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Thread: Evolution, with a nod to the new administrator

  1. #1 Evolution, with a nod to the new administrator 
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    Evolution is entrenched into two camps, god, and intelligent design.
    What if both are wrong? And there is a middle path to explore?
    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code,
    a kind of software program, if you will, codes and drives evolution
    whatever the local conditions. That is what reason seems to suggest.
    A point, after every mass extinction, new, and more sophisticated
    animals emerged, as though learned and determined by the embedded software.
    nokton.


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    I think you mean natural evolution as described by the Theory of Evolution, and the goddidit explainations such as creationism and intelligent design.

    Sounds like that would fall squarely in the camp of Intelligent Design. All evidence at this points to a natural evolution of life with no intervention at all.


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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code,
    a kind of software program, if you will, codes and drives evolution
    whatever the local conditions.
    Those in the business would call this "chemistry". Those in a different business would say that chemical reactions occur because of, and are governed by, the laws of physics.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    A point, after every mass extinction, new, and more sophisticated
    animals emerged, as though learned and determined by the embedded software.
    Yes, radiation will occur so that surviving organisms occupy the ecological niches previously occupied by the species that have become extinct. Why does this imply a designer? What makes you say that new species are more 'sophisticated' than old species?
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Evolution is entrenched into two camps, god, and intelligent design.
    This is effectively one camp. Singular. Technically speaking, zero camps given that God requires evolution's absence and ID is the socially awkward child of Religious Dogma who hangs around the big kids desperately wanting them to play pretend but not actually grasping the rule about "real/imaginary".

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code
    The informational view of DNA is an old one. DNA does not drive evolution. Selection is primarily geographical and physical. DNA may carry the root log for the event, but the precursor and prime agent of change happens outside of the cell. Random mutation is ongoing regardless. External selection events produce an emergent trend in a population based on a whole host of contributory factors.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    more sophisticated animals emerged
    I am hardly versed in anything remotely related to the field but I sincerely doubt this is correct. Man's ego may require it, but it has no basis in fact. (At least, no readily supported fact I've ever been exposed to). Since it's discovery virtually all predictions made around DNA have failed because of this. The sheer size of the data set defeats us.

    That and the babbling of the PopSci press pushing numbers ahead of sense. :/

    Suggested reading:
    • Evolution: Triumph of an Idea,(Carl Zimmer)
    • Your Inner Fish - (Neil Shubin(?))
    • Science of Discworld 1/2/3 - (Terry Pratchett,Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart) - Only if you like a little irreverent humour with your facts
    • A Brief History of Everything - (Bill Bryson)
    • The Selfish Gene - (Richard Dawkins) - Only if you like a little angry with your facts
    • The Blind Watchmaker - (Richard Dawkins) - Ditto
    The list is huge but these are some of the more accessible introductory works.
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    Good first post Rusty! Feel free to introduce yourself in the intro thread.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Evolution is entrenched into two camps, god, and intelligent design.
    Evolution is opposed by one camp: creationists and modified creationists, known as ID folks.

    What if both are wrong?
    They are both wrong.


    And there is a middle path to explore?
    Not sure why you would want to go into the middle of wrongness.


    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code,
    a kind of software program, if you will, codes and drives evolution
    whatever the local conditions.

    yes, it is too far fetched to assume this, since no evidence of such a code exists.

    That is what reason seems to suggest.
    My reason suggests the opposite.

    A point, after every mass extinction, new, and more sophisticated
    animals emerged,

    You seem to misunderstand evolution. The statement that mass extinction leads to the emergence of more sophistication is blatantly false and cannot be supported by current data.


    as though learned and determined by the embedded software.
    If this was true all animals would have the same software core. Which they don't.


    nokton.
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    I am amused by the response to my post. My post was about getting rid of dogma,
    and engaging in thinking out of the box, so to speak.
    OK, then look at the evolution of the feather, a remarkable piece of mathematics,
    evolving from a program designed to produce it under the right conditions.
    My point is, and was, evolution is not about god or chance, but about a seed
    with a program for life embedded within it. Life within any viable sustainability
    must have a program for evolution and adaptation. If it was a god, why take 500
    million years to produce man, if it was chance, the eye would never have evolved
    in so many different species.
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Life within any viable sustainability must have a program for evolution and adaptation
    You're struggling with emergence and conflating it with intention whilst throwing in a cosmic plan or two which, by definition, requires a cosmic planner at the helm, (along with a steering committee and some drunken debauchery every few months at some coastal resort - commonly referred to as a symposium).

    There is nothing remarkable about life being perfectly suited to the environment it was pruned for. It would be surprising to find a frog living in a pond saturated with volcanic sulphur. It would be mind shattering to discover a moon orbiting your house. It is of little interest to the OP that a feather is a feather. What would it be otherwise? A carrot?

    The eye discussion is a fascinating one but perhaps we should first define what you would consider the minimum requirement to qualify as an "eye" is?
    drowsy turtle likes this.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    OK, then look at the evolution of the feather, a remarkable piece of mathematics,
    evolving from a program designed to produce it under the right conditions
    Apparently you aren't openminded yourself, since when confronted with other views you stick to your own and act offended.

    Which is incomprehensible since the view is based only on your misconceptions.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Offended, monkey??? But no, no. But I do keep my options open, along with my thinking,
    and welcome other opinion, provided it is not dogma ruled.
    OK, monkey, lets explore. Survival of the fittest comes to mind. What does that imply?
    That organisms with a beneficial trait have a better chance of surviving and producing offspring.
    Now lets consider the Puffin, the female, looking for a mate, looks for a male with perfect geometry
    in display. Now how is that consistant with survival?
    My point is, and was, we understand so little about about life and evolution, and any new idea
    beyond Dawkin and the Pope is anathema.
    nokton
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I can't see how you are keeping your options open if you are betting everything on a bag of poop.

    We know a lot more of evolution then you think. Probably because you cannot be arsed to read up on it.

    There are currently 80.000+ free full articles on Pubmed on the topic of evolution. I can safely say you haven't read a single one.

    You probably (as in the scientific probable) haven't even read "On the origin of the species." I can tell that because you wouldn't say all that crap if you had read that "outdated" book. Outdated as in the core idea of modification of descent is still valid, some of the facts are outdated. And the hereditary puzzle has been solved.

    You don't even know what survival means in scientific terms, yet you proudly display your ignorance like it is good to be an ignoramus.
    Ophiolite and brane wave like this.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  13. #12  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Symetrical males are generally fit enough to have the energy to spend preening, grooming, etc... which means likely he will have genes for creating good offspring.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    OK, then look at the evolution of the feather, a remarkable piece of mathematics
    We as humans use mathematics to understand and model how the feather works, it's shape and structure is not defined by mathematics - any more than you are defined by the number one on the basis that there is one of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    evolving from a program designed to produce it under the right conditions.
    'Program' is only an analogy, and not a good one. 'Designed' is simply an assumption.


