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Is Charles Darwin The Most Overrated Figure In History?


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#1 Dredge

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:51 AM

We've all heard that "evolution is the unifying concept of biology" and Dobzhansky's claim that "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."  But I beg to differ, because as far as I can tell, Darwin's theory of evolution is the scientific equivalent of a blank bullet - there's lots of noise and smoke, but it doesn't actually do anything useful.  

Parts of ToE are definitely useful - natural selection, for example - but for thousands of years before Darwin, animal and plant breeders had been well aware that variations in organisms can be exploited by natural/artificial selection to produce heritable changes in a population.  

I'm no expert, but I can't think of a single use of applied science that depends on the theory that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor.  It seems to me that the theory of common decent is, as best, nothing more than an historical curiosity.  I mean, of what use is it to science to belief that whales evolved from a deer that lived 50 million years?  

Did Charles Darwin contribute anything at all that actually advanced science?  If science had never heard of Darwin and his theory, would science be any the poorer?  I suspect not.  Take ToE out of the science of biology and you are left with biology, 100% intact and ready to go.

It appears to me that Darwinsim is a scientific White Elephant, but it has been adopted as a core dogma of atheist theology. Hence my definition of evolution ... Evolution = Biology + the athiestic cult of Darwinism.

So I would like to nominate Charles Robert Darwin as the most overrated figure in history.

#2 Mike Summers

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:54 AM

Dredge said:

Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:51 AM
We've all heard that "evolution is the unifying concept of biology" and Dobzhansky's claim that "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."  But I beg to differ, because as far as I can tell, Darwin's theory of evolution is the scientific equivalent of a blank bullet - there's lots of noise and smoke, but it doesn't actually do anything useful.  

Parts of ToE are definitely useful - natural selection, for example - but for thousands of years before Darwin, animal and plant breeders had been well aware that variations in organisms can be exploited by natural/artificial selection to produce heritable changes in a population.  

I'm no expert, but I can't think of a single use of applied science that depends on the theory that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor.  It seems to me that the theory of common decent is, as best, nothing more than an historical curiosity.  I mean, of what use is it to science to belief that whales evolved from a deer that lived 50 million years?  

Did Charles Darwin contribute anything at all that actually advanced science?  If science had never heard of Darwin and his theory, would science be any the poorer?  I suspect not.  Take ToE out of the science of biology and you are left with biology, 100% intact and ready to go.

It appears to me that Darwinsim is a scientific White Elephant, but it has been adopted as a core dogma of atheist theology. Hence my definition of evolution ... Evolution = Biology + the athiestic cult of Darwinism.

So I would like to nominate Charles Robert Darwin as the most overrated figure in history.


I second that nomination. From my point of view, Darwin added a lot of confusion to the practice of science. Though he was intelligent, he didn't seem to think very much of intelligence per se. After taking advantage of being intelligent and creative he proceeded to downplay the possibility of intelligence in the evo theory he used his intelligence to create! How ironic! Try doing anything without using intellignce. Its mission impossible! Silly that! He had to use intelligence to create the theory of evolution! LOL

All things are known through intelligence. It is the whole heard of elephants in the room!



#3 what if

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 05:34 PM

Did Charles Darwin contribute anything at all that actually advanced science?  If science had never heard of Darwin and his theory, would science be any the poorer?

interesting questions.
i believe modern genomic research is a quest into how DNA incorporates change.
this in no way relies on a historical perspective.
IOW, it's irrelevant whether we came from a frog, tree, mollusk, or blade of grass.

no, evolution isn't some kind of "unifying" concept.
as a matter of fact, since epigenetics has the ability to alter the phenotype without altering the genetic makeup, fossil classification is questionable.
what appears as successive phenotypes are actually the same genome.

#4 cheeseburger

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 05:42 PM

Darwin explained the mechanism behind the creationist concept of microevolution within kinds. His model addressed the dilemma that had fioxed naturalists preceding him: why do all vertebrates share the body plan of one spine supporting four limbs (upper limb is one bone, lower limb is two bone, then many bones then several digits)? - a divine creator could have used any plan.

#5 Dredge

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:11 AM

Darwin explained the mechanism behind the creationist concept of microevolution within kinds.

Okay, this sounds like a fair point. But of what use was this information to animal or plant breeders, for example, or to any other form of applied science?

You see, I need to be convinced that Darwinism has done more than just provide atheist bedtime stories about how whales evolved from deers, etc.

