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Thread: How do scientists know that biological change is undirected?

  1. #101  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    iceaura, molecular Biologist Ken Miller has written several editions of biology textbooks and several other books on evolutionary biology. He is an outspoken advocate for modern evolutionary theory. Most of his earlier versions made the claim that evolutionary processes are undirected in the sense we are speaking. Recently in court testimony he reluctantly admitted that this claim was insupportable with current evidence and the claim is in fact a metaphysical belief. He subsequently removed the statements from his newest editions. Do you claim that Ken Miller is incorrect? Do you know something he doesn't?
    Arguments from authority don't cut it here. Ken Miller's inability to make an argument about this does not undermine Iceaura unless Iceaura is actually Ken Miller or is relying entirely on his say-so. Plenty of other scientists have made convincing arguments against design, so we don't need to rely on Ken Miller.

    Out of interest, which book was the claim removed from and where was it in that book?
    Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, Biology p658.
    In testimony at the dover trial he claimed the text was inserted by his coauthor and he “immediately took it out of the book"

    I am not making an argument from authority, I am testing what iceaura and now you believe and what you can demonstrate. I am using a real example in Ken Miller to emphasis the task at hand. It is easy to brush off challenges on a web forum, but Ken found it much more difficult when presenting court testimony.

    So you do disagree with Molecular Biologist Ken Miller? You do believe he was mistaken when in testimony he agreed that this aspect of evolutionary theory was a metaphysical position? You think he should have continued to include the statements in his new books?

    You can also show that unguided processes are capable of producing all observed diversity. That all required subprocesses and precursors to new body plans, new molecular cell components, new organs, are achievable by known processes. That all the modest steps to these features, the ones I previously mentioned are all obtainable by processes known to be either deterministic or random.

    Do I have all this correct?

    An example: Let's say that in order to make Y, a new biological feature, you start with X and make a host of small changes C1 through C10. therefore Y = f(X,C1...C10). Mutation and selection has ben observed to accomplish steps C1 and C3 but none of the others.

    To you, iceaura, sperious monkey and marnix at least, somehow the task is finished by demonstrating one or several easy steps and sweeping under the rug the more difficult ones. These sub-steps C4 ... C10 are generation of new protein - protein interactions, new developmental controls, new protein tertiary structures and a host of others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    So you do disagree with Molecular Biologist Ken Miller? You do believe he was mistaken when in testimony he agreed that this aspect of evolutionary theory was a metaphysical position?
    I have no idea what Ken Miller actually said, and reason to doubt your description of what any biological theorist or theory "says",

    but lots of people with excellent credentials in various fields have demonstrated their incomprehension of Darwinian theory. There is no reason Ken Miller could not be another.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    You can also show that unguided processes are capable of producing all observed diversity. That all required subprocesses and precursors to new body plans, new molecular cell components, new organs, are achievable by known processes.
    Darwinian evolution is capable - in theory - of producing arbitrarily complex structures. That has been obvious since it was proposed. So the notion of theoretical "capability" is long settled.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    An example: Let's say that in order to make Y, a new biological feature, you start with X and make a host of small changes C1 through C10. therefore Y = f(X,C1...C10). Mutation and selection has ben observed to accomplish steps C1 and C3 but none of the others.
    If there are proposed steps in the proposed evolutionary sequence taht cannot be accomplished via standard evolution, then obviously that series of steps is not how the feature evolved. Your point?
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  3. #103  
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    Clearly this conversation cannot proceed until cypress elucidates his position and what he means by "directed."

    Please, so that none can be accused of creating strawman arguments, posit your arguments here and define what you mean by "directed."

    Failing to do so, I see no reason for the thread to continue.

    In addition,
    but the moderators find that discussion too challenging and they routinely remove it.
    ... should you ever find yourself unable to login, I should hope you'll recall these words. There are only so many jabs at the moderators you'll be permitted.
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  4. #104  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    iceaura, molecular Biologist Ken Miller has written several editions of biology textbooks and several other books on evolutionary biology. He is an outspoken advocate for modern evolutionary theory. Most of his earlier versions made the claim that evolutionary processes are undirected in the sense we are speaking. Recently in court testimony he reluctantly admitted that this claim was insupportable with current evidence and the claim is in fact a metaphysical belief. He subsequently removed the statements from his newest editions. Do you claim that Ken Miller is incorrect? Do you know something he doesn't?
    Arguments from authority don't cut it here. Ken Miller's inability to make an argument about this does not undermine Iceaura unless Iceaura is actually Ken Miller or is relying entirely on his say-so. Plenty of other scientists have made convincing arguments against design, so we don't need to rely on Ken Miller.

