Is the theory of evolution true?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by PetriFB, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. mountainhare Banned Banned

    Great dodge, Zionist. Let's try this again:

    1. In the article I posted, Gould clearly states that evolution is both a theory and a fact. Is he wrong? Why? Do you feel that he doesn't have a good grasp of Mendel's genetical laws?

    2. Gould was also a proponent for Punctuated Equilibrium, where Dawkins was a proponent for Gradualism. There was quite a lot of controversy over the finer details of how evolution proceeded (its mechanism). Now please, explain to me how we could claim all of the mechanisms by which evolution proceeds are factual, when the scientific community is still in controversy over how certain mechanisms of evolution operate? We all know that Mendel's two laws of independent assortment and segregation apply to organisms that reproduce. But on a larger time scale, the evolutionary process becomes more complex. There are many more factors and mechanisms that must be considered.

    Nice distortion, degree Geoff. I never claimed that Mendel's laws were 'voided' in any circumstance. I did claim that other mechanisms way come into play, complimenting Mendel's law. Such as the phenomenom of mutation, and how it occurs in an organism. And geological separation's affect on a population's allelic frequency.

    Let's try this again:
    Yeah, right, whatever you say, Jewish degree Geoff. Now I understand how Israel was able to con the U.N into giving them stolen land. Selling snake oil is apparently a gift of the Zionists.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    My initial point was, and remains, there is a fact of evolution, there is currently one dominant theory that seeks to explain this fact. Mountainhare has summed that up rather well in his first three paragraphs in the above post.

    Since I raised that point you have introduced a number of side arguments in which you have assigned, implicitly or explicitly, to me opinions which I do not hold. This is either the act of an idiot, or someone who is intellectually dishonest. You don't, despite many of your views, appear to be a complete idiot, so I shall assume you are just a liar. Please stop that.

    You ask what sort of evidence could overturn the current theory of evolution. I realise that you really are serious with such a question. As I have previously pointed out, if we knew the sort of data that might overturn it, and the probability of such data existing, we could be searching for it now. Most revolutions in science occur when the unexpected,, uninvited, unwelcome data keeps turning up and can no longer be ignored. Its source is not predictable. [You really shoud read Khun and try this time to understand what he is saying. Here is a small tip. Get the grown up version of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - the one without the drawings. It's a lot less than four hundred pages.]

    Now despite the fact that you are still failing utterly to address the only point I consider important in this (fact v. theory), and despite the foregoing dismissal of the opportunity to predict the kind or source of evidence that could alter our theory, I shall offer an example: epigenetics. Since you are active in the field of gene theory, whereas I am a humble, uneducated salesperson and teacher, you will be able to fill in the blanks and implications of that word for this discussion.

    Please feel free to pepper (or even Popper) your response with convoluted insults and trite put downs. It is evident that you majored in arrogance and missed out entirely on semantics. Doubtless this prevents you from being well-meaning.

    Mountainhare: please don't debase your otherwise solid arguments with your anti-Israeli propoganda.
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  5. mountainhare Banned Banned

    Good advice. It was Geoff who brought our previous arguments into this, and it's a pity that I rose to the bait. However, in my most recent post, I've tried to ignore the vast majority of his personal attacks.
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Sigh - straw man flavoured with argument from authority. Next!

    Fine: then illustrate them. I'd be astounded and interested to see how even Punctuated Equilibrium could somehow occur without allele frequency change. I can hardly wait. Will mountainhare unknowingly erect Lamarck to stand before the hammer? Or will he invoke GxE, forgetting that even the most phenotypic of syntheses invoke gene frequency change following from the assumption of novel adaptive state?

    Behold! Come one, come all! For before your very eyes, the fashionably anti-Semite Mountainhareo will demonstrate the process of evolution INDEPENDENT OF THE CHANGE IN ALLELE FREQUENCIES! A spectacle never seen before in the scientific world, or in any other!

    Please tip your waitress.


    'Phenomenom'? We feel so silly now, my degree and I.

    Anyway - no one is refuting mutation, my Jew-hating unfortunate acquaintance. But mutation, too, is involved with change in allele frequency; and as such, is a classical mechanism, not some magical system of higher process. Fisher and Wright had no difficulty involving mutation in the mathematical treatment of evolution; neither does anyone else.

