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Why Do Birds Sing?

RoderickSpode
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1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/7/2016 3:15:18 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

1. You answered your own question (mainly to attract mates or social interactions). In some cases it uses in an attempt to ward off predators.

2. There is a type of website called a search engine. The most popular of these is called google which you may have heard of. If you go to this type of website, there will be a box in which you can type a question or subject and then a button you click (probably titled "search" or something similar). When you click that button it will bring up a long list of websites about the topic you entered. That may be a good starting point for discovering any scientific literature related to what we know about birds singing and evolution. If after reading those you form an actual question about gaps in knowledge you find, it would represent something worthy of discussion.
RoderickSpode
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1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 3:15:18 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

1. You answered your own question (mainly to attract mates or social interactions). In some cases it uses in an attempt to ward off predators.

2. There is a type of website called a search engine. The most popular of these is called google which you may have heard of. If you go to this type of website, there will be a box in which you can type a question or subject and then a button you click (probably titled "search" or something similar). When you click that button it will bring up a long list of websites about the topic you entered. That may be a good starting point for discovering any scientific literature related to what we know about birds singing and evolution. If after reading those you form an actual question about gaps in knowledge you find, it would represent something worthy of discussion.
Ward off predators?

If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Well not all websites are bad.

Singing birds optimize signal transmission by perching in exposed locations. However, conspicuous singing may be risky, and previous research has found that individuals trade off singing performance with song perch exposure. We studied the relationship between predation risk (degree of concealment, height in tree or shrub, and distance to the forest edge) and time allocated to singing and vigilance in a group of 13 passerine species living in an East African savanna. Concealed birds sang more and were less vigilant. Vigilance increased as distance to the forested edge increased, but distance had no effect on time allocated to singing. Body size was significantly correlated with vigilance but not singing; larger passerines were more sensitive to both relative concealment and the distance to the forest edge, while song was influenced by neither of these factors. Perch height had no effect on either behavior. Our results suggest that birds modify vigilance and, to some extent, singing behavior to minimize their exposure to predators.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

When you say:

"In some cases it uses in an attempt to ward off predators."

I'm guessing you mean some birds that are operatically challenged? Make menacing noises. Of course, in today's art critique, might one state it's not really singing/music?
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
Of course I was being facetious. I would never do anything like that. It's not about shutting out the voice of evolution(ism), but the problem concerning these singing birds is that there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

It doesn't matter what source I refer to (library, search engines), there's very little scientific information on why birds sing in relation to evolution.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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1/7/2016 8:28:25 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
Of course I was being facetious. I would never do anything like that. It's not about shutting out the voice of evolution(ism), but the problem concerning these singing birds is that there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

It doesn't matter what source I refer to (library, search engines), there's very little scientific information on why birds sing in relation to evolution.

All birds has differences in strength/endurance/speed etc.

All things being equal, if all birds sing; the weakest on the birds are more likely to die, with the surviving birds being stronger, on balance than those that don't.

If a bird sings louder, or in a place that is more exposed, it increases their chance of attracting a predator; however if they survive, they are likely, on balance, to be stronger than those who sing less loudly and survive.

For a female bird wanting to have the strongest offspring, the loudest singing birds are the best, because if they are still alive it's indicative that on balance that they will be stronger than birds that don't sing as loudly.

Conversely, for male birds; if you don't sing as loudly or as often, you are less likely to attract predators, but also less likely to attract a mate.

It's the general correlation between strength and singing that allows a sexual selection element to be present. Indeed, it becomes a numbers game, balancing singing too loudly and dying, with not getting a mate.
Deb-8-A-Bull
Posts: 2,181
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1/8/2016 2:31:48 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Do birds know what singing is ? Picture a bird just before It goes to sleep , singing a few versus of his Fav tune. I don't think birds sing . A billion people say they do and it's documented . But I think the question should be . Why do birds make noise? Or why do birds make different pitch noises, at certain times. And the answer to these questions are the same and easier to explain .
chui
Posts: 507
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1/8/2016 3:55:17 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

So how do birds survive if they endanger themselves by singing. Are bird populations on a continuous decline? I assume you do not accept natural selection so no need to bring that into the discussion. I am just interested in how you explain the continued existence of birds despite their suicidal habits.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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1/8/2016 4:02:31 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
Of course I was being facetious. I would never do anything like that. It's not about shutting out the voice of evolution(ism), but the problem concerning these singing birds is that there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

It doesn't matter what source I refer to (library, search engines), there's very little scientific information on why birds sing in relation to evolution.

https://scholar.google.com.hk...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
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Response to conservative views on deforestation:
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RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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1/8/2016 4:24:28 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 8:28:25 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
Of course I was being facetious. I would never do anything like that. It's not about shutting out the voice of evolution(ism), but the problem concerning these singing birds is that there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

It doesn't matter what source I refer to (library, search engines), there's very little scientific information on why birds sing in relation to evolution.