    Out of interest, which book was the claim removed from and where was it in that book?
    Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, Biology p658.
    In testimony at the dover trial he claimed the text was inserted by his coauthor and he “immediately took it out of the book"

    I am not making an argument from authority, I am testing what iceaura and now you believe and what you can demonstrate. I am using a real example in Ken Miller to emphasis the task at hand. It is easy to brush off challenges on a web forum, but Ken found it much more difficult when presenting court testimony.

    So you do disagree with Molecular Biologist Ken Miller? You do believe he was mistaken when in testimony he agreed that this aspect of evolutionary theory was a metaphysical position? You think he should have continued to include the statements in his new books?

    You can also show that unguided processes are capable of producing all observed diversity. That all required subprocesses and precursors to new body plans, new molecular cell components, new organs, are achievable by known processes. That all the modest steps to these features, the ones I previously mentioned are all obtainable by processes known to be either deterministic or random.

    Do I have all this correct?

    An example: Let's say that in order to make Y, a new biological feature, you start with X and make a host of small changes C1 through C10. therefore Y = f(X,C1...C10). Mutation and selection has ben observed to accomplish steps C1 and C3 but none of the others.

    To you, iceaura, sperious monkey and marnix at least, somehow the task is finished by demonstrating one or several easy steps and sweeping under the rug the more difficult ones. These sub-steps C4 ... C10 are generation of new protein - protein interactions, new developmental controls, new protein tertiary structures and a host of others.
    You seem to grasp of the significance of the concept that these things have been recorded in scientific literature. You own ignorance cannot be used as an argument.

    Natural selection has been demonstrated. Step-wise change has been demonstrated and recorded. Speciation has been recorded.

    What hasn't been recorded in the scientific literature is in the influence of an intelligent creator or designer.

    In fact, there are so many flaws in the design of the average body that the concept of an intelligent designer becomes hilarious.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Clearly this conversation cannot proceed until cypress elucidates his position and what he means by "directed."

    Please, so that none can be accused of creating strawman arguments, posit your arguments here and define what you mean by "directed."

    Failing to do so, I see no reason for the thread to continue.

    Have a look at the early part of this thread. It was defined there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Have a look at the early part of this thread. It was defined there.
    No, it wasn't.

    Your only attempt at suggesting a definition of "undirected" was this:
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    In a broad sense there are three modes of explanation. They are undirected contingent or chance processes, deterministic processes, and directed contingent or goal driven process.
    That statement is wrong in itself,

    first because it fails to include explanation by Darwinian evolutionary processes, which involve both chance and deterministic factors, and both contingent and random influences

    second because it proposes a false distinction between deterministic and chance events.

    You also used it as an assumption in an invalid argument, in which you proposed that directed process is a default assumption, the one to be adopted if chance and deterministic process had not been positively demonstrated in any individual case.

    And throughout you failed to adhere to any clear explication of what you intended by the word "chance", which you interchange with "random" and "without cause" and so forth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, Biology p658.
    In testimony at the dover trial he claimed the text was inserted by his coauthor and he “immediately took it out of the book"

    I am not making an argument from authority, I am testing what iceaura and now you believe and what you can demonstrate. I am using a real example in Ken Miller to emphasis the task at hand. It is easy to brush off challenges on a web forum, but Ken found it much more difficult when presenting court testimony.

    So you do disagree with Molecular Biologist Ken Miller? You do believe he was mistaken when in testimony he agreed that this aspect of evolutionary theory was a metaphysical position? You think he should have continued to include the statements in his new books?

    You can also show that unguided processes are capable of producing all observed diversity. That all required subprocesses and precursors to new body plans, new molecular cell components, new organs, are achievable by known processes. That all the modest steps to these features, the ones I previously mentioned are all obtainable by processes known to be either deterministic or random.

