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Thread: Question on Evolution

  1. #826
    Super Grandmaster HapticSimian's Avatar
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    empirex, I'm gonna take a stab here and hazard that you understand precious little of what you're arguing....

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Houston we have a problem.

    The force of gravity.
    Imagine a ruler divided into one inch increments, stretched across the entire length of the universe, or 14 billion light years.

    So if the ruler represents the possible range for gravity.
    The setting for the strength of gravity just happens to be situated in the right place so that life is possible.

    If you were to change the force of gravity by moving the setting [B]just one inch[/B] compared to the entire width of the universe -- the effect on life would be catastrophic.

    /snip of one big, boring bucket of codswollop the anthropic principle
    Wanna see your entire post deflated in one statement? OK, here you go: Life is fine-tuned to the Universe - any other type of life than that which exists in a given Universe would necessarily not be able to exist in said universe.

    Wanna try again?

    It of course goes without saying that, if the Universe were fine-tuned for life, it would constitute a not insubstantial argument against an omnipotent creator. If Big G magicked life into existence where all indications are that it should not exist then damn, that would've been impressive.
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    I'm not going to get involved in the junk DNA debate because no matter what evidence I presented, some of you guys would just dismiss it without even taking a glance at the evidence.

    Do some homework on the most current events. Stop living in the past, the 1990's ended 12 years ago.
    Francis Collins and co. have said as much:

    It turns out that only about 1.5 percent of the human genome is involved in coding for protein. But that doesn't mean the rest is "junk DNA." A number of exciting new discoveries about the human genome should remind us not to become complacent in our understanding of this marvelous instruction book. For instance, it has recently become clear that there is a whole family of RNA molecules that do not code for protein. These so-called non-coding RNAs are capable of carrying out a host of important functions, including modifying the efficiency by which other RNAs are translated. In addition, our understanding of how genes are regulated is undergoing dramatic revision, as the signals embedded in the DNA molecule and the proteins that bind to them are rapidly being elucidated. The complexity of this network of regulatory information is truly mind-blowing, and has given rise to a whole new branch of biomedical research, sometimes referred to as "systems biology."
    There is so much evidence detailing just what function introns, pseudogenes and repetitive DNA has, here's just one.
    'Junk DNA' Defines Differences Between Humans and Chimps

    Macro- and microevolution are the same?
    The evolutionary mechanism of cancer

    This isn't a debate but a shout-down. Boring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HapticSimian View Post
    empirex, I'm gonna take a stab here and hazard that you understand precious little of what you're arguing....

    Wanna see your entire post deflated in one statement? OK, here you go: Life is fine-tuned to the Universe - any other type of life than that which exists in a given Universe would necessarily not be able to exist in said universe.

    Wanna try again?

    It of course goes without saying that, if the Universe were fine-tuned for life, it would constitute a not insubstantial argument against an omnipotent creator. If Big G magicked life into existence where all indications are that it should not exist then damn, that would've been impressive.
    It kinda went over your head didn't it It's the extent to which the universe is fine-tuned and the fact that the fine-tuning is integrated, or that most conditions are dependant on the next -- ie. the domino effect, if one falls, the rest follow.

    But if you want to believe that all those incredibly precise laws came into existence by nothing but pure dumb luck as a result of a random unguided event such as the big bang... like I said, your faith in the power of the random is truly amazing.

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    Super Grandmaster porchrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    I'm not going to get involved in the junk DNA debate because no matter what evidence I presented, some of you guys would just dismiss it without even taking a glance at the evidence.
    I'm not asking you to get involved in a debate. I'm simply asking you to present the methodology that allowed ID to make these predictions. Should be a simple thing to do.
    Last edited by porchrat; 01-05-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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    Super Grandmaster HapticSimian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Macro- and microevolution are the same?
    The evolutionary mechanism of cancer
    Erm... weren't you arguing not 5 days ago that macro-evolution has not been observed...? Why yes, yes you were:

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Point me to this observable fact -- even though the most devout evolutionists like Dawkins admit we have never observed macroevolution in action, only microevolution.
    Yet here you reference a paper which states right in the abstract that "[C]ancer progression represents a macro-evolutionary process where karyotype change or genome replacement plays the key dominant role". So... researchers have observed macro-evolution then, which differs only in degree and time frame from micro-evolution. That's a bit, well, embarrassing frankly.

