The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:27 pm

PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:44 am
Londoner wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:54 am
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Londoner

First of all, I believe in Evolution, of course. This doesn't mean that I accept Darwinism. I think you can infer that from my posts. Further, I'm sorry that Evolution started and finished in the XIX century as Darwin's ideas kept paradigmatic, if not, regrettably for science, dogmatic. Sometimes I imagine that Earth was created again randomly so that Darwin wouldn't be born again and I wonder what theory of Evolution we'd have in the XXI century.

That thing about red hair is quite circular indeed. Evolution is expected to explain how on earth there are people with hair in whatever color, and they keep telling me how one color, or all except one, or whatever, extincts.

That's the same if I ask someone how to build a computer and all they keep telling me is how to choose defective ones and throw them away.

The origin of species is not the description of species. That was done before by Linnaeus.

Yes, I've read about abiogenesis of course, but I don't know any widely accepted theory. A few very well formulated theories from the scientific point of view, like Oparin-Haldane's primordial soup, are far from widely accepted for they are based on unproven hypothesis and are far from explaining how the very first primordial cell appeared, the minimal one capable of evolution.

Your last question deserved my greatest attention, however I find it a little confusing. I can't devise one thing on earth that can't be explained scientifically if that's your question. We have quite much uncontroversial theories for everything. We know what's matter to the detail of particles much smaller than atoms. We can trace the origin of the universe to the very first instant and even have interesting theories about multiverses. We can dive deep into more than 10Km below sea level and can fly in total security at huge speed and airplanes have been tested that reach upwards of 3.500Km/h. We eradicated one disease and prevented and controlled lots of diseases. Sadly, I can't place Darwin here for its tautological and incomplete nature, something that fortunately isn't shared by sound scientific theories.

Perhaps you'd like to read/comment my post on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a small assay on evolutionary illusion by natural selection. Same for a post on tautological argumentation and limited knowledge by a renowned neo-Darwinian, Futuyma.




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Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:53 am
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Hobbes

Could you offer a reference for your intentional fallacy and Fodor and Palimanteri ideas?




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I might have spelled their names wrong. They wrote a book about 10 years ago called "What Darwin Got Wrong". They pretty much summed up an old hobby-horse I'd been carrying around with me about Evolutionary Psychology, and the idiotic over wrought interpretations of some of the more popular science articles that come our from to to time concerning Zebra stripes, and lactose intolerance.
They are both committed to the theory of natural selection it is important to say, and apologise for the headline grabbing title. But the book is good.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:38 pm

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Thanks for the info.

What Darwin Got Wrong. Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini. 2010.

Interestingly, in a review in Science, Futuyma concluded loftinessly:

"Because they are prominent in their own fields, some readers may suppose that they are authorities on evolution who have written a profound and important book. They aren't, and it isn't."

Of course this is an elegant enthymeme, in that the one authority on evolution who writes profound and important books is Futuyma himself. For a question of modesty he omitted that.

I understand that you recall that from memory, but I can't find about the "intentional fallacy" within the book. Perhaps it's something different, as after searching, I found that "intentional fallacy" is a literary term, not a philosophical one.





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Londoner
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:11 pm

PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:44 am

First of all, I believe in Evolution, of course. This doesn't mean that I accept Darwinism. I think you can infer that from my posts.
I'm not clear what you think distinguishes Darwinism from Evolution. Plainly Darwinism as such is lacking because it was formulated before we know what we know now, so do you not accept Darwinism for that reason? What is the crucial difference between Evolution (that you accept) and Darwinism (that you don't)?
That thing about red hair is quite circular indeed. Evolution is expected to explain how on earth there are people with hair in whatever color, and they keep telling me how one color, or all except one, or whatever, extincts.
People have different hair colours because of variation in the genes that set hair colours. That is nothing to do with natural selection. If you look back, my story about hair colour was to illustrate a different point.
That's the same if I ask someone how to build a computer and all they keep telling me is how to choose defective ones and throw them away.
No, because evolution does not imply intention. Evolution is not trying to build a computer, or anything in particular. If a variation is not selected against, and the possessors of that variation can continue to reproduce, then that variation will stay in the population.
The origin of species is not the description of species. That was done before by Linnaeus.
Darwin was interested in how and why speciation occurs.
Yes, I've read about abiogenesis of course, but I don't know any widely accepted theory. A few very well formulated theories from the scientific point of view, like Oparin-Haldane's primordial soup, are far from widely accepted for they are based on unproven hypothesis and are far from explaining how the very first primordial cell appeared, the minimal one capable of evolution.
I do not see this. Plainly the hypothesis can never be proven, but that is the case with every hypothesis. On the other hand, it fits what we know. What sort of hypothesis are you looking for?
Your last question deserved my greatest attention, however I find it a little confusing. I can't devise one thing on earth that can't be explained scientifically if that's your question.
Philosophy can devise lots of them! Science operates within a framework; not everything fits into that framework. It might have been that you believed this was the case regarding 'life'. And strictly speaking it is, in that the division between living and non-living is an arbitrary construct. Both categories are subject to the same rules of chemistry, physics etc.

You continue:
We have quite much uncontroversial theories for everything. We know what's matter to the detail of particles much smaller than atoms. We can trace the origin of the universe to the very first instant and even have interesting theories about multiverses. We can dive deep into more than 10Km below sea level and can fly in total security at huge speed and airplanes have been tested that reach upwards of 3.500Km/h. We eradicated one disease and prevented and controlled lots of diseases. Sadly, I can't place Darwin here for its tautological and incomplete nature, something that fortunately isn't shared by sound scientific theories.
Certainly Darwinism is incomplete; his book was written a long time ago, nobody imagines there was nothing else to be said on the subject.

But if your problem with Darwinism is that it is tautological, that is not a problem within science; it is not a problem of scientific detail within the theory itself but with the general nature of the theory. In that case, surely every other theory on the subject must also be tautological. Yet you say you accept Evolution. I do not quite know what you mean by 'Evolution', but what is the tautology that is in Darwinism but not in Evolution?
Perhaps you'd like to read/comment my post on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a small assay on evolutionary illusion by natural selection. Same for a post on tautological argumentation and limited knowledge by a renowned neo-Darwinian, Futuyma.
For a discussion of tautology I would consult a philosopher, not a biologist! Your objection to Darwinism still appears to be philosophical, rather than scientific, but I still cannot be certain. Surely we should be able to clarify this!

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:40 pm

Londoner wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:11 pm
That thing about red hair is quite circular indeed. Evolution is expected to explain how on earth there are people with hair in whatever color, and they keep telling me how one color, or all except one, or whatever, extincts.
People have different hair colours because of variation in the genes that set hair colours. That is nothing to do with natural selection. If you look back, my story about hair colour was to illustrate a different point.
That's the same if I ask someone how to build a computer and all they keep telling me is how to choose defective ones and throw them away.
No, because evolution does not imply intention. Evolution is not trying to build a computer, or anything in particular. If a variation is not selected against, and the possessors of that variation can continue to reproduce, then that variation will stay in the population.
As you said before:

"If it was the case that a disease had wiped out all humans who did not have red hair, such that thereafter all humans had red hair, that would be the explanation of why humans had red hair. However, if there is no selection, if humans with all hair colours can produce fertile offspring, then the natural variation in genes that determine hair colour would be preserved, and thus the diversity, will continue.

I do not understand your problem over this."


You put it that people have different hair colors because of variation, that's fine, then you admit the hypothesis of a disease that wipes out all people without red hair, that's right, and then you take that as an explanation why all humans have red hair, that's correct. I believe this is an example of evolution for you (what you call "different point"), unless I'm missing something, as you seem to contradict that now.

