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Is The Un-falsifiability Doctrine An Evolutionist Ploy?


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#41 Bruce V.

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

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When trying to prove their theory, evolutionists often use circular reasoning. Here's a simple example. In his book The Making of the Fittest, Sean Carroll writes "the degree of similarity in DNA is an index of the [evolutionary] relatedness of species." [98] This can only make sense if we first assume evolution is true. But Carroll's book is a defense of evolution, intended to demonstrate to skeptics that the theory is true. He seeks to prove evolution is true, but he begins with evolutionary reasoning and interpretations. That is circular reasoning. Unfortunately such circular reasoning is a common motif in the evolution genre.

In recent years the genomes of various species have been decoded. It is an avalanche of disparate data, as genomes can contain a variety of types of messages. For evolutionists, these messages hold many secrets of evolutionary history. If the species share common ancestors, then the contents of their genomes should help decipher that evolutionary history.

For instance, mobile genetic elements are genome segments that can move about, inserting themselves at various locations within the genome. These insertions, according to evolutionists, are a random affair. After all, evolutionists assume that life is a fluke, and biology is one big kludge.

A few years back evolutionists claimed that retroviruses found in primate genomes proved common descent. The retroviruses, it was said, were the perfect evolutionary sign post. They were assumed to insert randomly into the genome and once inserted to stay put. Therefore, if two cousin species shared a similar pattern of retroviruses, then those retroviruses must have been inherited from a common ancestor. It would be too great of a coincidence for the retroviruses to have independently inserted into the two genomes (notice the circular reasoning).

These assumptions are routinely revised. Retroviruses patterns were found that cannot be explained by common descent (e.g., same pattern in only two of three cousin species). Apparently the retroviruses were not such perfect evolutionary sign posts as had been assumed. But evolutionists viewed such cases as anomalies, and rationalized them using ad hoc explanations. In fact I recently received a challenge to find a retrovirus that violates the evolutionary expectation. That's easy. Such falsifiers have long since been discovered. They are just not advertised.

This dynamic has repeated itself with other types of genetic messages, such as pseudogenes and interspersed elements. Here is what Carroll had to say about the latter:

    These landmarks are produced by accidental insertions of junk DNA sequences near genes. ... Once [an interspersed element] is inserted, there is no active mechanism for removing it. The insertion of these elements marks a gene in a species, and is then inherited by all species descended from it. They are really perfect tracers of genealogy. [99]


Except, that is, when they aren't. Like retroviruses, and pseudogenes, interspersed elements occasionally violate the evolutionary pattern. Apparently they are not quite such "perfect tracers of genealogy." To be sure, such outliers are unusual, but if they can be explained by mechanism (rather than inheritance), then so can the others. Carroll concludes that the interspersed elements:

    can be explained only by the species sharing a common ancestor. ... biologists have sufficient forensic evidence to determine species' kinship beyond any doubt. [99]


This is, of course, false. In fact, interspersed elements patterns are explained without resorting to a common ancestor and the tremendous problems with such an explanation.


This is an interesting article and shows the circular reasoning of evolutionist.

1. Assume evolution is true and all we need to do is prove it:
2. Interpret all information as if evolution were true;
3. Disregard information that contradicts evolution or put it in a category of "we haven't figured that out yet"
4. Disregard competing theories or alternatives;
5. State boldly your findings prove evolution.

Evolution is proven because it is assumed to be true from the start. All facts are interpreted based on evolution being true. It is circular reasoning.

#42 Ron

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:54 PM

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This is an interesting article and shows the circular reasoning of evolutionist.

1.  Assume evolution is true and all we need to do is prove it:
2.  Interpret all information as if evolution were true;
3.  Disregard information that contradicts evolution or put it in a category of "we haven't figured that out yet"
4. Disregard competing theories or alternatives;
5. State boldly your findings prove evolution.

Evolution is proven because it is assumed to be true from the start. All facts are interpreted based on evolution being true.  It is circular reasoning.

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I enjoyed that read Bruce, thanks for the link I found it instructional.

Did you happen to check the "Survey of failed evolutionary predictions" at:
http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

in the upper right hand corner of that page? :angry:

#43 Bruce V.

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:34 AM

I enjoyed that read Bruce, thanks for the link I found it instructional.

Did you happen to check the "Survey of failed evolutionary predictions" at:
http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

in the upper right hand corner of that page?  :D

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It looks like a long read but it isn't. The summary puts it together differently than I would have:


Many predictions of evolution have been falsified, including foundational expectations. Evolutionists have added explanations to their theory to account for these problematic findings. The drawback is that this greatly complicates the theory. Scientific theories are supposed to be parsimonious, explaining future findings with simple explanations rather than explaining past findings with complicated explanations.

