The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

thedoc wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:28 am
thedoc wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:46 am
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I didn't say you claimed, that was just a deduction that proved correct.

I don't trust your observational science either.

Ad hominem attacking me, not my ideas, is very flattering for disclosing you don't have any intelligent argumentation, not even the weakest one, against my message, but you're desperate enough to argument anyway, even if only fallaciously.

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




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uwot
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:01 amDoc, of course there's no science without observation. Now I invite you to minimally Googling on scientific method, like David once advised me wisely and generously on another subject.
I've made the point before that there is no specific set of procedures that is common to every endeavour that gets called science. The thing is, there is no generally accepted definition of science. As often as not, what people mean by science, when they are insisting on some 'scientific method', are the 'hard' sciences; physics and chemistry in particular and the sometimes ambiguous biology. If you follow your own advice, and read the wikipedia entry on scientific method, you might notice the assumption that falsifictionism is a defining feature of 'science'. It isn't. If it were, then the theory of evolution (the mathematical modelling pointed out by davidm, notwithstanding) doesn't qualify, since there is no means of falsifying it, short of distilling god in a test tube.
As I was saying to Walker:
uwot wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:19 am It is, in essence the study of the natural world, the aim of which is to discover predictable patterns, that we can quantify, thereby giving us the means to manipulate our environment to whatever ends suit our purpose. Whether you attribute those patterns to 'design' is, as I said, entirely your business. But the one thing I suspect everyone would agree on, is that we cannot control any god by scientific or technological means. For that reason, there is no point including god in science, because if he, she or it is going to do mad crazy shit, there's fuck all we can do about it.
It's a rough and ready characterisation of the harder sciences; a bit clumsy, but it gives the general gist.
PauloL wrote:You can start with difference between an observational study and a trial experiment.
You can do both with cookery, gardening, crochet, building a fire, chopping tomatoes, riding a bicycle, learning a language, blimey riley, even learning to walk. It's a start, I suppose, but it doesn't inevitably lead to an outcome that everyone would call scientific.
PauloL wrote:After that don't feel lost, I'll guide you.
Well, that'll be down your own chosen rabbit hole.
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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 2:14 pm
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The substrata of Philosophy is controversy and UW thoughts are of magnificent prime philosophical quality.

Then, only criteria that accept Darwinian evolutionism as science will pass. Astrology and even Creationism are scientific from that point of view.

Yes, you can do both with whatever you wish, why not? You only call it scientific if it's done with cells, medicines or physical instrumentation? If research following scientific protocol isn't science, what do you call that? Is it OK for you that Mendel gardened pea plants in his experiments?




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uwot
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:31 pmThe substrata of Philosophy is controversy and UW thoughts are of magnificent prime philosophical quality.
Not sure that's a compliment, but I'll thank you anyway.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:31 pmThen, only criteria that accept Darwinian evolutionism as science will pass.
Again; it depends on what you want to call science.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:31 pmAstrology and even Creationism are scientific from that point of view.
All sorts of stuff can be called scientific. In terms of its predictive utility, Ptolemy is science. Alchemists made important discoveries, based on empirical observations and experiment. I think you must have missed the bit where I specifically excluded god from science.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:31 pmYes, you can do both with whatever you wish, why not? You only call it scientific if it's done with cells, medicines or physical instrumentation? If research following scientific protocol isn't science, what do you call that? Is it OK for you that Mendel gardened pea plants in his experiments?
Fine by me. What did he do that makes his work unscientific, in your view?
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:56 pm
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You're welcome anyway, UW.

I was using your criteria of science, that they must accept Darwinian evolutionism as science, so Popper's falsifiability isn't one of them (your own words).

I didn't miss god, I read you with interest. I simply thought that uncontroversial, but don't matter if you wish me to comment. Nothing is excluded a priori from scientific inquiry, not even god. The only problem is that there is nothing in the concept of god that can be used as material for scientific experimentation. The same for Darwinian evolutionism. You have nothing that can be falsified here (this is developed above on Darwin's tautology, please don't ask me to repeat).

