Observing evolution and design

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posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:16 PM
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Leahn

Of course, there is. DNA has grammar and information, and there are no known sources of such on the Universe that are not designed.

DNA does not have grammar, it has structure. There term information is going to be based on definition. With a liberal use of the word, it would be the same as trying to examine the Hawking's Paradox and explaining that its primary issue is the loss of "information" ie. loss of mass matter etc. entering a back hole.




posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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flyingfish
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 

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?

Why should something with "too much specified complexity" beyond the known laws of chemistry and physics be considered not designed or caused by natural means? What does that mean? When we break it down to the roots, isn't it all just chemistry and physics?

Why can't it be said that DNA/RNA has the plan for executing life? It does nothing else, but that.


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.


It's a fair point, but it seems you're trying to suggest that when we speak of design in nature we're actually seeing illusions. No, that's not the case, even when talking about the obvious symmetries we observe. (which it's clear nature favors such patterns.)

When we study the structure of a cell, or a plant, or a starfish, and look at how these things function and survive, it goes well beyond your analogy of seeing the baby Jesus on a piece of toast or a bunny in the clouds. You're talking about illusions. We're talking about tangible and clear cut form, function, and purpose. These can be observed, studied, and copied again and again. When a plant can adjust its morphology, physiology and phenotype according to certain stimuli it detects from its environment. That's not an illusion. That's by design.

When we can take the design of an object from nature and turn it into a human technology, that's not an illusion. That's science.


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.

See above.




I also have a problem with the definition of nature, or what we deem to be natural.

I smell what you're cooking, natural and artificial can be brain fu#ked to be a bit self-contradictory seeing how nature, itself, created humans and their capability to transform the objects and the matter of their surroundings. Therefore one could say everything that humans create or produce is within the potential of nature. But do we really need the semantics?


In this case, absolutely we do. It's semantics that's driving the wedge as it pertains to the design argument.

Popular belief: Humans design. Nature does not. Humans are not nature, nor a part of it. Nothing humans produce is "natural."
This is the semantics of it.
You see what I mean?

Designs by humans originate in the mind, right? Please explain why the mind is not a natural phenomenon.




Right, everything other than humans that is. Since we're the ones observing then we must be separate from the natural process, right?


flyingfish
Wrong.


Exactly.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:54 PM
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Astyanax
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.


We can tell by looking at it. So yes, I would say that everything is by design. Even dirt.
To suggest otherwise doesn't make much sense, at least by our terms.


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?


I would say that's affirmative on both accounts. Most human creations can looked at as tools that are extensions of ourselves. So we can extend our physical abilities, it many cases to assist in our survival. Communication (and the means by which we communicate) has evolved since humans first appeared. So the cell phone can certainly be considered part of that process in my opinion.
edit on 3-11-2013 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)
edit on 3-11-2013 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 01:16 AM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


Again, I agree and congratulate you on your willingness to think about the deep structure beneath the mechanics of abiogenesis and evolution. The disagreement you have with flyingfish is really about the meaning of the word 'design'. And I am afraid he is right and you are wrong, at least according to the dictionary.


de·sign [dih-zahyn] verb (used with object)
  1. to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of: to design a new bridge.

  2. to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.

  3. to intend for a definite purpose: a scholarship designed for foreign students.

  4. to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan: The prisoner designed an intricate escape.

  5. to assign in thought or intention; purpose: He designed to be a doctor.

Clearly, all these definitions imply will and intent, and hence a conscious designer.

Now, if you're saying that RNA or DNA has will and intent, I must disagree with you. And if you are proposing a conscious genitive principle behind the natural world I must ask you to show me direct unambiguous evidence of it. But there is a softer usage of the word 'design', inaccurate according to the strict meaning of the term but widely used anyway. In this usage, 'designed' simply means 'evidently formed or adopted to fulfil a particular function.' I believe this is the meaning you have placed on the word. Correct me if I am wrong.

In this usage, all organisms are 'designed' to preserve and pass on their genes. This is their function, their 'purpose'; ultimately, they have no other. But different species achieve this purpose in different ways, for which they are also 'designed': male paradise flycatchers to grow unwieldy mate-attracting tails that are a positive hindrance to them during their overseas migrations; toxoplasma flukes to infest mouse brains and cause them to be attracted to cat urine; ichneumon wasps to paralyse and kidnap caterpillars and lay eggs in them, assuring their larvae of a fresh food supply until it is time to pupate. The curiosity-cabinet of nature contains all kinds of bizarre 'designs', each highly specialised for the purpose of preserving and passing on genes. None of these exhibits implies a designer.

So, when you write that


Everything is by design. Even dirt. To suggest otherwise doesn't make much sense, at least by our terms.

You really mean, I hope, that everything has a function to which it is adapted. In this sense it certainly is 'designed', but not by conscious design.

And now >sigh< to deal with Mr./Ms. Obnoxious...

*


reply to post by Leahn
 



As always, ask an evolutionist to show evidence for their statements, and they run away. That's why there can be no discussion on the topic of Evolution, despite evolutionist's oftenly made claims that they would like to have one.

Boldly said. I notice, however, you have not furnished any reply to my points earlier in the thread, nor flyingfish's. Give if you wish to receive.


None of what you said is actually any available scientific fact because you didn't say anything. You simply avoided all questions.

On the contrary, I offered specific, definite, verifiable replies, as follows:


Originally posted by Astyanax
  1. Archaeology makes no comments about evolution whatsoever.

  2. Evolution is not a wholly random process.

  3. The 'tree of life' is not a concept recognised by modern evolutionary biology.

  4. The overwhelming majority of biologists are also evolutionists.

  5. Given sufficient time, the most unlikely, yet still possible event is bound to occur.

The last point is a paraphrase, but not a distortion of what I said earlier.

Are you saying these statements cannot be verified or refuted? Disprove them or give up the argument.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Leahn
 





Show me a single example of an undisputed instance of a mutation that led to a new trait rather than adapted and improved an existing trait. Since you are saying that there are thousands of examples, show me one.

I'm surprised with your seemingly slick tactics that you would try this old cherry.
Creationist have been arguing that no one has ever seen one species evolve out of another for decades.
All your doing is repackaging the same argument.

What your looking for is observed Speciation, we can observe speciation directly in front of us, in the shape of allopolyploid evolution in plants.
Just as we know the life-cycle of a star, without ever having seen their billion-year history unfold before our eyes, so too we know all the essential steps in speciation, because we can observe the various intermediate stages, in real time, right now, and in the case of organisms, we can see the intermediate forms in the fossil record.

If you really want proof, remove your head from the counterproductive cesspool that is creationist propaganda, and do some real research on real science.




You're just gonna make a fool of yourself.

You mean unlike your sophomoric example? I'm sure your fellow con-men and charlatans would agree. The rest of us are not so easily swayed.




Yes, that's the usual answer given by evolutionists to any challenge to their pet theory; "So evolution can do that, too? Wow!" Nothing can disprove Evolution because Evolution can do anything. If something contradicts a prediction of Evolution, it only means that evolutionists were wrong about that prediction, and Evolution could actually do that too.

You have yet to contradict anything the ToE says and No one ever said "Evolution can do anything."




Moving goalposts so soon?

Another definition you need to add to your list of fails.




If you read the actual (much longer) study, you will see that the research was about discovering how domesticated chicken diferentiated from their wild cousins. This is an example of an organism that adapted entirely by non-Darwinian ways, .


What you copy-pasted above this quote I will not address because I know you have no idea what it means besides it's irrelevant to your strawman anyway.

If you actualy new what your talking about maybe you could convince me you read the study.
The fact that you use the term "adapted entirely by non-Darwinian ways" shows me your talking out the wrong end.
Darwin did not in fact say that the heritable variation he was talking about should consist entirely of changes in base-pairs rather than DNA methylation, and he would be astonished to hear that some heritable variation was Darwinian and some was not.




as the difference between domesticated chicken and wild ones lies entirely on methylation rather than mutations.

Of course it does not say, at all, in any way, that "the difference between domesticated chicken and wild ones lies entirely on methylation". This is something that you made up.

You've demonstrated nothing but poor reading comprehension, if not outright misrepresentations throughout this thread. You have lost all credibility with me.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Astyanax
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 

The disagreement you have with flyingfish is really about the meaning of the word 'design'. And I am afraid he is right and you are wrong, at least according to the dictionary.

My problem lies more with the meaning of the word "natural" then it does with design. I consider the human role as the linchpin here. As I said before, by definition humans are considered separate from nature, thus the things we create are classified as artificial. We have completely separated ourselves from the natural process, and as a result it's had a profound effect on our psychology of the matter and how we view our place within (without?) this world. I'm here to say that I think this view is misguided and incorrect.


Clearly, all these definitions imply will and intent, and hence a conscious designer.

Sure do. But remember, humans are not separate from nature, nor from the entire natural process; no matter how many definitions have conditioned us to think otherwise. So when a human designs things based on intent, or from a blueprint, then my deductive reasoning tells me that nature is in fact capable of conscious design. I haven't heard one good reason why I should think otherwise, but am all ears.


Now, if you're saying that RNA or DNA has will and intent, I must disagree with you.

What I'm saying is that there's more to the phenomenon of life than we understand. RNA/DNA are the spark plugs that allowed life to proliferate on this planet. We might soon discover that life, even intelligent life, exists all over the galaxy, and perhaps the universe. Given this latest announcement, I'd say the chances are pretty damn good. So then, I must ask, how does life proliferate on other planets? From DNA/RNA type molecules? If so, does this imply an universal blueprint for the birth and evolution of life?

There are ingredients. There's a recipe. What's the source?


And if you are proposing a conscious genitive principle behind the natural world I must ask you to show me direct unambiguous evidence of it.

Do you consider humans to be a part of the natural process for which we classify everything else in this universe? If not, then I must ask why you think that. If on other hand you do agree, then I think an argument can be made for conscious design by nature.


But there is a softer usage of the word 'design', inaccurate according to the strict meaning of the term but widely used anyway. In this usage, 'designed' simply means 'evidently formed or adopted to fulfil a particular function.' I believe this is the meaning you have placed on the word. Correct me if I am wrong.

This is an excellent point. And if I'm to be honest, I will say that even this conversation is part of my own exploration of the matter. There seem to be different layers; a sort of macro design vs micro design. I do not know where I stand on it all. I start by looking at the end product and ask myself- "how do billions of random events lead to this?" We are not amorphous blobs of slime that just lay there. We are naturally occurring computational machines. An "artificial" computer is the physical manifestation of how our minds work. As is everything else we create. So why do our brains favor patterns and symmetry, and why is there so much of it that is naturally pervasive on this planet and elsewhere?


The curiosity-cabinet of nature contains all kinds of bizarre 'designs', each highly specialised for the purpose of preserving and passing on genes. None of these exhibits implies a designer.

What does it imply then? For the sake of making a point, if we landed on mars and discovered a perfectly symmetrical pyramid there, but no sign of its executor, what are we to deduce?


So, when you write that


Everything is by design. Even dirt. To suggest otherwise doesn't make much sense, at least by our terms.

You really mean, I hope, that everything has a function to which it is adapted. In this sense it certainly is 'designed', but not by conscious design.

How are we to reconcile where conscious design comes from?
edit on 5-11-2013 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 



As I said before, by definition humans are considered separate from nature, thus the things we create are classified as artificial. We have completely separated ourselves from the natural process, and as a result it's had a profound effect on our psychology of the matter and how we view ourselves within this world.


I wonder if the insistence on believing in a higher power is an attempt to reconcile ourselves with that. Like we are aware that the gap between our species and the rest of nature is steadily growing, and we want to feel okay with that, so we come up with the most unnatural being we can think of and sell ourselves to it in order to assuage our concern.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Perhaps. But the belief in a higher power dates back thousands and thousands of years, probably during times when humans were more in tune with nature. So maybe it can be said that it was nature itself that brought this belief out of us in the first place...


edit on 5-11-2013 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 



Given this latest announcement , I'd say the chances are pretty damn good [that intelligent life exists all over the Galaxy]. So then, I must ask, how does life proliferate on other planets? From DNA/RNA type molecules?

Probably not, but the mechanism may be analagous.


If so, does this imply an universal blueprint for the birth and evolution of life?

Not necessarily. You're invoking something like the Anthropic Principle here. Complex organic molecules form under a variety of conditions present in the Galaxy. Some types of such molecules have the capability of replicating themselves. Over time, they evolve ever more elaborate housings to protect and propagate themselves. This we call life.

The formation and behaviour of these molecules are simply consequences of the way the universe is constituted — its laws and the values of its physical constants. Are you arguing that, because the universe is hospitable to life — something we knew already, since we exist — there exists somewhere a blueprint for it?


There are ingredients. There's a recipe. What's the source?

Are you saying the universe exists for the purpose of producing life? I'm sorry, but I can't agree with that. It seems to me that to argue thus is to get the different meanings of 'design' confused again, and put the cart before the horse.


Do you consider humans to be a part of the natural process for which we classify everything else in this universe? ...Then I think an argument can be made for conscious design by nature.

Allow me to quote myself, from earlier in the thread:


Astyanax
we are a part of nature, so nothing we do can be anything but natural.

Thus my views. I am entirely sympathetic to the idea that when we create, it is Nature that creates, through us.

But to go from that to the belief that Nature is a conscious designer is to abandon logic. If the cosmologists are right (as we both, I think, would grant) then the universe evolved discreteness and structure long before the first conscious being opened its eyes. Where was your conscious creative principle immanent in Nature before the first intelligent life emerged? Where was it in the long, long interval between the dawn of life and the coming of mind?

Besides, if the universe was anything but hospitable to intelligence, we wouldn't be around to know it, would we?


[If evidence of design in nature] does not imply a designer, what does it imply?

I'm sorry. The confusion of meaning is still apparent in this question. The appearance of design to which you allude is simply adaptation to function. We know how this occurs, and consciousness is not involved in the process. In fact, at this point in history consciousness does not know how to create life.

Even some kind of blind but teleological process such as George Bernard Shaw believed in, and to which the 'evidence for design' would seem to point far more credibly than to conscious intelligence, is not necessary to explain the appearance of design. The whole point about the theory of evolution by natural selection is that it eliminates such a necessity.


If we landed on mars and discovered a perfectly symmetrical pyramid there, but no sign of its executor, what are we to deduce?

A very old argument indeed...


In crossing a beach, suppose I hit my foot against a stone. Suppose I were asked how the stone came to be there. I might possibly answer that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever. It would be difficult to show that this answer is absurd.

But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be asked how the watch happened to be in that place. I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given--that for anything I knew the watch might have always been there--would be an acceptable answer.

Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? Why is it not as admissible in the second case as in the first? For this reason, and for no other: namely, that when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive -- what we could not discover in the stone -- that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose. The parts are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day. If the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner or in any other order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it.

— William Paley, 'The Watch & the Watchmaker, Natural Theology (1800)

...and long discredited, I fear.

edit on 5/11/13 by Astyanax because: of niggles.





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