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A Mathematician's View of Evolution
The Mathematical Intelligencer ^ | Granville Sewell

Posted on 09/20/2006 9:51:34 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

A Mathematician's View of Evolution

Granville Sewell

Mathematics Dept.

University of Texas El Paso

The Mathematical Intelligencer 22, no. 4 (2000), pp5-7

Copyright held by Springer Verlag, NY, LLC

In 1996, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe published a book entitled "Darwin's Black Box" [Free Press], whose central theme is that every living cell is loaded with features and biochemical processes which are "irreducibly complex"--that is, they require the existence of numerous complex components, each essential for function. Thus, these features and processes cannot be explained by gradual Darwinian improvements, because until all the components are in place, these assemblages are completely useless, and thus provide no selective advantage. Behe spends over 100 pages describing some of these irreducibly complex biochemical systems in detail, then summarizes the results of an exhaustive search of the biochemical literature for Darwinian explanations. He concludes that while biochemistry texts often pay lip-service to the idea that natural selection of random mutations can explain everything in the cell, such claims are pure "bluster", because "there is no publication in the scientific literature that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred."

When Dr. Behe was at the University of Texas El Paso in May of 1997 to give an invited talk, I told him that I thought he would find more support for his ideas in mathematics, physics and computer science departments than in his own field. I know a good many mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists who, like me, are appalled that Darwin's explanation for the development of life is so widely accepted in the life sciences. Few of them ever speak out or write on this issue, however--perhaps because they feel the question is simply out of their domain. However, I believe there are two central arguments against Darwinism, and both seem to be most readily appreciated by those in the more mathematical sciences.

1. The cornerstone of Darwinism is the idea that major (complex) improvements can be built up through many minor improvements; that the new organs and new systems of organs which gave rise to new orders, classes and phyla developed gradually, through many very minor improvements. We should first note that the fossil record does not support this idea, for example, Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson ["The History of Life," in Volume I of "Evolution after Darwin," University of Chicago Press, 1960] writes:

"It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution...This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large. These peculiarities of the record pose one of the most important theoretical problems in the whole history of life: Is the sudden appearance of higher categories a phenomenon of evolution or of the record only, due to sampling bias and other inadequacies?"

An April, 1982, Life Magazine article (excerpted from Francis Hitching's book, "The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong") contains the following report:

"When you look for links between major groups of animals, they simply aren't there...'Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life', writes David M. Raup, a curator of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, 'what geologists of Darwin's time and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the fossil sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence, then abruptly disappear.' These are not negligible gaps. They are periods, in all the major evolutionary transitions, when immense physiological changes had to take place."

Even among biologists, the idea that new organs, and thus higher categories, could develop gradually through tiny improvements has often been challenged. How could the "survival of the fittest" guide the development of new organs through their initial useless stages, during which they obviously present no selective advantage? (This is often referred to as the "problem of novelties".) Or guide the development of entire new systems, such as nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems, which would require the simultaneous development of several new interdependent organs, none of which is useful, or provides any selective advantage, by itself? French biologist Jean Rostand, for example, wrote ["A Biologist's View," Wm. Heinemann Ltd. 1956]:

"It does not seem strictly impossible that mutations should have introduced into the animal kingdom the differences which exist between one species and the next...hence it is very tempting to lay also at their door the differences between classes, families and orders, and, in short, the whole of evolution. But it is obvious that such an extrapolation involves the gratuitous attribution to the mutations of the past of a magnitude and power of innovation much greater than is shown by those of today."

Behe's book is primarily a challenge to this cornerstone of Darwinism at the microscopic level. Although we may not be familiar with the complex biochemical systems discussed in this book, I believe mathematicians are well qualified to appreciate the general ideas involved. And although an analogy is only an analogy, perhaps the best way to understand Behe's argument is by comparing the development of the genetic code of life with the development of a computer program. Suppose an engineer attempts to design a structural analysis computer program, writing it in a machine language that is totally unknown to him. He simply types out random characters at his keyboard, and periodically runs tests on the program to recognize and select out chance improvements when they occur. The improvements are permanently incorporated into the program while the other changes are discarded. If our engineer continues this process of random changes and testing for a long enough time, could he eventually develop a sophisticated structural analysis program? (Of course, when intelligent humans decide what constitutes an "improvement", this is really artificial selection, so the analogy is far too generous.)