All birds has differences in strength/endurance/speed etc.

And birds have different singing habits. Yes, the birds that tend to decrease their singing do so after finding a mate. But not all birds stop their singing for any known reason. I've never seen anyone suggest that all birds sing to attract a mate.

All things being equal, if all birds sing; the weakest on the birds are more likely to die, with the surviving birds being stronger, on balance than those that don't.

If a bird sings louder, or in a place that is more exposed, it increases their chance of attracting a predator; however if they survive, they are likely, on balance, to be stronger than those who sing less loudly and survive.

For a female bird wanting to have the strongest offspring, the loudest singing birds are the best, because if they are still alive it's indicative that on balance that they will be stronger than birds that don't sing as loudly.

Conversely, for male birds; if you don't sing as loudly or as often, you are less likely to attract predators, but also less likely to attract a mate.

It's the general correlation between strength and singing that allows a sexual selection element to be present. Indeed, it becomes a numbers game, balancing singing too loudly and dying, with not getting a mate.
What about evidence that shows there were many female songbirds than previously thought.

The current view is that competition for partners led to the evolution of bright colours and a loud song in males, together with substantial sex differences in the brain while the need to avoid predators led to relatively unobtrusive female birds with camouflage colours. Riebel: "Our study disputes the general validity of this view by showing that a) singing female songbirds are very widespread and b) both the females and the males of the ancestors of all modern songbirds must have had song. This means that the preference of females for singing males cannot have been the first and foremost reason for the evolution of song. This is a starting point for alternative scenarios, that so far have not been taken into consideration in birdsong research." - See more at: http://news.leiden.edu...

Do you this research is valid, or tainted with a feminist slant?
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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1/8/2016 4:26:57 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 2:31:48 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Do birds know what singing is ? Picture a bird just before It goes to sleep , singing a few versus of his Fav tune. I don't think birds sing . A billion people say they do and it's documented . But I think the question should be . Why do birds make noise? Or why do birds make different pitch noises, at certain times. And the answer to these questions are the same and easier to explain .
I use the term sing/singing mainly because these particular birds are generally classified as songbirds.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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1/8/2016 4:38:00 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 3:55:17 PM, chui wrote:
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

So how do birds survive if they endanger themselves by singing. Are bird populations on a continuous decline? I assume you do not accept natural selection so no need to bring that into the discussion. I am just interested in how you explain the continued existence of birds despite their suicidal habits.
That's a good question.

As you may have guessed, I take an intelligent design stance. Specifically as a Christian, I believe all things, including songbirds are designed for God's pleasure. So I don't rule out a certain level of unseen (or divine) protection for songbirds (as well any and all of God's creation) takes place. In a way I think we're both in the same boat (I assume you take the evolution stance). The fact of the matter is, in spite of the obvious dangers that could have potentially wiped many of these birds out, they seem to flourish. We can't deny that they are still here....and in abundance.

If you look at that article I posted a few posts up, the mystery of the songbirds is assumed to have an evolutionary answer even if it's not yet known. The singing of birds is a mystery with only partial answers (seeking a mate, territorial rights). So where one might say I'm just settling for "Goddidit", I may say the same type of fallback "evolutiondidit" applies.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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1/8/2016 5:14:10 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 4:24:28 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/7/2016 8:28:25 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/7/2016 5:52:03 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/7/2016 4:56:43 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
If this is the type of info search engines like google give, I don't know if I should use it, or find one that filters out certain evolution prop.

Through the creative use of search engine strings (that is the stuff you type in the box) you can censor yourself to ensure you don't get exposed to any ideas that are contrary to your own (i.e. willful ignorance). Read up on regular expressions (i.e. type that in the search box on google and click search) as these are supported by many search engines (including google) and will allow you to perform searches that exclude ideas to which you do not wish to expose yourself.
Of course I was being facetious. I would never do anything like that. It's not about shutting out the voice of evolution(ism), but the problem concerning these singing birds is that there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

It doesn't matter what source I refer to (library, search engines), there's very little scientific information on why birds sing in relation to evolution.

