Observing evolution and design

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posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 

A good post, especially since its arguments cut both ways. If observational evidence for design is ambiguous, it could equally well mean that everything is designed or that nothing is. We cannot tell from looking at the evidence.

However, when you add that all things are natural in their origin, including mobile phones — a position I have always held — does that follow that the designer of the mobile phone was designed, or that the phone can be called a product of evolution?




posted on Oct, 31 2013 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





phone can be called a product of evolution?


Yes... A thousands years from know our cyborg overlords will hail the era of the cellphone, as the beginning of the rise of the machines and end of parasitic organisms.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by flyingfish
 


Oh, much sooner than that. Right away, in fact.

The mobile phone is the product of a designer, but the designer is a product of evolution. Ergo the mobile phone is a product of evolution.

As someone I know once put it: we are a part of nature, so nothing we do can be anything but natural.

*


Here's another way of looking at it. Mobile phones, like all human products, evolve. Most of this evolution consists of adaptation to the demands placed on them by their users. These adaptations are, of course, the results of deliberate design.

But here's the thing: the demand (which could be functional, aesthetic or status-related) only specifies the adaptation itself very loosely. So in practice, numerous different designs of the adaptation are offered to the market, which chooses among them — favouring some, rejecting others, determining the relative frequency of competing designs in the population of mobile phones.

Look at all the different styles and designs of mobile phone there are! Consider how far their design has evolved in appearance and capability from the days of the Brick with the Antenna to the smartphone you bought (or just windowshopped) yesterday! This evolution is a product of a kind of selection directly analogous to (indeed indistinguishable from) natural selection.

In this model of evolution, human designers — hundreds or thousands of them — are mutagens, agents of heritable phenotypical change. The population of mobile phone users — the market — acts as the agent of selection, just as the environment (broadly speaking) acts as the agent of natural selection. Good ideas persist until they are superseded by better ones; bad ideas fail. Just like adaptive and non-adaptive mutations.

Fiddlesticks, you may reply, all the agents of this evolution are rational men and women, so your analogy breaks down. Yet while the actors in this scenario are rational, the outcome of the process — the path taken by mobile phone evolution — is not willed and is not reliably predictable. It has sprouted many branches that proved to be dead ends. Since no-one can really foresee what new designs will work, there is plenty of room for chance to operate. The fact that human designers create the adaptations doesn't eliminate randomness; it just improves the hit rate by discarding obvious non-starters, so that evolution moves faster. Given a sales cycle of about a year, mobile phones have been through about 25 generations since their use became common. There's been quite a lot of evolution in that time.

Earlier in the thread, I wrote


That cellular phones need a designer is an observation, not a principle. Possibly it is an observation that illustrates a principle, but what is the principle?

We now see that the observation can illustrate more than one principle.


edit on 1/11/13 by Astyanax because: it needed more chilli in it.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by flyingfish
 


Awesome post, you said just about everything I would have said. It's funny how when these threads are started by Creationists they always start with a bunch of misconceptions about evolution then try to disprove them (strawmans). Then the evolutionists have to come in and set them straight. Then the followup from the Creationists always ends up being how Evolutionists see the theory of evolution as a religion while failing to address any of the points made by the Evolutionists. It would be nice if an actual discussion between evolution and creationism could occur without Creationists using their repertoire of fallacies to derail the discussion. Of course, it is pretty obvious why that never occurs; if Creationism (at least the one depicted in the bible) were to come under close scrutiny, it would fall apart pretty quickly.

If Creationists are going to bring faith into this discussion, they should really just maintain that if there is a creator of the universe, then he or she is using evolution to develop life. That theory certainly makes a bit more sense then God created the world in 6 days and just poofed all of life into existence whole and fully developed.
edit on 1-11-2013 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:16 PM
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This is legitimete science so far.


Is science even real? I am sure you have thought about it. But think again.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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junkedandspammed


This is legitimete science so far.


Is science even real? I am sure you have thought about it. But think again.


