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Changing the definition of science in Kansas - Page 3  

post #81 of 302
"The laws of physics hold in all inertial reference frames."

Science is built upon that statement.
post #82 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
So how do you test the above Point 3? By making predictions well over a hundred years ago about the kinds of relationships one would expect to find between species if evolution were true, and then seeing new finding after new finding falling into the kinds of patterns the theory leads you to expect, decade after decade, with great reliability.

But that isn't the prediction or hypothesis. The prediction and hypothesis is about new species coming into existence, having evolved (through the process described) from other species. No one denies that there are identifiable and observable "relationships" (i.e., similarities in form and genetic structure) among species. But the idea of one species coming into existence, through the process described, is the central "thing". How is that testable?
post #83 of 302
Thread Starter 
Has anyone here ever taken the time to read Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson

edit: no referrer links please. anyone who wishes to see an overview of the book and the comments that come with it can check amazon.com - rageous
post #84 of 302
I've read a different book by Johnson, Wedge of Truth.

I've also read Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box and also William Dembski's The Design Revolution.
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post #85 of 302
Did you read the last reviewer's comment left on that page? Or the one before it.... or the one before that.... or
post #86 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
I've read a different book by Johnson, Wedge of Truth.

I've also read Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box and also William Dembski's The Design Revolution.

I have Behe's book...in a stack...about 2 feet high...I am behind on my reading. \

Haven't heard of the other Johnson book. Have heard of Dembski's.

I've made a promise to not buy any more books until my current pile is (at least slightly) shorter.
post #87 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
Did you read the last reviewer's comment left on that page? Or the one before it.... or the one before that.... or

I have found that I need to take Amazon reviews with at least a small grain of salt. First, they aren't really vetted in anyway. Second, I have found extremely negative reviews on books I found to be great, and vice-versa. Finally, with any book on a controversial topic you will find both ends of the spectrum in a basically public forum (no really?) So I tend to read and try to form my own opinion.
post #88 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
But that isn't the prediction or hypothesis. The prediction and hypothesis is about new species coming into existence, having evolved (through the process described) from other species. No one denies that there are identifiable and observable "relationships" (i.e., similarities in form and genetic structure) among species. But the idea of one species coming into existence, through the process described, is the central "thing". How is that testable?

Do you really not see yourself as playing silly semantics games here? Are you seriously pretending that it's a central, pivotal prediction of evolution -- upon which the whole structure collapses if it's not true -- that totally new, as in never-before-seen, species have to be proven to spring into existence before evolution is proven? You seem to be playing the game of trying to create a straw-man "prediction", one that by definition can't be proven, and then trying to tar evolution with the expected failure of proof for your straw man prediction.

Every species was a new species at some time. That's all that matters. The fossil record very well establishes the patterns showing new species arising from old species. Now, please, spare us the part where you pretend as if the fossil record would have to be as complete as a 4-billion-year-long, continuously recording, 24 frames-per-second, 10-million-view-angle movie in order to "prove" those connection, or else, going back to the murder investigation analogy, you're behaving like a defense attorney who pretends as if the only acceptable evidence to convict his client is multiple confirming eyewitnesses plus videotape.

Please also spare us the usual attacks on dating techniques or other attacks on the quality of the data scientists are using. They don't hold up, certainly not if you have any grasp of the idea of "preponderance of evidence". Unless you really, really have something new to say in this regard, we've heard it all before.

Examining fossil data is a form of testing. You don't seem to get that, or you want to dismiss it out of hand. If the theory of evolution leads you to expect certain patterns in the fossil record, and on top of that, leads you to expect patterns in the DNA of modern creatures -- once the discovery of DNA itself comes along to bolster the theory -- how does the search for that data NOT constitute testing, and the finding of those patterns not constitute successful testing?

What horribly limited, crippled idea of what a "test" is do you have in mind?
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #89 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I have found that I need to take Amazon reviews with at least a small grain of salt. First, they aren't really vetted in anyway. Second, I have found extremely negative reviews on books I found to be great, and vice-versa. Finally, with any book on a controversial topic you will find both ends of the spectrum in a basically public forum (no really?) So I tend to read and try to form my own opinion.

Frankly I would never form a strong opinion on technical issues without paying attention to reviews, especially by expert peers.

Johnson is a lawyer who sees a war against theism. Apparently it borrows most of it's technical concepts from Denton.