    See, now this is what you really excel at: hate. Maybe you should stick to that? I think Al-Manar may have some positions open. Need a reference?
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I'm glad you accept the theory, although you really should also be accepting the fact.

    Those opinions are essentially implicit in your proposition that evolution is merely a theory. You might well be offended at my humourous side-lines, or you might not, but your immediate engaging in ad hominem does not predispose me to treat fairly with you. I will observe and see.

    Then I expect a fine Kuhnian such as yourself would be busily out rejecting received knowledge and busily taking it down. Come on: there are several ways in which Mendelian evolution might easily be refuted. If you cannot think of them then I fail to see why I should waste my time illustrating them to you. I do not exaggerate when I say they should be immediately obvious.

    His last book is 368 pages. Not reading it?

    Good God, he's a Waddingtonian.

    Well, in the classical Aristotelian sense (adopted by more than a few lunkheads I know) epigenetics is the development of formed genomic matter from the unformed, and, thus, is essentially bullshit. (Oh- and no "origin of life"-based responses, please - the physical conditions aren't at all the same and you know it.)

    If, however, you are referring more to changes in phenotype without corresponding change in genotype, then we are essentially discussing reaction norms, in which I am something of a "believer".

    I have no doubt, however, that your Kuhnian doctrinialism will immediately seek to cure me of my "received knowledge" and develop some even-newer, more radical theory that explains the universe, the cosmos, and everything. Or wait: is my partial support of GxE "received knowledge" or "Kuhnian reaction"? Would I be not reacting by believing in it, or reacting by not believing in it, which you are presumably presenting as a Kuhnian reaction? What should I be rebelling against? So confused.

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    Epigenetics in the GxE sense is divisible into two major categories, those being i) that of genetic variance for the liability to expression, which is neo-selectionist and again a core expression of - what's that now? Mendelian Law - or ii) a developmental alteration provoked by mutational or environmental insult, resulting in an altered (potentially nonadaptive) phenotypic state and in which allele frequency changes follow.

    You will note that neither of the above refutes the core theory. I also refer you to Zhang and Hill 2004 who engage in a fascinating concept of increased, reactive phenotypic variance within genotype classes - wherein not only means but intraclass variance is a topical feature of - wait for it! - alleles (and epistatic classes). As such, that is also not a refutation of allelic theory. I don't believe even the most extreme Waddingtonian (who, incidentally, I have great respect for) would interpret epigenetics as being completely removed from allelic theory, and if they would they should probably be shot.

    Oh, not really. But if your philosophical navel-gazing is trying to provoke a backslide to Lamarckianism, then do bugger off. We have enough problems without that nonsense, interesting and well-intentioned though it was.

    Not at all. It is your real forté that prevents me from being well-meaning: ad hominem. My quite innocuous proposition spurred a vicious personal attack; and from an evolutionist, no less. I can only presume you'd been waiting a while for it, having seized so strongly on its use. Is this an emergent property of your personality?

    Again - not seeing why I should treat kindly with you, given your history in this debate.

    And I only minored in Arrogance.

    Oh, his appreciation of Jewish people goes far beyond that, I assure you.

    Leaving you and Eva to your mutual contemplation, I remain,

  9. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    GeoffP, for an allegedly intelligent individual your thinking is quite the most illogical of any I have seen here.
    You began the personal attacks not I.I merely noted, at the outset, that your claim that the fact of evolution and the theory of evolution were one and the same was irredeemable nonsense, or words to that effect. If you are unable to appreciate that that is an attack on an idea and not on an individual then I see absolutely no point in continuing the discussion with you. Given that you think fact and theory are the same I should not be surprised that you mistake attacks on ideas as the same as attacks on persons. That is certainly low-order thinking. (Now you see that was a personal remark, though it is one that is demonstrable from your posts in this thread.)The next remark is also intentionally and explicitly personal, while at the same time reflecting my objective assessment of the situation. I should expect a twelve year old to demonstrate a greater grasp of logic.

    PS: I note you continue to indulge yourself in rants and raves about anything and everything except the central point. Is that cowardice, ignorance, or both, on your part? Please don't bother answering: the question was rhetorical.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, more ad hominem. Fragile egos these teachers, these salesmen have. Hard to reconcile that with having to deal with the public daily.

