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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 scottie » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:53 pm

Response to freerob

Sorry for the delay in responding but I have been doing other things and have only just got back to this forum.

Now you raise a lot of questions for me to deal with so if I may I deal with each one in the order you raised them.

First

my statement
"There are a reducing number of biologists who still subscribe to the Darwinian process of random mutations.
The main protagonists are notably Dawkins and Coyne who seem more interested in promoting their religious views rather than science.”

Please back up this absurd statement.


When you put out a challenge like this please be certain you know what you are talking about.

Let me start backing up my statement with the actual names of Scientists who have publicly put their names forward as ones who refute the Darwinian process of natural selection acting upon random mutations

Philip Skell Emeritus, Evan Pugh Prof. of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Lyle H. Jensen Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biological Structure & Dept. of Biochemistry University of Washington, Fellow AAAS
Maciej Giertych Full Professor, Institute of Dendrology Polish Academy of Sciences
Lev Beloussov Prof. of Embryology, Honorary Prof., Moscow State University Member, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences
Eugene Buff Ph.D. Genetics Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Emil Palecek Prof. of Molecular Biology, Masaryk University; Leading Scientist Inst. of Biophysics, Academy of Sci., Czech Republic
K. Mosto Onuoha Shell Professor of Geology & Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Univ. of Nigeria Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science
Ferenc Jeszenszky Former Head of the Center of Research Groups Hungarian Academy of Sciences
M.M. Ninan Former President Hindustan Academy of Science, Bangalore University (India)
Denis Fesenko Junior Research Fellow, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)
Sergey I. Vdovenko Senior Research Assistant, Department of Fine Organic Synthesis Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and Petrochemistry
Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (Ukraine)
Henry Schaefer Director, Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry University of Georgia
Paul Ashby Ph.D. Chemistry Harvard University
Israel Hanukoglu Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Chairman The College of Judea and Samaria (Israel)
Alan Linton Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology University of Bristol (UK)
Dean Kenyon Emeritus Professor of Biology San Francisco State University
David W. Forslund Ph.D. Astrophysics, Princeton University Fellow of American Physical Society
Robert W. Bass Ph.D. Mathematics (also: Rhodes Scholar; Post-Doc at Princeton) Johns Hopkins University
John Hey Associate Clinical Prof. (also: Fellow, American Geriatrics Society) Dept. of Family Medicine, Univ. of Mississippi
Daniel W. Heinze Ph.D. Geophysics (also: Post-Doc Fellow, Carnegie Inst. of Washington) Texas A&M University
Richard Anderson Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Duke University
David Chapman Senior Scientist Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Giuseppe Sermonti Professor of Genetics, Ret. (Editor, Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum) University of Perugia (Italy)
Stanley Salthe Emeritus Professor Biological Sciences Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Marcos N. Eberlin Professor, The State University of Campinas (Brazil) Member, Brazilian Academy of Science

Now I am going to pause here, as it is only just a start, and ask you to match my list of non-Darwinists with a comparable list of Darwinists.

For every name you put forward I will match it.

Now are you prepared to go toe to toe with me with “this absurd statement” of mine.”

I will deal with the rest of your comments but let’s first get this one out of the way.
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Postby canalon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:38 pm

Nice appeal to authority.
With some dead physicists and other people completely unrelated science. Is that supposed to impress anyone? Is a list of 20-something scientists demonstrating anything else than those 20-something people had view that dissent with the majority.
How do that prove that a reducing number of scientist believe something?
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:02 pm

canalon

I said that was a start, you really need to read what I am actually writing.
How far do you wish me to go and more importantly will you be able to match me name for name.
My list was not an appeal to authority but simply to respond to freerob's challenge to support my previous statement.

How else can I do that without naming names. I naturally assumed that to be a fairly basic requirement.

By the way those I have named were not dead when they went public, some though may have died since. Life does have that unfortunate quality.

Also as far as proof goes, just one or two of those who have changed from Darwinian to non Darwinian
is sufficient to prove my point. ------ However I am not relying on just a few.

We can take this as far as you wish.

I do understand however that your need to go for any little opening you can spot since the big gates have closed in on you.
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Postby canalon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:44 pm

No you have not answered my question. I doubt you ever will.
As for your list the kind of data would be rather like polls telling me what percentage of scientists (I'd rather have biologist as the other are not very likely to be more than laymen in the field) support which side of the discussion. if possible with size of sample, origin and method of sampling. You know data, not anecdotes (which is exactly what a list of name is).
And since you claim a reducing number of scientists, please provide at least 2 data points (the more the merrier) to support your assertion.
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Postby canalon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:49 pm

Oh and define scientist.

