Author Topic: Laugh at the ID-ers  (Read 2498 times)

Offline Elite

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« on: June 30, 2006, 02:48:17 PM »
http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/000427.php

I had a guy throw this at me while debating about evolution

The author of the article has absolutely no idea about how evolution works, and spouts nearly every fallacy about evolution ever concieved. He drivels on about cats giving birth to kangeroos and racoons and how eyes form from nowhere, and cites this as proof that evolution is flawed.

Reliable source ... er, no

Point and laugh people  

So what fallacies and stupidity have you seen when debating with ID-ers/creationists (I know PY does this quite a lot)

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 03:06:11 PM »
I dunno, he seems remarkably cognisant compared to most I've read.  I've seen problems on both sides of the fence.  Evolution is not a magic bullet.  It doesn't go from A to B to C like most bio text books would have you believe.  It's more like the course of a river or the flight of a swarm of bees.  The individual elements have no real goal, behaving wildly-- erratically-- stupidly.  The course of the river can bend and twitch wildly as it makes its way.  Yet the whole seems somehow to be directed, seems to have a clear goal and path.  Seems to.

Many AntiDarwinists, on the other hand, make the same mistake that the Darwinists do-- saying that there is a clear and evident path from A to B to C, and it therefore must be an intelligent force at work.

They're both wrong!  The movement from A to B to C is simply the high level abstraction that we like to pigeonhole our reality into.  The nice strict lines of "species" don't exist.    The actual movement is more along the lines of A to Q and Pi, and from Pi back to A, then up and over to Cleveland...  Absolutely nonsensical.  Random.  Yet the emergent properties somehow form relatively directed processes.

I don't think the argument should be for or against evolution.  The better argument should be wether evolution is directed, seeded, or absolutely self-directing.

Does runaway evolution produce viable results?  Does it need to be seeded with successful organisms first, or can something arise from nothing?  How long does this take?  How much noise (extinctions, disasters, etc.) does evolution need?  Is there a role for deity in the tides of evolution?

Offline Elite

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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 03:23:43 PM »
Consistent?

Well, compared to some other creationists I suppose  

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If one breeds cats for a thousand generations, they will still be cats, won't they? They simply will not "evolve" into cats which look like kangaroos and are genetically different from felis domesticus. It simply won't happen
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If you read in a newspaper that a cat gave birth to kittens which looked like racoons, and had a different DNA structure from ordinary cats, you would assume that a hoax or fraud was being perpetrated. No one, anywhere, would conclude that we have just beheld an example of Darwinian evolution in actual fact.
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genuine evolution, that is, of one species producing an offspring which was clearly of another, different species
I'd bet he doesn't know what a species actually is

Obviously, one species doesn't pop out of existence from cat to kangeroo, it is a slow and fuzzy process

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New organs in living bodies must appear fully-formed at once
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The example which is always given is the eye: the retina cannot simply appear at one time, the lens a million years later, and the optic nerve a million years thereafter. The entire eye, including it neural connections with the brain and, through it, with an animal's locomotive system, must all have appeared at precisely the same time
Er, no

Look at sea creatures with 'half-formed' eyes. They get along just fine

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The "fittest" do not survive
He has absolutely no idea about what he is talking about

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Most claimed examples of evolution at work are highly dubious. Perhaps the most familiar such example, often cited in textbooks, is of the moths in Lancashire whose colouration progressively darkened during the nineteenth century as dark-coloured moths became progressively more likely to blend in with their soot-darkened surroundings, and hence escape the notice of predators, while light-coloured moths were more likely to be seen and eaten. Even if this actually occurred (and there is apparently some doubt), this is, however, not an example of the evolution of a new species, but of certain members of the same species with favourable characteristics having a better survival rate than less favoured members of that species. The species itself has remained unchanged.

"The species itself has remained unchanged" - but it's a different colour!

