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Agreement on parts of evolutionary theory

Burzmali
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12/17/2014 1:34:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What parts of evolutionary theory can we all, or at least most of us (ID and non-ID alike), agree on? For me, these seem like they are non-controversial aspects of the theory.

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.

2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).

3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Is there anyone who disagrees with any of those?

Does anyone have another part of the theory they think can be plainly agreed on by most/all?
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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12/17/2014 4:05:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/17/2014 1:34:35 PM, Burzmali wrote:
What parts of evolutionary theory can we all, or at least most of us (ID and non-ID alike), agree on? For me, these seem like they are non-controversial aspects of the theory.

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.

2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).

3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Is there anyone who disagrees with any of those?

Does anyone have another part of the theory they think can be plainly agreed on by most/all?

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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12/18/2014 1:27:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/17/2014 4:05:07 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/17/2014 1:34:35 PM, Burzmali wrote:
What parts of evolutionary theory can we all, or at least most of us (ID and non-ID alike), agree on? For me, these seem like they are non-controversial aspects of the theory.

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.

2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).

3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Is there anyone who disagrees with any of those?

Does anyone have another part of the theory they think can be plainly agreed on by most/all?

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).

My experience has been that someone offering up ID as a competing alternative to UCA will inevitably attack natural selection or beneficial mutations, or both, when they're presented as part of the body of evidence. So, while I do think these individual points should be agreeable to people on both sides, I did expect (hope, even) that someone would air a specific contention with one or more of them.

I have to ask, though, if all three are accepted, why is there any reason to think that there is a limit to how much 2 and 3 can combine to develop novel traits and eventually allow for the emergence of new organisms?
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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12/19/2014 11:24:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/18/2014 1:27:07 PM, Burzmali wrote:

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.
2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).
3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).

My experience has been that someone offering up ID as a competing alternative to UCA will inevitably attack natural selection or beneficial mutations, or both, when they're presented as part of the body of evidence. So, while I do think these individual points should be agreeable to people on both sides, I did expect (hope, even) that someone would air a specific contention with one or more of them.

I have to ask, though, if all three are accepted, why is there any reason to think that there is a limit to how much 2 and 3 can combine to develop novel traits and eventually allow for the emergence of new organisms?

I'm not going to attack NS, per se, but I am going to state that many evolutionists seem to use it as though it's an actual creative process, when it isn't...just like you combine 2 and 3 to justify why large-scale change can happen.

While environmental stimuli and how living organisms respond to them are indeed a "factor", an organism can't choose to make molecular changes, which lead to morphological change that will help them adapt. A zebra can't change his stripes and grow a longer neck, becoming a giraffe, just because there is more fruit at the top of the tree than there is lower down. That's Lamarckian.

NS, properly understood, can tell you WHY the organism was able to survive in that environment, but it has no explanatory power and plays no role in how the organism acquired the traits that it did. NS is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an observation made, in hindsight, that whatever survives, survives. Ok fine but big deal...it's pretty much a tautology.

In short, it's not the observation of NS that is attacked. What gets attacked is the fact that evolutionists tend to try and give NS some magical, creative properties, when it really amounts to nothing more than an observation that we make as look back at the history of life.

As for #3, there is nothing in observational science that tells us that DNA mutations will, given enough time, lead to large-scale change that is necessary for UCA to be true. That is nothing more than a conclusion based on an extrapolation of the minor changes that we see. Observational, empirical science tells us that changes, as the result of mutations, are highly bounded. If you change the wrong thing, or change too much, the results are catastrophic, leading to death, deformity, disease, or infertility...all of which will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of that organism reproducing.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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12/19/2014 1:24:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 11:24:45 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/18/2014 1:27:07 PM, Burzmali wrote:

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.
2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).
3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).

My experience has been that someone offering up ID as a competing alternative to UCA will inevitably attack natural selection or beneficial mutations, or both, when they're presented as part of the body of evidence. So, while I do think these individual points should be agreeable to people on both sides, I did expect (hope, even) that someone would air a specific contention with one or more of them.

I have to ask, though, if all three are accepted, why is there any reason to think that there is a limit to how much 2 and 3 can combine to develop novel traits and eventually allow for the emergence of new organisms?

I'm not going to attack NS, per se, but I am going to state that many evolutionists seem to use it as though it's an actual creative process, when it isn't...just like you combine 2 and 3 to justify why large-scale change can happen.

While environmental stimuli and how living organisms respond to them are indeed a "factor", an organism can't choose to make molecular changes, which lead to morphological change that will help them adapt. A zebra can't change his stripes and grow a longer neck, becoming a giraffe, just because there is more fruit at the top of the tree than there is lower down. That's Lamarckian.

NS, properly understood, can tell you WHY the organism was able to survive in that environment, but it has no explanatory power and plays no role in how the organism acquired the traits that it did. NS is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an observation made, in hindsight, that whatever survives, survives. Ok fine but big deal...it's pretty much a tautology.

In short, it's not the observation of NS that is attacked. What gets attacked is the fact that evolutionists tend to try and give NS some magical, creative properties, when it really amounts to nothing more than an observation that we make as look back at the history of life.

