Jump to content
Evolution Fairytale Forum
Sign in to follow this  
CTD

How Does One Falsify Vaporware?

Recommended Posts

It most certainly is not a loaded question.

I don't know, it really is kind of a loaded question, albeit subtly so. In context, your question implied the following assumption:

"If a theory is a legitimate one, I should be able to find written somewhere a complete description of the theory and all the things it has to say about how the world works."

This is false. For a typical theory (quantum choromodynamics, for instance), the theory itself evolves over multiple papers, and each successive paper recounts the previous papers only briefly, relying on citations to convey the full story. Eventually, the important aspects of the theory are often compiled into books, but this process inevitably comes with some speculation and preferential treatment of certain views on the part of the author; after all, a book that just defines a theory with no analysis wouldn't sell too well. Moreover, if I just point to one document as the definitive definition of a theory, I have to stand by any minor errors or misleading statements in said book, which is hardly fair. In short, no good definition of "theory" will say a theory has to be written down in its entirety.

 

That said, I did give you a bare-bones version of the theory of evolution in my previous post. I'm sure it misses a lot of details, but it's at least a starting point, and I think all evolutionists would confidently agree with my three claims. If you want to be really skeptical, you might even start with the assumption that what I just wrote was the entire theory of evolution, and everything else scientists claim about evolution falls under various, less generally accepted "sub-theories" which are constantly competing with each other. It ultimately doesn't matter. I gave you a working, if minimal, theory of evolution. Saying "how can we know if that's a valid summary if we haven't read the whole thing?" is not a valid objection, since as I stated above, the whole theory is spread out over hundreds of papers and heavily diluted with claims that are common to some but not all forms of the theory.

 

So rather than dispute whether my definition reflects the "real" theory of evolution, apply it to whatever situations prompted the creation of this thread in the first place. Does my definition make all the predictions I say it does? Yes. Does it make any predictions that I haven't listed? Probably - if you name them, I'll either accept them or explain why my definition doesn't make those predictions. Does my definition conflict with any evolutionist's definition of evolution, however broad or specific? It was a quickly written definition, so I'll admit that there may be minor conflicts here or there, but the essence of my definition meshes with any other definition I've ever seen. If you have specific objections to my definition, please raise them. Otherwise, you're rejecting a working definition on the grounds that it might not be the "real" definition, which is a bit silly when your original post was just looking for any definition at all.

 

Adam: It's assumed a primitive life form once existed because that's a natural consequence of the theory; as I said, you could technically lump it in with the theory's predictions. If all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor, it stands to reason that that ancestor must have been relatively primitive, at least in some senses of the word. Even if you don't buy this, I think I can safely say that the original life form being primitive is something all evolutionists can agree to; life one earth "down-evolving" from some highly advanced being is not evolution in any traditional sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three out of the four fundamental force carrying bosons transfer energy in packets, or quanta.  Why would you think the gravitational force would be any different?

23921[/snapback]

I have no interest in discussing quantum philosophy in this thread. From the get-go it's antiscientific to proceed as follows (and I don't make this up, folks):

 

We predict X

We get Y

But quantum physics is counter-intuitive, so we're right!

 

If you want to support such bunk, please start a thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, it really is kind of a loaded question, albeit subtly so. In context, your question implied the following assumption:

 

"If a theory is a legitimate one, I should be able to find written somewhere a complete description of the theory and all the things it has to say about how the world works."

Not even so. I never said "and all the things it has to say about how the world works" or anything even resembling it.

 

All I'm asking for here is to see the theory. I even said I intend to work out implications after I saw it. That's not so ambiguous as you'd have people believe, I'll venture.

 

This is false. For a typical theory (quantum choromodynamics, for instance), the theory itself evolves over multiple papers, and each successive paper recounts the previous papers only briefly, relying on citations to convey the full story. Eventually, the important aspects of the theory are often compiled into books, but this process inevitably comes with some speculation and preferential treatment of certain views on the part of the author; after all, a book that just defines a theory with no analysis wouldn't sell too well. Moreover, if I just point to one document as the definitive definition of a theory, I have to stand by any minor errors or misleading statements in said book, which is hardly fair. In short, no good definition of "theory" will say a theory has to be written down in its entirety.

In short, you have no "theory" to present, and this is your excuse. I don't buy it. Typically in real science, things are stated in the form of hypotheses, and subjected to experimental testing. That you have to drag quantum philosophizing in as a counter-example should tell folks all they need to know.

 

* Also note that we have 'quantum theory' rather than "the theory of quanta". Just one more example of how the term 'theory' is employed in the English language.

That said, I did give you a bare-bones version of the theory of evolution in my previous post. I'm sure it misses a lot of details, but it's at least a starting point, and I think all evolutionists would confidently agree with my three claims. If you want to be really skeptical, you might even start with the assumption that what I just wrote was the entire theory of evolution, and everything else scientists claim about evolution falls under various, less generally accepted "sub-theories" which are constantly competing with each other. It ultimately doesn't matter. I gave you a working, if minimal, theory of evolution. Saying "how can we know if that's a valid summary if we haven't read the whole thing?" is not a valid objection, since as I stated above, the whole theory is spread out over hundreds of papers and heavily diluted with claims that are common to some but not all forms of the theory.