#6 Dredge

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:29 AM

interesting questions.i believe modern genomic research is a quest into how DNA incorporates change.this in no way relies on a historical perspective.IOW, it's irrelevant whether we came from a frog, tree, mollusk, or blade of grass.no, evolution isn't some kind of "unifying" concept.as a matter of fact, since epigenetics has the ability to alter the phenotype without altering the genetic makeup, fossil classification is questionable.what appears as successive phenotypes are actually the same genome.


It sounds to me like the genome doesn't tell the whole story. So there is much more to be learnt. I'm showing my ignorance here, but just the other day I learnt about the C-value Paradox - what a strange thing! How can the genome of a certain amoeba be larger than the genome of a human being? My fragile, egg-shell mind is struggling to compute that one.

#7 Dredge

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:35 AM

interesting questions.i believe modern genomic research is a quest into how DNA incorporates change.this in no way relies on a historical perspective.IOW, it's irrelevant whether we came from a frog, tree, mollusk, or blade of grass.no, evolution isn't some kind of "unifying" concept.as a matter of fact, since epigenetics has the ability to alter the phenotype without altering the genetic makeup, fossil classification is questionable.what appears as successive phenotypes are actually the same genome.


I can see no reason why a Creationist who categorically rejects Darwinism's theory of Common Descent cannot be a perfectly competant practitioner of applied biology. So now I wondering if all of Darwinism is superflous to applied biology.

#8 Dredge

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:50 AM

Dredge said:

[b][size=5]I second that nomination. From my point of view, Darwin added a lot of confusion to the practice of science.

Well, Darwinism has certainly wasted a lot of time and resources - think of the time, effort and taxpayers' dollars that have gone into 150 years of - not just biology - but paleontology, geology, cosmology, etc, gathering and discussing "evidence" to support for the utterly useless theory of Common Descent. How much money has been wasted on SETI, for example, which is a direct consequence of Darwinism?

#9 mike the wiz

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:20 AM

 

 

Cheeseburger: Darwin explained the mechanism behind the creationist concept of microevolution within kinds. His model addressed the dilemma that had fioxed naturalists preceding him: why do all vertebrates share the body plan of one spine supporting four limbs (upper limb is one bone, lower limb is two bone, then many bones then several digits)? - a divine creator could have used any plan. 

 

In fact homological features were known as, ideal archetypes at the time. It's a pretense that Darwin explained them, they were already argued to be the best design structures for the job.

 

In life, for some reason there are certain types of design which are best. This creates a nested hierarchy. So for example your complain God could have used any plan is a bit like saying, "this horror film and this comedy are both DVDs, the creators of these programs could have used different methods", but basically we go with the best method for all.

 

For example, butterflies, birds, bats and pterodactyls all had analogous wings, or homoplastic wings, BUT the best design is a wing of some sort. So God did create different types of wing, there is the insect wing which is a true wing, because it contains no forelimb, yet there are also a few types of limbed wings which are ingenius and differ from one another. The pterosaur used a pteroid bone to create extra lift. The bat's forelimb is different from a birds with it's powerful wishbone.

 

So God done it different ways even thought the end result was some type of wing because wings are simply the things that create lift easiest, therefore there is no designer reason to make a more convoluted design of less efficiency. 

 

With bones, we are talking the bread-and butter level of design, bones aren't needed in butterflies, so God didn't obey the plan for butterflies, because it is tautologous that some animals of a certain weight, will require girders. (bones). Again as a designer, God designed vertebrates on the basis of solving one problem using the same design. (killing two birds with one stone)

 

So God was thinking like this if we can say such a thing; "instead of creating the land creatures with different frames, I shall invent a frame which can be modified to suit a variety of land creatures."

 

A clumsy, less intelligent designer wouldn't be able to come up with one viable design which would work for many hundreds of types of organism. 

 

So I think Darwin's explanation, at least to me, seems simplistic. You could say it implies an ancestor but then that only works if you cherry-pick the evidence that fits (homology) and discard the evidence that doesn't fit. (homoplasy), as Bonedigger has explained in great detail.