Therefore evolutionists are faced with a accuracy-versus-parsimony tradeoff. The scientific findings make their original theory inaccurate. That is, the theory does not fit the empirical evidence well. The only way to increase evolution’s accuracy is to complicate the theory tremendously and sacrifice parsimony. Evolutionists have consistently preferred low parsimony over low accuracy.

The theory of evolution has consistently failed and as a consequence it has grown far more complex than anything Darwin ever envisioned. Therefore evolution is not a good scientific theory and in this sense it is comparable to geocentrism. Both theories grew more complicated in response to the evidences of the natural world, requiring many epicycles.

In stark contrast to these evidential problems, evolutionists believe that their theory is a fact. Evolution is a fact, they say, just as gravity is fact. This remarkable claim is an indicator that there is more to evolution than merely a scientific theory. In light of the scientific evidence, the claim that evolution is a fact may seem to be absurd. But it is not.

The fact of evolution is a necessary consequence of the metaphysical assumptions evolutionists make. Metaphysical assumptions are assumptions that do not derive from science. They are made independent of science. These metaphysical assumptions that evolutionists make would be difficult to defend as necessarily true outside of evolutionary circles, but within evolution their truth is not controversial. All of this means that the scientific problems with evolution are relegated to questions of how evolution occurred. The science cannot bear on questions of whether or not evolution occurred.



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:08 AM

Part of Bruce's past reads:-
"These assumptions are routinely revised. Retroviruses patterns were found that cannot be explained by common descent (e.g., same pattern in only two of three cousin species). Apparently the retroviruses were not such perfect evolutionary sign posts as had been assumed. But evolutionists viewed such cases as anomalies, and rationalized them using ad hoc explanations. In fact I recently received a challenge to find a retrovirus that violates the evolutionary expectation. That's easy. Such falsifiers have long since been discovered. They are just not advertised."

How about giving the actual examples which are so easy to find.

I know of 2 possible explanations.
1. Some transposons retain the ability to cut themselves from the genome and insert somewhere else. Perhaps this happened in one of the species.
2. The section of DNA into which the original insertion occurred was deleted by an un-related mutation.

I think you (or the sites you paste from) are misguided in blaming evolutionfor the advances in genetics and genomics etc.
As we learn more about the various mechanisms operating in our cells, the explanations must get more detailed and complex. They are still neatly summarized by Darwin - useful changes are preserved.

#45 Ron

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:17 PM

I think you (or the sites you paste from) are misguided in blaming evolutionfor the advances in genetics and genomics etc.
As we learn more about the various mechanisms operating in our cells, the explanations must get more detailed and complex.  They are still neatly summarized by Darwin - useful changes are preserved.

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OR retroviruses were not such perfect evolutionary sign posts as had been assumed. AND evolutionists viewed such cases as anomalies, AND rationalized them using ad hoc explanations. Because “One problem with evolution is its strong bias toward viewing everything in biology as a kludge. When a newly discovered structure is examined, evolutionists take one look and conclude it is leftover junk. After all, blind, unguided mutations and other processes just happened to produce everything we see. The evolutionist’s going in position is that biology is a fluke. We’re lucky anything works.”





Mechanisms denote design. :D

#46 Bruce V.

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:00 PM

Part of Bruce's past reads:-
"These assumptions are routinely revised. Retroviruses patterns were found that cannot be explained by common descent (e.g., same pattern in only two of three cousin species). Apparently the retroviruses were not such perfect evolutionary sign posts as had been assumed. But evolutionists viewed such cases as anomalies, and rationalized them using ad hoc explanations. In fact I recently received a challenge to find a retrovirus that violates the evolutionary expectation. That's easy. Such falsifiers have long since been discovered. They are just not advertised."

How about giving the actual examples which are so easy to find.

I know of 2 possible explanations.
1.  Some transposons retain the ability to cut themselves from the genome and insert somewhere else.  Perhaps this happened in one of the species.
2.  The section of DNA into which the original insertion occurred was deleted by an un-related mutation.

I think you (or the sites you paste from) are misguided in blaming evolutionfor the advances in genetics and genomics etc.
As we learn more about the various mechanisms operating in our cells, the explanations must get more detailed and complex.  They are still neatly summarized by Darwin - useful changes are preserved.