Are you even real? Don't be so sure...



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 07:03 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Okay..

There is no doubt that human technology is evolving, and is intelligently designed. The problem is using this principle to suggest or prove life was designed.

Technology, regardless of any adaptations employed by demands, has a goal.
This goal functional, aesthetic, status-related or what ever it is...is still a goal!

The O.P. is ASSUMING there is a goal to the universe, and that life is an ultimate Goal.
Why should there be a goal at all. Why not that life just occurs when the conditions are right?

The point of your argument is to establish this point, not assume it, and therefore your syllogism is not logically sound. The task you have before you is to logically establish that life on Earth is the result of a goal, without utlilizing premises that already assume this conclusion.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by flyingfish
 



There is no doubt that human technology is evolving, and is intelligently designed. The problem is using this principle to suggest or prove life was designed.

Indeed. There is no evidence whatsoever that life was designed.


This goal functional, aesthetic, status-related or what ever it is...is still a goal!

Good point. But is it the phone designer, the phone user or the phone itself that has these goals? The designer's goal is to sell as many phones as possible and to maximise, for economy's sake, the use derived from elements of the design. This barely differs, in any meaningful way, from natural evolution, which produces organisms whose indisputable purpose is to survive and reproduce. Evolution by natural selection may not be a telic process, but its products are unswervingly dedicated to these goals.


The point of your argument is to establish this point, not assume it, and therefore your syllogism is not logically sound. The task you have before you is to logically establish that life on Earth is the result of a goal, without utlilizing premises that already assume this conclusion.

I am not trying to establish that evolution is teleological. I am merely trying to show that the evolution of human artifacts is also somewhat random and unpredictable in both its processes and its products. Surely you don't take me for a creationist? No, I am simply trying to show that the effects of evolution through selection are not confined to living things.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





Surely you don't take me for a creationist? No, I am simply trying to show that the effects of evolution through selection are not confined to living things.


No, judging from your posts, I would not agree your a creationist.

I'm simply trying to wrap my brain around your thinking.
Accuracy is important, as we all know the creo's will find a way to incorporate their delusion into just about anything ToE says.

Edit: I would like to add that even tho the effects of selection are similar in technology, complexity is a factor in the evolution of human technology, while in nature complexity is not a driver in evolution.
edit on fSaturday1304113f042203 by flyingfish because: edit



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 04:09 PM
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sk0rpi0n
1) Organisms have been observed to evolve in real time by acquiring new beneficial traits. This is undeniable evidence for evolution taking place within the scale that has been observed. Nothing less, nothing more. This is legitimete science so far.


No. Organisms have been observed to adapt to their environment by improving existing traits in a way to make them more relevant or beneficial by sacrificing other less relevant aspects of such traits. It has also been observed that such adaptations only last for a little longer than the external pressure from the environment, reverting to what they were previously if such pressure is removed in a few generations.


sk0rpi0n
2. However, ToE proponents use these instances of observable evolution to sell the larger, unobserved and unobservable claims of ToE. They are unobservable because of the immense time spans required for evolution to produce complexities such as, say, nervous systems or sexual reproduction.


The idea that such processes are non-observable is a cop-out from evolutionists. Some species of viruses like HIV have a rate of mutation that can go as high as 10 thousand times faster than other species like human beings. Long time evolutionary experiments with such viruses have yielded many deleterious mutations and beneficial alterations of traits, but no new traits or new species have ever arisen from such experiments, despite claims that such viruses have undergone far more mutations than the number said that we have undergone for us to change from our presumed last common ancestor with apes into our current species. In all fairness, such experiments have often yielded multiple ways of producing the same trait, which many consider a "new" trait.


sk0rpi0n
3) I have raised these issues on other forums. The usual answer I get is that complex instances of evolution that take millions of years work on the same principle as instances of observable evolution in real time.


