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Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
Romanz1
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 21st, 2018, 12:53 am

Eduk wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 3:22 pm
It is also of massive practical use in applied science. Imagine for example you are a biologist free to pursue whatever interests you in the field of biology. How would you proceed? How would you decide what to study and why, what experiments to prove and what application can be made. All of this whating and whying is heavily dependent on the theory of evolution.
The theory of evolution includes mutations, natural selection, gene tranfer, changes in gene frequecy, speciation - and the conlusion that all life evolved from a Universal Common Ancestor. I can find many practical uses for all of these items - except one - the conclusion of a UCA. It's a case of facts vs. the history of life on earth, I guess. Applied science certainly makes use of recent history, but the history that goes back to UCA would appear irrelevant in any practical sense.

Steve3007
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Steve3007 » November 21st, 2018, 4:42 am

Romanz1 wrote:It's a case of facts vs. the history of life on earth, I guess.
I don't see how this statement follows from what you've said. As you've said, the concept of a universal common ancestor derives from the various aspects of Evolution that you've listed, and the various pieces of evidence for the development of past life on Earth. And, as you've also saids the concept of a universal common ancestor is not much used in practical applications such as medicine, growing food, building houses and making clothes. Why does that mean it's "facts versus history"? Being irrelevant to practical applications doesn't affect whether something is factually true does it?

As I said earlier, among the consequences of the (very practically useful) theory of universal gravitation is the formation of the solar system and the interactions of distant galaxies. Those two things have little obvious practical use. But that doesn't make them less or more true, does it?

As I've also said, since you've made it clear in other topics that you are sceptical about Evolution in general, why attack the concept of a universal common ancestor on the grounds of its lack of practical application? Why not just state that you don't believe in it?

Eduk
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Eduk » November 21st, 2018, 4:44 am

Out of interest Romanz1 just as a general question. Can you think of other widely accepted scientific theories which underpin their respective fields which you a. Don't agree with and b. Feel you have the training to nit pick?
For example maybe you agree with much of relativity except for one small thing which you believe you know better than the consensus of physicists.
Of course I'm not suggesting that evidence of you lack of specialisation proves you are incorrect. I'm just saying what are the chances? Where do you draw the line? There are many many things which I lack the training to know. For the most part these things don't effect me. If computer scientists build a transistor and say they used QM I kind of take their word for it. I don't pretend to understand QM but I can use a computer.
Unknown means unknown.

Eduk
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Eduk » November 21st, 2018, 4:51 am

Oh and as I understand it common ancestry is of great practical benefit. Maybe ask some respected bodies and they will give you some practical examples.
Not to mention that even pure science with no apparent practical benefit often does have practical benefit in the long term.
Unknown means unknown.

Romanz1
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 21st, 2018, 6:06 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 4:51 am
Oh and as I understand it common ancestry is of great practical benefit.
Right ... it's of such great practical benefit that you can't give me even one example of such a practical benefit.
Maybe ask some respected bodies and they will give you some practical examples.
I don't think so - I asked scientists on the BioLogos site (one was a senior research scienitist working in the field of genetics), for example, and they couldn't give me even one practical example. I've been looking for a practical use for years and never come across one. It's useless information and irrelevant to the real world.

Romanz1
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Joined: September 12th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 21st, 2018, 6:16 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 4:42 am
the concept of a universal common ancestor is not much used in practical applications such as medicine, growing food
"not much used"? Try "not at all used".
Why does that mean it's "facts versus history"?
Applied science relies on facts, but it has no use at all for interpretations of ancient history (eg, Universal Common Ancestor).
Being irrelevant to practical applications doesn't affect whether something is factually true does it?
No.

Eduk
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Eduk » November 22nd, 2018, 4:44 am

I notice you didn't answer my question Romanz.
But instead extrapolated a can't from a didn't. If you aren't interested in a reasonable discussion then don't. Just go to your church and talk to your friends and forget about it all. When you are sick doctors will still do their best to treat you regardless of your religious views attacking their methodologies.
Unknown means unknown.

Steve3007
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Steve3007 » November 22nd, 2018, 4:45 am

Romanz1 wrote:I believe the Bible when it says Adam was the first man who was created from inanimate matter about 7000 years ago.
Knowing the complexity of a computer, for example, means we know it couldn't arise by chance. Likewise, knowing the complexity of a living cell means we know it couldn't arise by chance either - unless one resorts to irrationality.

Steve3007 wrote:Being irrelevant to practical applications doesn't affect whether something is factually true does it?
No.
You seem to have changed your mind. Having previously not believed that all life on Earth developed from simpler forms via the process of Evolution, you seem to now believe that but regard it as not very interesting or useful for what you would regard as practical purposes (presumably medicine, food, shelter and clothing).

What made you change your mind?

Romanz1
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Joined: September 12th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 23rd, 2018, 8:55 am

Eduk wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 4:44 am
I notice you didn't answer my question Romanz.
But instead extrapolated a can't from a didn't. If you aren't interested in a reasonable discussion then don't. Just go to your church and talk to your friends and forget about it all. When you are sick doctors will still do their best to treat you regardless of your religious views attacking their methodologies.
I don't know which question I didn't answer, but it's highly likely I didn't answer it because it's irrelevant to the OP. If you want me to engage in a reasonable discussion, stick to the topic. I can't be bothered with irrelevant or straw man arguments.

