Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

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Meleagar
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Post by Meleagar » June 28th, 2010, 11:28 pm

Alun wrote: As I've said repeatedly, that has to be confirmed or falsified empirically. I am not going to go dig up papers on every phenomenon you have questions about; this thread was meant to address conceptual issues, not scientific details.
If it hasn't been confirmed empiricaly that it is the same categorical process, it's a fallacy of composition to assert that it is, and so fails as a conceptual model.

Speciation may or may not be the same process as "generating eyesight from scratch". Asserting that it is is not showing that it is. The statement: If natural selection is a sufficient process to generate a variation where some bird offspring cannot mate with the parent lineage, then that same process can produce eyesight from scratch or winged flight from scratch is a non-sequiter.

There is no reason whatsoever to expect that a process that can cause enough variation for speciation can also generate entirely new, functioning organs and abilities from scratch.

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Post by Alun » June 29th, 2010, 1:19 am

I did not assert that it was the same process, I said that by induction, there is reason to expect the same process produced the same effect. Thus there is cause for scientific investigation, which is again the point of this thread: That the argument for natural selection is not conceptually flawed, and it is a sensible source of hypotheses for the investigation of evolution.
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Post by Meleagar » June 29th, 2010, 6:52 am

Alun wrote:I did not assert that it was the same process, I said that by induction, there is reason to expect the same process produced the same effect.
Sound induction doesn't get you to that point. A fallacy of composition did.
Thus there is cause for scientific investigation, which is again the point of this thread: That the argument for natural selection is not conceptually flawed, and it is a sensible source of hypotheses for the investigation of evolution.
No, it isn't. Unless you can show that it is categorically the same process, you have done nothing whatsoever but assert that it is the same process. A bald assertion that two things not known to be the same are the same in order go from A to B in your reasoning is called a fallacy of composition.

From Nizkor:
The fallacy of Composition is committed when a conclusion is drawn about a whole based on the features of its constituents when, in fact, no justification provided for the inference
You have provided no justification for claiming that the whole of evolution by natural selection can be concluded by the facts provided about very, very small variations selected for by natural selection. A sorting process that can produce some successful variations isn't conceptually the same as a sorting process that can construct complex, functional, hierarchical machines from scratch. Because a machine can paint a car a different color doesn't mean that the same machine, and the same process, by itself, can construct entirely new lines of cars.

For some reason you think that "variation to the point of speciation", which lies at the bottom of the taxonomic tree, is conceptually the same thing as "bulding winged flight from scratch". It is not; they are two different concepts, and unless you can demonstrate that the same process that produced the former is factually sufficient, either by empirical evidence or by a realistic, predictive, mathematical analysis of the known process compared to what it is claimed to have produced in whole, then you have committed the fallacy of composition.

That natural selection can produce some biological variation doesn't show that it can produce all or even most of it. Whatever words one applies - speciation, microevolution, macroevolution - are irrelevent when it comes to having a basis for the claim that if process A can produce some biological features, then it can produce them all.

In fact, I know your claim to be factually false, because humans have been sorting biological diversity for intelligently designed features for thousands of years, and humans for many years now have been directly manipulating genes and recombining them to gain specific new biological features.

Evolution by natural selection is insufficient to account for the existence of many features that result in: domesticated cows, purebred dogs like the Pekingese, edible strains of many grains that had to be cultivated and purposefully bred into existence; many plants and flowers that were removed from their natural habitats and kept in isolation in order to geneate specific strains.

So beyond your fallacy of composition, it is a fact that certain biological features are not sufficiently explicable via natural selection, because we know humans purposefully generated those biological features.

Since we know that there are two entirely different processes that can generate new biological features - natural selection and human intelligent design - and we know that natural selection cannot be responsible for the existence of those biological features which cannot survive in the wild and rely on human direction and purpose for continued existence - then your claim that "evolution by natural selection" is conceptually satisfying to explain all biological features and diversity is factually disproven, and your claim that it is conceptually fulfilling is false because we know that it does not, in fact, explain all biological diversity currently in existence.

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Post by Alun » June 29th, 2010, 8:38 am

Meleagar wrote:Sound induction doesn't get you to that point. A fallacy of composition did....
No, it isn't. Unless you can show that it is categorically the same process, you have done nothing whatsoever but assert that it is the same process. A bald assertion that two things not known to be the same are the same in order go from A to B in your reasoning is called a fallacy of composition.

From Nizkor:
The fallacy of Composition is committed when a conclusion is drawn about a whole based on the features of its constituents when, in fact, no justification provided for the inference
Erm. You seem to be ignoring the definition of inductive logic.

