Author Topic: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?  (Read 293 times)

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Offline Ataraxia

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Recently, we're seeing a lot of talk on this forum regarding the theory of evolution and how ID is supposed to be a more reasonable explanation than certain aspects of it. However, a strawman has been concocted here by the creationists, where some sort of deathmatch has been set up to pit the ToE against ID. This is false because the ToE isn't presented as an alternative to ID, and ID doesn't make the ToE redundant. There is no buffer that stops an intelligent designer using evolution via natural selection as a mechanism for the diversity of life.

So, since creationists here and elsewhere don't find the ToE to be an all encompassing explanation for the diversity of life, I would like to hear what the alternative mechanism is and how it works. To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.

NB - For the sake of this discussion, ID is true.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 11:55:22 AM »
In short, you can't assume that it's simply an intrinsic property of the 'designer' and thus something that couldn't be reproduced.  That can only be determined by testing; until it's actually determined that it is the method used and extensively tested, that's not an assumption that's safe to make.

Offline screwtape

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 11:55:37 AM »
To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.

eh?  I don't understand.  You want someone to explain how a hypothetical designer designed different forms of life?  If and ID is given, why is that not sufficient to explain diversity?
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 12:11:56 PM »
To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.

eh?  I don't understand.  You want someone to explain how a hypothetical designer designed different forms of life?  If and ID is given, why is that not sufficient to explain diversity?

I think it's in a similar vein as saying that 'descent with modification' is insufficient to explain diversity.  In order to explain the diversity of species on this planet, one needs to explain the process of natural selection - the mechanism of natural selective pressures (resource availability, predation, atmospheric conditions, yadda yadda yadda, bisque) affecting populations and the manner in which such pressures affect fecundity to arrive at subsequent speciation (traits that do not impede reproduction having a greater tendency to be passed down).

Ataraxia, is that kinda what you're going for?  Would the following satisfy:

The mechanism behind ID is divine modification.  At some point between conception and birth, a divine entity, through some as-yet undiscovered physical means, directly modifies the genes of the pre-born entities for some as-yet undiscovered goal.  This is not a process of natural selection, as things like 'survivability' do not make a significant contribution to determining if a gene or trait is passed down.  Selection for continued reproduction is result of a divine willful entity interacting with the physical world on to-be-born organisms.

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As an aside, I have yet to see any real definitions or descriptions behind what 'intelligent' means in reference to ID.  So far as I can tell, there is nothing that bars the process of natural selection as a viable candidate for the 'intelligence'.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 12:35:09 PM »
I would like to hear what the alternative mechanism is and how it works. To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.
I think I might have mentioned the Only True explanation for diversity and fossils that does not involve any ridiculous notions of "Evilution": it is called "Intelligent Smiting."

God created every living thing from viruses to Bluewhales and from tiny mushrooms to sequoias, etc. He then observed. And when He saw that one of his creations was doing something it shouldn't, He smote it with a Great Smitance and instantly replaced it with the improved next version.

Through the course of the 6,000 years since Creation, God has done this with all manner of things. Their bones lie as fossils for all to see. Successions of early hominids, some as old as 5,999 years and 359 days, have been found and so have massive lizards and insects the size of airplanes, but this just proves the Theory of Intelligent Smiting is True!

Nothing else need be said.

Could a Mod close this thread?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 02:56:06 AM »
In short, you can't assume that it's simply an intrinsic property of the 'designer' and thus something that couldn't be reproduced.  That can only be determined by testing; until it's actually determined that it is the method used and extensively tested, that's not an assumption that's safe to make.

I agree and understand this, but for the sake of this discussion the assumption is being made. Part of the point of this thread is to show that even if you include ID, it doesn't add anything or take anything away from an explanation.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 02:59:13 AM »
To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.

eh?  I don't understand.  You want someone to explain how a hypothetical designer designed different forms of life?  If and ID is given, why is that not sufficient to explain diversity?

Because the label of a role only describes what they are and not what they do. It's kind of like the difference between a job title and a job description.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: What is the alternative mechanism to evolution via natural selection?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 03:15:09 AM »
To reiterate, ID is not an alternative mechanism as the intelligent designer is the user of the mechanism and not the mechanism itself.

eh?  I don't understand.  You want someone to explain how a hypothetical designer designed different forms of life?  If and ID is given, why is that not sufficient to explain diversity?

I think it's in a similar vein as saying that 'descent with modification' is insufficient to explain diversity.  In order to explain the diversity of species on this planet, one needs to explain the process of natural selection - the mechanism of natural selective pressures (resource availability, predation, atmospheric conditions, yadda yadda yadda, bisque) affecting populations and the manner in which such pressures affect fecundity to arrive at subsequent speciation (traits that do not impede reproduction having a greater tendency to be passed down).

Ataraxia, is that kinda what you're going for?  Would the following satisfy:

The mechanism behind ID is divine modification.  At some point between conception and birth, a divine entity, through some as-yet undiscovered physical means, directly modifies the genes of the pre-born entities for some as-yet undiscovered goal.  This is not a process of natural selection, as things like 'survivability' do not make a significant contribution to determining if a gene or trait is passed down.  Selection for continued reproduction is result of a divine willful entity interacting with the physical world on to-be-born organisms.

Yes, something like that.

I'm glad to see you understand that such a designer would have to interact with the physical world in order to manipulate it. From our perspective, we would only be able to perceive the mechanism, and not the designer pushing buttons and twiddling knobs, so to speak.

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As an aside, I have yet to see any real definitions or descriptions behind what 'intelligent' means in reference to ID.  So far as I can tell, there is nothing that bars the process of natural selection as a viable candidate for the 'intelligence'.

Yes, good side point - intelligence is a rather subjective term. We often hear from creationists that the ToE is wrong, or that ID is a better explanation. However, in doing so they are inadvertently saying that this intelligence didn't use evolution via natural selection as a mechanism, without proposing an alternative mechanism or explaining why this intelligence wouldn't use evolution.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire