Author Topic: The Impossibility Argument  (Read 24011 times)

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Offline DrTesla

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2013, 10:44:24 AM »
It isn't that intelligent design is impossible.  It's that it doesn't fit the way humans and other species evolved.  When we design something like a machine (or a computer, or a program), we work to remove defects and improve performance.  But we don't see that with natural evolution.  Humans have a host of problems and inefficiencies that demonstrate a decided lack of intelligent design.  Indeed, our technology is our way to overcome the handicaps of our own bodies. 
    You are basically saying "intelligent design"  did not happen because we evolved via natural selection which ignores the point that irreducible complexity indicates that we didn't evolve that way.   I don't think Intelligent design means Flawless design or Perfect design.  The human body is amazingly complex regardless of the errors that occur and man has never designed anything that comes close to the complexity of the human body so your point about technology seems bit of a red herring.  Moreover,  it is the human brain that permits man to  develop the technology that we use to extend life and improve quality of life.    Even complex machines designed by humans can have flaws and they all break down after awhile.   That does not mean they were not intelligently designed.   


 
Quote from: jaimehlers
  This is incorrect.  Evolution works by finding combinations that give an organism a survival/reproductive advantage.
Once such an advantage is created, further changes can then improve it, either by making it more effective (adding functionality), or making it more efficient (reducing unnecessary baggage).  That's how an organ like the eye could have developed naturally; by having successive mutations give it additional functionality (for example, being able to see at night, being able to differentiate colors, being able to resolve see shapes rather than patches of light and dark) and increased efficiency (by removing inefficiencies in the way it developed).

Most mutations are a disadvantage or neutral, it would seem.   You kind of acknowledge this when you said intelligent design isn't intelligent, meaning flaws exist in people.   I think you are not understanding what irreducible complexity means.  It means a functional complex structure cannot be created in a piecemeal additive way.   The parts have to come together at once and work together.   It also seems to defy the laws of probality that mutations are going to result in a beneficial trait like being able to see at night and then another benefial trait like color differntiaion and so on,   and somehow all these traits work together to give us vision as we know it.   I don't think it is probable that one beneficial trait could have a mutation to lead to another beneficial trait as they have nothing to with each other....one could not serve as the basis for the other because of structural differences.  You are basically arguing that lifeforms must get more complex and efficient over time but it seems like natural selection would be eliminating the negative traits produced by mutations  that impact survival, and thus there would be no real change over time.  If a lifeform can survive without the ability to see color, is a mutation leading to the ability to see color really going to be favored by natural selection?  I would think the lifeform that is color blind could survive at least long enough to reproduce and pass its color blind gene on.  Aren't dogs to this day color blind?    Color blindness in humans is really an genetic error that appears in something more complex. Evolution seems to say color blindness in humans is realy just a primitive form of our vision, not a genetic error that leads to a reduced form of vision.  Does this make sense?  It is hard to explain this.

Quote from: jaimehlers
This is certainly true, but then you're following an infinite progression.  If creator2 created creator1, what created creator2?  Sure, you can answer that with creator3, but then you have the open question of what created creator3.  There are only three reasonable answers to this dilemma.  First, you have an infinite progression, where you have creatorn creating creatorn-1 and being created by creatorn+1; second, you have no creator; third, you have a loop where something ultimately caused the creation of itself. 

Ok, I understand the point that you have here but at the same time I don't think you can argue that irreducible complexity on this plant isn't a problem for the evolution theory simply because of the "hypocrisy"  so to speak in relation to how the "creator" came to be.   The "creator" itself could be some kind of supernatural thing that can not be explained by the laws of nature on this planet so I do think we have to isolate the question of how we originated and the question of how a "creator" came to be.  I am also not saying that it is IMPOSSIBLE that a type of evolution occurred but I don't think it was the result of random mutations and natural selection.   I think this is actually the postion of many of the intelligent design people at the Discovery Institute like that Behe guy who wrote the book about it back in 96 or so. 

]I don't think Darwinists have proved their theory anymore than Christians and other religious people have proved there is  a God.   It seems like they conflate natural selection and variation within species with cross species evolution.[/quote]
Quote from: jaimehlers
Do you actually understand evolution?  We aren't talking about a dog eventually evolving into a cat, or a spider into a fish.  We're talking about a precursor organism that differentiated into two or more closely-related species (such as whatever the precursor for primates was).  And this precursor organism would have been much closer in terms of genetics to other precursor organisms, thus creating a divergence between them that would have come from an earlier precursor organism, and so on and so forth.  Naturally, the reality is much more complicated than my example. 

C'mon man, do you really think that I think a dog evolved into a cat, etc?  I don't think any cross species evolution of any kind has been proven by scientists and I am not talking about big leaps from one species to a completely different species.   It seems like they would have numerous of examples of cross species evolution given they assert evolution has been proven and not just a theory.  Can you list these examples if they exist? 


Quote from: jaimehlers
No offense, but this clearly demonstrates that you do not understand how evolution works - you are approaching the subject from ignorance, and are claiming that the accumulated knowledge we have on it can't be correct even though you don't really understand it.  Your arguments boil down to, "the eye is too complex, so it must have been designed" and "sexual reproduction can't have happened by accident, it must have been planned", which are both textbook arguments from incredulity.
   
Don't we always approach subjects from ignorance and then become less ignorant as we learn stuff?  You are basically just saying you are right and my questions are dumb even though they aren't dumb.  They are logical and if they aren't, you need to show me how they are not logical.  I am not preaching on here and I can be wrong.  I have no dog in the debate...I just find the IC theory to be compelling and a big blow to the evolution theory.  I think most people want to know the truth whatever it is so let us not question that in each other.  My argument does essentially boil down to what you cited there and I think it is logical and you have not proven that isn't a logical argument, as far as I can see.   I think it is amazing that men and women develop these private parts that are compatible with each other and by them getting together results in a baby.  To think this evolved as the result of random mutations seems to defy the laws of probability and logic itself.   It does seem like it has to be the objective of something but again, we don't know everything and maybe there are supernatural processes that science can't explain.  I think we all assume science can explain everything but that isn't something we can prove.  This is kind of confusing.  :) 



Quote from: jaimehlers
  It (reproduction) isn't "necessary", but it gives an evolutionary advantage. 
   This seems like circular logic.  There is no advantage to reproduction as far as a lifeform adapting to its environment.     Morever it doesn't seem probable that a man private parts just developed thru random mutations, as I already discussed.  Again even a man's or woman's sexual organs are complex and one component of it would be useless. 

Think about this, the ability to reproduce has to be present in the very first lifeform on this planet otherwise it would have gone extinct OR that first lifeform had to develop the ability to reproduce during its own lifetime  (which probably wasn't very long)  without it having a genetic basis which seems impossible.  That life itself could occur sponteanously seems like a miracle in itself but to think reproduction was possible in the first lifeform on earth seems like a double miracle.

Quote from: jaimehlers
Genetic recombination (from two or more parents) provides a better chance at long-term species survival than simply creating clones, because those clones are going to mostly be copies of the original, and thus vulnerable to a disease, a toxin, or a genetic abnormality.  It's like this; if you have a whole bunch of organisms that are almost all the same, then they'll have the same strengths and weaknesses (mostly).  Look at the way we use antibiotics to kill harmful bacteria, for example.  The only survivors are the ones which had a lucky mutation, since they have no way to recombine their DNA.  So when humans get hit with a disease, you have some which are very vulnerable (say they have two recessive copies of a gene), some which are not very vulnerable (they have one recessive and one dominant), and some which are not vulnerable (they have two dominant copies).  You'll have a lot more humans which are resistant or immune to it than you would if we used asexual reproduction.
   