    Do I have all this correct?

    An example: Let's say that in order to make Y, a new biological feature, you start with X and make a host of small changes C1 through C10. therefore Y = f(X,C1...C10). Mutation and selection has ben observed to accomplish steps C1 and C3 but none of the others.

    To you, iceaura, sperious monkey and marnix at least, somehow the task is finished by demonstrating one or several easy steps and sweeping under the rug the more difficult ones. These sub-steps C4 ... C10 are generation of new protein - protein interactions, new developmental controls, new protein tertiary structures and a host of others.
    You seem to grasp of the significance of the concept that these things have been recorded in scientific literature. You own ignorance cannot be used as an argument.
    Still avoiding the topic I see. It's a safe approach when the question cannot be answered to your liking.

    Natural selection has been demonstrated. Step-wise change has been demonstrated and recorded. Speciation has been recorded.
    Only those with a prior commitment seem convinced that these processes account for all observed diversity. I'm open minded to any plausible cause and it is clear as day that these basic processes have not been explained. Evolutionary processes have not demonstrated modest molecular level changes that are precursor steps to new protein component function.

    A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. You and the others want to focus only on the strongest.

    What hasn't been recorded in the scientific literature is in the influence of an intelligent creator or designer.
    This topic is off limits for this site, I couldn't address it if I wanted to. It's against the rules. Shh... it's being censored.

    In fact, there are so many flaws in the design of the average body that the concept of an intelligent designer becomes hilarious.
    You should have a look at the processing systems we engineer at this corporation. I think you might fall over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Evolutionary processes have not demonstrated modest molecular level changes that are precursor steps to new protein component function.
    Researchers have demonstrated that Darwinian evolutionary process can and has produced such changes.

    Is that what you meant, by that confused sentence?
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  9. #109  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Have a look at the early part of this thread. It was defined there.
    No, it wasn't.

    Your only attempt at suggesting a definition of "undirected" was this:
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    In a broad sense there are three modes of explanation. They are undirected contingent or chance processes, deterministic processes, and directed contingent or goal driven process.
    That statement is wrong in itself,

    first because it fails to include explanation by Darwinian evolutionary processes, which involve both chance and deterministic factors, and both contingent and random influences
    I covered that in previous posts, go have a closer look.

    second because it proposes a false distinction between deterministic and chance events.
    adressed this too. Deterministic events have a probability of 0 or 1 and chance events have probabilities between 0 and 1. That is the only distinction.

    You also used it as an assumption in an invalid argument, in which you proposed that directed process is a default assumption, the one to be adopted if chance and deterministic process had not been positively demonstrated in any individual case.
    Since there are three modes of explanation and cause one and two or any combination of one and two are ruledout then what is left?

    And throughout you failed to adhere to any clear explication of what you intended by the word "chance", which you interchange with "random" and "without cause" and so forth.
    If I have been imprecise ( I doupt I was ) forgive me. I do substitue random and chance from time to time, but I doubt I used the words "without cause" I believe everything with a beginning must have a cause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Evolutionary processes have not demonstrated modest molecular level changes that are precursor steps to new protein component function.
    Researchers have demonstrated that Darwinian evolutionary process can and has produced such changes.

    Is that what you meant, by that confused sentence?
    Ok I hacked that pretty badly.

    Modest molecular changes, including new teriary structures and new binding sites, ones that are precusor steps to new protein function can and have been derived by goal driven processes but thus far, attempts to demonstrate that they can be and have been derived by known evolutionary processes have failed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I covered that in previous posts
    No, you have never dealt with the matter. You appear oblivious to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    adressed this too. Deterministic events have a probability of 0 or 1 and chance events have probabilities between 0 and 1. That is the only distinction.
    no real event has a probability of 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Since there are three modes of explanation and cause one and two or any combination of one and two are ruledout then what is left?
    There are more than three modes of explanation. You continue to overlook evolutionary process.

