# Bush is evolutionist

## Do you believe in evolution?

• ### Only micro evolution

• Total voters
25
• Poll closed .
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
it's influenced by living organisms. either life is deterministic, or it's random. personally, i believe i have a bit of influence in my own outcome, so it's not entirely random.
You can do very little of affect evolution. So I would say your statement is false as applied to evolution in a historical context. Also, the ability to reason is itself a product of evolution. Why do you make the choices that you do? But given our ability to affect the environment and the survival of species, not to mention that we are now very close to "designing" life, including human life, I would argue that unintelligent and intelligent design now affects evolution.

For the first time [nearly so], we may truly be the masters of our genetic destiny.

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LowlyPion
Homework Helper
That has nothing to do with Intelligent Design, which is not science. Perhaps you weren't refering to ID? This also isn't Philosophy.
Bush's problem is that likely everything looks like Intelligent Design to him from where he's sitting in the cheap seats. He probably thinks English is Intelligent Design as it apparently remains pretty much an elusive mystery to him still.

Just 41 more days.

Stochastic processes are the sum of the large set of individually deterministic processes.

Ex: Diffusion--the motion of individual particles in a a gas is essentially deterministic. Take two rooms, each filled with a unique gas. Remove the barrier between them and the gases will diffuse and mix. That is a stochastic process driven by the deterministic motion of the individual gas particles.

Evolution isn't much different. Read up on evolutionary game theory. If you have a population of individuals with varying strategy vectors, fitness is a function of the strategy vector. The portion of the total population posessing each strategy vector will change as certain strategy vectors lend themselves to higher reproductive rates. This is a stochastic process.

You are confusing determinism, with systems where probabilities overwhelmingly favor a particular outcome (certainly not the case in general with evolution. Look up genetic drift and founders effect for more information on that). In the case of the diffusion example, there is no reason why the particles must diffuse. It is perfectly possible that the particles in each room could have a set of velocity vectors that would prevent them from mixing extensively. It is however insanely unlikely. Look up statistical mechanics for more information on that.
that's really interesting. have you looked at Stephen Wolfram's book? a very simple mechanical process can produce some very random output. it kind of implies that all the randomness from quantum physics may simply be a function of a bunch of underlying order. it would certainly add to your clockwork orange theory. yet, essentially, you're saying there's no randomness at all, it's just that there's more information there than we can process, so we perceive it as random.

You can do very little of affect evolution. So I would say your statement is false as applied to evolution in a historical context. Also, the ability to reason is itself a product of evolution. Why do you make the choices that you do? But given our ability to affect the environment and the survival of species, not to mention that we are now very close to "designing" life, including human life, I would argue that unintelligent and intelligent design now affects evolution.

For the first time [nearly so], we may truly be the masters of our genetic destiny.
well, if i believe franz*, then i'm a clockwork orange and, alas, i can do nothing because i have no free will. it's all just an illusion.

that's really interesting. have you looked at Stephen Wolfram's book? a very simple mechanical process can produce some very random output. it kind of implies that all the randomness from quantum physics may simply be a function of a bunch of underlying order. it would certainly add to your clockwork orange theory.
The idea of a simple mechanical process producing nearly random output is not novel, it is the basis of random number generators in fact. Or for that matter, literally the roll of a dice is a simple mechanical process that produces an effectively random output. It has nothing to do with quantum mechanics (no I have not read Wolfram's book, so I am commenting only on your statement, not his). Furthermore, the idea that the randomness of quantum physics is simply an apparent condition resulting from incomplete information is highly unlikely. See Bell's Inequality/Theorem. Local reality (which is what you described, the idea that quantum randomness is the result of hidden variables added with a condition that no information can propagate faster than the speed of light) is fundamentally incompatible with quantum mechanics--meaning that imposing the condition of local realism onto quantum mechanics gives results that do not match experimental data. Quantum mechanics without local realism does match experimental data.

yet, essentially, you're saying there's no randomness at all, it's just that there's more information there than we can process, so we perceive it as random.
That is an overstatement. There certainly is randomness.