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    This isn't a debate but a shout-down. Boring.
    Indeed. Perhaps the time has arrived where you'd be best advised to either exit the discussion, or to put on your thinking cap & actively start, I dunno, learning stuff...
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  6. #831
    Super Grandmaster HapticSimian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    It kinda went over your head didn't it It's the extent to which the universe is fine-tuned and the fact that the fine-tuning is integrated, or that most conditions are dependant on the next -- ie. the domino effect, if one falls, the rest follow.

    But if you want to believe that all those incredibly precise laws came into existence by nothing but pure dumb luck as a result of a random unguided event such as the big bang... like I said, your faith in the power of the random is truly amazing.
    Just... no.

    There are three options here: either 1) nothing we could categorise as a universe could come into existence without these relationships necessarily being as they are, or 2) universes where these relationships are dramatically different would not give rise to life, or 3) universes where these relationships are dramatically different would give rise to wholly different types of life than that which we know.

    Presume a hypothetical universe with any number of those constants, ratios and variables completely jumbled up. If that universe is able to sustain itself, and if it can give rise to life, the hypothetical forms of life that would arise would be suited to the conditions prevalent in that universe. Life is fine-tuned to its environment, not the other way around.

    Have some Douglas Adams:
    "... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."

    You lost little puddle, you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Houston we have a problem.

    <irrelevance> deleted
    The universe is a universe.

    Like the VW beatle is a car. It was certain dimensions and specifications which allow it to function.

    We cannot say whether the Beatle is a good or a bad car until we compare it to another car.

    Simply listing the specifications of out universe does not determine it's "tune", it merely determines it's specifications. To define it's tune one must compare it to another universe. Even then our evaluation would be flawed as we are evolved to survive in our universe.
    a2

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    Quote Originally Posted by HapticSimian View Post
    Erm... weren't you arguing not 5 days ago that macro-evolution has not been observed...? Why yes, yes you were:

    Yet here you reference a paper which states right in the abstract that "[C]ancer progression represents a macro-evolutionary process where karyotype change or genome replacement plays the key dominant role". So... researchers have observed macro-evolution then, which differs only in degree and time frame from micro-evolution. That's a bit, well, embarrassing frankly.
    Ah come on man, seriously? Ok, let me spell this out for you slow and easy....

    The point that was being argued was that: there is no difference between micro- and macroevolution. I linked to a peer-reviewed article in which a group of (evolutionary) biologists made reference to macroevolution, and so displaying a distinction between micro- and macro.

    I referenced that paper to indicate that macro- is not simply micro- over time; there is a distinction. You still with me?

    So we have determined that the terms micro- and macro- are not the same, and so all the flag waving and appeals to authority displayed here on the boards earlier were wrong.

    Now however -- macroevolution as used by creationists and intelligent design advocates refers to something quite different; or a change within species. Whereas that paper refers to macromutations; so while it's not micro, it's not macro or change at the species level either, as is so often referenced by creationists.

    It's the age old Species Problem. You familiar with that?
    Darwin never solved it, and neither have any current evolutionists.

    So in summary; microevolution is not the only game in town as was argued here earlier, but rather the paper referred to macromutation, but certainly not macroevolution as is so often referred to by creationists -- because, and this relates to the species problem, it does not create any new genetic information, just alterations within existing species.

    Got it?

    Indeed. Perhaps the time has arrived where you'd be best advised to either exit the discussion, or to put on your thinking cap & actively start, I dunno, learning stuff...
    Quite sad really that you choose to speak from on high when you are not even familiar with some of the very basics of your very own evolutionary beliefs..... perhaps a visit to the library is in order to ensure no future embarrassments.
    Last edited by empirex; 02-05-2012 at 12:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HapticSimian View Post
    Just... no.

