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Is Evolution Improbable?

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posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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An often recycled creationist "point" is that the universe, evolution, etc is highly improbable unlesss it had a creator; ie., the anthropic principle.

Evolution of the eye, or a wing, by natural selection would indeed be astronomically improbable if it were both by chance and all at once, which many YEC's and their "polictically correct" counterparts ID'ists advertise it would have had to according to "Darwinism".

Perhaps, but the theory of natural selection never proposed that it had to.

Instead, we can imagine (and prove with both modern examples and fossils) that these things evolved gradually, in several steps, to become what they are today. Each step is only slightly improbable, but when comparing the very top to the very bottom it seems, as above, astronomically improbable.

We can see today that many animals have, for instance, eyes that could certainly be explained as half a human eye, such as the ones found in nautili. Yet these animals still see enough to not bump into rocks and to avoid predators.

We can see flying squirrels that have half a wing when compared to a bird or a bat, yet they still have an advantage over animals that have, say, 49% of the wing of a bird or bat. They can glide just a little bit farther, thus perpetuating natural selection. The ones that just barely fall short the tree they were aiming for will be killed and their genes are no longer passed on. This is evident in fossils as well when observing the evolution of birds and horses, to name just two.

On the other hand, design is often regarded as the only probable alternative; it is not. The improbability of the designer appearing out of nothing, some infinite being arising from nothing, is infinitely more improbable than an eye or wing arising from "nothing".

Not to mention the fact that prayer doesn't work, YEC couldn't have happened, there is no evidence of any gods, the probability that the true god is the Abrahamic god is close to zero, etcetera...

Therefore, we can see that the only probable explanation for the variety of life found on Earth today and all it's complex processes is evolution by natural selection, assuming one can comprehend it rather than simply dismiss it in favour of worshipping the gaps.




posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by SlyCM

Therefore, we can see that the only probable explanation for the variety of life found on Earth today and all it's complex processes is evolution by natural selection, assuming one can comprehend it rather than simply dismiss it in favour of worshipping the gaps.


First let me say I'm not a "creationist" by any stretch. I'm an engineer by training -a scientist.

What I find incredibly improbable is the evolution of the entire balanced ecosystem.

In other words, survival of the fittest would lead one to believe that at some point a dominant species would come and basically eat everything, thus surviving for the short term while killing the long term chance of ongoing survival because they're entire food source would be destroyed.

So how does the theory of evolution explain the survival of the balanced ecosystem? Or does it need to? Is it inevitable that the ecosystem as a whole will collapse because individual species are only concerned with their own survival, and not the survival of their environment?



posted on May, 29 2008 @ 02:14 PM
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In other words, survival of the fittest would lead one to believe that at some point a dominant species would come and basically eat everything, thus surviving for the short term while killing the long term chance of ongoing survival because they're entire food source would be destroyed.

We have had a few dominant species over the years, including Lystrosaurus and Homo sapiens sapiens, both on a global scale. The former dominated until predators eventually evolved that could bring it down, and the latter is currently undermining it's own future. On a regional scale, we can cite the example of the Saint Matthew Island reindeer, which proliferated in the absence of predators then died off. Regardless, when resources run out, a species will die off.



So how does the theory of evolution explain the survival of the balanced ecosystem? Or does it need to? Is it inevitable that the ecosystem as a whole will collapse because individual species are only concerned with their own survival, and not the survival of their environment?

If one believes evolution, the evolution of organ systems is parallel to the evolution of ecosystems. Species branch out, and any that does not successfully fill a niche will perish, and any that dominates will become a natural force on the others. If the dominant one produces an adaptation that is too successful, it will strip it's region of resources then die off. This rarely happens since larger animals more heavily "armed" will need more energy to sustain themselves and are likely to reproduce more slowly.

Similarly, a small animal that proliferates too rapidly exposes itself to diseases and more intense predation. So all in all, the process tends to be self-regulating, and this factor increases in even more complex ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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Yeah I can clearly see that we're "so easy to debunk" as BigWhammy stated on Astyanax's thread. Especially seeing that my two threads, after having throughly undermind IDist logic, have been met with cricket chirps.

