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#1 CTD

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:08 PM

There was considerable confusion over Darwin's use of the term 'natural selection'. It was frequently mistaken and thought to be roughly synonymous with 'divine selection'. In order to clarify things, Darwin adopted Spencer's 'survival of the fittest' phrase in later editions of his Origin of Species.

The concept is accepted to one extent or another, even within the YEC community.
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

I think it would be best for creationists to reconsider, and I advocate the use of the term "divine selection" in order to eliminate the potential for confusion. We know who stands to benefit from confusion, after all.

Bible-believing Christians should carefully consider whether their definition of 'natural selection' is in compliance with Matt. 10: 29 -31 and Luke 12: 6-7. Jesus says the Father watches out for even sparrows.

There are problems for all variations of 'natural selection', even when watered down.

Problem 1: Lab experiments are not natural. They control the environment artificially. By definition, they are artificial selection. There is also a lack of recourse to any feedback & interaction with other lifeforms which could be present in a natural environment.
Problem 2: In nature, natural selection is only observed in the past tense. It's used to create a story of how such-and-such may have taken place. But science requires predictive power. Anyone can use natural selection to explain any past result.
Problem 3: To scientifically observe natural selection in nature, one must evaluate fitness and make predictions. Who can confidently make these evaluations?
Problem 4: Without natural environmental stress, there is no struggle. The "unfit" thrive right along with the "fit".
Problem 5: "S@xual selection" can work at cross purposes with natural selection.

I've been trying to evaluate the predictive power of 'natural selection' for a little while, but it's very difficult. Most people offer explanations of past events, lab predictions, examples of poisons working, etc.

At present, I have one promising lead: the Seychelles warbler case.

I would like to discuss the problems, various versions, and the correct terminologies, if anyone is so inclined.

#2 MRC_Hans

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:52 AM

There was considerable confusion over Darwin's use of the term 'natural selection'. It was frequently mistaken and thought to be roughly synonymous with 'divine selection'. In order to clarify things, Darwin adopted Spencer's 'survival of the fittest' phrase in later editions of his Origin of Species.


Interesting. And fairly obvious, once you think about it. In a predominantly religious society, God is nature, so natural = divine.

I think it would be best for creationists to reconsider, and I advocate the use of the term "divine selection" in order to eliminate the potential for confusion. We know who stands to benefit from confusion, after all.


However, the selection described in the articles you link to is indeed natural selection.



Problem 1: Lab experiments are not natural. They control the environment artificially. By definition, they are artificial selection. There is also a lack of recourse to any feedback & interaction with other lifeforms which could be present in a natural environment.


Also, of course, lab experiments generally suffer from scale problems, both in numbers and duration. There is quite a difference between a lab ful of test animals and a continent (or planet) full of life forms.

OTOH, we must remember that the aim of many lab experiments is NOT to replicate real life (which we can, after all, observe all we will outside the lab), but to isolate certain mechanisms and functions, in order to find their particular role.

Problem 2: In nature, natural selection is only observed in the past tense. It's used to create a story of how such-and-such may have taken place. But science requires predictive power. Anyone can use natural selection to explain any past result.


Actually, observations are always in the past tense. We cannot observe anything till it has happened. However, in the scientific sense, 'predictive power' does not necessarily have to be about the future. We can also say "our theory predict that such and such fossils will be found".

I don't understand your last sentence. Are you saying that natural selection is an acceptable explanation for all we observe? I agree, of course, but I'd be surprosed if that was your position.

Problem 3: To scientifically observe natural selection in nature, one must evaluate fitness and make predictions. Who can confidently make these evaluations?


Why these requirements? Obviously, if we see a life-form adapt before our eyes, it must be natural selection, what else should it be?

Problem 4: Without natural environmental stress, there is no struggle. The "unfit" thrive right along with the "fit".


Quite as predicted by the ToE.


Problem 5: "S@xual selection" can work at cross purposes with natural selection.


Any selection is part of natural selection. Selective pressures need not come from the surroundings, they can also come from "within".

I've been trying to evaluate the predictive power of 'natural selection' for a little while, but it's very difficult. Most people offer explanations of past events, lab predictions, examples of poisons working, etc.