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Hi Kieth,

The evolution model is indeed getting more complex. Dr Carrol and the other evo-devos have proposed several interesting alternatives to one mutation at a time. You have mentioned some of them (off the top of my head):

1. Mutation at the embryonic level. Early mutations are more significant and can affect body plans:
2. Mutation at a switch: That way whole gene clusters are affected by one mutation;
3. Mutations in the unused part of DNA: That way mutations can grow into something meaningful without disrupting functioning DNA;
4. Horizontal Gene transfer: Viruses, for example, can insert foreign DNA into ours.
5. Gene Duplication or Polyploidy: Again mutations of duplicate DNA occurs building something significant. This, in theory, leaves fully functioning DNA to do its normal job.


These theories are all interesting. So you are right that we need investigate further.

I believe these new theories are being created because the NDET has not worked and has not been proven. Insertions, deletions, transpositions... are all interesting and they occur often. Yet they have never been proven to increase the information in DNA. That is generate any morphological advancements: like new systems, functions, useful body parts .. So it is fine to discuss and investigate new theories but don't state them as fact as Dr. Carrol has.

Mr (or Dr. ?) Hunter quoted Dr. Carrol being dogmatic about evolution. For example,

can be explained only by the species sharing a common ancestor. ... biologists have sufficient forensic evidence to determine species' kinship beyond any doubt.


It is the job of science to call out dogmatic statements when they are found. Evolution isn't a scientific law. It hasn't proven much and yet claims to be on par with the theory of Gravity. The hubris of evolutionist needs to be called out in the name of good science.

#47 jamesf

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 06:34 PM

The evolution model is indeed getting more complex.  Dr Carrol and the other evo-devos have proposed several interesting alternatives to one mutation at a time.  You have mentioned some of them (off the top of my head):

1. Mutation at the embryonic level.  Early mutations are more significant and can affect body plans:
2. Mutation at a switch: That way whole gene clusters are affected by one mutation;
3. Mutations in the unused part of DNA:  That way mutations can grow into something meaningful without disrupting functioning DNA;
4.  Horizontal Gene transfer:   Viruses, for example, can insert foreign DNA into ours. 
5.  Gene Duplication or Polyploidy:  Again mutations of duplicate DNA occurs building something significant.  This, in theory,  leaves fully functioning DNA to do its normal job.
These theories are all interesting.  So you are right that we need investigate further.

I believe these new theories are being created because the NDET has not worked and has not been proven.  Insertions, deletions, transpositions...  are all interesting and they occur often. 

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Hi Bruce,
I am trying to understand your logic regarding what you think is the alternative to the evolutionary model. Most of the examples you give apply perfectly well to micro-evolution and since everyone here seems to accept micro-evolution, let's keep it simple and discuss only that to begin.

1. Micro-evolution is a fact. Yes? Lots of variations in dogs can be created by selective breeding
2. Even though micro-evolution may be a fact, the theory of micro-evolution is relatively complex and the subject of considerable research. You have provided five good examples of complications in our theory of how micro-evolution works.
3. This theory of micro-evolution is the most parsimonious known theory to explain the basic facts of micro-evolution.

You may complain that this theory of micro-evolution is now more complicated than that suggested by Darwin, and that is true. But does that make it false? Many aspects of micro-evolutionary theory have been falsified, through genetic testing etc. You are certainly welcome to come up with a more parsimonious theory if you think you can. Scientists like Sean Carrol are working hard to do just that. And this has led to ideas like epigenetics, gene transfer, jumping genes etc.

And what is the alternative?

Now there is a separate question of how this applies to macro-evolution. For most of the scientists working in the field, the theory of macro-evolution is about 99% similar to the theory of micro-evolution (except it takes a long longer). However, that is a separate issue. If you do not like the theory of macro-evolution for the reasons you listed, then you will certainly not like the theory of micro-evolution.

So what is your alternative?

James

p.s. pretty busy lately, so I may be slow to respond. But always fun to debate with you.

#48 Bruce V.

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:38 PM

Hi Bruce,
    I am trying to understand your logic regarding what you think is the alternative to the evolutionary model. Most of the examples you give apply perfectly well to micro-evolution and since everyone here seems to accept micro-evolution, let's keep it simple and discuss only that to begin.

1. Micro-evolution is a fact. Yes? Lots of variations in dogs can be created by selective breeding
2. Even though micro-evolution may be a fact, the theory of micro-evolution is relatively complex and the subject of considerable research. You have provided five good examples of complications in our theory of how micro-evolution works.
3. This theory of micro-evolution is the most parsimonious known theory to explain the basic facts of micro-evolution.