    There are three options here: either 1) nothing we could categorise as a universe could come into existence without these relationships necessarily being as they are, or 2) universes where these relationships are dramatically different would not give rise to life, or 3) universes where these relationships are dramatically different would give rise to wholly different types of life than that which we know.

    Presume a hypothetical universe with any number of those constants, ratios and variables completely jumbled up. If that universe is able to sustain itself, and if it can give rise to life, the hypothetical forms of life that would arise would be suited to the conditions prevalent in that universe. Life is fine-tuned to its environment, not the other way around.

    Have some Douglas Adams:
    "... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the Sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."

    You lost little puddle, you...
    What a waste of time. You literally have switched off your brain.
    You cannot reason with the unreasonable, but I'll try once more.

    So just the first constant I listed:

    strong nuclear force constant
    if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
    if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry

    Without the fine-tuning there would be NO life of ANY kind at all. And given that one constant is reliant on another you can see implications thereof.

    So in other words; without the creation of these fine-tuned constants governing every possible aspect of the universe -- there would never be life of ANY kind.... EVER EVER. Got it?

    Unless of course you're appealing to a multiverse? In which case you have just gone beyond the boundaries of science and might as well be appealing to God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    What a waste of time. You literally have switched off your brain.
    You cannot reason with the unreasonable, but I'll try once more.

    So just the first constant I listed:

    strong nuclear force constant
    if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
    if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry

    Without the fine-tuning there would be NO life of ANY kind at all. And given that one constant is reliant on another you can see implications thereof.

    So in other words; without the creation of these fine-tuned constants governing every possible aspect of the universe -- there would never be life of ANY kind.... EVER EVER. Got it?

    Unless of course you're appealing to a multiverse? In which case you have just gone beyond the boundaries of science and might as well be appealing to God.
    Even I understand this.

  11. #836
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    What a waste of time. You literally have switched off your brain.
    You cannot reason with the unreasonable, but I'll try once more.

    So just the first constant I listed:

    strong nuclear force constant
    if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
    if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry

    Without the fine-tuning there would be NO life of ANY kind at all. And given that one constant is reliant on another you can see implications thereof.

    So in other words; without the creation of these fine-tuned constants governing every possible aspect of the universe -- there would never be life of ANY kind.... EVER EVER. Got it?

    Unless of course you're appealing to a multiverse? In which case you have just gone beyond the boundaries of science and might as well be appealing to God.
    I think you have it backwards.

    All the science points to a multiverse. Most, if not all the scientist would have been happy if everything balanced out and it did not.
    .... and thanks for all the fish.

  12. #837
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    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Ah come on man, seriously? Ok, let me spell this out for you slow and easy....

    The point that was being argued was that: there is no difference between micro- and macroevolution. I linked to a peer-reviewed article in which a group of (evolutionary) biologists made reference to macroevolution, and so displaying a distinction between micro- and macro.

    I referenced that paper to indicate that macro- is not simply micro- over time; there is a distinction. You still with me?

    So we have determined that the terms micro- and macro- are not the same, and so all the flag waving and appeals to authority displayed here on the boards earlier were wrong.

    Now however -- macroevolution as used by creationists and intelligent design advocates refers to something quite different; or a change within species. Whereas that paper refers to macromutations; so while it's not micro, it's not macro or change at the species level either, as is so often referenced by creationists.
    Evolution as a concept in biology is, quite simply, the change in allele frequency over time. Distinguishing between micro- and macro-evolution is to a large extent making a distinction without a difference - the mechanisms and processes are the same, the scale and (will it help you if I add an 'or'?) time periods aren't. That's it.

    But let's keep throwing papers at each other, shall we? Here's Armand Leroi from his paper entitled The scale independence of evolution:

    the ultimate causes of morphological, and hence developmental, evolution are scale independent. In other words, micro- and macroevolutionary patterns show fundamental similarities and therefore are most simply explained as being caused by the same kinds of evolutionary forces.
    There is no boundary which prohibits small changes from leading to eventual large changes. Of course large changes can come about quite suddenly, but there is no need to explicitly differentiate between micro- and macro-evolution. Biologists are more than welcome to use the terms of micro- and macro-evolution because they understand that their use merely implies differences in scale, not a distinction between non-magick and magick.

