Intelligent Design - why not?

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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 22nd, 2017, 8:24 pm 

One of them is, that if that theory were true, then a struggle for life would always be going on among the members of every species; whereas in our species at any rate, no such struggle is observable.

This is a very obvious objection, of course, and would suggest itself to even the dullest person, once the Darwinian theory had been put before him.

I must be even duller than the dullest person herein referred-to, because I'm still not seeing an argument for any alternative, nor a refutation of natural selection.

On what grounds should we believe either clause of that that first statement?
And where is the law demonstrated that precludes more than one method of selecting for the most viable traits in a complex species with many thousands of traits?
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 8:36 pm 

Serpent » May 23rd, 2017, 9:24 am wrote:
One of them is, that if that theory were true, then a struggle for life would always be going on among the members of every species; whereas in our species at any rate, no such struggle is observable.

This is a very obvious objection, of course, and would suggest itself to even the dullest person, once the Darwinian theory had been put before him.

I must be even duller than the dullest person herein referred-to, because I'm still not seeing an argument for any alternative, nor a refutation of natural selection.

On what grounds should we believe either clause of that that first statement?
And where is the law demonstrated that precludes more than one method of selecting for the most viable traits in a complex species with many thousands of traits?



Stove says of natural selection:

"I do not even deny that natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new species from old ones." (preface, page VII) And continues immediately...

"I do deny that natural selection is going on within our species now, and that it ever
went on in our species, at any time of which anything is known
."

An alternative? Who said anything about alternatives? He's not offering alternatives. This is an attack on what Stove perceives as a flawed theory.

Why should you believe the first statement? Read Essay V (as I suggested to Lomax).

"... of the many individuals of ANY species which are periodically born, but a
small number can survive
." Darwin, The Origin of Species (my caps) Etc...
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 8:50 pm 

NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 1:36 am wrote:Why should you believe the first statement? Read Essay V (as I suggested to Lomax).

"... of the many individuals of ANY species which are periodically born, but a
small number can survive
." Darwin, The Origin of Species (my caps) Etc...

Do we have to believe everything in the first book expounding a theory of evolution by natural selection, in order to believe any theory of natural selection? Do the Creationist crowd all have to follow the Aurignacian religion? Or to put it another way, why is anyone in 2017 bothering to argue against a claim made 158 years ago, and made no longer? I tire of the "ID" movement's unwillingness to catch up with the literature.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 8:58 pm 

Lomax » May 23rd, 2017, 9:50 am wrote:Do we have to believe everything in the first book expounding a theory of evolution by natural selection, in order to believe any theory of natural selection? Do the Creationist crowd all have to follow the Aurignacian religion? Or to put it another way, why is anyone in 2017 bothering to argue against a claim made 158 years ago, and made no longer? I tire of the "ID" movement's unwillingness to catch up with the literature.


No, you don't have to believe it. In fact, to do so would be to abandon what we can plainly see is untrue.

Lomax, is your position, then, that no such struggle for existence is present in modern humans?

And if so, how does natural selection get a grip without the requisite competition?

P.S. Why are you bringing Creationism into it? Stove is not one.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 9:03 pm 

NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 1:58 am wrote:No, you don't have to believe it. In fact, to do so would be to abandon what we can plainly see is untrue.

Lomax, is your position, then, that no such struggle for existence is present in modern humans?

And if so, how does natural selection get a grip without the requisite competition?

Google tells me that "the infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations and 42.09 according to the CIA World Factbook" - higher than I would have guessed, but still a minority. So we know that Darwin's claim is false now even if it wasn't then. This simply means that something between 50.6% and 57.91% of human beings are healthy enough not to be selected against in their first year. What's the antagonism between this fact and natural selection theory?
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 22nd, 2017, 9:10 pm 

He denies; denial is not refutation. He makes statements, but does not support them.
If the evidence is flawed, where, in what particulars is it flawed; how is it shown to be flawed - other than having failed to convince someone who thinks that simple creatures evolved, while complex ones just growed?
And he can't see people struggling to survive?
"... of the many individuals of ANY species which are periodically born, but a
small number can survive
." Darwin, The Origin of Species (my caps) Etc...

What was the global human rate of survival to maturity in 1859? What would it be now, without scientific interference - that is, if it were left to nature?