Should I list my former students (3rd year Biology major), they know probably a lot more on the subject that some random chemists and mathematicians. Or all my fellow labmates?
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:52 pm

How many biologists would you like me to name?
How many can you name?
I notice you have learnt a salutary lesson not to engage in facts but just rely on rhetoric.

So how many would you like me to name.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:15 am

Here are some more.

Jiøí Vácha Professor Emeritus of Pathological Physiology Institute of Pathophysiology, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)
John S. Roden Associate Professor of Biology Southern Oregon University
Donald W. Russell Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Geoff Barnard Senior Research Scientist, Department of Veterinary Medicine University of Cambridge (UK)
Olivia Torres Professor-Researcher (Human Genetics) Autonomous University of Guadalajara (Mexico)
Donald A. Kangas Professor of Biology Truman State University
Dennis M. Sullivan Professor of Biology and Bioethics Cedarville University
Robert D. Orr Professor of Family Medicine University of Vermont College of Medicine
Laverne Miller Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine Medical College of Ohio
S. Thomas Abraham Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology Campbell University School of Pharmacy
Professor of Anesthesiology Texas A&M Univ. Syst. Health Science Center
Donald F. Smee Research Professor (Microbiology) Utah State University
Colin R. Reeves Professor of Operational Research (Ph.D. Evolutionary Algorithms) Coventry University (UK)
Eugene K. Balon University Professor Emeritus, Department of Integrative
Biology University of Guelph
Chrystal L. Ho Pao Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D. Molecular Genetics,
Harvard U.) Trinity International University
Joel Brind Professor of Biology Baruch College, City University of New York
Jan Peter Bengtson Associate Professor (M.D., Ph.D. Intensive Care Medicine) University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
Timothy A. Mixon Assistant Professor of Medicine Texas A&M University
Ivan M. Lang Ph.D. Physiology and Biophysics Temple University
John G. Hoey Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology City University of New York Graduate School
Theodore J. Siek Ph.D. Biochemistry Oregon State University
Christian M. Loch Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics University of Virginia
Charles A. Signorino Ph.D. Organic Chemistry University of Pennsylvania
Luke Randall Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology University of London (UK)
Jan Frederic Dudt Associate Professor of Biology Grove City College
Eduardo Sahagun Professor of Botany Autonomous University of Guadalajara (Mexico)
Mark A. Chambers Ph.D. Virology University of Cambridge (UK)
Daniel Howell Ph.D. Biochemistry Virginia Tech
Jonathan D. Eisenback Professor of Plant Pathology Dept. of Plant Pathology and Weed Science Virginia Tech
Eduardo Arroyo Professor of Forensics (Ph.D. Biology) Complutense University (Spain)
Peter Silley Ph.D. Microbial Biochemistry University of Newcastle upon Tyne
E. Norbert Smith Ph.D. Zoology Texas Tech University
Peter C. Iwen Professor of Pathology and Microbiology University of Nebraska Medical Center
Luman R. Wing Associate Professor of Biology Azusa Pacific University
Wesley M. Taylor Former Chairman of the Division of Primate Medicine & Surgery New England Regional Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School
Wayne Linn Professor Emeritus of Biology Southern Oregon University
Gregory D. Bossart Director and Head of Pathology Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

Do you wish me to carry on, or are you going to try and move the goal posts?
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby freerob » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:13 am

scottie wrote:Now I am going to pause here, as it is only just a start, and ask you to match my list of non-Darwinists with a comparable list of Darwinists.

For every name you put forward I will match it.

Now are you prepared to go toe to toe with me with “this absurd statement” of mine.”


Obviously you are unaware of "project Steve". http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve
NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism."

Today the list of scientists who DO NOT doubt Darwin's theory AND have the first name of Steve sits at well over 1100(one-thousand-one-hundred). Considering only about 1% of scientists are named Steve, I'd say your attempt to show Evolution as a theory in crisis with a list of "dissenters" has been shown to be absurd.

Each one of those on that list of "Steves" had to voluntarily sign up to be on it. They all had to sign and support the following statement:
The statement:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.


How many Steves were on your list? More than 1100? :lol:

Edit to add insult to injury:
scottie wrote:When you put out a challenge like this please be certain you know what you are talking about.

Back at ya! :D

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Postby freerob » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:43 am

The list scottie is copying names from is most likely the one found at http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/index.php ,a website belonging to The Discovery Institute, now calling itself the Center For Science and Culture. The leading "Intelligent Design" advocacy group in the U.S. He should have cited his source but didn't. I noticed quite a few of the names on both lists (the website's and scottie's).

If that is the reference source for scottie's list of scientists it should be noted that there are many serious criticisms of how it was gathered. Mainly through a petition called "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism". Since the list was published, some who have signed on to it have dissented from the petition itself. Claims of being mislead into signing on to it and of misrepresentations were reported.