#10 what if

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:09 AM

It sounds to me like the genome doesn't tell the whole story. So there is much more to be learnt. I'm showing my ignorance here, but just the other day I learnt about the C-value Paradox - what a strange thing! How can the genome of a certain amoeba be larger than the genome of a human being? My fragile, egg-shell mind is struggling to compute that one.

most of your confusion comes from the fact that "gradualism" has been drilled into your head from day one.
and it's a fallacy, just like koonin, gould, and other scientists has pointed out.
gould basically had the right idea with his paper on "the spandrels of san marcos".
unfortunately his paper was before the acceptance of epigentics, and he had no choice but to use a "construction" type of explanation.

you must remember that DNA isn't something you read like a blueprint.
it is basically a self modifying program that can call various subroutines when they are needed

in my opinion, DNA can be divided into 2, or possibly 3, regions.
the first region contains the kernal of phyla, and uses approximately 2% of DNA
the second region is a sort of sandbox, where epigenetics along with transposons keeps the organism viable.
i suspect there may be third region, but i haven't been able to understand its utility yet.

yes virginia, the cell is a lot more complicated than you ever imagined.

#11 what if

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:15 AM

the following post comes from my thread "is evolution a proven fact"
evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?/topic/6672-is-evolution-a-proven-fact/page-5
i have no idea why the link doesn't work, so the post is recreated below:

It is important to be clear about common, though not necessarily universal, assumptions of mid-20th Century biology that have been discarded. A partial listing would include at least the following:

• The genome is always a well-organized library of genes.

• Genes usually have single functions that have been specifically honed by powerful natural selection.

• Species are finely adjusted to their ecological circumstances due to efficient adaptive adjustment of biochemical functions.

• The durable units of evolution are species, and within them the organisms, organs, cells, and molecules, which are characteristic of the species.

• Given the adaptive nature of each organism and cell, their machinery can be modeled using principles of efficient design.

Here we offer a general description of the emerging "new biology", and illustrate it with examples drawn from research on molecular evolution, aging, s@x, and development.

It might be thought that we suppose that the transition which biology is now undergoing requires the defeat or replacement of one set of biologists by another. But that is not our opinion. The senior author of this article found his way between these two kinds of biology, starting with one view of living things in 1971 and ending up with a very different one by 2001, and this was nothing unusual or creditable. We should be equally clear that, in arguing for the necessity of this intellectual transformation, we do not think that those who based their research on the Modern Synthesis were "bad scientists" and those who now abandon it are "good scientists." We are simply offering an overview of how a large number of us have changed our thinking, our biological Weltanschauung.
- The new biology beyond the Modern Synthesis.htm

#12 what if

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:04 AM

Darwin explained the mechanism behind the creationist concept of microevolution within kinds. His model addressed the dilemma that had fioxed naturalists preceding him: why do all vertebrates share the body plan of one spine supporting four limbs (upper limb is one bone, lower limb is two bone, then many bones then several digits)? - a divine creator could have used any plan.

yes, and the "mechanism" he proposed was natural selection.
unfortunately, natural selection DOES NOT explain the increasing complexity of the fossil record.
correction, there is no evidence that natural selection encourages complexity.

#13 cheeseburger

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 10:25 AM

In fact homological features were known as, ideal archetypes at the time. It's a pretense that Darwin explained them, they were already argued to be the best design structures for the job.
 
In life, for some reason there are certain types of design which are best. This creates a nested hierarchy. So for example your complain God could have used any plan is a bit like saying, "this horror film and this comedy are both DVDs, the creators of these programs could have used different methods", but basically we go with the best method for all.[/font.


The design advantage of two bones in land animal lower limbs is to allow pivoting and precise movement of wrists and ankles. Two bones are also found in whale and dolphin limbs where such precision is unnecessary; also, they exhibit features of a remnant pelvic girdle despite not having hind limbs. Birds also have a radius and an ulnar despite not needing a wrist. This repetition of body plan is redundant from a design perspective but explicable in context of common ancestry.

#14 mike the wiz

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 01:06 PM

 

 

Cheeseburger: The design advantage of two bones in land animal lower limbs is to allow pivoting and precise movement of wrists and ankles. Two bones are also found in whale and dolphin limbs where such precision is unnecessary; also, they exhibit features of a remnant pelvic girdle despite not having hind limbs. Birds also have a radius and an ulnar despite not needing a wrist. . This repetition of body plan is redundant from a design perspective but explicable in context of common ancestry

 

Did you know that in the bird, they are the wrong receding digits, for an evolution from therapods? So the assumption is that the purpose for the anatomy is that the features have become evolutionarily retrogressive. However, it is more likely the bones are needed for extra strength, because if you just leave on thin bone then the chances are it will break easier. It has to pivot, and the design is all to do with the anatomy, it has nothing to do with evolution.