Hey, Lomax!
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 9:24 pm 

@Lomax and Serpent

To repeat:

"If Darwin's theory of evolution were true, there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners. But it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that, however it may be with other species."

Are we agreed, then, that there exists no such "constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners"? Lomax has already confirmed, I think, that the majority (not merely "a few") of human offspring are winners.

If so, are we agreed that Darwin's theory of evolution is false, inasmuch as it purportedly applies to all species?
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 9:38 pm 

NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 2:24 am wrote:@Lomax and Serpent

To repeat:

"If Darwin's theory of evolution were true, there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners. But it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that, however it may be with other species."

Are we agreed, then, that there exists no such "constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners"? Lomax has already confirmed, I think, that the majority (not merely "a few") of human offspring are winners.

If so, are we agreed that Darwin's theory of evolution is false, inasmuch as it purportedly applies to all species?

Yes: I hold that the gene is what is selected for, and this is not what Darwin held, because nobody in his day knew anything of genetics. I will repeat myself in like spirit: what is the necessity of that particular claim - that most human offspring are so unfit they die - for evolution by natural selection to be a real phenomenon? I do not know what Darwin thought the necessity was (and my memory barely stretches to the year I read that book) but what do you, or Stove, think the necessity is?
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 9:44 pm 

Your candour is refreshing, Lomax. I just wanted it in black and white that if the following two premises are granted:

Premise 1: If Darwin's theory of evolution were true, there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners

Premise 2 : There is not in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners

Then the conclusion...

Conclusion : Darwin's theory of evolution is not true

... immediately follows.

It's a conclusion that is not often admitted, from personal experience at least.

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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 9:54 pm 

Take out the word "Darwin's", and I see no reason to assent to premise one. And you still haven't answered my question. Either of my questions, actually.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 22nd, 2017, 10:00 pm 

I admit that I only parsed through that longer post but I will offer a couple of points. First, for one critique of sociobiology I would point you to Marshall Sahlins book (1976 I think - its been a while) "The Uses and Abuses of Biology" which I seem to recall included a specific critique of Dawkins Selfish Gene approach.

A lot of your post appears to revolve around what I tend to think of as being armchair problems. Let me illustrate:

NoShips wrote:Since its very inception, altruism has presented a problem for the theory of evolution through natural selection; a problem that Darwin himself appreciated and acknowledged.


I have a hard time seeing this as being all that true. In fact, the only time this seems to really come up is in the context of Dawkins writings. While I suppose it had been discussed before, frankly I kind of susect that Dawkins also inflated the significance of this issue in order to magnify the "brilliance" of his solution. Now fon't get me wrong - Dawkins idea is a nifty little solution although I am not sure how we would go about testing it. But it is mostly an issue for entymologists (like Dawkins) and perhaps some interested in explaoning modern behaviour in perhaps wolves, etc., but not much in anthropology (not many believe humans are that "programmed" by pure genetics although some certainly do go in that direction and definitely not one that would come up much, if at all, in any studies of the "past" based on archaeology or palaeontology, etc. I honestly can't imagine how we would go about solidly even identifying a single case of altruism in the past, let alone explaining it over the long term. Altruism might be something to banter about over brandy and cigars in the faculty club but not one of those issues you are going to take with you into the field.

I am very much aware of the difficulty of "proving" that people lived in clusters or groups om the past even in cases where we pretty much know they were and I have seen people make some spectacular blunders here. To give one real-life example: Imagine a small village of houses made from wooden posts surrounded by a palisade wall of the same. No evidence of extensive repairs or post replacement. We know from scientific studies the posts rot and fall over over time (half life 20 - 25 years) so it appears the village was occupied no more than 25 years which is in conformity with ethnographic (broadly for similar kinds of people) and ethnohistoric documents of that specific people a few hundred years later. But carbon dates span 200 - 250 years. So one guy suggests maybe the village was occupied for up to 250 years. Stunned silence - how about some of the carbon dates are off such as they burned old trees - duh. Anyway my point is that we can have difficulty recognizing old communities. It is even more speculative to guess how the members might have been related and/or why they chose to love together. Identify incidents of altruism? Forget about it.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 10:05 pm 

Forest_Dump » May 23rd, 2017, 3:00 am wrote:In fact, the only time this seems to really come up is in the context of Dawkins writings. While I suppose it had been discussed before

By everyone from Spencer to Goebbels. Yes, it was a big issue.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 10:18 pm 

Lomax » May 23rd, 2017, 10:38 am wrote:I will repeat myself in like spirit: what is the necessity of that particular claim - that most human offspring are so unfit they die - for evolution by natural selection to be a real phenomenon? I do not know what Darwin thought the necessity was (and my memory barely stretches to the year I read that book) but what do you, or Stove, think the necessity is?