If all we have ever observed is natural selection as a mechanism for evolution, then we are making an inductive inference by concluding that natural selection is the mechanism for all evolution. There isn't much else to say here, but I'll make it obvious for you: The fallacy of composition is a deductive fallacy. It is in fact the bread and butter of inductive logic. This has been well-understood since Hume.

I said this in the OP in section 0.
Meleagar wrote:For some reason you think that "variation to the point of speciation", which lies at the bottom of the taxonomic tree, is conceptually the same thing as "bulding winged flight from scratch".
I am not asserting that it must be the same thing, I am saying that we can justifiably infer that it is the same thing, and then compose valid empirical tests of that inference, because the conceptual structure of the theory is justified by induction. What conceptual reasons do you have to suppose that iterative speciation by natural selection would not lead to distinction of phyla? What sorts of traits might place a conceptual barrier on natural selection besides reproductive specificity? All I've heard you and Juice mention are 'complex' traits, but the claim that only a teleological process could possibly achieve that degree of complexity requires hard empirical evidence to make any sense. You have to consider how much change to DNA would have to occur, and thus you'd have to know how fast natural selection would change DNA under the circumstances in question. Thus it is not a conceptual question, but firmly empirical.
Meleagar wrote:In fact, I know your claim to be factually false, because humans have been sorting biological diversity for intelligently designed features for thousands of years, and humans for many years now have been directly manipulating genes and recombining them to gain specific new biological features.
:lol: That's a good point. I didn't come up with the name, and I'll readily admit that the word 'natural' is pretty vague. However, I'd say that by my definition of environmental determination of reproductive success, we took advantage of natural selection for most of our existence; only during the last 30 years did we outright change the mechanism (by learning to transcribe novel DNA sequences).
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Post by Juice » June 29th, 2010, 11:15 am

NO!!!, since "natural" selection" is presented as a purely undirected, random process, denying that a "designer", or directed process is necessary to produce complex life from Prokaryote to Man, for example.

So, therefore, if it can be exhibited, by observation and investigation, that the "successful", (and lets not use the term, "evolution"), progression or generational ascent from a Prokaryote to Man presents the possibility of directed ascent then design theories must be a considered concept in order to more completely effectuate a "progress-able" understanding to better determine the effectiveness of biological science.

I have presented two assailable points of contention against a process of natural selections ability to explain the appearance of life as currently observed. One is the Cambrian explosion and the "mystery" of conjoined, consistent generational ascent of gender distinctions for reproductive and "philosophic" purposes.

I do not argue "complex traits" but "complex morphology". And, argue against the ability of a purely undirected process, as is presented by the theory of natural selection, to effectuate such a successful means for the appearance of life as currently observed.

As I have presented; If, in fact, we are to accept generational ascent, by means of natural selection, from Prokaryote to Man, as a means for the successful appearance of life, as is observed, then the chemical process which would allow for the determination of that process must have been inherent from the very first initiation of that process.

If, in fact, it is conclusive, as I suspect one must reason, by observation and investigation, that generational ascent cannot be a purely undirected process then any consideration that natural selection is the process by which, it can be determined, explains the appearance of life, as currently observed, then "natural selection" fails, and a new, improved, concept or theory must be actualized in order to better effectuate the responsibilities of biologic sciences.

What natural selection fails to do is account for the successful, successive progress of generational ascent as a purely random and undirected process.
Specifically what natural selection fails to explain or account for is the morphological, generational, ascent of complimentary, distinct, biological consistency for sexual reproduction and the appearance of these morphologic features.
Further an explanation of how a chemical process induced and predicted the necessity for generational ascent resultant of evident environmental fluxes.

It is not just a simple exercise in logic but reason.
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Post by Meleagar » June 29th, 2010, 11:30 am

Alun wrote: Erm. You seem to be ignoring the definition of inductive logic.

If all we have ever observed is natural selection as a mechanism for evolution, then we are making an inductive inference by concluding that natural selection is the mechanism for all evolution.
But, as already pointed out, that isn't all we have ever observed.
There isn't much else to say here, but I'll make it obvious for you: The fallacy of composition is a deductive fallacy. It is in fact the bread and butter of inductive logic. This has been well-understood since Hume.
The soundness of an inductive argument depends on the strength and validity of the premises. Although less formal and stringent than a deductive argument, one can still make a profound compositional error in the construction of their premises in an inductive argument. Pointing out such an error undermines the strength of the inductive conclusion.