    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    evolution is not about god or chance, but about a seed
    with a program for life embedded within it.
    This would suggest one of two things - that all living things are genetically identical, or that they evolve by losing genes that they do not need. Neither of these views are accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Life within any viable sustainability
    must have a program for evolution and adaptation.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    if it was chance, the eye would never have evolved
    in so many different species.
    Ignoring the fact that it didn't, why wouldn't it? It's a very useful organ, the selection pressure to evolve a functioning eye would be huge.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Ignoring the fact that it didn't
    Actually, there is evidence that it evolved more than once. For instance, the Cephalopoda, Arthropoda and Chordata.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  16. #15 confluence in reason and logic 
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    My point about the feather was, did its evolution preceed that of birds
    who evolved to use it. And if you study the evolution of a feather,
    you will understand the math behind it.
    nokton.
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  17. #16  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Hi Paleo,
    Not so my friend,
    A science journal decades ago ( I go back a long time } reported
    that research into selecting mates by the puffin female concluded
    that the female selected for the best geometry in a mate.
    nothing to do with pruning.
    Best regards.
    nokton
    Can you provide a link to this paper? How long ago was the paper published? Has anyone revisited the concept?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Hi Paleo, New Scientist, bout 30 years ago, was an in-depth study by scientists
    studying mating behaviour in birds. Am not aware of anyone revisiting the findings,
    but have read no contradiction in New Scientist since.
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    OK, then look at the evolution of the feather, a remarkable piece of mathematics
    We as humans use mathematics to understand and model how the feather works, it's shape and structure is not defined by mathematics - any more than you are defined by the number one on the basis that there is one of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    evolving from a program designed to produce it under the right conditions.
    'Program' is only an analogy, and not a good one. 'Designed' is simply an assumption.


    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    evolution is not about god or chance, but about a seed
    with a program for life embedded within it.
    This would suggest one of two things - that all living things are genetically identical, or that they evolve by losing genes that they do not need. Neither of these views are accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Life within any viable sustainability
    must have a program for evolution and adaptation.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    if it was chance, the eye would never have evolved
    in so many different species.
    Ignoring the fact that it didn't, why wouldn't it? It's a very useful organ, the selection pressure to evolve a functioning eye would be huge.
    Hi turtle, point 1, the feather is a masterpiece of genetic engineering based on mathematics.
    Point 2, humans have a less complex genetic code than chimpanzees.
    3, ok substitute progam for sub-routine, but design is not an assumption.
    What we understand as intelligence is not definitive or set in stone.
    Our understanding of the universe and evolution is limited by our ability to grasp
    concepts, and develop them.
    nokton.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Ignoring the fact that it didn't
    Actually, there is evidence that it evolved more than once. For instance, the Cephalopoda, Arthropoda and Chordata.
    True, and perhaps I should have phrased my reply better. I assumed the author meant that each species/genus/kind/whatever had independantly evolved the eye, which is a [fairly] common creationist misconception.

    Thanks for pointing out my error
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi turtle, point 1, the feather is a masterpiece of genetic engineering based on mathematics.
    Or, the feather is an example of the emergence of apparant complexity from simlicity, demonstrating perfectly how an evolutionary chain of events can lead to organisms being well-adapted to their environments - exactly what we would expect in evolution.

    Mathematics, meanwhile, is a tool devised by humans to help measure and quantify reality. Something could only be 'based on mathematics' if there were a human (or human-like) consciousness involved in the process whereby the feather arose - which is your own belief, and not implicit in the evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Point 2, humans have a less complex genetic code than chimpanzees.
    How are you defining and measuring complexity? Chimpanzees certainly have a more diverse genome, which is a major piece of evidence for the 'genetic bottleneck' theory of human evolution. What would make you think humans are genetically superior to chimpanzees anyway? Are we better suited to our environment than chimpanzees are to theirs? Would this imply superiority anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    3, ok substitute progam for sub-routine, but design is not an assumption.
    How about 'process' or 'reaction(s)'?
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Hi Turtle,
    At last a breath of fresh air and logical discourse, thankyou.
    nokton.
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    [QUOTE=drowsy turtle;280833]
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Ignoring the fact that it didn't
    Actually, there is evidence that it evolved more than once. For instance, the Cephalopoda, Arthropoda and Chordata.
    True, and perhaps I should have phrased my reply better. I assumed the author meant that each species/genus/kind/whatever had independantly evolved the eye, which is a [fairly] common creationist misconception.

    Thanks for pointing out my error [/QUOTE
    May I point out once again Turtle, I am an atheist, have no room for gods or dogma. This may seem at varience
    with creationist and evolution by selection thinking, There are many examples in nature where chance does not explain
    the compexity of the organism, and if created by intelligence, as we understand it, why so many mistakes.
    I was seeking to explore a different kind of thinking on the subject, on in which neither god or chance was involved
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    There are many examples in nature where chance does not explain
    the compexity of the organism
    Random mutation followed by natural selection, however, can quite easily.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  25. #24  
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    nokton, in responding to your thoughts I shall, at times, be repeating points already made. I do so because these are important points. I acknowledge the contributions of the earlier posters.
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Evolution is entrenched into two camps, god, and intelligent design.
    It has been clearly stated that this is incorrect. God and Intelligent Design are part of the same anti-evolutionary cabal. It would help me to understand your position if you would confirm that you agree with this. If you do not, could you expound on why you believe your statement was correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code,
    a kind of software program, if you will, codes and drives evolution
    .
    There is no evidence for such a code. We do see that many aspects of the genetic code are ancient and thus shared by many organisms on the planet. To date no research shows any evidence whatsoever for such an embedded master code. I understand that many researchers are engaged in work on 'junk' DNA, since it has been recognised that it has roles to play. None of this research has even hinted at the possibility of such a master code. If you know of work to the contrary I would fascinated to hear of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Is it too far fetched to assume a code embeded in the genetic code,
    a kind of software program, if you will, codes and drives evolution
    whatever the local conditions. .
    In the continuation of your last thought, which I have emboldened, you throw out Darwin and Fisher and Mayr and Simpson and every evolutionist who has breathed in the last century and a half. You reject in an instant natural selection. You reject survival of the fittest. It seems to me that to justify any serious consideration of such rejection you must offer compelling evidence against natural selection in at least a handful of well documented instances. I look forward to seeing citations from you to that effect.

    That is what reason seems to suggest.
    No. That is the antithesis of what reason, and observations, and evidence, and field studies, and theory, and modelling, and biology, and palaeontology, and embryology, and genetics not only suggest, but demonstrate.

    A point, after every mass extinction, new, and more sophisticated animals emerged, as though learned and determined by the embedded software.
    Not so. If you believe it is, please provide the evidence to justify the assertion. As a case in counterpoint, after the last big one at the KT boundary, birds and mammals 'took over' as the dominant macro-organisms. Birds are dinosaurs, so nothing much to report there. Mammals are about as ancient as dinosaurs, so if their 'design' was so damned sophisticated how come they had to wait for a chance blow from space to take out their competition?

    My post was about getting rid of dogma, and engaging in thinking out of the box, so to speak.
    In order to think outside of the box one has to have a clear knowledge of the size, shape and location of the box. Your posts to date lead me to doubt how true this would be of you.

