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Does Evolution Measure Up To The Methods Of Science?


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#21 performedge

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:54 PM

Hi performedge

I would have thought scientists dreaming up just-so stories would fall under step 3 "Form hypothesis". It might be a really bad hypothesis, but I don't think this means they're not following the methods of science. There have been lots of really bad hypotheses in the history of science.

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But the theory of evolution doesn't work that way. It hypothesizes about ceolocanths walking up on dry land and eventually becoming mammals. When celocanths are discovered living today, no one challenges the theory. The theory just says oops and goes on. The theory can't be wrong, so ad hoc explanations are constantly made up to fit the theory. Animals can evolve alot over millions of years or animals can stay relatively the same over millions of years. There is no data that the ad hoc explanations cannot accomodate.

Except for genetic data which is empirical and eventually will be the demise of the theory.

I think your complaint is that evolutionary hypotheses aren't tested properly (steps 4 to 7). But it seems to me evolutionists certainly put on the appearance of testing and revising their hypotheses, by publishing thousands and thousands of papers reporting new experimental and field research, analysing it, proposing revisions and new hypotheses and future tests, and so on.
Regards - S.


Yes, we all know. Everyone bow now to the evolution god. The god that explains all the data. But dare not anyone challenge this god, or he will burn those papers :lol: .

#22 SeeJay

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:12 PM

But the theory of evolution doesn't work that way.  It hypothesizes about ceolocanths walking up on dry land and eventually becoming mammals.  When celocanths are discovered living today, no one challenges the theory.  The theory just says oops and goes on. The theory can't be wrong, so ad hoc explanations are constantly made up to fit the theory. Animals can evolve alot over millions of years or animals can stay relatively the same over millions of years. There is no data that the ad hoc explanations cannot accomodate.


Hi performedge

Doesn't that fall under step 6 "Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new 1. hypothesis"?

According to your comments above the evolutionists interpreted the data and came up with a new hypothesis i.e. ancestor species don't necessarily have to go extinct. This still appears to be following the methods of science outlined by MarkForbes.

Going back to the example of gravity, when it was learned that Mercury's orbit didn't follow Kepler's/Newton's laws, then new hypotheses were put forward and eventually the theory of gravitation was modified.

With the celocanth, as you state it above, it was the same thing. When it was learned that a proposed ancestor species didn't go extinct, new hypotheses were put forward and the theory of evolution was modified.


Regards - S.

#23 performedge

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:32 AM

Hi performedge

Doesn't that fall under step 6 "Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new 1. hypothesis"?

According to your comments above the evolutionists interpreted the data and came up with a new hypothesis i.e. ancestor species don't necessarily have to go extinct. This still appears to be following the methods of science outlined by MarkForbes.

Going back to the example of gravity, when it was learned that Mercury's orbit didn't follow Kepler's/Newton's laws, then new hypotheses were put forward and eventually the theory of gravitation was modified.

With the celocanth, as you state it above, it was the same thing. When it was learned that a proposed ancestor species didn't go extinct, new hypotheses were put forward and the theory of evolution was modified.
Regards - S.

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I think you missed the point. It is not the hypothesis about ceolocanths that is the problem. It is the theory that is accepted by the scientific community as fact, that promulgates all of these sub hypotheses that is the problem. The reason ceolocanths weren't a good hypothesis for a fish walking on to dry land is that NO fish is a good hypothesis for walking onto dry land and the thriving. It is fantasy land. It is a fairytale. A just so story that is untestable and not worthy of being a hypothesis in the first place.

But because the theory has been taught as fact, it cannot be questioned in the community of journals. The sub hypotheses are wrong because the foundation is wrong. Yes, there is variation in species. This is a fact. But that doesn't extrapolate to the unproveable man from apes theory.

So my question to you, Is it testable that any fish in the millions of years past could have evolved and eventually grew legs from fins? If it isn't testable and repeatable, then it doesn't follow the scientific method. Therefore it shouldn't be a hypothesis/theory in the first place.

#24 SeeJay

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:01 AM

So my question to you, Is it testable that any fish in the millions of years past could have evolved and eventually grew legs from fins?  If it isn't testable and repeatable, then it doesn't follow the scientific method.  Therefore it shouldn't be a hypothesis/theory in the first place.

