Is evolution falsifiable? What would falsify evolution?

Page 10 of 10 [ 143 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

wesmontfan
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 144
Location: Near Washington DC

08 Dec 2009, 10:55 am

[quote="Meta"]@wesmontfan: What does "supernatural" mean?



I admit that 'supernatual' is hard to define-becasue 'natural' is hard to define.
I take my cues from creationists who are opposed to the "materialistic" theories of Darwin because said theories dont include God. I use supernatural to mean what creationist consider outside the realm of matter- or what is "materialistic".

When I offer an olive branch to creationists and suggest that "well ofcorse god created everything- and he did so using the tool of -evolution through natural selection" they just get more alienated because that way leads to "christian evolution" which is a heresy.


So- take that up with a creationist- they insist on removing creation from nature not me.

In a nut shell: I just came back from the Dentist who I asked to find the source of a tooth ache.
He used X-rays and other empirical tools. Considered cavaties caused by bacteria etc.
Finnally he concluded it must be resorption. But he referred me to a specialist just to make sure.

Apparently zeronetgain would have branded my dentist as "unscientific" because the dentiist "didnt consider the possibility" that it was God punishing me for some reason.

On the other hand (apparently) you would brand my dentist as "unscientific" for "not considering the possibliity" that the probliem was caused by evil spirits, or by a nieghbor sticking a voodoo pin into the mouth of my effigy.

Ill just let you and zeronetgain duke it out over which non-materialistic forces to believe in. When you two work that out-then you two can complian to my dentist about about it!

lol!



wesmontfan
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 144
Location: Near Washington DC

08 Dec 2009, 12:00 pm

ruveyn wrote:
If a life type were found on this planet that was not based on DNA, that would falsify the Theory of Evolution which assumes were are all descended from one or a very few kinds of life that originated somehow by natural means.

So far every last living creature be it plant, animal or other is a DNA based life form indicating a common origin sometime in the deep past.

Humans and cabbages are cousins.

The fact that all creatures use dna or rna (it varies in bacteria) does indeed point to all creatures on earth having a common ancestor.
But if they found a creature on another planet that used some other unrelated compound for heridity it would not be evidence against evolution.

You would expect the inhabitants of other planets to evolved seperatley from Earth creatures and thus to have a seperate biochemical legacy. Maybe even a very bizarre biochemistry. So such a finding would be a nonsequitar on evolution.

What would be a thorn in the side of evolution would be the opposite. If you could survie on blood transfusions from a Crayfish, but not from a chimp nor even from some huaans- that would be a problem for Darwin. Because it would demenstrate that a creature supposidly far removed from us on the family has a greater biochemical kinship to us than does a close supposed cousin. Likewise - if you could mate with a alien and produce offspring- that would be a problem for Darwin. Because even a human-like alien is farther removed from usin evolution than is a terrestrial oak tree. The implications of darwin is that you would be able to breed with an oak tree more easily than with a human like alien. Im ofcouse assuming that there is no panspermia- the notion that life can spread through space via mircoscopic spores which implies that extraterrestrial creatures could indeed be on the same family tree as us. But thats another kettle of fish.

ruveyn



pandd
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Age: 46
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,582

08 Dec 2009, 3:41 pm

Meta wrote:
A process of genetic mutation and natural selection without intelligence, design or plan is totally different from how we would create stuff. Even very simple systems generated by such a process totally baffles us. We would have no hope at all of ever figuring out how a complicated system like life works if that's the process by which it became what it is.

That is quite an assumption.
Quote:
Biology would be fundamentally different from any human designed technology.

Not necessarily. The very characteristics that facilitate human design arise from human biology. It is not the case that human design preceded or arose independently of human biology, or of life itself. On the contrary our intelligence is an effect of biology and has evolved in correlation with the biological facts of other life-forms. Our intelligence arose in a context where if it is utilitarian for "finding our way" around the world, then it is more likely to be selected for than if it lacks utility or has negative implications for our capacity to "find our way" around our world. It stands to reason then that we ought not assume without evidence that our intelligence and the how and why of our design capabilities will be incompatible with the reality of our universe, including the biological elements within it.



Meta
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 276

09 Dec 2009, 4:43 am

pandd wrote:
Meta wrote:
A process of genetic mutation and natural selection without intelligence, design or plan is totally different from how we would create stuff. Even very simple systems generated by such a process totally baffles us. We would have no hope at all of ever figuring out how a complicated system like life works if that's the process by which it became what it is.
That is quite an assumption.
Not really. It's just observation: Genetic algorithms come up with solutions no human would be able to. Our minds just don't work the same way as a process of variation-and-selection does.

pandd wrote:
Quote:
Biology would be fundamentally different from any human designed technology.
Not necessarily.
Well, that is the point isnt it? We discovered that biology looks like nothing a genetic algorithm would generate and totally like something a intelligent human would design. Please explain that (in context of the majority opinion totally unexpected) observation.

