Friday, January 29, 2016

Magical Evolution

This video, or one like it, was part of a PBS Nature program this past Wednesday.



Being blind [1] and without cognition, it is not possible that the mussels ever knew of the physical characteristics of fish, much less the preferred prey fish of bass. There is no possible way to account for the origination of this tactic. And the claim of "evolution" in the video is actually devolution, where a specific mussel has mutated away from the proper darter design, and lost the ability to breed using the bass gill-feed method.

This mussel phenomenon has two simultaneous features: first is the use of bass gills for an important and necessary stage of mussel life cycle development, and second is the development of a working lure which duplicates the prey fish, from shape and swimming motion, to eyes and eye rings, mouth, fin shape and coloration with proper markings. If this had to be selected, it would have had to be developed all at once, or the mussel line would have died out trying.

In order to use the bass, which it could not see, the mussel had to determine all the characteristics of the bass' favorite prey fish, which the mussel also could not see. Being blind, hardly mobile, and nothing like a fish itself, the mussel somehow produced, by inference presumably, a system of procreation totally dependent on the fish it probably doesn't know (intellectually) even exist.

If anything defies credibility, it is the claim that a blind mussel created this system through evolution by mutation/selection. Just as credible would be the claim of "evolutionary magick", which at bottom is what this claim actually is.

Notes
1. Some mollusks do have simple eyes:
"...a few members of the Arcoidea, Limopsoidea, Mytiloidea, Anomioidea, Ostreoidea, and Limoidea have simple eyes on the margin of the mantle"; Morton, B. (2008). "The evolution of eyes in the Bivalvia: new insights". American Malacological Bulletin 26 (1–2): 35–45. doi:10.4003/006.026.0205.

This particular family apparently does not have eyes; and no mollusk has a brain. Mollusks have only a few nerves which activate the adductor muscles, and connect to basic chemical sensors for water quality and direction of uprightness.

109 comments:

Hugo Pelland said...

"And the claim of "evolution" in the video is actually devolution, where a specific mussel has mutated away from the proper darter design, and lost the ability to breed using the bass gill-feed method."

Evolution has no direction; not in the sense you put it here. It's still evolution when characteristics that are arguably good in 1 context are lost because of adaptation. Sea mammals lost their legs, but became better swimmers, for instance.

Evolution does have a sense of direction in another way though; a descendant cannot re-evolve, or de-evolve, back into an exact copy of an ancestor. That's one of the laws of evolution.

"If this had to be selected, it would have had to be developed all at once, or the mussel line would have died out trying."

Not necessarily. Lots of organs and behavior evolved gradually, yet appear today to be something essential, all at once. All that is needed is for some members of a population to have an advantage and their genes will propagate more. Sometimes, that advantage comes with other side effect that are not useful until much later.

Stan said...

Mutation and selection is evolution. Mutation and DEselection is not.

And there are no "laws" of evolution. Mutation and selection have been abandoned by a large component of the evolution scientist community.

http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-very-short-course-on-evolution.html

http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-theory-of-evolution.html

http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2015/06/evolution-part-3.html

Feel free to comment on any or all of the above articles.

"Not necessarily. Lots of organs and behavior evolved gradually, yet appear today to be something essential, all at once."

Not the case. The same principle applies here: there are no laws, because there is no empirical evidence, there is only story telling (Just So Stories) which surrounds the fossil record (bones).

Mutation cannot create, as has been shown in the Kimura selectability mathematical "box" principle.

http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-theory-of-evolution.html

As for the "evolution of behavior", that is not science at all; it is pure speculation with no empirical validation or even hope of validation. Entirely outside the field of knowledge generation called "science".

"All that is needed is for some members of a population to have an advantage and their genes will propagate more. Sometimes, that advantage comes with other side effect that are not useful until much later."

This is a typical evolutionist claim: hyperbolic, without a shred of evidence even possible to validate it. It is religious in nature because it must be believed without any hope of proof.

On the other hand, if you actually do have empirical support for that statement, please reference it.

Stan said...

Now for the analysis of the mussel in the video.

The video explicitly claims that imperfect fish lures lead to genetic death by deselection of the mussels with phony lures.

That means that the origination of the lure technique must have worked, or it would have been deselected. Thus the lure must have been perfectly formed by the first mussel in the genetic line to use it. Otherwise there would be no mussels using bass lures, because none would have been successful. No bass would have accepted less than a properly formed - and moving - lure, according to the evolution speech in the video.

This fully comports with evolutionary theories based on mutation, selection.

Moving on. You did not address the issue of how a blind, brainless mollusk would be able to a) identify a method of parasitic support for its offspring in the form of attaching to gills; b) identify a fish to parasite; c) identify the exact prey fish of the target fish; d) create a valid working model of the prey fish out of its own tissue; e) replicate the proper motion for the lure; f) transfer that knowledge to its offspring; g) all this with only a half dozen nerves, all used for specific functions other than the lure.

Give it a shot, but be specific - no pie in the sky generalities.

Hugo Pelland said...

"Mutation and selection is evolution. Mutation and DEselection is not."
Again, evolution has no direction; not in the sense you put it here; there is no such thing as 'DEselection'.

"And there are no "laws" of evolution"
Yes, there are laws. I gave you one already; why do you say it's not a law?

"Mutation and selection have been abandoned by a large component of the evolution scientist community."
Non-sense; mutation and selection are core mechanisms of biological evolution. Nobody can ignore that and still be a biologist. Perhaps you are confusing the details of the mechanisms involved and which ones have more impact that the others.

"Feel free to comment on any or all of the above articles."
Well, you wrote a few things which are completely wrong here already. So I will stick to that for a while, I think...

Xellos said...

"Evolution does have a sense of direction in another way though; a descendant cannot re-evolve, or de-evolve, back into an exact copy of an ancestor. That's one of the laws of evolution."

Why?

"Evolution has no direction"

So, what is evolution? Gaining useful characteristics?

"Sea mammals lost their legs, but became better swimmers, for instance."

Apparently, also losing useful characteristics.

"Sometimes, that advantage comes with other side effect that are not useful until much later."

And not gaining any, as well.

Does terminally losing the ability to procreate count as evolution? Based on what you wrote, it should - it's just evolution in a peculiar direction.

Hugo Pelland said...

"Evolution does have a sense of direction in another way though; a descendant cannot re-evolve, or de-evolve, back into an exact copy of an ancestor. That's one of the laws of evolution."
"Why?"
Because mutations are random, both in terms of location in the genome and outcome.

So, let's say we have a hierarchy of species that evolved over time, A->B->C, then for species C to change and become identical to species A again, you would need the common characteristics of A and C to stay stable, while offspring of species C have DNA which is closer and close to A, with common characteristics kept at each stage such that C turns into A. But nothing prevents the common characteristics from changing; it's random and thus almost impossible, statistically. There is still a non-0 probability, to be clear, but it decreases over time and becomes negligible.

" So, what is evolution? Gaining useful characteristics?
Apparently, also losing useful characteristics.
And not gaining any, as well.
"

Change over time influenced by a selection process. That's what evolution is in its simplest form. Yes, it can imply gaining, losing, or keeping characteristics; because there is randomness in the process.

"Does terminally losing the ability to procreate count as evolution? Based on what you wrote, it should - it's just evolution in a peculiar direction."

Not sure what you mean by "terminally losing the ability to procreate"... if an individual loses the ability to procreate, it doesn't do much in terms of evolution, just a broken lineage. If a population loses the ability to procreate, the entire branch of their lineage will die off and let room for other species to procreate more easily, or bring down other species with it (think of a food source dying off, starving its eaters). But no, it's still not in a peculiar direction; there is no direction, just survival.

Steven Satak said...

I am amazed at the mental gyrations required to believe in an aimless, wholly mechanistic universe - and vigorously defend the epicycles developed to defend it - while at the same time utterly ignoring the fact that if your own mind is a product of *that*, your words carry no more meaning than the sound of the wind in the trees.

Hugo Pelland said...

Steven,

What's not mechanistic in our universe? We don't need to believe everything is mechanistic to reject claims regarding non-mechanistic phenomena, whatever that is.

And, whatever your opinion is regarding the implications of common scientific knowledge is not an argument and does not have anything to do with whether that knowledge is accurate.

Stan said...

Hugo,
You are not up to date on the changing position within the evolutionary community. Please read either the links I gave you, or at least get the book written by the 16 leading evolutionary theorists (the Altenberg 16). Until you know about the theoretical changes, it is not possible to have an informed discussion.

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080917/full/455281a.html?s=news_rss

Second, the term "law" implies an inviolable principle which is proven empirically and replicated sufficiently that it is, for the time being, considered valid - until subsequent falsification proves otherwise. For evolutionary theory there is NO empirical verification and there is NO replication and there is NO possibility of falsification. Any "truth" statement which cannot be falsified is a religious belief (Karl Popper; "The Logic of Scientific Discovery"; Pp 17-26).

I recommend that you invest a token amount in the book written by the Altenberg 16, (The Extended Synthesis, link below) read it thoroughly, invest in other reference materials alluded to by those evolutionary theorists, and then return to discuss evolution using modern concepts. Of special interest is Ch 17, "The Dialectics of Dis/Unity in the Evolutionary Synthesis and Its Extensions".

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Extended-Synthesis-Massimo-Pigliucci/dp/0262513676/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454240175&sr=1-1&keywords=the+Extended+synthesis

Stan said...

Hugo,
Regarding your apparently intense belief in total mechanistic operation of everything in the universe, i.e., total determinism as is found in Philosophical Materialism/Physicalism/Naturalism, that belief renders your thoughts to be merely the expression of the prior positions of electrons and charged molecules in your neurons. Since that is purely "mechanistic", then there can be no rational input from your perceived "self" which would change the transition to the next brain state.

So your statements are predetermined clear back to the Big Bang and are without analytical or logical content, since they are merely the ticking of a clock in nature.

"And, whatever your opinion is regarding the implications of common scientific knowledge is not an argument and does not have anything to do with whether that knowledge is accurate."

Nor is your opinion. Since there is NO empirical knowledge other than the position of bones in geological layers, then there is zero "common scientific knowledge" regarding evolution: it is all inference and speculation -not actual knowledge, especially not scientific knowledge - what evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould called "Just So Stories", which are fabricated story lines in attempts to "explain", in the total absence of hard, empirical evidence.

Stan said...

My favorite "Just So Story" is Gould's very own: Punctuated Equilibrium. PE states that stasis holds in a population until all at once extremely fast evolution occurs, leaving no evidence, not even trace evidence.

So the theory is this:

There is no evidence of X because X leaves no evidence. But X had to happen, or else Y can't be explained. So we have to believe in X in order to explain Y. So now Y has an explanation due to the lack of evidence for X.

THAT is a beauty.

Hugo Pelland said...

Stan, the Nature article was interesting, thanks, but I didn't learn anything new; it's 7 years old after all. Nothing contradicts what I wrote, but it does contradict what you say: mutations cannot create. That's a basic fact you get wrong. Why do you insist that biologists are the ones who are wrong?

Regarding laws, your definition above sounds good, and does fit with the example of a law in biology. Why do you say it's not a law? Or an even simpler example: offspring are never perfect copies of their parent. The previous principle I explained depends on that fact.

There's more of course, but these are core principles of evolution, which you seem to reject despite the evidence.

Stan said...

Hugo
Why do you not read what I wrote??
You are completely ignorant of the latest evolutionary theory.
Yet you insist on talking about "laws" when there are no laws, only conjecture.

Until you read the actual sources you do not know what we are talking about at this site. For example, there is zero probability that a mutation will be positiiely selected; Kimura has demonstrated that. I wrote about that and you have ignored it.

Mutation has no chance of causing new features; Selection does not cause anything at all. Mutation and selection are dead subjects in the actual circles of evolutionary biological theorists, who have moved on to other "meta-causes", which are also non-empirical conjectures but have not been proven impossible so far (well, some, like chaos theory have fallen hard to information theory).

Until you inform yourself, you are not able to understand the discussion. Why do you not inform yourself? You refused to do so regarding Islam, so I am sensing a trend here which seems to morph into your worldview: opinion based on no informed knowledge.

If that seems harsh, so be it. You could read the condensed synopses which are right here on this blog, but you obviously have not done so.

The Modern Synthesis was put together 70 years ago; biology has progressed since then, as has information theory. You are running three quarters of a century behind.

If you choose not to inform yourself, then I don't want to waste time with your comments.

I have given you links.

Stan said...

Hugo,
Let me try to be a little more clear: mutation and selection are rejected BY ELITE EVOLUTIONARY THEORETICAL BIOLOGISTS.

So. Why do you keep bringing them up?

Hugo Pelland said...

Stan, I do read what you write, and focused on 2 very precise things; 1 which you get completely wrong about, and 1 which I will now re-phrase.

1) "mutation and selection are rejected BY ELITE EVOLUTIONARY THEORETICAL BIOLOGISTS."

Nobody is "rejecting" mutation and selection. Without mutation and selection, evolution cannot happen; THIS IS A FACT. And evolutionary biologists are not questioning whether evolution happens or not; ergo, they accept mutation and selection, not reject them.

What they do discuss, as the article you linked to shows, is the long-term effect of mutation, selection AND a lot of other mechanisms, factors and environmental conditions. If you don't hear them talk about mutation and selection, it's for the same reason that you don't hear physicist discuss the value of 9.81m/s^2: it's too basic! Not because it was rejected; it's still a fact.

Looking at the article you linked to, we find mutation mentioned twice here:

"Plasticity also allows organisms to make the most of their mutations. "The myopic view — that we don't need to worry about phenotypic variation, that it is abundant, always small and that it goes in all possible directions — doesn't correspond to the conservation we've seen in developmental systems," Marc Kirschner, a systems biologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told the Altenberg meeting. To grow a limb you don't need mutations in every gene involved in limb building; life can use the facts that muscle cells naturally align with bone, nerve cells stabilize when they plug into muscles, and blood vessels grow towards areas low in oxygen to leverage a small genetic change into an important difference. Again, the changing environment within the developing body is part of the process by which the gene is expressed: Kirschner calls it facilitated variation"

If you think that mutations do not create anything, you cannot possible understand what this means. So what don't you understand about this passage?

It clearly explains how mutations are 1 piece of the puzzle; an essential one. They even explicitly mention how a small change, a mutation, can lead to an important difference, i.e. an important change, thus sometimes creating a completely new feature such as a limb. That's how mutations create new stuff; that's how evolution works. If you don't understand that, none of the more advanced evolutionary theory you quote makes any sense.

Hugo Pelland said...

I am not ignorant of the latest evolutionary theory; I love to hear about that. But when you present them, it makes absolutely no sense because you don't even understand the basics, or refuse to accept them, and thus reject the most fundamental facts of evolution. Which brings me to #2, with 2 examples of such facts of evolution:

2)"you insist on talking about "laws" when there are no laws, only conjecture."

I don't mind changing the word I use, and stop calling these facts, these principles, laws. But they still fit your definition:
"inviolable principle which is proven empirically and replicated sufficiently that it is, for the time being, considered valid - until subsequent falsification proves otherwise."

Principle #1: living organisms reproduce imperfectly.
Evidence: DNA.
Falsification: Find a trio of parent-parent-child organisms where the child has 100% identical copies of either parent's genes.

Principle #2: living organisms cannot evolve to become identical to an ancestor.
Evidence: Principle #1 (hence DNA again) + logical deduction
Falsification: Find descendants identical to an ancestor species. (Where the intermediate were significantly different, but the descendants evolved to be like the ancestors with exactly the same set of genes; convergent evolution where different genes yield similar results does not falsify this principle.)

A parallel can be made with some of the laws of Physics. If we accept that Newton's Laws of Motion really are "laws", then the Principle above are very similar (but 'law' might be the wrong word...). Newton's laws are not perfect, as general relativity showed, and so are the principles above. They have a negligible, yet existent, chance of being wrong sometimes. The odds of proving Principle #1 wrong are already very low; so for principle #2, where the odds grow as the population ages, it's even less likely.

Are you rejecting the facts supporting these 2 principles? Or do you simply insist that we should not call them laws?

The former is a big problem; the latter is just semantics, and I am fine with dropping the word law for biology.

Xellos said...

Briefly on Newton's laws: it's not a "chance of being wrong", they're a classical limit. They fail under clearly specified conditions for (less clearly) specified reasons, not by chance.

How was it discovered? They made wrong predictions.

Hugo Pelland said...

Yes Xellos, that's a good example. Because of the lack of randomness involved in Newton's laws.

And it's the same with evolution's principles; Principle #2 has a different limit than Principle #1, as explained in my last comment.

Stan said...

Hugo, I quote the following:
“... the opinions expressed in several contributions to this volume converge on the view of “genes as followers” in the evolutionary process, ensuring the routinization of developmental interactions, the faithfulness of their inheritance, and the progressive inheritance of phenotypic traits that were initialized by plastic responses to adaptive developmental systems to changing environmental conditions.”
Pigliucci and Muller, “Evolution: The Extended Synthesis”, p14.

Changes, or mutations, to DNA cause defects in the copied amino acids.

Your stated principle, the circular statement that a) evolution happened; b) therefore mutations happened; c) because evolution happened, is now known not to be the case, because it has been falsified on the one hand, and it is non-empirical on the other hand, and it is bad logic to boot.

In order to be actual science the claims must be grounded in something other than speculation based on inference, which are stated as facts about an unobserved process.

You ask, ” If you think that mutations do not create anything, you cannot possible understand what this means. So what don't you understand about this passage?”

Where is the evidence? Where is the data? Where is the attempted falsification? This is speculation, pure and simple. This is why they are called “theoretical evolutionary biologists”, rather than empirical biologists. Modern biology is the opposite of what these people do, because modern biology produces hypotheses which are testable, replicable, with data that is published for others to reproduce for falsification/validation. Evolutionary theorists do not.

Stan said...

Nothing about evolutionary theory is validated or falsified under the empirical rules for scientific knowledge. Evolution is non-empirical. It is the accumulation of inferences and opinions based on those inferences – not on actual observation, not on actual processes of falsification. Therefore it is not empirical science. It is a body of opinion which is said by its followers such as yourself to be FACT, when it is nothing of the sort, scientifically speaking.