The value of your inductive argument rests upon serious compositional fallacies in the formation of your premise; you assume your conclusion. First, you assume without basis that "evolution" is "one phenomenon"; second, you assume in contradiction to known fact that the only process known to contribute to "evolution", in an explanatory sense, is natural selection.

"Natural Selection" is not the only evolutionary process we are aware of that contributes to biological variance, nor is it categorically identical to those other evolutionary processes we know exist. We also know that intelligent design, random mutation, genetic drift, exaption, and epigenetics contribute to successful biological divergence.

If your inductive argument is that because "natural selection" is the only known process that produces taxonomic change, so we can inductively conclude that it might be conceptually satisfying as a sufficient explanation for all biological diversity, the fact that your premise is factually wrong necessarily renders the argument unsatisfying conceptually.
I am not asserting that it must be the same thing, I am saying that we can justifiably infer that it is the same thing, and then compose valid empirical tests of that inference, because the conceptual structure of the theory is justified by induction.
You can justifiable infer that it ***might** be the same thing; but that wasn't how you worded the challenge conclusion.
:lol: That's a good point. I didn't come up with the name, and I'll readily admit that the word 'natural' is pretty vague. However, I'd say that by my definition of environmental determination of reproductive success, we took advantage of natural selection for most of our existence; only during the last 30 years did we outright change the mechanism (by learning to transcribe novel DNA sequences).
It seems that now you are attempting to co-opt an entirely different process - teleological, deliberate manipulation of selections - into "natural selection". Why not just call whatever man does as part of "natural selection" and co-opt direct genetic manipulation as well?

Any non-equivocated, honest definition of "natural selection" does not include deliberate, intelligent goal-setting and intelligent manipulation of materials and forces to acquire targets; the honest definition of natural selection excludes those things.

The fact that a process that is categorically different from natural selection is known to exist, and is known to have deliberately manipulated the expression of traits for a future purpose of some biological phenomena for thousands of years, factually disproves your necessary inductive premise that natural selection is the only process we have empirical knowledge of that contributes to the explanation of evolutionary change.

It seems to me that you are watering down both your challenge conclusion and definitions in order to salvage your argument. Your orginal argument concluded:
Evolution in the past can be explained as a consequence of species divergence due to reproductive pressure.
You now present your conclusion in this way:
I am not asserting that it must be the same thing, I am saying that we can justifiably infer that it is the same thing, and then compose valid empirical tests of that inference, because the conceptual structure of the theory is justified by induction.
I guess, under your interpretation of inductive reasoning, a conclusion so worded that claims that evolution can be explained by X, is the same as saying "evolution might be able to be explained by X, to the point that it justifies further research based on that idea."

You are now equivocating "natural selection" with "intelligent design" by humans how have been deliberately pursuing specific goals taxonomic goals through breeding programs.

Are you going to water your argument and definitions down to the point that they don't make any meaningful, disputable claims whatsoever?

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Post by Unrealist42 » June 29th, 2010, 6:02 pm

Meleagar wrote:
You have provided no justification for claiming that the whole of evolution by natural selection can be concluded by the facts provided about very, very small variations selected for by natural selection. A sorting process that can produce some successful variations isn't conceptually the same as a sorting process that can construct complex, functional, hierarchical machines from scratch. Because a machine can paint a car a different color doesn't mean that the same machine, and the same process, by itself, can construct entirely new lines of cars.
The evidence that evolution by natural selection is provided by very small variations accumulating over time is quite voluminous.

Evolution makes no claims that complex structures are constructed from scratch. In fact evolution demands the opposite, that complex structures arise over time from simple beginnings. No scientific evidence has yet been discovered that refutes this position.

Your claim that there are conceptual differences between evolution and machine manufacture is quite correct. Machines are built with a purpose already in mind. Evolution takes a quite different approach, more of a lets experiment and see what survives sort of approach.

