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Evolution debate persists because it's not science
The Sun News ^ | February 23, 2009 | By Raymond H. Kocot

Posted on 02/22/2009 10:58:04 PM PST by GodGunsGuts

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To: betty boop
Purposeness and randomness are not opposites. My purpose in a card game is to win. The distribution of the cards is random.

As to what standard is used in this trial and error it is known in biology as “differential reproductive success”. A favored variation will have leave more offspring than a unfavorable variation.

This is what is observed in countless experiments on the ability of natural selection to shape experimental populations. If you turn up the heat on a population, those variations amenable to high heat have more offspring.

What “works” in nature is surviving and reproducing.

What “doesn't work” is dying before you reproduce, having sickly or few offspring, etc.

Detection of “purpose” is beyond the scope of science.

If I lose at cards then I see it as God's will.

An atheist may well see it as just random bad luck.

There is no scientific way to differentiate or discern between these two views.

551 posted on 02/27/2009 3:44:29 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: xzins; allmendream; Alamo-Girl; CottShop; hosepipe; metmom; Does so
Evolution cannot account for the human spirit, and as you say, reassembling junk from a junk heap will not construct a single mili-liter of conscious, self-aware spirit.... There is one Wind (pneuma) blowing through existence, though, which can. "The wind blows where it wants to, but you can't tell where it comes from or where it's going. The same with everyone born of God's Pneuma."

Amen!

Yes. Beautifully said dear brother in Christ!

Yet your beautiful insight is no help (nor consolation) to our Darwinist brethren, I feel pretty sure. For most of them, it seems, don't mind that their dear theory not only cannot account for the origin of life, but that it's also stupified by the problem of the origin of consciousness, not even to mention spirit (the existence of which many categorically deny in the first place). So one has to ask: As a fundamental theory of biology — of living, sentient life forms — what does it really have to offer?

To me, Darwin's theory is not without merit. The problem with it is it overreaches. My sense is it has solid insights in terms of dynamic intra-species response to environmental change. This is within the domain of microevolution. To extrapolate from the micro- to the macroevolution seems an unwarranted step. It uses the "part" to explain the "whole." Generally speaking, this is rarely if ever a fruitful procedure.

To my scientist friends, a message from George Gilder:

Throughout the history of human thought, it has been convenient and inspirational to designate the summit of the hierarchy as God. While it is not necessary for science to use this term, it is important for scientists to grasp the hierarchical reality it signifies. Transcending its materialist trap, science must look up from the ever dimmer reaches of its Darwinian pit and cast its imagination toward the word and its sources: idea and meaning, mind and mystery, the will and the way. It must eschew reductionism – except as a methodological tool – and adopt an aspirational imagination. Though this new aim may seem blinding at first, it is ultimately redemptive because it is the only way that science can ever hope to solve the grand challenge problems before it, such as gravity, entanglement, quantum computing, time, space, mass, and mind. Accepting hierarchy, the explorer embarks on an adventure that leads to an ever deeper understanding of life and consciousness, cosmos and creation. — "Evolution and Me," National Review, July 17, 2006

Thank you ever so much for your beautiful, insightful essay/post xzins!
552 posted on 02/27/2009 4:06:50 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop
Do you believe all species were descended from what few “kinds” could fit within the given dimensions of Noah's Arc within the last few thousand years?

If so then you believe that “microevolution” takes place with a strength and at a speed not proposed by anything observed in the scientific literature.

Meanwhile what we do observe is an elegant process whereby minor and random variations along with selection can accomplish amazing things; and at a observable rate consistent with what we observe in the fossil record corroborated by physics and radioatomic decay, and know about the age of the Earth and the movement of continents.

553 posted on 02/27/2009 4:22:46 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: betty boop
As well as being consistent with the observed phylogenetic relationships found in the nested hierarchies of similarity and divergence in endogenous retroviral sequences.

We can observe this same pattern cropping up in diverging populations, and this process is at a speed consistent with the observed rates of interspecies difference accumulation.

That is Science. (to take it back to the title of the thread)

You observe a process. Measure its rate. Explain natural phenomena with natural observed and measured causes. Determine if what you observe is consistent with current theory. Publish. Publish and get a Nobel if you get to change the theory in light of your new evidence.

This micro macro drivel is like saying that the “micro” erosion observed and measured currently is not sufficient to explain the “macro” erosion of valleys and canyons.

554 posted on 02/27/2009 4:27:35 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: betty boop
[ If Darwin's theory is true, then we should be seeing gadzillions of "failed body plans" in the fossil record. Where are they? ]

Maybe its not true...

555 posted on 02/27/2009 5:08:24 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Does so
The article points out that the Yellowstone Park super-volcano could cause another "leap" in human evolution, decimating Humanity's DNA pool to a few thousand "fit-and-savvy-survivors" once again.

Another evolutionary bottleneck.

If groups as large as ones like the Amish are having difficulties because of (essentially) inbreeding, then how did all these evolutionary bottlenecks which allegedly reduced the population to a few thousand go on to produce healthy individuals?

556 posted on 02/27/2009 6:27:26 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: allmendream; betty boop
That is like asking why you don't see failed auto designs on the road. For an animal to be fossilized is a one in a million shot.

Are you telling us then that only the successful designs somehow were the only ones to get fossilized by some chance?

“Failed” body plans don't get to grow into the million population group, they die young if they are even born at all.

What ever happened to the changes being gradual? Evos constantly mock non-evos for their comments about one species giving birth to another significantly different progeny, but that is exactly what you are implying needs to happen. The gradual changes didn't make it. They would have had to be more dramatic to survive birth and reach age of reproduction.

Those gradual changes would be considered *failed* if they weren't enough to allow stunning success but not all those *failed* plans need be fatal, as in the case of limbs developing to flippers. A limb going to flipper is not a serious enough failure in change that the individual would not not make it to birth. That is not a fatal birth defect.

But what good would a partially formed limb that is transitioning from leg to flipper be? It would be a liability to a land creature, leaving it more susceptible to injury and death as the land creature could not use a hybrid leg/flipper for locomotion very easily, nor could it use a hybrid arm/flipper to gather food.