All birds has differences in strength/endurance/speed etc.

And birds have different singing habits. Yes, the birds that tend to decrease their singing do so after finding a mate. But not all birds stop their singing for any known reason. I've never seen anyone suggest that all birds sing to attract a mate.

All things being equal, if all birds sing; the weakest on the birds are more likely to die, with the surviving birds being stronger, on balance than those that don't.

If a bird sings louder, or in a place that is more exposed, it increases their chance of attracting a predator; however if they survive, they are likely, on balance, to be stronger than those who sing less loudly and survive.

For a female bird wanting to have the strongest offspring, the loudest singing birds are the best, because if they are still alive it's indicative that on balance that they will be stronger than birds that don't sing as loudly.

Conversely, for male birds; if you don't sing as loudly or as often, you are less likely to attract predators, but also less likely to attract a mate.

It's the general correlation between strength and singing that allows a sexual selection element to be present. Indeed, it becomes a numbers game, balancing singing too loudly and dying, with not getting a mate.
What about evidence that shows there were many female songbirds than previously thought.

The current view is that competition for partners led to the evolution of bright colours and a loud song in males, together with substantial sex differences in the brain while the need to avoid predators led to relatively unobtrusive female birds with camouflage colours. Riebel: "Our study disputes the general validity of this view by showing that a) singing female songbirds are very widespread and b) both the females and the males of the ancestors of all modern songbirds must have had song. This means that the preference of females for singing males cannot have been the first and foremost reason for the evolution of song. This is a starting point for alternative scenarios, that so far have not been taken into consideration in birdsong research." - See more at: http://news.leiden.edu...

Do you this research is valid, or tainted with a feminist slant?

You claimed: "there really is no rhyme or reason for it other than a mating call, and possibly for territorial purposes. But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose"

Ignoring, for the moment, the misuse of the term "evidently", the point of my post, is that being exposed to danger do not necessarily outweigh the benefit; I could do exactly the same sort of explanation for birdsong for territorial purposes, and I explained potential mechanisms by which such dangerous behavior can have a positive evolutionary effect (IE: not be eliminated and in many cases encouraged due to net gain from that behavior).

Now; if you are arguing that the evolutionary origins of bird song aren't massively well understood; I would agree. However, given the complexity of game theory, and that exposure to dangerous behaviors can show in many cases a positive net benefit of such behaviors in a wide spectrum of examples seems to indicate that a plausible explanation being possible isn't unreasonable.

Indeed sexual selection of things such as plumage, mating battles and conflict is a great explanation for something that fits your same logic as "the dangers evidently outweigh the benefit" .

Importantly, however, the rules, benefits and statistics of sexual selection (or indeed territorial disputes) when applied to females could very well have similar effects, though potentially in different ways.

Your argument seems to be stating that this sort of net gain cannot be a justification because females sing; however this relies on the unfounded implication that no such competitive statistical benefits gained directly or indirectly from dangerous behavior could ever apply to females. If you don't make that assumption then the same sort of statistical gain from the behavior may still be valid (although my explanation that it applies only to males while faulty as a complete explanation; is still likely an element of the equation).

You see, Roderick, that natural selection, specifically in terms of the statistics of is about the net gain given by a trait, while elements of that trait may be negative and may statistically cause direct negative gain; the indirect gains from that trait may significantly outweigh it.

In terms of Bird Song, to establish that it can be positively selected for, one most calculate the statistical sum of all net gains, and all net losses from that trait and show that it is a positive gain; to establish that it cannot be positively selected for and thus show an issue for evolution, one must perform that calculation and show that it is negative.

While a direct negative gain can be established for bird song a significant number of indirect net gains can also be associated with it too; and while the specific values of each one, and their relative importance are difficult to establish; to establish that there are such net gains, and that they could be significant isn't particularly difficult.

Now, you claimed that "the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose".

Given that you have used the words "evidently", could you please summarize the relative predation rates caused by bird song, and combined this with a complete list of indirect gains that generally occur in sexual and other selective mechanisms including a justification as to why other known statistical benefits can be reasonably precluded.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,476
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1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Yeah - "for glory and for beauty".