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Hi performedge, thanks for the response.

I'm no expert, but scientists generally (not just evolutionists) seem to accept that fins-to-legs evolution is testable, based on indirect and circumstantial evidence. I suppose it is accepted because many sciences outside evolution rely on indirect and circumstantial evidence too, e.g. forensics.

I certainly don't think fins-to-legs evolution is repeatable. But again, many sciences outside evolution also study non-repeatable things, e.g. forensics again, or astrophysics (formation of stars and galaxies), or studying the chemical composition of residues from old impact craters.

So, maybe you are right that in relation to evolution the tests are flawed, the evidence weak, and the conclusions unsound. However, I don't think that means evolutionists are not doing science. They seem to go through all the motions like any other science -- studying evidence, writing papers, and shooting down hypotheses from time to time, like pangenesis or phyletic gradualism. So ideas do appear to be questioned, and overthrown, from time to time, in the area of evolution.

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.

Cheers - S.

#25 performedge

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:52 AM

Hi performedge, thanks for the response.

I'm no expert, but scientists generally (not just evolutionists) seem to accept that fins-to-legs evolution is testable, based on indirect and circumstantial evidence. I suppose it is accepted because many sciences outside evolution rely on indirect and circumstantial evidence too, e.g. forensics.

I certainly don't think fins-to-legs evolution is repeatable. But again, many sciences outside evolution also study non-repeatable things, e.g. forensics again, or astrophysics (formation of stars and galaxies), or studying the chemical composition of residues from old impact craters.

So, maybe you are right that in relation to evolution the tests are flawed, the evidence weak, and the conclusions unsound. However, I don't think that means evolutionists are not doing science. They seem to go through all the motions like any other science -- studying evidence, writing papers, and shooting down hypotheses from time to time, like pangenesis or phyletic gradualism. So ideas do appear to be questioned, and overthrown, from time to time, in the area of evolution.

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.

Cheers - S.

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Of Course! But the fact is that the sciences are wrong. Often. Science is a process. Supposedly a self correcting one. Science was developed with a great appreciation for God and His work in nature. But since the 1800's and the dawn of "enlightenment", science has diligently strived to remove any aspect of God out of science. So science and nature were redefined. Now we have scientists trying to explain things where God was involved, without Him...Therefore the explanations get absurd. Abiogenesis, Origin of Species etc. And within this host of absurdities science has degraded its process to story tellings of the past. And it is well accepted. And the only reason is millions of+ years.

Now what if the police arrived at your door today and arrested you for murder. They have a case of substantial forensic evidence against you. They have no eye witnesses, in fact, the justice system has changed, and only empirical evidence is allowed. No testimonial evidence at all. How would you feel about defending yourself against the empirical evidence which is all circumstantial. Now what if that evidence was 2 yrs old? Five years old? Ten years old?

My point is that circumstantial evidence becomes weaker and weaker with time. Now imagine reconstructing a murder 2 million years ago. Do you see the problems?

However there is testimonial evidence. It's just not allowed.

#26 jason777

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:56 AM

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.


Aristotle was the father of biology. Does that mean that Zeus was the backbone of biology? No more than evolution is the backbone of biology. So, evolution isn't a science; It's a philosophy. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having this debate. Biology is the study of biological organisms and biological systems. Where those systems came from is not an empirical science, unless you claim evolution is a science, then you need to empirically establish that hypothesis, without a creator.

No evolutionists has ever empirically established common descent, life from non-life, etc. So, evolutionists are not using the same methodology as other scientists, they simply converge on the same philosophy.

#27 AFJ

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:03 PM

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.


Aristotle was the father of biology. Does that mean that Zeus was the backbone of biology? No more than evolution is the backbone of biology. So, evolution isn't a science; It's a philosophy. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having this debate. Biology is the study of biological organisms and biological systems. Where those systems came from is not an empirical science, unless you claim evolution is a science, then you need to empirically establish that hypothesis, without a creator.

No evolutionists has ever empirically established common descent, life from non-life, etc. So, evolutionists are not using the same methodology as other scientists, they simply converge on the same philosophy.