Check Johnson out - there is no better source for book reviews than Gert Korthof's site:

Was Darwin Wrong
http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/

Korthof is a very knowledgeable biologist who trys to be fair to anti-evolutionists. However, it's clear than most of the time he exposes their misunderstandings, and/or confused analysis.

Sometimes the writers of these books engage in a dialog with Korthoff, and most eventually cut off communication - he is polite but relentless with his logic and factual corrections.

And if you want balance it off with a pro Evolutionary book, try: The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould. A tome of 1400 pages (Hardbound) it is wonderful presentation of the schools of thought, discoveries, etc.
post #90 of 302
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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post #91 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Do you really not see yourself as playing silly semantics games here? Are you seriously pretending that it's a central, pivotal prediction of evolution -- upon which the whole structure collapses if it's not true -- that totally new, as in never-before-seen, species have to be proven to spring into existence before evolution is proven? You seem to be playing the game of trying to create a straw-man "prediction", one that by definition can't be proven

But this is "the thing". It is about the "origin of species". That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Every species was a new species at some time. That's all that matters.

No it isn't. Because there are two camps that claim different ways that the species have come about. That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
The fossil record very well establishes the patterns showing new species arising from old species.

Not it does not. By its very nature the fossil record cannot show this as all it shows are static "pictures" of points in time (many of which are missing BTW). Speciation is a process.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Now, please, spare us the part where you pretend as if the fossil record would have to be as complete as a 4-billion-year-long, continuously recording, 24 frames-per-second, 10-million-view-angle movie in order to "prove" those connection

Wasn't it National Geographic that (recently) compares the fossil record in general to a film with 999 out of every 1,000 frames missing.

So..."continuously recording, 24 frames-per-second, 10-million-view-angle movie"...no...but something more that 1/10 of 1% might be useful though.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Examining fossil data is a form of testing.

It is observation.

Testing would be to stick a bunch of some thing into a room...try to apply some number of random mutations...accelerate the process to accomodate for the fact the we don't have a billion years or whatever...and see if mutations descend, accumulate and result in the emergence of a new biologically reproductively isolated sub-population (new species).

Doesn't seem so hard to me.

P.S. And don't give me the fruit flies...but this hasn't proven what so many lay-scientists think it has. Or the "ring species"...same story there.
post #92 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
You are missing my point. My point was to ask about reading "The Bible" literally is too coarse a question. The Bible is a collection of different types of literature. Some parts are most certainly not intended to be read literally. Some parts are. Other parts may be more difficult to determine.

Ok. Once more the question, but rephrased. What is the motivation of the Kansas BOE, the Discovery Institute, the Institution of Creation Research (ICR), et al, in reforming K-12 science education? Why do they continue with this fight?

Do you really think they are trying to make science better?

Quote:
I don't know. Because this is what defenders wish to assume?

Not much assuming needs to be done. The creationist criticisms are fairly well known. What are we to think if we see them for the millionth time?

Quote:
But one can challenge the assumptions that are made from the data. This is a valid line of argumentation too. Are you willing to accept that?

Of course. What assumptions are you challenging? What assumptions are they challenging?

It's as if you don't think the people who do the studies and who review the work don't challenge assumptions. This happens all of the time. It should happen for every single study out there.

Quote:
That is an assumption right there.

Are you challenging it?

Quote:
But worse, the assumption ... is that things have happened (variations, mutations, cummulations, etc.) to the point of creating new species.

This isn't an assumption. It's the hypothesis. The evidence is pretty convincing, overwhelming, that it is what happens.

Quote:
Based on snapshots in time someone draws a line through it and says, "Well it must have evolved that way. There is no other possible explanation."

Lots of other explanations have been put forth. Evolution is by far the most proven, while the others have fallen by the wayside.

Quote:
I really wasn't making the case about a specific study on prayer. That wasn't my point here. The point was about whether science can make observations, draw conclusions but still not have a definitive answer about the how. This example may well have been bad science. So pick something else if we wish. It was intended as a hypothetical and you are turning into a debate on a specific study.

This would have been the case if the study was positive. But it wasn't. The results were at best random indicating no correlation.

As far as your point, just look into gravity.
post #93 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
gravity.

I am so tired of the simple-minded use of "gravity" as some kind of example of a theory "just like evolution". I can see gravity at work every single day.
post #94 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I am so tired of the simple-minded use of "gravity" as some kind of example of a theory "just like evolution". I can see gravity at work every single day.

