as a basis for his actions could be multiplied ad nauseam. For example:

Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (Hitler 1943, 65).

"[T]he task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission (Hitler 1943, 398).

A campaign against the "godless movement" and an appeal for Catholic support were launched Wednesday by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces (Associated Press 1933).

Of course, this does not mean that Hitler's ideas were based on creationism any more than they were based on evolution. Hitler's ideas were a perversion of both religion and biology.

Secondly, there's the fact the the Nazi Party in general rejected Darwinism and supported Christianity. In 1935, Die B"cherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a list of guidelines of works to reject, including:

Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (H"ckel). (Die B"cherei 1935, 279)

On the other hand, an undated "Blacklist for Public Libraries and Commercial Lending Libraries" includes the following on a list of literature which "absolutely must be removed":

c) All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk. (Blacklist n.d.)

So because Hitler was a Christian, he was also anti-evolution?

The majority of Christian scientists would disagree with that assumption.

Look at the propaganda of the Nazis and how it talks about survival of the fittest, or the best people. That's Darwinism.

It's also worth mentioning that genocide and racism existed long before Darwin. Obviously, they did not need any contribution from Darwinism. In many instances, such as the Crusades and the Spanish conquest of Central America, religion was explicitly invoked to justify them.

Never said anything about race, retard. I said sick and ill people were annihalated.

And finally, Evolution does not promote social Darwinism or racism or eugenics, but nice try though.

The fact that they are labelled as Darwinism is obviously just a coincidence then.


Regardless, just because something improves our lives, that doesn't make it correct. That is a textbook logical fallacy.

No, but the research based on evolutionary theory has, for example, been able to provide us with medical treatments that actually work when it comes to fighting disease, not to mention all the other stuff research based on evolutionary theory has provided us with that are also effective and actually work at doing the jobs we want them to do. So either you have to dismiss every single occurrence of these things being able to work for us to solve the problems of the world as mere coincidences, or it become quite clear that a list of "coincidences" equates far more to a "pattern", and that is that evolutionary theory is correct and that's why the research we use from it is so effectively able to create things that are of practical use to us and it's why those things actually work.

Evolution hasn't helped develop squat. The Bible teaches more accurate things than evolution does, especially considering how most of the transition fossils they have have been proven not to occur in the right order of evolution which scientists say they should. They directly contradict Darwinism and ar eliving proof that Darwinian evolution is a false hypothesis.
v3nesl
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12/20/2013 8:14:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/20/2013 6:03:08 AM, chui wrote:
At 12/19/2013 10:56:47 AM, v3nesl wrote:


No one, for instance, can reasonably deny that gravity exists. There may be debate on exactly what it is, but no debate about the existence of the force.

Going of subject somewhat (But v3nesl derailed this thread from the start, what a surprise!) the classification of gravity as a force is very much questioned by physicists following Einstein's publication of his general theory.

"One very important feature of pseudoforces is that they are always proportional to the masses; the same is true of gravity. The possibility exists therefore that gravity itself is a pseudoforce" Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures Vol I 12-11.

The other pseudoforces are inertial, centrifugal, coriolis and Euler force.

Gravity, under general relativity, is thought to be caused by the geometry of space-time. This view is not fully proven as we have yet to detect gravitons, but there is much supporting indirect evidence.

I point this out to show that ideas in science do change when a new understanding is developed. It also shows the tentative nature of scientific conclusions. A common accusation from the theists is that we have blind faith in science and scientific conclusions. I offer this as an example of how the opposite is true and that scientists question everything, even the existence of gravity.

To amuse myself I will try to predict the response from the theists:

1 Ignore me entirely because they can't think of a good response.


I addressed your objection in my original post by saying that we might dispute exactly what gravity is, but not the existence of the force. So you think you're so smart and can add some esoteric knowledge to the debate, but you just don't read so well.


To any theist that finds my drivel insulting, remember that no one asked you to come and heap insults on our "faith". If you want to believe that the earth was created before the sun that's fine, just don't try to argue that you understand science.

