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Is evolutionary theory a house built on sand?

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re:

Postby robsabba » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:04 pm

cjackphilosophia wrote:What is the difference between facts w/o evidence or best available theories w/o evidence? So no one really knows. That's a fair answer, however many scientific theories are based on "we will never know for sure" and "best expanation". Best for whom? Current scientific theories?

First off, abiogenesis is not a theory, it is a series of hypotheses which are being tested. Evolution , on teh other hand, is a well evidenced theory with specific mechanisms. Second, these abiogenesis hypotheses are being tested in the laboratory, where liely most will be rejected or greatly modified over time. In science we know nothing "for sure." Yet, hypotheses are not considered theories and not given their weight.


cjackphilosophia wrote:Once again, this seems no different than a teleological argument for the existance of God. Both are propped up by foundational theories that have yet to be proven. One philosophical in nature and one pseudo-scientific. It's as if Evolution is suddenly the metophoric equivelant to the Catholic Church, except Darwin is Christ and devoties will do anything to prop up current theories.

Again, you are confusing abiogenesis hypotheses with the theory of evolution.


cjackphilosophia wrote:Scientists should devote equal time to disproving Darwin as looking for further proof. It reminds me of the Philosophical time period of Thomas Aquinas when the only accepted theories were ones compatible with Christianity.

Every single research paper published on evolution is in fact testing it. When you test the predictions of evolution, that is the only way to "disprove" evolution. It just so happens that ever since Darwin, no experiment has been able to disprove the theory.


cjackphilosophia wrote:Watch Ben Stein's movie Expelled. He bent Richard Dawkins over and had him admit to the possibility of ID, all because Dawkins overextended himself and lost his objectivity as a scientist. I love science, but many have become a cult of personality with regard to Darwinism and its no God inferences. Anyone on a blog with a God/noGod statement at the end of every post has an agenda.

Expelled is garbage and propaganda. Anytime someone plays the Nazi Germany card, you know they have no real argument. In addition, Science has nothing to say about God. Darwkins has his opinions about God, but that has nothing to do with the theroy of evolution.
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Postby cjackphilosophia » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:09 pm

Excellent points by all. I will try to integrate all of your statements as our topic has digressed. No complaint implied.
Expelled
Obviously targeted to creationists. Did make a point with regard to ID Professors being expelled. Dawkins was trapped by Stein due to his opinions with no word twisting involved. Could care less about the other stuff as it dna to this discussion. Watch at the following link:
/www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc
Dawkins agenda
Why is it so important to Dawkins to argue a point that he cannot prove God/No God with people he considers to be deluted? He should have spent his time and brilliant mind on finding the proof that would speak for itself. Maybe he could get that God Delusion time back and apply it to science. Does anyone think he really disconnects his God opinion from his Science?He obviously has an agenda. Dawkin's no God rant attempts to argue that evolution attempts to explain all of the complexities of life. At least former atheist Francis Collins of the human genome project did not require people to eliminate mutual exclusion. Philosophically I lean towards his view of science and God.

What is the emotional connection to the no god inference of evolution? Not that actually completing Darwins work would plilosophicaly prove or disprove the existance of God. Maybe with all of the past persecution of science by the church, science is looking for a little payback.
Last edited by cjackphilosophia on Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby cjackphilosophia » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:28 pm

Theories
We all agree that soft theories are the best way to arrive at an endpoint. However, Darwin wrote the "Origin of species". This name implies that his theory is solid and includes ambiogenesis. Otherwise it would have been called Biology Adapts to its Environment. His work was therefor left unfinished. Now every scientist now dreams of completing his manifest destiny. Could there be any other endpoint than Darwins direction or is that scientific blasphemy?
So when asking the question "Can anyone disprove evelolution", I must ask which part, origin or adaptation. If you are refering to origin then I would say you must prove a theory before it can be faulted.
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Postby cjackphilosophia » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:39 pm

I have changed the post title from evolutionary mitosis to reflect the direction the posts have taken.
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Re:

Postby robsabba » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:09 pm

cjackphilosophia wrote:Theories
We all agree that soft theories are the best way to arrive at an endpoint. However, Darwin wrote the "Origin of species". This name implies that his theory is solid and includes ambiogenesis. Otherwise it would have been called Biology Adapts to its Environment. His work was therefor left unfinished. Now every scientist now dreams of completing his manifest destiny. Could there be any other endpoint than Darwins direction or is that scientific blasphemy?
So when asking the question "Can anyone disprove evelolution", I must ask which part, origin or adaptation. If you are refering to origin then I would say you must prove a theory before it can be faulted.

Darwin wrote, "On the Origin of Species," not "On the Origin of Life." His theory did not address where life came from in the first place, and the theory of evolution does not address this even today. The topic of abiogenesis is one many biologists are engaged in, however, this is not part of Biological Evolution. If, for example, the first population of primitive cells were created by God 4 billion years ago, this would not change the theory of evolution in the slightest.
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Re: Is evolutionary theory a house built on sand?

Postby mamoru » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:15 am

Every time I see topics like this, I can't help but think that those criticizing the theories of evolution actually have no idea what it is saying, or how "evolution" itself is defined in biology.

cjackphilosophia, since this is your thread, could you please summarize what you think biologists mean when they talk about "evolution" and what you think the theory of evolution actually is? Are your criticisms (which don't really stand up, as this thread has shown) limited only to the 150 year old theory of Natural Selection by Darwin, or does it also include equally (if not more) important mechanisms of evolution from the modern synthesis and beyond as defined by genetics, Genetic Drift, Neutral Theory, adaptation and variation arising from weakened purifying selection, punctuated equilibrium, spandrels and exaptation, and so on? Do you know which aspects of Darwin's theory have been disproved and the significance of those disproofs?