Conceptually quite different, like the difference between US and Soviet engineering. In the US it was lets start building it and figure it out as we go along. In the resource strapped USSR it was lets figure it out and then build it.
For some reason you think that "variation to the point of speciation", which lies at the bottom of the taxonomic tree, is conceptually the same thing as "bulding winged flight from scratch". It is not; they are two different concepts, and unless you can demonstrate that the same process that produced the former is factually sufficient, either by empirical evidence or by a realistic, predictive, mathematical analysis of the known process compared to what it is claimed to have produced in whole, then you have committed the fallacy of composition.
Once again you point out conceptual differences correctly but, before you do, you insert the second concept as belonging to the first and then point to that false construction of your own as a fallacy of composition by Alun. This is fallacy of composition is entirely yours since Alun has expressed support for the first concept but never the second.
That natural selection can produce some biological variation doesn't show that it can produce all or even most of it. Whatever words one applies - speciation, microevolution, macroevolution - are irrelevent when it comes to having a basis for the claim that if process A can produce some biological features, then it can produce them all.
Just because you are uninformed does not mean the information is non-existent or insufficient. Maybe you should take a few decades out of your busy life and find some things out, like what science really knows about these processes.
In fact, I know your claim to be factually false, because humans have been sorting biological diversity for intelligently designed features for thousands of years, and humans for many years now have been directly manipulating genes and recombining them to gain specific new biological features.
Humans have been sorting biological diversity for aspects that help them survive better. That they have been looking for intelligently designed features is a confusing statement.
Were they sorting for features that were designed by some intelligence other than their own?
That is what you seem to be implying.
How would they know?
Evolution by natural selection is insufficient to account for the existence of many features that result in: domesticated cows, purebred dogs like the Pekingese, edible strains of many grains that had to be cultivated and purposefully bred into existence; many plants and flowers that were removed from their natural habitats and kept in isolation in order to geneate specific strains.

So beyond your fallacy of composition, it is a fact that certain biological features are not sufficiently explicable via natural selection, because we know humans purposefully generated those biological features.

Since we know that there are two entirely different processes that can generate new biological features - natural selection and human intelligent design - and we know that natural selection cannot be responsible for the existence of those biological features which cannot survive in the wild and rely on human direction and purpose for continued existence - then your claim that "evolution by natural selection" is conceptually satisfying to explain all biological features and diversity is factually disproven, and your claim that it is conceptually fulfilling is false because we know that it does not, in fact, explain all biological diversity currently in existence.
Human manipulation of genetics is a natural process since humans are a part of the natural environment and so part of the process.

If you are to show that non-natural intelligent design processes are involved you would need to show the deliberate interference of some actor residing outside the natural environment.

Evolution does not explain the spontaneous generation of complex organic aspects because there is a very good reason. There is no scientific evidence that such things occur.

You repeatedly claim either that evolution does make the above assertion and so is conceptually inconsistent or that because evolution does not make this assertion it is conceptually false.

This is a conceptually inconsistent position bordering on the idiotic.

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Post by Juice » June 29th, 2010, 9:39 pm

The above post (Unrealist42) is filled with more contradictions than are usually statisticly allowed in most pro-evolution rhetoric.

Natural selection merely weeds out sickly, weak or crippled individuals, or those in the group that have failed to adapt to their surroundings. It cannot create new species, new genetic information or new organs.

What is "evolution" but the great unfolding of life as we currently know. Philosophic measures taken into account. Question; "What is Man?" Most assuredly the underlying theme contended.

Certainly it can be said that all primates come from the same information model, but why wouldn't a gorilla want to be more like a man the first time a man shot a gorilla. Certainly such an environmental impact on the gorilla would provide him with enough natural impetus to effect some mutational changes before extinction. (just a joke, but seriously)

Regardless of what some have implied in these posts directed towards discussing evolution, no where has there been shown, let alone proven, that "nature" provides the impetus for generational ascent. This is the fulcrum of "natural selection" as the precursor to evolutionary advantage. The strong survive!!!, even though all biological organisms attained the mechanisms by which they attained, what?, an evolutionary boundary?, only to fail to be fast enough to adjust and adapt compared to the next organism?

This is part of the reason why many here do not wish to discuss or include "origin of life" into the discussion as purely mechanical, nature driven occurrence capable of designing itself to survive. Imagine a sustained chemical reaction with the impetus necessary to adjust, internally, to unknown external factors effecting the very things which allowed it to be in the first place.

A process predisposed to self duplication and ingenuity, naturally adjustable?

Natural selection is proposed to be the stimulus that drives an "internal" mechanism which effects productive change in a biological organism. This stimulus can be presumed to be anything from a disruption in the food chain to atmospheric pressure to mothers who abandon thier offspring shortly after giving birth.

The most that can be said about natural selection is that it acts as a preserver. Natural selection preserves what an internal process initiates. But, natural selection, presented as a requiem for generational ascent from an unknown chemical reaction stretches the levels of imagination to give it credibility.

While we can accept the possibility that evolution occurred we cannot, either by experimentation nor extrapolation, determine and state that all life known to exist or has existed "evolved". The evidence, simply, does not support this view. As I have previously, on so many occasions, offered as examples; the Cambrian explosion and generational ascent of sexual reproduction.