I feel reassured that's fine for you. In my view absolutely nothing. Only in yours, as you excluded "cookery, gardening, crochet, building a fire, chopping tomatoes, riding a bicycle, learning a language, blimey riley, even learning to walk". So I feared you might consider Mendel's gardening unscientific.



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Last edited by PauloL on Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pm You have nothing that can be falsified here (this is developed above on Darwin's tautology, please don't ask me to repeat).
I already showed you explicitly that there is no tautology. That you persist in propounding this odious creationist sound bite proves that you are not a philosopher or a scientist, and have no interest in either discipline; you are, for all your facile denials, another liar for Jesus, masquerading (badly) as a seeker of truth. No honest person could look at the example of the nylon-eating bacteria and continue to maintain that there is a tautology in survival of the fittest. The example, as I explained, refutes the notion that the criterion of survival is survival; it shows that the criterion for survival in this case was the acquisition of the ability to exploit a new food source. I expect that one here, with a few exceptions, will be fooled by your disingenuous posts.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:14 pm If you follow your own advice, and read the wikipedia entry on scientific method, you might notice the assumption that falsifictionism is a defining feature of 'science'. It isn't.
Correct.
If it were, then the theory of evolution (the mathematical modelling pointed out by davidm, notwithstanding) doesn't qualify, since there is no means of falsifying it, short of distilling god in a test tube.
Although I generally agree with you and find your posts impressive, here I must disagree. Although falsificationism is not a defining feature of science, as you say, evolutionary theory most definitely is falsifiable. Find a fossil of a human in the same era as the fossil of a dinosaur and that's the end of evolution. In fact there are many ways to falsify evolutionary theory; there is a list of them somewhere online that I'll look up when I have time.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:20 pm
PauloL wrote: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:41 pm
davidm wrote: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:02 pm
Darwin [...]
There was a factory [...]
We have seen that what the theory so grievously lacks is a criterion of survival that is independent of survival.
Wrong! The criterion of survival was that the bacteria had acquired the ability to scarf down a shitload of nylon. So in this case there most definitely is a “criterion of survival that is independent of survival.”
I really appreciate your example and your effort. That's highly logical indeed. And elegant.

The only problem is that Nature is highly parsimonious and bacteria must have their genome reduced to a minimum that allows survival. Imag[in]e a bacteria carrying an enormous luggage of genes for everything they may happen to cross with, like nylon, somewhere in the future.
davidm wrote: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:02 pm
If only there were some way [...]
But of course there is [...]
You must read the full sentence. Anyway, bacteria would survive with or without nylon, as you put it before, so there's nothing to test, less so to falsify.
davidm wrote: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:02 pm This paradigmatic case also demolishes the following:
”Selection, then, has not produced anything new, but only more of certain kinds of individuals. Evolution, however, means producing new things, not more of what exists.”
Good lawd! Right before our very eyes, evolution produced something that had never existed in the history of the world — an organism that could eat nylon!

BTW, the first part of this guy’s quote is also wrong — evolution doesn’t work on individuals; it works on populations.
The organism that ate nylon was already there carrying a useless gene for generations until it found nylon. Nylon is the only new thing there.

[BTW,] [y]our second part is wrong, too. Morgan is talking about individuals in a population.
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I repost so that you can refresh memory. Your example is against Nature's parsimonious and follows Morgan's view that nothing new was created, except nylon. I forgot to mention that your example, the creation of a bacteria with a useless gene that is maintained generation after generation until nylon shows up, besides parsimonious violation, is against Darwin's tenets (is the gene subject to natural selection?). That is the only point where evolution occurred, not when bacteria meet nylon, many generations later.

I wished your elegant example to become paradigmatic, but really don't see how.

You might also wish to reread my post on Mycobacterium tuberculosis where you can easily understand that adding drug multi-resistance (that is, violating parsimonious as wild strains don't need that) favors survival capacity at the cost of virulence loss, as these strains survive in a medium impregnated with antibiotics, but need a immune-suppressed host. The post is here:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14226&hilit=mycoba ... 90#p325060

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 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

Hereafter, I won’t be reading or responding to PauloL’s posts. It is a waste of time to try to engage with someone so thick and/or dishonest that he continues to maintain that survival of the fittest is tautological, even when presented with clear proof that it is not.