I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

Of course, when you really think it through, there's not the slightest natural reason why there should be any life on earth at all. Why don't we look like all the other barren balls out there? Because somebody put something here, is the obvious answer, in my opinion.
This space for rent.
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/8/2016 7:42:10 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

I remember watching a penguin movie several years ago too. The one with the little kid penguin who could tap dance to modern music that the penguins could miraculously sing. It was an awesome anti-evolution movie two because how could penguins have evolved the ability to speak English or sing modern music they have never heard if it wasn't for divine intervention.
v3nesl
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1/8/2016 8:25:29 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 7:42:10 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

I remember watching a penguin movie several years ago too. The one with the little kid penguin who could tap dance to modern music that the penguins could miraculously sing. It was an awesome anti-evolution movie two because how could penguins have evolved the ability to speak English or sing modern music they have never heard if it wasn't for divine intervention.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com...
This space for rent.
kevin24018
Posts: 1,816
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1/8/2016 9:33:14 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
why do fools fall in love?

omg can't believe I was the first to post that, I win!

but actually it is why do birds sing so gay but yeah I win.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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1/8/2016 9:57:15 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Yeah - "for glory and for beauty".

I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

Of course, when you really think it through, there's not the slightest natural reason why there should be any life on earth at all. Why don't we look like all the other barren balls out there? Because somebody put something here, is the obvious answer, in my opinion.

Excluding, for the moment; your complete discounting of most science on the subject of life; the "life is beautiful" argument is actually relatively fatuous.

For example, penguins life cycle is beautiful and elegant... until you see one getting eaten by a leopard seal.

This is what is called "Cherry picking".

Some aspects of life are beautiful. Like the elegant gazelle prancing along the african Savanna. Some of it are not, like that Savage gazelle being ripped open and eaten by a pack of hyenas.

Butterflies are beautiful and elegant creatures, unless you look super closely at them, or unless you're looking at a catepillar being eaten from the inside out by Parasitoid wasp lavae.

Baby lion cubs are cute, and make you go awww; until the parent lion dies, in which case another male comes in and most likely kills the babies.

Life is only beautiful, if you ignore all the ways it is not. In reality, it is horrific, vile, in most cases disgusting affair, repeat with more pain, suffering, terror and harm than one would ever wish to see.

Life is not beautiful when you're living on the edge, and isn't for a great many people to whom don't have the benefit of living in a pampered civilization with the time and energy to reflect on the nature of the world.

To presume that the beauty of nature is there for us, one must also presume that the horrors are there for us too. There is far more horror than there is beauty, so without cherry picking, or special pleading, the only conclusion one can really draw is that the intelligent designer really doesn't like us very much.
chui
Posts: 507
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1/10/2016 10:52:24 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/8/2016 4:38:00 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 1/8/2016 3:55:17 PM, chui wrote:
At 1/7/2016 7:52:25 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
But the dangers evidently outweigh the desired purpose, and according to natural selection the singing should have been eliminated or never a habit.

So how do birds survive if they endanger themselves by singing. Are bird populations on a continuous decline? I assume you do not accept natural selection so no need to bring that into the discussion. I am just interested in how you explain the continued existence of birds despite their suicidal habits.
That's a good question.

As you may have guessed, I take an intelligent design stance. Specifically as a Christian, I believe all things, including songbirds are designed for God's pleasure. So I don't rule out a certain level of unseen (or divine) protection for songbirds (as well any and all of God's creation) takes place. In a way I think we're both in the same boat (I assume you take the evolution stance). The fact of the matter is, in spite of the obvious dangers that could have potentially wiped many of these birds out, they seem to flourish. We can't deny that they are still here....and in abundance.

If you look at that article I posted a few posts up, the mystery of the songbirds is assumed to have an evolutionary answer even if it's not yet known. The singing of birds is a mystery with only partial answers (seeking a mate, territorial rights). So where one might say I'm just settling for "Goddidit", I may say the same type of fallback "evolutiondidit" applies.

So your argument against natural selection is that we cannot rule out the possibility of divine intervention. Just to be clear, you do not accept that bird song must have a benefit otherwise birds would be extinct. Therefore you reject the notion that the world operates by natural laws alone that man can determine by observation, experiment and rational thought. You are in favour of understanding the world using both natural and supernatural thought. Would this represent your view?