Further, as I say for at least the third time here, Kimura has demonstrated that mutations cannot produce positive outcomes; why do you not address that?

Further, there is nothing specific about these inference-drawn opinions. In other words, there are no statements of specific changes which produce specific outcomes. All of the evolutionary theories are actually meta-theories rather than specific procedures for actually producing new species.

Producing new phyla is what evolution is, at its base, all about. The Cambrian Explosion is the arena for this to have occurred, geologically suddenly (down to 5mya now), with single cells going in, and all the multi-cellular, complex phyla systems coming out. After 150 years, there is no known – or even speculated – type of process which can produce this. There is no known single cell ancestor, which by mutation of its DNA or other properties can be said rationally to have produced all the phyla. In other words, evolutionary theory comes to naught, to a dead end, when contemplating the Cambrian Explosion.

” They even explicitly mention how a small change, a mutation, can lead to an important difference, i.e. an important change, thus sometimes creating a completely new feature such as a limb. That's how mutations create new stuff; that's how evolution works. If you don't understand that, none of the more advanced evolutionary theory you quote makes any sense.”

Now let’s take a discriminating look at the statement by Kirchner which you reference:
” To grow a limb you don't need mutations in every gene involved in limb building; life can use the facts that muscle cells naturally align with bone, nerve cells stabilize when they plug into muscles, and blood vessels grow towards areas low in oxygen to leverage a small genetic change into an important difference.”

1. Exactly what original mutation is he discussing, i.e. a defect in an amino acid? He doesn’t say, because this is speculation.

2. Exactly what “important difference” is he referring to? He doesn’t say, because this is speculation.

3. Where does the bone come from in “limb building”; he doesn’t say, because the bone is pre-supposed to already be there for no known reason.

4. Why do muscles appear out of nowhere, in order to “naturally align with bone (which is presupposed)”; he doesn’t say, but merely speculates that it “could” happen.

5. Why would nerve cells automatically track and plug into muscles at one end, and presumably the other end plugs into the motor cortex of the brain for coordinated, supervised control which was not previously there? He merely presupposes that to happen for no known reason.

Stan said...

6. Why would the bone develop leverage techniques coordinated with other necessary bones for the muscle to work on, with the muscle properly connected from one bone to the other in order to achieve motion beneficial to the organism? He doesn’t say, because he doesn’t know how to even speculate that.

7. Why would a defect in an amino acid cause the bone/muscle/nerve/blood vessels to form?

To sum up, he makes a single sentence statement as FACT, when it is actually speculation which doesn’t even address the seven issues listed just above, and possibly more, which are raised immediately, but which are necessary, if not sufficient, to produce a single working, useful limb. And yet limbs require superstructure either in the form of complex pelvises at the back or sliding scapula in the fore.

A working limb is not just a bone/muscle/nerve/blood vessels as he implies. Such a “limb”, if it ever actually existed, would be a detriment to the survival of the poor creature to which it happened.

” Again, the changing environment within the developing body is part of the process by which the gene is expressed: Kirschner calls it facilitated variation"”

What specific internal environmental changes is he talking about? Nothing specific; generalities without the ability to check.

Here’s the crux of the issue regarding the factuality of evolution:

” It clearly explains how mutations are 1 piece of the puzzle;”

In actuality it is pure speculation, which is not accompanied with any empirical fact whatsoever. That is why it is called a story – a Just So Story. It is a made-up story which ignores the many realities which would falsify it. But it cannot be tested, because it is a historical claim (based on nothing whatsoever).

” That's how mutations create new stuff; that's how evolution works. If you don't understand that, none of the more advanced evolutionary theory you quote makes any sense.”

I understand the following: it is not a grounded claim; it is speculation based on inference (the worst kind); it is not empirically falsifiable; it is logically falsified by the issues listed above.

Stan said...

” I don't mind changing the word I use, and stop calling these facts, these principles, laws. But they still fit your definition:
"inviolable principle which is proven empirically and replicated sufficiently that it is, for the time being, considered valid - until subsequent falsification proves otherwise."”


Great! Provide the actual data showing specific cause and effect at the atomic level, which has been tested for falsification sufficiently and found valid. I’ve been waiting a long time to see it.

Principle #1: living organisms reproduce imperfectly.
Evidence: DNA.
Falsification: Find a trio of parent-parent-child organisms where the child has 100% identical copies of either parent's genes.

Principle #2: living organisms cannot evolve to become identical to an ancestor.
Evidence: Principle #1 (hence DNA again) + logical deduction
Falsification: Find descendants identical to an ancestor species. (Where the intermediate were significantly different, but the descendants evolved to be like the ancestors with exactly the same set of genes; convergent evolution where different genes yield similar results does not falsify this principle.)

Both of these principles are micro-evolution, not macro-evolution, and yes, the evolutionary theorists do distinguish between the two.

Principle 1 doesn’t apply to microbes. The cells split the DNA in the parent to produce DNA-identical progeny. So it is not much of a principle.

Principle 2 refers only to operation of a population within a two parent genome, and is trivial for microbes. It has no bearing on leaving the Set [genome X] to become Set [genome Y] i.e., speciation.

Macro-evolution is the only subject worth discussing. That is the issue of not only speciation, but of generation of phyla from single cell microbes (Cambrian falsification).

” Are you rejecting the facts supporting these 2 principles? Or do you simply insist that we should not call them laws?”

Actually, I would call them trivial for the subject of evolution.

Stan said...

Now let’s discuss a further presupposed principle: Philosophical Materialism. Under evolutionary theory, there is no possible intent or direction which drives, or drove, the minerals on the planet to ultimately become the life we see today. There is, was, no purpose and no guidance. The basis for this presupposition is not empirical, it is philosophical. Therefore, if the philosophy has no grounding or basis for being believed other than inference/opinion, then there is a problem of unknowables which is serial, or stacked, if you will. Further, if the philosophy is not just ungrounded, but is also circular and self-contradictory, then it is irrational to believe it. That applies to Philosophical Materialism.

Furthermore, the issue of determinism is philosophical, as is agency or lack thereof.

So, let’s talk grounding of principles, then. There are three ways to ground a truth (epistemological) statement: circular; infinite regression; First Principles. Also there is empirical grounding for ontological claims (called science) which requires physical demonstration, replicability, non-falsification, and open data for reasonable people to examine. Statements which do not ground in these terminations are not grounded, and therefore are not “truth” or “fact”, rather they are opinion.

Evolution is ontologically grounded thus:
1. Inferences are drawn based on bone positions in geologic layers;
2. There is no further ontological observation even possible.

Evolution is epistemologically grounded thus:
1. The inferences must be stories of physical, material processes in physical nature: Philosophical Materialism.
2. Philosophical Materialism is ontologically grounded in determinism;
3. Determinism is grounded in Induction of the properties of the physical universe.

Evolution is ontologically ungrounded. Now we look at epistemological grounding, from the ground up.

Stan said...

Determinism must be a First Principle in order to be a ground for evolution. A First Principle is one that cannot be invalidated, and is generally seen to be the case by inspection. First Principles must pass Reductio Ad Absurdum if they are to conform to Aristotelian logical principles.

Determinism can be falsified under Reductio. In a completely deterministic universe there can be no deviation from material cause and effect, with a causal chain extending back in history to the Big Bang. If there are any non-material causes for physical effects, then Determinism is falsified. The falsification for determinism lies in the intellect itself: to assert that the universe is deterministic (or not) requires a non-deterministic analysis which is based in logic, not on previous states of existence. This satisfies the Reductio falsification of determinism.

If Philosophical Materialism requires determinism as a necessary ground, then it is falsified when determinism is falsified. But there is another falsification of Philosophical Materialism as well. It is possible to assert that determinism is a necessary effect from Philosophical Materialism. That leaves PM ungrounded, which in turn leads to the observation that PM is circular, using its own authority for proof of its own conclusions. This is because it cannot use empirical science as a ground since science claims to address only material cause/effect issues which it can measure and validate/falsify. Science does not claim any ability to address non material issues which cannot be measured. (This is the reason that historical issues such as evolution are not empirical science).

If Philosophical Materialism is not grounded itself, then it cannot be in the support chain for grounding evolution. So evolution is without an epistemological ground as well as without an ontological ground.

Being completely without logical or physical grounding, evolution is seen to be the accumulation of voluminous speculations which are based on bone locations in geologic strata, and the deterministic, materialistic interpretation of current life, its DNA, physical properties, etc.

Can these speculations be called science? Only if the definition of “science” includes variable speculations as the sole possible source of its “principles”. It cannot be called empirical science in the classical sense of empiricism.

Can these speculations be called coherent philosophical explanations? Not if one believes in the authority of Aristotelian logic principles, grounding in the original First Principles, and Reductio Ad Absurdum.

Therefore, the speculations are rendered just opinion. They should never be given rational authority which they don’t deserve.

Hugo Pelland said...

Stan,

You are not getting the basic facts straight; you said:
"Changes, or mutations, to DNA cause defects in the copied amino acids."
The word 'defect' implies a negative connotation, but mutations are not always necessarily causing harm.

"Your stated principle, the circular statement that a) evolution happened; b) therefore mutations happened; c) because evolution happened"

Mutations happen, selection happens, hence evolution happens. That's not circular and it's based on simple observations. You even agree that micro-evolution happens; your opinions are inconsistent, but consistent with a clear misunderstanding, or denial, of the facts of evolution.

"Evolution is non-empirical. It is the accumulation of inferences and opinions based on those inferences – not on actual observation, not on actual processes of falsification. Therefore it is not empirical science. "

But it is based on observations, which yield facts. With these facts, we try to figure out the best explanations possible: theories. There is nothing different with evolution; only your opinion is.

You mentioned the Big Bang, for instance, which is obviously not reproducible and nothing but a 'just so story' of how things happen, to use your definitions. But the Big Bang Theory is actually based on facts regarding the universe and is the set of best explanations we have for these facts. The Theory of Evolution is the same; it attempts to explain as well as we can the facts of nature.

"Kimura has demonstrated that mutations cannot produce positive outcomes; why do you not address that?"

Some people claim to show that we never went on the Moon; I also don't address that. Mutations are, by definition, neutral. They are neither good nor bad, even if we know that most of them are bad; that's why cancer sucks so much... It makes absolutely no sense to say that mutations cannot possibly have positive outcome. My guess is that you use someone's work to your own advantage; without caring about their interpretation and conclusion. So, why not Google Kimura anyway?

Hugo Pelland said...

Of course, one of the first results is what you copied; a Creationist website with the same figure and faulty explanations you used. The author uses Kimura's observations but mentions that he created his own graph; I am not clear as to where Kimura's graph started/ended versus the Creationist's version. But the important point is that he does acknowledge that Kimura himself would not necessarily agree with his conclusions. Yet, I note that you, Stan, quoted Kimura in your source list, when it's not his work which states that positive mutations are impossible. This comes from http://creation.com/genetic-entropy. You have either been fooled into thinking you were using Kimura's work, or purposely misrepresented the source of your information to make it look like what you would like him to say.

There is more from Wikipedia and its sources:

"Kimura explained this rapid rate of mutation by suggesting that the majority of mutations were neutral, i.e. had little or no effect on the fitness of the organism. Kimura developed mathematical models of the behavior of neutral mutations subject to random genetic drift in biological populations. This theory has become known as the neutral theory of molecular evolution. "

"The neutral theory of molecular evolution holds that at the molecular level most evolutionary changes and most of the variation within and between species is not caused by natural selection but by genetic drift of mutant alleles that are neutral. A neutral mutation is one that does not affect an organism's ability to survive and reproduce."

The point is clear: Kimura's work is about how mutations are mostly neutral AND how they lead to speciation, more than natural selection according to him. If you look at the preview of the book, you can read the following:

"The neutral theory is not antagonistic to the cherished view that evolution of form and function is guided by Darwinian selection, but it brings out another facet of the evolutionary process by emphasizing the much greater role of mutation pressure and random drift at the molecular level."

Hence, yes, mutations do cause speciation according to him, and yes, selection does play a crucial role in creating forms and functions in living things.

Hugo Pelland said...

Moving on, here's 1 thing you get partially right:
"there are no statements of specific changes which produce specific outcomes. All of the evolutionary theories are actually meta-theories rather than specific procedures for actually producing new species. "

Correct, there is no specific changes that produce specific outcome, or rarely, because it's random! It cannot be defined the way you put it, by definition. This is similar to another unreasonable request you made, regarding what I was calling 'Principle 1' above:

"Provide the actual data showing specific cause and effect at the atomic level, "

This is absurd; nobody is looking at this at the atomic level. It's exactly like asking someone to prove Newton's laws of motion at the atomic level... They don't even work at that level! Same with evolution; you either misunderstand or try to hide the facts you don't like.

" Both of these principles are micro-evolution, not macro-evolution, and yes, the evolutionary theorists do distinguish between the two."

Yes, the distinction exists, but only in time. The mechanisms are the same and the principles thus lead to what you called macro-evolution; it's just evolution over a longer period of time, which leads to speciation.

" Principle 1 doesn’t apply to microbes. The cells split the DNA in the parent to produce DNA-identical progeny. So it is not much of a principle."

The principle does apply; the copies are imperfect. The chances of mistakes are lower in simple asexual reproduction though.

" Principle 2 refers only to operation of a population within a two parent genome, and is trivial for microbes. It has no bearing on leaving the Set [genome X] to become Set [genome Y] i.e., speciation."

Yes, I was obviously, and implicitly, talking about sexual reproduction when I mentioned 2 parents. You don't get everything wrong... But again, it does work on asexual reproduction just like Principle 1, but the odds are different since there is not as much mixing of DNA. Over time though, the exact same thing happen.

" Macro-evolution is the only subject worth discussing. That is the issue of not only speciation, but of generation of phyla from single cell microbes"

Only if you acknowledge the facts of evolution, of micro-evolution if you want. Since you won't do that, you are like someone claiming that the Earth is flat, and wanting to argue why General Relativity is wrong; it's absurd to even engage in complex discussions when the basic facts are ignored. So I can only engage the simple things you get wrong for now.

Xellos said...

"you are like someone claiming that the Earth is flat, and wanting to argue why General Relativity is wrong"

Uh, GR is, in the terms you used before, "wrong" - or more exactly, is a non-quantum limit. GR is strictly local; QM is strictly non-local. Both can't work perfectly at the same time.

Hugo Pelland said...

Yes Xellos, you are right; that's why it's valid comparison with evolution, which we don't observe at the atomic level alone. Evolution does not even work at the individual level! It only makes sense at the population level.

Xellos said...

"Le flatearther boogeyman" is not a valid comparison. And it's not the same thing at all; as you admit, there's no prediction to be made and tested in (macro)evolution.

Flat/round Earth? Position of the Sun, of stars observed from different points on the surface. One can take a look and find out which one fits the observed reality. (The Bible says it's round, too.)

General relativity (non-quantum)? Measure how the light rays from the Sun bend during an eclipse, for example. More difficult, but still possible.

Evolution? Random results. Just look into the past...

Look for an analogy with a historian's work instead, not with science.

Hugo Pelland said...

Xellos, the analogy I was making with a flat Earth is only a hyperbole, an exaggerated analogy, and it related to the acceptance of basic facts: discussing general relativity with someone who thinks the Earth is round is similar to discussing macro-evolution with someone who thinks that mutations can never be beneficial. That's the point I was making, even if I certainly don't think Stan, or you if you agree with him, is like a flat Earther. Again, just an analogy...

The comparison you made was regarding a limit on the scope of our observations. And yes, that comparison does work with evolution as stated above.

Regarding predictions, it's true we cannot predict what will happen because of evolution, but it does not mean that there is no prediction at all that can be made to confirm hypothesis. Just like Big Bang Theory allowed for hypothesis that were confirmed by observation, even if we will never be able to observe the Big Bang event itself.

Hugo Pelland said...

This thing of comparing evolution to history made me think; here's why.

On the one hand, yes, the theory explains the history of life on Earth. But at the same time, it's so different from historical social studies. Why? Because the facts studied by biologists to come up with the theory of evolution are mostly based on what we see today, in action.

That's why I am not exaggerating when I compare denial of a round Earth to denial of the basics facts of evolution; they are not about what happened, but all about what we see, test, and study right now.

Even without a single fossil, the theory of evolution would still be extremely strong, or even just based on DNA alone. Because the facts that support simple principles like the 2 I listed above are tested and confirmed in the present.

Ancestry is something we can study with living organisms. The deductions then start from there. But I have not even tried to support that because the basics facts, today's evidence, are being denied.

Stan said...

”Mutations happen, selection happens, hence evolution happens.”

Prove it. You are making unfounded religious-type claims, not evidentiary claims. Sounds like a Liturgy, not evidence. In fact, you state this as a First Principle, True due to self-evidence. It is not a First Principle, it is a truth claim with no grounding.

” That's not circular and it's based on simple observations.”

It is circular, because there is no evidence which passes empirical standards, so it depends upon itself for validation. Nope. It’s not based on any observations at all. Name one observation of the emergence of an all new, beneficial organ. I have debunked a number of those claims. Go for it. Give up some evidence here, or admit that there is none. Name some "observations" which I can make that demonstrate the information changes to the eukaryote genome which produced the Cambrian Explosion. I'd really like to see it.

”You even agree that micro-evolution happens;

Micro-evolution is trivial; it remains within the genome from which it came (see below). It is not what Darwin or anyone concerned with actual evolution even cares to address, other than with unsupported tropes. Micro-evolution is a Red Herring. It is variation within a population’s existing genome: trivial.

Macro-evolution is the claim of variation outside and away from a population’s existing genome due to changes in the information genome which remove it from the existing species and produce new species – or in the case of the Cambrian Explosion, all the phyla from a single cell genome.

”…your opinions are inconsistent, but consistent with a clear misunderstanding, or denial, of the facts of evolution.”

