# Why Evolution Is Clear To Me

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### #121 Arch

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 08:31 PM

Hi Percy,

I agree that is what evolution believes.  But that is not what is being discussed.  How does that fit within either of the 2 scenarios below?

Pick one that best fits your view of evolution:

So let me ask you a question: Pick one that best fits your view:

1. Evolution is predestination. Given a similar environment evolution is predestined to produce nearly exactly the same organisms.

2. Evolution is random: Natural selection leads to increasing adaptations, but that can play out in host of different ways.

Bruce

If I had to pick one I think I'd say 2 is slightly more accurate, however they're both a little bit right and a little bit wrong.

The problem I've seen arising on these forums when evolution randomness is discussed is that creationists take the view that it is completely 100% random, and evolutionists take the view that it is completely 100% predictable. I'm under the impression both of these are wrong.

I'm going to throw some numbers at you guys and see if they make sense.

Imagine we have a calculator. All it can do is add two numbers, then divide them by two. This is essentially breeding (incredibly simplified).
In this case our two breeders will be represented by a number between 0 and 10. Lets throw some random numbers into our calculator.

(5 + 8) / 2 = 6.5

Lets do it again, using our generated number.

(6.5 + 10) / 2 = 8.25

We can do this as many times as you like, and we'll still get a number between 0 and 10. The addition is breeding and the dividing by two is natural selection. You can predict that you will always get a number between 0 and 10. This makes evolution pretty predictable.

Now what happens if we introduce some mutations (any number that is not 0-10)?

(8.25 + -1) / 2 = 3.625

We still get a number between 0 and 10. Our number animals are still the same species. But the difference now is that if we continue to introduce either negative or numbers >10 we can eventually get out of the 0-10 bracket. This would be equivalent of seeing a new species emerge.

Hopefully this incredibly dumbed down example gives a rough idea of how evolution works. There is a certain amount of randomness that is needed to produce change, however this randomness is usually kept in check by natural selection and although it can break out of it's box, it is usually small changes that can often be predicted.

This (I believe) is what evolutionists mean when we say evolution is predictable, yet contains randomness.

Hope this helps. I've only recently come up with this analogy, so it probably needs refinement. Feel free to ask any questions.

Regards,

Arch.

### #122 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:04 PM

All Behe was saying is the evolution isn't focused on one trait like you are.  Evolution is blind and will choose what works at the moment.
This is all you said:
You assume evolution fixates on one trait.  It doesn't.

What I actually wrote in post # 80 of this thread was:-
"Behe's problem of cheetah and gazelle would have been more realistic if he had told it about cheetah and gazelle ancestors who lived around the time of the dinosaur extinction. At that time each would have probably been smaller and without many of the particular characteristics their descendants evolved later.
Among these ancestors there would have been some who naturally ran fast. These would become the direct ancestors of today's cheetahs and gazelles. Those who were better at dodging became the ancestors of today's rabbits. Those who developed horns became the ancestors of sheep, goats etc. Since the un-mutated ancestral populations were neither very fast, very good at dodging etc, acquiring a new trait did not involve relaxing a trait which was essential for survival.

Viewed from this perspective, NS has in fact followed many of the alternate strategies Behe mentioned. One important observation is that different strategies lead to different species. The genetic-evolutionary reason for this is that each 'strategy' requires a different collection of gene alleles to be effective, and the various species-barriers preserves the diversity of phenotypes.

The reason Behe's story does not really apply to today's cheetah and gazelle is that both of these species are very specialized for speed. Developing in another direction is very likely to make these mutants slower, but without appreciable benefit from any new trait.
"

Is it blindness or some reading defect which causes you to condense my post to:-
"You assume evolution fixates on one trait. "?

### #123 Bruce V.

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:29 PM

What I actually wrote in post # 80 of this thread was:-
"Behe's problem of cheetah and gazelle would have been more realistic if he had told it about cheetah and gazelle ancestors who lived around the time of the dinosaur extinction. At that time each would have probably been smaller and without many of the particular characteristics their descendants evolved later.
Among these ancestors there would have been some who naturally ran fast. These would become the direct ancestors of today's cheetahs and gazelles. Those who were better at dodging became the ancestors of today's rabbits. Those who developed horns became the ancestors of sheep, goats etc. Since the un-mutated ancestral populations were neither very fast, very good at dodging etc, acquiring a new trait did not involve relaxing a trait which was essential for survival.

Viewed from this perspective, NS has in fact followed many of the alternate strategies Behe mentioned. One important observation is that different strategies lead to different species. The genetic-evolutionary reason for this is that each 'strategy' requires a different collection of gene alleles to be effective, and the various species-barriers preserves the diversity of phenotypes.