You may complain that this theory of micro-evolution is now more complicated than that suggested by Darwin, and that is true. But does that make it false? Many aspects of micro-evolutionary theory have been falsified, through genetic testing etc. You are certainly welcome to come up with a more parsimonious theory if you think you can. Scientists like Sean Carrol are working hard to do just that. And this has led to ideas like epigenetics, gene transfer, jumping genes etc.

And what is the alternative? 

Now there is a separate question of how this applies to macro-evolution. For most of the scientists working in the field, the theory of macro-evolution is about 99% similar to the theory of micro-evolution (except it takes a long longer). However, that is a separate issue. If you do not like the theory of macro-evolution for the reasons you listed, then you will certainly not like the theory of micro-evolution.

So what is your alternative?

James

p.s. pretty busy lately, so I may be slow to respond. But always fun to debate with you.

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Hi James,

It is always good to here from you. Have you been on any successful fossil hunting trips lately?

This may be a discussion of semantics of what micro evolution is.

Gradualism:

It was Darwin who said that if any organ is shown to have formed not by small increments but by jumps, his theory would therefore be wrong.

So if the definition of evolution is characterized by mutation and natural selection that occurs gradually then I believe that that type of evolution is frustrating the modern day scientist. Under this definition variation of dogs is not evolution. The variation of dogs is accounted for by Mendelian variation. In other words dogs have the genetics for great diversity built in. Mutation and natural selection does not account for its variation we see in dogs via selective breeding.

Evolutionary biology This is a old term which is being used more often because it is more flexible. It can account for many of the new theories that Sean Carrol and other Evo-Devos have proposed. That evolution of one mutation at time needs to be adapted to include larger changes. Changes to the genetic regulatory system, epigenetics, horizontal gene transfer (HGT), DNA duplication.... are interesting and mostly view evolution as a batch process rather than one mutation at a time. The problem with changing the definition of evolution is that you have to question some of evolutions Icons. For example, Horizontal gene transfer changes homology and the TOL as we know it: The TOL looks like a bush rather that a tree. Debating such an adaptable definition can also be frustrating because you can never pin down evolution because it is always evolving. It is like nailing jello to wall.

You asked my alternative. I know that God did it but I don't know how. At some point intelligence was added and the diversity of life is accounted for by a Creator and not a random process. We should still investigate how God did it and we should welcome science. But not science that assumes that God does not exist or that he was silent in the process. Intelligent design looks beyond chemistry and physics looking for intelligence. Intelligence can be found scientifically IMO if it is not assumed away.

Bruce

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

So if the definition of evolution is characterized by mutation and natural selection that occurs gradually then I believe that that type of evolution is frustrating the modern day scientist.  Under this definition variation of dogs is not evolution.  The variation of dogs is accounted for by Mendelian variation.  In other words dogs have the genetics for great diversity built in. Mutation and natural selection does not account for its variation we see in dogs via selective breeding.

Evolutionary biology  This is a old term which is being used more often because it is more flexible.  It can account for many of the new theories that Sean Carrol and other Evo-Devos have proposed.  That evolution of one mutation at time needs to be adapted to include larger changes.  Changes to the genetic regulatory system, epigenetics, horizontal gene transfer (HGT), DNA duplication....  are interesting and mostly view evolution as a batch process rather than one mutation at a time.  The problem with changing the definition of evolution is that you have to question some of evolutions Icons.  For example, Horizontal gene transfer changes homology and the TOL as we know it:  The TOL looks like a bush rather that a tree. Debating such an adaptable definition can also be frustrating because you can never pin down evolution because it is always evolving.  It is like nailing jello to wall.

You asked my alternative.  I know that God did it but I don't know how.

I am inclined to believe that it might be useful to define 'nano-evolution' as selection without mutation. Specifically, imagine a large natural population and sort by some characteristic, and then allow tall-tall and short-short mating, plus selecting additional tall and short individuals from matings of middle-sized individuals.
I think that over several generations this procedure would produce two subpopulation, one tall and one short, with many of the initial gene variants concentrated in one group or the other. However, the extent of change would be limited to the amount of variation which was present initially.

In real evolution there is no exclusion of mutation, but in any breeding program of animals over human timescales, mutations have a very small (or zero) impact.
As to how much mutation might account for the various dog breeds, I think that we ought to wait until we have the results of gene sequencing from a number of different breeds.

