Darwin impersonator visiting England

All are welcome to this forum, which is for debating the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in schools. This forum can be boisterous, and you should not participate if easily offended.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby cathy » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:41 pm

Shaun re your first response. I am asking you what mathematical models you are using to calculate your build up. It's a very long time since my A level maths days and, like most folk, I've only remembered the bits I use, but I'd guess you'd be using some kind of mathematical model to come up with your assertion that harmful mutations will eventually take over a population. I'm guessing you are using some kind of sequence? Given you've chosen a constant rate of 5% up or down depending on mutation type, I guess some kind of geometric sequence which would give some kind of exponential curve? In which case beneficial mutations will rise rapidly, hypothetically, and harmful ones decrease rapidly. Or are you using some kind of proportional rates? Which give different more complex graphs?

And as those are very simple models that don't take into account allele frequencies just simple increases in numbers for beneficial and harmful mutations, I'm guessing you are using more complex ones suggested by Psi? In which case just tell us which statistical models and calculations you are using to arrive at your conclusions. That is all I am asking for. Nobody can assess your conclusions till they know where you are coming from.

Even then you are oversimplifying things. I'm not a biologist but I'm guessing the effect of natural selection is increased at certain times and by certain things and decreased in others. For example when times are hard the power of natural selection would be far greater than when times are good and there is little to be gained from a beneficial mutation.
cathy
 
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:19 pm

Cathy, I think you're making things too complicated. No one seems to doubt there are many more harm mutations than beneficial mutations in each generation. The difference is huge. I show it on my diagram. There may be small mitigating factors, like natural selection, but they can't have any significant impact on this huge proportion. Anything that did would have to be something huge. It would be huge and obvious. I'm surprised no one there's curious about it, has any suggestions for it. But no one can point to anything.
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:47 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:now you are complaining that not only can evolution not account for consciousness and/or free will, but consciousness cannot account for evolution. Catch 22!
Not fair. I did earlier summarize my theory for how consciousness could account for evolution, but we agreed it wasn't ready for prime time. So I do believe consciousness plays a role in evolution, but I can't make a rock-hard case for it. So, no Catch-22. And I do believe consciousness can arise through evolution, just not through the operation of the modern synthesis.
Brian Jordan wrote:Try thinking lower down the mountain: the levels of consciousness of algae, worms, rats are all different and the question of any of them altering evolution by their free will is ridiculous.
Why is it ridiculous? Couldn't ant colonies or bees have some degree of free will by which they could be influencing their evolution,if we can? What logic to you base "ridiculous "on?
Brian Jordan wrote:However, the degree of consciousness and the extent of their cleverness can clearly have an effect on their interaction with their environment and so be amenable to natural selection. Dull minds are out-competed by craftier monkeys.
So you agree that by the exercise of consciousness creatures can influence their own evolution. Yes? Then once consciousness appears, natural selection and mutation are not alone in directing evolution. Could consciousness ever increase to the point of being the greater influence on evolution?
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby Brian Jordan » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:58 pm

Shaun, you're mixing up the effects of beneficial and harmful changes. Suppose 5% of people start to tie their two shoelaces together whereas another 5% come up with the idea of having breakfast. Which will get to school soonest - alive! - and do best and grow up able to support several children? If the two coincide, breakfast will be of no help if you fall under the tram whilst trying to hop across the road to school. But only if the two coincide will incompetent tying mitigate against the effect of breakfast.
"PPSIMMONS is an amorphous mass of stupid" - Rationalwiki
User avatar
Brian Jordan
Forum Admin
 
Posts: 4216
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:52 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:Shaun, you're mixing up the effects of beneficial and harmful changes. Suppose 5% of people start to tie their two shoelaces together whereas another 5% come up with the idea of having breakfast. Which will get to school soonest - alive! - and do best and grow up able to support several children? If the two coincide, breakfast will be of no help if you fall under the tram whilst trying to hop across the road to school. But only if the two coincide will incompetent tying mitigate against the effect of breakfast.
Lovely. I tried to make a diagram to show this effect but it came out a mess.

You're close to my prior point, how do you tell beneficial from harmful mutations? I came up with a mutation for salt tolerance in elephants--is that a beneficial mutation? And tying one's shoelaces together could assist in evolution towards a kangaroo-like hopping, no question adaptive for a Kangaroo. So, yes, this beneficial-harmful distinction is only useful for setting up population statistics equations, it doesn't signify anything really.
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby cathy » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:55 pm

Cathy, I think you're making things too complicated. No one seems to doubt there are many more harm mutations than beneficial mutations in each generation

No Shaun, I'm grossly oversimplifying it to try and get some kind of handle on what statistics you are trying to apply! Simple exponential curves would result from basic geometric progressions. Any population thing is going to have to rely on sequences and rates of change over time that give some kind of exponential curve either going up or down. And they are powerful cos many more multiplied by very little is very little - less than one multiplied by a lot. As for your bank account analogy, you seem to be putting money into and taking it out of the same account - that doesn't work unless the beneficial and harmful mutations are occurring in the same individual at your rates.