One last word though... the only evidence that ID'ists have ever had, and if current trends continue, ever will have, is the gaps in evidence that science has. It flourishes like a weed in those gaps, but the gaps are closing up.

Have fun clinging ever more strongly to your faiths as the ledge grows ever smaller ID'ists.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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Well, one problem I have with the probability of evolution is the idea of abiogenesis. I find it hard to believe that a cell, even an extremely simple cell, would appear by random chance, with the ability to reproduce, with RNA or some other genetic material, and with the ability to mutate fast enough to evolve into us in a few billion years and slow enough as to not die from a bad mutation.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Alcove
Well, one problem I have with the probability of evolution is the idea of abiogenesis. I find it hard to believe that a cell, even an extremely simple cell, would appear by random chance, with the ability to reproduce, with RNA or some other genetic material, and with the ability to mutate fast enough to evolve into us in a few billion years and slow enough as to not die from a bad mutation.


It's ok to have a problem with that, because even a cursory examination of the literature will show that the situation you describe above is nowhere near in line with evolutionary theory.

Fair enough?



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:52 AM
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Is Evolution Improbable?


No, and we are the evidence.

This has been another episode of "Simple Answers to Simple Questions".



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:04 AM
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to the one with the doubt due to eco balance, well, WE are the answer to that doubt. We have become the dominant species, and we are eating everything and destroying ecobalance and soon will rid the world of all life...give us time, i have faith...we can do it!

As far as biogenesis....im thinking in my theory that "life" is another natural form of matter just like solid liquid or gas. In the right circiumstances matter behaves in certain patterns, and i think this is true for certain elements, when brought together, they begin to interact. It all has to do with the fact that everything is actually just made up of energy and vibrations or frequencies, and perhaps certain frequencies (carbon and water, solar radiation perhaps) resonate with each other and begin to perform a dance when they meet, and this dance is what we call life. Just my little theory



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by pexx421
we are eating everything and destroying ecobalance and soon will rid the world of all life


The earth will destroy us long before that happens. We can dominate all the creatures we want. But mother earth holds the "boom stick"
. If she hits us with enough natural disasters we're helpless as fish in a bucket.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:30 AM
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reply to post by JPhish
 


Well said, particularly if we view the Earth as an organism or systemic collection of ecologies.

_____________

It seems fairly obvious to me that evolution has and is taking place. What's the alternative? A systematic replacement of creatures with an "improved" model by a diety? Also, what speaks strongly to me is the nature of creatures that evolved in say, Australia -- creatures that were separated from interactions with other creatures. Also, the strong evidence of failed evolutions, creations that flourished and then failed, all before the dreaded creature homo sapiens arrived to assist in their demise.

Good post.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by vox2442
 


Yeah, you don't need abiogenesis for ToE to be right, but it's usually included anyways. Otherwise you'd have theism on your hands, and some people don't like that.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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Dominant species always fail. Unless they can find a way to live in harmony with their environment. Up until about two-three centuries ago (pre-industrial rev) we pretty much did.

Ironically, now, we are the only species on the planet aware of the possibility of keeping ourselves in check, prevent the over-dominating, living in harmony with the planet, yet we choose not to! We can't help ourselves, and it will be our downfall.

Earth won't consciously come and wipe us out, it'll just be the scales tipping over. Crop failures, famine, pandemics and war will be our epitaph! All related to our over use of the world, our interference with the natural order.

On the bright side, we might rid most of what is beautiful from this world, but once we've gone, the earth will only require some time and peace for it to replenish itself with life.



posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 02:17 PM
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The Anthropic Principle

The anthropic principle, as I found out after making the OP, is NOT in support of creationism or the God hypothesis. In support of biological evolution:

In our Universe there is probably more than a billion billion planets. So, however improbable abiogenesis might be (and it might not be) it still only needed to happen on one in a billion billion planets to produce the results we now observe. We, of course, evolved on that planet: though I am a supporter of the idea that life exists elsewhere.

Similarly, on a cosmological/physical scales, the universe may not have been "variable" in the first place, or there could be more than one, or they could have formed in sequences. Either way, no room for god. How could he materialize in the first place if the universe was beforehand unsuitable for matter and life to develop?



posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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No, very probable with physical evidence. Creationism is fiction.



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