This seems like circular logic too.  You are missing my point about reproduction has nothing to do with the original lifeform being able to survive in a given environment.  BUt if we just stipulate that somehow the reproduction is tied to an organisms own survival  in its environment and some mutation occured that resulted in the ability to reproduce (what was the original trait that reproduction could have evolved from, this goes back to my other point about most traits don't have a basis trait it could evolve from), asexual reproduction was easier and took less energy and time and produced more offspring so it seems it seems improable that sexual reproduction would have occurred even though it has advantages that you covered.   I don't see how asexual reproduction could have served as a basis for for sexual reproduction as they could not be more different,  and again, what served as the basis for asexual reproduction. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 11:51:49 AM by DrTesla »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2013, 03:21:36 PM »
Hi Dr Tesla; awesome moniker, BTW.

As a science nerd, I love this topic. Thanks for giving us another chance to talk about it! You don't have to understand evolution to benefit from it every day.  If you have ever had a flu shot or a blood transfusion or were tested for allergies, or have eaten corn, or had a vaccination, you have benefited from the theory of evolution. Police solve crimes using forensic biology--based on the theory of evolution-- to identify human remains. They locate criminal suspects using DNA--the discovery of DNA is also based on the theory of evolution.[1]

The basics of evolution are not that hard.  All life came from a common ancestor, which is why all living things-- including plants, insects, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and bacteria-- have  basic similarities at the cellular and molecular level. Every life form alive today came from a previous ancestor.

The closer two species are to each other genetically, the more characteristics they share.  You see it all around you-- most kids look kind of like their biological parents, and closely related species can have offspring (lions and tigers are both a type of cat, and can have offspring--ligers!) while species that are very far apart cannot (dogs and cats, or birds and snakes, can never have offspring).

Humans, gorillas and chimps are all primates who share a common lemur-like ancestor.  The three are too distantly related to have offspring, but are close enough to have similar characteristics in appearance and social organization-- and even to share diseases. When we look at the DNA of different species of primates, it is much more similar than when we compare any primate DNA to canine or feline or reptile DNA. We can even locate the exact places in the DNA where chimps diverged from humans in the evolutionary line.

All of that supports the theory of evolution--TOE. If distantly related species like cats and lizards could produce offspring, that would mean the theory was false. If kids routinely looked nothing like their parents, that would mean the theory was false. Imagine how strange it would be if two dachshunds mated and produced a litter made up of poodles, black labs and collies. An event like that would falsify evolution. If the TOE was false, there would be no way to breed animals with any kind of certainty.

It is a mistake to think that an individual animal or plant or insect "decides" to evolve in one way or another.  Otherwise we humans would have "decided" to evolve wings so we could fly or eyes that could see more of the color spectrum. It is not about individual choice. It is about what makes it possible for an organism to survive long enough to reproduce and pass on its characteristics to its offspring. 

The eye is a great evolutionary example.  A critter that can sense light and dark has an advantage over those that are completely blind. The blind ones get eaten and the more light sensitive ones live and reproduce more. Over time, the light sensitivity becomes more refined until some critters are being born with cells that can detect movement as well as light.

Then some are born with cells that detect colors and distance as well as movement and light. It is not hard to see how various kinds of eyes will evolve from this process. The human eye is not the best, just sort of average--better than dogs and cows, worse than most birds. Eagles can detect rodent movement from thousands of feet in the sky; owls can see mice in a pitch dark night. 

And even then, some animals survive well without seeing, using smell and hearing instead. Bats that live in caves don't use their eyes much and have evolved other senses, like radar. Some fish and moles that live in total darkness can't see at all, but have vestigial eyes that used to see but don't anymore because they don't need them. They live where other animals-- those that rely more on seeing-- can't survive.

So, evolution-- "survival of the fittest"  is not always about being the meanest, fastest, biggest or smartest. Being "fit" is what helps the species survive when something in the environment around them changes.  Plants evolve to resist pesticides, repel insects, survive drought or cold. Some animals are not fast or strong, but they taste bad, or look like they might taste bad. Turtles are not fast, but they have evolved hard shells to protect themselves.

Lots of prey animals are small and quick so they can burrow and hide from predators.  Humans are physically weak, have no protective claws or fur, but have evolved big brains instead to invent tools and make clothes. One bee or ant can't survive very successfully alone, but in groups they do very well. Whales are enormous mammals that evolved from big land animals and now can live in water. We know this because, unlike fish, whales breathe air, have foot bones they don't need, give birth to live young and nurse them with milk.

The discovery of genes reinforced the theory of evolution by showing exactly how similarities pass from parent to offspring. Genetics is about as much proof as science needs that evolution is true. Anytime a person says that "x runs in my family", or looks for a certain breed of dog that is good with children, they are accepting that genetics is real, and they are also accepting the theory of evolution.

There is a bacteria that has evolved the ability to eat plastic!  If that is not good evidence for evolution, I don't know what is.[2]

It would be very simple to prove evolution false: find one organism without the DNA characteristics of its ancestors. Or one example of a species out of evolutionary order, like evidence of primates in the era of dinosaurs. That's it.
 1. A while back we had a religious person here say they could not believe that police solved crimes using evolution, since evolution was not true. I guess they never watch CSI shows.
 2. An intelligent designer would have had to predict the 20th century invention of plastic and somehow imbued bacteria with that ability millions of years ago. And then triggered it to appear right around 2010.....
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 04:33:16 PM by nogodsforme »
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline William

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2013, 04:20:32 PM »
Morever it doesn't seem probable that a man private parts just developed thru random mutations, as I already discussed. 

Here's a real pic of two real bacteria having carnal relations via a "pilus" through which genetic information is injected from one to the other:


http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/436618/enlarge

That's an intiguing start  ;D  Although be aware these are modern bacteria with a lot of evolution under their belt since we shared a common ancestor with them  :)  So that "pilus" is more likely to be a product of parallel evolution of a similar solution than the actual ancestral penis.

The origin of sex and sexual organs is far from settled but evidence supports the idea that it has been around since our common ancestors were very simple organisms.  EDIT: Long before the penis and the vagina.

This wikipedia page is a nice primer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 05:20:19 PM by William »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2013, 05:55:07 PM »
Yech. That pic was a nasty thing to see while eating a handful of sunflower seeds.  :P

Anyway, another objection that ID and anti-evolution types bring up is that there are lots of things like love and generosity and kindness and humor and art that they can't imagine could have "just evolved". Like, they think the TOE means that every critter around should just rape, kill and eat the nearest thing that can't get away or do it to the other one first. Always. Immediately.

