Recently, I have been awestruck by the statement of one of the “reputable” regulars at TSZ that evolutionary theory doesn’t need to be subjected to any experimental testing or experimental verification…
How do you like that?
He erroneously used the famous experiment that verified Einstein’s prediction of gravity’s ability to bend light. Here are the details:
See? Experiments don’t need to be run in the lab, and they can still be valid experiments.
While this kind of statement is nothing new to me that Darwinists deny or ignore the need for the experimental verification of their evolutionary claims, on the other hand, they demand ID to be subjected to the scientific method processes for their claims to be verified…Hypocrisy at its best…
So, why can’t evolution be tested?
For those who are not well familiarized with the scientific method, it is probably a good idea to review some of the requirements of the scientific theory, or hypothesis, just to realize what an impossible task Darwinists would face even if they would like to verify their evolutionary speculations by experiments… While the definitions of the scientific method vary slightly depending on where you look, most scientific methods of a theory or a hypothesis need to meet the 3 main criteria:
- It needs to be observable (one kind of animal evolving into another: organs in transition, the third hand evolving to hold the cellphone while I’m driving)
- It needs to make accurate predictions (If we tweak this gene this is going to begin to evolve, such as a change the body plans from 5 pound land walking animal to 50 ton whale)
- It needs to be replicated by experiments (bacteria without a flagellum put under selective pressure to evolve something resembling a flagellum or a propeller…
Anyone who has been following TSZ and my OPs knows that my calling on the supporters of evolution to help their belief system to meet the criteria of a scientific theory or scientific hypothesis is not new… The public admission by some that evolution doesn’t need to be subjected to experimental testing reached the new, unacceptable levels of ignorance by Darwinists, especially in the view of their arrogant insistence that ID would be subjected to experimental testing to be proven as a scientific theory or hypothesis…
Darwinists either don’t know, or choose not to know, but if they subjected evolution to experimental testing they could prove their theory or hypothesis right and, at the same time, ID wrong…
So, why not do it?
I guess the only explanation for the phenomenon is that Darwinists have not much faith in their own beliefs… It is just used as a facade to make their s”intelligence” look less ludicrous…
The classic case is the Cit+ phenotype in the LTEE. Because it was ‘only’ the duplication of a promoter region, it’s ‘new’ but it’s not New New. It’s a genotype that didn’t exist before and a phenotype that’s actually diagnostically NOT an E. coli phenotype. But it’s not … y’know … new.
You make a good point about the keel and the patagium, but I notice you have ignored the most distinguishing trait, flight.
Novel trait in dogs, you ask?
Pointing, for that matter.
I guess that the magic is gone when you know how it works, for some people.
I suppose that bat’s flight is a modification of gliding behaviour, but it’s not that important if that weren’t the case, and mutant bats suddenly took off into the air in a phoodoo-style scenario. I am not denying that, if you dig deep enough, you will find some traits that have no precursor. Rather, the point I was trying to make, is that restricting the term “novel’ to such features means deliberately closing your eyes to the way a lot of novelty is created in evolution.
What the ..? I didn’t know that. Some sort of neoteny?
As far as I know, apart from size their bone structure is the same as wolves. And at a certain stage in its development a wolf will be of a similar size to a chihuahua. There may be extreme variation in the size of adults but they all fall recognisably within the Canis kind.
I am enjoying “at a certain stage in its development a wolf will be of a similar size to a chihuahua”. In other news, “they all fall recognisably within the Canis kind” translates directly to “they all look like dogs to me”.
If evolution were true
Nothing would be “new”.
The point of contention is apparent from our different understanding of archetypes. You believe that variation stems from a previously existing ancestral archetype that was an actual physical organism. For me the archetype is a dynamic formative principle and not a physical organism. Goethe called the animal archetype, the typus. We see a dog with our eyes, it is a physical perception. We see the typus with our mind, it is a spiritual perception. If you study a dog carefully you will associate a number of concepts with it. When you link these concepts into a unified whole you will obtain the “idea of dog”, the typus which applies to all dogs past present and future. What you put together by mental effort becomes an objective perception. This is what I mean by archetype. The physical perception is different for each perceiving subject, the spiritual perception is the same no matter who is doing the perceiving.