Evolution has no “facts”, no matter how often you say that it has. Evolution has grand and pontificated schematic-type hypotheses which were not observed, cannot be tested, and are convenient for Atheism. Even science properly done (evolution is not) does not produce “facts”; empiricism produces temporary positions which are subject to change due to further testing, better test technology, better hypotheses, etc. Empirical science does not produce irrevocable facts interpreted as Truths, ever. A scientific position might be unfalsified to the degree that it is considered a position very consistent with many observations; but never a “fact” which is claimed as “truth”.

Stan said...

In his abomination of a book, “Why Evolution is True”, Jerry Coyne waits until ten pages from the end of the book to make the following admission:

”We’ve also seen that evolutionary biology makes testable predictions, although not of course in the sense of predicting how a certain species will evolve, for that depends on a myriad of uncertain factors such as which mutations crop up and how environments change. But we can predict where fossils will be found…” page 222. [Emphasis original]

This is close to admitting what the real state of the “science” is: they claim “mutation” because they can’t claim what occurred with exactness, because they have no clue even how to hypothesize without the generalized and foggy-banal terms such as “mutation” and "random". Obama’s claim was similar: “hope and mutation[undefined]”. The term has no meaning when used this way. So Coyne is right: they have no testable evidence beyond the fossil record. And that’s what I’ve been saying.

Everything they say is based on inference drawn from the fossil record. Everything. Show otherwise. Do it. Show otherwise. I'm going to start holding you to this: produce evidence in the form of replicable material tests which can be reproduced under the rules of empiricism and real science. If you cannot, then you are indulging in fantasy with zero proof. Evidence of that will be when you repeat your insults rather than producing any supporting data.

” "Evolution is non-empirical. It is the accumulation of inferences and opinions based on those inferences – not on actual observation, not on actual processes of falsification. Therefore it is not empirical science. "

But it is based on observations, which yield facts. With these facts, we try to figure out the best explanations possible: theories. There is nothing different with evolution; only your opinion is.”


That statement is absolutely false. There are no observations even possible for the accomplishment of creating all the phyla from single cells in the Great Cambrian Falsification. So there are no “facts”. There is opinion, aka: “possible explanations” – which are not theories, they are hypotheses with zero possibility of either validation or falsification. They are pure conjecture. They are stories built of materialistic whole cloth. They are not “fact”, unless by your terminology the word “fact” refers to declaring conjecture to be Truth, religious Truth - a secular form of the Papal Bull. But bull just the same.

There is no doubt in my mind that you believe what you write. And you believe it without any empirical evidence whatsoever. You believe it to the extent that you must hurl insults to cover for your inability to support your beliefs.

” You mentioned the Big Bang, for instance, which is obviously not reproducible and nothing but a 'just so story' of how things happen, to use your definitions. But the Big Bang Theory is actually based on facts regarding the universe and is the set of best explanations we have for these facts. The Theory of Evolution is the same; it attempts to explain as well as we can the facts of nature.”

The Big Bang is not a theory (theories are validated; hypotheses are not), sitcom disregarded. It is another family of hypotheses which is subject to constant revision/perversion, even though they have observed its supposed consequences from red shifted galaxies in the supposed time of 380 mya [ post-event] with redshift = 11.9.
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/farthest_info.html

In fact, they don’t even agree on the shape of the universe, whether shaped like an expanding balloon, flat, or a saddle. Nor can they prove any conjecture as to why expansion is accelerating at the edges (dark energy is dark alright).

But the technology keeps upgrading with the James Webb telescope coming up next, bigger mirror, better cameras, etc.

Nothing is fixed regarding the empirical approach to the expanding universe.

Stan said...

Re: Kimura:
” Some people claim to show that we never went on the Moon; I also don't address that.”

This is a claim of determined and dedicated ignorance. In fact, it is a defamation by black and white Fallacy, aka.: Guilt by False Association. Kimura is a respected evolutionary scientist, not a denier. It is yourself who is discounting mathematical evidence based on observation of modern mutations, which you find inconvenient. Here is his paper at PNAS:

http://www.pnas.org/content/76/7/3440.full.pdf

Here, for example, is a statement regarding the attack on Kimura’s Neutral Hypothesis and the defense rebuttal by others, not Kimura. If you have something which disqualifies Kimura’s calculations, then present it, without false comparisons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_theory_of_molecular_evolution

” Mutations are, by definition, neutral. They are neither good nor bad, even if we know that most of them are bad;”

And you find no contradiction in your own statement? No, they are not all neutral. And yes the mostly bad swamp out the neutral ones by negatively affecting organism. There are so many bad mutation possibilities (because amino acid destruction is pretty much always bad for the organism) that there is no probability of a “neutral or potentially beneficial” modification of an amino acid gaining traction before the organism and its benefits are destroyed by the negative changes (actually a mutational benefit requires a large number of complementary “beneficial” changes which add up in the proper hypothetical direction). In fact, aging and cancer are direct observations of the effects of real time dilatory mutations, as are birth defects; there is no recorded observation of a positive or beneficial mutation/change. The hypothesis fails mathematically (see below), as well as based on observation of reality.

Don’t bother with disagreement by generaliation: show actual data proving otherwise.

” It makes absolutely no sense to say that mutations cannot possibly have positive outcome.”

Au contraire; it makes no sense to claim that they DO produce positive outcomes. Especially in the total absence of empirical observation. It is a fanciful, wishful claim: not reality. What “makes sense in my opinion” is not the issue. What is actual in the real world is the issue. You choose to deal in unproven and unprovable hypotheticals as if they are “fact”, and then reject contrary input out of hand. That’s not how science works, nor is it the way actual knowledge is generated.

Kimura’s discussion is regarding mutation at the molecular level, for producing mutations in DNA used for reproduction which contains high numbers of sites for mutation, which is destined for selection (e.g. for e-coli, 4 x 10^6 base pairs [1]). A random mutation must be propagated through a hierarchy of developmental processes, including editing and repair (yes it is considered a defect by the biological system). A defect which is not caught has what sort of likelihood of propagation? What likelihood of combining with numerous other defects to create an all new feature? What likelihood of the feature being a birth defect? What likelihood of the feature being an all new capability, which is selectable as an environmental benefit?

Stan said...

” Of course, one of the first results is what you copied; a Creationist website with the same figure and faulty explanations you used. The author uses Kimura's observations but mentions that he created his own graph; I am not clear as to where Kimura's graph started/ended versus the Creationist's version. But the important point is that he does acknowledge that Kimura himself would not necessarily agree with his conclusions.”

You are a) identity shaming; b) apparently reading and parroting an Atheist attempt to discredit – not by fact, but by spreading doubt unfounded by fact. The PNAS document is just above; discredit it either factually or mathematically, rather than by author Identity Class. Dr. Sanford is a genetic researcher at Cornell University. And yes, he put the Kimura information into graphs for simpler demonstration of the Kimura concept. Prove that they are wrong without using defamation, please.

In fact, if you have actual data which shows the percentage of positive/useful/beneficial mutations which occur, and which are subsequently instantiated, then show it here.

” My guess is that you use someone's work to your own advantage; without caring about their interpretation and conclusion. So, why not Google Kimura anyway?”

Disregarded as extended shaming intended for me.
Moving on.

” Yet, I note that you, Stan, quoted Kimura in your source list, when it's not his work which states that positive mutations are impossible. This comes from http://creation.com/genetic-entropy.”

False, obscenely. The graphs were fully annotated to Sanford’s book, “Genetic Entropy”[2], which book refers directly to Kimura’s paper at PNAS. You are creating a Red Herring which is pointed away from the factuality of Kimura’s PNAS document, and rather is a shameful attempt at throwing accusations toward me in the pursuit of not addressing any facts of the actual issue.

Either address facts and stop the false shaming Red Herrings, or this is done.

” Hence, yes, mutations do cause speciation according to him, and yes, selection does play a crucial role in creating forms and functions in living things.”

And why don’t YOU go to the PNAS source, yourself.

Kimura makes assumptions including that the selection rate s’ cannot be zero; in other words, evolution by neutral mutation is a presupposition. That’s why his beta is defined as being [>=beta > 0] (positive selectivity is presumed). But the probability, u, becomes infinite when either beta or s’ =0. (Beta = alpha s’) So looking at this effect, and replotting for selectability without presupposing selectivity values for evolution from neutral mutation, leads to the graphs which Sanford produced.

In fact, even in Kimura’s graph 2 the effect can be seen: for any significant population size the value of neutral mutations, Ve, is roughly double the value of deleterious mutations, Ve’. In other words, for a population of 10^4, Ve = 4 x 10^7, and Ve’ = 2 x 10^7. The likelihood of a neutral mutation surviving the 20,000 deleterious mutations is very, very low (in reality, too close to zero to consider viable). The likelihood of a neutral mutation surviving for generations and combining with significant numbers of other neutral mutations to form a selectable new organ, limb, brain type, etc. is absurdly low. And the likelihood of that happening out of a prokaryote or eukaryote in order to form all the phyla in geologic time of roughly zero, is also logically absurd.

Stan said...

” Moving on, here's 1 thing you get partially right:
"there are no statements of specific changes which produce specific outcomes. All of the evolutionary theories are actually meta-theories rather than specific procedures for actually producing new species. "

Correct, there is no specific changes that produce specific outcome, or rarely, because it's random! It cannot be defined the way you put it, by definition. This is similar to another unreasonable request you made, regarding what I was calling 'Principle 1' above:

"Provide the actual data showing specific cause and effect at the atomic level, "

This is absurd; nobody is looking at this at the atomic level.”


Actually that’s exactly what Kimura, Ohta, etc. are writing about: atomic level mutations. That’s where mutations occur. If “cause and effect” are now called “absurd”, then the Feynmann Principle holds:

” It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”

You might complain that this applies only to physics; it does not. It applies to all knowledge generation which requires demonstration outside and beyond opinion.

Further, if specific sites cannot be attached to specific mutations when they are “changed” to something different, then all claims regarding mutations are specious and without anything other than speculation to recommend them. And that applies to Kimura, too.

” They don't even work at that level! Same with evolution; you either misunderstand or try to hide the facts you don't like.”

This is bullshit accusation in attempt to cover for the fact that there is nothing but opinion couched in impenetrable logic-fog (randomness) for support of evolution. There is no data. There is no connection between changes in the binary coding and new features which cause new phyla and/or new features.

As an engineer would you ship a product which works randomly with inexplicable results? Really. Would you??

” Yes, the distinction exists, but only in time. The mechanisms are the same and the principles thus lead to what you called macro-evolution; it's just evolution over a longer period of time, which leads to speciation.”

A typical “truth statement” without any basis. Prove it.

Stan said...

Hm. We are posting at roughly the same time.

"Ancestry is something we can study with living organisms. The deductions then start from there. But I have not even tried to support that because the basics facts, today's evidence, are being denied."

Another false claim. What is studied is similarity in information sets between genomes. Ancestry is a) presumed; b) divined as close comparisons between two genomes. Proof is not accomplished; only presumption based on inference is accomplished.

You stand by your insults, I see. Yet you are taking unprovable generalities to be incontrovertible, immutable truth which must be accepted (or else suffer insults) - without any attempt at critical assessment. That, in fact, is closer to flat earthism than is demanding empirical validation for truth claims.

Stan said...

I should have done better with this:

"” Yes, the distinction exists, but only in time. The mechanisms are the same and the principles thus lead to what you called macro-evolution; it's just evolution over a longer period of time, which leads to speciation.”

A typical “truth statement” without any basis. Prove it.
"


This is the assertion that "Deep Time" is an actor producing change. That is, frankly, fatuous. Time is not an actor. Change requires a cause; physical change requires a physical cause.

Stan said...

Whoa. I did not type that correctly. Kimura's assumption is this:

[ 1 >= Beta > 0 ]. Disregard the mess I made of it above.

And: 20 million deleterious mutations, not 20,000.

I usually re-read and double check. Got caught out this time.

Hugo Pelland said...

Hi Stan,

First of all, regarding all the red herring charges and insults, let me get this out of the way... I insist that it's not the case; I write such shorter comments, and not nearly as often, that I don't waste time on insults or irrelevant topics. Even within biology, I don't even try to cover as many topics as you do, because we see the basics differently. We not only have divergence of opinions, but also very different understanding of the underlying evidence for the theory of evolution and its conclusions.

Regarding Kimura, for instance, you misunderstood my comment; I was not trying to insult his research, but merely pointing out the absurd conclusions drawn because of his research, conclusions that go directly against his research actually. But that's not even relevant here because, again, the basics of evolution are ignored in your comments.

So, here are some of the key points:

1) The Earth is old; at least 4 billion years old.

You said:
"This is the assertion that "Deep Time" is an actor producing change. That is, frankly, fatuous. Time is not an actor. Change requires a cause; physical change requires a physical cause."

I am not completely sure what you meant; do you deny that the Earth is old? Because the important point really is just what #1 here states.

Hence, if some process, whatever it is, was constantly in action over that period of time, it is not ridiculous to try to look back in time and figure out what most likely happened. You raised the example of the Cambrian explosion for instance. But, that is going too far... we have not even nailed down what we see today. So, going back to today's observations:

2) DNA testing allows hierarchy and ancestry determination.

"There is no known single cell ancestor, which by mutation of its DNA or other properties can be said rationally to have produced all the phyla.
[...]
What is studied is similarity in information sets between genomes. Ancestry is a) presumed; b) divined as close comparisons between two genomes.
"

You are jumping to broad conclusions without addressing the specifics; so let's unpack this:
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals?
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals' parents?
- ... siblings, cousins, grand-parents?
- ... great-grand-parents, second cousins?
- ...great-great-...-parents, cousins of ... degrees?
- ...close members of the same species?
- ...distant members of the same species?
-... members of close species?
-... members of distant species?
-... member of the same genus?
-...etc...

Where do you draw the line? For me, or for biologists I should say since I only relate information, there is no line. We can identify which living thing is related to which with exactly the same method we use to determine who is the father of a child whose mother had a questionable lifestyle and cannot tell herself... But what about you; do you not agree that all humans share common ancestors? All great apes? All mammals? Where does it stop?

Next, we need to wonder why we can do such observations, such classification and find common ancestors to living things that look so different from each other. Because of mutations. Living things do not reproduce perfectly and the only thing that seems "constant" is "change". Reproduction causes arrangement of genes to be randomly mixed, and imperfect coping adds further possibilities of random changes. Therefore:

Hugo Pelland said...

3) Mutations constantly happen during reproduction and cause changes at the population level over time.

"” Mutations are, by definition, neutral. They are neither good nor bad, even if we know that most of them are bad;”

And you find no contradiction in your own statement? No, they are not all neutral. And yes the mostly bad swamp out the neutral ones by negatively affecting organism. There are so many bad mutation possibilities (because amino acid destruction is pretty much always bad for the organism) that there is no probability of a “neutral or potentially beneficial” modification of an amino acid gaining traction before the organism and its benefits are destroyed by the negative changes
"

Yes, there was an issue with my statement; I meant to say that mutations are neutral by default, in the sense that they don't have any qualifier attached to them. They can be either good, bad, or literally neutral in the sense that they have no impact at all in terms of 'good' or 'bad' outcome for the individual with the mutation. Claiming that mutations can never be 'good' requires support, as it attempts to go further than that by attributing a qualifier to all mutations. It's the opposite of my point, which is that we cannot attribute such qualifier to mutations as a whole.

4) Selection forces certain mutations and/or random selection of specific genes to become the norm over time.

This is a trivial fact of evolution that humans have been using for centuries to artificially select certain properties of the living things they manage, be it animals, plants, microbes, etc... There is nothing controversial here. The problem is that a rejection of biological by natural selection attempts to dissociate the 2 processes, the artificial and the natural one, as if one was possible but not the other. There is no support for this idea; it goes directly again the statement #2 of my previous comment.

Therefore, if we do accept that mutations occur, that selection occurs naturally, and that the Earth is old, we can then trace the hierarchy of living things via DNA to figure out the tree of life and how living things relate to each other. What we find is that different features that are existent in certain animals, but not others, must have evolved gradually, sometimes at very different pace, over the past millennia. Figuring out how and when is what is interesting, but one cannot even discuss that unless the basic principles are understood.

Stan said...

As a preface to the response below, I will give a meta-analysis of your approach.

1) Rather than examine the underlying premises of evolutionary approach to scientific knowledge, you attack those who do that examination as denialists of the lowest intellectual order. You appear to be aghast that anyone would question the “principles” by analyzing their premises and evidence.

2) Rather than accede to the demands of empirical scientific knowledge, you ignore them.

3) Rather than provide evidence as requested, you provide more and more speculation.

4) Rather than addressing any arguments against, you double-down with all the well-known speculations which are without any hope of actual scientific evidence, but are enforced rather with the demand that they must be believed, because they are declared “principles” despite the total lack of evidence in their defense of having actually occurred.

5) Rather than read and understand the Kimura paper, and rather than debate its meaning, you presume that you are the expert in its premises and conclusions possibly based on reading the forward, possibly not reading it at all and getting your opinion from Atheists with vested interests in preserving the Atheist Creation Story given by the sainted Darwin.

Preliminary Conclusion:
There is no need in discussing the actual scientific issues with you, because you ignore the possibility of underlying premises being false or even existing. So there is no need for you to present ever more volumes of speculations which are declared scientific principles. I cannot get you to move past speculations far enough even to discuss other, positive negations of the entire evolutionary hypothesis.

Stan said...

So here is my response. I think it will be the last such, because you have mostly ignored all previous responses including grounding issues, preferring to provide, not evidence, but ever more speculations. So responding to you is pointless.

”First of all, regarding all the red herring charges and insults, let me get this out of the way... I insist that it's not the case; I write such shorter comments, and not nearly as often, that I don't waste time on insults or irrelevant topics.”

Denial doesn’t change what you wrote. In fact, it cheapens those insults and fallacies even further.

”…also very different understanding of the underlying evidence for the theory of evolution and its conclusions.”

It’s worse than that and more fundamental than that. It involves what you accept as “evidence”, vs. the rigorous demands of actual empirical science, which is the gold standard for acceptable knowledge. I have said this over and over, and it has no effect on you whatsoever. Speculation is NOT evidence.

”Regarding Kimura, for instance, you misunderstood my comment; I was not trying to insult his research, but merely pointing out the absurd conclusions drawn because of his research, conclusions that go directly against his research actually.”