Ask them to prove it to be possible. And do not accept an answer pointing to us being here since that would be begging the question, nor accept an answer saying that scientists all agree that it is possible since that would be both an fallacious argument from authority and an argument from popularity. Scientific consensus have been often wrong in the past and many time such wrong consensus was supported by what evidence they had at the time. One has to look at the evidence and reach one`s own conclusions, not simply yield its thinking to others because they claim to have credentials.


sk0rpi0n
4) If ToE proponents can accept a million year long evolutionary process that (a) nobody observed and (b)is impossible to observe again.... then it is AS equally valid for an ID proponent to hold by deduction that life was designed by an unobservable Intelligent Designer.


They allow themselves to have faith on their own creation myth, but not others. Others must support theirs with evidence.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 04:22 PM
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tridentblue
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


So there's this whole thing, where one side is saying there's an "intelligent designer", and another side is saying the process was "not intelligent", and its all a waste of time.

You have to decide where you stand axiomatically, and see what follows.


I agree. One has to pick one`s axioms and pursue truth from there. If one has picked the wrong axioms, reality will come knocking and prove him to be wrong. And then one will have to be brave enough to face truth and accept whatever new axioms he is provided to continue his pursuit. Even if it means rejecting everything that was dear to him.


AliceBleachWhite
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 

"Theory", in Science is akin to a hard fact.
We're talking hard fact, like THEORY of GRAVITY.
Thus, if you want to argue "Theory" of Evolution, a quick answer could be arrived at by defeating "Theory" of Gravity; simply step off any sufficiently elevated place as often as takes to arrive at the conclusion that you're not going to defeat the "Theory" of Gravity ... or, until you actually do.


It is quite amusing how often those that believe in the pseudo-science that plagues the fields of biology like to point out to how hard fields like physics and engineering are trustworthy, since they can`t find a trustworthy example on their own field. Look, Engineering is trustworthy. Math is trustworthy. Physics is mostly trustworthy (until physicists decide to play god, a.k.a. string theory). Biology is only trustworthy as long as it is within the petry dish, under a very strictly controlled environment. Other than that, drop the act. I`m pretty sure that if one actually managed to defeat the Theory of Gravity, it would impact absolutely nothing Theory of Evolution, considering that not even defeating the theory of evolution itself multiple times has never had any impact on it whatsoever.

However, I do look forward to the next developments on stuff like CAP, Self-Organization and NGE. Those are stuff that can actually be observed in a lab.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 04:35 PM
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SuperFrog
For example, we are destroying ozon and we (as well all other life on earth) might experience a bit more radiation. Those able to adopt to new level will survive...


We are not destroying the ozone layer. The layer is self-regulating, like nearly everything else on Earth, and is far more resilient than some alarmists want us to believe. Ozone is produced by the interaction of the free oxygen (O2) molecules on atmosphere with sun`s UV light. Therefore, the stronger UV light hits the Earth, the stronger the layer becomes. This is called ozone-oxygen cycle.


flyingfish
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 

You need evidence for an unobservable intelligent designer. Even with your cell phone analogy, we may not "see" who built the cell phone but we know cell phones are designed and are not natural, therefore an intelligent agent was involved. In contrast when we observe the Universe/ Nature, all the way down to atoms, we see, predict and measure evidence for natural processes happening spontaneously without the need for magic or some unknown intelligent force.

So tentatively, we can say with confidence that it suggests there is nothing else but natural processes.


Your reasoning is incorrect. Cooking is a process that requires the existence of a intelligent designer. Therefore, there are processes in the universe that require an intelligence guiding force behind them. Does it mean that the creation of an universe is one of those? No. But it does mean that one cannot say with confidence that the such process should be assumed to be natural like you are doing.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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SuperFrog
Here is my post on topic 'Is God and Evolution mutually exclusive' and IMHO it is very relevant to this discusssion... (basically the same question, no?)

"The same is true of the study of the evolutionary history of life on Earth, and as a matter of fact, many mechanisms of evolution are studied through direct experimentation as in more familiar sciences "

Pope John Paul II revisited the question of evolution in a 1996 a message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Unlike Pius XII, John Paul is broadly read, and embraces science and reason.

