Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, March 27, 2017, 01:26 (180 days ago)

This is a quote from Cornelius Hunter who does not believe in the evolutionary process or Darwin theory:

https://designdisquisitions.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/quote-of-the-month-cornelius-hunte...

"Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought."

There is another problem with Darwin taken from the book, Darwin's House of Cards by Tom Bethell, 2017: If the arrival of a new species waits upon the appropriate random mutations, "such a time-consuming method rendered implausible that claim that the same species could evolve more than once." It should be in one "center of origin' (Darwin's term)."Yet we plainly do find the same species in different locations---sometimes widely separated." Darwin suggested migration as the answer. I would point out plate tectonics and continent migration. Monkeys on Africa and South America are related. But it is still a problem to consider as did the Wistar Institute, 1967, offered the opinion that the obvious length of time for new species rendered Darwin inoperative. Looking at the speed of human evolution over an eight million year period as they left apes behind and unchanged is the best case in point. It is for reasons like this and Hunter's point that make me believe in a God-guided evolution to manage these objections. It appears to me, with firm conviction, that evolution did happen, but never by Darwin's theory. Darwin had a brilliant intellect, but theorized from ignorance of today's knowledge. If he lived today, I believe he would not have written 'Origins".

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Monday, March 27, 2017, 12:09 (180 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This is a quote from Cornelius Hunter who does not believe in the evolutionary process or Darwin theory:
https://designdisquisitions.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/quote-of-the-month-cornelius-hunte...
"Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news.”

Being a theist means there is no bad news. Whatever happens happens because that is the way God wants it to happen. The God theory cannot be falsified.

DAVID: There is another problem with Darwin taken from the book, Darwin's House of Cards by Tom Bethell, 2017: If the arrival of a new species waits upon the appropriate random mutations, "such a time-consuming method rendered implausible that claim that the same species could evolve more than once." It should be in one "center of origin' (Darwin's term)."Yet we plainly do find the same species in different locations---sometimes widely separated." Darwin suggested migration as the answer. I would point out plate tectonics and continent migration. Monkeys on Africa and South America are related. But it is still a problem to consider as did the Wistar Institute, 1967, offered the opinion that the obvious length of time for new species rendered Darwin inoperative. Looking at the speed of human evolution over an eight million year period as they left apes behind and unchanged is the best case in point. It is for reasons like this and Hunter's point that make me believe in a God-guided evolution to manage these objections. It appears to me, with firm conviction, that evolution did happen, but never by Darwin's theory. Darwin had a brilliant intellect, but theorized from ignorance of today's knowledge. If he lived today, I believe he would not have written 'Origins".

I agree with your objections to Darwin’s explanations, and I believe that he would have withdrawn his rejection of saltation and his reliance on random mutations, but his crucial observations concerning the bedrock of his theory, namely common descent, would have remained intact. And I believe that he would have welcomed the theories of punctuated equilibrium and convergent evolution and the discoveries made in the fields of plate tectonics, genetics and epigenetics. He did not regard his book as the last word on the subject! As a supplement to (not a disagreement with) what you have written, here is a passage from his conclusion which I have quoted before, but which bears repetition in the light of the above. Do please also bear in mind that he was not an atheist, and was adamant that his theory did not exclude God.

“...when we regard every production of nature as one which had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting – I speak from experience – will the study of natural history become!
A grand and almost untrodden field of inquiry will be opened, on the causes and laws of variation, on correlation of growth, on the effects of use and disuse, on the direct action of external conditions, and so forth.

How right he was!

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 19:28 (178 days ago) @ dhw

From David's Link:
"I don’t think a theory necessarily need be falsifiable to be considered scientific or true. Some theories are more difficult to falsify than others (evolution being one of them). The way I see it, testability and verifiability are more essential. Having said that, a theory that is falsifiable and verifiable is stronger than one that is merely the latter. "

This, to me is a horrible travesty of scientific thought.

Faslsifiability: Wikipedia

"The term falsifiability is sometimes synonymous to testability. Some statements, such as "It will be raining here in one million years, are falsifiable in principle, but not in practice."

The concern with falsifiability gained attention by way of philosopher of science Karl Popper's scientific epistemology "falsificationism". Popper stresses the problem of demarcation—distinguishing the scientific from the unscientific—and makes falsifiability the demarcation criterion, such that what is unfalsifiable is classified as unscientific, and the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientifically true is pseudoscience."