Actually. The theory of gravity has nothing to do with the obvious force that exists. As originally conceived it is an empirical mathematical expression for the strength of that force.

So no, sir, you do not see "Gravity, the Theory" at work everyday.

In a similar sense to the way you see the effects of the gravitational force with the expression that you couldn't care less about, you clearly see the effects of evolution everyday.

So stop getting tired; it is a perfectly accurate comparisson.
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post #95 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
But this is "the thing". It is about the "origin of species". That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.

Because there are two camps that claim different ways that the species have come about. That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.
There is no scientific controversy. The only 'controversy' is political, and that is in but a handful of benighted school districts and/or a couple of states.

There is no scientific controversy. Evolutionary theory is not the dominate paradigm, it is the only paradigm in the life (and supporting) sciences. Genetics, paleontology, geology, anthropology, archeology, etc. support and/or use evolution. The only 'controversy' is political, and that is in but a handful of benighted school districts and/or a couple of states in the Dr. Pepper belt.
Quote:
By its very nature the fossil record cannot show this as all it shows are static "pictures" of points in time (many of which are missing BTW). Speciation is a process. Wasn't it National Geographic that (recently) compares the fossil record in general to a film with 999 out of every 1,000 frames missing...


And as a process, any record is a snapshot. Fossils, radioactive dating, strata, genetics, etc. is a rich matrix of data. Given the vast amount and diversity of life, what we have, for all its usefulness in giving a broad outline, is but a tiny percentage of all that has existed.

Now there are two ways to explain this matrix of data. One way is the theory of evolution. Another way is say they only appear related, and then proclaim the hocus pocus hypothesis, i.e.; that they 'popped' into existence from the will of a spiritual being.

The hocus pocus hypothesis can be applied to any historical artifact from the temple at Karnak to Johnny Carsons tapes of Karnak the Great...but not without a giggle.
post #96 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
But this is "the thing". It is about the "origin of species". That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.

Somehow addressing the origin of existing species and extinct species doesn't count? By some mysterious authority you declare that the only possible test of evolution must involve totally new species? If that were the test, what would stop someone from then asking, even if this absurd criterion were met, "Oh, very nice. You've shown evolution can happen. But now can you me show evolution did happen."?
Quote:
No it isn't. Because there are two camps that claim different ways that the species have come about. That is the debate. That is the issue. That is the controversy.

There are more than two camps. Among all of them, however, evolutionists have the most solid data. The mere existence of controversy is fairly meaningless. The only substantive controversy in evolution these days is about details of the big picture (When did one particular species branch from another? Did this species share an ancestor with this other one ten million years ago, or fifteen?), not the big picture itself.
Quote:
Not it does not. By its very nature the fossil record cannot show this as all it shows are static "pictures" of points in time (many of which are missing BTW). Speciation is a process.

Murder is a process too. Yet it is possible to convict a murderer based on the pattern formed tiny, static glimpses of evidence.

Are you proposing that the only proof for any process is recreation of that process, and nothing less will do? Or do you reserve this ridiculously stringent standard only for processes in evolution and cosmology that conflict with creationism?

If you're sufficiently stubborn you could have a videotape of a murder, but insist that, since the video only captured images every 1/30 of a second, no can "prove" that the gun flashing in frame 1:30:17 produced the body impact seen in frame 1:30:18... gosh, you can only guess that the two events are connected!
Quote:
It is observation.

So is detecting the solvent in my example. All tests involve observation. (I'd like to hear an example of a test which includes no observation!). A test is nothing more than a directed form of observation coupled with evaluation criteria.

If you completely rule out discovery of new archeological data and re-examination of old data with new criteria as something that can be called a "test", what you're essentially doing is defining away practically all ability for science to speak about past events.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
post #97 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Somehow addressing the origin of existing species and extinct species doesn't count?

You are missing the point entirely and arguing dishonestly.

The existence of species is a fact...it is a piece of data. How they came about it the theory. This is the point of contention. Evolution theory says that it happened by a certain process. Looking to the past, there is no way to prove this (absent a time machine). The hypothesis can be tested as I suggested.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
But now can you me show evolution did happen."?

And, in fact, no theory about the past can be proven.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Are you proposing that the only proof for any process is recreation of that process, and nothing less will do? Or do you reserve this ridiculously stringent standard only for processes in evolution and cosmology that conflict with creationism?