As to your second complaint copied above, I think you should be complaining about genetics, genomics and embryology - not evolution. what we are getting is much more information on actual mutations and how they influence the growth and development of embryos. This has done nothing to decrease the importance of DNA and natural selection. These new insights do nothing to change the idea of one mutation at a time, but it does recognize that some mutations have larger phenotype effects than others, which may be completely neutral.
Horizontal gene transfer and endosymbiosis are certainly ideas Darwin did not discuss, but is that a serious objection?

#50 Bruce V.

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:01 PM

I am inclined to believe that it might be useful to define 'nano-evolution' as selection without mutation.  Specifically, imagine a large natural population and sort by some characteristic, and then allow tall-tall and short-short mating, plus selecting additional tall and short individuals from matings of middle-sized individuals.
I think that over several generations this procedure would produce two subpopulation, one tall and one short, with many of the initial gene variants concentrated in one group or the other.  However, the extent of change would be limited to the amount of variation which was present initially.

In real evolution there is no exclusion of mutation, but in any breeding program of animals over human timescales, mutations have a very small (or zero) impact.
As to how much mutation might account for the various dog breeds, I think that we ought to wait until we have the results of gene sequencing from a number of different breeds.

As to your second complaint copied above, I think you should be complaining about genetics, genomics and embryology - not evolution.  what we are getting is much more information on actual mutations and how they influence the growth and development of embryos.  This has done nothing to decrease the importance of DNA and natural selection.  These new insights do nothing to change the idea of one mutation at a time, but it does recognize that some mutations have larger phenotype effects than others, which may be completely neutral.
Horizontal gene transfer and endosymbiosis are certainly ideas Darwin did not discuss, but is that a serious objection?

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Hi Keith,

Does evolution mean (neo- Darwin evolution theory (NDET): Random Mutation + Natural Selection (RM+NS)

Modern Evolution Theory (MET) changes that definition in not so subtle ways creating incompatible assumptions.

For example: What is common decent if you include horizontal gene transfer (HGT)?
Man could have evolved from an Aardvark not an ape.

Anouther example: What about the theory of epigentics. That non-genetic variation can sometimes be passed on to offspring. Maybe this happens through junk DNA.. This would affect the theory that Junk DNA can collect random mutations until it creates something useful.

Debating micro evolution when you include MET you have to cognizant that assumptions are changed. Something that proves one theory may contradict another.

Keith, if you have a favorite MET theory, like mutations at the embryonic level are more significant, then lay out a case for the theory. I would enjoy the debate.

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:50 PM

Does evolution mean (neo- Darwin evolution theory (NDET):  Random Mutation + Natural Selection (RM+NS)
Modern Evolution Theory (MET) changes that definition in not so subtle ways creating incompatible assumptions. 

For example:  What is common decent if you include horizontal gene transfer (HGT)?
Man could have evolved from an................... not an ape.

Anouther example: What about the theory That non-genetic variation can sometimes be passed on to offspring.  Maybe this happens through ]junk DNA.  This would affect the theory that Junk DNA can collect random mutations until it creates something useful.

Debating micro evolution when you include MET you have to cognizant that assumptions are changed.  Something that proves one theory may contradict another.

Keith, if you have a favorite MET theory, like mutations at the embryonic level are more significant,  then lay out a case for the theory.  I would enjoy the debate.

Your first question suggests that your view of evolution is wrong in exactly the same way as your view of fossils and biology. Specifically you divide a subject which has progressed continuously into several successive fixed 'species'. The thread which runs continuously from Darwin to today is random change plus natural selection - which is evolution.
There have definitely been specific periods where particular details have been discovered and incorporated. After 1900, there was the rediscovery of Mendel and genes. From about 1920, Thomas Hunt Morgan showed the importance of mutation.
1930-1950 was the period where these were combined with population theory.
Since then we have got gene sequences, many advances in embryology, and realization of endo-symbiosis for origin of organelles. Such filling in of detail will likely continue, but nothing found so far suggests that Darwin's main ideas were incorrect. As for "Something that proves one theory may contradict another.", you need to give an example.

Horizontal gene transfer is a complication, but its importance is greatly exaggerated by creationists. The genes which have been transferred can usually be identified and are very distinct from the core genes such as those for ribosomes which are inherited from ancestors. In the same way, genes transferred through infection can be identified, and constitute a small fraction of of the genes translated into protein.

As to junk DNA, what is the problem if one section is reactivated as a useful gene while another part does something else? Also, why reject evolution because you think epigenetics is somehow cheating?

#52 Bruce V.