I'm not sure what it is you are looking for. The predictions of natural selection have come true often enough, IMHO. I don't see what is wrong with past predictions and adaptions to poisons, but I suppose we could make some predictions for the future and wait for them to come true. I'm sure we can safely predict that a number of infective bacteria will evolve antibiotic resistance in the future.

Hans

#3 deadlock

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:47 PM

I'm sure we can safely predict that a number of infective bacteria will evolve antibiotic resistance in the future.


It´s not a prediciton of natural selection.It´s a prediction of mutation.

In natural selection you must predict what variety of an organism will survive and what variety will be extinct.

#4 CTD

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 02:23 PM

[quote name='MRC_Hans' date='Apr 9 2008, 05:52 AM']Interesting. And fairly obvious, once you think about it. In a predominantly religious society, God is nature, so natural = divine.

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[/quote]
[quote]Also, of course, lab experiments generally suffer from scale problems, both in numbers and duration. There is quite a difference between a lab ful of test animals and a continent (or planet) full of life forms.[/quote]Agreed.
[quote]Actually, observations are always in the past tense. We cannot observe anything till it has happened.[/quote]Predictions can be made in advance of observations. Retroactive prediction isn't prediction - honest terms are available terms for it.
[quote][quote]Anyone can use natural selection to explain any past result.[/quote]I don't understand your last sentence. Are you saying that natural selection is an acceptable explanation for all we observe? I agree, of course, but I'd be surprosed if that was your position.[/quote]I do not say it's acceptable. I say it can explain any past result no matter what. No event is immune the invention of a natural selection "explanation". One simply claims that whatever survived was "fit" and that which did not survive was "unfit". It's a versatile story-telling device, but what scientific value can it have?
[quote][quote]Problem 3: To scientifically observe natural selection in nature, one must evaluate fitness and make predictions. Who can confidently make these evaluations?[/quote]Why these requirements? Obviously, if we see a life-form adapt before our eyes, it must be natural selection, what else should it be?[/quote]
In order to avoid circular reasoning like the sample you provide, which also demonstrates that every observation can and will be interpreted by some as natural selection.

But then how would you know if it was anything else? No matter what it was, you'll be able to easily put together a story, which may or may not be true.You pretty much portray natural selection as unfalsifiable with such reasoning.
[quote]Any selection is part of natural selection. Selective pressures need not come from the surroundings, they can also come from "within".[/quote]

I'm not familiar with this claim. I am familiar with some of what Darwin wrote about "S@xual selection"; but I didn't see where it was intended to be the same as "survival of the fittest".

Indeed, now that I think about it, it cannot be so. A female would select a slower mate with longer tailfeathers even in an environment favoring an alternative faster mate with short tailfeathers (less drag).

From the first sentence, I begin to fear you'll lose the ability to tell artificial selection from natural selection as well. I hope this isn't the case.
[quote]I'm not sure what it is you are looking for.[/quote]
Cases of natural selection being employed to make predictions about he future. It still may be immune to falsification, because the parties can claim they failed to account for one thing or another.

[quote]The predictions of natural selection have come true often enough, IMHO.[/quote]
If you mean actual predictions made prior to events, and not involving artificial selection, please share. It would help me evaluate the validity of the concept.


[quote]I don't see what is wrong with past predictions and adaptions to poisons, but I suppose we could make some predictions for the future and wait for them to come true. I'm sure we can safely predict that a number of infective bacteria will evolve antibiotic resistance in the future.

Hans[quote]

The problem with predicting poison will kill off life that isn't immune is that it simply demonstrates that poisons work. This isn't news. Natural selection isn't needed to make such a prediction. Anyone who understands what poison is can predict it will kill. Anyone who understands what immunity is can predict survival.

And if immunity automatically evolved in response to the threat of poison, there should be plenty of rodents around the world immune to snake venom by now. Nobody who advocates poison experiments as evidence of natural selection & evolution can avoid special pleading & double standards. So I have little interest in discussing the issue.

Sorry this is taking so long. Firefox got crazy on me, and I had some trouble with the quote feature as well.

#5 CTD

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 03:12 PM

At present, I have one promising lead: the Seychelles warbler case.

I would like to discuss the problems, various versions, and the correct terminologies, if anyone is so inclined.