Stove does not deny that natural selection is a real phenomenon. What he denies is ...

"I do not even deny that natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new species from old ones. I do deny that natural selection is going on within our species now, and that it ever went on in our species, at any time of which anything is known."

I think what's he's saying is that for (Darwinian) natural selection to kick in, there has to be the kind of struggle to which Darwin and Wallace allude. And in our own species, at least, and perhaps also in those of "higher" mammals (elephants, etc.) this struggle is conspicuously absent. No struggle, no natural selection.

I think what you're suggesting yourself, Lomax, is there might still be a teeny-wee bit going on in primitive backwaters like, say, Ethiopia and Glasgow, where life continues to be brutish, nasty and short. Right? Not sure what he'd say to that. For the species as a whole, though, the putative struggle, if indeed there ever was one, seems minimal (certainly not to the degree demanded by Wallace and Darwin), and decreasing by the day.

Does this answer "both" questions? If not, what was the other one again? Sorry!
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 22nd, 2017, 10:20 pm 

Lomax wrote:By everyone from Spencer to Goebbels. Yes, it was a big issue.


With all due respect, I am still not all that sure how true this is. Again, these were issues certainly argued by some elites (and I would include both here and not even get into their political motives for arguing those points) but I am certainly not sure how fitness would really work on the ground here.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 10:27 pm 

Forest_Dump » May 23rd, 2017, 3:20 am wrote:
Lomax wrote:By everyone from Spencer to Goebbels. Yes, it was a big issue.


With all due respect, I am still not all that sure how true this is. Again, these were issues certainly argued by some elites (and I would include both here and not even get into their political motives for arguing those points) but I am certainly not sure how fitness would really work on the ground here.

The whole (flimsy) logic of "Social Darwinism" is that nature requires us to compete ruthlessly - to use Stove's nomenclature - and that therefore any interference with that is suboptimal for our survival. In my opinion it's a very facile reading of "survival of the fittest" - because, as you insinuate, it is not rigorous about the meaning of "fittest" - but it had a colossal effect on the history of the twentieth century, and it still gets mentioned by every Creationist I hear in debate, because they think it renders evolution theory repugnant, and thereby debunks it.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 22nd, 2017, 10:31 pm 

NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 3:18 am wrote:
Lomax » May 23rd, 2017, 10:38 am wrote:I will repeat myself in like spirit: what is the necessity of that particular claim - that most human offspring are so unfit they die - for evolution by natural selection to be a real phenomenon? I do not know what Darwin thought the necessity was (and my memory barely stretches to the year I read that book) but what do you, or Stove, think the necessity is?


Stove does not deny that natural selection is a real phenomenon. What he denies is ...

"I do not even deny that natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new species from old ones. I do deny that natural selection is going on within our species now, and that it ever went on in our species, at any time of which anything is known."

I think what's he's saying is that for (Darwinian) natural selection to kick in, there has to be the kind of struggle to which Darwin and Wallace allude. And in our own species, at least, and perhaps also in those of "higher" mammals (elephants, etc.) this struggle is conspicuously absent. No struggle, no natural selection.

I think what you're suggesting yourself, Lomax, is there might still be a teeny-wee bit going on in primitive backwaters like, say, Ethiopia and Glasgow, where life continues to be brutal, nasty and short. Right? Not sure what he'd say to that. For the species as a whole, though, the putative struggle, if indeed there ever was one, seems minimal (certainly not to the degree demanded by Wallace and Darwin), and decreasing by the day.

Does this answer "both" questions? If not, what was the other one again? Sorry!

