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#141 de_skudd

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:22 AM

Is natural selection really in doubt?

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Natural selection is a misnomer, so yes, it is in doubt.

#142 CTD

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:42 AM

I have in the past equated 'natural selection' with death. I should like to be a tad more accurate. 'Natural selection' is an assumed pattern of death. Those who observe the real world do not find any such pattern. It exists only in imagination.

I don't consider any recent assertions to be a threat to any of the points I made in the earlier portions of this thread. Such assertions were well-known long before I posted, and do not match reality.

#143 de_skudd

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:13 AM

I have in the past equated 'natural selection' with death. I should like to be a tad more accurate. 'Natural selection' is an assumed pattern of death. Those who observe the real world do not find any such pattern. It exists only in imagination.
I don't consider any recent assertions to be a threat to any of the points I made in the earlier portions of this thread. Such assertions were well-known long before I posted, and do not match reality.

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That is a well put analogy CTD, but “natural selection” is nothing more than a word that evolutheists have ascribed sentience to.. They’ll say “Natural Selection does this, and Natural Selection does that”… Run with this question instead; Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can do anything?

#144 CTD

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:28 AM

That is a well put analogy CTD, but “natural selection” is nothing more than a word that evolutheists have ascribed sentience to.. They’ll say “Natural Selection does this, and Natural Selection does that”… Run with this question instead; Who is this “Natural Selection” that it can do anything?

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Who is this cryptogoddess, you ask?

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or

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or maybe

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I'm voting for the second. The resemblance to a priestess I shall not name won me over.

#145 de_skudd

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:52 AM

Who is this cryptogoddess, you ask?

Posted Image

or

Posted Image

or maybe

Posted Image

I'm voting for the second. The resemblance to a priestess I shall not name won me over.

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Posted Image
Posted Image

#146 CTD

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 02:30 PM

Time and again we're told of the selection goddess' fantastic ability to detect and quickly eliminate any defect, no matter how small. But then we see arguments like this

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=2209

claiming shared defects are evidence of common descent.

In real science, theories don't predict x and not x. Gravity theory doesn't predict a heavier-than-air object will fall and won't fall when dropped. But evolutionism claims to "predict" defects will be and won't be quickly and efficiently eliminated. And they tell us either result is "evidence" in favour of the fantasy.

I note that there are different versions of the selection goddess; some have sharper eyes than others. Those which don't quickly eliminate all defects have the well-known problem of allowing defects to accumulate and spread.

So it's a matter of switching goddesses. If you argue the accumulation problem, you'll get the sharp-eyed, omniscient goddess who nips any defect immediately. But when they want to present the "defects are shared" argument, a less competent goddess will be on duty, guaranteed.

#147 Adam Nagy

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 02:54 PM

Excellent insight, CTD!

#148 jason777

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

Time and again we're told of the selection goddess' fantastic ability to detect and quickly eliminate any defect, no matter how small. But then we see arguments like this

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=2209

claiming shared defects are evidence of common descent.

In real science, theories don't predict x and not x. Gravity theory doesn't predict a heavier-than-air object will fall and won't fall when dropped. But evolutionism claims to "predict" defects will be and won't be quickly and efficiently eliminated. And they tell us either result is "evidence" in favour of the fantasy.

I note that there are different versions of the selection goddess; some have sharper eyes than others. Those which don't quickly eliminate all defects have the well-known problem of allowing defects to accumulate and spread.

So it's a matter of switching goddesses. If you argue the accumulation problem, you'll get the sharp-eyed, omniscient goddess who nips any defect immediately. But when they want to present the "defects are shared" argument, a less competent goddess will be on duty, guaranteed.

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Would the real theory of evolution please stand up. :(

For now i guess we'll have to let them slide with "Presupposing is self-correcting".

#149 CTD

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 12:05 AM

It's nice when things begin to be understood. I noticed this in another thread.

The acid test of whether any particular variation, or set of variations, is a net advantage is reproductive success. Often we fallible humans cannot look at a particular organisms, with its unique variations, and say whether it will be more or less successful at reproducing than its fellows.