I am interested in the issue of the demarcation problem in science that uwot has raised. I would certainly like to discuss that, though perhaps it would be better to do so in a different thread.

A good anecdotal example of why we should reject Popperian falsificationism goes back to Einstein (as so many things do). In 1919 an experimental test of his general relativity was about to be conducted. Einstein was asked what he would say if the results of the experiment failed to support his theory. He replied: "Then I would feel sorry for the good Lord.  The theory is correct."

That’s the spirit! 8)
uwot
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmAlthough I generally agree with you and find your posts impressive...
Thank you.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pm...here I must disagree.
Ah, there's always a 'but'.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmAlthough falsificationism is not a defining feature of science, as you say, evolutionary theory most definitely is falsifiable. Find a fossil of a human in the same era as the fossil of a dinosaur and that's the end of evolution.
Well, it would certainly demolish our current beliefs about the chronology, but, in itself, that wouldn't falsify the general principle.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmIn fact there are many ways to falsify evolutionary theory; there is a list of them somewhere online that I'll look up when I have time.
Again, you clearly know way more about evolution, and biology generally, than I do, so I'm quite happy to take your word for it. I appreciate that I'm being a bit lazy and sticking to very general terms that are nearly 200 years old, but I don't think there is any conceivable evidence that could rule out the hypothesis that some invisible, right royal smarty-pants, did it all for reasons we can only guess at.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:16 pm
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Survival of the fittest isn't tautological. It's Darwin's tenets that are tautological.

I appreciate very much your quote on Einstein. It's a good start to rebut Popper.

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




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Harbal
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Harbal »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:42 pm
Doc, remember all Catholics are cheering for you. Don't disappoint them.
Catholics thrive on disappointment, it's their second favourite thing next to suffering guilt.
davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

uwot wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:22 pm
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmAlthough I generally agree with you and find your posts impressive...
Thank you.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pm...here I must disagree.
Ah, there's always a 'but'.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmAlthough falsificationism is not a defining feature of science, as you say, evolutionary theory most definitely is falsifiable. Find a fossil of a human in the same era as the fossil of a dinosaur and that's the end of evolution.
Well, it would certainly demolish our current beliefs about the chronology, but, in itself, that wouldn't falsify the general principle.
davidm wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:25 pmIn fact there are many ways to falsify evolutionary theory; there is a list of them somewhere online that I'll look up when I have time.
Again, you clearly know way more about evolution, and biology generally, than I do, so I'm quite happy to take your word for it. I appreciate that I'm being a bit lazy and sticking to very general terms that are nearly 200 years old, but I don't think there is any conceivable evidence that could rule out the hypothesis that some invisible, right royal smarty-pants, did it all for reasons we can only guess at.
Well, 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.

But 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.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by uwot »

PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmI was using your criteria of science, that they must accept Darwinian evolutionism as science, so Popper's falsifiability isn't one of them (your own words).
Again; I don't really have a criterion of science.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmI didn't miss god, I read you with interest. I simply thought that uncontroversial, but don't matter if you wish me to comment. Nothing is excluded a priori from scientific inquiry, not even god.
Well, in terms of utility, the thing that distinguishes science is that it provides demonstrable and, within acceptable limits, predictable results. This, more or less, is the point Kuhn made about 'normal science'. The underlying hypothesis doesn't really matter, so long as it works.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmThe only problem is that there is nothing in the concept of god that can be used as material for scientific experimentation.
Which is the point I was making.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmThe same for Darwinian evolutionism. You have nothing that can be falsified here (this is developed above on Darwin's tautology, please don't ask me to repeat).
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. If god did it, then we can have no influence or control over it, other than prostrating ourselves, or cutting off the bits of us that offend him. (He could have saved us the bother by not putting them there in the first place. Rum fellow, god.) But that, I would suggest, is not science.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmI feel reassured that's fine for you. In my view absolutely nothing. Only in yours, as you excluded "cookery, gardening, crochet, building a fire, chopping tomatoes, riding a bicycle, learning a language, blimey riley, even learning to walk".
No I didn't.
PauloL wrote: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:10 pmSo I feared you might consider Mendel's gardening unscientific.
No I don't.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm »

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.
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