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    It's the age old Species Problem. You familiar with that?
    Darwin never solved it, and neither have any current evolutionists.
    Perhaps you should take your own advice and stop living in the past? What was described as the 'species problem' in Darwin's time is a concept quite distinct from what is meant by the phrase today. For Darwin it encapsulated the question as to how new species arose. How and why speciation happens is no longer an unanswered question. Of course today the species 'problem' revolves around the categorisation of living things, not how they came to be.

    People want everything to be categorised and definable within strict boundaries; it is a method by which we seek to organise information and make the world a more understandable place to be. The species 'problem' only exists because one necessarily runs into complications when trying to subdivide an overarching concept (life) into neat, clearly defined categories (species). When one comes to understand that all living things are in a constant state of flux, it becomes clear that there would necessarily not be any 100% clear-cut boundaries along which to categorise all life.

    The species 'problem' is a human construct - living things will quite happily continue evolving and differentiating whether we are here to fumble in categorising all of them or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    So in summary; microevolution is not the only game in town as was argued here earlier, but rather the paper referred to macromutation, but certainly not macroevolution as is so often referred to by creationists -- because, and this relates to the species problem, it does not create any new genetic information, just alterations within existing species.

    Got it?
    It is rather unsurprising that a scientific paper would not use the term 'macro-evolution' "as is so often referred to by creationists" as they tend not to know what the **** they're talking about.

    Whilst one can distinguish between micro- and macro-evolution in order to attempt semantic obfuscation in forum discussions, that distinction as properly understood most assuredly does not come about only with the addition of genetic information. You now allude to yet another non-issue raised by creationists through inane ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    Quite sad really that you choose to speak from on high when you are not even familiar with some of the very basics of your very own evolutionary beliefs..... perhaps a visit to the library is in order to ensure no future embarrassments.


    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    What a waste of time. You literally have switched off your brain.
    You cannot reason with the unreasonable, but I'll try once more.

    So just the first constant I listed:

    strong nuclear force constant
    if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
    if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry

    Without the fine-tuning there would be NO life of ANY kind at all. And given that one constant is reliant on another you can see implications thereof.
    Your statement above is categorically wrong - you propose a false dichotomy of either life or 'NO life', when the distinction would truthfully be life as we know it and life we might not even be able to imagine.

    In addition, exactly because of the interconnectedness of so many factors the emergence of a very different universe might be highly improbable or even plainly impossible. We could not be anywhere else to ponder these matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by empirex View Post
    So in other words; without the creation of these fine-tuned constants governing every possible aspect of the universe -- there would never be life of ANY kind.... EVER EVER. Got it?Unless of course you're appealing to a multiverse? In which case you have just gone beyond the boundaries of science and might as well be appealing to God.
    *sigh*

    If the universe was different, we would not have been here to contemplate it. This says nothing on what might inhabit such a different universe instead. Further, any appeal to fine-tuning is meaningless without a measure of comparison. As we cannot know any details of what may or may not exist outside our Universe (whether in a different concurrent universe within a multiverse, a preceding or succeeding universe brought on if a bouncing model were to be true, or a hypothetical universe), we cannot construct such a measure.

    You need to read The Anthropic Coincidences: A Natural Explanation by Victor Stenger - pay specific attention to the section under the heading Interpreting the Coincidences: They Are Designed.

    I see in your appeals to theoretical physics and cosmology nothing but desperation to construct an unbridgeable gap for a creator to reside in. I don't buy it.
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    Here's an example of proper thumbsucking...

    The old creationist question on why are some planets rotating in the opposite direction? When the singularity spun so vigorously and then exploded they should all rotate in the same direction.