Only 80 of the original 700 signing the petition were biologists to answer canalon's question since scottie tried to skate past it (if indeed this is his source, he didn't cite a source).

All are welcome to review the wiki-article on "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism".
In their 2010 book Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins, science and religion scholar Denis Alexander and historian of science Ronald L. Numbers tied the fate of the Dissent to that of the wider intelligent design movement:

After more than a decade of effort the Discovery Institute proudly announced in 2007 that it had got some 700 doctoral-level scientists and engineers to sign "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism." Though the number may strike some observers as rather large, it represented less than 0.023 percent of the world's scientists. On the scientific front of the much ballyhooed "Evolution Wars", the Darwinists were winning handily. The ideological struggle between (methodological) naturalism and supernaturalism continued largely in the fantasies of the faithful and the hyperbole of the press.


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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:23 pm

well done Freerob
At last some one is actually doing some homework.

As I said before and will say again, can you match name for name. Whatever the source at least these people have actually had the temerity to put their names out in public.
Do you see names such as Shapiro, or Koonin,( I will deal with your comment regarding him shortly) or Woese or any other of the evolutionary scientists who refute Darwinism. Of course not.

And why not. --because they don't wish to be associated with ID or any other interpretation. They will critique from within but not commit the gross sin of siding with the opposition.
This is all about the "them and us" syndrome and nothing to do with facts. I will comment further on this list.

However let me move on for the moment to Shapiro
Shapiro could reference 56 or 560,000,000,000 papers. So what? This is from a lecture at a conference, is speculative, is NOT a peer reviewed scientific work. On top of this blatant appeal to authority, you (and other ID'ers) have totally overstated what Shapiro is saying in this document, which Shapiro himself is overstating. There is nothing earth shattering in the actual science he is referencing in this document.


Nice little bit of rhetoric but please tell me was “Origin of Species” ever peer-reviewed before publication like all good scientific papers should, or as you put it was just speculative? :)

However what part of Shapiro’s “essays” if you like, are speculative and overstated.
Please enlighten me.
Also can you cite any peer-reviewed paper that actually contradicts what he states as observed facts.

By the way I am not an advocate of Shapiro’s views per se, but simply quote him as an example of the divide between Darwinists themselves. He clearly does not support Darwinian theory.

It's a common tactic for creationists/intelligent design proponents to latch on to this particular document as if it totally disproves random mutation in favor of design claims. I back that statement up by simply pointing out that if search for Shapiro's "third way" concept you find it plastered all over many psuedoscientific ID websites
.

It may or may not be a common tactic for creationists/intelligent design proponents, but since I am neither, one or the other, your accusation lacks any power with me. Please read my previous posts.

Evolution is not a religion. Your evidence that it is a religion is the zeal and conviction with which it is pursued. This logic could be applied to ANY activity, for example quilting or coin collecting. Calling evolution a religion makes religion pretty much meaningless.


Religions are belief systems. They do not rely on factual evidence to support their beliefs. That is why they are beliefs or points of view!!! They generally rely on sacred dogmas.

Now Is Darwinian theory simply a dogma ?
Well let’s see
Species arrive by common decent through natural selection sifting out random mutations. In other words random mutations produce a phenotypic change in an existing species and then that change remains, or is discarded by natural selection.

Now lets have the evidence please in a macro evolutionary sense.
No unsupported statements of any materialist philosophy counts as evidence as you well know.

So let me turn to Ernst Mayr the root of so much of my shame :)

Mayr is giving praise to Darwin's theories not solely as philosophical, but in addition to it's merit as scientific FACT. Huge difference when you compare it to what you are inferring he meant scottie.


So according to you Darwinian theory is a scientific fact. Yes?

Now these are the words of Ernst Mayr himself. I am not editing anything or taking him out of context. He simply argued his corner very rigorously.

The discovery of natural selection, by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, must itself be counted as an extraordinary philosophical advance


So if the theory is a fact why does it need a supporting philosophy?
After all, other scientific facts don’t have,or indeed need, supporting philosophies.
Newton’s Laws on gravity, Kepler’s Laws of motion, Chargaff’s rule of GC% content etc etc.

The reason is simple, it is a philosophy. Mind you Mayr also describes it as a historical science.
Now that puts it on a par with Archaeology, and we all know how exact a science archaeology is don’t we?

If you were honest enough to acknowledge that, at best this theory is a material interpretation of what is believed to have happened then there is no problem, except of course for you it is a problem, because it put this on the same level as other interpretations.
So a dictat is issued - how does Mayr put it- and you so rightly quote him

No educated person any longer questions the validity of the so-called theory of evolution, which we now know to be a simple fact.

