Evolution Skeptics!

In a recent post here at TSZ, participant Alan Fox made some comments and asked some questions which might make for interesting discussion, but first I need to challenge some of his assumptions.

First, his claim that I find evolutionary theory unbelievable.

Second, his claim that I find a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life theory unbelievable.

Third, his his claim that I mock attempts at scientific hypotheses.

Fourth, I thought being skeptical is a good thing.

Alan Fox: I realise Sal, Mung, Colewd and phoodoo find evolutionary theory and a “naturalistic” explanation for the origin of life unbelievable. Let me add that I am far less optimistic than some regarding ever establishing an explanation for the origin of life on Earth (find evidence or echos of evidence of life elsewhere and everything changes). Until then, I’m content to concede we really don’t have anything approaching a complete explanation.

I am curious as to what those that mock attempts at scientific hypotheses think happened. There appears to be no hypothesis attributable to the “Intelligent Design” movement that could be stretched to any sort of explanation for the origin and subsequent diversity of life on Earth. Have our Evolution Skeptics any positive ideas of their own they’d like to share?

Sal? Mung? Colewd? phoodoo? Anyone? Is there a thread topic there?

So let’s see if we can’t first set the record straight.

I do not find evolutionary theory unbelievable.

I do not find naturalistic explanations for the origin of life unbelievable. I find them to be non-existent.

I do not mock attempts at scientific hypotheses. I mock non-scientific hypotheses and just-so storytelling.

What is an Evolution Skeptic and why would Alan think I am an Evolution Skeptic?

Aren’t you all skeptical of evolution? Am I at the wrong site for skepticism? The Skeptical (except when it comes to evolution) Zone?

In closing, if you want to foster discussion, maybe leave out all the irrelevant posturing. I don’t know if I could find a better example of poisoning the well than what we’ve just seen from Alan Fox.

136 Replies to “Evolution Skeptics!”

  1. Frankie Frankie
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    OM you didn’t explain anything you just made a bald assertion. Obviously you don’t understand Newton’s four rules of scientific investigation nor Occam’s Razor. That is your problem, not mine.

    And my post in this forum has the positive case for ID- Testing ID

  2. Frankie Frankie
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    OM:

    ID could still be true and stochastic processes could be up to the task.

    Newton’s four rules of scientific investigation and Occam’s Razor apply. If stochastic processes are up to the task then we don’t infer an intelligent designer was required.

    I don’t know why this has to be explained to you over and over again.

  3. Frankie Frankie
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    OMagain- Blind watchmaker evolution doesn’t have a positive case. It makes untestable claims. So perhaps you should get your house in order before flailing at ID.

  4. colewd
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    Mung,

    Sequence homology is the biological homology between protein or DNA sequences, defined in terms of shared ancestry in the evolutionary history of life. Two segments of DNA can have shared ancestry either because of a speciation event (orthologs), or because of a duplication event (paralogs).

    Universal Common Descent assumed true as part of the theory. The great circular logic of evolutionary thought marches on.:-)

  5. Flint
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    colewd:
    Mung,

    Universal Common Descent assumed true as part of the theory. The great circular logic of evolutionary thought marches on.:-)

    You seem to have mastered the art of confusing observations which support a theory, with observations that assume a theory. Let’s say I have a theory A. And IF my theory is correct, then I ought to be able to observe B and C. So I go out, construct the experiment, and sure enough I observe B and C. Do these observations SUPPORT A? Or do they ASSUME A? Can you tell the difference?

  6. dazz dazz
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    colewd:
    Mung,

    Universal Common Descent assumed true as part of the theory. The great circular logic of evolutionary thought marches on.:-)

    Nothing circular about defining terms according to what the theory says. Next you go and check if the data confirms it. Every theory does that

  7. colewd
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    OMagain,

    Presumably you have an idea about how that new genetic material comes about? How does it come about?

    If we assume that simulation theory has some credibility then the DNA sequences are part of the program. They can be down loaded when a new unique animal gets added to the simulation.

  8. Frankie Frankie
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    Then we have the explanatory filter. And once you have determined stochastic processes are capable you don’t even get to the design box.

  9. Adapa
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    Frankie: Occam’s Razor and Newton apply.

    So you have no way to falsify ID. I knew that, you knew that, we all knew that but it’s nice to see you admit it.