I don't argue that the earth was created before the sun. Always the strawman with you guys, I rarely meet an evolutionist on here who will debate with ME.
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v3nesl
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12/20/2013 8:32:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/19/2013 1:19:03 PM, Ithacus wrote:
But it's not. Again, not even close. Consensus is virtually irrelevant in real science. That's kind of the point of the scientific method, to put a discipline on fallible human reasoning.

By that standard, we might as well discard the notion that smoking is harmful for your health,

No - we think smoking is harmful based on data, not consensus.

that global warming has anthropogenic aspects,

And maybe we should discard this. I've yet to see a measurable definition of the temperature of the globe, so how can we possibly know what effect humans have on what we can't measure in the first place? So, see, two very different disciplines, you lump them together because you don't yet have a scientific mindset.

...and that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism, therefore catering to </= 3% of the scientific community. If over 95% of expertly trained minds agree on something, it is unreasonable to assume you alone see fallacies that they do not. For even just 80% of scientists to agree on something -- let alone 97% -- there needs to be a ludicrously vast amount of evidence to support it.

Every time there has been a great advance - Copernicus, for instance - the new guys have been in the minority. Consensus is often the enemy of progress, especially when coupled with political power.


Unfortunately, your post reveals a misunderstanding of the scientific method. One of its steps is publication & peer review.

No, I don't agree. I mean, yes, of course you want as many eyes on your ideas as possible, but scientific ideas are established by data, not popularity.

The most important aspect of an experiment, without which an experiment cannot be scientifically labeled as such, is its repeatability. The constant re-testing of hypotheses is what makes them theories once sufficient supporting evidence has been discovered. A scientific theory, by definition, is accepted by an overwhelming scientific consensus,

You're contradicting yourself. Which is it, experimental verification or consensus? Seriously, bro, there's a fork in the road here, where you must choose intellectual integrity or going with the status quo.

because it is considered a fact just like gravity. As unpleasant as the truth is to anti-evolution advocates, evolution is indeed a scientific theory.


It is not, because it has not been tested. Nobody has evolved anything, the hypothesis has NOT been tested. The theorized components have been tested endlessly, but nobody has actually evolved anything. You have a bag of nails, but nobody has built the house.


Look, you happen to have been born in an age when science has gone off the rails in a particular area. It's hardly the first time in history.

When was the last time science has "gone off the rails in a particular area"? I'm curious whether you can name examples after the adoption of the modern scientific method wherein 97% of scientists were proven wrong about a scientific theory.


So you believe that humanity has found the magic bullet to truth? No, a giant part of my perspective is being a practicing design engineer. The cosmos remains a mysterious and finicky place. You'll find out when you start trying to do experiments where you don't already know the answers you're trying to determine.


So you can't base your faith in evolution in the say-so of the smart, you have to look at the actual evidence. And I think you'll be a bit surprised if you take an honest look under the hood.

I consider empirical observation rather compelling evidence. I mentioned I am a student of biology -- I have studied this field for years and read thousands of scientific papers discussing evolution and its validity as a theory. Provide me with "actual evidence" that contradicts or disproves evolution and I will happily reconsider my position.

Sure, just watch what happens next time you pour cream into your coffee. Note how it starts with interesting patterns, but with either patterned stirring or random noise, the cream eventually finds a boring uniform distribution. This is how undirected, random processes work. And if you think some aspect of life somehow magically overcomes natures relentless search for the lowest energy state, you show me. Run the experiment that makes an ice sculpture out of water without any direction.

There's a reason why nobody has evolved anything - it can't possibly happen. It's a quaint leftover from an age when people were trying to make perpetual motion machines. Science has gone off the rails on this one.
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v3nesl
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12/20/2013 8:40:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/20/2013 6:35:31 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
...

Evolution hasn't helped develop squat.

