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Does Evolution Measure Up To The Methods Of Science?


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#1 ikester7579

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:11 AM

I have taken this idea from another thread to address this a different way:

Sorry if this sounds like rehash by here is my view of science:

Step by step plan...

1 Observations: Measure and record as much and as often a possible.

2 Think: What is happening? Is this similar to something else?  Do some things change or stabilize under the certain conditions?  Etc.

3 Model: Build a model that explains the data (and previous reputable data if required).
    Types of models...
  - Applied Mathematics
  - Physics
  - Chemistry
  - Astrophysics
  - Biology
  - Etc. 

4 Test: Test the model; What is the error? When and where does it work or not work.
  Regardless, check your results many times.  Publish in something either way.

5 If something works use it for now.  Keep looking for better models.  If necessary use the good models to make better tools for observation.  Verify your tools, this is critical.  Go back to step one and repeat forever. 

- Notice science says nothing about the grand purpose of the universe, if there is one.  We are probably far away from being able to ask this question in the proper manner. 

Important Notes:
If you cannot test your model it is weak!  Don't bet your house on it.

Example:  Big bang.  We have never seen the beginning of a universe, we have only observed a small portion  of the universe over a short time.  Though we can observe expansion between stars this might be cyclical or local phenomenon. 

- agnostic

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Instead of me breaking this down in the beginning post, let's see if anyone else would like to tackle this from both sides of the issue. So the question is:

Does evolution measure up to the methods of science?

#2 gilbo12345

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:22 PM

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

Does evolution measure up to the methods of science?

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IMO No, it doesn't come close. You cannot empirically test nor can you experiment with evolution, it is a priori assumption about history.. (As we know history is not scientific)

Personally I'd like to see the initial evidence of evolution that convinced Darwin.. Did he test it? Did he experiment?

From what I heard, all what occured was this.

1. Specimens obtained
2. Similarities noticed
3. Evolution invoked to explain similarities
4. .......

#3 MarkForbes

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:32 AM

Just what be the proper method of science in this case. Guess you mean empirical science and then the method would be inductive. The induction would have to come from experiments involving reproduction.

#4 SeeJay

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:19 AM

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

Does evolution measure up to the methods of science?

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Hi

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

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

S.

#5 MarkForbes

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:10 AM

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

They think so, because it's the dominant paradigm in most of academia. I wonder if they really tested evolution against the general definitions and criteria of science.

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

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But if those are the sound and generally accepted definitions of science outside fields relating to evolution, then that is proof that they don't engage in science, when it comes to the TOE. Perhaps funding should be cut to this kind of endeavors as its misused from its initial purpose (to support science).

#6 gilbo12345

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 05:20 PM

They think so, because it's the dominant paradigm in most of academia. I wonder if they really tested evolution against the general definitions and criteria of science.

But if those are the sound and generally accepted definitions of science outside fields relating to evolution, then that is proof that they don't engage in science, when it comes to the TOE. Perhaps funding should be cut to this kind of endeavors as its misused from its initial purpose (to support science).

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Totally agree there!!

Since my studies are focused solely on the application (or commercialisation) of science to bring about new technologies, I personally would put more emphasis in applied scientific endeavours, rather than studies done just because someone felt like it...

From what I have heard this is what is being done by most countries, granting a higher % of funds to applied scientific research.. Whilst non-applied research is the basis of applied science, (and thus is important), what applied technologies can come from evolution, (that is not already covered from another branch of science)?

In this respect I see endeavours into evolution as a waste of time, money and mental effort. If some pro-evolutionary group wishes to support some kind of project, so be it, but governments and the like should not have to pay for such.

#7 SeeJay

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:05 PM

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

But if those are the sound and generally accepted definitions of science outside fields relating to evolution, then that is proof that they don't engage in science, when it comes to the TOE. Perhaps funding should be cut to this kind of endeavors as its misused from its initial purpose (to support science).

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Hi

I don't think there are, or should be, different definitions of science for fields that relate to evolution versus fields that don't relate to evolution.

In any case, what would be some examples of scientific fields that don't relate to evolution? I'm finding it tricky to think of some because all the sciences appear to me to be connected somewhere along the line.


S

#8 gilbo12345

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:14 PM

Hi

I don't think there are, or should be, different definitions of science for fields that relate to evolution versus fields that don't relate to evolution.