If a billion engineers were to type at the rate of one random character per second, there is virtually no chance that any one of them would, given the 4.5 billion year age of the Earth to work on it, accidentally duplicate a given 20-character improvement. Thus our engineer cannot count on making any major improvements through chance alone. But could he not perhaps make progress through the accumulation of very small improvements? The Darwinist would presumably say, yes, but to anyone who has had minimal programming experience this idea is equally implausible.

Major improvements to a computer program often require the addition or modification of hundreds of interdependent lines, no one of which makes any sense, or results in any improvement, when added by itself. Even the smallest improvements usually require adding several new lines. It is conceivable that a programmer unable to look ahead more than 5 or 6 characters at a time might be able to make some very slight improvements to a computer program, but it is inconceivable that he could design anything sophisticated without the ability to plan far ahead and to guide his changes toward that plan.

If archeologists of some future society were to unearth the many versions of my PDE solver, PDE2D , which I have produced over the last 20 years, they would certainly note a steady increase in complexity over time, and they would see many obvious similarities between each new version and the previous one. In the beginning it was only able to solve a single linear, steady-state, 2D equation in a polygonal region. Since then, PDE2D has developed many new abilities: it now solves nonlinear problems, time-dependent and eigenvalue problems, systems of simultaneous equations, and it now handles general curved 2D regions.

Over the years, many new types of graphical output capabilities have evolved, and in 1991 it developed an interactive preprocessor, and more recently PDE2D has adapted to 3D and 1D problems. An archeologist attempting to explain the evolution of this computer program in terms of many tiny improvements might be puzzled to find that each of these major advances (new classes or phyla??) appeared suddenly in new versions; for example, the ability to solve 3D problems first appeared in version 4.0. Less major improvements (new families or orders??) appeared suddenly in new subversions, for example, the ability to solve 3D problems with periodic boundary conditions first appeared in version 5.6. In fact, the record of PDE2D's development would be similar to the fossil record, with large gaps where major new features appeared, and smaller gaps where minor ones appeared. That is because the multitude of intermediate programs between versions or subversions which the archeologist might expect to find never existed, because-- for example--none of the changes I made for edition 4.0 made any sense, or provided PDE2D any advantage whatever in solving 3D problems (or anything else) until hundreds of lines had been added.

Whether at the microscopic or macroscopic level, major, complex, evolutionary advances, involving new features (as opposed to minor, quantitative changes such as an increase in the length of the giraffe's neck*, or the darkening of the wings of a moth, which clearly could occur gradually) also involve the addition of many interrelated and interdependent pieces. These complex advances, like those made to computer programs, are not always "irreducibly complex"--sometimes there are intermediate useful stages. But just as major improvements to a computer program cannot be made 5 or 6 characters at a time, certainly no major evolutionary advance is reducible to a chain of tiny improvements, each small enough to be bridged by a single random mutation.

2. The other point is very simple, but also seems to be appreciated only by more mathematically-oriented people. It is that to attribute the development of life on Earth to natural selection is to assign to it--and to it alone, of all known natural "forces"--the ability to violate the second law of thermodynamics and to cause order to arise from disorder. It is often argued that since the Earth is not a closed system--it receives energy from the Sun, for example-- the second law is not applicable in this case. It is true that order can increase locally, if the local increase is compensated by a decrease elsewhere, ie, an open system can be taken to a less probable state by importing order from outside. For example, we could transport a truckload of encyclopedias and computers to the moon, thereby increasing the order on the moon, without violating the second law. But the second law of thermodynamics--at least the underlying principle behind this law--simply says that natural forces do not cause extremely improbable things to happen**, and it is absurd to argue that because the Earth receives energy from the Sun, this principle was not violated here when the original rearrangement of atoms into encyclopedias and computers occurred.

The biologist studies the details of natural history, and when he looks at the similarities between two species of butterflies, he is understandably reluctant to attribute the small differences to the supernatural. But the mathematician or physicist is likely to take the broader view. I imagine visiting the Earth when it was young and returning now to find highways with automobiles on them, airports with jet airplanes, and tall buildings full of complicated equipment, such as televisions, telephones and computers. Then I imagine the construction of a gigantic computer model which starts with the initial conditions on Earth 4 billion years ago and tries to simulate the effects that the four known forces of physics (the gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces) would have on every atom and every subatomic particle on our planet (perhaps using random number generators to model quantum uncertainties!). If we ran such a simulation out to the present day, would it predict that the basic forces of Nature would reorganize the basic particles of Nature into libraries full of encyclopedias, science texts and novels, nuclear power plants, aircraft carriers with supersonic jets parked on deck, and computers connected to laser printers, CRTs and keyboards? If we graphically displayed the positions of the atoms at the end of the simulation, would we find that cars and trucks had formed, or that supercomputers had arisen? Certainly we would not, and I do not believe that adding sunlight to the model would help much. Clearly something extremely improbable has happened here on our planet, with the origin and development of life, and especially with the development of human consciousness and creativity.

