Darwin’s conforming of his theory to the old vera causa ideal shows that the theory of natural selection is probabilistic not because it introduces a probabilistic law or principle, but because it invokes a probabilistic cause, natural selection, definable as nonfortuitous differential reproduction of hereditary variants.
There is a pretty interesting discussion going on in Noyau regarding the many definitions of “fitness” in evolutionary biology. It would be a shame for it to be lost in that particular venue here at TSZ. At the risk of being censored by the admins for posting too many OPs in one month I thought I’d start this thread.
Here’s my take so far:
Allan Miller was charged by phoodoo with resorting to different definitions of fitness. Allan denied the charge and when asked for a definition of fitness Allan provided one. Allan later stated that his definition only properly applied to asexual species.
Others chimed in to say that the definition of fitness depends on the context, which hardly seems to contradict what phoodoo was saying.
My own position is that fitness has its definition within a particular mathematical framework. My position is also that fitness can be defined generically but that such a definition is tautological. Special definitions of fitness are required to make the concept testable.
Here’s hoping we can move the discussion about fitness out of Noyau.
I received my copy of Theistic Evolution today. The book contains three chapters dedicated to skepticism of universal common ancestry. As common descent seems to be a hot topic here lately I thought I’d read those chapters first and offer comments and invite responses.
I’ll start with Chapter 12, authored by Paul Nelson, which carries the title: Five Questions Everyone Should Ask about Common Descent. The five questions are as follows:
1. If species were not connected by common descent, how would we know it?
2. What were the actual transformation pathways, satisfying the continuity rule, which connect all organisms to LUCA?
3. Have we genuinely tested UCD, or merely assumed its truth?
4. When explaining the history of life, have we assumed methodological naturalism only, or have we allowed for the possibility of intelligent design?
5. In the light of intelligent design as a causal possibility, what histories for life on earth might be the case?
As usual, I don’t expect anyone else here to actually read this book because, you know, it just isn’t skeptical enough.
Because evolution proves that God does not exist. Except when it doesn’t.
In June 2004, the science historian Frank Sulloway and I began a month-long expedition to retrace Charles Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos Islands. It turned out to be one of the most physically grueling experiences of my life…
– Shermer, Michael. Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.
Just like taking a pilgrimage. All hail Darwin.
Any other Darwin worshipers here who have taken the Darwin pilgrimage?
What motivated you to try to retrace the footsteps of your master?
High-level debates in evolutionary biology often treat the Modern Synthesis as a framework of population genetics, or as an intellectual lineage with a changing distribution of beliefs. Unfortunately, these flexible notions, used to negotiate decades of innovations, are now thoroughly detached from their historical roots in the original Modern Synthesis (OMS), a falsifiable scientific theory.
I promised John Harshman for several months that I would start a discussion about common design vs. common descent, and I’d like to keep my word to him as best as possible.
Strictly the speaking common design and common descent aren’t mutually exclusive, but if one invokes the possibility of recent special creation of all life, the two being mutually exclusive would be inevitable.
If one believes in a young fossil record (YFR) and thus likely believes life is young and therefore recently created, then one is a Young Life Creationist (YLC). YEC (young earth creationists) are automatically YLCs but there are a few YLCs who believe the Earth is old. So evidence in favor of YFR is evidence in favor of common design over common descent.
One can assume for the sake of argument the mainstream geological timelines of billions of years on planet Earth. If that is the case, special creation would have to happen likely in a progressive manner. I believe Stephen Meyer and many of the original ID proponents like Walter Bradley were progressive creationists.
I have promised that I will try to falsify the evolutionary theory by performing some simple experiments, as many of Darwin’s faithful on this blog have been really reluctant to do or even to suggest such an experiment…
However, one video was posted on TSZ suggesting that such an experiment has already been performed by Biologist Ken Dial in a study of how young birds use their developing wings that is supposed shed light on the evolution of flight in birds.
The Origin of Flight–What Use is Half a Wing? | HHMI BioInteractive Video
Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It is the new book by physiologist J. Scott Turner, author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself.
The book may make some “skeptics” uncomfortable, but maybe they should read it anyways.
From the book:
I have come to believe that there is something presently wrong with how we scientists think about life, its existence, its origins, and its evolution.
Without a coherent theory of life, whatever we think about life doesn’t hold water. This applies to the major contribution we claim that the modern science of life offers to the popular culture: Darwinism.
… there sits at the heart of modern Darwinism an unresolved tautology that undermines its validity.
… do we have a coherent theory of evolution? The firmly settled answer to this question is supposed to be “yes” …
I intend to argue in this book that the answer to my question might actually be “no.”
Bumping around for millions of years without sight is not a problems for Richard Dawkins…Why would it be for evolution?
