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Darwin's Myth is not "quite credible"

darwinism evolution

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#2
LovePrevails

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How about instead of telling us it was a myth, demonstrating what is wrong about it.

I am open to reason and evidence.


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#3
Wuzzums

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I remember Hitchens' phrasing when confronted with this very exact statement, I hope I'm no paraphrasing too much:

"Regarding the statement that Stephen Jay Gould didn't believe in evolution. I have no idea how I can disprove it... except by quoting any line of any paragraph he has ever written."

And even if let's say that 99.9999% of the scientists did not believe in evolution, it still doesn't mean anything. If the facts still hold then those 99.9999% are wrong. Facts aren't chosen by committee.


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"My common sense is tingling."

 


#4
ribuck

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We know that there is ongoing genetic variation in every species. We know that genetic variations are passed on to offspring. We know that there are selective environmental pressures which cause individuals with certain genetic variations to be more (or less) likely to survive and produce offspring.

Given those three pieces of knowledge, how can evolution not occur?


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#5
TheLolGuy

TheLolGuy
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I couldn't disagree more. Darwin's myth was never credible and I venture to say a large % of scientists realize this but are not willing to say so. However, many famous scientists have said so, including Stephan Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge and David Raup. Yet the charade goes on, fueled by politics--what else is new?

As for these three men, I am somewhat acquainted with the theory which they collectively argued for, namely "punctuated equilibrium". It is a theory attempting to explain the fossil record and the manner in which speciation develops. Essentially it says that speciation occurs in "fits and starts", between long periods of time of little if any change. This slightly differs from Darwin's explanation that speciation advances in a more regular and gradual pattern. But the former theory, since its first exposition in the 1970's, has also been contested by "famous scientists" such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and John Maynard Smith. It is by no means proven.

More germane to your point however, is the fact that none of the proponents of punctuated equilibrium reject the core mechanisms which Darwin investigated and explained. All of those men have in fact regularly defended Darwin and have acknowledged that even if their theory were correct, it would not debunk Darwin's entire body of work. Here's an important insight from Wikipedia:

"One reason for criticism was that Gould appeared to be presenting his ideas as a revolutionary way of understanding evolution, and argued for the importance of mechanisms other than natural selection, mechanisms which he believed had been ignored by many professional evolutionists. As a result, many non-specialists sometimes inferred from his early writings that Darwinian explanations had been proven to be unscientific (which Gould never tried to imply)."

Note that Gould was not rejecting natural selection, rather he was trying to emphasise other mechanisms which he believed were more important to the process of evolution.

Here is an excerpt from Raup's 1991 book "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?":
"The ideas I have discussed here are rather new and have not been completely tested. No matter how they come out, however, they are having a ventilating effect on thinking in evolution and the conventional dogma is being challenged. If the ideas turn out to be valid, it will mean that Darwin was correct in what he said but that he was explaining only a part of the total evolutionary picture. The part he missed was the simple element of chance! (p. 29)"

Clearly not a wholesale rejection of "Darwinism".

Regarding Eldredge, he wrote an entire book defending Darwin for his 200th birthday, called Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life.

Darwin was wrong, was always considered wrong by credible scientists including at the time of the publication of Origin, admitted fatal flaws in his "theory," yet the charade has been continued all these years.

This is just desperate slander. Are we to take it that because the theory was controversial at the time, it must be wrong? Most of the objections were from the pious who were offended that the theory refuted the popularly held belief of the time, that each animal was created individually with the care and attention of the Christian God, and that humans were not a part of nature. Of course some scientists ridiculed Darwin, many of them were themselves religious, but it is natural for a new theory in science to be viewed with scepticism. This is the process Thomas Kuhn wrote about on paradigm shifts.

Thus, because your language has been extremely misleading and combative, and has betrayed your ignorance of the topic, I cannot take your recommendation. I won't waste my time or money, they are both in short supply!
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#6
xelent

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As for these three men, I am somewhat acquainted with the theory which they collectively argued for, namely "punctuated equilibrium". It is a theory attempting to explain the fossil record and the manner in which speciation develops. Essentially it says that speciation occurs in "fits and starts", between long periods of time of little if any change. This slightly differs from Darwin's explanation that speciation advances in a more regular and gradual pattern. But the former theory, since its first exposition in the 1970's, has also been contested by "famous scientists" such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and John Maynard Smith. It is by no means proven.