It attempts to, so thank you for trying (and not a moment too soon). I do not understand why a mere 49% of us dying in our first year stands as evidence that there is no such struggle. (That was question one. The other is why we are going after a passing claim from a 158-year-old book when the scientific community has moved on, and theory, if I may put it this way, evolved.) And yes, of course I'm saying that harsher environments select more heavily against organisms. My genes are suitably adapted to their environment for me to have made it to the ripe and incipiently balding age of 29, and - sickly and epicene as I am - that owes at least partly to the fact that my environment is not a giant ball of burning gas, or a canyon of asps, or [shudder] Glasgow.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 22nd, 2017, 10:34 pm 

NoShips wrote:"I do not even deny that natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new species from old ones. I do deny that natural selection is going on within our species now, and that it ever went on in our species, at any time of which anything is known."

I think what's he's saying is that for (Darwinian) natural selection to kick in, there has to be the kind of struggle to which Darwin and Wallace allude. And in our own species, at least, and perhaps also in those of "higher" mammals (elephants, etc.) this struggle is conspicuously absent. No struggle, no natural selection.

I think what you're suggesting yourself, Lomax, is there might still be a teeny-wee bit going on in primitive backwaters like, say, Ethiopia and Glasgow, where life continues to be brutal, nasty and short. Right? Not sure what he'd say to that. For the species as a whole, though, the putative struggle, if indeed there ever was one, seems minimal, and decreasing by the day.


I have to admit that, aside from the first sentence, I can partially agree with the rest. However that is an extremely limted perspective on NDT. The reality is that 1) not everyone has the same number of kids - some have 0 others have 10+. What are the reasons why? 2) In many, but not all, traditional cultural settings, infant mortality can be very high. Why and what causes the variability? 3) In none of these cases do I see an explanatory role for ID.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 22nd, 2017, 10:49 pm 

More to the point, some bull elephants have harems and lots of off-spring. Others do not have any. This is another type of selection in action and is not the same process as, say, one fish lays 100,000+ eggs and not all reach adulthood.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 22nd, 2017, 10:52 pm 

NoShips » May 22nd, 2017, 8:24 pm wrote:Are we agreed, then, that there exists no such "constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners"? Lomax has already confirmed, I think, that the majority (not merely "a few") of human offspring are winners.


What planet do you live on? On Earth, humans are ruthlessly killing and exploiting every other species - prey, rivals, incidental birds with nice feathers and whatever happens to be under an oil-spill. How many years of human history have been free of wars, conquests, genocides, revolutions, putting down revolutions, homicides, executions, internecine fighting over thrones, mating rights, wealth, land, water, cattle, superstition, or just because they look funny?
Okay, how many minutes?

Surviving infancy isn't necessarily a "win", if nine years later, you die off in a typhoid epidemic, or get kidnapped by slavers. Survival for evolutionary purposes means mating, producing viable young, and raising more of them to reproductive maturity than your rival for the same specific niche or resource.

Artificially subduing the environment increased the survivor rate, so there are more winners in absolute numbers, while the proportion is fairly constant over the long term. Not killing rivals outright doesn't mean you can't exploit them to death slowly. And, yes, there have only ever been a small minority of 'winners' - however you define that - compared to a very large majority of losers. Civilization and its technological advantages make winners of people who would be losers in the natural state, which only emphasizes how well the species adapts to change - even change of its own making. One constant is that we do keep selecting for ruthlessness.

If so, are we agreed that Darwin's theory of evolution is false, inasmuch as it purportedly applies to all species?
[
Nope.
Let me clarify that: NO. FRICKIN. WAY.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 22nd, 2017, 11:04 pm 

NoShips » May 22nd, 2017, 8:44 pm wrote:Then the conclusion...

Conclusion : Darwin's theory of evolution is not true

... immediately follows.

No, it doesn't follow at all. All that follows is: Darwin established a new line of scientific inquiry, in which he made considerable progress, given his limited access to data. That line of inquiry has since been followed by many other scientists, with increasingly sophisticated instruments, and they have amassed a formidable body of knowledge, observed, measured, compared, tested, classified and annotated. ...
not one iota of which you can refute or prove inaccurate, and claim you are not required to, so long as you clutch this pathetic straw.

If Newton did not complete every facet of his calculations on gravity, things would still fall on the floor and break, no matter who denied noticing it.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 11:05 pm 

I quote the following from pages 64-66...

If the Malthus-Darwin principle is true, this is how it must be with human populations, always and everywhere; except, as Malthus says, during the first 'peopling of new countries',i6 or immediately after an exceptionally devastating 64 famine, epidemic, or war. Except in those necessarily rare cases, human child mortality must always be at least two thirds.