The reason Behe's story does not really apply to today's cheetah and gazelle is that both of these species are very specialized for speed. Developing in another direction is very likely to make these mutants slower, but without appreciable benefit from any new trait.
"

Is it blindness or some reading defect which causes you to condense my post to:-
"You assume evolution fixates on one trait. "?

Keith,

One of the reasons it is hard to understand you is leave so much of your post up for interpretation.

For example,

he had told it about cheetah and gazelle ancestors who lived around the time of the dinosaur extinction. At that time each would have probably been smaller and without many of the particular characteristics their descendants evolved later.

Are you still talking about a gazelle or something different? I assumed it was still a gazelle. If so, my statement stands and I am not blind. If it was something different then tell me what I am dealing will from the get go.
.
Don't get on may case when you write in vague generalities and the reader has to make huge assumptions on what you are saying.

### #124 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:06 PM

"So what kind of information does DNA contain? It contains both Shannon and specified information. DNA also contains information in the sense of WebsterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ second definition: it contains Ã¢â‚¬Å“alternative sequences or arrangements of something that produce a specific effect.Ã¢â‚¬Â Although DNA does not convey information that is received, understood, or used by a conscious mind, it does have information that is received and used by the cellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s machinery to build the structures critical to the maintenance of life. DNA displays a property-functional specificity-that transcends the merely mathematical formalism of ShannonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theory. "
as well as the rest of your list of other definitions

The reason I asked which definition of information you thought appropriate to DNA is that what I have pasted above does not say clearly what your definition of information really is.

You have no idea what I believe?  Which is kind of surprising.  IMO evolution has not proved much.  Mutation and natural selection are not the mechanism that created life or the diversity of life.  I believe strongly that God created life.  I believe that we are close to an information theory that demonstrates  scientifically that life had a designer.

This part of your post implies that you (or the other creationists) do not yet have a theory of information which proved divine creation. Is that what you believe?
Could you accept as correct any theory of information in DNA which did not lead to the conclusion you anticipate?

A relatively small protein is 150 amino acid long. They are chiral specific, they have specific size and shape requirements (steric), they all form peptide bonds, that the amino acid is very specific (some AA's can be swapped with other AA's, most can not) they do very specific functions which are coordinated with other proteins.  Please show me how that kind of complexity and information happens by chance or by pure chemistry?

If a protein were constructed from a racemic mixture of amino acids, the 3D geometry of folding would be severely disrupted and the molecule would probably not be catalytic.
I think enzymes in the first living cells were shorter and far less effective ads specific than modern proteins. Selection over million and billions of years has then refined the protein structure.

### #125 CTD

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:30 PM

This is clearly untrue.  Cards are randomly dealt, yet invariably the skilled players making the right choices win most often.  One of the elements in the game is random, and yet the outcome is not random.  Die tosses in backgammon are random, yet again it is the skilled played making the better choices who win most often.  Again, one of the elements in the game is random, yet the outcome is not random.  In the same way, mutation and allele mixing are random, yet natural selection chooses those variations most fit for the environment.  As with the analogies to cards and backgammon, one of the elements of the process is random, yet the outcome is not random.  White rabbits do not evolve in the tropics, and processes with random components can provide non-random outcomes.

Evolution has some random components (mutation, allele mixing, genetic drift) and one highly deterministic component (natural selection).  The result is a process that leads directly to increasing adaptation of organisms to their environment.  Replaying the history of life would lead to different adaptations, but it would still lead to adaptations and not to something random.

--Percy

The shape of the die is not random. The arrangement of numbers on the die is not random. The number of dice thrown is not random. How then can you think the result is random? Do you fancy the number 5,933 can be result from throwing a pair of backgammon dice?

Furthermore, whenever a pair of dice is thrown, seven is the most probable result, showing up 1 time in six. Two and twelve are the least probable results, each resulting only once in 36 times. How dare you think dice are random! Just because they are? Hah! That's no excuse.

### #126 CTD

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:33 AM

Where and when did I publish an untrue statement.

Don't have to scroll up very far at all.

Why????

No-one other than Creatioists have ever claimed spontanious life. Once again this is a Creationist POV.

In an overly simplistic nutshell, evolutionary theory states that life started at Point A, and from that point, enviromental and other stimuli directed the differences that would branch from that point of origin.

Evolutionists always have and always will believe in and promote belief in spontaneous generation. That's a very straightforward, universally-known fact. (Yes, we know they changed the name to hide it.)