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This is why 'natural selection' is so utterly meaningless. In order for it to be science, it needs to provide successful predictions. Because it is impossible to say in advance whether or not a creature is "more fit" or "less fit", predictions cannot be consistently successful. (Randomly choosing between two "competitors" would result in about 50% correct guesses, so before 'natural selection' could even be in the running it'd have to do better. It never has.)

Now if all that can be done is to claim the survivor was "better" in the past tense, we don't have science at all - just circular reasoning. It survived because it was better. It was better because it survived.

This really shouldn't be so hard to explain to people as it is proving to be.

#150 Bruce V.

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:10 PM

Hundreds of Natural-Selection Studies Could be Wrong, Study Demonstrates

Scientists at Penn State and the National Institute of Genetics in Japan have demonstrated that several statistical methods commonly used by biologists to detect natural selection at the molecular level tend to produce incorrect results. "Our finding means that hundreds of published studies on natural selection may have drawn incorrect conclusions," said Masatoshi Nei, Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and the team's leader.


Many studies of human evolution have relied on these flawed methods.  If the methods were wrong, the conclusions are unreliable.  “Of course, we would never say that natural selection is not happening, but we are saying that these statistical methods can lead scientists to make erroneous inferences,” said Masatoshi Nei (Penn State), the leader of the analysis.


Thousands of papers are published every year claiming evidence of adaptive evolution on the basis of computational analyses alone, with no evidence whatsoever regarding the phenotypic effects of allegedly adaptive mutations.”  He had pointed to the Yokoyama paper as an exception – a study “solidly grounded in biology.”  Now, these scientists have apparently shown that even that case was flawed.  There was no correlation between predicted sites of selection and those determined by experiment – Yokoyama had found false positives, they claim.



“Scientists usually do not use experimental data because such experiments can be difficult to conduct and because they are very time-consuming.”



This makes the perceived mountain of evidence for evolution much smaller.

#151 jason777

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:23 PM

Oh good lord,thats likely from some psuedoscience creation web-site.(just kidding).


Thanks for sharing.

#152 Guest_Overture_*

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:24 PM

This is quite interesting. If true, it will no doubt lead to many more studies in the future which will only continue to support the Theory of Evolution. Looks like it means a lot more jobs for laboratory biologists! At least there is one recession-resistant industry.

#153 Ron

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 03:18 PM

Hundreds of Natural-Selection Studies Could be Wrong, Study Demonstrates
This makes the perceived mountain of evidence for evolution much smaller.

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Of mole hillic proportions?

It's a shame one has to invent a religion, and force it on unsuspecting school children to create a recession-resistant industry.

#154 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 04:55 PM

Now if all that can be done is to claim the survivor was "better" in the past tense, we don't have science at all - just circular reasoning. It survived because it was better. It was better because it survived.

This really shouldn't be so hard to explain to people as it is proving to be.

I suspect that a large part of the problem is the meaning which creationists put on 'better'.
I suspect they see the difficulty as something like, "how could any automatic, unintelligent process discern which variant was better" in any absolute sense.
The reality is that 'better' in the evolution sense just means more likely to survive. No foresight, intelligence of judgment is required of the selecting agency.

'Survival of the fittest' was a phrase invented by Herbert Spencer, and used by Darwin in the later editions of Origin. It is circular if the 'fittest' or 'the best' are also defined as those who survive.
Darwin's term was 'natural selection' and there is nothing circular in:-
Those who survive have phenotypes favoring survival in their environment.
Those who survive and reproduce pass on their favorable genes to their descendants.

#155 jason777

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:26 PM

It should also be noted that those that survive are'nt always the fittest or even the best adapted.

When a rattlesnake crawls into a gopher hole the victim is selected randomly.The snake makes no conscience decision as to which gopher it eats.

#156 CTD

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:13 PM

I suspect that a large part of the problem is the meaning which creationists put on 'better'.
I suspect they see the difficulty as something like, "how could any automatic, unintelligent process discern which variant was better" in any absolute sense.
The reality is that 'better' in the evolution sense just means more likely to survive.  No foresight, intelligence of judgment is required of the selecting agency.