The hybrid limb/flipper would not be a great advantage in the water as it would not be as useful as a fully developed flipper to escape being preyed on by those creatures such as sharks which have fully functioning flippers.

An animal in process of going from land to water or water to land is not well suited to survive either on land nor in water in the transition stage.

So how did it manage to do that?

557 posted on 02/27/2009 6:43:09 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: betty boop
And so you admit that the fossil record is not, in principle, complete, "exhaustive?" That what is there is pretty much the result of a crap shoot? That it's sketchy at best?

Well jeepers, that's a fine admission from somebody who's committed to a theory that depends on the fossil record for its justification.

Details, details.....

Don't confuse them with the facts.

558 posted on 02/27/2009 6:44:38 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: allmendream; Alamo-Girl
Could it be that the fossil record, as incomplete as we all acknowledge it is, shows a story about what life forms inhabited the Earth at what times and in what sequence?

Could it be that it really doesn't? That it's just wishful thinking by people who want it to look that way so that they can eliminate God from the equation?

It seems the easiest explanation to me for why we only find rather small and mostly marsupial mammals in strata laid down during the age of the dinosaurs.

And that proves what, exactly? Besides the fact that it appears that marsupial type animals existed in proximity to dinosaurs?

559 posted on 02/27/2009 6:50:32 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Does a flying squirrel need a working wing? Has it lost the use of its arm? Bats are pretty dexterous with the ‘thumbs’ on their wings as well. The change from a glider to a flier would be a gradual process if the flier experienced an advantage.

Similarly a river living mammal could easily develop a multipurpose leg that also had function as a flipper, like a seal. A seal has not lost function of its front legs, they are now better flippers than legs.

And I am not implying ‘hopeful monsters’, I am saying that any gradual deviation from a successful body plan will be weeded out by natural selection. Obviously what is “successful” will change as circumstances change, from needing to be streamlined, to being a tetra-pod, back to needing to be streamlined, as all evidence suggests marine mammals went through.

These gradual changes can be observed in short periods of time that make large changes over large periods of time no problem at all. And none of the fossil intermediates will be ‘monsters’ or some sort of half formed creature, they will be a fully formed species that was just gradually more marine than its predecessors.

560 posted on 02/27/2009 6:57:14 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: metmom

Ah the “scientists hate God” delusion.

And it is evidence that only marsupial mammals lived that long ago, and placental mammals were a more recent development that edged out marsupials everywhere except Australia.

Just as Antarctica is evidence that when it drifted too far south, the animals that inhabited the Earth were far different than the ones that inhabit it today.


561 posted on 02/27/2009 7:00:35 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: allmendream; metmom

Calling the creature a flying squirrel is a misnomer.

What it actually is is a gliding squirrel, and there is no indication that any of the gliding creatures (transitional or otherwise) ever developed into a flying creature.


562 posted on 02/27/2009 8:31:26 PM PST by valkyry1
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To: metmom; betty boop; xzins; allmendream; Alamo-Girl; CottShop; hosepipe
If groups as large as ones like the Amish are having difficulties because of...inbreeding, then how did all these evolutionary bottlenecks which allegedly reduced the population to a few thousand go on to produce healthy individuals?

Inbreeding is what produces the breeds of dogs that we have.

By breeding within families, canids are artificially selected for a narrow range of traits deemed desireable, such as a superior sense of smell, very short legs, digging ability, speed, water-loving, etc. Genes become concentrated.

Where some traits can't reasonably be selected for, we must have artifices such as ear-trimming and tail-docking.

Interbreeding concentrates genes that produce some populations of desireable traits (hybrid vigor), but also undesireable traits (diseases).

Inbreeding in humans (and canids) eventually polarizes the gene pool, producing both genius and cluelessness. In canids, those "losers" are euthenized: In humans (to put it bluntly), those "losers" are left out of the breeding stock.

Collectivist societies will attempt to select out traits to produce "desireable" populations.

Some canine diseases, like hip dysplasia aren't discovered in a timely manner, and continue in the breeding stock.

Throughout written history of certain ancient civilizations, one can view the effects of inbreeding because history is written by the successful "genius" aspects of a civilization.

While I'm not the one to ask about the Amish, I'd expect a certain number of the brighter progeny to be selected out. (Abandoning that faith to pursue material happiness, whilst the remainder are left to muddle through).

Inbreeding within ethnicities retains both positive attributes (genius) and negative attributes (certain diseases) which don't manifest themselves until after the carrier has already passed on those negative traits.

563 posted on 02/28/2009 2:46:43 AM PST by Does so (White House uncomfortable? Sleeplessness? The 0bama will quit before 6 months are up.)
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To: allmendream; valkyry1
And it is evidence that only marsupial mammals lived that long ago, and placental mammals were a more recent development that edged out marsupials everywhere except Australia.

Not so. There are marsupials in the Americas.

Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

What alleged evolutionary advantage would placental mammals have that would allow them to edge out marsupials? And if that was the case, why the success of marsupials in succeeding in some places and not others?

564 posted on 02/28/2009 5:52:58 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: allmendream; valkyry1

http://www.northern.edu/natsource/mammals/northe1.htm

“Because walking is so awkward with the membrane between their wrists and ankles, being on the ground makes them very vulnerable to predators. Protection is found by both living in the trees and being active after dark. “

amd:”The change from a glider to a flier would be a gradual process if the flier experienced an advantage.”

In which case, the intermediate arm/wing would not be suitable for either flying or walking, leaving them vulnerable to predators, much as the flying squirrel is.

amd: “Similarly a river living mammal could easily develop a multipurpose leg that also had function as a flipper, like a seal. A seal has not lost function of its front legs, they are now better flippers than legs.”

Plenty of animals swim just fine with the legs they have.

*would be*. *could be*. It’s all speculation. Nobody knows for sure, including the scientists who propose these explanations.


565 posted on 02/28/2009 6:05:40 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Biogeography. I said “edged out” not “completely eliminated”. Right now there is one (IIRC) native marsupial in the North American Continent, the opossum.