This is to me the big distinction between, as you succinctly put it, the 'Goddidit' and 'evolutiondidit' position. My view is based upon the assumption that the world operates by natural laws that are constant and predictable where-as your's includes the unknowable such as the divine, miracles etc.

To me this means that intelligent design cannot claim to be scientific, not entirely. Would you agree?
RuvDraba
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1/10/2016 4:55:54 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture?

Function can be used to more than one benefit, Roderick. For example, our arms can lift things, push things, bend and break things, ward us from injury, help us climb, make shapes to communicate, and hug for comfort.

Many species make sound to communicate, but such communication can produce more than one benefit. It's a low-danger way of claiming territory, but can also be used to communicate the presence of food or danger, reconnect with a flock that might be scattered at night by the need to find safe shelter to rest, and coordinate other activity, it can attract mates with promises of strength and health, and might simply reflect the mental state of the animal. But male birds tend to sing more than female birds, and will often sing longer, harder and more complex songs -- and some species are capable of learning and improvising songs. So whatever benefit accrues -- whether to individual, flock or species -- the burden isn't being shared evenly.

[In other matters, Roderick, you posted some responses a week ago -- perhaps to the Religion forum -- which I'm afraid I lost from my feed while traveling, and have been unable to find them. If you'd like a response to those posts, please reply again with a bump, so I can find them. :D]
v3nesl
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1/11/2016 3:11:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/8/2016 9:57:15 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Yeah - "for glory and for beauty".

I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

Of course, when you really think it through, there's not the slightest natural reason why there should be any life on earth at all. Why don't we look like all the other barren balls out there? Because somebody put something here, is the obvious answer, in my opinion.

Excluding, for the moment; your complete discounting of most science on the subject of life; the "life is beautiful" argument is actually relatively fatuous.


First of all, I don't discount ANY science on the subject. I just don't take opinion or guesses for science.

But the "why do we find beauty in a bird song" question is getting to the heart of the matter. Questions about human experience are the interesting questions. There are higher questions, don't get me wrong, but questions about human experience are important - questions about the technology enabling life, those are really just fun and games.
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Ramshutu
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1/11/2016 3:17:40 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 3:11:41 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/8/2016 9:57:15 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/8/2016 7:02:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/7/2016 2:14:33 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
What benefit derives from birds singing in the evolution big picture? Other than maybe male birds attracting female birds, or singing somehow benefiting within their clan, what purpose does it serve in relationship to other species including predators?

Yeah - "for glory and for beauty".

I remember watching that penguin movie several years ago, and apparently penguins are able to pick out their mate by their song when they come back from the swimming part of their cycle, so that's a purpose. But that movie was an awesome anti-evolution movie, whether the makers realized it or not - a species living on the hairy edge of survival on a sterile ice cap, and surviving by an extraordinary and complex life cycle. Their existence can only be for someone's delight, not to fill any niche.

Of course, when you really think it through, there's not the slightest natural reason why there should be any life on earth at all. Why don't we look like all the other barren balls out there? Because somebody put something here, is the obvious answer, in my opinion.

Excluding, for the moment; your complete discounting of most science on the subject of life; the "life is beautiful" argument is actually relatively fatuous.


First of all, I don't discount ANY science on the subject. I just don't take opinion or guesses for science.

Aside from Taxonomy, Embryology, Genetics and physics; together with their particular conclusions based on evidence (which are neither opinion, nor guesses), to start with, I find it curious that if you don't take opinion or guesses for science, you should be able to do more than state:

Because somebody put something here, is the obvious answer, in my opinion.

to support your position.

But the "why do we find beauty in a bird song" question is getting to the heart of the matter. Questions about human experience are the interesting questions. There are higher questions, don't get me wrong, but questions about human experience are important - questions about the technology enabling life, those are really just fun and games.

As I said with the remainder of my post, to ignore the horror of nature is to ignore any evidence that goes against your position. Which was primarily the point of my previous post. One cannot form an argument from the beauty of nature and ignore all the contradictory evidence that seems to make it clear that life is not beautiful at all.
v3nesl
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1/11/2016 3:24:16 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/10/2016 10:52:24 AM, chui wrote:
...

So your argument against natural selection is that we cannot rule out the possibility of divine intervention.

