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Biological evolution and Traditionalism

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
October 29, 2010, 07:44:46 AM
Why not?
It's a significant structural abnormality that requires explanation.  What's the point of a theory if it lacks explanatory power?  I understand you were being facetious, but the larger point remains.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 04, 2010, 02:04:36 PM
Octuple: thanks for sharing your thoughts about the arguments. I view them in a more favorable light than you from the outset, true, but I think they still raise points which you avoided in your reply. You should really read some of the other texts, perhaps Oldmeadow first; I believe he has a keen mind and writes well.

(1) Apart from the fact that there is in the whole universe no absolutely closed system, your recourse to systems in no way refutes the sentence, "The greater cannot come from the lesser." Even if you considered the whole universe as your system, the sentence still applies. It is impossible that by "increasing complexity" of non-conscious matter, suddenly consciousness arose. As if a heap of dominos could become conscious of itself if you arranged it under certain environmental conditions...

(2) "Entropy – a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder." (Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry, 2004)
As I understand the argument, its crux is: If actual order is the result of "information input", which requires intelligence, this means that order is already in intelligence as a potential. But this order "present" in intelligence could not have risen out of disorder.

(3) "What about "transitional" species?" -- That is only assumed, the keyword being conclusive evidence.

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I have a question to people who reject evolution.  If evolution isn't true, why is there a Telomere in the middle of human chromosome 2?

If I understand what I read correctly, its observed function is to speed up the division of cells of certain types. Why that would make evolution necessary, I don't know. Care to enlighten us in this regard?
Also, might I say it is weird behaviour to "call a T.O." (whatever that is), leaving the conversation, and then begging for attention with such a question.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 04, 2010, 02:50:45 PM
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I have a question to people who reject evolution.  If evolution isn't true, why is there a Telomere in the middle of human chromosome 2?

If I understand what I read correctly, its observed function is to speed up the division of cells of certain types. Why that would make evolution necessary, I don't know. Care to enlighten us in this regard?
Also, might I say it is weird behaviour to "call a T.O." (whatever that is), leaving the conversation, and then begging for attention with such a question.
I'll ignore the part addressed to Octuple.

The point regarding chromosome 2 has to do with the fact that there is a Telomere in the middle of it, as well as a vestigial centromere.  The reason for this is that it is the result of the fusion of two other chromosomes, that exist in other primates.  The question is, why would a Telomere, which is only supposed to exist at the end of a chromosome, be in the middle of a human chromosome.  The only proper explanation can be described from an evolutionary point of view.  Otherwise, why would there be this anomaly?

The answer you provided is insufficient, and I doubt you even understand why (or care for that matter).  In order to explain it, you need a background in genetics.  Seeing that the question went right over your head, I can only assume that you lack such a background.  Trying to explain it would be pointless.  It would be like you trying to discuss theology with me.  An utter waste of time, as I have no training, study, expertise, etc. in that area.

You can say whatever you want regarding my behavior.  I wasn't begging for attention, I wanted an answer.  And a TO is a time-out.  It's a sports term.  If you have something to say to me, just say it.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 04, 2010, 03:26:00 PM
But genes are made up psuedo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.  It's all theory, whereas it's fact that we were made in the image of God.  It's in the Bible.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 04, 2010, 03:51:01 PM
...As if a heap of dominos could become conscious of itself if you arranged it under certain environmental conditions...

That is an intuitive assumption. It feels right to you, I'm sure.

But why can't the greater not come from the lesser? And how did you decide one thing was greater and one thing was lesser? Perhaps evolution was the lesser coming from the greater.

And about consciousness - might consciousness not be as supernatural a concept as you think it is? If you programmed a robot to seek out fresh batteries and to build more robots and avoid hazardous situations, how much different is it than a dog? Human consciousness could just be that of a dog, but with a greater ability to conduct abstract reasoning.

(2) "Entropy – a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder." (Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry, 2004)
As I understand the argument, its crux is: If actual order is the result of "information input", which requires intelligence, this means that order is already in intelligence as a potential. But this order "present" in intelligence could not have risen out of disorder.

Entropy can decrease, it just requires work (energy). We get lots of energy from the sun.

Further, why do you assume intelligence is less entropic than a lack of intelligence? A diamond is a solid piece of carbon, very low entropy, also unintelligent. The human brain has much more complexity and entropy than a simple diamond.