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:38 PM

Your first question suggests that your view of evolution is wrong in exactly the same way as your view of fossils and biology.  Specifically you divide a subject which has progressed continuously into several successive fixed 'species'.  The thread which runs continuously from Darwin to today is random change plus natural selection - which is evolution.
There have definitely been specific periods where particular details have been discovered and incorporated.  After 1900, there was the rediscovery of Mendel and genes.  From about 1920, Thomas Hunt Morgan showed the importance of mutation.
1930-1950 was the period where these were combined with population theory.
Since then we have got gene sequences, many advances in embryology, and realization of endo-symbiosis for origin of organelles.  Such filling in of detail will likely continue, but nothing found so far suggests that Darwin's main ideas were incorrect.  As for "Something that proves one theory may contradict another.", you need to give an example.

Horizontal gene transfer is a complication, but its importance is greatly exaggerated by creationists.  The genes which have been transferred can usually be identified and are very distinct from the core genes such as those for ribosomes which are inherited from ancestors.  In the same way, genes transferred through infection can be identified, and constitute a small fraction of of the genes translated into protein.

As to junk DNA, what is the problem if one section is reactivated as a useful gene while another part does something else?  Also, why reject evolution because you think epigenetics is somehow cheating?

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This is frustrating. Most of what you post are things I agree with.

Please be specific about what you consider to be proof of micro evolution. A link would be nice as well. BTW I never even hinted that I thought epigenetics was somehow cheating.

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:25 PM

This is frustrating.  Most of what you post are things I agree with.

Please be specific about what you consider to be proof of micro evolution. A link would be nice as well.  BTW I never even hinted that I thought epigenetics was somehow cheating.

What then were you hinting at with this:-
"Anouther example: What about the theory That non-genetic variation can sometimes be passed on to offspring. Maybe this happens through ]junk DNA. This would affect the theory that Junk DNA can collect random mutations until it creates something useful."

What does it matter what I consider is proof of microevolution?
Do you have any doubts that it does occur?

Or are you trying to say that you find my posts somewhat convincing, but you still do not believe that even microevolution does not occur?
If I knew what you are really asking, I would be better able to respond.

#54 Bruce V.

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:15 PM

What then were you hinting at with this:-
"Anouther example: What about the theory That non-genetic variation can sometimes be passed on to offspring.  Maybe this happens through ]junk DNA.  This would affect the theory that Junk DNA can collect random mutations until it creates something useful."

What does it matter what I consider is proof of microevolution?
Do you have any doubts that it does occur?

Or are you trying to say that you find my posts somewhat convincing, but you still do not believe that even microevolution does not occur?
If I knew what you are really asking, I would be better able to respond.

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Hi Keith,

We are on separate wave lengths. I sometimes have no idea where you are going and I try and answer your post by what I think you are saying. That is why I am asking for links.

I laid out several Modern Evolutionary Theories that I was hoping would generate discussion about mirco or macro evolution.

One theory was that junk DNA has a purpose: as gene regulation or DNA that can change and adapt without affecting existing systems and functions.

I believe microevolution occurs but is limited in what it can accomplish. That morphological changes necessary for speciation are well beyond what evolution can accomplish.

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

I laid out several Modern Evolutionary Theories that I was hoping would generate discussion about mirco or macro evolution.

One theory was that junk DNA has a purpose:  as gene regulation or DNA that can change and adapt without affecting existing systems and functions.

I believe microevolution occurs but is limited in what it can accomplish.  That morphological changes necessary for speciation are well beyond what evolution can accomplish.

I still find your reference to 'several Modern Evolutionary Theories' are distracting. The specific items you have mentioned are genetic mechanisms which clarify how heredity, mutation etc actually work. They are not alternatives to evolution. Rather they are extensions and clarification of Darwin's rather confused understanding. They certainly allow larger steps than single nucleotide changes to DNA. I think that the more we understand about genomics and mechanisms of genetic change, the more plausible evolution becomes.

I am also unhappy with the statement that 'junk DNA has a purpose'. Purpose implies some intelligent forethought or plan etc. What I think is more correct is that pseudogenes can sometimes be re-activated and perform some function which is useful, but not the original function of the gene. In the same way transposons etc can produce beneficial changes, even if the actual cause is some viral infection.

From your statement that you accept microevolution but not macro, I think the two logical topics would be:-
1. What limits evolutionary change to microevolution or keeps the change within the bounds of 'kind'.?
2. What modifications to genetic change or mutation mechanisms would be necessary to make macro-evolution possible or believable?

#56 CTD

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:44 PM

Hi Keith,

We are on separate wave lengths.  I sometimes have no idea where you are going and I try and answer your post by what I think you are saying.  That is why I am asking for links.