23924[/snapback]

No sale. I don't desire to list all the glaring flaws, and I won't. You need to state things in the form of hypotheses which can be tested by experiment, first of all. You have not done so. You also need to include all essential elements of the belief system. You have not done so.

 

What's an essential element? Let me explain. I accept that the statistical frequency of alleles will change any time a creature dies. Yet I am not an evolutionist. I accept that mutations occur. Yet I am not an evolutionist. I accept genetics and biology. Get the picture? Everything one is required to accept to be an evolutionist and be free from harassment in should be included in the "theory".

 

I suggest you confer with others, or do some research, rather than clutter up this thread with attempts to cobble together something which you think will pass muster with ignorant lurkers. That is not the purpose of this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And just to remind those who may have short attention spans, I do not dispute the existence of evolution theory. We have ample evidence that people have held such superstitions for thousands of years.

 

What I'm looking for is a "theory of evolution".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this statement in 'Think' magazine, a Christian, Pro YEC magazine.

 

Evolutionist G. A. Kerkut is quoted to state:

 

There is a theory which states that many living animals [and also plants-D.S.] can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can be called the "Special Theory of Evolution."... On the other hand there is the theory that all living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from inorganic form. This theory can be called the "General Theory of Evolution."

 

-G. A. Kerhut, Implications of Evolution (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1965), p. 157

 

Now what do we do with this exactly? BTW, I would highly recommend that people go to their nearest Christian bookstore and pick up the current issue of 'Think' magazine. It is dedicated to Darwinian Evolution Doctrine and is an excellent magazine. Get a subscription.

 

http://focuspress.org/about.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this statement in 'Think' magazine, a Christian, Pro YEC magazine.

 

Evolutionist G. A. Kerkut is quoted to state:

 

There is a theory which states that many living animals [and also plants-D.S.] can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can be called the "Special Theory of Evolution."... On the other hand there is the theory that all living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from inorganic form. This theory can be called the "General Theory of Evolution."

 

-G. A. Kerhut, Implications of Evolution (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1965), p. 157

 

Now what do we do with this exactly? BTW, I would highly recommend that people go to their nearest Christian bookstore and pick up the current issue of 'Think' magazine. It is dedicated to Darwinian Evolution Doctrine and is an excellent magazine. Get a subscription.

 

http://focuspress.org/about.html

23950[/snapback]

We observe that some folks have trouble assigning the tags 'special' and 'general' properly.

 

I don't see any way to experimentally test either speculation. They appear to be historical assertions, and would need to be advanced as history and supported by proper methods of investigating history before they could be taken seriously by anyone seeking truth.

 

As some are aware, I have already started a thread about history.

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/in...?showtopic=1984

 

As anyone who earnestly thinks on the matter must conclude, the past is not subject to testing by experiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No sale. I don't desire to list all the glaring flaws, and I won't. You need to state things in the form of hypotheses which can be tested by experiment, first of all. You have not done so. You also need to include all essential elements of the belief system. You have not done so.

 

What's an essential element? Let me explain. I accept that the statistical frequency of alleles will change any time a creature dies. Yet I am not an evolutionist.  I accept that mutations occur. Yet I am not an evolutionist. I accept genetics and biology. Get the picture? Everything one is required to accept to be an evolutionist and be free from harassment in should be included in the "theory".

 

I suggest you confer with others, or do some research, rather than clutter up this thread with attempts to cobble together something which you think will pass muster with ignorant lurkers. That is not the purpose of this thread.

23948[/snapback]

I'm at a bit of a loss. You seem to be objecting to my definition on two grounds: because it doesn't state things in the form of testable hypotheses, and because it does not specify all the essential things one must believe to be an evolutionist. I'll explain why it does both these things. First, let me restate my definition for easy reference. The theory of evolution says the following three things:

 

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.

 

Ok. All of these are hypotheses, in the sense that each says something definitive about how the world works. The first basically says genes mutate and recombine; this one's pretty trivial to observe in this day and age. The second says natural selection and genetic drift occur to a meaningful extent; dogs, Darwin's finches, guppies, nylon eating bacteria... easily observed as well. The third merely extrapolates the second to a larger scale by stating that natural selection and genetic drift played key roles in producing all current life from a common ancestor so many years ago. This aspect of the theory makes testable predictions as well; check out this thread for two examples. Keep in mind that I don't want to argue about whether these testable predictions have panned out - I'm just saying that they exist.

 

On your second objection, these three items DO outline the "essential elements of the belief system". You say you believe in genetics, biology, mutations, and frequency shifts of alleles. Great - that's item 1, and a few other things besides. Do you believe that the aforementioned allele shifts will be guided on a large scale by natural selection, preferentially spreading those alleles that are best adapted to the environment? If so, that's item 2. Do you believe that this natural selection played a key role is producing all life as we know it from a single common ancestor? If so, you're an evolutionist. The thing is, I'm not sure if you believe item two, and you definitely don't believe item 3, so you're not an evolutionist.

 

So, there you have it. You asked for a bare-bones definition of the theory, and I gave one. You asked me to give a definition stated as hypothesis and containing all the essential elements of the belief system, and I just did so. You can state further requirements if you like, but so far I think my definition satisfies your initial request in every way.