View Post


I followed up on that lead, visiting several sites, including

http://www.jstage.js...2/2_79/_article
http://www.nature.co...l/6883740a.html
http://cat.inist.fr/...cpsidt=14917701
http://beheco.oxford...t/full/11/4/421
http://www.journals..../10.1086/303148


There have been numerous predictions made, many are about behaviour; and may have nothing to do with natural selection. Some success has been reported, and some reports of successful predictions are disputed.

For now I'm giving up on this one. I don't recommend wasting any time trying to sort out his mess.

#6 MRC_Hans

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 01:02 AM

On antibiotic resistance...

It´s not a prediciton of natural selection.It´s a prediction of mutation.

In natural selection you must predict what variety of an organism will survive and what variety will be extinct.

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What?? It is natural selection. The presense of antibiotics kills those bacteria that cannot resist it, and the ones that can survive and reproduce. Of course, that trait has probably come along by a mutation at some stage, but that could be long ago.

I predict that the variety that can resist antibiotics will survive, and the one that cannot not will become extinct.

Note that evolution does not posit that the less fit variety must become extinct. It may continue to exist in habitats where there is no selection pressure.

Hans

#7 MRC_Hans

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 01:50 AM

Agreed.
Predictions can be made in advance of observations. Retroactive prediction isn't prediction -  honest terms are available terms for it.


I'm sorry, but you can't make your own rules. A prediction is valid as long as we don't know the answer when making it. Let me give you a simple example:

Some kids play baseball in the yard. Suddenly you hear the sound of glass breaking. You walk into the yard and observe the following:
A living-room window is broken. A baseball bat is lying on the ground. The kids have vanished.

You now make a theory: One of the kids batted the ball through the window (and they all ran off).
A prediction of this theory is that if you walk into the living-room, you will find a baseball.

Now, obviously, this is a perfectly valid prediction that will confirm your theory, even though the event has already happened when you make the prediction.

But then how would you know if it was anything else? No matter what it was, you'll be able to easily put together a story, which may or may not be true.You pretty much portray natural selection as unfalsifiable with such reasoning.


Not at all. Obviously, if we were to find an antelope with very short legs, which was always caught by the cheetas, I couldn't explain it as survival of the fittest.

I could explain it as a mutation, however, and predict that by the same time next year, that particular strain of antelope would be extinct.


I'm not familiar with this claim. I am familiar with some of what Darwin wrote about "S@xual selection"; but I didn't see where it was intended to be the same as "survival of the fittest".

Indeed, now that I think about it, it cannot be so. A female would select a slower mate with longer tailfeathers even in an environment favoring an alternative faster mate with short tailfeathers (less drag).


Well, S@xual selection is just another form of natural selection: It benefits those individuals that most successfully transfer their genes to the next generation.

From the first sentence, I begin to fear you'll lose the ability to tell artificial selection from natural selection as well. I hope this isn't the case.


Artificial selection? You mean when done by humans? Why do you feel that selection that is somehow intentional doesn't count?

Cases of natural selection being employed to make predictions about he future. It still may be immune to falsification, because the parties can claim they failed to account for one thing or another.


Excuse me, but speculations about which fallacies various parties may introduce in future discussions has nothing whatsoever to do with the validity of a theory.

The problem with predicting poison will kill off life that isn't immune is that it simply demonstrates that poisons work. This isn't news. Natural selection isn't needed to make such a prediction. Anyone who understands what poison is can predict it will kill. Anyone who understands what immunity is can predict survival.


Again, sorry, but you can't make your own rules. In a population, some individuals will be more resistant to a given poison than others. When the population is exposed to that poison, the resistant individuals will survive and pass the resistance on to their offspring (provided, of course, that it is a genetic trait). This is natural selection.

And if immunity automatically evolved in response to the threat of poison, there should be plenty of rodents around the world immune to snake venom by now.


It only evolves if the genetic diposition is present for it. As for snake venom, you forget that immunity in prey animals will provide a selection pressure on the snakes to evolve better or stronger poison.

Sorry this is taking so long. Firefox got crazy on me, and I had some trouble with the quote feature as well.


The quote feature on this forum has some strange quirks.