I laid out several Modern Evolutionary Theories that I was hoping would generate discussion about mirco or macro evolution.

One theory was that junk DNA has a purpose:  as gene regulation or DNA that can change and adapt without affecting existing systems and functions.

I believe microevolution occurs but is limited in what it can accomplish.  That morphological changes necessary for speciation are well beyond what evolution can accomplish.

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If any of these theories measures up, and qualifies as an actual "theory of evolution", I'd like you to present it in my thread for examination.

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=1976

When I chance to be mistaken, I generally prefer to be corrected.

#57 Ron

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 08:49 PM

I think a more accurate statement is that science begins with objectively verifiable facts  ie other observers have to be able to observe the same or similar event.

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That is incorrect. Science starts (a great many times) with nothing more than hypotheses, which are hardly “verifiable facts”. Although some hypotheses proceed from scant facts, the facts aren’t fleshed out until repeated experimentation is preformed to verify or falsify said hypothesis.


I think it is interesting if religion were restricted to facts which most observers could agree on.  I suspect that would reduce the number of sects dramatically.

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I agree, especially the religion of macro-evolution.


There is definite value in requiring falsifiability of any theological claims.

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Christianity could have been falsified, had it’s detractors provided the dead body of Jesus, or somehow disproved His life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection, and the testimony of the eyewitnesses who then spread His message throughout the world.

#58 Mike Summers

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 02:36 AM

I find it odd that pseudo-science has gone to great lengths to protect their tabernacle of enshrined evolution. One such firewall they have erected is their Un-falsifiability doctrine. On one web page, I found this statement: “Being disprovable is one essential component of any scientific theory.” And even at this board I find statements like “You can't prove anything scientifically - that's just a contradiction in terms.”, and “Bear in mind that scientists are not interested in absolute proof - it can never be obtained.”.

Now, before I ask the obvious questions, I will place this disclaimer: I believe, through a lifetime of inductive experimentation, study in logic, philosophy and yes “common sense”, that the Un-falsifiability doctrine is retoric and propaganda. So I shall supply my label for that term, to which I define in the “Greek vernacular” “Poppycockus”! If I am wrong, I will admit it!!!

Having said that, I ask; Does anyone in this forum really believe that science cannot prove anything? More succinctly; is the Un-falsifiability doctrine an evolutionist ploy?

If so why? If not why?

And this is not a debate open for equivocation, quibbling, prevarication, evasion, hedging or vague, ambiguous and misleading language. You need to back up your statements with facts!

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I think there is a third position. Maybe I could explain it this way; Let's say that you were in an automobile accident. Your car was smashed so that it's un-drivable. You may view your accident as bad. How would a tow truck driver view your accident? He may view it as being good for his business because he stands to make to make some money out of your misfortune. How would the automobile body shop repair company look at your accident? They may view it as an opportunity to make some money also. How about the insurance company? They may have mixed feelings about your accident. Your agent is on the scene and he is passing out business cards to observers. His insurance company will have to pay for the accident but the accident could be good advertising to promote the benefits of insurance. Everyone observing the accident has a different point of view. We can see that all of them are valid (true) from each person’s bias—looking at the same evidence. Maybe we could say that the accident was neither good nor bad but just an accident.

Hopefully this example sheds some light on the dilemma of truth--especially if we want to maintain the idea that “truth” is out there somewhere. It seems that all 6.7 billion of us have the ability of being able to decide for ourselves what the truth is (or is not).

Karl Popper worked extensively on developing the concept of non fasifiability as a “scientific” concept. Unfortunately he used his mind to do all this. It would seem a difficult task to falsify the human mind (unless you were God) and since that idea is untenable to evolutionary scientists they are left with a non-falsifiable mind deciding what is falsifiable. Any conclusions drawn from a non-falsefiable mind could be deemed “un-scientific” and such a mind’s output would be questionable.

Evo scientists therefore have made a “choice” of what to believe and have decided that evolution is a fact. Most of the “evidence” (code) is therefore viewed from their biased point of view. The more anyone tries to point out the incongruicies of their theory (fact) the more evo scientists turn to their innate creativity (which they deny exists vehemently) to generate “plausible” explanations for how evolution despite contradictions nevertheless happened.

As the scripture says so eloquently, "How long halt ye between two opinions.?" The point is evo scientists have declared their opinion fact and any other opinion gets labeled with their universal rubber stamp of rejection as Bam! "Unscientific!"