 

As a side note, this quote puzzled me:

And just to remind those who may have short attention spans, I do not dispute the existence of evolution theory. We have ample evidence that people have held such superstitions for thousands of years.

 

What I'm looking for is a "theory of evolution".

I might seem silly for asking, but what's the difference between the two?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm at a bit of a loss. You seem to be objecting to my definition on two grounds: because it doesn't state things in the form of testable hypotheses, and because it does not specify all the essential things one must believe to be an evolutionist. I'll explain why it does both these things. First, let me restate my definition for easy reference. The theory of evolution says the following three things:

 

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.

 

Ok. All of these are hypotheses, in the sense that each says something definitive about how the world works. The first basically says genes mutate and recombine; this one's pretty trivial to observe in this day and age. The second says natural selection and genetic drift occur to a meaningful extent; dogs, Darwin's finches, guppies, nylon eating bacteria... easily observed as well. The third merely extrapolates the second to a larger scale by stating that natural selection and genetic drift played key roles in producing all current life from a common ancestor so many years ago. This aspect of the theory makes testable predictions as well; check out this thread for two examples. Keep in mind that I don't want to argue about whether these testable predictions have panned out - I'm just saying that they exist.

 

On your second objection, these three items DO outline the "essential elements of the belief system". You say you believe in genetics, biology, mutations, and frequency shifts of alleles. Great - that's item 1, and a few other things besides. Do you believe that the aforementioned allele shifts will be guided on a large scale by natural selection, preferentially spreading those alleles that are best adapted to the environment? If so, that's item 2. Do you believe that this natural selection played a key role is producing all life as we know it from a single common ancestor? If so, you're an evolutionist. The thing is, I'm not sure if you believe item two, and you definitely don't believe item 3, so you're not an evolutionist.

 

So, there you have it. You asked for a bare-bones definition of the theory, and I gave one. You asked me to give a definition stated as hypothesis and containing all the essential elements of the belief system, and I just did so. You can state further requirements if you like, but so far I think my definition satisfies your initial request in every way.

 

As a side note, this quote puzzled me:

 

I might seem silly for asking, but what's the difference between the two?

23962[/snapback]

How about listing some experiments we can perform, if you think I am mistaken? I maintain you cannot, as I mentioned before.

 

Or better still, don't clutter up the thread. I'm not going to play with your toy(s) and try to construct a "theory" for you from scraps.

 

And if you return to my 3rd and 4th posts in this thread, and take the time to read them, maybe you'll understand how the term 'theory' is properly used in the English language.

 

I also note that one can accept all of the above, and not be accepted as an evolutionist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about listing some experiments we can perform, if you think I am mistaken? I maintain you cannot, as I mentioned before.

K. Here are a few, organized by which item they're meant to support:

1. Grab some DNA from a population of wild rabbits. Next generation, do it again. Rinse and repeat a few times, then compare your results and see if the genes changed between generations.

2. Toss a fast-reproducing animal (guppies are my standard example, I know this has been done with guppies) into a moderately different environment from the one it came from. Leave for a few generations, then come back and see if the population as a whole has shifted to become better-adapted to its new environment.

3. Using fossils, genetic markers, and whatever means are available, statistically reconstruct a bunch of different trees describing the paths of descent by which modern life might have come into being. See if these trees match fairly well, or at least if they indicate a coherent, central pattern that may be blurred by other factors.

I say this a lot, but it bears repeating: please don't respond that experiment 3 has been performed and has failed to pan out. I disagree, and that's an issue for another thread. The point here is simply that there exists an experiment which can be performed. That's all you asked for, and it's all that can be reasonably expected of a bare-bones definition of a theory.

Or better still, don't clutter up the thread. I'm not going to play with your toy(s) and try to construct a "theory" for you from scraps.

I find it odd that you ask for a theory, scoff at evolutionists for being unable to produce one, and then when I actually give you a theory, you say I'm "cluttering up the thread." I'm not asking you to construct a theory from my scraps; I gave you a complete and working, if minimal, theory in response to your request.

And if you return to my 3rd and 4th posts in this thread, and take the time to read them, maybe you'll understand how the term 'theory' is properly used in the English language.

Thanks. I forgot about that bit somehow - those posts really clear up my side question.

I also note that one can accept all of the above, and not be accepted as an evolutionist.

I find this claim puzzling. Could you describe for me a system of beliefs which incorporates all of the above and still does not count as evolutionist? Denying abiogenesis would not work, since abiogenesis deals with the origin as opposed to the development of life; there are evolutionists who believe that "God made the first life form and all life evolved from that common ancestor," even if that's not the majority view.

 

In summary, I've given you an experiment which could be applied to each of my three items, and despite your assertion to the contrary, I maintain that anyone who believes all three items is an evolutionist (it shouldn't be hard to provide me at least one counter-example if this is not true). Do I need to do anything else to prove that my theory is indeed a working one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please don't respond that experiment 3 has been performed and has failed to pan out. I disagree...

23996[/snapback]

Are you allergic to the truth or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you allergic to the truth or something?

23999[/snapback]

No, I just think you're wrong, and if pressed I could come up with sources to support my position. The problem is that it's all too easy in these debates to get sidetracked into debating whether a particular prediction has panned out. That's a valuable debate, to be sure, but it belongs in another thread. This thread is about showing that the TOE exists, which requires merely that a prediction has been made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I just think you're wrong, and if pressed I could come up with sources to support my position.