In this sense does "Intelligent Design" make sense over "Natural Selection": Intelligent design uses mathematics, statistical modeling, probability, information technology, molecular biology, robotics, nano-technology and many emerging sciences such as quantum mechanics to strengthen its concepts, while neo-Darwinist depend on the direction of winds to quantify effective randomness and mimicry to quantify a failing paradigm. I offer, "Just because it gives the appearance of design doesn't mean it was designed", definition of mimicry?
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Post by Alun » June 30th, 2010, 6:31 am

Meleagar wrote:
:lol: That's a good point. I didn't come up with the name, and I'll readily admit that the word 'natural' is pretty vague. However, I'd say that by my definition of environmental determination of reproductive success, we took advantage of natural selection for most of our existence; only during the last 30 years did we outright change the mechanism (by learning to transcribe novel DNA sequences).
It seems that now you are attempting to co-opt an entirely different process - teleological, deliberate manipulation of selections - into "natural selection". Why not just call whatever man does as part of "natural selection" and co-opt direct genetic manipulation as well?
Um, no. We took advantage of the mechanism of evolution when we bred animals. That is, we made sure only the animals with traits we wanted reproduced; that this eventually lead to the promulgation of new traits we wanted would have been impossible without natural selection. Only when we gained the ability to transcribe DNA for ourselves did we alter the mechanism of evolution.
Meleagar wrote:The value of your inductive argument rests upon serious compositional fallacies in the formation of your premise; you assume your conclusion. First, you assume without basis that "evolution" is "one phenomenon"; second, you assume in contradiction to known fact that the only process known to contribute to "evolution", in an explanatory sense, is natural selection.

"Natural Selection" is not the only evolutionary process we are aware of that contributes to biological variance, nor is it categorically identical to those other evolutionary processes we know exist. We also know that intelligent design, random mutation, genetic drift, exaption, and epigenetics contribute to successful biological divergence.
As I've said, random mutation, genetic drift, and epigenetics are all included in the (modern) theory of natural selection. Intelligent design has only been observed in conjunction with humans and test tubes (which are absent from the fossil record, fyi). Exaption is not a mechanism of evolution; it is a particular sort of evolution.
Meleagar wrote:If your inductive argument is that because "natural selection" is the only known process that produces taxonomic change, so we can inductively conclude that it might be conceptually satisfying as a sufficient explanation for all biological diversity, the fact that your premise is factually wrong necessarily renders the argument unsatisfying conceptually.
No, my inductive argument is clearly laid out in detail with pretty colors in the beginning of this thread. Stop asking me to repeat it and then being surprised when I summarize.
Meleagar wrote:
Alun wrote:I am not asserting that it must be the same thing, I am saying that we can justifiably infer that it is the same thing, and then compose valid empirical tests of that inference, because the conceptual structure of the theory is justified by induction.
You can justifiable infer that it ***might** be the same thing; but that wasn't how you worded the challenge conclusion.
The conclusion is that evolution can be explained by natural selection, yes, but as above, inductive arguments are not decisive; they have to be challenged. I don't know if there's a reason to restate myself, but here I go again: The point is to look at how the process of evolution by natural selection yields results in the lab, and then to compare those results to the evolution we saw in the past. If the evolution in the past turns out to occur in a way that cannot be categorically identified with the results we saw from natural selection, then natural selection is falsified. This process cannot be done in this thread: All I have done is to repeat the results of a few experiments to show that it is possible. I am not claiming that, by virtue of only a couple examples, natural selection must explain all of evolution. I am only claiming that the theory can be advanced, challenged, or tested by experimentation, and that so far we've got no reason to suspect it won't explain all of evolution. That's why it's so easy to come to a valid inductive conclusion. Read section 0 again, would you? The whole argument rests on the adverb, "usually." (And even if it didn't, it would rest on inductive reasoning as a premise.)
Meleagar wrote:It seems to me that you are watering down both your challenge conclusion and definitions in order to salvage your argument. Your orginal argument concluded:
Evolution in the past can be explained as a consequence of species divergence due to reproductive pressure.
You now present your conclusion in this way:
I am not asserting that it must be the same thing, I am saying that we can justifiably infer that it is the same thing, and then compose valid empirical tests of that inference, because the conceptual structure of the theory is justified by induction.
The second statement is just an attempt to make up for your refusal to read the entire argument as a whole; I used the principle of induction from the very beginning, and thus the conclusion in the OP is logically equivalent to the statement, "If inductive reasoning as described holds in this case, then evolution in the past..." To decide whether inductive reasoning does hold in a particular empirical case, actual, not conceptual, investigation is needed. Hence the supposedly weaker version of my conclusion.
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Juice wrote:Natural selection merely weeds out sickly, weak or crippled individuals, or those in the group that have failed to adapt to their surroundings. It cannot create new species, new genetic information or new organs.
Usually when you argue with someone, a good tactic is to do more than just assert the opposite of everything they say. You keep on asserting that it is conclusively shown by armchair analysis that 'complex morphology' cannot be created by an undirected process. Yet I have not just told you I find it plausible; I have given you experiments in which it has actually happened. The only response to this I've seen has been dismissal, and I don't really feel driven to discuss this with you further unless you give me more reason to take your criticism seriously.
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Post by Meleagar » June 30th, 2010, 8:06 am