It does not mean that life does not use genetic algorithms, but it seems to do so only in well designed places where it does little more then (re)configure some optional parts of the design. This mode of auto-configuration has to have been designed with great care and foresight.

I don't say that our intelligence is incompatible with the reality of our universe, including the biological elements within it. What I say it that a process of variation-and-selection can't explain the design of the biological elements present within out universe.



pandd
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Age: 46
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,582

09 Dec 2009, 5:54 am

Meta wrote:
Not really. It's just observation: Genetic algorithms come up with solutions no human would be able to. Our minds just don't work the same way as a process of variation-and-selection does.

We do not have to come up with the solutions to understand them, we can use observation instead. The premise that one must themselves 'come up" with something to understand is very clearly not a true one.
Quote:
Well, that is the point isnt it? We discovered that biology looks like nothing a genetic algorithm would generate and totally like something a intelligent human would design. Please explain that (in context of the majority opinion totally unexpected) observation.

Actually every biological thing I am aware is "generated" by a genetic algorithm. Biology does not necessarily look like anything a particularly intelligent designer designed to me.

Quote:
It does not mean that life does not use genetic algorithms, but it seems to do so only in well designed places where it does little more then (re)configure some optional parts of the design. This mode of auto-configuration has to have been designed with great care and foresight.

So far as the phrase appears to have any meaning in my view, there is not a life form alive on this planet that does not use "genetic algorithms". What precisely do you think this means to use or not use "genetic algorithms"? What is DNA or RNA if not genetic and occuring as algorithms.
Quote:
I don't say that our intelligence is incompatible with the reality of our universe, including the biological elements within it. What I say it that a process of variation-and-selection can't explain the design of the biological elements present within out universe.

You've not given any particular reason to doubt it though.



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 83
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,726
Location: New Jersey

09 Dec 2009, 11:05 am

Meta wrote:
Not really. It's just observation: Genetic algorithms come up with solutions no human would be able to. Our minds just don't work the same way as a process of variation-and-selection does.



Genetic algorithms are exhaustive and rote. The do not require consciousness to execute. There is no more to genetic algorithms, in essence, then in a potato sorter consisting of sheets of metal with various size holes.

ruveyn



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 83
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,726
Location: New Jersey

09 Dec 2009, 11:18 am

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Though as a creationist, I view evolutionism as more of a theological problem then the process of natural selection allowing for healthier creatures to propagate more than unhealthy ones, my question is this: is even biological evolution falsifiable? What would falsify biological evolution?


Not a thing. Variation of species over time is a fact. The only question is what are the underlying processes for this variation. Currently the changes in species and creation of new species is explained by natural selection. That is a hypothesis and like any scientific hypothesis it can be falsified by contrary empirical data.

ruveyn



NarcissusSavage
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Sep 2009
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 681

09 Dec 2009, 11:42 am

ruveyn wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Though as a creationist, I view evolutionism as more of a theological problem then the process of natural selection allowing for healthier creatures to propagate more than unhealthy ones, my question is this: is even biological evolution falsifiable? What would falsify biological evolution?


Not a thing. Variation of species over time is a fact. The only question is what are the underlying processes for this variation. Currently the changes in species and creation of new species is explained by natural selection. That is a hypothesis and like any scientific hypothesis it can be falsified by contrary empirical data.

ruveyn


Yay, me and Ruveyn are on the same page. Piggybacking on this.

I got into like page 5 and the misuse of the words "theory" and "fact", and "hypothesis" had already grated on my sensibilities and I thought I'd clarify.

In a scientific setting or discussion, the word Theory is not a minor statement. A Theory starts as a supposition, which after thought, data gathering and testing can become a hypothesis. After much testing and more data gathering, this hypothesis is released unto the scientific masses, whereby they too gather data, test, and even attempt to disprove said hypothesis. Only after the original concept has been thoroughly tested, fleshed out, explained, and essentially proved does it become a Theory.

Now, the word itself lacks the conviction of the word Fact, And the simple answer is because scientifically, there is no point to declare something a fact, skepticism is an important aspect of scientific thinking. A theory has room for changes, growth, and further understanding. A declaration of fact means it can only be proved or disproved.

So, when you encounter a scientific "theory", you've encountered what is essentially as close to known truth as is available.


_________________
I am Ignostic.
Go ahead and define god, with universal acceptance of said definition.
I'll wait.