As for me attacking the methodologies of doctors because of my "religious views", I have no idea what you mean - no doctors use the information that all life on earth evolved from a microbe that existed billions of years ago or the concept of a Universal Common Ancestor. And what do my "religious views" have to do with the OP?

Romanz1
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Joined: September 12th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 23rd, 2018, 9:09 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 4:45 am
You seem to have changed your mind. Having previously not believed that all life on Earth developed from simpler forms via the process of Evolution, you seem to now believe that but regard it

What made you change your mind?
Not sure if your question has anything to do with the topic. Nevertheless, I will state that my views might have changed a bit since my first post on this site. I still believe mankind was created about 7000 years ago. I believe life on earth began as microbes perhaps billions of years ago (as suggested by the fossil record and radiometric dating methods). I believe a process of progressive creation - not a process of contiguous biological evolution - best explains the fossil record.

Romanz1
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Joined: September 12th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 23rd, 2018, 9:19 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 4:45 am
You seem to have changed your mind. Having previously not believed that all life on Earth developed from simpler forms via the process of Evolution, you seem to now believe that but regard it as not very interesting or useful for what you would regard as practical purposes (presumably medicine, food, shelter and clothing).

What made you change your mind?
I regard the history of life on earth as "not very interesting"? How did you come to that conclusion?

The very recent history of life is obviously practically useful, but as for the Darwinian concept of a Universal Common Ancestor and the Darwinan interpretation of deep time, it's completely useless to applied science.


I can see a connection between biology and "medicine and food", but "shelter and clothing"?

Steve3007
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Steve3007 » November 23rd, 2018, 10:17 am

Romanz1 wrote:I still believe mankind was created about 7000 years ago.
When you said this in the other topic in which we talked, I asked you whether you think this applies to all species/subspecies of man. You said you weren't sure if you believed such sub-species ever existed. I replied:

viewtopic.php?p=320045#p320045
Steve3007 wrote:That's interesting, because you said earlier that you do believe that species other than homo sapiens developed via a process of evolution. The evidence for that is largely in the fossil record. The evidence for the evolution, and relatively recent extinction, of various other hominid species, such as homo erectus, is also in the fossil record. Why do you choose to believe some fossil evidence but not others? Is it because you want to believe some things but don't want to believe others? Do you think that believing or not believing things like this is a matter of personal preference?
You didn't answer at the time.

Any thoughts on that yet? It seems odd to me that of all the species on Earth, extant and extinct, and of all the species of hominids, extant and extinct, you think only homo sapiens was created 7000 years ago. And that you appear to accept the evidence of fossil records for everything except extinct species of hominids. Why exclude them?

Is this because you happen to be a homo sapiens yourself? If you were a different species, e.g. homo erectus, do you think you would think the same of that species?

Romanz1 wrote:I regard the history of life on earth as "not very interesting"? How did you come to that conclusion?
I got the impression that you regard things which you believe have no practical application as uninteresting. Perhaps my impression was mistaken.
Romanz1 wrote:I can see a connection between biology and "medicine and food", but "shelter and clothing"?
I was trying to define what you might mean by the term "practical". I assumed that you meant things that can be easily seen to directly contribute to human material well-being. To me, these include keeping people healthy, fed, clothed and sheltered.

Eduk
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Eduk » November 23rd, 2018, 11:02 am

The relevance of your religious views romanz is massively obvious to everyone who isn't a creationist. Including all peoples of other religions. Why do you think that might be?
As to relevance. Are you the arbiter of relevance? Have you ever been wrong about anything?
All doctors use biology. Evolution is a core principle of biology. You can disagree with evolution all you like but you can't get around the fact that practicing doctors claim evolution to be a core principle. Just because you don't understand it or want to believe it doesn't mean that others don't. As evidence I give modern medicine.
Unknown means unknown.

Romanz1
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Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 24th, 2018, 1:26 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 10:17 am
Romanz1 wrote:I still believe mankind was created about 7000 years ago.
When you said this in the other topic in which we talked, I asked you whether you think this applies to all species/subspecies of man. You said you weren't sure if you believed such sub-species ever existed. I replied:

viewtopic.php?p=320045#p320045

Romanz1 wrote:I regard the history of life on earth as "not very interesting"? How did you come to that conclusion?
I got the impression that you regard things which you believe have no practical application as uninteresting. Perhaps my impression was mistaken.
Your impression was mistaken.

Romanz1
Posts: 41
Joined: September 12th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Re: Any practical use for Darwin's tree of life?

Post by Romanz1 » November 24th, 2018, 1:46 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 11:02 am
The relevance of your religious views romanz is massively obvious to everyone who isn't a creationist. Including all peoples of other religions. Why do you think that might be?
Irrelevant to the OP.
As to relevance. Are you the arbiter of relevance? Have you ever been wrong about anything?
Irrelevant to the OP.
All doctors use biology. Evolution is a core principle of biology.
I agree. In biology, "evolution" refers to facts such as mutations, natural selection, changes is gene frequency within a population, horizontal gene transfer - but it doesn't refer to the concept of a Universal Common Ancestor (UCA). So yes, evolution is certainly useful in medical science.
But the thread doesn't ask for a practical use of evolution - it asks for a practical use for the evolutionary interpretation of the history of life on earth ... that is to say, from the first microbe until the present time. As yet, you haven't provided an example of such a use. My claim is, no use of applied science depends on the concept of a UCA.

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