24003[/snapback]

I've discovered that every truth seems to have some scholar out there trying to affirm it's opposite. The question isn't about whether you can find arguments to support your position. Anyone can do that. The question is this; is the argument sound? Does it withstand scrutiny or must it be sheltered from investigation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've discovered that every truth seems to have some scholar out there trying to affirm it's opposite. The question isn't about whether you can find arguments to support your position. Anyone can do that. The question is this; is the argument sound? Does it withstand scrutiny or must it be sheltered from investigation?

24005[/snapback]

Wiser words have seldom been spoken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

K. Here are a few, organized by which item they're meant to support:

1. Grab some DNA from a population of wild rabbits. Next generation, do it again. Rinse and repeat a few times, then compare your results and see if the genes changed between generations.

23996[/snapback]

How does this have the potential to falsify anything? If the don't change, so what? You can still claim sometimes they change, or they used to change, or imagine they might change by whatever means you choose to dream up. If anyone doubts this is the case, just look at the morphological change issues.

 

2. Toss a fast-reproducing animal (guppies are my standard example, I know this has been done with guppies) into a moderately different environment from the one it came from. Leave for a few generations, then come back and see if the population as a whole has shifted to become better-adapted to its new environment.

Again, where is the potential to falsify? If they don't change, you'll just say "oh well, we need different conditions".

 

If you truly believed the potential to falsify your premise existed, I'd suggest you consider the tumbleweed a.k.a. russian thistle. But we both know better.

 

3. Using fossils, genetic markers, and whatever means are available, statistically reconstruct a bunch of different trees describing the paths of descent by which modern life might have come into being. See if these trees match fairly well, or at least if they indicate a coherent, central pattern that may be blurred by other factors.

I say this a lot, but it bears repeating: please don't respond that experiment 3 has been performed and has failed to pan out. I disagree, and that's an issue for another thread. The point here is simply that there exists an experiment which can be performed. That's all you asked for, and it's all that can be reasonably expected of a bare-bones definition of a theory.

That's not even an experiment! Well, not a scientific one. Drawing "trees" is a subjective art. Anyone can do it. And the actual implication is that the "trees" should match perfectly, so again (especially since the artists have been trained to draw the same "tree"), we see that there is no potential whatsoever to falsify. If you believed it were there, you wouldn't even bring it up.

 

No "trees" have ever matched. Even the ape-to-human myth can't be sorted out into even close to a consensus "tree", and that's a tiny, tiny fraction of the picture. For those who see this as a falsification issue, the verdict is in. Clearly evolutionists do not see it as one. If they did, they wouldn't be evolutionists.

 

Scientific tests need to be fairly cut & dried. This is subjective on the drawing side, and subjective again on the part of those viewing the drawings.

 

I find it odd that you ask for a theory, scoff at evolutionists for being unable to produce one, and then when I actually give you a theory, you say I'm "cluttering up the thread." I'm not asking you to construct a theory from my scraps; I gave you a complete and working, if minimal, theory in response to your request.

What you've presented doesn't even come close, and everyone knows it. You knew it coming in, that's why you prefaced it with so many excuses. You haven't seen a "theory" of evolution, so you decided to cobble together something you thought might boost the morale of your pals or fool an exceedingly ignorant lurker.

 

Even now, none of your "tests" have the potential to falsify in the opinion of every evolutionist who's ever considered them. Not one. Since none of your hypotheses can be tested by experiment, what are they? I assume you're intelligent enough that you already knew.

I find this claim puzzling. Could you describe for me a system of beliefs which incorporates all of the above and still does not count as evolutionist? Denying abiogenesis would not work, since abiogenesis deals with the origin as opposed to the development of life; there are evolutionists who believe that "God made the first life form and all life evolved from that common ancestor," even if that's not the majority view.

23996[/snapback]

You're mistaken. I suggest you look into some of the scientists who've been persecuted, and what brought it on. The information isn't hard to find, and I don't intend to discuss such matters of common knowledge in this thread, and facilitate derailment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does this have the potential to falsify anything? If the don't change, so what? You can still claim sometimes they change, or they used to change, or imagine they might change by whatever means you choose to dream up. If anyone doubts this is the case, just look at the morphological change issues.

Gah! The theory of evolution predicts some method of genetic change and recombination. If such a mechanism was not apparent, the TOE would have died with the advent of modern genetics. But there ARE mutations and there IS S@xual recombination. This particular point is so glaringly obvious that I can't believe you're even arguing it.

Again, where is the potential to falsify? If they don't change, you'll just say "oh well, we need different conditions".

 

If you truly believed the potential to falsify your premise existed, I'd suggest you consider the tumbleweed a.k.a. russian thistle. But we both know better.

 

At this point, you're really just begging the question with your responses. I list a prediction, you say "That doesn't work - if the prediction doesn't pan out, scientists can just ignore the bad results and assume the conditions weren't right." By this logic, I can prove that no scientific theory exists. Nothing is a prediction if "the theorists might ignore it if it turns out to be wrong" is a valid criticism.