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I learned my science later in life through personal reading. Before that I took biology in 1977 in high school!! There was not alot of emphasis on evolution. It was mostly the basics about "bio"--life. The cell, organs, bodily systems, photosynthesis, osmosis, ATP, etc. There's enough in that alone to keep you studying a lifetime. Evolution borrows credit from the study of these things, claiming to be their maker.

#28 SeeJay

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 01:02 AM

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.

Of Course! But the fact is that the sciences are wrong. Often. Science is a process. Supposedly a self correcting one. Science was developed with a great appreciation for God and His work in nature. But since the 1800's and the dawn of "enlightenment", science has diligently strived to remove any aspect of God out of science. So science and nature were redefined. Now we have scientists trying to explain things where God was involved, without Him...Therefore the explanations get absurd. Abiogenesis, Origin of Species etc. And within this host of absurdities science has degraded its process to story tellings of the past. And it is well accepted. And the only reason is millions of+ years.


Okay, so we agree evolution science measures up to the same methods as other sciences, but they're all flawed.

I suppose you might agree, then, there's no reason to single out evolution science (biology, paleontology etc) for special criticism since all the sciences have the same flaw in failing to appreciate God's work in nature?

Now what if the police arrived at your door today and arrested you for murder.  They have a case of substantial forensic evidence against you.  They have no eye witnesses, in fact, the justice system has changed, and only empirical evidence is allowed.  No testimonial evidence at all.  How would you feel about defending yourself against the empirical evidence which is all circumstantial.  Now what if that evidence was 2 yrs old?  Five years old?  Ten years old?

My point is that circumstantial evidence becomes weaker and weaker with time.  Now imagine reconstructing a murder 2 million years ago.  Do you see the problems? 

However there is testimonial evidence.  It's just not allowed.

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I don't agree circumstantial evidence always automatically becomes weaker with time. It depends on lots of things. For example, a criminal's footprint in a flower bed on a rainy day won't tell us much after an hour or two, but a blood splash in a freezer could have analyzable DNA for decades. Some evidence can last for thousands of years e.g. we can figure out how the pyramids were built. Jason777's quote in this thread sums up my view of this:
"The art of drawing conclusions from experiments and observations consists in evaluating probabilities and in estimating whether they are sufficiently great or numerous enough to constitute proofs. This kind of calculation is more complicated and more dif." —Antoine Lavoisier

Regards - S.

#29 SeeJay

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 01:16 AM

To me, even if evolution is completely false, it still looks like evolutionists use the same methodology as other sciences.


Aristotle was the father of biology. Does that mean that Zeus was the backbone of biology? No more than evolution is the backbone of biology. So, evolution isn't a science; It's a philosophy. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having this debate. Biology is the study of biological organisms and biological systems. Where those systems came from is not an empirical science, unless you claim evolution is a science, then you need to empirically establish that hypothesis, without a creator.

No evolutionists has ever empirically established common descent, life from non-life, etc. So, evolutionists are not using the same methodology as other scientists, they simply converge on the same philosophy.

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Hi jason777

That's a different take on things. I was assuming the OP was asking: Do the evolutionary sciences (biology, phylogenetics, paleontology etc) measure up to the methods of science?

What you seem to be saying is its the evolutionist philosophy that doesn't measure up to the methods of science. You may well be right. For my part, I wouldn't expect a philosophy to conform to the methods of science.


Cheers - S.

#30 MarkForbes

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:19 AM

...
You previously noted that in scientific fields outside of evolution, circumstantial evidence is used. In fact, it seems to me that in many natural sciences the bulk of the evidence circumstantial. So I'm not seeing that as a "strike" against evolution science specifically.

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Use of circumstantial evidence may occur outside Evolutionary theory. But that the bulk of evidence in natural sciences is circumstantial, that's definetly not the case. Take any physics textbook. Unless it is dealing with some speculative theory or fringe physics you'll see that 99% of the evidence isn't circumstantial, but testable hard facts on mechanics, thermodynamics, optics,electricity, magnetism, etc. That's why it's called "hard science". It may get a bit less hard in fields like astronomy, but as far as todays observable phenomena are concerned most it is testable and repeatable. Evolution on the other hand is a theory about the past about origins, which are placed into distant past. That makes ist for one untestable. And what they take as hard evidence is merely speculation based on their paradigm. That doesn't disprove evolution (as itself isn't falsifyable), but it certainly is a valid strike against the claim that ToE would be "hard scientific fact".