"this is, however, not an example of the evolution of a new species, but of certain members of the same species with favourable characteristics having a better survival rate than less favoured members of that species" - yeah, or in other words Darwinian evolution

*********

You're right about species not being strict lines, Num. This is exactly the mistake he's making, saying that evolution is one species giving brith to another, assuming that there's no middle ground.

Evolution is blind, not directed, something that creationists have a hard time grasping sometimes. Sometimes evolution is plain dumb, doing something for quick gain that will doom the species later.

Our poorly draining sinuses, badly-positioned prostrate gland, and eyes with the nerves the wrong way round, are prime examples of 'incompetent design'

Evolution may not be perfect, bit one thing I hate is people attacking evolution who have absolutely no idea about what they're talking about. They immediately just to conclusions like "you don't see monkeys giving birth to humans" and such

Offline PurpleYouko

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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 09:22:39 AM »
Quote
I'd bet he doesn't know what a species actually is
Nor would he care.
Literal Genesis Creationists work in "Kinds".. remember the Ark.
You should also check out some of the theories of "Accelerated evolution" that some creationists put forward to explain how the "kinds" that were on the ark managed to become the diverse species we see today. Take the "Cat kind" for a start. Lions, Tigers, Civits, Bobcats, household pets. All the same "Kind" and only 5000 years to diversify from the 2 cats that were on the ark.
The hoops that they have to jump through to make it all come together are absolutely laughable.

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Evolution is not a magic bullet. It doesn't go from A to B to C like most bio text books would have you believe
Textbooks say that? I haven't really read a lot of text books on the subject but I have only ever seen this view of evolution from creationist web sites.
I certainly don't know of any evolutionary researchers who hold any view other than that evolution consists of totally random mutations coupled with natural selection.
The main argument used by the Creationist side is the "argument from incredulity" (a logical falacy) "I can't believe we are here because of random events". they either omit or simply don't understand the significance of "Natural selection"

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Does runaway evolution produce viable results? Does it need to be seeded with successful organisms first, or can something arise from nothing?
Come on Num. Now you are making the same crappy argument that I and others fend off all the time.  
Please note that Evolutions says absolutely nothing about something arising from nothing.
Pre-existing life is a pre-requisite for the TOE. "Evolutionists" don't give a rat's ass where that life initially came from. Maybe God created the first uni-celled organisms. Maybe they spontaneously formed by "Abiogenesis" (a completely different field of study)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 09:23:21 AM by PurpleYouko »
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Offline EricL

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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 01:00:53 PM »
Quote from: PurpleYouko
I certainly don't know of any evolutionary researchers who hold any view other than that evolution consists of totally random mutations coupled with natural selection.
Actually, there's quite a bit of recent research (last 5 years or so) that argues that a lot of mutations, perhaps the majority of interesting mutations, are not external or random but rather are "self directed" by the genome with respect to where in the genome they occur and at what frequency.   The DNA code is degenerate.  There are multiple ways to encode the same information in DNA.  These multiple ways are expression netrual - the exact same amino acids get produced regardless of the particular encoding - but the probability of copy mutation at a particular loci can vary by several orders of magnitude depending upon the particular encoding used.   Of course, selection can operate on this, preferring less mutation prone encoding at loci where mutations would be disadvantagous and more copy-error prone encoding where it may be benificial (to the species, not necessarily to the individual).  Research seems to back this up.  The different codon encodings used for particular amino acids are definently not used randomly.  Cone snails for example, code for an extremely high mutation rate in the area of their genome which codes for their poison - a result of co-evolution with preditors - so high in fact, that the chemical makeup of cone snail poison often varies in direct ancestors generation to generation!