You must have watched the same TV program that I did 🙂
You can read about dogs with webbed feet here
Although this is not novel as all animals with a similar development to our own will go through a stage where they have webbed feet.
The image below taken from here shows that during development mammals go through a stage where they have webbed feet. The cells between embyo digits undergo apoptosis to create the separate digits.
Pointing, in the way hunting dogs do it, is a learned behaviour. I’m sure all carnivores that hunt as a group communicate in order to coordinate the hunt. Communication by body language is a form of signalling that is silent and so is less likely to alert the prey. Young animals learn a great deal from experienced adults and it is an indication of their individual intelligence that they are capable of doing this.
Using body language to communicate is not unique to dogs.
Can you give us a non-trivial example from the living world of where we observe such novelty being produced?
Tiny correction: I believe that the features that unite the members of the so-called kinds stem from a previously existing ancestral archetype that was a population of actual physical organisms. The variation among the lineages that derive from those ancestors is accrued by mechanisms that change the genetical composition of populations; mutation, selection and drift.
I still don’t see how your ability to recognize dogs prevents them from having acquired novel features during domestication. Even if this variation was somehow contained in the “spiritual archetype” as you appear to claim, it only became visible to us when it manifested in living organisms, appearing as novel characters.
So do you believe that your nature, your personality, is down to nothing but the genes you’ve inherited and the environment?
Well you are welcome to pick a bone, or an organ or any feature of any breed of dog and we can look at its equivalent in any wild canid. By doing this we can pick out what is novel and possibly come to an agreement on what makes it novel.
Can you rigorously define the border between trivial and non-trivial?
No, it is not.
Dogs that point can learn to get better at it, but some breeds point, and others do not.
Check out chromosome 22. 😉
I grew up with free range chickens in the yard. They always failed at their first for second attempt at raising chicks. They made nests correctly, hatched the eggs, but then trampled the chicks after they hatched. They got better with practice.
There are behaviors that are rough hewn by evolution and shaped by learning.
And their chicks did the same thing with their chicks, etc. etc.
No I can’t. I know that it’s fairly subjective and relative to the context in which it is used so I was leaving it up to Corneel to provide something he (I presume Corneel is a man) considered to be non-trivial. Once he has provided an example, we can then discuss the merits of its being thought of as non-trivial.
I consider abilities and features such as locomotion, sight, air breathing, echo-location, being able to convey emotions and understand the emotions of others, growing hair, fur, feathers scales, horns, antlers, or having hands, paws feet or talons that can grasp; to be examples of non-trivial novelties. Adjustments in size or colour I would consider to be trivial but not necessarily unimportant changes.
LOL. And you? Do you believe that your nature, your personality, is down to nothing but some insubstantial wisp?
Take any bone from a full grown chihuahua skeleton (say the femur). Measure its length. Please plot that in a graph showing the distribution of some population of adult wild wolves. Unless I am gravely mistaken, it will stick out like a sore thumb.
So let me recap. You only regard the appearance of qualitative traits non-trivial, whereas changes in quantitative traits are not. Differences between chihuahua’s and wolves are not sufficient to convince you that something novel has occurred. And to put the cherry on the cake, you insist that the changes be observed “in the living world”, which I presume leaves out fossil evidence and reconstructions using comparative molecular evidence.
I can think of several examples, in addition to the several already mentioned in this thread, but I doubt that any of those will satisfy your requirements.
Not sure I want to chase this rabbit, but I’ll try to think of something that you may not dismiss out of hand.
It’s in the very fabric of evolution that gradual change minutely observed would be unimpressive.
Meantime, I don’t suppose anyone’s spotted any ‘archetypes’ being instantiated, lately?
Like endosymbiosis? Or is saltationism now back in vogue? Evolution is gradual, except when it isn’t. Is that it?
Oh, fer God’s sake. No, not like endosymbiosis, nor like the origin of sex, nor other polyploidies. Just the rest of the 4 billion years of living history, is all. So yeah, except when it isn’t. Sorry for not writing out the entirety of evolutionary theory every time I open my gob. (This is where you say ‘which evolutionary theory?’ with a smug wobble of the head).
Perhaps you would consider the physical engulfing of an organism by another “saltational” in that sense, but then both the saltational and gradual aspects of evolution are observed to happen. Following endosymbiosis, the subsequent mutual adaptation of both the host and symbiont is gradual.
