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The Case for Evolution - Comments

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 1 by God fearing Atheist

Oh noes, Niles Eldredge is propergating the Myth of the Flat Earth!

Fri, 13 May 2011 17:56:56 UTC | #626516

neil pharr's Avatar Comment 2 by neil pharr

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

Science has yet to notice that there is a waning of crudeness in the evolutionary flow on Earth.

One of science's greatest services is the unintentioned safety it gives us from the evils of religion.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms). We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

Fri, 13 May 2011 18:13:24 UTC | #626520

Stefan Udrea's Avatar Comment 3 by Stefan Udrea

Famed father of "punctuated equilibria" Niles Eldredge

What ?! I thought Stephen Jay Gould came up with the punctuated equilibria.

Fri, 13 May 2011 18:15:04 UTC | #626522

neil pharr's Avatar Comment 4 by neil pharr

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

Science has yet to notice that there is a waning of crudeness in the evolutionary flow on Earth.

One of science's greatest services is the unintentioned safety it gives us from the evils of religion.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms). We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

Fri, 13 May 2011 18:22:13 UTC | #626525

Deako's Avatar Comment 5 by Deako

What ?! I thought Stephen Jay Gould came up with the punctuated equilibria.

He did, alongside Niles Eldredge.

Fri, 13 May 2011 19:02:33 UTC | #626532

blitz442's Avatar Comment 6 by blitz442

Comment 3 by Stefan Udrea

They both did.

PE class

Then Gould proceeded to make a career of this helpful but somewhat pedestrian insight. It didn't shake up the foundations of cumulative, gradual natural selection.

Fri, 13 May 2011 19:08:51 UTC | #626537

superbeanson's Avatar Comment 7 by superbeanson

Comment 5 by neil pharr

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

Science has yet to notice that there is a waning of crudeness in the evolutionary flow on Earth.

One of science's greatest services is the unintentioned safety it gives us from the evils of religion.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms). We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

that seems to make little or no sense

Fri, 13 May 2011 19:20:20 UTC | #626540

C.Wood's Avatar Comment 8 by C.Wood

Comment 5 by neil pharr :

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

Science has yet to notice that there is a waning of crudeness in the evolutionary flow on Earth.

One of science's greatest services is the unintentioned safety it gives us from the evils of religion.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms). We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

From a previous post: So exactly what problem arises for scientists trying to figure out evolution without believing in "reincarnation"?

The only thing that's comprehensible from your post is, and have to take it out of context, the sentence "Science must continue to be open-minded". Indeed it must, has, and will be "open-minded", so to speak.

As for the rest, you seem to want to imply that the theory of evolution is incomplete, as if something "else" must exist to make it work. Thus far, there is nothing that shows this to be the case. So no, nothing else is needed to explain evolution and the variety of life on earth.

Fri, 13 May 2011 19:57:31 UTC | #626548

dragonclarke's Avatar Comment 9 by dragonclarke

Comments 2 and 5 by neil pharr

Pretty bad stammer you've got there, mate.

Fri, 13 May 2011 19:58:05 UTC | #626550

Aztek's Avatar Comment 10 by Aztek

Comment 5 by neil pharr :

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

This makes little sense. We know scientists do not have the full picture. It is fully understandable. If scientist did have the full picture, there wouldn't be a need for science, would there? There is always more to learn. But if scientist don't have the "full picture", who has? Who can possibly claim to have such special knowledge about the world which scientists do not have? What does "expressions of mind and "body"" mean? It sounds cool, but something sounding cool doesn't mean it has any content. And what is the difference between a "body" and a body?

And what does adaptation lack? Please be more clear. Right now it seems like you just made up a claim without any basis. If it just seems in you mind that adaptation lacks something, it is not good enough.

Science has yet to notice that there is a waning of crudeness in the evolutionary flow on Earth.

Umh, what now? Crudeness based on what? Is this again one of these "in the eye of the beholder" arguments? That just because it seems to you that there is crudeness in the "evolutionary flow" (what?), then there must be crudeness.