NS is not used by "evolutionists" to have some creative property. This seems like a great misunderstanding of the role of NS in evolutionary theory. It's meant to explain why beneficial traits tend to stick around in a population more than harmful traits. "That which survives, survives" is not the whole of natural selection. That's a bit like saying gravity is "objects that are attracted to each other in space are attracted to each other." NS is the idea that organisms with traits that allow them to survive and reproduce will pass on those traits, while traits that inhibit survival or reproduction will be passed on with lest frequency, if at all. (I realize my initial description above was much simpler.)

As for #3, there is nothing in observational science that tells us that DNA mutations will, given enough time, lead to large-scale change that is necessary for UCA to be true. That is nothing more than a conclusion based on an extrapolation of the minor changes that we see. Observational, empirical science tells us that changes, as the result of mutations, are highly bounded. If you change the wrong thing, or change too much, the results are catastrophic, leading to death, deformity, disease, or infertility...all of which will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of that organism reproducing.

If you change too much all at once, yes, the results are usually catastrophic. But why can't accumulations of small changes result in an overall large change? I can concede that we haven't directly observed something like that. We have observed a couple of minor changes, but no large change. I think that's due to timeline rather than any real limitation, though. Saying "we haven't seen it" is a bit like only being able to increment some value once every 20 years and saying that there's no way that continuing to increment that value will ever result in it being 100x greater than it currently is. I admit that's an overly simplistic analogy. I'd love to see a detailed explanation of why such small change accumulation can't lead to big changes, though.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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12/19/2014 5:14:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 1:24:39 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 12/19/2014 11:24:45 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/18/2014 1:27:07 PM, Burzmali wrote:

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.
2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).
3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).

My experience has been that someone offering up ID as a competing alternative to UCA will inevitably attack natural selection or beneficial mutations, or both, when they're presented as part of the body of evidence. So, while I do think these individual points should be agreeable to people on both sides, I did expect (hope, even) that someone would air a specific contention with one or more of them.

I have to ask, though, if all three are accepted, why is there any reason to think that there is a limit to how much 2 and 3 can combine to develop novel traits and eventually allow for the emergence of new organisms?

I'm not going to attack NS, per se, but I am going to state that many evolutionists seem to use it as though it's an actual creative process, when it isn't...just like you combine 2 and 3 to justify why large-scale change can happen.

While environmental stimuli and how living organisms respond to them are indeed a "factor", an organism can't choose to make molecular changes, which lead to morphological change that will help them adapt. A zebra can't change his stripes and grow a longer neck, becoming a giraffe, just because there is more fruit at the top of the tree than there is lower down. That's Lamarckian.

NS, properly understood, can tell you WHY the organism was able to survive in that environment, but it has no explanatory power and plays no role in how the organism acquired the traits that it did. NS is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an observation made, in hindsight, that whatever survives, survives. Ok fine but big deal...it's pretty much a tautology.

In short, it's not the observation of NS that is attacked. What gets attacked is the fact that evolutionists tend to try and give NS some magical, creative properties, when it really amounts to nothing more than an observation that we make as look back at the history of life.

NS is not used by "evolutionists" to have some creative property. This seems like a great misunderstanding of the role of NS in evolutionary theory. It's meant to explain why beneficial traits tend to stick around in a population more than harmful traits. "That which survives, survives" is not the whole of natural selection. That's a bit like saying gravity is "objects that are attracted to each other in space are attracted to each other." NS is the idea that organisms with traits that allow them to survive and reproduce will pass on those traits, while traits that inhibit survival or reproduction will be passed on with lest frequency, if at all. (I realize my initial description above was much simpler.)

Ok, I don't think we're that far apart here but I'd add that a trait has to exist before it can even be subjected to NS, so in effect, NS is just an observation made in hindsight.

As for #3, there is nothing in observational science that tells us that DNA mutations will, given enough time, lead to large-scale change that is necessary for UCA to be true. That is nothing more than a conclusion based on an extrapolation of the minor changes that we see. Observational, empirical science tells us that changes, as the result of mutations, are highly bounded. If you change the wrong thing, or change too much, the results are catastrophic, leading to death, deformity, disease, or infertility...all of which will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of that organism reproducing.

If you change too much all at once, yes, the results are usually catastrophic. But why can't accumulations of small changes result in an overall large change? I can concede that we haven't directly observed something like that. We have observed a couple of minor changes, but no large change. I think that's due to timeline rather than any real limitation, though. Saying "we haven't seen it" is a bit like only being able to increment some value once every 20 years and saying that there's no way that continuing to increment that value will ever result in it being 100x greater than it currently is. I admit that's an overly simplistic analogy. I'd love to see a detailed explanation of why such small change accumulation can't lead to big changes, though.

