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Theories - Origin of Life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby Jonl1408 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:33 pm

The appendix helps your immune system. You want me to list the reasons, we haven't discovered any yet, just like we had no reasons for the appendix, until people understood what it was for. The Bible gives a guideline, on how to live a healthy life, but man completely ignores it, because it mentions cutting out foods that we have grown up loving. There are some groups of people today, who have grown up eating the way that the Bible says to, and those people, are some of the healthiest people on the planet. They do not get cancer or other diseases. The Hallelujah diet, is a diet that focuses on following God's food laws in the Bible. Cancer patients, given months or less to live, decided to try the diet, (they had nothing to lose) and not only did the live, but they were cured of the cancer, in a relatively short time period. I am not just speaking of a few people either, there have been a few hundred cancer patients cured, and not just cancer patients but tons of people with other diseases too. http://www.hacres.com/library/testimonies/search
Also when did I not answer your question?
"The scientific establishment bears a grisly resemblance to the Spanish Inquisition"-D. Gould
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby BDDVM » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:13 am

Wouldn't that be nice if it were true. You see I don't trust your sources. Lying to forward your biases is just too easy. In science we require evidence that is not tainted by bias. Now when I say lying I am not necessarily saying that intentional untruths are being said. It is at least as likely that the underlying bias has made your sources actually believe what they are saying. Self deception is the easiest because we automatically thrust the source. Science (at least good science) assumes bias exists and goes to great lengths to expose it and compensate for it. Just wanting to believe is a huge bias and requires extreme controls to get to the facts through the fog of bias.
Scientists don't do multiple controls and double blind studies because we like them. We do them because we don't trust ourselves any more than we trust creationists.
Murphy is a scientist, whatever can be biased is biased.
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Theories - Origin of life

Postby scottie » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:18 pm

I have only just joined this forum and have been rather interested in this thread.
In particular the debate between Jonl1408 and BDDVM.


Jonl1408
You clearly have a confidence in your bible and trust it considerably. May I suggest that when you debate the bible in a science forum you be prepared to debate science not faith.
Now you clearly believe that the God of the bible designed man (indeed everything else) as the bible states. However the bible also states that something else is at play here in that man's condition has been tampered with, you have only to refer to Hebrews 2:14 to show that death and suffering was not part of the original design.

Now if someone believes the bible account is just a myth, at least you can point to the account as being consistent within itself and it explains the current situation of man.
What I am suggesting is that if you get to know your bible better you would therefore be better prepared to debate with anyone who does not share your belief.

BDVM
I can see you are an educated person and adhere to evolutionary theory, although I am uncertain as to what branch of evolutionary theory you subscribe.
However when you state that
“Only an idiot would have the path of air into the lungs cross the path of food and water into the stomache.” I feel you are being more than a little arrogant.

May I suggest you check out the actual design of the human respiratory system and it's control, perhaps here
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Human_Phys ... ory_system and inform how you would modify the system away from idiocy.

Please keep in mind that vague statements about the superior system of the birds is just simple rhetoric unless design detail accompanies your comments.
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Postby BDDVM » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:30 am

Some requested details which I'm afraid will be somewhat longwinded for this forum.
To improve the human respiratory system ( without a major overhaul) simply move the esophagus in front of (anterior to) the trachea so the air pathway and the food/water pathway don't cross each other.
Avian respiratory anatomy and physiology is kind of complicated but I'll give it a shot. The windpipe opens at the base of the tongue where debris isn't trapped easily like the back of our pharynx. A system of air sacs then direct air through the lung in only one direction which keeps incoming air from mixing with outgoing air thus greatly increasing oxygen transfer efficiency. It's actually a very cool system. If you watch a bird inhale and then exhale the air you see coming out was not the air that was just inhaled, it's the air that was inhaled the time before. If a bird was smoking the smoke would come out a breath later than expected. If we had this level of oxygen transfer efficiency we could likely run 3 minute miles. I'm just saying that for an intelligent designer the designs look like they were put together without much intelligence.
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Re: Theories - Origin of life

Postby canalon » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:30 pm

scottie wrote:Please keep in mind that vague statements about the superior system of the birds is just simple rhetoric unless design detail accompanies your comments.


And why would that be? There are countless design that would work better than what we have. Anything that you can imagine where respiratory and food ingestion system are separate. teh point is if it evolved it somehow makes sense for the 2 system to have ended up that way, however absurd and unnecessarily complicated and failure prone it is, but if it had been designed from scratch with even a modicum of intelligence separation of the system would be part of the design requirement.
In fact as with many things there is no need for our body to have all those design quirks that are proving to be annoying (design of our spine, absence of protection of the sensitive abdominal area, excretion and reproduction system sharing conduits...) unless you consider that they evolved from preexisting structures that constrained them so much that a better design was not possible. The problem with (un)intelligent design hypothesis is that it completely fails to explain why if we have been designed, those major problems have not been taken in consideration from the start.
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Postby scottie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:56 pm

BDVM

Thanks very much for your response. It is certainly educational and appreciated.
I am also glad you have modified the language of your critique in the comparison between the bird/ human respiratory and digestive systems.