First, you compared him to moon landing denialism; a blatant insult, AND a deprecation of something you knew nothing of. At no point did you refer to any detail of his research. And the conclusions do NOT go directly against his research for the reasons I have given just above. The conclusions are easily drawn from his own graphs. You made no attempt to make a disciplined refutation. Rather, you went for the rhetorical denigration.

Then you proceeded to calling dissent to your religious principles “flat eartherism”, which is the same as “stupid; ignorant; hopelessly without data for support”. That is almost inexcusable, especially since you do not EVER give any actual physical scientific evidence or support for your own repetition of religious principles of evolution. That’s understandable, because there is no such evidence, which is why it is so religiously defended. But it is not excusable to deny the fact of your own words and then make such charges of the implied superiority of the evolutionary religious opinion set, relative to the demand for actual evidence and data.

Stan said...

”1) The Earth is old; at least 4 billion years old.

You said:
"This is the assertion that "Deep Time" is an actor producing change. That is, frankly, fatuous. Time is not an actor. Change requires a cause; physical change requires a physical cause."

I am not completely sure what you meant; do you deny that the Earth is old? Because the important point really is just what #1 here states.”


You completely missed the entire point. Time is not a physical agent, causing physical change. That’s what I said. I did in no manner deny that the earth is old; in fact it is more like 6.7 billion years old, according to NASA’s understanding, referenced from earth using current technology. So show exactly why time is a causal agent for physical changes, with replicable experimental data. Because that is the claim for “deep time”.

Prove it

”Hence, if some process, whatever it is, was constantly in action over that period of time, it is not ridiculous to try to look back in time and figure out what most likely happened. You raised the example of the Cambrian explosion for instance. But, that is going too far... we have not even nailed down what we see today.

I’m sorry, but this is slippery as Hell. Either mutation/selection and deep time are “Principles” as you demanded all along above, or they are not. If those are the fundamentals of evolution – and Darwin claimed that they are – then they apply to the Cambrian explosion just as much as to all other evolution events. Here you are attempting to slide out of that commitment.

Now you are saying “we have not even nailed down what we see today”? So, then, there ARE NO principles? Interesting.

” You are jumping to broad conclusions without addressing the specifics; so let's unpack this:
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying…”


OK. With caveats below.

Stan said...

” do you not agree that all humans share common ancestors? All great apes? All mammals? Where does it stop?”

I don’t know and neither do you, regardless of your claims for “principles”. DNA indicates a common material, physical factor between all living things, such as the prevalence of certain amino acids in each living thing. Living things that resemble each other have similar amounts of those amino acids. However, the phenotypes are determined at upper levels of the hierarchy of gestation, not by amino acids, nor by DNA/RNA. So far, it is not known how the phenotypes are determined, but it is obvious that a phenotype is a class or set unto itself.

More to the point it demonstrates that the essence of life (autonomy, timed reproductive phase and urge) has a common source. That essence is not DNA/RNA/amino acids, nor minerals. It is outside the reach of deterministic experimental hypotheses. (i.e., beyond the reach of empirical science to generate conditional knowledge).

There is no evidentiary reason to say that because A and B share a certain subset of features, that they did, in fact, were created by a common source which had those common features. In fact, theories of emergence were created because this is the case.

” Next, we need to wonder why we can do such observations, such classification and find common ancestors to living things that look so different from each other. Because of mutations.”

And this is entirely unfounded. Yes they claim to do it and then make claims about it, but it is NOT PROVABLE under any stretch of the definition of legitimate, conditional-knowledge-generating empirical science. What is known to the extent that it is legitimate conditional-knowledge is just that different life forms exist and existed, that they all are carbon-based with similar usage of hydrocarbons and minerals, and contained life which is outside the characteristics and capabilities of pure mineral existence. Any extension beyond that is pure speculation, without any chance of empirical validation or falsification. It is opinion based on speculation and is not in any manner qualified to be called even the conditional knowledge which is generated by empirical science.

I have said this multiple times:

Prove otherwise.

” Living things do not reproduce perfectly and the only thing that seems "constant" is "change". Reproduction causes arrangement of genes to be randomly mixed, and imperfect coping adds further possibilities of random changes. Therefore:”

This is another slippery, inferential error. “Change” is undefined. Completely undefined. The implication is that genes get mixed up and cause speciation somewhere down the line by the magic of undefined “change”. Pure unsubstantiated speculation: ungrounded.

Prove it.

Stan said...

” I meant to say that mutations are neutral by default, in the sense that they don't have any qualifier attached to them. They can be either good, bad, or literally neutral in the sense that they have no impact at all in terms of 'good' or 'bad' outcome for the individual with the mutation. Claiming that mutations can never be 'good' requires support, as it attempts to go further than that by attributing a qualifier to all mutations. It's the opposite of my point, which is that we cannot attribute such qualifier to mutations as a whole.”

Your complaint has no bearing on what has been written: there are, in fact, qualifiers (I think this proves that you have not read Kimura or any objective assessment of Kimura). Read my last comments, above. The reference is to beneficial, neutral, deleterious mutations. That’s how Kimura referenced mutations. And in fact, according to the Neutral Theory, there is no expectation of beneficial mutations. The neutral mutations are hoped to become beneficial down the line when combined with other neutral mutations, and the combination just happens to form a complex, new organ, limb, or other novel function which accidentally happens to occur in a new environment which makes the new, novel, complex function a selectable advantage… to an entire subpopulation. And Kimura purposefully uses beta = 0.5 to 1.0 as an assumption in order to force that to happen in his paper. But the reality is found in his data and graph, which demonstrates the vast number of deleterious mutations which occur, and which do, in fact, immediately affect the organism in a negative way. In reality, beta is negligibly small compared to the quantity of deleterious mutations.

Prove otherwise

” 4) Selection forces certain mutations and/or random selection of specific genes to become the norm over time.”

Selection would primarily be the elimination of individuals carrying deleterious mutations, deleterious genetic errors. That is because there are far more deleterious changes than beneficial, and the neutral mutations get wiped out as the individual is selected for non-reproduction. The deleterious mutations are active agents for destructive outcomes; neutral mutations are not agents at all.

Prove otherwise.

Just making ungrounded “truth” statements does not make them true.

” This is a trivial fact of evolution that humans have been using for centuries to artificially select certain properties of the living things they manage, be it animals, plants, microbes, etc... There is nothing controversial here.”

Of course there is controversy, because you are building a false case, using modifications within a genome: micro-evolution. Wheat is still wheat. It is not anything else, despite its modifications. Hybridization produces sterile progeny. Mutations produce deleterious defects.

Prove otherwise.

” The problem is that a rejection of biological by natural selection attempts to dissociate the 2 processes, the artificial and the natural one, as if one was possible but not the other.”

That is a complete tangle of definitions produced to attempt an unwarranted conclusion. If you are comparing intergenomic variation to Extragenomic variation, then both are “natural”, and neither is artificial or supernatural. And there is no warrant to the conclusion that intergenomic variation leads to extragenomic speciation as is being claimed, and as I have said before, that is mathematically impossible (and you have not addressed that; you just double down with more examples of the same thing).

Hugo Pelland said...

Hi,

Regarding the preface:

1) There is no such thing as a specific "evolutionary approach"; the scientific method works for any field. And I don't attack those who 'examine' the premise; I try to point out the problems in the conclusions put forward by skeptics, like you, who simply has a bad understanding of how evolution works, what we observe today, and what conclusions we can draw regarding the past. This is made obvious by your numerous 'Prove it!' statements, for things that cannot be proven.

2) You're the one who ignores empirical scientific knowledge when it comes to evolution... You have not proposed a single piece of empirical scientific knowledge that contradicts what we know about evolution. Because you cannot... it would be incorporated in the theory already!

3) I am really trying hard to narrow down the evidence that you will accept so that we can discuss something, anything really, related to evolution. It seems that it's impossible because you keep jumping to what you 'think' are the conclusions and ask me to prove them. But I don't believe in these strawman conclusions you present; nobody does.

4) The principles I present are very simple and non-controversial. You're the one who refuses to discuss them. You just say 'prove it, prove it, prove it' instead of explaining why you reject these things; you just call them speculation because you don't believe them. Isn't it here that I read the expression 'burden of rebuttal'? Yet, you remove yourself from that burden when it comes to evolution. You refuse to accept even the most basic principles of DNA testing... See below.

5) You bring up Atheists; I don't. What evidence do you have that I am repeating some other Atheists' claims? What I discussed regarding Kimura was found on your blog, on Wikipedia, on Creation.com and in Kimura's book itself. I quoted his book; word by word. You just ignored that quote I guess.

Hugo Pelland said...

Preliminary conclusion, using your words (so I am not accused of just insulting...)
- You are not up to date
- Until you know about the theoretical changes, it is not possible to have an informed discussion.
- You are completely ignorant of the latest evolutionary theory.
- You do not know what we are talking about
- Until you inform yourself, you are not able to understand the discussion.
- I am sensing a trend here which seems to morph into your worldview: opinion based on no informed knowledge.
- You are running three quarters of a century behind.
- You believe it without any empirical evidence whatsoever. You believe it to the extent that you must hurl insults to cover for your inability to support your beliefs.
- This is a claim of determined and dedicated ignorance.

In short, you know nothing about what evolution really is; you just prefer to think that life was designed because it fits with your already existing worldview. You don't are to investigate; your mind is set and impervious to any new information. You showed bias twice already when you said:

"- As an engineer would you ship a product which works randomly with inexplicable results? Really. Would you??

- More to the point it demonstrates that the essence of life (autonomy, timed reproductive phase and urge) has a common source. That essence is not DNA/RNA/amino acids, nor minerals. It is outside the reach of deterministic experimental hypotheses. (i.e., beyond the reach of empirical science to generate conditional knowledge).
"

So, clearly, you think life was designed and it does not really matter what we find. The first quote is actually very funny because that's the whole point, isn't it? Life evolved randomly because it was not designed; so of course there is no engineer behind it! The second quote is a bit more complex; some might argue that we can infer a unique designer. Except that it does not work with living things because common ancestry does not mean the same, at all, as common designer:

A unique designer can create different things, all with the same logo let's say, but using completely different techniques. The internal structure of a car can be entirely replaced, yet you can still tell it's from the same company, because the outside look similar. With living things, it's the opposite. You can have similar features but with totally different internal pieces; take sharks and dolphins for instance. The latter is a mammal and is more closely related to other mammals. Yet, dolphins and shark can be mistaken to both be just some kind of 'fish'. That's what people thought before...

Hugo Pelland said...

Now, back to the actual points, which you may or may not address since you are getting tired of this; no problem... So I will keep it even shorter on that front by addressing just 1 thing, which is regarding that question I asked:

You are jumping to broad conclusions without addressing the specifics; so let's unpack this:
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals?
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals' parents?
- ... siblings, cousins, grand-parents?
- ... great-grand-parents, second cousins?
- ...great-great-...-parents, cousins of ... degrees?
- ...close members of the same species?
- ...distant members of the same species?
-... members of close species?
-... members of distant species?
-... member of the same genus?
-...etc...

Where do you draw the line? For me, or for biologists I should say since I only relate information, there is no line. We can identify which living thing is related to which with exactly the same method we use to determine who is the father of a child whose mother had a questionable lifestyle and cannot tell herself... But what about you; do you not agree that all humans share common ancestors? All great apes? All mammals? Where does it stop?

You answered:
" I don’t know and neither do you, regardless of your claims for “principles”. DNA indicates a common material, physical factor between all living things, such as the prevalence of certain amino acids in each living thing. Living things that resemble each other have similar amounts of those amino acids. However, the phenotypes are determined at upper levels of the hierarchy of gestation, not by amino acids, nor by DNA/RNA. So far, it is not known how the phenotypes are determined, but it is obvious that a phenotype is a class or set unto itself. "

But you do pretend to know! You said, through this thread, the following:
-"Micro-evolution is trivial; it remains within the genome from which it came"
-" Principle 2 refers only to operation of a population within a two parent genome, and is trivial for microbes. It has no bearing on leaving the Set [genome X] to become Set [genome Y] i.e., speciation."
- "Macro-evolution is the claim of variation outside and away from a population’s existing genome due to changes in the information genome which remove it from the existing species and produce new species"
-"What is studied is similarity in information sets between genomes. Ancestry is a) presumed; b) divined as close comparisons between two genomes. "
-"[...] modifications within a genome: micro-evolution. Wheat is still wheat. It is not anything else, despite its modifications."

Clearly, you think that there are changes that remain 'within the genome' of a certain group. You think that certain populations are completely isolate from each other; they don't share a common ancestor, but their members do. You think that species are well defined, enough to draw a line between the ones that share a common ancestors, and those that don't. You think that there are similarities that apply to all living things, but some of them are not indicator of common descent, while others are. All of these are claims Stan. Can you prove them? Can you explain where you draw the line between species, between populations that share a common ancestors and those that don't?

Hugo Pelland said...

So, maybe you'll answer that, maybe you won't... either way, I don't know what I need to prove to you because the very simple 1-to-4 points I included above are not controversial at all.
1) The Earth is old. You agree.
2) DNA testing allows hierarchy and ancestry determination. You kind of agree, but won't say where you think it stops working. Your burden.
3) and 4) Populations changes over time and selection favor certain traits over other. We know it happens because of random mutation and selection can be either artificial or natural. I don't know what needs to be proven...

What you do want me to prove is the next steps after that; but you refuse to accept these 4 points so I cannot even discuss anything more. Either you keep rejecting that ancestry can be evaluated, or you correct your position.

Finally, the best series I have ever seen on philoginy is quite old now, and I am sure I posted it here before, but here it is again:
Falsifying Phylogeny

Stan said...

Preamble:
You are apparently not used to arguing at the lower reaches of grounded, principled deductive (necessary and sufficient) analysis of arguments (truth statements). You consistently ignore all references to grounding. Regardless of your motive for ignoring grounding and logic issues, doing so demonstrates a rigidity of position which cannot be called open. I’ll repeat the necessity of addressing grounding and logic, again and again until you discuss it openly (or leave, I suppose).

No matter what the argument is, if it fails the underlying supporting principles of valid argumentation, then the argument cannot be said to be either true or valid. This is basic Logic 101. It is from this position that I critique evolution and its purported “evidence”. You seem unwilling to argue from this basis, and ignore pretty much everything which I have said in that regard; instead (as I have said before and will again) you have doubled down on insisting that your argument must be accepted because it is “simple and uncontroversial”. I will attempt to show you why “simple and uncontroversial” is not a valid argument for defense of your purported principles, probably repeating things several times as I go for effect..

The following demonstrates your unwillingness to accept any analysis which does not align with the dogma of evolution which you insist is principled truth, even while admitting that it is unprovable. You insist that the principles which you present (available in any 6th grade science book) are, in fact, unquestionable, unassailable, immutable facts and principles regarding the evolution of historical creatures. Any questioning of that puts you into a state of incredulity, because, although nothing about the principles is provable by your own admission, the principles have to be believed because they are, you claim, “empirical scientific knowledge”, which they are decisively NOT. You claim that to say otherwise is ignorance and denialism, and you cannot believe there is any reasoning possible for someone to disbelieve your diktat. Yet you provide no empirical data to support any of your “principles”, because there is none.

Stan said...

Here is what objective knowledge of physical cause/effect demands: physical demonstration which any reasonable person can see, touch, feel and materially perceive the necessity of its validity (I.e., replicable experimental demonstration of the Cause and Effect of material events).

That’s why rigorous empirical procedures were developed. To wit: empirical science entailsthe following at a minimum, without exception:

1. induction of replicable material events;
2. deduced hypothesis regarding material causation for the events;
3. design of experiment to reproduce events consistently from the proposed material causation;
4. disciplined data acquisition and validation, and data analysis;
5. peer review by disinterested experts who actually analyze the claim;
6.release of ALL data and experimental process in full for public review and falsification trials.

These empirical process disciplines are necessary to avoid supernatural, unprovable claims, i..e. religious claims. If the above conditions are not met, then the evidence is not known to be valid and is unproven.

Evolution does not have any chance to adhere to this empirical protocol; as you admit below, even the dogmatic “principles” you espouse as “uncontroversial” cannot be proven. Thus, contrary to your claim otherwise, evolution is not empirical science; it is not materially provable; it cannot be actual knowledge, much less uncontroversial, immutable principles. Rather it is dogma which is declared out of hand to be unassailable, immutable and MUST be accepted, even (especially) at the grounding premises level (without critique of course), and if the dogmatic, unprovable “principles” are not accepted as Truth-immutable, then the critic is “ignorant”, “denier”, and other pejoratives. There can be no principled case presented against the dogmatic, unprovable non-principles of evolution, according to the basic dogmatic “principle” of evolution: the Immutability and Unquestionablity Principle. US Court decisions have established that principle (not actual data).

Stan said...

Let’s examine the Aristotelian Reductio Ad Absurdum of some of the major requirements for evolution.

1.Life evolved from minerals, deterministically and reductively (physics drives chemistry; chemistry drives biology), just once (common ancestor).

2. Life is a deterministic phenomenon, due to #1.

3. First life became autonomous, although still deterministic.

4. All life derives from first life, due to emergence (for no specific reason and with no specific observed mechanism).

5. All life is autonomous although still deterministic.

Now let’s discuss.

The reduction in item 1 requires that biology and life be attributed reductively directly to principles of chemistry. There are no known or expected future principles of chemistry which come close to describing autonomous life nor the creation of autonomous life chemically. Further, the emergence of life from minerals has no basis in any actual observation or principles of physics. There is no grounding possible much less actually available for the claim in item 1. And that is why evolutionistas deny that the evolution of first life from minerals is an evolutionary subject even to be discussed. This is the first Reductio Ad Absurdum failure.

Item 2 fails due its logical dependence on item 1.

Item 3 requires that determinism be compatible with autonomy; it is not, because any entity which has completely predetermined behavior cannot also have autonomy to control itself. This fails due to internal contradiction, Aristotle’s Principle of Non-Contradiction.