    It is a curious fact that some of the most dogmatic people I have encountered on internet forums are those who dogmatically insist that science is full of scientists who dogmatically refuse to think outside the box. (Passing reference to Khun would provide an explanation as to why casual observers might suspect that was the case.)

    As to my own credentials in regard to thinking outside the box, like Alice, I routinely "think six impossible things before breakfast". However, by lunchtime, to my immense disappointment, I've realised why they are impossible. It doesn't stop me thinking more tomorrow.

    My point is, and was, evolution is not about god or chance, but about a seed with a program for life embedded within it.
    Evolution is not a chance event. It depends upon chance mutations and external contingency, but it is directed by the environment - the same environment you discarded in such a cavalier fashion.

    Life within any viable sustainability must have a program for evolution and adaptation.
    This is a bland assertion for which you have offered, so far, zero evidence.

    As a passing note, I have been writing on and off for three decades a science fiction tale spanning the local group of galaxies and a couple of billion years. A requirement of the plot is that evolution is directed by the sort of mechanism you refer to. I've been trawling the research papers for two decades looking for anything that gave me a glimmer of support for the idea. Sadly, there's nothing there.

    if it was chance, the eye would never have evolved in so many different species.
    If you start with the same toolbox and raw materials you are likely to build similar products.

    Now lets consider the Puffin, the female, looking for a mate, looks for a male with perfect geometry in display. Now how is that consistant with survival?
    Paleoichnium has provided the answer to that item.

    Hi Paleo, New Scientist, bout 30 years ago, was an in-depth study by scientists studying mating behaviour in birds. Am not aware of anyone revisiting the findings,
    but have read no contradiction in New Scientist since.
    I mean really! I am a great fan of New Scientist, but it is not a scientific journal. It is a popular science magazine designed to inform and entertain. I read it regularily, but I maintain a sceptical view of any of its articles, since their interpretation of the atual reasearch can be baldy focused.

    There are many examples in nature where chance does not explain the compexity of the organism
    Name one and demonstrate that your assertion is plausible, taking into account the powerful note from Drowsy Turtle.

    I was seeking to explore a different kind of thinking on the subject, on in which neither god or chance was involved
    And it is an excellent idea to explore. Please try to understand that some of us are rejecting your idea because we have already explored it and found nothing to support it, not because we are hidbound by dogma.
    Last edited by John Galt; August 26th, 2011 at 11:42 AM. Reason: typo
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    Yes,read Shakespeare 65 years ago, the laws delay, the insolence of office, the proud mans contumely.
    Please do not preach to me with esoteric diatribe
    Ok to answer one of your points, yes, agree with you about New Scientist, but I feel it tries to explain
    things in science to the uninitiated, and feel it does a good job there.
    Please tell me of your exploration of my idea, am interested.
    There is a an orchid in the Amazon that defies evolution theory.
    It propogates by a unique scenario that evolution cannot explain as chance.
    With respect,
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    There is a an orchid in the Amazon that defies evolution theory. It propogates by a unique scenario that evolution cannot explain as chance.
    If you're referring to that vanilla orchid nonsense the creationists keep mistakenly presenting as the work of a divine creator, this conversation takes on a completely different tone. If it is evidence of anything, it is the imperfect grasp of evolutionary theory we encounter so very often in the less than intellectually honest ID camp. Almost as bad as the banana farce but nowhere near as amusing.

    Please elaborate on this orchid and what makes it so revolutionary?
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    I agree with Rusty, what orchid are you specifically referring to and how is it a problem?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    There is a an orchid in the Amazon that defies evolution theory.
    It propogates by a unique scenario that evolution cannot explain as chance.
    Darwin wrote a book length treatise on orchids, as particularly solid and incontrovertible illustrations of how well his theory explained formerly unexplained features of the natural world.

    There's almost something indicative of ambition or ego in a deliberate con or scam, a kind of bragging, about some of the arguments and examples promulgated by creationist sites. "See what we can put over!"

    Or maybe: "Here, bog you down dealing with this."

    Time and effort wasted dealing respectfully with creationist cons as if they were actual arguments is perhaps the point of the barrage, eh? Bag 'em all in pseudoscience, link them to talkorigins, and refuse to bother with their twists and turns and eventual circularities of "argument", might be the best dealing.
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    Hi Ice,
    Afraid you missed my point entirely, and as so many, jump to a conclusion before analysing
    the content of the proposal. I AM NOT a creationist, neither am I commited to the current
    theory of evolution. god and dogma bedevils
    The notion that life evolves by chance adaptation appals me.
    Complexity in evolution does not play games of chance, it is driven by, if I may say it,
    something as yet, beyond our comprehension.
    god and dogma mist our eyes when seeking the truth.
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    Still waiting for the orchid citation.

    And incredulity does not trump the vast amount of evidence from multiple disparate fields of study which supports evolution
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Once again, my point is misconstrued, and misrepresented. I believe in evolution,
    but not driven by chance, as some would view it, nor driven by an 'intelligence '
    as we understand it, aka god.
    I propose, and believe, there is a code that drives evolution, embedded within
    the genetic code, if you will.
    It is mind numbing when trying to grasp a concept so hostile to the ethics and
    principals we now live by. It has no morality, and but one purpose, to create life
    with a fomula for evolving whatever the conditions.
    There is more to it than that, it also codes for intelligence and an appreciation
    of form and design, beauty, if you will, its compexity defies imagination, but not
    conceptual evaluation.
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    But that is still intelligence/goddidit driven evolution as it boils down at that point to who put the code there in the first place.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    No Paleo, it is not intelligence, or god driven, with respect, please think out of the box awhile.
    Was the 'big bang' driven by intelligence or goddidit? The hell no. Which is the answer to your
    question as to who put the code there in the first place. The 'who' in your question is not an issue,
    more 'what' did, is. I don't know, my friend.
    We, in spite of our arrogence, do not yet have the intellect to explain everything.
    nokton
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    SO the question is what is the code and where did it come from then???