Yes. No.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
If you're sufficiently stubborn you could have a videotape of a murder, but insist that, since the video only captured images every 1/30 of a second, no can "prove" that the gun flashing in frame 1:30:17 produced the body impact seen in frame 1:30:18... gosh, you can only guess that the two events are connected!

Well...if that was the level of fossil incompleteness, then perhaps this analogy might be actually applicable.

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
All tests involve observation. (I'd like to hear an example of a test which includes no observation!).

Yes. This is true. But observation alone does not constitute a test/experiment.
post #98 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
You are missing the point entirely and arguing dishonestly.

The existence of species is a fact...it is a piece of data. How they came about it the theory. This is the point of contention. Evolution theory says that it happened by a certain process. Looking to the past, there is no way to prove this (absent a time machine). The hypothesis can be tested as I suggested.

If I took a time machine back to the height of the dinosaurs rule on Earth, and videotaped a dinosaur running around with feathers as it's teeth fell out and it immediately morphed into a bird, you'd still wiggle out of it. You'd tell me that even though I did as you said and went back in time, I'm still only showing you one tiny snapshot of time, not a process.

Then you'd argue I have no evidence to PROVE that that very dinosaur actually BECAME a bird. You would argue that perhaps it was just the discovery of a previously unknown biological function of that creature. According to you, I would be taxed with having to not only videotape said dinobird, but it's offspring, it's offspring's offspring, and so on, until I returned to the modern day and played all my tapes for you showing that that dinobird is now a finch, and of course I would need full DNA samples and skeletal remains if I expect to be taken seriously.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #99 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
If I took a time machine back to the height of the dinosaurs rule on Earth, and videotaped a dinosaur running around with feathers as it's teeth fell out and it immediately morphed into a bird, you'd still wiggle out of it. You'd tell me that even though I did as you said and went back in time, I'm still only showing you one tiny snapshot of time, not a process.

Then you'd argue I have no evidence to PROVE that that very dinosaur actually BECAME a bird. You would argue that perhaps it was just the discovery of a previously unknown biological function of that creature. According to you, I would be taxed with having to not only videotape said dinobird, but it's offspring, it's offspring's offspring, and so on, until I returned to the modern day and played all my tapes for you showing that that dinobird is now a finch, and of course I would need full DNA samples and skeletal remains if I expect to be taken seriously.

Nope.
post #100 of 302
Thread Starter 
Let's ask a simpler question (two actually).

1. Can the hypothesis of speciation be shown to be false?

2. If yes, what would show the hypothesis to be false?
post #101 of 302
Wow, what a discussion. I believe I learned something this evening. I am afraid to say too much (being a hillbilly as someone opined earlier) as my reading is limited to Origin of the Species and Voyage of the Beagle.

Some people do have courage. Chris scores a point here. Now get your wife and go get a beer.

ID is a very thinly-vieled attempt to get Christion theology/creationism/doctination into American schools. The Emperor is VERY NAKED folks. Just gaze toward the throne and open your eyes. The giveaway is apparent when anyone wants to "redefine" something that is already adequately defined. nuf said

It just so happens you are all mostly tooting your own horns. I happen to know/believe that about 10K years ago some folks from 'way out there' came to visit this planet and found the hills and hollers of South America to be, well pretty damn nice. They drew some pictures on some high plateau's to mark the place (sort of like a dog peas on your tires) and then "created mankind", which later on EVOLVED into the above loverly discussion.
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post #102 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Nope.

Yes.

Taking the position you are now, it will indeed degrade to that ridiculous a level. You freely admit that this process must take place over a very long periuod of time, but then claim fossils only to be snapshots. Well if the process truly is lengthy, as you seem to concede, then one can gather VAST amounts of information from two separate fossils of creatures that lived several hundreds or even thousands of years apart from each other. Is this really that difficult to understand how that might at least be a valid point?

The reason you won't give in to that obvious fact is that it eliminates the single biggest point of contention by those who oppose evolution: the mythological "missing link". The one single fossil that is found with a set of dental records, social security card, diagramed family tree and family photo with itself and every other organism that came before and after it.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #103 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Let's ask a simpler question (two actually).

1. Can the hypothesis of speciation be shown to be false?

2. If yes, what would show the hypothesis to be false?

1. Yes.

2. Data.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #104 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Yes.

Taking the position you are now, it will indeed degrade to that ridiculous a level.

Quit assuming.

Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
You freely admit that this process must take place over a very long periuod of time,

No I didn't. I only said that's what the hypothesis says.

Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
The reason you won't give in to that obvious fact is that it eliminates the single biggest point of contention by those who oppose evolution: the mythological "missing link". The one single fossil that is found with a set of dental records, social security card, diagramed family tree and family photo with itself and every other organism that came before and after it.

Whatever.
post #105 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
1. Yes.

2. Data.

What data? What observation, if made, would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?
post #106 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
What data? What observation, if made, would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?

Data showing how and why evolution in fact can not be. Not data that makes light of a particular issue: Why don't we see evidence that a fish became a man, rather evidence that shows why in fact man could not possibly have evolved from another mammal, bird from dinosaur, rose from ground moss, tress from bushes...

In fact, if I wanted I could could take a stand equally as beligerent as some take against evolution and say that until you PROVE to me that NOTHING could have evolved from anything else at all, I will never believe it. I could charge creationists with showing me that no missing link ever existed between two similar species; not through the absense of evidence, but instead by finding every fossil that ever existed, then jumping in your time machine and grabbing all the plants, animals and microrganisms that left no fossil record, and showing me then how evolution could not have taken place.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #107 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Let's ask a simpler question (two actually).

1. Can the hypothesis of speciation be shown to be false?

2. If yes, what would show the hypothesis to be false?

Part of the reason that you and Shetline have been in an arguementative loop is your previous adherence to a misunderstood idea, i.e., that a scientific theory must be testable. As such, the debate was sidetracked into how to 'test' evolution as if it were an experimental science.

Shetline was correct in pointing out that 'testing' by direct observation was not the only form of verification.

Glad your dropping it, and your getting closer to what some philosophers of science (e.g. Popper)think is crucial; can a hypothesis/theory/paradigm be falsifiable ?

The short answer is yes. Evolutionary science is a mathematical, historical, and empirical. The mathematical parts can be checked for internal error. The other parts are can be checked for fitness to the data and its mechanisms can, in part, be simulated and checked against chemistry, genetics, etc.

In fact, evolution has been greatly expanded, and modified, due to many errors in early theory. Fellows like Gould have greatly modified traditional theory, because some ideas were false, and in need of revision.

Now, how might speciation (which is one expression of evolution) be disproven?

Well, as Kuhn has pointed out, when enough anomalies accumulate that cannot be explained by a theory, and that, in fact contradict theory.

For example: if the earth is 10000 years old, speciation would be impossible (from what we know of genetics). If genetic structures were impossibly different from species to species. If species had entirely different genetic solutions to the building of common structures. If the fossil record showed that todays species were the same as those of 200,000,000 years ago.
post #108 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Data showing how and why evolution in fact can not be.

You have not answered the question. You first statement is simply a wordier version of your first attempt. This is a very simple question:

What observation, if made, would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?

For example...would the existence of a species with no direct ancestor species (which are both biologically reproductively isolated) demonstrate that the hypothesis that one species can come into existence through mutation of and mutation transferrance from another species?

If not that, what specific observation (or data) could be made (or found) that would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?
post #109 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Part of the reason that you and Shetline have been in an arguementative loop is your previous adherence to a misunderstood idea, i.e., that a scientific theory must be testable.

You cannot say that something is not testable and still say it is a "scientific theory" according to the current definition(s) of what a scientific theory/hypothesis is.

Quote:
A scientific theory must:
1. be empirically testable or lead to predictions or retrodictions that are testable

Quote:
The defining characteristic of science is the concept of the testable hypothesis.

Quote:
to be a bona fide theory it needs to make one or more testable predictions that can be addressed using the scientific method

Quote:
The essential characteristics of science are...It is testable against the empirical world

These have come from some of these links:

http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics...www/node6.html
http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQ...sci_theory.htm
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/sciproof.html
http://www.godandscience.org/evoluti...entdesign.html
http://www3.uakron.edu/biology/evolu...fic_theory.htm
http://home.earthlink.net/~dayvdanls/whatsscience.html
http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/f...oscimethod.htm

(NOTE: Not all links expressly say it must be "testable" but strongly imply that it must be by nature of the scientific method.)

So, how can we construct and experiment to test the hypothesis of speciation? I suggested a fairly straightforward example earlier.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Now, how might speciation (which is one expression of evolution) be disproven?

Actually...it is not merely "one expression of evolution". Speciation is critical. This is the point of contention.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
If genetic structures were impossibly different from species to species. If species had entirely different genetic solutions to the building of common structures.