I can't speak for Roderick, obviously, but I'm pretty sure that in the context of a science forum, the issue is simply intervention, not divine intervention. Did somebody put that cup on the shelf, or do we need to look for some other event that bounced it off the table and onto the shelf. And note, in this example intervention is the parsimonious explanation. We think life is of the same sort.

Just to be clear, you do not accept that bird song must have a benefit otherwise birds would be extinct.

Again, my opinion here - obviously it has a benefit, it just seems necessarily exotic. Shaking a bag of rocks would have produced some less elegant technology.


This is to me the big distinction between, as you succinctly put it, the 'Goddidit' and 'evolutiondidit' position. My view is based upon the assumption that the world operates by natural laws that are constant and predictable

Note first of all that you 'assume'. Yes, you do, because you cannot prove this. So good for you for realizing this, many people can't get this.

But clearly natural law is not sufficient. It can't explain the big bang, for instance. What you elucidate here is actually flat earth thinking - what I observe in my local frame of reference must be the way it is everywhere. But clearly that can't be the case - it can't have been natural law that made natural law, or else natural law is self existent, which is no better than believing in a self existent God. The thing is, there is no comprehensible "explanation of everything" that is available to us humans. So pick your poison, but don't pretend you have a comprehensive worldview.


To me this means that intelligent design cannot claim to be scientific, not entirely. Would you agree?

How about thinking about whether it's true or not?
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v3nesl
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1/11/2016 6:44:59 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 3:17:40 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

As I said with the remainder of my post, to ignore the horror of nature is to ignore any evidence that goes against your position. Which was primarily the point of my previous post. One cannot form an argument from the beauty of nature and ignore all the contradictory evidence that seems to make it clear that life is not beautiful at all.

I'm fairly sure you're misunderstanding my point, and I can't really guess at what straw man you've made up in your mind.

Both beauty and horror make the same point that I did actually make. Why should life be either beautiful or horrible? Evolved life would simply be what it is. Evolution proceeds by both reproduction and failure. There is no natural selection without death. So why should death be horrible? No, moral judgments about life must come from somewhere else entirely. How is it that humans have ideas about life being different than it is? How can that possibly be, when this ecosystem is the only one that anybody has ever experienced? (Just try pondering that for a minute, before you try to fit it into some pigeonhole in your mind, or worse yet, try to 'refute' it)

And btw, this argument doesn't really attempt to refute evolution. It merely does what many IDers point out - that Darwinian evolution alone is not sufficient to explain all of life. There must be more to it than that. I personally go further to think that Darwinian evolution is 99% technical gibberish that should just be discarded, but many ID thinkers would debate that fiercely with me. Ya gotta open your minds, you evos, is what I'm saying. What happened, happened. Wouldn't you like to know what happened, instead of winning web debates?
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Ramshutu
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1/11/2016 7:40:17 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 6:44:59 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/11/2016 3:17:40 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

As I said with the remainder of my post, to ignore the horror of nature is to ignore any evidence that goes against your position. Which was primarily the point of my previous post. One cannot form an argument from the beauty of nature and ignore all the contradictory evidence that seems to make it clear that life is not beautiful at all.

I'm fairly sure you're misunderstanding my point, and I can't really guess at what straw man you've made up in your mind.

Both beauty and horror make the same point that I did actually make. Why should life be either beautiful or horrible? Evolved life would simply be what it is. Evolution proceeds by both reproduction and failure. There is no natural selection without death. So why should death be horrible? No, moral judgments about life must come from somewhere else entirely. How is it that humans have ideas about life being different than it is? How can that possibly be, when this ecosystem is the only one that anybody has ever experienced? (Just try pondering that for a minute, before you try to fit it into some pigeonhole in your mind, or worse yet, try to 'refute' it)

It's not a straw man; it's EXACTLY what you've argued.

Their existence can only be for someone's delight not to fill any niche..

How can this statement be construed to imply anything other than that the systems delight us? Obviously, in this case, pointing out that it is also horrific and disgusting, so you can't really state that at all, is not a straw man.

Obviously, you can change your argument after the fact to be not that life delights us, but that it illicits ANY sort of aesthetic reaction is something you can do but that's a completely different argument.

Now, if an organism can't possibly evolve the ability to make aesthetic judgements; your argument may make sense; if it can evolve; then the question answers itself:

How can evolution produce something that can be aestethically judged? Because it can also produce things that can make aesthetic judgements!