The world of the TOE should produce gangs of brutish, ugly, uncivilized savages with clumsy weapons and limited communications skills used only to deceive and dominate.[1]

Luckily, social organization is also beneficial to survival of many species, as we see from elephants, primates, ants and bees. In order to promote group survival, they have to live with others, and that requires that certain skills like cooperation and being nice so others want you around. Then others will protect you and share their food with you, promoting species survival.  :)

Scientists have just in the past few decades begun studying canine, dolphin and lower primate behavior and intelligence. The more we study other species, the more we see that human beings are not the only animals who make and use tools, who save for the future, who sacrifice themselves for the group, who give gifts, who play jokes and pranks, who care for the weak and sick, who protect their property, and who mourn loss. Dolphins can even learn to create and perform their own tricks without being taught by a trainer. Look out Cirque du Soleil! Pretty damn smart of that intelligent designer to give dolphins that ability... :?

http://video.pbs.org/video/1778560486/

Animals besides humans even befriend other species, for no apparent reason than fun and  companionship.[2] Either an intelligent designer gave those advanced social characteristics to other animals in addition to humans just to--what, confuse scientists? keep humans humble? give animals stuff to do while waiting for Jesus to come back?-- or these are useful to long-term survival, and can be explained by evolutionary means.  :-\

For example, baby animals in many species look weak, are helpless and make pitiful noises. What encourages parents to care for them and not just brain them in annoyance and eat them? We know that there are chemicals produced in the brain when people are in love, and when women give birth and nurse a child. These hormones encourage people to bond with each other and care for each other, ie to help each other survive and reproduce. Similar hormones exist in other species as well.

One final point about evolution: we see it all the time, everywhere. Not just in special lab experiments.   Every time something reproduces, we are seeing evolution in action because the offspring is just slightly different from the parent, but shares most of the same characteristics. Change at the level of the individual is the evolution we can see in real time--look around the next family gathering and you will see the TOE right in front of you.

Species change, however, often happens too slowly to observe in real time, unless you set up a special lab experiment like the ones with fruit flies. In fact, change at the species level happens so slowly that when the environment changes too quickly, many species cannot adapt fast enough and will become extinct.

Bacteria, insects and rodents mature and reproduce so fast and have such a short life span that they can adapt quickly. They don't go extinct easily--that is why cockroaches, rats and some disease germs will survive global warming. 

Larger species like polar bears, tigers, elephants, whales, dinosaurs and mammoths only have a few offspring in their lives and the babies take years to get old enough to reproduce. (cough humans cough) Others are small but have a very complex social structure or physiology that also requires a stable habitat--like honeybees and frogs. So change the climate a by a few degrees,  or reduce the habitat so the food supply drops at the wrong time of the year, or kill a too few many of the young adults for their fur or ivory, and bingo. No more of that species.... :(

Being buds, creating new stuff, having fun, showing love and caring, reproducing, dying out, all signs of the TOE at work. No need for an intelligent designer. But keep playing. It encourages more evolution research.  ;)
 1. Republicans.
 2. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/unlikely-animal-friends/galleries/unlikely-animal-friends/at/primate-and-pooch-57268/
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 05:59:18 PM by nogodsforme »
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline DrTesla

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2013, 06:08:42 PM »
Hi Dr Tesla; awesome moniker, BTW.

You don't have to understand evolution to benefit from it every day.  If you have ever had a flu shot or a blood transfusion or were tested for allergies, or have eaten corn, or had a vaccination, you have benefited from the theory of evolution. Police solve crimes using forensic biology--based on the theory of evolution-- to identify human remains. They locate criminal suspects using DNA--the discovery of DNA is also based on the theory of evolution.[1]
 1. A while back we had a religious person here say they could not believe that police solved crimes using evolution, since evolution was not true. I guess they never watch CSI shows.
You are conflating cross species evolution with variation within a species.  Nobody denies  natural selection leads to different variations of a species.   
The discovery of DNA has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.    Police do not use evolution to solve crimes.   They use DNA, other forensic evidence, and cirmcumstantial evidence.   

Quote from: nogodsforme
The basics of evolution are not that hard.  All life came from a common ancestor, which is why all living things-- including plants, insects, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and bacteria-- have  basic similarities at the cellular and molecular level. Every life form alive today came from a previous ancestor. 
 
Similarity does not rule out intelligent design...you'd actually expect similiarity if there is a designer.   Consider Occam's Razor and look for simple explanations:  Lifeforms look like they were designed because they were designed.
  Plants and bacteria are a good bit different from animals at a cellular level.    Animals aren't engaged in photosynthesis , etc.    Your statements about common ancestors has not been proven and the fossil record indicates  many species came to be at the same time and therefore did not evolve from another. 

Quote from: nogodsforme
The closer two species are to each other genetically, the more characteristics they share.  You see it all around you-- most kids look kind of like their biological parents, and closely related species can have offspring (lions and tigers are both a type of cat, and can have offspring--ligers!) while species that are very far apart cannot (dogs and cats, or birds and snakes, can never have offspring). 
  You are confusing genetics with evolution.  Of course kids tend to favor their parents because they share DNA from both.   This has nothing to do with evolution theory.

Quote from: nogodsforme
  Humans, gorillas and chimps are all primates who share a common lemur-like ancestor.  The three are too distantly related to have offspring, but are close enough to have similar characteristics in appearance and social organization-- and even to share diseases. When we look at the DNA of different species of primates, it is much more similar than when we compare any primate DNA to canine or feline or reptile DNA. We can even locate the exact places in the DNA where chimps diverged from humans in the evolutionary line. 

I don't think that you know enough about DNA to be making these assertions.   My understanding is that DNA does not follow evolution paths but I am also not an expert on DNA so I will have to research this further.  I have looked at some of the arguments surrounding DNA but it is hard to follow if you have no base knowledge in DNA to begin with.



Quote from: nogodsforme
It is a mistake to think that an individual animal or plant or insect "decides" to evolve in one way or another.  Otherwise we humans would have "decided" to evolve wings so we could fly or eyes that could see more of the color spectrum. It is not about individual choice. It is about what makes it possible for an organism to survive long enough to reproduce and pass on its characteristics to its offspring.   
 
I never said a animal decides to evolve.  I've talked about random mutations and chance and probability of higher complexity as the result of random mutations.  This is the exact opposite of "deciding"  something.   I understand what natural selection is, but you don't seem to understand the difference between natural selection  and the theory of evolution. 

Quote from: nogodsforme
The eye is a great evolutionary example. 
  The eye is actually an obstacle to evolutionary theory.  The various parts of the eye must have been created at the same time in such a way that they can work with each,  a partially formed eye is of no use.  It doesn't make sense that an eye would could have evolved piecemeal.  Vision itself seems to be something that must have been conceived of beforehand so that the various parts could be assembled to allow it.   

 
Quote from: nogodsforme
A critter that can sense light and dark has an advantage over those that are completely blind. The blind ones get eaten and the more light sensitive ones live and reproduce more. Over time, the light sensitivity becomes more refined until some critters are being born with cells that can detect movement as well as light. 
   You are just talking about natural selection leading to variation of traits with a species.  This isn't an example of cross species evolution.   Your second statement about eyes that can detect light evolve into eyes that see motion is describing gradual change in the function of the eye of a species, not cross species evolution.   

 
Quote from: nogodsforme
So, evolution-- "survival of the fittest"  is not always about being the meanest, fastest, biggest or smartest. Being "fit" is what helps the species survive when something in the environment around them changes.  Plants evolve to resist pesticides, repel insects, survive drought or cold. Some animals are not fast or strong, but they taste bad, or look like they might taste bad. Turtles are not fast, but they have evolved hard shells to protect themselves. 
These are example  of trait variation with a species due to natural selection....this isn't cross species evolution. 


 
Quote from: nogodsforme
  The discovery of genes reinforced the theory of evolution by showing exactly how similarities pass from parent to offspring. Genetics is about as much proof as science needs that evolution is true. Anytime a person says that "x runs in my family", or looks for a certain breed of dog that is good with children, they are accepting that genetics is real, and they are also accepting the theory of evolution.

