Evolution

What is a human being? What is life? Can science give us reliable answers to such questions? The electricity of life. The meaning of human consciousness. Are we alone? Are the traditional contests between science and religion still relevant? Does the word "spirit" still hold meaning today?

Moderators: bboyer, MGmirkin

Locked
User avatar
webolife
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Evolution

Unread post by webolife » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:42 am

And the lizards were still lizards, still in the lineage of the originals... according to the article were clearly genetically identified with the original transplants. So all this "evolution" did was to draw from previously dormant or nondominant genes and produce in just a few generations more specialized features in the same species. Great example of "natural selection" working rapidly, yet not producing any kind of phylogeny.
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

User avatar
nick c
Moderator
Posts: 2483
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:12 pm
Location: connecticut

Re: Evolution

Unread post by nick c » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:24 am

web,
I agree, with regard to the lizards, they were still the same species. It seems to me that natural selection is the mechanism by which a species makes adaptations to changes in its' environment, there is no evidence that it can be of use for explaining the origin of a new species. The example shown does illustrate that changes do not necessarily require long periods of time.

What is your idea as to how the different species came about?

Nick

User avatar
webolife
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Evolution

Unread post by webolife » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:33 pm

I believe it is possible through the mechanism of natural selection working on an originally information rich genome [the late S.J. Gould postulated this as well in his "punctuated equilibrium"] for a family [rough taxon] to adapt and speciate over just a few generations. Because of the information loss that is inherent in the isolation and inbreeding phase of speciation, these descendents become unable to interbreed with other isolated groups, whereas they might be designated by biologists as separate species. The question changes to where/how the family groups originated?

I plead intelligent design. Others will complain that in a number of posts I've pointed out the "religiosity" of evolution theory, and now here I am appealing to a "religious" sounding premise, a fair enough objection. Let's look at some of the belief options, all based [at least allegedly] on [all of] the observed evidence:
1. Aristotle's Chain of Being: Everything that could be viable is [or was], as a logic consequence of First Cause, from simplest to most complex, no mechanism called for...
2. Evolution [macroevolution/phylogeny]: Spontaneous generation plus random accumulation of billions of errors, somehow selected by nature in such a way as to predispose an organism to future progressive transformation and interdependence with [all] other organisms on the planet
3. Eternal existence of all living things, akin to eternal matter and energy... no causation or mechanism needed, since it has "always just been this way"... [Aristotle's chain of being minus F.C.]... no "origin"...
4. Intelligent design: Specific rich informational structure built into each original "family" grouping allowing for adaptation to changing environments and interdependence with other organisms on the planet... the mechanism for this structural design might be postulated as originating from the creativity of a Designer, or some other source of universal intelligence, but origin and design are implicit/inherent...
5. Special Creation: All species are as they were originally made, no evolutionary processes [not even microevolution] are happening. This is actually like #3 plus a creator.

There may be some other option or combo of these options, but these are the most common views I 've encountered. All are "faith based"assumptions [some very religiously held] , none is more inherently scientific or "observable" than any others. All attempt to answer the question of "how did this happen?", all are or may be observation driven.
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

JohnMT
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:52 am

Re: Evolution

Unread post by JohnMT » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi JaJa,

You wrote:
John please accept my apology I assumed you were referring to the content of the thread. I have no idea why the "Electric Force" isn't considered - probably the same reason consciousness is dismissed as an epiphenomenon and mechanisms can be selective just because they can. Not my view of course.
No apology required at all!

I do enjoy reading your posts (and of course may other posters' posts too) on this particular subject, even though I don't reply that often.

Perhaps unwittingly, we were caught in some sort of 'cross-fire'.
No matter.

Keep up the good work ;) ,

John

JohnMT
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:52 am

Re: Evolution

Unread post by JohnMT » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:59 pm

webolife wrote (quoting now but a small but important part of your interesting and detailed post):
I plead intelligent design.
So, on the 'Evolution' precipice, how does one "measure" intelligence?

For myself, I don't have a problem at all with what I regard to be the Real Truth ie:

'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth' (KJV)

Cheers,

John

User avatar
starbiter
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:11 am
Location: Antelope CA
Contact:

Re: Evolution

Unread post by starbiter » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:50 pm

Hello John: You and i are pretty close. My minor modification would be, "In the Beginning a Birkeland Current Created the Heavens and Earth. I used to refer to the Birkeland Current as Jim Bob. Now i'm leaning towards Billy Sue. That was Spencer Tracy's daughter's name in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World". Billy Sue is more inclusive, and approachable.

The name, IMHO, doesn't matter. It's the interconnectedness of EVERYTHING , that Wal speaks of, that gives me a tingle. I find that i'm being helped along the way. My questions are answered, to a crazy degree. I meet a guy at a gas station who accidentally made granite with a plasma arc. The rock is now being analyzed by a major university. Four geologists think it looks like granite. What are the odds of a chance meeting between a seeker of electric rock creation, and a smelting savant, at a gas station in the mountains.

Om, michael steinbacher
I Ching #49 The Image
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION
Thus the superior man
Sets the calender in order
And makes the seasons clear

www.EU-geology.com

http://www.michaelsteinbacher.com

User avatar
webolife
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Evolution

Unread post by webolife » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:01 pm

John MT,

I would reply that it is not a good measure of intelligence to stand on the edge of the "evolution precipice".
;)

But what evidence or support is there for an Intelligent Designer?
How about these to start with:
1. Intricately interdependent physical and biological systems at all levels/orders of magnitude
2. Irreducible complexity [eg protein synthesis, the bacterial flagellar motor, et.al.]
3. Geometric [vs. chaotic] connectedness at all levels [fractality, scalability]
4. Encoded specific information [DNA, but also stellar spectra, et.al.]
5. Elegance beneath a facade of complexity
6. Personality [ie. anthropicity, eg. that the universal order is resonant with structures specifically designed for its comprehension, as Einstein's "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."; the uniqueness of Planet Earth; the improbability of life as we know it in light of physical processes, constants, and restraints observed "everywhere" else in the universe, et.al.]
7. The existence of intelligent observers [incl. the consciousness of soul and spirit that extends beyond the physical limitations of the body, or as the title of Don Richardson's book, "Eternity In Their Hearts"]

Some around these EU parts [eg. previous post by Starbiter] claims that electricity and plasma are self-ordering and naturally/inherently "intelligent" --- I respectfully disagree, but might restate thus: The "self ordering" behaviors of plasma are a sign of ID. I disagree with the dual premises that the material universe is self creating, and that it is eternal.
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

User avatar
starbiter
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:11 am
Location: Antelope CA
Contact:

Re: Evolution

Unread post by starbiter » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:06 pm

One quick point about the lizards. All of the changes seemed to beneficial, at least from the brief description. And they were only moved to a new island. The digestive track changes across the entire species seems incredible in the time allowed.

Instead of a new island, lets suppose the Earth has a new electric environment, new atmosphere, new gravity, and waves of radiation. That might shuffle up the deck a bit. Even a possible giant with an eye for the little women.

michael


Webo said,
[...]
Some around these EU parts [eg. previous post by Starbiter] claims that electricity and plasma are self-ordering and naturally/inherently "intelligent" --- I respectfully disagree, but would restate thus: The "self ordering" behaviors of plasma are a sign of ID.