Hans

#8 deadlock

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 02:32 AM

On antibiotic resistance...
What?? It is natural selection. The presense of antibiotics kills those bacteria that cannot resist it, and the ones that can survive and reproduce. Of course, that trait has probably come along by a mutation at some stage, but that could be long ago.


Bacterias can achieve antibiotic resistance by mutations in real time, it´s not necessary to wait long time.


I predict that the variety that can resist antibiotics will survive, and the one that cannot not will become extinct.


Are you saying that bacterias which cannot resist antibiotics will become extinct ?

Note that evolution does not posit that the less fit variety must become extinct. It may continue to exist in habitats where there is no selection pressure.


All the environments have some selection pressure.Natural selection must explain why our ancestors are not here anymore, why trilobites don´t exist anymore and so on.So, when we are talking about natural selection , we are talking about surviving and extinction.

#9 MRC_Hans

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:23 AM

Bacterias can achieve antibiotic resistance by mutations in real time, it´s not necessary to wait long time.


Of course they can. I did not claim otherwise.

Are you saying that bacterias which cannot resist antibiotics will become extinct ?


They may become extinct in the specific habitat of the infected, antibiotic-treated organism. There is no particualar reason the expect them to become extinct globally.

... Which is our good luck, because otherwise resistance problems would be MUCH bigger. But, once in the wild, most bacteria revert to the non-resistant trait, presumably becasue resistance comes at some cost.


All the environments have some selection pressure.


Presumably, yes. However, the net pressure can be to stabilize the present form, becausy that is the best adapted.

Natural selection must explain why our ancestors are not here anymore, why trilobites don´t exist anymore and so on.


And, in which way do you think it doesn't?

So, when we are talking about natural selection , we are talking about surviving and extinction.


Not exclusively. It can also simply be about variance. For instance the variance that the same species of fox have predominantly white variants in the arctic areas and predominantly brown variants elsewhere.

Hans

#10 deadlock

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 03:47 PM

And, in which way do you think it doesn't?


So , give me some prediction about what variant in a specie will overcome the other ?
Is there no example in nature that a evolutionist can give us ?

Not exclusively. It can also simply be about variance. For instance the variance that the same species of fox have predominantly white variants in the arctic areas and predominantly brown variants elsewhere.


It´s a post hoc Hans , I want a prediction.I want a thing like this :

A new mutated variant of specie "X" has an increase in fitness of 5% caused by the mutation.So, we can predict that the others variants of the specie will be replaced by the new variant in "Y " years.

#11 CTD

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 05:16 PM

I'm sorry, but you can't make your own rules. A prediction is valid as long as we don't know the answer when making it. Let me give you a simple example:

Some kids play baseball in the yard. Suddenly you hear the sound of glass breaking. You walk into the yard and observe the following:
A living-room window is broken. A baseball bat is lying on the ground. The kids have vanished.

You now make a theory: One of the kids batted the ball through the window (and they all ran off).
A prediction of this theory is that if you walk into the living-room, you will find a baseball.

Now, obviously, this is a perfectly valid prediction that will confirm your theory, even though the event has already happened when you make the prediction.


This example is dealing with historical science. Things work a little differently. The primary value of an historical hypothesis is to serve as a guide & hopefully indicate how and where to investigate what has taken place.

In experimental science, making predictions after the results occur is risky. Someone might suspect you peeked, or had an accomplice signal the results to you. The decision to postpone the prediction would seem suspicious to critics.

Not at all. Obviously, if we were to find an antelope with very short legs, which was always caught by the cheetas, I couldn't explain it as survival of the fittest.

I could explain it as a mutation, however, and predict that by the same time next year, that particular strain of antelope would be extinct.


Not sure I follow you. However, I can explain any results as natural selection.

1.) Short-legged antelope are caught and eaten. This is natural selection because they are less fit. Less fit = doesn't survive.

2.) Short-legged antelope are caught but not eaten. This is natural selection because the cheetahs have no appetite for short-legged variety. They are more fit because they've developed a countermeasure.

3.) Short-legged antelope aren't pursued by cheetah and survive. A symbiotic relationship is beginning to evolve. The short-legged variety is more in tune with its environment. It is more fit and it survives.