Evolution, a doctrine that Pius XII only acknowledged as an unfortunate possibility, John Paul accepts forty-six years later “as an effectively proven fact.”


No one disputes those parts of the theory that are shown in the lab, so drop the act. Even the most hardcore creationist will gladly accept what is shown in the lab. Everybody knows that what is disputed is the hearsay and speculations that evolutionists come up with to fill in the gaps that cannot be demonstrated in a lab. So, again, drop the hollier-than-thou act. You`re not fooling anyone.

And nobody cares what the Popes think, except by a subsect of very pious catholics, which encompasses an ever-dwindling amount of Christians nowadays.

One had to wonder how much "read" such Pope was if he believed that Galileo discovered anything noteworthy in his time dealing with Astronomy. Great mathematician Galileo was, but great astronomer, he wasn`t.


AfterInfinity
Please explain how your alternative theories are any more concretely based or observable. If you don't have a better and more easily proven/demonstrated theory, then why try to kick evolution to the curb? As far as I'm aware, it's still the best working theory we have to date, scientifically speaking. If I'm wrong, please show me how.


Because sometimes one has to understand that his current path is leading nowhere and not to fear to try something new just to see if it leads to a better path, or even to drop everything and start from scratch. Beating a dead horse that is leading nowhere just because you liked that particular horse will not make it lead to anything different than nowhere.
edit on 2/11/2013 by Leahn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


And yet, for all your bluster, you failed to show how my statement, which you quoted, is incorrect.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:16 PM
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helldiver
I'm sure some have, bacterial resistance to antibiotics would be one example.


Bacterial resistance is not an example of evolution, sorry. There are "always" some bacteria of any species that are resistant to any given antibiotics because those have deleterious mutations that happen to have the side-effect of preventing the antibiotics from working.

It is no more an example of evolution as killing all male population of a country in a war would be an example of such population evolving to become an all-female species.

Antibiotics work by targeting specifics biological processes on bacteria, preventing their replication (allowing your body to have time to kill them) or even killing them with such disruption. A bacteria that has a mutation on such process will simply survive such targeted killing because the process will not be disrupted by the medication. But the process itself is already "pre-disrupted" in a sense as such mutations are always deleterious.


AfterInfinity
I guess I don't get an answer. My questions must have been awfully good.


More likely so silly and overasked that no one bothered.


flyingfish
Is it designed, is it ordered, fashioned, executed, or construct according to a plan, does it have too much specified complexity to have appeared by known laws of chemistry and physics?

But the appearance of design should also be differentiated from actual design.
Our brains pick up on patterns and intentions, sometimes when they aren't even there. Seeing unicorns in clouds, faces on mars, or baby jeebus on toast for example. All these things are the result of chance and our minds tendency to recognize patterns. This is the case of appearance of design, as opposed to actual design.


So, if I don`t have a plan, it is not designed? If I pick up a bunch of LEGO pieces, and start assembling them in a way that resemble a house, such construct is not designed because I did not trace a plan beforehand stating the exact size, number of pieces, color and shape the house would have? Is that what you are saying? What is it, then? A natural object?

Look, *everything* that exists have appeared according to known laws of chemistry and physics. Your argument is basically stating that something is only a designed object if it is demonstrated to break such laws.

I read Dawkings too. His silly argument on designoids. It quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, looks like a duck, but it is not a duck because if it was a duck, I`d have to accept the existence of a creator. Then I will call it a duckoid instead and run to the hills before someone asks me to explain the difference.

Go ahead and do it. Explain the difference.


flyingfish
"Apart from drawing it out on a computer or a piece of paper, could you explain how we are to observe something being designed?"

By watching it's construction. You could visit the factory were the cell phones are made.


Unless one oversees the assembly of one specific cell phone from beginning to end and grab it with one`s own hands as soon as it is done, this is absolutely no evidence that one specific cell phone was designed just because other cell phones are designed, as opposed to believe that that specific cell phone spontaneously appeared from mold on one`s refrigerator. One can infer, though.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 


Oh look, you ignored my last post. For all of your criticism, you have no better answers than that which you criticize. Or so I am left to conclude in your silence.