One of science's greatest services is the unintentioned safety it gives us from the evils of religion.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms). We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

Yeah, well science being open-minded is a natural part of the process. Science could not be done without open-mindedness. The rest about waxing and quarks was to incomprehensible for me to understand.

Fri, 13 May 2011 20:29:45 UTC | #626557

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 11 by ZenDruid

We see the waxing of the crude movement in the movement for quark to the whole set of elements, but we fail to see a pattern that is connected on the other side to the mind as it is born our to matter.

Dur hurrr...?

Oh. OK.

"Quantum physics can only explain matter and energy, but stops when it comes to awareness, consciousness, etc..."

Right? Or not? Or wut?

Fri, 13 May 2011 20:36:45 UTC | #626558

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 12 by rrh1306

I'm not sure if life on Earth is evolving more and more towards expressions of mind and body. Pretty much just Humans. Maybe a case could be made for Chimps and dolphins but their still light years away from humans. Insects and sharks have been on earth for around 400 millions years, crocodiles over 200 millions years, mentally they haven't changed much in that time span. You seem to be taking one species, humans, and saying their evolution is the general trend of life on earth, and I don't agree with that. If you ask me it's the insects that rule this planet . In an evolutionary sense they seem to be the trend considering they make up nearly half of the known animal species with a total number of something like 10 quintillion. As far as your second point, I don't think you have to worry about science shying away from movements they can't see, considering you have to know somethings there to shy away from it. I think if there's something there to find scientist will eventually find it.

Comment 5 by neil pharr :

Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms.

Science must continue to be open-minded and not shy away from movements in nature that we don't see or understand like (the more clearly reflected image of conciousness in more advanced organisms).

Fri, 13 May 2011 20:40:45 UTC | #626561

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 13 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 13 by rrh1306

I'm not sure if life on Earth is evolving more and more towards expressions of mind and body. Pretty much just Humans.

I think there is little evidence that humans are evolving. Natural selection no longer operates on the human species in any appreciable manner, and may, in fact, be operating in retrograde mode. Humans have reached a point of species survival and natural selection, if that is the only factor operating on evolution, does not privilege one mutation over another.

they (insects) make up nearly half of the known animal species

About half of the biomass of earth is prokaryotic (bacteria). If were going to wager on an eventual winner in the race for dominance, I would bet on them.

Maybe a case could be made for Chimps and dolphins but their still light years away from humans.

Not if viewed in context. We have the advantage of more precise communication skills, i.e., the ability to pass on and therefore accumulate knowledge. Before that skill emerged, we differed very little from the chimps in our intellectual ability. If an alien had happened upon a homo habilus and a chimp, it probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

JHJ

Fri, 13 May 2011 21:42:42 UTC | #626578

TobySaunders's Avatar Comment 14 by TobySaunders

The stupidity and/or ignorance (tough to distinguish between those, often) of the audience was... was... so American... so intellectually impoverished... so pathetically normal. Elredge should have been more assertive and spoken more bluntly, I reckon.

Fri, 13 May 2011 21:53:46 UTC | #626586

bridgeburner's Avatar Comment 15 by bridgeburner

I defy you to listen to these videos without watching, and tell me Niles Eldredge doesn't sound like Jeff Bridges

Fri, 13 May 2011 21:59:19 UTC | #626589

JuJu's Avatar Comment 16 by JuJu

After ready previous post by neil pharr it becomes clear he's into the new age magical thinking like yoga meditation and mind/body woo. Those types generally believe in evolution yet they like to make claims about how science doesn't have all the answers in order to make room for their magical thinking to still be considered a scientific possibility in the future. The problem with this is that some of the things they believe science can't answer yet have already have been explained by science. So it's a bit of a straw-man.

Fri, 13 May 2011 22:01:47 UTC | #626590

edmundjessie's Avatar Comment 17 by edmundjessie

Comment 5 by neil pharr :

Evolution is true. It is a fact of the natural world, however, scientists do not have the full picture. Science does not know of all the forces active in the processes of evolution. Science does not have an answer as to why life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms. Adaptation to nitche is an answer on the surface, but it lacks something. It is not a final theory of change.