The fossil record is clear that during the age of the dinosaurs there were only small and mostly marsupial mammals.

Then after the dinosaurs there was an expansion of placental mammalian species that edged out marsupials everywhere except Australia where none made it across the ocean.

What “alleged” advantage could there be for an animal to directly feed blood and nutrients through a direct connection in the womb? For a person with “mom” in their name you sure drew a blank on that one!

566 posted on 02/28/2009 7:43:07 AM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: metmom
It is not all speculation. It is Science. Based upon evidence. Fit within a comprehensive theory.

A seal's front legs work just fine as legs.

A “gliding” squirrel hasn't lost the use of its arm, and neither has a bat.

The intermediate need only be of general use for both for it to differentiate into solely or mostly one purpose or the other. Just like a flying squirrel or a seal when compared to a bat or a dolphin. Obviously I am not saying one is an ancestor of another, but the transition from gliding to flying or semi aquatic to fully aquatic are not transitions for which we have no living (or fossil) examples.

As I said. In a question you refused to address.

If you believe all species descended from what few could fit on a boat a few thousand years ago, you believe in evolution that is much stronger and faster than anything supported in the scientific literature.

And what mechanism do you propose stops this ROBUST evolution, hundreds of times stronger than what biologists propose, from moving the animal beyond “kinds”?

567 posted on 02/28/2009 7:47:47 AM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: metmom

There are species of spiders that ‘live’ underwater and ‘breath’ underwater- of course they only briefly make forrays into the water, and can only breath by tapping into trapped underwater airbubbles, but by golly, since they are ‘aqautic spiders’ I must hterefore assume they are descended from Brown Trout, which as we all know, have been known to briefly ‘breathe’ out of water, and since they can leap great distances in the air this would of course indicate that htese brown trout are descended from air breathing ‘flying Squirrels’, who as you know, simply could not make a go of it on the ground, and feared becomming extinct, so, while some million or so other ground dwellers did just fine on the ground, these critters took to the trees (Which apparently had no predators), and since these ‘flying’ squirrels are able to glide from tree to tree- gliding right over hte heads of all the other poor saps on the ground who were surviving just fine, and since flying squirrels like to drink water, then this must hterefore mean that ‘flying squirrels’ are henceforth descended from ‘flying fish’.

Evidence? How dare you request any evidence?!!! Skin flaps under squirrels armpits evolved into fully functional wing structures, and squirrels evolved avian lungs and muscle structures all in anticipation of one day soaring high in the sky dag nabbit! And that is that! Just look around you at al lthe hological ‘similarities’- that should be proof enough that everythign descended from pond scum right there! How dare you quesiton Sir god Darwin?!!!


568 posted on 02/28/2009 8:56:42 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: metmom
Demise of the "Birds are Dinosaurs" Theory

"The striking superficial resemblance between the bones of the theropod dinosaurs (the so-called "bird-like" dinosaurs) and Archaeopteryx (one of the most ancient birds - which lived roughly 150 millions years ago) has led scientists to hypothesize that birds are descendants of these dinosaurs. The bones of the wing of Archaeopteryx look very much like the bones of the theropod dinosaur, Deinonychus. Indeed, the resemblance is so striking that it convinced a very large percentage of the scientific community that birds are descended from the theropod dinosaurs."

"This "Birds are Dinosaurs" theory has become one of the dominant theories of evolution, since its introduction 20 years ago by John Ostrom. The theory is in real trouble now, since a recent study has demonstrated that the bones that make up the wings and feet of birds and the theropod dinosaurs are not derived from the same digits.1"

"What does it matter if birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs? If birds are not descended from theropods, they are not descended from any other known species. Here is a quote from the University of California, Berkeley website:

"The opponents of the theropod hypothesis refuse to propose an alternative hypothesis that is falsifiable. This is probably because there are no other suitable candidates for avian ancestors".2

This is quite an admission, and demonstrates the dogmatism of Darwinism. The paradigm takes precedence over the data, since falsification of descent of birds from theropods would falsify all of evolutionary theory."

The First Study

The wings of birds develop from digits II, and III, and IVThe paleontological evidence for the derivation of the wings and feet of birds is completely lacking, since there is no known predecessor of Archaeopteryx. Therefore, the fossil record cannot answer this question. However an ingenious idea by Alan Feduccia (an expert in the study of bird evolution) led to the study of the embryology of reptiles and birds to determine from which digits the wings and feet of birds are derived. The authors of the study showed that during the development of the hand (or wing) of the bird, there was a transient appearance of digit V, which did not occur in the alligator and turtle, which develop all five digits. These results clearly indicate that the bird's wing is derived from digits II, III, and IV.

The Second Study4-5

BackgroundThe lungs of birds, mammals, and reptiles are vastly different in terms of morphology and function. The lungs of mammals and birds are far more efficient than those of reptiles, which allows for prolonged periods of intensive physical activity. The lungs of mammals consists of millions of alveoli, which are highly vascularized air sacs. The degree of vascularization (the capillary blood supply surrounding the alveoli) and the large surface area allow for efficient exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which allow for mammals' high metabolic rate. The lungs of reptiles are termed "septate," consisting of the equivalent of a large single alveolus divided by vascularized ingrowths, or septae. The bellows-like septate lung of the reptile is poorly vascularized, which prohibits endothermic ("warm-blooded") metabolism. The avian (bird) lung is also a septate lung, but consists of a series of extensive, highly vascularized air sacs, which extend into both the thoracic (chest) and abdominal cavities.