"If a theory doesn’t make a testable prediction, it isn’t science."

While I agree that falsifiability is not the end-all-be-all of science, it IS important. Not only does it force scientist to focus on things that are practical and measurable, but it also creates a level playing field for discussion of scientific and theological philosophy. Why is it OK for evolution not to be falsifiable but not creation?

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 21:21 (178 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained


"If a theory doesn’t make a testable prediction, it isn’t science."

Tony: While I agree that falsifiability is not the end-all-be-all of science, it IS important. Not only does it force scientist to focus on things that are practical and measurable, but it also creates a level playing field for discussion of scientific and theological philosophy. Why is it OK for evolution not to be falsifiable but not creation?

What is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 14:15 (178 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: From David's Link:
QUOTE: "I don’t think a theory necessarily need be falsifiable to be considered scientific or true. Some theories are more difficult to falsify than others (evolution being one of them). The way I see it, testability and verifiability are more essential. Having said that, a theory that is falsifiable and verifiable is stronger than one that is merely the latter. "

TONY: This, to me is a horrible travesty of scientific thought.
Falsifiability: Wikipedia
"The term falsifiability is sometimes synonymous to testability. Some statements, such as "It will be raining here in one million years, are falsifiable in principle, but not in practice."
The concern with falsifiability gained attention by way of philosopher of science Karl Popper's scientific epistemology "falsificationism". Popper stresses the problem of demarcation—distinguishing the scientific from the unscientific—and makes falsifiability the demarcation criterion, such that what is unfalsifiable is classified as unscientific, and the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientifically true is pseudoscience."
"If a theory doesn’t make a testable prediction, it isn’t science."

TONY: While I agree that falsifiability is not the end-all-be-all of science, it IS important. Not only does it force scientist to focus on things that are practical and measurable, but it also creates a level playing field for discussion of scientific and theological philosophy. Why is it OK for evolution not to be falsifiable but not creation?
DAVID: What is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander.

For a change, we are all in agreement. Since your post was addressed to me, Tony, let me repeat the point that I was responding to:

DAVID: This is a quote from Cornelius Hunter who does not believe in the evolutionary process or Darwin theory:
https://designdisquisitions.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/quote-of-the-month-cornelius-hunte...

QUOTE: "Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news.
dhw: Being a theist means there is no bad news. Whatever happens happens because that is the way God wants it to happen. The God theory cannot be falsified.

Three points to be made here: 1) Hunter’s attack on the theory of evolution can be applied equally to the theory of God. “Sauce for the goose and the gander.” 2) We still talk of the “theory” of evolution, and I myself believe in it. I would never claim that it is “scientifically” true. (NB: Please remember the theory itself is not atheistic.) 3) Most important of all, I do not believe that science provides the only avenue to truth (whatever “truth” may be), and so in my own subjective quest for that truth, falsifiability as a criterion is actually irrelevant. The question is always "Can/Do I believe it?", not "Can it be falsified?"

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 15:19 (178 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: "Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news.

dhw: Being a theist means there is no bad news. Whatever happens happens because that is the way God wants it to happen. The God theory cannot be falsified.

Three points to be made here: 1) Hunter’s attack on the theory of evolution can be applied equally to the theory of God. “Sauce for the goose and the gander.” 2) We still talk of the “theory” of evolution, and I myself believe in it. I would never claim that it is “scientifically” true. (NB: Please remember the theory itself is not atheistic.) 3) Most important of all, I do not believe that science provides the only avenue to truth (whatever “truth” may be), and so in my own subjective quest for that truth, falsifiability as a criterion is actually irrelevant. The question is always "Can/Do I believe it?", not "Can it be falsified?"