As I was reading this, I was thinking this....

Clearly not a wholesale rejection of "Darwinism".


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#7
Pepin

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What is rather confusing about evolution is that the term is used to describe the genetic material changes with time producing a vast array of very different species, and it also used to describe the process by which these changes occur. You can be in full agreement that evolution occurs, but in almost complete disagreement as to the process by which it occurs.

I believe in a Dawkin's book, there was a story about how a Christian group got a Paleontologist to explicate on the faults of evolution and to provide reasons as to why it is false. The irony is that the Paleontologist agreed completely with evolution, but disagreed with the process by which evolutionists claim it occurs.

It is like if two scientists find a baseball in a toilet. They may disagree on how the baseball got there, but they both agree that there is a baseball in the toilet, and that there is a rational explanation as to how it got there.


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#8
FriendlyHacker

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If you don't know what are the evidences for it, you might call it a myth, if you know the evidences for it, you understand it's something more reliable than Newton's theory of gravitation, and also understand that, like Newton's theories, it has been revised many times over the last couple centuries.

Just because you don't understand something, it does not make it wrong, that might be how philosophy works, but in science you actually need to test your ideas and see if they match reality, having ideas is not enough you need to repeat the same experiment hundreds of times and figure out how reliable it is(margin of error). And often the least expected outcomes coming from the lab are the greatest discoveries.

Scientists don't give two shits about what people believe or not, it's either supported by evidence or it isn't. So the whole believing thing is irrelevant.


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#9
Kevin Beal

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Steven Jay Gould didn't fundamentally disagree with Darwin. He just thought that changes in environment played a larger role than changes in individual mutation with his theory of punctuated equilibrium. Same with Niles Eldridge. Never heard of David Raup so I can't comment.

But Darwin's theory extends way beyond mutation into all different kinds of selection and gradual changes in response to environment. In fact Gould's work is an extension of Darwin's.


Just because you don't understand something, it does not make it wrong, that might be how philosophy works, but in science you actually need to test your ideas and see if they match reality

It's the same for philosophy, and for the exact same reasons.

(Somebody beat me to it! I should really read threads before posting, haha.)


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#10
dsayers

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Science is an offshoot of philosophy. Originally called natural philosophy.


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#12
dsayers

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there is a very natural, observable rule called entropy that life somehow defies

Entropy doesn't have a particularly important relationship with life. Did you mean the chaos theory? The chaos theory doesn't fundamentally oppose life. It only states that you cannot make long term predictions in regards to it.

Either way, life doesn't defy this, it survives it. Bugs of a coloration that make them obvious to predators do not survive to pass on their genes, so the species becomes predominantly of a color that promotes its survival. Humans that live in higher altitudes end up with larger hearts and lungs. This takes place within the same generation. Adaptation is an inherent characteristic of life.

To say something is a matter of faith is to not seek the truth in regards to it, or to reject the truths others have established.


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#14
dsayers

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Well, the jury couldn't be out if your argument is that there's no data over which they could deliberate :P

If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that since by way of science, humans cannot create life (presumably you mean beyond their inherent capability to do so), which we understand is an emergent property of matter, then it could mean that something that has no matter and cannot effect matter created it?


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#16
TheRobin

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The entropy problem doesn't apply cause it's not a closed system (you eat food and drink and extract the leftovers). The entropy problem is solved by things of lower entropy going in and things of higher entropy being discarded (damn, I can't find a good word in the translator, sorry).

Also, giving ignorance another name (God, Higher Power) doesn't solve the problem of ignorance


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#18
ribuck

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Darrenpollock, if you think life is incompatible with the rules of entropy then you need to study entropy before contemplating life any further.

As TheRobin said, you don't have a closed system here. Every type of life takes some form of energy as its input (sunlight, food, heat, etc). If you are putting energy into a system, you can transform that system into a more ordered state.

Consider a refrigerator. We put energy into it, and change room-temperature air into cold air (inside) and warm air (around the coils at the back of the fridge). If you think life violates entropy, then so does every refrigerator.


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#19
TheLolGuy

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Irreducible complexity was proven entirely erroneous some time ago, no where more clearly than in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial (2005) which involved its originator Michael Behe. He couldn't adduce a single example of irreducible complexity and was overwhelmingly disproven by the scientific evidence.