According to Darwin's paradigm, you evolve by random variation and wiping out unfit specimens. No one is talking about intention. This is what I mean with the analogy with computers: I ask why all humans hypothetically have red hair, and they tell me the other ones were wiped out by disease and call this evolution (that's the same I ask how to build a computer and they say it's this simple: select defective ones, wipe them out and in the end you have perfect computers ready to run). I know this is not a simple task to understand, but at first I couldn't understand the meaning of nothing, not even time or dimensions, outside the universe and now I can.

P.S. I appreciate very much your post and read it carefully. I hope you don't mind that I'll answer it in parts.
Last edited by PauloL on Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfct?

Post by davidm » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:49 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:53 am
davidm wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:59 pm
It's more than that, though. At the molecular level evolution appears to be dominated not be selection but by the genetic drift of mutant alleles that are neutral: Neither beneficial nor deleterious.
Failure to understand that negative behaviours, and traits can even be preserved in the genome just so long as the host organism produces viable progeny: a confusion between (1) the claim that evolution is a process in which creatures with adaptive traits are selected and (2) the claim that evolution is a process in which creatures are selected for their adaptive traits. Modern Darwinism is committed to inferring (2) from (1); that this inference is invalid (in fact it's what philosophers call an 'intensional fallacy'); and that there is no way to repair the damage consonant with commitment to naturalism, which (Fodor and Palimanteri) take to be common ground.
The obsession with evolutionary theory to offer an explanation for every single aspect of life as if it have to have a positive outcome for selection is an embarrassment to the entire field.
Were this NOT the case I think more people would understand evolution and not think there is some kind of god in the mix.
Evolution is not a force that selects genes in any sense.
I can't quite tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. :)

Neutral evolution suggests that most evolution is non-adaptationist.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfct?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:56 pm

davidm wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:49 pm
[...]

I can't quite tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. :)

[...]
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People here are oftentimes too obsessed with agreement and disagreement with themselves. This is a philosophy forum where people have many different ideas and the intention is to debate them with sound argumentation.

If I tell you something red is blue you may argument it isn't and why. Because of obsession, some people here simply offer their best argumention by calling you stupid and lower terms. This is very unphilosophical as it can't be supported by any philosopher since Antiquity.




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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfct?

Post by davidm » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:11 pm

PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:56 pm
davidm wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:49 pm
[...]

I can't quite tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. :)

[...]
.




People here are oftentimes too obsessed with agreement and disagreement with themselves. This is a philosophy forum where people have many different ideas and the intention is to debate them with sound argumentation.

If I tell you something red is blue you may argument it isn't and why. Because of obsession, some people here simply offer their best argumention by calling you stupid and lower terms. This is very unphilosophical as it can't be supported by any philosopher since Antiquity.




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I have no idea what the above is supposed to mean.

For those interested in this very arcane discussion of adaptationism vs. neutral evolution, the following is an interesting discussion at Sandwalk, a blog by the biochemist Larry Moran. Richard Dawkins weighs in and it's very fun for nerds like me. :) Dawkins, Darwin, Drift and Neutral Theory

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:21 pm

PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:40 pm
According to Darwin's paradigm, you evolve by random variation and wiping out unfit specimens. No one is talking about intention. This is what I mean with the analogy with computers: I ask why all humans hypothetically have red hair, and they tell me the other ones were wiped out by disease and call this evolution (that's the same I ask how to build a computer and they say it's this simple: select defective ones, wipe them out and in the end you have perfect computers ready to run).
The analogy with computers is invalid because computers do not reproduce with variation, as living things do. If proto-computers reproduced with variation you could indeed evolve a computer. There is a video online showing how to evolve a clock, if proto-clocks reproduced with variation.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:26 pm

Ok.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:27 pm


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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:23 pm

Londoner wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:11 pm
PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:44 am
Yes, I've read about abiogenesis of course, but I don't know any widely accepted theory. A few very well formulated theories from the scientific point of view, like Oparin-Haldane's primordial soup, are far from widely accepted for they are based on unproven hypothesis and are far from explaining how the very first primordial cell appeared, the minimal one capable of evolution.
I do not see this. Plainly the hypothesis can never be proven, but that is the case with every hypothesis. On the other hand, it fits what we know. What sort of hypothesis are you looking for?
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What I'd really like to learn and I'm deeply curious about that is how the primordial cell could be formed, even if only theoretically.