Falsifiability applies only to proposed scientific theory about a specific process or event, not an attempt at belief. Science can be used in the search for religious belief.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 23:54 (177 days ago) @ David Turell

Science is supposed to be an objective, observable, testable process for learning concrete facts about the natural world. For science, belief is irrelevent, as is faith, and it cannot be used to study God, only his works. Both religion and science are avenues for understanding, but it IS important not to let them stray from their paths or the each lose the very thing that makes the wonderful.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Thursday, March 30, 2017, 13:35 (177 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

QUOTE: "Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news.”
dhw: Being a theist means there is no bad news. Whatever happens happens because that is the way God wants it to happen. The God theory cannot be falsified.
Three points to be made here: 1) Hunter’s attack on the theory of evolution can be applied equally to the theory of God. “Sauce for the goose and the gander.” 2) We still talk of the “theory” of evolution, and I myself believe in it. I would never claim that it is “scientifically” true. (NB: Please remember the theory itself is not atheistic.) 3) Most important of all, I do not believe that science provides the only avenue to truth (whatever “truth” may be), and so in my own subjective quest for that truth, falsifiability as a criterion is actually irrelevant. The question is always "Can/Do I believe it?", not "Can it be falsified?"

DAVID: Falsifiability applies only to proposed scientific theory about a specific process or event, not an attempt at belief. Science can be used in the search for religious belief.

There is no disagreement here. My point is that falsifiability (not science!) is irrelevant to my quest for truth. Nobody “knows” the truth, and so we can only end up with belief, whether it emerges from science, psychic experiences, philosophy, religion, upbringing… whatever.

TONY: Science is supposed to be an objective, observable, testable process for learning concrete facts about the natural world. For science, belief is irrelevent, as is faith, and it cannot be used to study God, only his works. Both religion and science are avenues for understanding, but it IS important not to let them stray from their paths or the each lose the very thing that makes the wonderful.

Again I agree, but I think what David meant was that you can use science to find evidence that God exists. Whether someone believes the conclusions drawn from that evidence is another matter.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, March 30, 2017, 14:57 (177 days ago) @ dhw

I think it might be accurate to say that science leads us to a point where we understand that there had to be something "supernatural", something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws break down and what's left is inexplicable.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 30, 2017, 15:19 (177 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: I think it might be accurate to say that science leads us to a point where we understand that there had to be something "supernatural", something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws break down and what's left is inexplicable.

Without question.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Friday, March 31, 2017, 10:52 (176 days ago) @ David Turell

Tony: I think it might be accurate to say that science leads us to a point where we understand that there had to be something "supernatural", something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws break down and what's left is inexplicable.

DAVID: Without question.

In true agnostic fashion I would phrase it slightly differently: science leads us to the point where there may be something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws that we know break down, and what's left is currently inexplicable and may always remain so.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Friday, March 31, 2017, 14:54 (176 days ago) @ dhw

Tony: I think it might be accurate to say that science leads us to a point where we understand that there had to be something "supernatural", something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws break down and what's left is inexplicable.

DAVID: Without question.

dhw: In true agnostic fashion I would phrase it slightly differently: science leads us to the point where there may be something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws that we know break down, and what's left is currently inexplicable and may always remain so.

If first cause is an accepted approach, we will reach the point where a 'designer' cannot be denied. Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Friday, March 31, 2017, 17:50 (175 days ago) @ David Turell

David : If first cause is an accepted approach, we will reach the point where a 'designer' cannot be denied. Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills.

I prefer to infer his characteristics by the examination f his creation. A preference which is supported in the biblewhen it stays that all that can be known the creator can be learned by studying his creation

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Friday, March 31, 2017, 18:50 (175 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

David : If first cause is an accepted approach, we will reach the point where a 'designer' cannot be denied. Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills.


Tony: I prefer to infer his characteristics by the examination of his creation. A preference which is supported in the bible when it says that all that can be known the creator can be learned by studying his creation.

Exactly as I do it, and the Quran agrees.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Saturday, April 01, 2017, 10:22 (175 days ago) @ David Turell

Tony: I think it might be accurate to say that science leads us to a point where we understand that there had to be something "supernatural", something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws break down and what's left is inexplicable.
DAVID: Without question.

dhw: In true agnostic fashion I would phrase it slightly differently: science leads us to the point where there may be something beyond the realm of science, because all of the 'natural' laws that we know break down, and what's left is currently inexplicable and may always remain so.
DAVID: If first cause is an accepted approach, we will reach the point where a 'designer' cannot be denied. Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills.

I accept first cause as an approach, but deny that your single, causeless, conscious ‘designer’ mind cannot be denied. The alternative that I have suggested over and over again is energy and matter constantly interacting, and countless consciousnesses originating and evolving from that interaction. Design from bottom upwards, as opposed to design from top downwards. Of course I find both hypotheses equally difficult to believe, which is why I am an agnostic. What you would call an either/or.