But in fact, of course, that statement is simply and obviously false. In the only period for which anything at all is known about human demography - the last three and a half centuries - child mortality has usually been a good deal lower than the Malthus-Darwin principle says it must always be; and in all advanced countries during the last hundred years, it has seldom, if ever, been as high as even 20 per cent. In the last 50 years, of course, child mortality has almost ceased to exist in all advanced countries.

Yet the Malthus-Darwin principle says that, except on necessarily rare occasions of good luck, child mortality in humans must always be two thirds at least. A defender of that principle could, of course, say that all the human demography so far known, and especially the demography of the last hundred years in advanced countries, has been one continued piece of rare luck. But at that rate, luck could go on for any length of time, and over an area of any extent; and we might as well say straight out, that no one knows or can know anything at all, about what the real rate of human child mortality is.

But the only rational conclusion which can be drawn, from the facts that we do know about child mortality, is that the Malthus-Darwin principle is simply not true of humans. It may be true, or near enough true, of pines, cod, etc., that they always multiply with maximum speed up to the limit of population which food permits, tend to increase beyond that limit, and always suffer consequent penalties in child mortality. But it is not true of humans, or even near the truth, that they always do the same.

The Malthus-Darwin principle, however, is a part, and the major part, of the Darwinian theory of evolution. (The only other part is the proposition that, in every species, there is always variation among individuals in heritable attributes.) So, since it is rational to conclude that the Malthus-Darwin principle is false, it is rational to conclude that the Darwinian theory of evolution is false.

But of course no Darwinian will ever admit that. You can point out to him that child mortality has not been anything like two thirds, in fact has not been even 20 per cent, in any advanced country for the last hundred years. But all you will achieve by doing so is to propel him into his Cave Man mode, and start him talking, yet again, about his favourite topic: the old days. He will tell you about the high rate of child mortality that existed among humans when they were in their 'natural' state, or 'under natural selection', or were primitive hunter-gatherers, exposed to the full severity of the Darwinian struggle for life.

He will never admit that the low actual child mortality in advanced countries is any evidence at all against his theory. No, but he will point to the hypothetical high child mortality among our remote ancestors, as evidence for his theory. In fact, of course, he knows as little as you do about what the child mortality among ancient hunter-gatherers really was. The difference between the two of you is, that he has a theory which says that it must have been high, and that that is good enough for him.

You can try reminding the Darwinian, if you like, that his theory of evolution is a proposition about all species of organisms, at all times and places; and that man is a species, that the last three centuries are times, and that advanced countries are places. But you will be wasting your breath. In fact you will get more sense out of an intelligent creationist, and as much out of a log of wood.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 22nd, 2017, 11:10 pm 

Serpent » May 23rd, 2017, 12:04 pm wrote:No, it doesn't follow at all. All that follows is: Darwin established a new line of scientific inquiry, in which he made considerable progress, given his limited access to data. That line of inquiry has since been followed by many other scientists, with increasingly sophisticated instruments, and they have amassed a formidable body of knowledge, observed, measured, compared, tested, classified and annotated.

If Newton did not complete every facet of his calculations on gravity, things would still fall on the floor and break, no matter who denied noticing it.


It (the conclusion) follows from the premises with truth-preserving deductive logic. Modus tollens and all that.

I suggest if you find the conclusion unpalatable, you attack the premises. The inference is valid.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 22nd, 2017, 11:13 pm 

What I can say with some confidence is that my direct ancestors going back some few hundred million generations, like all other creatures living today, survived to have offspring that in turn survived to have offspring. They didn't get eaten while young or trapped under some volcanoe, die of thirst in some desert or due to some virus, etc. What sets me apart is that my more recent ancestors learned how to learn and that means they didn't need extra long claws or tusks or white pelts. What makes me different from a goat then? Pure luck. Do I believe I am some destined end-point intended by some deity? I don't have that big an ego. I think the difference between me and goats has to do more with they do things their way (which some science may help explain and test through the fossil record of goats, etc.) while we do things our way. And a lot of that has to do only with luck. My ancestors learned to learn so we eat goat (in a nice curry). But now, what is more important IMHO is what I hear and then speak, what I read and then write, etc. We humans go beyond what genetics might dictate or provide as a scaffold. As far as I am concerned, I think people like Spencer, Goebbels and Dawkins are or were far too concerned about justifying their opinions of their own superiority on the basis of the magic of a few teaspoons of jizz left behind in some willing recipient. Since my evolutionary success has never been demonstrated in court, I prefer to see and judge things a little differently.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby DragonFly on May 22nd, 2017, 11:16 pm 

The Intelligent Designer
(Many thanks to Dawkins)

I approached a semitransparent,
Theistic Embellishment, quite well lit,
Who was holding out an eyeball—a shove
Of His hand for me to take note of.