Item 4 requires, without replicable empirical proof, that there is an undefined emergence of vast amounts of information which drives ever increasing complexity in living things. This violates the concept of emergence, which requires that the outcome of emerging be related to the characteristics inherent in the base from which emergence occurred.

Item 5 fails for the same internal contradiction as item 3.

So logic demands that emergence NOT be based in determinism, and that autonomous life NOT be deterministic. This means that physics, chemistry and biology, if they are emergent, reductive disciplines, cannot be the sole driver for living creatures.

And here it is appropriate to allow you to, yes: prove otherwise. If you can do so, then do it, and Aristotelian logic will fall by the wayside. If you cannot, then at least have the courtesy and fortitude to admit it.

Stan said...

Now let’s move on to your most recent response:

”Hi,

Regarding the preface:

1) There is no such thing as a specific "evolutionary approach"; the scientific method works for any field.”

The scientific method is empiricism: induction; hypothesis (deduction); experimental design and execution; data analysis; peer review; release for open viewing and replication. This is NOT used for evolution, regardless of your claim, above. Regardless of your claims to the contrary, historical claims of any type cannot be examined under the empirical scientific method because they cannot be tested experimentally; therefore no historical claims are principles, unless referring solely to the characteristics of a found historical item (restricted to such as bone shape and condition) currently in physical possession. You continuously ignore this, and continue to make claims as if they are a priori validated by the empirical scientific method, and thus are immutable factual “principles”. They cannot be, and therefore, they are not.

” And I don't attack those who 'examine' the premise; I try to point out the problems in the conclusions put forward by skeptics, like you, who simply has a bad understanding of how evolution works, what we observe today, and what conclusions we can draw regarding the past. This is made obvious by your numerous 'Prove it!' statements, for things that cannot be proven.

This is truly a demonstration of the absurdity of your position. The conclusions which I present are merely that evolution is not empirical science, is therefore not knowledge, and certainly is not Truth, as you assert that I must accept. You admit that neither you nor anyone can prove the claims which you assert are “principles” which must be accepted. And that is a logical absurdity. Aristotelian logic fails if we are forcibly constrained to belief in unprovable assertions as “principles”. If Aristotelian logic is false, then there is no truth or falseness even possible, and reality is randomly “real” and “not real”, even simultaneously.

You do not address grounding issues, and apparently refuse to deal with the dialectical issue of first principle support for valid arguments. I have written to you a lot in the above thread regarding the ungrounded statements which you call “principles”. You ignore that, and instead double down with your insistence that unprovable statements MUST be accepted. But the mere assertion that they are not controversial is not evidence for their truth or validity. Instead it is dogma which must be accepted before any other discussion is possible.

Would you like a list of the books and sites I have read on this regard? Your claim of my ignorance is becoming annoying. When I point out the logic defects underlying the overall narrative (based on the principles of Aristotelian logic and the actual principles of empirical science), you declare that to be ignorance of “principles” which have no proof – and “cannot be proven” by your own admission. This is a conversation killer, and if you persist in your dogma, then it will be killed, won’t it?

Stan said...

2) You're the one who ignores empirical scientific knowledge when it comes to evolution... You have not proposed a single piece of empirical scientific knowledge that contradicts what we know about evolution. Because you cannot... it would be incorporated in the theory already!

First off, there is NO empirical scientific knowledge which is not speculation. There is no data even possible. So yes I have ignored what is not there. I do ignore what you have not presented and cannot present: actual data from disciplined empirical experiments. You made the claim for “principles”; where is the empirical scientific knowledge to support your claims? You can’t throw your failure onto me. So this claim is entirely false.

I don’t have to present a counter theory; all I have to do is show the logical and procedural reasons why the current approach is false under Aristotelian disciplined principles of logic and rational thought. That is what it takes to disprove your dogmatic approach.

Read my papers on the side bar for a further refutation of your complaint. Also, read the works of Yockey; Davies; Gitt; Nelson, Levy, and Miller; Mauro Santos; Orgel; Szostak; etc. etc. and others who have successfully disemboweled evolution. I have read both sides with an open mind. Evolution fails rational assessment, hands down.

Contrary to those who think of science being outside the rigors of empiricism, such as yourself, there actually are empirical refutations of the possibility of first life evolving from minerals, and other fantasy claims of evolutionistas, who claim that their fantasies (unprovable, per your own admission) are “Principles” which must be believed, just because of their own authority – which is your approach. If I disagree that you “know” something to be true, then I am ignorant, a denier, etc., and you are the authority upon which this “knowledge” is determined.

”3) I am really trying hard to narrow down the evidence that you will accept so that we can discuss something, anything really, related to evolution. It seems that it's impossible because you keep jumping to what you 'think' are the conclusions and ask me to prove them. But I don't believe in these strawman conclusions you present; nobody does.

You cannot empirically prove any evolutionary statement, no matter how you interpret it, or I interpret it. You have no empirical, material, replicable proof. When you have evidence that is truly empirical, then you have something to discuss. Unprovable dogma is not discussable. Your charge of strawman is rejected. What is real here is that you have no proof for your claims.

Explain why you believe so rabidly in things which cannot be proved, please. That is the meta-issue here.

4) The principles I present are very simple and non-controversial.

They are fantasies. They are not principles, they are not empirically provable. They are not empirical science, they are opinions. You choose not to recognize the controversy; claiming that there is none, is not proof that there is none.

Stan said...

”You're the one who refuses to discuss them. You just say 'prove it, prove it, prove it' instead of explaining why you reject these things; you just call them speculation because you don't believe them.”

You have given no substance to discuss; you merely claim that your statements must be accepted. I have frequently and decisively said why I “reject those things”: they are opinions, not science, and you require that they be accepted on blind belief as if I am some sort of cult member undergoing indoctrination. For what reason do you not understand that the demand for proof is a reasonable rejection criterion? If you don't, can't prove your assertion, what logic do use to demand that they be believed?

Whenever you deliver fundamental, grounded empirical data for the support of your claims, then and only then do we have something of sufficient value to discuss. Repeating dictated opinion as “Principles” is nothing to discuss: it is dogma which is declared unquestionable under the dictated narrative.

You are attributing to me a false cause for my position, a cause which obviously eludes you. You are an engineer; I had expected that you would know the principles for knowledge of physical phenomenon and empiricism related to actual valid knowledge of deterministic physical cause and effect. And probably you do, but you are refusing to apply them to the dogma of evolution.

Discuss this:

1. If you can’t prove your theory with empirical experimental results, then you don’t know that theory to be true . (Basic. Feynman even restated it, which I pointed out to you, and you ignored it).

2. If you don’t know a theory to be true, then that theory is not a Principle, not a “theory”, it is an unproven hypothesis. (It is raw opinion, if you stick to it blindly without proof).

”Isn't it here that I read the expression 'burden of rebuttal'? Yet, you remove yourself from that burden when it comes to evolution. You refuse to accept even the most basic principles of DNA testing... See below.”

No, I do not reject testing at all, this is a false equivalency. I do reject the ungrounded DNA interpretations found in some of the opinions which are generated without actual empirical data for proof. Testing and interpretations are not the same thing. You are conflating the two, it is apparent. Again, speculation is not knowledge, it is opinion.

My rebuttals are as clear as I can make them: Evolution has no grounding, and is totally based on opinion. To show otherwise, empirical experimental data must be produced and replicated. Feel free to go ahead and do so.

”5) You bring up Atheists; I don't. What evidence do you have that I am repeating some other Atheists' claims?

Like other Atheist blogs and articles, you insist that your unprovable claims are valid truth, when in fact they are just opinions and nothing more. This is a common Atheist failing. The Atheist claim of logic and evidence is never supported with either logic or evidence.

Stan said...

What I discussed regarding Kimura was found on your blog, on Wikipedia, on Creation.com and in Kimura's book itself. I quoted his book; word by word. You just ignored that quote I guess.

I referred to his paper, not his book. I don’t have his book and did not know what your source was. However, until he retracts his data in the published and peer reviewed paper (available on line to everyone and anyone), his position stands and so does my analysis – so where is your counter analysis regarding his paper?

”Preliminary conclusion, using your words (so I am not accused of just insulting...)
- You are not up to date”


You showed no knowledge of actual refutations within the community. You denied that it existed.

”- Until you know about the theoretical changes, it is not possible to have an informed discussion.
- You are completely ignorant of the latest evolutionary theory.
- You do not know what we are talking about
- Until you inform yourself, you are not able to understand the discussion.
- I am sensing a trend here which seems to morph into your worldview: opinion based on no informed knowledge.
- You are running three quarters of a century behind.
- You believe it without any empirical evidence whatsoever. You believe it to the extent that you must hurl insults to cover for your inability to support your beliefs.
- This is a claim of determined and dedicated ignorance.


I stand behind all of these, as demonstrable facts. Especially the last. Here’s why: You refuse to address the fact that unprovable opinion is not Principled Empirical Science and therefore cannot be knowledge, must less “Principles”. You are not alone in this of course. All evolutionistas take the same approach to principled empirical science: “who cares”? Our opinion trumps principled empirical science, and must be believed – so we declare “non-controversial principles”, which means no one can dispute them, because we have declared them indisputable, immutable, uncontroversial Fact regardless of lack of evidence for support.

That is not science, not even close. If you ship product which is not ever (even in prototype stage) proven by rigorous, disciplined testing to be exactly what you claim it is, then that is fraud. Empirical testing is done to provide contingent connections between cause and effect. Evolution has no such thing, it has opinions of “what might have been, maybe, unless it’s not”.

”In short, you know nothing about what evolution really is; you just prefer to think that life was designed because it fits with your already existing worldview.

You have become emotional. Read the sidebar articles on evolution and refute them, without appeal to rhetoric: use empirical scientific data, please. If you choose not to do that, then your emotional attachment to unprovable dogma has been made clear.

”You don't are to investigate; your mind is set and impervious to any new information. You showed bias twice already when you said:

"- As an engineer would you ship a product which works randomly with inexplicable results? Really. Would you??”


Well, would you?? Really, would you?? That’s what evolutionistas want everyone to believe. On the one hand, evolution is deterministic; on the other hand evolution is random and unpredictable. There are “Principles”; but they cannot predict anything, even their own truth value. I will repeat that for emphasis:

There are declared “principles”, but they cannot predict anything, even their own truth value.

Explain in full why such a claim is actual science, generating acceptable knowledge, please.

”- More to the point it demonstrates that the essence of life (autonomy, timed reproductive phase and urge) has a common source. That essence is not DNA/RNA/amino acids, nor minerals. It is outside the reach of deterministic experimental hypotheses. (i.e., beyond the reach of empirical science to generate conditional knowledge)."

Stan said...

So, clearly, you think life was designed and it does not really matter what we find.

False, false, false. My statement has no reference to design; it is a demonstration of what you cannot know, despite your dogmatic claims of knowledge. First, you do NOT definitively know how speciation actually occurred, and you have no data, or you would show it. Second, you cannot show how deterministic materialism can produce non-deterministic, autonomous complexity, nor can you show your data, because there is none: I have looked. You have not “found” anything. If you had such “findings”, you would show them, rather than just spouting “uncontroversial Principles” with no grounding, no data, no hope of empirical validation, much less falsification. There is no demonstrable support for evolutionary claims; they are opinions.

”The first quote is actually very funny because that's the whole point, isn't it? Life evolved randomly because it was not designed; so of course there is no engineer behind it!

You cannot know even that; all you can actually know for a fact is that different living things occurred at different layers in the geological record. You cannot “know” any more than that. Everything else is opinion based on speculation, and therefore is not knowledge. Your assertion has the form of evangelical dogma.

”The second quote is a bit more complex; some might argue that we can infer a unique designer. Except that it does not work with living things because common ancestry does not mean the same, at all, as common designer:”

And I did not claim a common designer. I made no claim about anything other than the KNOWN limits of science, and the incompatibility of actual material observations of autonomy with the deterministic principles of physics, deterministic chemistry and deterministic biology. So your deviation is without merit, and I will ignore it.

BTW, the reason it is declared “random” is that there is no known hypothesis in physics which can explain it, so it is declared random. From that assumption, then, the concept of random mutations becomes a “must”: because it cannot be explained with deterministic hypotheses. But if the universe is totally deterministic, then nothing is random, it is all predetermined (that actually is a self-falsification), and being totally deterministic, all mutations are also deterministic, and their supposed effects such as novel features are also deterministic. But there is no conceivable theory for predicting these deterministic events. Nor is there any urgency to do come up with one. That’s odd.

Regardless, the point is that I can certainly claim that it is reasonably seen that physical science does not have a handle on every aspect of what is “physical”. Or what is not. Or what the actual extent of determinism is. Physical science is limited to the workings of empirical directives.

”A unique designer can create different things, all with the same logo let's say, but using completely different techniques. The internal structure of a car can be entirely replaced, yet you can still tell it's from the same company, because the outside look similar. With living things, it's the opposite. You can have similar features but with totally different internal pieces; take sharks and dolphins for instance. The latter is a mammal and is more closely related to other mammals. Yet, dolphins and shark can be mistaken to both be just some kind of 'fish'. That's what people thought before...”

Re: the immediately above digression discussing a subject I did not originate: ignored, not read. Is not congruent with any claim I have made.

Stan said...

”Now, back to the actual points, … regarding that question I asked:

You are jumping to broad conclusions without addressing the specifics; so let's unpack this:
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals?
- Do you agree that DNA testing allows identifying individuals' parents?
[…]
Where do you draw the line? […] Where does it stop?

You answered:
" I don’t know and neither do you, regardless of your claims for “principles”. DNA indicates a common material, physical factor between all living things, such as the prevalence of certain amino acids in each living thing. Living things that resemble each other have similar amounts of those amino acids. However, the phenotypes are determined at upper levels of the hierarchy of gestation, not by amino acids, nor by DNA/RNA. So far, it is not known how the phenotypes are determined, but it is obvious that a phenotype is a class or set unto itself. "

But you do pretend to know! You said, through this thread, the following:
-"Micro-evolution is trivial; it remains within the genome from which it came"
-" Principle 2 refers only to operation of a population within a two parent genome, and is trivial for microbes. It has no bearing on leaving the Set [genome X] to become Set [genome Y] i.e., speciation."
- "Macro-evolution is the claim of variation outside and away from a population’s existing genome due to changes in the information genome which remove it from the existing species and produce new species"
-"What is studied is similarity in information sets between genomes. Ancestry is a) presumed; b) divined as close comparisons between two genomes. "
-"[...] modifications within a genome: micro-evolution. Wheat is still wheat. It is not anything else, despite its modifications."

Clearly, you think that there are changes that remain 'within the genome' of a certain group.


In fact, microevolution is a tautology: a definition; microevolution is the inheritance of legitimate, unmodified genetics. Let’s see if you can prove otherwise. Have a go.

” You think that certain populations are completely isolate from each other; they don't share a common ancestor, but their members do. You think that species are well defined, enough to draw a line between the ones that share a common ancestors, and those that don't. You think that there are similarities that apply to all living things, but some of them are not indicator of common descent, while others are.

All of these are claims Stan. Can you prove them?


I never made those claims. I claim that you do not have immutable knowledge of their truth, one way or the other. All you have is opinion.

What I claim is that evolutionary claims are not provable. Until evolutionary claims are proven, there is no reason to call them Facts, Principles, Objective Science, Knowledge, or anything other than speculated opinion. And to call them Facts, Principles, Objective Science, knowledge when they are NOT is false and is indicative of an ideology.

Stan said...

Can you explain where you draw the line between species, between populations that share a common ancestors and those that don't?

Let’s do this. Go here and read my analysis of the Great Malawi Cichlid Evolution:
http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2009/03/evolution-claims-lake-malawi-cichlids.html

Then discuss in detail as deep as you wish.

And actually even the definition of “species” is another semi-deception within evolutionism, just like “phyla”, being changeable as required to fit a current theory. However it commonly refers to the inability to produce offspring which are viable reproducers when members of two separate genomes mate. Within a genome, it is possible to find members which cannot mate (great danes and chihuauas), but that does not imply speciation. They remain within the species. (That’s the case with cichlids, btw).

So, maybe you'll answer that, maybe you won't... either way, I don't know what I need to prove to you because the very simple 1-to-4 points I included above are not controversial at all.
1) The Earth is old. You agree.
2) DNA testing allows hierarchy and ancestry determination. You kind of agree, but won't say where you think it stops working. Your burden.


Ancestry has not been shown to exit the species’ genome. Show otherwise with your empirical data.

3) and 4) Populations changes over time and selection favor certain traits over other. We know it happens because of random mutation and selection can be either artificial or natural. I don't know what needs to be proven...

What needs to be proven (empirically) is that “changes” due to breeding within an unmodified genome (“changes” is undefined in the loosy-goosy parlance of evolutionism) leave the genome to form other species, totally different from the existing genome. This is mathematically and logically impossible – which point you have declined to discuss up to this point.

”What you do want me to prove is the next steps after that; but you refuse to accept these 4 points so I cannot even discuss anything more. Either you keep rejecting that ancestry can be evaluated, or you correct your position.”

I suggest that you correct your position by reference solely to actual Disciplined Empirical Scientific data for support of your claim to truth; otherwise admit that these are not really principles, they are opinions based on speculation. And then explain why a case should be accepted which is built only on speculated opinion.

”Finally, the best series I have ever seen on philoginy is quite old now, and I am sure I posted it here before, but here it is again:
Falsifying Phylogeny “


I’ll go there when I have time. I doubt that it is Empirical data, however. We’ll see. Perhaps it is useful as a poster site for scientific knowledge from empirical data… or more likely: otherwise.

Hugo Pelland said...

Hi,

(Now, yes, we are writing at the same time... I started when only 1 comment was here, but now there are 5.)

Comment #1
"Preamble: [...]"
That's just one long paragraph essentially saying "I am right, you are wrong; I am logical, you are not". Sorry, but that's a useless comment...

Comment #2
"Here is what objective knowledge of physical cause/effect demands: [...]"
Same idea; just one long paragraph essentially saying "I reject evolution because it's not science to me". Again, useless. The US court system, btw, does accept the principle that DNA can be used to determine maternity/paternity.

