Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwinism?

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Eduk
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Eduk » June 30th, 2017, 9:03 am

You forgot to answer any of my questions? If you can clearly explain how someone who has no knowledge of a topic can contribute to that topic without first gaining knowledge of said topic then I am more than happy to read through your explanation. This does not seem logical to me though as I have tried to explain.

I also pointed out that if you do have knowledge of a topic then you can contribute to a topic. I am not sure why you assume that I believe you have no knowledge? You have not said anything which I particularly object to before my first post so I'm not sure why you think I am or was targeting you?

Also there is a big difference between having one incorrect or unreasonable opinion and being stupid. I would say everyone in the world has some unreasonable beliefs, but I don't believe everyone in the world is stupid. Again I am not sure why you think I think you are stupid?

Also I do apply this logic to myself. If I wish to learn how targeted cancer therapy works then I read literature from those who can and do do such things. If they tell me that evolution underpins their work then I (a non expert) am inclined to take their word for it. This is on the assumption that there is nothing to counter their claims. For example cancer life expectancy is slowly but surely rising. If this was not true then I might question the medical profession. But in order to do effectively I would need to avail myself of current scientific knowledge, then I could effectively diagnose and fix any issues. Otherwise it's pure conjecture on my part, maybe right maybe wrong but no way to tell.

Again a scientific consensus is not the same thing as a consensus. It requires empirical evidence, it requires independent verification, it requires expert opinion.

Also I am not sure where in what I have written it is necessary to be say as intelligent as Einstein in order to contribute to physics, much less to contribute in many and other various ways. Physicists may work their entire life and slowly chip away at theories progressing physics, maybe not as flashy as Einstein but still more than worthy. Hell even the sincere attempt would be more than worthy. Also Einstein may have been a great physicist but there is more to life than that.

So in short I am not sure where you are drawing any of your conclusions from as none of them seem to follow from anything I have written?

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-1-
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by -1- » June 30th, 2017, 9:13 am

This is my last reply to you, Eduk.

Never ever am I going to take issues with your thoughts. You are what in my opinion is a ... well, I had better not say it.

You are a noperson to me. You earned it with being completely relying on an ad hominem argument and drawing invalid inferences from it.

Period.

No more.
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Jan Sand
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Jan Sand » November 20th, 2017, 10:05 pm

The two elements in evolution are survival (which includes reproduction) and the environment. Natural forces in general are not teleological. They have no goal. But the force of life out of the joint influences of survival and ecology do end up as goal directed to continue life. The variations in DNA that produce new life varieties are random in that there is no direction in which the variations occur. The direction is directed by the environment which eliminates variations that cannot survive. But these variations are not totally random out of total chaos. The variations are made on top of previously successful creatures. Ecology restricts survivors but ecological variations are commonly not so extreme as to destroy all competing creatures and, so far, life has exhibited sufficient resilience to invent variations that manage survival through successive ecological challenges. Superior creatures develop out of surviving through multiple ecological challenges but, as the extinction of the dinosaurs demonstrates, the ecology can demolish most of a class of creature when conditions become extreme. In the case of humanity, intelligence has proved to be a very worthwhile accomplishment but even this has severe problems. It required great intellect to understand how to release nuclear energy but the current world conditions and the increasingly stupid people that have access to nuclear weapons might easily eliminate most of the human species.


It must be conceded that humanity is one result of the evolutionary process but in developing genetic engineering humans have added a new element into evolutionary forces. Natural evolution creates major changes very slowly but genetic control can accomplish in a very short time what might take thousands or millions of years to accomplish naturally. Instead of adapting other planets to current people it might be possible to transform people to live on other planets which would permit life to prosper in quite strange environments. Hopefully humanity might survive to do that.

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Atreyu
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Atreyu » November 21st, 2017, 7:09 pm

Jan Sand wrote:Natural forces in general are not teleological. They have no goal....
A common, but completely subjective and unfounded statement, which I strongly oppose.

I would argue that life on Earth serves a cosmic function/purpose, and is modified at the macro level in order to fulfill this function. 'No goal' is merely assumed because any question of what the goal/purpose/function is lies outside the boundaries of science, and scientists don't like to think about things outside of their discipline, i.e. they don't like to philosophize about things 'on the side', so to speak. So if some idea, like the one I just posited, cannot be put into a theory and verified or disproved, the tendency of the modern scientist is to dismiss it out of hand, and assert it's falsity, before actually examining it and giving it its rightful due examination and analysis.

I think the idea that life on Earth was created to serve a cosmic function is infinitely more sensible at first glance than the idea that such a complex and apparently consequential phenomenon was all just a 'Big Accident'....

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Steve3007 » November 21st, 2017, 7:21 pm

I think that if Evolution has a goal - a plan for the future towards which it is striving - and if it's possible to guess what that goal might be by examining the natural world, then the most likely goal is to give every appearance of not having a goal. Evolution gives every appearance of reacting to the present environment and not being able to plan for the future. It's perfectly possible that the plan is to look like that.

