Evolution and Domestic Flora & Fauna

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

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Psychonaut
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Evolution and Domestic Flora & Fauna

Post by Psychonaut » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:49 pm

One thing that puzzles me is how people fail to understand and accept evolutionary theory, given that they are also perfectly happy breeding animals and plants in order to enhance or remove certain traits..

Evolution is not some airy fairy theory created by scientists in ivory towers who smash atoms together and expect you to believe they have discovered the gluon-graviton matrix.. It's something you can do, right now, in your back garden.

Every child should be given a set of fruit flies and told to make something interesting.

aloysius
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Post by aloysius » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:09 pm

Those who do not accept evolution would say that what you are doing in breeding is just making a change within the species. You have not come up with a new species.

Crossbreed two different breeds of dog and the result will still be a dog.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:43 pm

Species is a largely arbitrary term anyway.
The cut off points between primitive humans and modern humans are made for scientific convenience: there is no claim of metaphysical truth.
Charles Darwin wrote:I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of individuals closely resembling each other .... it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluxtuating forms. The term variety, again in comparison with mere individual difference, is also applied arbitrarily, and for mere convenience sake.
Generally the definition is based on the ability for animals to interbreed, creating a new species that is incapable of breeding with animals of the original is a simple enough thing to do. As I said, the easiest way to experiment with such things is with species which have short generations, such as fruit flies.

I should also point out that change within a species is an example of evolution.

I suspect that what you are thinking of is speciation, one of the elements of current evolutionary theory, which is distinct from overall evolutionary theory and not a necessary component of it.

[There are many competing evolutionary theories, not just a single one. Providing an example of where one form of evolution doesn't stand does not negate evolution in it's broader sense. An example is Horizontal Gene Transfer, whereby bacteria and other primitive organisms exchange genetic traits, making the genes themselves somewhat akin to species from the more classical view]

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Post by aloysius » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:59 pm

I agree with all you've said. I'm just pointing out the argument the creationist would use in reply. And they will not be swayed from it.

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Post by Nikolai » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:20 pm

Psychonaut

While your post challenges the creationist notion of animals and humans made in the present from at the beginning of time, it doesn't challenge the possibility of intelligent design.

I would say that people who reject evolution nowadays reject its requirement that life evolves randomly and without purpose, rather than the immutability of species.

Nikolai

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Post by philofra » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:56 pm

The theory of evolution is interesting. Most of us are convinced about the theory. So for must of us it isn't a theory. But it remains a theory because nobody has proven it totally right or totally wrong. There are still questions. But it remains a theory because it is the most plausible and sensible argument to date as to how humans and the world came to be.

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Post by Psychonaut » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:21 pm

I don't think my post contradicts either creationism or intelligent design. What it contradicts is the contradiction of evolution.

Intelligent Design can easily co-exist with evolution, we just have to wait until an intelligence (say, humans) is intelligent enough to design some life.

Evolutionary theory is one which may or may not be applied to specific circumstances.
It is no theory of everything. Who ever said it was?

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Post by Nikolai » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:16 pm

People who reject evolution in the animal world are extremely rare and tend not to be the kind of people who are interested in debate, examples or evidence.

Most religious people I know either follow the ID argument, or they believe that evolution applies to animals and plants but not to mankind.

"Intelligent Design can easily co-exist with evolution, we just have to wait until an intelligence (say, humans) is intelligent enough to design some life. "

We don't have to wait until such a day if God exists and is intelligently designing everything as we speak.

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Post by Psychonaut » Thu May 01, 2008 7:57 am

If our beliefs are based on evidence and proof then we do have to wait.

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Post by Nikolai » Thu May 01, 2008 9:08 pm

Even if we did design intelligent life we would still be left with the question of who designed life in the first place.

Even if life was made possible by lightning striking the primeval swamp, we would be left with who designed this miracle called lightning and this miracle called swamp...

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Post by Psychonaut » Fri May 02, 2008 10:42 am

And even if there is a God who intelligently created us we would be left with the question of who created him.

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Post by Nikolai » Fri May 02, 2008 3:30 pm

Very good point - I think we need Dave Essex, but he does tease so...

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Post by bullwinkle » Fri May 02, 2008 8:19 pm

Psychonaut wrote:And even if there is a God who intelligently created us we would be left with the question of who created him.
And even if there isn't we would be left with the question where did the universe come from or the question how can the universe have no origin?

Questions, questions.........

Bullwinkle

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Post by Psychonaut » Sat May 03, 2008 4:48 pm

Indeed, so we are agreed that a creator God is such a non-concept that not only does it not clarify the situation, it doesn't obfuscate it either.

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Post by Arising_uk » Fri May 30, 2008 2:40 am

Nikolai wrote:People who reject evolution in the animal world are extremely rare and tend not to be the kind of people who are interested in debate, examples or evidence.

Most religious people I know either follow the ID argument, or they believe that evolution applies to animals and plants but not to mankind.
If they believe that evolution did not create them then they do not understand the theory. They may be right that evolution may not now be the driving force behind human development since we have developed civilization and culture which appears to run upon Lamarkian evolutionary rules, i.e. intelligence can be transmitted once learnt.
Psychonaut wrote: "Intelligent Design can easily co-exist with evolution, we just have to wait until an intelligence (say, humans) is intelligent enough to design some life. "
LOL.
We don't have to wait until such a day if God exists and is intelligently designing everything as we speak.
You assume that God cares and can know about how the ouput is calculated. If it knew that it would not be running the simulation in the first place.
a_uk

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