So anyone who questions Darwinian Theory is not an educated person according to Ernst Mayr and you as one of his obedient acolytes simply parrots the same dictat as though it had some force.

That means that all the PHD scientists (I have already provided you with a very very small starting list of these ) who do not hold with the theory, are part of the uneducated masses.

Oh dearie me :) ( It's an english expression)

The Darwinian doctrine is a sacred doctrine that only the educated can comprehend.
Hmm!!! sounds very much like the principle driving force that was behind the Spanish inquisition.

Look if you don’t like being referred to as a religionist then don’t behave like a fundamentalist in religion.

I will take up “
About your design claims
” in my next post.
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Postby canalon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:26 pm

Scottie You said you want science. A list of name is just a butterfly collection it does not say anything on the larger population, the changes over time of the acceptance of the idea or anything interesting. This not science, this is anecdote.

You claimed that there is a reducing number of scientist backing up evolution, could you provide facts baking up your claim?

You claim that life as we see it is evidence for design. If this is true, and scince design imply action by an outer agent, what would this agent be? and how did it came to be? I remind you that you were the one that first called Occam's razor in deciding what hypothesis should be accepted. Is an infinitely recursive loop simpler to accept than "spontaneous order from chaos"?
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:15 pm

canalon
I will respond to your post but if I may I would first like to continue with freerob's rather lengthy series of questions.

Promise I will return to you.

freerob
Now I will take up “About your design claims” i

About your design claims:
1) There is no "theory of design" in biology because design can't be defined in the normal sense without also defining an agent and purpose. A theory of design must address agent and purpose or it is not about design. You admit that you do not define the agent and purpose. Therefore, even if you could somehow prove design, it wouldn't be about design in the usual sense at all.
2) Nowhere in the scientific literature is any design theory validated.
3) The design claim is useless and unscientific, it has not generated any predictions and no scientific work has come from it.

Point 1
As regards the theory of design. Please get your facts straight. Do some research on for instance the theory of C K design.

However does design feature in biology?

This is what George V. Lauder of Harvard University has to say on the subject
http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~glau ... heoBio.pdf
1. Introduction
The problem of biological design is one of the oldest topics in biology. It has been clear, at least from the time of Aristotle, that organisms possess a “unity of plan” or underlying commonality of structure, and that the function of biological features bears some relationship to their form. E. S. Russell in his classic book (1916) has interpreted the history of morphology as an attempt to understand the relationship between form and function.
The concepts of commonality of structure and functional design play
prominent roles in modern evolutionary morphology.

So please tell has any scientist refuted this statement?

In fact so profuse is the recognition that some have sought to try to remove the word design from scientific literature.

Here is what Andrew Moore Editor-in-Chief of online library of Wiley has suggested. Have a read here.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 90011/full
Also see http://www.synbioworld.org/

2 ) Nowhere in the scientific literature is any design theory validated.

What do you mean by this statement. There is plenty of literature teaching design theory. Perhaps you could be more precise. Are you saying that design is not a scientific concept?

3) The design claim is useless and unscientific, it has not generated any predictions and no scientific work has come from it.


Does Darwinian theory generate any predictions? If it does then it cannot be random or undirected.
So according to your logic then Darwinian theory is also as you put it useless and unscientific.

You really need to think more carefully before engaging in your rather rash rhetoric.

Now design meets even your requirements.

Lets take the digestive system of say, yourself.

From teeth to anus there is purpose is there not.
You know the food intake goes into your stomach, gets digested, produces the necessary fuel to power the cellular processes to keep you alive.
The waste parts of the food that your body cannot use you discharge through your anus.

Now does this tract have purpose.
Answer – Yes, fundamentally to keep you alive. There are some side issues like waste discharge. It also allows you to blow hot air from time to time.

Is there a process?
Answer – Yes, you can see that process depicted in any digestive tract diagram.

But Darwinian theory has no purpose – Right?
It is undirected --- Right?

So for this tract to arrive by a Darwinian process some undirected and purposeless mutation(s) would have to have taken place in the genome --- Right?

Lets ignore the fact that most mutations lose information instead of gaining information.

Where does this mutation process start? Is it at the teeth or at the anus?
Or does it start with an already existing digestive system?

But that means that the already existing digestive system must also have mutated from a previous digestive system.

But wait a minute don’t all these previous systems have purpose, and function and direction, all the attributes of design.
But common decent is a major plank in Darwinian theory. Yes?

So really it is design all the way back right to the very beginning is it not?

Now could you please explain to me, an obviously uneducated person, where purposeless and undirected processes fits into this scenario.

Now I don’t want you blowing any hot air at me, just give me the FACTS – please

I need to know.
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