I think my questions were better than you dare to admit. Surely they are a piece of cake for someone as disdaining as yourself.
edit on 2-11-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:24 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by Leahn
 


And yet, for all your bluster, you failed to show how my statement, which you quoted, is incorrect.


You asked, and I quote:

"If you don't have a better and more easily proven/demonstrated theory, then why try to kick evolution to the curb? As far as I'm aware, it's still the best working theory we have to date, scientifically speaking. If I'm wrong, please show me how."

And I answered:

"Because sometimes one has to understand that his current path is leading nowhere and not to fear to try something new just to see if it leads to a better path, or even to drop everything and start from scratch."

If you don`t understand how it proves your statement wrong, the fault lies entirely on your side.

Evolution is currently facing attack from every possible side. Archeology disagrees with it. Genomics disagree with it. Other fields of Biology disagree with it. A lot of the most recent developments and scientific discoveries disagree with it. Yet, you come to me and ask "there is nothing better currently, so what`s wrong with sticking to it, despite its flaws, until something better comes up?"

Simply because it is flawed. In the same way that the original theory was flawed, and genetics forced it to change into the modern synthesis.

Nothing better will come up until people go out of their way and go searching for it, instead of sticking their hands in the sand, covering their ears, and ignoring the problem.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by Leahn
 


Oh look, you ignored my last post. For all of your criticism, you have no better answers than that which you criticize. Or so I am left to conclude in your silence.


I was reading the rest of the thread...



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by Leahn
 





No. Organisms have been observed to adapt to their environment by improving existing traits in a way to make them more relevant or beneficial by sacrificing other less relevant aspects of such traits.


Wrong.

Your first sentence proves you have no idea what your talking about. If you wish to refute a theory, you must first understand what it says accurately.

Organisms do not improve existing traits. The survivors of populations pass on mutations that may, or may not be beneficial.




It has also been observed that such adaptations only last for a little longer than the external pressure from the environment, reverting to what they were previously if such pressure is removed in a few generations.

Did you just make this up?
There is no "reverting" organisms either survive and pass on their genes, or die off. If they survive, those beneficial traits are reflected, as variation is expressed in population size and density in a given area at a particular time.

I'm not going to waste my time going over the rest of your strawman arguments misrepresenting the ToE.

You need to study the correct definitions of these words first, then we can talk.

Species
Mutation
Adaptations
Common ancestor
Faith
Evidence
Strawman

Here is some good resources to get started.
evolution.berkeley.edu...
www.talkorigins.org...
ncse.com...

Your welcome.



posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 06:35 PM
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Astyanax
reply to post by flyingfish
 


Here's another way of looking at it. Mobile phones, like all human products, evolve. Most of this evolution consists of adaptation to the demands placed on them by their users. These adaptations are, of course, the results of deliberate design.

But here's the thing: the demand (which could be functional, aesthetic or status-related) only specifies the adaptation itself very loosely. So in practice, numerous different designs of the adaptation are offered to the market, which chooses among them — favouring some, rejecting others, determining the relative frequency of competing designs in the population of mobile phones.

Look at all the different styles and designs of mobile phone there are! Consider how far their design has evolved in appearance and capability from the days of the Brick with the Antenna to the smartphone you bought (or just windowshopped) yesterday! This evolution is a product of a kind of selection directly analogous to (indeed indistinguishable from) natural selection.


No, the analogy is incorrect. In Evolution, the mutation occurs randomly and regardless of the need for it. And every now and then, such mutation increases the fitness of the organism, and is therefore selected for. But the mutation itself has no purpose or intention and is selected as-is.

On the other hand, cellphones evolve by carefully analyzing the demands, and designing the best possible "mutation" that will meet such demand, according to its designer. It is, therefore, very well purposeful and intentional. Unlike natural selection.



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