    And we are still waiting for the evolution defying orchid info.....
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Afraid you missed my point entirely, and as so many, jump to a conclusion before analysing
    the content of the proposal. I AM NOT a creationist, neither am I commited to the current
    theory of evolution. god and dogma bedevils
    You are a creationist. You display the standard creationist confusion about the role of "chance" in evolutionary theory, you use terms like "dogma" to describe evolutionary theory in all its complexity and variability, and you post drivel from creationist sources - such as your orchid example, which has always irked me in its snark.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I propose, and believe, there is a code that drives evolution, embedded within
    the genetic code, if you will.
    If by this you mean the genomes of living species are inherently adaptable, then yes. This is due to the chemical structure of DNA and various biological mechanisms which actively encourage variation over consecutive generations. If you mean the changes to DNA are in anticipation of environmental changes, and mutations arise by 'design', then no. Mutations are demonstrably random; it's the selection process that isn't.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Afraid you missed my point entirely, and as so many, jump to a conclusion before analysing
    the content of the proposal. I AM NOT a creationist, neither am I commited to the current
    theory of evolution. god and dogma bedevils
    You are a creationist. You display the standard creationist confusion about the role of "chance" in evolutionary theory, you use terms like "dogma" to describe evolutionary theory in all its complexity and variability, and you post drivel from creationist sources - such as your orchid example, which has always irked me in its snark.
    Hi ice, you, like many others, you have rote learning, your agression in dealing with my post, says much
    about your dealing with others who do not share your fixed point of view.
    I did not post about the orchid from a creationist view, but about chance in evolution, and how
    complexity in evolution defies the property of mere chance.
    I do not feel it appropriate to describe the orchid to you, you would not believe it anyway.
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I propose, and believe, there is a code that drives evolution, embedded within
    the genetic code, if you will.
    If by this you mean the genomes of living species are inherently adaptable, then yes. This is due to the chemical structure of DNA and various biological mechanisms which actively encourage variation over consecutive generations. If you mean the changes to DNA are in anticipation of environmental changes, and mutations arise by 'design', then no. Mutations are demonstrably random; it's the selection process that isn't.
    Hi turtle, stop the bus, I have much respect for you and your opinion,
    please try to understand me, mutations by radiation are accepted as possible over time.
    please try to understand this, the code for evolution does not deviate from a prime directive,
    life at any cost. Turtle, its not god driven, nor evolution as we presently understand it.
    Enjoy your posts.
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    please try to understand this, the code for evolution does not deviate from a prime directive,
    life at any cost.
    You have it quite backwards. Life is the that which has persisted after the cost has been deducted. There's no plan, no directive. You might as well claim that raindrops have a plan, directive or seed code because some of them fell into a red bucket you put on your roof. I'm sure there are better analogies, but it rains a metric crap ton per hour where I live.

    Moderator mode for a moment:

    Shouldn't this be in pseudo or something? Or will that just kill what's sure to be a fun game of creationist whack-a-mole? Up to you guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post

    I do not feel it appropriate to describe the orchid to you, you would not believe it anyway.
    nokton
    Ahhh, but here's the rub, you specifically brought up the orchid, and asserted with very distinct conviction that it was important, as it defies evolution. You have now been asked for a more specific reference in regards to this claim. As you well know, one of the central tenets of science is providing evidence when asked for it. You dont get to say "I dont want to, just take me at my word".
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    As you well know, one of the central tenets of science is providing evidence when asked for it. You dont get to say "I dont want to, just take me at my word".
    Well you can say it, but it's a bit like <insert rain-related analogy>. In other words, game over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Yes,read Shakespeare 65 years ago, the laws delay, the insolence of office, the proud mans contumely.
    You write that, then have the nerve to accuse me of esoteric diatribe.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Please tell me of your exploration of my idea, am interested.
    I've told you, in objective detail, my thoughts on your idea. You have rejected some carefully considered, cogent observations as esoteric diatribe. Identify what in my remarks were esoteric and I'll dumb them down for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    There is a an orchid in the Amazon that defies evolution theory.
    It propogates by a unique scenario that evolution cannot explain as chance.
    Provide citations in support of this claim. I doubt it. I doubt it seriously. I am willing to consider it, if you provide the details.

    I did not post about the orchid from a creationist view, but about chance in evolution, and how complexity in evolution defies the property of mere chance.
    At least one other person has already pointed this out, but you continue to blithely ignore it. Evolution is not about chance. Evolution is about chance and selection. The problems you think exist for evolution to explain are dealt with by the selection process.

    I do not feel it appropriate to describe the orchid to you, you would not believe it anyway.
    This is unacceptable behaviour on a science forum. You have stated something to be a fact. This 'fact' is important to your argument. Common decency, scientific ethics and forum rules, all require that you provide evidence for your claim. Refusing to do so is at best immature and at worst cynical.

    Without respect,
    Ophiolite
    Last edited by John Galt; August 31st, 2011 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Add a further note.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    I did not post about the orchid from a creationist view, but about chance in evolution, and how
    complexity in evolution defies the property of mere chance.
    That is the creationist point of view. You found it, and the orchid example, and the rest, on a creationist website - the website purveyors may have called it "intelligent design", I think I've seen that relabeling from a drive-by creationist's link - and we know that because there is no other source for that point of view and that example. Do you think you are the first one, in a forum like this?

    If you don't want to be treated as yet another creationist drive-by, don't get your points of view and examples from the standard creationist pickle barrel and try to tell us different.

    If you want to begin learning about the application of evolutionary theory to the flowering structures of orchids, Darwin wrote on that topic back in the 1870s. It's a lovely book: The various contrivances by which ... - Google Books
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    nokton, creationist or not, are you planning on providing sources for your claims? Because, as usual with people who think evolution is bogus, you are at present simply making arguments from ignorance. Do you understand the difference between not yet knowing through which processes something occurs and saying something is impossible through natural means?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post

    I do not feel it appropriate to describe the orchid to you, you would not believe it anyway.
    nokton
    Ahhh, but here's the rub, you specifically brought up the orchid, and asserted with very distinct conviction that it was important, as it defies evolution. You have now been asked for a more specific reference in regards to this claim. As you well know, one of the central tenets of science is providing evidence when asked for it. You dont get to say "I dont want to, just take me at my word".
    OK Paleo, not know the name of the orchid, but can describe it. It's form is a bell, water in the bottom, bee is attracted to it and falls in,
    bee swims around, finds an access tube exactly at water level, climbs up it. At the top, the plant attaches a pollen sac to each side of the bee.
    Bee flies off, finds orchid with opposite gender, falls in. As it climbs out the orchid detaches the pollen sacs, and pollination is complete.
    Now, am not an creationist in any sense of the word, I am an atheist. My point was, and is, something we do not understand, as yet, is
    driving evolution, and comments like, well who wrote a programme to code for life and evolution, who? Why has there to be a who?
    Or for that matter, what? My point about the orchid Paleo, is this comlexity of pollination just mere chance?
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    nokton, creationist or not, are you planning on providing sources for your claims? Because, as usual with people who think evolution is bogus, you are at present simply making arguments from ignorance. Do you understand the difference between not yet knowing through which processes something occurs and saying something is impossible through natural means?
    Not at all Kalster, read my last post. Would take issue with your contention that I think evolution is bogus, far from it.
    It is how evolution works that is my concern. Unfortunately, so many points of view on this vexed question are driven
    by ideology or rote leaning.
    Thankyou your response.
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    It is how evolution works that is my concern.
    reality cannot be blamed when it clashes with your ideology.
    Last edited by KALSTER; September 2nd, 2011 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Fixed quote brackets
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Or for that matter, what? My point about the orchid Paleo, is this comlexity of pollination just mere chance?
    That question, and the orchid example, are among the standard creationist trollings brought to forums like this dozens of times a year - they come from creationist websites, where a compendium of them is maintained for that purpose.