Evidence 1: The structure of the pelvis and ribs of the theropod dinosaurs is incompatible with the breathing apparatus of Archaeopteryx or modern birds

Evidence 2: The structure of the lungs of the theropod dinosaurs is indistinguishable from that of modern reptiles

According to an article by Alan Feduccia:

"Despite the popularity of the dinosaurian origin of birds, many ornithologists and physiologists, in particular, have hadtremendous difficulty with the theory (8, 10, 11) becauseof a huge and growing body of contrary evidence and the fact thata ground-up origin of avian flight is considered a near biophysicalimpossibility (12). Aside from criticism concerning the cursorialorigin of avian flight, there are problems related to the geologic,temporal occurrence of putative dinosaurian ancestors, which occursome 30 to 80 million years after the appearance of the earliestknown bird Archaeopteryx, and these forms become more and moresuperficially birdlike as one approaches the latest Cretaceous.There is also the fact that virtually all of the anatomical featuresused to ally birds and dinosaurs have beendisputed."9 [LINK: GodandScience]

569 posted on 02/28/2009 9:13:39 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: CottShop
"What does it matter if birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs? If birds are not descended from theropods, they are not descended from any other known species. Here is a quote from the University of California, Berkeley website:

"The opponents of the theropod hypothesis refuse to propose an alternative hypothesis that is falsifiable. This is probably because there are no other suitable candidates for avian ancestors".2

Imagine that.....

570 posted on 02/28/2009 9:18:02 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: betty boop; metmom; xzins; allmendream; Does so; hosepipe; TXnMA; DallasMike
Thank you all so very much for sharing your insights and for pinging me this engaging sidebar discussion!

allmendream at 548: ”All living things are mortal. From the dust they were formed and into dust they shall return. One thing alone is not mortal.”

Truly, everything that physically lives, physically dies. The spirit of a man however survives physical death.

An often overlooked point in the following passage is the underlying Hebrew words, “muwth muwth” which are translated “surely die” but literally mean “die die.”

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. – Genesis 2:17

That passage is illuminated further by these:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28

Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. – Revelation 20:6

Seems to me, no matter what the subject, we mortals put way too much emphasis on the physical. As xzins said at 547 in reply to betty boop:

Evolution cannot account for the human spirit, and as you say, reassembling junk from a junk heap will not construct a single mili-liter of conscious, self-aware spirit.

There is one Wind (pneuma) blowing through existence, though, which can. "The wind blows where it wants to, but you can't tell where it comes from or where it's going. The same with everyone born of God's Pneuma."

Amen.

The life that we have with Christ in God is not subject to physical death or the second death. It can never die, because He lives. His Name is I AM.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1:12-13

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:3

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

And so as my dearest sister in Christ, betty boop, always reminds me – let's step away from the purely physical. We must get our eyes off of the tree, stand back and look at the forest in the never-ending crevo debate.

For instance, as she and allmendream have noted, what is called random (really meaning, unpredictable ) in nature does not stand as proof that God does not exist.

However, the insistence that there is no purpose to the physical creation – especially the physical life of men – denies of the power and Person of God. And for that reason, such a claim is an affront to all of us who know Him and love Him.

Whereas science may exclude purpose on the principle of “methodological naturalism” to do its work, it is just as far out its league to suggest there is no purpose as it is to suggest there is no God or indeed anything supernatural. The scientific method does not apply to such questions, science does not have the right toolset to address such questions.

And truly many scientists know this and stay away. But of course there are a few – like Dawkins – who do theology under the color of science. So naturally the reaction from the Judeo/Christian community is swift and severe.

Conversely, there are some who do theology under the color of science. In my opinion, that glorifies the creature, not the Creator, and therefore is ill conceived. And predictably, the reaction from the science community is swift and severe.

If it were up to me, I would center the debate on the principles, like betty boop and metmom and xzins have tried to do on this thread.

metmom for instance raised the principle that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence. And truly, that is an important principle in what I would call the “hard” sciences like physics, chemistry, astronomy and microbiology.

The “historical” sciences like paleontology, archeology, anthropology and Egyptology hold to the opposite principle: the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Obviously, their physical evidence is spotty at best because not every thing that once lived left a physical record of itself. So they fit the evidence they uncover “into” a theory of a continuum, a blueprint, a paradigm. It is only when the evidence cannot fit (e.g. if they were to find the fossil of a man in the same place as a T-Rex) that the theory is falsified.

With the hard sciences, the theory itself is subjected to rigorous and continuing tests – any one of which could falsify the theory.

The theory of evolution has a foot on each side. In the microbiologist’s lab, mutations can be provoked and/or observed. In the paleontologist’s dig, the fossil is fit “into” the paradigm “tree of life.”

And the principle betty boop and I keep trying to drive home is not to overstate any of it, not to project the one onto the other. That the paleontologist observes different species in different strata does not ipso facto mean that each variation was brought about strictly by naturalistic means such as observed in the microbiologist’s lab. Nor can it say that therefore God does not exist. Nor can it say that it was not purposeful.

It may be true that every atheist believes in evolution. But not everyone who believes in evolution is atheist. To make such a condemnation is equally an overstatement.

betty boop at 545: allmendream didn't specifically answer my question as to whether "random mutation" has been morphed into "genetic variation" as the proper language to use nowadays. Yet he clearly deemphasizes the use of the word, random, in descriptions of biology. Though that's the very language that Darwin used.

And moreover, is the language still used by some of the most eminent biologists of recent times. For instance, the Nobel prize-winning biologist Jacques Monod, who insists that everything we see all around us in nature, biological and otherwise, is the product of "sheer, blind chance."

I dunno, xzins. Seems to me if a claim like that were true, it would refer to a process nothing short of the miraculous. For a chain of accidents is to be credited with the order of the natural world. On this principle, order rises, spontaneously you see, from disorder.

But jeepers, when exactly did Darwinists start believing in miracles like this?

And, IMHO, that is exactly the key to seeing the forest.

Order cannot rise from chaos in an unguided physical system. Period.

Even the atheist must admit to space, time, physical laws and constants as “guides” to the system. And science has no materialistic explanation for the origin of space, time, physical laws and physical constants.

Moreover, science has no effective materialistic explanation for the origin of life, inertia, information (successful communication), autonomy, semiosis, consciousness or conscience.

So when some scientists like Dawkins – using the reductionist “methodological naturalism” and the scientific method – look over the upper rim of their glasses at us Christians and declare that the spirit and soul do not exist or that the mind is just an epiphenomenon of the physical brain or that there is no ghost in the machine or that God is a delusion – we understandably shake our heads. Conversely, it is just as annoying to them when we do theology under the color of science.