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footnotes

*Ironically, W.E.Loennig's article "The Evolution of the Long-necked Giraffe," has since convinced me that even this feature could not, and did not, arise gradually.

**An unfortunate choice of words, for which I was severely chastised. I should have said, the underlying principle behind the second law is that natural forces do not do macroscopically describable things which are extremely improbable from the microscopic point of view. See "A Second Look at the Second Law," for a more thorough treatment of this point.

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Granville Sewell completed his PhD at Purdue University. He has subsequently been employed by (in chronological order) Universidad Simon Bolivar (Caracas), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Purdue University, IMSL (Houston), The University of Texas Center for High Performance Computing (Austin), and the University of Texas El Paso; he spent Fall 1999 at Universidad Nacional de Tucuman in Argentina on a Fulbright grant. He has written three books on numerical analysis.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: crevolist; darwin; darwinsblackbox; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; granvillesewell; id; idjunkscience; idscam; intelligentdesign; irreduciblycomplex; mathematician; michaelbehe
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To: Tribune7

I think in everything the truth is preferable to a lie.


601 posted on 09/27/2006 5:19:14 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: ahayes

And it is of course, but what's more important knowing whether God exists or the age of the Earth?


602 posted on 09/27/2006 5:22:53 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
Clarification, since a friend and I hashed out the groundworks of this a year or two ago: In everything the truth is preferable to a lie unless the truth is being told to a person whom it will hurt grievously and who is cognitively unable to process and come to terms with this truth. So if an elderly woman has Alzheimer's and forgets her husband has died, it's permissable not to continue to remind her every day that he's dead when she asks where he is and thus make every day of the rest of her life miserable.

But in general, the truth is preferable.

603 posted on 09/27/2006 5:23:26 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: Tribune7

Why do you ask that as if one must choose one or the other?


604 posted on 09/27/2006 5:23:49 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: ahayes; VadeRetro
What I'm asking concerns priorities, not a rejection of a belief. I think it quite possible to believe in God and be a true Christian while believing in an old earth and evolution.

This line of debate began when Vade appeared to dismiss the spiritual/eternal as unimportant compared to material investigations. I think that is quite wrong.

605 posted on 09/27/2006 5:42:47 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

That's good, it seems a lot of YEC think believing in God requires believing in a young earth creation, and thinking evolution has happened immediately means you can't properly believe in God. I used to tell them that they'd better be careful or they'd convince me God did not exist with their insistency, but it ended up that happened differently.


606 posted on 09/27/2006 5:46:35 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Exactly - no pattern - just random.

Nope. Any predator exerts selection pressure on a prey population. It's definitely non-random. Predators always take the easy meal rather than risk going hungry. The pressure on the prey population is to not be the easy meal. There's a competition to be better at hiding, running, or otherwise evading. Losing is death. The winners dominate the gene pool.

607 posted on 09/27/2006 6:20:58 AM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: ahayes

Atheism is pretty pointless. I hope you find a way back to your faith.


608 posted on 09/27/2006 6:25:43 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

Who said I'm atheist?


609 posted on 09/27/2006 6:30:54 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Natural Selection is not driving the hawk therefore Natural Selection is an observation of many points of data, not a force or structure.

Natural selection is the end-result of the actions of the hawk. You are asserting that a pattern requires a deliberate process. You are simply wrong.

Natural selection is not 'an observation of many points of data'. Natural selection would occur even with no individuals observing and recording the events.

IF you think Natural Selection follows a pattern - state the pattern - although I am not too optimistic you will actually try.

The pattern has been stated. You have attempted to dismiss the stated pattern by claiming that the pattern was not the result of deliberate action to fit a pattern. There is no basis for your restriction, however, so your dismissal is faulty.
610 posted on 09/27/2006 7:20:53 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Tribune7
Atheism is pretty pointless.

From the standpoint of an atheist, it is no more "pointless" than any religious belief.
611 posted on 09/27/2006 7:22:17 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: ahayes
I used to tell them that they'd better be careful or they'd convince me God did not exist with their insistency, but it ended up that happened differently.

I thought that's what you were saying here.