Your argument and the way you are presenting it now is therefore as follows:

How can the product of evolution be adjudged by something that cannot be a product of evolution. It can't; therefore evolution is false.

That is circular reasoning because you are already assuming something can't evolve in your justification as to why something can't evolve!

You see, when you accuse someone of a fallacy, it's common courtesy to provide a justification as to why.

And btw, this argument doesn't really attempt to refute evolution. It merely does what many IDers point out - that Darwinian evolution alone is not sufficient to explain all of life. There must be more to it than that. I personally go further to think that Darwinian evolution is 99% technical gibberish that should just be discarded, but many ID thinkers would debate that fiercely with me. Ya gotta open your minds, you evos, is what I'm saying. What happened, happened. Wouldn't you like to know what happened, instead of winning web debates?

Why do you always talk about Darwinism? That's been defunct for about 100 years now. It's just Evolution; references to darwinism, both technically inaccurate, and scientifically invalid as a term in the way your using it.

Why do you keep using it?
v3nesl
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1/11/2016 7:54:43 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 7:40:17 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...


Why do you always talk about Darwinism? That's been defunct for about 100 years now. It's just Evolution; references to darwinism, both technically inaccurate, and scientifically invalid as a term in the way your using it.

Why do you keep using it?

Well, since you haven't replaced Darwinism with anything, if I don't talk about Darwin's theory I won't be talking about anything at all. Which would probably make more sense, actually.
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Ramshutu
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1/11/2016 8:01:37 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 7:54:43 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/11/2016 7:40:17 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

So you agree that your argument is circular, right?


Why do you always talk about Darwinism? That's been defunct for about 100 years now. It's just Evolution; references to darwinism, both technically inaccurate, and scientifically invalid as a term in the way your using it.

Why do you keep using it?

Well, since you haven't replaced Darwinism with anything, if I don't talk about Darwin's theory I won't be talking about anything at all. Which would probably make more sense, actually.

Even the most rudimentary google search demonstrates that Darwins theory; has been replaced and supplanted with what is called "The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis".

This is a combination of Natural selection and sexual selection (which are part of but not all of Darwins theory), Mendelivian inheritance and population genetics (with their associated laws).

To call it Darwinism, misses out many key aspects of modern evolution.

Indeed, the only people who refer to "Darwinism" are Creationists; the same with "Evolutionism". Indeed, this appears only to be a pejorative rhetorical phrase to try and imply that it is a faith based "ism", rather than actually show any of that to be true.
v3nesl
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1/11/2016 9:05:07 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 8:01:37 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/11/2016 7:54:43 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/11/2016 7:40:17 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

So you agree that your argument is circular, right?


You'd have to get the argument first before deciding if it's circular or not. Forget about it - I'm sure Roderick understood me, and it's not something that's of interest to you.


Why do you always talk about Darwinism? That's been defunct for about 100 years now. It's just Evolution; references to darwinism, both technically inaccurate, and scientifically invalid as a term in the way your using it.

Why do you keep using it?

Well, since you haven't replaced Darwinism with anything, if I don't talk about Darwin's theory I won't be talking about anything at all. Which would probably make more sense, actually.

Even the most rudimentary google search demonstrates that Darwins theory; has been replaced and supplanted with what is called "The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis".

This is a combination of Natural selection and sexual selection (which are part of but not all of Darwins theory), Mendelivian inheritance and population genetics (with their associated laws).


Right - so you've left out half of Darwin's mechanism (mutation) and tried to conflate evolution with genetics, which is pre-existing information. So you've not added anything to Darwin's theory, nor have you replaced it with anything. You're just dancing. You got nothing under the hood and you're trying to hide this fact with terminology. Classic "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bs"

Indeed, the only people who refer to "Darwinism" are Creationists; the same with "Evolutionism". Indeed, this appears only to be a pejorative rhetorical phrase to try and imply that it is a faith based "ism", rather than actually show any of that to be true.

No, sorry, no pejorative, just an attempt to hold on to a slippery eel. And why are you so slippery, so reluctant to be pinned down on precise mechanisms?
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Ramshutu
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1/11/2016 9:33:10 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 9:05:07 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/11/2016 8:01:37 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/11/2016 7:54:43 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/11/2016 7:40:17 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

So you agree that your argument is circular, right?


You'd have to get the argument first before deciding if it's circular or not. Forget about it - I'm sure Roderick understood me, and it's not something that's of interest to you.