There is a model system in the case of Wolbachia. Genes are migrating to the host, and life cycles are affected. But no, even such ‘saltation’ wouldn’t be good enough. It’s not … y’know… new.
.. or novel.
It’s also micro, not macro.
Yes it is in the precise way that hunting dogs are trained to do it.
This is not a unique feature. It is a general behaviour among carnivores which in the case of hunting dog breeds individuals that showed a talent for doing this in a well defined manner were selected for. See here
It is a general behaviour which has been accentuated by breeding. If you watch any canid stalking prey it will at times remain perfectly still with its head and body in line with its quarry. The posture may vary but the general trait is evident. See the image below of an Ethiopean wolf beginning to stalk its prey.
From this paper
Look at the language used in the paper:
“We assumed”, “might have a functional consequence”, “may contribute”, “might be genetically programmed”, “may be a prerequisite for the trait”, “proposed to contribute, at least in part”.
And this sort of language is rife in this section:
This is precisely what I am trying to guard against. They make assumptions and then look for evidence confirm their assumptions. If we begin by observing and then proceed by asking what the results of these observations are telling us then we don’t fall into the trap of getting lost in speculations.
No. Much of it is down to my upbringing, learned from my parents, teachers, friends and those people who have been around me. But there is a core, “me” running through all of this that I recognise. It is the exact opposite of some insubstantial wisp. Knowing myself and knowing how fortunate I am to have had so much the effort expended on my behalf by those tasked with my upbringing and education, gives me a solid foundation from which to begin to understand the world and my place in it.
Say we took the average length of all the bones in your proposed sample and called it x. We could even add human femurs to the list. All the bone lengths including the chihuahua femur can be expressed in terms of x.
Now there would be no point in trying to average the length of antlers between wolves, humans, and deer because only the latter possess antlers. There would be no value of x for the first two with which to make the comparison.
So IMO variation in the length of a structure which is already present is trivial in comparison with the appearance of a novel structure in the first place.
I look forward to discussing anything you come up with.
Felines also exhibit this behavior.
As can be seen here
Suspected as much 🙂
Does it matter that core Charlie was determined by “nothing but the genes” if he turned out such a fine guy regardless? I got the impression that you found that idea somewhat distasteful.
Same goes for behaviour? Let’s pick … oh well .. intelligence?
Very well. Threshold characters it is then. I have linked to a video that is trotted out a few times before here at TSZ. It shows a population of E. coli bacteria adapting to increasing concentrations of an antibiotic. The interesting thing is that the initial mutants can survive at the lowest concentrations, but cannot grow on the 10x concentration. Additional mutations enable growth on the higher concentration but not on the 100X, etc.
So how many times did a novel trait arise? Perhaps it arose once when the population acquired antibiotic resistance? Or perhaps “being able to surivive on a 10X, 100X, 1000x concentration” are all novel traits as well. Or maybe all E.coli are capable of tolerating very low concentrations of antibiotic and we just witnessed a quantitative increase in a trait that already existed?
I am pretty confident that you’ll scoff at the example because many bacteria have already acquired antibiotic resistance, but it may help you realise that many of the characters that you regard as qualitatively “novel” involved quantitative adjustments of existing traits at some point.
I find the idea to be illogical.
Genes are only important for the benefit of the organism in as much as they are expressed in the right place at the right time. And it is at the level of the cell, organism, and even population that these factors are controlled. When this higher control gets disrupted and genes are expressed in the wrong place and/or the wrong time then we see the appearance of diseases such as cancer.
Bones can be measured objectively and precisely, intelligence cannot be so measured. And unlike femurs that, no matter which canid we study, always appear in the same relative position within the skeleton as a whole, intelligence is not like that. It can appear in a self-conscious human individual, or it can manifest as group intelligence as seen in social insects.
Intelligence is not the novel feature. The novelty lies in the way that intelligence manifests itself within living beings. Looking at all living organisms there is a progression from individuals who demonstrate innate intelligence such as seen in instinctive behaviour to those who are able to be taught and to learn new skills and individually acquire knowledge. The appearance of this individual ability was novel.