612 posted on 09/27/2006 7:22:39 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Dimensio

Good! We have agreement that atheism is a religious belief!


613 posted on 09/27/2006 7:23:12 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
Good! We have agreement that atheism is a religious belief!

I did not say that atheism is a religious belief.
614 posted on 09/27/2006 7:36:38 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

You think religious beliefs are pointless?


615 posted on 09/27/2006 7:37:51 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
You think religious beliefs are pointless?

I did not say that either.
616 posted on 09/27/2006 7:40:03 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

You seemed to be saying that atheism fills the same need (or fails to fill the same need) as any religous belief.


617 posted on 09/27/2006 7:44:28 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
You seemed to be saying that atheism fills the same need (or fails to fill the same need) as any religous belief.

I believe that I chose my previous wording poorly. I spoke of "religious belief", when I should have spoken of "theistic religious belief" so as not to include religious belief compatable with atheism (such as some variants of Buddhism).

From the standpoint of an atheist, all theistic religion -- being false -- is 'pointless'. As such -- from that standpoint -- nothing more is gained or accomplished from belief in a deity or deities than is gained from lacking such belief.
618 posted on 09/27/2006 7:50:22 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

OK. And my point is that any belief is pointless which declares everything to be an accident and that only what can be measured is what exist.


619 posted on 09/27/2006 7:56:17 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

Being pretty sure that the Judeo-Christian God as I think of him does not exist isn't the same as stating certainty that no God exists at all.

Additionally, your opinion of the pointlessness of a certain point of view is just that, your opinion. I doubt those who are atheists would agree with you that being atheist makes their existence pointless.


620 posted on 09/27/2006 8:01:56 AM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: Tribune7
. And my point is that any belief is pointless which declares everything to be an accident and that only what can be measured is what exist.

Why is this pointless?
621 posted on 09/27/2006 8:43:18 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
Natural selection is the end-result of the actions of the hawk.

BINGO!!! END-RESULT, not a force that makes things happen

That is what I have been saying all along.

You are asserting that a pattern requires a deliberate process.

If it is not "deliberate" then it is random - thank you for supporting my position.

You are simply wrong.

It would not be an evo debate without the Darwinist Victory Dance (tm)

622 posted on 09/27/2006 9:02:59 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
If it is not "deliberate" then it is random - thank you for supporting my position

I made no such statement. You are speaking falsely when you claim that I have "supported" your position. You are claiming that "random" is the opposite of "deliberate". You are wrong. The two words are not antonyms.
623 posted on 09/27/2006 9:05:01 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
I made no such statement.

Not sure what you are talking about now - you implied Natural Selection is not deliberate - what is the opposite of deliberate? RANDAM!!!! BINGO WE HAVE A WINNER!

Enough tap-dancing. If Natural Selection is not random please state the pattern, aim, or reason. Natural Selection has no aim and no reason and no pattern. If you want to argue the point - simply explain the aim, reason or pattern. (it "just is" is not a pattern)

624 posted on 09/27/2006 10:21:10 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
You are claiming that "random" is the opposite of "deliberate". You are wrong. The two words are not antonyms.

Do you not know how to use a thesaurus (some are free and online)? You are now claiming that deliberate is not the opposite of random - do a little research. Accidental is an antonym to deliberate and accidental is a synonym for random - You are flat-out wrong. Check it out for yourself - something you should have done before you made your bogus comment

625 posted on 09/27/2006 10:22:54 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Not sure what you are talking about now - you implied Natural Selection is not deliberate - what is the opposite of deliberate? RANDAM!!!! BINGO WE HAVE A WINNER!

Neither "random" nor "RANDAM" are antonyms of "deliberate". You are attempting to argue based upon false definitions.

Enough tap-dancing. If Natural Selection is not random please state the pattern, aim, or reason.

The pattern has been explained. Your rebuttal that a pattern requires design or deliberate intent is false, thus your rebuttal is invalid.
626 posted on 09/27/2006 10:26:39 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Accidental is an antonym to deliberate and accidental is a synonym for random

Equivocation fallacy.
627 posted on 09/27/2006 10:29:14 AM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
Equivocation fallacy.

Wrong - clearly you know little about logic (Darwinist seem to be against logic and philosophy)

A = deliberate
B = accidental
C = random

notA = B
B = C
Therefore
notC = A

I don't think you are going to be able to dig yourself out of this hole - but you are welcome to try. You stated "equivocation fallacy" - explain the fallacy

This is so amazing - you are trying to argue deliberate is not the opposite of random. Do you own a dictionary?

deliberate - purposeful, willful, intentional, premeditated

random - without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement

Dimensio, you are pretty much making a fool out of yourself - in light of the definition, are you going to retract your statement or continue defending an indefensible position?