“Who might you be?” He mimed,
“For I am the God of Intelligent Design,
The One who was made by the signs discerned,
When the creationists noted them all, unlearned.”


I answered, “I am Austin, Earth’s flower,
Although not ‘Powers’, but ‘Higher Powers’.”

“Ha. Lo, they saw inexplicable complexity in Nature,
And thus they leapt and promulgated that Nature
Must have a Grand Designer of its mechanical dance,
For how could life have come about by ‘chance’?”


I replied, “You’re right about ‘chance’s’ stance,
But wrong about ‘chance’ too, for little greatness,
If any at all, comes about by mere ‘chance’,

“Especially as some giant leap in one bound,
Up the sheer cliff-side of Mt. Improbable—
To find on its top a great complexity
Of something like the eye that You show me;

“However, it is actually an error to suppose
That ‘Chance’ is the scientific alternative
To Intelligent Design, for that’s quite negative.

“Natural Selection is the means of the design,
For it, unlike a one-shot ‘chance’, being not in kind,
Is a cumulative effect that ever winds,
And slowly and so gently climbs

Around the mountain’s other side, behind the sight,
To eventually arrive at the great height
Of complexity—from which we can then view
The beautiful sights through our eye anew.”

“But the widespread Watchtower Zines
Always pronounce that the biological Designs
Were created by Me instead of by ‘chance’!

“Just look at these eyeballs—take a glance—
And the optic system hanging behind them!
How could that come about by ‘chance’, these gems?”


“You, like your followers, may listen,
But You do not hear, writing with untruth’s pen.
IDers deceive by this wrong approach,
Whether they mean to or not; I give reproach.

“‘Chance’ is not the opposite of Nature’s design;
Evolution of the Species through the graduality
Of Natural Selection is the path to complexity;
Your ploy falls as flat as an imaginary line.

“A flatworm has but an optical system’s spark
That can only sense but light and dark;
Thus it sees no image, not even a part;

“Whereas Nautilus has a ‘pinhole camera’ eye
About as good as half a human eye
That sees but very blurry shapes;
Thus these are examples of intermediate stages.

“‘Rome’ can not be built in a day by ‘chance’;
‘Chance’ is not a likely designer at all!

“Really now, could a 747 ever be
Assembled by a hurricane blowing free
Through Boeing’s warehouse of all the parts?
Now is this the sum of Your conversational art?”

“No, Austin—it’s quite unlikely—’tis just to confuse,
And that’s why we always so misleadingly use
The 747 argument as the contrast to ID…

“So then, Austie, ‘chance’ and Intelligent Design
Are not the two candidate solutions we’ll find
To the riddle posed by the improbable?
It’s not like a jackpot or nothing at all?”


“‘God’, Your ID ideas persist, as repetition,
But again, ‘chance’, for one, is not a solution
To the highly improbable situated Nature,
And no sane anti-creationist, for sure,
Ever said that it was; your tale is impure.

“Intelligent Design, is neither a solution—
Because it raises a much bigger question
Than it solves, as You will soon see, in a lesson.”

“Well, I’ll be darned,” replied the Designer.
“Natural selection is a good answer;

“It is a very long and summative process,
One which breaks up the problem’s mess
Of improbability into smaller pieces, less,
Each of which is only slightly improbable,

“But not prohibitively so, thus it’s reasonable,
As the product of all the little steps of which
Would be far beyond the reach of chance—it’s rich!


“The creationists have been looking askance,
Seeing only the end product, perchance,
Thinking of it as a single event of chance,
Never even understanding
The great power of accumulation.

“Such they didn’t know much else—their fall,
Not having any other natural ideas at all,
So they outright claimed that ID did it, as the Tree
That can magically grow the All, namely Me.”


