View Poll Results: Does evolution happen

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  • Evolution happens, and it is random

    65 71.43%
  • Evolution happens and is guided by a higher power

    10 10.99%
  • There is not enough information to know for sure

    7 7.69%
  • No, evolutuon does not happen

    5 5.49%
  • I don't know

    4 4.40%
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Thread: Evolution

  1. #191
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Why must direction imply consciousness? Water currents are directed by the shape and flow of a river the same way that a temporary dam directs water away from a construction site. Is that consciousness?



    But that itself is not evolution. Mutations in pure isolation are frankly irrelevant.



    Incorrect. Riverdad is highly contradicting himself by saying that evolution is random at the same time as arguing that there is a clear and obvious influence that is causing the selection for and against genes that is in no way random. On one hand he claims random then on the other he says it's not.



    It is stupid when Riverdad claims it's all random and then claims it's not.
    But, he didn't claim that evolution is random. He claimed that instances of gene mutation are. Then, he stated that after an occurrence of gene mutation occurs, the environmental conditions in which it occurs will determine that mutation's fate.

    Therefore he didn't state that it (evolution) is 'all random', merely that it has a random element in the process. And he didn't contradict himself.

    You need to read more carefully.

    But, you are right, directed doesn't have to imply consciousness. But colloquially, it often does. And in this thread, some of the people are wanting to be very clear by not using words that can be misconstrued. And then you come along, and misconstrue. However, not in the way that they were trying to avoid, but toward it's polar opposite.

    It is maddening to have to be so incredibly careful to begin with, and then to have some contrarian make it impossible to avoid the sort of thing that one was trying to avoid... Well it's just super maddening!

    And just in case you are under the illusion that evolution has no random component at all, here ya go:
    The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation.

    Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.
    Evolution 101: Mutation Is Not "Directed"
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  2. #192
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    What's random to the human mind may not be in fact 'random' at all in the grand scheme. Every action has a reaction.

    When I fed my dog late today he might of thought "hey, I guess I get fed at random times now". In fact I fed him late because I went to grab a drink after work.

  3. #193
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Do you believe evolution happened and is happening? Do you think a higher power guides evolution or is it random?
    Option F: Evolution happens and its NOT random.

    Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution
    "The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance."

    There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating.

    Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go).

    Some people still argue that it is wildly improbable for a given self-replicating molecule to form at a given point (although they usually don't state the "givens," but leave them implicit in their calculations). This is true, but there were oceans of molecules working on the problem, and no one knows how many possible self-replicating molecules could have served as the first one. A calculation of the odds of abiogenesis is worthless unless it recognizes the immense range of starting materials that the first replicator might have formed from, the probably innumerable different forms that the first replicator might have taken, and the fact that much of the construction of the replicating molecule would have been non-random to start with.

    (One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least.)
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  4. #194
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    But, he didn't claim that evolution is random.
    He merely said this:

    "The engines of evolution are genetic drift, selection pressure and mutation. For all intents and purposes, randomness is ever present. With selection, the randomness is related to the micro-environment that dominates. The world is filled with millions of micro-environments so if you frame your reference on the organism, then you'll find it in random environments subject to localized selection pressures."

    And this: "There is no one directing it and the processes do not arise in response to direction."

    Except that the process in which evolution functions is in response to a myriad of directions. By calling the processes of evolution "not directed" he just called it random. Unless he believes that water flows by some conscious effort directing it. But that would be stupid. Which I'm not so sure I can rule out here. There is no reason for why there must be someone directing the processes when the natural environment provides all of the direction necessary.

    He claimed that instances of gene mutation are.
    Except that he further argued that the method of how genes are selected for and against is random. By first calling gene mutation random and then how they are selected for and against random, how has he not argued evolution is not random?

    Then, he stated that after an occurrence of gene mutation occurs, the environmental conditions in which it occurs will determine that mutation's fate.
    Which is why he's contradicting himself. He insults me for arguing is not random...and then argues it is while it's not.

    Therefore he didn't state that it (evolution) is 'all random', merely that it has a random element in the process. And he didn't contradict himself.

    You need to read more carefully.
    I think you need to read his actual posts.

    But, you are right, directed doesn't have to imply consciousness. But colloquially, it often does.
    But in terms of actual science, colloquially doesn't mean squat here. Evolution is hardly a random process as Riverdad called it.

    And in this thread, some of the people are wanting to be very clear by not using words that can be misconstrued. And then you come along, and misconstrue.
    Not at all. Just pointing out that Riverdad as usual is wrong.