  10. Adapa
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    colewd:
    Mung,

    Universal Common Descent assumed true as part of the theory.

    No, it’s not assumed. It’s observed in the fossil and genetic records. I already explained to you how. But ID-Creationists just have to lie about scientific evidence. Lying is all they have.

  11. Frankie Frankie
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    Adapa: It’s observed in the fossil and genetic records

    Nonsense. It is only “observed” by the people who already believe it

  12. Frankie Frankie
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    Adapa: So you have no way to falsify ID.I knew that, you knew that, we all knew that but it’s nice to see you admit it.

    I told you how to falsify it so obviously you have other issues. However you are proving that there is no way to test the claims of your position which means it isn’t science. Thank you for admitting that

  13. OMagain
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    colewd: If we assume that simulation theory has some credibility then the DNA sequences are part of the program. They can be down loaded when a new unique animal gets added to the simulation.

    Are you being serious?

    So, to be clear, you reject observed mechanisms in favour of something totally speculative?

    Tell me, what is the thing doing the “downloading”? Is that what you call god? What if the thing doing the “downloading” is actually the equivalent of a janitor in whatever realm the simulation is being hosted? Are you comfortable worshipping a janitor?

    However I don’t think you are serious. I think you are using humor as a shield to avoid having to face the fact that you have nothing to replace what you think is wrong. You are just able to destroy, not create, and somewhere inside you realize it.

  14. OMagain
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    Frankie: Nonsense. It is only “observed” by the people who already believe it

    What, you mean like the original creationist geologists who went looking for evidence of the bible and what the found converted them into evolutionists? You don’t even know your own history. So sad.

  15. OMagain
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    Frankie: However you are proving that there is no way to test the claims of your position which means it isn’t science

    And yet ID languishes in the corner, along and unloved.

    Tell me Frankie, what was the greatest success for ID in 2016?

  16. phoodoo
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    OMagain,

    What’s the greatest success for evolution? That you had a conference to discuss how to replace it?

  17. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Mung:

    CharlieM: Apart from symbiotic bacteria which are not actually bodily cells, which cells do you see as probably lying outside the nested hierarchy?

    All of them.

    So at the first cell division, do you have the beginning of two different hierarchies or is there still a linear line of descent? What about at the second cell division?

    The original cell has divided twice but the second cell has divided only once. At the third you’d have one that has divided once, one that has divided three times, and two that have divided twice for a total of eight. It looks more like a distribution than a hierarchy. At what point dies the hierarchy begin to appear?

    Maybe I have an unconventional view of the term, nested hierarchy.

    I am thinking of a hierarchy of potentialities. The zygote is at the top with the potential to spawn all other cells, then there are pluripotent stem cells, multi-potent stem cells and finally specialised cells

  18. colewd
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    says:

    OMagain,

    Tell me, what is the thing doing the “downloading”? Is that what you call god? What if the thing doing the “downloading” is actually the equivalent of a janitor in whatever realm the simulation is being hosted? Are you comfortable worshipping a janitor?

    However I don’t think you are serious. I think you are using humor as a shield to avoid having to face the fact that you have nothing to replace what you think is wrong. You are just able to destroy, not create, and somewhere inside you realize it.

    Look up the simulation hypothesis in google than youtube. The hypothesis was one the top 10 articles in scientific american this year. It is gaining traction due to its ability to explain certain observations in physics. It also solves the mystery of the origin of new complex functional DNA sequences.

  19. Allan Miller
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    colewd,

    The hypothesis was one the top 10 articles in scientific american this year. It is gaining traction due to its ability to explain certain observations in physics. It also solves the mystery of the origin of new complex functional DNA sequences.

    Because they don’t exist, being part of a simulation and all?

  20. OMagain
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    colewd: Look up the simulation hypothesis in google than youtube.

    I’m perfectly familiar with it.

    colewd: The hypothesis was one the top 10 articles in scientific american this year.

    So? Has the failure of Intelligent Design prompted you to take this gambit then?

    colewd: It is gaining traction due to its ability to explain certain observations in physics.

    As far as I’m aware that’s not happening. Could you give a specific reference?

    colewd: It also solves the mystery of the origin of new complex functional DNA sequences.

