Evolution is not an opinion

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steven lloyd
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by steven lloyd »

JoleneandJoel wrote: You cannot believe in purpose and evolution. They conflict with each other.



Maybe you can't believe in purpose and evolution, but many people can (and you don't even need to be a theist). There's only a conflict if you create one in your own mind by your own limitations.
Last edited by steven lloyd on Oct 27th, 2009, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
And then there is our resident right-wing troll who tells us name calling is childish.
The hypocrisy is just pitiful and way off the charts and so very strong in this one.
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FunkyBunch
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by FunkyBunch »

I'm not convinced the two views you've listed are as mutually exclusive as you suggest JoleneandJoel. I was once a devout Bible-thumping Baptist and have become an agnostic. I don't see why what you've listed under the Creation table can't apply to Evolution or even that evolution is impossible even if Creation did happen as per Intelligent Design.

"Pascal's Wager" might be okay for some people, but it's not okay for me especially when it is used as a reason to refute science or theories by itself. Implications of theories should not limit what we try and prove or solve. Just because we may not like the answer to something, doesn't mean we shouldn't try and find it out.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by blink »

FunkyBunch wrote:Evolution is a Theory, largely because it's impossible to watch something evolve in a controlled environment for millions of years. Further, we only have guesses as to the mechanisms involved. We have seen large amounts of "circumstantial" (a better word escapes me atm) evidence of evolution and have significant correlations that further strengthen the theory of evolution.


Just wanted to point out that the time involved should not be viewed in numbers of years, but in numbers of successive generations. The fruitfly, for example, with a gestation period of only a few days, and a relatively simple genetic structure, was initially viewed by evolutionary biologists as a prime candidate for studying 'evolution' in action. Today, nearly six generations of studying drosophila equates to enough generations to account for the entire evolutionary history of modern humans, and yet no observable evidence of 'real evolution' (as in, evolving a fly into anything that would not be recognized as a fly) was ever documented or published.
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FunkyBunch
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by FunkyBunch »

Wow, I'm arguing for evolution here (a year or two ago and that would have been impossible).
That argument is largely misdirection. Just because you can study a fly and watch it NOT do something doesn't mean it can't or hasn't done it before. In some cases, the studies of evolution are like the invention of the light bulb. It took Edison 10,000 tries of figuring out what NOT to do to get it right. And since evolution seems to be a fickle beast, even doing it the right way may not lead to results. Further, it also seems possible that some species are "dead ends" and it doesn't matter what you do to them they can't change anymore.

Using such extremes to discredit something is exactly what I detest about Richard Dawkins and some Intelligent Design Theorists. Minor points are over-riding major points just because someone is yelling them louder.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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Hmmm, just wondering why an organism would evolve or change through generations or even time if it was well suited to its environment, and its environment didn't change?

Thinking here about such things as the reason giraffes evolved long necks and long front legs over millenia, not generations, or why the woolly mammoth had a coat of hair, but the elephant doesn't. Or for that matter why an elephant has a trunk instead of a "normal" nose, and such huge floppy ears.

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mtnman1
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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I am thinking of the "Super Bugs", there is the simplest of life forms that have evolved over time. If that single cel organism can do it, so can multi cell.
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Homeownertoo
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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Nabcom wrote:Hmmm, just wondering why an organism would evolve or change through generations or even time if it was well suited to its environment, and its environment didn't change?

Thinking here about such things as the reason giraffes evolved long necks and long front legs over millenia, not generations, or why the woolly mammoth had a coat of hair, but the elephant doesn't. Or for that matter why an elephant has a trunk instead of a "normal" nose, and such huge floppy ears.