    I regret to inform you that is you who began the personal attacks, not I. Lest ye forget:

    This is not sophistry it is bloody common sense, which attribute you seem to be deficient in.

    I did not at any point claim that the fact of evolution and the theory of evolution were the same - that would appear to be your point, or not, or both, depending on which post we're talking about. My point, as always, is that evolution frankly consititutes a law, and has the same level of "theoretical reality" that gravity does - a phenomenon, I note, that no one else doubts. The only vagarities, as always, are in the local coefficients; these too change for gravity, yet the external pressure of the universal gravitational coefficients is omnipresent. This is true for evolution - change in allele frequencies - but is locally altered.

    You seem to be couched in that brand of evolutionary doctrine that treats the process like some kind of holy, which explains your ad hominem attacks, couched in "reasonability", since you cannot argue fact in this area. Well, here's one fact that - unlike your posts - is eminently reasonable and utterly true:

    If you cannot think of a way in which evolution might be easily and immediately refuted, then clearly your educational institution has failed you, or you have failed yourself. I do not exaggerate when I say that anyone who has examined evolutionary theory - that very low, base part that anyone on this forum, trained in the field or untrained, with the barest modicum of forethought should be able to do - yet you are apparently incapable.

    You throw out the word "epigenetics" and demand explanation and fill without the slightest indication that you understand it yourself. I provide this - and am greeted not with some kind of reasoned argument at the obvious holes one could try to make against the quantitative genetic interpretation, but: silence, and ad hominem. And it is you, not I, that shows the greatest inability to argue anything to do with evolution in this thread.

    Game and match.
  11. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Geoff, I have no intention of engaging further with someone who tells so many porkies with such indifference.

    One last time on a single - incidental point. When theories have been overturned the evidence has typically come from unexpected quarters or perceptions. Consequently, any attempt to predict wherein a theory might be overturned, when the prediction is being made by someone immersed in that theory is pointless. Khun again. You appear to be able to read, yet lack comprehension on a massive scale.

    Once again, you stated most clearly in your earlier posts that evolution was no longer a theory. Rush back quickly and edit that part away.
    Frankly I find your entire approach distasteful, dishonest and quite despicable for an 'educated' individual. To wriggle so when caught on the hook by your own stupidity leaves me at a loss.

    I shall address each and every point you have raised, in my own time, and by pm. I have no wish to inflict your intellectual dishonesty on other readersany further.
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    If you refuse argument, then the debate is done, "porkie". Thanks for a wholly uninteresting spectacle.

    No! Really??

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    Anyone with an actual interest in truth should be able to entertain ideas and conceptualize out of this "immersion". Frankly, my position is - to you, and all others who haven't thought it through - unexpected (gasp!). Ergo, my position is actually more "Kuhnian", which you seem to cite much but understand precious little. Or does the revolution stop with dear old Thomas? "Revolt, revolt - but go no further than my last book! Revolt, revolt! Need me to sign something? Go bug Dawkins!"

    The occurrence of genotypic evolution, having been proven again and again, is no longer merely theoretical. I certainly have never edited anything of the kind in such a way at any point on this forum, as you well know, and so this is more of your idiotic ad hominem. I don't know where you got your presumed degree - and who, thus, should be contacted to rescind it - but I fail to see why I should engage in debate with someone who lacks any sort of professional honesty in debate, besides being intellectually stunted.

    Post away. I doubt very much I shall bother to respond. Besides failing the test of personal dignity, there is such a thing as timeliness.

    For, you see, I see no need to patiently attend while you hit the internet to read up on an issue you claim to already know. You were unable to speak anything to the issue of epigenetics for over a day now, despite introducing it yourself with the aplomb of someone who thinks he's holding the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. "Aha! Got him! Oh, he knows epigenetics? Shit!"

    (Amusingly, I'm writing two papers on it right now; more, of course, to follow.

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    And so, I have the very greatest doubts at this point that you are in fact either a) an evolutionary scientist, since you appear to know nothing whatever of either genetics or epigenetics, or b) a philosopher, since you are able to do little more than engage in blithe "Kuhnilingus".

    However I do see why you choose the moniker "Ophiolite" - if a serpent, you are indeed the tiniest imaginable.