571 posted on 02/28/2009 9:32:45 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
“(Science) is just as far out its league to suggest there is no purpose as it is to suggest there is no God or indeed anything supernatural. The scientific method does not apply to such questions, science does not have the right toolset to address such questions.” Alamo-Girl

Exactly correct, thus those that try to shoe horn theology into the scientific method are rather daft. Science doesn't have the right tool set to address such issues.

572 posted on 02/28/2009 9:40:15 AM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: allmendream; betty boop
Except for the word "daft" we are in agreement.

I don't believe people who do this are silly or crazy, rather that it's just human nature to focus narrowly. A person dying of cancer, when he stubs his toe will instantly, wrongfully consider the toe his number one health problem.

IMHO, we all just need to back away, get our priorities straight (it's about the Creator not the creature) and look again at the forest of evidence, including both physical and non-physical.

573 posted on 02/28/2009 9:50:52 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
And the evidence unequivocally supports an ancient Earth, the modification of existing species into new species, with one type of animal giving way to others over the ages of the Earth.

Man did not live contemporaneously with dinosaurs. The majority of species that ever existed are now extinct. The continents have moved over the ages of the Earth and when Antarctica drifted too far south it was inhabited by extinct species.

574 posted on 02/28/2009 9:57:46 AM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; metmom; xzins; allmendream; Does so; hosepipe; TXnMA; DallasMike
On another thread there is a reminder of the social and moral implications of Darwinism once one adopts either a non-existent or an absentee God. It is an obvious thing that no higher morality is possible in such a belief system. In the atheistic system, one will get chaos...no higher morality at all. In the theistic evolutionary system one will get a relativist, situational morality at best.

Higher purpose, higher morality, higher love, higher hope....all disappear or morph under chaos or situationism.

You wrote:

If an eyewitness were present at creation, and then relayed observations, that would have bearing on the discussion. Our Bible states just that. An eyewitness has descibed significant details of creation.

It's wrong to go beyond those details, but it's equally wrong to ignore them.

Likewise, it's wrong for me to deny the skeleton of a T-Rex. It does exist, and its existence has a proper explanation. I must not go beyond the facts, nor should I ignore them. Natural revelation also has its message to me from God.

575 posted on 02/28/2009 10:00:20 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain, Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: Alamo-Girl

Dawkins tries to do exactly htis by insinuating that there is no spirit, and that any such thoughts are mearely due to a mutaiton which keeps people ignorant apparently- He beleives that belief in God is due to a virus (which he also beleives, beleive it or not, that it can be spread by coughing or sneezing). Nat Geo, the Discovery channel, PBS and hte History Channel ALL tryto inject their brand of theology into evolution all the time- As do a great many scientists that beleive in Macroevolution- their god however is nature that apparently is capable of the doing hte impossible- But heaven forbid Creationists bring up the metaphysical, and point to the spirit and higher knowledge coming from the Holy spirit, in ADDITION to discussing hte physical evidences seen in nature- Why then they are branded as ‘daft’ for doing so- What’s ‘good for’ the Goose, apparently isn’t good for hte Gander


576 posted on 02/28/2009 10:01:42 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: allmendream
Thank you for sharing your testimony about nature. Do you have a testimony about God you'd care to share?
577 posted on 02/28/2009 10:33:28 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: CottShop
But heaven forbid Creationists bring up the metaphysical,

Evos and Dawkins feel that they are in a position to bring the metaphysical into the discussion when it comes to pronouncements that there is no God, the demand for presuming methodical naturalism, or where the belief in the supernatural even comes from (viruses? Give me a break...), but go into a tailspin when non-evos bring up anything that smacks of intelligence, design, or a creator.

Seems like they think they are somehow the only ones qualified to speak on the metaphysical when it concerns science even when they know (and admit) that they have no basis for any of their pronouncements.

The hypocrisy is staggering.

578 posted on 02/28/2009 10:38:32 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Absolutely.

Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

God's glory is reflected in the heavens. The testimony of starlight is not all a trick and a lie but speaks to the grandeur of God; he is Eternal, and eternally patient, he is forbearing, and his forbearance is eternal. Do not lose sight of this one thing my FRiend, A day for God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years a day.

579 posted on 02/28/2009 10:41:58 AM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: allmendream
Amen. Praise God!!!

Thank you so very much for sharing your testimony, dear brother in Christ!

580 posted on 02/28/2009 10:46:16 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: CottShop; hosepipe
He beleives that belief in God is due to a virus (which he also beleives, beleive it or not, that it can be spread by coughing or sneezing).

LOLOLOL!

At this point I cannot help but bring hosepipe's point to bear.

(Paraphrased) those like Dawkins - a notorious atheist - who believe that faith in God is the result of evolution are only proving that they are themselves under-evolved.

581 posted on 02/28/2009 10:48:45 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: xzins; betty boop; metmom; allmendream; Does so; hosepipe; TXnMA; DallasMike
Thank you oh so very much for sharing your testimony and insights, dear brother in Christ!

Higher purpose, higher morality, higher love, higher hope....all disappear or morph under chaos or situationism.

Interestingly, the root of the word "rational" is ratio which is the quotient between two things, the subject and the object of the comparison.

There must be that which doesn't change and that which does change. God is the absolute. He does not change.

I'm tempted, but I'll go no further because my dearest sister in Christ, betty boop, has an entire cosmology built on that universal truth. And we would all benefit from her outlining it to us.

If an eyewitness were present at creation, and then relayed observations, that would have bearing on the discussion. Our Bible states just that. An eyewitness has descibed significant details of creation.

It's wrong to go beyond those details, but it's equally wrong to ignore them.

So very true!

As for me, when the age of the universe comes up, I usually just try to finish the sentences.

The universe is 13 plus billion years old from our space/time coordinates as observers.

The universe is 7 days old from the inception space/time coordinates at which point (in the beginning) God was the only observer.