 

So here you have chosen something similar in all vertebrates but had birds evolved we would expect they also inherited the same type of hips from theropods;

 

 

 

CMI: Dinosaurs have long been classified by the structure of their hip; the two branches are the lizard-hipped dinosaurs and the bird-hipped dinosaurs.40 Interestingly, it appears that bird evolution was from the wrong type—the lizard-hipped theropods

 

So as you can see this confirms the point I made earlier - you have to pick and choose (cherry pick) which types of evidence "fit" with the evolution story, and you just basically ignore the types that don't fit, like the lizard-hips.

 

 

 

Evolutionists argue for a link between dinosaurs and birds based on comparative morphology, even during embryonic development. Birds and dinosaurs have similar features, called ‘shared derived characteristics’ (see cladistics analysis below). However, a major morphological feature supports an opposite conclusion. During embryonic growth, bird limb digits developed from a five-finger arrangement into one that has only the second, third and fourth digits (II, III, IV). On the other hand, dinosaur growth exhibits a different embryonic pattern—I, II, III.77–79 

 

 

As for the radius and ulnar, essentially it serves the same purpose in a bird as it does in a forelimb. Similar function implies similar design.

 

Another problem is there is no way to test whether the birds wing will work with a set up that was different. I usually call this my own term, kind of my own fallacy I call the "referee fallacy", when people basically shout at the referee in sports; "if I was the referee I wouldn't have done that stupid thing, I would have done X", but the problem with that argument is that it gets you off having to give a demonstration.

 

 

 

Cheeseburger: This repetition of body plan is redundant from a design perspective but explicable in context of common ancestry

 

Well, as I have just shown this bare assertion isn't correct. Basically you are STATING it is, "redundant" but it seems rather obvious that if an anatomical design is viable, then that means the design works. Viability is one feature of design. Boy did I learn that making my first billiards table, just getting it to function like a billiards table was a real lesson.

 

 

 

 Cheeseburger: also, they exhibit features of a remnant pelvic girdle despite not having hind limbs

 

They may have some type of girdle, the anatomical reasons are actually known to anatomists to not have anything to do with being, "remnant", I can find the articles about it if you wish. So the term, "remnant" is a question-begging-epithet. You merely name it, "remnant" yet it is clear that anatomical viability is achieved in the design of those organisms, meaning those features of the organism's design aren't a hindrance and they function correctly, meaning they have relevance to design.

 

 

 

Cheeseburger. Two bones are also found in whale and dolphin limbs where such precision is unnecessary

 

Referee fallacy. You must demonstrate that they can get along without those bones. We know from observation of the facts that they get along well WITH THEM, meaning the burden-of-proof isn't upon me to prove they are anatomically viable, but it's on you to prove anatomical viability WITHOUT THEM.

 

(please let's not get into whales, it's been done so many times, suffice to say we don't accept the claims of evolution and have good arguments against them) Agree to disagree is best.



#15 piasan

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

So I would like to nominate Charles Robert Darwin as the most overrated figure in history.

He is probably given more importance than he deserves.   There are a host of other scientists whose discoveries contribute much more to our lives than Darwin does.

 

Much of the noise surrounding Darwin probably results from the religious implications of his theory.

 

Well, Darwinism has certainly wasted a lot of time and resources - think of the time, effort and taxpayers' dollars that have gone into 150 years of - not just biology - but paleontology, geology, cosmology, etc, gathering and discussing "evidence" to support for the utterly useless theory of Common Descent. How much money has been wasted on SETI, for example, which is a direct consequence of Darwinism?

Nonsense.  Geology and cosmology do not depend on Darwin or evolution.  They are completely independent lines of scientific inquiry.

 

In what way is SETI "a direct consequence of Darwinism?"  Man has always wondered if we are alone in the universe and SETI is an offshoot of that basic human curiosity.  That said, I do agree that SETI was, at best, a long-shot.  It has practically zero chance of success .... even if ETI exists.  (BTW, the Bible is silent on life elsewhere in the universe.)

 

yes, and the "mechanism" he proposed was natural selection.
unfortunately, natural selection DOES NOT explain the increasing complexity of the fossil record.
correction, there is no evidence that natural selection encourages complexity.

I see this one all the time too.

 

You are correct, natural selection does not explain "complexity."  It explains fitness.

 

Nor does natural selection provide new "information."  Information, whatever that my be, is the result of descent with modification.  "Complexity" results from the "information."