I don’t want to get too involved in discussing antibiotic resistance here as it is being discussed currently in J-Mac’s new thread
Suffice it to say that IMO a bacterial colony should be considered as equivalent to a single eukaryote organism.in which viability of the whole is maintained at the expense of individual cells. The variability of individual cells abilities in absorbing nutrients ensures the viability of the colony is maintained even if there is a period where it is composed of relatively few individual cells.
The bodies of higher eukaryotes are equivalent to groups of prokaryote colonies contracted into individual organisms. And likewise the intelligence of higher eukaryotes is a concentration of consciousness within the self which is equivalent to the group intelligence of prokaryotes.
Here is an interview with Jaap van der Wal who talks about genes and consciousness and the brain and related things.
Translation: “Sure, intelligence is not a novel trait, but our sort of intelligence is.”
Don’t you think that comes extremely close to the point I was making in the very same post?
Intelligence is not novel because it has always existed from the beginning of life on earth as we know it and thus it is present from the beginning of the new life of any individual organism. The zygote develops and builds itself in an intelligent way. A way that those experimenters playing with artificial intelligence can only dream about. Jaap van der Wal has spent decades exploring this area as it applies to embryonic development.
Yes but look at the quantitative adjustments required for an organism to achieve individual consciousness and you will find that there are a multitude of them. And all these adjustments must be made in a coordinated manner.
Look how consciousness unfolds in a growing baby. The baby moulds the architecture of its brain by the experience of bringing its muscles under control, by feeling its environment through the senses of touch and taste. This requires adjustments to the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the so called musculoskeletal system.
And the quantitative changes that take place during puberty can be separated out in order to analyse them, but in reality the growth of the bones, the formation of the mature sexual organs, the changes in the larynx and all the other changes happen in a coordinated way.
It is not just the thigh bone of a chihuahua that has changed it is the whole animal. If one gene is altered, say one that alters the amount of a specific bone forming protein that is produced, then if that is to have an effect such as changing the dimensions of a bone, then there are a host of other genes that must change their expression rates to accommodate the overall changes.
No, it doesn’t.
Sometimes intelligence might decide to make a bat instead of a human fetus. And yet that never seems to happen.
Yet another poster who was trained at the Monty Python School of Arguments 🙂
Yes it does!
With assistance from the environment which is the womb of its mother.
You do not need dozens of independent mutations to coordinate a change in body size. If bone size changes, then muscle attachment, innervation etcetera tend to just follow along, exactly because developmental processes are coordinated affairs with lots of crosstalk and feedback. The constraints are in your mind, as demonstrated by the fact that for most traits ample genetic variation exists within any population.
Stuff gets complicated at lower biological levels, sure. Does that mean that you concede that changes in quantitative traits are not necessarily trivial adjustments of existing traits?
You merely asserted it, I merely asserted otherwise. That was kind of the point. Glad you noticed.
Give an example of a decision that this “intelligence” is making. Demonstrate why it is not chemistry, but a deliberate choice from similar alternatives not driven by chemical pathways.
Well I agree with the coordination but not with your comment that everything tends to follow along. Bones grow, are sculpted and solidify along with the connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves as a coordinated whole. This is a necessity not a tendency.
Jaap van der Wal from the site I linked to earlier:
An organism is not built up in the way of a machine by the assembly of components into the finished article. An organism is a functioning whole from conception to death.
With chihuahua’s femurs and wolve’s femurs, the structure and form of the former can be determined from the structure and form the latter. Features such as the organs of binocular colour vision and binaural organs that are able to distinguish tones coupled with organs which can transmit a range of distinct tones , if they had never existed could not be determined from any precursor that did not possess these attributes.
If you do not want to see the difference in the types of novelty here, then I cannot make you.
Genes are the means by which organisms produce substances, they do not produce form. If an organism requires a certain amount of substance in a certain location then it will manipulate its genes accordingly. There is no such thing as a gene for this trait or a gene for that trait. There are genes that need to be expressed in bringing about the appearance of certain traits, but that is not the same thing.
It’s all relative. Organisms are complicated and building up their bodies are complicated processes in which the genes need to be manipulated in complicated ways. Wolves are not turned into chihuahuas by altering genes here and there. The changes occur at the body level, the body along with its compliment of genes is the entity that is “selected” to play its part in the ongoing viability of the population.
Using it’s “intelligence” presumably?