In any case, what would be some examples of scientific fields that don't relate to evolution? I'm finding it tricky to think of some because all the sciences appear to me to be connected somewhere along the line.
S

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Scientific Method between Evolution "science" and Chemistry

Chemistry.. You add two chemicals together and can see a colour change, you can use spectrophotometry, (and other tests) to test for the chemical composition hence you can empirically show the chemical reactions occuring.

Evolutionary "science".. Cannot be directly tested hence fails to stand up to scientific inquiry unlike Chemistry.

#9 SeeJay

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:38 PM

Scientific Method between Evolution "science" and Chemistry

Chemistry.. You add two chemicals together and can see a colour change, you can use spectrophotometry, (and other tests) to test for the chemical composition hence you can empirically show the chemical reactions occuring.

Evolutionary "science".. Cannot be directly tested hence fails to stand up to scientific inquiry unlike Chemistry.

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Hi

But is chemistry in an unrelated field to evolution?

Genomics and molecular biology are used to support evolution, and these are based on biochemistry, which in turn is a branch of chemistry. So I don't think chemistry meets the criterion of being an unrelated field (?).


S.

#10 MarkForbes

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:46 AM

...I don't think there are, or should be, different definitions of science for fields that relate to evolution versus fields that don't relate to evolution.
In any case, what would be some examples of scientific fields that don't relate to evolution? I'm finding it tricky to think of some because all the sciences appear to me to be connected somewhere along the line.

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While you can go out and will find in any of the (natural) sciences something that rings "evolution", there is no necessity for this being there. In fact often the use of "evol-" in terminology is often an equivocation. That especially applies to the social sciences i.e. with evolutionary economics, evolutionary psychology, political evolution and the like.
Of course that doesn't have anything to do with humans and chickens having a common ancestor. In economics this just points out that institutions do change over time and perhaps that environmental factors play a role. So in social sciences it is actually just refering to applications of the historical method.
I'd not see how evolution really does make sense in physical sciences. What is supposed to evolve, the laws of thermodynamics? In chemistry you may hear theories how the different elements did arise, but that's merely speculation and you can do chemistry perfectly well without any evolutionary theory in mind. Evolutionists borrow things from geology, but I do not actually think their positive inputs there. In fact evolutionary presuppositions of geologists may have lead to "geological facts" that in turn are used to support evolutionary theory in biology.
However you use geophysics, geochemistry and a few other sciences to work with empirical data in geology, you don't depend on Common Descent
So to cut it short one can do physics, chemistry, geology etc. quite well without having to believe in Neo-Darwinian Evolution. I mean most sciences already did well and laid foundations long before Darwin published his books.

#11 SeeJay

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:48 AM

While you can go out and will find in any of the (natural) sciences something that rings "evolution", there is no necessity for this being there. ...
I'd not see how evolution really does make sense in physical sciences. What is supposed to evolve, the laws of thermodynamics? ...
However you use geophysics, geochemistry and a few other sciences to work with empirical data in geology, you don't depend on Common Descent.
So to cut it short one can do physics, chemistry, geology etc. quite well without having to believe in Neo-Darwinian Evolution. I mean most sciences already did well and laid foundations long before Darwin published his books.

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Hi MarkForbes

I didn't take it from the OP that we were discussing the evolution of the physical laws, or any aspect of social sciences.

And I agree one should be able to do good science whether or not one believes in Neo-Darwinian Evolution. But I don't see how that's relevant to the question from the OP, which was: Does the theory of common descent of organic life on earth over billions of years measure up to the methods of science?

We had this exchange:

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

But if those are the sound and generally accepted definitions of science outside fields relating to evolution, then that is proof that they don't engage in science, when it comes to the TOE. Perhaps funding should be cut to this kind of endeavors as its misused from its initial purpose (to support science).


So we need to establish the sound and generally accepted definitions of science outside fields relating to evolution. If these are not followed inside fields relating to evolution then, as you said, it would be proof that evolution doesn't measure up to the methods of science.

The problem is, all the sciences seem to be all connected to each other. For example, the study of neanderthal DNA involved the sciences of molecular biology, biochemistry, nuclear physics and electromagnetism, just to name a few.

So what would you say are some sciences that are not related to evolution? we could then have a look at the generally accepted methods in those sciences, and see if evolution measures up.

S.

#12 MarkForbes

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:38 AM

....So what would you say are some sciences that are not related to evolution? we could then have a look at the generally accepted methods in those sciences, and see if evolution measures up.

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I may have misunderstood your prior post at first:

...In any case, what would be some examples of scientific fields that don't relate to evolution? I'm finding it tricky to think of some because all the sciences appear to me to be connected somewhere along the line.