628 posted on 09/27/2006 11:08:43 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
Neither "random" nor "RANDAM" are antonyms of "deliberate".

You are wrong AND you are a spelling nazi (not very popular on Free Republic)

You are attempting to argue based upon false definitions.

So the Dictionary and Thesaurus provide false definitions - what is the source of your supporting evidence - oh wait, you have not provided any evidence.

The pattern has been explained.

That is not true - you have not defined the pattern.

Your rebuttal that a pattern requires design or deliberate intent is false

I never used either of those words in this exchange - you are again making up "facts" as you go along. Deliberate was your word and nobody mention anything about design. You Darwinist Reactionaries are really funny - my position has nothing to do with design. My position is Natural Selection is random (try reading the thread next time) Your position is the dictionary and thesaurus is wrong and Natural Selection is not random (if it is not random than it has a aim, reason, or pattern - Natural Selection does not). Not one Darwinist is willing to try and define this "non-random" pattern. I have made no rebuttal because Darwinist can't answer the question. The best I have heard is a variation on "it just is" - that is not a pattern.

With Darwinism, all things spring forth from the random. I think you really don't understand the underlying philosophy of neo-Darwinism of which you are a defender.

629 posted on 09/27/2006 11:28:54 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
Dimensio, I am having fun with you - lets see how deep you can dig.

Dimensio says Natural Selection is neither random or deliberate - so what is it? (this should be fun)

Semi-random?

Structured random?

Dimensio, does Natural Selection make the Hawk eat?

Dimensio, does Natural Selection exist outside the mind of man?

Dimensio, in the Natural World, does Natural Selection exist?

630 posted on 09/27/2006 11:36:57 AM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Dimensio says Natural Selection is neither random or deliberate - so what is it? (this should be fun)

It is a non-deliberate pattern.

Are the structures of cryistal formations random, or deliberate?
631 posted on 09/27/2006 12:15:02 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
Are the structures of cryistal formations random, or deliberate?

Are those the only choices? Don't think so

If you are an Evo - you can say nothing about the creation of matter (evolution does not address this) - but unless you believe in some kind of Creator, it has to be random.

If you are an evo, the structures MUST be random in nature because there is no other method that is compatible with evolution.

If you feel crystal formations are not random - what creates them?

Evolution is random, aimless, purposeless. Natural Selection is part of Evolution therefore Natural Selection is random.

Please answer the question - if it is not random, what makes it happen?

I see you skip all the tough questions - do you allow the people you argue with to do the same?

I am guessing you simply are unable to answer the questions - but I will try again:

Dimensio, does Natural Selection make the Hawk eat?

Dimensio, does Natural Selection exist outside the mind of man?

Dimensio, in the Natural World, does Natural Selection exist?

Hint: the answers are no,no, and no.

Natural Selection does not exist outside the mind of man

632 posted on 09/27/2006 12:37:57 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
It is a non-deliberate pattern.

OK, please explain the difference between random and non-deliberate.

633 posted on 09/27/2006 12:47:15 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
OK, please explain the difference between random and non-deliberate.

The two definitions are so incongruous as to make describing "differences" difficult. It would be similar to explaining the difference between shape and smell.
634 posted on 09/27/2006 1:11:53 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Are those the only choices? Don't think so

Then are you saying that my question -- asking whether the structure of crystal formation are deliberate or random -- implies a false dichotomy?

If you feel crystal formations are not random - what creates them?

They are the end result of the interaction of the physical properties of the component molecules.
635 posted on 09/27/2006 1:13:36 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
The two definitions are so incongruous as to make describing "differences" difficult. It would be similar to explaining the difference between shape and smell.

You certainly do like to tap-dance a lot.

Do you even answer questions?

636 posted on 09/27/2006 1:22:25 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Are those the only choices? Don't think so

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!


No Calvinball word-games allowed!

637 posted on 09/27/2006 1:27:15 PM PDT by balrog666 (Ignorance is never better than knowledge. - Enrico Fermi)
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To: Dimensio
Then are you saying that my question -- asking whether the structure of crystal formation are deliberate or random -- implies a false dichotomy?

No. It is not a dichotomy - it is a bogus loaded question - similar to this:

Is God Santa Claus or Superman.

They are the end result of the interaction of the physical properties of the component molecules.