Comment #3
Now finally addressing evolution, but you start with a misunderstanding, as the very first thing you write:
" Let’s examine the Aristotelian Reductio Ad Absurdum of some of the major requirements for evolution.
1.Life evolved from minerals, deterministically and reductively (physics drives chemistry; chemistry drives biology), just once (common ancestor).
"
No, that's a complete lie. Evolution only works with living things. That's why we study life that's around us today. Deductions about the past is secondary, and finding the cause to abiogenesis is not even the same field of research; it's more about chemistry. Amino acids, for instance, were found to form spontaneously because of chemical reactions. So it's not about mineral-to-life, it's about chemicals-to-life.

"...Now let’s discuss."
Why would I discuss these points further? You start with false ideas regarding what evolution is. You refused to answer the 1 question about hierarchy I listed above and instead go back to your strawman version of what evolution is and want me to discuss it... So I am open to discuss the topic, sure, but not what you present I am afraid. Because it's not what biology is about.

Hugo Pelland said...

Comment #4
" Now let’s move on to your most recent response:"
Ok, so it was not about that yet...

" The scientific method is empiricism: induction; hypothesis (deduction); experimental design and execution; data analysis; peer review; release for open viewing and replication. This is NOT used for evolution, regardless of your claim, above. "
Well, it is the same for evolution, regardless of your claim, above. What can I say? DNA testing would not be used in the judicial system if it were not reliable. How did we get to know it was reliable...?

" historical claims of any type cannot be examined under the empirical scientific method because they cannot be tested experimentally"
That's your opinion. Since you already reject evolution, you pretty much have to have this opinion to be consistent... But we do have the empirical scientific method to study living things today and then make claims about how we got here. That's using the scientific method to justify historic claims.

" The conclusions which I present are merely that evolution is not empirical science, is therefore not knowledge, and certainly is not Truth, as you assert that I must accept. "
Did I make such claims, anywhere, ever? Please show support for your accusations. Evolution is not more, nor less, Truth, with a capital T than is any other science. You are right that it's contingent on a lot of things, and I would add that there is always uncertainty. I never claimed complete 100% certainty for any of this. But there are things that are more certain than others, such as the fact that all humans, all primates, all mammals, all fish, etc... share a few common ancestors in the animal kingdom, but the further we go, the less we know.

" Would you like a list of the books and sites I have read on this regard? Your claim of my ignorance is becoming annoying."
Books regarding what? Logic in general? But I am not arguing that you are illogical or irrational,I just think you are misinformed about evolution. You have been repeating the same things for over 5 years now, at least, right? You still insist that it's about minerals turning into living stuff, you still insist that the Cambrian explosion is some sort of magical moments no one can explain, you still insist that there is a line between the genomes of certain groups, but you won't say which... and so on. It's not about logic; we both get how it works. It's about the premises we use to build arguments and deductions. We don't agree on which premises are true. Charges of bad logic fill the comment boxes but add no value.

Hugo Pelland said...

Comment #5
" I don’t have to present a counter theory; "
It depends what we are talking about. I present to you the DNA of all living things, anything really, and I am asking you to draw the line between things that have a common ancestors, and those that don't. My theory (well, the one supported by the vast majority of biologists, scientific organization, science magazines and so on; not really mine...) is that there is no line. All living things are cousins, some closer than others.

When mapping these cousins blindly, without knowing which living thing we are looking at, we then end up creating a family tree, which looks very similar to what you would build by doing the opposite: looking at living things' characteristics and sorting them. And we are still just talking about living things, today, with DNA tests done on them, today. The theory? Well, it seems that the closer the DNA is, the more similar the individuals are, and that they must have shared a common ancestor in the past. The further we look, the more difficult it becomes to imagine what that ancestor would look like, and that's when we need to start digging, literally, i.e. that's when we can look at fossils.

Also in comment #5, more claim that I am not using empirical science.

Hugo Pelland said...

Comment #6
What I write is just an opinion apparently... but as I keep repeating, DNA testing is not valid because I think so. Reading more, I see accusations of dogma. Again, I can say the same about you Stan; it's so useless to mention that... Now, some discussion points:

" Discuss this:
1. If you can’t prove your theory with empirical experimental results, then you don’t know that theory to be true . (Basic. Feynman even restated it, which I pointed out to you, and you ignored it).
"

Correct.

" 2. If you don’t know a theory to be true, then that theory is not a Principle, not a “theory”, it is an unproven hypothesis. (It is raw opinion, if you stick to it blindly without proof)."

Correct.

" I do reject the ungrounded DNA interpretations found in some of the opinions which are generated without actual empirical data for proof."

Ok, so will you ever try to explain where you draw the line then? If DNA work to identify my parents, my cousins, my grand-parents, my great-grand-parents and second cousins, my race, my species, etc... why should I draw the line somewhere and claim that DNA testing is not valid anymore for determining ancestry?

To give a more specific case, for example, what do you think of that:
"All members of Hominidae except humans, Neanderthals, andDenisovans have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs of chromosomes. Human chromosome 2 is a result of an end-to-end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_2_(human)
Is this where you would draw the line in this case? Because the number of chromosomes is different, humans and non-humans Hominids are not really all Hominids, we are different genome? And the likelihood that Chromosome #2 is the result of a fusion between 2 chromosomes is not high enough for you to believe it; it's just a so-story...?

Hugo Pelland said...

Comment #7
"You showed no knowledge of actual refutations within the community. You denied that it existed."
This refers to the 'not up to date' comment I must insist that you are the one who is not up to date and confused as to what evolutionary biologists talk about. You said many times that they dropped mutations/change and selections; that's not true. Evolution couldn’t work without evolution and selection. I have not seen you correct that definition of evolution. In other words, it's not evolution if we are not talking about change and selection...

"You have become emotional. Read the sidebar articles on evolution and refute them, without appeal to rhetoric: use empirical scientific data, please. If you choose not to do that, then your emotional attachment to unprovable dogma has been made clear."
That's ironic... you are the one here with emotional attachment Stan. There is no doubt about it. My position is that evolution has nothing to do with one's worldview, it's just science. There are theists and atheists who accept it, liberal and conservative, educated people and not, and so on... There are tendencies, sure, but that does not mean it fits only under 1 category of people. And if I don't address all the links on the side, it's not because of emotional attachment; I have read them already. There is just too much... look, I am at comment #7 already and it's not over. Sorry, I am not retired, I don't have that much time... I am actually sick, at home today, and I am feeling better now so I can write all that...


Comment #8
"So, clearly, you think life was designed and it does not really matter what we find.
False, false, false.
"

Ok, interesting, so you don't think it's designed?

After that bit, more demand to prove things you wish to see proven under your own demands and conditions, nothing to do with the actual science of evolution

" all you can actually know for a fact is that different living things occurred at different layers in the geological record."

See, when you bring up fossils, it shows that you don't get it. My paragraph above, in this batch of comments, ends with fossils, ends with digging. It's not something we need to start with to understand evolution. Fossils could disprove the theory, but they confirmed it instead.

Hugo Pelland said...

Comment #9
Mostly quoting my words; still no answer to 'where is the line?' And yes, you make claims, you say that genomes are separate from each other. That's a claim. So which genomes are separate, which aren't'?

Comment #10
"Can you explain where you draw the line between species, between populations that share a common ancestors and those that don't?
Let’s do this. Go here and read my analysis of the Great Malawi Cichlid Evolution:
http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2009/03/evolution-claims-lake-malawi-cichlids.html
Then discuss in detail as deep as you wish.
"

Of course, not answer to the question, just more diversion with yet another link to yet another article, written by you... Though, that does answer a question from above; it's been way over 5 years since that article is from March 2009...

Reading the link, with instant notes here:
- Ring species are great example of speciation and divergence preventing reproduction, yes. It's not just big-dog-small-dog, which would be compatible genetically.
- On to a study regarding some fish population, with over 500 species. The reported goal was to nail down DNA relationships.
- A tentative graph, a tree, could be constructed.
- Your conclusion is, first, that hybridization could occur; the fish are not that different genetically, but it does not happen, for many other reasons.
- Second, the loos of DNA correlation means speciation; but that's not what I got from the paragraph quoted. It's more about how variations within a species can actually be more diverse than variation between species, because to create a new species, a bigger change is needed. Not much here to know for sure though.
- You claim that the DNA of a specific jaw type needed to be there from the beginning; I don't see why. There is no such presumption; it can be either way, depending on what genes change, or if existing genes are turned ON/OFF.
- Not enough information regarding the variations in characteristics.
- Resulting populations are subset of the bigger one, hence no evolution.
Ok, so this was a very limited case so there is not much coming out of it. What's the point?

Hugo Pelland said...

"And actually even the definition of “species” is another semi-deception within evolutionism, just like “phyla”, being changeable as required to fit a current theory. However it commonly refers to the inability to produce offspring which are viable reproducers when members of two separate genomes mate. Within a genome, it is possible to find members which cannot mate (great danes and chihuauas), but that does not imply speciation. They remain within the species. (That’s the case with cichlids, btw)."

The deception comes from the side that rejects evolution and argues that there is such a thing as a definite line between each species. I know it's redundant but that's really the case. Again, looking at animals today, where do we draw the line between species that come from the same parent species, same genome as you put it, and species that are literally independent? Which species are which and why? And that's where you do have a further burden of rebuttal: if there are really different species that just happen to be here today, how did they get there? What's your explanation and how does it fit with the fossils we find? Evolution does explain both the observations of living things and dead things.

"Ancestry has not been shown to exit the species’ genome."
Where's the line?


"What needs to be proven (empirically) is that “changes” due to breeding within an unmodified genome (“changes” is undefined in the loosy-goosy parlance of evolutionism) leave the genome to form other species, totally different from the existing genome. This is mathematically and logically impossible – which point you have declined to discuss up to this point."
It does not mean to be 'totally different'. I don’t know why you say that and it once again just raise an impossible challenge. It seems that you want to see a literal jump, some animal giving birth to an animal of another species? That's not how it works. The descendants of a species are still part of that species, so they are 'in' that genome if you want. But you're the one who claims that there are multiple genomes and living things fit in that genome, and only that one, while other living things have their own boxed genome.

"I’ll go there when I have time. I doubt that it is Empirical data, however. We’ll see. Perhaps it is useful as a poster site for scientific knowledge from empirical data… or more likely: otherwise."
I don't think you'll find what you want in the video, but I would like you to consider them anyway... The purpose is mostly to show how it's impossible to draw a "line" between genomes, species, the way you try to do it. The videos explain why there is no such line, with examples for 'all cats' and 'all dogs' with just 1 ancestor, and then even going 1 more step to get the common ancestor of both cats and dogs.

Xellos said...

Cambrian explosion can be considered a jump, with regard to the discussed time scale.

Hugo Pelland said...

Xellos, a jump that span a few tens of millions of years...


Also, Stan, since I'm being mostly useless today, now sitting on the couch, I re-watched the entire series of videos I linked to, and many more. I had forgotten how much commentary there is; that's the bad part. But there's are also more useful things, that we directly discussed here. Hopefully you'll get some time to look at the second half of 'Foundations of Feliforme Families', which seems to be the most direct link with the notion of 'drawing a line' between species that share a common ancestor, and those you claim don't share one.

Xellos said...

"a jump that span(sic) a few tens of millions of years..."

Repeating what I said is not a rebuttal.

Stan said...

Comment #1
"Preamble: [...]"
That's just one long paragraph essentially saying "I am right, you are wrong; I am logical, you are not". Sorry, but that's a useless comment...


That is the sorriest response I’ve ever received, and I’ve been doing this a long time.

You slough off the very foundational points being made as “useless”, so that you don’t have to address them. They don’t fit your dogma.

My dogma is this: Valid knowledge does NOT and CANNOT be dictated by Opinion.

You merely double down with more and more opinion, NOT empirical science.

I think I’m done with you.

Phoenix said...

Stan said: Determinism must be a First Principle in order to be a ground for evolution. A First Principle is one that cannot be invalidated, and is generally seen to be the case by inspection. First Principles must pass Reductio Ad Absurdum if they are to conform to Aristotelian logical principles.

Determinism can be falsified under Reductio. In a completely deterministic universe there can be no deviation from material cause and effect, with a causal chain extending back in history to the Big Bang. If there are any non-material causes for physical effects, then Determinism is falsified. The falsification for determinism lies in the intellect itself: to assert that the universe is deterministic (or not) requires a non-deterministic analysis which is based in logic, not on previous states of existence. This satisfies the Reductio falsification of determinism.

If Philosophical Materialism requires determinism as a necessary ground, then it is falsified when determinism is falsified. But there is another falsification of Philosophical Materialism as well. It is possible to assert that determinism is a necessary effect from Philosophical Materialism. That leaves PM ungrounded, which in turn leads to the observation that PM is circular, using its own authority for proof of its own conclusions. This is because it cannot use empirical science as a ground since science claims to address only material cause/effect issues which it can measure and validate/falsify. Science does not claim any ability to address non material issues which cannot be measured. (This is the reason that historical issues such as evolution are not empirical science).

If Philosophical Materialism is not grounded itself, then it cannot be in the support chain for grounding evolution. So evolution is without an epistemological ground as well as without an ontological ground.

Being completely without logical or physical grounding, evolution is seen to be the accumulation of voluminous speculations which are based on bone locations in geologic strata, and the deterministic, materialistic interpretation of current life, its DNA, physical properties, etc.

Can these speculations be called science? Only if the definition of “science” includes variable speculations as the sole possible source of its “principles”. It cannot be called empirical science in the classical sense of empiricism.

Can these speculations be called coherent philosophical explanations? Not if one believes in the authority of Aristotelian logic principles, grounding in the original First Principles, and Reductio Ad Absurdum.

Therefore, the speculations are rendered just opinion. They should never be given rational authority which they don’t deserve
.

Brilliant stuff. This could have been an article in its own right.

Phoenix said...

@Hugo

Perhaps I could simplify the matter even further for you. There are only two known methods of empirical testing: 1)Observational study and 2) Experimental study.
Under which method do you derive the empirical evidence for Evolution? I suspect Observational testing is out of the question, since Evolutionists tend to invoke deep time which is impossible to observe. We are then left with Experimental testing. So what type of cause-effect relationship has been demonstrated in Evolution that has also been independently replicated?

Stan said...

Phoenix,
Here's a confirmation of your statement, made by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, in their book, "Science, Evolution and Creationism"; National Academies Press; 2008; pg 11:

"Is Evolution a Theory or a Fact?
[...]
In science, a "fact" typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term "fact" to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep looking for additional examples. In that respect, the the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions."

This confirms that observation is used, but with "testing and confirmation".

There have been zero tests which confirm evolution, except those which produce defective fruit flies and other defective creatures. Grant and Grant observed no evolution of a positive nature in their decades of research in the Galapagos on Darwin's finches.

For evolution, there is "no compelling reason to keep looking" because it cannot be found, except in their own ungrounded and untestable hypotheses.

It is found in so many ungrounded and untestable hypotheses that it is now considered a "Fact", and therefore dissent is deemed denialism and borderline criminal.

Stan said...

Perhaps the key to the above is the use of the word "evidence". Is it evidence if it cannot be proven? Is it evidence if it cannot even be observed? Is it evidence if it is merely a projection beyond the actual, existing physical evidence - which projection again cannot be proved, physically.

The physical sciences are, in fact, physical. Except for evolution, which has no physical proof even possible.

Oh yes, and AGW, which has evidence which is tampered with, and which does not produce comparable results within the lifetimes of the scientists, and which is supported by governing bodies which need a certain outcome to be the case, or else they either lose financial support or they lose the artificial mass-panic feature of their politics.

Hugo Pelland said...

You presented your side: Evolution is not an empirical science, just opinions. Living things clearly evolve only within [unspecified] limits; macro-evolution is false, micro-evolution is trivial.

On the other hand, scientific organizations, science magazines, Nobel prize winners, universities from all around the world, natural history museums, and even many religious organizations, claim that the Theory of Evolution is the best at explaining the diversity of life on Earth, based on decades of meticulous studies by professional biologists.

"The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and others."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution

Nature magazine
Science magazine
AAAS
NewScientist magazine
MIT Biology
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences (2)
The American Society for Cell Biology
The American Institute of Biological Sciences
UC Berkeley
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
National Association of Biology Teachers
American Society For Microbiology
American Society For Microbiology (2)
American Society For Microbiology (3)
Crash Course Biology

Remember that last one Phoenix? I had posted it on your blog; I wonder whether you ever watched it... It's a very good reminder of what we learn in high school, but with a few things covered in more depths, with some recent development in evo-devo, for example, being included (i.e. helps explain the Cambrian explosion).

Basically, it's not just a bunch of opinions. It's empirical peer-reviewed science based on observations and real-life facts.

Xellos said...

The extent of support doesn't make it empirical, nor science. And Hitler also had overwhelming public support in Germany (Godwin's law, yay!).

Also, do you honestly think most scientists / scientific institutions / magazines could publically reject evolution without severe consequences?

Hugo Pelland said...

Xellos, I have been debating this topic with Stan for days in a row now; and over many years if you want to count further back too. The level of support is just 1 of many many things. And yes, it absolutely matters that the experts in the field we are talking about agree. That's why Creationists have to make bogus lists of scientists, of ANY field, to pretend there is support for their side. Nothing has changed since Stan started to write on the topic years ago. And nothing has refuted the fact of common descent, explained by the theory of evolution by natural selection, for over a century now.

Robert Coble said...

Given the sorry state of peer-review (especially in academia and in the climate change realm), perhaps it is not the best approach to base ones arguments on an appeal to the "sacred science" authorities. Maybe, just maybe, an appeal to authority "might" be a logical fallacy under Aristotelian logic. But who cares about logic in the post-modern world, right? It is "settled science" that rules the roost. Who cares about those mutated flying dinosaurs, er, chickens, or whatever, coming home eventually?

Hugo Pelland said...

Rober, you brilliantly repeated Xelos' point, but with a nice humorous twist, well done. However, I addressed its content already.