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You can take any scientific discipline and if needed subtract from this any first tier connection to evolution. You would get some established facts + natural laws. I'd use something from physics for convenience sake. Take for instance gravity, 2nd law of thermodynamics or from chemistry perhaps the atomic model + laws involving chemical reactions.

#13 jason777

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:27 AM

Hi

But is chemistry in an unrelated field to evolution?

Genomics and molecular biology are used to support evolution, and these are based on biochemistry, which in turn is a branch of chemistry. So I don't think chemistry meets the criterion of being an unrelated field (?).
S.

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Chemical evolution (Abiogenesis) is akin to alchemy, which the father of modern chemistry "Antoine Lavoisier " fought so hard to abolish from science.

"The art of drawing conclusions from experiments and observations consists in evaluating probabilities and in estimating whether they are sufficiently great or numerous enough to constitute proofs. This kind of calculation is more complicated and more dif." —Antoine Lavoisier


So, evolution is to chemistry the same thing that alchemy was to science.

Pssst! Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began.


So what would you say are some sciences that are not related to evolution? we could then have a look at the generally accepted methods in those sciences, and see if evolution measures up.



All of the sciences now claimed by evolutionists were pioneered by creationists: Paleontology, Geology, Genetics, Micro Biology, Taxonomy, Biology was pioneered by a Greek scientist name "Aristotle".


"The track record of Neo-Darwinism is parasitic on prior Creationist breakthroughs over which Neo-Darwinists now claim sole ownership,and which Creatioists have yet to claim back as their own".Steve Fuller,Dissent over Descent Intelligent Desings Challenge To Darwinism,2008 P.253


http://www.evolution...indpost&p=21714



Enjoy.

#14 SeeJay

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:44 PM

You can take any scientific discipline and if needed subtract from this any first tier connection to evolution. You would get some established facts + natural laws. I'd use something from physics for convenience sake. Take for instance gravity, 2nd law of thermodynamics or from chemistry perhaps the atomic model + laws involving chemical reactions.

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Hi MarkForbes

The way I see it, the method of science in physics or chemistry is, as you say, to establish some agreed facts and laws (i.e. things we can directly see), then we can draw inferences from any patterns we find about what might be causing those patterns (i.e. things we can't directly see).

Eg. Gravity 1 - An established issue:
Facts/laws. Objects fall at constant acceleration in vacuum, and planets orbit the sun such that they "sweep out" equal areas of their orbit in equal amounts of time (Kepler's 2nd law)
Inferences. An invisible force attracts all masses to each other in proportion to the product of their masses and in an inverse square proportion to the distance separating them

Gravity 2 - An unresolved issue:
Facts/laws. Galaxies rotate at a speed proportional to their mass, regardless of their distance from earth, but faster than predicted by their Newtonian potential.
Inferences. The laws governing mass/energy are the same for all distances and times in the past we can see, but there is either unobserved mass in galaxies (dark matter) or the laws of gravitation are different for massive objects like galaxies.
Research. Use the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to examine galaxies more closely via gravitational lensing.

So the method is (1) establish facts (2) find patterns (3) draw inferences.

Does this sound right?


S.

#15 MarkForbes

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:28 AM

...So the method is (1) establish facts (2) find patterns (3) draw inferences.
Does this sound right?
S.

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That's at least part of it or touches on the issue.
The text book answer would be:
1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new 1. hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

So just note that that conclusions and inferences may just be retested and that the evidence they base on is circumstantial in some cases. Also, the interpretation can be subject to the paradigm the reseacher or any person interpreting the data holds.

Don't for get that scientific claims have to be falsifyable, too.

#16 SeeJay

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:27 AM

That's at least part of it or touches on the issue.
The text book answer would be:
1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new 1. hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

So just note that that conclusions and inferences may just be retested and that the evidence they base on is circumstantial in some cases. Also, the interpretation can be subject to the paradigm the reseacher or any person interpreting the data holds.

Don't for get that scientific claims have to be falsifyable, too.

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Okay, thanks.

So which of these steps do you think were not followed by scientists investigating the theory of common descent?


S.

#17 performedge

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:41 AM

Okay, thanks.

So which of these steps do you think were not followed by scientists investigating the theory of common descent?
S.

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If I could but in here, I would say that it is in all the enormous "just so stories" within the theory of evolution.