'Better' has a meaning. So does 'more likely to survive'. Neither can be demonstrated. Neither have predictive value. Neither are science.

'Survival of the fittest' was a phrase invented by Herbert Spencer, and used by Darwin in the later editions of Origin.  It is circular if the 'fittest' or 'the best' are also defined as those who survive.


Darwin's term was 'natural selection' and there is nothing circular in:-
Those who survive have phenotypes favoring survival in their environment.

Cannot be demonstrated. Cannot make predictions. Cannot be useful in science.

Those who survive and reproduce pass on their favorable genes to their descendants.

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Cannot be demonstrated. Cannot make predictions. Cannot be useful in science.

That's a nonsense game. You just slip in the adjective "favorable" where it has no business being. We know mutations are passed on to offspring; nobody disputes this. Nobody disputes that some lifeforms don't survive to reproduce. Now justify the presence of the term 'favorable' without circular reasoning, or omit it.

#157 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

It should also be noted that those that survive are'nt always the fittest or even the best adapted.

When a rattlesnake crawls into a gopher hole the victim is selected randomly.The snake makes no conscience decision as to which gopher it eats.

You are perfectly correct. There is a large element of random chance in any life. Those who survive and reproduce are either just lucky, or they have some phenotype which gives them an extra edge. It need not be a large edge, just so that on average the number of copies of the corresponding genes increase in the population. Luck will average out over the large number of generations needed before ant mutant allele becomes fixed.

For your gopher example, you might consider whether a few eccentric gophers who make a habit of excavating a back door to their hole might just have an edge in the survival stakes.

#158 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:27 PM

That's a nonsense game. You just slip in the adjective "favorable" where it has no business being. We know mutations are passed on to offspring; nobody disputes this. Nobody disputes that some lifeforms don't survive to reproduce. Now justify the presence of the term 'favorable' without circular reasoning, or omit it.

If you like it better, consider a population which has several different alleles to a number of genes. Without knowing which individual has which allele, and without assigning any sense of better or fitter to any of the genes, there are some combinations of alleles which average more than one descendant per parent (> 2 per couple). Other combinations produce < 2 per couple.
After sufficient number of generations, some alleles will be lost from the descendant population while other alleles become more common.

That change on allele frequency is evolution and I did not say better or more favorable.

#159 CTD

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:32 PM

You are perfectly correct.  There is a large element of random chance in any life.  Those who survive and reproduce are either just lucky, or they have some phenotype which gives them an extra edge.  It need not be a large edge, just so that on average the number of copies of the corresponding genes increase in the population.  Luck will average out over the large number of generations needed before ant mutant allele becomes fixed.

And "luck" can be scientifically determined by what means?

For your gopher example, you might consider whether a few eccentric gophers who make a habit of excavating a back door to their hole might just have an edge in the survival stakes.

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Ah yes, try to confuse issues. Such an "eccentricity" has nothing to do with phenotype. I cannot help suspecting there are those who'd prefer to see the thread derailed for a while by creationists pointing out evolutionism's inability to explain instinct. Who's up for that game? Anyone?

#160 jason777

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:33 PM

You are perfectly correct. There is a large element of random chance in any life. Those who survive and reproduce are either just lucky, or they have some phenotype which gives them an extra edge. It need not be a large edge, just so that on average the number of copies of the corresponding genes increase in the population. Luck will average out over the large number of generations needed before ant mutant allele becomes fixed.


A mutation occurs in one individual offspring,a snake crawls into the burrow and eats that offspring.

Am i missing something here?

For your gopher example, you might consider whether a few eccentric gophers who make a habit of excavating a back door to their hole might just have an edge in the survival stakes.


Snakes,like most all predators,are ambush hunters.It does'nt matter if the gophers had wings,they never know what hits them until it's too late.

Something that is interesting,though.Prairie Dogs are now immune to the venom of rattlesnakes,but it still does'nt stop them from being eaten.



Enjoy.




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