 

It sounds to me like the genome doesn't tell the whole story. So there is much more to be learnt. I'm showing my ignorance here, but just the other day I learnt about the C-value Paradox - what a strange thing! How can the genome of a certain amoeba be larger than the genome of a human being? My fragile, egg-shell mind is struggling to compute that one.

The genome of an amoeba being longer than the human genome is one reason I point out we have no way to measure biological "information."  It's not the chromosome .... humans have 23 and there are ferns with 1200.  It's not the genome.  It's not the chromosome.

 

We simply have no way to quantify it, so any claim that something has more biological "information" or "complexity" is simply a claim that can't be quantified.



#16 what if

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 07:34 PM

I see this one all the time too.
 
You are correct, natural selection does not explain "complexity."  It explains fitness.

it does?
then why does evolution of the genome often result in a decreasing fitness?
koonin seems to think complexity is a "genomic syndrome".
it results as a matter of genomic activity.
here again, this points directly to epigenetics and transposons.
there is only one way i can think of that this can happen, and that's if DNA utilizes a sandbox concept.

Nor does natural selection provide new "information."  Information, whatever that my be, is the result of descent with modification.  "Complexity" results from the "information."

the "information" is already there.
epigenetics, transposons, and the sandbox concept provide all that is needed for almost all contingencies.
i think the major problem you are having is letting go of the gradual accumulation paradigm.
gould had the right idea, but it was before epigenetics was mainstream, so he had to resort to a "construction" type of concept.
 

The genome of an amoeba being longer than the human genome is one reason I point out we have no way to measure biological "information."  It's not the chromosome .... humans have 23 and there are ferns with 1200.  It's not the genome.  It's not the chromosome.

the only place "information" needs to be accounted for is abiogenesis.
the genome acquires no new "information" except through HGT and base pair insertions.
the "genius" of the cell lies in the 3 things i mentioned earlier
 

We simply have no way to quantify it, so any claim that something has more biological "information" or "complexity" is simply a claim that can't be quantified.

the best biological definition i found was "the ability of genes to code for more than one trait".
by the above definition, one celled life (e. coli for example) is among the most complex life on the planet.

#17 Fjuri

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:16 AM

Its so tempting to post another candidate for the most overrated figure in history. But I won't. :)


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#18 Dredge

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:57 PM

He is probably given more importance than he deserves. There are a host of other scientists whose discoveries contribute much more to our lives than Darwin does.

It seems to me that Darwin's theory of natural selection is, in effect, a "feral" application of the principals of artificial selection - principals that animal and plant breeders had already been employing for millennia. Darwin used natural selection to explain how heritable changes in a population could occur in a natural ("wild") environment, ie, without human interference. But has 150 years of Darwinism actually advanced the knowledge and capabilities of animal and plant breeders?

Much of the noise surrounding Darwin probably results from the religious implications of his theory.

Darwinism's theory of Common Descent provides atheists with cosy bedtime stories about whales evolving from deers, etc, but a tool of science, it's as useless as a fairy tale.


Nonsense. Geology and cosmology do not depend on Darwin or evolution. They are completely independent lines of scientific inquiry.

I suspect "long ages" have been read into theories pertaining to geology and cosmology in order to accommadate Common Descent. Ditto for radioactive dating methods. Allusions to Darwinism are everywhere in science because the scientific comminity is dominated by the intellectual cult of atheism.

In what way is SETI "a direct consequence of Darwinism?"

Darwinism has convinced scientists that life is possible anywhere in the universe where conditions are favourable. So they sent instruments out into space to look for it. If they can find life, this will serve to vindicate Darwinsm, and in turn, atheism. I think of SETI as an atheist project.

#19 Dredge

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 01:35 AM

Darwin explained the mechanism behind the creationist concept of microevolution within kinds. His model addressed the dilemma that had fioxed naturalists preceding him: why do all vertebrates share the body plan of one spine supporting four limbs (upper limb is one bone, lower limb is two bone, then many bones then several digits)? - a divine creator could have used any plan.

Attempting to explain an observation with a theory is not my idea of a practical use. In the cult of Darwinsim, theorising about how evolution supposedly explains observations is considered "useful" - which apparently means ToE is a "fact". Sorry, I'm not that easily fooled.

My question is, what did Darwin contribute to applied science? ... as opposed to useless theorising.

#20 cheeseburger

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:47 PM

My question is, what did Darwin contribute to applied science? ... as opposed to useless theorising.


Evolutionary principles are used to inform prioritization when conservationists consider dwindelling populations.

In a general sense common ancestry implied common genetic material - it's discovery has widespread medical applications.




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