Jump to content


Photo

How Does One Falsify Vaporware?


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#1 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 23 January 2009 - 09:17 PM

I confess I believe I have been tricked. I think nearly all of us have.

In the title, I employ a term some may not know.

http://www.answers.com/vaporware

n.

New software that has been announced or marketed but has not been produced.


One of the single most fundamental assumptions we make is that some sort of "theory" of evolution exists. Clearly this is something that we should not have to assume. If it exists, it should be available. Indeed, it must be available if it is to be tested. It must have been available in the past, if it has been tested already, right?

I would like to read it. I may be mistaken, and I may learn something. At this moment, I do not believe there is an actual "theory" of evolution. I used to take it for granted; now I stop taking it for granted. Until I see an actual "theory", I shall consider it vaporware.

If a "theory" should be presented, I intend to evaluate it. I intend to determine whether or not it is subject to experimental falsification, and meets the proper criteria. A candidate "theory" should be stated as a theory, and clearly recognizable.

We are continually bombarded with "the theory of evolution says" or "does not say" such-and-such. There's an easy way to find out what it says, if it exists.

It may be some time before we see meaningful responses. In the meantime, I intend to spend a few posts discussing how the word "theory" has been abused in a way that facilitates this misunderstanding.

I have a request to those who are tempted to make excuses for the absence of any theory: hold off a spell, and give others a chance. Maybe they can find one, eh?

To those who would sell evolution, here's your chance to present your "theory". I think it's reasonable to ask to see the product, and one might even expect some degree of enthusiasm on the part of the sales staff.

IMPORTANT
I am fully aware that many people believe such a "theory" exists, and they write about what they imagine. Such does not demonstrate the existence of an actual "theory". Such writings can be found anywhere. Anyone wasting my time linking me to talk about a "theory", rather than a "theory" itself will be reported.

I am only interested in seeing the alleged "theory" itself. Do not waste our time with links like the following:

http://en.wikipedia....odern_synthesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
http://en.wikipedia....tionary_biology
http://en.wikipedia....onary_synthesis

None of those contain the "theory" itself.

Do not think I will forget after the thread grows a couple of pages, either.

#2 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 23 January 2009 - 09:22 PM

A phrase to avoid:

"can explain" or "can be explained by"

This is simply claiming a theory can be formulated which will explain something. Duh! That's why we have theories. A theory which simply claims theories are possible is redundant and meaningless.

Candidates containing these phrases, or their kinsmen, should not be presented.

#3 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:07 PM

"News theory"

http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/theoryc/

"Car and tractor theory"

http://www.dsa.gov.uk/

"Music theory"

http://library.think...eory/theory.htm

"Feminist theory"

http://www.cddc.vt.edu/feminism/

Enough with the sources.

"Opening theory"
"Number theory"
"Particle theory"
"Graph theory"
"Game theory"

The dictionary doesn't make a critical distinction when it defines 'theory'. The meaning of the term changes depending on placement.

"The theory of X" refers to a single, specific theory. "X theory" refers to a collection of ideas. This is the loosest of all known definitions, even looser than the common "any old idea" definition. "X theory" can incorporate real, make-believe, and even contradictory ideas.

Does "Evolution theory" exist? Certainly. Is there a scientific "Theory of Evolution"? No. Some evolutionists point to the dictionary, and a definition. It does indeed differ from "any old idea". But it is not scientific. It is improperly employed when the claim is made that a "Theory of Evolution" exists. Perhaps some dictionaries make the distinction. I would like to see it.

But the Language itself takes precedence over dictionaries in any case. Their job is not to dictate, but to report.

I admit in advance that I do not possess universal knowledge, and I make mistakes. By nature, my claim relies upon universal observation. If a properly scientific "theory of evolution" should be discovered - not some partial element, but the whole thing - what I said would be falsified.

#4 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 24 January 2009 - 12:47 AM

Maybe I should stop, but I want to point out one more thing. When using the posterior application of the term 'theory', the implication is neutral as to scientific validity.

Germ theory is valid. Why then is it not "the theory of germs"? Because there's actually a separate theory for each germ.

But particle theory is what it is. It cannot all be true because some of the ideas are inconsistent with each other.

I maintain some of the things we see called "X theory" are scientifically without merit. I'd name names, but I prefer to stay on topic.

The only time 'theory' connotes merit in experimental science is when an hypothesis withstands scrutiny and testing. Such cases are called "so-and-so's theory of such-and-such". The placement of the term differs.

In order to meet this standard, and experimentally testable, and falsifiable hypothesis must exist.

If I'm mistaken about how our Language works, I'd like to see some counter-examples. I prefer older ones because skills, knowledge. and respect have been declining steadily when you're talking about English.

#5 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:42 AM

It's obvious that the Theory of Evolution (Whatever that is) holds a special status in the hearts of its religious adherents because careful scrutiny shows that certain individual theories that reside under the umbrella of evolution are clearly contradictory but simultaneously promoted by the same adherent depending on which benefits the discussion the best, like punctuated equilibrium or gradualism. I mean can't we have both?

