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evolution vs. creation

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vijay077
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/15/09 - 2:05 PM:

Most of us do not just believe but trust and even beyond, that God is there and omnipotent. Now even the others, just for a while assume they or he or she or whatever exists, as the one which made everything and still runs it or influences for some purpose and logic beyond our comprehension. Now we do find some logic in the species created the plants, the trees, the water, fire etc. For everything there is a finite life in the earth, be it human, animals, plants etc. So did God design it in such a way based on his own life, if so is he also only of a finite period? Or did he intentionally make the rest lesser?

If everything evolved, why has the evolution stop? why did the animals not evolve to gather a sixth sense? And why has no better than human yet to arrive- this question may be to god or to darwin.
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/16/09 - 10:06 AM:

vijay077 wrote:
If everything evolved, why has the evolution stop? why did the animals not evolve to gather a sixth sense? And why has no better than human yet to arrive- this question may be to god or to darwin.

hi vijay,

how do you know animals don't have a sixth sense?

i think the human race *is* evolving, all the time. the problem is that our culture treats "abnormalities" - autism for example - as if they're diseases rather than potential evolutionary advances.

cheers,
lib

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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/09 - 1:23 AM:

well, true some or most animals seem to foresee dangers and move to safety which is probably because of a sixth sense. but what i meant was why a cow did not evolve to be able to apply mind and discover and develop. There are no signs of any evolution in the last thousands of years if not million. dint tell me they ended abruptly or they take so long to notice.
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/17/09 - 2:46 AM:

vija,

It appears to me that you've overlooked some things.

Evolution hasn't stopped- at all. It's going just as fast as ever which, admittedly, is rather slow. However, due to the drastic changes that the human expansion brings about, evolutionary pressure is higher (or lower) for many species. These are particularily interesting times in that regard.
Reading some scientific reports might show you that shifts in genetic compositions of species and subspecies are happening all the time.

Both animal and plant life observe the world in ways that we often find difficult to understand.
Insects can see in the UV-spectrum. Cows only see movement. Elephants communicate through infrasound. Dolphins and bats have sonar. Many sea-creatures (both mammals and fish) have pressure-sensitive organs. Fish have organs specially designed to feel water currents. Both in animal and plant life, there are types of chemical receptors that we can't imagine what it's like to have.


Science cannot explain all the things it hasn't explained yet. Quite simple, isn't it? The clue here is 'yet'. Anything could end up on the 'explained' list. Though, likely, hopefully, we'll never be able to explain everything.


All,

Intelligent design, which is mentioned a few times, is a distant theoretical possibility which belongs in the realm of religion or, at the very best, philosophy. What is needed to make it scientific?
It needs to be observable, empirical and measurable. God by definition isn't. A non-god intelligent designer allegedly isn't either (by means of not hanging around by the apple tree anymore these days). As such, Intelligent design is not subject to the scientific method. QED

Willem
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 4:03 AM:

If evolution is a doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower, as is commonly understood, then why is it that a higher than human form of life yet to evolve?

If there are signs of such an evolution, are there superior humans amidst us?

Is evolution a logical process like a giraffe got a long neck to feed the fresh leaves on the top of a tree?

If all humans some how think together that a eye in the back too will help understand past better will they evolve that way in some distant future?

Did evolution from a lesser form to higher form occur by a thought process of the lesser or by some higher omnipotent? If the latter, is life all about trial and error? If the former, why does the cow not think to drive a scooter.

Or if evolution is because of an urge by the lesser to acquire some superior trait, which is subjective as per it's thought process like for example horns and wings, will we not save our airways expense if we acquire wings?

If evolution means merely a change, i accept it is happening. But if it is a logical transformation or linage from lesser to superior, may be I am lesser to comprehend it's happening.
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#31 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 10:08 AM:

If evolution is a doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower


I'm sorry, but that's not what it means, neither is it a doctrine. smiling face

then why is it that a higher than human form of life yet to evolve


Evolution does not care for high or low, 'higher' or 'lower' are entirely human concepts. Evolution is about adaptation to a niche.


If there are signs of such an evolution, are there superior humans amidst us?


Humans have a diverse (although relatively small) gene pool. There are bound to be extremes in every conceivable direction.