 

Also, I'm considering the Russian thistle. It isn't especially enlightening, since you've provided no further direction as to what about it I'm supposed to consider. While I'm working on that, you can consider the fact that, despite your bizarre assertions to the contrary, natural selection has been observed and documented beyond any reasonable doubt, and even most creationist theories take limited natural selection (i.e. microevolution) into account. Last time I brought in three sources to back up this claim, I don't think I got a response from you, but here's my favorite for the sake of the readers:

A Paper Citing 993 Instances of Documented Natural Selection

Again, this item is not under serious dispute from either side of the debate. I just include it because it's a crucial principle for the theory of evolution.

That's not even an experiment! Well, not a scientific one. Drawing "trees" is a subjective art. Anyone can do it. And the actual implication is that the "trees" should match perfectly, so again (especially since the artists have been trained to draw the same "tree"), we see that there is no potential whatsoever to falsify. If you believed it were there, you wouldn't even bring it up.

 

No "trees" have ever matched. Even the ape-to-human myth can't be sorted out into even close to a consensus "tree", and that's a tiny, tiny fraction of the picture. For those who see this as a falsification issue, the verdict is in. Clearly evolutionists do not see it as one. If they did, they wouldn't be evolutionists.

 

Scientific tests need to be fairly cut & dried. This is subjective on the drawing side, and subjective again on the part of those viewing the drawings.

 

We've been over this before, but the trees are not subjective, and the artists have not been "trained." The trees are generated using statistical methods of comparing similarities. These methods have their roots in mathematics and were created without a thought toward proving or disproving evolution. By implying otherwise, you do a discredit to the scientists running these experiments and show your own misunderstanding of the issues at hand.

 

As for your claim that the trees haven't matched, I disagree. This is exactly why I tried to emphasize that "these predictions haven't panned out" isn't a legitimate response. You can argue against the matching of the trees, and I can argue for them. That's another debate for another thread. It doesn't matter here, though, because a theory just requires a prediction, and no one can deny that "the trees should look similar" IS a prediction, whether or not it's a correct one.

Even now, none of your "tests" have the potential to falsify in the opinion of every evolutionist who's ever considered them. Not one. Since none of your hypotheses can be tested by experiment, what are they? I assume you're intelligent enough that you already knew.

I'm amazed that you presume to know what evolutionists would and would not accept as evidence. I'm giving you testable predictions, and your response has been, again and again, the unfounded assertion that evolutionists would ignore these predictions. At best, that's begging the question by assuming evolution to be unscientific from the start. If you can find me quotes from actual evolutionists implying that my predictions are not necessary aspects of the TOE, then by all means present them. The problem is, you CAN'T find such quotes, because the predictions I offered ARE essential to the TOE, and your only arguments to the contrary have been warrantless denials, misinterpretations of experimental procedures, and cryptic references to tumbleweeds.

You're mistaken. I suggest you look into some of the scientists who've been persecuted, and what brought it on. The information isn't hard to find, and I don't intend to discuss such matters of common knowledge in this thread, and facilitate derailment.

In almost every thread I've debated you in, you've at one point or another defaulted to saying "why you're wrong is common knowledge, so I won't bother explaining it." Why I'm wrong is not common knowledge, and saying "look into persecuted scientists" doesn't even begin to tell me why you're making this claim. I hereby assert that you are wrong, and I'm backed up by the thousands of scientists who believe in the TOE. If you're right, you should be able to provide me at least some shred of evidence (or even a counter-example!) demonstrating why.

 

Again, if you can win this debate just by asserting that my theory isn't sufficient, there is literally no way I can win. That doesn't make you look good, it just makes you look defensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

K. Here are a few, organized by which item they're meant to support:

1. Grab some DNA from a population of wild rabbits. Next generation, do it again. Rinse and repeat a few times, then compare your results and see if the genes changed between generations.

2. Toss a fast-reproducing animal (guppies are my standard example, I know this has been done with guppies) into a moderately different environment from the one it came from. Leave for a few generations, then come back and see if the population as a whole has shifted to become better-adapted to its new environment.

3. Using fossils, genetic markers, and whatever means are available, statistically reconstruct a bunch of different trees describing the paths of descent by which modern life might have come into being. See if these trees match fairly well, or at least if they indicate a coherent, central pattern that may be blurred by other factors.

I say this a lot, but it bears repeating: please don't respond that experiment 3 has been performed and has failed to pan out. I disagree, and that's an issue for another thread. The point here is simply that there exists an experiment which can be performed. That's all you asked for, and it's all that can be reasonably expected of a bare-bones definition of a theory.

 

I find it odd that you ask for a theory, scoff at evolutionists for being unable to produce one, and then when I actually give you a theory, you say I'm "cluttering up the thread." I'm not asking you to construct a theory from my scraps; I gave you a complete and working, if minimal, theory in response to your request.

 

Thanks. I forgot about that bit somehow - those posts really clear up my side question.

 

I find this claim puzzling. Could you describe for me a system of beliefs which incorporates all of the above and still does not count as evolutionist? Denying abiogenesis would not work, since abiogenesis deals with the origin as opposed to the development of life; there are evolutionists who believe that "God made the first life form and all life evolved from that common ancestor," even if that's not the majority view.

 

In summary, I've given you an experiment which could be applied to each of my three items, and despite your assertion to the contrary, I maintain that anyone who believes all three items is an evolutionist (it shouldn't be hard to provide me at least one counter-example if this is not true). Do I need to do anything else to prove that my theory is indeed a working one?