“So ‘God’ You have now seen the light
Of the accumulative power’s might;
This is the elegance of Evolution’s ‘sight’.”

“Yes but what is to become of Me, the Person,
For I only ‘exist’ through their speculation.


“In fact, the improbability of Me is so High,
And so much more so from where I lie so ‘sure’,
Compared to that of ‘simple’ Nature,
That My own origin…”


“…Is a near-infinitely Larger dilemma, Mate,
For the creationists—the problem they love to hate;
That being that You, therefore, can only be explained
By another, Higher Intelligent Designer claimed!

“Far from terminating the endless regress,
They’ve aggravated it with a vengeance
That is way beyond repair or redress—
As beyond could ever be yonder of! Out west!”

With that, the poor Guy faded toward oblivion,
Which remarkably was the very location
I was visiting, but hence he soon reappeared,
Although in another guise, but quite well attired.

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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 23rd, 2017, 12:46 am 

NoShips » May 22nd, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote:
It (the conclusion) follows from the premises with truth-preserving deductive logic. Modus tollens and all that.

I suggest if you find the conclusion unpalatable, you attack the premises. The inference is valid.

Both premises are bald, unproven statements, which I have already attacked and do not propose to waste any more time. What can be logically deduced from them is
exactly the same ... personal opinion ... you started with. And all that.

Suggestion: Fish for your anti-Darwin arguments in a more recent century.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 23rd, 2017, 1:39 am 

Serpent » May 23rd, 2017, 1:46 pm wrote:
NoShips » May 22nd, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote:
It (the conclusion) follows from the premises with truth-preserving deductive logic. Modus tollens and all that.

I suggest if you find the conclusion unpalatable, you attack the premises. The inference is valid.

Both premises are bald, unproven statements, which I have already attacked and do not propose to waste any more time. What can be logically deduced from them is
exactly the same ... personal opinion ... you started with.
And all that.

Suggestion: Fish for your anti-Darwin arguments in a more recent century.



You're not making any sense, Serpent. First you told us the conclusion (of my valid deductive argument) does not follow from the premises, implying either confusion on your part or that a revolution in logic is at hand. Now you're telling us... well, I can't quite tell. Just answer this, please: If my two premises are granted -- if the premises of ANY valid deductive argument are granted -- does the conclusion inevitably follow?

You might want to gainfully employ the time that you're no longer wasting on me to investigate the difference between the validity and the soundness of a deductive argument. The validity of my argument is beyond reproach... yeah, even from you. You may keep hammering away at the soundness of the argument if you like, i.e., whether or not the premises are true, not whether or not they entail the conclusion -- that's given.

Lomax, for one, whose command of logic is evidently firmer than your own, has already (implicitly) conceded that the argument is both sound and valid, and explicitly that the Darwinian theory of evolution is false... (Lomax! Might need you to confirm this!)

(I asked: If so, are we agreed that Darwin's theory of evolution is false, inasmuch as it purportedly applies to all species?

Lomax replied: Yes: I hold that the gene is what is selected for, and this is not what Darwin held, because nobody in his day knew anything of genetics.).

(Lomax stated that removal of the word "Darwin's" from Premise 1 would cause him to dissent from its truth. As it stands unamended, however, his assent to the truth of Premise 1 is implicit. He voiced no objection to the truth of Premise 2)

To remind you, your own response to my asking whether we're agreed that the Darwinian theory of evolution is false was an admirably unambiguous "NO. FRICKIN. WAY".

See? Yes vs. no frickin way. It's not just me you're doing battle with, Serpent. And that Lomax dude packs a punch :-) Why not get on his case for a bit? I'm going for a bike ride...
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 23rd, 2017, 3:48 am 

Braininvat » May 23rd, 2017, 2:58 am wrote:Serpent, looks like we parallel posted. Seems like several have noted the Popperian fail mode of ID. It just plain cannot be falsified. It is speculative metaphysical conjecture. Even the more specific empirical claims that relate to an Intelligence, like the virgin birth 2000 years ago of a Matrix software agent named Yeshua, simply cannot be tested. There is no real access to falsification. Falsifiable in principle is not falsifiable in fact.