Is evolution a logical process like a giraffe got a long neck to feed the fresh leaves on the top of a tree?


For some reason giraffe's with long necks have had an advantage (in the past) where it came to spreading their genes. They were more 'fit'. And yet, evolutionary advantages don't necessarily have anything to do with strength, agility, intelligence and camouflage (although they each certainly play a huge part). There are such things as - for example - sexual pressure. In other words: a good-looking giraffe may be stupid and weak and a horrible mother/father, and still have an evolutionary advantage. smiling face

If all humans some how think together that a eye in the back too will help understand past better will they evolve that way in some distant future?


It'd take a while to explain, but the punch line is: It's possible, but not likely.


Did evolution from a lesser form to higher form occur by a thought process of the lesser or by some higher omnipotent? If the latter, is life all about trial and error? If the former, why does the cow not think to drive a scooter.

Or if evolution is because of an urge by the lesser to acquire some superior trait, which is subjective as per it's thought process like for example horns and wings, will we not save our airways expense if we acquire wings?

If evolution means merely a change, i accept it is happening. But if it is a logical transformation or linage from lesser to superior, may be I am lesser to comprehend it's happening.

-> It doesn't. This is simply not how it works.


Honestly vijay. I'm saying this with all due respect.
Please - please - read up on evolution theory and neo-darwinism. It's not what you think it is. smiling face


Cheers.
vijay077
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#32 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 11:12 AM:

"Darwin's Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers -- all related. Darwin's general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) "descent with modification". That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection." "

Does not the above mean evolution as per Darwin is on some logic and clearly from a lesser to a higher, by natural selection.

Chambers dictionary: evolution is a doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower - I agree by your argument that this is wrong, however Darwin is not far away.
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#33 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 2:00 PM:

Evolution is like a sports team.


The physical world, the environment, is like the General Manager and the coaching staff.

The sentient beings are like the players.

The nature of the team is determined by the types of players that the GM and coach select at try-outs.

The team as a whole may be fast, or strong, or good at defense, or good at offense, or a mix of all these.

Individually, each player may be fast or strong or defensive or offensive in varying degrees.

Depending on the need of the team and the state of other teams, the GM and coach select appropriate players at try-outs. This changes every year, due to changes in the league, players coming or going.

For example, if other teams are building up on big, strong players, our GM and coach may try to gain an advantage by selecting more fast, skillful players, making speed a priority. Hence, at the try-outs, all the big slower players are cut. If this faster, skillful team starts winning games, then championships, the GM and coaches may continue to select these types of players year after year, and the team itself will become known as a fast, skillful team.

Bigger, stronger, slower players won't have much of a chance on this team. They won't be very numerous. In evolutionary terms, they won't have much success getting on the team year after year.


The difference here is that the environment (unlike Gms and coaches) isn't making conscious decisions about which players to select. Instead, it merely sets the stage, and the most successful players continue to play the game, generation after generation, because they are most suited for or adapted to the environment.

Just like how the faster players are most suited for the needs of the team according to the GM and coach.

When the environment changes, then the 'make-up' of the 'team' changes too. There may be a shift away from faster, more skillful players, towards big, bulky defensemen, because these types have the best 'fit'. Thus, these types will again become more numerous, and the others will either continue, or dwindle, maybe even becoming extinct.

In sports terms, the GM and coach might cut all the fast players and only hire big bulky brutes. Thus, competition at the try-outs will be fierce, with the big types dominating. It may be that after a few years, no fast types even show up for the try-out, because only big guys will get a place on the team. Thus, the fast types are now, relative to the team, extinct!

8)
Monk2400
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#34 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 2:13 PM:

vijay077 wrote:

Does not the above mean evolution as per Darwin is on some logic and clearly from a lesser to a higher, by natural selection.


No, because 'lesser' and 'higher' are values that we human beings place on top of things. We define what is 'lesser' and what is 'higher'. In the world there are not degrees of value; there are only things. Trees, rocks, birds, clouds. These are not of lesser or greater worth relative to each other, they simply are.

