Forums - General Discussion - Is the evolution story really scientific?

akhmenhawk said:
We have a tail-bone, but we do not have a tail. It is vestigial, originally serving a purpose, and now is an unfavourable allele. And that is visual proof of evolution; the systematic change in the frequency of genes in a population so that favourable characteristics are passed down and become more common. There are so many examples of this: Moths during industrialisation, antibiotic-resistant pathogens, pesticide-resistant insects, camouflage among many others. As said before, it is all over the place and it is moronic to deny it.

Morons usually don't persive themselve as such... they usually think they are bright and enlighted... why do you think that only people that study a lot know they don't know anything?



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akhmenhawk said:
We have a tail-bone, but we do not have a tail. It is vestigial, originally serving a purpose, and now is an unfavourable allele. And that is visual proof of evolution; the systematic change in the frequency of genes in a population so that favourable characteristics are passed down and become more common. There are so many examples of this: Moths during industrialisation, antibiotic-resistant pathogens, pesticide-resistant insects, camouflage among many others. As said before, it is all over the place and it is moronic to deny it.


that is just wishful thinking. obviously

 

A beautiful example, one of the classics 



How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?



DonFerrari said:
Farmageddon said:

Im quite a bit drunk right now, so instead of answering your points directly, I'll try and weave an analogy. Sorry for any incovenience.

See, say you, as well as a million other guys, bet numbers on the lotto. And, for simplicity's sake, say none of you bet the same numbers and that the probability of one of you guys actually getting the numbers right was considerable, statistically speaking.

Now say you actually win the lotto. As in, the numbers drawn are the same as the ones you had bet on.

There are two ways you could see this:

1 - The numbers were drawn equal to mine because I'm special. The numbers drawn are determined by the numers I bet.

2 - I won because I happened to have the right numbers. Other sequencies of numbers had the same probability of being drawn, and in such case some other guy might have won. None of us is special, and who does end up wining is determined by the numbers drawn.

Whenever someone wins such raffle it might seem to them they're in some special position, but that's true despite who exactly wins. So if it's plausible taht on another draw someone else might win, then there's no reason to suppose that any one of these guys is in any special condition.

The point being that the fact that one given guy own - in our example you,you lucky bastard! - can only be seen as saying something about the fairness of the draw itself IF we suppose the very competition would rather have this guy, you, win.

If, on the other hand, the competition was fair, and thus favoured no one, the fact that you won just means you happened to get the right numbers. The numbers could have been different and then any other guys would have won, if not on the first draw then on a subsequent one. You own because your numbers just so happened to line with the drawn numbers, instead of the numbers having been drawn so that you would win. And this isn't at all strange: it's expected that someones umbers would do so eventually.

So the only reason to believe the numbers drawns were so drawn to reflect the numbers you bet on - the only reason to believe the draw wasn't fair with the other competititors - is to believe, beforehand, that the competition favorus you.

Point being that you can't try to used the fact that you've won as evidence that the competition favours you: you winning is evidence of some unfairness if and only if you suppose the competition to favour you. So saying "the competition favours me" and saying "since I won, these numbers must have been drawn because I bet on them" boils down to the same exact same thing, and thus saying "if I won than the competition must have favoured me, because I'm special" is begging the question: you are supposing for starters that you are special among the other competitors. But being special means the competition favours you. So all you are saying is "If the competition favours me than the competition favours me", and that doesn't really add much to anything.

I think I may have gotten a bit less clear than I wanted at the end there, sorry for that. I suppose I don't need to explain how the analogy relates to the topic, but anyway:

The people playing are possible forms of life that could emerge. The numbers being drawn are the characteristics of the many possible worlds, each draw being a world. The competition itself is the universe in the broader sense, and the people fiddling with it, if it is indeed being fiddled with, would be equivalent to "the creator". You represent the human species, of course.

I just hope you can follow this drunken detour of mine and actually take something out of it.


And if the universe was designed specially to human beings why would exist just one small planet to habit? Why would GOD make so much free space? Just so we can look at stars and guess?