Because time does not give you anything more to work with, in the reproductive process. Let's take flies, for instance. You have to have fly DNA to get a mutation. You can't get fly DNA without the parents both being flies. The DNA of the parental flies is always going to result in a fly as offspring. That's a cycle that no evolutionist has ever found a way to get around. Simply saying "given enough time", does not suffice because fly DNA in, always equals fly DNA out. There is no way to break that cycle, and certainly nothing that can be supported by observational, empirical science.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/21/2014 1:05:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 5:14:37 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/19/2014 1:24:39 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 12/19/2014 11:24:45 AM, medic0506 wrote:
At 12/18/2014 1:27:07 PM, Burzmali wrote:

1) The observed fact of evolution is that allele frequencies change in a population over time.
2) One component of the explanation for the above change is that individual organisms that are better suited to survive and reproduce in their environment will produce more offspring (a.k.a. Natural Selection).
3) Another component of the explanation is that mutations occur with every replication of DNA. Most mutations have no effect on an organism, some are harmful, and very few are beneficial.

Although we use "evolution" as a catch-all term, I think most of us agree with most all findings that could be labeled as micro-evolution. Most of this is observed and empirically supported. I would agree with your above statements, and I think most critics would, as well. The problem is mostly Universal Common Ancestry (UCA).

My experience has been that someone offering up ID as a competing alternative to UCA will inevitably attack natural selection or beneficial mutations, or both, when they're presented as part of the body of evidence. So, while I do think these individual points should be agreeable to people on both sides, I did expect (hope, even) that someone would air a specific contention with one or more of them.

I have to ask, though, if all three are accepted, why is there any reason to think that there is a limit to how much 2 and 3 can combine to develop novel traits and eventually allow for the emergence of new organisms?

I'm not going to attack NS, per se, but I am going to state that many evolutionists seem to use it as though it's an actual creative process, when it isn't...just like you combine 2 and 3 to justify why large-scale change can happen.

While environmental stimuli and how living organisms respond to them are indeed a "factor", an organism can't choose to make molecular changes, which lead to morphological change that will help them adapt. A zebra can't change his stripes and grow a longer neck, becoming a giraffe, just because there is more fruit at the top of the tree than there is lower down. That's Lamarckian.

NS, properly understood, can tell you WHY the organism was able to survive in that environment, but it has no explanatory power and plays no role in how the organism acquired the traits that it did. NS is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an observation made, in hindsight, that whatever survives, survives. Ok fine but big deal...it's pretty much a tautology.

In short, it's not the observation of NS that is attacked. What gets attacked is the fact that evolutionists tend to try and give NS some magical, creative properties, when it really amounts to nothing more than an observation that we make as look back at the history of life.

NS is not used by "evolutionists" to have some creative property. This seems like a great misunderstanding of the role of NS in evolutionary theory. It's meant to explain why beneficial traits tend to stick around in a population more than harmful traits. "That which survives, survives" is not the whole of natural selection. That's a bit like saying gravity is "objects that are attracted to each other in space are attracted to each other." NS is the idea that organisms with traits that allow them to survive and reproduce will pass on those traits, while traits that inhibit survival or reproduction will be passed on with lest frequency, if at all. (I realize my initial description above was much simpler.)

Ok, I don't think we're that far apart here but I'd add that a trait has to exist before it can even be subjected to NS, so in effect, NS is just an observation made in hindsight.

As for #3, there is nothing in observational science that tells us that DNA mutations will, given enough time, lead to large-scale change that is necessary for UCA to be true. That is nothing more than a conclusion based on an extrapolation of the minor changes that we see. Observational, empirical science tells us that changes, as the result of mutations, are highly bounded. If you change the wrong thing, or change too much, the results are catastrophic, leading to death, deformity, disease, or infertility...all of which will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of that organism reproducing.

If you change too much all at once, yes, the results are usually catastrophic. But why can't accumulations of small changes result in an overall large change? I can concede that we haven't directly observed something like that. We have observed a couple of minor changes, but no large change. I think that's due to timeline rather than any real limitation, though. Saying "we haven't seen it" is a bit like only being able to increment some value once every 20 years and saying that there's no way that continuing to increment that value will ever result in it being 100x greater than it currently is. I admit that's an overly simplistic analogy. I'd love to see a detailed explanation of why such small change accumulation can't lead to big changes, though.

Because time does not give you anything more to work with, in the reproductive process. Let's take flies, for instance. You have to have fly DNA to get a mutation. You can't get fly DNA without the parents both being flies. The DNA of the parental flies is always going to result in a fly as offspring. That's a cycle that no evolutionist has ever found a way to get around. Simply saying "given enough time", does not suffice because fly DNA in, always equals fly DNA out. There is no way to break that cycle, and certainly nothing that can be supported by observational, empirical science.

A DNA strain is just a sequence of nucleotides. If we had the technology, we could get the DNA contained on a milkshake and transform it into the DNA of a fly, insert it into an eukarotic cell, and produce a fly. If we can do it, then natural selection can do it too, because it is simply a process by which DNA changes, the same as you can change it in a lab.

To summarize, if you have the word Cat, and expose the word to a process that can change letters (Natural Selection), you can quickly achieve Tac and Act, and with enough time, you will even get the word Human. There's nothing that prevents this process, and this is precisely why no one takes intelligent desing seriously.