Yes, these are some examples that, if shown, could demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false. Thank you. There are others too...my previous post includes one.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
If the fossil record showed that todays species were the same as those of 200,000,000 years ago.

This really wouldn't demonstrate the the hypothesis of speciation to be false. It would simply show that it didn't happen in that span of time.

The idea of speciation is pretty straightforward.

Looking backwards:

Over the course of time, all known species of plants and animals have emerged through a process of (natural and random) mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation, these accumulations eventually resulting in populations that are, biologically-speaking, both distinct and reproductively isolated.

Looking forward:

Species will continue to change through a process of (natural and random) mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation and new populations that are biologically both distinct and reproductively isolated from one another will emerge.

This can be shown to be false if a species existed that does not and never did have a direct ancestor from which it emerged through a process of (natural and random) mutation.

This can also be tested in at least one way by putting a population of some species into an isolated environment, apply lots of (random) mutations and see whether or not, through a process of (natural and random) mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation, new populations that are biologically both distinct and reproductively isolated from one another emerge.

---

NOTE: I have already provided an example (and you have provided a couple more) of how hypothesis of speciation could be shown to be false...making it falsifiable. I have also suggested an experiment that could be conducted, demonstrating that I think it is testable. So, let's discuss the experiments/tests. What I suggested is a seemingly straightforward one.
post #110 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
You have not answered the question. You first statement is simply a wordier version of your first attempt. This is a very simple question:

What observation, if made, would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?

That cells can not mutate, gradually or not, enough to form new structures (light sensitive cells into eyes, for instance) because the cells become unstable and break down under testable models.

Quote:
For example...would the existence of a species with no direct ancestor species (which are both biologically reproductively isolated) demonstrate that the hypothesis that one species can come into existence through mutation of and mutation transferrance from another species?

No. Assuming one could determine something had no ancestry, such conclusions could not automatically be applied to everything else. Such a determintation would cause much debate about the origin of originating species, but would not in fact not disprove evolution. It is entirely possible, if your creature could in fact be found to have no ancestry (and not simply an absense of ancestral records), that evolution could occur as this wonder of creation aged as a species through the millenia.

Quote:
If not that, what specific observation (or data) could be made (or found) that would demonstrate the hypothesis of speciation to be false?

No relationship whatsoever between the DNA of a species to any other species would go a long way.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

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post #111 of 302
In addition, I notice that you consistly insist on two species being both biologically and repoductively isolated in order for them to in fact, according to you, be evidence of two separate species having evolved from one. What you are doing is setting up a false roadblock that requires two species to be incpapable of breeding in order to be considered two different species.

Nature has shown us many examples of one species being able to breed with a completely separate species (lions and tigers, for example). We can (and apparently will) argue til we're blue in the face as to wether or not these creatures evolved from a common ancestor, but their ability to breed does not classify them as being of the same species.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #112 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
That cells cannot mutate, gradually or not, enough to form new structures (light sensitive cells into eyes, for instance) because the cells become unstable and break down under testable models.

No relationship whatsoever between the DNA of a species to any other species would go a long way.

Finally. Whew. That wasn't so hard.


Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
No. Assuming one could determine something had no ancestry, such conclusions could not automatically be applied to everything else. Such a determintation would cause much debate about the origin of originating species, but would not in fact not disprove evolution. It is entirely possible, if your creature could in fact be found to have no ancestry (and not simply an absense of ancestral records), that evolution could occur as this wonder of creation aged as a species through the millenia.

Except that you have a species that "just happened". How is that explained?

Remember, this is basically about "the origin of species"...how they all came about. The hypothesis of speciation claims to provide the answer. If it doesn't, are you saying that the hypothesis of speciation does not provide an explanation for how all species have come into existence?
post #113 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
In addition, I notice that you consistly insist on two species being both biologically and repoductively isolated in order for them to in fact, according to you, be evidence of two separate species having evolved from one. What you are doing is setting up a false roadblock that requires two species to be incpapable of breeding in order to be considered two different species.

What other definition can there possibly be?

These aren't my definitions. I didn't just make that up to setup "up a false roadblock". Look for yourself...

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=species

"A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding."

http://www.biochem.northwestern.edu/...S/species.html

"A group of organisms belong to the same biological species if they are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring."

