The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:58 pm Precis?
The theory behind Darwinian evolutionism, is that the observable changes in anatomy shown in the fossil record, and the beaks of finches on the Galapagos Islands, is the result of natural selection, rather than divine meddling. There is no way, other than god coming clean and admitting he did it, to falsify either hypothesis.

Well, that is true, of course. In the same way we can't falsify Last Thursdayism (God created the world last Thursday and tricked us in to thinking it is very old).

But we can falsify (tentatively) evolutionary theory. Find a fossil of humans contemporaneous with that of a dinosaur and evolutionary theory is blow to smithereens,

Of course, we never find such a thing, and it is this (along with much else) that gives us confidence that the theory of evolution is a good model of the real world.
uwot
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:44 pmWell, I agree, but that is only saying that there is no conceivable evidence that could rule out "goddidit." In the same vein there is no conceivable evidence that could rule out Last Thursdayism.
The thing is, Occam's Razor just makes life simpler. It doesn't follow that the most parsimonious hypothesis is the 'truest'. That said, scientists are no different to any other mortals; they want any easy life, and will generally seek the simplest solution to whatever problem confronts them.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:44 pmBut there is certainly conceivable evidence that could rule out evolutionary theory. However, even if such a "disproof" were to be found, we need to be very careful. It would be possible that the alleged disproof could arise from a faulty methodology that has not yet been identified, for example.
Absolutely; which is why falsificationism isn't the absolute it briefly was.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

I may have misunderstood uwot's earlier comment on falisfying evolution.

If what you were saying was, "we can't falsify evolutionary theory in the sense that we can't prove that God did it instead," then I agree with that.

But putting god aside, we can falsify evolutionary theory itself -- by, as noted above, finding a fossil of humans in the era of dinosaurs. That would (tentatively) falsify evolutionary theory. But note, even that would not falsify evolution -- it would just falsify our theoretical construct of explaining the observed fact of evolution,
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:06 pmBut we can falsify (tentatively) evolutionary theory. Find a fossil of humans contemporaneous with that of a dinosaur and evolutionary theory is blow to smithereens.
Well, no. As above, our current chronology is toast, but we could easily modify the theory to accommodate the new findings.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:06 pmOf course, we never find such a thing, and it is this (along with much else) that gives us confidence that the theory of evolution is a good model of the real world.
We haven't yet. Like you, I would be astonished if we did, but now we're getting into underdetermination. In my view, we could never generate an hypothesis that we know will account for all future data. At the end of the day, the data is what it is, and a successful theory is one that accounts for all the historical data, without recourse to predicates that have never been observed: god, being the most obvious example.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:16 pm I may have misunderstood uwot's earlier comment on falisfying evolution.

If what you were saying was, "we can't falsify evolutionary theory in the sense that we can't prove that God did it instead," then I agree with that.

But putting god aside, we can falsify evolutionary theory itself -- by, as noted above, finding a fossil of humans in the era of dinosaurs. That would (tentatively) falsify evolutionary theory. But note, even that would not falsify evolution -- it would just falsify our theoretical construct of explaining the observed fact of evolution,
Sorry, I posted the above without seeing this. My take is that, to be pedantic, there is a wealth of scientific and archaeological (if that doesn't count as scientific) evidence, for which the best explanation, by a country mile, is evolution. If it so pleases someone, they can attribute that to whatever god they fancy, but as Laplace said to Napoleon, I have no need of that hypothesis. God is only really an issue when halfwits mutilate science to justify their ghastly political objectives. Bit off topic, but outside that, I don't care what people believe. I'm a bit Feyerabendian in that respect.
davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:25 pm
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:06 pmBut we can falsify (tentatively) evolutionary theory. Find a fossil of humans contemporaneous with that of a dinosaur and evolutionary theory is blow to smithereens.
Well, no. As above, our current chronology is toast, but we could easily modify the theory to accommodate the new findings.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:06 pmOf course, we never find such a thing, and it is this (along with much else) that gives us confidence that the theory of evolution is a good model of the real world.
We haven't yet. Like you, I would be astonished if we did, but now we're getting into underdetermination. In my view, we could never generate an hypothesis that we know will account for all future data. At the end of the day, the data is what it is, and a successful theory is one that accounts for all the historical data, without recourse to predicates that have never been observed: god, being the most obvious example.
I agree with all of this, except I don't think we could easily modify evolutionary theory to accommodate contemporaneous human and dinosaur fossils. But since evolution is an observed fact, it should then be possible to modify the theory to account for this. But of course, in reality, there are no contemporaneous dinosaur and human fossils. This fact, along with so much else, gives us great confidence in the (non-tautoligical) theory of evolution that models the observed fact of evolution.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

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It's great that finally someone refuted circularity in Darwin's theory: David. Once dinosaurs and humans are not contemporaries each other the theory isn't circular. Great, but Philosophy must redefine the concept of circularity. Now I understand your elegant example of the bacteria carrying a heavy genome full superfluous genes just in case they might find something new in future, like nylon.