The two statements are not mutually exclusive under general relativity.

Interestingly, Einstein was a Jew. So also is Gerald Schroeder, the Physicist who applies relativity and inflationary theory to Genesis 1.

Likewise, it's wrong for me to deny the skeleton of a T-Rex. It does exist, and its existence has a proper explanation. I must not go beyond the facts, nor should I ignore them. Natural revelation also has its message to me from God.

I very strongly agree, dear brother in Christ!

I perceive that God the Father has revealed Himself to us in four ways: (1) through the Person of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, (2) through the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit, (3) through the Scriptures, and (4) through the Creation, both spiritual and physical - heaven and earth.

And I have perceived no inconsistencies perhaps because (1) His Name I AM is my guide, (2) man is not the measure of God, and (3) a thing is true because God says it.

To God be the glory!

582 posted on 02/28/2009 11:10:16 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: xzins; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; metmom
On another thread there is a reminder of the social and moral implications of Darwinism once one adopts either a non-existent or an absentee God. It is an obvious thing that no higher morality is possible in such a belief system. In the atheistic system, one will get chaos...no higher morality at all. In the theistic evolutionary system one will get a relativist, situational morality at best.

Perfectly stated!

Without God, we all become the arbiters of our own morality and as inherently selfish and self-centered humans, that morality will ALWAYS be immoral. It is because of this that we see people totally disregard the rights and even lives of others just to satisfy their own desires.

583 posted on 02/28/2009 11:17:41 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee; xzins
Indeed, and also very well said, dear brother in Christ!
584 posted on 02/28/2009 11:21:15 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: allmendream; Alamo-Girl; xzins; CottShop; hosepipe; metmom; Does so
Purposeness and randomness are not opposites. My purpose in a card game is to win. The distribution of the cards is random.

Detection of “purpose” is beyond the scope of science.... If I lose at cards then I see it as God's will.... An atheist may well see it as just random bad luck.... There is no scientific way to differentiate or discern between these two views.

I'm having a little difficulty reconciling these two passages. It's clear that the world-class British polymath Francis Bacon banished final causes from science in the late 16th–early 17th centuries — which is where the scientific doctrine of methodological naturalism came from in the first place. Clearly your second statement reflects this understanding.

What's not clear is why you use the card game analogy as an illustration of purpose. A purpose, or end or goal or, as Aristotle called it, peras ("limit") is precisely what philosophers mean by a final cause. We enter the domain of teleology here.

In Metaphysics, Aristotle defined the final cause as "an end which is not for the sake of anything else, but for the sake of which everything [else] is." He adds, "So if there is to be a last term of this kind, the process will not be infinite; and if there is no such term there will be no final cause. Those who maintain an infinite series do not realize that they are destroying the very nature of the Good, although no one would try to do anything if he were not likely to reach some limit (peras); nor would there be reason (nous) in the world, for the reasonable man always acts for the sake of an end [purpose or goal] — which is a limit."

Aristotle thought that a limit is the necessary condition of rationality in action, that it is something inherent in reason. And as Eric Voegelin points out, for Aristotle, reason is embedded in the order of being, and it is the property of reason to have a limit. Now logically, there can be no “end” of anything that did not “begin.” That is, the limit cannot be the production of an infinitely regressive causal series: There must be a First Cause. — J. Drew and S. Venable, Don't Let Science Get You Down, Timothy, Lulu Press, 2007, p. 42.

So you see, by banishing final causes, you also render questions of origin (first cause) irrelevant, as beyond the scope of the scientific method in principle. But I digress.

To get back to your point about "purpose" in a card game; i.e., you say the "purpose" is to win. And the distribution of the cards is random. By which you show by analogy that "purposeness and randomness are not opposites."

Opposites? Good grief, I wouldn't say that! More like dynamic complementarities by means of which all of Nature is constituted! That is, by means of the dynamical relation between that which does not change, and that which is capable of changing. (E.g., by way of analogy, the relation between the first and second laws of thermodynamics).

It seems to me that randomness by itself accomplishes nothing in an unguided system. And of course, the "guides" would have to come from the causes that science has expunged from its method. With first (formal) and final causes gone, all we have left are material and efficient causes. If science chooses to restrict its method to these, fine. But then please, do not blow up this restricted method into a full-blown cosmology of the universe.

Let's say we're participating in a poker game, allmendream. Your purpose in being there is "to win." My purpose in being there is to have an enjoyable evening with good friends engaged in a sociable game of chance. Which of our purposes is more rational?

When we think of purposeful activity, we normally think of intelligence working toward the achievement of novel goals. In poker games, there really are few ways that human beings can inject intelligence in such a way as to affect the outcome of the game. Usually there will be an opportunity for discarding and drawing new cards. Which each and every time simply amounts to hitting the "reset button" on the random distribution of the cards. Short of bluffing (or cheating, heaven forfend), there's little a human being can do to change the outcome of a game that is constituted by the way the next card just happens to fall.

I'm pretty sure Nature does not do business in this way. And if it did, there'd be no room for you or me in it. Free will would be a joke. We'd have nothing to do....

Just some thoughts FWIW. Thanks for writing, allmendream!

585 posted on 02/28/2009 11:24:05 AM PST by betty boop
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To: allmendream; Alamo-Girl; xzins; CottShop; hosepipe; metmom; Does so
We can observe this same pattern cropping up in diverging populations, and this process is at a speed consistent with the observed rates of interspecies difference accumulation.

Indeed. And yet — correlation does not prove causation. If we see patterns in nature, chances are they are not developments from "the random" — especially if such patterns are observable "across domains." If we see they are ubiquitous, we need to ask why.

But will "science" let us ask that question???

586 posted on 02/28/2009 11:38:00 AM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop; allmendream
What a glorious post, dearest sister in Christ! Thank you!!!

Truly, science should not speak to either first cause or final cause since both are off the table of scientific inquiry in the first place.