    Good day.
  13. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Learn to read. I intend to carry the debate on with you via pm. I see no reason to subject the rest of the forum members to your narrow minded diatribes.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Learn to think. "PM" means everything from 'private message' to "post meridium".

    Post, PM, or staple your message to a pack mule; I am unconcerned with your answers, queries and insults.

    Moreover, there is very little hope that you might "protect" forum members from anything at all, as I could simply continue to post comments here - which you are utterly unable to prevent - or perhaps even the contents of your PMs to me. As I said earlier - having immediately foregone the defense of politeness and respect, I find myself entirely disinterested in trying to preserve any semblance of friendly debate.

    Again: Good day. Go sell something overpriced to labs on narrow budgets.
  15. mountainhare Banned Banned

    No need to do me any favours. I put degree Geoff on my ignore list 4-5 days ago. I'm sure anyone else who is bothered by him can do the same.
  16. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Come now Geoff. Are you so devoid of linguistic skills that you are unaware that a) most words and abbreviations have multiple meanings; b) the correct meaning is generally indicated by context.
    Since we are in a forum perhaps you can suggest which meaning of pm, other than personal message, is likely? No?

    It turns out, doesn't it, that in this context, the context in which it was used, personal message is the only reasonable meaning for pm. "Learn to think" was good advice. You should take it.

    Yes you could. You seem sufficiently egotistical to do exactly that.
    I am sure students of psychology will be interested in the blatant lust for power expressed in the phrase "which you are utterly unable to prevent". Gosh, you have me quaking in my boots at the reach of your influence and authority.
    Really! I hadn't noticed that. Thank you for warning me.
    Oh? Do I detect a personal issue here. Did your last little project get scuppered because you couldn't afford the equipment? Nothing to do with poor experimental protocols, or inadequate planning, it must have been the salesman who was responsible for your failure. Still, I'm sure I am reading far to much into a throwaway comment.
    Speaking of throwaways, that's what I sell. Technically sophisticated items for between $10,000 and $200,000 a pop - use once and discard. I don't know what gave you the idea I sold lab equipment. But them I'm at a loss to see where most of your ideas come from.
    Have a spiffing good evening.
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem. Lil' hypocrisy.

    Typical for Ophiolite's recent move into diatribe. Nothing to see here.

    Oh: and as for mountainhare - I think you ignore me at your greatest professional peril.

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  18. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    So you refuse to comment on this:
    Come now Geoff. Are you so devoid of linguistic skills that you are unaware that a) most words and abbreviations have multiple meanings; b) the correct meaning is generally indicated by context.
    Since we are in a forum perhaps you can suggest which meaning of pm, other than personal message, is likely? No?

    It turns out, doesn't it, that in this context, the context in which it was used, personal message is the only reasonable meaning for pm.

    If there is a wriggly little serpent here then it is evident who it is. Are you going to wriggle away from this simple query?
  19. mountainhare Banned Banned

    Well, since you're talking to a surly, unpleasant and easily irritable degree Geoff, pm could stand for "Premenstrual".
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member


    "By pm" would also be a novel and fresh way of saying "by this evening".

    Novel...fresh...hmm. Now, I knew there was a reason that it didn't fit with you.

    Still no comment on the evolutionary issue, I see. You've taken the red herring of absolute last recourse. You remember evolution, right?

    That was the other thing you didn't know anything about.
  21. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Is it about time for the judges' final scores?
    We've had some interesting rounds of 'debate', should we see how the panel has decided?
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Hmm. Reading Science, I came across this and thought it would do well to illustrate why evolution remains theory (other than the obvious, of course, that theory is as good as it gets.)

    "The problem of the evolutionary mainenance of sex in eukaryotes (consisting of cells much more complex than bacteria) is a good case in point. If an asexual female produces, on average, twice as many female progeny as a sexual one, then other things being equal it is a miracle why the latter (with the necessary males) are still around. Many models have been put forward to solve this conundrum; some people say far too many. What we need is more data. But relevant data is hard to arrive at."

    The operative word here is 'model', yes?

    All theories are models. Our entire outlook on life is just a model. Our world-view is a theory.

    Theory is as good as it gets.
    Good as it will ever get, unless some major revolution takes place in epistemology (which could happen.)
  23. imaplanck. Banned Banned

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2006

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