T.o. origines may fall into fields outside sciences anyway (like religion and philosophy).

You also previously noted that in fields outside evolution, interpretation is subject to the paradigm of the researcher. Of course, I agree that applies no matter what field of science you are in (and outside science too). So again, I'm not seeing that as a strike against evolution science specifically either.

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But that gets a problem, when the "researcher" excludes any explanations outside their paradigm a priori. That is what Evolutionists do.

#31 jason777

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:47 PM

That's a different take on things. I was assuming the OP was asking: Do the evolutionary sciences (biology, phylogenetics, paleontology etc) measure up to the methods of science?


Would changing the Linnaean classification system based upon baseless and unproven assumptions be living up to the scientific methods of taxonomy? according to some evolutionists, chimps should be reclassified as a sister species in the genus Homo.


http://www.scienceda...30521092615.htm

Chimps belong in the genus Pan because they aren't even related close enough to other apes to be grouped together with them, certainly not with humans. Could a species with opposable toes, shoulders designed for brachiation, a baculum, and quadrapedal possibly be considered a member in the same genus as a species that does not?

Posted Image

Also, would putting human feet on lucy be adhering to the scientific method when no known ape has human feet? If we stick to science, then I would wait until I found a complete fossil before I made such assumptions.

#32 SeeJay

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 04:23 AM

You previously noted that in scientific fields outside of evolution, circumstantial evidence is used. In fact, it seems to me that in many natural sciences the bulk of the evidence circumstantial. So I'm not seeing that as a "strike" against evolution science specifically.

Use of circumstantial evidence may occur outside Evolutionary theory. But that the bulk of evidence in natural sciences is circumstantial, that's definetly not the case. Take any physics textbook. Unless it is dealing with some speculative theory or fringe physics you'll see that 99% of the evidence isn't circumstantial, but testable hard facts on mechanics, thermodynamics, optics,electricity, magnetism, etc. That's why it's called "hard science".


Hi MarkForbes

My understanding is that both direct and circumstantial evidence is made up of testable hard facts. What makes evidence circumstantial is the fact that an inference is required to connect it to the conclusion, unlike direct evidence where merely observing the evidence supports the conclusion i.e. it is "self-evident".

For example, the conclusion that the sun exists is based on direct evidence - we can just see it directly. The conclusion that sunspots are caused by magnetic fields is based on inference from circumstantial, indirect evidence -- like the splitting of the sun's spectral lines when a sunspot passes by (the Zeeman effect). The observations of the sun itself and of its spectral lines are testable hard facts.

Based on my understanding of this, I still think its true most modern "hard sciences" are based on indirect, circumstantial evidence -- the reason being, most of the things science has discovered over recent centuries are things we can't actually directly observe, like atoms, germs, the ionosphere, rocks deep inside the earth etc. Of course the evidence itself is made up of testable, hard facts. But because the conclusions are inferred from the evidence, the evidence is circumstantial with respect to those conclusions.

Hope this makes sense.

It may get a bit less hard in fields like astronomy, but as far as todays observable phenomena are concerned most it is testable and repeatable. Evolution on the other hand is a theory about the past about origins, which are placed into distant past. That makes ist for one untestable. And what they take as hard evidence is merely speculation based on their paradigm. That doesn't disprove evolution (as itself isn't falsifyable), but it certainly is a valid strike against the claim that ToE would be "hard scientific fact".T.o. origines may fall into fields outside sciences anyway (like religion and philosophy).

But that gets a problem, when the "researcher" excludes any explanations outside their paradigm a priori. That is what Evolutionists do.

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I'm not sure that theories about the past are automatically untestable. Earlier in this thread there was a discussion about forensics which certainly does test theories about things that happened in the past.