Next, the reference to the state of peer review is ironic. Obviously, you refer to some statistics about huge numbers of papers retracted. As if it were a bad thing; perhaps because you heard about it with commentaries already attached to the news. Yet, this is what peer review means. Constant reviewing of the work to get better and better information. So, these findings are good news; the truth came out and some conclusions were adapted accordingly. There is an example in the series of videos I linked to. Let me know if you need details?

The peered reviewed process in science leads to the same kind of facts, hypotheses and conclusions in all fields. Biological evolution included. That's my opinion, based on information from organizations like the ones I named above. I am not shy of using them. And many many more. They do self-correct themselves and move forward with new knowledge every day.

Hugo Pelland said...

Sorry for the typo Robert*

Hugo Pelland said...

Sorry for the typo Xellos*

I should pay more attention to name spelling when I'm on my phone...

Stan said...

This is the same logic fallacy which you have been alerted to before, and which you refuse to quit the use of: Appeal To Authority. You use it rather than presenting a single bit of observational evidence of the physical occurrence of evolution. Not a single observation! None. Zero. Presumably if any of this list of authorities being appealed to actually had any empirical evidence, then you would present it.

Further, the last-listed video series, in video 14 uses the refuted peppered moth and Darwin finch cycling within their respective genomes as proof of evolution. It is micro-evoolution.

And in video 15 the reference to species is specific: "breed and produce fertile offspring", using the liger as an example of sterile hybrids.

Video 4 explains the complexity of eukaryotic cells, but presumes their preexistence without analysis. In fact, all videos that I scanned made the assumption of preexistence without analysis.

I stopped scanning, because none of the potentially pertinent videos seemed to make any attempt to address either sourcing issues, or underlying premises. These videos actually use dated information when it comes to evolution.

When you can present one empirical disciplined demonstration of actual evolution, then come back and we'll discuss it in a logical, analytical fashion, rather than in a dazzled sans-evidentiary believer fashion.

Stan said...

Finally,
"You presented your side: Evolution is not an empirical science, just opinions. Living things clearly evolve only within [unspecified] limits; macro-evolution is false, micro-evolution is trivial."

Not completely the case: macro-evolution is a) not reputable knowledge, either scientific or philosophical; b) not proven; c) not based in coherent premises; d) illogically limited in its investigations. Because it is defended with non-rational "Appeal to" fallacies and pejoratives rather than the presentation of data, it is far closer to a religious ideology than to disciplined science. And yet it is presented as a MUST belief system, one which cannot even be discussed until its unproven "principles" are accepted as Truth.

Stan said...

And there's this:
"And nothing has refuted the fact of common descent, explained by the theory of evolution by natural selection, for over a century now.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof:" Carl Sagan

There is no common ancestor. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO COMMON ANCESTOR" - except in the 150 year old, unproven and unprovable hypotheses which are accepted blindly without proof. SHOW US THE COMMON ANCESTOR. Even simpler, show the intermediate ancestor which created all the phyla in the Cambrian Explosion.

WHERE IS IT? It is only in the minds of those who MUST accept evolution, despite its unproven principles and irrational basis in its very premises.

Robert Coble said...

@ Hugo

Thank you for the observation, but you missed the point about peer-review. The peer-review process is supposed to be applied PRIOR TO publication and dissemination in respectable science journals, such as Nature. That process is supposed to prevent (or at least reduce) the number of incidents in which data and models have been deliberately "cherry picked" and manipulated to demonstrate the (perhaps ideological) "truth" of a particular position, rather than simply "following the evidence wherever it leads." (Think Socrates and Dr. Antony Flew as exemplars of that "search for truth" paradigm.) Peer-review as a process is NOT concerned with science qua science, but is a procedural process designed to prevent "scientists" (or English Lit majors) with a hidden (or, as in the climate change nonsense, NOT hidden) agenda providing supposed "scientific advances" which actually discredit science when the findings cannot be replicated using the discover(s)'s methods and data. When it is discovered after the fact (i.e., long after the supposed peer-review process has been applied) that the "science" is bogus, that is NOT what science qua science does. It also is what peer-review is supposed to prevent. Unfortunately, the peer-review process is broken, based on the HUGE number of already peer-reviewed papers being retracted. That is NOT an indication that the peer-review process is working.

There are several reasons for the modern phenomena of huge numbers of retracted "science" papers (AFTER the peer-review process has been applied). If the data and the accompanying method(s) do not reproduce when repeated by others outside the original investigation, then there is a major scientific problem with the original investigation AND with the "peer-review" process. That is the very essence of empirical science. Give me your data and method(s), and let me see if I can duplicate your findings. If, after being peer-reviewed and published, you refuse to provide the hypotheses and data that led to your conclusions, then a big red flag is hoisted. Without method(s) and data, all you have are conjectures, opinions, religious dogma - but NOT SCIENCE QUA SCIENCE.

As to peer-review itself: if the reviewers are "cherry picked" to belong to a specific ideology because of their public support of your a priori position, then THAT is a violation of the very notion of (unbiased) peer-review.

Public assaults ("deniers", "Creationists", "flat Earthers", etc.) on anyone who finds objective reasons to reject those peer-reviewed papers is also a strong indication that (1) the "science" in question is NOT science at all, but merely religious belief gussied up to look "scientific", as in the Emperor's New Clothes; (2) that there is a strong likelihood that the person(s) throwing such invective have no actual "science" to defend their position; and (3) that there is a strong likelihood of fraud going on in the process.

YOU CHOOSE:

Show your data and processes. If they replicate and support your findings, science has been advanced.

If you do NOT have empirical data and processes that are replicable, then whatever it is that you are doing has passed out of the realm of empirical science and into philosophy or religion or ideological "magic".

Peer-review is NOT part of that scientific process.

Stan said...

I just can't resist making this next point, regarding falsifying a non-existing common ancestor. It has to be discovered, identified, analyzed and "validated" before it can be falsified. So it's no wonder that something which does not exist except hypothetically has not been falsified. Not unlike the troll at the bottom of a black hole.

On the other hand, if the entire concept of emergence can be shown to fail an Aristotelian analysis, then all the associated dependent concepts fail as well. And that is what has happened, starting with the very first life. There is no mechanism either known or proposed which predicts the possibility of life evolving (yes EVOLVING) from minerals. And further, the obvious characteristics of autonomy and agency defy Materialist determinism.

Emergence, by any hypothesis, FAILS Aristotelian testing of reality.

Hugo Pelland said...

Robert,

Your point was already clear; I had understood it already. I simply don't share your cynicism. The peer reviewed process, whether you want to call it a part of the science process or not, is an effective way to communicate research findings, even if we know it's not perfect, just like any other alternative would be. Even if papers were removed after the fact, it still means that more review took place and that faulty information as retracted, leaving behind even more accurate documents. Unless you found studies that literally removed 100% of all the peer-reviewed documents of a certain field... now that would be shocking, but that's not what happened, right?

Hugo Pelland said...

Stan,
What is 'actual evolution'?
You keep repeating 2 things essentially:
- The evidence and arguments presented in favor of evolution are false, because they don't prove [undefined], which is what you what to see proven.
- There is neither argument nor evidence presented in favor of evolution under the [undefined] theory.
So, everything falls under either of these categories. You won't say why, you won't say what's really correct, you won't say what you think is a better set of explanations for the facts you agree on, you won't even pinpoint where the line between micro and macro evolution is. You even admitted just now that you scanned through some of the videos I linked to, found nothing wrong, but not what you are looking for. So what are you looking for exactly?

Hugo Pelland said...

Moreover, you keep doubling down on what are clear indications that you do not understand what the actual scientific explanations entail. Really, the previous paragraph should help clarify what you mean by 'evolution' in your own terms, but this is what I see:

- You insist that there is no path between 'minerals' and 'life; and I would agree. Nobody says that minerals span life. This makes no sense. What we do know however is that organic material forms naturally, that water is abundant in the universe, and that how heavy atoms are formed, among other things. These pieces of information help theorize potential scenarios as to how our planet form, what material was involved and how it span the first self-replicating molecules. Nothing certain yet; perhaps never, but it's certainly not mineral-to-life and very interesting to investigate.

- You reject the notion of common ancestry because we cannot identify that 1 common ancestor for everything and thus cannot even discuss it nor prove its existence. This confirms that you don't understand what is meant by common descent, why we always specify '1 common ancestor or 1 common gene pool', or why we can confirm common ancestry without knowing the exact source. Yet, it's so simple... My sister and I share the same parents; do you need to know who my parents are to know that they exist? DNA would prove we are related regardless. Robert and Stan are white Americans, presumably of British descent, and DNA would show that your common ancestor is most likely younger than our common ancestor, because I am of French descent; but I could be wrong and DNA would show that. What's more certain is that my wife, who is Indian, is clearly way more remote from us 3 since we are not even the same ethnicity. Again, we don't need to know who the common ancestor of us 3 white guys is to know that it's a much more recent ancestor than the common ancestor of all 4 people. Taxonomy and DNA testing can give us that same kind of deduction over longer periods of time, for entire population of living organisms. They both yield the same results, independently. Some species are closer than others, but even distant ones exhibit common ancestry. There is no line, but you think there is one, refuse to say where it is, and plead ignorance, stating that nobody knows. Where is your argument for this rejection and where do you draw the line? At the sub-species level, species, genus, kingdom... where and why?

- Regarding the sources, and level of support for evolution articles, I linked to. You insist that it's an appeal to authority fallacy, as if naming an authority automatically classifies a statement as a logical fallacy. This could not be further from the truth. I am not saying 'Statement X is true because Y said so'; I have been presenting arguments after arguments, trying to pinpoint where you fail at grasping the correct idea, and then mention that, by the way, all of these professionals agree with my position and I use their information as reliable sources. Where are your sources? Nowhere to be found apparently; just opinions... You even tried to quote one paper, Kimura's, without realizing that it makes your case worse. Kimura essentially shows that neutral mutations can lead to speciation; so even if there were no positive mutations ever, as you claim, speciation would still happen because of drift in the gene pool.

Xellos said...

"Kimura essentially shows that neutral mutations can lead to speciation"
"speciation would still happen"

You make the jump from "can" to "would/will". Once again, without empirical evidence that's not based in speculation.

Xellos said...

"I am not saying 'Statement X is true because Y said so'; I have been presenting arguments after arguments, trying to pinpoint where you fail at grasping the correct idea, and then mention that, by the way, all of these professionals agree with my position and I use their information as reliable sources."

So you're basically saying 'Statement X is true because Y said so', except you don't like it being called that.

And "the idea is correct, you just misunderstand it" is no less religious than "listen and believe". If you fail to explain something convincingly, that doesn't necessarily make it the fault of the one(s) whom you're trying to explain it to.

Hugo Pelland said...

Xellos, you don't explain anything; you just reject the evidence and arguments because... I don't know. Hence, by your own statement, there is no reason to agree with your opinion since you fail to explain something, anything, convincingly. I find the arguments of experts in the field to be more convincing. Not only because they are experts, that would be a fallacy, but also because they show their work, their reasoning, the facts they used, the observations we have today, and how anyone can reproduce that work. Just go to any natural history museum and come up with your own explanations if you prefer; the evidence is there for anyone to look into.

What you missed regarding speciation is that yes, we do know it happens based on at least 2 types of observations.

1) Several cases of so-called micro-evolution are actual examples of speciation, where an initial population is split into 2 or more groups, and they diverge enough from each other to become independent species, usually not be able to reproduce with each other anymore. Stan mocked at least 1 such example, instead of addressing the implications, by saying that they generated mutant defective fruit flies. Unfortunately, we cannot run experiments over thousands of year so that seems to never be convincing enough for skeptics who want something more, [undefined], to satisfy their idea of what evolution 'should' be. Perhaps one of you guys will explain what you would like to see to be convinced?

2) Hierarchy also yields the inescapable conclusion that speciation occurred, as we can look at living things today and figure out how closely related they are to each other. What we see is that completely different species are actually really close at the DNA level. The more similar their morphology is, the more similar their DNA is. We thus know that they must have share a common ancestor species, just like we can know that people are siblings, cousins, second cousins, etc... DNA testing and taxonomy show which species are closely related to each other and the fields agree with each other, and many other sets of observations. Kimura's research gives 1 of many possible pathways to such speciation; it's an attempt to explain 'how' it can happen over long periods of time. And no, it does 'not' mean that 'time is an actor'; nobody says that. It only means that the process is not one of sudden change; you don't ever have a member of a species giving birth to a member of another species. You thus need a lot of generations to start to see big changes; and a lot of generations require a lot of elapsed time.

If you want to actually argue that speciation does not, or cannot occur, why don't you address the evidence and arguments such as what's presented here?
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_40

Hugo Pelland said...

Or, why don't you go back to either set of videos I linked to?
One is much shorted and to the point, see AronRa's Falsifying Phylogeny videos, and shows how 2 literal cousin animals can give rise to the entire 'dog' family and the entire 'cat' family, through what is defined as 'micro' evolution, but after a lot of generations. If you want to jump to that specific conclusion I am talking about, check the 13th minute of "Foundations of Feliforme Families", and then look back at the explanations as to why the argument makes sense.
The other set of videos is much longer, see the Crash Course on Biology, as it starts from the basics of biology, including why chemistry is relevant, then go on to explain the morphology of different animal groups, how things are related, how we can classify, how we can evaluate relationship through DNAs, what we found in the fossil record to confirm the hypothesis, what predictions can be made, how evo-devo can explain the variation in the rate of evolution, such as why the Cambrian explosion is so interesting, etc...

Hugo Pelland said...

For your convenience; 13th minute of "Foundations of Feliforme Families":
https://youtu.be/pNrt90MJL08?t=13m
To para-phrase the video: if you had seen these 2 literal cousins who went on to reproduce in isolation from each other, would you have recognized it as a macro evolutionary event?

Xellos said...

I reject the evidence which you don't present and the arguments which you cannot prove. I reject stories, to which you reply with "read more stories". NO.

If I saw them produce this multitude of species which would survive, not on an animation, not in stories, but in reality, then I'd be willing to admit that there are no such clear lines and be willing to at least listen to your stories instead of, you know, waiting for that evidence to show up. You say evolution doesn't make jumps; I don't make jumps, either.

Here's a question, on a not really unrelated topic: what am I?

Hugo Pelland said...

Fair enough; it's not a big deal you know. I just find this topic fascinating, always have, and it's interesting to try to pinpoint why people are so irritated by it and which part they understand/misunderstand and believe/disbelieve. Unfortunately, I get very little of that... you again just repeated that you reject the evidence I don't present; I guess links after links after links, science articles, bodies of professional, natural history museums are... nothing?

At least, you did try to answer my question as to what you would like to see: "produce this multitude of species which would survive, not on an animation, not in stories, but in reality" but I am afraid I have no idea what you are talking about! What are these 'species' you would like to see produce and how could we possible demonstrate that to you? Do you want to start with a dog, make it bread thousands of times and see what we get? You do realize that would take, well, thousands of years... Or, it seems to me that it's perhaps yet another case of the infamous 'crocoduck' presented by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron a long time ago. They thought this would be some good example of macro-evolution, somehow, when it would actually disprove the entire theory, should we find such a beast. So, what are you looking for Xellos?

"what am I?"
Afaik, you are a human being who can communicate using the English language. Why?

Which reminds me of an interesting parallel using language: do you believe that French, Spanish and Italian all come from Latin? If yes, do you believe that a Latin-speaking mother ever give birth to a French-speaking child? Do you understand the similarity with evolution?

Stan said...

Hugo,
First see today’s post on the state of peer review and published articles. This is not the first such study of such breeches of faith in the science mega-business. Your lack of “cynicism” requires suspension of recognition of current research on research.

Now:
”What is 'actual evolution'? You keep repeating 2 things essentially:
- The evidence and arguments presented in favor of evolution are false, because they don't prove [undefined], which is what you what to see proven.
- There is neither argument nor evidence presented in favor of evolution under the [undefined] theory.”


Both of these are incorrect. I do keep repeating and you keep not comprehending, it appears.

1. There is nothing which is “undefined” about the need for empirical proof. Every claim of evolutionary chains and common ancestry cannot be proved empirically. Therefore all of those claims are not fact, they are imaginary products of speculation and absolutely cannot rise to the standard of definitive knowledge. In order to rise to the position of reputable knowledge, they must be demonstrated, replicated, and non-falsified. I have said this over and over, yet you make claims like the one above, indicating a complete non-comprehension of what I have said.

2. There is neither demonstration nor non-falsification presented under the principles of empirical science. I have defined empirical science a number of times; it is definitely NOT undefined, empiricism is the definition of objective, responsible, reputable knowledge-generating science. I have even quoted the definition from the NAS.

”So, everything falls under either of these categories. You won't say why”

Absolutely false!! I have told you why until I’m ready to just quit in total disgust because you refuse to acknowledge it.

”you won't say what's really correct,”

Absolutely false!! Empirical procedures and non-falsification would produce what is contingently correct, and I have said this over and over. You have produced nothing whatsoever that can be called "correct", because it is all speculative opinion.

” you won't say what you think is a better set of explanations for the facts you agree on,”

Any contingent facts I agree on will be based on modern empiricism operating on current biology. What you want me to agree to is pure speculation which is incorrectly termed “explanation” as if it is THE TRUE explanation, which of course there is no empirical evidence even possible to support that devious claim.

”you won't even pinpoint where the line between micro and macro evolution is.”

I certainly did and will again: until the population genome is modified, the individual changes will remain within the population genome and the population is defined as species X = species X. That is why evolutionists say that it is changes at the population/group level that cause speciation/evolution.

You even admitted just now that you scanned through some of the videos I linked to, found nothing wrong, but not what you are looking for. So what are you looking for exactly?””

And even this claim is false!! I specifically said that the use of peppered moths and Darwin’s Finches is not macro-evolution because those are circular changes oscillating back and forth within the group genome, and therefore are FALSE.

And I have said over and over what I am looking for. Maybe if it is in CAPS?

NO CLAIM OF ANY PHYSICAL PHENOMENON CAN BE EITHER “FACT” OR “KNOWLEDGE” UNTIL IT HAS BEEN (1) DEMONSTRATED; (2) REPLICATED; (3) NON-FALSIFIED; (4) ALL EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS AND DATA FULLY RELEASED TO THE ENTIRE LITERATE WORLD FOR EXAMINATION AND FURTHER REPLICATION. I.E. EMPIRICAL PROCESSING.