Merriam-Webster said:
Main Entry:
random
Function:
Date:
1632

1 a: lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern b: made, done, or chosen at random <read random passages from the book>
2 a: relating to, having, or being elements or events with definite probability of occurrence <random processes> b: being or relating to a set or to an element of a set each of whose elements has equal probability of occurrence <a random sample> ; also : characterized by procedures designed to obtain such sets or elements <random sampling>

All that the term 'random' means is that there are a set of possible outcomes with definite probabilities. Return to my example of a dice roll. In the strictest terms, it is a perfectly deterministic act, and if we were in possession of perfect information the outcome of every roll could be known in advance, hypothetically. However, that does not make it not random. Even with perfect information we would still find the 1/6 chance for the six sided die to land on any given face. The statistical analysis is still relevant and applicable.

so you think evolution is not intelligent, but stupid?
Technically yes, theres no being or brain behind it, lol. In a looser meaning of stupid, the asnwer is also yes, I mean look at the jellyfish, what the hell evolution, what the hell.

Irony: For most of us, the theory of evolution is taken completely on faith. I might be able to defend the theory to a point, but all in all, my knowledge is based on hearsay, Scientific American articles, PBS, and a couple of classes. And I'm sure this is true for almost anyone who's not a biologist or geneticist.

For most, "belief" in evolution is really based on "faith" in science.
Be so that it may, a solid conviction in the utility and power of science must surely be justified, due to the fact that we almost constantly reap the benefits of science, at least from a pragmatic standpoint. I would argue that the same conviction does not necessarily exist in many other areas of discourse. Naturally, if two people disagree about a certain conclusion or point in science, they can simply go out and test our hypotheses against reality. This option is also not available in many other areas of discourse, where "truth" or "fact" is often left to interpretation or simply opinion. Politics, of course, can sometimes be such an area, even though it's not by definition impossible to use empirical evidence in that fields, although it may be in others.

Mostly rambling, i know =)

vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Irony: For most of us, the theory of evolution is taken completely on faith. I might be able to defend the theory to a point, but all in all, my knowledge is based on hearsay, Scientific American articles, PBS, and a couple of classes. And I'm sure this is true for almost anyone who's not a biologist or geneticist.

For most, "belief" in evolution is really based on "faith" in science.
I think that if you have a good enough general scientific background, that even rather professional readings about evolution are open to reading. I worked my way through the (french translation of) "Evolution" https://www.amazon.com/dp/1405103450/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
(the french translation because I found it in a bookshop nearby).
I take it that it is a professional introduction, and it is perfectly readable for a non-biologist.

Intelligent design is not science because it doesn't play by the rules. One of the rules of science is that you don't invoke the supernatural. It is a purely practical rule. We can explain anything by invoking the supernatural which would mean nothing would get done.

Now keep in mind, that doesn't mean it isn't true (that is a different issue). It just means it isn't science.

Intelligent design is not science because it doesn't play by the rules. One of the rules of science is that you don't invoke the supernatural. It is a purely practical rule. We can explain anything by invoking the supernatural which would mean nothing would get done.

Now keep in mind, that doesn't mean it isn't true (that is a different issue). It just means it isn't science.
this is a valid criticism if someone who believes in ID actually invokes the supernatural in their work. if their work is based only on things that can be measured, then their personal beliefs aren't relevant.

Evo
Mentor
this is a valid criticism if someone who believes in ID actually invokes the supernatural in their work. if their work is based only on things that can be measured, then their personal beliefs aren't relevant.
ID is not science because of the failure to meet the basic criteria. This wiki article is really good at expalining why ID is not science.

Defining science

The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge of the natural world without assuming the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural, an approach sometimes called methodological naturalism. Intelligent design proponents believe that this can be equated to materialist metaphysical naturalism, and have often said that not only is their own position scientific, but it is even more scientific than evolution, and that they want a redefinition of science as a revived natural theology or natural philosophy to allow "non-naturalistic theories such as intelligent design".[158] This presents a demarcation problem, which in the philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around science.[159] For a theory to qualify as scientific,[160][161][162] it is expected to be:

Consistent

Parsimonious (sparing in its proposed entities or explanations, see Occam's Razor)

Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used predictively)

Empirically testable and falsifiable (see Falsifiability)

Based on multiple observations, often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments

Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it)

Progressive (refines previous theories)

Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty)

For any theory, hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet most, and ideally all, of these criteria. The fewer criteria are met, the less scientific it is; and if it meets only a few or none at all, then it cannot be treated as scientific in any meaningful sense of the word. Typical objections to defining intelligent design as science are that it lacks consistency,[163] violates the principle of parsimony,[164] is not scientifically useful,[165] is not falsifiable,[166] is not empirically testable,[167] and is not correctable, dynamic, provisional or progressive.[168][169][170]

Critics also say that the intelligent design doctrine does not meet the Daubert Standard,[171] the criteria for scientific evidence mandated by the Supreme Court. The Daubert Standard governs which evidence can be considered scientific in United States federal courts and most state courts. Its four criteria are:

The theoretical underpinnings of the methods must yield testable predictions by means of which the theory could be falsified.