TONY: I prefer to infer his characteristics by the examination of his creation. A preference which is supported in the biblewhen it stays that all that can be known the creator can be learned by studying his creation
DAVID: Exactly as I do it, and the Quran agrees.

Me too, if I put on my theist’s hat. And what do I see when I examine his creation? Wondrous beauty, love, compassion, inventiveness, mixed with appalling ugliness, selfishness, cruelty, suffering.

Two further observations:
David, I thought you prided yourself on not inferring ANY of your God’s characteristics, as that means humanizing him.
Tony, in anticipation of a possible reply from you: (a) my second list existed long before humans came on the scene, and (b) I am not objecting to the mixture here but am merely inferring your God’s possible characteristics by examining his creation.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 01, 2017, 14:38 (175 days ago) @ dhw


TONY: I prefer to infer his characteristics by the examination of his creation. A preference which is supported in the biblewhen it stays that all that can be known the creator can be learned by studying his creation
DAVID: Exactly as I do it, and the Quran agrees.

dhw: Me too, if I put on my theist’s hat. And what do I see when I examine his creation? Wondrous beauty, love, compassion, inventiveness, mixed with appalling ugliness, selfishness, cruelty, suffering.

Two further observations:
David, I thought you prided yourself on not inferring ANY of your God’s characteristics, as that means humanizing him.
Tony, in anticipation of a possible reply from you: (a) my second list existed long before humans came on the scene, and (b) I am not objecting to the mixture here but am merely inferring your God’s possible characteristics by examining his creation.

If you read my comment, it clearly said 'to each his own': "Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills". The word characteristics can obviously mean no human aspects.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Sunday, April 02, 2017, 13:14 (174 days ago) @ David Turell

TONY: I prefer to infer his characteristics by the examination of his creation. A preference which is supported in the biblewhen it stays that all that can be known the creator can be learned by studying his creation

DAVID: Exactly as I do it, and the Quran agrees.

Dhw: David, I thought you prided yourself on not inferring ANY of your God’s characteristics, as that means humanizing him.

DAVID: If you read my comment, it clearly said 'to each his own': "Each of us can then shape the designer's characteristics as each of us wills". The word characteristics can obviously mean no human aspects.

Characteristic: “distinguishing quality, attribute or trait” (Encarta). By studying your God’s creations, have you therefore reached the conclusion that he definitely has no quality, attribute or trait in common with humans? Or do you think he might just possibly have such attributes as loneliness, boredom, curiosity, interestedness, humour, love, dislike, aesthetic pleasure etc., all of which I must confess I think I have noticed in his creations (I am wearing my theist hat). Of course, to anticipate your favourite response, we cannot “know” his characteristics – as Tony says, we can only infer them – but that applies equally to the argument that he has none. It is all a matter of what you believe. Do you actually believe he has none of the above attributes? If so, are they all the inventions of his creations?

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 02, 2017, 15:00 (174 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course, to anticipate your favourite response, we cannot “know” his characteristics – as Tony says, we can only infer them – but that applies equally to the argument that he has none. It is all a matter of what you believe. Do you actually believe he has none of the above attributes? If so, are they all the inventions of his creations?

Your question answers itself. What I believe and what I 'know' are the difference between faith and no faith. I believe He has some/many of the attributes you listed, but I cannot 'know that.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Monday, April 03, 2017, 12:39 (173 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course, to anticipate your favourite response, we cannot “know” his characteristics – as Tony says, we can only infer them – but that applies equally to the argument that he has none. It is all a matter of what you believe. Do you actually believe he has none of the above attributes? If so, are they all the inventions of his creations?

DAVID: Your question answers itself. What I believe and what I 'know' are the difference between faith and no faith. I believe He has some/many of the attributes you listed, but I cannot 'know that.