Genetics/DNA is not proof of cross species evolution.  DNA is basically a code which implies a programmer.  :)    Your two examples are examples of genetics / DNA,  not evolution.    Evolution is about one species evolving to another.   Not a specific good or bad trait in a given species. 

 
Quote from: nogodsforme
There is a bacteria that has evolved the ability to eat plastic!  If that is not good evidence for evolution, I don't know what is.[2] 
 2. An intelligent designer would have had to predict the 20th century invention of plastic and somehow imbued bacteria with that ability millions of years ago. And then triggered it to appear right around 2010.....
  Again this isn't cross species evolution, you are talking about natural selection within a species and nobody disputes this occurs.  [/quote]   


 
Quote from: nogodsforme
It would be very simple to prove evolution false: find one organism without the DNA characteristics of its ancestors. Or one example of a species out of evolutionary order, like evidence of primates in the era of dinosaurs. That's it.
I think DNA does dispute  evolutionary ties to ancestors.    That is one of the things the intelligent design crowd harps on.    Keep in mind when Darwin forumalated  the evolution theory,  he knew nothing about DNA.       The fossil record does not support evolution as well,    species would pop up  all at the same time
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 06:49:23 PM by DrTesla »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2013, 07:45:03 PM »
You are basically saying "intelligent design"  did not happen because we evolved via natural selection which ignores the point that irreducible complexity indicates that we didn't evolve that way.
No, I'm saying that intelligent design did not happen because the things we would expect to see of 'design' in organisms - including humans - are not present.  And as for irreducible complexity, all it boils down to is "this is so complex, I can't imagine how it could function with parts missing, thus it must have been designed."  There's no effort to seriously consider any alternatives, such as incremental changes, or to look for flaws in the idea of irreducible complexity to begin with.

Quote from: DrTesla
I don't think Intelligent design means Flawless design or Perfect design.  The human body is amazingly complex regardless of the errors that occur and man has never designed anything that comes close to the complexity of the human body so your point about technology seems bit of a red herring.
I brought up human technology because it is something that we know was designed.  It doesn't matter how complex it might be - the fact of the matter is that even simple tools are superior to the human body for getting various tasks done.  To demonstrate, try cutting paper with a nail versus a pair of scissors, or try pounding a nail in with your fist versus a hammer.  The point is that we can already make tools which are better at getting various tasks done than the human body will ever be, despite the fact that they are far less complicated than the human body.  Can you imagine how effective tools will be once they are within an order of magnitude of the complexity of the human body?  It's a strong argument against humans (or any animals) having been designed.

Quote from: DrTesla
Moreover,  it is the human brain that permits man to  develop the technology that we use to extend life and improve quality of life.    Even complex machines designed by humans can have flaws and they all break down after awhile.   That does not mean they were not intelligently designed.
This is irrelevant, since entropy applies to everything.  As you say, it doesn't prove whether something was intelligently designed or not.  You have to look at other factors.

Quote from: DrTesla
Most mutations are a disadvantage or neutral, it would seem.   You kind of acknowledge this when you said intelligent design isn't intelligent, meaning flaws exist in people.
No, I said that there are no signs of intelligent design in organisms.  Do not put words in my mouth.  You might believe in intelligent design of organisms, but you have not proved it actually happens, so you have no business acting as if it's a given that it did.

Quote from: DrTesla
I think you are not understanding what irreducible complexity means.  It means a functional complex structure cannot be created in a piecemeal additive way.   The parts have to come together at once and work together.
It's because I understand what irreducible complexity means that I consider it so much rubbish.  It's an argument from incredulity, based on the unexamined belief that things that are sufficiently complex cannot work except in their current form.

Quote from: DrTesla
It also seems to defy the laws of probality that mutations are going to result in a beneficial trait like being able to see at night and then another benefial trait like color differntiaion and so on,   and somehow all these traits work together to give us vision as we know it.   I don't think it is probable that one beneficial trait could have a mutation to lead to another beneficial trait as they have nothing to with each other....one could not serve as the basis for the other because of structural differences.
I seriously doubt you understand probability even as well as you do evolution (and you've already admitted that you have, at best, a high school freshman understanding of evolutionary theory).  First off, nobody (except those trying to claim that evolution could not have happened) is saying that you had to have a chain dozens or hundreds of beneficial mutations all at the same time in order for something like the eye to work.  The fact of the matter is that traits that lead to an evolutionary advantage (or that have no effect) tend to be conserved, while traits that lead to a serious enough disadvantage tend to eradicate themselves from the gene pool.

You might review the law of large numbersWiki sometime.  It illustrates this very well.  Just as a gambler earns money over time even though a sizable number of people win money from it (because a far greater number lose money), so too would evolution tend to provide for a gradual, incremental improvement in a species even though you have the occasional mutation which either kills its carrier or confers enough of a disadvantage that the organism can't compete well with others of its species.

Quote from: DrTesla
You are basically arguing that lifeforms must get more complex and efficient over time but it seems like natural selection would be eliminating the negative traits produced by mutations  that impact survival, and thus there would be no real change over time.
Incorrect.  Evolution isn't a zero-sumWiki.  If you have a trait that gets conserved, and another trait that causes its carriers to get wiped out, you don't end up back at the baseline, because the second trait excises itself from the gene pool.  So you end up having a gradual series of changes that tend to improve the baseline over time.

Quote from: DrTesla
If a lifeform can survive without the ability to see color, is a mutation leading to the ability to see color really going to be favored by natural selection?  I would think the lifeform that is color blind could survive at least long enough to reproduce and pass its color blind gene on.  Aren't dogs to this day color blind?    Color blindness in humans is really an genetic error that appears in something more complex. Evolution seems to say color blindness in humans is realy just a primitive form of our vision, not a genetic error that leads to a reduced form of vision.  Does this make sense?  It is hard to explain this.
Something can be disadvantageous without being seriously so.  Color-blindness is only disadvantageous in certain situations, for example, so people with color-blindness tend to survive and reproduce.  Not only that, but there are things which seem disadvantageous, but confer an evolutionary advantage, such as sickle-cell anemiaWiki.  People with sickle-cell anemia tend to die fairly young; the average life expectancy for people with it was in their 40s as little as 20 years ago.  However, it confers a strong resistance to the malaria parasite, which is pretty lethal - hundreds of thousands of deaths a year, mostly concentrated in young children who have no chance to reproduce.  In other words, even though sickle-cell anemia shortens someone's lifespan, it lets them live long enough to reproduce and pass down the gene, whereas malaria tends to kill off people before they can reproduce.

Quote from: DrTesla
Ok, I understand the point that you have here but at the same time I don't think you can argue that irreducible complexity on this plant isn't a problem for the evolution theory simply because of the "hypocrisy"  so to speak in relation to how the "creator" came to be.   The "creator" itself could be some kind of supernatural thing that can not be explained by the laws of nature on this planet so I do think we have to isolate the question of how we originated and the question of how a "creator" came to be.  I am also not saying that it is IMPOSSIBLE that a type of evolution occurred but I don't think it was the result of random mutations and natural selection.   I think this is actually the postion of many of the intelligent design people at the Discovery Institute like that Behe guy who wrote the book about it back in 96 or so.
This is special pleading - you are basically demanding that your belief be given special treatment despite the fact that you can't really support it.  If you can't prove that a creator or designer exists, then there's no reason to assume it does and thus no reason to consider intelligent design as being anything but an unsupported belief which can't be backed up by evidence.  Do you understand?  If there were a creator or designer, whatever, we would see real evidence of it.  You would not have to give it supernatural attributes to explain the lack of evidence.