    Explanation of the complexity of pollination mechanisms in orchids was one of the first examples of the power of Darwinian theory. You can read how Darwin approached your orchid example in the linked e-book above. Your question was first answered, in general, in 1877 - more detail has been added since, including the central advance of mechanism in the late 1900s.

    The short answer is no, it is not mere chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    It is how evolution works that is my concern.
    reality cannot be blamed when it clashes with your ideology.
    And what do you understand about reality, or for that matter your understanding
    of my my ideology. You are an expression of my worst fear, a closed mind to all that
    you cannot or refuse to, understand.
    nokton
    Last edited by KALSTER; September 2nd, 2011 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Fixed Quote brackets
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    It is how evolution works that is my concern.
    reality cannot be blamed when it clashes with your ideology.
    Who is the real fool, the fool, or the one who follows the fool?
    nokton.
    Last edited by KALSTER; September 2nd, 2011 at 02:06 AM. Reason: fixed quote brackets
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    To be honest the first thing Iwould have done would have been to look at the relevant literature to see if the Orchid/bee symbiosis was actually regarded as a problem by apiologists or botanists.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Or for that matter, what? My point about the orchid Paleo, is this comlexity of pollination just mere chance?
    That question, and the orchid example, are among the standard creationist trollings brought to forums like this dozens of times a year - they come from creationist websites, where a compendium of them is maintained for that purpose.

    Explanation of the complexity of pollination mechanisms in orchids was one of the first examples of the power of Darwinian theory. You can read how Darwin approached your orchid example in the linked e-book above. Your question was first answered, in general, in 1877 - more detail has been added since, including the central advance of mechanism in the late 1900s.

    The short answer is no, it is not mere chance.
    Thankyou for that ice, you made my day, it is not mere chance, but we will. one day, understand more than
    we know now. And you, monkey, are spurious.
    nokton.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Thankyou for that ice, you made my day, it is not mere chance, but we will. one day, understand more than
    we know now
    I won't. The evolution of orchids is not on my bucket list of further and more detailed investigations. The standard Darwinian explication and the basic math behind the genetics is enough for me.

    But it's a fascinating field no doubt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    It is how evolution works that is my concern.
    reality cannot be blamed when it clashes with your ideology.
    Who is the real fool, the fool, or the one who follows the fool?
    nokton.
    They both are of course.

    I have published peer reviewed articles on evolution.

    I actually have done research.

    The only thing you did is read creationist websites.

    You are a fool who is following a great flock of fools who followed a collective of fools.
    Last edited by KALSTER; September 2nd, 2011 at 02:08 AM. Reason: fixed quote brackets
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    Creationism, and Evolution shouldn't be used in the same sentence! One is based on scientific reasearch and peer reviewed scrutiny, the other is based on ideology and faith. That the theorey doesn't have all the answers, does not make it less valid. Thats the beauty in science, it is always "evolving" to fit the Universe in flux for which it is trying to understand.
    Why did God give me nipples?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    To be honest the first thing Iwould have done would have been to look at the relevant literature to see if the Orchid/bee symbiosis was actually regarded as a problem by apiologists or botanists.
    Thanx Paleo, done that, and so far, nothing. The thing that intrigued me about this scenario is that it is not
    symbiotic, the bee gets no benefit. In spite of others claims on this forum, I have never visited a creationist
    web site. I read, study, evaluate, and draw a conclusion. That conclusion is not fixed, but determined by
    my evaluation of the latest findings in science. Been doing that for three quarters of a century.
    nokton.
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    It is clear to me that you never read a single scientific article in your life.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rustypup View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Evolution is entrenched into two camps, god, and intelligent design.
    This is effectively one camp. Singular.
    I'm not a biologist, nokton, but I know enough to realise, as others have pointed out, that your first sentence is wrong. The term, intelligent design, implies the existence of some kind of Creator/Watchmaker altho' there may be different opinions on the exact role played by such an entity.
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    Nokton, if you have read up on the symbiosis then you should be able to tell us the names of the orchid and bee.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    It sounds like the Pitcher Plant.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Wonderland | Nature | Orchid Structure & Pollination | Cheats & Liars - Auckland Museum New Zealand
    The labellum of the Cypripedioideae species is shaped so that it traps the pollinator and the only way out is to go past the anther, where the pollinia stick to the insect’s back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    In spite of others claims on this forum, I have never visited a creationist
    web site. I read, study, evaluate, and draw a conclusion.
    Then you can point us to a non-creationist source for your example of the orchid, and "mere chance" proposed as an explanation.

    That would be the place you got the example from, and that language, just before you posted it here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Wonderland | Nature | Orchid Structure & Pollination | Cheats & Liars - Auckland Museum New Zealand
    The labellum of the Cypripedioideae species is shaped so that it traps the pollinator and the only way out is to go past the anther, where the pollinia stick to the insect’s back.
    Many thanx Harold, my memory for retrieving the detail of my learning is not photographic these days.
    You describe the plant I am about perfectly as my memory serves. Thankyou again.
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    In spite of others claims on this forum, I have never visited a creationist
    web site. I read, study, evaluate, and draw a conclusion.
    Then you can point us to a non-creationist source for your example of the orchid, and "mere chance" proposed as an explanation.

    That would be the place you got the example from, and that language, just before you posted it here.
    No prob ice, Discovery Science on cable TV. Stop the bus, with respect, you still cannot think out of the box.
    What I am suggesting is nothing to do with creation, aka religion, and nothing to do with chance.
    I am presently watching a recording I made from Discovery Science, on the mystery of the evolution of
    the feather. I am not against Darwin, but do think that his theory of evolution merely scratches the surface.
    If I may, there is no intelligence, as we understand intelligence,directing evolution.
    Evolution, and the driver for it is embedded within the genetic code. Genes switch themselves on and off
    according to local conditions, to me, and contradict me if you will, this smacks of a programme.
    Respect.
    nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Nokton, if you have read up on the symbiosis then you should be able to tell us the names of the orchid and bee.
    Harold refreshed my memory, read his post and my response thankyou.
    nokton.
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    I am sick and tired of so called rote learners who will not evaluate what is said
    to them in the spirit of confluence. OK you have a degree, so what?
    Did you learn to compromise? And more importantly did it teach you how to think.
    Gather not, or I not be here.
    A science site should be about flexibility of opinion, not dogma, but a meeting of
    minds in the pursuit of knowledge.
    nokton.
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    I am all for new ideas but they have to ahve some basis in logic and reason, and not invoke a higher somethingness to get around the parts that are not understood. The orchid subfamily you refer to has been found and identified for us, but you have yet to explain why it defies current evolutionary theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    I am all for new ideas but they have to ahve some basis in logic and reason, and not invoke a higher somethingness to get around the parts that are not understood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    I am all for new ideas but they have to ahve some basis in logic and reason, and not invoke a higher somethingness to get around the parts that are not understood. The orchid subfamily you refer to has been found and identified for us, but you have yet to explain why it defies current evolutionary theory.
    Hi Paleo, a point, if you please, it does not defy current evolutionary theory, merely queston the concept of it.
    In logic and reason you propose, there is room for abstract thought, and new ideas on evolution and what
    drives it.
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post