Several others here: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...define:species

I have (previously) agreed that variation within a species happens. This is quite obviously observable. Just because things look different doesn't mean they are different species in the sense that they cannot breed and produce offspring of a like (most likely "merged" kind).

But we have biologically reproductively isolated "things" (meaning they cannot produce offspring with one another).

Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Nature has shown us many examples of one species being able to breed with a completely separate species (lions and tigers, for example). We can (and apparently will) argue til we're blue in the face as to wether or not these creatures evolved from a common ancestor, but their ability to breed does not classify them as being of the same species.

Actually it would.

Lions? Tigers? Come on! According to the above definitions of "species" these are the same species, though obviously different morphological sub-groups within the species.
post #114 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Finally. Whew. That wasn't so hard.

OOOOOOO Burn.




Quote:
Except that you have a species that "just happened". How is that explained?

Remember, this is basically about "the origin of species"...how they all came about. The hypothesis of speciation claims to provide the answer. If it doesn't, are you saying that the hypothesis of speciation does not provide an explanation for how all species have come into existence?

And so we come to it. Your inherent misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.

Quote:
Evolution is the change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation that may, in time, produce new species.

The theory offers an intellectual framework for understanding species change that is substantiated by an enormous amount of data. The key mechanism for evolution is natural selection, but other mechanisms involved include genetic mutations and the founders effect (genetic drift)

This is what evolution is. It is not a definitive statement as to the origin of any one particular species, or all species. It is a system that explains how the plants, animals, and microorganisms that surround us today came to be as they are today. It does not have to prove how they initially came about to be a valid and working theory.

It just so happens that to many who choose to look at the evidence it provides, evolution shows a rather difintive picture on how all these creatures around us probably didn't simply materialize, rather gradually became what they are today through the aforementioned mechanisms. Call it a bonus to the theory.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #115 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
It is not a definitive statement as to the origin of any one particular species, or all species.

So evolution is not a theory about how species have come into existence?

Perhaps I am confused then.

This says something different:

"Although generally, evolution is taken to mean any process of change over time, in the context of life science, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species."

and

"In common parlance the word "evolution" is often used as a shorthand for the modern synthesis of evolution, including the theory that all extant species share a common ancestor."

Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
It is a system that explains how the plants, animals, and microorganisms that surround us today came to be as they are today.

What I take this to mean is that evolution is only about variation and change with in a species. Is that correct?
post #116 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
What other definition can there possibly be?

These aren't my definitions. I didn't just make that up to setup "up a false roadblock". Look for yourself...

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=species

"A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding."

http://www.biochem.northwestern.edu/...S/species.html

"A group of organisms belong to the same biological species if they are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring."

Several others here: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...define:species

I have (previously) agreed that variation within a species happens. This is quite obviously observable. Just because things look different doesn't mean they are different species in the sense that they cannot breed and produce offspring of a like (most likely "merged" kind).

But we have biologically reproductively isolated "things" (meaning they cannot produce offspring with one another).

That's all well and good. I would certainly concede that for two creatures to be of the same species, they must certainly be able to interbreed.

None of your definitions, however, state that two creatures must be incapable of breeding outside their species to in fact be a sepearte species unto themselves. In fact, it explicitly states FERTILE offspring, but does not go so far as to say ANY offspring. Which leads into my debunking of your final point, but only after...

Quote:
Actually it would.

Actually it would not. But it looks like we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

Quote:
Lions? Tigers? Come on! According to the above definitions of "species" these are the same species, though obviously different morphological sub-groups within the species.

Incorrect.
Quote:
For example: Tigers and lions are similar enough to be in the same genus. They have even been bred to produce offspring (called a 'liger' or 'tion') Although ligers and tions are usually healthy and able to function normally, they are sterile. The only way to produce one is with a lion or tiger, ligers and tions cannot have cubs. Therefore, because the offspring are sterile lions and tigers are in separate species.

Link
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
post #117 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
You cannot say that something is not testable and still say it is a "scientific theory" according to the current definition(s) of what a scientific theory/hypothesis is.

These have come from some of these links:

http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics...www/node6.html
http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQ...sci_theory.htm
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/sciproof.html
http://www.godandscience.org/evoluti...entdesign.html
http://www3.uakron.edu/biology/evolu...fic_theory.htm
http://home.earthlink.net/~dayvdanls/whatsscience.html
http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/f...oscimethod.htm

(NOTE: Not all links expressly say it must be "testable" but strongly imply that it must be by nature of the scientific method.)