Quote from: DrTesla
C'mon man, do you really think that I think a dog evolved into a cat, etc?  I don't think any cross species evolution of any kind has been proven by scientists and I am not talking about big leaps from one species to a completely different species.   It seems like they would have numerous of examples of cross species evolution given they assert evolution has been proven and not just a theory.  Can you list these examples if they exist?
It's been proven well enough, considering that the degree of DNA similarity between organisms closely corresponds to where they lie within the taxonomy hierarchy.  That is to say, DNA between two closely-related species is much more similar than DNA between two relatively distant species.  It's exactly as it should be for organisms to have evolved from common ancestors, in other words.

Quote from: DrTesla
Don't we always approach subjects from ignorance and then become less ignorant as we learn stuff?  You are basically just saying you are right and my questions are dumb even though they aren't dumb.
The difference is that most people who are ignorant of a subject don't attempt to claim that their existing knowledge disproves something else (especially if they don't understand the latter).  Your attitude, much like other people who buy into intelligent design, is that ID must be correct because it makes sense to you, even though you don't understand evolution very well at all.  In other words, it isn't the fact that you're ignorant of evolutionary theory, it's the fact that you present something like ID as being more correct than evolution despite your lack of understanding of the latter.

Quote from: DrTesla
They are logical and if they aren't, you need to show me how they are not logical.  I am not preaching on here and I can be wrong.
It's good that you can admit that.  The problem is that your questions are based on the fact that you only really know about ID and not evolution, so you are presenting things that have been rebutted over and over again.

Quote from: DrTesla
I have no dog in the debate...I just find the IC theory to be compelling and a big blow to the evolution theory.
Except, as you've said, you don't really understand evolution well enough to have any real basis for that statement.  The problem with ID is that it's intentionally designed to seem credible to people, like you, who aren't particularly knowledgeable about evolution.   It's always easier to pass along something like ID, which purports to give an easy answer to complicated questions, than to actually learn the more complicated answers that make less assumptions.

Quote from: DrTesla
I think most people want to know the truth whatever it is so let us not question that in each other.  My argument does essentially boil down to what you cited there and I think it is logical and you have not proven that isn't a logical argument, as far as I can see.
With all due respect, logic is often only a way to make a mistake with confidence.  You shouldn't be worried about whether a question is logical, you should be worried about making sure you know enough about the subject to be able to accurately evaluate the questions you're trying to ask.

Quote from: DrTesla
I think it is amazing that men and women develop these private parts that are compatible with each other and by them getting together results in a baby.  To think this evolved as the result of random mutations seems to defy the laws of probability and logic itself.   It does seem like it has to be the objective of something but again, we don't know everything and maybe there are supernatural processes that science can't explain.  I think we all assume science can explain everything but that isn't something we can prove.  This is kind of confusing.  :) 
Except neither probability nor logic really mean anything in this debate.  Talking about the probability of something that's already happened is meaningless, because it became 100% as soon as it happened - and more to the point, the probability of anything happening is going to be fairly low until it actually does happen.  And trying to use logic to disprove something that exists is even more meaningless, because reality always trumps logic.

Honestly, sexual reproduction probably developed from a process similar to the one shown by William - instead of two organisms joining together to exchange genetic material, they join together to give their offspring differentiated genetic material.  And then it just progresses from there.

Quote from: DrTesla
This seems like circular logic.  There is no advantage to reproduction as far as a lifeform adapting to its environment.     Morever it doesn't seem probable that a man private parts just developed thru random mutations, as I already discussed.  Again even a man's or woman's sexual organs are complex and one component of it would be useless.
And what makes you think that human beings just spontaneously developed penises and vaginas?  This is the flaw in your thinking - you're thinking of human beings existing without reproductive equipment and then spontaneously developing it so they can continue the species.  Basically, you're thinking of humans as having been created and then spontaneously developing reproductive equipment through mutations, which is patently ridiculous.  The truth of the matter is that this kind of reproductive equipment has been around for a very, very long time, back to dinosaurs and even before.

I'll honestly admit I don't know exactly when or how sexual differentiation happened, but how it probably started is something really basic, like those two bacteria linking together to share genetic material, except that one, or possibly both of them budded, putting the modified DNA into its daughter organism rather than simply incorporating it into itself.  And then it progressed from there.  So by the time life got to multi-celled organisms that developed distinct organs for different tasks (such as the heart and lungs), reproductive equipment was already present, and modified itself based on the DNA of the organism (in human parlance, XX means you get ovaries, XY means you get testes, and everything else develops from there)

Quote from: DrTesla
Think about this, the ability to reproduce has to be present in the very first lifeform on this planet otherwise it would have gone extinct OR that first lifeform had to develop the ability to reproduce during its own lifetime  (which probably wasn't very long)  without it having a genetic basis which seems impossible.  That life itself could occur sponteanously seems like a miracle in itself but to think reproduction was possible in the first lifeform on earth seems like a double miracle.
Of course it was present.  But it was asexual reproduction - the ability to bud and create a clone of itself.  Indeed, the first life on Earth was probably so simple that it was just a matter of 'infecting' organic matter with RNA-like chemical instructions that created a replica of itself[1]

Quote from: DrTesla
This seems like circular logic too.  You are missing my point about reproduction has nothing to do with the original lifeform being able to survive in a given environment.
No, I'm not.  Without reproduction, there would have been no way for a lifeform to persist beyond its own lifetime.  I wouldn't be surprised to find that lots of these basic lifeforms evolved, but only one of them "figured out" how to reproduce.  It's that one that would have been the ultimate ancestor of all life on Earth.

Quote from: DrTesla
BUt if we just stipulate that somehow the reproduction is tied to an organisms own survival  in its environment and some mutation occured that resulted in the ability to reproduce (what was the original trait that reproduction could have evolved from, this goes back to my other point about most traits don't have a basis trait it could evolve from), asexual reproduction was easier and took less energy and time and produced more offspring so it seems it seems improable that sexual reproduction would have occurred even though it has advantages that you covered.   I don't see how asexual reproduction could have served as a basis for for sexual reproduction as they could not be more different,  and again, what served as the basis for asexual reproduction.
Asexual reproduction was easier, true.  But it just resulted in clones of the original organism, which had the same vulnerabilities as the original, which was an evolutionary disadvantage.  That's why single-celled lifeforms shared genetic material with each other (but even then, they were not that much different).  It is not that much of a leap to go from "two bacteria share genetic information and later bud to create offspring with the revised genes" to "two bacteria share genetic information and bud it off into an offspring of both".
 1. Yes, that means that viruses, or something like them, are probably the first life form to exist on Earth.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 08:44:47 PM by jaimehlers »

Offline shnozzola

Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2013, 09:21:51 PM »
Welcome Dr. Tesla,

                 Here is a way I look at how it all may have started.  Plants get nutrition at the roots by the positive and negative charges of elements.  I believe these positive and negative charges are the way life got started, without a god.  Look at how this natural positive and negative, opposites-attracting thing carries on all through chemistry.   It just took hundreds of thousand of the early years, at millions of places on the planet, with these charges first leading to very basic cells, then basic plants, and then viruses and basic cell differentiation.  It always seems to me that carnivorous plants, such as the Venus fly trap, are a good example of higher plant differentiation.   But the needed key to this whole evolution idea is 4 billion years

Do you believe that a deity dabbles in creation on the planet even now, or set evolution up and then left it go on its own? 
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Offline DrTesla

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2013, 11:45:40 PM »
Welcome Dr. Tesla,

                 Here is a way I look at how it all may have started.  Plants get nutrition at the roots by the positive and negative charges of elements.  I believe these positive and negative charges are the way life got started, without a god.  Look at how this natural positive and negative, opposites-attracting thing carries on all through chemistry.   It just took hundreds of thousand of the early years, at millions of places on the planet, with these charges first leading to very basic cells, then basic plants, and then viruses and basic cell differentiation.  It always seems to me that carnivorous plants, such as the Venus fly trap, are a good example of higher plant differentiation.   But the needed key to this whole evolution idea is 4 billion years

Do you believe that a deity dabbles in creation on the planet even now, or set evolution up and then left it go on its own?