    And just in case you are under the illusion that evolution has no random component at all, here ya go:

    Evolution 101: Mutation Is Not "Directed"
    Not at all. I just disagree with Riverdad's notion that the processes of evolution are random.
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  5. #195
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Except that the process in which evolution functions is in response to a myriad of directions. By calling the processes of evolution "not directed" he just called it random. Unless he believes that water flows by some conscious effort directing it. But that would be stupid. Which I'm not so sure I can rule out here. There is no reason for why there must be someone directing the processes when the natural environment provides all of the direction necessary.
    It amazes me to come across a walking billboard for the Dunning–Kruger effect:


    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is . . .


    You're making all sorts of sloppy inferences, like this "By calling the processes of evolution "not directed" he just called it random." You're the one who is making that inference. I have nothing to do with your faulty thinking processes nor do I have any responsibility for your inability to fully comprehend what you're reading. The problem here is that you're picking up just enough comprehension to "kind of" understand what other people are clearly understanding, but you lack the wisdom to see your errors and you believe that you're smarter than everyone else so of course you can't be wrong, everyone else must be wrong instead, including those who tell you that they understand exactly what I've written.

    Here is an example of how scientists use the phrase "directed evolution." Actually, this post is for the benefit of other commenters who are interested in the finer points of evolutionary science and I'm pretty confident that they can use their sophisticated reading skills to extract meaning from the context, that is, they will make a correct inference and you, in all probability, will stick to your guns, and double down on the basis of stubbornness, ignorance and the Dunning–Kruger Effect.



    The next step is to identify the enzyme variants that have improvements in the desired properties. In this sense, directed evolution is more like breeding than like natural selection. The outcome of the experiment depends crucially on what properties are investigated. Devising screens that are sensitive to the small functional changes that are expected from single amino acid substitutions (e.g. a twofold increase in activity) can be challenging and, because the frequency of improved mutants might only be 1 in 1000, the screen must have low inherent variability . . . .


    A second goal of our directed evolution experiments was to test whether it is possible to evolve enzymes that are both thermostable and highly active at low temperature. Therefore, we required that the esterase and the subtilisin protease retain significant activity at room temperature while thermostability increased. We encountered no difficulty in finding thermostable enzymes that retained, and even increased, their activities . . .



    Except that he further argued that the method of how genes are selected for and against is random.
    You argued that, you moron. This is an inference that you're making. I flat out stated that mutations are responsive to their environment.

  6. #196
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Why do evolution vs creationism debates always end up in debates over the existence of some power that is beyond our understand? i.e. debates over whether or not a "deity" exists? last I checked science never proclaims things as absolute facts and instead declares them as lying on differing levels of evidence based support. right now evolution is the best explanation for how organisms came to be and there is little to no understanding of how matter came to be in the first place. science doesn't attempt to support the theory of a deity existing because there is currently no way to measure related variables, i.e. things are too subjective. at least that's how I understand it.
    No it tries to explain how we evolved. How does it explain how things began?
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  7. #197
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Option F: Evolution happens and its NOT random.

    Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution
    If you read the thread, you will find that this point has been addressed, and repeatedly. I personally clarified what I should have said.
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  8. #198
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    No it tries to explain how we evolved. How does it explain how things began?
    What .. are you saying that science tries to explain how we were evolved? Why yes, of course it does (at least the majority of science does); they go by the evidence given and make the most reasonable explanation for the evidence.

    I never purported that science explains how things began in terms of how initial matter was created. Any theories on this are currently speculation. What is well supported is that once life was created (in is most microscopic form) the wheels were set into motion and natural selection took over, resulting in the organisms we see living on earth today.

    The point of my post was that somehow, these evolution vs. creationism posts inevitably end up in arguments over whether or not a "deity" exists when it need to be that way. Evolution does not rule out the possibility of a "deity" - aka some force that is beyond our understanding - this is all I was saying

    I also mentioned that science never claims to have proven anything as true; instead, hypothesis are made and tested and they either support theories or not; as of now, the theory of evolution is a well supported one

    Does this make sense?

  9. #199
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    If you read the thread, you will find that this point has been addressed, and repeatedly. I personally clarified what I should have said.
    Yep. Just testifying here that you did do so, and that it has also been clarified by others. Funny thing is, I knew what you meant, and took it as such, before you ever clarified. The notion of randomness, as spoken of in your poll and OP, taken in context, where it is contrasted with being guided by an intelligence, is sufficiently clear. Your main point was whether a person felt naturalistic explanations were adequate to account for evolution, or whether evolution must involve supernatural elements in order to work. I voted correctly, even though I was fully aware that randomness plays only a part in the naturalistic explanation.
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    Re: Evolution

    Science hasn't explained how life "came to be". If science can't pinpoint how, then why should I care for their suppositions about evolution?

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