The 'simple' is not worth 'less' than the 'complex'. In fact, our world is backwards if we go by logic alone, for in logic, the 'simple' is worth MORE than the 'complex', as per Occam's Razor. Logic reduces complexity to simple patterns and relationships. But biodiversity INCREASES complexity through redundancy and iteration. A stalagtite keeps growing and growing, building on each successive drop of saltly fuild. In a similar way, organisms keep building on mutations, adding more features and functions as selected by the environment.

Further, in places where there is no environmental pressure to change, organisms stay the same. A simple organism may in fact be the most successful organism in its niche.


vijay077 wrote:

Chambers dictionary: evolution is a doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower - I agree by your argument that this is wrong, however Darwin is not far away.


Again, humans are not a 'higher' form of life, if by that we mean 'superior to all other lifeforms'. The dolphin is superior to us--for living in the water. The eagle is superior to us--for spying a fish at 100 yards above in the sky. In fact, there are no doubt some worms that are superior to us, since they live IN us and can actually cause us to behave in different ways. So are we 'higher' than the worm? No. We can talk about more or less complexity, but not of superiority in this sense.

Consider this. 24468 and 4. 24468 is not a 'superior' number to 4, nor is it 'higher' in a sense of being 'better'. It just is bigger. But in the end, both numbers reduce to '2', so they are functionally on the same level--as multiples of 2.

So, just because a thing has 'more stuff' to it/in it, doesn't make it 'superior' in a moral sense. No one needs a pencil that can also tell the time. Sometimes simple is more appropriate, ie, is a better 'fit'.

8)
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#35 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 2:19 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
vija,

Intelligent design, which is mentioned a few times, is a distant theoretical possibility which belongs in the realm of religion or, at the very best, philosophy. What is needed to make it scientific?
It needs to be observable, empirical and measurable. God by definition isn't. A non-god intelligent designer allegedly isn't either (by means of not hanging around by the apple tree anymore these days). As such, Intelligent design is not subject to the scientific method. QED



OTOH, God isn't always behind intelligent design. Intelligent design merely means that there is intelligence and purpose behind the manifestations of order in the universe, or more specifically, in the order and intricate balance of lifeforms.

The question is, if a desiger was so intelligent as to desing lifeforms, would any of us know merely by looking at them? How do we know that lifeforms aren't the result of a purposeful design process?

And this isn't a question like 'how do we know the spaghetti monster isn't watching us?' There should be some clue to design and some way to differentiate it from non-design.

OTOH, if EVERYTHING is designed, from the first spark of the universe to the final crunch, then there is no way to get outside the matrix and see the code for what it is.

8)
Nihil Loc
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#36 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/18/09 - 5:34 PM:

smoki wrote:
There are such things as - for example - sexual pressure. In other words: a good-looking giraffe may be stupid and weak and a horrible mother/father, and still have an evolutionary advantage.


Aren't the traits you cite above also competing pressures (weak competing pressures)? Out of a bunch of Giraffes those who are attracted to each other are more likely to procreate but other Giraffe's have different kinds of traits which beautiful Giraffes lack that may also give them the edge in passing on their genes.

Another way of saying, beauty, or any single phenotypic quality, isn't everything.
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#37 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/19/09 - 5:33 AM:

Nihil Loc wrote:

Another way of saying, beauty, or any single phenotypic quality, isn't everything.



I should certainly hope so. sticking out tongue
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#38 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/19/09 - 5:34 AM:

The sentient beings are like the players.


All organisms are the players. Not just the tiny portion that's sentient. smiling face
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#39 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/19/09 - 5:43 AM:

That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time.


Is complexity 'higher' by definition, and simplicity lower? Not in my experience, at least.
Evolution doesn't favor complexity per se. The most spectacularily succesful organisms to this day are still bacteria and insect species.

More complexity might arise because genetic material tends to drag the historical 'trash' with it. Sometimes you find something nice among that trash, but mostly it's just old genes which have lost their use. Ultimately, most of them will disappear again, but all organisms will always be any ammount of genetic leftovers around. It usually builds up rather than goes away, so yeah. Maaaybe that indicates a trend towards more complexity.

Looking at it from a distance this is a rather weak evolution. Complex being arise because there is a niche (market sticking out tongue) for this type of organisms (there aren't that many of them, and it might give you an edge, depending on the circumstances). Though, many of the less complex ones are still as succesful as ever. smiling face
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#40 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/19/09 - 6:00 PM:

Smoki wrote:
Is complexity 'higher' by definition, and simplicity lower? Not in my experience, at least. Evolution doesn't favor complexity per se. The most spectacularily succesful organisms to this day are still bacteria and insect species.