23996[/snapback]

 

Here is another experiment where evolution has great predictive power.

 

1. Go to 100 random spots in the world that have fossil material and perform radiometric dating. Use one of the techniques described here in Table 1 depending on the rough date range and the material used.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

 

2. Make sure that that the date is appropriate for the method (e.g. a meaningful date for Carbon dating is between about 200 and 30,000 years). Other methods have other date ranges that provide meaningful answers. Repeat this process several times to see if the date is reliable (in most places it is).

 

3. From the date that you get, grab a book on paleontology and predict the kinds of fossil material that you find and predict the kind that you will not find.

 

4. Pick up any creationist book and use that to predict the kinds of fossil material that you find and the kind that you will not find.

 

This is the general approach leads to accurate predictions (it is the basis of paleontology). The approach has also led to the discovery of new transitional fossils. Neil Shubin went off to a specific place in the arctic that had rocks from fresh water streams that had dated from at 375 million years. They were looking for animals that bridged the transition between fish and tretrapod. They found Tiktaalik where their theory predicted the fossils could be found.

http://revcom.us/a/130/Shubin_Interview-en.html

 

This next year they are going to visiting rocks between 370 million and 365 million years in an attempt to find fossils of animals closer to the tetrapod end of the transition. There are no guarantees, but these sorts of predictions have been made hundreds of times and I'll bet the success is better than any creationist model out there. Anyone want to predict what they will find this year?

 

James

Posted Image

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is another experiment where evolution has great predictive power.

24060[/snapback]

Just what "theory" do you propose to test by this non-experiment.

 

There are no guarantees, but these sorts of predictions have been made hundreds of times and I'll bet the success is better than any creationist model out there. Anyone want to predict what they will find this year?

 

James

"No guarantees" = no falsification potential, even if you had a "theory".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gah! The theory of evolution predicts some method of genetic change and recombination. If such a mechanism was not apparent, the TOE would have died with the advent of modern genetics. But there ARE mutations and there IS S@xual recombination. This particular point is so glaringly obvious that I can't believe you're even arguing it.

I don't think you know what I'm arguing. You might read again.

 

Then again, maybe you do. Who can say? Evolutionology doesn't always provide quick answers.

 

At this point, you're really just begging the question with your responses. I list a prediction, you say "That doesn't work - if the prediction doesn't pan out, scientists can just ignore the bad results and assume the conditions weren't right." By this logic, I can prove that no scientific theory exists. Nothing is a prediction if "the theorists might ignore it if it turns out to be wrong" is a valid criticism.

24057[/snapback]

Wrong. I never suggested that scientists should just ignore results of valid experiments. You're confusing issues.

 

Also, I'm considering the Russian thistle. It isn't especially enlightening, since you've provided no further direction as to what about it I'm supposed to consider. While I'm working on that, you can consider the fact that, despite your bizarre assertions to the contrary, natural selection has been observed and documented beyond any reasonable doubt, and even most creationist theories take limited natural selection (i.e. microevolution) into account. Last time I brought in three sources to back up this claim, I don't think I got a response from you, but here's my favorite for the sake of the readers:

A Paper Citing 993 Instances of Documented Natural Selection

Again, this item is not under serious dispute from either side of the debate. I just include it because it's a crucial principle for the theory of evolution.

How is anyone to know if it's crucial without seeing the "theory"?

 

Now, for the benefit of readers, I'll point out that out of this 993-piece argument-from-spam, you have not chosen even one example you have enough confidence in to present it in the appropriate thread.

 

And you did get a response from me. I don't like to cooperate with attempts to sidetrack discussions. It's bad form. Not as bad as making such attempts, but still...

 

We've been over this before, but the trees are not subjective, and the artists have not been "trained."

Who's benefit is that one for? I hate to think such a moron exists.

 

The trees are generated using statistical methods of comparing similarities.

There's an old saying about where statistics rate in the hierarchy of lies. As I recall, they're not on the bottom rung of the ladder.

 

These methods have their roots in mathematics and were created without a thought toward proving or disproving evolution. By implying otherwise, you do a discredit to the scientists running these experiments and show your own misunderstanding of the issues at hand.

I do? Oh my!

 

It doesn't matter here, though, because a theory just requires a prediction, and no one can deny that "the trees should look similar" IS a prediction, whether or not it's a correct one.

I didn't ask for a prediction. I asked for an experiment with the potential to falsify. Asking opinions is not conducting relevant experiments.

 

I'm amazed that you presume to know what evolutionists would and would not accept as evidence.

Bah! Anyone can make simple observations. It isn't hard.

 

You err to say 'would', when 'do' applies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can find me quotes from actual evolutionists implying that my predictions are not necessary aspects of the TOE, then by all means present them. The problem is, you CAN'T find such quotes, because the predictions I offered ARE essential to the TOE, and your only arguments to the contrary have been warrantless denials, misinterpretations of experimental procedures, and cryptic references to tumbleweeds.

Hmmm. Somehow I had the impression we were discussing your little 3-piece toy. If there is a "TOE", I'd prefer to discuss it.