Some creationists may have fallen for it, but it is contrary to the teaching of scripture. Therefore such beliefs were not derived from accurate history, or God, but obtained from men.

Gen. 2: 3
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Ex 20: 11
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Creationists believe that God created life from nothing. Yes?

Some may; I haven't seen 'em claim it. It doesn't matter.

Ergo the belief in spontaniuos life IS a Creationist POV.

This is a laughable attempt at equivocation.

You employ an novel definition of 'spontaneous'. Is it your own creation? The antihistory itself is probably not yours. We've seen similar junk before. Here's a post I made in response to a previous attempt.

Pasteur refuting special creation? That's piece of antihistory won't be voted "the most likely-to-succeed".

Huxley's different. This was a double-talk issue for him. In order to appear scientific, he'd acknowledge the law of biogenesis. But he also pushed Bathebius haeckelii.. He was no stranger to self-contradiction.

Now the dates couldn't be worse for the Huxley apologist, here. His "Biogenesis and Abiogenesis" lecture  (one source) was given in 1870. In 1868 he had named the "Bathybius" and the search for this substance continued until 1872. He was on both sides of the issue, no two ways about it. It's a simple trick he borrowed from politicians, and he employed it quite a bit.

Follow the dot link & see. Not new, not clever, not true, not even plausible.

So much for the antihistory itself. Now for the term you abuse.

1.  Happening or arising without apparent external cause; self-generated.
2. Arising from a natural inclination or impulse and not from external incitement or constraint.
3. Unconstrained and unstudied in manner or behavior.
4. Growing without cultivation or human labor.

Now from the context of the discussion, it's clear which applies.

From the context you employ surrounding the term, it is clear that you mean "God-caused". That's pretty ridiculous. More specifically, you mean that events caused by imaginary entities can legitimately be classified as 'spontaneous'. Or would you classify God as real? That wouldn't help, as it results in the exact opposite of the definition of 'spontaneous' given by the dictionary.

Anyhow, if your definition of 'spontaneous' were being employed in science, it wouldn't matter what the dictionary said.

The above link provides a few examples of the term's employment
s. abortion
avian s. cardiomyopathy
s. internal hemorrhage
s. pulmonary arteriopathy
s. regression Ã¢â‚¬â€ when diseases resolve themselves without outside assistance.
s. virus encephalitis
s. bacterial peritonitis

Do the authors who employ these terms intend us to believe God is the cause of all these things?

Saving the best of the lot for last,
http://www.biology-o...atural_mutation

Natural mutation

natural mutation --> spontaneous mutation

A mutation which occurs by itself without first being affected by a mutagen, for example during the process of dNA replication. Spontaneous mutations arise at a remarkably constant rate. The rate that spontaneous mutations arise has been used as an evolutionary clock to estimate how closely related two (or more) separate species are to each other.

If "God-caused" is the correct definition of 'spontaneous', the "scientific community" is a lot more inclined to acknowledge the creator than we've been led to believe. They use the word frequently. Why don't you listen to them?

I'm not disrespecting that POV, as your beliefs are your own, and I applaud that faith and belief.

You applaud it, so long as you are allowed to misportray it. We don't believe in spontaneous generation any more than we believe in the flat earth junk.

Oh, that's right - you've tried to associate us with that stuff too. I forgot.

As part of my research, I recently came across another group, who not only believe in YEC, but as they claim to be Bible literalists, they also believe that the Earth is flat as Scripture does not (according to this group) support the concept of a Spheroid Earth in the same way that the Scripture does not support evolution..

Now, not being up on my Bible as I once was (believe it or not I once considered entering the priesthood), I was wondering if anyone could furnish me with any passages from Scripture which would lead these people to believe that the Earth is flat.

I was also wondering if any YEC believers on this board were also believers of a flat Earth, and if so, why?

If you're inclined to "applaud" the beliefs held by actual people, and "respect" them, perhaps you should consider what people actually say rather than what you'd prefer to hear.

My views and opinions may contradict your 'truth', but that doesn't make my views or opinions any less legitimate.

To be perfectly frank with you CTD, you have to learn that an opposing POV is not always an attack on your POV, and to think otherwise borders on paranoia mate.

To be perfectly frank, I don't care how many "pleases" and "thank-yous" you offer with your slander. I don't care if you show up with flowers & candy wearing your best new shoes either. You claim creationists believe in spontaneous generation of life, and this is untrue.

Guess what? If a bandit shows up at my house, bows & scrapes, flatters everyone present, says his thank-yous and even says "pretty please with sugar on top", he's not waltzing out the door with my valuables. Does that come as a surprise? I wonder why...