Question: Do not ALL (systems involved in seeing and processing image) have to be working (fully functional) for the eye to receive and process vision? (or something like that)
Answer Richard Dawkins: It is a bit a fallacy because 1/4 of an eye or a100th of an eye is better than nothing…
Please watch the video as my keyboard can’t handle the rest of this Dawkins’ nonsense…
!8 mysteries to go…
Coevolutionary algorithms approach problems for which no function for evaluating potential solutions is present or known. Instead, algorithms rely on the aggregation of outcomes from interactions among evolving entities in order to make selection decisions. Given the lack of an explicit yardstick, understanding the dynamics of coevolutionary algorithms, judging whether a given algorithm is progressing, and designing effective new algorithms present unique challenges unlike those faced by optimization or evolutionary algorithms. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a foundational understanding of coevolutionary algorithms and to highlight critical theoretical and empirical work done over the last two decades. This chapter outlines the ends and means of coevolutionary algorithms: what they are meant to find, and how they should find it.
Handbook of Natural Computing
It turns out that professor Larry Moran of the University of Toronto agrees with Craig Venter. Thanks to Allan Miller, I discovered a blog on a similar theme at sandawalk link here
This is what professor Moran says about the video (his video is 42 min long):
” Everything that Ventor says is correct. He didn’t need to quibble about the universality of the genetic code but it’s true that there are variants.”
“I’m pretty sure that Dawkins doesn’t agree (in reference to video) with those who question whether there’s a tree of life. One of the most profound implications of the net of life is that it’s consistent with several independent origins of life that preceded the rise of a modern genetic code and contributed to existing species. In other words, there may not be a single LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). Dawkins does not like that. It’s not what he says on the lecture circuit.” (my emphasis)
There is probably no one in the world of biology today as respected as Craig Venter.
Well, his achievements are indeed great including being involved with sequencing the human genome and assembled the first team to transfect a cell with a synthetic chromosome, which some even went as far as calling the creation of artificial life…
Now apparently, he is involved in the anti-aging research…no surprise here…he is 70 and would like reach immortality like the jellyfish…Who can blame him…He is an atheist…
However, his also known for what some would call radical statements such as denying the common descent which is the very foundation of evolutionary theory…
“Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor. Common ancestry between organisms of different species apparently arises during speciation, in which new species are established from a single ancestral population. Organisms which share a more recent common ancestor are apparently closely related.” –Wiki
The apparent common descent of all organisms on earth doesn’t agree with Craig Venter’s research… Continue reading
My kids just informed me that they have seen an okapi evolving, or transitioning into a zebra…
Okapi’s stripes appear to be no doubt the same as zebra’s…
Well, at least we have one example of species transitioning into another…out of 10 billion and this one looks like a stunner….
I have to run!
I’ll fill in the rest when I get back…
It turns out that okapi is considered to be more closely related to giraffe than to zebra…if at all…That is surprising…because okapi and zebra do look alike just okapi is missing some stripes…No wonder my kids fell for it…as did some experts…
“…The okapi and the giraffe were assigned to the same order (Artiodactyla) because they both have cloven hooves, and to the same family (Giraffidae) because they share certain distinctive features: Both have large eyes and ears, thin lips and a long, extensible tongue that allows them to lick their entire face (even the ears); their backs slope upward from rump to withers; they also share the same dental formula: ( i 0/3, c 0/1, pm 3/3, m 3/3) × 3 = 32. Both, unlike any other mammal, have molars with rugose enamel and bony horns that remain covered with skin throughout life (Nowak 1999, vol. 2, p. 1085).
Yet the rump and legs of an okapi are covered with black-and-white stripes exactly like those of a zebra. Perhaps, then, if okapis had solid hooves instead of cloven ones, they would be classified as perissodactyls (Order Perissodactyla) and would be considered more closely related to zebras than to giraffes. An okapi is about the same size as a Burchell’s zebra.
The chromosome count of an okapi is also like that of a zebra, to which it is not supposed to be related, and unlike that of a giraffe. Giraffes have 30 chromosomes (Taylor et al. 1967; Hösli and Lang 1970; Koulisher et al. 1971), whereas okapis have a variable chromosome number of 44-46, depending on the animal in question; most seem to have 2n = 45 (Ulbrich and Schmitt 1969; Hösli and Lang 1970; Koulisher 1978). The chromosome number of Grevy’s zebra is 2n = 46 and plains zebras have 2n = 44 (Benirschke and Malouf 1967). Variation in chromosome count is itself unusual among mammals, but common in hybrids…”
The 14-16 chromosome difference between giraffe and okapi is striking isn’t it?
I love books like this. Pure wonder about the living world. The beauty. The mystery. Shattering the myths of Darwinism while still clinging desperately to them.
We learn that Darwinism has retarded evolutionary thought for at least a century because the picture that Darwin gave us (which his disciples followed for over a hundred years) was false. Evolution can be tested. It can be observed within human lifetimes. It doesn’t require the infinitesimal insensible aggregations over millenia previously thought. Evolution can be really really fast. Which ought to be good news for young earth creationists.
We also learn that the oft-heard claim that degree of similarity implies degree of relatedness is false. That some species A looks very much like some species B doesn’t at all mean that they are more closely related than some other species which is visibly different.
Another nail in the coffin.
I come from the Michael Behe school if ID. I accept common descent, by which I mean universal common ancestry. It seems to be the consensus view in science, it seems reasonable to me, and I don’t have any compelling reasons to doubt it.