    And you have not only wrongly assumed an absence of evidence and argument, but confused that assumed absence of evidence or argument for the state of having "ruled out" possibilities as yet unconsidered - absence of demonstration is not demonstration of absence.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    but thus far, attempts to demonstrate that they can be and have been derived by known evolutionary processes have failed.
    Oh baloney. Really, "failed" how?
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  12. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I covered that in previous posts
    No, you have never dealt with the matter. You appear oblivious to it.
    Look again.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    adressed this too. Deterministic events have a probability of 0 or 1 and chance events have probabilities between 0 and 1. That is the only distinction.
    no real event has a probability of 1.
    Show us how the probability that matter or energy will exist in less than one plank time is less than 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Since there are three modes of explanation and cause one and two or any combination of one and two are ruledout then what is left?
    There are more than three modes of explanation. You continue to overlook evolutionary process.
    Mutation and selection are a combination of chance and necessity.

    And you have not only wrongly assumed an absence of evidence and argument, but confused that assumed absence of evidence or argument for the state of having "ruled out" possibilities as yet unconsidered - absence of demonstration is not demonstration of absence.
    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    but thus far, attempts to demonstrate that they can be and have been derived by known evolutionary processes have failed.
    Oh baloney. Really, "failed" how?
    Yes, because it is a fact that thus far nobody has been able to demonstrate that evolutionary processes are able to produce the effects I listed. Thus we cannot know if observed diversity was a product of chance and necessity alone. The attempts to support the claim has failed. That is not the same as saying evolution has failed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No, you have never dealt with the matter. You appear oblivious to it.


    Look again.
    Several times. You have never dealt with the matter, and continue to appear oblivious to it. Go back and deal with the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Show us how the probability that matter or energy will exist in less than one plank time is less than 1
    Not a real event.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    There are more than three modes of explanation. You continue to overlook evolutionary process.


    Mutation and selection are a combination of chance and necessity.
    You have no idea what you mean by "combination", there. The results of evolutionary process are neither random nor determined. Other processes yielding result which are neither random nor determined exist - chaotic ones, for example.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    And you have not only wrongly assumed an absence of evidence and argument, but confused that assumed absence of evidence or argument for the state of having "ruled out" possibilities as yet unconsidered - absence of demonstration is not demonstration of absence.


    Huh?
    You continue to attempt to make invalid arguments, and people continue to point out exactly how they are invalid, and you are puzzled. Obliviousness to one's own argument is not very persuasive - not that the argument would be persuasive if you did intend it.
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    Several posts ago you said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    first because it fails to include explanation by Darwinian evolutionary processes, which involve both chance and deterministic factors, and both contingent and random influences

    second because it proposes a false distinction between deterministic and chance events.
    Now you say evolution is not a combination of chance and necessity. If you believe thant, you may as well say mutation and natural selection are not distinct events. iceaura you are confused.

    But it is irrelevant to the primary issue because you cannot show with any degree of certainty that evolutionary processes produced observed diversity in the first place, so it makes every other aspect of your denials and confusing arguments moot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Now you say evolution is not a combination of chance and necessity.
    I said you don't know what you mean by "combination" in that context.

    Evolutionary processes are neither determined (their results cannot be predicted from their starting conditions) nor random (they exhibit patterns different from a priori probability distributions). That is observed fact, as well as theoretical property of such processes.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    But it is irrelevant to the primary issue because you cannot show with any degree of certainty that evolutionary processes produced observed diversity in the first place
    The "degree of certainty" is irrelevant. We can support the sufficient and capable role of evolutionary processes with a great deal of evidence and reason, and you have no such evidence or reason contradicting either aspect. We have a good theory, and you have no argument against it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Now you say evolution is not a combination of chance and necessity.
    I said you don't know what you mean by "combination" in that context.

    Evolutionary processes are neither determined (their results cannot be predicted from their starting conditions) nor random (they exhibit patterns different from a priori probability distributions). That is observed fact, as well as theoretical property of such processes.
    I agree. They are a combination of deterministic processes and chance. the chance component makes oucomes unpredictable. We agree on this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    But it is irrelevant to the primary issue because you cannot show with any degree of certainty that evolutionary processes produced observed diversity in the first place
    The "degree of certainty" is irrelevant. We can support the sufficient and capable role of evolutionary processes with a great deal of evidence and reason, and you have no such evidence or reason contradicting either aspect. We have a good theory, and you have no argument against it.
    The evidence supports evolutionary processes involved in generation of adaptations to existing function including damage to existing function. I think it is speculation to extend these observations to generation of new functional molecular components. The argument against it is as I described. If the processes involved in generating new function are validated then it will be a good and complete theory.