How about if I offer a little flattery, a little more, accuse Scotsmen of wearing skirts, tell you how astute you are, tell you how much I respect people who live on islands, call your womenfolk ugly, and wish you a good weekend? What do you think of that formula? Oh, I forgot: double standards mean it's fine for you, but wrong for me...

### #127 Guest_Alcatraz_*

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:23 AM

Tell me where I have 'attacked' any of your beliefs.

I have asked questions which are legitimate, and to be honest with you mate, you really do need to grow a thicker skin if you see legitimate questions as an attack.

I have enjoyed discussing and debating here, and the some members who are Pro-Creationism have been willing to listen to my POV, and put up with my questions (which have ALL been from a legitimate desire to understand the Creationist POV), and I'm thinking specifically of Adam and Ron.

Yet YOU seem to take any opposing POV as a personal attack.

Why is that?

A wee piece of advice; chill out.

I'm not part of an anti-Christian conspiricy to undermine your beliefs, and as I said earlier, belief otherwise borders on paranoia mate.

### #128 CTD

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:40 AM

Tell me where I have 'attacked' any of your beliefs.

I have asked questions which are legitimate, and to be honest with you mate, you really do need to grow a thicker skin if you see legitimate questions as an attack.

I wasn't talking about "attacking". You mischaracterized creationists as believing spontaneous generation. Sillier still, you claim it's exclusively a creationist belief.

I have enjoyed discussing and debating here, and the some members who are Pro-Creationism have been willing to listen to my POV, and put up with my questions (which have ALL been  from a legitimate desire to understand the Creationist POV), and I'm thinking specifically of Adam and Ron.

Your behaviour is not consistent with this claim.

Yet YOU seem to take any opposing POV as a personal attack.

Why is that?

A wee piece of advice; chill out.

I'm not part of an anti-Christian conspiricy to undermine your beliefs, and as I said earlier, belief otherwise borders on paranoia mate.

Like that junk hurts me? Dream on!

What have I said that indicates you have personally harmed me in any way? You published untruth and got caught. So that's your out? "I'm taking it personally?" Riiiiiight... How does that transform your obviously untrue statement into something even plausible?

I think you have insulted the intelligence of the readership at large, but you have accomplished no real harm.

I have not accused you of conspiring, either. You might tell your crew of ghostwriters and coaches to pay closer attention, huh?*

The portion of the readership that occasionally pays attention may note the fact content of your post. You have zero support for either your antihistory or your misdefinition. Your post is nothing but an attempt to shore up sagging morale.

Here's an obvious suggestion. Be the first on your block to discuss actual creationism, be it the doctrine or the scientific efforts which support it. Break free of the shackles and face up to what creationists really say. Give up the tired tactics that continually fail. If creationism is erroneous, demonstrate it for real. If not, re-evaluate your commitment.

*Yes, I have to spell it out. That's a jest. It's probably not the case here, and if it turned out it was, it'd only make it funnier.

### #129 Percy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:15 AM

I agree that is what evolution believes.  But that is not what is being discussed.

Oh. Well, if I'm off-topic then just ignore me. I don't want to contribute to topic drift.

How does that fit within either of the 2 scenarios below?

Pick one that best fits your view of evolution:

So let me ask you a question: Pick one that best fits your view:

1. Evolution is predestination. Given a similar environment evolution is predestined to produce nearly exactly the same organisms.

2. Evolution is random: Natural selection leads to increasing adaptations, but that can play out in host of different ways.

I have the same reaction I had the first time you posted this: you seem reluctant to give up the mistaken notion that "evolution is random". You're asking me to select which best represents my view, but both choices are clearly mistaken.

I've explained how your view that "evolution is random" is incorrect. If this is off-topic then just forget it, but if you'd like to discuss it then instead of issuing misconceived multiple choice tests you might want to try addressing something I actually said.

--Percy

### #130 Guest_Alcatraz_*

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:15 AM

I have not accused you of conspiring, either. You might tell your crew of ghostwriters and coaches to pay closer attention, huh?*

Now that IS paranoid.

Ask any of the Mods here to do an IP check and they'll see that ALL my posts have came from either my office in Glasgow, or my home in Kilmarnock.

All posts attributed to ME were posted by ME. I don't need ghostwriters or coaches (other than when competing at Karate or Ju-Jitsu events).

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:22 AM

CTD and Alcatraz,

Please put each other on your ignore list. This has to end here. CTD, the relentless accusations against Alcatraz are uncalled for.

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:24 AM

This thread is getting out of hand and has no direction or topic to follow. It's closed.

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