And you cannot even know that God exists. All we can do is study life and either draw conclusions or not draw conclusions. It therefore seems to me perfectly reasonable to discuss the issue of God’s existence AND his purpose AND his nature, and it is not unreasonable to base our discussions on the possibility that he has many of the attributes I have listed, unless you regard your own beliefs as unreasonable. Nor is it unreasonable to assume that if he exists, there will be a clear explanation for his actions, and this may well be connected with the human attributes you believe he has. Of course you have every right to dismiss all the different hypotheses I have proposed on the grounds that we cannot know the truth – but that applies equally to your own anthropocentric interpretation of life’s history, which you cling to despite the fact that you cannot find a "clear explanation" for the dichotomy I have again outlined under “God and evolution”.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Monday, April 03, 2017, 15:26 (173 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Your question answers itself. What I believe and what I 'know' are the difference between faith and no faith. I believe He has some/many of the attributes you listed, but I cannot 'know that.

dhw: And you cannot even know that God exists. All we can do is study life and either draw conclusions or not draw conclusions. It therefore seems to me perfectly reasonable to discuss the issue of God’s existence AND his purpose AND his nature, and it is not unreasonable to base our discussions on the possibility that he has many of the attributes I have listed, unless you regard your own beliefs as unreasonable. Nor is it unreasonable to assume that if he exists, there will be a clear explanation for his actions, and this may well be connected with the human attributes you believe he has. Of course you have every right to dismiss all the different hypotheses I have proposed on the grounds that we cannot know the truth – but that applies equally to your own anthropocentric interpretation of life’s history, which you cling to despite the fact that you cannot find a "clear explanation" for the dichotomy I have again outlined under “God and evolution”.

i
I do not understand why you cannot accept my position that I may attribute human characteristics to God in my position of faith, but intellectually admit that
I cannot know those characteristics are factually real.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 12:23 (172 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I do not understand why you cannot accept my position that I may attribute human characteristics to God in my position of faith, but intellectually admit that I cannot know those characteristics are factually real.

Of course I accept that position. As I keep repeating ad nauseam, nobody KNOWS if their beliefs are factually real, whether that relates to the existence of God, the purpose of God, or the nature of God. What I cannot accept is your insistence that (a) God had only one purpose (to create humans), and (b) everything else (e.g. the weaverbird's nest) is related to that purpose. Nor can I accept your refusal – despite your admission that the dichotomy between these two hypotheses leaves you without a “clear explanation” – to even consider any other possible purpose for his creation of life on the grounds that we mustn’t humanize your God (though you actually believe he has characteristics in common with humans) or that we cannot KNOW the truth.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 04, 2017, 13:46 (172 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I do not understand why you cannot accept my position that I may attribute human characteristics to God in my position of faith, but intellectually admit that I cannot know those characteristics are factually real.

dhw: Of course I accept that position. As I keep repeating ad nauseam, nobody KNOWS if their beliefs are factually real, whether that relates to the existence of God, the purpose of God, or the nature of God. What I cannot accept is your insistence that (a) God had only one purpose (to create humans), and (b) everything else (e.g. the weaverbird's nest) is related to that purpose. Nor can I accept your refusal – despite your admission that the dichotomy between these two hypotheses leaves you without a “clear explanation” – to even consider any other possible purpose for his creation of life on the grounds that we mustn’t humanize your God (though you actually believe he has characteristics in common with humans) or that we cannot KNOW the truth.

Our problem is I don't see a dichotomy starting with the position that humans are the goal of evolution as God conducts it.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Wednesday, April 05, 2017, 12:41 (171 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I do not understand why you cannot accept my position that I may attribute human characteristics to God in my position of faith, but intellectually admit that I cannot know those characteristics are factually real.

dhw: Of course I accept that position. As I keep repeating ad nauseam, nobody KNOWS if their beliefs are factually real, whether that relates to the existence of God, the purpose of God, or the nature of God. What I cannot accept is your insistence that (a) God had only one purpose (to create humans), and (b) everything else (e.g. the weaverbird's nest) is related to that purpose. Nor can I accept your refusal – despite your admission that the dichotomy between these two hypotheses leaves you without a “clear explanation” – to even consider any other possible purpose for his creation of life on the grounds that we mustn’t humanize your God (though you actually believe he has characteristics in common with humans) or that we cannot KNOW the truth.

DAVID: Our problem is I don't see a dichotomy starting with the position that humans are the goal of evolution as God conducts it.

I pointed out to you that if God is all-powerful, and can dabble at any time, and his only goal was to create humans, it did not make sense that he would personally design millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to do so (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest, monarch’s lifestyle, fly’s compound eye). Your response was “Guess what? It doesn’t make sense to me either”, and the only explanation you could come up with was that your God might be limited. I offered you experimentation as a "clear explanation", and you rejected it. You are currently backtracking on the limited God hypothesis because you can’t come up with any limitation you can accept as feasible. And so you are left where you started, with two hypotheses which, put together, don’t make sense to you. That is the dichotomy.