    No prob ice, Discovery Science on cable TV. Stop the bus, with respect, you still cannot think out of the box.
    What I am suggesting is nothing to do with creation, aka religion, and nothing to do with chance.
    I am presently watching a recording I made from Discovery Science, on the mystery of the evolution of
    the feather. I am not against Darwin, but do think that his theory of evolution merely scratches the surface.
    If I may, there is no intelligence, as we understand intelligence,directing evolution.
    Evolution, and the driver for it is embedded within the genetic code. Genes switch themselves on and off
    according to local conditions, to me, and contradict me if you will, this smacks of a programme.
    Respect.
    nokton
    Taking discovery channel, or any science program or literature which points to gaps of knowledge and understanding, does not in any sense support the notion that anything is programmed by god (or another species)--it just means we haven't figured it out yet. It could also mean we'll never figure it out because the evidence is completely gone. Your whole approach seems to use the god-of-gaps argument to suggest that something "programmed" our genetics for evolution. It just adds an extra layer of complexity to obscure what it really is--another form of creationism without real proof. It's not just gene expression either: it's gene evolution towards entirely new genes that survive the orgasms that possess them, it's gene transfer between species, sometime it's gene extinction. You might have a useful metaphor in your idea of "programmed," much like Dawkins used "selfish" to help us think about some aspects of evolution, but you haven't developed, explained or defined the limitations of what you mean by "programmed." The net result is you look like just another creationist who wants to blame other well-reasoned people for not accepting your idea, instead of looking in the mirror and blaming yourself for what you see as a mis-characterization of your ideas.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; September 4th, 2011 at 04:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi Paleo, a point, if you please, it does not defy current evolutionary theory, merely queston the concept of it.
    In logic and reason you propose, there is room for abstract thought, and new ideas on evolution and what
    drives it.
    nokton.
    But is essential that these thoughts and new ideas be founded on solid observation. They need to be consistent with what we see. Many a fine idea has gone up in flames at the first hint of solid data.

    So far, all you appear to be doing is pumping up the volume on the mantra "If you reject a new idea you have a closed mind". You have failed to respond - in any meaningful way - to an earlier post in whcih I essentially said "I've looked for alternative explanations and mechanisms for evolution, including the one you are proposing. The evidence is not there."

    In the absence of evidence, why would you continue to pursue an idea whose only foundation is your imagination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx-Fox
    Taking discovery channel, or any science program or literature which points to gaps of knowledge and understanding, does not in any sense support the notion that anything is programmed by god (or another species)--it just means we haven't figured it out yet.
    In the caseof the Discovery channel it may just mean they are trying to get their ratings up.
    Last edited by John Galt; September 4th, 2011 at 02:10 PM. Reason: add response to LF.
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    The Discovery Channel is about 2 steps below New Scientist in scientific accuracy.

    Regarding the eye, there's a detailed article in Scientific American in the July 2011 issue that discusses the Evolution of the Eye, in all it's detail, and with all it's faults left over from the process.
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    Discovery channel is only one step above the bible and sometimes even below it.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    Then you can point us to a non-creationist source for your example of the orchid, and "mere chance" proposed as an explanation.

    That would be the place you got the example from, and that language, just before you posted it here. No prob ice, Discovery Science on cable TV.
    Discovery has run creationist-friendly programming. You need to be more specific.

    You need to provide us with a non-creationist source for your example of the orchid and the language of "mere chance" (that is, you presented an orchid here as not fitting Darwinian theory's framework, and you put great emphasis on "mere chance" as not reasonable explanation) Those are both familiar and characteristic of the standard creationist "information" sites, and your introduction of them here betrays your background and sources.
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    Ice, will dwell with you alone, why? Because I respect your objectivity and response.
    Ice, Darwin only scratched the surface of something beautiful and enigmatic.
    May I say to you, I am an atheist and have not contact with creationist sites,
    I abhor religion in the search for truth.
    OK, lets start with this, the big bang, was the moment of the creation of the
    universe also seeded with not just producing stars and galaxies, but producing
    the by-product of organic material that spelt life.
    Ice, not too long ago, women were burnt as witches, in my lifetime continental
    drift was trashed as rubbish. My background Ice is to question everything.
    As for chance, when did chance result in so much complexity?
    There is something going on here Ice, we have not yet developed a concept of.
    nokton
    evaluate it with reason
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    The problem with the assertion of "by-product of organic material that spelt life" being created then is that it wasnt until the first series star formation/death happened that elements larger then hydrogen were formed. Thus unless the claim is that the interior of suns are creating organic molecules, this idea is already disproved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton
    As for chance, when did chance result in so much complexity?
    It didn't. Darwinian evolution did.

    Where did you get that question? Where did you get the example of the orchid and the notion that it was something Darwinian evolution would have trouble handling?

    The only sources I know of featuring that particular confusion, right down to the specific language, are creationist propaganda compendiums. That's where everybody else got them, that brought them here and posted them on this forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Ice, will dwell with you alone, why? Because I respect your objectivity and response.
    Well, that's a clever way of avoiding addressing the points I have raised in prior posts and that you persistently ignore.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Ice, Darwin only scratched the surface of something beautiful and enigmatic
    And subsequent workers have elaborated the concept in much more detail, including definition of mechanisms.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    . My background Ice is to question everything.
    Yet you arrogantly assume that your respondents on this thread have not also questioned everything, but have been satisfied by the answers. Your dissatisfaction appears to be based more on ignorance than reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    .There is something going on here Ice, we have not yet developed a concept of.
    Of course there is still much to learn, some of which will be surprising, but there are no grounds for the speculations you are throwing into the air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Hi Paleo, a point, if you please, it does not defy current evolutionary theory, merely queston the concept of it.
    In logic and reason you propose, there is room for abstract thought, and new ideas on evolution and what
    drives it.
    nokton.
    But is essential that these thoughts and new ideas be founded on solid observation. They need to be consistent with what we see. Many a fine idea has gone up in flames at the first hint of solid data.

    So far, all you appear to be doing is pumping up the volume on the mantra "If you reject a new idea you have a closed mind". You have failed to respond - in any meaningful way - to an earlier post in whcih I essentially said "I've looked for alternative explanations and mechanisms for evolution, including the one you are proposing. The evidence is not there."