A just-so story, also called the ad hoc fallacy, is a term used in academic anthropology, biological sciences, social sciences, and philosophy. It describes an unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative explanation for a cultural practice, a biological trait, or behavior of humans or other animals. The use of the term is an implicit criticism that reminds the hearer of the essentially fictional and unprovable nature of such an explanation. Such tales are common in folklore and mythology (where they are known as etiological myths — see etiology).


For example, kin selection has frequently been claimed to predict that humans will be altruistic toward relatives in proportion to their relatedness, while reciprocal altruism predicts that we will be altruistic toward people from whom we can expect altruism in the future (but not strangers). A story of any complexity can be constructed to fit any behaviour, but, critics assert, nothing distinguishes one story from another experimentally.[citation needed]. In reality the claim that kin selection predicts that humans will be altruistic towards relatives in proportion to their relatedness rests on a profound and long-standing misunderstanding of the applicability of kin selection theory to the human behavioural sciences[citation needed]. Kin selection theory takes the form of an evolutionary explanation (rather than a proximate explanation), only specifying some of the necessary conditions (in terms of costs, benefits and regression coefficients of relatedness) for the evolution of altruistic behaviour. It does not address the question of whether the history of a species has created a context for the emergence of altruistic traits, which requires separate investigation. If it were simply true that kin selection universally predicted the altruistic behaviour of closely related individuals, the phenomenon of e.g. salamander cannibalism of siblings would defy explanation.


And there are a myriad of other examples of this. Some animals evolve bigger. Some animals evolve smaller. Some animals don't change size much. The theory has no predictive powere here, only stories.

The theory predicted simplicity. It found enormous complexity. So the theory didn't do any of the things listed above, it just accomodated the data.

The theory predicts birds from dinos. But the evidence, both fossil and genetic is really weak.

The lack of transitional fossils is tremendously weak. Oh, I know you can list a few which are all controversial. But the theory predicts they should be as abundant as the abundancy of extint species, but the theory just accomodates this with "fossils are rare".

And when we talk about the gazillions of beneficial mutations needed for this process the literature is vacuous. Look at Talk Origins. Even they only list a handfull, and many of them are disputable. The examples ought to be undeniable.
Yet at the same time, the evidence for mutational destruction is undeniable. It's a hope and a prayer theory.

And finally, if the evolutionists would just focus their attention on the one simple problem of say 5 miilion years between common acncester and modern man. And the 100 million different nucleotide differences between our supposed closest ancestors. Then the evidence would be overwhelming that there isn't enough time in evo history to fix all of those mutations in the population in that short of a period. But the theory ignores this. That's the power of the story.

#18 MarkForbes

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:52 AM

So which of these steps do you think were not followed by scientists investigating the theory of common descent?

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I.e.: 4. Perform experiment and collect data
They didn't test the hypothesis. I don't know of any cases where to test evolution they actually went and bred plants animals, selecting them to derive a new species from this. This while reproduction in nature an under human husbandry is a very common thing. And the results are not in favor of Evolution.

Instead what has been done was to make the claim that evolutionary processes take "millions of years", which conveniently shield them against being tested.

So what they've got to resort to is to gather circumstantial evidences like fossils, morpological traits, proof of genitic variances and to interpret their conclusions into this data. All in line with the dominant paradigm, but in effect that's a violation of point 6.

#19 SeeJay

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:04 PM

If I could but in here, I would say that it is in all the enormous "just so stories" within the theory of evolution.


Hi performedge

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

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


Regards - S.

#20 SeeJay

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:23 PM

So what would you say are some sciences that are not related to evolution? we could then have a look at the generally accepted methods in those sciences, and see if evolution measures up.


1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new 1. hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

So just note that that conclusions and inferences may just be retested and that the evidence they base on is circumstantial in some cases. Also, the interpretation can be subject to the paradigm the reseacher or any person interpreting the data holds. ... Don't for get that scientific claims have to be falsifyable, too.

So which of these steps do you think were not followed by scientists investigating the theory of common descent?


I.e.: 4. Perform experiment and collect data
They didn't test the hypothesis. I don't know of any cases where to test evolution they actually went and bred plants animals, selecting them to derive a new species from this. This while reproduction in nature an under human husbandry is a very common thing. And the results are not in favor of Evolution.

Instead what has been done was to make the claim that evolutionary processes take "millions of years", which conveniently shield them against being tested.

So what they've got to resort to is to gather circumstantial evidences like fossils, morpological traits, proof of genitic variances and to interpret their conclusions into this data. All in line with the dominant paradigm, but in effect that's a violation of point 6.


Hi MarkForbes

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

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


Regards - S.




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