The methods should preferably be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

There should be a known rate of error that can be used in evaluating the results.

The methods should be generally accepted within the relevant scientific community.

In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, using these criteria and others mentioned above, Judge Jones ruled that "... we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design#Defining_science

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I believe in Evo.

Evo
Mentor
I believe in Evo.
I have my own wiki. EvoWiki.

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/EvoWiki:Editorial_philosophy [Broken]

Thanks to tiny-tim for that.

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ID is not science because of the failure to meet the basic criteria. This wiki article is really good at expalining why ID is not science.
i didn't say ID was science, i said something else.

Its funny that so many people here seem to get up in arms at the suggestion of using words that smack of regiosity. 'Belief' does not have any inherant religious element to it, it is simply used often by the religious.

Intelligent design is not science because it doesn't play by the rules. One of the rules of science is that you don't invoke the supernatural. It is a purely practical rule. We can explain anything by invoking the supernatural which would mean nothing would get done.

Now keep in mind, that doesn't mean it isn't true (that is a different issue). It just means it isn't science.
No one on here seems to care but as I have mentioned many times before there are plenty of people who consider the idea that the system itself is intelligent. If a person believes in evolution and that their own intelligence came about through evolution I don't see why they consider it so far fetched that there could be some sort of macro neural network process going on in the biosphere which influences or drives evolution. Its rather science fiction type material but not at all unscientific.

No one on here seems to care but as I have mentioned many times before there are plenty of people who consider the idea that the system itself is intelligent. If a person believes in evolution and that their own intelligence came about through evolution I don't see why they consider it so far fetched that there could be some sort of macro neural network process going on in the biosphere which influences or drives evolution. Its rather science fiction type material but not at all unscientific.
You can believe the system itself is intelligent, but then you are not a believer in evolution. Evolution makes no claims about an intelligent anything. It simply says how things works. If one doesn't like or can't accept that fact, then it's their own ignorance. I say ignorance because evolution answers the question of how we came about. So appending an 'intelligent' anything to that process is simply adding in your own bad science after being told what's really going on.

siddharth
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Proton Soup said:
i didn't say ID was science, i said something else.
And that something else is clearly theology.

"belief" in Intelligent Design is vastly different from "belief" in evolution (if one can call it that). I think that this graphic best demonstrates the actual difference between how the words are used in science and by proponents of ID.

http://miscellanea.wellingtongrey.n...llingtongrey.net/2007/01/15/science-vs-faith/

vanesch said:
I think that if you have a good enough general scientific background, that even rather professional readings about evolution are open to reading. I worked my way through the (french translation of) "Evolution" https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Mark...pr_product_top&tag=pfamazon01-20
I liked Reece and Campbell's book, "Biology". I think that the book is also very accessible to a lay person.

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http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/8559/96473717bk7.png [Broken]

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In the end, evolution still is yet another theory, and one of the themes of science is to always be skeptical. If someone comes in tomorrow with evidence that evolution is faulty, we take it into consideration. Nothing is truly ever proven. Newtonian physics seemed perfect enough for awhile, but then it was augmented by relativity, which is now hounded by quantum mechanics.

Now "intelligent evolution" is another curiosity. Evolution, by definition, is a theory to explain how life managed to sprout and adapt without a hand guiding it. Now I guess there could be a supernatural theory that god began the universe knowing the outcome, but such a thing could never happen in the "natural" world due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Of course, that would only apply to god if he was part of the natural world. Therefore, intelligent evolution is purely supernatural, as the evolution aspect is based on the fact that god knew the end-outcome (supernatural by current laws of physics), and that it couldn't exist otherwise. Therefore "intelligent evolution" is creationism, just creationism that explains how god did create, instead of the old puff of smoke.

Therefore, intelligent evolution is not within the realm of the natural world, and therefore not in the realm of science. Therefore to believe in intelligent evolution is to believe in intelligent design.