It's more possible that other inteligent lifeforms exist in other places and that in some places their evolutionary course takes longer than ours and they may sprout inteligent life in some Billion years.

And thanks for being even more obvious than "The earth doesn't exist because of you, you exist because of earth", maybe to some that could speak some sense... but even so it seems like he understood but disregarded it even so. So in the end there is no benefit from discussing and explaining it... if reason were able to "convert" some from religious believe we wouldn't still be here or seing the preposterous answers and tentative of inteligent design being teached in school... this is why in Brazil we say religion, sports and politics (yes its weird) isn't discussed.

A fellow brazilian, uh?

Yeah, well, I'm not really trying to disprove religion. I've actually argued you can't do that earlier on this trhead. Questions like the one you posed might be used (just as many other questions, even on the other side(s) of the fence(s)) to make inform a decision on what to believe given that you can't prove either way. But they can't really be used as strong evidence or reasoning against the concept itself of a creator.

See, you can't really say "I, an imperfect being, think things would have been better differently. Thus none of this could have been made by a perfect being." That only makes sense if you assume you know as much or better than the given God in question, and, logically speaking, is not much different from the argument being discussed before. I do think you realise that, though.

My point in all this, really, is saying that certain things can't really be proved either way but, even then, not being able to disprove something seems like a very poor reason to believe it. Some presuppositions just give you very little room for any logico-practical consequences, and are thus, in my eyes at least, kind of useless, and that's what I see as the most compelling argument not to believe in them: because either it bloats your beliefs without makes any practical difference or the practical differences come from imposed dogma. Dogma which, on it's practical level, could equally as well exist without teh original supposition, since it's, well, dogma.

Of course if believing in a creator makes you feel better than that is a practical consequence, and while it's not for me I'm in no position to judge either.

 

padib said:
Farmageddon said:

Im quite a bit drunk right now, so instead of answering your points directly, I'll try and weave an analogy. Sorry for any incovenience.

See, say you, as well as a million other guys, bet numbers on the lotto. And, for simplicity's sake, say none of you bet the same numbers and that the probability of one of you guys actually getting the numbers right was considerable, statistically speaking.

Now say you actually win the lotto. As in, the numbers drawn are the same as the ones you had bet on.

There are two ways you could see this:

1 - The numbers were drawn equal to mine because I'm special. The numbers drawn are determined by the numers I bet.

2 - I won because I happened to have the right numbers. Other sequencies of numbers had the same probability of being drawn, and in such case some other guy might have won. None of us is special, and who does end up wining is determined by the numbers drawn.

Whenever someone wins such raffle it might seem to them they're in some special position, but that's true despite who exactly wins. So if it's plausible taht on another draw someone else might win, then there's no reason to suppose that any one of these guys is in any special condition.

The point being that the fact that one given guy own - in our example you,you lucky bastard! - can only be seen as saying something about the fairness of the draw itself IF we suppose the very competition would rather have this guy, you, win.

If, on the other hand, the competition was fair, and thus favoured no one, the fact that you won just means you happened to get the right numbers. The numbers could have been different and then any other guys would have won, if not on the first draw then on a subsequent one. You own because your numbers just so happened to line with the drawn numbers, instead of the numbers having been drawn so that you would win. And this isn't at all strange: it's expected that someones umbers would do so eventually.

So the only reason to believe the numbers drawns were so drawn to reflect the numbers you bet on - the only reason to believe the draw wasn't fair with the other competititors - is to believe, beforehand, that the competition favorus you.

Point being that you can't try to used the fact that you've won as evidence that the competition favours you: you winning is evidence of some unfairness if and only if you suppose the competition to favour you. So saying "the competition favours me" and saying "since I won, these numbers must have been drawn because I bet on them" boils down to the same exact same thing, and thus saying "if I won than the competition must have favoured me, because I'm special" is begging the question: you are supposing for starters that you are special among the other competitors. But being special means the competition favours you. So all you are saying is "If the competition favours me than the competition favours me", and that doesn't really add much to anything.