I'm just curious if you know what the theory is actually saying, or if you are only criticizing what you think it says... :?

So, if a biologist says "evolution", what do you think he/she means by that word?

If a biologist is talking about mechanisms of evolution, what mechanisms is he/she talking about and what do they mean?
"Empathise with stupidity, and you're halfway to thinking like an idiot." - Iain M. Banks
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Re: Is evolutionary theory a house built on sand?

Postby olivortex » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:26 pm

So, if a biologist says "evolution", what do you think he/she means by that word?


Yes, we always have to ask this question, even those who have studied the question seriously.

The main problem with useless debates is that they feature two sides that are not sure they talk about the same thing. And in the worst and most frequent case, some people do as if they didn't understand why they're wrong, when they do. It's called denial.

What is good about science is that it always submits new matter for research or reflection. It's constantly evolving, adding new information to help a better understanding. Science is self-correcting, it's not a still text.

All fields of research and all findings tend to say that the theory of evolution is valid. Therefore it was not built on sand, because Darwin has opened the door to something really important. Over a little more than one century we did such leaps in understanding what is commonly known as evolution (to me the most powerful advance seems to be the DNA sequence and all things related to genetics) that it is very unlikely that it can be debunked.
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Re:

Postby terranrush » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:04 pm

cjackphilosophia wrote:It's as if Evolution is suddenly the metophoric equivelant to the Catholic Church, except Darwin is Christ and devoties will do anything to prop up current theories. Scientists should devote equal time to disproving Darwin as looking for further proof.

In science, theories are tested rigorously. When a scientists tears down another scientist's theory, that's just how things work (it's called peer-reviewed journals). So if somebody were to disprove evolution, they would be made famous indefinitely.

cjackphilosophia wrote:Watch Ben Stein's movie Expelled.


Watch Exposed. It counter's all of the misinformation of Expelled. I've even seen amateur You-tube productions counter all the misinformation in Expelled. Funny when it comes from a teenager, I know.
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Re:

Postby Autolysis » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:07 am

cjackphilosophia wrote:I'm looking at it philosophically. I will rephrase:

How did the very first simple cell without the capacity to reproduce itself, develop a mutation which enabled it to divide, if the only way mutations have been shown to occur are through cell reproduction. If the first cell was unable to reproduce itself, it dies and the cycle ends.


Cells have always had the need to reproduce at least asexually...

When a cell starts to grow, the volume of the cell increases in cubes while the surface area only increases by squares... There could be cell species that don't reproduce back in the day, but they would all lyse after a short time.
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Re: Re:

Postby biohazard » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:32 am

Autolysis wrote:
cjackphilosophia wrote:I'm looking at it philosophically. I will rephrase:

How did the very first simple cell without the capacity to reproduce itself, develop a mutation which enabled it to divide, if the only way mutations have been shown to occur are through cell reproduction. If the first cell was unable to reproduce itself, it dies and the cycle ends.


Cells have always had the need to reproduce at least asexually...

When a cell starts to grow, the volume of the cell increases in cubes while the surface area only increases by squares... There could be cell species that don't reproduce back in the day, but they would all lyse after a short time.


I do not quite understand what you mean. For example the human body has billions of cells that do not necessarily reproduce when they are mature. Neurons, lymphocytes, muscle cells and adipocytes etc. can live for long times, some even years or decades without dividing a single time. So, clearly all cells do not have a need to reproduce.

Also what comes to the growing of cells - there are cells of vastly different proportions in the body. For example adipocytes can become gigantic on a cellular size scale, whereas erythrocytes remain small. How much a cell divides is not related to its size, it is related to their function. For example, epithelial cells divide constantly, as do precursors of blood cells, since their function requires so.

Of course, there are certain physical, chemical and biological rules that determine a theoretical maximum size for a given cell. Signalling, transport, stress on the lipid membrane and such. However, most of the dividing cells (be it an epithelium in humans, a free-living amoeba or a bacterium) divide much before these limits are reached.

The drive for cell division is all about genetics. Cells can stop their growth and choose not to divide if that is necessary, and they can divide much sooner than they "have to" if the genes within them so dictate.
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Re:

Postby robsabba » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:28 pm

cjackphilosophia wrote:Theories
We all agree that soft theories are the best way to arrive at an endpoint. However, Darwin wrote the "Origin of species". This name implies that his theory is solid and includes ambiogenesis. Otherwise it would have been called Biology Adapts to its Environment. His work was therefor left unfinished. Now every scientist now dreams of completing his manifest destiny. Could there be any other endpoint than Darwins direction or is that scientific blasphemy?
So when asking the question "Can anyone disprove evelolution", I must ask which part, origin or adaptation. If you are refering to origin then I would say you must prove a theory before it can be faulted.

1. Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection." He did not write "On the Origin of Life," and natural selection does not explain abiogenesis since it requires a replicating population.

2. There is no such thing as "scientific blasphemy."

3. In science we do not prove anything. A theory is either supported by new evidence and experimentation, or it is falsified by new evidence and experimentation.
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