Geometric sequences are grossly oversimplified mathematics using a very simple models! Real population and genetics statistics would be way beyond that. With the added complication of genotypes being slightly different to phenotypes and the rates changing with circumstances and the fact that populations reach points when their environments may no longer be able to support growth and only the fittest then survive. So which real mathematical models are you plugging your numbers into. I'm guessing psi has pointed you to the really good stuff, go read it and plug your figures in to see what you get.

LIkewise, as been said before, beneficial and harmful are specific to environments and don't respond well to simple calculations. What is harmful and wasteful in one environment is a positive boon in another. The obvious example being skin colour. In hot climates pale skin is a not good you'll burn to a crisp and develop skin cancer, in cooler ones it is very good due to the need to absorb as much vitamin as poss from limited sources. And vice versa. Beneficial really just means increasing the ability to pass on that gene. How do you account for the widespread existence of the beneficial mutation of lactose tolerance by the way?

If you can account for what’s most difficult to account for, it’s likely it will account for what’s easiest.
Really? So if you hand a the newest i phone to a sixteenth century person s/he'll be able to to account for it in all its complexity and understand how craftspeople and artisans came to produce it without recourse to magic? Will it help them understand the wheel? You really can't account for what is complex if you don't first understand what is easier.

Trying to understand something as complicated as evolved consciousness without looking at it in context and comparatitively is like doing that.

Plus you don't seem to have established if consciousness actually a qualititive difference in humans or a quantatative one? Have you looked at our nearest relatives? Have you looked further back. I'd have thought that was your first logical step! Examaning what we know about other species. And good luck with that cos our understanding is, as of yet, sketchy.

At the end of the day even if you find you still cannot understand how consciousness evolved, how does that negate the rest of evolution that can be accounted for? Until you come up with a credible model that can explain the evolution of cells, organs, systems, populations better than the current evolutionary model you're stumped. Your model will have to explain all of that as well as human consciousness, what do we do till then? Ignore a very good theory or keep testing it and looking to falsify it?

If you don't teach children what we know and expect them to come up with a new model out of thin air, then based on what we have and the most logical explanations for it - they will most likely come up with what we have. Teaching children is not to stunt their intellectual curiosity it is to give them what we currently know and understand so they can build on that. If that didn't happen then the brightest of each generation would just keep inventing the wheel.
cathy
 
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby Brian Jordan » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:01 pm

ShaunJohnston wrote:Lovely. I tried to make a diagram to show this effect but it came out a mess.

You're close to my prior point, how do you tell beneficial from harmful mutations? I came up with a mutation for salt tolerance in elephants--is that a beneficial mutation? And tying one's shoelaces together could assist in evolution towards a kangaroo-like hopping, no question adaptive for a Kangaroo. So, yes, this beneficial-harmful distinction is only useful for setting up population statistics equations, it doesn't signify anything really.
Well, of course, everything depends on the environment. If school turned out to be Dotheboys Hall and a near miss with the tram meant falling down Alice's rabbit hole, the relative outcomes might be quite different.
Goodnight for now.
"PPSIMMONS is an amorphous mass of stupid" - Rationalwiki
User avatar
Brian Jordan
Forum Admin
 
Posts: 4216
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby cathy » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:03 pm

A third way is to say, if we can be conscious and have free will, clearly evolution can transact in terms of consciousness and free will somehow, and unless we invoke human exceptionalism we can't in principle deny consciousness and free will to other living creatures or other agents involved in the process of evolution. Then a mechanism of purely physical processes that takes no account of the possibility of consciousness being involved in the process of evolution is suspect and needs to have its tires kicked.


This makes no sense at all. Why should a purely physical process have to take account of the possibility of consciousness? Why would consciousness be involved in the process of evolution? Explain this in simpler terms.
cathy
 
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby cathy » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:05 pm

If school turned out to be Dotheboys Hall and a near miss with the tram meant falling down Alice's rabbit hole, the relative outcomes might be quite different.
Goodnight for now.

And that is where I think I've fallen! Down Alice's rabbit hole and I'm listening to Humpty Dumpty.

So I'm giving up.
cathy
 
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:19 pm

cathy wrote:And that is where I think I've fallen! Down Alice's rabbit hole and I'm listening to Humpty Dumpty.

So I'm giving up.
Good idea. No one else is joining in, we've not been able to understand a thing the other person's said. My diagram, with my model of compound interest, didn't do the trick. For none of the latest posts can I come up with a sensible response. I won't post any more unless there's something juicy. Thanks again for holding up the modern synthesis in this discussion.

What I got from this is that a discussion on these issues is impossible. All I can do is present my point of view and see if anyone responds. If they don't there's nowhere for me to go. But if they do, we split into two permanent camps, because the topics can't be resolved by discussion. And then there's the third camp of creationists who can't communicate with our two camps.