I have a question to people who reject evolution.  If evolution isn't true, why is there a Telomere in the middle of human chromosome 2?

A better example might the artifacts in the bone structure of an animal like a snake. I'm no biologist, but I seem to remember reading that snakes still have little nubs where the legs would go if they were really long lizards - from which I infer they might have been previously. That, and examples of artifacts in other species would help explain the lack of remains of transitional specimens.

----------

But then there is the real issue:

What's important for us to understand is not how the species originated, but where they're going. This discussion is really just a curiosity to me so long as we all understand that Darwin's theory applies to species from this day forward. Does anyone disagree with that?

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 04, 2010, 05:20:54 PM
(2) "Entropy – a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder." (Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry, 2004)
As I understand the argument, its crux is: If actual order is the result of "information input", which requires intelligence, this means that order is already in intelligence as a potential. But this order "present" in intelligence could not have risen out of disorder.

Entropy can decrease, it just requires work (energy). We get lots of energy from the sun.

Further, why do you assume intelligence is less entropic than a lack of intelligence? A diamond is a solid piece of carbon, very low entropy, also unintelligent. The human brain has much more complexity and entropy than a simple diamond.

A diamond has low entropy, but it will eventually be gone. Intelligence and energy allows one to lower entropy to actually reverse it. I agree with nous that intelligence is a spawn of a series of reverse entropic events; however, order is not merely a work of intelligence. Our world and Sun produces much energy to decrease entropy around their space. The grand total of order pumped out of these celestial bodies excited enough atoms to amalgamate and otherwise destroy the existing matter on Earth to spawn life. I don't think life is as sacred to exist only on Earth. The fact that life exists on Earth proves that it can be recreated. Life is a natural step to Universal evolution. Soon humans will spawn suns.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 01:18:58 AM
The point regarding chromosome 2 has to do with the fact that there is a Telomere in the middle of it, as well as a vestigial centromere.  The reason for this is that it is the result of the fusion of two other chromosomes, that exist in other primates.  The question is, why would a Telomere, which is only supposed to exist at the end of a chromosome, be in the middle of a human chromosome.  The only proper explanation can be described from an evolutionary point of view.  Otherwise, why would there be this anomaly?

Thanks for the explanation--now if we assume that two chromosomes merged, that does not seem to refute any of the 6 arguments in the document quoted above. The supposition that two chromosomes merged appears as curious to me as saying that 1+1 = 2.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 07:17:17 AM
And about consciousness - might consciousness not be as supernatural a concept as you think it is? If you programmed a robot to seek out fresh batteries and to build more robots and avoid hazardous situations, how much different is it than a dog? Human consciousness could just be that of a dog, but with a greater ability to conduct abstract reasoning.

It's not clear what you're trying to suggest here. Are you suggesting that something very like human consciousness could emerge from a certain functional organization of a robot, where consciousness is not reducible to that functional organization? Or are you suggesting that what it is to be conscious just is to have a certain functional organization?

Regarding the first suggestion, it is a large question how something like that could happen, or whether the idea even makes much sense. Part of the concept of consciousness is that consciosness consists at least in part of first-person experience, and that first-person experience has a peculiar quality to it. It's not clear at all how simply organizing something in a certain way could give rise to that sort of thing. What links those two seemingly radically different phenomena conceptually?

Regarding the second suggestion, it is hard to see how it could be plausible. If consciousness is nothing but a certain kind of functional organization, then that would entail the nonexistence of first-person experience. First-person experience would have to somehow be illusory. But that suggestion is odd. To claim that something is illusory is to claim that there is some appearance in the mind that corresponds to nothing in the external world, or that it doesn't represent what it purports to represent. However, the distinction between appearance and reality is entirely inappropriate when we're just talking about conscious experience. In slogan form, this point might be expressed as "Where conscious experience is concerned, appearance is reality." That is to say that if I'm experiencing the sensation of, for instance, redness, then it makes no sense for me to ask if I'm really experiencing that particular sensation.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 09:38:23 AM
Thanks for the explanation--now if we assume that two chromosomes merged, that does not seem to refute any of the 6 arguments in the document quoted above. The supposition that two chromosomes merged appears as curious to me as saying that 1+1 = 2.
The example is not a refutation of the arguments.  It is simply a fact which cannot be logically explained without evolutionary theory.  I specifically chose an example involving genetics as a means of introducing genetics into the discussion.  Genetics, as a filed, is essential the one area that opponents of evolution dare not go, as it is totally in opposition to notions of special creation.  If we were to take your analogy of the merging of chromosomes to the statement 1 + 1 = 2, I could simply use a similar analogy and say that 1 + 1 = 2 is a demonstration of lesser things forming greater things (1 < 2 or simpler, yet the interactions of these two simpler things yields a greater thing).  Obviously, this is misleading, but if you can see the flaw in the reasoning I presented, then you can see the flaw in your own.

