Denial of Evolution VI.

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by garbonzo, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    In response to Fraggle Rocker and Iceaura:

    Now hold on a second. So many explanations on the word fact gives me discomfort.

    Should this not be the LEAST disputed word known to humanity?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Not a bit of it. If everyone agreed what constituted facts, nobody would argue about anything.
     
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  5. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    Then it cannot be deemed a fact. A fact is something which cannot be disputed. Once we go around massaging definitions then we are into dirty pool.
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yep. But that's human affairs for you, isn't it? Don't get me wrong, in science, logic and other systems of disciplined thought, we try very hard to avoid disputes of this kind. But in general, human beings have a hard time agreeing on the facts. Just look at politics!
     
  8. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    Well, facts should only be what everyone can agree on. Save a few extreme cases that we would deem to be unreasonable. Just because a few people want to argue that the earth is flat does not mean it is a FACT that the earth is not flat. Whereas it is a fact that the Earth is not flat. Facts cannot be disputed.
     
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution is a fact as much as the fact that rain falls on the Earth. How exactly it happens is open to debate, but the fossil record is real. DNA is real.
     
  10. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    the most controversial thing was the lack of data to support much of what was said, which led to the panels consensus.
    for the consensus you will need to buy the issue.
     
  11. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    It may be a fact but not like the fact that rain falls on the Earth.

    Why can one not dispute that rain falls on the Earth?

    It is interesting that only a few minutes ago i asked a member how he knew something occurred "20000 years ago" his response was "because i asked someone".

    Would you consider this fact?
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That is a fact (in part) because you can observe rain falling on the Earth.
    Evolution is a fact (in part) because you can observe organisms evolving.

    You can, of course, claim that it does not rain a lot, and that thus you only believe in "microrain" but not "macrorain." You can also claim that neither rain nor evolution happens; it's a free country.
     
  13. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    But now you are throwing out the standby strawman. Sure everything evolves, I am evolving right now as i type into an old man.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I shouldn't do this but.......

    no, that's not right. The fossil record and DNA relationships are facts (observations reproduced many times by independent observers). Evolution is the THEORY that accounts for those observations (and actually predicted the DNA relationships long before they were discovered). It cannot itself be a fact because, like any theory in science it is only provisional, that is, open to the possibility that it may be shown in need of improvement, revision or even - in principle, though this seems vanishingly unlikely - replacement.

    In my submission it is a mistake to present the theory of evolution as "fact", as it encourages precisely the misconceptions that creationists exploit to cast doubt on it. There are plenty of areas within the theory that are under development, the subject of scientific dispute, or likely to be refined or revised. As there should be, in ANY live discipline of science. Creationists are too dim, or too disingenuous, to recognise this and so they try to portray these live areas as symptoms of a "theory in crisis" etc.

    The thing to do, surely, is NOT to maintain that the theory is a rigid "fact", since that simply lays you wide open to the objection as to why then there are these disputed areas. What one has to do, surely, is educate creationists (why do I mistype cretinists all the time?) that this is NORMAL in theories of science and is far from a sign of weakness. The strength of a theory is to be gauged by its explanatory and predictive power, NOT by the absence of disagreements or revisions within parts of it. And by that yardstick (cf. DNA above) Evolution is triumphantly successful, of course.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No you're not. You're just getting older.
     
  16. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I gathered that much, but since none of the platforms upon which the TOE is built were undermined by the conference, why do you connect the conference with a disavowal of TOE?
     
  17. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    It is still an evolution. My whole body is evolving. For that matter ten years from now i may have large breasts, due only from age. May have no hair or hair on my back that was never there before. This is evolving so just wanted to make you see the error in your last post and WHY I called it the oldest strawman on the internet.
     
  18. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I think you misunderstood. I didn't mean to imply that the Theory of Evolution was a fact. I mean that evolution is an observation that cannot be denied, and it is the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection (a separate thing) which attempts to explain the phenomenon. We know that the species change over time, and that modern species did not exist in the past. This is beyond dispute.
     
  19. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

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    leopold consistently misrepresents what the consensus of the panel was. No one on the panel disagreed with the theory of evolution. The disagreement was whether the transitions were smooth and gradual, or whether they were fast and jerky (punctuated equilibrium).

    Here's the first page extract of the paper, from 1990.

    View attachment 6310
     
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    It's a fact in the scientific sense, that it's corroborated as well as any other fact of science not held in disrepute by religion. And the tenets I listed above on which it rests are each individual facts. I don't think there's any issue in dealing with creationist response to this since I have not yet encountered any creationist who will argue the actual tenets I listed. The creationist argument is always an oblique attack, never bothering to learn the TOE or to address its actual content. There simply is no argument. And it appears ever more unlikely that there ever will be.
     
  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    That's great, it means you're alive and functioning exactly as the genes transmitted to you through the billions of years of biological evolution. which has the specific meaning attached to the summary I posted 3 times in an effort to avoid all the spurious discussion.
     
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I have never understood why leopold is so strident about this particular detail. I do understand how creationists get bent on the realization that humans were not created by a cosmic magician as they have been told. They would certainly like to exploit material like this to argue that no large deviation -- like spontaneous change in genera or class -- can happen, and of course they keep up the "missing link" argument despite the evidence like H. Erectus, Lucy and Ardi. But I never have understood why leopold argues that this conversation about gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium serves to discredit the theory itself, since it's irrelevant to the adequacy of the global theory itself.
     
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    TOE says "XYZ happens", the conference concluded, based on the available evidence which for the most part was lacking, that XYZ doesn't happen.
     
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