I have no idea.  I am not claiming to have proof of anything.  I just find the intelligent design arguments against evolution via natural selection to be a logical argument.   But there is more to the intelligent design theory than that and I don't know anything about it or even if they have submitted proof for their theory.   I don't think there is scientific proof of  Darwin evolution or intelligent design but I think intelligent design is more logical. 

I'm not sure if you would even call the "designer" a deity.   I think of it as more of an alien, not a God.  Some kind of weird Star Trek thing.

I don't believe evolution  was set up by a deity because I don't think evolution, at least how Darwin proposed it,  explains complexity in lifeforms. 

I have no idea what the deity is up to these days, if there is one.  It doesn't appear he has been creating new lifeforms in quite awhile.  Humans seem to be the limits on what he could design in terms of complexity, and an intelligent lifeform with self awareness.     I've always found it curious that we are the only lifeforms who can speak and have self awareness and can do things like read or use tools or whatever.   If evolution is true you think there be numerous species who could do these kind of things.   It doesn't seem like people with speech could evolve from animals who could not.    It doesn't seem like self awareness could have evolved thru random mutations in species with no self awareness.   I doubt scientists have any idea how humans have self awareness. 

I could see this diety being some kind of scientist who develops a code, DNA,  that can create various lifeforms and as time goes by he gets better at his craft and more advance lifeforms are created.   Who knows,  the origin of life stuff can blow your mind.   :)
"You want to know who just loves abortions? God loves abortions. He performs them all the time and not even for the money. "  NoGodsForMe

"I wish it was men who got pregnant b/c we would squirt out these babies and go about our business.  We don't have be divas on this stuff."  DrTesla

Offline William

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2013, 04:03:52 AM »
Humans seem to be the limits on what he could design in terms of complexity, and an intelligent lifeform with self awareness.     

Humans are certainly NOT the limit of complexity.  We don't have echo location like bats, the electrosensory apparatus of sharks, the power of smell of a bloodhound, the vision of an eagle, the magnetic navigation of a pigeon, the hearing of a moth that can sense bats coming (150 times more sensitive than a human's hearing)  :o .... just to name a few things in nature that leave humans looking pretty ordinary ;)


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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2013, 04:46:24 AM »
I have no idea.  I am not claiming to have proof of anything.  I just find the intelligent design arguments against evolution via natural selection to be a logical argument.   But there is more to the intelligent design theory than that and I don't know anything about it or even if they have submitted proof for their theory.   I don't think there is scientific proof of  Darwin evolution or intelligent design but I think intelligent design is more logical.

However, as noted already, you do so from a position of scant understanding of evolutionary Theory and by way of a series of discredited-time-and-again ID/creationist arguments.

On the matter of proofs, that is the preserve of mathematics, not science. With scientific endeavours we can infer a great deal by observation and experiment, but the term "proof" is a category error.

With that in mind, on the one hand, we have an established scientific theory that not only explains pretty much everything we observe about living things (to the extent that we can explain them at all) but also has made predictions about what we would expect to find if it were true (for instance, a mechanism by which traits could be passed from parents to offspring, which Watson and Crick finally worked out in the Fifties). Everything from the twin-nested hierarchy to DNA to nylonase to antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" is well explained - even anticipated - by evolutionary Theory and by no competing scientific hypothesis whatsoever. To the point where, if one were approaching the subject with no preconceptions about mystical origins, it would be as perverse to deny evolutionary Theory as it would be to deny atomic theory or cell theory. Which is as near "proof" as one can reasonably get in science.

(Incidentally, DrTesla is flat wrong when he says genetics has nothing to do with evolutionary Theory. It has everything to do with it: it is the mechanism by which traits pass to offspring, which according to evolutionary Theory had to exist if evolutionary Theory was true. That mechanism was predicted by the Theory, was later discovered long after Darwin's death, and vindicates the Theory every bit as much as do the mountains of evidence in the strata - and better still, the genetic code provides further validation of the relationship between organisms and backs up what we find by way of anatomy and paleontology.)

"Intelligent design", on the other hand, doesn't even qualify as a scientific hypothesis. It's entire raison d'etre is to try to poke holes in evolutionary Theory in an effort to discredit it and put in its place a religious construct. IDists have no interest in providing evidence for their "designer" hypothesis, nor in writing any papers describing any processes by which such a "designer" would operate, the principles by which one would predict what a "designer" might do next, in any way that has genuine practical applicability or might lead us to anticipate or seek out future observations in the natural world. It has produced not a single observation, experiment or peer-reviewed journal paper in any reputable publication that sets out to increase our knowledge of the natural world. It is, in essence, an entirely anti-science, destructive force pursued for purely cultural reasons and which relies on promulgating a series of already-discredited arguments amongst the credulous, the ignorant and the uneducated.

You see, ID comes from a mindset that is essentially an idolatrous bastardisation of Christianity whereby they stake everything on the fundamental truth of a collection of works called "the Bible". In their mindset, the words of the Bible are from God, and if even one part of that collection of works is wrong, then God lied. And there is no room for "I don't knows" in a work created by the Creator of all the Universe. Their entire Universe comes crumbling down at that point; if God lied or His knowledge was imperfect, then God cannot be God; if God is not God, then nothing in their Universe makes sense and they have no basis for anything. There is no genuine curiosity about the natural world in such a worldview; everything one needs to know is contained in the Bible, and if any observation one might make in the natural world appears to conflict with their interpretation of the Bible, then it's the observation that is wrong - usually not their interpretation and certainly not the Bible itself. In short, ID is a deliberate attempt at creating an intellectual dead-end.

And for some Christian denominations, which take ridiculous propositions to the Nth degree, it's an understandable kind of survival mechanism: if their followers started getting curious about the natural world, they might start thinking, and if they do that, they might start to question, and then they might start to realise that they'd been sold a pup. And that's the last thing the charlatans and ex-used-car-salesmen who run the crazier churches out there want.

IDists come at scientific propositions and treat them in the same way they approach their own belief-system, without ever realising or acknowledging that in science, even if one were to successfully discredit one datum in favour of evolutionary Theory (and IDists haven't even managed that: where errors have been found, they have generally been found by other scientists, as a consequence of which our understanding of the natural world), that does not suddenly invalidate all the other data in support of the Theory, nor entail that the entire Theory is wrong. Science doesn't work like that. If there were clear observed processes in nature that jarred with evolutionary Theory and which a competing scientific hypothesis explained better as well as explaining everything evolutionary Theory currently explains, which had equal or greater predictive power and applicability, then it would be a contender.

But ID isn't it. ID can;'t explain nylonase, DNA or anything else, except to cherry-pick bits of evolutionary Theory and say "well, we agree with that bit", or to claim that a designer did it. It has no other answers. And "a designer did it" is an intellectual dead-end: it offers no avenues for seeking further knowledge, and IDists are curiously incurious about ascertaining the nature, purpose or attributes of such a "designer" or the mechanism by which it operates. All you get is a nod and a wink and a "well, we don't like to come out and say so, but we're kind of hoping you'll equate 'designer' with 'God'."

As far as ID arguments are concerned (all of which, you'll note, serve no purpose whatsoever except to try, futilely, to poke holes in evolutionary Theory):

Irreducible complexity, as has already been stated, is bunk. Dr. Behe, its chief proponent, was hauled over the coals over this during the Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Area School Board trial and as much as admitted that he hadn't read the multitude of books and papers that debunked his hypothesis. (The transcript of that court case is, I'm sure, still available online somewhere. I encourage you to read it, and come back and let us know if you still think ID is the more logical.) Not only is the bacterial flagellum not irreducibly complex, but biologists have identified precursors, and to the extent that "IC" systems may be said to exist in nature, they're arrived at by the way of loss of redundant features that were once required.

Tornado-in-a-junkyard arguments are also bunk, relying as they do on two essential logical fallacies. The first is post-hoc determination of the odds, like the participant in a lottery declaring that it must have been rigged because the odds against a specific person winning was 14m:1 against - no matter that the odds of someone winning quickly approaches 1:1 if you sell enough tickets. The second is a kind of argument from ignorance, combined with a straw man: the proponent of the tornado-in-a-junkyard argument cannot imagine how one could get from simple organic compounds to a strand of nucleic acid by way of gradual processes, so they make up this notion that (a) proponents of natural processes claim that it all happened in one fell swoop (this is a lie; they do not claim this), and (b) the odds against such a thing happening are so staggeringly huge that it can't possibly have happened - or "requires faith" to believe it happened, which is itself interesting as it is such a dazzling display of hypocrisy to claim that "faith", a vaunted virtue in their own credo, suddenly becomes a vice (but that doesn't matter, because this is also a lie).

As for cross-species evolution, this argument is bunk and has been bunk ever since the 1860s. A Crocoduck is not predicted by evolutionary Theory, and never was. Speciation entails a scenario where two populations diverge to the point where mating between them can no longer take place naturally. It certainly does not entail a scenario where one population "turns into" a population of another extant species. If dogs could turn into cats, that would be a blow to evolutionary Theory, not a support of it. Cats and dogs are two different branches on the "tree of life": no amount of speciation along either branch enables any population group to break away from its existing branch and attach itself to another one. That's not how evolution works; and further, that's not how any biologist claims it works.

Tired, discredited, presumptuous and demonstrably false arguments are not good logical arguments in anyone's book. So are you willing to reconsider your position?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 05:11:50 AM by Deus ex Machina »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2013, 04:54:20 AM »
Humans seem to be the limits on what he could design in terms of complexity, and an intelligent lifeform with self awareness.     

Humans are certainly NOT the limit of complexity.  We don't have echo location like bats, the electrosensory apparatus of sharks, the power of smell of a bloodhound, the vision of an eagle, the magnetic navigation of a pigeon, the hearing of a moth that can sense bats coming (150 times more sensitive than a human's hearing)  :o .... just to name a few things in nature that leave humans looking pretty ordinary ;)


Highly sophisticated nose of a star mole.

Sure. But I bet none of those animals have ever been stumped by its mate asking "Do I look fat in this?"
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2013, 05:37:23 AM »



(Incidentally, DrTesla is flat wrong when he says genetics has nothing to do with evolutionary Theory. It has everything to do with it: it is the mechanism by which traits pass to offspring, which according to evolutionary Theory had to exist if evolutionary Theory was true. That mechanism was predicted by the Theory, was later discovered long after Darwin's death, and vindicates the Theory every bit as much as do the mountains of evidence in the strata - and better still, the genetic code provides further validation of the relationship between organisms and backs up what we find by way of anatomy and paleontology.)


Caveat: I have almost zero scientific understanding. I'm saying this because something struck me about the quoted text, and because you seem very intelligent, courteous and non-patronising.

It doesn't seem very compelling to me that evolutionary theory predicted a mechanism by which traits pass to off-spring. How else could they pass, if not by some mechanism?  Or did the ToE predict what that mechanism was?

Sorry if my question is extremely ignorant.
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2013, 05:53:35 AM »
Caveat: I have almost zero scientific understanding. I'm saying this because something struck me about the quoted text, and because you seem very intelligent, courteous and non-patronising.

It doesn't seem very compelling to me that evolutionary theory predicted a mechanism by which traits pass to off-spring. How else could they pass, if not by some mechanism?

It may seem so obvious now, but in 1859 there was no known mechanism for heredity.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2013, 06:12:49 AM »
Not the actual mechanism, but surely the fact that there was a mechanism was stating the obvious, even back then?
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2013, 06:52:02 AM »
Not the actual mechanism, but surely the fact that there was a mechanism was stating the obvious, even back then?

Was it?
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Offline William

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2013, 06:56:25 AM »
Sure. But I bet none of those animals have ever been stumped by its mate asking "Do I look fat in this?"

Awesome proof ... "My ass looks fat, therefore God!"  ;D

Except the concept of being aware of what's a sexy ass isn't unique to humans:








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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2013, 07:00:12 AM »
Not the actual mechanism, but surely the fact that there was a mechanism was stating the obvious, even back then?

Was it?

I'd have thought so, yes. But I'm willing to be corrected.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2013, 07:01:51 AM »
Come on William, fess up: You trawl through the threads looking for opportunities to post cool photos, don't you?

 ;D
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Offline William

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2013, 07:06:00 AM »
^^ Magic, I'm a bit dyslexic (honest) so I do find it easier to express a thought with pics than typing  ;)

And sexual selection is one of the best ways I can think of to illustrate that evolution of complexity is not driven by a higher purpose:



« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 07:13:38 AM by William »
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2013, 07:13:53 AM »
Not the actual mechanism, but surely the fact that there was a mechanism was stating the obvious, even back then?

Was it?

I'd have thought so, yes. But I'm willing to be corrected.

What may seem obvious to us today is probably not a good basis from which to project what would have been obvious to people in the mid-nineteenth century. It may have been, but the lack of any apparent mechanism still dogged evolutionary Theory until mid-way through the 20th century.

Whether you personally find it compelling is your own affair, of course, but my point remains essentially the same: the mechanism in question had to be there if evolutionary Theory were true, and a "designer" has no need of a mechanism by which to transfer traits that makes it look exactly as if organisms shared a common ancestry, and where the relationships are exactly as are evident elsewhere in nature (in anatomy, and in the fossil record), unless the "designer" in question wanted us to believe that evolutionary Theory were essentially true and that organisms shared a common ancestry. Which raises the question "why would such an entity do so, save to yank our collective chains?"
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Online Graybeard

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2013, 07:29:06 AM »
You are basically saying "intelligent design"  did not happen because we evolved via natural selection which ignores the point that irreducible complexity indicates that we didn't evolve that way. 