Frankly, I prefer Darwin's theory than your thoughts as Darwin's is much more elaborate and coherent at least.


davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:01 pm To be clear, to rule out evolutionary theory is not to rule in God. This is not a binary choice and God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.
And yet, David calls me creationist.

David, always remember all Catholics are cheering for you. Don't disappoint them.






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Last edited by PauloL on Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
uwot
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:46 pmI agree with all of this, except I don't think we could easily modify evolutionary theory to accommodate contemporaneous human and dinosaur fossils.
Sloppy use of 'we'. I could easily modify my evolutionary theory, for the simple reason that it's very loose already. I know perfectly well that the fossil record implies that home sapiens is between 100 000 and 250 000 years old, and that dinosaurs died out 60 million years ago. (Or evolved into birds-really not my field) So yes, it would completely change my temporal structure, but it wouldn't change the rest of the evidence that persuades me that evolution has occurred.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:46 pmBut since evolution is an observed fact, it should then be possible to modify the theory to account for this.
My point precisely.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:46 pmBut of course, in reality, there are no contemporaneous dinosaur and human fossils.
Nor, in my view, is there likely to be. But that's underdetermination for you. It's the problem of induction; just because we never have found human remains next to T.Rex, doesn't mean we never will.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:46 pmThis fact, along with so much else, gives us great confidence in the (non-tautoligical) theory of evolution that models the observed fact of evolution.
I have no serious doubt that evolution occurs, and I am entirely confident that natural selection, by whatever empirically verifiable genetic mechanism, is the most compelling explanation.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:33 pm I have no serious doubt that evolution occurs, and I am entirely confident that natural selection, by whatever empirically verifiable genetic mechanism, is the most compelling explanation.
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I don't doubt evolution occurs either. This is the point missed by a few people here that suspended discussion by flooding this with posts calling me creationist. It's their opinion and they're entitled to be wrong (not only here), the problem is the polluting nature of their flood.

The problem is that I think natural selection is a flawed theory and is supported by circularity not only in their tenets but also in its observational nature. Science isn't theorizing what you observe. It's making hypothesis based on what you observe and on your inferences and that can be falsified empirically.

I accept mitochondrial endosymbiosis, as I told before many times, and I'm not as demanding on its evidence as with Darwin because endosymbiosis makes sense, something natural selection doesn't. The examples given here, of which David's nylon bacteria is paradigmatic, demonstrate clearly how nonsense natural selection is. I humanly understand how ashamed they feel to accept that, and Psychology can explain their behavior.




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Last edited by PauloL on Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Harbal
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:22 pm And yet, David calls me creationist.
Well you can't blame him for suspecting that God is hiding up your sleeve. Why not put all our minds at rest right now by stating that God doesn't figure in your in your argument.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

Harbal wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:49 pm
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:22 pm And yet, David calls me creationist.
Well you can't blame him for suspecting that God is hiding up your sleeve. Why not put all our minds at rest right now by stating that God doesn't figure in your in your argument.
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To whom it may concern, I hereby affirm under penalty of perjury that God doesn't figure in my argumentation.

Now it's David's turn. He's highly suspect because he admitted he wants to join Darwin and God. Harbal may pass their turn.




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Harbal
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Harbal »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:54 pm I hereby affirm under penalty of perjury that God doesn't figure in my argumentation.
What about in your conclusion?
Harbal may pass their turn.
Harbal needs no permission, Harbal will come and go according to his whim.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

What conclusion?

You're so funny.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

Londoner wrote: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:12 pm
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Because of so much pollution flooded here, Londoner is no longer actively participating in the thread.

Who likes to watch pollution?




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Arising_uk
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfct?

Post by Arising_uk »

Walker[/quote wrote:...

Examine the doubts of Darwin rather than the certainties of his acolytes.
Why am I not surprised you are a creationist.
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