D

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 05, 2017, 14:59 (171 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Our problem is I don't see a dichotomy starting with the position that humans are the goal of evolution as God conducts it.

dhw:I pointed out to you that if God is all-powerful, and can dabble at any time, and his only goal was to create humans, it did not make sense that he would personally design millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to do so (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest, monarch’s lifestyle, fly’s compound eye). Your response was “Guess what? It doesn’t make sense to me either”, and the only explanation you could come up with was that your God might be limited.

I have explained that my comments are at the moment remarks and responses to your questions. Remember they are not set in stone as I've stated. I am ruminating out in public. You then pick up an at-the-moment thought and stick with it in responding to me. I don't settle on one thought or approach. My thoughts remaim fluid. I'm trying to understand the history as much as you are. You have not allowed yourself to make choices among the possible final decisions about what to believe.

dhw: I offered you experimentation as a "clear explanation", and you rejected it. You are currently backtracking on the limited God hypothesis because you can’t come up with any limitation you can accept as feasible. And so you are left where you started, with two hypotheses which, put together, don’t make sense to you. That is the dichotomy.

Again, no dichotomy. Main point, God's goal is to create humans. Time to do it is a human concept, not God's. He is timeless. Limitations or not are human thinking, not God's. Is He limited, probably not, but it remains a possibility. Is He all-powerful. More probable. Can I be absolutely positive about either thought? No. As for experimentation, all of the intricate examples of complexity in the genome and biologic functions reprised yesterday deny that possibility. They all strongly suggest immediate saltation of immediately active processes, nothing stepwise as would be the case with experimentation.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, April 06, 2017, 14:52 (170 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Our problem is I don't see a dichotomy starting with the position that humans are the goal of evolution as God conducts it.

DHW: I pointed out to you that if God is all-powerful, and can dabble at any time, and his only goal was to create humans, it did not make sense that he would personally design millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to do so (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest, monarch’s lifestyle, fly’s compound eye). Your response was “Guess what? It doesn’t make sense to me either”, and the only explanation you could come up with was that your God might be limited. I offered you experimentation as a "clear explanation", and you rejected it. You are currently backtracking on the limited God hypothesis because you can’t come up with any limitation you can accept as feasible. And so you are left where you started, with two hypotheses which, put together, don’t make sense to you. That is the dichotomy.

Ok, let's see if we can sort this statetement.

A) God did NOT have to create the endless variety, but he DID need to create sufficient variety to meet the requirements of sustaining a livable ecosystem.

B) The act of making the required resources beautiful, complex, interesting and wondrous is an expression of God's love for his creations.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Friday, April 07, 2017, 01:57 (169 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DAVID: Our problem is I don't see a dichotomy starting with the position that humans are the goal of evolution as God conducts it.

DHW: I pointed out to you that if God is all-powerful, and can dabble at any time, and his only goal was to create humans, it did not make sense that he would personally design millions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to do so (e.g. the weaverbird’s nest, monarch’s lifestyle, fly’s compound eye). Your response was “Guess what? It doesn’t make sense to me either”, and the only explanation you could come up with was that your God might be limited. I offered you experimentation as a "clear explanation", and you rejected it. You are currently backtracking on the limited God hypothesis because you can’t come up with any limitation you can accept as feasible. And so you are left where you started, with two hypotheses which, put together, don’t make sense to you. That is the dichotomy.


Tony: Ok, let's see if we can sort this statetement.

A) God did NOT have to create the endless variety, but he DID need to create sufficient variety to meet the requirements of sustaining a livable ecosystem.

B) The act of making the required resources beautiful, complex, interesting and wondrous is an expression of God's love for his creations.

Thank you. With my background I accept A, but am not sure of B

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Friday, March 31, 2017, 15:11 (176 days ago) @ dhw

Fair enough.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 01:20 (114 days ago) @ dhw

Last November the Royal Society took a look at Darwin's theory problems, and found no solution:

https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/05/haunted-by-intelligent-design-an-organizer-report...

"The opening presentation at the Royal Society conference by one of those world-class biologists, Austrian evolutionary theorist Gerd Müller, underscored [ tne problems.]