Quote from: PurpleYouko
Please note that Evolutions says absolutely nothing about something arising from nothing.
Pre-existing life is a pre-requisite for the TOE. "Evolutionists" don't give a rat's ass where that life initially came from.
Not true.  There's quite a lot of active research here by main stream evolutionists.  My 2004 Evolution text book (Evolutionary Analysis - Freeman and Herron) devotes an entire chapter to various theories and areas of active research on like origin.  The term RNA World for example, refers to one of the prominant theories of a "more primintive replicator" which predated DNA, favored as it can both store information (though not as reliably as DNA) and perform physical, chemical work (which DNA cannot) often referred to as self cataylzing.  DB is much like an RNA world as a bots DNA gets executed continiously and not just during morphogenesis.  Note that even RNA-based replicatiors, while simpilar than DNA based replciators, are complex and may have been preceeded by an even simipler replicator.


I appluad those of you who have the energy to try to educate the willfully ignorant, but my expereience is that few people change their mind on this.  The "debate" (I hesitate to call it that) takes one of two paths, either the unsophisticated argument path attempted by highly devoute newbies, usually uneducated, illustrated by the ludicrious quotes in this thread or a more sophiscated path with more clever aurguments put forward by semi-professional evangalists intentionally trying to decieve and mislead.  Swaying the latter set is impossible.  Swaying the former takes ennormous energy and work because simply putting forward a rational argument is insufficient.  You must first educate them to recognize and value the difference between theory supportted by evidence and pure fiction.   Most people are not critical thinkers nor do they want to be.  Their beleifs are not the product of weighing evidence.   Most people simply beleive what they were brought up to beleive, itself an evolved trait, but one that is difficult to combat.  Organized religion has known this for centuries and indoctrinating the impressionable young has long been a mainstay.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 01:03:45 PM by EricL »
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Offline PurpleYouko

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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2006, 01:22:31 PM »
Quote
Not true. There's quite a lot of active research here by main stream evolutionists. My 2004 Evolution text book (Evolutionary Analysis - Freeman and Herron) devotes an entire chapter to various theories and areas of active research on like origin. The term RNA World for example, refers to one of the prominant theories of a "more primintive replicator" which predated DNA
If it is a self replicator then it is very likely still contained under the definition of "life"
I am aware that there are several non living chemicals that "self replicate".
Where non-life stops and life starts is a fine line but I stick by my statement that the TOE deals solely with life and doesn't care where it came from.
This is why evolution is accepted by the catholic Church while Abiogenesis is most certainly not.
Evolutionary scientists may well also be involved in abiogenesis research but it remains a totally different field of study.

I am a chemist and I am involved in certain aspect of physics research such as plasma formation wrt mass spectrometry. Doesn't make it chemistry though does it.

I have co-authored a number of publications relating to trade routes and artifact sources in pre-historic South America. Doesn't make it chemistry though.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 01:32:01 PM by PurpleYouko »
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Offline PurpleYouko

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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2006, 01:27:41 PM »
If you want a really good laugh, take a look at this wonderfull bit of logical thinking. it was sent to me by an Islamic friend who was attempting to show why evolution is not true.

The number of absolute howlers in just the first paragrah is unbelievable.
I defy anyone to read this and keep a straight face  
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 01:29:31 PM by PurpleYouko »
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Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2006, 02:12:19 PM »
Quote from: PurpleYouko
Textbooks say that? I haven't really read a lot of text books on the subject but I have only ever seen this view of evolution from creationist web sites.

That's certainly the view that my Highschool Biology class taught me.  Along with my Freshman college textbook.  Not that they exactly say "A to B to C", but the examples they use are that cut and dry.  Especially when it comes to Human evolution.  It's always A to B to C.

Or rather C from B from A.  It's presented backwards, with the great deal of gray and fuzziness stripped from it.  If I had to call it something, I'd call it a cross between Lamarckian evolution and Natural selection under the guise of natural selection.  Humans used their brains more, so those with big brains survive.

In my experience, there is seldom any gradual ramping up of a trait over time, except during co-evolution.  During arms races.  Generally, it's far more stochatic and chaotic than my Bio classes would have me believe.

Since most lay people probably have only had a Highshool class, and maybe a college one, that's the view most people have, regardless of wether they're creationist or not.