I think I may have gotten a bit less clear than I wanted at the end there, sorry for that. I suppose I don't need to explain how the analogy relates to the topic, but anyway:

The people playing are possible forms of life that could emerge. The numbers being drawn are the characteristics of the many possible worlds, each draw being a world. The competition itself is the universe in the broader sense, and the people fiddling with it, if it is indeed being fiddled with, would be equivalent to "the creator". You represent the human species, of course.

I just hope you can follow this drunken detour of mine and actually take something out of it.

I think you're pretty clear as a drunk person, so props! And also want to thank you for an intelligent answer, much more pleasant than Don Ferrari's contribution.

With that said, I think the idea of luck of the draw is not applicable in certain scenarios. For instance, if you're in a crime scene looking for clues, you could say that the crime could have happened any other way and that that crime scene was not important, but for that scene it was. Also, if I see a face drawn on a piece of paper, I would never assume it came by luck of the draw. It's kind of similar here, it points more to intent than not since the conditions are rare.

No problem, it was fun to try and focus enough to type that.

Language might make this a little tricky, but I'll try to explain my point of view.

Say you find a corpse with a stab wound. You naturally take that to mean the perpetrator had a knive, and that's a sensible deduction.

What is happening here is that you're using the information of the stab wound to deduce what the murder weapon was.

So, because you see the stab wound, you expect the muder weapon to have been a knife.

Now, and this is the crucial point here which words might make a little ambiguous.

What you can say, and do have every practical reason to believe, is this:

1. "the reason I know the guy had a knife is the presence of a stab wound"

But you'd never say

2. "the reason the guy had a knife is the presence of a stab wound"

It's actually clearly the other way around:

3. "the reason there was a stab wound is that the guy had a knife"

As in: there being a stab does allow you to suppose reasonably that the guy had a knife, but the wound itself didn't somehow put a knife on the guy's hands, quite the opposite: the fact that the guy had a knife decided what kind of would the victim would receive.

Now, you might suppose the attacker's intent was specifically to stab the victim. In this case you could say:

4. "the reason the guy had a knife is that he wanted to stab the victim"

In this scenario the goal is to stab and the knife is the instrument. The other possibility, discussed before, being that the attacker just happened to have a knife and thus imparted a stab wound, while he would still have killed our poor victim had he had any other sort of weapon, leaving a diffent kind of wound.

In fact, just going by the evidence we have the attacker might not even had any intention at all of killing the victim. Maybe he was a mugger and things came out the worst way possible. Hell, maybe it was just an accident! We can't really know.

Say we think of all this and recognise 3. and 4. as the viable explanations for the stab wound. Either way we would expect to find a knife. So say we do find a knife nearby, covered on the victim's blood. But we never get to actually track the attacker or get any more evidence. Since we'd expect a knife in both cases, we can then safely say:

5. "the existence of the knife can in no way sway us toward either point 3. or point 4., but is compatible with both, and expected by both"

Now the stab wound is humanity, the other possible wounds are possible life-forms. No wound at all means no life. The knife are the conditions necessary for the emerging of humanity, the other possible weapons those necessary for other forms of life. The attacker is the universe.

So you can reason from the fact that humanity exists in this world that this world should have the necessary conditions for humanity to exist (point 1. above). But that is not the same as saying the world has these conditions so that it can support humanity (point 2. above).

So either humans exist as they are because the world is as it is (point 3. above) or the "universe itself" (including "the universe itself trough a creator") wants humans and that's the reason the world is as it is. That is point 4. above.

We do see humans, so either way we should expect the world to have the necessary conditions for humans to live. What this means is that finding these conditions can't be used to discriminate between either of the possibilities. This, of course, is point 5. above.

So, is it, logically speaking, plausible (as in, not leading to contradictions and impossible to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt using this evidence, not as in "this seems to make more sense to me") that humans are some sort of speacial goal of the universe?

Yes, it is. But not more so than it's plausible, in this same sense of the word, that humans are the way they are just because the world is the way it is.

Both are, in this sense, equally as valid, and neither can be favoured on the basis of this observed evidence (the compatibility between humans and the world).

So, sure, maybe humans are special, but they might just as well not be. Maybe no specific life form is special. Maybe not even life itself is a goal of the universe (see the underlined sentence above). These are all plausible conclusions given the evidence being discussed.