"Müller opened the meeting by discussing several of the fundamental “explanatory deficits” of “the modern synthesis,” that is, textbook neo-Darwinian theory. According to Müller, the as yet unsolved problems include those of explaining:

"Phenotypic complexity (the origin of eyes, ears, body plans, i.e., the anatomical and structural features of living creatures);

"Phenotypic novelty, i.e., the origin of new forms throughout the history of life (for example, the mammalian radiation some 66 million years ago, in which the major orders of mammals, such as cetaceans, bats, carnivores, enter the fossil record, or even more dramatically, the Cambrian explosion, with most animal body plans appearing more or less without antecedents);

"Non-gradual forms or modes of transition, where you see abrupt discontinuities in the fossil record between different types.

"As Müller has explained in previously published work (with Stuart Newman), although “the neo-Darwinian paradigm still represents the central explanatory framework of evolution, as represented by recent textbooks” it “has no theory of the generative.” In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose — reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived, and actual, status of the theory. (my bold)

Comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, June 01, 2017, 05:11 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

David:

"As Müller has explained in previously published work (with Stuart Newman), although “the neo-Darwinian paradigm still represents the central explanatory framework of evolution, as represented by recent textbooks” it “has no theory of the generative.” In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose — reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived, and actual, status of the theory. (my bold)

Comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

Common descent is actually inclusive in this issue. Having 'no theory of the generative' means that common descent stands no chance at all of having happened because 'new' features or traits have no means of occurring and causing speciation.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, June 01, 2017, 05:42 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

David:

Comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

"James Shapiro’s talk, clearly one of the most interesting of the conference, highlighted this difficulty in its most fundamental form. Shapiro presented fascinating evidence showing, contra neo-Darwinism, the non-random nature of many mutational processes – processes that allow organisms to respond to various environmental challenges or stresses. The evidence he presented suggests that many organisms possess a kind of pre-programmed adaptive capacity – a capacity that Shapiro has elsewhere described as operating under “algorithmic control.” Yet, neither Shapiro, nor anyone else at the conference, attempted to explain how the information inherent in such algorithmic control or pre-programmed capacity might have originated."


Comment: What I have always asserted: Variation within tightly controlled pre-defined constraints.

--
Without darkness there can be no light, no truth without lies.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 21:48 (113 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

David:

Comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.


"James Shapiro’s talk, clearly one of the most interesting of the conference, highlighted this difficulty in its most fundamental form. Shapiro presented fascinating evidence showing, contra neo-Darwinism, the non-random nature of many mutational processes – processes that allow organisms to respond to various environmental challenges or stresses. The evidence he presented suggests that many organisms possess a kind of pre-programmed adaptive capacity – a capacity that Shapiro has elsewhere described as operating under “algorithmic control.” Yet, neither Shapiro, nor anyone else at the conference, attempted to explain how the information inherent in such algorithmic control or pre-programmed capacity might have originated."


Tony: Comment: What I have always asserted: Variation within tightly controlled pre-defined constraints.

My point all along about bacteria. Algorithmic control and pre-programming fit exactly. Information running the show but no innate intelligence.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 23:57 (113 days ago) @ David Turell


Tony: Comment: What I have always asserted: Variation within tightly controlled pre-defined constraints.


David: My point all along about bacteria. Algorithmic control and pre-programming fit exactly. Information running the show but no innate intelligence.

Note this entry about penicillin:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/chemistry/turbocharged-vancomycin-1000-times-more-powerful-t...

"Since the discovery of penicillin began the antibiotic revolution in 1928, we have lived in a golden age of relative safety from infection. But the bacteria are catching up: they are able to develop resistance to antibiotic drugs quicker than we are able to invent new medicines. The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is one of the greatest threats to public health in the 21st century, according to the World Health Organisation.

"The tide might finally be turning, however, with the development of a new triple-threat drug that aims to outsmart bacterial evolution.

***

"Most new antibiotic drugs start to lose their effectiveness just a few years after release into the marketplace. For example, penicillin resistance was observed even before the drug was released as a therapeutic. (my bold)

"However, one drug that has proven itself over time is vancomycin. Itself produced by a non-hazardous soil bacteria, it is lethal against most of the bacteria that invade mammals. It has been widely used since the 1950s, and has only recently begun to lose its potency."

Comment: this article is on a different point but it shows that bacteria had automatic defenses in nature long before we found antibiotics. Note the bold.