The most numerous organisms are bacteria and insects.

If disorder is more probable than order and the less complex is more probable than the more complex, couldn't we still value our species as the 'higher' species in terms of the relative improbabilities of human and insect existence? Bugs are more common than apes. Bugs have been around a lot longer than apes.

If human culture in someway provides examples of what drives complexity, then can't that be theoretically applied to process of evolution in some way? Why aren't we still hunter gatherers?

In any case, our values seem arbitrary. "Successful" has to have a specific meaning -- does it refer to the amount of time on earth as a species?, amount of future generations we give rise to?, amount of species that have branched off from us?, the luck of our phenotypic adaptation in a geologically negligible frame of time?, et cetera.

Smoki wrote:
More complexity might arise because genetic material tends to drag the historical 'trash' with it. Sometimes you find something nice among that trash, but mostly it's just old genes which have lost their use. Ultimately, most of them will disappear again, but all organisms will always be any ammount of genetic leftovers around. It usually builds up rather than goes away, so yeah. Maaaybe that indicates a trend towards more complexity.


I think it has to do with scale. There maybe no absolute trend of a 'better organism because scenario' relative to the entire evolutionary tree of life, but as far as human history is concerned we've culturally evolved, from spear to wagon to clock to computer.

Edited by Nihil Loc on 02/19/09 - 10:48 PM
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#41 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/20/09 - 2:29 AM:

but as far as human history is concerned we've culturally evolved, from spear to wagon to clock to computer.


Granted. But that has nothing to do with evolution in the biological sense. smiling face
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#42 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/20/09 - 3:14 AM:

smoki wrote:
Granted. But that has nothing to do with evolution in the biological sense.


hmm
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#43 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/20/09 - 12:57 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:


Granted. But that has nothing to do with evolution in the biological sense. smiling face

hmm, but how do you know that?

at the time we were carrying spears and inventing wheels, we didn't have the technology to record information about the physiology of the human brain or nervous system. we have some human fossil remains (and very few of those, relatively speaking), but how much information can we glean from fossils about the way our biology influenced our behavior at that time, or even now?

with as much technology as we have to study the brain, we know a lot more now but there's still a lot that we don't know. how can it be said with any certainty that our biological evolution has nothing to do with our cultural evolution?

smiling facelib

Edited by libertygrl on 02/20/09 - 2:12 PM
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#44 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/22/09 - 10:11 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

hmm, but how do you know that?

at the time we were carrying spears and inventing wheels, we didn't have the technology to record information about the physiology of the human brain or nervous system. we have some human fossil remains (and very few of those, relatively speaking), but how much information can we glean from fossils about the way our biology influenced our behavior at that time, or even now?

with as much technology as we have to study the brain, we know a lot more now but there's still a lot that we don't know. how can it be said with any certainty that our biological evolution has nothing to do with our cultural evolution?

smiling facelib


Good point, lib.
There could definitely be an interaction. In several different ways even. (Different circumstances creating different environmental pressure, for one, and another being more interaction between genetic subgroups through exploration of the planet (or else, globalisation smiling face ).
I'm not sure the biological evolution can keep up with the cultural one quite enough to be able to see significant trends. Worth an investigation, imho.
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#45 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/24/09 - 8:09 AM:

In my defense: If I'm not mistaken, the biological evolution would in these cases largely be a function of the cultural one.

Or else,
Considering the general slowness of evolution, I don't think that the cultural evolution we have seen is a function of a biological one that might, for example, have increased our brain capacity over the past millenia.

smiling face
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#46 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/24/09 - 9:38 PM:

cool I'll admit I'm unsure of myself

Culture is a product of evolution. To use Dennett's popular metaphor, we've evolved a crane for building cranes. Natural selection on the level commonly understood takes a huge amount of time while cultural evolution has been very speedy. Extinction events are possibly occurring directly as a result of introducing extreme forms of selection pressure. It is possible to regard culture as a having a deleterious impact on diversity.