Were those properties created or did they randomly happen - if you think there is a another answer, please add it - this is not one of you loaded questions. I think you may be in way over you head and you don't even realize it.

638 posted on 09/27/2006 1:31:28 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: balrog666
BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

balrog666 once again demonstrates he/she/its intellectual limits.

If you don't understand the thread - please don't just troll

639 posted on 09/27/2006 1:33:59 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
As opposed to your little troll show?

I wouldn't dream of it, doggie.

640 posted on 09/27/2006 1:39:57 PM PDT by balrog666 (Ignorance is never better than knowledge. - Enrico Fermi)
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To: Last Visible Dog
No. It is not a dichotomy - it is a bogus loaded question - similar to this:

Is God Santa Claus or Superman.


Your example question offers a clear implication of a false dichotomy. You have answered my question in the negative, but then offered an analagous question that suggests the affirmative.

Were those properties created or did they randomly happen - if you think there is a another answer, please add it - this is not one of you loaded questions.

I do not know. How could such properties be "created", and what relevance does that have to my question?
641 posted on 09/27/2006 1:41:38 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
The two definitions are so incongruous as to make describing "differences" difficult. It would be similar to explaining the difference between shape and smell.

Clearly you don't understand the meanings of the words - have your Mommy buy you a dictionary.

You simply refuse to answer any question.

Let's now rub Dimensio's nose in his own BS:

Random - proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern:

Indeliberate (non-deliberate is not a valid word) - done without care; special planning or deliberation; unintentional.

(definitions from Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006)

Now explain to us all how those two terms are incongruous as you claim.

This should be fun - I wonder what excuse Dimensio will give this time for not being able to answer the question.

642 posted on 09/27/2006 1:47:36 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: ClearCase_guy

Only God can make popcorn. You can grow it or pop it but you can't make it. Neither can Darwin.


643 posted on 09/27/2006 1:52:24 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: Dimensio
Your example question offers a clear implication of a false dichotomy. You have answered my question in the negative, but then offered an analagous question that suggests the affirmative.

Utter nonsense. Once again you are making stuff up as you go along. Please provide examples because you are not making any sense.

I do not know. How could such properties be "created", and what relevance does that have to my question?

You are not very perceptive. It is the same question as to Natural Selection - was it created or did it happen randomly - which is it? Please feel free to add a third answer but plesse hold your unsupported accusation jibberjabber.

644 posted on 09/27/2006 1:56:32 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: balrog666
As opposed to your little troll show?

Lets see - I am debating a topic related to the thread and you are not.

Now what does that make you????????

Run along little trollie

645 posted on 09/27/2006 1:59:06 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog

I'm going to hang out and record your little dog and troll show.

It'll be instructive for the little ones that if they refuse to learn logic, they will end up arguing just like you.


646 posted on 09/27/2006 2:04:15 PM PDT by balrog666 (Ignorance is never better than knowledge. - Enrico Fermi)
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To: balrog666
I'm going to hang out and record your little dog and troll show.

Knock yourself out troll.

Remember, I am the one trying to debate the topic of the thread and you are not - what does that make YOU?

It'll be instructive for the little ones that if they refuse to learn logic, they will end up arguing just like you.

What logic - you have present no logic - nothing - just trolling. If you have a issue, state it in an intellectual from - don't just troll.

Please explain to me the logic YOU think I don't understand or just hide under that bridge like a good little troll.

647 posted on 09/27/2006 2:33:47 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: balrog666
Troll - A person who enters unknown forums who bashes and insults forum members with unfounded arguments, or anyone that enters any sort of internet community for the sole purpose of harassing others is often referred to as a troll.


648 posted on 09/27/2006 2:39:43 PM PDT by Last Visible Dog
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To: ahayes
I doubt those who are atheists would agree with you that being atheist makes their existence pointless.

Their existence isn't pointless. Their belief system is.

649 posted on 09/27/2006 4:28:59 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Dimensio
. And my point is that any belief is pointless which declares everything to be an accident and that only what can be measured is what exist. . . .Why is this pointless?

Your grandmother dies, your mother dies. They are forgotten. Their essence ceases to be. And you die, and you're forgotten. Everything you've done, everything you've thought, everything you've lived for and everything you've loved is forgotten, eventually, according to your belief system.

IOW, there is no point to your life unless the point is living for the moment -- sex, drugs and rock and roll. Of course, then one wonders why you are arguing religion on Free Republic.

650 posted on 09/27/2006 4:41:03 PM PDT by Tribune7
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