Also, we discussed paradigms and I think its certainly true that evolutionists exclude explanations outside their paradigm. However, I think all scientists -- and probably all people in any field -- work within paradigms that rule certain things in and out. Maybe that indeed makes all the sciences flawed. But, again, that would mean evolutionist science is flawed along with all the others, so that's not a good reason to single evolution out as the one that's not following the methods of science.

Cheers - S.

#33 SeeJay

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 04:56 AM

That's a different take on things. I was assuming the OP was asking: Do the evolutionary sciences (biology, phylogenetics, paleontology etc) measure up to the methods of science?


Would changing the Linnaean classification system based upon baseless and unproven assumptions be living up to the scientific methods of taxonomy? according to some evolutionists, chimps should be reclassified as a sister species in the genus Homo.
http://www.scienceda...30521092615.htm


Hi jason777

I'm not an expert, so I couldn't judge if the paper referred to in that article contains baseless assumptions.

I have read it, however (here). It appears to me as though the authors were following the same methods as other sciences, as outlined for instance by MarkForbes in post #15. They collected data (GenBank) and performed experiments (PCR analysis). They conducted an extensive analysis of their results, and had it reviewed by numerous people before publication. All their data and analysis are presented in the paper and on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants, National Institutes of Health Grants, and San Diego Zoo.

In a nutshell, it appears legit. Perhaps you're correct that the paper's conclusions are laughably wrong. But it certainly looks to me like they were "going through the motions" of following the same methodology as any other science.


Regards - S.

#34 jason777

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 11:55 AM

Hi jason777

I'm not an expert, so I couldn't judge if the paper referred to in that article contains baseless assumptions.

I have read it, however (here). It appears to me as though the authors were following the same methods as other sciences, as outlined for instance by MarkForbes in post #15. They collected data (GenBank) and performed experiments (PCR analysis). They conducted an extensive analysis of their results, and had it reviewed by numerous people before publication. All their data and analysis are presented in the paper and on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants, National Institutes of Health Grants, and San Diego Zoo.


Hi, to you.

The DNA comparison was done on only a tiny segment of DNA. What if we compare all the genes contained in Y chromosome? Would they still be willing to shovel out millions of dollars in Govt. grants and correct academic texts if it was done?


Not only were the locations of DNA categories completely different between human and chimp, but so were their proportions. One sequence class, or category containing DNA with a characteristic sequence, within the chimpanzee Y chromosome had less than 10 percent similarity with the same class in the human Y chromosome, and vice versa. Another large class shared only half the similarities of the other species, and vice versa. One differed by as much as 3.3-fold (330 percent), and a class specific to human "has no counterpart in the chimpanzee MSY [male-specific Y chromosome]."

As far as looking at specific genes, the chimp and human Y chromosomes had a dramatic difference in gene content of 53 percent. In other words, the chimp was lacking approximately half of the genes found on a human Y chromosome. Because genes occur in families or similarity categories, the researchers also sought to determine if there was any difference in actual gene categories. They found a shocking 33 percent difference. The human Y chromosome contains a third more gene categories--entirely different classes of genes--compared to chimps.

Under evolutionary assumptions of long and gradual genetic changes, the Y chromosome structures, layouts, genes, and other sequences should be much the same in both species, given the relatively short--according to the evolutionary timeline--six-million-year time span since chimpanzees and humans supposedly diverged from a common ancestor. Instead, the differences between the Y chromosomes are marked. R. Scott Hawley, a genetics researcher at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City who wasn't involved in the research, told the Associated Press, "That result is astounding."

Because virtually every structural aspect of the human and chimp Y chromosomes was different, it was hard to arrive at an overall similarity estimate between the two. The researchers did postulate an overall 70 percent similarity, which did not take into account size differences or structural arrangement differences. This was done by concluding that only 70 percent of the chimp sequence could be aligned with the human sequence--not taking into account differences within the alignments.

In other words, 70 percent was a conservative estimate, especially when considering that 50 percent of the human genes were missing from the chimp, and that the regions that did have some similarity were located in completely different patterns. When all aspects of non-similarity--sequence categories, genes, gene families, and gene position--are taken into account, it is safe to say that the overall similarity was lower than 70 percent. The Nature article expressed the discrepancy between this data and standard evolutionary interpretations in a rather intriguing way: "Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in MSY gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation."