    In the absence of evidence, why would you continue to pursue an idea whose only foundation is your imagination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx-Fox
    Taking discovery channel, or any science program or literature which points to gaps of knowledge and understanding, does not in any sense support the notion that anything is programmed by god (or another species)--it just means we haven't figured it out yet.
    In the caseof the Discovery channel it may just mean they are trying to get their ratings up.
    I find your statement that new thoughts and ideas should be founded on solid observation interesting.
    It could be argued then, that the proponents of dark matter and dark energy, of which we understand nothing,
    are grasping at straws in an effort to explain, what we as yet, do not understand.
    I find your response to Lynx-Fox less than considered. Discovery channel programmes are created with the help
    and assistance of respected scientists, or they after ratings too
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    in regards to the Discovery Channel, that is a rather simple one to answer. Yes they have scientists consult on the programs, but, as shown by the comments of the consultants afterward, they will often skew the information presented to what they think will generate ratings.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I find your statement that new thoughts and ideas should be founded on solid observation interesting.
    It could be argued then, that the proponents of dark matter and dark energy, of which we understand nothing,
    are grasping at straws in an effort to explain, what we as yet, do not understand.
    It could be argued, but it would be a very weak argument. The concept of dark matter and dark energy are solidly based upon observations. They are proposed as an explanation for those observations. Certain characteristics of the dark matter have been suggested, based on those same observations. There is no clutching at straws: instead there is the presentation of a hypothesis that is consistent with observations and a suite of proposals for how the concept could be falsified. If you cannot see the difference between that situation and your fanciful speculations, then there is little point in further disucssion.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    I find your response to Lynx-Fox less than considered. Discovery channel programmes are created with the help
    and assistance of respected scientists, or they after ratings too
    My response to Lyn-Fox was fully and carefully considered and I stand by it completely.
    Firstly, note that I did not say the Discovery channel takes a particular approach to increase ratings I said they may do so.
    Secondly, I refer you to the comments of Paleoichneum, which I fully support.
    Thirdly, scientists are human to and some seek the fame of appearing on TV and the notoriety of being controversial.

    The discovery channel is not science. The Discovery channel is entertainment. I find it very entertaining. However, if I find some ideas presented that are new to me and interesting I take note of the scientists who are expressing the idea, then look up their research on Google Scholar. If you aren't referencing standard text books, or original research then you aren't even playing at science.


    I am still waiting for a meaningful response to this question: "In the absence of evidence, why would you continue to pursue an idea whose only foundation is your imagination?"
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    Your response to Lynx-Fox was ill judged and arrogent.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp; So, you&nbsp;say,&nbsp;some&nbsp;scientists seek fame and notoriety? What does that tell me about<br>&nbsp;the general scientific community, and the papers they publish? Am I&nbsp;to believe them<br>&nbsp;or doubt their veracity? Or do you not accept that these scientists&nbsp;would not gamble<br>&nbsp; their reputations on pseudo science<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;
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    The difference between the two is the audience reached. The audience of a research paper in a journal is a small group of the writers peers, who more often then not will take up keyboard and tear a bad paper to shreds and decreasing the writers credibility. The audience of a TV program is the millions of uninitiated viewers who do not know much if anything about what they are watching, and thus producers and editors will take the advice of constants, but change things to make them more "sellable" to the audience at try to get more ratings.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Your response to Lynx-Fox was ill judged and arrogent
    What specifically was ill judged about it? Do you deny that the Discovery Channel is primarily a commercial organisation whose remit is to make money? Do you contest that a primary concern of commercial organisations within the broadcast industry is the ratings for their shows? If you deny either of these observations please provide evidence to support the frankly bizarre contention that commercial organisations are not interested in making money and that ratings are not a key determinant in how much money a broadcast organisation makes. If you do agree with those statements then explain what is ill judged about pointing out that such concerns may influence the way the Discovery Channel presents scientific theories and hypotheses.

    What specifically was arrogant about my response? I assumed no special, elitist knowledg in making my statement. I made no declaration of superior intellect or education. I cast no aspersions on anyone. I fail to see what is arrogant about pointing out something that should be practically self evident to anyone with an average education, an enquiring mind and a lack of gullibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    So, you say some scientists seek fame and notoriety? What does that tell me about the general scientific community, and the papers they publish?
    It tells you that the general scientific community, being made up of humans, contains some scientists who display human weaknesses. It tells you nothing about the papers they publish. A knowledge of the peer review process would tell you what you needed to know about them. It would show you that the chances of their ideas receiving wide circulation would be small, and of receiving validation virtually zero.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Or do you not accept that these scientists would not gamble their reputations on pseudo science
    I did not mention pseudoscience, I mentioned implicitly the possibility of some individuals throwing out some fringe ideas in the safe environment of a television program for the masses; ideas they would not necessarily risk submitting for peer review. I note that this last remark mirrors paleoichnium's remarks almost exactly.
    Last edited by John Galt; September 14th, 2011 at 04:57 AM. Reason: add final sentence acknowledging paleoichnium's priority in dismissing a badly argued case by nokton.
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    Oh My, what a response from a scientist. All the scientists I have had contact with over
    many years always put their reputation and credibility above all, you of all should know
    the truth of that. That they should destroy their reputation in the scientific community
    for a bit of TV notoriety, as you claim, beggers belief
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    Why? Scientist is such a broad category and covers enough of the human population that the element with that personality style is easily found. Also as I noted often times its not the researcher themselves that is the origin of the inaccuracies, but editors/producers who are looking for the catchy audience grabbing tidbits.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Why? Scientist is such a broad category and covers enough of the human population that the element with that personality style is easily found. Also as I noted often times its not the researcher themselves that is the origin of the inaccuracies, but editors/producers who are looking for the catchy audience grabbing tidbits.
    Hi Paleo, am speaking of peer respected scientists, with letters after their names, you now confuse the issue with catagories including the human
    population, you disappoint me, is this all you have to offer?
    nokton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Oh My, what a response from a scientist. All the scientists I have had contact with over
    many years always put their reputation and credibility above all, you of all should know
    the truth of that. That they should destroy their reputation in the scientific community
    for a bit of TV notoriety, as you claim, beggers belief
    I am still waiting for you to identify what was either ill-judged or arrogant about my statements. i have asked you specific questions aid you in this identification. Please behave responsibly and answer the questions.

    At the same time you may wish to explain where I have stated that I am a scientist. In over 7,000 posts on this forum and over 20,000 posts on internet forums in general I have never called myself a scientist. I have stated that I have a scientific education, that I have a strong interest in science, that I study scientific matters as an enthusiastic amateur, but at no time have I said I was a scientist.

    Further to Paleoichneum's comments, saying a few outlandish things on a TV program will not necessarily damage a scientists reputation, since few scientists would take such a program seriously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Why? Scientist is such a broad category and covers enough of the human population that the element with that personality style is easily found. Also as I noted often times its not the researcher themselves that is the origin of the inaccuracies, but editors/producers who are looking for the catchy audience grabbing tidbits.
    Hi Paleo, am speaking of peer respected scientists, with letters after their names, you now confuse the issue with catagories including the human
    population, you disappoint me, is this all you have to offer?
    nokton.
    And when did I say the consulting researchers were anything but peer-respected scientists? Please show that I am NOT talking about the exact conditions that you are referring to?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    And who says that a producer would not snip out a few scientist's words out of context and use them incorrectly to create a hyped, ratings grabbing controversy?