I can see this discussion (or at least this sub-section of it) isn't exactly productive.  Instead, I will simply make a rather disingenuous logical move and reverse the onus of the debate:  Let's assume evolution is false.  Why should I accept this notion of emanation?  Or any other alternative you wish to present?

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 10:04:19 AM

(1) Apart from the fact that there is in the whole universe no absolutely closed system, your recourse to systems in no way refutes the sentence, "The greater cannot come from the lesser." Even if you considered the whole universe as your system, the sentence still applies. It is impossible that by "increasing complexity" of non-conscious matter, suddenly consciousness arose. As if a heap of dominos could become conscious of itself if you arranged it under certain environmental conditions...

(2) "Entropy – a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder." (Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry, 2004)
As I understand the argument, its crux is: If actual order is the result of "information input", which requires intelligence, this means that order is already in intelligence as a potential. But this order "present" in intelligence could not have risen out of disorder.

(3) "What about "transitional" species?" -- That is only assumed, the keyword being conclusive evidence.


1) AnHero said it very well:
And how did you decide one thing was greater and one thing was lesser? Perhaps evolution was the lesser coming from the greater.

There's enough complexity outside the cell(s). The structural fitting to this external complexity explain the endogenous, increasing complexity, as well as the fitting to other cells into organisms.

2) Here's a conceptual problem. If we understand "disorder" as dispersion, as in mechanical statistics, entropy is used as a measure of disorder. It is not "misinformation" as "ignorant" matter becoming "intelligent". Very different. Also:

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An example of how entropy isn't disorder is that if you take a piece of glass, which is an amorphous material (one whose atoms are disordered), and place it in a fridge to cool it down, you will not change the atom locations. The glass remains just as disordered, but its entropy decreases as its temperature drops. In fact, in a very good fridge, the closer you brought it to absolute zero (-273.15 C or -459.67 F) to closer its entropy would become to zero. This would all happen without changing its structural disorder.

http://www.dctech.com/physics/features/old/evolution.php  

3) What do you mean by conclusive evidence? And how "transitional" species are not conclusive evidence?

I'll take a look to the Oldmeadow's article.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 07:56:33 PM
And about consciousness.....

It's not clear what you're trying to suggest here. Are you suggesting ....

Yeah, I didn't even read all that. Sorry - It's not clear to me either what exactly I was suggesting.

My response was inspired by my observation that nous is applying logic to a set of premises that might not be accurate. The idea that life and intelligence are low-entropy systems, for instance. Also that human consciousness must be some sort of supernatural thing that you could never replicate with a deterministic finite-state-machine (a computer). If it is, then "a heap of dominos could become conscious of itself if you arranged it under certain environmental conditions...", in nous' words, since that's kind of how a computer works (ignoring details).

Start another thread if you want to discuss the nature of consciousness. I might join in.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 10:22:49 PM

Anytime the conversation with someone moves into "transitional species" or "transitional fossils" territory it becomes material to question whether you'd be able reason with them enough to justify spending time talking to them at all. The creationist favorite lie. There is no lack of transitional specimens. All specimens are transitional specimens. Intellectual dishonesty motivated by superstition may not always be worth dealing with.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 05, 2010, 10:39:00 PM
What if linear time is just a point of view of 3-dimensional creatures? :)

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 06, 2010, 01:39:57 AM
What if linear time is just a point of view of 3-dimensional creatures? :)

Temporal and spatial dimensions are presumably distinct.

Non-linear/multi-dimensional time is certainly an interesting concept to try to comprehend.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 06, 2010, 12:22:53 PM
What if linear time is just a point of view of 3-dimensional creatures? :)

No doubt, but what it if is? So what? Then we try to interpret the universe as completely as possible through our window.