Source

Wouldn't scientists under the premise of the "scientific method" calculate all of the differences instead of making assumptions based on a limited data set? According to the true numbers, chickens should be placed in the genus Homo as well if they are still sticking to the taxonomic classification based on DNA percentages.

If we did go by comparing small sections of DNA (~1%), then we are closer to orangutans than chimps.


Genetic archaeology finds parts of our genome more closely related to orangutans than chimps


And if we compare morphological similarities, then we are still closer to orangutans.


Humans More Related To Orangutans Than Chimps


In a nutshell, it appears legit. Perhaps you're correct that the paper's conclusions are laughably wrong. But it certainly looks to me like they were "going through the motions" of following the same methodology as any other science.


I would still have to say that they reached a philosophical conclusion based a very limited "cherry picking" data set. Science would compare all data and would converge on a honest and unbiased conclusion.

Hypothesis - Humans and chimps are genetically similar enough to be considered in the same genus.

Test hypothesis - Our genomes share only 70% similarity (Conservatively).

Methods - Non-similarity of sequence categories, genes, gene families, and gene positions.

Results - Chimps certainly belong in their own genus based on DNA similarity.

Conclusion - If evolution can be inferred, then it is based solely on assumption.


The conclusion reached by an unbiased interpretation is quite different from what the authors published.



Enjoy.

#35 AFJ

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 02:00 PM

Aristotle was the father of biology. Does that mean that Zeus was the backbone of biology? No more than evolution is the backbone of biology. So, evolution isn't a science; It's a philosophy. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having this debate. Biology is the study of biological organisms and biological systems. Where those systems came from is not an empirical science, unless you claim evolution is a science, then you need to empirically establish that hypothesis, without a creator.

No evolutionists has ever empirically established common descent, life from non-life, etc. So, evolutionists are not using the same methodology as other scientists, they simply converge on the same philosophy.


Hi jason777

That's a different take on things. I was assuming the OP was asking: Do the evolutionary sciences (biology, phylogenetics, paleontology etc) measure up to the methods of science?

What you seem to be saying is its the evolutionist philosophy that doesn't measure up to the methods of science. You may well be right. For my part, I wouldn't expect a philosophy to conform to the methods of science.
Cheers - S.

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Yeah Seejay,

I like examples so can I give you an example of how philosophy (or I prefer belief really) is kind of insepeparable from science, because it's still human beings that do the science, and they believe certain things?

Anyway, yesterday, my wife was cutting an onion that was so strong it made me tear up across the room. I was on the comp, and we got to wondering what it was in onions that made you tear up. Well, long story short, we researched, and found out that an enzyme in the cell mixes with sulfides in other parts of the cell when it is cut, when the resulting chemical gas hits the tears in your eye it produces sulfuric acid!!

Again, long story short, I found that there are other plants, in different parts of the world, totally different species that look totally different--they are not considered closely related with the onion. Yet they have very similar enzymes and sulfides in their cell chemistries.

Now, I suppose a biologist would say this is an example of convergent evolution, even though he did not observe how the plants evolved. He simply presumes this the case because he is so strongly convinced of past evolution--he already has a "shelf" in his mind, that he comfortably puts these conditions on. It is no problem for him--because he already believes--or--as you have said--his philosophical worldview is that everything evolved. He just needs a category like "convergent evolution" to qualify the fact that totally "unrelated" plants would have similar chemistries.

However, someone with my worldview--who believes the Bible is the Word of God sees that this would be predicted by the miracle of creation--because it is the same Creator creating all things. I don't have a problem at all with this, and see the alternative--"convergent evolution"--as another impossibility for random mutations in different linages. There are far too many examples of this for it too have happened, and be also current at this stage in time (speaking in geological timescale terms). So my faith is making sense, because I see it not only producing supernatural results in my life, and similar results in others' lives, but I also see what creation would predict to happen--that is exactly what happens. Wings on insects and mammals too, and so forth.

#36 SeeJay

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:08 AM

I have read it, however (here). It appears to me as though the authors were following the same methods as other sciences...