The thing that is so weird about Darwinism, is that yes, we say natural selection has no purpose and is a mindless process, but inevitably it then complicates our value perspective as mindful beings. Millions (?) of species have gone extinct and the amount that are currently living today are but a handful of sand grains on the beach of evolution (spilled out in time). On some level (once we pan out to see ourselves from a great distance) we don't see very far ahead, just like animals. Mistakes can be fatal, but then, does it really matter...?

________
There is a proposed evolutionary mechanism called the Baldwin Effect which attempts to explain how learned traits may eventually become genetic and heritable over a lot of time. Though this does not seem to apply to humans on the level of cultural exchange of skills and information, i.e. we are not innately equipped to be police men or potters, but it does perhaps explain possible evolution of biological capacity for culture common to all humans, like the biological adaptations for language (if there are any).

From what I glean from Dennett and some superficial readings, evolutionary theory is rife with professional debate on many of the more finer historical details (missing links and hard to explain incremental adaptations over the enormous spans of time that evolution requires).
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#47 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/24/09 - 10:57 PM:

Let's forget all the adjectives for a while. Now let us also assume evolution is some process which happens without logic, but with reason. If so then a logic would form in a while. If the evolution is also without reason, we should have more creatures in our midst. There are enough evidence that there is inheritance of traits and behavior. Does that not mean a carriage for evolution.

If there is some logic and we find it is it not possible to extrapolate and forecast the future creatures?

If there is no logic, no reason, not linear, what is there to discuss?

If everything is an auto mode creation, then there is more piece of mind. And probably explains why there is no foreseeable new creation. Has creation reached a plateau? is there ever an end to evolution?

If 'god' created all life forms, why did he do so? why one and why so many? if it was just some singles and then rest to evolution, till he decides to end, it explains most.

Why should it be necessarily evolution vs creation, why not both inadvertently
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#48 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/24/09 - 11:30 PM:

Vijay wrote:
Now let us also assume evolution is some process which happens without logic, but with reason. If so then a logic would form in a while. If the evolution is also without reason, we should have more creatures in our midst.


Bit unsure what you are suggesting. By logic do you mean a linear trajectory of some kind that allows us to predict what is coming, or is it the possible human ability to plan, control even shape our evolution through discovery of basic rules. I agree that mind has developed out of mindlessness.

Vijay wrote:
If the evolution is also without reason, we should have more creatures in our midst.


Physical laws constrain the possibilities of what could arise out of the tree of life. Random events (genetic drift) and selection pressures help to explain species which have gone extinct or have adapted to a niche. The limited space and resources on earth, along with the ceaseless programmatic wandering of organisms toward niches, does constrain the amount of creatures in our midst. Life is an interconnected system of organisms, some help and others hurt, and many together may secure the survival of another (food webs). If we were somehow able to actually see all individuals and species in the tree of life, I'm sure we'd be astounded at the amount of different kinds of organisms there have been.

Vijay wrote:
...is there ever an end to evolution?


I'd say it ends when all of life goes extinct.

Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End is an interesting read and makes me think of how a human evolutionary end might be conceived (never to be what is expected). In that book humanity evolves but inot in a way we might wish for or expect. It is more like death. Humans are vehicles of an alien life form, quite an evolutionary leap! It strikes a similarity with how Susan Blackmore describes culture as a platform for a replication of memes.

We are likened to a carrying vessel for the mutual replicating complexes of memes.

Memetics is crazy.



Edited by Nihil Loc on 02/25/09 - 2:43 AM
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#49 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/24/09 - 11:51 PM:

I did mean some kind of finite process, with meaning, even if not purpose. Not necessarily linear and even if so , let it be.
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#50 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/25/09 - 9:37 AM:

If the evolution is also without reason, we should have more creatures in our midst.


Surely you have heard of inbreeding. A population needs a minimum genetic diversity in order to remain healthy. Generally, this ammounts to a minimum of individuals in a population.
Consider then, an increasing number of populations competing for the same resources (which can only sustain a given number). As the number of species increases, the number of individuals of each species will necessarily decrease.
More and more populations will start falling below their minimum number and go extinct. At a certain point, we will be in the situation where for each added population, another dies off.

We how have a dynamic equilibrium for the number of species inhabiting a given niche.
Conclusion: The number of species in a confined environment has a maximum.

Cheers.
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