Strange to see some people still regurgitating it but, with all due respect, it is an ignorant man's argument.
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#21
TheLolGuy

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Oh, my bad, LolGuy, I had no idea a court was now a place of scientific proof.  I guess I just need to go back to my silly fantasy of creation being designed by a creator, and you can go back to your "science" of an explosion out of nowhere creating order from the smallest quarks and leptons all the way up to solar systems and galaxies.


Yes, it can be a place of scientific proof, when the court case is centred on the attempt by intelligent design proponents to insert one of their arguments into a schools biology curriculum. Behe et al had to prove in this case that irreducible complexity was scientifically sound before it could be included in a science class and was shown to be, by qualified scientists who cited scientific evidence, to be completely incorrect.

I don't know what "silly fantasies" you subscribe to or what ad hominems you are referring to, all I was replying to was irreducible complexity and referenced a source which disproves it. Unless you can provide an example of irreducible complexity, which no one, not even Michael Behe, has done.

As for the big bang, I've never pretended to entirely understand it, neither have I tried to supplant my ignorance with the word "God". It is the religious who claim to know how the universe began and what the creator desires of his subjects. That to me is the ultimate condescension and vanity.
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#22
Kevin Beal

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Watch out for the sticky web of projection. You don't wanna get caught up in it. You could get poisoned and then eventually you're hollowed out. But it's hard because that web is really damn sticky. The spider hides, showing only an elaborate pattern and in a flash you get spun up and bound.

"Funny how the most faithful atheists still need to resort to ad hominen attacks"

"Wow, that might be oversimplifying things a bit, huh?"

"how absolutely ignorant of you to pretend to know everything"

These are the spider's signal lines, and when those get tripped the spider comes out to snack. But the spider doesn't just kill it's prey, it paralyzes it and corrodes it from the inside, torturing it in just about the worst way possible.

If a spider can't find bugs to eat, it goes elsewhere.

It's just doing what god designed it to ;)


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#23
ribuck

ribuck

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Ribuk, so a refrigerator is on par with the Universe?   Wow, that might be oversimplifying things a bit, huh? 
So if we put energy into a refrigerator to get work (order) out, then who put energy into the Universe to start that process?

I'll be happy to discuss "the universe" when we've finished discussing life and entropy.

Your statement was: "I have a hard time myself discrediting the idea of a higher power when there is a very natural, observable rule called entropy that life somehow defies."

I showed you how life does not defy entropy any more than a refrigerator does. Can I therefore assume that you no longer "have a hard time discrediting the idea of a higher power"?


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#25
dsayers

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I'm truly glad that we can have this discussion with relatively few attacks of "ignorance" and the like.

Your posts have had a fair amount of sarcasm in them. This is confusing to me. Even before I began to study philosophy, I watched as people got downright mean with each other arguing over the origins of life. What confused me most is that whether I came from retard fish frogs or something created me, it doesn't effect my daily life. So I question people's desire for this information one way or another when it leads them to mistreating other people. It just seems as if the latter is well within our reach and far more productive and important than where we were thousands or billions of years ago.


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#26
ribuck

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Ribuk, again, a refrigerator is a simple machine.  Life is just a bit more complex.

You claimed that life "defies" entropy, implying that life cannot decrease disorder. The refrigerator example illustrates the universal principle that order can increase when there is external energy input.

If you don't think that this principle is universal (and therefore applicable to life), please state to which aspect of "life" it is inapplicable, and we can discuss that aspect. A vague sarcastic comment like "Life is just a bit more complex" isn't useful in a serious discussion.

where did the first single-cell organisms get their organelles from?

Once you retract your claim that life defies entropy, we can look at this new question of yours. The science is not 100% settled as to how this DID happen, but there are sound theories and good evidence as to how it CAN happen.

Even Darwin stated, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

So go for it! Demonstrate this, and you will have broken Darwin's theory.

It's a mark of Darwin's intellectual honesty that he stated this. It's telling that you started your sentence with the word "Even" in the quote above. Your implication is that Darwin was trying to push a viewpoint rather than to seek the truth. This may be a case of projection.


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#27
FriendlyHacker

FriendlyHacker

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Entropy is only a problem if you try to understand it from a philosophical point of view, try to understand it from an engineering point of view and you will see how both the human body and a combustion engine work fundamentally the same way.


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#29
ribuck

ribuck

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My whole point is, you have to have a certain amount of faith in science the same as religion.  Neither can explain the origins of the universe or the origins of life.