Me again,
I think i'm pretty much agreeing with You Webo. It's kind of chicken or egg, and a name.
I Ching #49 The Image
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION
Thus the superior man
Sets the calender in order
And makes the seasons clear

www.EU-geology.com

http://www.michaelsteinbacher.com

User avatar
webolife
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Evolution

Unread post by webolife » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:09 pm

Well Starbiter! All that bickering and here we stand! :D
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

User avatar
starbiter
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:11 am
Location: Antelope CA
Contact:

Re: Evolution

Unread post by starbiter » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:20 pm

The lizards kind of explain the wasps in the link below.

http://www.livescience.com/6617-world-o ... vered.html

[...]
Fig wasps are tiny insects — measuring just 0.06 inches (1.5 millimeters) in length — that breed exclusively within figs. In return for the breeding spot, the wasps each pollinate one of the 800 ore so modern tree species while ignoring the other fig trees. The flowers, where the pollination occurs, are completely concealed within the fig. The wasps have developed a particular body shape and features so they can crawl into figs to reach the flowers.

The larvae of fig wasps fare best if they feed within a pollinated flower, and so the most highly developed species of wasps actively pollinate the figs before laying their eggs, rather than passively spreading pollen as they move between trees. The wasps collect pollen in pockets on the underside of their bodies and then take it to another tree, where they pull it out and spread it on the flowers before laying their eggs.

me again,

As the trees change, the wasps change, as the wasps change the trees probably also change.


This is obviously the work of Billy Sue.

michael
I Ching #49 The Image
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION
Thus the superior man
Sets the calender in order
And makes the seasons clear

www.EU-geology.com

http://www.michaelsteinbacher.com

Marnee
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:19 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Evolution

Unread post by Marnee » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:15 am

"I disagree with the dual premises that the material universe is self creating, and that it is eternal."

Intelligent design is metaphysically untenable. In the very least it sets up an infinite regress, like all creationist stories.

The Universe is not "self-creating", it is self-ordering. Everything must be, by it's very existence, ordered. Imagine a universe where its laws were arbitrary and led to chaos. This system would be self-destructing and go poof out of existence.

Philosophically speaking, existence and identity are axiomatic and eternal. Existence assumes eternity. Identity assumes ordering. This is what gives rise to an objective reality. We don't need a God-thing to make this so.

User avatar
starbiter
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:11 am
Location: Antelope CA
Contact:

Re: Evolution

Unread post by starbiter » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:34 am

One definition of a creationist might be that the surface of Earth was shaped during events described in the Torah. Most creationists deal with the Flood of Noah. Floods are embraceable. Everyone understands flooding.

I haven't found a creationist who considers the events described in Exodus. The events are too bizarre. Rivers of fire. Waters being drawn to the North. Deadly fire serpents killing people. Naptha raining down for days. This is not embraceable.

I think these events were historic, worldwide, and covered the surface of the Earth to a great depth. The events created a new surface. Because these events are described in the Torah, i guess i'm a creationist.

Intelligent design implies a designer. Who designed the designer? This is why i embrace interconnectedness from one end of the cosmos to the other. Other than a faith in this connectedness, i only have questions, not answers. Anything might be possible.

michael
I Ching #49 The Image
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION
Thus the superior man
Sets the calender in order
And makes the seasons clear

www.EU-geology.com

http://www.michaelsteinbacher.com

User avatar
Aristarchus
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:05 am

Re: Evolution

Unread post by Aristarchus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:36 am

Marnee wrote:Intelligent design is metaphysically untenable. In the very least it sets up an infinite regress, like all creationist stories.
Not sure what you mean by infinite regress. Could you be more specific? We also need to understand that there is intelligent design, and then there are creationists that believe in evolution measured in billion of years, just not one that comports with random mutation, and, of course, creationists that adhere to a very recent development of life on Earth.

With that stated, I recall reading an article from cell biologists that were asserting that they could not continue in any meaningful progress for their research, because they could not overcome the materialistic aspects of reductionism. However, there are other notables questioning this rather mundane tendency towards reductionism.

On Intelligence in Cells
Biology needs revolution. All my adult life, I have been lost with admiration for the achievements in molecular biology and genetics, and I have come to know many of the main proponents. Yet there is an alternative aspect: in studying the minutiae, we have lost sight of the whole cell as organism. Living cells within the body are modelled in this paper as coordinated but essentially autonomous entities. We shall see how independent cells in nature have remarkable abilities to make decisions and take constructive action, which correlate with the definitions of intelligence.