Nab

Environments are always in flux, and species are always moving into different environments. And no species is perfectly suited in every way to its environment, even if just for the two reasons I've already listed. So small mutations can always confer a heriditable advantage -- hence, evolution.
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FunkyBunch
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by FunkyBunch »

I'm actually rather new to the whole evolution concept and didn't think of that homeowner. I've learned a lot with my time on these boards, even if my head seems rather hard most of the time.
I appreciate most people's viewpoints, especially when discussion is generated and is an approach I'm trying to take more myself instead of the I'm right because I'm right approach I've been prone to in the past.
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CJSchmidtz
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by CJSchmidtz »

It is interesting to me that your "best proof" involves a logical rather than scientific error. The truth is any fact which is consistent with two or more theories proves neither. In this particular case commonalities between living things may be consistent with a theory of common descent, but it is certainly not proof because it is also consistent with a theory of common design. Helicopters and cars both have some design similarities; but i do not conclude from this that they both result from the same non-rational forces. The cited fact "commonalities" is consistent with both theories and therefore proves neither. You can try to discount my analogy but you cannot discount my logic.
I would continue but i have been distracted, therefore you can ignore me and go back to telling each other how smart you are and how great your evidence is.
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quietlywatching84
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by quietlywatching84 »

why an organism would evolve or change through generations or even time if it was well suited to its environment, and its environment didn't change?


Now that's an excellent question. The natural environment isn't the only factor contributing to changes in variation. Mutation is one as Homeowner mentioned and Gene Flow is second. A candid example would be the offspring of European Colonialists introducing new genes another population. Also, there is Genetic Drift, which is almost like homogenizing effect on evolution, which occurs when large parts of a population quickly die off.

Another thing to remember about evolution is basic Biology. Think about the breeding of dogs and cats for instance. We actively practice an ancient idea that just happens to agree with evolutionary thinking. With a dog, I can breed one to have long front legs and a long nose to resemble your elephant. It's just that I'm playing "environment" with the dog. being that I'm playing with the cornerstone of the whole idea: mate selection, or in this case I think in fairness for the hypothetical dog "mate availability". That's the theory anyways
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by blink »

FunkyBunch wrote:Just because you can study a fly and watch it NOT do something doesn't mean it can't or hasn't done it before


The studies were not merely a matter of passively observing results over time, but an active effort to push the evolutionary process through various means, again, by conducting experiments on a relatively simple genetic structure over a period of time spanning more generations than the entire evolutionary history of human beings. The experiments did in fact yield many 'new species' of drosophila, however none of these new species were in any way superior to the original, and in most cases, were unable to propigate any further.

Anyways, my intent was to point out that the argument (and I've heard it numerous times) that "we cannot possibly observe 'evolution' because it involves so much time" is invalid, as, if indeed it happens, the evolutionary process does not occur over time, but over successive generations. It's a simple point and worthy of consideration.
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Mr. Personality
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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CJSchmidtz wrote:It is interesting to me that your "best proof" involves a logical rather than scientific error. The truth is any fact which is consistent with two or more theories proves neither. In this particular case commonalities between living things may be consistent with a theory of common descent, but it is certainly not proof because it is also consistent with a theory of common design.

This has kind of always been my thought.

Another thing to remember about evolution is basic Biology. Think about the breeding of dogs and cats for instance. We actively practice an ancient idea that just happens to agree with evolutionary thinking. With a dog, I can breed one to have long front legs and a long nose to resemble your elephant. It's just that I'm playing "environment" with the dog. being that I'm playing with the cornerstone of the whole idea: mate selection, or in this case I think in fairness for the hypothetical dog "mate availability". That's the theory anyways


Wouldn't crossbreeding and outright evolution be two different things? To be honest, I'd be more willing to accept that creatures of yore cross-bred eventually leading to the design we've had for some time than a fish grew legs and lungs.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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JoleneandJoel
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

Post by JoleneandJoel »

How is it possible to connect purpose with evolution? I can't do it. It's not my own limitations that is preventing me from coming to that conclusion, but wrather the definition of evolution itself. That is that things change over time undirected by natural selection. That definition does not involve purpose which means that we simply made it up as human beings. We also invented the law which goes against natural selection. we protect the poor, the weak, the elderly, the disabled, and so on. Does the law slow our evolutionary development? Why is it that after we limited natural selection within the human race our development increased dramatically. (A few thousand years out of a few billion). Would we have evolved faster and better if we never introduced law? Just a few things to think about.
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Re: Evolution is not an opinion

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Why does there need to be a purpose? I mean, aside from fitting in the life cycle and reproducing. Maybe we just all define our own "purpose".
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