    In what sense does it solve that? Please be specific. Can you think of a way to test that claim? We should be able to observe the new DNA sequences coming into existence, in theory? We sequence some DNA and then we have a reference. We sequence some new DNA and find new complex functional DNA sequences. We work backwards from there until we find the event that triggered that insertion. We can then reproduce on demand the insertion of information into our simulated universe from the outer universe? Something like that?

    Is the god you worship inside the simulation or outside of it? It’s interesting that you quoted what I said without actually addressing any of the questions raised in that quote.

    But, to recap, you invoke something that currently has no scientific support to explain something that does have scientific support, simply because for some reason you reject the very idea that new complex functional DNA sequences can arise without intervention from your chosen deity?

  21. OMagain
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    colewd: It also solves the mystery of the origin of new complex functional DNA sequences.

    Can you point to such an example of a “new” sequence? How do you determine if a given DNA sequence is functional? Same for if it’s complex? If it’s new? Is a string of repeating DNA complex?

    If you can’t define any of your terms, you can’t say that what you are asking to be explained has potentially not already been explained.

  22. newton
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    Frankie: Nonsense. It is only “observed” by the people who already believe it

    Like ID?

  23. Frankie Frankie
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    newton: Like ID?

    ID makes scientifically testable claims- unlike evolutionism

  24. colewd
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    OMagain,

    Can you point to such an example of a “new” sequence? How do you determine if a given DNA sequence is functional? Same for if it’s complex? If it’s new? Is a string of repeating DNA complex?

    An example would be the origin of hemoglobin which was part of the origin of the circulatory system. Hemoglobin requires 4 protein sub units and some small molecules. All together approximately 1500 nucleotides are required to become organized to build this protein. I would consider anything over a couple of hundred nucleotides complex.

    I honestly am amazed that anyone could keep a straight face and claim that this protein evolved by a step by step trial and error process.

  25. dazz dazz
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    A protein is to Bill what headlights to a deer

  26. Allan Miller
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    colewd,

    I honestly am amazed that anyone could keep a straight face and claim that this protein evolved by a step by step trial and error process.

    But downloading the sequences into a simulation – that can be proposed completely deadpan.

  27. Frankie Frankie
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    says:

    colewd: I honestly am amazed that anyone could keep a straight face and claim that this protein evolved by a step by step trial and error process.

    They do so because they don’t have a choice. They cannot admit they don’t have a mechanism capable of producing said protein.

  28. Adapa
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    colewd:

    I honestly am amazed that anyone could keep a straight face and claim that this protein evolved by a step by step trial and error process.

    There are hundreds of papers readily available from GoogleScholar on the evolution of hemoglobin.

    It’s always so hard to tell if those pushing the IDiot position are really stupid or just too lazy to research for themselves. Probably both

  29. Rumraket Rumraket
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    colewd: I honestly am amazed that anyone could keep a straight face and claim that this protein evolved by a step by step trial and error process.

    Why? Explain why!

  30. Frankie Frankie
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    There are hundreds of papers readily available from GoogleScholar on the evolution of hemoglobin.

    And not one that says natural selection and drift didit. No one even knows how to test that concept- that NS and drift can produce hemoglobin.

    ID is NOT anti-evolution. Perhaps you should try to figure out what you are debating against before you start debating.

  31. Mung Mung
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    says:

    Rumraket: Why? Explain why!

    Because, as far as I know, such a thing has never been observed, by anyone, ever. Frankly, there’s more evidence for Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

  32. Allan Miller
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    says:

    Mung,

    Because, as far as I know, such a thing has never been observed, by anyone, ever.

    Gah, not you as well!

    Nothing happens unless it is observed? Not the most helpful argument for the ‘ID inference’ I ever saw.

  33. OMagain
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    Mung: Because, as far as I know, such a thing has never been observed, by anyone, ever.

    Presumably you also deny continental drift.

  34. Frankie Frankie
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    Allan Miller:
    Mung,

    Gah, not you as well!

    Nothing happens unless it is observed? Not the most helpful argument for the ‘ID inference’ I ever saw.

    It is an untestable claim. If you guys ever come up with a method to test the claim that will be a first

  35. Mung Mung
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    Allan Miller: Gah, not you as well!

    I’m turning over a new leaf for the new year.

  36. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Looking for Alan Fox. Has he ever been more wrong in his life?

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