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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:48 pm

Londoner wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:11 pm

You continue:

Certainly Darwinism is incomplete; his book was written a long time ago, nobody imagines there was nothing else to be said on the subject.

But if your problem with Darwinism is that it is tautological, that is not a problem within science; it is not a problem of scientific detail within the theory itself but with the general nature of the theory. In that case, surely every other theory on the subject must also be tautological. Yet you say you accept Evolution. I do not quite know what you mean by 'Evolution', but what is the tautology that is in Darwinism but not in Evolution?
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No other paradigmatic scientific theory suffers so many flaws as Darwin's. You can't say such a thing about Newton's gravity or Einstein's relativity.

Look at the tenets of natural selection:

(1)Individuals within populations are variable
(2)Variation is heritable
(3)Organisms differ in their ability to survive and reproduce
(4)Survival & reproduction are non-random

Where's Achilles tendon here? Right on the first premise. You start with a variable population to explain that a population evolves because of variation. Could it be more circular than this?

It was a pity to be Darwin to make such a theory or it was too early to conceive one. Unfortunately, for its [illegitimate] religious connotation, this theory is untouchable.

Fortunately for Einstein, in his time Newton's theory didn't have any religious connotation, or he might have been severed before finishing strict relativity. Even called creationist, as they call anyone challenging Darwin, to cut legs off at once.

Yes, there are creationists (these are paranoid people, I'm sorry), but calling anyone challenging Darwin such a thing is nothing but a [very convenient] fallacy of affirming the consequent: creationist challenge Darwin, then they who challenge Darwin are creationists. This is how a poor theory made paradigmatic survived 150 years and will survive another 150 years more.

Look at such brilliant people as Wilson and Watson on the Charlie Rose Show to discuss Darwin in 2005. They agreed that Darwin was the most important human being ever to appear on our planet. Is this rational at least?



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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by thedoc » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:07 am

PauloL wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:48 pm
Where's Achilles tendon here? Right on the first premise. You start with a variable population to explain that a population evolves because of variation. Could it be more circular than this?
Just because an argument is circular does not make it false, Show us where the premise is false.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:13 am

Organisms reproduce with variation. Some variations are advantageous and tend to spread through the population. Deleterious variations tend to get weeded out. Neutral variations may still spread because of drift.

There is nothing here that is the least bit circular.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Greta » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:33 am

The theory is not perfect, just awesome! I used to walk through the local Museum's skeleton gallery every day; it gives one a better feel of different species structural and functional similarities and differences.

That people could deny evolution is beyond belief to me. There was a time when they themselves followed a potted history of their species' evolution during gestation. Somehow this little fishy thing with gills in the first trimester grows to be a human. By the logic of creationism, gestation could not occur. Rather they would see the moment of fertilisation as a microscopic fully formed human that just gets bigger over time :lol: . These people are profoundly out of touch with reality but with, sadly, inordinate political clout.

These simplistic creation beliefs came from cultures that were not aware of microbes, and people hugely underestimate how important the discovery of bacteria was in shaping our beliefs. Before that time people did not suffer from bacterial infections but were either being punished by God/gods or possessed by evil spirits.

To such a creationist mind, the concept of speciation over deep time is unthinkable (and they tend to refuse to contemplate what deep time is because to do so would threaten their beliefs). There is nothing fancy or unlikely about speciation. Basically a group is split by geography and lead different lifestyles for long periods. The animals most suited to the new environments pass on their genes and the others disappear. Over time the animals are shaped by their environment and sometimes the differences are so great that animals can no longer productively breed. Then they are called a different species.

I reckon it will happen with humans too in the next thousand years - between the increasingly technologically-enhanced, genetically and epigenetically engineered wealthy and everyone else.

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