But could I actually defend my belief in common ancestry if asked? All living organisms share certain features in common. Organisms leave offspring. Therefore, universal common ancestry. That sounds pretty weak, I admit. I need to do better.
I don’t believe that new organisms appear out of thin air, so to speak. I accept that the organisms of today are the offspring of prior organisms. Even young earth creationists accept common descent prior to the flood and common decent after the flood, though they resist the idea of universal common ancestry. I still haven’t figured out how and where they draw the lines though, so why should I draw a line that I cannot defend. Therefore common ancestry. That still sounds pretty weak, I admit. I still need to do better.
In recent reading, Dembski and other ID proponents make the claim that evolution (or major supporting concepts for it) is increasingly being abandoned by scientists, or is about to fall. This claim has many forms and has been made for over 185 years.
It seems that some current commenters on the site are unaware of the long history of such claims.
To those commenters, I would ask – when do you predict evolution will fall?
1878: “There are some signs of this whimsical theory of Evolution soon taking another phase. Carl Vogt has given hints that perhaps they have, after all, made a mistake as to the line of descent. It may be found, he conjectures, that Man is not descended from the Ape family but from the Dog! “Other theories may soon be heard of–for the human mind is restless under the burthen of mystery.” Thomas Cooper, Evolution, The Stone Book and The Mosaic Record of Creation, (London: Hodder and Stoughton), p. 186-187
2008: “It is not too early to chart the intellectual course to the 22nd century. The 21st century may well mark a gradual disaffection with Darwinism, comparable to the 20th century’s loss of support for Marxism.” Steve Fuller, Science vs Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007, page 126
2017: “One would think that scientific, experimental evidence convinced Darwinists to change their mind… Unfortunately, just like many of my posts and comments have revealed, no such evidence has emerged…. ” TSZ
That last one there is from J-Mac, who apparently thinks evolution is on it’s deathbed but is also presumably unaware of the long long history of people making similar claims…
So, evolution denies, what year will it fall and why? What will be the final straw?
UPDATE: So far NO IDEAS as to how the theory of evolution can be falsified have been proposed…To make things worst, nobody so far picked up any of MY SUGGESTED IDEAS how to falsify evolution – now clearly numbered from 1-4.
It makes one wonder what the bases are for believing in the theory of evolution if no one seems to even want to at least try to falsify it…
Please keep in mind that by falsifying evolution you can refute many claims by the proponents of ID!!! Isn’t it what Darwin’s faithful want to do?
This OP is just a prelude to hopefully many future ones, where I would like to focus on the specific examples of how to falsify the theory of evolution…
This OP gives everyone an opportunity for the input on no doubt the many available ways how to experimentally falsify evolution…
As most of you know, Darwinists and post-Darwinists, for unknown reasons, are reluctant to experimentally prove their beliefs, so by the series of the OPs on the many possible ways of falsifying evolution, we can hopefully encourage Darwinists and the like, to do so for their own good… I could definitely help with that…
Here are some ideas on how to falsify evolution that I have come across so far:
How a walking mammal can evolve into an aquatic one?
This is one of the most fundamental mysteries of evolution and the origins of multicellular life often called endosymbiosis, which is supposed to explain the origin of eukaryotic cell.
It doesn’t! Here is why…
What I found perplexing, or even disturbing, is that although it is presented as scientific fact of evolution, as evolution itself often is, there is absolutely not one fact to support that endosybiosis happened or could have happened…
And this the fact…
How could that be?
First of all, the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell is so staggering that even proposing such quantum leap in evolutionary change goes beyond macroevolutionary claim…
Here are some facts: Continue reading
Is it a paradox or just a fluke of nature? How could a tiny jellyfish be immortal?
Here are some quick facts about the transdifferentiation process that seem to make jellyfish immortal:
Susumo Ohno (who coined the term “junkDNA”) published a paper in 1984 through the National Academy of Sciences that was used by the NCSE, Ken Miller and Dennis Venema to claim “proteins can evolve without God’s help”. At the request of John Sanford, a courtesy associate research professor at Cornell, I was recruited to write a paper to refute Ohno’s evolutionary hypothesis on nylonases. I wrote it under John’s guidance based on his intuitions about genetics, his life-long specialty of 40 years and for which he became famous as attested by the fact he is one of the few geneticists who had their work featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The actual paper is now in review, but it is not intended to be published in any journal, but will be released in a variety of channels shortly. It is hoped the material can be used by others to actually create papers that enter peer review. The motivation for releasing the paper in this way is to counter Venema’s book while it is still hot off the press.
…from: “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one”?
Welcome all after vacation!
I have been reviewing many different articles recently and it hit me like a bolt of lighting: How did materialist who promote the Darwinian theory of evolution get to spontaneous emergence of life from what Darwin himself wrote in the Origin of Species:
“There is grandeur in this [natural selection] view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved”
One would think that scientific, experimental evidence convinced Darwinists to change their mind… Unfortunately, just like many of my posts and comments have revealed, no such evidence has emerged…. So, my question is: what prompted the Darwiwnists to change the fundamental idea about the origins of life originally written by Darwin himself, if no evidence for such a change exists?