Just to ensure I have no friends left whatsoever by the time this thread is finished, thought I'd mention that the very same Popper likewise condemned orthodox evolutionary theory as failing his own falsifiability demarcation criterion, and thus unscientific (though not necessarily meaningless or useless).

On grounds of fairness and chivalry, I should add that he later recanted. Probably under torture from Dawkins and Dennett. Pfft!
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby NoShips on May 23rd, 2017, 6:46 am 

@ Lomax

You asked earlier...

"Google tells me that "the infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations and 42.09 according to the CIA World Factbook" - higher than I would have guessed, but still a minority. So we know that Darwin's claim is false now even if it wasn't then. This simply means that something between 50.6% and 57.91% of human beings are healthy enough not to be selected against in their first year. What's the antagonism between this fact and natural selection theory?"

and again...

"Yes: I hold that the gene is what is selected for, and this is not what Darwin held, because nobody in his day knew anything of genetics. I will repeat myself in like spirit: what is the necessity of that particular claim - that most human offspring are so unfit they die - for evolution by natural selection to be a real phenomenon? I do not know what Darwin thought the necessity was (and my memory barely stretches to the year I read that book) but what do you, or Stove, think the necessity is?"


After browsing through Stove's book again, the answer to your question seems to be as follows: Darwin and Wallace both endorsed the Malthus principle of population as an essential part of their theories. In other words, if the Malthus principle is wrong, their theory of evolution by natural selection is too. Said principle requires of necessity that child mortality is extremely high, much higher than the figures you cited earlier. Stove explains...


"The real reason why Darwin and Wallace enormously overestimated the rate of child mortality in humans is quite obvious, and lies right under our noses. They did so under the compulsion of a theory. Both men had embraced, in order to explain evolution, the Malthus—Darwin principle of population: that population always presses on the supply on food, and tends to increase beyond it. And this principle does require child mortality to be terrifically high, in our species and in every other." (page 63)


His (prolonged) support for the claim that child mortality must be "terrifically high" takes up the first few chapters. And how does Stove justify his claim that Darwin/Wallace embraced the Malthus principle?

"It is only too likely that the reader will be inclined to infer, from the recital of commonplace facts which are inconsistent with the Malthus-Darwin principle, either that Malthus and Darwin were irrational in believing that principle, or (more likely) that I am mistaken in ascribing the principle to them. Both of these inferences would be mistaken. But to show that they are mistaken would make the present section of this essay disproportionately long. I have therefore postponed my attempt to do so to Essay III below." (page 24)
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Lomax on May 23rd, 2017, 8:56 am 

NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 11:46 am wrote:After browsing through Stove's book again, the answer to your question seems to be as follows: Darwin and Wallace both endorsed the Malthus principle of population as an essential part of their theories. In other words, if the Malthus principle is wrong, their theory of evolution by natural selection is too. Said principle requires of necessity that child mortality is extremely high, much higher than the figures you cited earlier. Stove explains...

You're still telling me what people thought centuries ago, when we were comparatively ignorant. Why do you think a low infant mortality rate disproves natural selection? Why does Stove thinks this? And who in the living scientific community thinks it? Like I said, we know a lot about natural selection now that Darwin didn't know then. Unlike the creationist crowd (to link us to the actual topic at hand), scientists are able to modify their claims in light of the facts, instead of clinging on to the every word and letter of The Original Book.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Braininvat on May 23rd, 2017, 9:02 am 

Lomax » May 22nd, 2017, 6:03 pm wrote:
NoShips » May 23rd, 2017, 1:58 am wrote:No, you don't have to believe it. In fact, to do so would be to abandon what we can plainly see is untrue.

Lomax, is your position, then, that no such struggle for existence is present in modern humans?

And if so, how does natural selection get a grip without the requisite competition?

Google tells me that "the infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations and 42.09 according to the CIA World Factbook" - higher than I would have guessed, but still a minority. So we know that Darwin's claim is false now even if it wasn't then. This simply means that something between 50.6% and 57.91% of human beings are healthy enough not to be selected against in their first year. What's the antagonism between this fact and natural selection theory?


The rate is per one thousand live births. So the UN figure would be 5 percent. Sorry to be a pedant, but you had half the wee ones dying, a figure more suitable for an apocalyptic novel.

It was fun watching the David Stove strawman lurch around. That Wallace and Chuck got many things wrong back in the 1850s has not been in dispute for many decades.
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