 

In almost every thread I've debated you in, you've at one point or another defaulted to saying "why you're wrong is common knowledge, so I won't bother explaining it." Why I'm wrong is not common knowledge, and saying "look into persecuted scientists" doesn't even begin to tell me why you're making this claim. I hereby assert that you are wrong, and I'm backed up by the thousands of scientists who believe in the TOE. If you're right, you should be able to provide me at least some shred of evidence (or even a counter-example!) demonstrating why.

I suppose in a broad sense one could refer to those who believe in "TOE" as 'scientists'. I didn't know so many had chosen to back your assertion. I suppose I should be flattered.

 

Again, if you can win this debate just by asserting that my theory isn't sufficient, there is literally no way I can win. That doesn't make you look good, it just makes you look defensive.

24057[/snapback]

I can lose this debate the instant someone presents a "theory of evolution" that comes reasonably close to being scientific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CTD, all my qualms with you can be summarized by your last post of responses. Here they are:

Hmmm. Somehow I had the impression we were discussing your little 3-piece toy. If there is a "TOE", I'd prefer to discuss it.

This is a response to my accusing you of refuting my claims with warrantless denials, devoid of any actual claim and unsubstantiated by the literature. The observant among us will notice that THIS RESPONSE IS ITSELF A WARRANTLESS DISMISSAL. When I present a basic TOE, you seem to believe that an adequate response is "that's neither scientific nor sufficient." The problem is, I've given you everything you said ought to be in a good theory. You want predictions? I listed three experiments, one for each item in the theory, and said exactly what evolutionists would predict from those experiments. Your response? Basically, "If these predictions are proven wrong, maybe the evolutionists won't admit it." This is a ludicrous response, because as I said, it could apply to any theory anywhere about anything.

 

I guess you also argued that my tree experiment doesn't count because statistics can't be trusted. This is also an absurd argument - the vast majority of experimental science hinges on statistics for things like error bars, filtering noise from the data, etc. If experiments relying on statistics cannot test legitimate predictions, then you can throw out all of modern particle physics and most of population ecology at the very least. The point is, I give you experiments and give you the predictions they make, and you just repeat the same, tired lines about how my predictions aren't really predictions. Any evolutionist I've ever met would stick to these predictions as fundamental to the TOE. That brings me to my next complaint:

I suppose in a broad sense one could refer to those who believe in "TOE" as 'scientists'. I didn't know so many had chosen to back your assertion. I suppose I should be flattered.

You said my theory should cover all the necessary beliefs for someone to be an evolutionist. I said it did, and I challenged you to find one quote or counter-example anywhere that showed the incompleteness of my theory. Your response? A snide comment about how evolutionists aren't scientists, coupled with an utter failure to actually respond to what I said. This is, quite frankly, unacceptable. In terms of this particular debate, my given theory IS sufficient to qualify someone as an evolutionist. Until you can actually give a reason why this isn't true, I'll consider my point proved for lack of counter-arguments.

I can lose this debate the instant someone presents a "theory of evolution" that comes reasonably close to being scientific.

And here's the clincher. Let's be honest here. No theory would satisfy you, because your definition of "scientific" basically boils down to "not the theory of evolution." I'd like to call any readers' attention to the post by you, a little further up, made at 5:09 pm. Both of your responses to my first two experiments are literally nothing more than denying that scientists would accept the results of these experiments if they didn't match predictions:

How does this have the potential to falsify anything? If the don't change, so what? You can still claim sometimes they change, or they used to change, or imagine they might change by whatever means you choose to dream up.

...

Again, where is the potential to falsify? If they don't change, you'll just say "oh well, we need different conditions".

(Looking back, I guess you also made vague references to "the morphological change issue" and tumbleweeds, as though these constituted actual arguments.) In essence, what you're saying is that the predictions I listed don't count because the people doing experiments might not be intellectually honest. This is a ludicrous argument, and the fact that you made it shows how deep your bias against evolution runs.

 

The third experiment I listed was the tree experiment. I went over this above; after repeating your objectively wrong claims about "artists" being "trained" to draw all the same trees, you basically resorted to claiming that statistics can't be trusted. That claim won't get you far in any scientific journal. Incidentally, jamesf also brought up an excellent point: the theory of evolution (specifically, item three in my definition of the theory) predicts a remarkably good correlation between what we do find radiologically dated at a certain age and what textbooks tell us we should expect to find dated at that age. Do textbooks tell us exactly what we'll find during any given digging session? No - that wouldn't make any sense. Even just predicting a strong correlation between textbook and observation is still a valid prediction, though, and it has panned out.

 

In summary, I have given you a theory, explained the predictions of that theory, and stated (pending counter-example) that believing my theory is both necessary and sufficient for being an evolutionist. You have responded by misrepresenting the experimental method, portraying evolutionists as unscrupulous liars, and responding to all my arguments with either veiled ad hominem attacks or outright false claims. I know that I'll never convince you of anything, but I encourage any readers to skim over your last few posts and see how many of your arguments actually respond to anything I said. Not counting the condescending dismissals, I can see 3. Maybe readers will find a few more, but even with a generous margin of error, that figure is shamefully small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CTD, all my qualms with you can be summarized by your last post of responses. Here they are:

 

This is a response to my accusing you of refuting my claims with warrantless denials, devoid of any actual claim and unsubstantiated by the literature. The observant among us will notice that THIS RESPONSE IS ITSELF A WARRANTLESS DISMISSAL. When I present a basic TOE, you seem to believe that an adequate response is "that's neither scientific nor sufficient." The problem is, I've given you everything you said ought to be in a good theory. You want predictions? I listed three experiments, one for each item in the theory, and said exactly what evolutionists would predict from those experiments. Your response? Basically, "If these predictions are proven wrong, maybe the evolutionists won't admit it." This is a ludicrous response, because as I said, it could apply to any theory anywhere about anything.