I outlined both your original, and new argument and exactly what they meant and the only way they could be interpreted. How am I wrong? Please explain how I have misinterpreted what you mean in either case.

I suspect that the fact you didn't point out how obviously wrong my interpretation is (you know, like I do every time you commit a straw man, equivocate or completely misrepresent the data or my position), you can't actually explain how I misconstrued or misrepresented your position.

Obviously, not without actually change your argument like you did in your previous reply.


Why do you always talk about Darwinism? That's been defunct for about 100 years now. It's just Evolution; references to darwinism, both technically inaccurate, and scientifically invalid as a term in the way your using it.

Why do you keep using it?

Well, since you haven't replaced Darwinism with anything, if I don't talk about Darwin's theory I won't be talking about anything at all. Which would probably make more sense, actually.

Even the most rudimentary google search demonstrates that Darwins theory; has been replaced and supplanted with what is called "The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis".

This is a combination of Natural selection and sexual selection (which are part of but not all of Darwins theory), Mendelivian inheritance and population genetics (with their associated laws).


Right - so you've left out half of Darwin's mechanism (mutation) and tried to conflate evolution with genetics, which is pre-existing information. So you've not added anything to Darwin's theory, nor have you replaced it with anything. You're just dancing. You got nothing under the hood and you're trying to hide this fact with terminology. Classic "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bs"

Darwinism, as established by Darwins Theory on Evolution outlined in the origin of species is:

- Natural Selection
- Random variations in an organism (NOT mutations as they are defined now).
- Sexual selection.
- Gradualism

Evolution is now a combination of:

- Natural Selection
- Sexual selection
- Genetic inheritance from Mendel.
- Population genetics (statistical laws concerning the methods on which organisms can evolve)
- Modern genetics, operative selection mechanisms, and non-selective random variation
- Mutation mechanisms via modern genetics.
- Evolutionary development, and the methods of generating change via developmental changes.
- Cladistics and associated phylogeny
- Speciation
- Non gradualism.

So, while you assert that "Nothing has been added to darwinism", this is demonstrably untrue as modern evolution has entirely new processes, overturned the way darwin viewed inheritance; has added statistical methodology; has been aligned to discovery in genetics AND in taxonomy; has overturned Darwins view on how inheritance works, AND tied all these to all these processes to to the established facts that have been discovered over the last 150 years.

While you also assert "it hasn't been replaced with anything", this is again demonstrably untrue; as it has been replaced with a cohesive framework of explanations that include genetic drift, population mechanics, speciation, updated methods of inheritance down to the genetic level, and a differing view on the methods and mechanisms of how those changes come about.

I would recommend you stop simply throwing out assertions and start justifying your position, because everything you just said in that last reply is factually untrue; and you know it's untrue.

Indeed, the only people who refer to "Darwinism" are Creationists; the same with "Evolutionism". Indeed, this appears only to be a pejorative rhetorical phrase to try and imply that it is a faith based "ism", rather than actually show any of that to be true.

No, sorry, no pejorative, just an attempt to hold on to a slippery eel. And why are you so slippery, so reluctant to be pinned down on precise mechanisms?

Yes, perjorative.

It's not a recognized scientific term when applied to modern biological evolution; considering no one in the scientific community really calls it darwinism, nor is that definition representative of modern biological evolution considering the above facts.

This refers the definition neither descriptive (as you use it to refer to ALL evolution, rather than specifically a subset); nor is it accurate (in that there is much more to evolution than darwinism).

Indeed, scientifically speaking, you have no reason to use that term; in terms of being specific in what you're talking about, you also have no reason to use that term.

So the only reason left, is that you're trying to use it rhetorically; and in the tone and frequency of it's use, the real reason is simply to be perforative. Same as "Evolutionist" or "Evolutionism".

I'm not quite sure why people like you have invented this term; one would think that if you had enough evidence against evolution, you could just rely on your evidence and appropriate terminology; rather than to try and make it seem like you have a better point by using terms like this.
v3nesl
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1/12/2016 12:55:55 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/11/2016 9:33:10 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
...

I'm not quite sure why people like you have invented this term;

Oh, I dunno, but it's probably similar to the reason capacitors are measured in Farads, or resistors in Ohms, or people refer to Newtonian mechanics.

What does it say for a field of study when people run away from the name of its founder? I think it tells you everything you need to know about the field. What a hoot, really.
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