#6 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:44 AM

It's obvious that the Theory of Evolution (Whatever that is) holds a special status in the hearts of its religious adherents because careful scrutiny shows that certain individual theories that reside under the umbrella of evolution are clearly contradictory but simultaneously promoted by the same adherent depending on which benefits the discussion the best, like punctuated equilibrium or gradualism. I mean can't we have both?

View Post

Shoot! Did you catch this thread?

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=1715

They'll never truly give up Lamarckism.

#7 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:35 PM

Shoot! Did you catch this thread?

http://www.evolution...?showtopic=1715

They'll never truly give up Lamarckism.

View Post

I particularly liked A.Sphere's response early on:

C'mon that is a stretch - Lamarkian evolution promoted by Dawkins?  He is smarter than that.  In the video you will notice that he is explaining this to children.

View Post

It's almost like he's saying that it's okay to lie to kids. :rolleyes:

Did you get that?

So let's see if we can get a boiled down contradiction:

Lamarkism states that the perceived advantage drives the mutation

Neo-Darwinism states that the mutation drives the perceived advantage

I can hear the big vacuum being turned on.

I think we should do a test. We should take a family and their offspring and daily punch them in the back of the head and see how many generations it takes to start growing eyes in the backs of their heads. ;)

This almost isn't even sporting anymore. No wonder Fred Williams spends so little time over on this side of the forum. Once you blow away the smoke and mirrors the problems of evolution become so painfully obvious. I hope I can maintain enough enthusiasm to enjoy conveying the truth to others.

This is an excellent Forum and, CTD, you're an excellent contributor. Keep up the good work.

Adam

#8 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:50 AM

bumping, in case this was overlooked.

If there is a "theory" of evolution I would like to see what it says. That way I could evaluate what it does and does not say, assume, and imply.

#9 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:22 AM

bumping, in case this was overlooked.

If there is a "theory" of evolution I would like to see what it says. That way I could evaluate what it does and does not say, assume, and imply.

View Post

I'm surprised that no evolutionists have bit on this yet. I guess the best way to deal with a real problem is to ignore it, if truth is not desired, but preservation of an ideology.

Hey CTD,

Just for the sake of argument say someone came along and said simple; the theory is that we can detect the different "forces" that might lead to changes in the distribution and frequencies of alleles in organisms from generation to generation.

#10 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:41 AM

I'm surprised that no evolutionists have bit on this yet. I guess the best way to deal with a real problem is to ignore it, if truth is not desired, but preservation of an ideology.

Hey CTD,

Just for the sake of argument say someone came along and said simple; the theory is that we can detect the different "forces" that might lead to changes in the distribution and frequencies of alleles in organisms from generation to generation.

View Post

First of all, they'd need to state it in the form of an experimentally testable and falsifiable hypothesis - just like other experimental sciences do. Claiming detectable forces would seem to make that easy.

Secondly, they'd need to clarify how these "forces" are distinct from the genetic code, and the discoveries made in genetics.

Finally, if the intent was to claim transformism common ancestry, or what-not, they'd need to incorporate these beliefs - not just assume or extrapolate them. If it's not part of experimental, falsifiable science, I don't think anyone should pretend it is - and you can trust me when I say I certainly won't.

#11 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:48 AM

I was on another forum and a gentleman went to great length to differentiate between theories and theorems. He had some good points. He was an evolutionist but his point seemed to be valid. Are there theorems in the theory of evolution?

I suppose these would all have to do with detecting gene similarities and feature variation on organisms of known ancestral descent . Am I looking at this right?

The leap of faith comes in when this magically proves ALL organisms are related to a common ancestor. This is the part that is believed to be a theory when it's really an ideology.

#12 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:28 AM

I was on another forum and a gentleman went to great length to differentiate between theories and theorems. He had some good points. He was an evolutionist but his point seemed to be valid. Are there theorems in the theory of evolution?

I suppose these would all have to do with detecting gene similarities and feature variation on organisms of known ancestral descent . Am I looking at this right?

The leap of faith comes in when this magically proves ALL organisms are related to a common ancestor. This is the part that is believed to be a theory when it's really an ideology.

View Post

Theorums are required to be proven before they are accepted. Maybe that's why we don't find too many outside of mathematics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theorum

Theorems in mathematics and theories in science are fundamentally different in their epistemology. A scientific theory cannot be proven; its key attribute is that it is falsifiable, that is, it makes predictions about the natural world that are testable by experiments. Any disagreement between prediction and experiment demonstrates the incorrectness of the scientific theory, or at least limits its accuracy or domain of validity. Mathematical theorems, on the other hand, are purely abstract formal statements: the proof of a theorem cannot involve experiments or other empirical evidence in the same way such evidence is used to support scientific theories.


http://www.answers.com/theorum

Includes (from Columbia Encyclopedia)

theorem, in mathematics and logic, statement in words or symbols that can be established by means of deductive logic; it differs from an axiom in that a proof is required for its acceptance.