When we think of purposeful activity, we normally think of intelligence working toward the achievement of novel goals. In poker games, there really are few ways that human beings can inject intelligence in such a way as to affect the outcome of the game. Usually there will be an opportunity for discarding and drawing new cards. Which each and every time simply amounts to hitting the "reset button" on the random distribution of the cards. Short of bluffing (or cheating, heaven forfend), there's little a human being can do to change the outcome of a game that is constituted by the way the next card just happens to fall.

I'm pretty sure Nature does not do business in this way. And if it did, there'd be no room for you or me in it. Free will would be a joke. We'd have nothing to do....

Indeed, and yet that is precisely what the claim "that the mind is merely an epiphenomenon of the physical brain" would mean since an epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon which can cause nothing to happen!


587 posted on 02/28/2009 11:39:14 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
But will "science" let us ask that question???

That's the rub.

We can't expect science to answer the question because first and final causes are off the table.

But we can always ask the theologians, philosophers and mathematicians (incl. information theorists.)

588 posted on 02/28/2009 11:49:50 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop
[ And so as my dearest sister in Christ, betty boop, always reminds me – let's step away from the purely physical. We must get our eyes off of the tree, stand back and look at the forest in the never-ending crevo debate. ]

So true.. so many concepts so little time..
Who is the most correct or partially correct?..
All of us I would say..

The message of John ch 10 about the sheep pens is pregnant..
There seems to be qualia of mental figments of thought..
Groups of thought that forms groups of people..

Whats "silly" to some is deep thought to others..
And whats deep to some is silly to others..
ANd with degrees of dfference in between..

How brilliant of Jesus to NOT forbid sheep pens..
He didnt even use the word or concept of heretic..

Without the Holy Spirit we all are mentally wandering around like a blind smart aleck thats pretty deaf too.. It is so easy to discredit others.. Jesus said you MUST be born again NOT become smarter than other religious people.. You know the smart ones with all their spiritual eggs dyed and decorated..

After all the original error was eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of GOOD AND EVIL.. and probably metaphorically climbing around in it and throwing the fruit.. Yes..... like an APE.

589 posted on 02/28/2009 1:32:24 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop

What I mean with the card game analogy is that the distribution of the cards is random, but that doesn’t mean that there is no purpose among the contestants of the game.

My purpose is to win.

In evolution the purpose is to pass on genes to subsequent generations.

Just because mutation is random doesn’t mean that there is no purpose behind mutation. For example, a bacteria under stress will deliberately increase its own mutation rate.

Also, just because mutation is random doesn’t mean that the fossils we find are just as likely to be wildly mutated as consistent with its cohorts. That is like insisting that in a poker contest between a world class gambler and me, each of us should be equally likely to win, because the card distribution is random.


590 posted on 02/28/2009 2:29:32 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: allmendream; Alamo-Girl; xzins; CottShop; hosepipe; metmom; Does so
Just because mutation is random doesn’t mean that there is no purpose behind mutation. For example, a bacteria under stress will deliberately increase its own mutation rate.

Yet there seems to me to be a critical, irreconcilable difference between the bacterium's ability to "deliberately" increase its own mutation rate and the prediction of random purposelesseness in nature — which leaves all questions of "deliberation" out of consideration altogether at all times, regardless of the question.

Let me put this question to you plainly, allmendream: In a deterministic world, where does "deliberation" fit in?

Meanwhile, I continue to worry about your invocation of purpose in nature. Dontcha know, such a view is poison to the advancement of a career in science nowadays?

591 posted on 02/28/2009 4:31:02 PM PST by betty boop
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To: hosepipe
How brilliant of Jesus to NOT forbid sheep pens.. He didnt even use the word or concept of heretic..

Indeed!

Without the Holy Spirit we all are mentally wandering around like a blind smart aleck thats pretty deaf too.. It is so easy to discredit others.. Jesus said you MUST be born again NOT become smarter than other religious people.. You know the smart ones with all their spiritual eggs dyed and decorated..

LOLOL! Thank you so very much for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ!

592 posted on 02/28/2009 8:09:46 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
In a deterministic world, where does "deliberation" fit in?

It cannot. Great catch!

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!

593 posted on 02/28/2009 8:11:14 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; betty boop
After all the original error was eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of GOOD AND EVIL.. and probably metaphorically climbing around in it and throwing the fruit.. Yes..... like an APE.

Intelligence and education is not the end all and be all of human existance. Notice how when the evos want to insult someone, the first thing they attack is their intelligence and education? Invectives like *cretard*, IDiot, ignorant, stupid, etc.

I never heard in a eulogy about how smart someone was, or how much more educated he was than the rest of us peons. Eulogies are always about morals and social relationships, the things that science can't touch.

Those who've made the greatest impact on humanity are those who displayed the most compassion, not those who were the *smartest*.

It isn't intelligence that sets man apart from animals. One can be a genius and be morally bankrupt, as is evidenced by so many dictators and tyrants throughout history.

I've always wondered who people would rather have as a neighbor if the economy ever bottomed out, or some natural disaster hit, or some terrorist attack.... The Amish who believe in creation and have little use for technology, or the likes of Dawkins?

594 posted on 02/28/2009 8:55:49 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom; hosepipe; betty boop
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear sister in Christ!

One can be a genius and be morally bankrupt, as is evidenced by so many dictators and tyrants throughout history.

Indeed. (emphasis mine) And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. - I Cor 2:1-5

To God be the glory!

595 posted on 02/28/2009 9:20:24 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
A bacteria is not capable of cognition.

But it is capable of enacting a proven program of adaptability to circumstances. One of those adaptations is a purposeful increase in the mutation rate by expression of error prone DNA polymerase. The mere existence of error prone DNA polymerase in addition to high fidelity DNA polymerase show that “random” has a purpose written into the bacterial genome.

And the purpose is continued survival of the species due to the strength of random variation to come up with novel adaptations that will be subject to selection.

596 posted on 02/28/2009 9:32:07 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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To: metmom

Indeed..


597 posted on 02/28/2009 11:07:05 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: allmendream; Alamo-Girl; xzins; CottShop; hosepipe; metmom; Does so
A bacteria is not capable of cognition.