I think i have isolated the reason why your words come across as impenetrable and meaningless to most of us. I have no doubt you are sincere in your beliefs in the compatibility between science and Buddhist theology (or something quite equivalent), but you should realise that if you're going to set forward such beliefs on a site for science and reason, you have to do so in clear English, rather than in a form that appears to be illiterately aping the strange mechanistic style favoured by followers of Siddhartha Gautama; as if every line has to constitute a profound aphorism when really the words seem to form something empty and meaningless.

You are perfectly welcome here of course, but if you're going to come onto these sites and refer to meditation as 'intuitional science' and say matter of factly there is a problem 'when modern biologists try to understand evolution without reincarnation,' then you should at least attempt to rationalize those statements a little more so we have an opportunity to criticize them, rather than simply floating them out into the middle of a discussion in a squall of hazy verbosity it takes too much time to extricate any meaning or argument from.

Fri, 13 May 2011 22:20:41 UTC | #626593

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 18 by rrh1306

Thats a good point. I have see some pretty complex/intelligent social behavior from both Chimps and dolphins.

Maybe a case could be made for Chimps and dolphins but their still light years away from humans.

Not if viewed in context. We have the advantage of more precise communication skills, i.e., the ability to pass on and therefore accumulate knowledge. Before that skill emerged, we differed very little from the chimps in our intellectual ability. If an alien had happened upon a homo habilus and a chimp, it probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

JHJ

Fri, 13 May 2011 22:25:44 UTC | #626597

C.Wood's Avatar Comment 19 by C.Wood

Highly complex and intelligent social behavior is also present in many insect species. Ants, bees, termites, for starters. They just behave in a different way we do, but their complexity and accomplishments are impressive nonetheless.

Comment 19 by rrh1306 :

Thats a good point. I have see some pretty complex/intelligent social behavior from both Chimps and dolphins.

Maybe a case could be made for Chimps and dolphins but their still light years away from humans.

Not if viewed in context. We have the advantage of more precise communication skills, i.e., the ability to pass on and therefore accumulate knowledge. Before that skill emerged, we differed very little from the chimps in our intellectual ability. If an alien had happened upon a homo habilus and a chimp, it probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

JHJ

Fri, 13 May 2011 23:22:12 UTC | #626610

AshFromHousewares's Avatar Comment 20 by AshFromHousewares

It's so simple people... Evolution was put here (just like those fake Dino bones) by Satan to decieve us from the true path of god.

Or not. Remember 'a starved troll makes for happy comments.

Sat, 14 May 2011 00:54:56 UTC | #626626

zengardener's Avatar Comment 21 by zengardener

Comment 14 by JHJEFFERY

I think there is little evidence that humans are evolving. Natural selection no longer operates on the human species in any appreciable manner, and may, in fact, be operating in retrograde mode. Humans have reached a point of species survival and natural selection, if that is the only factor operating on evolution, does not privilege one mutation over another.

Perhaps you should be a medical Dr. Then you would have the happy job of saving every life that passes through the hospital's front doors.

Top 10 Infectious Diseases

The truth is, we are doing fine, because there are so many of us. But if so many are born and so many die just from diseases every year, then evolution must be taking place.

Don't forget about MRCA

Sat, 14 May 2011 02:51:26 UTC | #626636

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 22 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 15 by TobySaunders

The stupidity and/or ignorance (tough to distinguish between those, often) of the audience was... was... so American... so intellectually impoverished... so pathetically normal. Elredge should have been more assertive and spoken more bluntly, I reckon.

Yes I thought so too, then again, most of those asking questions referenced that cretin Behe's lecture from the previous night.....so I guess there was a bit of clawing back to be done.

I enjoyed the lecture, it appealed to my stunted knowledge of the subject.