The DNA comparison was done on only a tiny segment of DNA. What if we compare all the genes contained in Y chromosome? Would they still be willing to shovel out millions of dollars in Govt. grants and correct academic texts if it was done?


Hi jason777

I think the answer to your question is yes; the 2010 Y chromosome paper referenced by the icr.org article was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. I'm not sure about texts, I suppose that would depend on when they were printed.

Wouldn't scientists under the premise of the "scientific method" calculate all of the differences instead of making assumptions based on a limited data set? According to the true numbers, chickens should be placed in the genus Homo as well if they are still sticking to the taxonomic classification based on DNA percentages.


I think it may be okay within the scientific method to publish conclusions drawn from limited data, providing the limits of the data are clearly specified. Indeed, one could argue that in principle our data is always imperfect and limited, so scientists go with the best they have at the time. For example, the Y chromosome, looked at in detail in the 2010 paper, is only about 1% of the genome.

Better I think to get the research out there, however limited, so everyone can share, review, discuss, retest and, hopefully, improve on it. I believe that the sharing process is an important part of the method of science.

If we did go by comparing small sections of DNA (~1%), then we are closer to orangutans than chimps (link).
And if we compare morphological similarities, then we are still closer to orangutans (link)

I would still have to say that they reached a philosophical conclusion based a very limited "cherry picking" data set. Science would compare all data and would converge on a honest and unbiased conclusion.


Well, my belief is the various papers referenced in this thread are an actual example of the scientific method in progress. We can see that various researchers using different data sets from different points of view have published their research for other scientists to share. Over time, as others review and build on prior publications, accumulating a greater mass of data for evaluation, the process gradually coverges on a more reliable, unbiased conclusion. As I see it, that's how science is supposed to work.

I do agree, with regard to human evolution, that it looks like they haven't reached a reliable, unbiased conclusion yet. But it looks to me like they are attempting to do so using standard scientific methods.

Regards - S.

#37 MarkForbes

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:23 AM

...My understanding is that both direct and circumstantial evidence is made up of testable hard facts. What makes evidence circumstantial is the fact that an inference is required to connect it to the conclusion, unlike direct evidence where merely observing the evidence supports the conclusion i.e. it is "self-evident".

That may very and depend. Take a case were the speedcops come for you. They got a picture with a car that fits your cars model and colour. That picture may be a hard fact. That it proves a traffic violation on your behalf could just be circumstantial. The hard part of evidence used by evolutionists like fossils, genetic information, etc. is indeed observable, just that the conjecture built from it is commonly circumstantial and other explanations would be at least as good for those hard part.

For example, the conclusion that the sun exists is based on direct evidence - we can just see it directly. The conclusion that sunspots are caused by magnetic fields is based on inference from circumstantial, indirect evidence -- like the splitting of the sun's spectral lines when a sunspot passes by (the Zeeman effect). The observations of the sun itself and of its spectral lines are testable hard facts.

That evidence is arguably indirect as well. I'd agree that an object that shines brightly on the earth is an observable and testable fact.

Based on my understanding of this, I still think its true most modern "hard sciences" are based on indirect, circumstantial evidence -- the reason being, most of the things science has discovered over recent centuries are things we can't actually directly observe, like atoms, germs, the ionosphere, rocks deep inside the earth etc. Of course the evidence itself is made up of testable, hard facts. But because the conclusions are inferred from the evidence, the evidence is circumstantial with respect to those conclusions.

Here I disagree, the bulk of knowledge in hard sciences is, given the right equipment and methods, testable, repeatable and it yields constant predictable results. In cases where there is a problem with the physical testability methods that are mathematically testable can be used.

There is no mathematical models that support phylogenetic trees. It's plain guess work based an presumed commonalities between animals.

Hope this makes sense.
I'm not sure that theories about the past are automatically untestable. Earlier in this thread there was a discussion about forensics which certainly does test theories about things that happened in the past.

Forensics does still test present day things and draws conclusions about the past (We found your finger prints on a door handle, you've been in that room prior to now).

Also, we discussed paradigms and I think its certainly true that evolutionists exclude explanations outside their paradigm. However, I think all scientists -- and probably all people in any field -- work within paradigms that rule certain things in and out. Maybe that indeed makes all the sciences flawed. But, again, that would mean evolutionist science is flawed along with all the others, so that's not a good reason to single evolution out as the one that's not following the methods of science.