The confusion of which I spoke was your using "testable" in the sense of a reproducable experiement. Shetline's objection was that you needed to see it happen as a current event - was he incorrect? If so, he showed that evaluation and fitness of new field data to be just as valid.

As one of your sources point out (talk.origns): "By "testable", we mean the predictions must include examples of what should be observed if the hypothesis is true and of what should not be observed if the hypothesis is true. A hypothesis that can explain all possible observations and data is not testable nor is it scientific. A good scientific hypothesis must rule out some conceivable possibilities, at least in principle."

And "These scientific requirements are the essence of Popperian falsifiability and corroboration."

The above references are secondary sources, all of them reliant on a philosopy of science, usually Popper. I am not sure we want to discuss the various competing ideas regarding science, but Popper's 'falsification' criteria is as good as any (although some might dispute that).

Quote:
So, how can we construct and experiment to test the hypothesis of speciation? I suggested a fairly straightforward example earlier.

Which was ?

Quote:
Actually...it is not merely "one expression of evolution". Speciation is critical. This is the point of contention.

Whose point of contention? Anti-Evolutionists come in flavors, some accepting "microevolution" (speciation) but not "macroevolution". If all of evolution was a dynamic purely on the species level, then it can be representative of evolution. The distinction between micro and macro are, for some however, pivotal (Korthof has a complicated by nice diagram on the various forces, some operating on the population level).

Quote:
This really wouldn't demonstrate the the hypothesis of speciation to be false.

Well, given the supposed rate of change, no change over 200 million years would erode some faith in evolution. But if you like, let's say no change in the history of life.

Quote:
NOTE: I have already provided an example (and you have provided a couple more) of how hypothesis of speciation could be shown to be false...making it falsifiable. I have also suggested an experiment that could be conducted, demonstrating that I think it is testable. So, let's discuss the experiments/tests. What I suggested is a seemingly straightforward one.

Fine, remind me what it was and let's discuss it.
post #118 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
That's all well and good. I would certainly concede that for to creatures to be of the same species, they must certainly be able to interbreed.

None of your definitions, however, state that two creatures must be incapable of breeding outside their species to in fact be a sepearte species unto themselves. In fact, it explicitly states FERTILE offspring, but does not go so far as to say ANY offspring.

In biology, a species is, loosely speaking, a group of related organisms that share a more or less distinctive form and are capable of interbreeding. As defined by Ernst Mayr, species are "groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations which are reproductively isolated from other such groups"

A group of organisms capable of interbreeding freely with each other but not with members of other species.

A reproductively isolated aggregate of interbreeding organisms.

One or more populations of interbreeding or potentially interbreeding organisms that are reproductively isolated in nature from all other organisms.

Species differ from one another in at least one characteristic, and generally do not interbreed.

A group of related organisms that are capable of breeding with each other to produce fertile offspring but are not capable of breeding with members of other species.

genetically distinctive group of natural populations that share a common gene pool that are reproductively isolated from all other such groups

in sexually reproducing organisms, a species is a group of genetically related organisms, usually similar in physical appearance, that actually or potentially interbreed and are reproductively isolated from other groups
post #119 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Which was ?

It is further up in the thread.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
"microevolution" (speciation) but not "macroevolution".

"speciation" is really about "macro" evolution, not micro.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Fine, remind me what it was and let's discuss it.

It is further up in the thread.
post #120 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
So evolution is not a theory about how species have come into existence?

That is correct. It is a theory on how certain mechanism may lead to the emergence of a new species, a theory that has an incalculable amount of supporting evidence. It does not, as of yet, claim to know how all creation happened.

Quote:
Perhaps I am confused then.

"Finally. Whew. That wasn't so hard."

Quote:
This says something different:

"Although generally, evolution is taken to mean any process of change over time, in the context of life science, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species."

and

"In common parlance the word "evolution" is often used as a shorthand for the modern synthesis of evolution, including the theory that all extant species share a common ancestor."

We could certainly get into a link war with differeing takes on what evolution means. We won't, so as to not consume an infinite amunt of bandwidth. I will grant you that certain people think differently of what evolution is, as evidenced by this entire thread.


Quote:
What I take this to mean is that evolution is only about variation and change with in a species. Is that correct?

It's correct that that's how you take it, yes. It is an incorrect take though.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that were the case, then Microsoft would...
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

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