Quote
Come on Num. Now you are making the same crappy argument that I and others fend off all the time.  
Please note that Evolutions says absolutely nothing about something arising from nothing.
Pre-existing life is a pre-requisite for the TOE. "Evolutionists" don't give a rat's ass where that life initially came from. Maybe God created the first uni-celled organisms. Maybe they spontaneously formed by "Abiogenesis" (a completely different field of study)

But that's the far more interesting question isn't it?  The requirements for successful evolution.  When does evolution succumb to noise?  What time frame does it require to reach X level complexity and diversification given Y starting conditions.  How do you measure complexity?  What exactly is emergence?  (Emergence is still very much a black science, a sort of magic wand to wave when things get incalcuably complex).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 02:19:30 PM by Numsgil »

Offline EricL

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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2006, 02:12:47 PM »
I don't view life / non-life as a fine line, anymore than there is some exact temperature at which chemstry ceases and becomes plamsa dynamics or where one species stops and another starts.  It's a continuem, most things are.  Our use of descrete words and definitions when referring to continious porocesses can get use in trouble if we arn't careful.

It's indicitive of IDer's to try to find or create exact boundaries and ascribe tremendous moment to such where none exist.   Yes, there was an inital replicator where before there was none.  Likely such came into being and was destroyed many times over before our common ancestor arrived and succeeded, through luck or better chemstry.  And yes, we need shared definitions and terms to form a common vocabulary in order to have a meaningful discussion.  But to draw an arbitrarly critical line and point to one thing on each side and say this is life and that is not and purscribe some momentous meaning to that line and the term "life" strikes me as... arbitrary and overly exacting.  Continious refinement would lead us to the point where we could point to two almost identical polymer molecules which differ in a single, minute way and say this one is life and that one is not.  I'm much more comfortable ascribing less loaded, more descriptive definitions, saying for example, this one replicates and this one does not.


Anyway, we agree 100% in principle and for the most part in practice.
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Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2006, 02:21:44 PM »
That's exactly what I was trying to say Eric, thanks for articulating it better than I could.

Strict and exact lines, strict discretization, leads only to trouble.

Offline PurpleYouko

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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2006, 03:58:15 PM »
Quote
Strict and exact lines, strict discretization, leads only to trouble.
I know what you are saying but I don't think you will ever get a creationist to actually think through the concept to that degree.
I think there is a pretty strong argument that there isn't really any such thing as "life".
After all we are all really just a bunch of chemicals reacting in certain ways. Is that really "alive"?
Are our thought processes really "life" or are they just the results of chemical reactions taking place in our brains?

"I think therefore I am"
Is that even true?
Do I really think at all?

It gets kinda weird when you travel too far down that path.  
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Offline EricL

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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2006, 06:11:07 PM »
Quote from: PurpleYouko
Are our thought processes really "life" or are they just the results of chemical reactions taking place in our brains?

The answer of course, is both.

I hear and agree with what you are saying (especially with the difficulty of getting creationists to think critically) but in my opinion the dilema only exists if you put the term "life" on a pedistal or take the position that chemical reations are for some reason an insufficient mechanism to facilitate it.  I have no problem with the spectrum of complexity from H20 to human brains being based on the same underlying fundemental chemistry and IMHO, it in no way diminishes the specatcular nature of life to understand the underlying mechanisms.  In fact, that life has evolved the capability to access and understand it's own nature is a testiment to its acheivment.  If one were to look for a definition of *intillegent* life  - in software, or perhaps elsewhere in the universe - having evolved the capability to understand ones own nature might be a good place to start.  

So I would say my thought process are indeed 'just' chemical reations taking place in my brain, though they are quite complex reactions taking place in a unique and highly organized and purposeful manner the result of which when combined with the trillions of other reactions taking place in my body, define an autonomous entity to which the term life can be attached.

"I am.  Therefor, I think."  
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 06:21:29 PM by EricL »
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