4.) Short-legged antelope aren't pursued by cheetah and die. The lack of exercise caused them to become weak and die. The short-legged variety is unfit because it is not participating in the natural predator-prey paradigm.

5.) Short-legged antelope are caught and eaten. Some of them survive. Nature is in balance. Those that survived were fit. Those that didn't survive were unfit.

Results don't matter. A story can always be formulated, and it isn't difficult. If you came back a year after your prediction and observed any of these results, you could easily say "Oops, looks like I messed up. I didn't account for all variables, but natural selection still accounts for (result x)."

Well, S@xual selection is just another form of natural selection: It benefits those individuals that most successfully transfer their genes to the next generation.


Which may or may not be the most fit. As I said, it can operate at cross purposes with natural selection.

Artificial selection? You mean when done by humans? Why do you feel that selection that is somehow intentional doesn't count?


From Darwin on down, artificial selection has been recognized as different from natural selection. Why change now, at this particular time, in this particular discussion? Is there some grave fundamental error involved in the established customary use of the term "artificial selection"?

Again, sorry, but you can't make your own rules. In a population, some individuals will be more resistant to a given poison than others. When the population is exposed to that poison, the resistant individuals will survive and pass the resistance on to their offspring (provided, of course, that it is a genetic trait). This is natural selection.


No. In most cases it is artificial selection. The poisons aren't part of the natural environment. It's no better to dynamite a lake and claim natural selection killed all the fish. Tell it to the game warden.

I fear you are becoming unable to distinguish natural from artificial selection.

Only cases of population monitoring, without introducing poison could demonstrate natural selection. I haven't seen much of this type.

It only evolves if the genetic diposition is present for it. As for snake venom, you forget that immunity in prey animals will provide a selection pressure on the snakes to evolve better or stronger poison.

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Oh? I'd be curious to test that prediction, but until evolution starts working on the rodents, we're out of luck.

#12 CTD

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:33 AM

The concept is accepted to one extent or another, even within the YEC community.
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

I think it would be best for creationists to reconsider, and I advocate the use of the term "divine selection" in order to eliminate the potential for confusion. We know who stands to benefit from confusion, after all.

Bible-believing Christians should carefully consider whether their definition of 'natural selection' is in compliance with Matt. 10: 29 -31 and Luke 12: 6-7. Jesus says the Father watches out for even sparrows.

View Post

I was hoping creationists would be commenting on this subject of using "divine selection" in place of "natural selection". I'll try to be patient.

One apparent drawback of this approach is that it may seem to detract from the "scientific" aspect of creation science. It may also give the appearance of "division" or controversy among us.

I feel justified in pressing on in spite of these trivial issues. We have the truth on our side, and the God of Truth. Even in the eyes of men, we may gain by clearly defining our position. Are we not ready for any who would compare "natural selection" to "divine selection"?

Allow me to reference the various creatures living in caves. Natural selection provides a post hoc explanation: they "evolved" blindness in a dark environment. I can also explain this: a Loving God may have foreseen that blind creatures would be born, and provided an suitable place for them to live. (I say "may have" since I don't claim to know God's thoughts).

Post hoc is a game anyone can play. Drawing attention to this has the potential to cripple people's faith in natural selection; for it is practically always employed post hoc, and most who accept it don't seem to bat an eye.

I think it's also important that folks understand the message of love. That's what divine selection proclaims, and this message is subverted any time Christians allow that creatures are subject to "survival of the fittest".

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:34 AM

This example is dealing with historical science. Things work a little differently. The primary value of an historical hypothesis is to serve as a guide & hopefully indicate how and where to investigate what has taken place.

In experimental science, making predictions after the results occur is risky. Someone might suspect you peeked, or had an accomplice signal the results to you. The decision to postpone the prediction would seem suspicious to critics.
Not sure I follow you. However, I can explain any results as natural selection.

1.) Short-legged antelope are caught and eaten. This is natural selection because they are less fit. Less fit = doesn't survive.

2.) Short-legged antelope are caught but not eaten. This is natural selection because the cheetahs have no appetite for short-legged variety. They are more fit because they've developed a countermeasure.

3.) Short-legged antelope aren't pursued by cheetah and survive. A symbiotic relationship is beginning to evolve. The short-legged variety is more in tune with its environment. It is more fit and it survives.

4.) Short-legged antelope aren't pursued by cheetah and die. The lack of exercise caused them to become weak and die. The short-legged variety is unfit because it is not participating in the natural predator-prey paradigm.

5.) Short-legged antelope are caught and eaten. Some of them survive. Nature is in balance. Those that survived were fit. Those that didn't survive were unfit.

Results don't matter. A story can always be formulated, and it isn't difficult. If you came back a year after your prediction and observed any of these results, you could easily say "Oops, looks like I messed up. I didn't account for all variables, but natural selection still accounts for (result x)."
Which may or may not be the most fit. As I said, it can operate at cross purposes with natural selection.
From Darwin on down, artificial selection has been recognized as different from natural selection. Why change now, at this particular time, in this particular discussion? Is there some grave fundamental error involved in the established customary use of the term "artificial selection"?
No. In most cases it is artificial selection. The poisons aren't part of the natural environment. It's no better to dynamite a lake and claim natural selection killed all the fish. Tell it to the game warden.

I fear you are becoming unable to distinguish natural from artificial selection.

Only cases of population monitoring, without introducing poison could demonstrate natural selection. I haven't seen much of this type.
Oh? I'd be curious to test that prediction, but until evolution starts working on the rodents, we're out of luck.

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um poisons are natural. ever bin bitten by a snake? or a spider? some frogs and toadstools are poisonus too.

#14 MRC_Hans

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:35 AM

So , give me some prediction about what variant in a specie will overcome the other ?
Is there no example in nature that a evolutionist can give us ?
It´s a post hoc Hans , I want a prediction.I want a thing like this :

A new mutated variant of specie "X" has an increase in fitness of 5% caused by the mutation.So, we can predict that the others variants of the specie will be replaced by the new variant in "Y " years.

View Post

Well, as I have said a couple of times, now: You don't get to make the rules. The predictions I have mentioned are considered valid in debate. If you are not satisfied with them, tough luck, but I don't have to produce some special kind of proof for your benefit.

Hans

#15 OriginMan

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:35 AM

Well, as I have said a couple of times, now: You don't get to make the rules. The predictions I have mentioned are considered valid in debate. If you are not satisfied with them, tough luck, but I don't have to produce some special kind of proof for your benefit.

Hans

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Now Hans, I see your holding true to this "You don't make the Rules".

Why is this your punchline, when the same can be applied to the ToE.

You don't get to call it science, since there is NO observational Scientific Method to back it up.

What if I started out everyone of my posts with that ?


What I see is very clear. Secular scientists are very reluctant to make predictions about the future b/c the future is FALSIFIABLE, and they would make a fool of themselves by doing so.

All the scientific evidence in the WORLD points towards one thing. The way we as humans are now, are the way we will always be. Animals and Humans will always be two different beings, and from what we've learned in the past 6000 years is that, there is nothing that says we haven't always been this way. Humans and Animals have always been two different beings.

Darwins Natrual Selection is a want and a need. It's not science. It was his own god as well as it is now thousands of other persons god. Just as though a Christian can think of No God; Darwanian, Atheistic, Evolutionists can't think of a God. Which to me says the ToE is religion in itself. Believing and having faith in the unseen past.

It seems you are equivocating evolution and natural selection. Evolution is basically defined as “descent with modification.” This can mean that given time, chance, and natural laws, bacteria can evolve into baseball players. But this type of change requires an increase in genetic information. Humans contain information on how to make brains, eyes, and legs (to name a few) that doesn’t exist in bacteria. This information-gaining form of evolution has never been observed or confirmed through scientific observation.

Natural selection is properly defined as a process whereby organisms possessing specific characteristics (reflective of their genetic makeup) survive better in a given environment or under a given selective pressure. Those with certain characteristics live, and those without them diminish in number or die. Natural selection was described by a creationist, Edward Blyth, some 25 years before Darwin published Origin of Species. Natural selection has been observed and confirmed through scientific observation.

Many evolutionists believe that mutation and natural selection are mechanisms which increase genetic information. However, operational science (science done in the here and now) has shown that mutations and natural selection decrease or degrade genetic information—the changes are moving in the wrong direction!

- Dr. Georgia Purdom Read Full Article Here

#16 Fred Williams

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:42 AM

I was hoping creationists would be commenting on this subject of using "divine selection" in place of "natural selection". I'll try to be patient.

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I guess one problem I would have with it is it would appear to many as an unscientific "God of the Gaps" argument. While natural selection has evolutionist connotations to it, our best bet, IMO, is to battle the misconception hoisted upon the phrase and help educate people that it is a conservation mechanism only that can't possibly advance life from pond scum to increasingly more complex life forms. It's also a mechanism that has no power to select individual mutations, the alleged accomplice of NS, it can only select individuals. There is too much genetic load (noise) for mutations to ever be recognized and culled by selection.

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:38 PM

um poisons are natural.  ever bin bitten by a snake?  or a spider? some frogs and toadstools are poisonus too.

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Your post is short, so I may not be interpreting it correctly. Are these not the same kinds of poisons which can be observed without introducing them (because in nature they're already there)?

But the kind of poisoning most frequently given as "evidence" of natural selection is otherwise. A population is typically poisoned, and any survivors are claimed to be the result of natural selection. I reject such bogus claims. They demonstrate that poisons work, and that poisons can be used as a method of artificial selection.

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 03:36 AM

Your post is short, so I may not be interpreting it correctly. Are these not the same kinds of poisons which can be observed without introducing them (because in nature they're already there)?

But the kind of poisoning most frequently given as "evidence" of natural selection is otherwise. A population is typically poisoned, and any survivors are claimed to be the result of natural selection. I reject such bogus claims. They demonstrate that poisons work, and that poisons can be used as a method of artificial selection.

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you said that poisions werent part of the natural enviroment and that you could dynamite a lake and say that natural selection killed off all the fish then you said that the other guy might not be able to tell the differance between natual and man made selection.

but snakes have poison and they are natural and so do many other creatures. the other guy was on about poison


I dont think that snakes evolved poison though because how would the snake make something poisonus for the first time without poisoning itself? snakes also have really strong poison in them. much much too strong for little rodents some have enough poison to kill off an entire city block!

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 04:36 AM

I guess one problem I would have with it is it would appear to many as an unscientific "God of the Gaps" argument. While natural selection has evolutionist connotations to it, our best bet, IMO, is to battle the misconception hoisted upon the phrase and help educate people that it is a conservation mechanism only that can't possibly advance life from pond scum to increasingly more complex life forms. It's also a mechanism that has no power to select individual mutations, the alleged accomplice of NS, it can only select individuals. There is too much genetic load (noise) for mutations to ever be recognized and culled by selection.

Fred

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Thanks for responding. I see we disagree, and it's good to understand why.

1.) I evaluate the appearance issue differently.
2.) Even watered down, there will still be no way to test natural selection. The lack of recognition (noise of one type or another) can't be predicted. There will always be "lucky" individuals and a given creature can equally be called "lucky" or "chosen".

Actually, we may agree on 2, for all I can tell. Anyhow, I don't see much I can do right now to improve my argument.

I think there's a small loyalty issue for some people - not anyone in particular unless they up & say so. I agree that credit for natural selection shouldn't go to Darwin. I've found a couple of other contenders, but I really don't care so much about vindicating in this case because IMO natural selection's flawed no matter who came up with it first.

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 04:52 AM

you said that poisions werent part of the natural enviroment and that you could dynamite a lake and say that natural selection killed off all the fish then you said that the other guy might not be able to tell the differance between natual and man made selection.

but snakes have poison and they are natural and so do many other creatures.  the other guy was on about poison
I dont think that snakes evolved poison though because how would the snake make something poisonus for the first time without poisoning itself?  snakes also have really strong poison in them.  much much too strong for little rodents some have enough poison to kill off an entire city block!

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Thought I covered that, but in hindsight I see I could have been more clear.

No. In most cases it is artificial selection. The poisons aren't part of the natural environment. It's no better to dynamite a lake and claim natural selection killed all the fish. Tell it to the game warden.

I fear you are becoming unable to distinguish natural from artificial selection.

Only cases of population monitoring, without introducing poison could demonstrate natural selection. I haven't seen much of this type.


That's what I was trying to talk about - cases involving only what's natural (including natural poisons).




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