Again, I'm using plausible here in the sense I discribed. It has no bearing in this sense wheter a possibility seems more or less likely to you or me or anyone else. But just as well, because, as seen before, no claim on the likelihood of either one can be derived from this evidence.

In closing, and this was the point I was trying to make, if you say "humans being specail for the universe would be a sign of a creator", then using this evidence (human-world compatibility) to prove there's a creator works if and only if you presuppose humans to be special, since the evidence itself renders this possibility just as plausible as the others.

But if you say "humans being special for the universe would be a sign of a creator" and, at the same time presuppose that "humans are special to the universe" than this amounts to the same as saying: "The creator exists because I presupposed that humans are special".

But if "humans being special for the universe would be a sign of a creator" is true than the last proposition is exactly the same as saying "The creator exists because I presupposed that He does".

I think it's clear why that's a problem. You could obviously presuppose anything (which is plausible, in the sense described) to be true and then you would automatically reach the conclusion that it is thus. This is called a tautology, it is saying "If proposition A is true, then proposition A is true", and it just can't be used to try and prove "propostion A" true, no matter what "proposition A" might be.

So the takeway is this: the evidence we are discussing, in the way of the compatibility between humans and the world, can in no way be used to argue, much less prove, which of these distinct interpretations (humans are/are not special) is right or wrong. What we can take from this evidence is that both interpretations are consistent with it. And that's all.

Now, obviously if you can't use this argument to show that humans must be special, than clearly you can't use it to show that some creator must exist because humans are special.

Hope this makes sense to you. For some reason I like the idea of comparing the universe to a raging murderer.



fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?

You have to question theories. To not question would be unscientific.



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jigokutamago said:
fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?

You have to question theories. To not question would be unscientific.


That is certainly true but then by questioning them you find that fundamentally they are true on every level and fit in near perfectly with regard the fossil record, genetics, observable universe, history and everything the theory can be linked to you know it to be true.

Ultimately if you approach evolution not wanting it to be true then it won't be true for you as you will simply deny it at every stage. If you can not approach evolution without bias then you are already mentally conditioned as are many in the world and it is pointless even starting.



fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?


God did it.



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ganoncrotch said:
fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?


God did it.

Yes.

Farmageddon said:

No problem, it was fun to try and focus enough to type that.

Language might make this a little tricky, but I'll try to explain my point of view.

Say you find a corpse with a stab wound. You naturally take that to mean the perpetrator had a knive, and that's a sensible deduction.

What is happening here is that you're using the information of the stab wound to deduce what the murder weapon was.

So, because you see the stab wound, you expect the muder weapon to have been a knife.

Now, and this is the crucial point here which words might make a little ambiguous.

What you can say, and do have every practical reason to believe, is this:

1. "the reason I know the guy had a knife is the presence of a stab wound"

But you'd never say

2. "the reason the guy had a knife is the presence of a stab wound"

It's actually clearly the other way around:

3. "the reason there was a stab wound is that the guy had a knife"

As in: there being a stab does allow you to suppose reasonably that the guy had a knife, but the wound itself didn't somehow put a knife on the guy's hands, quite the opposite: the fact that the guy had a knife decided what kind of would the victim would receive.

Now, you might suppose the attacker's intent was specifically to stab the victim. In this case you could say:

4. "the reason the guy had a knife is that he wanted to stab the victim"

In this scenario the goal is to stab and the knife is the instrument. The other possibility, discussed before, being that the attacker just happened to have a knife and thus imparted a stab wound, while he would still have killed our poor victim had he had any other sort of weapon, leaving a diffent kind of wound.

In fact, just going by the evidence we have the attacker might not even had any intention at all of killing the victim. Maybe he was a mugger and things came out the worst way possible. Hell, maybe it was just an accident! We can't really know.