Yeah, that's true, and some of your more highly educated evolutionists will admit that. The antibiotic thing is totally bogus. Evolution had absolutely nothing to do with the discovery (discovery!) of antibiotics, nor does it really have anything to do with the trial and error approach to finding new ones. The most promising research, actually, is done in an intelligent design framework - trying to understand how the microbes function and finding deliberate ways to gum up the works.

Evolution is used after the fact to explain antibiotic resistance, but doesn't offer any value in combating said resistance.
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MysticEgg
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12/20/2013 10:54:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/20/2013 8:40:43 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/20/2013 6:35:31 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
...




I think it's interesting, how you accept evolution, but deny it. Come out of the closet. Take Micro off the front and accept evolution. Of course, if you'd like to debate UCA or something similar, then use it's scientific term. Just saying "evolution" makes you sound uneducated in the field.
Ramshutu
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12/20/2013 11:10:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/20/2013 8:40:43 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 12/20/2013 6:35:31 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
...

Evolution hasn't helped develop squat.

Yeah, that's true, and some of your more highly educated evolutionists will admit that. The antibiotic thing is totally bogus. Evolution had absolutely nothing to do with the discovery (discovery!) of antibiotics, nor does it really have anything to do with the trial and error approach to finding new ones. The most promising research, actually, is done in an intelligent design framework - trying to understand how the microbes function and finding deliberate ways to gum up the works.

Not one single avenue of "intelligent design" research can ever or will ever better mankind. Simply for the fact that the whole "theory" can simply be boiled down to "we can't explain it therefore god".

The study of microbes and their inner workings is microbiology. NOT intelligent design.

Evolution is used after the fact to explain antibiotic resistance, but doesn't offer any value in combating said resistance.

Asside from the multi billion dollar industry of bioinformatics, the significant improvements in artificial intelligence, evolutinary algorithm design and other aspects of computer science which have taken descent with modification in computer systems to solve complex problems that is not possible for any "designer" to nail...

The main area of benefit in which common descent and evolution have significant applications in understanding genetic diseases, the role of genes in development and chemistry. For example, comparitive studies in different species allow us to infer the genetic issues and problems that can arrise in other species to humans as they share a common ancestor.

Evolution and gene sequencing has allowed us to discover genetic mutations in a certain percentage of Europeans that may unlock a cure for aids.

There is also more here: http://www.talkorigins.org...

The list is actually extensive, and absolutely blows the practical applications of creationism and intelligent design out of the water with its total sum of useful spin offs derived directly from their respective "theories" of 0.

I don't know quite what your problem is.

Do you simply not google any of this? Or do you not care? Because this is 3/3 now.

There are three core, foundational, and fundamentally untrue statements you have made evolution that are so wrong that they have beggared belief.

Do you beleive you can just say something is true, and it magically is so?

Do you think that because you beleive that is true, you can say it us true, even if the face of overwhelming fact otherwise?

This is what I don't get. You have said evolution is not testable, makes no predictions and has no applicants yet with even the simplest and quickest of google searches it is fundamentally and definitively shown that all three of those statements are not just wrong, not just very wrong, but as far away from truthful statement of fact as it is possible to be.
Ithacus
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12/20/2013 11:44:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
No - we think smoking is harmful based on data, not consensus.

...That's exactly my point. The consensus exists due to convincing data. 97% of expert scientists would not agree on a phenomenon unless the data to support it were overwhelming.

And maybe we should discard this. I've yet to see a measurable definition of the temperature of the globe, so how can we possibly know what effect humans have on what we can't measure in the first place? So, see, two very different disciplines, you lump them together because you don't yet have a scientific mindset.

I'm afraid the notion that we are unable to measure global temperature is a misconception. This article may interest you: http://www.thenewatlantis.com.... Climate change is certainly relevant to biochemistry and biophysics, and as such it is relevant to biology. Consider that one of the driving mechanisms of evolution is the genetic response to environmental pressures. The study of the changing environment is closely related to understanding the historical patterns of evolution. Biology is one of the most interdisciplinary fields in modern research.

Every time there has been a great advance - Copernicus, for instance - the new guys have been in the minority. Consensus is often the enemy of progress, especially when coupled with political power.