I understand the nub of your argument but feel it is a view that is rather simplistic and I don't mean this in any derogative sense.

In my question to you I deliberately referred to control of the systems, those that which are housed in different parts of the brain. You have simply sought to focus on the mechanics of the systems.

Although there are common functionalities between the two systems the fact is that the human system is far more elaborate and indeed versatile. We have only to examine the taste and vocal abilities of the two to appreciate that one is more sophisticated than the other.

The epiglottis is the flap of cartilage located at the opening to the larynx.
During swallowing, the larynx closes to prevent swallowed material from entering the lungs, the larynx is also pulled upwards to assist this process. Stimulation of the larynx by ingested matter produces a strong cough reflex to protect the lungs.
You rightly refer to choking that occurs when the epiglottis fails to cover the trachea, and food becomes lodged in our windpipe.

The closing of the larynx during swallowing indicates anticipation does it not?

I would argue that this is not a matter of faulty design but one of faulty maintenance.

The two systems operate in two different environments and have different purposes while having some common functions.

I don't see why should one system be considered the product of idiot design and the other not.

Now canalon raises a good question and I will respond in my next post shortly.
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Postby BDDVM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:07 pm

I don't actually believe an idiot designed anything. Evolution did it. The fact that our bodies seem bodgered together is just what you would expect from such a simple and often imprecise process.
Those who advocate the scientific theory of Creationism or Intelligent design must explain why these problems exist (every single one of them). Furthermore their explainations must be consistent with their definition of the creator/ designer.
No fair claiming god created evolution while saying evolution didn't happen.
Incidentally, part of the nerve supply to the larynx , the recurrent laryngeal nerve, is another example of Rube Goldburg type design.
The nerve starts as a cranial nerve , XI ? I don't recall exactly. Anyway it starts at he base of the skull and heads south, goes right past the larynx, loops around the base of the heart and ends up at he larnyx. This path makes it one of the longest periferal nerves in the body. Unfortunately periferal nerves have to get all their nutrition and metabolites to the ends of their axons through those axons. This becomes increasingly difficult as those axons get longer. In dogs at least this often leads to the nerve becoming damaged with age to the point that about once a month I see an old dog that can't open the larynx to inhale. A 50cm nerve that wears out where a much more healthy 10cm nerve would work fine. Not intelligent, evolutionary baggage.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:27 pm

canalon
“teh point is if it evolved it somehow makes sense for the 2 system to have ended up that way, however absurd and unnecessarily complicated and failure prone it is, but if it had been designed from scratch with even a modicum of intelligence separation of the system would be part of the design requirement.”


When you used the term evolved I assume (correct me if I am wrong) you refer to random variation followed by natural selection i.e. (survival, mate-finding, reproduction)

Now for the moment lets stick with the respiratory/digestive system mentioned as evidence of as you put it (un)intelligent design.

Did you know (perhaps you do) that our mouths can only distinguish 5 different tastes, sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami (or savouriness).

But you also know that when we enjoy a really good meal we are definitely not limited to those 5 tastes.

So what’s going on?

The other flavours (as distinct from the term taste) is detected by flavour molecules stimulating our olfactory glands in the nose. (part of the respiratory system)

Try the following experiment to see this in action:
Take a piece of any strong flavoured food (say cheese or garlic), hold your nose and put it on your tongue and rub it against the roof of your mouth.

What can you detect? probably just salt or one of the other 4 taste sensations.
Now let your nose go and breath in as you taste (part of the digestive system) the morsel of food, suddenly the flavours erupt in your mouth and nose. 

Everything we smell in life comes from these 5 atoms.
carbon
nitrogen
hydrogen
oxygen
sulphur

These 5 atoms form into different molecules and molecules vibrate at different frequencies and a spectroscope can analyse the vibrations and determine what the molecule is.

We smell molecular vibrations( according to theory), now the fly in the ointment is that if you looked up the nose of the person next to you what you would not see is a spectroscope. :)

Birds have an acute sense of taste. Taste is used to help avoid harmful foods. Sensory receptors inside the bird's mouth detect sweet, salt, sour (acid), and bitter tastes. Sensitivity to each of these tastes differs from species to species.
http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/inf ... senses.htm

The sense of taste is part of their survival package.