Sounds like a red herring. Or maybe an attempt to justify extrapolation (masquerading as induction)?

PM or email me a link, please. In evolutionology we rarely see innovation. (Pardon the understatement. I shan't take time to express with precision how rare such events are.)

#13 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:46 AM

Also, and unproven candidate hypothesis for a theorum is called a 'conjecture'. While there is plenty of conjecture to be found in evolutionism, I wouldn't say any of it's been proven.

#14 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:51 AM

Also, and unproven candidate hypothesis for a theorum is called a 'conjecture'. While there is plenty of conjecture to be found in evolutionism, I wouldn't say any of it's been proven.

View Post


This usually gets turned into a heavy dose of shifting the burden of proof. They bought the lie and we must prove it wrong and when we do we are accused of having nothing constructive to say just criticism. :)

#15 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:42 AM

CTD,

Take a look at this clip and go to the question at the 5m 30sec marker:

nnRmhQsFBzQ

The laughter from the crowd shows how people are deceived by the fallacious perspective of her question when Phillip Johnson answers it correctly.

#16 CTD

CTD

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2059 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Missouri

Posted 03 February 2009 - 12:00 PM

CTD,

Take a look at this clip and go to the question at the 5m 30sec marker:

nnRmhQsFBzQ

The laughter from the crowd shows how people are deceived by the fallacious perspective of her question when Phillip Johnson answers it correctly.

View Post

Sorry. I don't get to see videos like that these days. Dial-up & all.

#17 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 12:19 PM

Sorry. I don't get to see videos like that these days. Dial-up & all.

View Post


Basically, this girl asks Mr. Johnson what his answers are for filling in the questions of evolution and he asks why he would want to do that and the crowd laughs at him but he recovers nicely when he clarifies that her question implies that he should be helping the very people who have the idea that he's opposed to.

Have you ever been asked to give your best evolutionary explanation to known problems in evolutionary biology as if it's your responsibility to fill in their gaps? ;)

What the heck are you still doing with dial up?!? The World Wide Wait, man. You can get DSL for the same price as dial up.

#18 Master Buffalax

Master Buffalax

    Junior Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Age: 21
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:12 PM

First off, telling me to "state the theory of evolution" is a bit of a loaded question. The theory of evolution is a complex one, and I'm neither patient nor qualified enough to explain everything about it in a forum post (least you think I'm dodging the question, I've seen whole books written to explain quantum mechanics, so evolution is hardly unique in this regard). Still, I think I can give a decent outline of what the theory of evolution states:

1. With each new generation of living things, new combinations of genetic information are produced through mutation, S@xual recombination, and sometimes lateral gene transfer in bacteria.

2. If a particular gene helps a creature survive, that gene will spread out and become present in a greater portion of the population by virtue of natural selection. If a gene is adaptively neutral (that is, it doesn't help or hurt the creature), it might become common in a population by virtue of genetic drift.

3. All life as we know it descended from a single, primitive, common ancestor by the above mechanisms. The diversity of useful features we see in living things were produced by natural selection, and non-useful features were produced either by genetic drift or as byproducts of natural selection.

There you go - it's a theory! The first item is trivial if one knows about DNA. and it's not really part of the theory of evolution so much as a prerequisite for it. The second item was a successful prediction of evolution; at least to a limited extent, it's been shown experimentally many times, and modern creation theories usually take into account the role of limited natural selection. The third item is the one that creationists like to argue against most. In the context of its conflict with creationism, the theory of evolution might be exclusively defined as item three. That's fine - item three has all the prerequisites of a theory, including falsifiable predictions (being discussed in http://www.evolution...68&#entry23868) and a clear statement about how the world works.

Also, please don't respond that item three has not been directly observed. I know it hasn't been directly observed, but it's still a theory. That's really all this thread is about: showing that the theory of evolution at least exists. I think I've just accomplished that.

#19 Adam Nagy

Adam Nagy

    Administrator

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:24 PM

3. All life as we know it descended from a single, primitive, common ancestor by the above mechanisms. The diversity of useful features we see in living things were produced by natural selection, and non-useful features were produced either by genetic drift or as byproducts of natural selection.

View Post

If this is truly falsifiable how come today's understanding of cell technology isn't phasing committed evolutionists who cling to the concept of a "primitive" organism.

That's a religious belief that totally flies in the face of the data. They hope, they wish, they dream of these primitive life forms when there ain't no such thing.

#20 jason78

jason78

    Veteran Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1349 posts
  • Age: 30
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Birmingham, UK

Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:50 PM

If this is truly falsifiable how come today's understanding of cell technology isn't phasing committed evolutionists who cling to the concept of a "primitive" organism.

That's a religious belief that totally flies in the face of the data. They hope, they wish, they dream of these primitive life forms when there ain't no such thing.

View Post


We've got no idea of how quantum gravity is supposed to work yet either. That doesn't mean that it's not a promising area of research though.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users