Sat, 14 May 2011 03:23:51 UTC | #626640

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 23 by huzonfurst

I get frustrated when obviously accomplished scientists like Eldridge neglect to explain one of the simplest features of evolution, namely that every individual is a transitional form! This was crying to be elaborated to these ignorant IDiots who all had the idea that species magically warped into new ones in one leap, rather than emerging slowly in a continous line from parent to child.

Richard Dawkins makes this point all the time, so why can't everyone else?! Is it because these researchers are so close to their subjects that it never occurs to them to poke their heads out of their ivory towers once in a while?

Another issue that had me facepalming before there was facepalming is hearing Don Johanson making the sloppy statement that humans "may have evolved separately" in different parts of the world, the "multiple genesis" (or something like that) hypothesis. Right, so all these separated groups of hominids experienced the same random mutations and the same selection pressures - at the same rate - over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years, and all ended up still being able to breed with each other! Unless I missed some details and got a very wrong impression, this is plain absurd and the biology professors I knew at the time agreed with me (I'm not talking about the emergence of different ethnic groups which obviously are caused by isolation over time, but on a much shorter scale).

So the problem of understanding and accepting evolution is not entirely due to religious nuttery: the 'explainers' must accept part of the blame as well.

Sat, 14 May 2011 03:35:40 UTC | #626642

sbooder's Avatar Comment 24 by sbooder

Some people should not lecture, I am sure it is very interesting, but boy! It was badly delivered. I might have to wait to watch part two.

Sat, 14 May 2011 08:19:41 UTC | #626676

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 25 by rod-the-farmer

Great idea, but I regret to say his argument was not well presented, IMHO.

Sat, 14 May 2011 09:36:29 UTC | #626683

kev_s's Avatar Comment 26 by kev_s

It appears from what one questioner said that Behe is still trotting out the bacterial flagellum as an example of irreducible complexity even after that argument has been shot to pieces by Miller et al. For example: http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.htm It is dishonest to present that to school kids as a valid argument for ID.

Sat, 14 May 2011 10:40:13 UTC | #626710

wcapehart's Avatar Comment 27 by wcapehart

The coronet analogy was painful until he mentioned that he asked school band directors about the difference in sound between a coronet and a trumpet, and they told him that it didn't really matter sine no one will really notice. I laughed until I stopped. Then I remembered jr high school band and how true it was. I imagine how his experiment would have worked with the French Horn. It stopped being funny.

Sat, 14 May 2011 14:05:10 UTC | #626756

wcapehart's Avatar Comment 28 by wcapehart

Comment 23 by Ignorant Amos :

Yes I thought so too, then again, most of those asking questions referenced that cretin Behe's lecture from the previous night.....so I guess there was a bit of clawing back to be done.

I'll cut them some slack. It wasn't skepticism they directed towards him but confusion based on the previous talk I suspect. I didn't pick up on too much of an ID vibe from them did you?

I enjoyed the lecture, it appealed to my stunted knowledge of the subject.

The coronet analogy was painful until he mentioned that he asked school band directors about the difference in sound between a coronet and a trumpet, and they told him that it didn't really matter sine no one will really notice. I laughed until I stopped. Then I remembered jr high school band and how true it was. I then imagined how his experiment would have worked with the French Horn. It stopped being funny.

Sat, 14 May 2011 14:09:00 UTC | #626758

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 29 by Agrajag

Comment 2 by neil pharr

... life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms.

Feed me, SEYMOUR. ;-)
Steve

Sat, 14 May 2011 14:20:01 UTC | #626768

wcapehart's Avatar Comment 30 by wcapehart

Comment 30 by Agrajag :

Comment 2 by neil pharr

... life on Earth continues to evolve more and more toward subtle expressions of mind and "body" in the plant and animal kingdoms.

Feed me, SEYMOUR. ;-)Steve

Audrey didn't evolve though did she? Something involving a

"Total Eclipse of the SUN!"

  "da da da da da da da da da da da DA DOO!"

Sat, 14 May 2011 16:02:40 UTC | #626792