24065[/snapback]

It an inappropriate response, and it is not mine. It's far too true to be classified as 'ludicrous', however.

 

Your First Experiment does cannot falsify your first component because there is no requirement that genes always change. It is neither stated nor implied. I know that genes change. That wasn't my point. My point is that if one conducted an experiment, and they didn't, it would have no impact. Fifty misses would have no impact if there was ever one hit. One hit would demonstrate that genes might have changed in the past. No experiment can say whether or not they did.

 

Likewise, failure of one species to change perceptibly in a single instance does not falsify your second component.

 

Compare that to everyone's favourite, gravity. Failure of a rock to fall when dropped means there's a problem. In fact, every theory of gravity I know about would be falsified, although gravity theory would remain.

 

Would you care to fail to understand the difference?

I guess you also argued that my tree experiment doesn't count because statistics can't be trusted. This is also an absurd argument - the vast majority of experimental science hinges on statistics for things like error bars, filtering noise from the data, etc. If experiments relying on statistics cannot test legitimate predictions, then you can throw out all of modern particle physics and most of population ecology at the very least. The point is, I give you experiments and give you the predictions they make, and you just repeat the same, tired lines about how my predictions aren't really predictions. Any evolutionist I've ever met would stick to these predictions as fundamental to the TOE. That brings me to my next complaint:

Evotrees assume evolutionism is true. One cannot draw one without the assumption. Experiments need to involve science, not stealth assumptions and opinions.

 

And what constitutes a "failure" of the trees to "match"? OPINION! Not hard evidence. An individual's OPINION of a group of evotrees drawn up based upon the OPINIONS of the artists on which statistics should be used to obtain the best evotree.

 

That's not a legitimate experiment, and you know it. Not for those purposes. Evolutionologists might be interested, but that's another matter.

You said my theory should cover all the necessary beliefs for someone to be an evolutionist. I said it did, and I challenged you to find one quote or counter-example anywhere that showed the incompleteness of my theory. Your response? A snide comment about how evolutionists aren't scientists, coupled with an utter failure to actually respond to what I said. This is, quite frankly, unacceptable. In terms of this particular debate, my given theory IS sufficient to qualify someone as an evolutionist. Until you can actually give a reason why this isn't true, I'll consider my point proved for lack of counter-arguments.

Behe, smart guy. If you were born yesterday, I find it strange that you should think yourself so all-fired knowledgeable. I don't expect everyone's heard how Michael Reiss got railroaded, but come on!

 

And here's the clincher. Let's be honest here. No theory would satisfy you, because your definition of "scientific" basically boils down to "not the theory of evolution."

That is not my definition. I have respect for the English language.

 

I'd like to call any readers' attention to the post by you, a little further up, made at 5:09 pm. Both of your responses to my first two experiments are literally nothing more than denying that scientists would accept the results of these experiments if they didn't match predictions:

That's nonsense. Your first component is basically an attempt to acknowledge the science of genetics. And I wouldn't claim genetics was falsified if I found out that a given species didn't change over a few generations myself. No sane, informed person would. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

 

Is it somehow imperative that I fully demonstrate how polywrong it is to call your plaything a "theory"? Have I not wasted enough time to suit you yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turns out I'm not so original.

 

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/in...?showtopic=1406

 

That's a relief. I didn't want to be.

24162[/snapback]

Don't forget one of my favorite quotes:

 

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S. Lewis

 

Originality is overrated anyway. <_>

 

I like that link...

 

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/in...?showtopic=1406

 

...I'm surprised nobody picked up on it to discuss it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you place a 286, a 486 and Pentium together, you can well tell the something is missing, the 386. If you call this predictability, then Pentium must have evolved from 286, for real. :D

 

It's a fallacy!!!

 

 

Your prediction should be a projection of your theory to predict the next species to be evolved, not the next bone pile to be found. As your theory is expected to be an "evolution theory", not a "bone pile game theory". :D

 

 

Anyway, if your so-called non-existing theory exists at all, then by the same token from your theory, Pentium must have been evolved from 286 for a fact. :)

 

 

If ToE is a theory, then the following must be its super theory,

 

 

As everything is changed from its previous forms, as a result, everything is evolved from its previous form, including humans....and actually anything.

 

 

Yep, disapprove it, or admit that it's your super theory. And it's even more evident then your ToE, it's with unlimited evidence, you name it. As you can never find out anything not evident to this theory.

 

 

Moreover, according to the evolutionists, the shape of the character "P" must be a straight line, because there is unlimited evidence ( unlimited <x, y> points near the bottom part of the "P" shape ) showing that.

 

Hello, evolutionists. Admit that unlimited evidence can't be used as the 'proof' for a theory, or accept that the shape of P is a straight line. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celebrating 3 theory-free months !

 

(And bumping before this falls back to page 3...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

Our Terms