Alun wrote: Um, no. We took advantage of the mechanism of evolution when we bred animals. That is, we made sure only the animals with traits we wanted reproduced; that this eventually lead to the promulgation of new traits we wanted would have been impossible without natural selection. Only when we gained the ability to transcribe DNA for ourselves did we alter the mechanism of evolution.
Under your above argument, then, if an alien race has been - somehow, through some super-technology - deliberately breeding every strain, breed and species on the planet for millions of years, then that too is "natural selection".

Under your definition of natural selection, then, what is not natural selection?

Just as you did with epigenetics, you are utterly ignoring the point. If your stated process X requires something other than what is definitionally described as X to achieve result Y, you cannot say that X wholly and by itself is sufficient to acquire Y.

If, to attain a purebred pekingese, evolutionary processes require the presence of a teleological agent that is deliberately manipulating breeding, environment, food, etc., then you cannot say that natural selection, which is defined categorically as a non-teleological agent, wholly and sufficiently explains the existence of a purebred pekingese.

Saying that humans "took advantage" of evolutionary forces to generate the Pekingese is an irrelevancy. Humans "take advantage" of lots of mindless, non-teleological forces to create all sorts of things that could not exist without their teleological input, direction, and manipulation.

To say that "natural selection" is "the only known force" that generates biological features even after we know that some such features couldn't have occurred without human teleology, is like saying that naturally existent molecular properties, coupled with gravity, erosion, and chance, are categorically sufficient to explain the existence of a computer or a battleship, and arguing that humans only "took advantage" of these properties and laws and so should be discounted as a necessary aspect of the explanation.

That's just dismissal by semantics, not substantive argument.
Intelligent design has only been observed in conjunction with humans and test tubes (which are absent from the fossil record, fyi).
So? How does that rebut the fact that the existence of an evolutionary process that is not natural selection falsifies the premise of your argument that natural selection is the only empirically observed evolutionary process?
No, my inductive argument is clearly laid out in detail with pretty colors in the beginning of this thread. Stop asking me to repeat it and then being surprised when I summarize.
I didn't ask you to repeat it. I said it is contains factual and compositional errors and I've pointed them out. The compositional fallacies weaking your inductive conclusion; the factual errors break it.
I don't know if there's a reason to restate myself,
There isn't.

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Post by Juice » June 30th, 2010, 8:58 pm

I reiterate; There is no evidence, observed or by experimentation, which proves that natural selection can produce speciation or has produced speciation, No serious biological scientist will admit that speciation through natural selection has been proven. This is prominently noted in some the language now used by evolutionist calling "natural selection", "a basic "element" of evolution".

What strikes me about the evolution debate is how evolutionist now incorporate "behavioral" similarities to bolster the theory. As if the fighting for reproductive rights in a walrus herd is channeled through the knocking of horns in rams is enough mimicry to bolster natural selection as a variable genetic impetus. With the consideration that cavemen hit potential mates over the head, rendering them unconscious, it no small wonder that natural selection didn't produce woman born unconscious. (Ha Ha)

As I have stated; that considered mutational adaption is an internal mechanism for which natural selection attempts to explain as guided, or selected, by external forces. The key word here is "natural", that this process is a natural undirected force. Also, natural selection is dependent upon random mutations, in other way of saying that mutations occur for no particular reason, but can have the effect of advantageous adaptations for which nature then provides the impetus for reproductive vitality in those mutations most advantageous to the organism.

As I have further supplied that the information given in the OP is sorely simplistic since it does not take into account, through experimentation and observation, that mutations are always detrimental to the organism.
Natural selection weeds out those individuals who are weakest within a species, but does nothing to create new information within the species which would ultimately lead to the creation of a new, novel, species. Natural selection does nothing until the variation is in place, then weeds out the weaker "individuals" in the same species.