Religion says "Here is a story about the origins of life, for you to accept on faith. Other religions have different stories, for their adherents to accept on faith". Science says "Here's the story that is best supported by the currently available evidence. If better evidence comes to light, we'll refine the story."


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#30
dsayers

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I always thought that atheists might be more open-minded than most religious zealots

You haven't made the case for "open-minded" being virtuous or beneficial. If I accept that 2+2 != 5, it's not because I'm closed-minded. Nor would being open-minded be of any use.

You know, I'm having a hard time reading what you're saying over that which you're not saying. You're basically just making your opening statement again and ignoring a LOT of challenging counterpoints. I asked you before to clarify an argument you were making and all you said was that you dare not speak of the properties of God. I think I made a fantastic point about how to treat others being more important and readily available than determining the origins of life, yet here you are favoring the origins of life, which you believe cannot be known, over not mistreating others.
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#32
Wesley

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1. Violence is abusive

2. Threats of violence elicit a similar response in the body as actual violence

3. Common law considers threats of violence to also be crimes

4. Threats of violence are abusive

5. Religion threatens violence through the eternal torture of hell

6. Religion threats violence against children

7. Religion that meets these requirements is child abuse

8. Religion endorses verbally or physically abusing children to scare Satan out of them if they question the church

9. Religion that meets these requirements is child abuse

10. People who tell things that are false and pretend that they are true are committing fraud

11. God does not exist

12. God's non-existence is easily verified through empirical evidence or a simple Google search for the logic

13. There is no excuse for not knowing that God does not exist and through empiricism, everyone knows God does not exist

14. Parents who tell their children that God exists are committing fraud

15. Children in a parent's home have no choice but to believe their parents

16. This could potentially be argued to be abusive

17. Spanking is assault and abusive

18. Parents who spank children are committing child abuse

19. Religion is highly correlated with spanking

20. Religious people are more likely to be child abusers than people not inflicting irrationality on their children when they aask questions

21. God often advocated slaying innocent children, men, women, and slaves

22. Many passages in the Bible advocate child abuse

I could attack this from more angles I am sure, and it is possible that not all of my sections have perfect logic, but it should provide some substantiation that religion (in general, at least) is abusive.

I also know from my personal experience (with a very progressive church) that many things I witnessed and experienced were abusive. That adds a tad bit more of anecdotal evidence.

Feel free to tell me which ones I may have messed up on.


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#33
ribuck

ribuck

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Ribuk, the Bible's creation story is largely allegorical and extremely vague.  So vague, in fact, that if it didn't mention that God was doing it, you could easily resolve it with what science knows (not construes) as fact.

There are two contradictory creation myths in the bible: the one at the start of Genesis, and the one starting at Genesis 2:4. So it's already not possible to "resolve them with what science knows". The two accounts don't even agree as to whether animals or humans were created first, or whether Eve came from Adam's rib or was just created from fresh molecules.

It makes no sense to attempt to reconcile these stories with science.


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#34
dsayers

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If you had said that treating others is more important than the origins of life, I whole-heartedly agree with that. ... It is hard for me to keep up with what all you Molyneux fanboys throw at me


Calling somebody a Molyneux fanboy is marginalizing them so that you can disregard what they say without having to consider it. It's reducing somebody to a label so that you can pretend they're not a person. This is not the first such infraction you've made in this thread. How then can you claim that treating others well is more important than the origins of life when you're using the origins of life as an excuse to mistreat others?

Oh and I had said this already.
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#35
weeb

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The name of a particular theory or idea is irrelevant to the observations that have been made.  These observations are measurable and can be found consistently throughout nature.  For example, Darwin's observation of species mutation and selection, Hubble's measurement of the expanding universe, the COBE background radiation measurement, and radio isotope dating are all irrefutable, measurements that have been put through the rigor of testing that the scientific method demands.  In supporting the BB, these observations were not sought out to prove it as such.

It is important that children be exposed to the periodic table and the math needed to understand it.  It is quite hard to understand these things without high-level math (calculus, etc), which many of us do not use, and therefore do not know.  Also, if you never had chemistry, the periodic table probably never came up.  However, we must understand the fundamentals of matter in so far as to say what exists and what does not.

While it may be worrisome to take a bunch of often statist, atheist, scientists' word for it, math has no confirmation bias.  Math is the most precise human language ever invented.  If these observations can be shown mathematically, which they are, then you have to work with what is known.  Go with the flow.


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