Intelligent design is not science because it doesn't play by the rules. One of the rules of science is that you don't invoke the supernatural. It is a purely practical rule. We can explain anything by invoking the supernatural which would mean nothing would get done.

Now keep in mind, that doesn't mean it isn't true (that is a different issue). It just means it isn't science.
It is more than a practical rule. A better way of stating it is to say that the rule of science is that you do not invoke anything that cannot be shown to be false. It is essentially the definition of science.

You are correct about truth being a separate issue from falsifiability though.

TheStatuatoryApe said:
Its funny that so many people here seem to get up in arms at the suggestion of using words that smack of regiosity. 'Belief' does not have any inherant religious element to it, it is simply used often by the religious.
I had a very long response to your post and then accidentally deleted it. Here it goes again.

I get up in arms at using words incorrectly. It isn't about nitpicking or grammar nazism. It is about placing value in clear communication. The fact of the matter is that different people think very differently. In order to communicate effectively with other human beings, it is necessary to be using the same words in the same ways. If you want to use colloquial meanings of words for whatever reason, then go ahead. I value being able to understand other people and being understood precisely. English is a bad enough medium for communication to begin with for many reasons. There is no need to make it worse. So I will stick to dictionary definitions (in so far as my fallibility allows) so that I am understood. As I listed above, the dictionary definitions of belief are all inappropriate in the context of scientific knowledge.

You can go ahead and say that it doesn't matter, but it does. The majority of creationist misconceptions about evolution are rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of what words mean. The classic example is 'it's just a theory'. The same problem applies to the use of the term belief. There is nothing more fun than listening to a born again christian argue with me that atheism and science are religions. The reason is linguistical. They get confused by lazy, incorrect uses of the term belief and fail to differentiate between them.

No one on here seems to care but as I have mentioned many times before there are plenty of people who consider the idea that the system itself is intelligent. If a person believes in evolution and that their own intelligence came about through evolution I don't see why they consider it so far fetched that there could be some sort of macro neural network process going on in the biosphere which influences or drives evolution. Its rather science fiction type material but not at all unscientific.
Ignoring my quibble about your use of the term belief, here is my best effort at interpreting your statement:

No one who has responded when I mentioned that there are people who think that
a system (excluding organisms) which can be interpreted as being capable of teleological
boolean operations. If a person thinks that biological diversity evolves via natural selection
acting on random mutations and that their own capacity for teleological boolean operations
is a trait that gives a reproductive fitness advantage in certain ecological niches and so has
been favored by natural selection, then I do not understand why they think it is unlikely
that biosphere as a system comprises a neural network which takes as inputs the
phenotypes and ecological niches in existence at a given time and computes the
phenotypes and ecological niches in existence at the next time as outputs. It may sound
like science fiction but it is not unscientific.
Now obviously, I have no idea if my parsing of your statement matches your parsing of your statement, and I would furthermore posit that it is impossible for us to compare them directly because you will only see your parsing of my parsing in the above. Of course we could use some sort of iterative process to reach equivalent parsing and mutual understanding, and frequently in the real world this is what becomes necessary because people are too lazy to take the time and effort to communicate precisely in the first place (which would have actually taken less effort overall).

Moving off of my semantics fetish and on to your point:

I do not consider it far fetched to say that a system can be interpreted as an information processing unit--in so far as it accepts inputs in the form of its configuration at time A and has outputs in the form of its configuration at time B. This definition of an information processing unit however applies to EVERY physical system, from the human brain, to a digital computer, to my coffee mug. Would you call my coffee mug intelligent?

The definition of intelligence that I used was a 'capacity for teleological boolean operations'. If you ignore genetic mutation, I suppose you could look at the biosphere as an optimization engine seeking to optimize reproductive fitness across all intra-breeding populations. This process can be reduced to a set of boolean operations, so the biosphere could be said to be performing boolean operations. However, there are two problems with this view: 1) You CAN'T ignore the role of mutations. To get around this you could view them as the output of a pseudo-random number generator (reduceable to boolean operations) or expand the system to include all possible sources of mutations. In the latter case you cease discussing the biosphere as intelligent and begin discussing the entire universe as such. 2) It's hard to argue that the operations are teleological. By this I mean that the biosphere 'chooses' (in a very loose) sense to perform this particular set of operations, rather than some other set. For example, I can perform the calculation
$$2701*2702$$
or
$$2702*2702$$
I am not restricted to only one of them, and I can switch between the two freely. This distinguishes a computer program which can only execute the boolean operations in its programming, in the order dictated by its programming, and no others from an intelligent mind. If we interpret the biosphere as performing boolean operations I think it is impossible to argue that the calculations are teleological. Rather they are programmed.