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Other people do have paradigms as well. They still can be right. The problem comes, when evidence actually tells you that there is something wrong with the paradigm and you then simply ignore that upholding their paradigm. While this may also be the case in other fields of science, there is no reason to not point this out that evolutionists doing this. And there is also NO reason NOT to say that the theory of evolution didn't come along in the same scientific manner as gravity or the gas laws. The later is what Evolution supporters sometimes do i.e. claiming "the theory of evolution is just as proven as gravity."

#38 SeeJay

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:36 AM

That may very and depend. Take a case were the speedcops come for you. They got a picture with a car that fits your cars model and colour. That picture may be a hard fact. That it proves a traffic violation on your behalf could just be circumstantial. The hard part of evidence used by evolutionists like fossils, genetic information, etc. is indeed observable, just that the conjecture built from it is commonly circumstantial and other explanations would be at least as good for those hard part.
That evidence is arguably indirect as well. I'd agree that an object that shines brightly on the earth is an observable and testable fact.
Here I disagree, the bulk of knowledge in hard sciences is, given the right equipment and methods, testable, repeatable and it yields constant predictable results. In cases where there is a problem with the physical testability methods that are mathematically testable can be used.

There is no mathematical models that support phylogenetic trees. It's plain guess work based an presumed commonalities between animals.
Forensics does still test present day things and draws conclusions about the past (We found your finger prints on a door handle, you've been in that room prior to now).
Other people do have paradigms as well. They still can be right. The problem comes, when evidence actually tells you that there is something wrong with the paradigm and you then simply ignore that upholding their paradigm. While this may also be the case in other fields of science, there is no reason to not point this out that evolutionists doing this. And there is also NO reason NOT to say that the theory of evolution didn't come along in the same scientific manner as gravity or the gas laws. The later is what Evolution supporters sometimes do i.e. claiming "the theory of evolution is just as proven as gravity."

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Hi MarkForbes

Its late here (Australia), and I must go to bed. But I just wanted to say briefly I appreciate your thoughtful post above, and I am in almost full agreement with what you say.

Good night, and God bless - S.

#39 gilbo12345

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:23 PM

Hi performedge

I would have thought scientists dreaming up just-so stories would fall under step 3 "Form hypothesis". It might be a really bad hypothesis, but I don't think this means they're not following the methods of science. There have been lots of really bad hypotheses in the history of science.

I think your complaint is that evolutionary hypotheses aren't tested properly (steps 4 to 7). But it seems to me evolutionists certainly put on the appearance of testing and revising their hypotheses, by publishing thousands and thousands of papers reporting new experimental and field research, analysing it, proposing revisions and new hypotheses and future tests, and so on.
Regards - S.

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Yes a hypothesis can be a "just so story" however a hypothesis is accepted or rejected based on evidence via experimentation....

This is not what we see with evolution, all what occurs is the first few steps.... The hypothesis is created but is not tested.

The underlying hypothesis of evolution has never changed, hence I would say that it is not revised to the extent that you claim..

#40 Ron

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 03:58 AM

I have taken this idea from another thread to address this a different way:
Instead of me breaking this down in the beginning post, let's see if anyone else would like to tackle this from both sides of the issue. So the question is:

Does evolution measure up to the methods of science?

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Hi


Hello


Most scientists seem to think evolution measures up to the methods of science.


A couple of things to remember when considering the above statement:

The “might makes right”, or “majority rules” argument (technically known as the argumentum ad populum logical fallacy) to support one’s world-view rarely ever provided sustenance to their stance. Especially when they attempt to persuade against factual information (example macro-evolution is nothing more than a hypothesis due to there being absolutely no empirical evidence of one animal evolving into another).

The term “seems to think” is foundationless in the face of empirical science.


So, if we use a definition of science that excludes evolution, probably most scientists wouldn't agree with that definition.

S.


So what you’re saying is “the inclusion of the word evolution is necessary in order for the definition of science to be substantive”? Or, is it that “evolution” must be included in order for “evolution” to be scientific?




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