SHEESH.

Stan said...

”These pieces of information help theorize potential scenarios as to how our planet form, what material was involved and how it span the first self-replicating molecules. Nothing certain yet; perhaps never, but it's certainly not mineral-to-life and very interesting to investigate.”

If you had read the articles in the side-bar, you would know that the two competing theories of carbon-to-life have been abandoned due to both falsification and to inability to produce in the lab, with no other competing speculative possibilities for the creation of carbon-to-life even imagined. Both replicant-first and metabolism-first are KAPUT. Go there for references as to the expert opinions why.

THERE IS NO IMAGINED, SPECULATED, MUCH LESS EMPIRICALLY VALIDATED PROCESS FOR PRODUCING LIFE FROM THE MINERAL, CARBON.

And you continually refuse to acknowledge the logic problem underlying the entire endeavor. When you make claims and refuse to address the underlying logic, that says a lot in terms of your need for avoidance. And now you merely try to turn the tables into an unsustainable Tu Quoue. All of your claims just above are false, all of them. You can reread the entire thread here and see the truth of that.

Moving on.

”These pieces of information help theorize potential scenarios as to how our planet form, what material was involved and how it span the first self-replicating molecules. Nothing certain yet; perhaps never, but it's certainly not mineral-to-life and very interesting to investigate.”

No. Not “theorize”; merely speculate and make untestable hypotheses. And yes, it is mineral to life. And it is science fiction – only. All of it.

”You reject the notion of common ancestry because we cannot identify that 1 common ancestor for everything and thus cannot even discuss it nor prove its existence.”

Common ancestry is a fiction based purely on a series of stacked speculations. It cannot be proven either way, true or false. Therefore it is not just fiction, it is a religious tenet, religiously believed in with no hope of proof. And thus it is not reputable knowledge, it is speculation: science fiction.

”This confirms that you don't understand what is meant by common descent, why we always specify '1 common ancestor or 1 common gene pool', or why we can confirm common ancestry without knowing the exact source.”

No, you can’t. You can only speculate. PROVE YOUR CLAIM.
What you can prove is common structure characteristics which are observable. You cannot prove the origin. Until you provide proof for your claims, you are merely spouting ideology: unprovable claims.

Stan said...

And here you make the basic Grand Error in logic:

”Taxonomy and DNA testing can give us that same kind of deduction over longer periods of time, for entire population of living organisms. They both yield the same results, independently.”

You are extrapolating from (a) within-genome [same set][human to human] to (b) outside-genome [parallel sets] by presupposing that the sets intersect without any knowledge whatsoever that they in fact do intersect; presupposing that in-set variation produces out-set results; presupposing that complexity increases with random mutation; etc. All the standard unproven claims of evolution become presuppostions in a never-ending chain of fantasy-story-as-truth-statement.

Why do you not acknowledge this????????????????????????????

WHY?????????????????????????????????

Stan said...

Here is the crux of the issue:

”Some species are closer than others, but even distant ones exhibit common ancestry. There is no line, but you think there is one, refuse to say where it is, and plead ignorance, stating that nobody knows.”

Structure is just this: structure. Your claim should read:
“Some species are closer [in structure as observed by bones or DNA of current specimens] than others, but even distant ones exhibit common [types of bone structure or DNA, which is speculated without proof to mean:] ancestry.”

Any other claim about structure such as similarity “meaning” something is pure speculation, AND YOU CAN”T SHOW OTHERWISE. So that is the precise case: NOBODY KNOWS because they CANNOT POSSIBLY KNOW. You cannot produce knowledge, because all you have is speculation, even though you WANT it to be considered immutable knowledge in terms of Philosophical Materialism grounded in Philosophical Determinism (both of which fail logic and observation).

” Where is your argument for this rejection and where do you draw the line? At the sub-species level, species, genus, kingdom... where and why?”

Species is defined at the breeding level; not my definition, it is the common understanding. All the rest is not firm, and changes continually. I.e. it is not fact, it is a human construct meant to categorize by certain characteristics. It is frequently changed due to violating the other characteristics which place creatures in more than one category, or actually uncategorizable.

species; A taxonomic category ranking justbelow a genus; includes individuals that display a high degree of mutual similarity AND that actually or potentially inbreed.
R.M. Atlas; Principles of Microbiology; Mosby Press; 1995; pg 846.


species; A group of organisms that resemble each other more than they resemble members of other groups and cannot be subdivided into two or more species. The precise definition of what constitutes a species differs depending on which species concept is applied. According to the biological species concept , a species comprises a group of individuals that can usually breed among themselves and produce fertile offspring. However, many other species concepts have been proposed, including the phylogenetic species concept and various typological species concepts...
http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199204625.001.0001/acref-9780199204625-e-4144?rskey=B2W2s2&result=1

If you want a different definition for “species” then it is up to you to specify it. I have done all that I can to make this clear to you.

Stan said...

” - Regarding the sources, and level of support for evolution articles, I linked to. You insist that it's an appeal to authority fallacy, as if naming an authority automatically classifies a statement as a logical fallacy.”

It absolutely does qualify as a logic fallacy. What this crowd represents is not the issue; what is pertinent is data in support of your truth claims. To assert that I must believe X because [person^n] believes X is just wrong. Any Atheist should know that. Referring an Atheist who is in the tiny minority to the vast Muslim population who believe in [whatever], and then claiming that the Atheist must believe what the Muslims do because of the sheer numbers of Muslims – is a fallacy.

What the evolutionist crowd represents is a class of believers. What it doesn’t represent is any proof of their belief. Presenting people, not facts, is not an argument built on logic.

If there are physical evolutionary facts embedded within that crowd, then you would have produced them; you did not.

” This could not be further from the truth. I am not saying 'Statement X is true because Y said so'; I have been presenting arguments after arguments, trying to pinpoint where you fail at grasping the correct idea, and then mention that, by the way, all of these professionals agree with my position and I use their information as reliable sources. Where are your sources?”

Your continual use of the term, “correct idea” presumes that you have evidence of its “correctness”. You do not. I know all the speculations, contrary to your claims of my ignorance due to not accepting your unsupported truth claims.

I have given this before; please take note as I elaborate: my source is Aristotle and millennia of logicians. My source is the characterization and definition of knowledge which is produced by John Locke. My source is the definition of Empirical Validation which comes from the French Encyclopedists. My source is the eradication of phony claims by Karl Popper. My source is the mathematical derivation of truth statements by Boole.

Where is your logical grounding? You have none, because the required beliefs of Philosophical Materialism and Philosophical Determinism are FALSE. You have ignored this continually, in favor of claiming that I just don’t understand the "correct" yet unfounded “principles” of evolution, over and over.

Stan said...

” Nowhere to be found apparently; just opinions... You even tried to quote one paper, Kimura's, without realizing that it makes your case worse. Kimura essentially shows that neutral mutations can lead to speciation; so even if there were no positive mutations ever, as you claim, speciation would still happen because of drift in the gene pool.”

Kimura does no such thing. Kimura assumes up front for everyone to see that neutral mutations can lead to speciation, by his choice of variables. You have had this pointed out, you ignore it and don’t refute it, you act as if contrary evidence does not exist. Lalalalala.

So now you have taken to merely turning the failure modes of your own which I point out, and attempt to turn them back on me in a completely failed Tu Quoque.

You have no case, because there IS NO EVIDENCE OF A PHYSICAL CHARACTER, and you refuse to admit it.

This has gotten old, well past the sell-by date.

” Moreover, you keep doubling down on what are clear indications that you do not understand what the actual scientific explanations entail. Really, the previous paragraph should help clarify what you mean by 'evolution' in your own terms, but this is what I see:”

This is just more bullshit blather. When you have actual evidence, then and only then is it science.

Regarding your retort to xellos:
” Xellos, you don't explain anything; you just reject the evidence and arguments because... I don't know.”

Your continuation of claiming to have evidence despite not having any evidence is starting to look like a purposeful deception, and certainly is an intellectually obtuse approach: claiming to have that which you do not and cannot have.

There is no evidence to reject. What is rejected is the demand to accept as truth unproven speculations which are falsely called “Principles”.

” I find the arguments of experts in the field to be more convincing. Not only because they are experts, that would be a fallacy, but also because they show their work, their reasoning, the facts they used, the observations we have today, and how anyone can reproduce that work.”

There is exactly NO “reproduction” of any “WORK” that these story tellers can produce. Your devotion to them is flawed, if you base it on what you say above.

” Just go to any natural history museum and come up with your own explanations if you prefer; the evidence is there for anyone to look into.”

So you want us to make up our own fables and science fiction stories based on animal bones found in certain geologic layers? This is a specific admission that such “evidence” is nothing but made up opinion. The fact that you cannot admit that, reveals your true position which is one of a religious devotee to unprovable creation stories… premised on Philosophies of Materialism and Determinism, and avoiding the logical black holes in the entire enterprise.

Stan said...

”… 2 types of observations.”

1. Evolution going to macro from micro. Yes, I produced contrary evidence. You still do not produce supporting physical evidence, which is what any actual scientist would demand. And so, where is it?

2. ” Hierarchy also yields the inescapable conclusion that speciation occurred, as we can look at living things today and figure out how closely related they are to each other.”

Hierarchy is not a physical characteristic of anything, it is a human-designed classification system, which is based on inference of connectivity, not empirical fact. You find unproven, extrapolatory opinion to be inescapable. That is religious belief in the unprovable.

” We thus know that they must have share a common ancestor species, just like we can know that people are siblings, cousins, second cousins, etc...”

Your use of “must” betrays the fact that you KNOW that you don’t know that claim to be demonstrated by virtue of any direct empirical evidence. You have merely bought into the extrapolated, inferential opinions of which you are a devoted fan. And it is necessary, you think, that everyone else should affirm your decision by making the same leaps of faith in the absence of any physical, empirical evidence for support.

” Kimura's research gives 1 of many possible pathways to such speciation; it's an attempt to explain 'how' it can happen over long periods of time.”

For the Nth time, Kimura Presupposes up front that speciation from neutral mutations can happen, then he makes sure that his equations reflect that.

Damnit show otherwise or stop making these false claims. You make claims as if they are TRUTH when you fail to even look at the source or discuss it beyond your conclusion. This is starting to look like purposeful misrepresentation as Truth of what you know to be false.

” And no, it does 'not' mean that 'time is an actor'; nobody says that.”

To claim that Set [R] will change into Set [M] just due to DEEP TIME is exactly saying that DEEP TIME is the causal agent. Claiming otherwise is another case of purposeful obtuseness, which is starting to appear to be your entire approach.

” Or, why don't you go back to…”

You have already attempted to send us all over the internet to see the same sort of evidence-free and false-evidence claims which are abundant in evolution-world. If you actually had even one piece of actual empirical evidence, then you would have presented it long ago. But you are stuck on presenting story-telling by all sorts of different story tellers who read dogma from pretty much the same evidence free evolution bible.

Stan said...

It’s time for you to present actual physical evidence which satisfies the principles of empiricism, Aristotelian deduction, and is grounded in First Principles instead of being entirely unground opinion.

Either do that, admit that you cannot, or frankly: just go away because you are not rational.

” I just find this topic fascinating, always have, and it's interesting to try to pinpoint why people are so irritated by it and which part they understand/misunderstand and believe/disbelieve.”

Understanding the simplistic evolution stories is easy; it’s done in primary school. What is not done is to analyze their premises, their actual evidentiary support, their logical truth values, and to decide why the evolution industry is so large, so selfishly protected from intellectual questioning, and so elitist by claiming that dissenters “just don’t understand” that the evolutionists' opinions are immutable “truth” and totally unquestionable at the premise level.

Your position has been that it can’t even be discussed until it is accepted as Truth.

That is specifically a gross intellectual failure; it is dishonest; it is NOT science. It is religion.

There is a huge dollar investment in the dogma of evolution with a great many people whose incomes depend on it being TRUE and unquestioned. There is a huge personal investment in the ideology of evolution, with dire consequences for that ideology if it is logically false, and thus a hazard to the worldviews of a great many people who strive to protect it from being analyzed in any significant intellectual depth.

”… but I am afraid I have no idea what you are talking about! “

Of course not. Purposeful obtuseness. The term “Species” has specific definition, unless the purpose is to obfuscate and obscure the impossibility of Set [G] turning into Set [Y] merely by invoking Deep Time, which is “not a causal agent”. So you slip-slide the terminology to cover that logical defect. That is purposeful, and it is deception.

”…do you believe that a Latin-speaking mother ever give birth to a French-speaking child? Do you understand the similarity with evolution?”

All analogies fail at some point, some fail sooner than others. This one fails immediately by using intelligent creatures and their cultural attributes. It is the same as the claim that automobiles have mutated and evolved, while ignoring that intelligence allowed it to happen (not to mention exist in the first place), not random outside influence, and not mindless random changes within the design.

Do you not see that a human-driven change is not the same as random mutations? Nor Deep Time? Nor any other causal agent which is not intelligent?

Mercifully we are at the end of your comments.

Stan said...

It is inconceivable, rationally, that anyone engaged in science/technology would not understand the principles of empiricism, much less not to think those principles to be of value. Even worse is to knowingly ditch those fundamental principles in favor of an ideology which is physically-based, but not based in any possibility of empirical validation.

This can be the case only if the ideology is more important to the individual ideologist than is science: empirical validation. That is the only way that ideological "principles" can be considered to be "Truth", which "must" be accepted.

Hugo Pelland said...

Stan said:
"Every claim of evolutionary chains and common ancestry cannot be proved empirically. [...]
Common ancestry is a fiction [...] What you can prove is common structure characteristics which are observable. You cannot prove the origin. [...] Hierarchy is not a physical characteristic of anything, it is a human-designed classification system, which is based on inference of connectivity, not empirical fact.
"
Ancestry can certainly be proven; we use it for parent testing on small scale, and can use the exact same techniques to go further and further, between populations, species, genus... Where's the line Stan; where does it stop working? You won't deny it works for child-parent relationship, I hope, what about cousins, or great-great-grand-parents? I still don't understand what you reject here because you make a blanket statement regarding all ancestry, or phylogeny I should say, for biology as a whole.

To give specific examples, what do you think of these empirical observations:
- Retroviruses And Pseudogenes (The entire playlist on the Facts of Evolution / Natural Selection is worth watching.)
- Universality of the genetic code, including exceptions
- Empircal tests to confirm phylogenic inference (a lot more empirical studies are referenced on talkorigins.org)
- The Genetics of Vitamin C Loss in Vertebrates and how it propagated, as support for evolutionary theory
- Prediction and findings surrounding humans' chromosome 2 as evidence of mutation and common ancestry with other apes

"”you won't even pinpoint where the line between micro and macro evolution is.”
I certainly did and will again: until the population genome is modified, the individual changes will remain within the population genome and the population is defined as species X = species X. That is why evolutionists say that it is changes at the population/group level that cause speciation/evolution.
"
Yes, changes always occur within a species. So that does not answer anything... All mammals, for example, are descendants of 1 species that was the original 'mammal' species. Its descendants were, and still are, all mammals.

The explanation is that that original population reproduced, some groups got isolated from each other for a lot of different reasons and, eventually, the new groups were so different that new species emerged. Yes, it's a "so-story" to use your own words, or what we usually call a theory, which explains the fact that all mammals share a specific set of features/genes. So again, you don't say where that distinction is; you just don't accept the explanation as to why mammals are not all still the same species today. There is no empirical test that can show 1 mammal species turning into today's millions of mammals' species. But we do have empirical observations as to how similar the DNA of mammals are, which ones are closer to each other and why, and then try to explain how it got to be that way. Evolution by natural selection provides a robust explanation because of what we know today, which is based on empirical observations.

Hugo Pelland said...

Since I was waiting for people at work, I actually had even more stuff written down, 1 or 2 more comments maybe, not sure if it would fit in 1. But anyway, I think it's better to stick to fewer precise topics, since you are clearly getting exasperated, as these few quotes show:

"I have told you why until I’m ready to just quit in total disgust because you refuse to acknowledge it. [...]
that says a lot in terms of your need for avoidance. And now you merely try to turn the tables into an unsustainable Tu Quoue. All of your claims just above are false, all of them.
[...]
Why do you not acknowledge this????????????????????????????
WHY?????????????????????????????????
[...]
even though you WANT it to be considered immutable knowledge in terms of Philosophical Materialism grounded in Philosophical Determinism (both of which fail logic and observation).
[...]
Where is your logical grounding? You have none, because the required beliefs of Philosophical Materialism and Philosophical Determinism are FALSE.
[...]
Lalalalala.
[...]
This has gotten old, well past the sell-by date.
[...]
This is just more bullshit blather.
[...]
starting to look like a purposeful deception, and certainly is an intellectually obtuse approach
[...]
It is inconceivable, rationally, that anyone engaged in science/technology would not understand the principles of empiricism, much less not to think those principles to be of value.
[...]
or frankly: just go away because you are not rational.
"

What I see within all of these silly quotes are 3 things:

1) On your blog, you usually claim that you want serious conversations using logic and reason. Yet, you inserted tons of these "colorful" bits that serve no purpose other than insulting. You are less and less subtle, now literally saying that 'everything' I write is false, that it's all 'bullshit', and that I am not rational.

2) What's particularly disgusting is that last part, that you pretend that I am not rational. I thought we had clarified that. Though I know little about your own background and what kind of IQ or Critical Reasoning test you would pass... In any case, you know I am not stupid and I don't pretend you are. And after reading you for years now, I know that you would never tolerate such behavior on your blog... if it were not coming from yourself.

3) And, after ignoring many instances, I think I should address these comments on Philosophical Materialism, which has nothing to do with any of this. As I mentioned on a separate thread, my understanding of evolution has never been influenced by my philosophical stance on anything, at all. My religious views actually changed a lot more, over the past 2 decades, than my views on evolution... Because the latter is science, and nothing more.

So it's up to you... more attacks on my character, or more discussion on specific empirical observations related to evolution... or both?