Of course, we could argue whether the human mind is or is not merely programmed. But that is a separate issue.

You can believe the system itself is intelligent, but then you are not a believer in evolution. Evolution makes no claims about an intelligent anything. It simply says how things works. If one doesn't like or can't accept that fact, then it's their own ignorance. I say ignorance because evolution answers the question of how we came about. So appending an 'intelligent' anything to that process is simply adding in your own bad science after being told what's really going on.
Pardon if I'm wrong but I thought that Evolution was merely the theory that complex organisms came from simple organisms and that speciation occured due to the mating and mutation of progenitor organisms onto divergent paths. While Natural Selection is the commonly accepted and associated mechanism for the occurance of Evolution I am unaware of it being a sole and mandatory explanation. As I understand it there are multiple compatible theories on Evolution and the mechanisms behind it.
I don't believe anyone has come to any conclusion of "what is really going on" and that the "How" of evolution is still being rigorously studied.

arg sid can you resize your picture!

Franz said:
Of course, we could argue whether the human mind is or is not merely programmed. But that is a separate issue.
Sorry for massive editing. While I get the jist of your post I am not formally trained (in anything really) and so I think a major issue here is my lack of jargon acceptable to your thinking process.

Suffice it to say that I do not anthropomorphize my conception of intelligence. I see "programing" as an apt description of intelligence. If organisms have a higher propensity to mutate due to evironmental stressors that seems like a sort of hardwired "organic" programing. If organisms tend to mutate in different fashions due to different sorts of environmental stressors this again appears like organic programing. I would not necessarily call this "intelligence" though, of course, but if enough small procedures can be found strung together all seemingly working to the same end I might call it evidence for some sort of proto-intelligence.

On definitions.. we can discuss that elsewhere if you like. I'm considering starting a thread in philosophy to discuss the definition of "belief".

Sorry for massive editing. While I get the jist of your post I am not formally trained (in anything really) and so I think a major issue here is my lack of jargon acceptable to your thinking process.
Not a problem, there are always more things to learn for everyone.

Suffice it to say that I do not anthropomorphize my conception of intelligence. I see "programing" as an apt description of intelligence.
Then I assume as a corollary, that you would reject the notion of free will?

If programming (as a noun, meaning a set of sequential logical operations, logical operations referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_logic) is intelligence, then certain non-biological systems must be considered intelligent, and intelligence must be considered deterministic (this where the corollary that there is no free will comes in).

If organisms have a higher propensity to mutate due to evironmental stressors that seems like a sort of hardwired "organic" programing. If organisms tend to mutate in different fashions due to different sorts of environmental stressors this again appears like organic programing.

This is true if
a)you use a different definition of programming, being a noun referring to cause and effect relationships, doing away with the logical operation model.
b)you extend the set of inputs involved to encompass the whole universe performing logical operations. Example: A Nearby gamma ray burst would devastate life on earth with deadly radiation levels. What life survived would be highly mutated. If you want to retain the logical operation model, this must be incorporated.

I would not necessarily call this "intelligence" though, of course, but if enough small procedures can be found strung together all seemingly working to the same end I might call it evidence for some sort of proto-intelligence.
This opens up the problem of teleology (the philosophical study of purpose and design). Programming (noun, set of sequential logical operations) is not necessarily teleological(does not necessarily have a purpose). I think we would agree that a program (noun, set of...) that calculates a square root is not intelligent. I think we would agree that a program that takes input from somewhere else, and decides what calculation it should do next can be perceived to be intelligent--but I think that most people would agree that chatbots (an example of such a program) are not intelligent. But they fit your definition for proto-intelligence.

Clearly a more precise definition of what constitutes intelligence is required (not necessarily a limited one, just one with clear demarcations). Clearly, some sort of feedback mechanism is required, though this is insufficient, as unintelligent systems with feedback mechanisms are trivial to demonstrate. I think the capacity for boolean operations is also critical, and likewise insufficient. I think the capacity for purpose or design is also critical (not to be confused with having been the product of purpose or design).