    On the other hand, some like Kaku have completely trashed their scientific credentials with the trash they promote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Why? Scientist is such a broad category and covers enough of the human population that the element with that personality style is easily found. Also as I noted often times its not the researcher themselves that is the origin of the inaccuracies, but editors/producers who are looking for the catchy audience grabbing tidbits.
    Hi Paleo, am speaking of peer respected scientists, with letters after their names, you now confuse the issue with catagories including the human
    population, you disappoint me, is this all you have to offer?
    nokton.
    And when did I say the consulting researchers were anything but peer-respected scientists? Please show that I am NOT talking about the exact conditions that you are referring to?
    Paleo, in due respect to the bard, thou doth protest too much. You indicated in your post that not all are scientists, of course.
    But many respected scientists are involved in the exploration of science, and trying to explain it to the general public in terms
    they understand. Lynx-Fox, to me, was correct, these science sites try to fill in the gaps of our failure to understand.
    But, with respect, do you want to keep a tight community where only you are King?
    Or is the truth and science resplendent only in your domain?
    nokton
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    Im not totally sure what you are trying to say to be honest. How about a little less hyperbole?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Ok Paleo, lets take Dr Michio Kaku for one. A theoretical physicist, and a very reputable one,
    Seen him many times on cable science channels, not always agree, but he explains science
    in a way the uninitiated can comprehend, and get involved with, does a good job of it in my opinion.
    Does he put his reputation on a line for notoriety and a program rating. Think not.
    Point of this Paleo, science research needs funding, who funds it, and provides the scientist with
    a pay check? Big business, if its profitable , Joe Bloggs the taxpayer if the results of interest to him.
    Why would he be of interest? Because the current science channels and the way they are presented
    appeal to him, don't knock them if you want a research grant
    As for the dinosaur feather Paleo, you read the latest findings on the news channels, the feather, it
    seems, evloved much earlier than current thinking proposed...... Interesting.
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    Nockton, for the third time - please identify what was either ill-judged or arrogant about my statements to Lynx Fox. I have asked you specific questions to aid you in this identification. Please behave responsibly and answer the questions. If you are unable to do so I will presume that you have retracted said statements and apologised for making them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    As for the dinosaur feather Paleo, you read the latest findings on the news channels, the feather, it
    seems, evloved much earlier than current thinking proposed...... Interesting.
    interesting, but actually it makes it all easier for the theory of evolution to fit. There was more time to add a new function to the feather that eventually leads to powered flight.

    interesting...
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Ok Paleo, lets take Dr Michio Kaku for one. A theoretical physicist, and a very reputable one,
    Seen him many times on cable science channels, not always agree, but he explains science
    in a way the uninitiated can comprehend, and get involved with, does a good job of it in my opinion.
    Does he put his reputation on a line for notoriety and a program rating. Think not.
    Its dependent on the people he is working with the produce the programs he is a part of. there is always a risk, but if he has a good rapport with them he quite possibly is able to guide what information they air towards the solid supported information rather then sensationalizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Point of this Paleo, science research needs funding, who funds it, and provides the scientist with
    a pay check? Big business, if its profitable , Joe Bloggs the taxpayer if the results of interest to him.
    Why would he be of interest? Because the current science channels and the way they are presented
    appeal to him, don't knock them if you want a research grant
    A very large portion of the research that is happening is funded by the government or other organizations through grants that researchers can apply for. many of the fields I deal with (paleontology related) are not funded by big business by by grants. "Joe Bloggs" most often will not have much if any involvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    As for the dinosaur feather Paleo, you read the latest findings on the news channels, the feather, it
    seems, evloved much earlier than current thinking proposed...... Interesting.
    yes I have been following the feathers in amber. let me show you an already known feather date d from about 149 million years ago. This is the original type specimen from which the genus and species Archaeopteryx lithographica was described in 1861. There is now debate over the placement of the feather in the genus Archaeopteryx as there are indications it was not from them. As such I'm no sure what you are referring to when you say there are indications that the feather evolved much earlier then first thought. The amber which the feathers in the news are being discussed is 70mya, some 80 million years younger then the Tithonian aged feather here, and the ones on Archaeopteryx 449px-Archaeopteryx_(Feather).jpg
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    Thanx for the info Paleo, appreciate. My interest in the evolution of the feather is that it does not
    support 'intelligent design' in the common undertanding of the term.
    What kind of 'creator' would take over 100 million years to produce a feather as a means of flight......
    On the other hand, as the feather differs in so many ways, according to its purpose, the word 'chance'
    in evolution does not sit well with me. I feel something in evolution is being overlooked and not understood
    as yet.
    As an aside, the government funding you refer to is provided by Joe Bloggs, the taxpayer, who I may add,
    is more interested in your research than you give him credit for. Many, in my circle of friends, express their
    interest in whats new in science research in spite of their addiction to football, cricket, et al
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    Nockton, for the third time - please identify what was either ill-judged or arrogant about my statements to Lynx Fox. I have asked you specific questions to aid you in this identification. Please behave responsibly and answer the questions. If you are unable to do so I will presume that you have retracted said statements and apologised for making them.
    You were dismissive of Lynx-Fox well described evaluation of science sites on cable, and without any explanation.
    Except ratings and brief notoriety for the scientists involved. In my world, you were churlish in your response.
    Oh, my user name is nokton
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    Nockton, for the third time - please identify what was either ill-judged or arrogant about my statements to Lynx Fox. I have asked you specific questions to aid you in this identification. Please behave responsibly and answer the questions. If you are unable to do so I will presume that you have retracted said statements and apologised for making them.
    You were dismissive of Lynx-Fox well described evaluation of science sites on cable, and without any explanation.
    Except ratings and brief notoriety for the scientists involved. In my world, you were churlish in your response.
    Oh, my user name is nokton
    I stated "In the case of the Discovery Channel they may just have been trying to get their ratings up."
    1. I did not disagree with what Lynx fox had said, I simply supplemented it.
    2. I directed no antagonistic remarks to Lynx Fox, nor in anyway - implicitly or explicitly - berated his post.
    3. Thus far there have been no objections from LF to my remarks.
    4. You have still failed to identify, despite multiple requests to do so, what was incorrect about my statement. I have argued - and you have failed to respond to that argument - that the Discovery channel , as a media business, is concerned about its ratings and will adjust program content and delivery to maximise those ratings. If this is true, then my remark was wholly accurate. If you doubt that remark you need to show some evidence to support your position.
    5. This may appear to be off-topic, but in fact it addresses the heart of the matter as far as your posts are concerned. You do not appear to understand what constitutes scientific evidence and what constitutes entertainment; you do not appear to be able to distinguish between proper application of the scientific method and random human behaviour. Those apparent weaknesses need to be addressed if you are iprove your understanding of the role and the discoveries of science.
    6. Consequently, will you please favour me with a reply that contains facts rather than opinions; reasoned arguments rather than vacuous comments.

    thank you.
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    To, perhaps, misquote the Bard, thou does protest too much.
    Your text to me speaks volumes about your personality,and, how you
    think. Would one of science so dismiss a reasoned evaluation by another
    scientist so dismissively and without any arguement other than a pretention
    to claim on something for which no evidence is provided.

    You were out of order, Lynx-Fox was right. The science channels try to fill in the
    gaps of current understanding, and many respected scientists put their reputation
    on a line by supporting them
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