Say we think of all this and recognise 3. and 4. as the viable explanations for the stab wound. Either way we would expect to find aknife. So say we do find a knife nearby, covered on the victim's blood. But we never get to actually track the attacker or get any more evidence. Since we'd expect a knife in both cases, we can then safely say:

5. "the existence of the knife can in no way sway us toward either point 3. or point 4., but is compatible with both, and expected by both"

Now the stab wound is humanity, the other possible wounds are possible life-forms. No wound at all means no life. The knife are the conditions necessary for the emerging of humanity, the other possible weapons those necessary for other forms of life. The attacker is the universe.

So you can reason from the fact that humanity exists in this world that this world should have the necessary conditions for humanity to exist (point 1. above). But that is not the same as saying the world has these conditions so that it can support humanity (point 2. above).

So either humans exist as they are because the world is as it is (point 3. above) or the "universe itself" (including "the universe itself trough a creator") wants humans and that's the reason the world is as it is. That is point 4. above.

We do see humans, so either way we should expect the world to have the necessary conditions for humans to live. What this means is that finding these conditions can't be used to discriminate between either of the possibilities. This, of course, is point 5. above.

So, is it, logically speaking, plausible (as in, not leading to contradictions and impossible to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt using this evidence, not as in "this seems to make more sense to me") that humans are some sort of speacial goal of the universe?

Yes, it is. But not more so than it's plausible, in this same sense of the word, that humans are the way they are just because the world is the way it is.

Both are, in this sense, equally as valid, and neither can be favoured on the basis of this observed evidence (the compatibility between humans and the world).

So, sure, maybe humans are special, but they might just as well not be. Maybe no specific life form is special. Maybe not even life itself is a goal of the universe (see the underlined sentence above). These are all plausible conclusions given the evidence being discussed.

Again, I'm using plausible here in the sense I discribed. It has no bearing in this sense wheter a possibility seems more or less likely to you or me or anyone else. But just as well, because, as seen before, no claim on the likelihood of either one can be derivedfrom this evidence.

In closing, and this was the point I was trying to make, if you say "humans being specail for the universe would be a sign of a creator", then using this evidence (human-world compatibility) to prove there's a creator works if and only if you presupposehumans to be special, since the evidence itself renders this possibility just as plausible as the others.

But if you say "humans being special for the universe would be a sign of a creator" and, at the same time presuppose that "humans are special to the universe" than this amounts to the same as saying: "The creator exists because I presupposed that humans are special".

But if "humans being special for the universe would be a sign of a creator" is true than the last proposition is exactly the same as saying "The creator exists because I presupposed that He does".

I think it's clear why that's a problem. You could obviously presuppose anything (which is plausible, in the sense described) to be true and then you would automatically reach the conclusion that it is thus. This is called a tautology, it is saying "If proposition A is true, then proposition A is true", and it just can't be used to try and prove "propostion A" true, no matter what "proposition A" might be.

So the takeway is this: the evidence we are discussing, in the way of the compatibility between humans and the world, can in no way be used to argue, much less prove, which of these distinct interpretations (humans are/are not special) is right or wrong. What we can take from this evidence is that both interpretations are consistent with it. And that's all.

Now, obviously if you can't use this argument to show that humans must be special, than clearly you can't use it to show that some creator must exist because humans are special.

Hope this makes sense to you. For some reason I like the idea of comparing the universe to a raging murderer.

Another interesting answer. I will be on vacation for the next 7 days so apologies if I don't reply soon.



fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?


God poofed everything into existence as they exist right now.

Otherwise known as, you know, this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GVmdCAT7Rc8#t=42

Personally, I don't see why creationists can't just believe God did that to bacteria, then said bacteria evolved from there.



nuckles87 said:
fps_d0minat0r said:
How is it possible to question evolution?
I dont understand....
And what is the alternative theory?


God poofed everything into existence as they exist right now.

Otherwise known as, you know, this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GVmdCAT7Rc8#t=42

Personally, I don't see why creationists can't just believe God did that to bacteria, then said bacteria evolved from there.

Haha, that family guy clip was hilarious (especially the redneck part).

But in reality, when I see this, I see an architect:

Same thing with nature, especially when the processes of evolution don't hold water.

So yeah, God poofed it into existence, much like an architect and his workers poofed this structure into existence.