"Intelligent Design" and " irreducible complexity" are garbage. They essentially teach that which is known to be wrong. They are not scientific or logical. They produce more problems than they solve and require a believe in a Creator (Who is always assumed, without proof, to be Yahweh.) who defies time, etc. Strangely, if an atheist were to claim such exemptions from common sense, the godbotherer would jump on him.

The fact that fingernails grow is, essentially, no more complex than the way in which an eye grew.

INTELLIGENT SMITING:

One of the finest and funniest religious alternatives to "ID" is "Intelligent Smiting." In this, God creates all life at Creation but occasionally a creature will displease Him. He then Smites all examples and replaces them with a very slightly improved version. Hence we have a fossil record that apparently shows progress.

I would challenge anyone to prove to me that this is not the One True Explanation. In fact, I will donate $20 to any of Ray Comfort's scams charities if they can persuade me that Intelligent Smiting is not true.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 07:35:39 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2013, 07:30:26 AM »
^^ Magic, I'm a bit dyslexic (honest) so I do find it easier to express a thought with pics than typing  ;)


 :-[

Innocent attempt at humour bites me in the arse. Not for the first time.

You do pretty well then, even if it's partial dyslexia.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2013, 07:37:54 AM »
Not the actual mechanism, but surely the fact that there was a mechanism was stating the obvious, even back then?

Was it?

I'd have thought so, yes. But I'm willing to be corrected.

and a "designer" has no need of a mechanism by which to transfer traits that makes it look exactly as if organisms shared a common ancestry, and where the relationships are exactly as are evident elsewhere in nature (in anatomy, and in the fossil record), unless the "designer" in question wanted us to believe that evolutionary Theory were essentially true and that organisms shared a common ancestry. Which raises the question "why would such an entity do so, save to yank our collective chains?"

I've never understood why designer and common ancestry have to be mutually exclusive.
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Offline DrTesla

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2013, 08:45:47 AM »
Humans seem to be the limits on what he could design in terms of complexity, and an intelligent lifeform with self awareness.     

Humans are certainly NOT the limit of complexity.  We don't have echo location like bats, the electrosensory apparatus of sharks, the power of smell of a bloodhound, the vision of an eagle, the magnetic navigation of a pigeon, the hearing of a moth that can sense bats coming (150 times more sensitive than a human's hearing)  :o .... just to name a few things in nature that leave humans looking pretty ordinary ;)


Highly sophisticated nose of a star mole.

When I see these lifeforms debating the origin of life, you'll have a point.  :)
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Online Jag

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #53 on: October 20, 2013, 09:11:56 AM »
I've never understood why designer and common ancestry have to be mutually exclusive.

For a long time that was the position I took (mostly in my head) as well. Why couldn't evolution be the mechanism that "God" used to move species along? This was before I'd met a YEC type of believer - in fact at that point I didn't know there was such a person, much less many of them.

I'm currently taking two biology classes, a happy accident of "goal" requirements that worked in my favor. In one we're covering the uses and applications of plants, current and historic; in the other we're going through cell biology and evolution. Both classes are high level overviews, intended for non-science majors and it's been quite educational to blow the dust off of science I learned almost 30 years ago. There's so much more information to make sense of it's almost overwhelming, even with a professor to guide me. I can almost feel the new neural pathways being created when I make sense of a new piece of information that gathers up a number of random facts into a cohesive whole concept.

I only thought I understood biology and evolution before taking these classes. It's not even that my understanding was wrong so much as very incomplete in light of 30 years of research since I studied it. They've both filled in blanks in my data set that I didn't even realize were there. I'm actually finding it harder now to discuss evolution with theists here who want to argue about it - there's so many incorrect assumptions in their position that we often aren't even discussing the same thing. No disrespect intended to anyone posting in this thread, this is more of a general observation of what happens here so often.

Darwin (and another man named Wallace) are responsible for articulating the theory of natural selection. Natural selection is one mechanism by which evolution can occur. The terms are not interchangeable. They saw a pattern, and explained the process - that's what science is at it's core, an explanation of the evidence available. The scientific method is designed to guard against bias by requiring the questioner to identify whatever information would make their hypothesis wrong - intelligent design ignores any evidence that opposes it's hypothesis.

Once again, I'm reminded that my lack of god beliefs is not because of science, but science certainly has helped me back up my disbelief with better answers.
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Online Jag

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #54 on: October 20, 2013, 09:21:02 AM »
When I see these lifeforms debating the origin of life, you'll have a point.  :)

To boldly mangle a  Dr. Dolittle quote, if you could talk to the animals, learn their languages, you might be surprised to discover what they talk about.  ;)

We humans tend to have a very narrow view of what qualifies as intelligence. We're a single species, inhabiting a single planet, in a single solar system, in a single galaxy, in the entirety of the universe. AND we think it all exists for, or because of, us. Pretty egotistical, don't you think? We got that idea out of our own heads by the way, long before we had any clue that other planets exist, much less other solar systems, much less.... you get the point.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2013, 09:22:34 AM »
Thanks for the response Jag.

I was more questioning the idea that shared physical traits suggests one common physical ancestor - why can't a creator have created many beings with shared physical traits?
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Offline William

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #56 on: October 20, 2013, 09:25:13 AM »
When I see these lifeforms debating the origin of life, you'll have a point.  :)

A larger brain space (fossil record shows it evolved) and the invention of writing.  That's not a huge differentiation from apes, some of which have been shown to be faster and more accurate at certain math tasks than humans, and whales who can communicate across vast distances of ocean.

If it were not for writing most humans would have to rediscover and rethink most things afresh. There'd be no books and no google. Just a bit of extragenetic culture - hopefully passed on before the wise ones died (probably 30 - 40 years sooner than now).  We'd loose knowledge very nearly as fast as we could acquire it.

Not all humans are lucky enough to be sufficiently educated (exposed to knowledge accumulated before them by others) to be equipped to debate the origins of life.  If you and I were members of these tribes ...





.... our debates would be pretty shallow  :)
 
 
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Offline DrTesla

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Re: The Impossibility Argument
« Reply #57 on: October 20, 2013, 09:32:38 AM »
You are basically saying "intelligent design"  did not happen because we evolved via natural selection which ignores the point that irreducible complexity indicates that we didn't evolve that way. 

"Intelligent Design" and " irreducible complexity" are garbage. They essentially teach that which is known to be wrong. They are not scientific or logical. They produce more problems than they solve and require a believe in a Creator (Who is always assumed, without proof, to be Yahweh.) who defies time, etc. Strangely, if an atheist were to claim such exemptions from common sense, the godbotherer would jump on him.

The fact that fingernails grow is, essentially, no more complex than the way in which an eye grew.

I don't think you can deny that irreducible complexity exists.   It makes sense that complicated things would need the parts to be assembled at once in such a way that they work  for it to have any functionality.   A partially formed structure would have been of no use.   Evolution by natural selection working on random mutations could not have assembled all the parts at once.    It isn't logical that all these random mutations occurred in such a way to achieve something even intelligent people could not design, like an eye for vision.

Evolution can't explain how the first lifeform was created and evolutionist have not proven their theory that life originated on its own in some kind of chemical reaction.   This is actually a key aspect of evolution, that the first lifeform   just came to be due to natural processes.    So to think the first lifeform could have been created,  given we have no evidence life can originate from some kind of random event,  is a legit theory.   And if the first lifeform was created,  why not many more?
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