Interesting that you're assuming the upcoming evolutionist-creationist discussion can't go anywhere, and here we are, both in the science camp, and we can't go anywhere. Meanwhile, I've not found in the anti-darwinist anti-creationist camp anyone else I agree with. Everyone disagrees with everyone, except that supporters of the modern synthesis agree with one another. That must mean something.
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:17 pm

ShaunJohnston wrote:What I got from this is that a discussion on these issues is impossible. All I can do is present my point of view and see if anyone responds. If they don't there's nowhere for me to go. But if they do, we split into two permanent camps, because the topics can't be resolved by discussion. And then there's the third camp of creationists who can't communicate with our two camps.

Interesting that you're assuming the upcoming evolutionist-creationist discussion can't go anywhere, and here we are, both in the science camp, and we can't go anywhere. Meanwhile, I've not found in the anti-darwinist anti-creationist camp anyone else I agree with. Everyone disagrees with everyone, except that supporters of the modern synthesis agree with one another. That must mean something.


Yes, butShaun, you've got nowhere here because your arguments are so bad. They are not based on any recognisable science and are nothing more than your own personal opinions. You don't appear to have bothered with any of our suggestions that you get a basic understanding of evolutionary biology.

What do you expect everywhere here to do? To do your own homework for your?
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
User avatar
Roger Stanyard
Forum Admin
 
Posts: 6162
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:55 pm

evolutionist


Somebody please tell me what an "evolutionist" is.

Why do creationists insist on using the term ? It's used nowhere in science.
Peter Henderson
 
Posts: 4351
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:07 pm
Location: Jordanstown, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Peter Henderson wrote:Somebody please tell me what an "evolutionist" is.
Things may be different in the USA. As a professional teacher of biology or physics is called a biologist or a physicist it seems ok over here to derive evolutionist from evolution. Please make allowance for my foreign ways.
Roger Stanyard wrote:Shaun, you've got nowhere here because your arguments are so bad. They are not based on any recognisable science and are nothing more than your own personal opinions.
I didn't realize it wasn't OK to voice one's opinions. They are based on reading Huxley, Singer, Maynard Smith, Schrodinger, Charles and Erasmus Darwin, and plenty more, so l feel I'm informed. But l accept personal opinions aren't ok here. It's hard to know beforehand where they're Ok. I started asking only for tips on how to arrange my talks, but I got involved in conversation and fell into giving my opinions.
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby cathy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:21 pm

The only people I've heard use the term evolutionist are creationists. They do so to disparage it as a discipline. You wouldn't use the term gratitationist to describe those of us not floating aimlessly into space, or oxidationist to describe anyone with a rusty car or electricityist to light bulb buyers and so on.

It's fine to voice ones opinion, but you can only expect them to be taken seriously when they are informed opinions. The nature of debate is to gain more information and adapt ideas and you don't seem to be updating your data banks to incorporate the new information people like psi and Roger and Brian have been suggesting. Go read a little more deeply about evolution and see if your opinions change or are refined, or even just say why it is wrong. I haven't seen your compound interest calculations.

At the moment you seem to need a little more up to date reading and some more relevant statistics. I'd guess part of the problem is that in the States evolution has been used by creationist loonies to cover all sorts of things that it has nothing to do with -like moral decline, left wing politics, free will, determinism, feminism, gay marriage and anything else they don't like. It has been given a philosophical slant that actually it doesn't deserve or warrant. Over here it is simply the scientific theory that explains biological diversity and speciation over eons. Nothing more, nothing less.
cathy
 
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Redditch

Re: Darwin impersonator visiting England

Postby ShaunJohnston » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:23 pm

I have to admit I'm egotistical enough to think it's you who hasn't read enough. I've quoted appropriately from major sources in the field. So far no one your end has quoted from any source, beyond recommending something for me to read, and no one's dealt with any of the substantive issue I've raised, except to say I've made things too complicated or not complicated enough. It's all sounded evasive to me. What I concluded is that teachers of evolution are so far from the original sources (Singer, Huxley, Schroedinger) that they no longer know what needs to be defended. Good news for me (if true), more material for my performance.

I'll address my performance to creatives (writer and artists) for whom consciousness and free will and creativity are primary, and I'll point out how inadequate modern evolutionary theory is to account for them. I'll point out that most of the original pioneers of evolutionary theories were from the humanities side (Erasmus and Charles Darwin for example) and I'll encourage them to come up with theories of their own. But I'll warn them not to engage in conversation with scientists or teachers of evolution who are almost all physicalist inclined, in my experience not interested in listening to the point of view of creatives. Snow was right,the two cultures have nothing to say to each other.

I do feel I can speak the languages of both. But only to people prepared to respect other people's opinions.

Now we've put each other down,there really is no reason for further posts.
ShaunJohnston
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: Mid Hudson Valley, NYS.

PreviousNext

Return to Free For All

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

cron