#59 AFJ

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 04:58 AM

The question of whether anything at all can be known as certain has been puzzling philosophers for millennia. Plato discussed shadows on the wall of a cave, Descartes set out on the noble quest of doubting everything he possibly could - and found himself incapable of doubting only his existence and ability to think, and even in pop culture the film The Matrix asks the same question.

It's not scientific bluster, it's an admission of human limitations. No matter how much you want to, you can't know ANYTHING for sure.

Science accepts this limitation with a rueful shrug and goes merrily about the business of describing what we see, whether it's actually real or not.

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My position is there are certainly human limitations, but there are things we know within existence as we ALL commonly perceive. When we observe a house, all of us KNOW we are looking at a house. We know by the experimentation of stoichiometry that table salt is sodium chloride. We can ALL commonly perceive this, by the molar measurement done in chemistry when salt is broken down. We have proven that acquired traits are not passed to the next generation. Cut off a dog's tail and breed it. See if any of it's puppies have cut off tails. We know that pangenesis is false, by the study of cell biology.

I think this is the difference between operational science and historical science. Operational produces observable raw data, and extrapolations made from that data within the PRESENT. Or at least something that happens the same way in the annuls of recorded science as it does now.

But when you start talking about the ancient past, there are things that are apparrently different. At a certain time, our magnetic poles changed, as is observable in the study of minerals near the Atlantic oceanic ridge. We are pretty sure this happened, but we can only hypothesize the reason. We can not know because we were not there.

At a certain time the poles were warmer, as is observable by the fossil and frozen fauna and flora there. We know that subtropical plants were there, but we don't the exact Earth conditions, or what caused them, because we weren't there.

We don't know by science at what time for sure, because the believed reliability of radiometric dating is based on several scientifically admitted assumptions. Even ischron dating. And this is my beef with modern science. They keep coming at us with a particular model, defending passionately the "evidence" for it, when in fact, it is full of foundational assumptions.
Science Direct

http://www.answersin...radioactive.asp

#60 gilbo12345

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 07:09 AM

1.I still find your reference to 'several Modern Evolutionary Theories' are distracting.  The specific items you have mentioned are genetic mechanisms which clarify how heredity, mutation etc actually work.  They are not alternatives to evolution. 

2. Rather they are extensions and clarification of Darwin's rather confused understanding.  They certainly allow larger steps than single nucleotide changes to DNA.  I think that the more we understand about genomics and mechanisms of genetic change, the more plausible evolution becomes.

3. I am also unhappy with the statement that 'junk DNA has a purpose'.  Purpose implies some intelligent forethought or plan etc.  What I think is more correct is that pseudogenes can sometimes be re-activated and perform some function which is useful, but not the original function of the gene.  In the same way transposons etc can produce beneficial changes, even if the actual cause is some viral infection.


From your statement that you accept microevolution but not macro, I think the two logical topics would be:-
1.  What limits evolutionary change to microevolution or keeps the change within the bounds of 'kind'.?
2.  What modifications to genetic change or mutation mechanisms would be necessary to make macro-evolution possible or believable?

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1. Bruce never intended nor claimed them as alternatives to ToE... He was stating how some parts contradict other parts of the theory, (when thought about logically).

2. Again, as Bruce was pointing out to you. If the varied "extentions" contradict each other at some point, then how do they make evolution more "plausable"... (In fact it would / does make ToE laughable).

3. Would you rather we not say that anything has a purpose. For example I have no purpose at my Uni and you have no purpose at work. All things that perform a function serves a purpose. Even if you are unhappy about it or not.


To answer your questions you posted...

1. The fact that NEW data needs to be created for the shift to a NEW species. Coinciding this new information, will be the emergence of new promoter proteins specific to the new genetic function. Furthermore, other NEW data will need to present itself in order for the organism to utilise its new function.

ie- for a fish to "evolve" legs it needs to have the legs, the support structure, (hips / shoulders), its spine will need to move towards the top of its "back", as well as the motor neurons and brain functionality needed to control the new function.

All these things need to "evolve", BEFORE a benefit can be recieved. Hence these mutations will not be selected for during the process of creating the NEW functions as no benefit is recieved until completion.

2. A non-detrimental way to increase the genetic data of DNA, and at the same time increase its functionality. This mechanism MUST be observable in ALL species / kinds, (as evolution is about the evolution of ALL life). It must also, (as mentioned before), not be detrimental, as evolution is about adapting to the enviroment to become more FITTER. Furthermore since we do not see deformed creatures that are the result of an evolutionary process that is more detrimental, ergo evolution cannot be detrimental.

Since this is science we are discussing, (well a "scientific" theory), I'd ask that it be empirically proven as well. As that is what actual science is.




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