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by dhw, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 11:49 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose — reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived, and actual, status of the theory. (David’s bold)
DAVID’s comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

They are simply saying what we have both said over and over again, that the problem is innovation. Common descent is a tremendous theory which many of us now take for granted (Tony opposes it), and it caused a furore at the time because it contradicted the established view of separate creation. Although Darwin was far from being the originator of the theory, it was he who persuaded the world to accept it (while insisting that it did not preclude the existence of God). He himself regarded his book as a starting-point, not a conclusion, and how very right he was.

TONY: Common descent is actually inclusive in this issue. Having 'no theory of the generative' means that common descent stands no chance at all of having happened because 'new' features or traits have no means of occurring and causing speciation.

Again, innovation is indeed the great problem. David’s theory that his God preprogrammed the new features or intervened to “dabble” is perfectly in line with common descent, because in all cases the changes would have taken place in existing organisms. My own hypothesis of cell communities using their (perhaps God-given) intelligence to cooperate in producing new features also explains how common descent might work.

QUOTE: "James Shapiro’s talk, clearly one of the most interesting of the conference, highlighted this difficulty in its most fundamental form. Shapiro presented fascinating evidence showing, contra neo-Darwinism, the non-random nature of many mutational processes – processes that allow organisms to respond to various environmental challenges or stresses. The evidence he presented suggests that many organisms possess a kind of pre-programmed adaptive capacity – a capacity that Shapiro has elsewhere described as operating under “algorithmic control.” Yet, neither Shapiro, nor anyone else at the conference, attempted to explain how the information inherent in such algorithmic control or pre-programmed capacity might have originated."

Shapiro is a champion of cellular intelligence, and so I don’t know why he doesn’t go the whole hog and offer it as an explanation for innovation. Perhaps, though, it’s a bit too radical to present to the Royal Society, and it would probably be far too radical for them to countenance anyone allowing for the existence of God as the possible originator of cellular intelligence or a “pre-programmed capacity”.

******

Please note: I may struggle over the next few days to keep up with this stream of posts, but I will do my best!

Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 22:22 (113 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose — reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived, and actual, status of the theory. (David’s bold)
DAVID’s comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

They are simply saying what we have both said over and over again, that the problem is innovation. Common descent is a tremendous theory which many of us now take for granted (Tony opposes it), and it caused a furore at the time because it contradicted the established view of separate creation. Although Darwin was far from being the originator of the theory, it was he who persuaded the world to accept it (while insisting that it did not preclude the existence of God). He himself regarded his book as a starting-point, not a conclusion, and how very right he was.

TONY: Common descent is actually inclusive in this issue. Having 'no theory of the generative' means that common descent stands no chance at all of having happened because 'new' features or traits have no means of occurring and causing speciation.

Again, innovation is indeed the great problem. David’s theory that his God preprogrammed the new features or intervened to “dabble” is perfectly in line with common descent, because in all cases the changes would have taken place in existing organisms. My own hypothesis of cell communities using their (perhaps God-given) intelligence to cooperate in producing new features also explains how common descent might work.

QUOTE: "James Shapiro’s talk, clearly one of the most interesting of the conference, highlighted this difficulty in its most fundamental form. Shapiro presented fascinating evidence showing, contra neo-Darwinism, the non-random nature of many mutational processes – processes that allow organisms to respond to various environmental challenges or stresses. The evidence he presented suggests that many organisms possess a kind of pre-programmed adaptive capacity – a capacity that Shapiro has elsewhere described as operating under “algorithmic control.” Yet, neither Shapiro, nor anyone else at the conference, attempted to explain how the information inherent in such algorithmic control or pre-programmed capacity might have originated."

dhw: Shapiro is a champion of cellular intelligence, and so I don’t know why he doesn’t go the whole hog and offer it as an explanation for innovation. Perhaps, though, it’s a bit too radical to present to the Royal Society, and it would probably be far too radical for them to countenance anyone allowing for the existence of God as the possible originator of cellular intelligence or a “pre-programmed capacity”.

Your paragraph above is an interesting and incorrect interpretation of the quote. What it states is Algorithmic control runs bacteria, and that is exactly my point about bacteria. They contain information to run the algorithms and are preprogrammed. They contain programs to turn on re-writes of their DNA ahd respond in that way.

RSS Feed of thread
powered by my little forum