Are we really sure about this? And by the way, what do you mean by cognition?

You will not attribute any purpose in or to Nature; and yet cannot seem to avoid attributing "purpose" to the bacterium and/or its genome:

"But it is capable of enacting [implying freedom to choose an act?] a proven program [implying memory?] of adaptability to circumstances [non-local signals?]. One of those adaptations is a purposeful increase in the mutation rate by expression of error prone DNA polymerase. The mere existence of error prone DNA polymerase in addition to high fidelity DNA polymerase show that “random” has a purpose written into the bacterial genome."

In short, if I understand you correctly, the bacterium "chooses" to bump its mutation rate by increasing error-prone DNA polymerase in response to signals emanating from the external environment.... It seems to me local causation as governed by the physico-chemical laws would be insufficient to fully account for this behavior.

A more sophisticated (i.e., complex) crittur is the amoeba. The Czech physician Slavoj Hontela conducted an interesting experiment regarding amoeba behavior back in 2002. His paper was published at the Karl Jaspers Forum under the title: Is There an Essential Difference between the Human and Animal States of Consciousness? An excerpt:

It is obvious that each living organism standing at any step of the evolutionary ladder would respond to a sufficiently intensive stimulus, if it would be perceivable by the sensorial system of that organism and of course if the organism would be conscious, it means in the state of consciousness. The opposite state to the consciousness is unconsciousness. The stimuli might be produced in different ways : the change in the subject's circumstances is the most common....

The latter could be of mechanical or physical character (change in the light, sound, temperature, smell, vibration etc), chemical (change in the pH, effect of toxic chemicals, damaging radiation etc). In this conception a living Protozoic Amoeba fulfills all conditions to be conscious, to be in a state of consciousness....

How far this consciousness might be or should be considered as a "mental state" or a simple nerve-reflex structure is not easy to decide. Is it only the reaction to pleasant or unpleasant, useful or un-useful reaction ? Even in an Amoeba there are definitely signs of a memory presence. In regard that the memory is shown at the DNA molecule, in the process of "repairing" it might be presumed the memory proceeds the state of consciousness....

Let us to observe the behavior of an Amoeba in the microscope’s visual field. We can see there an Amoeba, of Proteus species, slowly moving by stretching out its pseudopodia, looking probably for food. We place now with a glass pipette close to her few powdered pigments of a dried Chinese Ink. The amoeba stretches one of her pseudopodia to a pigment grain closest to her (evidence of a chemotaxic reaction or ability !) and involves the grain into her pushing it down to the nucleus where the digestive vacuoles are present. It is certainly interesting that the pigment transported through the pseudopodia towards the nucleus, doesn't yet touch the nucleus capsule when obviously the Amoeba recognized the undigestibility of the Chinese Ink pigment, the further transportation in the direction to the nucleus stops and the foreign body is quickly pushed back and finally eliminated from the Ameoba's body....

From this observation it is possible to make already several conclusions:

1) The amoeba was able to recognize and approach the foreign body which might be its potential food,
2) A. was able to mobilize her pseudopodia giving them the appropriate message to approach this pigment and engulf it.
3) With a certain delay which was obviously necessary to process the information related to the characteristic of the foreign body and the realization that it is indigestible follows another set of messages and the pigment was eliminated....

We have to presume there were neuro-biological elements equivalent to those of more developed organisms and obviously there were present a appropriate number of genes.... In regard to the fact the elimination process of the pigment start[ed] already before the nucleus was involved, seems to support the hypothesis of involvement of the microtubules in the plasma....

The second phase of the observation experiment was even more interesting because it brought to the evidence the proof of the presence of memory. We have removed the pigment from the underlying microscopic glass dip, we put there a new drop of clear water and again placed there another pigment grain of Chinese Ink. The Amoeba stretched the pseudopodium to the closest pigment but did not touch it and, in contrary pulled back from the pigment grain. Obviously it preserved the memory for the identification of the indigestible pigment !

It would be an exaggeration to speak about the mind or thinking but the period of might be 30 seconds which were passed by between the pigment taking and eliminating it; evokes the impression that the Amoeba needed a certain time to process the obtained information, i.e., it was "thinking."...

SUMMARY: We have to presume that any living structure or system {organism} receives a set of genes and maybe of memes from its father and mother at the moment of birth. The ALLELE possesses even at this primary start of life the memory, which enables it to response to any changes occurring in its internal and external environment. With help of sensorial reception which could be at any molecular, neuro-molecular or sensorial organ level, the allele is bombarded by information which is deposited into its memory.... The latter are organized into different systems, used for further formation of reactions. It means the system is THINKING. This activity may be occurring in the brain, or in neuro-ganglia as it's in an insect....

Just to note: Thinking is purposive activity. It does not seem to require full self-consciousness; but an organism capable of sensation, awareness where memory is in some fashion present. If living organisms are information-processors (as increasingly it is thought), then we need to understand that "information" is the very opposite of a random distribution. And it did not itself arise from a "random process."

Through all of this, please recall that questions of purpose in nature entail questions of goals, ends — FINAL CAUSES. But science has dumped all final causes. So what are we talking about here?

I'll just leave it there for now, allmendream. Thank you so much for writing!

598 posted on 03/01/2009 1:57:11 PM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop

Woo Wee thats gotta hurt..-—>(allmendream)


599 posted on 03/01/2009 5:47:49 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop

A bacteria may have “memory” and still not have cognition. In this case “memory” would be a molecular state that predisposed the cell to a particular action.

The “purpose” behind the bacteria increasing its mutation rate by expression of a different type of DNA polymerase that is error prone is increased survival of progeny. Those bacterial populations with this ability survived so much better than their cohorts without it, that this is a common ability among bacteria.

Thus my point is reinforced about “purpose” and “randomness”. There is a purpose to the actions of the bacteria, even without cognition, and its purpose is to increase the random changes within its genome to generate an answer to the stress by utilization of natural selection of randomly generated genetic variation.


600 posted on 03/01/2009 7:34:02 PM PST by allmendream ("Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?")
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