-- Updated Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:29 am to add the following --

Similar to the idea that it's perfectly possible that the Earth was created a few thousand years ago in such a way that it looks like it's 4.5 billion years old. Some people think that.

Jan Sand
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Jan Sand » November 22nd, 2017, 1:35 am

To propose that natural forces aside from evolution are teleological it seems to me necessary to have some concept of what that goal might be and why it is indisputable. The obvious goals of life are survival and reproduction.The second law of thermodynamics seems to indicate the heat death of the universe. Do you consider that a goal?

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JamesOfSeattle
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by JamesOfSeattle » November 22nd, 2017, 2:21 pm

I agree with Jan, I think. I think it is a mistake to apply the term "goal" to what nature does because a goal is something that requires conceptualization, and conceptualization didn't appear until (at least somewhat) intelligent animals appeared. "Natural forces" is a better term, because we can see these acting as a pressure that moves things (literally or figuratively) in a general direction. So gravity is an obvious one, and the second law of thermodynamics is another. Because we are used to creating goals which act on us as a pressure in a general direction (say, up a tree to get that apple), and we are naturally inclined to take the intentional stance towards things in the environment, it is easy for us to assign the goal of the roundish rock as reaching the bottom of the hill.

Interestingly, it looks more and more like the the drive to entropy is what provides the impetus to natural selection. And natural selection provides the impetus for the development of intelligence and goals. And the development of intelligence and goals will, I conjecture, drive the development of genetic engineering, but more importantly, will also drive the development of artificial intelligence and life. Continuing on, artificial life and intelligence will drive the colonization of the galaxy.

So to take the intentional stance, the goal of life is to hasten the heat death of the universe.

*

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Jan Sand » November 22nd, 2017, 2:52 pm

I tend to agree with the heat death hypothesis but the mere century or so that humanity has snuggled up to known probabilities makes it rather uncertain. If the universe we know is not a closed system then thermodynamics can be defenestrated. Just very recently astronomers have taken a sharp look at a sector of the universe that seems mysteriously empty and they have discovered that it is colder than it should be. I have read that one of the ideas that account for this would be that some other universe bumped into ours to make it leak away the energy content it should possess. This wild idea is, or course, somewhat in the class of ideas that lives with the Easter Bunny and Peter Pan's Never-never Land. But there it is and although it is as insane as quantum theory, one never knows.

Steve3007
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Steve3007 » November 22nd, 2017, 6:05 pm

I have read that one of the ideas that account for this would be that some other universe bumped into ours to make it leak away the energy content it should possess.
Really? I hope we exchanged insurance details with that other universe.

I think one of the defining features of a "goal" is forward planning. Most of the natural world looks as though it doesn't indulge in forward planning.

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Atreyu
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Atreyu » November 22nd, 2017, 6:54 pm

Jan Sand wrote:To propose that natural forces aside from evolution are teleological it seems to me necessary to have some concept of what that goal might be and why it is indisputable. The obvious goals of life are survival and reproduction.The second law of thermodynamics seems to indicate the heat death of the universe. Do you consider that a goal?
Not at all. Those are not goals. Survival and reproduction merely maintain life so that it can continue to fulfill its function/purpose, i.e.exist. Mere existence, in and of itself, cannot be said to be a goal. It's a state of being, nothing more. Things do not exist to exist.

Death is also not a goal because it's inevitable. Stopping inevitable things cannot be said to be a goal.
JamesOfSeattle wrote:I agree with Jan, I think. I think it is a mistake to apply the term "goal" to what nature does because a goal is something that requires conceptualization, and conceptualization didn't appear until (at least somewhat) intelligent animals appeared. "Natural forces" is a better term, because we can see these acting as a pressure that moves things (literally or figuratively) in a general direction. So gravity is an obvious one, and the second law of thermodynamics is another. Because we are used to creating goals which act on us as a pressure in a general direction (say, up a tree to get that apple), and we are naturally inclined to take the intentional stance towards things in the environment, it is easy for us to assign the goal of the roundish rock as reaching the bottom of the hill.

Interestingly, it looks more and more like the the drive to entropy is what provides the impetus to natural selection. And natural selection provides the impetus for the development of intelligence and goals. And the development of intelligence and goals will, I conjecture, drive the development of genetic engineering, but more importantly, will also drive the development of artificial intelligence and life. Continuing on, artificial life and intelligence will drive the colonization of the galaxy.

So to take the intentional stance, the goal of life is to hasten the heat death of the universe.
My view is that not all 'life' in the Universe is recognized or known, particularly the kind of entities that are behind the general causation of life on Earth...

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Jan Sand » November 23rd, 2017, 1:19 am

Since it has only been a few decades that humanity has conceived and produced the fundamental instrumentation to explore the very local areas of the universe and began conceptualizing the possibilities of the information received from the more distant areas in time and space it seems to me somewhat over eager to postulate that hugely powerful entities exist that have intents about what exists and why it exists. This is not to deny the possibility, merely to suggest patience in formulating theories until the defining data is received.

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