Do birds enjoy the full flavour as humans do? The answer is no. One major reason is that the sense of taste and smell do not combine as they do in humans. (separate systems as we are informed)

The point I make is this
This highly developed combination of senses in Humans is clearly not a requirement for survival, findng a mate or reproduction ie Natural Selection.

So the obvious question is why do we posses this quality and not birds.The only good reason I can come up with is pleasure.

Now where does pleasure play a part in natural selection. I don't know, can anyone educate me please.

To combine the two systems far from being an example of bad design is a excellent example of good design, if only for the reason it adds pleasure to what is otherwise an essential requirement.

I could take up your other points (design of our spine, absence of protection of the sensitive abdominal area, excretion and reproduction system sharing conduits...) but perhaps we could move on to them later
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:57 pm

BDDVM
I know you don't believe an idiot designed anything.

But before we go any further I would like to make one thing clear. I am neither a creationist nor an advocate of the ID community.

I have made a study of the various denominations of evolutionary thinking, and there are several, and all coming up with separate ideas.

I have similarly made a study of the bible though not the Qu'ran and the religious churches of Christendom and Islam again come up with different ideas, each one claiming they are right.

Science is my interest.
Science in my opinion should not be tied to any philosophy.

Getting past my bedtime now so must conclude for the time being.

Now I don't get hung up on terminology. When I see design I see it for what it is –Design. I don't need to prefix it with adjectives such as “Intelligent” as the ID community does or “Apparent” as Richard Dawkins does.

How did this design come about? Well I don't see this has been answered by science.
We haven't even been able to explain what life is so how can science know how it came about. If it came about by supernatural means then science will never be able to answer it.

Science however can explain how it could not have come about.

So when you claim that that it is the result of evolutionary process then I need to pin you down to explain which evolutionary theory you are subscribing to, as there are many.

With respect you have not answered that yet.

Could you possibly answer that question please.
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Postby BDDVM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:04 pm

Pleasure is evolutions way of rienforcing decisions that make you more likely to live and reproduce. Generally, apples taste good and feces, decayed meat etc taste (and smell) bad. Incidentally there are exceptions as one would expect in a process that takes at least one generation to eliminate deliterious variations. Some people can't resist feces and other not so healthy dietary choices.
Some of these preferences are learned, some are inate and adjusted by learning and some are inate.
I have been accused of offering simplistic answers to these questions.
In science, simple answers are prefered.
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Postby BDDVM » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:38 am

Scotty I am sorry, I don't know what you mean by denominations of evolutionary thinking. Could you name a few. Also I'm not sure of your point about the sense of smell/taste in birds. Birds in general have poor sense of both taste and smell. Flight makes smells hard to track and places a premium on eyesight. Food is generally identified visually and is very inflexible. Once a bird starts eating sunflower seeds it's difficult to get them to even try a food with a different appearence. Even ground sunflower seeds.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby canalon » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:28 am

scottie wrote:When you used the term evolved I assume (correct me if I am wrong) you refer to random variation followed by natural selection i.e. (survival, mate-finding, reproduction)

Now for the moment lets stick with the respiratory/digestive system mentioned as evidence of as you put it (un)intelligent design.

Did you know (perhaps you do) that our mouths can only distinguish 5 different tastes, sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami (or savouriness). [... snip for brevity...]
To combine the two systems far from being an example of bad design is a excellent example of good design, if only for the reason it adds pleasure to what is otherwise an essential requirement.

I could take up your other points (design of our spine, absence of protection of the sensitive abdominal area, excretion and reproduction system sharing conduits...) but perhaps we could move on to them later


My answer is simple: WRONG.
The design is essentially bad and over complicated. The fact that there is a silver lining to that does not make it any better. If the fact that Windows Millenium Edition was so buggy that it required almost monthly reinstall limited the usual accumulation of crap in the registry, it did not make it a better OS than windows 98. :lol:
There are countless way to make the 2 systems communicate and do that more safely if you can design it from scratch. Or to have the olfactive system actually located in the mouth (like snakes) or to make the tongue more sensitive. This is a clunky design that was born of randomness and necessity while nature's tinkering where constrained by the preexisting.
And in fact no amount of rationalisation is convincing: Bad design is bad design whatever later improvment come afterwards. Human have the ribcage of tetrapods, in spite of being bipedals; our larynx and excretion system should not have been connected the way they are if they had been designed. But there never was design or intent, just random tinkering and selection, and a bit of serendipity. Look at the thumb of the panda (and read S.J. Gould's book by the same name, and most of his other book, they are worth it) and many other examples in nature and all we can see is Chance and necessity (Thank you J. Monod).
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