    [quote]
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    They are a combination of deterministic processes and chance. the chance component makes oucomes unpredictable.
    The deterministic processes involved are also unpredictable, as it turns out.

    See chaos theory, or other treatments of nonlinear feedback loops.

    Many of the chance processes are easily predictable.

    See probability theory and statistical analysis.

    Meanwhile, evolutionary theory predicts patterns neither determined nor random, and so we observe.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We agree on this point.
    No, I think you have no idea what you mean by the word "combination" in that context.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I think it is speculation to extend these observations to generation of new functional molecular components.
    It's a theory, now, having been tested by confirmed prediction of real world discovery, have been observed directly in particular cases, having been supported by mathematical modeling, and having proved its worth in guiding investigation.

    And having never yet been contradicted by observed fact or sound argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Meanwhile, evolutionary theory predicts patterns neither determined nor random, and so we observe.
    That's damn convenient. Nice and vague, the better to make it fit every test and impossible to falsify. the hallmark of a prior commitment.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We agree on this point.
    No, I think you have no idea what you mean by the word "combination" in that context.
    I am quite certain that I mean a combination of both causes. Thus the word combination.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I think it is speculation to extend these observations to generation of new functional molecular components.
    It's a theory, now, having been tested by confirmed prediction of real world discovery, have been observed directly in particular cases, having been supported by mathematical modeling, and having proved its worth in guiding investigation.

    And having never yet been contradicted by observed fact or sound argument.
    Many aspects of it have been repeatably contradicted by both fact and sound argument particularly in the past 10 years, but because it is a metaphysical belief, itself taken to be fact by its followers (like you), whenever a prediction is falsified, the prediction is simply altered to conform to the new facts. A good example of a falsified prediction is that eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes. Just the other day, you acknowledged the issue with that prediction, dismissed the falsified prediction as unimportant and proceeded to modify the theory. Congratulations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Many aspects of it have been repeatably contradicted by both fact and sound argument particularly in the past 10 years,
    Not a one. Provide an example?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I am quite certain that I mean a combination of both causes. Thus the word combination
    No meaning is evident. Your original confusion about "chance" and "deterministic" - as if they were somehow mutually exclusive- gives little hope for sense to be obtained from their "combination".
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    That's damn convenient. Nice and vague, the better to make it fit every test and impossible to falsify. the hallmark of a prior commitment.
    ? We routinely test patterns of change for the properties of chance or deterministic origin, in the sense you appear to employ them.
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  20. #120  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Many aspects of it have been repeatably contradicted by both fact and sound argument particularly in the past 10 years, but because it is a metaphysical belief, itself taken to be fact by its followers (like you), whenever a prediction is falsified, the prediction is simply altered to conform to the new facts.
    Now we're getting down to it. Show us some verifiable and rigorous data which contradicts the modern synthesis theory of evolution. Not modifications or additions, but contradictions of some major part of the theory in the last 10 years. Show us a falsified prediction. "Rabbits in the Cambrian" or somesuch.

    This isn't a metaphysical belief. There are observations which can utterly falsify the theory. There are also observations which merely call for modification of the theory. You've seen examples of the second case and seem to be claiming it is some sort of weakness for us to- shock horror- change our models to match verified observations. How exactly do you think science progresses?

    It's the familiar self-contradictory nonsense thrown at scientists by pseudoscientists time and again. One moment accusing us of immovable dogma, the next moment accusing us of changing our minds when our predictions fail. That's a funny sort of dogma.
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    I'll start a new topic. Recognize that I am not advocating for special creation. I am suggesting there are other processes other than random mutation and selection that drive emergence of novel components and systems.

    The trouble bioligista, is that I am not advocating for an overturn of every aspect of Evolutionary theory. I too am suggesting modification. I question the power of random mutation and selection to derive all observed diversity. I suggest there are other processes involved. These other processes do not overturn what evolutionary processes are known to accomplish. They also do no overturn the observed progression of similarity leading one to suspect common descent or a rational progression from older to newer systems. I don't think you have ever taken the time to understand my argument at all.
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