We are taught that the brain controls everything that goes on in the body, yet in this paper, we discover that most of the body’s cells are invisible to the brain and are indifferent to its regulation. We encounter a novel model of the brain in which the neuron is viewed as an ingenious entity that ‘thinks’ within itself. The brain is not a ‘super computer’ but an entire community of them. We shall set the reductionism of molecular biology and the elementary mechanisms of genetics into a more realistic perspective and will recognize that the cell as organism matters above all. In future, whole cell biology should become the focus of the biosciences and the intelligent cell lies at its heart.
A leading physicist who questions reductionism is Robert Laughlin, a Nobel Laureate who avers that trying to find the simplest. (meaning most fundamental.) causes of phenomena confuse us' until we create self-fulfilling prophesies such as the 'strings' of energy that vibrate in more dimensions than we can observe, the hypotheses holding that the extra dimensions are so infinitesimally small that we cannot see them. (Laughlin 2005). Laughlin's view is that, although the theorists reveal nothing about the observable world, their papers may disclose something about themselves. The view was earlier expressed by Professor CEM Joad who wrote: .When the scientist . . . speculates about the universe as a whole, the resultant conclusions are apt to tell us more about the scientist than about the universe. (Joad 1943).
I have examined in detail the repair of an Antithamnion cell that has been captured on video by my colleague Professor Jeremy Pickett-Heaps in Melbourne, Australia. He recorded on time-lapse video a cell that was torn open with a fine dissecting needle. The empty and broken cell wall remained in two portions that were separated as clearly as cutting a drinking-straw with scissors. Antithamnion then embarked upon a remarkable sequence of events that restored the empty cell wall to full function. We know that adjacent cells undergo a complex series of manoeuvres to reinstate the destroyed neighbour (L.Hardy-Hamos 1971, 201; Waaland and Clevand, 1974, 407). When an intercalary cell is disrupted, cells on either side undergo divisions that result in the reoccupation of the void left by the destroyed cell body. It appears that fusion of the adjacent cells takes place, resulting in the full and functioning reinstatement of the pre-existing cell.

Yet this is a superficial and convenient overview, for it diverts attention from the intricacy of the process. Close examination of Pickett-Heaps. video, frame-by-frame, allows one to observe how it is not merely the cell contents that are restored: the broken and displaced cell wall itself is also repaired and reinstated. It is not merely patched, like a bicycle tyre, but meticulously realigned and permanently healed.
Most of the body’s cells regulate themselves independently of the brain. Those in your liver reproduce at just the right rate to replace cells lost through attrition; the follicular cells in your scalp create new hair (sometimes, notably in men, at a replacement rate that is slower than the loss) just as the cells in the bone marrow produce new circulating blood cells at the rate of millions per minute; others partake of digestion in the gut, or replace epidermal cells as your skin self-renews. Most of what happens within your body is regulated by the cells that are involved and they are not in the least concerned with the brain. They do not even know that it exists.

All this activity is invisible to the brain, and this accounts, we might estimate, for ninety per cent of everything that goes on.
Anyway, why have a brain? Complex animals possess a brain only because they move, and the reason that plants lack one is because they remain rooted to the spot. Our brains help us rationalize, communicate, coordinate and interact, but brains are not the origin of the senses. Let me accompany you down the microscope and observe a single stomatal guard cell on the surface of a leaf. These are the cells that regulate the opening and closure of the pores through which gas exchange takes place. The pairs of guard cells look somewhat like lips, and indeed they act like them.

Reflect, for a moment, on what I have asked you to do . to move from the sheer majesty of the human brain down to single cells on the leaf of a plant. It’s like moving from a walrus to a wart; from a spacecraft to a paper plane. After the unfathomable complexity of the most intricate single entity known to us, the human brain, we travel down to a microscopic speck of plant life that lies just beyond the sight of the human eye.