Pierre-Paul Grassé, "The Evolution of Living Organisms"
The "evolution in action" of J. Huxley and other biologists is simply the observation of demographic facts, local fluctuations of genotypes, geographical distributions. Often the species concerned have remained practically unchanged for hundreds of centuries! Fluctuation as a result of circumstances, with prior modification of the genome, does not imply evolution, and we have tangible proof of this in many panchronic species [i.e. living fossils that remain unchanged for millions of years]
An example here is the horseshoe crab. Evolved?? Created??, to withstand eons of mass extinctions and environmental destruction while other organisms, evolved from the same genetic ancestor developed no such, obviously successful, advantage, so that today we can study the horseshoe crab and develop pharmaceuticals derived from its iron rich blood.

Natural selections removes the "unfit" but cannot explain the generation of the "fit". It cannot explain the manifestation, appearance, of new genetic information which produces fitness, nor what the impetus is for an internal mechanism to coordinate and organize all ancillary components towards the development of a viable, successful, morphological systems within an organism.

Sure, Alun, you can dismiss my "armchair" meanderings without addressing my factual concerns but doing so will not alleviate the fact that natural selection cannot explain the appearance of such diversity of life nor any process which created such successful, purposeful, directed, continuity.

The purpose of natural selection, thus defended as orthodoxy, is to provide a materialistic possibility for the appearance of life. Without taking into consideration and examining its flaws we are not advancing science, but stalling understanding and science.

No "natural selection", by its own definition, is impossible to explain life. Consider, intelligence and information rather than matter as the process by which life is designed.
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Post by Alun » July 1st, 2010, 6:52 am

Meleagar wrote:
Alun wrote: Um, no. We took advantage of the mechanism of evolution when we bred animals. That is, we made sure only the animals with traits we wanted reproduced; that this eventually lead to the promulgation of new traits we wanted would have been impossible without natural selection. Only when we gained the ability to transcribe DNA for ourselves did we alter the mechanism of evolution.
Under your above argument, then, if an alien race has been - somehow, through some super-technology - deliberately breeding every strain, breed and species on the planet for millions of years, then that too is "natural selection".
If the alien race zapped the organisms it disliked and encouraged the species it did like to breed then that would be an environmental effect, not a mechanism of evolution. Granted, it would substantially alter the story of how the mechanism of evolution would have to work; as with human breeding, alien breeding could make the appearance or emphasis of new traits in a population happen a lot faster than it otherwise would've.
Meleagar wrote:Under your definition of natural selection, then, what is not natural selection?
If the alien race zapped particular DNA sequences they didn't like, or if they inserted DNA sequences they did like, then they would be altering the mechanism of evolution.
Meleagar wrote:Just as you did with epigenetics, you are utterly ignoring the point. If your stated process X requires something other than what is definitionally described as X to achieve result Y, you cannot say that X wholly and by itself is sufficient to acquire Y.
You decided I wasn't saying anything about RNA when in fact I was. Now you and Juice are deciding what I mean by natural selection, when the definition has been right in front of you since the beginning.
Meleagar wrote:If, to attain a purebred pekingese, evolutionary processes require the presence of a teleological agent that is deliberately manipulating breeding, environment, food, etc., then you cannot say that natural selection, which is defined categorically as a non-teleological agent, wholly and sufficiently explains the existence of a purebred pekingese.
That is an unfair analogy. I have never implied that natural selection is a sufficient mechanism to explain the existence of species regardless of historical environmental conditions. The fact is we do not see any reason to think there were aliens zapping species they didn't like for millions of years; it is under the actual historical conditions of life on earth that I am positing natural selection as a reasonable mechanism of evolution. But it would be under the conditions of human breeding practices that I would consider the evolution of something like a pekingese.
Meleagar wrote:To say that "natural selection" is "the only known force" that generates biological features even after we know that some such features couldn't have occurred without human teleology, is like saying that naturally existent molecular properties, coupled with gravity, erosion, and chance, are categorically sufficient to explain the existence of a computer or a battleship, and arguing that humans only "took advantage" of these properties and laws and so should be discounted as a necessary aspect of the explanation.
And I suppose to say that gravity is the only known force to spontaneously cause objects above earth to fall would also be illogical, since many of the things that fall above earth were put there because of humans. :? I do not see how your argument follows, unless you continue to conflate the mechanism of evolution with the particular conditions of an instance of evolution.
Meleagar wrote:That's just dismissal by semantics, not substantive argument.
Yes, I am defending what I have said from the beginning is the theory of natural selection, not what you and Juice are apparently disposed to believe is the theory of natural selection. It is not a theory of historical environmental conditions or of the first organism to live on earth. It is only a theory about how evolution happens--a theory in which 'reproductive selective pressure' is only a variable. Whether reproductive selective pressure comes from humans, aliens, God, or a non-teleological environment doesn't affect the validity of the theory.
Meleagar wrote:
Intelligent design has only been observed in conjunction with humans and test tubes (which are absent from the fossil record, fyi).
So? How does that rebut the fact that the existence of an evolutionary process that is not natural selection falsifies the premise of your argument that natural selection is the only empirically observed evolutionary process?
Because I was mistaken to forget that in the last 30 years we have really altered the mechanism of evolution, but the evolution we see in the past does not require our laboratory sort of evolution to make sense.
Meleagar wrote:I didn't ask you to repeat it. I said it is contains factual and compositional errors and I've pointed them out. The compositional fallacies weaking your inductive conclusion; the factual errors break it.
Which factual errors? The one I made two days ago being curt?
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Juice wrote:I reiterate; There is no evidence, observed or by experimentation, which proves that natural selection can produce speciation or has produced speciation
I know you reiterate that, what I don't know is why you reiterate it, given the counterexamples I have linked to in the OP.
Juice wrote:As I have further supplied that the information given in the OP is sorely simplistic since it does not take into account, through experimentation and observation, that mutations are always detrimental to the organism.
The information given in the OP is experimental. You cannot just say to experimental data, "No, no, that's not what happens; this is what happens, I'm sure." :roll: How about you give me the name of a scientific paper that concludes no mutations are beneficial? You cannot claim to have factual concerns without employing any actual facts.
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Post by Meleagar » July 1st, 2010, 7:11 am

Alun wrote: Which factual errors?
No, your factual errors that natural selection is the only known evlutionary process that produces speciation or successful, continued morphological variance, and your attempted co-option of intelligent design as part of "natural selection", when they are categorically exclusive.

Your argument has been rebutted to my satisfaction. I appreciate your time.

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Post by Juice » July 1st, 2010, 11:36 am

I don't believe you are reading my whole posts Alun. You and I have had an adversarial relationship on this issue for several months, and each of us has presented documentation in support of our positions, and, as a result I have moved past that form of argumentation into a more Socratic approach. Let's call it "common sense", providing the impetus to reason past the considerations of others even if it presented as science, in the case of natural selection orthodoxy.

Lets take a look at the main "theme" of natural selection. An organism survives which has developed the means to survive in its environment, therefore, those organisms which fail to produce attributes which allow it to survive fail. These "attributes" are processed through an internal mechanism.

Another "theme" of natural selection is that mutations, or variations to an existing organism build on its ability to survive.
Given that it has been proven that mutations are always detrimental to an organism we can surmise that some other mechanism produces or drives what is necessary to have a viable explanation to accept evolution.

Alun attempts to have us accept natural selection as a process which will eventually be proven correct by co-opting any dynamic which can or will support it, when the primary premise of natural selection is that it is a purely material process needing no extraordinary measures to progress.

Consider the following statement;
The new material on which evolution is to proceed comes mainly by accidents and mistakes.
What we have is an efficient, successful product in place. One that defies natural explanations making natural selection the means by which life appeared flawed and disposable, since it is premised on purely material methodology.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post by Alun » July 1st, 2010, 12:35 pm

Juice, I admire your patience, and I hope you'll read what I say as simply stated opinion, not disrespect towards you.
Juice wrote:each of us has presented documentation in support of our positions, and, as a result I have moved past that form of argumentation into a more Socratic approach.
I am extremely skeptical of this method, since for example in this post of yours you rest the argument (the argument of your whole post) on this premise:
Juice wrote:Given that it has been proven that mutations are always detrimental to an organism
It is not a given, at least not as far as I can tell. It is one of the things we have disputed perpetually, and one of the things which I have no memory of seeing proven anywhere, much less in a paper you've directed me to. Further it renders explanation of even some basic adaptations impossible. For example, would you say the spontaneous development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria happens by intelligent design? Or that all bacterial populations already have the genetic information needed to become antibiotic resistant?

Meleagar, obviously I do not think you've shown any errors in my presentation, but if you're done with this discussion, then thanks for your time.
"I have nothing new to teach the world" -Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi

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