    ANSWER:
    Almost all celestial rotation in our solar system is from West to East, or counterclockwise when looking down from the North pole. All planets orbit the Sun in this direction; the Sun itself, as well as all but two planets rotate in this way. This is not too surprising, since the angular momentum associated with all this rotation is the same as the total angular momentum of the primordial solar nebula from which the sun and all planets formed.

    The two exceptions are Venus and Uranus. Uranus' rotational axis is tilted by slightly more than 90 degrees with respect to its orbital plane, i.e. it is rotating “on its side”. Venus is the only planet in the solar system that truly exhibits reverse rotation, spinning in the opposite direction to its orbital motion.

    It is thought that this anomalous rotation was caused by a collision with a very large asteroid, or even a planetoid, early on in the history of our solar system. The collision would have destroyed the asteroid, but the impact could have changed the orientation of the orbital rotation axis.


    Is that how science works? We don't know the answer but here's a possible explanation. While we're at it we'll take it as fact and write it into the textbooks. Arrogant bastards!



    Another assumption: From the expansion of the universe it's assumed that the universe started of as a singularity 13.75 billion years ago (mathematically calculated in reverse from expansion rate). Is that really science??
    So if a balloon is being blown up and it expanse at a constant rate and you calculate it backwards in the same way, you should end up at a "singularity" again. Conclusion: the balloon was never made, it sprung out of nothingness.
    Last edited by Ekstasis; 02-05-2012 at 08:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekstasis View Post
    Here's an example of proper thumbsucking...

    The old creationist question on why are some planets rotating in the opposite direction? When the singularity spun so vigorously and then exploded they should all rotate in the same direction.
    I have absolutely NO IDEA what the bolded text means, can you elaborate Ekstasis, please?

    ANSWER:
    Almost all celestial rotation in our solar system is from West to East, or counterclockwise when looking down from the North pole. All planets orbit the Sun in this direction; the Sun itself, as well as all but two planets rotate in this way. This is not too surprising, since the angular momentum associated with all this rotation is the same as the total angular momentum of the primordial solar nebula from which the sun and all planets formed.

    The two exceptions are Venus and Uranus. Uranus' rotational axis is tilted by slightly more than 90 degrees with respect to its orbital plane, i.e. it is rotating “on its side”. Venus is the only planet in the solar system that truly exhibits reverse rotation, spinning in the opposite direction to its orbital motion.

    It is thought that this anomalous rotation was caused by a collision with a very large asteroid, or even a planetoid, early on in the history of our solar system. The collision would have destroyed the asteroid, but the impact could have changed the orientation of the orbital rotation axis.
    Where does this answer come from? Please provide references, if you are quoting pieces that you have not written.

    Is that how science works? We don't know the answer but here's a possible explanation. While we're at it we'll take it as fact and write it into the textbooks. Arrogant bastards!
    Science attempts to provide answers, and is continually updating it's breadth of knowledge about the world. With the claims made by science comes explanation, experimentation, predictions and evidence. If this is arrogant, then what must you think of religion, which makes dogmatic statements that are insisted to be true beyond any shadow of a doubt, unchanging, and based on faith?

    *edit*

    I still don't understand your statement about arrogance here, you say it yourself, it's clearly a tentative explanation, and is very obviously phrased as such. What is arrogant about that?

    Another assumption: From the expansion of the universe it's assumed that the universe started of as a singularity 13.75 billion years ago (mathematically calculated in reverse from expansion rate). Is that really science??
    So if a balloon is being blown up and it expanse at a constant rate and you calculate it backwards in the same way, you should end up at a "singularity" again. Conclusion: the balloon was never made, it sprung out of nothingness.
    You've never read a book on cosmology, have you?
    Last edited by copacetic; 02-05-2012 at 08:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HapticSimian View Post
    If the universe was different, we would not have been here to contemplate it. This says nothing on what might inhabit such a different universe instead. Further, any appeal to fine-tuning is meaningless without a measure of comparison. As we cannot know any details of what may or may not exist outside our Universe (whether in a different concurrent universe within a multiverse, a preceding or succeeding universe brought on if a bouncing model were to be true, or a hypothetical universe), we cannot construct such a measure.
    Well worded.
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