Luckily we no longer live in a society with no separation of Church and State as well as freedoms such as free speech and press. Charles Darwin and his supporters were originally also in the minority, but over time, while popular opinion remains adverse due to common misconceptions, the scientific community has turned around on the issue, in part because the modern model of experimental science is remarkably reliable and accurate, as opposed to the non-scientific judgment of most of Copernicus's contemporaries. Also, Einstein wasn't "in the minority" " neither was Newton or Mendeleev " they are among the keystones of scientific history and their groundbreaking new theories were celebrated, not disparaged.

No, I don't agree. I mean, yes, of course you want as many eyes on your ideas as possible, but scientific ideas are established by data, not popularity.

Ideas, certainly. Widespread acceptance requires agreeing the data is valid. This means the vast majority of experts across fields must come together to assess the data and decide in favor of the hypothesis being posited. Expert recognition with a dissent minority so negligent it is statistically insignificant is a tribute to the rock-solid data that establishes evolutionary theory.

You're contradicting yourself. Which is it, experimental verification or consensus? Seriously, bro, there's a fork in the road here, where you must choose intellectual integrity or going with the status quo.

There's nothing contradictory about consensus based on the scientific community's repeated verification of a theory. It is rather offensive to suggest that, in science, going "with the status quo" automatically departs from intellectual integrity. Well over 97% of scientists support the geocentric theory. That doesn't mean they're sheeple going blindly with the flow, it means the data in support of the theory is overwhelming. Accepting fact-confirmed truths is certainly a branch of intellectual integrity.

It is not, because it has not been tested. Nobody has evolved anything, the hypothesis has NOT been tested. The theorized components have been tested endlessly, but nobody has actually evolved anything. You have a bag of nails, but nobody has built the house.

I thought I already sent you this study? http://www.dailykos.com.... Evolution has been tested and confirmed repeatedly. Even more convincingly, scientists have repeatedly tested the evolutionary theory through directed evolution, only confirming the theory's validity: http://phys.org.... If you disagree about the scientific definition about evolution, you are not criticizing the scientific theory, but rather a distorted misrepresentation of it that has no basis in science. I invite you to present me with evidence that these landmark studies do not, in fact, reveal the observation of evolution.

So you believe that humanity has found the magic bullet to truth? No, a giant part of my perspective is being a practicing design engineer.

When on earth did I say that? I asked a simple question: Name me one instance following the adoption of the modern scientific method in which 97% of scientists were wrong about a scientific theory. Truth is that which is confirmed by or in accordance with fact or reality. Given the evidence and the expert assessment of the evidence, I don't find it particularly rational to question evolution. In the face of a body of evidence comparable to gravity and geocentricity, what sort of evidence leads you to doubt evolution? You have yet to quote a single scientific study to support your claims. This makes it appear as though your position is not corroborated by evidence.

Sure, just watch what happens next time you pour cream into your coffee. Note how it starts with interesting patterns, but with either patterned stirring or random noise, the cream eventually finds a boring uniform distribution. This is how undirected, random processes work. And if you think some aspect of life somehow magically overcomes natures relentless search for the lowest energy state, you show me. Run the experiment that makes an ice sculpture out of water without any direction.

First of all, that is not a scientific experiment by any stretch of the imagination -- secondly, inanimate objects do not undergo evolution. That's like a skeptic of smoking causing harm saying, "Run the experiment that makes an ice sculpture die of lung cancer because it enjoyed too many Lucky Strikes!" The analogy is flawed to the extent that it is simply nonexistent.

I'm curious -- what makes you think the evolutionary theory disproves the natural trend towards the lowest energy state?

There's a reason why nobody has evolved anything - it can't possibly happen. It's a quaint leftover from an age when people were trying to make perpetual motion machines. Science has gone off the rails on this one.

Again, evolution is not applicable to inanimate objects. Recall that "biology" is the study of life. Also, scientists have succeeded in "evolving" enzymes through directed evolution. http://phys.org....