Or is that cell so primitive? Those stomata are sensitive to light. Each stomatal cell responds both to vibrational and chemical stimuli, for it is a sensor in its own right and it adjusts the turgor pressure within . and thus the opening of the central pore between the cells . in response to microenvironmental changes. These abilities to sense and respond to illumination levels and tactility, like the sensing of chemicals both in liquid and gaseous forms, are senses that we recognize. Sight and sound, touch and taste; our sophisticated senses have their own counterparts within this tiny cell. Even at this microscopic level, we find the same attributes that the ancients recognized as being responsible for making us what we are.
This is not what I propose; the microscopic beings comprise the structures, and do not simply construct them like a team of workers (Ford 2008a). It is not to buildings that we should turn if we wish to observe the constructors. We should look instead to examples like the choreographed displays at the Beijing Olympics, where we saw a group of humans acting as a single organism. The resulting spectacle was stunning — and was entirely due to
the abilities inherent in every single performer. So it is within multicellular organisms, large and small.

We recognize intelligence when we encounter it, though any objective attempt to define the term is controversial. Binet was a self-taught psychologist who was so intrigued by the apparently passionate nature of sexual reproduction in protozoa that he coined the phrase ‘the psychic life of microorganisms’. He set out a definition of intelligent behaviour, emphasizing that it involved ‘the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or
trying situations’ (Binet 1905). Gardner refers to a property that enables the individual ‘to resolve genuine problems or difficulties that he or she encounters ’ (Gardner 1993) while Wechsler cites the ability ‘to act purposefully . . . and to deal effectively with his environment’ (Wechsler 1939). Problem solving skills are commonly cited. For signs of intelligence, the Oxford English Dictionary refers to evidence that something has been apprehended or understood and especially to ‘interchange of knowledge, information, or sentiment’.
Mirriam Webster’s definition centres on the ‘ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations’
.
We have faced cells that take decisions, act altruistically, perform judicious manipulations, adapt their surroundings to suit themselves and alter their life-styles to match changing circumstances. Yet when we discuss the brain, we are faced with the concept of the neuron as little more than a .go. or .no-go. gate, a kind of transistor. It is at the synapses, we are told, where intelligence emerges as large communities of neurons act in concert. Here we face a philosophical absurdity. If a lowly. Amoeba is ingenious enough to build a home for itself, how can it be that the neuron . the most highly-evolved cell we know . is essentially a mere binary switch?
An object is cut off from its name, habits, associations. Detached, it becomes only the thing, in and of itself. When this disintegration into pure existence is at last achieved, the object is free to become endlessly anything. ~ Jim Morrison

User avatar
webolife
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Evolution

Unread post by webolife » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:42 am

Marnee,
I hope you and others reading your post realize that one person's axiom is another person's assumption.
Just satisfying your own limited mind by defining "origins" out of existence, doesn't prove anything other than that you are a "religious" atheist. There is no intrinsic truth in "existence is eternal". That is a conclusion based on itself as a premise.
Truth extends beyond the border of self-limiting science. Free discourse among opposing viewpoints draws the open-minded away from the darkness of inevitable bias and nearer to the light of universal reality.

User avatar
JaJa
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:23 am

Re: Evolution

Unread post by JaJa » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:25 pm

JohnMT wrote: I do enjoy reading your posts (and of course may other posters' posts too) on this particular subject ... [...] Keep up the good work
Thanks John... similar stuff from myself and other sources can be found on my blog (details on my profile) as I won't be posting at the TB forums as often now.
webolife wrote: I disagree with the dual premises that the material universe is self creating, and that it is eternal.
I agree with that if 'space' isn't included as a property of the 'material' universe.
Marnee wrote:Imagine a universe where its laws were arbitrary and led to chaos
Take look inside a blackhole... apparently everything breaks down in there... even laws.
Starbiter wrote:Who designed the designer?
What existed before space if we cast out the Big Bang?
Omnia in numeris sita sunt

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests